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BTVS Episode Poll: 6.04 Flooded

NoShoes
Thematically appropriate for any of you on the east coast -- the BTVS episode is Flooded. Hope you are surviving your real life flooding okay!



Poll #1876439 BTVS Episode Poll: 6.04 Flooded
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 17

1 One of my BTVS-watching friends hates the needs-money storyline and think Buffy’s friends all suck here. Why isn’t the Watchers’ Council contributing? They pay watchers and not slayers, WTF? And aren’t Willow and Tara paying rent? Etc. -- What say you?

View Answers
He’s right. They suck. It’s one of the things that bugs me about this season
7 (41.2%)
Of course they suck. That’s the whole point.
1 (5.9%)
They suck, but it’s perfectly understandable -- it’s not like the others have a lot of experience dealing with this kind of stuff either
5 (29.4%)
Only Xander sucks
1 (5.9%)
Other
3 (17.6%)

2 There’s a scene where Anya suggests Buffy charge people for heroic acts on their behalf, which dissolves into pointless nerdy bickering over the nature of Spiderman, followed by Xander and Anya having another one of their fights over whether Xander is ready to announce the engagement. What’s really going on here?

View Answers
Anya nails it with her parting shot: When are you gonna grow up, Xander?
6 (35.3%)
Foreshadowing. Lots of foreshadowing.
6 (35.3%)
Xander finds Anya frequently embarrassing and is genuinely conflicted about that.
2 (11.8%)
Only Xander sucks
2 (11.8%)
Other
1 (5.9%)

3 And now, as the semi-hapless commanders of the bank-robbing demon that disrupted Buffy’s life, we have the first appearance of the Trio!

View Answers
Don’t like them. They are one of the things that bugs me about this season
4 (23.5%)
They’re okay.
3 (17.6%)
A little silly, maybe, but they’re funny, so I’m inclined to be forgiving
3 (17.6%)
I love the Trio!
1 (5.9%)
I not only love the Trio, I find them thematically fascinating and much more significant than they might at first appear.
5 (29.4%)
Other
1 (5.9%)

4 Willow and Giles have an important scene in the kitchen, which I failed to turn into one question, and instead turned into three. (What? It really is that important!) Question one -- immediately after the Buffy resurrection spell, Willow seemed pretty burnt out and serious about the whole raising the dead thing. But here she is shockingly cavalier, snacking and making jokes. What’s going on?

View Answers
Now that she knows the spell succeeded, the power is going to her head
11 (64.7%)
She’s giddy with relief that everything worked out okay (as far as she knows)
1 (5.9%)
She is downplaying the seriousness of the spell for Giles’ benefit. trying to make it seem like less of a risky big deal than it was
2 (11.8%)
She sincerely thinks he’ll be happy with her, since the spell succeeded
3 (17.6%)
Me? I’m mostly distracted by her incredibly dated reference to The Blair Witch Project.
0 (0.0%)
Other
0 (0.0%)

5 Giles gets upset and gives her a serious dressing-down. How does this work as surrogate dad behavior?

View Answers
He’s right to get mad. He has to make her understand the seriousness of what she’s done.
6 (35.3%)
It’s understandable, but a more nuanced reaction might have been more productive.
4 (23.5%)
He’s screwing up big time, driving a wedge between himself and Willow that ensures she won’t turn to him in the future when she needs guidance in her magic use.
3 (17.6%)
You’d think he’d be a little more sympathetic, Mr. I-used-to-summon-demons-for-kicks-when-I-was-about-her-age
2 (11.8%)
Giles is being more attentive to Buffy’s emotional state than she is, and is actually picking up on her “no, actually, I wasn’t being tormented in a hell dimension” vibe. That’s why he reacts the way he does.
2 (11.8%)
Other
0 (0.0%)

6 Willow reacts to Giles’ dressing-down by getting mad and actually threatening him. “You’re right. The magics I used are very powerful. I’m very powerful. And maybe it’s not such a good idea for you to piss me off.” Then she snaps back to normal Willow, seeming a little confused, as if she has no idea what just came over her. What did just come over her?

