Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Willow's role in Season 9

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Originally posted by Local Maximum View Post
    drlloyd11, good post. I am not entirely sure whether I agree with aspects of it -- in particular, while the General metaphor gets at Willow's near-world destruction, it doesn't cover the attacks she made on Warren or Rack, or, more importantly, her nearly killing Dawn by returning her to a Key state. I suppose you could argue that the General might have ordered assassinations of those he deemed evil and dangerous ala Warren and Rack (and Jonathan & Andrew), but I don't know that quite gets to the risk Willow did pose to her friends, albeit in an exceptional circumstance.
    One aspect in this analysis that does not come up quite enough is the very *very* personal nature of the act that pushed Willow over.
    If some person via malice or cruelty killed one of my children, if I had the power in a moment of rage skinning them alive would be right on the menu for me. I doubt there are many people who this would not be true.
    The act that made Faith cross over to a very active and conscious campaign of evil was that her friends seemed to take her (Accidental) killing of Deputy Finch very seriously, and did not buy her efforts to pin the crime on literally the best friend Faith ever had, Buffy.
    Her reason to kill "Red" was that Willow looked down on her, Willows reason to Warren was that he took away the sole shining ray of light (as she felt) in her life in a moment of misogamy.
    Consider that Joss gets asked in interviews even to this day "when is he bringing Tara back" or has to explain his actions. Is there a similar issue with Faith like that? People understand why Willow did what she did, and a lot of people feel that way about "fictional Tara" to say noting of a flesh and blood Tara.
    See my reference at the end of this post for more of that.

    As for Rack, I was unclear as to if he was even supposed to be human, and while drug dealer is lower on the criminal scale than cold blooded murderer, Rack (in Willows grief clouded mind anyway) played a role in this as well.
    The other things are lower as well on the clarity skill, but were also acts that were not performed or were temporary (and to be fair, Buffy did need her ass kicked, and Dawn was just whiny screen time by then )


    Faith did have a way back, months of redemption. But it was not an idle timeout but a long period of conscious time of considering her actions and how to handle them that required a complete re-evaluation of herself. Faith five minutes after she walked into the jail was still dangerous (less so) , Willow was harmless seconds after she collapsed in Xanders arms.

    Finally, what was the act that made them "good".
    With Faith it came after her plans were thwarted and she was allowed to see via magic how people viewed Buffy vs Her.
    With Angelus it was the re souling after his plans were thwarted.
    With Willow it was her oldest friend reminding her that some people still loved her no matter what, and that she did not what to harm them , at the very moment no one could stop her.
    Would that have worked on Faith or Angelus?

    Here is my source quote
    http://www.joeutichi.com/profile/joss-whedon-interview/
    “I realised, just the other day, that I have this terrible reputation for killing people not just because I killed Tara, but because I was such a dick about it,” he laughs. “[Adding her to the credits] was just mean. Tara may be dead, but she haunts me still, because now all anybody ever talks about is the fact I kill characters off, and I think, ‘I do other things as well!’”
    Last edited by drlloyd11; 12-06-12, 06:22 PM. Reason: Typo, more content

    Comment


    • Originally posted by DorothyFan1 View Post
      This once again brings back Spike's taunting "joke shop" remark into sharper relief. Because not only was Spike's comment his way of being snarky...it was also social commentary on how supers view normals..."get lost".
      Let me put the question to you, DorothyFan- how do you square away your view that "supers" want "normals" to get lost and Buffy telling Willow in their shared dream in 9.05 that she needs Willow and wants her to stay?

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Dipstick View Post
        Let me put the question to you, DorothyFan- how do you square away your view that "supers" want "normals" to get lost and Buffy telling Willow in their shared dream in 9.05 that she needs Willow and wants her to stay?
        In what way does Buffy want Willow to stay for? This isn't answered and it just brings into focus my concern is Willow's decision to leave Buffy is because she fears her irrelevance without powers. Since Buffy has them she doesn't have this concern because she will always have her "powers". But why should Willow agree to stay with Buffy now? What is there left for her to do now besides just tinkering with her iPad? Is that all Willow is good for with Buffy?

