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Discussion of 5.14 "Crush" - Aired 2/13/01 (WB-US)

PassionBecoming

Minuscule Redheaded One
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Sineya
Over on AtS Angel encounters Darla again and, despite her evil past, makes an attempt to save her soul...to turn her good. He tries to give her a second chance. Buffy doesn't have the history with Spike that Angel has with Darla, (and Angel and Darla were once lovers) but still. It's worth noting the difference between Angel and Buffy.

It's totally understandable that Buffy finds Spike revolting. And sure, Spike has done a lot of evil in the past (just as Darla had). But if she had Angel's attitude, she might have seen Spike's infatuation with her as a possibility to change Spike to a good guy. Small chance maybe, but he is consistently choosing to do good things now, and sometimes not even for Buffy's sake.

I know that Angel feels differently about giving people second and third chances because he himself is trying to make up for his own dark demons. He's sympathetic. He has to be. Buffy's attitude is understandable, but I think to myself, maybe she didn't learn all she needed to from Angel.

In my opinion, if a person is willing (or shows the capability) to change, everyone deserves a shot at redemption. An opportunity here is being wasted. It might just be possible to change Spike for the better. Buffy can't see past her revulsion of Spike to maybe offer that help to him.

This episode is probably the worst one for my argument, and I agree that his games after tying up Buffy was a creepy thing. Born of Spike's desperation to be honest. But I'm taking in the accumulated evidence of this entire season. My first impression from the season as a whole is that Spike just might be redeemable. The good things he chooses to do from time to time is not just because of the chip in his head.

You do have to remember though, that *SPOILER* Darla had a soul when Angel was trying to save her. Buffy and Angel fell in love while Angel had a soul. Spike is a completely different animal/vampire: he is a demon/vampire with NO soul who is obsessed with a Slayer. Because of his lack of soul, his infatuation/love/feelings aren't going to come out in a normal, healthy manner. At this point, redemption isn't possible for Spike - he is basically, as Buffy said, "like a serial killer in prison". He has no remorse and he wants to do good simply because he thinks Buffy will like him then.

Anyway, more enlightenment will come on this topic as you watch. :D
 

thetopher

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Sineya
Agreed the whole moral of the story in laid out by Tara when their discussing 'The Hunchback Of Notre Dame', doing good things just for selfish reasons...
Spike has no moral compass, he's a demon. If he ever got his chip out would he really stay 'good'?

Any sympathy for Spike in this episode, puzzles me, JM's performance is good, but Buffy's doing the right thing here.

It's also worth remembering that Giles tried to get Spike to reform in S4 and was dismissed for his troubles. Then Spike turned on them (siding with Adam). None of the Scoobies, let alone Buffy, have any reason to trust Spike, or his motives.
 
PassionBecoming
PassionBecoming
[No message]

AnthonyCordova

modulating between criticism and reconstruction
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Sineya
I hear what you're saying, but I really don't think everything he's done to this point is evil and/or selfish. I don't see Spike as such an open and shut case.

Maybe the writers aren't being consistent then. Spike is doing good things now without a soul. I just got done with the episode where Spike brings flowers to honor Joyce's death. He didn't do it for Buffy. And he had very fine and earnest words to say. What he said about Joyce came from the heart. Maybe the writers shouldn't be allowing him to do these things yet, because he technically doesn't have his soul back. But how can a wholly evil and irredeemable person do this? (and there are other examples of authentically good things Spike has done).

I didn't say he was a total good person yet. I just think he might deserve help. On my count, he's done things to merit consideration. And Buffy and the gang could provide that, if they were willing. But of course, there's the soul thing. Doesn't have a soul so he must be evil. Then the writers shouldn't be making him do some of these things that he does.
 
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thetopher

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Sineya
Remember that at this point we, the viewer, have seen things from Spike's perspective, we've seen inside his head, his thought processes and his struggles. (in 'Family', 'Fool For Love', 'Triangle' etc,)
The Scoobies haven't. They have every right to doubt his motivations. And 'Crush' is set before Spike brings flowers for Joyce. (we all know he has a soft spot for Mothers. :) )

Up until 'Crush' Spike has been kind of hanging just around. True, he helped Buffy with Glory- without asking for any money, but a couple of 'favours' doesn't erase the past.
I think if Buffy had thought about it rationally, she'd might've considered that Spike was being sincere.
But Buffy thinks he's 1) Lying or 2) more likely, deeply, creepily confused. (Which he is, if you tie up and threaten your 'crush' into saying that they love you or their 'ex' will eat them. that's evil and twisted.) In hindsight, maybe Buffy should've been more careful using his services in 'Checkpoint' and 'Blood Ties', but she was desperate.

