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Thread: Angel & Faith # 18 Discussion Thread(full Spoilers)

  1. #21
    Slayer Emmie's Avatar
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    Dipstick, I totally agree, that should've been Willow's moment, but for the tragedy of apocalyptically bad writing. So I'm forced to compromise and hope for the other Will to get a shot. (Sorry, just happily flashing back to Buffy 9.01 with Willow and Spike flanking Buffy and am now considering their parallels.)

    A&F's having wasted the ideal story opportunity of Willow's magical expertise and her MUCH greater intimacy with Giles, I think Spike's the next best guy who'd have some insight into bad magic consequences and what Giles would want when it comes to resurrection. And while I don't think Spike's necessarily all that clear-sighted when it comes to Giles... I mean, we're talking A&F here. That bar's so low limbo'ing I'm more worried about the characters tripping over it.

    Hmm, I don't really think what Spike threw in Giles face in "Touched" really counts as his final analysis of Giles. I mean, he's pissed at Giles, feeling that Giles has betrayed Buffy. Spike's so irrationally angry that he starts a fight with Faith, the same girl who he'd had a decent enough connection with in the basement a few days ago and he'd definitely seemed to like her well enough. And not only is Spike angry on Buffy's behalf, but Giles did just try to arrange for Spike's death in a pretty coldblooded fashion.

    So, I don't really think that's the best measure of how Spike would think of Giles, especially in light of how Giles died. It's a bit too reductive for me. As if Spike actually thought Giles' life was "cuppa tea, cuppa tea, almost got shagged, cuppa tea."

    What this really shows me, though, is that Spike will (HOPEFULLY!!1!) dig into the ugly that Angel and Faith are in denial about, the same way he digs into the ugly when it comes to Giles (no relationships, boring tea-drinking Brit, afraid of losing his power over Buffy and being made impotent in the fight against evil). That's hardly the entire truth about Giles, but what Spike throws in Giles' face when he's mocking Giles isn't an untruth, so much as the truth honed into a weapon.

    And A&F could really use some truth honed into a weapon as wielded by Spike.



    SIDEBAR: I'm a terrible person for wanting to emotionally torture my favorite character, but am I the only one that desperately wants Eyghon-possessed Giles to face off against Buffy? What a way to twist the knife. I want this so BAD, y'all.
    Last edited by Emmie; 26-01-13 at 04:18 AM.

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    Big Picture junkie dorotea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoney View Post
    Except we know he had signal and we know that Angel had been trying to get him so not much with the jumping I don't think.
    Luv,

    Angel was trying to get Spike-y enlisted to help with Slayers' zombie issue. That's about all we can be somewhat sure about.
    “Personally, I kind of want to slay the dragon” ranks as probably the best next-to-last line in TV history. (Granted, I’m not exactly sure what the competition is.) -- A.V. Club

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emmie View Post
    I totally agree, that should've been Willow's moment, but for apocalyptically bad writing, I'm compromising and hoping for the other Will to get a shot. (Sorry, just happily flashing back to Buffy 9.01 with Willow and Spike flanking Buffy and am now considering their parallels.)
    Yeah, I hear that.

    I don't really think what Spike threw in Giles face in "Touched" really counts as his final analysis of Giles though. I mean, he's pissed at Giles, feeling that Giles has betrayed Buffy. Spike's so irrationally angry that he starts a fight with Faith, the same girl who he'd had a decent enough connection with in the basement a few days ago and he'd definitely seemed to like her well enough. And not only is Spike angry on Buffy's behalf, but Giles did just try to arrange for Spike's death in a pretty coldblooded fashion.
    That's all true. I'd soften more on how Spike felt about Giles if there was some other scene that indicated that Spike thought Giles had his good qualities and his role in Buffy's life was good. Giles and Spike did have several momentary "British" moments- The Gift, a "what could have been if they didn't know who each other were" in Tabula Rasa- but that's it.

    However, ultimately, it was a bad relationship full of hate and distrust on both sides. Spike makes three definitive judgements on who Giles was- Primeval, Bargaining, Touched. Bargaining and Touched are just bad. At least, with Primeval, one can argue that Spike thought that Giles was worthwhile enough to Buffy that messing with Giles's head (by calling him old, irrelevant and inept) is worth the time.

    On one hand, I'd hope that Spike's negative opinion of Giles wouldn't improve just because Giles died violently. I'm a big believer in the fact that people may need to be politic in how they address the dead, but a person's life shouldn't be rewritten because they died. However, Spike is protective of Buffy's feelings and Spike knows that Buffy would be protective of Giles's spirit and memory so Spike does have a honest interest in protecting Giles's spirit for Buffy because Giles, as a vulnerable host and divided soul, can't protect himself. Second while Spike needn't like Giles more because his neck was snapped, Spike should feel that Angel should be circumscribed as The Newest Fourth Fate because Angel was the neck-snapper. Affection for Giles isn't a part of that calculus.

  5. #24
    Slayer Emmie's Avatar
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    Hmm, my point wasn't really reliant on Spike feeling affection for Giles, so much as Spike being observant enough to know who Giles was. And also, Spike being Spike, he'd want to cut through all the bullshit going down on A&F, say the things that weren't being said.

    Like I said, weaponized truth -- it's not necessarily forged out of love for Giles. It's also about Spike's needing to tear through other people's illusions (going on the offensive rather than the defensive -- disliking in others what he fears to be a weakness in himself, a walking talking empty illusion).

    In an unexpected way, I expect Spike to advocate on Giles' behalf while still not really holding him as nearest and dearest (I'm recalling his instinctual dislike, resentment, and competitiveness with Giles in "Tabula Rasa" when he had no memory). I think Spike's not being motivated by grief or sentimentality makes him surprisingly the most impartial party.

    And I don't really see Spike wanting to incur the wrath of dangerous magic to get Giles back. Spike and Giles might have very different methods -- but when it comes to Giles being resurrected, I think they'd reach the same conclusion.

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    Slayer Supporter vampmogs's Avatar
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    Spike doesn't even have to like Giles to still feel a twinge of sadness over his death or care about what happens to his soul. There's many people I don't like, but that doesn't mean I would be totally apathetic if I saw someone disregarding their wishes after their death. I do agree though that Spike's primary interest in this should be how it relates to Buffy and how, just like Willow said, this could hurt her deeply. That would feel the most IC so it'd be a real missed opportunity if they didn't touch on it.

    And where does this "you irredeemably suck" thing come from in regards to Giles and Willow in Flooded? They had an argument over a very specific thing Willow did and Giles was obviously very angry at her for doing that very specific thing. People have arguments, and they say words in the heat of the moment, and then they move on. Heck, Buffy and Xander have been just as volatile with each other and far more frequently too and we certainly don't claim either character was writing the other off for good.
    Last edited by vampmogs; 26-01-13 at 08:00 AM.
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  9. #26
    Well Spiked Stoney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorotea View Post
    Luv,

    Angel was trying to get Spike-y enlisted to help with Slayers' zombie issue. That's about all we can be somewhat sure about.
    Randomly and unnecessarily patronising.

