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Why did Giles think it was a good idea to leave Buffy?

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#1
So I just finished watching Once More with Feeling and Tabula Rasa and then got half way through Smashed before falling asleep. And I was so irritated with Giles.

So he finds out Buffy was ripped out of heaven, knows Willow is going off the rails with her magic and losing Tara in the process, and Dawn (a 15 year old girl) is in the care of these 20 year old kids. How on earth did he think it was even a remotely good idea to leave town?

Buffy is not only struggling with depression, but she is also having financial troubles while simultaneously having to be Dawn's mother and oh yeah save the world. If there was ever a moment, Buffy really needed someone it was now. Hell, even at 16/17 after she killed Angel she was better on her own than she is now.

I find what Giles did to be incredibly selfish. This is not the best thing for Buffy. This is not helping her mature/grow up. This is leaving a mentally ill person in a time of need. She needed someone consistent to rely on. Of course, she had to deal with her own issues by maybe getting some psychological help and definitely having a day job at the Magic shop in order to up keep the house, herself, and Dawn. She is an adult now and she has to do go on living and can't rely on Giles for everything, but this was not the right time to leave her.

As soon as Giles leaves, she spirals. When he was there, she was suffering and miserable, but she was working at the magic shop, taking care of Dawn, not sleeping with a soulless vampire, and basically keeping her shit together. Once Giles is gone she really loses it and so does everyone else.
 
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#3
Well I'm still in disbelief, all the reasons he gave for leaving her so she'll learn to be independent was just a really bad excuse for leaving somebody so vulnerable. Am I still suppose to be adoring Giles' fatherly relationship with Buffy after he left her?
Giles never helped Buffy enough with Dawn, or even cared about Dawn enough, to be called Buffy's father anymore. Obviously the real reason is because ASH wanted to spend some time in England with his family but it didn't make Giles look very good.
 
WillowFromBuffy
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#4
Yeah, I know ASH wanted to go back to England to be with his family, but I feel like they could have wrote him out a thousand different ways that would have made him look much better. I mean they could have just killed him off and then that would have led to Buffy's spiral. Or maybe the council captured him? Idk, literally anything besides him leaving so she could mature. You don't leave your kids when they need you. I know she is not his daughter, but he basically treated her like one and she saw him as a father figure. And as good of a man Giles typically is, it was so OOC for him to leave his daughter when she needed him the most. She was only 20 and had no one- a dad who could care less and a dead mom. She needed him and he left her....
 

WillowFromBuffy

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#5
As people have mentioned. there was a real life reason.

Other than that: I think this is one of the examples where the show's desire to be a metaphor for real life clashes with its internal logic. On the one hand, Buffy is an adult, so she needs to learn to take care of herself. On the other hand, Buffy is a superhero fighting against the Apocalypse and could use all the help she can get.

I love Giles, but he was never the most dependable or caring person in the world. The only person he really cares about is Buffy, and even that is only sometimes. I don't think him moving back to England is out of character.
 
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#6
It was a stupid excuse to get Giles out of the picture so that ASH could go back to England. What would've been better is if, during season 6, you start to get the first rumblings of the First. Giles gets called to England because potentials are turning up dead and Watchers being killed. The show needed to give a reason for why Giles HAD to leave instead of him CHOOSING to leave. Giles could've told Buffy to call him if she needs him, but when she tries she can't get through due to a bad connection. That way you've got Buffy feeling alone enough to spiral yet Giles hasn't abandoned her just because he feels like it.
 
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#7
I mean they could have just killed him off
Even on a fantasy-drama-comedy-vampire-tv-show you can only resurrect people for a certain amount of times before it gets boring. The writers probably did not want to kill Giles because they wanted to have him as a recurring character whenever they could. Thus they had to make up a story line that would allow ASH to spend as much time in England as possible without taking Giles out of the series for good.

As a result Giles character suffers a bit. But not too much in my opinion. What do you do when your kids grow up ? You let them live their lives on their own and only occasionally drop by their houses to check if the laundry has been done and if there is some healthy food in the fridge.

flow
 
BuffyBot22
BuffyBot22
I would have left him dead, if they chose the kill the character off route

white avenger

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#8
What would've been better is if, during season 6, you start to get the first rumblings of the First. Giles gets called to England because potentials are turning up dead and Watchers being killed.
Yeah, that would have been better. Especially if you tossed in the direct assault on Watchers' Headquarters back then, instead of later in Season 7. It could have also been established that Giles had a plan to get Faith out of prison somehow and recruit her for the upcoming fight. She could still have shown up on "Angel" to help out there, because Wes would have know about what Giles had been doing. The whole escaped fugitive bit was useless within the story line. Except for the one scene at the Bronze, it was, to use Hillary's phrase, a total "nothingburger."

The way that it came out on the show was the classic "throw your child off in the deep water, then let them learn to swim, or drown." It made a somewhat comical scene for John Wayne in "Hondo," but Joss could have certainly come up with something better than that, if he even halfway tried.
 

Fool for Buffy

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#9
Giles's departure is kind of disappointing but I wouldn't say it seems unlike him. At the beginning of season 5 he was planning on leaving because he felt useless. He only stayed because Buffy asked him to be her watcher again. His role at the beginning of season 6 is exactly the opposite. He feels he is being relied on too much. And he resorts to solving the problem the same way. I'm not saying it's justified, but I do believe the writers did a good job of sticking to the character when giving Giles motive to leave.
 

