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(Meta) Keeping the faith

7th September 2007 (16:01)

So, there's been lots of complaining about how out-of-character and inconsistent Faith was in 'No Future For You #1', accepting Giles' mission just like that.  And you know what? They're quite right. I mean, just look at the evidence:


After Sanctuary, Faith became a pacifist. She swore never to raise a finger against another living thing.





Everybody around her supported her new ethical stance. They told her that the end never justifies the means, and that it's always wrong to get your hands dirty, no matter what the reason.






These lessons fitted well into Faith's over-inflated sense of self-importance., She'd never dream of sacrificing herself - literally or metaphorically - to serve some greater good.






After all, it's not that she thought that putting yourself through suffering and degradation was a valid way of atoning for your past crimes.






No, the lesson Faith took from her time in LA was that it was best to withdraw from the world, and not risk harming her new ethical development by getting involved in anything that might be morally dubious.






Indeed, she was now contemplative and withdrawn. Never again would she rush into a fight against Evil without weighing all the options, and considering whether she was doing the right thing, or whether the evil she was told to fight might actually have justification on its side.






And above all, the thought of raising even a finger to harm another human would never, ever cross her mind again. She'd flinch at the very thought.






And why not? Because her own purity and shining moral perfection are all that matters to her. Some might think her selfish, but she didn't go through all the pain of redemption to throw it all away by getting involved in other people's problems.





The end.

Comments

Posted by: mrs_underhill (mrs_underhill)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 15:35 (UTC)
puppet_spike

THANK YOU!

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 15:42 (UTC)
faith

:-)
You agree with my point of view, then?


(I think this one is going to run and run...)

Posted by: mrs_underhill (mrs_underhill)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 15:50 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 15:57 (UTC)

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 15:49 (UTC)
Buffy (Lie To Me) by indulging_breck

Oooooh! It bites back! *g*

Seriously though, *my* problem isn't really OOCness, it's this (to quote yourself):

And in this comic, we see her at her lowest ebb; Robin ignores her attempts to flirt and gives her a shitty job that his precious newbies are too delicate to handle, and when she arrives home simmering with pent-up violence Giles appears. It's no wonder she's depressed...

The thing is, I can't tell if it's done because the story is going to be a deep exploration of Faith's issues (which I'm all for), or if Faith's been put in that situation so they can tell a story about trying to kill a Slayer... Basically - is this thing character driven or story driven? If it's the latter then Faith's getting one heck of a rough deal. ('We need Faith to agree to kill a Slayer, ergo she has to be in a situation where she'd find that acceptable.')

Does any of that make sense? It's like... Riley. He was thrown at Buffy in S6, with a happy life and perfect wife, not for his own sake, but to make Buffy feel bad. The Hand of the Author is working in similar ways with Faith, and I worry why.

And I hope she's going to try to help Genevieve, and her easy acceptance is a smokescreen. She knows the price for ending a human life, and I don't think she'd be willing to pay it so easily.

Posted by: aycheb (aycheb)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 16:03 (UTC)

I really don’t see the Riley comparison. Faith is as blatantly the POV character of this comic as Buffy was of AYW. It starts and ends with her, she gets all the voiceover and flashback action as well as being by character in most panels, with the most head shots and the best lines. And how could a story about trying to take out a rogue slayer coming to it from the mirror image of her own background not be about Faith’s issues?

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 16:11 (UTC)

Posted by: aycheb (aycheb)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 17:01 (UTC)

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 17:58 (UTC)

Posted by: aycheb (aycheb)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 18:38 (UTC)

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 19:48 (UTC)

Posted by: aycheb (aycheb)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 21:23 (UTC)

Posted by: mrs_underhill (mrs_underhill)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 16:04 (UTC)
puppet_spike

It's absolutely character driven!!! Look at the fantastic insights into Wood and Giles which were accomplished on couple of pages and which weren't given to us on the show in S7 with its hours of TV time. And Faith too - it's all about her issues. Her loneliness, her self-hatred, her confusion about her place in the world. She longs for directions, for belongness - as she always did. That's why she's fallen with the Mayor. She listened to Wes in A4. She listens to Giles now - and both Wes and Giles are damaged people who put mission above personal, and can't really help her with her redemption. She needs to go to "Angel", really, as Angel is the only person who really cares for her... And that didn't change since S7. Nobody really cared for her there as well. They all bonded over the mission but when it was over - they went separate ways. Even in Damage we got a hint that Scoobies were all split up.

