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Does anyone else despise Xander?

katmobile

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Overall I don't despise or hate Xander even if he is far from my favorite character. I just despise Xander in some moments (mostly in S2 or S3) like other characters when they do something that I hate. I despise him in Becoming (I don't need to explain), in revelation because he manipulated Faith or in Dead Man Party when he's disgusting towards Buffy, his best friend. But overall I don't hate him, he's a part of BTVS, I love him in The Zeppo, his relationship with Willow or his loyalty towards his friends (Graduation Day) despite him being a person with no power.
I'd add Entropy to the hall of shame here and a lot of the stuff in the article and his comments to Angel on Grad Day 2 but on the plus side there's The Freshman comment, his behaviour in Triangle and other. He's not my favourite character but I'll cosign on the good stuff. I also think he deserves sympathy for what Faith did to him that goes utterly unaddressed.
 

katmobile

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It was S2 episode What's My Line: Kendra demanded Angel to be killed, and Xander heatedly responded with, "Angel is our friend!" If Xander wanted Angel to be dead - before the Angelus episodes - he would have agreed with Kendra, but he didn't.





Actually from Amends on, Xander's attitude towards Angel was subtly changing for the better.

1) Amends: he helped Buffy trying to save Angel and admitted he was a bad friend when it came to Angel.

2) The Zeppo: When Xander saw Buffy and Angel fighting, he asked if he could help them solve whatever they were arguing about.

3) Graduation Part 1: When Oz and Willow were stalling to give the information that will save Angel's life, Xander urged them, "C'mon, guys, the suspense is killing Angel."

4) Graduation Part 2: Xander was the one to reassure Buffy that Angel survived the fight, when he noticed that she was searching for him and worried about him.

I'd say that it had more to do with Xander being a good friend to Buffy than actually liking Angel though, but still.
Ok I accept your point but I wonder why he had the reaction he did to Angel in the hospital in Graduation Day part two.
 

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Ok I accept your point but I wonder why he had the reaction he did to Angel in the hospital in Graduation Day part two.
Because Angel nearly killed Xander's best friend? Sometimes I feel like viewers forget that the characters don't have the foresight of knowledge that we do. Xander wasn't there when Angel was beaten by Buffy into biting her, he just knows the facts. Angel bite Buffy. Buffy almost die. Angel bad. While you may not agree with him on this, can you not understand how he may come to this immediate idea the second he realizes why his friend is in the hospital? It's also important to note that; 1) it's a knee-jerk reaction and 2) Giles acts similarly hostile as well and you're not jumping down his throat.
 
K
katmobile
Ok point taken

katmobile

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That's the thing; Xander doesn't like Angel and Angel doesn't like Xander. I think both of them are well within their rights to feel like they do given how the other treats them. It feels organic. Not every character that fights evil together has to get along.
I rarely see people criticize Angel for being mean to Xander in the same way Xander is to Angel.

Interpersonal conflict within a group is entertaining, realistic and dramatic.
It is and I think it's important that Xander is there representing the group's negative opinion of Angel. However it goes beyond dislike into antagonism - it's also grounded at least partially in petty jealously and veers into 'I told you so' when he goes bad when actually there was no way of knowing it was going to go that badly from the info they had and his reasons for disliking Angel were never very grounded.
 

Dora

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Why all the Xander hate , from a child in season 1 to the man in season 7 he stood by Buffy's side , sure he hated Angel and Spike, its simple, they are demons and if he cannot have her he would have somebody at least human like Riley to be with her and not a dead evil thing that cannot give her a future
He put Buffy on a pedestal but dont we all have somebody like that ? somebody we always forgive , that can do no wrong ?
Xander like the other scoobies characters was sacrificed for Spuffy to happen in 6 and 7 no I am with Buffy when she tells Xander he is her rock
 

Cheese Slices

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I understand the frustration around Xander : he often gets away with incredibly mean spirited jabs and behaviour that don't seem to be acknowledged textually most of the time, especially in the HS years. It's not so much what he does as the fact that there often isn't any consequence to his bad actions.
The entitlement he feels towards Buffy's private life when he actively wants her (S1-S3) or more residually (Seeing Red) is very infuriating, though I'd say there are extenuating circumstances in some cases (Buffy's relationship with Angel was impacting other people and he was having a lot of personal issues in Seeing Red).
That said, I do not get the hate. Xander has evidently a lot of issues from his family background, yet despite this he manages to have incredible heart (both in the sense of courage and kindness). He feels insecure about his lack of power but still shows up and fights the fight, and his loyalty (almost) never wavers. He still manages to grow into a kind, mature and supportive man in S7. He's the guy you don't pay attention to, yet he is essential.
 

