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Discussion of 7.13 "The Killer In Me" - Aired 2/04/03 (UPN-US)

DeadlyDuo

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Kennedy really annoys me in this episode (she annoys me in general but this episode gets special mention). It is clear that Willow is still grieving Tara yet Kennedy skives off going to the desert with the other potentials (showing that she thinks she's above them) so she can trick Willow into a date. She kisses Willow which kicks off the problem of the episode yet somehow doing exactly the same thing also solves the person?

Willow is crying up at the heavens and begging forgiveness from Tara for kissing Kennedy, that does not scream ready to move on, yet apparently those feelings can be instantly cured with another kiss from Kennedy.

My favourite moment is when Amy throws Kennedy across the room. Who isn't Team Amy in that scene?

How the hell did the writers expect people to like Kennedy when they write her so unlikeable? There is literally no reason why Willow would be with her.
 

r2dh2

Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain
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How the hell did the writers expect people to like Kennedy when they write her so unlikeable? There is literally no reason why Willow would be with her.
I love your commitment to dislike Kennedy :).

I’m not a fan of Kennedy by far, but she has grown on me. The first couple of times that I watched S7, I disliked her (and Rona) A LOT. I think her personality is just the type that clashes with mine. I’m not a fan of “aggressive” people if they are too forward about stuff. But now, I actually like her in several episodes, like in "Get it Done" and especially in “End of Days,” she just takes over the leadership after the bomb explosion in a natural way and thanks to her Faith and several of the potentials made it out of the tunnel.

I also used to be annoyed with her about the way she pursued Willow. Again, that’s another personality trait that clashes with mine. But I think that she was good for Willow. I liked Tara, but she was painfully introverted, although I can relate more to her than to Kennedy (I’m introverted). But I also like Willow (yes, despite all the flaws that come with her character and the lack of “punishment” for her crimes) and I do see Kennedy helping her to move on. I understand your arguments and I sympathize with you, however, I think that overall Kennedy was a positive element in Willow’s life for the rest of S7, she was really supportive of her in several episodes, including this one. I don’t read the comics, so I cannot talk about that.

And a couple of final thoughts. We also have to take into account that Kennedy is still a teenager (according to the age range of the potentials), so she might seem to be a brat at times, but I think that it has a lot to do with her age as a character. And lastly, the actress just didn’t have much natural appealing for me, that's also a factor when evaluating her character, from my perspective.

My two cents about Kennedy.
 

punchkicker15

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I'm one of the rare people who doesn't hate Kennedy or Willow/Kennedy, and I still dislike the Willow/Kennedy storyline in this episode, because everyone either has to be either 1) an idiot or 2) totally OOC or 3) both idiotic and OOC for the W/K plot to work.

When something magical goes very very wrong with Willow and she suddenly takes the form of THE GUY WHO KILLED TARA AND SET OFF WILLOW'S RAMPAGE, Buffy, Xander and other Scoobies let her run off. No one thinks to track down Giles, who's been helping with her magic rehab, or call the coven of "amazing women" to help. This seems quite out of character for Buffy and Xander, who have been generally concerned about Willow's well-being this season. But never mind the friendship angle--don't they care if Willow tries to hurt someone or end the world again? Not in this episode, they must remain idiotically passive about this situation because the writers wanted Willow and Kennedy to spend a significant amount of time alone.

Instead of calling the "amazing women" at the coven who helped her, Willow goes to the Sunnydale Wiccan group that had previously been established to be absolutely worthless, magic-wise. Why? Because the writers wanted her to run into Amy, and only the most idiotic course of action would get her there.

I'd be totally open to a Kennedy Proves Her Worth storyline, but not one that screws with characterization or that hinges on some actions that don't make a lick of sense after thinking about it for 30 seconds.
 

