Buffy 5×14: Crush

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: David Fury | Director: Daniel Attias | Aired: 02/13/2001]

Fun, fun, fun! This episode is just plain fun! Luckily it’s also extremely relevant as well, which is why it scores so big. I suppose if for some crazy reason you don’t like Spike, this episode isn’t very appealing, but for the rest of us it’s quite a treat. Buffy finds out Spike’s in love with her and “wackiness ensues.” This storyline has obviously been in heavy development since Spike’s passioned dream/nightmare in “Out of My Mind” [5×04] , and finally Buffy does something about it. Although a bit convenient, it’s a perfect test for Spike to have Drusilla return and lure him back to how things used to be. It all begins…

…with dancing at the Bronze. Only this time it’s worth noting that Buffy herself doesn’t dance and prefers to hang back and watch others having fun. Her life is really taking its toll on her and it’s starting to show. Spike uses this opportunity to try to initiate casual conversation with Buffy. Enter the always amusing flowering onion. Before S5 Buffy would be dancing on the floor with her friends. Now she’s not, and in S6 she’s giving into Spike’s maneuvers (and thensome), exploring the shadows. Buffy’s right at the crossroads between the two here, which is probably why she jumps at the opportunity to hang out with Ben, which shows that she’s still barely clinging onto the idea of having that normal life and that normal boyfriend, which after Riley she should know better. She comes to an important realization about this in the next episode, “I Was Made to Love You” [5×15] .

Dawn gets some useful attention following her discovery in “Blood Ties” [5×13] , but it’s by hanging out with Spike who actually giving her some no-frills advice. He says, “Doesn’t seem to me it matters very much how you start out.” This scene is also high in entertainment due to Buffy crashing Spike’s storytelling. This leads to Dawn telling Buffy that Spike’s in love with her. Buffy’s response is one of her best in the entire series: this non-chalant, very confused and surprised “huh?” I also love how she says “hanging out with Spike isn’t ‘cool’ Dawn, okay?” hahaha!

Most of this episode explores Spike’s side of things, as Buffy’s response is fairly straightforward: surprised and somewhat disturbed. When Buffy and Xander are checking out the crime scene in the train, it quickly becomes obvious that what Dawn said about Spike has been bugging Buffy since she heard it. Xander laughs at the knowledge and Buffy says, “I’m not joking.” Xander responds with a golden response: “Oh, I hope not. It’s funnier if it’s true!” Funnier indeed, because it leads to Spike’s hilarious fabricated date with Buffy. The bourbon, the “hey!,” the “eww,” and the singing all in Spike’s car… wow, yes (where did Spike’s car go after this though?).

Inside the vamp nest there’s more great, fun dialogue. Buffy says, “What is this?” Spike replies, “Oh, come- don’t get your knickers twisted, I was-” Buffy interrupts, “What … is this? The late-night stakeout, the bogus suspects, the flask? Is this a date?” Spike quickly responds, “A d- Please! A date? You are completely off your bird! I mean – Do you want it to be?” Buffy looks like she’s about to heave right about now.

Joyce later asks if Buffy led Spike on at all. She responds, “Well, I… I do beat him up a lot. For Spike that’s like third base.” Buffy definitely understands Spike fairly well, which in retrospect is just faintly hinting at the events to come, particularly in “Smashed” [6×09] . Now that Spike’s little secret is out it’s, of course, the perfect time for Drusilla to reappear to test the extext of his ‘love,’ which is still somewhat more like an obsession at this point. Spike tries to go back to how things were when he was with Dru, but very quickly realizes that he has changed.

The Dru/Spike scene at the Bronze can be added as another brilliant classic moment for this wonderfully fascinating couple. Perfect acting, perfect music, and perfect direction allow Spike to revel in the final time he gets to relive the old days, even though he still momentarily questions it. It also occurs to me that this is the first time in a long while we’ve seen Spike’s vamp face on (I believe “Fool for Love” [5×07] was the last time). Ever since his dream/nightmare in “Out of My Mind” [5×04] he’s definitely been different.

All of these scenes culminate to the moment when Buffy discovers the hidden ‘Buffy Altar’ in the bottom of Spike’s crypt, which is extremely creepy. Spike then chains up the girl he supposedly loves and demands something in return from her. This is, indeed, very sick, although not unexpected from Spike. At this point he just has no clue what real love is. He’s trying to interpret his feelings in the only way he knows how. Eventually by the end of S6 he figures out that the only way he will be enabled to understand what love is really about (which goes beyond just feelings) is by getting a soul.

For now, though, he can only prove his raw feelings are genuine. Offering to kill Drusilla for Buffy does prove at least that much. All this is simply too much for Buffy right now so she shuts him out. The look on his face when he learns that Buffy’s used the reverse invitation spell on him is painful to watch, even after all the disturbing stuff he’s done. He looks so hurt and surprised. To make me feel sorry for a guy that twisted is an extremely impressive feat. The writers on this show are simply amazing.

I really love this episode. It’s not a powerhouse episode worthy of a P, but it sure delivers the goods. This season’s really hit a stride and is providing some fantastic character development and is still high on entertainment. While the season will retain its quality for the rest of the season, its tone is getting really close to dramatically changing forever. While I admit to confusion about why Glory wouldn’t be tearing Buffy’s door down in anger after their encounter in “Blood Ties” [5×13] , this episode is really perfectly placed in the season.

 


Minor Pros/Cons (+/-)

+ Joyce tells Buffy she feels a lot more safe with her in the house while Giles is right there listening. She amusingly backpedals and tries to make Giles feel better.
+ Buffy notices that her sweater, taken by Spike in “Shadow” [5×08] , is gone and yells at Dawn for it.
+ Harmony is back with Spike again and now she’s even willing to play sex games, play-acting as Buffy in Buffy’s sweater. She must be very desperate.
+ Spike hanging out with Joyce and Dawn, all laughing together as Buffy walks in the room looking very concerned.
+ It’s cool that Dru has burns on her gotten from “Redefinition” (AtS 2×11). Her plan seems to be to get Spike to go back to L.A. with her and possibly join-up with Darla again. I wonder where Dru went after this episode.
+ Harmony gets all mad at Drusilla, but Spike just casually ditches her. This is the last we see of her until she appears on Angel S5 (and, of course, “Disharmony” [AtS 2×17]).
+ The ‘fight’ between Buffy, Harmony, Drusilla, and Spike is very fun.

–Β Why did Buffy just let Drusilla leave? That’s an incredibly deadly vampire she just let walk away.


Foreshadowing

* Tara talking about Quasimodo completely parallels Spike’s situation and even hints at what’s to come. Tara says, “No, see, it can’t, it can’t end like that, ’cause all of Quasimodo’s actions were selfishly motivated. He had no moral compass, no understanding of right. Everything he did, he did out of love for a woman who would never be able to love him back. Also, you can tell it’s not gonna have a happy ending when the main guy’s all bumpy.” When asked what Buffy thinks about it, she gives a fittingly foreshadowy response: “The test isn’t till tomorrow, right? I don’t have an opinion till then.” This is like Whedon dangling some candy in front of us and then snapping it away right before we can get to it.


[Score]

95/100

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91 thoughts on “Buffy 5×14: Crush”

  1. [Note: Ari posted this comment on December 30, 2006.]

    I don’t think there’s any one right way to love someone. Yes, Spike getting the soul makes him more mature in his love, but I think love that’s twisted and somewhat selfish in nature can be just as real (and definitely more interesting to watch *g*). No one’s perfect after all, granted some more so than others. Then I again I’m convinced Buffy fell in love with Spike in S6 (thanks to Dead Things) so what the hell do I know? Hehe.

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  2. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on December 30, 2006.]

    There may not be any one right way, but there are wrong ways. Chaining up the girl and threatening to kill her if she doesn’t reciprocate feelings is an example of a wrong way. To be honest, I’d raise an eyebrow if you thought otherwise. πŸ˜‰

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  3. [Note: Clem’s Kitten Basket posted this comment on December 31, 2006.]