thetopher

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It is and I think it's important that Xander is there representing the group's negative opinion of Angel. However it goes beyond dislike into antagonism - it's also grounded at least partially in petty jealously and veers into 'I told you so' when he goes bad when actually there was no way of knowing it was going to go that badly from the info they had and his reasons for disliking Angel were never very grounded.
Whilst I think Xander's motives for hating Angel were a mix of legitimate and petty I don't ever remember him saying 'I told you so' to anyone when Angel lost his soul. In fact he comforts Buffy when she has to kill a classmate of hers that Angelus has turned (In S2 Phases I think). He tells her 'he's not the guy you knew', the opposite of 'I told you so'.
He does say, in 'Passion' that he hopes that Giles succeeds in killing Angelus, but then they're all grieving the murder of Miss Calendar. Xander's grief comes out in the form of anger 'I say faster pussycat, kill, kill!' That's as close as it gets and he's not saying it because of gloating or jealousy, he's genuinely angry.
 

katmobile

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Whilst I think Xander's motives for hating Angel were a mix of legitimate and petty I don't ever remember him saying 'I told you so' to anyone when Angel lost his soul. In fact he comforts Buffy when she has to kill a classmate of hers that Angelus has turned (In S2 Phases I think). He tells her 'he's not the guy you knew', the opposite of 'I told you so'.
He does say, in 'Passion' that he hopes that Giles succeeds in killing Angelus, but then they're all grieving the murder of Miss Calendar. Xander's grief comes out in the form of anger 'I say faster pussycat, kill, kill!' That's as close as it gets and he's not saying it because of gloating or jealousy, he's genuinely angry.
How do you explain his big lie to Buffy in terms of motivation?
 

thetopher

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How do you explain his big lie to Buffy in terms of motivation?
I presume you mean the 'kick his ass' lie?
Firstly we have to remember that Xander did let everyone else 'try it their' way regarding the re-ensoulment spell. He objected to it in the strongest terms, was over-ruled by everyone and so he let it go.
The result was that Kendra died, Willow almost died, Giles is now being tortured and Buffy is wanted for murder. That's the result of the first failed attempt, in his mind. Not exactly worth it to get dead boy back

So Xander's thinking is that this second attempt that Willow wants, with the whole world at stake, maybe that shouldn't happen. So Xander makes a split-second decision not to tell Buffy about the spell.
So his motivation is not about killing Angel, its about playing it safe with the world at stake. I understand that motivation.

And I HATE it, I hate what he did and that he got away with it for so long. I hate that he didn't really seem to regret saying it until maybe S7. I certainly think his getting away with it unchallenged meant that he would try something worse in S3 Revelations, and get away with that as well. I hate that.

I hate that the big lie probably cast a shadow of Buffy and Willow's friendship regarding Angel for who knows how long. I hate that its probably a part of the reason Buffy left town after sending Angel to hell. Because she felt that Xander, Giles and now 'kick his ass' Willow could not understand her pain, that her very compassionate best friend had been cheering her on to kill the bad guy who she once loved. Buffy had to carry that on her own for years.

So I get it and I hate it.
 

darkspook

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I presume you mean the 'kick his ass' lie?
Firstly we have to remember that Xander did let everyone else 'try it their' way regarding the re-ensoulment spell. He objected to it in the strongest terms, was over-ruled by everyone and so he let it go.
The result was that Kendra died, Willow almost died, Giles is now being tortured and Buffy is wanted for murder. That's the result of the first failed attempt, in his mind. Not exactly worth it to get dead boy back

So Xander's thinking is that this second attempt that Willow wants, with the whole world at stake, maybe that shouldn't happen. So Xander makes a split-second decision not to tell Buffy about the spell.
So his motivation is not about killing Angel, its about playing it safe with the world at stake. I understand that motivation.

And I HATE it, I hate what he did and that he got away with it for so long. I hate that he didn't really seem to regret saying it until maybe S7. I certainly think his getting away with it unchallenged meant that he would try something worse in S3 Revelations, and get away with that as well. I hate that.