She is in a bad place but that seems to be a theme which is building up. Buffy is isolated in her castle. She doesn't know what is happening on the ground - what that slayer-decoy was going through in #5, what is Faith going through here, and Giles, yet again, does it all behind Buffy's back. I'n having big hopes for this arc to bring it out into fruition.

It's not, absolutely not, a story on how to kill a bad slayer. See the mirror they have set up? "Bad" slayer is also being setup by her "bad" watcher to kill other slayers. And see how horrified GiGi is over that, even though she tries to brush it aside? Faith agreed because she put her faith into Giles - and she needs to put her faith in something. But when she meets GiGi... when Buffy will learn of Giles plan (and she will as she'll join in the arc)... then we'll see what's it all about.
Also look at Joe Chen covers for the next issues - they are not spoilery about the arc but they are great at showing Faith inner turmoil. And there's one cover with a knife stuck through the photos of all three slayers at once - Failth, Buffy and GiGi. Not simple at all, no sir.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 16:47 (UTC)

Posted by: mrs_underhill (mrs_underhill)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 17:16 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 16:11 (UTC)
faith2

Honestly? I think Joss and Brian sat down and said "We need to tell a four-episode story about Faith. What would be an interesting situation to put her in?"

The scenes with Robin and the vampire children are there to give bite (heh) to her decisions and motivations, but I don't think they're artificial.

A lot of people see the end of season 7 and say look! Faith was all friendly and reconciled with Buffy, Giles and the others! But I don't think it was necessarily so. As my screencap shows, she came back to Sunnydale without giving it much thought, just because she thought she was needed. She was polite to the others, and didn't get into a fight with Buffy, and sort of managed to see things from her point of view at last. But to extrapolate from that to Faith suddenly becoming one of the team, bosom buddies - we didn't see that. Sure, it might have happened in the time after 'Chosen'; but then again, it might not. Does everybody always keep in close touch with all the people they knew at school, at university, at different jobs they've moved on from? Not normally. They'll be friendly enough at the 10-year school reunion, but they won't lie awake at night worrying about how they're getting on...

her easy acceptance is a smokescreen

Ask Faith to do something, then start going into a long, boring talk about why it's the right thing to do, and of course she'll cut you off and say "Yeah, whatever." Faith was born to say tl;dr. She's the tl;dr girl.

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 17:02 (UTC)

Posted by: aycheb (aycheb)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 18:08 (UTC)

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 20:35 (UTC)

Posted by: aycheb (aycheb)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 21:52 (UTC)

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 8th September 2007 07:25 (UTC)

Posted by: aycheb (aycheb)
Posted at: 8th September 2007 08:14 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 8th September 2007 17:31 (UTC)

Posted by: fix me, motherfucker! i'm standing right here. (immortality)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 15:57 (UTC)
Comeback of the Year

Win. <3

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 16:16 (UTC)

Thanks. :-)

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 16:05 (UTC)

Nice try. ;-) I was thinking about simply nicking your pictures and using them to make the exact opposite point, but...

"After Sanctuary, Faith became a pacifist. She swore never to raise a finger against another living thing."

I don't think anyone's claimed this. But you'll notice that a) she doesn't actually go through with her threat towards Connor, and b) this is before a lot of stuff happens to her over the course of three episodes, causing her to do some hard thinking.

"Everybody around her supported her new ethical stance. They told her that the end never justifies the means, and that it's always wrong to get your hands dirty, no matter what the reason."

