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  • Should Giles have left Buffy in Season 6

    Should Giles have left Buffy to make it on her own in season 6? Was he really getting in the way of her taking responsibility or was she just going through a tough patch when she needed him more so she could deal with things psychologically? I know he had been struggling with setting her on the path of independence since season 4, but was she ready? Did he do it the right way? Did she still need an accessible parent figure in her life? Should he have gone all the way back to England, slowly detached himself over time and then left for England, or should he have slowly detached himself over time and then stayed in Sunnydale permenantly? What about dawn, did she still need a father figure?

    I personally think buffy should ahve been given more time to deal with the trauma of leaving heaven and rising from her grave after 147 days before she was ready to take on adult responsibilities and responsibility for her sister. I think he needed to slowly hand over all those responsibilities to her when she was psychologically stable. I think it was a major risk doing it the way he did, especially a risk to dawn who we soon find out has not even been attending school.

    Due to medical, my parents are waiting until I find a permenant job with benifits before even letting me move out, that way I don't go without health insurance and thus without my meds. Plus, I know that if I'm ever in a real bind I can turn to them, which helps.

    By Giles leaving for England and Joyce dead, Buffy is denied the mature adult in the background who has the experience and funding to help her out if she gets into a real bind. Not to mention, with buffy's income it would be nearly impossible to afford that house without some outside help, as she quickly finds out. Did Giles take that in consideration? Was he figuring they would move into a smaller house?

    So what do all of you think on this question? Was Giles right to leave the way he did? Was he being a responsible parent figure to his now young adult daughter figure?

  • #2
    I agree with what you said, so I won't say much new things.

    He left a girl who was not ready to take care of herself, her sister or the world. With leaving he failed as a watcher and as a father.

    The writers could give him a much better reason, just a phonecall that his own family needs him at home or that he was asked to help with the counsil, would make his departure already much better. Now he left a depressed girl in a hopeless situation, he could've talked with Buffy about his issues instead of leaving and forcing Buffy to deal with everything.

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    • #3
      I think that right until before her death, Buffy proved to be really mature for her age, so I understand why Giles wanted to leave and let her alone so she can continue her path toward being an adult, to me, yeah, he was kind of "in the way" then. I think the most important lesson you could give your child is teach them to be independent.

      But after her death, after they found out that she was pulled out of heaven, no I don't think it was wise of Giles to leave, because she was clearly unstable and she needed guidance and support, she needed the father figure and the mature grown up in the background.

      Edit:

      Originally posted by Nina
      The writers could give him a much better reason, just a phonecall that his own family needs him at home or that he was asked to help with the counsil, would make his departure already much better. Now he left a depressed girl in a hopeless situation, he could've talked with Buffy about his issues instead of leaving and forcing Buffy to deal with everything.
      Totally agree with you here, Giles having to go back to England to take care of his own family would have been more convincing, or any other reason that had more to do with his own personal story.
      lara
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      • #4
        Ok I think everyone so far is being a little bit too hard on Giles. In my opinion I think that Giles reasons for leaving were very valid and that he was right. Buffy did need to learn independence now that she was an adult. After all, how could you expect Buffy to take care of Dawn, if she isn't able to take care of herself. We saw Buffy's dependence on Giles when it came to Dawn and other issues manifest itself numerous times throughout Season 6. One of the most important times for me is when she expects Giles to deal with Dawn's punishment for the events at Halloween rather than dealing with it herself.

        However I think Giles sense of timing sucked. As all of you said Buffy had only been back from heaven for several months. She was still in shock and sure as hell wasn't at a fit state enough mentally to be cut off in the way that he did. No he either should have done it more gradually, or waited for a few more months. Personally I think Giles would have been better leaving around the time of Buffy vs. Dracula, or later on in Season 5. Buffy was already improving in her abilities of a slayer and mentally and financially she was pretty secure.

        So to sum up my thoughts, Giles was right to leave; he just chose a bad time to leave.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Vampmaster View Post
          Ok I think everyone so far is being a little bit too hard on Giles. In my opinion I think that Giles reasons for leaving were very valid and that he was right. Buffy did need to learn independence now that she was an adult. After all, how could you expect Buffy to take care of Dawn, if she isn't able to take care of herself. We saw Buffy's dependence on Giles when it came to Dawn and other issues manifest itself numerous times throughout Season 6. One of the most important times for me is when she expects Giles to deal with Dawn's punishment for the events at Halloween rather than dealing with it herself.

          However I think Giles sense of timing sucked. As all of you said Buffy had only been back from heaven for several months. She was still in shock and sure as hell wasn't at a fit state enough mentally to be cut off in the way that he did. No he either should have done it more gradually, or waited for a few more months. Personally I think Giles would have been better leaving around the time of Buffy vs. Dracula, or later on in Season 5. Buffy was already improving in her abilities of a slayer and mentally and financially she was pretty secure.

