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Buffy Season Seven


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#6571

Cobalt Stargazer

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Posted Jul 3, 2013 @ 7:03 PM

*bump*

 

In the Party of One thread, Isuzu said:

 

So he should have been staked even though they knew he was magically/psychologically compelled to do it? I'm pretty sure that's not how that works. In fact, it's exactly the opposite: it's a way to keep Spike dangerous while absolving him of responsibilities (which is a fact, he didn't do it, the First made him). Meanwhile, Willow killed a man by her own free will. Should she have been staked too?

 

I also don't really think he really relished Nikki's murder so much as that he disliked Woods (considering said guy is trying to kill him, I kinda see his POV).

 

Considering that it only took Buffy about two seconds to decide that she had to kill Anya when they found out she was killing again, I'd say yes. Wasn't Anya compelled by her status as a vengeance demon to cause as much mayhem as possible while fulfilling the duties of her office? You'll notice that Buffy wasn't too interested in hearing excuses from Xander about why she should spare her, even though they'd been quasi-friends up to that point. (And even though, unlike Spike, Anya never actively betrayed the gang by teaming up with Adam or threatened to lead a murderous Faith to where she could find them.) The fact is, Anya was a danger to innocent people, and even though I like Anya I can see why Buffy would feel she had to do something about it. She shouldn't be allowed to play favorites just because she played hide-the-salami with Spike a few times, since I'm pretty sure that's not how it works either, and it's an insult to Angel and his struggle to become more in tune with his humanity for her to say "He has a sooouuuulll now" just because she's too chickenshit to do the right thing, even when it hurts.

 

As for Wood confronting Spike, you'll forgive me if I don't cry a river for the blood-sucking creature that murdered a young mother, leaving her son in the care of strangers, because he wanted to get another Slayer notch on his belt. Having a soul means you're supposed to have empathy and compassion for people (unless something is very very wrong with you) and yet Spike flaunted Nikki's murder in the man's face and said his mother deserved to be killed because she wouldn't give up slaying vampires. Why continue to wear the coat if he wasn't the same sociopathic turd he'd always been?



#6572

Isuzu

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Posted Jul 4, 2013 @ 4:22 AM

As I said in the other thread, I don't think this debate will serve much purpose since it's doubtful anyone will change his/her mind after 10 years but I'm gonna answer anyway :-)

 

The big difference between Anya and Spike is that Anya had a ton of choices and volition is what happened to her: she's the one who chose to be turned into a vengeance demon and she's the one advocating for the harshest punishment (death or torture) for the scorned women she wants to avenge. Nothing says that a vengeance demon has to kill, she's the one who pushed for it because Xander left her. Everything was her choice. Meanwhile, Spike was compelled to kill people by a magic/psychological force. Once Buffy learned about it, it's natural to at least try to cure him. It seems obvious that if it had failed and there were no other way she would have killed him. That being said, it's also clear that she gave more leeway to her ex than to a sorta friend, and there's a reason people called her a hypocrite online after Selfless :-)

 

As for Angel ans his struggle, I don't think it's very fair: Angel had more than a hundred years to try and atone for his sins (in the beginning he ran right back to Darla and co when they were in China). Also, every time his soul got take away, he reverts right back to cruel, murderous Angelus. Meanwhile, no matter his reason, Spike had begun to change by himself and actively sought out his soul. And he didn't just change for Buffy, not only did he form several genuine friendships (with Joyce, Andrew and Fred most notably) he also continued to help the side of good once he was off to LA.

 

As for Nikki/Wood I don't think Spike knew she had a son when he killed her (although it probably wouldn't have changed anything) but even then, I don't remember when he learned that Wood was Nikki's son, but I seem to recall Wood revealed it while trying to kill him. I feel for Wood, but he kinda handled things badly first. I mean, he could have come right out and say who he was and try to work things out (at least to Buffy) but he just try to exert revenge on someone different (since he had a soul) so he kinda loses the moral high ground there.



