• Thank you for visiting Buffy-Boards. You obviously have exceptional taste. We just want you to know that:
    1. You really should register so you can chat with us!
    2. Twelve thousand people can't be wrong.
    3. Buffy-Boards loves you.
    4. See 1 through 3.
    Come on, register already!

Were Xander and Buffy unfair to Willow in Something Blue?

r2dh2

Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain
Joined
Apr 12, 2019
Messages
275
Location
Mexico
I was recently re-watching S4 and I got really angry (again) at Xander and Buffy in Something Blue when they complain about Willow:

“Xander: Something about Willow and her griefy-poor-me mood swingsso, so tired of it.
Anya: You mean I don't have to be nice about her anymore?
Buffy: Well, we're all tired of it, but what does it have to do with what's going on?”

And I always get especially angry at Buffy. After Parker in the “Harsh Light of Day,” she moped around in “Fear itself” and “Beer Bad,” with Willow patiently listening to her, trying to cheer her up, offering advice and even confronting Parker directly. In “The Initiative,” Willow is feeling pretty sad and heart-broken and still tries to help out Riley because he seems to be a nice and solid guy interested in Buffy. And in “Something Blue,” she again listens to Buffy and her thoughts and concerns about Rilely/Angel:

“Buffy: It's just, different, you know? A picnic. First of all, daylight — kind of a new venue, Buffywise. And the best part — he said he would bring all the food, so all I have to do was to show up and eat. Those are two things I'm really good at.
Willow: So he's nice?
Buffy: Very, very.
Willow: And there's sparkage?
Buffy: Yeah. He's— have you seen his arms? Those are good arms to have. I really like him. I do.“

“Buffy: I know.. I have to get away from that bad boy thing. There's no good there. Seeing Angel in LA.. even for five minutes.. hello to the pain.
Willow: The pain is not a friend.
…”

And it makes me even angrier that the comments come right after they find out that Oz is gone for good and that Willow is in even more pain. It just doesn’t feel like a fair reaction, unless I’m missing something else. I mean, Oz and Willow had a long and loving relationship, and it ended quite abruptly in an especially painful way (the cheating and his sudden departure). Buffy and Angel always knew that their love was “unconventional” and possibly doomed. Buffy and Parker interacted for a relatively short period of time, and it always seemed that her friends wanted her to get over him because they wanted her to be happy, not because they were tired of listening to her.

Does anybody else feels the same way? Or am I overreacting? Or am I missing something?
 

thrasherpix

Scooby
Joined
Mar 13, 2016
Messages
3,222
Age
38
I can understand this...and I've noted before how much Buffy wants from her friends (socially anyway, she does try to keep them out of danger, ignoring s7), but when she doesn't feel a need for their support she's not around...especially if there's a hottie for her to obsess over.

Still, no one likes a saint. I've read somewhere that people aren't drawn to heroes (and heroines) for their nobility, but for the flaws they overcome, or at least succeed in spite of. Buffy is definitely flawed, but still lovable in my book. But she can annoy me at times, like with what you say.
 

WillowFromBuffy

To be or not to evil.
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
1,114
Age
32
I agree. Willow always makes time to comfort Buffy whenever she needs it, which is fairly often.

She also gives Giles Jenny's healing crystal and helps him get over Jenny's death when he thinks she's a ghost, yet in "Something Blue", he impatiently wants her to get back to being good ol' dependable, diligent Willow.

It also annoys me that people see this as a Buffy/Spike episode. It isn't. Buffy and Spike falling in love is just a gag. The episode is about Willow.
 

Athene

Scooby
Joined
Apr 8, 2017
Messages
2,375
Age
20
Sineya
Yeah I would've highlighted Anya's part of the conversation too- "You mean I don't have to be nice about her anymore?"
Those comments are really unfair considering they're from her best friends.
 
Myheadsgonenumb
Myheadsgonenumb
Anya is not Willow's friend - just the episode before Willow wanted to not invite Anya to Thanksgiving.

Myheadsgonenumb

Potential
Joined
Oct 23, 2018
Messages
401
Age
35
Location
England
I think Buffy is a bit lacklustre in her support, in this episode. She's wrapped up in her own stuff and doesn't notice how badly Willow is doing (which Spike points out to her) but she does listen to her when she finds out Oz has gone for good and she takes her home at the bronze when she's getting drunk. Nothing Buffy does here is as selfish, tone deaf or appalling as Willow's "I know you had to murder your boyfriend but I wanted to spend the summer talking about my love life how dare you skip town" outburst from season 3.

