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Stoney
16-06-12, 10:49 AM
Since joining the forum last year I have constantly seen the reoccurring theme of complaining about the changes to the dynamics of the Scoobs. I understand the nostalgia to eras of the tv show but what I see is a natural process. In my experience people grow and change and long standing frienships and group dynamics have to evolve also.

In particular a significant catalyst are the romantic relationships people develop. Buffy has been criticised at different points this season for spending most of her time/leaning most heavily upon and sharing predominantly with Spike. Let me be clear this thread is nothing to do with ships or ship preferences, my comments would apply whoever the parties in a romance are. I think it is a natural progression when you start having deeper, more serious, adult relationships (either in an established romance or even when just building towards establishing one) for that person to take priority. The reason is that as the relationships become more serious (settling down, living together, house, pets, kids, joint bank account etc etc) you start building that other person in as some of the scaffolding of your life rather than just a feature. The consequence of that is that they take priority over your friends and family because your every day life decisions affect the every day life of that other person. Dawn should be prioritised more to Xander. New people are going to have to come in and stay and develop (friends and romances). The idea that Buffy doesn't need to live in the same city as her sister is reasonable (doesn't have to be what she wants to do but it isn't awful to consider). I think people are wanting to retain Scoobie dynamics from school which it is entirely unrealistic to expect to be maintained and in a progressive story actually needs to be allowed to evolve.

vampmogs
17-06-12, 02:38 PM
You're 100% right. The Scooby dynamic (specifically Buffy/Xander/Willow) is my favourite relationship in the show, by a long shot, but it couldn't stay the same as it did in high school. And I agree wholeheartedly with you that romantic relationships are a big reason for why that is, and it's simply a natural progression of how things evolve as people grow up. Romantic partners begin to take precedent, and they should, and it changes the dynamic of the group. Not to mention that life takes you all down different paths when you no longer attend the same brick building everyday, and as the years go on the gap between those paths grows wider.

I actually really appreciate the Scooby dynamic in the later seasons, perhaps now even more so than in the earlier years. Whilst they interact a lot more in the first seasons I actually think their relationship feels much deeper in the later seasons when they evolve into a *family.* Aside from the very obvious moments when this was shown, such as Xander's name being listed under "family numbers" in Buffy's phone book during S7, I also think its apparent in really small moments like in Doublemeat Palace when Buffy can just ring Xander to go over a babysit Dawn. Or when he comes by in Gone to take her to school. Or of course in The Body when they're shown spending Xmas together as opposed to S3 when they all celebrated seperately. When fans criticize the writers for not showing them socializing as much as they used to I feel it's missing the point. Friends hangout and watch movies, go to the pier, bowling etc. Family doesn't have to do that. Family is everyone growing up and being led down different paths (whether it be college, jobs, romantic relationships) but still always being there when it counts. And the Scoobies have always been that.

Stoney
17-06-12, 04:50 PM
So how, considering this, do you feel their relationships sit in S9? I see Xander focussing elsewhere at the moment but don't think that weakens his relationship with Buffy or Willow it just means it isn't getting screen time. Buffy and Willow have issues with each other that are 50% expressed and 50% hidden. I think this is possibly because you don't share inner monologues on everything once you are out of your teens.

Sosa lola
17-06-12, 05:11 PM
I agree that they are family now and families don't usually hang out all the time. But I do think not showing them together - Xander/Willow - hurts the relationship. I honestly don't really consider them best friends or family anymore. Xander's family is obviously Dawn and Buffy, ever since S7. He formed a tight and special bond with them that carried on to S8 and S9 - yeah, Xander/Buffy is enstranged now, but that will be dealt with and there are reasons. With Willow, there's just nothing. No conflict, no emotions, they don't even mention each other's names anymore. I just don't buy their friendship.

Even with the problems between them, Willow is still Buffy's friend and someone very important in Buffy's life. She's not the same in Xander's though.

Stoney
17-06-12, 06:53 PM
This I would agree is an issue. Even accepting the family analogy and that they will prioritise differently Xander and Willow don't appear to have their own connection any more. I'm not sure they particularly did in S7 either thinking back... what's with that? Do they just find it hard to write the adult friendship here d'ya think?

Jack Shaftoe
17-06-12, 08:38 PM
I see Xander focussing elsewhere at the moment but don't think that weakens his relationship with Buffy or Willow it just means it isn't getting screen time.

But it does. Show, don't tell is the way those things have to be done. It's nigh on impossible to believe Willow and Xander are friends any more, let alone best friends. They never even talk to each other.


When fans criticize the writers for not showing them socializing as much as they used to I feel it's missing the point. Friends hangout and watch movies, go to the pier, bowling etc. Family doesn't have to do that.

But the Scoobies aren't an actual family and they do all those things, albeit mostly off-screen, so I am not really sure what your point is. In any event, it's not so much about quantity for me as it is about quality. Sure, we get plenty of say Buffy-Giles interaction in S7 but it doesn't have a fraction of the emotional impact of their bond in S1-5. It's mostly there because the plot needs it to be and there is a severe lack of small moments - moments that aren't really necessary plotwise but crucial for the characterization. Like Buffy assuming Giles "lived for school" while Willow wondered if he hadn't been a teen rebel. That tends to happen when writers think "darker and edgier" is the way forward but that's a mistake, IMO. Even The Wire has plenty of such small moments.

Then again I find most of the dialogue in S6-7 wooden, so even when they try to have what I described above it doesn't really work for. For instance Willow asking Buffy if she wants her to kill Anya. What the hell was that? That's your idea of a joke?


In particular a significant catalyst are the romantic relationships people develop. Buffy has been criticised at different points this season for spending most of her time/leaning most heavily upon and sharing predominantly with Spike. Let me be clear this thread is nothing to do with ships or ship preferences, my comments would apply whoever the parties in a romance are. I think it is a natural progression when you start having deeper, more serious, adult relationships (either in an established romance or even when just building towards establishing one) for that person to take priority.

But Buffy isn't in a relationship with Spike right now. Are people in the real world more likely to go to their ex-partners for help than to their closest friends? I don't think so. Not that it's OOC for Buffy to do so, mind you but I don't think you can use the "that's what most people would have done" argument. Especially when Allie all but admitted they sent Willow away so that Spike can play the role of confidante in this particular arc.

The family theme also suffers from the unresolved problem of the fake memories of Dawn. The Scobies are "family" but Dawn is apparently more of a "family" for Buffy. It just feels like a cheat, even if I like Dawn. The Buffy-Dawn bond is too anvilicious for my taste, Dawn and Tara had like five scenes together but convinced me that they greatly care for each other more than the million Buffy-Dawn scenes.

Another aspect is that when a character's main role in emotional support for Buffy, his or her screentime gets drastically reduced when Dawn or Buffy's current love interest takes over that role. It might be realistic or not, but I'd rather not have the show stick that closely to realism if it means that my favourite characters get less time in the spotlight. I am weird like that. :) And in any event, if people can accept that utter lack of realism in the "mortal enemies fall in love" plots, I don't see the big deal with the Scoobies staying closer than most people in real life are with their high school pals. Most of us don't see our high school friends nearly as often as the Scoobies meet each other, nor have we saved our friends' lives and vice versa, so it's a very flawed comparison anyway.

Stoney
17-06-12, 08:56 PM
But it does. Show, don't tell is the way those things have to be done. It's nigh on impossible to believe Willow and Xander are friends any more, let alone best friends. They never even talk to each other.

Yes, I have since said the Xander/Willow aspect is missing almost entirely. At the moment it looks like they have just grown apart.


But Buffy isn't in a relationship with Spike right now.

No they weren't but I did make the point that it also works where there is the developing potential of a relationship brewing. People start spending a disproportionate amount of time often with possible partners. It is part of the process of scoping out, even subconsciously, whether a relationship is a goer.


The family theme also suffers from the unresolved problem of the fake memories of Dawn. The Scobies are "family" but Dawn is apparently more of a "family" for Buffy. It just feels like a cheat, even if I like Dawn. The Buffy-Dawn bond is too anvilicious for my taste, Dawn and Tara had like five scenes together but convinced me that they greatly care for each other more than the million Buffy-Dawn scenes.

Siblings often seem fond but distant. I don't think they are unrealistic.


And in any event, if people can accept that utter lack of realism in the "mortal enemies fall in love" plots, I don't see the big deal with the Scoobies staying closer than most people in real life are with their high school pals. Most of us don't see our high school friends nearly as often as the Scoobies meet each other, nor have we saved our friends' lives and vice versa, so it's a very flawed comparison anyway.

But BtVS has always felt like a progressive story and if the scoobies dynamics don't evolve this would undermine all of that. Even if it retains a degree of unrealistic togetherness it still needs to move forwards somehow and they all have evolved and moved on in relationships since their high school days. Unless they go all 'Friends', with a cheesy level of retained togetherness, this doesn't work as being static. Heck, even in Friends it didn't and that eventual dynamic change was the catalyst for the end of show.

Dipstick
17-06-12, 09:28 PM
To me, it's a little silly to say that the Scooby dynamic evolved to something closer or better in the post-high school seasons, particularly in S6-9. Ya'll are working against the metatextual, practically Joss-endorsed, major plot line pointed message of the last four seasons that the Scooby dynamic got WORSE.

The story of the S6-S9 Scoobies (and even the S4-9 Scoobies to a certain extent) is NOT how they became a family with love and togetherness. It's how they split apart more and more to the point that none of them even talk to each other right now, except for Dawn and Xander who are cohabitating angstily and Once More With Tension.

Come on, late-season-lovers. Get down with your bad selves! I don't see the draw of the late seasons in the Scooby dynamics but, such as they are, it's designed to be a story about how warped, twisted, dark, cold and distant formerly close friendships can be made under the pressures of war and corrupting influences and the like. And I thought late season lovers loved that darkness and how broken down and grinded up the Scooby friendships were. That strikes me as a more intellectually honest position to take.

Jack Shaftoe
17-06-12, 09:34 PM
No they weren't but I did make the point that it also works where there is the developing potential of a relationship brewing. People start spending a disproportionate amount of time often with possible partners. It is part of the process of scoping out, even subconsciously, whether a relationship is a goer.

But that's not really how things unfolded. Spike and Buffy met at a party after apparently not seeing much of each other in months, then days later she wanted to run away with him. Whether this in character for Buffy or not, that's simply not the way people tend to treat their exes.


Siblings often seem fond but distant. I don't think they are unrealistic.

I didn't say anything about realism. I just think there is a huge dissonance between what I am supposed to see in Buffy and Dawn and what actually happened on screen. And even if I were to buy their sisterly love to the extent the writers clearly wanted me to, it was partly built on those fake memories.


But BtVS has always felt like a progressive story and if the scoobies dynamics don't evolve this would undermine all of that. Even if it retains a degree of unrealistic togetherness it still needs to move forwards somehow and they all have evolved and moved on in relationships since their high school days.

There is plenty of middle ground between not evolving at all and the pathetic state of things in S7. Propping up ships by creating tensions between friends can quickly start to feel like bad fanfiction (it is a very common approach in fanfiction). There was plenty of conflict and drama created by Buffy/Angel in S1-3 but it didn't come at the expense of the Scoobies friendship. Buffy/Riley and Willow/Tara did to an extent but that was a big part of the plot of S4 and was resolved beautifully in the end. It wasn't something that just happened and which wasn't really explored. Okay, S6 tried to explore it (in the clumsiest of fashions, IMO) but there the disconnect was based largely on Buffy's depression. Somehow things didn't get better when she got better, though. I don't see why putting the Scoobies friendships into the background had to be the case in later seasons or else the show suddenly would have become an immature fantasy.

Stoney
17-06-12, 11:44 PM
Come on, late-season-lovers. Get down with your bad selves! I don't see the draw of the late seasons in the Scooby dynamics but, such as they are, it's designed to be a story about how warped, twisted, dark, cold and distant formerly close friendships can be made under the pressures of war and corrupting influences and the like. And I thought late season lovers loved that darkness and how broken down and grinded up the Scooby friendships were. That strikes me as a more intellectually honest position to take.

Sounds like family dynamics to me. :D

Local Maximum
17-06-12, 11:48 PM
As is often the case I take a waffley intermediate position: I think the "family" framework and the "friends fallen apart" one are not mutually exclusive. It does feel to me that Buffy's relationships with Xander and Willow, especially, are more -- how should I put it? -- dangerous, fraught with tension, but also with a greater understanding of big parts of each other that they couldn't get in the earlier years. I think the same is true of Willow-Xander in seasons five through seven, that they are not close in the same way as in earlier seasons but also have a different kind of closeness that has its own merits.

I'm talking a lot but I'm not saying anything, I know. But the years-deep connection between all three of the characters is what allows something like the Selfless argument about what to do about Anya to bounce between topics with lightning speed, jumping into areas of conversation that they have tacit agreements to avoid ("sitting right here!"). And those years of history do basically split them apart, very frequently -- but it also marks genuine knowledge of each other that Buffy-Willow and Buffy-Xander didn't have in season one. Being family means knowing each others' deepest darkest (or some of the above), but it doesn't mean they aren't sometimes estranged. Willow-Xander is a more complicated case, but I feel like they've been family since before the series started and didn't stop, despite the comics' lack of writing for them. (I'm mostly okay with it up to s7 for various reasons.)

Stoney
17-06-12, 11:57 PM
But that's not really how things unfolded. Spike and Buffy met at a party after apparently not seeing much of each other in months, then days later she wanted to run away with him. Whether this in character for Buffy or not, that's simply not the way people tend to treat their exes.

We can't use their specific storyline and how it unfolded and then talk about whether that is how people tend to treat their exes. I wasn't talking about how people treat their exes, I was talking about romantic entanglements, existing and current. Whether Buffy is engaged in one with Spike is her specific story, I was talking generally about it as a premise which I think specifically applies to the Buffy/Spike part of S9. Not that their story reflects any norm in its details.


There is plenty of middle ground between not evolving at all and the pathetic state of things in S7. Propping up ships by creating tensions between friends can quickly start to feel like bad fanfiction (it is a very common approach in fanfiction). There was plenty of conflict and drama created by Buffy/Angel in S1-3 but it didn't come at the expense of the Scoobies friendship.

Mostly because it functioned on a very immature dynamic.


Buffy/Riley and Willow/Tara did to an extent but that was a big part of the plot of S4 and was resolved beautifully in the end. It wasn't something that just happened and which wasn't really explored.

It was because they were 'next-stage' level of relationships when you start prioritising your time with that person over your friends. The stage after that is when you start basing your life decisions around the other person too.


I don't see why putting the Scoobies friendships into the background had to be the case in later seasons or else the show suddenly would have become an immature fantasy.

It doesn't have to be in the background. This is what I don't understand. Just because someone prioritises their partner who they have selected to share their life on every day-to-day basis with above their friends doesn't devalue their friends it just changes the dynamics of their friendship. I really would argue that most people find the most fulfilling life-sharing romantic relationships develop where they put that person/their relationship with that person, first.

Jack Shaftoe
18-06-12, 12:16 AM
We can't use their specific storyline and how it unfolded and then talk about whether that is how people tend to treat their exes. I wasn't talking about how people treat their exes, I was talking about romantic entanglements, existing and current. Whether Buffy is engaged in one with Spike is her specific story, I was talking generally about it as a premise which I think specifically applies to the Buffy/Spike part of S9. Not that their story reflects any norm in its details.

And that's exactly why I don't like it when people use "realism" to justify certain story elements. In 99% of the cases this argument boils down to "If I like something but it's not realistic I let this slide, if I don't, I can complain about how freaking unrealistic it is as much as I want". Hey, I have done it too. :) But it's a sword that cuts both ways. If you can accept mortal enemies becoming lovers then you really have no leg to stand in criticizing the realism of any other types of character interaction in the show, IMO.


Mostly because it functioned on a very immature dynamic.

"It" being? I am not sure I follow.


It doesn't have to be in the background.

It doesn't but it very much was.


Just because someone prioritises their partner who they have selected to share their life on every day-to-day basis with above their friends doesn't devalue their friends it just changes the dynamics of their friendship.

Of course, but when the story seemingly gives a far bigger priority to the ships rather than the friendships it is a case of them being put into the background and devaluing them. As a viewer I can hardly be expected to give a damn if say Buffy is supposed to value Xander in S7 as much as she did in S2 when I never actually see that on screen. I am not saying "Friendships forever, screw romance", I am saying there could have been a much better balance between the two. IIRC, there is not a single scene of just Willow, Xander and Buffy in between Beer Bad and some S6 episode I fail to remember right now. This is not a good balance in my book. Xander doesn't need to share 90% of his scenes with Anya to convince us that the two really love each other, Tara could really have used more scenes with people who weren't Willow, etc.

Stoney
18-06-12, 12:51 AM
And that's exactly why I don't like it when people use "realism" to justify certain story elements. In 99% of the cases this argument boils down to "If I like something but it's not realistic I let this slide, if I don't, I can complain about how freaking unrealistic it is as much as I want". Hey, I have done it too. :) But it's a sword that cuts both ways. If you can accept mortal enemies becoming lovers then you really have no leg to stand in criticizing the realism of any other types of character interaction in the show, IMO.

I don't think it is unrealistic that people that hated each other at one time in their lives when they played very different roles to each other can find circumstances change in such a way that means they start to view each other past the stereotype they were originally defining each other with. I can accept that they got there because the story showed me how they did. The only squint past realism I have to make is justified by the genre telling the story. But it isn't beyond the realms of understanding without the genre playing its part.


"It" being? I am not sure I follow.

Buffy and Angel's relationship. You said "There was plenty of conflict and drama created by Buffy/Angel in S1-3 but it didn't come at the expense of the Scoobies friendship." I was saying that it only didn't because it was an immature relationship so their dynamics and how Buffy chose to deal with the drama of it wasn't how an adult would conduct a relationship necessarily. How affected her friendships were only tells us how a 16 year old's friendships would be affected by that circumstance. My whole point is that for the story to be progressive this dynamic can't be repeated when she is 25, she is likely to have changed her approach and be looking at having a different level of relationship. Likewise will her friends which affects how available they are for her too and naturally the Scoobies evolve into a different type of friendship from what they had in high school and it is right for them to do so.

The whole balance being shown is additionally affected by all the plots affecting those individual friendships too. Basically it gets complicated but we shouldn't expect them to still be as they were. It just isn't realistic in a way that this story needs it to be, it needs them to evolve. The fact that they haven't got a good balance is also something that a lot of people go through when trying to navigate the teen to adult friendships with long term friends. They can be just letting each other down.

Dipstick
18-06-12, 02:37 AM
SPOILERS FOR COMICS ARE MIXED IN


Family doesn't have to do that. Family is everyone growing up and being led down different paths (whether it be college, jobs, romantic relationships) but still always being there when it counts. And the Scoobies have always been that.

Okay, well the Scoobies failed at being there for each other when it counts in S6-9. On rare occasions, Xander was there for Willow to the point of averting an apocalypse in Grave and Willow sat by Xander's bed in Empty Places.

Giles gets a D in being there for anyone from his first exit in Bargaining to his death. He misses an F by hosting Willow to work with the Devon coven over the summer and diving in to his death to help Buffy at the end of S8. Heck, he failed at being there for Buffy past his death by giving all of his money to Faith. Some of which Faith is spending to host Giles's murderer.

Buffy was drowning in her depression in S6. I don't know how both non-psychiatrists and those complicit in the resurrection save the mental health of a girl who so palpably resents living and so palpably resents, at least Willow, for resurrecting her. However, Buffy didn't even have Xander betting on her achieving professional success or Willow channeling her S6 unethicality to conjuring money for her or Giles...you know, staying.

I do think that Willow and Xander were mostly there for Buffy in S7-8 but Giles wasn't and it is dysfunctional and awful that things got the point in Empty Places where Buffy was told to leave and that Willow or Giles didn't run out to check on Buffy but Faith did. And in S9, Willow left town and Xander/Dawn didn't even let Buffy crash in their house or try to get her a hotel.

Xander was still drinking alone after he left Anya at the alter. Buffy and Willow gave him a hug when he came to the Summer's house but it's to the discredit of both girls that they didn't run after him. Buffy couldn't even sit by Xander for ten minutes after he lost his eye and she never ever talked with him about it afterward. Xander mourns Renee pretty much alone. I do think that he gave off vibes in Potential that he consistently felt more and more overlooked by his friends as they became more powerful and that's accurate. I don't know what Xander is dealing with right now but it looks like it could be bad and I don't see Willow or Buffy around him offering support.

IMO, Willow was treated the worst. She had Xander/Tara/Anya saying out of one side of their mouths that Willow should do the resurrection and then out of the other side of their mouth leaving her to take all responsibility, burdens and eventual blame. Out of one side of Xander's/Tara's/Anya's mouths was electing Willow to be Boss of Us; out of the other side, they undermined her leadership constantly. Xander's and Buffy's worries about Willow abusing magic in early season S6 only really amounted to talking about her behind her back and looking disapproving of her hacking magically into the police's database.

Then when Willow quit magic, Xander's "support" ran the gamut from accusing Willow of making Buffy invisible like Willow was the only being in Sunnydale that cast bad spells to practically ordering Willow to cast whatever spell she could think of to get them out of Buffy's house, regardless of Willow's comfort with doing magic. I guess Xander was able to scrounge up an "I love you" to avert an apocalypse. This is what you mean about family about being there for each other when it counts?

Willow told Buffy in Sleeper that the First acted as a messenger of Tara to trick her and Buffy can't even blink with concern. Buffy doesn't even mention Tara for the rest of Season 7. Willow is not allowed to contribute to the gang without magic- per Buffy, Willow is a useless person that Buffy is sick of carrying unless Willow does Big Magic (Get It Done). As I stated in other threads, I do think that Buffy regrets her S7 stance that Willow should be forced to use magic even if Willow wanted to quit no matter how dangerous and corrosive over the long-term it is. However, Buffy is having an impossible time walking back that stance with Willow because she was so strident in S7 about how Willow had to use magic to be worth a damn.

And I don't see this as typical family stuff. I see this as a story about how formerly strong bonds of friendship that empowered its members became sicker and more dysfunctional and darker and just plain crappier as everyone took each other for granted, had their weaker and worse sides brought out through an inability to deal with war and stress gracefully and healthily and became so high on their own pain and ennui that they couldn't see that of others.

These general group dynamic problems were particularly potent because Buffy, the center of the group who everyone is here for, never wanted to be here on earth past her resurrection and preferred her Isolation Chamber of Peace in Heaven to having responsibilities and duties here in life. That's not typical family stuff. That was the crucial impossible hurdle to the Scoobies being truly friends or family, particularly for Willow. The latest previews for A&F made that particularly clear. I don't think the Buffy/Willow friendship can ever be truly healed, unless Buffy tells Willow that she doesn't hate her for the resurrection.

Stoney
18-06-12, 03:22 AM
But what you are describing are the exceptional circumstances of the exceptional pressures generated by the abnormal reality of the story's setting/genre. But lets strip it back and say you are talking about a group of friends that met at school and were incredibly close. As the years went on and they went through some exceptionally difficult personal issues (often unfortunately at the same time) they started to fail each other. This could show in many ways, in not being able to a) see past their own problems to notice what was happening with the others, b) not being able to always take the best approach in dealing with their friends and importantly c) in not shaking off the empathy fatigue they suffered through constantly having to battle through their every day lives let alone deal with the battles of others around them. It isn't pretty, it will go through cycles where it gets worse and they struggle and potentially fall apart and equally they can have periods of improvement. All of this occurs around the natural changes through growing up and to a degree living their lives more independent of each other anyway so naturally, to an extent, growing further apart. There is no guarantee that the Scoobies will survive throughout all and nought.

The increased strain, the years of resentments, personal issues and the natural separation of paths/ideals etc etc are all there. They have all been persistently bombarded and that is a part of their stories that can't be discounted and ignored. Either they share at some point and air their grievances or they will separate more. Everything you are describing falls into what I see as the realism of dealing with a group of people. Just illustrated through exaggerated examples. They are affected by life.

