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Discussion of 5.07 "Fool For Love" - Aired 11/14/00 (WB-US)

Buffy Summers

Yataro
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Sineya
#1
When a run-of-the-mill vampire seriously wounds Buffy with her own stake, she begins to obsess over the deaths of previous Slayers. Desperate for answers, she turns to the only person with firsthand knowledge of how two Slayers fell in battle... Spike.
Source: TV.com

Discuss this episode here!
 

StarSlayer

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#2
All right, I'm continuing the discussion from the other FFL thread, since we had a pretty good one going on. Just remember to stay civil :)

Icarium said:
When Kendra died did she have a dead wish? I don't think so. I think it's really stupid to just assume every (or any for that matter) Slayer has a death wish. Spike is vastly deluded even about himself and now he is supposed to know more about Slayers from merely following and watching them than their own Watchers or heck more than Buffy herself? Come on now.
Kendra could have had a death wish. Who is to say she didn't? Yet, with Buffy, she was the wild card. Spike believed that every slayer, including Buffy, had a death wish. Buffy's reaction showed he was knew what he was talking about. But, the difference between Buffy and the other slayers at this point was that she never gave into that death wish (unless maybe you count the time she died in s1 but that opens another can of worms). When Spike realized Buffy didn't really have a death wish, he said, "she wouldn't need one" and decided to shoot her.

This "Death wish" nonsense is coming from the guy who says stuff "All we have ever done is dance" to Buffy. We see again and again that he cannot understand the motives of those who fight not for money or for the thrills but because it's the right thing to do.
Well, what do you expect from a soulless vampire who is struggling with his feelings for a slayer, lol? Suddenly grow a conscience, turn into prince charming, and sweep Buffy off her feet? I don't think so :)

Or maybe she is gullible enough to be afraid it might be the truth.
I don't see Buffy as gullible though :)
 
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#3
Kendra could have had a death wish. Who is to say she didn't?
"Who is to say she didn't" is a rather weak argument, don't you think? Who is to say that the last three season aren't all a nightmare of Buffy's? Let's not go down that slope...

Well, what do you expect from a soulless vampire who is struggling with his feelings for a slayer, lol? Suddenly grow a conscience, turn into prince charming, and sweep Buffy off her feet? I
I am just saying Spike doesn't understand people with souls. He is incapable of fully understanding them. We see that when he praises Drusilla for killing Kendra in front of Buffy and tries to kill the policeman. We see it in Triangle when he thinks not feeding from Olaf's victims makes him a good guy. In Dead Things when he can't fathom why Buffy would want to go to jail. And so on. He doesn't understand what drives people to fight for the greater good. Spike might be observant about other things but his lack of soul makes him as likely to understand Slayers as I am to understand the mind of a serial killer. His death wish nonsense is merely a wild guess, which speaks more about his silly gothic fantasies than about Buffy or any other Slayer.

I don't see Buffy as gullible though
Well, she is gullible enough not to have staked him so far, so there. ..
 

StarSlayer

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#4
"Who is to say she didn't" is a rather weak argument, don't you think? Who is to say that the last three season aren't all a nightmare of Buffy's? Let's not go down that slope...
My point was it's rather a moot point. Whether Kendra did or didn't have a death wish doesn't change the situation with Buffy in this episode.

I am just saying Spike doesn't understand people with souls. He is incapable of fully understanding them. We see that when he praises Drusilla for killing Kendra in front of Buffy and tries to kill the policeman. We see it in Triangle when he thinks not feeding from Olaf's victims makes him a good guy. In Dead Things when he can't fathom why Buffy would want to go to jail. And so on. He doesn't understand what drives people to fight for the greater good. Spike might be observant about other things but his lack of soul makes him as likely to understand Slayers as I am to understand the mind of a serial killer. His death wish nonsense is merely a wild guess, which speaks more about his silly gothic fantasies than about Buffy or any other Slayer.
I think Spike's lack of ability to understand people with souls is completely different from understanding slayers though. He's not interested in personally getting to know slayers or why they fight for the greater good. He just wants to beat them because that was the game. The way to do that is to understand their mind-set, so he can find their weakness (aka their "death wish"). We (you and me) might not be able to understand the mind of a serial killer, but others might, specifically people who study their minds.

