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

Btvs fan

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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.

Same way I feel for Faith even when she is doing awful things. The actors bring sympathy to the roles.

At the start of the episode though they don't know that and he's just trying to fit in. As he says to Buffy he was right there fighting the fight.
Anyas mocking you may have hurt his feelings is pretty nasty considering how she felt she'd been treated only a couple of episodes ago

Lol Buffy brings him up at her house and goes right to him when she thinks Dawn is missing too
 
one eyed chicklet
one eyed chicklet
Yeah I'm not very good at being sympathetic

DeadlyDuo

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Same way I feel for Faith even when she is doing awful things. The actors bring sympathy to the roles.

I also think the reason why Spike gets so much sympathy from fans(on occasion, more than he should) is because the other characters treat him so awfully. I've said it before, but there is no reason whatsoever why the scoobies can't treat Spike civilly. They don't have to like him and that's their right, but given that he's a scooby team member who fights alongside them and helps them out, at the very least be civil. Manners cost nothing.

On the flipside, this is why I think Xander gets so much hate from the fans. There are times when he is in the wrong yet the other characters don't bat an eyelid. It's kind of like fans are picking up the slack for the characters.
 

Btvs fan

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I also think the reason why Spike gets so much sympathy from fans(on occasion, more than he should) is because the other characters treat him so awfully. I've said it before, but there is no reason whatsoever why the scoobies can't treat Spike civilly. They don't have to like him and that's their right, but given that he's a scooby team member who fights alongside them and helps them out, at the very least be civil. Manners cost nothing.

On the flipside, this is why I think Xander gets so much hate from the fans. There are times when he is in the wrong yet the other characters don't bat an eyelid. It's kind of like fans are picking up the slack for the characters.

Agree. Hmm I wonder, is the Scoobies treatment of him, the writers insert view of Spike and how they view him. Basically they just saw him a comedy foil to have for insulting quips with and that's it 🤔
 

Bop

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Sineya
This has to be the funniest episode of the season 😂
I’ve avoided watching it for ages now because I’m not a fan of Spike’s attachment to Buffy but this is a good episode in it’s own right. Drusilla was really impactful considering she’s only on screen for like 10 minutes of the episode. It’s probably my favourite of Dru’s run on Buffy.
 
one eyed chicklet
one eyed chicklet
I’m not a massive fan of Buffy and Spike but I love that episode!

Ceadsearc03

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Just rewatched this episode and loved Dru. I wish we had more of her, but as other said, not in the context she was there in. So not a fan of desperate, stalker!Spike.

I did find it interesting when I was reading the original shooting script, there was a cut line from Dru, when she’s choking Buffy.

DRUSILLA
Hear the pretty music? It's a dirge
I think... For your funeral...
(a quizzical look)
But it's not here..


I feel like that’s some major foreshadowing they elected not to go with ...
 

Btvs fan

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The ending where Buffy just stands and watches 2 vampires just turn around and walk away is ridiculous. On top of that Harmony is given a load of pointless dialogue that makes it even worse
 

FaithLehane16

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This episode breaks my heart when it comes to Drusilla and Sprusilla. I honestly think that Drusilla deserved more than what she's got. A person or undead being should be wasted for a louder fanbase. The way it was done was pitiful and sad. You can't start an episode having Spike look all lovey dovey with Drusilla, just to make it look butchered due to his gruesome obsession with Buffy. It's pitiful. In this episode, Spuffy looks unattractive compared to Sprusilla's beauty. It's disappointing that the some of the writers chose to go on the Spuffy route here while discarding both Drusilla and Sprusilla.

It would've been more in Spike's character to go back to LA with Drusilla rather than pursuing Buffy. Some of the comments I've read here about Spike's true nature at the end of the day is more in tune with Drusilla than Buffy.

About Dawn's crush on Spike, it's absurd that a sister would want to pursue men who are romantic prospects of her older sister. We see Xander crushing hard on Buffy in the earlier seasons, but he ends up with her sister instead. In the comics, we see Dawn hugging Angel while saying that she used to have a crush on him semi like she did with Spike. In this season, she crushes on Xander despite him previously pursuing her sister. Xander bought Buffy a bracelet, asked her to Spring Fling, was jealous over frat boys, Owen, and Angel, dug Buffy in her vampiric state, brought her back to life, and referred to her as the other woman he is interested in, but is currently unavailable because she's still mourning Angel in Bewitched, Bothered, & Bewildered. He was interested in both Buffy and Cordy at that time.