    “Chaining up the girl and threatening to kill her if she doesn’t reciprocate feelings…”
    I’m not quite sure of what you’re referring to with this? The chaining up part has nothing to do with Spike’s love for Buffy. It’s a very practical way of getting her to listen to him. This way Buffy can’t run away and she can’t hit him, which is what she usually does. When Spike says that he’ll prove his love for Buffy by dusting Drusilla, his reasons and explanations are quite good actually and Buffy should realize that, because Angel dusted Darla. The bond between a vampire and his sire, especially when it’s combined with love (even the “worst” vampiric kind) and a more than century old partnership, is an exceptionally strong one.

    The concept of “real love” is very tricky, isn’t it? It’s even more complicated here than in real life, since Spike and Buffy both are a couple of highly unusaul and very complex individuals.

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  4. [Note: bookworm posted this comment on December 31, 2006.]

    I’m with mikejer on this, it doesn’t prove anything, than “that he’s a sick vampire, she should have dusted years ago”.

    chaining someone up against his/ her will is definitely wrong, even if it is to just make me listen. no matter what the person is trying to say. (and besides, as I remember, Spike said, that he would untie Dru, if Buffy wouldn’t confess that they had some kind of bond…)

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  5. [Note: Clem’s Kitten Basket posted this comment on December 31, 2006.]

    The point here is, that it (dusting Drusilla) means something to Spike. If it means something to you or me is irrelevant.

    The perspective is everything. I’m not using a real life metaphor now, but it seems that you (bookworm) and mikejer are. My perspective is purely within the show.

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  6. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on December 31, 2006.]

    Spike offering to kill Drusilla for Buffy does mean something, I never claimed otherwise. I’m just pointing out that tieing a girl up and threatening to unleash another vampire on her if she doesn’t reciprocate feelings is pretty twisted, no matter which way you look at it. Coming from Spike, who we understand pretty well at this point, it’s not all that surprising, but that doesn’t make it any less wrong. It just goes to show that Spike still has a long ways to go at this point.

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  7. [Note: bookworm posted this comment on December 31, 2006.]

    if I wouldn’t be allowed to use “real-world-metaphors” in while arguing on a fictional, fantastical story, my horizon would be a little limited.

    as you
    may have already guessed, I’m not film/ literature scholar who is able to discuss aesthetics by comparing different artworks against each other, or even blindly moving in these rich texts…

    I hadn’t heard of “hero’s journeys” or Aristotle’s rules on tragedy (very useful for s.2 *g*).

    thanks for the reviews, btw

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  8. [Note: PJC posted this comment on December 31, 2006.]

    My favorite Fury (solo) episode. He’s not my favorite writer for the show by a long way but this is great fun. Thanks for the read.

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  9. [Note: Clem’s Kitten Basket posted this comment on January 1, 2007.]

    Mikejer & bookworm: I’m not telling you what viewpoint you should take, I’m just trying to explain that there are other viewpoints than the one you have chosen. Aren’t they all valid in a discussion? Or do you think that there’s just one, and only one, “truth”?

    From my perspective, it’s pretty pointless to give standard moral judgements on a vampire’s actions – it’s like being horrified over the fact that a cat catches birds. Spike has to be viewed as an individual and his actions interpreted from what we learn about him – that is my opininon. I don’t agree with Mikejer when he says that we understand Spike “pretty well at this point”. I also don’t agree with his interpretation, that Spike threatens to unleash Drusilla if Buffy doesn’t reciprocate his feelings – to me, it’s not about reciprocating, it’s about admitting what’s already there. Spike knows that there is something between them, that it’s not just him, but he needs to hear it from Buffy, or be given the actions that prove it.

    From the review: “Why did Buffy just let Drusilla leave? That’s an incredibly deadly vampire she just let walk away.” That’s a good question. My answer is that Buffy is completely focused on Spike and the conflicting feelings he has risen within her. To me, it’s very clear that neither one of them wants to have these feelings and it stays that way for a long, long time.

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  10. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on January 2, 2007.]

    Clem: other viewpoints are always valid. It’s just surprising to me how much leeway people are willing to give Spike just because’s he’s a vampire. Imo, that doesn’t excuse his frequent questionable behavior.

    As for Buffy “admitting what’s already there,” that is definately just your perspective. At this point I really don’t think Buffy has any of those kind of feelings for Spike. The end of “Intervention” I’d say is the first time Buffy sees Spike in any substancial kind of non-comical positive light.

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  11. [Note: Ari posted this comment on January 7, 2007.]

    “Imo, that doesn’t excuse his frequent questionable behavior.”

    I’m far from being a Spike apologist but I do think his vampiric nature should be taken into consideration. He’s not human, the way he expresses his love is naturally not going to adhere to normal human standards. But do we doubt that his 100+ years of loving Drusilla was real? I don’t, so why I should dismiss his feelings for Buffy? I never claimed that chaining Buffy up wasn’t wrong, it was, and more than just a little bit creepy – eyebrow raise, really not necessary. Thank you.

    Oh and it’s definitely not just Clem’s perspective. Not that I think she’s in love with him or anything then, but sexually attracted? Buffy’s got eyeballs doesn’t she? πŸ˜› Of course she’s attracted. And I do consider my opinion nearly canon (refers to Buffy’s babbling ep 7×12).

    “I’d say is the first time Buffy sees Spike in any substancial kind of non-comical positive light.”

    Well, she was definitely taking him seriously in Fool For Love. Girl was majorly upset by all of his taunting, not so much with the taking him as one big joke. And in the end, the porch scene? In the DVD commentary Doug Petrie emphasises how not only is it of note that Spike tries to comfort her, it’s also that she lets him. It not twoo wuv 4 eva, but there was something there between them.

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  12. [Note: Ari posted this comment on January 7, 2007.]

    And dude you must be blind if you didn’t see any sexual tension (mutual) between Spike and Buffy in FFL. That too was deliberate on DP’s part. =D

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  13. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on January 7, 2007.]

    I just want to be clear that I’m not discounting Spike’s feelings. They are very real. He loves her, in the best way a vampire without a soul can. But that’s my point: he doesn’t have a soul so he can’t love to the full range of what I believe love can offer.

    It’s also true that Buffy and Spike have had moments of sexual tension with each other, but that’s still a ways away from respecting or looking positively at someone. I believe the first time Buffy really sees Spike in that way is the end of “Intervention.” I hope clears up my opinion. πŸ™‚

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  14. [Note: Tranquillity posted this comment on February 19, 2007.]

    I think there is plenty of evidence in the canon to show that Spike is capable of real love – not just a twisted vampire version of love. it has been established that Spike is an anomaly in the vampire world and has managed – somehow – to retain some humanity, mostly demonstrated by his ability to love and care, even after becoming a vampire. His ‘Spike’ vampire persona is his effort to disguise this flaw in his demonic self. His disguise only fails when it comes to the girls he really cares about and loves, that is Drucilla, Buffy and i would argue (in season 5 & early 6 at least), Dawn. That he expresses love differently is to be expected – he is a vampire and has lived by vampire rules for 130 odd years, but it in no way diminishes the feelings he has for Buffy. From the first moments we are made privvy to his thoughts in Out Of My Mind, we are told that it is LOVE he feels for her, not a vampiric corruption of love. His offering to stake Dru is a big deal, sure not the gesture of romance we human gals might be looking for but it is huge for Spike. In the crypt scene, I think it is interesting that Buffy doesn’t hit Spike until both the other girls (Harmony and Dru) have gone and that the way they stand and Buffy’s body language suggests possesiveness of Spike. She clearly has very mixed emotions when it comes to Spike, even if at this point they are mostly unacknowledged.
    Cheers

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  15. [Note: Austin posted this comment on August 29, 2007.]

    Love the bar tender in the silver outfit, she is an extra in almost every bronze scene, hmm… you’d think her outfit, dare I say uniform would be, well, Bronze.