Ethan Reigns

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I am another one who happens to like Kennedy. She is the only one who wants to be a slayer. She allows herself to be used as bait to catch one of the Bringers. She intervenes on Willow's behalf to actually solve the problem of attachment to someone who is dead. She shows some leadership characteristics. When Willow kept transforming back and forth between Willow and Warren, Kennedy did not run off screaming like most people would have, she stayed to ensure the problem would be solved.

I have mentioned it before but here is what has convinced me she was good for Willow even if she was not the OTP: When we got married in 1974, our next door neighbour in the apartment was a woman born within a year of 1900 who had someone she loved go off to WWI, the Great War and he was killed in action in 1916. She never allowed herself to even think of any other suitor. He was the one. Think of it, she went through the flapper era, the depression, WWII, the beginnings of rock and roll, the protest era of the '60's and all this time, she never had a man in her life. This was by choice - you could tell even though she had lines on her face, she had been strikingly beautiful in her earlier years and she had a pleasant personality. She would have had no lack of men who were attracted to her. This could have been Willow. I am glad she hooked up with Kennedy. Maybe Willow felt like she betrayed Tara but those two seconds where she stopped thinking about her broke the connection and saved her from decades of a wasted life. Full marks to Kennedy for helping Willow avoid becoming the tragedy we lived next to for ten years.
 

r2dh2

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I'm one of the rare people who doesn't hate Kennedy or Willow/Kennedy, and I still dislike the Willow/Kennedy storyline in this episode, because everyone either has to be either 1) an idiot or 2) totally OOC or 3) both idiotic and OOC for the W/K plot to work.
I see your point. It might be OOC and/or bad writing. However, given the scenario that we’re presented with (and taking it at face value), I like Kennedy’s response. She stays by Willow’s side until they find a way for ending the spell. In my eyes, Kennedy does prove that she’s willing to fight for having a real chance with Willow and helps her to move on sooner than later. And I’m saying this as somebody who barely likes Kennedy.
 
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DeadlyDuo

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We also have to take into account that Kennedy is still a teenager (according to the age range of the potentials), so she might seem to be a brat at times, but I think that it has a lot to do with her age as a character.
Kennedy is 19 which is the equivalent of Season 4 Buffy, Willow and Xander. Dawn is approximately 16 in Season 7 and shows far more maturity than Kennedy does. Also Kennedy acknowledges she's a brat, which is WORSE than if she was completely unaware of it, because it means she is aware of her bratty behaviour yet does absolutely nothing to try and change it.

She is the only one who wants to be a slayer.
That's debateable. Sure, she talks the talk but her actions say otherwise.

First off, she says she might be too old to be called as a slayer. Secondly she skives off going to the desert with the other potentials. Giles isn't taking them there for a holiday, it's clearly a part of the training, yet Kennedy seems to think it's beneath her. Thirdly, during the training session in the backyard, Kennedy isn't joining in (as in she performs the moves as she shouts them out to the others). Instead, she's barking orders at them then publicly humiliates Chloe and GLOATS about it just because Chloe confused her left and right which is such an easy mistake to make. Also Buffy was teaching "Do what works for you and you might just survive", Kennedy was teaching "Do as I say or else". Fourthly, all Kennedy cares about is having a bigger say and lording it over others, she openly admits to Faith that she thought she'd get a bigger say with Faith in charge unlike with Buffy (hence the brown nosing of Faith beforehand), also immediately after Buffy is kicked out of her own home, Kennedy is the one saying "I think those of us who have been here the longest should get a bigger say"- Considering the two potentials Kennedy arrived with are dead, that makes her the one who has been there the longest ergo she's already trying to seize power. Lastly, Kennedy avoids a hell of a lot of the last fight and only turns up right at the end before Spike sacrifices himself. Surely it would've made more sense to have Xander with Willow (since he talked her down from Dark Willow last time and as he said in Grave, "World gonna end, where else would I want to be?" other than with his lifelong best friend) and have Kennedy on defence since she is supposedly trained to fight and "wants to be a slayer".

