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April 2002

Happy Easter, Folks & of course, a poem -- Brian, 05:12:23 03/31/02 Sun


Pale dawn beams break
The night of longest sorrow,
Of blood cries,
Of loss and lost.

Pale dawn beams ignite
The blooded tree,
Where hung a broken, twisting man.

Pale dawn beams strike
Three weeping ladies,
Joined by shared experience,
Witness to what they can hardly understand.

Pale dawn beams pierce
The soul of a haunted man,
Three echoed Nos benumb his being with blinding light,

Pale dawn beams reveal
Cast off rock,
Cast off garment,
Foretelling Salvation Light!

[> Thanks so much, Brian. -- Cactus Watcher, 05:25:10 03/31/02 Sun

[> Cool poem. Thanx Brian. -- Rattletrap, 05:40:04 03/31/02 Sun

[> Re: Happy Easter indeed! -- Dedalus, 08:14:43 03/31/02 Sun

[> speaking of poems Brian... I've finally figured out the links -- Liq, 11:51:00 03/31/02 Sun

[> Thanks Brian -- Rufus, 14:32:12 03/31/02 Sun

[> Thanks, Brian. Very nice. -- OnM, 19:05:13 03/31/02 Sun

[> Thanks... this is why I can't stay away from this board too long! -- Nina, 21:10:34 03/31/02 Sun

[> So Brian, how's the walk-about? -- Masq, 09:06:14 04/01/02 Mon

[> [> Re: Out - In America : So far, so good, with mostly short trips -- Brian, 10:11:23 04/01/02 Mon

Stop the Insanity: The Marti Interview -- Slayer_Tea_Party, 07:33:45 03/31/02 Sun

You know, even if I am the only Buffy fan who feels this way, I really loved the Marti interview with Wanda. I never really liked Marti until I read what she had to say yesterday. For the life of me, I can't figure out why everyone is so upset. I don't think Marti said anything that anyone with a modicum of common sense about the reality of B/S couldn't see.

[> Here Here! -- Another Marti supporter, 09:59:23 03/31/02 Sun

I think sometimes B/S fans who spend a lot of time with other B/S fans start to think all Buffy fans are B/S fans. But they don't speak for all of us, and I was very relieved to hear what Marti had to say.

[> [> Re: Here Here! -- ravenhair.....1st post at gentle! :-), 15:59:25 03/31/02 Sun

There seems to be such division among fans right now and even if you aren't a shipper, that's become a clicque too! Will we begin to see raised flags in preparation for battle? I appreciated Marti's comments during her interview. At least she made herself available during rerun hell for the Buffy fans. I think way too much is being made of it, though. She promised good things to come, why not trust her?

End of rant :-)

[> [> [> Welcome to the board -- Rufus, 19:24:48 03/31/02 Sun

I really don't find much fault with what MN is saying. I feel that some of her words were aimed at some of the more extreme shippers. It would be frustrating to me if I wrote a show with a complex storyline and all some people wanted to know pertains to their ship of choice only.

[> [> [> [> But that's rather my point. -- Traveler, 22:24:57 03/31/02 Sun

"I really don't find much fault with what MN is saying. I feel that some of her words were aimed at some of the more extreme shippers. It would be frustrating to me if I wrote a show with a complex storyline and all some people wanted to know pertains to their ship of choice only."

I'm a rabid S/B shipper, but I also avoid future spoilers like the plague. I really don't want to know what Marti thinks about Spike and Buffy's relationship. Firstly, because she doesn't just give you her take on things; she also treats the fans who think differently from her like idiots. I don't mind someone telling me I'm wrong, but nobody likes to be insulted. Secondly, Marti doesn't stop there. She doesn't just tell us what she thinks is going on, but she also implies things about the future, which so far have pretty much been coming true. That REALLY pisses me off. She's angry because some of the fans care more about some characters than others, so she baits them? Does that make sense? I've read interviews by other BtVS authors who don't do that at all. They may describe where the show is standing, but they don't give any clues about where it is going. "Spike and Buffy are in a bad place right now. It's not healthy. That's not to say that it couldn't possibly get healthy, but it's not right now." If Buffy and Spike never reunite, I can accept that. If it's done well, I may even grow to be glad they broke it off. Also, just because I'm not asking as many questions about Xander and Anya's relationship doesn't mean that I'm not interested in that and other plotlines. Maybe I'm not AS interested, but should I really have to apoligize for that? Regardless, what I don't want is the writers telling me what's going to happen. That way, I CAN ACTUALLY WATCH THE SHOW.

[> [> [> [> Re: Welcome to the board -- Cleanthes, 10:55:05 04/01/02 Mon

I would define extreme shippers as those who want a perfect relationship to be portrayed and then frozen in amber, and then, still have the relationship remain as a continuing fascination and story-point for future episodes. Eg., they want their water dry and their triangles to have four sides. They're really mad when they can't get this!

Such folks do exist, although I don't see evidence of such among the posters on this forum.

Whenever a writer discusses the fans, it's an unfortunate result of the way fans get their views known that the writer will most remember the shrillest voices and then comment as if these voices were more representative than they really are. I don't look much at other Buffy discussion places after being chased off of alttvbvs, but I've observed that forums have a lifespan almost like organisms - parasites collect and eventually cancer sets in.

Over time, those with lots of time on their hands and very shrill attitudes will take over, all other things being equal. The official forum will experience this phenomena first, because the shrill fans will go there first, to make their irritated points where they imagine it will do the most good. Alas, that's where the writers will take their cues. (I have seen it with the X-files & the Xena forums.)

[> [> [> Re: Here Here! -- Rattletrap, 14:24:52 04/01/02 Mon

Welcome, ravenhair.

I also rather appreciated Marti's comments, and find myself increasingly sharing some of her articulated views on extreme "shippers." Buffy and Spike have a sort of John Wayne and Mareen O'Hara chemistry--it has a great spark and is wonderful to watch, but it will completely collapse if they're ever allowed to be happy. While I like B&S from a dramatic standpoint, I really don't think it will last, and it probably shouldn't.

On another note, my memory of past interviews with Marti (and other ME writers for that matter) is that everything she says usually turns out to be true in some very loose sense of the word, but always misleading. I wouldn't read too much in to anything she says, and I'm pretty sure she's smugly laughing down her sleeve at all of us trying to figure out what's up (which is exactly what I would be doing in her position, so I can't complain).

[> [> [> [> Re: Here Here! -- Anne, 15:38:21 04/01/02 Mon

Yeah, but when John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara get together at the very end, as in for instance "The Quiet Man", it works just fine.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Here Here! -- Rattletrap, 08:14:48 04/02/02 Tue

Only because that was the end of the movie! If the show would have gone on it would've just turned into McLintock! :-)

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Here Here! -- Anne, 13:48:27 04/02/02 Tue

I agree. I'm not looking for them exactly to marry and settle down together happily ever after, even at the end. But I would kind of like to see them pointed in each others' direction, as it were, as they ride into the sunset . . .

[> [> [> [> Thanks for the warm welcome! :-) -- ravenhair, 15:42:28 04/01/02 Mon

Thanks for welcoming me to the board everyone! I'm a new fan to the show (late S5)but while catching up on FX I've realized if you watch the show for a particular relationship, you'll most certainly be disappointed.

My take on the S/B relationship is that it was written as a catalyst for change in both characters. Buffy was just "going through the motions" of being a slayer and Spike was struggling with his identity after Buffy's resurrection. Something had to give, and the sexcapades was a clever way to kickstart their journey to self-discovery. This makes for a more interesting story IMHO.

I'm all for S/B riding off into the sunset one day, but I won't be upset if it never happens. Glad to see others who feel the same.

[> [> [> [> [> I can only agree......:) -- Rufus, 19:29:49 04/01/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> ditto here -- Rattletrap, 08:16:12 04/02/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Thanks for the warm welcome! :-) -- Traveler, 19:50:36 04/02/02 Tue

"I'm all for S/B riding off into the sunset one day..."

Much healthier for Spike than riding off into the sunrise...

I WILL be disappointed if S/B doesn't eventually work out, but so long as the story is good, I'll get over it.

[> It didn't make sense to me. -- bookworm, 10:28:52 03/31/02 Sun

1. They've spent the past two years showing that Spike has been changed by his love for Buffy and by the chip. Two years ago he was willing to kill Willow, yes, though I remember him also offering to turn her into a vampire. For him, that may have been the ultimate compliment. But after that, Spike suffered torture rather than reveal that Dawn was the Key; he took care of Dawn and helped the Scoobies after Buffy was dead and there was no chance of garnering favor with her; he has, in general, shown evidence of no longer being evil. If they didn't want us to like him or believe in the change, maybe they shouldn't have written it or directed the actors to play it differently.

2. Marti Noxon said that Spike and Buffy couldn't have a normal life and she couldn't see them arguing over television programs together. That's fairly nonsensical. First of all, Buffy isn't normal. She's a Slayer with a taste for S&M and a real dark side. Spike's a good match for that side of her. But he's ALSO pretty good company for the human side of her or would be if she let herself go with it. He's a TV addict. He paints his nails. He's into interior decoration. He's very up on what's going on in 2002. This season we've seen them discussing interior decoration. We've seen them socializing at a bar. We've seen them playing cards at Buffy's birthday party. We've also seen Spike watching television with DAWN, comfortable and at home. Spike's capable of fitting into Buffy's day to day existence and into her life with the Scoobies. Buffy's the one with the barriers. Again, maybe she should go back and look at what she's written. What she's saying now doesn't wash with what we've seen on the screen. I'm not seeing "Marti's favorite mistake" or understanding why Spike/Buffy is evil/wrong/bad from what she's written. I doubt Marti and her bad boy inspiration were a vampire and a vampire slayer. Maybe that's the problem.

3. The audience is capable of interpreting material for themselves. If she has to tell us what she meant to write, there's a problem there.

[> [> Re: It didn't make sense to me. -- Slayer_Tea_Party, 10:46:41 03/31/02 Sun

Okay, but the writers drastically changed what was between B/S to something VERY unhealthy. Spike was used as an instrument this season in Buffy's self-destruction. Because of the way Buffy has been acting this season, I think that that is fairly obvious. True, last season we saw a reeling, devastated Spike at Buffy's death, but due to writing changes, that has all but disappeared. I agree there was some tension and chemistry, but a "relationship" it does not make. To be honest, a lot of the B/S shippers frighten me. Some of them must be 10 years old as they say how "cute they are together." Um, hi, many people have based a "relationship" this season on physical violence, emotional abuse and sex on dumpsters. Clearly anyone can see that this match can't last. It doesn't matter what B/S are in the future, nothing that starts out the way they did can last. Also, the times that they've had sex in the various disturbing locations, Buffy has had an utter look of sheer horror on her face. This coupled with the complete meldown to Tara about her actions makes for one unhealthy match.

On top of everything, people keep forgetting that after everything Buffy has been through and all the painful relationships she has had, gee, wouldn't it be nice to have some alone time to figure things out?? Buffy can't handle a relationship, and all the fans who want to throw her into one, since she obviously has issues to work out first, frighten me. As Marti wonderfully said, Buffy doesn't define herself by her relationships.

[> [> [> Re: It didn't make sense to me. -- leslie, 11:08:13 03/31/02 Sun

"As Marti wonderfully said, Buffy doesn't define herself by her relationships."

And this, I think, is what disturbs me about the comments: it seems to buy into the belief that "not being defined by your relationships" means "not having relationships." Is it really choice when you can only choose to be alone, and not choose to be with someone? Is it really choice when you can only choose to have "good girl" relationships and not messy, dangerous, darkly sexual relationships? Or is only Faith allowed that choice--and then be punished for it? Given that Buffy's appeal lies so largely in her breaking of conventional roles for women, it does feel rather nauseating to hear someone in charge of her development voicing opinions that seem to only reinforce these stereotypes. I can only hope that Marti is making these statements from a position of surreal irony.

