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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dipstick View Post
    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.)
    I think that my read ends up fitting better with Giles' role in Grave/Lessons -- which is, in my read, a guy who really does care about Willow.

    I should have talked about it before, but I have never particularly agreed with fans when they suggest that Giles should (should as in, it would be what would make sense for his character) be angry at Willow for nearly killing him in Grave. Now, I think Giles would be justified in anger, absolutely -- but I think he entered the arena in TTG knowing exactly what to expect, and some of that was, again, connecting to the general point about Giles being angry at himself for failing Willow (and, in parallel, for failing Buffy -- which he even says, when he says he shouldn't have left) that he's going to do whatever, recognize that Willow is thrashing about partly because she has lacked guidance, and he's been there (or at least something like that) before, Ripper-wise and all. I think Giles is actually the least angry at Willow in s7 because he went in knowing exactly what emotional state she was in -- or, well, he clearly didn't, because I don't think he predicted she was going to go apocalyptic; but I think he knew that she was going to be angry and he was okay with that.

    Still, much as Giles cares about Willow, it's not as much as he cares about Buffy, and he does have periods where he completely forgets Willow exists.

    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.
    awww. shucks.

    I like this point. It tracks very well with both the emotions and literal language in Giles's goodbye to Willow at the airport.



    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.
    The other argument is that Willow calls him on his hypocrisy in Grave -- which, I think that the hypocrisy of "waltzing in on your borrowed magic so you can tell me what, magic's bad? behave? be a good girl" is pretty similar to the hypocrisy of leaving her in charge in an impossible situation and then coming back and yelling at her for the choices she made in that impossible situation. I am stretching on the specifics, but I think there is text in Grave, both in Giles' apology to Buffy and in Willow's calling him on his jerkiness, that the writers were at least thinking about that at the end of the season, which means maybe they were thinking about it earlier.

    Of course, Willow is eeeeeeevil at the time so maybe we aren't supposed to take her seriously! But I do think that in Villains-Grave the majority of Willow's lines are basically meant to be true. When Willow yells at Dawn for being whiny, I don't think the writers were trying to make up random stuff that an evil person would think of but that totally wasn't true; I think they were commenting on a true thing about Dawn. (Which, Dawn has a very good reason to whine, and a better reason to whine than Giles does to be the way he is.)

    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.
    Oooh yes, I forgot the timing, but Giles' annoyance at the fact that Willow's decisions force Giles into a difficult situation does really contribute in a much bigger way than "abstractly I believe that resurrections are wrong and I will yell that at you!"

    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.
    Yep!

    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.
    Yep. Which, Willow does that on purpose I think (or at least subconsciously) -- the mixed message of "I am powerful and threatening you" and "I am sweet and lovable, remember how I'm sweet and lovable?" is a pretty devastating one-two punch that also reflects Willow's split. She wants to be both badass, indestructible and amoral girl (but she's probably evil and naughty and wrong) and lovable, reliable good girl (but she's geeky and losery); in early season six she's both able to manipulate both images to get what she wants and is being crushed under the fact that neither are a place she actually feels at home in.
    Last edited by Local Maximum; 26-01-13 at 11:46 PM.

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  3. #42
    Dedicated Spike Fan Maggie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emmie View Post
    Maggie, would you mind expounding on how you read Giles' rage as unmotivated? Just trying to understand better.
    I don't think it's unmotivated. It just seemed in the flow of this conversation that many had taken it to be so -- or at the very least one could say there's a wide range of views of what was going on there. Maybe I misread. (Though I do stand by the assertion that season 6 does seem to attract a lot more criticisms of the "this behavior was OC" variety in general).

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    Responding to this stuff more specifically now that I've done my Willow-Giles defense --

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie View Post
    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.
    I think this is right. Ironically, perhaps, the line about Faith having grown the most probably came down from Joss' saying that Faith was "more evolved" than Buffy.

    Now, the "things went funky in L.A." line in Twilight from Meltzer was surely a reference to Joss' actual interview and seemed like a riff on the general metatextual Nature-Of-The-Medium stuff they were doing in that arc. Same with Andrew's comment about Spike having more edge in Predators and Prey. I wonder if Willow's line which so closely parrots an actual line from the comics people is meant to be a joke -- as I interpret the others as. But I'm not sure what the joke here is supposed to be. In P&P, the joke is that Andrew is a fanboy (ha ha) and in Twilight the joke is that the comic is actually a comic and Angel's entrance is contrived (ha ha). The joke here would be.....

    So, I mean, it's probably not a joke. Alas, this would have been a good use of Andrew -- because Andrew basically would say that, and it would be obvious it's a joke about the fan within the story. With Willow, it's ??????? I guess Faith responds with good humour, so maybe the joke is that Gage wanted to think of what Faith would say if she heard how the comics writers thought about her and Willow is naturally a prop.

    ETA: also I really appreciate the way Maggie identifies here the difference between ways in which Faith has grown and Buffy/Willow (e.g.) have grown. I do agree that Faith probably wins Most Improved Murderess award, but when exactly did that become an in-universe category?
    Last edited by Local Maximum; 27-01-13 at 12:22 AM.

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    This was originally in response to Dipstick but I'll try and make it more general as the discussion has turned to Giles;

    Quote Originally Posted by Dipstick View Post
    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.
    No, at least part of Buffy's trauma came from having to claw herself out of her own grave which they all realised right away when they saw her;

    XANDER: No. How could we ... so stupid!
    WILLOW: Xander!
    XANDER: Our spell. Our resurrection spell worked like a magic charm. We brought you back to life, Buffy. (looks at Willow) Right where we left her.
    Willow and Tara look shocked.
    WILLOW: Oh god.
    XANDER: In her coffin.
    TARA: She had to ... dig out of her own grave.
    XANDER: Buffy (loudly) Buffy, it's Xander. We're sorry. We didn't know. Buffy.
    TARA: You aren't reaching her, she's too traumatized.
    She’s too traumatised to be reached because she had to dig out of her own grave. Willow completely glosses over a significant part of Buffy’s trauma when talking to Giles and blatantly misrepresents what actually happened that night. And Giles knows Buffy’s suffering from that ordeal because she explicitly tells him that sleeping is hard because of “the whole waking up in a box thing.”

    Not to mention that at this point I think Giles actually suspects Buffy may not have been in a hell dimension at all. He tells Willow that “they still don’t know where she was” which seems spurned on by his earlier conversation with Buffy when he told her that he’s glad she’s back but she just walks away, leaving him concerned.

    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.
    Look, ideally it’s not good to yell at or insult anyone so, yes, I can’t exactly say Giles was right to rip Willow a new one. But there at times when it’s a little more excusable, a little more understandable, and IMO this is absolutely one of those times. Coming off the back of Bargaining I & II, Willow comes across really bad in that scene given her version of events is very misleading, at worst blatantly dishonest, and incredibly self-indulgent. Add on the fact that she hasn’t so much as apologised to Giles for going behind his back for 145 days, and if I were Giles I’d find it very hard to keep a civil tongue too.

    And frankly, nothing Giles says even compares to Willow threatening him – “You’re right, the magics I use are very powerful. I’m very powerful. And maybe it’s not such a good idea for you to piss me off.” Its one thing to yell at someone but it’s quite another to intimidate someone and threaten them with harm.

    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 think he planned on “telling Willow off” or confronting her about the spell but that’s very different from insulting her. It was Willow’s cavalier attitude and arrogance that led to him insulting her.

    I dunno guys, I don't find it hard to understand where Giles is coming from at all. He's just had a conversation with Buffy (aka his Surrogate Daughter) which has left him deeply concerned. She's traumatised and acting awfully suspect when he expresses how glad he is to have her back and it has him worried ("We still don't know where she was and I'm far from convinced that she's come out of this unscathed"). The very next thing he does is talk to Willow and intentionally or not, she's pretty much making a mockery of the entire situation. It's bound to set him off! I do believe Willow was trying to help but she doesn't exactly show off her best side here. She boasts about "totally keeping her cool" and then when Giles first calls her stupid her response isn't "I was trying to help!" it's "I thought you'd be IMPRESSED or something." She then follows it up by calling herself "amazing" and claiming nobody else could do what she did. I don't find it hard to see why Giles thought of her as arrogant and why that would enrage him so, given his concern about Buffy and his views on resurrections in general.
    Last edited by vampmogs; 27-01-13 at 12:41 AM.
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    So I've been staying out of this discussion and exegesis about Spike getting into Angel's "Twilight" choices and his agenda to resurrect Giles on the core merits of either. I've been doing this for one reason. Can anyone guess what it is?

    Because there is that little chance of this actually being taken up as more than a pithy one-liner during Spike's appearance.

    I think I'm more than fair to AnF and it has been unambiguously superior to the Season 9 main title in every possible way... but it doesn't change the fact the book has, from the top level down, gone out of its way to divest itself of serious character study related to Twilight, and, really, this resurrection thing has stayed pretty surface as well. I mean, I can't recall off hand the book itself even getting into what Giles himself would actually want -- not even by people opposed to the idea! And a "Soul Purpose"/"Awakening"/"Restless" level look inside the Twilight thing? No sign of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KingofCretins View Post
    Because there is that little chance of this actually being taken up as more than a pithy one-liner during Spike's appearance.
    Right, but I kicked off this tangent on the premise of this being what I wanted to happen, not what I expected.

    Frankly, if all we ever talked about with the comics was what we expected to happen... that just sounds so utterly depressing to me.

    At this point I'm having more enjoyment imagining what could happen, if the characters were actually true to themselves and the narrative did them justice, than the finished product.
    Last edited by Emmie; 27-01-13 at 01:22 AM.

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    I think on the Giles-Willow thing in Flooded, I do think that Giles' anger at Willow is explicable based on Willow's own statements in the conversation. On some level, though, I prefer the idea that Giles has some actual guilt at having left Willow et al. holding the bag and then being unhappy with what they did with it, and a recognition of his own failure. Let me elaborate.

    The words Giles uses at Willow are specifically designed to emphasize her youth and inexperience. She's a girl, an amateur. She's not a stupid woman. The moment Willow is a girl is the moment that Giles left a girl and a strong robot in charge of a Hellmouth, beacuse he felt sad. It's true that he has a right to be angry that Willow kept things from him, but to some extent that anger has to be blunted by the fact that he up and left. Giles doesn't get to yell at Willow as if she is a child (by calling her "girl") and be justified in leaving her in charge. He doesn't treat her as an equal in this scene but as a child who needs to be scolded and kept in her place (told she's an amateur) -- the difference in age and experience is something he repeatedly emphasizes. And again, I think that the more he acknowledges that Willow isn't really an experienced an adult, the more it makes him look bad for leaving.

    Now, the reality is that Giles thought that Willow was ready and that's why he left. But the only reason he could believe that is that he was blind -- blind to how un-ready Willow was. He didn't want to know.

    I think on some level I bristle against the idea of Willow apologizing to Giles. I mean before she threatens him, which of course is awful -- no argument. But when it comes down to it, Giles had already checked out, at least emotionally, early on into the summer, and then he left when the gang was still struggling to get by. And the fact that he's about to leave all of them means that he is abdicating any kind of parental responsibility for their actions, or a relationship in which he should be kept apprised of their choices. I think that Dawn and Spike, who very much had not checked out of the Sunnydale project, are a different story.

    And of course Buffy herself is a different different story to Giles.

    A key exchange (emphasis mine)

    GILES: (intensely) Think what you've done to Buffy.
    WILLOW: I brought her back!
    GILES: At incredible risk!
    WILLOW: Risk? Of what? Making her deader?
    GILES: Of killing us all. Unleashing hell on Earth, I mean, shall I go on?
    WILLOW: No! (stands) Giles, I did what I had to do. I did what nobody else could do.
    GILES: Oh, there are others in this world who can do what you did. You just don't want to meet them. (turns away again)
    WILLOW: No, probably not, but ... well, they're the bad guys. I'm not a bad guy. (upset) I brought Buffy back into this world, a-and maybe the word you should be looking for is "congratulations."
    GILES: Having Buffy back in the world makes me feel ... indescribably wonderful, but I wouldn't congratulate you if you jumped off a cliff and happened to survive.
    WILLOW: That's not what I did, Giles.
    GILES: (angry) You were lucky.
    WILLOW: I wasn't lucky. I was amazing. And how would you know? You weren't even there.
    What no one else could do. And Giles wasn't there. Giles wasn't there because he had gone. And while Willow eventually threatens Giles, she is on the defensive here and I can't help but feel glad that she didn't apologize to Giles and eventually, if obliquely, threw Giles' unwillingness to confront the reality of Life on the Hellmouth with no slayer in the face. Giles can lecture her all he wants, but he left. And I think this also is probably part of what makes Giles angrier, because as Maggie pointed out above, Giles did what he had to do in killing Ben and it hurts to be accused, if implicitly, of being unwilling to deal with the harsh unheroic realities when that is his whole raison d'etre (but he has failed to do so).

    I do agree that Willow is supremely insensitive in this scene both to the tone of what Buffy's going through and what Giles means in entering. One thing I want to note though is that this is not purely a matter of Willow's arrogance. Willow was trying to get a rise out of Buffy earlier in the episode (with the Riley/Angel thing); she knows Buffy's off and can't deal. The tragedy, in part, is that I think that Willow's tone is about Giles. Giles left. Now he's back -- and this is their first conversation alone together. The thing is, Willow knew that Buffy was going to be resurrected and Giles was going to come back -- and so the emotional impact of Giles' departure was something that was both muted, and something that Willow could put off dealing with by redirecting her energies into the resurrection, making it even more important that she brought Buffy back, to bring Giles back in addition to her (already sufficient!) reasons. Willow's bringing Buffy back -- risking her life to do it -- was partly doing an action that she knew would bring Giles back, and hopefully be judged worthy of impressing him.

    This is not to say that Willow isn't really insensitive to how badly Buffy is doing. She is. And I am not diminishing that -- more suggesting that Willow is aware of the problems more than it seems from her scene with Giles, which is primarily about Willow's trying to reestablish her closeness to Giles.

    I'm not so sure that Willow hid the resurrection from Giles because she thought he was against resurrections. I think she hid it from him because resurrections are dangerous and Giles would disapprove of her trying something that would probably fail. And Willow knew there was a chance she'd fail. She wanted to shut out voices that could have talked her down, manipulative & all, yes. But she didn't, I think, genuinely expect that things would continue to get worse after Buffy was back, or that Giles would still be mad at her for having done the thing that she believed he wanted all along.

    I want to re-emphasize that Willow resurrecting Buffy was not about Giles. It'd be silly to suggest that Giles was at the core of Willow's actions -- but he is a factor, one among many.

    I guess some of my biases are showing: I don't really believe it's axiomatic that resurrections = total evil to the point where Giles' tone with Willow is entirely earned, and Willow should have immediately apologized and capitulated to Giles. But even if they did, I think that Giles' departure, part of the subtext of this conversation (IMHO), does reduce the amount of right Giles has to criticize. You could argue that Giles' abandonment shouldn't factor in because the gang was planning the resurrection before he left, but he had also been planning to leave forever, and (as Anya criticized him for) spent most of his face team with the Buffybot rather than any of the others.

    ETA: More Willow/Giles feelings: Willow's panic that Giles and Tara are talking about her behind her back is one of the "last straws" that lead to the massive memory spell violation on Tara. Giles/Willow is the stealth arc through s6.

    Finally, I guess the basic gist of my feelings about the Flooded scene includes: Giles yells at Willow like a parent who yells at a child (stupid girl), but he showed repeatedly that he was unwilling to play the role of a parent for her. That's cold and I don't like it. But he does eventually seem willing to play something of a parental role at the end of s6 and in s7, if one a bit more complicated and moving toward a true relationship of equals instead of the s5-6 "we're equals until I'm mad and want to yell at you" thing Giles had been doing, which makes me happy.
    Last edited by Local Maximum; 27-01-13 at 01:36 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vampmogs View Post
    She’s too traumatised to be reached because she had to dig out of her own grave. Willow completely glosses over a significant part of Buffy’s trauma when talking to Giles and blatantly misrepresents what actually happened that night. And Giles knows Buffy’s suffering from that ordeal because she explicitly tells him that sleeping is hard because of “the whole waking up in a box thing.”
    One can wake up in your casket and NOT have to solely dig oneself out of his/her grave. Buffy could have very easily woken in her casket and then, the Scoobies could have dug her out and ripped out the casket. Giles has no idea that Buffy dug herself out. Giles had no basis for concluding that Buffy had to solely dig herself out of her grave and I didn't see him conclude that.

