This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Welcome to the nancy tribe."
11945 members | you are not logged in | 20 December 2014




Tweet







July 21 2011

The four biggest Whedonverse betrayals according to an Examiner writer, one for each show.

I would rate the ousting of Buffy in 'Empty Places' as a bigger betrayal but it's not a bad list. I always wondered if Firefly had continued would Mal have eventually killed Jayne.
I think I'd vote for Giles' betrayal of Buffy in "Helpless." It was another ripping away of her innocence. But... give me five minutes to work up my waffle.
Agreed about 'Helpless' - the reason that's arguably a worse betrayal than the Spike thing IMO is that Giles himself doesn't believe in what he's doing but he goes along with it because it's the done thing (rather than the right thing - which disagree as we might, is how he felt about killing Spike who at that point, in his eyes, was a dangerous sleeper agent who'd been murdering people for months and might well kill them all at any time).

Kinda have trouble with some of the list. Though i'm sure many disagree, I don't see what Wesley did as a betrayal for instance, it was a (flawed) solution to what he saw as a real problem that as the article says was all about saving his friend (and a newborn baby) from a horrific fate.

And though I felt terrible about how they ousted Buffy in 'Empty Places' (with Anya and Rhona in particular sticking the knife in mainly out of spite) it still needed to be done - Buffy was going to get them all killed if she kept on down that path, she needed an "intervention". So as with Wesley, not a betrayal IMO, more a flawed way of doing the right thing.
Oh gosh, this is a hard one. The forementioned "Helpless" first comes to mind. The torment on Buffy's face when she realizes Giles betrayed her just kills me. That scene still brings tears to my eyes. The second, Oz's silence to Willow when she asked him what Veruca meant to him. She just fell to pieces and I felt every part fall. Third, (reverse psyche) when Gunn had to explain to Wesley about the cause of Fred's death. Finally...this one really touches home. The final betrayal the WB pulled on Joss. Some wounds never heal, least be forgiven.
I didn't even think about Boyd. My first thought of betrayal in Dollhouse was Adelle giving over Topher's plans. Especially since the end result is Topher's guilt induced madness. Also the technopocalypse.
Blimey, yeah a bit hard. Battle of Serenity Valley was my biggest Firefly betrayal.

I also was totally on Wes's side when he kidnapped Connor and though Angel was a bit of a bastard about it so I see the betrayal as more Angel & co.'s than I do Wesley's.

The Buffy betrayal is a toughie, I'd like to say Helpless, but despite the severity of what Giles does, I was more powerfully affected by the ousting of Buffy in Empty Places and Willow's betrayal of Tara's trust in All The Way/Tabula Rasa.

And Dollhouse? I wouldn't even know where to start. How about DeWitt betraying the human race to Rossum?
I absolutely loved the line: "Let me preface this by saying that I am a card-carrying Wesley Apologist."

Me too, buddy. Now I know there is an official name for our group. : )
Honestly, not a one of these hit me as hard as in Astonishing X-Men.
Plenty of good choices already mentioned. Jenny not telling Buffy about the Angel(us) situation also belongs in the conversation.
Although he was a minor character, I'm surprised nobody mentioned Knox from Angel.
Simon, I agree with you: Buffy's friends turning on her and casting her out was unspeakable. I can't believe she took them back, actually.
@bigmoneygrip:

Cut deepliest betrayal of them all. Out of the bunch, it's the only one that rendered me speechless.
Man there are so many good ones...

For Dollhouse I have to agree with Adelle handing over Topher's plans. The timing of it, they both started off as so unlikable, and just as I was starting to think Adelle was going to fix things and go against Rossum she betrays someone who had turned into something of a favorite...

On Buffy my first reaction is to go to the Empty Places ousting, but it led to her and Spike sharing that moment and him giving her the strength to go get the Scythy thingy.

I like the comments on the article saying that for Firefly it should be the TRex's betrayl. To be both Sudden and Inevitable...

For Angel, I definitely think of Wes first. I know he thought he was doing the right thing, and he comes from being a Watcher so it's hard to not trust a prophecy, but he still should've talked to someone, anyone about it. He needed to put some trust in his gang that they could figure something out together...

Also to throw it out there, during Angel's spiral to a dark place and he fires everyone... that was pretty rough.
As shocking as T. Rex's betrayal was, I don't think we had grown attached enough to the characters for it to qualify as one of the biggest. It does get points though for being both sudden and inevitable.

