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Discussion of 7.17 "Lies My Parents Told Me" - Aired 3/25/03 (UPN-US)

Buffy Summers

Yataro
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Sineya
#1
Giles returns with a device that may be able to deactivate Spike's trigger. To rob the song of its power, Spike must step into his own past and relive one of the most traumatic experiences of his unnaturally long life. Meanwhile Robin makes plans to deal with Spike in case the device doesn't work. Or possibly even if it does.
Source: TV.com

Discuss this episode here!
 
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#2
one of my favourite episodes of the season. i love love love finding out about spike's past. and his fight with robin. it's brilliant. i hate it at the end though when buffy is mad at giles. it breaks my heart. :(
 
Wesley Pryce
Wesley Pryce
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Chosen Enemy

Losing my soul
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#3
Spike episodes are always a good thing for me.
This episode showed Spike's strength as much as his weaknesses. It was pretty amazing, watching who he really is, today and back then. It showed that Spike IS a unique vampire, the closest thing to being human.

I didn't mind the ending, because Giles deserved it. I was mad at him as well.
 

Nathan

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#4
I enjoyed this episode; but I have to say I did agree with Buffy slamming the door in Giles face.

Okay, so The First could trigger off Spike any moment; but what Giles under estimated was Spike's "love" for Buffy. I'm not a big Spike fan, but I think it's fair to say that he did love her, and the fact she showed trust in him would have made him want to be cured from his trigger. Giles ran a speech to Buffy explaining what being a leader is about; but he forgot to mention that being a leader also means that you show trust and create a bond with the people you're leading; Buffy did that with Spike, because she knew it was the only thing he'd respond to. With the Potential's it was different; they didn't want love, they were more "come on! Show us something to do" kinda people. So Buffy did that, she put them all through tough training and they showed respect that way.
Giles appearing randomly each few eps and telling Buffy how to do her job has annoyed me this series; he's not been around in the past 2 years hardly, Buffy has become a lot stronger and she knows exactly what she's doing. Giles was in the wrong in my opinion.

Rant over LMAO!
 
Gum Gnome33
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H
hazzard
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Gum Gnome33

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Sineya
#5
I think it's fair to say that he did love her, and the fact she showed trust in him would have made him want to be cured from his trigger.
Yes, and the fact that that Spike let Giles put that horrible device into his brain in order to try to gain insight about the trigger and eventually solve the problem shows that he was not only willing to be cured but also trying to be cured. Sure it didn't work and Spike got upset, but that was a pretty reasonable reaction.
Why the friggin heck would Giles's next move be to have him killed?

Giles appearing randomly each few eps and telling Buffy how to do her job has annoyed me this series; he's not been around in the past 2 years hardly, Buffy has become a lot stronger and she knows exactly what she's doing.
And Giles wanted to kill someone who stayed by Buffy's side and had her back when he left. Even when Buffy was dead and Giles left Dawn and the others alone, Spike was there to help them night after night, without any knowledge that Buffy might come back.

Unfortunately, this season requires a lot of suspension of disbelief when it comes to Giles. He is so incredibly out of character and out of favor with the fans that it is truly sad. I often try to forget about Giles in this season because of this, but this episode is, naturally, hard to ignore. Such a shame!
 
Charmander
Charmander
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PassionBecoming
PassionBecoming
I have to agree about this season kind of killing Giles' character. It makes me sad.

patriot1123

... in a tutu. Pillock.
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#6
The writers took a great character and absolutely mangled him in season 7. There's no way that Giles of seasons 1 through 6 would have gone along with Wood's plan. He and Xander didn't kill Spike in Intervention even though Buffy wanted them to. He agreed with Buffy in Spiral that Spike was necessary to the mission. Why then would he go against Buffy in s7 and agree to have Spike killed?

Hate this season. Hate this episode.
 
I
itssmiletime
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PassionBecoming
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Black Thorn
#7
And so pod!Giles makes an appearance once again. I do wish they hadn't completely ruined Giles' character for the last two seasons...
 

hazzard

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#8
as everyone has said before me, i absolutely loathe what they did to giles in this season. it's one of the biggest mistakes they made i think.

but other than that, i absolutely love this episode. i love spike. he's an incredibly layered, rich character, and these episodes that feature parts of his past are amazing.
 
