- Jul 29, 2016
The way I always interpreted the slayer/vampire dynamic is that there is an unspoken understanding that when the two come into contact, only one is gong walk away. It's not personal, and both groups accept this.By what mechanic are vampires able to attain a measure of goodness without their souls? Is the demon that inhabits them capable of moral nuance? If vampires aren't automatically evil, should Buffy really be slaying them without giving them a chance? Should she feel guilty about doing so for years without questioning it? Why has the Council been hammering this narrative about vampires being irredeemable? Do they have ulterior motives?
I think vampires ae emotionally complex creatures even without souls (this complexity first started getting explored with Sprusilla in Season 2), and that each vampire is a individual so whereas Spike could be reasoned with, Angelus couldn't. Angelus is an exception amongst vampires in his depravity rather than the norm in my view, hence why the gypsies cursed him with a soul as punishment because it was the worst thing they could think of to do to a vampire (and why I don't think Spike should've been given a soul in Season 7).
As for why the show doesn't make slaying vampires into a moral dilemma for Buffy even though they are emotionally complex creatures is a) the reason above. Both groups would happily kill each other "it's kill or be killed, take your bloody pick", and b) the slaying scenes are basically action scenes and it helps break up the talky parts of an episode. Audiences would get bored if every episode was just talking or Buffy whinging about how she had to kill the creature trying to kill her.