Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Xander vision?

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

  • Xander vision?

    What does Xander see? I remember when I first saw the end of Potential...
    XANDER
    They’ll never know how tough it is, Dawnie. To be the one who isn’t chosen, to live so near to the spotlight and never step in it. But I know. I see more than anybody realizes because nobody’s watching me. I saw you last night. I see you working here today. You’re not special. You’re extraordinary..
    DAWN
    Maybe that’s your power.
    XANDER
    What?
    DAWN
    Seeing. Knowing.
    XANDER
    Maybe it is. Maybe I should get a cape.
    DAWN
    Cape is good.
    XANDER
    Yeah.
    (He gives her another knowing smile and leaves the room. Dawn also
    smiles to herself and turns back to her research.)

    ...I wondered what I had missed. I had never seen that, I had never thought of Xander as a particularly insightful observer of people and later felt that this was probably a little contrived in character exploration to add meaning into the whole future eye gouge and his consistently background Scooby status. For me, aside from the whole yellow crayon and the chasing after Riley discussion with Buffy, Xander doesn't display this trait (loved his part in S6 finale, was less on board with his pro Riley stance).

    What am I missing, what didn't I see? Isn't it fair to say that Xander, of all characters, is very affected by his pre-conceived prejudices in what he sees? Where he has an opinion, an emotional response, he can be incapable of objectivity in his viewing, such as Buffy's love life throughout. If people think it is true, has it been explored further in the comics?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Stoney View Post
    What does Xander see? I remember when I first saw the end of Potential...
    XANDER
    They’ll never know how tough it is, Dawnie. To be the one who isn’t chosen, to live so near to the spotlight and never step in it. But I know. I see more than anybody realizes because nobody’s watching me. I saw you last night. I see you working here today. You’re not special. You’re extraordinary..
    DAWN
    Maybe that’s your power.
    XANDER
    What?
    DAWN
    Seeing. Knowing.
    XANDER
    Maybe it is. Maybe I should get a cape.
    DAWN
    Cape is good.
    XANDER
    Yeah.
    (He gives her another knowing smile and leaves the room. Dawn also
    smiles to herself and turns back to her research.)

    ...I wondered what I had missed. I had never seen that, I had never thought of Xander as a particularly insightful observer of people and later felt that this was probably a little contrived in character exploration to add meaning into the whole future eye gouge and his consistently background Scooby status. For me, aside from the whole yellow crayon and the chasing after Riley discussion with Buffy, Xander doesn't display this trait (loved his part in S6 finale, was less on board with his pro Riley stance).

    What am I missing, what didn't I see? Isn't it fair to say that Xander, of all characters, is very affected by his pre-conceived prejudices in what he sees? Where he has an opinion, an emotional response, he can be incapable of objectivity in his viewing, such as Buffy's love life throughout. If people think it is true, has it been explored further in the comics?
    If it makes you feel better think of it like this; Xander is referring to the fact that he is able to understand and appreciate what Dawn does because he is used to being ignored and unappreciated by the others, due to his lack of powers. That's backed up by the text. I don't think the other scoobies mean anything by it, but they do have a tendency to ignore Xander and Dawn simply because so very little seems to happen to them and it's easy to get caught up in all the craziness happening to everyone else.

    Personally, I think Xander has an amazing level of insight when it comes to other characters, but in the early seasons at least he could allow his emotions to get in the way and mess it up. The problem with Xander's insight is that it tended to be harsh truths that no one, not the characters or the audience wanted to admit, so it was easier to pretend that he was simply being immature and judgemental. Not that there wasn't any of that going on.
    “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.” -- Albert Einstein

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by PointMan View Post
      If it makes you feel better think of it like this; Xander is referring to the fact that he is able to understand and appreciate what Dawn does because he is used to being ignored and unappreciated by the others, due to his lack of powers. That's backed up by the text. I don't think the other scoobies mean anything by it, but they do have a tendency to ignore Xander and Dawn simply because so very little seems to happen to them and it's easy to get caught up in all the craziness happening to everyone else.
      Oh, I totally got what he was saying to Dawn in terms of her story in this episode, I just felt Xander considering himself as an observationalist was a contrivance to make the eye loss more meaningful as Caleb says in Dirty Girls
      CALEB
      You're the one who sees everything, aren't you? (rears his hand back in front of Xander's face) Well, let's see what we can't do about that.