Wesley, at the time, was a grieving, borderline psycho (not unlike Faith a couple of years earlier). I'm not sure that him torturing people and taunting Faith qualifies as a good thing. Oh, and Faith arguably ended up proving him wrong on this particular instance.

"She'd never dream of sacrificing herself - literally or metaphorically - to serve some greater good."

You keep using that argument. If I kill someone, will I be able to tell the cops I was actually sacrificing myself? Yes, the Faith of "Five By Five" was, to paraphrase Monty Python, a murderer who was really an extrovert suicide. If something happened to make her revert to that exact way of thinking again, I'd like to know what.

"After all, it's not that she thought that putting yourself through suffering and degradation was a valid way of atoning for your past crimes.

No, the lesson Faith took from her time in LA was that it was best to withdraw from the world, and not risk harming her new ethical development by getting involved in anything that might be morally dubious."

In which of these two sentences are you being ironic? Because they sort of contradict each other. 8.06 seems to indeed have Faith withdrawing from the world - to the point where she's trying to buy a passport to get away from it all (which sort of contradicts the "Never stop fighting" quote, doesn't it?)

"Indeed, she was now contemplative and withdrawn. Never again would she rush into a fight against Evil without weighing all the options"

Again, nobody's said this. But also again; in the Buffyverse, the line has always been drawn at taking another human life. That's the line that haunted Faith (identifying herself as a murderer rather than a Slayer). That's what The First used to get to her. If that's been constantly on her mind for years, I'd like to think she would at least give it SOME thought before once again signing up to assassinate someone.

"And above all, the thought of raising even a finger to harm another human would never, ever cross her mind again. She'd flinch at the very thought."

You're still arguing against strawmen here. Nobody's saying Faith wouldn't punch Buffy (or indeed anyone else) in the face if provoked. Killing them? As she observes in that exact picture - different matter. Has been throughout the series.

At some point, I think we're simply going to have to agree to disagree and wait for the next issue. Because it's all interpretation, obviously. But without backstory on what happened during season 7 1/2 or whatever we want to call the gap, I still don't buy neither the situation Faith is in nor how easily she makes this decision. It's wrong.

The end.

Posted by: aycheb (aycheb)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 16:30 (UTC)

I think Faith is a complicated and conflicted character and like many ex-con’s having a hard time settling back into the world outside prison. She was on the verge of committing suicide by duty in Orpheus when the need to save Angel brought her back into the game at the last minute (his words weren't enough). There’s no Angel in Cleveland, she went there with Robin but that didn’t work out and we know from the Wishverse what being friendless in Cleveland can do to a Slayer. She doesn’t immediately accept Giles’s mission, there’s a whole page between his naming the target and her asking who the evil bitch is. And she knows from evil bitches, she’s being asked to kill her old self by yet another male authority figure and Faith has always done what Daddy asked, she never grew out of that in the TV series just moved from one morally ambiguous Father-figure to another. Hopefully this is something she can learn to grow out of in the current story.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 16:40 (UTC)
faith

I don't think anyone's claimed this. But you'll notice that a) she doesn't actually go through with her threat towards Connor
Of course nobody's really claimed she was an absolute pacifist. I was using hyperbole and irony for the sake of making an argument. :-) But people have certainly been claiming that she wouldn't be willing to go and kill a Slayer.

My point here was not only that she still defines herself as a murderer, but that her loyalties are subjective. She values Angel above Connor. Would she really have killed Connor if it literally came down to him or Angel, and there was no other course of action? We don't know. But then, we don't know if she'll actually kill Genevieve yet.


Oh, and Faith arguably ended up proving him wrong on this particular instance.
It was a cumulative thing: both Wesley and Angel were, in their different ways, urging her to see the mission as being more important than ethical quibbling. And Faith does agree at the end of this scene: but she decides to sacrifice her own life rather than kill other people.