How do you really visualise that they can live the lives they do and stay together perfectly balanced with ease? It is the irony of them being the Scoobie gang because real life isn't like that. They may be an exaggeration of life's path but they certainly aren't a group of perky kids that thwart the baddies by perseverance and chippy attitudes. They are capable of making mistakes and falling apart. This is why they can't possibly be as they were at high school. The people I know who hold friendship groups in pretty much the same state as they were from school are the ones who meet up just to go out to socialise and have fun. They have managed to keep that aspect in tact because it isn't affected in itself by the daily pressures and changes of life. They keep it separate from their individually changing dynamics with relationships, work etc and save that pocket of time to go back to their previous dynamics with the same people for a bit of r and r. Willow, Xander and Buffy never treated their time as sacrosanct like that. They let it be affected by their life problems and life paths. At times they were better at supporting each other than others. Sometimes they were exceptionally and unwaveringly supportive and forgiving as needed. But no, they can't be what they were at 16 any more, not when they choose to share their lives in the way they do.

Dipstick
18-06-12, 04:23 AM
But what you are describing are the exceptional circumstances of the exceptional pressures generated by the abnormal reality of the story's setting/genre. But lets strip it back and say you are talking about a group of friends that met at school and were incredibly close. As the years went on and they went through some exceptionally difficult personal issues (often unfortunately at the same time) they started to fail each other. This could show in many ways, in not being able to a) see past their own problems to notice what was happening with the others, b) not being able to always take the best approach in dealing with their friends and importantly c) in not shaking off the empathy fatigue they suffered through constantly having to battle through their every day lives let alone deal with the battles of others around them. It isn't pretty, it will go through cycles where it gets worse and they struggle and potentially fall apart and equally they can have periods of improvement.

Okay, Stoney. But then your argument is that the Scoobies relationship did get worse in the later seasons and they weren't there for each other when they needed to be (which is the opposite of what vampmogs said). However, your argument is that it was justified because of their stresses and issues. That's a totally different thing.

uarantee that the Scoobies will survive throughout all and nought.


The people I know who hold friendship groups in pretty much the same state as they were from school are the ones who meet up just to go out to socialise and have fun. They have managed to keep that aspect in tact because it isn't affected in itself by the daily pressures and changes of life. They keep it separate from their individually changing dynamics with relationships, work etc and save that pocket of time to go back to their previous dynamics with the same people for a bit of r and r. Willow, Xander and Buffy never treated their time as sacrosanct like that. They let it be affected by their life problems and life paths. At times they were better at supporting each other than others. Sometimes they were exceptionally and unwaveringly supportive and forgiving as needed. But no, they can't be what they were at 16 any more, not when they choose to share their lives in the way they do.

I put the Scoobies in a different category of most people. It's literally Scoobs v. World and it has been like that S1. Not many others sign up to make their sacrifices. From S1-6, it's a fact of life that hardly anyone is getting out alive if the Scoobies aren't tight. There are even echoes of that in the S7-8 armies. However, the Scoobies from S6 on seldom seem to realize that and there are many times when the metatextual message of the show from S6 paints a picture that Buffy's friends hold her back or hinder her even if that goes against the bald facts of the story.

Anyway, I'm never going to be a Fan of S6-7. However, it becomes more palatable if you view the seasons more darkly than the writers would have you and that very dark reading carries over to S8 (which I liked)-9 (which I'm trying not to deliver a final judgment on). I feel like throwing up when considering the light reading of S6-7 as a triumph of family and puppies and at all instructive on anyone being especially good.

Point being that Buffy/Willow/Giles/Xander to a MUCH lesser extent let their stresses and exiting characters flaws and new character flaws that they grew totally lick them and they lost sight of the fact that their relationships with each other are the little they have in this world and they kicked that aside for a lot of reasons that I don't have any respect for like Buffy is so depressed that she's not in her Isolation Chamber of Peace and Quiet or Giles can't muster up the strength that Nikki Wood's Watcher had to be Dawn's guardian and help the gang because he wants a life and Sunnydale has memories of Buffy.

For fun, I decided to compare the later-seasons Scoobies negatively to anti-hero FAMILY dynamics on TV. SPOILERS FOR MAD MEN, THE SOPRANOS AND GILMORE GIRLS.

Don Draper let Betty and her new hubby Henry live in the old house in Ossining rent-free for months even as Don's lawyer was hocking him to charge them. Giles, spurred by Anya, cuts money out of Buffy's paycheck at the Magic Box for not remembering to charge for delivery on her first day working there.

Don Draper and Tony Soprano made a huge priority to set up trusts for their kids, even at risk of sounding alarms on their own criminal activity. Just as wealthy Giles gives Buffy one check in Flooded and cuts off all financial care, even in death. Some "father's love for the girl".

Christopher Multesanti was seething with rage at Tony and Paulie and the rest of the crew for making him hang around their strip club and meetings filled with drugs and alcohol even though he was in AA and recovering from drug addiction. Willow didn't just have to be around magic even though she was in recovery- Willow was ordered to do it even when it seemed dumb. (The sitch in Older and Far Away- Willow, you better cast whatever you can think of with meager supplies at which Tara already failed miserably because we've been in Buffy's house for like, hours.")

Even hyper-critical Richard and Emily Gilmore complimented Lorelei Gilmore for building a life for herself with no help and no college education. When has Xander gotten any recognition from Buffy/Willow/Giles for his career- something that was needed after the snark that Xander endured in S4?

How Betty and Don treated Sally when her grandfather died was one of the ugliest things I've seen on TV. However, at least Don went up to check on Sally after she went asleep and both parents looked embarrassed when Sally's teacher wondered why Sally wasn't sent to school with a note about her grandfather. That's two expressions of sympathy/concern more than Buffy had about Tara dying toward Willow that wasn't about Buffy containing Dark Willow.

When AJ was suicidally depressed, Tony and Carmela did what they could to make him comfortable and his life EVEN easier. Buffy didn't get that solicitousness from her "father" Giles or Willow and Xander.

Jack Shaftoe
18-06-12, 04:31 AM
I don't think it is unrealistic that people that hated each other at one time in their lives when they played very different roles to each other can find circumstances change in such a way that means they start to view each other past the stereotype they were originally defining each other with.

I am not talking about people who merely hated each other, I am talking about people who tried to kill each other. Repeatedly. Not exactly something that leads to romance in the real world. It doesn't happen in much of the sci-fi/fantasy genre, either. For me things like that can break the suspension of disbelief far more easily than "OMG, they were friends in high school and are still close friends at 22? That's so unrealistic!". YMMV and all that but try telling someone who hasn't watched the show about Xander/Anya or about a hypothetical scenario of the Scoobies still being very close those years and let's see what they find more ridiculous.


I was saying that it only didn't because it was an immature relationship so their dynamics and how Buffy chose to deal with the drama of it wasn't how an adult would conduct a relationship necessarily. How affected her friendships were only tells us how a 16 year old's friendships would be affected by that circumstance. My whole point is that for the story to be progressive this dynamic can't be repeated when she is 25, she is likely to have changed her approach and be looking at having a different level of relationship. Likewise will her friends which affects how available they are for her too and naturally the Scoobies evolve into a different type of friendship from what they had in high school and it is right for them to do so.

Not really seeing the difference, to be honest. Yes, Buffy/Angel could make Buffy behave like an immature idiot but so could Spuffy. It's what the narrative chooses to concentrate on that's the main difference between the portrayal of the two ships, not Buffy suddenly not spending enough time with her friends because she is too busy with Spike or something along those lines. And here I could have added a long rant how S7 Spuffy and its "Only Spike understands me! I feel like I am teenage rebel and nobody gets me!" Buffy attitude is anything but a mature relationship but I will not.

Also, not that many people are looking for really serious relationships when they are 19 or 22. Why not complain instead that there wasn't enough casual dating in the show if we are to be so concerned with realism? Much of the romance in the show was very much following the usual Hollywood tropes - Oz leaves and hey, isn't it convenient that Tara appears just in time to have Willow fall in love again? Anya hates men but the first man she goes on a date with is the man she wants to settle down with? The "I hate you, no, I love you" routine of many of the ships?


The fact that they haven't got a good balance is also something that a lot of people go through when trying to navigate the teen to adult friendships with long term friends. They can be just letting each other down.

By balance I referred to the show's portrayal of it, not so much the actual in-story balance between romance and friendships. The latter also had plenty of problems but it's the former that i find truly abysmal. I think it's quite telling that the vast majority of people who love S6-7 best ship Spuffy or at least like it, while I have seen plenty of people whose favourite seasons are 1-3 but don't like Bangel much or at all. Of course, those are just my observation of the tendencies in online fandom, in actuality the percentages might be completely different.


This is why they can't possibly be as they were at high school.

Nobody wants them to. It's just that the alternative we see is far less extreme than what the show went for.

Stoney
18-06-12, 09:53 AM
Okay, Stoney. But then your argument is that the Scoobies relationship did get worse in the later seasons and they weren't there for each other when they needed to be (which is the opposite of what vampmogs said). However, your argument is that it was justified because of their stresses and issues. That's a totally different thing.



I am not saying that it got worse but it was justified by stresses so much as saying that at times it got more serious and they let each other down because they were growing up and living complicated lives but this is what creates the family dynamic over the simple friends meeting up to have a laugh one. Life just becomes more complicated as an adult. Letting each other down on occasion doesn't mean a worse relationship as it is not directly comparable to what they achieved/offered each other when their lives were simpler.

vampmogs said
I actually really appreciate the Scooby dynamic in the later seasons, perhaps now even more so than in the earlier years. Whilst they interact a lot more in the first seasons I actually think their relationship feels much deeper in the later seasons when they evolve into a *family.*
...When fans criticize the writers for not showing them socializing as much as they used to I feel it's missing the point. Friends hangout and watch movies, go to the pier, bowling etc. Family doesn't have to do that. Family is everyone growing up and being led down different paths (whether it be college, jobs, romantic relationships) but still always being there when it counts. And the Scoobies have always been that.

And yes, although I think they have let each other down at times, it doesn't mean they don't pull through in the end (see how in S6 Willow and Buffy both missed what was happening for each other due to their own problems but they got there in the end).


I feel like throwing up when considering the light reading of S6-7 as a triumph of family and puppies and at all instructive on anyone being especially good.

S6-7 is a triumph of family and all things cute and cuddly, or whatever?


Point being that Buffy/Willow/Giles/Xander to a MUCH lesser extent let their stresses and exiting characters flaws and new character flaws that they grew totally lick them and they lost sight of the fact that their relationships with each other are the little they have in this world and they kicked that aside for a lot of reasons that I don't have any respect for like Buffy is so depressed that she's not in her Isolation Chamber of Peace and Quiet or Giles can't muster up the strength that Nikki Wood's Watcher had to be Dawn's guardian and help the gang because he wants a life and Sunnydale has memories of Buffy.

They are flawed people, if they weren't and it was always perfect they would be boring. I suppose the difference is that I don't equate this as 'worse' or 'failed' but rather that these sorts of things are downturns in a complicated line. There are upturns too. When I say that there is no guarantee that the Scoobies will survive through all and nought it is simply because there can't be. But the familial dynamic does allow for tolerance and it does allow them to have extremely long lasting periods where they are distant from each other but are still able to return. Chirpy friends who are just in it for the good fun and frolics don't survive the deep/big stuff if it separates them for a time.


And here I could have added a long rant how S7 Spuffy and its "Only Spike understands me! I feel like I am teenage rebel and nobody gets me!" Buffy attitude is anything but a mature relationship but I will not.

But those rants are based on there being something wrong with connecting with one particular person better over something or for a period of time, it assumes an inherent flaw in doing this and I don't think there is anything wrong with it.


Also, not that many people are looking for really serious relationships when they are 19 or 22.

Actually I think whether they are looking to lifelong relationships or not people enter a different phase of relationships naturally as they get older. Spending time as a couple rather than just socially and there being some longevity to who you are with even if they don't remain a permanent feature. My own experience is that by around 22 people are often with someone for a long period and that relationship holds its own distinct 'place' so, for example, your time together isn't mostly incorporated within a general social circle like it often is when you are teens. Personally, I was married by 22, the first of my peers but then from the following year, there forth over the next handful of years, most of my friends were too.


Why not complain instead that there wasn't enough casual dating in the show if we are to be so concerned with realism?

Because I understand that they have limited screen time to show it in and these people have unusually busy lives with a secret that would naturally restrict them more than the average. And, all that considered, I think they did show casual dating with Buffy pretty well.


I think it's quite telling that the vast majority of people who love S6-7 best ship Spuffy or at least like it, while I have seen plenty of people whose favourite seasons are 1-3 but don't like Bangel much or at all. Of course, those are just my observation of the tendencies in online fandom, in actuality the percentages might be completely different.

I think this is probably very true and I think it falls into the naturally changing dynamic of romance usurping friendship.


Nobody wants them to. It's just that the alternative we see is far less extreme than what the show went for.

These are all long term relationships, they cycle, they have peaks and troughs.

Dipstick
18-06-12, 12:08 PM
I am not saying that it got worse but it was justified by stresses so much as saying that at times it got more serious and they let each other down because they were growing up and living complicated lives but this is what creates the family dynamic over the simple friends meeting up to have a laugh one. Life just becomes more complicated as an adult. Letting each other down on occasion doesn't mean a worse relationship as it is not directly comparable to what they achieved/offered each other when their lives were simpler.

First, when I wrote that very long post detailing all of the ways that G/W/B/X let each other down, it wasn't "letting each other down on occasion". It was a steady and unchanging pattern of complete fail at friendship.

Second, I wish that S6 had a intonation at the start of it like 500 Days of Summer- "This is a story about a break-up of friends". However, I do think that's the full-stop story in S6 and it ends up being the recurring theme story through S7-8 but us fans try to draw a more coherent meta of piling problems on already broken friendship while the authorial intent periodically seems to externalize the friendship problems past S6 as- "Giles doesn't like Spike!", "The Scoobies rebel against Buffy!", "The Seed!" and not enough attention is given to the fact that it's mounting problems because the foundation was so horribly destroyed in S6.


And yes, although I think they have let each other down at times, it doesn't mean they don't pull through in the end (see how in S6 Willow and Buffy both missed what was happening for each other due to their own problems but they got there in the end).

Where did Buffy and Willow get? Very little has been resolved and a lot has deteriorated. Willow is still eating herself up with guilt about how Buffy regrets the resurrection and how she could have killed Tara through the resurrection- it's an unbelievably heavy and unhealthy psychological burden. Willow still feels partly based on still-angry-about-the-resurrection-S7-Buffy's affect that she has to be a force of magic in order to have any value. Buffy, herself, is psychologically past the immediate traumas of her resurrection but I haven't seen any evidence that she's genuinely happy to be here and that a part of her doesn't still hate Willow for resurrecting her. And Buffy still feels like her friends aren't there for her when she needs them in S9 and that's definitely true for S9.


But the familial dynamic does allow for tolerance and it does allow them to have extremely long lasting periods where they are distant from each other but are still able to return. Chirpy friends who are just in it for the good fun and frolics don't survive the deep/big stuff if it separates them for a time.

No one is asking for just shallow chirpy friends. However, I do think that if the writers think that friendship and rising above odds to be good people should be a feature of the story, the Scoobies should have been better to each other than in S6-9.

And Buffy was distant for a long-lasting period in between S2 and S3. However, the Scoobies cared about each other more then and had a better reaction to the crisis than the permanent rift of Buffy's S6 depression or how Giles never ever truly came back into the fold after leaving in S6. After Buffy came back after running away in S3, I still think that Buffy, Willow and Xander all considered each other best friends. After S6, I think the question of "Are we using the besties qualifier?" was definitely in Willow's head. When Buffy came back in S3, Giles threatened Snyder to try to get Buffy back in school. In Buffy's S6 depression, Giles only handed over a limited check and skedaddled.


But those rants are based on there being something wrong with connecting with one particular person better over something or for a period of time, it assumes an inherent flaw in doing this and I don't think there is anything wrong with it.

There is. There's something very wrong with Willow pinning all of the world's specialness and any affection/esteem that meant anything to Tara and treating her living friends like target practice for the last three eps of S6. There's something very wrong with Buffy expecting Willow/Xander/Giles/Dawn/everyone else in the house to help her and have her back and Willow, in particular, to ignore safety and her own health to cast Big Magic and then for Buffy to snit that Spike is the only one who has her back.

This isn't something as mild and prosaic as just connecting with one person better. This is treating everyone else around like trash while expecting stuff from them because your obsessive yen is with a single particular person.

vampmogs
18-06-12, 01:58 PM
To me, it's a little silly to say that the Scooby dynamic evolved to something closer or better in the post-high school seasons, particularly in S6-9. Ya'll are working against the metatextual, practically Joss-endorsed, major plot line pointed message of the last four seasons that the Scooby dynamic got WORSE.

Um, wah? I seriously doubt that there was any Joss-endorsed message of the show that all the main characters were meant to grow apart and that their friendships would become “worse.” More complex? Yes. More baggage? Absolutely. But with that also comes a love for each other that is far more profound than whatever they could have achieved in the first couple of years of high school.

As I said, to me it’s clear that their relationships are far deeper in the later years and that’s because they evolve from just being friends into more of a family unit. There are moments in the later years, such as Xander being listed under “Family Numbers” in Buffy’s phonebook, Buffy telling Mr Mclay that they’re “family”, the Scoobies spending Christmas together, or Buffy and Willow’s “a part of me” spell in The Long Way Home, that simply wouldn’t have felt earned in those first 3 years. And the writers never tried it for a reason. I love those years dearly and I cherish the Scooby dynamic when they were all teenagers, but for me it’s nowhere near as profound. As Local_Max says, the characters aren’t as familiar with each other and you feel more of their history when they interact with one another in comparison to the relatively little history they share as a group in those first seasons.


Come on, late-season-lovers. Get down with your bad selves! I don't see the draw of the late seasons in the Scooby dynamics but, such as they are, it's designed to be a story about how warped, twisted, dark, cold and distant formerly close friendships can be made under the pressures of war and corrupting influences and the like. And I thought late season lovers loved that darkness and how broken down and grinded up the Scooby friendships were. That strikes me as a more intellectually honest position to take.

Well, I don't define myself as a "late-season-lover" because, believe it or not, I'm one of those rare breed on fans who actually loves pretty much ALL of the show. I've never got this early seasons vs late seasons stuff and I don't want to. And it's important not to label fans or generalise what they're supposed to like about certain storylines. I actually totally disagree with your assessment of the later seasons and walked away from the show with an entirely different message. Whilst it's true that they do explore how the pressures of war can impact the group dynamic the most consistent theme is that they always, always come back together. Stoney is absolutely right that they simply go through their ups and downs like everybody else and that sometimes they’ll be extremely close (Buffy/Xander in S8 – emphasised by his voice calling her back down to earth) and other times they’ll be very far apart (Buffy/Xander in S9). That's life.

Stoney
18-06-12, 02:13 PM
First, when I wrote that very long post detailing all of the ways that G/W/B/X let each other down, it wasn't "letting each other down on occasion". It was a steady and unchanging pattern of complete fail at friendship.

I really don't think you can say it is a complete fail and ignore the context of the lives they live and the times when they meet or exceed what each other wants/needs simply because there are times when they get it wrong too. Buffy sat on the bed with Willow at the beginning of S7 putting her belief and trust back into her friend's hands, literally. The friend who tried to kill her and the world, that is huge. Xander was there for Buffy in S8, very visibly there and, though we don't know what is going on yet, the Buffy who sat beside him whilst he looked despairing in 9.01 is, as far as we can tell, being there for him too.


Where did Buffy and Willow get?

They got to the point where they did at least pick their heads up and see the other one was suffering too and that they had let each other down. It isn't a fix all and yes, I agree, there are residual issues here that need working through but they still care about each other, they can get there eventually. It doesn't mean they will of course because communication has to happen and they are struggling at the moment, but it doesn't mean it is doomed and will definitely not happen.


And Buffy was distant for a long-lasting period in between S2 and S3. However, the Scoobies cared about each other more then and had a better reaction to the crisis than the permanent rift of Buffy's S6 depression or how Giles never ever truly came back into the fold after leaving in S6. After Buffy came back after running away in S3, I still think that Buffy, Willow and Xander all considered each other best friends. After S6, I think the question of "Are we using the besties qualifier?" was definitely in Willow's head. When Buffy came back in S3, Giles threatened Snyder to try to get Buffy back in school. In Buffy's S6 depression, Giles only handed over a limited check and skedaddled.

But the difference in the earlier seasons is that they were just starting out together. There wasn't history and build up of issues in the same way. A lot of the issues were not as serious and they hadn't been the cause of the problems for each other. The depth of the distance is caused by the issues themselves, not just the time period it hails over.


There is. There's something very wrong with Willow pinning all of the world's specialness and any affection/esteem that meant anything to Tara and treating her living friends like target practice for the last three eps of S6. There's something very wrong with Buffy expecting Willow/Xander/Giles/Dawn/everyone else in the house to help her and have her back and Willow, in particular, to ignore safety and her own health to cast Big Magic and then for Buffy to snit that Spike is the only one who has her back.

That doesn't work imo. Willow having control problems and wanting to bend the world to her will and undo an injustice that personally hurt her tipped her over the edge of a precipice that she had been hanging on. That doesn't reflect her placing Tara above the world and all living creatures because Tara was more special than everything, Tara had already died, what happened to Willow was about grief and coping mechanisms. What Buffy expected of everyone in S7 was often not well conveyed but was more about the buck stopping with her. Did she want Willow to get over herself and do the spell? Yes probably because the thing Buffy was trying to avoid was the end of the world and everything can be sacrificed for that and if there was a solution then it needed doing. There were other occasions in S6 when they were trying to help Willow avoid magic for magic's sake when Buffy supported her not using it for just any reason if they could find another, even if it was a highly laborious way.


This isn't something as mild and prosaic as just connecting with one person better. This is treating everyone else around like trash while expecting stuff from them because your obsessive yen is with a single particular person.

See this is where my origination of this thread comes from. Perhaps it isn't fair or true but that statement to me means that you are expecting something of the Scoobies, expecting them to mean something to each other that will transcend everything else. Unfortunately I just don't think that is realistic, I personally don't think that happens with friends once you get past a certain age to this degree and that you do indeed move on to put your life in closer sync with a partner than your friends. So I don't think there was anything wrong with it, hell, I would go as far as to say that it is healthy and an entirely separate issue to how Buffy/Willow/Xander and Giles operated the parameters and problems in their friendships. To cite Spike is to use an excuse. People have intense personal relationships and they have friends, both can run concurrently, Buffy doesn't and shouldn't have to choose. It is more that she and the Scoobs need to scope out their evolving dynamics and, therefore, their expectations of each other.

Dipstick
18-06-12, 03:10 PM
Um, wah? I seriously doubt that there was any Joss-endorsed message of the show that all the main characters were meant to grow apart and that their friendships would become “worse.” More complex? Yes. More baggage? Absolutely. But with that also comes a love for each other that is far more profound than whatever they could have achieved in the first couple of years of high school.

It is worse and not more profound. Ironically, you're giving all of the good adjectives to the Scooby dynamic in the later seasons (profound, complex, family instead of "just" friends) and out and out saying you prefer it in your original post in this thread and giving the lesser adjectives to the earlier seasons. Methinks that we both have our preferences re: eras of the show (which is totally natural) but I'm more honest about it.

In the earlier seasons, Xander was the one to force Buffy's vampire beau to get up off his ass to save Buffy and Xander's human breath is what saved Buffy's life. There was no equivalent of Prophecy Girl in the later Spike-fluffing seasons where King of Cretins wisely said that humanity=herpes in the Buffyverse.

In Choices, Buffy is willing to take a gamble on beating the Mayor without the Box of Gavrok because it'll save Willow. In S7, Willow begs Buffy not to make her do magic and Buffy couldn't give a shit because Buffy needs to use Willow in this war. Even though the sadness of Xander not noticing Willow, Oz leaving Willow hurtfully and coldly, and Tara dying in Willow's arms got worse and worse, Buffy's gestures of empathy towards Willow on those subjects got fewer and fewer. Buffy turns to her friends for help in Ted and Consequences; she doesn't do the same for the equivalent scenario in Dead Things. Willow felt awful about cursing Angel so that Buffy had to send him to hell and Buffy told Willow not to feel awful and that Buffy talking about it made her feel better. Willow felt awful about resurrecting Buffy and Buffy basically said that Willow should feel that way and Buffy said nothing to change Willow's mind about that. Where was Giles trying to get Buffy back into UC Sunnydale as he tried to get Buffy back into SHS?