I'm definitely on Buffy's side in this episode. She doesn't need to put up with Spike's absurd advances towards her.
 

DeadlyDuo

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@FaithLehane16 The irony is that the symbolism of Spike offering to stake Drusilla for Buffy only works if he still cares deeply for her. If he didn't care, then it would mean nothing. Bit of an own goal by the Spuffy writers there. JM and JL had much better romantic chemistry together than SMG did with JM. Frenemy chemistry wise they were great.

That is so true about Dawn. Whilst the character herself is okay, her addition to the series did have a detrimental effect on the story telling IMO.

The problem I have with Buffy when it comes to Spuffy is how inconsistent she is towards Spike. One minute she's repeatedly telling him she wants nothing to do with him, the next she's kissing him on the lips unnecessarily (Intervention). She needs to be consistent with him otherwise he's getting mixed messages. This is exactly what happens in Season 6.
 

Taake

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The problem I have with Buffy when it comes to Spuffy is how inconsistent she is towards Spike. One minute she's repeatedly telling him she wants nothing to do with him, the next she's kissing him on the lips unnecessarily (Intervention). She needs to be consistent with him otherwise he's getting mixed messages. This is exactly what happens in Season 6.

Doesn't it kind of reflect how conflicted she is about him though? Like when she's with him she's drawn to trust him, and feels for him, but also rationally knows that she should be on her guard. So feelings and rationality combined creates her inconsistency?

I get what you said earlier, about the gang being more civil to Spike, which I generally agree with but at the same time, he is still technically evil here. It's like introducing Jeffrey Dahmer into a mixed company and going "be nice, he hasn't eaten anyone in a couple of months". Sure, manners are fine, but the gang are kind of right to be conflicted and not quite sure how to deal with Spike. For all they know the chip could malfunction and he'd kill them all, or he'd double cross them like he tried to in season 4 with Adam.
 

DeadlyDuo

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I get what you said earlier, about the gang being more civil to Spike, which I generally agree with but at the same time, he is still technically evil here.

What bugs me is that they're actually nicer to him BEFORE he spends a whole summer helping them out, particularly Xander. In Season 6, you'd think he gambled away Miss Kitty Fantastico given the way the scoobies treat him. Dawn inadvertently kills the cat yet everyone is totally okay with her.
 

Btvs fan

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Doesn't it kind of reflect how conflicted she is about him though? Like when she's with him she's drawn to trust him, and feels for him, but also rationally knows that she should be on her guard. So feelings and rationality combined creates her inconsistency?

I get what you said earlier, about the gang being more civil to Spike, which I generally agree with but at the same time, he is still technically evil here. It's like introducing Jeffrey Dahmer into a mixed company and going "be nice, he hasn't eaten anyone in a couple of months". Sure, manners are fine, but the gang are kind of right to be conflicted and not quite sure how to deal with Spike. For all they know the chip could malfunction and he'd kill them all, or he'd double cross them like he tried to in season 4 with Adam.

Considering Anya is always joking about the people she murdered in her demon days that's incredibly inconsistent. Especially as her bodycount is larger than Spikes

@FaithLehane16 The irony is that the symbolism of Spike offering to stake Drusilla for Buffy only works if he still cares deeply for her. If he didn't care, then it would mean nothing. Bit of an own goal by the Spuffy writers there. JM and JL had much better romantic chemistry together than SMG did with JM. Frenemy chemistry wise they were great.

That is so true about Dawn. Whilst the character herself is okay, her addition to the series did have a detrimental effect on the story telling IMO.

The problem I have with Buffy when it comes to Spuffy is how inconsistent she is towards Spike. One minute she's repeatedly telling him she wants nothing to do with him, the next she's kissing him on the lips unnecessarily (Intervention). She needs to be consistent with him otherwise he's getting mixed messages. This is exactly what happens in Season 6.

The problem with this whole theory is that Fury the writer is not Spuffy. He calls Spuffy fans serial killer lovers and outright stated this episode was to show why they arent right for each other
 

Taake

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Considering Anya is always joking about the people she murdered in her demon days that's incredibly inconsistent. Especially as her bodycount is larger than Spikes

Yeah, I think they treat Anya too lightly. However, she is at this point human. Which at times in the show appeared to mean something, which was why it was okay to put pointy things through the chests of soulless evil ones but not mean-spirited or even evil humans.
 

DeadlyDuo

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The problem with this whole theory is that Fury the writer is not Spuffy. He calls Spuffy fans serial killer lovers and outright stated this episode was to show why they arent right for each other

Fury also wrote Gone which features Buffy giving Spike a blowjob so he's clearly not as anti-Spuffy as people think.
 
