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Season 6 is underrated

Cheese Slices

A Bidet of Evil
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I think the first part's debatable (Restless?) and an antagonistic relationship between father/son is fairly standard fare for BtVS (and Freud). That said, I think Spike's "on the cusp" - one foot in the Scoobie camp, one foot out. At the moment, he's saying one thing and doing another. He's occupying the space of the virgule - the slash in Man / Monster.
I think you've broken down Spike to his bare essentials 🤣 What I meant though, is that he isn't consciously fond of Giles the way that Buffy is. The antagonism is still there, regardless of its nature.
llowing someone to believe you're letting them die (lighting the cigarette and ignoring his pleas for help) is really unnecessary, cruel and disconcerting, so for me it rates a little higher than just being an "asshole" and is a an example of Spike's soulless nature, but we can at least agree he wasn't being pleasant here. That was my point all along.
I think it just boils down to reading this scene very differently; I definitely don't think we were meant to see it as a showcase of Spike's soulless state the way the earlier scene was, but I can see where you're coming from. What really bugged me was the term "pleasure", as I've said. The show has Giles in perilous situations all the time, and as is often the case, here it is played for laughs. I genuinely don't get how him warning Giles would change anything : he still couldn't get the the vamp off him and had to wait for it to go dusty.
) but Spike was always quite adamant that he couldn't "stand" her all the same.
See above : saying one thing and doing another. I don't recall him singling out Willow, but talking more of the group as a whole. Whenever he interacts one on one with Willow, he's respectful enough and sometimes even friendly (Spiral, the Weight of the world, the Gift). But then they don't interact that much at all. Mostly, I don't think he cares enough to go one way or the other.
The difference to me is that in season 6 I don't see it as being an insult exactly when Buffy calls Spike a "thing" because it's sort of the truth. I think the most out of order thing Buffy has said to Spike is in season 7 when she tells him that she wants the monster in him back. I can't remember the exact quote or episode actually but it's the only time I've felt sorry for Spike and I think it hurt more than everything Buffy said/did in season 6 because Buffy wasn't in a place to hurt Spike then.
Except that she's always been treating him as a person; an annoying person most of the time, but a person all the same. And ever since Intervention up until Tabula Rasa, she's been very respectful to him and definitely did not treat him a thing. I don't think she truly sees him as a thing, ever : she wants to hurt him and reject him, and she is in a very self-destructive place. It's as much about him as it is about her. I disagree that Buffy didn't hurt Spike in S6, and I don't think what she says to him in S7 is the worst thing she's ever done to him. He needed to get out of his funk state, and she gives a little bit of tough love (like she does with Willow), because Buffy is always honest with him : she doesn't coddle him and he doesn't coddle her. In any case, it's nowhere near as bad as calling him a disgusting thing or treating him as a dirty little secret (although it was a lot more complicated than that).
 
Athene
Athene
I don't see it that way but thanks for responding :)

vampmogs

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I genuinely don't get how him warning Giles would change anything : he still couldn't get the the vamp off him and had to wait for it to go dusty.
Giles: "You could have let me in on your plan whilst he throttled me"

Evidently, Giles felt it would change something. Can you really not see why?

Put yourself in Giles' shoes for a moment and imagine being in that situation. A vampire is violently throttling you, you can barely breathe, you're using your last gasps of breath to cry out for help, and the person you're pleading with (intentionally) gives you the impression that they've given up on trying to help you and are going to let you die. Obviously that would be confusing, traumatising and unbelievably scary.

Now put yourself in Giles' position had Spike let him in on his plan. A vampire still violently throttling you, you can still barely breathe, but you at least have the assurance and small comfort that your pleas for help are being heard. You know Spike has lit the vampire on fire and you're just holding on until he's engulfed by the flames.

