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Was Buffy or Xander more persuasive about killing or not killing Anya in Selfless?

Who was more persuasive in the argument about killing (or not killing) Anya in Selfless?

  • Buffy

    Votes: 21 70.0%
  • Xander

    Votes: 9 30.0%

  • Total voters
    30

AnthonyCordova

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Sineya
Let's discuss this. What was your impression of their argument over Anya in Selfless? Did Buffy persuade you that Anya needed to die? Or did Xander win the argument for you? I saw the episode again recently and I wondered about it myself. I didn't like the angle that Buffy used to argue with Xander. I didn't like how she passed over the whole issue of her friendship with Anya, even if it wasn't the closest relationship, and didn't feel compelled to talk it over with Anya and give her a chance first. But on the other hand, Anya just killed an entire fraternity of people so, there is that too. What's your opinion?
 

katmobile

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Buffy has actually both killed someone she loved deeply and died herself for the greater good so it's not as she's asking anyone to do anything she hasn't done herself and Xander's arguement amounts to you can't kill her I love her and we saved Willow. Willow actually saves the day because she unlike Buffy and Xander knows what's going on in Anya's head and has talked to her recently. In a way Dark Willow made Willow the most compassionate and forgiving of everyone because she knew that it was in everyone to be evil. The killing joke idea of sometimes it just takes one really bad day.
 
AnthonyCordova
AnthonyCordova
interesting point about Willow

Taake

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Black Thorn
I'm going with Xander. While Buffy did kill Angel it isn't as if she jumped straight to it ('give me time' she says, when she faces Angelus yet walks away. I get why, of course, but she needed time... she should understand that Xander might as well), and in this very season she is later on protecting Spike, trigger and all. She is ready to kill Anya because she doesn't care about Anya, not like she cares about her lovers or friends. She has made hard choices herself, which legitimizes her perspective, but doesn't explain why Anya won't get the benefit of the doubt / delay and chance of rescue/redemption that say Angel and Spike gets.

I mean if one looks at the dialogue I think Buffy's clouded emotions get shown pretty clearly, oh Spike was harmless, it is different, then she throws in the Angel stuff which I technically love, but in context of the argument it just looks like an excuse to declare herself the law in this scenario. Again, yes, she did end up killing Angel, but that wasn't her gut reaction as it is with Anya. "I don't care what she's going through"... again, this is the same woman who'll be caring for Spike like a pet after finding a basement of fresh vampires he's made and cooing over his circumstances and what he's going through with the trigger and soul to anyone who'll complain.

Buffy: Spike was harmless. He was helping.
Xander: He had no choice.
Buffy: And Anya did! She chose to become a demon. Twice.
Xander: You have no idea what she's going through.
Buffy: I don't care what she's going through!
Xander: No, of course not. You think we haven't seen all this before? The part where you just cut us all out. Just step away from everything human and act like you're the law. If you knew what I felt?
Buffy: I killed Angel! Do you even remember that? I would have given up everything I had to be with? I loved him more than I will ever love anything in this life. And I put a sword through his heart because I had to.

It all comes down to the writers wanting to show the new all-about-the-mission-Slayer Buffy

Buffy: It is always different! It's always complicated. And at some point, someone has to draw the line, and that is always going to be me. You get down on me for cutting myself off, but in the end the slayer is always cut off. There's no mystical guidebook. No all-knowing council. Human rules don't apply. There's only me. I am the law.

Her experiences have shaped her, and it makes sense, but she gives allowances to herself that she won't give to others, and mostly under these rushed circumstances she appears to have grown colder and more hard-hearted. I think Buffy's perspective would've come across as more justified and stronger if there had been more time for this plotline, if it had gotten to develop over several episodes rather than one. Now she just seems very "Anya, demon, bad. Slayer, me, kill." whereas with other demons she'll be like "grey areas, love, it's complicated, they can change, it's different now".

