Headscratchers: Buffy Season 6
Headscratchers for Buffy the Vampire Slayer
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Buffys resurrection on the system
- Ok so I don't know if this has been covered in the series also I'm not from America so I'm not sure how it works there but on all the systems surly she's still put down as deceased surly when she got a job or registered as Dawns guardian they would immediately think she was using a fake name or at least the life insurance people would think they were being scammed.
- The Buffybot was being used in her place so no one outside the Scoobies knew she was dead.
- Except she was buried in a coffin, in a graveyard, with a gravestone.
- And this is Sunnydale. Stranger things have happened.
- She was buried in the woods, not in a public cemetery. They've been using the Buffybot to pretend to be the Slayer and it's been appearing at PTA conferences in her place. Her death likely wasn't reported. Or else Dawn would have to deal with social services finding a foster home for her or having to live with her father.
The Ressurection Retcon
- Yeah, snappy title, I know. Now, to the point. Go watch The Zeppo. Why? It shoots huge ass holes in all of Season Six. The first problem is the complete lack of an afterlife being mentioned in that episode. The guys crawl out of the ground, rotting, sure, but no worse for wear, their souls back in place. So, they weren't in Heaven for a few reasons (like being scum) or they would have been mopey. They weren't in a hell dimension or else there would have been some psychological scaring, seeing how time moves much faster in them it could have been a century or more for them in one. So, where the fuck were they? Where did this easy resurrection spell come from and where did it go? Couldn't Willow have used this MUCH EASIER spell, used a spell to heal Buffy's rotting or perhaps, oh, I don't know, bring back the Slayer right after she died? Sure, only Xander knows about it, but it must have come up, at least in his mind. But that isn't the biggest problem. Oh no, the biggest problem is the lovely little thing known as Tara's murder. Ra refuses to bring her back (fuck you Ra). So Willow goes all genocidal and stuff. But, the spell seen in The Zeppo could bring back people who died of gunshot wounds. Not only that, but someone with no magical training can do it. In fact, this shoots holes in just about every death besides for Anya and Jenny (they lost the corpse that time and didn't know about the spell yet for the other one). Joyce? Easy spell, back again without the Monkey's Paw side effects. Tara? Same thing. Buffy? Do it as soon as she's dead. Cordelia? Same thing. There's no way Wolfram & Hart doesn't have that spell. Wesley? Same. Oh, and just for the hell of it, lets say they were lacking their souls after all. YOU HAVE A REINSOULING SPELL. USE IT.
- Maybe that spell wasn't a true resurrection spell, buta cheap imitation (like what Dawn used to bring Joyce back temporarily). Those spells don't bring the person back. Who knows what would've happened if the brought Buffy back with one of those easy ressurection spells? Also, those guys were highly unstable. One of the first things they wanted to do was detonate a bomb at school, and they cared little when they started being Killed Off for Real. It's possible these guys were psychos in life, but who knows (doubt it, they seemed rowdy, but few people are crazy enough to make a bomb). As for souls, there's no evidence that the ensouling spell even works on beings other than vampires. Or even vampires other than Angel for that matter, since he's the only one we ever see them use it on, even when they clearly wanted to ensoul other vampires, like Spike or Darla.
- Yeah, they weren't really being resurrected as much as animated. Come on, apart from the main villain, all of the guys looked like they were still rotting corpses? Why were they not mopey or anything? Because they are really just animated corpses with personalities functioning from the residue of their brains; presumably their souls are still in the afterlife. Think of them a lot like vampires.
- The spell used in the Zeppo required the stars to be proper alignment. Presumably the alignment happens annually but we really don't know. The ressurection was less than perfect also, it didn't physically heal any of their wounds. They were basically sentient zombies so I might be a little upset if you did that to me. As far as the after life goes we don't really know much about how it works. We know Buffy was a GREAT person and died a mystical death and went to heaven. We know we literally kicked Angel into hell. We don't have any proof that you get punished for leading a bad life. It's possible that the Buffyverse has a purgatory.
- One of the big things is that it left their bodies the same. As we saw, Buffy was already half decomposed by the time they got to her, if they had used the same spell (which again, is situational and we don't know how often the star alignment thing is), she'd have been a walking corpse.
- An aside, about the statement that they couldn't have been where Buffy was or they'd have been all mopey. Buffy was at peace following a life where she had — at least recently — felt constantly beset by one horrible thing after another, so much so that she briefly went catatonic to get away from that. If none of the resurrected guys were all that miserable in life, coming back from an amorphous peaceful dimension muight not be as traumatic for them.
- I doubt they had souls. They didn't act like it. The first thing they wanted to do upon being resurrected was blow up the school. Granted, they didn't seem like nice guys before they died, but I doubt they were quite that wreckless. In other words, they were kinda like vampires, except without the predatory demon inside them, thus not as hostile, but still nasty.
Hiding Buffy's Death
- The gang expresses that they needed to keep Buffy's death a secret in order to keep Sunnydale from being overrun by vampires or demons, to keep Dawn for being taken away, all that. While this is understandable, if they really wanted to keep Buffy's death top secret— to the degree that the Buffybot was attending conferences at Dawn's school and patrolling at night— why would they bury her in a public (and vampire-friendly) graveyard with a headstone that clearly marks her real name? It even includes a quote about her saving the world a lot, which would probably confirm her slayer status to any demons or vampires who might otherwise convince themselves it must be someone else. (Buffy is such a common name, you know.) I understand they didn't have a lot of options about dealing with the body, and cremation would have presumably ruined the resurrection spell, but it baffles me that she would be buried in a coffin in a public place with a headstone, and we're still made to believe no one knows about her death? Not even the people who provided the coffin or made the headstone? Even if Xander was able to build a coffin or carve headstone, or Tara and Willow took care of the burial through magic, it seems like a terrible idea to mark the grave with a(n accurate) headstone if they're hiding her death and using a robot replacement.
- She's not buried in a public graveyard. It's a secluded spot in the woods. Judging from how Xander and Willow got lost in "Bargaining", it's quite a bit out of the way from town. I suppose the out-of-universe explanation was that showing Buffy's grave was a good way to end the S5 finale and they hadn't thought of the gang using the Buffybot in her place yet. In-universe, think of it as Tara's "assume crash positions" theory. They may have been planning to resurrect Buffy but they didn't want to keep her body in the house. She was their friend and they don't want her to rot in the basement indefinitely. And she did still die and they wanted to mourn her in some way. So the grave and burial were a gesture for her - and possibly they didn't want to have to see her rot. So their rationale is to bury her so that if the spell doesn't work, she has somewhere to rest. Or they might have buried her first and then thought of the spell later, in which case they probably just didn't want to deface the headstone.
A New Slayer is (Not) Called
- After Buffy dies, one would think that a new slayer would be called in her place. However, as we learn for certain in Season 7, there seems to be no such Slayer. This could be because Buffy has already died once, and now only the Slayer who has never died (Faith) can be the one to call the next one with her death. But if that is the case, then why, in Episode 12, Season 7, does Buffy say that the next girl could be called with her death? That would mean that she's either lying to the girls in order to make a point, or is ignorant of the fact that her death can no longer call another Slayer. And isn't it a bit strange that she's never thought of the fact that there seems to be no third Slayer if it's the latter case? Worse, isn't it strange that Giles hasn't mentioned it or shown any curiosity about it that we're aware of?
- Here's what I think, because for the longest time this bugged me: Buffy already died when she was drowned, and her line carried onto Kendra. She was no longer the Slayer, but she was brought back, powers intact. After Kendra is killed, Faith becomes the Slayer with the lineage. If Faith were killed, then the line would carry on and the next slayer would come. The guys who made the first Slayer probably didn't account for one to come back to life, and didn't make it where the powers transfered. The powers just manifest in the next Slayer. That's why Buffy still has Slayer powers. Buffy probably just isn't aware that she won't lead to more Slayers. Also, at the time she had come back(Season 6) everyone was focusing more on personal problems. Giles was also worrying about Buffy not being able to stand on her own feet, and because of his attachment to her as a father figure, the thought of another Slayer probably didn't cross his mind. In Season 7, he is more worried about Willow losing control and the First wreaking havoc. But then agian, he may have known. Giles isn't exactly above keeping secrets.
- The accepted explanation is that Faith is the one holding the Slayer lineage, although Season 7 doesn't seem to recognize it. Buffy even makes a comment about how all of the potentials will be killed, and then Faith, and then her. She even comments later about how one of the potentials will become the next Slayer if she dies. It's one thing for her to think like this, but even the 1st Evil seems to act this way.
- Right. The First kills all the potentials; with no potentials, when it kills Faith no new slayer is called. The slayer line would be extinguished forever (as opposed to whatever normally happens there are no potentials when the slayer dies) if the last slayer alive is one who isn't part of the line any longer.
- Why would it be extinguished forever instead of just until a new potential is born and lives long enough to inherit it just because it was dormant for awhile? If all the potentials are killed before they can be called forever then the line is extinguished no matter what happens to Faith or Buffy.
- Buffy's first death and resurrection were natural, and while enough to cause a new slayer to be called, she was really only "mostly" dead, still having brain activity, and still the energies/power of the Slayer. As the power had never left her, she still had it when she was brought back. Separated from the Slayer line (and thus her death would not bring a new slayer), but still with the power. Her later death and resurrection were mystical however, and she was very, very, dead. With the slayer power likely gone from her body altogether, the ritual that brought he back had to draw from the Slayer power to restore her powers along with her life (likely part of the reason they had to use this particular ritual/spell, which sounded designed to bring special/magically-imbued warriors back, otherwise Buffy may be returned, but not her powers), thus reintegrating her with the Slayer line, meaning her death would again call another slayer.
- Maybe Buffy just didn't care. While she instantly recognizes what Faith is neither she, nor Giles, seemed at all interested in finding Kendra's replacement. A bigger head scratcher is why does the Watcher's Council have such poor communication skills. You'd think that the entire Council would be aware of who was in posession of the Slayer.
- A Slayer dying and coming back had never happened before, so nobody has any idea how it's "supposed" to work out.
- And the reason they start looking for potential slayers in the first place is because the Watchers were (mostly) all dead, and the potentials were being hunted down, so it is possible that there was a third 'active' Slayer that they just never tracked down. Or, the third slayer kept getting killed off and reassigned just before they could find her each time.
- Or, one of the potentials they found 'was' the third Slayer, they just didn't know yet. It's not like becoming a Slayer comes with a giant flashing "YOU ARE A SLAYER" sign.
- The scene that shows all the potentials that weren't found (like the little girl playing Softball or the battered woman standing up to her husband/boyfriend) seems to suggest that when your slayer powers are awakened you know instantly. Even if you didn't know WHAT you were (which would make sense without a Watcher to teach you of your heritage) I imagine that you notice super strength and reflexes pretty quickly.
- There's no new Slayer called to the knowledge of the main characters/audience. Which doesn't mean there couldn't have been one, who was kept secret (either by the Council as a reserve weapon and lost when the Council blew up, or by more sinister forces that happened to be in a position to cloak her from even them). The "line" explanation even works to keep the curious from looking too hard for her, doesn't it?
Dawns Vampy Classmates
- In "All the Way", how can Dawns classmates; who are vamps, attend school in the day.
- All Dawn ever says is that she recognizes the boys from a couple of (presumably evening) parties. She might assume that they go to her school, but it's never confirmed that they actually do. Alternately, they may have been turned recently enough that Dawn would remember seeing them around the school, even if they're not there anymore.
Buffy and Dawn Don't Have Wallets
- This is probably the tiniest IJBM ever, but here we go: Season Six, "Tabula Rasa". The gang loses their memory, Willow gets the idea of looking in their wallets for ID. But Buffy and Dawn don't have wallets. Seriously? I know it's to set up the Joan/Umad joke, but come on. Dawn maybe, but Buffy's an adult with photo ID and bank-cards.
- Which she didn't necessarily bring with her. She doesn't drive, so she doesn't need to make sure to have her license on her when out and about, and I doubt she was planning to buy anything at the magic shop.
- The real question we should ask ourselves is: If the gang bothered to look through their person for possible locations for a wallet, why did none of them find the black crystal thingie that gave them amnesia in the first place? Sure some of them might've stopped looking after finding their wallets, but I believe Giles' was right in his coat pocket. How could he miss that?
- Willow probably did find the black crystal, but having no memory probably thought "Oh, a black cyrstal" and got on with things.
- What? Willow was the only one carrying a crystal, the spell just got overpowered as too much Lithe's bramble got burned. What made you think they all had a crystal? The only crystal falls out of Willow's pocket and is stepped on by Xander ending the spell.
Aesop Amnesia as a Science
I am under the impression that the writers of every Season 6 episode either forgot everything they've written before, or magical mind wiping spells actually exist and we should all be terrified.
- Since they're so conveniently bullet-pointed for ease of discussion, let's take these in order, shall we?
- Buffy- She's learned to not hold in her feelings, to deal with things by talking to her friends. She's always shown some interest in her friends, what they are dealing with. Then in this season she forgets everything she went through with Angel, everything that happened after she ran away to L.A. Being dead would be an excuse if she had forgotten everything else but she didn't, so what the hell.
- She's also completely emotionally traumatized to the point of being initially suicidal; the emotional whiplash of being ripped out of heaven and shoved into a coffin, from which she had to claw her way out of in order to find herself in a warzone the likes of which she believed she would never have to see again has played a terrible toll on her emotional well-being. Buffy is not emotionally stable through most of season 6; it isn't about not having learned life lessons, she is unwell on a psychiatric level and does not make sound choices as a result of that unwellness. There's a reason it's treated as a grand accomplishment in the invisibility episode, when she stops being suicidal. Furthermore, on the subject of bottling things up, she doesn't. She doesn't tell Xander and Willow about what happened because they don't want to know. Throughout the first couple episodes, Willow can't shut up about how she thought Buffy would be showering her with hugs and praises about how wonderful this thing she did was, she boasts to Giles about how great she is for pulling it off, and just generally makes it clear that all she wants to hear from Buffy is, "Good job, I really appreciate how wonderful and powerful you are for doing this amazing thing that nobody else could, because you're so great and wonderful and perfect in every way!" Everyone, Willow especially, was so busy celebrating the resurrection that nobody stopped to notice how Buffy felt about it. Spike was the first person to actually notice that she was in pain, so she vented everything into him. Then she put on a big smile and pretended to be okay, because that's what she felt everyone wanted her to do. It wasn't bottling; she had Spike as her outlet. She was just trying to make her friends happy.
- I understand that there isn't a therapist alive who could help Buffy deal with these sorts of problems, but the thing is, she's died before then turned around and started acting emotionally distant and that worked about as well as you would've thought. The whole her being in heaven and at peace thing, well if she hadn't been brought back she would have a lot more company up there, and I think she would be a little pissed to know that she took a swan dive through the portal of doom just so her friends and family could die 5 months later. Spuffy was and is retarded, I never got anything out of it and apparently neither did Buffy, the only thing it allowed her to do was dig herself a deeper and deeper emotional hole. As for Willow wanting accolades I never saw any reason why she didn't deserve them, she thought she pulled off the ultimate kindness, giving someone a second chance, or in Buffy's case a third chance, considering she watched Buffy dive through a hell portal why wouldn't she think she went to hell, I see a person walk through a door labeled "Painful Torture for all Eternity" I would think the person I brought back to be the happiest person on earth. It wasn't that they didn't notice she was in pain, they knew she was in pain, they just thought it was on account of being in hell for 5 months which if it would have been like the one Buffy went to in "Anne" could be almost 7000 years or so I don't think anyone was at fault for the thing, Willow wanting praise, Buffy internalizing, but the way it was written just made everything worse, something that could have been simmering on the back burner all season long, but instead it was boiled and thrown in the viewers face every chance they got.
- There was every indication that Willow didn't deserve accolades. What she did was icredibly dark magic. It was also arrogant and self-centered. If they really needed a Slayer all that badly, why didn't they get Faith? Why didn't Willow perform some kind of spell to make sure that Buffy's soul was in hell before actually performing it? After Willow realizes that Buffy is alive, it really says something about her that her first instinct is to tell Buffy how impressive it was that they got her out.
- In addition to the above troper's point about Willow's accolades, Buffy has died before, yes, but dying isn't what traumatized Buffy. Being ripped out of Heaven after being there for three months (and based on what we know of how time passes in other dimensions, god knows how long for the Buffster) is what traumatized her. Her suicidal tendencies weren't about being screwed up because she died, but about getting back to Heaven. That's the difference between resuscitation and resurrection. Buffy DID get something out of Spuffy; by her own admission, she was "using" Spike in a way that was unfair and downright abusive to him. She outright states this in her breakup speech. It wasn't love or a true relationship; it was an unhealthy emotional mess, but she craved it, and the ability to crave something was progress away from "emotionally dead to everything".
- Willow- I don't think there is enough time to go into everything Willow must have forgotten to make her actions in season 6 make sense, there have been more than a few episodes where Willow has shown respect to magic, saying that you shouldn't abuse it. They sound a bit ironic now, but considering everyone else forgets what they've learned before, it's just dumb.
- Willow has had a problem with magic abuse that was actually foreshadowed heavily in advance; as early as the season 2 finale, Giles was telling her that channeling the reinsouling spell would "open a door that you may never be able to close". Yes, she has talked about how important it was not to abuse magic, but usually while either Giles or Tara was sitting there glaring at her. At the same time, she also helped Dawn try to cast the resurrection spell for Joyce behind Tara's back, went after Glory with as much dark magic as she could muster, ranted to Buffy about the Wicca group she tried to join being all religion when she was expecting a circle of witches casting awesome spells, etc. Ever since she started learning magic, Willow has come to completely define her personality around it. She is very rarely seen using her computer skills after high school ends, or any other skills that isn't spellcasting. Magic swiftly becomes her end-all be-all solution for every problem she comes across well before season six even starts.
- I understand that she used magic as the most unhealthy relationship crutch of all time, but even against Oz she figured out it was wrong, I also understand that if she hadn't, 3 seconds later Satan himself would have made it his personal business to make sure Oz never found love again, but she was learning. For her talk about respecting magic, I'm talking about way back in Season 3 in "Dopplegangland" where she gives a little speech to Anya about how dangerous magic is , and in "Buffy vs Dracula" when she starts the fire, she talks about balance. For her "abuse" of magic, with the exception of her memory spell on Tara, it was blown completely out of proportion, by everybody, she's been practicing for 3 years, is inherently talented and is shown to have a pretty good knowledge of how things work, so think of it this way, your 21-22 you've just finally gotten dominance over a superpower, of course you're going to think it's the end all be all. It's basically every superhero origin story ever told, it has a very simple formula, hero gains powers (Season 3), hero develops powers(Season 4), hero uses powers to save the day(Season 5), hero hurts someone they love with their powers and they start to balance out (Season 6) but Willow already knew that"with great power comes great responsibility" so the whole thing comes off like she just forgot it to help the story along. All of this isn't to say that your wrong, something like this had to happen, she was a little magic-happy, but it's part of the process, I just think it should have been maybe a 3 or 4 episode mini arc near the beginning of the Season, not, lets make Willow a character from Trainspotting for the entire season.
- Granted, the wrting on season 6 was . . subpar, but the rest of the cast was right on the nose when it came to Willow's magic. It wasn't as simple as she thought. She needed a serious reality check.
- Willow doesn't know the "great power, great responsibility" thing. She is drastically irresponsible with her magic, and she always has been. Yes, she talks a good game when chewing out Anya or agreeing with Tara, but even as far back as season three, Lover's Walk, she was trying to invoke a love spell to reverse her attraction to Xander. Xander, of all people, had to tell Willow that not only is throwing magic at something so simple as mutual lust not an appropriate answer, but that she should KNOW BETTER because they've already HAD a love spell go horribly, horribly wrong in recent memory. She also performed the spell with Anya without actually knowing what they were casting; sure, she gave Anya the "this is dark magic" speech, but she waited until after the magic was done to do it; she didn't care beforehand what it was, she was just eager to do a new spell. She did the My Will Be Done spell because she was hurting over Oz leaving her in season four; she also got into an argument with Buffy over the reliability of her magic in the Fear Demon episode, which resulted in her casting her glowy light spell (and it inevitably going awry) out of prideful spite. And again, let's not forget helping Dawn try to resurrect Joyce a good six months of so before performing the incredibly dark magicks to resurrect Buffy. No matter how much she talks about respect and the natural order, Willow's first and only response to anything that challenges her is to dump magic into it until it goes away, a character trait that Tara becomes steadily more and more uncomfortable with over the course of the series.
- Xander- He's never been shown to be excessively cowardly, and if he is, he always shows he's up to the challenge, in "The Zeppo" he realizes he doesn't need other peoples approval and that he can deal with things with-out Buffy and Co. Not to mention the fact that he's always had a spot in his heart (platonic that is) for Willow, and he just sort of figures out ways to not notice anything Willow has been dealing with. Then the wedding rolls around and he, I don't know forgets that he has helped change what is supposed to be written in stone on more than a few occasions.
