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Opinions on the "Get Out" Scene for Dawn

PaulParmar1

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Sineya
Putting up with ill manners and disrespect from a child only results in an ill mannered disrespectful adult who is one day going to encounter someone who won't put up with such behavior, and who just might not put up with it in a very violent, painful manner. In the real world, Buffy would be doing Dawn a useful service by mot putting up with crap like that.



Whatever Dawn has had happen to her in her few years of actual life could not possibly compare with a life dedicated to fighting demons and vampires every night, where the likelihood of living very far past your teens is virtually nil, and you have already died twice. Maybe more people should be remembering just how good Dawn actually did have in, when compared to the sister she was yelling at.
Yes I think Buffy had it a lot harder but Dawn also had it hard.
I think that the difference was Buffy had matured and Dawn had not.
 

Ethan Reigns

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What surprises me about the "Get out" scene is that it recurred in "Older and Far Away" episode 6x14. It fit in Season 5 a lot better. At this point, Dawn had realized that everyone had been lying to her, nothing about her was real, she was not disrespecting her elders because she was older than all of them and she did not really have parents or a sister. If this had happened in Season 5, specifically in "Blood Ties" episode 5x13 - but it did! It made sense there - Dawn had just found out that only Spike was going to tell her the truth, everyone else was avoiding her and she was reduced to cutting herself to determine whether she was human. This was more than any other girl her age had ever had to cope with. If I were surrounded by people who were lying to me, I would tell them to get out as well.

But having it happen again in "Older and Far Away" was a bit much.
 
GraceK
GraceK
This is pretty much my feeling

Priceless

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Putting up with ill manners and disrespect from a child only results in an ill mannered disrespectful adult who is one day going to encounter someone who won't put up with such behavior, and who just might not put up with it in a very violent, painful manner. In the real world, Buffy would be doing Dawn a useful service by mot putting up with crap like that.
You could be right about raising kids, but it would have been out of character for Buffy to have been spiteful towards Dawn, or towards anyone really. Buffy is incredibly loving and compassionate, which I think is her real strength. Willow tried to kill her and the worse she could say was 'you don't know what a Slayer is' :D Buffy is very rarely cruel or spiteful, and I'm glad of it
 

MarieVampSlayer

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I don't find it controversial but I do find it annoying. But it's not really Dawn's character but more the fact that I hate people who scream dramatically. You can be upset but you don't have to scream like a 2 years old!
 

white avenger

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it would have been out of character for Buffy to have been spiteful towards Dawn, or towards anyone really. Buffy is incredibly loving and compassionate,
Unfortunately, I have to agree with your assessment of Buffy's character. That doesn't mean that I have to approve of it. For all intents and purposes, she might just as well have "WELCOME" tattooed across her forehead, because she was a total doormat
 

AnthonyCordova

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Isn't that where she finds out that her entire existence is a magical glamor? She was more sympathetic in season 5.

'Course all the characters were.
What surprises me about the "Get out" scene is that it recurred in "Older and Far Away" episode 6x14. It fit in Season 5 a lot better. At this point, Dawn had realized that everyone had been lying to her, nothing about her was real, she was not disrespecting her elders because she was older than all of them and she did not really have parents or a sister. If this had happened in Season 5, specifically in "Blood Ties" episode 5x13 - but it did! It made sense there - Dawn had just found out that only Spike was going to tell her the truth, everyone else was avoiding her and she was reduced to cutting herself to determine whether she was human. This was more than any other girl her age had ever had to cope with. If I were surrounded by people who were lying to me, I would tell them to get out as well.

But having it happen again in "Older and Far Away" was a bit much.
Let these two comments speak for me.
 

Alittlegrim

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Shocking as her scream it is also understandable. This is soon after the infamous cutting scene and while Buffy and Joyce are worried and trying to help, the news is too much for Dawn to bear. Not surprising considering she is six months old, in the body and with the mind of a 14 year old.
 

crazysoulless

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Dawn was still a child. If Buffy had said that to her, Buffy would have seemed like a spiteful bitca, so I am so glad she didn't sink that low. As for Spike, he got to punch Faith in the face :D
In late s7 Dawn was 17. That's not a child anymore. At least not by the shows standards. By that age, Buffy was in her third year as Slayer, went patrolling every night, kicked out of the house by her mom, framed for murder, expelled, sent Angel to Hell, held a full-time job, and rented her own apartment.

