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Weeble? Buffy - "Lies My Parents Told Me"




Stuff:

Anya's hat! Quick, someone get that thing off her head. Can't you see it's eating her brain? And a subdued heh on the subject of "Forgiveness is human, blah blah blah" -- though having it be fratboys that she refers to Spike killing was a bit stagey, for a joke with that sort of too little too late punchline.

William's hair: bad, bad, bad. Actually, if I try to look at him as post-turning Spike? It's kind of hot. But as William? Please shoot the wig dept. Plus his hair is somehow darker now?

Also, his voice is lower, he's less nervous, and he has stubble. William? Would never have stubble. It's hot, I just... Oh, I said that already. I can actually buy that he would be less nervous and sissified around his mother, than out in public -- but it still came off as too much Spike.

Nice to see Dru back being Dru. I can't really say whether she's more "real Dru" than the First was, whether Juliet Landau was off form as First!Dru or it was done on purpose. All I can say is that I liked Dru as seen here. And how hot was baby!Spike getting it on with Dru in his mum's parlor? Wibble.

Spike's mum is great (oh, and Cecily finally has a last name: Underwood. Pah; I was holding out for Fairfax) and I think the storyline and what Spike needed to learn from it worked out for me exactly as it was supposed to. Ricean friends are undoubtedly going to have things to say about the Vampire Lestat parallels; I've read the book, but not in obssessive fannish detail -- my opinion is that of girl on the street, I guess. I see the lift/parallel, but I think it was used to its own purposes here: Stat *did* want to spend forever as his mummy's lover, I think, and she didn't mind the idea, at least for a while. Spike's mum didn't want him around once she changed -- either that, or the part of her that was still *her* pushed him to kill her and free her from what he'd turned her into. Either way, the lesson is different from Lestat's, and supports the conclusion Spike comes to -- that his mother did love him more than anything else. and that a Slayer never will.

I was intrigued by his answer for Wood -- that the Slayer is all about the Mission, and, esentially, Nikki knew what she was getting into, and she's the one who left him an orphan. But here's where we get into my need for a "confuzzled" mood (Yeah, they have it at Journalfen, but I want it heeeeeeere).

So:

Wood had his reasons, which were about as straightforward as possible. Giles' reasons, though (if we're to believe this is Giles and we're not still being played for some sort of "Look, he's not touching anything -- psych!" fool) are allegedly all about... the Mission. Even though I've not been happy with Giles-if-he's-really-Giles so far this season, I can buy his Be a General speech. I can accept that his motivations are pure simply because Giles doesn't have any other potential motivations to want to hurt Spike. So, Spike has to be taken out, for their safety, to save the world.

Buffy? She says she'd let Dawn die, if she had it to do over again. This show hasn't shown me any kind of change in Buffy's worldview that supports such a statement, since the end of Season 5, but, um, ok. The fanwankiest I can get on that subject is that now she knows there's a heaven, so dying isn't the be-all-end-all for humans. Let's go with it, though. Let's say Buffy would let Dawn die. Let's say she understands about being a General. Let's say she's legitimately mad at Wood not because he tried to kill someone she has disturbingly complex feelings for, but simply because they need Spike, and Wood was letting his vendetta be more important than... the Mission.

In that case, why is Buffy mad at Giles? So quietly, bitterly mad at Giles.

Best guesses -- a) he's right in spirit, though wrong in tactics, and she hates him for his part in turning her into someone who could be All About the Mission. b) he's right in spirit, but he undercut her; he didn't let her make the tactical decisions. I could see that as a legit reason to be angry with him, but that doesn't really seem to fit with "I think I've learned everything I need to from you." She's bitter there. c) he's wrong in spirit -- because Buffy has some internal definition of the Mission that we haven't seen her hash out, that basically says "We kill potentially good people only as a last resort, and this isn't one and you should've known that." d) ? Buffy's a hypocrite, as are they all, which we all knew?

Overall, me likee. I'm just confuzzled as to what I was supposed to take away, regarding Buffy's position at the end of the episode, and Giles'.


if i may ... ?

narcolepticcat

2003-03-25 06:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

this episode played perfectly for me. i'm not sure exactly why.

but i know why buffy at the end didn't seem bitter to me (at least not about Spike and the ep. itself). she was maybe a tad bitter about the overall, oh, i don't know, arc of her life for the last seven-point-five-ish years, but not about the whole giles/spike/wood (creepy potential ship) shenanigans of 'lies my mother...'

