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Who Did Buffy Love More?

thetopher

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Or on the flip side, if you knew the world was ending you'd want to be with the one you loved and send the high school crush packing. And it just so happens that he is the better fighter too.
But by that logic I could just as easily argue that Buffy loved Faith more than Angel. After all they descended int the Hellmouth together, they fought side by side, they wanted to die together and it was Faith who Buffy trusted to hold the line and survive if she herself fell in battle. Angel was irrelevant.

...
Okay. I like this logic. lol
 

katmobile

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A lot of people don't wait for marriage to have sex, but doesn't mean it isn't can't be done by some. So point still stands just because Buffy was a teen doesn't mean it wasn't real & didn't last. As the real life examples some have for it lasting.

If we play the age card, Spuffy is no better. Early 20's is still seen as young & stupid aged as well.

But Buffy was an adult who was raising a sibling, caring for a house, had been dead, in an abusive relationship, etc. She eas plenty adult & experienced & still professes to love Angel.

So again, the age argument doesn't hold up. Because Bangel was not written as the frivolous HS puppy love many are automatically writing it off as. A better example of that kind of relationship was Xander & Cordelia.
What I mean by age is she's very young and although mature for her age by necessity he's still older than her.

Age deepens understanding if you're maturing together that gives you more shared stuff.

In a sense Spike does learn with Buffy they're beaten down and degraded and his ensoulment is a symbol for growing up and accepting responsibility.

In a sense Bangel is the idealised first love and I do believe they will always love each other and be connected. What I take issue with is the OTPism that means that any other love is lesser because it's different in nature and comes after.
Buffy has a lot of love and loves many people in different ways that doesn't have diminish or exalt any of them above the rest. It's that I take issue with regards Bangels.
Also to use the saving yourself analogy if you do that great but the idea that everyone can or should causes a shedload of problems it's unrealistic to expect otherwise. I feel that Bangels do that I get what they appreciate and why they feel that way but they can be arrogant in denying that not everyone else does and sometimes the label those people as crazy, deluded, sick or just plain wrong for that. There are NO facts here only feelings.
 
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thetopher

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But the question was Spike or Angel. Not Spike, Angel, Faith, Willow, Xander, Dawn, et al
Yes, but the reasoning was basically 'the one I sent away doesn't matter and the one I fight beside is the one I love more'. So that rationale can apply to any of her relationships.
So okay, if we leaves aside the Spike/Angel dynamic for a mo then obviously Buffy loves Faith more than Dawn, because she sent Dawn away and fought in the Hellmouth with Faith. Yep, that works.
 
Spanky
Spanky
But again, if the world were ending and I was possibly dying, I would want the one I loved to be with me.

Spanky

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Yes, but the reasoning was basically 'the one I sent away doesn't matter and the one I fight beside is the one I love more'.
Comparing Angel to Dawn is comparing apples to oranges. If Angel and Spike didn't hate one another and could work together without them getting jealous and their feelings hurt she certainly would have allowed Angel to stay. But his staying, and the ramifications of it, weren't worth it. If Buffy wasn't in love with Spike she would have let Angel remain.
 
Angel6
Angel6
Well no her argument was fairly logical that someone should stay behind in case they lost.

Cangel1987

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I agree with the some others on this topic - no one's love is worth more or less than the previous one. And in my opinion is that that Buffy loved both Angel as well as Spike - in some stages in her live. And it doesnt matter who loves whome more - at leats its MY opinion :)
 

thetopher

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Comparing Angel to Dawn is comparing apples to oranges.
But I was comparing Dawn with Faith. You send away the thing you cannot afford to lose.

I'm not even saying that Buffy loved Angel more than Spike (although I do think that) only that this particular reasoning is no evidence at all. That you can reason it completely the other way and that in fact it makes more sense if you do.

