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Here's your place to talk about this character. If you have a fun name for it let me know in the comments and I can change it.

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I love Buffy such a witty, kickass character.

My favorite moment of Buffy's is in "Innocence" when she has the rocket launcher looking all badass.

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If we put it in real life terms it was basically a judge issuing a verdict deciding the fate of her lover. Let's face it, they were all vigilantes and the only "authority" Buffy had was the fact that she could punch stronger than anyone else. Don't get me wrong, she was generally a fabulous Slayer in the early seasons but the whole "judge, jury and executioner" thing is unfair to her when it comes to people she is fond of and a recipe for disaster to boot.

This is what I was trying to say in the Xander thread. Ninety-nine percent of the time, Buffy was very much Slay First, Ask Questions Later. Hell, she even left that guy Ford in the basement or whatever, and then when he came back as a vampire she drove a stake into his chest without blinking, and she'd known him *before* she was a Slayer. So she wasn't arbitrary about who she would and wouldn't dust because she'd make anyone go poof.

 

If, as Jack Shaftoe says, she had let Kendra be just as even-handed, not only would Kendra herself had lived, but so would Jenny. Only somehow that never seems to occur to Buffy because her wuv for Angel is more important. I can see liking the ship, and I don't disagree with those who do because mileage varies, but Buffy said it herself: "No on hurts my boyfriend!" Say what you will about Xander's reasons for The Lie; it was pretty clear IMO that Buffy would have continued to stall and stave off the inevitable if she had known that Willow was trying the souling spell from the hospital bed she wouldn't have even been in if Kendra had been given a clear field to strike.

 

What's so ironic is that Buffy *also* waits to take Faith out of the game until after Angel gets poisoned, and you can make out of that subtext whatever you'd like. Considering that it took Willow all of two  minutes to locate the address of the apartment Faith was living in, she could have gone there and dealt with the problem before the supposed love of her life got hurt, and she didn't. So at some point, Buffy's personal feelings started interfering with being an effective Slayer, and it only gets worse once Spuffy becomes a thing. If Buffy had been having Dumpster Sex with Anya, would she have been so ready to dispatch her in Selfless? You decide.

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Buffy never had to make that Sophie's Choice, though, @Cobalt Stargazer . I'm not grokking your analogy, there.

Actually, @Willowy, she kinda did. When it comes down to a choice between saving Dawn and saving the world in The Gift, she makes the decision to give Dawn five lousy minutes of life rather than kill her so Glory won't be able to tear down the walls of reality and go home. When it turns out that she can sacrifice herself and prevent the world from ending while simultaneously keeping the brat alive, she opts to take a header and basically commit suicide. She kills herself, more or less, thus IMO choosing to be a Slayer/protector rather than abandon her post. If that's not a Sophie's Choice, what is?

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Killing yourself when you already have a semi-deathwish isn't having to make the agonizing choice between two beloveds as to who lives or dies. I've seen that analogy thrown up before and I don't buy it. 

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Perhaps, but OTOH Spike is the only one who ever said that Buffy had a death wish. No one reliable backed him up. Even if Spike wasn't about as insightful as a beagle, I'd hardly rely on his opinion alone.

Edited by Cobalt Stargazer
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It came to be Buffy's opinion, as well. At least for a while, before she shook it off. She still grapples with it in the comic books, which Joss said ARE canon. :)

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FWIW, I said someone *reliable* :-P Given Buffy's mental/emotional state after she died and then came back, I can see how even Spike's self-serving crap might seem like it has a point. That doesn't mean it actually *does*.

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Buffy is, & always will be, my favorite character.  Powers of a superhero, but still human in the mistakes she makes.

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This was not the first time Buffy left her duties for three months, she did it after her sophomore year to stay in LA with her dad so her leaving her post is some BS when she's done it before.

 

And Willow and Xander should have shut up about Buffy leaving and "ruining their life" they choose that life Buffy didn't. And after what Buffy lost what traumatic things she went through they had no right to come at her like that. They were being selfish in that moment.

I'm going to say this as gently as I can, because I don't actually hate Buffy.

 

While it's true that she left her Slayer duties behind prior to the Angelus business, that was IMO under totally different circumstances. It wasn't when the world had just been on the brink of coming to an end, and she was the only one who could stop it. It was a summer trip to see her father, and the others knew she'd be coming back. So  that was a completely different scenario.

 

Contrast that to the aftermath of defeating Angelus/sending Angel to hell. Was Buffy traumatized? Sure, probably. But unless she thought that her friends were going to be celebrating because she'd had to "kill" her first love, that they'd rub her misery in her face, her first thought should not have been to run away. The possible exception to that *might* have been Giles, but considering how relatively gentle he was in his "You don't respect me" speech, I don't believe he'd have been actively cruel to her. So why did she feel it was necessary to run off to Los Angeles to lick her wounds when she could have stayed in Sunnydale and let the people who cared about her give her some help?

 

Then she returns three months later, and they've been looking for her all the time she was gone. For all they'd known, she and Angelus killed one another, and then the portal sucked them both into it when it closed. Sure, the world was still there, so Acathla had been prevented from Hoovering everything into hell, but none of them had any idea if Buffy was even still alive. She could have called. She could have written. Instead she took a job waiting tables using another name, so all the signs were there that she didn't intend to ever go back.

 

The larger point is, Buffy wasn't the only one in pain. They suffered wile she was gone, and while she did as well, she kept her mouth closed about it when she came back. Why? Did she think they'd belittle her? Xander and Giles might have been the holdouts on forgiveness, but again I doubt they'd have excoriated her. They weren't mind-readers. Verbal communication is required, and they both failed at that. If she had said, "I'm in pain, please help me" I can almost guarantee that they'd have put their own emotions aside for the time being and helped her. Why are they supposed to be psychic when Buffy's got her defenses way up, apparently out of some belief that they'd brutalize her if she talked about how she felt?

 

Moreover, for all the complaining I've seen over the years about Willow and Xander's attitude towards Buffy when she returns, no one ever says what they should have done other than what they did. Were they supposed to suck up their own hurt and anger and tended to Buffy, even though she never said she wanted/needed help? Maybe they could ave behaved better, I don't know. But it leaves a bad taste in my mouth when I consider that she might have thought so little of them that she ran away in the first place instead of going to them and asking them to help her cope.

 

JMO.

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I think early Buffy was a great, heroic person who sometimes thought too much with her heart, but tended to learn from past mistakes and was therefore getting better about it. But in order for the past to make you wiser, you have to remember it properly. and at the beginning of Season 5, her memories of the past were dramatically changed by the Order of Dawnmonkees.

 

In Season 4, her early S3 memories consisted of coming back from sabbatical and having her friends be very upset. The moral? Think of those close to you. In Season 5,  those memories, I would assume, suddenly included Dawn being a screaming traumatized wreck. The moral? Worry about Dawn first. The rest of the world will take care of itself.

 

The S5 reboot wouldn't have worked if Buffy's memories weren't affected. Which was why suddenly, for two seasons in a row (5 and 6,) we were treated to finales that very pointedly told us that, ultimately, she only cared about... the absolute last character that we did. If her personality based on a lifetime of experience of real things had not been supernaturally compromised, I'm sure we'd still have seen occasional low points just like anyone has, but not the increasingly miserable Buffy of the late seasons that Joss felt we "needed" more than simply seeing how her relationships and opinions would continue to change as an adult.

Edited by CletusMusashi
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I'm going to say this as gently as I can, because I don't actually hate Buffy.

While it's true that she left her Slayer duties behind prior to the Angelus business, that was IMO under totally different circumstances. It wasn't when the world had just been on the brink of coming to an end, and she was the only one who could stop it. It was a summer trip to see her father, and the others knew she'd be coming back. So that was a completely different scenario.

Contrast that to the aftermath of defeating Angelus/sending Angel to hell. Was Buffy traumatized? Sure, probably. But unless she thought that her friends were going to be celebrating because she'd had to "kill" her first love, that they'd rub her misery in her face, her first thought should not have been to run away. The possible exception to that *might* have been Giles, but considering how relatively gentle he was in his "You don't respect me" speech, I don't believe he'd have been actively cruel to her. So why did she feel it was necessary to run off to Los Angeles to lick her wounds when she could have stayed in Sunnydale and let the people who cared about her give her some help?

Then she returns three months later, and they've been looking for her all the time she was gone. For all they'd known, she and Angelus killed one another, and then the portal sucked them both into it when it closed. Sure, the world was still there, so Acathla had been prevented from Hoovering everything into hell, but none of them had any idea if Buffy was even still alive. She could have called. She could have written. Instead she took a job waiting tables using another name, so all the signs were there that she didn't intend to ever go back.

The larger point is, Buffy wasn't the only one in pain. They suffered wile she was gone, and while she did as well, she kept her mouth closed about it when she came back. Why? Did she think they'd belittle her? Xander and Giles might have been the holdouts on forgiveness, but again I doubt they'd have excoriated her. They weren't mind-readers. Verbal communication is required, and they both failed at that. If she had said, "I'm in pain, please help me" I can almost guarantee that they'd have put their own emotions aside for the time being and helped her. Why are they supposed to be psychic when Buffy's got her defenses way up, apparently out of some belief that they'd brutalize her if she talked about how she felt?