          So to sum up my thoughts, Giles was right to leave; he just chose a bad time to leave.
          Is there ever a good time?
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Vampmaster
            So to sum up my thoughts, Giles was right to leave; he just chose a bad time to leave
            As I said before, the most important lesson you could give your child is teach them to be independent and I know that's what Giles tried to do, I think he had the right motives and all, but I honestly can't understand exactly what he was thinking when he decided to leave after finding out Buffy was pulled out from heaven BY HER FRIENDS, and was seriously depressed about it.
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            • #7
              Boy I feel like "Agreeable Woman" tonight.

              NO! I just began watching S6 again. And It was my feeling that Giles should not have left Buffy.

              I understand what he was trying to do - but she was far from ready to be without someone with wisdom and guidance I think he could have been very open and honest about what was going on between them - how she was shirking her responsibilities and him feeling uncomfortable being placed into the role of a parental figure. But to completely leave her when she had come back from a Heavenly Dimension to debts and problems was just not fair to her.
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              • #8
                In my view, Giles departure was one of the most blatant cases of twisting continuity, in order to get a "message" across, of the entire series. The message, obviously, is along the lines of "to teach someone to swim, push them into the water." Fair enough, as long as one makes sure they don't drown.

                And "drowning" indeed pretty well describes what happens as the season develops. But that's not really the point, the more important question is whether it is reasonable to expect the person not to drown before one pushes them. If that isn't so, the message moves from "harsh but necessary" (which is in character for Giles) into the realm of "dangerous and irresponsible" (which is maybe in character for Ripper, but certainly not for the contemporary Giles).

                So, point by point:
                1. Is it reasonable to expect a twenty-year-old to perform well as a single parent to a teenager?

                  In my book, it isn't, but this point is less clear-cut than the others.

                2. Is it reasonable to expect someone to get over a traumatizing event on their own?

                  Clearly, no. Traumas, by their nature, are almost impossible to deal with by the affected person themselves, but are something that requires outside help to resolve.

                3. Is it reasonable to expect the Slayer to save the world on her own?

                  Of course not. The whole point of the Watchers' Council is to assist her, to the extent of the Council traditionally viewing itself as the body that saves the world and the Slayer as not much more than its instrument. And it can hardly be argued that Buffy avoids taking on the leadership role here, one has to look very hard to find instances post "Graduation Day" in which she doesn't call the shots.

                4. Is it reasonable to expect her to earn a living while saving the world free of charge?

                  While this may well be the least important point, it's also the one in which Giles' behaviour is furthest off the mark. It's the Watchers responsibility to materially provide for the Slayer, that's why he gets paid and she doesn't. Giles didn't need to do this as long as Buffy lived with Joyce, unlike, say, Kendra's watcher; but in no way does this mean that he doesn't need to do it afterwards. If he can't get the Council to provide a salary for her directly, which of course they should do by any reasonable assessment of the workload distribution, he needs to pay her out of his own pocket. It's the least he can do. And that's all without taking into account that if it weren't for her, he would never have gotten his job back after "Helpless" in the first place, which sort of puts him in her debt in this matter, I'd think.

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                • #9
                  I think Giles has a strong case to back up what he did, and the fact that Buffy actually says he was right in 'Grave' only gives him more credit IMO. He was right, Buffy wouldn't learn to stand onto her own two feet unless she didn't have that option. We saw it on multiple occasions of Buffy asking for Giles to step in and make the decisions for her, she didn't want the responsibility but she had it, and it wasn't up to Giles to fulfil her role. It started back as early as 'Tough Love' when she wanted him to discipline Dawn for skipping school, and he forced her to do it herself. And it continued in 'Halloween' after Dawn lies to Buffy and gets into trouble with the vamps, and there's other hints, such as Buffy's need for Giles' validation of her 'life stuff plans' at the dinner table in which Giles replies, "it's really not up to me."

                  Yes Buffy had just come out of a terrible situation, but as Cidredrinker says, "is there ever a good time?" Giles tells Buffy in ?Tabula Rasa' that "now more than ever" it was important he'd leave when Buffy brings up what she's been through. Giles states the "temptation to give up is going to be enormous" and that he'll inevitably step in because he "can't bare to see her suffer." There was never a good time for him to leave, there'd always be some excuse from Buffy as to why he shouldn't. In season five it would have been because of Glory or the death of her mother, I felt he made the right decision ultimately.

                  It's not as if he abandoned her, he tells Buffy that one of the most grown up things she can do is ask for help when she needs it in ?Grave.' That's not the same as shrugging of responsibilities onto someone else like she was doing prior to his leaving, it's asking for advice whilst she makes the decisions. He also gave her a hefty pay check and came back for slayer stuff as such as Willow in ?Grave' and The First in ?Bring on the Night' to ?Chosen.'

                  And Buffy actually feels that he was right and it benefited her. She tells Giles that he was right to leave and that it was time for her to start acting like a grown up. That validation of what Giles did from the girl herself speaks volumes to me, if Buffy felt it had positive results on her than I can't fault Giles because ultimately who's better to tell us than Buffy herself?

