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Who Does Buffy Feel Competitive With?

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  • Who Does Buffy Feel Competitive With?

    This is a similar line of thinking to my "Who did X character love?" threads.

    Please check off who Buffy felt competitive with. This means any form of competition that you found resonant. Natural and healthy competition, resentful competition, and so on.

    BTW, I didn't include just-villains like Glory because it was both too on the nose and defeated the point of the poll.

    However, I'm kicking myself for not listing Jenny and Kendra as options.
    75
    Giles
    0.00%
    0
    Willow
    4.00%
    3
    Xander
    0.00%
    0
    Angel
    6.67%
    5
    Faith
    24.00%
    18
    Riley
    1.33%
    1
    Cordelia
    22.67%
    17
    Dawn
    10.67%
    8
    Tara
    0.00%
    0
    Kennedy
    1.33%
    1
    Anya
    0.00%
    0
    Spike
    8.00%
    6
    Drusilla
    5.33%
    4
    Darla
    4.00%
    3
    Sam Finn
    12.00%
    9
    Satsu
    0.00%
    0
    Kennedy
    0.00%
    0
    Jenny
    0.00%
    0
    Last edited by Dipstick; 22-02-13, 03:34 PM.

  • #2
    Re: the last options, Buffy definitely feels competitive urge with Kendra.

    In general, Buffy only competes when people are potentially stronger than her or seem to be in competition for her loved ones. That is why #1 above all else is Faith -- who is the only other slayer in town (for s3-7) AND goes after her friends AND her mom shows interest in AND goes after Angel and wow, that's everything, huh? Single white femaled. She's in competition with Dawn to see who is the primary sister and mom's favourite.

    She also does have competitions when it comes to impulses for normalcy -- and there she primarily competes with Cordelia.

    I didn't put Spike, but I should have, because their fights do have a bit of an "anything you can do, I can do better" turn to them -- she *likes* fighting Spike and matching herself up against him.

    Riley, she just knows she's a better fighter than. She does like showing off how good she is in The I in Team -- but it's more that she likes the flattery and to show her stuff off than that she actually sees herself in competition to them; they are so far below her in skill. The one time when she is competitive with Riley to an extent is in As You Were. It's mostly Sam that Buffy sees herself as being in competition with her, but she does make a point of asking whether Riley waited until his life was perfect to come back and taunt her, suggesting that part of her problem is that Riley

    Willow is complicated. Buffy mostly doesn't compete with her, or see her as particularly in competition. She *is* in competition with Willow over Dawn's affections to a teeny teeny bit in season eight. But that's not really right either. Have to think of this.

    I put Kennedy because I think Buffy thinks Willow has to choose between her and Kennedy in s8 and that makes her see Kennedy as competition for Willow's affections. Kennedy is also the greatest threat to her leadership besides Giles in season seven before Faith is on scene.

    I should have said Giles because of season seven, ultimately, but Buffy doesn't see him as competition for the vast majority of their relationship.

    Dru and Darla are competition for Angel's affections. In Dru's case, for Spike's as well, if we believe Something Blue suggests a real concern, which it might well not.

    Comment


    • #3
      Faith is Buffy's #1 competition, as Local Max said. Faith competes with Buffy over everything Local Max listed, plus Buffy's leadership position in the slayer army, competes with Buffy in the Moral Arbiter chapter of the slayer battles and the two compete on who's physically stronger.

      I agree with Local Max on how Buffy competes with Dawn and Cordelia.

      Buffy canonically competed with Darla and Sam Finn, even though those competitions were short-term. However as Local Max said, she only wails about living in Drusilla's shadow when she's enspelled. I ended up picking Drusilla because that was such a clear statement of competition but I could go either way. I could see why Buffy would think that Dru is just a part of Spike's and Angel's soulless lives and that it's beneath Buffy to be a jealous of an insane, rambling vampire with a doll collection.

      I agree with Local Max that Buffy competes with Willow over Dawn's affections a bit in S8. I also think that the two compete socially. Buffy generally thinks that she's the more socially successful person and she's helping far less adept Willow navigate social waters but when it looks like Willow is beating Buffy socially (i.e. The Freshman), Buffy acts like there's a competition.

      I don't think Buffy saw Giles as *competition* in S7 so much as just a pesky usurper. But Buffy didn't want to *compete* with Giles so much as she wanted him to sit down and shut up (and to quit his sneaky, assy actions).

      I should have said that Buffy competed with Kennedy. She does over Willow's affections. Which is a little odd because Buffy doesn't compete with Tara that way and Tara was the much greater threat to Buffy's role as "Center of Willow's Universe".

