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Sosa lola
15-03-13, 08:00 AM
What do you think about Buffy's decision to send Xander away with Dawn in End of Days? Why did she send Xander with Dawn and not someone else? Was she also sending Xander away to protect him as well as her sister or because she trusted him the most with her?

1701EarlGrey
15-03-13, 06:04 PM
Good decision - both Dawn and Xander were two normal people, people who had very little to contribute in upcoming battle and people who were most likely to get hurt. I think that Buffy trusted Xander to take care about Dawn, but also I think that she had remorse over Xander loosing his eye, and she didn't want to put him in harms way.

Local Maximum
15-03-13, 06:40 PM
So I wrote a long reply to Dipstick regarding Buffy's depression and the difference between season six to seven and why Grave really is a turning point. But it kind of lost the thread of the specifics of this question and I am not sure I stand by all of it, so I'll just leave it for the end of this message and spoiler tag it for length.

What I will say is that Grave is a turning point. The crucial division between pre- and post-Grave is that from late season five to early in Grave, Buffy genuinely doesn't know whether she believes the world is worth living in or life is worthwhile. In season seven Buffy never doubts it. Not once. She doubts whether she can find a way to enjoy life, what she has to sacrifice to protect the world, whether she can maintain her connections, whether she is even useful to the fight, whether she will have to die, etc., etc., but the central issue of season six is never in doubt -- to wit, that the world itself is worth continuing to exist. That doesn't get resolved until Willow nearly ends it in s6 and Buffy recognizes with all her being that she wants it to continue going; for the rest of season six Buffy faces various existential crises and doubts, structured to show her incremental progress from the depths of despair to re-embracing life.

She *does* backslide on Dawn, but she's fully devoted to Dawn in Lessons and early episodes and it's not until her duty comes back with a vengeance that Buffy neglects her fully. The reason she neglects Dawn is because Buffy knows that if the world ends, Dawn will die too. Part of the reason for her absolute belief in season five that she cannot let Dawn die to save the world is that she didn't believe the world could be worth existing without Dawn. In season six, Buffy believes that the world is worth living in even if people sometimes die -- and that means that she is committed, from her toes to the top of her head, to keeping the world spinning.

The fact that Dawn was so central to her recovery is a sign of something unhealthy about Buffy in season seven, do not get me wrong. Potential partially suggests, IMHO, that Buffy has somewhat shifted her loyalties and focus from non-supers to (potential) supers because they are under greater threat and represent a greater hope for the world to continue existing. Buffy's commitment to Dawn specifically was also a more general commitment to sharing her power and experience with the world, and that is what she tries to do with the potentials by training them and Spike & Willow by encouraging and pushing them to use their power, all of which are problematic in different ways. She can't really figure out how to do in an effective way to bring other people into power until Chosen.

But anyway, sending Xander & Dawn away is not an act against them. It is a backsliding to fail to recognize that showing Dawn the world included showing her how to fight demons (which is one of the primary manifestations of showing Dawn the world in Grave/Lessons). It is backsliding to so deny Dawn's agency. But Buffy is divided on Dawn because Dawn is part of the reason she is fighting, and someone Buffy has trained herself to consider sacrificing. Her recovery of her humanity includes the recognition that she can't and doesn't want to sacrifice Dawn and needs to keep her safe and separate even if she has to be the hard general in other ways in End of Days, and she assigns Dawn to the one person whom she trusts totally as a human being to protect her.

I think Buffy thinks she's probably going to die, as of End of Days. She is also not convinced, I think, that she isn't going to lose, and that the First will eventually win, and that Sunnydale will be Ground Zero and the destruction will spread outward. She might only be buying Xander & Dawn a few more days, but she wants to buy them every minute she can. Giving Dawn to Xander is effectively allowing her to have it both ways -- to be both the woman devoted to protecting all the world, and to have Xander fulfill the role she had set for herself in Chosen of being the person who would protect Dawn to the end of the world, so that the last thing Dawn saw was Xander protecting her. And if Buffy does die, if the whole of the Hellmouth gets destroyed but the world keeps turning, Xander is the one person Buffy trusts to raise Dawn. Giles is cold and heartless, Willow and Spike and Anya are killers. Wood or the potentials or Andrew might just dump Dawn if things got really, really bad. Xander will give his everything to protect her.

Mostly I see it metaphorically. After a year of denying her humanity in an effort to protect the world's, Buffy recognizes consciously how much she needs to value and protect her humanity (Dawn) and entrusts her to her heart (Xander) while she lets herself focus on the world. I do think that despite Dawn being her primary focus for protection, she is trying to protect Xander too, because he also is related to/representative of her connection to humanity in a way the other superpowered people aren’t and Giles isn’t (as Watcher) and Anya, Andrew and Wood aren’t as people much less central to her.

When Dawn does come back, Buffy accepts that -- she does know, really, that Dawn has a right to fight just as much as anyone does, despite her temptation. She still entrusts Dawn to Xander in the Chosen fight for the same reason.

