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The Dark Half of Othello Himself: Buffy and Faith in season 3

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  • The Dark Half of Othello Himself: Buffy and Faith in season 3

    Originally posted by Andrew
    The dark slayer. A lethal combination of beauty, power, and death. For years and years-or to be more accurate-months, Faith fought on the side of good, terrorizing the evil community. But like so many tragic heroes, Faith was seduced by the lure of the dark side.
    Originally posted by Earshot
    TEACHER: Jealousy clearly is the tool that Iago uses to undo Othello. But what's his motivation? What reason does Iago give for destroying his superior officer?

    NANCY: (V.O.) Cassio has my place. Twix my sheets, he's done my office.

    BUFFY: Well, he was passed over for promotion. Cassio was picked instead and people were saying that Othello slept with his wife.

    ...

    TEACHER: There's something else at work here.

    BUFFY Well, he, um, he sort of admits himself that his motive are... spurious! He, um, he does things because he, he enjoys them. It's like he's not, he's not really a person. He's a, the dark half of Othello himself.
    To me, both of these passages are about Faith and her relationship with Buffy in season 3. On the one hand, she is the dark slayer, seduced by the dark side (or rather, choosing it for herself because she had Issues), Want-Take-Having, abusing her power as slayer. But on the other hand, she's also in some ways a representation of the dark side of Buffy herself, this voice luring Buffy to be a Bad Girl, the dark side of a slayer, who maybe (though probably not) buffy could have been if things went differently for her. Yes, she's jealous and resentful, but like Iago her motives seem slightly spurious, her hatred for Buffy out of proportion to the wrongs/perceived wrongs done.

    So, what are your thoughts on Faith's motivation in taking a holiday on the dark side? And, since they were all tied up in her relationship with Buffy, what can we say about that relationship? I'm thinking specifically in season three here, but seasons 4, 7 and 8 are also relevant...
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  • #2
    Nice thread (about a bad girl).

    But on the other hand, she's also in some ways a representation of the dark side of Buffy herself, this voice luring Buffy to be a Bad Girl, the dark side of a slayer, who maybe (though probably not) buffy could have been if things went differently for her.
    Faith’s role as a potential corruptor of Buffy is interesting in season 3. I don’t think we ever feel it’s a real risk that Buffy would go into the dark with Faith – more that she’s flirting with the idea. She’s tempted in a way that only works in the “what ifs” of fantasy.

    FAITH: Come on. We'll find a couple studs, we'll use 'em and... discard 'em. That's always fun.

    BUFFY: Okay, I'm in. Not the stud-using part, though. Or... probably not.
    Buffy in season 3 may not live in a world of illusions where the good guys always wear white hats and nobody ever dies, but her moral compass – and occasional sense of self-righteousness – is pretty steady. It’s not until later that she follows in Faith’s footsteps – the stud-using part, that is – using Spike in season 6. “Miss tightly-wound” gets her “naughty on”, as Faith puts it. And “Am I the good slayer now?” The roles shift around through time.

    Twix my sheets, he's done my office.
    In season 8, Faith is twixt Buffy’s….well, not sheets…but has her feet under Buffy’s Giles-shaped table. There is a territorial war between them which places both of them in Iago’s place at different moments.

    But, to go backwards in time, there is one instance back in season 3 that shows the dark part of Buffy in very Faithlike colours (though sadly no leather pants): in The Wish, Buffy becomes very like Faith. She doesn’t give a shit, she thinks men want to help her just to get in her pants. She has serious trust issues.

    To an extent, Faith is Buffy minus her friends. She’s the “what if” that we dread and are attracted to… what if I took another path. She’s Buffy from another dimension, perhaps?

    Buffy does envy Faith’s freedom sometimes though, even when she’s herself – when Wesley arrives and Faith asks, “New Watcher? Screw that”, Buffy wishes she’d said that. Faith is a fantasy for Buffy – freedom, no responsibility. But I think what stops Buffy from acting on that fantasy is she realises that with freedom comes chaos for her, and she doesn’t want that. Or…not yet anyway.

    It's like he's not, he's not really a person. He's a, the dark half of Othello himself.
    This is interesting, because I think that’s a little how Faith sees herself – Buffy’s the chosen one, and she’s the Other One. When she beats on her own body in Who are you, she says, “You’re nothing”. There is this sense that she has no sense of self, except through opposition. Finding her own self is a difficult processs and she continually defines herself by what she doesn’t have - She’s quite insistent with Giles re her being wrong for the job in season 8. The only thing she does feel belongs to her are “dirty” things. That’s one thing she maybe feels she has that Buffy doesn’t…though in season 7, she discovers that Buffy’s been on her turf. She doesn’t seem particularly upset by that – more amused (re tightly wound/naughty on) – but she does flirt with Spike in a way that seems like she’s trying to reclaim that territory (more that than actually being attracted to Spike).

    I'm thinking specifically in season three here, but seasons 4, 7 and 8 are also relevant...
    Um, yeah, I seem to have talked more about other seasons, sorry!


    -- Robofrakkinawesome BANNER BY FRANCY --

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    • #3
      Faith, Part I

      I actually wrote a paper about Faith and what made her tick for my English teacher, a fellow Buffyverse fan and former counselor, for extra credit. This is my paper, the conclusion I drew from my lengthy character analysis of her. Having been a counselor, my teacher had done her own evaluation of Faith and had come to a similar conclusion that I had. Forgive me for it being such a long post, but if you don't agree, it should at least help you draw your own conclusions by giving you fuel to think about why you disagree. I don't expect everyone to agree, this was just my own opinion.

