1. Thank you for visiting Buffy-Boards. You obviously have exceptional taste. We just want you to know that:
    1. You really should register so you can chat with us!
    2. Ten thousand people can't be wrong.
    3. Buffy-Boards loves you.
    4. See 1 through 3.
    Come on, register already!

Once More, with Podcast Episode 3: Is This a Penis Metaphor?

Discussion in 'Buffy-Boards News' started by Athena, Oct 1, 2016.

  1. Athena

    Athena Tweedledum Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    Messages:
    3,563
    Likes Received:
    3,294
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    UK
    Reputation:
    8,443
    Black Thorn
    Episode 3 of the official Buffy Boards podcast Once More, with Podcast, is now available to download from BB Radio, and on your podcast app now too! You can search for the podcast on your iTunes, Doggcatcher, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, or whatever app you use to listen to your podcasts and subscribe to us :D

    [​IMG]

    This episode, we take sides on the Underrated/Overrated debate on The Zeppo.

    Massive thanks to @sosa lola for the input this episode on Xander. It was much appreciated and incredibly insightful.:)

    Any feedback or comments? Please let us know below! :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016
    Mr Trick likes this.
  2. sk73

    sk73 The Overlooked One

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Messages:
    2,504
    Likes Received:
    426
    Location:
    Sweden
    Reputation:
    4,702
    Sineya
    Good, fun and interesting as usual. :)

    I've always loved the idea of The Zeppo. But somehow never really enjoyed the actual episode.
    It's brilliant to have this huge crisis in the background that we never really get to see but Xander's story still kinda bore me unfortunately.

    One of my all-time favorite quotes from the show though is - "I like the quiet".

    /SK
     
    Taake likes this.
  3. Priceless

    Priceless Could be a stapler

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2016
    Messages:
    1,603
    Likes Received:
    1,000
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    UK
    Reputation:
    1,796
    Great as usual!

    I've never been a big fan of The Zeppo and I wasn't convinced by @Taake this time. It never made sense to me because I never thought Xander was ever excluded from the group, and was always front and centre in any fights. It is a great line, 'I like the quiet', but I've never noticed Xander ever being alone in the quiet, so it seems ooc to me. I remember him sulking a little when Buffy knocked him back, but that's the only time I've ever seen him want to be alone :) I like Xander. He is the Everyman, and he is a hero, but The Zeppo doesn't represent the Xander we've seen upto that point.
     
  4. Guy

    Guy Scooby

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    1,069
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Israel
    Reputation:
    1,165
    Black Thorn
    - Wait wait wait....Did you just pronounce "Taake" as "Tacky"?


    - Oh, I know why Athena doesn't like 'The Zeppo' - because 'The Zeppo' is about the struggles of an uncool person trying to be cool, and Athena can't relate to that, because, as a british person, she's INHERENTLY cool. :cool:


    - Oh, don't compare 'Agents of Shield' to 'The Zeppo'. 'The Zeppo' is awesome, whereas 'Agents of Shield' is just kinda OK.


    - Also, I always remember this episode for including the most thoughtless, most foot-in-mouth Xander moment of all time:


    Xander, sometimes you shouldn't say words.


    Of course Xander was never excluded before, this episode is the first time that happens. But Xander was always USELESS in all the fights before (not always, but usually - Buffy always did all the cool stuff, and Willow learned to be a witch, and Giles was the knowledge-man, while Xander just remained useless), and in this episode that problem is finally confronted - the scoobies finally realize that Xander really shouldn't be involved in the big fights ("maybe you should be fray-adjacent"), and Xander finally tries to "solve" this problem.

    "I like the quiet" isn't about Xander liking being alone (obviously, NOBODY likes to be alone), it's about Xander realizing that he can be a hero when it's quiet - when nobody's watching him, when nobody will give him credit for being a hero. Up until that point, Xander always wanted to be in the spotlight, always wanted to be a badass so that people will RECOGNIZE him as a badass, and in this moment he realizes that he doesn't need that. He realizes that when no one's watching him, he can be more heroic than he ever could be in the spotlight.
     
    sosa lola: Excellent explanation to "I like the quiet"
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016
    sosa lola likes this.
  5. sosa lola

    sosa lola Scooby

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    Messages:
    3,568
    Likes Received:
    1,291
    Reputation:
    5,068
    You're welcome! I was so thrilled when you PMed me! I'm gonna listen to it now and tell you what I think.