If Buffy wasn't in love with Spike she would have let Angel remain.
Or Buffy knew that the two bone-heads would act jealous and never get along and that would hurt the mission. Or she didn't want Spike to throw personal things in Angel's face like he did later on in 'Destiny'. Or any number of reasons that have nothing to do with her (questionable) feelings for Spike.
It's simply possible that she thought that Spike would take Angel's mere presence as a slight (which he did) and didn't want to hurt his tender vampire-feelings out of guilt.
 
Spanky
Spanky
My point being that Dawn and Faith were not antagonistic of one another. So it's a different situation.

Spanky

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Or Buffy knew that the two bone-heads would act jealous and never get along and that would hurt the mission.
That's what I said.
That you can reason it completely the other way and that in fact it makes more sense if you do.
Makes more sense to you, less to me. Makes no sense at all to me.

If Buffy was still in love with Angel and if he were still her champion then his staying would not have mattered as Spike would have been kicked to the curb. Certainly Spike's fragile ego, upon his being kicked to the curb, would not have mattered to her either if she were still in love with Angel.
 
thetopher
thetopher
Again its the old 'I can't risk you', that's as good a reason as any to send Angel away. She could risk Spike however.

vampmogs

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In regards to "Chosen", I don't feel like Buffy chose either Angel or Spike which was the whole point - cookie dough, remember?

Firstly, when Buffy said "I can't risk you" I don't believe that implies she could risk Spike. Regardless of who Buffy loves more I think that would pretty much make Buffy an awful person if she was suggesting she would risk Spike's life but not Angel's. Buffy would never mean such a thing. This is the part of the episode where I do feel that Buffy was coming up with a flimsy excuse to send Angel away and avoid the awkwardness between Buffy/Angel/Spike.

That said, I feel that Buffy was also thinking logically when she said she needed Angel to work on a second front. It's consistent with her other battle stratagem later in the episode when she has Faith and Wood board up the sewer entrances to the high school to try and avoid the Turok Han spilling out into the world. Buffy obviously was legitimately concerned about the Ubervamps getting past her front line so her 'second front' didn't just come out of thin air and wasn't just bullsh*t to send Angel away.

Secondly, Buffy's entire speech to Angel was about how she's "not done baking", not "finished becoming whoever the hell [she] turns out to be", and once she realises "she's cookies" she'll then want someone to "enjoy warm delicious cookie [Buffy]." That is Buffy stating that she is emphatically not choosing anyone because she doesn't want to be with anyone right now - Spike or Angel - and wants to spend some time growing. It's the epiphany she actually reached back in "I Was Made to Love You" shortly before coming home to find Joyce dead on the couch > dying > spiralling into depression > falling into a relationship with Spike. In "Chosen" Buffy has circled back around to that self-realisation she first came to in Season 5 but due to the really unfortunate circumstances at the time, never really got to put into practice.

Yes, she did send Angel away and then fell into a cot with Spike but she also said to Angel that she "does sometimes think that far ahead" about whom she'll eventually want to spend her life with and implies it is him. So they're about on even ground there. And whilst she does take comfort in Spike it is not a promise of a committed relationship and whilst she does imply to Angel she thinks about an end game with him she also says it'll be a long time coming "if ever." So, again, pretty much on even ground there.

Ultimately, I don't think the point is who Buffy "chose." I also think it's very telling that the series ended with neither vampire still in Buffy's life. Whedon said he couldn't kill off one of the Core Four or Dawn and still call it a happy ending for Buffy but he could kill off Spike and still have the series end on her smile. He could also end it with Angel out of the picture. There's a cut line from the shooting script where Spike tells her to and that "it's [her] world up there!" which is really telling. The vampires were hugely significant and important to her but they were never meant to be her end game.
 

Btvs fan

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In regards to "Chosen", I don't feel like Buffy chose either Angel or Spike which was the whole point - cookie dough, remember?

Firstly, when Buffy said "I can't risk you" I don't believe that implies she could risk Spike. Regardless of who Buffy loves more I think that would pretty much make Buffy an awful person if she was suggesting she would risk Spike's life but not Angel's. Buffy would never mean such a thing. This is the part of the episode where I do feel that Buffy was coming up with a flimsy excuse to send Angel away and avoid the awkwardness between Buffy/Angel/Spike.