    Either way, what's better- being stuck in a hell dimension for eternity or being rescued out of their and brought back to earth and having to dig yourself of your grave? I'd pick Option B every time. I'm just a lowly mortal who enjoys my time on this earthly plane but I'd pick digging myself out a grave over continuing to be dead at my twentysomething age. No contest. I have a little sibling. Maybe it's because I haven't been to heaven but I can't fathom preferring to be dead and to leave my sibling without parents or other family and just in the care of my twentysomething friends. It would definitely be a "dig myself out my grave" event.

    Not to mention that at this point I think Giles actually suspects Buffy may not have been in a hell dimension at all. He tells Willow that “they still don’t know where she was” which seems spurned on by his earlier conversation with Buffy when he told her that he’s glad she’s back but she just walks away, leaving him concerned.
    I saw no evidence that Giles didn't believe Buffy's own words that she was in hell. Giles may have thought there was something in Buffy's particular hell dimension (of one in a thousand) that corrupted her mind or traumatized her to the point of giving them a different and lesser Buffy. I'd believe those options before believing that Giles didn't think Buffy wasn't in hell.

    Look, ideally it’s not good to yell at or insult anyone so, yes, I can’t exactly say Giles was right to rip Willow a new one. But there at times when it’s a little more excusable, a little more understandable, and IMO this is absolutely one of those times. Coming off the back of Bargaining I & II, Willow comes across really bad in that scene given her version of events is very misleading, at worst blatantly dishonest, and incredibly self-indulgent. Add on the fact that she hasn’t so much as apologised to Giles for going behind his back for 145 days, and if I were Giles I’d find it very hard to keep a civil tongue too.
    First, you don't know that Willow planned her resurrection for 145 days. Second, I agree with Local_Max's point that Giles was planning on leaving and never coming back. It was a "He's in England. I don't care which way his back is turned" situation. Giles took himself off the newsletter because he didn't want to bother with the Scoobies' problems- and then he got pissed that he didn't get the newsletter. Giles can cry me a river about being misled.

    Seriously, what grounds did Giles have to know about the resurrection that Riley didn't have- other than Giles left more recently and Willow, at least, expected that Giles would come back for Buffy? Giles quit the Scoobies. Riley quit the Scoobies. Giles left to another country. Riley left to another country. Riley had no problem leaving the country because his primary relationship was with Buffy and that failed. Giles had no problem leaving the Scoobies because his primary relationship was with Buffy and she died.

    And frankly, nothing Giles says even compares to Willow threatening him – “You’re right, the magics I use are very powerful. I’m very powerful. And maybe it’s not such a good idea for you to piss me off.” Its one thing to yell at someone but it’s quite another to intimidate someone and threaten them with harm.
    I'll say that Willow threatening Giles was horrible in an instant. I don't know whether Willow's "threat" was worse than Giles's comment. Willow's "threat" wasn't specific. Willow didn't seem to think in terms of specific harms that she'd do to Giles if he pissed her off. Her comment felt more about Willow claiming some goddess-like, untouchable, uber-status because of her power rather than contemplating how she'd play with Giles's innards and then boil Giles's brain and eat it for brunch if he crossed her.

    However, Giles's insults towards Willow are very specific- she's stupid, she's arrogant, she's arrogant, her power makes her tantamount to her enemies. IMO, one could make an argument that Willow's and Giles's positions are different varieties of suck. Willow was arrogantly posturing and savoring the fruits of abusing her power. Very dangerous but a general, non-targeted problem. Giles was expressing deep-seated resentment and a very personal hatred of Willow. Not dangerous but very mean.

    Also, Willow says that she doesn't want to fight and she'll seriously consider what Giles has to say- sort of taking back what she said. Giles stuck by his insults and didn't say that he didn't want to fight.

    However, "worse" or not. Willow's statement was dreadful. Whether she was contemplating doing harm to Giles if he stepped out of line or claiming some goddess-like status by virtue of being so powerful and not contemplating doing Giles harm, it was horribly wrong of her

    I think he planned on “telling Willow off” or confronting her about the spell but that’s very different from insulting her. It was Willow’s cavalier attitude and arrogance that led to him insulting her.
    His "Tell me about the spell" opener was simmering with quiet rage. In a some ways, Giles comes off better if he intended on insulting Willow based on her *actions* instead of how she arrogantly and distastefully teaser-trailered her story.

    BTW, Willow tells a silly, conceited three sentence version of Buffy's resurrection to get some congratulations/thank you from Giles. Before anyone alleges that Willow sought to deceive Giles after the fact, I would have liked to see how Willow would have responded if Giles soberly said, "I want details. What procedures did you exactly use to get Buffy back?"

    However, Giles never asks that. Giles is uninterested in finding out the exact procedures of the spell to confirm that there's no chance of negative blow-back. Fans may insist that Willow could have researched where Buffy was and you just argued that Giles suspected that Buffy wasn't in heaven based on scanty evidence. Giles is uninterested in obtaining magical effects to confirm where Buffy was- from the standpoint of whether Buffy was in a good place or from the standpoint of confirming the nature of Buffy's hell to get a better psyche read.

    It appeared that the only thing that Giles was interested in was yelling at Willow. Giles was uninterested in gathering information to make sure that all tracks were covered with the resurrection. Giles was uninterested in providing for Buffy's financial or mental security. Heck, he didn't want even want to cover the tax that Buffy *could* have charged her first customer at the Magic Box. Some surrogate parenting. Giles wasn't interested in doing his part to take care of the hellmouth in Buffy's absence. Giles wasn't even in preventing from Willow from making grievous mistakes with magic, beyond snitty looks and fiery insults.

    I understand folks getting unreasonably angry when they put the time and concern to prove that they care enough to do more than just get angry. I hate folks who get angry and fling bitter invective and insults around and bitterly snit at folks but these jerk-offs are completely uninterested in pitching to fix the problems, even if it's directly their own responsibility. Those are my least favorite people in life. However, that was Giles to a T in S6. I don't like powerful people with G-d complexes who think that just because they're doing Good Stuff on a Big Scale to help that they can control everything and take miserably corrupt dishonest privileges. Which is S6 Willow. However, I like the second category more than the first because at least the second category is trying to do some good stuff.

    I do believe Willow was trying to help but she doesn't exactly show off her best side here. She boasts about "totally keeping her cool" and then when Giles first calls her stupid her response isn't "I was trying to help!" it's "I thought you'd be IMPRESSED or something." She then follows it up by calling herself "amazing" and claiming nobody else could do what she did. I don't find it hard to see why Giles thought of her as arrogant and why that would enrage him so, given his concern about Buffy and his views on resurrections in general.
    Willow doesn't really have to show her "best side" to avoid being treated like shit by Giles. Giles has fought and worked next to Willow for over five years and watched her grow up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Local Maximum View Post
    I think that my read ends up fitting better with Giles' role in Grave/Lessons -- which is, in my read, a guy who really does care about Willow.
    I hear that. Although as we've discussed, I've suspicious of Giles there. As I argued, I do think Giles has an interest in weaponizing Willow's great power and educates her in S7 with that in mind.

    I think there's something fishy about the fact that Willow had no idea that Buffy and Xander still loved her and forgave her. I think I'd rather believe that Xander, for one, called England regularly to try talking to Willow and consoling her but Giles didn't want to give Willow the treat of forgiveness before she worked for it instead of believing that Xander didn't call England and Giles nor Willow could have any idea of whether Xander forgave her. IMO, Giles's ignorance of whether her friends still loved her was fake- at least re: Xander.

    I think on some level I bristle against the idea of Willow apologizing to Giles. I mean before she threatens him, which of course is awful -- no argument. But when it comes down to it, Giles had already checked out, at least emotionally, early on into the summer, and then he left when the gang was still struggling to get by.
    Absolutely. At least to me Willow would have looked like the coolest dame if after Giles reached the "arrogant amatuer" point in the scene, Willow said, "I'm not taking this shit. I rescued Buffy from hell. I gave Dawn her sister back. I gave your alleged surrogate daughter who you just couldn't live without back. I was trying to solve huge, unfixable problems that you just left behind because you didn't want to deal. I'm not your punching bag because you're not happy to be back on the Hellmouth fighting with the rest of us grunts. If you want a punching bag, we've got one in the Magic Box." And then left the kitchen.

    IMO, Willow would have to be such an unfathomably jellyfish spined doormat to apologize to Giles for anything right off the bat. Willow had no right to be threatening and her crazy arrogance sucked. However, it would have been almost as bad to be obsequious. Her best mode of dealing with Giles would be to be coolly dismissive of his anger, as long as it was insulting and not geared towards solving a problem.
    Last edited by Dipstick; 27-01-13 at 04:25 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Local Maximum View Post
    The words Giles uses at Willow are specifically designed to emphasize her youth and inexperience. She's a girl, an amateur. She's not a stupid woman. The moment Willow is a girl is the moment that Giles left a girl and a strong robot in charge of a Hellmouth, beacuse he felt sad. It's true that he has a right to be angry that Willow kept things from him, but to some extent that anger has to be blunted by the fact that he up and left. Giles doesn't get to yell at Willow as if she is a child (by calling her "girl") and be justified in leaving her in charge. He doesn't treat her as an equal in this scene but as a child who needs to be scolded and kept in her place (told she's an amateur) -- the difference in age and experience is something he repeatedly emphasizes. And again, I think that the more he acknowledges that Willow isn't really an experienced an adult, the more it makes him look bad for leaving.

    Now, the reality is that Giles thought that Willow was ready and that's why he left. But the only reason he could believe that is that he was blind -- blind to how un-ready Willow was. He didn't want to know.
    Though, at the same time doesn't this mean Giles is being criticised for calling Willow a child and for not realising that she is one? That's somewhat contradictory. I don't think he didn't want to know. I think he honestly thought Willow was ready and, evidently, gave her more credit than she deserved. As you say, he calls Willow a "girl" because her actions have just proven to him that, that's all she is -- "Believe me, you've left a very deep impression." It was not his opinion of her when he left Sunnydale.

    I'm uncomfortable with shifting the blame onto Giles because he was "blind" to Willow's failings and therefore he shares the blame. Willow is the one who went behind his back and Willow is the one who decieved him, it's really not Giles' fault that he wasn't aware of this. I do think he expected too much from Willow and Co to handle Sunnydale on their own, but that's not the same thing as Giles having a high enough opinion of Willow that he doesn't assume she's been deceiving him for over 3 months. It's not Giles' fault that Willow didn't live up to those standards because those standards shouldn't be hard to live up to. Giles wasn't being unfair to assume better of Willow that she wasn't concocting plans behind his back, basically.

    I think on some level I bristle against the idea of Willow apologizing to Giles. I mean before she threatens him, which of course is awful -- no argument. But when it comes down to it, Giles had already checked out, at least emotionally, early on into the summer, and then he left when the gang was still struggling to get by. And the fact that he's about to leave all of them means that he is abdicating any kind of parental responsibility for their actions, or a relationship in which he should be kept apprised of their choices. I think that Dawn and Spike, who very much had not checked out of the Sunnydale project, are a different story.
    I really can't agree with this. As his Slayer and his surrogate daughter, Buffy was very much Giles' business and they were absolutely wrong to go behind his back like they did. Just because Giles was very wishy-washily stating that at some point he was going to leave ("he keeps saying he's going, but then he doesn't") it does not give the Scoobies the right to blatantly deceive him and keep secrets. He was still very much apart of the group and attended patrols with them, trained the Buffybot, and allowed them to socalise at The Magic Box.

    This is not to say that Willow isn't really insensitive to how badly Buffy is doing. She is. And I am not diminishing that -- more suggesting that Willow is aware of the problems more than it seems from her scene with Giles, which is primarily about Willow's trying to reestablish her closeness to Giles.
    Oh, I think Willow is more aware of the problems than she lets on here. I mean, she's obviously using a lot of bravado because Willow knows full well that it didn't go as smoothly as she lets on. Either she's extremely deluded or she's overcompensating and I tend to think it's the latter. However, Giles shouldn't be expected to decipher this because Giles isn't privy to everything the audience is and Willow doesn't exactly represent herself well here. Based on how she acts in this scene I find it totally understandable that Giles thinks of her as both arrogant and foolish.

    I'm not so sure that Willow hid the resurrection from Giles because she thought he was against resurrections. I think she hid it from him because resurrections are dangerous and Giles would disapprove of her trying something that would probably fail.
    Isn't that the same thing? He's against resurrections because he believes they're dangerous.

    And Willow knew there was a chance she'd fail. She wanted to shut out voices that could have talked her down, manipulative & all, yes. But she didn't, I think, genuinely expect that things would continue to get worse after Buffy was back, or that Giles would still be mad at her for having done the thing that she believed he wanted all along.
    Well, she says he "wouldn't understand" which seems like a commentary on his personal views/philosophy on resurrections more so than anything else. Interestingly enough, she also says this about Dawn which must be a reference to the lecture she got in Forever about how wrong it is to break that code. So I do think Willow had a pretty good idea that Giles would be against resurrections not just because they're dangerous but because of the Wiccan Code and laws of nature etc.

    I don't really believe it's axiomatic that resurrections = total evil to the point where Giles' tone with Willow is entirely earned, and Willow should have immediately apologized and capitulated to Giles.
    Nor do I, but that's why I said that I think Giles insulted Willow because of her attitude more so than because of what she did. I think he was going to speak his mind no matter what and he was obviously upset, but had Willow presented herself differently I don't think it's a given that "you're a very stupid girl" are the words that would have come out of his mouth.

    And as far as apologising goes, I don't expect Willow to apologise for resurrecting Buffy but I do expect her to apologise for deceiving Giles for 145 days and at least express some guilt or remorse that it's what she had to do.

    I'll address the rest later but in regards to this;

    Quote Originally Posted by Dipstick View Post
    Seriously, what grounds did Giles have to know about the resurrection that Riley didn't have- other than Giles left more recently and Willow, at least, expected that Giles would come back for Buffy? Giles quit the Scoobies. Riley quit the Scoobies. Giles left to another country. Riley left to another country. Riley had no problem leaving the country because his primary relationship was with Buffy and that failed. Giles had no problem leaving the Scoobies because his primary relationship was with Buffy and she died.
    They're not remotely the same thing. The Scoobies had been planning the resurrection behind Giles' back whilst he was still in town. They were planning it behind his back whilst he fought side-by-side with them on patrol. They were planning it behind his back whilst they continued to socialize at Giles' place of business. Heck, they used a Magic Box supplier to search for the Urn of Osiris. Not to mention that ex boyfriend =//= surrogate father figure and Official Watcher of the Slayer. They are in no way comparable and it was a mere COINCIDENCE that Giles happened to leave town on the same day the resurrection spell would take place. They were fully prepared to do it whilst he was still in Sunnydale. Seriously, what grounds? After Dawn Giles arguably has more grounds to know what's happening regarding Buffy than any of the rest of them.

    Not to mention that this is just really ruthless/vicious. Giles has been Buffy's Watcher for 5 years. For 5 years he has been an integral part of that gang and was there from Day 1. Are you honestly meaning to say that Giles gets cut out of the inner circle the moment he plans to emigrate to another country? Like, before he's even left the town he's just out? Really? I certainly hope that's not how they were thinking because that'd be one nasty and cutthroat group of people.

    And I think it's unfair to say that Giles had "no problem" leaving the Scoobies after Buffy died, certainly to the extent that you'd compare him to Riley's sudden exit. If Giles had no problem leaving than why did he put it off for so long?