      Also, I bought Season 3 of Buffy and Angel Season 1 so I could examine Faith more, so I would have the facts there ready for me. I could rely on the actual thing and not just from what I remembered about her episodes. I believe what I wrote to be accurate.

      Faith the Vampire Slayer. Cunning, powerful, ruthless...evil? Was Faith truly evil as Buffy came to believe, just a small step above a souless demon, or was she really good deep down? No, she wasn't truly evil. She was just the product of a cruel, seemingly unloving world.

      I believe Faith, having been seemingly deprived of power until she was called, slowly became a power-hungry mess after she realized she was THE chosen one. She was THE slayer. It gave her power, but most of all, reason, which Faith had always seemingly lacked. At first, I'm sure Faith wanted to do good, but for what we would perceive as selfish reasons. She didn't want to do good things because it was "the right thing to do," but because it gave her a a sense of righteousness.

      She felt that she was, well, elite. She was an elitist. She viewed herself as above the rest, but didn't do it intentionally, but rather because that's how her mind worked. Her mind had come to the conclusion that since SHE was the chosen one, making her feel important because of all the girls who could have been called, she was the one. She probably felt that there was something about her that the others lacked, and that meant something to her. She had apparently never been thought of as important by anyone else in her life until she was called.

      She is also naturally rebellious. She used to do the things the other kids wouldn't do when she was a kid, like jumping into the ravine from a high ledge. Doing so gave her a sense of power. It also probably impressed other kids, and and that would have given Faith an "ego boost." Becoming the slayer only reinforced her rebelliousness and ego because she probably felt she was above human authority. She may not have intended to be selfish about it, but that's what happened. Faith felt she could do pretty much anything. Enter Buffy.

      Buffy was the opposite of Faith. Although she had everything Faith had in power, she had things differently in her life. She, too was the chosen one, the one who was originally chosen before Faith. She also had a real background, stemming from a loving mother, great loving friends, a sister to love and protect (We're ignoring the fact that Dawn wasn't real here) and a lover in Angel...Buffy had always had reason, whereas Faith didn't feel she had any reason until she was called.

      Now here's the big picture: Faith came to Sunnydale, probably originally so that Buffy could kill Kakistos for her. That was the one point where Faith felt helpless, was around this vampire. Helplessness is something Faith despises. She hates it above all things, because being an elitist, she "knows" that she never needed anyone, never needed help. Make her helpless in ANY way, make her powerless.

      So finally, Kakistos is dead. Now what? Well, Faith SHOULD be back to normal, but she can't feel like her old self. And why? Because for the first time, somebody was better than her. Buffy had bested her. How? Because unlike Faith, Buffy had love. That isn't to say Faith was incapable of love, but what I'm saying is that Buffy was loved. Faith was not. Probably the only person ever to truly care about Faith was her Watcher, and even then, her Watcher (Being like all the non-Giles watchers) probably only cared about her because Faith was the Slayer. So there was no genuine, unconditional love in her life, maybe not ever from her own parents/mother.

      Buffy, apart from the danger and responsibility she had in her life, was living what Faith probably always dreamed of...a stable, steady lifestyle full of love. She wasn't alone like Faith probably was. She didn't have to live in poverty like Faith did. Faith knew that she should have been Buffy's equal, but didn't understand why, although equal, she was below her. This fact made Faith go slightly mental.

      Again with the helplessness. Faith finally knew what she was struggling for, what she really craved. Not power, but love. She was finally recognizing something that was mostly absent from her life, and she wanted it. Faith even implied herself during her fight with Buffy that she wanted what Buffy had, the love in Buffy's life.

      Faith also spoiled herself. She wanted everything she perceived as fun or good, and was able to give it to herself. But when love became the thing on the top of her list, she once again felt helpless because she knew that no matter what, she couldn't "give" herself other people's affections, but that she had to earn it. Like I said earlier, she probably never had it in her life so she couldn't grasp the true concept of what it meant to be loved.

      Buffy was the catalyst. She didn't have to do anything but be herself for Faith to change her perception of things. Faith started to see things differently. She was becoming acquainted with the feeling of humanity. Things were decent for her at the time.

      Buffy herself came to like Faith's way of seeing things, and tried to take the "bad girl" image out for a test run. But then came the biggest factor in Faith "turning evil." Guilt. Pure guilt. When she staked The Mayor's assistant, she was forced to feel something new, and that was guilt. She realized that she had ended somebody's life, and felt like a monster. Faith's biggest flaw was how she tried to cope.

      Faith "went to the dark side" because she felt that sense of guilt, and once again, a sense of helplessness. She felt helpless because she thought, "What am I going to do? I killed somebody!" She wasn't worried about a higher authority punishing her, but about how herself and others would perceive her. She was worried it would keep them from loving her. She thought that, to be loved, you had to be flawless, and she perceived Buffy as such. Faith felt that killing those you aren't supposed to kill, no matter what the reason behind it is, made you what she perceived as a monster. She didn't want to be perceived as one of the monsters she routinely killed.

      This slayer was also one full of rage. When Faith and Buffy are attacked by vampires, Faith beats a vampire so brutally that even Buffy felt that she should show mercy and just stake it. Faith nearly let Buffy get killed that she was so into beating the vampire into a bloody pulp.