That said, I feel that Buffy was also thinking logically when she said she needed Angel to work on a second front. It's consistent with her other battle stratagem later in the episode when she has Faith and Wood board up the sewer entrances to the high school to try and avoid the Turok Han spilling out into the world. Buffy obviously was legitimately concerned about the Ubervamps getting past her front line so her 'second front' didn't just come out of thin air and wasn't just bullsh*t to send Angel away.

Secondly, Buffy's entire speech to Angel was about how she's "not done baking", not "finished becoming whoever the hell [she] turns out to be", and once she realises "she's cookies" she'll then want someone to "enjoy warm delicious cookie [Buffy]." That is Buffy stating that she is emphatically not choosing anyone because she doesn't want to be with anyone right now - Spike or Angel - and wants to spend some time growing. It's the epiphany she actually reached back in "I Was Made to Love You" shortly before coming home to find Joyce dead on the couch > dying > spiralling into depression > falling into a relationship with Spike. In "Chosen" Buffy has circled back around to that self-realisation she first came to in Season 5 but due to the really unfortunate circumstances at the time, never really got to put into practice.

Yes, she did send Angel away and then fell into a cot with Spike but she also said to Angel that she "does sometimes think that far ahead" about whom she'll eventually want to spend her life with and implies it is him. So they're about on even ground there. And whilst she does take comfort in Spike it is not a promise of a committed relationship and whilst she does imply to Angel she thinks about an end game with him she also says it'll be a long time coming "if ever." So, again, pretty much on even ground there.

Ultimately, I don't think the point is who Buffy "chose." I also think it's very telling that the series ended with neither vampire still in Buffy's life. Whedon said he couldn't kill off one of the Core Four or Dawn and still call it a happy ending for Buffy but he could kill off Spike and still have the series end on her smile. He could also end it with Angel out of the picture. There's a cut line from the shooting script where Spike tells her to and that "it's [her] world up there!" which is really telling. The vampires were hugely significant and important to her but they were never meant to be her end game.
What your talking about is less about fan ships and who loves who and more Whedon's writing, which goes in circles anyway.

Him killing Spike meant nothing because by then he knew he was bringing Spike back for Angel S5. In fact I'd go further and say one of the big myths is that Whedon doesn't like happy endings and kills off characters. A most of Buffys, (Becoming aside) season finales end happy and B those characters he kills, he brings back anyway. Even Doyle would've come back if Glenn Quinn could've cleaned himself up according to Greenwalt.

As for the Buffy in That Girl in Question she's already fallen for another old guy with a dark past who may or may not be evil. The underlying subtext/theme that Buffy has not moved on and is still going for that type of guy.
The overt being that Spike and Angel are total losers running after her while she doesn't give a you know what about them. The writers even parody the whole cookie dough speech with Angel moaning about the Immortal eating cookie dough while he's waiting patiently .
 

Ceadsearc03

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I feel like it’s also possible (though not necessarily my headcanon) that Buffy’s “I can’t risk you” had nothing to do with who she loved more or with making excuses. Angel had the capacity to run a second front. Spike didn’t. Ergo, she couldn’t risk Angel. She had already made clear at that point she would risk people she loved for the greater good of the world.
 

DeadlyDuo

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How did she choose Spike over Angel? She clearly told Angel she saw her future with him and that she couldn’t risk his life, and then risked Spike. And when Spike told her he knew she didn’t love him, she didn’t even dispute it.

Sending Angel away was hardly putting him second. He had the resources to run a second front. Spike didn’t.
I agree. Three things happen that suggest that Buffy loves Angel more:

1. She kisses Angel on the lips upon seeing him. A kiss on the lips is quite an intimate kiss (hence why I find Buffy kissing Spike on the lips in intervention problematic because it sends a mixed message).

