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The Mayor

Discussion in 'Sunnydale Cemetery' started by amberjane, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. amberjane

    amberjane Potential

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    im on my yearly rewatch, just sit season 3- well about halfway through right now, and its one of my least favorites. but aside from personal opinion, i noticed that the mayor has yet to be established as the big bad for a good chunk. currently im on the zeppo, and nothing. sure he has appearances, they establish he is a player, but his role isnt there yet. he has some sketchy dealings (name a policitian who doesnt) with trick, but thats all we see at this point.

    side note- the threat of the mayor was mentioned by snyder in season 2 that sounded like he would be major (always struck me as a wierd threat, kinda strong in its context), but again isnt established as a big bad till much later

    anyone else notice this, or can prove me wrong? ill admit i dont pay attention to this season a whole lot... also, would you change this aspect of season 3, and how?
     
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  2. Monkey Pants

    Monkey Pants Bored Now

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    Black Thorn
    I have noticed this, but it always worked for me. I liked keeping the Mayor on the sidelines, so we only learn little things about him. It might have bugged me more if I thought the stand alone episodes where boring, but instead they are awesome :). I think instead, they should have had more Faith in the beginning, so it was more shocking when she went to the Mayor.
     
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  3. Ethan Reigns

    Ethan Reigns Scooby

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    Sineya
    It's all about pacing. You don't reveal all your cards at the beginning of a poker game and you don't reveal all the plot at the beginning of a season. Only in Season 1 are we aware of the big bad right away. The rest of the seasons sneak it in without identifying the big bad as the big bad so we don't necessarily see what is coming. In Season 2, Snyder is believable when he is afraid of the Mayor, as he would be if a school is seen by a senior politician of being caught in the middle of bad circumstances, but we don't see the Mayor specifically targeting the slayer, just his insistence that the problems happening over the hellmouth should be explained away in a manner that does not invite attention. Putting him in the picture right away without having him reveal anything about himself is a great piece of misdirection.
     
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  4. amberjane

    amberjane Potential

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    i think i disagree, or we at least get it earlier than in season 3. season 2 was quick to establish spike and dru (although in my opinion they were not, it was angelus but in the big bad break downs they are generally accepted for the season 2 spot.... same for me with season 6 as it is generally said to be warren/trio but i say dark willow), and same with the other seasons. i would say the audience typically had an idea before episode ten.

    i also dont know if id call it misdirection, almost seems more unnecessary.
     
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  5. Fuffy Baith

    Fuffy Baith 2017 (and 2016) Cutest BB member

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    Sineya
    Yea the mayor first shows up in ep 5 then I'd kinda the reason for Band Candy but doesn't establish himself as the big bad until ep 14. The first half of season 3 is pretty dense though dealing with Buffy and Angel and the Scoobies breakups. There's not really any room for the mayor. Although things could have been changed to accommodate more of him. But since I pretty much love season 3 as is, his lack of presence doesn't bother me.
    well if we compare seasons 2 and 3 then Faith sort of serves the Spike role. They both show up in the 3rd ep but aren't really the big bad. Faith is the personal fight for Buffy but not the big scale threat. Whereas Angelus was both. The mayor shows up as the big bad in ep 14 and Angelus shows up as the big bad for season 2 in ep 14. So it's really not that different for season 2.
     
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  6. Guy

    Guy Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    The lack of Mayor in the first half of season 3 isn't a problem by itself... The first half of season 3 is still entertaining without a prominent Big Bad. The problem is that the lack of development for the mayor in the first half means that the second half has to rush through his story, and that makes his ending much less satisfying... We never even learned WHY he wanted to be a big snake, and he never gets an episode to establish his fearsomeness (like Angelus does in 'Passion', or like Glory in 'Tough Love', or like Caleb in 'Dirty Girls'), and that means that while 'Graduation Day' is fun, it isn't nearly as emotional as 'Becoming', because there wasn't as much development for the Mayor as there was for Angelus, Dru, & Spike.