This is all just....worse. I can't think of another adjective other than "worse".


As I said, to me it’s clear that their relationships are far deeper in the later years and that’s because they evolve from just being friends into more of a family unit. There are moments in the later years, such as Xander being listed under “Family Numbers” in Buffy’s phonebook, Buffy telling Mr Mclay that they’re “family”, the Scoobies spending Christmas together, or Buffy and Willow’s “a part of me” spell in The Long Way Home, that simply wouldn’t have felt earned in those first 3 years.

The Scoobies didn't burble over with family sappiness in the first three seasons and they couldn't have called themselves a family because the group had a lot of UST between them. However, they were in each other's lives as much as a family. All of of the example that I cited before an important, life-altering ways of being together that matter. To Willow and Xander, each other and Buffy and Giles meant more to them any others in the first three seasons, except Oz ranked about as high with Willow starting in mid-S3. To Buffy, Willow, Xander, Angel and Giles were about par in importance, even ahead of Joyce. To Giles, Buffy was by far the most important with Jenny second and Willow third. The Scoobies mattered to each other more than their families.

And a bunch of those moments that you cite do nothing for me. Buffy couldn't muster up the caring about Tara or Willow to not complain and whine about having to...<wait for it> go the Bronze as she does every week but this time, Buffy has to eat food and cake provided by Willow among birthday decorations and purchase a present for Tara. However once Buffy found out that Tara was a victim, everything is different. Tara being Tara wasn't enough to make the "family"- it was Tara being a victim. And it's not like Buffy cared about Tara enough that definitively finding that Tara got her sanity back made Buffy any happier about not being dead.

There's a screenshot of Xander under family numbers in S7. I respond back that Willow's locker door has pictures of Giles in S1. There wasn't as much magic in the earlier seasons so there's no short-hand spell to describe togetherness that doesn't exist in the actual human communication.

The Christmas example is kind of "whatever". First, it's unclear whether that's a memory or an idealism in Buffy's head in The Body. Second, can I attack S5-9 as a worse era because the Scoobies didn't celebrate Thanksgiving with each other as they did in Pangs? I'm trying to compare the Scoobies' relationships based on broader trends of how they felt about each other, who they would turn to in comparative problems, what they valued, etc. all of which matters more fundamentally than whether the Santa-worshippers and Willow celebrated got together for Christmas for one year or where Buffy chose to file Xander's number in her phone book.


And the writers never tried it for a reason. I love those years dearly and I cherish the Scooby dynamic when they were all teenagers, but for me it’s nowhere near as profound. As Local_Max says, the characters aren’t as familiar with each other and you feel more of their history when they interact with one another in comparison to the relatively little history they share as a group in those first seasons.

In many cases, it felt like the history didn't matter to the Scoobies. It didn't matter that Xander handled himself so well in combat enough for Willow to not rewrite his contribution as "Sometimes we all save you" or for Buffy to shut him out on a bunch of occasions. It didn't matter that Willow regularly contributed without magic and Buffy had been happy to have her on the team magickless in the past; Buffy still considered Willow a useless burden if she wasn't spell-casting in S7. Buffy practically begged Giles to take a father-role with Dawn and Giles demurred because Buffy is Dawn's family but then Giles couldn't even be there for Dawn when he thought that Buffy was dead forever. Characters willfully ignored history.


Whilst it's true that they do explore how the pressures of war can impact the group dynamic the most consistent theme is that they always, always come back together. Stoney is absolutely right that they simply go through their ups and downs like everybody else and that sometimes they’ll be extremely close (Buffy/Xander in S8 – emphasised by his voice calling her back down to earth) and other times they’ll be very far apart (Buffy/Xander in S9). That's life.

IMO, Buffy/Xander are more "ups and downs"- even if it's usually very underwritten save in early S8. Giles/Buffy and Giles/Willow are kind of just a story of a relationship getting worse and worse. (Giles/Xander had little mutuality to it even in the high school years.) Buffy/Willow is a story of a relationship that got worse with small reprieves (Buffy realizes that using her license to kill Willow in the future actually sucks; Willow only came to one fist fight with Buffy). Willow/Xander is chiefly totally ignored.


Buffy sat on the bed with Willow at the beginning of S7 putting her belief and trust back into her friend's hands, literally. The friend who tried to kill her and the world, that is huge.

Buffy fretted over how she perceived herself being the kind of person to suspect Willow and accepted Willow's license to be the slayer and suspect and kill Willow if she went out of line. That's not absolute trust and it's certainly not believing in Willow (in part because Willow was urging Buffy not to believe in her).


They got to the point where they did at least pick their heads up and see the other one was suffering too and that they had let each other down. It isn't a fix all and yes, I agree, there are residual issues here that need working through but they still care about each other, they can get there eventually. It doesn't mean they will of course because communication has to happen and they are struggling at the moment, but it doesn't mean it is doomed and will definitely not happen.

IMO, Willow got that Buffy was suffering since Flooded and Willow was paralyzed with guilt over Buffy's suffering since OMWF/Tabula Rasa. I see Willow in S6 not delving into Buffy's suffering because she's too overcome with guilt and fear to stare at it in the face and Willow can tell that she's not the girl that Buffy has any interest in truly sharing with because of the anger over the resurrection. Willow hasn't moved past any of that. She's still incredibly guilty, doesn't want to talk about it out of guilt and shame and doesn't feel that she's a person that Buffy wants to share with because Buffy is still angry over it.

IMO, Buffy never got any of Willow's complicated relationship with magic. Buffy fails in several different ways. In S6, she does the best by just accepting Willow's choice to quit and being there beside a magickless Willow. In S7, though, Buffy doesn't get Willow's issues to the point of gross obtuseness and reckless danger and just thinks that Willow should just have it in her to just do spells on demand (even those similar to ones that Willow was raked over the coals for last year), never mind Willow's inherent lack of control or the unstoppable evil force that will process Willow.

In S8, Buffy actually gets back some concern for Willow's long-term health and that's good but there's still a lot of Buffy Not Getting It and feeling that she can "fix" Willow by making her fears about Willow's magic as just Twilight tracking them and putting Willow in Oz's hands for all lessons or talks about her powers. And then in 8.40, Buffy is just, "You don't need magic. You can make money with computers!" with nothing deeper there to try to set Willow's mind at ease over being treated as merely a very powerful weapon for several years and not even still having that.

Other than the simple human decency of Buffy respecting Willow's choice to not use magic in S6 and Buffy extending Willow the same courtesy that she does to every other criminal that joins the Scooby gang, Buffy just fails and fails and fails re: Willow from S6-9.


That doesn't work imo. Willow having control problems and wanting to bend the world to her will and undo an injustice that personally hurt her tipped her over the edge of a precipice that she had been hanging on. That doesn't reflect her placing Tara above the world and all living creatures because Tara was more special than everything, Tara had already died, what happened to Willow was about grief and coping mechanisms.

Giles shot Willow up with the world's pain or empathy or whatever (script isn't clear as Local Max and I were discussing on the Willow thread). That's what made Willow feel the need to destroy the world because she was caring so much about how much everyone else was in pain and needed it to end.

Before that when it was just Willow and dark magic, Willow was saying that Tara was the only person that gave her life value. And grief and coping mechanisms aside, it's beyond unhealthy and gross to put your (IMO crappy, hypocritical and cold) girlfriend as the one person of value and not your best friends who have been a supportive part of your life for years and are still living now. It's a textbook case of the unhealthiness of putting a SO over your friends in the hear and now.


What Buffy expected of everyone in S7 was often not well conveyed but was more about the buck stopping with her. Did she want Willow to get over herself and do the spell? Yes probably because the thing Buffy was trying to avoid was the end of the world and everything can be sacrificed for that and if there was a solution then it needed doing. There were other occasions in S6 when they were trying to help Willow avoid magic for magic's sake when Buffy supported her not using it for just any reason if they could find another, even if it was a highly laborious way.

In S6, Willow had a pass on not doing magic when their back was pressed to the wall if Willow found non-magic alternatives (Gone, Doublemeat Palace, Normal Again with the antidote). Or when everyone was literally gagged from yelling at her to use magic and Tara came in with the solution anyway (Normal Again). Or if others are on the case and are choosing not to include Willow for their own emotional reasons (Dead Things).

However Older and Far Away proved that if the Scoobies' backs were to the wall even if only to the tune of being in Buffy's house for hours and even if Tara was offering to try again, Willow will be treated terribly for quitting. And S7 repeats that dynamic.

Local Maximum
18-06-12, 04:50 PM
I do think that the Scooby dynamic collapsing is very much part of season six, even textually so. Family is the declaration of the Scoobies as family with the eight core cast members there -- the core four plus Anya, Tara, Dawn and Spike -- as being the same eight who make it through the Glory mess. Tabula Rasa is the last time all eight are seen together and it, along with OMWF, are in big part about the mythology of the gang as a perfect demon-fighting team being undermined and destroyed. "What can't we face if we're together?" is the rallying cry, but it's deeply ironic, and by the end of OMWF they sing, "Understand we'll go hand in hand, but we'll walk alone in fear" and first Spike and then Buffy leaves the group. In Tabula Rasa, Giles and Tara are about to leave and Buffy is depressed and angry and tensions have restarted between Spike and the gang over the last several episodes after a fairly decent working relationship from Spiral through Bargaining, and Willow's spell, designed to cure Tara and Buffy of their ills, makes the gang lose their whole painful history and their identities along with it, and they come together as a wacky demon-fighting team who naturally fit together for the most part, but then the spell gets broken and their relationships return to their deeply fraught selves. Both TR and Family's big moments take place in the Magic Box, which becomes somewhat the symbol of the gang's optimistic togetherness and is finally destroyed by Willow at the season's end in a fit of rage. Season six is very much about the gang not being there for each other until the end (and even then...).

I do think that season seven reads differently. Buffy/Xander/Dawn's family unit at the beginning of season seven seems very functional, and I do think that the first several episodes of the season show a slow rebuilding in their relationship with Willow. But then the First comes in, and Buffy's isolationist tendencies as slayer and leader, Xander's tacit acceptance that his role is to be Background Guy and stay out of the other powerhouses' way, and Willow's fear of exposing her dark side to her friends (in, c.f., TKIM) continue to be wedges keeping them apart. Giles helped Willow a lot over the summer (arguable, see Willow in S9 thread) but was otherwise pretty disconnected, not really able to touch anyone (probably attributable to his whole world being gone). Anya was sarcastic and alone and had some resolution with Xander but not much with anyone else of the main gang. Dawn spent most of her time with Xander and the potentials, not Buffy. Spike kept himself in the basement.

I do think that the original intention of season seven, based on the direction of the first few episodes, was to have the gang come back together. I do think that they did (partly) forgive each other for what had happened in the previous year, but there is still tension throughout, with Xander being the only person most people were fine with. But then there was story story story and the focus became more about everyone coming together to fight a war than about a personal affection for each other, though I do think that affection was there.

Buffy and Willow's relationship in season eight is maybe the best thing about the comics -- so much history, so much love, so much tension, so much distance. Xander and Buffy have a better relationship but with still some bits of disconnect, as well as the vague sense that because of Buffy and Dawn's perpetual disconnection, Xander eventually has to "choose" between one of them. The comics did fail to present Xander and Willow's friendship. Giles and Willow's relationship is treated as being good, and I hope that A&F gives a bit more info on that, but we don't see it all that much, nor does Giles work very hard in Retreat to deal with the possibility of Willow going dark in the future. Giles and Buffy fundamentally don't connect in season eight. But they do still love each other.

I think Buffy's deep-deep depression because she had years of trauma, culminating in her mother's death, thinking herself incapable of love, having to contemplate having to kill her innocent sister to save the world and finally being given what seems a respite from these decisions in death only to be required to crawl out of her own grave, is not really properly described by her desire to be in an isolation chamber of happiness, though that is part of it.

Jack Shaftoe
18-06-12, 05:31 PM
So the Scoobies celebrating Christmas together is some big proof for their closeness? Of course they would celebrate together, this is more of a result of their families being dysfunctional or non-existing than anything else. The only thing that tells her is that it was better than the alternative - not celebrating at all or only with their significant other (except for Buffy and Dawn obviously). Many people celebrate Christmas and similar holidays with people they can barely stand, so this means very little in itself.


But those rants are based on there being something wrong with connecting with one particular person better over something or for a period of time, it assumes an inherent flaw in doing this and I don't think there is anything wrong with it.

No, it only says that I didn't find S7 Spuffy to be remotely in the vicinity of mature relationships. And the the writers' insistence that Buffy was right, right, right to trust Spike (and even more annoyingly his trigger) is very disturbing. I have nothing against Buffy being more concerned with Riley than Willow or Xander in S4, I found that far more true to life than the fanfiction-like extremes of "Spuffy vs the world" in S7.


Um, wah? I seriously doubt that there was any Joss-endorsed message of the show that all the main characters were meant to grow apart and that their friendships would become “worse.”

Does it really matter if it was the intended message or just an effect of bad writing? If anything the latter is worse.


See this is where my origination of this thread comes from. Perhaps it isn't fair or true but that statement to me means that you are expecting something of the Scoobies, expecting them to mean something to each other that will transcend everything else. Unfortunately I just don't think that is realistic

And the characters regularly forgiving each other for all kinds of heinous crimes is realistic? Because if I were Xander I wouldn't have wanted to have anything to do with Buffy after the whole hiding Angel debacle. If I were Buffy I would probably hate everyone in my life because they keep stabbing me in the back. These characters have shown nigh on supernatural powers of forgiveness, I find it weird when people imply that it's okay for Xander to not give a damn about Anya's history of murder but at the same time it's perfectly normal for Buffy to hold a grudge towards Willow ever since Becoming because of Xander's Lie. It's just, I don't know, way too convenient for the writers to sidestep the thorny issues when they get in the way of the shiny redemption of a given character but when need be to suddenly create some distance between X and Y based on transgressions far smaller than those other characters are a given a pass for. And yes, people can indeed hold petty grudges in real life, people grow distant, people can be bastards. All true. It's just way inconsistent in BtVS, IMO. Like how most of S7 is about the rifts in the Scooby gang but when it's time for the finale everything is quickly swept under the carpet and is all hugs and puppies. It's undeserved.

But this could be my own bias and preferences talking. I have yet to read a book series or watch a show that is really long which doesn't devolve in quality in its final instalments. It's a fine line to walk between "don't change it too much" and "don't keep it the same lest it becomes stale" and eventually it becomes impossible to find that balance. Writers become interested in other projects, actors get tired of the characters, desperate stunts to increase ratings are used, etc. But I have never watched a show whose final season feel not just like an inferior continuation but like a whole new and much worse show. It's almost like they deliberately wanted to destroy everything I (and I gather many other viewers too) liked about BtVS in the first place.

Stoney
18-06-12, 06:23 PM
Personally I loved BtVS start to finish, in fact, I enjoyed it more with each progressive season. The comics I am a little more lukewarm about. I do think they made errors in the approach in S8 but mainly it is because I miss seeing the actors play the parts, I am still happy to see the story unfold. I certainly wouldn't spend as much time as I do on it if I didn't enjoy it this much.


And yes, people can indeed hold petty grudges in real life, people grow distant, people can be bastards. All true. It's just way inconsistent in BtVS, IMO. Like how most of S7 is about the rifts in the Scooby gang but when it's time for the finale everything is quickly swept under the carpet and is all hugs and puppies. It's undeserved.

Since when is it consistent in real life? My husband can do something that vaguely irritates me one day and an almost identical thing the following week causes a huge argument that we spend the rest of the night working through why we have just had a blow out over it. I could be sitting furious with him but if we got a call that a family member was in hospital I bet that anger would dissolve instantly as we reprioritised. Family is intense because you are in each other's faces so much and yes, emotions can often turn on a dime.

Local Maximum
18-06-12, 06:44 PM
My experience of the show is similar to Stoney's; right now I'd place season seven as one of my least favourite seasons, but I enjoyed it tremendously while watching it and still like it. Season six is my fave still, though I'm not sure if that means I think it's the best.


Since when is it consistent in real life? My husband can do something that vaguely irritates me one day and an almost identical thing the following week causes a huge argument that we spend the rest of the night working through why we have just had a blow out over it. I could be sitting furious with him but if we got a call that a family member was in hospital I bet that anger would dissolve instantly as we reprioritised. Family is intense because you are in each other's faces so much and yes, emotions can often turn on a dime.

I think that the family crisis point is especially important; I think maybe the central difference between, say, season five and six is the fact that there was Glory in season five and in season six there was only the Trio, who, while problematic, were not taken particularly seriously by the gang. External threats were always a big part of, though not the sole cause of, the gang's rallying back together; in season six the threats were primarily internal and specific to each individual, and no one was particularly used to dealing with that until Tragedy struck again at the season's end and the non-Willow members of the gang faced more definitely how unready they were to deal with her blowout.

On the other hand, the First and the Twilight crisis in s7-8 are external threats that end up hindering the gang as much as they help them, since disagreement about how to deal with them causes huge tension in both seasons as well as the general emotional strain of trying to deal with not just a proximate crisis but running a much larger organization.

Stoney
18-06-12, 07:42 PM
On the other hand, the First and the Twilight crisis in s7-8 are external threats that end up hindering the gang as much as they help them, since disagreement about how to deal with them causes huge tension in both seasons as well as the general emotional strain of trying to deal with not just a proximate crisis but running a much larger organization.

I think this disparity may simply comes from the hierarchy and balance of the team going to pot when Giles left them to it. Buffy has always been the 'leader' of the trio of Buffy/Willow/Xander but I think there was a reassurance with Giles sat in the background effectively playing the part of monitoring adult, a parental role for the young Scoobs. When he withdrew from this position they floundered in S6 and Giles had to come back to help them out of the schtuck.

The hierarchy henceforth flapped around though and Buffy/Xander were left feeling disjointed with Willow and Giles gone as S7 started off. A tentative change around assuming roles from a traditional family unit formed whilst they felt the absence of the other two. S7s power play then between Buffy and Giles was inevitable as Buffy now wanted to get on with living her life and as she no longer felt she could, or maybe should, lean on Giles and didn't want to risk relying on him, so she looked to assert a clear independence. As a team they questioned each other's judgement more, they kept things from each other and generally started to try and branch out more individually, no longer settled under the security and 'umbrella' protection that Giles had given them, no longer wanting to be children. This carried on to S8 between the three Scoobs and Giles inadvertently dug the chasm deeper by willingly offering his partnership/support to Faith behind Buffy's back. They always try and come back together and face the threats as a team but there isn't a set hierarchy any more, it has to be renegotiated constantly depending on skills relevance and circumstance each time.

The moment Giles left after his return once Buffy was resurrected the Scoobs were never going to be what they were in the early seasons again. It generated some very sudden character developments that jarred slightly rather than fit smoothly any longer. They probably would have gotten to this anyway as they got older but it would possibly have been a touch smoother.

Dipstick
18-06-12, 07:59 PM
I think Buffy's deep-deep depression because she had years of trauma, culminating in her mother's death, thinking herself incapable of love, having to contemplate having to kill her innocent sister to save the world and finally being given what seems a respite from these decisions in death only to be required to crawl out of her own grave, is not really properly described by her desire to be in an isolation chamber of happiness, though that is part of it.

I know that Buffy had all of the other above legit trauma issues that would really and truly hurt any person with feelings. However, as I've stated before, I do think there's something frustratingly idealized about what I see as terrible dysfunction in how much Buffy liked being dead and how much she resents Willow for tearing her from that and it makes me very uncharitable and cynical to Buffy's trauma.

I was right there deeply sympathizing with Buffy's deep pain from everything when she goes catatonic from loss in Spiral because the show was so clear on why Buffy wanting to depart from the fight may be understandable but it sure isn't justified or anywhere near right.

However, I felt like the author took a stance in S6-7 that it was an absolute wrong to resurrect Buffy and that Buffy should have been declared as finished and complete at the ripe of age of 19 and it paints the problems of the world as...ideally not necessary in Buffy's life. Buffy was happy and at peace- the Scoobies could be raped and killed by the Biker Gang, Dawn could be cutting herself in angst, Buffy's future husband would miss out on a terrific wife, future readers would be deprived of a Great American Novel Buffy could write about her experiences since we know demons come out in the future- but none of that should matter because it's best if Buffy's finished and at peace. And the show certainly doesn't act like there's enough wrong with Buffy for dwelling on the Injustice of It All instead of actively comparing the "Everything is peacefully and happy in Heaven" to the situation that she knows exists on earth for those who should be nearest and dearest to her for good (feeling joy that she can confirm that Tara really got her sanity back and Spike is okay from falling off the Tower) and for bad (feeling relief that her friends now have her slayer self, feeling relief that Dawn isn't left without a family at all).

One of the best parts of S8 was watching Buffy hear Willow muse on the possible happiness if Willow left Buffy dead and went to live a more civilian life away from Sunnydale raising Dawn with Tara. I think, on some level, Buffy got how much of a failing it is if her best friend who moved heaven and earth to get Buffy back because Willow was convinced that everything would be better if Buffy and Willow lived together on earth altered her position after living with Buffy for several years to punish herself with idealized visions of what could have been if Buffy stayed dead (even if we learn in the upcoming A&F that Willow still can't regret having Buffy back). In THAT scene, I actually felt pangs of sympathy for Buffy. Buffy and Willow didn't get the full importance of that revelation and that's a bad harbinger for their relationship but it was the first real progress on the issue since Gone.

Jack Shaftoe
18-06-12, 08:27 PM
The moment Giles left after his return once Buffy was resurrected the Scoobs were never going to be what they were in the early seasons again.

I really don't see what Giles leaving had to do with the friendship between Willow, Xander and Buffy. It never had anything to do with Giles being around or not. He could have helped Buffy pay her bills or Willow to not be a magic-junkie but this wasn't really the cause for the rift in S6, was it?


Since when is it consistent in real life? My husband can do something that vaguely irritates me one day and an almost identical thing the following week causes a huge argument that we spend the rest of the night working through why we have just had a blow out over it. I could be sitting furious with him but if we got a call that a family member was in hospital I bet that anger would dissolve instantly as we reprioritised.

Well, it's all subjective obviously. Some see the way "redemption" is treated in the Buffyverse as brilliant. Some don't. The point is I really don't think you can say "It's unrealistic the Scoobies would stay really close" but not apply the same argument to say them staying relatively close to Anya despite her being basically an affable psychopath. And I don't think Chosen is about rallying behind Buffy because they had to defeat the enemy but the characters keeping all the gathered resentment. It's more about Buffy "proving" how right she had been all along how everyone else sucks for doubting the magnificence that's Buffy. It's undeserved not because it's completely impossible there might be a reconciliation but because the characters don't really work out any of their issues on screen.

Stoney
18-06-12, 08:48 PM
However, I felt like the author took a stance in S6-7 that it was an absolute wrong to resurrect Buffy and that Buffy should have been declared as finished and complete at the ripe of age of 19 and it paints the problems of the world as...ideally not necessary in Buffy's life. Buffy was happy and at peace- the Scoobies could be raped and killed by the Biker Gang, Dawn could be cutting herself in angst, Buffy's future husband would miss out on a terrific wife, future readers would be deprived of a Great American Novel Buffy could write about her experiences since we know demons come out in the future- but none of that should matter because it's best if Buffy's finished and at peace.

When should she get to stop then? If Simone kills her and abducts Dawn and Xander should Willow bring her back again because she is duty bound to protect and die for them until they die and because a theoretical husband and non-existent children would miss out? It may not be what you mean but this feels like saying Buffy's life has no worth beyond what it can do for others, regardless of how hard it is she should always be happy to return and do it all again and again until she has completed an average lifespan? Because 20 painful deaths aren't a problem if you value those you left behind enough, you should want to return and sacrifice yourself again and make it 21?

Stoney
18-06-12, 09:02 PM
I really don't see what Giles leaving had to do with the friendship between Willow, Xander and Buffy. It never had anything to do with Giles being around or not. He could have helped Buffy pay her bills or Willow to not be a magic-junkie but this wasn't really the cause for the rift in S6, was it?