So Xander wins the argument for me because it is the argument Buffy would've made herself, had it been about someone she cared more deeply for.
 

WillowFromBuffy

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All Anya needed to do was repent and promise not to do it again, but her guilt does not allow that until D'Hoffryn ressurects the boys. Anya is much like Faith here. She needs an out.

I'm with Buffy all the way, but it was Willow that solved it in a way that worked for both B and X .... and A. Best episode of S7.
 

katmobile

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I'm going with Xander. While Buffy did kill Angel it isn't as if she jumped straight to it ('give me time' she says, when she faces Angelus yet walks away. I get why, of course, but she needed time... she should understand that Xander might as well), and in this very season she is later on protecting Spike, trigger and all. She is ready to kill Anya because she doesn't care about Anya, not like she cares about her lovers or friends. She has made hard choices herself, which legitimizes her perspective, but doesn't explain why Anya won't get the benefit of the doubt / delay and chance of rescue/redemption that say Angel and Spike gets.

I mean if one looks at the dialogue I think Buffy's clouded emotions get shown pretty clearly, oh Spike was harmless, it is different, then she throws in the Angel stuff which I technically love, but in context of the argument it just looks like an excuse to declare herself the law in this scenario. Again, yes, she did end up killing Angel, but that wasn't her gut reaction as it is with Anya. "I don't care what she's going through"... again, this is the same woman who'll be caring for Spike like a pet after finding a basement of fresh vampires he's made and cooing over his circumstances and what he's going through with the trigger and soul to anyone who'll complain.

Buffy: Spike was harmless. He was helping.
Xander: He had no choice.
Buffy: And Anya did! She chose to become a demon. Twice.
Xander: You have no idea what she's going through.
Buffy: I don't care what she's going through!
Xander: No, of course not. You think we haven't seen all this before? The part where you just cut us all out. Just step away from everything human and act like you're the law. If you knew what I felt?
Buffy: I killed Angel! Do you even remember that? I would have given up everything I had to be with? I loved him more than I will ever love anything in this life. And I put a sword through his heart because I had to.

It all comes down to the writers wanting to show the new all-about-the-mission-Slayer Buffy

Buffy: It is always different! It's always complicated. And at some point, someone has to draw the line, and that is always going to be me. You get down on me for cutting myself off, but in the end the slayer is always cut off. There's no mystical guidebook. No all-knowing council. Human rules don't apply. There's only me. I am the law.

Her experiences have shaped her, and it makes sense, but she gives allowances to herself that she won't give to others, and mostly under these rushed circumstances she appears to have grown colder and more hard-hearted. I think Buffy's perspective would've come across as more justified and stronger if there had been more time for this plotline, if it had gotten to develop over several episodes rather than one. Now she just seems very "Anya, demon, bad. Slayer, me, kill." whereas with other demons she'll be like "grey areas, love, it's complicated, they can change, it's different now".

So Xander wins the argument for me because it is the argument Buffy would've made herself, had it been about someone she cared more deeply for.
There's one problem with that comparison that Buffy had seen the changes in Angel and Spike when they came back - seen their vulnerability and in both cases seen them step up to defend her or someone else against a monster despite not being in great shape psychologically. Willow has seen the side of Anya that is salvageable (which is why she prevails) but Buffy hasn't and nor really has Xander. Sure closeness of relationship is a factor but Buffy's right from her understanding.
 

telperion66

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Even though I'm not the biggest fan of season seven I feel compelled to reply.

In my opinion, Anya was too close to the group to permit the decision to kill her to fly.

They should have talked to her, helped her as was always the policy with the scoobies who were doing bad things; "help the ones we love in their times of need."
 

WillowFromBuffy

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I wanna point out that the Scoobies were all there for Anya in "Entropy" after the breakup.

By "Selfless," Anya has gone from "soft serve" to relapsed serial killer. The spider is her second man eating beast in two weeks. She lies to Willow and abandons her client with the fresh corpses and the monster. When Buffy arrives, she shows no remorse and mocks Xander's attempts to save.