    I think season 3 could have been a lot more powerful if Angel wasn't in it, or if he returned much later (toward the end of the season), and immediately realized that he has to leave Buffy. That way, the Mayor could have had more time to establish himself as a fearsome Big Bad. And Faith could have also had more time to establish a relationship with Buffy, so that the fight against Faith in the end would be more emotionally powerful.
     
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  7. Priceless

    Priceless I didn't forget y'know

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    The greatness of The Mayor doesn't lay in him being the big bad, though I do think he's wonderful at that. His greatness lies in his relationship with Faith. It's his goodness, kindness and wisdom that make him great, and how he shows those traits to Faith. He is evil, but that is not all he is and that's what makes him great.

    Also Angelus and Adam both showed up as big bads half way and Willow only wanted to destroy the world at the end of the season. Glory and the First showed up early, but they were a god and, well, the first of something :)

    I thought the fight between Faith and Buffy was incredibly emotionally powerful, as was the Mayors reaction to it. More time wouldn't have given it more power, for me it was pretty much perfect.
     
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  8. Guy

    Guy Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    Angel and Willow only appeared as Big Bads late in the season, but the characters were established long before that when they were good, and that's where the emotion came from.
    And even in their short time as Big Bads, they managed to have frightening moments that the Mayor just didn't have - Angelus killed Jenny and emotionally abused the scoobies, and Willow flayed Warren and DEFEATED Buffy in a fight. The Mayor didn't really DO anything successfully before 'Graduation Day'. He didn't hurt the scoobies in any significant way before the finale.

    But was it as powerful as the Angel-Buffy fight in 'Becoming'? And was Faith's defeat ("Quite a ride...") as emotional as Angel's ("Close your eyes")? To me, 'Graduation Day' always seemed lacking in comparison... The Buffy/Angel fight in season 2 was powerful because we spent 2 whole seasons getting invested in their relationship, whereas the Buffy/Faith relationship existed for, like, 9 episodes. It wasn't enough. It was good, but it should have been GREAT, and it COULD have been great if they just cut Angel out of the season and gave his screentime to Faith and the Mayor.
     
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  9. Carrie Hopewell

    Carrie Hopewell Little girl lost in the woods

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    Sineya
    Exactly. I've never considered The Mayor an actual Big Bad. Angelus, Glory, DarkWillow, The First (however unsuccessfully) are true Big Bads. The Mayor was just a quirky, underwhelming character that worked as the season Big Bad.

    I don't agree. Angel was majorly underused in the beginning of the season (like Cordelia and Faith). He had 1 minute scenes with Buffy and that was it, he didn't take precious screen time away from anyone. Also, Angel wasn't there just to break up with Buffy, he had a relevant, albeit subtle, arc. Faith didn't have more time to establish her relationship with Buffy because the writers didn't want to, they had countless opportunities to do so.

    Yeah, I was really underwhelmed by the season the first time I watched it. I didn't care about Faith or The Mayor and my least favorite episodes of the seasons are the Faith ones. I still like Graduation Day. I think it's easy to appreciate the Buffy/Faith scene without being emotionally attached to the relationship. I never thought it was suppose to compete with Angelus and Buffy's fight though.
    Faith was just a predictable character, with very little nuances to me. When she joined The Mayor I was like "What a surprise!". I don't think a bit more extra screen time would have changed that. It's true that the Buffy/Faith relationship should have been more developed. And frankly, I find it hard to believe that Faith is what Buffy could have been in a different life. People don't react to the same events the same way. In 'The Wish' Buffy was the "bad" girl and she still wasn't remotely close to being Faith.

    Again, what makes you think that hadn't Angel been there his screen time would have been allotted to Faith and The Mayor? The writers gave their precious screen time to characters like Scott and wasted an opportunity for slayer bonding time in the Slayerfest. Without Angel in the picture, that screen time would probably have been used introducing a different boyfriend.
     