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Black Thorn
#9
In a way I'm going to disagree with people's opinions that they ruined Giles' character. How was his reaction to killing Spike any different from his choice to kill Dawn when he thought the fate of the world was at stake. And lets not forget that Giles was the one to kill Ben when Buffy couldnt take a human life. Giles puts the good of many before the good of the few. Spike no longer had a chip, had Buffy kept the chip I think Giles would have left him alone, but Spike was dangerous. He had a trigger that, even though he had a soul, still didnt stop him killing innocent people.

I really did love the scene with Giles in the school, his shock at the new library was so fununy.
 
thetopher
thetopher
I agree, Buffy put people at risk acting with Spike the way she did.

white avenger

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#10
Giles' attitude in this episode is typical of a lot of teachers and mentors. They take pride in their students, and are even supportive of them when they reach their potential, in Buffy's case, the ability to lead and control a group of demon fighters. But for some strange reason, the teacher rarely seems to come to grips with the fact that, if their student has, in fact, become the leader, then their authority extends to include everyone, former teacher included. Giles trained Buffy to be a leader, he encouraged her to be a leader, and he quite obviously believed that she should be the leader. He just forgot that, if she actually was the leader, he was just as subject to her orders as everyone else in the group. When she said, "Spike is my responsibility, he is under my protection, I need him in the upcoming fight, LEAVE HIM THE HELL ALONE!!!" Giles seemed to think that her orders for some reason didn't apply to him. In fact, I don't think that he ever came to fully understand that fact, which led, ultimately, to what happened at the end of Season 8. If he had simply stayed where he was supposed to be, a whole lot of the situation as we see it in Season 9 would never be happening.
 

Jules

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Black Thorn
#11
I've listened to the commentary by David Fury, Drew Goddard, James Marsters and D.B. Woodside. They mainly talk about how good it is to work with each other and then camera angles and wardrobe, but I picked out my favourite bits :)

They highlighted a blooper in the Buffy/Giles/Wood scene. When Buffy and Giles are talking to each other they both look to their right, which would mean that Buffy is looking away from Giles.

They wanted to show William as a loving son and they wanted the audience to have sympathy for Wood, Giles and Spike.

They highlight that even though Spike and Dru are villains they truely care about each other.

This is meant to be the turning point for Giles because he goes from being an allie to working against Buffy.

There's a fun fact that I didn't know. Spike's mum is called Anne and Buffy's middle name is Anne. they purposely wanted that connection for Spike. They also cast Spike's mum to look a little like Buffy would if she were to reach that age.

Again its highlighted that Spike is the most humane of all other vampires and they realise they never explain why, its just taken as fact.

The Giles and Buffy cemetery scene is shot without Sarah and Anthony being together. Anthony does his scenes to a stunt double 10 days after Sarah does her's. They dropped the Ben part of Giles' speech because even though it was relevant it happened 2 years ago.

The episode's main focus is about severing the link with your parents and that's what the final scene shows with Buffy and Giles.
 
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Sineya
#12
The episode's main focus is about severing the link with your parents and that's what the final scene shows with Buffy and Giles.
I thought about this the first time I watched the ep and that's one of the things that I really liked about it. That idea.

Even if you have an excellent relationship with your parents, there is still that time when you realize that you are a person, on your own, completely separate from them.

It makes me sad that they felt that had to cover that theme so literally in the show though. I always feel so bad for Giles here. And for Buffy.
 
PassionBecoming
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tbessie

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#13
One thing I always wondered about this episode was, were they trying to show that Spike's mother was trying to goad him into killing her? Her last look at him after he stakes her looks like sympathy, and he seems to notice it.

I haven't listened to the DVD commentaries on this one, so maybe they address it.

But it would seem weird, that she would be so cruel, and then suddenly look loving and sympathetic. Perhaps she, like Spike, were supposed to be deeply caring people, and she *was* trying to goad him, as I mentioned, or perhaps the two natures in her (demon and human) wanted different things.

This, despite the "why is vampire-Spike a lot like human-Spike, and Angel isn't?" discussion.