[> [> [> [> Exactly. Life includes relationships. -- bookworm, 11:46:24 03/31/02 Sun

Buffy is still Buffy, whether she's with Spike or Angel or Parker or Riley or sitting on a rock alone in the middle of the ocean. But I don't want to watch Buffy on the rock. It sounds like a boring show. Frankly, at this point I like Spike a hell of a lot better than Buffy or her Scoobie friends. It annoys me that the writers are ignoring his shift from an evil to a gray character and claiming that he's not good enough for Buffy. I'll like him just as well away from Buffy. It's only that he's likely to get more air time as Buffy's significant other, since the show is called "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and not "Spike the Big Bad."

[> [> [> [> [> Life includes lots of things, including good, bad, and no relationships. -- Ian, 12:19:30 03/31/02 Sun

I too enjoyed MN's interview. How is voicing her perspective an affront to members of the fan community? JW, MN and inc. have done an exemplary job of evolving the characters, and it doesn't just dumbfound me how she could potentially be annoyed that so many fans don't like or even recognize their efforts.

In defense of Marti's statement that Buffy should not be "defined" by her relationships, I would like to submit court's evidence, article one: "Spuffy."

Although this is only a fan term and is mostly used for convenience, how could one manage to further define Buffy by her relationships? How about Mrs. William the Bloody? (Maybe it's just me, but the whole Mrs. (Insert Husband's name here) just freaks me out. And yes, I am aware Spike and Buffy are not hitched. Shackled and handcuffed at times, but not actually married.)

Also, the more sinister aspects in Buffy and Spike's relationship have not been suddenly inserted-- they have been central to the dynamic since the beginning and have evolved with it--Spike manipulates Buffy and Buffy rejects and smacks Spike. Sounds like a match made in heaven.

Marti also didn't say that Spike wasn't good enough for Buffy so much as she pointed out how profoundly unsuitable they are for each other. I have enjoyed the twists and turns of the whatever it is they have as much as the next fan, but I've never actually believed they were good for each other.

As far as the "life includes relationships" argument, life also includes no romantic relationships, unhealthy, twisted relationships, loving and committed relationships, and time between relationships. Marti didn't explicitly say Buffy would be without a relationship, she just said Buffy wouldn't be DEFINED by those relationships. Also, who can say whether she was referring to the fan perspective of those relationships--for which Marti is not responsible--or if she was instead referring to Buffy's own perspective on her relationships, for which Marti is responsible?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Life includes lots of things, including good, bad, and no relationships. -- DickBD, 14:08:10 03/31/02 Sun

Obviously, they have a dilemma, as they can never put Buffy in a permanent relationship, as that would be boring. But a Buffy-Spike relationship might be the least boring!

My concern is that they sound like they are going to drop Spike from the series and may not be mindful of how compelling a character they have created in his case.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Actually, I'd say Buffy IS defined by her relationships. -- bookworm, 21:19:54 03/31/02 Sun

We see who she is based on her interactions with Giles, Xander, Willow, her mother, Dawn, Spike, Angel, Riley, the vampires. Without them, what would the show be? It's an ensemble show. Sarah Michelle Gellar alone wouldn't cut it. I watch the show more for the relationships and the character development than for the monsters of the week. At this point the dynamic between Buffy and Spike is a lot more interesting to me than Willow's addiction, Dawn's thievery, Buffy's crappy fast food job or Xander's relationship problems. I'm a lot less likely to keep watching if they show only Willow's addiction or righteous Buffy kicking around or killing "evil" Spike. Yes, the "Spuffy" nickname is silly, but it's a fairly common soap opera fan thing to give favorite couples a nickname. Buffy's akin to a soap and it draws a lot of the same fans. Those people probably are watching the show primarily for Buffy's love relationships.

[> [> [> [> [> Have to Agree with You -- Spike Lover, 19:22:14 04/01/02 Mon

I love Spike. I always have. Did someone say Spike is not good enough for Buffy? I don't think she measures up for him at all. I can't understand what he sees in her. And if that goody-two-shoes can't appreciate him, then let the writers write in a woman that can!!

[> [> [> [> [> [> whatever -- JBone, 19:51:35 04/01/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Exactly. Life includes relationships. -- Slayer_Tea_Party, 10:48:43 04/02/02 Tue

Um, okay. Once again, I didn't say that Buffy should NEVER be in a relationship, but it makes absolutely no sense to throw her into one now when she clearly isn't ready for it! Buffy has some serious issues to work out since Angel that she never cleared up. If she gets into a relationship now, then she will never grow. Buffy is typical in that lots of people with problems get into a relationship thinking that this will fix their issues. That is totally impossible, and I think Marti clearly addressed this. When she said that "it was obvious to her and the team about B/S" I agree. It's really obvious to me, like a giant clue brick fell out of the sky and hit my skull. There is no way that B/S can work. The "relationship" is based on very shaky ground, and can't be fixed in a season. Spike and Drusilla were clearly the better match. I'm just glad that Marti reiterated that the show was going back to its old glory days such as Spike, etc...People, s6 happened and failed considering the huge outcry of people who are upset. It was an experiment, but I think a lot more people would be happier to see the show retain some of the qualities that we once knew it for.

[> [> [> [> [> [> I don't agree with you about Spike and Drusilla. -- bookworm, 18:58:46 04/02/02 Tue

Spike's not an evil character anymore; Drusilla isn't what he wants. His wanting to return to that old way of being is quite a bit like Buffy wanting to retreat back into her safe, childhood world where she isn't the Slayer. Can't be done. When Spike fell in love with Buffy, he was sentenced to growth. Even if he isn't with Buffy, he is on a journey towards something more fulfilling. I also disagree that Spike and Buffy can't work. There's a connection there that has existed whether they're together or apart, hate or like each other. I think a relationship with Spike is exactly what she needs to work out who she is and work through her problems. He's a catalyst, a prod, to make her integrate her darker side with her light and accept adulthood. It may not be a pretty thing, but the relationship has a purpose. It may be healthy for Buffy to be completely alone and see a therapist to work through her issues. That isn't real life and it's not entertainment. I'd wager there are as many people who like Season 6 and Buffy/Spike together as there are who dislike it. You want a return to the old Buffy? I could draw a parallel with Buffy's desire to return to childhood. Change happens. Ambiguity and gray areas happen. Once they showed me the Spike who suffered torture rather than give up Dawn, they couldn't satisfy me with a return to the old black and white vampires always evil/Slayer always good format.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Huh? -- Slayer_Tea_Party, 07:48:47 04/03/02 Wed

What show are you watching? Once again, Spike has been "good" for 2 years, and how long did he spend with Dru and how long was he evil? Wow, I wish I lived in your world where 2 years of "good deeds" righted over a hundred years of horrible, murderous wrongs. I still say that Spike and Dru were a hell of a lot more interesting together than Spike and Buffy.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Your view doesn't seem to allow for growth or change, which is more interesting. -- bookworm, 08:15:39 04/03/02 Wed

Evil Spike would be more of the same. Spike in love with Buffy is a character who has been turned upside down. And yes, I do believe in forgiveness, redemption, and second chances. If we were never allowed to make a new start in the world, if we were always held accountable for the worst that we'd done and never the best, it would be a tragically depressing world. I'm not even sure that Spike of the past 120 years can be counted as an evil creature -- more like a dangerous creature it's best for humans to avoid. It's a vampire's instinct to kill for food and to kill for fun. I see vampires more as a different species than a great evil. It's been interesting to see Spike reined in by the chip and being forced to start viewing some humans as something other than food. That's far more interesting than Spike and Drusilla cutting a swathe through humans of Sunnydale.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Your view doesn't seem to allow for growth or change, which is more interesting. -- Slayer_Tea_Party, 10:19:49 04/03/02 Wed

You believe in second chances? Okay, but how many people do you have to kill before a lightbulb goes off that says, "Oh, gee, that is kinda evil"? Spike redeeming himself to a human state is a stupid idea. You don't think there was any character growth at all when Spike was evil?? I TOTALLY disagree. Evil characters can have growth as well, and Spike had developed into an even more complex and dynamic creature before the writers started screwing with him. The main point, which IMO is irrefutable, is that Angel redeemed himself with a soul, and if Spike is able to as well it creates a HUGE cloud of doubt around the show. The question becomes "Well, who's to say that other vampires can't redeem themselves as well...why kill them" If you believe that everyone can redeem themselves and deserves a second chance (something I disagree with) then that question should apply to you since you probably wouldn't like the idea of Buffy killing vamps that could at some point redeem themselves. It's ludicrous. You can't have a question that fractures the entire premise of the show: a vampire SLAYER. When Buffy kills them, she does it and moves on without getting involved in the touchy feely crap of redemption. You wouldn't even have a show if that were the case.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> As interesting as the questions that Spike's current state raises are... -- AngelVSAngelus, 13:03:50 04/03/02 Wed

What Tea Party is saying is something I've stated before as worrisome: Tuesday night's primetime hit Buffy the Muddled Mess of Grayness. Look, personal belief in the real world ideas of redemption and forgiveness is a completely and totally separated issue from not wanting the show to collapse upon its own contradicting its past.
I agree with you, Spike's character now raises alot of cool questions. But if they take him into the direction of redemption, as opposed to leave him as a "not good not bad" character, then the show will implode. Party's right, how do you justify killing others vamps if any of them can allegedly up and decide to be good if they want to? That's the reason that Buffy has a problem with killing human beings, is it not?
This all gives me an idea for another post....

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: As interesting as the questions that Spike's current state raises are... -- Cooke, 17:52:29 04/04/02 Thu

Buffy is a soldier fighting a war. She killed vampires from the brothell in ITW who had not been seen as dangorous and this was presented as morally questionable. Usually she only kills in defence of her species. When defending herself and her loved ones she killed the Knights in Spiral who were humans and theretically acting from good intentions although they were seriously misguided. They were capable of redemption I'm sure but Buffy was defending others and didn't have time to think about that. Therefore I have no problem with her killing threats to humanity. It's her job as a soldier fighting a nightly war.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: As interesting as the questions that Spike's current state raises are... -- Doug_The_Bloody, 19:20:18 04/04/02 Thu

Their are 2 fundamental views you can take on what Buffy's job as the Slayer is:

A) Kill demons/Punish the guilty

B) Protect Humanity/Protect the innocent

In most situations Buffy ends up in the 2 are linked, but the 2 options diverge when she encounters a Demon or other Beastie who is not actively preying on Humans. Spike is a prime example: while he has done great evil and is soulless, he is incapable of harming the human population of Sunnydale and even helps by fighting against the local demons and vampires.

As the show has progressed I believe it has showcased the flaws in the aggressive philosophy A, and has grown to favor the defensive philosophy B. I personally destinctly prefer the B philosophy.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Buffy will always kill to protect the world and to save the innocent. -- bookworm, 19:51:02 04/05/02 Fri

I prefer the show with its gray areas, including a gray Spike who is capable of being redeemed. If Buffy killed Spike now, just because he's a vampire, she'd be wrong. She knows it and the audience knows it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Adulthood's not black and white; the world's not black and white. -- bookworm, 19:56:19 04/05/02 Fri

If the theme of the show this season is "Oh, Grow Up," then it can't give you back your safe little black and white first season Buffy world. I don't think Buffy will ever have a problem killing something supernatural that is threatening an innocent human life, even if it might potentially develop a soul. She's not going to start agonizing over whether to kill the demons in the split second before they take off her head. She'd stake Spike if he went back on a rampage. But I don't think he will. But I've been very happy with the Spike who's not good and not evil, but is somewhere in between. He's much more interesting this way.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> The Redemption of Angelus -- Malandanza, 08:47:23 04/03/02 Wed

"A man can change" -- Spike

And vampires can change. With Angelus, we saw a change from newly vamped Liam (who wasn't much different from unvamped Liam -- self-indulgent, hedonistic, impulsive -- aside from the homicidal tendencies) to Angelus -- artistic, cultured, thoughtful. (I would argue that it was Angelus who developed an interest in art and literature -- Angel spent his time skulking in alleys, feeling sorry for himself and his past victims and eating rats).