Moreover, for all the complaining I've seen over the years about Willow and Xander's attitude towards Buffy when she returns, no one ever says what they should have done other than what they did. Were they supposed to suck up their own hurt and anger and tended to Buffy, even though she never said she wanted/needed help? Maybe they could ave behaved better, I don't know. But it leaves a bad taste in my mouth when I consider that she might have thought so little of them that she ran away in the first place instead of going to them and asking them to help her cope.

JMO.

I get where you're coming from and I'm not condoning Buffy running away, it started Buffy's isolation with the Scooby's and I don't think it was good for her.

But Buffy was still a teenager and like most teenagers she didn't think things through. When she had killed Angel her mom and her had gotten into a huge argument which resulted in her revealing who she really was and her mom kicking her out. Than she gets kicked out of school and a murder pinned on her, her friends are hurt and now when she's finally able to kill Angelus, "Angel" her boyfriend comes back confused and not remembering what that other monster did to Buffy and her friends but it's too late and now she has to kill Angel to save the world and she does.

Now that is a lot for someone to handle and Buffy being someone who doesn't share things is handling it in her own way which is withdrawing. I get that she worried her mom, Giles and the Scoobies but I can defiantly see why she choose to do that.

And Buffy was traumatized IMO it was the hardest thing she ever did even years later you could hear the pain in her voice when she talked about killing Angel in "The Gift" and "Selfless" she needed help that the Scoobies and her mom couldn't provide she needed a therapist.

And my problem with Willow and Xander was that Willow came off as completely selfish making it sound as if she was upset because Buffy missed all those awesome moments in Willow's. Like Buffy didn't go through a horrible life changing trauma.

Xander came off as reprimanding Buffy and only Joyce and Giles has that authority, I don't blame Buffy in not confiding in Xander because he is completely unable to sympathize with her about Angel, that's why they were so hostile. Honestly Giles is the only one who acted appropriately concerning Buffy during that time and she did confide in him eventually.

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But Buffy was still a teenager and like most teenagers she didn't think things through.

 

Here's the thing about that. If Buffy's thoughtless, and IMO selfish, behavior gets a pass because she was a teenager, then isn't the next logical step that Xander and Willow should get a pass because they were *also* teenagers? Or are her feelings more important, and everyone else's must take a back seat? I'm seriously asking, because their attitude towards her didn't happen in a vacuum, it happened because she very deliberately shut them out, which you yourself admit is probably the worst thing she could have done and that it wasn't healthy. So why does "She was a teenager" amount to an actual defense when Xander and Willow were the same age?

 

Xander came off as reprimanding Buffy and only Joyce and Giles has that authority, I don't blame Buffy in not confiding in Xander because he is completely unable to sympathize with her about Angel, that's why they were so hostile. Honestly Giles is the only one who acted appropriately concerning Buffy during that time and she did confide in him eventually.

 

From what I can recall, Xander only 'reprimanded' Buffy in Dead Man's Party because Buffy started to jump down Joyce's throat. He said something like, "Don't talk to her like that. Do you have *any* idea of what you put her through?" Of course, it being Xander, Buffy felt free to ignore him, and that's a different peeve for a different time. As for Giles, he had to drag even a partial confession out of Buffy by telling her a lie about that spell or whatever. She didn't open up to him, he fooled her into letting him in.

 

As for Xander's supposedly inappropriate attitude about Angel, considering that the next time the other hear about him Buffy's been concealing his presence and sneaking around behind their backs helping him recover, I'd have damned well been pissed off too. And it's very odd to me that instead of confronting her directly, he goes to Giles because Giles is the Watcher and the in-the-know adult in the situation, but somehow Xander is the bad guy because he doesn't like that she's been shielding Gel Boy fro discovery. Again, his anger didn't happen in a vacuum, it happened because Buffy was being deceptive and sneaky. And she knew when she singled him out during the intervention that he would yell back at her because he was an easy target, and that him getting angry would take the heat off of her. She knew she was wrong or she wouldn't have been hiding what she was doing, and her baiting him into lashing out was IMO nothing more than trying to get everyone to stop taking her to task for her actions.

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From what I can recall, Xander only 'reprimanded' Buffy in Dead Man's Party because Buffy started to jump down Joyce's throat. He said something like, "Don't talk to her like that. Do you have *any* idea of what you put her through?" Of course, it being Xander, Buffy felt free to ignore him, and that's a different peeve for a different time.

 

 

I actually don't think it was Xander's place to lecture Buffy about what she put Joyce through when Joyce was the one that threw Buffy out of her house in the first place.  Maybe Buffy could have crashed at Giles' place instead of running off to L.A., but what was Buffy supposed to do, wait around for Joyce to apologize?  Most kids don't stick around to do that when their parents throw them out.

 

And I still say that Xander (and Willow) could have let out their true feelings right when Buffy came back instead of spending most of the episode being passive aggressive about it.

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I actually don't think it was Xander's place to lecture Buffy about what she put Joyce through when Joyce was the one that threw Buffy out of her house in the first place.  Maybe Buffy could have crashed at Giles' place instead of running off to L.A., but what was Buffy supposed to do, wait around for Joyce to apologize?  Most kids don't stick around to do that when their parents throw them out.

 

Three things about that:

 

A) I pretty much never think it's a kid's place to snarl at their parents, especially after said kid has probably left their parent under the impression that they've been dead in a ditch for three months.

 

B) Even loving parents say things they don't mean in the heat of the moment. Yes, Joyce threw Buffy out, but she had just found out that her daughterwas a Slayer. That's a lot to process, and because Buffy had to leave right then to fight Angelus, she didn't get time to make sense of it.

 

C) If Buffy *really* thought that Joyce *never* wanted to see her again, why did she go back to Sunnydale in the first place? Did she think she was going to move in with Giles, or go live with Willow and her parents? Given the apparent contempt she had for Xander, I have a *very* hard time imagining her under his roof. I don't believe that Buffy really thought her mother hated her and never wanted to lay eyes on her again, or else she'd have either stayed in L.A. or gotten in touch with her father somehow.

 

And I still say that Xander (and Willow) could have let out their true feelings right when Buffy came back instead of spending most of the episode being passive aggressive about it.

 

I'm not sure about that. When Buffy overhears Joyce telling Pat that in some ways she isn't glad to have her back, Buffy's first instinct is, again, to run away. She starts throwing clothes into a suitcase, and it's Willow's discovery of her doing so that brings everything out in the open. She doesn't ask her mother for an explanation. She doesn't enter the room and ask, "How can you say that?" Her *first thought* is to turn tail and run, or to go out in the garden and eat worms because no one loves her. I'd say that's pretty damned passive-aggressive all on its own. If anything, Willow and Xander were just following Buffy's lead, which you'd have thought she'd have been happy about since she was perfectly fine with not discussing the situation. If calling Buffy a thoughtless asshole would have worked, then fine, but given that an overheard remark that the people she ran out on weren't utterly thrilled with her had her re-packing her bags, I don't think an overt confirmation that she wasn't a hundred percent awesome to them would have done much good. YMMV.

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Contrast that to the aftermath of defeating Angelus/sending Angel to hell. Was Buffy traumatized? Sure, probably. But unless she thought that her friends were going to be celebrating because she'd had to "kill" her first love, that they'd rub her misery in her face, her first thought should not have been to run away. The possible exception to that *might* have been Giles, but considering how relatively gentle he was in his "You don't respect me" speech, I don't believe he'd have been actively cruel to her. So why did she feel it was necessary to run off to Los Angeles to lick her wounds when she could have stayed in Sunnydale and let the people who cared about her give her some help?

 

 

Yeah, I don't agree with this part.  Buffy just killed the man she loved (who was "cured" just moments before) to save the world.  If he was still Angelus I think it would've lessened the pain a little bit.  I totally understand her leaving Sunnydale to be alone and process.  Staying in Sunnydale would've been too raw at the moment.

 

I just think her friends and family should've been more supportive/understanding of her when she returned.

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I actually don't think it was Xander's place to lecture Buffy about what she put Joyce through when Joyce was the one that threw Buffy out of her house in the first place. Maybe Buffy could have crashed at Giles' place instead of running off to L.A., but what was Buffy supposed to do, wait around for Joyce to apologize? Most kids don't stick around to do that when their parents throw them out.

That argument was between Buffy and her mother, Xander had no business in it. And like I said only an adult preferably Joyce and Giles has the right to "reprimand" Buffy, Xander has no right to take that approach with her.

And I have never held Joyce telling Buffy not to come back against her. Joyce was trying to take back control of the situation so she said something stupid to gain it back, it didn't work.

And I don't think Buffy really believed her about not coming back, Buffy just used the excuse to stay gone.

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I totally understand her leaving Sunnydale to be alone and process.  Staying in Sunnydale would've been too raw at the moment.

 

I just think her friends and family should've been more supportive/understanding of her when she returned.

