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Why was Darla so lame?

ILLYRIAN

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In BTVS season 1 episode 1 Darla seemed like a meek little girl, why?
Considering she was around for such a long time and her time spent with Angel, Spike and Drusilla.
 

Antho

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I don’t know if she was lame but god I hate her clothes in the first episode of Buffy. I get she is pretending to be a student but she is awful in theses clothes.
 
FaithLehane16
FaithLehane16
I actually loved her skirt, but not the rest.

Taake

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I think Season 1 Darla has been around The Master and Luke for too long. She's buried her true self so she can get along with those two.

I agree with this ^^
Though it mostly makes sense in hindsight, I think that Angelus was her favorite ”pet” and (for her) her true mate. Once the curse happens it is easy to imagine that Darla struggled with the kids of Angelus, yet was unable or reluctant to try and re-create what they had with someone else (as with Spike and Dru, and later Elizabeth and James on Angel, vampire relationships can obviously be very intensely significant even if not romantic in the human sense). So it makes sense that Darla would’ve returned to what she knew, the Master, and kind of hidden herself as she as she got over a significant relationship loss

I don’t know if she was lame but god I hate her clothes in the first episode of Buffy. I get she is pretending to be a student but she is awful in theses clothes.

*essentially my dresscode* 😋
 

TriBel

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I think Season 1 Darla has been around The Master and Luke for too long. She's buried her true self so she can get along with those two.

That works for me. In some ways she's both the opposite of Buffy and very similar to Buffy. Not that Buffy's particularly meek but I noticed this in Pangs yesterday,
Buffy : "Giles, if you would like to get by in American society, then you are going to have to follow our traditions. You're the patriarch. You have to host the festivities, or it's all meaningless". I don't think Buffy's true self starts to emerge until Giles leaves (and Joyce dies). It's then that she really starts to question what it is to be a Slayer - it's consolidated towards the end of S7. I probably need to revisit "Selfless". The end of First Date's important because the editing suggests she replaces Giles with Spike immediately following Giles acting out the patriarch/father role:
GILES: Children, enough...Enough! Have you learned nothing from tonight's assorted chaos? There isn't time for fun and games and quips about orientation. (holds up flashcards) These—these aren't a joke. (flips through the cards) This—this happens. Girls are going to die. We may die. It's time to get serious. (walks out of the room).

Significant in Freudian terms because the female "child" transfers the love for her father to the husband - and Something Blue follows Pangs.

God...it's complicated but also very, very clever. I should really follow Darla more closely.

Buffy reconciles her light (best?) and dark (worst?) sides; just as Darla reconciles "whore" and "madonna".
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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Because Season 1 Darla wasn't a fully fleshed out character with a backstory. She was a de facto Schoolgirl fetish model who kept getting lines. I mean, she wasn't Angel's sire until "Angel" the episode, heck, she predates Angel as both a character and a vampire. And it was one of Julie Benz first roles. By season 2 of Angel, they knew what they wanted to do the character.
 

burrunjor

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I agree with Alpha Fox Trot in that at that point Darla was just Vampire Girl, but I also don't think in hindsight it's that big a retcon. Angel is a bigger retcon. Why doesn't Angel jump in and help Buffy more directly like he does in later episodes? You can rationalise it that he is still weak after all the years of being on the streets, but even then he is a lot more nerfed in hindsight in Buffy season 1 than Darla.

Darla has never been one of the best fighters in the Buffyverse.

It makes sense as she prefers seduction, is quite cowardly and also comes from a more old fashioned time where she is willing to let the man do all the fighting.

What we see of her in Angel and even later versions of Buffy is fairly consistent in terms of fighting powers.

She is a coward who abandons Angelus, is openly afraid of Holtz, and the Slayers, prefers using mind games and to seduce people, and rarely if ever fights one on one. She also cowers around the Master, and only rescues Angelus with a group of Vampires.

She is still strong because she is so old, so she can easily snap necks, slaughter rooms full of people like the Wolfram and Hart lawyers, and beat up fledgling Vamps and Demons, but against a really experienced fighter like Angel she never lasts long (even with Dru's help she flees, and even with the extra strength from Connor she doesn't win.)

Darla season 1 isn't that underpowered IMO.
 

Anyanka Bunny Slayer

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It makes sense as she prefers seduction, is quite cowardly and also comes from a more old fashioned time where she is willing to let the man do all the fighting.