- Xander wasn't afraid of the future, he was afraid of himself. We are treated on numerous occasions to how terrible Xander's home life was growing up. He comes from a long, proud bloodline of angry, selfish pricks, and one of his biggest fears is becoming an angry, selfish prick himself, just like his father, or his Uncle Rory, or countless other relatives he has. The future that Xander was shown spoke to insecurities he was shown to be having all season; from as early as the first episode of season six, he was reluctant to tell anyone about the impending wedding. Despite his assurances that he wasn't doing so, he made his proposal to Anya because they were all going to die and it was the sweet and romantic thing to do. She hit the nail right on the head when she made her accusation, and when the time came to follow through on it, Xander choked. Having his entire horrible family present to remind him of the abusive, violent heritage he comes from didn't help, either. Ultimately, the demon pushed issues that were already there and have been Xander's entire life, and reminded him that he wasn't ready for marriage, which isn't necessarily a bad thing; Xander was only 20 years old, way too young to get married. He was still at the age of self-discovery and finding his place in the world. If anything, the biggest mistake he made wasn't calling the wedding off, it was waiting until Anya was standing at the altar to do it.
- Xander already knows who he is in the dark, he knows he's the guy who does whats right when it matters most. His fear of turning out like his parents is true for almost everybody on the planet, I thought that might have something to do with why Xander made it his mission statement in life to not be anything close to his parents, he doesn't drink, he has a good job, his house isn't in squalor, and he loved Anya, not turning into your parents is a little unfounded when you've already passed them on the road to emotional maturity. Him being young though, alot of people get married young sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't, not taking the risk seemed very un-Xander like, the guy charges against monsters just because he's bored but instead of possibly hurting Anya he runs away, like what the hell.
- Knowing a fear is irrational is one thing, but understanding it emotionally is quite another.
- Giles- He's always been there for Buffy, always known that Buffy needs him not so much as to be a hindrance on her, but enough that he isn't useless. Then in the beginning it makes sense Buffy's dead, but when she comes back. Giles reaction is to tell the recently un-deceased 21 year old with money troubles, a younger sister, friends who are going off the rails, is to leave, ridiculously un-Giles
- Giles actually has not always known that Buffy needs him. He has felt useless and aimless since she graduated from high school, and spent the entirety of season four wasting around doing nothing. By his own admission, it got so bad that he watched Passions with Spike for want of companionship, and as early as the first episode of season five, Giles was planning to return to England. Buffy convinced him to stay by the fact that she needed him to be her Watcher again, and he did, because at the time, she needed him. Season six, however, she didn't just need him, she was using him as a crutch. Giles was doing Buffy's parenting of Dawn for her, talking to her friends about their problems for her, taking care of her house for her...Giles was effectively living Buffy's life for her, while she drifted deeper and deeper into her self-destructive depression. Cutting the cord was a very hard and risky decision, but it was ultimately the right one; as long as Buffy had Giles there to do everything and take care of all her responsibilities, she would never be able to recover from her downward spiral. Losing Giles forced Buffy to get a job, forced her to take an interest in Dawn and her household, forced her to start connecting to her friends again. She started sleeping with Spike which, while unhealthy, also allowed her the ability to feel something, which was an improvement over the empty, hollow way she was drifting through her life before. She had to be a responsible adult, and that, more than anything, is what allowed her to actually LIVE again, instead of simply existing.
- Of course she was using him as a crutch if ever a person needed a crutch it was Buffy, she was a 21 year old recently not dead college drop out who had to support a younger sister, Willow and Tara who for some odd reason weren't helping(maybe they were waiting for a student loan reimbursement check IDK). The meta reason that Giles left was that Anthony Stuart Head wanted to spend time with his family, so they had to shoe horn a reason for him to leave, for some odd reason they went with taking a character who has extreme abandonment issues on top of all the other shit she was going through, and taking away her surrogate father for some vague reason which will become clear to you at the end of the season. If it would've been written that Giles was taken away from everyone, like he went to England and everyone thought he died it wouldn't have seemed so needlessly angsty, but because he abandoned everyone it made him seem like a dick.
- The last thing Buffy needed was a crutch. An emotional crutch is never healthy; it stagnates growth and limits the person who uses it, and once someone's started, they never stop unless forced to. One of the hardest decisions a parent has to make sometimes is when to kick the child out of the nest, for their own good. Without Giles, Buffy was forced to grow back into the strong, independent human being she had been before she died. She was stagnant before he left, and if he'd never left, she would have remained stagnant. Getting a job, taking care of Dawn, reaching out and bonding with her friends over their respective crises, and of course, Spike, all became possible because Giles left. Without Giles's departure, the Buffy we see in season seven would still have been the emotionally stunted, self-destructive Buffy of early season six, drifting through life dead to the world.
- "She was stagnant before he left, and if he'd never left, she would have remained stagnant." Buffy had NO emotional support system in her depression and Giles leaving took away what little she did have. She is a, what 20, 21 year old, very very depressed, recently not-dead girl. She's barely not a teenager and she is SUICIDAL - and her only parental figure leaves. Giles was lucky that Buffy didn't try to kill herself, as far as I'm concerned.
- The cries around her she didn't hear at all cause she knew he was there to take their call, so she just stood there when she should have standed tall. He wished he could stay but he understood he was standing in the way. He did, in fact, spend two minutes and ten seconds monologuing about this in a certain episode.
- Why is it that parenting Dawn was solely Buffy's responsibility in the first place and Giles just couldn't help at all? Buffy's got far more going on than most people in her situation and she can't very well just NOT do any of the things she was doing (would Giles have preferred she took a break from slaying to make sure Dawn was emotionally healthy?) and even if she weren't, she is a twenty-one-year-old suddenly tasked with raising a teenager! Dawn probably should have been removed from Buffy's care for both of their sakes but it's perfectly understandable that with their emotional bond that wasn't what they wanted. It just seems that Giles was expecting far too much from Buffy. Maybe she was giving too little but his solution was just stupid and ridiculous and her new role as Mom wasn't practical, especially when there was no reason at all he couldn't have played the part of the father aside from the fact it was apparently all Buffy's responsibility.
- Jonathan and Warren- Both have had their lives saved, Warren even though he's a bit of a tool the first time, still seemed like he learned a lesson.Jonathan has had his life saved by Buffy like 3 times, then they become villains and try to kill her, it gives one a head ache to think about how that became a good idea.
- Jonathan wasn't trying to kill Buffy. He even says repeatedly that he doesn't want to kill Buffy, and he and Andrew both veto the idea when Warren is pushing it during Buffy's invisibility. Warren is the real villain of the Trio, and even that is something that happens gradually. From the moment we meet him, Warren is a a misogynistic sociopath. He invented a robot girlfriend to be "better" than a real girlfriend, and some of the things that come out of her mouth shine a spotlight on Warren's views towards women, such as "crying is emotional blackmail". He then proceeds to "break up" with his robot girlfriend as soon as he finds something he likes better by leaving her somewhere and just not going back to get her. His "gratitude" for Buffy "saving" him from said robot girlfriend is repaid by building Spike a sexbot of her. At no point does Warren ever show even the slightest respect for anyone but himself, which is something that only snowballs once the Trio is formed. The Trio themselves formed just as a group of nerds with classic nerd-supervillain ideas like mind-controlled monkey servants and taking over the world, before Warren snowballed out of control while Jonathan steadily became more and more uncomfortable with everything they were doing. Andrew was just a big ol' Warren fanboy and went along with everything he did, but from the moment they killed Katrina, Jonathan's discomfort was made plain, up until the point where he secretly betrayed Warren to Buffy when he had the power orbs.
- Warren's a creep the first time we meet him, but he's not a misagynistic sociopath. He liked Katrina because she challenged him.
- Liking Katrina does not mean Warren's not a misogynist or a sociopath. His treatment and views towards women are what makes him misogynistic; that he can be attracted to a woman who challenges him intellectually does not diminish the fact that he thinks "tears are emotional blackmail" and that an appropriate way of breaking up with a woman is to dump them somewhere and never go back. There were signs of his inherent misogyny from the episode we met him, and if anything, his later appearance in season six only further demonstrated character traits that were already there. As to the sociopathy, that is something that we may not necessarily have seen explicitly demonstrated in his introductory episode, but it wasn't out of left field, either. At no point does he show any regard for the wellbeing of anyone but himself, whether it's his callous abandonment of a sapient lifeform that he created, or building a sexbot of the person who saved him from April (which, of course, he had no problem doing because hero or not, Buffy is a woman). Unlike Jonathan, Warren was an unrepentant asshole from the day he first appeared on the show in season five, and only continued to snowball as season six progressed.
- While I understand the timeline and their motivations that are shown in-universe, my whole problem was how the hell it developed into that, both characters have been shown to be a bit keyed in on what goes bump in the night, why did they decide to stay in Sunnydale , Warren was ready to leave and never look back in his first appearance, and Jonathan was always on the side that monsters and magic bad even in "Superstar" he was on the good side, the only thing he did that was in character was switch sides when things got a little to real for him. It's a little hard to understand the leap in logic from three nerds who want to make their D&D games a little more real, to lets declare war on the Scoobies, especially when they weren't evil to begin with.
- They never really declared war on the Scoobies. Jonathan in Superstar wasn't really on the good side; he cast reality-altering magicks to make the entire world worship him. Yes, he reversed it, but he did so because people he cared about were in danger, not because he learned a valuable lesson from the experience. Jonathan has always been insecure and seemingly friendless, often used as the butt of jokes. This reached its apex during his suicide attempt in season three, afterwhich he seems to have become resentful given his attempt at making the universe revolve around him in season four. But at his core, he's a good-hearted little nerd who just wants to be noticed. The Trio wasn't a gang of evil criminals to Jonathan; it was a network of people who wanted to be his friends, and he liked that. The idea of "team up and take over Sunnydale" was a comic book plot conceived by a group of nerds who like hanging out with each other, at least for Jonathan and Andrew. You'll notice, that was Warren's idea. So was the freeze ray, the invisibility ray, sending the bank-robbing demon to kill Buffy, letting inviso-Buffy die, kidnapping and raping Katrina, covering up Katrina's murder...there's a recurring trend here. Warren was the true villain of the Trio. He was a complete and absolute sociopath who just kept snowballing deeper and deeper into true evil, while Jonathan and Andrew just kind of rolled along for the ride. Jonathan just wanted to have friends and be liked, and he realized how deep the shit he was in was around the time of Katrina's murder.
- Curious inversion and played straight with Amy- Some how despite being a rat for 2 or so years, shes shown herself to be on par with Willow, magic wise, she knows creepy "magic" dealers, but in all of this she seems to have forgotten how evil her mom was when she was all about magic and that dark magic corrupts people.
- For Amy, the apple just doesn't fall far from the tree, it seems. Less than a year after her mom tried to replace her, Amy was abusing magic for simple things like doing her homework, and we don't actually know when she started. Just because her mom was a douche doesn't prohibit Amy from also being a douche.
- Thanks I forgot about her mind wiping the teacher part, but it's also in the same vein as Willow, shes a teenager who stumbled on this seemingly god-like power, but after that though the only witch craft she was shown doing was helping Willow cast a protection spell to help Buffy, well that and turning herself into a rat, not exactly douche like behavior she was about to be set on fire, but she wasn't evil or malicious before that, so it's a toss up between being a rat for 2 years makes you a bitch or the writers forgot who she was.
- Keep in mind this wasn't the first time we see the rat spell. She also helped Xander with his intended plans of magic-raping Cordelia, and then while under the influence of the misfired love spell, cast the rat spell for the first time against Buffy. While she can be forgiven for WHY she used the rat spell the way she did, it raises all manner of questions as to WHY she's researching magic that allows her to turn people into rodents. Before she becomes a rat, what we see of Amy is an amoral individual willing to mind-control people into whatever she wants of them, who practices surprisingly dark magic. This remained true after she was de-ratted, and her experience with Rack (which she cannot have gained BEFORE becoming a rat and did not have time to do so between being de-ratted and introducing Willow to him later in the same episode) answers a few questions as to where she got all her horrible pre-rat spells.
- You could say that time has a way of making people forget things, but Spike says that Buffy has been dead for 150 days or something like that, less than half a year since the end of Season 5 where pretty much everyone had some sort of affirmation of the above lessons, Buffy has the dream chat with Willow, where she learns that she cant bottle everything up, Willow learns with her first fight with Glory, that powerful magic will seriously screw you up and that magic won't always fix everything,Giles knows Buffy needs him when he kill Ben because Buffy won't, showing that Giles always looks out for her.Xander basically gives a big screw you to Spike with the wrecking ball awesomeness, showing that he is needed and helpful even when going against a physical god. I can forget what I had to eat 150 days ago, but I don't think that I would have forgotten a very significant life-lesson that helps you understand your self better.
- Buffy, as mentioned above, is emotionally unstable and suicidally depressed, and thus is not playing with a clear deck. Willow learned nothing of the sort; yes, her attempt at magicking Glory into oblivion failed, but she then proceeded to fix Buffy with powerful magic, then fixed Tara with powerful magic, and then a couple months later, brought Buffy back to life with powerful magic and lorded it over everyone. Powerful magic is the alpha and the omega of Willow's options for problem-solving, and at no point does she even suggest that she sees anything wrong with that, even though Tara hints that SHE does on numerous occasions. Xander learned to be confident in himself and what he contributes to the Scoobies, but that doesn't necessarily mean that he's not insecure about who he is on a personal level. Xander's insecurity is a recurring trait about him for about as long as he's in the show, he just usually plays it off with self-deprecating humor. He knows he's valuable, he just doesn't like who he IS on a personal level.
- All true, look I'm not denying the fact that everyone acting out-of character has very logical roots, I'm just saying that if everything had been written the complete opposite, Buffy opened up to her friends right away and her friends were helpful and doting to her trauma, if Willow had gone on to be a respectable witch with her and Tara leading a white magic coven, Xander faced his personal demons and won, Giles had stayed and became the father figure Buffy lacked for the majority of her life because that's how Season 5 ended, no one would have blinked an eye, it wouldn't have been that bad if only 2 character's lives had gone off the rails because of forgetting important lessons, but everyone did, Season 6 could stand alone as its own show because no one is remotely close to their character, you could go from season 5 to 7 and the only thing you would be confused about is how the hell Buffy got back, going from 5 to 6 you would think they were all possessed or something.
- I just don't see how people "forgot" important lessons, when everything that happened in season six was the logical extension of the emotions and the histories of the characters up to this point.
- For a show that loves it canon and sprinkling in life-lesson episodes this season just fired it's character-canon out of a cannon so far that it would only be picked up later near the end of Season 7 where everyone seemed to remember their former selves.
- By Word of God, the Big Bad of season six was "life". It's hard and brutal sometimes, and it can take a long time to recover from it. Life doesn't happen in convenient thirty or sixty minute timespans, where everything is wrapped up and back to normal at the end of the episode. Season six was all about this.
- Yeah but the odds of 7 peoples lives going to shit in the span of a single season are too high to count, even if they know each other I would think at least one of them should stayed on a good path. Season 6 is just the end result of using Murphy's Law as a season arc.
- Seven people's lives go to shit every season. Each season had a "character arc" for every major character in the cast. For example: season three. Buffy meets Faith and has an awesome rival partner until her relationship with Faith goes sour, while also trying to defend Angel's return from everyone. Angel has to make peace with what he did as Angelus, to the point of nearly committing suicide, before finally accepting his right to exist in the world, just not with Buffy. Giles loses his job as a Watcher and is forced to deal with trying to protect Buffy and do what he's always done despite the best efforts of the bumbling new Watcher. Xander faces an existential crisis over his value to the Scooby Gang, before learning to find value in himself outside of the validation of his friends, and proving to himself that he has every right to be a member of the crew. Willow cheats on Oz with Xander, costing both of them their relationships, and has to fight to fix her relationship before she loses something very good from her life forever. Faith commits a murder, changes sides, and ultimately gets put into a coma. Even Spike pops in for an episode to let us know that Drusilla broke up with him and his life's a big wreck. This conflict is the core element of drama; it pushes the characters in the beginning of the season, reaches various tipping points of absolute "My life is DESTROYED" levels at various parts of the season (Buffy starting to sleep with Spike, Willow in Wrecked, Xander leaving Anya at the altar), and then starts to pick up and rebuild throughout the remained of the season until it's finally resolved near or at the end (Xander cradling Willow as she breaks down crying, finally allowing herself to feel Tara's death; Buffy realizing she wants to live in the world with Dawn; Spike getting his soul; etc.) Sometimes those resolutions don't happen until the next season (Anya and Xander making peace with each other), but they do happen. Season six was darker than any of the other seasons in Buffy, but nothing about it was really that different.
Joyce's Life Insurance
- Part of the plot in the episodes where Buffy is resurrected is to use the Buffybot to pass off as Buffy so people wouldn't know she's dead. Otherwise Buffy's dad would take Dawn away. Yet later, they mention collecting her life insurance. How the hell did they collect the life insurance without letting people know she was dead?
- I'm pretty sure it's Joyce's life insurance that they collect.
- Not a JBM, just an amusing note: I would love to have been there to see the Buffybot collect Joyce's life insurance, as I'm sure she didn't leave it to Willow and Xander. That must have been hilarious.
Willow's Name is Mud in Season Six
- Am I the only one terribly TERRIBLY disturbed by the way everyone treats Willow in season 6? She took great risk to use the return spell on Buffy and was egged on by the other scoobies to do so, and yet Giles lays down the hammer on her... HARD. They would all be dead a few episodes into season 6 if not for Willow's spell. Further, Willow's "problem" with magic only became an actual problem when everyone treated her like shit for harmless spells she cast for the benefit of everyone else. She pulled Buffy back at great expense to herself. She cast the decorations spell for Anya and Xander just to make them happy. We never see her just casting spells willy-nilly for her own selfish purposes. Yes, she made the wrong choice using the forget spell (both times) but the way everyone treated her was wrong. Her forays into the magic drug at Rack's only happened because Tara treated her like shit because she cast the decoration spell. Am I missing something here?
- It's season six. After "Tabula Rasa", Season six sucks, and everything the characters do is just to make excuses to pour more and more angst into the craptacular season. I think they were trying to lean on the success of Angel by making the show Darker and Edgier, without bothering to have decent Character Development, the thing that made Darker and Edgier work in Angel.
- Umm, the decoration spell wasn't so much the problem as Willow erasing some of Tara's memories. Given the fact that Tara has past issues with being mentally tampered with, and, as she mentions during "Once More With Feeling," she can't be sure this was the first time Willow did this, it is kind of a What the Hell, Hero? moment.
- The best way I can describe the problem was Willow using spells when it would have been easier - and probably safer - to do things the mundane way. The episode where she first wipes Tara's memory, "All the Way", also has her almost using a spell in the Bronze that would shift anyone not Dawn's age into an alternate dimension. With the resurrection spell, it was still pretty dangerous, regardless of whether it worked or not. The only Scoobies that knew what would happen were Willow and Tara, and even then Tara was freaked, while Giles was upset because she'd taken such a big risk. What if something had gone wrong? As for her not casting spells for selfish reasons, she doesn't most of the time, except for the "my will be done" spell from "Something Blue" and all the fooling around she and Amy did in "Smashed".
- It's important to remember that the memory controlling is seriously dark and evil. Remember the very end of "All the Way" and the beginning of next episode (OMWF) strongly indicate that after Willow cast the spell she and Tara were intimate. I think most would agree that Tara was not in the mood for this prior to the spell being cast. This very nearly makes it rape. She's taken away Tara's ability to be upset with her (by removing the upsetting memories) so she's basically taking away Tara's ability to say "No" because of current circumstances. The only real difference between her actions and Warren's is that Warren just overrode the free will directly and didn't seem to bother replacing with much of a personality.
- Within the realms of fiction what Warren attempted was sufficiently gray that nearly everybody instantly forgave Johnathan and Andrew because it was perfectly plausible that they DIDN'T know what they were doing. To say nothing of numerous other times people have been robbed of their free will, Xander's love spell, Willow's season 4 Vengeance Spell, the monks making Dawn out of no where and Angel erasing his son just off the top of my head and at most they get a "I understand why you did that, naughty, naughty", hell Tara nearly kills them all once trying to hide a demon that's not in them which is taking away their ability to say 'no' and considering at this point they had a friendly vampire, a werewolf, an ex-vengeance demon and frenemy Spike she really didn't have a legit reason to be afraid they would reject her for being part demon. The real problem here isn't that Willow wasn't off the rails and doing some bad things, it's that they were leaping down her throat for very simple and little things and prior to this there weren't a lot of hints that magic was inherently bad (in fact between Tara and Willow it seemed to be a metaphor for. . .bonding.) the danger was all in not being able to control your power and in tapping into dark powers. Nothing excuses Willow mind wiping Tara or anybody else but when the grand fall out of Spike trying to kill them multiple times was Xander being rude to him, Anya bringing Vamp Willow over didn't stop her from going to the prom and Xander. . .we all love Xander but he screws up a lot and rarely gets more than a stern look. They could have handled Willow better on nearly every level.
- I hated the way Willow was treated in season 6 and felt like a great deal of her problems were helped along by Giles and Tara's attitudes. For one thing they never offered any explanation of why what she was doing was bad. Tara was shown as to be upset by Willow's magic use before the arguement that led to the memory erasure. But she never tried to convince Willow it was bad. She just told her it was and expected Willow to give up something she plainly loved without further explanation. And Giles was an ass. He spends most of his time in season 6 ready to leave and when he isn't he's berating Willow. Who was the Scooby Gang's big weapon without Buffy and he certainly never expected her to be brought back.