  10. Guy

    Guy Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    Whoa, hey, I never said that. The Mayor IS a Big Bad, and he's a pretty great one, IMO. I love him a lot, and I think that Harry Groener's performance was absolutely electrifying. I just think that he was underused, and that he could have been the BEST Big Bad if he was as well-used as Angelus.

    I just think that Angel's story on BtVS pretty much played itself out in 'Becoming'. Everything else he went through in season 3 could have been told in AtS. His screentime in season 3 isn't BAD, I guess, but it could have been better used on other, more currently- relevant characters (namely, Faith and the Mayor).
    I mean, Angel comes back in 3x03, he spends 5 episodes healing and building back his strength, and then Buffy breaks up with him in 3x08... And that SHOULD have been it. There's no reason for Angel to stay in Sunnydale after that. It's clear that he and Buffy can't be together, so it's best to stay away from each other. Everything they do from 3x08 to 3x20 is redundant, and takes away from the season's main story. I think the season would have been a lot stronger if Angel came back from death around 3x18 or so, and left at the end of the season.

    I strongly disagree. Faith is one of my favorite characters of all time (although I love her more after she wakes up from her coma). Faith's fall to the dark side wasn't any more predictable than Angel's, IMO, and like Angel's season 2 story, the great thing about her story isn't how surprising it is, but how MOVING it is. I LIKED Faith, and it was painful to see her struggle with her issues and get lost in her cynicism. And I think that if she got more screentime in season 3, her story there could have been just as powerful as Angel's in season 2.

    Also, Wish!Buffy is VERY similiar to Faith, IMO. All cynical and pessimistic.

    And the parallels between season 2 Angel and season 3 Faith are crystal clear, to me. Both are allies who become enemies to Buffy, and both are obsessed about Buffy, and both have a dramatic turn-to-the-dark-side in episode 14 of their season, and both have a big one-on-one fight with Buffy in the finale, and Buffy is forced to "kill" both of them in the end. I saw Faith as the writers' attempt to have a version of the Angelus storyline that DOESN'T have to rely on the convenience of a gypsy curse, but instead turns the character evil through classic character progression (which is, of course, a better story). I just wish they devoted more time to it with Faith.

    Heh, I can't know what the writers would have done in an alternate scenario. I can only speculate, and I speculate that they would have chosen to give Angel's screentime to Faith and the Mayor, because that just seems like the best choice. I just think that Angel took up a lot of screentime in season 3 (a lot more than Scott Hope or Slayerfest), and that he was almost completely unnecessary, and therefore his screentime should have been given to something more relelvant - like Faith and the Mayor.

    And I liked Slayerfest...
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016
  11. Priceless

    Priceless I didn't forget y'know

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    For me the Faith/ Buffy fights were every bit as powerful as the Angel / Buffy fights. Here are two slayers pitted against each other, it's momentous. Here's Buffy, the hero, attempting to kill another slayer, for the sake of her vampire lover. I don't think it could have been more powerful.

    If it lacks power for you, is that because Faith's whole arc lacks power? Their relationship may have only existed for 9 episdoes, but we didn't need anymore to see who Faith was and where she was going, anymnore would have only been to reiterate what we'd already seen.

    The Mayor was every bit a big bad as any you've named. He's actually one of the best. He's a vital part of the season and it wouldn't have been half as good without him. His speech about seeing his own beloved wife age and die is one of the best scenes in the season, and has a real impact on Buffy and Angels relationship.
    --- Double Post Merged, Sep 9, 2016 ---
    Angel isn't in Season 3 for Angel's sake, he's there for Buffy. Angel had to return to set Buffy free and allow her to move on. He is also a big part of Faith's story, and their relationship had to be built within this season, so it could be carried forward into Angels first season
     
  12. Guy

    Guy Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    Well, I'm glad it was powerful for you, but it always left a me a little disappointed. Not bad by any means, but disappointed.
    I don't care about the fact that Faith is a slayer and Angel is a vampire, I care about the characters themselves - I care about Faith losing herself to her cynicism because of her desire to be accepted, and I care about Buffy deciding to kill Faith despite their connection as people who feel abandoned. And these things could be more powerful if we saw more of that in season 3. There was still a lot to explore there.