    Harmony, a girl can’t remember how long they’ve been together, lol!

    I always thought that the sub-joke about Joyce not feeling safe was because Giles was there (think band candy) anyways it’s always been funnier to me that way.

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  16. [Note: gabrielleabelle posted this comment on November 12, 2007.]

    I’m admittedly a Spike-sympathizer. But I admit that he handles things poorly quite a bit of the time. He doesn’t have any sort of moral compass to guide him, though, so he’s flying blind in trying to show his affection to Buffy. He knows that fighting with her doesn’t affect her on the same level it does him. So he dresses in preppy clothes a la normal-guy-Riley and tries to integrate into her life by chatting her up in the Bronze. Later, he tries again by taking her out on a warped version of a date (a slayer-related outing probably seemed perfect date material to him). Then he gets harshly rejected by Buffy and tempted by Drusilla.

    So, he discovers that going the “nice guy” route didn’t work out(And, in fact, ended up with Buffy completely disregarding his feelings). He decides to be a bit more insistent and chains Buffy up. Bad? Yeah. But all he knows is that Buffy didn’t like the date, so he’s gonna try something else. That something is killing his ex-girlfriend (salvation, dark princess, etc), and then asking Buffy to admit that there might be a small chance of something between them. Still bad? Well, yeah. But it’s Spike and he doesn’t quite understand that.

    His look at the end breaks my heart every time. I do agree with MikeJer, though. While Buffy may be somewhat attracted to Spike at this point, she doesn’t start actually SEEING him as a “person” until Intervention.

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  17. [Note: buffyholic posted this comment on November 26, 2007.]

    This is another wonderful episode in a wonderful season and I´m glad mikejer gave it the rating it deserves. I have to say that I also love Harmony in here: first with the sex games, acting like Buffy and then when she leaves, I always laugh at her line:
    “No threesome”. Unless it´s boy, boy, girl. Or Charlize Theron”.

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  18. [Note: Andrea posted this comment on August 4, 2008.]

    Did anyone notice the earlier-season parallel when Spike shows up at the Bronze in khaki pants and a baby blue dress shirt? Angel tried the same thing (in almost the same shirt!) with Buffy in an early S2 episode (the one where Cordelia tries to commandeer his attention at the Bronze… “Well, his loss is your incredible gain!”) I love that joke, that the vamp guys try to go all khaki because they think that’s what Buffy will find attractive…

    I love Dawn’s crush on Spike. I love that friendship altogether. Also, love Xander’s jealousy at Dawn’s newfound crush!

    Also love Willow and Tara’s “Quasimodo” conversation. Spike is a little more aesthetically pleasing as our amoral-love-hero, though.

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  19. [Note: Andrea posted this comment on August 5, 2008.]

    Also, about why doesn’t Buffy kill Drusilla… I noticed that as well in Lie to Me when Buffy grabs hold of her and then makes good on her word to exchange her for the hostage-vamp-wannabe-people… I wonder if she has some kind of underlying sympathy for Drusilla as Spike’s girlfriend, or, say, Darla as Angel’s ex-girlfriend. I’m not sure exactly, but I think it has something to do with subconsciously “respecting” that or not wanting to be *that* cruel to kill the significant other… Or something. And especially because Drusilla is a woman, I think. Maybe Buffy somehow identifies with her or Darla in that way. Maybe that factors in somewhere too. All this is very subconscious, of course. Hard to explain – I hate when I can’t quite explain my thoughts!

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  20. [Note: Val posted this comment on August 29, 2008.]

    Ah, but didn’t you notice how Buffy sits down in the train Drusilla ravaged, on a seat where one of the victims had stood? And you see that white outline surrounding her body… I see it as a very cool subtle way to foreshadow Buffy’s death in just a few episodes time.

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  21. [Note: adastra posted this comment on September 6, 2008.]

    A friend of mine pointed out that the song “I wanna be sedated” by The Ramones which Spike sings in his car (he has a car?!) is a perfect example of how he’s feeling.
    Here are the lyrics:

    Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go I wanna be sedated
    Nothin’ to do and no where to go-o-oh I wanna be sedated
    Just get me to the airport put me on a plane
    Hurry hurry hurry before I go insane
    I can’t control my fingers I can’t control my brain
    Oh no no no no no
    Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go….
    Just put me in a wheelchair, get me on a plane
    Hurry hurry hurry before I go insane
    I can’t control my fingers I can’t control my brain
    Oh no no no no no
    Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go I wanna be sedated
    Nothin’ to do and no where to go-o-o I wanna be sedated
    Just put me in a wheelchair get me to the show
    Hurry hurry hurry before I go loco
    I can’t control my fingers I can’t control my toes
    Oh no no no no no
    Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go…
    Just put me in a wheelchair…
    Ba-ba-bamp-ba ba-ba-ba-bamp-ba I wanna be sedated

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  22. [Note: Tony posted this comment on September 7, 2008.]

    The reason why Buffy lets Drucila and Harmony walk all the time, and even Spike is because — they would die and the show would lose a cast member. Lol, that’s really all it is. They’re good characters that they never wanted to ever kill.
    I always thought though they should kill Drucila by the end of the series on Buffy or Angel but it never happened.

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  23. [Note: Paula posted this comment on September 9, 2008.]

    That “date” Spike arranges with Buffy is one of the moments in the show that are just painfully funny.

    One thing I always wonder about, though, is how the hell come Spike’s feelings for her came as such a total surprise to Buffy when he already tried to kiss her back in Fool for Love.

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  24. [Note: Nix posted this comment on September 30, 2008.]

    Tony, ‘the show would lose a cast member’ has never really stopped Whedon. He’s killed off far more important regulars (e.g. Joyce just an episode from now) with much less warning (Jenny Calendar perhaps, but the canonical example of sudden-and-shocking has to be Tara).

    I think Buffy didn’t kill Drusilla purely because she was too busy emotionally with all the other things that were going on to consider it. (Also, it would wreck her delicate just-aborning detente with Spike.)

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  25. [Note: Nix posted this comment on October 5, 2008.]

    Actually, I wonder almost if Whedon *avoided* killing Drusilla to mess with our heads. From the moment I first heard her name I expected Spike to dust her sooner or later (as the historical Drusilla was first shagged and then likely offed/driven-to-suicide by Caligula).

    And then she didn’t get killed at all.

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  26. [Note: Paula posted this comment on October 5, 2008.]

    From the shooting script I’ve gathered that the idea was that at the end, everyone was too tired from fighting to fight any more, so Drusilla got away. Which, looking at the actual episode, I don’t really buy.

    I bet though that it was thought just plain impossible to kill Drusilla off, with all the potential uses for the character in future episodes. In retrospect of course, since they never got around to using her again on either BtVS or AtS, they might as well have done it.

    (IMO, by right it should be Spike that finally dusts her, whenever that happens.)

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  27. [Note: Paula posted this comment on October 7, 2008.]

    A further comment to Nix: actually, Whedon & co. originally intended to kill Spike off pretty quickly and keep Dru as a big bad (together with Angel, at least in S2). How plans change… πŸ™‚

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  28. [Note: bigmoneygrip posted this comment on November 23, 2008.]

    Love, love, love the dancing with Xander/Anya and Willow/Tara. Like the song, too.

    Spike and his flowering onion obsession

    (offers Buffy a flask)
    ewww
    it’s not blood it’s bourbon
    ewwww

    Spike = Ramones fan!

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  29. [Note: jarppu posted this comment on May 28, 2009.]

    @Emily
    Spike had just kidnapped Buffy and tied her up in a cave. Yes, poor bady indeed. Poor evil-blood-sucking-soulless-vampire-kidnapper … -baby.

    It is a little counter-productive for a show, who’s initial premise was feministic and symphatetic to the social outcast, to have a character like Spike. Especially when Spike is shown in such a symphatetic light(poor baby!) even though he doesn’t exactly fit the “feministic and social outcast” -mold. Oh well.