Well, she is gullible enough not to have staked him so far, so there. ..
Lol, so there? :) I know I've discussed this topic before, so I'll leave it at Buffy couldn't kill Spike because she didn't feel right about killing a vampire who couldn't fight back, and who couldn't kill humans anymore.
 

xfivebyfive

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#5
I'm just going to throw something into your discussion. Not sure if it was stated in the other one or not. But I think just by choosing to fight, regardless of the reason, they are choosing to risk their life. That is their death wish. Fighting knowing they could die and fighting anyway, meaning they clearly are choosing to risk their own life. They don't walk away or turn their backs on their destiny. They could if they really wanted to. It would be hard and they'd probably be hunted down and killed anyway but they could. They don't though. They fight.
 
S
StarSlayer
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#6
No, Spike clearly means this "death wish" quite literally: "Sooner or later, you're gonna want it [death]."

My point was it's rather a moot point. Whether Kendra did or didn't have a death wish doesn't change the situation with Buffy in this episode.
I mentioned Kendra because you seemed to agree with Spike that all Slayers had death wishes.

We (you and me) might not be able to understand the mind of a serial killer, but others might, specifically people who study their minds.
Well, if those people have never talked to a serial killer or read the testimony of one, but made conclusions based only on witnessing some of their murders, I would call their work "a wild guess", just as I do with Spike's death wish nonsense. We see in the episode that he bests the two Slayers largely because luck was on his side. He doesn't want to accept that so he comes up with a dark, yet sort of romantic, theory that they had a death wish and somehow picked him as the guy to put them out of their misery.
 

xfivebyfive

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#7
No, Spike clearly means this "death wish" quite literally: "Sooner or later, you're gonna want it [death]."
Yeah but if they're fighting day after day, year after year, risking their life at some point they're going to question it. As Buffy does. At some point they're all just going to want it to stop. To stop fighting. So yeah that gives them a death wish. If you live that close to death every day he's right you have a death wish.
 

faeriegrrl27

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#8
I think Spike probably has a better understanding of Slayers than we do. I've never killed one. I've never even met one. :p But based on what I have seen, I'd say he's pretty safe in saying slayers have a death wish. We see Buffy constantly wanting to give up on being the Slayer in the earlier seasons. She resists it and even though she goes through with it because she knows it's the right thing, part of her wishes she didn't have to. And that is *totally* fair. Slayers have to give up a lot to protect the world. It's not exactly tea and crumpets. And I'm not saying Buffy doesn't like doing the right thing. She does. It's why she does it. But people aren't one-sided. I'm sure part of her really does wish that she didn't have to do this stuff and that if she were dead, she wouldn't have to. It's not a big part of her and clearly she doesn't act on it, but that doesn't mean it's not there. And I think the point Spike is trying to make is that a Slayer looses when she lets that side out even for a moment.

Buffy is doing the right thing because it's the right thing. But she does get tired of it. On some level, she wishes she didn't have to do that. Her death wish isn't *why* she fights evil; it's a side effect. Spike sees this and concludes, logically I think, that when that wish gets too "out," a Slayer is at her weakest.
 
S
SlayerOfVampyrs
LOL, love the first line lmao
S
StarSlayer
Darn, I wish I could meet a slayer, lol!
Z
zobothehobo
Exactly.

StarSlayer

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#9
No, Spike clearly means this "death wish" quite literally: "Sooner or later, you're gonna want it [death]."
Yeah, but at the same time, they may want it to end too...the fighting, risking their life, their destiny, etc. They'll want death because they may be done with life as the slayer.

I mentioned Kendra because you seemed to agree with Spike that all Slayers had death wishes.
It's not so much that I agree with him. It's that Buffy seems to agree with Spike. She's the slayer and she knew exactly what Spike was talking about when he mentioned a death wish.

