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More of a Good Guy? Spike or Faith

DeadlyDuo

Scooby
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The sad fact is that Buffy, a slayer and also who had the obligation of motherhood thrust upon her at a young age, agrees with Spike of all people and never even attempts to sympathize with Wood.
Lots of dislike for that episode and those characters, right there. But that's OT.

I quite like this episode. I think Buffy is firmly in fight mode now, she's got the First to face and she needs all her troops together not trying to kill each other. I also think Buffy is ranking her troops in value, Spike is a more valuable asset than Wood.

They could've had Spike reject going to far 'back into himself', that would've been interesting, that struggle to find a balance- where to draw the line. But nope, he puts on the coat and he';s the Big Bad again. Boring.

I disagree. Spike needed to do what he did, to accept both parts of himself and find the balance rather than rejecting a part. I do wonder if perhaps this is why Spike is more even when it comes to soul/soulless compared to Angel's Jekyll and Hyde act. Angel rejects Angelus so when he does lose his soul Angelus gleefully comes out to play because he gets no other chance. Spike accepts his vampire side but tempers it with his human side.

I guess I would say that Spike is heroic, he does hero-things, but he isn't a nice guy. Mildly put.

I agree with this, however I think that makes him more interesting, otherwise he would just be another Angel.

I would've like to see more empathy from Mr. intuitive sensitive poet-guy to be honest. Maybe something along the lines of 'both my Mum and your Mum were victims of ME, the demon, and I know the anger and the pain that you feel, cause I've felt it for about a hundred years- that loss and pain.'

That is so unlike Spike though. If he did that it would be very OOC.

Again, the writers went a different way- I get that, but it still feels like Spike is bullying and belittling somebody who he caused a large amount of pain and had the chance to apologize to.
I know, Wood tried to kill him, but Holtz took Angel's son, and he still heard the guy out.

Spike wasn't bullying. And he did start to acknowledge some of the damage he had caused in one of the Angel episodes. The thing with Nikki though is she was the slayer and on both occasions, we didn't see how they came into conflict with each other. Who approached who? If Spike was minding his own business when Nikki started trying to kill him then he's not going to feel guilty about defending himself. If he approached Nikki then it was a simple matter of hunter vs prey which works on both sides of the coin. With their first fight I don't think Spike was aware Robin was there which suggests Nikki clocked him before he clocked her which gave her enough time to tell Robin to hide. The second fight could've been Spike finding her first. The thing though is that it's vampire vs Slayer, both are trying to kill each other, that's just the way of things. Why should Spike feel guilty for killing someone who was trying to kill him. If anything, the fact he didn't kill Robin "on account of his mother" shows that Spike does recognise that he does have some accountability but that's where it ends.

Holtz was just playing Angel. He made it look like Angel had killed him.
 
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Guy

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Black Thorn
That's exactly what Spike said; my Mum loved me and your Mum didn't love you. If she had loved you then she wouldn't have been the slayer, blah blah. It was laughable how little Spike understood of what it meant to be a slayer, to be a mother, to have obligation that you couldn't walk away from. After that I doubted every 'truth' the guy had ever uttered and reevaluated them.

Everyone in that episode had a point, and everyone was also at least a little wrong. That's what I really love about it - 'Lies My Parent told me' is one of the most morally grey episodes of the Buffyverse, with everyone in conflict being sympathetic to some degree. Spike's point in his speech to Robin is true - if Nikki was raising Robin as her son (and he was a little KID, unlike Dawn who was already a teen when Buffy started being her de-facto mother), why was she going out on patrols and fighting? It's not like she was stopping the apocalypse, she was just killing individual vampires. The season 9 comics delve into this question in some interesting ways. Spike had a point - a regular person might have abandoned those patrols for a baby's sake, but a slayer has predatory instincts as well as motherly instincts, and Nikki couldn't choose Robin over her mission. Nikki was neglecting Robin for her mission's sake, and that was wrong of her.

There are a lot of subtleties to this, but of course Spike was saying this in the most blunt and offensive way possibe, because hello - ROBIN JUST TRIED TO KILL HIM! But Spike still had a point. Just like everyone in that episode.

The sad fact is that Buffy, a slayer and also who had the obligation of motherhood thrust upon her at a young age, agrees with Spike of all people and never even attempts to sympathize with Wood.
Lots of dislike for that episode and those characters, right there. But that's OT.

Buffy LITERALLY sympathizes with Robin. She talks with him about her own dead mother, and says that she understands why he did it. But she also tells him that he was wrong to attack Spike (which, of course he was), and warns him to never try it again, because the mission is more important. Which is true, of course - saving the world is so much more important than Robin's childish vengeance.

In a way, Buffy is choosing the mission over Robin, just like Nikki did back when Robin was a kid. It's not exactly the same, of course (Buffy was never his mother, obvs, and she wasn't even in love with him or anything), but I really love the symmetry of that. It's a great episode - Drew Goddard is a brilliant writer, and it's a shame that he only joined BtVS in its last season. And David Fury is also great, of course (although I think I'd rate Goddard higher if I'd rank all of the Buffy writers overall).

They could've had Spike reject going to far 'back into himself', that would've been interesting, that struggle to find a balance- where to draw the line. But nope, he puts on the coat and he';s the Big Bad again. Boring.

Yeah, 'Get it Done' isn't the greatest episode. It could have been better. And yeah, 'Release' is better than 'Get it Done'. Still, that's just one episode. Spike's arc is fantastic for most of the rest of season 7.

Also its disturbing. Spike with a soul is- for all intents and purposes- a blank slate. Like Angel he can remake himself in a way to get over his horrible past. I could understand that. Instead he revels in it- that's what the coat says to me. Not acceptance, pride. (this is evident in 'Damage' and 'TGIQ') He's wearing a trophy, a kill. I have never seen any other character - a reformed one- do this and I don't particularly like it.

Spike wears his coat because the writers knew that the fans love the coat. I try not to read too much into it.

I guess I would say that Spike is heroic, he does hero-things, but he isn't a nice guy. Mildly put.

Well, that's true. But Faith isn't big on the nice-ness either. They're both very blunt, headstrong people. And I love them both for it.

I would've like to see more empathy from Mr. intuitive sensitive poet-guy to be honest. Maybe something along the lines of 'both my Mum and your Mum were victims of ME, the demon, and I know the anger and the pain that you feel, cause I've felt it for about a hundred years- that loss and pain.'
Again, the writers went a different way- I get that, but it still feels like Spike is bullying and belittling somebody who he caused a large amount of pain and had the chance to apologize to.

Spike's responsibility for the death of Nikki is flimsy at best, because of the soul thing. An apology might have been nice (albeit pointless), if Robin had just come to him and talked to him about it. But when Robin tries to KILL him for it, he really loses the moral high ground. Spike was justified in being a dick to the guy who just tried to murder him.

Also, I really have no interest in watching people seek atonement for things they're not responsible for. At least not for any lengthy stretch of time. It doesn't work for Angel, and it wouldn't have worked for Spike either. Faith's atonement works as a story because she doesn't have the soul thing.

I know, Wood tried to kill him, but Holtz took Angel's son, and he still heard the guy out.

And Spike heard the guy out too. He just didn't accept any of Robin's revenge bullshit. Which, good for him.

Also, didn't Holtz use Angel's mercy in 3x21 as an opportunity to hatch the plan that resulted in Angel being sunk into the ocean? That's really not a good example of how one should treat one's enemies...
 
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thetopher

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I quite like this episode. I think Buffy is firmly in fight mode now, she's got the First to face and she needs all her troops together not trying to kill each other. I also think Buffy is ranking her troops in value, Spike is a more valuable asset than Wood.

I liked Buffy when she was more in touch with humanity and saw people as people and not assets in her war. I twa ssad to see her fall so far.

That is so unlike Spike though. If he did that it would be very OOC.

No such thing at this stage. Spike with a soul is, basically a brand new character with brand new set of values and motivations.
He could've done/reacted any way to his new feelings. He did not, he let the demon come out and taunt/hurt just like he'd always done. He didn't kill, which is progress, but not much progress.

Spike wasn't bullying. And he did start to acknowledge some of the damage he had caused in one of the Angel episodes.

Eh, a little bit after getting tortured by Dana but still 'TGIQ' he mourns the loss of that coat much to Angel's disgust.

The thing with Nikki though is she was the slayer and on both occasions, we didn't see how they came into conflict with each other. Who approached who? If Spike was minding his own business when Nikki started trying to kill him then he's not going to feel guilty about defending himself. If he approached Nikki then it was a simple matter of hunter vs prey which works on both sides of the coin.

But it doesn't matter who started what. In a demon vs. slayer fight there is the force that protects humanity and the force that pray on people and kills them. You can't use moral relativism when one of them is clearly evil and killing people.
I mean, I guess from a certain perspective ANYONE can be considered a good guy or whatever, people can root for whoever they want. But I'd spent the past 7 years rooting for a slayer OVER vampires and the forces of darkness so I am sorry that Nikki Wood lost her life to a vampire.

She was a victim of her calling and Spike ended her life, if he had any empathy for the slayer or their role- as he claims to- then he would feel bad about his part in her death and wouldn't revel in it.
That's just the way I feel, you don't celebrate the bad you've done. If you don't view it as bad, that doesn't excuse you, just makes it worse imo.

Holtz was just playing Angel. He made it look like Angel had killed him.

But its not about Holtz, Holtz is a lowly turd, its about Angel and Angel's humanity. He treated his enemy with respect even though it cost him. That's straight-up hero stuff.
 

thetopher

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Everyone in that episode had a point, and everyone was also at least a little wrong. That's what I really love about it - 'Lies My Parent told me' is one of the most morally grey episodes of the Buffyverse, with everyone in conflict being sympathetic to some degree.

I disagree, the episode is quite clear actually. Buffy and Spike are 'right' and Wood and Giles are wrong. Spike has his little 'revelation' and is fixed, and Buffy coldly shuts Giles out of her inner circle. It's clear who we're meant to side with; Buffy making her 'hard choices' and Spike triumphant.

The fact is that, on the flip side, Buffy and Spike's behavior is pretty terrible at this point. So I never thought it was a deliberate attempt of the writers.

Spike's point in his speech to Robin is true

No, it isn't. If Nikki Wood didn't love her son then she could've given him up for adaption or any number of things. She didn't. Nikki tried to quit (as we later found out) but couldn't.
Not only because of 'slayer instinct' but, common sense-wise we know that a slayer cannot quit. They are alone and there's only one way out- death. How many evil things have targeted the slayer specifically? I doubt Spike was the first to try to kill Niki the slayer, he was merely the last.
Could Nikki really have just walked away, from a moral perspective, and allowed innocents to die?
And for all we know Nikki did save the world- or at least New York- on more than one occasion. That's why slayer are there after all, to fight 'the forces of darkness', not just keep the vampire population down, its right there in the job description.

And its pretty heartless to say 'meh, she could've just quit. If she dies so what. it's what a slayer does.' Robin mourned her death just like Spike was torn up by his mother' s death. But the episode states- Spike's pain (manifested by the trigger, that has caused so much damage) matters more than Robin's pain (which led to him dedicating his life to hunting vampires/fighting evil for a while) which makes no sense.
They both suffered, but one's pain is validated and the others...well, he should just get over it already because his mother never loved him anyway.

There are a lot of subtleties to this, but of course Spike was saying this in the most blunt and offensive way possibe, because hello - ROBIN JUST TRIED TO KILL HIM!

Like I said I have no problem with him beating the crap out of Robin- even past the point of defending himself. But if you watch the episode, Spike isn't angry at the end, he's reflective, calculating, and he says what he says solely to inflict pain. It isn't truth, only opinion.

