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Buffy still THE Vampire Slayer? 
3rd-Feb-2008 02:22 pm
buffy
Don't you just hate it when you settle down to do your planned task for the day (working on the Greek's band page) only to be hampered by something as blindingly stupid as not being able to log on to ftp? Typing passwords is hard when your fingers are cold.

So, I was going to say something about Stephanie Brown - but, most of my section of the internet has already said it. Me, my gut reaction was along the lines of Lisa Fortuner's: we are seeing a major mainstream superhero publisher alter the direction of their biggest franchise (not just with a couple memorials, but with the Gotham Underground and Robin storylines) in order to court a primarily female fanbase. // That is a huge accomplishment. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise., and sharpest_rose: Scolding the puppy when it does wrong only works if you give it treats when it's a good doggy. -Hence me adding Robin to my checklist starting with 170 (I didn't read Gotham Underground: where can I find a plot synopsis?)

But I want to talk today about Buffy, and about Willow, and about something that's been bugging me since reading Anywhere but Here, mostly about Willow's relationship with Kennedy and - well, Willow's utter selfish stupidity sometimes.

 The pages dealing with the plot reveal I want to talk about in particular were posted on scans_daily, along with wider context, but it's mostly these two pages that struck me.

Willow says she blames herself (at least partly) for Tara's death because bringing Buffy back to life, she put Tara back in the vicinity of Buffy and in the line of fire  - literally. And now - what, she's trying to prevent the same thing happening to Kennedy by keeping her away from Buffy.

What struck me - rather suddenly, in the shower, the way these things strike me, is Willow has already killed Kennedy: and I don't been in the mystical mellow sense, except where I do mean that as well. But mostly, I mean: Kennedy is going to die young. And it's going to be because of Willow. See, Tara didn't die because she was near Buffy Summers in particular, she died because she was near the Slayer. Because Slayers attract violence and misery and death - for those around them but mostly for themselves. While Buffy had the decision to become a Slayer thrust upon her, Kennedy wanted to become a Slayer, but she only became one because of Willow, and her spell in Chosen.

And now - what? She's changed her mind? She doesn't want Kennedy to be a Slayer after all? It's got to be tough, I know, watching the woman you love risking her life over and over, but Willow does it after all: she chooses to go and fight the good fight despite the high death rate, and somehow trying to keep her girlfriend - the Slayer out of it all seems... well, it grates. She gave Kennedy the power to kick royal arse when it was useful to her, and to Buffy, but now she's trying to keep her out of the way, at  home?

We don't know what Kennedy's doing off in Willow-and-Kennedy land, but I can say it's one of two things: being a Slayer or not being a Slayer. Either she's going to die young, and it's all 'cause of Willow, or she's - well, I watched Season 7, I'm one of the few people in the world who like Kennedy, and I really can't see that girl happy being anything other than a Slayer.

So what it boils down to for me: what does Willow think she's playing at? Does she really think that she can keep a Slayer alive by keeping her away from another Slayer, or is she just that meta that she knows the name of the comic, and is actually trying to keep Kennedy off screen?

I wish I had a real point with this one, actually. I liked Willow, as a whole, during the series. I'm just not that impressed with how she's grown up.
Opinions 
3rd-Feb-2008 05:06 pm (UTC)
Being in the same area as Buffy has lead to a lot of Slayers dying. It's not logical, but I do understand Willow's thinking.
3rd-Feb-2008 05:13 pm (UTC)
Eh, I could justify that line of thinking, for Willow. She's got a lot of guilt issues that go further back than Tara. So I could see her totally illogically wanting to keep Kennedy as far out of the line of fire as she can. I can see her just maybe having hit her breaking point, and thinking that they'd all been through enough, and maybe not going headstrong and full-force into all things involving Buffy any more. Maybe?
3rd-Feb-2008 06:45 pm (UTC)
Well, I haven't even seen season seven, let alone been reading the comics. >_> But what it could be is that... no, Willow didn't ever want Kennedy to become a Slayer. But from what I understand, it was an all-or-nothing deal - make all the Potentials into Slayers, or none. So that's something she already feels guilty and worries about, but can't change. What she can change is her proximity to 'the' Slayer, Buffy - who despite her importance as leader, still seems to be getting into the most dangerous situations, 'cause that's how she rolls.

I don't know. It is weird how annoying Willow became in later seasons. :( It's sad, too, how something that should have been empowering has been the cause of it. (The magic. Not the lesbianism.) It's the whole Spiderman thing, I guess.

I should reeeeally read these comics.
4th-Feb-2008 02:52 am (UTC)
You know what occurred to me while I was reading what you wrote here?

If Willow were male, everybody would be UP IN ARMS about her him wanting to keep Kennedy out of danger like this.
4th-Feb-2008 07:29 am (UTC)
Yeah, I think that occurred to me as well, just not in a coherent space while I was writing, if that makes sense.

Bloody good point, though. (And Willow's treatment of Tara in early season 6 would get more attention if she was male, too)
4th-Feb-2008 02:03 pm (UTC)
Oh god, wouldn't it? Not to mention Tara going back after the incident with the Tabula Rasa spell.

