- Oct 27, 2017
I've never considered this perspective on it before, but I can see where you're coming from. There are definitely events throughout the series where I'd agree with you on Buffy possibly having a superiority complex over others, it's just hard for me to see this as an example of it as well.See - it had the opposite effect on me (perhaps you're a nicer person?). I really disliked her for it. She's supposed to protect them from demons - not the truth. It wasn't even a necessary lie (as some lies/fictions are). They already suspected there was something amiss. Ultimately, I think it was selfish - just as I thought her decision to unload on to Spike was selfish. I don't think it was intentional but I think it was another case of her "needing to feel" - the pain of keeping it to herself made her feel something - made her feel human. Or, paradoxically, made her feel more than human. Thinking they didn't have the strength to cope with the truth but she did was (for me) another example of the superiority complex she discusses with Holden. It's this decision that's the catalyst for everything that happens in S6 - a season that ends with this: Grave (Buffy to Dawn): "I got it so wrong. I don't want to protect you from the world. I want to show it to you". This is why I get irritable when she's robbed of agency in this episode. The choice was hers.
I should have added, I presume it's the lie in Afterlife we're discussing?
As we see she doesn't make this choice on her own, rather is innocently coaxed by Dawn when she says in so many words, "Things really weren't good before, we're waiting for you to be happy and then things will get better". She also sees Dawn's reaction of complete enlightenment over Buffy doing something so small as making her a lunch for school. It all clicks into Buffy's head from this specific exchange that this is what everyone else wants from her and the lie isn't at all brought into fruition from a thought or motivation Buffy herself had but from her most treasured loved one. I can't see that as a selfish act.
Another thing is no one has even shown that they could understand or wants to understand what exactly has been done to Buffy (Besides Spike, and he gets the truth). They've only ever given her the one story to follow "I can't imagine what hell was like for you" "Of course you're acting like this, you've been tortured in a hell dimension for who knows how long". They seem far less concerned with the truth or other possibilities for her behaviour, and solely focused on getting validation for their action. And Buffy gives it to them when she seems to be internally crumbling in dismay over what her friends have taken from her. It'd be an entirely different narrative for me (I'd be leaning on your side) if any of the scoobies asked her if it wasn't hell she was in, asked her if they did the right thing by her, and Buffy still lied to them.
This is a side note but I always found it interesting how when discussing if they should do the spell, Willow brings up how it's a possibility that Buffy is in a hell dimension but overall they acknowledge they don't know. Post-resurrection, it's no longer a question even brought up! I don't think any of them can even will themselves to ask or think about another possibility. So if any part of Buffy decided they weren't strong enough for the truth, I can see why.