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Questions about Season Eight.

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  • #31
    Doing the hard things is what you need a hero for.If you cannot do them , you may be brave and smart but you are not a hero. In The Gift Buffy left Ben/Glory because her priority at that point was to get up the tower to reach Dawn.

    Giles killed Ben as part of the team fighting a battle. He was doing nothing in secret. There was no deception. Also, it was dead easy to finish off Ben. You don't need Buffy for jobs like that.

    In Lies My Parents Told Me, Giles deceived Buffy in the plot to kill Spike. No amount of evasive waffle about how they are a "group of friends" or "more like a family" can disguise the betrayal. Almost worse was his claim "I was doing it for your own good" ---as if he were the patriarch in charge of the girl who was leading the battle to save the world.

    Trust is like virginity, once it has gone it has gone forever. Giles might be used for some purposes, now and then, but he can never be admitted into the secrets.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Michael View Post
      In The Gift Buffy left Ben/Glory because her priority at that point was to get up the tower to reach Dawn.
      Buffy was not willing to kill Ben. She would not kill an innocent man. Just like she would not allow Dawn to be killed. Buffy at that point was not capable of doing the hard decisions.

      Originally posted by Michael View Post
      Giles killed Ben as part of the team fighting a battle. He was doing nothing in secret. There was no deception. Also, it was dead easy to finish off Ben. You don't need Buffy for jobs like that.
      It was in secret. It was not a part of the team fighting. It was Giles decision. No one knew about it. And murdering an innocent person is not easy. And it definitely should it not be.

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      • #33
        Giles did not drag Ben off to a secret place to do him in. It was all in the open. No attempt was made to deceive anybody.

        Since Ben knew about his own peculiar relationship with Glory, he could not be called innocent in the usual sense. Remember how he abandoned his effort to rescue Dawn.

        Buffy was unwilling to sacrifice Dawn, so she sacrificed herself instead. Do you think that was an easy decision?

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Michael View Post
          Buffy was unwilling to sacrifice Dawn, so she sacrificed herself instead. Do you think that was an easy decision?
          It was pretty easy for Buffy to sacrifice herself since as a slayer it was her time to go, and in the moment she realizes, she seemed pretty calm and coming to terms with herself.

          Don't you agree?
          Last edited by Josh; 26-04-08, 08:08 PM.
          My underachieving self has yet to earn banner privileges.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Michael View Post
            Giles did not drag Ben off to a secret place to do him in. It was all in the open. No attempt was made to deceive anybody.
            It was not necessary. No one saw it. Know one ever knew. No one ever asked questions.

            Originally posted by Michael View Post
            Since Ben knew about his own peculiar relationship with Glory, he could not be called innocent in the usual sense. Remember how he abandoned his effort to rescue Dawn.
            It was not Ben's fault that he was also Glory. That makes him innocent. I agree with you that it was not innocent in the usual sense though. But he was innocent enough for Buffy and the gang (except for Giles) not to kill him.

            Originally posted by Michael View Post
            Buffy was unwilling to sacrifice Dawn, so she sacrificed herself instead. Do you think that was an easy decision?
            Not easy, but the fact that she did showed that it was easier to kill herself than to sacrifice Dawn and still left the world with Glory; undefended. She did not know that Giles had taken care of that.

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            • #36
              I am happy to acknowledge that Giles made a valuable contribution to victory in The Gift.In fact there has never been any real controversy about it. Nor did dispatching Ben involve him in any real trouble or risk.

              Consider another possibility. Since Buffy would not kill Dawn for the sake of the world, suppose Giles had decided to take care of that himself? Now you would have been talking, as they say. It would have taken real guts, and I might have some respect for Giles instead of feeling the way I do.

              I agree with Josh Grey that Buffy was calm and composed at the moment of tragic destiny, but I would not call the emotional path leading to that point an easy one. Moreover it seemed that the system of malevolent exploitation established by the Watchers Council was in place and as secure as ever.
              Last edited by Michael; 26-04-08, 10:20 PM.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Michael View Post
                In fact there has never been any real controversy about it. Nor did dispatching Ben involve him in any real trouble or risk.
                It put his consiousness at risk. There has, indeed, been no direct controversy with it. But it's not hard to believe it has weighted on Giles' mind and enforced his mind on the path that has taken him away from Buffy.

                Originally posted by Michael View Post
                Consider another possibility. Since Buffy would not kill Dawn for the sake of the world, suppose Giles had decided to take care of that himself? Now you would have been talking, as they say. It would have taken real guts, and I might have some respect for Giles instead of feeling the way I do.
                I don't see any reason why Giles would do that. Buffy was there to stop Dawn, not to kill herself. Giles had put his mind already on stopping Glory forever.