    I’m definitely a fan of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” but I’m not fan of the “Spike, the cool vampire” that the show transformed into starting from this season.

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  30. [Note: Shannon posted this comment on May 28, 2009.]

    @Emily: Agreed. This is one of the many many times when JM uses facial expressions to convey so much more than words could have.

    @jarppu: Did you watch Fool For Love? Spike is the original outcast of this group! His whole “cool” persona is an act, a facade, that he’s spent the better part of a century building up piece by piece. All it took was a single sentence from Buffy (“You’re beneath me”) to shatter that facade and leave him in tears. This, and much of Spike’s behavior, is clearly not the mark of “Spike, the cool vampire”, but of a layered individual with some very complex and conflicting characteristics. And to say Spike takes away from the feminist message of the show is just, well, wrong. Spike has spent his unlife seeking out Vampire Slayers, who just happen to be women you know, because he knows that they are the only truly worthy opponent. A WOMAN is the only opponent worthy of a supernatural creature with superhuman strength? C’mon, how much more feminist can you get? Even when he stops trying to kill her, his respect for and admiration of Buffy is pretty limitless. He basically worships the woman, and as his lover, he straight out acknowledges her superiority in the sack. I don’t see how you could possibly call this anti-feminist. Contrast that with the first couple seasons in which we have Xander, who sees her as as a hot girl whom he thinks needs his help picking out a boyfriend, and Angel, who really just wants to protect her, and I’d say Spike actually vastly improves the feminist message of the show.

    Plus, it’s obvious that once Spike became popular with fans, the writers made a concerted effort to try to remind viewers how evil and soulless he was (see, Season 6), not to turn the show into a cool vampire show.

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  31. [Note: Shannon posted this comment on May 28, 2009.]

    Further, I think you’re in part missing the point if you think Buffy has to fit into a “feminist and social outcast” mold. There’s so much more going on than that.

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  32. [Note: Emma posted this comment on September 20, 2009.]

    A little thing, but can I get a massive “HELL YEAH!” for Harmony shooting Spike with the crossbow here?

    Random Crowd: HELL YEAH!

    Thank you.

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  33. [Note: Susan posted this comment on September 24, 2009.]

    *Shannon, I have to say that I love the thoughts that you shared concerning Spike’s character. Very insightful and it goes a long way in making sense of much of what he does. We see him so vulnerable responding to the hurtful way that Buffy treats him. She deliberately says the things that hurt him the most, telling him that he’s beneath her, that he disgusts her, never thanking him for any of the things that he does to help her, etc. To me, his character is much more convincing than that of Angel. Spike loves Buffy all the time, not just when he has a soul. He doesn’t have two separate personalities. Just one very complex one.

    *Mikejer, I hope you are still working on this site. I thoroughly enjoy reading all your reviews and I’m looking forward to your final reviews of Season 7. Hope you’re doing okay.

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  34. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on September 24, 2009.]

    @Susan: Don’t worry, all is well. A new review will be coming out soon along with something else that will reveal where a lot of my time has been spent the last month.

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  35. [Note: Sunburn posted this comment on October 31, 2009.]

    I’d agree that Buffy not only doesn’t have any romantic feelings for Spike, but is completely repulsed by the idea of having them. I think at least part of this is repressed revulsion at Angel’s misdeeds that she didn’t allow herself to feel at the time. I think Buffy at this point has kind of separated Spike and Angel into black and white in vamp terms – Angel is the pure romantic hero of her dreams, all the more perfect for never really having been around full-time, so that Spike gets landed with all the horror and disgust at his unashamed brutality.

    But, having said that, it is quite clear that there is a spark between them, and Buffy’s overdone repulsion is further proof of that. Why does she batter Puffy Xander (lol!) so vigorously? Why does she make a point of looking for Spike when Ben is chatting her up? She doesn’t want a relationship with him, she thinks she doesn’t even want to touch him or have him near her, but there is a nagging curiosity in the back of her mind about what it would be like, and that’s why she gets so angry. If she really wasn’t attracted to him at all, she wouldn’t need to make such a point of it and it wouldn’t bug her the way it does.

    (I think. πŸ˜€ )

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  36. [Note: Sam L posted this comment on October 31, 2009.]

    At this point, I agree that Buffy may acknowledge to herself that Spike is a good-looking guy, but she does not here feel the need to tell him that because there’s no point. His path toward redemption does not commence until Joyce’s death, so since he has not yet done anything to warrant her looking at him in a positive light, she has no obligation to say, “yeah, there’s something there”. In fact, in this episode, he behaves terribly throughout–kidnapping Buffy and threatening to kill her, telling Dawn horrible stories about his quests, slapping Harmony around (again) the second Drusilla shows up. This is all hilarious, but she is completely in the right and he is completely in the wrong here. He is still evil here, but he has nice cheekbones, so this causes confusion among some fans. Buffy is completely right and Spike is completely wrong in this episode, but what’s so funny is that Marsters has such amazing facial expressions that Spike can behave like a monster and fans will still let him get away with it.

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  37. [Note: Cirrus posted this comment on November 21, 2009.]

    Ah, your reviews are always a complete pleasure to read. πŸ™‚

    I like how you acknowledge that you’re a Spike fan, but you don’t make excuses for his behaviour. It seems to be that there are so many anti-Spike fans who insist that anybody who likes his character are delusional and ‘let him get away’ with brutal behaviour.

    This is why I don’t like Buffy/Spike in season 6 — I love Spike, I love Buffy, they’re my favourite characters and I enjoy seeing them together, but I don’t like the way it was done. I like Buffy’s reaction here, she took the first step in trying to remove Spike from her life, by uninviting him to her house. She doesn’t want to kill him, she just wants him gone from her life, like she said. In season 6 I just can’t understand her behaviour. The amount of times she sleeps with him, will be asleep next to him, a killer whom she really doesn’t know or can trust. He could just bite her. In fact, I think it was slightly OOC of him NOT to think about biting her when she was in that position. I can remember several moments where he prepared to kill her to make his life easier, to get him out of her mind. The fact that she just lets herself become that vulnerable… sleeping with a vampire. She didn’t even trust Angel all the time, and he had a soul. Spike gave her few reasons to 100% trust him, and that’s how she acts.

    I also don’t think that Buffy even likes Spike as a person here, never mind sees him as a romance potential. I think she saw the attempted kiss in Fool for Love as something simply perverted.

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  38. [Note: Shannon posted this comment on November 23, 2009.]

    @Cirrus – I agree about anti-Spike fans. I think he’s a fascinating, complex character, and I tend to enjoy episodes more when he is in them, but I’m not making excuses for his behavior. And no, SamL, I’m not blinded by his cheekbones or his sculpted pecs (as has been claimed by others who dislike Spike)- I think the guy is an incredible actor, and he really does bring a lot to the role through his ability to convey complex emotions through his facial expressions. As to your charge of “letting him get away with” his evil deeds, well, nobody’s arguing that he’s not still doing evil things. However, I believe that by this point he has become conflicted in that evil, and is floundering around trying to figure out what is right and how to get Buffy’s attention. As gabrielleabelle points out up in comment #16, he is a demon without a soul, and thus lacks any kind of moral compass, making it difficult to figure out that it’s not ok to kidnap and threaten the woman you love. Yes, what he did in this episode is obviously very wrong, but he doesn’t understand that, and is truly hurt by being uninvited from Buffy’s house. I think the fact that Marsters can elicit sympathy for a character whose actions were otherwise completely unsympathetic is a testament to his ability as an actor. Sorry, that’s kind of jumbled, but I don’t think it’s fair to dismiss interest in the character and the skill of the actor portraying him as girls falling for his cheekbones.

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  39. [Note: Mort posted this comment on December 7, 2009.]