      When Faith realizes she is helpless again, she does the only thing she knows how to do, and that is rebel. She needs that sense of want again, so she rebels from Buffy. She tells Buffy that she doesn't care that she killed somebody, when it is apparent that she really does care. She wanted Buffy to suffer for being better, for having the life Faith could only dream of. So Faith then ran to the person who was Buffy's enemy, The Mayor, and this instills her with power once again, with rebelliousness. She teamed with him because she thought being a rebel would hide her true fear. But it didn't, as we see in her break down in the Angel episode "Five By Five."

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      • #4
        Faith, Part II

        Mayor Wilkins finally gives Faith was she craved, and that is love, acceptance, and caring. He gave Faith whatever he could, accepted her for who she was despite all her flaws, and cared about what happened to her. It is obvious that Mayor Wilkins wasn't playing or manipulating her,but that he truly loved Faith in his own way and was letting her run her course.

        Her course was one of destruction. Faith ran rampant, and not because she was evil, but because she thought that being a rebel would give her power. She also wanted to do anything to please Wilkins because she looked up to him as a loving, wonderful father, and a good daughter never wants to disappoint her loving father. So she took on the jobs Wilkin's gave her, and while it ate her up inside, she couldn't show it because she was distracted from her true feelings by The Mayor's love. In fact, if The Mayor had never died and Faith had never gone into the coma, she most likely never would have seen truth, only seeing The Mayors love and wanting to keep it.

        Then comes her confrontation with Buffy. Buffy shows Faith the error of her ways, but although Faith knows Buffy is right deep down inside, she can't bring herself to admit it. Admitting she was wrong, in her eyes, would make her appear weak, and being weak, as we know, was Faith's biggest fear. So she fought, and is ultimately stabbed and put into a coma.

        Several months later, Faith awakens to a world that is alien to what her world was months before. She is in a hospital bed, being treated as a victim. She doesn't want to be a victim. So she tries to find The Mayor, the one who loved her, only to discover that he's dead. She goes out for revenge only because she knew the Buffy was the reason her love was gone. So they fight, switch bodies, royally mess with each others heads, then Faith leaves again, unsure about what to do and knowing she can't kill Buffy.

        Again with the helplessness. It finally occurs to Faith that no matter what she does, she will always be bested by Buffy. That she can't kill her superior. So when she is contracted by Wolfram and Hart, she knows she can get the ultimate revenge: Take Buffy's love away just as hers was taken away.

        But it doesn't work for her, because as she rolls into town, Faith realizes that she could kill everyone that ever mattered to Buffy, but their love for the original Slayer would never fade. She also figured that The Mayor, although gone, still loved her. Somehow through all these complex emotions, the guilt starts to re-emerge. I think it came about because Faith knew she never should have had The Mayors love, and that the only reason she got it was that she became selfish. Faith then knew she was suffering, and that she would always suffer. She then takes up Wolfram and Hart's offer, but has secretly devised a different plan.

        She figures that Angel would work like her. Make him angry, he would snap. She she captures and tortures Wesley. She never kills him, however, because she can't bear to take another human life. She knew Wesley would survive, anyway, she was very careful not to mortally wound him. What she wanted was to fuel Angel with rage, so that he would do what Faith could not: end her life. Faith felt that it would be cowardly to kill herself. She thought that she deserved to die by somebody elses hands, just like the men she killed died by somebody elses hands. She wanted to be killed like the animal she felt she was, not by suicide because she felt that was the easy way out. She had to die by anyone but Buffy. Her guilt, even in her moments of insanity, kept her from letting Buffy kill her.

        She fights Angel, all the while her emotions building up. Angel keeps telling her she won't kill her. Faith can't accept that. She doesn't understand why this vampire with a soul won't kill a killer. Since she views herself as a monster, she believes that everyone else would, too. Mercy has never been in the cards for Faith, not towards evil creatures, and Faith perceives herself as one. She finally can't take it that Angel won't kill her, that he's showing mercy to an "evil creature" who doesn't deserve it. She lets all of her emotions out and has a breakdown.

        Then Angel offers her something new: Another way out. Faith had come to believe that she could only pay for her sins with her blood, and when Angel offered a shot at redemption, Faith started to see the light, see that she could change. And she does. She stops fighting authority, and Buffy, and takes the punishment she deserved, not death like she originally thought, but prison. Faith had become a prisoner to her own deranged mind, only to finally realize that the only way to free herself was to become prisoner to the humanity she wronged and had wronger her.

        Faith was finally on a path to redemption, which became her number one. She didn't crave love anymore, because she knew she was loved. Loved by the vampire who saved her from herself, Angel. Through him, she came to see that Angel wasn't just a vampire, but a man through his humanity, instilled in him by his soul. Knowing that Angel had done more horrible things than her as Angelus, she knew that if he could be set on the path to redemption, so could she. And so she took her punishment, and went from being a ruthless killer to a human being, a champion.

        Kudos to you if you actually read all of that!

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        • #5
          I love the Buffy/Faith relationship, I think it's by far the most interesting of Buffy's relationships outside "Buffy/Willow/Xander" and Buffy and her parental figures (Joyce/Giles.)

          Faith does indeed represent Buffy's dark side and what Buffy could be. They're both slayers and both have the power. But power is just power, it only becomes 'good' or 'evil' by how it's used. Faith abuses her power, Buffy did (I'm saying did because of season 8) not. And that's the big difference between them as slayers, Faith thought she was better than people in 'Consequences' and believed she had a right to "want.take.have." Ultimately overtime, Buffy's become a lot more like Faith.