2. She gives her cookie dough speech to Angel. Angel's response to Buffy's "It'll be a long time coming, if ever" is "I'm not getting any older". The implication being that he will wait for her to be ready and Buffy doesn't tell him to move on or not to wait. Whilst she's not committing as such, she's also not refuting that he'll be the recipient of cookie Buffy. Angel clearly expects to be the recipient because he then moans about the immortal snacking on cookie dough.

3. When Buffy tells Spike she loves him, his response is "no you don't but thanks for saying it". Not only does Spike not believe her but appreciates the gesture, it's also a satisfying end to Spike's arc. Throughout Seasons 5-6, he would've loved to have Buffy say those words to him, but by getting a soul, he understands that though she cares for him, she doesn't love him and he's okay with that.

Whedon said he couldn't kill off one of the Core Four or Dawn and still call it a happy ending for Buffy but he could kill off Spike and still have the series end on her smile.
But if Buffy "loved" Spike then how would Spike's death be considered a happy ending for her? She cared for him but I don't think she loved him.
 

DayDreamer27

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What I mean by age is she's very young and although mature for her age by necessity he's still older than her.

Age deepens understanding if you're maturing together that gives you more shared stuff.

In a sense Spike does learn with Buffy they're beaten down and degraded and his ensoulment is a symbol for growing up and accepting responsibility.

In a sense Bangel is the idealised first love and I do believe they will always love each other and be connected. What I take issue with is the OTPism that means that any other love is lesser because it's different in nature and comes after.
Buffy has a lot of love and loves many people in different ways that doesn't have diminish or exalt any of them above the rest. It's that I take issue with regards Bangels.
Also to use the saving yourself analogy if you do that great but the idea that everyone can or should causes a shedload of problems it's unrealistic to expect otherwise. I feel that Bangels do that I get what they appreciate and why they feel that way but they can be arrogant in denying that not everyone else does and sometimes the label those people as crazy, deluded, sick or just plain wrong for that. There are NO facts here only feelings.
I feel the same way about Spuffys. Just because Angel was first & Buffy was a teen the feelings are lesser because she was young while feeling them. In a sense you do the same thing. Well Bangel was first young crap but Spuffy is automatically more real because it happened last. Automatically dismissing all first loves as frivolous HS romance. Both sets of shippers have feeling involved.

And the saving analogy was to show a similar thing. I have heard people say a relationship without sex isn't a relationship. It's a friendship & nothing more. Which disrespects & diminishes people who have done things differently that seem non-conformist. Again, just because many don't wanna do that or see no point in it doesn't mean all couples operate that way & are lesser because they have.

In case of Bangels it's not that 1st love automatically trumps all else. But in this particular case, that does seem to be the workings of it. Buffy's first love also happens to be her greatest, in our opinion. But it's not her greatest just because it was first. It just worked out that way & I haven't seen anyone say first love is what automatically makes it better.

Adding to the list.
Cosby Show -Cliff & Claire were married for 30+ years by season 8 of that show. But their relationship started in HS.
Rosenanne -Dan & Rosennane. He was the first guy Roseanne ever dated at 15, lost her virginity to him, and was with him until she died in the reboot in her 60's.
Boy Meets World -Cory & Topanga were together since they were 5. lol They split when Cory got teased for being so close with a girl, and got romantic when they were around 14. Now they're still married in the reboot, Girl Meets World, last I saw. Cory's parents were also the same. Each other's first loves, broke up for a bit, dated other people, but got back together.

So Bangel isn't the only tv couple where characters started young & stayed with their first loves.

If we count the comics, she openly chose not to be with Spike. They finally got together, and after a year of peaceful dating, both mutually ended it because they don't work without a crisis. Seems like Spuffy was more about passion, fire, and intensity. Once that simmered down, they had nothing left (as a couple.) And Buffy even says that. Spike thinks love is wild, passionate, dangerous that burns & consumes a person. Which imo seems like the idealized version immature frat kids have. Buffy, being wise beyond her years, tells him that never lasts. it'll burn until it burns out & then you have nothing because you only relied on passion & spark to keep it going. Nothing else. They get together in the comics, have a good year of being together again. But as Buffy foreshadowed, their flame died down and so did their relationship. Meanwhile, Buffy & Angel have only ever parted when their being together caused mayhem. They both want to be together, but the Universe or "powers that be" have already decided that's not the case. From the time Buffy was sixteen up until her early twenties she & Angel tried making things work, but always had to just accept they can't be together -rather than mutually & peacefully deciding it because there's no danger & spark.