    As far as Buffy being OOC by being so relaxed around dangerous Spike in S6, I think that it’s pretty well established that it’s a side effect of her being so depressed during that season and doing anything to feel. Speaking from my own experience, and from what I’ve seen of my friends who have gone through serious depression, being there makes you do stupid things that aren’t in your nature. When you get over it you look back and think “Wow, that was stupid” but at the time, even if you’re aware it’s foolish, you really don’t care. Also she’s pretty desperate to feel anything, so I’d imagine letting her guard down around someone dangerous would incite fear and excitement… so yeah, enabling her to feel something.

    Just my take on it…

    By the way, Mike, i’ve never commented before, but I love the site and your reviews…

    Like

  40. [Note: Blue Fan posted this comment on January 14, 2010.]

    Great episode!

    My biggest complaint about it has been already pointed out by you in your CONS.

    Why wasn’t Drusilla staken at the end of the episode????

    Not only did Buffy forgot the dead people on the train (that was very concerned at the beginnig of the episode), but also she forgot about Kendra’s death. Remember, back in S2? I strongly feel that, besides this, she failed in her duties as the Slayer. Yet, at the end of the episode, nobody seems to care! (just like in Buffy vs. Dracula)

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  41. [Note: DFAS GIles posted this comment on January 18, 2010.]

    I had forgotten how much I love this episode. It has great cinematography (the scene of Dru and Spike walking towards the couple on the balcony – something about Dru’s posture is totally arresting), great acting (the oft-mentioned facial expressions of JM and SMG), and hilarious comedy. I especially crack up at the “you bloody women” monologue, because it is so completely over the top.

    Regarding the Spike apologists and Spike judge, jury, and executioner perspectives… As has been mentioned above, Spike doesn’t have a soul, and doesn’t have a highly developed moral compass, though he seems to have more of a bearing than most vamps. As a result, he tries to express his love for Buffy in ways that we, ensouled viewers, generally find abhorrent. The fact that Spike acts cruelly (to us) in an attempt to prove his feelings (and continues to act reprehensibly for much of the rest of the series) seems to provoke certain reactions of, “see, he’s a killer and abusive and therefore doesn’t deserve our forgiveness or pity.”

    But I don’t think it’s incompatible to accept that Spike can be cruel, and at the same time feel pity for him. People who do horrible things still have feelings and are still vulnerable to being hurt. They are still people, with (generally) the full range of emotions as the rest of us. It’s just easier for us, for anyone who has been wronged, to imagine that people who do horrible things are somehow bereft of emotion. It gives us permission to hate them, because if they are evil they can’t possibly be like us, can’t possibly bleed if we prick them. If Spike was just an evil soulless thing with not a spark of humanity, it would be easier to hate him – we wouldn’t even have to think twice about it.

    But when you see the look on Spike’s face when Buffy uninvites him, or says he’s beneath her, of course we can feel pity for him. We see a being who is suffering, and some common part of us empathises with being hurt, kicks into “he looks an awful lot like me when I get hurt” mode.

    Which, I think, is an extension of the reason we demonise people. We don’t want to see ourselves in soulless killers. We don’t want to believe that we could ever do something so correspondingly horrible. Because of course we can and do.

    To me, this episode brings back the memory of Riley and Buffy arguing over demons being good or bad, but nothing in between, no greys. Whedon continues the debate here by provoking us into asking, “how can I be feeling such pity for a brutal killer?” And then he spins it around and gives us Willow, beloved Scooby and human, who in a later season does something terrible. Or take Warren and the trio. Who is evil? Who deserves our compassion? Who can be redeemed?

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  42. [Note: Lizzie posted this comment on July 16, 2010.]

    If there’s something I never liked about

    Buffy is the way she treats Spike. One time she’s asking him to show her how he killed the other slayers. He tells her. She doesn’t like what she heard. She tells him he’s “beneath” her.

    One time she tells him she never needs him. Then she goes to his crypt so that Spike can take care of Dawn and Joyce.

    She takes Spike along to find Dawn. He gets beaten up by Glory in her defense. After that, he tries to make conversation with her at The Bronze, and she treats him like dirt, and puts down the value of his help.

    I just think Buffy’s really selfish, and that she just manipulates people, but when she doesn’t need them, she discards them.

    Very selfish.

    Like

  43. [Note: Roxanne posted this comment on September 30, 2010.]

    Did you notice the chat that Tara, Willow, and Buffy are having when they get to the school? They’re talking about the hunchback of notre dame.. notice the comparison to that of Spike … “all bumpy”.. .. interesting yes??

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  44. [Note: projectrunaway posted this comment on October 11, 2010.]

    A practical question: why is Spike able to bite the woman in the bronze without experiencing searing pain in his head? Is it because Drusilla has already killed the woman, and Spike’s chip forbids him for harming living things but not dead ones? If that’s the case, why doesn’t Spike simple feed on dead people? I’ve struggled with this and would love to hear others’ interpretations of this scene.

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  45. [Note: Neil posted this comment on April 6, 2011.]

    Harmony’s Line “No threesomes unless it’s boy boy girl… or Charlize Theron” The first time I heard that I nearly fell out of my seat laughing.

    Like

  46. [Note: Louisa posted this comment on April 28, 2011.]

    “Why did Buffy just let Drusilla leave? That’s an incredibly deadly vampire she just let walk away.”

    My theory is that Buffy is the guardian of the hellmouth. Dru was leaving. Not a threat to Sunnydale. Mainly though, I think Drusilla’s brief speech about how she can love quite well made an impression. The more human feeling vampires express, the less likely Buffy is to stake them even if they are still dangerous. Witness Spike’s being alive long enough to get that soul.

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  47. [Note: deadlego posted this comment on May 10, 2011.]

    I love spike’s wardrobe for this episode. He turns up to the bronze wearing, instead of his staple black t-shirt and trousers, a light blue shirt, brown leather jacket and khaki trousers trying to dress to impress for buffy. And then later we see him in a khaki t-shirt and trousers, I think he is trying to dress a bit more like Riley. He really can’t figure out what he is missing that makes buffy not willing to date him. He can tell she is sexually attracted to him, although possibly subconciously on her behalf, so he can’t figure out why she doesn’t want to be with him. He doesn’t understand what he is missing. She has dated a vampire before and he knows that.

    The scene at the bronze really shows the difference between buffy’s state of mind at this point and her state of mind S6 (as you pointed out mike). Ironically for all spike’s trying to behave and do good, it’s the fact that he is evil and souless that draws buffy to him in S6. I believe that her S6 behaviour in choosing to start a sexual relationship with spike is pure self harm.

    What spike really wants from buffy is love, but short of that he wants respect, trust and intimacy. Although in S6 she has sex with him she doesn’t give him any of these things. At this point though he’s in a bit of a catch 22: he is unable to tell the thing that he is missing which makes him unable to gain buffy’s trust and respect-his soul, but he is unable to understand for the very reason that he doen’t have a soul. It takes him committing the terrible act of trying to rape buffy to realise that had he a soul he would never had behaved that way, and the same for how he behaves in this episode-he has no real moral compass without his soul(as paralleled in the Quasimodo conversation) and that’s why he actions are so twisted. Although humans, who have souls of course, can commit terrible acts like this, spike would never have done something like that when he was human.

    This episode does a wonderful job of depicting just how twisted, confused and conflicted spike is. Some people complain that the whole ‘chip in his head’ thing is a bad plot device so spike could be in the show more and be a love interest for buffy, but i think it’s brilliant and brings up some fascinating issues. Identity can be a very difficult thing for some people. Spike’s situation is really hard for him and shows that we can try to change when it is forced upon us, though ultimately we have to want it and do it for ourselves to truely change.

    This episode seems to give me a little more to think about every time I watch it, it deserves an ‘A-‘ as it is great but just doesn’t have the power that an ‘A’ or ‘P’ episode has for me.

    Like

  48. [Note: Sasha posted this comment on June 15, 2011.]