View Answers
Mostly a natural, psychological personality shift.
8 (47.1%)
Mostly a magical personality shift, akin to possession.
0 (0.0%)
Little of both.
0 (0.0%)
Whatever’s going on, it’s pretty weird, and why isn’t Giles taking her to magical rehab or something RIGHT THIS MINUTE?
6 (35.3%)
This personality shift is the *real* price she’s paying for the spell. All that vomiting snakes stuff was window dressing.
2 (11.8%)
Other
1 (5.9%)

7 Buffy and Spike have a scene -- he makes a joke about “thinning the herd” and, when she seems amused, says “knew I could get a grin.”

View Answers
He mostly just wanted to make her laugh.
9 (52.9%)
It’s mostly his way of signaling that if she needs an outside shoulder to cry on, he’s available.
5 (29.4%)
He’s testing the waters. If he can make her laugh by talking about killing her friends and family, that speaks well to his romantic chances.
1 (5.9%)
It’s part of a very deliberate seduction strategy that starts with separating her from her friends and family
1 (5.9%)
Is there really a question here? You just wanted to talk about Spike.
1 (5.9%)
Other
0 (0.0%)

8 Favorite thematic/quotable dialog

View Answers
Buffy: It's bills. It's money. It's scraps of paper sent by bureaucrats we've never even met, okay? Not the end of the world. Which is too bad, cause that, I'm really good at.
0 (0.0%)
Anya: Captain Logic is not steering this tugboat.
2 (11.8%)
Giles: It's ... you're a … Buffy: A miracle? Giles: Yes. But then, I've always thought so.
4 (23.5%)
Giles: The magics you channeled are more primal and ferocious than anything you can hope to understand, and you're lucky to be alive, you rank, arrogant amateur!
9 (52.9%)
Buffy: They all care so much. I'm spending all my time trying to be okay, so no one'll worry. It's exhausting,
2 (11.8%)
Jonathan: Crime is our wormhole
0 (0.0%)
Giles: She took one crisis at a time, without the aid of superpowers, and got through it all. So can you.
0 (0.0%)

9. Rate this episode

View Answers
Mean: 7.00 Median: 7 Std. Dev 1.19
1
0 (0.0%)
2
0 (0.0%)
3
0 (0.0%)
4
0 (0.0%)
5
2 (11.8%)
6
3 (17.6%)
7
7 (41.2%)
8
4 (23.5%)
9
0 (0.0%)
10
1 (5.9%)


Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
mcjulie
Nov. 3rd, 2012 02:44 pm (UTC)
1 Only Xander sucks
As I implied, I don’t fully agree with my friend’s interpretation. BTVS has always been about Buffy’s struggle to reconcile the real world with the slayer world. In high school, the real world was represented by things like tests and cheerleading ambitions. This season, the real world is represented by things like needing money and not having any meaningful career direction. So I’m happy to view the financial crisis this episode as a manifestation of that.

The Watchers’ Council sucks, but they always have sucked, so I don’t think that’s more relevant here than in any previous season.

The others -- Willow et. al. -- clearly indicate they were taken by surprise when they realized all the money was gone. So, we can assume they didn’t know until right before they tell Buffy, which actually lets Giles off the hook as well. (Especially since he does come through with a generous check at the end of the next episode.) None of this is inconsistent with Willow and Tara paying rent, either. We can reasonably assume, based on what we’ve seen (although not on explicit dialog) that they are paying a portion of the mortgage, and a portion of the food and other daily household expenses. They’re both college students, so we can probably also assume that this expense taps out their ability to contribute financially. Dawn is in junior high, so she’s not bringing any money in.