#6573

jr23tw

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Posted Jul 5, 2013 @ 8:50 AM

Also, every time his soul got take away, he reverts right back to cruel, murderous Angelus.

I wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that vampires are supposed to be you know....EVIL. No soul means no conscience means nothing reigning in the nature of the beast. They are pure evil. They are bloodsuckers. I don't care for the mythos destroying whitewashing they did with Spike to make him look like a harmless puppy even back when he was sired.

 

Meanwhile, no matter his reason, Spike had begun to change by himself and actively sought out his soul.

 

Because he had a behavior modification chip in his head? The demon had way over 100 years worth of 'life' behind him. I find it laughable that a few electro shocks can change the nature of the beast in less than 3 years. Not to mention that they actually did it right once or twice when Spike thought the chip stopped working so his first instinct is to find himself a fresh neck. Which is kind of what soulles vampires do according to the mythos.

 

And he didn't just change for Buffy, not only did he form several genuine friendships (with Joyce, Andrew and Fred most notably) he also continued to help the side of good once he was off to LA.

Well of course not for Buffy. He did it for himself because he wanted in Buffy's pants again. Spike does what Spike wants for Spike. And no one else.

 

Also for the people you mentioned. Guy is a momma's boy (Joyce), Andrew was in love with him (Spike mildly tolerates him at most) and Fred was the only one who didn't outright hated him or dismissed him so he latched on to her. Yes he came to care about her but they were hardly BFFs.



#6574

cryyhavoc

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Posted Jul 5, 2013 @ 8:26 PM

 

Meanwhile, no matter his reason, Spike had begun to change by himself and actively sought out his soul.

 

 Why?  Why did Spike go get his soul, and do not give the B.S. reason that he felt guilt for the AR.  That is not how it works in this universe.  Is he such a special snowflake of a vampire that the writers are willing to destroy their own mythos for him?

 

Now if you tell me it was to get back into Buffy's pants, that sounds like what Spike would do.

 

 

I don't care for the mythos destroying whitewashing they did with Spike to make him look like a harmless puppy even back when he was sired.

Amen.  They ruined the whole series just for him.


Edited by cryyhavoc, Jul 5, 2013 @ 8:27 PM.


#6575

Isuzu

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Posted Jul 6, 2013 @ 7:04 PM

I mean, you don't have to like the character or the storyline, but it feels pretty consistent. It's not like we have never seen emotions from demons before on the show in lots of different capacities. Even if he "just" wanted to get in Buffy's pants, he still sought out change for himself, and he knew Angelus/Angel, so he likely knew what that entailed. I'm honestly not even sure what we're even talking about anymore. Spike is far from my favorite character, but I don't think they did a disservice to the show by giving him storylines.



#6576

Jack Shaftoe

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Posted Jul 7, 2013 @ 4:45 AM

I mean, you don't have to like the character or the storyline, but it feels pretty consistent. It's not like we have never seen emotions from demons before on the show in lots of different capacities.

 

Yes, we have but one can have all kinds of emotions and still be an evil, psychopathic serial killer - as were all the vampires we saw until Spike miraculously overcame that through the power of shipper-pandering, I mean, love.

 

Spike is far from my favorite character, but I don't think they did a disservice to the show by giving him storylines.

 

In my opinion they did a disservice to the show by making the reactions of all the Scoobies wildly implausible just to keep Spike (or Anya for that matter) in the show. There is no way that Giles or Xander or Buffy herself would have let him him get away with kidnapping her or selling them out to Adam. Things are so absurd that Willow gets all smiley minutes after almost killed by Spike when he calls her biteable or whatever nonsense he said, and she is cracking jokes about the experience in the next episode.  Spike's behaviour in itself is just as ridiculous - he goes to Buffy of all people for help why exactly? He kidnaps Buffy and then is shocked, shocked I am telling you, that he is not invited in her house any longer. I mean, I know the guy isn't the sharpest tool in the box but even in my very low estimation of him he cannot be that stupid.