So we'd have to agree to disagree here. Because I will never agree there was anything idealized about Bangel just because it happened first & early. Spike is older than Buffy, and she's still cookie dough then by her own admission. And we saw Spike trying to mold her into a self-hater to drag her into darkness with him, then tried to rape her when she called things off. To me, Spuffy is an example of a glorified friends with benefits relationship. Two people have great sex & fire, and that's enough to believe they should try to make a relationship work. In real life, that's usually just seen as being sprung. Plenty of people have stayed with mismatched partners on the grounds of mind-blowing sex. That happens just as often as puppy love. And could easily sum up Spuffy, imo the same way some think puppy love sums up Bangel. Some relationships start from lower places & work out better. Some start hot & heavy, but work out better because they always had more to work with. But in the case of Spuffy, they seem to work more as cool friends than lovers. Like season 12 when Spike brings back his "out for a walk. Bitch" comment then he & Buffy smile and hug. I thought that was one of the sweetest most genuine moments they had. They'd been enemies. They'd been lovers. And now, they are good friends who can laugh about their past antics which seems to be where they need to be.
 
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BaskingINBangel

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I feel the same way about Spuffys. Just because Angel was first & Buffy was a teen the feelings are lesser because she was young while feeling them. In a sense you do the same thing. Well Bangel was first young crap but Spuffy is automatically more real because it happened last. Automatically dismissing all first loves as frivolous HS romance. Both sets of shippers have feeling involved.

And the saving analogy was to show a similar thing. I have heard people say a relationship without sex isn't a relationship. It's a friendship & nothing more. Which disrespects & diminishes people who have done things differently that seem non-conformist. Again, just because many don't wanna do that or see no point in it doesn't mean all couples operate that way & are lesser because they have.

In case of Bangels it's not that 1st love automatically trumps all else. But in this particular case, that does seem to be the workings of it. Buffy's first love also happens to be her greatest, in our opinion. But it's not her greatest just because it was first. It just worked out that way & I haven't seen anyone say first love is what automatically makes it better.

Adding to the list.
Cosby Show -Cliff & Claire were married for 30+ years by season 8 of that show. But their relationship started in HS.
Rosenanne -Dan & Rosennane. He was the first guy Roseanne ever dated at 15, lost her virginity to him, and was with him until she died in the reboot in her 60's.
Boy Meets World -Cory & Topanga were together since they were 5. lol They split when Cory got teased for being so close with a girl, and got romantic when they were around 14. Now they're still married in the reboot, Girl Meets World, last I saw. Cory's parents were also the same. Each other's first loves, broke up for a bit, dated other people, but got back together.

So Bangel isn't the only tv couple where characters started young & stayed with their first loves.

If we count the comics, she openly chose not to be with Spike. They finally got together, and after a year of peaceful dating, both mutually ended it because they don't work without a crisis. Seems like Spuffy was more about passion, fire, and intensity. Once that simmered down, they had nothing left (as a couple.) And Buffy even says that. Spike thinks love is wild, passionate, dangerous that burns & consumes a person. Which imo seems like the idealized version immature frat kids have. Buffy, being wise beyond her years, tells him that never lasts. it'll burn until it burns out & then you have nothing because you only relied on passion & spark to keep it going. Nothing else. They get together in the comics, have a good year of being together again. But as Buffy foreshadowed, their flame died down and so did their relationship. Meanwhile, Buffy & Angel have only ever parted when their being together caused mayhem. They both want to be together, but the Universe or "powers that be" have already decided that's not the case. From the time Buffy was sixteen up until her early twenties she & Angel tried making things work, but always had to just accept they can't be together -rather than mutually & peacefully deciding it because there's no danger & spark.

