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Was Joyce Right to Blame Giles?

Discussion in 'Season 3' started by Priceless, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. Priceless

    Priceless I am now

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    In Anne Joyce says she blames Giles for Buffy leaving. Does Joyce have a point? Giles was an adult, encouraging a teenage girl to keep secrets from her mother . . . what do you think?
     
  2. thrasherpix

    thrasherpix Scooby

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    I think Joyce felt terrible because she gave Buffy the ultimatum and also turned a blind eye to so much, so to make herself feel better she blamed Giles who, as far as I can tell, was doing far more to find Buffy than Joyce was despite that Giles had a job with a schedule (and presumably spending his own money),. Though I think it's good Joyce stuck around in case Buffy showed up, it should be noted that Giles really was putting a lot of effort out. Sure, Giles was a secret influence, but that's part of the entire Slayer package that Joyce had been overlooking, and she was lashing out at him to stop lashing out at herself. I totally understanding Joyce being bitter and upset about it, but she had far more to do with Buffy leaving then Giles did.
     
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  3. flow

    flow Male Vampires are stupid. Throw rocks at them

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    Did Giles really encourage Buffy not to tell Joyce about her calling ? Or did he just leave that decision to Buffy ? After all Buffy was sixteen and seventeen and she wasn`t a your average teenage girl. She was the slayer.

    But even if Giles had encouraged Buffy to keep her being the slayer a secret, this was not the reason why Buffy left her home. She left, because Joyce found out about vampires, demons and the slayer and couldn`t deal with it. She left, because Joyce told her to either stop being the slayer or leave.

    Joyce must have felt extremely guilty after Buffy disappeared. I don`t believe she seriously thought, Buffy could choose this option rather than stay at home and either stop slaying or at least pretend to stop and go back to keeping the truth from Joyce. Usually we try to find someone else to blame, if we are guilty. It is a common human behaviour. Joyce acted completely understandable when she blamed Giles, but she was of course wrong.

    flow
     
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  4. thrasherpix

    thrasherpix Scooby

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    Btw, I suddenly got to wondering, what DID Joyce tell Pat? And what did Pat tell her?

    Pat strikes me as the kind who loves drama, including in stirring it up through manipulation and passive aggressive ways that deflect blame from herself for the chaos and pain she causes. And if Joyce spilled about Buffy, then surely the conversation turned to Giles, even if Joyce couldn't talk about the supernatural aspects of it. Gods only knows what Pat had to say about Giles...and perhaps, in her indirect way, what Joyce should say TO Giles (and then Joyce should tell her what happened for Pat's own entertainment and feeling of power).
     
  5. Grace

    Grace Support-O-Gal

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    I think Joyce definitely had a point. Buffy wanted to tell her mom in Passion but Giles wouldn't let her.

    Buffy: Giles, Angel once told me that when he was obsessed with Drusilla, the first thing he did was to kill her family.
    Xander: Your mom.
    Buffy: I know. I'm gonna have to tell her something. The truth?
    Giles: No. You-you-you-you can't do that.
    Xander: Yeah. The more people who know the secret, the more it cheapens it for the rest of us.
    Buffy: But I've gotta tell her something. I've gotta do something. Giles, Angel has an all-access pass to my house, and I'm not always there when my mother is. I can't protect her.
    Giles: I told you I will find a spell.

    Giles' reasoning at this point is not clear to me, because the entire demon underworld of Sunnydale had to know who Buffy was at that point, if they didn't already, through Angelus. Darla was able to target Joyce as far back as mid-Season 1. So why couldn't Joyce know? If Buffy had been able to tell her during the dinner scene or in her bedroom after the Angelus confrontation during Passion, things might have been different. Sure, Joyce probably still would have reacted badly, but Buffy wouldn't have had Acathla and the murder suspect thing hanging over her head at that point that made things worse.

    Also, while Giles clearly cared about Buffy, I think Joyce also had a right to be angry with him as a representative of the brutal Slayer system that had in some ways isolated Buffy from her as well as put a terrible burden on Buffy's shoulders. I don't think Giles himself seriously questions the system until Helpless, but since Joyce had no idea of the lore and tradition, it would be much easier to question the whole idea of why her daughter had to do this essentially alone from the beginning.

    I'm not saying that Joyce didn't overlook things herself, and that her ultimatum wasn't terrible for Buffy. I'm sure her own guilt was part of why she lashed out at Giles, but I don't think her anger was unfounded.
     
  6. white avenger

    white avenger white avenger

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    I think that Joyce had a perfectly valid point in blaming Giles for Buffy leaving, or, at least, for not encouraging Buffy to tell her mother about her being a Slayer much sooner. It's fairly understandable, though, seeing as how the Watchers seem to have traditionally seemed to keep the existence of themselves and the Slayers more or less secret from the world.
     
  7. Fool for Buffy

    Fool for Buffy "I wanna see how it ends"

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    Sineya
    From Joyce's point of view, it makes complete sense that she blames Giles. Buffy left her because she lived in a completely different world, and she could not balance the two. Giles encouraged her to live in that world and to continue to interfere with her regular life.
    However Joyce's point of view is, understandably, too influenced by love. She could not possibly comprehend that Buffy's slayer world is just more important. She loves Buffy and cannot yet see that Buffy can't always be there.
     
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  8. Agent Z

    Agent Z Townie

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    Joyce has a point. That said she did tell Buffy not to come back if she left the house and the her denial of all the weird stuff
     
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