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I think Xander had a pretty good arc in season 6

Athene

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I think one of the best character moments for Xander has to be the foreshadowing that he's uncertain about marrying Anya throughout season 6 and then the moment he actually decides not to marry her in Hells Bells. I love how subtle it was with Xander just saying things like "Did you really look like that?" (about Anya's demon form) him singing "Am I marrying a demon?" and just how freaked out Xander looked a lot of the time about Anya. He was obviously in denial about his uncertainty though. And my favourite moment is when Xander looks at his parents fighting and we can all see that he's not over his childhood or his boyishness from the earlier seasons he's just been playing a man that has a job and an apartment and therefore should be married.
I guess it works so well for me because I never understood how suddenly well put together Xander became on the outside in season 5 and his relationship with Anya so when the answer became... Xander isn't put together it all made sense.

It was still a jerk move on Xander's part to leave Anya at the altar but I get how his issues wouldn't just come out into the open at the convenient time (before the wedding) because it doesn't work like that.

What do you think?
 
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WillowFromBuffy

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I also love how it builds so seamlessly on previous seasons.

And I don't want to be too harsh on a kid who has suffered neglect and abuse his entire life and everyone just closing their ears to it. Buffy doesn't invite him to her Christmas party. Nobody says a word during the fight in The Replacement. He's been keeping these issues to himself, just letting little hints out that nobody picked up on.
 
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Mehansa

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I do agree that Xander had valid reasons for leaving Anya at the Alter. At the same time I feel like even though he was in denial deep down he knew about his insecurities therefore, he should have either postponed the wedding or called it off or hell even talk to Anya about them. In the episode 'Once more with feeling' both Anya and Xander sang to each other about the insecurities, but I felt like Xander was feeding his insecurities to Anya because he wasn't treating her how he should have been. At the end of the day I feel like he had his epiphany a little too late and just ended up humiliating Anya.
 
Athene
Athene
Anya could probably feel that Xander had doubts and that probably did make her insecure. But Anya probably pushed down that she felt Xander was off too. Because they did care about each other and on the surface they wanted to be married.

Athene

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I also love how it builds so seamlessly on previous seasons.

And I don't want to be too harsh on a kid who has suffered neglect and abuse his entire life and everyone just closing his ears to it. Buffy doesn't invite him to her Christmas party. Nobody says a word during the fight in The Replacement. He's been keeping these issues to himself, just letting little hints out that nobody picked up on.
That's very true anytime Xander mentions his parents being drunk or fighting, nobody really expresses concern. They all just get awkward and are like okay, moving on....
But I have a lot of smypathy for Xander because of his home life.
 

WillowFromBuffy

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At the end of the day I feel like he had his epiphany a little too late and just ended up humiliating Anya.
Well, it isn't Xander's fault that one of Anya's old victims decided to pay him a visit.

And no sane person goes through a marriage without some cold feet.
 

Priceless

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I wonder why people say they ran out of story for Xander, because he gets a great arc through season 6 and into season 7. He can't attempt to destroy the world like Willow and he's not the kind to sink into depression like Buffy, but in his own way he struggles with adulthood, deeply affected by what he's seen in his childhood. I think it's a great arc, even though I actively hate Xander post Hells Bells up to Grave, I know he has to go through everything he does to become the grown up he is in Season 7.
 

Athene

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I wonder why people say they ran out of story for Xander, because he gets a great arc through season 6 and into season 7. He can't attempt to destroy the world like Willow and he's not the kind to sink into depression like Buffy, but in his own way he struggles with adulthood, deeply affected by what he's seen in his childhood. I think it's a great arc, even though I actively hate Xander post Hells Bells up to Grave, I know he has to go through everything he does to become the grown up he is in Season 7.
He has a great arc I just wish they gave him more attention because I think the childhood thing is so subtle in a way a lot of people don't pick it up.
Why do you hate him from Hells Bells to Grave?
 