If I kill someone, will I be able to tell the cops I was actually sacrificing myself?
Not as a legal defence, no. But morally? Maybe. In NFA, Gunn did commit murder (of a United States senator, no less) at the cost of his own life. He thought it was worth the cost.


In which of these two sentences are you being ironic? Because they sort of contradict each other. 8.06 seems to indeed have Faith withdrawing from the world - to the point where she's trying to buy a passport to get away from it all (which sort of contradicts the "Never stop fighting" quote, doesn't it?)
The rats scene was partly aimed at the "why is Faith living in a hovel rather than asking Buffy for a castle of her own?" argument. I don't think she actually enjoys living where she does (hence the passport thing) but I'm sure part of her thinks she deserves it.

And they're not contradictory. The ironic argument, summarised, was "Faith doesn't think she has to suffer to atone; she thinks she should stay away from anything morally dubious." And my real argument is that she does believe she has to get her hands dirty if she's going to do the right thing.

Again, nobody's said this.
Actually, one of the biggest arguments against the comic was that Faith rushed to agree to Giles' proposal without stopping to consider whether Genevieve is really evil, or what the moral cost for Faith herself would be. I'm saying it's perfectly in character for her to only have second thoughts after she's already charged off to battle.

Nobody's saying Faith wouldn't punch Buffy (or indeed anyone else) in the face if provoked. Killing them? As she observes in that exact picture - different matter.
I'm not sure it is; the way I look at it, Faith is confessing here that she wanted to kill Buffy. Not pummel her; not kick her around a bit; kill her. Yes, she stopped herself. Yes, she agrees that killing humans is wrong. But the violence is still very close to the surface.

And as we saw with the Angelus versus Connor thing, just because Faith agrees that killing Buffy is wrong, doesn't mean she shares the same "killing all humans ever is wrong." belief. After all, she's just come fresh from 'Angel', and they never had any problem killing humans on that show...


"I don't kill children."
Faith does. We saw it, in this very issue.

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 16:53 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 17:30 (UTC)

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 17:08 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 17:27 (UTC)

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 17:41 (UTC)

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 17:50 (UTC)

Posted by: tessarin (tessarin)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 17:03 (UTC)

Agree with all this. See people are assuming there is a well thought out reason behind this as opposed to a lets have Faith kill a slayer. Now if she had been Giles' right hand woman for the past year and he asked her to do this. Then I would buy the quick impulsive yes as Faith does have Daddy issues and by then Giles would have earned her trust and loyalty.

To say yes that quick to someone who you feel has abandoned you twice ( as per the comics) for a person who reserves their trust is OC. She might if she has an ulterior motive, we know Giles does but we have to fanwank one for Faith.

It all hinges on trust for the writers, something that their cavalier warren retcon has already wrecked.

Me I will read as an entertaining AU from now on.

Posted by: ladypeyton (ladypeyton)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 16:18 (UTC)

Hello. I friended you for the intriguing S6 comic commentary you make.

Nice to meet you!

Posted by: A. (inperfectpeace)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 16:22 (UTC)
House- Wilson pwns House

This is great! ♥

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 16:49 (UTC)

Thanks! (and like the icon).
:-)

Posted by: ladypeyton (ladypeyton)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 16:25 (UTC)

BTW, I totally heart and agree with your synopsis of Faith's motives. I was a little surprised to see all the outrage on LJ because it never even crossed my mind that Faith was acting out of character.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 16:49 (UTC)
faith

Thanks! (and for the friending).

She seemed in character to me too, but I'm learning to always expect outrage on LJ over everything...
:-)

Posted by: tessarin (tessarin)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 16:52 (UTC)

Still with Beer_Good_Foamy here.:-)
Those are all strawmen arguments.

Would a slayer who flinches at Wesley's torture so readily agree to murder again when the last time she did that she ended up begging Angel to kill her. Her threatening of Conner is just that a threat, a beat down to assert her primacy. A weapon to get the job done which is concerned with saving not killing Angel.

