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Dipstick
02-12-15, 07:39 PM
What do you think had the biggest impact on the personality/relationship dynamics/strategic choices of their respective gangs- the Monks adding Dawn to the Scoobies' memories or Angel/W&H deleting Connor from AI's memories?

MikeB
03-12-15, 12:30 AM
Personality

Connor:

* Wesley was the most affected by the ‘Connor stuff’ and he eventually got those memories back.


* Connor was overall happier.


Dawn:

* Adding Dawn directly led to the Dark Willow stuff, likely is the cause of Joyce’s brain tumor, is a significant reason why Riley ‘goes dark’ and breaks up with Buffy; Riley’s breaking up with Buffy led to Buffy’s feeling ‘alone’ and feeling she’s lost her ability to love; Buffy’s level of loss results in hers ‘committing suicide’ in “The Gift” (B 5.22).


* Adding Dawn gave Spike a ‘younger sister’ and/or ‘daughter’, which somewhat changes his personality.



Relationship dynamics

Connor:

* Ultimately, it simply made Angel and Connor ‘closer’ than they otherwise would be. No other relationship dynamics were significantly changed.


Dawn:

* Considerable relationship dynamics are changed after “Buffy vs. Dracula” (B 5.01) because of the inclusion of Dawn.



Strategic choices

Connor:

* Wes and Gunn were going to join Wolfram & Hart no matter what Angel decided. Even without the ‘Connor thing’, Angel likely would have joined Wolfram & Hart. So, probably no strategic choices were changed.


Dawn:

* Dawn’s existence directly results in Buffy’s dying in “The Gift” (B 5.22).


* Regarding BtVS S9, Willow likely would have kept the Magic inside herself if Dawn didn’t need to be saved.

Clavus
03-12-15, 01:32 PM
I think adding someone is always a bigger impact than taking someone away. Dawn's addition influenced seasons 5-7 (and the comics beyond). Removing Connor influenced ATS Season 5 taking place at Wolfram & Hart, but little beyond that.

Without Dawn the whole Glory story arc would not have taken place, because Glory would have had no interest in Buffy. Buffy would have had no reason to sacrifice herself and most likely would not have died. In season 6 Buffy would have had even less reason for holding on once she was brought back, because she would not have been responsible for making sure Dawn could stay with her and would be taken care of. Admittedly, season 7 could have played out the way it did even without Dawn.

In AtS Connor's absence really only influences the story line of "Origins" and the group could have gone to take over the law firm even without his removal, if Angel had gotten it into his mind that the fight would be most effective if fought from the inside and had persuaded the others to come along.

Stoney
03-12-15, 02:19 PM
Hmmm this is a difficult thing to weigh up and I did find myself swinging one way and then the other as I tried to think it through. But in the end I think the memory deletion has the edge, although they both had massive impacts.

Dawn's insertion into the scoobies lives definitely affected Buffy's relationships. That familial bond obviously had impact on her choices and reactions and had the direct link to her sacrifice at the season finale. Generally, obviously her only child status was thrown out the window and there is no doubt that this affected both her and Joyce in their choices and the way they interacted. The ongoing effect after Joyce's death that Buffy was taking on a parental role is a huge swing in her life and also then passes to the other scoobies too. That Dawn is the target of the big bad makes her have a practical impact on their lives, even without the emotional binds that have been created by giving her human form and a relationship/history with them. Of course because Dawn has an ongoing active presence in their lives these are meaningful and permanent changes, but I don't think her insertion created an actively negative effect and resulted in decisions that may have been hugely, meaningfully different in the way that I think the deletion of the Connor memories did.

Firstly, it has to be acknowledged though that without knowing what they replaced the memories with, how the gaps were filled, and how different from the truth they resulted in being, it is hard to say for sure how much of an impact the memory deletion had. But I think that Angel's choice to join W&H did affect the others in the group and, of course, he gave a false presentation of his reason for doing it and I think that is one of the two biggest negative aspects. The other is that the (assumed) removal of the break up of the gang, all the myriad of events and issues surrounding Wes taking Connor, distrusting them all and going all lone wolf over it, Angel's attack on him, the group's ostracisation of Wes and then his help and tentative return are massive things to change or remove from their history. Only Wes gains his memories back and by then he is pretty broken and depressed and I don't think that his ongoing response to that can be seen as not being intrinsically affected by the original removal of his memories and his decision to join W&H anyway. Angel not really entering the deal for the reason of fighting from the inside was obviously where he then took it with the plan to destroy the circle at the end of the season, but, as you know, I don't see NFA as a positive act at all, and it was surrounded by more lying about taking on Sebassis when he could have been fighting alongside Gunn or Wes and the injuries/death may have been avoided.

So, on the assumption that the memory deletion created meaningful changes from their actual shared past, deleting everyone's memories stripped away context for them in their choice to join W&H and from their history with Angel and with each other, and consequently all their ongoing decisions. Two of the gang died, Gunn was mortally injured, Lorne was totally disillusioned and the kamikaze plan created hell LA. The context of the memory removal hangs over all of that and because of the negativity I feel exists in stripping their history like that, I think it had more impact as the choices may not have been the same/similar if it hadn't been done.

HardlyThere
10-12-15, 10:30 AM
Adding Dawn changed the show on nearly every level. I think you could make an argument it altered reality kinda like the Wishverse considering Buffy's spell showed that Dawn's stuff wasn't there, she wasn't in physical pictures, etc. You can only guess what would or wouldn't have happened. It's possible Riley could have died since it was Dawn that found his heartbeat was weird.

With Connor and the deletion... Unlike Dawn, initially nothing would change. The gang (less Angel) was already being pulled into W&H, so they might have joined anyway. Angel probably wouldn't have, which means no amulet. Of course this is directly tied to Dawn, too, since Buffy doesn't die, isn't brought back and the First has no loophole to act on.

MikeB
18-03-16, 03:36 AM
Stoney

* Dawn’s being created is greatly implied to have caused Joyce’s brain problems. The treat of Glory greatly enhances Willow’s magic use and the importance of Willow’s magic use. Buffy dies partly to save Dawn.

Dawn essentially is directly responsible for the eventual Buffy/Spike romantic and sexual relationship, Dark Willow and Willow’s power in BtVS S7, the First Evil’s arrival in BtVS S7, and Spike’s death and the Empowerment Spell that results in the Season 8 and Season 9 stuff.


* The Connor memory deletion had ZERO impact on any of the Fang Gang’s joining Wolfram and Hart. Wesley was already going to join. Gunn was already going to join. Fred joined mostly because the others joined. Angel himself would probably have joined even if Wolfram and Hart couldn’t delete the memories of the Fang Gang.

The Fang Gang’s roles in Wolfram and Hart weren’t significantly changed because the ‘memory wipes’.

Wesley would have continued helping Illyria even if the ‘memory wipe’ never happened.



HardlyThere

* If Angel wouldn’t refuse the amulet; Wolfram and Hart would have given it to him even if he decided not to join.