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(Meta) More S8 meandering

9th January 2008 (00:26)

I've had a thought. Why is Buffy wearing ugly combat gear instead of her trademark expensive designer clothes? Well, maybe she feels guilty over the source of her money. While she can justify to herself buying armour that will save Slayers' lives, she can't justify spending a penny of it on her own personal wardrobe... 

It's also interesting to reassess Giles' words and actions over the 'No Future For You' arc if we assume that he disapproves of Buffy's fundraising activities:

When in #6 Giles says "For all intents and purposes, I am the Watchers Council" has he washed his hands of Buffy and her team because he knows what she's been up to? And when he tells Faith "In your generation there are nearly two thousand women with the powers of the Slayer, and not all of them have chosen to use their newfound abilities conscientiously", do you think he's making a subtle reference to someone other than Gigi? Of course, if Giles is unwilling to give Buffy access to the Council's funds, he's making it even more likely that she'll continue down the path of crime...

Then of course in #9 Buffy insists on knowing "exactly what the hell is going on?" and Giles says "No. I don't want you to be any part of this." Maybe that's not because he wants to protect her as I'd assumed, but because he no longer trusts her? Buffy's stricken expression takes a whole new meaning now. She's got a guilty conscience, and Giles is rubbing her face in it by making his attitude clear. She's willing to let Willow help him because she knows deep down that she's in the wrong, but she's feeling abandoned because she thinks she's made a controversial and courageous decision as a leader, and nobody is backing her up.

And at the end of the arc, Giles wants to help Faith 'play social worker to the Slayers' because 'there are battles you and I can win" before the big war starts. I wonder if he's thinking that the Slayer who needs an intervention more than any other is Buffy herself?

Comments

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 9th January 2008 03:45 (UTC)

I've spent the last 24 hours obsessing over the idea that the break between Giles and Buffy is *exactly* over this issue. It explains a lot, I think. At some point, I'll have to screw up my courage and go ahead and post a meta on the subject. It'd explain why Buffy is so fixated on why Giles is choosing Faith over her -- rather than the other issues that she ought to be worrying about in their fight on the phone in #9. Cause Giles' working with Faith might well be a pointed judgment about where he thinks Buffy is headed.

We disagree, though, about Buffy's justification for robbing banks. Maybe you could argue that her unwillingness to spend the money on clothing helps in her own mind. But that point is really undercut by the way she's spending the money on defense. Buffy's flip thought that they should throw extra money into moat defenses now looks like a pointed detail. Money is like water to her. She's definitely not thinking anything like -- gee, it's too bad I had to rob the 'people' in order to finance their defense, but at least I will spend *their* money wisely. On the contrary -- she's got deep pockets and can throw money around on a whim -- whether it's cost-effective or not. She could only spend money that way if she feels entitled to it, not if she feels like she's doing something on behalf of the citizens of the world. Something has gone very wrong with Buffy. And I like the idea that Giles' otherwise questionable behavior has been motivated by his reaction to his fears about where she is headed.

Posted by: aycheb (aycheb)
Posted at: 9th January 2008 07:04 (UTC)

Buffy's flip thought that they should throw extra money into moat defenses now looks like a pointed detail.

My revised take on that was that it indicated her wanting to get rid of the money. They ended up taking more than they needed and psychologically she needs to use it fast (on Slayer related matters) because its very existence burns her. Alternatively it was a joke but one subconsciously calculated to make Willow suspiscious.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 9th January 2008 12:16 (UTC)

That's a good suggestion... it all ties into the castle, the helicopters etc. Buffy is being extravagant with the money because she stole it to help in the Fight Against Evil, and letting it sit around in a bank account or unit trust would be a betrayal of the reasons why she took it.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 9th January 2008 12:14 (UTC)

After writing this, I did notice you've been posting much the same ideas about Giles. :-)

I'm not settled in my mind as to exactly what I think Buffy's self-justification is; maybe she has convinced herself that taking the money was fully justified, like you say. I'm still leaning towards the guilty conscience though - but until Willow lectures her in #10 I don't think she's really faced up to it. She's in denial, and she's being flippant and glib in order to convince herself that everything is all right really...

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 9th January 2008 07:35 (UTC)

And once again, there's Giles' comments to the Slayers (his Slayers?) in #2 about how they, and I quote,

"might just give Buffy Summers herself a run for her money."

You don't suppose he was being literal?

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 9th January 2008 12:17 (UTC)

:-)

Posted by: woman_of_ (woman_of_)
Posted at: 9th January 2008 09:25 (UTC)

A very good point. That maybe Buffy has branched off from the Giles headed Watchers Council.

While Giles and Andrew do seem to be keeping to the older fashioned ways of training slayers, in The Chain the other slayers did turn up with hi-tech weapons and helicopter, so it isn't just Buffy's team that are using them.

An intersting question. How far apart are Buffy and Giles now.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 9th January 2008 12:20 (UTC)

The 'other Slayers' that turn up in the final scene of 'The Chain' are Buffy's team. Satsu is clearly shown leading them.

It's a good question whether all the Slayers are implicated in what Buffy's been doing, or whether her group in Scotland is a rogue element, and the other worldwide teams don't know the source of the cash...

