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Can someone explain to me why Hank Summers wasn’t told his daughter died at the end of season five? Yes, he missed his ex-wife’s funeral and the chance to support his children. Yes, that doesn’t paint him in the most flattering light, but the Hank Summers we meet in season one and at the beginning of season two after he spent the entire summer with his daughter was not the same character that ignored that child’s eighteenth birthday.

Parents don’t suddenly go from caring to not. I’ve always wondered if perhaps Buffy was suppose to spend the summer with her father again between seasons two and three and Joyce feared him suing for full custody if he learned of Buffy’s disappearance so she told him Buffy wanted nothing to do with him and to please allow their daughter the chance to build a life without him. Granted this is pure speculation, but it makes sense because Buffy spent time with her father during the Thanksgiving break her freshmen year of college which if he was such a horrible person and terrible father then I doubt she’d have wanted to spend time with him once she turned eighteen and wasn’t forced to by the courts.

But back to my original thought. I think someone like Hank would have been a good influence for Dawn after Buffy’s death and perhaps he would have noticed her downward spiral just as he noticed how introverted Buffy was during the summer she spent with him. He wasn’t a terrible person and Dawn growing more attached to her father would have made more sense then allowing her to continue the unhealthy attachment she had with the BuffyBot.

What? So I like Hank. :P
I've never given Hank too much thought. However, you bring up good points. But in Season 2 didn't Hank cancel on Buffy for her birthday skating thing? Not that it means AH-HA evil father.
Hank cancelled the "Ice Capades" birthday outing in season 3 (Buffy tried to get Giles to take her, instead, but he was already doping her for the Cruciamentum by then). So that would come after Buffy's summer as a runaway.
Parents miss holidays. It happens. It's a shame he missed her birthday, but that's not the end of the world and that's not a valid reason to go from a caring father to the man that missed Joyce's funeral.

Of course there is the off chance that Buffy and Dawn told him not to come since Buffy seemed so bitter towards him after she called him in regards to Joyce getting sick. The conversation wasn't shown, but from her tone we call tell something transpired.
I've enjoyed some Hank-bashing over the years, I confess, but I never thought of it from this side of things. The moving overseas with his secretary and not giving his daughters a current contact number in season 5 didn't look great, but the Scoobies' efforts to keep Hank from finding out that Buffy was dead so he woudn't take Dawn away from THEM smacked of quite a bit of selfishness.

Willow and the others didn't want Dawn to move away because that would represent CHANGE, and they were so blindly focused on 'must put things back the way they were', including raising Buffy from the dead (without digging her up first) that they weren't willing to listen to any other input. Anyone who might've voiced objections or offered a counter-argument (like Spike, over the whole raising the dead issue) had to be kept completely in the dark, it seems . . . which is something I usually associate with people who know, deep down, that they're on shaky ethical ground and won't risk exposing their reasoning to the light of day.

And don't even get me started on the whole 'living in Buffy's house but not (apparently) paying rent, because Buffy will just have to get a job and pay the bills when we raise her from the dead' issue!

I remember reading a fic (though I can't remember where -- thought it was by talesofspike but it's not on her LJ index) where Dawn goes to L.A. to live with Hank after "The Gift", and Spike (keeping his promise to Buffy) goes along, to make sure that Dawn stays safe . . . which would've been healthier for Dawn in a number of ways than being told she has to pretend that nothing has changed and deny her painful reality.
Buffy had a number for him in Spain. It's referenced in the 'Family' episode and it appears that she got a hold of him, but the conversation wasn't stellar. She also stated that she was the one that was suppose to protect Dawn so there's the off chance she and Dawn told him not to come to Joyce's funeral because he might get the idea of taking Dawn with him when he left.

I do agree that Willow and by default Tara, Anya and Xander, kept the status quo for their own selfish needs and desires. I always felt Dawn got the shaft in that summer because she did need to move on, but how do you do that when you have to continue she charade of you sister still being alive.

Though in season six Hank was suppose to call which was why the Buffybot wasn't allowed to answer the phone because they believe Hank would be able to tell the difference - when the Scoobies could not.
the Buffybot wasn't allowed to answer the phone because they believe Hank would be able to tell the difference - when the Scoobies could not.

I never put that togehter before! You're right -- the 'bot was supposedly good enough to fool them all, at least in their initial conversations, but they thought Hank would recognize something was hinky right off.

Though, to be fair, Buffybot's 'real world knowledge' about Buffy's friends and family never seemed to progress very far beyond the initial programming given her by Spike via Warren, and unless Spike and Joyce had talked about her ex-husband extensively during their occasional chats over a 'nice cuppa' (or however Spike phrased it), I doubt that Spike would've known anything about Buffy's relationship with Hank, so there'd be absolutely no database of the sort of childhood memories and shared family history that even an estranged father would expect to hear reflected in a rare conversation with his daughter. He might not leap to the immediate conclusion, "My elder daughter's been replaced by a robot!", but he'd be likely to think that Buffy was on drugs or mentally disturbed.

Buffy had a number for him in Spain. It's referenced in the 'Family' episode...

