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Headscratchers for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Spoilers abound.

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     The Monks Were Assholes. 
  • Now, it's known that all of Dawn's memories were made by the monks. So why did they give her abandonment issues and make it so Buffy left her completely unable to fend for her life. If I were them I would have made it so she would have understood people leaving her wasn't her fault and more importantly, have had Buffy train her so she could deal with things trying to kill her.
    • More like the Monks were Morons. Since the Key needs to be activated under very specific circumstances it's not like her bleeding a little here and there would be a problem. It's not like a bloody nose is gonna get us sucked into hell. Why didn't they install I dunno every known martial and magical art into her. . .maybe some super strength as well? Something where the concept of self-defence wouldn't be entirely outside her abilities.
      • Given that Glory was right outside the door when they cast the spell, it was most likely just a case of them not having time. If they'd had longer to cast the spell they would probably have been able to include specific details like that.
      • They reshaped reality, and included "Buffy refuses to teach her anything." Why not instead have it be "Buffy teaches her a bunch of stuff because she's not a fucking moron"?
      • I don't think the monks had that much control over it. All they did was change reality to add "the Slayer has a younger sister" and then throw the Key into the role, and they barely got that done before Glory smashed her way in. Everything else about Dawn, including her being emotionally needy and useless in a fight, just comes from how her life and personality would have naturally developed.
      • They didn't reshape reality, they just affected people's memories. Maybe combat training is just too difficult to synthesize.
      • They also gave Dawn school records, a medical history, a birth record and they changed the Summers family's financial records along with everything else that would legally clue them in that Dawn's not a real girl. And they did it all in one spell, presumably without actually knowing in advance the names of every classmate Dawn would've befriended, or the California state tax rate for a divorced self-employed mother with two dependents. They might not have actually changed the past, but "reshaped reality" is a pretty fair description of what their spell did to the present-day world, as much so as it is for what Jonathan did in "Superstar" or what Wolfram & Hart did for Connor.
      • Much moreso than with Connor, as Connor's "rewrite" didn't seem to effect anything but memories.
      • For Connor to be going to college post-rewrite, Wolfram and Hart must have created a legal history for him, same as the monks' spell did for Dawn. You can't get into college without legal documentation that you exist.
      • Wolfram and Hart is a law firm...making a legal history for Connor wouldn't have required magic.
      • While I agree that a minimum amount of combat training should have come standard with the package, Dawn's helplessness is probably a part of why Buffy tries so hard to protect her. Dawn was created to be something she would defend with her life without hesitation.
    • When you are trying to hide a being who's spilled blood opens gateways to various Hells, it's probably a good idea to program her to run away from fighting.
      • At best it's ambigious if the monks knew her blood was the key to her powers. Glory certainly didn't know until it was almost too late. And Dawn bled prior to that. It's safe to say she has to be bleeding at a certain place at a certain time to get the effect. Programming her to be self sufficient would probably have worked better than what they did.
    • I think it was all a matter of the timing (as previously noted) mixed with a spell that seems to have warped reality enough to add Dawn in at her birth. It seems to me that everything that happened along the way in that reality warp was just a matter of growing up with a slayer. Dawn (as a real girl) probably did not even know Buffy was the slayer until events in the series exposed her to her mother as such. Even then, she may have still been able to keep it secret from her little sis for at least another "season" or two. And if we assume that perhaps little sister knew before mom did, that still does not discount the most simple reason she would not have given her any kind of training. "This is too dangerous for you to learn." As for Dawn bleeding, it is obvious that either that part was unknown to the monks or the blood was needed in a specific place / time / ritual to open the gate of doom. Not to be crass, but I think if they knew Dawn's blood was going to be the element needed, she would not have been a girl. At least not once a month... yeah, that.
      • It's made abundantly clear that the bleeding has to be at a certain time and place. Hence the tower.

