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Buffy's Dream in When She Was Bad

Spanky

Scooby
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Black Thorn
She was feeling suffocated by the two opposing forces in her life both of whom were oppressing her for different reasons.
 

thrasherpix

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My first guess is that Giles/Master represent her Destiny as a Slayer that she fears. She already died once in the line of duty, and feared it inevitably happening again. Giles represents her path, the Master (Death) represents the end of that path, and so would see the Path (represented by Giles) as leading her to own destruction.
 

Grace

Destructo-Girl
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Black Thorn
I wonder if she blames Giles for somehow forcing her to be The Slayer, face the Master and she holds him partly responsible for her death

Yeah, that’s what I think too. Giles is the one who made her confront her Slayerness when she tried to run away from it post-Hemery, so she blames him for what followed.

I also think it makes sense going back to it after seeing the whole series because Giles is a representative of the Watchers Council / shadow men, who really did create the slayer essentially to make her die for them.
 

Octavia

My arse is not pansy!
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Sineya
I read it as her feeling trapped by the care of one and the hate of another. Trying to live up to the expectations of Giles with the knowledge that her death is the ultimate expectation.
 

vampmogs

Potential
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As others have said, I interpreted Buffy's dream as Buffy holding Giles partially responsible for her death because he sends her out to battle evil. When Giles says "I've killed you once it shouldn't be too difficult for me to do it again" in Buffy's eyes that's as much Giles talking as it is The Master underneath.

What hasn't been mentioned much is the role Xander and Willow play throughout this scene. They sit idly by, with chipper smiles on their faces, as Giles strangles her. IMO, that's Buffy's subconscious resenting Willow and Xander for how they participate in and allow this to happen and for being and being an audience to her slaughter. It's why she's so mean towards them throughout the episode because she resents them for how they encourage her Slaying too.

It's a great scene. I love the small detail of Xander and Willow taking one bite of their snack before reading each other's minds and swapping without saying a word. Considering this is all Buffy's subconscious I think it speaks a) to how well she knows and observes them and, b) how in sync she perceives them to be as she sits alone daydreaming and isolated. It speaks to her feelings of isolation.
 

FaithLehane16

"Tact is not saying true stuff. I'll pass."
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What hasn't been mentioned much is the role Xander and Willow play throughout this scene. They sit idly by, with chipper smiles on their faces, as Giles strangles her. IMO, that's Buffy's subconscious resenting Willow and Xander for how they participate in and allow this to happen and for being and being an audience to her slaughter. It's why she's so mean towards them throughout the episode because she resents them for how they encourage her Slaying too.
But Xander was the one who tried to help Buffy, so she wouldn't have died. He wasn't sitting idly by. Willow wasn't either. I think that she was the one to go to Xander's house to tell him about Buffy's behavior and the fact that evil was pretty much taking over that night. Did Xander and Willow not catch up on the details after Buffy defeated The Master?
 

Stake fodder

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What hasn't been mentioned much is the role Xander and Willow play throughout this scene. They sit idly by, with chipper smiles on their faces, as Giles strangles her. IMO, that's Buffy's subconscious resenting Willow and Xander for how they participate in and allow this to happen and for being and being an audience to her slaughter.
But Xander was the one who tried to help Buffy, so she wouldn't have died. He wasn't sitting idly by. Willow wasn't either.
I thought that part was Buffy's resenting them because they can sit by and just watch. They can opt in or out, she can't. So even though they do help, she can still resent that it's optional for them. And then hate herself for not being grateful. And then hate them for having to be grateful.
 

FaithLehane16

"Tact is not saying true stuff. I'll pass."
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I thought that part was Buffy's resenting them because they can sit by and just watch. They can opt in or out, she can't. So even though they do help, she can still resent that it's optional for them. And then hate herself for not being grateful. And then hate them for having to be grateful.
I think you misunderstood what I've meant. Xander actually saved her at the last minute. Xander and Giles didn't want to just sit back and watch. Giles wanted to fill in for Buffy against The Master, and Xander got on GIles's case by assuming that Giles let her go. This isn't like The Gift or Bargaining. The Buffy at this point wasn't ready to die. She even tried to run away from her ultimate demise. In Spiral through The Gift we have NEVER seen her trying to run away from that. She has accepted that in a more willing state than she did in Prophecy Girl. Yes, in Spiral she kept on keeping her sister away from Glory, but that to me is a different scenario since Buffy was hardened at that time. She was in a different place at that time. At age 16, she had much more to live for whereas at age 20, she had lived through some of what she needed to live for at age 16.

And mind you, Willow was the one who put in the idea that Buffy was in a Hell dimension in Bargaining onto Xander, Tara, and Anya. Xander, Tara, and Anya were wary about it, but Willow manipulated them in every way she could. She was the one that wanted Buffy to be grateful at that time. Buffy wasn't at that time. When Xander brought her back to life, he didn't use dark, magical forces to bring her back to life. He used CPR and knew that Buffy didn't actually want to die. She was reluctant. She wasn't holding back any resentment when Xander revived her. She looked genuinely happy that he did so since she initially didn't want to die then. Plus she didn't wake up in a coffin. She wasn't that accepting of her destiny and fate then. She has shown to be genuinely grateful in Inca Mummy Girl. In Season 6, it was obvious that Buffy was holding some stuff back on her second resurrection.

I am just finding that some of the analysis on the dream to be really flawed because of what was shown in the episode prior to this one. Xander didn't sit idly by in Prophecy Girl. He was the one who tried to get Angel to help him out, so he could help Buffy to fight The Master since he knew that she wasn't prepared to die. She had a frickin breakdown for crying out loud! As for Willow's part in this, she would have to have to go to Xander's house since he wasn't taking any phone calls by being despondent by Buffy's rejection. Obviously, Xander's parents are going to let her in since she's a really good friend of Xander's.

I am not sure why the writers chose to have Angel to sit idly by in the episode since he was all about helping her. She gave him more of a reason to keep on doing good, otherwise we wouldn't have a spin off. Ever since he had met her, he believed in himself a lot more than when he was all alone. I am surprised that given what the writers decided to do with him in Prophecy Girl, that he wasn't even in the dream. While on the subject of Angel, she was reluctant to put the sword through him to close Acathla's portal, which caused her trauma. Buffy was reluctant to die in the hands of The Master, and when he did, it caused her trauma. In The Gift she was willing to sacrifice herself to save the world, and to be free into Heaven. Her essence and soul must've been traumatized by Willow's revival spell, waking up alive in a coffin, and burying herself out to a world of chaos. She dealt with her trauma in different and similar ways, but she wasn't trying to jump a soulless being after dealing with The Master, and sending the love of her life to Hell. She likes to distance herself while dealing with trauma that's for sure.
 
Stake fodder
Stake fodder
I understood, but thanks for the interesting, fuller explanation. I think her friends do think they have to help (and want to), but I just thought from Buffy's POV at that time that they have the option.
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