    I think the conflicted way the audience feels about Spike in this episode is similar to how Buffy must feel. There are times when he is accommodating and even charming, and then he does something like chaining Buffy up and threatening to kill her. Then of course we can’t ignore the fact that Spike is sexy and hot. I think it’s clear that she is sexually attracted to him but she is struggling with it and trying to suppress it. Given his horrible behavior in the past she is probably conditioned into thinking it’s wrong to be attracted to him because he is an evil soulless thing. As his behavior changes for the better it causes conflict within her, as well as in the viewer. This episode did a great job of showcasing how we can feel pity, sympathy, revulsion and lust for a character in one episode! This is how I imagine Buffy is feeling as well. It must be confusing!

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  49. [Note: Nix posted this comment on July 22, 2011.]

    Lizzie, I don’t think Buffy can be said to use and discard people. Right now she is under extreme stress: her boyfriend left, she’s got a deity hunting her and her sister, her sister is trying to adapt to something huge, her mother’s just recovered (she thinks) from a terrible disease… and that’s in the last *six weeks*. (And it’s only going to get worse.)

    It is reasonable to forget a few things or prioritize oddly when you’re under that much stress. If anything, throughout the series she shows that she does *not* use and discard people. She closes herself off from people, keeps secrets from them, and does things on her own, but that’s just slayer nature.

    The only instances of ‘use and discard’ I can think of are where the discardee demanded to be discarded, e.g. Spike in the bargain at the end of s2. The one time where she tries to ‘use and discard’, in S7, she proves that she’s really, really *bad* at it.

    She *does* treat Spike like dirt in S5 — similarly in fact to the way Spike treats Harmony — but she never actually discards him, and in a few episodes time she’s going to stop treating him like dirt very suddenly (and, keep watch: after _Intervention_ she never says horrible things to him again). I suspect part of the reason she’s treating him like dirt is that he has clearly been stalking her, and it disgusts her (‘out for a walk at night by my house. No one has time for this, William.’)

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  50. [Note: nitramneek posted this comment on October 6, 2011.]

    It’s no surprise that Spike kidnaps Buffy,chains her up,and “tortures”her into confessing her feelings for him.He did the same thing back in season 3,Lovers Walk.After it was all said and done,Spike was going back to Dru to torture her into loving him again.No surprise!With no soul,that’s what he does, right or wrong.After all, Spike is loves bitch.I am in no way condoning his actions.NOT AT ALL.I’m just saying that’s where his character is at at this particular part of the series.Spike just dosent know any better.

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  51. [Note: serenissima posted this comment on October 19, 2011.]

    i know i might catch flak for this one, but… i personally think Spike and Buffy are soulmates. I was never a fan of the Buffy/Angel (3 years and their relationship was really just a blip on my radar) or Buffy/Riley pairings. Angel was way too self-involved (understandeably), and there was always something just off about their relationship to me. The foundation was built on her being the Slayer, not them actually loving each other. But Spike managed to integrate himself into all different aspects of Buffy’s life. First loves always hit the hardest and Angel will forever be ‘the one that got away’ but i DO NOT think he was the one for Buffy. Spike was also the only one that had major insight into Buffy from Day 1. And Spike may have been twisted, but so is Buffy. Something about the two of them (maybe it’s just SMG and JM’s chemistry) CLICKS and feels right.

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  52. [Note: Odon posted this comment on December 25, 2011.]

    As to why Buffy let Drusilla escape – Buffy was alone in a crypt with three vampires, and if she concentrated on trying to kill Dru who knew what the others might have done. She had no reason to believe that Spike might not change his mind and intervene on Drusilla’s behalf as he’d just done on hers. I believe Buffy thought she’d had a lucky escape and just got the hell out of there.

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  53. [Note: Mike posted this comment on July 29, 2012.]

    I also think there’s a bit of foreshadowing when Tara says let’s give glory another name and then Buffy sees ben and says his name. It kind of foreshadows that Ben and glory share a body.

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  54. [Note: Great Whazoo posted this comment on November 4, 2012.]

    In my thoughts as to why Spike was able to indulge himself at the Bronze is that Drusilla put one of her “whammy’s” on him, although it would be a first towards a non-human. I try to give the writers latitude for the flow of the story ( since one of the first episodes where Darla unsucessfully attempts to light a candle from another but keeps on acting like it lit ),there’s a point where you can only tell so much in the course of an episode. They also likely had a future in mind for Drusilla at this point, and why she didn’t get staked. Remember that BtVS was cancelled at the end of this season and was then picked up by another network, so there wasn’t much story-telling time left at this point. I love the line ” getting beat up is like third base for Spike”, which basically sums up his obsession with her ( starting with his first knowledge of “Slayers” being the ultimate opponent attracting him to where he finally admits he’s met his match with Buffy, as indicated in his strategic advice to Adam )

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  55. [Note: JEL posted this comment on December 16, 2012.]

    At this late date answering the earlier question probably doesn’t matter. (And really isn’t relevant to the review.) But having just watched this, Dru clearly breaks the woman’s neck before giving her to Spike and then the man’s neck. (There is the motion and the “neck crack” sound effect.) So the woman is dead and that is what allows Spike to drink her blood without the chip firing. No need for complicated theories. As to why Spike just doesn’t drink off dead people all the time, I would imagine even in Sunnydale it is not easy coming across dead bodies with usable fresh blood in them if you are a lone vampire who can’t hurt actual people. Easier to shop at the butcher. However he could have had Harmony bringing him people to eat off of while she was around. And maybe he did before he started trying to change his ways to get Buffy’s approval. Or even afterwards (if he thought Buffy would never find out). I don’t think it matters much whether he did or didn’t.

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  56. [Note: Ryan ONeil posted this comment on December 17, 2012.]

    I just noticed a parallel in this episode to Angel trying to be as evil as he was as Angelus so that he can still be with Darla, but he’s gotten too good to be with someone as evil as her. Spike might not be “good” so to speak at this point, but I still think it shows how the two are more alike than they like to think.

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  57. [Note: Ryan ONeil posted this comment on December 17, 2012.]

    And a second I just realized: Angel wasn’t very good at this point either! So he’s getting worse at the same time Spike’s getting “better” (well, a more controllable evil at least).

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  58. [Note: katb posted this comment on January 30, 2013.]

    Is it not

    BUFFY:What, that chip in your head? That’s not change. Tha-that’s just … holding you back. You’re like a serial killer in prison!
    SPIKE: Well I’m in there all the time!
    BUFFY:Uhh!

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  59. [Note: Arachnea posted this comment on March 4, 2013.]

    Emotions, different points of view and conflicts run high for this one :).

    First, I’d like to agree with some of you: what makes Spike an entertaining character is his complexity and uniqueness. It has nothing to do with cool vampire (the ones in Twilight are cool vampires but I couldn’t care less !) or with hotness. Second, he’s been very well written and thought out. To conclude, the actor is exceptional at playing all the subtle emotions.

    I also wanted to add my two cents about love with or without a soul. I believe that Spike’s love is huge without a soul. The difference the soul would make is (knowing how kind he was before becoming a demon) how he acts on love. Love alone is never enough, what’s important is how you share it. So without his human moral compass, his behaviour is completely off, creepy, inadequate and wrong.

    So yes, everything he’s done until now is disgusting and by any human standard morality, is inexcusable. For a demon in love, it makes a lot of sense. For a demon with a complex persona and a chip in his head, it’s exquisite and disturbing to watch !

    At this point, he hasn’t proven being trustworthy, quite the opposite. So Buffy’s disgust is normal. She sees him as a thing, not a man: that’s why she uses him without thanks when it fits her. But she’s a slayer and there’s sexual appeal in battles; I believe her body may be attracted to him, but not her heart nor her head. That’s why her response to Spike’s love is so over the top.

    And I thoroughly agree with MikeJer about Spike’s reaction with the reversing spell. The writers did an excellent job to show that even if his behaviour is disgusting, we can still feel pity for him. Because in this little moment, we see that Spike truly feels, he believes everything he’s said and doesn’t understand Buffy’s reaction.

