I found this post that I wrote last year for the Buffy week I was putting together and I think it is a good representation of where I'd like this blog to go. I've always posted about all things that I love and I'd like to do that more. Look for posts on books, writing, television shows, Etsy finds, papercrafting and more coming soon!
Warning!: This post will make you want to watch the show again if you haven't seen it in a while!
Spike and Buffy
Buffy proves that she can embrace her dark side, initiating in an often physically violent relationship wtih Spike. For them, pain is pleasure. Spike enjoys the pain, that Buffy can hold her own against him, and Buffy throws all of her self loathing into their relationship. She takes out all of her anguish on Spike and hates herself afterwards. Though they enjoy a physical connection, like with Riley before Spike, Buffy can't let herself be open with Spike because she knows she can't trust him.
During this time, we really see how horrible these two can truly be. Buffy goes dark with her hatred of being alive and treats Spike like crap. Spike takes the abuse because it's all a big game to him. Whatever actual feelings he has for her are pushed aside so they can enjoy their physical relationship but it leaves neither of them feeling that satisfied in the end.
When she finally commits to living again, she decides to end her relationship with Spike, leading to one of the most intense episodes I've ever seen on television: Seeing Red. A Buffy and Spike relationship analysis can't exist without a discussion on that episode and I could probably do an entire post on the horrific nature of that bathroom scene.
Seeing a character like Buffy who has always been portrayed as strong and good and with the ability to take care of herself almost get sexually assaulted by a character that we were supposed to think of as a possible leading man or love interest is enough to make you sick. After watching, I wasn't sure I could ever go back to wanting them together because of the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach as Buffy sits there on her bathroom floor in her dis-shoveled robe and cries.
This is rock bottom for their relationship. After this, their relationship doesn't even exist. All of the secret kisses and touching hands and witty banter and beating the crap out of each other just doesn't matter because you've just witnessed something so horrific. The only thing that is left, the only question that comes to mind is: Is redemption even possible? Well, maybe you ask "why?" as well.*
Spike leaves that same night to find a way to get his soul back. After going through some grueling trials that were never supposed to be won, he earns his soul and with it all the awful things he did as a vampire drive him insane. When Buffy finally finds him in the basement of the new Sunnydale High, he has been with The First Evil and his own sins for a very long time. There is this very poignant scene where Buffy follows Spike to a church and through his half ramblings we learn just how mad he has become. He wants to make everything better, the fact that he can't makes him crazy, and her ends up hugging a cross while his flesh sizzles. During his ramblings, Buffy learns that he reclaimed his soul for her and that Spike would rather die than put people in danger now.
The moment that Buffy learns that Spike now has a soul, everything changes. She still doesn't forgive him for what he did to her but she realizes that he is feeling the full affect of that night in her bathroom along with hundreds of years of other bad things. I think it says a lot about him that he could feel so much remorse as a soulless vampire that he would go get his soul back. I think he partly just felt crazy that she wouldn't love him without it but he knew the gaining a soul would mean facing down years of awful things and he did it anyway.
That strength is what finally redeemed his character in my eyes. After suffering endlessly for most of the season, Spike finally gets his groove back, finding a balance between kicking bad guy butt, being his old self and dealing with having a soul again. During a trip out of town for info, Buffy is ousted as leader of all the potential slayers and not even Willow, Xander, Dawn or Giles will back her up. She leaves them and Spike comes back looking for her. He finds out what happens, tells everyone off and goes to find Buffy. When they find each other, he gives the best damn speeches I've ever heard on television:
I've been alive a bit longer than you, and dead a lot longer than that. I've seen things you couldn't imagine, and done things I'd prefer you didn't. I don't exactly have a reputation for being a thinker; I follow my blood, which doesn't exactly rush in the direction of my brain. So I make a lot of mistakes. A lot of wrong bloody calls. A hundred plus years, and there's only one thing I've ever been sure of. You. Hey, look at me. I'm not asking you for anything. When I say I love you, it's not because I want you, or because I can't have you - it has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try... I've seen your kindness, and your strength, I've seen the best and the worst of you and I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You're a hell of a woman. You're the one, Buffy. - Spike
The truth about these two is that they have seen every side of each other. They've known each other long enough to carve out a meaningful relationship and have each sacrificed to be with each other. Spike is one of those characters that is hard to forget because he completely transformed himself over and over to become what Buffy needed. He's British, rock-n-roll, bad to the bone and sexy as hell but he's also loyal and kind and sweet and attentive. Spike understands Buffy's strength and instead of being intimidated by it, he respects her more for it. He is her match because in the end, he doesn't try to be.
Spike is not always the best thing for Buffy. In fact, sometimes he is actually the very worst for her because he sought to pull her into darkness. But by season 7, he has literally walked through fire and battled physical and mental demons to prove that he can become a better man. He ripped down every wall to be someone that Buffy deserves by earning his soul and he proved his enduring loyalty to her by sticking by her side when no one else would back her and by walking into that hell pit to die in the last episode.
I haven't gotten to Spike in the Buffy comics but I'm impatiently waiting for him to show his face and really hoping that they'll get another chance now that they aren't looking at certain death. I'm not looking for forever (though if they did end up forever in the long run, I wouldn't complain). I'm just looking for a chance for them to try. Now that they have both suffered and grown and changed for the better, I'd love for them to get a real shot.
Because I can, here is a picture of me meeting James Marsters who was just a super cool guy in person:
And here the Spike and Buffy shadowbox my hubby and I made entirely out of paper:
|Our Etsy Shop|
*In case this is a question you asked, I did do some research about this episode after I watched it. First of all, if you were horrified (and you had every right to be) know that both actors were too. James Marster even wrote in his contract that he would never do another scene like that again. Secondly, the background for the episode was that it was a concept that a woman came up with. She took one of the most embarrassing things that ever happened to her and purposed it for this episode. Basically, she tried to convince her boyfriend at the time to not leave her by trying to sleep with him one last time so he would see that he really loved her. However, reversing the roles and having a man try to do that to a woman just didn't work on screen.