Can you still not see the difference? 😕 Had Spike told him, Giles would at least know he's going to be saved. Instead, Giles is scared and confused ("Spike!? ... "Spike!?") and believes he's about to die. And that's not an exaggeration, Spike even mocks him for it it ("Oh poor Watcher. Did your life flash before your eyes?"). It was cruelty for the sake of being cruel or at best a disconcerting callousness. I can't really believe that if someone were literally crying out for you to save their life that you'd think it's perfectly ok to, deliberately, give them the impression you're ignoring them, light a cigarette, let them think they're about to die, and then belittle them afterwards for being scared...
 
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WillowFromBuffy

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If Spike had shouted, "Hey, Rupes! Don't worry! I've set the sod's shirt on fire," I doubt Giles would have been able to process this information and allow himself to be reassured by it, before the vampire combusts into flames and dust seconds later.

On the other hand, it is clear that Spike doesn't particularly care either way ... and even finds it quite amusing to see Giles squirm for his life. If Spike had tried to reassure him, Giles may have appreciated the attempt. Though, I fear it may have been so out of character for Spike at this moment that Giles would likely have been suspicious of Spike's motivations.
I do agree with you that his behaviour has an effect on Buffy though, and that he ends up hurting her whether he wants it or not. I just tend to go more towards the misguided but genuine side (because, lack of true moral compass), than the wilful, malicious, I-want-to-make-her-crawl interpretation.
I don't think Spike wants to cause Buffy harm. He genuinely believe that he can make her life more fulfilling and free her from all those human feelings of inhibiting guilt and shame. Even his assault on her in the bathroom is a misguided attempt to make her love him again.

But my main point was that Spike doesn't change much. He is still the same person as he was in earlier seasons. But we as the audience perceive him differently.
 
Cheese Slices
Cheese Slices
agreed on all accounts

DeepBlueJoy

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For a long time season 6 was my favorite, because it is so adventurous and the acting is so good. Don't like how Buffy is torn down, however, and how it set up the OOC Season 7. Oh are the whole trio crap. There are episodes I hated. Double meat and normal again come to mind. But once more with feeling is amazing and great drama, though it was tragic. It did realistically address post trauma. But the "riterrs" piled on too much on Buffy the victim. They tried to steal her power. But SMG was too good. The last episodes showed why she is Buffy, and Buffy rocks!
 

Cheese Slices

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, but you at least have the assurance and small comfort that your pleas for help are being heard.
But when Giles yells "help !", Spike does tell him "already did", if I remember correctly (ETA : I actually don't, he says that to Willow, thanks @WillowFromBuffy ). So he is telling him that he's going to be fine, albeit in a smart ass way.
I just think we read the tone of this scene very differently ; to me, it's more on the comedic side, and thus we're not really supposed to feel horrified (the way that the scoobies often joke about people dying etc..), and to you it's supposed to illustrate something darker. I don't think there's a right interpretation, just a general feeling.

@Athene No problem :)
 
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WillowFromBuffy
WillowFromBuffy
Spike says that to Willow.

DeadlyDuo

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He's occupying the space of the virgule - the slash in Man / Monster.
I always hated the whole man/monster thing. Spike is already a man, he is male, he has all the biological man parts, and yet, much like with Xander, there seems to be this whole "what makes a man a MAN" thing going on. Essentially it seems to boil down to a man has to act a certain way to be considered a man otherwise he needs to "man up" in Xander's case or "be a man" (not a monster) in Spike's case.

Also the whole "monster" term is quite a negative one for Spike to use to describe himself, which does beg the question of is the scoobies' negative view of Spike is actually rubbing off onto how he views himself?

Buffy spouts the whole "you can't love without a soul" in regards to vampires, yet both Spike and Drusilla claim the opposite (it could even be argued that Drusilla is actually defending Spike against Buffy's accusations of an inability to love). We clearly see with both Spike/Dru and James/Elizabeth that vampires are capable of love. Even if it doesn't necessarily conform to the human standard of love, there is still a form of love there which makes Buffy's assertion that "you can't love without a soul" to be incorrect, yet because it's BUFFY saying it, the audience is supposed to take it as gospel.