giles and buffy have always had a give and take relationship. until finally giles took what he had and wandered off into the wilds of england. he did it for the good of buffy (and if it's good for buffy, then it's good for the cause). and he comes back at the end of 6.21/22 of the good of the world (which is good for buffy, and therefore the cause) - but he leaves again. buffy's always had to grow up ahead of herself. that's been the curse of being the (longest?) living slayer for her.

she had stagnated. and people may say what they would about the last two years of buffy - she's totally not been stagnant. giles left for buffy to grow up ... and now ... she has. and that for me was the end of the ep. it was the 'i'm moving out, growing up, getting married, etc.' speech that all women inevitably have with daddy - she'll still need him - but she doesn't NEED him anymore. he's not her world, her life.

daddy's little girl is all grown up, and if the episode had been about women avenging their fathers or whatever - or even had been a buffy-centric ep. - i would be anything it would be called 'daddy's girl' - god knows i'd call it that and i think i am calling it that in my head as of this moment.

:) and hee! rant endeth! ;) sawwy ;)

Re: if i may ... ?

mpoetess

2003-03-25 07:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

See, if I bought that from her *delivery*, I could follow everything you're saying. But what I got from her delivery was a cold, bitter anger. It didn't seem like she was letting go of Giles-as-father-figure, or father-figure as controlling influence. It semed like she was letting go of Giles-as-someone-she-could-respect. In a way that she didn't even do in "Helpless," when she was more hurt and confused than bitter and angry.

Re: if i may ... ? - narcolepticcat, 2003-03-25 07:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: if i may ... ? - mpoetess, 2003-03-25 07:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: if i may ... ? - narcolepticcat, 2003-03-25 07:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: if i may ... ? - mpoetess, 2003-03-26 05:33 am (UTC) (Expand)

thebratqueen

2003-03-25 07:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

Anya's line also bugged me because I could practically see David Fury at the bottom of my screen with a sign that says "He's a killer! Anyone who likes Spike is sick!!!! I hate you fans and you should all go to Hell!!!" Except, you know, not so much a sign at the bottom of the screen as every interview Fury's ever given.

I don't mind the show acknowledging the double standard, as I remain naively confident that this will continue to be a plot point, but I feel it was better explored with Andrew, who's still in the doghouse as far as we know, then with Anya who obviously was forgiven since she's back on regular Scoobie status. Having Anya do the rant was, IMO, too obviously Fury manipulating the characters to get his POV in there.

And yeah, there's some definite Spike/Stat parallells, but not total. Really how it played out was very different from Lestat, since Stat was always self-confident and his relationship with Gabrielle was much different from the start. I would have totally spotted them the fact that vamps turning their mommies is not that original an idea even for Anne Rice (vamp myth says they always go after their families first) but when they put in so many trappings, blocking, and even wording from IWTV the movie... sigh. We can't try a little harder maybe?

mpoetess

2003-03-25 07:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

And Anya's in no *position* to need to do the rant, as you say. She's accepted back into the fold; what's she still bitching about Spike for?

I'll have to bow to you on IWTV movie issues, because Ihaven'tseenit. I'm sure you're right -- I can't help but wonder if it wasn't meant to be partly homage/parody, if it's that close, though. Perhaps just a bad execution, as opposed to (imho) the Matrix-like stuff in Primeval.

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backfromspace

2003-03-25 07:36 pm (UTC) (Link)

I think Giles is sublimating his own feelings of uselessness and struggling to find a way to be helpful - or at least noticed. He wasn't thinking clearly when he worked out the deal with Wood because he's feeling old and washed-out and pointless and he wants to do something that Buffy will talk to him about, or at least something he can feel angsty and like he Did the Right Thing about. He also remembers how killing Ben was necessary and no one ever called him on it, so he's probably confusing that for agreement and slipping a little farther into his newfound psychosis. It's depressing, really. Poor Giles.

mpoetess

2003-03-26 05:38 am (UTC) (Link)

He wasn't thinking clearly when he worked out the deal with Wood because he's feeling old and washed-out and pointless and he wants to do something that Buffy will talk to him about, or at least something he can feel angsty and like he Did the Right Thing about.

I could buy that.

so he's probably confusing that for agreement and slipping a little farther into his newfound psychosis. It's depressing, really. Poor Giles.


I don't think anybody *knows* he killed Ben, though. (Tongue in cheek answer addressed seriously; I must be shunned!) They were actually going to have Giles reveal that to Buffy in this ep, then they cut it from the script. I have to assume that means that so far, the've been operating on the principal that Buffy and probably everybody else, doesn't know.

I've got a theory that doesn't involve dancing demons, but it's spoiler-based, and god knows if anything will come of it.

