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Jeez Buff over Identify much

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#1
Episode : I only have eyes for you.

Love this episode by the way.. But can we go a little more in depth about why buffy felt James didn't deserve forgiveness. Was it that she felt angel didn't deserve to be forgiven or was she blaming herself for what happened to angel
 

Fool for Buffy

I'm just being a big nerd again
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Sineya
#3
He murdered the woman he said he loved and then committed the only sin that cannot be forgiven- suicide. So I do not think he deserved forgiveness. I think Buffy was right, and the Angel role in the scenario just made it more complicated but didn't take away from the fact that she was right.
 

WillowFromBuffy

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#4
I think the idea is that she is shameful about her feelings towards Angel/Angelus. Her anger at James is really anger at herself. That is the reason for the gender bending twist at the end. We are all meant to assume Angel is James and Buffy is the teacher being attacked, but Buffy carries some of that rage James had.

"A person doesn't just wake up and STOP LOVING SOMEBODY!"
 

Professor Walsh

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Black Thorn
#5
Fool for Buffy
Fool for Buffy
To the last comment, I apologize if I offended you. If that's your belief then help others to understand by all means. You are already giving me a little more perspective that I probably needed.

Fool for Buffy

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Sineya
#6
Do you consider suicide a sin that cannot be forgiven?
Yes absolutely. It stems from my religious beliefs, and that we can be forgiven for anything as long as we ask and mean it. But you cannot ask to be forgiven when you're dead. Therefore I think suicide is unforgivable.
 
Professor Walsh
Professor Walsh
Back at the karma: Yes, absolutely. It's just a bit of a personal crusade of mine, trying to make more people see that suicide can be less of a choice and more of a "fatal symptom".
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Black Thorn
#7
I think Buffy is talking about herself. She's angry that she "destroyed" Angel in a moment of "blind passion" and she can't forgive herself for it. I think she views herself as having killed the man she loves in Surprise. ("So it was me. I did it," as she says to Jenny in Innocence.)
 

WillowFromBuffy

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#8
I think Buffy is talking about herself. She's angry that she "destroyed" Angel in a moment of "blind passion" and she can't forgive herself for it. I think she views herself as having killed the man she loves in Surprise. ("So it was me. I did it," as she says to Jenny in Innocence.)
I don't that is it. I think she is angry at Angel, because on an emotional level, she is unable to accept that it is the loss of his soul that made him stop loving her. James recognises that anger as his own, so he calls out to Buffy. Buffy does not want to accept that she is angry at Angel, so she judges James extra harshly, because she is really ashamed at herself.
 

Professor Walsh

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#10
Yes absolutely. It stems from my religious beliefs, and that we can be forgiven for anything as long as we ask and mean it. But you cannot ask to be forgiven when you're dead. Therefore I think suicide is unforgivable.
This is a step to the side from the topic of the thread, but I cannot let it lie: Suicide can be the fatal result of several mental disorders, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder among others. Do you truly find it more sinful for a person to die by his or her own hand as the result of an illness than to die from for example cancer or cystic fibrosis?
 
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Black Thorn
#12
I don't that is it. I think she is angry at Angel, because on an emotional level, she is unable to accept that it is the loss of his soul that made him stop loving her. James recognises that anger as his own, so he calls out to Buffy. Buffy does not want to accept that she is angry at Angel, so she judges James extra harshly, because she is really ashamed at herself.
Everyone can have their own interpretation, so you don't have to agree with me. But I think Buffy is angry at herself, and that's why it's so emotional for "Angel" to tell her it's not her fault her while possessed, because she needs to hear that he doesn't blame her for him losing his soul. ("It's not your fault. It was an accident.")
 

Fool for Buffy

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Sineya
#13
This is a step to the side from the topic of the thread, but I cannot let it lie: Suicide can be the fatal result of several mental disorders, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder among others. Do you truly find it more sinful for a person to die by his or her own hand as the result of an illness than to die from for example cancer or cystic fibrosis?
Yes I'll make this quick because it is off topic. If people have mental issues, they should get help. Suicide is never a solution, and there are no excuses.
 
Professor Walsh
Professor Walsh
Sadly, qualified help for mental illnesses is often hard to get, and these are illnesses that are hard to treat. There are people living with mental illness who fight so hard to stay alive. If they do succumb to their illness one day, they carry no blame.
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#14
I think when Grace forgave James it kind of made Buffy feel as if she should forgive Angelus for what he's done to her, which made her angry. Buffy didn't think that James deserves forgiveness because Angelus doesn't deserve forgiveness.
 
