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bespangled
28-05-18, 12:18 AM
@DeepBlueJoy and I have been talking about this, but I want to bring it to a thread because we tend not to agree (part of why I love her), and I am sure others have strong feelings. Mostly we have talked about Giles leaving in season 6, but I think we can draw back into their relationship and maybe see foreshadowing.


@DeepBlueJoy If Giles were indeed so burned out he needed a break, it was up to him, the adult to find someone to be there and to do the duty as a watcher.

I feel it for everyone doing the job, but Buffy got the shortest shrift of all. She woke up in a box, probably every night for years after that..


Totally disagree - Buffy needed to find help for herself. Half the battle is seeking out what you need, be it counseling, friends, medication, whatever. To enter into a severely codependent relationship where you use someone else to cushion yourself is not healthy behavior. It was the job of the council to assign a new watcher, if they felt she needed one - or Buffy's responsibility to contact them and ask for one. Taking action is the key to recovery - healthy action is best.


@DeepBlueJoy Sometimes one has two abilities, be helped or die. Spike helped or a real buffy would be dead. She was an accident victim emotionally. The only way one survives that is with help. It isnt like she wasnt already employed. Sadly she bought the councils bs - alone is the way - it would have killed a real person. I had patients less damaged than her on the psych ward.

But Buffy is a super being - and the metaphor is not reality. Her problems are clearly situational - and they are hers. All the love in the world does not remove one roadblock from someone else's journey

That's where the butterfly metaphor comes in. What she wanted from Giles was not the emotional support of a father or a counselor. She wanted someone to pay the bills, raise Dawn, and return her to high school where all she had to do was patrol.
She wanted to remain in a cocoon. Giles taking on all the parental duties was not what she needed, nor was it something he should have to give.

In the B-verse, there are no therapists who deal with the trauma of being ripped out of heaven. The job of the watcher is to help with slaying, not take over as parent and facilitate a codependent relationship. A new watcher would have helped her with slaying - and that's the only thing she doesn't need help with.

As for the council BS - Buffy was alone in the legacy but never alone in the reality. She created a found family for support, contrary to the teachings of the council. I'd say this is what kept her alive. But it was her found family that did this - and she can't bring her anger to them. Yes, it's difficult and traumatic - but so is life sometimes. She literally needed to walk through the fire in order to mature into who she became.

Giles left her because he had faith that she could make it through.

I want to put a scene in here. I'm gonna go make a Giles and Buffy thread. *short dramatic pause*


GILES: You have to be strong. I'm, I'm trying to-
BUFFY: (jumps up) Trying to, to what? (angrily) Desert me? Abandon me? Leave me all alone when I really need somebody?
GILES: (quietly) I don't want to leave-
BUFFY: So don't. Please don't.
BUFFY: I can't do this without you.
GILES: You can. That's why I'm going. As long as I stay you'll always turn to me if there's something comes up that you feel that you can't handle, and I'll step in because, because ... (pause, sighs) Because I can't bear to see you suffer.
BUFFY: Me too. Hate suffering. Had about as much of it as I can take.
GILES: Believe me, I'm loathe to cause you more, but this...
GILES: I've taught you all I can about being a slayer, and your mother taught you what you needed to know about life. (Buffy looks away, pouting) You ... you're not gonna trust that until you're forced to stand alone.
BUFFY: But why now? Now that you know where I've been, what I'm going through?
GILES: Now more than ever. The temptation to give up is gonna be overwhelming, and I can't let-


I can't let you become so dependent that you never develop your wings. I can't create a pretend world for you - this is your reality. Yeah, it sucks - but if you don't learn how to deal you will always be a victim, and never a survivor. I can't let my love do damage to you in order to make me feel better - in order to be your stalwart standing strong.

Giles believes in Buffy - he knows how hard it will be, but he knows she can do this. I really think a new watcher would have been one more thing for her to handle. Part of growing up is learning how to parent yourself, and you only learn how to do that when you really need to.

BTW - I truly believe part of Giles animus toward Spike in season seven is that Spike was her stalwart standing strong - Spike never left Buffy. Yes, he made a thorough hash of it, but he was there. This underpins a lot of Giles effort to pull them apart.

Priceless
28-05-18, 08:56 AM
Not sure what the question is, but if you want my feelings about the Buffy Giles relationship . . .

We are programmed from the start of the show to see Giles as a father figure, especially as Buffy's own father isn't there. The writers make Giles the adult male role model in the show. First and foremost Giles is a watcher, that's what he's been trained to be from a very early age. He was as 'chosen' as Buffy was, and both are stuck in their roles. Giles cannot become 'dad' simply because others will it. What sort of father would encourage their child to go out every night and face possible death? If Giles were a father to Buffy, he was a pretty poor one.