    To conclude, I believe that if the most liked characters are Buffy, Willow and Spike, it’s not because they’re pretty, good or bad, but because they are very complex, multi-layered three-dimensional characters.

    A fantastic episode with a real treat: watching Dru and Spike interact in the Bronze, with their oozing chemistry and charisma (cite me one couple with more chemistry and I’ll run to watch!), in their all badass mode was amazing.

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  60. [Note: cleftheart posted this comment on July 27, 2013.]

    Arachnea wrote: “A fantastic episode with a real treat: watching Dru and Spike interact in the Bronze, with their oozing chemistry and charisma (cite me one couple with more chemistry and I’ll run to watch!), in their all badass mode was amazing.”

    ——————-

    I agree. James Marsters and Juliet Landau have a strong chemistry. It is the reason James was cast as Spike actually, because he clicked with Juliet right away during the audition and the producers liked them. He also admitted that he enjoys his love scenes with Juliet the most (and his love scenes with her had some real resonance). They were also very close off screen (as friends) that James’ girlfriend got jealous. In one interview he says meeting Juliet was like meeting a soul mate. In one Q&A session with James, he had said that he has loved Juliet ever since the first time he’d seen her. Lol!

    James was once asked in a Q&A session which couple has the best chemistry on both (BtVS & AtS) shows and he quickly replies “Me and Juliet Landau!”. πŸ˜‰

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  61. [Note: JustJenna posted this comment on September 29, 2013.]

    Is it not

    BUFFY:What, that chip in your head? That’s not change. Tha-that’s just … holding you back. You’re like a serial killer in prison!
    SPIKE: Well I’m in there all the time!
    BUFFY:Uhh!

    Nope. Spike’s line is “Women marry em all the time!” Proof is in the shooting script, as well as in the subtitles. It also makes more sense. Why would Spike be in prison all the time? Police officers could never hold a vampire as strong as Spike. Well, pre-chip anyway. But in the five years he’s been in Sunnydale, we’ve never seen or heard of him going into police custody unless you count his brief stay in the Initiative’s holding cells… But it is true (sadly) that women marry imprisoned serial killers all the time.

    So yeah, even with his encounter with the Initiative, I don’t think there is any canonical evidence to suggest Spike spends a lot of time in prison.

    πŸ™‚

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  62. [Note: danny posted this comment on November 25, 2013.]

    I suppose if for some crazy reason you don’t like Spike

    Hmm… I guess not liking spike for trying to rape buffy and attempting to kill her and the scoobies countless times is crazy. …. NOT!!

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  63. [Note: Nebula Nox posted this comment on December 24, 2013.]

    Spike is only able to feed off the woman in the Bronze because she is already dead. Even then, he hesitates before putting on his vamp face.

    His offer to kill Drusilla for Buffy is weird and sick. However, what he is trying to do is to prove to Buffy that he has changed and is willing to leave behind his old life. He is already trying to change for her sake, and is understandably frustrated at her inability to acknowledge it.

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  64. [Note: FaithFanatic posted this comment on December 25, 2013.]

    By saying he’s in prison ‘all the time’ he’s referring to the chip, which is ‘imprisoning’ him all of the time.

    Like

  65. [Note: Kyle posted this comment on December 25, 2013.]

    I have to concur with JustJenna… I didn’t believe it at first, but when I listened to it very closely, I could tell that Spike said “Women marry em all the time”… which makes a lot more sense actually…
    It may be that Whedon wanted to leave some bit of uncertainty regarding the line in order for us to read it two ways, which is a testament to not only Whedon’s brilliant writing, but James Marster’s excellent acting.

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  66. [Note: FaithFanatic posted this comment on December 25, 2013.]

    I’m not arguing what the actual line was (I haven’t watched the episode in two months) I’m simply trying to provide clarification as to what the line ‘I’m in there all the time’ COULD have meant, whether or not it existed.

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  67. [Note: Seele posted this comment on December 26, 2013.]

    WHYYYYYY??????
    πŸ˜‰

    In all seriousness:

    “Why did Buffy just let Drusilla leave? That’s an incredibly deadly vampire she just let walk away.”

    Maybe it was because Dru was so dangerous (didn’t have a chip like Spike did and had killed a Slayer more recently than he had), and Buffy wasn’t as recovered from the unconsciousness as she was letting on?

    Remember the Season 7 episode that started with Rona losing a practice fight against Spike, being forced to admit that she had wanted to run away, and Buffy telling her that that was a good thing? That there are fights where the Slayer has the advantage, fights where the demons have the advantage, and if a Slayer’s gut says that they would win, then she needs to force the demons to fight somewhere else where she would win instead?

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  68. [Note: Seele posted this comment on December 26, 2013.]

    Actually, the first part was a joke about me getting mad at the fact that you get mad about trivial things, and the second was a completely separate attempt to also say something productive instead of just nattering.

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  69. [Note: Joy posted this comment on April 17, 2014.]

    I think it’s funny when Buffy in the train says, “It’s creepy,” about Spike having a crush on her, completely oblivious to how creepy it is that she’s sitting inside the taped outline of a corpse.

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  70. [Note: Joy posted this comment on April 18, 2014.]

    Could definitely be foreshadowing. It still makes me laugh, though. For people who don’t know it’s foreshadowing it’s definitely funny. Or maybe I’m just warped.

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  71. [Note: Joy posted this comment on June 30, 2014.]

    (After writing this I saw that nitramneed mentioned it in #53)

    In Lover’s Walk, Spike says: “I’ve been all wrongheaded about this. Weeping, crawling, blaming everybody else. I want Dru back, I’ve just gotta be the man I was, (stands proud) the man she loved. I’m gonna do what I shoulda done in the first place: I’ll find her, wherever she is, tie her up, torture her until she likes me again.”

    So for Spike, chaining Buffy to a wall and threatening to kill her is a perfectly normal way of demonstrating love. William/Spike has never had a sexual relationship that wasn’t sado-masochistic. I’m guessing the only lover he’s ever had is Drusilla, and this is how she made him. This doesn’t justify his actions by any means, but I think it explains them.

    Spike is definitely changing for the better though, as evidenced by the way he relates to Dawn. Dawn isn’t even fully human for all he knows. He might be able to bite her without the chip going off, but even when they’re alone together and Dawn says she isn’t human, biting her doesn’t even cross his mind.

    When Spike is repelled at Buffy’s front door, the look on his face, that little whispered “please,” is all William.

    Like

  72. [Note: Lydia posted this comment on August 4, 2014.]

    I love this episode, Spike is such a hugely entertaining character, that episodes with plenty of Spike screen time are always a winner for me. Plus, there was just so much to love about it.

    Spike was always the most sympathetic of the vamps (except soul-having Angel, obviously), and it wasn’t just his weakness for Drusilla; he’s romantic, witty, and perceptive about what hurts people emotionally. He was always nice to Joyce, even pre-chip. And he’s spending time with Dawn because he likes her. With the chip and love for Buffy on top of it, Spike has genuinely changed, and he really does love Buffy. If vamps can change, if they can love, it blurs the boundaries of that whole vamp/soul/Angel thing. So it makes sense that there is so much debate going on. I don’t have anything to add because most of these are old posts and everyone’s pretty much already said what I wanted to. I think I side with Clems Kitten Basket #9, Tranquility #14, and others claiming the same.

    I really liked Spike trying to handle Buffy, Drusilla, and Harmony, all at the same time, with the help of chains and ropes. (And can you think of three more dissimilar women?) I actually believed for a moment that Spike would stake Drusilla. He had to commit, to make a choice, and he chose Buffy, and wow. If Drusilla couldn’t turn Spike back, no one could. It really did mean a lot to him, killing his sire, that is a very intense thing for a vampire! It was also so much fun when Harmony walked in on Drusilla and Spike and launched into a blithering rant. I’m surprised nobody mentioned Drusilla tilting her head, all amused and mouthing “Boo-Boo?”, that had me in a laughing fit for so long! Anyway, it was wonderful to have Drusilla back in Sunnydale, although I wish her visit could have been longer. Her cackling while Spike declared his love to Buffy was a hoot.

