1. 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. Ten thousand people can't be wrong.
    3. Buffy-Boards loves you.
    4. See 1 through 3.
    Come on, register already!

Once More, with Podcast Episode 11: You Had One Job, Phil!

Discussion in 'BB News Archive' started by Athena, May 30, 2017.

  1. Guy

    Guy Scooby

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Messages:
    1,315
    Likes Received:
    1,619
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Israel
    Reputation:
    1,613
    Black Thorn
    Sure, Buffy messed up. She wasn't ready for the visit, and she answered the social worker's questions very awkwardly. But the social worker's response should have been to GET TO THE BOTTOM OF IT, to find out exactly WHAT was wrong with the house, and WHY. That's what social workers are supposed to do - they're supposed to HELP families, not to TEST them. Recommending foster care is only a last resort, because children need their families, and they need stability.

    By ending the visit so soon, the social worker essentially said that this house was a lost cause, and that there's no way of turning it into a good home for Dawn - and Buffy's behaviour was NOT on that level of incompetence. Forgetting what day it is is not an example of a hopeless parent.

    And no matter how wrong Buffy's behaviour was, the social worker's response of "I'm outta here" was negligent. Even if Buffy WAS a lost cause, the responsible thing to do would have been to get to the bottom of it. This is a child's life at stake here, and it deserves that social worker's time.

    And if Doris was aware of Dawn's dad, then she also knew that that dad was an even worse parent than Buffy - incompetent parents are bad, but absent parents are even worse. The most basic job of every parent is to be there when he/she is needed. Buffy did that. Hank did not.
    --- Double Post Merged, Jun 14, 2017 ---
    Uh... Being invisible, and ALSO being clinically depressed. I mean, jesus - in the end of the episode, Buffy is actually surprised that she DOESN'T want to die. Saying that she's mean because she's invisible is a huge over-simplification of her mental state.

    They were BOTH negligent. Buffy should have remembered the visit was supposed to be that day, and Doris should have actually taken the time to DO HER JOB despite Buffy's mistake. At the very least, she could have set another date for a visit. This is a family's LIFE, not a math quiz. The fact that Buffy made a mistake does NOT mean that the social worker could simply write her off like that.

    Also, you're really exaggerating how bad Buffy's situation looked - the social worker saw Dawn when she arrived, and Dawn looked like a well-adjusted teenager, with clean clothes and everything. The house was messy, but still big and clearly well-supplied. Buffy didn't make the best impression, but she also didn't look like a total failure.
     
    Ethan Reigns likes this.
  2. Ethan Reigns

    Ethan Reigns Scooby

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2012
    Messages:
    4,105
    Likes Received:
    2,796
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Canada
    Reputation:
    6,851
    Sineya
    I should also add to the above that removal of a child from a house is decided by a Family Services Court and the evidence has to stand up in a court of law. Where I live, the Children's Aid Society is the body politic that is responsible for this (it is Child Protective Services in the US) and only operates with children up to age 16. There is such a thing as emergency placement, but there was no apparent emergency here. Dawn was fed, clothed and enrolled in school and did not have bruises or other signs of attack or abuse on her. A guardian forgetting an appointment is not justification for saying she is unfit. A boyfriend is also not an issue. The number of people in the house is something that is variable for some people and also not an issue. Magic weed may be a legal issue but it is not identified here as a controlled substance. The only thing Doris would be able to do at this point is open a file on Dawn but there is nothing that can be prosecuted here.
     
    Guy likes this.
  3. Athena

    Athena Belinda Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    Messages:
    5,454
    Likes Received:
    5,546
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    UK
    Reputation:
    11,854
    Black Thorn
    She's taking advantage of the fact she's invisible to act that way, and yes she is showing signs of depression beforehand, however she doesn't act that way when she's visible. So it is purely the invisibility that's making her act out, not the fact that she's depressed.

    Also, Doris doesn't say Dawn will be taken away, she says she is recommending probation and that she could be taken away in future. That doesn't mean social services are going to arrive imminently and take Dawn away, it means they're opening a case file for further investigation. This is a TV show after all, so it's never going to be 100% accurate to real life experiences of social work; TV always over-dramatises things. Plus add to that the fact that Doris is only in one episode, so they literally have to get to this point as fast as possible in order to service the plot.