        You tell me the answer to this one because I've stated many times before Willow fears for her place now in the world without magic. It's something she's grown comfortable with because it allowed her to escape the scorn and derision from people who could safely ignore her because she's just a "nerd".

        Whether or not people admit this...when Willow had powers people were forced to consider their options with Willow. In other words Willow commanded respect whether they wanted to do so or not. Now, not anymore. Buffy, by dint of her status as the Slayer will never have to contend with this issue. Willow does.

        Comment


        • Whether or not people admit this...when Willow had powers people were forced to consider their options with Willow. In other words Willow commanded respect whether they wanted to do so or not.
          I don't know about "people" but Buffy seemed to respect Willow far more in S1-4 than in S5-8, so I don't see this correlation between Willow's level of power and the way Buffy sees her.

          It's something she's grown comfortable with because it allowed her to escape the scorn and derision from people who could safely ignore her because she's just a "nerd".
          Who were these people exactly? The Scoobies didn't make fun of Willow for being a nerd, the rest of the world didn't know she was a witch, so they may or may not have done so and would have done the same even if she never learned any spells.

          Buffy, by dint of her status as the Slayer will never have to contend with this issue.
          Yes, everyone respects Buffy at her incredibly prestigious workplace, right? And all other Slayers totally respect Buffy now, right?

          What justification could Buffy have for wanting Willow around now without her big gun status if she's not able to get her powers back?
          The same reason she had in S1 - they are close friends. I don't know about you but I'd rather see my friends as often as possible.

          It's asking a fundamental question of aesthetics - what rationale do normals have for hanging around supers who are so much more powerful than themselves?
          You mean apart from the "supers" needing the help of the "normals" to save the day pretty much every time the world is in danger? Or the fact that "supers" and "normals" have been shown to be close friends from episode one and that's still the case as of issue 9.09?

          But the implication based on Willow's reasoning for leaving Kennedy suggests she thinks normals can't relate to the super powered beings like Buffy.
          If she really thinks so then she must have smoked a lot of Lethe's Bramble or some other drug because as I mentioned above "supers" and "normals" have been friends during the entire run of the show. Willow herself had been on both sides of the divide and was friends with people on the other side.
          Last edited by Jack Shaftoe; 12-06-12, 09:30 PM.
          Xander: "Willow, you are the best human ever! I adore you! Well, that's the cookies talking, but you rock!"

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Jack Shaftoe View Post
            I don't know about "people" but Buffy seemed to respect Willow far more in S1-4 than in S5-8, so I don't see this correlation between Willow's level of power and the way Buffy sees her.
            Remember the line by Hicks in Aliens? He said...

            I guess the lieutenant is too good to eat with the rest of us grunts.
            I really don't know how you make the judgement that Buffy views Willow with more respect in the earlier seasons than the later. Especially given Willow was powerless in the early seasons. That's puzzling. You'll have to explain that one.

            Because normally, given the Hicks quote, people with power don't usually want to associate with the lower ranks because of the division that's naturally there. The psychological distance is because of the power divide - one rules by making the decisions while the others "obey" or are dismissed. That's power.

            This is why I'm finding it curious to see a suggestion that Buffy viewed Willow better in the earlier seasons.

            Comment


            • I really don't know how you make the judgement that Buffy views Willow with more respect in the earlier seasons than the later. Especially given Willow was powerless in the early seasons. That's puzzling. You'll have to explain that one.
              If you haven't noticed it on your own I doubt that even 20 pages long post would convince you. But the key is probably in not viewing respect in the sense of people in a rigid hierarchy respecting each other's positions of power but in the sense of friends being happy to interact with each and being impressed by each other's respective abilities.

              In S1-4 Buffy respect Willow's opinion. She shares her woes with Willow and often asks her for advice on different subjects. She listens carefully when Willow has suggestions how to deal with this or that supernatural menace. When she calls Willow a "civilian" whose opinions don't matter this is clearly portrayed as a sign of Buffy losing the plot.

              Later on Buffy becomes more and more detached from everyone, except Spike for some portions of that period. She certainly doesn't share much with Willow or asks her advice. Research sessions are few and far between and it's usually Buffy who comes up with the solution and doesn't allow any contrary opinions, be it Willow's or anybody else's.