      IMO, there was some competition with Angel over who got their life together the best after their break-up. It's not cannonically stated- but I get that vibe.

      Comment


      • #4
        Oh, great point about The Freshman.

        I agree about Giles. I was trying to figure out why it seemed obvious to me that she wasn't in competition with him, when I couldn't pinpoint why that was different than other leadership usurping things.

        I do think that Buffy competes with Drusilla for Angel's affections in a big way in season two, but subconsciously. Dru is in Buffy's dreams killing Angel. She at first interprets the Angel/Dru moment in Lie to Me as a kiss. This is the episode after Cordelia seems briefly to be competition romantically. I guess the question is whether the subconscious, "fighting over Angel's good/evil identity" stuff actually counts as real competition or not. When it comes to both Angel and Spike, Dru is much more aware of the fact that it *is* a competition -- see the way she talks in Lie to Me to Angel, or Lovers Walk or Crush to Spike.

        While Tara was more a threat in some ways than Kennedy, in season eight Buffy and Willow are more estranged than they are in season five and even season four. Buffy doesn't recognize that Willow is drifting away and start needing to fight to keep her in s4-6, either because Willow isn't drifting or because Buffy is ambivalent about whether she wants Willow to drift or not. Well, she is ambivalent about that in s8 too, but she mostly wants Willow back.

        That said, Kennedy is still more canonically competitive with Buffy than Buffy is with her.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Local Maximum View Post
          I do think that Buffy competes with Drusilla for Angel's affections in a big way in season two, but subconsciously. Dru is in Buffy's dreams killing Angel. She at first interprets the Angel/Dru moment in Lie to Me as a kiss. This is the episode after Cordelia seems briefly to be competition romantically. I guess the question is whether the subconscious, "fighting over Angel's good/evil identity" stuff actually counts as real competition or not.
          Good point. I kind of dismissed Lie to Me in my earlier analysis because Buffy didn't know Dru was until later in the ep. However, that suspicion and competition over whether Angel is going to hang out creepily like a bad guy with evil vampiresses (Dru, Darla) is a lasting pattern and enough for me to say clearly that Buffy competes with Dru to be Angel's and Spike's better Angel.

          When it comes to both Angel and Spike, Dru is much more aware of the fact that it *is* a competition -- see the way she talks in Lie to Me to Angel, or Lovers Walk or Crush to Spike.
          Sure. Buffy is competitive with a lot of people. However IMO, Faith, Dru, Darla, Willow, Kennedy, Spike, Angel are more competitive with Buffy than she is with them. Sam Finn is the only one who Buffy is more competitive with than get competitiveness back.

          While Tara was more a threat in some ways than Kennedy, in season eight Buffy and Willow are more estranged than they are in season five and even season four. Buffy doesn't recognize that Willow is drifting away and start needing to fight to keep her in s4-6, either because Willow isn't drifting or because Buffy is ambivalent about whether she wants Willow to drift or not. Well, she is ambivalent about that in s8 too, but she mostly wants Willow back.
          Great point. I agree entirely. Also, Tara's kind of a sad case. IMO, Buffy feels more comfortable competing with glamorous, strong, self-possessed people who look like they're taking life on. Buffy is prideful enough that she think it's beneath her and compassionate enough that she'd feel guilty about competing with a poorly dressed, shy, stutterer with a troubled childhood who got constant pain in her short tenure in the Scoobies.

          Still, there are some things that may indicate that Buffy was competitive with Tara over Willow. Buffy looks at Willow's empty made bed in Primeval sadly, knowing that Willow is choosing to be with Tara and not her. If I wanted to fondly interpret Buffy's rude, uncharitable behavior about going to Tara's birthday party in Family, I could say that Buffy was jealous that Tara was monopolizing Willow's attention. And say competing-lines like, "I saw a cute shirt that I could get Tara for her birthday. But I want me to have it" is subliminal competition with Tara.

          However, I don't know if I'm reading too much in the text or making good reads that are subtle because of the above reasons why Buffy wouldn't openly compete with Tara.

          Comment


          • #6
            I’d actually say, “No one.” because even the ones she was competitive with at some time, they are too short-lived to even much matter.

            Kendra: one episode, perhaps at-most hours.


            Never with Xander, Willow, Giles, Angel, Anya, Riley, Kennedy, Anya, Sam Finn, Satsu, or Tara.


            Darla: that lasted a few seconds or whatever before Angel staked Darla.


            Dawn: for months competed for Joyce’s love.


            Cordelia: only lasted in “Homecoming” (3.05) for Homecoming Queen.