I know a lot of people like to think of Giles as OOC in seasons 6, saying he'd never leave, but Giles has wanted to leave since Season 4, when he felt redundant and even spoke to Willow about leaving in Season 5. His leaving wasn't a new idea, it was something he'd been planning for a long time. He only stayed because Buffy wanted to use him as her Watcher again.

I think Buffy did want the emotional support of a parent in Season 6, but Giles was never the parent, he simply did not have the inclination to be what Buffy wanted him to be. He was not Dawn's father, (as he'd never been Xander or Willow's parent either) and he was not inclined to take on that responsibility, no matter how much he cared about Buffy. There are vast differences between Joyce and Giles in this respect, because one is a real parent and the other just a watcher. (A brilliant metaphor for real life parents you might say, with the mother always there, caring and loving, while the father watches and eventually walks away, though that's a very negative view of fathers)

Giles had every right to walk away in Season 6. He believes he is doing the right thing for himself and for Buffy (I don't think any of the other characters figure in his reasoning, he certainly has no finer feelings for Dawn) No-one can be forced to stay in a job if that job has changed beyond recognition. I would also add that he's on the end of a phone, although they treat him as though he's vanished and cannot be contacted. Any of them could have rung him at any time, but they chose not to.

In Season 7 Buffy begins to treat Spike as a person, not just a thing. He is included in decision making, he helps train the girls, he becomes her second in command. They take on the roles that Joyce and Giles shared in previous seasons, they are now the adult role models for the potentials, but no one would mistake them as parents and we shouldn't mistake Giles as one either.

flow
28-05-18, 02:57 PM
bespangeled:
She wanted someone to pay the bills, raise Dawn, and return her to high school where all she had to do was patrol.

Yes, and it should have been the council, who pays the bills, it should have been Hank, who raises Dawn and it should have been her right to go to college at day and patrol at night. That in itself would still have been a scarifice, because normal college students only go to college without the patrol thingy. It isn`t "all she had to do was college and patrol" but instead "in addition to going to college she also bravely takes on the duty of patrolling."

I once read a fanfic, where a Buffy from another dimension asked our season 6 Buffy (post-Tabula Rasa) "So, who is you Watcher now?"

Buffy couldn`t answer that question.

Can you?

bespangeled
Giles left her because he had faith that she could make it through.

And he had every right, to think that until OMWF. After that, he should never have left.

flow



flow

DeepBlueJoy
28-05-18, 09:16 PM
bespamgeled:

Yes, and it should have been the council, who pays the bills, it should have been Hank, who raises Dawn and it should have been her right to go to college at day and patrol at night. That in itself would still have been a scarifice, because normal college students only go to college without the patrol thingy. It isn`t "all she had to do was college and patrol" but instead "in addition to going to college she also bravely takes on the duty of patrolling."

I once read a fanfic, where a Buffy from another dimension asked our season 6 Buffy (post-Tabula Rasa) "So, who is you Watcher now?"

Buffy couldn`t answer that question.

Can you?

bespamgeled

And he had every right, to think that until OMWF. After that, he should never have left.

flow



flow

Thank you Flow.

I can answer the question... she didn't have a watcher.

I don't want a crippled Buffy doing nothing for herself. I don't think she should stop slaying or not take any responsibilities for dawn... But she never is.

Even when she digs out of her grave, she is immediately back in the saddle saving people and the town by fighting the bad guys. She hit the ground running pretty much from the time she stuck her head out of the hole, and she never stops, nor does she show any inclination of doing so, though (as in Spiral after Dawn is kidnapped) there are times when she seems utterly overwhelmed and I'm surprised she's on her feet, much less trying to handle all she's trying to bear. When she comes back, she has even more going on.

No, I want it recognized that a human sized person (which she actually is) needs more than 'atta girl' for saving the world (not just during apocalypses). The show purports to be real world. This is not a fantasy world where no one has to work.

From season 5 when her mother dies, she becomes the parent of a grieving child with serious special needs in addition to her other roles.

From season 6 she becomes

mom of a troubled, grieving teen
breadwinner - trying to manage a middle class set of obligations on a teenage minimum wage job.
slayer and saver of the world - A FULL TIME TO *OVERTIME* JOB
den mother for the whole Scooby gang (dealing with all their drama)
house mother/rooming house operator too (b/c other than Xander and Anya, everyone's living in her house.)
She's also the watcher -- the person who is trying to sort things and figure out what must be done -- and she doesn't do it well b/c she has NONE Of the decades of preparation (languages, history, demonology)... or you know, ONE GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP.