And season eight follows up on this. (COMIC SPOILERS.) It's Xander who saw Dawn back in Potential, Xander who is asked by Buffy to protect her for the season's end. And it's Xander who is there for Dawn in season eight. Their union excludes Buffy -- she knows, in a way she struggled with over season seven, how much her own humanity, not just humanity-in-general, means to her and how necessary it is. But she still can't quite relate to Dawn, and eventually she "loses" Xander to her. But she hasn't actually lost Xander, who calls her back.

Anyway, a longer thing on season six, for interest -- though despite my love for the seasonal arc I am still not sure about some aspects of it.

Spoilered for length.

I like most of what Dipstick wrote even if I disagree on points of it. I do think that Buffy's depression grows over the years culminating in season five much the way she says.

However, Grave is a real turning point. Buffy says she wants to show Dawn the world. Dawn genuinely thought that Buffy wanted the world to be destroyed. Buffy didn't want the world to end. This is the key (no pun intended) revelation. Buffy starts season seven trying to show Dawn how to fight her own demons (Lessons) -- it's just that this gets sidetracked by a new apocalypse.

The point is not that, in season six, Buffy wouldn't have tried to fight an apocalypse. She probably would have, ultimately. But she didn’t know that. More importantly, she didn’t know that the world was worth living in. She didn’t think it was. “I don’t know how to live in this world if these are the choices. I don’t see the point.” The whole of season six is to get her from the place she is in The Gift, where a traumatic year has taken her already-fragile belief in the rightness of the world away from her, to get to a place where she genuinely believes the world is worth living in. The season repeats this conflict in almost every episode, ending again and again with Buffy making incremental progress from tacitly accepting life because she feels she has no choice, to making the full-on choice to embrace it.

Part of the core of the difference between Dipstick and I is on what season six is actually about and what it means. I enjoy reading her because her perspective makes sense, and also because it helps me form into words by contrast what I actually see in a year that’s not always easy to talk about. One of her major complaints is that the show treats Buffy’s belief that she would have been better off dead in heaven than out in the world interacting with it seriously rather than identifying it as a sick perspective. Another is that this emphasis on stasis and death as an ideal state rather than living and being full of life basically torpedoes the sense of tragedy and loss when Tara dies at the season’s end, because treating Tara’s death as a tragedy contradicts the early-season conception of life as the problem and death as the ideal. The two are not unrelated, though, and I want to try to explain why these two problems are related to each other.

Season six does something that a lot of people hate but that I love beyond love. I was going to write “some people don’t understand” but that is wrong—there are people who don’t understand it, maybe, but people can understand it and still legitimately dislike it. So we’ll just focus on my love. Here’s what it does: it genuinely questions, for a time, whether life is worth living. It doesn’t really do so from a philosophical stance but from an emotional one. The fact that Buffy, who is the emotional core of both the show and the Scooby gang, embraced death at the end of season five and then is ripped from the perfection of that moment destabilizes everyone. The show treats Sunnydale in general, the main cast more specifically, and even (ultimately) Buffy’s own damaged, came-back-wrong-question-mark brain as a closed system which almost nothing can enter into, with a handful of exceptions, mainly at the season’s beginning (resurrection, demon bikers) and end (Giles, coven’s magic), though people from the gang’s past do enter into town periodically, mostly the Finns and the demons from Anya’s past. For the most part, though, the season removes external connections and becomes deeply solipsistic and closed down and off.

Lots of people in the world enjoy life. Most people believe that life is worth living. When one is depressed—we can think of this as a chemical effect, perhaps, but I want to talk more generally, about being “in despair”—those people seem (or at least can seem) distant, alienated, incomprehensible. Accessing the number of reasons life is worth living is so difficult as to be impossible, life seems like a parody of itself, meaningless, empty. Buffy is the primary focus of the depression but it spreads around her after her return because Buffy *is* the central focus of the gang, who united in season five with the nearly-sole mission of helping to protect Buffy and her kin (“It’s what we do—we help Buffy”) and Buffy’s initial absence (while dead) and then emotional absence (while depressed) and Buffy’s inability to find life worth living poisons those around her, who try to find ways to make sense of things but are all badly weakened. There is no room for an external perspective this season because they are cut off, from the past, from adult wisdom (Giles deliberately cuts himself off, Joyce is dead). They are left to fend for themselves, all previous structures gone, external threats mostly absent or (justifiably) not taken seriously. As one of my favourite posters on LJ, beer good foamy, has said, season six is where the machine they have built to combat evil starts crushing them. (Well, his analogy was cleaner. But anyway….) And so they are left to wonder what exactly it is that they are fighting for, especially when life is constantly under threat and when it’s not under threat it’s still full of the pain that can only be escaped by death.