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#15
I think in a way Buffy felt responsible for releasing Angelus.
She was also angry that she went bed with her loving boyfriend and woke up to a man that was indifferent to her. She was angry at herself and Angel/Angelus and the entire situation as a whole.

Now as for James, that situation was incredibly different. He was basically being an overdramatic whiny little boy lashing out because he didn't get his way.
James was a pathetic excuse for a human. He killed the woman he claimed to love and then shot himself so he didn't have to deal with the consequences. He was a coward.
I usually like to say most people deserve forgiveness, but I don't think he did.

Now for other people who commit suicide because they have a mental disorder, are being severely bullied/abused/sexually abused, or are terminally ill and can't take the pain any longer. They deserve forgiveness, empathy, and understanding. But James was just a pathetic coward and I don't really have any sympathy for that.
 

RachM

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#16
This episode is about Buffy's guilt over Angel becoming Angelus. She sees herself reflected in James, as destroying the person she loved.

The running theme in this episode is guilt, as we see both Buffy’s guilt over Angel becoming Angelus and Giles’ guilt over Jenny’s death come to the forefront. Buffy’s guilt is quite nicely mirrored by James’ ghost and his guilt over killing Grace. While the metaphor doesn’t quite work (yes the gun accidentally went off, but James still brought a weapon with him when confronting Grace, whereas Buffy “killing” Angel literally was an accident, as neither party had any idea what would happen), it still makes a nice foil for Buffy’s continued guilt and grief over losing Angel.

I’ve always found Buffy’s guilt quite interesting and it goes a long way in explaining her attitude towards sex. When Buffy chose to consummate her relationship with Angel (a choice she made freely and without pressure or manipulation) she had no idea what would happen in the aftermath, and as such, she developed guilt and self-loathing due to her choice, believing herself to have acted rashly and passionately, which is rather unfortunate and heartbreaking because none of this is true.

Buffy chose to sleep with the person whom she loved, and she was at an age where she could make that decision of her own volition. The fact that it backfired so spectacularly goes a long way in explaining why she takes Parker’s rejection so badly, why she closes off so much when Riley leaves and why she refuse to allow herself to get emotionally involved with Spike when they are sleeping together. Buffy’s first experience having sex with someone she loved was so traumatic that it basically tainted the rest of her sexual experiences (this ties into a running theme in the Buffyverse of sex being bad, which is full of unfortunate implications but that’s another meta for another time).

Buffy’s anger at James mirrors her anger at herself and shows a startling trend which Buffy has of being ridiculously harsh on herself. She struggles to understand how or why Grace would forgive James for his actions, leading to one of Giles’ most beautiful and understated lines about how to forgive is an act of compassion, not done because it’s deserved but because it’s needed, and this is really the first step Buffy takes in forgiving herself for what happened to Angel and trying to move on.
 

WillowFromBuffy

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#17
Everyone can have their own interpretation, so you don't have to agree with me. But I think Buffy is angry at herself, and that's why it's so emotional for "Angel" to tell her it's not her fault her while possessed, because she needs to hear that he doesn't blame her for him losing his soul. ("It's not your fault. It was an accident.")
Sure, you don't have to agree with me either :p I just have a pathological need to argue my opinion.

The things that James/Buffy says to Angel are probably things that Buffy feels. Their conversation is actually very similar to their conversations in S3, when Angel explains his reasons for breaking up with her, minus the gun part.
She was also angry that she went bed with her loving boyfriend and woke up to a man that was indifferent to her.
I personally see this as the main reason.
 
Grace
Grace
Ha, sorry! I just get miffy at hints that there's one correct interpretation of something :)

Professor Walsh

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#18
James was a murderer, but he was also a victim. He was a kid being taken advantage of by one of his teachers.
That is true, he was. It can be easy to forget.
 
Fool for Buffy
Fool for Buffy
@your karma, I am sorry if I'm coming off harsh. The fact that mental illnesses are untreatable or not diagnosed is awful. But we need better and more treatment. Suicide needs to stop.

WillowFromBuffy

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#19
@Grace

I actually hadn't considered the idea that Buffy felt she killed Angel when they had sex. Thinking abut it, it does actually make a lot of sense. I won't swap mine for yours, but I think i can combine them :p
 
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Black Thorn
#20
@Grace

I actually hadn't considered the idea that Buffy felt she killed Angel when they had sex. Thinking abut it, it does actually make a lot of sense. I won't swap mine for yours, but I think i can combine them :p
You make good points about Buffy being angry at the situation with Angel/Angelus too. Especially "A person doesn't just wake up and STOP LOVING SOMEBODY!" I like the combined approach. :)