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                • #38
                  In an earlier episode Giles had said to Buffy with some heat that Dawn had to die, for the sake of the rest of the world. Buffy rejected the idea with great anger, although come Season 7 she said that she would now take a different decision.

                  If Giles was permanently upset by the death of Ben in those circumstances he had always been in the wrong line of business.

                  As for moving away from Buffy, I wish he had done that on a long term basis. He should have stayed in England running a nice second hand bookshop in Somerset, and not making a nuisance of himself.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Michael View Post
                    Doing the hard things is what you need a hero for.If you cannot do them , you may be brave and smart but you are not a hero. In The Gift Buffy left Ben/Glory because her priority at that point was to get up the tower to reach Dawn.
                    I think you're greatly missing the point of the scene if you believe Buffy left Ben/Glory because her priority at that point was Dawn. The point of what Joss was trying to convey was told through Giles, who basically told the audience that she couldn't kill him because he was a human being, not because of her priorities at the time. I don't know how much more Joss could have done to make it clear what was going on there.

                    Giles killed Ben as part of the team fighting a battle. He was doing nothing in secret. There was no deception. Also, it was dead easy to finish off Ben. You don't need Buffy for jobs like that.
                    It had nothing to do about 'how easy' it was to kill him off. Sure, he was physically wounded and unable to move, but killing him off was a decision Buffy was unable to make, even when she knew it'd cost her in the long run. Giles stepped in a made the hard decision.

                    No amount of evasive waffle about how they are a "group of friends" or "more like a family" can disguise the betrayal.
                    Firstly, you don't need to be so rude to call mine or anyone else's opinion 'evasive waffle,' I'm sure I could easily come up with a few words for some of your points, that I don't care to share.

                    Secondly, IMO you're missing a very big part of the series if you don't view them as a family or a group of friends. I mean for gods sake, again Joss Whedon has his characters actually say this in an episode he wrote and directed. To quote Buffy herself, "We're family" in, funnily enough, the episode titled "Family." This isn't evasive waffle, this is straight from the show.

                    Almost worse was his claim "I was doing it for your own good" ---as if he were the patriarch in charge of the girl who was leading the battle to save the world.
                    Yup, because that's exactly what Giles was thinking when he said that. I think I'm seeing a pattern here where you pretty much dislike anyone who doesn't automatically fall into line with what Buffy says.

                    Trust is like virginity, once it has gone it has gone forever. Giles might be used for some purposes, now and then, but he can never be admitted into the secrets.
                    And yet, Buffy asks for his opinion in 'Chosen' about her plan, and puts him in charge of a large group of slayers, as seen in 'The Long Way Home.' I'm sure they can get over 'LMPTM' when they got over the breach of trust in 'Helpless.'

                    You're claim that once trust has been broken Giles can never be admitted into secrets is false, given that he broke Buffy's trust in 'Helpless' and yet, was the first person Buffy ever told about Dawn being the key in season 5.
                    Last edited by vampmogs; 27-04-08, 02:03 PM.
                    - "The earth is doomed" -

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Michael View Post
                      In an earlier episode Giles had said to Buffy with some heat that Dawn had to die, for the sake of the rest of the world. Buffy rejected the idea with great anger, although come Season 7 she said that she would now take a different decision.
                      I think it was great that Buffy had that point of view at the time, even though it was not the best view for the sake of the world. And it is was in this and in killing Ben where Giles started to change in his attitude towards Buffy resulting in distancing himself from Buffy (which is what I meant with moving away (not physically)). I don't see, however, what should have made Giles the decision to kill Dawn herself. At that point it was still not brought to the point that it was necessary to have her killed. Also you have to see it as a first step where Giles considered to do the hard things himself.

                      Originally posted by Michael View Post
                      If Giles was permanently upset by the death of Ben in those circumstances he had always been in the wrong line of business.
                      Perhaps he was. It's my personal opinion that it is not the best line of work for him. On the other hand, without it, we wouldn't have had a human as Buffy's Watcher. Nor would Buffy have had a father-figure in him. As a matter of fact, Buffy would have nothing more that a tool in the war against evil and probably have been died during S1. Well, perhaps not either. It doesn't really matter. Because the point is: what fun is there in having a Watcher for Buffy who doesn't have flaws? It's all about the thin line of being a Watcher for Buffy or being family for her. Giles isn't someone who makes the hard decisions easy. Not at all. But he's learned a few things the hard way. And IMO since S7 he's been overcompensating.