    I always linked it to his homelife where it's loud and unpleasant, but @Guy's explanation works better with the episode.
     
  6. Priceless

    Priceless Could be a stapler

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2016
    Messages:
    1,603
    Likes Received:
    1,000
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    UK
    Reputation:
    1,796
    Xander was never useless in fights, he was pretty helpful from what I remember. This is a S3 episode, so you can't look forward and say Willow becomes a witch and that's why Xander feels excluded, that's in the future.

    This sounds good, and I will buy it for now :) I like to be alone. I would think a lot of people enjoy their own company, being quite, enjoying what they are doing without being bothered by others. But that's never been Xander, and it's never been Xander to be existential enough to use 'I like the quiet' in any other way. Plus nothing changes after this episode. Xander goes back to being exactly the same, the changes come later in S5 and beyond
    --- Double Post Merged, Oct 2, 2016 ---
    I agree he was always trying to escape his home life, but I always thought that was forced on him and he virtually excluded himself. But it does work either way
     
  7. sosa lola

    sosa lola Scooby

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    Messages:
    3,568
    Likes Received:
    1,291
    Reputation:
    5,068
    I think Buffy excludes Xander because in the previous episode she lost her powers and it was traumatic for her, so for Xander who never had powers to go through that everyday, it frightened her and that's why she was overprotective. IMO she was the most vocal about it and the others were obeying her: when Giles asked that Xander get more donuts, Buffy objected telling him that Xander could get hurt - after that you see Giles telling Xander to stay out of trouble.

    Everything actually changed after this episode. As you said, Xander was so essential to the group and was never excluded and was as useful as Willow and Giles even, but after this episode, Xander changed from the guy throwing himself in the front lines desperately wanting to be the hero to background guy who accepts his role as supportive sidekick and takes a more passive/quiet/unflashy approach to saving the world.
     
  8. Guy

    Guy Scooby

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    1,069
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Israel
    Reputation:
    1,165
    Black Thorn
    Willow was already witching it up by that point. She's been doing spells since 2x19, and this is 3x13. She wasn't a super-powerful witch yet, but she was already useful to the group in that capacity. And even before that, her computer skills were useful. Giles was useful because he had lots of knowledge. Buffy obviously had superpowers, and so did Angel. Xander is just some guy who can do small things, small things that anyone else could do. It makes perfect sense that he'd feel useless, even if he did do some useful stuff before. He just wasn't on par with his friends.

    Me too! I love me some alone time. But even I (and, I assume, you) don't want to be alone ALL the time. I have some social anxiety, so alone time can be soothing, but I certainly wouldn't want to be alone ALL THE TIME. Everyone wants connection, right? That's what I meant when I said that "NOBODY likes to be alone". But I digress...

    Xander was never mr. broodypants, true. He was never an Angel-type. Then again, he IS a huge geek of movies and comic-books, and that's kind of a loner thing, right? I mean, you can't really read comic-books as a social activity. And since Xander clearly had very few friends outside of Willow, and since he was constantly picked on by bullies, I do think that he had that loner side, to some extent.

    I disagree. While Xander's change after 'The Zeppo' isn't as obvious as Willow's change after 'Doppelgangland', it's still there. Xander's change is from someone who constantly throws himself into the fray to prove his worth (like when he suggested going to save Buffy from the judge in the beginning of 'Innocence', despite the fact that he had no way of succeeding) into someone who's satisfied to do his part outside of the spotlight, and doesn't seek recognition. That's why he starts doing things like keeping his fling with Faith a secret, or keeping Cordy's poverty a secret, etc...