I'm saying the Scoobie dynamics changed, how they pulled together to fix things couldn't work the same because a fundamental structural change had occurred. It was no longer what it had been, that is just a fact. Giles left for Buffy to get on with it. Of course this affected their friendships, it put them under different circumstances, different pressures with a changed support structure.


Well, it's all subjective obviously. Some see the way "redemption" is treated in the Buffyverse as brilliant. Some don't. The point is I really don't think you can say "It's unrealistic the Scoobies would stay really close" but not apply the same argument to say them staying relatively close to Anya despite her being basically an affable psychopath.

It is not unrealistic they should stay close, it is unrealistic they will retain the same dynamics with each other as independent adults at 25 that they had as teenagers living with their parents and guided by Giles at 17.

Jack Shaftoe
18-06-12, 09:20 PM
I'm saying the Scoobie dynamics changed, how they pulled together to fix things couldn't work the same because a fundamental structural change had occurred. It was no longer what it had been, that is just a fact. Giles left for Buffy to get on with it. Of course this affected their friendships, it put them under different circumstances, different pressures with a changed support structure.

Correlation is not causation. Giles being there or not didn't seem to make much of a difference in those seasons, if anything he made things worse in S7. The Xander-Willow bond in particular had never had anything to do with Giles.


It is not unrealistic they should stay close, it is unrealistic they will retain the same dynamics with each other as independent adults at 25 that they had as teenagers living with their parents and guided by Giles at 17.

For the umpteenth time, few fans want the dynamic to have stayed exactly the same. Why do you insist on fighting that strawman?


When should she get to stop then?

When she actually wants to die or had made it clear she wants no resurrection rather than be forced to kill herself to save the world. Otherwise we might as well say "Xander shouldn't have bothered with the CPR in Prophecy Girl, after all Buffy was destined to die that day". What reason would Willow have had to assume Buffy wouldn't want to live any more? None whatsoever.

Dipstick
18-06-12, 09:38 PM
When should she get to stop then? If Simone kills her and abducts Dawn and Xander should Willow bring her back again because she is duty bound to protect and die for them until they die and because a theoretical husband and non-existent children would miss out? It may not be what you mean but this feels like saying Buffy's life has no worth beyond what it can do for others, regardless of how hard it is she should always be happy to return and do it all again and again until she has completed an average lifespan? Because 20 painful deaths aren't a problem if you value those you left behind enough, you should want to return and sacrifice yourself again and make it 21?

This is absolutely not what I meant. I included the prospective husband and prospective novel in the hope that Buffy Summers would rather save people and fall in love and write novels and party and have sex and change lives for the better than exist in an Isolation Tank of Peace. It's not just for others- it's for a life fully lived.

I do think that suicide, mainly for young, healthy, free people with a long future ahead of them, is one of the most cowardly, weak, pathetic things that a person can do. I hate to state that so baldly but it's a fundamental moral principle of mine. You don't have to be The Slayer to have people that would miss you and a life ahead of you and the ability with your youth and strength and democratic freedoms to fix your problems in a way that doesn't involve killing yourself. And for the record, I said the exact same thing when the idea was floated that maybe Willow should go to another dimension away from her life so she can do magic. And I believe, you Stoney and folks who Thanked your response, agreed that it would be shallow, stupid and selfish for Willow to leave earth just so she can do magic. However, at least doing magic connotes some activity and passion, some interaction with nature as opposed to just existing in false peace.

And like Jack said, if Buffy really has had it with living and she'd rather be dead, hanging with the worms, than stuck with the obligation of saving people or making her living, she should own that and tell people, particularly people who walk into danger to protect her life. Cut the, "I should have been finished, I was done and Earth is hell. There's little here for me...but I guess I'll live for you, Dawn, because I'm such a wonderful perfect martyr" bullshit and pick a side. Either Buffy prefers the Isolation Tank of Peace or would really like to finish out her life because there are things that you get to do after 20 and Buffy was really looking forward to doing them </Willow in Graduation Day>.

Stoney
18-06-12, 10:03 PM
Correlation is not causation. Giles being there or not didn't seem to make much of a difference in those seasons, if anything he made things worse in S7.

Something as fundamental as your mentor and guide telling you you have to go it alone IS going to change the working dynamics of the team said mentor/guide was heading up. Consequently, as it WILL impact the people, to varying degrees even if it is just from pressure, it can therefore be a catalyst to a shift in the friendship dynamics as the way they work together changes.


For the umpteenth time, few fans want the dynamic to have stayed exactly the same. Why do you insist on fighting that strawman?

Not intentional. Can you reexplain the following point then because I'm obviously failing to follow you (please)...



Since when is it consistent in real life? My husband can do something that vaguely irritates me one day and an almost identical thing the following week causes a huge argument that we spend the rest of the night working through why we have just had a blow out over it. I could be sitting furious with him but if we got a call that a family member was in hospital I bet that anger would dissolve instantly as we reprioritised.
Well, it's all subjective obviously. Some see the way "redemption" is treated in the Buffyverse as brilliant. Some don't. The point is I really don't think you can say "It's unrealistic the Scoobies would stay really close" but not apply the same argument to say them staying relatively close to Anya despite her being basically an affable psychopath.


When she actually wants to die or had made it clear she wants no resurrection rather than be forced to kill herself to save the world. Otherwise we might as well say "Xander shouldn't have bothered with the CPR in Prophecy Girl, after all Buffy was destined to die that day". What reason would Willow have had to assume Buffy wouldn't want to live any more? None whatsoever.

Well during Gone and then at the end of S6 she says she wants to live so does that just apply forward now unless she carries a do not resurrect card or verbalises her current mindset each day? Did Giles specifically say he didn't want resurrecting, everyone seems to accept he wouldn't want it but I don't know where he made that plain. What about Tara? If Giles is successfully resurrected does this mean Willow should bring Tara back? She only didn't in S6 because it was a natural death.

Stoney
18-06-12, 10:23 PM
I do think that suicide, mainly for young, healthy, free people with a long future ahead of them, is one of the most cowardly, weak, pathetic things that a person can do. I hate to state that so baldly but it's a fundamental moral principle of mine. You don't have to be The Slayer to have people that would miss you and a life ahead of you and the ability with your youth and strength and democratic freedoms to fix your problems in a way that doesn't involve killing yourself.

Killing yourself and resting after dying in battle as part of your duty to be brought back to battle again isn't the same as being brought back to lead a life of freedom where you can just aim to achieve what may make you feel fulfilled.


And for the record, I said the exact same thing when the idea was floated that maybe Willow should go to another dimension away from her life so she can do magic. And I believe, you Stoney and folks who Thanked your response, agreed that it would be shallow, stupid and selfish for Willow to leave earth just so she can do magic. However, at least doing magic connotes some activity and passion, some interaction with nature as opposed to just existing in false peace.

I think Willow is currently being selfish in her aim to get magic back but only because she doesn't openly seem to be doing it based on considered balancing of pros and cons. The magic-filled and magic-less worlds could both be argued for and against. I don't remember saying she would be selfish to leave to have magic in another world.

False peace?


And like Jack said, if Buffy really has had it with living and she'd rather be dead, hanging with the worms, than stuck with the obligation of saving people or making her living, she should own that and tell people, particularly people who walk into danger to protect her life. Cut the, "I should have been finished, I was done and Earth is hell. There's little here for me...but I guess I'll live for you, Dawn, because I'm such a wonderful perfect martyr" bullshit and pick a side. Either Buffy prefers the Isolation Tank of Peace or would really like to finish out her life because there are things that you get to do after 20 and Buffy was really looking forward to doing them </Willow in Graduation Day>.

I think she has said she wants to live. Last time we debated the resurrection I took on board entirely what people said about the belief they were doing the right thing and it did turn out that she wanted to be back. I just worry for Buffy that she feels her life is any more the property of the world than it already is. For her, is one thing but she is intrinsically surrounded by her duty anyway, don't bring her back because she should be saving others again.

Jack Shaftoe
18-06-12, 10:56 PM
Something as fundamental as your mentor and guide telling you you have to go it alone IS going to change the working dynamics of the team said mentor/guide was heading up.

The way you describe it you make it sound the only connection Buffy, Willow and Xander had was being part of a team that fights evil. They were a team, yes, but they were also best friends. And the working of the team wasn't all that problematic in S6 anyway as conveniently there were no bad guys who could cause any serious trouble for most of the season, Willow didn't challenge Buffy's leadership, etc.


Not intentional. Can you reexplain the following point then because I'm obviously failing to follow you (please)...

You are creating a false dichotomy according to which the Scoobies's dynamic had to either remain exactly the same as it was early on or change drastically. I am saying changing it not so radically instead was also an option. Maybe a better one, maybe worse, but an option nevertheless.


Well during Gone and then at the end of S6 she says she wants to live so does that just apply forward now unless she carries a do not resurrect card or verbalises her current mindset each day?

No, obviously if she tells Willow "No more resurrections" that would be the party line unless Buffy changes her mind.

Stoney
19-06-12, 12:22 AM
The way you describe it you make it sound the only connection Buffy, Willow and Xander had was being part of a team that fights evil. They were a team, yes, but they were also best friends. And the working of the team wasn't all that problematic in S6 anyway as conveniently there were no bad guys who could cause any serious trouble for most of the season, Willow didn't challenge Buffy's leadership, etc.

No not at all but they took their work home with them, it wasn't an external office job they could compartmentalise fully. The 'work' dynamic was affected by their personal problems just for this reason alone. Local Max said that the threats in S6-7 hindering them in coming together as much as they helped them because disagreement about how to deal with them caused tension. I was just suggesting that could have, in part, be due to the team dynamics being altered by Giles' absence, that's all.


You are creating a false dichotomy according to which the Scoobies's dynamic had to either remain exactly the same as it was early on or change drastically. I am saying changing it not so radically instead was also an option. Maybe a better one, maybe worse, but an option nevertheless.

OK, thanks for going back over that. Not what I'm intending. What I'm actually saying is that change would happen and that the changes that I often see people complain about seem to focus around the romantic relationships taking over and I personally think that this is a realistic and natural process. When you say 'not so radically' I wonder what difference you would prefer because my point is that the romantic relationships will eventually take precedence. If you are thinking they should do more to ensure the time they have is of a better quality I can see that. If you are arguing they don't have to place partners in front of friends I would disagree that this is a realistic possibility once they reach that level of serious romance. That is how I think the natural evolution goes, unless you don't evolve the romances.

I don't think it works, personally, to say for example that a specific plot point spoils things/is rubbish even if it reflects reality and that they didn't have to do it in such a way because other things in the verse don't reflect reality. No change may as well be argued for in that case then, if the reflection of a natural progression is to be ignored/avoided.


No, obviously if she tells Willow "No more resurrections" that would be the party line unless Buffy changes her mind.

The problem with this approach is who does that apply to? Do all people who know Willow have to say if they would like resurrecting or specify which circumstances it would be ok in? She feels Giles wouldn't want it and yet she is saying she will help Angel.

Dipstick
19-06-12, 03:11 AM
Killing yourself and resting after dying in battle as part of your duty to be brought back to battle again isn't the same as being brought back to lead a life of freedom where you can just aim to achieve what may make you feel fulfilled.

But Buffy can aim to achieve what makes her feel fulfilled. She always could. That's part of the deal of her getting life on earth. I don't know whether fighting evil makes Buffy feel fulfilled post-resurrection- it sure did before the resurrection. However, it's something Buffy chooses to do, in part, because everything will be worse, including Buffy's life, if she lets evil run rampant to cause pain en masse.

The only time that Buffy's ability to achieve seem impeded was when she was in heaven because what I gathered, the whole point was just to exist in some peaceful, interactionless bubble with no impetus to strive for anything.


I think Willow is currently being selfish in her aim to get magic back but only because she doesn't openly seem to be doing it based on considered balancing of pros and cons. The magic-filled and magic-less worlds could both be argued for and against. I don't remember saying she would be selfish to leave to have magic in another world.

Buffy wasn't craving heaven in S6 based on pros and cons either. It was just instinct of what she missed. And Willow's story hasn't been revealed.

Anyway, here's (http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/showthread.php?t=17720&page=85) the page of posts saying that Willow would be vain, selfish and wrong to want to leave everything on earth to live in another dimension just to do magic and here's what you said to those posts:


'This' to the 4 or 5 posts responding.

It is just same old, same old unfortunately. Willow may feel she is missing a chunk of herself without magic but it is only a chunk and I would be staggered to see her abandon everything outside of magic that she does have for the ability to fly and turn Angel into a frog (though that is always gonna be a worthwhile endeavour) etc.


False peace?

I gathered that Buffy was feeling perfectly content because she was not informed of what was going on the world and all doubts about herself, anxieties about anything, any human emotions other than Pleasantville fakeness were purged in heaven. I desperately cling to the idea that Buffy in full possession of her faculties would have died wondering if her friends made the fight and whether Tara got her sanity back and she couldn't be perfectly content until she found out. I cling to the idea that Buffy could have never been perfectly content if she knew what happening on earth- Giles left the entire gang and Dawn was miserably trying to cuddle with the Buffybot for some solace and the Biker Gang were already making plans to invade Sunnydale.

I'd rather say that Heaven was like a totalitarian mind-control entity, focused on depriving its inhabitants of information, their own thoughts that weren't perfectly content and peaceful and Buffy just ate that shit up because it was a rest.


I think she has said she wants to live. Last time we debated the resurrection I took on board entirely what people said about the belief they were doing the right thing and it did turn out that she wanted to be back. I just worry for Buffy that she feels her life is any more the property of the world than it already is. For her, is one thing but she is intrinsically surrounded by her duty anyway, don't bring her back because she should be saving others again.

Buffy distantly fakely said that she wants to live in Gone. And still continued drowning her ennui. And tried killing all of her friends because she'd rather be a mental patient in an asylum. And then told Giles that she's not supposed to be here, she should have been finished. Buffy never forgave Willow for resurrecting ever. And has been sad and bitter about her life from Bargaining to 9.08. When the subject came back up in S8, Buffy didn't correct Willow to say that she wanted to raise Dawn. She leaped at the chance to escape earthly crap with Twangel. I believe we're supposed to believe Willow in A&F that Buffy regrets her own resurrection.

Buffy is existing because she feels too much duty and propriety to just commit suicide. Which in admirable in some ways. However, it does get to an essential truth that Buffy is too sick to enjoy life and truly find pleasures in achieving stuff and that's a huge ass problem that makes Buffy miserable and the people around her miserable. Buffy turns herself into too much of a servant to commit suicide instead of someone who'd rather be here achieving stuff instead existing in some fake peaceful nothingness in heaven. That has to be fixed.

Jack Shaftoe
19-06-12, 03:30 AM
I don't think it works, personally, to say for example that a specific plot point spoils things/is rubbish even if it reflects reality

No, a certain story element is (very subjectively, YMMV and all that, mind you) rubbish because it's rubbish and realistic rubbish is still rubbish. It would have been realistic for some vampire to pull a gun and shoot Buffy in episode one, would you have wanted to see that?


When you say 'not so radically' I wonder what difference you would prefer because my point is that the romantic relationships will eventually take precedence.

Be that as it may, "eventually" covers a whole range of options. And in any event I already said that my problem is more in the presentation of the story than in romance taking precedence. Because really, except for S7 Spuffy and early S3 Bangel there wasn't much in the way of characters actually making the choice of giving more importance to their significant others than their friends. It was more of not really being there for each other because the plot said so or they were depressed for some non-boyfriend/girlfriend related reason. Heck, Giles was maybe the worst offender and he had no girlfriend.

A lot of that has to do with Dawn. I like her but she was a Scooby cryptonite in so many ways. For instance in Triangle Buffy bizarrely discusses Riley's departure with Dawn instead of Willow, who had always been her number one confidante especially for boy-related troubles. Then the whole resurrection thing comes up and I still think one of its main goals was to send Buffy into the clutches of Spike in the most contrived of fashions because he can relate to being dead and was noble enough to not resurrect her and all that crap.

Really, my objection has more to with how unconvincing I found the story than the type of story they chose to tell. Buffy's infatuation with Riley, Willow hiding Tara and Xander thinking Anya is the only person in the world who gives a damn about him were a far more believable variation of the same theme for me personally. Xander deciding to get married so young never rang true to me, nor did Spuffy obviously or Willow's "addictive personality" and her unhealthy obsession with Tara in S6. It's cool, the forum would be boring if we all liked the same things.

Or maybe I am just way too sentimental. My favourite book is Stephen King's It. It features a group of kids whose friendship is so strong it allows them to defeat a Lovecraftian monster that controls an entire town. Kind of like "Primeval" but better. And they do it again as adults 28 years later. I can't help but think the Scoobies will be an epic failure if they have to rely on the power of friendship to defeat some monster right not. :)


When you say 'not so radically' I wonder what difference you would prefer because my point is that the romantic relationships will eventually take precedence.

Well, if I was lucky enough to know a Willow, I would make sure to her that I want to be resurrected, thank you very much. I don't see why the characters wouldn't do it or decide to do the opposite. It's common sense, really, they are in danger quite often.

Stoney
19-06-12, 11:14 AM
Anyway, here's (http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/showthread.php?t=17720&page=85) the page of posts saying that Willow would be vain, selfish and wrong to want to leave everything on earth to live in another dimension just to do magic and here's what you said to those posts:

What everyone was saying was that they didn't think that Willow would make that choice and King said (the only time vain was mentioned in those posts, selfish and wrong wasn't)...


It makes her sound so vain, so superficial, the way you trivialize her motives.

...about what DorothyFan originally mooted about Willow ditching everyone and everything to live in an alternate dimension if she got to keep her magic. I would be surprised if she did that, I never called it vain/selfish and wrong and neither did anyone I thanked. I have, however, said that Willow's current magic quest comes across as selfish because we haven't seen evidence that she is weighing up the pros and cons of bringing it back. She may have done, we may see more exposition from her on it, I just haven't seen anything yet which makes me feel confidence that it isn't primarily driven by her own needs. Not yet.


Buffy distantly fakely said that she wants to live in Gone. And still continued drowning her ennui. And tried killing all of her friends because she'd rather be a mental patient in an asylum. And then told Giles that she's not supposed to be here, she should have been finished. Buffy never forgave Willow for resurrecting ever. And has been sad and bitter about her life from Bargaining to 9.08. When the subject came back up in S8, Buffy didn't correct Willow to say that she wanted to raise Dawn.

We've discussed this before. I think that she was having a really difficult and unprecedented experience and I think she ended up in a very short time frame adjusting and sorting herself out. We aren't going to ever see this the same I feel. I personally feel that Buffy made it clear that she wanted to live.



She leaped at the chance to escape earthly crap with Twangel.

See I read it that as soon as she realised Angel's plan involved staying up there whilst everyone else died she leapt at going back and saving them.


Buffy is existing because she feels too much duty and propriety to just commit suicide. Which in admirable in some ways. However, it does get to an essential truth that Buffy is too sick to enjoy life and truly find pleasures in achieving stuff and that's a huge ass problem that makes Buffy miserable and the people around her miserable. Buffy turns herself into too much of a servant to commit suicide instead of someone who'd rather be here achieving stuff instead existing in some fake peaceful nothingness in heaven. That has to be fixed.

I don't think that Buffy is as desolate as you make her sound. I think she lacks a path at the moment and that a bit of a plan and direction is what she needs to feel that she has taken ownership of her life.


No, a certain story element is (very subjectively, YMMV and all that, mind you) rubbish because it's rubbish and realistic rubbish is still rubbish. It would have been realistic for some vampire to pull a gun and shoot Buffy in episode one, would you have wanted to see that?

Well we are just going to disagree then because I think that showing the progression to adult romances and the ways in which it changes friendship dynamics from school is entirely appropriate for them to have included if they want to show any of these character's stories as progressive. It is one of the key defining differences that occur in friendships that last from school to adulthood and I personally feel that it would have lacked depth in the story if they had not shown this. I think that the way that they have made them stay closer through this than often occurs is with the family dynamic between them. My mileage is obviously quite different on this one.


Be that as it may, "eventually" covers a whole range of options. And in any event I already said that my problem is more in the presentation of the story than in romance taking precedence. Because really, except for S7 Spuffy and early S3 Bangel there wasn't much in the way of characters actually making the choice of giving more importance to their significant others than their friends.

But Buffy has just been getting grief for spending so much time with Spike, people don't like Xander and Dawn living separately. If you don't have a problem with the development of seriousness in their romantic relationships, fair enough. And before anyone says it I know that Buffy and Spike aren't currently involved but I think that the tendency to look more to a potential partner for the kind of support Buffy has been is understandable under the same banner.


Really, my objection has more to with how unconvincing I found the story than the type of story they chose to tell. Buffy's infatuation with Riley, Willow hiding Tara and Xander thinking Anya is the only person in the world who gives a damn about him were a far more believable variation of the same theme for me personally. Xander deciding to get married so young never rang true to me, nor did Spuffy obviously or Willow's "addictive personality" and her unhealthy obsession with Tara in S6. It's cool, the forum would be boring if we all liked the same things.

Fair enough.


Or maybe I am just way too sentimental. My favourite book is Stephen King's It. It features a group of kids whose friendship is so strong it allows them to defeat a Lovecraftian monster that controls an entire town. Kind of like "Primeval" but better. And they do it again as adults 28 years later. I can't help but think the Scoobies will be an epic failure if they have to rely on the power of friendship to defeat some monster right not. :)

Xander would be no help there with the coulrophobia!! :D


Well, if I was lucky enough to know a Willow, I would make sure to her that I want to be resurrected, thank you very much. I don't see why the characters wouldn't do it or decide to do the opposite. It's common sense, really, they are in danger quite often.

Ha. Or they could all just vamp up and become immortal. Not a good idea at the moment tho!! :xd

Jack Shaftoe
19-06-12, 08:54 PM
But Buffy has just been getting grief for spending so much time with Spike, people don't like Xander and Dawn living separately.

I think this has more to do with the way the story is told then anything else. There were months when Spike wasn't around that the writers chose to skip. Important months for Buffy, Xander, Willow and Dawn. It's very frustrating to play a guessing game about what Xander might be thinking about Buffy, what Willow is thinking about Xander or what Dawn is thinking about Buffy while at the same time you are offered endless "Will they or won't they" Spuffy scenes which tend to drive crazy even many Spuffy shippers. It's all nice and fine to say "Oh, they are family, they get along just fine and have many heartwarming moments - off screen" but oddly enough many people are frustrated S9 Spuffy is too vague despite being entirely on screen. I doubt there would have been much happiness if instead it had developed mostly through vague hints like say S8 Xander/Dawn. One can always come up reasons why this or that relationship, romantic or not, deserves to be in the spotlight more but we fans are kind of selfish and would rather get more of our favourite things, you know.


Well we are just going to disagree then because I think that showing the progression to adult romances and the ways in which it changes friendship dynamics from school is entirely appropriate for them to have included if they want to show any of these character's stories as progressive. It is one of the key defining differences that occur in friendships that last from school to adulthood and I personally feel that it would have lacked depth in the story if they had not shown this. I think that the way that they have made them stay closer through this than often occurs is with the family dynamic between them. My mileage is obviously quite different on this one.

You might have you understood me, serves me right for trying to be funny. :) The point is that something being realistic or not isn't a benchmark for quality in itself. The Wire is ultra-realistic and is widely considered the best TV show ever. Many other realistic works of art, though, are crap. It's not the change itself in the Scooby dynamic that annoys me, it's the way this was achieved.


Xander would be no help there with the coulrophobia!!

Nor will Willow with her fear of spiders. At least Xander got over his fear. Not so sure about Willow.

Local Maximum
20-06-12, 11:17 PM
Well, I'll reply to this point anyway.


I know that Buffy had all of the other above legit trauma issues that would really and truly hurt any person with feelings. However, as I've stated before, I do think there's something frustratingly idealized about what I see as terrible dysfunction in how much Buffy liked being dead and how much she resents Willow for tearing her from that and it makes me very uncharitable and cynical to Buffy's trauma.

I was right there deeply sympathizing with Buffy's deep pain from everything when she goes catatonic from loss in Spiral because the show was so clear on why Buffy wanting to depart from the fight may be understandable but it sure isn't justified or anywhere near right.