    A panel showing Spike commenting about getting signal - check
    Angel saying he has been trying to get hold of him - check
    Spike hadn't responded until he just answered the phone at the end of #5 - check

    Whether Spike had noticed Angel's missed calls is the only thing we don't know, but the other three points above don't add to the feeling that Angel called and Spike jumped. That is all I was saying and it is based on some facts we can be sure of.
    Last edited by Stoney; 26-01-13 at 12:12 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emmie View Post
    Hmm, my point wasn't really reliant on Spike feeling affection for Giles, so much as Spike being observant enough to know who Giles was. And also, Spike being Spike, he'd want to cut through all the bullshit going down on A&F, say the things that weren't being said.
    Emmie, put this way, I agree with you a 100 percent of the way. In Flooded, Spike was very keen that Giles so powerfully objected to the resurrection that he was having a knock-down-drag-out-fight with Willow over it.

    It's also interesting that you note that Spike's lack of love for Giles makes him an impartial part because he's not motivated by grief (Faith) or guilt (Angel). I've always defended resurrectors (the Scoobies, Dawn, the Fang Gang), from a "not violating the consent of the deceased" perspective at the least, by analogizing their decisions to medical decisions made by the next-of-kin for patients in a coma or just not in control of their facilities. Spike could be a very effective attorney or other guardian of Giles's interest as Spike is keenly aware of what Giles would have wanted in that area, Spike can be honest and direct in times like this and Spike isn't influenced by much emotions here other than the good emotion to protect the *real* next-of-kin of Giles- i.e. Buffy.

    Quote Originally Posted by vampmogs View Post
    And where does this "you irredeemably suck" thing come from in regards to Giles and Willow in Flooded? They had an argument over a very specific thing Willow did and Giles was obviously very angry at her for doing that very specific thing. People have arguments, and they say words in the heat of the moment, and then they move on. Heck, Buffy and Xander have been just as volatile with each other and far more frequently too and we certainly don't claim either character was writing the other off for good.
    I shouldn't have said "irredeemably suck". That language isn't right. However I was trying to convey the message that Giles takes resurrections so seriously that Giles, the member of the Core Four who is by far the most careful with his words and was always the most adult Scooby, went on the angriest Scooby-on-Scooby attack yet. I was trying to draw a distinction between Willow v. Giles in Flooded and the other Scooby fights to emphasize the gravity of this resurrection-question for Giles.

    Giles didn't just accuse Willow of doing some awful action or paint Willow's admitted actions in the worst way- which is the typical MO for Scooby v. Scooby. Giles draw hard-and-fast conclusions of Willow's fundamental character- reducing her from someone who he trusted most to respect nature to someone who was stupid, a rank, arrogant amatuer, and who was so uncomfortably power that she effectively resembles/is the near equivalent of The Enemy. And Giles never took any of that back.

    While Giles ultimately didn't consider Willow fundamentally irredeemable based on his inter-S6/7 actions, he did write Willow off as "in a dangerous, horrible, bring hell on earth bad way" in early S6 and Giles acted like it would be fruitless to have a group intervention or really try talking to Willow.

    To bring it back to the topic, Faith is resurrecting Giles because she wants her Father Figure 4.0 back. Maybe Faith is aware that Giles would be cross with her for messing with primal life and death forces, maybe Faith isn't aware that Giles would be cross at all. Either way, Faith does seem to be laboring under the delusion that ultimately, Giles would be happy to be alive and that Giles would still love Faith as much or more than he did in S8 and they'd still partner and hang together and have positive feelings towards each other.

    If Spike wants to correct Faith's assumptions by mentioning the Flooded fight, it would be honest and effective for Spike to totally disabuse Faith of that perception and inform her that this wouldn't be like, say, Giles's and Xander's anger at Buffy for hiding Angel when they accused her of harboring bad priorities and disrespect but ultimately, came around within a day and proceeded as Team Buffy afterward or when the Scoobies didn't like Buffy's judgment and deposed her as Commander but things turned around in two days.

    If Giles treats Faith for resurrecting him as he treated Willow, Giles would say with full conviction that something like his prior perception of Faith as respectful of life and death was wrong and Faith is actually a stupid girl and a rank, arrogant amateur and would directly compare her potential to The Enemy. Giles would never take that back and he'd leave that as a final impression. Giles would then act like Faith was in a bad way and there was no correcting her course other than to give her dirty looks at times. Giles may come back around to considering teaching and helping Faith after some months if some Special Coven says that Giles should or if Giles is convinced that Faith harbors so much power that she should be weaponized for Team Good.

    Yup, Faith and Angel don't realize that Giles's objections to resurrection are so strong that, using Willow as a case study, implies that this isn't the typical Scooby-quarrel where a Scooby voices angry, OTT issues with another Scooby's conduct and it all blows over. This is will be Giles drastically and permanently reducing his opinion of Faith and Giles and choosing to have nothing to do with them for many months AT LEAST.

    If Spike or Willow put those very truthful observations to Faith JUST LIKE THAT, I would think that Faith would be dissuaded.

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  13. #28
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    Disclaimer; I agree wholeheartedly that Giles wouldn’t want to be resurrected and that Faith and Angel are (knowingly or not) disrespecting his wishes by going ahead with their plan. I just want to make that very clear so people don’t confuse my position on this.

    But just a few minor quibbles;

    Quote Originally Posted by Dipstick View Post
    However I was trying to convey the message that Giles takes resurrections so seriously that Giles, the member of the Core Four who is by far the most careful with his words and was always the most adult Scooby, went on the angriest Scooby-on-Scooby attack yet.
    I certainly agree that a lot of it had to do with Giles' views on resurrection but I think he was also especially angry because it involved Buffy and because Willow had went behind his back. The fact Willow was so blase or cavalier when she told him about the spell also clearly hit a nerve. I do think Giles takes resurrections seriously but I think there were a number of reasons which caused him to react like he did that wouldn't necessarily apply to every situation.

    Giles didn't just accuse Willow of doing some awful action or paint Willow's admitted actions in the worst way- which is the typical MO for Scooby v. Scooby. Giles draw hard-and-fast conclusions of Willow's fundamental character- reducing her from someone who he trusted most to respect nature to someone who was stupid, a rank, arrogant amatuer, and who was so uncomfortably power that she effectively resembles/is the near equivalent of The Enemy. And Giles never took any of that back.
    That was based a lot on Willow's account of how it all happened, though. I can't say for certain Giles would have lashed out like that had she not been so cavalier or, well, arrogant, when she broke it all down. He was clearly angry and nothing Willow could have said would have changed that but calling her "arrogant" was a direct response to her calling herself "amazing." Calling her an "amateur" was because of her cavalier she was about the potential risks. Calling her "silly" was due to her making light of the spell and making references to the Blair Witch etc.

    I really can't blame Giles for being so angry at Willow because we saw how the resurrection really went down and we know her account of what happened is... sketchy, at best. "And then, the next thing you know (triumphant) Buffy!" Um, no. If that's how a reviewer tried to sum up Bargaining I'd question if they'd even watched the episode! And just in Giles' conversations with Buffy (where she talks about her nightmares and waking up in a coffin) he knows enough that Willow's being awfully cavalier about a situation that, frankly, has Buffy deeply traumatised. It was bound to infuriate him.