Buffy LITERALLY sympathizes with Robin. She talks with him about her own dead mother, and says that she understands why he did it. But she also tells him that he was wrong to attack Spike (which, of course he was), and warns him to never try it again, because the mission is more important.

Buffy literally sides with Spike over Wood. Spike says 'if he looks at me funny I'll kill him', and Buffy says 'I'll let him', she's being completely utilitarian and siding with Spike just 'cause.

Oh, and where was this hard-headed practicality when Spike was running around with a kill-trigger for MONTHS? A danger to everybody.
Nowhere is what, 'the mission is what matters' is complete bulls*it at this point. It's 'whatever Buffy wants, Buffy gets'.

Spike wears his coat because the writers knew that the fans love the coat. I try not to read too much into it.

No other character has an 'iconic' look, they all wear different clothes because clothing is a good visual representation of changing state of mind; maturity, growth of character or whatever.
This is especially true of morally grey characters; Angelus wears leather pants, Angel doesn't, Wesley goes from pastel suits to gritty 'demon hunter' street clothes, Faith goes from trailer trash poor to slutty/cleavage-y evil to denim and tight t-shirts reformed.

Spike's coat matters in storytelling terms. The writers made that clear from S5 'Fool For Love' when he took it off Nikki Woods- it was something he won, a trophy. I had no problem with a vampire wearing it- 'cause demon. But somebody who supposedly now has morals? Yeah, its skeevey and crappy. It's symbolic, 'Get It Done' deliberately made it symbolic to Spike's character- it matters.

But Faith isn't big on the nice-ness either. They're both very blunt, headstrong people.

I remember when Faith beat the living crud out of Connor and then was all 'don't worry about it. You messed up, just makes you one of us.'
Yeah, Faith isn't little miss empathy, but she still doesn't rub salt in the wound.

Spike's responsibility for the death of Nikki is flimsy at best, because of the soul thing.

Not from Spike's perspective, or why bother apologizing/being sorry to Buffy for what he did to her without a soul?
Can't have it both ways, either he isn't responsible for any of it so S7 Spuffy shouldn't exist, or Spike is the same man, just 'better', and he should've had more empathy for collateral damage like Robin Wood.

Also, didn't Holtz use Angel's mercy in 3x21 as an opportunity to hatch the plan that resulted in Angel being sunk into the ocean? That's really not a good example of how one should treat one's enemies...

See above, not about Holtz, about Angel and his showing humanity and being better than those who would harm him/wish vengeance upon him.
 

DeadlyDuo

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Everyone in that episode had a point, and everyone was also at least a little wrong. That's what I really love about it - 'Lies My Parent told me' is one of the most morally grey episodes of the Buffyverse, with everyone in conflict being sympathetic to some degree.

I agree. This isn't a simple case of black and white. Wood's actions in the lead up to this episode were quite shady. He never admitted that it was the First that told him about Spike. The First clearly had an ulterior motive there and Robin never questioned WHY the First was telling him. Robin was constantly being passive-aggressive towards Spike. Robin lured Spike to the garage under pretence. He had Giles keep Buffy busy so she couldn't intervene. He deliberately set off Spike's trigger.

Wood isn't an innocent little victim in all of this, so whilst Spike's words were harsh, he kind of brought it on himself with his actions leading up to the confrontation. Perhaps it would've all played out differently if Wood had just been open and honest and confronted Spike head on about what he did to Nikki instead of being underhanded. Wood's actions lost him the moral high-ground.
 
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Guy

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Black Thorn
I disagree, the episode is quite clear actually. Buffy and Spike are 'right' and Wood and Giles are wrong. Spike has his little 'revelation' and is fixed, and Buffy coldly shuts Giles out of her inner circle. It's clear who we're meant to side with; Buffy making her 'hard choices' and Spike triumphant.

The fact is that, on the flip side, Buffy and Spike's behavior is pretty terrible at this point. So I never thought it was a deliberate attempt of the writers.

I never felt that kind of dissonance. Buffy was being too lenient in her willingness to let Spike walk free with his trigger un-treated, and the narrative seemed to paint that as a problematic decision - after all, that's why Giles and Robin went on their plan. Spike was also too defensive and unwilling to treat his trigger properly, and the narrative acknowledged that - after all, we see later that he really was still triggered. We were meant to side with Spike's "triumph" over Robin, because that's just common sense - Robin was trying to murder Spike without justification, so of course Spike's victory is a good thing. And Giles' part in the plan to murder Spike was also shady (yet understandable), and Buffy was right to shut him out for it, and the narrative painted it fittingly.

I mean, I guess that's subjective, but the episode works perfectly for me. Everyone made both good choices and bad choices, and the story "painted" all of these choices fittingly, while still leaving a lot of grey area to make it interesting.

No, it isn't. If Nikki Wood didn't love her son then she could've given him up for adaption or any number of things. She didn't. Nikki tried to quit (as we later found out) but couldn't.
Not only because of 'slayer instinct' but, common sense-wise we know that a slayer cannot quit. They are alone and there's only one way out- death. How many evil things have targeted the slayer specifically? I doubt Spike was the first to try to kill Niki the slayer, he was merely the last.
Could Nikki really have just walked away, from a moral perspective, and allowed innocents to die?
And for all we know Nikki did save the world- or at least New York- on more than one occasion. That's why slayer are there after all, to fight 'the forces of darkness', not just keep the vampire population down, its right there in the job description.

Season 9 actually says that Buffy CAN do what Nikki couldn't. That Buffy CAN leave her slayer-ness behind to take care of a baby. And yes, Buffy has the advantage of living in a post-Chosen world where there are lots of slayers, but season 9 implies that Nikki had the option of quitting too, even if it might have been less easy. And really, even if you disregard the comics, common sense implies that it's possible - there are plenty of witches (like Willow) and human demon hunters (like Gunn) who can take care of regular threats. The slayer is only really required for Apocalypses, and even then there are others. But we see that Nikki wasn't just stopping apocalypses, she was parolling regularly. That's what brought her up against Spike. Of course, it's not that she didn't love Robin - she obviously loved him, as much as any parent. But she was torn between her love and her duty, and Robin was the victim of that. I don't want to make Nikki sound like a dick - she was in a very difficult situation obviously, and I admire her resolve to raise a kid while being the slayer. But the fact is that Robin was victimised by her decision to NOT leave her slayer-ness behind. And that WAS a decision that she made. And therefore - Spike had a point. He said it in a very blunt and unfair way (becuase he was understandably pissed), but he had a point.

And its pretty heartless to say 'meh, she could've just quit. If she dies so what. it's what a slayer does.' Robin mourned her death just like Spike was torn up by his mother' s death. But the episode states- Spike's pain (manifested by the trigger, that has caused so much damage) matters more than Robin's pain (which led to him dedicating his life to hunting vampires/fighting evil for a while) which makes no sense.
They both suffered, but one's pain is validated and the others...well, he should just get over it already because his mother never loved him anyway.

1) The way I see it, Spike's words about "she was a slayer, I was a vampire" were just meant to make Robin feel crappy. I don't think that Spike's actually like "la la la there's nothing wrong with the fact that I killed Nikki", And I definitely don't think that the episode is implying that this is true. It's just like in 'Destiny', when Spike and Angel talk about Buffy like she's a prize - they don't actully think that way, they just say those things to piss off the person in front of them.

2) IMO, the episode isn't saying that Spike's pain over his mother was more important than Robin's. The episode is saying that they were BOTH handling their pain in wrong, unhealthy ways in the beginning (Spike by bottling it up and blaming himself, and Robin by seeking vengeance), and they were BOTH healed in the end - Spike by realizing that his mother's words were false, and Robin by letting go of his vendetta and fracturing his idealized view on his mother.

3) The way I see it, the "moral of the story" is that they should BOTH get over it. The moral of the episode is that parents can mess us up, and it's important to acknowledge their mistakes so we can move on. It's what Buffy does (with Giles), and it's what Robin does (not that he has a lot of choice after Spike beats him, but still - he seems to understand his mistake, and he doesn't pick up the vendetta against Spike again), and it's what Spike does. Actually, Spike's story here is the most complex and fascinating - he seems to believe that his mother didn't mean those horrible things she said after turning into a vampire, but... did she? History implies that vampires are at least somewhat similiar to the people they were before. We don't really know if Spike's mom really only said those things because of her soullessness, but the important thing is that Spike thinks so. When Spike simply thinks that his mother's words were not true, it's enough to de-trigger him. It's fascinating to me - the power of parents on our psyche doesn't come from the parents themselves, it comes from our PERCEPTION of our parents.

Like I said I have no problem with him beating the crap out of Robin- even past the point of defending himself. But if you watch the episode, Spike isn't angry at the end, he's reflective, calculating, and he says what he says solely to inflict pain. It isn't truth, only opinion.

I think Spike's words there are sometimes lies meant to hurt, sometimes truth meant to hurt, and sometimes exaggerations meant to hurt.

Buffy literally sides with Spike over Wood. Spike says 'if he looks at me funny I'll kill him', and Buffy says 'I'll let him', she's being completely utilitarian and siding with Spike just 'cause.

Oh, and where was this hard-headed practicality when Spike was running around with a kill-trigger for MONTHS? A danger to everybody.
Nowhere is what, 'the mission is what matters' is complete bulls*it at this point. It's 'whatever Buffy wants, Buffy gets'.

1) Buffy did sympathize with Robin, and tried to console him.
2) Buffy sides with Spike because Spike was the victim there, whereas Robin was the one who was just trying to murder him. I'd side with Spike too, in that situation.
3) I don't think that Buffy actually meant it when she said "I'll let him". I think she just said it to make sure that Robin would let go of his vendetta. And that's a good call by Buffy, I think. If she was like "I forgive you completely Robin" then Robin might have tried it again later, for all Buffy knows. She had to stop the whole thing completely, so she went tough on Robin there. I'm sure that Buffy wouldn't have allowed Spike kill Robin if Robin tried to kill Spike again and failed again. Buffy isn't a big fan of killing humans when not necessary, especially when those humans are people she knows.
4) Buffy was too lenient with Spike, absolutely, and that was a mistake. And the narrative acknowledges that (after all, Giles and Robin wouldn't have attacked Spike if it wasn't for Buffy's careless support of Spike in that situation).
5) Buffy has a soft spot for Spike, and that affects her judgement, and the narrative acknowledges that too, constantly.

No other character has an 'iconic' look, they all wear different clothes because clothing is a good visual representation of changing state of mind; maturity, growth of character or whatever.
This is especially true of morally grey characters; Angelus wears leather pants, Angel doesn't, Wesley goes from pastel suits to gritty 'demon hunter' street clothes, Faith goes from trailer trash poor to slutty/cleavage-y evil to denim and tight t-shirts reformed.

"No other character has an iconic look"? I disagree. Angel has his own classic coat, and Giles has his tweed, and Faith has her cleavage (I don't care what you'll say, I'm counting it!:p), and Gunn has his lawyer suit in season 5, etc... I guess Spike is the only one who has a specific single piece of clothing that's iconic, but every character has her/his own style.

Spike's coat matters in storytelling terms. The writers made that clear from S5 'Fool For Love' when he took it off Nikki Woods- it was something he won, a trophy. I had no problem with a vampire wearing it- 'cause demon. But somebody who supposedly now has morals? Yeah, its skeevey and crappy. It's symbolic, 'Get It Done' deliberately made it symbolic to Spike's character- it matters.

