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Was Joyce Right to Blame Giles?

Discussion in 'Season 3' started by Priceless, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. Priceless

    Priceless I didn't forget y'know

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    In Anne Joyce says she blames Giles for Buffy leaving. Does Joyce have a point? Giles was an adult, encouraging a teenage girl to keep secrets from her mother . . . what do you think?
     
  2. thrasherpix

    thrasherpix Scooby

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    I think Joyce felt terrible because she gave Buffy the ultimatum and also turned a blind eye to so much, so to make herself feel better she blamed Giles who, as far as I can tell, was doing far more to find Buffy than Joyce was despite that Giles had a job with a schedule (and presumably spending his own money),. Though I think it's good Joyce stuck around in case Buffy showed up, it should be noted that Giles really was putting a lot of effort out. Sure, Giles was a secret influence, but that's part of the entire Slayer package that Joyce had been overlooking, and she was lashing out at him to stop lashing out at herself. I totally understanding Joyce being bitter and upset about it, but she had far more to do with Buffy leaving then Giles did.
     
  3. flow

    flow Will you just hold me ?

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    Did Giles really encourage Buffy not to tell Joyce about her calling ? Or did he just leave that decision to Buffy ? After all Buffy was sixteen and seventeen and she wasn`t a your average teenage girl. She was the slayer.

    But even if Giles had encouraged Buffy to keep her being the slayer a secret, this was not the reason why Buffy left her home. She left, because Joyce found out about vampires, demons and the slayer and couldn`t deal with it. She left, because Joyce told her to either stop being the slayer or leave.

    Joyce must have felt extremely guilty after Buffy disappeared. I don`t believe she seriously thought, Buffy could choose this option rather than stay at home and either stop slaying or at least pretend to stop and go back to keeping the truth from Joyce. Usually we try to find someone else to blame, if we are guilty. It is a common human behaviour. Joyce acted completely understandable when she blamed Giles, but she was of course wrong.

    flow
     
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  4. thrasherpix

    thrasherpix Scooby

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    Btw, I suddenly got to wondering, what DID Joyce tell Pat? And what did Pat tell her?

    Pat strikes me as the kind who loves drama, including in stirring it up through manipulation and passive aggressive ways that deflect blame from herself for the chaos and pain she causes. And if Joyce spilled about Buffy, then surely the conversation turned to Giles, even if Joyce couldn't talk about the supernatural aspects of it. Gods only knows what Pat had to say about Giles...and perhaps, in her indirect way, what Joyce should say TO Giles (and then Joyce should tell her what happened for Pat's own entertainment and feeling of power).
     
  5. Grace

    Grace Support-O-Gal

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    Black Thorn
    I think Joyce definitely had a point. Buffy wanted to tell her mom in Passion but Giles wouldn't let her.

    Buffy: Giles, Angel once told me that when he was obsessed with Drusilla, the first thing he did was to kill her family.
    Xander: Your mom.
    Buffy: I know. I'm gonna have to tell her something. The truth?
    Giles: No. You-you-you-you can't do that.
    Xander: Yeah. The more people who know the secret, the more it cheapens it for the rest of us.
    Buffy: But I've gotta tell her something. I've gotta do something. Giles, Angel has an all-access pass to my house, and I'm not always there when my mother is. I can't protect her.
    Giles: I told you I will find a spell.

    Giles' reasoning at this point is not clear to me, because the entire demon underworld of Sunnydale had to know who Buffy was at that point, if they didn't already, through Angelus. Darla was able to target Joyce as far back as mid-Season 1. So why couldn't Joyce know? If Buffy had been able to tell her during the dinner scene or in her bedroom after the Angelus confrontation during Passion, things might have been different. Sure, Joyce probably still would have reacted badly, but Buffy wouldn't have had Acathla and the murder suspect thing hanging over her head at that point that made things worse.

    Also, while Giles clearly cared about Buffy, I think Joyce also had a right to be angry with him as a representative of the brutal Slayer system that had in some ways isolated Buffy from her as well as put a terrible burden on Buffy's shoulders. I don't think Giles himself seriously questions the system until Helpless, but since Joyce had no idea of the lore and tradition, it would be much easier to question the whole idea of why her daughter had to do this essentially alone from the beginning.

    I'm not saying that Joyce didn't overlook things herself, and that her ultimatum wasn't terrible for Buffy. I'm sure her own guilt was part of why she lashed out at Giles, but I don't think her anger was unfounded.
     
  6. white avenger

    white avenger white avenger

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    I think that Joyce had a perfectly valid point in blaming Giles for Buffy leaving, or, at least, for not encouraging Buffy to tell her mother about her being a Slayer much sooner. It's fairly understandable, though, seeing as how the Watchers seem to have traditionally seemed to keep the existence of themselves and the Slayers more or less secret from the world.
     
  7. Fool for Buffy

    Fool for Buffy BFF of Sour Patch Kid

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    Sineya
    From Joyce's point of view, it makes complete sense that she blames Giles. Buffy left her because she lived in a completely different world, and she could not balance the two. Giles encouraged her to live in that world and to continue to interfere with her regular life.
    However Joyce's point of view is, understandably, too influenced by love. She could not possibly comprehend that Buffy's slayer world is just more important. She loves Buffy and cannot yet see that Buffy can't always be there.
     
