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View Full Version : The road to redemption is a rocky path...



Shin
16-12-07, 06:56 PM
I was wondering what everyone's favorite character journey was in both Buffy and AtS.

Buffy: From careless vampire slayer that doesn't want accept her destiny, to the girl who embraces her destiny and is ready to sacrifice herself every day again.

Xander: From typical geekish teenboy to the heart of gang of people who fight evil day in day out.

Willow: From geeky shy teengirl to godly powerfull witch, who even has a dark side.

Giles: From rebelous teen into the dark arts to stiff watcher to father figure and loving friend. (Although arguably not really anymore)

Spike: From a bloody bad poet to a bloody evil vampire to souled champion in the making.

Angel: From a rebelous good-for-nothing young man to the most evil vampire ever, to a champion who sacrifices all his own happiness for others.

Wesley: From silly and stiff watcher that has no trust in himself to action experienced morally ambigious demon fighter. (rogue demon hunter!)

Cordelia: From selfcentered bitch to someone who does the right thing for others and fights evil without any personal gain.

Fred: From scared little traumatised girl to scientific genius demon fighter.

Gunn: From streetboy with his own gang fighting vampires to lawgenius laywer to vampire!

Faith: From a girl with a hard life to a human-killing rogue slayer, to a girl on a rocky path to redemption to social slayer worker

If I forgot anyone, which I probably have, Anya for example. Don't be insulted if he/she is your favorite character just answer the question, because you can't expect me to write every single character down. Also if you don't agree with the way I see the journey, that's not what matters it's about what you think, I just wanted to illustrate the topic.

Nina
16-12-07, 08:45 PM
I liked the journeys on Ats more than the journeys on BtVS. The storylines of BtVS were done very well in the first 5 seasons (except Xander who is forgotten the most of the time ... poor guy although it saved him in the last seasons.), but in the last seasons they destroyed everything. Everybody became a more childish and worse version of who they once were. Which aren't the journeys I like to see. So, no cookies for the journeys of the BtVS characters. Maybe for Dawn.[/bitterness]

Angels journey is a beautiful one, he falls and stand up again. He learned to accept himself in the last episode of Ats and the journey full of pain, sacrifices and mistakes was well done. You can see Angel slowly become the man he should be, and not the shadow he was in season 1 of BtVS.

But the Wesley journey is the best IMO. I don't think there is a character on tv who had a harder time in a couple of seasons as Wesley. The pain and the drama ... for a guy who tried so hard to do the right thing. Wesley was never a winner, and that makes his story so fantastic. You could see how he learned and how important he became ... but he never gets the respect he deserved. I felt for him the complete journey. When he doesn't get the girl, when nobody takes him seriously, when he kidnapped Connor, when he became a cold and bitter man, when he lost Fred and of course, when he lost his love for life. I believed it and I believed in him. The man who couldn't win.

I also loved Gunn and Cordelia who both grew up, and learned some good lessons. And I loved the journey of Connor who learned to live with his vampirefather.

Shin
18-12-07, 09:52 PM
I liked the journeys on Ats more than the journeys on BtVS. The storylines of BtVS were done very well in the first 5 seasons (except Xander who is forgotten the most of the time ... poor guy although it saved him in the last seasons.), but in the last seasons they destroyed everything. Everybody became a more childish and worse version of who they once were. Which aren't the journeys I like to see. So, no cookies for the journeys of the BtVS characters. Maybe for Dawn.[/bitterness]

Angels journey is a beautiful one, he falls and stand up again. He learned to accept himself in the last episode of Ats and the journey full of pain, sacrifices and mistakes was well done. You can see Angel slowly become the man he should be, and not the shadow he was in season 1 of BtVS.

But the Wesley journey is the best IMO. I don't think there is a character on tv who had a harder time in a couple of seasons as Wesley. The pain and the drama ... for a guy who tried so hard to do the right thing. Wesley was never a winner, and that makes his story so fantastic. You could see how he learned and how important he became ... but he never gets the respect he deserved. I felt for him the complete journey. When he doesn't get the girl, when nobody takes him seriously, when he kidnapped Connor, when he became a cold and bitter man, when he lost Fred and of course, when he lost his love for life. I believed it and I believed in him. The man who couldn't win.