Angelus spent a great deal more time inhibited by a soul than Spike has spent with a chip -- yet, in Season Two, he was still a monster. Why didn't the decades of soul-induced remorse leave an impression -- at least a trace that the Judge could detect? Part of the problem was that Angelus' Angel period was devoid of any positive associations. Until he met Buffy, his life was wasted -- but even afterward, there was no love lost between Angel and the Scoobies. Buffy was obsessed with his image, not him -- as was Willow (living vicariously through the Buffy/Angel romance). Xander hated him; Giles was decidedly unsettled by him even before Angelus tortured him. Even the Buffy romance had more unpleasant associations than good one -- remember when Joyce retroactively decided she should become a mother and lectured Angel about how wrong it was for him to be dating a teenaged girl with her whole life ahead of her? Angel agreed -- that's part of why he left. So it's no wonder that he reverted to Angelus when he lost his soul.

Compare his interactions in Sunnydale with those in LA. He has true friends. Doyle, Cordelia, Wesley and Gunn all love him for himself -- not just because his brooding, dangerous and mysterious -- for the first time in his unlife. What would happen if Angel lost his soul now? I think it is clear that he would renounce his previous hateful existence and carry on the good fight. He has known love and it has changed him. In fact, it may have already happened -- why didn't he lose his soul with Darla? During that moment of true despair, the second part of the curse "one moment where the soul that we restored no longer plagues his thoughts, and that soul is taken from him" is fulfilled. Why didn't Darla "smell" a soul on him after they had had sex? The answer is clear: Angel lost his soul and what we have seen on AtS for the past year and a half is a redeemed Angelus -- redeemed by the love of his friends.

So there is a precedent for Spike's change -- two years as a human can change a vampire. However, Spike's case is more like Angelus' from Season Two right now -- he isn't loved by his "friends" -- they all (even Buffy) hate him. His associations with the human world are all negative -- he tries to fit in, to do good, and they punish him (as Angel was punished in AYNoHYEB). If the chip is removed, he'll revert to evil and it will be the (partially) Scoobies' fault. He has made things difficult for them, certainly -- a recent example was Buffy telling Spike about he disastrous wedding (treating him as a friend and human being) only to have Spike turn around not 5 minutes later and mock Xander for his pain. There's still work to do - Spike isn't ready for redemption yet, but someday he may follow in Angelus' path and become a noble vampire, fighting the forces of darkness not for a reward, but because it's the right thing to do.

We can only hope.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The Redemption of Angelus -- Slayer_Tea_Party, 10:04:54 04/03/02 Wed

Well, I don't hope for a Spike redemption because it doesn't make any sense. If Angel could redeem himself, followed by Spike, then you have a huge issue as to why even kill vamps if they CAN be redeemed. That's stupid. Vamps are evil..if anything, the show has always been a constant of good vs evil. I mean, who's to say which vamps in the future that Buffy slays could also turn "good." BTW, I liked Angel more as Angelus. His moaping, brooding self as Angel was quite boring. At least as Angelus, he was more fascinating.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Vampires are the metaphor for true evil in the world -- Masq, 20:32:39 04/03/02 Wed

The sad, but true fact that not everyone in the real world can be redeemed. Not all murderers and serial killers will come to feel remorse eventually if given enough therapy or love. They get out of jail, out of social programs, and kill again.

And our only defense is to imprison or kill them.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Vampires are the metaphor for true evil in the world -- Ian, 22:19:12 04/03/02 Wed

Great points Masq. (I'll try to be brief, but I'm so much better at rambling.)

I'm all for redemption, but there is such a thing as a lost cause. Does society have the right to kill or to incarcerate those who have killed and will almost certainly kill again? For our sake, let's hope so. Is it society's responsibility to ensure that each and every killer has the opportunity to grow and to be redeemed? That's a lot trickier. From my perspective, the responsibility of redemption lies in the killer's own hands, not in the hands of those who must stop him.

The whole question of redemption is an important and interesting one, but in the Buffyverse, it isn't simply a question of human rights, it is a question of the nature of good and evil. Vampires are not people, and in fact they are not even alive. Hence the label of "undead." They represent evil, and the desire to do evil. What's more, they are represented as enjoying it. If vampires are so anxious to grow and mend their killing ways, why do we see no evidence of this? They have had thousands of years to become peaceful and loving, but they have not done so. This should tell us something.

Even if one believes vampires act out of instinct rather than malevolence when they feed of humans, does that mean that humans must let them? Isn't it also natural for humans to seek to stop them? Humanity has developed a moral code to govern behavior, animals have not. Even if there is a lion snacking on a child, and that lion has no particular grudge towards that child, the child's parent still has a right to stop the lion. It's called "that's the way the world works." Just because humans attempt to live by an ethical standard, it doesn't mean the rest of creation must follow suit. In fact, the rest of creation cannot follow suit.

One thing I really haven't seen mentioned in the Spike and redemption debate is how growth and progress are not irreversible. Yes, Spike's behavior has changed, but there is no precedent in the world that says IT MUST CONTINUE in the same vein. To have the possibility of betterment, you must have the possibility of degradation. It's fluid. Like the saying goes, "if there was no way to lose, there would be no way to win."

Also, arguments that vampires can be redeemed en masse apparently gloss over the fact that all of this speculation is based on TWO exceptions to the rule--Angel has a soul, and Spike has a "morality" chip. Give me a rule and I'll find an exception, but that doesn't invalidate the rule, it merely modifies it.

Vampires in both shows are shown to lack a moral compass or any inclination to acquire one. Yes, Spike has been behaving in less overtly violent fashion for the past two seasons, but just how much of this is due to his love for Buffy and how much is attributable to his chip are unanswerable questions. If and until his chip is removed, no one will know what Spike can or will do, and that probably includes Spike himself.

Lastly, the assertion that love has "re-shaped" Spike's basic character, and has done so permanently, seems based on some weak psychology. Spike was also in love with Drusilla, and that didn't seem to make him a humanitarian. Also, love is much closer to hate than it is to like. And although vampires may be potentially immortal, love is not. To survive, love too must change. Do vampires in general or Spike in particular have that capacity for emotional growth and maturity? For vampires in general, I say no. For Spike in particular, who knows?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Weighing in from the redemptionist side -- Sophist, 09:42:58 04/04/02 Thu

I can't speak for others, but when I say that all vampires "can" be redeemed, I mean it in a pretty theoretical sense. Kind of like saying that all Americans "can" grow up to be President. Doesn't mean it will happen.

I have no problem with what you say, but let's realize that your comments apply to people too. Not every person behaves morally. Some take longer to reach that point than others. The questions are: how long can we wait for them to achieve enlightenment? how much help do we give them? how do we protect ourselves in the meantime? Whatever answers you give to these questions for people, you should also give to vampires.

Does my heart bleed or what?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Human ethics and the world outside. -- Ian, 13:11:02 04/04/02 Thu

"I have no problem with what you say, but let's realize that your comments apply to people too.... Whatever answers you give to these questions for people, you should also give to vampires." -- Sophist

But why must I?

I support the concept of innate human rights, but vampires ARE NOT PEOPLE. If we set aside for a moment the whole "they don't exist in real life and exist in the Buffyverse to illustrate the concept or an unrestrained id," then what are vampires? Should they be considered human?

Although Angel, Spike and to an extent Harmony have evolved the concept of vampires on the show, they have never been portrayed as the norm. The norm, or every other vampire, sustain their un- lives by eating people. Yes, vampires CAN survive off non-human blood, but other than the aforementioned Angel, have any ever been shown to do so? Or want to?

I realize we as viewers have only seen a slice of the vampire world pie, but we don't create that reality, only comment on it. I'm all for thought exercises, but to my mind, the Buffyverse is exactly how it is portrayed. Vampires are mystical creatures abiding in the bodies of the dead. The person dies, the vampire takes up residence.

If human morality and the strictures of human behavior should be applied to vampires, should they also be applied to bacteria or eggplants? These are human concepts that have been imposed on a world outside of right or wrong. Personally, I treasure the concepts of liberty, compassion and human dignity, and I don't believe humans have the right to use the world as we will, but the world doesn't exist to mirror our beliefs. The world is not endowed with sentience. Kill or be killed, breed or face extinction--that's nature's ethos. This doesn't make nature good, and it doesn't make nature bad. Nature just is.

Vampires do not live by human laws, although their bodies' former occupants once did. Vampires are predators without a pulse. They burst into flame in sunlight and have an aversion to crosses. They are not human. People are born into different cultures, religions, world views. People have a degree of choice in their actions and responses. I don't see how vampirism in the Buffyverse can be equated to being Lutheran. These creatures are not human. Vampires do not live by human ethics, they are not bound by human laws or human physiology.

One characteristic of human culture is that it is enforced on those people living in it. If our morality apples to vampires, then should human standards of behavior be enforced on them? How about oxen?

I realize you are speaking of a theoretical situation, but even that must have some boundaries. Vampires are not confused teenagers, but are in another order of (un)life entirely. Perhaps their right is to NOT be included in our ethical worldview. If a vampire chooses, as Angel has done, to live by human ethics, then I can see him being both supported and constrained by those concepts. However, do you believe we as humans have the right or prerogative to apply our standards on non- humans, in violation of their own natures?
In the Buffyverse, Spike was given a chip, against his will. Although he is not human, he has been forced to adopt behavior humans find more palatable--namely, not eating people. Vampires are carnivores, they eat people. Lions have also been known to snack on humans, do we therefore have the right to alter their basic nature so they can only eat rice?

Of course, vampires are sentient, which implies they too have a measure of free will. If they have free will, guess what? That means they are already using it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> My simple (simplistic?) response -- Sophist, 14:11:36 04/04/02 Thu

Because Angel, at least, has shown it can be done. Once we realize it can be done, the only question is how far we are willing to go to do it.

And, for practical reasons, we need to know what is effective: the soul (Angel)?; the chip (Spike)?; peer pressure (Harmony)? (I put these in descending order of likely effectiveness.) I should add that the latter 2 issues arise with people. We do try to socialize people (Harmony). Although we haven't yet reached the stage of inserting chips, there are many behavioral modification methods we have tried for humans (Ritalin; anti-psychotics; castration for sex offenders). The morality of all these has been debated, as has the yet-to-be-tried chip (Clockwork Orange).

Your intended rhetorical question about lions may have different answers than you expect. If, for example, the choice is exterminating all lions because they pose an ineradicable danger to humans or converting them to herbivores, which is preferable? Before you answer that, ask yourself What is a housecat? Or a dog?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: My simple (simplistic?) response -- A8, 16:12:39 04/04/02 Thu

A housecat the size of a lion, even a theoretically vegetarian one, would still pose a serious threat to the public's safety and, as we in the SF Bay Area have learned in the past year (on more than one occasion), the right breed and size of dog can be as deadly as a rabid wolf.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> You raise some good points. -- Ian, 16:29:06 04/04/02 Thu

You make some interesting points. You pointed out that behavior modification is used on people, and that society has deemed it acceptable within limits. That's true. Also, good points on the ethics of lion management.