So we'd have to agree to disagree here. Because I will never agree there was anything idealized about Bangel just because it happened first & early. Spike is older than Buffy, and she's still cookie dough then by her own admission. And we saw Spike trying to mold her into a self-hater to drag her into darkness with him, then tried to rape her when she called things off. To me, Spuffy is an example of a glorified friends with benefits relationship. Two people have great sex & fire, and that's enough to believe they should try to make a relationship work. In real life, that's usually just seen as being sprung. Plenty of people have stayed with mismatched partners on the grounds of mind-blowing sex. That happens just as often as puppy love. And could easily sum up Spuffy, imo the same way some think puppy love sums up Bangel. Some relationships start from lower places & work out better. Some start hot & heavy, but work out better because they always had more to work with. But in the case of Spuffy, they seem to work more as cool friends than lovers. Like season 12 when Spike brings back his "out for a walk. Bitch" comment then he & Buffy smile and hug. I thought that was one of the sweetest most genuine moments they had. They'd been enemies. They'd been lovers. And now, they are good friends who can laugh about their past antics which seems to be where they need to be.
I completely agree with pretty much everything you said here! 👌

I hate when people try to minimize Bangel by calling it a high school puppy love. I just don't understand how people come to that conclusion. I could maybe concede that it's sort of puppy love in Season 1, but beyond that....I just can't agree.
 
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Spanky

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@Angel6 well, no, her argument was idiotic and ridiculous.
 
Angel6
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I mean not really. He had run his own team for 4 years at that point. It would give her great comfort to know that if she died Angel would be there to do his best to save the day.

Spanky

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@Angel6 I mean really. If the hellmouth was not closed and Buffy & company lost, all of the forces would swarm from the hellmouth and have the option to go in three directions. So there was a one in three chance they would even go to LA in the first place. If they did happen to go to LA, was Angel, Gunn, Wesley and Fred really supposed to be able to thwart them when a handful of slayers, a vampire hunter, a 'superwitch', a former vengeance demon, a watcher and a few nerds couldn't? Come on, there is no way that would ever be considered a logical battle plan.

But this is going off topic. Feel free to create a thread if you want to discuss why this plan was logical.
 
Angel6
Angel6
Well it’s not really off topic as it’s your argument for why she loves Spike more.

SunnydaleGlitz

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Sineya
I agree that loving someone "more" or "less" in a mathematical sense is odd. But I really find it bizarre to argue that Buffy loved Angel "more" by implying she could "risk" Spike because he was apparently "expendable" to her.

That makes both Buffy and Angel callous, detestable ghouls, hardly the heroic figures we see them as on the show. Even Angel isn't buying the excuse: "OK. That's one reason. What's the other? You're not telling me something. Is it Spike? You in love with him?"

Buffy is "cookie dough"...so the text leaves it pretty open as to who she sees her future with. But that doesn't diminish her romantic love for Spike at this point. In my subjective opinion, I think she would choose Spike if she had to - but my personal opinion doesn't matter because Buffy actively chooses not to choose anyone at this point. That's her stance on her love life right now.

Kissing Angel doesn't diminish her romantic love for Spike either. In S5 when Drusilla returned to Spike, here's a moment from the shooting script:

DRUSILLA
My darling, deadly boy.
Dru smiles as they look into each other's eyes. Then Spike kisses her, deeply. Like old times.
Does that mean Spike wasn't in love with Buffy in S5 because he kissed Dru deeply? He absolutely was in love with Buffy (in his own soulless way.) Kissing Drusilla - the "black beauty" he was "lucky" to have even encountered - doesn't diminish that.