I hate that the big lie probably cast a shadow of Buffy and Willow's friendship regarding Angel for who knows how long. I hate that its probably a part of the reason Buffy left town after sending Angel to hell. Because she felt that Xander, Giles and now 'kick his ass' Willow could not understand her pain, that her very compassionate best friend had been cheering her on to kill the bad guy who she once loved. Buffy had to carry that on her own for years.

So I get it and I hate it.
If I may I think it’s a little bit of a jump to say it cast a shadow in Buffy and Willow’s friendship. Season 3 had them closer than ever. Always in scenes with just them, hugging over going to college together, telling each other that they were their best friends etc. It cast more of a shadow over Buffy and Xander’s friendship. Scenes with just the two of them dried up.
 

thrasherpix

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I presume you mean the 'kick his ass' lie?
Firstly we have to remember that Xander did let everyone else 'try it their' way regarding the re-ensoulment spell. He objected to it in the strongest terms, was over-ruled by everyone and so he let it go.
The result was that Kendra died, Willow almost died, Giles is now being tortured and Buffy is wanted for murder. That's the result of the first failed attempt, in his mind. Not exactly worth it to get dead boy back

So Xander's thinking is that this second attempt that Willow wants, with the whole world at stake, maybe that shouldn't happen. So Xander makes a split-second decision not to tell Buffy about the spell.
So his motivation is not about killing Angel, its about playing it safe with the world at stake. I understand that motivation.

And I HATE it, I hate what he did and that he got away with it for so long. I hate that he didn't really seem to regret saying it until maybe S7. I certainly think his getting away with it unchallenged meant that he would try something worse in S3 Revelations, and get away with that as well. I hate that.

I hate that the big lie probably cast a shadow of Buffy and Willow's friendship regarding Angel for who knows how long. I hate that its probably a part of the reason Buffy left town after sending Angel to hell. Because she felt that Xander, Giles and now 'kick his ass' Willow could not understand her pain, that her very compassionate best friend had been cheering her on to kill the bad guy who she once loved. Buffy had to carry that on her own for years.

So I get it and I hate it.
IMO, the perfect time for it to come out would've been intervention time for Buffy in s3 when they learn Angel is back. It would make perfect sense for Buffy to bring up the lie (not yet knowing it was a lie) and for that to be derailed enough (your reasoning on why he did so could also be brought up, which of course would explain why Giles gets so emotional as well). The entire dramatic scene would've flowed more smoothly, and also makes what comes after more understandable as well.

But the writers of this show do love to throw away important moments as if they are of little or no consequence (and not just with Xander), and unfortunately consider the plot more important than the characters too often for my liking.
 

katmobile

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If I may I think it’s a little bit of a jump to say it cast a shadow in Buffy and Willow’s friendship. Season 3 had them closer than ever. Always in scenes with just them, hugging over going to college together, telling each other that they were their best friends etc. It cast more of a shadow over Buffy and Xander’s friendship. Scenes with just the two of them dried up.
But it might have.
 

thetopher

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If I may I think it’s a little bit of a jump to say it cast a shadow in Buffy and Willow’s friendship. Season 3 had them closer than ever.
But not really in regards to Angel. In S2 Buffy and Willow talk about Angel stuff all the time, even when Angelus was rampaging Buffy could take solice in having someone sympathetic to lean on (Passions is a good example), but in S3 Angel is disconnected from most friend-conversations except for maybe Amends. When Buffy has to deal with her feelings for Angel she has to do it alone, confiding in no-one.

And besides Xander didn't know what the consequences of his lie would be for Buffy and Willow's friendship. I understand his momentary instinct to lie 'in context' but after? The lie just festered.
Remember that Buffy remembered it all many years after the fact and was obviously still upset about it 'Willow cheering me on!' and so forth.

IMO, the perfect time for it to come out would've been intervention time for Buffy in s3 when they learn Angel is back. It would make perfect sense for Buffy to bring up the lie (not yet knowing it was a lie) and for that to be derailed enough (your reasoning on why he did so could also be brought up, which of course would explain why Giles gets so emotional as well). The entire dramatic scene would've flowed more smoothly, and also makes what comes after more understandable as well.
I agree with it being the most natural time for the truth to come to light. However given what then happens in the episode with Xander doing almost the exact same thing (overruling a joint-group consensus) I think it would've established a longer-running rift between Buffy (plus maybe Willow) and Xander that couldn't ever have been cleared up by the end of the episode.
But hey, that probably would've been a good thing.
 

darkspook

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But not really in regards to Angel. In S2 Buffy and Willow talk about Angel stuff all the time, even when Angelus was rampaging Buffy could take solice in having someone sympathetic to lean on (Passions is a good example), but in S3 Angel is disconnected from most friend-conversations except for maybe Amends. When Buffy has to deal with her feelings for Angel she has to do it alone, confiding in no-one.