    First, you don't know that Willow planned her resurrection for 145 days.
    Willow states so herself in Anywhere But Here;

    WILLOW: “I had to bring you back. Long before Sunnydale went south – goddess, from the day you died – I never considered any other option”
    Last edited by vampmogs; 27-01-13 at 05:06 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dipstick View Post
    I hear that. Although as we've discussed, I've suspicious of Giles there. As I argued, I do think Giles has an interest in weaponizing Willow's great power and educates her in S7 with that in mind.

    I think there's something fishy about the fact that Willow had no idea that Buffy and Xander still loved her and forgave her. I think I'd rather believe that Xander, for one, called England regularly to try talking to Willow and consoling her but Giles didn't want to give Willow the treat of forgiveness before she worked for it instead of believing that Xander didn't call England and Giles nor Willow could have any idea of whether Xander forgave her. IMO, Giles's ignorance of whether her friends still loved her was fake- at least re: Xander.
    I get that suspicion. And certainly we know that Xander still loves her. OTOH, while Xander would absolutely want to be supportive phone guy and to know details, I could also see him believing that it's totally Giles' responsibility to make sure she's okay and he'll be contacted if & when it's a good idea for him to be contacted.

    More to the point though, Giles' own biases are showing again. Buffy is the real X factor here -- it's Buffy who may or may not be able to welcome Willow back in, or who will try but who knows whether she's able to be closed with Willow again. And it's Buffy that Giles cares about. I think "your friends" means "Buffy."

    Even aside from that, I don't think that the dialogue is all that unambiguous:

    GILES
    They won't take you back?

    WILLOW
    Uh-huh.

    GILES
    Willow, we could spend another two years here training and practicing and learning to hone your powers and still there'd be no way of knowing for sure that the friends you left behind you are still your friends.

    WILLOW
    Well, sure. I mean, if you put it that way, duh.

    GILES
    I'd love to offer you some guarantee that you'd be welcomed back to Sunnydale with open arms, but I can't. You may not be wanted, but you will be needed.
    I think Giles, here, is being truthful about the fact that some aspects of the Sunnydale people's can't be predicted. Xander, in particular, would 100% want to be supportive loving best friend, and mostly does function that way, but even he has doubts about her in STSP, as he should. I wouldn't be surprised if Willow talked to Xander on the phone several times and still didn't know how he would react to seeing her in person -- because you don't know that love when your murderer friend is in a Coven a third of the world away is going to be the same as when they're right in front of you.

    Absolutely. At least to me Willow would have looked like the coolest dame if after Giles reached the "arrogant amatuer" point in the scene, Willow said, "I'm not taking this shit. I rescued Buffy from hell. I gave Dawn her sister back. I gave your alleged surrogate daughter who you just couldn't live without back. I was trying to solve huge, unfixable problems that you just left behind because you didn't want to deal. I'm not your punching bag because you're not happy to be back on the Hellmouth fighting with the rest of us grunts. If you want a punching bag, we've got one in the Magic Box." And then left the kitchen.
    Definitely. Alas, 'twas not to be. And I do think that it's a combination of a few factors. One is that Willow does know that she did something big and bad and also has her own suspicions that Buffy's more traumatized than she's let on. And another is that she can't yell at Giles because she does desperately want his approval and can't quite get to the point of calling him out on his absence or whether or not he has a right to yell at her.

    I do think that "How do you know? You weren't even there!" was great, though I don't know how much she was actually trying to call Giles on his absence or not.

    IMO, Willow would have to be such an unfathomably jellyfish spined doormat to apologize to Giles for anything right off the bat. Willow had no right to be threatening and her crazy arrogance sucked. However, it would have been almost as bad to be obsequious. Her best mode of dealing with Giles would be to be coolly dismissive of his anger, as long as it was insulting and not geared towards solving a problem.
    Yeah, I mean, I'm not sure what the best mode for Willow would be, and what you've listed sounds pretty good.

    The thing is, Willow has done something that was very dangerous, and the result is that Buffy is isolated from them all and in pain. We know that Willow wants Buffy to feel better (trying to help with trying to get her to feel emotions, if only anger). But she is already on the defensive about whether the spell was a good idea and Giles just puts her further on the defensive. What was the best outcome for either of them?

    Ideally, I think Willow should come away recognizing that Giles might well be right that there are things they don't know about what happened to Buffy, and that it's possible that she should be careful not to become to confident in her magical powers and the ways in which it's altering her thinking. Giles should come away recognizing that he left Willow et al. in an impossible position, and to realize that she and Buffy (and the rest of the gang) do need him right now, and to try to provide actual constructive advice to Willow about how to manage her increasing power and to help Buffy readjust to life. The problem is they are too far apart. Willow has inklings of how Buffy was hurt by the resurrection but the full weight won't set in until OMWF, at which point she is even more of a mess and in really deep on the abuse-of-magic train (mixed metaphors) (unless it's a train that's deep into a tunnel!) (how Freudian); Giles ignores the question of whether he has responsibilities toward Willow until the end of the season, and it's taken some (off-screen) soul-searching leading to Covens to come to a place where he's willing to take a greater amount of responsibility for Willow.




    Quote Originally Posted by vampmogs View Post
    Though, at the same time doesn't this mean Giles is being criticised for calling Willow a child and for not realising that she is one? That's somewhat contradictory. I don't think he didn't want to know. I think he honestly thought Willow was ready and, evidently, gave her more credit than she deserved. As you say, he calls Willow a "girl" because her actions have just proven to him that, that's all she is -- "Believe me, you've left a very deep impression." It was not his opinion of her when he left Sunnydale.

    I'm uncomfortable with shifting the blame onto Giles because he was "blind" to Willow's failings and therefore he shares the blame. Willow is the one who went behind his back and Willow is the one who decieved him, it's really not Giles' fault that he wasn't aware of this. I do think he expected too much from Willow and Co to handle Sunnydale on their own, but that's not the same thing as Giles having a high enough opinion of Willow that he doesn't assume she's been deceiving him for over 3 months. It's not Giles' fault that Willow didn't live up to those standards because those standards shouldn't be hard to live up to. Giles wasn't being unfair to assume better of Willow that she wasn't concocting plans behind his back, basically.
    I know what you're saying here, but I think the problem is that Giles shifts to treating Willow like a child and then does nothing about it after this conversation; and he fails to acknowledge the fact that he shouldn't have left her.

    On individual points:

    1. I shouldn't really have said that Giles was blind to Willow's character flaws per se. I think that Giles' blindness manifests in a combination of ignoring her worse tendencies and, more importantly and more clearly, ignoring the fact that there is no possible way she could be ready for the responsibilities she's taken on with no real adult guidance at all.

    Willow is basically being expected to play the role of the slayer without slayer power, with powers she doesn't naturally have, and without ever having had a watcher/mentor, while dealing with grief over having lost her best friend and raising Buffy's sister, while accumulating magickal power that Giles himself spun out of control with. It's not a matter of Giles being blind to Willow's unusual, Willow-shaped failings, but a matter of him failing to recognize the impossibilities of the position she's in and the amount of temptation the power holds.

    Willow's only adult role model is Tara, who is her partner and the same age. Basically, she's learned the witch thing entirely from books with no one at all to give advice or to help her. And now she's in charge of protecting a *Hellmouth*. And she's an only child who's now co-raising a teenager.

    And Giles *knows* what magicks do to someone unprepared for it. He has a wealth of experience he could lend Willow and he doesn't and hasn't.

    In addition to this, Giles' blindness to everyone around him but Willow in particular has been a running theme for years -- c.f., as Maggie has pointed out, Something Blue. I get that Giles shouldn't have really expected that Willow would start ressurectin', but the idea that she might be in a situation where she could really use some help and guidance is something that I really do think should have occurred to him.

    2. Putting all that aside, though, my complaint about the "girl" thing is not just about Giles' past failings, but about the ones he is about to make. I didn't talk about this before, but I do think this is something I feel more strongly about, now that I think about it some more.

    I think on the "girl" thing: I don't really think you can leave someone telling them they are an adult and then come back and then tell them they are a child once they disappoint you. The contradiction is that Giles has already abdicated the role of "the adult" when he left, and then takes the mantle up in order to yell at her. He doesn't approach her as an equal to tell her she's wrong; he approaches her from the mantle of a superior, learned person. He doesn't indicate that Willow should have told him, as a friend and peer.

    So the problem with Giles calling Willow a girl and using other language designed to put her in her place as a child is this. Overall, I don't think that anyone who is not taking a parent/role model/mentor role gets to throw words like "girl" around to other adults. By leaving Willow in charge of the *Hellmouth*, he showed that he had confidence in her to be an adult. New information has arisen that makes him question this judgment of her. But really, if he's going to reestablish a parent/child (or at least mentor/pupil) dynamic, which I think he has to in order to throw his weight around calling Willow a girl, he actually has to follow through. Giles didn't do any follow-up after the Flooded argument, and I didn't detect any evidence he was planning to.

    Had Giles yelled at Willow as a peer, treating her as an adult, I wouldn't have this problem. The fact that he's calling her a girl is deliberately to create a power differential and to put himself in a position of authority that he has already abdicated, and which he has no intention of taking up again.

    I guess it's a feminism thing -- the use of "girl" and the general tone is patronizing and patriarchal and a power play to manipulate the conversation by calling on an adult/child relationship he already rejected when it was convenient for him to reject and is not planning on continuing. And I don't like it. And of course he leaves Willow again -- which means that somehow it's Buffy's responsibility by default to take care of this "stupid girl" who obviously needs some kind of supervision. To me, either Giles sees Willow as a girl and he should really make some effort to make sure that she is being helped into adulthood by someone responsible, or he sees Willow as an adult and he should treat her like one even when he's mad at her. Had Giles either yelled at Willow as an adult, or decided in Flooded that he had been wrong in leaving Willow at the Hellmouth and offered, seriously, to take a greater interest in her life and to try to help her with her power and her responsibilities, we'd be cool. He chose the route where he yells at her like a child but takes on none of the responsibilities of a parent.

    I mean, it's all relative -- Giles treating Willow like an adult when he wants to take a breather and like a child when he wants to yell at her bothers me, but it isn't the worst thing ever or whatever. And the reason I emphasize it is partly because Giles DOES take up that position of mentor/authority again at the end of the season and in early s7, but he obviously completely fails in the episodes following Flooded, in which he leaves when Willow is increasingly unable to deal with her power. Yay Giles!

    3. Ultimately, it's not really Giles' responsibility to make sure that Willow is able to take care of Dawn. I have no idea if the Council is still paying him, and like to assume that he isn't getting paid because wow would that be annoying if he ditched Sunnydale while picking up a check for defending it, but he has the right to quit. He has the right to leave. He has the right to say that he is traumatized (he is!), has been fighting this war for too long, can't deal with Buffy being dead, can't be the guy to teach Willow because of his own bad experiences, etc., etc. What I blame Giles for is the fact that he re-inserts himself in Flooded as a parent/teacher figure as if he hadn't left. This is annoying in various ways for Giles. And I think this comes from a good place -- which is that Giles wants to help everyone, including Willow, knows that even if he doesn't literally owe her anything, he sort of does owe her something informally, and that he has failed her over the years. He also can't deal with her; he also wants his own life; he also, well, he doesn't know what he wants. That uncertainty comes from the fact that Giles doesn't actually want to give up on these people but he can't quite bring himself to stay, and that is part of the mixed messages he sends which are ultimately destructive.

    I really can't agree with this. As his Slayer and his surrogate daughter, Buffy was very much Giles' business and they were absolutely wrong to go behind his back like they did. Just because Giles was very wishy-washily stating that at some point he was going to leave ("he keeps saying he's going, but then he doesn't") it does not give the Scoobies the right to blatantly deceive him and keep secrets. He was still very much apart of the group and attended patrols with them, trained the Buffybot, and allowed them to socalise at The Magic Box.
    I agree on some of this, but "allowed them to socialize at the Magic Box"? I mean, it is Anya's place too. And eventually it's pretty much entirely hers.

    I am not sure how I feel about the "going behind [Giles'] back" business. The number one factor for me is that they should have talked to Giles in case he had information that they could use. The emotional component is trickier. I'm actually not so sure that I agree that they have a responsibility to tell the people closest to Buffy that they are going to resurrect her, because I can't begin to imagine what responsibilities regarding resurrections are supposed to be.

    I also do get a real sense that despite fighting alongside the Scoobies -- which is very important! -- Giles was no longer present emotionally. Giles spending his time training the Buffybot, which is pretty much pointless, mostly reminds me of Darryl's mother watching his old games on TV; I've made a comparison before between Chris/Darryl/their mother and Willow/Buffy/Giles, where the parent's absent affections is part of the reason pushing the resurrecter to resurrect. But that might not really be relevant to the issue of whether Giles should be informed; he is still present, despite his plans to leave.

    Oh, I think Willow is more aware of the problems than she lets on here. I mean, she's obviously using a lot of bravado because Willow knows full well that it didn't go as smoothly as she lets on. Either she's extremely deluded or she's overcompensating and I tend to think it's the latter. However, Giles shouldn't be expected to decipher this because Giles isn't privy to everything the audience is and Willow doesn't exactly represent herself well here. Based on how she acts in this scene I find it totally understandable that Giles thinks of her as both arrogant and foolish.
    I was just opining on Willow, not really talking about Giles here.

    Isn't that the same thing? He's against resurrections because he believes they're dangerous.



    Well, she says he "wouldn't understand" which seems like a commentary on his personal views/philosophy on resurrections more so than anything else. Interestingly enough, she also says this about Dawn which must be a reference to the lecture she got in Forever about how wrong it is to break that code. So I do think Willow had a pretty good idea that Giles would be against resurrections not just because they're dangerous but because of the Wiccan Code and laws of nature etc.
    I think he "wouldn't understand" is ambiguous. I think it could well just mean that he wouldn't understand that Willow could do it. Or, rather, not understand that Willow had figured out (which she hadn't really, she was faking) that she would definitely be able to do it.

    I'm not all that convinced Giles is against resurrections for any reason other than that they're dangerous. Giles is mostly portrayed as the pragmatic sort, and I think Willow would think of him that way -- holding back on matters such as these because of the dangers. And so it makes sense for Willow, if she believes that Giles would be okay with Buffy having been brought back.


    ETA: Actually, come to think of it, despite my generally being happier about Giles in Grave, where he actually does do some of the responsible aspects of being a parent/mentor figure instead of just the yelling parts, he still calls Anya a silly girl. She is a thousand-year-old vengeance demon, not even former, dude! It's not like this is a secret -- Buffy's told you! grrrr patronizing. And the episode is one that mostly gives me positive squishy Anya/Giles feelings, but it's another instance in which Anya's affection for Giles is much, much clearer than the reverse.
    Last edited by Local Maximum; 27-01-13 at 06:17 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vampmogs View Post
    Willow states so herself in Anywhere But Here;

    WILLOW: “I had to bring you back. Long before Sunnydale went south – goddess, from the day you died – I never considered any other option”
    How do you know Willow was actively planning from the day that Buffy died? Willow could have been determined to bring Buffy back but focusing on other things (putting together the Buffybot, helping Tara recover from being insane, getting into a routine on organizing patrols) until midway through the summer when she got serious about bringing Buffy back.

    They're not remotely the same thing. The Scoobies had been planning the resurrection behind Giles' back whilst he was still in town. They were planning it behind his back whilst he fought side-by-side with them on patrol. They were planning it behind his back whilst they continued to socialize at Giles' place of business. Heck, they used a Magic Box supplier to search for the Urn of Osiris. Not to mention that ex boyfriend =//= surrogate father figure and Official Watcher of the Slayer. They are in no way comparable and it was a mere COINCIDENCE that Giles happened to leave town on the same day the resurrection spell would take place. They were fully prepared to do it whilst he was still in Sunnydale.
    Whether Giles was currently in town or not, Giles made himself pretty darn clear that he wanted to leave. He made arrangements (on paper, if Giles was smart) on how the Magic Box would operate with him out of the country as a silent partner. One assumes that he sold his car and house or was making arrangements to sell them because he never returns to those items and lives in Buffy's house in whenever he comes back to Sunnydale. He was leaving, whether his feet were in Sunnydale or not.[/QUOTE]

    Not to mention that this is just really ruthless/vicious. Giles has been Buffy's Watcher for 5 years. For 5 years he has been an integral part of that gang and was there from Day 1. Are you honestly meaning to say that Giles gets cut out of the inner circle the moment he plans to emigrate to another country? Like, before he's even left the town he's just out? Really? I certainly hope that's not how they were thinking because that'd be one nasty and cutthroat group of people.
    I'd appreciate it if you didn't call my views on life ruthless/vicious. I don't get how ad hominem attack adds to this debate (ironically, about the value of Giles's ad hominem attacks).