But this is what I keep getting at. I mean, if the point really is that Buffy's feelings come first, full stop, and everyone else just has to take a distant second place, then fine, I guess. I *hate* that idea, because it shows IMO that the distance between her, Xander and Willow is how she really felt about them all along, and that she was only tolerating their presence. Then again, she didn't get the nickname Little Miss Me-fett by accident. If they were supposed to be supportive and understanding after she behaved so selfishly, never once having an ill feeling towards her, then she was never really their friend to begin with, and I don't like how that makes me feel towards her. People get angry and they say things they don't mean. It doesn't mean that the friendship doesn't mean anything, and in some ways it actually makes the bond stronger. If they weren't free to be angry and hold it against her because she behaved in a hurtful fashion, then were they really friends at all?

 

 

 

And I don't think Buffy really believed her about not coming back, Buffy just used the excuse to stay gone.

 

So if Buffy didn't believe her, why did she hold it against her that she told her to get out and not come back? Shouldn't she have just forgotten all about it once she was back, or does that only apply to everyone who *isn't* Buffy?

Edited by Cobalt Stargazer

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I don't think Buffy behaved selfishly. She was told "Don't you even think about coming back!" by her mother when she was trying to explain how she was needed to - hello! - save the world. And she had to do that by killing the man she loved. Major things for a teen to deal with, I'd say.

 

So yep, she ran off to hide from her responsibilities (which were literally the weight of the world) for a time, and found out she couldn't escape her destiny, she missed her mother and her friends, and so she went back. I think instead of thinking that Buffy's actions were all about themselves and hiding their resentment, that the Scoobies should've talked it out, full stop. Yes they were hurt too, and that is valid. But a lot of the strife could've been saved by a few honest discussions when she got back instead of the passive-aggressive shenanigans that ensued. Under-rug sweeping rarely works out for anyone's best. 

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I don't think Buffy behaved selfishly. She was told "Don't you even think about coming back!" by her mother when she was trying to explain how she was needed to - hello! - save the world. And she had to do that by killing the man she loved. Major things for a teen to deal with, I'd say.

So yep, she ran off to hide from her responsibilities (which were literally the weight of the world) for a time, and found out she couldn't escape her destiny, she missed her mother and her friends, and so she went back. I think instead of thinking that Buffy's actions were all about themselves and hiding their resentment, that the Scoobies should've talked it out, full stop. Yes they were hurt too, and that is valid. But a lot of the strife could've been saved by a few honest discussions when she got back instead of the passive-aggressive shenanigans that ensued. Under-rug sweeping rarely works out for anyone's best.

I agree

And I do think she should have tried to open up to Giles and her friends not shut down because this started Buffy's isolation from the Scoobies.

But I also think Buffy was beyond any help Giles, her friends or even Joyce could give her. Killing Angel traumatized her I could say she had PSTD and she had a lot of other feelings also, probably guilt that her friends and loved ones were hurt and murdered. Guilt that she killed Angel, and pain and lots of pain. She needed a therapist and like I said even though Angel came back that is still the hardest thing Buffy ever did and when it's brought up in episodes such as "The Gift" and "Selfless" you could hear her pain of killing Angel.

And this is why I love Buffy and she's my all time favorite female character.

Buffy loved Angel and killed him. Joss got this right nowadays so many glorify love thinking it's the only thing that matters and it's the be all end all but Joss showed us that just because you love someone doesn't mean everything will magically work out. He showed us that yeah Buffy and Angel's love was important but there were more important things also and the world mattered more and no matter how hard it was Buffy did it. And that's why she's such a kickass heroine.

Edited by Jazzy24
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I guess what I'm actually taking issue with is the word 'killed'. Yes, Buffy put a sword through Angel's chest, and yes he got sucked into the portal when it closed, but much like Spike being 'killed' at the Hellmouth, it didn't take. Not to be cold, but dead is what happened to Jenny and Kendra. They didn't get a second chance, Angel did. Whoever/whatever drops him back into her life, and her first thought is that she must hide him. It never seems to cross her mind that Angelus actually did fool her into believing he was Angel after they consummated, how hurt she was because she thought it was her formerly loving boyfriend saying those awful things to her. By the time he came back from hell, he'd suffered something like a hundred years of torture, and Buffy's first instinct is not to inform her Watcher, but to shield Ange? As traumatized as he was when he dropped out of that portal, it's a miracle (without snow) that he didn't attack her on sight. She violated her friends' trust and utterly disrespected her Watcher *after* they'd finally dealt with the business of her disappearing for three months, and that happened because she selfishly (IMO) put her feelings first.

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I disagree. Buffy's sacrifice was real. At the time she killed Angel (who she knew was ANGEL again, and not Angelus), she had no idea that it wouldn't take. As far as she knew she was sending him to hell forever, and that was real to her, and devastating. It would be devastating to a full-fledged adult equipped with a full emotional toolkit to deal with it, much less a teen girl who doesn't yet.

 

She didn't tell Giles because she was still figuring out what to do, not from any ill-conceived plot to betray them all. One thing that I especially loved about Buffy was that she didn't have all the answers, didn't make all the right choices. Sometimes she was just flying by her bootstraps. And she knew it.

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But I also think Buffy was beyond any help Giles, her friends or even Joyce could give her.

 

Well, we'll never know.  Because she didn't trust them enough to let them try.

 

 

I could say she had PSTD

 

A Paranormal Sexually Transmitted Disease?  Was it Gone-arrhea? Stiff-phyllis? Were-pes?  Poor Buffy, I had no idea.  (But see, kids, that's why you don't boink the undead…)

 

 

and she had a lot of other feelings also, probably guilt that her friends and loved ones were hurt and murdered.

 

Well, I'd like to think so.  I'd like to think that seeing Willow in that wheelchair is what sends Buffy running to the bus station, that she's convinced she's a danger to them and their lives will be better off without her.  (In When She Was Bad, she notes that the vampires didn't return until she did…"It's almost as if they knew I was back".  Perhaps she thought it was her, and not the Hellmouth, that brought them out.)

 

But we don't see a bit of that in S3.  Instead it's all "Angel, Angel, Angel".  (Does every conversation the Scoobies have have to come around to that freak?) "I killed Angel, wah-wah-wah, you wouldn't understand."  No guilt about Giles and Willow's injuries (or Xander, Cordelia and Oz's anxieties), no remorse about leaving her friends to deal with a not-at-all-inactive vampire population.  Instead of apologizing for leaving the Scoobs in the lurch (and getting the Andy Hoehlichs of the world killed and vampirized through her dereliction of duty), Buffy mocks Xander for his code name.  Rather than deal with the issues involved and try to make her friends' lives better (even though she's seen that her absence was not the solution), she's ready to be "on the highway to Chicago" at the drop of an overheard remark.

 

And for someone supposedly guilting over her friends getting hurt, she has not the slightest problem lying to them about Angel's return.  Indeed, she tells Dead!Platt that she's afraid that Giles and Willow (huh?  the who in the what in the where?) would harm poor little feral Angel, and so she just has to lie to them, don't you see? (And, as wwhk pointed out long ago on TWoP, bringing Giles and Willow's name into it violates their privacy, and might even have jeopardized Giles's career/immigration status.  But Buffy is only thinking about Angel.)

 

But then, as we see in Revelations, Buffy needs Giles to (sadly) remind her about the little detail where Angel tortured Giles.  For hours.  For pleasure.  And that's after the meeting where she blithely hauls out the "I would never let [Angel] harm any of you" bullshit, only to have Xander and Giles (and we presume, Willow/Cordy/Oz, although we don't see their reactions) promptly spot the Jenny-shaped hole in that theory. Indeed, it appears in November that Xander had predicted this in June*—Buffy really did "forget all about Ms. Calendar's murder so [she] could have [her] boyfriend back".  Fuck her.  (Not literally, Angel.  Down, boy.)

 

I guess Caleb really did have that "Xander is the one who sees" bit down correctly.  Who knew?  But seriously, as much as S2 Buffy makes me want to give her the benefit of the doubt that her flight was motivated by wanting to protect all her loved ones, S3 Buffy proves over and over again that her friends, her Watcher and her mother (and the trail of corpses Angel left behind in S2) don't mean a hill of beans compared to her Angel-trauma and keeping Dear Forehead safe.  Blech.

 

*-yes, Becoming, Part 1 aired in May, but it's set right before finals and we know from Prophecy Girl that the school year extends into June.  So June it is, IMO.

Edited by DAngelus
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She didn't tell Giles because she was still figuring out what to do, not from any ill-conceived plot to betray them all. One thing that I especially loved about Buffy was that she didn't have all the answers, didn't make all the right choices. Sometimes she was just flying by her bootstraps. And she knew it.

 

Question, then - when *was* she going to tell? I don't think it was ever clear how much time elapsed between his naked ass dropping out of that hole in reality and  Xander discovering that she's hiding Dead and Bloated's presence from everyone, so when did she think would be a convenient time to let them know, "Oh, by the way, Angel's back, and he's kinda-sorta out of his mind right now, mmmkay?" It's worth noting that that was around the time when Wolfy!Oz escaped from his cage and some people got killed, but Buffy remains silent about the possibility that it could have been Angel who did it. She's perfectly fine with *Willow's* boyfriend being thought of as a cold-blooded jelly doughnut, but precious Angel couldn't *possibly* be the guilty party.