 

That said, comparing Spike to Anya is a grossly unfair comparison - to Spike. At least he wasn't used primarily as a comic relief despite being a psychopathic serial killer and his inclusion into the Scooby gang did not happen overnight. Nor was he portrayed as a violent hater of the opposite sex who somehow fell in love anyway for some unknown reason despite insisting that all members of said sex are monsters. The only good thing about Anya's "characterization" was that it took much less screen time that Spike's sorry excuse of characterization but as far as other characters behaving out of character towards her both she and Spike are just as bad.  Once he got his soul back he was much more deserving of a second chance than she was because Anyanka 2.0 showed clearly that Anya was always in control and had the option of repenting or at least ceasing her murder spree but didn't do so for more than a millennium.


Edited by Jack Shaftoe, Jul 7, 2013 @ 4:50 AM.


#6577

Isuzu

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Posted Jul 7, 2013 @ 9:44 AM

The show is also metaphoric and a lot of the Spike arc (and Anya arc for that matter) fall in that category (being a loner versus being surrounded by others, thinking only of yourself versus caring for oters, etc.) and in that regard, they're also both mirrors for Buffy herself who is the first slayer who is not alone on the job. Also, the bit you mention with Willow is clearly a play on Male impotence as seen in countless movies. It's just a joke, it was never been supposed to be taken seriously (doesn't that also happen litterally the first night when Spike gets his chip? It's not like he had begun to change yet). As for Anya, I'm guessing that since she became human again, she also got a right to a reboot. That is also why Buffy is merciless in selfless. She had her chance and blew it.


Edited by Isuzu, Jul 7, 2013 @ 9:45 AM.


#6578

Jack Shaftoe

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Posted Jul 7, 2013 @ 10:55 AM

The problem I have with that interpretation is that outside of parodies and the likes metaphors also need to make sense on the literal level. For example Angel in S2 is obviously and unquestionably a metaphor for the bad boyfriend who sleeps with a woman and then turns into a jerk. But the characters, rightly, treat him as a monster that is a great danger to them instead of say like they would have treated someone like Parker. Or when the hyena possessed people kill the principal the Scoobies are horrified rather than shrug off and say "they bully people all the time (metaphorically like hyenas), so what else is new". 

 

So yes, of course it was an impotence joke. But this isn't a sitcom or a parody, so I'd rather have consistent characterization than jokes that aren't that funny anyway. In-show Willow shouldn't think metaphorically in terms "a vampire wants to bite me, hence I am sexually desirable".

 

As for Anya, I am not saying she should have been killed way back in S3 or that I don't see Buffy and the other giving her a second chance in any circumstances. The thing is her bloody past is mostly treated as a joke, while at the same time Buffy and company get all horrified by the likes of Warren or Faith who are small time crooks compared to Anya. Even some of Anya's colleagues who are still punishing people get invited to the wedding and are treated as wacky guests, sort of Star Trek aliens with their culture and so on, rather than the bloodthirsty monsters that they are.



#6579

jr23tw

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Posted Jul 7, 2013 @ 11:54 PM

As for Angel ans his struggle, I don't think it's very fair: Angel had more than a hundred years to try and atone for his sins (in the beginning he ran right back to Darla and co when they were in China).

I totally forgot to reply to this in my post. But I never bought that part of Angel's past. For me that was a retcon in an episode full of retcons which started the woobiefication of Spike. Since the mission was to make everyone look bad so that Spike doesn't look worse by comparision. Which is why eventually every member of the Murderers Anonymous aka Scoobies was made a murderer or an accessory to murder. Because hey look...everyone is as bad as Spike.