    Anyway, even if you loved that fight, don't you think you would have loved it even MORE if Buffy and Faith's relationship had more development earlier? And don't you agree that Angel didn't need so much screentime in season 3?

    That's sounds kinda funny... Buffy needed Angel so she wouldn't have Angel? But I get your point - it's about Buffy dealing with her grief and moving on... Except that this isn't what happens. Angel comes back, and Buffy decides to let him go very quickly (in 3x08), and Angel is the one who doesn't accept it, and he's the one who keeps Buffy from moving on. And then, over the course of the season, Buffy loses her resolve because she's constantly around Angel, while Angel grows and eventually decides to leave Buffy (3x20). So, if this is about Buffy dealing with her grief, it's completely backwards - Buffy starts the season full of resolve and quickly decides to let Angel go after he returns, and over the course of the season she regresses back to the little girl she was in the first half of season 2, while Angel is the one who grows. I always hated the fact that Angel is the one to break up with the seemingly-childish Buffy in 3x20, after she was strong enough to break up with him in 2x22 and 3x08.

    So, I think that the Angel story could have been told perfectly well, if he just came back around 3x18/3x17, and Buffy broke up with him relatively quickly (like she canonically did in 'Lovers Walk' - "We're not friends"), and he still came to her prom so she wouldn't be alone, and then later Faith shot him with that poisoned arrow like in canon, and everything after that could continue pretty unchanged.

    They could still do something like that with Angel if he comes back late in season 3. Things would have to be changed a little, but it'd still work. It's not such a big part - Angel just needs to have a heart-to-heart with Faith at some point, and try to convince her to go back to the good side, and it'd fail because Wesley would mess it up.
     
  13. Carrie Hopewell

    Carrie Hopewell Little girl lost in the woods

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    Sineya
    I never said that you said that. It was my personal opinion. :)

    He is a Big Bad, but I don't care much for him and Buffy and Angel already knew everything he said. Even without the Mayor they would have broken up. I thought The Mayor's speech was an overkill. Could they have been any more obvious in 'Choices'? Half of Bangel in that episode was in preparation for the break-up and half of Angel's scenes in the next episode were too. The Mayor has impact because of Faith and because in order to kill him the Scoobies had to blow up the school. That's it.

    I disagree. Faith's story to me was only moving only in Angel (I love her friendship with Angel and I love the person she is in S4) and Buffy and Faith's relationship means nothing to me. Why are we comparing Faith to Angel? Maybe the parallels are there but the story and my response to the story are completely different.

    My point was that the writers didn't want more Faith time and that you don't need to remove Angel from season 3 in order to create opportunities for more Faith/The Mayor screen time. And I'm totally convinced that the writers would have spent a useless amount of time giving Buffy a new boyfriend. It's what they do. Angel was gone for 3 episodes and they had to come up with Scott!
     
  14. Priceless

    Priceless I didn't forget y'know

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    We're all watching a slightly different show I guess. I felt I knew as much about Faith as I needed to know upto that point. I also felt that her being a slayer was a big part of her personality, and without the power she had she wouldn't be the person she was.

    I understood the Buffy / Faith relationship upto that point, and I don't think they needed more screen time together. What did you want to see that we didn't, but that would lead to the same outcome? Or is it the outcome you wish had been different?
     
  15. Carrie Hopewell

    Carrie Hopewell Little girl lost in the woods

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    Sineya
    Excuse me? Angel only says "I don't accept that" and that's it. In 'Amends' when he needs Buffy's help, he doesn't go to her, he goes to Giles to respect her wishes. When he's recovering from Hell and Buffy's asks him if she should stay in Sunnydale? He answers "no".