It used to matter, and then Spike stopped wearing it after 'Seeing Red'. Just like Gunn stopped wearing street clothes in season 5. But apparently halfway through season 7, the writers realized that Spike doesn't look as cool without it, so they gave him a lame excuse to wear it in 'Get it done'. I guess one might try to read into that and decipher something deep about Spike's character... but the way I see it, he's just back to wearing it because it looks cool, and now it's meaningless. After all, in 'The Girl In Question' Spike's coat gets shredded, and he simply gets a new one that looks just like it. I see that as a meta statement - Spike's coat is no longer meaningful for his character, it just looks cool. And I'm fine with that.

I remember when Faith beat the living crud out of Connor and then was all 'don't worry about it. You messed up, just makes you one of us.'
Yeah, Faith isn't little miss empathy, but she still doesn't rub salt in the wound.

Well, Connor didn't just try to kill her. It's not the same situation. I'm sure that if Robin tried to murder Faith, she'd be just as mean to Robin afterward. And maybe you don't want to count the comics, but if you do, we see that Faith is verbally twisting the knife in Gigi in 'No Future For You', when they're fighting. Faith gets mean when she's angry, just like Spike.

Not from Spike's perspective, or why bother apologizing/being sorry to Buffy for what he did to her without a soul?
Can't have it both ways, either he isn't responsible for any of it so S7 Spuffy shouldn't exist, or Spike is the same man, just 'better', and he should've had more empathy for collateral damage like Robin Wood.

1) Robin lost the right to empathy when he tried to kill Spike, so it doesn't really matter if Spike feels he's guilty for his soulless actions or not. Spike shouldn't have shown empathy for Robin either way, because that would be weird. Most people aren't inclined to show empathy to other people that just tried to kill them.
2) Also, I believe that Spike's opinion on his own soulless past changes over the course of season 7. At first he feels incredible pain over it, and slowly he learns to move on and rebuild himself. Which, good for him. I wish Angel would take a page from the Spike book about guilt. It'll be good for him.
3) "either he isn't responsible for any of it so S7 Spuffy shouldn't exist"? Uh, what does that mean? The way I see it, Spike's relationship with Buffy would be a lot stronger if they didn't have the whole "hey remember that time you tried to rape me?" elephant-in-the-room situation.

See above, not about Holtz, about Angel and his showing humanity and being better than those who would harm him/wish vengeance upon him.

Roger that. I still think it makes perfect sense that Spike DIDN'T apologize to Wood in that situation.
 
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DeadlyDuo

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1) The way I see it, Spike's words about "she was a slayer, I was a vampire" were just meant to make Robin feel crappy. I don't think that Spike's actually like "la la la there's nothing wrong with the fact that I killed Nikki", And I definitely don't think that the episode is implying that this is true.

I disagree. Obviously Spike isn't being all "nah nah nah nah nah nah" about it, but I think he does bring up a valid point. Nikki was a slayer and he was a vampire, it's her job to slay people like him and it's his job to not be slain. There was nothing personal to it, Spike didn't target Nikki because of WHO she was and she didn't target him because of WHO he was, they went for each other because of WHAT they were. Slayers and vampires are natural born enemies (Angel, Spike and Buffy are anomalies in the grand scheme of things) so of course when they come into conflict with each other, only one of them tends to walk away alive. Normally the slayer wins, but every so often she doesn't.

We never actually see the lead up to both fights between Spike and Nikki, but I think there's evidence to suggest that the park fight was initiated by Nikki as she had time to hide Robin. Considering when Spike was about to bite Nicki, he was distracted by Robin knocking over the bin as if he didn't know he was there, I think Nikki spotted Spike before he spotted her. It also calls into question why Nikki endangered her child by initiating and engaging in a fight with a vampire who, not only would've killed her, but would've likely killed her child as well.

The second fight could go either way, all we know is that Spike and Nikki had a whole subway carriage to themselves which suggests it must've been really late in order for the carriage to be that empty. It wouldn't surprise me if that time Spike spotted her before she spotted him and she was on her way home when he decided to finish what she started in their last fight. She did beg for her life but Spike couldn't really let her live even if he wanted to. She would've killed him without a second thought either as soon as his back was turned or on another night when she was on patrol.

Actually, Spike's story here is the most complex and fascinating - he seems to believe that his mother didn't mean those horrible things she said after turning into a vampire, but... did she? History implies that vampires are at least somewhat similiar to the people they were before. We don't really know if Spike's mom really only said those things because of her soullessness, but the important thing is that Spike thinks so. When Spike simply thinks that his mother's words were not true, it's enough to de-trigger him.

I think Spike is correct in his assertion that it wasn't his mother speaking. How she was with him before was completely different to how she was with him after her siring. Having his mother try to come on to him and insinuating that he'd always wanted to have sex with her is probably what traumatised Spike more than her saying his poetry was crap. That was definitely the demon talking there.

It's fascinating to me - the power of parents on our psyche doesn't come from the parents themselves, it comes from our PERCEPTION of our parents.

I agree. I also think Xander is deeply affected by this as well as he feared his marriage would turn out just like his parents'.

Angel has his own classic coat, and Giles has his tweed, and Faith has her cleavage (I don't care what you'll say, I'm counting it!:p)

LOL:p

It used to matter, and then Spike stopped wearing it after 'Seeing Red'. Just like Gunn stopped wearing street clothes in season 5. But apparently halfway through season 7, the writers realized that Spike doesn't look as cool without it, so they gave him a lame excuse to wear it in 'Get it done'. I guess one might try to read into that and decipher something deep about Spike's character... but the way I see it, he's just back to wearing it because it looks cool, and now it's meaningless. After all, in 'The Girl In Question' Spike's coat gets shredded, and he simply gets a new one that looks just like it. I see that as a meta statement - Spike's coat is no longer meaningful for his character, it just looks cool. And I'm fine with that.

I disagree that Spike putting his coat back on was only done to make him look cool. To me, Spike not wearing the coat was him rejecting the vampire side of himself. Him putting it back on was him accepting that the vampire is a part of himself and being at peace with it, unlike Angel who is trying to deny that part of himself. (It's kind of why I think Angelus is such a different personality to Angel, unlike Spike who was more or less the same person soulless/ensouled, Angel rejects the vampire side of himself so when he ends up losing his soul, Angelus takes charge and rejects the human side of himself. Angel has not found that balance yet).

I do agree that Spike's coat lost meaning in TGIQ because it was not the same coat after it got shredded. It was an identical looking coat but it wasn't THE coat that was a symbol of Spike's vampire history. On the plus side, at least Robin won't try and take that one from him.
 
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Guy

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I disagree. Obviously Spike isn't being all "nah nah nah nah nah nah" about it, but I think he does bring up a valid point. Nikki was a slayer and he was a vampire, it's her job to slay people like him and it's his job to not be slain. There was nothing personal to it, Spike didn't target Nikki because of WHO she was and she didn't target him because of WHO he was, they went for each other because of WHAT they were. Slayers and vampires are natural born enemies (Angel, Spike and Buffy are anomalies in the grand scheme of things) so of course when they come into conflict with each other, only one of them tends to walk away alive. Normally the slayer wins, but every so often she doesn't.

We never actually see the lead up to both fights between Spike and Nikki, but I think there's evidence to suggest that the park fight was initiated by Nikki as she had time to hide Robin. Considering when Spike was about to bite Nicki, he was distracted by Robin knocking over the bin as if he didn't know he was there, I think Nikki spotted Spike before he spotted her. It also calls into question why Nikki endangered her child by initiating and engaging in a fight with a vampire who, not only would've killed her, but would've likely killed her child as well.

The second fight could go either way, all we know is that Spike and Nikki had a whole subway carriage to themselves which suggests it must've been really late in order for the carriage to be that empty. It wouldn't surprise me if that time Spike spotted her before she spotted him and she was on her way home when he decided to finish what she started in their last fight. She did beg for her life but Spike couldn't really let her live even if he wanted to. She would've killed him without a second thought either as soon as his back was turned or on another night when she was on patrol.

1) "She did beg for her life"? Huh? We never see that. Spike SAYS that Nikki begged for her life in 'School Hard', but in 'Fool for Love' we clearly see that she didn't. Spike was just bragging about stuff that didn't happen.
2) I don't accept the whole slayer/vampire equivalence thing. Yes, they're two fighters on opposite sides, but one side is clearly a force for good, whereas the other side is a force for bad. Fact is, killing vampires in the Buffyverse is a GOOD thing, because vampires kill innocent people. When Spike killed Nikki, it may not have been personal, but it was still an evil act. And if Nikki had killed Spike, it would have been a good act. If she killed him, countless innocent people that he later killed could have been saved. And I think that Spike realizes this too in season 7, and he only says those things to Robin out of anger and spite.

I think Spike is correct in his assertion that it wasn't his mother speaking. How she was with him before was completely different to how she was with him after her siring. Having his mother try to come on to him and insinuating that he'd always wanted to have sex with her is probably what traumatised Spike more than her saying his poetry was crap. That was definitely the demon talking there.

Well... I'm not sure. I guess it's safe to say that some of it was lies and some of it was true, but I can't REALLY tell which is which. I think that there MIGHT have been a part of his mother that resented William's infantilism and wished he'd just find someone and leave her. Or maybe she didn't want him to leave exactly, but she did see him as a weakling, a loser. I don't know... Vampires are complicated. And honestly, the episode is more powerful if you have that question in your head - maybe she DID mean it? It's more powerful to me, anyway.

I agree. I also think Xander is deeply affected by this as well as he feared his marriage would turn out just like his parents'.

Oh, totally. Xander has parental issues coming out of his ears. He's like the Buffyverse version of Tony Soprano.

I disagree that Spike putting his coat back on was only done to make him look cool. To me, Spike not wearing the coat was him rejecting the vampire side of himself. Him putting it back on was him accepting that the vampire is a part of himself and being at peace with it, unlike Angel who is trying to deny that part of himself. (It's kind of why I think Angelus is such a different personality to Angel, unlike Spike who was more or less the same person soulless/ensouled, Angel rejects the vampire side of himself so when he ends up losing his soul, Angelus takes charge and rejects the human side of himself. Angel has not found that balance yet).

I do agree that Spike's coat lost meaning in TGIQ because it was not the same coat after it got shredded. It was an identical looking coat but it wasn't THE coat that was a symbol of Spike's vampire history. On the plus side, at least Robin won't try and take that one from him.

I think that the writers WANTED to have a story where Spike puts the coat back on because he accepts his vampires side (although, that still would have been just an excuse to have Spike look cool with his coat again)... But the execution of it in 'Get it Done' just never really worked for me. It didn't feel like some kind of deep character exploration of Spike, it was just "well, there's a big fight ahead, and I need the badassery of my vampire self, so I'll just put the coat back on because I need the confidence boost". It didn't work for me, and it really didn't acknowledge the creepiness of ensouled-Spike wearing the coat of a dead slayer that he killed, so I prefer to just see it as the writers wanting Spike to look cool again. I prefer to not read too much into Spike's coat after 'Get it Done'.
 

Stoney

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I think what Spike says to Wood is deliberately cruel and is in part sheer malice from being attacked and in part defensive aggression for being confronted with his past. There is distinction when souled with the vamps but they aren't totally new people. Giles commented in S9 after being in Angel's mind that he had been 'trapped within you, captive audience to a century of atrocities and your schizophrenic mix of guilt and delight over them.' Spike has this season also acknowledged that the dirty little secret is that having a soul doesn't make you forget the rush. The demon that was there enjoying the kills, driving that behaviour, is still a part of them even if it is tempered/suppressed by the soul. It must be very tough for them both.