Which is to say that there’s no perspective identifying Buffy’s perspective as specifically wrong and unhealthy because there is no perspective sufficiently detached from Buffy to question it—Willow, Xander, Dawn, and Spike’s perspectives are so deeply entwined with Buffy’s, and Tara and Anya’s with Willow & Xander’s; Giles is both too entwined with Buffy and the slayer mythology in which slayers aren’t *supposed* to live past twenty to assure her that she should live her life, not to mention the fact that he’s never had a life outside duty and has just murdered a guy. This is part of what makes Willow, Xander and Dawn’s own belief in the world around them grow shakier and shakier, with Willow’s culminating in the season’s end. Willow’s “you hate it here as much as I do” to Buffy isn’t a matter of bitchily throwing Buffy's issues back at her, but establishing the fact that Willow's nihilism is deeply related to Buffy's and the season's apparent nihilism as well. Season six skates so close to these questions and it answers no easy offers except the fact that one must somehow have faith that life is worth it and to find joy where one can; the way Buffy & Willow both deal with this this season and the way their stories play off each other, their issues enhance each other's, is one of my favourite things about the show full stop, which is also why it's not always easy to defend them. (This was my sidebar on why I <3 <3 <3 the Dark Willow so much, because it's the perfect explosive complement to Buffy's largely implosive despair, and both are readily recognizable to me as a representation of a particular kind of personal emotional state that I feel a lot to much lesser degrees but of the same sort.)

Buffy doesn’t really want the world to end. But it’s only by being confronted with the possibility of losing life in some manner or another that she recognizes its value. In Bargaining she crawls out of her grave because she has to, in After Life fights the demon because she feels she has to, in OMWF stops dancing when Spike tells her she can go on living, and the reason only he can tell her that is because he’s dead and can feel (though he doesn’t entirely recognize it) what he lacks in a way that none of the living characters can. In Gone she realizes that she doesn’t want to die, but that’s not the same as realizing she wants to live. In Normal Again she has the choice of two worlds, which seem equally real to her, and her choice is between a recasting of her deeply protected, free-of-troubles heaven into a lunatic asylum and the real world, and she chooses the real world. All this is to bring her to the end of the season, and she has already made the choice to live by the time Tara dies—she just doesn’t know why. But it takes Tara’s death for the tragedy of death to be real again to Buffy—she literally is shot at the same time as Tara, and Tara’s brush with death *is* figuratively Buffy’s own re-encounter with death as horror/tragedy to be avoided rather than an ending to the slings and arrows of life. In TTG she knows she wants to save Willow from herself but is completely unable to articulate why; she’s recovered enough to know that she’s chosen life, but not enough to know why. She still doesn’t know why when Giles talks to her, but he has brought the Outside Perspective they didn’t/couldn’t have at the season’s beginning (Giles needed his time away to be able to laugh); he still can’t give her a reason to live, because Buffy has to find that herself, but he can reassure her that her painful year isn’t the end of the world.

And then it’s a combination of Willow’s apocalypse, Buffy’s absolute certainty that she wants to stop it, her not having to stop it, removing at least some of the burden of having to be the protagonist/hero, and recognizing that Dawn has her own agency. Willow resolves Buffy’s spiritual crisis by presenting Buffy with exactly what she’s (thought she) wanted all year long and Buffy being able to see clearly that she doesn’t want the world to end. And Dawn’s role here is important because Buffy’s realization she needs to show Dawn the world is associated specifically not just with the beauty of the world but with fighting demons. Her epiphany is that Dawn can live a full life without having to be shielded from the bad in it, and that resolves her own doubts because she recognizes, genuinely, that both the good and the “bad” of the world can be shared and by seeing her experience reflected in Dawn she can recognize the value of her own experience. Demon-fighting is not to be cut off from one’s conception of life, but should be part of it, just as deep-rooted spiritual unease should be resolved by recognizing and loving said unease (what we get with Xander/Willow). The season is a long path for Buffy to recover her belief that the world is worth living. That belief is not so much bolstered by philosophical argument but by the rediscovery that the world matters to her and that pain can be lived through.

Dipstick
15-03-13, 06:57 PM
Really bad and embarrassing decision. I stand by that. Buffy completely underestimated how indispensable Xander is to this effort. If Buffy is playing to win the Apocalypse Sweepstakes, she should absolutely take Xander where she could.


I also wouldn't find any contradiction in what Buffy said anyway. By the time End of Days rolls around Buffy is of the opinion that "times up" and the battle is about to begin. Xander has at times saved Buffy in combat (Phases etc) but I really don't think that's what Buffy was referring to when she says he's the reason she's made it this far. She's referring to his emotional support, his loyalty, his friendship, all of which have helped gotten her this far but truth be told aren't going to be able to aid her much in the climatic battle. Which is actually exactly how Chosen plays out only Xander and Dawn stay for the fight but aren't within close enough proximity to fight back-to-back with Buffy down in the Hellmouth. Just like in End of Days, Buffy steers Xander towards Dawn.

Xander's got a long tradition of coming up with innovative, world-saving ideas at the last minute. He really has an amazingly imaginative mind under pressure that's proven itself and time and time again. Xander brought Buffy back with CPR, used a rocket launcher to take out the Judge, mobilized the Sunnydale students to fight the Mayor's army (and lookee here, S7 was another war), came up with the idea to combine Willow's, Giles's and Buffy's talents to defeat Adam, successfully appealed to Willow's heart when no one else could, etc.

After that kind of track record if I was planning on *winning* the apocalyptic struggle, I'd keep Xander around.

To say nothing of the fact, that it was a real and genuine possibility that the Potentials would back out of following Buffy into battle at the last minute. She gained enough trust in her plan once she brought back the Scythe but the Potentials never liked her. The way that I see it (especially after Faith's botched leadership), Xander was the only guy in the house with the reserves of affection and trust and respect from the Potentials to lead skittish Potentials in battle.

