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View Full Version : How Would Buffy Deal with the Demon from Enemies if Faith Didn't Kill Him First?



Dipstick
12-07-13, 04:47 PM
This is inspired from the conversation in the Angel Season 3 thread. In Enemies, Faith was about to kill a quirky demon that wanted to sell the slayers the books of Ascension for $5,000. Buffy told Faith to let him go because he doesn't fall into the deadly threat to humanity category. Wesley sent Buffy to "persuade" the demon to give them the books, after Buffy sarcastically asked if anyone had five grand. However, Faith killed the demon first.

How do you think Buffy would have dealt with the situation if she found the demon alive in his apartment with the books? Consider Buffy's track record with demons and how much she would do to get the Books of Ascension at that point (i.e. she barely knew about them or what an Ascension was).

Local Maximum
12-07-13, 06:06 PM
I don't think Buffy would kill the demon for not giving her the books. But I think it's within her M.O. to beat the demon -- or, more precisely, intersperse her negotiations with punches. At the very least, she certainly will include the threat of punching.

It's actually interesting to compare this with her M.O. with Willy, whom she "beat up a couple of times" in Innocence and who asks her to punch him in Amends. She would never kill Willy (except in self-defense), but depending on how seriously we take that line in Innocence she might use more than the threat of violence to go after him.

KingofCretins
12-07-13, 06:08 PM
I don't think Buffy would kill the demon for not giving her the books. But I think it's within her M.O. to beat the demon -- or, more precisely, intersperse her negotiations with punches. At the very least, she certainly will include the threat of punching.

It's actually interesting to compare this with her M.O. with Willy, whom she "beat up a couple of times" in Innocence and who asks her to punch him in Amends. She would never kill Willy (except in self-defense), but depending on how seriously we take that line in Innocence she might use more than the threat of violence to go after him.

If the demon was going to force the issue -- you can only have the books over his cold dead body -- Buffy would have found his proposal acceptable. She would not have gone flouncing back to Giles agonizing over how they can possibly get these books.

Now, far be it from me to suggest Buffy wouldn't have tried to just... y'know, ask. Cajole, convince. But his demands were never ever ever going to be a material obstacle to her getting the books. There was no scenario, none, in which he was leaving town with the books without just leaving before Buffy ever came to him.

Dipstick
12-07-13, 06:24 PM
I pretty much agree entirely with King of Cretins.


Now, far be it from me to suggest Buffy wouldn't have tried to just... y'know, ask. Cajole, convince. But his demands were never ever ever going to be a material obstacle to her getting the books. There was no scenario, none, in which he was leaving town with the books without just leaving before Buffy ever came to him.

I agree that Buffy's favorite option would be to nicely persuade and not have to apply force at all.

However, both my own distrust of demons and my own cyncism about everyone (human and demon) and profit motives, makes me doubt that the demon would hand over the books for free without force.


If the demon was going to force the issue -- you can only have the books over his cold dead body -- Buffy would have found his proposal acceptable. She would not have gone flouncing back to Giles agonizing over how they can possibly get these books.

Right. And that speaks right to the point that I made on the Angel thread. In sum, Buffy feels that demons as a general class are open for her to kill unless they do or are something that Buffy feels emotionally uncomfortable killing.

If the demon persisted in being an grasping, money-grubbing jerk-off who wanted his $5,000 even though he's got a slayer saying that she needs those books for the good of humanity, that demon would turn from being a cute little quirky guy who isn't a threat into a demon that Buffy can kill for the sake of humanity.

However, humans like Willy the Snitch or Ethan Rayne, have a constitutional right to be grasping jerk-offs out for their own self-aggrandizement and money at the expense of everyone else....and not be slain by Buffy.

In short, the real human v. demon distinction in the Buffyverse (and definitely on BtVS). Humans don't have to prove or do anything to be immune from Buffy's slaying. Demons have to prove why they shouldn't be slain, in light of everything.