Well, if those people have never talked to a serial killer or read the testimony of one, but made conclusions based only on witnessing some of their murders, I would call their work "a wild guess", just as I do with Spike's death wish nonsense. We see in the episode that he bests the two Slayers largely because luck was on his side. He doesn't want to accept that so he comes up with a dark, yet sort of romantic, theory that they had a death wish and somehow picked him as the guy to put them out of their misery.
With the Chinese slayer, she dropped her weapon. Spike was able to move in for the kill. "Lesson the first: A slayer must always reach for her weapon." I'm sure some of that was luck, but it was also skill, and she failed in that aspect. With Nikki, her style of fighting was like Buffy's. Yet, from their fight, it look liked it was anyone's game. As Spike said, it's not so much about how did Spike win, but how did they lose. "Lesson the second: ask the right questions." And that's where the death wish came in, since it made Nikki vulnerable. As such, Spike was able to slip in, overpower Nikki sort of speak, and kill her. And again, it doesn't seem to be nonsense because of Buffy's reaction.
 
S
SlayerOfVampyrs
I totally agree with every word. Some things in the Buffy verse can be taken at face value, and I think FFL is one of those prime examples.
Z
zobothehobo
Once again you say everything I think really well.
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#10
With the Chinese slayer, she dropped her weapon. Spike was able to move in for the kill. "Lesson the first: A slayer must always reach for her weapon." I'm sure some of that was luck, but it was also skill, and she failed in that aspect
Yes, and this has what to do with any death wishes again? If Spike wasn't such a drama queen and a pathological liar he could have just said: "The bad guys just need to get lucky once, that's the whole story of it". We see Buffy die three times - Prophecy Girl, The Wish and The Gift. None of those deaths seem to have anything to do with death wishes. We see Kendra die - no apparent death wish. The Slayers in this episode - no way of knowing for sure but to me at least it looks like the point was pretty obvious - Spike got lucky. An explosion and light turning off just when he seemed done for. If I am to believe that death wish theory they should have shown Spike beating them comprehensively.

Unless we really stretch the definition and say that being careless for a second during a fight means you are craving for death, which is well, stretching it. :) The problem is that if the idea is that for a Slayer any mistake is fatal than Buffy should have died way back in Welcome to the Hellmouth. Also Spike seems to view it quite literally: "Part of you is desperate to know: What's it like? Where does it lead you? And now you see, that's the secret. Not the punch you didn't throw or the kicks you didn't land. Every Slayer... has a death wish." . Not much to do with being tired of fighting (Spike would never understand someone not wanting to fight anyway). Spike is merely projecting - he likes it as undead. He has some idiotic romantic notions about Slayers who "dance" in fights with vampires. So no wonder he sees his victories as granting them their wish, and not as merely taking advantage of a lucky situation. Just like he tries to convince Buffy she belongs in the dark with him or how he thinks that releasing her after the kidnapping in Crush makes it all okay. Spike is very good at twisting really to fit his ideas.

And as we see with Buffy when a Slayer has had enough she doesn't go looking for death. She runs away (post-Becoming) or gets depressed (post-The Gift). Well, unless we count boinking Spike as a death wish. Heck, she even knows there is heaven and still doesn't go for that death wish.
 
S
SlayerOfVampyrs
SHe keeps saying, and it is blatantly stated in the episode that BUFFY DOESN'T have a death wish. She is the rare Slayer that doesn't, she has ties to the world.

StarSlayer

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#11
Yes, and this has what to do with any death wishes again? If Spike wasn't such a drama queen and a pathological liar he could have just said: "The bad guys just need to get lucky once, that's the whole story of it". We see Buffy die three times - Prophecy Girl, The Wish and The Gift. None of those deaths seem to have anything to do with death wishes. We see Kendra die - no apparent death wish. The Slayers in this episode - no way of knowing for sure but to me at least it looks like the point was pretty obvious - Spike got lucky. An explosion and light turning off just when he seemed done for. If I am to believe that death wish theory they should have shown Spike beating them comprehensively.
Like I said, a part of it is luck. Spike also mentions what they (vampires) are all looking for...one good day. The second a slayer starts thinking about her death wish, their mind is no longer in the game. As such, Spike is able to "slip in" and have himself a real good day. And again, Buffy's reaction shows he's right. She knows what he's talking about.

