many years of hard practice, Xander managed to turn slacking into an art.
Not a terribly good art, it's true - very much the sort of art that you'd
look at and think "Hey, I could do that." Which is of course the
But, like the other Scoobies,
Xander is a hero - he has his Achilles ' heels, but he was always, and
remains, the Heart part of the Scooby Gang - the lion in the Wizard of
Oz, only always supplied with courage.
While not having what you
could call the advantages of geekdom (computer skills, worryingly good
exam results, safety from sexually transmitted diseases), Xander was lumbered
with an extensive knowledge of comic books and science fiction TV shows
- which, sadly, didn't help him a great deal in the world of slaying anymore
than in the world of high school girls. Always ready with a sarcastic remark
and an excuse to avoid library research, Xander is, depending on who you
talk to, an insufferable buffoon or a role model for all young geeks.
Certainly Xander has pulled
his mismatched socks up - going various McJobs to becoming a profession
joiner or other unspecified building-site activity, Xander has, to an extent,
grown up. He has always been plagued with a feeling that he was the third,
or maybe fourth, wheel of the Scooby Gang - he was never exactly sure if
he was Fred, Shaggy or Scooby Doo. Yet Xander has always assisted in the
saving of the world, and has many times proved himself brave if conspicuously
stupid. But in a funny way.
Xander's problem is still
that he hasn't grown up - he might be a man with strangely-large upper
arms, but while other characters have evolved, Xander has remained the
most samey. The character began as an insecure boy who covered up his emotions
with quips and, indeed, wisecracks. While you could say that now he's become
an insecure man who covers up his emotions with wisecracks, at the
same time Xander has grown up - despite not being able to sort out his
own life all the time, he was been able to be a pillar of strengthiness
for Buffy, even if that at times meant her using him a literal punchbag.
Xander's insight is always variable, and often he finds it hard to control
his emotions, resorting to violence when jokes won't help.