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Defend your favourite characters worst moments

nightshade

Your grandfather is a cat
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Black Thorn
What moment of your favourite character was the worst for them, and can you defend their actions? Also can you do it with only the knowledge of what happened up until that moment, so if something happened in season 1, can you talk about that character as they were only in season 1?
 
AnthonyCordova
AnthonyCordova
Great question
W

WillowFromBuffy

Guest
I think Willow's erasure of Tara's mind is the hardest one to defend. The only mitigating factors are Willow's desperate need for support and validation and the fact that Willow stood by Tara both when Tara betrayed Willow's trust and when Tara got her mind broken, even promising to stay by Tara's side indefinitely. That hardly justifies Willow's actions, but it shows us how Tara is able to forgive them.

Without that background, however, I got nothing. In isolation, what Willow does is simply a terrible, terrible thing.
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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If I was married to Space Senator Natalie Portman, no cost would be too high to save her life. Wait, which show is this?
 

Athene

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Sineya
This isn’t Faith’s absolute worst moment but I want to talk about Faith trying to kill Joyce because normally when characters kill somebody’s mother, I don’t look upon them favourably (Spike). But I guess with Faith it’s just that I’m touched by what she says about animals sinking in mud and nobody noticing, and I believe that Faith’s mother was abusive so I can see where the jealousy and rage comes from. You only have to imagine how hurt somebody has to be to want to kill Joyce and that’s Faith in a nutshell. It also helps that even Joyce shows sympathy for Faith in the following episode. Even so, nothing can really defend what Faith did you can only better understand what she did.
 

POTN

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In this case, would the key to a good defense is acknowledging 'wrongness' while still loving and having compassion for the character?

There is a LOT of Xander hate out there. Some of which is backlash for his early season sexist comments never really getting addressed. But the one I find a little frustrating is Hell's Bells. After seeing the INSIDE of Xander's head in Restless, arguably the only thing he REALLY FEARS (being Buffy's strength and all) is somehow turning into his father. They don't show a ton of thoughtful planning and conversation about the wedding from The Gift to Hell's Bells either. Just a lot of emotional two-step between he and Anya. And while the demon dream he was exposed to was false, it was the MOST thinking consideration about the future and the type of man he might turn into that he'd done SINCE Restless and shattered the bubble he'd been in since The Gift.

Should he have considered those things FAR earlier? Of course.
Could he have walked down the aisle with her to explain to family it was off? YES. That part still bugs me.

But none of that really makes me see his identity struggles as anything other than VERY human and I can't absolutely see how he THOUGHT he was making the right decision, including the one that would save Anya the most pain in the long rung.

He was probably wrong but I can't feel anything but compassion for them both.
 
S
sosa lola
I have nothing but sympathy for Xander in Hell's Bells.

sosa lola

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My favorite character is Xander, duh, and his worst episodes are three in my book: Dead Man's Party, Revelation and Entropy.


If I had to choose the worst of the three, I think it's Entropy. At least Xander was an irrational 17-year-old teenager in Dead Man's Party and Revelation and still not mature enough to deal with anger and trauma sensibly.

Entropy, however, was an episode where Xander was 21 years old, older and more mature than he used to be. Also, he went way, way, way too far, and the whole mess of the episode was technically his fault.

Now, the defending: Xander was heading down a dark road of depression after dealing with a roller coaster of emotional abuse in Hell's Bells. He had made a decision that he thought would save him and Anya from a definite horrible future. He never said he didn't want Anya. He didn’t leave Anya because of her past or anything related to her. “It was me I was hating.” He left because he believed he’d become a monster.


He still loved Anya and wanted her. He just didn't know how. What he knew for sure was that his life with Anya was much simpler and happier before he asked her to marry him.


He is aware that he had hurt Anya deeply, and knows he deserves all the severe punishments Anya yelled at him (oblivious to the fact that she was trying to curse him). It's not far-fetched to assume that Anya only slept with Spike to get back at him because she had literally spent the entire episode wishing him all sorts of horrible penalties. He knows that she wants him to suffer, but since she can't, she decided to hit him where it really hurts: sleeping with the guy he hates the most.

Xander was unaware how much like his father he had become in Entropy: the drinking, the slut-shaming, the beating and almost murdering someone who couldn't fight back.

I really wish that the end of the episode had Xander's realization of how much he'd turned into his father - the reason why he left Anya at the altar - and for it to haunt him for the rest of the season. He'd turned himself into the man he feared by leaving her at the altar. Perhaps if he'd married her, he would have avoided that.