Unless we really stretch the definition and say that being careless for a second during a fight means you are craving for death, which is well, stretching it. :) The problem is that if the idea is that for a Slayer any mistake is fatal than Buffy should have died way back in Welcome to the Hellmouth.
She did though, at the end of s1. It was part of the prophecy. The difference was she had her friends, her ties to the earth. Xander brought her back. Like Spike said, it's one of the reasons she's lasted this long. If she wasn't connected to the Scoobies, she would have remained dead after that. Also, it's not so much being careless during a fight means you crave death. It's more the second you start to think about death (take your mind out of the game), you can become careless. A second of thinking can be the difference between life or death. Buffy reiterates this point in "Potential." "You can't think too much. Reacting's better. Could be the difference between staying alive and that other thing." She further explains:

The question is never "what do you think," it's always "what do you know?" You gotta know it. If you don't, if you make one mistake, it takes just one vampire to kill you. So you've got to know you can take him. Know your environment. Know what's around you, and know how to use it. In the hands of a slayer, everything is a potential weapon. If you know how to see it. When you're fighting, you have to know yourself, your brain, your body. Know how to stay calm, centered. Every move is important, every blow's got to be part of your plan 'cause you make that one mistake, and it's over. You're not the slayer.
So, the second you think, the second you question yourself, the second you don't know your next move, the second you lose your weapon, the second you wonder about dying, it could be the difference between staying alive and ending up dead. That vampire could slip in and have a good day.

And as we see with Buffy when a Slayer has had enough she doesn't go looking for death. She runs away (post-Becoming) or gets depressed (post-The Gift). Well, unless we count boinking Spike as a death wish. Heck, she even knows there is heaven and still doesn't go for that death wish.
Actually, one could make the argument that Buffy was looking for death in "The Gift." She told Giles that if Dawn died, she was done with slaying. When she realized what she had to do in order to save Dawn and the world (she had to die/death is her gift), she wasn't scared. She looked calm and even a bit content. She found death at that point and greeted it because it meant Dawn would live. Buffy also tries to kill herself in OMWF, so that very well could have been some kind of death wish. Yet, it wasn't so much of "Where does it lead," but more "I can't live in this hell on earth anymore."
 
Z
zobothehobo
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SlayerOfVampyrs
Preach it, sista! I love you! haha
PassionBecoming
PassionBecoming
Yay on all points! My thoughts exactly, even when not adressing other comments.

PassionBecoming

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#12
Yay, time for a re-watch of one of my favorite episodes! Well, I love it, anyway. I like seeing the flashbacks of the slayers and the FF. So, while I watch, I shall record my observations:

1. Do people in California really wear scarves? Soemtimes the wardrobe on this show bothers me.
2. Buffy got a little too cocky...ouch. Go Riley!! "Buffy Summers bonus" :)
3. "Not until you're...NEVER." Cracks me up.
4. I love that they're eating chips on patrol. Poor Riley, he's trying to be effective.
5. Random question: Why does Giles still have the Watcher diaries? Wouldn't the Council have wanted those back when Buffy quit or are they just letting that slide?
6. "I've always been bad..." Flash to geeky William writing poetry....I just want to give him hugs! :( Silly Cecily/Wilfred. And I'm guessing the guy who would rather have the railroad spike driven through his head got his wish in the end. I do find it odd that Spike would tell Buffy this story. Though it makes Buffy's later comment "you're beneath me" that much more spiteful.
7. Dru is so delightfully nutty! "The King of Cups expects a picnic, but this is not his birthday." "Good point."
8. I like that Angel and Spike were fighting even when they were running together. This ep shows the difference between how Spike and Angelus saw killing. More insight into what makes Angelus so much more twisted than the average vampire. He likes "finesse".
9. Spike heard of the Slayer, became obsessed, sought her out. And now he's in love with one, is obsessed, and constantly seeks her out. Hmmm.
10. Love Spike poking Buffy in the stomach and them both yelling in pain as the music stops and everyone stares. Haha.
11. Riley with a grenade - YEEHAW!
12. Billy Idol lok. Yes.
13. Favorite quote: "You think we're dancing?" "That's all we've ever done."
14. "Every slayer has a death wish" - Perfect statement to sum up the end of this season.
15. Spike points out again how important it is that Buffy has ties to the world, which is why she has lasted so long.
16. Why do I feel bad for Spike when he is all evil?? UGH! Want to hug him again....
17. I find it odd that Joyce waits until she is packing to tell Buffy that she might have something wrong with her. Though maybe she just didn't want to worry her. And a missed opportunity for Buffy to lean on Riley yet AGAIN. Grrr. Instead she gets comfroted by Spike, whom at this point she hates more than any other thing around her. Sad for Briley. :(
 