     The monks were morons 
Okay. I've got a macguffin. Instead of storing it in say a helpless infant or an adult anything more emotionally stable than a teenaged girl. Really? She could have put into Buffy's father, probably into any of the main cast. We don't have any information on any of the limitations for what the key has to be. Clearly it doesn't HAVE to be a living being as it was formerly a ball of swirling green energy. It's possible that the key could have been put into a brick in King Tuts tomb or satellite. It could have been Bob Barker. Glory claims it couldn't be him because he's old and the key is new. The thing is that the spell that was used for Dawn is the similar to the Superstar spell. It rewrites history. There is no more reason why Bob Barker couldn't have been six months old with decades of memories rewritten to remember a television show than there is reason to believe that Dawn couldn't be six months old with a decade and a half of imaginary history. They chose pretty much the WORST option for what to put the key in. Sure they could have put it into a male adrenaline junkie but that aside they made a fantastically horrible choice. Not to mention the fact that as strong as the Slayer is she's not the strongest thing on the planet. Given their desire for the apocalypse to happen on their terms giving it to Wolfram & Hart would have been a better option. Or Drogan the Battlebrand and adding one more coffin. Heck all information we're given it doesn't really make sense that Glory had managed to key in on the location and that the Slayer had it within the six months she was given. We know that locator spells are accurate enough to give you a block by block thing. I really should stop thinking about this.
  • We really, really don't know how much the monks knew. We know they knew of the slayer (though perhaps nothing of Buffy, particularly, or even anything about slayers beyond the whole one girl in the whole world schtick); we know they knew of Glory; we know they knew of the Key, and Glory's plans for it. Beyond that... well, most of these other options for keepers aren't exactly well known, and their eventually revealed motives are even less well known. Human form was, IMO, chosen because the energy of the Key was relatively easy to reshape into a soul-equivalent without destroying it, something that may not have been true of an inanimate form. Glory's insistence that they key was recent was wrong, but sixteen years was as good as sixty as far as that goes, and probably easier to pull off. And Bob Barker is (probably) less well protected from supernatural threats than the slayer's sister.
  • Both this and the above really just boils down to the fact that the monks were desperately rushed and didn't seem to really know that much about the state of the world. There are two important facts about the Slayer: one is that it's a legendary warrior whose reputation greatly precedes it, judging by the Beast's disappointment in Faith and the fact that even a hellgod like Glory knew what a Slayer was. The other is that it's eternal; Slayers may come and go, but there is always a Slayer, because with each Slayer dead, a new Slayer is called. The monks can conceivably know of the existence of the Slayer, they can trust in the Slayer's ability to protect the Key with her extremely hyped-up combat prowess, and they can trust that there is a Slayer somewhere in the world today, no matter where that Slayer may be. No other candidate can meet all three of these conditions. As to the specifics of why Dawn is what she is, it's unlikely the monks actually went through and hand-crafted every facet of her existence, especially given the rushed nature of the spell. By their own admission, all they did was make her human and send her to Buffy in the form of a sister. The spell itself probably filled in the specifics, following the most reasonable course of history for the alteration introduced to it. Why is Dawn a pushover? Because her sister is the Slayer. She's never had to defend herself when Super-Sister is there to solve all her problems. Why is she whiny? Because her sister is the Slayer. She has massive inferiority issues living in a shadow she can never step up to. Etc. etc.
  • The monks are really, really lucky that the Slayer they got was the one slayer ever who was permitted to even have a sister. What if the Slayer were someone proper like Kendra? That's the most likely outcome. Kendra's sister would presumably be at home with her parents and Kendra, who was taken from them so early she doesn't even know her own last name, would have no idea that she existed and no particular drive to protect her outside of her duty to prevent the apocalypse.
    • This is a case of us as viewers trying to fill in a lot of the gaps in the Slayer mythos. We don't know how unusual Kendra actually is because we have met a grand total of five slayers with any real sense of their history. Of them Buffy had no formal training at all. Faith had a watcher, a watcher that got dead but a watcher and doesn't seem to have any noticible differences from Buffy in the slaying department. Nikki had enough of a relationship to have a son. We don't know anything about the father one way or the other but she had family. We also know the Chinese Slayer Spike killed had strong enough ties to her family to request Spike tell her family she loved them. I don't think the monks got that lucky in that regard.
      • Faith was also a problem slayer but I don't see her refusing, as she was before her redemption, to kill a sister to save the world. Nikki had a son but we also know that she outright told him that the mission was more important than him so if it really came down to saving the world or killing him and he'd be dead either way I don't think she'd shy away from it. I'm not sure what was up with that Chinese slayer expecting Spike to see her family and deliver a message but not kill them. I think that any amount of training at all and reporting to watchers would lead to a situation where they would choose to let the entire world (that their sister was a part of. It's not like she'd survive the world ending) be destroyed because they won't have their sister killed.
      • Technically shouldn't it have been Faith that ended up with the little sister when the monks created Dawn in any event? Faith was the Slayer at the time. According to dialogue, the monks sent the Key to "the slayer". Not to "Buffy the Slayer", but to "the Slayer." Since the Slayer line was now being carried by Faith, Dawn Summers should have been created Dawn Lehane.
      • Buffy season 5 = Angel season 2. Which means that Faith is in prison at this point.
      • While Faith was the Slayer, we never hear the exact wording, do we? The monks may have been aware of Faith and specifically worded it as "Buffy Anne Summers" — while, of course, checking to ensure no other Buffy Anne Summers existed in any form to avoid that ambiguity. (And was specific wording even technically required?)

     Why didn't Spike tell Glory about the Buffy bot? 
Granted it probably wouldn't have let him keep the Buffy bot and it definitely wouldn't have let him get the recognition from Buffy as someone who honestly cared about her but Glory probably/possibly would have let him go if he'd simply said that wasn't Buffy it was a robot that looked just like her. I have a perverse interest in the slayer come along now I'll show you.
  • She probably wouldn't have believed him. Her minions saw the Buffy bot talking with Xander and Anya and everybody was convinced that it was the real Buffy, and she most likely would have assumed that the robot story was an absurd lie.
  • She probably wouldn't have let him go. She probably would have killed him.

     Robot roll call 
  • Both the Aprilbot and the Buffybot are technological wonders. How come no one thought to Cut Lex Luthor a Check ? I can think of tons of applications to that technology.
    • Warren considered April a failure, and probably didn't see Buffybot in any better light. Warren was a huge asshole: he didn't see them as being quasi-sentient humanlike artificial beings, he saw them as sex toys, and the fact that he didn't find April to be that much fun meant that she was a defective sex toy, and thus not one that he could effectively sell.
      • Just because Warren's an idiot does not mean that everyone who interacted with his robots was an idiot. Spike could have thought of making money that way.
      • Spike doesn't know all the coding and inner workings of the Buffybot. I don't think you can patent it if you have no clue how it works. The only person who had a shot at plagiarising the Buffybot and making a killing is Willow, and even she didn't fully understand how it worked.
      • Spike is Spike. He could just pick Warren up and go vamp before saying "Right then, how about you and I patent this little thing, or else I'll drop you into a vampire nest and record it to put it on the Internet. Oh, and needless to say, I'll be getting all the money from it, not you, and if you try anything funny, well, vampire nest. I can't wait to get to watch Passions on a real soddin' TV."