She is a coward who abandons Angelus, is openly afraid of Holtz, and the Slayers, prefers using mind games and to seduce people, and rarely if ever fights one on one. She also cowers around the Master, and only rescues Angelus with a group of Vampires.

Rather than a coward, Darla is a survivor. She's old enough and cunning enough to know when to choose her battles. Also, seduction is a powerful weapon...no muss, no fuss. You get what you desire without breaking a nail or exerting too much energy. As for letting a man do all the fighting, well, why not? It's simpler that way.

She may have cared for Angelus, but when she realised the fight was going badly for them, she chose to rescue herself. That's self-preservation, not cowardice. Of course she was afraid of Holtz and the Slayers. They were actual threats to her. She wasn't stupid, nor given to acts of bravado like Angelus or Spike.

She was a wise old vampire lady who managed to survive so long because she was smart.
 
TriBel
TriBel
Totally agree (well - almost "totally agree"). :)

burrunjor

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Rather than a coward, Darla is a survivor. She's old enough and cunning enough to know when to choose her battles. Also, seduction is a powerful weapon...no muss, no fuss. You get what you desire without breaking a nail or exerting too much energy. As for letting a man do all the fighting, well, why not? It's simpler that way.

She may have cared for Angelus, but when she realised the fight was going badly for them, she chose to rescue herself. Survivor. Of course she was afraid of Holtz and the Slayers. They were actual threats to her. She wasn't stupid, nor given to bravado like Angelus or Spike.

She was a wise old vampire lady who managed to survive so long because she was smart.

Absolutely, never said she wasn't smart, but she isn't portrayed as being stupid in S1 of Buffy either. She is seductive, to both the boy she kills and Jessie, she is manipulative and nearly convinces Buffy and Angel to kill one another, and she is one of the few Vamps that survives the Harvest.

She is also smart enough to carry guns when facing an enemy that can stomp her easily. Her only stupid moment is not realising it's the Slayer, but maybe she hadn't had any contact with one in 100 years. In fact did she ever face one? Even in China it was only Spike that faced one.

Point is that S1 isn't such a retcon as it's not like they have her smash her way through hordes of the strongest Demons, and Slayers in Angel, whilst here she gets beaten easily.

She's not a fantastic fighter in either series, and quite cowardly and willing to flee if need be. (Or cheat, like using projectile weapons that most Vamps don't use.)
 

TriBel

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Darla has never been one of the best fighters in the Buffyverse.

It makes sense as she prefers seduction, is quite cowardly and also comes from a more old fashioned time where she is willing to let the man do all the fighting.

Why is "fighting" the only talent of worth? Maybe...just maybe...as a human she had no recourse to any "power" other than her sexuality? What makes confronting an enemy with your fists better than making a strategic withdrawal? Perhaps one of her strengths (because she's old) is wisdom? Perhaps Angel and Spike are cowards for fighting? Perhaps - just perhaps - they'd rather risk their lives than have their masculinity and their sexuality called into question. Poor little snowflakes. There's a reason they joke about holding hands in battle. There's a spectrum of homosocial; homoerotic and homosexual. You do realise that far from being "willing" to let men do all the fighting, women weren't allowed to fight in battle? There's a reason Buffy calls herself Joan in TR.
 

ILLYRIAN

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So much is said of her coming from an age when men did the fighting, err hello peoples! Darla was a vampire and as such she was not restricted by mankind's rules.
So she planned out her retreat or attack, as far as I'm aware all the modern warfare of mankind in the series Buffy or Angel is like that. Buffy herself often when allowed the choice planned an attack.
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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She's a whore. She can probably get all the blood she needs the same way she did in the pilot and in Becoming. The Order of Aurelius need to feed, and to increase it's numbers. She doesn't need to be strong when she's protected by the Master.

"Do you know what he'll do to you if you interfere?" asked the Annointed One.

"Yes, I do." replied Angel.

"No, you don't." Colin then left the room.

As for Angel's weakness, well, you saw the Wish. The Master's retains the services of some truly vicious dark warriors. Angel, like all of his kind, fears death. I believe the shooting script for Prophecy Girl has him waking up to Colin in his room. In fact, if Angel v. 0.9 was really a fallen angel trying to make amends for his wrongs, well, going back to hell has to be serious motivation. And only by knowing Buffy does he become a better man.
 
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