    Now, if Willow had been a lot more serious about the whole thing that may have appeased Giles a little more. Maybe if she had started off with a heartfelt apology for going behind Giles' back but explaining why she felt she had to? Giles was going to be angry regardless because she did something that he disagrees with and she knew he disagreed with it ("They wouldn't understand") but it didn't have to become that heated.

    While Giles ultimately didn't consider Willow fundamentally irredeemable based on his inter-S6/7 actions, he did write Willow off as "in a dangerous, horrible, bring hell on earth bad way" in early S6 and Giles acted like it would be fruitless to have a group intervention or really try talking to Willow.
    I can totally understand why Giles would want to avoid a group intervention. Aside from the fact that they've never exactly went well, who was going to have his back? The people who all stood behind Willow and deceived him? Buffy? He's not going to want Buffy to see him tell Willow how wrong it was for her to bring Buffy back to life, and he can't exactly count on the support of the people he trusted less than Willow to respect the forces of nature and who participated in the spell.

    If Spike wants to correct Faith's assumptions by mentioning the Flooded fight, it would be honest and effective for Spike to totally disabuse Faith of that perception and inform her that this wouldn't be like, say, Giles's and Xander's anger at Buffy for hiding Angel when they accused her of harboring bad priorities and disrespect but ultimately, came around within a day and proceeded as Team Buffy afterward or when the Scoobies didn't like Buffy's judgment and deposed her as Commander but things turned around in two days.
    I agree with this 100%.

    If Giles treats Faith for resurrecting him as he treated Willow, Giles would say with full conviction that something like his prior perception of Faith as respectful of life and death was wrong and Faith is actually a stupid girl and a rank, arrogant amateur and would directly compare her potential to The Enemy.
    There's no reason he should because the circumstances are just totally different for all the reasons I listed above. He simply wouldn't expect Faith to respect life and death "the most" (unlike he did Willow) because she's not as well-versed in magic and the consequences of it as Willow should've been. He wouldn't necessarily consider her arrogant either if she didn't display any actual arrogance. Which isn’t to say he wouldn’t still be angry at Faith but it’s extremely unlikely his reaction would be the same. I could see him being angrier at Faith than he was at Xander/Anya/Tara because she'd be more of a driving force in his resurrection than they were Buffy, but less so than he was at Willow because he simply wouldn't have the same expectations of Faith.

    Giles would never take that back and he'd leave that as a final impression. Giles would then act like Faith was in a bad way and there was no correcting her course other than to give her dirty looks at times. Giles may come back around to considering teaching and helping Faith after some months if some Special Coven says that Giles should or if Giles is convinced that Faith harbors so much power that she should be weaponized for Team Good.
    Giles didn't take Willow in to become a weapon and there's absolutely no text at all to suggest the Coven told Giles he should. The Coven imbued him with their power to "take Willow down” and they were said to be fearful of her in England. Giles took Willow in because he obviously cares for her a great deal and wanted to help her. The idea that she needed to become a "weapon" didn't even become an issue until the "Hellmouth got all rumbly again" which was over 3 months since Giles had taken her in. That's why she had to go back "early" from a course designed to help her rehabilitate, or, as Dawn put it, "not be evil."

    This is will be Giles drastically and permanently reducing his opinion of Faith and Giles and choosing to have nothing to do with them for many months AT LEAST.
    How did Giles have nothing to do with Willow? In OMWF they're shown researching together (and by "together" I mean sitting extremely close and literally sharing the same book) and they're shown having a family meal in Life Serial. There is simply nothing in the text to suggest that there were was tension between them after Flooded or that there were any problems whilst living under the same roof for weeks afterwards. Giles left but it had nothing to do with Willow.
    Last edited by vampmogs; 26-01-13 at 01:26 PM.
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    Unfortunately, I think the whole question's moot. I'm not expecting more from Spike re: Angel trying to resurrect Giles than a shrug and an 'it worked okay with Buffy' comment.

    This is not because I think that's more IC for Spike (in fact, his recent reaction to Morgan wanting to open the hellmouth would suggest he's very aware of the dangers of doing major magic in a post-Seed world) but because I think the story as told in A&F will want to gloss over it as quickly as possible.

    In other words, I don't think anyone at Dark Horse thinks Spike's opinion about anything is important enough to waste panels on outside his own mini series.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vampmogs View Post
    I certainly agree that a lot of it had to do with Giles' views on resurrection but I think he was also especially angry because it involved Buffy and because Willow had went behind his back. The fact Willow was so blase or cavalier when she told him about the spell also clearly hit a nerve. I do think Giles takes resurrections seriously but I think there were a number of reasons which caused him to react like he did that wouldn't necessarily apply to every situation.
    Well, any resurrection of Giles would involve *him*. His person, his soul. A Faith/Giles resurrection would involve Faith working with Giles's murderer and former Twlight to resurrect Giles. A resurrection of Giles occurs after resurrecting Buffy and I would imagine that Giles has an attitude that Faith and Angel should know that Buffy thought being resurrected sucked and the lessons of history should have put them off. It wouldn't take long for a resurrected Giles to find out that Faith and Angel kept this a secret from his-equivalent-next-of-kin Buffy. All of those aggravating factors are worth more than the fact that Willow brought Buffy back and kept it a secret from Giles.

    That was based a lot on Willow's account of how it all happened, though. I can't say for certain Giles would have lashed out like that had she not been so cavalier or, well, arrogant, when she broke it all down. He was clearly angry and nothing Willow could have said would have changed that but calling her "arrogant" was a direct response to her calling herself "amazing." Calling her an "amateur" was because of her cavalier she was about the potential risks. Calling her "silly" was due to her making light of the spell and making references to the Blair Witch etc.
    First, Giles calls Willow "a stupid girl". Not silly. Second, I totally blame Giles for being such an ass to Willow. Willow did not do anything bad enough to be ripped into like that. Willow's account was cavalier and she kept secrets from Giles. However, from what Buffy told everyone in just the ep before, Willow rescued Buffy from suffering eternal torment in hell. Everyone believes that Buffy is traumatized because she was in hell. If Giles had any concern whatsoever for the safety of Sunnydale without an active slayer or for Dawn's status of having no family (which based on Giles's S6 actions is debateable), Willow helped those problems by bringing back Buffy.

    Even aside from that, people, as a rule, shouldn't be insulted and ripped into for trying to help and do the right thing but doing it sloppily, secretively and with an unpleasantly cavalier attitude. Using language like "stupid" and "arrogant" and accusing them of being tantamount to the demonic enemy serves no purpose. It just poisons a relationship and reduces civility.

    Now, if Willow had been a lot more serious about the whole thing that may have appeased Giles a little more. Maybe if she had started off with a heartfelt apology for going behind Giles' back but explaining why she felt she had to? Giles was going to be angry regardless because she did something that he disagrees with and she knew he disagreed with it ("They wouldn't understand") but it didn't have to become that heated.
    Maybe it would have appeased Giles a little bit, but he seemed like he was simmering with bitter angry in how ASH delivered, "Tell me about that spell that you used". IMO, he was planning on insulting Willow before she opened her mouth.