Buffy was 20 when she became Dawn's legal guardian.

Joyce to 17 year old Buffy:

(Buffy "I made a mistake") "Don't just say that to shut me up because I really think you did."

"You walk out that door, don't even think about coming back."

"I don't care what your friends think of me, or you for that matter."
 

NeonSlayer

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Never bothered me, given the circumstances in S5. The S6 'Get Out' is the one that's harder to forgive.
S5, it was actually an under reaction for the circumstances so agree.

If I pulled Dawn's crap in s6 I'd get hit with a chancla or lectured for several HOURS. Disagreeing was considered talking back so yelling at people and ordering them out of my room is like saying F U to them.

Dawn felt sorry for herself in s6 and Halfrek and the writers wanted us to think she was being neglected but the girl was in high school and had Willow doing her chores for months, didn't take the trash out when she knew it was trash day, left a pile of dirty dishes in the sink, didn't have a part-time job, and couldn't be left alone at night. What kind of 15-16 year old can't be home alone? Watch tv, go online, read a book, self pleasure, you have a two story house to yourself.
 
GraceK
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I don't think it's fair to compare Dawn's trauma and Buffy's trauma.
When Buffy was 15 she found out she was a slayer. When Dawn was 14 she found out she wasn't real ... No one gets to say which is harder to live with.
Buffy's new life was difficult and frightening - but it came with immense powers. Dawn's new life was being hunted down by a hell god, with no power of her own and completely dependent on others to protect her. They were both facing the probability of death at a young age - and having to cope with it.
They both lost Joyce - but at very different times in their life. You can't compare their grief and say one was more worthy, or one has it harder than the other - but equally you can't expect the same reaction from them both.
Then Dawn is kidnapped.
Then Dawn is nearly sacrificed. She is still younger than Buffy was when Buffy first got called at this point. And she is coping with it without any power of her own. She is entirely vulnerable. But still, Dawn in 'weight of the world' and 'the gift' has way more in common with the Buffy that goes to face the master than she does with the Buffy that rips her cross off and quits. She is willing to make that jump herself.
Then - not many weeks after her mother died - her sister died and Dawn is alone.
When Buffy comes back - she is not the Buffy Dawn remembers or needs. Yes, Buffy has her own trauma to cope with and it is horrible trauma, but that doesn't make Dawn's abandonment issues any less real, valid or painful for her. She isn't wrong to be so hurt just because Buffy isn't wrong to be struggling to cope. They both have completely valid feelings and completely natural reactions to those feelings. It's painful to see them at cross purposes - but neither of them is the bad guy.

In the S6 scene, Dawn doesn't know - at this point - that she is responsible. She has no idea what is going on, but everyone is accusing her. Anyone would be within their rights to be annoyed in that situation - but children and teenagers have a very strong sense of justice - particularly when they feel an injustice is being perpetrated against them. So to be suffering from abandonment issues, bring up those abandonment issues and then be accused of trapping everyone because of the way she feels ... yeah, I get why she's pissed off.

Yes Dawn is the baby of the family - but it isn't her fault if the others have babied her. It's theirs. And yes - Buffy may have been more mature at this age, but that is only because she is the slayer,. We see her before she was the slayer - she makes spordelia look like a classical philosopher. Dawn is way more mature than that version of Buffy. Buffy had to grow up fast - in a way Dawn didn't ... but that was because a bunch of men stole her adolescence and hijacked her life - forcing a destiny she never asked for and couldn't quit on her. That is not Dawn's fault. Just because Buffy had to mature quicker, doesn't mean every teenager who didn't mature that quickly is somehow lesser than Buffy (linking to another thread - part of why I hate 'one girl in all the world' rhetoric). What Buffy has been through does not change how Dawn feels - and nor should it.
The scream is a bit of a hissy fit - but teenagers throw hissy fits. They strop and slam doors and tell people they hate them. I swear - all the Dawn hate probably comes from people who were real teens when they first saw it and saw too much of themselves in her. i know I hated her back then, but I have way more sympathy for her now. It is a bit shit the day you realise you're not Buffy - you're Dawn ... but when you do come to terms with that - wow, that kid's been through the ringer. No wonder she was a bit of a screamer.