I think that's why Buffy's choice bothered me so much -for the reasons that you defend Buffy's choice. Buffy was aware that Xander loved Dawn and would protect Dawn with his law and that Xander has offered Buffy important emotional support. Great, it's correct of Buffy to observe this.

However, with Buffy's "I've saved the world, I've made the tough choices" which Buffy never recants, I get the impression that Buffy so isolated herself that she believes that it's been her ideas and choices solely that save the world while the others provide approval and support. Which is wrong. Quite a few times (most notably in the last apocalypse), Xander's ideas are the a big part why the world is still turning.

And Buffy gives me the impression in Chosen that she believes that because she got the Scythe and came up with a plan that got support that the Potentials now whole-heartedly embrace her as a leader. Which IMO is hubris.

Which is why:


Buffy is passing on her "strength" to Dawn to ensure her sister's safety above her own. It's the same reason (or at least one of the reasons) she rejects Angel's offer to fight shoulder-to-shoulder which would surely benefit her, absolutely, but she'd rather Angel work on a second front should she lose. In both cases Buffy is prioritising others (Dawn & the world) over whatever momentary benefit Angel and Xander could offer her by fighting at her side.

Analogizing Xander to Angel is the part of the problem of this analysis. Angel hasn't contributed one indispensable idea or played on indispensable role in stopping an apocalypse- other than his one delivery in End of Days. He's never even met the Potentials, let alone gotten their confidence, let alone become the universal favorite Scooby of the Potentials.

Maybe I'm being too much of a Xander-fan to require Buffy to act like she needs Xander everywhere- protecting Dawn, coming up with ideas, motivating the Potentials, being Buffy's moral support, etc. However, I can't get away from the sheer truth that Xander was *due* those plaudits. And that sending him away from leadership or battle strategy is a strong indication that Buffy doesn't get how much Xander brings to the party on those fronts.

I think that's a general part of Buffy's relationship with Xander and Dawn. She emotionally values them. However, she underscores and undersells their value to the Hard Stuff of fighting evil- in large part because they don't have superpowers.

I'll respond to Local Max's post later. I just saw it.

ETA: Local Max's point was really some deep and sophisticated analysis. I don't even know if I *can* respond. I'll try though.

Local Maximum
15-03-13, 07:12 PM
FWIW, while I think that Buffy sends Xander away (as I mentioned) because she values him and his commitment to Dawn, I agree with Dipstick's comments that she undervalues them and there is real hubris in prioritizing her need to protect her loved ones over their own contributions. I think these are flaws of Buffy's, in s7 -- undervaluing others' contributions, backsliding on her repeated attempts to recognize and value others. But a lot of the show is about Buffy trying to figure out how to be heroic without losing her humanity, and the results of the Empty Places ejection was largely that Buffy came to recognize her own isolation in Touched and (I think) recognize how much it actually is important to her to maintain and prioritize her human feelings, even if that has the ironic effect of sending her most loved representatives of her humanity away. She still hasn't gotten all the way there. But in Chosen she includes them and that is what is important (to me).

I meant to mention also, I like what Dipstick writes about #35 and want to expand a bit more (spoilered for non-comics people) --

I don't think Buffy would have stayed in Twilight dimension in s6-7. There's no evidence that she had the option of leaving heaven in s6; and while she didn't want to, she did step up to save her friends repeatedly. In Normal Again she did choose her friends over the fake existence which connects to her heaven experience.

That said, she wouldn't have, in s6 at least, left the Twilight dimension with the same conviction and joy she does in #35. I think she would have left so she could save her friends and sister, but super-reluctantly and begrudgingly and angry. This is part of the tragedy -- the Twilight arc actually ends with Buffy fully committed to and embracing life, but it's only after she's already lost so much.

I also agree that making a slayer army was a big part of Buffy's forward movement in s8; I *do* think her opening her heart to Spike is also important. The two are intertwined since her relationship with Spike (and Angel and Riley) are partly about Buffy's attraction to other (souled, mostly) supers who can navigate the same complicated space between human and demon that she has to walk in. (Riley is a chemically-altered human who functions as something of a super -- but an artificial one.) The slayer army expands the number of people she can connect to on that level and removes the absolute necessity of her being The slayer from her, but the connection ends up overriding her "now I can have a life of my own" impulses. Willow is a complicated case in that she has superpowers but Buffy can only recognize her as powerful enough to be a potential partner figure after Buffy is already isolated, and it's not really until season eight where this gets explored more carefully/closely.

While season six is one of my favourite seasons (probably my favourite), I think season seven is in a dead heat with s1 for my least favourite televised year -- I think s1 is better but less ambitious, s7 has more of my favourite subjects/themes/elements but is, ahem, much rougher. Buffy has a relatively strong arc but it's hard to place exactly how she feels about the various people in her life, to the season's big demerit. I do think that while s8 has confused the issue of how Buffy felt about Spike in a lot of ways, it did a lot to clarify her feelings about Willow, Xander, Dawn and Giles.

Anyway I am thankful again for Dipstick's post about that -- again, I think that season eight has gotten so little love lately that it's good to remember what it did very well.