Neither vampire lacks continuity between their unsouled and souled selves because they aren't different people there is just that important distinction as they wouldn't make the same choices souled, even if the demon is still there too. Angel's background for me explains why he responds in a very guilt-focused way and this with his focus on redemption has him behave more withdrawn compared to his aggressive behaviour when unsouled. Their motivations/personalities and also the different paths the two vampires had to their souls also helps explain why one behaves more distinctly aggressive when unsouled than the other. But both have character continuity and both are looking to fight for good now. It has always seemed to me that Angel sees what he does now as a way of redeeming for his past whereas Spike doesn't feel he can redeem his past but can control what he does in his present/future. He deliberately tries not to think back on it and, as I say, being pressed to by Robin played a big part in how he behaved. Both vamps cope with their sense of responsibility in different ways but both are shown to feel guilt, Spike's is just less open. Spike quite simply doesn't open up in this way much and allow himself to be vulnerable in front of people. And yes this can result in negative defensive behaviour driven by his fear of appearing weak in front of people, but that is all part of his story going right back to what happened to William.

And Nikki was in a very difficult situation I think. I do think there is something in the argument that her slayer instincts could have been at war with her maternal ones but there is also the fundamental truth that if she is saving the world she is saving her son too. Being the only chosen one then and taking a passive attitude to her duty/calling could have in fact been accepting the world being a more dangerous place for her son. The combination then of slayer/mother I think would have her fight, hoping to keep him safe as long as she was able before the next person took her place.

As for the coat, I think it has huge importance in Spike's story and yes it is symbolic but it did stop being a trophy when he was souled. I don't think it was accidental that Spike ran off without his coat as he went to quest for his soul. It deliberately symbolises leaving his unsouled self and moving onto a new path. We then see him trying to wear a different outfit when he returns, trying to remake himself again, but internally not able to get away from his guilt/fears. One of the key differences in him souled is that he doesn't revel in the fight any more, as he told Buffy. Get It Done is important imo to show that he uses the coat again to don a persona, which really is such a major part of his story. He was looking to connect with a created image that isn't 'him' any longer, but he can feel he can wear to be as useful as he can be. It is another instance of the mission coming first, above his sensitivities souled. And yes, I hated his response in TGIQ to the coat's destruction but it does actually make sense if you consider how unlikely he was to ever turn to Angel and say that he would fear not being able to fight the same without it. As I said, his defensive behaviour can be very negative. But his instant/easy happiness with the replacement coat showed that it wasn't about it being a slayer trophy to him souled at all. It really didn't matter to him that it wasn't 'the' coat any longer because it is just his connection to that aspect of himself and, yes, the acceptance of the demon still being within him too.
 

Mr Trick

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I agree that there was malice in the way that Spike killed Nikki and that it went beyond the norm. But then that was a very different time and I can also see the point of view that it was him against her. If he didn't kill her, she would have killed him. That's no comfort for Wood of course.
 

thetopher

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I never felt that kind of dissonance. Buffy was being too lenient in her willingness to let Spike walk free with his trigger un-treated, and the narrative seemed to paint that as a problematic decision - after all, that's why Giles and Robin went on their plan.

When do they paint it as problematic? When Buffy leaves in 'Empty Places' and Spike gives her 'the speech' and it turns out Buffy was right in her insane troll logic and comes back triumphant to take back her leadership?
Complete validation as far as I'm concerned. Buffy was 'right' to ignore the trigger and trust Spike because ( and ONLY because) the plot tells us so.

We were meant to side with Spike's "triumph" over Robin, because that's just common sense - Robin was trying to murder Spike without justification, so of course Spike's victory is a good thing.

Hmn, Spike's not dying is a good thing- in the scheme of things- but the way he 'triumphs' is not a good thing. Saying that he 'didn't give a piss' about Nikki's death is not a good thing and I found it hard to root for him there.

but season 9 implies that Nikki had the option of quitting too, even if it might have been less easy.

No it wouldn't. She is the one girl in all the world, that's it. No retirement plan. And we know there are things out there that happily want to kill slayers just 'cause they're the slayer. Spike used to be one of them.
Quitting was practically impossible, not only because of the forces of darkness but also because of the Watcher's council.

1) The way I see it, Spike's words about "she was a slayer, I was a vampire" were just meant to make Robin feel crappy. I don't think that Spike's actually like "la la la there's nothing wrong with the fact that I killed Nikki", And I definitely don't think that the episode is implying that this is true.

I disagree. Spike says what he means. He didn't feel guilt or sorrow for Nikki. We know this because he acts the same way in 'Damage' when Dana channels Nikki.

2) IMO, the episode isn't saying that Spike's pain over his mother was more important than Robin's.

Absolutely it is, that's the heart of the episode. Spike's pain matters but Wood's does not.

3) I don't think that Buffy actually meant it when she said "I'll let him". I think she just said it to make sure that Robin would let go of his vendetta. And that's a good call by Buffy, I think. If she was like "I forgive you completely Robin" then Robin might have tried it again later, for all Buffy knows. She had to stop the whole thing completely, so she went tough on Robin there. I'm sure that Buffy wouldn't have allowed Spike kill Robin if Robin tried to kill Spike again and failed again. Buffy isn't a big fan of killing humans when not necessary, especially when those humans are people she knows.

I have no clue where Buffy's mind was at late S7. It's entirely possible that she would've let Spike do whatever he wanted because he was 'her strongest warrior' or some crap.

Out of interest, how exactly did Nikki screw up her son's childhood? Apart from 'getting killed by Spike' I can't think of anything, so I'm not sure your reading of the episode works.
The episode is Spike-centric, they are his flashbacks, as a resolution to his 'trigger' plot line with The First. Spike is the 'truth teller' that had his little revelation about his Mum. All that indicates that what Spike is saying is supposed to be the 'unvarnished truth' that he sees into.

Or bollocks really, since he doesn't know what he's talking about. I'm sure it makes him feel better though, which is always what matters to Spike the most.

4) Buffy was too lenient with Spike, absolutely, and that was a mistake. And the narrative acknowledges that (after all, Giles and Robin wouldn't have attacked Spike if it wasn't for Buffy's careless support of Spike in that situation).

Again, Buffy is rewarded for that leniency by the narrative, so I disagree.

"No other character has an iconic look"? I disagree. Angel has his own classic coat,

And he mixes it up often enough. He spends a lot of time wearing a leather jacket. I mean, he likes black but he doesn't like 'black that he's taken off people he's killed'.

, and Giles has his tweed,

Not in S4 or a lot of S6 and 7- he wears normal clothes with no sigh of tweed. Tweed was only when he was official watcher type. A uniform.

Faith has her cleavage

Not at the beginning of S3 when she was an ally (sadly) and not over on Angel S4. Cleavage tends to mean evil with Faith, she tones it down when she's a good guy.

It used to matter, and then Spike stopped wearing it after 'Seeing Red'. Just like Gunn stopped wearing street clothes in season 5. But apparently halfway through season 7, the writers realized that Spike doesn't look as cool without it, so they gave him a lame excuse to wear it in 'Get it done'. I guess one might try to read into that and decipher something deep about Spike's character... but the way I see it, he's just back to wearing it because it looks cool, and now it's meaningless.

Hey, the writers made it what they made it, they made the coat some psychological crutch thing for Spike to access his dark side; I find it simplistic, creepy and puts doubt on Spike feeling bad for ANYTHING he ever did.

After all, in 'The Girl In Question' Spike's coat gets shredded

I have to say it stops becoming quite so ghoulish after that, and just becomes kinda sad. A man so wedded to a 'cool look' is not cool. Ever.

Well, Connor didn't just try to kill her. It's not the same situation.

Connor tried to kill the person Faith cared about the most. It's an applicable comparison I think.

I can't remember the amount of trash talk between Faith and Gigi, I DO remember Faith still trying to reason with her, which is enough of a differentiation to me. Faith was giving Gigi a certain amount of respect because she had empathy for her situation. Not like Spike at all then.

1) Robin lost the right to empathy when he tried to kill Spike, so it doesn't really matter if Spike feels he's guilty for his soulless actions or not.

Okay, so you clearly think that Wood deserved no consideration or dignity. What about respect for Nikki's memory. Nikki was a mother that he stalked and murdered (its implied in the episode because Nikki mentions to Robin that it isn't 'safe to go home again' so she'll leave him with her Watcher) and now Spike is addrressing his son. After this meeting they never talk again. Which I find odd to be honest.

3) "either he isn't responsible for any of it so S7 Spuffy shouldn't exist"? Uh, what does that mean? The way I see it, Spike's relationship with Buffy would be a lot stronger if they didn't have the whole "hey remember that time you tried to rape me?" elephant-in-the-room situation.

Actually it wouldn't exist AT ALL. If soulless Spike isn't at all responsible for past actions, that goes for all the good as well as the bad. That goes for protecting Dawn and holding out against Glory as well as all the sexy times.
They have no relationship- pretty much. So while it would be simpler to say 'none of that was me' obviously Spike (and Spuffy fans) doesn't want that, since he still loves Buffy. So he only feels bad for the stuff he wants to feel bad for, which is the main problem with his character for me. The inconsistency we constantly see in his blurry moral landscape.

Look, I used to like Spike, I get his appeal; he plays by his own rules and he's unfettered by a lot of the crap inj his past, he lives for the now and is passionate. He is a 'good guy'.
On the other hand, I get tired of his character being validated at the expense of others, Wood is just one example of the people he tramples on as he figures out his various 'truths'. 'LMPTM' will always be a low-point for his character in my eyes. I mean, most characters- good guys- have them, moments of weakness where they are kinda huge jerks. This is one of those times that Spike is that jerk.
 

Guy

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When do they paint it as problematic? When Buffy leaves in 'Empty Places' and Spike gives her 'the speech' and it turns out Buffy was right in her insane troll logic and comes back triumphant to take back her leadership?
Complete validation as far as I'm concerned. Buffy was 'right' to ignore the trigger and trust Spike because ( and ONLY because) the plot tells us so.

"When do they paint it as problematic"? When everyone constantly talks about how Buffy's feelings toward Spike are coloring her Judgement (Giles says this, and Rona, and Anya, and others that I probably forgot), for one. And the narrative literally proves her wrong - we see in 7x17 that Spike's chip is still active. Buffy continues to support Spike and is too lenient, and that causes Giles and Robin to make that plan. Then she closes the door on Giles and goes tough love on Robin, and guess what - in the next episodes, Buffy's leadership is more questioned than ever, culminating in 'Empty Places', where she is essentially deposed. HOW IS THAT "VALIDATION"?! Buffy was clearly wrong in her blind support of Spike, and the narrative punishes her for that. And after 'Touched', Buffy is rewarded because she CHANGES HER WAYS.

Hmn, Spike's not dying is a good thing- in the scheme of things- but the way he 'triumphs' is not a good thing. Saying that he 'didn't give a piss' about Nikki's death is not a good thing and I found it hard to root for him there.

Well, in a sense, it IS a good thing - Robin needs to let go of his obsession with his mother and move on with his life (Seriously, Robin was being a total Batman until this episode, and that's not healthy), and Spike's verbal attack on her is one of the things that makes him realize this. And anyway - Spike SHOULDN'T give a piss about his mom. As an ensouled being, Spike is not to blame for his actions while soulless. And given that Robin just tried to kill him unprovoked, Spike is perfectly right to be insensitive about Robin's grief.

No it wouldn't. She is the one girl in all the world, that's it. No retirement plan. And we know there are things out there that happily want to kill slayers just 'cause they're the slayer. Spike used to be one of them.
Quitting was practically impossible, not only because of the forces of darkness but also because of the Watcher's council.

Season 9 plainly shows that Nikki DID have that choice. Her watcher told her he'd keep the council off her back, and that others could fight vampires. Robin himself says in season 9 that Nikki wasn't FORCED to fight or anything - she CHOSE to go back to patroling, and left him alone at nights, and he was constantly worried about her. And her watcher was mad at her for this.