The season 5 scene shouldn't be controversial at all. Anyone who thinks she's in the wrong there ... you go and discover that you're not real, your memories are false and your family are fake - and then we'll talk.
 
AnthonyCordova
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well reasoned

NeonSlayer

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The thing is, I don't think Dawn was traumatized. She handled the big things fine. Her issue kept being acting out because she wants attention but not wanting the attention to be being punished and she didn't understanding situations.

When they said they had to leave because they had responsibilities she replied "Whatever that means." She knows it means school & full-time jobs & patrol. She only knew Tara moved out because Willow used too much magic so tried to play matchmaker to get them back together not getting it was an abusive relationship.

Two weeks after Buffy was resurrected, Dawn snuck out of the house to egg houses with boys she wanted to impress. She mourned her sister for FIVE months and had curled up to sleep next to the Buffybot but when she's raised from the dead, Dawn is already acting out that same month.

The next week she is singing that nobody notices her even though she was the central plot of s5, Buffy died saving her, Willow & Tara moved in to the house to take care of her, there were occasional group dinners, and Buffy had already several times within the last few weeks saved her life and made her lunch and Dawn spent several days home from school hanging out with her.

I would understand if she acted out like Buffy in WSWB or been jaded like Faith in s3 or was crying a lot or withdrawn or full of anxieties or developed phobias or any number of things. There would've been reasons for it.

But her brattiness didn't come off like it was from PTSD or depression or heartbreak or grief or anything but the regular wants of a teen. The writers dropped the ball.
 

Ethan Reigns

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Everyone around her had known the real situation and had lied to her except Spike. She only found out by sneaking into The Magic Box and reading the notes Giles had made. Her reaction was perfectly justifiable. We see her find out:

SPIKE: (frowns at book) "The monks possessed the ability to transform energy, bend reality." Blah, blah, blah. (looks at Dawn) Good lord, Giles writes as dull as he talks, doesn't he? (back to book) "They started work. But the Council ... has suggested ... to us that they were interrupted. Presumably by ... Glory." (Dawn continues staring into the distance as she listens) "They obviously did manage to accomplish the taste..." (looks closer) "accomplish the task. They had to be certain the Slayer would protect it with her life. So they sent the key to her ... in human form. In the form of a sister."

Zoom in on Dawn's shocked expression.
Spike frowns, looks over at her.


SPIKE: Huh! I guess that's you, nibblet.

When the only honest person in your life is a vampire, you need new people. Later on, Dawn's reaction is not healthy:

We see Dawn standing in the doorway. A large knife in one hand, blood running down her other arm from a wound across the inner forearm.
DAWN: (dazed) Is this blood?


We see Joyce and Giles across the room, turning to look.
BUFFY: Dawn!
JOYCE: Oh, baby.


Buffy and Joyce rush over to Dawn.

BUFFY: What did you do?!
DAWN: This is blood, isn't it? It can't be me. I'm not a key. (Buffy looks shocked) I'm not a thing.
JOYCE: Oh, sweetie, no. Wha-what is this all about?
DAWN: (grimly) What am I? (getting teary) Am I real? Am I anything?
She begins to cry. Joyce hugs her. Buffy watches grimly, also a little teary-eyed.


Then the lame excuses begin:

DAWN: (softly, not looking up) Why didn't you tell me?

Joyce looks at Buffy.

BUFFY: We were going to. It just... (trails off. Dawn gives her an angry look)
JOYCE: We thought it would be better if we waited until you were older.
DAWN: How old am I now?
JOYCE: You're fourteen, sweetheart, you know that.
DAWN: No. The monks. When did ... when did they ... (trails off)
BUFFY: Six months ago.
DAWN: (trying to hold back tears) I've only been alive for six months, huh?
JOYCE: Honey, you've been alive a lot longer than that to us.
DAWN: You don't know that! You don't know anything. I'm, I'm just a key, right? Everything about me is made up.
BUFFY: Dawn ... (sits on the bed next to Dawn) Mom and I know what we feel. I know I care about you. I know that I worry about you-
DAWN: You worry about me because you have to. I'm your job. Protect the key, right?
BUFFY: I worry because my sister is cutting herself!
DAWN: Yeah? How do you know? Maybe this is just another fake memory from my fake family.
JOYCE: Sweetheart-
DAWN: Get out.
BUFFY: Dawn...
DAWN: Get out, get out, get out!