    Also, his change is evident by the lack of "dammit Xander!" moments in the second half of season 3. In the first half of season 3, Xander was often a dick (he was a dick ever since the second half of season 2, with his overly-extreme anti-Angel attitude and his lie in 2x22), cheating on Cordy (he flirted with Faith right in front of Cordy, his girlfriend!), and shaming Buffy for leaving Sunnydale, and convincing Faith to go after Angel, etc... He acted that way because he was overcompensating, trying to prove his worth to others. In the second half of season 3, after 'The Zeppo', Xander becomes much more kind and friendly, because he's no longer over-compensating for his insecurities by attacking other people. He becomes much more of a team player. Of course, Xander's journey was far from over, and his insecurities didn't just disappear overnight, but 'The Zeppo' made him realize that he doesn't need to prove himself to other people. Ever since that, his struggle with his insecurities was more internal - he started trying to prove himself TO HIMSELF. Which is much more healthy, although he still had a long way to go.
     
    Carrie Hopewell likes this.
  9. sosa lola

    sosa lola Scooby

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    Messages:
    3,568
    Likes Received:
    1,291
    Reputation:
    5,068
    Having just listened to the podcast:

    First of all, I was thrown back by the realization that OMG these are the voices of @Takee and @Athena! People at Buffyboards actually have voices. It felt so weird but now I can hear your voices when I read your posts, so yay! :D

    I feel at this stage of the show, Buffy and Willow are not as close to Xander as they used to be - for justified reasons IMO, Xander caused Willow to break up with Oz and Buffy can't trust Xander with anything regarding Angel and let's face it, her life kinda revolves around him in S3. So, I feel that, the detachment from Xander was already there. S3 is Xander's "alone" season actually. He doesn't tell his friends about his homelife and we don't see him talking to them about his horrible experience with Faith later, and even in this episode you don't see him confiding in them about his identity issues. I think the saddest thing for me was Xander not telling them about him losing his virginity - I mean, if there were no Angelus drama, Buffy would have rushed to Willow to tell her about having sex for the first time and they kinda do the whole sharing thing about Parker. Xander had sex and he told no one about it. I mean, that's supposed to be a big thing for guys, right? At least that's what I see in almost every movie and TV show. (I'm glad that @Taake mentions that because it just feels painfully obvious how un-close Xander is with Buffy and Willow in S3 - I don't think he'll ever be close with Willow sadly. His relationship with Buffy will get much, much better in the later years, especially S7 and S8)

    I did think it was really mean how Buffy needed to have her Willow and Willow specifically said, "I'd be offended if you don't include me" then Xander shows up and Buffy doesn't include him. Cold. But I still stand by my headcanon that Buffy was so dead set on excluding Xander due to her experience in the previous episode Helpless.

    I do agree that this episode shows Xander's prospective about how things in his life are going: Buffy and Willow are being distant, which has been going on for a while but most people don't notice it because the show is always from Buffy's prospective and Buffy never realized that she was excluding Xander - she could have invited him to her house on Christmas along with Faith. She did ask her mom to invite Giles after all.

    **I laughed out loud when @Athena went "I watch a lot of the later seasons, little bit of 4, little bit of 5, little bit of 6, not so much 7." LOL I agree!!!!

    (I'll be back later. RL calls. :))
     
  10. Athena

    Athena Tweedledum Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    Messages:
    3,563
    Likes Received:
    3,294
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    UK
    Reputation:
    8,443
    Black Thorn

    Ha ha, yes we have actual voices! :D

    Your payment is in the post! :p
     
    vellavu and Guy like this.
  11. Guy

    Guy Scooby

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    1,069
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Israel
    Reputation:
    1,165
    Black Thorn
    I think you're kinda confusing drama with close-ness. Xander and Willow don't have lots and lots of dramatic moments in seasons 5-7, but they're closer than ever. Well, they got kinda detached in the middle of season 6 (when Xander was all caught up in planning the marriage and Willow was caught up in dealing with her magic-addiction problems), but other than that, they were very close in the later seasons. Lack of drama doesn't mean a lack of close-ness. Remember these moments:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Xander made Willow a sign that says "boss of us", and put little sparkles on it! :D

    [​IMG]

    Willow was Xander's best man in his wedding!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And of course, the big two:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    There's a reason why the season 6 DVD is the only DVD that has Willow & Xander on the cover.
     
    sosa lola: Thanks for the reminder, you're right. I guess they do get closer after S4.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016
  12. Priceless

    Priceless Could be a stapler

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2016
    Messages:
    1,603
    Likes Received:
    1,000
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    UK
    Reputation:
    1,796
    We only see Buffy excluding Xander within this episode, not prior to it. I cannot think of one case of Buffy, outside of this episode, excluding Xander. This episode is like a false memory. Where does Xander get the idea from, before thise ep, that the other scoobies don't value him? As Athena says in the podcast, there is no build-up.