    I can totally understand why Giles would want to avoid a group intervention. Aside from the fact that they've never exactly went well, who was going to have his back? The people who all stood behind Willow and deceived him? Buffy? He's not going to want Buffy to see him tell Willow how wrong it was for her to bring Buffy back to life, and he can't exactly count on the support of the people he trusted less than Willow to respect the forces of nature and who participated in the spell.
    Both after Buffy admitted that she was in heaven or after everyone got their memories back in Tabula Rasa, Giles should have held a group intervention on how to help Buffy and how to bring Willow back in line. Despite some of the failures of interventions, Giles clearly hadn't become averse to them. He attempted one in The Gift and led one in Empty Places.

    Everyone would have been interested in such an intervention, except for Willow on the Tabula Rasa spell. It would have been healthy. It was needed. The fact that Giles didn't lead such an intervention indicates that a) he had no interest in trying to help solve Buffy's problems and b) that he knew Willow was continuing down a bad path from the resurrection (which I respected but he hated), her threat of Giles, her interest in doing magic for small tasks, and then the mindwipe but seemed to consider it too pre-destined/sure to happen to try to stop it.

    There's no reason he should because the circumstances are just totally different for all the reasons I listed above. He simply wouldn't expect Faith to respect life and death "the most" (unlike he did Willow) because she's not as well-versed in magic and the consequences of it as Willow should've been.
    I mentioned the aggravating factors behind any resurrection of Giles above. In addition, Giles could just as easily hold high expectations that Faith would understand Giles's wishes- to not be resurrected, for Faith to not wrap herself up in Angel's nonsense. Giles left Faith all of his property, which included dangerous and high powered magical artifacts and books. Giles arguably vested Faith with more responsibility (and certainly more privileges) than Willow.

    In fact, I think a resurrection of Giles is WAY WORSE than the resurrection of Buffy for the aggravating factors listed above. If I was to argue that Giles would be softer on Faith than Willow, my primary argument would be that Giles ended up liking Faith more than Willow and Giles ultimately felt a responsibility towards Faith more than Willow. As a Watcher, Giles feels some responsibility towards guiding Faith that he never felt for a clever teenager and then, witch like Willow.

    Giles didn't take Willow in to become a weapon and there's absolutely no text at all to suggest the Coven told Giles he should. The Coven imbued him with their power to "take Willow down” and they were said to be fearful of her in England. Giles took Willow in because he obviously cares for her a great deal and wanted to help her. The idea that she needed to become a "weapon" didn't even become an issue until the "Hellmouth got all rumbly again" which was over 3 months since Giles had taken her in. That's why she had to go back "early" from a course designed to help her rehabilitate, or, as Dawn put it, "not be evil."
    Willow's courses didn't seem to be about morals or psychological help or grief counseling. She didn't appear to get any of that. They were about how magic works and how to use her great power safely.

    WILLOW
    When you brought me here, I thought it was to kill me or to lock me in some mystical dungeon for all eternity or—with the torture. Instead, you go all Dumbledore on me. I'm learning about magic. All about energy and Gaia and root systems.
    Before the hellmouth rumbles, Giles tells her:

    GILES
    Everything's connected. You're connected to a great power, whether you feel it or not.

    WILLOW
    Well you should just take it from me.

    GILES
    You know we can't. This isn't a hobby or an addiction. It's inside you now, this magic. You're responsible for it.
    Willow has a great power which they can't take out of her. She's responsible for harnassing it. Hence, Giles and the Coven are teaching her. Willow had to leave earlier than expected because of great danger. However the fact that Giles questioned whether he did the right thing by pushing her to leave earlier, proves that the goal was always to train Willow up so she has information about magic's consequences and how it works and then send her back to Sunnydale to use her power.

    BTW, the Coven never told Giles to take Willow down. Buffy read that.

    GILES: The Council haven't a clue. About much of anything, really. (walking toward Buffy, leaning on the horse) No, there's an ... an extremely powerful coven in Devon. They sensed the rise of a dangerous magical force here in Sunnydale. A dark force, fueled by grief.
    BUFFY: Willow.
    GILES: I'd so hoped it wasn't her. (pauses) And then a seer in the coven told me about Tara. That's when the coven ... imbued me with their powers.
    BUFFY: And sent you here to bring Willow down.
    GILES: (looks at her) Buffy, what's happened here?
    Giles reports that the Coven was actually working on:

    GILES: Well, the coven is working on a ... way to extract her powers without ... killing her.
    Then, the magic that Giles gave to Willow which the Coven armed him with (which was the Coven's Plan B) wasn't Take Down-y magic.

    ANYA: You knew she'd going to take your powers all along.
    GILES: The gift I was given by the coven was the true essence of magic. Willow's magic came from a ... place of rage and power.
    ANYA: And vengeance. Don't forget vengeance.
    GILES: Oh. How could I? In any case, the magic she took from me tapped into ... the spark of humanity she had left. Helped her to feel again. Gave Xander the opportunity to ... reach her.
    How did Giles have nothing to do with Willow? In OMWF they're shown researching together (and by "together" I mean sitting extremely close and literally sharing the same book) and they're shown having a family meal in Life Serial. There is simply nothing in the text to suggest that there were was tension between them after Flooded or that there were any problems whilst living under the same roof for weeks afterwards. Giles left but it had nothing to do with Willow.
    First, Giles failed by not intervening after OMWF or Tabula Rasa. This is constructively "nothing to do with Willow".

    Second, I read lots of tension between Willow and Giles. Yes, they were living under the same roof after Giles presumably sold his house and Willow gave up her dorm and they were all living at Buffy's house. They researched from the same book when they were on a deadline.

    However, there are scenes where Giles just looks like he's bitterly judging Willow and assuming there's bad stuff at play without doing anything about it. He gives her a dirty look for suggesting to find the Trio through teleportation. When Willow suggests cleaning the Magic Box with magic, he pissily hands her a mop. Giles and Tara both share dirty looks at Willow conjuring magic decorations. He ranges from eye-rollly to disgusted at some of her comments (the breast girl remark in that very family dinner, observing that the lines in Walk through the Fire are filler). Through those actions or others, it was enough for Willow to believe that Tara and Giles were gossiping about Willow behind her back. That's Giles's attitude toward Willow in the few early S6 eps- his need to share a book and desire to eat dinner at the table with everyone else aside.

    His whole attitude is that he's angry at Willow, decided that he doesn't like her but he seems so convinced that she's just a screw-up that he doesn't see the point in trying to stop her.

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    Going back a bit --

    Quote Originally Posted by Dipstick View Post
    And after that, Angel "saved" Willow from herself because every evil dyke needs a manly vampire on hand to bite them and distract them from their evil plans with sex-ay euphoria.