Calling Buffy trigger happy is ridicolous. She should have acted sooner, if anything. Anya has had old and recent misdeeds overlooked before and gets forgiven again as soon as she stands down.
 

r2dh2

Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain
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I wanna point out that the Scoobies were all there for Anya in "Entropy" after the breakup.

By "Selfless," Anya has gone from "soft serve" to relapsed serial killer. The spider is her second man eating beast in two weeks. She lies to Willow and abandons her client with the fresh corpses and the monster. When Buffy arrives, she shows no remorse and mocks Xander's attempts to save.

Calling Buffy trigger happy is ridicolous. She should have acted sooner, if anything. Anya has had old and recent misdeeds overlooked before and gets forgiven again as soon as she stands down.
I mostly agree with you. This is one of my favorite episodes and this is the episode where I like Anya the most. Anya hits rock bottom here and she genuinely repents to the point that she’s willing to sacrifice herself to undo the wish (I hate that they did not push this side of Anya later on in the season and decided to forgive her immediately). But more importantly, IMO, Anya stops making excuses and acknowledges that Buffy is right. I truly love how Anya tries to make Xander understand that she knows that she crossed the line and that there might not be a way back.

Now, I also agree with the idea that Buffy jumps into it a bit too fast. I’d like to have seen her more conflicted when making the decision; regardless of what Anya did, she was still a part of the Scoobies for a long time. But I’m with Buffy here and I agree with D’Hofrryin, Xander was looking at the situation from a place of love and, rationally speaking, his arguments were not strong enough – emotionally speaking, however, I understand him completely and I agree that if Buffy had let her heart decide before, she could have given it more time to find a “better” solution.

But, as it has been pointed out above, it is Willow who understands both sides and saves the day by understanding what Anya was going through and giving her the opportunity of making a choice: repent, atone and accept the consequences, or continue in this path.
 
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Ethan Reigns

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I think Xander's opinion is not driven so much by his desire to not let Anya be killed but by his own actions. If he had not abandoned Anya at the altar, she would never have gone back to D'Hoffryn and become a vengeance demon again. If she has to be killed, the fault may come back to him by cause and effect. Buffy is more convincing because she has no personal stake in the outcome.

In my own mind, Buffy was correct and the trail of carnage that had been left by Anya for 1100 years could not be allowed to resume. She had done more damage than all of the Whirlwind combined even with roughly the same number of man-hours lived. Buffy plunges a sword into Anya with every intent of killing her and the fact that Anya is protected by being a demon does not change Buffy's convictions on this matter.

In the end, Halfreq pays the price.
 

Dora

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I am on Buffy side , Anya chose to become a demon , Anya chose to call the spider , Anya let it kill the dozen frat boys + more , no matter what Buffy got up to with either Spike or Angel if they went knowingly back to killing , she would have killed them , and as for the urgency who knows who Anya would meet next ? Buffy had to try to put a stop to Anya killing A.S.A.P.
If anything Buffy is probably guilty of not stopping Anya after beneath you.....When Willow told them of the murders she says I was worried about this
 

Anyanka Bunny Slayer

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I'm with Xander on this. I feel that Buffy was being extraordinarily narrow-minded and arrogant...her arguments as to why Anya had to die just didn't convince me. Yes, she was responsible for those boys being slaughtered. However, Spike and Angel killed men, women, babies...yet I suppose that's okay because they're seeking redemption. And she's slept with both of them.

When Willow went dark, Buffy didn't automatically say she had to die. And Willow killed someone in a horrifying manner...Buffy even witnessed it. But all she could talk about was saving Willow. Anya deserved the same consideration.
 
D
Dora
Buffy said of Willow that she was human and subject to human laws .....where Anya was a demon , Buffy did not try to kill Anya once human instead saved her

katmobile

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I'm with Xander on this. I feel that Buffy was being extraordinarily narrow-minded and arrogant...her arguments as to why Anya had to die just didn't convince me. Yes, she was responsible for those boys being slaughtered. However, Spike and Angel killed men, women, babies...yet I suppose that's okay because they're seeking redemption. And she's slept with both of them.