I suppose my main objection to the whole redeemable vampires issue resides in the question of the nature of their humanity. They think, they feel, and some have been shown to exercise free will, within limits. Of course, the same can be said for humans. As the nature of vampires has evolved during Buffy and Angel, I too feel the issue has become less black and white. Still, I can't get over that whole undead evil scourge of hell thing.

First and foremost, vampires in the Buffyverse are metaphors incarnate. They are not people, but aspects of people that have been twisted towards a definite "evil" inclination. My greatest objection to the redeemability of vampires lies in their unbalanced composition. It is because they lack the fundamental "machinery" of conscience that they are so limited. While they may not be incapable of doing good, they are incapable of WANTING to do good.

By focusing so much on Angel and Spike, that distinction has been terribly blurred. Still, both of these two examples have been "given" a conscience, of sorts. It's interesting to note that while Angel feels tremendous remorse for the actions of Angelus, Spike has never given any clues that he feels any guilt over his previous actions.

Still, my ill-fated lion analogy has come back to bite me. Is it better to wipe vampires out, or to manage them? I don't think this option is as easy as it may seem either. It seems to be that this method of controlling vampires rests on some arguable assumptions. Namely, that vampires are to lions as humans are to housecats. However, I lack the insight to really argue that affectively.

Vampires are mystical and demonic in nature, sentient but incomplete. Which is worse, to neuter them and rob them of their essence, or to kill them without compromising that essence? For me at least, neither option is really palatable. Yes they are evil and corrupt, but they are what they are. I'm not so sure humanity should have the right to re-make the world as we see fit, even should we have the means. (Killing them is at least within the workings of the world. Neutering is more akin to playing God.)

Sophist, you made some nice points, but I'm still uncomfortable with the either/or nature of the whole question, and how humans bear the one-sided responsiblity/blame of any answers.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Ian and A8 -- Sophist, 17:02:33 04/04/02 Thu

Thought I'd respond to both at once to keep the thread from going off the side of my screen.

To A8: I absolutely agree that dogs can still be dangerous. My point was that we have domesticated them successfully, with the exceptions more blameable on humans than the dogs.

Humans have gone through several stages with their predators: we hid from them; we killed them on sight (bounties for wolves were common until very recently); we isolated them on reserves; we altered them so that they no longer posed a threat. If you think about it, we've done pretty much the same with other humans we considered dangerous.

If these solutions were all tried and shown to be impossible for vampires, that would be one thing. My point was that, for better or worse (see Alvin's post way above), the show has shown us the opposite -- we have 2 examples where intervention has worked (more or less). Don't we have to follow that logic out to its full extent?

To Ian: Much of your reaction seems similar to Alvin's way above. The show itself is schizophrenic on this: one minute vampires are only evil, the next minute Angel is a champion or Spike is saving Buffy's life. Makes the whole issue much harder.

I don't believe humans are the ones bearing the whole responsibility, any more than law-abiding citizens bear the whole responsibility for criminals. But we do need to analyze our moral position because whether we act or refrain we are making a moral choice.

One last note. I checked the label on my dog's food. The first ingredient is rice.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Who could have guessed that rice in dog food would ever prove a point? -- Ian, 17:59:07 04/04/02 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I just hope that none of the "Spike is a changed puppy" types is on the local parole board;-) -- A8, 16:03:16 04/04/02 Thu

Otherwise, I may have to change my opinion against owning a gun for protection. Not really.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> LOL Too late. -- Ian, 16:55:08 04/04/02 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Keep in mind though that the whole point of Angel's curse and Spike's chip... -- A8, 12:13:54 04/04/02 Thu

...was to punish and confine, respectively, not to redeem the vamps. If they redeem themselves, it ends up being a bonus. Both conditions as imposed on the subjects present the possibility of effecting behavioral modification by inflicting pain. Some could say those are forms of torture. Others could say they are necessary measures to protect society. Others, such as Jenny Calendar's uncle, might even focus on the necessity to serve "vengeance".

The true test in my opinion would be whether, given what we have been shown of their respective characters pre-punishment, either Angelus or Spike could be redeemed by love alone without having been subjected to the punishment first. I very much doubt that. In this sense, I don't think vamps can be compared with human beings in terms of love and redemption.


[> [> [> I interpret it differently. -- bookworm, 11:38:40 03/31/02 Sun

Spike put it pretty well: "It may not be pretty, but it's real."
Without her relationship with Spike, I doubt Buffy would have lasted through the season. Sex and fighting with Spike has served as an outlet for her anger, aggression, sadness, depression, fear. He offered himself up as her punching bag quite deliberately in "Dead Things." He'd done so earlier in previous episodes. She's furious with Willow and Xander for ripping her out of heaven, but she can't take it out on them. Spike's a convenient target.
Is it unhealthy? Maybe, maybe not, but I think it's necessary. Buffy's conflict is with herself. She still wants to be a good little girl who fights vampires in a world where there's a clear line between good and evil. She can't bear for her friends to see her as capable of darkness. In fact, she's willing to, in effect, commit suicide or kill them in "Normal Again" rather than let them see she's capable of sex with Spike or being ambiguous. If Buffy's going to be a healthy woman, she has to integrate the darkness that very obviously exists in her with her essentially good side. That includes the woman who gets off on fighting and S&M sex; the woman who has sex in public; the woman who has instincts to violence and aggression and dominance. Those aren't bad things, but they are very adult and Buffy doesn't want to be an adult. It isn't just about the sex for Spike and Buffy. There's a weird bond that's existed from "School Hard." They know each other better than anyone else -- look back at the scenes in "Smashed" and "Wrecked." It's almost a shadow twin/soul mate phenomenon. For Spike the bond includes love; for Buffy it may be more like love-hate. Whatever it is, it's not casual. Like it or not, Buffy likes it rough. Physical violence between two consenting adults, a man and a woman with super strength, isn't disturbing or particularly unhealthy. The way she feels about it is, just as the way she emotionally abuses Spike is. But, again, the conflict lies in Buffy. She's got to accept herself, face up to the truth, stop running away from life, before she will be capable of any kind of relationship with her friends or her sister or her lover. I object to Marti Noxon's laying it all on Spike when the problem is with Buffy. As I said above, I think Spike's no longer evil, even though he may not be completely good, and that he's demonstrated the ability to fit into Buffy's world. I also reject the assertion that these two characters can't succeed in a long-term relationship.

[> [> [> Buffy so does define herself with by her relationships. -- Deeva, 23:44:09 03/31/02 Sun

I think that Buffy does define herself by the relationships that she has and do not have. I think that she defines herself as some what "complete" when she is in a relationship, regardless with who. Parker anyone? Yes, we all make bad decisions but for that one moment she was happy thinking that she was in a relationship with Parker. When she wasn't with anyone romantically, she felt awkward. Yeah, I know the fifth wheel feeling but, hey, it's up to you to overcome it and that doesn't necessarily mean going out and getting a boyfreind just so when you hang out with friends you won't be the odd one out.

As weird as it may sound I think that the only relationship that did not "feel right" or define her was the one she had with Riley. And maybe, to some degree, she felt that, too. Maybe that's where her distancing came in. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Riley hater or anything. I actually liked the guy and felt bad that he was getting the short end of the stake there.

The others felt more...right isn't the word that I'm looking for but I can't think of an equivilent. Angel was the all dark and destiny, soul guy. First ideal love, blah blah blah. Parker was what you did in college (pun not intended). Spike is...well, he's Spike. I'll say he's the conflicted affair. He's evil but not. He can be good but he's not that all the time. He's known to be one thing but acts in another way. Riley was Buffy's shot at normal, so to speak. Before we found out he wasn't all that normal. What is that? Is that really a path that one can chose?

I read Marti's comments with a grain of salt. Not saying she's lying or anything. Found it interesting but I can't help but think maybe she's just pushing our buttons. Marti says that Buffy doesn't define herslef by her relationships. If that were true then why would Buffy not feel comfortable being alone? She's actually not alone. She has her very loyal group of friends who now operate as her family. But then she doesn't really see that.

[> [> [> [> Re: Buffy so does define herself with by her relationships. -- LoriAnn, 03:55:58 04/01/02 Mon

So many are mad at MN for her comments. What difference is there between her comments and the comments of those who either attack or praise her? She knows what is going to happen is the difference. Yet, she never tells. Her remarks are all left open to interpretation. What's the difference between that and anyone else's speculation. There is none, and it all can be taken with a grain of salt. There seems to be a serious double standard: fans can write whatever they want, MN can't.
Also, a person who doesn't want to read what might happen shouldn't.

[> [> Quite frankly, that can work as much against you as for you -- Earl Allison, 13:08:56 03/31/02 Sun

You're right, we've seen two years of Spike, with a chip, behaving quite differently, something that, to many, signifies a genuine change.

Why not turn that around, and argue that since Spike has been evil and vicious for over a HUNDRED years, that the behavior of the past two was the questionable behavior -- that his true nature has been stunted by the chip? That we should be FAR more wary of this Spike, a Spike well outside his norm. Show me him WITHOUT the chip, and have him behave similarly -- then we'll talk. In the same vein, what we've seen the past two years doesn't wash with what we know of Spike at all before, does it?

Yes, they've shown us a Spike that took a LOT of punishment for Dawn and Glory -- the same Spike that thinks "no" means "yes" when he goes to Buffy for sex -- the same Spike that hid demon eggs -- the same Spike that, whether Buffy is a batterer or not, ENCOURAGES her to do so by behaving the same every time. I'm beginning to wonder if his comments to Buffy in "Normal Again" weren't just as telling for him -- she may seek out misery, but how do they put it? Misery loves company? Spike must love being pummelled -- didn't Buffy say as much in "Crush," that being hit was like third base? Sure, it was an off the cuff comment, but was it that far off?

I also take serious issue with the "Buffy likes S&M" and "Buffy has sex in public" comments coming along lately. Does she really? Are we sure, or does it have anything to do with the fact that Spike initiates those sessions? Spike provided the cuffs, Spike pinned her against the tree outside the Summers home, Spike took her in or near the Doublemeat Palace -- see a pattern? This could be as easily be interpreted as her mood problems with coming back from the dead coupled with going along with Spike for whatever reason (attraction, punishing herself, whatever).

Does she confide in Spike? Absolutely. Does he SEEM all right? Mostly, but I still wouldn't turn my back on him.

This is the same Spike that callously killed a teacher (and not even for any discernable need, such as food) in "School Hard." This is the Spike that killed two Slayers, and sought out a third, largely for the thrill of the kill -- and again, he didn't even feed on the one in the 1970's. Sure, he's been nice to Joyce, and has a thing for Buffy, but that doesn't change the fact that he tried to kill Willow in her dorm room, gave Xander a vicious concussion, locked the two in a warehouse to force Willow to cast a spell, and decided to go off to tie and torture Dru until she loved him again (another possible link towards Spike being the one with BDSM tendencies).

There are two sides to this, and whether Marti Noxon has shown us things sufficiently in depth here or not, that doesn't automatically make her comments useless. To say that Spike is obviously a better man is, IMHO, jumping the gun rather significantly.

Take it and run.

[> [> [> Reply, with excessive verbiage -- Ian, 14:36:26 03/31/02 Sun

Great points. I'll try to explore a few of them.

I realize this is little more than a semantic twist, but I've always considered the Spike of the last two seasons "altered," not "changed."
To me, to say he is a changed vampire implies clear motivation and intent on his part. I haven't seen much evidence of this. Spike has always been attracted to Slayers, before the chip he killed them, or tried to, and after the chip he still wanted Buffy, or more accurately, still wanted something from her.

But why is Spike drawn towards Slayers, anyway?

