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Oz and Parker

Tj2318h

Townie
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HOW does Oz not know who Parker is? Oz has been on campus for years with the band and seems to know everyone, yet he does not know of Parker’s reputation?
Come on man, even Riley is aware of it!
 

thrasherpix

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Did anyone ask him about Parker? Did he know? (I can't remember.)

A conversation about Parker including Oz could've provided some good insight into Buffy's motivation who was ironically more worldwise with college boys (and also boys spouting poetry in another episode) in season 2 than when in college. I personally have to headcanon it as male abandonment issues subconsciously seeking out someone like Parker (I believe her insecurities in this regard did get brought up in the s4 Halloween episode combined with her fear of "they will always leave you") plus vulnerability over recent events, but I believe I read in an interview (or maybe saw as a dvd extra) that Buffy was deliberately written as "a typical college girl" (meaning dumber than she was before), though I pray that's an inaccurate stereotype (though even in this case, it's probably a stereotype created by men who forget all the women who knew better and only remember the relative few that their wiles worked on).
 
D
Dora
I remember Sarah complaining to Josh that Buffy would not sleep with Parker on a first date

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Black Thorn
There's no reason why he should know. Just because his band played the campus enough for him to be familiar with its surroundings and some of its students, doesn't mean he had enough experience with the place to know the ins and outs of all the students. Someone like Parker doesn't seem the type to hang around someone like Oz, too busy manipulating some poor freshmen into his bed. Riley was a TA and hung out in a similar crowd, as we learn later and learn through Forrest's personality, it's far more likely for him to have heard of Parker's rep through the grapevine.
 

thrasherpix

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I'd think a band member who plays where the prey (women) are would hear more about Parker than some uptight TA or secret military goon squad. Not that I say I find the latter unbelievable as there are plenty of guys who will brag to the rooftops and it spreads like wildfire, but I do find it more believable that Oz would know than Riley, at least barring specific circumstances we're not actually shown (but are plausible enough to reverse the probability in my book IF it happened).
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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1. UC Schools are enormous, 2. Oz doesn't seem like the gossiping type, and 3. There's no overlap. The only Dingo groupie we know of is Harmony. Parker probably considers himself better than the standard college sex fiend.
 

thrasherpix

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Just because Oz isn't a gossiper doesn't mean he wouldn't hear of it. He seemed aware of the people around him and their lives.

But I'm just thinking Oz has more reason to know than Riley does, when really neither should be that aware since I'm sure the Parkers are a dime a dozen. Just writer's fiat. The show isn't supposed to make sense, just lead to those cool scenes they have planned later on with minimal fuss on how they arrive at the scene. Or in this case, to show Riley as a good guy compared to a scumbag like Parker, and his crush on Buffy, so it was convenient, and therefore became part of the story.
 
S

sweetiepie

Guest
HOW does Oz not know who Parker is? Oz has been on campus for years with the band and seems to know everyone, yet he does not know of Parker’s reputation?
Come on man, even Riley is aware of it!

How does Oz not know who Parker is despite having been on campus for years?

Because Oz lives in his own head. He's basically unware of his environment.
 

TriBel

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I worked on a large university campus for years. With a transient population of about 35,000 people, it was the size of a small town. People lived in their own little bubble. Staff and students were often unaware of anyone outside their own department or course. In reality, there's no way even a frequent visitor would know every student. If they did know them by sight, they wouldn't know the minutia of their lives.

Besides, "not knowing" is standard fare for Sunnydale and absolutely central to the narrative. It begins with Buffy having a secret past that no-one knows of and ends with Buffy not knowing what the future holds. The population don't know of vampires; Giles isn't familiar with every demon; Sheila has only a narrow knowledge of Willow's sexuality. The gang don't know what birthday present to buy Tara because they only know her as an extension of Willow. Joyce doesn't know Buffy's the slayer and, sadly, Buffy doesn't know whether her mum knew how much she was loved. The theme of not knowing and the extent to which we don't "know" (the partiality of knowledge, the psycho-social processes by which we do know; how knowledge becomes truth; the impossibility of full knowledge of self or the other) is amplified and culminates in the cacophony of Empty Places (empty places echo the original voice). In Empty Places neither characters nor viewers know a damned thing. In BtVS, knowledge is the monster in the closet.