Stoney
12-07-13, 11:32 PM
As I remember it the demon was being played as a bit of a chancer but wasn't really threatening. I would have expected something along the cliche of 'it's the easy way or the hard way' and her go for a quick incapacitating punch before taking the books and walking away if he hadn't given them up. They could have played the scene in a way that made it seem like she was slaying a demon who could be a threat rather than just a petty crook/reasonably harmless one trying his arm, that is possible of course, but wouldn't have been what I would have expected that time. I think Buffy would have just been pretty straight up about it and then just taken them if they weren't handed over with very little effort. I don't think there is a chance that she would have left without or paid for them. So, I suppose option three but more punch/take than beat which sounds more gratuitous to me than I think would have been required.

vampmogs
16-07-13, 09:41 AM
As I remember it the demon was being played as a bit of a chancer but wasn't really threatening.

Yep. Just before Faith kicks open his door we see him packing his things and he takes his pet fish with him. Now, having sentimentality for a pet doesn't necessarily make someone not evil but it seems like the writers way of establishing that as far as demons go this guy was pretty harmless. I also think they deliberately established that he was unthreatening (“Oh let him go. I don’t think he falls into the deadly threat to humanity category”) to make Faith’s slaying of him so dark.

The only way they could have had Buffy kill him and make it ok would be in self-defence. To kill him just for the books would make it exactly the same as Faith and since she wasn't ready "yet" to unleash that darkness, I think it goes without saying that Buffy wouldn't have slain him. We don't actually find out if Wesley gave Buffy the cash to trade with the demon (she told Giles and Wes about it in the library) but it's entirely possible since they established that the Council reimburses for that. Otherwise I think Buffy would have probably menaced the guy and roughed him up a bit. I cannot see her killing him just for the books when if she had to she could have just knocked unconscious etc.

KingofCretins
16-07-13, 11:53 AM
Well, certainly if they were going to actually allow a minor demon to shake them down for the tools to save probably thousands of lives, I would be too embarrassed to speak of it much, which would explain why they wouldn't have ever mentioned having gotten the money together, heh.

I think the moral difference between Faith and Buffy in the hypo is that Faith was a) never giving the demon an option to walk away from the encounter, for a couple of reasons, and b) wanted to books to advance the cause of killing thousands of people. The couple reasons being efficiency but also so he couldn't tell Buffy.

Buffy would have given the guy a chance to hand the stuff over, is the difference I think matters. As far as killing him, again, what we're talking about is her being in a scenario where he is intentionally putting his life and only his life between her and the books, either by refusing to back down, maybe threatening to destroy them, etc. Buffy was never going to just go to the Books of Ascension Store and accept that they were out of stock or that she couldn't afford it before payday.

vampmogs
16-07-13, 12:21 PM
As far as killing him, again, what we're talking about is her being in a scenario where he is intentionally putting his life and only his life between her and the books, either by refusing to back down, maybe threatening to destroy them, etc.

Neither of which requires killing though. The only reason Buffy would have to kill the demon is if he attacked her and she was forced to kill him out of self-defence. If that occurred then, yeah, I agree she'd be willing to slay him if she had to. Otherwise I think it’s far more IC for Buffy to just beat him up (knock him unconscious or incapacitate him in some other way) and then take the books. We know for a fact she didn’t consider him a deadly threat and stopped Faith killing him needlessly. Buffy may value human life more than she does demon life but I don't believe she takes killing any creature lightly if she doesn't consider them a lethal threat. I can't, for instance, see her cavalierly killing Clem if she had other options.

KingofCretins
16-07-13, 12:47 PM
Neither of which requires killing though. The only reason Buffy would have to kill the demon is if he attacked her and she was forced to kill him out of self-defence. If that occurred then, yeah, I agree she'd be willing to slay him if she had to. Otherwise I think it’s far more IC for Buffy to just beat him up (knock him unconscious or incapacitate him in some other way) and then take the books. We know for a fact she didn’t consider him a deadly threat and stopped Faith killing him needlessly. Buffy may value human life more than she does demon life but I don't believe she takes killing any creature lightly if she doesn't consider them a lethal threat. I can't, for instance, see her cavalierly killing Clem if she had other options.

We could play racquetball over the circumstances all day, but it wouldn't be too hard to come up with a scenario where it wasn't his life or Buffy's, just his life or obtaining the books (something closer conceptually to "To Shanshu in L.A.", see?), and I do not think Buffy would have allowed the end result of not getting the books just to avoid killing him, whether her life is in danger or not.

Dipstick
16-07-13, 07:28 PM
We don't actually find out if Wesley gave Buffy the cash to trade with the demon (she told Giles and Wes about it in the library) but it's entirely possible since they established that the Council reimburses for that. Otherwise I think Buffy would have probably menaced the guy and roughed him up a bit. I cannot see her killing him just for the books when if she had to she could have just knocked unconscious etc.