- In Tara's defense, she did try to tell Willow why her use of magic was wrong. Part of the proplem was, Willow kept erasing Tara's memories of the arguments. As for Giles, he had a point that necromancy was dark magic. If Willow couldn't see that, it really doesn't bode well for her.
- Very dark. Committing a blood sacrifice in order to call upon the spirit of a god of the underworld (Osiris, to be precise) in order to tear a soul free from the Afterlife and bind it back into a mortal vessel is some SERIOUSLY black mojo. But it's not just the necromancy and the memory erasure. Willow's problem is something that's been hinted at way back in season 3, and remained consistent: it isn't that she uses magic, it's that she abuses it. It's her answer for every problem. It's her solution for any emotional turmoil. Need party decorations? Magic! Trying to find a friend lost in the spooky house? Magic! Boyfriend left you? Magic! Sexually attracted to a good friend who you don't want to be? Magic! The ensouling Angel spell opened a gateway to power she did not have the discipline to properly manage, and people have been calling her out on her abuse of it since way back at Xander telling her they don't need a love spell to not be attracted to each other. She just has never listened.
- Willow knows herself. Maybe she just thinks "If I could stop making out with you just because I wanted to stop making out with you I'd have never started in the place." It did take Cordy being impaled to get them to stop. The image of a friend with a pipe through the gut every time your lips touch would have a pretty powerful de-lusting affect IMO. So basically I think she was RIGHT, they did need more than simple willpower.
- That's the problem. She assumes that she knows herself and that she knows best. When she's wrong and refuses to admit it, like her reliance on magic and occasional overuse of it, she bites off more than she can chew.
- Let's also not forget that Willow would turn to magic and its uses with absolutely ZERO regard for the opinions and feelings of others involved. That spell that Willow wanted to do to stop loving Xander? Willow says outright, "I thought it would go better if you didn't know" to Xander's face! Willow's spell in the episode 'Wild at Heart' presumably means to stop Oz and Veruca finding love or peace with each other but with the ambiguous wording, it could very easily have resulted in neither finding it period with anybody. Willow even invokes Hell within the spell itself, "Let Oz and Veruca's deceitful hearts be broken. This way. I conjure thee by the saracen queen And the name of hell. Let them find no love or solace. Let them find no peace as well." It is one thing to try and defend Willow but since Season 2 even, Willow has shown many, many times that she has an affinity towards darker magics (see Willow's "can we pretend it's dangerous?" to Anya in S3), turns to magic to solve turbulent issues in her own life, and does not bother to consult other parties that may be affected by said spells.
- Willow is well aware that magic is a balancing act - she demonstrates this at the beginning of 'Buffy vs. Dracula' when her spell to ignite the barbecue causes a massive rain shower. She's the one that tells the rest of the Scooby Gang. Using it for everything would eventually throw the universe out of whack, not to mention cheapen the "mundane" everyday tasks she cheats her way out of. Casting a spell to wash the dishes or decorate a house or even dress yourself may seem nifty but that's not magic's intended purpose. Willow is well aware of this and still chooses to flagrantly ignore the rules despite repeated (and warranted) warnings.
- The issue with Tara was that she had a bit of a controlling streak in her, a need to be right and to be the more knowledgeable one. Take 'Forever', when Dawn, out of her mind with grief, was wanting to resurrect Joyce. Willow and Tara were trying to disuade her, with Willow trying to convince Dawn that it may not even be possible to do so. Tara, meanwhile, was lecturing Dawn (Again, a stubborn teenager who was blinded by her grief and not in the correct frame of mind to understand ethics and morality) on how resurrecting Joyce was WRONG. Fair enough, up until the point where she pretty much browbeat Willow into agreeing with her position. Add that on to some of the other events later in season 5 (such as when Tara lets slip that she doesn't like Willow being so powerful, and Willow stating that Tara makes her feel like the junior partner, that Tara has a need to be 'knowledge woman', and it's not hard to reach the interpretation that Tara was, perhaps subconsciously, trying to keep Willow from outstripping her in fear that Willow would not need her any more.
- There's really no overwhelming evidence that Tara's controlling. She's actually very shy. Tara was hardly browbeating Willow into agreeing with her, since Willow already did. Also, Tara never said that she doesn't like Willow being more powerful. She stated that Willow is powerful. Given that this is the season where Willow uses magic to erase Tara's memories of various fights, it's probably a good thing that Tara's worried that Willow might be getting too powerful too fast.
- Not controlling as per the traditional definition, but even Willow noted in Tough Love that Tara made her feel like a junior partner, and the implication that Tara felt a need to be more knowledgeable and powerful than Willow, because of fear that Willow would not need her and would leave her if Willow surpassed her. And yes, Tara did basically browbeat Willow in 'Forever'. Tara automatically shouted down Willow's trying to argue that resurrecting Joyce may not even be possible by trying to lecture both her and Dawn on how it was morally WRONG. Not the best tact to take with a grieving teenager. Don't misunderstand. I liked Tara, and her and Willow as a couple, but people have a tendency to treat Tara as a saint. She wasn't. She had flaws just like everyone else, and one of those was a noticeable passive-aggressive streak that reared it's head a few times.
- Again, Tara isn't controlling. If anything, she has a flaw of not speaking up for herself enough. Willow did say that Tara made her feel like a junior partner. The implication, however, was that Tara knew more about magic than Willow, desite the fact that Willow had more raw power. Willow's problem was that she was too impatient. She approaching it like she was back at school, trying to learn too many complex things at once.
- When Willow and Tara disagreed on how Buffy should raise dawn and Tara said that suddenly becoming a parent is hard. Willow stopped the argument by saying that she felt that her opinion didnít matter because she didnít know what it felt like to have her mother die. I felt that was incredibly insulting and insensitive. Then she goes on to say that she feels insecure about the fact that Tara is more knowledgeable in things like magic her sexuality but then got mad when Tara mentioned being insecure about the same thing. Willow wasnít complaining that Tara was controlling she was using emotional blackmail to get what she wants. Willow wanted Tara to give up and say she was right and when emotional blackmail didnít work she used magic.
- Sorry, but you are pulling all of that out of your ass.
Here is the exact conversation:
TARA: (uncertainly) Do ... I act like ... the big knowledge woman?
WILLOW: (weakly) No.
TARA: Is that no spelled Y-E-S?
WILLOW: S-O-R-T of. I mean, I just feel like the-the junior partner. You've been doing everything longer than me. You've been out longer ... you've been practicing witchcraft way longer.
TARA: Oh, but you're way beyond me there! In just a few- I mean ... it frightens me how powerful you're getting.
WILLOW: (frowns) That's a weird word.
WILLOW: It frightens you? *I* frighten you?
TARA: That is *so* not what I meant. I meant i-impresses - impressive.
WILLOW: Well, I took Psych 101. I mean, I took it from an evil government scientist who was skewered by her Frankenstein-like creation before the final, but I know what a Freudian slip is.
WILLOW: D-don't you trust me?
TARA: With my life.
WILLOW: That's not what I mean.
TARA: Can't we just go to the fair?
WILLOW: I don't feel real multicultural right now. Wh ... what is it about me that you don't trust?
TARA: It's not that. I worry, sometimes. You're, you're changing so much, so fast. I don't know where you're heading.
WILLOW: Where I'm heading?
TARA: I'm saying everything wrong.
WILLOW: No, I think you're being pretty clear. This isn't about the witchcraft. It's about the other changes in my life.
TARA: I trust you. I just ... (looks down) I don't know where I'm gonna fit in ... in your life when...
WILLOW: When ... I change back? Yeah, this is a college thing, just a, a little experimentation before I get over the thrill and head back to boys' town.
WILLOW: You think that?
TARA: Should I?
WILLOW: I'm really sorry that I didn't establish my lesbo street cred before I got into this relationship. You're the only woman I've ever fallen in love with, so ... how on earth could you ever take me seriously?
Of course, we see the implications that Tara is worry that Willow is outstripping her, and she at no point denies Willow's allegations that she questions Willow's sincerity there. If anyone is in the wrong in that conversation, it's clearly Tara.
- Also like when she cast the my will spell she wanted everyone to stop what they were doing and focus on her
- To iterate my point a little more the episode where she tried to shift a bunch of people to another dimension she specifically told Tara to sit back and keep her mouth shut while she does her thing. It was specifically because Tara was starting to speak up for herself that Willow started to manipulate her.
- Part of the issue is the hypocrisy and inconsistency of the season. Willow messing with people's minds: BAD! Xander having Amy cast a love spell in season 2? FUNNY!!! Xander screws around with magic and summons Sweet, he's not only instantly forgiven, it's never brought up again. This in spite of the fact that it not only caused severe damage to the Scoobies' interpersonal relationships, but it also resulted in the deaths of at least 2 people. Nothing Willow did at that point had cost a life, was anywhere NEAR that ethically questionable. Yet somehow, she was BAD for decorating a room with magic and Xander indirectly kills two people with magic, and it's never brought up again. Willow erasing Tara's memories? EVIL!! Angel doing the same thing TWICE to his own people, that SAME YEAR? No Problem!!! Willow using magic to find Dawn? BAD AND WRONG!!! Tara using magic to find Willow and Xander 4 EPISODES PREVIOUSLY? A-Okay. (And yes, I know Willow's plans to shift people into another dimension were overkill, but Tara's objections were not to the particulars of Willow's plan, but rather to the principle of using magic to find someone itself. Doesn't change the fact that she did the same thing herself not even two months previously.) In short, the entire 'addiction' arc can be summed up as 'Willow is bad and out of control for doing the same things other characters did!!' Bad, bad, BAD writing.
- Point by point
"Xander having Amy cast a love spell in season 2? FUNNY!!!" That was never funny. As I recall Xander almost died as a result.
"Xander screws around with magic and summons Sweet, he's not only instantly forgiven" Xander did something stupid that he though was harmless because he was too stupid to know better. If anything they should be mad at Anya for not clearly labeling the thing and making sure people didn't get their hands on it.
"Angel doing the same thing TWICE to his own people, that SAME YEAR? No Problem!!!" One of those was a backfired spell to restore memories, and the other saved Connor. Connor always complained about them using magic, and Wesley was not too happy when he found out about the second. So these aren't the same situation and are looked upon as being bad.
"Willow using magic to find Dawn? BAD AND WRONG!!!...'Willow is bad and out of control for doing the same things other characters did!!" The real difference in all of this is the attitude. Magic is Willow's go to. She uses it for everything. What the previous post amounts to is saying that someone who has an occasional beer doesn't have any right to point out that someone else is an alcoholic.
- Xander using the love spell to get back at Anya is also the point at which Giles stops trusting Xander around magic period, remember. He's reluctant to let Xander have anything to do with magic - which is why Xander usually got relegated to snack detail; it's the one thing Giles trusted him not to screw up.
- This really isn't true. After the love spell, Xander really didn't have much of an interest in magic. Xander using magic was pretty much a nonentity for Giles, except to eye roll when Xander accidentally set a magic book on fire.
- Xander possibly didn't summon Sweet and that could have been him covering for Dawn. Also, even if that isn't the case, it invoked Rule of Funny.
- Also Willow has never been studious about it. Shes just like "Oh you can do this so lets do it" When the Watchers council in season 5 asked her what level she was at she didn't know what they were talking about. I think Giles is somewhat to blame mind you, a door was opened he should have helped guide her in using magic responsibly not just using it willy nilly and whether someone wanted it or not. I mean the necromancy, she deliberately mislead them at what she would be doing. Then when Giles tells her that something like this could have destroyed her or unleash hell on Earth shes so blase about it.
- I agree with some points and disagree with others. The decoration spell was a silly thing for Tara to get upset about, and she didn't really have a good reason against it besides "why do magic when you don't have to?", but Willow attempting to shift most of the Bronze into an alternate dimension for a second was definitely not a very good idea; Tara using a spell to find Willow and Xander was a far different circumstance when the town was under siege by vampires and Willow was drained from using exceptionally powerful magic. I also don't think that Giles should have reacted as he did; if it was any other resurrection, it would have been iffy, but she was resurrecting the Slayer, the girl who's saved the world more than a handful of times. She couldn't have known that Buffy was really at peace, and Giles didn't know that either; he called her stupid for "disrupting the natural cycle", but without Buffy, would the town have survived the ransacking that was taking place? Or any of the emergencies that come up later on? It wasn't just a matter of reviving Buffy, it was also a matter of bringing back the only person who can protect Sunnydale. So I'm siding against Giles on that one.
- Since Giles had no way of knowing that there would be hundreds of Slayers one day, was he supposed to follow the logic that Sunnydale and the world needed Buffy and just go along with Willow bringing her back (or at least trying to) every single time she died for decades on end?
- On the other hand, it wasn't like Buffy was the only person who could protect Sunnydale if it came down to it. Faith is a Vampire Slayer, too. At that point, she had more than a year to learn to control her behavior. Willow resurrecting Buffy had more to do with getting Buffy back than it did from protecting Sunnydale. That said, I agree that Willow had no way of knowing that Buffy was in heaven.
- It's debatable how much of it was even about getting Buffy back, and how much was about being the one who brought Buffy back, for Willow. She's the most vocal about things not being right when Buffy returns, but she isn't vocal about concern for Buffy. Rather, the topic she keeps bringing up seems to be, "Where are my accolades? Why isn't she showering me with gratitude? Why isn't everyone telling me how great I am for doing this?" Willow performed very dark, very dangerous magic, and her behavior suggests her motivations placed her own personal ego-trip above the natural fabric of the world, and in the conversation with Giles where he went off on her the way he did, she was flying on the egotrip. Lines like "I thought you'd be impressed or something," and "I wasn't lucky. I was AMAZING." demonstrate just how full of herself she's really become.
- Think about it on par with alcoholism or gambling addiction. Its fine, and completely socially acceptable and generally not harmful or self-destructive to have a drink or two every once in a while when you go out... It's another thing entirely when you can't get through the day without a drink. Willow's friends saw that she was overusing magic, and were expressing their concerns. Willow stubbornly (as most addicts do) refused to admit she had a problem, and continued to abuse magic more and more, to her friend's increasing concern. Their worries prove to be justified, when she goes dark-side and flays Warren. (Not to mention she was casting dark spells, and outright disrespecting Tara and breaching their trust when she altered her memory.)
- ...The gang are also concerned since Willow is still relatively new to magic; she got very powerful very fast; contrast that with Giles (who knows first-hand how easy it can be to get in over your head from his Ripper days) and Tara who have been practicing longer and are more experienced. Willow was fairly arrogant to disregard their warnings, she may have more power than them - but not necessarily more wisdom or understanding; had she been willing to listen at that point, she could have learned a lot. Though, likewise - Giles really should have taught her earlier on, when it was clear she was developing a strong interest to properly respect magic. He seemed to want to keep her away from it and protect her (because he knows its dangers), rather than enlighten her on them.
- Tara getting mad about the party does seem silly if taken in isolation, but it's less about the party and more about the bigger picture, especially so soon after the resurrection spell. Tara isn't mad that Willow cast the party spell, she's mad that Willow's abusing magic in general, and the party spell was just a small matchstick that set off the larger flame.
- The problem was up until then and immediately after in Season 7 magic is treated as a tool, neither inherently good nor inherently bad and Willow just had a natural talent for it. The times that might have made sense to talk to Willow about using magic and telling her to tone it back should have happened earlier like when she nearly killed everybody with an accidental vengeance spell, or when she (helps) bring Darth Willow from the Wishverse by Season 6 her spells are not as Buffy claims "hit or miss" they are pretty consistently hit by that point and very few spells appear to have any serious drawbacks. And come season seven it's a major plot point that Willow is incredibly talented at wielding an absurdly powerful tool and she refuses almost up to the last minute out of fear. Using magic really seems like a tool, perhaps a tool you shouldn't use if you don't know what you're doing but certainly nothing to be feared by someone who understands what they are doing.
- The sad thing is the writers really did their homework. Youíll notice that every time someone who can prefer magic is mentioned they are referred to as either witches or warlocks. Mages and wizards are never mentioned thatís because all the magic performed in the Buffyverse is clerical which while not making the premise of the season any less ridiculous it does make it more believable. Clerical Magic is the kind of magic which deals with believing in other possibilities of the aura, depending on the caster's faith in certain deities and supernatural support. Clerical Magic revolves greatly around faith in a cleric's God/Goddess and the powers their God/Goddess bestows upon them. The strength of the clerics' power is directly related to their faith. Simply put: If one believes that their God/Goddess will give them the power to cast, then they can. On the other hand Mages have that certain feeling about them that pulls on the force lines that surround them the way a lodestone does with iron fillings. They rely on their own reserves of energy something that would have been impossible for Willow to build up in the time she started learning magic.
- While debating terminology in magic would be at best silly magic in the Buffyverse seems to a combination of the above mentioned 'clerical' and sufficiently advanced science. Certainly there are cases such a Xander setting a book on fire or when the demon was scanned to the internet that had no idea what they were doing to suggest that magic is at least partially 'science' in the Buffyverse and understanding what you're doing doesn't always have anything to do with doing it. Belief seems to be closer to confidence, otherwise there should be exponentially more spell casters because once you've seen it done you know it's possible.
- I always felt the premise of the season was more Poor Communication Killsthen drugs are bad. The reason Giles and Tara wanted Willow to stop using Magic was because of the vat of hellish energy she invoked every time she performed a spell. Sheís called upon hell numerous times, Osiris at least twice Willow has effectively sold her soul numerous time and is pretty much screwed when she dies.
- Is it just me or is the Buffy/Spike house-destroying sex scene in "Smashed" the most spectacularly unsexy thing ever to hit television? It bugs me that people hold it up as the epitome of hotness - it just made me want to gag.
- I don't think it was meant to be attractive. It was the start of some pretty dark stuff for Buffy. I would think finding it sexy is a little worrying.
- It's no True Blood that's for sure. Keep in mind it was a few years ago now, so I guess it was considered edgier at the time.
- Rule of symbolism. Their relationship is destructive by nature. It also provides context for the rape, they don't have a decent method of saying stop.
Why is There Another Song After Sweet Leaves?
- So, in "Once More With Feeling", everyone is singing because of the demon's magic. After defeating the demon, they sing another song. Shouldn't the magic have gone away?
- I guess there was little magic residue left over that kept them singing for a short while. Or maybe they just found that they really liked singing.
- The answer is in Sweet's parting words: "All those feelings you've been concealing, say you're happy now once more with feeling" As to why Spike and Buffy were doing reprises of earlier songs, while everyone else was finishing "Where Do We Go From Here?", my guess is it's because once the aforementioned song finishes, that's when the magic fades and Buffy and Spike left the song early.
- In "Where Do We Go From Here" its alluded that they can't stop singing until there is a curtain closing moment. Hence the line "When the curtains close on a kiss, God knows we can tell the end is near." Cut to Buffy and Spike and their moment which ends in a kiss and curtains closing.
- That was just some fourth-wall breaking Foreshadowing (we know they can break the fourth wall because Anya and Xander do so ealier, with Anya doing some Lampshade Hanging about it). Sweet has them do a big finale after he leaves; see above.
It Could Be Witches! Some Evil Witches!
- A minor quibble, but Xander theorizes that witches could be responsible for their musical woes. Then after a Death Glare from both Willow and Tara, he meekly backs down and admits that witches are good and therefore not a suspect. Could be considered a red herring to distract from the evil witch appearing at the end of the season, except that they've already faced at least one evil witch in the show's history. Xander had every reason to at least consider witches as suspects. Is it a legitimate headscratcher, or the show purposely making Xander a doormat and Willow/Tara into hypocrites?
- This troper's assumption was always that the two witches took offense to the sterotype. Accurate or not. It would be the same reaction I'd expect if something happened to Spike/Angel and the other ran to Buffy and the Slayers and suggested it might be a Slayer who did in their partner. It doesn't matter that it's possible and even probable, what matter is Buffy, Faith and a thousand other slayers don't want to hear about one of their own being a murderer.
- Willow is incredibly sensitive about with stereotypes. It ties into the Soapbox Sadie side of her personality. Notice how she's bitching in the Halloween Episode about seeing so many people dressed as wicked witches.
"Bargaining" for a Shovel
- How about the whole matter of not digging up Buffy before the spell in "Bargaining"? What did they expect to happen when Buffy came back to life in a buried casket? They do have Xander mention how stupid they were in neglecting to take that into account, but it makes no sense that they would be so so stupid. Also, in the same episode, why do they let Buffybot patrol by herself, especially after making it clear earlier in the episode that she always needs to be supervised by one of them when she does just about anything?
- Maybe they expected her to just appear in a brand new body, right in front of them. After all, it doesn't make much sense to put Buffy back in a partially decomposed body when you can just magic up a pretty new one. Whoops.
- Presumably the spell was supposed to end by mystically returning her to the surface. It happened to get interrupted right before that point.