              Willow having power has never really been determining factor in Buffy's inclination to listen to her opinion or not - in The Gift Giles confronts Buffy, not Willow. In S7 Willow rarely summons the courage to defy Buffy, unlike Anya or Giles or Kennedy or even Wood. So I don't know why you keep insisting that Buffy's respect for Willow is based on Willow's powers or lack thereof. Buffy had people like Xander or even Andrew command Slayer squads. Does this sound to you like someone who doesn't respect people with no superpowers?
              Xander: "Willow, you are the best human ever! I adore you! Well, that's the cookies talking, but you rock!"

              Comment


              • Originally posted by DorothyFan1 View Post
                In my opinion, your answer suggests to me Willow may have "plenty" to offer but only because now she's like the rest of the world - normal without powers. But I believe Willow thinks she's of no use to the supers like Buffy. This, incidentally is the explanation of why Willow broke up with Kennedy. It may also be the reason why Willow left Buffy without so much as a face to face explanation.
                This actually proves nothing other than Willow's crippling lack of self-worth. And your very, very low opinion of her without magic.

                There is actually nothing in the text or canon that suggests Willow is actually useless now. It's all coming from Willow herself, because that's what she believes. There's nothing that proves that it's true.

                I think this attitude Willow has may prove to be a more serious issue than her either never getting her powers again or choosing not to regain them. It's asking a fundamental question of aesthetics - what rationale do normals have for hanging around supers who are so much more powerful than themselves?
                Please direct this question to Xander and Dawn and Andrew and ask them why they choose to hang around. Xander and Dawn have been their for more than nine years now.

                What justification could Buffy have for wanting Willow around now without her big gun status if she's not able to get her powers back? I think Joss really put his finger on the pulse when the the First said..."it's about power." But power for what?
                Yes, because The First Evil is the one who we should be looking to for all the answers in the verse. The First Evil isn't out for its own ends, it couldn't possibly be lying for its own self-gain because that would be evil. Oh, wait...

                Buffy has physical power. But the implication based on Willow's reasoning for leaving Kennedy suggests she thinks normals can't relate to the super powered beings like Buffy. Super powered beings may feel entitled to having more to say and do than the non powered normals...which Willow is now a part of.
                By this rationale, Willow should have walked away form Buffy back in 'The Harvest', when she first found out that Buffy was the Slayer. After all, Willow never can, and therefore, obviously never has, connected with anyone with powers when she's been without them. Which would explain why her best friend is a Slayer, her first boyfriend was a demon and her second boyfriend was a werewolf. Oh, wait...

                This once again brings back Spike's taunting "joke shop" remark into sharper relief. Because not only was Spike's comment his way of being snarky...it was also social commentary on how supers view normals..."get lost".
                Not once in the entire existence of this verse has Buffy referred to anyone 'normal' like this and we were expected to believe that was how she really feels. If Buffy really didn't want to associate with any 'normals' she would have told Xander and Willow to 'get lost' WAY back in 'The Harvest' and we wouldn't even be sitting here right now having this insane 'discussion'.



                Originally posted by DorothyFan1 View Post
                In what way does Buffy want Willow to stay for? This isn't answered and it just brings into focus my concern is Willow's decision to leave Buffy is because she fears her irrelevance without powers. Since Buffy has them she doesn't have this concern because she will always have her "powers". But why should Willow agree to stay with Buffy now? What is there left for her to do now besides just tinkering with her iPad? Is that all Willow is good for with Buffy?
                If you HONESTLY cannot understand why Buffy would need the woman she regards as her best friend, then I really feel very, very sorry for you. Do you not have a best friend? Do you not want to see them as much as possible? Do you choose your friends based solely on how powerful they are or what they can do for you?

                Based on this reasoning, I shouldn't have any friends at all, considering the fact that I am 'powerless', because I am a disabled woman who is unable to work or drive and therefore can bring nothing to my circle of friends who are all teachers, lawyers and doctors.

                You tell me the answer to this one because I've stated many times before Willow fears for her place now in the world without magic. It's something she's grown comfortable with because it allowed her to escape the scorn and derision from people who could safely ignore her because she's just a "nerd".
                Yes, this is Willow's irrational fear and something that needs to be addressed, but the textual evidence on what she did before she got her powers cannot and should not be ignored. Willow THINKS she's useless now, because she's lost 'what made her tick', but just because she thinks that doesn't make it true.