Spike in S5 is on a journey that he can only really make on his own, struggling to know what 'good' is, and if he ever can be good. (That question isn't really answered until late S6).
 

AnthonyCordova

modulating between criticism and reconstruction
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Sineya
That makes sense. And I'm now starting to think that, although a vampire might be able to feel good things or do a good thing every once in awhile, (depending on the vamp,) the evil nature of being a vampire, the inner beast that is evil, will eventually and inevitably overcome them again. The other shoe will inevitably drop; a vampire without a soul just can't help it, even with good intentions. Some vampires are controlled completely by this inner drive (and are completely bad) and some are not (like Harmony from Disharmony, or Spike now.) For whatever reason Spike is starting to get more in touch with his softer human side, but because he is still an (at bottom) evil vampire all rehabilitation would ultimately fail. Without the chip in his head he would eventually becom a threat again. He can't help it.

So without a soul, Spike can't be helped ultimately, despite signs that a quasi-humanity shows through once in awhile. At least not without breaking the lore.

So I think you were right after all. I'll see how things go from here with Spike. It will be fun.
 
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Slayerofslayers

We're going to destroy the world. Want to come?
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One of the things that I wonder about in this episode is at what point did Spike decide to turn on Drusilla and chain her and Buffy up? Was he planning on doing this all along and just faking like he wanted to be with Dru again since he couldn't hurt Buffy with the chip? Or did he decide to do it at the last second after Dru knocks Buffy out? Was it Dru's or Spike's idea to come back to his crypt to knock Buffy out? I'm just curious because it seemed like he wanted to be with Drusilla again and be his old self but at some point he saw it as an opportunity to prove his love to Buffy. He did look hesitant to bite that girl after Drusilla gave her to him but I'm not sure if that's what made him change his mind since when he thought the chip stopped working in season six he was more than willing to bite and kill people again. The first time I watched that scene I thought he might be hesitant because the chip would hurt him for biting a human even though she was dead (would it still hurt him if a human was dead? Didn't seem like it after he bit her). Maybe he felt bad because he knew Buffy wouldn't approve of that so he knew he still had feelings for Buffy and wanted to try something desperate to get her to love him?
 

Mr Trick

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Am thinking of re-watching this one soon. Think its an interesting episode, but its been ages since I've seen it. Nice to see more Dru:)
 

Give Us A Kiss

Fuffy Apologist
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Feb 4, 2015
Messages
2,753
Sineya
Dance Anya, Dance :D

Spike, are those new clothes ?

Spike, do Onion Blossoms taste like Onion Rings.??? o_O

Buffy is completely unaware that Ben is Glory...

Poor police officer :(

Buffy, listen to Giles...

Dawn didn't take it, Spike did.

Harmony is still here :rolleyes:

No moral compass ??? I think everyone has some sort of moral compass, it's just that some have one that's screwed up...

Spike, what do you have to do ??? o_O

Spike, I don't like it when you smoke next to Dawn...

Buffy, Spike and Dawn should have some bonding time together, Spike treats her properly...

Buffy, when you were in high school, you had a crush on a dead vampire too :mad:

Buffy, Spike is totally in love with you...

Xander, how clueless are you ??? o_O

That doll is creepy...

Spike, this is definitely a date...

Buffy, there is something between you and Spike, and it's toxic...

Buffy, he has felt love before, and you are a big hypocrite.

Drusilla :eek:

Spike, you will be back in LA someday...

Dru knows way too much...

Harmony :mad:

Spike dumps Harmony :D

Sprusilla is back, but for how long ???

The chip doesn't work anymore...

Buffy, I would run...

Spike, do you love Buffy enough not to kill her ???

Dru, keep on laughing, it's cute :)

Buffy, you don't need a soul to love...

How did Joss get away with Spike swearing like that ??? o_O

Harmony :eek:

Harmony, leave please...

Buffy, Spike won't be leaving that fast...

Spike has been uninvited.

Next time: We meet Warren and his robot girlfriend.
 

Dora

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Spike is the same Evil selfish A/hole he always was up until he got his soul , Dru killed the girl for him its murder, he hesitated yes , maybe he thought for a second Buffy would not like this but he did not really care and carried on Lets take the three girls in the cellar one he was stalking , one he was using , one was his past love who he knock out , tied up , and threaten Buffy with what a lovely fellow.Spike was obsessed with Slayers unfortunately for Buffy she was the Slayer, to use Spikes own words the only thing better than killing a Slayer is to F---.He is totally evil as has been pointed he tried to kill again as soon as he thought his chip had stopped working.Love this monster did not know how to love , attacked Buffy with a cattle prod and chained her up threaten to kill her ...yup that's love . when I read some of the comments on here about Spike I think they must be watching a different program.
 