No one's mentioned Ford, in "Lie to Me". A trusted friend selling Buffy, and a whole bunch of hapless others, to Spike and his gang, in return for immortality of sorts. It may not register on the Richter scale of betrayals the way those of within-group betrayals did, but I felt it as a watershed moment, when the series first started showing the darkness that was going to become its hallmark.
You could also make a (allbeit slightly weak) case for Xander betraying Willow and also Spike betraying Angelus in Becoming part two.
Andrew's murder of Jonathan was another betrayal that could easily have made the list.
@digupherbones:

I'd like to see your reaction to having one of your best friends and closest allies lie to your face for weeks, beat another friend over the head and take your one and only child you never thought you would ever have, not to mention said best friend and closest ally has a history of keeping everyone else in the dark and going off on his own consequences be damned (remember when he tried to kidnap Faith for extradition?).

I suppose from what you're saying you would be far more understanding than Angel and the others were if you were victim to this betrayal?

Wesley didn't betray Angel alone, that is obvious. It was another example of him having no (no pun intended) faith or trust in anyone and everyone he knew and taking his own actions without anyone knowing until he was just gone. Then again everyone else was a bastard in both cases he did this.

Right...

I know people have some sort of bias against Angel as a character probably from those comics (which I have never and will never read out of a complete lack of interest) and I don't know if that's where this biased opinion stems from in part but there are times when it's just a bit ridiculous for its own good.
To me, Urkonn betraying Melaca Fray was a shocking twist. Maybe because I was reading Fray unspoiled.
People seem to be taking the Angel example a bit more personally than is warranted here.
I think that there have been a lot of very interesting betrayals: I blamed Wesley a lot for kidnapping Connor because it seemed to me to be a repeat of his giving Faith up to The Watchers Council when Angel and Buffy felt that they could help her. Wesley had a history of too much confidence in his own point of view (which was often wrong), not listening to anyone else.

But I agree that Giles' betrayal in 'Helpless' was a bigger deal because he obviously knew he wasn't doing the right thing.

I agree w/Moscow Watcher that Urkonn's betrayal of Melaca Fray was a huge plot twist, and worked really well in the story.... But somehow Boyd's betrayal in 'Dollhouse' didn't seem to work as well (for me).

And I have to admit that I am a big Jayne apologist: Jayne seriously wants to emulate Mal, but he doesn't always 'get it'. I felt that his turning in River and Simon was just an example of his cluelessness (and that he had the capacity to learn to be a better man).
I agree that Giles' betrayal from Helpless was worse than conspiring with Robin Wood to kill Spike. His actions that endangered Buffy weren't at all justifiable, and could have gotten her killed.

Killing Spike would have caused Buffy emotional pain but the act would have been justifiable, since he was a dangerous vampire who could put their entire mission in jeopardy. Plus he killed Robin's mother and wore her coat as a trophy! I always felt really bad for Robin and how he got painted as a bad guy when he's the one who grew up motherless and had to see his mom's murderer walk around unpunished WEARING HER COAT AS A CONSTANT REMINDER. Ouch!

Loved the article's comments about Wesley. I guess I'm an apologist, too! I get why Angel was so furious after what happened to Connor, but I wish the rest of the gang hadn't turned their back on Wesley.
Xander's (many) betrayals were much more significant IMO. They came from such a petty, selfish place.
Saturn Girl - I hear you, but

1) In "Helpless" Giles was forced to betray Buffy by The Council; in "Lies" he betrayed Buffy voluntarily.

2) In "Helpless" Giles ultimately rebelled against The Council and took Buffy's side; in "Lies" he didn't.

3) In "Helpless", Buffy wasn't a leader of an army; she wasn't a general dealing with apocalypse. It was wartime -- and during wartime betrayal always is more dangerous and unforgivable.

4) And, btw, the coat's "constant reminder" lasted as long as 4 scenes overall: one in "Get It Done" when Spike found his coat, two scenes in "Storyteller" (in one of them Wood already tried to kill Spike but got distracted) and one in "Lies" when Spike saved his life (that last should've hurt a lot, agree).

And - completely agree about Wesley. I felt awful for him.
people keep mentioned Xander betraying allot of people, but the only one i can come up with was when Oz and Cordy rescued Xander and Willow while they were making out. hes made some mistakes that got others in trouble, but IMO betrayal requires intent
Canis, in season 2 Xander knew of Willow's attempt to restore Angel's soul and purposefully decided not to tell Buffy while she was on her way to fight "Angelus" (Angel) at his mansion. End result being souled Angel being shoved into hell for an untold amount of time (for him).