    Yes I'm of the opinion that when you resign from a position, you are mostly cut out of the inner circle. Immediately. There's nothing ruthless or vicious about that. It *can* be nice and good to give those who resigned inside information or some executive control but generally, when people choose to leave, they no longer are in the inner circle. It can also be bad and can look like ex-lawmakers having insider information about foreign and domestic policy and making stock decisions based on that confidential information even though these lawmakers will never have to answer to an electorate about using that sovereign information to enrich themselves. Or Giles making executive decisions to not resurrect Buffy, even though he'll never have to live with a family-less Dawn who sleeps with the robot-version of her sister out of tragic desperation or in a slayer-less Sunnydale.

    When Hillary Clinton leaves her post as Secretary of State, John Kerry has no obligation to keep her in the inner circle and to allow her to dictate policy. Either a day after she leaves or three months after she leaves. When a CEO resigns from a company, even a company that the CEO bought, and sold his stock options, he's not entitled to insider information about the company.

    When Giles declared that he was leaving and the Scoobies' problems and Sunnydale's problems aren't his problems, he was no longer in the inner circle and certainly didn't have the right to dictate their policy.

    And I think it's unfair to say that Giles had "no problem" leaving the Scoobies after Buffy died, certainly to the extent that you'd compare him to Riley's sudden exit. If Giles had no problem leaving than why did he put it off for so long?
    I see Giles openly conflicted and sad about leaving two things in Sunnydale in Bargaining- his store and the Buffybot because it's his one connection to Buffy.

    I love how Local_Max extrapolates Giles missing and caring about the Scoobies and Giles caring about Willow. However, the literal-evidence of Giles caring about the Scoobies or feeling guilty for children to shoulder the entire responsibility is scanty. I'm more inclined to give Giles huge helpings of "benefit of the doubt" when others acknowledge it was entirely reasonable for Willow, based on the bare facts of Giles's actions, to interpret that Giles was totally quitting her and the Scoobies without much conflict.

    Though, at the same time doesn't this mean Giles is being criticised for calling Willow a child and for not realising that she is one? That's somewhat contradictory. I don't think he didn't want to know. I think he honestly thought Willow was ready and, evidently, gave her more credit than she deserved. As you say, he calls Willow a "girl" because her actions have just proven to him that, that's all she is -- "Believe me, you've left a very deep impression." It was not his opinion of her when he left Sunnydale.
    Au contraire, most of Giles's actions towards Willow in the televised series indicate that he thinks she's a child. Just in the goodbye scene in the airport in Bargaining, the Scoobies couldn't buy Giles booze because they are all underage. Just a few months before, Giles gave Willow romantic advice in Tough Love like she was a child, untested and inexperienced in the ways of having fights and still staying with your partner. Which was true. Giles sang about how Buffy (Willow's contemporary) is a child who must grow up OMWF. Giles lectured about Willow not helping him with his truth spell and guilted Willow for leaving his apartment early before doing all of his organization and archiving much like an adult teacher guilts a child. Heck, in Checkpoint, Lydia (on behalf of the Watcher's Council) was aghast that "children" were even fighting this fight when they aren't the Slayer. Giles never disputed that this is a Children's Crusade.

    Giles always thought that S1-7 Willow was a child unless Giles can assuage his guilt over leaving a hellmouth town which has underwent nine apocalyptic threats in the hands of a gang of children or full financial and familial responsibility of Dawn to two children.

    It's not Giles' fault that Willow didn't live up to those standards because those standards shouldn't be hard to live up to. Giles wasn't being unfair to assume better of Willow that she wasn't concocting plans behind his back, basically.
    Those standards are VERY hard to live up to. Willow had a lot of reason to believe that Giles would do whatever he could to prevent Willow from resurrect Buffy if he knew about those plans. As Giles said, he would have bloody well stopped Willow.

    If Willow told Giles about the resurrection, she'd have to swallow the fact that Buffy may be in hell but Willow couldn't do a damn thing to get Buffy out. Willow would need to swallow that Buffy died very young, which Buffy always complained about, and Willow couldn't do a blessed thing to prevent that travesty from continuing.

    Willow had three choices:

    a) Keep the resurrection a secret from Giles and bring back Buffy.

    b) Tell Giles about her plans and fight with Giles, either verbally or more likely, duel with Giles using magic, to openly resurrect Buffy

    c) Tell Giles and follow his instructions to not resurrect Giles and live with all of the harms. Willow must live with her fear that Buffy landed in hell. Willow must not help Buffy who unfairly died young, even though Buffy repeatedly complained about her probability of dying young. Willow must watch Dawn grow up without any family. Willow must quit college to support Dawn because Giles will be damned if he gives a red cent of his fortune to help. Willow must watch her town burn the ground without a slayer to protect it and then close her eyes as she and her friends get raped to death by monsters without a slayer.

    As she dies to the sounds of Anya's, Xander's and Tara's screams of pain, Willow can take solace in the fact that she told Giles that she was thinking about resurrecting Buffy and followed Giles's instructions and Giles probably feels really informed and obeyed as he's tucked away in bed in London.

    Seriously, Willow had no other alternatives in-story. It was just those three choices. Pick your favorite, vampmogs!
    Last edited by Dipstick; 27-01-13 at 06:09 AM.

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    Dipstick: Hmmmm... I am not sure about the Hellmouth Watcher : Secretary of State comparison. I also do tend to think that Willow had hoped to do the resurrection before Giles left -- hopefully, in order to prevent him "having" to leave at all, by giving him his actual Buffy back instead of the Buffybot he spent his time with.

    I'm not sure that the points you listed are Willow's only options. There is, of course, (d) -- which is the possibility she raised in ABH in retrospect, of getting out of dodge and raising Dawn somewhere else. The other thing is that ultimately, while the gang did know that it was important to keep the 'bot functioning, neither they nor Giles knew they were on the verge of being attacked by a gang of demon bikers the moment the 'bot started malfuncitoning publicly. So it's not really like (c) got factored into Willow's decision-making early on.

    OTOH, I like your listing the actual consequences of Willow not resurrecting Buffy if only as a reminder of how close Sunnydale actually was to falling apart.

    This is the part I strongly agree with though --

    Quote Originally Posted by Dipstick View Post
    Au contraire, most of Giles's actions towards Willow in the televised series indicate that he thinks she's a child. Just in the goodbye scene in the airport in Bargaining, the Scoobies couldn't buy Giles booze because they are all underage. Just a few months before, Giles gave Willow romantic advice in Tough Love like she was a child, untested and inexperienced in the ways of having fights and still staying with your partner. Which was true. Giles sang about how Buffy (Willow's contemporary) is a child who must grow up OMWF. Giles lectured about Willow not helping him with his truth spell and guilted Willow for leaving his apartment early before doing all of his organization and archiving much like an adult teacher guilts a child. Heck, in Checkpoint, Lydia (on behalf of the Watcher's Council) was aghast that "children" were even fighting this fight when they aren't the Slayer. Giles never disputed that this is a Children's Crusade.

    Giles always thought that S1-7 Willow was a child unless Giles can assuage his guilt over leaving a hellmouth town which has underwent nine apocalyptic threats in the hands of a gang of children or full financial and familial responsibility of Dawn to two children.
    Right, yes. Bingo. Well, I'm not sure about s7. I don't think all the examples hold up individually -- why would Giles speak up to disagree with Lydia in the middle of Buffy's speech? He's only going to interrupt if it's a matter of his paycheck . But I do agree that Giles' treatment of Willow is really not, historically, the treatment of an adult peer.

    I do think there are elements of seeing Willow as a peer, actually -- certainly a potential intellectual equal. But those moments are belied by the moments above where Giles clearly intuits that Willow is not really emotionally an adult. With Buffy, Giles convinces himself that Buffy really needs time to grow up, to make her own mistakes etc., but there is no similar indication of what his thoughts are on Willow.
    Last edited by Local Maximum; 27-01-13 at 06:44 AM.

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    This seemed relevant to the Giles discussion:

    Spoiler:


    (I'm only being slightly facetious. Instructive character humor. )
    Last edited by Emmie; 27-01-13 at 07:28 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Local Maximum View Post
    I know what you're saying here, but I think the problem is that Giles shifts to treating Willow like a child and then does nothing about it after this conversation; and he fails to acknowledge the fact that he shouldn't have left her.
    I don't think Giles should have left Willow and Co to handle Sunnydale on their own. I think he expected too much and I really think, though for production reasons it's obvious why he didn't, that there needed to be real discussion about Faith stepping back in or maybe Angel. Spike's around but far too unpredictable as a soulless creature (in theory).

    But I am slightly uncomfortable with Giles having a duty to be the parent-figure in all of the Scoobie's lives. I mean, they aren't his children and part of vocation as librarian was to avoid children as well as what he says in A&F about making a personal decision not to have any. It's a mixed bag for me because on the one hand I think it was sucky to leave Sunnydale up to all the others but I don't love judging him for giving up on being a parent to kids when, really, it's not his job.

    Willow is basically being expected to play the role of the slayer without slayer power, with powers she doesn't naturally have, and without ever having had a watcher/mentor, while dealing with grief over having lost her best friend and raising Buffy's sister, while accumulating magickal power that Giles himself spun out of control with. It's not a matter of Giles being blind to Willow's unusual, Willow-shaped failings, but a matter of him failing to recognize the impossibilities of the position she's in and the amount of temptation the power holds.
    Quick question: Are we to assume that Willow had been appointed leader in front of the whole Scooby Gang? And by that I mean Giles and Spike because, yep, I include them. Or was it a vote just between Xander/Anya/Tara/Willow in one of their secret meetings? I'm just asking because I don't think we ever really see Giles or Spike acknowledge Willow as the new leader and it's possible they had established a new order in secret? It's not greatly significant but would change things somewhat if Giles was placing all these expectations on Willow as the new "Buffy" or on the whole gang in general.

    Nevertheless, the distinction I draw is that I don't believe Giles is angry at Willow because she failed as a leader or New Protector Of The Hellmouth. I think he's angry because of the deception and because of the resurrection spell. Do you get where I draw the line or am I being too unclear?

    In addition to this, Giles' blindness to everyone around him but Willow in particular has been a running theme for years -- c.f., as Maggie has pointed out, Something Blue. I get that Giles shouldn't have really expected that Willow would start ressurectin', but the idea that she might be in a situation where she could really use some help and guidance is something that I really do think should have occurred to him.
    Perhaps so, but that is different from criticising Giles because, really, he had enough respect for Willow and their friendship that he wouldn't suspect she's doing things behind his back. It just feels very weird to criticise him for having... a pretty good opinion of Willow? An opinion any two friends should have with each other until one of them breaks that trust.

    I guess it's a feminism thing -- the use of "girl" and the general tone is patronizing and patriarchal and a power play to manipulate the conversation by calling on an adult/child relationship he already rejected when it was convenient for him to reject and is not planning on continuing. And I don't like it.
    I don’t feel it’s a feminist issue but our mileage may vary. When he refers to her as a “girl” I think he’s doing so to emphasise how childish/irresponsible/immature he feels she’s being, rather than insulting her in any gender-specific way. I find it similar to when Vail refers to Wesley as “boy” in NFA as a way of demeaning him. Basically, I don’t think he’s calling her stupid because she’s a girl, he’s saying she’s behaving like a very stupid girl. I think there’s an important distinction there. The former is being sexist and is using gender-coded insults such as “stop being girly” or “stop crying like a girl” whilst the latter is saying someone is a girl who happens to be acting stupidly. And the emphasis on “girl” is to say they’re carrying on like a child.

    He chose the route where he yells at her like a child but takes on none of the responsibilities of a parent.
    True. But that's consistent with the approach Giles takes with Buffy when he tries to push her into acting like an adult by taking himself out of the picture. He doesn't feel he's helping Buffy become an adult if he's around as an adult/parental figure in her life so it makes sense, I guess, that he'd do the same with Willow.

    I agree on some of this, but "allowed them to socialize at the Magic Box"? I mean, it is Anya's place too. And eventually it's pretty much entirely hers.
    Well, not yet. At this point in time Anya was still an employee of Giles. He's still in charge ("I'm sorry if you resent my authority") and as Xander says, Anya should be nice to him "unless she wants to start working at Video Hut." An employer has every right to ban his employee from socalising with their friends or partner whilst being paid to work.

    But I don't think there's really a strict employer/employee relationship happening here which is actually my point. You don't hang around at a place that Giles owns and operates, which has been the Scooby hangout for at least a year by that point, and then get to say "oh, but you're not a part of the group." Imagine if they cast Giles out of the gang in S1-S3 but continued to hold Scooby meetings in the library? What they appear to have done is continue using the Magic Box as the main Scooby hangout and then hold secret meetings about the resurrection at Xander's house.

    I am not sure how I feel about the "going behind [Giles'] back" business. The number one factor for me is that they should have talked to Giles in case he had information that they could use. The emotional component is trickier. I'm actually not so sure that I agree that they have a responsibility to tell the people closest to Buffy that they are going to resurrect her, because I can't begin to imagine what responsibilities regarding resurrections are supposed to be.
    I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. I think it was very unfair to fight side-by-side both Spike and Giles all summer and keep this from them. They were being deceptive and I think Spike had every right to be upset ("I fought beside you, all Summer!") as did Giles.

    I also do get a real sense that despite fighting alongside the Scoobies -- which is very important! -- Giles was no longer present emotionally. Giles spending his time training the Buffybot, which is pretty much pointless, mostly reminds me of Darryl's mother watching his old games on TV; I've made a comparison before between Chris/Darryl/their mother and Willow/Buffy/Giles, where the parent's absent affections is part of the reason pushing the resurrecter to resurrect. But that might not really be relevant to the issue of whether Giles should be informed; he is still present, despite his plans to leave.
    Even if Giles was emotionally detached I still don't think that's a justification to be deceptive. They didn't not tell him because they thought he'd be apathetic, they knew that he'd care a great deal and that was the problem. 'Giles was planning on leaving so he's no longer a member of the Scooby Gang' just isn't a convincing argument to me. If that's how they really felt then they should have declined to have him patrol alongside them, and corrected him when he referred to the group as "we." He's part of the group when it's convenient, and out of it when it's not.

    I'm not all that convinced Giles is against resurrections for any reason other than that they're dangerous. Giles is mostly portrayed as the pragmatic sort, and I think Willow would think of him that way -- holding back on matters such as these because of the dangers. And so it makes sense for Willow, if she believes that Giles would be okay with Buffy having been brought back.
    When Giles says "Of everyone here... you were the one I trusted the most to respect the forces of nature" I thought he was referring to the same principles laid out in Forever. Respecting "nature" sounds more like personal beliefs on life/death to me and it echoes what Tara said in Bargaining about it being "wrong" because it's "against all the laws of nature."

    Quote Originally Posted by Dipstick View Post
    How do you know Willow was actively planning from the day that Buffy died?
    It doesn't matter to me if she "actively planning", she says that from Day 1 that it was the only option she ever considered and from Day 1 she kept that a secret from Giles.

    Whether Giles was currently in town or not, Giles made himself pretty darn clear that he wanted to leave.
    Which is not remotely comparable to informing Riley who already had left, was unreachable, and was no longer fighting by their side...

    I'd appreciate it if you didn't call my views on life ruthless/vicious. I don't get how ad hominem attack adds to this debate (ironically, about the value of Giles's ad hominem attacks).
    Sorry but if the Scoobies adopt an attitude that the moment somebody plans to move away (they haven't even left yet!) they are out of the gang and forefeit any rights to be included then yeah, that's ruthless and really vicious. I don't know how else to describe it really because that's exactly how I feel. It wasn't intended to be a personal attack against you so much as the views your ascribing to these characters.

