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Spike and the soul request

What did you think Spike wanted?

  • Saw it when it aired and thought he wanted a soul

    Votes: 5 22.7%
  • Saw it when it aired and thought he wanted the chip removed

    Votes: 6 27.3%
  • Saw it later and thought he wanted a soul

    Votes: 2 9.1%
  • Saw it later and thought he wanted the chip removed

    Votes: 9 40.9%

  • Total voters
Jun 25, 2017
What the hell do Plato etc. have to do with this? The show isn't written by them. The only thing that matters is the world inside the show. And within the history of said world, Spike's statement is definitive. 'Make me what I was' is therefor limited to said character and said character's own history.
Really? There's absolutely no way I can answer that question. Do you really think fictional worlds can have a logic that's entirely of their own making? If they did, they'd make no sense (and I mean - literally - NO sense). Spike's statement is subject to the same rules of syntax as mine (and yours) and you could look for the words in any dictionary and they'd mean the same.
Freud has been largely discredited. And your obsession with the Oedipal complex, whether it actually applies to a character or not, is rather 'freudian
LOL! No need for the ""...it's completely freudian! :) And sorry to disillusion you but "whatever their scientific status, Freud's theories about the effects of the unconscious on behavior pervade Western culture and the humanities" IDEAS AND TRENDS; How Freud Shaped the 20th-Century Mind I have other obsessions if it helps. ;) The unheimlich for one.

I've just been on Google Scholar: Buffy and Plato got 1,410 results. Buffy and Freud 2,720 results. Approx. 500,000 for each on Google. Let's leave it there shall we? It's getting off topic.


Extra flamy candles!
Apr 18, 2017
Spike getting a soul was for Spike and not for Buffy. It's rather sickening that hours after molesting her & trying to rape her, he was already thinking of ways to convince her to be with him.

I think he went to get a soul but it was a Go Big Or Go Home attempt just like offering to stake Drusilla.
I agree. However, the Spike that set out is not the same Spike that came back. When he comes back, he realises that the best thing he could do would probably be to leave Buffy alone, but he is not able to do that, because he is still desperately in love with her and with a soul and chip, he does not have many places to go. I love the scene in Lessons where he tells the First that he had a speech ready, but that he does not feel like he can use it anymore.
Oct 23, 2018
Leeds, England
He's a vampire. Due to lack of soul he would not and could not care what she wants. Because he literally lacks the tool (soul) to do so. And if he does care then he wouldn't need a soul in the first place.
Uh - yeah ... explain why he gets himself nearly tortured to death so that Glory doesn't find out Dawn is the key, and why he promises to protect Dawn until the end of the world, and why he takes care of her once Buffy is dead again? oh yeah - that's because he cares about Buffy and wants to protect her from pain. Without a soul. Without question of getting a soul. Sometimes - he can guess what she wants and needs - sometimes he gets it right. Sometimes ... not so much. Because he is evil. Because he is blinded too much by what he wants. Because his love is selfish and twisted.
An example of him screwing up would be when he takes Buffy to find Riley at the vampire brothel. His motivation is all over the place there; he wants Riley out of the way, he wants him in trouble, he wants Buffy to see that Spike is looking out for her ... but what he isn't trying to do is hurt her. But he does hurt her - horribly - and he isn't happy with the result. He understands he has hurt her and that is a bad thing (we see it on his face and with his practice apologies in his crypt). Buffy did need to know about Riley, it wasn't wrong to tell her - but the way Spike went about it, he screwed things up - because without a soul he didn't know how to go about sorting it properly. Because without a soul, proving his own trustworthiness to Buffy and getting one over Riley ranked higher than putting Buffy's needs first - until after it was done and he realised he had screwed up. His selfish, unensouled love made him screw up. This is very early on, though - and over time he comes to believe he has changed from this point.
In entropy when she presents him with the camera and accuses him of spying on her he denies he would do something like that, she replies 'because you don't lie or manipulate...' and he interrupts her with 'I don't hurt you - not anymore.' He's practically choking on the words, it hurts him so much that Buffy doesn't understand that about him. And she hears that - and apologises. He really believes, by this point, he would do nothing to hurt Buffy because that matters to him - and then comes Seeing Red, and he realises that without a soul he will always hurt her in the end, always screw up.
He doesn't want to hurt her - we have seen time and again that he doesn't, he says he would rather die than see her in the pain losing Dawn would cause her. Doesn't matter that he doesn't have a soul - or what the lore of the show used to say, Spike is shown to care for Buffy and to want to help and protect her. But it also shows that without his soul he will keep getting it wrong, keep doing the wrong thing because he doesn't know better - he can only second guess. And as long as that is what he is, Buffy cannot love him. So yes - he can care about what Buffy wants and still require a soul, it's written into the text that that is the case.