                It's like Buffy in S5 thinking she'd lost the ability to love. She thought it, but it wasn't true. The love she has for Dawn MORE than proves that.

                And please, Dorothyfan, apart from the moments, as Jack pointed out, when we the audience were supposed to see Buffy's contempt of Willow and the other 'normals' as a sign of things not being quiet right with her, can you give me some examples of Buffy not wanting to sit with Willow? Of Buffy saying that she can't be seen associating with Willow because Willow is a 'normal' and therefore, has nothing to offer Buffy?

                By this reasoning, Buffy never should have wanted to speak to Willow or hang out with her in the first place, and yet, look at those many, many scenes when they're doing just that, without any sort of supernatural crisis around.
                Para Bellum| Live Journal | Tumblr | Resources

                Si vis pacem, para bellum

                Comment


                • Willow with Magic/Willow with Magic

                  Originally posted by Lyri View Post
                  This actually proves nothing other than Willow's crippling lack of self-worth. And your very, very low opinion of her without magic.
                  --cut--
                  By this reasoning, Buffy never should have wanted to speak to Willow or hang out with her in the first place, and yet, look at those many, many scenes when they're doing just that, without any sort of supernatural crisis around.
                  I think the issue you and Dorothy are trying to debate can be viewed best in practical terms..and please bear with me

                  1-Willow with out Powers can be only as meaningful as Buffy lets her be. In High School she was her confidante and friend but as an adult Buffy has a wide range of people to do that with, particularly because she is now "Out" as the Slayer. She becomes Xander..
                  If Buffy chooses to ignore Willow, then Willow is out of the game for the most part.

                  2-Willow with Powers. Now Willow *must* be addressed and she can have a direct role in the story if she chooses to. This leads to..

                  3-Willow and Buffy as characters. Willow has slowly become co-equal with Buffy in the story line, and a lot of that was personal growth (Tara) and power(Magic). Xander is clearly a "junior partner" in this, and part of that is the role he can play is limited.

                  4-If you love the character of Willow, and in fact consider her *crucial* to your interest with the show/comic. The more things that make her interesting make her a bigger part of the story...and...

                  5-If you Identify with Willow you see the loss of Magic as a crippling or a clipping of the wings of the character. I see her as sad and the most wounded of the scoobies. She has lost more than anyone since S6.

                  Permanent Non Magic Willow seems like a huge step back for the character, in the same way non-Lesbian Willow does. If you have had growth and changes, it feels like ret-conning it.

                  1-Non Magic Willow is going to be in the comics/show less
                  2-I identify with Willow
                  3-The nerd growing powerful is a storyline I can dig.
                  4-Take away #3 and it seems somewhat pointless to follow along.

                  Comment


                  • 1-Non Magic Willow is going to be in the comics/show less
                    That is EXACTLY what I don't understand.

                    WHERE does it say that a non-magiced Willow is - or should be - in the comics less? Why does Willow not having her powers mean that?

                    It's completely nonsensical to me, when in fact she's the ONLY character so far to appear in both main titles AND her own mini-series, which proves it's completely not true. Apart from the main characters, she's has the most 'screen time' so far.

                    Willow made herself useful before she had her powers and she can do it again if she lets herself. But she wants her powers, and I don't deny her that, but I just find it a little disrespectful of the character that people seem to be dismissing all that Willow has added to this verse without her powers.
                    Last edited by Lyri; 13-06-12, 05:39 PM.
                    Para Bellum| Live Journal | Tumblr | Resources

                    Si vis pacem, para bellum

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Lyri View Post
                      That is EXACTLY what I don't understand.

                      WHERE does it say that a non-magiced Willow is - or should be - in the comics less? Why does Willow not having her powers mean that?

                      It's completely nonsensical to me, when in fact she's the ONLY character so far to appear in both main titles AND her own mini-series, which proves it's completely not true. Apart from the main characters, she's has the most 'screen time' so far.