I also loved Gunn and Cordelia who both grew up, and learned some good lessons. And I loved the journey of Connor who learned to live with his vampirefather.
I heard a lot of people saying they love the journeys on Angel more. I don't agree entirely with that, but I think Wesley is indeed the most powerfull journey and Angel's a close second to me, so Angel has the two most powerfull journey's imo. Buffy is a strong third to me, although admittedly I didn't like her in S6, but that's kind of the point. Cordelia's journey was great, but the last part (end of S3) were a bit over the top to me. She became too far from the original character to me. Willow's journey was plain amazing too, so that kind of keeps Buffy and Angel in balance, but overall the journey's on Angel are slightly better to me too.

Nina
18-12-07, 10:28 PM
Just to make clear that I'm not one big bitter Buffy-fan. :D
I loved the journeys of Buffy and Willow, until the last two and half seasons.

But in season 7, Willow was a scared little mouse who didn't had the guts to face her problems, Buffy was a cold and bitter woman who was for some kind of reason obsessed with Spike and his soul, Giles was a jackass if he had something to do and Anya (after selfless), Xander and Dawn had no real storyline anymore. I didn't care anymore about the people I loved so much in the first seasons. I don't think that season 7!Buffy was more grown up as season 2!Buffy. The same for Willow and Giles.
The A-team made many mistakes, but I still liked them in the end. In NFA, I was proud of those people and I wanted them all to survive. They grew up, Wesley, Angel, Gunn and Spike became better people.
And that's why I think the journeys on BtVS were less as the Ats journeys.

All MOO of course. :)


edit:
I still sound bitter, sorry for that. :')

Shin
20-12-07, 04:12 PM
Just to make clear that I'm not one big bitter Buffy-fan. :D
I loved the journeys of Buffy and Willow, until the last two and half seasons.

But in season 7, Willow was a scared little mouse who didn't had the guts to face her problems, Buffy was a cold and bitter woman who was for some kind of reason obsessed with Spike and his soul, Giles was a jackass if he had something to do and Anya (after selfless), Xander and Dawn had no real storyline anymore. I didn't care anymore about the people I loved so much in the first seasons. I don't think that season 7!Buffy was more grown up as season 2!Buffy. The same for Willow and Giles.
The A-team made many mistakes, but I still liked them in the end. In NFA, I was proud of those people and I wanted them all to survive. They grew up, Wesley, Angel, Gunn and Spike became better people.
And that's why I think the journeys on BtVS were less as the Ats journeys.

All MOO of course. :)


edit:
I still sound bitter, sorry for that. :')
You don't sound that better ;) I didn't really have problem with S7 Willow, it kind of made sense after what she went trough. Buffy's obsession with Spike and his soul sometimes didn't make sense to me neither. I mean, he did try to rape her in S6, that's not like, oh he just didn't have a soul back then. Angel she could forgive because she loved him and she had just trown him into a 100 years of full on torture. Giles seemed OoC sometimes in S7, but I have a problem with him in S6 too. I do understand Buffy's problem with leading the potentials though, besides the fact that they were annoying as hell, she was directly responsible for some sort of 'army' for the first time. Xander was ok to me in S7, but I agree he didn't have much to do. I didn't like him in 'Selfless' though, but that's just because he was reasonably being unreasonable to Buffy. What I like about the journeys of the gang in AtS is that they have recurring problems that don't get lame, because problems just don't dissapear without a trace, so I really like that Angel has some recurring problems in his role as Champion for example.

potterfanatic
21-12-07, 12:06 AM
I feel that Xander's was the most interesting journey because even though he changed from geek to chic (Had to do it) he still kept his sense of humor and loyalty, the two thing that nade me love him as a character in the beginning. What made his journey so cool was that at the start he was almost roped into the slaying game (With his friend Jessie being kidnapped) but within weeks he was jumping head first into any monster fighting situation, resulting in him saving the world in season 6 and losing an eye in season seven (Which I still haven't forgiven them for, though I see why they did it)

KingofCretins
21-12-07, 12:56 AM
A little off-topic, it occurs to me they could have helped out people's view of Kennedy a lot if they'd inserted some gratitude to Xander. He got caught by Caleb by helping *her* get up and moving again. If I could do an "Empty Places" re-write, I would have opened the Scooby scene in Xander's hospital room with Kennedy there with Willow, giving Xander a kiss on the cheek, and then leaving, then Buffy comes in and the scene that we saw starts. That might have given enough contrast in how Buffy treated him for Xander joining the move against Buffy later in the episode, y'know?

