Jump to content

Season 3: After Pylea


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.

1589 replies to this topic

#1561

Cobalt Stargazer

Cobalt Stargazer

    Stalker

Posted Jun 27, 2012 @ 3:30 PM

But Angel pointed out to Wes that the problem was that Wes didn't trust Angel.


The thing is, Angel might be a big fan of being trusted, but as you said its a case of the pot needing to meet the kettle. He certainly never seems to be very interested in anyone else's autonomy when it comes time for *him* to make a decision and take action. If anything, he's the king of making other people's decisions for them as if they have no mind of their own. He did it to Buffy when he broke off their relationship and moved to Los Angeles. He did it to Wesley and Cordelia when he decided to take Faith in after she beat Cordy up and tortured Wes half to death. He did it to Gunn when he dumped the MOG to go off on his ego-stroking mission of vengeance against Wolfram and Hart. He did it to the whole lot of them when he agreed to take the deal with W & H despite what it would do to his friends' memories. He even managed to do it to Lorne when he browbeat the guy into murdering Lindsey for him. So its a bit rich on his part to say 'you should have trusted me' when he's got no trust in anyone else to think for themselves. Hell, even when his decisions turn out to be right, like in the case of Buffy and Faith, it never quite sits well with me that he does this sort of thing over and over and no one ever calls him out on it or comments about it.

My take is, Angel and Wes were very much alike. They were both leader types who were willing to make sacrifices in order to get the job done, and they were both willing to go to great extremes in order to accomplish their goals. They both also possessed sullen, nearly childish attitudes when it came to wallowing in self-pity and 'oh, woe is me'. It must have stung for Wesley to be kicked to the curb by the group for doing what Angel had already done several times over, and all he had to do was give Cordelia some clothes. Had he but realized that the way to forgiveness was to enhance Cordy's wardrobe, I'm sure those months of being an outcast would never have happened.

One thing that strikes me is how similar Angel's reaction to Wesley's betrayal is to that of his response to Connor's actions. Wes takes the baby away in order to save his life and spare his friend the pain of having murdered his son? Exile, with a smothering attempt on top of it. Connor dumps his father into the ocean because he too is acting on false information and a whole boatload of emotional turmoil? Exile again, and with no questions asked and no opinions solicited from anyone else. Not that Fred and Gunn wouldn't have agreed with exile in either case, but once again its Angel behaving as if he's the king of the realm and everyone else is just supposed to follow his lead.

None of this has been said to defend or excuse Wesley, who I don't always like. He was wrong, and his ego was what led him to underestimate Justine and her fanatical devotion to Holtz. And it made for great, compelling television to watch him vacillate between self-pity and righteous indignation when it came to the treatment he received. But why he should become a pariah when he's simply mirroring Angel's behavior is kind of a mystery to me. It isn't as if they both couldn't be (self-righteous, whiny, juvenile) assholes. OMMV.

Edited by Cobalt Stargazer, Jun 27, 2012 @ 4:03 PM.


#1562

SueB

SueB

    Stalker

Posted Jun 27, 2012 @ 5:29 PM

He certainly never seems to be very interested in anyone else's autonomy when it comes time for *him* to make a decision and take action. If anything, he's the king of making other people's decisions for them as if they have no mind of their own.


Amen. And "word" to your whole post.

But why he should become a pariah when he's simply mirroring Angel's behavior is kind of a mystery to me. It isn't as if they both couldn't be (self-righteous, whiny, juvenile) assholes.


IA.

Guilt and righteous punishment have ALWAYS been debatable in both AtS and BtVS. They definitely handle it different. Everyone seems to commit at least one crime or morally uber-grey act and punishment may or may not be assigned for each offense. But crime & punishment are big themes. I think the closest logic I've got is that the "right" is always with the titular character, unless it's not. Because that changes too.

#1563

Bitterswete

Bitterswete

    Stalker

Posted Jun 27, 2012 @ 10:10 PM

He certainly never seems to be very interested in anyone else's autonomy when it comes time for *him* to make a decision and take action. He did it to Buffy when he broke off their relationship and moved to Los Angeles.

And I've never been up in arms about that because it was his right to decide to end the relationship for whatever reason. Of course Buffy would've preferred he stay, but doesn't he have the right to make his own choice in that situation? And I happened to agree with him. B/A 'shipper though I was (at the time) I just didn't see that relationship as good for Buffy the way Angel was. In fact, I always imagined it ending (bittersweetly) in a few years as Buffy outgrew him, probably after she started college. Now, looking back, another possibility I see is Buffy stagnating with him.

He did it to Wesley and Cordelia when he decided to take Faith in after she beat Cordy up and tortured Wes half to death.

He didn't decide to help Faith because he didn't trust Wesley or Cordy about something. It's not like he didn't understand how they felt, or was forcing them to help too. (As we saw with Cordy getting the heck out of there, vacation pay in hand.) But he also believed trying to save this person's soul was important. And, again, I agreed with him.

He could've decided not to help her because his friends told him not to. But that would've made him a mindless puppet.

