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Faith and Spike outing Willow

Moggin

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I found it interesting that not one but two baddies seemed to pick up on Willow's relationship with Tara, but her own friends didn't.

Faith at peak badness, and while borrowing Buffy's body, mentions to Tara that Willow is not "driving stick" anymore, and there is bad Spike's knowing side glance in the "Yoko Factor" before he starts making comments about Willow being in to the "new thing", which is intentionally ambiguous. It's interesting that Faith knew before Buffy, and Spike before Xander.

Do you think these are intentional mirrors, symptoms of the season's theme, indications about the individual characters, all the above, or something else? Explain.
 

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I think it goes to what Xander says in Potential; people on the outside see more than the ones staring right at it. On top of that, Spike and Faith have, in the past, shown to be rather insightful to what's going on around them, even if they aren't as good at pointing that toward themselves.
 

Moggin

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I think it goes to what Xander says in Potential; people on the outside see more than the ones staring right at it. On top of that, Spike and Faith have, in the past, shown to be rather insightful to what's going on around them, even if they aren't as good at pointing that toward themselves.
I was thinking this as well, but now that I've pondered a bit, is Faith that insightful? I get Spike. He's called it right for many people aside from Buffy (Parker, Willow, Xander, Giles, etc), but Faith...meh. True, she often points out aspects of Buffy's personality that even Buffy doesn't want to admit, but it tends to be only Buffy's negative qualities, and even at that Faith tends exaggerate Buffy's bad side, not really having a true perspective. Plus, I don't recall her ever having turned that focus on anyone else, and she generally seems clueless about most things. A survivor she is but she just doesn't seem blessed with that kind of intuition that Spike has. Am I missing some of her finer moments of intuition?
 

Faded90

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I love Faith but I wouldn’t say she’s insightful, particularly pre prison because of her own self loathing she tends to think of and assume the worst of people, hence why she doesn’t trust anyone. Buffy particularly she projects a lot onto. She understands some of Buffy’s more ‘primal’ tendencies but that’s mostly because she also has them albeit Buffy obviously has a lot more control over hers. Because she sees Buffy as ‘the good one’ and herself ‘the bad one’ she projects a lot of ‘oh Buffy’s a perfect goody two shoes’ and she really really isn’t. Again hence why she’s so surprised in Dirty Girls when she finds out Buffy’s been a bit naughty with Spike

post prison she’s more insightful but I still wouldn’t say it’s a particular characteristic which is fine, most of the Buffyverse characters lack in this area 😂 I think the most insightful thing we see from her is in Empty Places when she tells Robin that she basically knows he’s just turned up at Buffy’s house looking for a fight

I think like the poster above said it was someone looking in from the outside. Buffy and Xander get introduced to Tara as ‘here’s my new witchy friend’ and they just take her at face value because they’ve always known Willow as being attracted to males and I think it just doesn’t even cross their minds
 
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Athene

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I think Faith is more insightful and picks up on more than given credit for I really enjoy her thoughts on Buffy overall and what she says about Joyce and life in general. Anything that Faith says that's an observation about someone I'll probably think you're wrong overall but I see a bit of truth.
And Spike can clearly pick up on things.
 

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I think Faith is more insightful and picks up on more than given credit for I really enjoy her thoughts on Buffy overall and what she says about Joyce and life in general. Anything that Faith says that's an observation about someone I'll probably think you're wrong overall but I see a bit of truth.
Yeah, I definitely agree with that, she's far more than often given credit for.

Yes, her insights are often negative, but that's because S3 Faith is trying to hurt feelings and also because she is, at that point, a very negative person. She doesn't try and convince Buffy that all men are bad, she genuinely believes that all men are bad. But she has definite moments of insight, in S3, in Angel, and in S7.
 
Athene
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Yeah and I think anyone who is insightful is still looking at things from their eyes so no one is unclouded and objective

Ethan Reigns

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I wonder how much of Faith's "insight" comes from the body swap. After all, the brain is part of the body so she may know or have access to knowing everything Buffy has thought. There is little other sign of insight beyond face value of what she sees and what she has had to develop as part of "street smarts", so this may be just nonsense but it may be that someone in a body switch has access to everything the other person has experienced, as well as their own thoughts. She has a dominant position in "Bad Girls" because she believes that Buffy is chafing at the restrictions in her life and is ready to cut loose and accept perks that she thinks should come with slayerhood. But that isn't insight - Buffy saying she might crave a non-fat yogurt rather than sex after a righteous kill is a bit on the obvious side.