This was in response to the statement made earlier in the thread that Spike "gets along with people who are nice to him" which is an oversimplification and, dare I say, woobifies Spike to the extreme. Spike can be very unpleasant himself and he's often the instigator of said unpleasantness.
I also mentioned how sometimes Spike appears as the underdog because of the scoobies "ganging up" on him. They may have reason to react negatively towards him, but at the end of the day, it is still a group of people against a singular person.

Also Joyce and Dawn are much nicer to Spike than any of the other scoobies. There's no antagonism there on either side.

The difference to me is that in season 6 I don't see it as being an insult exactly when Buffy calls Spike a "thing" because it's sort of the truth. I think the most out of order thing Buffy has said to Spike is in season 7 when she tells him that she wants the monster in him back. I can't remember the exact quote or episode actually but it's the only time I've felt sorry for Spike and I think it hurt more than everything Buffy said/did in season 6 because Buffy wasn't in a place to hurt Spike then.
Even Spike complains about being referred to as a "thing" in Season 6. Again it's the whole monster/man thing. Spike is a man, he may not be a (morally) good man but he is still a man. The idea that he shouldn't be considered a man just because he's a vampire is wrong, it would be like saying that Harmony, Dru and Darla shouldn't be considered women because they're vampires.
 

WillowFromBuffy

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When Spike says, "You treat me like a man," he means that she treats him like a person, as in someone who is a part of mankind. It's a bit archaic, but Spike is old.

Whether or not vampires can love is a question of definition. Buffy and Spike both talk at length about what they see love as. Their views are quite different. Therefore, it is possible for them to both be right. Vampires can love in the way Spike understands it, but not in the way Buffy understands it.
 

Athene

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Sineya
Even Spike complains about being referred to as a "thing" in Season 6. Again it's the whole monster/man thing. Spike is a man, he may not be a (morally) good man but he is still a man. The idea that he shouldn't be considered a man just because he's a vampire is wrong, it would be like saying that Harmony, Dru and Darla shouldn't be considered women because they're vampires.
As has been said the monster/man thing refers to Man as in mankind, human. I think it's absurd to consider vampires and humans as being the same thing. I guess I can see why it's hard to see a human-like creature being treated as a thing but it's important to remember that vampires are demonic creatures, they're a great imitation of people but they aren't people.
 

WillowFromBuffy

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There are moments, especially during Spike's song in OMWF and in "Harm's Way," that I think vampire does deserve to be counted as people. They may be evil and incapable of moral reasoning, but they have complicated internal lives and feelings.
 

DeadlyDuo

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There are moments, especially during Spike's song in OMWF and in "Harm's Way," that I think vampire does deserve to be counted as people. They may be evil and incapable of moral reasoning, but they have complicated internal lives and feelings.
Exactly. Vampires might not be human but they are still people.

Was Buffy less of a person when Kathy was stealing her soul?

Was Doyle less of a person because he wasn't fully human?
 
thrasherpix
thrasherpix
Damn that's a good point about Buffy. I did see Spike as a "thing" like a corpse that was animated by a demonic essence, but now I'm gonna be wondering if Buffy lost her soul, would she still be a person or a thing? I'm leaning (different) person.

WillowFromBuffy

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Was Doyle less of a person because he wasn't fully human?
Doyle has a soul. And I think that is an important difference between humans and vampires. But I am not sure vampires should be completely stripped of their personhood, just because of their lack of a soul. They're still more similar than dissimilar to us.
 

DeadlyDuo

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Doyle has a soul. And I think that is an important difference between humans and vampires. But I am not sure vampires should be completely stripped of their personhood, just because of their lack of a soul. They're still more similar than dissimilar to us.
So should Clem be considered more human than Spike on account that he has a soul and Spike doesn't?
Should Buffy have been discounted as human for the period of time that Kathy had her soul? (Buffy only had a sliver left that Kathy was on the verge of taking)

It's very much a complicated issue that the show kind of raises but then doesn't explore.
 
thrasherpix
thrasherpix
You're on a roll today!