He did it to Gunn when he dumped the MOG to go off on his ego-stroking mission of vengeance against Wolfram and Hart.

Which was treated a dick move from beginning to end.

He did it to the whole lot of them when he agreed to take the deal with W & H despite what it would do to his friends' memories.

Angel had to go to W&H to save his son. That was the deal. But he didn't force the others to go with him. They had a choice, and knew as much as Angel what bad news W&H was. And he didn't trick them into it. (The memory wipe had nothing to do with the decisions they made.) It was up to them whether or not to go to W&H, and the let themselves be seduced into the W&H fold.

He even managed to do it to Lorne when he browbeat the guy into murdering Lindsey for him.

Again, Lorne could've said no. When it came down to it, Lorne thought it was the right move. (Remember, he said he heard Lindsay sing.) He just didn't like being the one puling the trigger. The fact that he did it anyway tells me he really thought it needed doing.

So its a bit rich on his part to say 'you should have trusted me' when he's got no trust in anyone else to think for themselves.

I just don't see this. When does Angel try to run anyone else's life or tell them what to do? He might ask them to make a hard decision (going to W&H, killing Lindsay) but it's still their decision.

It must have stung for Wesley to be kicked to the curb by the group for doing what Angel had already done several times over, and all he had to do was give Cordelia some clothes.

First, Cordy didn't forgive Angel when he gave her clothes. (Which he owed her as a replacement for the clothes he gave away.) She was happy about them, but still ticked off at him, and prone to snapping at anything he did. By the same token, Angel was still tiptoeing around her because he knew he wasn't out of the doghouse.

And if Angel had been partially responsible for the loss of a child, I just cannot see him behaving the way Wesley did. There's just no way Angel would've acted like the big victim (screw the lost/possibly dead Baby!Connor) in this situation. Angel would've brooded, sunk into despair, retreated from the world, and believed he deserved any hatred and contempt the gang decided to dish out to him. He certainly wouldn't have been mad at the gang for "abandoning" him.

But why he should become a pariah when he's simply mirroring Angel's behavior is kind of a mystery to me.

Because nothing Angel had done had resulted in that kind of personal loss. A personal loss (especially that of a child) takes things to a whole other level. (For example, had Angel been personally responsible for the death of someone Gunn loved, I have no doubt Gunn would've told him to go to hell, and wouldn't have wanted to have anything to do with him ever again.)

And I'm sure everyone was thinking that if they had just known what was happening (meaning if Wesley had just told them) Connor, this baby they'd watched grow and had come to love, wouldn't be either dead, or suffering unknown torments.

That's why I just can't hold it against the gang for not being all reasonable, rational, or instantly forgiving. If Connor hadn't been lost, I'm sure everything would've been fine. There probably would've been a talk about trust between Wesley and various members of the gang, then things would've gone on as normal. But that's not what happened. Connor was gone. And I imagine just thinking of Wesley made them think of Connor and what had happened/was happening to him, which probably stirred up a storm of unpleasant emotions (pain, grief, etc.), which probably looped right around to Connor not suffering that way if Wesley had just told them what was going on, which would make them angry all over again. Which I think is totally understandable.

That being said, my big problem wasn't the stuff Wesley did before the loss of Connor. (I could see why he did what he did, even though his motivations at some points were suspect.) It was how he acted after. And, again, I cannot imagine Angel acting in the same way.

#1564

WedgeOfSpite

WedgeOfSpite

    Fanatic

Posted Jun 28, 2012 @ 6:42 PM

He certainly never seems to be very interested in anyone else's autonomy when it comes time for *him* to make a decision and take action. He did it to Buffy when he broke off their relationship and moved to Los Angeles.


And I've never been up in arms about that because it was his right to decide to end the relationship for whatever reason. Of course Buffy would've preferred he stay, but doesn't he have the right to make his own choice in that situation?

And wasn't it a choice that Buffy herself came to understand and agreed needed to be taken? That they couldn't be together while he had the happiness curse? That for both of them, it was too hard for them to resist, and the consequences should they give in, too great. And I think the point I have with Wesley and his whinging in S3, is that he is whinging about consequences he brought on, when dude, yeah, there should be something that happens to you. Something even he talked about to Gunn. And Angel did get consequences for his actions with Buffy, he wasn't with the woman he loved. He remembered a day they had, and she didn't, and instead she was going to go off to see if she could have more in a new relationship.


He did it to Wesley and Cordelia when he decided to take Faith in after she beat Cordy up and tortured Wes half to death.

And Wesley was like 'see ya!' because he wasn't going to stick around and watch it. And Cordelia was like 'see ya! only you're also paying for my vacation while doing so.' So again, not like Angel wasn't, once again, without consequences for his potential lack of trust with Wesley and Cordelia's POV. Though I agree with Bitterswete, it really wasn't a matter of trust. It was that they didn't trust the mission to try and save people who could be saved. But despite that, who knows what would have happened in terms of needing re-approachment with Wesley, Cordy and Angel, if the Watchers council hadn't decided to get psychotic and try and get Wes involved to help them. Though I think a salient point is that Wes did decide he ultimately trusted Angel, or at least more than the psycho alternatives, and that trust was ultimately proven to be right, when Faith did the right thing and showed she wanted/could be saved. Which is a direct contrast in S3 when he not only doesn't trust Angel, he doesn't trust any of his other friends, either.