Athena

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#10
I know, right?! Giles is supposed to be the dependable father figure. I've always found it very hard to believe that he would see Buffy struggling so much with these real life genuine issues and still pack up and leave. I know there's such a thing as tough love, but that doesn't really apply when your for-want-of-a-better-word daughter has just come back from the dead and is severely depressed and spiraling out of control.

They could have written out Giles in another way; a way that made sense for his character and for the show. Perhaps the witches coven he knows back in England had heard rumblings of a powerful, evil warlock (Rack) and needed Giles' help to find the source of the evil.... and wouldn't you know, the guy turns up in Sunnydale all along! :rolleyes:
 
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#11
I find it very out of character. Giles WANTED to be needed. He was upset in season 4 when he felt unnecessary (sometimes he looked relieved to me when he was, like when Anya came to get him to save the others trapped at the Halloween party, at least IIRC), and same in season 5...it's when Buffy says she needs him that he stays rather than says, "You're a big girl now."

In season 6 he's the opposite. But then I've found many of the characters in season 6 to be caricatures of their former selves. If I want to be kind to the writers then I suppose I can assume the First Evil was working its subtle influences on all of them and the characters were just too dense to realize such subtlety despite its grand, if mundane seeming, effects upon their lives.
 
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Sineya
#12
Whilst I think his actions are totally out of character too, I thought I would have a go at coming up with something that could kind of explain it away....
The only thing that I came up with was.....Interference from the Council playing on his loyalties.

Right from the word go Giles went completely against all that he had been trained to do. He must have been highly considered by the council to be given a Slayer so he must have adhered to their doctrines prior to getting posted to Sunnydale. Remember the Watchers considered Slayers to be like razor blades....a sharp tool to use up & throw away, because there will always be another! But Giles almost immediately allows Buffy to have friends, Boyfriends, helpers who know about her calling....basically, a Life!
Maybe the Council had been wearing him down & finally convinced him that he was no longer of any use there (Something he had believed himself in the past) and that he would better serve the council by coming home to England to assume other duties.......
Perhaps they were even considering bumping off Faith in prison, thus activating a new Slayer they could control & writing Buffy off as a lost cause...She had died twice after all!

Yeah....flimsy I know, & still a stretch to think Giles would turn his back on Buffy for any reason.....but it's all I could think of.... :)
 

white avenger

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#13
He must have been highly considered by the council to be given a Slayer
Maybe the Council had been wearing him down & finally convinced him that he was no longer of any use there
I've been thinking about this a bit lately, and I've begun to have some questions about which Watchers get Slayers assigned to them. Is it a top ranking job, or the bottom of the rung position used as a test to see if a young Watcher has what it takes to handle more responsible jobs? We know that the Counsel pretty much regarded their Slayers as an expendable, easily replaceable resource, so why waste a senior Watcher on such mundane duty? Look at who they sent to replace Giles: Wesley, fresh out of the Watchers' Academy, and as green as grass. That's doesn't seem to give any indication that the Watchers thought very much about Faith, her training, or even her welfare in general.

It's beginning to look more and more to me that handling a Slayer isn't the great honor that we have been led to believe that it was. Maybe handling a Slayer is more or less the Watcher's trial period, to see if he or she is worthy enough to be allowed to do the REAL Watchers' work, whatever that is.
 

Benz

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#14
But I like how Giles realise he should had never left and told Buffy he regrets going.

Not only Buffy needed Giles guidance but everyone else did with Dawn and her problems and Willow going off rails with magic and Xander having doubts about marriage.

I think if Giles had seen Xander was not ready for marriage he would told Xander to speak Anya about putting weeding on hold.
 
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#15
I'm sure I read on here somewhere (don't know if it was just someone's theory or if it was actual info) but being given a slayer is actually not a good job within the Watcher profession. We know that Giles wasn't favourable with the Watchers council and Wesley was Wesley so there could certainly be some truth to that. After all, being a slayer's Watcher would also make the Watcher a target.
 

WillowFromBuffy

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#16
I'm sure I read on here somewhere (don't know if it was just someone's theory or if it was actual info) but being given a slayer is actually not a good job within the Watcher profession. We know that Giles wasn't favourable with the Watchers council and Wesley was Wesley so there could certainly be some truth to that. After all, being a slayer's Watcher would also make the Watcher a target.
It's really odd that the Council is basically the Illuminati, but they invest no money or resources into supporting the slayer.
 

Scooby Corps

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#17
S06!Giles is in denial land and his "arguments" (read: withdrawal of affection/love, subterfuges, irrational/overextending demands, asspull allegations, and chest-beating schoolyard insults) to Buffy in Tabula Rasa and to Willow in Flooded (subliminal in the intervening episodes too) are in large parts rationalized to his convenience and pretextual to cover up his devil-may-care desire to leave for retirement (both times in Bargaining and Tabula Rasa) and never look back while maintaining righteousness in his deeds and words, plausible deniability re:Willow & Buffy and a somewhat intact self-image. Giles had enough and wanted out no matter what.