That leaves Xander and Anya as the parties conceivably not contributing their share to the Slayer enterprise. Anya, I will let off the hook -- because she’s Anya! Also, she is only peripherally a Slayerette, and her “charge ‘em money!” brainstorming might be ridiculous, but it is at least an attempt to solve the problem. Plus, although she clearly loves the money she makes at the Magic Box, she is a small business owner, and small business owners -- practically speaking -- do end up plowing most of their profits back into the business.

Which brings us to Xander. Xander, who works in the lucrative field of construction, and is part of Buffy’s core support team, and is partnered with Anya, who is also employed. If there’s anybody who ought to have extra money lying around that he could donate to the upkeep of Slayage Central, it’s him. So, what does he do? He brings in a buddy contractor to do the plumbing repairs, and when Willow and Dawn both react to the size of the bill, his response is the remarkably unsympathetic, “Hey, Tito cut you a good deal down there. Those are his bargain prices. I did a little haggling for you.”

He doesn’t merely fail to offer help. He actually seems affronted that the others find the bill frighteningly high, almost as if he’s afraid of losing face in front of his buddy Tito.

So, in my opinion, in this scene, only Xander sucks.

2 Xander finds Anya embarrassing
The thing that struck me on the most recent rewatch, was HOW uncomfortable Xander seems right before he and Anya go outside to fight. Like he wants to sink into the floor.

Now, you could take this as an example of Xander being an asshole -- what, embarrassed by his own girlfriend! -- but I don’t, because it strikes me as realistic couples behavior. (For example, I have often found my own dear husband embarrassing. Usually alcohol is involved, but still. ..)

Further -- and fans love Anya, so I think this often gets overlooked -- he knows that Buffy, Willow, and Dawn don’t particularly like Anya. They accept her as part of the group, but that’s for Xander’s sake. So part of his embarrassment is driven by observing how the other important people in his life relate to her. Again, I think this is a realistic relationship dynamic. Sometimes a person in a closely knit social group starts dating someone the group as a whole just doesn’t warm up to. Sometimes this ends up pulling the person away from the social group, and I can tell you, when I’m part of the social group? I hate that. So I’ll give Xander a moment of sympathy. He really does love Anya. He really does love his other friends. And he’s still pretty young.

For this question, then, I don't think Xander sucks.

Edited at 2012-11-03 02:48 pm (UTC)
fray_adjacent12
Nov. 3rd, 2012 07:33 pm (UTC)
1. The others -- Willow et. al. -- clearly indicate they were taken by surprise when they realized all the money was gone. So, we can assume they didn’t know until right before they tell Buffy, which actually lets Giles off the hook as well. (Especially since he does come through with a generous check at the end of the next episode.) None of this is inconsistent with Willow and Tara paying rent, either. We can reasonably assume, based on what we’ve seen (although not on explicit dialog) that they are paying a portion of the mortgage, and a portion of the food and other daily household expenses. They’re both college students, so we can probably also assume that this expense taps out their ability to contribute financially. Dawn is in junior high, so she’s not bringing any money in.

I came into this all ready to defend Willow and Tara, who for some reason most fans seem to assume don't contribute to the mortgage, but you did it already! I'd argue that there is actually no way they are not contributing -- Buffy's minimum wage job at Doublemeat Palace could not cover a 3-bedroom craftsman in southern California. I assume that between "Forever" and "Flooded", bills were covered by a combination of Joyce's life insurance and Willow and Tara's student income, perhaps along with some money from Giles. Between "Flooded" and "Gone", the money Giles gives Buffy covers what Willow and Tara cannot. I admit this is fanwank, but it makes more sense than the equally fanwanky explanation that Buffy somehow pays all of her and Dawn's expenses and the bulk of Willow and Tara's on a fast food job.

It's an interesting point about Xander's contribution. You're right: he's not just in construction, he's a foreman. He should be helping! I hadn't thought of that before.