However, I felt like the author took a stance in S6-7 that it was an absolute wrong to resurrect Buffy and that Buffy should have been declared as finished and complete at the ripe of age of 19 and it paints the problems of the world as...ideally not necessary in Buffy's life. Buffy was happy and at peace- the Scoobies could be raped and killed by the Biker Gang, Dawn could be cutting herself in angst, Buffy's future husband would miss out on a terrific wife, future readers would be deprived of a Great American Novel Buffy could write about her experiences since we know demons come out in the future- but none of that should matter because it's best if Buffy's finished and at peace. And the show certainly doesn't act like there's enough wrong with Buffy for dwelling on the Injustice of It All instead of actively comparing the "Everything is peacefully and happy in Heaven" to the situation that she knows exists on earth for those who should be nearest and dearest to her for good (feeling joy that she can confirm that Tara really got her sanity back and Spike is okay from falling off the Tower) and for bad (feeling relief that her friends now have her slayer self, feeling relief that Dawn isn't left without a family at all).

I think the show is definitely in Buffy POV and that that is the reason we don't get the explicit confirmation that Buffy was Wrong to want to continue being dead when everyone around her was not okay. But we also get things like the Hellmouth Biker saying, "What kind of a slayer is it that runs out on her pals?" or whatever he said. There are a lot of other elements as well, and indeed Normal Again is the big episode that confronts this head on, by reinterpretating Heaven as being, basically, a lunatic asylum (the doctor indicating that Buffy's friends are tying her there, and that she had a few months of recovery over the summer). In order to stay in her Isolation Chamber, Buffy has to kill her friends and devalue their existence. Willow supplies Buffy with the cure for her insanity which codes for her deadness and Buffy at first rejects it but eventually accepts it. It's Buffy working through her heaven issues, and the show working through them for her, and the show takes the definitive stand that she should give up her idealized life away from the pain of the world and should embrace that pain.

I get feeling that it's not enough to point this out through the mental hospital story and not confronting Heaven directly. But I kind of love that about the show -- everything always gets displaced onto everything else. But to me, Normal Again is not subtle about the connection between this and Bargaining or about being the actual response to it. Buffy can continue idealizing her experience in heaven, and that's unhealthy -- but when it counts, when it's time for an active active decision she makes the right one, and Normal Again is a stepping stone to her getting her joie de vivre back, at least in part, at the season's end. The writers' stance on Normal Again should let us know, too, how they really feel about Buffy's pining away. Buffy should re-embrace life. That is the arc, that's what she's heading toward.

That Buffy's re-embracing life gets worked out in a way that she can't even consciously articulate, and that Willow ends up believing fully in Two to Go -- and that Buffy can't even argue with her! -- that Buffy was better off dead, and that Buffy still can't articulate it years later, though I maintain that Buffy really does want to be alive, is the big tragedy of the Buffy/Willow relationship -- that Willow's greatest gift was also a great curse, and for reasons that aren't really Willow's fault. But it also pays off their dynamic since episode 1, where Buffy reluctantly left behind a life of shallow fun with Cordelia and where she didn't have to slay because Willow drew her into the fight -- against her will in WttH, with her tremendous will in Bargaining. That resentment has got to build up, even if it was the right thing to do to reject Cordelia-shallowness or start slaying again or go face the Master in PG or to come back to Sunnydale rather than deaden herself in L.A. (not that Willow as her sole or even primary motivation in Anne) and, ultimately, to come back to life. Willow does fail in Bargaining in several crucial ways, mostly not anticipating Buffy will have to dig out of her grave or her trauma, among other things, but I think the impulse that Buffy will ultimately be glad to be alive is correct; it is just really, really hard for Buffy to see that right away because it follows years of sacrifices where the boundary posts of what she has to give up in order to be more committed to both life and the good life keep moving.


One of the best parts of S8 was watching Buffy hear Willow muse on the possible happiness if Willow left Buffy dead and went to live a more civilian life away from Sunnydale raising Dawn with Tara. I think, on some level, Buffy got how much of a failing it is if her best friend who moved heaven and earth to get Buffy back because Willow was convinced that everything would be better if Buffy and Willow lived together on earth altered her position after living with Buffy for several years to punish herself with idealized visions of what could have been if Buffy stayed dead (even if we learn in the upcoming A&F that Willow still can't regret having Buffy back). In THAT scene, I actually felt pangs of sympathy for Buffy. Buffy and Willow didn't get the full importance of that revelation and that's a bad harbinger for their relationship but it was the first real progress on the issue since Gone.

That's my favourite scene in season eight and I agree. I do think that Buffy didn't really get exactly how much Willow gave up for her -- though on some level, I think Willow didn't realize it before, either, because I think in Bargaining proper Willow believed she could Have It All.

I do think there was some forward movement since Gone that you don't discuss here -- in particular, Normal Again with Buffy telling Willow that Willow never stops coming through for her, which is mostly what Buffy thinks she's expected to say, of course -- but she later does accept Willow's antidote.

As far as Buffy's not seeming all that happy to see that people are better: well, when I get depressed with vague suicidal ideation, I basically see all life and all happiness as a sham, and any person's happiness seems like just a band-aid on a deeper wound. It's hard to get excited that Tara's not crazy when she still hurts because she's living. This is a little inconsistent with Buffy thinking that her friends were okay when she was in 'heaven' but the way I interpret this is that in the "grander" sense, of course they were "okay" because they would someday be dead and at peace, too. It's very dark, but it makes sense and I don't think it's so much a sign of selfishness -- though depressed people are selfish, generally, in that they've often closed out all the outside world -- so much as an inability to recognize the good in the world as good. If life is hell, why should Buffy be happy that Dawn is living?

sueworld
02-07-12, 09:23 AM
Thought I'd tuck this in here as I feel it's relevant. A poll on lj was put up regarding how we perceive certain characters....

http://shadowkat67.livejournal.com/824908.html#comments

And today she's been discussing the results...

http://shadowkat67.livejournal.com/826038.html#comments

Stoney
02-07-12, 11:14 AM
The only one that surprised me was how close Faith and Willow were.

TimeTravellingBunny
02-07-12, 04:17 PM
The only one that surprised me was how close Faith and Willow were.
I'm more surprised that Willow won, Faith always seemed incredibly popular in BtVS fandom.

Sosa lola
02-07-12, 04:34 PM
I'm more surprised that Willow won, Faith always seemed incredibly popular in BtVS fandom.

I think it depends on which corner of fandom voted in that poll. I usually see more Willow love than Faith love in the places I visit.

TimeTravellingBunny
02-07-12, 05:04 PM
For fun, this is how I would've voted:

Buffy or Willow

Spike or Willow

Faith or Willow (unless we're talking Angel & Faith Faith)

Anya or Cordelia

Spike or Faith

Connor or Dawn

Xander, Riley or Gunn - Gunn leaves me more or less indifferent most of the time. He seemed interesting when he joined the team, but he didn't turn out to be very interesting.

Willow or Cordelia

Angel or Buffy

Wes or Giles

Andrew, Jonathan or Warren - this one is the most difficult, since it depends on what's meant by "like". I'd pick Warren as the best fleshed out of those 3 - I don't like him as a person, but I think he's one of the best written and acted characters on the show, and I love his role as the 'banality of evil' with a human face. Although The other two also got good arcs (Jonathan was great in Earshot and had a nice ending in CWDP); I liked Andrew's arc in season 7, but season 9 has soured it since it seems that the writers have trouble seeing him seriously as a character (which is the reason why he's the most problematic as a character out of those 3).
If we're talking who's more likeable as a person, then Jonathan.

Spike or Andrew - who was that even a question?

additional questions:

Darla or Dru

Harmony or Amy

Harmony vs Cordy - depends; Cordy on the shows before AtS season 3; Harmony for the rest of the shows but not in the comics

Cordy vs Faith

Spike or Harmony

Lilah or Eve - that's got to be the easiest question ever, right?

Lilah vs Lindsey - Lindsey in season 2; Lilah overall (esp. since Lindsey's story in S5 made no sense)

Doyle vs Wesley - Wesley had a better arc, but Doyle on the other hand didn't get to have such an arc, so... I don't know, in the end I guess Wesley because he got developed more

Doyle or Whistler - DUH

Angelus vs The Mayor

Stoney
02-07-12, 07:51 PM
I match to most of yours I think

Buffy or Willow

Spike or Willow

Faith or Willow (I find this one really hard because I love Faith's arc but I enjoy Willow's progression over so many seasons. Can't choose right now.)

Anya or Cordelia

Spike or Faith

Connor or Dawn (I don't love Dawn tbh but know only really 1 episode of Connor)

Xander, Riley or Gunn

Willow or Cordelia

Angel or Buffy

Wes or Giles

Andrew, Jonathan or Warren (Jonathan every time. The guy the Scoobs ignored to detrimental effect.)

Spike or Andrew

Darla or Dru (the bits I saw of Darla I found a bit boring and I didn't like the actress in BtVS, her voice bugged me)

Harmony or Amy (neither really but my dislike of Harmony knows only a few bounds, good comedy character, way, way overused)

Harmony vs Cordy (see above)

Cordy vs Faith

Spike or Harmony (:lol:, this is less valid than Spike vs Andrew, although Spike vs anyone is a one way street)

Lilah or Eve - (only really know Eve so I can't answer)

Lilah vs Lindsey - (don't know the character well enough)

Doyle vs Wesley - (and again)

Doyle or Whistler - (ditto)

Angelus vs The Mayor (Hah, difficult one, but I love the mayor)

Jack Shaftoe
02-07-12, 08:52 PM
I didn't expect Anya to be so much popular than Cordelia. The actress was better but the character of Anya is a contradictory mess that barely deserved to be called a character at all, IMO. Even Willow got less votes against Cordy than Anya did. Oh, well, there is no accounting for taste...


Spike or Andrew - who was that even a question?

Even I voted for Spike. :)

Sosa lola
03-07-12, 06:04 AM
Buffy or Willow

Spike or Willow

Faith or Willow

Anya or Cordelia

Spike or Faith

Connor or Dawn

Xander, Riley or Gunn -

Willow or Cordelia

Angel or Buffy

Wes or Giles

Andrew, Jonathan or Warren - This one was really really hard! I agree that Warren was the best fleshed out and most interesting between them, but I didn't like him. Between Andrew and Jonathan, while Jonathan is a sweetheart, Andrew makes me laugh more.

Spike or Andrew - who would choose Andrew over Spike? :lol:


I think I missed the additional questions. Are they yours or did they add them to the poll?

vampmogs
03-07-12, 06:16 AM
I voted;

Buffy or Willow

Spike or Willow

Faith or Willow

Anya or Cordelia -- This was hard for me. I have more affection for early!Cordelia but by the end of both of their journeys I like Anya more. I went with Cordy, just.

Spike or Faith

Connor or Dawn

Xander, Riley or Gunn

Willow or Cordelia

Angel or Buffy

Wes or Giles

Andrew, Jonathan or Warren -- Warren is by far the most fleshed out and interesting character but it felt odd to pick him when I don't like him whatsoever. So I went with Andrew as I find him really funny. I never got the appeal of Jonathan *shrugs*

Spike or Andrew

Darla or Dru

Harmony or Amy

Harmony vs Cordy

Cordy vs Faith

Spike or Harmony

Lilah or Eve

Lilah vs Lindsey

Doyle vs Wesley

Doyle or Whistler

Angelus vs The Mayor

TimeTravellingBunny
03-07-12, 10:54 AM
I think I missed the additional questions. Are they yours or did they add them to the poll?
The author of the poll added them in one of the comments to the post.

Sky
03-07-12, 01:29 PM
My preference :)


Buffy or Willow

Spike or Willow

Faith or Willow

Anya or Cordelia - This was a hard choice. But I chosen Anya in the end since I don't like what happened with Cordelia in the end.

Spike or Faith

Connor or Dawn - Even tho Dawn was annoying to me in an episode or two. She was still better character then Connor imo.

Xander, Riley or Gunn - Xander is simple much better character imo.

Willow or Cordelia

Angel or Buffy

Wes or Giles - Giles was more interesting. Also it helped that Tony played him :)

Andrew, Jonathan or Warren - I hate Warren. Jonathan was/is interesting. But Andrew always made me laugh :)

Spike or Andrew - Lol!

additional questions:

Darla or Dru

Harmony or Amy

Harmony vs Cordy

Cordy vs Faith

Spike or Harmony

Lilah or Eve - I think Eve's cute :P

Lilah vs Lindsey

Doyle vs Wesley

Doyle or Whistler

Angelus vs The Mayor - The Mayor was simple more interesting villain then Angel imo.

Sosa lola
04-07-12, 12:52 PM
A new character poll started :)

http://shadowkat67.livejournal.com/826903.html

My choices:

Darla vs. Willow
Darla vs. Faith
Willow vs. Xander
Darla vs. Angel
Connor vs. Angel
Wesley vs. Angel
Lilah vs. Cordelia
Harmony vs. Lilah
Glory vs. Jasmine
Holtz vs. Robin Wood
Fred vs. Tara
Willow vs. Tara
Illyria vs. Fred vs. Drusilla
The Groosaluag (GROO) vs. Lorne vs. Riley
Glory/Ben vs. Adam/Walsh

TimeTravellingBunny
04-07-12, 01:07 PM
I can't vote, but I'd go with this:

Darla vs. Willow
Darla vs. Faith
Willow vs. Xander
Darla vs. Angel
Connor vs. Angel
Wesley vs. Angel
Lilah vs. Cordelia (pre-season 3 Cordelia) Lilah vs. Cordelia (post-season 3 Cordelia)
Harmony vs. Lilah this one is close, but I really don't like comics!Harmony
Glory vs. Jasmine
Holtz vs. Robin Wood
Fred vs. Tara
Willow vs. Tara
Illyria vs. Fred vs. Drusilla
The Groosaluag (GROO) vs. Lorne vs. Riley
Glory/Ben vs. Adam/Walsh

The Lilah, Harmony and Cordy ones were the most difficult.

vampmogs
04-07-12, 01:38 PM
Darla vs. Willow
Darla vs. Faith
Willow vs. Xander -- This one was REALLY hard for me. I really can't decide because I like different things about them and it depends totally on what era of the show I am watching. I picked Xander this time just because Willow is going to get my votes in other choices on the poll.
Darla vs. Angel
Connor vs. Angel
Wesley vs. Angel
Lilah vs. Cordelia -- In the actual poll I picked Lilah but now I want to pick Cordy instead.
Harmony vs. Lilah
Glory vs. Jasmine
Holtz vs. Robin Wood
Fred vs. Tara
Willow vs. Tara
Illyria vs. Fred vs. Drusilla
The Groosaluag (GROO) vs. Lorne vs. Riley
Glory/Ben vs. Adam/Walsh

Stoney
04-07-12, 01:50 PM
Darla vs. Willow
Darla vs. Faith
Willow vs. Xander -- I think Willow has had the better stories but I think that Xander is a more interesting character.
Darla vs. Angel
Connor vs. Angel
Wesley vs. Angel
Lilah vs. Cordelia -- Cheating, I don't really know Lilah
Harmony vs. Lilah -- I don't need to know Lilah to know I would choose her over Harmony!!
Glory vs. Jasmine -- I don't know Jasmine but what I have heard she is a bitch, whereas Glory was funny
Holtz vs. Robin Wood -- Don't know Holtz
Fred vs. Tara -- I choose Tara over Fred out of loyalty and because I think she handled the whole Spike thing with Buffy well. Fred was immensely boring but I really liked Illyria.
Willow vs. Tara
Illyria vs. Fred vs. Drusilla -- I like Dru but she is a one trick pony, I find Illyria more interesting.
The Groosaluag (GROO) vs. Lorne vs. Riley -- I love Lorne, such a unique character whereas Riley is a dull as dishwater. Comedy fics I have read which put Riley and Harmony together really work for me :D.
Glory/Ben vs. Adam/Walsh -- Walsh was just punchable and Adam was dull. Ben was pretty dull but Glory was interesting.

Sky
05-07-12, 11:11 AM
Darla vs. Willow
Darla vs. Faith
Willow vs. Xander
Darla vs. Angel
Connor vs. Angel
Wesley vs. Angel
Lilah vs. Cordelia
Harmony vs. Lilah
Glory vs. Jasmine
Holtz vs. Robin Wood
Fred vs. Tara
Willow vs. Tara
Illyria vs. Fred vs. Drusilla
The Groosaluag (GROO) vs. Lorne vs. Riley -- Lorne! The others were boring as hell
Glory/Ben vs. Adam/Walsh -- Do I even need to say why :D

TimeTravellingBunny
06-07-12, 11:20 AM
How about a few others just for fun - here's a few I just came up with:

Buffy or Spike
Buffy or Faith
Angel or Spike
Xander or Giles
Angel or Giles
Oz or Tara
The Mayor or Glory
The Master or Jasmine
Fred or Lilah
Riley or Groo (it was too easy with Lorne in the mix)
Lindsey or Holland Manners
Jasmine or The First
Caleb or Marcus Hamilton

comics:
Kennedy or Satsu
Satsu or Renee
Gigi or Simone or Severin
Koh or Dowling
Dowling or Tumble or Anaheed


I'll accept the "I can't decide" option, since I can't decide on at least one of those, can you guess which... :lol:

Sosa lola
06-07-12, 12:03 PM
I'll play :)

Buffy or Spike
Buffy or Faith
Angel or Spike
Xander or Giles
Angel or Giles
Oz or Tara
The Mayor or Glory
The Master or Jasmine ( I can't decide, I dislike them both :lol: )
Fred or Lilah
Riley or Groo
Lindsey or Holland Manners
Jasmine or The First
Caleb or Marcus Hamilton

comics:
Kennedy or Satsu
Satsu or Renee
Gigi or Simone or Severin
Koh or Dowling
Dowling or Tumble or Anaheed

vampmogs
06-07-12, 12:17 PM
For me;

Buffy or Spike
Buffy or Faith
Angel or Spike -- pre-comics, anyway
Xander or Giles
Angel or Giles
Oz or Tara -- This was a hard one. I would have easily picked Oz in the past but on my latest rewatch I grew rather fond of Tara. It's still Oz, but just.
The Mayor or Glory
The Master or Jasmine -- The idea behind Jasmine is more interesting and I think Gina Torrens plays her well but I love The Master's humour. I also think he's underrated as a threat, seeing as how he did technically kill Buffy twice.
Fred or Lilah
Riley or Groo -- it was still vey easy for me. I like Riley. On the other hand, Groo is probably the most forgettable character ever to interact that often with the gang
Lindsey or Holland Manners
Jasmine or The First -- If only The First had lived up to its final scene in Lessons *sigh*
Caleb or Marcus Hamilton

Comics:

Kennedy or Satsu
Satsu or Renee
Gigi or Simone or Severin
Koh or Dowling
Dowling or Tumble or Anaheed

kana
06-07-12, 12:48 PM
I'll play too

Buffy or Spike

I'd actually forgotten how awesome Buffy is as a character.

Buffy or Faith

I've always liked the dark slayer.

Angel or Spike

Not really including the comics, but I've always related to Angel more as a character.

Xander or Giles

I like Xander, but I just prefer Giles as a character.

Angel or Giles

Same as above.

Oz or Tara

This is really difficult, so I picked the one I'd like the most in real life. Oz is cool, but I'm not sure I really connect with him as a character.

The Mayor or Glory

I simply cannot stand Clare Kramer's performance. I know I'm in the minority, but it just feels to me as if she's reading from an autocue, badly.

The Master or Jasmine

I found Jasmine to be a more interesting antagonist.

Fred or Lilah

I actually liked Lilah's ascent from a 'Smug Snake' who actually in most senses was inferior to Lindsay and virtually cowed in sight of Angel, into a visciously ambitious woman who could stare Angel down without flinching.

Riley or Groo

Apart from right at the end of his arc, he seemed way too 2 dimensional.


Lindsey or Holland Manners

It would have been Lindsay but he lost points for his inexplicable arc in Season 5 of Ats.

Jasmine or The First

A big bad evil force, that's conscious? I've never been sold on that idea of evil as some monolithic concept.

Caleb or Marcus Hamilton

Well, he was well dressed.

As for the comics? I'm not really invested them enough to choose between.

Stoney
06-07-12, 01:29 PM
Buffy or Spike
Buffy or Faith -- I surprised myself by having a moment of pause here and then I thought wtf am I thinking !!
Angel or Spike
Xander or Giles -- I found this one hard, I love Xander in S8/9
Angel or Giles -- If it was Angelus I might have voted differently
Oz or Tara -- I wish they could have thought of more to do with Oz, he was so cool
The Mayor or Glory
The Master or Jasmine -- I don't know Jasmine
Fred or Lilah -- I don't know Lilah
Riley or Groo (it was too easy with Lorne in the mix) -- I don't know Groo but I do know Riley so I was still able to vote :D
Lindsey or Holland Manners - don't know well enough
Jasmine or The First - ditto
Caleb or Marcus Hamilton - ditto

Kennedy or Satsu -- I find Kennedy extremely irritating but her character has a place, I don't think Satsu's particularly does she filled a role that just skittered south of the borders of being a sycophant to me (sorry Satsu fans)
Satsu or Renee -- Renee was ace
Gigi or Simone or Severin -- I really don't like much about any of these, my vote was based on her impressive mobile hair dressing abilities!!!
Koh or Dowling -- absolute no brainer, I have high expectations for Koh
Dowling or Tumble or Anaheed -- really, really hard, I can't find a reason to vote for any of these



I'll accept the "I can't decide" option, since I can't decide on at least one of those, can you guess which... :lol:

Dunno... Angel/Spike?? :roll:

TimeTravellingBunny
06-07-12, 02:14 PM
Buffy or Spike - hey, don't make me decide! Wait, I'm the one who asked the question. I'm talking to myself, eh? :)
Buffy or Faith - the only time I would've voted differently is season 3. What can I say, I like massively screwed up characters :D Faith's story was so compelling that season; Buffy's, less so. Well, come to think of it, season 8 is also close. But not season 9 - as much as Buffy's exasperating with her lack of maturity and strength, Faith drives me crazy even more with her attitude to Angel in A&F.
Angel or Spike
Xander or Giles in the first 5 seasons, and definitely pre-comics.
Angel or Giles - pre-comics Giles wasn't well served in season 8 (come to think, he hasn't been for many seasons) but Angel has been much worse, and I don't mean just season 8 but A&F as well.
Oz or Tara
The Mayor or Glory
The Master or Jasmine
Fred or Lilah
Riley or Groo - IMO Groo is the worst recurring character in both shows
Lindsey or Holland Manners Just looking at the first 2 seasons, I might pick Lindsey, but his season 5 story didn't make any sense. Lindsey was more interesting, but Holland was more consistent.
Jasmine or The First - I think The First was a more interesting concept and had tremendous potential, but didn't live up to it. They could have had it appear as anyone who's been dead or "dead", but at some point they decided to have it be SMG most of the time, which got boring. Of course, the storyarc ultimately made no sense and made the First looked stupid. OTOH, I hate the AtS season 4 storyline with burning passion. However, it got much better since the boring Beast and the muhaha Jasdelia were replaced by Gina Torres, which made the season 4 story much more interesting since she wasn't your classic villain.
To qualify this: Jasmine as Gina Torres + Jasdelia < The First
but Jasmine as Gina Torres > The First
Caleb or Marcus Hamilton - Nathan Fillion was just incredibly creepy. Oddly enough, Adam Baldwin wasn't, even though he's played lots of psychos before (I can't forget what a creepy psycho he was in a movie with Roy Scheider where they play two hitmen - I can't remember the title)

Comics:
Kennedy or Satsu - I didn't care much about Kennedy on the show, but in the comics she's become a much better character, especially when, instead of exchanging nauseatingly cheesy terms of endearment with Willow, she was giving Buffy a piece of her mind.
Satsu or Renee - this one is a bit harder: on one hand, we have Satsu's fashion style which proves that people with punkish/unconventional style aren't always villains/ex-villains in Buffyverse. On the other hand, I loved Renee's "oh for god's sake" reaction to the Xander/Dracula conversation. Satsu has displayed real spunk just once or twice, maybe not enough for my taste. So, they're both OK but I'll go with Renee.
Gigi or Simone or Severin - Simone hasn't been the greatest Slayer opponent, but she's still far more interesting than the aristocratic cliche Gigi. And while Severin has a somewhat interesting backstory and very interesting power, he's an idiot.
Koh or Dowling - I like having the BtVS version of Ka D'Argo/Worf
Dowling or Tumble or Anaheed - Both of Buffy's roomies are colorful, but Anaheed loses some points for worrying about being 30 and wishing people would tell her she looks 28 (:lol: seriously?), and Tumble is great with his slacker attitude, awesomely unperturbed reactions to things like Spike talking about spaceship manned by bugs, and awesomely ridiculous name.Also, points for wanting to start a band with Spike. :)


I'll play too

Buffy or Spike
Buffy or Faith

I've always liked the dark slayer.