I know this came out more like analyzing Xander's state of mind than defending him. I just don't think I can defend him in this episode.
 

DeadlyDuo

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Spike's my favourite character but there's not really a way to defend the AR. It was a terrible scene that never should've happened. There is a sense of inevitability about it given Spuffy's lack of boundaries during Season 6 where no didn't always mean no eg Buffy tells Spike she wants nothing to do with him but is then seeking him out for sex, but there is no way in good conscience that the AR scene can be defended.

JM is the only reason why Spike survives that scene with any likeability intact.
 
one eyed chicklet
one eyed chicklet
He has no soul up until the last season so there are a LOT of things you can't really defend him for.

Puppet

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Black Thorn
It's not far-fetched to assume that Anya only slept with Spike to get back at him because she had literally spent the entire episode wishing him all sorts of horrible penalties. He knows that she wants him to suffer, but since she can't, she decided to hit him where it really hurts: sleeping with the guy he hates the most.
To be honest, this theory makes no sense to me. Anya had no idea there was a camera in the shop and from how she acted after, she seemed to have no intention of telling anyone what happened with Spike, let alone Xander. It seemed to be exactly what she said it was, comfort. I guess I'm just surprised that anyone would read vengeance into it. I felt like the whole point of the episode was for her to seek vengeance against Xander until accidentally finding it without even trying, i.e. schtupping Spike.
 

sosa lola

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To be honest, this theory makes no sense to me. Anya had no idea there was a camera in the shop and from how she acted after, she seemed to have no intention of telling anyone what happened with Spike, let alone Xander. It seemed to be exactly what she said it was, comfort. I guess I'm just surprised that anyone would read vengeance into it. I felt like the whole point of the episode was for her to seek vengeance against Xander until accidentally finding it without even trying, i.e. schtupping Spike.
I know that. I was talking from the POV of Xander. Not mine. A pissed off Xander wasn't in the right mind to be reasonable. He assumed she was doing it to hurt him. And I can understand why he'd assume that. He must have though: Perhaps Anya didn't know about the camera, but he was sure she'd throw it in his face later for revenge. After all, ever since she came back all she did was wish him hell and wanting him punished.
 
Puppet
Puppet
Oh ok, sorry, I didn't read that from your post :)

katmobile

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Sometimes a lack of understanding and a desperation for someone not to leave you behind make you do awful awful things. I don't think the reference to Gone with the Wind was an accident if all you've go to on is media which from Goldfinger to Harrison Ford movies (see You Tube video on 'romantic' scenes in his best known films Blade Runner being especially gross) to Blurred Lines (shame on you all), a broken bird of wrecked sanity and a wonky moral compass that can't comprehend the guilt that drove her away then you can understand the motives behind a terrible act although it's never right or excusable. This is why it's important we educate no means no. Once you understand wrong you can put things right even against the odds.
 

katmobile

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Also double whammy - from PJ Harvey's Rid of Me - "I beg you my darling, don't leave me, I'm hurting"
 

katmobile

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In this case, would the key to a good defense is acknowledging 'wrongness' while still loving and having compassion for the character?

There is a LOT of Xander hate out there. Some of which is backlash for his early season sexist comments never really getting addressed. But the one I find a little frustrating is Hell's Bells. After seeing the INSIDE of Xander's head in Restless, arguably the only thing he REALLY FEARS (being Buffy's strength and all) is somehow turning into his father. They don't show a ton of thoughtful planning and conversation about the wedding from The Gift to Hell's Bells either. Just a lot of emotional two-step between he and Anya. And while the demon dream he was exposed to was false, it was the MOST thinking consideration about the future and the type of man he might turn into that he'd done SINCE Restless and shattered the bubble he'd been in since The Gift.

Should he have considered those things FAR earlier? Of course.
Could he have walked down the aisle with her to explain to family it was off? YES. That part still bugs me.

But none of that really makes me see his identity struggles as anything other than VERY human and I can't absolutely see how he THOUGHT he was making the right decision, including the one that would save Anya the most pain in the long rung.

He was probably wrong but I can't feel anything but compassion for them both.
I loved the part in your spoiler video for Restless where you explained this. It's one of those lovely moments in fandom where you see something from a very different perspective and gain empathy for a character you didn't have before. I try to do the same myself but I'm not sure if I ever succeed or in some cases if that's even possible.
 