- Or they just didn't fully understand the magicks they were working which, to be frank, wouldn't be the first time for this crew. Willow, after all, was the only one who even knew what the ritual entailed. Even Tara only had Willow's vague descriptions. It's very possible that they actually DID expect Buffy to just appear out of thin air in a brand new body.
- This was Joss being a Jerk Ass. Sarah Michelle Gellar has a morbid fear of being buried alive. If they had dug the body up beforehand she wouldn't, in story, have to claw her way out of her own grave.
- I don't know if Joss wanting to jerk his leading actress about should stand here as the only reason that Buffy had to claw her way out of her grave. You think about it this way: It's the best symbolism, the best image, the spookiest, scariest, also gives fodder to comparison with how a vampire awakens (and thus the opportunity to have Spike say "Yep I've been there" and found a first connection with Buffy over their shared experience, and set up their "I'm the only one who can understand you now you've been really dead" romance). It's such a perfect image, symbol, experience, that there is no way that dumb old LOGIC should spoil it. So you have to look at it this way: Buffy HAS to crawl out of her grave, to make the story great. So the writers THEN have to come up with some phlebotenum thinking, to account for this oversight. It's done by the aforementioned lampshade-hang of "oh my god we should have thought of that, we idiots" and it works quite well - in this histrionic, spooked, stressed mood of possibly resurrecting your dead friend and world-saviour you can imagine not thinking in such pragmatic, practical terms of digging up her body first; it would make it too real. So luckily, it works psychologically - all of them have doubts about the spell working, they also fear that it works and might go wrong, and they are in a state of stress generally. They are unable to actually think the acts through rationally without dissolving into a fight, and they trust Willow too much with the preparations - even Tara doesn't inquire too hard about what it is that Willow needs in order to perform it. Nobody knows she kills a Bambi. They close their eyes and let Willow be the leader, they are lost; they don't think clearly. Ergo: How much greater is the story for Buffy's awesome CGI transformation... the terror of being buried alive... and the scratched knuckles and slight smudge on her face and zero smudges on her dress, that are apparently all that will show of a terrifying dig through 6 feet of dense layers of earth. I direct you to the dense layers of laughs that is Marti Noxon's commentary of those 2 starter episodes.... especially the face-smudge gets multiple mentions.
Something to Sing About
- In Once More, With Feeling, the song "Something to Sing About" gets on my nerves immensely. The song in itself is nice, but the lyrics/meaning to the song don't match it at all. It sounds like a cheery, happy go lucky song about wanting a reason to live. WTH!?
- Lyrical Dissonance. This troper loved this, and thought that in this case this dissonance had a dual function: first, it conveys Buffy's desperate attempts to pretend that she is glad to be back from the beyond (when actually she is miserable). This struggle is crucial to early sixth season until Buffy reveals at the end of OMWF that she was in heaven, not hell. She may appear happy, but actually listening to her or paying attention to her will reveal that she's pretty disturbed (just like this song). I think its second function (though this may just be me) is as a reference to such musical theatre greats as Stephen Sondheim, who I believe Whedon is a fan of. Sondheim uses the happy music/sad or angry lyrics technique to great effect with some frequency. For example, a song about murdering people and baking them into pies becomes a cheery waltz, or a cynical look at marriage becomes upbeat. More examples of this trope can be viewed on its page, of course, but I think a good example of its success is the acclaimed musical Avenue Q, from after OMWF, which used this effect throughout most of its score— starting with its opening sequence.
The Strawman Corps
- In season six, Buffy takes a gun away from a bank teller and says, "These? Never useful." Bullshit. The Initiative used ordinary guns to great effect. But guns are evil, and, in his own words, "Magic kicks science's ass." This contradicts the end of season two, in which Muggles Do It Better. The Initiative is a big, fat case of Designated Villain. Whedon, please. Could you try to be subtle? And your "Magic > Science" bit is a Broken Space Whale Aesop.
- I assume you mean when Buffy killed The Judge with a rocket launcher towards the middle of season two, which was one instance, and hardly an "ordinary gun." And the Initiative didn't use ordinary guns to great effect, they used ordinary guns to extremely mild effect. Maggie brags about Riley having taken down something like seventeen vampires with his big fancy technology, and Riley is probably one of their better soldiers. Even Xander had a higher kill count than that armed with a pointy stick. And they usually operated in teams, and they usually had much more impressive technology than the typical handgun. So a single gun? Rarely useful against vampires and demons. As for the Initiative... they did villainous things. They experimented on Oz, they tried to kill the Slayer, they built a robo-demon-zombie and acted surprised when it turned into a huge prick. It's not designated villainy when the villain does evil shit all the time.
- Guns may not kill a vampire, but they would certainly help in a fight. Darla brought Angel to his knees with two measely little pistols. Shoot a vampire to hurt him, then stake him for the finisher. Saves five minutes of fighting.
- If they weren't very effective in using guns, it was because they weren't using the /right/ guns. Just because a pistol or SMG doesn't do much, doesn't mean a sniper rifle, combat rifle, or shotgun loaded with incendiary slugs won't work.
- I tend to think of the "never useful" to also mean that 1) Guns attract attention. Stakings are quieter than gunshots and leave less evidence. 2) Guns cost money. Training costs money. Bullets cost money. Accidentally shooting a bystander or friend (Buffy isn't always fighting vamps in cemeteries, after all) - DEFINITELY going to cost money. Money the Scooby Gang really doesn't have, especially in the earlier seasons. Sure, guns might have their uses against vamps and demons, but they usually aren't practical uses as far as Buffy is concerned.
- If I remember correctly, the actual quote goes "These things? Never helpful'. I take it to mean that from Buffy's personal experiences, she doesn't see gun use as something beneficial to her, probably due to lack of proper defense against a gun if she loses it in confrontation.
- From a narrative standpoint, it's foreshadowing the season finale. In-universe, well... Buffy Does Not Like Guns, and expresses her opinion, that doesn't mean she's necessarily right, those are just her biases.
- Also, considering she says these words while throwing the loaded/cocked gun over her shoulder and causing it to fire, she isn't exactly portrayed as an authority on the subject.
Anya's strength of convenience?
- Ok, so in Season 7 we see several examples of Anya's strength as a vengeance demon. She is able to hold her own against Buffy and even willing to fight with Spike. Why is it then that when Dark Willow grabs her by the throat in the penultimate episode of Season 6, she makes no attempt to fight back. She simply screams at Buffy for help (who is conveniently unconscious for those 5 seconds, after being knocked into a table at a top speed of 3 miles per hour). Anya is a vengeance demon at this time, yet acts like a defenseless human (except she can teleport). She is even knocked out easily multiple times, despite the fact that a sword to her chest does nothing.
- Anya's strong and hard to kill. That doesn't make her invulnerable. It's less of a "Your attacks bounce off me like nothing" iron wall and more akin to vampires, ie. "Ow, that REALLY HURT, but only specific things are lethal to me." Also, the sword to her chest didn't do nothing, it knocked her out for a bit.
- That still doesn't explain why she doesn't attempt to push Willow away or pull her hand off her neck when she has her by the throat. It's like they forgot vengeance demons were strong for those episodes.
- Anya had only just returned to vengeance-demon-ing very recently in "Two To Go" and it's possible that the strength of said demon was coming back to her very slowly. Alternatively, it's plausible that Willow is using some spell to hold her in place, like she had tried to do to Glory the previous season. Alternatively again, Anya's former fiancť's best friend is going on a murderous rampage, and Anya is simply not coping at all.
- Perhaps Anya being a vengeance demon and Willow being full of vengeance prevented Anya from properly attacking Willow because of some demonic law. Maybe Anya couldn't harm a potential "client."
- Anya pretty much altered reality when Cordelia wished that Buffy had never come to Sunny Dale, changing who knows how many lives, how many different people lived and died, why was it never brought up that Willow simply wish Tara back from the dead or if that didn't work because of some contrived rule about not bring back natural deaths, wish for a scenario that means it never happened to begin with, like Warren was not allowed to buy a gun, or Warren was blinded in his fight with Buffy, there are hundreds of ways to have fixed it. I mean it would've really taken the impact of Tara's death away, but it still would've shown that Willow has a very dark side that she needs to control, without all the angst that carried over to Season 7. It just seemed like the Scoobies were collectively carrying a giant Idiot Ball.
- I don't think Warren being blinded and thus having worse aim would do much to save Tara from a wild and random shot.
- It's unclear exactly how strong magically souped up Willow was, but I'm pretty sure she was stronger than Buffy. Buffy was just able to hold her own because she has tons of experience fighting things that are stronger than she is.
Season 6 is Buffy's Fault Because she is a Terrible Friend
- Starting with her confession to Spike that she thought she was in Heaven (which for some reason she decided to keep from her friends, when she admits it later in "Once More With Feeling" its not really treated all that bad but if it had been said earlier they could have used it as a reason against Willow reckless use of magic, in a sense that Willow would have gotten a gut-punch on the whole "Just because you can, Doesn't mean you should" front, having your best friend break down and cry because you just got yanked out of eternal peace would certainly fix your priorities) and she was at peace because she knew her friends were safe and fine, Heaven must have some awesome drugs if what the Scoobies were going through was anything near fine, she was only dead for what 150 days or so. In that time Willow had already started on her little arrogant run and abusing magic, Tara was near the end of her rope dealing with Willow, Dawn was a mess when Buffy died, Xander was already losing the confidence he gained from having Buffy around.Plus the huge factor that would make anyone uneasy, they still live in Sunny Dale where so many people die it is literally a running gag in the series.Buffy says she was at peace with all this other shit going on, that's just dumb.
- Then the horrible angst that she brings with her where ever she goes, it takes her like a day to thank Willow, even if she did get yoinked out of Heaven she has a second chance now, to see her sister grow up, to see her friends get married, to get married herself, be a mother, and an aunt. She treats Willow like she did something wrong because Buffy cant see farther than 10 minutes into the future, it's not Willow's fault Buffy is miserable it's the self induced angst that Season 6 was made of.
- After she acts like the most ungrateful human being ever for like 7 episodes its pretty clear to everyone that Willow is having problems controlling her over-reliance on magic, Willow confesses that she feels useless to everybody without magic Tara mostly, but maybe an even split between Buffy and Tara, Buffy of all people should know how that feels, looking back at the episode where Giles and the rest of the Watcher council use that drug to suppress her Slayer abilities, how insanely useless and weak she felt, that's exactly how Willow felt about giving up magic. So Buffy knows how Willow feels, knows what shes going through and her response is practically an ultimatum after Willow winds up hurting Dawn to give up magic. It's even worse when you think of it, considering Buffy's influence got Willow into magic, and worst of all Buffy's slayer powers were just given to her, luck of the draw sort of thing, Willows gift while naturally talented was earned through hard work and study, Buffy told her to give all that up or just fuck off.
- Buffy's situation wasn't at all similar to what she was asking of Willow. Buffy's powers were stripped from her, albeit temporarily. She didn't understand what was going on and it very nearly got her killed. She was asking Willow to slow up on the magic but she'd still have it if she needed it and she'd be doing it voluntarily.
- Willow and Buffy were both just handed powers but it's not as though Buffy just sat on her butt and trusted that was enough to let her succeed. She spent countless hours training just as Willow worked hard. Any improvements she had over her first day as a Slayer were well-earned.
- During the season she accidentally makes Tara her secret keeper, which sounds like a good thing, but none of them are good secrets they are all "Im sleeping with Spike" "Im to damaged to live" what-ever, Tara's only interaction with Buffy is to be a sounding board for Buffy's own problems. Which is a pretty shitty thing to do considering she has her own problems, she moved out of a nice home with her girl friend and more or less adopted daughter, school problems, money issues and Buffy uses her as a free psychiatrist.
- Xander's wedding also comes to mind, instead of doing anything I don't know constructive, like asking if anyone has seen Xander maybe do a bit of detective work which is basically what she does all the time anyway, or go looking for him, I doubt he could have gotten far, and talking some sense in to him, like the future isnt set in stone, seeing as how shes laughed at prophecies and visions of the future before, but no, she decides to play charades in front of the crowd, how is this helpful, it's played for laughs but damn this is just a waste of a superhero.
- So Buffy is to be held to a higher standard than everyone else who didn't go after him and talk him into marrying Anya? If marrying Anya was even the right choice. I don't think Buffy can really be considered a bad friend for not making Xander's life choices for him nor is she a worse friend than anybody else for not doing something that nobody did.
- The Dark Willow saga just brings this front and center, seeing as how Willow calls her on everything and Buffy even admits some fault of her own to Giles. But the chain of events that make it worse are this, Willow loses the most important person in her life, she then brings Buffy back from the brink of death, AGAIN. Buffy's response to Willow's near uncontrollable grief and rage is to immediately start attacking her, telling her that "We dont kill humans""If you do this you won't come back""Let the law Deal with it" considering Willow has heard these types of speeches before she knows that they usually precede the bad guy getting his ass kicked. Buffy is being about as far from a comforting mature friend as one can possible be. Oh and after things get about as worse as they can for Willow, Buffy and Giles take a few minutes to go in the back, talk for a few minutes and then laugh uproariously while her best friend is in incredible emotional hell, and a breaking free of a spell away to crossing a Moral Event Horizon . Hell Willow should have killed Buffy then for being so dead inside I dont think it would have made much of a difference.
- I tried to think of reasons where they can't be explained away with Hindsight being 20/20 which in all honesty a lot of things can, but the above ones just seem like they were so deliberate as to make the audience wonder why her friends even thought of Buffy as a friend anymore. I'm sure there are dozens of more reasons probably alot more not dealing with Willow, but considering more than half the season had major plot points with Willow they just stand out more, which I guess was the point of Season 6 slowly pushing Willow over the edge but holy shit why is it that when you add up all the horrible things done to Willow over the year, Buffy and Warren are pretty damn even. This whole thing comes off remarkably Willow-Good, Buffy-Bad, but in-universe everyone already heaped the blame on Willow, and out-of universe the blame is near universal on Willow which isn't to say that she doesn't deserve some blame, I'm just saying that if Buffy had been written "not" being dead inside the entire Season would have been different.That's the crux of the Head Scratcher, of all the ways they could have gone after Season 5 in which every character was happy, Willow and Tara were together, Xander and Anya were engaged, Dawn had Willow and Tara to get her through everything, Giles would have had a relatively stable life afterwards. I get that Drama drives a story, but Season 6 was just over the top, everything that can go wrong did, so it begs the question, why have the main character be the driving force behind alot of it, it goes beyond Nice Job Breaking It, Hero it's more like way to help ruin the lives of your friends and family more than the previous Big Bads and Monsters of the Week ever did.
- I really, really hope that you never have a friend who's depressed if that's the way you treat them.
Anya's "I'll never tell"
- In Once more with feeling, why is Anya so intent in "never telling" Xander about his faults? We're talking about the usually extremely blunt Anya here!
- The list of minor failings thats irks the two of them is more for comedic effect. Anya never really had a problem calling out Xander when he annoyed her (and for that matter Xander never really had a problem doing the same when Anya annoyed him). The main point of the song seems to be that they both have serious doubts about whether they can make a marriage work. Xander worries that he will never be good enough to make a good life for the two of them. Anya worries that she will grow old and become unattractive and that Xander will lose interest in her. Both issues had been played out before but apparently neither of them had ever really sat down to explore them fully.
Cordelia Hates Weddings?
- I looked through the Chronology of Buffy and Angel, and Cordelia was on vacation with the Groosalugg at the same time that Xander and Anya's wedding. Why wasn't she invited? I couldn't even find a meta example for that.
- The meta reason is likely that having her there would've stolen the spotlight from Xander and Anya, it would have felt like a cheap gimmick once the wedding's derailment went through, plus Anya and Cordelia would have a really weird dynamic to write around (Anya kinda knows Cordelia thanks to "The Wish", but Cordelia wouldn't know her, and it'd just be an awkward situation to deal with). I can't remember if the Groo vacation thing was written for Charisma Carpenter, but if so, she might also have been unavailable for filming. But as for an in-universe reason: the moment Anya found out Cordelia was Xander's ex-girlfriend, she probably wouldn't let her within 50 miles of their wedding.
- Anya already knew about Xander and Cordy. The fact Willow broke them up was one of the reasons Anya and Willow didn't initially get along. That aside, Cordy wasn't invited for two reasons: 1) She is his ex and it would be weird. 2) As far as we know no one has even bothered talking to Cordy in over a year (in "Disharmony"). What would be the point in inviting her. On a related note, Angel wasn't invited because Xander hates him, and Wesley wasn't invited because everyone still hates him for the Faith incident.
- Has Cordelia ever forgiven Xander, anyway?
- It's implied at the end of season three that she did. Or at least that they were capable of rebuilding their friendship; she more or less rejoined the Scoobies and they weren't too cruel to one another. Possibly they'd have had some kind of relationship if she'd stuck around in Sunnydale rather than running off to LA, but as it is, Xander left Sunnydale for the summer not long after they'd started being friends again and Cordelia was gone by the time he got back.
- Better question, has Anya forgiven Cordy. After all, it's kinda her fault Anya's mortal to begin with, and vengeance demons are good at holding grudges. Might be that Anya wanted her off the guest list and Xander didn't want to push too hard to get his ex invited.
- Honestly, I never even realized that, but because of everything said above, I think the episode could have been a lot better if she'd been there. Maybe they'd have stayed together?
- Besides, Cordy was on vacation with Groo. She had other stuff on her mind at that point.
- Why is Warren seen as a misogynist by most of the fandom? The two people he murdered were women but both of them were accidents and I doubt he would have hesitated any more if Buffy had been a man. When he mind controlled his former girlfriend it seemed like he didn't fully understand how playing out his fantasies would hurt people.
- Warren murdered a Red Shirt security guard with the freeze ray + Trina + Tara + Buffy (she got better) on-screen in season 6. In season 7 he killed more men than women: as the First, he killed all of Sunnydale except Xander, Ripper and two dozen women.
- Actually, they explicitly say that the security guard doesn't die. He's in critical condition at first, but he survives.
- First, he built a sexbot. A sexbot whose personality gives a disturbing insight into Warren's views on women. "Crying is emotional blackmail," for example. Then he broke up with his sexbot by abandoning her to chase after his new girlfriend. Then he built another sexbot, but to be fair, Spike can be very persuasive. Then he kidnapped his now ex-girlfriend and mind-controlled her to be his love slave; her death was an accident but the attempted rape was not. I believe he may also have thrown around derogatory comments towards Buffy's gender as well, but it's been so long that I can't remember the exact words.
- "Just one night when superbitch woudn't show up!" Pretty much everything Warren says during the fight in "Seeing Red" is sexist comments.
- As for not understanding how playing out his fantasies would hurt people, that's more Andrew and Jonathan, who were just in it for the fun. I don't think Warren had any illusions about what he was doing; he was pushing for killing Buffy right from the start, after all. The other two had to be eased into the idea of murdering someone, and only one of them (Andrew) ever accepted the prospect, and then, only because it happened and they got away with it; Warren was perfectly fine with it right from day one.
- Agreed. When Katrina tells them that what they're doing is rape, Jonathan and Andrew react with horror, but Warren doesn't. They honestly didn't even make the connection, but Warren knew perfectly well what he was doing. And mind controlling his ex-girlfriend and dressing her in a skimpy maid's outfit while forcing her to call him "master" is pretty damn misogynistic.
Dark Willow, Gay Willow?
- The Psycho Lesbian trope being used repeatedly in regards to Dark Willow. Dark Willow has been foreshadowed all the way from the first episode she did a spell, Becoming Part 2. Giles insists it will not end well to open that door, and in Lovers Walk, we already see Xander pointing out how immoral Willow is being by trying to fix everything with magic. I never bought the magic = drugs storyline, and I feel it was a cop out to make none of it Willow's fault. If they had continued with Dark Willow appearing because of Willow's own flaws and being power hungry, I would have loved it. But I digress, it seems like they were trying to lead up to Dark Willow from day one. It just so happened that she needed something to push her off the edge, and it had to be Tara's death. The Dark Willow storyline is not about a lesbian going psycho after having sex, its about a girl whose own flaws brought her down, and that girl just happened to be a lesbian. And the having sex bit is just Joss's way of screwing with us, making the characters happy before bringing them down. Remember Angelus?
- Think of it more like magic is a metaphor for ALL drugs (recreational AND pharmaceutical). Willow had a recreational drug problem, and Tara didn't want her to give up magic entirely, just use less of it and for better reasons (i.e. stop doing crack, but you can use anti-histamines during allergy season). When Tara dies, Willow goes over the edge and tries to kill people (think of it like she's trying to poison them, with drugs). The lesbian angle doesn't factor into the Dark Willow storyline. AT ALL. Word of God even says that if Seth Green had still been on the show, he would've died in Tara's place (as Willow's significant other) and the rest of the story would have been the same. Not everyone is Jesus in purgatory.
- Agreed, being gay is nothing to do with the Dark Willow storyline. Replace Tara with a boy and the storyline runs exactly the same. Also, no-one said that magic=drugs, just that the overuse of magic has similar effects and is addictive. Lots of things can be addictive, not all of them are drugs.
- The drug parallel was so blatantly obvious, you'd have to be blind not to see it.