          Take for example Buffy's admission in 'Conversations With Dead People' that she has a superiority complex, that sometimes she feels like "she's better and more superior" than her friends. Of course Buffy hadn't completely lost it like Faith had, she also has an inferiority complex that she feels this way, but that feeling is still there. Take yet another example of Buffy becoming more like Faith in 'Selfless' when she says "I am the law." This is very different from how she rejects Faith's "we don't need the law we are the law" back in season three. Or, as Wolfie excellently put, how Buffy got her "naughty on" and unleashes all her fury on a vampire (Spike) in 'Dead Things' in a blinded rage, the same way Faith did in 'Faith, Hope & Trick' which worried Buffy so much back then.

          And now you have season 8 which only increases the evidence Faith doesn't only represent Buffy's dark side, but ultimately Buffy's embracing Faith's ways. We saw in 'Bad Girls' that Buffy enjoyed the "want.take.have" approach, despite being led by Faith. No one forced Buffy into that sporting goods store, Buffy did it on her own account. And in season 8 we see a very similar shot of Buffy staring with a smile at a diamond, strikingly similar to Buffy staring at the knife she tries to steal with Faith with a grin on her face, as Buffy robs the bank to fund the slayer army.

          Which is why I found 'No Future For You' such a fantastic episode, and most certainly in the top 20 of Buffy episodes, IMO. It was an episode to show how far Faith had come, how far Buffy hadn't, and how Gigi represented what Faith used to be. I saw a few complaints that people thought Vaughn forgot about all of Faith's development post season three. I don't think this could be further than the truth. There were so many calls backs to season three because Gigi was what Faith used to be. And now that Faith has learnt and grown she was able to stare in the face her past, and ultimately try and help Gigi from making the same mistakes she did. But what's really interesting here is that Buffy begins to act far more like Faith, whereas Faith tends to act far more like Buffy.

          It's Buffy who in a blinded rage brings the sword up to finish Gigi, it's Buffy who reacts angrily towards Faith and begins striking her, not Faith. Faith tries to save Gigi, the same way Buffy tried to save her. And as Wolfie states, in the end Faith and Giles ride off together, leaving Buffy "watcher-less and fancy free." We also have to take into account this is the same episode that sees Buffy considering revaluating her ?no killing humans policy' in discussion with Willow.

          So yeah, totally love the Buffy/Faith dynamics.

          ~ Banner by Nina ~

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Raven View Post
            Faith "went to the dark side" because she felt that sense of guilt, and once again, a sense of helplessness. She felt helpless because she thought, "What am I going to do? I killed somebody!" She wasn't worried about a higher authority punishing her, but about how herself and others would perceive her. She was worried it would keep them from loving her. She thought that, to be loved, you had to be flawless, and she perceived Buffy as such. Faith felt that killing those you aren't supposed to kill, no matter what the reason behind it is, made you what she perceived as a monster. She didn't want to be perceived as one of the monsters she routinely killed.
            I'm not sure I agree with this. The way I see it, Faith's elitism and attempted arrogance came from the fact that she never had anyone ever love or praise her, and thus she felt that being the Slayer was the world's way of repaying her for putting her through all the crap it had. For once, she had more power than others, she could do huge, important things - killing vampires and demons was something she enjoyed not because she felt good about making the world safer, but because she felt good about being stronger than even something people feared. The reason she thought she was above humanity was because she had lost faith in it - all the parental and romantic figures in her life had significantly disappointed her. For Faith, people were no more than animals who never contributed anything to the world. As the Slayer, she felt she made much more of a difference than anyone ever could, and as such was not subject to their rules and judgment. When she took a human life, she realized just how far her power could reach; she didn't have to settle for subduing monsters with her powers, she could beat all those people that had screwed her over into submission. She could change her environment, she could be feared - killing a human broke whatever weak inhibitions Faith had in her head and now, she no longer had an issue with physically abusing others with whom she didn't agree. For me, this is best summarized in Choices, when Faith punches Willow. Willow reminds Faith of everything she resents about herself; while she feels that she should be respected for being the Slayer, she's seen how happy Buffy can be with everything that Faith never had (friends, family and a stable life) without abusing her power, and Faith is disgusted with herself for not being able to achieve the same - however, her irrational emotional side takes over as always and she beats Willow into silence, not wanting to face full-on the parts of herself she feels are rotten and instead reverting to the simpler way of looking at things - she's powerful, so she's above everything. "Want, take, have."

            On another note, regarding her relationship with Buffy, I think Faith has evolved from being the Iago to Buffy's Othello. They have a much more complex relationship now. Faith's views of Buffy are conflicted; while on one hand, she sees (and always has seen) Buffy as a standard to be reached, the perfect Slayer, loved, good and balanced, she's lost as to how she's going to reach that. She was forced to basically raise herself and get herself through life, so she feels that simply aiming to be like Buffy might result in her losing her sense of self and aspiring towards being Buffy, and that scares her. She's not sure how she's supposed to reach Buffy's "level" while at the same time maintaining her own identity, past crimes and all. I doubt she'd ever want to forget the things she's done - especially after starting to see Angel as a guide (in Orpheus, she declares, "Angel, I'm dying" and he replies, "A lot easier than redemption, huh?") she fears forgetting them will take away her motivation to atone for them, and thus, regardless of how much it hurts, she clings to all her past mistakes so that she can always look back at them and remember all the aspects of herself she wants to overcome.