     Spike and Buffy/Buffybot 
  • How come Spike couldn't smell/sense the difference between Buffy and the bot after Glory tortures him? He doesn't realize it until she kisses him. Or for that matter, after she was ressurected?
    • Because in neither case is he expecting the real Buffy to be there in place of the robot. He's beaten up quite badly in the first case, so he's probably thinking more about his nagging injuries. In walks someone talking like the Buffybot, so his first assumption is that it's the robot. But the kiss is different; he was kissing the Buffybot repeatedly, so he could tell a difference between that and a real person.

     Glory's magical nail polish. 
  • In "Tough Love," Ben is transforming into Glory. You get a close-up of his hand. No nail polish on his nails. He becomes Glory. Nail-polish on his nails. Why? It's not like they change clothes when one takes over.
    • Glory's body is artificial, there's no reason to suggest that the nail polish (or other make-up) isn't just part of it. The clothes don't count presumably because the monks didn't think about it.
      • The monks thought of nail-polish and make-up? I like that answer.
      • They're the ones who worship a lady called Glorificus. Maybe the vanity isn't new and they thought it was deep enough that she'd be fine with exhibitionism as long as she was properly primped beforehand, or something.
      • The monks didn't create Glory's human form, her rival gods indirectly did when they banished her. I think her appearance and mannerisms are part of Glorificus being described as a creature of vanity. Whatever that means in her own infernal realm (probably some blinding Lovecraftian appearance that would shatter the minds of mortals), that quality manifests itself in her human form as a beautiful blonde woman wearing nail polish and makeup. Remember, the other hellgods weren't expecting Glorificus to have any form of her own once they'd sealed her inside a human body: what we're seeing is Glory hijacking Ben's body and changing it as much as she can without killing them both.

     Dawn as Innocent. 
Within the show, Glory mentions that the key has to be someone innocent. Throughout the show Dawn self-mutilates, engages in kleptomania, and other things. Then in the comics she cheats on her boyfriend. Question: if the key is supposed to be an innocent, how could she do these things? Or does her engaging in the actions mean she's no longer technically the key?
  • She never said the Key had to be innocent. It's just that Ben said "I would never do that to an innocent—" therefore it's Glory making assumptions. By innocent she likely just means "human".
  • I think she's referred to as innocent by the monks at one point, not just Ben? But anyway, I think OP is taking "innocent" too literally. Teenage kleptomania and other ways of acting out doesn't make you not innocent. Dawn is a child who has a soul and is not evil. She's a good kid when it comes down to it. If you're taking innocent to mean having never done anything wrong or been mean or thought about anything negative then that's not only impossible but a completely implausible disguise for hiding the Key. She was made human along with all the fallacies of one, but she's still an innocent — it's not like they made her into a creepy old lady who kidnapped children and killed puppies. Also, I don't see how self-mutilation makes you not innocent. Cutting yourself is obviously a bad thing, but not in terms of morality. It shouldn't be clumped in with cheating and kleptomania (unless it's related to the belief that you can't get into heaven if you commit suicide or something? I don't know how different religions view self-harm.)
  • In supernatural shows such as this, an innocent normally refers to a human that has no powers and is not involved in the conflict. And in fact it's Ben's little slip that tells Glory the key is actually a human at all (she was expecting an inanimate object before). Ben cuts himself off before saying any more, so maybe it was going to be "an innocent girl" or "innocent child".

    Dawn is Made of Me 
  • So, in "The Gift" Buffy's suicide closes the dimensional portal even though Buffy is (as far as we know) not a Key and Dawn is still bleeding. Isn't that a plot hole? Even if Dawn is made of Buffy, a conclusion that Buffy pretty much pulled out of her ass, this still wouldn't have made Buffy a Key, would it? Isn't Dawn a combination of a mystical Key energy and a human? Presumably the Key part comes from her energy days, not Buffy. In other words, the cause and effect chain is in the opposite direction - if Buffy was made of Dawn she would have a case but not vice versa. And even if Buffy was somehow a Key, the blood of Dawn was still flowing when the portal closed. It would have been nice if Buffy had tried to, you know, put some bandages on Dawn first and see if that wouldn't close the portal...
    • I like how Anya lampshaded the confusion in a later episode, remarking that she never really figured it out either. But here's my take on it. Since Dawn opened the portal while she was still in human form, with her blood, the portal was attuned during its opening to Summers blood (had the Key been in its energy form during the opening, that wouldn't have been the case - it happened only because Dawn stayed human through the process). So Buffy's blood resembled Dawn's enough to either work and close the portal, or to at least make the portal go haywire and collapse. Either way, the world gets saved. As for how Buffy thought of it, it was just a crazy guess, like "hey, if it wants her blood and she's my sister now, maybe mine's close enough". She wasn't going to kill Dawn, and the world as we know it was about to end, so she didn't have anything to lose by giving it a try.
      • And personally, I like to think Buffy made the portal go haywire and kablooey, that her Dawn-like blood didn't so much close it as it threw a monkey wrench into the dimensional gears and brought them grinding to a halt. To me at least, that makes more sense than her blood having exactly the same power as Dawn's, and it has the same visible outcome (the portal vanishes and everything goes back to normal).
      • Regardless of why it worked, Buffy knew it would work because suddenly all of the prophecies and portents she'd been seeing and dreaming made sense.
      • Also, the portal going haywire and kablooey explains why it KILLED her when all the demons and crap it was transplanting were getting through just fine. The energy in the portal was obviously survivable given that other things survived it just fine, but the portal having a massive cosmic Blue Screen of Death was not.
      • She didn't just die from jumping face-first off a crane, then?
      • She's visibly in a lot of pain as she falls through the portal, then suddenly she stops wincing and her face goes still. She is already dead as she hits the ground.
        • And earlier in the episode, she falls off the tower while fighting with Glory, and is completely fine. Sure it was only halfway up the tower, but a few more feet probably wouldn't make much difference to a Slayer - since Spike got pushed off that height and lived.
      • Could it be that the monks, knowing that Glory was kicking down the door maybe they put a tiny tiny fraction of the key energy into Buffy so that if Glory DOES get the main key, that tiny bit of energy can short out the portal. Buffy doesn't have enough power of the key to be noticeable or open the portal but enough to short out the portal. As for her death, maybe it ripped her soul out and sent it somewhere.
    • Wild Mass Guessing here, but in the "it's Summers blood" scene, Buffy touches her own bloody hand against Dawn's cut wrist. So she absorbed some of Dawn's blood into hers. Maybe having some of the Key's blood inside her was enough.