    After that, Willow's moral of the Story of Angel is that she can't hate him. In the most ultimate display of saccharine OOC nonsense, *Willow" tells Faith that Faith has grown and done the best of all them. No, Willow wasn't reading some Faith-stan Tumblr post sarcastically. In the bizarro wrold of Family Reunion, *Willow* pondered how Faith was the best.
    My hatred for the Angel-Willow biting thing is well known. On the Willow stanning Faith thing, I think that this isn't something I object to in principle. Willow's hatred of Faith is something that made sense in s3-4, but I think Orpheus and s7 leave it open to interpretation how much it's still there. I don't think there are any indications in these episodes that Willow still dislikes her, and she seems excited about the prospect of bringing in more firepower (LMPTM), willing to console Faith and sorry for not having worked harder at it (on Faith's "yeah, prison is a safe place" or whatever it was line in Dirty Girls), and willing to follow Faith (Touched). There is some friendly banter, though not on a level greater than acquaintances, at the end of Chosen with the "Can I push him in?"/"You got my vote!" exchange. The following Faith around was bad writing for various reasons, but I do think that Willow coming around on Faith makes sense now that Willow has herself been there, or been to a similarly dark place.

    She does say, in Anywhere But Here, that she's never been a fan of Faith -- which I think is true, but I think is also designed to be sympathetic to Buffy's recent traumatic nearly-being-drowned-to-death.

    Anyway, I think that really s7-8 present a few bits of contradictory information on how much she actually likes her or approves of her, but they certainly (to me) suggest that the anger that Faith evoked in previous years is mostly gone and I think that could reasonably lead to admiration of some kind. I don't have a problem with her mostly friendly stance toward Faith in A&F #11 at all.

    The real problem with A&F #14's "omg Faith I want to have your babies"-toned stuff is that there is absolutely no setup for it -- what exactly did Faith do in these issues that could lead Willow to have a new, more effusive take on Faith? Has Willow been wanting to tell Faith how much she's grown for years and has just waited for the opportunity? What? The act of fluffing Faith up doesn't follow from any characterization in the previous issues.

    Still, I find Willow's effusiveness about how far Faith has come to be less objectionable than the other stuff and the propping Angel up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Local Maximum View Post
    The real problem with A&F #14's "omg Faith I want to have your babies"-toned stuff is that there is absolutely no setup for it -- what exactly did Faith do in these issues that could lead Willow to have a new, more effusive take on Faith? Has Willow been wanting to tell Faith how much she's grown for years and has just waited for the opportunity? What? The act of fluffing Faith up doesn't follow from any characterization in the previous issues.
    Yeah, it's Wilow's effusive I LOOOOOOVE YOU FATHIE tone that bugs. I agree with you that there is more evidence that Willow thinks well of Faith from S7 on than evidence that she thinks poorly. (Although, I don't know whether to blame the director or AH or the writer but I was disappointed that I can't get any kind of read on how Willow felt about Faith becoming the new General at the end of S7. I blame the writers and director, mostly, because I didn't get a good read from any of the Scoobies, save Giles, how they felt about Faith as the new General in light of past history. However, I do wish that AH and the other actors compensated for the gaps in the writing.)

    In that vein, I believe Willow's confidence in #11 that Faith is the best person to manage Angel- particularly if I marry it with a "darker with shades of loyalty to Buffy" reading that Willow thinks that it's better that Faith gets stuck in such an unenviable role of being Angel's sponsor than say, Buffy. Better for Faith to fill that void in London so Buffy isn't sucked back into Angel's crap in San Fran.

    However, Willow is way OTT. First, only real and amatuer psychiatrists and parents tell folks in the real world that they've "grown". This "growing the most" is a thing in fandom for fiction but not really the real world. When Anya announces that she's grown because she no longer wants to have a slaughter in S5 or when Harry announces in When Harry Met Sally that he thinks he's grown because he didn't bang some obnoxious woman because she was obnoxious, they sound ridiculous. In part because their standards for growing are really low and in part because announcing whether someone has morally grown is odd in the real world. To borrow from Willow herself:

    ANYA: That's so very humorous. Make fun of the ex-demon! I can just hear you in private. (talks to the chicken foot) 'I dislike that Anya. She's newly human and strangely literal.'
    WILLOW: (frowns) Anya, I don't say that. No one says that. No one talks that way.
    Willow, herself, was surrounded by changing and growing people in S1-9. She never burbles on about whether they've grown. Other than her specific admiring observations of what Oz has been able to do (tame the wolf, travel around the world and learn a lot and go through and mind and body transformations, build a family)- but note that In Character Willow made specific observations of what Oz did. She didn't prosaically state that he grew or grew the mostest.

    Also, Willow doesn't really publicly put herself down in comparison to folks beyond her Circle of Trust. It reads to me as false that Willow would give Faith such ammunition as Willow admitting that she's not as good as Faith- even if she felt that way. When Willow tells Buffy or Tara that she feels inferior next to them in The Pack or Wrecked or Tough Love that's a significant admission that is hard for Willow to admit outloud to even those that she loves and trusts best in the world. If it's hard for Willow to admit inferiority outloud to her favorite people, it doesn't make sense that she'd publicly admit it as a Grand Declaration before Faith, Angel and Connor.

    It also feels annoying. Connor was annoying because he was Marty Stuish but, in part because of his Marty Stuishness, I'd be forced to give him the "Grown the Most Pennant." I guess Willow doesn't know how much Connor has screwed up in the past but that's all the more reason why Willow should keep her yap shut about evaluating growth. Also because while Faith *has* grown and very possibly grown more than Willow and Angel, I wouldn't give her blue ribbons yet.

    Willow seems deliberately blind to the fact that Faith is housing Angel in her home, hadn't told Nadira about her relationship with Angel, is aiding and abetting a resurrection that Willow disagrees with, unlike Buffy, shows no signs of wanting get gainful employment in addition to being a slayer and (if Willow was self-aware to the point of being OOC) aiding Willow in a project to restore magic without trying to insure against risks.

    Also, it's mismatched with Willow's arc. Willow's mini goes heavy on the theme that Willow's not as cured from meglomania and magic addiction and whatever as she thinks she is. So given the story that Dark Horse is generally telling about Willow, it feels super-weird that Willow inaugurates her dark path to totally change the world, one Willow at a time, by acknowledging that Faith has grown more than her.

    Yup, I did not like the "grown the mostest" comment. Even if I really agree that most evidence indicates that Willow likes Faith okay post-Faith's jail term.
    Last edited by Dipstick; 26-01-13 at 07:10 PM.

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    I mean, the dialogue sounds like Giles saying "she was truly the best of all of us," which, again, was a) meant to be ridiculous/humourous! and b) was when she had just died and inappropriately effusive statements were called for.

    But it's still weird to say this about Faith. Faith entered Willow's life as a weird, badass slayer who did her job. Then she became a murderer, near-rapist and that is really bad. But Spike, not present, entered Willow's life as unrepentant mass murderer and is currently part of the world-saving brigade. That's a bigger climb than Faith has had. Is Spike included in the you & me & everyone we know that Willow is referring to? Angel I'm willing to let go because she disapproves of him, but Willow would recognize that she is insulting Angel by saying that Faith's trajectory from murdering 2 or so people to present day is more remarkable than Angel's trajectory from mass murderer to present? I mean, Angel maybe deserves to be insulted -- but it's really not of a piece with her tone toward him the rest of the time.