                  Also, taking on a purely selfish reason here- Giles had his own life. We hear a lot of talk about Buffy's ties to the council and how she was oppressed and given a duty she never asked for it. It was seen as a highpoint and ?graduation' for her when she quits the council in season three. Why not the same for Giles? Doesn't he deserve similar treatment or should he be endlessly bound to serving Buffy and living his life through Buffy? In ?Never Kill A Boy On The First Date' he explains how, much like Buffy, he was destined to be a Watcher even though he never had wanted to be, from a very early age. Just like Buffy, Giles is entitled to his own life.

                  He was constantly mocked by the Scoobs in season four for not having a job or a girlfriend or a sense of purpose anymore and yet when he says he's leaving in ?Buffy VS Dracula' they want him to stick around because they like the comfort of being watched over? That's just no fair to Giles, that just isn't his responsibility. He wasn't getting any younger, commented on the near ?statistical impossibility' for a man his age to actually make a new friend and wanted to go home, and that's what England was to him; home. He never liked America from what I could tell, he was just forced to live there initially because that just happened to be where the slayer was called.

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                  • #10
                    He left her in order for Buffy to gain responsability, as a Slayer and as a daughter. I mean, there is a time in life where we have to let go of your children or "students" and let them learn for themselves. And Giles knew she was capable of doing that and he had to leave because with Giles there, she was always leaving things to Giles to handle. That?s what his song in OWMF is all about!

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                    • #11
                      Giles is entitled to his own life.
                      Well put, I think this is what the question comes down to ultimately.

                      In my book, he's really not. If he's destined to be a Watcher, just as Buffy is destined to be a Slayer, then he's just as dutybound to serve the Slayer as she is dutybound to "fight the good fight". His leaving is just as irresponsible as it would have been for Buffy to leave Sunnydale after "Graduation Day".

                      The same applies to her role as a parent. Why should Buffy have any more responsibility for raising Dawn than Giles? The short glimpse we get into Nikki Wood's life makes a lot of sense to me: her Slayer duties come first, the Watcher picks up the slack, because that's his job. And this is in spite of Nikki choosing to became a parent, while Buffy certainly didn't.

                      So, for me, the scandal isn't that Buffy isn't fulfilling part of her responsibilities prior to Giles' leaving, it's that he burdens her with those responsibilities in the first place. While at the same time not doing anything about the plain injustice of his getting paid for her doing her job.

                      The fact that Buffy tells him he was right to leave later on doesn't have anything to do with the question IMO, this is about the ethics of his decision and whether they are in character for him. We already know what the writers think, and Buffy is just echoing their opinion here.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Gibbs505 View Post
                        Is there ever a good time?
                        Ok while I'll admit that there is never a time where he could sit down and think to himself "Ooh this is a perfect time for me to leave." However the time he chose really was the worst he could have chosen. Buffy had just recently been ripped out of heaven by her friends and was at the time facing a depression.

                        Originally posted by lara View Post
                        As I said before, the most important lesson you could give your child is teach them to be independent and I know that's what Giles tried to do, I think he had the right motives and all, but I honestly can't understand exactly what he was thinking when he decided to leave after finding out Buffy was pulled out from heaven BY HER FRIENDS, and was seriously depressed about it.
                        If I didn't make it clear in my post then I apologise, but I agree with you entirely. I think Giles actions were correct when considering the motive he had behind them and what he hoped for Buffy to learn from them. It is just the particular time he chose to put this into effect that bothers me to be honest.

                        Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                        I think Giles has a strong case to back up what he did, and the fact that Buffy actually says he was right in 'Grave' only gives him more credit IMO. He was right, Buffy wouldn't learn to stand onto her own two feet unless she didn't have that option. We saw it on multiple occasions of Buffy asking for Giles to step in and make the decisions for her, she didn't want the responsibility but she had it, and it wasn't up to Giles to fulfil her role. It started back as early as 'Tough Love' when she wanted him to discipline Dawn for skipping school, and he forced her to do it herself. And it continued in 'Halloween' after Dawn lies to Buffy and gets into trouble with the vamps, and there's other hints, such as Buffy's need for Giles' validation of her 'life stuff plans' at the dinner table in which Giles replies, "it's really not up to me."

                        Yes Buffy had just come out of a terrible situation, but as Cidredrinker says, "is there ever a good time?" Giles tells Buffy in ?Tabula Rasa' that "now more than ever" it was important he'd leave when Buffy brings up what she's been through. Giles states the "temptation to give up is going to be enormous" and that he'll inevitably step in because he "can't bare to see her suffer." There was never a good time for him to leave, there'd always be some excuse from Buffy as to why he shouldn't. In season five it would have been because of Glory or the death of her mother, I felt he made the right decision ultimately.
                        I entirely agree that Giles reasoning for leaving Buffy was correct. She did need to learn to stand on her own too feet and she was quite clearly relying on Giles through the incidents which you have already mentioned. However at the same time as another user mentioned Buffy had a hell of a lot more responsibility in her life compared to your average person in their early twenties such as having to take care of a teenager whilst having the fate of the world resting on her shoulders. So it's not as though she had no reason to be asking for help.