In defence of Xander, every time he tries to speak to Willow to comfort her, she lashes out at him- first at The Bronze and then in his basement. He doesn't say he's tired of her mood swings until after she's called him a demon magnet just because he tried to reason with her. (and in fairness to Buffy - she is under a spell too when she makes her seemingly cavalier reply ... a spell Willow has put on her.)

I think it's fair enough that they're getting tired of her grief. It's not that they don't sympathise, but when both sympathy and reason are met with similar outrage and 'you don't understand my pains' that sympathy does get a little hardworn. I think it's very realistic that they're just getting a bit bored of it - they'll sympathise in person but really they're thinking 'come on - move on already' and they'll say that when she's not around.

Willow is right -they want her to take the time and get through the pain but they don't want to hear about it - but that is true of pretty much any relationship where one side is suddenly having intense feelings they aren't getting over and only want to talk about that. Nobody's perfect - it does get wearing.
 

DeadlyDuo

Scooby
Joined
Jul 29, 2016
Messages
8,598
Age
30
I think one thing that's easy to over look is how much time passes between each episodes. Some episodes follow on directly from another whilst others there is a time gap. Season 4 at least give a time frame from Fear Itself (Halloween) to Pangs (Thanksgiving). Oz's departure and break up with Willow all happens in November so there's not really that much time passage, a few weeks at best. My guess is that Buffy and Xander were very sympathetic between Oz's departure and Pangs, however Something Blue (which we don't know the time gap for between itself and Pangs) probably takes place almost a month after Oz has left and Willow's still moping.
 

Puppet

Actual size.
Joined
Aug 1, 2017
Messages
6,900
Age
31
Location
Denmark
Black Thorn
The problem with your examples is that they come from a conversation Willow and Buffy are actually having with one another, and putting it against a conversation that Willow isn't around for. We don't know that, when Buffy wasn't around, Willow didn't complain to Xander about her moping over Parker. Two friends, such as Buffy and Xander, should be allowed to vent to one another without it automatically making them bad friends; so long as they still support her, when it comes down to it.
 
r2dh2
r2dh2
While I do agree with you, I'm basing my comment in what I know. And when Oz, Xander and Willow were alone, their comments were always about how nasty Parker was and how much they'd like for Buffy to forget him.

r2dh2

Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain
Joined
Apr 12, 2019
Messages
275
Location
Mexico
I think one thing that's easy to over look is how much time passes between each episodes. Some episodes follow on directly from another whilst others there is a time gap. Season 4 at least give a time frame from Fear Itself (Halloween) to Pangs (Thanksgiving). Oz's departure and break up with Willow all happens in November so there's not really that much time passage, a few weeks at best. My guess is that Buffy and Xander were very sympathetic between Oz's departure and Pangs, however Something Blue (which we don't know the time gap for between itself and Pangs) probably takes place almost a month after Oz has left and Willow's still moping.
But I don’t think it makes a huge difference. The relationship between Oz and Willow was very long, stable and loving, there were no problems in sight and in the span of one or two days, it ended, and he left. She is sad in and depressed in “The Initiative,” but she doesn’t bring it up in again Pangs or at the beginning of Something Blue. She brings it up after it is clear that he is really gone and that he may never be back. I mean, he left, but all his stuff was in his dorm. It’s easy to think that he needed some time (and maybe she did too) and then they could re-take the relationship. But not only he is definitely not coming back, he never talks with her again after leaving. I think that if it were a year later, I would be more inclined to agree with you. But a month or two are not really a long time when it was such an important part of her life and she clearly kept hoping for his return.
 

r2dh2

Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain
Joined
Apr 12, 2019
Messages
275
Location
Mexico
I agree. Willow always makes time to comfort Buffy whenever she needs it, which is fairly often.

It also annoys me that people see this as a Buffy/Spike episode. It isn't. Buffy and Spike falling in love is just a gag. The episode is about Willow.
Yeah, I agree with you. I do like the Spuffy stuff because I’m a Spuffy fan, but I do always get angry at the way they treat Willow in this episode, except for the end, I feel that they do easily forgive her.

