Buffy: I'm a vampire slayer.
Joyce: Well, I just don't accept that.
Buffy: Open your eyes mom. What do you think has been going on for the past two years? The fights, the weird occurrences. How many times have you washed blood out of my clothing and you still haven't figured it out?
Joyce: Well, it stops now.
Buffy: No, it doesn't stop. It never stops. Do you think I chose to be like this? Do you have any idea how lonely it is? How dangerous? I would love to be upstairs watching TV, or gossiping about boys, or God, even studying. But I have to save the world, again.
Everyone's favorite Mom, Joyce Summers is the unsung hero of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Recently divorced, Joyce has moved to Sunnydale to open her new art gallery and give her daughter another chance at a normal life. Joyce used to live in her own suburban Carmody Land where her teenaged daughter sneaked in and out of her room every night, came back with clothes dripping blood and was always in trouble. Yet she never questioned Buffy. Mild mannered and friendly to everyone but Spike - Joyce had a naive conviction that the world simply misunderstood her daughter and that everything would be ok.
Unfortunately, Sunnydale has brought her and her daughter anything but an ok or even semi-normal life. Joyce appeared to remain oblivious to her daughter's night life until the end of the second season when Buffy was forced to admit that she was a Slayer. At first reluctant to believe her daughter, Joyce accepted this as a new lie Buffy'd concocted to evade trouble. Soon she found out the truth.
Poor Joyce had read countless self help books but none even neared her new dilemma. Yet true to her optimistic nature, she threw herself into Buffy's new line of "work." She began asking about slaying, tagged along a couple of times and even had Faith over for dinner. It was pretty funny but just made her that much more endearing in my eyes. She even accepted that the friends Buffy brings over are vampires, fellow vampire slayers, technopagans, werewolves and my personal favorite - a mummy.
She tried to make a friend last season but unfortunately, Sheila turned into a zombie and Buffy had to kill her. *shrug* Dangers of living on the hellmouth. This rather fuzzy fellow is Buffy's dad, Hank. He still lives in L.A. and hardly ever sees Buffy - well except for last summer when she stayed over and tried to forget Sunnydale. In an effort to regain her affection (I guess), Hank bought her a bunch of shoes and stuff. 0:-) Apparently, that did nothing to soothe the emptiness of having recently died within her and she returned to Sunnydale as empty as she left.) 0:-(
Buffy has gone through a lot the last couple of years and her mother has tried to be there for her. When she ran away last summer, Joyce went through plenty of mental angst and could not believe her baby had left. Their reunion was extremely sweet and the happiness Hoyce felt at her daughter's return was beyond evident.
I keep hoping for a relationship to spring up between Joyce and Giles (neither of them truly lives in the real world and they both care about Buffy. Its really cute and I think they could be happy) but nothing concrete ever happens. I distinctly remember the episode when Buffy had a fever and was so sick she was admitted to the hospital. Giles was there before Joyce was and they had a nice conversation...some people would even say they bonded. *knowing look* The closest they've come to a relationship was during Band Candy. You'd think screwing around on a cop's car would lead to a lasting relationship but I guess not.
The closest Joyce came to a relationship on the hellmouth was when she was dating Ted - quite possibly the worst Buffy episode ever). He turned out to be a crazy robot, stuck in the 60's who was only into her for her looks. That happens so often these days *sigh*
Joyce tried to take a stand during Gingerbread when she and the entire Sunnydale were convinced a serial killer had ... well killed two small children. She organized MOO "Mothers Opposed to the Occult" and led a whole bunch of parents on a witch hunt which culminated with Buffy and Willow being tied to stakes and set on fire. *shudder* Not a lovely site.
Next season sees Joyce alone again as her daughter goes off to college. I guess she will become even more of a fringe character - which is really a shame because she added a lot of humanity to the show. Of the entire cast, Joyce is probably the most human of them all *lol*