 

And since the other prominent vampire we know is Angel something has to be done to make him look bad so he doesn't look like an almost saint in comparison to poor misunderstood Spike. So lets retcon his past as well. For example we know that when he killed the Gypsie girl and got his soul Darla kicked him out and threatened to kill him. And we saw that he couldn't munch on the woman in the alley because the soul stopped him. So even if I accept that Angel eventually went back to his vampire family (which I don't) the Darla (at least her AtS version) I know would have tested Angel right away considering how much she despised the soul. She wouldn't have let Angel back into the family without presenting him with the 'baby test' right away. But we have to have this retcon as one more step to the woobiefication of Spike so Angel has to kill people (even if they are bad people) even with a soul.

 

And I know there is the issue of AYNHYEB but if I had been so thoroughly betrayed that I ended up with a string around my neck I would have told the demon to have it as well.



#6580

Isuzu

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Posted Jul 8, 2013 @ 9:41 AM

For the metaphors: everything about the show was a metaphor. I get what you're saying, but I don't take the show that seriously that I sometimes can't get down with wacky storylines once in a while. For the Spike impotence joke, Spike can't do anything anymore and sure, why they don't kill him right away is weird, but at the same time he was still chained up in someone's bathroom for a long stretch of the season.

As for Anya, since she's back to human, her crimes are absolved by the fact that she gets her soul back. Sure, inviting her former coworkers is weird, but she did know them for a thousand years, not inviting them would have been kinda rude :-)

 

For Spike: You start from the point that his "woobiefication" is what brought most (if not all) of the plots for the last three seasons of Buffy and four of Angel and I just don't think that's true so we'll just have to agree to disagree :-)



#6581

Jack Shaftoe

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Posted Jul 8, 2013 @ 10:28 AM

As for Anya, since she's back to human, her crimes are absolved by the fact that she gets her soul back.

 

But she doesn't get her soul back. She never lost it in the first place. In my opinion Anyanka 2.0 in S7 made that abundantly clear - she obviously had conscience, could refrain from killing, feel bad about harming people, etc. Not that her enjoyment derived from telling the "funny" stories of how she used to eviscerate people didn't already hint at that. D'Hoffryn wouldn't really bother recruiting people with an axe to grind if he could just make them lose their souls and turn them into psychopaths.

 

 

 

Of course, back in The Prom Anya talks about how she suddenly has all those new feelings which implies something akin to regain her lost humanity but those contradictions are to be expected when you completely rewrite a character multiple times in order to get your (stupid) plots from point A to point B and/or keep said character in the show. Anya must be a candidate for some kind of a record since she was completely changed as early as her third appearance in the show.

 

Sorry for the mini-rant. I love Anya as comic relief. As an actual character she is an ugly mess, though.

 

For the Spike impotence joke, Spike can't do anything anymore

 

The characters can't know that for sure, can they? And even if they did, there is something very disturbing about the victim encouraging the killer to try to kill her again, with a blatant rape metaphor in the mix too.

 

 Spike can't do anything anymore and sure, why they don't kill him right away is weird, but at the same time he was still chained up in someone's bathroom for a long stretch of the season.

 

Two episodes, actually, if I recall correctly.



#6582

jr23tw

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Posted Jul 8, 2013 @ 12:12 PM

For Spike: You start from the point that his "woobiefication" is what brought most (if not all) of the plots for the last three seasons of Buffy and four of Angel and I just don't think that's true so we'll just have to agree to disagree :-)

No that's not what I said at all. I think someone mentioned this before (maybe the S5 thread) but back in the early years Angel was treated as 'beneath' the Scoobies due to his past as a soulles vampire. He had to prove himself through good deeds and not you know...killing people.

 

But Spike was soulles so how do you make him look 'good' without him having to actually work towards being good (which he really can't due to no soul). You drag everyone down to his level instead. Buffy was already there in S5 what with letting Harmony, Dru, Spike and other vamps walk in just 1 episode alone. That's not even getting into letting the world go to hell for Screechy (Dawn). Anya was always there what with being a vengance demon. All that's left really is Xander and Willow and the show successfully made them murderers in S6. And they made souled Angel kill humans as well in China.

