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

DeadlyDuo

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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.

I agree. It's brilliant acting from JM what he can do with one look. Also, add in the fact that a few episodes prior, Spike had been boasting to Riley that Buffy had the means to take his name off the invite list yet hadn't chosen to do so, finding that he was now de-invited was when he probably realised he royally screwed up. He tries to "redeem" himself next episode with the scoobies but they weren't having any of it. When he first hits the barrier and realises what's happened he almost says Buffy's name then has a look of realisation.
 

Btvs fan

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I agree. It's brilliant acting from JM what he can do with one look. Also, add in the fact that a few episodes prior, Spike had been boasting to Riley that Buffy had the means to take his name off the invite list yet hadn't chosen to do so, finding that he was now de-invited was when he probably realised he royally screwed up. He tries to "redeem" himself next episode with the scoobies but they weren't having any of it. When he first hits the barrier and realises what's happened he almost says Buffy's name then has a look of realisation.

I don't think he was even trying to redeem himself, I think Giles was right that Spike saw them (except for Dawn) as just another way to Buffy.
 

GraceK

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I agree. It's brilliant acting from JM what he can do with one look

Omg agreed. I remember watching this in real time and feeling so bad for him. God I felt so bad for him in FFL as well. I honestly felt that Buffy was such a BITCA because she wouldn’t give Spike a chance 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️ All due to JMs acting. He brought so much to his character that you honestly felt for him in every scene.
 

Btvs fan

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Omg agreed. I remember watching this in real time and feeling so bad for him. God I felt so bad for him in FFL as well. I honestly felt that Buffy was such a BITCA because she wouldn’t give Spike a chance 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️ All due to JMs acting. He brought so much to his character that you honestly felt for him in every scene.

I do feel bad for him at the start of the episode when he gets cold shouldered because he was right. He was fighting the fight. Buffys sleeping the sleep because he was knocked unconscious line, does ignore the obvious, that he got knocked out fighting with her.
Also Xanders line that you should never hurt the feelings of a brutal killer is very prophetic regards him ditching Anya at the altar 🤔
 

DayDreamer27

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Call me a monster, but I felt no sympathy for Spike. In fact the look on his face at the end made me roll my eyes.

I read his ecpression as at first he thought it was a joke & Buffy was just playing hard to get. Then when he realizes she's serious, it changes to disbelief & confusion like he doesn't understand he did anything wrong. And given his lack of soul, that's expected. So plenty of annoyance with him on my part. No sympathy. Once again the guy doesn't know when to quit & go away. Lol
 

RomanticSoul

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He brought so much to his character that you honestly felt for him in every scene.
Nope, we don't. Or at least not all of us. Despite the writers and JM trying their best with the 'sympathy for the monster' nonsense, some of us never lost sight of WHAT Spike was. I won't ever feel sorry for soulless vampires, they are monsters not people. I don't pity monsters, I want them dead.
 
GraceK
GraceK
That’s fair

Btvs fan

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Nope, we don't. Or at least not all of us. Despite the writers and JM trying their best with the 'sympathy for the monster' nonsense, some of us never lost sight of WHAT Spike was. I won't ever feel sorry for soulless vampires, they are monsters not people. I don't pity monsters, I want them dead.

But if a monster can't help it and it's just in his nature can he really be a monster. He has no choice in the matter after all ?

To use a real life non human example. Take Hippos (the biggest human killer in Africa besides ourselves) when a mother gives birth she takes the calf back to the herd. If they accept the baby alls fine. If they don't they brutally kill it. Can we call that evil if that is there nature 🤔
 

DayDreamer27

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But if a monster can't help it and it's just in his nature can he really be a monster. He has no choice in the matter after all ?

To use a real life non human example. Take Hippos (the biggest human killer in Africa besides ourselves) when a mother gives birth she takes the calf back to the herd. If they accept the baby alls fine. If they don't they brutally kill it. Can we call that evil if that is there nature 🤔

Well animals don't have reason in the way humans do. So I never felt using animals as an example was good. Some animals eat their young. What humans call rape, animals it's mating.