- I'm with the original troper. Willow and Tara's relationship was bound up in their magic right from the beginning of the relationship - and there's actually another example of Evil Willow = Lesbian (or Bisexual) Willow: Wishverse Willow. "I'm so evil, and skanky. And I think I''m kinda gay!" Magic as Willow uses it is deeply bound up in femininity and sexuality and mother goddessy stuff. "Wicca" was practically used as a euphemism for "lesbian" in season 4. When Willow goes off the rails it's definitely a case of psycho lesbian.
- Not really. Vampire Willow is shown to be evil not because of her sexuality, but because she's a soulless vampire. And as a soulless vampire, she feels little guilt and fear, which makes her more uninhibited and thus more likely to experiment and become aware of her sexuality than Season 3's Normal Willow. Season 3 Normal Willow's line never says that being "kinda gay" is evil. It merely shows how Willow thinks that Vampire Willow might represent sides of her she hasn't explored yet; at this point, she hasn't explored her vengeful side or her preference for women, but the two are connected because she hasn't gotten to know either of those sides yet, and not because being gay and evil are related. After VampWillow is long out of the picture, Normal Willow's relationship with Tara is far more romantic and less dangerous than, say, VampWillow's relationship with VampXander. Or Buffy's initial relationship with Spike. Magic does not equal "lesbian" since other characters like Giles and the Watcher's Council use magic without the sexuality symbolism. Willow's magic addiction represents drug abuse. If her addiction represented lesbianism, the show would've had Tara get (destructively) closer to Willow without breaking up with her in Season 6. Finally, Willow isn't the only character to snap when her lover gets caught in crossfire. Giles sets Spike's house on fire after Jenny died, remember?
- Not even necessarily when a lover is caught in the crossfire. Just an episode or two before Willow snapped, Xander went after Spike with intent to murder when Spike and Anya had a mutual sympathy bang.
- On the note of Oz dying in Tara's place...Fridge Logic. Wouldn't Warren need silver bullets to kill Oz? Would load his gun with silver bullets if his target is the slayer?
- Silver with gold-flake bullets anointed with holy water on one side, desecrated communion wine on the other, and a hollow-point core full of holly, hemlock, and mistletoe bound with a paste of crushed garlic. You can't be too prepared when going after a Slayer with a mortal weapon, especially if she has a werewolf bodyguard in addition to her witch girl-friend (and Xander). Tara-verse Warren was going by the assumption that the Slayer gets no powers other than super-strength from whatever causes the slayer line (from what we know, a demonic spirit similar to a bodiless vampire). Buffy had a Healing Factor, and while Warren was right about the Slayer not being able to survive a well-placed bullet, he was wrong about her being only human. I'd have prepared a whole rack of bullets like that as soon as I got the money for the silver (the members of the Trio were rich early in the season, in addition to their Offscreen Villain Dark Matter), and gone after the Slayer using one (or eight) of those if I'd wanted to kill her. ...And a cold-iron athame dipped in sea salt in a shoulder holster, just in case the bullets didn't end the situation.
- Actually, it's more likely that Warren never would have existed at all in that scenario. Whedon has mentioned that he originally intended to kill Oz in order to push Willow toward the dark side, and that it only wound up being Tara because Seth Green left the show prematurely. He never said the circumstances would have been exactly the same, or even similar. Oz's death probably would have happened much sooner, as he was already established as Willow's love interest by season four and no additional time was needed to set things up. And as a sidebar, was it ever even established that Oz can only be killed by silver bullets, even in human form? You'd think that would have come up.
- It's been established you don't need silver to kill a werewolf: Oz was able to kill Veruca by tearing into her throat. It's probably easier to kill one with silver, but shoot anything though the heart and it will likely die, even Oz.
- To be honest, it bothered me much more that Willow is now "gay" when her previous relationships with Xander and Oz aren't really retconned. It bothered me when Vamp!Willow was referred to as "kinda gay!" when she had a functioning (for a vamp at least) relationship with Vamp!Xander, and seemed to have a weird obsession with torturing Angel that was implied to be sexual as well. Kinsey Scale, Joss! It's possible for someone to be a Depraved Bisexual and lean strongly towards one side or the other.
- It feels wrong to me to read "Willow" and then read "Depraved Bisexual". Not that being depraved and bisexual doesn't sound like it could be a lot of fun, but when I read depraved bisexual, I just don't think: Willow! She fell in love with Xander, with Oz, and with Tara, and as the troper said, looking at her disinhibited mirror-image-of-self-symbol-vampire, she has a foreshadowing of a realisation that there is gay in her, an aspect that she hasn't lived yet. Tara frees something in her, and it's both a significant and important change of direction from male to female love, as well as a natural and organic development and fuller expression of the whole person Willow. And there is much more to it especially with the witch-connection that gets expressed, in such a beautiful way. "Depraved Bisexual"... I dunno, just somehow doesn't quite capture that for me!
Buffy Saved Dawn From Heaven?
- Buffy wants to die at the end of Bargaining to go back to Heaven, thinking Earth is Hell. However, she sees Dawn in danger and rescues her. Which makes sense from Earth's standards, where death is painful, however, Buffy herself has experienced. If I came back from Heaven, I'd personally kill my whole family so that they can experience it with me. And why doesn't she just kill herself after saving Dawn? Season 6 and 7 becomes one giant plothole after considering this.
- Well, in Real Life it's usually said that suicide sends you to Hell. You can think of it as the real life writers who tell us about heaven in the first place covering up a plot hole. And while this is a total Fan Wank, she probably doesn't know if Dawn will exist after being killed. Dawn's the Key. It's stretching things even to assume that the Key has a soul and can go anywhere after death. (Of course, this is a Fan Wank, since the writers have tried to ignore the implications of being the Key as much as possible, and couldn't possibly have intended this.)
- It's one thing to commit suicide. It's an entirely different thing to watch those you love get hurt and possibly die. Also, Buffy died and was at peace. Dawn didn't want to die. Most suicides don't want to see people they care about get hurt. That's why they're suicides, and not mass murderers.
- There's also the fact that Buffy died in pretty unusual circumstances. As she says herself, she doesn't really knows about theology nor how dimensions work. So she probably figured that it's entirely possible that her stint in "Heaven" was caused by her being tossed into a freak dimension by the big end-of-the-world space rift. Who's to say that dying some other way would send her back there ?
- "I was in heaven... I think I was in heaven..."
- Buffy's description of "Heaven" always seemed like yet another drug metaphor to me. The "withdrawal symptoms" after her resurrection even more so. She was in a hell dimension, hopped up on demon crack?
- This troper always assumed that going to hell or heavenly dimensions in Buffy wasn't based on a reward thing - it was more just random where you got thrown into when you passed from the mortal dimension. I also assumed that to get into one of these dimensions you had to die a mystical death (via an opening between dimensions, like Buffy or Angel at the end of series two) so just killing her friends and/or herself wouldn't mean they all ended up in heaven.
- She sacrificed herself for the entire planet without being asked, when you do that you go to heaven.
- Because she was a traumatized, psychological wreck. Logic, reason, and rational behaviour should not be expected of someone who's just been through what she has. Wanting to die to make the hurting stop and get back to the happy place does not prevent her from having "Protect loved ones" hardwired into her basic behavioural patterns.
- Surely it's not a plothole to not have Buffy suddenly kill everyone and then herself, because she experienced heaven, and it couldn't really be called logical or rational action either, if she were to do so. Come, Willow, and put a soul-spell on these tropers! People, honestly! Have some heart.
- The Catholic Church had to pass the whole "suicide sends you to hell" idea because all their followers were killing themselves. If you're sufficiently convinced there's a heaven, especially if you've been there, there's no reason for you to live, nor is there any reason you should want anyone else to live, because death is better if there's a heaven.
Tara's Continued Use of Magic
- Just a side effect of the Seasonal Rot in season six, but Tara chewing out Willow for using magic, but never actually giving up on it herself bugs me. The writers probably needed to push the Magic=Drugs storyline, but it does bring down my opinion of Tara, given her own abuse of magic to make her friends not see demons a season earlier.
- Tara is against Willow's misuse of magic, not magic in general. Tara has made one mistake with magic, and learned from it. Meanwhile, Willow tries both to use magic for every little thing in life, but also completely fails to learn her lesson when given the chance; when Tara confronts her about the forgetting spell, she promises to lay off magic for awhile, but instead repeats exactly the same actions. Magic is not drugs - that's not the point of the storyline at all. Simply that overuse of magic can lead to addiction and unpleasant consequences. For comparison, gambling isn't a drug either, but you can still get hooked on it.
When Was Buffy in an Asylum?
- In "Normal Again", Buffy says that she had gone into an asylum for a few weeks after she met her first vampires. When was this? It oughtn't have been between the movie and her move to Sunnydale, because she had already been in Slayer Mode for some time and there were many witnesses to the whole thing, and it would be an incredible coincidence if she was attacked by vampires and survived prior to becoming a Slayer. I've read the canon version of what happened, but I don't have it to check if there were any fewer witnesses to the attackers actually being vampires (and no undusted bodies were in the ruins, or she would have been imprisoned, or at least not allowed out of the mental hospital). However, even in the canon version she had been training with Merrick for some time, and while it would be possible that she had a small breakdown after Merrick died, she would have had to have been completely ostracised by the people who had been terrorized by the vampires to not have any confirmation, if any who had been near them during the attack (as opposed to cowering in a corner far from the "gang of PCP addicts") had survived.
- That movie didn't happen. I mean it literally didn't happen in-universe. There was no Merrick, that whole movie can be disregarded. The series used Joss Whedon's original script as canon, rather than the film that was produced. To make this difference perfectly clear to the viewers, in season one it's repeatedly stated that Buffy was expelled from her last school for burning down the gym. Ergo, no movie. About the asylum specifically, the impression one gets is that a few weeks or so after Buffy learned about being the Slayer, she told her parents about it, which got her committed. She stopped talking about vampires, was released, her parents tried to forget it ever happened, and Buffy went on slaying in secret. Then she burned down the school gym, was expelled, and tried to give up her responsibilities as Slayer by moving to Sunnydale. Cue season one, episode one.
- "The canon version". I'm not talking about the movie, I'm talking about the canon comic. In which Merrick was her Watcher and she got expelled for burning down the gym.
- Merrick appears in "Becoming," in a flashback.
- The Slayer, Interrupted Comic clears that up. (Although we still don't know how it happened before Dawn).
Buffy's Soundproof Bathroom
- So, in "Seeing Red", Spike tries to rape Buffy. This rape attempt goes on for a few minutes, during which time Buffy is shouting either "No" or "Help." The entire episode Willow is adamant about not getting up, and therefore she and Tara, two ridiculously powerful witches, are just a few rooms down. Given that they live in a town where someone shouting for help is very likely to be something very bad, why did they not come running to the rescue?
- They might have put a soundproofing spell on their bedroom to keep from freaking out their housemates. Still probably a bad idea in a town like Sunnydale, but hey they might have been high on magic or something equally silly.
- Probably thought it was just Spike and Buffy usual sex routine. That is the problem with the whole "oooh Spike rapes Buffy" argument, Buffy and Spike's sexual relationship was basically rape-roleplay without a safe-word. It was inevitable it would end with one or the other going too far and it was fifty/fifty who it would have been. Kids always choose a safeword before sexual roleplay of any sort.
- And how the hell would Willow and Tara know that "rape-roleplay without a safe word" was Buffy and Spike's "usual sex routine"? No no no. They would have come running had they heard her screaming like that.
- If you look at the shooting script, Willow and Tara are in Tara's dorm room, not Buffy's house. Note the scene where Xander has just found a traumatised Buffy — she jumps when the door downstairs slams because Willow has just arrived at the house with news on the Trio. Presumably aware that Dawn had cleared out of the house to give them some bonking privacy, Willow and Tara decided they'd better Get a Room! rather than inconvenience their friends.
Makeup Artists Work In Vein
- While the Buffy special effects usually range from the decent to the deliberately campy, and I expect some things to look fake, there's one time it really distracts me. In the Evil Willow episodes, the veins on her face look like they were just drawn on her skin with marker rather than seeming at all textured or real. The reasons this bugs me are twofold. 1.) Making this look right would be an easier effect than most of the stuff they've pulled off. 2.) Unlike the monster masks, prostheses, and more extensive makeup jobs, Evil Willow's creepiness depends primarily on the actress's facial expressions and dialogue— so you have to focus on her face and can't just let your eye slide over it. It may look better on a bigger screen from far away, but watching the DVDs on my computer it's a really annoying effect.
- This Troper thinks they look... pretty much like normal veins, if blood looked black. Veins aren't exactly very textured.
- They look like they're just drawn-on lines because that's how they were done, according to the DVD commentary.
- Subject to your interpretation of the magic involved, texturing would not be appropriate on the facial veins. Humans have a layer of subcutaneous fat between their skin and their veins which tends to prevent smaller veins (such as those in the face) from bulging. The subcutaneous fat layer is more prominent in women, giving them a "softer" appearance. Large veins in her temples and arms could have benefited from texturing. I agree though, the "drawn on" effect could have been blended in better.
Dawn's Not Grateful
- Something that annoyed me throughout season 6 and 7, especially season 7 episode "Him" and the whole abandonment thing Dawn had in season 6: Has everyone magically forgotten that Buffy died for Dawn? She sacrificed her life to save her little sister, and while I realize that the writers have to keep them fighting to appeal to the viewers in some senses, how can Dawn still be a brat to Buffy after she died for her sake? Just a little irritating.
- Dawn and Buffy's father had long since abandoned them. Their mother died and Buffy was dead for a while. It's perfectly natural for someone, especially a teenager, to have abandonment issues after something like that.
- Agreed. Plus, Buffy was still risking her life every night, and paying more attention to slaying than her. You can't blame her for wanting some attention from Buffy, as she could have died any night.
- Dawn is a teenager and Buffy is her guardian. Their relationship seems pretty typical to me.
Only Three Walls, No Fourth Wall!
- Just a minor thing, but during the song "Something to Sing About" in "Once More with Feeling," there's a point where Buffy looks at the camera and says "and you can sing along." Who is she talking to? Is she breaking the fourth wall to talk to the viewers? Is she talking to Sweet or Dawn? It's always really distracting for me.
- Earlier, Anya mentions after her duet with Xander that it was as though the fourth wall didn't exist. She's talking to you.
- However, if you want to think of it purely in an in-universe way, then she was probably
talking singing to Sweet. If this Troper recalls correctly, right before she starts singing she says that she thinks Sweet knows what she's about to say — thus, he could sing along if he wanted to. It wasn't a request, it was a statement.
- Even in-universe it would make sense that she's talking to the audience. The town of Sunnydale has started acting as if it took place in the world of musical theater. Actors often talk to the audience in musical theater, in fact, most of the time, the songs themselves are really addressed to the audience, so every time they sing it's directed at us.
Giles' Absence at Xander and Anya's Wedding
- How come Giles wasn't at Xander and Anya's wedding?
- He was in England - he left in "Tabula Rasa" because he thought Buffy needed to learn to stand on her own. Not really smart, but eh. * shrugs*
- He's only one plane ride away. Surely he'd want to see the wedding of two close friends that he'd been fighting evil with for the past 6 years?
- He might have been busy. You know, huge demon battle, meditating in a forest somewhere, being interrogated by the watchers, dying family member...it's kind of stupid to assume he has absolutely no life in England.
- Seeing as how he barely had any life in Sunnydale in seasons 4 and 5, it's not that stupid of an assumption.
- My thought was that he wasn't invited - Anya left him off the guest list just in case he decided to stay and take back ownership of the Magic Box. Either that or he declined the invite thinking that it was too soon to interject himself back into the Scoobies' lives since his rationale for leaving was to force Buffy to grow up and stand on her own two feet.
- "You can't have the shop back." "I know." "You signed papers." "I know." So, yeah, probably not that first one.
- Apparently, there was a mention in a early draft that Giles couldn't make the wedding but paid for the flowers as a way of making it up to them. Why it was left out of the episode proper, I have no idea...
Why Can't Halfrek Help Anya?
- In "Entropy", Anya is trying to find someone to wish vengeance on Xander, preferably a female someone. She complains that she cannot find anyone to Halfrek. Halfrek. The demon that has no problem with Xander getting hurt. The female demon that has no problem with Xander getting hurt and is Anya's friend and is looking to help her out with her vengeance. You see where I'm going with this?
- Why would Halfrek want vengeance against Xander? There needs to be a reason you know.
- He left her friend at the alter? Halfrek has no less need for vengance against Xander than Buffy, Dawn, Tara, Willow or Spike, all of whom Anya attempted to make a wish.
- Maybe Vengeance Demons can't make wishes for each other?
- Anya is a woman scorned, not a neglected child. That's Anyankha's territory, the (first potential, then actual) irony of which was never lost on anyone involved in all three years that she was with Xander. Just as Anyankha's a stickler for only casting vengeance spells for scorned women, Halfrek's probably the same with neglected children.
- In this situation, Halfrek would be the one making the wish and Anya granting it so she doesn't have to go against her usual MO.
- Actually, in "Older and Far Away", Halfrek mentions that most vengeance demons "try to be a little more well-rounded", and that only Anya had a specific 'territory'. Although it's kinda vague, as when asked about it, she says "It's not a thing, the children need me". But it's not really a rule as such.
- Maybe Halfrek knew that Xander had been a neglected/abused child himself, and would have found performing a vengeance spell against him distasteful (just as Anya probably wouldn't curse a scorned woman).
- Most likely she can help and chooses not to. Spike's not a scorned woman and half the reason she spent that night with him was because she wanted to get HIM to make the wish. Vengeance demons from what we've seen are quirky bunch. D'Hoffryn helps Willow save her friends basically because she asks nicely.
Joyce, Buffy, and Natural vs. Supernatural Death
- Joyce's and Buffy's deaths. Does it bother anyone else that after Joyce died there was an entire episode about how bringing people back to life is unnatural and wrong but then this is completely ignored in favor of reviving Buffy? True she's the slayer but after well established rules and showing that it's wrong to defy death it's really annoying that she is revived so arbitrarily. It's even more annoying when put in the perspective that she can get revived because she's the Slayer but apparently her mother, Kendra, Jenny Calendar, Anya, Jonathan and more, can't be revived because they're not important enough.
- She can be revived not because she was the Slayer, but because she was killed directly and explicitly by magic (as opposed to, say, a brain haemorrhage, a cut throat, a broken neck or a knife wound). Yeah, it's still fairly arbitrary, but it's got nothing to do with "importance".
- Joyce's brain haemorrhage was natural??? It had nothing to do with the Monks putting 15 years of fake memories in her head two months earlier? Buffy,s death was unrelated to falling from a 100 ft pylon?
- Your knowledge of how memories work is astonishing and insightful. Yes, every time you make a memory your brain expands in a particular area and if you make too many memories at once it forms a tumor.
- Technically, Buffy died before she hit the ground. It's like falling off a cliff and detonating a suicide vest mid-way down. Sure the fall would have killed you, but something else killed you first. As for Joyce... Magic is very arbitrary in the Buffy-verse. Sometimes you can't do stuff with it, sometimes you can.
- I think what the troper meant was plot importance as opposed to in universe importance. It can't be Buffy the Vampire Slayer without a Buffy. The writers didn't need to bring back the other characters because they weren't Buffy.
- The explanation really doesn't help. I know that's why it was possible but it annoys me to no end.
- Especially since it turns Joyce's death and Buffy's subsequent explanation about natural order a Broken Aesop.
- On the other hand, it has been repeatedly implied that the Scoobies made the wrong decision in bringing her back. That's certainly Buffy's opinion throughout Season Six, and if they hadn't revived her, there would have been no problems with the First.
- It's also pretty clear that they all had reservations before doing it. They knew it was wrong, they just chose to ignore that.
- That whole mystic death thing is never clearly defined anyway. Death by vampire, demon, or human isn't mystic but death by summoned spider demon apparently is. Basically all the writers just decided that everyone who wasn't Buffy died by non mystical means but Buffy is the one exception even though jumping into the portal shouldn't have killed her and it should've been the fall that did it.
- The spider demon only existed because of Anya, so yeah, mystical.
- Spike managed to endure the fall without much injury, and Buffy is explicitly stronger than vampires, so the portal was most probably the cause of her death.
- She's explicitly stronger but not as durable. Bullets and knives work just fine, you have to work a vampire over pretty hard for him to notice it more than fifteen minutes later. So the fact that Spike got up from the fall with minimal injury means nothing, we've seen Spike and Angel get shot, stabbed and thrown from buildings.
- It should also be pointed out that if you watch the Buffy-falling-through-the-energy scene closely, there is a rather obvious release-from-agony-throw-your-head-back-in-
orgasmic-bliss-release bit that very likely shows her actually breathing her last. So yeah, mystical energy portal death thing and not the fall that kills her.
- I thought death by Vampire/Demon/Spell did count. But mortals bringing mortals back from the dead is incredibly difficult (since the universe is stacked against humanity), so Buffy was the only one the Scoobies bothered bringing back.
- It should also be pointed out that the MacGuffin used to resurrect Buffy was destroyed during the resurrection spell because of the intervention of the biker demons, and was clearly stated repeatedly to be the last of its kind.