She allows herself to be used as bait to catch one of the Bringers.
As the oldest and "most experienced" potential (since she clearly feels she doesn't need to go to the desert with the other potentials), it makes sense to use her rather than one of the younger ones. It's about time she started pulling her weight instead of just throwing it around the place..

She intervenes on Willow's behalf to actually solve the problem of attachment to someone who is dead.
It wasn't Kennedy's place to do so. Kennedy was only thinking about Kennedy, not about Willow. Tara has been dead for less than a year, Willow is still grieving, yet Kennedy does not give a damn. All she cares about is raising her position within the group and Willow is the means to do that, hence why as soon as she's officially "dating" Willow she starts showing up at scooby meetings, trying to insert her opinions and demanding that Willow sides with her over Buffy. All the other scoobies (Tara, Spike, Anya, Oz) weren't involved in Scooby meetings right away, they had to earn their place, Kennedy just expects one to be handed to her.

Also, it's up to Willow to decide when she's ready to move on, not have her hand forced by Kennedy. Willow is begging for forgiveness from Tara, that doesn't scream "ready to move on". Kennedy caused the problem in the first place yet somehow doing exactly the same thing solves the issue and "cures" Willow of her grief. It doesn't work like that.

She shows some leadership characteristics.
She has an inflated ego and bosses people about. There's a difference.

When Willow kept transforming back and forth between Willow and Warren, Kennedy did not run off screaming like most people would have, she stayed to ensure the problem would be solved.
As @punchkicker15 says, Buffy and Xander had to take a level in idiocy all so Kennedy could save the day. It's bad writing. The Killow relationship was so forced, even if (and it's a big if), Willow had decided of her own free will to move on from Tara, a new relationship would not have reached the level of importance or significance that the writers tried to make out Killow had.

Full marks to Kennedy for helping Willow avoid becoming the tragedy we lived next to for ten years.
You're being very judgemental of your former neighbour, especially as you said she remained single ""by choice". You might not agree with her choice, and that's your prerogative, but it's not up to you to decide whether or not she should've moved on. Everybody is different, there is no time limit on how long it takes someone to grieve.

It was clear that Willow wasn't ready to move on yet, but Kennedy forced her to because it suited Kennedy to be dating her so she could have access to the scooby meetings. Kennedy then expects Willow to side with her over Buffy, despite Willow and Buffy being best friends for 7 years. "Forcing" someone to do something takes away their agency.
 
r2dh2
r2dh2
Is she 19? How do we know? I was guiding myself by the information on Amanda. Faith asked her her age in Dirty Girls and she said that she was 17.

r2dh2

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I don’t wanna come across as a Kennedy’s apologist because I don’t really like her that much, but I think that you might be too harsh on her at times.

That's debateable. Sure, she talks the talk but her actions say otherwise.
In “Get it Done,” I see her as trying to be helpful by training the other potentials and I see her as trying to be as serious as a real soldier by imposing a sanction to somebody who made a mistake while training. From my uncountable hours of experience as avid T.V. watcher that’s how soldiers are trained (at least in movies). I also see Kennedy as really excited about doing this job when she greets Robin and Buffy.

I do hate her when they kick Buffy out of the house. Cannot defend her.

I actually found that it was sweet that she went with Willow. The night before Willow expressed her reservations about letting herself go unrestrained (which I think it’s a metaphor for both sex and the use of magic). You might have a point that Xander might have been the best person for that. However, I think that the last few episodes of S7 show Willow and Kennedy getting very close emotionally, so I think that she’s a fine choice. She’s supportive of Willow.

It was clear that Willow wasn't ready to move on yet, but Kennedy forced her to because it suited Kennedy to be dating her so she could have access to the scooby meetings. Kennedy then expects Willow to side with her over Buffy, despite Willow and Buffy being best friends for 7 years. "Forcing" someone to do something takes away their agency.
It’s difficult to know exactly what the other person is feeling. Tara died less than a year ago, but I don’t expect Kennedy to fully grasp how Willow was feeling. I DO NOT like the fact that she's too pushy. But given the fact that she is, I see it as her taking a chance pursuing Willow and managing to convince her to open herself to something more. I mean, there was no way that Kennedy could know whether Willow would respond favorably to her advances or not. She took a shot and I saw Willow happy and flattered (right before she transformed into Warren). And I don’t see it as Kenney “forcing” Willow to date. Willow made a choice, she could have said no.
 