    Really, you are blaming Angel for their entire relationship? She doesn't regress back to the little girl she was. She is with Angel but relies on her friends (Willow in particular) in a way that she didn't in season 2. Also, she is still a teenager. Buffy's resolve in the beginning comes from not being with him for months and from being fresh out of L.A. Much like New Year's resolutions, it doesn't go well for Buffy. Once Buffy and Angel establish a strong relationship it's easy for both Buffy and Angel to forget about why they can't be together. Buffy's reaction in 'The Prom' is natural. She thought Angel and her had made it.

    About Angel not realizing he needs to go, the dude spent 100 years in Hell. Buffy's depression is justified and all of that because she spent some time in Heaven. Angel spends a hundred years in a hell dimension and he's supposed to be the poster boy for sanity and great decisions? I think considering everything (Angelus, hell) he pulled himself together admirably. Angel was depressed and Buffy was Angel's only support system. Angel had nothing outside of Sunnydale, 99% of the world population would have done the same thing he did. The fact that he did walk into uncertainty and loneliness, giving up the one purpose he knew he had (help the slayer), means that he's pretty brave and strong imo.
     
  16. Guy

    Guy Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    [​IMG]

    Well, maybe you'd care more about him if he got more screentime and development?

    I actually agree about this. That scene always seemed too soapy to me...

    Well, I also thought that the Mayor was a very interesting and entertaining character by himself, and that he was played by an incredible actor, and that he could have been the very BEST Big Bad if he had more screentime and development. But we like what we like...


    Again, to each his own... But you didn't even care about Faith in 'This Year's Girl/Who Are You'?

    I disagree. I don't think that the writers had no interest in the Mayor/Faith, I think they just had a lot of balls in the air (the Mayor, Mr. Trick, the council's introduction, Faith, Angel's return, etc...) and had trouble satisfying all of the storylines at the same time. I think that Angel's storyline was very unnecessary to season 3, and Faith/Mayor were VERY necessary and underused, and I think it could have been much better if Angel's storyline was cut short so that the more central storylines would have room to breathe.

    And I didn't have a problem with Scott Hope's inclusion - it's a logical way of bringing up Buffy's grief over Angel. And it's not like they spent a lot of time on him. He came, served his purpose, and got out.

    I'm not trying to attack Angel. Angel didn't stalk Buffy or anything like that. I'm just talking about the overall character arcs - Buffy starts the season being able to break up with Angel and ends the season being unable to break up with Angel, and Angel goes through the opposite journey. I have no problem with Angel, I have a problem with the fact that the story sacrificed Buffy's maturity for Angel's. That's what it looked like to me.

    Aye, in other things she's mature. But in terms of her relationship with Angel, Buffy regresses in season 3.

    I can buy the idea that Buffy had trouble breaking up with Angel after seeing him routinely in season 3. That makes sense. My problem is with the fact that the writers went with this storyline at all - it doesn't progress her story at all, it progresses Angel's story. Angel is the one who learns and grows and does what's right. Buffy is the one who slowly loses her resolve and regresses back to immaturity after being mature enough to break up with him in 3x08. And I generally don't like it when my characters regress.

    Anyway, my main point is - Buffy didn't need that story with Angel in season 3, she didn't need to regress, so the screentime that went to that story should have gone to the Mayor or Faith. The Mayor and Faith are the characters that pushed Buffy's character forward in season 3, not Angel.

    Again, I'm not criticizing Angel. I'm criticizing the storyline.

    Priceless:

    Heh, it does sometimes feel like that...

    I actually think that her slayerness wasn't such a big part of her personality... I think she was already living a troubled life, and was already willing to compromise her morality to survive and be happy, even before she got the slayer powers.

    Well, for one thing, I was disappointed that Buffy didn't kill Faith. Not that I wanted Faith to die, of course, but I wish that the writers had found a way of resolving it that wouldn't feel so cop-out-y. But that's a relatively minor complaint...