He did it to Gunn when he dumped the MOG to go off on his ego-stroking mission of vengeance against Wolfram and Hart.

And for me, once again there were consequences for Angel's actions. Angel had to earn back the trust of Gunn, Wes and Cordy. He screwed up, they didn't just forgive him. He knew he screwed up, and while maybe sometimes he wanted forgiveness sooner, he knew that his actions had consequences he didn't like, but that were deserved with what he had done. Like being shut out. And Cordy didn't just forgive Angel with his gift of clothes. He had to earn it back, with things like working for them, and it took time, and Cordy was actually still shutting him out more than the others. The clothes just got her to get to the level of the other guys. Plus, he owed it to her.

So for me, putting it back to Wesley in S3, it wasn't that Angel screwed up, so how could he judge Wesley's screw-ups. Angel did screw up tons, as did everyone else, but I would argue, he faced consequences from those actions, and realized they were justified consequences. He should have to earn back Gunn, Wes and Cordy's trust and prove that by working for them. It should take time, even after that, to earn back trust. But to me, somehow Wesley didn't seem to want consequences applied to him and was a big whiner about others being rightly pissed at him. Despite how he reacted to Angel's fuck ups in S2 and Gunns in S3 and seeing/wanting consequences for those things. And because Wesley's screw up was in fact, much bigger than even Angel's previous ones, or Gunn's, at least as far as far as how it personally affected the gang. So he really should have expected even bigger consequences, as Angel had to face for his screw ups, especially when his screw up was even worse than Angel's. That he seemingly completely failed to see that the gang had a right to be pissed at him, and instead act like the injured party? bugs me personally. And I don't think he was just thinking that because Angel got away with everything, he should too. When Angel didn't get away with everything from the gang, and Wesley knew that better than anyone. Seeing as he was put in charge by Angel, as a consequence of Angel trying to make up for his actions, to the gang.

Edited by WedgeOfSpite, Jun 28, 2012 @ 6:44 PM.


#1565

SueB

SueB

    Stalker

Posted Jun 29, 2012 @ 11:27 AM

I guess I didn't think Wes was outlandishly bitter. I get why he felt betrayed. He thought his friends would have understood that he thought he was following a true prophecy. I can also get why he didn't want to be just a tool for them (they show up when they need him and shun him otherwise).

So ... IDK... he made a few bitter/petty comments about not being trusted. Bitter/petty is part of ALL of their personalities at some point.

Angel -- sign on Lindsay's truck
Gunn - "emphasis on the WAS"
Fred - "not that I hold a grudge. But I do."
Cordy - "Kill him. He stole Connor's childhood."

I guess I don't think I was too bugged by Wes' attitude.

#1566

Kosmonaut

Kosmonaut

    Stalker

  • Gender:Female

Posted Jun 29, 2012 @ 1:50 PM

I've called Wes out on his post-Connor-gate behavior before but, when I really think about it, a teensy-weensy part of me feels badly for Wes and understands why he acted the way he did. Consider his past: first his parents are metaphorical monsters, especially his dad who abuses, shuns and demeans him, then he's sacked by the Council, left ashamed and without a job and income, and now his so-called found family, the people with whom he's forged a real bond and whose love/acceptance he'd probably been looking for his entire life, have abandoned him, too. Gives me a sad, it does.

That said, I can't help but think he should've known better.

I can also get why he didn't want to be just a tool for them (they show up when they need him and shun him otherwise).

This, I totally get.

#1567

Spartan Girl

Spartan Girl

    Fanatic

Posted Jun 29, 2012 @ 3:48 PM

I think the gang was more angry with Wesley for, as Fred put it, "going to Holtz behind their backs" than kidnapping Connor. I still don't get why he didn't simply just tell them about the "prophecy." Angel sacrificed the whole perfect day he had with Buffy as a human to keep her safe, I have no doubt he would have let Wesley take Connor away for his safety, even if it meant he might never see him again. He pretty much did the same thing at the end of season 4.

If Wesley wasn't sure about trusting the others, fine, but HOLTZ? And it was because he went to Holtz that Justine had the opportunity to kidnap Connor, etc.

He's all mad because his friends abandoned him? Well, he pretty much abandoned them by going to Holtz instead of trusting them! He should have expected that they'd be angry. And even if he got his throat cut and was recovering, should he have tried to use his research and all to try and find Connor and try to redeem himself?

My point is that why it might be understandable how Wesley reacted to everyone shunning him, it didn't just happen to him. He made choices. And he chose to sink into self-pity than try to fix things.

#1568

SueB

SueB

    Stalker

Posted Jun 29, 2012 @ 5:04 PM

And he chose to sink into self-pity than try to fix things.


There really wasn't much time though. He's in the hospital for "Forgiving" and "Double or Nothing" and then Connor is back at the end of "Price" (next episode). Now it was in "Price" that Wes had his hissy fit about don't come back for help but he DID help. Then Connor is back.