(no subject) - backfromspace, 2003-03-26 08:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)

ivyincubus

2003-03-25 07:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

Buffy's anger at Giles seems like two things to me:

1. She still has confused feelings about Spike
She doesn't know what she wants/needs from him, and the easiest way to write it off is "He's the strongest warrior we have." Well, isn't that supposed to be her? She doesn't see herself as the strongest, she sees Spike as the strongest. She doesn't know really what to do with him, just is convinced she needs him around. This will most likely change with the appearence of more vampires. Giles is kind of the voice of reason in her head, you know the one that tells you "No! Don't dress Spike up in frilly tutus!" But you do it anyway, hence her anger.

2. She might be mad at Giles for some reason not known to us yet
I still don't trust Giles at this point. Her Spidey sense may know something we do not.

What I *think* we were to take away from this episode is that Buffy doesn't see Spike as expendable. She sees Dawn as being so, but I wonder if something is going on with Key Girl that we don't know about. They keep talking about The Mission and The End and the Final Hour and all this end end end end kee-rap. Something more is going on here.

There's just a lot of stuff left to wrap up...I think we're not supposd to know what's going on yet.


raincitygirl

2003-03-25 11:20 pm (UTC) (Link)

Her sister is expendable but her boyfriend isn't? Huh? THe same sister she jumped from a high tower to save less than two years ago? It's just not entirely consistent logic. In fact, I'm not sure that logic is at all the word.

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boniblithe

2003-03-25 07:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

We're going backwards still, and back and back and back. To the beginning. When Buffy was a girl who didn't listen to her watcher, loved her friends, was loyal to a fault, and sent her boyfriend to hell (she thought she'd killed him) to save the world.

We're regressing way, way, back in reverse order, almost, if you pay close attention. We got S2 Spike/Dru macking and ruling the world talk. I expect to see Buffy in a waitress uniform and calling herself Anne any minute. It'll come down to one of those "just me" moments from Becoming, or something like that.

But I think the turning away from Giles is a reneging on their closeness that developed later - back to a more mature version of early Buffy, tearing off her cross and flinging it at Giles and screaming "Tell me my future!"

mpoetess

2003-03-26 05:48 am (UTC) (Link)

I think you're right -- I'm just concerned in a selfish way that by the time this is over, unlike during Becoming or Prophecy Girl, I won't sympathize or agree with Buffy, and people I do still sympathze with, will die.

ladycat777

2003-03-25 08:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

To add to what a lot of people have said. . . I think Buffy's main problem is, well, it's been seven years. Seven years of Giles saying one thing and Buffy being right. Seven years of Giles saying lead with your head and Buffy usually leading with her heart. Yeah, I don't get the Dawn thing - that was new and different and needed to be explored better - but everything else, I think she's just fed up. Giles, this season, has basically waltzed back into her life time and again and dumped problems on her. Last season, he saved the day - go him. This season? We've got the multitude of potentials, the 'don't trust spike' speeches, and more importantly the 'don't have fun, do your work speeches'. Buffy has *always* been about have fun with the Slaying because if you don't, what the hell is it for?

So I think she's fed up. No more lessons she already knows the answers to, no more games she refuses to play and has plans to work around. She wants a Giles that will help her, not constantly undercut her when frankly, he has *no* idea of the integral workings anymore. Both he and Wood are essentially outsiders. If Giles were still an insider, he wouldn't have done this - either because it would have come up earlier, or he would understand that Buffy really does trust Spike. Either way, this is just underscoring that fact. Giles is no longer a part of the Scoobies.

Now, I hope like hell there's a point to this, because otherwise it is like the forgot how to write Giles in three months or less. Which is stupid and where did all the writers we used to love and trust go? Because Giles is such an important character, to screw with him *this* badly leaves me either annoyed or anticipatory. I'm praying for anticipatory.

But yeah, to get back to my oh-so-rambling point - this was Buffy saying either get with me or get away from me. Basically the same thing she told Wood, only much worse. . . because he is her father.

mpoetess

2003-03-26 06:02 am (UTC) (Link)

Yeah, I agree with all of that.

I'm just not sure that cold, dismissive "I've learned everything I can from you" really portrays fed up, or even "get with me or get away" -- it seems like she's made up her mind, and won't forgive him. I hope that's not the case, because at *some* point I want Buffy-Giles loving goodness, dammit! (In a non-shippery way, though I've never been opposed to the shippery version.)

I took Buffy's reaction as...

robintcj

2003-03-25 08:21 pm (UTC) (Link)

Bitter anger at being undercut. She knows they need Spike, and Giles should know they need Spike, but she feels Giles let his personal feelings get in the way of how he dealt with Spike. Giles hates Spike, and always has. Granted, her feelings for Spike aren't completely objective, but she IS the leader in this instance. That Giles went behind her back angered her.