    I think @Taake's suggestion for an alternative episode in the podcast was actually really interesting, and whilst it would have meant Dawn genuinely going into care, it would have made Buffy realise perhaps just how important Dawn is to her.
     
    Taake and Carrie Hopewell like this.
  4. Taake

    Taake Bella Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    12,769
    Likes Received:
    7,340
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Stockholm, Swe
    Reputation:
    42,757
    Black Thorn
    LOL, I'm sorry but the entire episode of Older and Far Away is about how absent Buffy is, a feeling reprised in Dead Things when Dawn is upset by Buffy about to turn herself in because it means she will be even more absent. Being there is exactly where Buffy fails. Make sure Dawn gets fed? Or have sex with Spike? Not a difficult choice for the Buffster!

    Guess Buffy learned a thing or two about her dad after all. People are quick to demonize Hank, but it's hypocritical considering how Buffy herself acts in season 6.
     
    Carrie Hopewell likes this.
  5. Guy

    Guy Scooby

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Messages:
    1,315
    Likes Received:
    1,619
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Israel
    Reputation:
    1,613
    Black Thorn
    But if she wasn't depressed, then she wouldn't have abused the invisibility in that way. So no - it is NOT "purely" the invisibility that made her act this way. Buffy acted this way because of both the depression AND her invisibility.

    I have no problem with the fact that the episode gave us a flat and negative portrayal of social workers. I was simply making the argument that Doris was terrible at her job in this episode, and was threatening to harm both Buffy and Dawn due to her incompetence, and that this fact makes Buffy's actions toward her understandable. Not GOOD, of course, but understandable.

    And I have no problem with that - this episode presented a nightmare-version of social workers, just like the high-school seasons presented a nightmare-version of school principals in Snyder, and 'The Freshman' presented a nightmare-version of university professors in that pop-art professor, and so on. Stories often present exaggerated nightmarish versions of real-life things, because those stories want to deal with extremes - they deal with our deepest fears. Doris isn't what social workers are like - she's what we are AFRAID that social workers could be. That's a big part of why I love this episode.

    Sure, that could have been very interesting, if done right.

    I'm sorry, but this post is just ridiculously unfair toward season 6 Buffy. Buffy was shirking her duties in season 6, sure, but how could you even compare that to Hank, who was LITERALLY ON ANOTHER CONTINENT, AND NOT EVEN ANSWERING PHONE CALLS (AT ALL)?! Buffy was still living in the same house with Dawn, and she was still working to pay for that house, and she was still keeping the house clean and well-supplied, and dealing with Dawn-related duties like school and social workers (however poorly, she was still the one to deal with that), and everything else that factors into these types of things. Not to mention the fact that Buffy was also helping Willow deal with addiction, and fighting monsters, and everything else. Was Dawn right to criticize Buffy for being absent? Absolutely. Buffy was shirking her responsibilities during season 6. But there's a HUGE CHASM between what Buffy was doing and what Hank was doing.

    Moreover, Buffy's circumstances in season 6 were SO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT than Hank's. Buffy was a twenty-year-old woman who had parenthood thrust upon her after her mother died and her dad refused to return, and she also had to fight monsters on a regular basis, and she was also dealing with suicidal depression (which made perfect sense, given her circumstances), and she also had to do all of that while her circle of friends (who were practically her family) were falling apart and self-destructing all around her. If I were in Buffy's circumstances, I would have done a MUCH worse job. Honestly, the fact that Buffy didn't just say "eff this" and run away (like she did in 'Becoming') seems HEROIC to me. Her circumstances were SO MUCH WORSE in season 6 than in 'Becoming'. Which is why I find Buffy to be more heroic than ever in season 6 - she was dealing with greater challenges than she ever had before.
    And frankly, I find it infuriating when people try to demonize her for simply being less than a perfect role model.


    EDIT: I'm sorry for all the caps lock... Season 6 Buffy just makes me really passionate.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2017
    Priceless likes this.