I do also think that, since the Watchers' Council is obviously not going to come through, Giles should just regularly give money to Buffy. After all, she is the SOLE reason he was re-instated as Watcher in "Checkpoint". Considering that he was able to live unemployed for a year in S4 and still have enough left over to start a new business, the salary must be pretty good. He could share some of that with the person without whom he wouldn't have any of it. So, despite the large check he gives Buffy in this episode, over the long haul Giles is the person who I think most renegs on his financial responsibility to her. Though I'd have to turn over your points about Xander in my head for a bit longer.

2. I totally agree that Xander finds Anya embarrassing! It's one of the more interesting aspects of their relationship for me. But I chose "foreshadowing"; I don't think the answers are mutually exclusive. I admit it's been a while since I saw this episode.

Random comment: I totally cracked up when Buffy tells Giles, upon receiving the check, "I'm going to show this to Dawn. She loves it when things get easy." I'm no Dawn-hater, but that's a pretty good subtle jab there.
mcjulie
Nov. 4th, 2012 05:05 pm (UTC)
Buffy's minimum wage job at Doublemeat Palace could not cover a 3-bedroom craftsman in southern California

No, not even in Sunnydale!

Actually, one of the problems in evaluating this particular storyline is that TV-and-movie economics never really adds up -- no matter what we are told about their financial situation, the characters always seem to live in places that are big, nice, and conveniently located, and they have an extensive wardrobe of new, fashionable clothes, and lack of money never seems to prevent them from necessary transportation or medical care, etc. etc.
fray_adjacent12
Nov. 4th, 2012 06:51 pm (UTC)
Very true! I find it especially glaring in this case. Actually, you reminded me that in this episode (I think it's this one) Buffy makes a joke about them "squandering" their money on "luxuries like food and clothing." I know she's being sarcastic, but I can't help but think that, given the way she and Dawn dress, "squandering" isn't altogether inappropriate word choice. Buffy slays in white designer sweaters for heaven's sake!
mcjulie
Nov. 3rd, 2012 02:45 pm (UTC)
3 I not only love the Trio, I find them thematically fascinating
In her analysis here [Buffy Came Back Wrong] gabrielleabelle talks about the Trio as an outward manifestation of Buffy’s depression, and that is, indeed, one way to look at them. But the view of the Trio that has always struck me as most significant is the way their dynamic as a team is like an evil doppelganger to the team dynamic of the Buffy, Willow, and Xander trio. Look at the way they fall all over themselves trying to get the demon to kill the OTHER members, for example, in contrast to our heroes who go to great lengths to save each other.

4 She sincerely thinks he’ll be happy with her
Everything else is probably a factor, but I think she seems genuinely shocked when Giles is upset with her.

5 You’d think he’d be a little more sympathetic, Mr. I-used-to-summon-demons-for-kicks-when-I-was-about-her-age
I don’t know if a more sympathetic reaction on his part would prevent any of the trouble that follows, but I think he is definitely engaged in a bit of elder-generation hypocrisy here. Which, come to think of it, actually fits the magic addiction metaphor rather well -- the parent figure saying “don’t do this, it’s dangerous” even when the child knows full well that the parent did the same kind of thing and survived. It’s like, what, it was okay for YOU to fool around with drugs/magic/dating vampires, but not for ME to do the same thing? Why is that, exactly?

Anyway, Willow doesn’t call him on that aspect of it specifically, but she could.

6 This personality shift is the real price she’s paying for the spell
Ask me a different day and i’ll give a different answer. But as I was composing this, that view suddenly struck me as the right one. When Giles says “oh, there are other people who could do what you did, you just wouldn’t want to meet them,” the implication is that they are scary and inhuman.

Because two of my all-time favorite things are BTVS and Lord of the Rings, I’m always trying to draw comparisons between them. One of the overarching themes in LOTR is the way power corrupts. When people like Gandalf and Galadriel are tempted by the ring, they recognize that its biggest temptation for them is the desire to try to use it for good. They already know that will prove impossible in the long run, but they are still tempted.

That’s the road Willow is going down -- a desire to use power for good that degrades into a desire to use power, period.