In short, I'd be really surprised if Oz had known Parker.
 
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Priceless

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I actually think Oz might have heard of Parker. Yes it's a big campus, but Parker has a big reputation. Oz is in with the musicians and the frat boys, so he has a lot of friends in a several different groups, so I'm sure Parker's name has come up at least once. As you say, even Riley knew Parker's reputation.
 
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Oz is quite introverted and probably has a small circle in the big campus. Parker was probably a part of a cooler crowd that didn't mix with Oz's contacts.
 

Plasma

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I get the sense that Oz is a very “misfit” type person on the campus.

It’s entirely likely that he and Parker have shared a room together on more than one occasion, but Oz strikes me as the kind of person who really doesn’t care to know someone unless he really wants or needs to. Parker’s personality doesn’t really gel with Oz’s, and as such you see little intersection between their social circles.
 

Fuffy Baith

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Oz isn't much of a social person, I mean he doesn't speak much even to the Scoobies. Yes, he might know people on campus, but I go the sense that it was more of that people knew of Oz cause he was in a band. Also, Oz has never been one to care much about getting laid, so I don't think he would have run with Parker's crowd. Perhaps Devon made of heard of Parker, but Oz doesn't care for gossip so if he did even hear of Parker it might have went in one ear and out the other. Even if he did know of Parker's reputation, I think he would have mentioned it to Willow and not Buffy.
 

famicommander

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There are several thousand people on that campus at any given moment in time. Why would you think a guy whose band played some gigs there would know this one specific person?
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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I standby my original statement, but add this; Oz is out of Parker's league. Remember, Parker hunts unremarkable but pretty, white, freshmen co-eds. There are probably a dozen guys like him on campus. He's not an athlete. He doesn't have rich parents. He's not really tall. He's just a smooth talker. Nothing else. Oz, on the other hand, has groupies, he's in a band. Odds are, his body count would be a lot higher than Parker's if he didn't have a steady girlfriend. As the wolf does not concern himself with the opinions of the zorilla, Oz wouldn't notice anything out of the ordinary about Parker.

On the other hand, Riley would certainly know who Parker was. Riley was both religious and a certain type of grade student, was probably looking for a long term relationship ( e.g. He did marry Sam pretty quickly). You learn to judge women by the company they keep, especially in college, where you can run the entire promiscuity spectrum. Not nessicarily the best strategy, but Riley is only Fred's age, he doesn't know everything. I'm sure Forrest knows about Parker, because the other type of grad student is there to make up for lost time.
 

Plasma

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No, I don’t think that was ever brought up in the show.

It could be that he has to be religious to perform some of the actions that the Initiative requires. In the Hammer series of Dracula films, you have to be a religious person for a staking to work, for example. However, none of that was ever established in the show.
 

thrasherpix

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Riley was a member of the church that the vampires took over for Adam (and the place where Buffy would get her body back). That's why he was there, not as a cover for his mission. (At least as I remember it.)

That aside...feeling snarky, I'll add that since Buffy was temporarily body swapped with a "typical college girl" (in the view of the writers, yuck), it wouldn't matter if Oz would've warned her, as she wouldn't have believed him and/or thought she could change him. I have to headcanon how lost Buffy is while also dealing with a lot of heartbreak and trauma just to keep myself from wanting to grab this Buffy and ask where the real Buffy is.
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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Yes, in "Who Are You" a group of Vampires attack a church, and Riley is first on the scene as he was intending to attend service there.

I don't know if you have to be religious to be a member of the initiative. It's supposed to be an elite unit, so a specialized profile may be sought out. I'm also sure they have a "no cultist" rule, so someone like Knox could be excluded. But remember, the government was supposed to have completely missed the supernatural dimension of the demon threat.

I think @thrasherpix's theory about Buffy's post breakup trauma is an excellent interpretation of Buffy's aberrate behavior with Parker. While the change is inconsistent with Buffy's character, dealing with a jerk boyfriend who uses you for sex is something a lot of girls did go through in college, and I don't begrudge the writers an attempt to address it. Even if that's not our Buffy. I mean, we accept that Cordie can't get a scholarship and Xander is too unsuited for college, even if that's inconsistent with what we know and what we have seen of the characters, because the writers have stories they want to tell
 
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