    My main issues are:

    1) I felt that the Buffy/Faith relationship wasn't strong enough before it broke apart. I never felt like Buffy was REALLY close to Faith in season 3, so I wasn't that moved by her decision to kill Faith in 'Graduation Day'. I think the writers should have spent more time showing Buffy's connection with Faith - it doesn't matter if it was romantic or not (I think it works better if it's NOT romantic, actually), but it needed MORE. Over the course of season 5, for example, I really felt how Buffy "fell in love" with Dawn as a sister, and I wanted to get that feeling with Buffy and Faith (as a friend, not a sister, obviously) before Faith went evil.

    2) There was this whole thing where Faith seduced Buffy to the dark side in season 3, but it never felt authentic to me. When Faith told Buffy "you have it in you too" ("it" being the animalistic, "evil" slayer instincts), I didn't feel like Faith was right, and the story NEEDED her to be right to make the arc work. I wanted Buffy to show more of her dark side with Faith (like she did in season 5, when she was going hunting for vampires like it was a physical need), and I didn't get that.

    Also, the Mayor OBVIOUSLY needed more screentime with Buffy - when Buffy confronts him in 'Graduation Day', it only works emotionally because of the Mayor's connection to Faith (who's connection to Buffy was also not strong enough, IMO), and that's not enough. I wanted to see an episode where the Mayor really hurts the scoobies, the way Angelus hurt them in 'Passion', so that the battle against the Mayor would be more emotionally engaging.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016
  17. Carrie Hopewell

    Carrie Hopewell Little girl lost in the woods

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    Sineya
    The Mayor was entertaining and played by a great actor. In general, I don't care much about the Big Bads and I don't have to. I cared about Angel/Spike/Dru and that's it.
    I don't think I made my point clear. The Big Bad is supposed to be entertaining, original, contribute to character development and to the story, feel threatening, etc. The Mayor was original, entertaining, threatening (especially in the hospital) and all that jazz, so he fulfilled his purpose. However, most of his story was about his relationship with Faith, and not about plotting to end the world or kill Buffy, which is why he felt less like a Big Bad to me.

    I care about her a lot on Angel, but I don't care about her on Buffy.

    I'm not trying to say that the writers had no interest in the Mayor/Faith. I think the writers gave the characters as much screen time as they wanted to. After 'Bag Girls' those two have a lot time together. The beginning of season 3 was pretty aimless - that is the problem and not Angel. Regardless of how useless you think Angel is, even without him and Bangel, the season would have been a bit directionless. I think Faith should have been more casually included in scenes with the Scoobies or just Buffy patrolling, but I think the Mayor would have lost his charm and mystery had he been more included in MOTW episodes. Again, Buffy didn't need to cope with losing Angel by dating another guy, especially when she started dating him because Faith wanted him. Instead of having Scott, Buffy could have bonded with Faith - someone used to losing people and being betrayed - and the writers could have focused more on establishing their friendship.

    Yeah, but I kind of attacked you. Sorry for reacting so aggressively.

    I never saw it that way, but the on and off routine in season 3 got old fast. I think after 'Amends' their relationship was fine. Angel offered Buffy emotional support in 'Gingerbread' and 'Helpless', their romance was funny in 'The Zeppo', Angel had a purpose in 'Consequences' and 'Enemies' and Bangel escalated the Buffy/Faith rivalry, that ended in blows in GD. I think Bangel helped Buffy after 'Amends' and that it was still Buffy's story. Angel got his own development but the relationship itself was about Buffy.
    I think Buffy being unable to break up with Angel is in character and not a regression. She killed him in Becoming because she had to. She says in Selfless "I would have given up everything I had to be with him". Killing Angel is not a natural end to a relationship and was a last resort thing. It's undersatndable that when given the chance to be with Angel again Buffy would feel compelled to do so. She knows she can be okay without him and she that she shouldn't be with him. However, in Becoming Buffy had to kill Angel, there was no other choice; in season 3 she can choose to be with him. That's the difference. I don't think I'm explaining myself well, but in Becoming the choice was between killing him or sending the world to hell. The choice was simple even if the sacrifice wasn't. In season 3, the choice is between being with Angel again (something she wants) and doing the healthy thing for herself (something she doesn't want to do). Since dating Angel or not mostly doesn't affect the world, only herself, the choice is harder to make and the wrong thing to do is a lot more tempting. It's like a mother who stops smoking while pregnant, but resumes the habit once her choice no longer affects the bay, only herself.