And anyway, if she can't stop being the slayer, then the right thing would be to give Robin away - instead of dooming him to be an orphan and traumatizing him. Robin ended up being raised by someone else ANYWAY. Fact is, Nikki tried to be a mother and a slayer at the same time, and that victimized Robin.

I disagree. Spike says what he means. He didn't feel guilt or sorrow for Nikki. We know this because he acts the same way in 'Damage' when Dana channels Nikki.

Spike isn't big on guilt in general. But he didn't mean it (IMO) when he said that there's nothing wrong with vampires killing slayers. That's clearly not the case.


Absolutely it is, that's the heart of the episode. Spike's pain matters but Wood's does not.

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The "heart of the episode" is 3 parent-child relationships: Buffy and Giles, Spike and his mom, and Robin and Nikki. And the point of the episode is that they ALL need to put their parents in the past and live their life independently. Spike needs to stop obsessing over the horrible things that his mother said to him, and Robin needs to stop obsessing over the perfect image of his mother that he's still trying to avenge, and Buffy needs to stop seeing Giles as her overcaring parent and realize that they're both equal adults (at first it manifests as Buffy pushing Giles away, because she takes it too far, but by 'Chosen' they find a middle ground and see each other as equals and as friends. But that's a different issue, and it relates to Buffy's overarching arc, beyond this episode). The "heart of the episode" is that we shouldn't allow ourselves to be defined by our parents. Spike and Robin represent 2 ways in which this problem can manifest, and they both manage to grow beyond their parents by the end of the episode.

I have no clue where Buffy's mind was at late S7. It's entirely possible that she would've let Spike do whatever he wanted because he was 'her strongest warrior' or some crap.

Well, as someone who loves Buffy's journey in season 7, I'm telling you that she wouldn't. She just said that to make sure that Robin will leave his vendetta behind. That's how I see it.

Out of interest, how exactly did Nikki screw up her son's childhood? Apart from 'getting killed by Spike' I can't think of anything, so I'm not sure your reading of the episode works.

By going out patrolling when she had a child (and yes, she went out patrolling. She wasn't forced by the council, and she wasn't limiting herself to stopping apocalypses, she simply "went hunting", like Buffy did in the beginning of season 5). She had a choice - she could focus on slaying and leave Robin to be adopted, or she could focus on parenthood and stop patrolling, and she chose option 3 - trying to juggle both. Which was doomed to result in Robin being emotionally scarred. If it wasn't Spike, some other vampire would have killed her sooner or later.

The episode is Spike-centric, they are his flashbacks, as a resolution to his 'trigger' plot line with The First. Spike is the 'truth teller' that had his little revelation about his Mum. All that indicates that what Spike is saying is supposed to be the 'unvarnished truth' that he sees into.

You're saying that just because this is a Spike-centric episode, we're supposed to accept everything he does as right? That's just wrong, IMO. 'Becoming' is a Buffy-centric episode, and it is the end of her arc in season 2 (which is WAY bigger than Spike's trigger arc), and yet she runs away from Sunnydale at the end of the episode, which is a wrong decision (sympathetic and understandable, but wrong). And the following season makes it clear that the show sees her decision to leave Sunnydale as wrong too.

There's always ambiguity.

Or bollocks really, since he doesn't know what he's talking about. I'm sure it makes him feel better though, which is always what matters to Spike the most.

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Again, Buffy is rewarded for that leniency by the narrative, so I disagree.

Again, that's not being "rewarded". Buffy's leniency causes her rift with her friends to grow, and that rift causes her to be deposed in 7x19. She is only "rewarded" when she changes her ways, in 7x20.

And he mixes it up often enough. He spends a lot of time wearing a leather jacket. I mean, he likes black but he doesn't like 'black that he's taken off people he's killed'.

Not in S4 or a lot of S6 and 7- he wears normal clothes with no sigh of tweed. Tweed was only when he was official watcher type. A uniform.

Fair enough. :) I tend to be more focused on the female fashion, because...

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Not at the beginning of S3 when she was an ally (sadly) and not over on Angel S4. Cleavage tends to mean evil with Faith, she tones it down when she's a good guy.

WHAT? she totally had cleavage in the first half of season 3!

Come on, that's her FIRST outfit on the show:

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And this is a bad angle, but there was cleavage there:

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And season 4 of Angel doesn't count, because Faith was in it for, like, 3 seconds. She would have gotten around to it if she stuck around long enough!

And Faith was good in season 7 of Buffy, and she had definite cleavage there.

THESE ARE IMPORTANT FACTS TO REMEMBER, DAMMIT!

Hey, the writers made it what they made it, they made the coat some psychological crutch thing for Spike to access his dark side; I find it simplistic, creepy and puts doubt on Spike feeling bad for ANYTHING he ever did.

Well, if you wanna use it as an excuse to hate him, fine. Me, I just don't read into it after 'Get it Done'. And TGIQ made it plain that the writers didn't read into it either.

I have to say it stops becoming quite so ghoulish after that, and just becomes kinda sad. A man so wedded to a 'cool look' is not cool. Ever.

Well, yeah. That's Spike for you. He's the most pathetic person on the show ("You're not even a loser anymore, you're a shell of a loser"), but he spent an entire century building a facade of a cool rebel. It's entirely fake and shallow and insecure, which makes him human, but it's also a really convincing facade, which makes him fun. That's why he's such a complicated, entertaining character. At least to me.

Connor tried to kill the person Faith cared about the most. It's an applicable comparison I think.

Still not AS bad. Trying to kill someone you care about isn't as bad as trying to kill YOU, with the physical pain it involves.

I can't remember the amount of trash talk between Faith and Gigi, I DO remember Faith still trying to reason with her, which is enough of a differentiation to me. Faith was giving Gigi a certain amount of respect because she had empathy for her situation. Not like Spike at all then.

Faith said stuff like "BOO HOO, so I gave you a fake name. Get over it, Gigi" and "part of you knows something ain't right... 'Cause you've never deserved to be loved by anybody" and "if you're so sick of the bad dreams... then wake the #^%* up". And Faith LIKED Gigi. Spike was never close with Robin.

Okay, so you clearly think that Wood deserved no consideration or dignity. What about respect for Nikki's memory. Nikki was a mother that he stalked and murdered (its implied in the episode because Nikki mentions to Robin that it isn't 'safe to go home again' so she'll leave him with her Watcher) and now Spike is addrressing his son. After this meeting they never talk again. Which I find odd to be honest.

Respect for Nikki's memory? She's dead, she doesn't care. Spike was dealing with Robin, and he treated him as well as he should've, given the circumstances.

Spike killed Nikki because he was soulless, he didn't have a choice. Now that he has a choice, he never does something like that again. So I don't understand what kind of closure he needed there. Catholic guilt is Angel's thing, and it's not doing him much good either. Most of Angel's mistakes come from caring TOO much about his soulless past, not from not caring enough.

Actually it wouldn't exist AT ALL. If soulless Spike isn't at all responsible for past actions, that goes for all the good as well as the bad. That goes for protecting Dawn and holding out against Glory as well as all the sexy times.
They have no relationship- pretty much. So while it would be simpler to say 'none of that was me' obviously Spike (and Spuffy fans) doesn't want that, since he still loves Buffy. So he only feels bad for the stuff he wants to feel bad for, which is the main problem with his character for me. The inconsistency we constantly see in his blurry moral landscape.

Well, let's think about what a soul REALLY means: Soulless vampires seem to have the same basic personality traits as when they are ensouled (Harmony is still shallow, Spike is still obsessively romantic, etc...), but they lack morality. They lack the conscience, the voice that says "this is wrong". So Spike's actions when soulless were influenced by his personality (which is still there when he gets his soul back) and by his immorality (which is no longer an issue after 'Grave').

So -

When Spike killed Nikki - that was because he was immoral, and that's no longer an issue. So, it has nothing to do with ensouled Spike. Ensouled Spike would have never killed Nikki.

When Spike was with Buffy in seasons 5 and 6 - that's more blurry. His actions were informed by both his immorality (like when he punched Buffy in 'Smashed' - ensouled Spike wouldn't do that, IMO) AND his personality (like when he spent all summer taking care of Dawn after Buffy's death - ensouled Spike would do that too, I believe).

Is that way too convenient? Yes, it is. But that's just the blunt reality. That's why the whole soul thing is very problematic as a character motivation, and it's why I have a lot of problems caring about Angel, who's defined by his guilt over his soulless past.

I assume that you just see the soul thing very differently, and I would love to hear your interpretation of it.

Look, I used to like Spike, I get his appeal; he plays by his own rules and he's unfettered by a lot of the crap inj his past, he lives for the now and is passionate. He is a 'good guy'.
On the other hand, I get tired of his character being validated at the expense of others, Wood is just one example of the people he tramples on as he figures out his various 'truths'. 'LMPTM' will always be a low-point for his character in my eyes. I mean, most characters- good guys- have them, moments of weakness where they are kinda huge jerks. This is one of those times that Spike is that jerk.

Spike is a jerk because he's a dick to the person who just tried to kill him? I think that's the most logical dick-ness there is.

Is he a jerk because he "has no respect for Nikki's memory"? Because I'm fine with it, given my understanding of the soul issue.
 

Mr Trick

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Well Faith is a sexual chararcter so what is the problem with her wearing that sort of outfit? I wouldn't say they over did it though.
 

DeadlyDuo

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1) "She did beg for her life"? Huh? We never see that. Spike SAYS that Nikki begged for her life in 'School Hard', but in 'Fool for Love' we clearly see that she didn't. Spike was just bragging about stuff that didn't happen.

Not necessarily. I used to think that however, in 'Fool for Love' just after Spike managed to reverse positions with Nikki, you see her mouth move before it cuts to 70's Spike talking to Buffy. The time during that conversation would've been Nikki begging. Also in AtS episode 'Damage' Dana channels all the other slayers including Nikki and speaks in Nikki's voice who is begging for her life to be spared so she can go home to Robin.

2) I don't accept the whole slayer/vampire equivalence thing. Yes, they're two fighters on opposite sides, but one side is clearly a force for good, whereas the other side is a force for bad. Fact is, killing vampires in the Buffyverse is a GOOD thing, because vampires kill innocent people. When Spike killed Nikki, it may not have been personal, but it was still an evil act. And if Nikki had killed Spike, it would have been a good act. If she killed him, countless innocent people that he later killed could have been saved.

That's because the show is told from a slayer's perspective not a vampire's. The audience is conditioned to empathise and root for the protagonist not the antagonist. An example is Glory. Glory only wanted to return to her own dimension but because she is the antagonist, the audience is conditioned to root against her and root for Buffy as she is the protagonist.

Season 9 plainly shows that Nikki DID have that choice. Her watcher told her he'd keep the council off her back, and that others could fight vampires. Robin himself says in season 9 that Nikki wasn't FORCED to fight or anything - she CHOSE to go back to patroling, and left him alone at nights, and he was constantly worried about her. And her watcher was mad at her for this.

And anyway, if she can't stop being the slayer, then the right thing would be to give Robin away - instead of dooming him to be an orphan and traumatizing him. Robin ended up being raised by someone else ANYWAY. Fact is, Nikki tried to be a mother and a slayer at the same time, and that victimized Robin.

I disagree. It would be really unfair to say to Nikki (or Buffy) "you've been handed this destiny that you had no choice in, so you can't have children ever and any you do have must be given away". Also we don't know when Nicki was called as the slayer, she might have already had Robin at that point.

If Robin knows that Nikki wasn't forced to fight, then why was he so pissed at Spike when Nikki put herself in that sort of situation of her own volition?

