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Who should have died in S7 Jonathan or Andrew?

Stephan

It's a great show. But no need to get all riled up
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On one hand, we’ve known Jonathan since high-school, Buffy has saved him a few times and we know that some of his misguided actions are an attempt to belong. However, it took him a long time to stand up to Warren and, even then, he didn’t do it openly (leave asap). Moreover, Jonathan’s death has another interesting layer, it makes a more real impact on the audience because we know who he is, and we know his motivations. Whether we like it or not, we are more invested in his character.

On the other hand, Andrew willingly follows Warren and actively avoids taking responsibility for his actions. With him, we have another character that doesn’t seek redemption, very much like Anya. But unlike Anya, redemption is somewhat imposed on him (and exploited with a touch of comedy) and ultimately Andrew comes to accept that he wants to atone for his sins. This is clear when he talks with First!Jonathan, Andrew makes a choice, he choose to use a wire and pretend to go along with The First plan. His character is initially less sympathetic than Jonathan’s and his redemption arc is laughable, but I see myself eventually liking him in S7 (unpopular opinion). I’m Team Andrew.

Your thoughts?
 

WillowFromBuffy

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it took him a long time to stand up to Warren
He never stands up to Warren. He grumbles, but he remains by his side until Warren leaves him behind to be caught by the police.

Jonathan got the best ending possible. It was a very sweet moment.

When Andrew joins the trio, he is a naive idiot. Jonathan is not. He has already attempted a public suicide and once taken over the entire world. Both times Buffy tells him that other people are real, and it seems clear that Jonathan understands this. He's a willful solipsist. He understands right and wrong, but he chooses to ignore it time and again. After Warren kills Katrina, he makes some passive aggressive comments to distance himself from the act, but he is right there with them. This is what makes his final speech so beautiful, when he declares that he cares for others even if they don't for him. But it is hard to believe he could truly change. You couldn't do "Storyteller" with Jonathan, because he has already learnt that lesson.
 

TriBel

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The right person dies - and I don't know if I care care enough about Jonathan to bother giving reasons. In fact, I only find him interesting when he's the first. I fail miserably when it comes to "sweet" or "nice". It seems to me to be a polite way to say "ineffectual". Jonathan bores me - Andrew doesn't.

When Andrew joins the trio, he is a naive idiot.
Hmm....Andrew, I think, has a textual function - a meta-function as it were. He's more of a device than Jonathan. The fact that he IS "The Storyteller" interests me. That he remains in charge of "story telling", of transmitting story, of choosing what moments are recorded (or otherwise) in S12 is telling. What I genuinely can't decide is whether, by the time we get to S12, he's still naive; he was naive and is no longer, or whether it's the reader who's naive. I suspect that Andrew, in part, stands in for Whedon. In fact, I wonder whether the "unholy trio", who create realities between them, constitute the God-like author in S6. In S7, the author is replaced by the concept of "representation" - showing and telling rather than authorizing. I haven't really thought it through but I could work with it. :)
 

thetopher

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Sineya
Jonathan.
I could go on about how Jonathan has developed into a rounded human being by S7 and Andrew hasn't even managed that by S10- since he's still whining and making excuses. Its clear that Jonathan transformed, without much of a support system, into a decent person. Andrew kinda became one of the good guys, was more or less accepted into the group and still acts like an unpleasant leech.
I like Storyteller but I don't see why one good episode mitigates the murder of a sympathetic character to make way for a morally bankrupt one.

When Warren murdered Katrina they were all complicit in the cover-up, but only Andrew (viciously) egged Warren on as he attempted to murder Buffy, whereas Jonathan told Buffy how to stop Warren's rampage.

Both of them make mistakes but when it matters Jonathan will at least take steps to mitigate the evil he has been involved in, Andrew will happily enable it (Warren, The First, etc) and, later on, engage in problematic acts entirely on his own initiative.
 

spikenbuffy

"Preparation, preparation, preparation"
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Jonathan, he has been overused.

I'm fine with Andrew being there in S7.
 

thetopher

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Sineya
Jonathan.
I should make it clear that yes, Jonathan still should have been the one to die. Precisely because his death is sad and poignant whereas Andrew's death would've been meant nothing.
I do think Andrew should've been kicked to one side and forgotten about, or been righteously killed off in the comics. From what we see he never deserved to get all the good guy chances that he got beyond S7.
 

Leo

"Mist... cemetery... Halloween. Should end well."
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Jonathan for the reasons that you mentioned above. And I'm with you, I do like Andrew eventually despite his almost non-existent redemption arc.
 

r2dh2

Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain
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Jonathan.

I was never really invested in his character, but I like what they did with Andrew, although I feel that they needed more time to give him a real redemption arc.

You already said it. Andrew is immature, morally ambivalent and tries hard to justify his mistakes and avoids taking responsibility, even if that implies changing the story to fit his narrative. But as the season goes by, we start seeing small changes in the “right” direction. The motivation for those changes is also ambivalent: does he want to atone because he’s repentant? Or because he’s scared of The First and needs the protection of the Scooby gang?

I think that there are milestones suggesting that he’s in the path of emotional growth and real redemption (but again, there’s very little time to explore it): standing up to The First instead of giving again into his promises of glory, doing his best to be useful to the gang even if it only means baking, keeping moral up, volunteering for getting food and medical supplies, and so on.