embers, I also agree with you on Jayne. I think what we would've seen with Jayne had he had a chance to develop a full character arc over multiple seasons is him starting at an extremely selfish place, mainly because he never knew any other way, but as time went on he would learn to be more part of the team. Eventually at the end, Jayne would probably develop into one of the biggest "heroes" out of the group and we wouldn't look back on episodes like Jaynestown as purely ironic. Then again, maybe Mal would've had to shoot him eventually!
I think the fact Angelus had opened the portal to hell had more to do with it than The LieTM
@NL197

Um sorry, I just don't like Angel. Nothing to do with the comics.
As I've often said, as a mom I was right there with Angel and his pillow. I've never forgiven Wes.
I think even though we knew about it as the audience and it was unbeknownst to the Scoobies, the betrayal by Faith was still huge.
barboo, DreamRose311, of course TRex's betrayal was big. They were dinosaurs! :)
I'd have to pick Empty Places as the biggest Buffy betrayal of all time. It never got any worse than that, imo.
I know people have some sort of bias against Angel as a character probably from those comics (which I have never and will never read out of a complete lack of interest) and I don't know if that's where this biased opinion stems from in part but there are times when it's just a bit ridiculous for its own good.

I like Angel well enough (he's not my favourite character but i've nothing against him, certainly nothing comics related) and anyway, accusing people who disagree with you of bias isn't a very strong argument. I just think what Wes did was justifiable. Sure he had too much faith in his own point of view but because you turn out to be wrong after the fact doesn't make your actions at the time any less justified - he did the best he could with the information he had and he did it for the most noble reasons. That's not betrayal, that's making a mistake.

1) In "Helpless" Giles was forced to betray Buffy by The Council; in "Lies" he betrayed Buffy voluntarily.

He wasn't "forced" though was he ? As we find out later when he decides to do the right thing, he had a choice from the start - he went along to get along, surely one of the worst reasons for doing anything dubious ?

3) In "Helpless", Buffy wasn't a leader of an army; she wasn't a general dealing with apocalypse. It was wartime -- and during wartime betrayal always is more dangerous and unforgivable.

And so, sometimes, is allowing sentiment to cloud your judgement about a looming threat, which is how Giles saw the Buffy/Spike situation. And he was right BTW, she wasn't objective about Spike - again, as with Wesley, just because her decision to keep Spike around turned out to be right and Giles' wrong doesn't mean his actions were totally unjustified at the time (if the creators had wanted to project a slightly different message Spike could've easily turned on them at exactly the wrong time and killed a bunch of them).
Kaan: yeah, not saying Angelus/Angel didn't deserve it since he opened the gateway, but perhaps something would have worked out differently had Buffy known prior to her fight that there was a chance (however slight) that souled Angel could return. Poor Buffy ended up broken hearted as usual and ran away for the summer.
Saje
(if the creators had wanted to project a slightly different message Spike could've easily turned on them at exactly the wrong time and killed a bunch of them).


Yes, sure - but the creators projected the message that if Spike was killed, the amulet would probably be worn by Buffy and she'd die instead of him. Tricky things, those "what-ifs".

Archon
perhaps something would have worked out differently had Buffy known prior to her fight that there was a chance (however slight) that souled Angel could return.


I don't know if you read comics, but season 8 is more or less based on the idea that in order to ascend a person has to lose everything. In Becoming-2 Buffy ascended -- got the second wind ("...what's left?" - "Me.") -- because she had nothing to lose at the moment.
I think the "Becoming 2" issue was, Xander's dislike of Angel aside, there was the possibility Buffy might have gotten killed had she fought less ferociously. Although Xander would have done better to keep his mouth shut altogether than say, "Kick his ass." As for the Wesley kidnapping issue, that was an instance where communication might have solved a lot of things. Yes, Wesley was doing what he thought was right - but the father had *already* "devoured" the son at that point and honesty is usually the best policy.
Yes, sure - but the creators projected the message that if Spike was killed, the amulet would probably be worn by Buffy and she'd die instead of him.

Aha, so she kept him around so she wouldn't have to sacrifice herself ? She's a crafty one that Buffy.

(i'm kidding of course ;)

Tricky things, those "what-ifs".

Not tricky so much as just "not what actually happened" i.e. the point is, if they could have gone down that path without any loss in believability (regardless of what we'd have preferred to see - personally id've missed Spike immensely) then Giles' reasoning at the time was sound.

In real life i've seen it happen (a lot) for two people to propose two different ideas and when one is proved right by later circumstances to then act as if this is vindication, as if it proves they were right all along. But that's flawed thinking - if both ideas were reasonable at the time then the person proved right wasn't right all along, they're just right now, after new information has come to light (i.e. both ideas are still reasonable, given the original information). Same thing applies to the Giles/Spike/Buffy situation IMO.

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.



joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home