    Out-of-Date Order 
  • Why is the Order of Byzantium so completely stuck in the Middle Ages that they use chain mail, swords and horses where they could use bulletproof vests, guns and cars? And more importantly, how no-one pays any attention to this, or the large number of horses the keep around?
    • Rule of Cool
    • In-universe, my impression was that the Order was from another dimension, and the "God" they worship is one of Glory's two enemies. Although, as someone mentioned in His Dark Materials, if you've got access to a multiverse you should probably recruit minions from a technologically advanced world.
    • This is kind of a staple of Buffy. Despite all sense and logic, despite the example set by the Initiative and despite Wesley and Gunn's gang proving the effectiveness of firearms on the supernatural, the cast and the vast majority of their enemies just refuse to use modern technology. It's a quirk of the show, infuriating as it may be. It's also probably why Angel Investigations fares just as well (if not better) than the Scoobies, despite being less powerful in every way - they're willing to break out the flamethrowers, tranquilizer guns and pistols.
    • While I guess your answer makes MORE sense I always got the impression that Joss kinda screwed up in Season 5 and a lot of it doesn't make sense. If Glory for example was only on Earth for twenty odd years why does she even KNOW what a slayer is. Why was an ancient sect of monks guarding the Key? Wouldn't it make more sense for it to be the Initiative or at least the Watcher's council?
    • Buffy's been a slayer for five years. That means that there was another slayer for the past fifteen, it's possible Glory encountered one of them. The Initiative was interested in demons, not artifacts, and the Watcher's Council wasn't even aware of Glory or the Key until Giles gave them a call.
    • Also, Glory was not on Earth only for the past twenty-odd years. She's been on Earth for centuries; it was only very recently that she managed to find where the Key had been stashed - and an ancient order of monks was guarding it because, most likely, they were the ones who were around when the Key first got tossed out onto Earth. Remember, the Quellar meteor has been summoned multiple times - always when Glory's brain suck-fests start getting out of hand, which makes it sound like her search for the Key was done on a cycle; she'd surface for a few months every fifty years or so, maybe.
      • No, they never said Glory's been on Earth for centuries. Ben's only twenty-something years old and Glory's been trapped inside him his whole life (and it's only recently that she graduated from being a voice in his head to full-on bodyjacking). If he dies, she dies (and that's not just an assumption by Ben or Giles - Glory says it herself). So, by that logic, she couldn't have been trapped in anyone else before him, or she would have died when they did and that'd have been the end of it. The Quellar meteor had indeed been summoned several times already - over the past few months by Ben, as he said to Jinx. That said, Glory was a hellgod for eons, so she probably knew about the slayers from her pre-human days. As for the Order, I got the impression that they were the keepers of the Key, not just from Glory but from anyone who might try to steal it. Also, keep in mind that there are two different groups involved in Season 5. The Order of Dagon were the monks who guarded the Key and created Dawn, but it's the Knights of Byzantium who are riding around on horses attacking Buffy.
    • The Order is a group of religious nuts — with an emphasis on nuts. They're also obsessed with playing Knight Templar to the hilt - which includes dressing the part. As for "how they get away with it", well...they could always say they're a SCA group and skate by on that.
    • While the armor can't easily be excused, swords and other melee weapons have proven to be far more useful in fighting demons and the undead than firearms (at least in the Whedonverse).
    • I think everyone is forgetting something. The Order are just a bunch of crazy [[Larp LARPers]]. And no I am not calling LARPers crazy, I mean that The Order are crazy, and also LARPers. Case in point, when they go to bring down Willow's shield, they call for... "Clerics!". Clerics? Really? I have played enough D&D to know that is a character class not what you would call someone that had the skills to bring down a magic shield as evidenced by their role in the scene. At best they should have called for "priests" and at worse "mystics" or some other euphemism. Look up the word "cleric" in the dictionary and it does not even fit the role remotely. Just a little pet peeve of mine. Obviously one of the writers was a huge D&D geek. Again, I am not saying that as a bad thing as I am myself one. But do a little more research guys and don't call your characters role by a class name or else people will assume they are just a bunch of LARPers that have taken things too far!
      • They really weren't all that crazy. As is pointed out in Season 7 killing Dawn really was the pragmatic move. It's just dumb luck that not only do the Scoobies manage to defeat Glory, thanks to an overly complex nearly Rube Goldbergesque battle strategy but also that Buffy was similar enough to the Key that her death shut down the gate that was threatening to suck the world into a Hell Dimension. As for the term Cleric it's possible the term was chosen specifically to avoid offending anyone. While the Order was clearly Psudo-Christian I can easily imagine people throwing a hissy fit if they had been called priests and started chanting in Latin.
      • There's not much point nitpicking the word 'cleric', the Buffyverse has it's own terminology for such things and we don't actually know what else someone who wields a gods power would be called. Warlock isn't actually a term for a boy witch in the real world either but it is in their world. We've already got witches, shamans, technopagans, sorcerers, etc, what's one more term?