Anyway -- I think Faith has probably had the most interesting journey over all. She went from rambunctious but eager Slayer, to murderer, to someone seeking redemption, to hero, to leader, and in Season 8, it's continued, and she's becoming a healer of sorts, someone who wants to help girls who could be like she was.

potterfanatic
21-12-07, 01:08 AM
I like the idea of Kennedy thanking Xander, I always felt that she didn't show enough gratitude towards the man who saved her life.

Shin
21-12-07, 12:26 PM
A little off-topic, it occurs to me they could have helped out people's view of Kennedy a lot if they'd inserted some gratitude to Xander. He got caught by Caleb by helping *her* get up and moving again. If I could do an "Empty Places" re-write, I would have opened the Scooby scene in Xander's hospital room with Kennedy there with Willow, giving Xander a kiss on the cheek, and then leaving, then Buffy comes in and the scene that we saw starts. That might have given enough contrast in how Buffy treated him for Xander joining the move against Buffy later in the episode, y'know?

Anyway -- I think Faith has probably had the most interesting journey over all. She went from rambunctious but eager Slayer, to murderer, to someone seeking redemption, to hero, to leader, and in Season 8, it's continued, and she's becoming a healer of sorts, someone who wants to help girls who could be like she was.
I think the writers didn't seem too interested in Kennedy themselves. The only scenes she got were either a bit unnice, uninteresting or with Willow. I think they didn't even thought about having her thank Xander. I do agree that Faith has one of the most interesting character journeys, too bad I didn't really like her in S7 as much as in AtS S4.

kana
21-12-07, 04:19 PM
I loved Faith's journey. I suppose this is why she along with Wes and Angel, is my fave character.

More than what she accomplished was her continued conflict

I like Faith in both Ats and Btvs because it explores all the facets of her character. Her identity of a killer and how that relates to Angel(us) and also her identity as a slayer and a potential leader and how that relates to Buffy.

The issue with her own loneliness and her the isolation that comes with being a Slayer and/or a leader was something that made my enjo watching Faith more but also made me understand Buffy more and perhaps they could understand each other.

What made Faith's journey even more interesting than the soulled vamps for me is that her emotional changes were all about differing views or justifications of behaviour and morality stemming from experiences, self-image etc. She had a soul when she killed. It wasn't about just being a monster but seeing yourself a monster and wondering from the inside whether you can change. Even after you've sought redemption, is it that easy? Disappearing or dying is the easy option. Enduring the emotional torture which occured as a result of your actions is the hard part and Faith knows it will continue for the rest of her life.

But likened to Angel it also puts her in a unique position to understand those of a similar disposition. It's not just about the guilt but about the rage.Her journey is more metaphoric than say Angel's or Spike's. Spike sought his soul, Faith founds hers in herself. Angel fights his demon and wonders if the demon is him, Faith fights her old self image and her rage and wonders if she can change.

Faith is also hot. Irrelevant? No that fact is always relevant. lol.

Weredog
21-12-07, 09:30 PM
My favourite "redeeming" arc has to be Willow's.

If you told me in season 3 that Willow was going to be a truck-driving magic mama, I would've laughed you off. But the writers have sculpted it perfectly. Magic became a tie-in with Willow instantly after "Becoming" and we saw her progress with it. She relied on it as years went on until her reliance suddenly became an addiction. This sent her rock bottom (murdering does that to you, huh?) and Willow was faced with the realization that she never should have relied on magic. Instead, she should have had the magic on a leash and learn to use it wisely, to which she masters this ability in "Chosen."

It's amazing that her arc span through 5 seasons right 'til the very series finale. My favourite arc!

TrueVengeance
26-12-07, 04:30 AM
Hmm...either Willow's or Cordelia's I think. For Willow, the writers shaped Willow's development perfectly. The way she went from slightly shy nerd who couldn't never stand up for herself, to big ol' magic mama. The way she relied completley on magic, and was able to pull herself back out again. And then going back into the dark magics after Tara died. Then recovering from that, realizing, unless she can control it...magic is no good for her. In which it ends with her controlling it in Chosen. Genuis. She probably changed the most over the years than any other character.