Puppet
Puppet
I find Gone more proof that he's anti-Spuffy, actually, precisely because of the BJ scene.

Btvs fan

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Fury also wrote Gone which features Buffy giving Spike a blowjob so he's clearly not as anti-Spuffy as people think.

"To those who feel my conviction that Spike can never be redeemed and never end up with our heroine shows a lack of imagination on my part. I say your right, it is beyond my limited imagination to see a strong independent female character falling for a murderer who would be killing again were he not suffering from chip affliction"

"For those of you who fault my thinking, I can only say I'll try to be more open minded in the future. In the meantime S/B shippers you go back to writing your pen paps Richard Ramirez and the Hillside strangler and I hope they finally accept your marriage proposals"

He couldn't be more explicit after saying that
 

katmobile

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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.
It's not soul its heart and the way he develops is a consequence of both his own nature and circumstances i.e. the chip. We are who we are no matter how much we appear to have changed. I like Fury but he found a reason post ensoulment that reconciled him to the ananolmy or percieved one in his part but it's not the truth as I percieve it. Nor is your perception.
 

Oromous

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Sineya
I also think the reason why Spike gets so much sympathy from fans(on occasion, more than he should) is because the other characters treat him so awfully. I've said it before, but there is no reason whatsoever why the scoobies can't treat Spike civilly. They don't have to like him and that's their right, but given that he's a scooby team member who fights alongside them and helps them out, at the very least be civil. Manners cost nothing.
To be fair, if my little 14 year old sister is hanging out with a serial killer - neutered or not - I would get uncomfortable too. I agree that you don't need to be rude to him, but then again, only reason he's not punished in a prison is because human laws don't apply to him. Instead, he's left to run around not paying for his crimes against humans, even if he's no longer a harm to humans anymore. Therefore, I'd be a little ticked off too to see him walking free. It's only human.

But like I said, I do agree that there's no need to antagonize a killer, but Xander's actions towards Spike feel like his usual dickishness that it didn't really shock me, even his creepy fixation on having an underaged girl crushing on him. A lot of Xander apologists say that people like me give Xander a hard time, but it's really hard to suppress my irritation at seeing what is borderline hebephilia, even if it's a joke. If this is real life, Xander would be ostracized by the Scoobies. And please don't bring Willow into this to justify Xander's behavior. I'm talking about Xander here, not whether if Willow's better than him or not.

But anyway, back to Spike. I like how the writers are playing around with the idea of vampire love and question whether if what Spike is feeling can be truly considered love. My opinion is that it isn't technically love, but then again, love can be so subjective, and even if I say that what Spike is feeling is an illusion, love can be considered, to some extent, an illusionary part of our emotions too, so who's to say? Over on AtS, soulless Darla also seems to be feeling some semblance of love or at least sentiment towards Angel, so it's kinda vague really what love means for vampires.

Yeah, I think they treat Anya too lightly. However, she is at this point human. Which at times in the show appeared to mean something, which was why it was okay to put pointy things through the chests of soulless evil ones but not mean-spirited or even evil humans.
Exactly; I find that it's okay to put pointy things through the chests of soulless evil ones because of what I know about vampires and their lack of souls.

As far as I know, vampires, while sometimes capable of empathy like Spike, they are not capable of altruism, and therefore, their only concern is their basest desires and not the well-being of any one else. Reading from that context, Spike's fixation on Buffy's well-being is not necessarily out of love, but out of his own self-interest to jump into Buffy's pants, kinda like how a teenage boy is only interested in "getting the girl" without caring if the girl wants such a relationship or not.

On the other hand, Anya, who is now human and has a soul, is possibly capable of the kind of altruism Spike isn't, or at least learn it. She's like a newborn who's just been given a human body and has to learn how to love like a normal human could.
 
T
thrasherpix
I can't wait for you to get to Intervention now.

DeadlyDuo

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To be fair, if my little 14 year old sister is hanging out with a serial killer - neutered or not - I would get uncomfortable too.

Except we clearly see Buffy choosing to send Dawn and Joyce to Spike for protection. Even after the AR, Buffy wants Spike to look after Dawn, so she can't be that uncomfortable having him around her little sister. The Scoobies even trusted him to look after Dawn at the beginning of Season 6.

I agree that you don't need to be rude to him, but then again, only reason he's not punished in a prison is because human laws don't apply to him. Instead, he's left to run around not paying for his crimes against humans, even if he's no longer a harm to humans anymore. Therefore, I'd be a little ticked off too to see him walking free. It's only human.