 

Also, that thing about her not having all the answers also applies to Xander and Willow, who for some reason are expected to act like a couple of forty year olds in response to her behavior. She jumps ship for three months? How dare they take it personally. She lies to their faces about Angel being back? They should have been more understanding. Xander actually *does* do the mature thing. He informs Giles about what's going on, and Buffy gets summoned to the library for the intervention. Which *she* tanks, because wah, Angel. Further, she doesn't attack Cordelia, who actually uses one of Willow's "I" statements when she says she's worried about herself, because the last time Angelus was running amok he was intent on killing Buffy's friends first. She doesn't tear Oz a new one, even though *he's* the one who points out, "But you were kissing him." She doesn't even light into Willow, who flat out says, "When it comes to Angel, you can't think straight." Instead, she goes straight for Xander's throat, accusing him of spying on her, completely ignoring that if she hadn't been sneaking around behind everyone's backs there'd have been nothing to spy on. If I believed that she had had any intention of telling the truth, it would have been a little more okay, but considering how angry/defensive/snotty she became when the others started to take her to task over it, I doubt she had that in mind.

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I agree with everything you said D'Angelus.  While I totally agree with Buffy's "nobody can understand" schtick being ridiculous, I DID find it pretty true to life.  As I dimly recall, being a teenage girl means ALL of your problems are life and death, nobody can understand you and everything is about you.  In Buffy's case, her problems were bigger than the average teenager's issues (as far as I know, none of my boyfriends were serial killers) so to me it is even MORE understandable that she would act and react the way she did.  As much flak as Dead Man's Party gets, I love the episode for bringing the gang back together AND allowing the characters to basically tell Buffy what they thought of her.

The thing is, if I can dare point it out, she didn't learn anything from it. I remember being a teenager too, and I was a horrible little shit back then, but you're generally supposed to grow out of being a horrible little shit, not turn into a worse bigger shit. I don't think it can be argued that Buffy never really matures during the series, and if anything she actually regresses. As a result, the putting herself first thing never really goes away, and in fact it becomes this monster that destroys almost all of her relationships. Her unwillingness to lean on Riley when Joyce is sick is a repeat of her shutting her friends out when she returns to Sunnydale, since apparently she thought he couldn't have possibly understood being worried sick over her mother and what would happen if worse came to worse. Angel having left her has nothing to do with Riley, because Riley was not Angel. Whatever his own issues and insecurities were, if she didn't trust him enough to give him a chance to understand, she shouldn't have been in a relationship with him because relationships are supposed to be two-way streets. If she had tried, something good might have come out of it, but if she tried, she didn't try very hard or for very long.

 

And it only gets worse after she comes back from Heeeeeeeeeaven, since she's so miserable about being alive that she tries even less. She may have thought she was sparing her friends the pain of knowing how she felt, but she was also putting herself first by shutting them out instead of giving them a chance to help her. If she had reached out, and if Joss had been less determined to make her life suck beyond the telling of it, she wouldn't have spent the entire season wallowing in self-loathing and I wouldn't have thought about scooping out my own eyeballs because of Dumpster Sex.

 

The less said about the final season the better, but what I will say is that by then Buffy clearly thinks she needs no one but herself, at least when she wasn't wearing Spike's ass as a hat, which was the other fifty percent of the time.She spends almost all her time giving stupid speeches about the mission, but meantime she's forcing Xander to take Spike in as a housemate, badgering Willow about not doing magic, turning her nose up at Giles, and ignoring Dawn. Because unless it serves her needs, she's apparently not interested. I mean, if you can show me where she learned something from DMP, I'd be glad to hear it, but I think what she became by the end of the series speaks for itself. JMO.

Edited by Cobalt Stargazer

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I do not disagree at all, cobalt stargazer!  Buffy never really grew up or grew out of that over dramatic "it's all about ME" teenager stage.  After losing Joyce, you would think she would have.  She was essentially forced into a grown up role by being the custodian of her minor sister and having to deal with household bills and such and yet....she never really got to that adult stage.  Right up until the end, she refused to believe anyone could understand the uber-special slayer and her problems.  Now granted, her friends couldn't understand what it was to be in her situation, but if she had let them, they would have given her all the moral support in the world.  Buffy had GOOD friends, caring people who would do anything for her, and yet she chose to stand alone. 

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Since the discussion of Xander's behavior in []Passion[/i] and such has resurfaced, I would like to express thanks for the acknowledgment that everyone was upset and grieving. However, if we're going to make assessments about people's character based on what they do when they're hurt/angry/upset, then Xander, Wiilow AND Angel should have all severed ties with Buffy during When She Was Bad. You want to talk about deliberately inflicting digs and suffering? Buffy knew how Xander felt about her, and perhaps more importantly she knew how Willow felt about Xander. But that doesn't stop her from going for the Hat Trick Of Emotional Cruelty, and I find that much more uncomfortable to watch than Xander slinging a few barbs at her. Buffy uses his feelings for her to try and hurt Angel, and in the process Willow gets caught in the crossfire. And Xander is the mean one?

 

But because they're her friends, because Angel cares about her in a romantic sense, they forgive her, or at least get past it and move on. And ironically it's Cordy, of all people, who snaps Little Miss Me-fett back to reality. Too bad Buffy told her to get out of her shoes in Dead Man's Party, hmm?

 

As for  Revelations, Buffy is the one who spits in Giles' face then, first by tanking the intervention by verbally attacking Xander because she knows he's the easy target, and if he starts yelling at her then that will take the attention away from the fact that she was being deceptive and sneaky.And then she has the gall to thank him for sending everyone out of the room, as if he was doing it for her sake. And Giles was right, she didn't have any respect for him, or for what he'd been through at Angelus' hands. She had Angel back, and she knew she was doing something wrong or else she wouldn't have been hiding it.

 

But because Giles cared for Buffy as more than just a Slayer, as more than just a living weapon, he forgave her for it. Maybe he shouldn't have, because as I said a couple of posts ago she never really grows past the thing of putting herself first. JMO.

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It's kind of funny to me how much people harp on Jenny's death as Buffy's failure (specially Xander fans) considering the chain of events in the actual episode. Buffy at the beginning wanted to go after Angelus. Giles told her to lay low and Xander AGREED. Yet for some strange reason it's only Buffy that gets the blame here? And Xander later in the episode feels he has a standing going for verbal attack again and even bring it up again in S3, conveniently forgetting his part in this mess (AGAIN). Seriously boggles the mind.

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Buffy was completely out of line in "When She Was Bad." She was also suffering from what seemed like some form of PTSD from the battle with the Master. That is the focus of the episode. She is called out on her behavior and she never plays Xander and Angel against each other that way again.

 

 

Too bad Buffy told her to get out of her shoes in Dead Man's Party, hmm?

 

I loathe "Dead Man's Party". And Cordelia was actually trying to be nice-ish, but it was a tense situation and no one was at their best during that mess. Except Giles.
 

 

As for  Revelations, Buffy is the one who spits in Giles' face then, first by tanking the intervention by verbally attacking Xander because she knows he's the easy target, and if he starts yelling at her then that will take the attention away from the fact that she was being deceptive and sneaky.And then she has the gall to thank him for sending everyone out of the room, as if he was doing it for her sake.

 

 

 

Buffy:  What's with all the tragedy masks?

Giles:  (indicates a chair) Better take a seat, Buffy.

Xander gets up out of his chair, nudges it over a bit so it's at the
head of the table, and steps away to stand next to Cordelia. Buffy
slowly steps over to the chair.

Buffy:  What's going on? (sits)

Giles:  We know Angel is alive. (Buffy looks shocked) Xander saw you
with him. It would appear that you've been hiding him and that you lied
to us.

Buffy looks away, trying to absorb this new turn of events.

Willow:  Nobody's here to blame you, Buffy. But this is serious. You
need help.

Buffy:  (looks up at Willow) It's not what you think.

Xander:  Hope not. Because I think you're harboring a vicious killer.

 

Buffy tanked the intervention? Because Xander was starting out from such a place of due thought and consideration for the situation at hand?

 

Giles:  Oh, don't you? (Buffy stops and faces him) You must've known it
was wrong seeing Angel or you wouldn't have hidden it from all of us.

Buffy:  (desperate and defensive) I was going to tell you, I was. I-it
was just that I... I didn't know why he came back. I just wanted to
wait.

Xander:  For what? For Angel to go psycho again the next time you give
him a happy?

[..]

Buffy:  It was wrong, okay? I know that, and I know that it can't happen
again. But you guys have to believe me. I would never put you in any
danger. If I thought for a second that Angel was going to hurt anyone...

Xander:  ...you would stop him. Like you did last time with Ms.
Calendar.
Xander:  (spreads his arms) Right! Great plan. Leave tons of firepower
with the Scary Guy, and leave us to clean up the mess.

He makes tracks to leave the library, intent on doing something about
this. Buffy takes him by the arm and spins him around to face her.

Buffy:  You would just love an excuse to hurt him, wouldn't you?

Xander:  I don't need an excuse. I think lots of dead people actually
constitutes a reason.

Buffy:  Right. This is all nobility. This has nothing to do with
jealousy.

Xander gives her a haughty grin, but is interrupted before he can
continue.