                      Willow made herself useful before she had her powers and she can do it again if she lets herself. But she wants her powers, and I don't deny her that, but I just find it a little disrespectful of the character that people seem to be dismissing all that Willow has added to this verse without her powers.
                      I'm sorry, Lyri but I think drlloyd11 is being honest and in my opinion, accurate. How is Willow as valuable now without powers as when she had them? I'm not seeing this. It's also true I found Willow's story compelling because it was about a nerd who rose above obscurity to become powerful in her own right. It's pointless to argue that it could have been done without magic because now we'll never know this. We just see the debris of what's been destroyed.

                      Comment


                      • It's your opinion, and I am free to disagree 100% with with it, because I think it's a HUGE disrespect for the character to think that she has NOTHING to offer now, and she's going to be in the comic less WHEN SHE'S GETTING HER OWN MINI-SERIES AND APPEARING IN BOTH MAIN TITLES.

                        I mean, in WHAT universe does that equate to the character being useless and having nothing to offer the story, if the writers and creators think she's interesting and important enough to be the main character in her own five issue arc? Can you please just answer me that?

                        The fact of the matter is simple. If the writers REALLY thought that Willow was useless, had nothing to offer, and can think of nothing to do with her, she'd either be dead like Giles, or she'd been dumped into obscurity like Rona, Vi or Gunn.

                        But she's not. She's a main character with her own mini-series.
                        Para Bellum| Live Journal | Tumblr | Resources

                        Si vis pacem, para bellum

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Lyri View Post
                          It's your opinion, and I am free to disagree 100% with with it, because I think it's a HUGE disrespect for the character to think that she has NOTHING to offer now, and she's going to be in the comic less WHEN SHE'S GETTING HER OWN MINI-SERIES AND APPEARING IN BOTH MAIN TITLES.

                          I mean, in WHAT universe does that equate to the character being useless and having nothing to offer the story, if the writers and creators think she's interesting and important enough to be the main character in her own five issue arc? Can you please just answer me that?

                          The fact of the matter is simple. If the writers REALLY thought that Willow was useless, had nothing to offer, and can think of nothing to do with her, she'd either be dead like Giles, or she'd been dumped into obscurity like Rona, Vi or Gunn.

                          But she's not. She's a main character with her own mini-series.
                          If Willow is spending her time looking for a way to restore magic in her five issue arc...then it means she doesn't believe she's worth the salt she's made of unless she has it back for herself. To me that sounds like the writers don't know how to utilize Willow unless it has something to do with magic. Am I wrong? Where have we seen the writers show Willow can be as productive wise in the comics without powers? What's the trade-off in terms of what Willow is doing now outside of magic that proves her worth to the story?

                          Heck, the latest spoilers for the Angel comic
                          Spoiler:
                          seem to suggest the writers are dipping back to the past to excite the readers into seeing how Willow becomes Dark Willow yet again!
                          Why are we seeing this if the writers are so confident they can show Willow in a new light without magic powers? They could have easily gone a different direction if they tried. But no, it's
                          Spoiler:
                          Dark Willow
                          to the rescue for ratings and sales figures! What does this tell you? That the writers don't know how to do something different? Or is it because they don't know how to show Willow without powers and still be part of the story?
                          Last edited by DorothyFan1; 13-06-12, 06:06 PM.

                          Comment


                          • I hate Dark Willow, as do a lot of other fans.

                            But if that's what the writers want to do with Willow, if they want to play on Willow's lack of self-confidence, then that is their choice, and it completely ties into the Willow character. I just won't like it.

                            But I don't like how there are people are just agreeing that this is all Willow is now - nothing more than, as you put it, Dorothy, a driver. The evidence completely suggests otherwise.
                            Para Bellum| Live Journal | Tumblr | Resources

                            Si vis pacem, para bellum

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Local Maximum View Post
                              Well, it's a bit unclear. But I read it more that Willow does get connected to the whole world, feels "all the emotion," but it all comes down to pain because it gets filtered through her own emotions, which are primarily pain. Or at least -- it's pain that she is putting the most energy into distracting herself from feeling, and it's that part of the Human Condition that overwhelms her when she's reconnected to the whole thing.
                              Hmm, I dunno. I just don't see Willow feeling other stuff until Xander awakens their own childhood emotions of love. And I don't know whether I can make the fine distinction that Willow's telepathy is a gift from Giles because it's travels more distance her telepathy in The Gift/Bargaining. It is unclear and I see lots of factual interpretations about a pretty basic element of Giles's plan being valid. Grrr.