    Willow didn't see any of the intervening time between Who Are You and Orpheus; she missed the key moments of Faith's turnaround. It is really weird and Authorial Voice to make a bold statement about how Faith has changed when she doesn't really know who Faith is, hasn't witnessed key portions of her growth, etc. Her generic "Connor you're a great guy!" is still weird but it is the type of thing that people do say. "You have come so far!" is something a teacher might say to a student or something, but who exactly gives out "Most Improved Former Murderer" awards to peers? Willow and Faith are the same age (give or take a year or two), for crying out loud.

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    Dedicated Spike Fan Maggie's Avatar
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    Interesting conversation, guys. Alas, there's an easy explanation for Willow's line about Faith. It's what the writers think -- I've heard that line from at least three of them. Faith has grown more than anyone in the 'verse, blah blah blah.

    And what's sad about that is I think it comes from a really superficial reading of the show. Faith was once eevil. Now she's learned her lesson. Therefore she's grown the most. I mean, I think Faith has mastered certain lessons other characters haven't mastered -- and am a major fan of hers on account of that. BUT, she got those lessons precisely because she came in as a lost villain. Moreover, the stuff I'd point to -- being somewhat humble about power -- is probably not what they have in mind. They just mean "went from villain to being OK".

    Even more importantly, that's a narrow criterion for measuring growth. Faith had a head start on learning the downside of abusing power because that's the first lesson she had to learn. Willow and Buffy have had to work up to even getting to that lesson. But by the same token, Willow and Buffy have a lot more growth about the struggles of being a good guy with all the sacrifices that go with it. Faith has a lot of growing to do on that front. So it's comparing apples to oranges to try to figure out who has grown the most. And this is my big point. Partisan anti-protagonist fans like myself might want to argue that Faith has grown the most -- but the writers shouldn't be writing the story of "who has grown the most". They should be writing the story of complicated characters navigating complicated circumstances.

    That the writers have parroted that line multiple times is a measure, I think, of the way the comics are dumbed-down from the show. All the characters are getting slapped with short capsule descriptions of who they are, and that's obscuring the marvelous complexity we are used to. Willow has magic issues. Well, yeah, she does. But the show had much more of interest to say about them. Spike is hung up on Buffy. Yes, he is. But again, the show had more interesting things to say about that. etc. etc.

    At the end of the day I think it's a mistake to expect the comics to conform to the nuances that fans have drawn from thinking a lot about the show. My guess is that if you cornered Gage in a bar for a friendly conversation about the show, you'd find that he couldn't come close to naming all the times Willow and Faith interacted, much less the nuances of those interactions.

    Which is frustrating, of course. And while it's clearly true that the comics did better with that sort of thing in season 8 when Joss was much more involved -- I'm not sure even Joss is as in touch with all this stuff as we are. The show itself wasn't always good about tracking these nuances. Joss resists the reset button on characters -- but I think he does that to some extent. See his desire to have Connor just magically become a "together" guy; or the vagueness about who knows what between SD and LA, for example.

    To go back to something y'all were discussing above, the main reason Giles was harsh on Willow in Flooded was because season 6 was about Willow's power issues. I don't think there was as much thought put into the question of whether Giles would organically arrive at that attitude or not. Just as I don't think there was much thought put into whether Giles wouldn't become Dumbledore for Willow in season 7, when the focus was on everyone magically healing from the trauma of season 6.

    But those things were minor compared to what's going on now. (And mind you - I love season 6 -- I just think that by then there was already a tendency to be not so careful in respecting the nuances that had been laid into the text in prior seasons. Maybe it's not possible to give each season a fresh "theme" AND maintain perfect organic development in characters.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Local Maximum View Post
    I mean, the dialogue sounds like Giles saying "she was truly the best of all of us," which, again, was a) meant to be ridiculous/humourous! and b) was when she had just died and inappropriately effusive statements were called for.
    Yup. Also, "best of all of us" is so fuzzily sentimental while "grown the most" sounds like a dispassionate judgement on progress. Emotionally, I get how S3 Willow's bubbliness, her optimism, her sweetness, her precociousness brings out sentimental hyperbole like "best of us" even if she's not the Best Member of the Core Four, especially if Willow just "died". However, "grown the most" doesn't spring from sentimentality over cute and sweet traits that just make you want to hug them closer. It's an objection valuation of progress, on its face.

    Is Spike included in the you & me & everyone we know that Willow is referring to? Angel I'm willing to let go because she disapproves of him, but Willow would recognize that she is insulting Angel by saying that Faith's trajectory from murdering 2 or so people to present day is more remarkable than Angel's trajectory from mass murderer to present? I mean, Angel maybe deserves to be insulted -- but it's really not of a piece with her tone toward him the rest of the time.
    I don't think Spike is included. I think Willow was just referring to the group. It's a mirror of how Faith was saying that no one in that group had a good track record when it comes to playing G-d.

    Maggie , I totally agree with your last post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie View Post
    And what's sad about that is I think it comes from a really superficial reading of the show. Faith was once eevil. Now she's learned her lesson. Therefore she's grown the most. I mean, I think Faith has mastered certain lessons other characters haven't mastered -- and am a major fan of hers on account of that. BUT, she got those lessons precisely because she came in as a lost villain. Moreover, the stuff I'd point to -- being somewhat humble about power -- is probably not what they have in mind. They just mean "went from villain to being OK".
    Coming out of Family Reunion, if I had to rate who would be the least likely to fly off the handle and commit a crime of malice, I'd pick Faith over Willow and Angel. However, one of the two major reasons why Faith would beat Willow in that scale is because Faith has MUCH less triggers to fly off the handle because Faith cares about less people and doesn't have magic in her system. The other better reason for Faith is that IMO Faith is more thoughtful now about how her actions may affect people while Willow acts more instinctively.

    But is that the metric of growing the most? Whether you're likely to fly off the handle and commit a crime of malice? That seems lame and inapplicable to most people's lives.

    To go back to something y'all were discussing above, the main reason Giles was harsh on Willow in Flooded was because season 6 was about Willow's power issues. I don't think there was as much thought put into the question of whether Giles would organically arrive at that attitude or not. Just as I don't think there was much thought put into whether Giles wouldn't become Dumbledore for Willow in season 7, when the focus was on everyone magically healing from the trauma of season 6.
    I agree completely. Characters' inorganic ways of scolding Willow for magic use in S5-6 before Willow really did anything wrong because the writers knew that Willow would seriously abuse her power in the future really ticks me off. It's one of the reasons why I don't like Tara and it does Giles no favors. I do believe that Dawn had the best writing on how to react to Willow's crimes. Believably trusting and kind and sympathetic based on all past history with Willow and her understanding of what Willow was trying to do up until Wrecked. Believably angry with Willow after Wrecked for several eps and then believably fond of Willow again after Willow earned Dawn's trust in mid/late-S6. Then, she takes a very reasonable hardline stance on blaming Willow for her crap and envisioning a Scooby gang without Willow if she'll continue to be evil in early S7.

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    Good post, Maggie. I actually specifically avoided commenting on the Giles-in-Flooded thing because I can't 100% track where Giles is there, though I have, as Willow put in in The Gift, "Some ideas. Well, notions. Or, theories based on wild speculation. Did I mention I'm not good under pressure?"

