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Most out of character moments?

darkspook

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So there was over 100 episodes of Buffy and over 100 episodes of Angel. We enjoy them, rewatch them and are prepared to defend some of them as great works of television I am sure but also I think we all agree that not all of them are winners, game changers and containing brilliant character moments. So I was wondering what for people are moments that had you thinking or saying 'Wow Willow or whoever would never say, do or act like that?"

I feel that the Willow and Giles scene is massively out of character for Willow. Yes there is an arrogrant side of Willow particualry when it comes to magic. She always thinks there is a solution to anything and everything, whether it be a logical one or a magical one, and doesn't seem to understand why she can't use magic to fix it. But to have her say the following line to Giles "The magicks I used are very powerful. I'm very powerful. And maybe it's not such a good idea for you to piss me off." was just out of nowhere! I get it the writers were leading Willow down a dark path but that felt way too fast to be saying that kinda of stuff and way too forceful. It could be argued that alot of out of character moments are when the character's are behaving in a unsympathetic manner but for example argue that while Xander acts like a major jerk in 'Revelations' and 'Dead Man's Party' the reasons and writing is pretty much in keeping with his character. He puts Buffy on a pedestal and can't understand or accept when she makes a mistake or does something he doesn't agree with. Not healthy but for sure a character trait. To have Willow go from defensive over her magic use to downright threaten her mentor like figure just felt wrong for me.

What other character beats or moments did one feel was out of character?
 

thrasherpix

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Xander and Willow cheating (and also how it vanishes as instantly as it appeared) is one I always have to grit my teeth for as I endure it (and the headcanon I can come up with to explain it is extremely unflattering to them both). It's even more shoehorned than some of the other ships, and knowing it's just so they can insert the Wishverse storyline and so Joss can wreak more havoc on the true love (and those who feel it) that he seems to idealize and hate at the same time (and gives credence to the statement that he's a sadist, even to those who look up to him).
 
Faded90
Faded90
The way their feelings apparently completely vanish instantly actually makes them both look worse as well!

Faded90

Scooby
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Apr 2, 2020
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704
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So there was over 100 episodes of Buffy and over 100 episodes of Angel. We enjoy them, rewatch them and are prepared to defend some of them as great works of television I am sure but also I think we all agree that not all of them are winners, game changers and containing brilliant character moments. So I was wondering what for people are moments that had you thinking or saying 'Wow Willow or whoever would never say, do or act like that?"

I feel that the Willow and Giles scene is massively out of character for Willow. Yes there is an arrogrant side of Willow particualry when it comes to magic. She always thinks there is a solution to anything and everything, whether it be a logical one or a magical one, and doesn't seem to understand why she can't use magic to fix it. But to have her say the following line to Giles "The magicks I used are very powerful. I'm very powerful. And maybe it's not such a good idea for you to piss me off." was just out of nowhere! I get it the writers were leading Willow down a dark path but that felt way too fast to be saying that kinda of stuff and way too forceful. It could be argued that alot of out of character moments are when the character's are behaving in a unsympathetic manner but for example argue that while Xander acts like a major jerk in 'Revelations' and 'Dead Man's Party' the reasons and writing is pretty much in keeping with his character. He puts Buffy on a pedestal and can't understand or accept when she makes a mistake or does something he doesn't agree with. Not healthy but for sure a character trait. To have Willow go from defensive over her magic use to downright threaten her mentor like figure just felt wrong for me.