William wasn't terribly good at being a successful human, and it could be argued that Spike wasn't all that great at being a vampire. The major characteristic of Spike is just how human his desires and motivations are--love/obsession, the desire to give and receive pain, and the need to feel accepted by his group (whether the Scooby Gang or the Angelus/Darla/Drusilla family). Vampire or no, Spike is still motivated by William's feelings of inadequacy. Look at how assured Angelus, Drusilla and Darla behave as vampires, and then look at Spike, constantly building himself up, trying to convince himself and everyone around him just how bad he is.

Violence and sex validate him and give him a sense of worth. Once he killed his first Slayer, he was no longer Angelus' flunky, he was his own Big Bad. After killing his second Slayer, he took her leather coat as a trophy, that he still wears to this day.

And then came the chip. Suddenly, Spike couldn't even TRY to kill the Slayer, but his identity was still dependent on her. And so the sex came into play; once again, sex and violence are linked for Spike. The manner Spike acts out his desire has changed, but that doesn't automatically mean the basis of his actions have.

I've seen several references to Spike's attempt to kill Willow after he was chipped, and how inappropriate many feel the correlation was between his ability to "perform" and his ability to kill. I disagree. To Spike, his manhood and value ARE the foundations of his self worth, and that scene comes right out and says it. Violence and sex are too close for him to separate. It wasn't until he discovered he could beat demons to a pulp that he abandoned his attempts to kill himself. He got his violence back. But that still left the sex, and Buffy.

All of this is complicated of course by Spike's history with Drusilla and the games of sexual dominance he has had with Buffy. But one thing is constant--Spike LIKES to be pushed around, he wants it. His inner moppet is still circling the drain of strong women who treat him wrong. Add violence and sex to the mix and Spike will pretty much dive right in.

It's true that Spike is anything but consistent; after all, he's gone out of his way to help Buffy, Dawn, Tara and the gang, and his actions there have been almost above reproach. Still, to argue that these actions blot out everything else seems pretty weak to me. Remember, he is inconsistent. Spike has done good things and bad things, for good and bad reasons. But, there's still that pesky chip doing it's job. Spike's desire for violence, sex, and acceptance are still in action, but have been forced to find other outlets. Is this by choice? Don't forget, he could have come to the aid of the Slayer and her friends BEFORE he got the chip. Why should only his post-chip actions count?

One other aspect of Spike and Buffy's dynamic is also important: his appeal to her dark/violent side. I've read many posts asserting that Spike is encouraging Buffy to accept her darker impulses, but I think that argument misses the mark. Spike isn't telling Buffy that she can incorporate her violent nature into her identity, he's telling her that ONLY her dark side is real, that the rest isn't even her, and that's not acceptance, which is about becoming whole and integrated. Spike's manipulation of Buffy is simply preying on her either/or mentality, either good or bad, not both. How is this helpful? He's done all he could to drive a wedge between Buffy and the world, and although at times he's been selfless, he doesn't want Buffy for the world, he wants Buffy for himself, against the world.

Still, even I admit that this black and white world view isn't something he is necessarily consciously aware of; he's struggling with the same dilemma himself--in his mind, he can't be the Big Bad and still accept the part of him that is William.

[> [> [> [> Spike, vampire minion -- Marti supporter, 15:45:55 03/31/02 Sun

I think you may give Spike too much credit in saying he did good things for good reasons when he helped Buffy and Dawn, etc.

Spike is a vampire, and the one thing that isn't altered by his chip is his vampire instinct to "find himself a gang" and be loyal to its leader. Vampires are heirarchical beings.

We have seen some big sacrifices from vampire minions to their masters. Like that minion who let herself be burned by sunshine just to deliver a bogus message from Angelus to Buffy in Becoming.

Spike's sacrifices like letting Glory pummel him and taking care of Dawn can be equally understood through the lens of vampire instinct as "he's a good person".

[> [> [> [> [> Except that vampires aren't loyal to each other... -- Forsaken, 14:53:30 04/01/02 Mon

Angelus and Darla tried to sacrifice each other to get away from Holtz numerous times. Spike has never been loyal to any vampire but Dru. And when was he a minion exactly? Spike was the Big Bad. He had vampires and Fyarl demons and countless other minions at his disposal, only rarely did we ever see him serve another being. This is the guy who was willing to kill the Annointed One, who had the power to make most vampires do what he wanted (few vamps, even minions, would dig in consecrated ground for anyone else). The guy was Dracula's rival before the book came out, and you call him a minion with a minion's loyal instincts? Hardly. The only things Spike has ever been loyal to are himself, Dru, Buffy, and the Scoobies.

[> [> [> [> That chip needs to come out. -- bookworm, 21:31:27 03/31/02 Sun

If that's the direction they're moving, I'd applaud it. The audience needs to see how Spike acts without the chip. My guess is that he will want it out so he can go back to being who he was before Buffy. He wants to be evil and kill and destroy, but I think he'll discover he's no longer capable of it once the chip is out and that he will turn around and help Buffy. It might be a painfully suspenseful cliff hanger that will only be resolved in Season Seven. Will Spike be evil or good? Will Buffy kill Spike?

[> [> [> [> A few quick points -- Traveler, 23:55:46 03/31/02 Sun

"Spike LIKES to be pushed around, he wants it."

It's hard to argue with this, but I will anyway. Sometimes I wonder if what Spike really wants is to be challenged and stimulated (also in non sexual ways). He obviously likes strong women, but he doesn't really seem to enjoy being dominated. Rather, he puts up with it, sometimes.

"It's true that Spike is anything but consistent..."

Spike is actually VERY consistant in some respects. His moral compass "altered" when he became a vampire, but his priorities didn't change much at all.

"Spike's manipulation of Buffy is simply preying on her either/or mentality, either good or bad, not both. How is this helpful?"

Spike certainly wasn't being altruistic when he tried to bring her over to the dark side, but neither was he trying to hurt her. He really believed that she came back "wrong," and he was trying to get her to accept it so that she could be with him. So while it's true that Buffy doesn't belong ONLY in the darkness, most people agree that Buffy needs to accept the fact that her darkness EXISTS. So Spike was kinda doing the right thing, but not quite. Nice try, no cigar, better luck next time, etc, etc, etc.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: A few quick points -- Anne, 03:37:42 04/01/02 Mon

With reference to the issue of whether Spike likes to be pushed around:

I think the evidence suggests that this is true but only if he can push back. He really didn't seem to enjoy very much the period of time when Buffy could whack on him and there wasn't anything he could do about it. In "Normal Again", I don't think he much enjoyed being whacked by Xander. But to be in a fight, where he can give as well as take -- yeah, that he likes, and he likes it regardless of whether the opposition is more powerful than he is: in fact, the more powerful the opposition, the happier he is going to be. That's what makes him such an attractive foil for Buffy, whether as friend, lover, or enemy.

[> [> [> Re: Quite frankly, that can work as much against you as for you -- Dochawk, 18:40:31 03/31/02 Sun


thanks for saying what I have been feeling so well. I would add a final thought. Spike has been manipulating Buffy the whole time, trying to get her to join him in the dark and leave her path to light. "What kind of Demon are you?" "What would your friends think of us" "You always end up up here with me". There are many more examples of his manipulation. Spike has never shown a bit of remorse for any death he has committed. He has no sense of guilt. He didn't even express an apology about the eggs. As Buffy says, she forgot who he was. He is a vampire adn we are told over and over that vampires can't change. If he is dechipped, we will see what his true nature is. And remember he was willing to kill "his one true love", Dru for his new obsession Buffy.

I loved Marti's comments, she just reiterated everything the show has been about for the last 6 years.

[> [> [> [> Re: Quite frankly, that can work as much against you as for you -- Rendyl, 09:31:47 04/01/02 Mon

***I loved Marti's comments, she just reiterated everything the show has been about for the last 6 years.***

If the show has been about showing Buffy defined by herself and not by her relationships then the writers are falling short. Marti keeps saying they all want a Buffy who is not but then they write an episode like Normal Again. As many have said Buffy was willing to stand by and watch her closest friends and family be killed in part because her mind cannot accept that she was and still wants to be physical with Spike. Buffy herself defines much of who she is by who her friends are and what they do, and by who she sleeps/etc with.

The 'serial killer' rant comes from the writers every so often and it also defines Buffy as a person. She is not allowed to just make bad choices. Her worth as a person, as well as her internal ethics and values keep being defined by who she sleeps with. According to some of the writers Buffy's character and inner morality keep her from doing such 'evil' things as sleeping with Spike. She had to come back from the dead mentally and emotionally hurt in order for it to occur. What ever happened to just making bad choices? We all do it and Buffy is no different.

Maybe Buffy is supposed to be an example of a strong woman, maybe she isnt. But it is clear the writers themselves are uncertain what makes one and not above sticking her with old stereotypes. Women are not either madonna or whore and it would be nice if Buffy were to illustrate that.


[> [> [> If Spike goes back to gleefully killing and eating humans ... -- bookworm, 20:49:59 03/31/02 Sun

I might be inclined to agree with you. For all I know, that's what the writers will pull next. But that isn't what we've been shown in the last two years. As to Buffy/Spike, it's pretty clear to me that she's been calling the shots in the relationship. She initiated most of the sex; she's more than strong enough to stop him if she doesn't like it. She looks like she's enjoying herself during at least some of the sex with Spike. The writers seem to enjoy the addiction analogy. If it's an addiction, she's still addicted to something she enjoys. Does Buffy like S&M/rough sex? Obviously, yes. Fighting Spike was a turn-on for her in "Smashed." Spike pulled out the handcuffs, but she agreed to it. She could have said no and left or fought free of the cuffs. I doubt cuffs could hold her in place if she really wanted to escape. I'll also point out that her mom and Giles made use of police handcuffs during sex in Band Candy. Maybe that particular kink runs in the family. Yes, I think Spike does enjoy getting beat down, but I don't think he was enjoying himself when Glory beat him to a pulp or when Buffy beat his face in in "Dead Things." Fighting with Buffy or fighting to the death is linked to the sex -- the pain is a pleasure. Torture's not fun. It's something to be endured because it's what Buffy needs from him in those situations. Just my take.

[> [> [> [> This will change -- Slayer_Tea_Party, 01:54:48 04/01/02 Mon

I disagree. Buffy has not been the one calling the shots with Spike. You forget that Buffy doesn't have control of her mental faculties, and last year when she did, she rejected Spike at every turn. Buffy is spiraling into self-destruction, and when that's the case, you're not in control anymore. With the upcoming storyline that Spike tries to force himself on Buffy and initially doesn't take no for an answer, I think the writers are clarifying just who is in control and who's to blame. Otherwise, why would they bother to add this element to their "relationship"? It all adds up to putting a lid on this catastrophic storyline of B/S.