    I agree completely with all of that. Those are my issues with season 3. Personally that's partly why, unlike a lot of fans, I didn't get very attached to Faith or Buffy/Faith.
     
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  18. Priceless

    Priceless I didn't forget y'know

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    I partly agree with this, that Faith had a troubled life before becomming a slayer, but it was being a slayer that allowed her to compromise her morality and say 'life as a slayer is very simple, want, take, have'. She could never have thought like this without being a slayer, or if she had, she wouldn't have gotten away with it so easily.

    And Faith didn't suddenly wake up one morning as the slayer, she was a potential before that, with a watcher of her own who was training her, keeping her on the straight and narrow. We don't know how long this training had been going on or how long she'd had a watcher, and I assume she and her watcher were close as his death deeply affected her.

    The whole point of the Buffy/Faith dynamic was that thery weren't close. That was the problem. Here were two slayers, and they simply cannot co-exist in the same place. Part of Faiths arc, through the next 7 seasons is to bring her and Buffy closer together, able to be together as equals.

    For Buffy the dark side was always a fascination, but also something to be scared of. She wasn't prepared to fully go there in season 3, especially with Faith who she hadn't liked or trusted from the moment they'd met.

    Once again it comes down to perspective. I thought Faith hurt the scoobies for her own benefit and as a proxy for the Mayor, who didn't like to get his own hands dirty. He was the consumate politician and I didn't need him to be emotionally close to Buffy to have an impact.
     
  19. Guy

    Guy Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    That's fair, but I think that the Mayor could and should have been a greater antagonist to Buffy, in a addition to being Faith's father figure. One of the most consistent themes of season 3 is flawed authority figures (The guy who lures girls to the other dimension in 'Anne', Snyder, Gwen Post, Willow's mom, Giles poisoning Buffy in 3x12, Quentin Travers, Wesley...), and the Mayor was the big symbol of that. He should have had at least one episode where he HURTS the scoobies, like Angelus in 'Passion' and Glory in 'Tough Love' and Caleb in 'Dirty Girls'.

    Well, we don't get to choose who we love... But my favorite Faith episode is 'Who Are You', which is a BtVS episode, so I have to strongly disagree.:)

    Well, if the writers gave her as much screentime as they wanted, then they were just mistaken, and they should have taken my advice.:p My 14-years-too-late advice...
    Anyway, the writers aside, I know that I would have cut out (most of) Angel and gave Faith and the Mayor more screentime, if I had that power. I just think the season would have been better that way.

    Also, I might have turned Mr. Trick into the mini-Big-Bad of the first half of season 3, the way Spike was in the first half of season 2. I think that could have worked well. Although it would require a lot of other changes...

    Oh, you were perfectly fine. :)

    [​IMG]

    I think I get what you're saying - 'Becoming' was a very extreme situation, so Buffy was able to choose to kill him, but in season 3 her situation is much more "normal", so she can't bring herself to break up with him. That's fine by me, and I like most of the Buffy/Angel scenes in season 3, as individual scenes, but the overall story just bugs me - it seems like it's a less impressive version of the season 2 story, and it doesn't seem to push Buffy forward - she doesn't grow to make the decision to leave Angel. instead, she has to be treated like a child and have Angel leave her for her own good, which is just not a good look for my Buffy. My main problem is with 'The Prom', which is pretty much the conclusion of the Buffy/Angel storyline in season 3 ('Graduation Day' is really just an epilogue, in terms of that storyline):

    I hate it when Joyce says "when it comes to you, Angel - Buffy's just like any other young woman in love. You're all she can see of tomorrow."
    I hate it when Buffy says "No, I'm just a swoony little schoolgirl, right?", because she IS behaving like a swoony little schoolgirl.
    And most of all, I hate it when Buffy breaks down crying on Willow's lap ("I can't breathe, Will. I feel like I can't breathe"), because goddammit, Buffy, YOU DID THIS ALREADY! You're supposed to be MORE mature now, not LESS mature!

