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Discussion of 7.05 "Selfless" - Aired 10/22/02 (UPN-US)

katmobile

Scooby
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Jun 17, 2018
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The only person in S6 that was not a git to Buffy was Tara
My big bad S6 was Spike , not caring about Buffy at all once he got what he wanted , stalking her and using her,allowing her to use him knowing she had come back wrong , never saw him meeting her from work or patroling with her , never even asking her about her problems if he had he would have found out about Warren etc
Just a selfish evil demon....
He also let her beat her to a pulp and the one time he came to her work she told him to sling his hook. He probably did ask her about her problems but by the time he'd connected the dots to Warren he'd moved. I'm not saying he's without blame here but it's neither entirely his or nor is everything his fault. I know I'll never convince you and I think I'll leave it at that since I've said my peace and I don't want the mods on my back. However you might want to think about some of it.
 

Honoria Dedlock

Potential
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Dec 20, 2019
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Easily the best episode of Season 7. Selfless is an Anya episode but it equally highlights just how dangerous Willow and Buffy are too...Willow clearly has issues with the ferocious magics inside her, and Buffy's hard code of justice system is admirable but at the same time a little creepy.

the episode is an example because it addresses a lot of stuff from past seasons...Anya was an extremely dangerous woman who murdered countless people. Willow doesn't get off the hook either. "Flayed any one lately? How quickly they forget!"

also Xander's nastiness is trodden upon with the callback to "kick his ass." He is not a good friend to Buffy.

the vengeance demons are very powerful. Anya and her demon brethren would have made better big bads than the condescending weakling we got in the first evil.
 
thrasherpix
thrasherpix
I'll resist the temptation to argue whether Xander was a good friend or not--especially in s7--and just say the thought of all the vengeance demons "avenging one of their own" (Anyanka) does sound like an awesome season with all the angst Joss love!

Mr Trick

Scooby
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14,851
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London, UK
Anya's singing never fails to move it. Its a great episode for her character. Love how her fight with Buffy is cut into the song. Its a powerful scene. Its great how they bring back that detail from Becoming with Xander's lie to Buffy. This episode is pushing my top twenty.
 

Stake fodder

Soulless
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Feb 6, 2021
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"Did everyone have their crazy flakes today?" Where has this line been all my life? I really liked having an original Scoobies scene, where they debate the right thing to do. Xander is a hypocrite, but I can't blame him. I really liked Angel's death being brought up again, when he has pretty much dropped off the radar, as someone else said.

Spike says he has nowhere else to go. What about his crypt? I know the writers just didn't want him in a separate place this year, but it seems like there should have been some brief explanation. Too gloomy for a souled person? Clem is still watching Knight Rider? What?

Anya blows it again with the vengeance, overdoing it in a way that does not please the wisher, which is supposedly the point. I didn't think the end of this episode made clear that she was being made human again. The dynamic between Anya and D'Hoffryn seems much like the god Wotan and his daughter, the valkyrie Brunnhilde in "The Ring" operas. She was his favorite child, thus his rage at her betrayal is all the greater. Wotan also punishes Brunnhilde by making her mortal, though he does relent somewhat at the end, unlike D'Hoffryn. (Sorry for the random allusion, but I ❤ The Ring Cycle, and loved this parallel.)

I see the dissonance that others point out with Anya getting a pass for her evil. And it's really because Anya's deeds are mostly played for laughs in the show. But also, the victims of Anya's vengeance aren't innocent. They may not deserve what's done to them, but they have wronged someone. I think that's why she's viewed differently than Angel(us) and Spike. Still, Buffy has admonished Spike that muggers don't deserve to be eaten, so it does seem a blind spot with Anya.

I thought it was a good bit to have Willow's dark side emerge as she is protecting the young woman from the spider. It's a reminder that even if she's doing good, it can be very risky to her.

I like the parallel of both Spike and Buffy referring to their past loves, though in very different terms. I've always liked Spike's loving acceptance of Dru's craziness.
 

DeadlyDuo

Scooby
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Jul 29, 2016
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Anya blows it again with the vengeance, overdoing it in a way that does not please the wisher, which is supposedly the point.
I don't know, the wishverse didn't end well for Cordelia. I don't think vengeance demons care about the wishers, in many ways they operate on a be careful what you wish for mentality, Anya's efforts were considered lacklustre up to Selfless, the spiders were supposed to be a return to form but she wanted to undo it and was punished for doing so.

I've always liked Spike's loving acceptance of Dru's craziness.
This is just one reason why I think Sprusilla is superior to Spuffy. Spike accepts Dru as she is, he doesn't see her insanity as something wrong with her that needs to be fixed, instead he sees it as part of who she is and he loves her for this. Compare this to Spuffy where Spike has to essentially commit an act of self-harm (getting a soul, despite previously being quite happy soulless) all so that he would be considered "acceptable" by Buffy.
 

Stake fodder

Soulless
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I don't know, the wishverse didn't end well for Cordelia. I don't think vengeance demons care about the wishers, in many ways they operate on a be careful what you wish for mentality
Yeah, I guess I have to get over this notion that the vengeance is supposed to be satisfying to the wisher. The vengeance demons are demons, after all.

This is just one reason why I think Sprusilla is superior to Spuffy. Spike accepts Dru as she is, he doesn't see her insanity as something wrong with her that needs to be fixed, instead he sees it as part of who she is and he loves her for this. Compare this to Spuffy where Spike has to essentially commit an act of self-harm (getting a soul, despite previously being quite happy soulless) all so that he would be considered "acceptable" by Buffy.
I'm looking forward to re-watching their relationship, which I didn't pay that much attention to the first time around. From what I recall in later seasons, Spike didn't just accept her insanity, he saw some of it as beautiful and poetic.
 
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