Some females didn't always wanna mate when the males did, and in cases, it's not unheard of for the males to just climb on board & do what they wanted anyway. Afterwards, both go about their business. The female isn't left feeling traumatized or violated. After it's finished, they move on. But again, for people, that's rape.

The difference being with animals is they just do what they do. I believe they have feelings like humans. They can be mad, hurt, sad, happy, etc. But I don't believe the uglier parts of the animal kingdom are governed by sadism. Animals kill for survival, whereas some humans will do it for pleasure.

Far as vampires, they are similar to humans. They cause damage, chaos, and suffering for pleasure. Vampires have to feed, But you have vamps like Angelus, Kralik, the Gorches, Drusilla, and Spike who have been shown to enjoy killing for the sake of killing and getting sick pleasure from hurting others. In which case, they would be monsters. Because it's not strictly about survival, there's been a pleasure derived from the simple act of killing & torture. They are evil, which imo would make them monsters. Compared to animals who don't have it in their nature to be evil, but doesn't mean they don't kill for survival purposes.

Imo, evil is a state of mind. Are you acting out of necessity & survival? Or are you acting out of pleasure through sadism & desire for destruction & suffering..

Getting back to Spike, there's no way to make him look good. Like I say, he's either evil like Angelus or he's actually worse. If he is different than normal vamps, and have some kind of humanity to him, it makes his bad acts look even worse, because apparently he chose to be a monster, despite having ability to do & feel better than the others.
 

thetopher

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Sineya
Like I say, he's either evil like Angelus or he's actually worse. If he is different than normal vamps, and have some kind of humanity to him, it makes his bad acts look even worse, because apparently he chose to be a monster, despite having ability to do & feel better than the others.

If we refer to what most of the writers thought- and that's what some people like to do and consider it valid- then Spike is a special vampire with some residual soul in him (or something).
There's no explanation given for this 'special-ness' but the result is that he's certainly one of the worst vampires in existence, since he had more agency than any other vampire and yet apparently chose to be as awful as he was.

I actually prefer the 'Buffy-centric' view of Spike, in that he's not that special at all but a combination of the chip and Buffy's compassion/unwillingness to kill him whist chipped meant he changed the way he did.
 
one eyed chicklet
one eyed chicklet
I think its just spike's personality to be honest. There's no soul but he is still a big romantic (or more just obsession as a vampire).
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WillowFromBuffy

Guest
Shouldn't limited agency lead to limited responsibility. We hold children responsible to their actions to some degree, but not in the same way as we do with adults.

To me, Spike is the vampire with the least amount of agency. He calls himself "love's bitch," meaning that he is a slave to his passions. Angelus is at least somewhat rational and calculating. Spike is not.

Some vampires seem to have a particular characteristic or flaw. Spike's happens to be the desire for absolute unqualified love, which is a result of his disappointments as a young human man. When he is in love—be it with Dru or with Buffy—he will do whatever he believes it takes for that love to be requited. When he gets his soul, it is not a choice, it is just the last desperate gambit.

After Spike gets his soul back, he is able to make moral choices, but he still retains William's need to be loved, and he still clings to his 'bad-ass' Spike persona.

Spike makes two choices on the show. The first is his choice to die in "Chosen." The second is his choice to stay away from Buffy and help Angel in L.A.
 

DeadlyDuo

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But if a monster can't help it and it's just in his nature can he really be a monster. He has no choice in the matter after all ?

To use a real life non human example. Take Hippos

I'd say vampires are more like giant cats. They have very felinesque mannerisms and there are several occasions you hear them purr eg Spike does it when Drusilla walks in in School Hard, the female vampire does it when she gives Spike the book in Lie to Me. They tend to sleep during the day and hunt at night, their roar sounds like a lion's, they live in "prides", there has been two references to sticking a little bell on Angel and Spike (cats tend to have the little bells on their collars), they can jump off of something tall and land on their feet. Cats have been known to toy with their prey and kill just for the sake of killing, etc.

