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Buffy Needs an Equal, Not a Subordinate
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taaroko
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Joined: 31 Aug 2010
Posts: 364
Location: Utah

PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:56 am    Post subject: Buffy Needs an Equal, Not a Subordinate Reply with quote

When I saw what dcai0830 said about battling Spuffies on tumblr, I went "Ooh!" and raced off to see what that was about, and now I'm making a BR thread for the first time in ages because said Spuffies made an argument that really irked me, and I wanted to discuss that somewhere you can actually have discussion threads instead of just a confusing tangle of comments.

There was a lot of talk about how Spike is better for Buffy because he can be a sidekick, where Angel can't. So...Buffy deserves someone who is less than her equal? That's ridiculous. As is the idea that Angel would be overprotective and hold her back or something. The whole point of Angel's initial involvement in her life was to *help* her be an effective Slayer, not shield her from her calling.

Angel is exactly the right guy for Buffy because they are equals who challenge each other, fight as a seamless team, and fully understand each other's strengths and weaknesses. I don't want to see Buffy with a sidekick boyfriend, which is one of many reasons I'm pretending the comics don't exist. I want to see her with a partner. I want my power couple.

Another thing that came up multiple times and annoyed me was people being all miffed that Angel came to Buffy under false pretenses. Come on! It wasn't like he was being a pick-up artist; he was trying not to get staked. He's not even personally convinced he's capable of being one of the good guys, so why should he think he'd be able to convince her?
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Grace Newman
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Joined: 18 Jan 2017
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was really surprised that Spike fans would bring that up as a point in his favor! Like, you really want a relationship where one party is an obsequious yes-man?

And of course the underlying idea is not even true. Buffy and Angel worked great as a team, most notably in late Season 3. And the guy stood by and watched while Buffy fought Caleb because she wanted to take him out herself. How is that overprotective or not willing to let Buffy be in charge when the situation calls for it?

Angel was a great asset as part of the Scooby gang because he had his own ideas, could research and solve problems on his own when needed and *didn't* need Buffy to tell him what to do all the time.
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Mylie
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep!

They make a very good team together and I think can challenge each other, which I think Spuffy is incapable of doing.

I'd rather see a couple argue and compromise than always see one character obey and go along with whatever the other wants. How is that healthy? Or even interesting?

I've always been there for Angel being weaker than Buffy on BtVS and her having to save him. I just love that aesthetic and I love that he served her plot on her show. But I'm also very much here for him getting his own show, his own identity outside of the relationship and becoming a strong character and hero. I guess what I'm trying to say is that him getting his own show made me ship them even more in the end? I don't know how much I would have still shipped them if he had remained on the show. I might have felt like things were stalling and I definitely wouldn't have enjoyed him taking over the show like Spike did in the later seasons. So this all worked out well for me. We got to see this character we already loved get more fleshed out and become a true hero, but without it being at the detriment of Buffy's character and story. I think I'm a bit off-topic here, but this thread made me think about that.
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dcai0830
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Angel being protective....

Here's the deal with this. I know that Angel is protective by nature. It's something that is part of his character but, if we look back over the show, and correct me if I'm wrong we don't see many times where Angel tries to protect or shield Buffy. He pretty much acknowledges that she is stronger than him and while he says things like "I worry about you" or "Be careful" he never does something stupid like "stay here I'm going to go fight x demon." The exception to this rule is in IWRY, when she is asleep but I'm not sure that he is trying to protect her as much as he is trying not to wake her when she and he have had such a great day. He didn't want to ruin it. (And obviously because the story required it).

Even in Home, W&H offer Angel the chance to protect Buffy and he tells them that she can handle it herself. As Grace says:

Quote:
And the guy stood by and watched while Buffy fought Caleb because she wanted to take him out herself. How is that overprotective or not willing to let Buffy be in charge when the situation calls for it?


And I have written fics that show Angel as being overprotective of Buffy because honestly I think if they were brought back together now that he has taken the role of protector he would probably struggle some in letting go of that role but in actuality we don't really know that because with Buffy he has kinda always shown that he understood she could handle herself. I'm interested in hearing if you all found any in show/verse examples of him being overprotective of her or shield her etc. I think there is a difference between having her back and being overprotective too so that might be where it's different but what is the difference between Angel going to Sunnydale in Pangs to help her fight off the Indians to for example Spike or Riley showing up at the cemetery to help her patrol? They are all just trying to help her out...