And when Angel and Cordy went missing he DID try to fix things. He found Angel and Cordy could not be found by anyone.

And I had no problem with him leaving Connor with Fred and Gunn. They weren't his crew anymore and he felt Connor wouldn't hurt humans. He knew the Hotlz-suicide backstory so he knew Connor took vengeance upon Angel versus being some random killing machine. He didn't want to tip off Connor and having Connor with Fred and Gunn was a way of keeping an eye on Connor while rescuing Angel.

I don't mean to imply Wes was in the right about everything he did. I'm just saying I understand his reasoning and was more sympathetic to him than the AI crew.

#1569

Bitterswete

Bitterswete

    Stalker

Posted Jun 29, 2012 @ 5:39 PM

And he chose to sink into self-pity than try to fix things.

There really wasn't much time though.



By the same token, the gang (especially Angel) hadn't had much time to deal with the loss of Connor, let alone begin to forgive the man partially responsible for it. And my big problem with Wesley is his apparent inability to see that. Under the circumstances, you'd think Wesley would be a bit forgiving of them and how they were behaving the way they were for a good reason. (Pain, grief, etc.) But no, he was all about himself and his pain.

I'm just saying I understand his reasoning and was more sympathetic to him than the AI crew.



I understood his reasoning too. It just didn't make me sympathetic. And even if I did sympathize a bit more with Wesley, Angel (the guy who lost his son) would've gotten the lion's share of my sympathy, regardless.

Edited by Bitterswete, Jun 29, 2012 @ 6:36 PM.


#1570

djsosonut

djsosonut

    Channel Surfer

Posted Jun 29, 2012 @ 7:03 PM

By the same token, the gang (especially Angel) hadn't had much time to deal with the loss of Connor, let alone begin to forgive the man partially responsible for it. And my big problem with Wesley is his apparent inability to see that. Under the circumstances, you'd think Wesley would be a bit forgiving of them and how they were behaving the way they were for a good reason. (Pain, grief, etc.) But no, he was all about himself and his pain.


I think he has plenty of cause to sink into self-pity and pain. He's been confined to a hospital bed, and almost killed by one of his best friends, and brow-beaten by the woman he loved. While he couldn't say a word to his own side. Cordy never visits him even to chew him out. And Gunn only comes when he wants something. He risked everything, failed, and lost everything. He's not a saint, but his heart was in the right place for the entire incident. A shred of understanding and forgiveness from any of them would have gone a long way towards him not being so bitter. It's understandable why they didn't, but they could have. Any one of them.

I never saw him not telling anyone about the prophecy as lack of trust in them, it was just Wes shouldering the burden of a hard decision on his own, because that's a watcher's mentality. I'm not mad at Wes for sinking into self-pity, any more than I'm mad at Angel for doing the same thing in season 2. Neither of those moments were their best moments, but they were earned and understandable.

I understood his reasoning too. It just didn't make me sympathetic. And even if I did sympathize more with Wesley, Angel (the guy who lost his son) would've gotten the lion's share of my sympathy, regardless.


Yes, Angel lost his son. And as a demon he's cost many others the lives of their children. When he was re-ensouled he sunk into self-pity for over a century. Was responsible for leaving a hotel full of people at the mercy of a demon. The destruction of a soldier in Why We Fight, while be responsible for all the people Larson killed when Angel let him go after siring him. Bad things happen to good people, Angel knows that far better than most. His anger at Wes is understandable, but not without it's irony.

Wes never verbally apologizes from what he did with Conner. Whether you think its because he doesn't think he needs to apologize for it, or because he just simply doesn't think he could ever really apologize for it, is up to viewer opinion. But he does put in considerable effort into reaching out to his close former friends: By traking and caging Justine to rescue Angel, and doing a city wide search for Cordy. All when he really has no reason to look out for them anymore. Wes is all about mission, duty and purpose. One of his redeeming qualities is that while he's willing to do anything if he thinks its for the greater good, he won't spare himself either. For better or worse he's willing to put is own happiness on the line if need be; like he did when he ran away with Conner. Wes didn't take the higher ground during the aftermath. He wasn't at his best. But his sense of abandonment was warranted.

#1571

TimeMonkey

TimeMonkey

    Stalker

Posted Jul 1, 2012 @ 11:00 PM

Considering Wes went behind everyone's backs, kidnapped the kid, and didn't warn the rest fo the team about an upcomign attack he really deserved nothign by that point. He betrayed them, showed no trust in them, made a massively stupid decision and collaberated with the enemy about an attack that could have killed any or all of them and did get Connor damned to the darkest of hell dimensions. I have no sympathy for Wes, he made his bed and gets all martyrlike and angsty that he has to lie in it.

#1572

djsosonut

djsosonut

    Channel Surfer

Posted Jul 2, 2012 @ 11:48 AM

Considering Wes went behind everyone's backs, kidnapped the kid, and didn't warn the rest fo the team about an upcomign attack he really deserved nothign by that point. He betrayed them, showed no trust in them, made a massively stupid decision and collaberated with the enemy about an attack that could have killed any or all of them and did get Connor damned to the darkest of hell dimensions. I have no sympathy for Wes, he made his bed and gets all martyrlike and angsty that he has to lie in it.