Angel or Spike
Xander or Giles
Angel or Giles
Oz or Tara
The Mayor or Glory
The Master or Jasmine
Fred or Lilah
Riley or Groo
Lindsey or Holland MannersJasmine or The First
Caleb or Marcus Hamilton

As for the comics? I'm not really invested them enough to choose between.
You didn't answer Jasmine vs The First.



Angel or Giles -- If it was Angelus I might have voted differently

By Angel I mean every version of Angel - including Angelus, just like Spike means every version of Spike, and Giles means Ripper as well as regular Giles.



Riley or Groo (it was too easy with Lorne in the mix) -- I don't know Groo but I do know Riley so I was still able to vote :D
Caleb or Marcus
If you knew Groo you might change your mind. :lol:

Stoney
06-07-12, 03:20 PM
Buffy or Spike - hey, don't make me decide! Wait, I'm the one who asked the question. I'm talking to myself, eh?

That was my second guess at your dilemma. :D

Comics:


Satsu or Renee - this one is a bit harder: on one hand, we have Satsu's fashion style which proves that people with punkish/unconventional style aren't always villains/ex-villains in Buffyverse. On the other hand, I loved Renee's "oh for god's sake" reaction to the Xander/Dracula conversation. Satsu has displayed real spunk just once or twice, maybe not enough for my taste. So, they're both OK but I'll go with Renee.

Gigi or Simone or Severin - Simone hasn't been the greatest Slayer opponent, but she's still far more interesting than the aristocratic cliche Gigi. And while Severin has a somewhat interesting backstory and very interesting power, he's an idiot.

Koh or Dowling - I like having the BtVS version of Ka D'Argo/Worf

Dowling or Tumble or Anaheed - Both of Buffy's roomies are colorful, but Anaheed loses some points for worrying about being 30 and wishing people would tell her she looks 28 (:lol: seriously?), and Tumble is great with his slacker attitude, awesomely unperturbed reactions to things like Spike talking about spaceship manned by bugs, and awesomely ridiculous name.Also, points for wanting to start a band with Spike. :)

You say Renee but you have selected Satsu. I loved Renee's reaction to Drac too. Renee was one of the best new characters, shame they killed her off.

Totally fair point about Severin. :)

I just can't see anything interesting at all about the flat mates. They just seemed way too contrived to me.



By Angel I mean every version of Angel - including Angelus, just like Spike means every version of Spike, and Giles means Ripper as well as regular Giles.

In which case I will go with Angel. It may have been different if Giles had been more involved in S6/7/8.


If you knew Groo you might change your mind. :lol:

Worse than Captain Cardboard? OK, true test to help me out, picture yourself watching a Groo episode, now picture yourself watching WTWTA... honestly, which is worse?

TimeTravellingBunny
06-07-12, 04:18 PM
Worse than Captain Cardboard? OK, true test to help me out, picture yourself watching a Groo episode, now picture yourself watching WTWTA... honestly, which is worse?
It's impossible to answer that without spoilers...

We never actually saw Cordy and Groo doing the Komshak on screen. If we had, it would've probably been worse than WWTWA...:)
And at least Riley didn't look like a member of Manowar. :p

Dipstick
10-07-12, 09:49 AM
Darla vs. Willow
Darla vs. Faith
Willow vs. Xander
Darla vs. Angel
Connor vs. Angel
Wesley vs. Angel
Lilah vs. Cordelia
Harmony vs. Lilah
Glory vs. Jasmine
Holtz vs. Robin Wood
Fred vs. Tara
Willow vs. Tara
Illyria vs. Fred vs. Drusilla
The Groosaluag (GROO) vs. Lorne vs. Riley
Glory/Ben vs. Adam/Walsh

emmiemears
27-07-12, 06:38 PM
Buffy or Spike
Buffy or Faith
Angel or Spike
Xander or Giles
Angel or Giles
Oz or Tara
The Mayor or Glory
The Master or Jasmine
Fred or Lilah
Riley or Groo
Lindsey or Holland Manners
Jasmine or The First
Caleb or Marcus Hamilton

Never liked the Jasmine arc. Even thinking about it kind of makes me want to give myself a bloody nose.

emmiemears
27-07-12, 06:42 PM
And another because it's fun and I'm procrastinating:

Darla vs. Willow
Darla vs. Faith
Willow vs. Xander
Darla vs. Angel
Connor vs. Angel
Wesley vs. Angel
Lilah vs. Cordelia
Harmony vs. Lilah
Glory vs. Jasmine
Holtz vs. Robin Wood
Fred vs. Tara
Willow vs. Tara
Illyria vs. Fred vs. Drusilla
The Groosaluag (GROO) vs. Lorne vs. Riley
Glory/Ben vs. Adam/Walsh

You can probably tell I'm not a huge fan of the biggest bestest brooder in broodonia. I watch Angel mostly for Wes, Gunn, Lorne, and Fred. Which is to say, everyone but Angel. I have my days with Angel. Sometimes I really like him, but other times I mostly agree with Spike's assessment of him: "His hair grows straight up, and he's bloody stupid."

MikeB
26-09-12, 03:57 AM
* Regarding Willow and Xander’s lack of ‘connection’ in BtVS S7 and after: the only thing I can think of has to do with Willow’s power and Xander’s lack of power. Maybe simply Xander had less to relate to Willow with. Don’t know if it is canon, but in the IDW Spike miniseries, she extremely belittles Xander .

_________________

* About Buffy being in heaven: I wrote 737 words about this (involving the relationships and what would have happened if Buffy hadn’t been resurrected); but upon ‘reviewing’ my post (I do re-reads.), I didn’t want this thread continuing to discuss Buffy’s experience of heaven. Anyway, Buffy was in heaven, “Normal Again” (6.17) is not comparable to her time in heaven, and Joss Whedon has never (to my knowledge) even suggested or implied that there is any connection between her experience of heaven and “Normal Again” (6.17) and/or that Buffy’s heaven wasn’t somehow a ‘real’ heaven. Finally, Buffy was happy in heaven and she had every right to be happy there. It’d make around zero sense if she weren’t happy in heaven. Being alive with her friends may be a positive, but it also means continuing living the brutal life of the Slayer.

_________________

* I actually consider ‘favorite character’ polls should be put in ‘favorite character’ threads. What might be relevant is ‘favorite characters’ overall for you during the various Seasons (basically as the Scooby dynamics changed and characters changed).

* in order (I never much liked Cordelia and considered that she was forced after BtVS S1; I never much liked Darla; I pretty much only liked Riley in “Killer In Me” (7.13)); I never liked Connor or Groo; I was always rather ambivalent about Anya other than her ability to provide useful information; I found Lilah Morgan to be the best and most interesting villain in AtS (Illyria was only a villain for a very short period of time); I don’t consider Angelus that great.

BtVS S1: Buffy, Willow, Xander, Giles

BtVS S2: Spike, Drusilla, Buffy, Willow, Giles, Xander, Angel, Oz, Angelus

BtVS S3: Spike, Buffy, Faith, Willow, Drusilla, Giles, Angel, Xander, the Mayor (no longer much cared after he died), Oz, Wesley

BtVS S4: Spike, Buffy, Faith, Willow, Tara, Drusilla (she was away for 2 years by now), Giles, Xander, Oz, Angel (he left Buffy), Wesley, Gunn, (I never much cared for Doyle and certainly didn’t root for Cordelia/Doyle)

BtVS S5: Spike, Buffy, Drusilla (she’s BACK, and great in AtS), Buffybot, Willow, Tara, Faith, Giles, Xander, Oz, Angel, Wesley, Gunn, Lorne, Glory, Dawn

BtVS S6: Spike, Buffy, Faith, Drusilla, Wesley, Gunn, Fred, Buffybot, Lorne, (Willow, Tara, Giles, Xander, and Dawn all became terrible this Season), Angel (he was worse, what with whole thing with Darla and Connor, Angel/Cordelia, etc.)

BtVS S7: Spike, Buffy, Faith, Drusilla, Wesley, Fred, Gunn, Dawn, Xander, Buffybot, Lorne, Angel, Andrew, (Giles was horrible this Season, so was Wood: I don’t like either this Season and never liked them after this Season)

AtS: (won’t list the BtVS people since we don’t even know what they were doing during this time): Spike, Illyria (fantastic character), Wesley, Fred, Lorne, (Gunn and Angel are unlikable)

BtVS S8: Spike, Buffy, Fray (Fray is probably my perpetual third favorite character after Spike and Buffy, but she’s only in comic books so in ways it’s not fair to compare her to someone with more history like Faith and Drusilla), Faith (great stuff this Season), Drusilla, Harmony (her PR thing likely saved at least thousands (probably closer to tens of thousands) of lives so far), Satsu, Xander, Dracula (got some great character sutff), Oz, (Willow became very unlikable toward the end of the Season, Giles became even more unlikable, Angel I want to die and nothing in A&F suggests so far that he shouldn’t immediately be dusted: I HATE Angel now)

AtF (including S:AtF): I’ve no idea what is and isn’t canon. But I’ll list anyway: Spike, Illyria (got great character stuff even not including Illyria: Haunted (her arc in Illyria: Haunted ) is one of the best arcs in any of the comics)), Drusilla (hopefully the Juliet Landau stuff and the Spike miniseries stuff is canon), Spider, Beck, the fish, (I didn’t like the rest). I don’t include the BtVS cast because; again, what were they doing during this time?

BtVS S9 (up to and including 9.13, Spike 9.02, A&F 13): Drusilla (got great character stuff in A&F), Spike (his excuses for not being with Buffy are really annoying and actually managed to make Drusilla my current favorite character), Illyria, Spider, Beck, the fish, Harmony, (that’s about it: Xander and Dawn aren’t even in the game anymore, Willow is knowingly risking the entire world to get magic back, Faith is being an Angel apologist, Angel should be immediately dusted)




Stoney


So how, considering this, do you feel their relationships sit in S9? They are more separated. Xander and Dawn seem to be trying to have a life together and don’t seem to want to be too involved in Slaying, if at all. Willow is obsessed with her loss of magic and she is desperately trying to get it back (and this is my putting things lightly). I consider that she’s knowingly endangering the entire world but her magic is simply too important to her. Buffy would love to still have relationship with her Scoobies; she would love to have a relationship with Spike. But the Scoobies and Spike are being distant and Willow and Spike both literally left her. .

_________________________________________________


Buffy has always been the 'leader' of the trio of Buffy/Willow/Xander but I think there was a reassurance with Giles sat in the background effectively playing the part of monitoring adult, a parental role for the young Scoobs. There should be no quotes around “leader”. Buffy is the leader of the Scooby Gang and that includes Giles. Buffy was leader already in “Welcome to the Hellmouth” (1.01): “Let me help you.”


When he withdrew from this position they floundered in S6 Unless Giles could have found the Trio’s lair earlier and/or unless he could have helped them beat the Trio, his contribution wouldn’t have exactly been pivotal. In BtVS S7, they did fine without him. The problem in BtVS S6 is that the enemy was the Trio.


and Giles had to come back to help them out of the schtuck. Well, all Willow wanted to do was kill Andrew; if Giles hadn’t intervened, maybe Willow would have simply killed Andrew and then eventually calmed down. Willow could have always gotten a power boost in BtVS S7.


The hierarchy henceforth flapped around though and Buffy/Xander were left feeling disjointed with Willow and Giles gone as S7 started off. The ‘new Scoobies’ were now Buffy, Xander, and Dawn and they were getting on fine. And the hierarchy was still with Buffy as leader.


S7s power play then between Buffy and Giles was inevitable as Buffy now wanted to get on with living her life and as she no longer felt she could, or maybe should, lean on Giles and didn't want to risk relying on him, so she looked to assert a clear independence. Buffy even in “The Yoko Factor” (4.20) told Riley that she only followed ‘orders’ that she was going to do anyway. Buffy always had independence from Giles. And, no, a “power play” was not inevitable. Buffy had been leader since the beginning of the series. Giles simply came in and tried to act like she’s his subordinate and that the Scoobies should simply do whatever he says. He also decided that he had final say in whom Buffy should and shouldn’t date.


As a team they questioned each other's judgement more, This pretty much only happened in “Empty Places” (7.19).


[BtVS S7:] they kept things from each other When?


[BtVS S7:] and generally started to try and branch out more individually, When?


[BtVS S7:] no longer settled under the security and 'umbrella' protection that Giles had given them, Giles was the Watcher and did the research. Giles was Buffy’s father figure. Other than those roles, what “security and ‘umbrella’ protection’?.



Dipstick


I thought late season lovers loved that darkness and how broken down and grinded up the Scooby friendships were. That strikes me as a more intellectually honest position to take. Huh? It’s not as if the friendships in BtVS S1-3 were perfect.

_________________________________________________


SPOILERS FOR COMICS ARE MIXED IN That’s lazy. If one hasn’t read the comics, which is like well over 90% of the TV/DVD Buffyverse viewers, one would have to ignore your entire post if one didn’t want to be spoiled.


Xander was still drinking alone after he left Anya at the alter. Well, he left Anya at the altar. They were much better to him than they were to Anya over his dumping her at the wedding.


IMO, Willow was treated the worst [in BtVS S6]. She was staying free at the Summers’ home. It was to the point that in “Same Time, Same Place” (7.03), Willow seemed to think that Buffy would have continued to have her stay in the biggest bedroom in the house.


* Buffy in BtVS S7 was fighting the First Evil and needed Willow to use magic. There was nothing wrong with telling Willow to ‘step up’.


I do think that Buffy regrets her S7 stance that Willow should be forced to use magic even if Willow wanted to quit no matter how dangerous and corrosive over the long-term it is. No, she doesn’t and it is completely silly to think otherwise. Without Willow’s magic, Buffy wouldn’t have gotten back from that other dimension, the Slayer spell would have never been cast and therefore Buffy and Co. may have lost the fight in “Chosen” (7.22). And Willow’s magic was very important in BtVS S8.


However, Buffy is having an impossible time walking back that stance with Willow because she was so strident in S7 about how Willow had to use magic to be worth a damn. No, she’s not. It’s really pretty much only after seeing the zombires that Buffy thinks that maybe Willow has a right to try to get her magic back . Buffy in the early Issues of BtVS S9 continued to be annoyed with Willow’s Seed/no magic comments .


These general group dynamic problems were particularly potent because Buffy, the center of the group who everyone is here for, never wanted to be here on earth past her resurrection That’s simply untrue post-“Gone” (6.11).

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From S1-6, it's a fact of life that hardly anyone is getting out alive if the Scoobies aren't tight. There are even echoes of that in the S7-8 armies. However, the Scoobies from S6 on seldom seem to realize that and [b] there are many times when the metatextual message of the show from S6 paints a picture that Buffy's friends hold her back or hinder her even if that goes against the bald facts of the story. Huh? Where do you get that from?


For fun, I decided to compare the later-seasons Scoobies negatively to anti-hero FAMILY dynamics on TV. SPOILERS FOR MAD MEN, THE SOPRANOS AND GILMORE GIRLS. I consider such exercises pointless because they aren’t based on the Buffyverse.

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Well, for BtVS S6, Buffy’s relationships with the Scoobies would have been better had she thought that they would accept and support her relationship with Spike.

The Seed stuff is mostly about magic being so important to Willow .


Willow still feels partly based on still-angry-about-the-resurrection-S7-Buffy's affect that she has to be a force of magic in order to have any value. I see no basis for this idea. Willow’s obsession with magic has little to do with Buffy other than Buffy broke the Seed instead of letting the world be destroyed


Buffy, herself, is psychologically past the immediate traumas of her resurrection but I haven't seen any evidence that she's genuinely happy to be here and that a part of her doesn't still hate Willow for resurrecting her. Well, her lack of happiness has a large part to do with Spike not being with her .


There's something very wrong with Buffy expecting Willow/Xander/Giles/Dawn/everyone else in the house to help her and have her back and Willow, in particular, to ignore safety and her own health to cast Big Magic I assume you are referring to “Get It Done” (7.15) and BtVS S7 in general. Her Scoobies SHOULD be having her back. What’s wrong with expecting that?


and then for Buffy to snit that Spike is the only one who has her back. Well, by then it was true.


This isn't something as mild and prosaic as just connecting with one person better. This is treating everyone else around like trash while expecting stuff from them because your obsessive yen is with a single particular person. This doesn’t seem to be based on what actually happened. Buffy in “Same Time, Same Place” (7.03) offered Willow her power in order to help heal Willow. And at the time it wasn’t known if this could have permanently drained Buffy. Buffy didn’t treat anyone like trash. Buffy needed them to be a functioning army. If anything, Buffy was treated like crap by certain people: Giles, Wood, Kennedy, Rona, Dawn; and in the “Empty Places” (7.19) thing, everyone there but Faith.

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In the earlier seasons, Xander was the one to force Buffy's vampire beau to get up off his ass to save Buffy and Xander's human breath is what saved Buffy's life. There was no equivalent of Prophecy Girl in the later Spike-fluffing seasons Complaining about Spike in this thread is simply that: complaining. This isn’t a ‘What should Spike’s role have been in the Buffyverse?’ thread.


Willow felt awful about cursing Angel so that Buffy had to send him to hell and Buffy told Willow not to feel awful and that Buffy talking about it made her feel better. Willow felt awful about resurrecting Buffy and Buffy basically said that Willow should feel that way and Buffy said nothing to change Willow's mind about that. I don’t consider that this argument is based on canon. Buffy didn’t want Willow and Co. to even know that she had been in heaven. And the episode after “Once More With Feeling” (6.07) had Willow deciding to rape Buffy’s mind. Two episodes later, Willow’s reckless actions almost got Dawn killed and her actions did injure Dawn. Buffy and Willow are friends again in BtVS S7. There was no suggestion or implication in BtVS S7 or BtVS S8 that Buffy would have preferred to stay in heaven or any suggestion or implication that Buffy was resentful to Willow at all (other than when Buffy thought that Willow may have skinned someone and other than Buffy being tired of Willow refusing to use magic). Willow in A&F simply seems to be making excuses for herself and the whole Buffy thing was also because Angel is trying to bring Giles back and Willow is against the idea


Where was Giles trying to get Buffy back into UC Sunnydale as he tried to get Buffy back into SHS? Did Giles somehow have connections that Buffy could get back into school after the semester had already began?


The Scoobies didn't burble over with family sappiness in the first three seasons and they couldn't have called themselves a family because the group had a lot of UST between them. Other than Xander/Willow, what you are referring to? Xander’s always been into Buffy and still was in BtVS S8. Buffy wasn’t into Xander or Willow.


To Buffy, Willow, Xander, Angel and Giles were about par in importance, even ahead of Joyce. They were never as important to her as Joyce. Where do you possibly get that from? Secondly, Willow was more important to her than Xander was and it doesn’t seem that that ever changed. It was a different love, but she seemed to love Angel and Giles around equally. I’d say of those four, Xander was of least importance and she loved him the least.


The Scoobies mattered to each other more than their families. Again, this is not true of Buffy.


The Christmas example is kind of "whatever". First, it's unclear whether that's a memory or an idealism in Buffy's head in The Body. Joss in the commentary states that that actually happened.


It didn't matter that Xander handled himself so well in combat enough for Willow to not rewrite his contribution as "Sometimes we all save you" Sometimes they did all save him. It’s not as if he was another ‘Slayer’.


or for Buffy to shut [Xander] out on a bunch of occasions. What are you referring to?


It didn't matter that Willow regularly contributed without magic and Buffy had been happy to have her on the team magickless in the past; That past included only BtVS S1 and most of BtVS S2, when the threats were the Master and Buffy emotionally being able to kill Angel. Willow’s magic was pivotal in the wins against Adam and Glory.


Buffy still considered Willow a useless burden if she wasn't spell-casting in S7. This is not based on canon: “Help” (7.04).


Giles/Willow are kind of just a story of a relationship getting worse and worse. Giles had Willow going to ‘rehab’ after “Grave” (6.22).


Willow only came to one fist fight with Buffy). What do you mean “only”? Willow was clearly in the wrong in this situation.


Buffy sat on the bed with Willow at the beginning of S7 putting her belief and trust back into her friend's hands, literally. The friend who tried to kill her and the world, that is huge.

Buffy fretted over how she perceived herself being the kind of person to suspect Willow and accepted Willow's license to be the slayer and suspect and kill Willow if she went out of line. Huh? What are you talking about?


* As for the resurrection spell, I don’t remember Willow ever apologizing to Buffy about that. It’s wholly unfair (to say that least) that Buffy sometime after “Once More With Feeling” (6.07) should have been trying to make Willow feel better; especially, again, after what Willow did in “Tabula Rasa (6.08) and “Wrecked” (6.10).


In S7, though, Buffy doesn't get Willow's issues to the point of gross obtuseness and reckless danger and just thinks that Willow should just have it in her to just do spells on demand (even those similar to ones that Willow was raked over the coals for last year), This never happened.


And then in 8.40, Buffy is just, "You don't need magic. You can make money with computers!" with nothing deeper there to try to set Willow's mind at ease over being treated as merely a very powerful weapon for several years and not even still having that. That bolded part didn’t happen. In 8.40, Buffy was telling that the Seed had to be destroyed and that the world is now safer.


Other than the simple human decency of Buffy respecting Willow's choice to not use magic in S6 and Buffy extending Willow the same courtesy that she does to every other criminal that joins the Scooby gang, Something else that is not based on canon. First off, Willow went to rehab after “Grave” (6.22). Secondly, Buffy in “Get It Done” (7.15) also forced Spike to ‘step up’. Buffy had Andrew using his connection to the First Evil; Buffy had Andrew translating stuff. Other than not having Andrew summon demons to fight for the Scooby Gang, Buffy forced Andrew to contribute as much as he could.


However Older and Far Away proved that if the Scoobies' backs were to the wall even if only to the tune of being in Buffy's house for hours and even if Tara was offering to try again, Willow will be treated terribly for quitting. It’s Willow’s fault that she became addicted to magic and that she hurt Buffy, Tara, and Dawn.

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I was right there deeply sympathizing with Buffy's deep pain from everything when she goes catatonic from loss in Spiral because the show was so clear on why Buffy wanting to depart from the fight may be understandable but it sure isn't justified or anywhere near right. It only wasn’t justified if Buffy didn’t care about Dawn and/or didn’t care that now all human life on Earth was in about immediate danger. In short, it was entirely justified.


However, I felt like the author took a stance in S6-7 that it was an absolute wrong to resurrect Buffy and that Buffy should have been declared as finished and complete at the ripe of age of 19 and it paints the problems of the world as...ideally not necessary in Buffy's life. First off, this is not based on canon. The ending shot of the TV series is Buffy beginning to smile. Secondly, you seem to miss the entire point of “The Gift” (5.22). Buffy is the Slayer and it was literally her duty to die for the world in order to protect it. Her tombstone reads: “She saved the world. A lot.” It doesn’t read “Good daughter. Good sister. Good friend.” or whatever.

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Buffy distantly fakely said that she wants to live in Gone. She wasn’t distant and it wasn’t fake.


And still continued drowning her ennui. She was having 5-hour sex sessions with Spike. How many people get 5 hours of pleasure and/or happiness a day?


And tried killing all of her friends because she'd rather be a mental patient in an asylum. She was supernaturally drugged into thinking that the mental hospital – it wasn’t an asylum – was her real reality.


Buffy never forgave Willow for resurrecting ever. Again, see: “Same Time, Same Time” (7.03).


And has been sad and bitter about her life from Bargaining to 9.08. Do you mean “overall”? If that’s the case, Buffy’s been sad and bitter since she found out that she’s the Slayer.


She leaped at the chance to escape earthly crap with Twangel. She was glowified into doing that. She was raped by Angel ( A&F seems to state that Angel was in full control until Twilight actually possessed him after Angel left the Twilight dimension and Buffy shooed him away. ).