She might as penance for the greater good, to do the dirty jobs but I for one need to see the process not have to fill in all the blanks (fanwank) every issue. As I unlike you do not blankly trust Joss to have thought through his plot and characterization. Something he has already admitted after just five issues. Who is to say he has not done the same here.

As for going back to Sunnydale she did give it a some thought we saw that on Angel.

S4 Angel and S7 Buffy have her rebuilding bridges not hiding away in a skanky room in Cleveland before a dark descent.

Where have we seen that before down to the white tee? I know the middle of S3.

Sure she is not buddy buddy with the scoobs but she is reconnecting I would like to know what reversed this other than writer fiat.

"Honestly? I think Joss and Brian sat down and said "We need to tell a four-episode story about Faith. What would be an interesting situation to put her in?"

Well we know that is about it, the situation(plot) rather than the character came first. A this would be cool, much like giant Dawn. Both he and BKV are thinking cool we couldn't do that on TV due to budget lets do it know even if it does not make sense. BKV said as much in his early interviews as did Joss.

I don't think people are saying she wouldn't do what Giles is asking , I would actually expect her to react angrily and violently to the suggestion prior to grudging acceptance.
It is just that the quick glib acceptance jars and does not jib with the direction she was heading in when we left her. With Wesley we saw it the road that took him from mil mannered watcher to torture and the reasons behind it. The comics? No sorry guys just got to fanwank a reason. She's alone because she broke up with Robin ( like that would matter) and the scoobs abandoned her in cleveland ( because four characters all make exactly the same mistake as the first time around). Because all the newbie slayers hate her(fanwank)

It's not pacifism vs violence. Its murder a whole different kettle of fish. Its a very important line for this particular character. Her crossing it again so easily is the entire crux of the problem.

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 8th September 2007 07:56 (UTC)
Smile Fan by buttersideup

Amen to everything you wrote, especially this:

It's not pacifism vs violence. Its murder a whole different kettle of fish. Its a very important line for this particular character. Her crossing it again so easily is the entire crux of the problem.

I am hoping that she's planning on helping Genevieve, and only pretending to go along with Giles. Otherwise she ain't my Faith.

Posted by: skipp_of_ark (skipp_of_ark)
Posted at: 8th September 2007 17:19 (UTC)

Otherwise she ain't my Faith.

Hi. I don't think we've crossed paths much, and I'm really not trying to start a fight here. But this line jumped out at me. She may or may not be your Faith, but odds are she's *somebody's* idea of Faith. The question I think we should be asking is, "What is Joss and/or BKV's idea of Faith at the beginning of this story?" The idea that Joss's idea of the characters is obligated to match one fan's idea seems awfully...entitled to me. Of course, one thing LJ has taught me is that every fan's idea of each of the characters isn't quite the same as Joss's idea....

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 8th September 2007 17:41 (UTC)

Posted by: Easily distracted fangirl. (cursedfire)
Posted at: 15th September 2007 13:43 (UTC)

Faith being OK with her mission didn't bother me much. Because Giles wouldn't have come her to kill a human if things weren't serious. I think she grasps that.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 15th September 2007 16:17 (UTC)

I agree. Although have you seen the spoiler preview for the next issue yet? (If you haven't I won't say anything more here...)

Posted by: Easily distracted fangirl. (cursedfire)
Posted at: 16th September 2007 07:57 (UTC)

Yeah. I saw them.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 16th September 2007 16:06 (UTC)

Posted by: leseparatist (novin_ha)
Posted at: 5th January 2008 19:19 (UTC)
[buffy] faith fire komiks

YAY!

I laughed out loud. This was really... excellent. Really.

Also, I need more season 8 icons...

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 7th January 2008 00:09 (UTC)

Thank you! (In fact, consider this a general 'thank you' for all your comments.) I've done a few season 8 icons, and maharet83 has done a lot more if you want to check her journal.

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