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Discussion of 7.09 "Never Leave Me" - Aired 11/26/02 (UPN-US)

TriBel

Scooby
Joined
Jun 25, 2017
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I'm not sure it does fit, especially when he talks about damaging his victims just enough to make them cry. That does sound more like Angelus than the fists and fur flying Spike.
Thank you - I didn't want to be the one to bring that up. I was thinking today about "I'm nothing like Angel" and I thought "Yeah...you are". Then it occurred to me - we know about Spike's relationship with his mum (which I can tie to Slayer etc) but not Angel's. Angel's special relationship was with his sister. Spike's thing is Slayers - Angelus thing was nuns (I'd translated this to Mother Superior but Sisters makes more sense). It would make sense as to why Spike's extra protective of Dawn (other than the "little bit" reference). I was watching the episode where he knocks the Hellion off his bike - Spike really want to join them - Says to Dawn "It looks fun" - then puts his hand on her shoulder. I thought - he's not doing this just for Buffy. Wasn't Angel attracted to Buffy's purity? It makes sense that Angelus would want to do the opposite. Plus - Spike channels Riley in the "You're the One" speech.

The remark you make about about Andrew being "spikised" - I think they're twinned at points - Buffy say Andrew take on flavours like a mushroom. Wondered if Spike was doing the same. He definitely channels Angel in After the Fall.
 

Priceless

Scooby
Joined
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8,004
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Thank you - I didn't want to be the one to bring that up. I was thinking today about "I'm nothing like Angel" and I thought "Yeah...you are". Then it occurred to me - we know about Spike's relationship with his mum (which I can tie to Slayer etc) but not Angel's. Angel's special relationship was with his sister. Spike's thing is Slayers - Angelus thing was nuns (I'd translated this to Mother Superior but Sisters makes more sense). It would make sense as to why Spike's extra protective of Dawn (other than the "little bit" reference). I was watching the episode where he knocks the Hellion off his bike - Spike really want to join them - Says to Dawn "It looks fun" - then puts his hand on her shoulder. I thought - he's not doing this just for Buffy. Wasn't Angel attracted to Buffy's purity? It makes sense that Angelus would want to do the opposite. Plus - Spike channels Riley in the "You're the One" speech.

The remark you make about about Andrew being "spikised" - I think they're twinned at points - Buffy say Andrew take on flavours like a mushroom. Wondered if Spike was doing the same. He definitely channels Angel in After the Fall.
You could very well be right, but I hate to think of Spike just being a mushroom, taking on the flavours of those around him. He is pragmatic and adaptable, but he is always Spike. He sees those around him achieving more than himself, being thought more highly of, and he tries to be like them, but he often fails. He built the persona of Spike to both be more like Angel and to distance himself from him.
 

TriBel

Scooby
Joined
Jun 25, 2017
Messages
2,675
Location
Manchester
He is pragmatic and adaptable, but he is always Spike.
The pragmatic and adaptable bit was kinda what I was aiming for. I'm intrigued by the fact that a) Angel can be represented - hence the business card and b) there are mirror references to Angel - I don't recall any about Spike. Also - Wesley's "Spike's essence...for want of a better word". Spike seems to evade description. Or you could describe him and the list would go on...and on... And yet, as you say Spike is Spike. I don't have a problem with it - I don't mean it in a negative sense - just interesting.
 

emnemnemnem

Townie
Joined
Dec 18, 2017
Messages
27
Age
24
Great, great episode. First of all, it's so rich with Spuffy (screams), and secondly, it shows character development (my next favorite thing): how Spike and Buffy's own view of him have changed.

So Spike has obviously changed ever since he's gotten his soul back, but this was the first episode where he really talked about it (all the other times just showed him babbling crazy talk, mainly). Spike talks to Buffy about self-loathing, how he feels it now that he has gotten his soul back, how he finally understands her self-loathing back in S6. And, juxtaposing this Spike to the one in Season 6, a transformation is clear. In Season 6, Spike is far from hating himself or feeling guilt. He does have those periods of feeling insecure (especially when he contemplates on who he really is, as he can't really be a monster or a man), but ultimately, he doesn't show regret of any cruel act he's done in the past. Even when Buffy tells him that she's using him, he doesn't attribute it to anything wrong with himself; instead, as he and Anya discuss, this is due to Buffy's stringent nature through being apart of the Scooby squad, something that can't be controlled by him. But in this episode of S7, his self-loathing is prevalent in almost every scene with him, especially when Spike tries to convince Buffy to kill him. He tells her that she doesn't understand what he's capable of or what horrible things he's done in the past to other women and even people of Dawn's age. Through his pained expression and assertive manner, it is clear that he truly believed that dying was the best and safest option for everyone, that he was unredeemable from his past mistakes, that he was struggling to recover from the guilt of killing so many during his many years as a vampire. He would prefer death to facing another day knowing that he had killed so many in the past, to possibly killing or hurting someone again in the future. He would prefer the world to be rid of him altogether.

But then Buffy surprises him with her stubborn refusal to kill him, which brings me to discuss her changed perspective regarding Spike. In Season 6, she thought he was a monster. Plain and simple. She did treat him more like a man than the some of the other Scoobies (namely Xander), but ultimately, in the back of her head, there was always a reminder that he was a demon, a vampire. Therefore, she never allowed herself to fall too deeply for him. However, in this season, in this episode, she claims that she is keeping him alive not because of the hurt and pain she apparently likes from guys, but because she believes that he has become a better man, that he is able to be redeemed from his old self. The kindness that she treats him with contrasts sharply with her consistently harsh comments in the previous season, which served to drive him away from her rather than closer. And this monologue of hers ultimately touches Spike to the core, as he is so unaccustomed to having someone believe in him, least of all the girl he fell in love with, the girl who he's hurt so much in the past.
 

Stake fodder

Soulless
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Feb 6, 2021
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Caught on a root
Now I want to know if you really can buy animal blood at a butcher's. And if so, why, assuming lack of vampires in reality? These recipes are not in my cookbooks. (Fingers twitch toward Google. ..."It is suggested to eat pig blood no more than twice in a week." Okay!) Andrew's order, with the pig's blood slipped in the middle, alludes to Toad trying to buy liquor in "American Graffiti." I like Tom Lenks's delivery even better.
(Fun fact: Toad is Charles Martin Smith, who directed the first episode of BtVS.)

Xander's story about Anya refers to their relationship, right? Until the intestines bit, at least. How dare he say that Anya tore his heart out? Still, I love their good cop - bad cop, and I took my avatar photo from one of their scenes, though I'll probably change it later, because it's too small to see.

There's a lot of discussion here about Spike's "kill me" speech. I agree the ambiguity is disturbing, and meant to be. It could refer to torture, siring, or rape. But I don't think it's possible that Spike had some moral compunction against rape, only that he was loyal to Dru or not into doing that to victims. I think he is laying it on thick to convince Buffy to kill him, though his emotional reaction indicates that there is some truth there of some kind.

Spike is probably has the most unreliable-narrator moments in a series full of them. He's always "figured something out," and yet is mostly wrong. Here he's wrong about Buffy wanting men who hurt her, but he's right that she always has a new reason not to kill him. (On a side note, I wonder if Spike is projecting there, because his two main relationships have been with women who hurt him.)

Way to ruin the moment, Bringer guys. I have to admit I burst out laughing when the Watchers Council blew up. They were never much help, anyway.
 
Reason: Oops, italics!
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