 

Of course they either should have Spike flee at the end of S4 and come back now and then and cause chaos, give him a soul or dust him. But they wanted to keep him on the show (soulles) so his continued existence needed to be justified. Personally I think it wasn't neccessary to make everyone a murderer since the Scoobies lost all moral standing when they decided to not kill Spike in S4 when he showed up on Giles' doorstep.


Edited by jr23tw, Jul 8, 2013 @ 12:15 PM.


#6583

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Posted Jul 8, 2013 @ 10:02 PM

As for Angel ans his struggle, I don't think it's very fair: Angel had more than a hundred years to try and atone for his sins (in the beginning he ran right back to Darla and co when they were in China).

 

But you'll at least agree that Angel never, at least while he had his soul, said his victims deserved to be murdered or that they had it coming. Not even back in season three when he was freshly back from hell and Giles was grieving Jenny did he ever tell him to get over it or that he'd kill him too if he bothered him about it. It's easy to say that Spike was angry about Wood's plot to kill him, but I don't see how you can say the character was reformed when he wasn't satisfied with defeating the guy physically, he had to destroy him emotionally too.

 

And didn't Spike let Drusilla snap a girl's neck for him after he got the chip in because he couldn't hunt anymore? To me, that's the same as Angel "running back to Darla" and if anything it's worse because when Darla actually did test Angel he failed by saving the baby instead of killing it. And it didn't take him a hundred years, either. Somehow I doubt that Spike would have been able to resist the temptation, even freshly souled.

 

Further, if Spike wanted to change, as you seem to be claiming he did, why try to have the chip taken out? If he wanted to be a hero so much, why make every effort to return to killing? He only stopped because he got obsessed with Buffy, and that's not nobility, that's opportunism. Real!Buffy would never have allowed him to get near her and he knew it, which is why he really made his move after she came back from the dead. Unfortunately real life morons like Marti Noxon and Jane Espensen thought it was a good idea to let them get involved, so they had to make everyone a piece of shit so no one (meaning the viewers) would notice a difference when Buffy started to "have feelings" for someone who betrayed and tried to murder her and her friends multiple times. I didn't sign up for that kind of show.



#6584

Isuzu

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Posted Jul 9, 2013 @ 5:02 AM

About Anya: I think it's very possible that even if she never really lost her soul in the first place, it became numb after 1000+ years of being a vengeance demon and that she also regained everything back when she regained her full humanity. Afterwards, she still retains her human emotions since she's been human for three years when she turns back to a demon. I also don't think that you can make the switch back and forth as you wish. Anya's first time becoming human was an accident because of her destroyed necklace. D'Hoffryn is clearly pissed to have lost her. Someone needs to have intense sentiments of revenge to become a vengeance demon, so it's not that easy. And when he turns her back in S7, it's clearly to punish her (he kills her only friend left and knows she's going to face the First and likely die for good). It's not as easy as filling some papers down at the office.

 

About Spike: When did Xander become a murderer? And I don't think Angel actually killed anyone in China (hence the baby test because Darla noticed it), the point was that he was confused at first and went back to his family after two or three years and that it took him close to a century to really atone for his crimes (and even then, it's been clear from S2 onwards that Angelus considers his soul like a disease and wants to actively kill people, which is not Spike case starting from S5).

 

As for the chip thing, it just took some time. At first he resented it and clearly wanted it out, failing that he tried to kill himself, but when he realized he could still hurt demons, he changed his mind and actively participated in the Scooby Gang. When he realized he could hurt Buffy, he didn't kill her, and when they got his chip out, he didn't revert to kill people either. It took him some time, but he arrived there. And whether it was for Buffy's sake or not, the result is the same. In S5 of Angel, Buffy is nowhere to be seen but that doesn't prevent him for doing good. He even start to like the feeling of being a hero (seen also in Tabula Rasa) and he's tempted by the Shanshu Prophecy.