In defence of Xander, every time he tries to speak to Willow to comfort her, she lashes out at him- first at The Bronze and then in his basement. He doesn't say he's tired of her mood swings until after she's called him a demon magnet just because he tried to reason with her. (and in fairness to Buffy - she is under a spell too when she makes her seemingly cavalier reply ... a spell Willow has put on her.)
I give Giles and Xander more of a pass, maybe I shouldn’t. But in terms of romantic relationships, they are in a more stable situation and some of us might have short memory when it comes to pain and how it affected us in the past. And yes, Willow is the type that lashes out when sad, it’s not easy to be near someone like that sometimes, that’s why I also give Xander more of a break. And Giles is just colder than them, personality wise.

I think Buffy is a bit lacklustre in her support, in this episode. She's wrapped up in her own stuff and doesn't notice how badly Willow is doing (which Spike points out to her) but she does listen to her when she finds out Oz has gone for good and she takes her home at the bronze when she's getting drunk. Nothing Buffy does here is as selfish, tone deaf or appalling as Willow's "I know you had to murder your boyfriend but I wanted to spend the summer talking about my love life how dare you skip town" outburst from season 3.
Yes, I know that Buffy is sympathetic and tries to help. I’m just really bothered by her comments in this part. She literarily just stopped whining and complaining about Parker a couple of episodes ago (and in part because she met someone else). And in no moment people complained about being tired of listening to her or of her mood (that we know of). They only wanted her to move on for her own sake. I guess, it’s just a personal preference in this instance.
 

Myheadsgonenumb

Potential
Joined
Oct 23, 2018
Messages
401
Age
35
Location
England
But they are sympathetic when they talk to her - and she lashes out at them for it. They completely understand why she is still grieving but that doesn't mean they're not getting bored about hearing about it and not getting irritated by her outbursts against them. You don't know how much she is bringing it up - she brings it up to Angel in Pangs! Giles and Buffy have a discussion about how she 'seems to be doing better' so she has obviously stopped talking about it more or less by the beginning of Something Blue - comparable to before, which we means there must have be more that we musn't have seen.

Then she finds out about Oz, Buffy sits and listens and sympathises. She gets drunk at the bronze and is rude to Xander when he tries to take the beer off her, Buffy takes her home. She yells at Giles when he counsels caution (caution that was needed). Buffy is settling down to spend the evening with her when she has to go out and find Spike, so Willow goes and complains about Buffy's job meaning that Buffy can't be there for her when she wants her to Xander. Xander tries to comfort her and she lashes out at him.

Yes, she's in legitimate pain, but she is lashing out at the people who are trying to help her. Buffy doesn't yell personal or accusatory stuff at Xander or Willow when she's moping about Parker - that's the difference.

So after this support and after the lashing out, they privately agree that they're getting a bit tired of Willow's behaviour ... that doesn't make them bad friends, especially when they continue to try and support her when she is there.
 

Faded90

Potential
Joined
Apr 2, 2020
Messages
246
Age
62
But they are sympathetic when they talk to her - and she lashes out at them for it. They completely understand why she is still grieving but that doesn't mean they're not getting bored about hearing about it and not getting irritated by her outbursts against them. You don't know how much she is bringing it up - she brings it up to Angel in Pangs! Giles and Buffy have a discussion about how she 'seems to be doing better' so she has obviously stopped talking about it more or less by the beginning of Something Blue - comparable to before, which we means there must have be more that we musn't have seen.

Then she finds out about Oz, Buffy sits and listens and sympathises. She gets drunk at the bronze and is rude to Xander when he tries to take the beer off her, Buffy takes her home. She yells at Giles when he counsels caution (caution that was needed). Buffy is settling down to spend the evening with her when she has to go out and find Spike, so Willow goes and complains about Buffy's job meaning that Buffy can't be there for her when she wants her to Xander. Xander tries to comfort her and she lashes out at him.

Yes, she's in legitimate pain, but she is lashing out at the people who are trying to help her. Buffy doesn't yell personal or accusatory stuff at Xander or Willow when she's moping about Parker - that's the difference.