    Although Spike doesn’t have a literal soul, he is one of the most soulful characters in this world. From the first time we meet him with Dru, he is the one who is able to commit to something with everything he is worth. He is capable of deep feelings, be they love or hate. When he was alive, he had the soul of a poet. I think that part of that soul is still within. I do think Buffy does protest too much. It is powerful when you know someone loves you. You may not love them back, but there is always a part of you that appreciates being the one.

    My favorite part of this episode is Spike’s failure to understand who his big romantic gesture of kidnapping and attempted murder didn’t succeed. He was so confident kidnapping his obsession and chaining her to the wall while he killed his ex-girlfriend would solve his problem. Unlike others, I DO NOT believe Spike did this in order to get Buffy to fall in love with him. He just wanted *something* from her, anything at all. He wanted her confession. It was a dismal attempt, but he didn’t know any better at the time. The look on JM’s face at the end when he finds out that he’s been un-invited from her house is just heartbreaking, man, how does he do it.

    Dawn and Spike are so much fun together. I also think it’s funny that Xander is peeved about Dawn transferring her crush from him to Spike. This episode in general is really pretty great, one of my favorites. Just the right balance of everything and it works very well when topped with good acting, amazing characterizations and witty dialogue. One of those Buffy classics one can never tire of watching. I think this was the episode that ultimately had me SOLD on the Spike/Buffy relationship.

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  73. [Note: YEup posted this comment on February 19, 2015.]

    Reading some Spuffy comments just makes me cringe at how willing people are to overlook actions because they come from a somewhat entertaining character. Spike as a vampire without a soul is not an anomaly. He is obsessed with Buffy to a disgusting degree and stalks her endlessly. She is basically an object to him.

    This clingy/possessive/stalker behavior is a perversion of William’s previous romantic inclinations. This isn’t dissimilar to other vampires’ distorted human traits based on their previous personality like how Willow becomes an overly sexual sadist. It’s not any remotely healthy kind of love if you want to even call it love- I’d probably call it the most immature relationship in the entire series.

    There are other vampires in the Buffyverse that have had similar long-term relationships, like Angel’s friend from the season 3 Angel episode Heartthrob. Spike isn’t that special.

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  74. [Note: NightLady posted this comment on February 23, 2015.]

    I didn’t read the comments before yours so I have no idea what made you cringe but I agree with you about Spike not being an anomaly. Because you are right: he isn’t the only vampire who’s able to love. Actually now that you make me think of it, Angel seems the only one who doesn’t, so maybe HE is the anomaly lol.

    Anyway back to Spike… yes, he loves and his love is not healthy from a human point of view. He is a vampire after all πŸ˜‰ So he uses not healthy ways to win the object of his love, such as stalking, and I’m sure no one overlooks it or denies that it’s a wrong way to love. But there is also no denying that what Spike does is not much worse than what others – humans as Warren or souled vampires as Angel – do. The big difference is that humans (and Angel) have a soul, Spike doesn’t.

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  75. [Note: Leanne posted this comment on October 23, 2015.]

    My feeling is that we can argue about whether Spike loved Buffy until the cows come home (and then we can argue about the cows! :D) but it really depends on your definition of love, and there is no objective definition so it feels kinda fruitless.

    However, even if we are to say that he loved her (or not) then it seems pretty clear that it was a selfish and abusive love. Personally, I think that in a few eps time he starts to ‘get’ what love really means, but then in the later rape attempt it dawns on him that the ‘love’ which he is capable of is not compatible with the soulful love which Buffy has and needs. Does that make sense?

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  76. [Note: Fin posted this comment on October 29, 2015.]

    I just watched this episode the other night (I’m rewatching all of buffy). One thing that made me laugh was that Spike’s Buffy-altar has a real fan-art look (the drawings of buffy, for example): it made me imagine that Spike was also writing (very bad) Buffy/Spike slash fiction. It would be to some extent in-character: he was a (very bad) poet in his human life, after all. Spike as just another Spike/Buffy ‘shipper?

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  77. [Note: LouisLittForEmperor posted this comment on January 25, 2016.]

    The fact that it took Buffy this long to realize that Spike had a thing for her just supports my theory that Buffy is not the most intuitive person. Sherlock Holmes she ain’t.

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  78. [Note: Pandorita posted this comment on March 26, 2016.]

    It was interesting to read everyone’s opinion on the whole Buffy/Spike affair. I agree with some of them, especially with Shannon’s. This is not a black and white, right vs wrong situation, and those who says Spike fans forgive him of everything because he’s good-looking, funny and cool are missing the point completely.

    Yes, Spike is all those things. He’s also a vicious demon, a deeply hurt man, and a hopeless romantic. He’s a badass but also a very sensitive creature (as Harmony correctly noted), a loser, an outcast and a “fool for love”. He’s just as tragic as Angel, although in is own, non-broody kind of way, which is much, much cooler to watch, is you ask me (I like Angel like the next fangirl, but all that brooding gets really tiresome sometimes).

    Spike is not just cheekbones and abs and attitude, he’s a delightfully complex and unique character and JM is superb in delivering us all his complexity. That’s why we love him (confessed Spike fan here).

    He does terrible things in this episode, and he’s supposed to, he’s a vampire for god’s sake! What did you expect from him? He has no soul, as many said before, no moral compass, yet in his own twisted way he’s still able to feel love and affection and care for others. In this episode he hasn’t started his own journey towards redemption yet; but he’s about to start it, and he does that *without* a soul; that’s why he’s complex and unique in a way no other vamps are in the Buffyverse. He will even fight to get his soul back; it’s not enforced on him, like it was on Angel. He does it out of his own free will, moved by his love for Buffy. I think that sets him appart from other vampires and makes him so much more interesting.

    Just so you know, most of what was discussed here about the possibility of true love between him and Buffy is adressed (and solved) in the comic continuation of BTVS, which is considered canon (nine season I believe). For those who hadn’t read the comics, I won’t spoil anything, but you should go ahead and read them!

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  79. [Note: Pandorita posted this comment on March 26, 2016.]

    One more thing, I think Dawn’s comment about Spike’s chip being the same as having a soul is very interesting and deserves further discussing.

    Because what is a soul, really? Aside from the religious or mystical conception of it, in this show it’s treated as the thing that makes us human, the moral compass, the thing that tells us right from wrong.

    And how does our soul tells us right from wrong? Because when we do wrong, it hurts. It hurts in our heart, to see other people suffering. That’s empathy. That’s why we don’t want to see others in pain, because we can, to some extent, feel that pain too. That’s a human capacity serial killers and sociopaths often lack.

    And what does Spike’s chip do? In a rudimentary level, just the same as a soul. It keeps him from doing harm, by making him hurt. When he hurts others, he feels pain himself, so, he soon learns to behave in a more civil way. Yes, it’s merely a physical restraint, but, it’s also after he gets his chip that others stop seeing him as a threat and he stops seeing them as mere prey, and so he can start relating to them and interacting with them in a more human way; and even grow feelings of sympathy, fondness, care and love (Buffy being the first example, but there’s also Joyce, Dawn and later on, a little bit Anya and Willow).

    I’m not saying that having a chip equals having a soul, but hey, the resemblance is uncanny!

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  80. [Note: ommy posted this comment on August 28, 2016.]

    I think this is about SpikeΒ΄s choices: his past with Drusilla (she wants her family back), kinda his present with Harmony and the future (that includes Buffy)

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  81. [Note: TheDoThatGirl posted this comment on August 30, 2016.]

    I remember when I first saw this episode, I had thought Drusilla would be killed when she first showed because I just KNEW she would see Dawn and in her infinite looniness and Sight she would see Dawn’s true nature and Buffy would have to stake her. I guess they kept her around because they wanted to use her in other episodes of AtS but the show was canceled before they could.

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