I believe we're supposed to believe Willow in A&F that Buffy regrets her own resurrection. We’re not. Otherwise, Buffy wouldn’t be happily dreaming about anything that happened post-“Bargaining” (6.02).


Buffy is existing because she feels too much duty and propriety to just commit suicide. After “Gone” (6.11), Buffy is not suicidal and there’s no hint that she is possibly suicidal.



Jack Shaftoe

* Complaining in this thread about Buffy/Spike happening, and complaining about how their relationship is, is simply that: complaining. This isn’t a ‘Should Buffy/Spike have happened and/or should their relationship have been different?’ thread.



[In BtVS S9] Spike and Buffy met at a party after apparently not seeing much of each other in months, Huh?


then days later she wanted to run away with him. Whether this in character for Buffy or not, that's simply not the way people tend to treat their exes. If Spike hadn’t decided to die, Buffy would have been with Spike in “Chosen” (7.22) and after. And I consider it silly to try to compare the Scoobies’ relationships as if they are ‘real life’ relationships. Most people would have wanted to kill a werewolf, a vampire, an ex-demon who had been responsible for probably tens of thousands of needless death, a witch who had tried to literally destroy the world, etc.


I just think there is a huge dissonance between what I am supposed to see in Buffy and Dawn and what actually happened on screen. And even if I were to buy their sisterly love to the extent the writers clearly wanted me to, it was partly built on those fake memories. Before and after Dawn was Buffy’s responsibility in order to protect the world from The Beast, Buffy wasn’t very loving to Dawn. Before finding out she’s the Key, she regards Dawn as an annoyance and hindrance. And beginning in “Bargaining” (6.02), she’s distant with Dawn. It’s no coincidence that Dawn in BtVS S6 was so close to Tara and that in BtVS S8 Dawn seemed to consider Willow more of a mother figure than Buffy was .


I think it's quite telling that the vast majority of people who love S6-7 best ship Spuffy or at least like it, while I have seen plenty of people whose favourite seasons are 1-3 but don't like Bangel much or at all. Of course, those are just my observation of the tendencies in online fandom, in actuality the percentages might be completely different. That may be true of the online fandom that you have seen, but it’s not as if any given forum is a random sampling of the online fandom.

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I have nothing against Buffy being more concerned with Riley than Willow or Xander in S4, I found that far more true to life than the fanfiction-like extremes of "Spuffy vs the world" in S7. Obviously, this is simply your bias. Regarding Riley, the Initiative soldiers were seen as the enemy throughout BtVS S4. Buffy was literally dating the enemy.


Because if I were Xander I wouldn't have wanted to have anything to do with Buffy after the whole hiding Angel debacle. Xander was completely in the wrong about that whole thing.


Like how most of S7 is about the rifts in the Scooby gang but when it's time for the finale everything is quickly swept under the carpet and is all hugs and puppies. It's undeserved. This is silly: Do you forget what happened in “Dead Man’s Party” (3.02)? It actually took far more to get the group back together at the end of BtVS S7. Spike shamed the Scoobies (and Faith?) over their ousting Buffy, Faith completely failed, and Buffy got the Scythe.


But I have never watched a show whose final season feel not just like an inferior continuation but like a whole new and much worse show. It's almost like they deliberately wanted to destroy everything I (and I gather many other viewers too) liked about BtVS in the first place. BtVS S7 is the most critically acclaimed Season. Anyway, writers did leave to Firefly and AtS. It was widely regarded that SMG was going to quit the show and so Joss was doing things like focusing on a new show and focusing on AtS. If it weren’t for Drew Goddard coming on board to BtVS S7, the Season would have been even worse.

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[“Chosen” (7.22) is] about Buffy "proving" how right she had been all along how everyone else sucks for doubting the magnificence that's Buffy. Well, Faith’s plan was really stupid and Buffy was able to get he Scythe.


It's undeserved not because it's completely impossible there might be a reconciliation but because the characters don't really work out any of their issues on screen. The issues were Xander was bitter about his eye being poked out, Willow was bitter that Buffy didn’t stay in the hospital, Kennedy was bitter that she wasn’t in charge instead of Buffy, Rona didn’t like Buffy, and Giles and Wood were bitter that Buffy wasn’t happy about their trying to murder Spike. Faith failed and so Kennedy and Rona no longer had recourse. Spike shamed the Scoobies and so Giles and Wood stopped their pettiness against Buffy. Xander, Willow, and Dawn also got shamed by Spike and with Buffy getting the weapon they all fell in line.

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"Xander shouldn't have bothered with the CPR in Prophecy Girl, after all Buffy was destined to die that day". Not sure what your point was but: Xander didn’t know about the prophecy and Buffy was immediately needed in order to save the world. It’s an entirely different situation than in “Bargaining” (6.01).


What reason would Willow have had to assume Buffy wouldn't want to live any more? None whatsoever. This is silly. Buffy committed suicide rather than let Dawn (a literally ‘manufactured’ sister) die and Buffy didn’t tell Dawn to tell the others to try to resurrect her.

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The Wire is ultra-realistic and is widely considered the best TV show ever. You mean “widely” as in “by many/a large number of people”, right?



vampmogs


comes a love for each other that is far more profound than whatever they could have achieved in the first couple of years of high school. Maybe I don’t know what you mean by profound.

Xander in the early BtVS Seasons was willing to risk his life to try to help and/or save Buffy. In BtVS S9 he’s not even willing to let Buffy stay at his apartment when she’s trying to evade the police .

Willow was fully BFFs with Buffy and she was interested in magic mainly because it would better allow her to help Buffy. In BtVS S9 magic is more important to her than her friendship with Buffy and she’s knowingly risking the entire world by trying to bring magic back.

Giles was Buffy’s father figure. Post-BtVS S5, not so much. He abandons her in BtVS S6, in BtVS S7 he tries to get her to send Spike away and later helps to try to murder Spike. In BtVS S8 he keeps key information from Buffy and in his will he gives all of his wealth to Faith

Cordelia became friends with Buffy but in AtS seems relatively dismissive of Buffy and doesn’t seem to care about Buffy. It goes so far as she doesn’t even think Angel should be mourning Buffy’s death. Sidenote: the AtS stuff could be because of Jasmine.

Buffy in “The Witch” (1.03) saves Cordy’s life even though Cordy is super mean to her and Willow. But in BtVS S8 she’s
joking about Cordy dying [/spoiler]

Obviously, I just focused on Buffy.

[quote] I'm one of those rare breed on fans who actually loves pretty much ALL of the show. Having that “pretty much” qualifier, this isn’t rare. Millions of people pretty much love all of the show.



Local Maximum


In Tabula Rasa,” “tensions have restarted between Spike and the gang over the last several episodes” What tensions in “Tabula Rasa” (6.08)?


Willow's spell, designed to cure Tara and Buffy of their ills, It was designed to make them not have any ill feelings toward her.


makes the gang lose their whole painful history and their identities along with it, The spell pretty much makes them have complete amnesia.


Giles and Buffy fundamentally don't connect in season eight. But they do still love each other. It’s arguable whether this is true for Giles toward Buffy. If anything, Giles seemed resentful that Buffy needed him even less than she did in BtVS S7. He seems resentful that there are now hundreds of Slayers and now very few Watchers. He focuses his love on Faith and ends up literally giving Faith his entire legacy.

__________________________________________________


even if it was the right thing to do to reject Cordelia-shallowness What does that even mean? Buffy wanted to be able to be popular. She wanted to be the most popular girl in school. She only dated cool guys (even Riley was Special Forces Demon Figher Guy). Relatively son, Cordelia joined Buffy’s group of friends. Buffy hanging with Xander and Willow didn’t at all lessen her chances with the cool guys. And because of their association with Buffy, Xander got with Cordelia, Anya, and Dawn and Willow got the confidence to date Oz (and probably the confidence to date Tara and Kennedy).


I do think that Buffy didn't really get exactly how much Willow gave up for her -- though on some level, I think Willow didn't realize it before, either, because I think in Bargaining proper Willow believed she could Have It All. Willow didn’t give up anything. It was Willow’s choice to stay in Sunnydale and Willow stayed largely because she wanted to increase her magical powers.

Jack Shaftoe
26-09-12, 04:43 AM
Complaining in this thread about Buffy/Spike happening, and complaining about how their relationship is, is simply that: complaining. This isn’t a ‘Should Buffy/Spike have happened and/or should their relationship have been different?’ thread.


I actually consider ‘favorite character’ polls should be put in ‘favorite character’ threads.

You aren't a moderator on this forum, so would you please stop telling people where to post what? Thank you in advance.


And I consider it silly to try to compare the Scoobies’ relationships as if they are ‘real life’ relationships.

Good for you but for me the character interactions, romantic or not, have to feel at least somewhat realistic in order to work. The universe they inhabit might be much different than ours but most of the main characters are still human beings, so their reactions should feel as human ones rather than obvious contrivances in a story.


That may be true of the online fandom that you have seen, but it’s not as if any given forum is a random sampling of the online fandom.

You think?


Xander was completely in the wrong about that whole thing.

I am convinced by your elaborate argumentation. [/sarcasm] No, really, why is Xander wrong again? Because Buffy has a god given right to decide Angel's fate, no matter how many lives she puts at risk?


Do you forget what happened in “Dead Man’s Party” (3.02)?

Do you? The issues in that episode continue to fester and things come to a head in Revelations. Yes, some stuff got swept under the carpet, I never said the show was perfect about that prior to S7, did I?


BtVS S7 is the most critically acclaimed Season.

So? This might come as a shock to you but I happen to value my own opinion far above that of anybody else, critics included. I am weird like that.


Well, Faith’s plan was really stupid

Sure, but then again, so was Buffy's.


Spike shamed the Scoobies and so Giles and Wood stopped their pettiness against Buffy. Xander, Willow, and Dawn also got shamed by Spike and with Buffy getting the weapon they all fell in line.

If only things worked out so easily in real life... Or in quality fiction, for that matter. Everyone fell in line- quick and easy. That's not art for me, nor is it good entertainment, it's lazy writing shortcut. Heck, I am pretty sure the writers themselves admitted they had to rush most developments at the end of the show.

Stoney
26-09-12, 10:05 AM
Unless Giles could have found the Trio’s lair earlier and/or unless he could have helped them beat the Trio, his contribution wouldn’t have exactly been pivotal. In BtVS S7, they did fine without him. The problem in BtVS S6 is that the enemy was the Trio.

I was saying that when Giles withdrew from the role of monitoring adult, the parental role in S6 it coincided with them floundering. I suppose the suggestion being that they may have faired better in terms of emotional support individually and for each other if Giles had contributed in S6 more.


Well, all Willow wanted to do was kill Andrew; if Giles hadn’t intervened, maybe Willow would have simply killed Andrew and then eventually calmed down. Willow could have always gotten a power boost in BtVS S7.

And Jonathan, hence 'two to go'.



As a team they questioned each other's judgement more,
When?

Or maybe just Buffy's (though I think that reflects where they were at overall) Buffy's decisions around Spike's trigger, chaining him, rescuing him, the chip etc built up to the big fall out around questioning her decision to return to the vineyard.



they kept things from each otherWhen?

Buffy wasn't telling them about the pressure and how she was feeling in that sense I don't think or about how she was feeling re: Spike. Xander wasn't talking to Buffy about how he felt about his eye loss and she was avoiding him about it... basically all the kind of things that tumbled to the fore in Empty Places.



and generally started to try and branch out more individually,When?

Buffy mainly turned to Spike, Willow stayed reasonably withdrawn about what she was going through imo, Xander wasn't actively involved in either of their personal issues or they in anything of his and Giles was off finding potentials until he returned and actively stood against Buffy particularly in LMPTM.



no longer settled under the security and 'umbrella' protection that Giles had given them,Giles was the Watcher and did the research. Giles was Buffy’s father figure. Other than those roles, what “security and ‘umbrella’ protection’?.

This is the mentoring adult/parental background role I think they lost when Giles went off. I think if he had been able to offer them an emotional security he could have played a binding influence and helped them see where/how they were pulling in opposite directions a bit but he didn't and in actual fact only added to it in S7.

MikeB
28-11-12, 04:38 AM
Jack Shaftoe


My quote: Complaining in this thread about Buffy/Spike happening, and complaining about how their relationship is, is simply that: complaining. This isn’t a ‘Should Buffy/Spike have happened and/or should their relationship have been different?’ thread.

………………………………………………………………….

I actually consider ‘favorite character’ polls should be put in ‘favorite character’ threads.

You aren't a moderator on this forum, so would you please stop telling people where to post what? Thank you in advance. I’m not telling posters where to post. The moderators have repeatedly told us that we should try to keep threads ‘on-topic’; and since not everyone reads every thread, it’s better to discuss unrelated topics in other threads. And I only say such a thing when mass amounts of a thread is about off-topic stuff.


My quote: And I consider it silly to try to compare the Scoobies’ relationships as if they are ‘real life’ relationships.

Good for you but for me the character interactions, romantic or not, have to feel at least somewhat realistic in order to work. Again, it depends on what you mean by “realistic”. Most of the characters are supernatural. Buffy, Willow, and Xander all dated demons (or in Xander’s case, an ex-demon).


The universe they inhabit might be much different than ours but most of the main characters are still human beings, so their reactions should feel as human ones rather than obvious contrivances in a story. Buffy, Spike, Willow, Giles, Oz, Dawn, Angel, Cordelia, Doyle, Wesley, Illyria, etc. all are supernatural. And of those listed only Buffy, Dawn, Cordelia, and Doyle aren’t murderers. Oz can be argued that he’s a murderer because he knows he can ‘break up’ of his cage and kill people.


My quote: That may be true of the online fandom that you have seen, but it’s not as if any given forum is a random sampling of the online fandom.

You think? Well, you hinted in your post that this is the case :), but I mentioned it because I’ve seen sometimes on this Board a poster seeming to act as if this Board is a random sampling of the Buffyverse fans. So, this statement was for other people reading this thread more than it was for you. :)


My quote: Xander was completely in the wrong about that whole thing.

I am convinced by your elaborate argumentation. [/sarcasm] No, really, why is Xander wrong again? This was talked about in-depth in other threads. We’re talking about “Revelations” (3.07) here. Essentially, Xander should have known or he simply knew that Angel was no longer evil. Xander was simply upset that Buffy was making out with Angel.


Because Buffy has a god given right to decide Angel's fate, no matter how many lives she puts at risk? No one in “Revelations” thought that Buffy making out with Angel was going to give Angel a moment of perfect happiness.


My quote: Do you forget what happened in “Dead Man’s Party” (3.02)?

Do you? The issues in that episode continue to fester and things come to a head in Revelations. No, “Dead Man’s Party” (3.02) was the Scoobies’ and Joyce’s reaction to Buffy having left over the summer and her just coming back. “Revelations” (3.07) was the Scoobies’ reaction to Angel being back and Buffy not having disclosed that fact. Things after “Empty Places” (7.19) were settled because Faith failed and Buffy succeeded. For Kennedy, if it was still an issue for her, she had no more power with Faith in charge than she did with Buffy in charge.


My quote: Well, Faith’s plan was really stupid

Sure, but then again, so was Buffy's. Buffy’s plan didn’t involve doing what a Bringer said to do. Buffy’s plan being stupid is a matter of opinion. Faith’s plan being stupid is fact.


My quote: Spike shamed the Scoobies and so Giles and Wood stopped their pettiness against Buffy. Xander, Willow, and Dawn also got shamed by Spike and with Buffy getting the weapon they all fell in line.

If only things worked out so easily in real life... How was that easy? Faith’s plan killed Potentials and Faith herself was no longer ambulatory. And Buffy got a special weapon. That’s my point about “Dead Man’s Party” (3.02): that that was resolved easier than the “Empty Places” stuff.


Heck, I am pretty sure the writers themselves admitted they had to rush most developments at the end of the show. They didn’t.

This is ‘production’ stuff: but SMG announced she was leaving the show. After that, they did a Spike episode because Spike was going to be needed for any continuation of the Buffyverse. The next episode Faith is brought back and a Spike/Faith scene is there because Spike was going to be needed for Faith the Vampire Slayer . The next episode Buffy is kicked out and Faith is put in charge (again, for FtVS). The next episode has Faith messing up and Buffy getting a special weapon because Eliza Dushku declined FtVS. Angel comes back because David Boreanaz was announcing to anyone who’d listen that he wanted to be in the finale of BtVS. Spike dies because Joss needed some way to have Spike go to AtS without Buffy and Spike actually breaking up.

Suffice to say that if SMG accepted $750K an episode to do BtVS S8, 7.17 to 7.22 probably would be different. And suffice to say that if Eliza Dushku accepted FtVS that things in 7.20 to 7.22 may have been different. And suffice to say that if James Marsters declined doing AtS s5 that “Chosen” (7.22) may have been different.

Anyway, that’s ‘production reasons’ stuff. In-verse, it all made sense and worked out well. Heck, “Storyteller” (7.16) was pretty much a full-episode of “Previously On BtVS” for those tuning back in to see the end of BtVS and yet it’s one of the best episodes of the Buffyverse.



Stoney


My quote: Unless Giles could have found the Trio’s lair earlier and/or unless he could have helped them beat the Trio, his contribution wouldn’t have exactly been pivotal. In BtVS S7, they did fine without him. The problem in BtVS S6 is that the enemy was the Trio.

I was saying that when Giles withdrew from the role of monitoring adult, the parental role in S6 it coincided with them floundering. I suppose the suggestion being that they may have faired better in terms of emotional support individually and for each other if Giles had contributed in S6 more. Oh, well certainly their personal lives probably would have been better had Giles not left them. Buffy, Dawn, and maybe Willow certainly would have benefitted in their personal lives if he had stayed. I was saying for Scooby activities, his leaving didn’t affect much of anything.


My quote: Well, all Willow wanted to do was kill Andrew; if Giles hadn’t intervened, maybe Willow would have simply killed Andrew and then eventually calmed down. Willow could have always gotten a power boost in BtVS S7.

And Jonathan, hence 'two to go'. Oops, forgot to mention him. Jonathan wasn’t an innocent.


As a team they questioned each other's judgement more,

……………………………………………………………..

Or maybe just Buffy's (though I think that reflects where they were at overall) Buffy's decisions around Spike's trigger, chaining him, rescuing him, the chip etc built up to the big fall out around questioning her decision to return to the vineyard. Trigger: all were supportive of that but Giles. Chaining him: they all were supportive of that except Giles and those like Kennedy and Rona who didn’t like Buffy. Rescuing him: everyone supported that and they all contributed. The chip: only Giles was against that. For “Empty Places” (7.19), Giles and Wood simply were unhappy that Buffy didn’t support their trying to murder Spike. Rona simply used Spike as a reason why she didn’t like Buffy.


they kept things from each other

……………………………………………………………..

Buffy wasn't telling them about the pressure and how she was feeling in that sense I don't think or about how she was feeling re: Spike. Huh? “Conversations With Dead People” (7.07) is the first time we learn that she has an inferiority complex about her superiority complex. She was never fully open about her feelings. Giles had to make up a spell in order to find out what had happened in “Becoming Part II” (2.22). For Spike, it was obvious that she was in love with him and everyone in BtVS S7 seemed to know that.


Xander wasn't talking to Buffy about how he felt about his eye loss and she was avoiding him about it... Obviously, he was upset that he lost an eye. And Buffy rather than dealing with that was thinking about how to get the thing that Caleb and the First Evil are protecting and/or trying to get.


basically all the kind of things that tumbled to the fore in Empty Places. Buffy was ousted because everyone there but Faith was being selfish and petty and Spike wasn’t there.


and generally started to try and branch out more individually,

……………………………………………………………

Buffy mainly turned to Spike, Willow stayed reasonably withdrawn about what she was going through imo, Xander wasn't actively involved in either of their personal issues or they in anything of his and Giles was off finding potentials until he returned and actively stood against Buffy particularly in LMPTM. BtVS S4: Buffy was off with Riley; Willow was off doing her thing with Tara; Xander was focused on his jobs and Anya; Giles felt mostly out of place unless Buffy specifically needed him; Spike was an ancillary member of the Scoobies and had to get paid in order for him to help. BtVS S6: Buffy was withdrawn and mostly with Spike; Dawn was mostly alone; Willow was mostly involved in magic and/or Tara; Xander was planning and stressing over his upcoming wedding to Anya; Giles was gone for even more of the Season than he was in BtVS S7; Spike seemed to mostly only care about Buffy and to a lesser extent Willow, and he was mostly only with Buffy.


This is the mentoring adult/parental background role I think they lost when Giles went off [in BtVS S6]. Buffy needed financial and emotional support in BtVS S6. Willow needed to not abuse magic. If Tara couldn’t control Willow, I’m not sure that Giles would be helpful there. Giles could have been a parent to Dawn. But Buffy no longer needed Giles to mentor her.

Anyway, I’m not sure why this subject even came up, but Giles left them. His not being there and how they got along without his being there is his fault. Besides maybe Anya, none of them wanted Giles to leave.


I think if he had been able to offer them an emotional security he could have played a binding influence and helped them see where/how they were pulling in opposite directions a bit but he didn't and in actual fact only added to it in S7. Again, he decided to leave for asinine reasons. But also, he didn’t keep them together in BtVS S4.

Jack Shaftoe
28-11-12, 08:19 PM
Buffy, Spike, Willow, Giles, Oz, Dawn, Angel, Cordelia, Doyle, Wesley, Illyria, etc. all are supernatural.

Considering that in the case of these characters (except for Illyria) "supernatural" doesn't mean their brains are wired differently than that of the "normal" humans, I would contend that this can't be an excuse for them behaving OOC.


No one in “Revelations” thought that Buffy making out with Angel was going to give Angel a moment of perfect happiness.

So they were all scared of Buffy kissing him because...? He had poisonous breath maybe? Infected with deadly diseases? Come on, let's be serious. Cordelia saying "What gives you the right to suck face with your demon lover again?" doesn't mean she thought the risk of activating the curse loophole was real?


Suffice to say that if SMG accepted $750K an episode to do BtVS S8, 7.17 to 7.22 probably would be different.

Suffice to say that I don't care.


Anyway, that’s ‘production reasons’ stuff. In-verse, it all made sense and worked out well.

Of course it did. Even the dumbest writer in the world can write a happy ending if they don't give a **** about continuity and just have the good guys win through writer fiat - in this case two deus ex machina and miraculous weakening of the Turok-hans. Working out okay is a decent argument in real life, in fiction, it's not enough. It needs to also work out in a way that makes some sense at least.

Artea
28-11-12, 08:43 PM
Buffy’s plan being stupid is a matter of opinion. Faith’s plan being stupid is fact.Buffy's plan should have failed for the same reason Faith's did: the First is omniscient and can spy on them and can - for example - set a booby trap in advance. At least Faith's plan involved some degree of strategy and logical deduction. Buffy's plan pretty much consisted of 'Buffy strong! Buffy SMASH!' The only reason Buffy succeeded is because she's the titular character.

MikeB
18-12-12, 11:39 AM
Jack Shaftoe


My quote: Buffy, Spike, Willow, Giles, Oz, Dawn, Angel, Cordelia, Doyle, Wesley, Illyria, etc. all are supernatural.

Considering that in the case of these characters (except for Illyria) "supernatural" doesn't mean their brains are wired differently than that of the "normal" humans, I would contend that this can't be an excuse for them behaving OOC. I don’t know to what this refers, but I assume it’s about their relationship choices and/or how they treat certain supernatural people. In this case, my point is that their being supernatural would more likely make them be with other supernatural people and sympathetic toward certain supernatural people.


My quote: No one in “Revelations” thought that Buffy making out with Angel was going to give Angel a moment of perfect happiness.

So they were all scared of Buffy kissing him because...? Only Cordelia was possibly scared. The others simply had various reasons to be concerned about Buffy pursuing a relationship with Angel. As-is, even Xander admits, by the end of the episode, that as long as Buffy doesn’t have sex with Angel that they’re okay.


My quote: Suffice to say that if SMG accepted $750K an episode to do BtVS S8, 7.17 to 7.22 probably would be different.