 

As for Spike and Angel and Woods, you're comparing Apples and Oranges: Angel didn't want to kill Jenny and clearly regretted what his soulless self had done. He even tried to commit suicide (in Amends) because of that. And Spike had frankly every right to be pissed that someone tried to kill him, that doesn't negate the fact that he wants to atone in a general sense, it justs ays that he was pissed in that specific instance and hit where it hurt, and it also means that Spike is a jerk, nothing else (incidentely, isn't the whole point of Fool for Love and S5 in general (as well as the beginning of S6) to establish that a Slayer can only be killed because she actually wants to be killed to be freed from her burden? Not saying that it's right or anything, but it's possible that Nikki actually wanted to be released, hence why Spike won against her, because otherwise a slayer is always stronger than a vampire).



#6585

Jack Shaftoe

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Posted Jul 9, 2013 @ 10:55 AM

incidentely, isn't the whole point of Fool for Love and S5 in general (as well as the beginning of S6) to establish that a Slayer can only be killed because she actually wants to be killed to be freed from her burden? Not saying that it's right or anything, but it's possible that Nikki actually wanted to be released, hence why Spike won against her, because otherwise a slayer is always stronger than a vampire).

 

The thing is Fool For Love is (as expected from a Spike-centric episode, really) full of nonsense. First, Spike didn't know anything about Nikki Wood or the other Slayer he murdered. Second, it's very much possible for a weaker opponent to defeat a stronger one, Buffy should know that better than anyone as she has experienced that both on the losing and the winning side, so the entire premise goes out of the window. The idea that she would go ask Spike (anyone really, but especially Spike) for advice about that is beyond preposterous. I mean, you don't see Buffy go all "But, but I killed the Master/Adam/The Judge and he was supposed to be stronger than me! Must have had a death wish then, right?". 


Edited by Jack Shaftoe, Jul 9, 2013 @ 10:55 AM.


#6586

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Posted Jul 9, 2013 @ 11:49 AM

incidentely, isn't the whole point of Fool for Love and S5 in general (as well as the beginning of S6) to establish that a Slayer can only be killed because she actually wants to be killed to be freed from her burden? Not saying that it's right or anything, but it's possible that Nikki actually wanted to be released, hence why Spike won against her, because otherwise a slayer is always stronger than a vampire.)

 

See, I don't agree with this at all. Spike was not Jack Kevorkian, selflessly putting suffering souls out of their misery, he was a soulless murderer who took pleasure in slaughtering anyone and everyone he could. If Nikki hated her life so much, why did she actively try to hide herself and Robin from him when he was trying to hunt her down? Why did she fight back in the subway if she wanted to die? It's just dumb to say she had a death wish, which was Spike's self-aggrandizing way of white-washing his many murders to Buffy.

 

And I think it's worth noting that Wood trying to kill Spike was mirrored on AtS with the Holtz situation, since Holtz was so desperate for justice that he made a deal with a demon to travel two hundred years into the future so he wouldn't grow old and die before he could kill the vampire responsible for slaughtering his family. The difference is, Angel knew that by rights his life should be forfeit and that the man had every right to hate his guts. He didn't start to fight back until Holtz began targeting his friends, culminating in him taking Connor to Quartoth. I have a lot of issues with Angel and sure it's setting the bar really low, but he's still a better 'person' than Spike, which is why Spike will never be a real hero.


Edited by Cobalt Stargazer, Jul 9, 2013 @ 11:49 AM.


#6587

jr23tw

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Posted Jul 9, 2013 @ 12:27 PM

When did Xander become a murderer?

Once More With Feeling.

 



#6588

SeattleStorm

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Posted Jul 11, 2013 @ 2:31 PM

Quote

When did Xander become a murderer?

Once More With Feeling.

 

I've seen this more than once (Xander being defined as a murderer for his actions in OMWF), and I couldn't disagree more.  However, since this takes place in Season Six, I'm moving my further thoughts to that thread.  I hope you'll join me there.