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Discussion of 6.02 "Bargaining Part 2" - Aired 10/2/01 (UPN-US)

Sharky

Townie
Joined
Oct 27, 2017
Messages
39
Age
24
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?
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.

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.
 

Priceless

Scooby
Joined
Jan 25, 2016
Messages
6,093
Location
UK
None of them talk (do they?) - with the exception of Spike. In his case, he's either ignored / dismissed out of hand or language isn't on his side (and sometimes he doesn't know when to stop :eek:)
Very true, none of them talk about how they are really feeling, and when they do, it usually ends up in an argument. I think as friends they are far too close and if they had some distance between each other they would feel better about being honest.

Spike often says too much, but at least he's willing to talk about his feelings (that just sounds so cringey :)) and can read other people's feelings so well.

If Season 7 is about instinct over knowledge and seeing is not believing, then maybe could Season 6 be seen as believing the lies, and it's easier to lie then to be honest.

Strangely, the "character" I have most sympathy with is the Bot. She's also the character that brings the best out of people. I think I'm missing something here - that a replicant that knows it isn't human is perhaps the best example of humanity? "Your sister's an example to us all. "Sigh...perhaps I need to watch Bladerunner again. What's the title refer to? "Bargaining" with whom? Afterlife is the episode when Spike points out there are always consequences to magic; Anya talks about "Gift with purchase" ("Gift"). Life is a gift. I don't mean biological life - I mean social life - identity. Identity is accorded us by society. To earn that identity we have to behave in a certain way. Behaving is a certain way means giving up any notion of authenticity. In short, behaving as we are programmed to - mindless little automatons. That's why I like the Bot - she's authentic because she acknowledges her own inauthenticity. That's what we bargain away - our real selves in order to have a self. It's why Buffy's at her most authentic in Gone. I'm going back to my spread-sheets. :(
Agreed that the Bot is amazing, and the only one who does not, or cannot lie. The Bot is just the Bot, she understands other people are behaving differently around her, but she cannot change to meet their needs. She is completely herself, she can't stop being that to please Spike, or hug Dawn or do anything she is not programmed to do.
 

Mr Trick

Scooby
Joined
Jan 9, 2015
Messages
12,877
Age
39
Location
London, UK
Think one of the important things happening in this episode is that its showing the darker, more destructive world which is what Buffy is talking about in the following episode. Though the biker demons look a little silly, they do have a presence and havoc they cause in Sunnydale looks beautiful, but scary. Its another step up for the show in production. Love the scenes with Dawn and Spike (that shot with them on the bike is iconic for me!). It was fitting that they returned to the tower with Dawn and Buffy for a sense of closure.

Think I agree with those who think Bargaining is the best season opener:)
 

Mr Trick

Scooby
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Jan 9, 2015
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For me, Bargaining Parts 1&2 are the best episodes of Season 6, beating OMWF by a mile.
Possibly. That's a tough call. Think there are other episodes I like for different reasons. Bargaining had a tough job following on from such a epic end to S5. That's what impressed me the most about it.
 

Ethan Reigns

Scooby
Joined
Oct 14, 2012
Messages
6,123
Location
Canada
Sineya
The reconstituted Buffy coming to life in the coffin and punching through to the air above is a great start to the episode. Watching Buffy wander through the remains of Sunnydale, looking like a bombed-out city with Buffy taking in the devastation, still in her burial clothes, is one of the most haunting images in the entire show. Hearing the Buffybot talk about "the other Buffy" starts the drama for Dawn and the rest of the scoobies. The only thing Buffy says in this episode is, "Am I in hell?" and Dawn's desperation to convince her otherwise certainly made me believe that hell is unnecessary when the world is like this. This is one of the best episodes of the season.
 

DeadlyDuo

Scooby
Joined
Jul 29, 2016
Messages
6,903
Age
29
The only thing Buffy says in this episode is, "Am I in hell?" and Dawn's desperation to convince her otherwise certainly made me believe that hell is unnecessary when the world is like this. This is one of the best episodes of the season.
Also it's a subtle hint that Buffy was in heaven when she was dead because she thinks Sunnydale is hell despite having lived there five years prior to her death.
 
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