                        As I said previously Buffy vs. Dracula would have been the best time for him to leave. Buffy was growing stronger every day in her training Glory hadn't entered into the picture yet so she certainly wasn't an excuse for him at this stage. Besides honestly what could Giles have done for her when it came to Glory at any rate? He certainly couldn't fight against her seeing as even Buffy herself had trouble with holding her own against Glory. As for the research side of things as we saw he was unable to find out any information about Glory from the information he had and it was only the watchers council themselves who found out about her. Besides lets be honest by this stage when it came to research Willow was as good as Giles at knowing what books certain types of information would be kept. So I stand by my belief that early season five would have been the best. As for Joyce's death I do believe he could have come back for a few weeks before leaving once more.

                        Season six however was a terrible time to leave. Buffy was suffering psychologically as a person rather than the slayer. This is a problem he could have helped her out with, so much more than others such as having to face Glory.

                        Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                        Also, taking on a purely selfish reason here- Giles had his own life. We hear a lot of talk about Buffy's ties to the council and how she was oppressed and given a duty she never asked for it. It was seen as a highpoint and ?graduation' for her when she quits the council in season three. Why not the same for Giles? Doesn't he deserve similar treatment or should he be endlessly bound to serving Buffy and living his life through Buffy? In ?Never Kill A Boy On The First Date' he explains how, much like Buffy, he was destined to be a Watcher even though he never had wanted to be, from a very early age. Just like Buffy, Giles is entitled to his own life.
                        But the thing is Giles did have a life in Sunnydale outside of Buffy. We saw that he was dating Olivia a new friend of his and well while he hated America at the start he was pretty much used to it by Season 6. Besides he also had the magic box another source of business that didn't involve Buffy and besides Giles by this stage wasn't just a watcher to Buffy. He was like a father to her and a great friend and even a parental figure in some cases to the rest of the scoobies as well. So Giles did have a good life in Sunnydale, but yes I can also see how it would be fair for Giles to leave. I just still stand by my feeling that he chose a pretty crap time.

                        Originally posted by kassyopeia View Post
                        Well put, I think this is what the question comes down to ultimately.

                        In my book, he's really not. If he's destined to be a Watcher, just as Buffy is destined to be a Slayer, then he's just as dutybound to serve the Slayer as she is dutybound to "fight the good fight". His leaving is just as irresponsible as it would have been for Buffy to leave Sunnydale after "Graduation Day".
                        I don't think Giles should have stayed in Sunnydale during Season six due to his duties as a watcher. Honestly as I said previously by this stage he really wasn't doing much. Buffy was excelling in terms of training and quite frankly there really wasn't much more for him to teach her, and again as I previously said in the area of research Willow was just as proficient. However I do think that Giles should have stayed in Sunnydale to help Buffy "the girl" rather "the slayer" through a horrific ordeal.
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                        • #13
                          I am not as eloquent as some of the posters here but hope you will all be able to follow my ramblings

                          While i do agree with the fact that Giles left at the wrong time, I believe his intentions were good. His faith in Buffy led him to believe she would be able to cope with the issues facing her. It does seem rather harsh of him to leave her when she was facing so much but i think he truly believed he was doing the right thing at the time. I am also not convinced that his presence would of prevented any of the following events from happening. On reflection things may have actually been worse if he had stayed as his absence meant Buffy had to step up to the plate and take care of things and although it may have been hard, she did it. His presence would of meant that she wouldn't have had to take responsibility for things and the downward spiral she went through after returning from heaven would of been much worse.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ginny View Post
                            i think he truly believed he was doing the right thing at the time.
                            Yeah, I think we're all agreeing on that point. Which is why, for me, the real question is whether it is in character for him to hold that belief, at the time.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by kassyopeia View Post
                              In my book, he's really not. If he's destined to be a Watcher, just as Buffy is destined to be a Slayer, then he's just as dutybound to serve the Slayer as she is dutybound to "fight the good fight". His leaving is just as irresponsible as it would have been for Buffy to leave Sunnydale after "Graduation Day".
                              But if we're relying on the mechanics of the slayer's duties in comparison to the Watcher's, then Giles did have more leniency than Buffy? After all, Buffy can't be fired, as she even points out in 'What's My Line' whereas Giles can, and was in 'Helpless.' And as Giles points out in 'Tabula Rasa' he taught her everything he could about her slayer duties, and her mother taught her everything she needed to know about life. Giles also states this in 'Buffy VS Dracula' by only sticks around because Buffy needs his help *as a Watcher* not as a father figure, which is all she wanted in season six.

                              The same applies to her role as a parent. Why should Buffy have any more responsibility for raising Dawn than Giles?
                              Because Giles isn't related to Dawn and isn't Dawn's legal guardian which Buffy is? Buffy applied for legal guardianship over Dawn, if she wanted her to be Giles' responsibility they should have him apply instead.