Suffice to say that I don't care. They were focused on trying to keep the Buffyverse alive. If anything, had SMG stayed on, probably the only changes would be stuff like Faith never being put in charge (unless they were still going to pursue a Faith spin-off), Angel not coming over for the two final episodes of the Season (they’d be no need to fan the ‘shipper wars), Spike not dying, and Buffy and Spike being together at the end of the Season.


Even the dumbest writer in the world can write a happy ending if they don't give a **** about continuity and just have the good guys win through writer fiat - in this case two deus ex machina and miraculous weakening of the Turok-hans. Working out okay is a decent argument in real life, in fiction, it's not enough. It needs to also work out in a way that makes some sense at least. The first Turok-han was fed Spike’s blood and it could have continued to feed on Spike’s blood. The other Turok-han possibly hadn’t had food in thousands of years. It’s easily explainable and the explanation is reasonable. The only deus ex machina is the amulet, but that’s not much different from the Combining Spell being made up, Giles filling Willow with Good Magic, etc.



Artea


Buffy's plan should have failed for the same reason Faith's did: the First is omniscient and can spy on them and can - for example - set a booby trap in advance. First off, Buffy had to get past some Bringers and get past Caleb. The First Evil had no reason to assume that Buffy could beat Caleb without the Scythe and therefore there was no reason for a booby trap. As-is, we don’t know what Buffy had to get past – aside from Bringers – before she meets Caleb again.


At least Faith's plan involved some degree of strategy and logical deduction. It involved taking Willow, Giles, and Xander out of play and it involved listening to a Bringer. That’s a terrible strategy and it’s illogical.


Buffy's plan pretty much consisted of 'Buffy strong! Buffy SMASH!' The only reason Buffy succeeded is because she's the titular character. Buffy succeeded for similar reasons for why she beat Sunday the Vampire. She was given confidence and an ego boost and was able to ‘step up’ her game. By the way, Buffy isn’t the “titular” character; maybe you meant to say she’s the eponymous star and hero of Buffy the Vampire Slayer ?

Artea
18-12-12, 12:51 PM
It involved taking Willow, Giles, and Xander out of play and it involved listening to a Bringer. That’s a terrible strategy and it’s illogical.No, it involved using a magic spell to force a Bringer to speak the truth, revealing that there was some weapon(s) hidden somewhere. And it was true - there was a huge stash of weapons and of course the Scythe. Like I said in my previous post, the plan was still incompetent because the characters should be aware that the First can spy on them at anytime and set a booby trap in advance. The obvious solution would be to use Willow's telepathy to communicate at all times, but Buffy never did that either so I don't see how you can hold up Buffy's 'strategy' as being better than Faith's.
Meanwhile, Buffy is the one actually stupid enough to believe the First and Caleb when they tell her 'I have something of yours'. The only reason she succeeded is because the First was essentially helping her out. Care to explain how that makes sense?

Jack Shaftoe
18-12-12, 07:51 PM
As-is, even Xander admits, by the end of the episode, that as long as Buffy doesn’t have sex with Angel that they’re okay.

Which doesn't prevent him from being scared in the beginning of the episode when he assumed that they might be having sex, does it?


The first Turok-han was fed Spike’s blood and it could have continued to feed on Spike’s blood.

Seriously, do you happen to have a "theory" for each and every occurrence that hinges on Spike being the awesomest person to ever appear on a TV screen? Or you just come up with those theories on the fly? There has never been any evidence that Spike's (or Buffy's or anybody's except Dawn) blood had supernatural qualities different than those of fellow members of their species.


The only deus ex machina is the amulet, but that’s not much different from the Combining Spell being made up, Giles filling Willow with Good Magic, etc.

You must have forgotten the Scythe which conveniently has enough mojo to power-up thousands of Potentials and somehow Buffy knows that it can do it because it's her suggestion, not Willow's.

And it is different than those other cases because the amulet was provided by the vilalin of another TV show who was never ever even mentioned on BtVS. It wasn't something the ingenuity or experience of the protagonists created, it basically feel into their laps through the miracle of plot contrivance. If you enjoy such contrivances, good for you, personally I expect better.

MikeB
06-01-13, 04:31 AM
Artea


My quote: It involved taking Willow, Giles, and Xander out of play and it involved listening to a Bringer. That’s a terrible strategy and it’s illogical.

No, it involved using a magic spell to force a Bringer to speak the truth, revealing that there was some weapon(s) hidden somewhere. And it was true - there was a huge stash of weapons and of course the Scythe. The Bringer led them into a trap.


I don't see how you can hold up Buffy's 'strategy' as being better than Faith's. Buffy’s plan didn’t involve listening to a Bringer.


Meanwhile, Buffy is the one actually stupid enough to believe the First and Caleb when they tell her 'I have something of yours'. Buffy was unprepared for how powerful Caleb turned out to be. This is not much different from when Buffy first meets Glorificus.


The only reason she succeeded is because the First was essentially helping her out. Care to explain how that makes sense? We don’t know if the First Evil was helping Buffy. But there certainly wouldn’t be an expectation that Buffy could actually defeat Caleb. For all we know, the First Evil could have assumed that Buffy would have eventually gotten a ‘Slayer vision’ and know about the Scythe and where it was.



Jack Shaftoe


[Xander is] scared in the beginning of [“Revelations” (3.07)] when he assumed that they might be having sex, does it? None of them assumed Buffy was having sex with Angel.


My quote: The first Turok-han was fed Spike’s blood and it could have continued to feed on Spike’s blood.

Seriously, do you happen to have a "theory" for each and every occurrence that hinges on Spike being the awesomest person to ever appear on a TV screen? Or you just come up with those theories on the fly? I come up with theories that make the Buffyverse make sense. Spike had three ‘ritual cuts’ on him and that opened the Seal. And the first Turok-han probably continued to feed on Spike since we never even saw it being fed. And if it wasn’t fed, it had gotten that initial amount of Spike’s blood. The other Turok-han possibly hadn’t fed in thousands of years.

There is no Spike bias here: it’s common sense. If Xander had opened the Seal and that Turok-han was more powerful than later ones, the obvious conclusion would be that it drank some of Xander’s blood and the later Turok-han hadn’t fed in a long time.


My quote: The only deus ex machina is the amulet, but that’s not much different from the Combining Spell being made up, Giles filling Willow with Good Magic, etc.

You must have forgotten the Scythe which conveniently has enough mojo to power-up thousands of Potentials and somehow Buffy knows that it can do it because it's her suggestion, not Willow's.

And it is different than those other cases because the amulet was provided by the vilalin of another TV show who was never ever even mentioned on BtVS. It wasn't something the ingenuity or experience of the protagonists created, it basically feel into their laps through the miracle of plot contrivance. If you enjoy such contrivances, good for you, personally I expect better. I didn’t like the amulet thing. As for it being provided by the enemy, well Spike teaming up with Adam is perhaps the only reason why Buffy and Co. were able to free Oz and were able to go into the Initiative and defeat Adam. Wolfram and Hart providing the amulet made the Buffyverse make more sense. It was bad enough that somehow Buffy and Co. didn’t seem to be aware that Los Angeles was in total darkness. The Empowerment Spell: I’ve always said on Boards that it would have made more sense for Willow to do a massive sunshine spell. I also never thought it was a good idea for Buffy to refuse the huge power boost that the Shadowmen were offering her. And unless the Scyhte were previously broken or lost or something, it seems the Slayer line should have always had it.

Jack Shaftoe
06-01-13, 06:41 AM
There is no Spike bias here: it’s common sense. If Xander had opened the Seal and that Turok-han was more powerful than later ones, the obvious conclusion would be that it drank some of Xander’s blood and the later Turok-han hadn’t fed in a long time.

No, the obvious conclusion is conservation of ninjutsu (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ConservationOfNinjutsu) and writer's incompetence. Did we see the Turok-hans drink anyone's blood? I admit my recollection of S7 is vague at best but I have seen it mentioned by more careful viewers that they (the Turok-hans, not the viewers) didn't seem interested in blood at all. Assuming they were powered up by drinking Spike's blood is about as valid as assuming the first one was so much stronger because he ate ten cheeseburgers and five kittens.


None of them assumed Buffy was having sex with Angel.

Did you miss the word "might" in my post? Accidentally on purpose? Okay, maybe I shouldn't have said "assumed" - let's put it that way - they feared that Buffy might already have had sex with Angel or would soon do so.


As for it being provided by the enemy, well Spike teaming up with Adam is perhaps the only reason why Buffy and Co. were able to free Oz and were able to go into the Initiative...

This was a part of Adam's plan, though. A plan I find to be incredibly stupid, mind you, but a plan nevertheless. The First gifted Buffy the Scythe through its own unbelievable incompetence, he didn't order Caleb or the First Turok-han to finish her off for the same reason. We are never given any reason why the First would want to do any of that, instead all we get in one of the most silly cases of plot armour I have ever seen. So, no, none of it made sense and the only reason it worked is writer's fiat. Even Joss admitted it:

"Some people complained, again, that the vampires were too easy to kill. That they were supposed to be stronger than other vampires. And the fact of the matter is… it's true. Like the convenience of the magic, it's true. Because, again, I was more interested in showing the empowerment than I was in the continuity. To make every vampire as hard to kill as the first one would have been too hard."

and
"Some people have complained that the magic that this Scythe – originally from the 'Fray' comic that I was writing at the same time – is a little too convenient. And my answer to those critics is, "Well, don't tell everybody!" It is convenient, and that doesn't really bother me, because ultimately, to me, the magic, the phlebotnum is always secondary to what needs to be said."

(quotes taken from http://stormwreath.livejournal.com/53253.html )

Vampire in Rug
06-01-13, 07:05 AM
Yeah since when has a vampire ever gained sustinece by feeding from another vampire? Vampires feed on *living* prey because that's how they draw sustinence.

I very much doubt the rest of the ubervamps were starving for thousands of years. Spike has said that vampires become skeltal if they don't feed for extended periods. We saw how messed up Angel was after three months of not feeding.

We can't explain how the ubervamps were being fed, but I very much doubt we are supposed to assume that they were weak and had been staring for thousands of years.

The idea of the first ubervamp feeding from Spike is something that was never shown on screen, or mentioned, or implied. In fact it runs contrary to the idea that vampires have to feed on the living.

I'm curious Mike, if the first ubervamp HAD been feeding from Xander or Angel, do you think it would have been as strong? Or do you think Spike's blood makes it even stronger than it would have otherwise been if Xander or Angel's blood had been used to raise it?

vampmogs
07-01-13, 08:37 AM
Did we see the Turok-hans drink anyone's blood? I admit my recollection of S7 is vague at best but I have seen it mentioned by more careful viewers that they (the Turok-hans, not the viewers) didn't seem interested in blood at all.

We saw the Turok Han feeding on Slayers in Chosen. When Buffy is wounded and the Slayers are dying around her, we see an unnamed Slayer screaming as an Ubervamp drains her. You can also see in the background of another shot that an Ubervamp is feasting on the body of a Slayer by draining her from the wrist.

Not that I buy this theory that the Ubervamp drained Spike's blood. We've seen vampires drink from each other before but only for sexual pleasure, like when Darla feasted on Angelus during sex after they killed the gypsy girl. I don't even count Harmony biting Spike as she was out of her mind at the time. In The Gift Spike says that "blood is life" and that's why they eat it. It doesn't have the same poetry to it if they can gain sustenance by drinking from each other.

Vampire in Rug
07-01-13, 10:10 AM
I was thinking earlier that Darla biting Angelus as a form of sexual kink is the only time we've seen a vampire bite another vampire. That was for sexual pleasure, I very much doubt Darla was drawing any sustenance from Angelus.

Vampires feeding of other vampires for non sexual purposes is unprecedented the Buffyverse, and there is zero evidence that doing so would give the vampire any nutrition whatsoever. Vampires feed on the living -usually humans and the "good" vampires feed on animal blood. We never see Angel or Spike feeding on other vampires which would be an acceptable way of sustaining themselves if it were possible. Instead they drink pigs blood which we know isn't as tasty as human blood. The Scourge demons even comment at one point that vampires don't drink demon blood which could include vampires.

There is zero indication that vampires can be sustained by feeding from other vampires, any instances of vampires biting each other is for sexual purposes, the Turok-Han was not shown to be feeding from Spike. MikeB's theory here is entirely fanon. Also the First's army were supposed to be a legitimate threat, not a bunch of starving invalids. Angel was barely lucid after three months of not feeding, never-mind thousands of years. Spike said that a vampire would eventually become skeletal.

I now await Mike's post where he tells us that the ability to survive thousands of years without feeding is a little known ability of the Turok-Han. The writers never showed it in the show, but he's sharing this piece of mythology with us now.

vampmogs
07-01-13, 10:38 AM
It was definitely a sexual kink. Gaining sexual gratification from a vampire bite is hardly a new concept in vampire fiction, let alone BtVS, and they weren’t exactly being subtle about it given that it took place in the throes of passion.

I actually just rewatched the scene and forgot that Angelus bit Darla too. Which makes it even more certain that it wasn't about gaining sustenance from each other, as this takes place whilst Angelus has fed from the gypsy girl who is bound and gagged beside them. He wouldn't need to drink cold, dead vampire blood when he's just fed from a living human and has her hot running blood still in his body. They were obviously just getting off on the eroticism of the bite and Darla in particular would have found the pain arousing as it's text she enjoys it – "You like pain" – which, again, is pretty common for vamps in the Buffyverse, and some might argue Slayers too.

I mean, there's no real reason for why the first Turok Han was stronger than the rest as Joss has admitted it's not consistent, but as far as fanwanks go this one has no legs. I’d rather just assume that first Ubervamp was a personal henchmen of The First as The First/Dru does speak about it with a certain fondness and familiarity – “Has buckets of energy, poor dear. He's been laying in wait for his moment since before the bug walked.” Maybe he was the original Turok Han and spawned all the others? Maybe he was simply born stronger than the rest just like some humans are naturally stronger than others? I mean, humans come in all shapes and sizes and with various degrees of strength so I don’t see why the Turok Han as a species have to all be exactly the same and as strong as each other. Maybe The First picked him to come out first because he was particularly brutal? It’s all just a fanwank but I find it more likely than it supposedly “feeding off Spike.”

MikeB
04-02-13, 05:13 AM
All caught up


* To begin, this thread is titled: “Exploring dynamics: The Evolving Scoobies”, so why the ‘First’ Turok-han was stronger than the others isn’t relevant to the thread topic. If one wants to make a thread on that topic, I’ll further discuss it there.




Jack Shaftoe


[About “Revelations” (3.07):] they feared that Buffy might already have had sex with Angel or would soon do so. I don’t think any actually believed that Buffy would ‘go that far’ with Angel. Xander was upset because Buffy was making out with Angel. Giles was upset because of what Angel did to him in “Becoming Part II” (2.22) and that Angel killed Jenny Calender. Willow wasn’t actually upset and that has to do with her keeping Xander/Willow a secret. Cordelia was upset because she’s self-possessed. For the most part, they were being petty and Buffy was correct to keep Angel’s being back a secret from them.


* Spike helping to save Oz and Riley contributed to the Scoobies’ trust of him. Still, without Spike’s deal with Adam, they may not have been able to free Oz or Riley. As for “Primeval” (4.21), Spike helped by keeping that werewolf thing from killing them and by killing vampires and demons inside the Initiative before doing that and after doing that.

KingofCretins
04-02-13, 02:37 PM
[ I don’t think any actually believed that Buffy would ‘go that far’ with Angel. Xander was upset because Buffy was making out with Angel. Giles was upset because of what Angel did to him in “Becoming Part II” (2.22) and that Angel killed Jenny Calender. Willow wasn’t actually upset and that has to do with her keeping Xander/Willow a secret. Cordelia was upset because she’s self-possessed. For the most part, they were being petty and Buffy was correct to keep Angel’s being back a secret from them.

So why was there a meeting, then? Because they were all cowed into it by Xander's aura of command and authority over them? If Xander was the only one concerned, the "meeting" would have been Xander hounding Buffy in a hall or on her porch. No, they had a meeting/intervention because they were all legitimately concerned about her lies and what her lying implied might follow with regard to good decision making about Angel.

Jack Shaftoe
04-02-13, 05:50 PM
Willow wasn’t actually upset

Really? So you think for her telling Buffy things like "When it comes to Angel you can't see straight"? is not a sign of being upset? IMO, Willow was clearly upset but was kind of playing the good cop ("This isn't about attacking Buffy. Remember, 'I' statements only. 'I feel angry.' 'I feel worried.'") as she is prone to do, compared to Xander or Cordelia who prefer confronting Buffy directly.

MikeB
06-03-13, 06:29 AM
* The intervention in “Revelations” (3.07) was called because Xander probably told Giles and Giles called for an intervention to happen. And it was very likely called because of Giles being upset that Buffy would keep Angel being back a secret from him. None of them actually thought Buffy would be having sex with Angel again.


* Willow wasn’t actually upset Buffy was seeing Angel – there’s about no indication she’s telling Buffy that Buffy shouldn’t have been seeing Angel. She wasn’t even upset Buffy kept Angel being back a secret (albeit probably that was about Willow not wanting to be hypocritical).

KingofCretins
06-03-13, 06:20 PM
* The intervention in “Revelations” (3.07) was called because Xander probably told Giles and Giles called for an intervention to happen. And it was very likely called because of Giles being upset that Buffy would keep Angel being back a secret from him. None of them actually thought Buffy would be having sex with Angel again.

Didn't address my concern at all. Giles' calling the meeting only reinforces my point -- any notion you may have that Xander was just being patently unreasonable and self-serving or jealous or paranoid is completely decimated by the fact that the meeting happened at all. Unless you're telling us that Giles would call a meeting, yell at Buffy privately, and that Cordy, Oz, and Willow would all just meet for no reason other to humor Xander.

No, the meeting happened because there was genuine and justifiable concern shared by those who were there. It's Oz that answers Buffy's claim that they aren't "together like that" by pointing out that she had been kissing him, i.e. that there was reason to think that they were or might soon be. Is Oz just jealous of Angel, too? Is Cordelia jealous of Angel?


* Willow wasn’t actually upset Buffy was seeing Angel – there’s about no indication she’s telling Buffy that Buffy shouldn’t have been seeing Angel. She wasn’t even upset Buffy kept Angel being back a secret (albeit probably that was about Willow not wanting to be hypocritical).

Willow didn't say a word in Buffy's defense, she was -- as she herself said in as many words -- just there to make sure things didn't get out of control. Her face clearly reveals her discomfort with the whole situation. Nobody was on the side of "it's no big deal that Buffy is back to macking with Angel and not telling anybody of his return".

MikeB
02-04-13, 12:22 AM
KingofCretins

I’ll simply quote Giles:
Giles: (interrupts) Be quiet. (slowly turns to face her) (sternly) I won't remind you that the fate of the world often lies with the Slayer. What would be the point? Nor shall I remind you that you've jeopardized the lives of all that you hold dear by harboring a known murderer. But sadly, I must remind you that Angel tortured me... for hours... for pleasure. You should have told me he was alive. You didn't. You have no respect for me, or the job I perform. http://www.buffyworld.com/buffy/transcripts/041_tran.html Giles was simply upset Buffy chose Angel’s concerns over Giles’ concerns.


* Kissing is not what gave Angel a moment of perfect happiness. The Scoobies knew she was making out with Angel, but none (outside of maybe Cordelia) seemed to think Buffy would actually have sex with Angel again.


* Willow was ‘uncomfortable’ during the invention. That doesn’t mean she thought Buffy was going to be having sex with Angel.

KingofCretins
02-04-13, 12:45 AM
KingofCretins

I’ll simply quote Giles: Giles was simply upset Buffy chose Angel’s concerns over Giles’ concerns.

This is absurd -- what you are just wrapping up as "Giles' concerns" are, as it happens, exactly the concerns that upset Xander and led to this meeting in which nobody defended the substance of Buffy's actions. Nobody. Giles explicitly refers to Buffy's lying as concealing a known murderer and jeopardizing the lives of all that she holds dear. Those are his, as you say, concerns.

MikeB
23-04-13, 08:00 AM
KingOfCretins

Giles in "Revelations" (3.07) didn't consider Angel currently dangerous -- none of the Scoobies (except maybe Xander) considered Angel was currently dangerous. Giles was simply upset that Buffy put Angel's concerns over his own.

I'm not sure Giles is even upset that Buffy was making out with Angel given he didn't seem to have a distaste for that idea when Willow brings up that scenario in "Becoming Part II" (2.22).

Xander was specifically upset because Buffy was making out with Angel.

Xander and Giles weren't upset with Buffy for the exact same reasons.

KingofCretins
23-04-13, 02:18 PM
KingOfCretins

Giles in "Revelations" (3.07) didn't consider Angel currently dangerous -- none of the Scoobies (except maybe Xander) considered Angel was currently dangerous.

Bull.

"Nor shall I remind you that you've jeopardized the lives of all that you hold dear by harboring a known murderer."

/discussion.

Or would be discussion, if we didn't also have Cordelia explicitly say that she was afraid.


Xander was specifically upset because Buffy was making out with Angel.

Xander and Giles weren't upset with Buffy for the exact same reasons.

That's just your unchecked character bashing talking, frankly. Xander, and Cordy as well, dismantle Buffy's flimsy and immature "jealousy" argument like it was so much wet toilet paper. You are basically taking the entire scene, ignoring the entire scene, and substituting it with your own "here's what's really going on". Giles took Buffy aside and repeated basically everything that had been said at the meeting by Xander AND Cordy AND Oz, and added on the personal angle of his own torture.

Nikki
23-04-13, 02:25 PM
Can I suggest that it might be time to agree to disagree MikeB and KingofCretins ;)

You are discussing a topic that is very open to interpretation and you have both made good arguments but clearly neither of you are going to change your opinion which is completely acceptable, but maybe it would be a good time to move on from this particular point :)

MikeB
21-05-13, 04:39 AM
KingofCretins


My quote: “Giles in "Revelations" (3.07) didn't consider Angel currently dangerous -- none of the Scoobies (except maybe Xander) considered Angel was currently dangerous.”

"Nor shall I remind you that you've jeopardized the lives of all that you hold dear by harboring a known murderer." Angel was a known murderer in “Angel” (1.07). Giles didn’t even say anything about Angel possibly being a current danger.


Cordelia explicitly say that she was afraid. Cordelia wasn’t currently afraid. She implied that Buffy may possibly have sex with Angel again, which in case Angel would revert to his Angelus personality and terrorize them again.


My quote: “Xander was specifically upset because Buffy was making out with Angel.

Xander and Giles weren't upset with Buffy for the exact same reasons.”

Xander, and Cordy as well, dismantle Buffy's flimsy and immature "jealousy" argument Xander was jealous. As for Cordleia, she didn’t even know Xander was currently cheating on her with Willow.



Nikki

* I’m fine if KingOfCretins wants to agree to disagree, but he didn’t say as such.

KingofCretins
21-05-13, 05:28 AM
KingofCretins

Angel was a known murderer in “Angel” (1.07). Giles didn’t even say anything about Angel possibly being a current danger.

Your position is that Giles was only referring to ancient history when he referred to Angel as a known murderer?


Cordelia wasn’t currently afraid.

Other than the fact that she explicitly says so, of course. Why should we trust Cordelia on her own mental state? She's always so evasive and guarded about her feelings :)


Xander was jealous. As for Cordleia, she didn’t even know Xander was currently cheating on her with Willow.

Unrelenting character hate is... tiresome. Cordy doesn't have to know that Xander is messing around on her with Willow to see through Buffy's flimsy and frankly juvenile deflection. And, objectively speaking, the fact Xander was involved with two women who weren't Buffy only makes it more ridiculous to assume he was jealous of Angel, not less.


Nikki

* I’m fine if KingOfCretins wants to agree to disagree, but he didn’t say as such.

I took her post as an invitation to drop it altogether. Which after a month of silence on the thread I assumed you had as well. More fool me. The closest version of "agree to disagree" I have is "we both will shut up about it now".

MikeB
11-06-13, 05:39 AM
KingofCretins


The closest version of "agree to disagree" I have is "we both will shut up about it now". Agreeing to disagree in my opinion means saying something like “Let’s agree to disagree” and that’s it. Arguing against stuff I said and then at the end saying, “Let’s ‘both shut up about it now” is tantamount to saying “I should get the last word on the matter.”

Anyway, I did a response but then edited it out: it was simply an extension of what I wrote in post #96.