[> [> [> [> [> Uh ... since when doesn't Buffy have control of her mental faculties? -- bookworm, 08:21:15 04/01/02 Mon

The only time she's truly been out of her mind was in "Normal Again." Confused and depressed, yes. Out of her mind, no. Buffy has been with Spike because she's attracted to him physically and because screwing him is a great outlet for her anger and aggression and a distraction from her confusion and depression and adult responsibilities. She's initiated every encounter except the one in the Bronze in Dead Things. I don't think Spike has the kind of power over her you seem to attribute to him. He's intelligent and manipulative, but she's dominant in the relationship. It's what she wants, when she wants it, and he's been trying to hold on to her by telling her she belongs in his world. He uses his tongue, which is really the weapon of the weaker party in the relationship. Buffy may have just used his statement that she "came back wrong" as an excuse to give in to her darker side. It excuses her from taking responsibility for her own actions and from doing something just because she wants to do it. It doesn't change the fact that she has always had a choice about whether to be with Spike. As to the spoiler you're alluding to, my understanding is that he pulls back when he realizes she means "no" and is remorseful. She also defuses him pretty easily. Buffy's been sending out a lot of mixed signals. She says "no" and means "yes." It's become part of their game. I can't really fault Spike for being confused about what she really means in that situation.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Very good point about the spoiler... -- Forsaken, 15:06:34 04/01/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Uh ... since when doesn't Buffy have control of her mental faculties? -- Slayer_Tea_Party, 10:38:32 04/02/02 Tue

I totally disagree, bookworm. Buffy is very self-destructive right now, and when that happens, one's judgment is seriously impaired. Marti has commented on this now, twice, Spike is an intrument to show Buffy spiraling into self-destruction. Your scenario that Buffy is having sex with spike because she's attracted to him, etc... is WAY TOO simplistic, and doesn't fit in with the way Buffy is acting in all areas of her life. Normal Again was a climax that illustrated this.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Buffy's intellect may not be imparied, but her emotional state clearly is.. -- Ian, 14:18:54 04/02/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> So Spike's another suicide attempt? Can't agree. -- bookworm, 19:13:27 04/02/02 Tue

If anything, he's served in the capacity of lifeline. When she can't stand being around anyone else, she seeks out Spike. When she wants to sacrifice herself in the musical episode, he pulls her back and she kisses him. He's told her quite a few truths this season -- his central message seems to be "Just live your life." If she'd listen to him, at least some of the time, she'd be a lot less miserable. The part of her that wants to be a good girl is undoubtedly degraded and disgusted with herself. She's also enjoying it and feeling something other than numbness, which is also what she wants. I agree that Buffy IS self-destructive in just about every area of her life, and sex with Spike may be one more way of torturing herself, but I think the poison is also the antidote, like the spike-fingered monster in "Normal Again." It's rather insulting to assume that Buffy isn't in control of what she does or responsible for her own actions.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: So Spike's another suicide attempt? Can't agree. -- Slayer_Tea_Party, 07:44:31 04/03/02 Wed

Why is it insulting to say Buffy isn't in control of her actions? That makes no sense. Once again, most people who are depressed and self-destructive have impaired judgement which means they do things that they wouldn't normally do if they weren't self-destructive. Buffy was in control s5 and kept Spike at a distance. She's not in control anymore, and Spike comes creaping in. Granted, Buffy has to take responsibility for her actions, but I don't think what happened between B/S would have happened if Buffy had been in control of her faculties.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Season 5 Buffy hadn't died and come back to life. -- bookworm, 08:35:55 04/03/02 Wed

That's a fairly dramatic change, and something she had in common with Spike. Buffy of Season 6 isn't the same Buffy of Season 5, and she wouldn't necessarily make the same choices. Besides, I'm not sure that Buffy and Spike wouldn't have gotten together if she hadn't died. You can trace the change in their interactions with each other back to "Intervention," when Spike endured torture at Glory's hands to save Dawn. After that, Buffy included Spike in her plans to defeat Glory; reinvited him into her house; trusted him to watch her precious sister Dawn, etc. There has always been a weird kind of trust there. When the chips are down, it's Spike she trusts with Dawn and Spike she ends up going to for companionship. I believe Buffy is confused in this season, but I don't think she's out of her mind. I think she's using her confusion and her belief that something is wrong with her to make choices she had wanted to make anyway. Spike's an outlet, not a suicide attempt.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Season 5 Buffy hadn't died and come back to life. -- Ian, 22:34:15 04/03/02 Wed

I agree that Spike is an outlet for Buffy, but that doesn't automatically make it an outlet for self improvement.

Yes, Buffy isn't the same in S6 as in S5, that's inarguable. However, Spike IS the same. He didn't die (again) and have to come back to the world he'd left behind. I've seen so many posts holding Spike blameless in all he does, but that fact that he most certainly is in control of his faculties while Buffy may not be makes him the RESPONSIBLE PARTY. Yes, Buffy could say no, but Spike has that option too.

Has he taken advantage of Buffy in her suboptimal state? Has Buffy taken advantage of Spike? Yes and yes. However, the fact that Spike is still Spike and not Spike, Mark 2 makes him more responsible for the situaltion. Whatever Buffy has done, Spike is still responsible for his own actions. Being in love doesn't make you less responsible for your own actions in a relationship, being in love makes you MORE responsible.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Assuming you agree that Buffy's not in control of her faculties. -- bookworm, 19:25:51 04/05/02 Fri

They're both guilty of being immature, confused and basically clueless. Buffy may be in emotional turmoil, but so is Spike. He's in love with a woman who says "no" and then seems to mean "yes." He's confused about his own place in the world. Is he a human or a vampire? Good or evil? Neither of them is in a very healthy state, but they're in control of their faculties.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I don't think it's accurate to say that most people who are depressed have impaired judgement -- cynesthesia, been there, 22:36:10 04/03/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Uh ... since when doesn't Buffy have control of her mental faculties? -- anom, 15:02:59 04/02/02 Tue

A friend of mine once told me that after she lost her virginity at 17, she felt she didn't have the right to say "no" to sex, even when she wanted to. Buffy certainly has enough physical strength to stop Spike, but in her current state, she doesn't have the mental or emotional strength to stop him. If you know your sex partner is conflicted about it, the decent thing to do is respect their conflicted feelings, not take advantage of them. Buffy's facial expressions & statements on several, if not all, occasions have shown that she feels degraded by what they've done--both the kind of sex they have & who she's having it with. But like my friend so long ago, she doesn't feel she deserves any better.

The right response to "Don't" is "OK, I'll stop." It is not "Stop me."

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Well Said -- Malandanza, 17:14:40 04/02/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> By not stopping him, she gave implicit consent. -- bookworm, 19:20:28 04/02/02 Tue

But no one ever said Spike was a nice guy -- just not evil. Part of her may feel pretty awful about what she's doing, but she's also enjoying it. That was the only occasion he initiated the sex. She's gone to him on every other occasion we've seen. She was also pretty put out on the one occasion he did tell her "no." Part of being an adult is owning your own actions, isn't it, and exercising your right to say what you want and what you don't? I just don't see Buffy as a victim in her relationship with Spike. I could buy her as a victim of herself.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Implicit consent? -- Malandanza, 21:19:25 04/02/02 Tue

I think the ME have been pretty consistent in saying that emotional or physical abuse is inconsistent with love. Season three made that abundantly clear in Beauty and the Beasts and on AtS, "In the Dark is a confirmation.

ANGEL: So we'll get you out of here. There are places you can go where you'll be safe.

RACHEL: Like a shelter?

ANGEL: It's a start. And he won't be able to find you, I swear.

This seems to distress Rachel even more.

RACHEL: I don't know... I don't know if I can handle it.

ANGEL: They aren't that bad, really-

RACHEL: It's not the shelter. It's just...(with difficulty) Half the time, you know how this
whole thing gets started up again? Lenny and me?

ANGEL: You call him. (off her look) I had a relationship once.

RACHEL: So you know... I start to jones for him the way he joneses for rock. And I call
or find him in some dive and drag him home. And it's good for a while.

ANGEL: But it doesn't last. This last time he would have killed you.

Rachel nods. She knows. Fights the tears.

RACHEL: I'm scared, Angel. More scared of me than him right now. Those good times
with Lenny? That's the only light I've known my whole damn life. You tell me I can never have it again? I'm not sure why I should want to live anyway.

ANGEL: Because it's a lie. When you call Lenny - he always ends up hurting you. And that's not real love.

RACHEL: Closest thing I've got so far.

Angel considers this for a beat. Then-

ANGEL: So, you're at a crossroads. I's either go for the easy fix and wait
for the consequences... or take the hard road and go with faith.

Rachel takes this in. Her face falls.

RACHEL: Oh, God. You're not from that freaky church on Sunset are you?

ANGEL: (embarrassed) In yourself. That kind of faith.

RACHEL: Oh. Sorry.

ANGEL: (recovering) What I'm saying is, if you leave Lenny for good - it'll hurt. But, eventually, you'll be stronger for it. And, maybe, you'll find your way to the kind of
love you deserve.

RACHEL: You mean the kind that comes without 911 calls?

ANGEL: That's the general idea.

This is a great episode -- if only because of the mock heroic voice-over in the opening. We also get to see a great deal of Spike's impulsive behavior. He abandons his own plans because he gets bored. But it also contains insights into Spike's character. for example, he faces Angel twice -- the first time he strikes Angel from behind, the second time, Marcus attacks Angel while Spike watches. Angel's mockery of Spike further illustrates Spike's sense of inferiority -- Angel really knows what bothers Spike.

We also see that William was particularly well-versed in classical music:

SPIKE: Why do you keep asking him that?! And why do you keep playin' that bleedin' Brahms?!

MARCUS: Actually it's Mozart. Symphony forty-one. I find it very effective.

SPIKE: Yeah, well personally, I like his older, funnier symphonies myself. Now I want my ring -

(Spike uses humor to cover up his ignorance -- still a sign of his inferiority complex).
Here's Spike, who we keep hearing hates torture (yet doesn't mind watching pedophile vampire Marcus torture Angel) delivering a little psychological torture to his former mentor:

SPIKE (to Angel): Speaking of little Buff... I ran into her recently, your name didn't come up but then again she's been awful busy jumping the bones of the very first
lunkhead who came along. Good looking fellow. Used her shamelessly.

Angel can't quite hide the hurt in his eyes.

SPIKE (cont'd): She's cute when she's hurting, isn't she?

All these quotes are from the Shooting Scripts -- pay close attention to what the writers think of Spike:

SPIKE: Son of a bitch!

Spike is having a tantrum. We see the old building separated into pools of light and shadow. Spike sticks to the shadow.

SPIKE (cont'd) I do the work, I do the digging, fight off a Slayer, drive to L.A., hire the
help, and what do I get?

He overturns the table of Marcus's torture instruments, sending them crashing to the floor.

SPIKE (cont'd): Royally screwed, is what! Well, that cinches it. No more partners. From now on, I'm my own man. Lone wolf. Sole survivor. Look out! Here comes Spike, the biggest, baddest mother...

He steps into a patch of sunlight by accident. His head bursts into flame.

SPIKE (cont'd): Ahhhh!!!

He retreats into shadows, batting the flames out frantically. It takes a while. Finally, they go out. Spike, a pathetic creature hiding in the dark, whimpers:

SPIKE (cont'd): I really hope they kill each other

A "tantrum", a "pathetic creature hiding in the dark" -- there is no nobility in this monster. Self- pitying, weak, cowardly.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> In season 3, he was "evil" and a "weak, pathetic creature". This is season 6. -- bookworm, 07:41:17 04/03/02 Wed

Spike was changed by the chip and changed by his interactions with Buffy and the Scoobie gang from Season 4 through this season. He endured torture at Glory's hands to keep Dawn from being discovered and he stayed to watch over her and help the Scoobies after Buffy died. The Spike of this season is a Spike in transition. Saying Spike now is the same as the Spike of Season 2 is like saying Buffy now is exactly like the Buffy of Season 1, the Buffy without experience of love, loss or self- sacrifice. And yes, Buffy did give her consent to sex in the Bronze by not saying no or stopping Spike. If she's an adult, she owns her own actions. Buffy's the one doing most of the abusing here, and SPIKE might qualify as the battered partner given your analysis. I wouldn't call either one of them a victim, though. Spike made a choice to be involved with Buffy, knowing exactly what she could do to him and would continue doing. Violence appears to be a turn-on for both of them and it's acceptable for these characters because they are stronger than the average human.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: In season 3, he was "evil" and a "weak, pathetic creature". This is season 6. -- Slayer_Tea_Party, 07:57:42 04/03/02 Wed

Nah. Spike is a weak and pathetic creature NOW. I can't believe what a sap he has become! Spike needs to be returned to his glory days when he was complex with a lot of angst. If he is with Buffy, it'll probably be beyond boring. They've killed the complexity of his character and I'm glad Marti seemed to see the urgency to return him to what he was before. PS-Spike was only in one ep during S3.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Evil Spike doesn't do it for me. He's more complex now. -- bookworm, 08:29:27 04/03/02 Wed


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I'd like to add that Spike was NEVER a coward. -- Forsaken, 16:08:20 04/03/02 Wed

No cowardly vampire tracks down a Slayer wanting to face her. No coward could possibly go head to head with a Ghora demon, or call a Crazy-Hell God-Bitch like Glory names to her face. Certainly no coward could take the beating she gave him that day and not talk. Yes he's rash, yes he's impulsive, and yes he has anger problems sometimes. Woop-de-doo, I just described me. As for being pathetic... well, I've really never met a vampire or human that wasn't in one way or another.