My recollection was that Buffy had called that number but was never able to reach him there (the notes on that episode at BuffyGuide.com say he hasn't been returning her calls, which -- if accurate -- is slightly different from my initial thought that the number she had might not have even been current, as well as from the idea that she'd been talking with him but wasn't getting much out of the experience), but I'd have to re-watch "Family" and at least the episodes surrounding Joyce's death in order to be sure.

I've seen all seven seasons over and over in re-runs, as well as in their first run and having them all on VHS and/or DVD, but I confess that I haven't actually sat down and re-watched season 5 in years, and my brain's not as young and retentive as it used to be!
I love LoGo at the moment because they've been airing BtVS on Friday nights and every night during the week at seven. They also do weekend specials such as Buffy.Faith weekend or Willow.Tara. Last weekend was the BFF marathon. Buffy Fan Favorites that you could vote on their website and they were aired back to back to back. It was a long, fun weekend because whenever I was around the house I just put on Buffy.
I don't think my Dish Network package includes LoGo (or maybe I just haven't found it yet), since I haven't heard of that channel before. Sounds like a channel I need to get! I miss the 'good old days' when FX used to show two hours of BtVS every morning during my breakfast time, including special behind-the-scenes 'Buffy Bites' during the commercial breaks and the occasional marathon of fan favorites on Thanksgiving, etc..

Good times!
I've also been one of those people who wondered what happened with Hank because, as you mention, it's a weird turn from a loving father to craptastic asshat. Feels like the writers forgot that what happened with Buffy and Hank in "Nightmares" was just that - a nightmare - and didn't actually happen, and the episode really ended on a good note of them going out together.

As you mention, she also spent her entire summer between seasons 1 and 2 in LA with him. Albeit depressed and a little 'off', Hank tried to make up for all that by buying her shoes and trying to make her happy, the way it used to (back in the movies, e.g her past, since he didn't know her the same way as she had when she lived in his house, I doubt Joyce shared everything). He probably wasn't sure how to handle things since she most likely wasn't chatty enough to give him anything to work with (just like with Joyce in "When she was bad" - remember the drive when Joyce says that there isn't any chance she's going to tell her what's wrong, is there.. (paraphrasing here ;)) so maybe buying stuff wouldn't have been the solution if he knew what to do.

That still doesn't turn him into douch-daddy who moves abroad with a secretary, not giving any kind of contact info for his daughter(s) and then isn't heard from again, only mentioned as a factor they can't depend upon or talk to.

I was always confused by this change of character and find it to be one BIG hole in the story of the show. I'd love to hear why this happened. Did they need him to be a craptastic dad to keep the story going or had they forgotten who he really was? Sure, if he'd been in contact reach, Buffy probably wouldn't have ended up raising Dawn after Joyce died, which might have been a reason to keep him away.

The fact that he wasn't told Buffy died wasn't very surprising to me for three reasons. 1. They turned him douchy, so why would the scoobies tell him? couldn't contact him even if they wanted to. 2. He could have reacted in a way that would blow their cover of Sunnydale still being protected by a Slayer, like say take away Dawn. 3. They didn't tell him because he'd take away Dawn and since he wasn't a part of her life anymore, or for the last 5 years (so to speak), Dawn probably didn't want to move away, leaving the only family she knew and felt safe with (Tara was probably a big reason right there. She took over the "mom role" a lot for Dawnie, which we could see during season 6). The second and third option is the ones that's been logical to me since the show aired.

It also just occurred to me, he did show up in season 6 "Normal Again", and in that episode he was still married to Joyce, and wanted what was best for Buffy. Glad they didn't split them up during that episode as well, felt very logical for him to be there and reminded at least me of what we were missing. He also showed a lot of concern for his daughter. Notice how much he keeps looking over at Buffy during the meeting with the doctor..?

I liked Hank (especially since he was played by Dean Butler, whom I had a major crush on when I was a kid since he played "Almanzo Wilder" on 'Little House On The Prairie' ;)) and I missed that he didn't play a part of the Summers girls lives, even a small one.

But I guess it's like what was said in a discussion on another forum I frequent. The men of Buffy didn't always appear very strong but instead just supported the progress of Buffy herself. Hank was probably a casualty in that.. who knows?
I think you make some really great points. I fell that by the time season 5/6 rolled around it was more if the character of Hank didn't really exist. It was more of "oh yeah Buffy does have a Dad but you know he's just too busy doing his own thing"

Here's a thought though, perhaps that they didn't tell Hank that Buffy was dead was due to the fact that all along they planned to "save her from hell". I mean personally that would be a lot to explain - one second your daughters dead and then magically she reapears.
I think that maybe when it comes to Hank they were possibly just opting for clumsy story-telling much in the way they did with Riley in terms of ousting a charcater who no longer served their immediate interests. They wanted Buffy and Dawn on their own and so derived a story where Hank was no unreliable and all of a sudden 'cheated' on choice (according to Buffy's assumptions. Giles was supposed to be daddy figure - no room for a second. I agree though, it always seemed strange to me that he didn't at least come for Dawn who was very much still a minor.
I always figured that it was the monks doing. That they cut Hank out of the girls life to make them more reliant on each other.