What other character beats or moments did one feel was out of character?
Totally agree with this. Like I struggle a lot with Willow anyway, I don’t like her as a human being but this scene went just a touch too far. Plus other than Dark Willow we never really see this level of menace from her again so it seems like a very isolated incident. Even in her ‘addiction’ phase she goes back to being meek Willow

One for me and it’s such a tiny moment but it bothers me far too much is in First Dates - which is a terrible episode chock full of plot holes and contrivances anyway! When they get to the school and we see Xander bleeding out and Buffy/Robin/Spike come to rescue him after the fight we have Xander, Buffy’s human best friend bleeding out in the corner from a serious stomach injury and Buffy instead goes to check on Spike the immortal vampire who had cut his hand - WTF?! Like I know Jane Espenson is an Uber Spuffy (and this episode is heavily Spuffy compared to other S7 episodes around this time) but it was just taking the Spuffy stuff a level too far. I know they’re trying to push Spuffy rather heavily at this point and making Buffy a Spike fan girl but there is absolutely no way she leaves Xander dying in the corner to check on a vampires cut hand. This isn’t even an anti Spuffy thing either, there is no way Buffy would have done this with Angel in S2 or 3 either because she’s not a complete idiot. I think it’s supposed to be a ‘awww Spuffy’ thing but it doesn’t make Buffy look doe eyed, it makes her look stupid

Honestly I’ve actually removed it from my head because it was so completely ridiculous
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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"Dead Man's Party" is the winner, IMHO. I get what the episode was trying to do, but it's so tonally inconsistent with with the prior episode and the subsequent episodes. I get that it needed to be shown, and you only have 7 episodes to clean up the last season and set up the new one, but the Scoobies act like entirely different people, like, someone they went to grade school with wants to hang out with them in their late twenties, or something. Not, I have undisclosed problems with someone who is my best friend.
 

TriBel

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What other character beats or moments did one feel was out of character?
None. I don't hold much truck with the idea of the coherent self/subject. BtVS isn't my
favourite programme but I think it's pretty near perfect in what it does.
"The magicks I used are very powerful. I'm very powerful. And maybe it's not such a good idea for you to piss me off." was just out of nowhere!
Not really - it's counterpart is her cringing "Instead, you go all Dumbledore on me" in Lessons. It motivates Giles comment "In the end, we all are who we are, no matter how much we may appear to have changed". What that means is anyone's guess - it's one of the most self-negating phrases in the whole of the series. What you see as OOC I see as character complexity. To paraphrase Webster, they all have a "superiority/inferiority" complexes TBH, I think that summarises the human condition.

I know they’re trying to push Spuffy rather heavily at this point and making Buffy a Spike fan girl but there is absolutely no way she leaves Xander dying in the corner to check on a vampires cut hand.
It's kinda involuntary...hence the tripartite gaze thing later. It's the inverse of S6: Spike threatened to reveal their relationship to her to her friends. Here she unconsciously betrays her feelings herself. She's being doing it since Lessons...definitely since Beneath You. It's the same as the scene in Potential and I think it has its counterpart in Older and Further Away. In Potential she tries to reason herself out of the attraction. In First Date, she capitulates and asks him to stay (albeit with a cushion and a double negative between them). It does have plot holes...IIRC, they had to edit quite heavily because it was too long.
 

darkspook

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Not really - it's counterpart is her cringing "Instead, you go all Dumbledore on me" in Lessons. It motivates Giles comment "In the end, we all are who we are, no matter how much we may appear to have changed". What that means is anyone's guess - it's one of the most self-negating phrases in the whole of the series. What you see as OOC I see as character complexity. To paraphrase Webster, they all have a "superiority/inferiority" complexes TBH, I think that summarises the human condition.
But during that scene she is playing rather meek innocent Willow who wants a pat on the head and smile for bringing Buffy back from the dead then after getting some harsh truths from Giles she utters that line. It's like going from 0 to 100mph. I understand the concept of superiority/inferiority complexes and with Willow it's there for sure. With Willow it's the old archetype of the emotionally stunted genius. Willow is extremely gifted intellectually and mystically, but she never really learns how to deal with people and their problems. My point is in the context of that scene Willow is being all 'look at me aren't I fanfastic?! I brought Buffy back from the dead! I'm like Dr Strange, Mr Fantastic and the Genie all rolled into one!' then she is like 'don't talk back to me old man! I could turn you into a frog in seconds! Fear me!' It's a big jump to occur in one scene in my view.