    Dawn Gets No Cool Power Despite Being Mystical Energy 
  • Dawn really got screwed over. Every other avatar of a primordial force in the Buffy universe can at least do something a normal human couldn't (see: Illyria, Glory, arguably Cordelia etc.). Dawn's blood opens a single particular portal, and for some reason that also makes Buffy's blood close it. You think as a manifestation of the Key she'd at least have the ability to magically open and close any lock, door, portal, or gate anywhere at will or something along those lines.
    • If that were true, let's hope the First and Forsaken Lion doesn't find her.
    • At the beginning of season 6, Dawn doesn't believe she's the Key anymore. Presumably it was a one-time thing and she had exhausted all of the mystical energy. By the end of the show, Dawn was pretty competent in combat and could perform magic by herself.
    • Since there is nothing we've been told that makes me believe that Dawn is abnormally hard to kill I don't think the key is indestructable like a good majority of Mac Guffins there has to be a reason why the monks didn't just turn the Key into an egg and break it. If it HAD to be human for whatever reason make into a girl from the Knights. For that matter make it into a suicidal girl.
      • The monks didn't want the Key destroyed, they could have just done that themselves. They were trying to protect it. The last surviving monk tells Buffy the Key is innocent and needs her protection, if they'd wanted Buffy to eliminate it they wouldn't have turned it into her sister.
    • Whedon has hinted... HINTED, mind you, and nothing more... that since she was "made from Buffy", Dawn would have been a Slayer, except that being the Key overrode it to the point of Dawn losing her "potential", as it were.

     Buffy jumping into the hell portal 
  • Buffy jumped into a hell portal. Shouldn't this have sent her to hell and not just kill her and drop her to the ground? Why did the portal kill her anyway? It's a portal, not a deathtrap.
    • Presumably hitting the ground was fatal. Slayers are tough but not that tough.
      • However, that would make her death natural and therefore she wouldn't have been able to be revived by Willow's spell. And also, Spike survived the fall, and Buffy is supposed to be tougher than a vamp. Plus, if the fall had killed her, she should have been at least a bit more disfigured than she was.
      • While, yes, Buffy is meant to be tougher then a vampire she still has the disadvantage of being human. Spike is a vampire so the only things that can kill him are a stake through the heart, sunlight, beheading...So him surviving a fall is perfectly logical - Buffy, while yes tough, can die from head trauma of a fall or her body smashing into the concrete etc. Regardless, I think it was the portal that killed her and not the fall.
  • Back to why the portal killed her: it was pure energy. Why was Glory planning on jumping into something like that? In my opinion, the portal was very unstable because the ritual wasn't done properly; it was interrupted by Buffy when she killed the demon (Doc?).
  • It wasn't a 'Hell Portal', it was a portal between ALL dimensions. So sure there were lots of Hell dimensions coming through but there were also the Heaven Dimension, the land of the Trolls, the world without shrimp, the Wishverse, you get the idea. The Key opened the portals to ALL dimensions, Buffy was as likely to be transported to heaven as she was to Hell or anywhere else. And since she shut the portal she wasn't actually transported anywhere and her soul went wherever souls go after death.
    • Okay, there's a part of me now that really wished there'd been a giant pouring of shrimp from the dimension that is only shrimp.
  • Buffy "seems" to have died as soon as her body passed through the portal. I don't think that her soul went anywhere as a result of the portal, but as the above troper noted, it went where souls go when someone dies. It was magically caused death so Willow's spell worked to bring her back (tho one could argue that any death could be reversed if the writer's wanted it to happen). The fall may have still killed her either way. But as for her soul going to heaven, it is never clearly stated that her soul went to heaven. She simply thinks where ever she was, was a very nice place to be. Note: the place where she was enters nightmare fuel territory if you think about the episode Normal Again. Being in an asylum, crazy for years, in a moment of clarity, was Buffy's "Heaven".