    Yes I'm of the opinion that when you resign from a position, you are mostly cut out of the inner circle. Immediately. There's nothing ruthless or vicious about that.
    I think there is. Especially when we're referring to an inner circle that is made up of people who consider themselves "family" and who are meant to love and care about each other. I think it's very flawed to compare the Scoobies with a government or policy makers, especially at this point in the show.

    Besides, even if I were to consider your comparison to Hilary Clinton and her role as Secretary of State, until she leaves or officially steps down it *would* be absolutely wrong to make decisions behind her back. If HC was to announce she'd be resigning in a years time does that give license for everyone to cut her out of decision process for the next year because she'll be resign in twelve months time? Would it be fair to give her the illusion that she's still a valued member of government and use her expertise but in secret hold meetings that undermine that? No way.

    That's what they did with Giles. It'd be different if they had decided to resurrect Buffy once he had already left for England was no longer around to be consulted. But they did it whilst he still remained in Sunnydale and fought by their side. He was part of the group when he was chasing down vampires in the cemetery with them, or when they were hanging out at the Scooby Central he pays for, or when they allowed him to train with the Buffybot, but conveniently out of the group when it comes to the one topic that he might cause some grief over... heh.

    When Hillary Clinton leaves her post as Secretary of State, John Kerry has no obligation to keep her in the inner circle and to allow her to dictate policy. Either a day after she leaves or three months after she leaves. When a CEO resigns from a company, even a company that the CEO bought, and sold his stock options, he's not entitled to insider information about the company.

    When Giles declared that he was leaving and the Scoobies' problems and Sunnydale's problems aren't his problems, he was no longer in the inner circle and certainly didn't have the right to dictate their policy.
    Again, the comparison doesn't work. As you said, when Hillary Clinton LEAVES then it's understandable she's out of the decision making process. Whether it be 1 day later of 3 months later. But Giles hadn't left yet when they all decided to resurrect Buffy. He hadn't left yet when they went behind his back and got all the ingredients together. And he hadn't left yet when they picked the night to resurrect Buffy. It was mere coincidence that Giles took off a few hours before sundown and they had fully planned to do it with him there.

    I see Giles openly conflicted and sad about leaving two things in Sunnydale in Bargaining- his store and the Buffybot because it's his one connection to Buffy.
    And not at all because of the people whom he loves and will miss

    Au contraire, most of Giles's actions towards Willow in the televised series indicate that he thinks she's a child. Just in the goodbye scene in the airport in Bargaining, the Scoobies couldn't buy Giles booze because they are all underage. Just a few months before, Giles gave Willow romantic advice in Tough Love like she was a child, untested and inexperienced in the ways of having fights and still staying with your partner. Which was true. Giles sang about how Buffy (Willow's contemporary) is a child who must grow up OMWF. Giles lectured about Willow not helping him with his truth spell and guilted Willow for leaving his apartment early before doing all of his organization and archiving much like an adult teacher guilts a child. Heck, in Checkpoint, Lydia (on behalf of the Watcher's Council) was aghast that "children" were even fighting this fight when they aren't the Slayer. Giles never disputed that this is a Children's Crusade.
    Quite different. Understanding that they're still technically children is quite different from saying they're behaving childish. Joyce often forget that Buffy was still just a girl, after all.

    Seriously, Willow had no other alternatives in-story. It was just those three choices. Pick your favorite, vampmogs!
    Sure she did. Move away from Sunnydale with Tara and Dawn which is exactly what she regrets not doing now.

    Regardless, as I've said many times now, if Willow had simply apologised to Giles straight away for going behind his back for all those months (I'm *not* asking her to apologise for resurrecting Buffy) then it would have been far easier to swallow. That goes for all of them and Spike deserved a better apology from Xander too.
    Last edited by vampmogs; 27-01-13 at 08:16 AM.
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    More interesting conversation. It's nice checking into BF and seeing some actual conversations happening!

    My own take on some of the points made above:

    1. I think it's pretty much text that Willow was very careful in what she told who about the plans for the resurrection. She didn't tell Spike or Giles because she knew they'd never be on board. I assume she cut Dawn out because Dawn was too young or something. But even with Tara, Xander and Anya Willow was never completely candid. She didn't tell them about the fawn. They weren't told to expect black snakes, etc. All of that speaks to a guilty conscience. She knows she's crossing lines and she sets it up so that nobody will stop her.

    2. Because of that, I'm not willing to entirely attribute her actions to good intentions. Don't get me wrong. Good intentions are a big part of the mix. But if it had only been good intentions, she'd have been willing to candidly talk out the pros and cons with people, and she did this with nobody. (Once she's withheld the darkest aspects of what she's doing from the Scoobies they aren't in a position to contribute to a reasoned decision about what should be done). We also see that there's more than good intentions in the mix in her conversation/argument with Giles, where she's plainly very pleased with herself about having successfully wielded such powerful magic.

    3. The show had already established this as a big "no, no" when the subject of resurrecting Joyce came up. A missing piece in the story is how Willow succeeded in swinging Tara around on this one -- presumably with the bit about a mystical death being different. But I don't think Tara's acquiescence under partial information is meant to be taken as evidence that Willow is not knowingly doing something she should not do.

    4. Human psychology is such that when there are mixed motives in play, the unacknowledged motives shape the way we reason about the motives we do acknowledge. Willow assumes that Buffy is in some horrible hell dimension -- but that's a convenient assumption to make if someone is itching to tackle the holy grail of magic problems. If Willow had not had mixed motives, one would imagine that the research done would have also entailed establishing whether Buffy actually was in a hell dimension and therefore in need of rescuing.

    5. Giles therefore has reason to be upset.

    6. But Giles own reaction is likewise shot through with mixed motives, and some of these do not tell well on him. I agree that much of his anger is misplaced anger at himself, etc. etc. (The things we talked about above). That's what makes the scene so dramatic. Both Giles and Willow have good motives for taking the positions they do, but they are also inflected (heavily) by bad motives on both sides. It's classic Buffyverse writing in that regard.

    7. I do not think Giles had the responsibilities of a parent or a guardian. However, the moment he allowed Willow and Xander to join in the fight back in season 1, he ought to have assumed something like the same level of concern and supervision for Xander and Willow that he had for Buffy. He never did this. Giles was most concerned about Buffy, occasionally concerned about Willow, even more rarely concerned about Xander. It's easy to think that Willow's hurt/anger about this is part of the subtext of that argument - why it got so charged. And this is my favorite dark motive on his side. He's the father yelling at the child because he knows he's failed her in important ways. And I'll repeat, the show has been pointing at that failing for years. Giles knew perfectly well how dangerous magic can be for a young person and he never did more than offer a few perfunctory admonitions to be careful.

    8. I don't know what to do with the question of Giles' responsibility to stay in Sunnydale. That and his subsequent departure after Buffy returned continues to strike me as being driven both by the actor's availability and the writers' desire to leave the Scoobies and Buffy without adult support. It is hard, therefore, for me to feel strongly about whether it was right or wrong for him to leave. The teaser for Bargaining suggests that managing even the low level of summer vampire activity was an all-hands-on-deck project, and it's hard to understand Giles choosing to leave then. Just as it's hard to understand Giles leaving a financially-strapped and visibly depressed Buffy to the challenges of supporting herself and her sister while also performing her slayer duties. I'd say on both counts he's grossly negligent in a completely OOC way. The best I can do is think he was so depressed by Buffy's death he just couldn't bear it and ran away. But that doesn't explain him running away again. And like I said, the meta reasons for the contrivance seem to me to be the main driver behind that decision, so it's hard for me to figure out how much responsibility I should attribute to him for his distinctly ill-considered judgment to bail on them at that time.

    9. The characters had to pay, and pay heavily for the choice to resurrect Buffy because Joss wanted the audience to pay, and pay heavily, for the wish-fulfillment of having her not really have died at the end of season 5. Of course they all look bad. They were all cheating one way or another, just as we were cheating by demanding that Buffy's story not end with the sacrificial death that was always on the menu for her.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vampmogs View Post
    I don't think Giles should have left Willow and Co to handle Sunnydale on their own. I think he expected too much and I really think, though for production reasons it's obvious why he didn't, that there needed to be real discussion about Faith stepping back in or maybe Angel. Spike's around but far too unpredictable as a soulless creature (in theory).

    But I am slightly uncomfortable with Giles having a duty to be the parent-figure in all of the Scoobie's lives. I mean, they aren't his children and part of vocation as librarian was to avoid children as well as what he says in A&F about making a personal decision not to have any. It's a mixed bag for me because on the one hand I think it was sucky to leave Sunnydale up to all the others but I don't love judging him for giving up on being a parent to kids when, really, it's not his job.
    It's not his job. But that's why I don't think he gets to yell at Willow as a "girl."

    I guess it took me a while to figure out what my basic problem was -- and I think that's it. It has to be one or the other. Giles either takes adult supervision responsibility, in which case he gets to treat Willow like a child. Or he doesn't, in which case he doesn't. If he thought Willow was an adult when he left, and then changed when he found out about the resurrection, he should have done something about it.

    That said, there are Watchers all over the world. Giles is on the Hellmouth in the Wishverse. Giles' responsibility is to Buffy, but it's also to the world. The Hellmouth is protected by untrained children.

    Quick question: Are we to assume that Willow had been appointed leader in front of the whole Scooby Gang? And by that I mean Giles and Spike because, yep, I include them. Or was it a vote just between Xander/Anya/Tara/Willow in one of their secret meetings? I'm just asking because I don't think we ever really see Giles or Spike acknowledge Willow as the new leader and it's possible they had established a new order in secret? It's not greatly significant but would change things somewhat if Giles was placing all these expectations on Willow as the new "Buffy" or on the whole gang in general.

    Nevertheless, the distinction I draw is that I don't believe Giles is angry at Willow because she failed as a leader or New Protector Of The Hellmouth. I think he's angry because of the deception and because of the resurrection spell. Do you get where I draw the line or am I being too unclear?
    I get where you draw the line! You are clear!

    It does change things if Giles was placing his expectations on Willow or on the whole gang, I admit. And yet I can't see him placing expectations on anyone else as leader. He doesn't trust Spike. He doesn't think much of Xander. He sees Anya, rightly, as focused on the money. He doesn't know Tara. He knows Dawn is a child.

    I think it's clear that Willow is the one Giles trusts the most of anyone besides Buffy, and thus is probably the reason he left her behind.

    Perhaps so, but that is different from criticising Giles because, really, he had enough respect for Willow and their friendship that he wouldn't suspect she's doing things behind his back. It just feels very weird to criticise him for having... a pretty good opinion of Willow? An opinion any two friends should have with each other until one of them breaks that trust.
    I agree. But then he treats her as a child when he yells at her, which is not the same system as the "any two friends."

    I don’t feel it’s a feminist issue but our mileage may vary. When he refers to her as a “girl” I think he’s doing so to emphasise how childish/irresponsible/immature he feels she’s being, rather than insulting her in any gender-specific way. I find it similar to when Vail refers to Wesley as “boy” in NFA as a way of demeaning him. Basically, I don’t think he’s calling her stupid because she’s a girl, he’s saying she’s behaving like a very stupid girl. I think there’s an important distinction there. The former is being sexist and is using gender-coded insults such as “stop being girly” or “stop crying like a girl” whilst the latter is saying someone is a girl who happens to be acting stupidly. And the emphasis on “girl” is to say they’re carrying on like a child.
    YMMV.

    I guess I am using feminism as a bit of a code general power dynamics.

    But really, Vail is an evil ass for calling Wesley a boy in NFA. When Angel calls people boy it makes me bristle and be uncomfortable.

    But I agree it's not sexist per se. It *is* patronizing.

    True. But that's consistent with the approach Giles takes with Buffy when he tries to push her into acting like an adult by taking himself out of the picture. He doesn't feel he's helping Buffy become an adult if he's around as an adult/parental figure in her life so it makes sense, I guess, that he'd do the same with Willow.
    It would make sense if we'd seen any reasoning. And additionally, while Giles is worried that Buffy is too far gone to care and the like, he isn't worried that Buffy is going to do terrible world-risking actions -- he's worried about her inactions and wants to light a spark. Willow he yells at and then never brings it up again during his tenure back in SD.

    Well, not yet. At this point in time Anya was still an employee of Giles. He's still in charge ("I'm sorry if you resent my authority") and as Xander says, Anya should be nice to him "unless she wants to start working at Video Hut." An employer has every right to ban his employee from socalising with their friends or partner whilst being paid to work.

    But I don't think there's really a strict employer/employee relationship happening here which is actually my point. You don't hang around at a place that Giles owns and operates, which has been the Scooby hangout for at least a year by that point, and then get to say "oh, but you're not a part of the group." Imagine if they cast Giles out of the gang in S1-S3 but continued to hold Scooby meetings in the library? What they appear to have done is continue using the Magic Box as the main Scooby hangout and then hold secret meetings about the resurrection at Xander's house.
    I do see your point.

    I guess the thing that sucks is that I can't quite bring myself to be too effusive about this side of Giles because he is the only person who is already getting paid to do Scoobying, by the W.C., and he doesn't share that money even though everyone in the gang is doing work.

    In that sense, Giles making space for Scoobying seems to me to be at (or even below) the bare minimum of his responsibilities as Watcher, and he is still getting paid lots more money for it!

    But anyway, yes, this doesn't change the point that Giles is in the gang.

    I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. I think it was very unfair to fight side-by-side both Spike and Giles all summer and keep this from them. They were being deceptive and I think Spike had every right to be upset ("I fought beside you, all Summer!") as did Giles.
    I do think I agree. I can't quite process what rights are supposed to be.

    OTOH, the thing I really dug about the way Spike approached Xander was that he approached him as an equal, rather than an angry, older superior talking to a child. Giles never mentions that he is personally hurt by the exclusion, and I get the feeling that he wouldn't mention it because bringing his personal feelings of betrayal into it would make him seem vulnerable and he wants to be all yelling, scolding-parent guy.

    Even if Giles was emotionally detached I still don't think that's a justification to be deceptive. They didn't not tell him because they thought he'd be apathetic, they knew that he'd care a great deal and that was the problem. 'Giles was planning on leaving so he's no longer a member of the Scooby Gang' just isn't a convincing argument to me. If that's how they really felt then they should have declined to have him patrol alongside them, and corrected him when he referred to the group as "we." He's part of the group when it's convenient, and out of it when it's not.
    Good point.

    When Giles says "Of everyone here... you were the one I trusted the most to respect the forces of nature" I thought he was referring to the same principles laid out in Forever. Respecting "nature" sounds more like personal beliefs on life/death to me and it echoes what Tara said in Bargaining about it being "wrong" because it's "against all the laws of nature."
    I dunno. Respect is one thing. It being inherently wrong is another. You respect something because it's dangerous to cross it, but that doesn't mean it's inherently wrong instead of just dangerous to cross it. Giles is too pragmatic-coded for me to think he has religious-style beliefs on the subject. But YMMV.





    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie View Post
    More interesting conversation. It's nice checking into BF and seeing some actual conversations happening!

    My own take on some of the points made above:

    1. I think it's pretty much text that Willow was very careful in what she told who about the plans for the resurrection. She didn't tell Spike or Giles because she knew they'd never be on board. I assume she cut Dawn out because Dawn was too young or something. But even with Tara, Xander and Anya Willow was never completely candid. She didn't tell them about the fawn. They weren't told to expect black snakes, etc. All of that speaks to a guilty conscience. She knows she's crossing lines and she sets it up so that nobody will stop her.

    2. Because of that, I'm not willing to entirely attribute her actions to good intentions. Don't get me wrong. Good intentions are a big part of the mix. But if it had only been good intentions, she'd have been willing to candidly talk out the pros and cons with people, and she did this with nobody. (Once she's withheld the darkest aspects of what she's doing from the Scoobies they aren't in a position to contribute to a reasoned decision about what should be done). We also see that there's more than good intentions in the mix in her conversation/argument with Giles, where she's plainly very pleased with herself about having successfully wielded such powerful magic.
    I do agree with this generally and I think the show overall points to openness being a Good Thing. Hiding information is bad because it's a way to maintain power; but that both prevents other people from having a say, and isolates the person who is hiding the information.