When Willow went dark, Buffy didn't automatically say she had to die. And Willow killed someone in a horrifying manner...Buffy even witnessed it. But all she could talk about was saving Willow. Anya deserved the same consideration.
Hard disagree - I guess that's the thing Giles had a plan for saving Willow and I guess Willow had one for Anya. Do you seriously think Anya's vengeance spells never affected babies at all never?
You're very dismissive of seeking redemption but ultimately Buffy isn't about justice or redemption she's about protection and Anya was showing no signs of stopping.
 

Athene

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For me, Buffy wasn’t making sense because I couldn’t understand why she was suddenly so proactive in going after Anya.
Anya had been in Buffy’s life for 4 years, and Buffy never expressed having a problem with her past and never looked into how Anya was killing again since the end of season 6. So for Buffy to be so adamant that she has to kill Anya in season 7 felt odd. Yeah, it reached a point where Buffy couldn’t avoid it anymore but the fact that she avoided the situation for so long should have meant that she wouldn’t be so willing to kill Anya.
So Xander was more convincing.
 

r2dh2

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For me, Buffy wasn’t making sense because I couldn’t understand why she was suddenly so proactive in going after Anya.
Anya had been in Buffy’s life for 4 years, and Buffy never expressed having a problem with her past and never looked into how Anya was killing again since the end of season 6. So for Buffy to be so adamant that she has to kill Anya in season 7 felt odd. Yeah, it reached a point where Buffy couldn’t avoid it anymore but the fact that she avoided the situation for so long should have meant that she wouldn’t be so willing to kill Anya.
So Xander was more convincing.
But Anya wasn’t killing in S6. That’s why Hallie does an “intervention,” and tells her that she’s in trouble with D’Hoffryn because she lost her edge (she’s gone soft). This is what prompts Anya to kill the college students, she’s trying to satisfy D’Hoffryn and she tries to like killing again.

And I like Anya’s character, for the most part. But Anya was never close to anyone, despite her 4 years with the Scoobies, and that was her choice. It could have been because she couldn’t relate to anyone, because she didn’t feel like making an effort, or because she didn’t know how to do it. Regardless of the reason, her membership into the Scooby gang was mostly through Xander. Although, I acknowledge that she did help them with Dark Willow. However, even after Buffy saves her from the demons that D’Hoffryin sends after her, calls her her friend and asks her to come to her house where she’ll be safer, Anya is quick to say that she’s not Buffy’s friend in “Get it Done,” wants to leave her in the alternative dimension and strongly supports the mutiny in “Empty Places.” So, the lack of a strong connection between Buffy and Anya goes both ways.

I agree that I’d like to have seen Buffy less enthusiastic when fighting against Anya and more conflicted because of what she has to do. But, in all honesty, even though I understand Anya’s reasons, I still side with Buffy in the big picture and I think that it was necessary for Anya’s growth. After all, Buffy stands down once she realizes that Anya chooses not being a threat anymore.
 

Anyanka Bunny Slayer

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Hard disagree - I guess that's the thing Giles had a plan for saving Willow and I guess Willow had one for Anya. Do you seriously think Anya's vengeance spells never affected babies at all never?
You're very dismissive of seeking redemption but ultimately Buffy isn't about justice or redemption she's about protection and Anya was showing no signs of stopping.
Seeking redemption is for pussies. It doesn't automatically make someone noble and wonderful. Combined, Spike and Angel killed far more people than Anya ever did. Either way, she didn't kill for pleasure, like Spike and Angel. She tormented men who had wronged women, which I support wholehearted.
 