Oh and on a side note, Xander is the real coward, hiding behind the chip. Lets see him take Spike on the way he does when Spike can hit back.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Never? -- Malandanza, 07:37:14 04/04/02 Thu

"No cowardly vampire tracks down a Slayer wanting to face her. No coward could possibly go head to head with a Ghora demon, or call a Crazy-Hell God-Bitch like Glory names to her face. Certainly no coward could take the beating she gave him that day and not talk. Yes he's rash, yes he's impulsive, and yes he has anger problems sometimes."

Lots of vampires have attacked Buffy knowing that she's the slayer -- many others have stood and fought her after discovering that she's the slayer. That isn't bravery -- it's stupidity and hubris. Spike doesn't really like danger. He likes the illusion of danger. Like a bunjee jumpers or parachutist -- there is some risk, but it's slight.

His fight with the slayer during the Boxer Rebellion was during his reckless stupidity phase. His second kill happened after an interval of nearly a century -- a century to hone his fighting skills -- as did his first confrontation with Buffy. Who should have had the upper hand in the Buffy/Spike conflict -- a young girl who'd been slaying for a year or an experienced vampire who had been slaying for a century?

After being soundly beaten by Buffy he's reluctant to face her again. Until he gets the Ring of Amara -- consider what would have happened if Buffy hadn't known about the ring -- Spike was unkillable as long as he wore it. Is it bravery to attack someone when you're invulnerable? You say Xander is a coward for attacking chipped Spike because Spike cannot hurt him back -- why isn't Spike a coward for his attack on Buffy while wearing the ring?

Then there's Spike and Angel/Angelus. In B2 Spike joins Buffy to get his girlfriend back -- it was Spike and Buffy against Angelus and Dru -- alll the makings of a good battle, evenly matched opponents, the world (and Spike's sex life which, apparently, was more important to Spike) hanging in the balance. Spike bravely strikes Angelus from behind, courageously continues to beat him while he's down, then heroically runs away from the battle while his ally is losing. He repeats this pattern when he faces Angel in In the Dark -- hitting from behind in their first meeting and hire another vampire to subdue Angel in their second. Does he like a challenge? Then why not face Angelus like a man?

Back to Xander -- when Spike is chipped and living with Giles, the Xander, he knows he has a protected status -- that Buffy and her friends will not stake him. He uses his diplomatic immunity to hurt the Scoobies psychologically almost from the beginning he is cowardly because he knows he they will not strike back.

But there's more to his cowardice than just the physical cowardice he has shown versus Angelus. Much has been made of Spike not torturing people -- there is the suggestion that he is a morally superior being because he doesn't play with his food. But he's not above hiring people to do his dirty work -- Marcus the child-eating vampire was worse than Angelus, but Spike had no problem hiring Marcus to torture Angel. Spike just lacked the intestinal fortitude to do his own torturing (he didn't mind watching, offering suggestions and adding some emotional torment to the physical pain). Similarly, he offers to kill Dru for Buffy to prove his love, yet lacks the courage of his convictions. He won't kill Dru unles he knows he will be rewarded.

Is Spike capable of brave actions? Certainly. Especially when he's backed into a corner and has no avenues of escape. But, in general, he is a cowardly bully.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> wrong. -- anom, 00:02:35 04/04/02 Thu

"And yes, Buffy did give her consent to sex in the Bronze by not saying no or stopping Spike."

Bull! She said "Don't." That was explicit refusal. And that overrides anything supposedly "implicit," even if she didn't have the emotional strength to enforce it.

And Buffy didn't initiate all their other sexual encounters. Spike showed up outside the Doublemeat Palace & Buffy came out to meet him. She didn't look like she enjoyed that one. (Someone else gave another example, which I can't think of.) Even though she did initiate it in some cases, that doesn't mean she doesn't have the right to say "no" other times, & to have that "no" respected.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: By not stopping him, she gave implicit consent. -- Slayer_Tea_Party, 08:06:16 04/03/02 Wed

You obviously don't understand the complexity of being self-destructive. By not stopping him she said she wanted it? That's messed up. Buffy didn't have the energy or strength to fight him off, because once again, when you're self-destructive, you don't care what happens to you. Hence the physical violence and demeaning nature Buffy subjected herself to with Spike. Buffy wasn't in control and wouldn't have done these things had she been in control.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Since she's stopped him other times, yes. -- bookworm, 08:34:37 04/03/02 Wed

And I'd say she enjoys physical violence during sex with Spike, and bondage games. It's multiple orgasm sex. Take another look at "Smashed." I don't think that's necessarily self-destructive. I'd argue that it's self-destructive of her not to acknowledge whatever it is she wants and accept that it is OK for her to want it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Since she's stopped him other times, yes. -- Slayer_Tea_Party, 10:26:17 04/03/02 Wed

Bringing me back to my ORIGINAL point.....there is no redeemable relationship between B/S, because anyone who isn't a psycho will tell you that physical violence in a relationship IS NEVER healthy and won't last...well, not in reality.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> A vampire and a vampire slayer don't qualify as normal. -- bookworm, 19:19:04 04/05/02 Fri

And there are probably a fair number of people who enjoy S&M (controlled, consensual violence for sexual pleasure) who might disagree with you. There's a difference between a fist in the face from an irate husband/boyfriend when you can't fight back and mild violence as foreplay. I tend to see Buffy and Spike as the latter in most episodes..

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> yin/yang- consent -seduction? -- shadowkat, 07:52:16 04/06/02 Sat

Okay - you guys are touching on why I find this particular storyline so incredibly disturbing. The writers are doing something interesting here - they are intermingling several themes - very adult complex dark themes.

The scene in the Bronze is one of seduction. It reminds me a little of the scene in Buffy vs. Dracula when Dracula bites Buffy and she says in his thrall..."no..." with desire, "don't.." Throughout literature the vampire is a metaphor for sexual seduction - the dark side of sex - bloody and forbidden. In some cultures - a climax in sex is
described as "death" - death of the superego surrendering to
the emotional unconscious. As a poster, Rosalind, on C&S
pointed out so well we also have a classic yin/yang going on here. Buffy is the yin, Spike is the yang. They combust
when they get together. yin=head/thought and yang=heart/emotion. The emotion is seducing the thought.
Since rising from the dead, Buffy has become more and more detached from emotion - more yin. The only one who can make her feel is Spike - the yang. There are postives and negatives at work here - Malandaz(sp?) does an excellent job of describing the negatives of yang or how some of us view yang (impulsive, rash, emotional, crying, sometimes
viewed as cowardly?? Although I would never view it that way I can see why someone else would) and bookworm does an excellent job of describing the positives of yang (understanding, support, desire, nurturing, live life), they
also both in an odd way discuss yin. This I think is interesting.

But here is my problem - the writers choice to do a seduction/addictive sex storyline is not only ambitious but if not handled well can send really mixed messages to an audience. Spike and Buffy are both at fault here. He is not forcing her. The whole she says no but means yes argument is confusing - what it is = the seduction fantasy. One of the party's does not want to take responsibility for engaging the sex so they put the other party in the position of seducing them. The sex is considered wrong.
I'm a good girl - I'd never go there. I'm going to say no...but I do want you and do want it's just to let me off the hook - motif. This motif was explored in Nabokov's Lolita, in Dracula, in Ann Rice's Vampire books, in soap operas such as General hospital with the famous
Luke and Laura and in movies like Basic Instinct, Fatal Attraction, Sea of Love...It appears to be a popular motif for writers because it is erotic to some of us, seduction is. But if handled wrong - it can give young people the impression that "no" means "yes" in all sexual situations.
And that scares me. There lies date rape. I've known way too many people who have fallen into this trap. And it is very hard to prove "rape" in court - when the line gets this fuzzy.

Sex is murky for us. It always has been. Each culture looks at it differently. We have to avoid being too open about it on sites like this because of who may read it. Some of us fear it. Some of us embrace it. Some of us use it to hurt or
control people. Some of us use it to show love and share
something wonderful. What the writers are trying to show is how murky it truly is. It can not be simplified into clear morale brackets of right and wrong. The very use of a vampire, a demon, who is pure emotion, pure lust, pure desire, who acts without thinking and just on emotion - makes it fuzzier still. It's not so much a rape storyline
we are exploring here - "rape" is a violent act with no
pleasure being elicited. It is one of force.
"seduction" - is different and at times people misread it
as rape. There can be seduction and rape. I think it's a
"fatal attraction" storyline as MN has said on numerous occassions - one about being seduced. And in seduction - the "no, yes, no, oh that's great, stop me, no I won't, but I'm not responsible for this" routine - works.
(See Basic Instinct - it does it too.) It disturbs you because it's supposed to. Just as Dracula biting Buffy should have disturbed you. Or the scene in the Iniative between Spike and Willow. Or the scene between Parker and
Buffy in HLOD.

I'm hoping they handle it well. I'm hoping they don't go too far and get too gruesome and then make light of it like General Hospital did years ago. I'm also hoping that they find a way to get the S/B characters back together b/c I
think they do match each other well. But I understand that the show is thematic in structure and the writers are more interested in developing their thematic arc and carrying it through than developing relationships or a strict plot. Let's just hope that their theme is richer and more multifaceted than the old "fatal attraction" story, I think
it is.

Sorry for the long ramble. Hope this makes sense. And adds
something to an interesting discussion.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I mostly agree, but I can still see things from Spike's point of view. (spoilers) -- Traveler, 19:33:43 04/02/02 Tue

Yes, Spike certainly could have been more considerate of her a few times. However, I can see how he would make those mistakes. Buffy was the queen of mixed messages. She would treat him badly, so he would leave. Then she would follow him and do something to give him hope. Then she would treat him badly, and he would leave, and she would follow him... by the time Spike figured out that Buffy came back "wrong," it is understandable for him to think that Buffy didn't know what she wanted. If he were significently more mature than Buffy, he would have realized that he needed to give her space to figure things out. Not being that mature, he tried to force her to get over her (as he would percieve them) hang ups.

Obviously, Spike did some things that were selfish and wrong in the relationship, but on the whole, he did far less damage to Buffy than she did to him. Not only is he a vampire, but he also has his own issues with self confidence and dependancy. Buffy wasn't just physically stronger, she also had a lot more power over Spike emotionally than he had over her. Why should we expect him to be the mature one in the relationship? As she admitted herself, SHE was using HIM.

[> [> [> Sorry, but I just seem to be in an argumentative mood today. (spoilers season 6) -- Traveler, 23:23:36 03/31/02 Sun

"Why not turn that around, and argue that since Spike has been evil and vicious for over a HUNDRED years, that the behavior of the past two was the questionable behavior -- that his true nature has been stunted by the chip?"