7 He’s testing the waters --
yes, he wants to make her laugh, but there’s a reason he picks that particular joke to make.

8 The magics you channeled are more primal and ferocious than you can hope to understand, and you're lucky to be alive, you rank, arrogant amateur! --
this gets my thematic vote, because of the way it comes back in the climax.

9 I hovered for a long time between 7 and 8 and eventually gave it an 8. (I’m starting to think maybe I need to recalibrate the scale.)

Edited at 2012-11-03 02:55 pm (UTC)
scarlettina
Nov. 3rd, 2012 03:31 pm (UTC)
You've inspired me to rewatch Buffy, I have to say, but I'm way back in Season 3 and probably won't catch up. I need to go back to your earlier polls.
mcjulie
Nov. 3rd, 2012 04:34 pm (UTC)
Prior to late in Season 5, gabrielleabelle was doing the polls!

She's not somebody I know in real life, I just like her Buffy commentary.

I end up rewatching Buffy a lot, partly because I'm an obsessive fangirl, and partly because I don't have cable...
kikimay
Nov. 3rd, 2012 03:50 pm (UTC)
1) The Council always sucked and the fact they pay Giles and not Buffy is outraugious. I hope they all burning in a marxist hell now.
That said, even Buffy's friends suck a big time, but mostly Tara and Willow: GIVE HER SOME MONEY. You're living in her house, for Christ's sake!

2) Anya is great and Xander sucks. She thought about a pratical solution and all the Spiderman stuff was absolutely pointless, even if you agree with the concept that it's wrong charging for saving people lives. (Even if Angel does and doctors do too, but whatever)

3) They're okay. I think they are interesting, but I don't laugh at their jokes. Don't know why.

4) She's downplaying and 5) A more nuanced reaction would be more useful.

6) Natural personality shift. I don't think it's the addiction, the big Willow's problem, it's the hybris.

7) He's giving the sign: my shoulder is free, if you want to cry or something.

8) They all care so much. Buffy is hiding her depression because she feels responsible for them.

9) A decent 7.
mcjulie
Nov. 3rd, 2012 04:38 pm (UTC)
The Council always sucked and the fact they pay Giles and not Buffy is outrageous

So true! If the Council didn't suck, her 18-year-old-birthday right of passage would have been more like "you're an adult now! here's a paycheck!" instead of "you're an adult now! let us try to kill you in a ridiculous passive-aggressive manner!"

Of course, that particular kind of suckiness fits their function as a patriarchy metaphor very well, and the patriarchy also sucks.
eilowyn
Nov. 3rd, 2012 04:10 pm (UTC)
I always forget what I clicked on by the time I've submitted a poll and am ready to make a comment, so suffice it to say that back porch scene between Spike and Buffy is one of my all-time favorites, I like Andrew and Jonathan but dislike Warren and how he manipulates the two of them into being evil when really they just needed a friend, and Willow is going through a power trip like nobody's business, and Giles was right to verbally smack her in the head and tell her that she needs to stop being so proud of what she's done and think about the consequences of her actions.

And the Blair Witch comment is incredibly dated.
mcjulie
Nov. 3rd, 2012 04:40 pm (UTC)
that back porch scene between Spike and Buffy is one of my all-time favorites

Agreed! Sometimes when I try to construct these polls, my big challenge is that I want to single out particular favorite scenes, but the only question I can think of is "this scene! how much do you love it?" and nothing but that sort of question would get old after a while...
livejournal
Nov. 6th, 2012 03:08 am (UTC)
Saturday, November 3 - Monday, November 5
User rahirah referenced to your post from Saturday, November 3 - Monday, November 5 saying: [...] BTVS Episode Poll: 6.04 Flooded [...]
livejournal
Nov. 6th, 2012 03:09 am (UTC)
Saturday, November 3 - Monday, November 5
User rahirah referenced to your post from Saturday, November 3 - Monday, November 5 saying: [...] BTVS Episode Poll: 6.04 Flooded [...]
pocochina
Nov. 6th, 2012 04:21 am (UTC)
1. The Watcher's Council sucks, because it is their job to ensure at least that the Slayer can do her job without having to worry about her basic needs. The failure to ensure the Slayer's financial security is a tradition, like the Cruciamentum, which hinders the fight against evil in order to keep the Slayer in line. And Giles sucks, for failing to acknowledge that that is a problem which Joyce's death would bring to a boil.