            And so the reversal of roles confuses and angers her to some extent - while she once saw Buffy as the caring, selfless Slayer and herself as the arrogant bitch, so to speak, she now sees that Buffy has elevated herself above the law and become what Faith hated about herself. And now life has screwed her again by taking what she saw as a figure to be admired and twisting it, and she has to deal with that without reverting back to who she was.

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            • #7
              I agree with Vampmogs about the Buffy/Faith relationship and also about the riveting nature of No Future For You. So far it is the only arc in Season 8 that really gripped me. I thought Buffy's affair with Satsu was a big yawn, to be honest--the sort of thing that pleases "adults" who have not grown up yet.

              I truly hated what happened to Buffy in NFFY, but that is not a criticism of the text, it is just my emotional reaction. I think Mogs is a little hard on her. Buffy was teleported by surprise, she vomited, she was attacked by Gigi who plainly intended to kill her, when she was about to finish off Gigi, Faith intervened to send Buffy crashing through the window. Buffy was totally disorientated and at a disadvantage.

              When Buffy was teleported away again Faith killed Gigi.Was this a plot contrivance to keep Buffy clean? If so I despise it.It is morally acceptable IMO to kill a Slayer in self defense, since they are not ordinary mortals. Even so, my heart did go out to Faith on this occasion. I believe she truly wants to be re-united with Buffy.

              This near tragedy would not have happened if Giles had kept Buffy informed. When she asked him afterwards what was going on, his refusal to answer was the most blatant example of his malignant insolence that I have seen yet.

              Giles is keeping Buffy and Faith apart in accordance with the power game he has been playing against Buffy since LMPTM. Buffy now and at last appears to know what is going on. When will the penny drop for Faith?

              On the real issue between them some words from Lenin might be apposite: "The question is never, What is to be done? The question is always, Who? Whom?"

              Meaning who fires the starter's pistol and who starts running? Who claps his hands and who starts dancing? Giles has always known this, and now Buffy knows. It is strange that Faith appears to be the innocent in all this.

              Finally, I have always considered Buffy to be the most potentially ruthless of all the main characters in BtVS. I do hope I am proved right.

              There are important issues raised by Wolfie, Litzie, and Raven I would like to think about some more.
              Last edited by Michael; 22-06-08, 06:05 AM. Reason: Addition

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Michael View Post
                I truly hated what happened to Buffy in NFFY, but that is not a criticism of the text, it is just my emotional reaction. I think Mogs is a little hard on her. Buffy was teleported by surprise, she vomited, she was attacked by Gigi who plainly intended to kill her, when she was about to finish off Gigi, Faith intervened to send Buffy crashing through the window. Buffy was totally disorientated and at a disadvantage.
                I actually agree with you here. If I sounded harsh I didn't intend to. You're completely right about the situation Buffy was thrust in, it does make sense she would have reacted in the way that she did. I've even argued that she wasn't particularly wrong if she had went for the killing blow against Gigi, because it was self defence and as you say, she's a slayer, a much bigger threat than your average mortal. It was just striking and shocking seeing Buffy's face filled with such rage, the sword in one hand and our girl about to bring it down on Gigi, who had her hand up in defence. It was shocking that whilst at the same time it was self defence, a big part of it was her anger over learning Gigi had killed another slayer, it sent Buffy over the edge. Scary stuff.

                And yeah, also makes sense that Buffy would immediatly think Faith was to blame as well. They've always had a turbulant past, they had come along way but Buffy's always going to be fairly suspicious of Faith. After being teleported, ambushed and than having Faith hurl her out of a window, it's natural she'd react the way she did.

                It's just an interesting contrast that Faith was the one arguably trying to not only save Gigi's life, but attempting to stop Buffy from making the same mistake she did once back in season three.

                When Buffy was teleported away again Faith killed Gigi.Was this a plot contrivance to keep Buffy clean? If so I despise it.
                It's doubtful IMO. I think Buffy was teleported away because it was Faith's arc and it needed to happen to Faith, not Buffy. Buffy wasn't exactly portrayed squeaky clean here, a lot of people reacted negatively to what she said about Faith and how she or Giles would never trust her.

                This near tragedy would not have happened if Giles had kept Buffy informed.
                Whilst things could have run a lot more smoothly if Buffy had been in the loop, I disagree that this was all Giles' fault. Afterall, we've seen that Buffy and Faith haven't really kept in contact for a while and Faith still had resentment towards Buffy when she thinks that the whole thing is about her. "It's always about her." Accompany that with the fact Buffy would have never trusted Faith enough for this mission, and I think there would have been conflict regardless.

                ~ Banner by Nina ~

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                • #9
                  Vampmogs, you just made me remember something:

                  And now you have season 8 which only increases the evidence Faith doesn't only represent Buffy's dark side, but ultimately Buffy's embracing Faith's ways. And in season 8 we see a very similar shot of Buffy staring with a smile at a diamond, strikingly similar to Buffy staring at the knife she tries to steal with Faith with a grin on her face, as Buffy robs the bank to fund the slayer army.
                  I just remembered the quote from, was it season 4....and Wesley? Giles? They always played it in the previouslys...Anyway: "We have a rogue slayer on our hands. I can't think of anything more dangerous."