VisionGirl
VisionGirl
I love this whole post, makes me smile. :)
TheAnnointedOne
TheAnnointedOne
Such great observations - loved reading these :)

Taake

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Black Thorn
#13
Well this ep is popular for a reason. It's mostly brilliant! I'm almost back to liking Spike again. James Marster's is brilliant at doing being William... lol, I just love it whenever we get to see William.

The flashbacks in general are awesome because you get to see the fang gang. Most importantly Dru! :)

Riley's such a great boyfriend in this ep. The graveyard patrol is hilarious (though as has been discussed it seems unlikely that the gang would actually act like that) and I like the reminder that all that it really takes for Buffy to die is a single vampire. Nothing special about him necessary.

The thing that kind of keeps bugging me is that when Spike kills Nikki Wood he doesn't drink her... it's Dru and Kendra all over again. If Slayer's blood is such a high, why would they waste it?

Ah well, brilliant episode all together, from start to finish.
 
PassionBecoming
PassionBecoming
I was always bothered by Spike not drinking Nikki, too!
TheAnnointedOne
TheAnnointedOne
I agree completely with your questioning why they dont drink the Slayor's blood. Even the Chinese slayer - he only had a taste - I would have thought he would have drained her, offered more to Dru (but they were abit preoccupied haaa)
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#14
Okay - so first of all, I am still in awe of this episode. It is so well crafted and beautifully done. I like the focus on Spike and Buffy here, love the flashbacks where we see the history of Spike and his siring of the two slayers. We see some of the holes in the plot being filled (esp Drusilla and Spike before Spike returns in S3 in Lover's Walk). The cinematography and direction is excellent - the fighting scenes in the past juxtaposed to the present scenes, Spike's imitation of his moves in killing the second slayer, and then how his past self is actually talking to Buffy across time. It is so excellent!!! I am buzzing from this episode!!!!

Highlights, Favourite Quotes and Comments

"¢ DAWN: Come on, who's the man?
BUFFY: You are. A very short, annoying man.

"¢ Love Riley's military coding and hand movements and the Scooby gang unable to decipher or comprehend it! And also what is Willow thinking!!!!! "“ how awful is that pink hat and jumper combination? Normally, what characters wear in BtVS dont really bother me, it's neither here nor there "“ but come on!!!

"¢ There is a touching Buffy/ Giles moment when Buffy questions the lack of written records of a Slayer's death and Giles says it must be very painful for the Watchers. The look they give each other melts my heart!!!

"¢ I agree with [MENTION=9799]Taake[/MENTION] "“ love seeing William. We get a piece of history here we had no clue about previously "“ another layer of Spike's character is being discovered. I also loved the siring scene, how Spike screams out in pain then just surrenders.

"¢ As [MENTION=11103]PassionBecoming[/MENTION] pointed out "“ one of my favourite quotes of the episode just for its pure and utter Drusilla-ness:

DRUSILLA
The King of Cups expects a picnic! But this is not his birthday.
DARLA
Good point...

"¢ ANGELUS No. A real kill. A good kill. It takes pure artistry. Without that, we're just animals.
SPIKE: Poofter! (CLASSIC SPIKE!!!!)

"¢ That incredible scene with Spike, Darla, Angelus and Drusilla in slow motion emerging out of the rebellion. That jump Spike makes "“ you can just feel his elation after killing the slayer. EPIC!!!