Rihannon
16-03-13, 02:47 AM
I had to choose the fourth option, I agree both with the first and third options, but not completely. My thoughts:

Option 1: It shows that she trusts him the most with her sister

I could not say if Buffy trusts him "the most", but I would say she trusts him completely. Same difference? Maybe, but I don't think so. I don't think Buffy would be thinking at the moment who was more trustworthy, but she probably would give her sister to the care of one she trusts without reserves.

Option 2: It was embarrassing to Xander after years of fighting by her side

I don't know if I understand this one right. Don't see how embarrassment could be something to consider here.

Option 3:She wanted to protect Xander as well

Probably, to a certain degree, but I don't think she would ask him to leave if it wasn't for Dawn. I'm sure she was aware of how reliable and useful he could be at a crisis. I think she would see letting Xander go as a necessary loss in order to assure Dawn's safety, not a way to have one less person to worry about. At this point (seasons 6 and 7), I'm sure Buffy didn't think of any member of the gang (except Dawn) as someone she has to protect.
Still, I guess she would tell herself she is doing it for the safety of both Xander and Dawn, so...

MikeB
24-04-13, 03:32 AM
* Given that Xander was the contractor who built the new Sunnydale High School and who was building the new Sunnydale Public Library, I assume that Xander could have been a multi-millionaire in BtVS S7. Given Giles lived in a glorified studio apartment; Buffy perhaps assumed Giles wasn’t rich.

Buffy chose Xander because she assumed he could financially support her and because he was likely to be the least effective fighter in the big fight (aside from Dawn).


* Also, nothing suggests Buffy knew the “Chosen” (7.22) UberVamps would be relatively easy to kill. If the UberVamps in “Chosen” were anything like the ones she fought earlier, having Xander and Dawn in the fight would simply result in their deaths.


* If Joyce were still around, she’d have Joyce taking Dawn out of town. The question is why Buffy chose Xander instead of someone else.

KingofCretins
24-04-13, 03:53 AM
* Given that Xander was the contractor who built the new Sunnydale High School and who was building the new Sunnydale Public Library, I assume that Xander could have been a multi-millionaire in BtVS S7. Given Giles lived in a glorified studio apartment; Buffy perhaps assumed Giles wasn’t rich.

That might be true if Xander were the general contractor for the entire project but that is... implausible, for any number of reasons. Take the implausibility of Buffy being hired for her job in Season 7 and raise it a few orders of magnitude, and you have Xander as general contractor of a multi-million contract to build a government building in California of all places.

There's no indication from his lifestyle that he had that sort of wealth. We saw him in one suit and he drove, if I recall, a 2001-ish Chrysler Sebring, which while a lovely domestic sedan, is hardly the purchase of a millionaire with significant disposable income, even in 2002.


Buffy chose Xander because she assumed he could financially support her and because he was likely to be the least effective fighter in the big fight (aside from Dawn).

I'm sure it pleases you to assume so, but you also have to recall Buffy didn't send him away with Dawn because she was expecting to live, which is to say, she didn't do it because she thought her fighters' supreme skill or lack thereof had more than an outside chance of making a difference. Her plans prior to coming up with the spell idea -- both Xander and Dawn leaving and Angel's "second front" -- were contingent on an expectation that they would probably lose.

So sending her most effective or least effective fighter with Dawn was something that would make no difference; what she wanted was someone she knew would defend Dawn with absolute commitment, and in that, there were no better options.


* Also, nothing suggests Buffy knew the “Chosen” (7.22) UberVamps would be relatively easy to kill. If the UberVamps in “Chosen” were anything like the ones she fought earlier, having Xander and Dawn in the fight would simply result in their deaths.

Well, there was nothing for Buffy to know -- Conservation of Ninjutsu (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ConservationOfNinjutsu) is a trope, not a story element. The expectation is that the audience will suspend disbelief a little with the Turok-han, not that the actual characters were suddenly unimpressed by them. Certainly no character acted that way; they all behaved as though any and all of them were as fierce and frightening as the first was.


* If Joyce were still around, she’d have Joyce taking Dawn out of town. The question is why Buffy chose Xander instead of someone else.

She probably would have still sent Xander with them to protect both of them instead of just Dawn. That's my immediate instinctive response to the hypothetical.

Gemini9857
24-04-13, 05:12 PM
I think it was because Xander was the only option that made sense. She obviously wasn't going to send Dawn off with a potential, she needed Willow to stay for the spell, I think she intended for Giles to stay and fight and she obviously believed she needed Spike. Buffy probably felt like Xander was the person she needed the least and trusted him over Anya (and Andrew).

MikeB
29-05-13, 07:35 AM
KingofCretins

* Xander being the contractor for the entire Sunnydale High School and for the Sunnydale Public Library seems to be how things are presented.


There's no indication from his lifestyle that he had that sort of wealth. We saw him in one suit and he drove, if I recall, a 2001-ish Chrysler Sebring, which while a lovely domestic sedan, is hardly the purchase of a millionaire with significant disposable income, even in 2002. Warren Buffet wore Chinese suits and lived in a house worth around $700K that he bought decades ago. Xander was frugal (which is one of the main reasons his credit was good enough to get that apartment). Xander in BtVS S6 didn’t seem to want the responsibility and hassle of owning a home or maybe simply he didn’t want to buy a house in Sunnydale. Xander not being ‘flashy’ or whatever doesn’t mean he didn’t have wealth.