And how is 'make me what I was' a definitive statement? What does it mean? 'Make me a vampire without a chip' is your interpretation (it's the red herring - no one is actually meant to believe it afterwards) but that is absolutely not what he said.
Here are some other interpretations any could be accurate:
make me the baby I was in 1850
make me the man I was in 1880
make me the vampire who wanted his mum to come along vampiring with him.
make me the vampire I was before Angelus twisted me into a monster second only to him.
make me a 50s beatnik
make me a punk
make me the vampire I was before I went to Sunnydale and met Buffy.
make me the vampire I was after Dru left me but before I had the chip.

They are all different incarnations of Spike. They are all 'what he was' So how on earth is it a definitive statement?

Another interpretation, of course - the one that Spike himself later claims to be true, because he says on multiple occasions that he went and purposefully sought out his soul, is 'make me a being with a soul, who is capable of unselfish love, has a moral compass and can make someone else happy.' He used to be all of those things, just as much as all the other facets of himself I listed.

But Spike is not human any more he is a VAMPIRE , the human was killed and a demon took the body, Changed the body to that of a demon (hence the time between death and rising) ,Super powers , feeding only on Blood etc , it remembers the human memory but is no longer human ,or else the body would not dust when killed
So unless the demon in Africa can make Spike human again which would mean killing Spike the demon and installing William the Human changing back the Body back into a human Body with out it Dusting,
When the demon Spike said make me the man he was, he had to be talking about before the Chip because the human,William no longer exists had not for over one hundred years , he cant be changed back it is not the demon Spike soul ...... it's Williams
What we got was a demon with a soul ( probably Williams ) although there is no sign of William's Character at all in S7
So Spike can not possible ask for his soul as he is a demon and does not have one Spike is not human ..... so make me the man I was , must mean the chip removal as Spike was never a souled vampire ,
Spike soul like Angels was pushed onto him on him ....Spike demon ,Angels Gypsy's
None of this makes sense. Spike is in William's body, he has all of William's memories, he loves the things William loved. The show has moved on, long ago, from the idea that the vampire and the human are completely separate entities. William's soul belongs in that body - and when Spike asks for it, that is what he was asking for - to have a soul back inside that body. 'make me what I was' - a soul in a body, not just a demon in a body. Doesn't matter that the body is dead and the heart no longer beats.
Again it's semantics on what is poorly written line said for a cheap trick. 'He's not human anymore so without becoming human again he can't be what he was'. Semantics. They are tricking you. They don't do it especially well. But they are tricking you.
In Fool for love, Spike tells us his entire life story - and William is a big part of that. He is called William the Bloody because of his bloody awful poetry - which is Spike's first vampire name. As William walks away from the group the man says 'I'd rather have a railroad spike driven through my brain than listen to that' ... and how does Spike get his name again? Spike goes back and kills everyone who was mean to William. Spike is William's id unleashed. Spike talks about getting sired - he is William at that point, if they were completely different then Spike's story wouldn't start until he woke up as a vampire - but it doesn't, it starts with William. And then Spike goes and sires William's mother. Spike absolutely sees him and William as part of the same whole, even if that isn't technically true (and let's be honest the lore is very murky around this, and changes depending on what story they wanted to tell). There is absolutely no reason that, from Spike's perspective, he couldn't say 'make me what I was' and be asking for William's soul back.
To try and say he isn't is to cling dogmatically to a lore that changes every time it suits itself to change, and to insist that Spike has proper and full understanding of that lore and would never articulate it incorrectly. Spike is just a person - an undead one - but a person, nevertheless; meaning he doesn't always have to be consistent or theologically correct in his statements. He can be technically wrong according to the lore of the universe - and still be asking for his soul back.

