• Thank you for visiting Buffy-Boards. You obviously have exceptional taste. We just want you to know that:

    1. You really should register so you can chat with us!

    2. Fourteen thousand people can't be wrong.

    3. Buffy-Boards loves you.

    4. See 1 through 3.

    Come on, register already!

How would the series be better if Merrick or Giles were competant?

ILLYRIAN

Druish Pervonian Wizard
Joined
Jul 5, 2007
Messages
9,092
Age
65
Location
Toodyay
Black Thorn
Buffy was created a vampire slayer, the series was named Buffy The Vampire Slayer. So who was the failure, Buffy, Merrick or Giles?
A vampire slayer who dates and sleeps with vampires, someone got something wrong somewhere?
How would the series change if Buffy had slayed all vampires?
 

Taake

I do doodle. You too. You do doodle, too.
Staff member
Joined
Jan 1, 2010
Messages
17,780
Age
35
Location
Stockholm, Swe
Black Thorn
Vampire Slayers were created to kill vampires because they were apparently a problem. This gave them a natural inclination, imbued with demonic powers themselves, to hunt and kill. All vampires would be a steep task as there are vampires world-wide it seems. Though maybe Buffy could get some cool frequent-flyer miles.

I don't think someone got anything wrong. In season 1, where this thread is place, Buffy has not slept with any vampires yet. That she has a sort of romance with an ensouled vampire shows that she can see nuances, she is not a killing machine, she can see the individual, even in demons. Though it takes several seasons for that to extend to other demons as well, for the most part (she also decides not to kill Oz early on, even though that is technically a risk).

Basically, something went very right. Buffy and Giles, possibly less so Merrick, but we don't know enough to know that, understood and adapted to a more complex environment than "faster pussycat, kill, kill". Odds are other Slayers also dealt in shades of grey. Buffy again and again shows that she can rise above her instincts to physical violence and find another path. It doesn't always work, but a bumpy ride is more fun to watch.

So... the series would be worse if competence means indiscrimminate killing in a black and white world.
 

thetopher

Member of the Church Of Faith
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
10,707
Location
The Moot, England
Sineya
I think in the early seasons the characters were written as nuanced and fallible; Buffy was not a typical slayer, she was independent, stubborn and determined to live as normal a life as possible.
On the other hand Giles was a stuffy and inexperienced watcher but at least he was flexible enough to sometimes change tactics when it came to dealing with Buffy and getting her to do what he wanted. Those first two seasons are the push and pull of that relationship and its not just to do with Angel, it has a lot of other elements to it.

As for Angel it really is as simple as him having a soul, that changed everything, not only for Buffy but for Giles as well. After 'Angel' Giles doesn't say 'well, maybe you should, y'know, stake him anyway just to be on the safe side'; the having of a soul was unprecedented so there as far as Giles was concerned there was no 'this is the right thing to do in terms of my job'; he and Buffy were in unexplored territory.

This changed will the 'perfect happiness' reveal but even here I wouldn't say that Buffy and Giles were 'failures'; we understand Buffy's pov and so does Giles, which is why he is supportive of her.
When Angel returns in S3 Giles- when he finds out- seems to trust that Buffy will not repeat any past mistakes and respects her decisions going foward. Buffy in turn has to come to terms with the fact that even though Angel is back in her life he cannot remain there. But by that point we are getting into bigger questions than watcher/slayer 'duty'.


Sadly as the series went on the writing and characters became less strong; I mean, was there ever a solid reason for Spike not to get staked from S4 onward? Especially for someone like Giles? There is no soul to speak of, just a demon itching to get free and cause mayhem again and yet watcher and slayer both don't seem to care to do their job.
But then we have the Watchers council interviewing Spike at crossbow point so who's to say if Giles was a poor watcher or not. Maybe by that point they were all dumb as planks.
 

