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Faith and Giles

KaitKat

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What are your opinions on the Faith and Giles dynamic in Season 8? If you hate it do you have another reason other than you feel bad for Buffy? How did you feel about them teaming up in No Future for You? What do you think their dynamic is? Do they have a Father/Daughter relationship or is their something more? Do you think that it was purposely written to be ambiguous with subtle subtext?
 

Priceless

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I really like it. No Future For You is such a good story. Where Faith has been the shadow of Buffy, she now meets her own shadow self. I also think having Giles as her watcher really helps give her confidence and a little of that care Buffy has had. For me the relationship is watcher/slayer, and if the writing is ambiguous it's because Faith tends to make every relationship sexual. Though I have read a few Giles/Faith fanfics and I actually do like them as a pairing.
 

KaitKat

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I love No Future for You as well. To me Faith’s journey came full circle, she accidentally killed Genevieve while trying to reason with her and clearly has the tools to deal with it after Finch. I have such complicated feelings on Giles and Faith despite being two of my favorite character. For starters I feel like he should have been a better Watcher to her in Season 3 and this isn’t the first that she should be hearing about the mistakes Giles made in his youth. I know some fans have the opinion that part of his interest in Faith in this Season along with him leaving by his stuff to her is in part driven by his guilt over having failed her in the past and it has merit. Secondly I do think the way he went about it was manipulative, he did withhold certain info and she was clearly hurt to see that he was using her that it was all about Buffy. On the flip side of that I think that by simply asking her to kill again is a weird display of trust, believing that she won’t go off the rails again. He also demonstrates his for lack of a better term faith in Faith again when Buffy tells him that Faith tried to kill her again and Giles takes Faith’s side and goes and saves her, a 180 from Consequences. We also see Faith who was always searching for an authority figure tell Giles she wasn’t taking orders anymore and they agreed to be equals, another important step in her journey.

I see shipy subtext and while I agree that Faith is sexual I think it comes from Giles. He seems to appreciate her cleavage and there was the Steel/Peed comment. In another issue Courtney tells them they argue like her parents. I do think that it was intentionally ambiguous for two reasons the first being her age when they meet two being that there are fans that would rip him to shreds if he picked Faith’s side over Buffy’s in an argument if he was sleeping with her. I’ve read Faith and Giles fan fiction as well and I almost always like it and ship them my main concern is that it feels to me like he is only with her because he’s on the outs with Buffy.
 

thetopher

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I really like the Faith/Giles dynamic for many of the reasons above; its good character development for both of them. For Giles he felt it was another chance to have a one-on-one mentoring relationship with a slayer and for Faith its to have a kind of Father-figure. But I think although that's what they both wanted it turned into more of a partnership and friendship of equals.

I don't really see a romantic angle or really a subtext in their interactions. I think they care deeply about each other. Giles is probably only the second positive presence in Faith's life to believe and trust in her (after Angel) and that gives her strength. In turn Faith wanting Giles back after his death was more about getting back a caring and wise friend who had her back rather than another replacement daddy like the Mayor was.

About Buffy, I really only think it factored into Giles thinking initially given what he asked Faith to do- something extreme- but after the dust settled and the choices Faith made Giles decision to go with her was more to do with her than with Buffy; a renewed sense of purpose and direction for both of them.

Giles returning to Buffy was because of his 'youthed' condition so I think it was more circumstantial. And Faith's reaction to it again showed her growth; she accepted his choice, didn't resent him or guilt-trip him in any way; she just quietly missed him whilst she got busy finding a new purpose and direction. They were both trying to figure out their place in the world and for a time they aligned with each other. When that changed they separated but still remained close.
 

Priceless

Scooby
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I love No Future for You as well. To me Faith’s journey came full circle, she accidentally killed Genevieve while trying to reason with her and clearly has the tools to deal with it after Finch. I have such complicated feelings on Giles and Faith despite being two of my favorite character. For starters I feel like he should have been a better Watcher to her in Season 3 and this isn’t the first that she should be hearing about the mistakes Giles made in his youth. I know some fans have the opinion that part of his interest in Faith in this Season along with him leaving by his stuff to her is in part driven by his guilt over having failed her in the past and it has merit. Secondly I do think the way he went about it was manipulative, he did withhold certain info and she was clearly hurt to see that he was using her that it was all about Buffy. On the flip side of that I think that by simply asking her to kill again is a weird display of trust, believing that she won’t go off the rails again. He also demonstrates his for lack of a better term faith in Faith again when Buffy tells him that Faith tried to kill her again and Giles takes Faith’s side and goes and saves her, a 180 from Consequences. We also see Faith who was always searching for an authority figure tell Giles she wasn’t taking orders anymore and they agreed to be equals, another important step in her journey.