    I will put this out there but not defend it right now because, who knows whether I can back this up (it has been a while since I watched this, partly because I'm afraid s6 won't hold up):

    Giles is devastated by Buffy's death. He hangs around training the Buffybot while Willow is in charge of the gang in most ways. His responsibility should be about making sure Willow -- and the rest of the gang, but Willow especially, since she's in the leadership position -- is able to do the job of defending Sunnydale. This means both that Sunnydale should be in good hands, and that the gang is ready for the task without cracking under the pressure. When he leaves, he avoids talking to the gang because he doesn't want to make a scene but in particular because there is so much left unsaid with Willow. In addition to all that, Giles is part of the reason Willow wanted to resurrect Buffy -- she cares about him and knows that he's lost without Buffy.

    Willow's excitement (possibly arrogance) about telling Giles about it in Flooded is partly about the excitement of getting Giles' approval. And so rather than stating that Giles' anger is because he's decided he doesn't care about Willow, maybe it's because he does care, and doesn't know what to do with this. Willow 1) reminds Giles of his younger self, and 2) Giles abandoned her. His abandonment of her and the whole Scooby gang only makes sense if Willow et al. were ready for it. Which they demonstrably weren't. Not because they were arrogant or whatever, not because they chose the resurrection, whatever, but because there is no way they could be. Giles left for Giles, and the idea that the gang could take care of themselves is a lie he told himself to allow him to get away from the painful thing of Sunnydale.

    He does take an anti-resurrection stance. And Buffy is alive and, um, maybe well and maybe not? But he doesn't know what to do about her being back; and he's annoyed that he didn't think of resurrecting Buffy and that Willow did that ritual without his input because that is clearly the thing you need Adult Supervision for.

    The main way to resolve the contradiction is to yell at Willow. This is identified as a lovers' spat (by Willow in Grave) and is also Giles repositioning Willow as a child ("stupid girl"). But the giveaway line is that he expected her to blah blah blah respect the forces of nature. Why did he expect that? Because it was convenient for him to -- he gets angry because he expected that Willow could take over and do all the hard emotional stuff that he wasn't willing to do, and then she went and did something he disapproved of! And I think he recognizes this contradiction on some level deep down, but it's too painful to reconcile entirely.

    And Giles being Giles, after he yells at her, he drops it. What else is he supposed to do? Or rather, what else is Giles supposed to do that doesn't require work from him? He's exhausted, still unable to process having lost Buffy, and his yelling match with Willow didn't have the desired effect of having her grovel to him and apologize, which is, I think, what he had expected. He finds a new reason to leave -- Buffy is better off without him there! -- which isn't even entirely wrong, and gets out.

    When Giles comes back in Grave, he tells Buffy he shouldn't have left. Unlike in Flooded, where he's been dragged away from his England life the moment he started to adapt to it, it seems as if he's ready to return, and has worked out some of his stuff off screen. For one thing, he's even more harshly willing to reject the Council and is more able to own his Ripper side upon his return. The Ripper-ness of deciding to go into a big magic fight is debatable, but, still, I think that it's there -- Giles ain't holding back, after all! -- and not only that, the shooting script agrees with me!

    Reverse angle reveals: GILES. Standing in the doorway in leather jacket, no glasses, pure RIPPER.
    Yay. Anyway, the reason I suggest this is that Giles' reluctance to admit to his magic-using past has been a big thing, as well as his reliance on his Watcher identity as a way to obscure and cover up his rebel past. Giles' Dumbledoring in S7 is, I think, consistent with him coming in in Grave and not only backtracking on his Sink-Or-Swim mentality with Buffy but also deciding to give Willow *more* power rather than destroy her.

    And this, I think, makes sense if Giles' yelling at Willow was in part based on a combination of knee-jerk upset that Willow is going through her own Ripper phase which he should have done something about earlier, and in part based on guilt over having abandoned her. Yes, yes, the actual transition is offscreen and that's bad, etc., but I do think that Giles' reentry in TTG seems to me to be a guy who has figured out that he's been wrong and (partly) why, and the reasoning is told partly in the visual cues associated with him and throwaway lines, which I like.

    Thematically, I actually really like that Giles comes back renewed (with new Coveny energy, even) -- because part of season six, as, for example, beer_good_foamy has written about at length, for example here, is about what used to be an open system becoming a closed system, where there are few external threats and the gang gradually lose themselves. The idea that Giles actually goes away to achieve his renewal, which he wouldn't have been able to get in Sunnydale, is something the text doesn't make explicit and maybe I'm fanwanking (blah blah) but I actually think fits pretty well with what the season is about.

    At any rate, the idea that Giles has a transition between TR and TTG is something that makes total intuitive sense to me and I think is supported by the way he is written and performed -- reenergized as opposed to the fairly exhausted, defeated Giles we largely see in the whole run from late s5 through TR (excepting memory!loss!Giles).

    This is actually the general thing about my love affair with season six -- I feel like I ~get why everything happens! But some of it is not explained at all. Does that make the season extra-awesome because it beams these things into my head (well, with a little help from some meta-analysis)? Or am I just, you know, a weird natural interpolater and the various cracks in the season are perfect for me to fill in? WHO KNOWS. I mean, there is probably some way to determine which it is, but I am always a bit worried that the correct answer is door number two, which, I would prefer if it were door number one.
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    Max, I agree that season 6 is quite "wankable". I guess I'd say that the difficulty is that there's more need to do the wanking. The earlier seasons did a better job of subtly weaving all those tensions, stray motivations and the like, into the text.

    I don't think Giles in Flooded is completely out of the blue, for the reasons you say. I'd add in two more. Giles has also just snuffed a quasi-innocent human being for the greater good... a major event that the text never deals with explicitly, but which is available as subtext for what happens early in season 6. Keep in mind that in doing so he declared himself to be _not_ the hero that Buffy was. Willow's obvious giddiness about her own power could have reminded him that neither is Willow that sort of hero.

    I'd also add that Giles had a long-standing practice of only really worrying about Buffy. I think in Flooded he's confronted with the fact that he ought to have been more proactive as a mentor for Willow -- but that's a task he's plainly been shirking for years (and there were a lot of small bits in seasons 3 and 4 that drew attention to that dynamic; most notably Willow correctly arguing that Giles is blind when it comes to her). He's then presented with the evidence of his own neglect and takes it out on the object of that neglect.

    The only reason I suggest it might be underdeveloped is that many obviously think that Giles' rage is unmotivated. And in general, season 6 gets the critiques it gets because there are many things that fans think is OC on the part of this character or that. Like you, I think it all works or at least can be made to work. But the audience does seem to have to do more of the work than they had to do in the early seasons when, as I said, these nuances were usually set in pretty clearly so that anyone puzzled by a given behavior could quickly find explanations set up for them in the text. (That's what made working on the notes for the early years so fun).