There's no sign anyone is paying rent, (if not, a pox on both their houses) but even if they were, they're using more resources than she and Dawn would be using, and if they were renting the rooms out to strangers, they'd probably charge them a lot more.


She is doing the job of several people, each of which should be a full time job.

An adult with years of experience (her mom) would have to balance parenting and working. Any single parent will tell you that is a huge challenge... but her mom had a college degree, years experience (slowly gathered) and knew how to manage a business.

Joyce probably managed to chase down some support money from her ex-husband after leaving him. Instead, Buffy has to run a household with no prior experience, a vanished father, work a minimum wage job (so probably overtime if she's 'lucky', just to cover expenses her mother's salary (and possibly alimony) would have covered. (and her mom admitted they weren't rich, so she's gone from balancing well, to not having nearly enough)

But Buffy is also busy saving the world. That by itself is a full time job. When a soldier does that job, it's considered full time... fight, patrol, plan, protect others, research... even with a watcher, we see her do this.

As someone who has saved the world multiple times, she's arguably the most important person ON THE PLANET. Yet, she's not worth paying.

I cry BULL****

Buffy is also dealing with her best friend's addiction and her other best friend's wedding plans and relationship issues.

And of course, her sister is also a mess. A basket case... so she isn't just managing a household and raising a child, she's playing part time psychologist.


_____*******************_______

And this one is a big deal, though it really never gets much traction:

She has lost *ALL* HER DREAMS. A year before, she was in college, had a mom, a boyfriend, a future to look forward to and a semblance of normal. Even though she has a full time job as a student and a ful-time unpaid job as a slayer(always wrong btw), she's balancing this. But by being dead, she's out of school and has no possibility of going back. Riley was no prize, but now she doesn't even have that. She just has responsibilities and NO ONE to turn to.

_____*******************_______



She's also in emotional trouble from the time she digs out.


1: She's coming back from heaven and peace in to a world that her first question is 'is this hell?' - that's what Willow did.

2: She's digging out of her grave. I don't know about you, but I am afraid I'll get nightmares just imagining what it would feel like to try to dig out of a space 4 inches above my face and a few inches on either side, where i can't sit up and can see NOTHING. I used to work in a dark room with paper that could not be exposed to ANY light and being in complete darkness is not like being in a normally darkened room with no lights on. It takes getting used to, and even after years, I didn't like it much. I cannot imagine that experience in a silent, almost strait-jacket box (coffin). It's actually no surprise that vampires like to have their 'offspring' buried... b/c digging out of a grave has gotta be the most horrifying experience... Earth is heavy. I have actually dug a grave for a small animal... and that's quite a lot of earth, and it isn't light. I cannot imagine how heavy the earth is 6 feet down, with no maneuverability.

3: Clinical depression.

4: having her pain belittled by her watcher... being told 'you need to handle this or you're weak. Sorry, but a human who IS strong is strongest where they know they are weakest.

5: friends expecting gratitude

6: friends judging her reactions and finding her wanting.

7: no one to help her financially.


---------------

But wait, there's more: In season seven, she has ALL those responsibilities and most of that pain... plus she's expected to run a house for wayward potentials, run slayer boot camp and basic training, prepare for the apocalypse, and deal with a hellmouth that is erupting...

Yeah, I've read a few stories where she's either saved the world and walked away, or just walked away. Frankly, though I don't see a real Buffy walking away, I would not blame her one little bit. They got way more they deserved, and they kept taking and taking and taking.... and i can't remember much of anyone (other than the boy in OMWF) saying 'thank you'.

Blue

If you're gonna abandon someone in a town like Sunnydale, the least you owe them is YOUR salary.... Giles, I mean. If he wanted her to function without a watcher, he should have paid her so she could hire staff... either to do admin and research, or to hire child care... or both...

Giles never did it all. He was always basically a watcher. When he bought the magic store, it became Anya's to run... he did not have to manage all the things she did... and save the world, and get over being raised from the dead, dragged from heaven and waking up in a box.

If Giles got to be a single watcher on salary, or a watcher with a salary from the public schools for doing very little and being where he wanted to be and the council or the magic store and the council, why does expect her to live on NOTHING?

Be a slave to the council, and work a minimum wage job and sleep when?

Nearly the entire time Giles was in Sunnydale, he had TWO sources of income and mostly one job... Buffy in early season six has NO sources of income and multiple job and responsibilities.