None. I don't hold much truck with the idea of the coherent self/subject. BtVS isn't my
favourite programme but I think it's pretty near perfect in what it does.
So in other words you are telling me there is no scene or moment that you feel is out of character? No missed beat or bad landing during the whole run? No little knock or awkward pause? Just curious btw.
 

darkspook

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Xander and Willow cheating (and also how it vanishes as instantly as it appeared) is one I always have to grit my teeth for as I endure it (and the headcanon I can come up with to explain it is extremely unflattering to them both). It's even more shoehorned than some of the other ships, and knowing it's just so they can insert the Wishverse storyline and so Joss can wreak more havoc on the true love (and those who feel it) that he seems to idealize and hate at the same time (and gives credence to the statement that he's a sadist, even to those who look up to him).
I don't mind them ending up together in Wishverse universe but yeah having them jump to smoochies and then jump back to friends wasn't great writing. Plus for a girl with such a big heart and caring side Willow did not once apologise to Cordelia about her and Xander cheating. We see Xander acting all nervous around Oz but we never see Willow even bat an eyelid or look guilty around Cordelia.
 
T
thrasherpix
My unflattering headcanon (what I'd assume if she were real rather than putty for writers) is that Willow was with Xander as revenge against Xander (BBB & being with Cordy when he refused her) and Cordy (for years of bullying, etc).

TriBel

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Jun 25, 2017
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So in other words you are telling me there is no scene or moment that you feel is out of character? No missed beat or bad landing during the whole run? No little knock or awkward pause? Just curious btw.
No...😄I don't particularly like it (as in "it's not my favourite programme or something I watch on a regular basis". I've seen Lucifer more times. It's not quality TV but it's less divisive) but I'm constantly surprised by just how clever it is. I tend not to think in terms of "character" (it was an outmoded term when I was going through uni and it stuck)...I prefer "textual function". I take The Master at his word when he says "we're going back to the beginning" and from the standpoint of the end (and I include the comics in this) it all makes sense to me. 😏 Nor do I think in terms of story. I think "plot" occasionally but I divide that up into events and discourse and the discourse tends to fill the plot holes. Mostly, I think in terms of structure and metanarrative/metadiscourse (which is why I write such boring posts but it's difficult to break the habits of a life-time) and from this perspective it's nigh on perfect. :)
It's a big jump to occur in one scene in my view.
Why? I can go from 0 to 10 in a nanosecond...particularly if I'm being defensive.😄

There's a Halloween episode with Janus, the two-faced God. Take Janus as a model (it's quite a useful one - in fact, one could argue that the structure of BtVS is Janus - "in my beginning is my end; in my end is my beginning" sorta thing).

Giles: Primarily the division of self. Male and female, light and dark. LOL! Look how Giles describes it. Male = Light; Female = Dark. Doesn't that have resonance? For Dark Willow? For Spike wanting to take Buffy into the dark? For S7's critique of Enlightenment? At the very least it shows us how Giles (and patriarchy) thinks. From 5 onwards characters are (at the least) Janus faced and we sometimes see one face when we expect another. In S7 they're multi-faceted...they have so many faces we don't recognize them. As I said...I don't think they're OOC...just complex.

Ethan: "Oh, and we all know that you are the champion of innocents and all things pure and good, Rupert. It's quite a little act you've got going here, old man."
Giles "It's no act... It's who I am." Who is Giles?
Compare with "In the end, we all are who we are, no matter how much we may appear to have changed". Throughout S6/7 I can see at least two different versions of Giles - in Lessons they occupy the same place at the same time (before we get to that particular episode). Go back to the beginning and you start to see the same. It's not just Clem and Vampires who have more than one face.

Sorry...I think it's brilliant. 😄
 

Antho

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The entire famous « empty places » scenes. I’m still convinced the writers make Willow, Xander, Dawn, Anya and Giles so miserable only to allow Spike to do his « touched » speech and to be the greater guy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice speech he gave to her and it’s kinda great to see Spike like this, under a best light I would say. Just I would have prefer no assassination of Character for this to happened 😅. It was possible to have that Spuffy scene without making the others characters like big assholes.
 