Mehansa

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@WillowFromBuffy Yes I do agree that it is not Xander's fault that one of Anya's old victims came to pay a little visit, but if he truly loved Anya he would have talked to her and tell her its off rather than letting her down at the last moment infront of everyone. And yes everyone does have Cold feet its normal but I think he should have been honest about it with Anya.
 

WillowFromBuffy

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@WillowFromBuffy Yes I do agree that it is not Xander's fault that one of Anya's old victims came to pay a little visit, but if he truly loved Anya he would have talked to her and tell her its off rather than letting her down at the last moment infront of everyone. And yes everyone does have Cold feet its normal but I think he should have been honest about it with Anya.
But he didn't plan to call it off. He was ready to go through with it.
 

Mehansa

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@WillowFromBuffy He heard few words from a random man who claimed to be his future self and saw what his future held and ran out. All I'm saying is that he could have talked to Willow, Tara, Buff and even Anya about this. They could have talked it out. I just didn't like how he just left Anya infront of everyone and humiliated her.
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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At the beginning of January, I attended a funeral for a 96 year old man. Who would have thought it was the social event of the year?

As a plot by itself, in isolation? Yes, it was a good story. Compared to some of the other "Big Bads" in Season six, like drug use, or depression or hot sex with Spike? Much better. But in a season where we probably could have used a "win' by that point? Or what would happen for the rest of the season? Or that this was the year 9/11 took place? All of season six is fruit of a poisonous tree now, if it deserves to be, or not.

As an aside, Xander was mind raped. I don't think he was watching events so much as he was reliving them, like a black magic version of TNG's "The Inner Light," whatever you think of his decision, he deserves pity, not judgement.
 

WillowFromBuffy

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@WillowFromBuffy He heard few words from a random man who claimed to be his future self and saw what his future held and ran out. All I'm saying is that he could have talked to Willow, Tara, Buff and even Anya about this. They could have talked it out. I just didn't like how he just left Anya infront of everyone and humiliated her.
I don't get what you mean. The random guy shows as the ceremony is about to start with a very convincing spell. Xander takes Anya aside to talk to her. He doesn't do it in front of everyone. There's no tidy way to stop a wedding once it is underway.
 

Athene

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At the beginning of January, I attended a funeral for a 96 year old man. Who would have thought it was the social event of the year?

As a plot by itself, in isolation? Yes, it was a good story. Compared to some of the other "Big Bads" in Season six, like drug use, or depression or hot sex with Spike? Much better. But in a season where we probably could have used a "win' by that point? Or what would happen for the rest of the season? Or that this was the year 9/11 took place? All of season six is fruit of a poisonous tree now, if it deserves to be, or not.

As an aside, Xander was mind raped. I don't think he was watching events so much as he was reliving them, like a black magic version of TNG's "The Inner Light," whatever you think of his decision, he deserves pity, not judgement.
I guess it felt a bit much to have all the characters be going through dark times in their lives but I think Xander, Buffy and Dawn's stories were pretty interesting. In terms of what they were.
 

Mehansa

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@WillowFromBuffy I do agree with that there is no tidy way to call off a wedding. I just meant that he ran off from the venue right after seeing his future. If he had asked his friends or Anya they could have told him it was a spell. He probably still wouldn't have married Anya which is fine. But I also felt like when calling the wedding off he could have gone to the room Anya was in instead of leaving, coming back to tell her while standing at the entrance of their venue and to leave yet again. He got Anya's hopes up just to crush them. He could have stayed with Anya and called it of together. Overall, I just think Xander could have handled it with more grace- like telling everyone it was off at the end of the episode
 
Athene
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I think the way he mishandled things was because of fear he seemed in his behaviour to turn into a little boy again.

Mehansa

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@Athene I do agree with that. I mean I've always felt sorry for Xander. I just wish he could have handled it better.
 

Priceless

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He has a great arc I just wish they gave him more attention because I think the childhood thing is so subtle in a way a lot of people don't pick it up.
Why do you hate him from Hells Bells to Grave?
Real fans of the show know what type of life Xander's had, and they meet his parents in Hells Bells, which must make it obvious to even the casual viewer that he'd not had the best childhood?