By going out patrolling when she had a child (and yes, she went out patrolling. She wasn't forced by the council, and she wasn't limiting herself to stopping apocalypses, she simply "went hunting", like Buffy did in the beginning of season 5). She had a choice - she could focus on slaying and leave Robin to be adopted, or she could focus on parenthood and stop patrolling, and she chose option 3 - trying to juggle both. Which was doomed to result in Robin being emotionally scarred. If it wasn't Spike, some other vampire would have killed her sooner or later.

If Nikki's first fight with Spike was because she was out on patrol and saw him, then why the hell did she bring her 4 year old out with her? If she was just out in general then saw him, she should've definitely let it go since she had her son with her. It is bad parenting to start a fight with a creature that could kill you whilst you have your son with you.

Still not AS bad. Trying to kill someone you care about isn't as bad as trying to kill YOU, with the physical pain it involves.

I disagree. As D'Hoffryn said "Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain". Spike was rightly pissed that Robin had tried to kill him, and Robin had every right to be pissed at Spike for killing his mother. However the difference between the Connor/Faith situation and the Spike/Nikki situation is that it wasn't personal. Spike didn't kill Nikki just to screw with Robin, he was fighting for his life.

Well, let's think about what a soul REALLY means: Soulless vampires seem to have the same basic personality traits as when they are ensouled (Harmony is still shallow, Spike is still obsessively romantic, etc...), but they lack morality. They lack the conscience, the voice that says "this is wrong". So Spike's actions when soulless were influenced by his personality (which is still there when he gets his soul back) and by his immorality (which is no longer an issue after 'Grave').

I disagree. I think vampires know full well when something they do is wrong and they revel in it. How could Angelus take pleasure in the artistry of his "projects" if he can't tell the difference between right and wrong. They know they're doing wrong and they don't care.
 

Guy

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Not necessarily. I used to think that however, in 'Fool for Love' just after Spike managed to reverse positions with Nikki, you see her mouth move before it cuts to 70's Spike talking to Buffy. The time during that conversation would've been Nikki begging. Also in AtS episode 'Damage' Dana channels all the other slayers including Nikki and speaks in Nikki's voice who is begging for her life to be spared so she can go home to Robin.

The idea that Nikki begged for her life in those seconds seems pretty reaching for me, and Nikki really didn't seem like "the begging kind" any more than Buffy. Then again, the stuff that Dana said IS a good point, and I could see Nikki begging because of her son. So... I don't know.

That's because the show is told from a slayer's perspective not a vampire's. The audience is conditioned to empathise and root for the protagonist not the antagonist. An example is Glory. Glory only wanted to return to her own dimension but because she is the antagonist, the audience is conditioned to root against her and root for Buffy as she is the protagonist.

It's true that we're conditioned to root for the protagonist over the antagonist. But if the only difference between Buffy and her enemies was that we saw the story through her eyes and not through theirs, then the show would have been really, REALLY bad. Fortunately, that wasn't the case. Glory wasn't bad because she was against Buffy, she was bad because she killed people for no reason. And her desire to return home was bad because it meant the inevitable deaths of innocents. And it's the same with vampires - they're not bad because they're fighting against Buffy, they're bad because they KILL INNOCENT PEOPLE.

I disagree. It would be really unfair to say to Nikki (or Buffy) "you've been handed this destiny that you had no choice in, so you can't have children ever and any you do have must be given away". Also we don't know when Nicki was called as the slayer, she might have already had Robin at that point.

1) Nikki got pregnant AFTER being called as the slayer. The comics confirm this.
2) Of course it's unfair for Nikki. Life is unfair. I'm not trying to paint her as a bastard - she was faced with INCREDIBLY difficult choices, and she tried to do what she felt was right, as best as she could. But the fact is, that Nikki was being unfair toward baby-Robin when she tried to raise him while being the slayer. She could have given him for adoption and stayed as a slayer, or she could have tried to find a way to leave her calling behind as best as she could (the comics explain that she had a real shot at leaving slayage behind her, and she CHOSE to go back to patrolling, because she "got the itch") and raised him herself, but by trying to be a slayer and a mother at the same time, she doomed him to be a traumatized orphan. She was in an unfair situation herself, but she was still unfair toward Robin.

If Robin knows that Nikki wasn't forced to fight, then why was he so pissed at Spike when Nikki put herself in that sort of situation of her own volition?

Because he KILLED HIS MOTHER? It's kinda hard to see the nuances in that situation.

If Nikki's first fight with Spike was because she was out on patrol and saw him, then why the hell did she bring her 4 year old out with her? If she was just out in general then saw him, she should've definitely let it go since she had her son with her.

I think that Spike found her, at least in their first fight (in the flashback in the beginning of 7x17), when she wasn't patrolling. She was patrolling in general, but that fight wasn't on a patrol, as I understand it.

It is bad parenting to start a fight with a creature that could kill you whilst you have your son with you.

Heh, that line made me chuckle. :D



I disagree. I think vampires know full well when something they do is wrong and they revel in it. How could Angelus take pleasure in the artistry of his "projects" if he can't tell the difference between right and wrong. They know they're doing wrong and they don't care.

I think... It's kinda both? For example, in 5x11, Spike doesn't understand why Buffy wouldn't be impressed by the fact that he ISN'T feeding on bleeding disaster victims. That seems to imply that he doesn't know what's right and what's wrong. In other episodes, we see him knowing what's wrong, and CHOOSING it anyway. So... Vampires are complicated

Mr Trick:

Well Faith is a sexual chararcter so what is the problem with her wearing that sort of outfit? I wouldn't say they over did it though.

LOL, of course there's nothing wrong with it. I was just making fun of the outfit thing - Spike has his coat, Giles has his tweed, Faith has her cleavage.;)
 

DeadlyDuo

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1) Nikki got pregnant AFTER being called as the slayer. The comics confirm this.
2) Of course it's unfair for Nikki. Life is unfair. I'm not trying to paint her as a bastard - she was faced with INCREDIBLY difficult choices, and she tried to do what she felt was right, as best as she could. But the fact is, that Nikki was being unfair toward baby-Robin when she tried to raise him while being the slayer. She could have given him for adoption and stayed as a slayer, or she could have tried to find a way to leave her calling behind as best as she could (the comics explain that she had a real shot at leaving slayage behind her, and she CHOSE to go back to patrolling, because she "got the itch") and raised him herself, but by trying to be a slayer and a mother at the same time, she doomed him to be a traumatized orphan. She was in an unfair situation herself, but she was still unfair toward Robin.

I have not read any of the comics.


Because he KILLED HIS MOTHER? It's kinda hard to see the nuances in that situation.

But again, it's vampire vs slayer. Kill or be killed. If Nikki CHOSE to do that despite the fact she could've left, it was only a matter of time before that decision bit her in the backside.


I think that Spike found her, at least in their first fight (in the flashback in the beginning of 7x17), when she wasn't patrolling. She was patrolling in general, but that fight wasn't on a patrol, as I understand it.

I don't know. She had time to hide Robin and Spike was distracted by the bin tipping over as if he didn't know the kid was there. To me, that says that Nikki clocked Spike before he clocked her which suggests she may have initiated that fight.

The second fight I think might've been Spike catching up to her.

I think... It's kinda both? For example, in 5x11, Spike doesn't understand why Buffy wouldn't be impressed by the fact that he ISN'T feeding on bleeding disaster victims. That seems to imply that he doesn't know what's right and what's wrong. In other episodes, we see him knowing what's wrong, and CHOOSING it anyway. So... Vampires are complicated

To be fair to Spike, he was a vampire surrounded by lots of fresh warm human blood, the kind of blood he hadn't had in ages. Even 70's Angel post soul couldn't avoid the urge to drink from the shot guy, so for Spike to actually resist that urge when every fibre of his being was probably screaming at him to dig in, I think a little bit of kudos could've been in order. Angel knew it was wrong and he still did it. Also vampires have a heightened sense of smell so the scent of blood must've been hitting Spike in the face like a brick wall. He didn't do it because he knew Buffy wouldn't like it and he wanted to please Buffy, that doesn't mean he didn't know the difference between right or wrong, just that he was being on his best behaviour.
 

Guy

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I have not read any of the comics.

Well, you should :)


But again, it's vampire vs slayer. Kill or be killed. If Nikki CHOSE to do that despite the fact she could've left, it was only a matter of time before that decision bit her in the backside.

Maybe, but HE KILLED HIS MOTHER!

I'm sorry for the hyperbole... But there really is nothing more to it. It's that simple.

I don't know. She had time to hide Robin and Spike was distracted by the bin tipping over as if he didn't know the kid was there. To me, that says that Nikki clocked Spike before he clocked her which suggests she may have initiated that fight.

The second fight I think might've been Spike catching up to her.

Hmmm... That could be true.

To be fair to Spike, he was a vampire surrounded by lots of fresh warm human blood, the kind of blood he hadn't had in ages. Even 70's Angel post soul couldn't avoid the urge to drink from the shot guy, so for Spike to actually resist that urge when every fibre of his being was probably screaming at him to dig in, I think a little bit of kudos could've been in order. Angel knew it was wrong and he still did it. Also vampires have a heightened sense of smell so the scent of blood must've been hitting Spike in the face like a brick wall. He didn't do it because he knew Buffy wouldn't like it and he wanted to please Buffy, that doesn't mean he didn't know the difference between right or wrong, just that he was being on his best behaviour.

That... makes sense. I still think that most vampires have trouble understanding some of the more complex concepts of morality (like when Spike didn't understand that his attempts to "woo" Buffy in 5x14 were never gonna work), but I guess they do understand the basic concpets.
 

thetopher

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"When do they paint it as problematic"? When everyone constantly talks about how Buffy's feelings toward Spike are coloring her Judgement (Giles says this, and Rona, and Anya, and others that I probably forgot), for one. And the narrative literally proves her wrong - we see in 7x17 that Spike's chip is still active.
HOW IS THAT "VALIDATION"?!

Because when Buffy is kicked out it is Spike (and only Spike)- the guy she believed in above all things- that picks her up and 'believes' in her right back, giving her a speech and a hug.
That's the narrative saying 'this is your payoff Buffy, you were right to ignore the trigger and believe in the man' or some nonsense.
It's a badly written lead-up, and poorly contrived but there you go.

Well, in a sense, it IS a good thing - Robin needs to let go of his obsession with his mother and move on with his life (Seriously, Robin was being a total Batman until this episode, and that's not healthy), and Spike's verbal attack on her is one of the things that makes him realize this.

Robin now thinks that his mother no longer loved him and he was told that by the guy who killed her. Yay for Robin, because that's what he takes away from it.
Not that his mother was human struggling with a destiny, but that she didn't love him because she had other things outside her life as Mom.

That's actually a very Spike' view of things 'if you love one thing then you can't love another'. Love for him is complete and all-consuming. If you were generous you could say that's the romantic 'Love's Bitch' in him coloring his view of love.

But really, in reality, anybody can love two things in their lives at once and value both of them equally and without conflict. Buffy does it all the time.
If Spike is incapable of understanding that then fine, its just a flaw in his character.

And anyway - Spike SHOULDN'T give a piss about his mom. As an ensouled being, Spike is not to blame for his actions while soulless.

Again I'll say you don't get to pick and choose which bad things you feel guilty about. Spike felt and still feels guilt about Buffy (even in S10) but not about this is either illogical or Spike is just being insincere about feeling about hurting (which i don't think).

It feels...contrived to me, like a lot about Spike' character growth this season, It rarely rings true or feels believable, its fitting a narrative that the writers want to tell because Spuffy.
Example: Spike is his most contrite when Buffy is on hand to see it; In 'Beneath You' and Sleeper' Why is that necessary? So we can get Buffy to feel sorry for him primarily, but he never feels bad in front of other people, no signs or regret or sorrow. I think this episode missed a trick there.