                              Hm, probably. That said, she would have been more prepared and more willing to steel herself against it, I think.
                              Hm, that's possible -- though really, my read on Willow in these eps is that she is doing anything she can to distract herself from feeling things (besides pleasure and thrill of the chase/discovery), especially after she's through with Warren. "This magic will make you feel lots more pain" is probably not a pitch she wants to hear -- even if Willow arrogantly believed she was desensitized to pain by now, I feel like it would at least make her pause.
                              I guess we'll never know whether Giles's plan could have worked if he was empowering Willow with information, as well as giving her literal power.

                              I will say that I was reading through the text forgot this bit. It does kind of lean towards the idea that Giles's plan was just poorly thought out and throwing anything at a wall to see what would stick:

                              BUFFY: Right. What's gonna happen to Willow?
                              GILES: Well, the coven is working on a ... way to extract her powers without ... killing her. And, uh, should she survive, you ought to know, Buffy, that there's no guarantee she'll ... be as she was. Willow has killed a human being. How will she be able to live with herself?
                              It's not clear if the coven extracting Willow's power remotely (with her possibly dying from that) was Plan A or Plan B but clearly it was in the top two.

                              Good points, all. Giles does narrate earlier season six by saying that he shouldn't have left, and indicates that asking for help is an adult thing to do, which reads to me as him saying that Buffy was right all along; and then he doesn't try very hard to dissuade Buffy on the "now you tell me" bits.
                              Maybe it's ASH's delivery but I read his, "Sometimes the most adult thing you can do is ... ask for help when you need it" as didactic and slightly reproachful of Buffy which leads into his Knowing Wise Smile when Buffy scolds herself with, "Now, you tell me."

                              I think he's between idiot/jerk and reckless hero there too


                              This is how I narrate Wrecked through Grave (simplified version). Willow knows magic is hurting her, her relationship, and her friends, and wants to stop. She identifies the part of her that craves that power as essentially bad -- a junkie, selfish, dirty, etc. But she still misses it (of course). Things continue throughout the season and she becomes more and more comfortable being magic-less. Then Tara dies, and she instantly returns to magic, because -- basically -- a huge part of her recognizes the value it has for her and for those around her, and the difficulty of living magic-free. If she didn't access the magic, Buffy would be dead, in Villains. And I do think that Tara was at the centre of Willow's construction of how living magic-free could be bearable. Tara wasn't the reason she stopped doing magic, but the fact that Tara was in the world made it possible to imagine that the world was basically an okay place that didn't need Willow's magical intervention and that Willow was basically an okay person who didn't need magic. Still, I read her as actively denying a part of herself in those episodes, because she sees it as all wrong. And on some level I think she does think it's b.s. that she has to give up magic, and hold bitterness about Buffy not wanting to be resurrected and Giles' contradictory instructions.
                              I agree with all of this. I will say, though, that Willow still wanted to quit magic after Tara died. I still agree with your analysis that Willow felt better about it with less reason to quit in S6 because she felt better about the world with Tara in it. However, she still felt ashamed and scared enough of her magic that she wanted to quit in S7.

                              It's true that Tara's death was an exceptional event, but on some level I think something would have triggered her to diving deep back into that pool some day anyway. The only issue is that no one has actually made any effort to teach Willow how to deal with power responsibly, so she views it as binary, so eventually a situation will come up in which her dedication to refusing to access the power she actually does have will falter, largely understandably (because, say, Buffy will die if she doesn't magic her bullet out; or, because Tara will die if she doesn't implore for her resurrection). And once that happens, she'll assume that makes her a Bad Person outside society and all that, at which point she might as well just devote herself to power only, because being both powerful and good is a path unavailable to her.
                              Interesting. I think that's true- although the Dark Willow arc is a very specific tantrum. Willow has those understandable urges to say, heal Buffy so she doesn't die from Warren, but it's not at the forefront of the arc.

