The ABCs of Sunnydale

Sheila Rosenberg:

Debut -- Gingerbread (Season 3)

Last Seen -- Same Episode

We first meet Sheila, Willow's mom, at the town meeting that Joyce Summers has arranged in order to talk about Sunnydale's latest horror -- two dead kids found in the park. Anyhoo, the timing of her entrance is interesting, because Willow's just finished telling Bunny, I mean, Buffy, that her mom's not big into taking an interest in her or..this kind of thing.

Basically, Sheila doesn't seem to notice or know too much about her daughter -- she just now remarks on Willow's haircut...which Willow got a few months ago! -- and she even calls Buffy "Bunny". Plus she had no idea that Willow was dating a "musician" (yeah you know, he's just going by Oz these days). Sheila's pretty much into her work, big-time, I guess.

It's kind of hard to reconcile this characterization of Willow's mom given the info. that we'd gotten in seasons 1 and 2. For example, after Cordy makes a snide remark about Willow's outfit in Welcome to the Hellmouth, Willow tells her that her mom picked it out for her. Also, in season 2, Willow explains to Giles what the "round robin" calling is...when they call their folks and say they're staying at each other's houses overnight, when in reality they're having a "research party." So it's like, yeah, in season 2, the unseen (by us) parents seem to care where their kids are...But this characterization makes it seem like her mom doesn't really care about what she's up to in the least. Earlier in the ep., Willow mentions that her mom's not interested in her extracurricular (and curricular!) activities. I mean, Sheila doesn't really seem to know what's up with Willow...

Then again, in Lie to Me, she does call upstairs to Willow about going to bed or something. So who knows. Hey maybe she's just the kind of mom who pushes her daughter to be an overachiever or something, and doesn't really notice or care about too much else..I don't know. All I'm saying is, this characterization was unexpected. I can't really explain it, so just plunge, I mean, accept, and move on.

Anyhoo, Sheila remarks to Joyce and Giles that there's a rumor that witches may be responsible for the deaths of the little kids. That also freaks Willow some, since she's kinda witchly, and her mom doesn't know it.

If we believe Willow...and why shouldn't we...we know that Sheila's never grounded Willow before. This time, though, Sheila gets upset when Willow tries to explain who she is and that she's not just having some teen rebellion. Later, Sheila is part of a mob that takes Willow down to the City Hall to be burned at the stake. Sure she's under a spell, but hey, that's pretty harsh. She also makes plans to have lunch with Joyce after this is all over.

Well, anyway, the next thing we know, Willow tells Buffy that her mom's doing the "selective memory thing" that Buffy's mom used to be so good at...but that she did remember that Willow's dating someone and now she wants to meet him. So who knows, maybe her mom's more interested in her daughter's activities than Willow thinks!

According to the Dingo Action! for this episode, Sheila could have made Mexican Surprise for the dinner meeting with Oz...

Sweet Little Sheila?*

  • She co-authored a paper about the rise of mysticism among adolescents.
  • She probably still doesn't allow Willow to have boys in her room.
  • Okay, who else wants to meet Ira Rosenberg?

*Snagged this phrase from "Sheila" -- sung by Tommy Roe.

That's about it for Sheila this time out. Don't know if she remembered those lunch plans she had with Joyce or what...

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Pic courtesy of Sunnydale High School

This page last updated April 10, 1999

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