Buffy didn't see Spike merely as an expendable fighter to keep around for battle. The season made that amply clear at several points, including a retrospective slip about her conflicted feelings back in S6:




For which...there was a built-in ambiguity anyway:

If that wasn't enough, it's made explicitly clear here again:


Cassie (it's significant that "Cassandra" was daughter to Priam and Hecuba and cursed by Apollo so that her prophecies, though true, were never believed) could foresee Buffy's admission of love for Spike all the way back in "Help":


Whedon's commentary on that final scene stresses a distinctly romantic angle, not one of comfort or sympathy:
"I thought that this was a sort of romantic image, the two of them. [...] But what I basically told them was "Play the romance. Be proud of him. Love him when you say you love him. Love her when you say she doesn't love you. Forget about the crumbling world. For that period of time it doesn't exist.""

- Whedon, commentary for Chosen.
Season 7 is when Buffy and Spike's romantic love is actually prioritised amongst other themes by Whedon:

"We had a few things in mind with season seven. One, everybody was tired of being depressed, including us. Two, this was the last season. Three, let’s get back to where we started. Let’s go back to the beginning. Not the word, not the bang, but the real beginning. And the real beginning is girl power. The real beginning is what does it mean to be a Slayer? And not to feel guilty about the power, but having seen the dark side of it, to find the light again. To explore the idea of the Slayer fully and perhaps to see a very grown up and romantic and confusing relationship that isn’t about power, but is actually genuinely beautiful between two people in the form of Buffy and Spike."

Spike and Buffy exchange a meaningful look of silence before battle. If Buffy just wanted to make Spike feel "better" or boost his morale, she could easily have told him the words sooner if they were insincere or borne of sympathy. Buffy isn't a Machiavellian strategist intent on tricking those she loves with false comfort or misleading words. If she says she loves Spike (and this is a romantic scene), then I'm inclined to believe her. That Spike says he doesn't believe her doesn't diminish her truth.



I love her smile at the end - it's both looking to a future of possibility as well as a sense of pride at Spike's victory and heroism. It vindicates her belief in him, and I think she was happy at his achieving redemption by saving the world. She knew how much it meant to him in "Sleeper" and "Never Leave Me" when he was basically suicidal and wanting out of it all because he didn't want to go on living with his evil history.

Buffy would not be able to smile if Dawn or any of the Scoobies died, because Dawn did not have a centuries-long history of unspeakable evil to atone for - Dawn was never evil and none of the Scoobies had the kind of pasts Spike and Angelus did. The series wouldn't end with Buffy mourning a vampire's victorious redemption - or it would greatly undermine the allegory of the show and its entire moral universe.

She doesn't have to be crying or hysterically weeping to prove she loved Spike with all her heart. She wasn't lying when she told Angel earlier that Spike was "in her heart." If we're saying she can't crack a small smile at the end of the war because that proves she didn't love Spike much, then that's the same argument put forth by the villain of AtS's "Heartthrob":

James: "You loved someone — with all your heart."
Angel: "Yeah."
James: "No you didn't. Because if you had you wouldn't be standing here playing games with me. You wouldn't be able to...because once she died or some bastard killed her, it would have killed everything in you."
- Heartthrob, AtS, S3.
It's spelled out even more clearly by the end of the episode:

Cordy: “Then what’s the problem?”
Angel: “That I’m okay. That losing Buffy didn’t kill me. That I could deal with it. In all those years, no-one ever mattered, not like she did, and now she’s gone forever.”
Cordy: “And you’re still here.”
Angel: “Yeah. I just feel like I’m betraying her somehow.”
Cordy: “No! If you were a loser, if you were some sick, obsessed vampire, you’d go to a Snod demon or whatever and get your heart cut out...but you’re not! You’re a living, breathing...well, living, anyway, good guy who’s still fighting and trying to help people and that’s not betraying her, that’s honouring her.
So yeah, Buffy can smile out of pride over Spike's spirit and his memory as the champion she loved whom she has just lost. It doesn't diminish her romantic love for him in the slightest. It's also part of the point -- romantic love isn't the be all and end all. Life goes on. Buffy doesn't have to "choose" anyone at this point - her life is her own. She's still growing, she's still cookie dough. She doesn't know who her future is with. Spuffies and Bangels can both be happy with this ending - it's even ground - most importantly, Buffy fans can be happy with the evolution of her heroic journey.
Whedon said:
Because what this shot ultimately is about, is what a lot of the show is about: which is that the story goes on. That there is closure, but not a closing. That what we've seen is a life being formed, like the cookie dough speech explains. This is a life in progress, a life that in some ways is just beginning...