- Tim
 

PassionBecoming

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Sineya
#14
-I feel like bringing your kid out patroling is rather irresponsible. Such a heart-breaking scene, though. No mother should have to worry about protecting her kid in that situation and no kid should have to have a childhood like that. :( But, anyway, mommy feeling aside...
-Robin's feelings are like flashbacks to when Angel was re-insouled in S2/3. No one really gets the whole vampires with souls aren't the same and aren't all evil. Sigh.
-Giles all upset about the library. Love it! Those silly not-smelly computers.
-Poor Robin trying to follow the story of Spike's chip, trigger and soul. Heehee.
-Ew ew ew ew ew
-Oh, William, such a charmer. And a mama's boy. Doh.
-Side note: There is a LOT of stuff in that living room. Yeesh.
-"When I was a baby..." Heehee
-What. Is with. Anya's. Hat.
-FRED! Fred's on the phone! I don't remember them mentioning calling Willow on the last ep of Angel, though. I can't remember the game plan here.
-Now, I do believe Buffy is being slightly stupid right now. Pretty sure unchaining Spike is not a good plan.
-Awww, Dru. Love them. Love that Spike still wants to bring Mother along to kill everyone in the world.
-Turning your own mother into a vampire seems kind of...icky.
-Willow sure glossed over where she was going. Buffy must be off her game, letting probably the most powerful one of them just frolic off during this fight. I best get some answers in the next Angel ep!
-I wish Giles would Buffy a smack-down speech about Spike and the choices she's making.
-Now, this is the crap I hate: Spike told Buffy about killing Nikki in Fool For Love. Never was there mention of a kid, for one thing. Second, if she knew Spike killed Nikki, how is she not putting two and two together?? Continuation. Error.
-I really hate that they made Giles part of the plot against Spike. I prefer the Watcher/Slayer relationship to be strong and full of trust. :(
-Both Buffy and Giles have a point about Buffy's decision making skills. She used to be able to make the hard decisions, regardless of cost. But she said it herself in S5: She doesn't have that anymore. While she is putting everyone through the ringer right now, I wouldn't say that's making hard choices, it's just leading. I don't know.
-I don't really like how creepy they make Robin come off. I do like that he differentiates between Spike now and "the monster that killed my mother". Though with all the talk of looking at the big pictures, he should see that Spike will be a great ally and is worth trying to "fix".
-I'm surprised William would retain the love/attachment to his mother even after becoming a vampire. Don't they generally get nasty and such after they have no soul?
-"I used to hate to be cruel. Now I find it rather freeing."
-Love the mid-fight introductions with Buffy and Richard.
-So, Giles takes Buffy down the road of reason of how sacrifices must be made. She ensures him that she would sacrifice Dawn to save the world now, or anyone else in the fight. But still not Spike. Because of his ability to fight? Does she feel he needs to redeem himself after getting his soul back? Does she love him? Does she love him more than she loves Dawn? Hmmm...questions, questions.
-Why is Spike all lethargic after Robin beating him? Buffy has whooped him worse than that and he was still kicking pretty good.
-Alright, Spike is back in action.
-"[Slayers] fight alone. The rest of us be damned." Spike does speak the truth.
-Ironic that Robin cured Spike. Not liking the nasty things that Spike said about his mother not loving him. I get that Robin just tried to kill him, but still.
-Giles comparing Spike to Angel. :D
-True that Buffy doesn't have time for vendettas. Glad she made the point to Robin, but I still feel bad for him.
-Buffy shutting out Giles is not cool. These Scoobies need to communicate more! I can't take sides on this one, because I think both have valid points. I hate that it's coming down to this and that it never truly gets back on track. :(
 
Ethan Reigns
Ethan Reigns
The Buffy - Giles relationship should have terminated in "Helpless" with the cruciamentum.

PassionBecoming

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Sineya
#15
[MENTION=12171]Ethan Reigns[/MENTION] - Good point. If that's the way they want to play it, I would think that was a bigger betrayal of trust back then. If they were able to work through it back then and move on I would think the same would happen here. I believe points were proved on both sides. *shrug* I don't know.
 