            Faith: wanted to do better on the ‘Slayer fitness’ tests than Faith and briefly was concerned that Angel may like Faith and briefly was concerned that Spike may like Faith. In BtVS S7 in terms of leadership over the Potentials, Buffy wasn’t competitive with Faith. Her group ousted her, Faith was put in charge, and Buffy pretty much told her to do a good job. At-most that competitiveness lasted minutes.


            Drusilla: this depends on how much Buffy is actually concerned about Spike’s possible still-feelings for Drusilla and depends on when Buffy owned to actually being ‘into’ Spike. With Angel, Buffy in “Lie to Me” (2.07) wasn’t competitive with Drusilla so much as she would have dumped Angel had he actually been cheating on Buffy.


            Spike: this depends on how confident Buffy actually was that she could beat Spike in a fight. She always seemed confident. This also depends on if Buffy considered if Spike was comparing her sexual skills to those of his previous lovers but even if so, that would have ended in “Dead Things” (6.13) when he openly tells her she’s better than everyone he’s had before.

            Comment


            • #7
              Faith is the most obvious choice. Buffy competes with her on almost every level and there's still an element of competition between them in S8. Buffy even feels ashamed of this at times;

              BUFFY
              I want to do...

              WILLOW
              Better than Faith?

              BUFFY
              How very shallow


              but they always have that competitive edge.

              I would have picked Kendra too. Like with Faith, Buffy and Kendra have a very competitive edge to their relationship, even when they are getting along much better in Becoming;

              KENDRA
              Just wanted to test your reflexes

              BUFFY
              How about testing my face-punching? 'Cause I think you'll find it's improved!


              Although, I don't think she's as competitive with Kendra as she is with Faith. Faith competes with Buffy on almost every level, including with boyfriends, her mum, her friends and her father-figure, whereas aside from getting cosy with Giles Kendra really only competes on a Slayer level -- and even that's more of a Watcher thing then Kendra vying for Giles' fatherly affections.

              What I find interesting is that I don't think Buffy really competes with any of the Potentials or the Slayers in S8. Even when she's taking down her Alpha Squad or the 3 Slayers in Coda, I don't feel there's a competitive edge on Buffy's part. I don't even believe she feels she's competing against Satsu in A Beautiful Sunset when she remarks on how Satsu is having difficulty keeping up with her. Buffy is imparting Slayer wisdom and guidance on these girls rather than feeling like she's in competition with them. I also think she feels greatly responsible for them so instead of having that competitive edge she had with Faith and Kendra, she takes on a 'mother hen' role instead.

              I guess you could say she was in competition with Gigi or Simone who plan on usurping her role, but that's far more on their side than it is on Buffy's. Buffy worried that Kendra and Faith could ‘single white female her’ whereas her Slayer Army totally idealises her to the point they still consider her THE Slayer despite Buffy not wanting to. Be careful for what you wish for, Buffy

              I don't feel this was a major component of her relationship with Angel or Riley but there are one or two scenes that suggest some competitiveness. Buffy gets a lot of satisfaction (in more ways than one!) when besting Angel during their sparring session in Helpless. And whilst I don't feel Buffy ever felt all that competitive with Riley during their training sessions (even when they went 'all out' she later admits to Willow she was still holding back) she is quick to prove herself in Buffy VS Dracula when he makes fun of her ball-throwing.

              I wanted to tick Willow but, honestly, I couldn’t think of any examples where Buffy was competitive with her. I agree with Dipstick that Buffy was certainly rattled when Riley referred to her as “Willow’s friend” in The Freshman but I don’t feel Buffy got competitive about it. Instead, she sort of secludes herself and lets Willow have her moment in the sun rather than trying to match her in anyway.

              Buffy and Cordy certainly compete on a level. I do think Cordy feels more much competitive about Buffy than vice versa but there’s no doubt Buffy was very much competing against Cordy in Homecoming.

              Dawn is another obvious choice. In Help Buffy and Dawn both feel very competitive about being referred to as the other’s sister and Buffy is jealous and competitive of Dawn’s relationship with Joyce in Real Me and No Place Like Home.

              I picked Sam Finn but the more I think about it the more I wish I hadn’t. Buffy is expected to want and compete her with (urged on by Willow who’s amazing in that episode) but she seems to want to avoid it at all cost. Whenever Sam talks about Buffy’s extraordinary talents Buffy is quick to undermine them;

              SAM
              You’re like Buddha or Santa Claus

              BUFFY
              Fat and jolly?