I loved the moment. But I wonder if it wasn't a little too "Helpless". Unless that's another "back to the beginning" thing. Where Buffy has to go through those trust issues again.

Or, it was all because of pink bunnies.

And let's please kill Anya's hat soon. *sob*

Re: I took Buffy's reaction as...

mpoetess

2003-03-25 08:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

she feels Giles let his personal feelings get in the way of how he dealt with Spike. Giles hates Spike, and always has.

See, insert "Xander" for "Giles" and I'd agree with you. But when has Giles ever hated Spike? He's been firm and Rippery with him on one occasion (just after Crush, when they were all laying the smackdown on Spike) but other than that, he's been at worst annoyed or disappointed in Spike. Witness his attempts to talk to Spike in "A New Man" about the chip having a greater purpose, or his lingering feeling of disappointment in Spike when they've all lost their memories in "Tabula Rasa." Giles doesn't have a vendetta against Spike. Tell me Xander does, for what Spike did to Buffy, and I'm with you -- but I think Giles is (if he's really Giles) working completely frrom his thought that it's best for all concerned. And if Buffy is, as she said to Wood, *also* worried about what's best for all concerned, then she might be mad at Giles for not trusting her to know what's best, but it doesn't seem to add up to that utter cold disapproval that she gave him at the end of the ep.

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Here's what I take out of it - nematoddity, 2003-03-26 12:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
I agree with you. - robintcj, 2003-03-26 08:48 am (UTC) (Expand)

lilithchilde

2003-03-25 08:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

Apologies if I repeat what someone's already said; I confess I haven't read through all the comments.

b) he's right in spirit, but he undercut her; he didn't let her make the tactical decisions. I could see that as a legit reason to be angry with him, but that doesn't really seem to fit with "I think I've learned everything I need to from you." She's bitter there.

While I'm not sure I'd say that it's a *legit* reason for her to be angry . . .* I think she is angry because he tricked her, because he tried to make the decision for her.

I've felt since the beginning that one of the major themes of the season was Buffy Power Tripping. (It was all over this episode, in all of her responses to the things Giles was tossing at her in the graveyard.) She thinks she is the Law, as my girlfriend was saying. She can kill with impunity . . . but only her. Sort of as in the whole "I have to kill Anya" episode, only reversed. In that episode, Anya was to die because Buffy had passed judgement, regardless of the others. Now, two of her people tried to pass judgement on someone behind her back, without consulting her. This is a transgression on her Law-ness. Her Authority. (Whee, fun with capital letters.)

At least, that was my impression.

*-I say not-legit, because I don't necessarily think it's a good thing for Buff to be power tripping. "Absolute power corrupts absolutely" and all that.

raincitygirl

2003-03-25 11:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

Given that the last Slayer to decide that she *was* the law, and go on a big power trip, was sentenced to twenty five years to life in a penitentiary, then I think you're right, Buffy power tripping is a non-good thing. She's not now where Faith was in Season 3, but she's a hell of a lot closer to it than she used to be. And what's more, I don't think she realizes.

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onetwomany

2003-03-25 11:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

Buffy? She says she'd let Dawn die, if she had it to do over again. This show hasn't shown me any kind of change in Buffy's worldview that supports such a statement, since the end of Season 5, but, um, ok.

I think there is a difference between Buffy saying, and even believing that she would let Dawn die, and actually being able to do it.

Buffy's got a bee in her bonnet about this whole 'mission' thing at the moment. It is worrying to see; even Buffy admits as much. But I'm not convinced that the changes are quite a fundamental as she likes to believe they are. As Giles points out, there is a big difference between acting like a General and actually being one. Let's see what happens when she's actually put to the test...

(Although, that said, I suspect that had there been absolutely no other choice, Buffy would ultimately have let Dawn jump in season 5).

As Buffy's her anger at Not!Giles, I largely agree with what ladycat and others said above. Buffy is sick of being told what to do by someone who is no longer a constant part of her life, and who is acting strangely besides. But more than that, I think she simply trusts and loves (in a 'friends' way at least) Spike, and so she's rightfully and seethingly angry that Giles tried to kill him. Hypocritical, yeah, but most of us are when it comes to our friends and family.

Btw, I love the word "confuzzled". Nicely sums up my feelings about this whole meaning-of-the-soul thing. Probably sums up ME's too. ;)

mpoetess

2003-03-26 05:58 am (UTC) (Link)

I think there is a difference between Buffy saying, and even believing that she would let Dawn die, and actually being able to do it.