      Personally, I think Xander has an amazing level of insight when it comes to other characters, but in the early seasons at least he could allow his emotions to get in the way and mess it up. The problem with Xander's insight is that it tended to be harsh truths that no one, not the characters or the audience wanted to admit, so it was easier to pretend that he was simply being immature and judgemental. Not that there wasn't any of that going on.
      I must say this is more what I witnessed with Xander, that he could be observant but it would often manifest in a negative outward expression, such as his comments on Buffy's love life on and off. In the scene with Dawn it appears that he is presenting as a critical observer in a non-emotive way and I don't think that we see this actually played out without prejudice and judgement teeming in which isn't the way he is making it sound here. Can you think of any other times when Xander positively provides insight? I am just wondering about a scene in Beer Bad with Buffy where he is playing the bartender role, I will have to go and look at the transcripts to see what he is bringing here, it may have just been an ear to bend rather than insight to impart.

      Comment


      • #4
        Xander lifts peoples spirits quite a bit, more than any other character I'd say. As far as positive insight goes; I don't think there are many instances of positive insight being provided for characters. Even Spike uses his powers of insight more often for evil than for good.

        I got what they were going for with the scene in potential. I think in a way it was an acknowledgment that this was the type of character he was suppose to be and an apology for not using him that way more often. I don't really see anything about what he says to be far fetched. Even if he wasn't a person naturally gifted with insight, anyone who stands so close to those in the spotlight is going to see more than those actually in that spotlight. Afterall, it's much easier to stand in the dark and see into the light than it is the other way around.
        “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.” -- Albert Einstein

        Comment


        • #5
          Xander is, in that phrase, talking about how easy it is for him to actually catch more of the subtlety and nuance of how things are the big "power players" because most of them, whether consciously or not, aren't guarded around him. At least that's how I interpret it -- the way that your dog sees more of how you actually act than your family does. Where all the Slayers and vampires and witches and werewolves and demons miss the details of the regular people, Xander doesn't miss those things.

          Stoney, I think you're being too cynical and probably coming at that moment in "Dirty Girls" backwards -- I really doubt they decided "this is the malevolent thing Caleb will say to Xander before maiming him" and then wrote a set up to it in "Potential". Quite the opposite; Caleb (and therefore the First) mentioning it at all rather validates it. It's the enemy's tactical analysis of Xander in the mix of things, and unfortunately it was the harsh lesson in the disadvantages of having an enemy recognize your worth.

          Originally, Caleb was going to kill him, so I don't know if he was going to kill him "Gnarl" style and the line would still work, or if the line was added when they decided they'd maim him instead. But since that's what they did, it's fair to assume that's why Caleb maimed him instead of killing him -- because he was the one who sees, that emotional core, and breaking him might hurt Buffy more than destroying him would have.
          sigpic
          Banner by LRae12

          Comment


          • #6
            I tend to think that Xander does have a lot of moments of insight, but usually they're very small and easily forgotten. There's this scene in When She Was Bad:

            Buffy drops the post and looks over at the Master's skeleton.

            Willow: It's over.

            Xander: No, it's not.
            There's also the "I don't wanna lose you" he told Buffy when she was heading off to kill Faith. And a lot more small moments like these. I also think the harsh truths Xander spitefully blurts out are pretty much insightful and right, if not said with manner. He's a very emotional person, losing himself in passion, negative and positive, and his actions usually come from heart. I think once he matured and learnt to act objectively, the skill to see became more obvious and well used.