Yes, Wes kidnapped Conner, but intentions do count. He didn't kidnap him to sell him off to the highest bidder, he didn't even plan to give the child to Holtz. He was prepared to be hunted by his friends, to protect the child and Angel. A confluence of circumstances, half-truths, and false information eventually lead Wes to his choice. It turned out to be the wrong call, but it was made for the right reasons. "It's never easy. The pull between divided loyalties. No matter what side we pick we feel like we've betrayed someone."

He didn't "collaberate with the enemy about the attack." He didn't set up the crew to be attacked. He went to Holtz to talk to him, to feel him out, and get a feel for the enemy. Holtz was just feeling Wes out too and finding out which buttons to push. The stupidest call Wes made was when he let his guard down around Justine, but Holtz knew that would be the right button to push.

As for Conner being damned to a hell dimension. Of all the way that could have played out no one could have predicted that one. It's like Wes said fuck Angel and going to send his boy to hell and Sahjaun could help. Holtz didn't even plan on things going that route, he just took the chance went it was presented to him.

Like his father, Conner had a destiny. It was bigger than anyone could try to manipulate or avoid even Jasmine and Sahjain. He's his father's son. In the end Conner gets a second shot that he didn't ask for or maybe even deserve. In a way, Angel eventually give his son a soul by giving Conner a good lie to believe in. Wes's part in Conner's story is pivotal, but its not the only reason he was a warrior raised in one of the darkest hell dimensions.

As for how your take on Wes, I guess it just comes down to if you like the character or not. Sympathy comes with connection plus understanding. If you like or dislike a character, you tend to defend or ridicule their choices. In the end is all rationalization. Things could have been different, but this is what happened and how people reacted to it. It was such a beautiful mess. It's why season 3 is my favorite. Things didn't revert to the status-qua, and nothing was ever the same again. It was like a big ol' Greek tragedy were the outcome could have been avoided if anyone had acted differently or known more.

Edited by djsosonut, Jul 2, 2012 @ 11:49 AM.


#1573

TimeMonkey

TimeMonkey

    Stalker

Posted Jul 2, 2012 @ 4:36 PM

Yes, intentions matter, which makes Wes actions worse is that he kidnapped Connor because he didn't want to talk to Fred and Gun, didn't want to warn Angel about what might happen, didn't even warn him about what getting too happy around Connor might do. This isn't him doing the hard but right thing and having things go wrong, this was him doing the hard thing for purely selfish reasons he was pretending were the right reasons. That's what makes things so bad for him, everything he did was for nothing but only because of the way he did it. He didn't even leave a note explaining things or give them a heads up about the upcoming attack (and knowing an attack is coming and not warning your allies despite every opportunity to do so IS collaberating). There are so many ways Wes could have handled the situation but he chopse one of the worst possible because he was mad at the others.

#1574

SueB

SueB

    Stalker

Posted Jul 2, 2012 @ 7:40 PM

How was Wes taking Connor selfish? He was planning ongoing on the lamb for the rest of his life with Connor to protect Connor. I don't see how that was a good thing for Wesley's life.

Second, what was Wes angry about that drove his actions regarding Connor?

#1575

Spartan Girl

Spartan Girl

    Fanatic

Posted Jul 3, 2012 @ 12:46 PM

Wes never verbally apologizes from what he did with Conner. Whether you think its because he doesn't think he needs to apologize for it, or because he just simply doesn't think he could ever really apologize for it, is up to viewer opinion.


IMO, that was Wesley's pride and ego. Even after everything, he never apologized or even admitted what he did was wrong. He was still justifying his actions in season 4, saying that Connor "survived" and acted like he was the only victim in the whole tragedy because "he got his throat cut and all his friends abandoned him" and that nobody gave him the chance to "explain his side of the story." He was too busy feeling sorry for himself to consider everyone else who suffered the consequences of his actions: Angel, who lost his only son and would never be as close to him as he was when he was a baby, and Connor, who was manipulated and scarred for life. If he didn't feel sorry for Angel because he tried to smother him at the hospital, well, get yourself, Wes, because any father would have done the exact same thing.

Xander Harris could be just as big a jerk on Buffy, but compared to Wes in season 3 and 4, he looked good by comparison, because Xander would at least eventually admit it/apologize when he was in the wrong. Plus, he never did anything as horrible as Wesley did.

#1576

djsosonut

djsosonut

    Channel Surfer

Posted Jul 3, 2012 @ 3:36 PM

he kidnapped Connor because he didn't want to talk to Fred and Gun, didn't want to warn Angel about what might happen, didn't even warn him about what getting too happy around Connor might do.