Wow. I always took Giles and Xander's conversation about reimbursements for bribes as a *joke*. Not an establishment that the Council reimburses for bribes and $5,000 payments to demons. Maybe I should poll on this but I never dreamed that anyone took that Giles/Xander comic aside seriously to believe that Xander could be reimbursed for his bribes of Willy if he presents the CoW with a reciept.

Nor that the Council would reimburse their slayer $5,00 for buying books from a demon because Buffy doesn't want to kill him...because he's funny and cutely hapless and weak and comically talks like a 1930s gangster and has a goldfish so Buffy assumes that he's not dangerous or evil.

SMG also sarcastically delivered this:


Giles: I think you should meet with this demon, Buffy.

Buffy: Yeah? Anybody got five thousand dollars?


Wesley: Right! Books of Ascenscion, Mayor, slaughter. Tell you what. Why don't we try to find this demon sooner rather than later?
Perhaps persuade him to lend us the books free of charge.


The only way they could have had Buffy kill him and make it ok would be in self-defence. To kill him just for the books would make it exactly the same as Faith and since she wasn't ready "yet" to unleash that darkness, I think it goes without saying that Buffy wouldn't have slain him.

I agree with King of Cretins. The difference between Buffy and Faith was that Buffy was working for humanity. And Faith was working for herself which ranged from killing people for profit to killing demons just to have fun. If Buffy needed to stab this demon because he was about to set fire to the books, Buffy would do it in a heartbeat. Buffy works for humanity- not demons who seem too hapless to be dangerous but may be evil.

Curiously, Faith was more pro-demon and less into human supremacy than Buffy at this stage of the game. Faith was on a staff with vampires. She desperately wanted to bang Angelus like hard-core supers instead of making out and pointedly *not* boinking after a movie to stay as human as possible ala Bangel. She hoped and worked towards being enveloped in the slithery folds of the Mayor the Pure Demon. Faith wasn't racist towards demons or any of that crap- just Faith prioritized her own sick sense of fun and priorities above all (except the Mayor).

MikeB
07-08-13, 02:55 AM
Buffy has never had a problem with the idea of killing a demon unless she somehow knows the demon is good and/or the cost-benefit analysis concludes the world is better off with the demon remaining alive.

Buffy would have offered money. If that didn't work, she would have probably threatened the demon. If that didn't work, she would have probably beaten the demon until it gave her the books. If that didn't work, she would have probably killed the demon and taken the books.

To expand on the topic, Buffy likely would have done what was necessary if a human had the books.

Buffy later on initially tried to kill Faith to save Angel. Imagine what she would have done to help save a town of around 38K plus all the Scoobies.

MikeB
16-10-18, 07:58 PM
All caught up.

All said regarding writers, producers, actors, directors, viewers, readers, etc. are what I remember, my opinions, etc.





* For the Watchers Council and Giles, $5,000 isn’t a lot of money. It’s kinda odd that either didn’t simply ‘pony up’ the money. It could make sense in that neither felt comfortable with the idea of a demon having access to such valuable information and a demon willing to sell such valuable information to the highest bidder.




Local Maximum

* Willy the Snitch is a human whom Buffy routinely got information from—through him or through his patrons. He’s not in the same category as a demon.



Dipstick

* Buffy has no problems killing a human if necessary to save the world, stop an apocalypse, etc. She had no problem killing Amy Madison’s mother. Buffy killed Knights of Byzantium.

Buffy liked that Ethan Rayne was essentially going to a ‘black site’.

Buffy doesn’t have a ‘no kill’ policy.

_________________________________________

* There’s no such thing as being “racist against demons” in BtVS. Only AtS showed that many demons are ‘harmless’ toward humans.

Faith was not more ‘pro-demon’ than Buffy. The two—now one—loves of Buffy’s life are demons. Clem was one of Buffy’s friends. Faith in BtVS S3 was simply more pro-evil than Buffy.



Stoney

* Buffy’s best friendship with a demon aside from Spike and Angel is with Clem. In “Life Serial” (B 6.05), Buffy would have killed any to all of the poker players for information.