* Buffy assumed she could win the fight in “Chosen” (7.22); otherwise, there was no point in even having the fight. If Willow, Spike with the amulet, Buffy, and Faith, and a few dozen new Slayers couldn’t defeat the Turok-han army, the world was doomed. She needed the best fighters there. So, Xander being the least effective fighter (aside from Dawn) that she had likely weighed into her calculations and considerations in choosing him to take Dawn away from the fight.


* None of those killing the Turok-han considers that all the Turok-han were just as ferocious and powerful as the first one Buffy faced.


* I agree that if Joyce were still around, Buffy likely would still send Xander away. My point is that she sent Xander because he could financially take care of Dawn but also because Xander was the ‘least capable’ – aside from Dawn – of the fighters that remained.

KingofCretins
29-05-13, 01:11 PM
KingofCretins

* Xander being the contractor for the entire Sunnydale High School and for the Sunnydale Public Library seems to be how things are presented.

No it isn't. It's just an outlandish piece of supposition lacking any significant factual support from within the story.


* Buffy assumed she could win the fight in “Chosen” (7.22); otherwise, there was no point in even having the fight. If Willow, Spike with the amulet, Buffy, and Faith, and a few dozen new Slayers couldn’t defeat the Turok-han army, the world was doomed. She needed the best fighters there. So, Xander being the least effective fighter (aside from Dawn) that she had likely weighed into her calculations and considerations in choosing him to take Dawn away from the fight.

Assuming she could win and expecting it aren't the same thing. Gen. Eisenhower had two letters (http://www.dailyfinance.com/2012/06/06/the-chilling-letter-eisenhower-drafted-in-case-the-nazis-won-on/) ready on the eve of the D-Day invasion, one announcing their successful landing and one announcing that he had ordered the Allied forces to withdraw and taking responsibility for it.

Buffy's idea for how to fight and that it might matter was her "we win" letter before her personal Normandy; sending Xander and Dawn away and sending Angel off were her "we lose" letter. Figuratively speaking.


* None of those killing the Turok-han considers that all the Turok-han were just as ferocious and powerful as the first one Buffy faced.

Again, just supposition on your part. The fact that it was never commented on by any character at all supports the inference that the writers want to preserve the illusion that all of them are pretty terrifying.


* I agree that if Joyce were still around, Buffy likely would still send Xander away. My point is that she sent Xander because he could financially take care of Dawn but also because Xander was the ‘least capable’ – aside from Dawn – of the fighters that remained.

Your point, as ever, is that you don't think Xander is worth a wet turd wrapped in a paper towel. The narrative continually begs to differ, however, and Buffy's explanation to Xander in "End of Days" is valid on its face. As I have before, I'll compare it to Seraph's job from "The Matrix" sequels -- "he protects that which matters most". That was Seraph's job. Was Seraph the biggest overall badass in all the Matrix? No. Was he the most badass the Oracle had access to? Maybe, maybe not. But it was his job, it seems, because he was the one most committed to it. Commitment > Skill.

If it was your closest loved one you wanted to protect, Mike, would you want to send them off with someone who was supremely powerful but ultimately pretty indifferent to your loved one? Or would you want someone who may be only nominally powerful in the grand scheme of things but was intensely loyal and protective and would never, ever yield?

MikeB
02-07-13, 11:30 AM
KingofCretins

My quote: “Xander being the contractor for the entire Sunnydale High School and for the Sunnydale Public Library seems to be how things are presented.”

This is how Xander talks about the projects and this is how things are depicted on the show. Unless you have actual evidence to the contrary, there’s no point in my further arguing this.


Assuming she could win [the fight in “Chosen” (7.22)] and expecting it aren't the same thing. I said, “Buffy assumed she could win the fight” not “Buffy assumed she would win the fight”.


Gen. Eisenhower had two letters ready on the eve of the D-Day invasion, one announcing their successful landing and one announcing that he had ordered the Allied forces to withdraw and taking responsibility for it.

Buffy's idea for how to fight and that it might matter was her "we win" letter before her personal Normandy; sending Xander and Dawn away and sending Angel off were her "we lose" letter. Figuratively speaking. That makes no sense given that if Buffy lost, those three were soon going to be dead anyway.


* My quote: “None of those killing the Turok-han considers that all the Turok-han were just as ferocious and powerful as the first one Buffy faced.”

Unless you’re trying to argue that those in “Chosen” (7.22) suddenly were extremely delusional, there’s no point in my continuing to argue this.


The fact that it was never commented on by any character at all supports the inference that the writers want to preserve the illusion that all of them are pretty terrifying. Joss has acknowledged that the UberVamps in “Chosen” (7.22) were relatively week and pathetic.


If it was your closest loved one you wanted to protect, Mike, would you want to send them off with someone who was supremely powerful but ultimately pretty indifferent to your loved one? Or would you want someone who may be only nominally powerful in the grand scheme of things but was intensely loyal and protective and would never, ever yield? First off, Spike was Buffy’s “closest loved one” and probably Angel was her next “closest loved one”. Buffy hasn’t been relatively close to Dawn since BtVS S5.