A lion to a gazelle is a monster, a gazelle to a lion is food. Humans aren't used to being the gazelle.
 

Mr Trick

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I don't think he was even trying to redeem himself, I think Giles was right that Spike saw them (except for Dawn) as just another way to Buffy.

Disagree with you here actually. I think we see later in Intervention what Spike sacrifices at the end for Dawn and Buffy. I read the stuff with Dawn as Spike doing the right thing (or what he sees as the right thing), but at this point he is still resisting admitting it.

But if a monster can't help it and it's just in his nature can he really be a monster. He has no choice in the matter after all ?

To use a real life non human example. Take Hippos (the biggest human killer in Africa besides ourselves) when a mother gives birth she takes the calf back to the herd. If they accept the baby alls fine. If they don't they brutally kill it. Can we call that evil if that is there nature 🤔

But I agree 100% with this!:) That is why its always worse when a human kills than a animal.
 
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Black Thorn
How does anyone feel bad for Spike? he's one of my favourite characters but he's literally a soulless vampire with an obsession with her.
 

katmobile

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How does anyone feel bad for Spike? he's one of my favourite characters but he's literally a soulless vampire with an obsession with her.
I do but I do understand why he gets treated the way he does and they aren't wrong to do that.
 

RomanticSoul

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I do but I do understand why he gets treated the way he does and they aren't wrong to do that.
If by 'aren't wrong to do that' you mean the Scoobies not killing Spike then I'm afraid they are wrong. Buffy's job description is pretty clear. And so is the groups mission.

Once you start handing out exceptions for no justifiable reason (Spike worked to get the chip out, Spike still did evil despite the chip...so the chip excuse is null and void), then you yourself aren't better than the monsters you are supposed to be killing. And that's what the Scoobies became, completely morally bankrupt, because Whedon & Co. didn't give a damn about the consequences when they shoehorned characters like Spike and Anya into a story they didn't belong.
 

katmobile

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No they didn't Buffy slays to protect people not for vengeance. To slay someone who wasn't an active threat would have been wrong.
 
B
Btvs fan
She kills Rileys Vamp girl who is no threat. She even plays with her before killing her

thrasherpix

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No they didn't Buffy slays to protect people not for vengeance. To slay someone who wasn't an active threat would have been wrong.

But he was an active threat...and sooner or later, as far as they knew, one of his attempts would pay off. (I think Heartthrob on Angel was intentionally meant to be Spike's big death scene, but the bosses said the writers couldn't kill Spike so they had to invent James instead. )
 
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WillowFromBuffy

Guest
(I think Heartthrob on Angel was intentionally meant to be Spike's big death scene, but the bosses said the writers couldn't kill Spike so they had to invent James instead. )
That doesn't make any sense. Spike had been a regular on BtVS for almost two whole seasons. But you think the writers wanted to move him over to Angel, reunite him with Drusilla, less than half a season after this failed reunion, have Angel kill Drusilla and then have Spike do the kamikaze surgery? But some nameless execs put their foot down?

I don't believe you. James is clearly modelled after Spike, but there is no way they ever considered having Spike and Dru in that episode.
 
T
thrasherpix
But it would've been a perfect Spike reaction to the death of Buffy, and his telling Angel that he never really loved Buffy like he did or he'd do the same thing. It still works for me.

thrasherpix

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@thrasherpix It may work for you, but I don't get how you can be so sure that this was what the writers wanted to do.

Why would Spike go after Angel after Buffy dies? Angel had nothing to do with that.
I'd have to review the episode again to say. Not sure when I'd come back to this for that reason. It's just not that important to me, and seems a bit off topic here.
 
W
WillowFromBuffy
Well, I don't think you should make such a confident statement about real people if you can't explain why you think that.
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