So after this support and after the lashing out, they privately agree that they're getting a bit tired of Willow's behaviour ... that doesn't make them bad friends, especially when they continue to try and support her when she is there.
This! Buffy and Xander privately admitting they’re getting a bit sick of it didn’t make them bad friends. They’re still supportive to Willow when they’re around her despite her lashing out at Xander a couple of times. Even after she puts them in danger in Something Blue they’re still supportive and caring to her at the end of the episode
 

WillowFromBuffy

To be or not to evil.
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
1,114
Age
32
Yeah, I agree with you. I do like the Spuffy stuff because I’m a Spuffy fan, but I do always get angry at the way they treat Willow in this episode, except for the end, I feel that they do easily forgive her.
I'm a Spuffy-fan, too, but I enjoy them more when they're being themselves. However, my main point is that their betrothal is not all that relevant to the plot or theme of the episode. It is just a bit of random hilarity.

Btw, this episode kinda reminds me of Family, where Buffy and Xander are once again bemoaning having to deal with Willow's love life, though this time it is about having to go to Tara's birthday party and deal with her "heavy Wiccan crowd".
 

DeadlyDuo

Scooby
Joined
Jul 29, 2016
Messages
8,598
Age
30
Btw, this episode kinda reminds me of Family, where Buffy and Xander are once again bemoaning having to deal with Willow's love life, though this time it is about having to go to Tara's birthday party and deal with her "heavy Wiccan crowd".
To be fair to Buffy and Xander in Family, they don't know Tara very well and they're having to attend a gathering for a person they're not really friends with where they're way out of their depth since they don't know anything about wicca. They're there purely for Willow and chances are she's going to be mingling with others which will leave them on their own.
 

WillowFromBuffy

To be or not to evil.
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
1,114
Age
32
To be fair to Buffy and Xander in Family, they don't know Tara very well and they're having to attend a gathering for a person they're not really friends with where they're way out of their depth since they don't know anything about wicca. They're there purely for Willow and chances are she's going to be mingling with others which will leave them on their own.
On the flip side...

1. Buffy and Xander may not know Tara very well and her jokes may be a little dorky, but she looked after Dawn when Mr Bogerty was killed, helped Buffy move and saved Buffy's life the first time they ever met.

2. The Scoobies hang out all the time and the whole squad is going, so what's the issue? Buffy says it will hardly be the most exciting social event of the season, but everyone she ever hangs out with is going to be there.

3. Wicca is an obvious code for queer. Four people in their tiny friend group are experienced magic practitioners and many more of them dabble, so Tara is hardly the only one. Buffy uses Wicca the same way Spike uses witch-thing in The Yoko Factor.
 

Faded90

Potential
Joined
Apr 2, 2020
Messages
246
Age
62
On the flip side...

1. Buffy and Xander may not know Tara very well and her jokes may be a little dorky, but she looked after Dawn when Mr Bogerty was killed, helped Buffy move and saved Buffy's life the first time they ever met.

2. The Scoobies hang out all the time and the whole squad is going, so what's the issue? Buffy says it will hardly be the most exciting social event of the season, but everyone she ever hangs out with is going to be there.

3. Wicca is an obvious code for queer. Four people in their tiny friend group are experienced magic practitioners and many more of them dabble, so Tara is hardly the only one. Buffy uses Wicca the same way Spike uses witch-thing in The Yoko Factor.
I don’t think it was about them having a problem with Tara it was about them finding it hard to relate to her. Tara at this point was incredibly socially awkward had a quirky sense of humour that they didn’t understand. There biggest issue seems to be that they don’t know what to buy her as a present
 

WillowFromBuffy

To be or not to evil.
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
1,114
Age
32
I don’t think it was about them having a problem with Tara it was about them finding it hard to relate to her. Tara at this point was incredibly socially awkward had a quirky sense of humour that they didn’t understand. There biggest issue seems to be that they don’t know what to buy her as a present
I didn't say they had a problem with Tara. I said it is another example of Buffy and Xander coming together to bemoan having to support Willow, and while I can sorta understand them in Something Blue, I can't understand them here.

They go to The Bronze with the gang all the time. Why is Tara's lame jokes or having to buy her a token present such a big deal? Willow is supposedly best friend to both of them and Tara has saved Buffy from Faith and been really friendly and helpful, so why are they making such a fuzz?
 

Priceless

Scooby
Joined
Jan 25, 2016
Messages
7,500
Location
UK
I think it is disquieting when a new person joins an already long established group. The dynamics shift and you have to find a way of dealing with the new person without disrupting the group. I don't think Buffy and Xander's reactions to Tara are odd or out of place.