T
thrasherpix
The first time I saw that I rewound it because I thought I missed something, and then assumed some occult power at work. Now...I just agree with you, just one reason I have little affection for this season.
darkspook
darkspook
100% agree it’s a scene purely designed to move Spuffy forward. Character assassination you say, I would argue character massacre!

Faded90

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The entire famous « empty places » scenes. I’m still convinced the writers make Willow, Xander, Dawn, Anya and Giles so miserable only to allow Spike to do his « touched » speech and to be the greater guy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice speech he gave to her and it’s kinda great to see Spike like this, under a best light I would say. Just I would have prefer no assassination of Character for this to happened 😅. It was possible to have that Spuffy scene without making the others characters like big assholes.
I’d say it was almost certainly done to get Buffy away from the others to do a ‘Spikes the only one who understands her’ thing. Like you say nice speech, but it really didn’t need such an awful episode to get there. I don’t even buy the ‘the scoobies are scared and tensions have came to a point’. They got to a much worse point in S5 with losing Dawn, Giles nearly dying, Tara losing her mind - and there was no finger pointing or need to blame anyone. Where did sparky Anya ‘come on let’s think outside the box people!’ go? She like every other character is replaced with the miserable zero empathy version of themselves. Like some of these people have known Buffy for 7 years and been through insane trauma with her but are we seriously supposed to believe that Faith was the only one to notice that Buffy is clearly on the edge of a nervous breakdown? Then we get the scene in the next episode when Dawn asks ‘why?’ when Faith asks them to check on her - erm because she’s your sister and you should be wanting to check even without being asked to
 
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Antho
Antho
Agreed. All of OOC

r2dh2

Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain
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None. I don't hold much truck with the idea of the coherent self/subject. BtVS isn't my
favourite programme but I think it's pretty near perfect in what it does.

Not really - it's counterpart is her cringing "Instead, you go all Dumbledore on me" in Lessons. It motivates Giles comment "In the end, we all are who we are, no matter how much we may appear to have changed". What that means is anyone's guess - it's one of the most self-negating phrases in the whole of the series. What you see as OOC I see as character complexity. To paraphrase Webster, they all have a "superiority/inferiority" complexes TBH, I think that summarises the human condition.
I mostly agree with you regarding OOC behavior, I think people are capable of anything and I do believe that we are complex creatures. But I also think that there is consistency in our behavior dictated by values, interpersonal relationships, cultural settings, etc. I can see why certain behaviors might seem out of character specially in when analyzed in a specific context where we expect certain response. In general, that's what probability theory relies on, patterns of behavior which can be capture through statistical distributions (even if there are certain behaviors that fall into the tails of a given distribution).

One for me and it’s such a tiny moment but it bothers me far too much is in First Dates - which is a terrible episode chock full of plot holes and contrivances anyway! When they get to the school and we see Xander bleeding out and Buffy/Robin/Spike come to rescue him after the fight we have Xander, Buffy’s human best friend bleeding out in the corner from a serious stomach injury and Buffy instead goes to check on Spike the immortal vampire who had cut his hand - WTF?! Like I know Jane Espenson is an Uber Spuffy (and this episode is heavily Spuffy compared to other S7 episodes around this time) but it was just taking the Spuffy stuff a level too far. I know they’re trying to push Spuffy rather heavily at this point and making Buffy a Spike fan girl but there is absolutely no way she leaves Xander dying in the corner to check on a vampires cut hand. This isn’t even an anti Spuffy thing either, there is no way Buffy would have done this with Angel in S2 or 3 either because she’s not a complete idiot. I think it’s supposed to be a ‘awww Spuffy’ thing but it doesn’t make Buffy look doe eyed, it makes her look stupid

Honestly I’ve actually removed it from my head because it was so completely ridiculous
Mmmh. I know that some people feel this way but I cannot avoid thinking that it makes sense. Regardless of how things ended between Spike and Buffy in S6, they engaged in an almost one season long sexual relationship. I think that it is very difficult to separate sex from feelings even when we wouldn't want to have those feelings. So for me, it does make sense that she cares about him more than she'd like to (yes, despite everything that happened between them in the previous season).
 