Posted by: skipp_of_ark (skipp_of_ark)
Posted at: 9th January 2008 19:08 (UTC)

For that matter, it's been a common fanon conceit for the last 4-5 years that there simply must be untold billions of dollars/pounds/euros of Old Watchers' Council money hidden away in various bank accounts just waiting for Giles and/or Willow to open the pursestrings. What if that's simply not true? What if the old Council's money was only enough to finance one relatively stable number of Watchers and one Slayer at a time, as opposed to the needs of almost 500 Slayers and their leaders spread out amongst who knows how many locations? Alternatively, what if the OWC's money was at banks using security and other procedures that were so excessive that it made it exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to get at that money, and stealing it was Buffy's "short-cut"? ("I'm sorry, Mr. Giles, but we will only accept a written authorization from Mr. Travers himself." "But he's DEAD!" "Then we cannot help you. Have a good day.")

Then again, it's entirely possible that the "why" of Buffy the Bank Robber isn't nearly as important to Joss as the "cool plot twist" of revealing BtBR in the first place. Remember, one of the key questions Joss wanted to address was "why does the world react so negatively to empowered women" or something like that, and on the face of things, it's a little OOC of him to suggest that the answer is that "women bring it on themselves." At least, I HOPE there's more to this "cool plot twist" than that....

Posted by: Owen (owenthurman)
Posted at: 9th January 2008 20:03 (UTC)

fanon conceit for the last 4-5 years that there simply must be untold billions of dollars/pounds/euros

Fanon? They had a block long secret headquarters building in the City Of London. What more evidence do you require of billion-dollar status?

Not to mention the worldwide professional staff and research arm and artifacts and such.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 9th January 2008 20:29 (UTC)

And that while they might have only had one Slayer, they had plenty of Potentials, each one with her own assigned Watcher - and think how much they must have spent on bribes and special deals to get them away from their parents to train...

Although we do know from 'Sanctuary' that they had alchemists on the Board - so perhaps they didn't have a lot of money stashed away because they could just create a pile of gold whenever they needed some?

Posted by: mr_waterproof (mr_waterproof)
Posted at: 9th January 2008 21:51 (UTC)

So why couldn't they pay the Slayer a salary, that's what I've always wanted to know?

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 9th January 2008 23:32 (UTC)

Assuming the Watchers' Council has been in existence for 10,000 years, for what proportion of that time were women allowed to own property?

For that matter, how long has the concept of "a salary" been recognised? And I'm not talking about the legionary salt ration here...

Posted by: mr_waterproof (mr_waterproof)
Posted at: 10th January 2008 18:23 (UTC)

I didn't mean why weren't they paying the Slayer a salary 10,000 years ago, I was thinking about seven years ago: in Checkpoint, Buffy tells Quentin Travers to restore Giles' salary, why didn't anyone think to ask about Buffy's salary?

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 10th January 2008 18:54 (UTC)

Because being the Slayer isn't a job, it's who she is. /Kendra.
:-)

Posted by: idiotnighthawk (idiotnighthawk)
Posted at: 10th January 2008 20:58 (UTC)

Well, don't they pay the Queen of England?

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 10th January 2008 21:40 (UTC)

She's independently wealthy - but the government does pay her an allowance to cover her living and business expenses.

I suspect Buffy probably could have insisted on a salary for herself in 'Checkpoint' - but she'd think it was tacky, and anyway her mother was presumably paying all her living expenses. If the Council had come along in season 6 I suspect things would be different, but the moment had passed by then.

Posted by: idiotnighthawk (idiotnighthawk)
Posted at: 10th January 2008 23:38 (UTC)

I still think Giles probably gave her money upwards of $100k in Season 6 -- it's about the only amount I can think of that would have made a meaningful dent in their fixed expenses that would have let Buffy work a low-wage part-time job to pay for food and so on.

As far as the Slayer Mafia, I have an entire range of theories about that, but I doubt you want me to post my own long rants on your LJ :)

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: 14th January 2008 00:32 (UTC)

Brainwave!

All this discussion of Buffy going dark should beg the question: where is General Voll right now?

When we last saw him at the end of The Long Way Home part 4, he sat around to explain his plans. After Buffy and Satsu hacked up his troops at Drexelcorp, he was desperate enough to pull a gun on two slayers -- does this sound like a guy who had a plan B? It seems more likely that pulling a gun on Buffy was a last ditch attempt. Also remember that their little chat took place in cell 30, which was well-armed enough that a powerful sorcerer like Ethan couldn't find a way out of it without seeking help. We also know that the General doesn't "get" magic, so there's no deus ex machina to pull him from harm's way. (speaking of which, is anyone else the slightest bit curious where Amy and Warren are now that Drexelcorp seems to have been trashed?)

To me, it seems pretty clear that Voll must be in Buffy's custody -- perhaps another factor behind why Buffy is amping up security at the fortress of solitude in No Future for You #2-3? If he is being held against his will, what kind of condition is he in? Me thinks we've got some ugly reveals ahead of us.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 15th January 2008 19:38 (UTC)
buffy-rocketlauncher

I have to say I've been puzzling over where Voll ended up. I can't imagine Buffy killing him out of hand - I seriously doubt she's gone that dark yet. Taking him prisoner is certainly an interesting scenario - but how did they get him back? Buffy had to go through the portal with only one companion because it was too unstable for a group to use...and Willow was drained of her magic after healing herself so wouldn't be able to teleport him out. Unless they waited a few hours, let Willow have a nap.... seems unlikely. :-) Or perhaps they stole a helicopter from the base?

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