 

Xander attacks Buffy again and again well before she brings up his conflict of interest. If she wanted to "tank" the intervention why didn't she say that immediately instead of going through everything prior? So I can't agree that she goes after him because he's an "easy target" or does it deliberately to end the situation. She only snaps after the fifth insult he's made toward her and Angel. If she were being that cold-bloodily strategic, shouldn't that have been one of her first responses? Why let it get that far if she was so sure she had an out in her back pocket?

 

Why did Giles send everyone out of the room if it wasn't for Buffy's sake? If he wanted to berate her above all else, why not do so in front of everyone to make it hurt more?

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Mmm, well, maybe. But you'll notice that she doesn't lash out at Cordelia when Cordy uses one of Willow's "I" statements and says, "I am worried. I'm worried about me! The last time Angelus was around, he barely laid a hand on her. He was much more interested in killing Buffy's friends." She doesn't rip Oz a new one when he says "But you were kissing him." She doesn't even lay into Willow when Willow says, "When it comes to Angel, you can't think straight." Why? Because she knows they're right, but its so much easier for her to focus on Xander's emotionality and anger than their rational arguments. If she actually thinks about what they're saying, then she has to admit that she was wrong, wrong, wrong and any defense for what she did is total hot air. If Xander is yelling at her, she doesn't have to acknowledge the fact that everyone else is speaking calmly and rationally, she can just reduce it to an argument about how jealous he is that she loves Angel and not him.

Edited by Cobalt Stargazer

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One area that always gets me riled is when people try to blame Buffy for Xander losing his eye. I cannot count the amount of times Xander begged and whined and pleaded to be in the gang, included in any decision and brought along for any mission they undertook. When eventually his luck ran out and for once HE was the one who took one for the team, what happens? People blame Buffy and say how awful it was she put him in that position. Right. Because Buffy hadn't been saying for years that maybe the Scoobies shouldn't be in the field with her. Nope. Never heard those words come out of her mouth.

 

Xander's heroism was entirely down to him. And so were his failings. 

 

Mmm.

 

Buffy may not have been directly responsible for Xander losing his eye, because that would be Caleb, but I don't think it can be disputed that A) she went in with a half-assed plan that resulted in him being seriously hurt and in some of the potentials getting killed, and B) then she wanted to go right back and try again. Because clearly the first attempt was such a smashing success that she should absolutely be allowed to do it a second time. And then when the others refused to blindly follow her orders, she picked up her ball and she left, because if she couldn't be the leader then she wasn't going to play. The others were then punished for "failing" to realize that Buffy is always right, even when she's wrong, and you can either agree with her or get out of her way.

 

I would have taken much less umbrage to Xander being mutilated if Buffy had just admitted that maybe she was not in the best frame of mind. Maybe if she had taken that nap she needed so damn bad before the battle, it wouldn't even be an issue of who got hurt. Further, I must make note that Buffy showed more concern for the bump on Spike's head when Xander had just been nearly sacrificed over the Seal. That is all on her.

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I'm going to say this as gently as I can, because I don't actually hate Buffy.

 

While it's true that she left her Slayer duties behind prior to the Angelus business, that was IMO under totally different circumstances. It wasn't when the world had just been on the brink of coming to an end, and she was the only one who could stop it. It was a summer trip to see her father, and the others knew she'd be coming back. So  that was a completely different scenario.

 

Contrast that to the aftermath of defeating Angelus/sending Angel to hell. Was Buffy traumatized? Sure, probably. But unless she thought that her friends were going to be celebrating because she'd had to "kill" her first love, that they'd rub her misery in her face, her first thought should not have been to run away. The possible exception to that *might* have been Giles, but considering how relatively gentle he was in his "You don't respect me" speech, I don't believe he'd have been actively cruel to her. So why did she feel it was necessary to run off to Los Angeles to lick her wounds when she could have stayed in Sunnydale and let the people who cared about her give her some help?

 

Then she returns three months later, and they've been looking for her all the time she was gone. For all they'd known, she and Angelus killed one another, and then the portal sucked them both into it when it closed. Sure, the world was still there, so Acathla had been prevented from Hoovering everything into hell, but none of them had any idea if Buffy was even still alive. She could have called. She could have written. Instead she took a job waiting tables using another name, so all the signs were there that she didn't intend to ever go back.

 

The larger point is, Buffy wasn't the only one in pain. They suffered wile she was gone, and while she did as well, she kept her mouth closed about it when she came back. Why? Did she think they'd belittle her? Xander and Giles might have been the holdouts on forgiveness, but again I doubt they'd have excoriated her. They weren't mind-readers. Verbal communication is required, and they both failed at that. If she had said, "I'm in pain, please help me" I can almost guarantee that they'd have put their own emotions aside for the time being and helped her. Why are they supposed to be psychic when Buffy's got her defenses way up, apparently out of some belief that they'd brutalize her if she talked about how she felt?

 

Moreover, for all the complaining I've seen over the years about Willow and Xander's attitude towards Buffy when she returns, no one ever says what they should have done other than what they did. Were they supposed to suck up their own hurt and anger and tended to Buffy, even though she never said she wanted/needed help? Maybe they could ave behaved better, I don't know. But it leaves a bad taste in my mouth when I consider that she might have thought so little of them that she ran away in the first place instead of going to them and asking them to help her cope.

 

The difficulty I have always had with the Scoobies is that when Buffy wants to slay without them, they complain and yet when they're called upon to take up arms in her absence - i.e. when it's no longer a choice, but a necessity - they complain. What is it they want to happen? I always wanted them to make up their minds. Do they think it's entirely on Buffy's shoulders? If they do, stop complaining when she tells you what to do and treats you as her subordinates. If they think they have an equal right to run the show and Buffy doesn't automatically get first choice cause she's the slayer, then stop whining when it all falls on you. You know what I mean? There's a choice to be made - shit or get off the pot, Scoobies. Unfortunately, they never did. From S2 to the very end of the show, they were a bunch of contrary marys, whining when they were treated like the help, and then whining when the universe treated them to a little of Buffy's responsibilities in her absence.

 

With the end of S2/beginning of S3, I've never been able to justify their awful treatment of Buffy. Truly, I understand that it was unfair to leave them without letting them know she was okay. The worry she put them all through was awful and I would have had zero problem with them having a less than happy reunion with her, letting her know just how worried they were all summer. What I did not get at all was the passive-aggressive bullshit followed by the ganging up on her. And Willow's self-indulgent nonsense about floating pencils without her best friend. Give me a fucking break. 

 

I realise at the time they didn't know exactly what had gone down with her and Angelus/Angel. But surely unless they were mentally impaired they must have realised - say, like Giles did - that something truly terrible must have happened to cause her to just leave without a word. But they weren't really thinking about that, were they? They were too busy feeling sorry for themselves that for once they were being treated to a little of the slaying responsibility. And I get that. They were teenagers. Teenagers can be selfish assholes. Which is exactly what they were in Dead Man's Party: selfish assholes.

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Mmm.

 

Buffy may not have been directly responsible for Xander losing his eye, because that would be Caleb, but I don't think it can be disputed that A) she went in with a half-assed plan that resulted in him being seriously hurt and in some of the potentials getting killed, and B) then she wanted to go right back and try again. Because clearly the first attempt was such a smashing success that she should absolutely be allowed to do it a second time. And then when the others refused to blindly follow her orders, she picked up her ball and she left, because if she couldn't be the leader then she wasn't going to play. The others were then punished for "failing" to realize that Buffy is always right, even when she's wrong, and you can either agree with her or get out of her way.

 

I would have taken much less umbrage to Xander being mutilated if Buffy had just admitted that maybe she was not in the best frame of mind. Maybe if she had taken that nap she needed so damn bad before the battle, it wouldn't even be an issue of who got hurt. Further, I must make note that Buffy showed more concern for the bump on Spike's head when Xander had just been nearly sacrificed over the Seal. That is all on her.

 

But again, Buffy did not force Xander to go with them. Over the course of the show, she made it clear over and over that maybe he wasn't best placed to be in on the fighting, to which Xander more often than not got all butt-hurt and whined like a little schoolgirl until she gave in. Yes, he could be useful sometimes. But this time his luck ran out. Not in any way Buffy's fault IMO - I'm sorry, it just wasn't. It's like the smoker who sues the cigarette company when they get lung cancer.

 

And as for going right back - she was right! What happened right after they unfairly booted her out of her own house? She went back and got the weapon that ended up saving all their arses, while they sat around coming up with plans that got them blown up. I'll bet if they could've gone back in time and listened to Buffy, they would have. No-one will ever be able to convince me that their behavior and treatment of Buffy in Empty Places was anything less than reprehensible and I sometimes like to rewatch the scenes of them being blown up just to satisfy my anger at them for being such disloyal little shits lol. I swear, normally I have full control of my emotions, but that episode... man, it's up there with leaving wet towels on the bathroom floor on my How To Piss Moo Off list.