Timemonkey are you really saying that the only reason he took Conner was because he didn't want to talk to Fred and Gunn. And he wasn't interested in warning Angel? That he did it all for purely selfish reasons, and was in no way motivated because he wanted to protect Conner and Angel? Really? How long has it been since you watched his journey through Loyalty? Or his conversation with Angel near the end. His utter relief at the end when he found his fears stupid. The tragedy of Wes in this situation is that his intentions towards Conner were noble. If it wasn't for the earthquake fulfilling the prophecy and Angel being hyped up on Conner's blood he probably would have come clean right then and there. After having his fears reaffirmed his path was set.

There are so many ways Wes could have handled the situation but he chopse one of the worst possible because he was mad at the others.


That's not really why he did it. Yes, he was jealous of Gunn, and upset at Fred for choosing Gunn over him. Still, He wasn't mad at Angel when he let him hold Conner one last time in Sleep Tight. He was afraid for Angel and Conner. Wes's fatal flaw isn't his emotions, its that he think he has to shoulder burdens alone. He doesn't share. That was shown in Belonging when he didn't talk about his phone call with his father after his confidence was undermined, and why he clammed up quickly when he started to talk about his father in Fredless. It's why he doesn't share his plan to provoke Bethany in Untouchable. It's why Cordy has to pull out his interest in Fred. It's why he hid himself away at the end of Billy. It's why he doesn't tell anyone about his breakup with Virginia. His relationship with Lilah. Hell, its why he didn't want to admit that he was sacked by the Watcher's Council during his first appearance on Angel. He keeps it all in and doesn't share. That trait was bound to bite him in the ass eventually. It's happens to all of them at one point or another: some trait tips over into a flaw causes their downfall. Angel's obsessive personality. Cordy's vanity. Gunn's thoughtlessness. Fred's curiosity. In this situation it was Wes's secrecy.



I think it's a Watcher's trait because Giles suffers from it too. Shouldering the burden in secret and doing things alone. Off the top of my head I can think of him keeping the prophecy from Buffy in Prophecy Girl. His relationship with Ethan and the danger of the Ethros demon. Trying to kill Angelus at the end of Passion. Hiding himself away to smile when Buffy returns in Homecoming. Killing Ben. That tendency is what eventually damages his relationship with Buffy when he tries to distract her so Robin can kill Spike. Still, he isn't nearly as bad about it as Wes.

Xander Harris could be just as big a jerk on Buffy, but compared to Wes in season 3 and 4, he looked good by comparison, because Xander would at least eventually admit it/apologize when he was in the wrong. Plus, he never did anything as horrible as Wesley did.


Hmm..Spartan Girl I really don't agree with that. Xander lied to buffy at the end of Becoming. His motives weren't pure, he was mainly motivated at out jealousy and anger. By not telling Buffy about Willow's spell he scars her for life, and he never expresses regret over it. Or comments on it. It's barely even brought up again until he faces the same issue as her in Selfless. Xander made a big gesture when he proposed to Anya--which she called him on---then left her at the alter cause somehow that was better than talking it out. He raised a demon that killed people because he didn't could bring himself to talk it out. Then treated it like a joke. No one thought Conner was dead, just in a hell dimension they couldn't reach. Wes actions warped Conner, but they didn't kill him. I like Xander, but saying he never did anything as bad as Wes just isn't true. He just wasn't nearly as pushed for his actions. The characters forgive him or don't comment on it "it's not nearly as bad".

In the Buffyverse you really can put say any of the main characters are better than anyone else, because none of them are saints. Except maybe Tara.

#1577

TimeMonkey

TimeMonkey

    Stalker

Posted Jul 3, 2012 @ 5:52 PM

No, that's not the reason he took Connor, it's the reason he led himself to his stupid act. Because he didn't want to talk to them he shut out any input or alternatives they might have provided.

And you know what? Wes wouldn't have been on the lamb the rest of his life, the Angel team would have come straight after him as soon as they realised what he'd done. That's why it's so pointless, it wouldn't have worked. Hell, Lorne can read the future and read Wes right before he left, Wes plan was doomed to fail right from the begining and since he wasn't thinking clearly he didn't see it.

#1578

SueB

SueB

    Stalker

Posted Jul 3, 2012 @ 7:40 PM

No one thought Conner was dead, just in a hell dimension they couldn't reach.


I'm not sure that's exactly true. They used words like "I had to put your boy down." and 'shivra, the ritual of the bereavement'. Further, surviving in a world so dark that there are no portals to it, there was every reason to believe he was likely dead. But dead or gone forever, Angel had completely given up hope.

No, that's not the reason he took Connor, it's the reason he led himself to his stupid act. Because he didn't want to talk to them he shut out any input or alternatives they might have provided.


So stupid yes, but I just don't see "selfish". YMMV.

I think this:

I think it's a Watcher's trait because Giles suffers from it too. Shouldering the burden in secret and doing things alone.

is a better supported rationale for his secrecy.

Wes wouldn't have been on the lamb the rest of his life


But Wes believed he would be. That's why I think it was a selfless act. A seriously misguided but selfless act.

ETA:

Xander lied to buffy at the end of Becoming. His motives weren't pure, he was mainly motivated at out jealousy and anger.