  8. Agent Z

    Agent Z Townie

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    Joyce has a point. That said she did tell Buffy not to come back if she left the house and the her denial of all the weird stuff
     
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  9. Real Angel

    Real Angel Townie

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    Joyce was not right to blame Giles. He was only doing his duty, and it would have been easier (but more reckless) for him if Joyce knew Buffy is a slayer. He and Buffy were carrying her burden too in S1 and S2. The more people knew she is the slayer made situation easier for Buffy but much more harder and dangerous for themselves. So Giles was doing the hard and ungrateful decision.
    And she totally overreacted on Buffy. Like so much pure anger.
     
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  10. Sharky

    Sharky Townie

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    I think Joyce has a right to be angry at Giles. Joyce and Giles have shared intimacy and had a respect for each other prior, and Giles was hiding something huge about her own daughter from her. Giles was also the only other adult in this situation so she's going to view him as someone with accountability besides herself.

    The Slayer information was kind of thrown on Joyce all at once, and she definitely didn't react well. It might have been a lot different if Buffy was able to approach her mom about being a slayer in a more graceful way. At that point everything was already tense and in a time-pressure situation .. a recipe for disaster.
     
  11. Mr Trick

    Mr Trick Scooby

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    I don't think he ever actively encouraged Buffy to keep it from Joyce. Just that as part of the Slayer role the idea is that as few people as possible can know about it.

    I can understand where Joyce is coming from. Not least because at this point she is still processing the whole Slayer thing. But I don't really think Giles is to blame for Buffy leaving. Probably how relationship with Angel was. Not saying she was wrong to mix business with pleasure [thats a whole different debate], but I do think it was the break down and Angel's change, and then her having to deal with it which left her to leaving.
     
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  12. Priceless

    Priceless I didn't forget y'know

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    As @Grace's post above shows, Giles did directly tell Buffy she was not to tell Joyce about being the Slayer.

    I don't think Giles is totally to blame, but he must shoulder a lot of the responsibility. He was asking a lot of a 17 year old girl, expecting her to live a secret existance hidden from her closest family, while also saving the world, facing unknown danger and finally having to kill the man she loved.

    Giles of course had his own issues to deal with; Jenny's murder, being tortured. I expect it was impossible for him to give all his attention to Buffy's psychological wellbeing, while trying to deal with his own.

    But compared to Joyce, who knew absolutely nothing about the life her daughter was living, I think Giles should take some responsibility. It could be argued that Joyce was beyond naive and completely unquestioning of the clues Buffy left which would have revealed what she was really upto, but that's a different thread.
     
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  13. Mr Trick

    Mr Trick Scooby

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    But Giles was only doing his job. Besides part of the reason he didn't want Buffy to tell Joyce is for Joyce's own safety. I guess the dated WC rules are maybe more to blame than Giles is.
     
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  14. Priceless

    Priceless I didn't forget y'know

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    Giles is the Watchers Council, Sunnydale branch :) He is carrying out the teachings of the Watchers Council and part of that is to keep The Slayer powers a secret. He's encouraged Buffy to partially cut herself off from a major support system, and when she really needs that, her mum, Joyce isn't able to be there for her.
     
  15. Mr Trick

    Mr Trick Scooby

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    Well excately, but it is simply him following the Council's rules. If it was up to him then maybe he would do things different, which of course happens later.
     
  16. Grace

    Grace Support-O-Gal

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    Black Thorn
    Except that we know from the conversation with Kendra in What's My Line that Giles is already willing to not go by the book (literally) in Buffy's case. So he's already selectively enforcing the rules. And we also know that Kendra's parents are perfectly aware of her calling, so it's not a blanket rule that no parents are informed.

    I think there's a big difference between saying in general, it's better if slayers' families don't know, and saying that Joyce specifically should be kept in the dark when Giles knows that possibly the worst vampire in history has reason to be specifically targeting her. I don't see how that can be argued to be for Joyce's own safety anymore.
     
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  17. Mr Trick

    Mr Trick Scooby

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    I'm not sure about, don't think you can switch the goalposts when the situation suits you. I'm sure there have been other vampires as dangerous as Angelus in the past. I don't see how Joyce is any safer knowing about these things than not.
     
  18. Grace

    Grace Support-O-Gal

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    Black Thorn
    I think Joyce would act differently if she knew she was likely being targeted by a murderer, and there were very specific things she could do to lower her risk (like not be out alone after dark). In an atmosphere of general risk, it might not be worth violating the WC rules, but when the risk is highly specific, it makes sense to me to change tactics.
     
  19. Ethan Reigns

    Ethan Reigns Scooby

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    Sineya
    With Joyce knowing nothing she also doesn't know about the rules vampires live by; they cannot enter a house unless they are invited. She does invite Darla at one point and she invites Spike and no one has told her anything about it. As for whether she was right to blame Giles for Buffy leaving, Joyce bluffed, Buffy called her bluff and a bad time was had by all. That is probably the only thing he was not responsible for.

    The Watchers' Council was not any paragon of organization. They got Joyce captured by Kralik, they sent bumbling idiot Wesley to handle both Buffy and Faith and Gwendolyn Post managed to pull the wool over everyone's eyes because they had not communicated that she had been fired for cause. When you join an organization, you take on the karma of that organization and if that includes things like the cruciamentum, the person who administers the test is guilty of administering a noxious substance and aggravated assault or reckless endangerment for conducting the test. This is similar to the Milgram experiment where people were told to administer a test where electric shock was the penalty for a wrong answer. Very few people refused to do it.
     
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  20. DeadlyDuo

    DeadlyDuo Scooby

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    Joyce didn't invite Spike in, Buffy did during Becoming Part 2. His invitation was never revoked until Season 5 and I don't think he was invited back in until after Joyce's death.
     
    Priceless: Spike wasn't invited back in until The Gift