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                      • #41
                        Giles states in 'No Future For You' that because he acted out in his youth he has to "pay the piper" and shoulder the more unpleasant aspects of their line of work. Which also explains why he feels Buffy should remain untouched to those areas of her duties. He doesn’t feel she deserves to have to shoulder those burdens, which is why he steps in, because as he says “he can’t bare to see her suffer.” Faith also picked up on this, saying “you can quit the friendly uncle routine, I’m not your beloved Buffy. I’m the go- to- girl for dirty deeds done dirt cheap right?” Giles believes people like himself and Faith deserve to do those duties as repercussions for their past mistakes.

                        In season 7 their relationship becomes a bit more complicated when he believes Buffy can’t make those difficult decisions. But at the end of the day, Giles was the only reason Spike was cured in the first place. It was he who searched for answers to de-trigger Spike, and it was he who brought the magical stone to Sunnydale for Willow to put it in Spike’s head to resolve his issues with his mother. Buffy had made *no efforts* to solve Spike’s problem since ‘Never Leave Me’ and acted foolishly in telling Spike he had to stay at the end of ‘First Date’ when Spike even acknowledges the threat he poses to people around him after the First’s revelation to Andrew that “it wasn’t time for him (Spike) yet.”

                        Note: When Andrew reveals the First's claims regarding Spike, the writers specifically added in for us to see Giles' reaction to the news. His actions in 'Lies My Parents Told Me' weren't some spur of the moment thing, it was a slow build up.

                        There’s two sides to every argument. You can fault Giles for going behind Buffy’s back, but if Buffy had been more accessible and open-minded, and able to view the situation with a clear head, he never would have had to. She wasn't the best leader in season 7 by any means, and learns her lesson after 'Touched.' In 'Chosen' when she asks for the groups opinion, including Giles', it's evident she's learnt that shutting herself off and not being open to ideas was a flaw of hers. In season 8 she's delegated her duties, whilst Buffy holds iconic status, as evident in 'Wolves At the Gate' and 'The Chain,' Xander holds just as much power in the Slayer Castle, and she gave others, such as Rona, Andrew and Giles their own slayers to take care of as well. If she really didn't trust Giles anymore she wouldn't have given him all those slayers we saw he had under his control in 'The Long Way Home.'

                        Giles will always be in the line of fire for some of his decisions, because he makes the hard decisions other characters, including Buffy, aren't always able to make. But what makes said decisions always interesting is that it's never as simple as saying he's wrong. There's always two sides to the decisions he makes, an argument for and an argument against, that's why I love him.

                        And I love that he cares a lot about Buffy, and that at times he’d rather have her hate him then put her in harms way. No one has to agree with his decisions but I think he manages to get enough respect from most people because they understand why he made them. He has a good heart.

                        In saying that I still believe it is possible he could be the betrayer this season, he'd certainly fit "the closest" though not sure how "unexpected" it could be. He's willing to make tough decisions, and given some of the revelations concerning Buffy's behaviour, I could see him turning against her if he believes it's to protect this "sorry world." Because "sometimes that means saying and doing what other people can't, what they shouldn't have to." (Giles, The Gift) I could see Buffy viewing him as a betrayer, even if he didn't want to have to "betray" her.
                        Last edited by vampmogs; 27-04-08, 03:13 PM.
                        - "The earth is doomed" -

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                        • #42
                          Vampmogs,

                          I do not agree with your reading of The Gift, but rather than just leaving it there, I will have another look at it and come back to the Forum shortly.

                          One point may be of general interest. Because Giles or Buffy or any other character says something, that does not mean it is the view of the author. You cannot necessarily infer what a writer thinks from what any character says. And once a text is out in the open its meaning can be argued over, and the authors view does not have to be taken as final. On that point I agree with Cell.

                          As to "evasive waffle". I was provoked into saying that because in an earlier post you had referred to me "whining about betrayal"-or so so I thought. I don't whine. I would not complain about a smart insult, but it should be accurate.

                          Believe me I understand the point about Buffy and the scoobies being a kind of family, a group of friends. For Buffy this is both a blessing and a curse.

                          I think I take an altogether more cynical and skeptical view about this kind of thing than you do. Apart from the good things, families are hotbeds of malice, envy, frustration and other things that should not be mentioned in a Forum designed for family reading.

                          Do you know how many murders, violent assaults etc take place within families? Okay I don't have figures by my side but you will not dispute the point, I am sure.

                          To my mind betrayal and deceit are not less appalling when committed by a family member, though they more common, I expect. Family members think they can get away with things that professional colleagues would not even think of trying. Which is why they afflict Buffy.

