- Nov 13, 2018
I've been re-watching Buffy over lockdown, and currently on S7 so want to offer my thoughts to this thread.
With 3 - My interpretation is that what Buffy saw with the Turok-Han army was a vision/prophecy given to her by the men who created the first slayer. The First unleashed its one ubervamp in 'Bring on the Night' to unsettle, or even kill, her and was meanwhile creating the others (kind of Saruman / uruk-hai style). Or even, after Buffy killed the ubervamp, the First decided it needed more. The subsequent episode from this vision ('Storyteller') was when Buffy closed the seal with the help of Andrew, in the hope that this would stop this army from leaving.
4 - Kennedy is definitely unlikeable. With regards to it being soon after Tara: yes, it is soon, but that could be due to Willow's grief and wanting comfort and care from someone? I wondered if one reason Kennedy was so unlikeable is because there is still a hint of darkness in Willow. Perhaps she is more drawn to her than she would have been otherwise. Or, maybe she finds that Kennedy's cruelness balances her in some way, i.e. she doesn't feel 'as bad' a person. Or even, maybe she feels she doesn't deserve someone like Tara anymore after what she did.
5 - Buffy is much tougher in S7 than she has ever been. I really disliked her reaction to Chloe's suicide, particularly as I would argue she chose to commit suicide at the end of S5 after feeling 'done' with being a slayer. I'd say one tension in the whole series is her constant struggle between being a slayer and a teenage girl; she wants to be a normal teenage girl and perceives being a slayer as a job. This struggle seemed to grow throughout the seasons and in S5, she wants out. (Although, she does seem to get a new lease for life, as she even admits to Giles in S7 that if it was a choice between her and Dawn now, she would choose Dawn).
I think S7 was trying to build tension towards the overall big bad, much like S5 did. Buffy's 'General' or 'at-war' approach since the potentials started arriving had to build enough tension to have the right impact for the mutiny scene. She felt that she had to be a leader, dare I say a dictator, as she felt a democracy wouldn't win the fight. She felt she could not show compassion, that she had to create tough, mature and serious fighters to take on the First, and that it had to be taken seriously. She knew how tough the Turok-Han was and couldn't afford the potentials having any anxiety or complacency. Perhaps she had felt appropriately 'toughened up' through 6/7 years of difficult decisions and heartache, but obviously knew they didn't have 6 years ahead of them and needed a fast-track approach.
As for Spike, I have also spent a bit of lockdown watching their ComicCon panels and other interviews, and in one, JM said that he always saw the relationship with Spike and Buffy as having sexual tension. That even in S2, he saw Spike as prowling after Buffy. Or at least, he saw vampires as having a lust for their victims. I've just tried looking for the video now, but I can't find it. Another video had JM saying that Joss told him to tone down the character in S2, that this was 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer', not 'The Spike show'. And he said in an interview with The Observer that he didn't want Spike to be killed off, so had to secretly 'find the love'. Anyway, I just find these tidbits interesting. I do wonder how much JM wanted to keep himself in the show using these secret objectives vs how much the writers enjoyed writing his character and the subsequent audience reaction. If the latter, I can't see how they could have kept him without him joining the scoobies? I can totally see the argument that S7 storylines became about him at the expense of the other characters though.
Just been thinking some more about Spike and in particular, in response to this article which I stumbled across when looking for the video I mentioned above. It's pretty scathing, and I don't necessarily agree, but I can see the argument. JM seems to go to most Comic Con events, far more so than SMG or other 'main' characters. I am completely speculating here, but perhaps by S7, he had more passion and energy for the show as an actor, making it easier and more fulfilling to write and direct Spike, hence the focus?
Thanks for that comment. That's a fine explanation for the Turok Han army, and could explain why they were so weaker, maybe they needed time to get to their full strength, but sadly there is nothing to suggest that in the show itself. Joss and the other writers should have put that effort in. There is a bit about the Bringers creating weapons underneath Sunnydale which I thought could have been an interesting episode, but that went no where either.
I've read that article before. I think it makes some valid points about Spike eclipsing the rest of the show, but ultimately I think he goes too far with his describing Spike as a thuggish character destroying the show.
Ironically the only way they were able to keep Spike on the show was by making him NOT a thuggish, villainous character. They had to have him fall in love, reveal that he used to be big mommy's boy, sensitive, romantic poet underneath, have him go on big speechs about love, get a soul, etc.
That ironically was the problem with a lot of his fans, that they liked him better as the villain and didn't like seeing him become the Angel type of hero.
I personally think they could have kept Spike on as a Devil you know type of villain in Sunnydale, kind of like Crowley in Supernatural.
This article about both characters I think is quite good.
Spike basically was like an earlier Crowley in S2-4. He was a bit more romantic sure, but basically he is Crowley, a sarcastic, self server who doesn't want the end of the world to happen because he likes it, who is kind of an archenemy to the hero because he knows them so well, yet is also able to make deals with them and help them.
Sadly however they blew that brilliant characterisation and went down the usual romantic Vampire route. Personally I think it was a bit short sighted of Joss, as Crowley ironically ended up having a longer life than romantic Spike, whilst even Spike eventually had to revert back to his wacky Vampire neighbour persona for Angel.