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Was the violence in Billy really necessary?

Discussion in 'Season 3' started by Anyanka Bunny Killer, Aug 25, 2017.

  1. Anyanka Bunny Killer

    Anyanka Bunny Killer "I got these evil hand issues..."

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    Black Thorn
    This episode has always been disturbing to me. I always tear up a little when I see Lilah's battered face. :(

    But more than that, listening to the things that Wesley and Gunn said to Fred (and her getting slapped) just broke my heart. Whether or not it was because they were infected by Billy, it was just awful.

    Kind of makes you wonder about the writers' inner dialogues...


    IMG_20170825_102931.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2017
  2. WillowFromBuffy

    WillowFromBuffy "My bowling shoe fetish is not the issue here."

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    Yes! It was definitely necessary. That being said, I am not sure if I feel like defending this episode. My memory of it is not great, so forgive me if I embarrass myself with inaccuracies.

    If you want to tackle such a heavy subject as misogynist violence towards women, then you have to get real with it. And when you get real with something, get properly real. Never just dip your toes in domestic abuse. (Please, don't quote that last sentence out of context.) The problem with this episode is that it feels like just another monster of the week flick. There is nothing especially interesting, memorable, clever or thought provoking about it. The one thing I do like about it, is that it is one of the episodes that asserts Lilah's humanity. She may not be a saint, but she does not deserve to have her face pummelled.
     
  3. Fool for Buffy

    Fool for Buffy "I wanna see how it ends"

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    Sineya
    @WillowFromBuffy pretty much covered it but I'll add that it's always going to be difficult to do an episode on such an awful topic as domestic abuse, and not everyone is going to be able to see past how horrible the actions committed by the characters are. If someone believes the violence is unnecessary or too much, I could not possibly judge them for thinking so, but I can still know in my mind I appreciate the courage to be so dark and violent while also maintaining a solid plot with good writing.
    The happy ending also helps. Billy loses. That's gratifying enough that I can relax and upon rewatches disregard the assault scenes because I know it's going to be okay.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2017
  4. Mylie

    Mylie Scooby

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    I think it was too much but this is only based on my personal experience of watching the episode. I felt so upset/disturbed that I couldn't really think much about what the episode was trying to tell me (though maybe it was for the best given some things I've read over the years), I just kept having the images of the scenes in my head and it was not a good feeling.

    I don't know if I'd react the same way on rewatch but I'm particularly inclined to find out.
     
  5. thrasherpix

    thrasherpix Scooby

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    A scary thought to me. That dialog was not only heartbreaking, seeing Fred in that, but creepy as hell, particularly Wesley calm with the axe and talking about Eve of the Bible. Given how many can feel the only way to be empowered is by degrading/oppressing others (of which misogyny is just one manifestation of that), it could be there's a dark part that whispers it in the ears of many men (not to be confused with such thoughts dominate them). :eek:

    Here's another scary thought. Though many tell me I'm too cynical, I can always be more cynical. And most of the time when I'm wrong, it's because I'm not cynical enough. Though I'm not one to gush about how wonderful my species is in some misguided attempt to make the world better by pretending it is better, it could be that I'm still giving my species more credit than it deserves. :(
    --- Double Post Merged, Aug 26, 2017 ---
    Speaking of a "dark part that whispers into the ears" of others...I remembered a part from Cloud Atlas. A flawed man tried to do right, but struggled with visions of "Old George" that inflamed his fears and hatred. Here's a brief scene (at least I made it so it should start near the end):



    No one can see or hear "Old George," he's the "dark part" that whispers into his mind. In a way, he's another version of Billy's blood, only he wrestled with it his entire life. (If you listen to more of it he even sounds a bit like Wes in Billy, where he accuses him of not doing what should be done, killing the woman, because he lusts for her, which "Old George" asserts will bring doom to him and his people.)