Oz left a couple of weeks prior to Something Blue, but the reality hit Willow in that episode, and she's mad at herself for not handling it well, which is why she tries the spell, so I don't think we can criticise her friends too much for losing a little patience with her.
 

Myheadsgonenumb

Potential
Joined
Oct 23, 2018
Messages
401
Age
35
Location
England
They're hardly bemoaning supporting Willow, just chatting about how they think it will be awkward to go to a party where they don't know anyone. Yes the party is in the Bronze where they go all the time, and yes they never talk to anyone but each other anyway ... but that is the conceit of it being a T.V show and only having limited sets and only using established characters. If Willow has all these wicca friends they don't know, perhaps we are supposed to extrapolate that they all have a more varied and active social life than we see. Or perhaps we are supposed to extrapolate that only Willow has a varied and active social life and the two of them are weird little stick in the muds who only interact with each other. Either way, they are going to a large social gathering where they will only know each other ... they are never fun. Have you never been to a friend's party where you only knew your friend and no one else? They're excruciating.

They're not looking forward to awkward social chit chat with a bunch of strangers and are wondering if they will stand out because they're not witches. Plus they are in the position of having to buy a gift for someone they don't know very well, they want it to be something she will like because they are nice people - but they're totally as a loss as to what it is she will like and because they're nice that bothers them, they're giving it headspace ... Surely anyone who has ever spent a moment in the real world can understand exactly what Buffy and Xander are feeling at that point? And no, they're not bad friends, they're not unsupportive, they're not moaning - they're just not super hyped for going to a party where they won't know anyone. The fact that they go and the fact they don't mention to Willow that actually they would rather not is what makes them good friends. The fact that privately they don't think it's going to be the best night ever does not make them bad friends.
 

AlphaFoxtrot

Scooby
Joined
Sep 11, 2017
Messages
1,622
Age
39
One of the themes of the season was that the kids were moving apart, and becoming less of each other's lives. So yes, High School Buffy would have been much more attuned to Willow's pain, whereas College Buffy was more concerned about how many meals she could eat a day without wrecking her meal plan credits (Hint, Breakfast is the cheapest meal of the day, get a box of nutrigrain bars or get a banana from dinner the night before, or just sleep in, it's college). But Something Blue is a comedy episode, and characterization is always a little shaky in early comedy episodes. Like, remember all the episodes before and after the Zeppo where Buffy is concerned for Xander's safety? Exactly,
 

WillowFromBuffy

To be or not to evil.
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
1,114
Age
32
They're hardly bemoaning supporting Willow,
Yes, they are. Buffy makes literal moaning sounds. And many of her comments are quite catty.
Yes the party is in the Bronze where they go all the time, and yes they never talk to anyone but each other anyway ... but that is the conceit of it being a T.V show and only having limited sets and only using established characters.
No, most TV shows get around this by alluding to characters having a larger life outside what is shown on the screen or having having friend's of characters show up in certain episodes. They do this a few times on BtVS, such as with Jesse, Amy and Ford.

The reason the Scoobies are a small, tight knit group is because Joss enjoys the found family trope. The Scoobies being a small group is not an accident necessitated by budget. It is made part of the story many times.
If Willow has all these wicca friends they don't know, perhaps we are supposed to extrapolate that they all have a more varied and active social life than we see. Or perhaps we are supposed to extrapolate that only Willow has a varied and active social life and the two of them are weird little stick in the muds who only interact with each other.
No, I think it is pretty clear that this "heavy Wiccan crowd" does not exist. Neither Willow nor Tara have any friends outside the Scoobies.
Either way, they are going to a large social gathering where they will only know each other ... they are never fun.
No, they aren't. Everyone they know is going to be there. Buffy, Xander, Willow, Tara, Riley, Giles, Anya and Dawn. No "heavy Wiccan crowd" show up to the party. The Scoobies don't interact with anyone else. In the last shot, we see Willow and Tara dance alongside heterosexual couples that don't look the least bit Wiccan.
Have you never been to a friend's party where you only knew your friend and no one else? They're excruciating.
I'm not a misanthrope. Parties with only close friends tend to be pretty tame. You often have more fun when some people are strangers. If not, who're you going to hook up with?
 
Top Bottom