Cordelia changed so much as well. From a self-centered bitch to a person who does good things for no personal gain, and actually thinks of other people. If you watched an early BtVS episode, then tuned into season 3 of Angel...it would be like watching a completly different character. I think "Wow" covers it quite nicely.

Another one I really enjoy is Anya's, which I think in many cases is easily overlooked. And I'm not so much talking about her role as a vengeance demon with no remorse to a person who cares, but more from the human who didn't care about anything but herself, sex, and getting her job back, to the human to cared. Just watching even season 4 to season 5 would be a big difference. Or season 3 to even 4. The longer she was around (and with Xander), the more she cared. We see it start to happen in season 5, where we find out she really cares about Xander (wanting Olaf to kill her, not Xander. Or pushing Xander out of the way and taking the hit of falling debris herself). But her helping the gang against evil Willow, and in season 7 her sticking around for the well...end. Alot of character development in only about 3 years.

Phoenix
26-12-07, 05:32 AM
My favourite would have to be Faith's journey, definately. She went through so much in her life, and came out of all the hard times amazingly. After all she's been through, and now to want to help other Slayers :)

Her journey in ATS saw much more of her growth and development, and her whole redemption was basically in that series. Also a favourite because in a way I can relate to it, and so can many others in their own way.

Willow's redeeming arc would be second favourite for me. She has grown so much from the shy girl she used to be to such a strong character :)

buffyholic
27-12-07, 12:22 PM
I love Buffy´s journey (btw, what do you guys have against her in s7?). Buffy is not bitter and cold, she´s been through a lot in the past seasons, and now she has a huge job of protecting the girls. She doesn´t get a lot of sleep, and everyone is just too damn scared to do anything, so she has to step up to the plate. So, of course she´s cranky but she´s not bitter, she´s just battle-worn. That´s why I find her character the most fascinating. She goes from a carefree teenager to savior of the world, always having to sacrifice herself for the good of others. It´s just natural she´s like that in S7, after all she´s sacrificied.
Then, Spike is the second biggest journey. I love him in S5 and S7. The last scene of "Beneath you" for example is breathtaking.

Nina
27-12-07, 01:03 PM
I love Buffy´s journey (btw, what do you guys have against her in s7?). Buffy is not bitter and cold, she´s been through a lot in the past seasons, and now she has a huge job of protecting the girls. She doesn´t get a lot of sleep, and everyone is just too damn scared to do anything, so she has to step up to the plate. So, of course she´s cranky but she´s not bitter, she´s just battle-worn. That´s why I find her character the most fascinating. She goes from a carefree teenager to savior of the world, always having to sacrifice herself for the good of others. It´s just natural she´s like that in S7, after all she´s sacrificied.


I can see why she was who she was in the last season. But in the end of season 7 she was so obsessed with herself and Spike (who was obsessed with Buffy) she became unlikeble IMO. Her 'Only Spike has my back' quote and the fact that she wasn't there for her friends made me dislike her. And her weird behavior towards the potentials was not great either. She learned them that only Buffy and Spike were strong and the potentials were not. But when the potentials did nothing, she was angry because they did nothing. And the fact that I still don't understand the relation she had with Spike in season 7 didn't make me love her either, did she love him as a pet? a friend? a lover? Or didn't she love him at all? And why the trust? Angel-issues?

I understood why she was like this, well except the thing with Spike. But I disliked her, and it's just really annoying when you don't feel any sympathy for the lead. I always loved Buffy but this season there was no self-reflection, no humor, no friendly behavior towards her loyal friends ... nothing.

But I think that the greatest reason for my dislike of season7!Buffy is the way the writers wrote it. Buffy was always right and the people who disagree with her were wrong. She had stupid plans, she lied and still she was right. How is that possible? In 'Empty Places', Buffy was not 100% right, neither were the scoobies, but still we learned in the episode after that, that disagreeing with Buffy is stupid because she is always right. If she would wake up like Angel did in 'Epiphany' and she would tried to make up for her mistakes and behavior I would forgive her in a second, but she didn't get a epiphany, Buffy (and Spike) were right! And the Scoobies were stupid and punished for their doubt of Buffy's leaderqualities.

In the end it's al the crappy writing of season 7 I guess. I blame the writers! :p

buffyholic
24-01-08, 05:52 PM
I really like what they did with Willow, how she had to live what she had done and how she was learning to control the magic. She was afraid of going overboard. She knew what that feeling was and she was afraid of going to that place again.