"¢ We finally see the chaos demon Spike mentions in Lover's Walk! Haaaa great moment.

"¢ I just love those scenes between Spike and Buffy and their conversations about Slayers "“ it feeds into this theme we have that stems really from Restless in S4. We have had the original slayer invading Buffy's dreams saying things like how the slayer is alone (which correlates with Spike's comment to Buffy in this episode about why her attachments to this world is the very thing keeping her alive), we have had Dracula's insistence that Buffy's power derives from a darkness that rivals his own "“ his suggestion that Buffy will eventually beg for death at his hands, Buffy's quest to find out about her slayer heritage and now Spike mentions a death wish to add to the complexity. All this will be ongoing this season right to Intervention and The Gift. I just love this concept, the theme that is being explored here "“ it is one of the most fascinating subjects out of the whole Buffyverse for me.

"¢ That ending is so heartbreaking "“ excellent acting from both SMG and James. You really feel Buffy's despair and those final moments when Buffy allows Spike to gently tap her back and then silence gives me chills every time. WOW

Questions

"¢ As [MENTION=9799]Taake[/MENTION] has previously noted, why didn't Spike drain Nikki, why didn't he drain the Chinese slayer after only a few seconds worth of tasting her blood?

"¢ If Spike really wanted to kill Buffy at the end, why didn't he just get Harmony to shoot her??? At least he could have watched!!! Haaa

"¢ Buffy didn't even flinch when there is obviously a huge rifle in front of her which Spike is holding!! Is this the death"“wish in action? Haaa jokes!!

A classic episode in my estimation!!!

:)
 
white avenger
white avenger
A huge shotgun, not rifle. Shorter range, but much messier kill up close.
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#15
Ooops - when I said at the beginning, 'history of Spike and his siring of the two slayers' I meant killing of the slayers! Wouldn't that be interesting though to discover a slayer that had turned into a vampire? Lol

:)
 
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Black Thorn
#16
Ooops - when I said at the beginning, 'history of Spike and his siring of the two slayers' I meant killing of the slayers! Wouldn't that be interesting though to discover a slayer that had turned into a vampire? Lol

:)
Sidebar, Sunday was originally intended to be a Slayer-turned-vampire.
 
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#17
Sidebar, Sunday was originally intended to be a Slayer-turned-vampire.
Really???? Oooo! That would have been interesting! :)

I liked this episode :) I love finding out about the past slayers and the slayers powers etc Couldn't believe the begining with Buffy getting staked like that though! I mean, it's Buffy! years and years of fighting and this one vamp gets a stab in!! :eek: It seemed kinda unlikely but I suppose it was bound to happen at least one time :rolleyes:
I thought it was quite funny when the Scoobies went patroling with Riley, he was being all stealthy and the Scoobies just casually walking, eating a bag of crisps lol :D
I liked the way they did the Spike story telling bit, he was actually there fighing but telling the story sort of thing :) Don't really understand why Spike just broke the slayers neck though and didn't bite her afterwards, as what's been said before, Slayer's blood is kinda epic..:confused: Also what got me was when he said they have a death wish, the only reason Buffy is still here is because she has ties to the world, well we find out later on that the 'foxy slayer' had a son, so why would she have a death wish?? :confused:
It's so heartbraking when I see Buffy cry at the end, it's nice Spike was there to comfort her but still sad :(
 

white avenger

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#18
As for a Slayer's death wish, I believe that what Spike was referring to was the feeling that any warrior gets at some point in their war, the desire that the in terminal fighting, the fear, the pain, and the death simply be over, whatever that might mean. They become tired, and the simply want to rest, even if that rest is an eternal one. Every Slayer knows that the closest thing to retirement that she will ever see, the only exit from the fight, the only peace that she cah hope for is the peace of the grave, so, yes, at some point in her career, if she lasts that long, every Slayer gets a death wish. Buffy had one in Season 6, nobody can deny that. Luckily, she survived and worked past it by the end of the season, thanks to the help and support of her friends and those who loved her. But she most definitely had a death wish at one point, and I believe that it is fair to say that all Slayers, at some point, feel the same thing.