And besides Xander didn't know what the consequences of his lie would be for Buffy and Willow's friendship. I understand his momentary instinct to lie 'in context' but after? The lie just festered.
Remember that Buffy remembered it all many years after the fact and was obviously still upset about it 'Willow cheering me on!' and so forth.



I agree with it being the most natural time for the truth to come to light. However given what then happens in the episode with Xander doing almost the exact same thing (overruling a joint-group consensus) I think it would've established a longer-running rift between Buffy (plus maybe Willow) and Xander that couldn't ever have been cleared up by the end of the episode.
But hey, that probably would've been a good thing.
Agree to disagree on that one about Willow and Buffy talking about Angel stuff. Enemies, Earshot all contain scenes with Willow giving Buffy a sympathetic ear for Buffy to lean on about her worries about Angel. Even Revelations had Willow by far the most sympathetic to Buffy's lie about Angel's return. Fact when Angel broke up with Buffy did we see her crying alone? No we saw her crying to Willow confiding everything to her.

I am sorry I just do not buy in anyway that Xander's lie affected Willow and Buffy's friendship in a negative way. If anything it brought them far closer. In season 2 Buffy, Xander and Willow were equally best friends each having scenes together wandering the halls of high school while in season 3 it was really only Buffy and Willow. Again fact Willow was the only one depict to be upset at the idea of Buffy hanging out with Faith more and leaving her behind in 'Bad Girls'. Did we see Xander being portaryed as feeling left out? No. Did we see Xander upset about Buffy recently ignoring him and Willow and speak harshly about how Buffy is deserting the both of them for Faith? No.
 

thetopher

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Agree to disagree on that one about Willow and Buffy talking about Angel stuff. Enemies, Earshot all contain scenes with Willow giving Buffy a sympathetic ear for Buffy to lean on about her worries about Angel. Even Revelations had Willow by far the most sympathetic to Buffy's lie about Angel's return. Fact when Angel broke up with Buffy did we see her crying alone? No we saw her crying to Willow confiding everything to her.
Hmn, I remember Willow comforting Buffy post-break-up in 'The Prom' but I'd forgotten all about the other stuff involving Earshot and the Faith-jealousy. Okay, I'll concede that 'the lie' didn't affect Willow and Buffy's friendship in the long term. :)
I still maintain that it is a factor in why Buffy left Sunnydale at the end of S2.

Again fact Willow was the only one depict to be upset at the idea of Buffy hanging out with Faith more and leaving her behind in 'Bad Girls'. Did we see Xander being portaryed as feeling left out? No. Did we see Xander upset about Buffy recently ignoring him and Willow and speak harshly about how Buffy is deserting the both of them for Faith? No.
I think this is because Willow is way more insecure about her friendships than Xander is in general, but especially with Buffy. Also Faith seems to be infringing on 'girl-time' such as Willow helping Buffy with her homework.
Still, the reason Willow got upset so quickly goes to her character, doesn't really indicate the state of Xander & Buffy's friendship.
 

darkspook

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Hmn, I remember Willow comforting Buffy post-break-up in 'The Prom' but I'd forgotten all about the other stuff involving Earshot and the Faith-jealousy. Okay, I'll concede that 'the lie' didn't affect Willow and Buffy's friendship in the long term. :)
I still maintain that it is a factor in why Buffy left Sunnydale at the end of S2.



I think this is because Willow is way more insecure about her friendships than Xander is in general, but especially with Buffy. Also Faith seems to be infringing on 'girl-time' such as Willow helping Buffy with her homework.
Still, the reason Willow got upset so quickly goes to her character, doesn't really indicate the state of Xander & Buffy's friendship.
It's open to interpretation I will grant you. But I just watch season 1 & 2 and you see so many scenes of Willow, Xander & Buffy walking together talking about the current episodes events or issues bothering them. In season 3 it was Willow and Buffy walking around.
 
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