Besides - the only reason he doesn't ask to be made human is extra textual. Because if the demon trials can make Spike human then every Buffy viewer across the globe (even the hardestcore of Spuffy shippers) would have hurled their remotes at the television and then screamed 'well why the f*ck didn't Angel just do that?'
Extra textually Spike cannot ask to be made to be human without destroying everything that is Bangel. But they can have him ask for a soul. And only people who think that 'what I was' is a definitive statement about being turned back into a vampire, from a small window of time in late 1999 once he was over Dru but before he had the chip installed and before he loved Buffy - or people who refuse to accept a red herring when it is staring them in the face, could argue with that.
Oct 23, 2018
Leeds, England
Another reason 'make me what I was' is vague - clearly meant to be so and clearly is, is that the very argument that Spike goes looking to get his chip removed and is tricked into getting a soul is ENTIRELY DEPENDENT on the vagueness of his request.
Spike says: so you'll give me what I want. make me what I was. Give Buffy what she deserves.
and the demon says: Very well. I will return to you your soul.
'Very well' means 'yes'. So the dialogue goes 'so you'll give me what I want, make me what I was. Give Buffy what she deserves.'

The demon answers yes to Spikes question - the demon thinks giving Spike his soul counts as 'making him what he was' (and 'giving him what he asked for'.) It doesn't seem to be splitting hairs on species.

Even if Spike DID go to get his chip removed - his wording is vague enough to allow the demon to trick him. It is the vagueness of the request that gives the demon the wiggle room to give back Spike's soul instead of removing the chip. If 'make me what I was' was a definitive statement meaning 'make me a vampire without a chip' - the demon couldn't say 'very well.' If it was a definitive statement, then returning his soul and not removing the chip would contravene the rules of the trial - and that wouldn't be tricking him into getting a soul, it would just be ... welching on a deal an giving him a soul for no reason other than plot device.


The Overlooked One
Jul 5, 2008
Not sure exactly what I thought. I probably didn't think much about it.
But I don't think I expected it to be his soul.
Will recall that I was a bit surprised by that, thinking that was a cool twist.
After a moment I kinda changed my mind thinking it was kinda lame that they was doing the vampire with a soul thing again though. lol

Oct 14, 2012
Going back to Tabula Rasa:

BUFFY: I kill your kind.
SPIKE: And I bite yours. (drops his hand from his face) So how come I don't wanna bite you? (Buffy frowns in confusion) And why am I fighting other vampires?

Spike gets a look of revelation on his face, lifts himself up onto his elbows.

SPIKE: I must be a noble vampire. (Buffy looks dubious) A good guy. On a mission of redemption. I help the hopeless. (chuckles) I'm a vampire with a soul.
BUFFY: (frowning) A vampire with a soul? (beat) Oh my God, how lame is that?

and a little after that:

SPIKE: I'm a hero really. I mean, to be cast such an ugly lot in life and then to rise above it. To seek out better, nobler things. It's inspirational, isn't it? And the two of us... (gestures from Buffy to himself) natural enemies, thrown together to stand against the forces of darkness. Utter trust. No thought of me biting you, no thought of you staking me.
BUFFY: Depends on how long you keep on yapping.

We see that Spike imagines himself to be a vampire with a soul because that would put him in the same position as Angel, the only other vampire with a soul and not only that, he has the same mission statement as Angel Investigations. But this would imply that his mind has been wiped but he still knows about a vampire with a soul. He would like to be in a relationship that enjoys utter trust. I doubt he has any memory at this point of any of the things he has done (and he didn't even know he was a vampire until Buffy pointed out the vamp face).

This all seems to be written a little too much "on the nose" that he wants to be Angel and have the relationship Angel has with Buffy with the exception of the happiness clause even though in Tabula Rasa, he is not supposed to even know who he is, let alone who Angel is. It works as a comedy here but the misdirect at the end of Season 6 only insults the viewer and that is a position the writer should avoid.
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