     Help Glory go home 
  • I know it's not standard operating procedure to HELP the villian nor to do their homework for them but it seems to me that as anti-climatic as it would have been they could have just helped. It would look like this.
    Buffy: Glory I have the key, I can bring it to you can you explain how to use it? I figure in exchange for you not ripping off my arms I'll help you open the portal and then close it as soon as you're through.
    Glory: You know what blondie I like it. Minion! Bring her to the books.
    Minion: Yes your most most beautaaus Glory may your radiance blind lower beings.
    • Were you not paying attention when Giles pointed out that opening the doorway between dimensions would've unleashed Hellish chaos upon them?
    Buffy: That's it? That's Glory's master plan? To go home?
    Gregor: You misunderstand. Once the Key is activated, it won't just open the gates to the Beast's dimension. It's going to open *all* the gates. The walls separating realities will crumble, dimensions will bleed into each other. Order will be overthrown and the universe will tumble into chaos. All dark. Forever. That is what you were created for.
    • The problem is that clearly wasn't the case. Unless Glory's portal was specifically the last one for some reason clearly the portals opened, and opened wide enough that a dragon and some other stuff had gotten out (and I guess were just sucked back in after the portal was shut). And maybe that wouldn't have worked but it's on that list of things that bugs me that they didn't even make an effort. Clearly Dawn did not have to die to close the portal and it seems a lot of us are in agreement that Buffy dying really shouldn't have worked if for no other reason than Dawn was still bleeding. Who knows, maybe there was some other way to get Glory home. This is why bad guys should explain their plans to the heroes if said plan doesn't NEED the hero dead or inconvienced in anyway.
      • How was it not the case? The school changed into a hive of cenobite-style demons, dragons appeared in the sky and the world was sinking into chaos. Those things weren't just emerging from the portal, the portal was actually zapping things from a distance and changing them. It just didn't happen everywhere instantly, and Buffy closed the rift before the effect could spread around the world and become permanent. As for helping Glory, the only way to do that would have been to let Dawn open the portal and then kill Dawn to close it again, and Buffy wasn't about to do that. Glory asked for the Key over and over again. Buffy said no, not just because she hates helping the bad guys, and not even just because it'd be the end of the world, but because it meant killing Dawn.
      • Problem being amongst other things that the spell was so ill defined that Glory and her minions were literally researching how to USE the key up until the end. It is literally not until "The Weight of the World" the 21st episode of the season that Glory figures out that Dawn's blood is the key to the key. The blood thing we all accept because it's cannon but Glory is clearly surprised to find out that the Key was made into a person. No good reason why couldn't have been made into a lego and lego's don't bleed. That plus the fact that Glory employs minions too stupid to work at Wal-Mart vs Willow and Tara as actual quality magic users, particularly when we factor in what we learn about portals from Angel, that it is entirely plausible that there were other ways to return Glory home. There are other ways to open a door than firing a rocket launcher at them after all. Add in that killing Dawn was not necessary to closing the portal (and what did close the portal barely makes sense to most of us) perhaps STOPPING THE BLEEDING would have closed the portals in the same way that closing a window stops the breeze from coming in.
      • Since when is helping a psychotic Goddess that doesn't care much for the order of the universe and was banished from the dimension through the combined power of multiple Gods from her own dimension a good idea? I know it would have been easier short-term, but who's to say once Glory conquers her home dimension and grows bored, she won't move back to Sunnydale to hang for awhile? How does Buffy have any guarantee Glory can be trusted on any level? Glory is clearly evil and Buffy kills evil things (so long as they're still capable of doing evil, case and point being Spike and she was going to let Ben live).
      • We don't really know how much Glory cared about the order of the universe or would have had our dimension not been driving her insane. Regardless Buffy was at the point of admitting defeat, she was way out of her league apparently (I'd really like to know why they didn't use the Unity Spell from Season 4. Even if it wasn't enough Glory was a sufficient emergency to risk the First Slayer for) even if all helping Glory go home accomplished was getting time to prepare for her return it would have been a better plan than what they ultimately went with. Hit her repeatedly and often with big heavy things. A plan that ultimately failed and the only reason the world didn't end is because Buffy was sufficiently keylike to shut the gate.
    • Why did Glory need the Key, and to tear down all the dimensional barriers just to go home? Well, Glory isn't just a mortal, or even a demon. She's a god. She's the most powerful thing encountered in the entire 'Verse up until that point, and even after it, only Illirya really gives her a run for her money. Remember that, in the Buffyverse, vampires and demons who have a Game Face get stronger when they pull it out. Glory doesn't have a Game Face, but still has all the power of a hellgod in that little, tiny, mortal-impersonating package. Quite simply, on a mystical scale, Glorificus is huge, and needed a gigantic portal to cross between dimensions. Not for her physical body, for her magical hellgod essence. Not any old portal would do, she needed the biggest one that could possibly be created so she could haul all her magical bulk through it.

     Tara/Willow First Onscreen Kiss. 
  • It bugs me that the first Onscreen kiss of our Lesbian Couple is not one that is adorable and loveable, but one in a high stress, high anxiety, sad episode.... just my personal belief.
    • The execs would have promoted the shit out of it otherwise and Joss didn't want that.
    • I thought it was kind of a mind-screw for horny male viewers. Any other time a kiss between the two would have been a sexual thing. Here you aren't allowed to like it because it's a tragic episode.
    • I loved the first kiss. It was touching, tender and real, in a medium that too often exploits "two girls kissing" for titillation effect.
    • I think that putting their first onscreen kiss as a "Shut Up" Kiss in "The Body" is a reaction to the fact that Willow and Tara were not allowed to kiss for many episodes because of Executive Meddling. If the kiss had been made a sweet, memorable moment, it would have implied that that was the couple's actual first kiss. By making it a comforting gesture in a stressful situation, it shows that these two are incredible comfortable with one another, just like any other loving couple would be after the amount of time they'd been together.

    Tara's Family Line and Inbreeding 
  • Wait, if the women in Tara's family are supposedly demons, and the father was making that claim, does that mean Tara's family is inbred?
    • I took it to mean whatever breed of demon she was their powers only manifest in the females. Like those fire demons in Angel and I'm sure plenty of other species we never see.
    • In Tara's mother's family. It's probably assumed that Tara's mother had told her husband the tales of the women in her family.
      • Tara actually isn't part demon. Spike punches her in the nose and it causes the chip to hurt him, proving that there is no demon in her. It was just a lie to keep the women in line.
      • Better question. WHY DID TARA'S LITTLE SISTER CHEERFULLY GO ALONG WITH ALL OF THAT CRAP?! You'd think she'd either think it sucked or angst about it, but she seems very chipper about the whole "I'm part demon and need to be kept in isolation" arrangement.
      • Beth is Tara'a cousin, not her sister. If she went along with it then she's probably Tara's paternal cousin.
      • It's also possible that she goes along with it because she sincerely believes that she's part demon and therefore needs to be isolated. Occasionally people are willing to go through personal privation to help the world, c.f. recycling, composting, and using public transit.
    • He's an anti-magic bigot, so it makes sense that they'd be persecuted for being evil witches. Which is ridiculous, 'cause wicca's good and love the earth and woman power I'll be over here.
    • It seems the idea was that it wasn't supposed to make any sense, just like most forms of sexism.
    • It's surprising what some people will embrace. The opproessed group aren't always *all* angry, rebellious, and fighting against their repression. Lots of girls were told that feminism was silly, by their *mothers*. Lots of slaves embraced slavery, and so on. When you're in the repressed group, it's sometimes easier to tell yourself you like it there, so build your identity around the fact that you never really wanted equality, and that you're happy like this. After that, you get angry at anyone who tries to take that idea away from you.