                              The short glimpse we get into Nikki Wood's life makes a lot of sense to me: her Slayer duties come first, the Watcher picks up the slack, because that's his job. And this is in spite of Nikki choosing to became a parent, while Buffy certainly didn't.
                              From what I gathered the Watcher only took Robin in *after* Nikki had been killed by Spike, that's what Wood says in 'First Date.' And I don't believe that is ever actually the Watcher's job. Their job is to train the slayer and prepare her for the evil she has to fight, not to look after the slayer's children or pay her bills ect. Giles giving Buffy a pay check, Giles giving her emotional support, Nikki's Watcher taking Robin in after her death all just bonuses, none of these were actually under their job requirements. I doubt the Watcher's Council would have ever payed them for these areas.

                              So, for me, the scandal isn't that Buffy isn't fulfilling part of her responsibilities prior to Giles' leaving, it's that he burdens her with those responsibilities in the first place. While at the same time not doing anything about the plain injustice of his getting paid for her doing her job.
                              Giles didn't burden Buffy with the responsibility of Dawn. Buffy did that by herself by appying for legal guardianship over Dawn, she could have just as easily sent Dawn to Hank but she chose not to because they wanted to stick together.

                              Originally Posted by Vampmaster
                              So it’s not as though she had no reason to be asking for help.
                              But Giles says she can ask for help, he says this in 'Grave.' But asking for help is very different from unloading all your problems onto someone else then hightailing it up the stairs to let them deal with it as she did at Halloween. And it's not as if Giles was her only avenue for support, she had Xander and Willow and Tara and Anya, it's not as if he left her on her own.

                              As I said previously Buffy vs. Dracula would have been the best time for him to leave. Buffy was growing stronger every day in her training Glory hadn’t entered into the picture yet so she certainly wasn’t an excuse for him at this stage. Besides honestly what could Giles have done for her when it came to Glory at any rate? He certainly couldn’t fight against her seeing as even Buffy herself had trouble with holding her own against Glory. As for the research side of things as we saw he was unable to find out any information about Glory from the information he had and it was only the watchers council themselves who found out about her. Besides lets be honest by this stage when it came to research Willow was as good as Giles at knowing what books certain types of information would be kept. So I stand by my belief that early season five would have been the best. As for Joyce’s death I do believe he could have come back for a few weeks before leaving once more.
                              This is where we disagree. I think it would have been irresponsible to pack up and leave during a time like when Glory was around, because people's lives depended on it. The same way I think it would have been irresponsible for him not to have come and fight Willow even if the coven had alerted him of it, or not come back to Sunnydale to combat the First.

                              But the thing is Giles did have a life in Sunnydale outside of Buffy. We saw that he was dating Olivia a new friend of his and well while he hated America at the start he was pretty much used to it by Season 6.
                              Olivia broke up with Giles at the end of 'Hush' because of his life in Sunnydale. She couldn't handle all the demons and monsters, she says it was too much and we never see or hear about her again.

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                                After all, Buffy can't be fired, as she even points out in 'What's My Line' whereas Giles can, and was in 'Helpless.'
                                Good point, if the council can fire watchers, their destinies must be written less firmly than the slayers'. Maybe we should take Giles' whole "destined to become a watcher" claim somewhat more metaphorically.
                                And as Giles points out in 'Tabula Rasa' he taught her everything he could about her slayer duties, and her mother taught her everything she needed to know about life. Giles also states this in 'Buffy VS Dracula' by only sticks around because Buffy needs his help *as a Watcher* not as a father figure, which is all she wanted in season six.
                                Meh, I'm not buying those reasonings. Giles saying that she's been taught everything she needs doesn't make it so. And if he didn't believe that, he wouldn't have left, so it doesn't really add anything. I agree that Giles was pretty much reduced to a father figure in season 4 and didn't find the role fulfilling, so his leaving at the beginning of 5 would have made sense. But her personal life is entirely in order at that stage, whereas it's entirely out of order in season 6, so I have a hard time equating the situations.
                                Giles didn't burden Buffy with the responsibility of Dawn. Buffy did that by herself by appying for legal guardianship over Dawn, she could have just as easily sent Dawn to Hank but she chose not to because they wanted to stick together.
                                I'm not following you there. I'm pretty sure no court would have granted Giles guardianship, so it had to be her on paper to keep Dawn with them. But everything else is telling us that she's not ready to take on the responsibility. She's not even used to looking after Dawn as a sister, all she has are pretend-memories of doing that. Why should anyone expect her to be competent to suddenly act as a parent, when she's clearly showing that she doesn't really want the role? I suppose one could argue that it's Buffy's fault in as far as she's not explicitly asking for help but implicitly demanding it by the way she acts, but that's hardly a justification for cutting someone off, is it?
                                From what I gathered the Watcher only took Robin in *after* Nikki had been killed by Spike, that's what Wood says in 'First Date.' And I don't believe that is ever actually the Watcher's job. Their job is to train the slayer and prepare her for the evil she has to fight, not to look after the slayer's children or pay her bills ect. Giles giving Buffy a pay check, Giles giving her emotional support, Nikki's Watcher taking Robin in after her death all just bonuses, none of these were actually under their job requirements. I doubt the Watcher's Council would have ever payed them for these areas.
                                Yeah, that's where we simply disagree, then. The way I see it, the council demands of the Slayer to put her duty to them above everything else. Which is a reasonable demand, because it's a crucial duty and nobody else can do it.