    3. The show had already established this as a big "no, no" when the subject of resurrecting Joyce came up. A missing piece in the story is how Willow succeeded in swinging Tara around on this one -- presumably with the bit about a mystical death being different. But I don't think Tara's acquiescence under partial information is meant to be taken as evidence that Willow is not knowingly doing something she should not do.
    There is a difference between mystical death and natural death highlighted right away. Tara still says it's wrong, though.

    See my response to the last point.

    4. Human psychology is such that when there are mixed motives in play, the unacknowledged motives shape the way we reason about the motives we do acknowledge. Willow assumes that Buffy is in some horrible hell dimension -- but that's a convenient assumption to make if someone is itching to tackle the holy grail of magic problems. If Willow had not had mixed motives, one would imagine that the research done would have also entailed establishing whether Buffy actually was in a hell dimension and therefore in need of rescuing.
    Yes. Though there is scant little evidence that this would actually have been possible. The only thing that seems like it can do that is the Axis of Pythea thing on AtS but while I've used that as an argument in the past, I do think it's bad form to bring in things from later on in the other show.

    That said, I do think that had Willow devoted herself to the task of seeing where Buffy was with the same ferocity with which she devoted herself to the resurrection, she might have been able to find out. She really didn't do that.

    5. Giles therefore has reason to be upset.

    6. But Giles own reaction is likewise shot through with mixed motives, and some of these do not tell well on him. I agree that much of his anger is misplaced anger at himself, etc. etc. (The things we talked about above). That's what makes the scene so dramatic. Both Giles and Willow have good motives for taking the positions they do, but they are also inflected (heavily) by bad motives on both sides. It's classic Buffyverse writing in that regard.

    7. I do not think Giles had the responsibilities of a parent or a guardian. However, the moment he allowed Willow and Xander to join in the fight back in season 1, he ought to have assumed something like the same level of concern and supervision for Xander and Willow that he had for Buffy. He never did this. Giles was most concerned about Buffy, occasionally concerned about Willow, even more rarely concerned about Xander. It's easy to think that Willow's hurt/anger about this is part of the subtext of that argument - why it got so charged. And this is my favorite dark motive on his side. He's the father yelling at the child because he knows he's failed her in important ways. And I'll repeat, the show has been pointing at that failing for years. Giles knew perfectly well how dangerous magic can be for a young person and he never did more than offer a few perfunctory admonitions to be careful.
    Word.

    8. I don't know what to do with the question of Giles' responsibility to stay in Sunnydale. That and his subsequent departure after Buffy returned continues to strike me as being driven both by the actor's availability and the writers' desire to leave the Scoobies and Buffy without adult support. It is hard, therefore, for me to feel strongly about whether it was right or wrong for him to leave. The teaser for Bargaining suggests that managing even the low level of summer vampire activity was an all-hands-on-deck project, and it's hard to understand Giles choosing to leave then. Just as it's hard to understand Giles leaving a financially-strapped and visibly depressed Buffy to the challenges of supporting herself and her sister while also performing her slayer duties. I'd say on both counts he's grossly negligent in a completely OOC way. The best I can do is think he was so depressed by Buffy's death he just couldn't bear it and ran away. But that doesn't explain him running away again. And like I said, the meta reasons for the contrivance seem to me to be the main driver behind that decision, so it's hard for me to figure out how much responsibility I should attribute to him for his distinctly ill-considered judgment to bail on them at that time.
    He's definitely depressed by Buffy's death, and he's also devastated by his own killing Ben for Buffy (not for the world). Meanwhile, he really wanted to have something of a life outside of Sunnydale. Meanwhile meanwhile, he can't go through losing Buffy again. The thing is, Giles leaves before the resurrection, which means that unlike Dawn (who still cuddles with the Buffybot), he has really, really decided to accept Buffy's death and put it behind him. That's not something he can really reverse on a dime.

    And bizarrely, as with other aspects of these seasons, as much as I get on Giles for his negligence, I think there is another side to it too. Giles needed to leave the kids alone to make their own mistakes, because otherwise they wouldn't make either their mistakes or their remarkable accomplishmenty feats.

    9. The characters had to pay, and pay heavily for the choice to resurrect Buffy because Joss wanted the audience to pay, and pay heavily, for the wish-fulfillment of having her not really have died at the end of season 5. Of course they all look bad. They were all cheating one way or another, just as we were cheating by demanding that Buffy's story not end with the sacrificial death that was always on the menu for her.
    I agree with this -- but I also think it's only half the story.

    The reason I demur is that I think that the series is actually ambivalent on the resurrection. I'm not alone in this, but I do think it's a relatively rare position to hold. But the metaphor of the mystical, series-closing, shiny jumping into a portal of doom death really is different from the metaphor of the brain aneurism death. (That one is...a brain aneurism death.) The latter is something that cannot be resolved IRL. The former -- well, Buffy's death can then, metaphorically, become something else -- it is not just death, but also her apotheosis of the hero's journey, her moment of becoming an adult, etc.

    And ultimately, the resurrection is in its own way a revolutionary act -- and so political inclinations come into this too. The natural order shouldn't be crossed, we hear, but the natural order also *is* the one in which slayers regularly die at twenty or before. Willow's resurrecting Buffy is the inciting incident for the last two seasons, but those two seasons don't end with the characters carefully licking their wounds, regretting that they ever continued existing after Buffy jumped off the tower -- they change the natural order, with Giles' approval, to institute a new paradigm for the world which is a possible end to the slayer isolation.

    To me, season six and season seven are of a piece, and season six is all about the negative consequences of the resurrection and season seven is the possibility of making something generative for it. But no one would have changed the world without the resurrection.

    Willow knows she's doing something that is "wrong." She feels deep down it probably is wrong. She shouldn't do something she believes is wrong. But I'm not so convinced that it was per se wrong, in the end. I think it was an action that blew up the existing framework of the show and left the cast with nothing to hold onto, but which ultimately may be something that produced something good in the end -- like, for ex., Spuffy. And Chosen not only validates the worth of Buffy and Spike's relationship, which also begins as something the characters have to pay and pay and pay for, it validates, at least for a time, Willow's magic as a power to rewrite the narrative rules.

    Meanwhile, as Dipstick points out, the demon bikers would have come and destroyed Sunnydale without Buffy coming back. Tara suggests that maybe the bikers were created by the resurrection. That's that ambivalence again! But they are shown heading toward Sunnydale because the 'bot, who was another temporary bandage on Buffy's death, malfunctions -- they were always going to come when there was no more Buffy.

    And meanwhile, I think that Buffy's heaven is mostly a metaphor for childhood arrested development -- a place of being warm and happy and loved and (falsely) believing that everyone was okay. Buffy needed her friends to pull her into adulthood in order to have a genuine adult life.

    This is not to say that they didn't screw up, really badly -- they did. They screwed up repeatedly, every single character. Buuuuuuuut! Does that mean that the final analysis has to be negative? I don't know, but I don't think so.

    I do think this is complicated by some things. The First is able to seize onto an opening by Buffy's resurrection, which could mean that the gang is responsible for that too. And then there is season eight to worry about. Anti-revolutionary sentiments, certainly. Which I get and am on board with. But at the core of it, I think the story shouldn't have ended with Buffy's death. I don't think that's wish fulfillment -- I think there is an element of wish fulfillment in there, of course, of wanting to see Buffy back, just as there is a purely selfish impulse of wanting their friend back. But Buffy the character gets to become something greater IMHO than a woman who died and got her reward of eternal childhood, someone who actually genuinely wants to be an adult. Willow was into her power and the gang were falling apart without Buffy and she missed her friend but Buffy didn't deserve to die when she did, and while The Gift is one of my favourite episodes it is not a good story as an ending. The "natural order" is not the real world, because the specifics of the resurrection are not about the real world but about the story. The natural order is the story's "natural ending" and the price for breaking that story is so very steep but that doesn't make it wrong.

    Spike getting a soul is a similar moment of a character breaking the natural order -- and it similarly is treated with ambivalence for a while (it's implied that getting a soul makes him triggerable by the First) before coming out and making it the shiniest of all things in Chosen. I think for me, Willow's willingness to subvert an aspect of the story that is genuinely wrong -- the idea that heroes have to die at twenty -- should be granted some of the same space and affection as Spike's subversion of the idea that a guy who enters evil should leave the story evil. Willow et al. break the story, but it was a bad, unfair story -- the fact that they break it for both good and bad reasons mean that they all get punished for it but also, ultimately, rewarded.

    This is not just a matter of story conventions, but about generational divide, which is part of the reason Giles had to leave -- the kids do things which are unimaginable to the parents but which ultimately may be able to change the world for the better. Willow's magic use starts from a place of apparent dark, dark, just as Buffy's relationship with Spike does. Both end up bathed in light. With constant adult supervision, that wouldn't have happened; they needed to make mistakes in order to discover new methods of doing things, as every generation must. I do think that even if you are a much more "incremental change" person than a "revolutionary change" person, I think the metaphor still works -- because even incremental change requires the overturning of established rules and conventions, sometimes in ways that are dangerous, in order to test for real which aspects of conventional wisdom really matter.

    I am aware that the story in season eight points in a different place, and Willow is not sure she did the right thing in season nine. I'm sharing my read of the story, ultimately, and I do think it's a personal read. I don't expect widespread agreement or anything. But I am really glad Willow et al. went for the resurrection, despite all the bad that came from it, because the good shines brighter to me -- and because I think they had a right to fight against and break the rules of a story that was fundamentally unfair.

    There is dark coding to the resurrection, of course -- killing deer, for example -- but the coding of the snakes is not that different from the coding of the beetles as part of Spike's trials in TTG. Part of the series is that not all that looks evil is evil.

    For the record, while I am just on the side of pro-, I'm not advocating pro-resurrection stance. I think that it's actually something the text genuinely doesn't make a final judgment on -- there are good things and bad things, and it doesn't shy away from either. This is what makes this conversation both difficult and rewarding for me, because I don't think the resurrection can be safely categorized as good or bad, though we can, as I have done here, present readings why I think the show ultimately favours the resurrection somewhat more than it pushes against it. And as in real life, there are some events that happened, that we have to take responsibility for (*and yes, the gang are bad at taking responsibility for it! part of the mix), but that simply defy easy categorization, especially in the adult world. I think that the resurrection is the real start of the moral ambiguity that accompanies adulthood, wherein the power is within one's grasp to shift paradigms, to fundamentally change the way the world operates, and this leads to situations in which there simply is no easy way to pinpoint it as good or ill and that alone.

    In other words: yes, they are all cheating, but is it as wrong to cheat when the game is rigged?

    For fun and profit, a thing I've written elsewhere:

    The resurrection is a metaphor for the entry into the moral ambiguity of adulthood. The resurrection is an act which cannot be resolved entirely -- because there is ultimately something about adulthood which defies easy categorization. It is an act that goes against the natural order that has both positive and negative consequences. Many fans insist that it's purely negative, and, like, two fans insist that it's purely positive. But it's not something that ever has a concrete, total resolution, because ultimately perfection is only possible in adolescence and childhood, not in adulthood.

    Then the next two seasons are responses to this. The world, as it is, says Buffy should stay dead. Willow says no. And this is the mother of both Willow trying to end the world in the ultimate revolutionary act with negative consequences, and Buffy & Willow empowering the potentials in a moderate revolutionary act, with positive consequences. The structure is about what it means to be an adult, and in particular, what it means to have the power to transform the very rules that govern life.

    Season six is still the characters trapped in the dichotomies, hence Willow trying to use her power, becoming overwhelmed by it, giving it up entirely, then giving into it fully. Willow is still a Buffy story here -- and Willow's revolutionary act is to deny the totality of existence in Grave which includes/comes from an attempt at total self-erasure. Xander is Buffy's heart (yadda yadda) but also the member of the group who attempts to provide stability. This could make him The Patriarchy, but he's more the guy who tries to be the absolute best one can be within the world without the (supernatural!) power to transform it, and to make meaning in that life. Buffy, of course, straddles the boundaries more than anyone else does. Willow does have a non-supernatural part and Xander has a supernatural part (he knows about the supernatural and impacts on it) but they are still, in season seven, on opposite ends, with Buffy in the middle. The joining together of Willow & Xander in Grave, and the implication (alas, only an implication for most of the season!) that they are connected suggests the reconciliation between the supernatural and the normal that Buffy has to face.
    I think that the role of the supernatural in BtVS is sometimes to represent the ability to change what constitutes "normal." Even in season one, for example, the social structure was hyper-rigidly defined (with Cordelia on the top and Willow & Xander way below) and it takes Buffy, supernaturally empowered woman, to break it. In particular, Willow's magic is the thing that allows her to discover that she's a lesbian, to have drug-like experiences which allow her to see the world differently, to abuse her partner in secret, to change the rules of the narrative for good or for ill. (This is part of what makes the shifting metaphors okay to me. Willow wouldn't have discovered she was a lesbian without magic for at least another few years because lesbianism isn't part of her everyday normal-life experience; it takes magic to break the unwritten social rules, including heteronormativity, for her.) Xander is able to find peace with what Real Life, which represents the world that we are used to everyday, whose assumptions we don't/can't question. In the end, magic can't be used to subvert nature entirely -- that leads to ending the world because it's awful, which is bad! -- but it can be used to tweak it, to (metaphorically!) present a new way of looking at the world and to change the structure of the stories we tell ourselves. I think this is at the core of Willow's arc in the series and season eight. Buffy navigates a balance between Willow and Xander's extremes and also has parallel plotlines with, e.g., dealing with the implications of Spike's burgeoning morality and so on and so on and so on, which also involve the subversion of how we can see and process the world using supernatural tropes.
    Last edited by Local Maximum; 27-01-13 at 04:16 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vampmogs View Post
    When Giles says "Of everyone here... you were the one I trusted the most to respect the forces of nature"
    Either Giles has multiple personality disorder...or that's a retcon. Because Giles never gave a damn about 'respecting the forces of nature', and that's the example he set for Willow and the others. So when Giles is going off on Willow in 'Flooded', he's chastising her for something he *himself* had spend years doing in front of Willow. For example, in 'Primeval':

    Willow: The adjoining spell, is it powerful enough to defeat Adam?
    Giles: It's very powerful. It's also extraordinarily dangerous.
    And in the following episode, after said spell leads to the First Slayer trying to kill them all in their dreams:

    GILES: Somehow our joining with ... Buffy and ... invoking the essence of the, the Slayer's power was an affront to the source of that power.
    BUFFY: You know, you could have brought that up to us *before* we did it.
    GILES: I did. I said there could be dire consequences.
    Here, Giles is the one who's the least upset of all the characters about violating the laws of nature, even though it damn near killed them. In fact, I don't think Giles ever showed any fear of violating magical dogma's before 'Flooded'. The writers just want us to believe resurrections are bad, so they (ab)use Giles as a voice of reason to convince us of that (while never actually explaining why resurrections are bad). They do the same thing in 'Chosen', where you have Giles calling Buffy's plan of activating thousands of Slayers 'bloody brilliant', AFTER he had been told by an otherworldly oracle that the resurrection of a single Slayer disrupted the Slayer line so much that it threatened the fate of the world (hi, Twilight!). And of course, the more obvious problem of pitting a dozen girls against thousands of ancient vampires.
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    Wow, so many things to respond to:

    Quote Originally Posted by Local Maximum View Post
    I'm not sure that the points you listed are Willow's only options. There is, of course, (d) -- which is the possibility she raised in ABH in retrospect, of getting out of dodge and raising Dawn somewhere else. The other thing is that ultimately, while the gang did know that it was important to keep the 'bot functioning, neither they nor Giles knew they were on the verge of being attacked by a gang of demon bikers the moment the 'bot started malfuncitoning publicly. So it's not really like (c) got factored into Willow's decision-making early on.
    The gang was scared of what could happen if someone found out that Buffy is dead. They didn't know about the Biker Gang but they felt in danger being on a hellmouth without a slayer.