DeadlyDuo

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How did Joss get away with Spike swearing like that ??? o_O

Because it's British swearing so the American censors don't count it as swearing.

Spike has been uninvited.

The look of confusion and hurt on his face that Buffy would uninvite him makes me feel sorry for Spike even though what Buffy did was the right thing for her to do.
 

jls

a big cat
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Oct 9, 2017
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Australia
Drusilla is so sexy in this episode! I also love her consistent body acting (is there an acting phrase for that?) throughout her role on this show. She so big-cat-like all the time. Spike gets into it too, when he feeds, that tugging the victim/prey towards him while he drinks. I love it! Meanwhile, Drusilla is guiding and encouraging and approving, like a big mama cat. Such clever and effective acting. She's so great. I wish there was more Drusilla :(
 

Sharky

Townie
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This episode does Spike a big service in a way, as I feel a lot of this should paint him as a pure villain but it doesn't. The kidnapping of Buffy and chaining up of Dru was played up to be more comedic and seemingly playful then how sinister it should have been portrayed as. For example, Spike was telling Buffy he was going to release Dru and allow her to kill her if Buffy refused to give him any sort of hope that he had a chance with her. He has a very violent obsession with Buffy and in his current state it manifests in a very toxic, unhealthy, entitled and abusive manner. Anyone who calls Buffy a bitch for rejecting Spike is totally outside of reality on this one.

And don't get me wrong I find Spike very pitiful, but for Buffy... Let's just say Giles is right to be protective of Buffy when it comes to Spike as we see in the next episode.
 

Mr Trick

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Re-watched it last night and what a brilliant episode (as it turns out S5 is full of delights). We get full blown Dru, Spike and Buffy, what's not to love? 😍 Harmony is really well used too and I loved her and Spike's role playing!:p

As for Spike and the idea of feeling sorry for him? In this episode no I don't really? But I think the point is to show the character is still in transition between evil and good. He's still very flawed. That's what Crush shows. But that becomes important later when Spike's turn to the good side is complete. Its because of episodes like this than that switch is more credible.

Oh and the Bronze scene with Dru is fantastic! Love the use of music:)
 

Btvs fan

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Re-watched it last night and what a brilliant episode (as it turns out S5 is full of delights). We get full blown Dru, Spike and Buffy, what's not to love? 😍 Harmony is really well used too and I loved her and Spike's role playing!:p

As for Spike and the idea of feeling sorry for him? In this episode no I don't really? But I think the point is to show the character is still in transition between evil and good. He's still very flawed. That's what Crush shows. But that becomes important later when Spike's turn to the good side is complete. Its because of episodes like this than that switch is more credible.

Oh and the Bronze scene with Dru is fantastic! Love the use of music:)

It's a great episode but that's more the Directing and acting over the script.

Fury before the episode stated clearly what he was doing. Spuffy's sick Spuffy fans are serial killer lovers and you can't have him be good or try to be as that would make Angel less special. That was his goal for the episode. He even butcher's the Hunch Back of Notradam's theme (Quasimodo did have a moral compass) to make his point.
Then you have Dawn talking about Spike having cool hair and leather coats after Spike murder story. Again his Anvil hits hard.

Then you have the basics of how many vampires Buffy spares from the nested Vamps to Harmony and Dru though I guess they have Special Guest Appearances character shields 🤔

The script is strictly focused on what it wants, to tell the audience Spike is evil. To me I'd give it a 1 just on that.

Yet I to love this episode, why ? because a the Directing by Daniel Attias and some clearly done by JW (theres a photo of him giving JM direction in the beginning Bronze reopening scene) with the colours and lighting. The bronze scene with no words just music and facial expressions of JM is fantastic.
The acting of JM and SMG knocks it out the park (her in the car on there date is golden) and great support from JL as the Viper like Dru and MN as poor put upon Harmony. Even to MT's teenage crush but also perceptive Dawn. The acting is out standing.
Even after all Spike does that scene where he finds himself locked out at the end, which is completely deserved btw, you cant help but feel for him.

All in all I love this episode 9 out 10.
 

