Originally posted here on April 22, 2009.
I haven’t really written much about my all-time favorite Joss Whedon show ever lately. Seriously, there’s been so many other things going on in both the world of television and real life that I haven’t given it much thought.
Well, other than the podcast I obsessively listen to. Called the Watchercast. Love it. Check it out if you get a chance. It’s funny, because their latest podcast episode on “Killed by Death” gave me the inspiration to post a little something that I just had an epiphany about.
Buffy has always been a hero. Throughout the series there were lots of throw-away lines about the Calling and how you really don’t know until you know. And as a contradiction, there were lines about how some Potentials (like Kendra and Kennedy) were trained from a very young age.
I think the second part of that makes more sense. And the reason we don’t see it in Buffy (or Faith, when she shows up… Faith wasn’t trained at an early age either…) is because of American culture, within the Buffyverse.
I’ve often wondered why Kennedy and Kendra were trained from such an early age, and the Slayer culture was ingrained in them early on, and why Buffy was seemingly overlooked. At first, I thought it was because no one knew where to find her, or because she wasn’t Called until she was Called, but the fact of the matter is that Buffy had the Slayer itch since childhood, much like the other Slayers/Potentials.
In looking at an episode in the second season, Killed by Death, Buffy is attacked by a flu and sees a monster that kills children in a very gruesome way, and makes it look like the fever killed them. Coincidentally, Buffy’s cousin Celia was killed by the same fever in the same fashion.
During a flashback, Buffy and Celia are playing together, where Celia is the damsel in distress, and Buffy is the superhero who comes to her rescue. I think that scene alone is informational to the audience, even if Giles and the rest of the Scoobies are unaware of how the Calling REALLY works, that Buffy was born to be a Slayer. She was born to save the world.
Looking further back (or forward, depending…) Buffy as a much younger little girl, but further along in the series… think back to the episode Weight of the World, where Buffy goes into a severe state of Catatonia and Willow has to do a mystical mindwalk with her. Buffy’s baby sister, Dawn, is brought home from the hospital, and Buffy wants “to be the one to take care of her.”
Buffy clearly was protective from the very beginning. Her gut has always told her that she has a purpose, even though it sometimes gets cloudy. She still has a purpose.
Thinking about it, I do wonder that even though Buffy had superhero/Slayer in here genes no matter what, why did she want to try so hard to be normal? She didnt’ have an accident and get bitten by a radioactive spider. Her parents didn’t die, and this wasn’t a revenge gig for her. She wasn’t even born on another planet and meteored down to earth.
She was just a girl who was born to be a superhero and didn’t get her powers until she got them.
Just something to think about.