 

In First Date, on her way to see Xander, she stopped off to check Spike was okay, mainly for practical reasons - to further the romantic subplot in that episode, so Robin could see it, get annoyed and then they could end the scene with Xander asking "so how's your date going?", cue awkward three-way look. But even leaving aside the fact that it was less a character moment and more a writing device, I don't really see what's wrong with her checking on the guy she loves first. That's what I'd do - my partner trumps all, I'm afraid. And that's what Xander would do too. Given the choice between Anya and Buffy, I'm sure he would've checked on Anya first. And if he didn't, he bloody well should have lol.

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In First Date, on her way to see Xander, she stopped off to check Spike was okay, mainly for practical reasons - to further the romantic subplot in that episode, so Robin could see it, get annoyed and then they could end the scene with Xander asking "so how's your date going?", cue awkward three-way look. But even leaving aside the fact that it was less a character moment and more a writing device, I don't really see what's wrong with her checking on the guy she loves first. That's what I'd do - my partner trumps all, I'm afraid.

 

Is your partner by any chance an immortal magical creature who cannot possibly die without turning to dust, hence rendering checking their health status completely pointless, at least in terms of "is he going to make it?" Basically, it was possible that Xander might die from his wounds. Spike, not so much. Nothing to do with who Buffy should value more, her friends or her ex-boyfriend. If Xander were a vampire and Spike human, going to check if the former was okay would have been just as annoying as what actually unfolded.

 

 

Buffy tanked the intervention? Because Xander was starting out from such a place of due thought and consideration for the situation at hand?

 

One doesn't rule out the other, you know. And I really don't see how Xander "attacked" Buffy in the lines you have bolded. Everything he said was completely on topic and with no actual insults. Buffy knew that which was why she tried to undermine his credibility by making it all about his jealousy. Because it's not like the guy was in a love triangle with two other women at the time and that Angel killed (probably) hundreds of people between Innocence and Becoming and any sane person should have feared a repetition of this reign of terror. Nah, all jealousy, right, Buffy?

 

 

Why let it get that far if she was so sure she had an out in her back pocket?

 

Because people don't usually plan these things, especially when the intervention is surprising for them? No one is saying Buffy went to the library with a detailed plan to destroy Xander's credibility or something. She just saw an opening and struck.

 

 

And as for going right back - she was right!

 

No, she wasn't. She was practically gifted the Scythe ex Machina by the Big Bad and the Little Bad, something she couldn't possibly have known would happen at the time of insisting they make a second attempt. A second attempt that would have most certainly failed, by the way, or at least led to Caleb killing half the Scoobies while Buffy took the shiny new toy from him.

Edited by Jack Shaftoe
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With the end of S2/beginning of S3, I've never been able to justify their awful treatment of Buffy. Truly, I understand that it was unfair to leave them without letting them know she was okay. The worry she put them all through was awful and I would have had zero problem with them having a less than happy reunion with her, letting her know just how worried they were all summer. What I did not get at all was the passive-aggressive bullshit followed by the ganging up on her.

 

I totally disagree. I have no problem with the way the gang acted because they were kids. They had all of these feelings stored up about Buffy leaving (not because she left them with her responsibility but because she left them with no idea where she was, how she was, etc.), and they were trying to push those feelings down and act like everything was fine. (And not doing it very well, but I don't blame them at all for that.) Then when Buffy decided they weren't reacting to her return to her satisfaction and was about to take off again, they blew.

 

Really, unless some kind of counselor sat those kids down over the summer and helped them deal with their issues (not just Buffy taking off, but the various traumas they'd all gone through before she headed for the hills), I don't think it's surprising, or even out of line, that they reacted the way they did to the situation. Their reaction wasn't the best in the world, but it was understandable and human under the circumstances.

 

And as for going right back - she was right!

 

Nah, that was just terrible writing. She was right because the writers decided she was going to be right, not because she actually was right.

 

What happened right after they unfairly booted her out of her own house?

 

And not to start a debate, but Buffy wasn't kicked out of the house. Buffy left because the others didn't want to play things her way. She was like the kid who takes her ball and goes home because the other kids don't want to play by her rules.

Edited by Bitterswete
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I realise at the time they didn't know exactly what had gone down with her and Angelus/Angel. But surely unless they were mentally impaired they must have realised - say, like Giles did - that something truly terrible must have happened to cause her to just leave without a word. But they weren't really thinking about that, were they? They were too busy feeling sorry for themselves that for once they were being treated to a little of the slaying responsibility. And I get that. They were teenagers. Teenagers can be selfish assholes. Which is exactly what they were in Dead Man's Party: selfish assholes.

 

So basically the events of Dead Man's Party happened in a vacuum, and Willow and Xander attacked Buffy out of the clear blue nothing for completely no reason? All righty, then.

 

Less snarkily, if Xander and Willow can't have it both ways about being involved in the fighting, Buffy can't have it both ways about their emotional involvement in her life. Either they and their feelings matter to her or they don't. And if they don't, then that's fine. If she spent the entire series only tolerating them, then that's her choice. But if that's the case, then don't expect me to think she's a nice person or that they should waste much time being nice to her.

 

If you really want to talk being mean for no reason, and I've mentioned this elsewhere, how about Buffy pulling the Hat Trick of Emotional Cruelty in When She Was Bad? She knew Xander had a crush on her, and beyond that she knew Willow had a crush on Xander. But I guess it was more important to her at the time that she felt bad, and that treating the people who cared about her like crap was what would make her feel better. I guess that's what 'friends' do.

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Is your partner by any chance an immortal magical creature who cannot possibly die without turning to dust, hence rendering checking their health status completely pointless, at least in terms of "is he going to make it?" Basically, it was possible that Xander might die from his wounds. Spike, not so much. Nothing to do with who Buffy should value more, her friends or her ex-boyfriend. If Xander were a vampire and Spike human, going to check if the former was okay would have been just as annoying as what actually unfolded.

 

Lol, he's not immortal, no. But even if he was, I'd still probably go check on the guy I love who ran in to save the idiot friend of mine who'd got himself in yet more trouble with his terrible decision-making. The way the scene was played, Buffy would've had to walk past a downed Spike to get to a clearly breathing, being-seen-to-by-Robin Xander. I don't think it was unreasonable for her to stop off on her and check he was good.

 

I totally disagree. I have no problem with the way the gang acted because they were kids. They had all of these feelings stored up about Buffy leaving (not because she left them with her responsibility but because she left them with no idea where she was, how she was, etc.), and they were trying to push those feelings down and act like everything was fine. (And not doing it very well, but I don't blame them at all for that.) Then when Buffy decided they weren't reacting to her return to her satisfaction and was about to take off again, they blew.

 

Really, unless some kind of counselor sat those kids down over the summer and helped them deal with their issues (not just Buffy taking off, but the various traumas they'd all gone through before she headed for the hills), I don't think it's surprising, or even out of line, that they reacted the way they did to the situation. Their reaction wasn't the best in the world, but it was understandable and human under the circumstances.

 

 

Nah, that was just terrible writing. She was right because the writers decided she was going to be right, not because she actually was right.

 

 

And not to start a debate, but Buffy wasn't kicked out of the house. Buffy left because the others didn't want to play things her way. She was like the kid who takes her ball and goes home because the other kids don't want to play by her rules.

 

That's fine, I don't think their actions made them the worst people in the world, or even the worst friends. But there's no getting away from the fact that they acted like dickheads to her. Excusable because they're technically children? Maybe. But then, so are all Buffy's mistakes in that arc - of which I admit, she made a few. But I always tend to come down more on Buffy's side the same way I always did Harry in the Harry Potter books - simply because their traumas are far more hard-hitting and difficult to deal with. I don't think Willow being conked on the head and spending a few days in the hospital is half as bad as, say, being tortured recently after the woman you love was murdered, or having to kill what you consider the love of your life. If anyone had the real right to go after Buffy for disappearing so suddenly and selfishly, it was Giles. But then Giles was the only one mature enough to see that something truly awful must have happened. The rest were too busy being children, like you said.

 

 

So basically the events of Dead Man's Party happened in a vacuum, and Willow and Xander attacked Buffy out of the clear blue nothing for completely no reason? All righty, then.

 

Less snarkily, if Xander and Willow can't have it both ways about being involved in the fighting, Buffy can't have it both ways about their emotional involvement in her life. Either they and their feelings matter to her or they don't. And if they don't, then that's fine. If she spent the entire series only tolerating them, then that's her choice. But if that's the case, then don't expect me to think she's a nice person or that they should waste much time being nice to her.

 

If you really want to talk being mean for no reason, and I've mentioned this elsewhere, how about Buffy pulling the Hat Trick of Emotional Cruelty in When She Was Bad? She knew Xander had a crush on her, and beyond that she knew Willow had a crush on Xander. But I guess it was more important to her at the time that she felt bad, and that treating the people who cared about her like crap was what would make her feel better. I guess that's what 'friends' do.

 

It was absolutely more important to her in WSWB that she make her two closest friends feel as much like shit as she could - that was her entire purpose. She was being a total bitch. But I think acting out in response to dying is a bit of a better excuse than she knocked the power out in her neighbourhood and had no-one to chat about it to.