                          On the point about Giles saying to Buffy in regard to the plot against Spike. "I was doing it for your own good"--, we have a rare moment of partial agreement. Traitors always say things like that,of course.

                          You don't challenge, because it appears you don't mind, the idea that he was talking like a patriarch in charge of the girl who was leading battle for the world.

                          Obviously we have a difference of values here. I think it is a pretty wide gulf.

                          However you are inaccurate to say that I am against anybody who disagrees with Buffy. Buffy needs people of strong character and independent mind who will argue with her. She is impetuous.
                          Through no fault of her own she has not received the full education that she deserves. She is arrogant and at times has come close to disaster through casually underestimating opponents. (You remember Fool for Love of course, a marvelous episode.)

                          Yet she should, in my view, be able to count on people giving to her the loyalty she gives to them.Which means not going behind her back to do in the dark, things they were scared to talk about in the light.

                          I had forgotten about Helpless. I think Giles got the sack because he didn't betray Buffy enough?
                          It is now clear to me that this is when we should have realized that the Watchers Council was a malevolent and exploitative body.

                          My response to your remarks about my failure to understand Angel can actually be found right at the beginning of the thread on Power, ethics etc.
                          I wrote it when we were last at this point on the Eternal Circle.

                          Koos,
                          We don't disagree about much at present. Yes I also wonder how Buffy would have got on without Giles. Suppose Wesley had been her Watcher? You never know. She might have made a man of him before he went to LA.

                          I have just been reading an interesting essay (in Seven Seasons of Buffy) which argues that Buffy is a kind of psychological vampire. She sucks the gonads, as the author put it, out of every man who gets close to her. Only if they get away from her can they restore their manhood. So Angel and Riley had to leave or they just would have been ciphers. I don't know whether agree with this.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Michael View Post
                            We don't disagree about much at present.
                            That is indeed suprisingly I don't agree with you on Spike-related stuff. But you view on Giles is not very different to mine. It's only in different in context and in details. I think the big difference is that I have learned to accept Giles as he is and also have learned to appreciate him in this way.

                            Originally posted by Michael View Post
                            Yes I also wonder how Buffy would have got on without Giles. Suppose Wesley had been her Watcher? You never know. She might have made a man of him before he went to LA.
                            I doubt he would have. Wesley changed a lot when he was 'alone' (the hard way). I also don't think Wesley had much to offer at the time for Buffy, except for his knowledge. Furthermore, I don't think Buffy turns men into 'men'. I'm not so sure about this, (just thinking about it) but I think she takes what she needs. Perhaps this is also the current problem between Buffy and Giles: Giles is no longer offering (or even refusing) what Buffy needs from him.

                            Originally posted by Michael View Post
                            She sucks the gonads, as the author put it, out of every man who gets close to her. Only if they get away from her can they restore their manhood. So Angel and Riley had to leave or they just would have been ciphers. I don't know whether agree with this.
                            I think there's a core of truth in this, and I agree to some extend, but with one significant remark: all those men (Angel, Riley and Spike) allowed her to do so.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              The trouble with Giles (continued)

                              I have been thinking some more about Giles and it seems to me that Vampmogs is right on once crucial point, but I don't think he follows it through.

                              The father--daughter relationship,surrogate of course, lies at the center of everything. There is no doubt that Buffy needed a father figure, and she needed Giles. Moreover he felt genuine affection for her.

                              However he got used to speaking to her in the [I]parent to child [I] mode and continued and continues to speak and behave to her in this way.

                              By Season 7 he needed a different way of speaking. He needed to adopt the [I]adult to adult [I] mode. He didn't do it then and he has not done it since. It is this assumption of a parent to child relationship that enables him to say things like "I did it for your own good."

                              Adults do not talk to other adults in this fashion, unless they consider themselves so superior that they can get away with it. It is highly provocative.

                              Making the transition from the parental mode to the adult mode can be very difficult, and it can be a problem in many families and maybe more of a problem with a daughter who has assumed a position of authority.

                              Fathers would not be human if they did not try to hang on to some of their former authority, but acting in the parent to child mode, as Giles does, will only cause estrangement. I will say no more about what Giles did in LMPTM, but he is still conducting secret operations in Season 8 and refusing point blank to tell Buffy what he is doing.

                              And it is all based on the parental assumption that daddy knows best.It may be too late now.Buffy does not appear to wish to speak to him. I had forgotten, when I last posted, the extent to which Buffy continued to want him, albeit at a distance after Season 7.