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    Awesome post, Local_Max. I believe all of those reasons behind Giles's blow-up at Willow. I'm not sure if it's authorially intended but it tracks with everything. IMO, it tracks better with Giles's past behavior and who I feel Giles *is* than my angrier post. I hate Giles's abandonment and blow-up at Willow but I'll admit that I was feeling uncomfortable writing comments about Giles's reaction to Willow's "death" in Doppelgangland right next to arguing that Giles wrote Willow off in S6. (Even though, I do think that Giles cared less about Willow and I stand by my argument that Willow resurrecting Buffy and Giles's anger towards it mostly ruined a nice relationship.)

    Posts like these are why you're so successful at meta-ing S6, in particular, and the show in general. You have a logical mind but you know how to step out of it and embrace the messy emotions and trauma that shape the show.

    Quote Originally Posted by Local Maximum View Post
    When he leaves, he avoids talking to the gang because he doesn't want to make a scene but in particular because there is so much left unsaid with Willow.
    I like this point. It tracks very well with both the emotions and literal language in Giles's goodbye to Willow at the airport.

    Giles turns to Willow. She smiles nervously.

    GILES: Willow. I don't know where to start. (they hug)
    Boom, that speaks directly to your point to the point that it actually makes me wonder if it was authorially intended that part of Giles's angry attitude was that he shirked his duties re: Willow.

    He does take an anti-resurrection stance. And Buffy is alive and, um, maybe well and maybe not? But he doesn't know what to do about her being back; and he's annoyed that he didn't think of resurrecting Buffy and that Willow did that ritual without his input because that is clearly the thing you need Adult Supervision for.
    Agreed. Giles leaves to yell at Willow after having a pretty sad conversation with Buffy where she dwells on her financial problems and how scared she is of having to deal with the world and where she openly leans on Giles and talks about how glad she is to have him back. Both Buffy's sadness at having to be an alive adult and her open desire to lean on Giles IMO sparked his anger towards Willow.

    The main way to resolve the contradiction is to yell at Willow. This is identified as a lovers' spat (by Willow in Grave) and is also Giles repositioning Willow as a child ("stupid girl"). But the giveaway line is that he expected her to blah blah blah respect the forces of nature. Why did he expect that? Because it was convenient for him to -- he gets angry because he expected that Willow could take over and do all the hard emotional stuff that he wasn't willing to do, and then she went and did something he disapproved of! And I think he recognizes this contradiction on some level deep down, but it's too painful to reconcile entirely.
    Not the first time that a parental figure of Willow physically and mentally checked out and expected her to raise herself like an adult and then came back and got furiously, violently angry that Willow was doing stuff that they disapproved of. I.e. the plot of Gingerbread.

    And Giles being Giles, after he yells at her, he drops it. What else is he supposed to do? Or rather, what else is Giles supposed to do that doesn't require work from him? He's exhausted, still unable to process having lost Buffy, and his yelling match with Willow didn't have the desired effect of having her grovel to him and apologize, which is, I think, what he had expected. He finds a new reason to leave -- Buffy is better off without him there! -- which isn't even entirely wrong, and gets out.
    I agree that Giles didn't know what to do after Flooded. IMO, Willow confuses things by showing a reason to get worried by threatening Giles and then showing a reason why Giles shouldn't get angry by saying that she doesn't want to fight with him, promising to think about what he said and bring things around the main issue of the day- being happy that Buffy is alive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie View Post
    Max, I agree that season 6 is quite "wankable". I guess I'd say that the difficulty is that there's more need to do the wanking. The earlier seasons did a better job of subtly weaving all those tensions, stray motivations and the like, into the text.
    I agree with this. The one thing that I think can be used to defend s6 on this subject is that, again, form mirrors content -- this is the season of entropy & decay, and it makes sense that there is a little bit less order. And I don't mean just on the writing level. I think that the link between action and reaction in season six is somewhat more obscure, and this is not all a flaw -- the characters don't understand themselves as much as they do in other years.

    I don't think Giles in Flooded is completely out of the blue, for the reasons you say. I'd add in two more. Giles has also just snuffed a quasi-innocent human being for the greater good... a major event that the text never deals with explicitly, but which is available as subtext for what happens early in season 6. Keep in mind that in doing so he declared himself to be _not_ the hero that Buffy was. Willow's obvious giddiness about her own power could have reminded him that neither is Willow that sort of hero.

    I'd also add that Giles had a long-standing practice of only really worrying about Buffy. I think in Flooded he's confronted with the fact that he ought to have been more proactive as a mentor for Willow -- but that's a task he's plainly been shirking for years (and there were a lot of small bits in seasons 3 and 4 that drew attention to that dynamic; most notably Willow correctly arguing that Giles is blind when it comes to her). He's then presented with the evidence of his own neglect and takes it out on the object of that neglect.
    Yes. And I think if Giles were smart enough, he would recognize, at least on some level, that Willow is trying to get his approval, and thinks she has earned it by resurrecting Buffy. I don't think Willow did the spell for Giles at all. But on some level, it's there -- Giles has to recognize that Willow thinks that Giles would approve, and that makes him swing even further in his disapproval.

    I also think that some of the same thing is going on as one of the layers of the Xander-Spike scene in After Life. Like Spike, Giles *is* glad Buffy's back. More so than Spike, Giles' rigid Watcher every-girl-dies-at-twenty-come-on-stiff-upper-lip-man-dark-magic-bad stuff tells him that he should be upset Buffy is back alive. The contradiction is confusing and the easiest way to resolve it is to demonize Willow for doing the thing that Giles partly wishes he hadn't done.

    Giles is also acting in Buffy's interests, in his own head/way, because he recognizes that Buffy's not actually happy.

    The only reason I suggest it might be underdeveloped is that many obviously think that Giles' rage is unmotivated. And in general, season 6 gets the critiques it gets because there are many things that fans think is OC on the part of this character or that. Like you, I think it all works or at least can be made to work. But the audience does seem to have to do more of the work than they had to do in the early seasons when, as I said, these nuances were usually set in pretty clearly so that anyone puzzled by a given behavior could quickly find explanations set up for them in the text. (That's what made working on the notes for the early years so fun).
    I generally agree. See above re: a defense. The notes were really fun. Though, to be fair, there were some big gaps in the early seasons -- starting with Jesse's death never coming up again (until Allie somewhat hamfistedly included it recently), Buffy's going from 0 to 60, or, at least, like, 3 to 60 with Faith in Bad Girls (which I think Emmie in particular explained well!). I seem to remember you having problems with Giles in Helpless :P.

    Regrettably, I do think that Giles' off-screen transformation between TR and TTG is something that we don't get enough information on. The reason I don't mind, I think, is that I really can imagine it and we are given hints about what it might entail (again, the more Ripper-y outfit, the alignment with the Coven instead of the Watchers Council, the apology for having left) and some of it really is just, you know -- season six, ultimately, really isn't Giles' year, and it makes sense to me that people are going to change in time away from the main cast.

    ETA: by it's not Giles' year, I mean, his character development is not the focus, not "this year sucks for Giles," though many feel that way.
    Last edited by Local Maximum; 27-01-13 at 12:15 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie View Post
    The only reason I suggest it might be underdeveloped is that many obviously think that Giles' rage is unmotivated.
    Maggie, would you mind expounding on how you read Giles' rage as unmotivated? Just trying to understand better.

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