                  What if there IS something more dangerous than a rogue slayer? A rogue slayer state! Or at least, a rogue slayer dictator. Not that I'm thinking Buffy's going to go all Last King of Scotland, but there is something in the idea that Faith was dangerous in a solo, off the rails, rogue way... but Buffy's still part of The Law (in the supernatural world), but she's not necessarily the most responsible cop on the beat right now. She's playing both sides of the law, in various senses of "The Law". There's the human laws she's breaking which, to be honest, Im not all that worried about, when it's just diamond theft from vaults... but there's also the "law" that she laid down herself - "We don' t kill humans" - which she's now far less steadfast about - she sees it as a "we'll cross that bridge when we come to it" problem. And that's scary, because Buffy's choices don't just affect individuals, she's the leader of a large organisation with super duper powers.

                  So, if Faith is Buffy's dark half...dark Buffy/Buffy behaving in a Faithy way is perhaps "what would happen if that bitch [or Faith] got some funding"?

                  Then again, Faith was part of an organisation - the Mayor's - so it's not like she's never played by the rules of the evil establishment. But, Buffy IS the establishment in this case, even if the establishment hasn't established its rules yet.

                  I'm still thinking this all through out loud so excuse any rambling.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Wolfie Gilmore View Post
                    I just remembered the quote from, was it season 4....and Wesley? Giles? They always played it in the previouslys...Anyway: "We have a rogue slayer on our hands. I can't think of anything more dangerous."
                    Season three, 'Enemies'

                    You've come up with something really interesting here. And I adore how you quoted Spike's "I always worried what would happen if that bitch got some funding!" That's just superb, it truly is, you deserve rep for that and I'd happily give it to you... apparently I need to spread it around first.

                    There's the human laws she's breaking which, to be honest, Im not all that worried about, when it's just diamond theft from vaults... but there's also the "law" that she laid down herself - "We don' t kill humans" - which she's now far less steadfast about - she sees it as a "we'll cross that bridge when we come to it" problem. And that's scary, because Buffy's choices don't just affect individuals, she's the leader of a large organisation with super duper powers.
                    Very cool how you've paid particular attention to how Buffy's choices doesn't just infect individuals anymore, or even just herself, due to her new role. She's the leader of a massive organisation, and you're right. The organisations views and methods are Buffy's views and methods. Buffy says "No killing humans" and the organisation doesn't kill humans. Buffy says "we'll cross that bridge when we come to it" and suddenly you have an organisation of "tiny super powered women" who at any moment could cross that bridge and the line.

                    So, if Faith is Buffy's dark half...dark Buffy/Buffy behaving in a Faithy way is perhaps "what would happen if that bitch [or Faith] got some funding"?

                    Then again, Faith was part of an organisation - the Mayor's - so it's not like she's never played by the rules of the evil establishment. But, Buffy IS the establishment in this case, even if the establishment hasn't established its rules yet.
                    I think your most certainly onto something. And I think that's often why it's so dangerous having someone like Buffy in charge of all this power. Actually I think it's dangerous giving one individual all the power she already had. And I think that's why the Watchers Council from the Shadow men onwards tried to oppress these women. I'm not agreeing with their methods, but honestly I think they feared what would happen if she did start thinking for herself. They've given a girl all this power, and if she wants she can use that power however she wishes (Faith.)

                    Buffy is someone who always doesn't have a clear plan. She's spontaneous and "wacky that way" and yeah she's a good person, but she's also human. And we've seen her sometimes cross her own boundaries and lines and apply double standards to herself. I was talking about how she feels about her authoritarian role with Sueworld today and we were discussing how she doesn't enjoy how "everyone calls her ma'am these days," but it's actually a direct result of the establishment she's set up around her, though she's not fully aware of it yet. If you have someone like that in charge, who's spontaneous and doesn't always have a clear plan, with all this firepower behind her, what is usually a dumb mistake she makes by herself, is now of greater magnitude and understandably has greater cost due to that magnitude.

                    So absolutely;

                    GILES: We have a rouge slayer on our hands I can’t think of anything more dangerous

                    BUFFY: A rouge slayer with 500 other slayers in her employ, air crafter carriers, castle defence systems, mystics and weaponry…

                    GILES: Touch?
                    Last edited by vampmogs; 22-06-08, 01:42 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Vampmogs and Wolfie,

                      "It's always about her" says Faith. True, but the point is that it is Faith who has always been obsessed with Buffy almost before they actually met. Buffy defines what Faith wants to be or what she wants to destroy. Which is a way of saying that Faith does not know who she really is, and she needs to get into some kind of normal and regular relationship with Buffy before she can develop much further.

                      Angel, I will accept ,brought Faith back from the brink of self destruction. Buffy is needed to take Faith further, and I will stick my neck out and say that Buffy will do this for Faith when it becomes part of her own self healing after suffering from the inevitable corruption of power, which might be the main theme of Season 8.

                      However, now that we know Buffy to be bi-sexual,and now that the hoo hah has died down, we can perhaps be more candid in this discussion.

                      When Buffy and Faith first met in S3, Buffy nearly started a fight with Faith when they had only known each other for a couple of hours and Faith had been friendly. This is pretty unusual.

                      Am I being fanciful in suggesting that Buffy was re-acting violently against her own feelings, feelings she strongly disapproved of? Could we regard Faith's campaigns against Buffy in S3 and S4 as expressions of the rage of a rejected lover?

