Why Giles Is The Best

One word: "Pillock."

Screen: The WB

Screen: The WB

Remember the rumors that Giles (Anthony Head) would get his own Watcherrific series after/along with Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Yeah. Good times. What ever happened with that?

It's entirely possible the powers that be decided that Giles as we knew him on BtVS, appearing but sparingly in the later seasons of the show, couldn't or shouldn't carry his own series. It's also possible that Head himself saw Joss Whedon's focus moving to Angel and Firefly, and figured that throwing his lot in with a subpar product could only hurt him. My own recollection is that, by the time the grapevine got hold of the proposed Watcher Chronicles or whatever, Giles was one of the few Buffy characters I could still stand. If that project got resuscitated today, I would jump on board with both feet, because nobody but nobody takes the piss out of a bloviating Big Bad like my man Rupert. His "hmmm…no, I don't believe so, hateful" entrance pee in Dark Willow's (Alyson Hannigan) cornflakes in the S6 finale has a permanent place in my All-Time Great Hooooooly Shit TV Moments; my agnosticism about spoilers usually meant I knew stuff like that would happen, but I'd managed to get to that scene without knowing in advance that the show would Giles me like a hurricane.

Less immediately satisfying but a power of ten more bad-ass, though, is a Giles moment I call merely The Pillock. …Yeahhhh, you know what I'm talking about. Angel (David Boreanaz) has tortured Giles for quite some time -- we're to understand said torture is physical, but Unsouled Angel has a tendency to blather on interminably, and if Giles had to sit through the same atrociously accented "For It Is I, Potato Lad" flashbacks audiences did, the torment had a psychological component as well -- and is offering in his usual mustache-twirlingly unsubtle way to end the pain if Giles will just cough up the ritual Angel needs to end the world. Giles is in terrible agony, but still manages to find Angel annoying as well as frightening, and informs our anti-hero that he'll have to perform the evil sacraments "in a tutu. Pillock." The elegant cocktail of exhaustion, impatience, and disgust is classic Giles. Even the word choice is perfect: so dismissive.

"Becoming, Part 2," the episode that contains The Pillock, is the first Buffy ep I ever saw, and it hooked me in that "wow, what is this?" way that great TV has of almost ordering you into the story -- for a lot of reasons, but one of them is The Pillock.

Now someone go Kickstart this Giles project while I pillock myself a new ringtone, kthxbai.

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  • Brianna Klemm

    Agreed. Totally agreed.

  • Lindy

    The episode where the adults became their old teen-aged selves it what cemented Giles awesomeness.

  • Lindsey

    I remember reading an article in a library journal back then about Giles as a heroic librarian breaking down the stereotype of nerdy/boring librarians and changing the public perception of the profession around the world. That... did not really end up happening. But that's how cool Giles was. People thought he might make librarians seem cool just by association.

  • TaraAriano

    Are there people who DON'T think Giles is the best? I hope I never meet them.

  • Claire

    Oh my god, how was "Becoming Part 2" your first episode?! That's almost the most traumatic one in the entire series! Did it skew you on what the rest of the show would be like?

  • Jenn Brasler

    Yes! Especially his wearing that white shirt and jumping up and down when Buffy punches Ethan.

  • http://previously.tv/ Sarah D. Bunting

    Not really; I thought it was beautiful and sad, and I wanted to see how they'd get her back to Sunnydale. (Imagine if I'd seen "Go Fish" first. Or the one with the teacher who was the preying mantis. No sale.)

  • Dianna Deem

    Sorry, s7 Giles went behind Buffy's back to conspire to kill her strongest ally, so no...not quite the best. The best would be said ally...too many great moments to count. "You made a bear!" "Oh, come on!" "Slayer...here kitty, kitty..." "The lions are on to you, Baby." "Have you got any of those little marshmallows?"

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