                              I would not have been so forgiving. Giles had a vast amount of gratitude and goodwill in his account, but I don't think there is much left now.
                              Can he learn to deal with Buffy in the adult to adult mode? I am not sure he can, and if he could it might be too late.

                              Could he be the traitor, as Vampmogs speculates? Actually when the prophecy was published Giles was the first name that came into my cynical and vengeful mind. I would think,however, that Dawn qualifies as more near and dear more than anyone else. And I cannot help thinking that Xander must be harboring a great deal of pent up resentment about one thing and another.
                              Last edited by Michael; 28-04-08, 01:21 AM.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Michael View Post
                                One point may be of general interest. Because Giles or Buffy or any other character says something, that does not mean it is the view of the author. You cannot necessarily infer what a writer thinks from what any character says. And once a text is out in the open its meaning can be argued over, and the authors view does not have to be taken as final. On that point I agree with Cell.
                                I think there's certain scenes where it's pretty evident we're supposed to trust what the character is saying. Whereas, a scene such as the one in 'Selfless' when Buffy and Xander are arguing, are meant to show the validity of both sides of the arguments, as said by the writers. I personally feel one can greatly loose the meaning of the scenes if they go on any whacked out interpretation of what the scene could possibly mean. I'm not saying you're doing that here, but I strongly believe the writers wrote scenes with intentions, and in order to follow the show how it was intended, at some point we need to accept some of them.

                                I think I take an altogether more cynical and skeptical view about this kind of thing than you do. Apart from the good things, families are hotbeds of malice, envy, frustration and other things that should not be mentioned in a Forum designed for family reading.

                                Do you know how many murders, violent assaults etc take place within families? Okay I don't have figures by my side but you will not dispute the point, I am sure.
                                Sure, but then there's countless families who don't do this to each other as well. And judging by the Scoobies, I think they're more or less one of them. I’m not sure why you’d rather adopt the cynical approach, especially when there’s textual evidence in the series to support the idea that being a family Is what saved Buffy’s life.

                                SPIKE: A slayer with family and friends, that sure to hell wasn’t in the brochure.

                                TRAVERS: You have a father’s love for the child and that’s useless to the cause, (of course proven otherwise seeing that Giles saved Buffy’s life from an attacking vampire, twice in that episode. And only did so because he ignored his watcher’s orders, and his love made him rush to her aid.)

                                To my mind betrayal and deceit are not less appalling when committed by a family member, though they more common, I expect. Family members think they can get away with things that professional colleagues would not even think of trying. Which is why they afflict Buffy.
                                Being a family is what kept Buffy alive as long as she did. If they worked as colleagues, much like a slayer and a watcher were intended to, those slayers die.

                                You don't challenge, because it appears you don't mind, the idea that he was talking like a patriarch in charge of the girl who was leading battle for the world.
                                I was being sarcastic when I agree with you on that point.

                                She is arrogant and at times has come close to disaster through casually underestimating opponents. (You remember Fool for Love of course, a marvelous episode.)
                                And you couldn't possibly see some of this arrogance come through in season seven?

                                Yet she should, in my view, be able to count on people giving to her the loyalty she gives to them.Which means not going behind her back to do in the dark, things they were scared to talk about in the light.
                                Giles wasn't scared to talk about these thing in 'the light.' In fact he tried, on more than one occasion. And her was verbally shot down by Buffy every time. In fact earlier in 'Lies My Parents Told Me' Giles tried to speak to her down in the basement, and she snapped "don't" and stormed off. Which then led Wood to speak to Giles behind her back. She didn't want to hear it because she was blinded by personal feelings. If she was even willing to listen, which she couldn’t even manage, Giles wouldn’t have ever felt it was necessary to go behind her back in the first place.

                                I had forgotten about Helpless. I think Giles got the sack because he didn't betray Buffy enough?
                                He got the sack, because, and I quote, "he had a father's love for the child. And that's useless to the cause" at least in the opinion of the Council.

                                Only if they get away from her can they restore their manhood. So Angel and Riley had to leave or they just would have been ciphers. I don't know whether agree with this.
                                I agree with that, but I don't think that's her fault. Angel and Spike in particular are people who didn't regain a sense of self until they moved away from Buffy. Spike's far more a hero and his own identity in 'Angel' season 5 than he ever was with Buffy. And Angel had more growth and showed his leadership abilities and his worthiness out of Buffy's picture. Faith was right when she called Spike "whipped" and Angel wasn't much better. But that’s just because Buffy’s such a strong willed individual, who commands those around her and has the respect and admiration of her friends.
                                - "The earth is doomed" -

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