The scoobies don't need to give him the time of day, but they can be civil to him when they do see him. As for the whole prison thing, by the same token, Buffy is running around not paying for her crimes against demons. It's a double standard.

Spike is a member of the scooby team. That doesn't mean the scoobies have to be his best friend but being polite to him his hardly going above and beyond the realm of decent behaviour.

A lot of Xander apologists say that people like me give Xander a hard time, but it's really hard to suppress my irritation at seeing what is borderline hebephilia, even if it's a joke. If this is real life, Xander would be ostracized by the Scoobies. And please don't bring Willow into this to justify Xander's behavior. I'm talking about Xander here, not whether if Willow's better than him or not.

Xander also had a dream about the potentials in Season 7 and actually hooks up with Dawn and impregnates her in the comics. I find the Dawn/Xander ship unshippable on account that Xander would've seen Dawn grow up from a child. Although Dawn first appeared in Season 5 at 14, the false memories mean Xander would've known Dawn since she was 9 so he has literally seen her grown up and develop from a child.

Willow doesn't compare. Even though she was ogling Dawn (who at the time was only 16) alongside Xander at the Bronze in Season 7, she didn't know it was Dawn, but the moment she did she immediately stopped. She didn't then go on to have a relationship with Dawn.

[QUOTE}But anyway, back to Spike. I like how the writers are playing around with the idea of vampire love and question whether if what Spike is feeling can be truly considered love. My opinion is that it isn't technically love, but then again, love can be so subjective, and even if I say that what Spike is feeling is an illusion, love can be considered, to some extent, an illusionary part of our emotions too, so who's to say? Over on AtS, soulless Darla also seems to be feeling some semblance of love or at least sentiment towards Angel, so it's kinda vague really what love means for vampires.[/QUOTE]

I think vampires are capable of love by their own standards. It might not be love by human standards but vampires are not human therefore they can love as much as they are capable. I'd believe Drusilla more when she says "we can love quite well if not wisely" (She's defending Spike even though he'd just knocked her out and tied her up) over Buffy's "you can't love without a soul" because Drusilla is a soulless vampire who would be a more trustworthy source on what soulless vampires are capable of feeling than Buffy whose source of information about vampires would come from the watchers via Giles.

Exactly; I find that it's okay to put pointy things through the chests of soulless evil ones because of what I know about vampires and their lack of souls.

I think vampires and slayers have an unspoken understanding that when the two come into contact, only one of them is going to walk away (hence why most vampires try to avoid the slayer). It's nothing personal, it's just a fact of life for them.

As far as I know, vampires, while sometimes capable of empathy like Spike, they are not capable of altruism, and therefore, their only concern is their basest desires and not the well-being of any one else. Reading from that context, Spike's fixation on Buffy's well-being is not necessarily out of love, but out of his own self-interest to jump into Buffy's pants, kinda like how a teenage boy is only interested in "getting the girl" without caring if the girl wants such a relationship or not.

I don't think Spike should be used as an example of vampire behaviour post Season 4 because not only have you got the monks spell messing with everything in order to cater for Dawn's existence, but also you've then got the scoobies influence impacting on his behaviour since they are his only social circle at that point. He has to play nice with them otherwise he has nobody therefore an "untamed" vampire would behave differently from a "tamed" one.

I do agree that altruism is probably outside a vampire's emotional capabilities however it's more likely because they're pragmatic and don't see the point of it rather than they don't understand the concept of it. Vampires are capable of doing nice things for those they care about eg Spike and Dru taking care of each other when they are sick or injured, but they won't go out of their way to help a random stranger when there is no benefit of doing so.

On the other hand, Anya, who is now human and has a soul, is possibly capable of the kind of altruism Spike isn't, or at least learn it. She's like a newborn who's just been given a human body and has to learn how to love like a normal human could.

I think they changed the portrayal of Anya from Season 4 onwards to how she was in Season 3. Anya has to have an understanding of human social norms in order to blend in on jobs as a vengeance demon. If she acted rude like she does in Season 4 onwards ) because she doesn't "understand" human social skills) then she wouldn't get close enough to women for them to make a wish. What person is going to spill their woes to a rude stranger? The whole death speech makes Anya looks stupid because she's been a vengeance demon for over a thousand years therefore she should understand the concept of death. Joyce's death might be the first time she's been personally affected by someone's death, but that doesn't mean she doesn't understand the concept of it.
 
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