I agree -- I just hope that's what ME *wants* me to think, and am irritated by the suspicion that it's not, that I'm being spoon-fed major changes in world-view that I haven't seen happen onscreen.

Yeah, I can buy Buffy being sick of Giles trying to come in and be her Watcher as he was in Season 1, and questioning her decisions as a *Watcher* would. Not as a friend who disagrees with her. (Though one could make the case that Giles, having heard Buffy's "inspirational" speeches, went for Watchery authority because Buffy doesn't seem to have any room for discussion on the "friend who disagrees with you" level.) And yes, Giles *is* acting strangely, dammit!

metametametameta, grr-arrgh-cakes

resmin

2003-03-26 07:04 am (UTC) (Link)

Overall, me likee. I'm just confuzzled as to what I was supposed to take away, regarding Buffy's position at the end of the episode, and Giles'.
My take?
Buffy's pissed that Giles lied (again). Ever since Giles drugged her in Season 3, part of her has mistrusted him. And when he left her to grow-up without her (when she truly needed him), she resented him. He's been in and out all season, and based on the "nobody's hugged Giles?" viewpoint (ala Anya), they still aren't v. close.

Buffy takes the 'misson' (and damn that chapped my hide) seriously, and as the leader she knows that it's going to come down to her (and maybe Spike). So she needs people that are strong and that she can rely on.. right now Giles isn't figuring into that.

So the fact that he and Wood made the decision to kill Spike 1)without consulting her and 2) while distracting her- insanely pissed her off. Right or wrong, Buffy is the leader and should make all final decisions. In this case, not killing Spike sounds like a bang-up plan to me.

The image of Buffy and Spike alone against the First makes so much more sense (and has a better shot) than Buffy and Giles or Buffy and Wood.
rm
(glad you liked)



mpoetess

2003-03-26 07:23 am (UTC) (Link)

[eek! You didn't see that.]

I think I mostly am angry at Buffy for not knowing *why* she's not killing Spike. I'm all "Yay! Don't kill Spike!" girl, believe me. Buffy being the leader and "because I say so" aren't cutting it, not with her friends, not with viewers. And I'm tired unto death at seeing people spitting bile at *Spike* for the decisions that are being made around him, including those that are advantageous for him.

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iroshi

2003-03-26 02:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

whether Juliet Landau was off form as First!Dru or it was done on purpose.

No, no, no, no...she has ALWAYS been the most superb of actresses, I've thought. She can do sane, insane, sane pretending to be sane, Dru-in-Spike's-imagination-when-he-wishes-she-were-sane...I can see the *subtleties* of Dru-ness that she plays, she's that good. And the first-as-Dru was never insane. It pretended well, but it wasn't INSANE, and Spike could tell the *difference*, didn't you catch that? Spike pointed it out once, and the First got PISSED at him, for just a moment, and then went back to pretending to be insane-Dru.

In that case, why is Buffy mad at Giles? So quietly, bitterly mad at Giles.

BECAUSE HE LIED TO HER. Because he was standing there, stalling her, pretending to be teaching her, to keep her away while Wood murdered Spike. He was lying to her, manipulating her, to go behind her back and do what he thought best whether she liked it or not. He was telling her to "Be a general, dammit!", and then engineering a mutiny while pretending to be her first mate.

She's learned everything she needs to from him -- that he can't be trusted. He never could. Don't get me wrong; I *like* Giles. As a person. I always have. If he were right here beside me, in reality? I would like him. But I would never *trust* him. Never. And if Buffy ever really trusts him again, she'll be a fool.

mpoetess

2003-03-27 05:52 am (UTC) (Link)

But Buffy has lied to Giles in similar situations so many times, it's ridiculous. Not, granted, over someone getting killed -- but she's shown that her word can't be trusted when she thinks she's doing what's right, too. I dunno. I think it comes down more to Buffy being hurt that after all this time, Giles didn't trust *her* to be doing the right thing. Or maybe she realizes that they're too alike?

*kills the wardrobe department*

Anonymous

2003-03-26 05:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

I swear to Joss, that hat was the reincarnated purple ruffly shirt of S5 that haunted every ep!

Honestly, I was so distracted by the hat it took me a good ten minutes before I noticed the wig.

And I don't care who has to die, Wood needs to run around in a wifebeater more often.

S. daWonderSheep

Re: *kills the wardrobe department*

mpoetess

2003-03-27 05:49 am (UTC) (Link)

Well, I care if it's Spike or Xander -- unless they get brought back to life afterwards -- but overall, I agree with the sentiment. More Naked Wood!