GraceK

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Ok I am not getting this “ the writers are just writing Spike evil to stick it to Spuffy fans “ argument. I’m sorry, but you do realize that season 5 of BtvS does not in fact revolve around the feelings of Spuffy shippers? I’m trying really hard to be respectful, and I am myself a Spuffy fan, but I have seen numerous posts pop up in every episode discussion thread where Spike acts like a dick or sniffs Buffy’s panties and it’s explained away by “ the writers are just doing that to emphasize how much they hate Spike and to show how lame Spuffy fans are”. That’s not true. I’m sorry, but there is not a conspiracy against Spuffy fans or Spike fans from the writers . It’s called plot and writing. And character. And plot points. Spuffy wasn’t a thing in season 5. At all. It was entirely one sided. At least until after Intervention and you can make an argument that Buffy truly starts respecting Spike for his devotion to protecting Dawn and his commitment to her. Spike stalking Buffy and stealing her clothes and kidnapping her and tying her up and all that stuff is entirely in line with his character. He’s a soulless vampire. Who up until this point sees her as an enemy and has no idea what to do with these feelings. That’s actually the charm of the relationship. Excusing every creepy or bad thing Spike does as a conspiracy by the writers to stick it to Spuffy fans does a disservice to this show and the intelligence of the audience. In that case, anything I don’t like that Xander does, or Buffy does, or Angel does, is just the writers being petty and therefore I don’t have to take it seriously.
 
B
Btvs fan

Btvs fan

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Ok I am not getting this “ the writers are just writing Spike evil to stick it to Spuffy fans “ argument. I’m sorry, but you do realize that season 5 of BtvS does not in fact revolve around the feelings of Spuffy shippers? I’m trying really hard to be respectful, and I am myself a Spuffy fan, but I have seen numerous posts pop up in every episode discussion thread where Spike acts like a dick or sniffs Buffy’s panties and it’s explained away by “ the writers are just doing that to emphasize how much they hate Spike and to show how lame Spuffy fans are”. That’s not true. I’m sorry, but there is not a conspiracy against Spuffy fans or Spike fans from the writers . It’s called plot and writing. And character. And plot points. Spuffy wasn’t a thing in season 5. At all. It was entirely one sided. At least until after Intervention and you can make an argument that Buffy truly starts respecting Spike for his devotion to protecting Dawn and his commitment to her. Spike stalking Buffy and stealing her clothes and kidnapping her and tying her up and all that stuff is entirely in line with his character. He’s a soulless vampire. Who up until this point sees her as an enemy and has no idea what to do with these feelings. That’s actually the charm of the relationship. Excusing every creepy or bad thing Spike does as a conspiracy by the writers to stick it to Spuffy fans does a disservice to this show and the intelligence of the audience. In that case, anything I don’t like that Xander does, or Buffy does, or Angel does, is just the writers being petty and therefore I don’t have to take it seriously.

And when Buffy let's both Dru and Harmony walk for no reason, that's also a plot point and out of character for Buffy.

Not completely, in IWMTLY Spike goes to chat up April and you see Buffy give a look of jealousy.
 
W

WillowFromBuffy

Guest
I love this episode. David always writes Spike very well. And Drusilla is beyond glorious.
 

GraceK

Grr Arrg
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And when Buffy let's both Dru and Harmony walk for no reason, that's also a plot point and out of character for Buffy.

Not completely, in IWMTLY Spike goes to chat up April and you see Buffy give a look of jealousy.

Buffy lets lots of people go. She let Harmony go in season 4, and she waited an extremely long time to do anything about Anya when she became a demon again. It’s not at all out of character.

Ok, I read that article that you linked and nothing he says is wrong. He says that he doesn’t feel that Buffy declaring love for Spike while he is evil is something he agrees with. How does that negate anything I said? He doesn’t say anything about purposely sabotaging Spikes character. He also says they take their relationship to interesting places, but that Spike and Buffy pre soul is not meant to be true love and that he doesn’t want to send a message that a hero like Buffy would ever get with an evil like Spike. And he’s right. And James Marsters agrees. And so does SMG. That’s the crux of season 6. They are not star crossed lovers . He is evil.

That’s the point. He may be in love with her, he may be restrained by this chip, he may have formed close attachments to her friends and family, but at the end of the day he doesn’t have a soul and he is a remorseless killer. If she went rogue and asked him to kill someone for her, he would do it. If his chip stopped working, and Buffy went “bad”, he would be her loyal soldier. No morality would hold him back . It’s just his love for HER and his chip that stops him from killing innocent people. And she knows it. And she’s not jealous of April. 🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄 he tries to make her jealous by talking to April and April throws him through a window. And Buffy laughs. It’s Spike who is jealous because Buffy is talking to Ben. That’s what causes Spike to approach April to begin with. The first time we ever see Buffy jealous is in season 6. Come on. To say that Buffy is jealous at Spikes extremely lame and shallow attempt at hitting on a robot is reaching . At this point, Buffy is still grieving Riley and coming to terms with the fact that she has emotional issues. She’s building up the nerve to even try dating again.
 
B
Btvs fan
Jealousy is probably the wrong word but Buffy does notice and it eceb says so in the shooting script
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