Spike has always been the one with the most insight into everyone else. He was the one who said after Oz left that Willow was hinging on by her fingernails after the scoobies had deluded themselves into thinking she was coping just fine. He was the one who knew how to push everybody's buttons in "The Yoko Factor". He knew that "soldier boy" was not ready to accept a slayer as a partner. And he knew that Angel was always going to be Buffy's first love.

The scoobies always found it easier to delude themselves about anything one of their members was going through. After all, if they thought things were going badly, they might have to actually do something. It is far easier to think things are better than they actually are (as with Oz leaving Willow) so they don't have to be in condolence mode.
 

Faded90

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I think Faith is more insightful and picks up on more than given credit for I really enjoy her thoughts on Buffy overall and what she says about Joyce and life in general. Anything that Faith says that's an observation about someone I'll probably think you're wrong overall but I see a bit of truth.
And Spike can clearly pick up on things.
I think her thoughts about Joyce are her projecting her ‘Buffy doesn’t care about us. She’s moved on’ belief. It’s not necessarily her fault, it’s how she’s been conditioned to believe. She see’s Buffy getting into the college life as ‘oh the rest of us are forgotten about’ it’s why Joyce tells her she doesn’t understand Buffy or her because Joyce knows that Buffy loves her. Faith is shown to be ultimately wrong when after Buffy realised Faith will come after someone she loves immediately goes to Joyce. Faith believes she has been forgotten about and Buffy doesn’t care when we’ve seen Buffy share a dream with her and she’s mentioned her prior to this episode. Plus I’ve always thought when they show Buffy tell Riley ‘you know I never stopped thinking about you’ and it lingers over Faith is them showing us that Buffy very much hasn’t forgotten about Faith.

I don’t blame Faith for this and it’s understandable but I think a lot of it is her ‘just think the worst of people’ and the sad thing is unfortunately on some occasions you’ll hit right on that one
 

Athene

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I think her thoughts about Joyce are her projecting her ‘Buffy doesn’t care about us. She’s moved on’ belief. It’s not necessarily her fault, it’s how she’s been conditioned to believe. She see’s Buffy getting into the college life as ‘oh the rest of us are forgotten about’ it’s why Joyce tells her she doesn’t understand Buffy or her because Joyce knows that Buffy loves her. Faith is shown to be ultimately wrong when after Buffy realised Faith will come after someone she loves immediately goes to Joyce. Faith believes she has been forgotten about and Buffy doesn’t care when we’ve seen Buffy share a dream with her and she’s mentioned her prior to this episode. Plus I’ve always thought when they show Buffy tell Riley ‘you know I never stopped thinking about you’ and it lingers over Faith is them showing us that Buffy very much hasn’t forgotten about Faith.

I don’t blame Faith for this and it’s understandable but I think a lot of it is her ‘just think the worst of people’ and the sad thing is unfortunately on some occasions you’ll hit right on that one
I think Joyce obviously knows Buffy loves her and hasn't forgotten about her so Faith's wrong about that but I think Faith's right in that Joyce was feeling sad about Buffy not visiting her, and that's an insightful thing for Faith to figure out because she hasn't been around but knows from the letters and such that Buffy has been neglecting seeing Joyce. I think that's proven to have some truth to it since Buffy's immediate thought wasn't Joyce when Faith was loose, and she didn't even seem to give Joyce a "heads up" about Faith which is what Faith says. But obviously Buffy is just busy with college and that's natural it doesn't really mean she has forgotten Joyce at all. But when Faith played with Joyce's feelings I think she did hit a note feelings wise.
 

Moggin

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I think Joyce obviously knows Buffy loves her and hasn't forgotten about her so Faith's wrong about that but I think Faith's right in that Joyce was feeling sad about Buffy not visiting her, and that's an insightful thing for Faith to figure out because she hasn't been around but knows from the letters and such that Buffy has been neglecting seeing Joyce. I think that's proven to have some truth to it since Buffy's immediate thought wasn't Joyce when Faith was loose, and she didn't even seem to give Joyce a "heads up" about Faith which is what Faith says. But obviously Buffy is just busy with college and that's natural it doesn't really mean she has forgotten Joyce at all. But when Faith played with Joyce's feelings I think she did hit a note feelings wise.
She certainly can be manipulative. I can't recall offhand, but did Faith notice the letters first or guess it right and then notice the letters? It's a small detail, but noticing the letters then antagonizing Joyce would seem to fit in with deductive logic-based reasoning.