 

I'm not sure I understand your point about their emotional connection to Buffy. I'm not sure how anyone could deny that Buffy always had a strong emotional connection to her friends and family. She more than once put their lives and safety above that of the rest of the world, for instance. But I'm not sure what her friendship with them has to do with her work as the Slayer. I've had the same best friend since high school and we have always been extremely close. But I would not tolerate her coming into my office and issuing orders to the people I work with, simply because she happened to be my best friend. And if she threw a bitch fit when I called her on it, I'd be quite ashamed of her. But she wouldn't do any of those things, because the friendship she has with me exists outside the realm of my work. Same goes for Buffy. Just because the Scoobies helped her and loved her and she loved them, that didn't make them the Slayer. In S1 Willow says, "You're the Slayer and we're like your Slayerettes." That's the way it was, until the Scoobs got delusions of grandeur.

 

As goes Buffy getting the scythe by herself, I'm not sure how to argue against "this happened because Buffy was wrong, but that happened because the writing was dumb". Either it's all there as canon or it's not, but it can't be both at once. And canon says that Buffy was right in EP. She went back, got the scythe and saved the day. As usual.

 

TBH, I haven't watched EP in a while - it's hardly a laugh riot of an episode - but if Buffy decided she didn't want to sit in a room with a bunch of people who'd just essentially told her off like she was a naughty child and unfairly wrested control from her - something she was born to have - I can't say I blame her. I don't think I'd want to sit there, knowing I was right and they were wrong, and listen to them make terrible plans that would only get them blown up lol. That would be slightly frustrating for anyone of sense, no?

Edited by Moo
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That's fine, I don't think their actions made them the worst people in the world, or even the worst friends. But there's no getting away from the fact that they acted like dickheads to her. Excusable because they're technically children?

 

No, because they are human beings with emotions who had gone through things they hadn't properly dealt with. Although being so young, and not having a lot of life experience dealing with a situation like that, probably contributed. But even people who are more mature can react in similar ways when emotions are running high.

 

But I always tend to come down more on Buffy's side the same way I always did Harry in the Harry Potter books - simply because their traumas are far more hard-hitting and difficult to deal with. I don't think Willow being conked on the head and spending a few days in the hospital is half as bad as, say, being tortured recently after the woman you love was murdered, or having to kill what you consider the love of your life.

 

And that's not how human beings work. I know people who've gone through things that might be considered minor compared to things someone else has gone through. But try telling them that, because other people have had it so much worse, they somehow don't have the right to be messed up and should just suck it up and get over it. It just doesn't work that way.

 

Just because the others didn't go through things that were as bad as what Buffy went through doesn't mean what they went through wasn't bad and didn't effect them.

 

I actually felt bad for Buffy during the confrontation scene in "Dead Man's Party." But I could also see where the others were coming from and why they were reacting the way they were. Because as bad as what Buffy went through was, the others had gone through some pretty bad stuff too.

 

As goes Buffy getting the scythe by herself, I'm not sure how to argue against "this happened because Buffy was wrong, but that happened because the writing was dumb". Either it's all there as canon or it's not, but it can't be both at once.

 

Sure it can. Just because canon says something is true doesn't mean the story logic behind it doesn't suck.

 

To me, Buffy turned out to be right the same way a broken clock is right twice a day. And even if Buffy did turn out to be "right" in this case, I think the others still had every right not to want to just do what she said, which pretty much amounted to them doing the exact same thing that ended up with so many of them dead or maimed. And, as someone else pointed out, even if the others had gone along with her, and she turned out to be "right," there's a good chance a lot more of them would've ended up being killed or maimed in the process. Because Buffy's "let's do that again!" strategy was terrible.

 

if Buffy decided she didn't want to sit in a room with a bunch of people who'd just essentially told her off like she was a naughty child and unfairly wrested control from her - something she was born to have - I can't say I blame her.

 

Sure, Buffy had every right not to want to be involved if she wasn't running the show. But after everything that happened, and how irrational (almost hysterical) she was coming across with the whole "let's go back to the place where we were slaughtered right now, just because" thing, the others had every right not to want her to be in charge. 

 

I just don't hold to the idea that Buffy should be in charge because she's Buffy, and everyone else should just shut up and do what she says...because she's Buffy. Because, in a lot of ways, that feels a lot like, "The Slayer should do what the Watchers tell her to do, because they're the Watchers and, obviously, know better than her, so she should just shut up and do what she's told."

Edited by Bitterswete
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TBH, I haven't watched EP in a while - it's hardly a laugh riot of an episode - but if Buffy decided she didn't want to sit in a room with a bunch of people who'd just essentially told her off like she was a naughty child and unfairly wrested control from her - something she was born to have - I can't say I blame her.

 

Buffy wasn't born to lead anything. The Buffyverse has somehow survived millennia of Slayers led by their Watchers. Nothing in Buffy's powers made her inherently a better leader than Joe Average Vigilante. She had a a very impressive track record at that point, of course, but no matter what your track record is, if you screw up one too many times some people will start refusing to follow your lead. There is nothing unfair about that. The characters weren't to know they were in a TV show where the main protagonist is supposed to be right about the crucial decisions in 99% percent of the cases. Might as well claim that Buffy "wrestled control unfairly" from the Watcher's Council back in season 3. Everyone who fought evil in this show (except The Initiative and its successor organization) was a vigilante. Buffy was merely a vigilante that could punch harder than most.

 

 

I don't think I'd want to sit there, knowing I was right and they were wrong, and listen to them make terrible plans that would only get them blown up

 

Which is perfectly understandable, but doesn't make the notion that Buffy was "thrown out of her house" any less absurd, IMO.

 

 

As goes Buffy getting the scythe by herself, I'm not sure how to argue against "this happened because Buffy was wrong, but that happened because the writing was dumb". Either it's all there as canon or it's not, but it can't be both at once. And canon says that Buffy was right in EP.

 

Does it really? If I have a plan about something and it involves me and a bunch of other people doing something, then I end up trying it myself and succeeding, this doesn't necessarily mean I was going to succeed if they were involved too. If Usain Bolt gets really drunk and comes up with a plan to have a bunch of people push him from behind while he is running as a way to ensure a gold medal, only to realize how silly the idea is and win it the normal way eventually, does that make his original plan the right one and the people who told him he must be crazy wrong? (excuse the awful analogy, please, this is not a good day for my imagination apparently).

 

 

And that's now how human beings work. I know people who've gone through things that might be considered minor compared to things someone else has gone through. But try telling them that, because other people have had it so much worse, they somehow don't have the right to be messed up. It just doesn't work that way.

 

Just because the others didn't go through things that were as bad as what Buffy went through doesn't mean what they went through wasn't bad and didn't effect them.

 

Exactly. Also, I would imagine that wondering if Buffy was even alive - for whole three months, no less, is quite traumatic.

Edited by Jack Shaftoe
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I'm not sure I understand your point about their emotional connection to Buffy. I'm not sure how anyone could deny that Buffy always had a strong emotional connection to her friends and family. She more than once put their lives and safety above that of the rest of the world, for instance. But I'm not sure what her friendship with them has to do with her work as the Slayer.

 

My point is, Buffy's emotional connections (to Willow and Xander, to Giles, to her mom) were what set her apart from the Slayers before her, who were supposed to be friendless and without family because THE SLAYER was all the were. Buffy broke the mold because she made connections and formed friendships that didn't have anything to do with having superpowers. She was the one who decided to shut the others out by running away at the end of season two. If she had given them a chance to try and understand, they might have been able to help her, but she never finds out because she doesn't even make the damn effort.

 

I would have less of a problem with it if, whenever the subject of Dead Man's Party or Buffy concealing Angel's presence or Buffy shutting Riley out or whatever else comes up*, the argument against Everyone Who Isn't Buffy didn't sound something like this - "Aren't they just so selfish and self-centered to make demands on her and have expectations when she's so vulnerable?" Because that isn't how human beings work either. Sometimes people have needs and wants that should be fulfilled, and it doesn't make them 'selfish' or 'self-centered' to expect that they will be. So ultimately my question is what it's always been, because no one ever answers the question in a way that doesn't try to make it at least a little okay for Buffy to treat her friends like dogshit - why should they care about her feelings if she doesn't care about theirs?

 

*The notable exception to this is Spike, since somehow she was supposed to be nice to his sorry ass because he was "in love" with her. Everybody else she could treat like crap, but she should have been gentle with Captain Peroxide's feelings. I. Just. Don't Get. It.

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We don't really know that no other Slayer, in thousands of years, ever broke the mould by keeping friends and family close. We only know that was what the Watcher's Council wanted everyone to believe, the party line they adhered to as ideal, and the condition they strove to achieve for each Slayer. We do however know that at least one of Buffy's predecessors, Nikki Wood, combined motherhood with Slayer-dom - implying that she too had a life outside Slaying.

 

Knowing human nature as I do, I would hazard a guess that Slayer history in general is not as clear-cut as the Council would like to portray it, that there were always exceptions to every rule.

Edited by Llywela
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Just jumping in to say that I don't think I ever had much trouble seeing both sides whenever it came to an argument between major players. I might agree with one side a little more than the other but I've never held the other sides view point (too much) against them, especially in the first four seasons. The only time I can think of off the top of my head where this was not the case was Empty Places where I went "Oh FFS, Buffy". And Willow and Tara's incredibly forced fight in Tough Love where they both acted pretty dumb.