Athene

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But Anya wasn’t killing in S6. That’s why Hallie does an “intervention,” and tells her that she’s in trouble with D’Hoffryn because she lost her edge (she’s gone soft). This is what prompts Anya to kill the college students, she’s trying to satisfy D’Hoffryn and she tries to like killing again.
Yeah but we never saw Buffy look into whether Anya was killing again or not and as a vengeance demon everyone could easily assume she was or at least doing other things that were immoral to people. I just think that if you’re okay enough with what Anya has done (which would be up there with the worst that any human in history has done) to keep her in and around your family for 4 years then Buffy’s reaction in season 7 isn’t very believable. I don’t think Anya and Buffy were ever close but the point is that Anya was a part of their ‘family’ and accepted by everyone. So not sure why that changed based on what Anya did in ‘Selfless’ it’s really small fries compared to what she’s bragged about doing to Buffy and everyone’s face repeatedly. Buffy didn’t care at all then, but suddenly is so passionate that she will kill.
 

r2dh2

Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain
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Yeah but we never saw Buffy look into whether Anya was killing again or not and as a vengeance demon everyone could easily assume she was or at least doing other things that were immoral to people. I just think that if you’re okay enough with what Anya has done (which would be up there with the worst that any human in history has done) to keep her in and around your family for 4 years then Buffy’s reaction in season 7 isn’t very believable. I don’t think Anya and Buffy were ever close but the point is that Anya was a part of their ‘family’ and accepted by everyone. So not sure why that changed based on what Anya did in ‘Selfless’ it’s really small fries compared to what she’s bragged about doing to Buffy and everyone’s face repeatedly. Buffy didn’t care at all then, but suddenly is so passionate that she will kill.
This goes back to the point made by @katmobile. Buffy is a protector and when Anya isn't a threat, Buffy doesn't have to fight against her (this is true in pre-Hell Bells and post-Selfless). And Buffy does tell Xander that she has thought about the possibility of facing this situation after Anya became a vengeance demon again (she said that during the summer she realized that Anya could become a problem), which means that she might be keeping an eye on what Anya is doing.

But I agree that Buffy is too enthusiastic about it. And probably a more believable arc would have been Buffy talking with Anya after the worm incident in Beneath You. Xander tried but Anya still threw him back the argument of the wedding, they clearly weren't at the stage of talking yet. Willow wasn't around and, even after she came back, she certainly wasn't the best person to do the talking (besides, she didn't know about it). And Dawn was still learning her place as a Scooby. I still think that it was a necessary situation that allowed Anya to understand that she wasn't a vengeance demon any longer.
 
WillowFromBuffy
WillowFromBuffy
I don't think she's enthusiastic at all. She's determined.

NeddaSai

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Definitely with Buffy on this. Sure, she might've waited too long to kill Angelus and gave Spike way too many outs but two (three?) wrongs don't make a right.. just because it makes her a hypocrite to try and kill Anya as soon as she became dangerous doesn't mean she's wrong. The actions she should've changed are the other two (Angelus/Spike) not this one.
 

WillowFromBuffy

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A Slayer Check List:

Is subject supernatural?

If yes, is subject a killer?

If yes, is subject killing presently?

If yes, has subject been given opportunities to repent? *

If yes, does subject still refuse to give up killing? *

If the answer to all of these is "yes," then slaying can and should commence.

* Can be skipped if subject is soulless.
 

katmobile

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Seeking redemption is for pussies. It doesn't automatically make someone noble and wonderful. Combined, Spike and Angel killed far more people than Anya ever did. Either way, she didn't kill for pleasure, like Spike and Angel. She tormented men who had wronged women, which I support wholehearted.
We might have to agree to disagree on the first although God help you if you ever need forgiveness it's not very Christian of you. As for the second well wishing Buffy hadn't come to Sunny D didn't help Cordy, turning her ex into a giant worm that ate her dog didn't help Nancy. It's an excuse - justice cloaking a reason to cause choas for the lower beings - Anya was thrilled at the Wishverse and her employers approved of the worm.
 
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