Being a watcher, particularly later on, was not a huge job other than right at apocalypse season.

****

Bottom Line: asking for help and not having to carry the world on her shoulders and her life like a millstone around her neck as well... is not weak.

- - - Updated - - -




But Buffy is a super being - and the metaphor is not reality. Her problems are clearly situational - and they are hers. All the love in the world does not remove one roadblock from someone else's journey

That's where the butterfly metaphor comes in. What she wanted from Giles was not the emotional support of a father or a counselor. She wanted someone to pay the bills, raise Dawn, and return her to high school where all she had to do was patrol.
She wanted to remain in a cocoon. Giles taking on all the parental duties was not what she needed, nor was it something he should have to give.


RIDICULOUS!

How is expecting to be like everyone else, with one reasonable job, and to be PAID FOR THAT JOB and a little emotional support wanting to be in the cocoon? Sorry, that's just insulting to everyone who can't be superhuman. And Buffy may have been super-strong, but she was still a human.

She isn't a slave.

Giles didn't have to do what he is asking her to do. Could not have done it.




In the B-verse, there are no therapists who deal with the trauma of being ripped out of heaven.


Of course there are therapists... We see them in the school, and Buffy herself becomes a counselloer. No, there's no one she can talk to about being dragged from heaven... all the more reason the watcher has extra responsibilities for his slayer. If there's no one for her to talk to, then he OWES her -- this woman who's borne way more than any person has a right to bear.





The job of the watcher is to help with slaying, not take over as parent and facilitate a codependent relationship. A new watcher would have helped her with slaying - and that's the only thing she doesn't need help with.

The job of the watcher is to keep his slayer ready to function in the job. If she's deeply depressed and broken, it's his job to make sure she's fixed, by whatever means is necessary.




As for the council BS - Buffy was alone in the legacy but never alone in the reality. She created a found family for support, contrary to the teachings of the council.


you mean the people who betrayed her, and proved she couldn't trust them when they expected her to carry every load, be grateful, and be their happy little Buffy soldier? Which one, the one who was eating himself to death in fearful anticipation of a wedding that probably shouldn't have happened... or the arrogant, narcisist witch who believes she has a right to run everyone's life according to 'my will be done'?




I'd say this is what kept her alive. But it was her found family that did this - and she can't bring her anger to them. Yes, it's difficult and traumatic - but so is life sometimes. She literally needed to walk through the fire in order to mature into who she became.


what she became was someone who trusted exactly one person. Because in her hour of darkness, created mostly by their action, they turned their backs and then they judged her when she went to the only place available.



Giles left her because he had faith that she could make it through.

Giles left b/c ASH wanted to be home with his family and the writer's couldn't come up with a reasonable explanation for that, so the came up with a DOG'S BREAKFAST instead, and singlehandedly turned him into a villain for the rest of the series.





I want to put a scene in here. I'm gonna go make a Giles and Buffy thread. *short dramatic pause*


GILES: You have to be strong. I'm, I'm trying to-
BUFFY: (jumps up) Trying to, to what? (angrily) Desert me? Abandon me? Leave me all alone when I really need somebody?
GILES: (quietly) I don't want to leave-
BUFFY: So don't. Please don't.
BUFFY: I can't do this without you.
GILES: You can. That's why I'm going. As long as I stay you'll always turn to me if there's something comes up that you feel that you can't handle, and I'll step in because, because ... (pause, sighs) Because I can't bear to see you suffer.
BUFFY: Me too. Hate suffering. Had about as much of it as I can take.
GILES: Believe me, I'm loathe to cause you more, but this...
GILES: I've taught you all I can about being a slayer, and your mother taught you what you needed to know about life. (Buffy looks away, pouting) You ... you're not gonna trust that until you're forced to stand alone.
BUFFY: But why now? Now that you know where I've been, what I'm going through?
GILES: Now more than ever. The temptation to give up is gonna be overwhelming, and I can't let-

This is a BS sandwich. Sorry, I've counseled a lot of people. When people are on their knees you help them up, you don't say 'good, you are face down, now get your arse up you useless person'. THAT is what he did. Were it a real situation, and a family member did that to a person who was in that condition, a good counselor would be helping this person with their abandonment issues, and some counselors would discourage ANY further contact. Because what Giles learned basically was that Buffy had gone through something way worse than rape and assault... and was two steps from suicide by dancing... and THIS is when he walks out. Knowing that not only is she emotionally exhausted, but she's also completely broke.