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Sometimes I think that Buffy Summers shown in four earlier seasons and post-The Gift Buffy were in fact two fairly different Buffys (therefore Captain Peroxide's point about her coming back from Heeeeeeeaaaaven wrong wasn't totally unfounded). I was mildly in love with Buffy A. Summers from seasons 1-2 (despite her displaying occassional bitchiness in WSWB and failure to resolve the "Angelus crisis" from Innocence until Becoming, Part 2) - not only because of the way she looked or how cool she was while kicking undead asses. Those were the days of innocence, youthfulness mixed with some childish naivete, high hopes for a normal life and true love among other things that won the heart of yours truly (ok, I was never good at the whole poetic description stuff!)... If "Giles, I'm sixteen years old. I don't want to die" or the final moments of Becoming, Part 2 do not touch you, you're probably dead...
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Than there were first seven eps of season 3 that made me slightly reconsider my initial attitude towards the show's main protagonist: all the "woe to those who dare questioning some of my actions"-shit and hiding/defending the baby seal-faced undead (formerly murderous) boyfriend just didn't work for me. But season 3's Buffy was still my Buffy, who knew right from wrong. The next season dealt mostly with problems of heroine's growing up, while it was season 5 that showed some signs of the impending disaster (Buffy's tendency to shut other people out first and foremost).

Finally, Buffy from last two seasons - she was the one I couldn't stand. The writers' inflexible decision that Spuffy melodrama was everything the audience needed only added insult to injury. It was gross when I first saw it over 15 years ago and it didn't get better ever since. In spite of manifesting some seeds of "getting it right" in season 6's finale, Buffy was almost back on her post-ressurrection track when the first episodes of season 7 aired. Spike-o-mania (she didn't even have the guts to revoke invitation to her house after the rape attempt) and treating other people like crap (X, W, G and even D were her employees, not friends, from then on) are still two main things that come to mind whenever I think about Buffy Summers from 2002-2003.

There are moments I believe Buffy's throwing herself into that mystical portal at the end of season 5 was a slight metaphor for future character assassination of once proud heroine (turning her into opposite of almost everything she stood for at the beginning of her journey - making her fuck the unrepentant mass murderer and find him bragging about killing people quite a tolerable thing).  If the writers were familiar with some resemblance of common sense, they would have made Buffy permanently part ways with her (former) friends in post-Chosen comic continuation (comic assassination of once amazing show in fact). And, God, how I wanted her to call her Spike-shaped undead obsession "the one person that's been watching my back" in front of her friends and the Potentials during that final scene in Empty Places

True, Buffy had to carry the burden, which was not of her choosing. But unlike 99% of the Slayers before her she had actual family (Joyce would never win Mom of the Year competition, but still she was way better than Jessica Harris, Sheila Rosenberg or Faith's unnamed abusive mother) and real friends (say what like about Willow and Xander, they weren't saints, but they were always there for her or tried to help, they could have done more if it wasn't for Buffy's superiority complex, habit of shutting other people out or choosing every current boyfriend over the ones who were by her side since day one). Without X, W and G the Slayer might not even make it to her 17th birthday. Yet sometimes I get the feeling that Buffy barely tolerated the two adorable Sunnydale kids  and her Watcher, while her heart told her she had to walk through this world all alone, like the Chosen Ones before her... She tried her best to fight the traditional Slayer-has-to-be-the-loner paradigm, but probably gave up at some point, for alienation probably was the thing that came with the package of the slaying powers.  

Buffy was a true hero with an impressive track record and (initially) a good person. She wasn't flawless and it still amazes me that there are people in the fandom who do believe everything Buffy did or said for seven years was always right and woe to anyone who dared to question her and not to nod in agreement (scornful remarks directed at the Scoobies and Potentials for refusing to follow Buffy's lead after disastrous events from Dirty Girls somehow unnerve me). And maybe, just maybe Buffy Summers who came back from the grave in Bargaining wasn't her true self (Willow and the others meant well, but, you know, the road to hell is full of good intentions...). Maybe real Buffy the Vampire Slayer went down in the blaze of glory (actual glory, not that annoying Hellbitch with a capital G) in May 2001...

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On 8/30/2018 at 8:27 AM, lembergwatcher said:

Without X, W and G the Slayer might not even make it to her 17th birthday.

Well, even with them, she didn't, technically.  She's a doornail when old Nest drops her in that puddle.

The difference is that Xander's there to bring her back to life.  And he's there because Willow went out, against Buffy's orders and despite her trauma, and got him to come to the Library with her.  (Remember, Xander wasn't answering his phone.)

On 8/30/2018 at 8:27 AM, lembergwatcher said:

And maybe, just maybe Buffy Summers who came back from the grave in Bargaining wasn't her true self (Willow and the others meant well, but, you know, the road to hell is full of good intentions...).

Never trust the quality of anything you buy on eBay.  Willow should have known there'd be problems when the "Urn of Osiris" she was using said "made in Taiwan" on the bottom. ;)

Edited by Halting Hex
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2 hours ago, Halting Hex said:

The difference is that Xander's there to bring her back to life.  And he's there because Willow went out, against Buffy's orders and despite her trauma, and got him to come to the Library with her.

The important difference, I must say. I dread to think what would have happened if the only ones Buffy could rely on at the moment were Giles, rubbing "soon-to-be-purple area" of his jaw at the library along with Jenny, and Buffy's undead boyfriend-wannabe moping inside his apartment... 

Edited by lembergwatcher
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On ‎04‎/‎05‎/‎2015 at 1:52 PM, joelene said:

Just jumping in to say that I don't think I ever had much trouble seeing both sides whenever it came to an argument between major players. I might agree with one side a little more than the other but I've never held the other sides view point (too much) against them, especially in the first four seasons. The only time I can think of off the top of my head where this was not the case was Empty Places where I went "Oh FFS, Buffy". And Willow and Tara's incredibly forced fight in Tough Love where they both acted pretty dumb.

No, I think this had been brewing for some time much like in s4, Buffy's decision merely brought things to a head. Plus I thought Will and Tara's fight was actually very realistic although a lot of Tara's kittens were outraged, as though lesbians never argue?

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For those of you who are not happy with Buffy's "character development" in the final 2-3 seasons: what do you think was the main reason for our heroine changing for the worse, for setting her on the path of alienation from friends and in many ways dereliction of duty? Apart from hack writing, of course.

  1. Falling in love with Angel (without Bangel Spuffy would probably never have happened IMO);
  2. Long lasting effects of Buffy's temporary death at the hands of Master;
  3. Hanging out with Cordy and Faith (seasons 2-3);
  4. The whole Angelus crisis in season 2;
  5. Lack of Xander's support for Bangel;
  6. Breaking up with Angel in season 3;
  7. Not staking Spike everytime she had a chance;
  8. Side effects of the Enjoining spell;
  9. Falling for Dracula's and Spike's bullshit in season 5;
  10. The Great Buffyversal Mindfuck of 2000 and the introduction of Dawnie;
  11. Breaking up with Riley;
  12. Joyce's death;
  13. Being brought back from the dead post-The Gift;
  14. Giles proving to be a shitty watcher/father's figure in season 6;
  15. Lack of support from Xander and Willow;
  16. "Battered wife syndrome" due to Spike;
  17. The First messing Buffy's mind in the final season;
  18. Buffy being selfish, self-centered and jealous bitch;
  19. All of this combined;
  20. Something else.

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My vote for "20" would be "Riley's possessive 'why-doesn't-she-need-me-the-way-she-needed-Angel?' issues."  I wouldn't actually make that my choice, but I think it deserves a spot on the ballot.

That said, I'll have to go with #10.  Unwriting Buffy's past (and leaving her uncertain about how much of her current emotions are genuine) had to take a large toll, IMO.

Sorry, Dawnster!  (And Joe.)

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7 hours ago, lembergwatcher said:

For those of you who are not happy with Buffy's "character development" in the final 2-3 seasons: what do you think was the main reason for our heroine changing for the worse, for setting her on the path of alienation from friends and in many ways dereliction of duty? Apart from hack writing, of course.

  1. Falling in love with Angel (without Bangel Spuffy would probably never have happened IMO);
  2. Long lasting effects of Buffy's temporary death at the hands of Master;
  3. Hanging out with Cordy and Faith (seasons 2-3);
  4. The whole Angelus crisis in season 2;
  5. Lack of Xander's support for Bangel;
  6. Breaking up with Angel in season 3;
  7. Not staking Spike everytime she had a chance;
  8. Side effects of the Enjoining spell;
  9. Falling for Dracula's and Spike's bullshit in season 5;
  10. The Great Buffyversal Mindfuck of 2000 and the introduction of Dawnie;
  11. Breaking up with Riley;
  12. Joyce's death;
  13. Being brought back from the dead post-The Gift;
  14. Giles proving to be a shitty watcher/father's figure in season 6;
  15. Lack of support from Xander and Willow;
  16. "Battered wife syndrome" due to Spike;
  17. The First messing Buffy's mind in the final season;
  18. Buffy being selfish, self-centered and jealous bitch;
  19. All of this combined;
  20. Something else.

None of the above because the Buffster was always wonderful and her relationship with Dawn only made her more so! Are you a Bangeler?

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