- Of course, the main powering influence behind Buffy's resurrection was Willow, the new leader of the Scoobies. And this was while she was going through her "magic solves everything let me use more" approach to problem solving. When others in the show died, she wasn't an addict - and, in fact, when Joyce died close to the start of her serious magic addiction she did encourage Dawn by causing the book with the resurrection spell to slide out enough to become visible. What they did was shown as wrong, and the reason they didn't do it for others is a) they knew it was wrong and b) they didn't have the power needed until Willow went a bit crazy.
- Besides, Joyce got an episode about how bringing people back to life is wrong, but Buffy got a whole season for the same thing.
- Seconded. You can make a very good case that Buffy should not have been brought back. For example, the only apocalyptically bad things that happen on the show after Buffy comes back are a direct result of her resurrection (evil Willow and the First).
Tara's Corpse's Footwear
- I know there are many deep and intense discussions happening on this page, but I just have a quick complaint. In Season 6, when Tara dies, there are at least two separate shots of Tara's body. Both these scenes are (as is necessary) very dramatic and emotional. But I feel like the gravity of the situation was undercut by Tara's corpse wearing brightly colored flip-flops. I mean, sure, she's home, she's getting comfortable, it all makes perfect sense, but it's almost humorous in its visual juxtaposition. Note to future writers/directors: If someone dies and you want viewers to take it seriously, make sure they aren't wearing flip-flops. Bare feet, shoes, whatever else, is all fine, but no flip-flops.
- It's all done on purpose. Her accidental Bridge Drop death; Xander, Buffy and Warren not knowing about it; her un-meaningful last words. It's all meant to impact on the suddenness of it and how unfair it is.
- In "Life Serial," why is the mummy hand just lying/crawling around in the storeroom? Shouldn't it be in a cage or something? If Buffy had such a hard time with it, how would any of the others be expected to get it for a customer? Maybe there's some way to deal with it she doesn't know about, but then, no one tells her. It's a relatively minor complaint that does make for a hilarious montage, but really ...
- It was suggested to this troper that the hand had escaped.
- I assumed that the mummy hand being aggressive was part of Jonathan's spell. His spell created a time loop with a contrived problem, and so the spell created the problem by making the mummy hand attack Buffy.
The way the Scoobies treat Jonathan in "Two To Go" bothers me. He saved Buffy from a powered-up Warren the day before, he had no knowledge of Tara's murder, yet for the rest of the episode, Buffy and Xander talk to him and about him like he handed Warren the gun, and all he wants to do is help them.
- I think it is because Jonathan and the rest of the trio spent the entire season fucking with Buffy so they are a little pissed, and rightfully so.
- More importantly, they had just found out about Tara's death and were dealing with both that and their friend turning into complete evil. They definitely didn't make the right choice but they can be forgiven for not being in particularly good moods on that day.
- Why does Buffy need a job? Seriously, the council is a phone call away and they clearly have a ton of money. It's even implied in Angel that they have alchemists who create gold for them. Buffy already laid down the law in the last season telling them that they exist purely to serve her and their job now is to sit around until she tells them what she needs. Surely instead of getting a job she could simply have made a single phone call to England and arranged a lump sum to pay off her current debts as well as an ongoing wage.
- If a person who basically told you that "exist purely to serve her and their job now is to sit around until she tells them what she needs" asked for money because she can't cope with money issues, would you give her the money straight out, or make her crawl? Also, Buffy is proud; this would be too much like begging.
- Point taken. But still, they Council basically exists solely to aid her; the Watchers are useless without a Slayer. It's really their job to make sure she's on track, and her biggest issue is money, something that the Council could very very easily handle. Even if she's too proud to beg, they're undoubtedly monitoring her situation.
- Monitoring it, sure, but there's no reason to assume they're in any rush to help her. There isn't a hellgod they desperately need to see destroyed operating out of Sunnydale anymore. By extension, the Council has no reason to deal with what they perceive as Buffy's rebellious, uncontrollable nature. If Buffy went to the Council for money, the ball goes into their court instead of hers; it's the same power thing she was talking about when she made her stand against them in season five. Without an urgent need for a Slayer, and with Buffy's urgent need for money, the Council would have the power here. She has nothing to bargain with, which leaves her two options: beg at their feet, or keep her pride and find somewhere else to get the money. To do the former would cost her the victory she struck against them during the crisis with Glory, and put her right back in the Council's pocket, where they can make her do anything they want under threat of pulling her funding if she gets uppity. The key point here is really that it isn't their job to help her; it's their job to control her, and her money troubles give them an easy opening to bring her back under the reins.
Just let Willow finish
- I know that ultimately the answer is that we don't kill humans. Even humans that we are fairly certain wouldn't stay behind bars if you put em there but at some point it was probably the right call to just sit back and let her kill stuff. At the very least Giles was taking a huge risk (unless there was a prophesy which you could say is implied when Anya tells Buffy that no super natural thing can stop her at this point) to empower her with the truest magics. The magic that turned her from a homocidal witch with plans to kill exactly two more people and then sit someplace and cry into omnicidal girl about to end the world. Clearly as out of it as she was Willow was in control enough to hold back against her friends. I think it's pretty obvious that if she wanted Buffy or Xander dead they would have died. Heck assuming that homing fireball isn't limited to one she wasn't even really trying all that hard to kill Andrew and Jonathan.
- That's really not true. Willow wore herself to the point of exhaustion trying to kill them. As for Buffy, Willow nearly killed her with those zombies after Buffy and Dawn fell in that grave. Giles nearly died from the beating Willow gave him. She stated pretty clearly that the thought the world deserved to burn for taking Tara from her.
- She nearly killed everybody but based on what we've seen of her power both in this and in Season 5 it seems clear that if she had really wanted any body dead who didn't die she would have. Powering up to fight Buffy was clearly her allowing herself to be stalled after a point. I get that she wanted to do Warren personally and she didn't count on Giles at all but bag of knives would have been easy to pick up. She could have finished off Giles with hardly any effort. She could have thrown a fireball at the car her friends were in instead of chasing them with an eighteen wheeler.
- Once again, Giles was actually close to dying by the end of the episode. There were absolutely no signs at the point that Giles showed up that she was stalling. She didn't care who she had to hurt to kill two people who were only vaguely connected to Tara's death.
- Yes Jonathan and Andrews connection to Tara's death are vague if non-existent, to the people in the know, like us the viewers and apparently everyone else but Willow, all she knew is that Buffy went to fight the "Trio" the previous night, and in the morning Warren shows up and shoots up the place, why wouldn't she think they were involved, for all she knew they could have planned the whole thing, she never saw the infighting enough to know who was in charge, it's not her fault these two morons decided to play super-villain with a guy who kind of was a super-villain. I don't know if she was stalling in-show but I do think a lot of it was padding, or it's the inverse, she was stalling on account of the fact that she wasn't nearly as strong as she thought she was, the whole Willow getting out, and beating up Giles was his fault to begin with, Giles shows up 3 minutes later he has Willow all magically bound up and ready to go to England for treatment, but in the midst of the life and death and soon to be apocalypse, Giles takes 5 minutes out of this very important mission to bullshit with Buffy, I know for drama's sake no one can be a genius all the time, but Giles just took the Idiot Ball and ran with it so no one else can play with it.
- When you're a super powered witch whose demonstrated the ability to fly, teleport, thicken the air around your opponents and shoot lightning bolts what else do you call fighting the Slayer on remotely even terms? For that matter why did she bring Buffy and Dawn from Rath's place? There is absolutely no reason to do that. Not that Buffy was a credible threat to Willow at that point but why bring the only person who might pose as an actual speed bump to the place they need to be to stop you? It would make sense if she hated Buffy and wanted her to see it when she killed the nerds but there's no indication of that. She could have thrown that homing fireball at the beginning of the fight and then fought Buffy to prevent her from saving everybody. She literally does everything in the only order that lets people live.
- Willow's magic isn't as all-powerful as she likes to think it is. For one, she can't teleport. Anya explicitly calls her out on that one; she can make a flash show of her appearance and disappearance, but it's a parlor trick. For another, there's the question of power usage; sure, Willow can go Super Mode and make physics her bitch, but she can't do it for very long before she wears herself out, and Buffy has repeatedly shown to be hard to kill. For another, she's squishy. Sure, she has plenty of offensive powers that she can throw around, but a lot of them are for flash and intimidation more than anything else, and Buffy doesn't take to that. The homing fireball is a profound example of this; yeah, it's cool and scary, but that's about it. For one, it can be dodged, and for another, it moves slowly enough that Buffy could outrun it; she would NEVER have hit the car with a projectile that can't even keep up with a human sprinting. As for why Willow buffed herself to fight Buffy on her own terms, she had no other options. Remember: she couldn't externalize magic at that point in time. Even for all her power, she was completely neutered by Anya standing behind a curtain with a tome, muttering counterspells straight out of the book. Even looking back at bag of knives and shooting lightning at Glory, bag of knives was woefully ineffective (Buffy could probably parry it just the same as Glory did). Lightning was very powerful and very effective, but also extremely draining. Once Willow uses up all her juice, she has nothing else to fall back on. Dark Willow really is more flash than substance. She has the same problem as Willow: she's swimming in blind power, but has no discipline or even basic understanding of the fundamentals of magic to actually make use of that power in an effective manner.
- Anya appears to be wrong about Willow not being able to teleport. Her claim is that Willow if flying very fast and not teleporting. However when she leaves Rath's place she brings Buffy and Willow without apparently touching either one of them and with them all staying in the same locations relative to each other. If she didn't teleport she folded space, she certainly wasn't just flying really fast. She is also using her magic, albiet very little, in the fight with Buffy. At least twice she magics a staircase into Buffy and a table. Whatever spell Anya was casting was specifically protecting the Duo from Willow. When you're packing the kind of raw power that Dark Willow has you don't really need much in the way of knowledge to get the job done. Not any more than Superman needs to learn martial arts to win a fight.
- You do if you want to be able to use any of it effectively, especially when it's as unstable as magic generally demonstrates it to be. One recurring theme with Willow's magic is that it never really does what she wants it to do. She has terrible control over it. That isn't the difference between Superman and Martial Artist Superman, so much as it is the difference between Martial Artist Superman and Constantly Burning His Own Hands Off And Freezing His Legs Because He Can't Control Any Of His Powers Superman. The blind part of Willow's blind power causes her to overexert herself with the big rig, throw out flashy but pointless attacks like the slow-moving, inaccurate homing fireball, and keeps her from being able to break through a counterspell barrier being raised by an amateur. There's a reason she goes down like a sack of bricks when Giles walks into the room; a sledgehammer may be big and scary, but it goes down fast when put up against anyone with actual training.
- And her reason for the world needing to burn was because Giles gave her the True Magic and she was able to feel all the pain from everybody. She wasn't burning the world because we were evil and took Tara away. She was putting us out of our misery. Most of us aren't miserable enough to want someone to blow it all up but shh couldn't take it. If she hadn't been able to feel everybodies pain she would have stopped after precisely three kills.
- There is no evidence that Willow would of stopped after three kills. She was angry and wanted targets. The thing about blood lust is that once you get started, it's very hard to stop. Allowing Willow to kill two people purely out of vengeance would have meant that the entire cast would of crossed the Moral Event Horizon.
- She didn't want targets, she had targets, 3 people with a very singular and justifiable purpose, Warren because of Tara's death which no matter how you split it, calling it an accident or what ever Tara still died because of his actions, the other two, no matter how ineffective they seemed, they were still responsible for summoning demons who on more than a few occasions nearly led to a couple deaths, using magic that allowed Warren to get to where he is, oh yeah and for a more personal touch all three of them kidnapped Willow and could have killed her, just because Jonathan realized the errors of his ways and Andrew seemed so meek as to be pointless doesn't mean you can just say "Our Bad" and be done with it. But true enough that there was no way they were going to die, unless Buffy and Xander hung up the ThouShaltnotKill boots and slit there throats in an act of solidarity, in the end though all Willow killed was an unrepentant murderer (who showed no qualms about killing her and her friends)/rapist/bank robber/kidnapper, and a magical drug dealer/pedophile, wait how is killing these two people crossing a MoralEventHorizon because it was done with the wrong motive in mind, because they were human, I don't know i think the writers made her two victims too evil to care about
- The Moral Event Horizon was when Buffy betrayed Willow and supported rapist murderer Warren. Seeing as how this never came remotely close to happening, though, it's a non-issue.
- It definitely would have mean a Moral Event Horizon and I suppose that's a decent answer. But up until Giles dosed her she had very specific targets with very specific reasons. We in the audience sympathize because we know these are a bunch of kids playing Super Villian. From Willow's point of view it's two thirds of the group that killed Tara and nearly killed Buffy. We already saw Kill Bill. As long as your not between the girl on the Roaring Rampageof Revenge and whoever she wants dead you're perfectly safe.
- The difference here is that Willow was locked into her emotional state by the dark magic she'd absorbed. She wouldn't ever stop, she went from Warren (which even the Scoobies weren't against, their protests were soley on what it would mean for Willow to committ murder and Xander and Dawn were firmly on the kill Warren train), to trying to kill Johnathon and Andrew, whom she knew had been in prison and had nothing to do with Tara's murder, to anyone standing in her way (Buffy, Giles, Anya, Xander) and anyone who showed up in front of her (Dawn). Willow tried to kill Dawn, who wasn't a threat and was just talking to her, even mocking Tara's death while doing it. Willow was long past reason and had no chance of recovering until the dark magic lost it's hold (Giles planned to take her to the coven so they could remove it from her or, failing that, dose her with white magic and hope it would let her tap back into her other emotions).
- I don't know if she was past reason so much as the other characters never had a good argument, that and the fact when people did try to reason with her, it ended up with them threatening her, or trying to beat her down. Look at Buffy's argument that there are human laws to deal with humans, yeah tell that to Amy's mom, or Ford when he sold her out to Spike, or the 10 or so Knights of Byzantine she killed, and her life is worth living speech which was so awesomely called out on by Willow, everyone was such a hypocrite no wonder she didn't listen. Willow didn't really know anything, when Tara died all she knew was that it was Warren, who was in Warren's little gang, Jonathan and Andrew, she didn't have any reason to think other wise, besides their pleas of innocence which doesn't mean anything, people lie.She also never mocked Tara's death, she just said what everyone was thinking, that we were all sick of her whining, what she was saying was a little harsh though, that even though Dawn missed Tara and felt horrible that she's dead, it couldn't even compare with what Willow was going through. And Giles plan to take her back to the coven seem smart, but that's until you realize her could have imbued Willow with some of the good magics when he had her in the force field thingy and called it a day, but drama and all that.
- The logic that's used in show is that the human world has human laws to deal with these things. But they don't. We have no idea what materials are needed to summon a demon or become a superstar. Warren is the only one of the Trio that we can safely assume jail could hold and even that's not clear. It's unclear how versed he was in magic or how hard he could Mac Guyver a cell phone and other electronics you might be able to get into a prison, particularly if you could all but garuantee that you'll get out.
- Jonathan and Andrew were being contained in prison very effectively until the Scoobies had to help bust them out in order to protect them from Willow. Warren, on the other hand, was an expert in robotics and had no qualms about going to demons for upgrades.
- They were being contained in prison easily enough at that point, and that's only because the reality hadn't sunk in that they were stuck in prison with no Warren breaking them out. This is before any witness statement linking Jonathan and Andrew to the armored car robbery is going to get thrown out the window when the drivers say that some guy lifted up the car by himself and beat them senseless, Warren has the same benefit, all his crimes were committed using mystical means, except the shooting but then again his only link to Tara and Buffy is pretty mystical so how can they say they know him without sounding insane, plus the guy has a robot duplicate of himself, who's to say that even if he got arrested it would actually be him, so they are all going to get away with their crimes even if the "Law" had been allowed to deal with them
- Willow zapped Ripper and sucked out his magic. Ripper expected this and laced his magic with heroin and the Destroy the World spell so that if Willow destroyed the World, it would be HER fault, not HIS fault.
- Gotta disagree. Yes it does seem like he knew there was a strong chance that Willow would drain him but unless he also knew that Xander had this he basically walked into a room with a crazy person with a gun holding the codes for the world's nukes. Sure technically it's the fault of who ever launches the nukes but why would you creat the situation where they can do far far more damage than they currently can or even want to.
- "Buffy" tells Willow to let the Police deal with the Nerds and then she breaks the Nerds out of prison because in prison, Andrew might not be able to kill Jonathan.
- season 6 shows Joss' opinion of Sci Fi fans.
- Not really. Note that Xander seems to be fans of many of the same things as the Trio and yet is a normal and decent guy. Really, it show's Joss's opinion of Fan Dumb members and those who speak mostly in quotes.
- The whole thing is Buffy carrying the mother of all Conflict Ball, the whole thing is a complete parallel of Buffy/Faith Season 3, Faith/Warren kills or at least comes close to killing Angel/Tara, Buffy/Willow go to extreme measures to get revenge, it's only because Buffy lacks follow through that Faith didn't die. So Buffy should have a clear understanding of how the whole thing was going to play out, but for some reason she decided to plant herself firmly in the killing is wrong even though due to either her direct actions or indirect actions have led to quite a few people coming down with a case of death, her buddy Ford from Season 2, everyone who Spike, Drusilla or any other villain she let go for some reason.
- Also if Willow didn't kill him someone else would have, Buffy can blather on all she wants about let the law handle it, but if Dawn had died Buffy would have killed him, if Willow had died Xander would have killed him, it just so happens that Joss put a bulls-eye on Tara so it was up to Willow, same goes for Jonathan and Andrew, they would both have Buffy's fist sized holes in their spines or in Xander's case military training occurs and their pretty little brains are all over the place, it wouldn't even be that surprising Buffy threatened to kill Giles if he tried to come near Dawn in Season 5, Xander threatened to kill Buffy all the way back in Season 2, the whole ThouShaltNotKill attitude Buffy has is hypocritical.
- Protecting Warren from Willow was never about Warren. Buffy even says as much. It was about Willow. Willow has been drunk on power for so long that she's been slowly turning into Warren over the last four years: a sociopathic, power-hungry psychopath with no respect for the lives of others, who tries to exert her control over everyone and everything. Warren did this through super-science. Willow does it through magic, with offenses such as helping Dawn resurrect Joyce, resurrecting Buffy herself (not because she genuinely believes Buffy would be happy, but as her behavior following the resurrection demonstrates, because she wants everyone to applaud and worship her for being so powerful that she can deny Death itself), mind-wiping Tara, etc. Willow was on the road to recovery when Tara died, and then jumped off the slippery slope back into "I am a MAGIC GOD AND WILL MAKE THE UNIVERSE OBEY MY WILL" from the moment she conjured Osiris himself and demanded he give Tara back. Allowing Willow to kill Warren would not have been the end of it; she would still be in pain and angry, and without Warren to focus her rage on, she would find the next available targets that could even tangentially be held responsible. Which is exactly what she did in targeting Andrew and Jonathan, and as Andrew rightly pointed out, there is no reason to believe she would have stopped with them. Tara would still be dead, Willow would still be pissed off and hurting, and would find someone ELSE to lash out at, which would most likely be the Scoobies themselves, given the lack of appropriate targets. Vengeance does not actually solve anything; if it did, Willow would have stopped at Warren. It only creates a void that needs to be filled with more violence. Buffy was trying to protect Willow from herself. She didn't need murder, she needed a chance to let go of the idea that if she pours enough magic into it, everything will be fixed. She needed a chance to actually mourn.
- Thank you, a lot of people myself included are trying to justify the fact that the "Trio" didn't deserve saving because well, they didn't. Your completely right though, something I thought about when watching it the first time, every one is way to combative to get any meaningful words said, and the second Willow goes off on people they immediately go on the defensive or try to start a fight with her, not exactly the greatest way to start a meaningful dialogue. I'd like to think the whole true magic equals allowing Willow to reach emotions other than rage and grief was a bit of a lie, and that Xander would have talked her down regardless, just because he's the only character who showed an emotion directed towards her. Alot of the magical abuse shenanigans though, as with most things that are new and awesome, like drinking, gambling, or even a simple thing like a new computer she would have gotten over that, a lot of things that got heaped on Willow's lap were just narrative convenience, she had to be the one to bring Buffy back, or it would have been a carbon copy of the way Angel was brought back, and no one like a DeusExMachina. What makes this whole thread and almost half the page pointless, is that the writers had such a huge way out of it that it makes your brain bleed a bit, Anya, the wish granting ,reality altering vengeance demon, The Patron Saint of Women Scorned, Dark Willow would have been her all time client, just Wish Warren had never come to Sunny Dale or that he had never been born, or just that his gun was switched with blanks or that he was simply denied a gun to begin with. Now I understand that Joss has this thing against happy endings like they killed his mother with his new puppy while forcing him to watch or something, but the season was already such a downer that I don't think Willow getting a happy ending would have ruined the balance to much, it wouldn't even have to be consequence free, just have her remember everything then let her angst her way into Season 7, people may hate a DeusExMachina but they may have hated seeing Willow flay a dude alive a bit more.