I hate what he does to Anya. I know people hate Anya for wishing terrible things on him, but I fully support her. I'd have done the same. It's not that you stop loving someone, it's that the hurt is so strong you just need to punish them. Then he has the gall to insist he still loves Anya and wants them to get back together, he's mad at Buffy for not telling him about Spike, he's mad at Anya for sleeping with Spike, he tells Dawn about Spike's attack on Buffy, he's completely self-pitying through much of the end of season 6 and that just annoys me.

My favourite Xander is in Season 7, when he's far more of a grown up. He stops lecturing people, he's not so self-pitying, even when he loses an eye. He's supportive of Dawn and Buffy, he forgives Willow and wants only to help her. He's gained a maturity I really like.
 

Athene

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Real fans of the show know what type of life Xander's had, and they meet his parents in Hells Bells, which must make it obvious to even the casual viewer that he'd not had the best childhood?

I hate what he does to Anya. I know people hate Anya for wishing terrible things on him, but I fully support her. I'd have done the same. It's not that you stop loving someone, it's that the hurt is so strong you just need to punish them. Then he has the gall to insist he still loves Anya and wants them to get back together, he's mad at Buffy for not telling him about Spike, he's mad at Anya for sleeping with Spike, he tells Dawn about Spike's attack on Buffy, he's completely self-pitying through much of the end of season 6 and that just annoys me.

My favourite Xander is in Season 7, when he's far more of a grown up. He stops lecturing people, he's not so self-pitying, even when he loses an eye. He's supportive of Dawn and Buffy, he forgives Willow and wants only to help her. He's gained a maturity I really like.
I don't support Anya wishing bad things on Xander because she was literally trying to wish bad things on him but it does make for really funny scenes and I don't blame her on principle for wanting to punish him. It helps that Anya doesn't go through with it in the end. And yeah we do see Xander's really judgemental side in this episode. I think in Hells Bells we're supposed to see things from Xander's perspective and Entropy is for Anya's perspective. I have no problem with him telling Dawn about the attack though.
 

thrasherpix

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I think most of Xander's worst moments are understandable (not to be confused with acceptable or right) under the circumstances. And he's no more self-pitying than any other character in this series, including Buffy and Anya.

I think his mentioning Spikes' attack on Buffy was more of a heated slip of the tongue, but if she was thinking Spike was a hero then she needed a reality check. I wouldn't even have to be angry, bitter, and self-pitying to warn a kid to stay away from someone who did that, especially one who may be feeling particularly vengeful against Buffy right then. Just because Spike couldn't hurt her directly doesn't mean he couldn't arrange for all sorts of badness for her (and what trust Spike earned just got trashed). (That said, I'm one of the few defenders of Spike's sexual experience with Anya.)

I can also understand Anya's POV, but am I really supposed to cry that one of her atrocities finally caught up with her? Or that in getting a friend to wish something horrible that she's be hurting that person who actually had a conscience in addition to Xander with disproportionate revenge? Anya learned nothing. And if Anya gets a pass then so does Xander, as he deserves it more than Anya.
 

Priceless

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I guess it comes down to how you read the scene. From my perspective Xander didn't tell Dawn about Spike's attack because he wanted to warn her to keep away from him. He told her because Dawn was comparing him to Spike and finding him lacking. Xander couldn't allow that. This was another example of Xander's self pity. Throughout the whole of the last seven episodes of season 6 Xander is incredibly self-pitying and he takes his self-loathing out on those around him. It's not a criticism, I think it's written really well and helps make season 6 my favourite season, and I do think Xander is far more self-pitying then any other character. Willow comes close, but I have more sympathy for her.

I fully support Anya. I don't cry when one of her vengeance spells catches up with her, but I do when she's left to walk down the aisle alone, to tell everyone her fiance has left her. If that had happened to me, I'd want my ex's innards to turn to liquid fire (or whatever). I think both she and Xander learn a lot from this happening and it helps Xander move forward and become a better man in the following season.
 
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