And it is the job HE gave her that caused almost all her misery. The job killed her. The JOB means she's unable to focus on school and drops out, and the job means she cannot go back... b/c she cannot get a good job and be a slayer and go to school and take care of Dawn....

What is the job of a slayer worth? 20K? 50K? 200K? Is the existence of the world worth the pay of a second Lt? a general? a president? A CEO of an Amazon?

NO, it is worth ZERO.



I can't let you become so dependent that you never develop your wings.

BUFFY IS NOT remotely DEPENDENT. BUFFY IS CARRYING THE ENTIRE PLANET. IF SHE DID NOTHING ELSE, SHE WAS DOING MORE THAN EVERYONE ELSE ON THE PLANET.

Anyway, now i have gone and lost my temper, so this post is my last contribution to this whole mess. B/c i am tired and we won't agree, (so this is is probably a wasted effort).

In my opinion, what she went through as worse than any SEAR training any military person goes through. Show me a navy seal who can do what Buffy does.

There aren't any.




[I]I can't create a pretend world for you - this is your reality. Yeah, it sucks - but if you don't learn how to deal you will always be a victim, and never a survivor. I can't let my love do damage to you in order to make me feel better - in order to be your stalwart standing strong.

Her reality is to be a slave?

Her reality is to be pressed down face down and kicked by the planet and life with no help from anyone? That makes her strong?

No, that makes her what the council wanted... utterly and completely alone...

Abused, used, and anyone sane would say ENOUGH!



Giles believes in Buffy - he knows how hard it will be, but he knows she can do this. I really think a new watcher would have been one more thing for her to handle. Part of growing up is learning how to parent yourself, and you only learn how to do that when you really need to.

BTW - I truly believe part of Giles animus toward Spike in season seven is that Spike was her stalwart standing strong - Spike never left Buffy. Yes, he made a thorough hash of it, but he was there. This underpins a lot of Giles effort to pull them apart.

He resents Spike b/c Spike shows him up, and gives Buffy options. Spike in his demonic simplicity, with all his horrible hash is the best friend she ever has. He understands that a broken person doesn't need abandonment. They need a friend.

Giles doesn't believe in Buffy. Giles believes in the mission. He proves that he is what the council wanted him to be. An automaton with ZERO concern about the SLAVE - yup slave - that works for the war the council fights.

Quentin considers the slayer the TOOL.

Giles proves he is even LESS than Quentin. B/C like Angel, he figures out that in order to break his slayer, first he has to love her... and let her love him... THEN show his colors.

BTW, we see what Giles accomplishes by abandoning Buffy and the others after the trauma EVERYONE goes through. It costs Tara her life.

Had Giles been there, there's every possibility things would not have been so insane, and Tara might just have lived.

If Buffy hadn't been busy trying to survive AND slay, maybe she catches onto the craziness that is the Trio and they end up in jail after one or two episodes of nuttiness.

Instead the world almost ends. Yay Giles! That is the world you created!

NO ONE PERSON can be an army. Buffy had to be mommy, army and god's little assistant too... it cannot be done!

______________




Giles had every right to walk away in Season 6. He believes he is doing the right thing for himself and for Buffy (I don't think any of the other characters figure in his reasoning, he certainly has no finer feelings for Dawn) No-one can be forced to stay in a job if that job has changed beyond recognition. I would also add that he's on the end of a phone, although they treat him as though he's vanished and cannot be contacted. Any of them could have rung him at any time, but they chose not to.


@priceless

So the only person not allowed to walk away is Buffy?

Didn't her job change?

Why should she, unpaid, alone, broken, almost a child carry the world, while he, a rich, educated man with resources walks away?


I wouldn't have called him either. He already proved he couldn't be trusted to help.

Priceless
28-05-18, 09:47 PM
@priceless

So the only person not allowed to walk away is Buffy?

Didn't her job change?

Why should she, unpaid, alone, broken, almost a child carry the world, while he, a rich, educated man with resources walks away?


I wouldn't have called him either. He already proved he couldn't be trusted to help.

Of course she could have walked away at any time. She tried to walk away in Welcome to the Hellmouth, Prophecy Girl, in Anne, and perhaps in Spiral (sure there are other times too but I can't think of them right now). There is nothing keeping Buffy in Sunnydale except the expectations of others and her own belief in the mission. She stays because she thinks she has to, or innocent people will die, but in reality she doesn't have to stay, she just has to learn to put herself and her family first.

Giles is a product of the Watcher's Council, he does what he thinks is right, but he thinks it because that's what he's been taught. He, like Buffy, doesn't see any other option. I don't hate Giles, I hate that he's not able to even consider another way of behaving.