That said, I don't blame the Scoobies. I haven't watched this episode in a while, but I don't even remember anything which signaled to me that Willow and Tara *weren't* paying rent? It's just that a couple of boarders isn't going to cover the expenses for an entire household. Adulthood isn't "something bad happened to me, so everyone else is horrible," it's "sometimes bad things happen and other people doing their part isn't enough." And saying Tara specifically is horrible for not keeping the family afloat - given that she is even more on her own financially than Buffy is, because of how she didn't have any property when her family disowned her for being gay at them - strikes my biased little heart as kinda unfair.

2. I think I come down closest to "foreshadowing," but I think it's more in terms of "they both know that expecting a 20-year-old to be as mature as an 1120-year-old, or even an average-age 27-year-old, about marriage is seriously pushing it." As for that third choice, I think Xander is easily embarrassed generally, not because he's ashamed of Anya herself. He's afraid she'll nail on one of his insecurities on everyone.

6. I don't think it was any sort of personality shift. When Willow's put on the defensive and her good-girl persona doesn't deflect the attack, she goes on the offensive. She's just more confident about doing so now, because hey, she raises the dead. She just hadn't acknowledged that confidence until Giles tested her, and so she was a little surprised that she had it in her.
mcjulie
Nov. 6th, 2012 06:12 pm (UTC)
I think Xander is easily embarrassed generally, not because he's ashamed of Anya herself

Good point!

When Willow's put on the defensive and her good-girl persona doesn't deflect the attack, she goes on the offensive. She's just more confident about doing so now, because hey, she raises the dead. She just hadn't acknowledged that confidence until Giles tested her, and so she was a little surprised that she had it in her.

That definitely makes sense with her overall story arc.
red_satin_doll
Nov. 6th, 2012 08:04 pm (UTC)
I've just taken the poll and I wanted to say that the scene with Willow and Giles? Ok, we've seen this "Willow" back in the early seasons "then get the Hell out of MY library!" so this was just natural personality shift.

But Giles here - OMG Giles, you idiot. Of anyone "I trusted you to respect the forces of Nature". Um, no, that person would be Tara - WTF, Giles? This is the girl you encouraged (or at least didn't discourage) from hacking into encoded files, from performing spells that were potentially dangerous; and at no point (after Jenny's death) did she have a mentor, and with your contacts through the WC and the demon world, you could have very EASILY introduced her to people who could have been her mentor or "Watcher" - and someone who would have given her a chance to learn more, to master her skills. (And she probably would have loved that, as Willow loves learning for it's own sake as it is.)

So Giles gets a big "ding" from me - I love him as a character but he let Buffy AND Willow down, big time, and I don't think he ever takes responsibility for that. (But that's part of Joss's theme of absent, neglectful, or abusive parents, isn't it?)


I think Willow was right in her spell in Something Blue - he really doesn't see, or doesn't want to see.
mcjulie
Nov. 8th, 2012 10:39 pm (UTC)
OMG Giles, you idiot

That's kind of what I was thinking too. But this kind of goes along with something about Willow's character that we've gotten so used to, maybe we've forgotten about it: she's extremely academically gifted. One of the things about gifted students is that their intellectual sophistication can make them seem more mature than they really are. So the adults around them think, "oh, you're fine, look at how smart you are, you don't need my help." But emotional maturity doesn't quite work like that.

I don't think he ever takes responsibility for that.