RDHWesley

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Wesley has quite a few, mainly in Seasons 4 and 5 of Angel. Sleeping with Lilah, still pursuing Fred regardless of what it might do to Gunn, but probably the rashest, harshest thing he did was stabbing Gunn in the stomach in 'Shells'. For two people that had such a brotherly relationship in Season 2 and half of Season 3, it's sad to see them come to this and I'll do my best to try and justify it.

Wesley cared about Fred to the point where nothing mattered more to him, so not just having, but SEEING her die and get taken over just snapped his mind, which after the events of Season 3, was fragmented enough. He reacted how anyone would have done to a certain degree; wanting whoever was responsible to answer for what they'd done, so he was basically blinded by rage. He didn't view Gunn as a friend in that moment, but as someone who had ruined his life. Stabbing Gunn is Wesley stabbing at all the horrors he's faced in his time on the show: being tortured, being dumped by his girlfriend after being shot, being abandoned by his friends after having his throat slit and having the girl of his dreams finally feel the same way about him only for her to die.

This is Wesley not caring anymore. And he's still as brilliant as he is in every other episode.
 

IdiotJed110

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Neither of these are the characters' lowest points, but those have been addressed in other posts in this thread, so here's some other questionable choices.
Wesley is often criticised for not telling the others about the prophesy of Angel killing Connor, but none of them would have believed him if he had. Fred and Gunn both would have had more faith in Angel than in prophecies, and they would have immediately told Angel, who Wesley had seen acting strangely due to Connor's blood. Wesley was raised on supernatural books and taught by the Watcher's Council that prophecies were always true and that beings like the Loa could be trusted. Clearly this was the wrong mindset, but I think it justifies his actions.
Xander's "Kick his ass" line is blamed on jealousy and hatred of Angel, but I honestly think that's not what it was. Xander had no idea about Angel's connection to Acathla. All he knew was that Buffy, by her own admission, was unsure of whether she could bring herself to kill Angelus. As it was, she struggled to overpower him- if she held back, Angelus would have certainly killed her. Whether he had the right to keep this from her is another matter, but I think that his motivations were to protect her and save the world.
 

katmobile

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Neither of these are the characters' lowest points, but those have been addressed in other posts in this thread, so here's some other questionable choices.
Wesley is often criticised for not telling the others about the prophesy of Angel killing Connor, but none of them would have believed him if he had. Fred and Gunn both would have had more faith in Angel than in prophecies, and they would have immediately told Angel, who Wesley had seen acting strangely due to Connor's blood. Wesley was raised on supernatural books and taught by the Watcher's Council that prophecies were always true and that beings like the Loa could be trusted. Clearly this was the wrong mindset, but I think it justifies his actions.
Xander's "Kick his ass" line is blamed on jealousy and hatred of Angel, but I honestly think that's not what it was. Xander had no idea about Angel's connection to Acathla. All he knew was that Buffy, by her own admission, was unsure of whether she could bring herself to kill Angelus. As it was, she struggled to overpower him- if she held back, Angelus would have certainly killed her. Whether he had the right to keep this from her is another matter, but I think that his motivations were to protect her and save the world.
Not convinced about Xander but Wes def. I felt so sorry for him I still do in spite of now realising he should have talked to someone.
 

GR83

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Spike is my favorite character. But despite having re-watched the show several times, I cannot watch Seeing Red (as I cannot watch the "No, you don't, but thanks for saying it" of Chosen, I always skip 10 seconds). I can give you all the arguments out there:
  1. Needed for his redemption
  2. Bad writing.
  3. Blinded by his on/off relationship with Buffy (back to the controversial statement of "mixed signals" from previous episodes/threads).
  4. Not himself, i.e. once he realized what he was trying to do, he stopped.
  5. He's soulless, it doesn't count in the same was as an AR while having a soul.
But, are these valid arguments? That scene breaks my heart, I've watched it only once. Despite not being able to defend him, I do love the fact that he acknowledges that he is beyond forgiveness AND that he does achieve redemption in S7, which is my favorite season. Still I guess some actions are beyond defense, all you can hope is to genuinely repent and carry the burden the "best" you can. And I think he does both things in S7.
 
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C
CinnamonMuffyn
Love it. No excuses, just facts.
Minion
Minion
Couldn't have said it better. Is there really an excuse for that?
Angel6
Angel6
If your a Spuffy the not having a soul doesn’t really count, because he only has a relationship with Buffy when he doesn’t have a soul.
Name the Stars
Name the Stars
Very well put. I like Spike as a character, but sometimes I feel bad about it due to this scene. I don't think there is really anything that can ever really defend this scene.
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