                                But the Slayer certainly can demand that the council, primarily through her personal Watcher, support her in every way imaginable in all aspects of her life in return. It seems only fair. Even the infamous Slayer handbook tells us that she should spend her spare time training and studying to become a better Slayer, not worrying about the mechanics of everyday life.

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                                • #17
                                  Before, I hadn't really thought all that much of his leaving at the time. Mind you, I was also only seven or eight years old and didn't pay attention to all the little details. But now that all of you have pointed it out, Giles really shouldn't have left Buffy for a bunch of reasons. She needed him, and he let her down.....Bad Watcher! Errrrgggghhhhhh!

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by kassyopeia View Post
                                    Good point, if the council can fire watchers, their destinies must be written less firmly than the slayers'. Maybe we should take Giles' whole "destined to become a watcher" claim somewhat more metaphorically.
                                    Well, with Giles it was because his father told him he was going to be a Watcher and that was that. He wasn't 'destined' to be one, but he did have his future decided for him without any say in the matter.

                                    Meh, I'm not buying those reasonings. Giles saying that she's been taught everything she needs doesn't make it so. And if he didn't believe that, he wouldn't have left, so it doesn't really add anything.
                                    I believe it does. If Giles feels he can't teach her anything else, then there's no reason not to take this at face value. After all, who would know but him? If he feels burned out, if he can't think of anything she needs to know that *he* hasn't already told her, then I have no problems accepting it. The only reason he stuck around is because Buffy wanted to take it to the next level and understand her purpose, which he did and Buffy came full circle by the end of 'The Gift.'

                                    I agree that Giles was pretty much reduced to a father figure in season 4 and didn't find the role fulfilling, so his leaving at the beginning of 5 would have made sense. But her personal life is entirely in order at that stage, whereas it's entirely out of order in season 6, so I have a hard time equating the situations.
                                    But it's just that *her* personal life. Not *their* personal life. He didn't leave her alone, she still had friends who had stuck by her since they met her. But he has his own life.

                                    I'm not following you there. I'm pretty sure no court would have granted Giles guardianship, so it had to be her on paper to keep Dawn with them. But everything else is telling us that she's not ready to take on the responsibility. She's not even used to looking after Dawn as a sister, all she has are pretend-memories of doing that. Why should anyone expect her to be competent to suddenly act as a parent, when she's clearly showing that she doesn't really want the role? I suppose one could argue that it's Buffy's fault in as far as she's not explicitly asking for help but implicitly demanding it by the way she acts, but that's hardly a justification for cutting someone off, is it?
                                    It's harsh, but if Buffy isn't competent to suddenly act as a parent, if she didn't want that role, if she can't handle that role, then maybe Dawn would have been better off with Hank. I don't think it's fair that Giles should suddenly have to be Dawn's father figure because Buffy wants her around, again he's his own individual with his own hopes and dreams and his own aspirations. He shouldn't have to, and others shouldn't expect him to, drop his own life and live it through Buffy's. I mean how would you or I like it if someone you knew took legal guardianship over their brother and sister and then you were told they don’t really think they’re competent enough to look after them so you have to suddenly assume that role? No say in the matter, no chance to make your own identity and future, you're just expected to do it?

                                    Y
                                    eah, that's where we simply disagree, then. The way I see it, the council demands of the Slayer to put her duty to them above everything else. Which is a reasonable demand, because it's a crucial duty and nobody else can do it.

                                    But the Slayer certainly can demand that the council, primarily through her personal Watcher, support her in every way imaginable in all aspects of her life in return. It seems only fair. Even the infamous Slayer handbook tells us that she should spend her spare time training and studying to become a better Slayer, not worrying about the mechanics of everyday life.
                                    Most slayers didn't worry about the mechanics of everyday life, most didn't have that choice. Giles gave her that leniency, other slayers never had it such as Kendra. But since Buffy wanted both, she has to handle both. She wanted to be a normal girl and be the slayer, "it's the 90's the 1990's to be exact and I can do both!" That's her choice and good on, but if she wants both and to live in both worlds she has to accept some responsibility for that. Buffy herself references Clark Kent as a comparison, and I will too. Clarke Kent had a job and juggled being Superman, never was it unfair that he had to learn how to support himself. And never did he demand someone else (in this instance Giles) pick up the slack for all the responsibilities he chose, in this instance Buffy *choosing* to take legal guardianship of Dawn and *choosing* not to send her to Hank.
                                    vampmogs
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                                    Last edited by vampmogs; 19-07-08, 06:04 AM.