Angel not being a sidekick....

Yeah I'm surprised by the outright acceptance of Spike as the token sidekick. But then again Spike exists now only FOR Buffy. And really I'm not surprised by the response.

I don't find that quality attractive in someone that I want for my heroine. Because I agree with Taaroko. I want my power couple. And that may mean bickering. That may mean disagreeing with each other. That may even mean some fighting with each other until they figure out how to work together as a team. But they can and do work together as a team because Season 3 shows it. They played off each other very well.

I love the dynamic in Consequences:

Quote:
BUFFY: We should split up. I'll take the docks - chances are, she's there.
Giles - you go to her place. Will - you and Xander check her haunts. Take weapons.

ANGEL I'll try the airport.


She doesn't tell Angel what to do, he is not her subordinate. He is her partner.

And honestly - I really enjoyed seeing them together in s10. While I think Buffy took the reins for the most part, Angel challenged her decisions and they had some back and forths and I really liked that dynamic.

I'm with Mylie in that, I think that for purposes of early Bangel I loved the dynamic of Angel being the damsel and Buffy saving the day. I liked it because it showed that he was never intimidated by her being stronger or being the one to save him and I also like the bigger picture narrative of it. But now that Angel has come into his own, he is more confident and I get the impression he is stronger (if only emotionally) and Buffy is also stronger has whoned her Slayer skills and together they would be one kick ass team.

Smile

But fans of that ship will say whatever they can to justify it even if there is no evidence in canon. And I'm sure they feel the same way about me... lol.
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Grace Newman
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Joined: 18 Jan 2017
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It just occurred to me while reading dcai0830's post that Angel even let Buffy walk home by herself with zero powers in Helpless. Like, I'm not happy that he did that (and of course it was because the story required it), but it's certainly not evidence of him being overprotective or underestimating her.

I think some of that perspective on the Spuffy side might come from fic. I remember trying to read a Spuffy fic by a very popular writer in which Angel was freaking out because Buffy was using curse words.
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Mylie
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great post dcai0830, I forgot about Angel's dismissive attitude in Home but that was a thing that really caught my attention in my latest rewatch of the episode and I initially wanted to gif it, and then gave up because of lack of time. I find it interesting because while I was watching it, there was a debate going on over how Angel was still stuck up on Buffy and pathetically waiting for her, which I found ridiculous and that bit was proof that he is has his own life and doesn't make all his decisions based on Buffy. Of course, it also has to do with him trusting she can handle herself. Which makes me think... compare this to him showing up in Pangs after Doyle got a vision... I like this progression, but because he does show up in the end. Smile

As for Spuffy shippers seeing Angel as overprotective, I think part of it might be how the relationship started off with Angel older than Buffy and thus making the relationship seem unequal, and maybe they just can't see past that? I understand the tendency to focus on a characteristic of a character/ship you dislike and multiply it by 10.
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angelisbetter
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

About Home, what I find more interesting in that scene is the similarity between the trials he faces in In the Dark and I Will Remember You. First, Lilah offers Angel sunlight (because of the special windows), and he passes on that, which represents the ring he destroyed. Then, Lilah offers him a chance to "save" Buffy, or, as she puts is, "handle her". Like in IWRY, he refuses, but for different reasons.

The point is, he can't be bought. It also shows the order of things he desires because the only thing he accepts is the chance to save Connor (and indirectly help his friends and save Connor's possible victims). So, Angel's priorities are: Connor/The World > Buffy > His Humanity (aka sunlight).

Also, all Lilah said was that the amulet would be essential in some end of the world scenario. She didn't say what was happening, or how useful the amulet really was. Angel had no way of knowing the world would end without the amulet. And it would've been stupid of him to take Lilah's word on that matter.

However, his refusal of the amulet does prove that what Angel and Buffy discussed in IWRY and Sanctuary still stands. Buffy has her city and Angel has his. If they need help, they're supposed to get in touch, and not rush in to save the day or some other ulterior motive.