- I know that I along with many fans were cheering Willow on in killing Johnathan and Andrew. That's like Good Is Not Soft rule eight: they're evil, they're dangerous, stop them, cold if need be. That's on the one hand. On the other hand there was a line about killing in Batman Forever about killing only makes the anger grow. Take into account the view of Thou Shalt Not Kill Muggles with the fear being addressed in both mediums being If You Kill Him You Will Become Just Like Him (and if you like Doesn't Like Guns as well,) Angel at times being almost a Vampire Bat and the comics in particular having a thing for Batman (numerous references, a Batman style cover,) I don't know if Joss or the writers were taking their cues from Batman but it's perhaps another way to look at it.
- Jonathan and Andrew really weren't that evil or dangerous. Warren was a violent, dangerous sociopath, but Andrew was a hanger-on desperately looking to earn Warren's approval, and Jonathan was deeply uncomfortable with Warren's depravity to the extent of ultimately betraying him to Buffy. Without a guiding force like Warren, Andrew and Jonathan were harmless, and even with a guiding force, they were a minor annoyance at the worst; they couldn't even slaughter a pig properly. They were just nerds who thought it would be cool to become comic book supervillains, and what's more, neither of them had anything to do whatsoever with Tara's murder. The only reason Willow was targeting them in the first place was because she was still hurting after murdering Warren, and they were the closest thing to an appropriate target for her rage that she could find now that Warren was dead.
- It's funny you brought up Willow still hurting from Tara's death. It might be worth asking if those who were cheering her on, like I admit I was, would feel any different if they were killed, or feel any different now. For me I suppose I feel the same way as I did with Faith, or Spike. Should they have been killed at the time they were at their worst? No question, I think most of us would have thought so. Now? No, absolutely not. They had both become really good, nice people. They had an integral role in aiding Buffy, numerous times. And they had some of the funniest lines and scenes. But getting back to Warren, you're saying he's The Corrupter? Yeah they really took that path with him didn't they? You think Andrew and Johnathan wouldn't have brought up raping and killing women without him? Not saying I don't agree, and sure it was probably sarcasm or all on Warren or whatever, but humor me.
- Jonathan and Andrew were opposed to killing Buffy from day one, and she was a direct threat to their plans. Warren was talking murder right from the start, but initially, Jonathan and Andrew took a firm stance of "We don't kill Buffy!" even when the opportunity was right in front of them. Warren is also the one responsible for the rape-murder of Katrina; it was his idea, it was his machine that mind-controlled her, and when she screamed at them that what they were doing was rape, both Andrew and Jonathan were horrified by the revelation. Likewise, when Warren was ecstatic about getting away with murder, Jonathan was pretty clearly uncomfortable with everything that hat just transpired. I'm not saying Warren was The Corruptor, because he wasn't; he didn't corrupt anyone. He was the villain, plain and simple. Andrew was his lacky hanger-on and Jonathan was a pretty decent guy caught up in Warren's wake. Even the entire "team up and take over Sunnydale" thing was Warren's idea to begin with; he's explicitly the one that suggests it.
- That can be summed up simply as: Buffy was a giant hypocrite. She tried to stop Willow from justifiably killing Warren, but had no problem trying to gut Faith for trying to kill Angel. She protected Spike, even after he tried to rape her, and spent months sitting around doing nothing when Angelus went on a killing spree, but did not hesitate to try to kill Anya after she killed some frat boys. If you were sleeping with Buffy, you got special treatment.
- While I agree killing Warren was not only justified it's almost necessary. It's really a good thing that the Trio weren't really trying to hurt anybody. Between the three of them they had the skills to do serious damage. The situations the previous troper brought up however are all rather unique. Buffy wasn't trying to gut Faith for trying to kill Angel. She was gutting Faith because draining a slayer was the cure the poison. There are only two slayers at the time so it was a case of better you than me. She protected Spike because even she knew that a relationship that was clearly Buffy saying no and Spike ravaging her. In the scene in question the moment he realizes that no actually meant no this time he stops all on his own. She did love Angel and had a lot of baggage about killing him. While it's true that Buffy finally drew the line at a bunch of frat boys we know Anya at the very least turned a man into a giant worm and likely some other nastiness around the globe that Buffy was doing a grand job of completely ignoring. We know what Vengeance Demons do, the fact that she didn't hack her to kibble the moment she found out that she was again a Demon was awful forgiving, even if the circumstances were understandable. As far as we can tell Willow is forgiven almost immediately. Sure Faith went to jail for perhaps three years and the situation was pretty dire but Buffy and Faith are pretty chummy in season seven and I'm sorry, three years in jail isn't quite enough 'sorry' when you've helped someone nearly end the world. Everybody is easily forgiven by Buffy. To the point that she walked away from Ben and if Giles hadn't been there to finish the job that would have come back to bite Buffy in the ass sooner than later.
- I don't think it was a matter of 'well, he didn't realize he was trying to rape me.' I think it was just that since he went out and got a soul for her that made her take his remorse seriously and believe that he changed and not hold what he did against him any more than she did what Angelus did against Angel.
Giles isn't standing in the way
- Giles sings about standing in the way of Buffy's development into a woman and leaves for England for the same reason. I know Buffy is a super hero but her super powers are about kicking ass not super money making or super coping or child raising skills. When you show me the twenty one year old (middle class, don't remind me there are people born with a billion dollars) who's emotionally and financially ready to own a home, and not only be self sufficient but care for and raise a teenager I'll point out none of them had to save the world on a semi-regular basis. I can get that Giles doesn't want to be a father but he's not standing in the way. If anything him shouldering loads that under no regular circumstances (and certainly not Buffy's special circumstances) would a twenty one year old be expected to handle he's letting her grow at a regular pace. I can honestly say that if I had been put in charge of my household on my twenty first birthday things wouldn't have gone as smoothly for me as they did for her.
- Giles doesn't mind helping Buffy shoulder the burden. He made it obvious from the beginning of the season that he would help her. The problem was that she pushed more and more onto him, and didn't pick up the burden that would actually be reasonable for her to take on. That's why he's standing in her way: there's a lot that she's not ready for, and that's fine, but she'll never be ready as long as she has him to rely on.
- Buffy's mother recently died, and the girl found herself suddenly orphaned and having to raise a younger sister who was being pursued by an incredibly strong and psychopathic hellgod. Then Buffy died and was later resurrected and had to cope with being yanked out of a comfortable and peaceful afterlife (though the other Scoobies didn't know until the end of "Once More With Feeling"). She's now expected to be a mother to a 14 year old girl, be the main moneymaker in a house full of friends that aren't helping at all (Willow and Tara, as far as we know, didn't lend a penny to Buffy), and save the world, all at the age of 21. Of course she needs Giles' help. Any normal 21 year old would need help in that situation, and Buffy's situation is far worse when you have the Trio added in, and later Willow's magic addiction. Asking Giles for some financial help and parental help is PERFECTLY reasonable, and him leaving her alone when she needs him most was just downright cruel. She had plenty of time to learn to cope for herself, but during times of huge stress, she needed help, and Giles let her down.
- It's the fine line between going to Giles for help, and using him as a crutch. Buffy was doing the latter; for example, in the aftermath of All the Way, when Giles tried to provide support for Buffy and direct her towards the talk she needed to have with Dawn, and Buffy left Giles to do it instead and took off. As long as she was shirking her responsibilities onto Giles, she would not be able to reintegrate herself in the world; she was becoming a 21-year-old basement dweller, metaphorically speaking, shutting out the world and trying to make her father figure take over all of her responsibilities, and if he let her go down that path, she would never stop. This is one of the hardest things a parent may have to face: knowing when it's time to kick your child out of the nest, because they refuse to grow up, and they have to. Note that after Giles left, Buffy got a job, Buffy stabilized her home, Buffy managed to create attachments to the people in her life again. Buffy started having sex for all the wrong reasons, but it was still more than she'd been able to do before. Being forced to be responsible for her own life was extremely hard for Buffy, but in the end, it allowed her to start living. And when she was capable of living her own life and stopped depending on other people to do it for her, Giles came back.
- I still think it was cruel for Giles to leave her. Buffy got a job after Giles left, yeah, but she was trying to get one before he left too (see "Life Serial"). Buffy had only been alive for 7 episodes by the time he left (yes, an episode isn't a particularly good unit of time, but it couldn't have been more than a few weeks), there's no proof that she wouldn't have gotten better and more well-adjusted in the same time if he was still around. She was also worried about her friends' feelings and she was hiding the fact that she wasn't in a hell dimension, something that she didn't reveal until the same episode where Giles decided that he was standing in the way. And YMMV as to whether having sex with Spike was a good thing. She shouldn't have tried to push Dawn's welfare onto Giles, but again, she's still recently orphaned, and with everything else she was dealing with, being a mother to Dawn is way too much for people to expect of her so quickly. If felt like he had to leave, he could have at least offered to help financially by sending some money her way from England; money that, if memory serves, Buffy herself got for Giles by bullying the Watcher's Council into reinstating him and giving him his pay retroactively as well. Of course, it's a moot point since it all worked out in the end anyway, but in my opinion, Giles was wrong to leave and wrong about feeling that he was in her way.
- It absolutely is cruel for Giles to leave when he did! When he sang "Standing in the Way," he didn't know yet that Buffy had been in heaven, so that could be excused. Maybe he thought that she was shell-shocked from being in hell and she needed to walk without his safety net in order to realize that the hell part was really over. But later that night he's there for Buffy's admission that she had been pulled out of heaven. Literally the next night (note Spike's comment to Buffy at the beginning of Tabula Rasa about how they had kissed last night with the rising music and the rising...music), Giles decides to go ahead and leave anyway! (And it's not like the cancellation fee would be a problem...after he found out Buffy was back he returned from England within a day or so, having just left Sunnydale a day or two earlier.) I mean really, who does that? As soon as your surrogate daughter reveals that she's incredibly depressed and was literally pulled out of what she felt was heaven, time to jet? Come on, Rupert!
- Also, one important thing everyone's not thinking about: if you're going to take one sister on as your kid, you need to do the same for the other. He's a father figure for Buffy, so he needs to do that for Dawn, too.
Have Warren turn the chip off
- I know complex thoughts aren't always Spike's big point but when the chip malfunctions, or Spike learns subconsciously to trick it (which this troper finds equally plausible as Buffy came back wrong. Though that's more a WMG than Just bugs me. Anyway he goes to Warren whom he knows is a genius capable of building the Buffy Bot to check the status of his chip when he finds out he can hurt Buffy with out it activating. Warren is capable of some off screen process that lets him read the chip which leads to him pointing out that it's still fully functional. Why didn't Spike ask him to turn it off. Sure maybe it can't be done but for it would have taken two seconds and two lines of text to clear this up.
- Warren may be a technological genius, but he's no surgeon. At least the guy he got in Season 4 worked at a hospital, and I wouldn't assume Warren was too competent at anything except mechanics. I mean, just look at him. Spike probably saw it the same way.
- I guess. To me that's just just stupid. Spike knows enough about electronics (at least they have on and off switches) that the idea that it didn't occur to him to have Warren disable, not remove but simply deactivate the chip he was looking at is messy. The only possible reason is he might have had to explain WHAT the chip did before Warren would or could and obviously he doesn't want anybody who doesn't already know to know.
- I never understood why Spike didn't set off an EMP to disable the chip; even if it wasn't something he could have thought of, he spoke to enough science guys that someone could have reasonably suggested it. I don't know the effect EMPs have on humans, but it could have easily been handwaved over him being a vampire.
- EMP blasts aren't exactly easy to come by.
- Besides, Spike really wouldn't want to take the chance of messing the chip up somehow and making things worse. Trying to remove it is one thing, but leaving it in his head while fiddling with the way it works is a much riskier plan. What if he accidentally switches it on all the time instead?
- Spike has been shown to be sufficiently reckless that I don't buy that he wouldn't take the chance of it messing up. It's more likely that he's simply unaware of EMPs or much at all of computers. It still doesn't answer why he doesn't ask Warren to turn it off, perhaps telling him is a tracking chip from the Soviets or whatever. Clearly what it does isn't clear enough for Warren to figure out on his own
- Spike has never been that reckless. When he's in a losing fight or wants to protect Drusilla, he runs away to fight another day. When he first decides he wants to kill Buffy, he does research on her fighting style and behavior patterns first. When he can't hurt humans or defend himself anymore, he immediately (if very reluctantly) switches allegiences. For all his show of being impulsive, Spike's really one of the more careful vampires we've seen in the series. There is no way the thought of "what if the chip gets screwed up and the agonizing pain never stops" (which is exactly what eventually happens) hadn't crossed his mind and quickly established itself as one of his worst fears.
- Spike may not be the brightest bulb but he's not stupid enough to give the guy with the ability to build fully functional, realistic, borderline sentient robots and no morals full access to the chip that regulates his behaviour. That's like saying 'Please enslave me'. It's one thing to try and get Adam to take it out, Adam had the ability and had nothing to really gain from it, being vastly more powerful than Spike already with an army of minions to cmmand, Warren had two lackies who were useless in combat, Spike would have been a great prize for him.
- Along those same lines, even if the chip can be turned off remotely, the moment Spike reveals to Warren that he wants it turned off, Warren has leverage over him. Warren doesn't have to know what it does, just that Spike can't control it and he can. From there, all he has to do is hold onto the switch and tell Spike "now do what I say or I'll flip whatever that thing is back on again".
- Especially when the chip's function is that it prevents Spike from hurting any humans. If Warren found that out, he loses all leverage he had. Sure, Spike could still break their possessions, but he couldn't hurt any of the Trio, even if they started attacking him. Even three klutzes like the Trio could do some damage when the person they're attacking can't hurt them back.
- I don't think Spike would be in any danger from them. It's like when he was going to kill Buffy with a shotgun in Crush. Two hours of pain but they'd be dead for a little longer than that.
Buffy's Financial Responsibility
- So basically, Willow and Tara were taking care of Dawn and living in Buffy's house the whole time Buffy was dead, and neither of them saw fit to get a job so that when the life insurance ran out they wouldn't be screwed? And then once Buffy comes back it's automatically her job to earn money AND save the world, and if she asks for help from Giles she's being immature? Like Buffy says, she was "all dead and frugal," she wasn't the one spending the money. Not that Willow or Tara were reckless with money, but it needs to be replaced when you spend it! Shouldn't they have taken a little responsibility for that?
- Look Buffy's name is in the title, everything that goes wrong is her fault period end stop. I'm almost amazed that Angel joining Wolfram & Hart isn't somehow Buffy's fault. She did stop him from wearing the amulet that she instead gave to Spike you know.
- It should be Buffy's responsibility. It's her house, and Dawn is her sister. Buffy is trying to play mother with Dawn, and gets all that comes with it. Also, Giles may be a nice guy, help out financially, and play daddy sometimes, but he is of no relation to Buffy, and thus under no obligation to help her out. The only one under any obligation was maybe Willow and Tara for rent money, but still.
- Buffy is only saddled with the responsibility of Dawn in the first place because she's a Slayer and the monks created her. Without being a Slayer, if her mother died she'd be in a far better position with only having herself to take care of (and no post-rebirth depression) so I don't think it's reasonable to try and divorce her Dawn responsibilities from her being a Slayer and the support that she should be given since Dawn is a Slayer thing.
- Giles isn't Buffy's relative, but he is for all thoughts and purposes her employer, directing her in a hard, dangerous and thankless job, performing a service that everybody needs but nobody wants to acknowledge. Getting a decent steady paycheck for it wouldn't be too much to ask, and Giles is independently wealthy shop owner, and gets a double-pay from the Council of Watcers, to boot.
- A paycheck from the Council that Buffy helped him get, I might add; if it wasn't for her finally standing up to the Council, stopping all the bullshit going, and demanding that Giles be reinstated as a Watcher with his full salary and retroactively receive all the money he was owed during his unemployment, Giles wouldn't have a penny from the Council.
- I agree, you would think Tara and Willow would at least pay rent or chip in for bills - since they are living there and all. Not to mention the fact that their dear friend, who has just lost her mother and, traumatisingly; come back from the dead. They don't seem all that supportive. It's, "Good Buffy's back now, here's the bills. Good luck with that. We're gonna go back to being carefree young adults, while you work 16-hour days at a menial job. Don't forget to save the world in your off hours. What are you doing with your life? You need to go back to college!"
- It also makes me wonder what they would have done if Buffy hadn't returned. Obviously, they had planned to bring her back, and we can probably assume that at this point, Willow was extremely certain that Buffy would return. However, it still strikes me as odd that they didn't do anything about the bills themselves.
- And a question: Willow and Tara have places to stay other than the Summers house; wouldn't it make more sense for Buffy to sell the house and move Dawn and herself into an apartment or somesuch? True, property values aren't much, but a house will bring in something.
- Riley comes to Sunnydale to show off his new bride, who is the daughter of Xena and Einstein. He rubs Buffy's nose with the fact that Buffy is being a skanky ho. His official mission is that the Villain of the Week has a plan to destroy the World. And the Villain is Spike. 4 years of character development down the pan. But it is conveniently forgotten next week.
- Whose character development? Spike's? Spike had no character development, he just transferred his obsession from Drusilla to Buffy and had his behaviour restricted by the chip. What's the first thing Spike does in Smashed when he thinks the chip has stopped working? Attack innocent people. He may have been filtering his behaviour through the "what would make Buffy happy and therefore like me better" lense but his basic personality and goals remained the same throughout those four seasons. Yes, he loves Buffy. Yes, he likes Dawn and Joyce. You really think that would have spared them had the chip not been working? He loved his mother and Drusilla too, he murdered the first and planned to murder the second as well. Spike may truely believe that he'll be Buffy's knight in bloody armour but his behaviour shows time and again he's entirely selfish and purely evil until he gets his soul back.
- Spike's plan wasn't to destroy the world. It was to make money by selling some valuable demon eggs he had happened to come across. Remember in Doublemeat Palace when he objected to Buffy working in that place, saying "I can get money"? This was how he was going to do it. It's entirely consistent with his character development up to this point. What doesn't make sense is how the hell Spike, of all people, is in contact with a bunch of foreign governments who want to buy the eggs.
- That's not character development. It's simply him transferring his obsession and needs to please one woman (Drusilla) to a new woman (Buffy). Spike does whatever his woman tells him to or what he thinks will please her. Quite frankly, Spike is horrible in season 6, he got what he wanted and he makes sure Buffy stays in that place emotionally so he can keep getting it. He doesn't care about her well being, he admits in the second episode of the season he wouldn't have let the Scoobies get rid of Buffy, regardless of how she came back, as long as he has what he wants to hell with everything else. Spike has no soul, he can feel, he can like, he can love but he can't function as a real person because he can't make that connection. When Buffy thinks she's killed someone he only sees the problem as her getting caught, not that she'd be horrified, when she finally gives in and sleeps with him he sees it as a good thing, not Buffy's self esteem crashing through the ground, he fights demons because he likes to kill, not because he thinks they need to be stopped, and to act as Buffy's knight. It's all about what he wants and whichever images he's made up for himself at the moment but in the end his true nature always shines through. He's the exact same in season 6 as he was in season 2, just with a different focus for his obsession and a leash keeping him in check.
- And yet, he was ready to die for Dawn when Glory had him chained up. He went out of his way to find and protect her when the demon biker gang came to town, when he could have just spent it reveling in killing the demons; Dawn's wellbeing was Spike's first priority in both instances, and Buffy was supposed to be too dead to care in the latter case. When he thought his chip was disabled, he did go out to kill someone, but he had to spend a couple minutes talking himself up to the deed. That scene more or less defines Spike's character in S6; it's not that he's changed, and it's also not that he hasn't. He's both. He's conflicted between S2 Spike and S5 Spike, do I kill her, do I love her, do I damn her, do I save her, etc. etc, which is made particularly clear in his extremely conflicted part of Walk Through the Fire. "I'm free if that bitch dies/I'd better help her out", "No, I'll save her, THEN I'll kill her", etc. Spike has and has not changed, and he doesn't know who he wants to be anymore. "It won't let me be a monster, and I can't be a man."
Why is the tower still there?
- It's been several months since the end of Buffy Season 5. Why is that tower still up? It was built by crazy people without city permission. Why would the city leave something so unsafe standing around? And IIRC, the thing crashes to the ground with little provocation. How did something so unstable last that many months?
- It's in an out of the way location, so nobody messes with it.
- They probably thought it would bring in the tourists, kind of like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Wouldn't you like to take a forced perspective photo where it looks like you're holding up the Rickety Tower That the Crazy People Built?
- As rickety as the tower proved to be, the city was likely trying to find a way to collapse it without risking having it drop on top of anybody who might be in the vicinity at the time.
- Sunnydale Syndrome — inquiring into who owned and built the mysterious tower or great honking castle that suddenly appears out of nowhere can get you eaten. Anyone working for the city would have been working for the Mayor a few years back, and they'd have learnt it's best not to ask questions.
- There is a scene in "Wrecked" where Willow is taking what is clearly a Shower of Angst. Question: Is it a Shower of Angst because of the dru... dark magic, or is it because Rack found himself lost beneath her Willow tree.
- Well, he claims that Willow tastes like strawberries. A Strawberry is slang for a woman who willingly trades sex for drugs. Take from that what you will.
- And the scene in which we see her experience Rack's "magic" is framed in a remarkably sexual way. She may or may not have actually slept with Rack; there is no solid evidence one way or the other. But the writers definitely intended "sex for drugs" to be taken from the scene, as one of the series' iconic "supernatural as metaphor for real world" elements if nothing else.