Faded90

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I mostly agree with you regarding OOC behavior, I think people are capable of anything and I do believe that we are complex creatures. But I also think that there is consistency in our behavior dictated by values, interpersonal relationships, cultural settings, etc. I can see why certain behaviors might seem out of character specially in when analyzed in a specific context where we expect certain response. In general, that's what probability theory relies on, patterns of behavior which can be capture through statistical distributions (even if there are certain behaviors that fall into the tails of a given distribution).



Mmmh. I know that some people feel this way but I cannot avoid thinking that it makes sense. Regardless of how things ended between Spike and Buffy in S6, they engaged in an almost one season long sexual relationship. I think that it is very difficult to separate sex from feelings even when we wouldn't want to have those feelings. So for me, it does make sense that she cares about him more than she'd like to (yes, despite everything that happened between them in the previous season).
My issue isn’t about who she cares about the most or how much she cares about him. It’s the fact she left a human guy who is also her best friend bleeding out with a serious stomach injury to tend to an immortal vampire with a cut hand. Like it just made Buffy look stupid and I genuinely think it was OOC because I just don’t see her leaving a seriously injured Xander on the floor like that
 

r2dh2

Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain
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My issue isn’t about who she cares about the most or how much she cares about him. It’s the fact she left a human guy who is also her best friend bleeding out with a serious stomach injury to tend to an immortal vampire with a cut hand. Like it just made Buffy look stupid and I genuinely think it was OOC because I just don’t see her leaving a seriously injured Xander on the floor like that
I understand what you're saying. I still think that it was an involuntary reaction in the sense that she went to Spike first. Besides, she didn't leave Xander bleeding to death in the floor. She briefly ran to Spike and then moved to Xander (also Spike was right next to her). I don't think she looks stupid, I think her feelings betrayed her for a second and then she went to Xander. It's not like we react (or act?) rationally all the time, our feelings often override our brains quite often and then we correct the course. In any case, this is my reading of the scene and why I wouldn't call it OOC, but I get that you do. It was only a comment regarding my personal point of view.
 

TriBel

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In general, that's what probability theory relies on, patterns of behavior which can be capture through statistical distributions (even if there are certain behaviors that fall into the tails of a given distribution).
Except I think in S5/6 (? - I haven't looked too closely at them) - and certainly S7 we've moved into a realm that has more in keeping with the randomness associated with Quantum and Chaos Theory. The writers are certainly aware if it. Entropy? In Angel we have an episode called Supersymmetry (in S10 it's String Theory). Back in the day, chaos theory was "a thing" in the Arts (Stoppard, Gray, Winterson...I know Alasdair Gray's work best but I'm casting my mind back about 20 years). I'm pretty sure it's central to Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse 5, which Cassie's reading in Help. IMO, S7 is writing against certain values associated with the Enlightenment (including the autonomous subject and ocularcentrism). It's not entirely random (just looks that way) - in fact it's heavily structured but it's much more indebted to the unconscious...parapraxis, return of the repressed, non-linearity of time etc. LOL! I'm sure Buffy's wearing Butterfly earrings in Lessons - it never occurred to me to relate them to the Butterfly Effect. 😄
 

NothingVentured

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Xander and the whole demon-summoning thing. Buffy in Gone, which Fury even admitted he was writing her OOC I'm still now sure how they felt that was an explanation.
 

Faded90

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Definitely! And then no one brings it up ever again.
Very odd one! I don’t even buy the ‘he was covering for Dawn’ theory because of it was Dawn her S6 self would be using it in a ‘do you even care Buffy?’
 
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