Well what did they expect? Lunatics had already told her, "You're not real" and "There's nobody in there" so it's not as if keeping it all in the family was keeping it safe. Buffy managed to kill the giant snake in "Shadow" who had found out but the secret was not going to be kept for long. It was going to come down to whether they could keep the secret long enough for Glory to miss her appointment with interdimensional destiny. Dawn (rhymes with "pawn") was not complaining about some boy not liking her or flunking a test, she was complaining that people kept vital secrets from her. That is justification enough.

When people lie to me, I usually cut them out of my life. If that is impossible, then someone tells me situation A has happened, I immediately ask myself what the real situation B is that would make the person try to convince me situation A had happened. I quietly write them off as reliable sources of information. Dawn was serving notice that this was how she viewed them and no words that came out of their mouths was to be trusted ever again. I am totally onside with Dawn in "Blood Ties".
 
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The thing is, I don't think Dawn was traumatized. She handled the big things fine. Her issue kept being acting out because she wants attention but not wanting the attention to be being punished and she didn't understanding situations

Two weeks after Buffy was resurrected, Dawn snuck out of the house to egg houses with boys she wanted to impress. She mourned her sister for FIVE months and had curled up to sleep next to the Buffybot but when she's raised from the dead, Dawn is already acting out that same month.

But her brattiness didn't come off like it was from PTSD or depression or heartbreak or grief or anything but the regular wants of a teen. The writers dropped the ball.
Trauma presents in many different ways. There is no 'correct' way to act and no 'correct' way to be traumatised. Dawn's acting out is the manifestation of that trauma. She was not a screaming kleptomaniac before any of this happened to her. For people with abandonment or trust issues to push boundaries so far that they are seriously pissing people off is a pretty classic coping mechanism. They want to see how far they can go - how awful they can be - before people really do abandon them, and then they get to feel justified and 'proved right. ' But they also desperately want the other person to prove that they are not lying when they say there is nothing in the world that would make them abandon the other person. It's messed up - but that's what trauma does.

If Dawn wasn't traumatised by her mother's death, her own kidnap and near death, her sister's death, her sister's abandonment of her, Tara leaving the house and Willow becoming a junkie - then that would be bad writing. And - much as I love Buffy - she is neglecting Dawn. I get why - but it is what it is. Dawn does not deserve that neglect - and is in the right to demand some attention. Tara feels bad for leaving her behind - but Tara is literally the only person that is taking Dawn's needs into account - and she isn't really around any more. I'm pretty sure attention is somewhere on the hierarchy of needs - and Dawn is getting NONE at a time that would be really difficult and confusing anyway - without all the demon stuff and mom trauma added.

Neglect is a form of abuse - and Dawn is being neglected. That she reacts badly to that is not a poor reflection on her.

I know we are supposed to be against the social services lady in 'Gone' - because we all know how hard Buffy is trying, and how difficult things are for her - but that woman isn't a baddie. She is trying to ensure that all Dawn's needs are met - and we see time and again that they are not being met. Being the slayer, Buffy had to grow up fast - but through all her teenage years (especially when she was as young as Dawn) she had a real adult taking care of her, providing for her and paying attention to her. It is supposed to be a right, and not a privilege, of every child and teenager to have that. Hence why Social services exist in the first place. Dawn is not getting it. And the screaming is the way her frustration and loneliness and fear of being left behind and hurt at being neglected manifests itself.
 

NeonSlayer

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I get the acting bad to prove whether they'll leave. You see it with foster kids and even Jenny Schecter on The L Word. I don't feel that with Dawn. The writers by the later seasons, to me, just seem to forget how to write a teenager.

Joyce & Buffy "both" spent a lot of their time away from the house because of a stressful full-time job. Joyce & Buffy both raised their daughter in a two story house that always had food.