    I honestly cannot remember Xander changing at all through S3. He matures very little until S5, when he finally takes charge of his life. In fact, in S4 Fear Itself, Xander raises the same issues he felt here in The Zeppo, of being ignored by the group, so nothing really changes for him.
    I understand Xander feeling useless, those feelings came from within, no from any outsie actions or influences.. In this episode he is actively excluded by the scoobies. They deliberately push him out and make him feel useless, something I'd never noticed them doing in any other episode. If anything, in the fights, he is more included than Willow. This is an episode about a boy who's so-called friends exclude him for his own good and he feels bad about it. When did Buffy, Giles or Willow deliberately exclude Xander from either a battle or research? For me it's the exact opposite, where considering he has no powers, he's always included in all their plans and schemes and battles.

    My problem with the episode isn't about Xander feeling useles, it's about why he feels useless, and this episode is blaming Buffy Willow and Giles for making Xander feel useless, but in reality they have done nothing but include him in everything and he is an equal part of the team and they see him as an equal.
     
  13. Guy

    Guy Scooby

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    1,069
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Israel
    Reputation:
    1,165
    Black Thorn
    You don't see how Xander was a huge dick in the first half of season 3 (shaming Buffy, mistreating Cordy, manipulating Faith against Angel, etc...), compared to how un-dick-ish he was in the second half? His dickishness was a result of his insecurity, and 'The Zeppo' helped him find healthier ways of dealing with his insecurities. Try comparing the Xander of 3x01-3x02 to the Xander of 3x21-3x22.

    Xander's feelings of useless-ness didn't come from within, they came from his lack abilities. His lack of "a thing".

    This isn't about Xander being excluded, it's about Xander feeling useless. And while the scoobies don't usually push him out, his useless-ness was always there. Honestly, the scoobies' decision to push him away felt kinda inevitable - he can't really fight well, and he doesn't bring any additional skills to the group, so why should he be fighting with them? Xander's insecurities here are about how he doesn't have "a thing". Willow's thing is her computer skills and her witchcraft, Giles' thing is his knowledge, Buffy's thing is her power, same with Faith, Angel's thing is his power AND his knowledge. Xander isn't essential to the group at all - everything he can do, can be done by any random person. That's why he feels useless. The scoobies' decision to have him "fray-adjacent" (which, as I said, was kinda inevitble) was just the trigger for his quest to deal with his insecurity. But his insecurity was already there, long before this episode.


    BTW, I just realized that Xander's "I like the quiet" is even simpler to understand than I thought - "the quiet" isn't Xander's loneliness or lack-of-fame, "the quiet" is death. Jack asks Xander if he's not afraid to die, and Xander replies, "I like the quiet". He's essentially saying - "I'm not afraid to die". And that IS a consistent part of Xander's character.

    And why does Xander says "quiet" instead of just saying "death"? Because he realizes that he doesn't like the big fancy fights that the group always has, he likes this quiet game of chicken with Jack. He likes the quiet-ness of a simple contest of real bravery. In these situations, his bravery can shine more than anyone's.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016
    Carrie Hopewell likes this.
  14. Priceless

    Priceless Could be a stapler

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2016
    Messages:
    1,603
    Likes Received:
    1,000
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    UK
    Reputation:
    1,796
    I honestly don't see such a vast difference in Xander from S1 to S4, then in S5 he gets a decent job, his own place, grows up a lot more. I don't see him as a dick from 1-4, just an insecure boy, who says stupid things because that's what insecure people do. If he were that much of a dick, why would Buffy and Giles accept him so easily into the gang? I do not blame Buffy Willow or Giles for Xander's insecurity, I blame his parents and his upbringing, which was obviously awful. His insecurity didn't vanish after The Zeppo, he brings it up again in Fear Itself, so he hasn't changed a lot.