That's a fan-ascribed motivation. Joss has been quite clear it was the right thing to do because Buffy would have been distracted and Xander knew that. I understand this interpretation (jealousy/anger) but I never even considered it until I heard the fan reaction. In short, I disagree that what Xander did was remotely equivalent to what Wesley did. I'm happy to talk further about The Lie in the Buffy threads.

Edited by SueB, Jul 4, 2012 @ 11:32 AM.


#1579

TimeMonkey

TimeMonkey

    Stalker

Posted Jul 5, 2012 @ 6:03 PM

But Wes believed he would be. That's why I think it was a selfless act. A
seriously misguided but selfless act.




Wes believes it because he's not thinking things clearly. That's what makes his actions selfish, he doesn't want to talk to Fred and Gunn because they hooked up and he's upset about it, his judgement is clouded and he's making obvious mistakes because his feelings are hurt. He wasn't putting the greater good ahead of everything, he was putting his needs first and filtering the greater good through them. Hell, the simplest solution would be to simply talk to Angel about it and get him to agree to an 'if things go bad, take Connor and run' plan.


There's also the fact that he likes to think of himself as the great and noble leader whose willing to make the hard choices and carry the burden of that for the greater good, but I'm not going to assign that as a driving force in his decision making.

#1580

Jack Shaftoe

Jack Shaftoe

    Fanatic

  • Gender:Male

Posted Jul 5, 2012 @ 6:04 PM

IMO, that was Wesley's pride and ego. Even after everything, he never apologized or even admitted what he did was wrong. He was still justifying his actions in season 4, saying that Connor "survived" and acted like he was the only victim in the whole tragedy because "he got his throat cut and all his friends abandoned him" and that nobody gave him the chance to "explain his side of the story." He was too busy feeling sorry for himself to consider everyone else who suffered the consequences of his actions: Angel, who lost his only son and would never be as close to him as he was when he was a baby, and Connor, who was manipulated and scarred for life. If he didn't feel sorry for Angel because he tried to smother him at the hospital, well, get yourself, Wes, because any father would have done the exact same thing.


Saying they suffered as a consequences of Wesley's actions is a bit misleading, don't you think? It wasn't Wes's intention to send anyone to any hell dimensions. It's one thing to screw up when you are trying to help and another to deliberately hurt people. Did Angel go to apologise to the families of all the people he killed in season two of BtVS? No, because no one could see his loss of soul coming. If Wesley apologised only for not trusting the rest of the gang this probably wasn't going to be enough for Angel and to apologize for what other people did would be needless self-flagellation, IMO. Also, I don't care if Angel had a reason to be angry, I wouldn't apologise to anyone who has tried to murder me for what was clearly an honest mistake either. Especially someone who has less than spotless record as far as obeying the law goes, to put it mildly.

Edited by Jack Shaftoe, Jul 5, 2012 @ 6:05 PM.


#1581

TimeMonkey

TimeMonkey

    Stalker

Posted Jul 5, 2012 @ 8:45 PM

An honest mistake? He kidnapped Angel's son, withheld important information from the group, had secret meetings with the enemy, assaulted Lorne and betrayed the entire team. Wesley's actions, however justified he may have believed them, place him clearly in the wrong, things just ended up going even more wrong when he did them.

#1582

Kosmonaut

Kosmonaut

    Stalker

  • Gender:Female

Posted Jul 6, 2012 @ 8:31 AM

I think calling what Wesley did "an honest mistake" is huge understatement. He tried to do the right thing, sure, but he was severely narrow in his definition of "the right thing." It's like Angel knowing that perfect happiness causes him to lose his soul; how much better is it that he knows that? How stupid was it that he didn't know it in the first place? How much better would it have been for Angel to know about the prophecy?

Even if Wes had pulled off his original plan, Angel and Co. would still have suffered because Connor would still be gone. That alone is terrible enough, the absolute worst consequence of any of Wes's actions, which would have been the case regardless of Holtz or Wolfram and Hart.

And I think it's hilarious that Wes intended to spend the rest of his life hiding from a private detective agency with dealings in the occult. Major oversight on his part or commentary on how much AI sucks at their jobs?

Hee. This thought is really cracking me up.

Edited by Kosmonaut, Jul 6, 2012 @ 8:35 AM.


#1583

TimeMonkey

TimeMonkey

    Stalker

Posted Jul 6, 2012 @ 4:39 PM

Not to mention that Wolfram and Hart would have been on him pretty fast.

#1584

Cobalt Stargazer

Cobalt Stargazer

    Stalker

Posted Jul 7, 2012 @ 12:56 PM

I wouldn't apologise to anyone who has tried to murder me for what was clearly an honest mistake either.


An honest mistake? He kidnapped Angel's son, withheld important information from the group, had secret meetings with the enemy, assaulted Lorne and betrayed the entire team. Wesley's actions, however justified he may have believed them, place him clearly in the wrong, things just ended up going even more wrong when he did them.