Faith can be clever or thick by turns. I get the impression she never had much of a chance, but that she has some natural intellect that has simply gone to seed from not being cultivated properly. I still don't know if this is being emotionally in tune, though. Hmm... 🤔

Faith also seems emotionally a bit damaged too, so her tough exterior could be skewing a bad reading here. Plus, as has been said, if she does use any intuition, it is always negative, which also fits in with her background. In spite of Spike being a vampire, and was generally the butt of everyone's joke while a human, he seems to have come from a loving home. This may account for why his range of intuition is less limiting than Faith's. Anyone else want to weigh in?
 

Athene

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She certainly can be manipulative. I can't recall offhand, but did Faith notice the letters first or guess it right and then notice the letters? It's a small detail, but noticing the letters then antagonizing Joyce would seem to fit in with deductive logic-based reasoning.

Faith can be clever or thick by turns. I get the impression she never had much of a chance, but that she has some natural intellect that has simply gone to seed from not being cultivated properly. I still don't know if this is being emotionally in tune, though. Hmm... 🤔

Faith also seems emotionally a bit damaged too, so her tough exterior could be skewing a bad reading here. Plus, as has been said, if she does use any intuition, it is always negative, which also fits in with her background. In spite of Spike being a vampire, and was generally the butt of everyone's joke while a human, he seems to have come from a loving home. This may account for why his range of intuition is less limiting than Faith's. Anyone else want to weigh in?
It's unclear because Faith is mid through her speech and then she brings the letters over as like evidence to prove what she's saying so I don't know which came first.
But Faith to me is the definition of street smart and to survive like it seems Faith has you do have to be able to read and manipulate people somewhat. But I would call that being insightful.
 

Priceless

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Buffy, Willow and Xander are all wrapped up in their own worlds for much of season 4. Buffy had Riley and the initiative and Xander had Anya and worry about his future. I don't blame either of them for not noticing something Willow was actively trying to keep a secret.

Spike and Faith saw more of Tara and Willow when they had their guard down and when they weren't trying to hide. If Buffy had seen Tara play with Willow's hair or chatted to Tara about how wonderful Willow was, she too might have noticed something was going on.
 

thrasherpix

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Spike is motivated by passion and love (and does tend to be insightful), whereas Faith has a very carnal focus that is normally dismissive of love in any form (and in the exceptions up to that point it seemed to me she struggled to see it as more than manipulative and/or carnal, or at best finicky). I'm not surprised either made the connection. Furthermore, both have seen Willow in love with Oz (and have also seen Willow being furtive) in addition to not getting that close to Willow ( so won't easily trip over what they think they know about the character), so I can see them noticing that Willow looks at Tara in a very similar way.

Wouldn't mean I'd think they're automatically insightful about other things, or would've made the connection so easy if Tara was with someone they didn't know.
 
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I don't know that Faith is insightful, but she is very sex oriented and always assumes there are sexual undercurrents in pretty much any interaction between two people - which probably says something very sad about the way she was treated in her pre slayer days. Therefore when she sees the closeness and affection between Willow and Tara she automatically jumps to a sex conclusion (and in this case is right). Unlike Faith, Buffy and Xander (to a lesser degree) have stable friendships and experience of non-sexual affection and so they don't assume there is anything more than face value between Willow and Tara. They are affectionate with Willow, so they don't see anything 'different' with Tara being affectionate with her (although neither of them have actually met Tara at the point Faith does, so that is why Faith finds out before Buffy - she meets her first).

Even if Tara had only been a friend, Faith would have still made those comments and reached that conclusion because that is how she thinks. That everything comes down to sex is fundamental to her view of the world.
 

thetopher

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As I recall Spike saw Tara playing with Willow's hair in an affectionate manner and made the not-very-small leap that there might be something between the two of them. He was vague enough to alarm Willow and then played on her insecurities, she was fairly easy to read. Spike can intuit and manipulate rather well, although his insightfulness takes a nosedive after he gets his soul.

Faith is more cynical and street-smart which doesn't necessarily lend itself to amazing emotional insights, but I think she reads attraction pretty well, and off of one fond look and a couple of subtle questions she fills in the blanks. Still impressive though.
Hmn, its almost like Faith has amazing gay-day for some reason.
 
DeadlyDuo
DeadlyDuo
I think Dushku said she played Faith as Bisexual.

wolfpuppy

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For what it's worth, the novel Go Ask Malice which details Faith's pre Sunnydale life shows her best friend is a gay man, so it makes sense that Faith was more aware of gay people.
Spike is low key bisexual, so that also gives him that insight.
And as others have said, their status as outsiders gives them a different perspective.
 
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