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                                      I believe it does. If Giles feels he can't teach her anything else, then there's no reason not to take this at face value. After all, who would know but him?
                                      Again, what I'm talking about is the question of whether it is in character for him to feel that way. I don't think anybody in this thread is seriously suggesting that they blame the Giles character for leaving, everything we know about him tells us that he deeply cares about Buffy and wouldn't intentionally harm her. The problem I'm having is with the writers having the character make a decision that, in my view, doesn't make sense based on the persona established for him.
                                      But it's just that *her* personal life. Not *their* personal life. He didn't leave her alone, she still had friends who had stuck by her since they met her. But he has his own life.
                                      Be that as it may, he's claiming to be leaving for her own good, not because it's what he wants to do for selfish reasons.
                                      It's harsh, but if Buffy isn't competent to suddenly act as a parent, if she didn't want that role, if she can't handle that role, then maybe Dawn would have been better off with Hank.
                                      Well, on a purely practical note, that wasn't an option in season 5. Dawn needed protecting.
                                      I don't think it's fair that Giles should suddenly have to be Dawn's father figure because Buffy wants her around, again he's his own individual with his own hopes and dreams and his own aspirations. He shouldn't have to, and others shouldn't expect him to, drop his own life and live it through Buffy's. I mean how would you or I like it if someone you knew took legal guardianship over their brother and sister and then you were told they don’t really think they’re competent enough to look after them so you have to suddenly assume that role? No say in the matter, no chance to make your own identity and future, you're just expected to do it?
                                      But isn't that exactly what the monks did to Joyce and Buffy? Except for not giving them a choice, I mean? Suddenly they had the responsibility for the Dawn-entity forced upon them, unable to refuse because they weren't aware that they hadn't always had it.
                                      My view of the matter is that everyone who claims to love Dawn, which all of the Scoobies do, should equally share in the responsibility of raising her. And Giles, being more mature than the rest, could fill certain parenting roles better than the others. After all, it's not just Buffy who wants Dawn to stay, it's also Dawn who wants to stay. So, yes, I have a problem with him refusing doing his part here.
                                      Most slayers didn't worry about the mechanics of everyday life, most didn't have that choice. Giles gave her that leniency, other slayers never had it such as Kendra. But since Buffy wanted both, she has to handle both.
                                      So, if I understand you correctly, what you're saying is that if Buffy wants the freedom to do normal things (like go on dates and to college), she needs to also accept normal responsibilities (like earning a living to provide for herself and her family). Right?
                                      I don't see it that way, because her Slayer duties make it impossible for her to balance the two sides of this scale in the way a normal person would be able to, this being one of the main themes of especially the early seasons. But I can see where you're coming from, I think.
                                      kassyopeia
                                      Cutting Room Florist
                                      Last edited by kassyopeia; 19-07-08, 06:54 AM.

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by kassyopeia View Post
                                        Again, what I'm talking about is the question of whether it is in character for him to feel that way. I don't think anybody in this thread is seriously suggesting that they blame the Giles character for leaving, everything we know about him tells us that he deeply cares about Buffy and wouldn't intentionally harm her. The problem I'm having is with the writers having the character make a decision that, in my view, doesn't make sense based on the persona established for him.

                                        Be that as it may, he's claiming to be leaving for her own good, not because it's what he wants to do for selfish reasons.
                                        Indeed Giles reasoning for leaving Buffy was valid and ones that I certainly agree with. Buffy did need to grow up she had been forcing her responsibility on to him such as with Dawn whether its about the incident during Halloween in Season six, or Dawn's punishment for skipping school in Season five.

                                        As for the in characterness of Giles action. I have to agree in my opinion these are very much in character for Giles. For quite a while now Giles has been trying to distance himself from Buffy and allow her to grow up. We saw this theme appear with the character as early as the season four opener The Freshman. When Giles refuses to help Buffy fight against Sunday until the very end when he steps in unable to see her suffer and this is something that he continues to do from that point onwards. In terms of teaching Buffy the lesson he wanted her to learn he really had to leave Sunnydale and be far enough away that he couldn't just interfere with every little thing.

                                        Originally posted by kassyopeia View Post
                                        My view of the matter is that everyone who claims to love Dawn, which all of the Scoobies do, should equally share in the responsibility of raising her. And Giles, being more mature than the rest, could fill certain parenting roles better than the others. After all, it's not just Buffy who wants Dawn to stay, it's also Dawn who wants to stay. So, yes, I have a problem with him refusing doing his part here.
                                        With this I have to disagree. The Monks did not only send Buffy a younger sister to protect. They also sent her apart of herself to protect. Dawn comes from Buffy. If anything Buffy is more responsible for Dawn in some ways than she would be for a regular sister. Besides it is Buffy, Dawn looks up to as a family member not Giles or the others. Besides we have seen the Scooby's assume a role in taking care of Dawn. Whether its Willow and Tara taking care of her the summer between Season five and six when Buffy is dead. Tara spending time with Dawn even after her and Willow have split up, or the gang looking after Dawn at times when Buffy herself is too busy to do so. Also just because Giles is older doesn't mean he has any more experience than the others in taking care of a teenage girl after all he doesn't have any children himself.