TriBel

Scooby
Joined
Jun 25, 2017
Messages
3,517
Location
Manchester
How would the series change if Buffy had slayed all vampires?
Would it change...or would it stop? Can she be Buffy the Vampire Slayer if there are no vampires to kill? Killing all vampires (ie. ridding the world of conflict) comes close to utopia...and utopias are pretty boring...which is why film-makers and writers tend to create dystopias. Isn't this what Serenity is about (I forget)?
A vampire slayer who dates and sleeps with vampires
Two vampires (figured as the exception rather than the rule). On balance, I don't think anyone got anything "wrong"...and nobody "failed". You just see a range of world views...and world views can/do change. Generally, BtVS progresses by way of a dialectic with the end of conflict projected into the future (though there's always the promise of the messianic). Isn't this why they mention the Hellmouth in Cleveland when Sunnydale collapses? (I think it's probably a teleology that rolls out by way of repetitions - which I find interesting. I could have made that up).
 
Last edited:
V
VampireSlayer07
Plain and simple; it's impossible to rid the world of all supernatural evil anyway. Utopia is a literal impossibility anyway..

Priceless

Scooby
Joined
Jan 25, 2016
Messages
9,011
Location
UK
I don't think anything went 'wrong' exactly, it's just the human aspect wasn't taken into account. These staid middle aged men couldn't envision a 16 year old girl would fall for a sexy and charming vampire, or that there could ever be a vampire with a soul, let alone two. I think a lack of imagination let them down, but for story telling purposes it went incredibly right.

The vampires were a metaphor for the problems of life and if they vanished, what would be the point of continuing the story? As @TriBel says, problem free existences are not great entertainment.
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2021
Messages
14
Age
38
We don't really know Merrick well enough to deduce how he would handle things one way or another.

I don't think anything went wrong. Let's face it; later seasons of Buffy and Angel (to say nothing of comics or novels) show things are not as black and white as we're meant to believe. A souled vampire really becomes no more of a threat than any normal human and yet we don't put them down. Spike is more problematic (what a shock lol) but he's still allowed to live for what good he could do.

And really is the council in the place to judge these unprecedented situations? Whose brilliant idea was it to take a girl who may (or may not) reach the age of eighteen and put them through the crucimenteum?

Ultimately the show likely would not have been better and may have been worse for the 'rigid right'.
 

TriBel

Scooby
Joined
Jun 25, 2017
Messages
3,517
Location
Manchester
@ILLYRIAN
I think the first part of my answer above is a partial misreading of your question - sorry - the logic still stands though.
- sorry.
A vampire slayer who dates and sleeps with vampires, someone got something wrong somewhere?
From whose perspective is it wrong (or has something gone wrong)? Perhaps it's not an anomaly? Perhaps other Slayers have had relationships with vampires? Perhaps there've been other vampires with souls? Similarly, is Nikki Wood the only Slayer to have had a child? We don't know because Slayers don't write history - Watchers do and it's the truths that serve their purpose that are perpetuated. Tales of the Slayers/Vampires introduces us to wider variety of both. The Giles mini does something similar - Roux's a vampire who used to be a slave and is completely different in temperament and habit than the ones we meet in the show.

[I]VampireSlayer07[/I] Utopia is a literal impossibility anyway..
I know - but have you noticed how often we strive for it? 😄 The concept has an imaginary function if not a reality.
 
ILLYRIAN
ILLYRIAN
The first line of this post. Now there is something you don't see very often. Using the words logic and Spike in the same sentence.

Spanky

Scooby
Joined
Aug 12, 2008
Messages
24,289
Black Thorn
Yes, I think it would have been much better. It could have been Penny Dreadful before Penny Dreadful. I certainly would have rewatched it more often had all of the teenage crush stuff been removed and more a focus on vampire slaying.
 

Ninjagirl2008

Townie
Joined
Aug 18, 2021
Messages
23
If the Watchers' council really wanted the Slayer to focus solely on slaying, they should have come up with a way keep her from having to go to school so she could make Slaying the main point of her life. They should have found a way to bring her mom on board, so Buffy would be allowed to roam the night without risking getting grounded. They'd have to figure out some kind of financial compensation. And still, that wouldn't negate the need of a teenager to have a social life in order to stay mentally healthy. Really, for as long as the Council has been around, you'd think they'd have figured out a way to keep Slayers at peak efficiency while allowing them some semblance of a life.
 
Top Bottom