                      I do not want to make it sound like a simple, cut and dried matter, but I suggest that these emotions were present, and powerful, and help to make sense of what happened.

                      I think some critics have suggested that Iago was in love with Othello and wanted Desdemona out of the way.

                      As of now Buffy stands in a powerful and isolated position and one of huge moral danger. So does Willow, I would say. In Sunnydale Buffy lived and worked within a dense and rich social structure ,with home and family, school and then college, the scoobies, the wider circle of acquaintances, and the familiar daily institutions of an ordered society from the milkman to the Bronz and the mall.Apart from the Hellmouth, Sunnydale seemed to me an almost idyllic Thornton Wilder type small town.

                      Buffy has lost all that, and it was almost like losing part of her soul.

                      In fact Buffy is in exile--I think that is what I am trying to say. She needs to find her way home both spiritually and geographically. And she will need a guide, I would say.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Michael View Post
                        However, now that we know Buffy to be bi-sexual....
                        Whoa, there, let's slow down a little. We don't "know" that Buffy is bi-sexual. Buffy has made no such declaration that she now recognizes any such shift in her feelings. Joss has made no such statement that Buffy is now realizing she's bi. If anything, Joss's own statements have been that Buffy is open-minded and experimental, and that the decision to have Buffy sleep with Satsu was in part based on Joss's experience hearing several self-described straight women tell about their own previous same-sex experiences. He's also said more than once that Buffy is not gay, isn't turning gay, and also isn't going to spend the next fifty issues protesting she isn't gay or kissing/sleeping with guys to prove she isn't gay. Scott Allie's own comments have suggested that Buffy's fling with Satsu was more about Buffy being lonely, feeling disconnected, and yes, missing sex, and taking comfort/finding solace with, yet again, somebody she knows is in love with her yet for whom she doesn't return the same feelings for, and not about Buffy suddenly finding her sexual orientation going through such a paradigm shift as to suddenly see her go, "OMG, I'm totally in love with Willow/Faith/that third slayer ont the left!"

                        If anything, I think Joss has been trying to express the idea that sexuality and love and romance isn't as simple or as limited as which box Buffy or anybody checks on a piece of paper or which box the viewer tries to "push" her into. Moreover, I thought the ending of the Buffy/Satsu fling, with mutually expressed respect for each other's feelings (or lack thereof), plus happy breakup sex, was about Buffy getting the idea that not every relationship has to, or will, end in heartbreak and tragedy and drama, as she was telling Satsu in "Anywhere But Here."

                        So, you'll forgive me if I respond to....

                        Originally posted by Michael View Post
                        Am I being fanciful in suggesting that Buffy was re-acting violently against her own feelings, feelings she strongly disapproved of?
                        ...with a "Yes, I think you are being a bit fanciful in suggesting that Buffy has always been 'kinda gay' about Faith." I think you're going to be sorely disappointed if you expect to see any of the problems or distance between Faith and Buffy solved by Buffy going, "Oh, wait, I've been in love with Faith all along!"

                        YMMV, of course.

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                        • #13
                          Buffy has slept with Satsu twice, and so far as I know she was under no compulsion to to do. If you sleep with somebody in these circumstances it is a reasonable inference that you are doing it because you want to.

                          So according to the text it is a matter of plain observable fact that Buffy is bi-sexual,and it is of no particular importance what Joss or Scott have to say about it. "Never trust the author, always trust the tale," as D.H.Lawrence said.

                          I did not suggest that Buffy was or had been "in love" with Faith. I have not suggested, nor do I believe, that the acknowledgment of an erotic factor in their relationship would solve their problems. We know that in the relationships between heterosexual men and women the erotic factor is a source of much trouble and even tragedy.

                          There is no excuse for your crude and offensive caricature of what I said.

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                          • #14
                            Sorry, Michael but a single homosexual experience, does not qualify a person as bisexual. Bisexuality, like homosexuality and heterosexuality are more like erotic climates, they describe the general sexual state of a person but not his or her immediate state. Buffy is still considered heterosexual because she is and continues to be attracted primarily to men. The Satsu Incident ( And I realize incident has negative connotations but I mean it neutrally and am just too tired to be more neutral) might be considered a lesbian thunderstorm in Buffy's heterosexually Californian climate, a specific incident that does not define the average. And anyway lack of any sexual activity coupled with a feeling of disconnect could lead anyone to act in a way the would not typically, consider all of those amusing and disturbingly accurate soap-dropping-prison jokes.

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                            • #15
                              AllenGray,

                              You make your point fairly. However I do not think I am alone or unreasonable in seeing an element of erotic tension in the relationship between Buffy and Faith.

                              I did not wish to take the thread away from considering the relationship as whole in Season 3 as Wolfie intended, but I thought it would be an omission not to mention the erotic factor.

                              Faith it was who said that slaying made her feel "horny" and when we see the two girls dancing together in the Bronz they seem very attuned to each other, to such an extent that the two boys who joined them certainly seemed-- to me --to be like intruders. I will leave it there.

                              In different ways, of course, Faith tempted Buffy. The idea that as a Slayer she is better than other people comes from Faith, as also did the sense of entitlement, which led to theft.

                              Of course S3 should have been a time to explore in a dramatic way the whole relationship between the Slayers and the Watchers Council, in which the girls are ruthlessly exploited, and doomed to short lives and violent deaths. Both girls rebel against their destiny. Faith does it by going over to the dark side, Buffy ,eventually, by changing the rules.