And anyway, if she can't stop being the slayer, then the right thing would be to give Robin away - instead of dooming him to be an orphan and traumatizing him. Robin ended up being raised by someone else ANYWAY. Fact is, Nikki tried to be a mother and a slayer at the same time, and that victimized Robin.

Hmn, by that logic then you're saying that women with dangerous jobs shouldn't have children.
But Police officers, soldiers, firemen- all of them are of course allowed to have children, they made a choice to keep hold of and love that child.

I AM NOT going to condemn Nikki for wanting to love her kid and keep her kid nearby. I might as well condemn Buffy for staying with her Mum, or involving her friends in her slaying and thereby putting them in danger.

Also from a practical perspective love gives the slayer ties to the world and makes them fight harder.

I mean, maybe this episode is trying to undermine the concept of 'slayers needing a family' that the show has been developing for about 7 years...

The "heart of the episode" is 3 parent-child relationships: Buffy and Giles, Spike and his mom, and Robin and Nikki. And the point of the episode is that they ALL need to put their parents in the past and live their life independently. Spike needs to stop obsessing over the horrible things that his mother said to him, and Robin needs to stop obsessing over the perfect image of his mother that he's still trying to avenge, and Buffy needs to stop seeing Giles as her overcaring parent and realize that they're both equal adults

A few things:
1) Spike's getting over his obsession is only possible because of Giles and (ironically) Wood triggering. Spike really didn't do anything apart from 're-remember' stuff about his Mum and then came to a conclusion about his rage/mommy issues.

2) As I have said Wood learns nothing about his mum only that revenge is pointless because his Mum is still gone and trying (and failing) to kill Spike won't change that. I see no evidence that Spike's words' changed Wood's perspective apart from making him feel crappy about his relationship with his Mother. In S9 he even states that he mum never loved him when he's talking with Buffy.

3) The Buffy stuff is all mixed up with 'the mission is what matters' and Giles taking that to its logical conclusion- trying to kill a tool of the First for the greater good. All this does is expose Buffy's hypocrisy and then she gets pissed at Giles, shuts him out and then is surprised later when he does not back her increasingly questionable judgement.

Those last two have nothing to do with 'truths about parents' really.

By going out patrolling when she had a child

Again, so? Buffy has a dangerous job and yet she has to look after Dawn, her family that she did not ask for and yet loves anyway. I guess she should've sent her sister to live with her Dad because of her slayer lifestyle?


You're saying that just because this is a Spike-centric episode, we're supposed to accept everything he does as right? That's just wrong, IMO. 'Becoming' is a Buffy-centric episode, and it is the end of her arc in season 2

'Becoming' is not Buffy-centric, if anything it is Angel/Bangel centric (his flashbacks). It is also a season finale.

Besides, the writers often sight Spike (like Anya) as a blunt teller of hard truths. Their trying the same trying here.
When is Spike contradicted in his point of view (as Buffy is when she returns to Sunnydale in S3)?
When is anybody else allowed to be heard?

And Faith was good in season 7 of Buffy, and she had definite cleavage there.
THESE ARE IMPORTANT FACTS TO REMEMBER, DAMMIT!

Okay, I will concede that Faith's cleavage has always been part of her charms.

Well, if you wanna use it as an excuse to hate him, fine. Me, I just don't read into it after 'Get it Done'.

The coat is not why I hate Spike (there are other reasons I dislike him). But the coat is one of the reasons I question his curious sense of morality.

Faith said stuff like "BOO HOO, so I gave you a fake name. Get over it, Gigi" and "part of you knows something ain't right... 'Cause you've never deserved to be loved by anybody" and "if you're so sick of the bad dreams... then wake the #^%* up".

You realize that part of that speech is basically Faith talking about herself- the 'never deserved to be loved' part . It's a little like Buffy and Spike in 'Dead Things', Faith's projecting her own feelings onto somebody else because she understands/empathizes with that person's position (Faith and the Mayor).

On the other hand we have Spike stating; 'I loved my Mum, but the difference between us is that I had a Mum that loved me back.'

Not the same in my view.

Spike killed Nikki because he was soulless, he didn't have a choice. Now that he has a choice, he never does something like that again.

Didn't he offer to kill Faith for Buffy?
Okay, he was (probably) joking there.

Is that way too convenient? Yes, it is. But that's just the blunt reality. That's why the whole soul thing is very problematic as a character motivation, and it's why I have a lot of problems caring about Angel, who's defined by his guilt over his soulless past.

YES. Exactly It is very convenient- too convenient for me. like a lot of Spike's journey really.
Getting the credit for the good and let-off for the bad isn't really convincing for me. For example I don't give Angel props for killing the Beast- that was Angelus.

But okay, you're saying that when Spike did good it was his personality.
I posit that Spike hunting slayers was part of his personality too- hell, the episode shows us the effect that Spike's Mum had on him- turned him from Anne Rice vampire who still loves him Mum into a traumatized psychotic who goes around putting rail road spikes in people, making Angelus of all people tell Spike to chill the hell out.

And isn't it funny that as soon as he hears about slayers- powerful women that hunt demons- Spike, who now has serious issues with women (his mum most of all) goes out to prove he's a man by finding, stalking and then killing these powerful women for the fun/challenge of it? Nothing to do with his Mum's words to him?

So there you have it, you could make a very good case to say Spike killed those slayers because of his personality. He did evil things because of his personality. He hurt Buffy in their relationship because of his personality.
But he only feels bad about Buffy because..?

And also Spike doesn't apply this soul/not soul thinking to say...Angel. When they fight in 'Destiny' Spike says that Angel 'made him a monster'. But surely that would be 'Angelus' that 'made him', and yet he clearly blames only Angel? So why does a soul change Spike but not Angel? Why is Angel responsible for what he did to Spike but Spike isn't...

*sigh* Again another curious bit of reasoning by Spike- murky morality that suits him and how he feels at the time.

I assume that you just see the soul thing very differently, and I would love to hear your interpretation of it.

From the outside I consider Angelus/Angel and Spike/us to be two separate people. But I understand/empathize why somebody with the memories of hundred plus years of murder would feel bad. I get that.
Angel was basically conditioned by the gypsies, Darla and a few random jerks to thinking that he was nothing but a monster. It was only Whistler (and then Buffy) who told him different and we see him slowly coming to grips with that- mostly on his own show. I think the curse also affects how he sees himself- rather tenuously tethered to reality and a really good day away from becoming a monster again.

Spike got a lucky break, He went back and ran into Buffy, she picked him up, helped him and gave him lots of pep. She made him feel special and strong -'you risked everything to be a better man' which obviously explains Spike's pov about his past. Not a lot more going on there tbh.

Should they feel bad all the time? No they shouldn't (and Angel doesn't actually) but an acknowledgement of the damage the demons inside them (which are still there) caused shows a...humility perhaps? A respect for where their powers come from. A reminder of how their humanity separates what they are from what they were.
I dunno, I just get Angel's pov more than Spike's hazy reasoning.

Spike is a jerk because he's a dick to the person who just tried to kill him? I think that's the most logical dick-ness there is.

Again, its not what he did, but how he did it. I respect what Spike did but I think he was an ass-hat behaving the way he did, and he showed a true lack of empathy to somebody else that had lost their mother is tragic circumstances.
 

Guy

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Because when Buffy is kicked out it is Spike (and only Spike)- the guy she believed in above all things- that picks her up and 'believes' in her right back, giving her a speech and a hug.
That's the narrative saying 'this is your payoff Buffy, you were right to ignore the trigger and believe in the man' or some nonsense.
It's a badly written lead-up, and poorly contrived but there you go.

But you're mixing 2 different things here:
Buffy's decision to NOT kill Spike was correct, and she is rewarded for it by Spike's support. On the other hand, Buffy's lenience about the trigger was wrong, and she gets punished for it by being deposed in 7x19.

Robin now thinks that his mother no longer loved him and he was told that by the guy who killed her. Yay for Robin, because that's what he takes away from it.
Not that his mother was human struggling with a destiny, but that she didn't love him because she had other things outside her life as Mom.

That's actually a very Spike' view of things 'if you love one thing then you can't love another'. Love for him is complete and all-consuming. If you were generous you could say that's the romantic 'Love's Bitch' in him coloring his view of love.

But really, in reality, anybody can love two things in their lives at once and value both of them equally and without conflict. Buffy does it all the time.
If Spike is incapable of understanding that then fine, its just a flaw in his character.

Everyone can love 2 things at the same time, sure, but Nikki's decision was still unfair and victimizing to her son, and Robin needed to acknowledge it so he could stop idealizing her and stop obsessing over her ("she was my world"). So, I don't see the problem here.


Again I'll say you don't get to pick and choose which bad things you feel guilty about. Spike felt and still feels guilt about Buffy (even in S10) but not about this is either illogical or Spike is just being insincere about feeling about hurting (which i don't think).

It feels...contrived to me, like a lot about Spike' character growth this season, It rarely rings true or feels believable, its fitting a narrative that the writers want to tell because Spuffy.
Example: Spike is his most contrite when Buffy is on hand to see it; In 'Beneath You' and Sleeper' Why is that necessary? So we can get Buffy to feel sorry for him primarily, but he never feels bad in front of other people, no signs or regret or sorrow. I think this episode missed a trick there.

Again, it depends on how you interpret the soul canon. The way I see it, Spike's killing of Robin is not something he has any reason to feel bad about, because it was entirely a result of his vampire nature, which he didn't have a choice about. Spike's relationship with Buffy in season 6, however, is something more blurry and complicated - it wasn't just Spike being a vampire, it was also Spike's human side, his obsession with romanticism, that was at work there. So he obviously feels more guilty about that, after he's ensouled.

So - yes, you DO get to pick and choose which bad things you feel bad about, when it comes to ensouled vampires.

But really, Spike shouldn't feel guilt about ANYTHING that he did while soulless, logically. And his story isn't about guilt, the way Angel's is. If you want to see a story in which Spike is "making amends for his soulless past", the way Angel did, then you're just going to be disappointed. That's not what his story's about. His story in season 7, for example, isn't about guilt, it's about Spike's obsession with romance - we see WHY he's so obsessive about women through his relationship with his mother (which is foreshadowed LONG before we actually see those flashbacks, through Spike's insane ramblings and other things), and we see him learning to be in a non-romantic relationship with Buffy, and we eventually see him REJECTING Buffy's declaration of love and still deciding to sacrifice himself for her. It's a story about selfless love, as opposed to the selfish love of season 6.

Also, Spike's view on these things changes over time, of course. Season 5 of AtS made him a bit closer to Angel in the catholic guilt department (which was a bad move, IMO, but that's a different issue).


Hmn, by that logic then you're saying that women with dangerous jobs shouldn't have children.
But Police officers, soldiers, firemen- all of them are of course allowed to have children, they made a choice to keep hold of and love that child.

I AM NOT going to condemn Nikki for wanting to love her kid and keep her kid nearby. I might as well condemn Buffy for staying with her Mum, or involving her friends in her slaying and thereby putting them in danger.

Also from a practical perspective love gives the slayer ties to the world and makes them fight harder.

I mean, maybe this episode is trying to undermine the concept of 'slayers needing a family' that the show has been developing for about 7 years...

You're not supposed to "condemn" Nikki. She was in a complicated situation, and tried to do what's right. But the apt metaphor here isn't a working mother - the apt metaphor is a WORKOHOLIC working mother. Someone who's doing more work than she needs, and neglects her kid because of it, because she's too devoted to the work. Nikki is, in many ways, the later seasons' version of Kendra - if Faith represents a slayer who's not dutiful enough, and Buffy represents a slayer who's just dutiful enough (although she obviously fluctuates over the years), then Kendra and Nikki represent slayers who are TOO dutiful.