                              I do think that it's a perfectly reasonable claim to make that someone should depower themselves if that power is dangerous and threatens to overwhelm them. You know, go to Tibet and de-wolf yourself, 's all good. But while I don't doubt Willow's conscious commitment to that plan between Wrecked and Villains, the fact that power is basically always on her fingertips if she gets angry enough and is not gagged means that at some point she's going to have to try to figure out strategies of using it responsibly. Especially when sometimes that magic will save lives.
                              But why does Willow have to figure out how to use her magic successfully because she has it instead of not using it at all? The story doesn't require all Slayers called through Willow's spell to enlist in Buffy's army, even if they all have the strength and agility to both save lives and hurt people. Heck, why shouldn't Buffy be expected to use her telepathy from Earshot to anticipate opponent's battle strategies and spy on the Mayor and just work through the crushing threat of insanity? The whole point of S5 is that Dawn is not supposed to use her supernatural abilities to save people because Dawn is so intrinsically valuable as a person that she can't be used and discarded like that.

                              IMO, the core difference is that Willow's power was needed in S7-8 because the gang was desperate and Willow's powers were tremendous in scope and magnitude. She's not just another slayer among thousands and her power isn't as pedestrian as telepathy when the gang thinks they can win without making Buffy crazy. Heck, her powers had a productive staying power through lots of danger that Dawn's just-get-through-this-season keyness did not.

                              However, another difference is that Giles, Buffy, etc. were just not sufficiently concerned with keeping promises to Willow, losing her to darkness, how they treated her or whether they had to risk using her power to kill her. There was just little genuine care there and little concern that they were using Willow as a "bloody instrument." Some of it was justified grudges from S6; some of it was unjustified grudges from S6. Some of it is a series-long expectation that Willow puts up and shuts up with tremendous pressure and pain and risks without ever being the center of attention- all brought to its extreme ends by Willow and the gang. Some it is that Giles couldn't really form a connection with anyone and Buffy could only do so with Spike and maybe Xander a bit and they were too stunted to care about Willow to the detriment of the mission. However, I do think all of those feelings were there and influenced folks' actions.

                              That said, season seven is a mess plotwise and the distinction between "can lose control of one's darker impulses by accessing dark power" and "can be possessed by an unstoppable evil entity" is something Buffy seldom actually acknowledges with either Willow or Spike.
                              Yes. Buffy doesn't acknowledge it in different ways between Willow and Spike but she fails in both regards.

                              Here I appeal to metaphor, which is that the First Evil, despite being a conscious force, is also basically a stand-in for evil, and if Willow and Spike work through their psychological issues that leads to them being manipulatable, then they will not be controlled.
                              I think that's what the S7 writers were going for but yes, the execution was terrible.

                              On the other hand, we do get Amy whose hex and manipulations of Willow run more closely parallel to the First's manipulations of Spike, and Willow has to work through her guilt and her loss in order to be, you know, not dead in STSP and not a danger by becoming Warren in The Killer in Me.
                              Willow doesn't really work through her own guilt or loss in STSP and The Killer in Me but instead regains faith in others. In her friends for forgiving her in STSP and in Kennedy's ability to be her rock in TKiM. However, by S8, we see that Willow still painfully misses Tara, thinks that she's poison, and still believes that she played a role in killing Tara and ruining everything from the resurrection. Willow didn't work through anything but regaining the confidence to do magic from S7 to S8.

                              Well, there's power as "power" and power as social power/economic power/intellectual power. Giles keeps Buffy nearly broke, keeps the books away from Willow, keeps them both in the dark constantly. It is basically true that when "power" equals "poking things with sharp sticks" or whatever Giles is usually all for it.

                              Yes, indeed!

                              Agreed. Maybe precognition was one of Willow's new powers, but she agreed only to use it to check out future HP books .
                              Ha! Willow is the Do That Girl for using any precognition powers to read the unreleased installments of Harry Potter because she's too impatient to wait for the release day. Absolutely.
                              Last edited by Dipstick; 13-06-12, 07:43 PM.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Dipstick View Post
                                Hmm, I dunno. I just don't see Willow feeling other stuff until Xander awakens their own childhood emotions of love. And I don't know whether I can make the fine distinction that Willow's telepathy is a gift from Giles because it's travels more distance her telepathy in The Gift/Bargaining.
                                She is pretty jazzed about the power and the ability to feel everything before she hits on "omg! pain!" so it seems to me that she gets a lot at once, and she can feel a lot, and the pain only becomes dominant after that.