              Or quickly cuts her off;

              SAM
              You know, I don't wanna be dragging down the Slayer. (to Buffy) You've got speed, and power I can't even-

              BUFFY
              Let's go.


              This is a far cry from how Buffy relished throwing her weight around when first coming up against Kendra or Faith. And Buffy remarks on how good Sam is when first watching her fight the Suvallti and there’s no hint of competiveness there. So I’m actually going to change my mind about Sam and say Buffy didn’t compete with her.

              I agree with Dipstick that once Buffy learns who Drusilla is any competitiveness/concern/jealousy she had over her proximity to Angel quickly disappears. I agree that she wouldn’t feel very insecure about a madwoman who plays with Dolls and wouldn’t feel the need to compete with her on any level. I also never got the sense aside from Something Blue that Buffy ever had any concern over Spike’s past with Dru. So whilst I almost voted for her due to Buffy’s original insecurities about Dru in the beginning of Lie to Me it was simply too brief for me to commit to it.

              Darla is a little more interesting. I do read a little romantic competitiveness from Buffy when she meets Darla in Angel. It’s very common for Buffy to snark in a fight but her insults are a little more catty than usual when directed at Darla (“just between us girls you are looking a little worn around the eyes”) and I do think that has to do with her being an ex-girlfriend of Angel’s. She’s also feels pretty insecure when finding out that Darla made Angel and share such a significant history with him. I should have voted for Darla instead of Sam Finn.
              "The earth is doomed!" - Banner by Nina

              Comment


              • #8
                The show is “all about Buffy.” No character exists that isn’t supposed to reveal some kind of struggle in Buffy.

                I’m kind of looking at the zeroes in the poll. Hee hee.

                For those who don’t see that Buffy competes with Giles, how about the idea she wants this idealistic father figure who protects her, keeps her safe from all the bad in a beautiful bubble. This one guides her; this one helps her, but puts her in danger and he seems to “not know” a lot, which Buffy doesn’t like. She has to figure it out.

                She also wants to “do what she wants” and yet also has to keep on having to prove she has good judgment (like a kid) when she has screwed up for her secrets and when she wants the right to keep on screwing up, especially with “the outsider” to the group of scoobies, e.g. her boyfriends. This is a power struggle of individuation, but it can undermine Buffy into keeping secrets ”to have it both ways,” and excuse herself in “they don’t understand” because she doesn’t “let them understand,” by telling them why her faith in her view has any basis, other than. controlling their “reactions” to the power of ”the teachable moment” to herself. Buffy doesn’t like the tension created (that actually exists in herself and is projected onto Giles) in her bid for “normal” versus “the good father” who would protect her, even from herself, so she wouldn’t get hurt, but also on the view of “the good girl” who slays and obeys, and most certainly doesn’t drag “mortals” into the fray, themselves having their own agendas, whether thrills, favor, or even redemption. Buffy and Giles tension is in who controls the power of both knowledge and execution of the “agenda.”

                With Xander, Buffy was also the “outsider” to the merry group of Jesse, Willow, and Xander.

                Buffy competes with Xander in her deep fear that she is losing her humanity. She knows she has great power “to kick a$$” but I think she sees Xander is capable of being in the fight, usually “first through the door” in the rightness of the cause, completely willing to sacrifice his own life, for that cause and for the love of his “family” and yet he has this “magical power” of “not getting lost” in “I don’t care.” Even when he said “I don’t care” in the Zeppo, he really affirmed how much he cared, how much he’d give, and also that the surrender to “the right thing,” could be the end of a lot of pain/struggle for him. His wasn’t a meaningless death, and he would gain peace a vampire couldn’t know. Xander knew himself most at that moment, something Buffy still won’t see until “The Gift” in her view of “winning and losing “out there” instead of within herself. That is why she knows Xander has something she doesn’t; and when he holds it over her, she knows he has some standing she doesn’t have (in her own mind) to do so.

                Tara, Jeebers. Buffy knows that Tara is boogity and is near the Mary Sue of a saint, and she was the one Buffy went to in “Don’t’ forgive me” as she is the power of forgivenss, for her own wretched choice of sleeping with a soulless demon, she had no intention of stopping. Buffy herself knows its wrong, reflects badly on her, and she didn’t even acknowledge Spike had some worth in not just killing her. After all, he has killed two slayers, and the story isn’t an “if” but a when” he would. This is not the symdrome of DS, but the pathology of a domestic violence, in which the party feels they deserve no better, and it is why she can’t tell the other scoobs. She pushes herself to kill, but can’t push herself to care. Buffy only wishes she could be that strong and be that humane/generous to “the stranger.”