Buffy only became friends with Spike and Angel because she was attracted to them and she only became friends with Clem because of Spike’s friendship with Clem.


* How many times in the Buffyverse has Buffy incapacitated a demon with a quick punch? It’s much easier to simply kill the demon than incapacitate it.



vampmogs

* Very few demons are “deadly threat(s) to humanity”. Buffy’s not wanting to go ‘out of her way’ to kill the demon doesn’t mean she wouldn’t to get the Books.


* The episode doesn’t seem to imply that Wesley or Giles gave Buffy $5,000 to get the books. The episode has Wesley’s saying something like ‘persuade’ the demon to give the books.

__________________________________________

* Buffy considers almost all demons evil and threats to humans; consequently, Buffy considers almost all demons kill-worthy.

Priceless
16-10-18, 08:17 PM
I'm sure I'm just repeating what others have said, but there is no way Buffy would kill a harmless demon, no matter what the cost. She may threaten him with violence or beat him up and just take the books. The demon didn't seem at all threatening, she could have just grabbed the books and run, with no violence at all. Otherwise I see her offering a small amount of money, tell him that that's all he's getting and then taking the books.

GoSpuffy
16-10-18, 09:43 PM
Buffy would want to talk to the demon for books, definitely would beat a demon up for the books, and if she had to kill the demon to get the books to save humans she would do it easily.

bespangled
17-10-18, 02:44 AM
Of course, Buffy would kill a demon if he didn't give her trouble. She doesn't know Clem yet, or Anya. Killing demons is in her job description. To let him live is to assume he will never be a danger to humans and I don't see her giving him the benefit of the doubt. She might well have apologized, but she'd see it as her job. The only demon she hasn't killed is Spike and that was only because of Angel.

This changes as the series goes on, but in season 3 we don't explore that yet. That's why Faith had to kill a human to make her look mad, bad & dangerous.

Priceless
17-10-18, 01:41 PM
This demon is non-violent, all he wants is money. I cannot see Buffy killing a demon who does not physically threaten her or attack her. I think she'd just grab the books, throw a couple of 20's at the guy, and just walk away.

vampmogs
17-10-18, 02:12 PM
Wait, has everybody forgotten the beginning of the episode?

(the demon's name is "Skyler" according to the Shooting Script)

FAITH
I think "Die, fiend" kind of sums it up.
(to Buffy)
Wouldn't you say?
Skyler bolts. Faith is ready to give chase, but Buffy stops her.

BUFFY
Let him go. I don't think he falls in
the 'deadly threat to humanity'
category.

Buffy had already given Skyler the benefit of the doubt that he wasn't a danger to humanity. She stops Faith from chasing after him for that very reason.

So, IMO, no, it has already been established that Buffy wouldn't kill Skyler. She'd already made her mind up about him at the cemetery and lets him go on the basis that she doesn't consider him a threat. I imagine she planned on roughing him up and taking The Books of Ascension regardless of whether he willingly handed them over or not (she may have tossed him whatever pocket money she managed to scrounge together, if I'm being really generous) but she had no intention of killing him. If, however, he attacked her with lethal force, then yes, she'd have killed him, but we know for a fact that she didn't feel it was justified or necessary. She explicitly says so.

This is the first time in the series that Buffy comes across a demon (other than ensouled Angel) that she openly expresses she doesn't believe deserves to die. However, in Becoming II she also met Whistler and assumed that he was a "immortal demon sent down to even the score between good and evil" thus already establishing that Buffy was aware that not all demons are necessarily evil (and in Becoming I Whistler told Angel that "not all demons are dedicated to the destruction of all life"). So it had already been established in Season 2/3 that not all demons are evil and that Buffy will only kill demons if they pose a threat to humanity. Enemies is interesting in that it's not only the first episode of the Buffyverse that depicts a demon in full demonic/monstrous makeup as being "harmless" (Whistler looked human) but it also establishes that Giles has a personal relationship with the Shaman who based on what little we can see of him, may be non-human as well. So it's a pretty groundbreaking episode in terms of world-building. As Buffy Wiki states;

"After meeting Skyler, Buffy allows him to depart unharmed rather than slaying him, noting that he seems harmless. This marks the widening of one of the Buffyverse's overall themes, that demons are capable of being benign whereas soulless vampires are not, a concept introduced in "Becoming, Part One" and explored more fully in the Angel spin-off."