    I mean, that's the whole point of season 2 - Buffy is obsessed about Angel and doesn't see anything else, so when he goes evil she completely breaks down, and then she steels herself until she's strong enough to kill him. The entire point of season 2 is to turn Buffy into a person who DOESN'T act like "any other young woman in love" when it comes to Angel. And yes, the situation in season 3 is different than the situation in season 2, but the general idea in both seasons is the same - Angel is bad for Buffy and Buffy needs to let him go. In season 2 she could do that, and in season 3 she can't, and that pisses me off. I liked the second half of 'The Prom', but the first half really bothers me. It's like the entire point of Buffy's relationship with Angel in season 3 is to take back the character development Buffy had in season 2. It's annoying as hell.

    And I know how this sounds - like I don't want Buffy to be a vulnerable, flawed character. Like I want her to be a "mary sue". But that's not the case at all - I love Buffy's flaws and vulnerabilities. My favorite seasons are 5 & 6, in which Buffy's more flawed and vulnerable than ever, and I also really love season 7 & 8, which are also up there in terms of "Buffy's messing up". My problem isn't that Buffy's crying, my problem is that she's crying over something that she already spent an entire year getting over. It just frustrates me, because I usually adore all of Buffy's crying scenes...

    /Rant over. Sorry... Had to vent a little. :(

    Well, I still got really attached to Faith in season 3, just not as much as I wanted. And in season 4 she became one of my favorite characters of all time...

    [​IMG]

    I just love these kinds of blurry characters, who cross the line from hero to villain and back without even noticing.
    --- Double Post Merged, Sep 9, 2016 ---
    She was influenced by both, yes.

    In the end, yes. In the end of season 3, Buffy and Faith couldn't co-exist. But that was supposed to be a tragedy, and it was supposed to be something that bothered Buffy a lot - she was supposed to be very connected to Faith before their falling-out, like we see in 'Bad Girls', for example. I think that the point of season 3 is supposed to be that Buffy and Faith WANT to be friends, but can't. That's a good tragic story. But I never got to see enough of that. And without that, their fight in 'Graduation Day' isn't that interesting or moving, to me.

    But season 3 creates this expectation that Buffy would go dark - there's this constant talk about her dark side, Faith says she's not ready "yet", Xander is "afraid to lose" Buffy to the darkness, Faith asks if she's ready to cut loose, etc... Eventually the dark side of Buffy would be explored amazingly well in season 5 and beyond, but the fact that we didn't REALLY get to see it tackled in season 3 is disappointing. And all this talk of darkness in Buffy comes off as shallow and fake, because it's telling instead of showing - we don't REALLY see Buffy go dark, so everyone's warnings feel cheesey to me.

    But even if we accept this concept (the Mayor hurts the scoobies through Faith), he's still disappointing - Faith never hurts any major character in season 3 the way other Big Bads have. She only kills guest characters. Her most impressive acts as a villain were in the next season - stealing Buffy's body and torturing Wesley.
     
  20. Mr Trick

    Mr Trick Scooby

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    Think this is a widely held view. But I think it works just about right. In most seasons the BB is not introduced (or at least their role as the BB not revealed) until the second half the season. Don't forget that really Angelus was the BB of S2 and that twist wasn't really till half way through that season.

    The Mayor works well for me a slow burning character. He still made enough appearances in the early episodes for me to be interested in the character and he always made an impression even if he didn't always get a lot of screen time. The pacing made sense too because of Faith's switch to the darkside and relationship with the Mayor.

    There were a lot of things to balance during the first half of the season. As for the Faith debate? I think she could have been in a couple more episodes than she was in the first half of the season. Still I think the character made a good impact on the show, ED played the part very well and that I for one did was engaged with the relationship between her and Buffy, and later her and the Mayor.
     
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