                              Here is my main point about the difference between the two Slayers --at this time. Faith was a rebel, a maverick able to cause a fair amount of trouble. Buffy, on the other hand, had the seriousness and self-discipline to be a real revolutionary once the idea took root in her imagination. From the Watchers Council's point of view there can be no question about which girl was more dangerous--or "darker" if you like.
                              Last edited by Michael; 23-06-08, 03:54 PM.

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                              • #16
                                I think Faith's feelings for Buffy are more complex than that, though they certainly have an erotic element. I believe that for Faith, a desire to be Buffy to have what Buffy has is slightly confused with erotic. Faith isn't sure how to deal with her self-hatred, and so fixates on Buffy, idealizing her life and role and simultaneously making herself believe that she doesn't. Faith rebels against the watcher's council--a patriarchal institution designed to exploit power--by allowing her power to be exploited by a patriarch. Faith is trying to become, Buffy, become the one and only chosen slayer because she idealizes that role. And because that role is idealized and she is constantly barred from it she hates herself and that role--but still wants it.

                                I'm afraid I've slightly confused myself and my response, so to simplify my thesis is:

                                Faith feels belittled because she's never allowed to assume the role of the slayer, and so begins to challenge the watcher's council to attract their attention, when this fails leaving her less "The Slayer" she creates a mirror of the watcher's council in The Mayor, thus making herself the mirror Buffy. Faith unable to understand her own internal conflicts regarding Buffy projects her affection, frustration sexually. Maybe.

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                                • #17
                                  I think some confusion is in order when discussing characters who are in conflict with each other and also within themselves. One or two things are clear, however. I have been thinking about Kendra.

                                  When Buffy and Kendra first met they had a brief scrap, though it was not Buffy's doing. Later,however, when talking in Giles' room, Buffy deliberately winds up Kendra, she goads her to the brink of a fight. Buffy's point was to show Kendra that anger was a valuable source of fighting power, maybe more important than the technique Kendra had been bragging about. Too true, as it became clear when Drusilla, who would always take trouble to avoid Buffy, went after Kendra and killed her without much trouble.

                                  Yet looking at Buffy's relations with Kendra and Faith it is pretty clear that Buffy does not like having another Slayer around.She likes to be the Chosen One. She can handle a slayer army provided she is the CO.I think Mogs pointed out to me that Buffy started ignoring some of Giles's orders as early as Revelations in Season 3. The power drive was there from the start.At bottom I think that Buffy is more ruthless than Faith, Kendra, or any other slayer who has ever lived.

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                                  • #18
                                    When Buffy and Kendra first met they had a brief scrap, though it was not Buffy's doing.
                                    Interestingly, pre Satsu I was never a big believer in Buffy's heteroflexability. I thought she was pretty bloody straight. EXCEPT...the one person I did feel big slashy vibes with on her part was Kendra. "That's anger you're feeling". Dunno why, but I always felt this undercurrent.

                                    Speaking of Kendra, if Faith is Buffy's shadow, what is Kendra? Seems she's order to Buffy's chaos on one level, though order presented as restriction. I wonder what Kendra would make of Buffy's operation in season 8?


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                                    • #19
                                      I guess I should bow to the critical consensus that Buffy is not bisexual. Mind you some questions do linger.

                                      If Buffy is not bisexual then she is very broad minded, if you ask me.

                                      I think these feeling were in any case much closer to the surface in Faith's mind. Faith uses men for sex the way other people use fast food, or even cigarettes. You light up, have a few puffs , then you put it out.

                                      On the other hand her relationship with Buffy is intense, highly emotional, and tragic. I cannot imagine Faith having this kind of relationship with a man

                                      I had not thought of Kendra before from an erotic point of view. "I am not supposed to talk to boys" she says at one point, to Xander I think.I find Kendra a charming and devoted victim of the malevolent Watchers Council. The Council could not be punished enough, in my mind, for the fate of Kendra and all the other Kendras across the centuries who have been thoroughly exploited and condemned to lonely lives and violent deaths.

                                      Buffy was the revolutionary whose destiny, still not complete, was to change the world. Faith could not have done this because she could not have imagined it. At that time--meaning Season 3--Faith had all the naivety of the cynic who thinks that things are what they are and there is nothing you can do about it.

                                      I notice that Buffy, and Faith and Kendra all had scraps shortly after meeting. I gather that Buffy will have a scrap with Fray in Season 8 . This seems to be standard procedure when slayers meet.

                                      But are they really fights? Or should we understand them to be violent dances in which the slayers celebrate themselves and their discovery of each other?
                                      Last edited by Michael; 24-06-08, 10:59 PM.

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Michael View Post
                                        I had not thought of Kendra before from an erotic point of view. "I am not supposed to talk to boys" she says at one point, to Xander I think.I find Kendra a charming and devoted victim of the malevolent Watchers Council. The Council could not be punished enough, in my mind, for the fate of Kendra and all the other Kendras across the centuries who have been thoroughly exploited and condemned to lonely lives and violent deaths.
                                        Actually, what I really liked about Kendra was that "she didn't feel sorry for herself, and why should Buffy." Kendra says how she was given up by her family at a very young age because her calling meant so much to her people. I don't think Kendra didn't enjoy her life, I think she was proud because her people were proud. She tells Buffy being the slayer is who they are and that it's not a job. She was the exact opposite to Faith, but comfortable in her own way as being the slayer.

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