Secondly, Spike in early BtVS S5 and BtVS S6 showed he was “intensely loyal” to Dawn and “protective” of Dawn “and would never, ever yield”. All Xander had done prior to BtVS S8 was babysit Dawn.

Willow in BtVS S7 wasn’t indifferent to Dawn. Willow was intensely loyal to Buffy and protective of Buffy. Willow did dangerous spells because Buffy needed her to use powerful magic.

Spike and/or Willow would have been a far better ‘bodyguard’ for Dawn than Xander could be. However, Spike and Willow were needed in the battle against the First Evil.

Buffy tells Xander that his being one-eyed means he’s not as capable as before. Compared to Slayers, a Vampire Slayer Slayer, and an extremely powerful witch, Xander isn’t even nominally powerful. The guy at the time was a not-well muscled human who recently got his eye poked out.

He’s sent off with Dawn because he’s financially able to take care of her and, aside from perhaps Dawn, he’d be the least useful of Buffy and Co. in the ‘big fight’.

KingofCretins
02-07-13, 02:18 PM
KingofCretins

My quote: “Xander being the contractor for the entire Sunnydale High School and for the Sunnydale Public Library seems to be how things are presented.”

This is how Xander talks about the projects and this is how things are depicted on the show. Unless you have actual evidence to the contrary, there’s no point in my further arguing this.

My quote: It doesn't make your argument more convincing when you cite your own opinion as persuasive authority to support... itself.

This statement is true.


Unless you’re trying to argue that those in “Chosen” (7.22) suddenly were extremely delusional, there’s no point in my continuing to argue this.

What I'm trying to do is get you to realize that tropes the audience can recognize are not things that the characters will recognize. The Scoobies and Potentials would have no more perceived that Turok-han had suddenly had fallen victim to Conversation of Ninjutsu than would the Rebels in "Return of the Jedi" suddenly started planning around the fact that Stormtroopers can't aim for shit. You as a mature consumer of fiction have to be able to suspend your disbelief a little bit. Did it appear to you that Kennedy found the three Turok-han that cornered the survivors of the explosion any less imposing than she had the original one? Of course not -- because to her, there is no difference, she exists within the trope, she can't reflect it without breaking the illusion.


First off, Spike was Buffy’s “closest loved one” and probably Angel was her next “closest loved one”. Buffy hasn’t been relatively close to Dawn since BtVS S5.

How are we supposed to have a serious discussion when you're going to make factual assertions like that Buffy loves Spike more than she loves her sister? I mean, really.

MikeB
30-07-13, 07:51 AM
KingofCretins

* My quote: “My quote: “Xander being the contractor for the entire Sunnydale High School and for the Sunnydale Public Library seems to be how things are presented.””

It seems you don’t have “actual evidence to the contrary”.


* The characters know that that the Turok-han in “Chosen” (7.22) weren’t as formidable as the first one Buffy faced. Again, to think otherwise is to assume “that those in “Chosen” (7.22) suddenly were extremely delusional”.


How are we supposed to have a serious discussion when you're going to make factual assertions like that Buffy loves Spike more than she loves her sister? Watch “Lies My Parents Told Me” (7.17) again.

KingofCretins
30-07-13, 06:03 PM
KingofCretins

* My quote: “My quote: “Xander being the contractor for the entire Sunnydale High School and for the Sunnydale Public Library seems to be how things are presented.””

It seems you don’t have “actual evidence to the contrary”.

A self-evidently better basis of knowledge of government/business contracting? I did GSA contract sales for an IT company once upon a time, and I can tell you with authoritative clarity, a 22 year old run contracting start-up, let alone one that doesn't qualify for any sort of preference (like woman or minority owned) gets made the general contractor on a public school contract worth tens of millions at the w end, let alone in a union besotten state.

I am telling you bluntly that the Hellmouth is more realistic than that scenario.


* The characters know that that the Turok-han in “Chosen” (7.22) weren’t as formidable as the first one Buffy faced. Again, to think otherwise is to assume “that those in “Chosen” (7.22) suddenly were extremely delusional”.

Since nobody comments on it at all, a savvy audience will assume that the illusion within the trope holds.


Watch “Lies My Parents Told Me” (7.17) again.

Nothing in that episode supports this indefensible premise.

MikeB
27-08-13, 07:01 AM
KingofCretins


A self-evidently better basis of knowledge of government/business contracting? I did GSA contract sales for an IT company once upon a time, and I can tell you with authoritative clarity, a 22 year old run contracting start-up, let alone one that doesn't qualify for any sort of preference (like woman or minority owned) gets made the general contractor on a public school contract worth tens of millions at the w end, let alone in a union besotten state. In another thread, you said you were from Florida. So, what would you know of California government contracts anyway?

I never said it was realistic that Xander would have been given the contract to build the new high school or the new library. I said that’s how things are presented in the show.


* When would anyone in “Chosen” (7.22) have commented on the fact that the Turok-han they were facing were less formidable than the first one Buffy faced?