            There's also the other argument that he hadn't developed this seeing thing until he matured, it doesn't have to be there since the beginning. I mean, Willow wasn't a witch in S1.

            I also agree that the whole Xander/Dawn scene wasn't written for the Caleb moment as Joss' plan was to kill Xander and not to blind him.
            Made by Trickyboxes
            Halfrek gives Spike the curse that will change his entire life. Teenage Dirtbag

            Comment


            • #7
              His "seeing" things has to do more with his ability to understand what the others are going through and being the heart of the group. For example, the pep talk he gives Buffy in "The Freshman" or even being the heart in the spell used to summon the First Slayer.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Stoney View Post
                but it would often manifest in a negative outward expression,
                Strawman much? None of the characters are perfectlly calm when expressing their opinions (see for example Giles in 'Flooded'). At least Xander didn't resort to physical violence to make his point, which is more than can be said for quite a few characters who were presented as the voice of reason by the writers. Arguments should be judged on their own merits.

                This I will agree with however:
                I just felt Xander considering himself as an observationalist was a contrivance to make the eye loss more meaningful as Caleb says in Dirty Girls


                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sosa lola View Post
                  I tend to think that Xander does have a lot of moments of insight, but usually they're very small and easily forgotten.
                  The coolest such moment of intuition/insight/deduction Xander was ever shown having also fits the idea of him as the one who "sees", but in much more practical terms -- he turned around in "Innocence", he knew Angel was off.

                  Originally posted by Artea View Post
                  This I will agree with however:
                  You unfortunately agreed with the only thing that really can't be accurate, though -- as I've said and as Sosa has repeated, when "Potential" was written, Xander was going to be killed by Caleb in "Dirty Girls", not maimed/blinded, ergo there was no "so you're the one who sees everything?..." line for them to be contriving a set up toward. The scene in "Potential" was written as an end unto itself.
                  sigpic
                  Banner by LRae12

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It's usually the outsiders who get a better perspective of what is going on. For instance, when Spike was on the outer limits of the group in S4 he managed to observe the tension amongst the characters and used that to his advantage. Likewise, when Faith stole Buffy's body she noticed straight away that Willow "wasn't driving stick anymore" but Buffy and Xander, despite spending so much time with her, never picked up on it. In this particular instance, Xander has that same outsider’s perspective because he’s relating to Dawn about not having any unique power and being outside of the main spotlight. That doesn’t mean he’s always the “one who sees”, as you say he has plenty of moments when he’s not insightful or remotely objective at all, but that’s true of all the characters at one point or another. It’s when a character is on the fringe of the group that they get to step back and observe what’s really going on.
                    "The earth is doomed!" - Banner by Nina

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
                      It's the enemy's tactical analysis of Xander in the mix of things, and unfortunately it was the harsh lesson in the disadvantages of having an enemy recognize your worth.
                      No, that was the way I took it but it wasn't something that I had ever thought about Xander so it stuck out to me as a tad deliberate. Actually the points everyone has made and examples given has helped settle it for me I think. I think my first reading of it in Potentials placed more weight on what they were saying was the 'special' nature of Xander's observational ability than was intended. Caleb then referencing it and 'validating' it in Dirty Girls felt like they were just trying to prove this 'special' ability through repetition. If I actually see it more as the 'special' position Xander was in to observe the others throughout and then accept that sometimes his observations were insightful, others they were flawed by prejudice, others influenced by emotion etc but all from a unique viewpoint that works better for me.

                      Great point Sosa that these things don't have to be evidenced from S1 and develop with the characters. I am about due my annual rewatch of the TV series, I'm starting to get twitchy(!), so I think that I will pay more attention to Xander throughout as I think I have fallen foul of allowing him to fade into the background more than I should and am probably missing a depth to him that I should have seen.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You know, there are times where Xander makes me mad but there are others that are so sweet, especially in giving comfort or pep talks to his friends.