I disagree. As far as human behavior is concerned, time really is linear. When people change, they tend to stay changed unless something new happens to change them again. Whether Spike has really changed or not is another issue. It would be totaly unbelievable if Spike lost the chip and immediately started a killing spree. But if he lost the chip and then Buffy called him impotent or weak... maybe. But I would still be surprised.

"The same Spike that thinks "no" means "yes" when he goes to Buffy for sex."

Sometimes no really does mean yes. What you say is much less important than how you say it. This is a fact. The actual content of your speech means nothing compared to the tone of your voice an the body language you use as you speak. Sometimes rapist used the excuse that "she really wanted it," but then they say that even if the woman fought, screamed, or did other things that obviously signified via body language that she didn't like what was happening. The truth is that rapists don't care what the woman wants and are just looking for excuses. It is really hard to argue that Spike doesn't care what Buffy wants. Besides which, she was the one who initiated almost all of the sexual contact. The times outside her house and inside the bronze are the only exceptions that I can think of. Even then, Buffy could easily have stopped Spike if she had wanted to. And if you don't buy any of that, then consider this: when Spike said "we both know you want me," Buffy said "I DO want you, but..." It's hard to claim that Spike was forcing his affections on Buffy after that.

"I also take serious issue with the "Buffy likes S&M" and "Buffy has sex in public" comments coming along lately."

If she didn't like the sex in public, why didn't she physically stop him? She easily could have, and she HAS turned him down several other times. But this time, she doesn't resist. When Spike says, "tell me you don't LOVE getting away with this...", Buffy doesn't reply. She is obviously conflicted, but I would argue that it is because she doesn't like the feeling that she is acting sinfully rather than hating the act itself.

"This is the same Spike that callously killed a teacher..."

Is he? I'm not so sure.

[> [> [> [> I agree. -- Mr Gordo, 18:52:52 04/04/02 Thu

Spike should have respected Buffy's wishes in Dead Things?
Well it works both ways. In Gone Spike is disatisfied with Buffy's treatment of him (hiding him away like a guilty secret) and clearly tells her no. Her response? She gives him a blowjob to try and fire him up.
Yes Buffy is confused and vunerable right now but so is Spike. He is the one who loves Buffy and whos entire existence revolves around her. He has no friends or family and lives alone in a crypt. No wonder he is secrewed up and desperate to hang on to Buffy.
And there is no evidence that Spike was planning to hurt Dru in Lovers Walk because of rage or a personal fetish. Dru was the one with the love of torture thanks to Angel. Proving he was a big man who was capable of hurting her would be the way to win her back. It was Dru's idea of a turn-on. Dru was not the victim either as she was clearly dictating the relationship with a worshipping Spike who is happy to put up with her cheating.
Spike's only successful relationship was with Dru hence his clumsiness in wooing Buffy. Dru would undoubtly see it as a compliment if Spike offered to kill Cecily to prove his love for her. Buffy viwed him as sick and deranged and coldly told him exactly what she thought of his sacrifice "kill her why do I care".
And there is nothing wrong with Spike appealing to Buffy's darker side. I am getting the sense that a lot of people are just deperate to defend Buffy's honour when protesting she is a nice girl who doesn't have those sort of urges, its all down to that nasty Spike.
Buffy was the one who initiated sex in the middle of a vicious fight. Buffy was clearly happy to use handcuffs and indulge in public sex. Regardless of her depression if Spike tried to force her into something she didn't want we simply need to check out her reaction in Dead Things when Spike forcibly stops her turning herself in to see how well it would go down. Buffy is kidding herself when she tries to convince herself that she is being forced into the relationship because of her present vunrabalities. Spike even points this out in TR. She is trying to find excuses. When she indulges in kinky sex she tells herself Spike is corrupting me and I don't really want any of this. See the Bronze scene in Dead Things for an example of Buffy denial.
Spike is happy to have a relationship on Buffy's terms. He would prefer a friendship and conversations, emotional intimacy but every time Buffy shoots him down. After Dru he has no idea what to expect and is suggesting different things to Buffy. E.g trying out the handcuffs. But Buffy is the one holding all the cards here. She started and ended the relationship and has used Spike as a sex slave and emotional and physical whipping boy. Don't get me wrong I love Buffy but the abuse is definitely mutural. Spike has no way of making Buffy do anything that does not secretly appeal. Period.

[> [> Re: It didn't make sense to me. -- Slain, 15:21:27 03/31/02 Sun

I think we should have faith in Marti of all people, as, according to Joss, she was the one who developed the relationship of Spike and Dru, and brought this warped, sadomasochistic sexuality to the show. That's been continued in Buffy and Spike, so if anyone knows about this area, it's Marti.

Opinions differ on what should happen with Spike, but I think it's up to the writers to decide; I don't think they should be influenced by the fan community. I think we should all wait to see how things turn out [i]before[/i] making judgments.

[> We're being played -- darrenK, 14:13:07 03/31/02 Sun


This is an interesting debate, but the truth is that she WOULD NEVER reveal the true intentions of the writers. Why bother to produce the show if you're going to just tell everyone what happens and why.

No. WE'RE BEING PLAYED. They're trying to throw us off the scent of what's really going to happen. They might even be trying to get us to debate Buffy/Spike in order to keep us from speculating too much about the other plotlines.

The truth is that like with the season as a whole, no accurate judgement can be made about Marti's words until the storyline has reached completion. Otherwise it's just speculation based on the outcome that we assume she's probably hinting at.

And if you're the first one to e-mail me with the correct number of qualifiers in the previous sentence, I'll send you at NO COST a FREE ALL EXPENSE PAID whatever to wherever...dK

[> [> Five and you didn't include your email -- LeeAnn, 15:35:19 03/31/02 Sun

[> [> Agreed, darrenK. They have to keep us guessing. -- Ixchel, 16:15:40 03/31/02 Sun

[> [> That's my gut feeling too. -- Deeva, 23:48:20 03/31/02 Sun

It's what I've been saying all along. The writers spend so much time plugging leaks and spoilers from coming out that it makes absolutely no sense what so ever to just give it away just cause someone calls you up and asks you " So, what's going to happen with the show?"

[> [> [> I agree, but I don't like being manipulated. -- Traveler, 00:00:39 04/01/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> I don't either but sometimes the little man behind the curtain shows up. -- Deeva, 08:47:33 04/01/02 Mon

Buffy's Love Life. *Spoilery Speculation* -- Simplicity, 19:35:57 03/31/02 Sun

SPOILERS for the rest of this season and possibly the next!

Long time, no post. It's good to be back! It seems that the B/S ship may be drawing to a close. I breathe a sigh of relief, it wasn't healthy for either one of them. But. . .I can't help but wonder what's next for Buffy. She has always said that she wanted a normal life and a normal boyfriend would go a long way to helping her achieve that. What about the long suffering Xander?

I was watched Hell's Bells again this weekend and I noticed something peculiar. In Xander's nightmare vision of his future with Anya, the main point of contention seems to be Buffy. At the very end, Anya said that Xander didn't want to "touch her" after Buffy died. Apparently, he injured his back in a futile fight to save her. I also noticed that cuteness between the two of them, with her trying to tie his tie and getting him ready for the wedding. This is the only pairing that really hasn't been investigated. We've had X/A, X/F, X/W, X/C, and even a strange X/Dawn "crush" relationship. Anyone else think it may happen?

[> Re: Buffy's Love Life. *Spoilery Speculation* -- Robert, 20:38:30 03/31/02 Sun

>> "Anyone else think it may happen?"

I think this was answered in season 1 when Buffy told Xander that she did not want to spoil their friendship with romance. If this had been Dawson's Creek (which appears to try all permutations), then I'm sure it would happen. I too saw something interesting in Xander's visions. The question is then whether the visions represent real emotions and desires on Xander's part, or whether they were demon induced hallucinations. I suspect the latter, since the demon had the agendum to destroy Anya's life. I do believe that Xander has always kept a special place in his heart for Buffy, but I don't believe they can become a couple.

[> Buffy and Xander have zero chemistry. -- bookworm, 22:00:03 03/31/02 Sun

I'd be surprised if they went that route. I think Xander got over his unrequited love for her in high school and Buffy's never shown any sign of sexual interest in Xander. Buffy's had the normal boyfriend in Riley, but it didn't work out well. On the other hand, it might be a twist the writers would try -- the friend that's been there all along, etc. etc. etc. I suspect it would not be a fun or pretty thing to watch, any more than the forced Angel/Cordelia pairing has been on "Angel." If there's a pair of characters with less chemistry than Angel and Cordelia it's Buffy and Xander. I think Buffy will go solo for awhile; Xander will try to win back Anya and fail and Dawn will date boys who we will see very little of. The actress who plays Dawn is about 14 years younger than the actor who plays Xander. There's a yuck factor there that the writers are probably aware of that would keep them from the Xander/Dawn pairing.

[> [> au contraire -- Vickie, 09:37:48 04/01/02 Mon

I submit, for your examination, the moment at the end of Theresa's visitation in Phases.

High school girl turned vampire has just fought Buffy, almost beat her, and declared "Angel sends his love." Xander dusts her.

Buffy, miserable goes into Xander's arms for comfort. The moment extends, becomes full of other possibilities. Buffy pulls back, looks at him, and leaves.

Xander:"Oh no, my life isn't too complicated."

IMHO, lots of nice chemistry right there.

[> [> [> Been a long time since Phases though, and chemsitry dies over time... -- Forsaken, 14:18:18 04/01/02 Mon

[> [> Re: Buffy and Xander have zero chemistry. -- luvthistle1, 12:11:44 04/01/02 Mon

Buffy and Xander pairing would not work. Buffy seem to like guys who can hold there own,when fighting, Xander is the kind of guy who can't even hold his bladder.Plus,Willow really liked Xander for years, although she over Xanderthe thought of Buffy and Xander together would not sit well with Willow. Buffy never showed a romantic interest in Xander, it wouldn't make sense for her to now. Xander and Dawn??....Gross!

[> Re: Buffy's Love Life. *Spoilery Speculation* -- nepthys, 05:04:03 04/01/02 Mon

I didn't see the mentions of Buffy as a sign that he still carries a torch for her, but rather as Xander having failed as a Scooby and a friend.

From what we've seen of his family, they haven't exactly helped him develop a good sense of self worth. But Xander still takes pride in being a good friend, in his work and his ability to make Anya happy.

In his nightmares however, he's a failure: abusive, having the same kind of miserable marriage his parents have. Unable to save his friend from dying a second time. Proven "impotent", no longer working, making Anya happy or even satisfying her in bed. In short, everything Xander is proud of has been taken away from him. And everything he fears has come true.

The visions forced him to admit those fears, that there are no spells or guarantees that the future would always be "dancing and songs." Even if he did enter a new relationship with someone else, he'd still be held back by those fears until he was able to understand that family or heritage cannot single-handedly determine what kind of person one will end up as, but that it's rather a matter of free will and personal choice. You are what you choose to be. Whether he ends up like in the visions or not is solely up to him.


[> [> Re: Xander's failure -- Cactus Watcher, 06:37:23 04/01/02 Mon

I don't think it's even a matter of having failed as a Scooby or as a friend. Rather at a critical moment, he chose to take risks for his dearest friends that ultimately hurt his own family. This is something every married person would have to weigh carefully in a similar situation. Xander doesn't blame Anya for not supporting his choice (at least in the vision he believes she wouldn't). Rather he blames himself for not supporting her.

Even though the vision was false, Xander needed to confront the issue of what comes first the Scoobies in general or Anya. It was horrible timing, but perhaps Xander does need to rethink his feelings about Anya.

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