    The whole point of Xander's character within the show was about empowerment, you don't have to be special to stand up and fight. Buffy accepted that Xander wasn't 'special' and there was no way she would push him away. What sort of bitca would that have made Buffy? :eek:

    If Xander felt those things from within that would be ok, but what I don't like is that the other scoobies make him feel useless, and that's what I don't like. In The Zeppo it feels like Buffy says 'Xander you are useless, please go hide in a bunker until we save the world', but Buffy has never said this to Xander prior to this episode. And Willow has certainly never told Xander to go away and hide.

    I agree his trigger was there long before this episode, but the scoobies are blamed in this episode for making Xander feel the way he feels, and that doesn't sit well with me

    This I agree with, Xander has never been afraid of a fight or afraid of the consequences, so it's very consistent with his character :)
     
  15. sosa lola

    sosa lola Scooby

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    Messages:
    3,568
    Likes Received:
    1,291
    Reputation:
    5,068
    Helpless is right before The Zeppo. So, there was no prior to the Zeppo because it's right after Helpless.

    Xander's changes are very subtle so I don't blame you for not noticing. The Xander changes are:

    1) As @Guy says, S3 begins with a very pissed off Xander who bursts in anger at Buffy about leaving and Angel, but as the season goes - right after Xander managed to drive away everyone who mattered to him: Cordelia as well as Buffy and Willow to a lesser degree - he mellows a lot and ends up apologizing to Buffy for his behavior regarding Angel in Amends and helping her save him. In The Zeppo, you see Xander genuinely ask Bangel if he could help them solve their dramatic argument. That's change and character development.

    2) S3 begins with Xander as the leader of the Scooby Gang now that Buffy was away, he was Nighthawk, he was at the center of attention, he was high on the social ladder in the group, but Xander drops way down the ladder when he screws things up with Buffy, Willow and Cordelia, and the next blow was how The Zeppo opened his eyes to the possibility that he's not all that and offers nothing to the group. Notice that Xander actually argues with Cordelia, telling her that he is an important part of the group because he never felt that he wasn't before. Cordelia was the one who raised the issue and Xander realized that she was right, each one of his friend had a title: Slayer, Watcher, Witch, Werewolf and Vampire (Not that Angel was a friend, but he did have a title). What the hell was Xander's title? While Xander does feel good about himself in the end, the episode actually opened a can of worms for him. He can't pretend to be the same "important" guy he used to be in S1, S2 and early S3. He will always be the least important, the replaceable one, and it's so sad in Graduation Part 2 when Buffy calls him Key Guy and he's so surprised by it - S2 Xander would have been all over it. (I personally see it as a regression because the character was far more confident in himself and his abilities in the early high school years.)

    I watch Anne and then Graduation Part 2 and Xander is not the same guy. He lost his arrogance, confidence and initiative to fight but on the plus side, he's a much kinder person than he used to be.


    They included him in the fight in the beginning of the episode, but because of Buffy's insecurities regarding what happened in Helpless and those events are still fresh in her mind, it's understandable that she wanted to protect Xander. Because Xander, unlike Willow, is more prone to throw himself in danger's way and could get killed. He's recklessly and foolishly brave and it scares Buffy because he doesn't have the same strength she has.

    Like I said before, it seems to be more Buffy pushing Xander away than the others, Giles was very content about getting Xander to bring more donuts, but Buffy insisted Xander had to stay away.
     
    Guy likes this.
  16. Priceless

    Priceless Could be a stapler

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2016
    Messages:
    1,603
    Likes Received:
    1,000
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    UK
    Reputation:
    1,796
    By prior I meant throughout the whole season, or all 3 seasons, not just the one episode. I still think there was little to no build up to Xander's feelings or the way the others appear to treat him.
    You are right here, I'm not such a massive fan of Xander so I probably wouldn't pick up on the subtleties.
    Xander encouraged Buffy to kill Angel. Xander was never a fan of Angel. I don't rememeber him driving away Buffy or Willow in S3, and the scoobies were pretty close in this season, except when Faith came between them. Xander and Willow have a fling, and still Buffy accepts him and loves him, she always does and will, which is why the Zeppo doesn't ring true to me - Xander was never excluded from the group, his fears come from somewhere else and the scoobies are being blamed, and that's what I don't like.