Ethan Reigns

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Kennedy was not interested in Willow's use of magic, so she was not looking at Willow for what Willow could do for her. She just liked Willow as a person.

When Kennedy takes the scythe to the cavern in "Chosen" and starts fighting, she says, "I could get used to this." I think she proved to be the one who relished the fight the most of all the potentials.
 

DeadlyDuo

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In “Get it Done,” I see her as trying to be helpful by training the other potentials and I see her as trying to be as serious as a real soldier by imposing a sanction to somebody who made a mistake while training. From my uncountable hours of experience as avid T.V. watcher that’s how soldiers are trained (at least in movies). I also see Kennedy as really excited about doing this job when she greets Robin and Buffy.
We view that scene very differently. I see Kennedy throwing her weight around and enjoying lording it over the other potentials. Dating Willow gives her a raised position hence why she's immediately inserting herself in scooby meetings.. I also see Kennedy gloating about treating Chloe like crap because she can. When the First can practically say "you helped cause this" in regards to Chloe's suicide WITHOUT lying, there's an issue. The First picks out that exact incident as a contributing factor, so whilst Kennedy isn't solely the cause of Chloe's suicide, her attitude and complete lack of respect for Chloe was a contributing factor.

Chloe was still doing the moves, she just turned the wrong way. At worst, the potentials should've just been made to go through the routine again. The potentials aren't soldiers, they're young girls. Kennedy is the oldest. Chloe is one of the youngest. Also at 19, Kennedy would legally be considered an adult in the UK, so you have an adult picking on a minor in front of that minor's peers and publicly humiliating her which is a massive blow to Chloe's self-esteem and sense of self-worth.

Also Kennedy said she was 19 in one of the episodes because she thought she might be too old to be called.

Kennedy was not interested in Willow's use of magic, so she was not looking at Willow for what Willow could do for her. She just liked Willow as a person.
Kennedy made clear that she thought magic was "a bunch of fairy tale crap", that's not why she's with Willow. It's Willow's position within the scoobies that Kennedy is interested in. Note how quick Kennedy starts inserting herself into Scooby meetings as soon as she starts "dating" Willow.
 

punchkicker15

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And I don’t see it as Kenney “forcing” Willow to date. Willow made a choice, she could have said no.
Seriously, if Willow was so emotionally fragile that she couldn't decline a pushy teenager's advances, she really shouldn't have been practicing magic on the Hellmouth. Part of the responsibility of having power is having the ability to say "no" when someone's pressuring you.
 

DeadlyDuo

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Seriously, if Willow was so emotionally fragile that she couldn't decline a pushy teenager's advances, she really shouldn't have been practicing magic on the Hellmouth. Part of the responsibility of having power is having the ability to say "no" when someone's pressuring you.
Given Willow's Season 6 "addiction", she shouldn't have been practicing magic from that point onwards, however it seems the view of magic changed between Season 6 and 7 like it did between Season 4 and 6.

Kennedy jumps down Willow's throat when she defends Buffy or looks like she's about to, who's to say Willow doesn't just give in to avoid an argument? Also Willow is still emotionally vulnerable in Season 7, it makes her an easy target for Kennedy.
 
r2dh2
r2dh2
I think that the fundamental difference in our opinions is that I really don’t see Kennedy being Machiavellian. I see her as motivated and eager to engage, but still very immature and having a long path ahead of her. IMO, she still needs to grow up.

Giovanna

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I don't like Kennedy, she has this holier-than-thou and extremely bossy personality. She's annoying most of the time and pushes Willow into a relationship.
 
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