Saturday, June 9, 2012
A Note on Spike and Buffy in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
As a character, I was pretty sure I wasn't going to be drawn to Spike. I liked Buffy and Angel because I believed in their relationship. They were willing to die for each other and fought along side each other in every battle they faced. They were equals and I respected that. I loved that about them.
After Spike gets a chip implanted in his head, it finally clicks. I realize that I'm craving scenes with Spike and Buffy together because I can't get enough of their witty jabs. All of a sudden I'm looking for that trademark bleached blonde hair and black trench coat in every scene. How the heck did this happen? Well, it's because he's funny and his chemistry with Buffy is undeniable.
But after a while, it's became something different for me. He was funny and I enjoyed all that but I realized that his character was changing. He was transforming into something different. Then he realizes his feelings for Buffy and for me, everything changed. It's because we hadn't seen that side of vampires in Buffy the Vampire Slayer before. We knew they were demons so how can demons love? But all of a sudden we saw a monster beginning to love like a man--passionately, without regard for his own life and without hope of reciprocation. Then, I got it. Spike is better because he maintains his ability to love through his vampirism and I should have seen it all along in his admiration of Dru.
I understand why the writers did what they did with the Season 6 relationship that is Buffy and Spike. I'm not even going to talk about her state of mind here or what it meant to her. I do want to point out that the abusive and highly sexual relationship the develops are major steps towards women's sexuality. I'm not saying that what they did was right or wrong but I am saying that Buffy was often the one to initiate both the violence and the sex and whether it's right or not, I think it was brave of the show to allow Buffy to have her sex life exactly the way she wanted it, even if it did destroy her.
But what I want to look at more is Spike. And the reason I want to look at it closer is because of the attempted rape scene in "Seeing Red". I was literally stunned when I saw this episode. How did Buffy and Spike go from demolishing a house with their love making to Spike trying to force himself on her in a scene so terrifying it still sends shivers down my spine and breaks my heart? I've been asking myself this question and I've been able to rationalize it in my own mind even if I'm not sure I can accept it myself. Season 6 took Spike away from being the ear that Buffy could always rely on and the hands that always had her back and made him into the darkness that was in Buffy's heart. Spike wanted Buffy to come into the darkness with him. Though I don't think Spike was the biggest problem in this relationship because the entire time they were together physically, he craved an emotional connection to. However, the monster in him wanted Buffy isolated, wanted her passionate and didn't know that he was killing her by encouraging it.
So here's my answer for "Seeing Red". Buffy began her relationship with Spike the monster in violence. It was a blend of self-loathing on her part, violence and finally, shallow passion. But in order to really end her relationship with the monster and get the man, it had to end the way it started: in violence. Since this is the one time that violence and sex was not wanted on Buffy's part, it resulted in an almost rape. I've read a lot of articles and I'm not sure how many of them are true but it has been stated over and over that the writer's truly believed Spike needed to be rocked so deeply in his core that there was no other option but to get his soul. While I understand all of this, I'm still not sure this was the way to go.
Season 7 reinforces my thoughts on this because Buffy never experiences a relationship with Spike the man. So what was the point of having this terrible violent ending with the monster since they have to go through all that to get the man? When he gets his soul back, which he openly admits was for her, there are no hugs or kisses or embraces. What we get instead are three precious nights where Buffy gives away the one thing she refuses to give most other people: a connection. She connections with Spike on a level that he has craved since he was only a monster and didn't even really know it's what he wanted. I just wish we'd been given time to see Buffy try to be with Spike the man. This is why I feel truly unsatisfied. I understand that Spike gets his soul for himself when it really comes down to it but the writers make it a point to tell us that it was originally for Buffy. So I wish we'd have gotten to see a little more reward from Buffy for Spike as a man than an "I love you" as he is dying which even he didn't truly believe. After all, it was Spike alone who stands behind her when everyone else forsakes her. He is the one that grips her from the darkness he so desperately tried for her to embrace before, and gives her the strength to keep going. So I really wish I'd gotten a little more from Buffy and Spike together in the end.
I am going to read the comics to see what happens and I'm really hoping that Whedon & co give Spike the chance to really be with Buffy the way that Angel and even Riley have as a man instead of simply a monster. It's my fondest wish that they at least get to try and from what I've been able to read, at least I know that Buffy still thinks of him romantically.
I ask myself this final question which I can't answer yet and that is, what do I want? Do I want Spike to be happy with Buffy or am I really craving for Spike to be happy?
Have you seen the show? I'd love for you all to chime in!