Gum Gnome33

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#16
The difference between the cruciamentum and this betrayal is that, first of all, Giles was asked to perform the former as a watcher and for whatever reason had believed for however many years that the test had merit. But most importantly, he changes his mind and risks his life (and career) to save Buffy in the 11th hour (actually to his credit it's more like in the 9th hour).

In this episode, he decides to have the guy who as been for all intents and purposes Buffy's partner (currently Buffy's closest friend) killed and for something he himself cannot control/didn't choose to engage in. I mean the guy gets a soul of his own free will and NOW is the time to kill him? There are so many levels of WTF to this.

Why not have Anya killed when she becomes a demon again? That way they'll know for sure that she won't do it again. Why not have Willow killed at the end of season 6? Or even in season 7? After all, the only way to know for sure that she won't go evil again is to end her life! And Faith! Do we really believe she's reformed? I mean she says she wants to help but given her history...why not have the watcher's council kidnap her again and kill her this time?
:rolleyes: :rolleyes:
Ah, season 7 in which there is a guy who looks and sounds a lot like Giles, whose soul (and good sense for that matter) have been replaced with I dunno what.
 
Ethan Reigns
Ethan Reigns
The cruciamentum was a classic illustration of the Milgram experiment, but even after Spike gets a soul, he is under the thrall of the First and has resumed killing.

PassionBecoming

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Sineya
#17
[MENTION=11014]Gum Gnome33[/MENTION] - Yeah, the more I think about that the less sense it makes. Silly not-really-Giles. :p Though on that note, Buffy was prepared to kill Faith, Anya, Angel, not sure about Willow, to stop their evil and save the world, blah blah. But not Spike while he was doing evil things. My head might explode from the inconsistencies....
 
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#18
They tried to de-trigger him to no avail. That's why Giles did this. They thought the first still had plans for him, and now he doesn't have the chip, that's a threat. Thankfully Robin cured him of the trigger but he damage was already done In Buffy's eyes.
 

thetopher

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Sineya
#19
The thing that is most telling to me in this episode is not Giles betrayal (which I kind of understand- but was poorly judged) or Wood's anger. But Spike.

When he tells Wood 'I don't give a piss about your Mum' and it becomes clear that he doesn't feel remorse for the slayers he killed at all. In his eyes (still) it was the game they played.
To me this is like a guy going on a killing spree, murdering several people, including a couple of cops, then years later he says he's remorseful for the poor people he killed but not the cops, because thats the risk they took putting on a uniform. It makes me doubt all of Spike's remorse (even though it seems like a lot of it is genuine)

Just imagine if Spike had managed to kill Buffy in Season 2- he wouldn't feel remorse for those actions?
That's when I knew that Angel didn't have anything to worry about in terms of heroism- Spike still had a long way to go to redeem himself imo.
 
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#20
Wood just kind of gets on my nerves to be honest. Partly because of the revenge story arc that gets in the way of things and partly due to the actor. And Spike seems to have more conversations with the back of Wood's head than face-to-face.

Could Buffy really not put two and two together that Robin's mother was the slayer he killed on the subway? There aren't that many slayers, and she only heard the story fairly recently.

I don't know about questioning all of Spike's remorse. I sympathise with Robin about his mom, but she was the Slayer, with them both trying to kill the other. The only thing I would say against Spike about this is that he intentionally went to look for her. It wasn't a chance fight. So I question why he didn't express remorse about seeking her out, although I suppose this could be explained by his bitterness about her quality as a mother, which seemed to carry through post-soul.

Also:
Buffy: Giles, we had this conversation when I told you that I wouldn't sacrifice Dawn to stop Glory from destroying the world.
Giles: Ah, yes, but things are different, aren't they? After what you've been through, faced with the same choice now, you'd let her die.
Buffy: If I had to...to save the world. Yes.
I guess you could say that Buffy would be more convinced that Dawn would end up in a heaven dimension, but even as detached as Buffy is in S7, I can't imagine her letting Dawn sacrifice herself, ever. She may have done something for the greater good when it came to killing Angel, but she's always been about protecting Dawn. This just seems to contrast a lot to how well they bonded at the end of last season.