                                        Originally posted by kassyopeia View Post
                                        So, if I understand you correctly, what you're saying is that if Buffy wants the freedom to do normal things (like go on dates and to college), she needs to also accept normal responsibilities (like earning a living to provide for herself and her family). Right?
                                        I don't see it that way, because her Slayer duties make it impossible for her to balance the two sides of this scale in the way a normal person would be able to, this being one of the main themes of especially the early seasons. But I can see where you're coming from, I think.
                                        Yes while Buffy has her duties as a slayer to keep her distracted at times meaning that she may need more help than the average person there is still a difference between receiving that bit of extra help and loading your problems onto everyone else. Buffy chose the responsibilities that come with being Buffy Summers the girl. Even before Dawn was present in the scene Buffy wanted to live as normally as possible. This was shown though actions such as remaining in high school, attending major social functions or developing friendship. Though I love Buffy I have to say if she wants all of these things then she has to accept some of the responsibilities that come along with being Buffy "the girl" rather than Buffy "the slayer."

                                        Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                                        But it's just that *her* personal life. Not *their* personal life. He didn't leave her alone, she still had friends who had stuck by her since they met her. But he has his own life.
                                        So what you're saying is that even though Buffy was suffering due to the trauma of being ripped out of heaven by her own friends. That Giles should just forget about Buffy and his fatherly feelings towards her and rely on the Scooby's to get her past a point where any major changes in her life such as his leaving could damage her even further and make her feel isolated any further from the people around her. If you'll remember it is only after Giles leaves that Buffy starts falling further into her depression and the subsequent sleeping with Spike. She even admits herself that the first time they made out was because she was depressed over Giles leaving Sunnydale.

                                        Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                                        And never did he demand someone else (in this instance Giles) pick up the slack for all the responsibilities he chose, in this instance Buffy *choosing* to take legal guardianship of Dawn and *choosing* not to send her to Hank.
                                        Although I agree with you that Buffy should have assumed responsibility of Dawn and not relied on Giles to do things for her which she could have easily handled herself without any interference from her role of the slayer. I feel the need to point out that it is likely that Hank wouldn't accept responsibility for Dawn and instead would have left her in Buffy's hands and put her in a home. After all when Joyce got sick there wasn't much of a response from Hank despite Buffy ringing him, or what about when Joyce died? Buffy couldn't even get through to him let alone try and ask him to take Dawn under his custody.

                                        Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                                        But Giles says she can ask for help, he says this in 'Grave.' But asking for help is very different from unloading all your problems onto someone else then hightailing it up the stairs to let them deal with it as she did at Halloween. And it's not as if Giles was her only avenue for support, she had Xander and Willow and Tara and Anya, it's not as if he left her on her own.
                                        Yes but Giles was in England making her asking him for help a hell of a lot harder. As for the others well quite frankly I think they would be the last people Buffy would want to talk to about her depression as a result of her resurrection. They were the people who ripped her out of heaven and caused this feeling in the first place. Even though she didn't feel a huge level of resentment towards them. They definitely would have felt guilty over it.

                                        Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                                        This is where we disagree. I think it would have been irresponsible to pack up and leave during a time like when Glory was around, because people's lives depended on it. The same way I think it would have been irresponsible for him not to have come and fight Willow even if the coven had alerted him of it, or not come back to Sunnydale to combat the First.
                                        I am not saying he should have left during Buffy's fight with Glory. I am saying he should have left during Buffy vs Dracula a point where Glory was no where in the picture. As for the matter of people's lives being at risk well let's be frank peoples life's were always at risk in Sunnydale. Besides the difference between the two situations and the Glory one is that in those situations Giles was of use to Buffy. When it came to Willow he stopped her temporarily and used the borrowed magicks to tap into her humanity and with the first he helped collecting the potential slayers who needed Buffy's protection. However in Glory's case there was very little he could do.

                                        Originally posted by Ginny View Post
                                        I am not as eloquent as some of the posters here but hope you will all be able to follow my ramblings

                                        While i do agree with the fact that Giles left at the wrong time, I believe his intentions were good. His faith in Buffy led him to believe she would be able to cope with the issues facing her. It does seem rather harsh of him to leave her when she was facing so much but i think he truly believed he was doing the right thing at the time. I am also not convinced that his presence would of prevented any of the following events from happening. On reflection things may have actually been worse if he had stayed as his absence meant Buffy had to step up to the plate and take care of things and although it may have been hard, she did it. His presence would of meant that she wouldn't have had to take responsibility for things and the downward spiral she went through after returning from heaven would of been much worse.
                                        Hi Ginny and welcome to the forums! Don't worry about rambling. I do that A LOT too lol?

                                        As for what you said well I don't think things would have been worse for Buffy had Giles of stayed. Firstly she would have had someone to talk to outside of the gang that resurrected her other than a vampire who she started to screw as a means of being able to feel. However I am glad that Buffy finally stepped up to the plate in relation to Dawn and other issues. I just wish he had of been there to help her deal with the trauma of the resurrection more.
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