- Rack is also slimier that every single drug dealer ever. You could have The Aggressive Drug Dealer, those who hook people on drugs For the Evulz, you could have Carl Williams, even if there was no sex involved could you blame Willow for feeling the need to take a shower? It'd be like meeting Hannibal Lecter.
Giles is (Not) Dying
- Ok. Giles tells Anya that he's dying either from the asskicking he just received from Dark Willow or from her yoinking his powers. I'll buy that; he certainly acts and looks like he's dying. Then, at the end of the episode, he just sits back up and walks out with surprisingly little help from Anya. What the hell happened? Did Willow choosing not to destroy the world somehow heal him? Anya even brings this up, but he just answers her about why the rest of the world isn't dead. And even if he'd been wrong that he was dying, he still looked pretty bad and spent the last half of that episode going in and out of consciousness. How did he just get up and walk away?
- It was stated at some point during the episode that his magic had been returned to him. Whether the complete lack of magic was killing him, or if the presence of magic helped him recover faster, that was what saved his life.
- There was still a link between Giles and Dark Willow created by her draining his power, and her dark magic was spilling over into him and killing him. Once the coven's magic and Xander did their purifying thing and she turned back into regular Willow, he wasn't being spiritually poisoned anymore.
- Ok, that makes sense, except it was never said. About Willows powers poisoning him.
Is Dark Willow Suicidal?
- I don't know if that's how the writers planned on it, or if it was in the delivery of the lines. It just seems like she was going with a verbal suicide note, the sheer brutal honesty that she uses pretty much seems like she's clearing the air, almost like she won't be seeing them anymore, it seems like she is saying those things to just be mean, but that could be her way of goading them into killing her. Plus the couple iterations of her saying it'll be over soon, and the little self-loathing speech she gives. Even before that when she is destroying Warren, calling Tara things like her life, her world. All this was before the great idea of destroying the world, which is also pretty much suicide. I know alot of tropers and fans say that Dark Willow was the clear victor in her fight with Buffy, but that fact of the matter is after their fight, Buffy was pretty much unharmed and still had enough endurance and strength to run to the cemetery ahead of the flaming ball of death, then fall down a 50 foot hole and then fight even more demons. If Willow had been a Monster of the Week or a Mini-Arc Big Bad and was still essentially the same person with the same powers and the same events happening to her, Buffy would've killed her, and it would've played like a suicide by slayer, a sympathetic villain overcome with grief who doesn't see the point in living anymore.
- It struck me that Dark Willow wasn't really thinking once she was unleashed. Her only goal was to kill the people that she blamed for killing Tara. There was a shred of Willow still inside her, which is why she didn't actually kill anyone other than Warren. More than likely, Dark Willow was just pissed at her friends for getting in the way of her vengeance on the Trio, hence the ass-whooping she gives Buffy and Giles. Dark Willow likely had no plans for what to do after killing Warren, Jonathan, and Andrew. Most likely, Willow would have killed them all and, after it sank in, would have had a My God, What Have I Done? moment before going to the Scoobies and having a complete psychological and emotional breakdown.
- Yes, very much yes. The whole season 6 finale is a metaphor for suicidal despair. Willow bargains, lashes out at the people she cares about, seeks vengeance and in the end tries to "destroy the world" to end all the suffering, while her friends desperately try to get through to her before she does something she'll regret. It's one giant suicide metaphor and a darned effective one.
- Im a little confused about all the people saying that Warren didn't really deserve to die, specifically people saying that he killed Katrina and Tara "by accident", he murdered Katrina after he kidnapped her while she was trying to escape a possible gang rape, in any other show or movie that'd be grounds for a merciless death. Then when he showed up at Buffy's with the gun, he pretty much killed two people there Buffy and Tara, Buffy was flat-lining when Willow magiced the bullet out of her and healed her, so the guy is basically a triple-murderer. Those are the more grievous examples, there's also the time he tried to kill Buffy when she was turned invisible, in that same episode the "Trio" as a whole kidnapped Willow, if they had succeeded in killing Buffy they may very well have killed Willow too. In "Normal Again" they summoned a demon whose poison almost made Buffy kill the entire cast. Plus the more mundane on the scale of murder to jaywalking, the continual armed robbery, or hiring ruthless demons to do it. And everyone forgets about the poor security guard in the museum because it was hand-waved that he will live, he still got show by an experimental weapon by a guy who has shown not to care if he kills someone.
- I hate to defend Warren but lets go there. For obvious reasons, ie lack of violence, hypnosis rape isn't the same as regular rape. It's still disgusting, its still worthy of grand punishment but it's not the same and Katrina's death WAS an accident. It's one of those odd blurrings of reality and fiction but people routinely get hit harder with sturdier objects in the Buffyverse and wake up fifteen minutes later making jokes about concussions. Warren wasn't even aware of Tara's location, her death was also an accident. As is pointed out below however even if you ONLY count Spike and Anya and discount any harm done accidently or on purpose by the others up to this point we have team members who are magnitudes more evil than Warren.
- First of all, lack of violence during a rape,still makes it rape, if you drug a woman at a bar, then take her home, then kill her so won't remember your face and turn your ass in to the cops, that's still rape and murder, and bringing up the Buffyverse Tap on the head sure maybe he didn't mean to kill her then, but they were planning to hypnotize her again, to try to keep her as a sex-slave against her will, eventually Warren would have said,"We have to kill her" anyway. For Tara, if someone does a drive-by or "walk-by" shooting because no one in Sunny Dale has a car, and they hit more than the person they were aiming for, because that person was inside a house, inside a house a block away doesn't absolve you of anything, in fact it's a bit worse, killing some one so on the periphery who had nothing to do with much of anything. About Spike, you always knew because of his popularity that noone was going to dust him, but yeah, he should have died all the way back in season 2.
- No where in fiction, and in most cases in real life, does hypno rape hold the same feel for lack of better terms than real rape or violent rape if you prefer. I'm not arguing that what he was attempting wasn't awful it's that we can all agree that in acts of fiction mind control rape is GENERALLY treated as a victimless crime. As for killing someone on periphery, yes that does make for a completely different scenario. First, it's not murder, you can't murder someone you're unaware of. You can kill them and that's horrible, but you can't murder them. It's accidental however and that's the important detail here. As for Spike the Season 2 truce made perfect sense. After that not so much but that doesn't cover Anya.
- "you can't murder someone you're unaware of" Um, yeah you can. If you try to kill one person and accidentally kill another instead it's murder 2.
- Incorrect, it's involuntary manslaughter at worst. Murder, legally requires intent. By definition cannot murder someone that you know is there.
- Incorrect. This nice site explains California's murder laws for you. http://statelaws.findlaw.com/california-law/california-second-degree-murder-laws.html Specifically, "California state laws require the prosecutor to prove that the defendant exhibited express or implied malice... Implied malice may arise if the defendant meant to create the circumstances that resulted in the killing of another person." He had express malice in regards to attempting to kill Buffy. He had implied malice as he didn't care who he hit while firing at his primary target. Also, in order to be charged with murder you must form the intent to commit murder. If you intend to commit murder and do in fact kill someone, you can and will be charged with murder, whether the person who dies was the inteded victim or not. You still intended to kill someone. This is true in virtually every jusridiction in the US and Canada, and I would venture to say most of the world.
- Your first point is actually brought up in the show, when Katrina snaps out of it and tells them that what they are doing is rape, Jonathan and Andrew act like it was all in good fun like some sci-fi movie, but it's still attempting to have sex to have sex with someone with out consent just because its not treated as such in a lot of fiction doesn't deny the horrible implications. I think your confusing "Accidental Victim" with "Unintended Victim", accidental would be if Warren was at a shooting range and somehow a bullet when through the wall and killed someone. Unintended is what happened he went to the house with an intent to kill and in the course of killing Buffy he killed Tara not accidentally, but unintentionally. It seems semantic but there is a difference, accidental implies that no one is at fault, like there was a struggle and the gun went off, unintended is self-explanatory, in the course of doing something that you intended to do something else happened. Your right about Anya though, there isn't really a way to logic or rationalize her continued existence, you could say it was her job and that the people deserved it, but that's what people say about Hit-men and they're generally treated as the bad guy so yeah, I got nothin.
- Re : "hypnosis rape" vs. "regular rape". As the post above indicated, Katrina herself calls it "rape" in the episode. It IS rape. Having sex without someone's consent is rape. I think that doing so by "mind-raping" them - rather than using brute force - actually makes it even WORSE. Not only is the rapist raping the victim's body but also their mind. As the above post pointed out, just because much fiction treats it as a lesser crime or sin does not mean that it IS lesser. Frankly, I think such treatment in media (treating rapes committed by deception or altering the victim's mind) as being a fairly minor crime or sin helps perpetuate "rape culture".
- The whole thing is, even though Buffy and a few other say let the cops deal with it, I don't see how they possibly could, alot of his crimes involved magic, or demons, or technology that shouldn't exist so how the hell do you even charge him with something that should not be possible, even the shooting, to the outside world Warren and the Scoobies have nothing to link them to each other, they went to high school together for half a semester, that's nothing. With-out even the most tenuous link to each other, there is no motive, and considering Warren didnt try to shoot Willow he probably got rid of the gun, so without motive, no link between them, and no murder weapon, even having Xander as a witness wouldn't help because they could say it was a high stress situation and he could have been confused. Warren probably would have gotten away with everything, and even if he didn't, he's been shown to have a robot look-alike even if he did go to jail it wouldn't have been him.
- Also while he was running away from Dark Willow in the woods, he was still actively trying to kill her, it's just that she was to powerful for those spells to do anything, what if she was over estimating her own power which she did in the next couple episodes. It would go Warren kills Tara, it drives Willow to try to kill Warren, Warren gets lucky and kills Willow. The only analogy I can think of is just because Superman knows getting shot in the face wont kill him, doesn't really mean he should just let the guy continue to do it. As for the whole she draws out the torture scenario, its like 3 minutes long, as opposed the the 100 plus years that Tara and Katrina had between them taken away from them, I don't think its even a close comparison.
- Once the Willow is after Warren in the woods it's officially a fight. You're not evil for trying to kill someone who's trying to kill you. That's called self-defense. I know he started it but at that particular stage it doesn't really matter who started it. So basically he's got two accidental kills, one attempted and a battle to the death. Also since Season 6 confirms heaven and while we don't know much about Katrina I think it's safe to assume Tara's in a better place I'm not sure it's fair to say prolonged torture vs quick death weighs up against how many years were "stolen" that morality works in real life because nobody knows if there is an afterlife. The Scoobies however know there is a heaven and a hell which changes a lot of things.
- I understand saying that they had a 100 years thing was a stretch, considering the Scoobies could die any day of the week, so ok. But there was never a confirmation of heaven, she said she thought she was in heaven, considering there is like 1000's of hell dimensions its only fair to think there's a couple of heaven dimensions but there is never shown a real way to know who goes where, maybe because they died natural deaths they have to rot in the ground who knows. True though that Warren was in a fight to the death with Willow, and of course it matters that he started it, it wasnt like a war where people have been fighting so long they forget why they started fighting to begin with. Prolonged torture is a bit of a stretch though, they've shown it, Giles has been through it, Spikes been through it, Warrens was very brief, doesn't make it right but still deserved. While I know this is just a rationalization, but Willow killing Warren was self-defense, in a more pro-active sense. Considering before actually shooting people Warrens last little project was achieving god hood, I don't think he was going to stop on one attempt when he already succeeded once(if only for a little bit). Warren would have kept coming back, especially after getting a confidence boost that he actually succeeded in nearly killing Buffy.
- No it doesn't matter who starts it once combat is engaged. It's not a matter of having been fighting for x amount of time it's a matter of combat morality is different from day to day morality. There was all but a confirmation of Heaven, but lets set that aside. Willow killing Warren was vengeance plain and simple. He deserved it and probably more but it wasn't self defense. With Buffy dead, hypothetically, Warren would probably have gone back to plan A. Rule Sunnydale. For all of his faults he wasn't actually particularly malevolent and rule under him would have amounted to pretty girls getting mind control raped on a regular basis. Good scenario? Not remotely, but as I stated above mind control is always treated differently, Willow who is supposed to be average looking would probably be safe. This was not about self defense. Besides assuming it wasn't Willow who disrupted the balance it's likely he would have gotten roughly a year of being in charge and then either the First would have taken care of him, teamed up with him or he'd be in an enemy mine situation cus I don't think he really wanted ubervamps walking the streets.
- The writers really dropped the ball for this whole arc, I mean i know in hind sight every thing seems easy, but why was the pretty standard conversation in these sorts of the victim asking the other characters what if it had been someone they were close to, what would they have done. Like what if a stray bullet had killed Dawn, do we really expect Buffy wouldn't have found Warren beaten the shit out of him and then tore his head off, or if Anya had been killed, Xander's no slouch when it comes to expressing rage at the big bad, hell he probably would have brought Willow and Tara into anyway. Also if I was Willow I would have been pissed to think that if some douche with a gun killed me, which was a pretty good possibility I mean if Tara had been like half a foot to either side, woops there goes Willow, that all my friends who I've been through thick and thin, saved the world with, brought back from the dead just simply go let the cops deal with it. There were a lot of conversations that just got brushed under the rug which could have shown Willow's pretty goddamned justified anger at her friends for their severe lack of ability to understand what she's going through
- I thought it was particularly glaring that Willow during her brutal honesty speeches that she didn't call out the other character for their brushed under the rug killings and attempted killings, like Buffy, after Faith almost kills Angel, Buffy stabs Faith in the stomach, Faith was human she only lived because she fell off the roof, if she hadn't Buffy would have drained the bitch and fed her blood to Angel, then all those Well-Intentioned Extremist she kills in Season 5 they were human too, and depending on your perspective they were the damn good guys, and again with Buffy trying to murder everyone in "Normal Again"(Jesus Buffy should have been put down months before Willow turned dark). I also always got the feeling that when Giles tells Ben that Buffy is not like them, that Giles might have killed his fair share of people. and Xander with his summoning of Sweets which killed a few people, people that wouldn't have died if Xander had done nothing. Anya and Spike who between the two of them have a millenniums worth of death and destruction between them. It just seems that there tons of actual conflict (Emotional Conflict not actual violence because in all honesty the 4 or 5 non-punches that Buffy and Willow threw just seemed a little weird) the story line could have brought up, but instead it showed the I don't know long awaited fight between Willow and Buffy, I don't know because I didn't watch the show when it first aired so I don't know if that was a real thing people were buzzing about.
- Maybe it has something to do with Motive Decay like at first it made complete sense that Willow go after Warren with a blind fury, pretty much nothing in the world was going to get in her way, then after she succeeds in obliterating him she goes after the other two, which to the viewer seems a little harsh because Warren had killed Tara all on his own and pretty much left the other two to rot, but to Willow they were all in the same gang, she always saw them together, they were always part of their schemes so why wouldn't she think they were a part of the whole show up at Buffy's house and start shooting plan. After she fails at killing them she takes the weird leap in logic, thanks to Giles, that destroying the Earth seems like a good plan, because when she decides to do that it makes the past episodes pointless I mean Warren and the other two would have died if the planet goes up in smoke, it's like having a 4 step plan where killing Warren and the other two are steps 1-3 and ending the world is step 4, step 4 would have accomplished the other 3 goals pretty quickly, it kind of takes away from the impact of Warren's gruesome death to know that he would have burned anyway in the last episode.
- How the writers steeped to Motive Decay 4 episodes in is beyond me though, Dark Willow started out with a very singular purpose, revenge for Tara's death, how hard is that to fulfill. I even understand her trying to kill Jonathan and Andrew, they were not good people, quite frankly the deserve more credit for all the things that happened prior to "Seeing Red" than Warren, all the demons and magics used against the Scoobies was because of their involvement. So okay she gets Warren, then goes after the other two people who have been menacing and tormenting her and her friends for months, also of note they did kidnap her at one point not exactly something to be easily forgiven. Right up until then everything makes about as much sense as it possibly could, then "END OF THE WORLD" plans rear it's ugly head, makes no sense even in context, True Magic allows Willow to empathize with the entire world, hell give that stuff to the other Scoobies so they can get some perspective on what Willows going through, the whole thing started because of an explosion of emotion from Willow and the story devolved into turning her into a magical Galactus Eater of Worlds. How the hell did that happen? IMO what should have happened, Willow should have attempted suicide after she was imbued with the good magic, because it would have shown that Warren was still bad guy that what he did drove Willow to do everything she did and now shes trying to kill herself because of it, everything would more or less have played out the same way Xander would have talked her down, Sarah Mclachlan still playing in the background except in this version Willow is not Woobie Destroyer of Worlds shes just extremely emotionally damaged, because everything I've heard or read is that Life is the Big Bad of season 6, it gets subverted when a satanic church and dark witches trying to bring about the apocalypse are brought into play.
- I think Willow was planning suicide. But the feeling world's pain thing is massively traumatizing. Remember the season finale of Angel season 1? Cordelia tried to claw her own eyes out due to constant visions. Well I think Willow was pushed to the point she planned to do everyone else a favor and end their suffering just like she planned to end her own.
- People saying he didn't deserve to die could just be people who don't believe that any crime "deserves" death. In-universe, they are pretty anti-human and even if they would be hypocrites if the right person was killed in the right circumstances that doesn't mean that theoretically they are okay with Willow murdering someone for vengeance.
Assuming Buffy went to Hell.
- Willow and the other Scoobies decide to resurrect Buffy, justifying this with assuming they're rescuing her from Hell. Uh, why do they assume she even went to Hell?
- Because she died a mystic death by jumping into a portal to a Hell dimension. The assumption they made (I think) is that she ended up in Glory's home. The show makes a pretty solid point though that the reality is closer to the Scoobies missed Buffy and missed being heroes and they found a way to justify their actions. Giles and Spike are left out of the decision for precisely that reason. For the record though I wouldn't assume Slayer's go to Heaven. The forces of evil are shown to be quite a bit more active than the powers of good and Slayers (Least one's like Buffy who don't pay attention to their expiration dates) probably rack up some powerful enemies who'd love little more than to torture them for all eternity.
Xander and Anya call it splits?
- I have always loved Joss Whedon's writing and have accepted many of the horrible and torturous things he has done to both characters and viewers, but am I the only one that thinks Xander and Anya completely breaking it off in such a forcibly abrupt way was the most contrived writing that ANY of the Joss shows had ever seen?
- Before everyone starts talking about how they had doubts before the wedding and how they eventually were possibly, maybe, kind of getting friendly again and might maybe have become a couple again (if not for events in Season 7), I know they had a couple set ups for them breaking it off, and a lot of will they / won't they moments through most of season 7, but what bugs me is how abrupt the whole thing was.
- For the most part, they are one of the more stable couples in the Buffy-verse. They speak openly, they seem to be in love (and clearly in lust) and all signs point toward the wedding being a great and wonderful thing that everyone including Xander are happy about. A little cold feet (and a singing and dancing demon) is natural and makes sense in almost any wedding type set up. Then at the wedding, with still no real major arguments or open signs that anything is truly wrong with their relationship (perhaps I am missing VERY subtle clues aside from the one moment in Once More With Feeling) future Xander shows up and shows current Xander some vision of the future and rather than talking about with his bride to be like he has done in almost every other situation they have faced... he just walks out on her, gets a hotel, and breaks off all contact for theoretically days?
- Then after, Anya turns into a vengeance demon again at the drop of a hat (that one I can sorta buy into actually, though some justification would be nice other than "it's her thing") and the two of them decide to fuck the last two years of good times and be angry at each other for ever.
- Well, Anya was a vengeance demon for a very long time and this is even worse than what led her to be a demon in the first place. She didn't give up being a demon on purpose but she started to enjoy it because of Xander and it really was all wrapped up in him. Then he scorned her just like all those other scorned women that she helped over the years. It's really not surprising that this is where she ended up.
- This whole set up from beginning to end of their break up strikes me as untrue to the development of their relationship to that point. I know that Joss loves to break up couples because angst and conflict make for good television, but seriously, hadn't we had enough of the many relationships in the series crumble in extraordinary ways by then? Couldn't they have stayed together or at the very least been written with a few more problems that led up to the wedding break up?
- I know it is too late now, but I would love to read some justifications for why anyone might think that Anya and Xander's relationship being cut off was anything less than conflict for conflict's sake and not something that "we should have seen coming".
What happened to the gun?
- In Villains Warren is completely desperate to escape from Willow, and the show makes it clear that he is pulling out every trick he has to fight, run or both. We see some super-science devices, a robot double and some spells he bought from Rack... but what happened to the gun? Did he just forget he had it? Sure it wouldn't have worked, and he probably lost some faith in it after it failed to kill Buffy, but he's desperate enough that he's hitting her with everything he has, up to and including a freaking hatchet, the gun should have at least gotten a mention.
- He likely ditched it after shooting Buffy. What kind of idiot would hold onto a gun they'd just used to shoot up somebody's backyard and, to their knowledge, killed someone? By the time he realises having a gun would be a good idea it's way too late to go after it as that keeps him closer to Willow.