                        And yes, I agree that most times, the one who´s on the outside is the one who can see things more clearly.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by buffyholic View Post
                          You know, there are times where Xander makes me mad but there are others that are so sweet, especially in giving comfort or pep talks to his friends.

                          And yes, I agree that most times, the one who´s on the outside is the one who can see things more clearly.
                          I think Xander does indeed see things the others don't. He hides his skill at perceiving things within the group with his humor and goofiness.

                          Ones on the outside are not blinded by pre-concieved notions about the rest of the group. That's just the way it is, most of the time. When you have emotion clouding your "vision", you tend to make mistakes, like Buffy or Angel.

                          Hope that all made sense
                          My sig will not change again 'till I get 400 posts and become a BuffyForums VIP!

                          Want, take, have! - Faith Lehane

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Stoney

                            Xander does for Dawn in “Potential” (7.13?) what he does for Buffy in “The Freshman” (4.01): he gives her a confidence boost and makes her feel better. Xander was pretty much saying that even though he doesn’t have superpowers that he can be and is useful to the Scoobies and the same can be and is true of Dawn.

                            “They’ll never know how tough it is, Dawnie. To be the one who isn’t chosen, to live so near to the spotlight and never step in it. But I know. I see more than anybody realizes because nobody’s watching me.” And Xander merely says that “I see more than anybody realizes because nobody’s watching me.” He doesn’t say that he sees more than the other Scoobies see.

                            Isn't it fair to say that Xander, of all characters, is very affected by his pre-conceived prejudices in what he sees? Where he has an opinion, an emotional response, he can be incapable of objectivity in his viewing, such as Buffy's love life throughout.
                            To be fair to Xander, dating the cursed version of Angelus isn’t the most ‘healthy’ thing and neither is dating a guy who’s still evil and is merely chipped. The problem with his being against both is that he dated Anya and so therefore he’s a hypocrite in that regard.

                            If people think it is true, has it been explored further in the comics?
                            Not really.

                            Can you think of any other times when Xander positively provides insight?
                            “Shadow” (5.08) when he tells Riley, “Buffy needs something to fight, something to solve. I don’t know what kind of action you’re looking for.”



                            PointMan

                            The problem with Xander's insight is that it tended to be harsh truths that no one, not the characters or the audience wanted to admit, so it was easier to pretend that he was simply being immature and judgemental.
                            What are you referring to? Besides the “Passion” (2.17) speech to Buffy, I can’t think of a time that Xander was giving “harsh truths that no one, not the characters or the audience wanted to admit”.

                            Xander lifts peoples spirits quite a bit, more than any other character I'd say.
                            I lean toward Willow being this.

                            As far as positive insight goes; I don't think there are many instances of positive insight being provided for characters. Even Spike uses his powers of insight more often for evil than for good.
                            “The Yoko Factor” (4.20): evil. He gave a lot of positive insights in Season 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. If the thread is about who is the most insightful person in the Buffyverse, that’d be Spike.

                            anyone who stands so close to those in the spotlight is going to see more than those actually in that spotlight.
                            Huh?

                            Afterall, it's much easier to stand in the dark and see into the light than it is the other way around.
                            Not even sure how this is applied to the spotlight thing.



                            KingofCretins

                            Xander is, in that phrase, talking about how easy it is for him to actually catch more of the subtlety and nuance of how things are the big "power players" because most of them, whether consciously or not, aren't guarded around him.
                            No, he’s not. Here’s the entire scene:

                            XANDER
                            Yeah. (sits in a chair in front of the desk) They're special, no doubt. The amazing thing is, not one of them will ever know, not even Buffy.
                            DAWN
                            Know what?
                            XANDER
                            How much harder it is for the rest of us.
                            DAWN
                            No way. They've got—
                            XANDER
                            Seven years, Dawn. Working with the slayer. Seeing my friends get more and more powerful. A witch. A demon. Hell, I could fit Oz in my shaving kit, but come a full moon, he had a wolfy mojo not to be messed with. Powerful. All of them. And I'm the guy who fixes the windows.
                            DAWN
                            Well, you had that sexy army training for a while, and—and the windows really did need fixing.
                            XANDER
                            I saw what you did last night.
                            DAWN
                            Yeah, I— (shakes her head embarrassed) I guess I kinda lost my head when I thought I was the slayer.
                            XANDER
                            You thought you were all special. Miss Sunnydale 2003. And the minute you found out you weren't, you handed the crown to Amanda without a moment's pause. You gave her your power.
                            DAWN
                            (shrugs) The power wasn't mine.
                            XANDER
                            They'll never know how tough it is, Dawnie, to be the one who isn't chosen. To live so near to the spotlight and never step in it. But I know. I see more than anybody realizes because nobody's watching me. I saw you last night. I see you working here today. You're not special. You're extraordinary. (stands, kisses her forehead, stands to walk out of the room)
                            DAWN
                            (tears welling in her eyes, calls after him) Maybe that's your power.
                            XANDER
                            (pauses at the door) What?
                            DAWN
                            Seeing. Knowing.
                            XANDER
                            Maybe it is. Maybe I should get a cape.
                            DAWN
                            Cape is good.
                            XANDER
                            Yeah. (leaves the room)
                            http://buffyworld.com/buffy/transcripts/134_tran.html

                            Xander doesn’t even mention the others aside from them not knowing how hard it is to be Xander in the Scooby Gang and them not knowing how hard it could be for someone like Dawn to be in the Scooby Gang.

                            Caleb (and therefore the First) mentioning it at all rather validates it.
                            Or they were mocking Xander.

                            it's fair to assume that's why Caleb maimed him instead of killing him -- because he was the one who sees, that emotional core, and breaking him might hurt Buffy more than destroying him would have.
                            Xander was never the emotional core, that’s something I completely disagree with Drew Goddard about (he he still believes that). And we don’t know whether Caleb was going to kill Xander or not. Spike interrupted Caleb by knocking Caleb across the room away from Xander.

                            ___________________________________________

                            The coolest such moment of intuition/insight/deduction Xander was ever shown having also fits the idea of him as the one who "sees", but in much more practical terms -- he turned around in "Innocence", he knew Angel was off.
                            It seemed it should be obvious that Angel was off. The lights were cut for no reason (and Spike’s gang cut the lights in “School Hard” (2.03)). He told Xander to leave for no reason and for Willow to come towards him for no reason. Willow in that scene seemed too trusting and/or to gullible and/or too stupid.



                            buffyholic

                            His "seeing" things has to do more with his ability to understand what the others are going through and being the heart of the group. For example, the pep talk he gives Buffy in "The Freshman" or even being the heart in the spell used to summon the First Slayer.
                            Xander wasn’t the heart of the group. I always considered that the heart part of the spell was about bravery. Xander without powers did things that most wouldn’t. Like stare down Angelus. But maybe also that Xander wasn’t someone who clung to power and that more allowed Buffy to ‘give up’ being Super Slayer. Meaning that Xander was there to save lives and save the world – aside from his wanting to be with Buffy – while pointedly Buffy, Willow, and Giles all loved the power that they have.

                            Buffy was the heart of the group. And after her, Willow was the heart of the group.



                            Artea

                            At least Xander didn't resort to physical violence to make his point, which is more than can be said for quite a few characters who were presented as the voice of reason by the writers.
                            He did with Spike when Spike was chipped. It’s not as if he thought he could beat Buffy up, or Angel up, etc. And he did try to resort to physical violence with Larry in “Halloween” (2.06).



