Yeah, Giles didn't seem to regret it for long if he really regretted it at all. I think if he truly thought it was wrong to leave when he did, he would have come back with Willow in Season 7. She didn't even finish her recovery course thing, but Giles was fine with sending her back to Buffy, who knew next to nothing about dark magic. And then Giles dumped the Potentials on her, too.He sounded like he regretted it in Grave but then he left again and didn't come back until 7 months later in Bring on the Night.
Yes, and it was the destruction of the "family business" too, since his father and grandmother had both been Watchers. It had to be a terrible blow, and I wish we had even one episode (or subplot in an episode) devoted to the effect on Giles and his mindset. I think it makes sense that he would show more of his Season 1/Season 2 attitude and be more "Watcher" than "Dad" again. But we didn't get inside anyone's head much in Season 7.2) I'm sure that Giles had just had a whole bunch of collegues and friends that were horribly murdered and blown up, that must've had an effect on the way he acted with Buffy; he was stoic, business-like, even cold, but he'd just seen his old way of life utterly destroyed.
I'm not sure many people consider what that would do to a man. Like a soldier seeing his entire regiment die and him being the only survivor- that's gonna cause some strain.
That's why we got the terrible character assassination of Cordelia in Season 4 AtS. Joss was pissed that she got pregnant and why Cordelia was then put in a coma never to awaken again. CC only agreed to do "You're welcome" on the proviso that Cordelia wasn't killed off and look how that turned out.I don't know much about what goes on behind the scenes. Is that why Cordelia was written out?
I think they could've given Giles a better reason to leave, aka he HAD to leave for whatever reason rather than him choosing to leave.
They could have used this absence as a great lead in to Season 7 by simply saying that Giles had to return home because of strange and ominous occurrences concerning concerning Watchers' Council business in Europe. Even if they had no idea what Season 7 was going to be about at that point, it would still work better than what they actually did.Giles left bc ASH wanted to go home & the idiot writers didn't think of a better reason, like a dying parent or something that wouldn't have been abandonment of Buffy