    It's not how Xander feels that's the problem with the episode, his feelings are pretty understandable, it's the way the episode plays out, with the scoobies pushing him away and excluding him that I have trouble with. It's all about this episode, it seems to say everything that happened previously didn't happen - it's like a false memory. This episode is saying that Buffy and Willow and Giles are constantly, over three seasons, excluding Xander, and that simply is not true.
     
  17. Guy

    Guy Scooby

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    1,069
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Israel
    Reputation:
    1,165
    Black Thorn
    1) Of course Xander's parents had a big part of shaping who he is, but Xander's circumstances (his lack of special abilities) are also important. Nature AND nurture shape who we are.
    2) I don't BLAME the scoobies for making Xander insecure, the scoobies always cared about him greatly, and they always treated him reasonably IMO. But the CIRCUMSTANCES were that the scoobies had abilities and Xander didn't, and that made him feel insecure (in ADDITION to his parents' upbringing).
    3) When I say that Xander was a dick, I don't mean to villify him. He's one of my favorite characters ever, after all. When I say that he was a dick, I just mean that his behaviour was deeply problematic. Which it was. I can understand why he acted the way he did, but he did BAD things - shaming Buffy, cheating on Cordy, etc.
    4) You think that Xander doesn't change from s1 to s4? Really? You don't see the difference between the way Xander treats Cordy in the first half of season 3 (when he flirted with Faith in fron of her, and then cheated on her with Willow), and the way he treats Cordy in the second half of season 3 (when he keeps her poverty a secret and buys her that dress for the Prom)? Or how he was blindly anti-Angel in the beginning of season 3 (when he almost got Faith to kill Angel in his rashness) and then became much more reasonable about him in the second half (like when he voluntarily told Buffy that Angel survived the battle in 'Graduation Day' - in sharp contrast to the way he lied to Buffy about Willow's attempt to save Angel in the end of season 2)?
    In the first half of season 3, Xander's insecurity caused him to act unfairly to other people. In the second half of season 3, Xander still suffered from insecurity, but he learned to deal with it without hurting other people.

    Well, there's a reasonable conflict there - if Xander's fighting, he's at risk. And since Xander is not NECESSARY for the fight (because unlike Willow or Giles, Xander doesn't bring any irreplaceable skill to the table), it's definitely reasonable to consider keeping him out of the fight. Buffy isn't a bitca for wanting to keep Xander safe.

    1) First of all, the scoobies DID tell Xander to keep out of the fight SEVERAL times before 'The Zeppo.' In 'Welcome to the Hellmouth', for example. And again in 'When She Was Bad'. And in 'Becoming' Buffy tells him to only take Giles away and not get involved in the fight. And there are other instances I can't remember right now. Buffy was always hesitant about the concept of the "slayerettes" in general, and about Xander in particular. In 'Welcome to the Hellmouth', Xander was clearly offended by this, saying "Fine, I'm less than a man". So, 'The Zeppo' really did not pull this conflict out of nowhere.
    2) The Scoobies aren't blamed for it. The scoobies were just being reasonable, not wanting Xander to die. Xander wasn't angry at the scoobies, he was insecure about his OWN lack of abilities. And if anyone made Xander feel insecure, it was Cordy ("you're just this little nothing"), not the scoobies.

    @sosa lola :

    I think that Xander's confidence in seasons 1 & 2 was mostly posturing. He threw himself into dangerous situations because he wanted to prove himself to others. And that's not confidence, it is dumb ego. Xander WAS brave, he was ALWAYS brave, but that bravery didn't go away with his posturing, it was just given focus. After 'The Zeppo', Xander learned to NOT waste his courage on dumb showcases of testosterone. That's the difference between his early confrontation with Jack, and his last confrontation with him: in the first confrontation, Jack asks Xander "who has less fear", and Xander hesitates, because he doesn't want to die for ego. But in the last confrontation, XANDER is the one who asks "who has less fear", and Xander doesn't flinch, because that was about saving his friends, and not about ego. Xander realized that real bravery is NOT about ego-contests, and he realized that he truly had real bravery. And in 'Graduation Day', Xander is over the posturing thing, but he still never hesitates about the fight - he has this gut feeling that he's gonna die in the fight, but he chooses to stay and fight anyway, because, as he tells Anya, "I have friends on the line".