What I like of having Andrew around is that the circumstances that they are facing force him to change, force him to grow and to take responsibility of his actions (i.e. Storyteller where he acknowledges that he wasn’t tricked by the First, he knew it and still decided to kill Jonathan) and put him in a real path of redemption (at some point he tells the First that he wants to pay for what he did to Jonathan once the battle is over). This contrast with Jonathan, who had already repented and had owned his mistakes.

I also see a lot of parallels between Andrew and Anya. It has been extensively discussed that Anya’s growth path leads her to understand that she lacks identity (despite never really wanting to achieve redemption). Andrew is in a similar path, he has no identity. When he’s with Warren, he’s “evil.” When he’s with the Scoobies, he’s a “hero”. As Buffy said: “he picks the flavor of evil as a mushroom.” One can think that the same is true when he’s surrounded by “good.” I think that a lot people dislike that pattern of behavior but fail to see the final product. At the end, he finally decides that he wants to be good. His conversation with Anya in End of Days shows real growth. He’s scared and believes that he will die but never even thinks of running away, which contrast with his decision of running away to Mexico in S6.

So, both Anya and Andrew lack real identity but come to understand that they want to be in the final battle. The “minor” difference is that Andrew would like to have the opportunity to atone for his sins (according to him). And I think that his growth is lost among the many other events that are happening in S7. But I definitely enjoyed his path in this season. Going from a childish and immature geek to a more mature and responsible geek.
 
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Stephan
Excellent post.
Lizzy95
Lizzy95
I love the parallels between Anya and Andrew, and I don't mind that Anya doesn't seek redemption. She's her own person and she's happy with that.

Giovanna

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Jonathan.

I was never really invested in his character, but I like what they did with Andrew, although I feel that they needed more time to give him a real redemption arc.
You have very good points. But I'm much more shallow in my views. I think Andrew was a much better comic relief than Jonathan and it helped to lighten the very controversial S7.
 
Leo
Leo
Valid points as well.
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Leo

"Mist... cemetery... Halloween. Should end well."
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I think they should have fed both of them to the ubrtvamp and brought Qz back.
Haha, that could have worked well.

I also see a lot of parallels between Andrew and Anya. It has been extensively discussed that Anya’s growth path leads her to understand that she lacks identity (despite never really wanting to achieve redemption). Andrew is in a similar path, he has no identity. When he’s with Warren, he’s “evil.” When he’s with the Scoobies, he’s a “hero”. As Buffy said: “he picks the flavor of evil as a mushroom.” One can think that the same is true when he’s surrounded by “good.” I think that a lot people dislike that pattern of behavior but fail to see the final product. At the end, he finally decides that he wants to be good. His conversation with Anya in End of Days shows real growth. He’s scared and believes that he will die but never even thinks of running away, which contrast with his decision of running away to Mexico in S6.
This is an interesting observation. I do like a lot Anya's and Andrew's conversation in End of Days, they are bonding. And I love how Andrew lies to Xander regarding the circumstances of Anya's death, it's a really sweet gesture.

Does Andrew continue in this path of self-discovery and redemption in the comics?
 
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Andrew. He was a real ass and followed Warren completely blindly. He only got his "redemption" because they hold him hostage.
 

katmobile

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Haha, that could have worked well.



This is an interesting observation. I do like a lot Anya's and Andrew's conversation in End of Days, they are bonding. And I love how Andrew lies to Xander regarding the circumstances of Anya's death, it's a really sweet gesture.

Does Andrew continue in this path of self-discovery and redemption in the comics?
Yes but it's faltering.
 

DeadlyDuo

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Andrew should've died. He needed the rest of the trio to play off of, as proved by the fact that Andrew's most entertaining scenes in Season 7 are with the First in Jonathan and Warren's forms. Jonathan can exist as a character outside the trio and has done, same with Warren, but Andrew needs the trio. He only exists because the actor who played Tucker was unavailable therefore "Tucker's brother" became part of the trio rather than Tucker himself.

Jonathan has the foundation with the scoobies to redeem himself. He was probably the one that died because nobody really gives a crap about Andrew. I think one of the main problems with Season 7 (aside from the shoddy writing) is that the writers kept shoving a bunch of characters the audience didn't like in the audience's faces in an effort to try and force the audience to like them. Andrew, Kennedy and Wood being the most obvious examples.
 

Lizzy95

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Jonathan.

I like very much that Andrew and Anya bond together and have similar paths: going from being evil to being heroes.
 

WillowFromBuffy

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I like very much that Andrew and Anya bond together and have similar paths: going from being evil to being heroes.
Agreed. There's such a sad irony in Andrew telling Anya that he has accepted his death only for Andrew to miraculously survive and Anya going out in a blaze of glory.
 

KatrinaL

"I'm not strong. I'm not an Amazon. I'm just me."
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Andrew. He was absolutely annoying and Jonathan had a very sweet personality, he was a better fit for the SG.
 

Cohen

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When Warren murdered Katrina they were all complicit in the cover-up, but only Andrew (viciously) egged Warren on as he attempted to murder Buffy, whereas Jonathan told Buffy how to stop Warren's rampage.
To be fair the only reason Jonathan told Buffy was because he realized the other two weren’t loyal to him. It wasn’t out of attempting to be good, it was out of revenge.
 

Anyanka Bunny Slayer

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Black Thorn
Oh, for God's sake! KILL Andrew. Weak, shifty-eyed, cowardly nerd. He was just as useless on Angel.
 
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