I see shipy subtext and while I agree that Faith is sexual I think it comes from Giles. He seems to appreciate her cleavage and there was the Steel/Peed comment. In another issue Courtney tells them they argue like her parents. I do think that it was intentionally ambiguous for two reasons the first being her age when they meet two being that there are fans that would rip him to shreds if he picked Faith’s side over Buffy’s in an argument if he was sleeping with her. I’ve read Faith and Giles fan fiction as well and I almost always like it and ship them my main concern is that it feels to me like he is only with her because he’s on the outs with Buffy.
The trouble for me is Giles. He is such an example of benevolent patriarchy that the women shouldn't fully trust him and he's always playing his own angle. Yes he may feel guilty afterwards, when it's too late, but he's still the one with the power. I think that's why he's with Faith, because he can continue being the almighty watcher with a slayer who needs him and values him. It's about what Faith can do for him rather than the other way around.

They also bond of their anger at Buffy. I think that's why Giles sides with Faith, partly to punish Buffy, but also because he realises that she needs him to stand with her and by standing with her against Buffy he secures his place as her watcher. There was shippy subtext, definitely, and there is with Faith/Genevieve too.
 

KaitKat

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I wouldn’t say Giles always has in own angle, most of what he does throughout the series is done out of selfless love for Buffy, I would argue even asking Faith to kill Genevieve so that Buffy didn’t have to. With that said it’s still shady as hell and I interpret it as the wrong thing done for the right reasons. I don’t think Giles and Faith bond over their anger for Buffy but more Buffy’s anger for them. I also don’t think that Giles picked Faith’s side to get back at Buffy or stick it to Buffy I do think he is both choosing to trust Faith and getting her out of the mess he drug her into.


I do think both of them get something out of the traditional Watcher/Slayer relationship. Giles does enjoy being a mentor it’s what he devoted his life to and Faith truly does what a Watcher.


I did also notice the subtext between Faith and Genevieve, I don’t take baths with my friends.
 

thetopher

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Giles isn't 'the patriarchy' in S8, he's one guy. Season 8 is pretty much a matriarchy with Xander as token male.

I don’t think Giles and Faith bond over their anger for Buffy but more Buffy’s anger for them. I also don’t think that Giles picked Faith’s side to get back at Buffy or stick it to Buffy I do think he is both choosing to trust Faith and getting her out of the mess he drug her into.

I think this is key; their relationship develops as a reaction to Buffy's attitude towards them, not the other way round, although it develops into a true partnership soon after that has nothing to do with Buffy. I mean, when Twilight kidnaps them she doesn't even notice.

I did also notice the subtext between Faith and Genevieve, I don’t take baths with my friends.

People take baths with their dogs lol. People can be weird.
I never got a subtext-y vibe from Genevieve, I think she was just lonely, wanted a friend and so latched onto Faith.
 

KaitKat

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I agree that Giles isn’t the patriarchy but I have heard that in Season 7 and 8 he is supposed to represent the old world while Buffy is building a new one. I do think that’s partially true but for me not in a way that diminishes Giles’ character at all. I think that you could give Giles a choice between having complete authority over all the Slayers or a one on one Watcher/Slayer relationship where he gets to mentor someone, help them grow, and build a personal relationship with them he would pick the later. It’s what he knows, it’s what he was raised to, do and he finds it personally rewarding. I do think that him wanting to be Faith’s Watcher made perfect sense his character has been lost for a long time and this gives him a scene of purpose. I also agree that their dynamic develops into a true partnership that has nothing to do with Buffy, yet somehow Buffy will always be there. He cares for Faith but not like he cares for Buffy.


I do get the subtexty vibe but not in a “the subtext is rapidly becoming the text” kind of way. The subtext is their but I don’t think they ever went there kind of like Fuffy or Bander. There’s subtext but nothing ever happened between them.
 

thetopher

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I agree that Giles isn’t the patriarchy but I have heard that in Season 7 and 8 he is supposed to represent the old world while Buffy is building a new one.

I'll agree that in S7 its definite; the way Giles acts and the way he instructs Buffy to essentially become Watcher to bunch of Potentials, but I don't see it in S8. Buffy's new world is being built and Giles feels he has no real place in it; its why, like you say, his relationship with Faith holds so much appeal. It's what he knows.

It’s what he knows, it’s what he was raised to, do and he finds it personally rewarding. I do think that him wanting to be Faith’s Watcher made perfect sense his character has been lost for a long time and this gives him a scene of purpose.

Faith & Giles tend to have a very 'Buffy/Giles in Season 5' vibe, he's not really an authority figure, more of a guide with a dash of mentor. Faith even says that she's moved past looking for Daddies, but having another grown-up looking out for her was pretty cool and novel.
 

KaitKat

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I loved when she said that. So many people think that she has issues with authority figures which baffles me because it’s such a fundamental misinterpretation of her character, she has always been desperately seeking the approval of an authority figure. NFFY laid a lot of her demons to rest let her move forward.
 
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