    And that never goes away. Xander can be scared when it's just about HIS life, or when it's about more complicated, non-life-or-death situations... But whenever his friends' lives are on the line, Xander rises up to the challenge. Every time.
     
  18. Priceless

    Priceless Could be a stapler

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2016
    Messages:
    1,603
    Likes Received:
    1,000
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    UK
    Reputation:
    1,796
    You can't blame the scoobies for making Xander insecure because it did not happen :) In virtually every episode up to The Zeppo Xander was a hero and treated like an integeral part of the team, valued and loved by Buffy, Willow and Giles, encouraged by them to take part in every meeting, bit of research and fight. Then suddenly in The Zeppo we are told Buffy Willow and Giles want to protect Xander and exclude him in the hopes of protecting him. As part of the audience I had never seen them do this before, there was no build up to this at all.

    So the episode should have been Xander feeling insecure, but with the others encouraging him all the way, bringing him in, making him the mvp of the team, not seeing him alone without the team, which never happened before or since.

    That is the action of a guilty man who was caught 'cheating', it only speaks to Xanders character in the sense that he was caught out and had to make amends. :)
    But she never did before. She never singled Xander out to say stay out of the fight because you have to be kept safe. She used to tell Willow and Xander to keep out of the fight in early season 1, but that was soon forgotten and she came to rely on Xander to help her fight. By the end of the season Xander is Buffy's key in the fight against the mayor, so she soon got over her need to protect Xander. The way we see the scoobies in this episode is the only time we see them behave this way. it might be Xanders perception of them, but it isn't the audiences, or at least it isn't mine.
     
    Carrie Hopewell likes this.
  19. sosa lola

    sosa lola Scooby

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    Messages:
    3,568
    Likes Received:
    1,291
    Reputation:
    5,068
    But Helpless is a good build up to why Buffy wants Xander safe. She just got a taste of what it's like to be powerless, and that's Xander, he's got no power and he always tends to jump into a fight bigger than himself. Buffy trying to keep Xander away is very understandable IMO and also sympathetic. She never does it again, which is why I feel that what happened to her in Helpless is the reason why she wanted him out of the fight - especially since it wasn't a regular fight. It was supposed to be the biggest apocalypse they'd ever faced.



    Willow told Xander that he shouldn't touch her after Lover's Walk, even in a friendly way. Buffy never confides in Xander about anything anymore and she doesn't invite him to her house for Christmas when she knew he was sleeping outside to avoid his parents. Then there's Xander who keeps stuff to himself and doesn't tell his friends about them - it's very telling that he actually talks to Oz about his identity crisis in The Zeppo and not his real best friends Buffy and Willow. It's not that they don't love each other anymore, they're just not as close as they used to be.


    I don't think this is what the episode is saying. It's obviously the first time it happened. Even Xander is shocked by it because it never happened before. I still say it's about Buffy's insecurity over what happened to her in Helpless which was very recent and she told the others to keep Xander out of the fight.

    Your feelings about The Zeppo are exactly my feelings about Empty Places - except mine are more ugly and passionate. At least in The Zeppo the Scoobies wanted Xander safe because they loved him so much which is very understandable and sympathetic. There is no logical explanation to the crack that was Empty Places except badly written fanfiction with major character bashing.
     
    Guy: One day, I will write a post defending 'Empty Places'... But it is not this day!
  20. Taake

    Taake Tweedledee Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    11,497
    Likes Received:
    4,724
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Stockholm, Swe
    Reputation:
    39,231
    Black Thorn
    Darn it, I'll have to work harder to convince you next time :)


    Not to my ears :)

    Take it up with Joss, he's the one who said that AoS is basically The Zeppo in series format. :p
    Yeah that's a terrible line!



    Well that's just not true.

    Kind of agree, in the sense that I think that this is one of those moments of major growth from Xander, when he starts becoming a man instead of a self-absorbed teenager.


    Great discussion you guys :)
     
    Priceless likes this.