    That's a good point about Option D- Willow and Tara (and maybe Xander and Anya) leaving. However, I don't like that Option either and consider resurrecting Buffy the better choice. Under Option D, Willow would still have to live with the fact that Buffy could be tormented in hell and that Buffy's life was unfairly cut short and that Dawn doesn't have her family. In addition, there's been five years of proof that Sunnydale is the epicenter of apocalyptic threats. At the start of S6, leaving Sunnydale unguarded or only guarded by Xander and Anya (IMO, not Spike if Dawn wasn't in Sunnydale) feels allowing the next Adam or Acathala to strike Sunnydale and *then* take over the world.

    Not telling Giles and resurrecting Buffy still feels like the much lesser evil.

    Right, yes. Bingo. Well, I'm not sure about s7. I don't think all the examples hold up individually -- why would Giles speak up to disagree with Lydia in the middle of Buffy's speech? He's only going to interrupt if it's a matter of his paycheck . But I do agree that Giles' treatment of Willow is really not, historically, the treatment of an adult peer.
    True, that Giles wouldn't speak up. However, it is the position of outside Watchers that these are children.

    I do think there are elements of seeing Willow as a peer, actually -- certainly a potential intellectual equal.
    True, Giles's Willow in Restless is very grown-up but that's all the more startling a comparison to how young Willow seems in real life. I've been hard on Giles. I will say that a lot of his nicest moments with Willow blend this confidence that she can be a peer/intellectual equal but then Giles comes back to this protectiveness because as much as he respected Willow pre-S6, he still sees her as a child.

    Quote Originally Posted by vampmogs View Post
    But I am slightly uncomfortable with Giles having a duty to be the parent-figure in all of the Scoobie's lives. I mean, they aren't his children and part of vocation as librarian was to avoid children as well as what he says in A&F about making a personal decision not to have any. It's a mixed bag for me because on the one hand I think it was sucky to leave Sunnydale up to all the others but I don't love judging him for giving up on being a parent to kids when, really, it's not his job.
    Giles had two obligations. As a paid Watcher, Giles had an obligation to do his part to keep the world safe. He abandoned an active war-zone by leaving Sunnydale.

    Second, Buffy all but wrote a will delegating custody of Dawn to Giles if she were to perish. Buffy made it clear, at least to the audience and Giles, that she would want Giles to care for Dawn if she died. Giles knew that Buffy told him first about Dawn's key origins. Buffy consulted with Giles on how to raise Dawn. When Buffy came back, she wanted *Giles*, in particular, to co-parent Dawn with her. Giles has financial resources to ensure that Dawn won't grow up impoverished and he's old enough to parent an adolescent. Giles knowingly abrogated this responsibility.

    My desire for Giles to mentor Willow's magic use or my desire for Giles to be in Xander's life is just gravy. The first two things were a clear abrogation of his responsibility.

    Even if Giles was emotionally detached I still don't think that's a justification to be deceptive. They didn't not tell him because they thought he'd be apathetic, they knew that he'd care a great deal and that was the problem. 'Giles was planning on leaving so he's no longer a member of the Scooby Gang' just isn't a convincing argument to me. If that's how they really felt then they should have declined to have him patrol alongside them, and corrected him when he referred to the group as "we." He's part of the group when it's convenient, and out of it when it's not.
    The gang thought that he'd care about them breaking the technical laws of Wiccanness. However, Willow did believe that Giles wasn't concerned enough with where Buffy was for that to overcome his adherence to Wiccan law. Willow's bitter "You weren't even there" and her anger at him for leaving at the end of S6 imply that Willow didn't think that Giles cared that much about Sunnydale's continued survival on a hellmouth or Dawn's need to have family and financial resources. And she'd be right- Giles showed no signs of caring about any of that stuff. If Giles doesn't care about a number of the factors that would drive the Scoobies to resurrect, why should Giles be in control of the decision.

    It doesn't matter to me if she "actively planning", she says that from Day 1 that it was the only option she ever considered and from Day 1 she kept that a secret from Giles.
    I can buy that there are ethical rationales to tell Giles about live conspiracies and active plans- mainly the Disclosure Rule. As argued above, I still think that under utilitarianism, majoriatarianism and a deontoloigcal obligation to help Buffy for three, Willow was ethically justified in keeping the resurrection a secret from Giles so that she was able to perform it without having to beat Giles into submission.

    However even if I grant that there are ethical imperatives for Willow to disclose live conspiracies and active plans, Willow is under no obligation to disclose merely her wishes and desires to Giles. Willow's thoughts are her own. She is under zero obligation to share with Giles what she's thinking about but hasn't even started to act on.

    I think there is. Especially when we're referring to an inner circle that is made up of people who consider themselves "family" and who are meant to love and care about each other. I think it's very flawed to compare the Scoobies with a government or policy makers, especially at this point in the show.
    But it's not a family to Giles. As you argue, Giles isn't beholden to the Scoobies, nor they to him. I even agree that Giles has no familial obligation to raise Willow or financially help her or teach her magic. I only argue that Giles had an obligation to the world and to Dawn.

    However if Giles is so isolated from the Scoobies that he has no obligation to them, they aren't a family. And the Scoobies are entirely justified in just treating him as a co-worker that quit. Giles didn't want to be a part of Willow's or Xander's family ever- but he does want their information that he's interested in.

    Besides, even if I were to consider your comparison to Hilary Clinton and her role as Secretary of State, until she leaves or officially steps down it *would* be absolutely wrong to make decisions behind her back. If HC was to announce she'd be resigning in a years time does that give license for everyone to cut her out of decision process for the next year because she'll be resign in twelve months time? Would it be fair to give her the illusion that she's still a valued member of government and use her expertise but in secret hold meetings that undermine that? No way.
    John Kerry is most definitely meeting with prospective staff, talking to people that he wants to appoint, and planning his own agenda once he's confirmed, even if it conflicts with Hillary's current policies. Right now, while Hillary is still Secretary of State. That's what a transition is for and that's what planning ahead is for. And John Kerry and Hillary Clinton are of the same political party and like each other!

    Both before and after Barack Obama was elected in 2008, he held meetings with staff and prospective staff, lobbied congresspeople to rally to his agenda, and drew up plans with other academics on how Obama was going to reverse George W. Bush's policies. While George Bush was president. No one complained about that because it's what everyone does.

    George Bush, as a Christian, may have been just as opposed to stem cell research as Giles is as a....sorta Wiccan? If Obama held meetings with his staffers and congresspeople during his transition on how to lift the ban on stem cell research and then lifted the ban once he was sworn into office (instead of three months later), that would be fine. I wouldn't give a crap about whether Bush was morally opposed to stem cell research or whether Bush feels a connection with the snowflake babies that could have resulted from embryos that just may have been incubated into life instead of used for medical research. I'd laugh at anyone who insisted that Bush or his staffers should have been invited to those transition meetings of Obama because Bush was still in the White House.

    George W. Bush was leaving. Giles was leaving. People voted for Obama. The Scoobies voted for Willow and they voted by referendum to resurrect Buffy. Obama can plan to overturn Bush's policies and then immediately do so once Obama had that power.

    Now, I can get a sentimental argument that the Scoobies should feel some loyalty to disclose stuff to Giles because they were in the trenches together. Even though Giles feels no loyalty to want to fight with the Scoobies in the future, Giles feels no loyalty to Buffy's memory or to Dawn to want to provide financially or to help parent Dawn, and certainly, Giles feels no loyalty to compel him to help Willow master her powers or the Scoobies to learn how to live without Buffy or to help them in their day-to-day lives.

    However even you buy into this argument that the Scoobies owe Giles because they should consider him family, that's all sentimental. As a matter of organization, the Scoobies were not out of the ordinary by forming their own coalition and making their own plans.

    And not at all because of the people whom he loves and will miss
    IMO, Giles didn't love anyone left in Sunnydale. There's zero evidence that Giles loves Tara, Xander, Dawn and Spike or that he'd miss them. He had nicer feelings towards Anya and Willow. Still as screwed up as it is, all of Giles's issues with leaving were because he was holding onto his grief about Buffy and he was concerned with leaving the store to Anya. None of his expressed conflict about leaving had to do with missing or loving the remaining Scoobies.

    Sure she did. Move away from Sunnydale with Tara and Dawn which is exactly what she regrets not doing now.
    Willow said in A&F #11 that she doesn't regret it because she can't regret Buffy being alive. Willow surveys everything that she lost because she resurrected Buffy- Tara, magic, Giles, a lot of what was positive about her friendship with Buffy. Willow believes that Buffy hates being alive. IMO, she picked up that while the S1-5 apocalypses were from outside threats and needed Buffy to save the world, the S6-8 threats were actually or allegedly home-Scooby grown and didn't need Buffy.

    Still, Willow clings to life and she represents life/spirit. She can't regret that Buffy can finish out her life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Local Maximum View Post
    I guess the thing that sucks is that I can't quite bring myself to be too effusive about this side of Giles because he is the only person who is already getting paid to do Scoobying, by the W.C., and he doesn't share that money even though everyone in the gang is doing work.

    In that sense, Giles making space for Scoobying seems to me to be at (or even below) the bare minimum of his responsibilities as Watcher, and he is still getting paid lots more money for it!
    IMO, Giles benefits big time from making his shop a space for Scoobying. Certainly while Buffy was alive, her being the slayer kept the shop safe. All of the past Magic Box owners died because it's both profitable and dangerous to operate a magic shop in Sunnydale. IMO, the demons know who Buffy is. They know she was frequently at the Magic Box. I.e., they don't bust the shop and if they do, Buffy and the Scoobies take care of business (i.e. Family).

    I would imagine that Willow and Tara spend a lot of money on magic ingredients. If they're anything like me, just hanging out in a shop would burn a hole in their pocket and make them want to buy. (Willow is totes that type!) Willow, Xander, Dawn and Buffy have all volunteered to work there and they don't get paid. Willow, at least, seemed to make a habit of working there based on Anya's displeasure in S5.

    Not to mention that Giles, of all people, knows that if the Scoobies don't regularly meet near all of their needed research materials, business WILL REALLY tank because the world will be over.
    Last edited by Dipstick; 27-01-13 at 06:06 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dipstick View Post
    Wow, so many things to respond to:



    The gang was scared of what could happen if someone found out that Buffy is dead. They didn't know about the Biker Gang but they felt in danger being on a hellmouth without a slayer.
    Right. I had been thinking that Willow could have devoted herself more fully to maintenance of the Buffybot -- no time for resurrections means more time to make sure it doesn't malfunction ever. But that is still, I think, a "cheat" in Maggie's parlance -- the Buffybot is not the really real Buffy and Giles & Dawn's emotional reliance on her and the gang's overall reliance on her as both a prop to keep Dawn from being taken away and to keep the gang from being overtaken by demons.

    It is weird to think about it, but the gang actually owes Warren bigtime -- Warren's creation of the Buffybot not only helps save the world, but is the thing that holds things together for a few months. And Warren was never even compensated for it -- he was intimidated into it by Spike.

    Ironically, of course, the main result of Warren's creating the Buffybot on Warren seems to be either nothing or, if you want to interpolate/fanwank theories (which I obviously love doing) -- something that helps ignite his obsession with Buffy.

    That's a good point about Option D- Willow and Tara (and maybe Xander and Anya) leaving. However, I don't like that Option either and consider resurrecting Buffy the better choice. Under Option D, Willow would still have to live with the fact that Buffy could be tormented in hell and that Buffy's life was unfairly cut short and that Dawn doesn't have her family. In addition, there's been five years of proof that Sunnydale is the epicenter of apocalyptic threats. At the start of S6, leaving Sunnydale unguarded or only guarded by Xander and Anya (IMO, not Spike if Dawn wasn't in Sunnydale) feels allowing the next Adam or Acathala to strike Sunnydale and *then* take over the world.
    I agree on this, and I think that leaving Sunnydale is not a good option. I think it's an option to be considered in retrospect, but, IMHO, it's not until after things go south in season six (with ambivalence!) that the idea of ditching the Good Fight entirely even occurs to Willow or Xander. Willow, in particular, is still following through on her commitment in Choices to the Good Fight, which is both about Buffy and not (just) about Buffy. It is not, incidentally, an entirely altruistic decision, because being on the Hellmouth and developing her power there gives her a sense of purpose and gives her a chance to be a badass Wicca, etc., but the fact remains that here are genuinely altruistic aspects to the commitments of the gang on the Hellmouth.

    Part of why I'm harsh on Giles is that I think that of the gang, he is the one who has the most responsibility to fight the good fight on the Hellmouth. He's the only person in the gang who has been compensated for it. Willow and Xander are there because of the spectre of Buffy, because they have committed to the mission, and because it's their home; Dawn is there because it's her home, because the others are there and because of the spectre of Buffy (she commits to the mission in Grave, but she isn't really allowed to participate before them); Spike stays because he's made a promise to a lady, feels responsibility toward Dawn, and the spectre of Buffy; Anya and Tara stay both because they care about the good fight and Buffy and because they are committed to their lovers. Giles is the one who actually was paid to be part of the good fight, and even if he's no longer being paid it sort of makes me sad that he's the one

    OTOH, I guess the thing that distinguishes Giles from the others is also field time. In his years as Watcher, he's had to bury too many people, even if Jenny was the first he'd loved. Spike has just started fighting for good a few months ago, Anya & Tara a few years ago, Willow & Xander a few years more. Giles has done it his whole life. He was paid for it, which no one else is, but he still is exhausted after a lifetime of it and I am genuinely sympathetic to it.

    I do think that the resurrection still seems in a lot of ways to be the least bad option, under the (horrible) circumstances. It is still a bad option because it is dangerous and no one really knows, I think, what those dangers entail. And within that system, I do think that Willow should still have tried telling Giles and Spike and maybe Dawn because ultimately, she should be able to convince them how badly off Sunnydale is and that Buffy should be better alive. I do think that as Maggie noted, hiding the information is a way to avoid dissent and that has some pretty bad aspects. But I do agree that keeping the information is also the way to try to ensure the least bad option goes through.

    True, that Giles wouldn't speak up. However, it is the position of outside Watchers that these are children.
    Yes.

    True, Giles's Willow in Restless is very grown-up but that's all the more startling a comparison to how young Willow seems in real life. I've been hard on Giles. I will say that a lot of his nicest moments with Willow blend this confidence that she can be a peer/intellectual equal but then Giles comes back to this protectiveness because as much as he respected Willow pre-S6, he still sees her as a child.
    Yeah, I agree with this. I was thinking of the Restless moment especially . A friend of mine (who is a bit of a Giles/Willow shipper) thinks that Giles sees Willow, for the most part, as his younger self, and before Flooded sees her as his younger self untarnished by the Ripper phase. When he comes back in Grave he sees her, you know, tarnished by the Ripper thing. I think that this gets at the way he thinks -- he simultaneously sees her as a child, and sees her as someone who should hopefully be able to stop being a child.

    Giles had two obligations. As a paid Watcher, Giles had an obligation to do his part to keep the world safe. He abandoned an active war-zone by leaving Sunnydale.

    Second, Buffy all but wrote a will delegating custody of Dawn to Giles if she were to perish. Buffy made it clear, at least to the audience and Giles, that she would want Giles to care for Dawn if she died. Giles knew that Buffy told him first about Dawn's key origins. Buffy consulted with Giles on how to raise Dawn. When Buffy came back, she wanted *Giles*, in particular, to co-parent Dawn with her. Giles has financial resources to ensure that Dawn won't grow up impoverished and he's old enough to parent an adolescent. Giles knowingly abrogated this responsibility.

    My desire for Giles to mentor Willow's magic use or my desire for Giles to be in Xander's life is just gravy. The first two things were a clear abrogation of his responsibility.
    I am not 100% positive whether it's true that Buffy made this clear to the audience. That said -- Giles should recognize that Dawn has no parent. And it seems crappy and sad that he can't do what Crowley did for Nikki in raising her dependent. Dawn was older and there was someone else to take care of her in the Scoobies, and yet....

    I do think that Dawn is still not Giles' responsibility per se, but I do think it falls under his quasi-familial obligations to Buffy.