I think Angel can be overprotective, particularly of Fred and Cordelia on AtS, and I think that it makes sense considering he's loyal and those two women don't have super-powers or even great fighting skills like Gunn or Wes. That over-protectiveness of some women is also connected to his upbringing and societal views of women. And Angel will always feel protective toward Buffy, which doesn't mean he didn't learn his lesson in IWRY or that he doesn't know she can handle herself. It's about trust. Angel trusts Buffy to look after herself, so he can be distantly protective. Angel's very into people making their own decisions and mistakes. (Even when he makes decisions on behalf of everyone...).

Oh, and I'm Carrie, btw. Can I change my username? I also apologize if I'm super out of topic, because I wasn't paying much attention before I wrote this.
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dcai0830
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
About Home, what I find more interesting in that scene is the similarity between the trials he faces in In the Dark and I Will Remember You. First, Lilah offers Angel sunlight (because of the special windows), and he passes on that, which represents the ring he destroyed. Then, Lilah offers him a chance to "save" Buffy, or, as she puts is, "handle her". Like in IWRY, he refuses, but for different reasons.


This is incredible! I never thought of this...

Quote:
Oh, and I'm Carrie, btw. Can I change my username? I also apologize if I'm super out of topic, because I wasn't paying much attention before I wrote this.


*hugs* glad you are here. I want to change my username too. I think we just need to register with the new name because the mods aren't around so much now that the forum has been quiet. I might do that - just register for a new name.
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Grace Newman
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Joined: 18 Jan 2017
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually the way to get a mod around here is to do this:



I've been waiting forever to have a reason to do this, so if it doesn't work I'm going to be disappointed.
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angelisbetter
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Joined: 12 Apr 2016
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
*hugs* glad you are here. I want to change my username too. I think we just need to register with the new name because the mods aren't around so much now that the forum has been quiet. I might do that - just register for a new name.


Hi! I'm not sure that's worth it, but you have the same username on BB, so it's easy to know who you are! But I dunno if you could've guessed it was me by reading what I wrote.

Grace Newman wrote:
Actually the way to get a mod around here is to do this:



I've been waiting forever to have a reason to do this, so if it doesn't work I'm going to be disappointed.


Is this an inside joke? Whaaat? What is that thing anyway, and how did you find it on Amazon? It's a statue of Acathla?
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Grace Newman
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Joined: 18 Jan 2017
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hahahaha! The mod around here is the wonderful Kairos, and there are several ways to summon her outlined here: http://www.darkstarfic.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=33781#33781

I just Google searched for an image of a gargoyle and picked the one I liked best. I have been waiting since October to have a reason to do it.

Btw, hi, Carrie! I knew before I got to your name that it had to be you. I would recognize that meta anywhere, you genius!
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angelisbetter
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting... I had no idea what a gargoyle was, so that's what I learned today!

Hi, Grace! Thanks!! It was probably my focus on Angel that gave me away. You girls, for example, like Angel as much, or maybe less, than Buffy. I like Angel a lot more than Buffy so I feel like that's a dead giveaway. I make everything about him!
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dcai0830
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
You girls, for example, like Angel as much, or maybe less, than Buffy.


yeah I won't choose.... ying and yang and all that.
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taaroko
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Joined: 31 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(I didn't get any email alerts so I missed all this great activity on my thread! Hi guys!)

*raises hand* I like Angel more than I like Buffy, but that's because Buffy is kind of my lens through which to observe the rest of the Buffyverse. She's like the control group most of the time. It's hard for me to take a step back from that and form opinions about her (I have the same issue with Harry in HP). When I do make that effort, I find a lot to like about her and a lot that makes her complex and fascinating, but Angel has been my favorite fictional character since I started watching the shows, so that's a high bar to reach.
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Kairos
Forum Gargoyle
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh my gosh I love you guys so much. I'm just collapsing into giggles over here. I can't even come up with a witty comeback.

I'm afraid the only way to change your username is to make a new account. Although, if you don't mind doing that, we don't mind either, so if you don't have many posts yet you might consider it.

*hugs gargoyle* I shall name you Aberystwyth.
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