    Buffy vs Buffybot 
Why did Spike have Warren program his sexbot to act nothing like the woman he's supposedly in love with? She didn't even act like a Buffy who returned Spike's feelings, she acted like April with some Interplay of Sex and Violence thrown in.
  • Spike probably just thought, "Close enough".
  • Spike didn't actually see the Buffybot until it was completed, and Warren left town pretty quickly afterwards. Since Warren programmed it and he didn't know Buffy that well, he probably just modified the April program to incorporate the few details Spike gave him.

    How'd Xander get promoted so quickly? 
He's 19 years old, doesn't have a college education, has never held down a job for more than a few weeks before, and has only been doing construction work for three months. Yet suddenly he's being put in charge of a carpentry crew and is making enough money to afford that ultra-nice apartment. Unless he's the Rain Man of carpenters, that's some absurdly fast corporate ladder climbing. I'm starting to think Suave!Xander may've had some mind-whammy powers after all.
  • I thought the same thing when I thought about it after the fact, but rewatching it (and having been a Carpenter for about a year+) I think basically... yes. He is an idiot savant in the field of construction. What bugs me more than that is when we do see him working, he is mostly just doing labor work until after he gets promoted and then suddenly he knows all the skills of the trade? But even this can be explained away with a little thought. First of all, the guy he is working for does not compliment him on specific skills, he simply calls him "A good worker" (and I think he mentions that Xander "knows his stuff" or something... been a while since I saw the episode in question). And when he hires him on for his next job he does not technically hire him on as a worker, he has him in a more supervisory capacity. This is something we have seen Xander do on a few occasions in the show as a scoobie, so maybe it is his leadership and willingness to get the job done that makes him rise in the ranks like a rocket? In any case, he could have possibly learned the skills in more detail later... and besides, it is never brought up just how good a job he actually does on the little repair works he does in the rest of the show. Maybe they were shoddy and needed a "real" contractor to fix later.
  • Also, try to imagine the death rate in Sunnydale among young, unattached working-class laborers. Xander's going to get promoted just by continuing to breathe. Its the same reason why real-estate values are so hilariously undervalued in Sunnydale; high turnover rate.
     Dawn is an illusion? 
Okay this is only hinted at once during the episode "No Place Like Home" when Buffy performs a ritual to see spells. When she does that she doesn't find anything around he rmother because what's wrong with her mother is natural not magical but Dawn fades in and out of photos. That's fine, she wasn't actually in those photos (which occasionally makes for some awkward placement for the two people who ARE in the pictures. Instead of the entire photo being fake she was added is my point). When Buffy enter's Dawn's room though seeing through the spell not only makes Dawn fade in and out but all the things she did to what was obviously a storage room before her retcon existance took place. If she was inserted, when we all assume she was, right before Season 5 started why aren't the changes to her room real? Hell why doesn't she show up as what she is, a glowing ball of light, instead of fading in and out of existence? My guess is she wasn't originally planned to be a permanent part of the cast and just ended up sticking and this would have come full circle at the end of Season 5 as she took her own life because she wasn't real to begin with.
  • Dawn was not the illusion, the life created by her existance was the illusion. It is a fine line, but it creates a distinction that makes the spell see her as not real even tho she is. That is one reasoning why it did not just make her completely invisible and how she continued to "flicker" like she was still there. The reason she was not seen as her true form was because the magicks invoked by the monks were bigger than everything else. They had to be bigger magicks or else Glory would have located the key easily. The ruse was just that good. Unfortunately it was not big enough to get past a "simple" spell that told one single truth. That "something" was wrong and that "something" was Dawn.
    • That doesn't explain why the room appears to be filled with junk when Buffy is seeing through the spell. Is she seeing into an "alternate" dimension where things are the way they should be? That's a pretty big detail.
      • Isn’t the pre-Dawn universe like the Wishverse? I mean, all that happened before season 5 still happened as we originally saw it, and I guess if the multiple universe theory is truth in the Buffyverse there is a Dawnless universe somewhere that kept happening without Dawn (which I would love to see those seasons, anyway).
     The problem with Spike attempting to stake Drusilla 
  • Ok, so first, let's just assert what we know about Spike's history with Dru; we know that they dated for just under 120 years, that Spike completely and undilutedly worshipped her for the entirety of that time, even when she did things like cheat on him, attack him, and even though she was very mentally unstable. He had a undying loyalty and obsession with her which spanned continents and centuries. Every act of evil he committed in season 2 seemed to be for her (to get her back to full strength, to make sure she enjoyed her birthday, to win her back from Angel/us). When Drusilla broke up with him, he was devastated, and even a year after it happening he still brought her up wistfully and it's implied he was still in awe of her. When he attempts suicide, his supposed-last words are a goodbye to Dru. So, taking that all into consideration, Spike attempting to stake Drusilla less than two years after their breakup makes little to no sense. This is the guy who was obsessed with her for over a century, and never seemed quite over her leaving him. Dru seemed to be the only thing he cared about and had any compassion for, and pretty much what his existaence was centered around, despite how easily Drusilla was prepared to drop him. The fact that soulless Spike was prepared to kill her to prove to Buffy (a infatuation spanning two months and with very little hope) that he loved her seems so out of character and contradictory to all we knew about Spike before-hand. How can you logically justify his decision to stake her? How does this make sense for his character at all?
    • That's the thing though, the infatuation didn't span two months, his knowledge of his infatuation spanned that long. But Drusilla knew he was falling fast and hard for the slayer which was the main reason she dumped him. Also you have to remember that Spike is a diehard romantic who goes all in for major dramatic over the top acts whether it was for Halfrek-as-Cessily, Dru, or Buffy, he tries to go what's in his mind the extra mile.