                Anya is everything about her fantasy of “the end of life” is in the “perfect wedding.” (Something Blue). The worst demon ever, ever is all human and mortal and forgiven everything by everyone, even without being particularly sorry about it, but remembering the past as “good times,” and she gets the friends, gets the guy, gets the ring, gets the dress and gets all the fuss. The “happy ever after” must be good, simply because Xander is a great (human) guy; he is strong and he will make everything “the normal” “just perfect.” She can trust it. Because he is normal. All the stuff she sees fading from her own life, exemplified.

                Anya also knows how to make money, something that eludes Buffy because she hasn’t time for it—actually she hasn’t an interest in making it; she is the slayer and that duty creates an entitlement in her mind. She saves the world for everyone else to make a living, that excuses these other “inconvenient” realities, like her own eating. (And she has a point, especially since “trusts” exist for potentials and slayers and weapons and books and “legacies.” (IMO, Buffy should never have had to drop out of school o feed her sister; even if the real truth is she saw no relevance to “her short life expectancy” or to actually holding a “normal” day job). Anya proves even Buffy can’t get past wanting “the dream” even as she makes the choices to sabotage it.

                Satsu knows who she is, what she wants and given a chance/opportunity makes the most of it. Buffy feels she is herding cats, has no opportunities for “just being loved” because her lovers aren’t even there to “heal her” or to “need her,” or can even be bothered to drop her a tweet, despite holding the greatest power she has ever held. The idea she was looking in all the wrong places is a shock to her in the shape that is offered. But again, is an “obvious” “fit that won’t stick,” as she feels all her lovers are except her own attachment to them. (Which, we know is a lie, in her self-pity, horn-dog state).

                Jenny is pure Oedipal to Buffy re Giles. She also is (boogity, but “sober,”) smart and able to hold a day job; she is capable of leadership and accepting the impossible of Giles “real job,” simply because “she loves him- forgives him,” yet admires his deep commitments and manly service (eye roll) and, bottom, line, she is capable of attracting such a strong (human) man, who very well would love and marry her forever. (This is where some people actually get the idea of “Angel as Oedipal” to Buffy, but they are incorrect, IMO, for psychologically, the traits a girl learns as “good” in the father e.g. girls marry their fathers, or in rebellion to them, is a.not absolute in individuated persons, and b. Angel represent s ‘the lover’ for he is also “other,” psychologically, which are both steps of individuation from the father.)

                While Kennedy is a power threat, re the potentials/slayers; she also is the (attractive) extrovert and a person who goes after what she wants in ccrative ways. She also is diverting Willow’s “lap” from Buffy’s tears for something a lot more fun and “not about Buffy" which also might last and "take Willow away." Even though, Kennedy, as a slayer, is the real responsibility, and not just in the "killing and live" strategies, but how to not kill her humanityand also "live" --which Kennedy seems to have figured out and Buffy still struggles with.

                HUGS!
                sybil

                Comment


                • #9
                  * I stand by my previous post.


                  * She’s not competitive with Gigi or Simone – She never considers them at-all on par with her.


                  * Buffy’s been the leader since “Welcome to the Hellmouht” (1.01): she doesn’t compete with Giles in terms of who is the leader. Regarding research, she wanted Giles and the others to do that for her.




                  sybil

                  Buffy competes with Xander in her deep fear that she is losing her humanity.
                  Huh? Buffy was never competitive with Xander. Buffy’s the Slayer and likes being the Slayer. When Buffy thought she lost her Slayer powers, she decided she’d ‘quit the biz’ and let Faith take over.


                  * I’m not going to discuss Buffy/Spike in this thread, but disagree on your thoughts on that. Anyway, Buffy is never competitive with Tara. Buffy does things like save Cordelia’s life in “The Witch” (1.03) even though Buffy didn’t even like Cordelia at the time. Buffy did what she did in “Anne” (3.01) for someone who was almost a complete stranger. And this: Buffy only wishes she could be that strong and be that humane/generous to “the stranger.” is simply silly given Buffy isn’t a stranger to Tara.


                  * Buffy’s never been competitive with Anya. Unless you consider Buffy wanted to marry Xander, nothing suggests Buffy would be feeling competitive with her regarding the wedding.


                  * Nothing suggests Buffy even much thought of Jenny Calender outside of Jenny’s relationship with Giles. Given Buffy didn’t want to be a techno pagan and given Buffy didn’t even find Giles attractive, nothing suggests Buffy would actually be competitive with Jenny.


                  * Kennedy wasn’t a “power threat” until “Empty Places” (7.19).

                  Comment

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