Joyce did NOT spend more time with Buffy than Buffy spent with Dawn. And that's never even been one of the things I fault Joyce for.

Joyce left town for days to buy art for the gallery. She came home late most nights. She rarely noticed if Buffy wasn't home. She didn't question washing blood out of her clothes. She didn't celebrate her birthday on her birthday. She only had one talk about her being stalked by a much older man. We see more of Joyce when she was lecturing Buffy than when they are just hanging out as family. If Joyce was attentive it would've been hard for the show to have Buffy doing everything she had to as a Slayer that puts a minor in dangerous time consuming situations.
 

DeadlyDuo

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The writers by the later seasons, to me, just seem to forget how to write a teenager.
I agree. At Dawn's age, friends almost become more important then family hence why "peer pressure" and falling in with the "wrong crowd" can be such big issues. We know Dawn had at least one friend, we know in Season 5 that she resented constantly being babysat and treated like a kid, so why does she suddenly want everybody to be with her all the time.

If Dawn's kleptomania was supposed to be a cry for attention, then she was too subtle with it because nobody was aware it was going on. Dawn wasn't deliberately leaving items out so she would be questioned about them, she wasn't getting a momentary satisfaction from "acquiring" the items she stole, she was just stealing for stealing's sake.

Dawn was not being neglected. She wasn't dirty or unfed or underweight or had untreated injuries etc, at worst she became a latchkey kid. Dawn's problem is that she's so used to people fawning over her, she can't handle it when they're not. In Season 5, Joyce was all over her then her key status meant the scoobies made sure she was never alone. When Buffy died, the scoobies would've looked after her because she had no one else, but when Buffy came back, the scoobies wouldn't see Dawn as their responsibility anymore eg Giles hopped on a plane back to England.

Dawn is very immature for her age, half of which is because she was originally envisioned to be a younger child before MT was cast. Also the second "Get Out!" scene doesn't work for some people because of how similar it is to the first one. Whereas the first scene was a result of Dawn finding out she wasn't real, the second scene is because she got caught. Dawn just comes across as overdramatic and her whole "you don't spend any time with me" comes across as whiny and bratty because she's supposed to be a teenager.
 
NeonSlayer
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And the stealing started in s5 when she was getting attention.
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Joyce did NOT spend more time with Buffy than Buffy spent with Dawn. And that's never even been one of the things I fault Joyce for
When Buffy was Dawn's age? How do we know? that was before we knew Buffy. It was before the divorce and the move and Buffy getting called. Dawn isn't season 1 Buffy's age until season 7 ... when she has calmed down considerably.
 

NeonSlayer

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When Buffy was Dawn's age? How do we know? that was before we knew Buffy. It was before the divorce and the move and Buffy getting called. Dawn isn't season 1 Buffy's age until season 7 ... when she has calmed down considerably.
Buffy has been a Slayer since the month she turned 15.

Dawn turned 15 around late s5. Dawn became the age s1 Buffy was in late s6. She was s2 Buffy's age in s7.
 
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Buffy has been a Slayer since the month she turned 15.

Dawn turned 15 around late s5. Dawn became the age s1 Buffy was in late s6. She was s2 Buffy's age in s7.
That isn't canonical. Not within the seven seasons of the show - and I certainly don't count the comics, if that's where you're getting that fact from. Besides what they later decide for comics has no bearing on what has already been written. Within the canon of the show we know she got called in 1996 because we see it happen, but the exact date is never mentioned.
S1 Buffy is 16 when she turns up. Dawn is 15 in 'Gone' - because Doris says so. She does not have a canonical birthday so we do not know exactly when her birthday falls. She starts sophomore year at the start on s7. I think sophomore year is the equivalent of y11 in England - she would be 15 in that September and turning 16 sometime in that school year. Presumably she was a fall baby - if she was 14 in blood ties and 15 in Gone, but not 16 before the summer ( which would make her a school year older - but she is definitely a sophomore in 'lessons' - because she said she was a freshman in the Halloween episode. ) Buffy is mid sophomore year at the beginning of season 1. Any Dawn we see prior to about 'sleeper' is younger than S1 Buffy. And has already lost her mother 18 months previously - whilst 15/16 year old Buffy still had hers.
 
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