    I tend to think that mentoring Willow with magic is part of the first thing. I think it'd be nice if Giles paid attention to Xander, but ultimately Xander is not all that dangerous if he starts carpenting badly. I mean, yes -- Xander/Anya turned out to be a dangerous combination in that Xander's leaving Anya led to Anya re-becoming a vengeance demon; but I don't think that was reasonable to expect Giles to predict that. OTOH, I think that Giles should have recognized that Willow needs support in order to do the magicking she was doing to help the gang fight in Bargaining, and I think that this falls under the category of Watcher.

    I can buy that there are ethical rationales to tell Giles about live conspiracies and active plans- mainly the Disclosure Rule. As argued above, I still think that under utilitarianism, majoriatarianism and a deontoloigcal obligation to help Buffy for three, Willow was ethically justified in keeping the resurrection a secret from Giles so that she was able to perform it without having to beat Giles into submission.

    However even if I grant that there are ethical imperatives for Willow to disclose live conspiracies and active plans, Willow is under no obligation to disclose merely her wishes and desires to Giles. Willow's thoughts are her own. She is under zero obligation to share with Giles what she's thinking about but hasn't even started to act on.
    Agreed on this -- "I really want to find a way to bring Buffy back" is not the same as having an actual plan of how to do it. I think that Willow had no responsibility to tell Giles that she wanted to do it and wanted to find a way to do it. I think she has an obligation, ultimately, to tell him once she knows how to do it, though I agree that there are arguments of why she shouldn't have told him as well.

    IMO, Giles didn't love anyone left in Sunnydale. There's zero evidence that Giles loves Tara, Xander, Dawn and Spike or that he'd miss them. He had nicer feelings towards Anya and Willow. Still as screwed up as it is, all of Giles's issues with leaving were because he was holding onto his grief about Buffy and he was concerned with leaving the store to Anya. None of his expressed conflict about leaving had to do with missing or loving the remaining Scoobies.
    Well, Giles did say he loved Dawn in The Gift . Of course, there is a reason for him to say that (just as I argue that Buffy's saying she loves Riley in Sanctuary doesn't count for the same as if she'd said it when it wasn't a speech act designed to take a stab at Angel). I do think he cares for Dawn, but I agree ultimately that it's...not the same thing.

    Anyway, I read Giles' affections greater than you as we know, but I agree that there is reason for Willow to be uncertain about the nature of these affections.

    Willow said in A&F #11 that she doesn't regret it because she can't regret Buffy being alive. Willow surveys everything that she lost because she resurrected Buffy- Tara, magic, Giles, a lot of what was positive about her friendship with Buffy. Willow believes that Buffy hates being alive. IMO, she picked up that while the S1-5 apocalypses were from outside threats and needed Buffy to save the world, the S6-8 threats were actually or allegedly home-Scooby grown and didn't need Buffy.

    Still, Willow clings to life and she represents life/spirit. She can't regret that Buffy can finish out her life.
    Awwwww.

    IMO, Giles benefits big time from making his shop a space for Scoobying. Certainly while Buffy was alive, her being the slayer kept the shop safe. All of the past Magic Box owners died because it's both profitable and dangerous to operate a magic shop in Sunnydale. IMO, the demons know who Buffy is. They know she was frequently at the Magic Box. I.e., they don't bust the shop and if they do, Buffy and the Scoobies take care of business (i.e. Family).

    I would imagine that Willow and Tara spend a lot of money on magic ingredients. If they're anything like me, just hanging out in a shop would burn a hole in their pocket and make them want to buy. (Willow is totes that type!) Willow, Xander, Dawn and Buffy have all volunteered to work there and they don't get paid. Willow, at least, seemed to make a habit of working there based on Anya's displeasure in S5.

    Not to mention that Giles, of all people, knows that if the Scoobies don't regularly meet near all of their needed research materials, business WILL REALLY tank because the world will be over.
    Right. And especially good point that the gang are constantly helping with business as unpaid labour in exchange for the right to hang out there.

    I'm still staying out of the Secretary of State analogy because I can't quite get my head around what those obligations imply. I am not as politically minded as I could/should be.
    Last edited by Local Maximum; 27-01-13 at 06:43 PM.

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    I had so much to talk about that I never responded to Maggie's post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie View Post
    I think it's pretty much text that Willow was very careful in what she told who about the plans for the resurrection. She didn't tell Spike or Giles because she knew they'd never be on board.
    Hmm. Willow didn't tell Giles because she thought that he wouldn't be on board. However, I don't believe that Willow didn't tell Spike because she assumed that he wouldn't be on board. Willow did believe that Spike genuinely loved Buffy. I don't know if Willow ever found about Spike's role in the attempt to resurrect Joyce in Forever.

    However, Willow doesn't think that Spike has much in the way of scruples about magic. Spike kidnapped Willow to do a love spell on Drusilla. Everything about Spike screamed that he'd be in favor of taking BIG DRASTIC risks to save Buffy.

    Most importantly, Spike argued that Willow didn't cut him in because she knew that if it went wrong, Spike would want to protect the pieces. Spike would have supported the resurrection. Absolutely.

    IMO, Willow didn't include Spike because she thought that he'd make the project sordid and disorganized. Willow thought that he'd get into some fight with her or Xander about something (Buffy's remains or whatever) or clumsily rush into something or just be a creepy part of the already large hunky of creepiness that Willow's already sadly resigned herself to doing. To be sure, if Willow included Spike, it wouldn't really raise the dignity and profile of the project to just-resurrected-Buffy or Giles.

    But even with Tara, Xander and Anya Willow was never completely candid. She didn't tell them about the fawn. They weren't told to expect black snakes, etc. All of that speaks to a guilty conscience. She knows she's crossing lines and she sets it up so that nobody will stop her.
    I don't know if Willow knew to expect black snakes. She didn't tell anyone about the fawn. Willow *did* seemingly tell Tara that she'd subjected to horrible, painful tests that may look like she's dying but that she was strong enough to withstand the tests:

    WILLOW: Accept our offering. Know our prayer.

    Suddenly she jerks backward, panting, and her arms go out at her sides. Deep ugly gashes appear on her arms.

    XANDER: Willow! (reaches for her)
    TARA: No! (stuttering) She t - she told me ... she'd be tested. This is supposed to happen.
    WILLOW: (louder) Osiris! Here lies the warrior of the people. Let her cross over.

    Willow winces in pain. We see blood running from the cuts on her arms, and round shapes moving under her skin. She gives a little moan of pain.

    The round things move up her arms and over her chest toward her neck.

    XANDER: She needs help!
    TARA: Xander, she's strong! She said not to stop, no matter what. If we break the cycle now, it's over.
    I've said before that the darkly funniest paradox in the resurrection is that Willow felt that Tara would accept Osiris inflicting terrible, unpredictable, painful tests on Willow but Tara wouldn't accept that a fawn would be sacrificed.

    Because of that, I'm not willing to entirely attribute her actions to good intentions. Don't get me wrong. Good intentions are a big part of the mix. But if it had only been good intentions, she'd have been willing to candidly talk out the pros and cons with people, and she did this with nobody. (Once she's withheld the darkest aspects of what she's doing from the Scoobies they aren't in a position to contribute to a reasoned decision about what should be done).
    Hmm, I don't mind saying that Willow had some selfish intentions- if people acknowledge that it was mostly good intentions. However the fact that Willow kept the mechanics of the spell secret doesn't really implicate her intentions. Xander/Tara/Anya seem to be aware of all the motives to bring Buffy back. A desire to rescue Buffy from hell. A desire to extend Buffy's life. A desire to give Dawn her family back and Giles his Buffy back. A desire for the Scoobies to get back their security and peace of mind- in the form of a wage-earner/provider/guardian for Dawn and as the Slayer. I think those were the motives.

    I don't think Willow resurrected to show off her magic skillz or to get to do Big Magic- but even then, Xander/Tara/Anya all suspect her of it anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Local Maximum View Post
    Right. I had been thinking that Willow could have devoted herself more fully to maintenance of the Buffybot -- no time for resurrections means more time to make sure it doesn't malfunction ever. But that is still, I think, a "cheat" in Maggie's parlance -- the Buffybot is not the really real Buffy and Giles & Dawn's emotional reliance on her and the gang's overall reliance on her as both a prop to keep Dawn from being taken away and to keep the gang from being overtaken by demons.
    Right. And Warren worked pretty damn hard on the Aprilbot because April was going to be *his* girlfriend but she still talked, walked and acted like a robot at the end of the day. Any robot will always be a descendent of a toaster oven. The Buffybot will never be the real Buffy because Buffy's gone who?

    For instance, Willow was pretty smart to program the Buffybot to immediately come to Willow for service if the Buffybot was broken at all. (To do that, Willow must have been always carrying a honing device which sent signals to the Buffybot so the Buffybot knew how to find Willow). That's much better than the Buffybot walking around looking broken and like a robot.

    However, its that programming that puts the Buffybot directly in front of Razor and his gang at Buffy's gang shouting, "Willow, I need service!" If Willow hadn't intended on resurrecting Buffy and was just out fighting demons, the Buffybot could have very easily come up to Willow in a fight with her fake skin torn and her metal showing looking to get fixed. And the demons could have found out that way that Buffybot wasn't real.

    It is weird to think about it, but the gang actually owes Warren bigtime -- Warren's creation of the Buffybot not only helps save the world, but is the thing that holds things together for a few months. And Warren was never even compensated for it -- he was intimidated into it by Spike.
    Absolutely- except I wouldn't go so far as to say that the Buffybot did much in The Gift. But the Buffybot really did keep the Scoobies alive and Sunnydale standing.

    I agree on this, and I think that leaving Sunnydale is not a good option. I think it's an option to be considered in retrospect, but, IMHO, it's not until after things go south in season six (with ambivalence!) that the idea of ditching the Good Fight entirely even occurs to Willow or Xander. Willow, in particular, is still following through on her commitment in Choices to the Good Fight, which is both about Buffy and not (just) about Buffy. It is not, incidentally, an entirely altruistic decision, because being on the Hellmouth and developing her power there gives her a sense of purpose and gives her a chance to be a badass Wicca, etc., but the fact remains that here are genuinely altruistic aspects to the commitments of the gang on the Hellmouth.
    Agreed.

    Giles is the one who actually was paid to be part of the good fight, and even if he's no longer being paid it sort of makes me sad that he's the one
    I always thought that Giles was still paid. Lots of Watchers without slayers are on the payroll. In S7, Giles acts like an accepted Watcher with a pass into the Watchers Council compound.

    OTOH, I guess the thing that distinguishes Giles from the others is also field time. In his years as Watcher, he's had to bury too many people, even if Jenny was the first he'd loved. Spike has just started fighting for good a few months ago, Anya & Tara a few years ago, Willow & Xander a few years more. Giles has done it his whole life. He was paid for it, which no one else is, but he still is exhausted after a lifetime of it and I am genuinely sympathetic to it.
    I'm sympathetic to it as well. As he said in Bargaining, he's trying to get a life for the first time. When you're young, there's an excitement to this fighting life. Young, learning witches like Willow and Tara and young slayers like Buffy have fun seeing how strong they can be and what cool stuff they can do. Between preternaturally young vampires and vengeance demons and other young people that sucked into the adventure, there's no shortage of lovers.

    Giles doesn't have any of that. He's already played around and *paid* for his abilities. The excitement has turned into drudgery. Both women his age and even relatively young trophy girlfriends like Olivia that Giles can only get because he's super-handsome and charming are interested in settling down and making a nice, safe home.

    The whole scene sucks for Giles in a way that it doesn't for the young uns or the vamps and vengeance demons.

    Yeah, I agree with this. I was thinking of the Restless moment especially . A friend of mine (who is a bit of a Giles/Willow shipper) thinks that Giles sees Willow, for the most part, as his younger self, and before Flooded sees her as his younger self untarnished by Ripper phase. When he comes back in Grave he sees her, you know, tarnished by the Ripper thing. I think that this gets at the way he thinks -- he simultaneously sees her as a child, and sees her as someone who should hopefully be able to stop being a child.
    I was thinking about how Willow appears in the Restless dreams. She's the most adult and *adult* in Xander's dream. She's the toucher and holder and the dom to Tara's giggling sub. She tells that Xander that she's way ahead of him. Willow is mostly adult in Giles's dream- calling him Rupurt, disagreeing with him on the magic and the primal, loudly pointing out that Xander's on death's door, that her head is still stuck in the book as she holds the lighter while Giles is singing. However, she's slightly childish. Giles lectures her on how humans used to be the primal. She's sitting very best friend-y to Xander like it's S1-2 while Xander is being loudly immature. Her hairstyle and sweater are very girlish. She's like seventy five percent adult and twenty five percent child. And then, Willow is easily the most childish in her dream- both S4 Willow and of course, Original Recipe Willow.

    Well, Giles did say he loved Dawn in The Gift . Of course, there is a reason for him to say that (just as I argue that Buffy's saying she loves Riley in Sanctuary doesn't count for the same as if she'd said it when it wasn't a speech act designed to take a stab at Angel). I do think he cares for Dawn, but I agree ultimately that it's...not the same thing.
    That's a good point. You know, a lot of fans say that Wesley just said that he wants to save Willow in Choices so he could acquire enough moral standing to enter the arena...to argue to sacrifice her. I think one could say the same thing about Giles just as easily. However, I usually think that Wesley really *did* want to save Willow in Choices and that after they traded the box, Wesley would totally be behind a daring, work-intensive rescue operation to get Willow back. However, for some reason, I don't feel like giving Giles the same defense. I must ponder why. It does seem both fair and unfair. Hmm.

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

    ETA the Next Day:
    After some soul searching, I have two amended points.

    1. I decided that I believe Wesley more in Choices that he wants to save Willow than Giles in The Gift that he loves Dawn. It's mostly because it's a pretty low bar Scooby-wise to want to save someone from the bad guys. That's what the Scoobies do, whether they love the Person in Peril or not. They're the goody good guys, the blood freakin' cavalry. *Of course*, Wesley would like to save Willow- he's not pretending to have positive feelings to enter the arena of debate.

    However, it's a much higher-bar Scooby-wise to convince me that a Scooby *loves* someone. That's heavy stuff. And Giles doesn't convince me at all. He was mainly annoyed when he had to engage with her throughout S5 (The Real Me, Crush, I Was Made to Love You) with an exception of how he's nice and solicitous to her just after Joyce died in Forever but very distant with, "Jolly good that you want to make yourself useful to distract from your pain. Poor dear. The dark magic books are thataaway so don't touch them. Excuse me, a customer just came in." Giles wanted to kill Dawn in The Gift. Then, Giles didn't want to take custody of her or financially help Dawn after Buffy died or when Buffy was resurrected and needed the help. Then, Giles wanted to gamble Dawn's rescue in OMWF as a lesson for Buffy on how to work independently and self-sufficiently. After Giles comes back from England in S5 up until he died, I can count on one hand any scenes with Giles/Dawn interaction.

    If Giles did a Wesley and just said that he wants to save Dawn in The Gift, I'd believe him. However, I don't believe Giles loves Dawn. Even though it would have made sense that the Monks would load Giles with memories of loving Dawn because it would particularly be effective to get a Slayer to love and protect the Key with her life if the Watcher is solidly behind her. However, evidently, that failed.

    2. As stated above, I do feel strongly that Giles would have tried to derail the resurrection and could have been successful if the Scoobies informed him of their plans. Which, IMO, is a great reason to not to tell him.

    However, above, I argued that Willow didn't include Spike because she thought he'd be disruptive. Spike is so freakin' unpredictable or I don't have a good enough read on Spike to predict whether that would be true. I can visualize a storyline whether Spike is comedically and clumsily disruptive in the resurrection. I can visualize a storyline where Xander, already shaky about the ethics of the action, is pissed that Spike was included and is making these decisions and Xander walks out on the project. Or I can see a storyline where Spike approaches the resurrection would with hard-core seriousness and cooperation because it's a way to rescue Buffy from hell/death and is a huge asset- against Razor and the other demons, as a pragmatic idea-man who suggests bringing shovels and asks Willow lots of questions about the spell, as a convincing guy who rallies the group towards the action, etc.
    Last edited by Dipstick; 28-01-13 at 01:46 PM.

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