                            vampmogs

                            It's usually the outsiders who get a better perspective of what is going on. For instance, when Spike was on the outer limits of the group in S4 he managed to observe the tension amongst the characters and used that to his advantage.
                            Spike is simply insightful. He was part of the group in “Touched” (7.20) and knew exactly why the gang had kicked Buffy out as leader.

                            Likewise, when Faith stole Buffy's body she noticed straight away that Willow "wasn't driving stick anymore" but Buffy and Xander, despite spending so much time with her, never picked up on it.
                            Faith is more open-minded. Buffy acted rather ‘conservative’ when Willow first told her that Willow and Tara is a couple.

                            In this particular instance, Xander has that same outsider’s perspective because he’s relating to Dawn about not having any unique power and being outside of the main spotlight.
                            He’s relating to Dawn because he’s in a similar position as Dawn is.

                            It’s when a character is on the fringe of the group that they get to step back and observe what’s really going on.
                            Xander wasn’t on the fringe. Would anyone say that Cordelia knew the dynamics of the Scooby Gang and “what was really going on” more than any of the others? How about Oz? Or Angel? Or Anya? Or Tara? Or Dawn? Or Wood? Or Andrew? Or Riley (Season 5)?



                            Drusilla

                            I think Xander does indeed see things the others don't.
                            Like what?

                            Ones on the outside are not blinded by pre-concieved notions about the rest of the group.
                            That doesn’t make any logical sense. That, or you get the word preconceived wrong. Getting to know someone better by having more contact or more intimate contact makes one have less preconceived notions and makes one know that person better.

                            When you have emotion clouding your "vision", you tend to make mistakes, like Buffy or Angel.
                            For Buffy, what mistakes? For Xander, there’re things like “Dead Man’s Party” (3.02) when Xander suggested that maybe Buffy was a hooker, there’re things like “Revelations” (3.07) when Xander wanted to kill Angel merely because Buffy was kissing Angel, etc.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MikeB View Post
                              Xander doesn’t even mention the others aside from them not knowing how hard it is to be Xander in the Scooby Gang and them not knowing how hard it could be for someone like Dawn to be in the Scooby Gang.
                              You did not understand the scene.

                              Xander was never the emotional core, that’s something I completely disagree with Drew Goddard about (he he still believes that). And we don’t know whether Caleb was going to kill Xander or not. Spike interrupted Caleb by knocking Caleb across the room away from Xander.
                              Caleb stood back up pretty much exactly where he was, so nobody "knocked him across the room". Given that he roflstomped Buffy and Caleb in about 4 seconds, I'd say just getting him to let go at all was a pretty big achievement.

                              Spike is simply insightful. He was part of the group in “Touched” (7.20) and knew exactly why the gang had kicked Buffy out as leader.
                              You mean that whiney BS he was spewing about jealousy and insecurity? I didn't realize "being ridiculous and wrong" were signs of "insight".

                              For Buffy, what mistakes? For Xander, there’re things like “Dead Man’s Party” (3.02) when Xander suggested that maybe Buffy was a hooker...
                              Include a quote to defend this asinine assertion please. I just glossed over the transcript for every line of Xander dialogue and found nothing.

                              ...there’re things like “Revelations” (3.07) when Xander wanted to kill Angel merely because Buffy was kissing Angel, etc.
                              I'm sorry, that's pure BS. First of all, it's a lie that Xander just categorically wanted to kill Angel. If he did, he sure as hell wouldn't have gone to the gang; he could have just come back in the day time and burnt the damn building down around Angel if he was that committed to killing him. Second of all, "merely because Buffy was kissing Angel" is absurd. It is simply not a rational interpretation of the text. Xander's primary concern was that Angel still was evil or at the very least certainly capable of becoming evil again, a risk certainly increased by Buffy being intimate with him. Both of which were 100% reasonable concerns to have.
                              Last edited by KingofCretins; 29-03-12, 12:44 PM.
                              sigpic
                              Banner by LRae12

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X