     Ben Was An Asshole. 
Were we supposed to buy his "I'm a tortured good guy doctor" thing? Because he summoned a demon that murders mentally ill people just because...there were a bunch of mentally ill people.
  • As a whole we supposed to buy it yes. The Quellar beast was summoned to clean up a mess that was getting out of hand. And THOSE people were not mentally ill, they were hollowed out husks left behind by Glory who couldn't be bothered apparently to kill them. Granted thanks to Ben murdering them we don't know if they might recover but the only person we see recover from Glory's mind rape is Tara and only after Willow literally sucks the essence that binds the human mind out of Glory and returned it to Tara. So whether or not you want to believe that he was doing them a favor when he killed them or not the majority of his actions are supposed to put him in the good guy camp. Her certainly could have been a lot more cooperative with Glory. Obviously YMMV on if you think his actions ultimately balance out with him more good than evil. Personally it seems like he was a guy in an impossible position. He literally had a crazy hell god in his head, taking control of his body, leaving him in strange places. Regardless Buffy lives in a world where people are fairly easily forgiven. Both Spike and Anya do things that are much worse and with minimal guilt. Prior to getting a soul Spike doesn't seem the least bit sorry about the things he's done and Anya doesn't display any guilt either until season seven but both of them are clearly accepted as "goodish" in universe and certainly sympathetic out of universe.

     Dangers Of The Magic Shop. 
In "Shadow", Giles unwittingly sells Glory the ingredients she needs to summon a demon to find Dawn. This is mitigated by the fact that Giles had no idea what Glory looked like at the time, but this just shows a serious issue with the gang using the shop at all. That they're unintentionally providing people with the means to carry out wicked deeds. Why didn't this ever come up in conversation?

     Giles killing Ben 
Why is Giles killing Ben considered so bad? Yes, technically Ben was innocent, but keeping him alive is a terrible idea. Buffy's whole "don't kill humans" thing is generally okay, but Ben was sharing a body with Glory who was taking over for longer and longer periods of time. If Ben had remained alive, Glory would probably have taken him over again and wreaked havoc. We don't know what would have happened to her after the portal closed, but I assume her situation would have remained the same as before. She was just trying to get home, it wasn't a time limit for her existence on Earth. Maybe she would have eventually gone completely crazy, but she still would have been a huge danger. Leaving Ben alive simply because he's a human and not evil is not a good enough reason to endanger the whole world.Also, Ben is not that good. He was incredibly selfish. I understand not wanting to die and his instinct for self-preservation, but by the end of the season, he had agreed not only to kill Dawn but to allow the portal to open and destroy multiple worlds in exchange for his own body and a place in Glory's dimension. That's definitely villainy. He knew if he died the threat of Glory would end but he didn't do anything about it. Wanting to live is not selfish in and of itself, but willingness to allow worlds to be sucked into a hell dimension so you don't die is. Giles was, in my opinion, completely in the right and despite what he said, more of a hero than Buffy was in that moment.
  • Because we don't kill people. It's really supposed to be a case of Black and White Morality but it's worth noticing that come season 7 Giles asks Buffy if she had the scenario to do over again would she kill Dawn and she answers yes. Later on in that same episode she flat out tells Robin that if he threatens Spike again she'll let Spike kill him. Which when combined with the speech Giles gives to Ben we're not really supposed ot think that it's 'bad' to kill Ben. But that Buffy is simply too good and in this case too good is Too Dumb to Live because as stated above sooner or later Glory would have killed her. Buffy is often shown to be naive but Good Is Dumb is a fairly common trope.
  • I think Ben ultimately commits the same - moral - mistake as cancer guy did when he wanted to become a vampire. Sure, Buffy stakes cancer guy only after he's been sired, but it is quite clear that she expected him to take the crappy lot in life he's been dealt in stride. So for Ben that would've been either a "Taking You with Me" suicide to rid the world of Glory, or - yaknow - not opening the portal. I think Giles is not entirely wrong in his I Did What I Had to Do justification of doing what Buffy cannot do. That said, the question what would have happened to Glory and Ben had Ben not been killed then and there is interesting.
  • It is bad, but bad for the greater good. A lot of the Buffyverse plays with the idea of how much good and evil is a balancing act. Both Faith and Angel have pointed out or had pointed out to them that "good" and "evil" are more than tally marks in a ledger. . . saving twenty lives doesn't give you the right to take one. Faith, after accidentally killing the deputy mayor, states that she and Buffy have saved so many lives, saved the world enough times, that one ordinary human as collateral damage is perfectly acceptable. Meanwhile, Doyle says to Angel that, if he lacks connections to humanity, he'll just see them as tally marks. . . he's saved a hundred people from being noshed on by vampires, so what does it matter if he snacks on this one? On the other hand, does saving one life give you the right to potentially doom twenty, or hundreds, or thousands, or billions more? Giles comment to Ben that Buffy is "not like us" doesn't necessarily mean that Giles, or even Ben, is "evil" per se, just that Buffy doesn't have it in her to kill a defenseless human being. Giles and Ben do, if given the right reason.


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