A few things:
1) Spike's getting over his obsession is only possible because of Giles and (ironically) Wood triggering. Spike really didn't do anything apart from 're-remember' stuff about his Mum and then came to a conclusion about his rage/mommy issues.

Well, yeah. What's the problem with that? It's an introspective episode, but there's nothing wrong with that.

2) As I have said Wood learns nothing about his mum only that revenge is pointless because his Mum is still gone and trying (and failing) to kill Spike won't change that. I see no evidence that Spike's words' changed Wood's perspective apart from making him feel crappy about his relationship with his Mother. In S9 he even states that he mum never loved him when he's talking with Buffy.

First of all, I really don't remember Robin saying that his mom never loved him. Not in season 9, and not ever.
Second of all - Robin learns not to idealize his mother and obsess over her. Robin's arc is obviously not as deep as Spike and Buffy's, because he's not nearly as central to the overall story, but his arc is there, and it works.

3) The Buffy stuff is all mixed up with 'the mission is what matters' and Giles taking that to its logical conclusion- trying to kill a tool of the First for the greater good. All this does is expose Buffy's hypocrisy and then she gets pissed at Giles, shuts him out and then is surprised later when he does not back her increasingly questionable judgement.

Giles was right about Spike's trigger needing treament, but he was wrong to try and kill Spike, and Buffy was right to be pissed at him about it. And in the end, she closes the doors on him just like Spike and Robin did (metaphorically) with their mothers.


Again, so? Buffy has a dangerous job and yet she has to look after Dawn, her family that she did not ask for and yet loves anyway. I guess she should've sent her sister to live with her Dad because of her slayer lifestyle?

First of all, there's a BIG difference between a teenager and a baby.

Second of all - did Buffy's life as a slayer not affect her ability to raise Dawn too? The conflict between Buffy's slayer duties and her human life was a consistent theme throughout all of the seasons of the show. And despite only getting Dawn whe she was already 14 years old, it's CLEAR that Dawn's childhood was MESSED UP - her mom died, and her sister died, and her sister came back to life and neglected her for a year, and Dawn had to be raised in practice by Willow and/or Tara for a lengthy amount of time, and then her surrogate mom Tara died, and her OTHER surrogate mom, Willow, went evil and almost killed Dawn, etc.... As Xander says in season 8 - Dawn's abandonment issues have abandonment issues.

'Becoming' is not Buffy-centric, if anything it is Angel/Bangel centric (his flashbacks). It is also a season finale.

'Becoming' isn't a Buffy-centric episode? I disagree completely. Angel is just a player in Buffy's story there, and season finales are ALWAYS Buffy-centric episodes (except for 'Restless', maybe, which is more equal. And maybe 'Grave', too). This is Buffy's show, after all.

Besides, the writers often sight Spike (like Anya) as a blunt teller of hard truths. Their trying the same trying here.
When is Spike contradicted in his point of view (as Buffy is when she returns to Sunnydale in S3)?
When is anybody else allowed to be heard?

When is Spike's opinion about "she was a slayer, I was a vampire" contradicted? Well, in the next season, in AtS.

Okay, I will concede that Faith's cleavage has always been part of her charms.

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The coat is not why I hate Spike (there are other reasons I dislike him). But the coat is one of the reasons I question his curious sense of morality.

Fair enough.

You realize that part of that speech is basically Faith talking about herself- the 'never deserved to be loved' part . It's a little like Buffy and Spike in 'Dead Things', Faith's projecting her own feelings onto somebody else because she understands/empathizes with that person's position (Faith and the Mayor).

On the other hand we have Spike stating; 'I loved my Mum, but the difference between us is that I had a Mum that loved me back.'

Not the same in my view.

It's actually surprisingly similiar - both Spike and Faith are saying true things, in nasty ways, to characters they're fighting against. I mean, Spike was exaggerating by saying that Robin's mom didn't love him enough, but he still had a point. And his words were things that Robin needed to hear, even if he could've been more gentle about it. The two cases aren't the SAME, but they're pretty similiar.


For example I don't give Angel props for killing the Beast- that was Angelus.

I see it in the same way. Angelus didn't kill the Beast as an act for humanity, he did it because he felt like it, and as a declaration that he couldn't be controlled by the beast-master (Jasmine).

But okay, you're saying that when Spike did good it was his personality.
I posit that Spike hunting slayers was part of his personality too- hell, the episode shows us the effect that Spike's Mum had on him- turned him from Anne Rice vampire who still loves him Mum into a traumatized psychotic who goes around putting rail road spikes in people, making Angelus of all people tell Spike to chill the hell out.

And isn't it funny that as soon as he hears about slayers- powerful women that hunt demons- Spike, who now has serious issues with women (his mum most of all) goes out to prove he's a man by finding, stalking and then killing these powerful women for the fun/challenge of it? Nothing to do with his Mum's words to him?

So there you have it, you could make a very good case to say Spike killed those slayers because of his personality. He did evil things because of his personality. He hurt Buffy in their relationship because of his personality.
But he only feels bad about Buffy because..?

But Spike would never have done these things if he was ensouled. His personality influenced his particular brand of killing humans, yes, but he was gonna kill humans anyway, and he was only doing it because he was soulless.

And again - Honestly, Spike isn't really responsible for his bad acts toward Buffy, either. It's more blurry there, but it's still unfair to blame him for it. He wouldn't have tried to rape her if he was ensouled.

That's just what the soul thing is - it's a really lame device when it comes to character arcs. That's why I have a problem with the fact that so much of Angel's arc is driven by his guilt for his soulless acts. And it's why I vastly prefer Faith's redemption story to both Angel's AND Spike's. The great elements of Spike's story are the elements that AREN'T about redemption.


And also Spike doesn't apply this soul/not soul thinking to say...Angel. When they fight in 'Destiny' Spike says that Angel 'made him a monster'. But surely that would be 'Angelus' that 'made him', and yet he clearly blames only Angel? So why does a soul change Spike but not Angel? Why is Angel responsible for what he did to Spike but Spike isn't...

*sigh* Again another curious bit of reasoning by Spike- murky morality that suits him and how he feels at the time.

Well, first of all, AtS season 5 Spike is not the same as BtVS season 7 Spike. He changed over time. And he tends to regress whenever he's near Angel, really.

Second of all - Spike AND Angel both say a lot of things that aren't true in 'Destiny'. And in that season as a whole, whenever they're arguing. They both HATE each other and each of them is trying to find excuses to hate the other even more. They're both being trolls, really. Their verbal sparring in that episode is hardly a demonstration of any coherent worldview. Angel vocalizes this in the end, when he's beaten - "Is this really the destiny that was meant for you? Do you even really want it? Or is it that you just want to take something away from me?"

From the outside I consider Angelus/Angel and Spike/us to be two separate people. But I understand/empathize why somebody with the memories of hundred plus years of murder would feel bad. I get that.
Angel was basically conditioned by the gypsies, Darla and a few random jerks to thinking that he was nothing but a monster. It was only Whistler (and then Buffy) who told him different and we see him slowly coming to grips with that- mostly on his own show. I think the curse also affects how he sees himself- rather tenuously tethered to reality and a really good day away from becoming a monster again.

Spike got a lucky break, He went back and ran into Buffy, she picked him up, helped him and gave him lots of pep. She made him feel special and strong -'you risked everything to be a better man' which obviously explains Spike's pov about his past. Not a lot more going on there tbh.

Should they feel bad all the time? No they shouldn't (and Angel doesn't actually) but an acknowledgement of the damage the demons inside them (which are still there) caused shows a...humility perhaps? A respect for where their powers come from. A reminder of how their humanity separates what they are from what they were.
I dunno, I just get Angel's pov more than Spike's hazy reasoning.

So... You DON'T think that Angel is even the same person as the guy who killed all those people, And yet you like it when he's blaming himself for it?

Hmmm. I think I get it - You love Angel for the same reason that I love Buffy - she constantly tries to be a good person, and when she over-blames herself, it just makes me want to hug her. I mean, it's hard not to admire idealism, right? Idealism is what makes Buffy and Angel into heroes. Granted, Angel just doesn't WORK for me as a hero, but that's a seperate issue...

Let's get back to Spike - Spike is NOT a hero like Buffy and Angel. He has heroic MOMENTS (Like his self-sacrifice in 'Chosen', for example), but he's not a full-time hero - he's not going around devoting his life for good, trying to save as many people as he can. Buffy and Angel are full-time heroes, whereas Spike is more of a regular person, who moonlights as a hero sometimes. I don't ADMIRE Spike (well, not usually), I am intrigued by him, and I relate to him, and I am entertained by him. He's not interesting to me as a redemption story, and he's not interesting to me as a hero (usually), he's interesting to me as a concept-character: Spike is a person who's absolutely defined by his obsession with romantic love. He's interesting to me as a way of exploring that idea, just like Batman characters who are defined by one obsession - Scarecrow and fear, Joker and chaos, Two-Face and justice, etc...

Anyway, where was I going with this? Ah, yes. If you don't think that Angel is guilty for the crimes of Angelus, then I don't think it's fair to consider Spike's lack of guilty feeling to be a BAD thing. It's a neutral thing, really - Spike isn't winning any points by not feeling guillty, but he's not losing any points, either. He's really just being an average person.

And if I may presume - I think that the reason Spike doesn't work for you as a character is that you're trying to like him in the same way that you like Angel, when Spike is a fundamentally different type of character. Spike's past as a soulless killer is almost irrelevant to his character, once he gets a soul. Especially compared to Angel. Spike's story isn't interesting as a story about redmeption, it's interesting as a story about obsession, and as a story about the idea of love, and as the story of an insecure person who built a facade of badassery to mask his insecurities. That's why he's one of my favorite characters.

Again, its not what he did, but how he did it. I respect what Spike did but I think he was an ass-hat behaving the way he did, and he showed a true lack of empathy to somebody else that had lost their mother is tragic circumstances.

I think I get it now. Spike's cruelty toward Robin was, well, cruel. Very understandable, but cruel. If BUFFY acted that way, I would see it very differently. Buffy is a character that I ADMIRE, and if she did such a cruel thing, it would be harder for me to admire her.

But Spike is NOT a character that's defined by his admirability (is that even a word?). His cruelty was wrong because cruelty is always wrong, but he wasn't being EXCESSIVELY cruel, he was just reacting like any normal person would. So, yeah, his cruelty was wrong (ANY cruelty is wrong), but it doesn't hurt the story AT ALL, in my opinion. Spike acted completely in-character, and his actions served the story perfectly, and the whole thing just WORKS. You're NOT supposed to look at Spike as a hero like Buffy. That's not the thing that's supposed to make you root for him. You're supposed to root for him because of all of the reasons I listed above.

Also, because this post took me WAY too much time to write, and because it got pretty convoluted and weird, I'm gonna end it with this:

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Ethan Reigns

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Sineya
Spike's attitude towards Robin Woods is shown in "Pangs" where the core four are fighting Hus and the Chumash natives:

WILLOW
If we could talk to him --

SPIKE
You exterminated his race. What
could you possibly say that would
make him feel better? It's kill
or be killed here. Take your
bloody pick.

He does not expect Woods to accept him or any possible excuse he could make. Spike did not exterminate Woods' race but he did kill his mother. Woods set him up to die at his own hand and Spike managed to survive and he stopped short of killing Woods on account of his mother, but it is plain to him (and anyone else) that there is going to be no reconciliation, no group hug, no Kumbaya moment. Spike was attacked. Spike prevailed. Spike refused to kill his attacker. That was the best possible outcome the story could get.
 
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