And none of them after “Chosen”, thought they were just as good a ‘slayer’ as Buffy. There’s simply zero evidence that any of them thought the Turok-han they were facing were as formidable as the first one Buffy faced.


So, again, “The characters know that that the Turok-han in “Chosen” (7.22) weren’t as formidable as the first one Buffy faced. Again, to think otherwise is to assume “that those in “Chosen” (7.22) suddenly were extremely delusional”.


* Buffy/Spike is another thread topic. If you don’t understand the “Lies My Parents Told Me” (7.17) stuff, it’s pointless to discuss that with you in this thread.

KingofCretins
27-08-13, 10:38 AM
KingofCretins

In another thread, you said you were from Florida. So, what would you know of California government contracts anyway?

Because California isn't on Neptune? Are you kidding?


I never said it was realistic that Xander would have been given the contract to build the new high school or the new library. I said that’s how things are presented in the show.

Except it was never presented that way. Has anybody besides you ever perceived it that way, that Xander came across as being in charge of the entire project at the school or the library?


* When would anyone in “Chosen” (7.22) have commented on the fact that the Turok-han they were facing were less formidable than the first one Buffy faced?

They wouldn't have, is my point, because doing so would be the only way to create a canonical, Watsonian fact out of the illusion. If someone had, your going on and on about the later Turok-Han being weaker would have some canonical weight instead of just being the storytelling cheat that everybody else recognizes it as. Your inability to accept that Tropes Exist is the only problem here. This is entirely a client-side issue.


* Buffy/Spike is another thread topic. If you don’t understand the “Lies My Parents Told Me” (7.17) stuff, it’s pointless to discuss that with you in this thread.

Between the two of us, I'm the only one with any idea what was actually going on in that episode as far as I can see.

buffyholic
03-09-13, 11:06 AM
Buffy wanted to send Xander and Dawn away to protect them. It´s not that she didn´t trust that they could handle themselves, it´s more she didn´t wanna put them in harm´s way since they were the "less powerful" in the group. And in an earlier post was something that I think it´s interesting. It said that Buffy felt some remorse from what happened to Xander and I agree.

MikeB
03-10-13, 06:06 AM
KingofCretins

* Xander could financially support Dawn. That’s a reason why Buffy would send Xander with Dawn.


your going on and on about the later Turok-Han being weaker would have some canonical weight That is canon. Joss has said the later ones are weaker than the first one Buffy faced. Again, for the topic, Buffy specifically points out Xander’s lack of an eye as a reason why she’s sending him away.



buffyholic


Buffy wanted to send Xander and Dawn away to protect them. It´s not that she didn´t trust that they could handle themselves, it´s more she didn´t wanna put them in harm´s way since they were the "less powerful" in the group. If she thought they could handle themselves, there’d be no need to send them away to protect them.

cryyhavoc
19-10-13, 12:53 AM
because Xander was the ‘least capable’ – aside from Dawn – of the fighters that remained.


aside from perhaps Dawn, he’d be the least useful of Buffy and Co. in the ‘big fight’.

Of course, Andrew and Anya were extremely crucial to the fight, and so much more capable than Dawn and Xander. Hell thier very presence turned the tide of the battle into Buffy's favor, good thing she didn't send them away for being the 'least capable".


If she thought they could handle themselves, there’d be no need to send them away to protect them.

I guess 7 years of experience fighting on the hellmouth alongside Buffy counts as nothing with you.

cheryl4ba
22-10-13, 05:43 AM
I think 1&3 are true. Buffy does trust Xander but she also wanted to keep him safe. He had already lost a eye, seems rational to me.

Gemini9857
22-10-13, 07:09 PM
I think she may have also been trying to protect Xander. I think a big part of it was that she saw Xander as being the least necessary (of the people she really cared about). She wanted Willow there so they'd be able to utilize magic so Xander was the most obvious choice. She also I think at that point really wanted Spike with her in the fight and she was having some trust issues with Giles.

But I think it may have also been that Xander was someone she could trust to take care of Dawn - I don't know that she would have left Dawn with Anya or Andrew.

MikeB
23-10-13, 08:28 AM
All caught up



cryyhavoc

You either didn't read my above posts or you are simply trying to make straw man arguments.

Buffy sent Xander with Dawn because of a combination of Xander's relative usefulness in the fight, his ability to financially support Dawn, and his willingness to take care of Dawn.


I guess 7 years of experience fighting on the hellmouth alongside Buffy counts as nothing with you. Buffy mentions he's missing an eye. Buffy sent him with Dawn.


She also I think at that point really wanted Spike with her in the fight Spike couldn't even drive Dawn to school. There is no relevant Spike-Xander comparison for this topic.


and she was having some trust issues with Giles. Giles was the more capable fighter.


I don't know that she would have left Dawn with Anya or Andrew. She wouldn't.

Shaner1000
11-11-13, 12:28 PM
I always viewed it as Buffy wanting to keep Xander safe, but also trusting Xander enough to look after Dawn in case she died.

In addition to that, like Gemini9857 said, I think Buffy viewed Xander as the least necessary out of the Scoobies. Xander was half-blind and had no super-powers...of course Buffy would want to keep him safe and out of danger. He'd already lost enough in that time period.