TriBel

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I always hated the whole man/monster thing. Spike is already a man, he is male, he has all the biological man parts, and yet, much like with Xander, there seems to be this whole "what makes a man a MAN" thing going on. Essentially it seems to boil down to a man has to act a certain way to be considered a man otherwise he needs to "man up" in Xander's case or "be a man" (not a monster) in Spike's case.
He's male - he has a penis (as does Xander). However, Spike doesn't have access to phallic power - he doesn't have access to the "truth". He doesn't have the power to define. So - even if he refers to himself as a man, he's overruled by Giles and the others. Xander even refers him to monster films. Vampires are not "men" therefore they must be "monsters".

As for Spike using the term "monster" about himself, he has to have an identity of sorts to give him a sense of self. In SR he slips from a "positive" identity to a position of "nothingness":
SPIKE: (angrily) It's the chip! Steel and wires and silicon. (sighs) It won't let me be a monster. (quietly) And I can't be a man. I'm nothing.
CLEM: Hey. Come on now, Mr. Negative. You never know what's just around the corner. Things change.

You, I, and @WillowFromBuffy might consider vampires people but it's the Watchers' Council (in BtVS) who control the "truth" - who define. He's a monster or an animal not because he acts like an animal or a monster but because he doesn't have a soul. Humans are deemed to posses a soul. I think at one time it was believed that animals had souls* but I can't remember what the definition of a soul was then.

*It may have been the Ancient Greeks but their definition was different than the modern definition.
 

thrasherpix

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Before we're told to get back on topic I wanted to throw in that the thought that occurs to me, and long has, is vampires are a form of pod people (parasites who take over a host and have its memories). They're no more who they were than a pod person is. They have the memories, but not the love (many gladly feast on their kin). Granted, there are exceptions that muddy the water. It's too bad the writers didn't have a series bible on that for obsessed fans.

Had Buffy lost her soul she'd be something of a pod person, but different from a vampire. Vampires are technically dead with no real heartbeat, need to breathe (save when it's dramatic to torture Spike with drowning), etc. That goes beyond even pod people.


If we wanted to interject a little real life into this, we could look at drastic personality changes that are caused by illness and drugs (including the legally prescribed), let alone brain damage. Sometimes they can become sociopaths (but other times they can become much better, even become a prodigy in something they weren't before).

And though we're not supposed to talk or even think about it (perhaps contributing to our species' love of vampire and monster films), humanity is a twisted, demonic race itself. Holland Manners may have been proudly evil (feeling a profound understanding of life and his place in it, and thus even a type of serenity over it), but I'd also say he was absolutely correct in that elevator talk he had with Angel.
 

DeadlyDuo

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Before we're told to get back on topic I wanted to throw in that the thought that occurs to me, and long has, is vampires are a form of pod people (parasites who take over a host and have its memories). They're no more who they were than a pod person is. They have the memories, but not the love (many gladly feast on their kin). Granted, there are exceptions that muddy the water. It's too bad the writers didn't have a series bible on that for obsessed fans.

Had Buffy lost her soul she'd be something of a pod person, but different from a vampire. Vampires are technically dead with no real heartbeat, need to breathe (save when it's dramatic to torture Spike with drowning), etc. That goes beyond even pod people.
I always think the show's vampires are kind of like giant cats as people. They are very felinesque.
 

katmobile

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I always hated the whole man/monster thing. Spike is already a man, he is male, he has all the biological man parts, and yet, much like with Xander, there seems to be this whole "what makes a man a MAN" thing going on. Essentially it seems to boil down to a man has to act a certain way to be considered a man otherwise he needs to "man up" in Xander's case or "be a man" (not a monster) in Spike's case.