I mean, how is that any more acceptable than Warren and his mind control whammy?
5th-Feb-2008 09:52 am (UTC)
I have NO IDEA except that we're expected to understand why Willow does it - which, yeah, I can, but that doesn't make it acceptable. They both freak me out a lot, because mind control freaks me out.

I'm sure people have done it before: what Willow does that would be unacceptable in a heterosexual man.

I wonder if it would be more/less acceptable if Tara and Kennedy were men?
6th-Feb-2008 12:29 am (UTC)
I dunno ... doesn't Angel [spoiler] [spoiler]? I don't remember ever seeing anyone complain about that -- I only know it happens (haven't seen that far) because someone pointed out that no one criticizes Angel for it.

He also participates in something very like wiping Buffy's mind somewhere in the first season of AtS, and not just the fans but the show treat it like it's the most romantic thing ever.

(The post itself is a good point I'd not thought about. Mostly because am withholding judgment on every sketchy thing the characters do in the comics on account of having no idea how much follow-up to expect.)

Edited at 2008-02-06 00:30 (UTC)
6th-Feb-2008 12:34 am (UTC)
yes, he does, and it's one of the many many problems I have with AtS.

Also, not a big fan of that first season episode, though for different reasons - he doesn't so much mindwipe her as remove her agent of choice, but the BIGGEST reason I hate the episode is because he rejects the thing that then becomes his motivation for the whole five years - humanity.
6th-Feb-2008 12:43 am (UTC)
I'm, um, still waiting to see it. then it can be one of my problems with AtS!

It's not so much that what Angel does is a problem for me, as that I don't think Willow's getting forgiven more easily than a male character would, because the relevant male character gets the situation set up so that he's making the only noble choice possible etc. etc. and it's all romantic and gooey. (Well, aside from it making stupid continuity, like you said. But BtVS makes it pretty clear that what Willow does is violation, and I've never seen any fan claim that Willow's mindwiping Tara was romantic.)

I don't much like how Willow's guilt has been dealt with, but I don't much like how Spike*'s has been dealt with either, plus the AtS stuff with memory wiping -- I don't think Willow'd be less forgiven if she was male.

* ETA: The particular guilt I have in mind being "Lies My Parents Told Me" and the way Wood gets treated. There are a lot, so I figured I'd clarify ...

Edited at 2008-02-06 00:46 (UTC)
6th-Feb-2008 12:55 am (UTC)
Well, the thing is.

Angel did this thing, but the show doesn't recognise it as a thing... (Bear with me).

Willow did this thing, the show recognises it as a thing (Tara, not Kennedy; #10 seems to think keeping Kennedy in the kitchen is romantic), but you're still supposed to think 'poor Willow'.

Warren does a thing, the show recognises it as a thing, and Warren is set up as a villian.

The writers were too stupid to realise Angel was being a fucker, so they didn't expect us to forgive him. With Willow, they made it clear what she was doing, but it was supposed to be OK.
6th-Feb-2008 01:17 am (UTC)
Hmm. I follow you on the thing part. I mean, it's part of my point that with Angel it's not even a thing, but I can see taking the opposite position.

I didn't think we were supposed to think "poor Willow," though -- Tara did leave for a significant amount of the season and I don't see anything suggesting she wasn't justified, and also Willow went from thinking it was okay to wipe Tara's mind for her own good to thinking that it was okay to wipe out the existence of the entire planet for our own good. I mean, Warren wasn't the Big Bad -- he was the fakeout Little Bad shadow of Willow Bad. (It helps that I think the parallels were on purpose.)

Dunno about #10 -- I should probably reread, I took it as Willow basically admitting that she was being irrational. Now that you mention it, I agree that it's supposed to be romantic there, though.
4th-Feb-2008 07:39 am (UTC)
Gotham Underground is lame and weird and confusing, and I was really excited about it, but the one page per issue of someone in a Spoiler suit hasn't made me excited enough to actually buy it yet. I don't think it's Steph. (If it is, I'll go back and buy the back-issues. Good puppies get cookies!)

Ummmm. Wikipedia might has a plot synopsis? I dunno.

HAY when I get home we should play with imaginary people, Y/Y?
4th-Feb-2008 11:42 am (UTC)
And now - what? She's changed her mind? She doesn't want Kennedy to be a Slayer after all? It's got to be tough, I know, watching the woman you love risking her life over and over, but Willow does it after all: she chooses to go and fight the good fight despite the high death rate, and somehow trying to keep her girlfriend - the Slayer out of it all seems... well, it grates. She gave Kennedy the power to kick royal arse when it was useful to her, and to Buffy, but now she's trying to keep her out of the way, at home?

That's my interpretation. Willow hasn't really thought any of this through. I hope that she'll eventually wise up.

I've always liked Willow and had little to no problem with her "evil" decisions in the past, but trying to keep Kennedy in the kitchen is just dumb.
4th-Feb-2008 11:41 pm (UTC)
How would I keep up on fandom stuff - and when I say fandom, I mean cool, interesting, relevant stuff, not silly "OMGHOTTIES" stuff - if it weren't for you?
5th-Feb-2008 12:14 am (UTC)
Um.

I didn't know I was keeping myself up to date >_>

^_^

(BoP so good this month!)
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