                                I don't literally mean that telepathy is a gift from Giles -- more just that the magic increases power and increases connectedness. "It's like I'm connected to everything, I can feel," and all that. I feel like Lessons furthers the idea that Willow is connected in a fundamental way to the Earth, which means she can feel the Hellmouth's teeth -- and that seems to me to be furthering the ideas here.

                                It is unclear and I see lots of factual interpretations about a pretty basic element of Giles's plan being valid. Grrr.

                                Grrr. The plus side is that that allows me to fanwank it all into place, the minus side being that it's...never going to be entirely satisfying. C'est la vie, I guess.

                                If you want I can send my longer interpretation of what's going on there literally/thematically, which I admit is probably overly generous, but I like liking things more than I like not liking things, so that is usually my bias. That said, sometimes I like not liking things so it's not like I'm criticizing not liking things. I've lost my train of thought.

                                I guess we'll never know whether Giles's plan could have worked if he was empowering Willow with information, as well as giving her literal power.
                                I do think it's both. Magic as information system! And some of the "information" is an intuitive, non-verbal sense of the world outside her.

                                I will say that I was reading through the text forgot this bit. It does kind of lean towards the idea that Giles's plan was just poorly thought out and throwing anything at a wall to see what would stick:
                                Definitely. My theory is that Plan A was to have the Coven extract her powers, Plan B was to (genuinely) talk her down without giving her more power, Plan C is to let her take his magic, and Plan D is to, um, kill her. We do see him doing A-C -- it's possible to read A and B as just ploys to get to C, but I don't actually think it reads that way.

                                Maybe it's ASH's delivery but I read his, "Sometimes the most adult thing you can do is ... ask for help when you need it" as didactic and slightly reproachful of Buffy which leads into his Knowing Wise Smile when Buffy scolds herself with, "Now, you tell me."
                                I used to read it that way. Now, it may just be me being generous with him, but I read it like this. This is from memory so this might be wrong. I think Giles tries to apologize, but is really bad at it; and when he is justifying why he was wrong to be angry, he retreats into a scolding tone because that's the only way he knows to win arguments. Then Buffy says "now you tell me" which seems pointed, a little angry at him, and he stares at her, and puts on a fake laugh to try to defuse the anger. And they move on.

                                So it's still Giles being a coward, partly, unable to deal fully with the responsibility without laughing. But I think that he gets that he did wrong.

                                More later! Going to see The Big Sleep nearby!


                                ETA: I just realized what you meant by

                                I guess we'll never know whether Giles's plan could have worked if he was empowering Willow with information, as well as giving her literal power.
                                because of course he is not empowering her with the information about the power/information he's giving her. So. Point.

                                I do think that if Giles' plan is now interpreted more as "Try to talk Willow down OR contain her until the Coven can find a solution OR let her take your power if worst comes to worst and that's the only option besides killing her" then it makes sense not to tell her in advance about the full spectrum of information/power contained in his magic, because it's still preferable for Willow to stop herself ultimately and "well, have you considered taking the power out of me and possibly killing me in the process? but I warn you -- if you do, it contains aspects you might be unprepared to deal with, such as a connection to the world's pain" is probably a pretty difficult pitch to make. On the whole, I guess I do wish the shooting script line was kept in there about "knowing it was a possibility."

                                I do think that my read is still consistent with the text -- that Giles wasn't just pretending to talk Willow down, or telling Buffy the Coven's working on extracting her power, just for kicks, and once his risky backup plan ends up going forth, he's too happy about Anya's devotion to bother deflating her with any fuzzy ambiguities about his plan. Which makes Giles look bad, once again, for pomposity, but he's also just narrowly escaped being on death's door and is still in some pain and doesn't want to stop his vengeance demon employee's adoring looks, and I can live with that.
                                Last edited by Local Maximum; 14-06-12, 02:17 AM.

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X