The thing is, it could be looked at as an honest mistake, since all the information Wesley kept getting pointed relentlessly to the prophecy coming true and Angel killing Connor; his erratic behavior when he was being fed his son's blood by Wolfram and Hart, the fact that the Burger!Loa said that it was only a question of when, not if, the vampire would devour his child, the earthquake that was the final straw. The fact that it all turned out to be a set up was not Wes' fault, he was simply operating on the information he possessed at the time. And he went to Holtz because he was trying to avoid a violent confrontation between the two groups, not because he was colluding with the guy. Yes, he screwed up big time, but between getting his throat cut and having his best friend try to smother him with a pillow, I'd say he paid quite a bit to balance out the scales. It's not as if he had some master plan to deprive Angel of his son, not like it was Angel's master plan to let those people die at Holland Manners' house, he was simply following the trail of clues as they appeared to him at the time. JMO.

#1585

TimeMonkey

TimeMonkey

    Stalker

Posted Jul 7, 2012 @ 1:35 PM

Yes Wesley was riight to be concerned about Connor's safety, but where he went wrong is that he kept it entirely to himself. To me, that's why Wesley doesn't deserve sympathy, though I will admit I did feel bad for him that he was sop alone, I just believe he deserved it for what he did, because he chose to do things the wrong way when he really didn't have to. Why not warn Angel? Why not warn the group? Why not ask Lorne to listen to Angel sing and get a general idea of his future? Why not call Giles and discuss profesies or at least the soul curse and it's limitations? All of this leads em to believe that despite having good intentions overall, he allowed his feelinsg to lead him down the path that gave him what he wanted and not what was best for Connor or the team. He's human, he's flawed and I don't condemn him to hell for it but I do hold him in the wrong and do believe he owed them at leats an apology.

#1586

SueB

SueB

    Stalker

Posted Jul 7, 2012 @ 1:44 PM

lead him down the path that gave him what he wanted


It was pretty clear Wesley didn't want the prophesy to be true (he was having nightmares) so I am really struggling with "what he wanted". What, specifically, in you opinion did Wesley get from running away with Connor? What did he gain?


It's not to have a child -- that was never anything Wesley said. So...I'm struggling with how running away with Connor was something Wesley wanted.

Edited by SueB, Jul 7, 2012 @ 1:45 PM.


#1587

TimeMonkey

TimeMonkey

    Stalker

Posted Jul 7, 2012 @ 7:26 PM

He wanted to not have to deal with Fred and Gunn and their relationship. So he cuts them out of the loop and comes up with a plan that takes him away from having to see them. It's not his primary motivation of course, but something colouring his decision making process.

#1588

SueB

SueB

    Stalker

Posted Jul 7, 2012 @ 8:53 PM

He wanted to not have to deal with Fred and Gunn and their relationship. So he cuts them out of the loop and comes up with a plan that takes him away from having to see them.


Thanks for explaining - I understand now. I'm having a hard time seeing this as any level of motivator but I'll be happy to agree to disagree.

#1589

TimeMonkey

TimeMonkey

    Stalker

Posted Jul 7, 2012 @ 10:00 PM

I don't think it was an intentional motivator, he wasn't factoring it into his plans, more like it was something he was unaware of but tainting his thought process. It is consistent with Wesley's character that Fred makes him irrational.

#1590

manbearpig

manbearpig

    Couch Potato

Posted Dec 23, 2012 @ 7:04 PM

I'm rewatching this season at the moment and my love for Lilah has grown considerably. Have always loved her but she is probably my favourite character at this point. Hearing about her mother with dementia (that little detail completely slipped my mind) really humanises her, but I love the bar scene in Sleep Tight where she tells Angel not to feel sorry for her, that life at Wolfram & Hart has shaped her and that she's a survivor and won't feel sorry for herself. Love that because it probably explains why she signed a contract with W&H, but that she isn't going to play both sides like Lindsay did. Also love the little cat hiss she does into the bar mirror when she senses Angel near her, which I rewound to watch again. Love it when she walks towards Linwood with the knife because the ritual to make Sahjahn corporeal requires human blood, only to slice her own hand open. Then you have her fun antagonistic relationship with Gavin (granted, it doesn't quite match the fun of the Lilah/Lindsay power plays, but it still enjoyable nonetheless). I love her cutting remark to army guy when he replies to her order with "Yeah..." before she has him backtrack and call her mam. Definitely feel like Lilah is one of the characters that is always used well whenever she appears, there are always several moments per scene that are great with Lilah.

Her sparring session with Cordelia in Billy is also heaps of fun, and I love that their conversation went from vicious bitching to shoe talk. Billy is probably my favourite episode of the season actually. There are definitely episodes that reach higher heights, but I feel like the show gets so serialised at times that a bunch of them bleed together for me (Darla arriving in L.A., and all the stuff with the prophecy). Which is not a complaint, this season has really improved for me on rewatch and I love serialised television. Dreading the next few episodes though because I always disliked the Connor arc in this season, although I grew to like him a lot more in season four (which I think is an unpopular opinion), and the actor is really good...

Found it quite strange that Fred went from telling Wesley to stay away from Angel and the Hyperion in one episode before trying to get everyone (Cordy and Gunn) to get him back on the team in the following episode. Love Fred though, she gelled with the cast immediately and Amy Acker can do no wrong in my eyes.