I don't know, I kind of see his actions at the end of Season 6 and the beginning of Season 7 as being an attempt to take responsibility, if belatedly.
red_satin_doll
Nov. 9th, 2012 08:48 pm (UTC)
One of the things about gifted students is that their intellectual sophistication can make them seem more mature than they really are. So the adults around them think, "oh, you're fine, look at how smart you are, you don't need my help." But emotional maturity doesn't quite work like that.

True. But in terms of the magic, Willow is very much a novice, and I would think that he would know that; and given his dark past as the Ripper, he'd be especially on guard for where that could take Willow unguided, wouldn't you think? Or perhaps he really does have too much faith in her "goodness", but the events of S4 and Something Blue ought to have been a wake-up call.

But in terms of responsibility, he is also very dismissive of Xander, so it goes in the other direction (underestimating Xander). He doesn't/can't/won't provide even the bit of guidance and encouragement that Xander probably needs.

I kind of see his actions at the end of Season 6 and the beginning of Season 7 as being an attempt to take responsibility, if belatedly.

S6, yes - although it annoys me that he gets the big hero's entrance when Buffy's been working her ass off all season. Sort of a play on the "women's work is never appreciated, but when a guy does it it's a big deal." And I don't think he's really earned the hero's entrance when he's been MIA - but that was a crowd-pleasing move. (TV and all that jazz.) And his plan was nonsense - what if no one had been able to stop Willow?

And yes, taking her to England was another way of taking responsibility - although introducing her to the coven, a move I applaud, actually does not address the core issue of Willow's desire for power and control - but I see him in S7 as less "taking responsibility" and more "trying to take control" esp where Buffy is concerned. He's not her Watcher anymore, so he's trying to figure out a new role for himself - and ends up playing disapproving father and outright betraying her. I understand why, but - stupid move, Giles.


In terms of S7, he probably thinks he's taking responsibility but I see it as more "trying to take control" esp over Buffy; the irony being, by leaving her in the lurch in S6, he lost the right to play Watcher or Father, and damaged the bond between them (Which makes the season very interesting IMO; I actually am fascinated with how that plays out.)

Have you read norwie2010's recent meta "Giles and the Wild Woman"? He covers quite a lot of this ground better than I can.
frelling_tralk
Dec. 14th, 2012 10:06 am (UTC)
It always bothered me the way they just sit down and place such a huge burden on Buffy and tell her she's broke, with no trying to ease the burden and saying they're all in it together and will help out, which is why I can't blame fandom for assuming that Willow and Tara were living there rent-free for example. It was very much immediately made into Buffy's problem alone, even though it should have been treated as a shared burden IMO as the gang had been supporting Dawn and two of them living in Buffy's home over the summer. Plus they believed Buffy was still recovering from traumas in hell, Willow could see Buffy losing focus and staring at the water, and she just so clearly wasn't in a place to be able to deal with them. Her friends just sucked in this episode for me

And Giles I always thought should have just given Buffy those cheques by right after she helped him get his job back at the counsel with his lost salary covered, instead it's used as Giles worrying about Buffy leaning on him too much to bail her out, urgh. She was just 19 years old and there's no way anyone could have supported that household and their younger sister without SOME help. As it was Buffy had to drop out of school and work minimum wage to support them, when surely a more helpful offer of help would be for Giles to encourage Buffy to go back to school so that she could aim higher in the future. No 19 year old who was previously in school should have been expected to deal with all of those living expenses on their own, let alone someone who was in a deep depression and needed support and guidance more than ever.
mcjulie
Dec. 14th, 2012 06:28 pm (UTC)
It was very much immediately made into Buffy's problem alone, even though it should have been treated as a shared burden

So true! I thought about that a lot while writing this, and I eventually decided that the gang are all being sucky friends because they really really want to believe everything is okay, and that involves Buffy being their strong leader. Of course, this is an area where even a non-traumatized Buffy wouldn't be a very effective leader -- it's not her area of competence.
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