Also the whole "monster" term is quite a negative one for Spike to use to describe himself, which does beg the question of is the scoobies' negative view of Spike is actually rubbing off onto how he views himself?

Buffy spouts the whole "you can't love without a soul" in regards to vampires, yet both Spike and Drusilla claim the opposite (it could even be argued that Drusilla is actually defending Spike against Buffy's accusations of an inability to love). We clearly see with both Spike/Dru and James/Elizabeth that vampires are capable of love. Even if it doesn't necessarily conform to the human standard of love, there is still a form of love there which makes Buffy's assertion that "you can't love without a soul" to be incorrect, yet because it's BUFFY saying it, the audience is supposed to take it as gospel.



I also mentioned how sometimes Spike appears as the underdog because of the scoobies "ganging up" on him. They may have reason to react negatively towards him, but at the end of the day, it is still a group of people against a singular person.

Also Joyce and Dawn are much nicer to Spike than any of the other scoobies. There's no antagonism there on either side.



Even Spike complains about being referred to as a "thing" in Season 6. Again it's the whole monster/man thing. Spike is a man, he may not be a (morally) good man but he is still a man. The idea that he shouldn't be considered a man just because he's a vampire is wrong, it would be like saying that Harmony, Dru and Darla shouldn't be considered women because they're vampires.
I have an idea which nuances that and I think that the fact we only have one word for love whereas the ancient Greeks had several limits us. In his book The Four Loves - C.S Lewis talks about three of them - stoage is the love of family - we see both Spike and Gunn's sister express a version of that as vampires, philia - is the comradarie or organisational brotherhood and has a lot in common with stoage - I think Darla and Angelus have this and finally there is Eros - sexual or romantic love but not just lust - Spike and Dru have this. Lewis then goes on to talk about a word Christians came up with to describe the love their God they felt had for them - agape. In a more universal context I interpret this as being a universal love of humanity - a for whom the bell tolls love that will fiercely protect human rights because they are human rights - this is the love Buffy has no matter how far gone she is and it's the love the souless cannot feel. Ergo Buffy can not bring herself to love someone who doesn't share that as it defines her.

That's how I understand things.
 

TriBel

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Before we're told to get back on topic
I think it's on topic because I think it's intrinsic to S6. :) In fact, the season finishes on Spike receiving his soul.
perhaps contributing to our species' love of vampire and monster films
I don't think there's any "perhaps" about it. :)
I have an idea which nuances that and I think that the fact we only have one word for love whereas the ancient Greeks had several limits us. In his book The Four Loves - C.S Lewis talks about three of them - stoage is the love of family - we see both Spike and Gunn's sister express a version of that as vampires, philia - is the comradarie or organisational brotherhood and has a lot in common with stoage - I think Darla and Angelus have this and finally there is Eros - sexual or romantic love but not just lust - Spike and Dru have this. Lewis then goes on to talk about a word Christians came up with to describe the love their God they felt had for them - agape. In a more universal context I interpret this as being a universal love of humanity - a for whom the bell tolls love that will fiercely protect human rights because they are human rights - this is the love Buffy has no matter how far gone she is and it's the love the souless cannot feel. Ergo Buffy can not bring herself to love someone who doesn't share that as it defines her.

That's how I understand things.
We sometimes use them - Agape, for instance, is latinised as Caritas, anglicized as Charity. But, who defines these terms (I think St Augustine had a lot to do with synthesizing Greek and biblical love)? Where are the female Greek philosophers, the female Popes, the women bishops? The great women poets, playwrights and novelists? Yeah...I know we have them now but that's not always been the case. Traditionally, it's men who've told us, explained to us, described what love is. Would Shakespeare's sister (not the group) have experienced love, written about love, in quite the same way as her brother, William? Is a mother's love for a child the same as a father's? I'm not according value - I'm asking if a "universal context" actually exist? This isn't going off topic because, IMO, this is what underpins S6 (and 7) and (again, IMO) it's one of the reasons we shouldn't underrate the later seasons.
 
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