...Like that smile.
 
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r2dh2
r2dh2
You just summarized my thoughts. S7 tells the tale of Spuffy, whoever claim otherwise is blind to all the sweet gestures that showed us their love. I still believe that the comparison Angel/Spike is not fair. But I agree with you.

vampmogs

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SpuffyGlitz, I think the reality is that there's always going to be ambiguity and debate about whether Buffy really loved Spike because Whedon purposely left it open to interpretation. He knew exactly what he was doing when he wrote their finale scene ("I love you" "No you don't but thanks for saying it") and knowingly left it open-ended. Just as he purposely left their final night together as ambiguous when it faded to black (he talks in the DVD commentary how if you want to believe they fought you could or if you wanted to believe they made love that's fine too - pretty much two polar opposite ideas). Ultimately, I think it boils down to the fact that, as he says in the "Chosen" DVD commentary, after the AR he didn't feel comfortable showing Buffy & Spike being intimate on screen again. He said he felt it'd be "irresponsible." Which, IMO, as far as the televised seasons go, it meant he'd never really commit to Spuffy again. He wanted to have his cake and eat it too by exploring Spuffy as this "grown up and romantic and confusing relationship" but he either didn't having the guts or genuinely felt too guilty or uncomfortable about ever actually showing it. That just wasn't going to be sustainable in the long run.

Luckily for them, the series only lasted one more season anyway so they could get away with skirting around it. But had the series continued in televised form it just wouldn't have worked. They had seriously underestimated the impact the AR would have and backed themselves into a corner.

I actually feel sorry for Spuffy fans in that respect. And I don't mean that in a patronising or condescending way, I just mean that for Spuffy fans actually wanting the same kind of committal that other ships had, they were never really going to get it. Whedon was always going to tip his hat to them whilst simultaneously tipping his hat to all the people outraged that Spuffy was even still a thing in any form. I do understand that there's some Spuffy shippers who genuinely enjoy or even prefer the ambiguity of their relationship but it does also mean you're always going to have a significant portion of fans who will interpret things very differently and Whedon wrote them in such a way that it was very much intended to be ambiguous.
 
SunnydaleGlitz
SunnydaleGlitz
LOL - my identity's pretty much merged between SpuffyGlitz and SunnydaleG at this point :P I see what you mean and agree. But I still don't particularly feel shortchanged 🤷‍♀️

thetopher

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Sineya
But I really find it bizarre to argue that Buffy loved Angel "more" by implying she could "risk" Spike because he was apparently "expendable" to her.
Let's not forget that this particular bit of logic was initially brought up by a Spuffy who stated that because Buffy spent Angel away and 'chose' Spike then that meant that she definitely loved him more. This was heralded as absolute clear proof of her preference.

Buffy actually made a choice! She chose Spike over Angel. She was elated by seeing Angel but ultimately, she only thanked him for the talisman and the visit and then she asked him to leave. By this metric, she definitely sent a strong signal about loving Spike “more” than Angel in the moment where she was “forced” to make a decision.
Buffy asked Angel to leave and she went back to Spike. For me, this is a decisive moment, she's force to choose because of the imminent danger that they are facing. And she choses Spike.
And so when others disagree and state that actually it COULD mean the exact opposite they are criticized for making Buffy 'ghoulish' or heartless, as if she's making some deliberate calculation regarding her own feelings.
That's some baffling thought process.

Obviously almost all her actions regarding Spike were ambiguous and deliberately so. Throughout the season she becomes more and more conflicted in her attitudes towards him. But he wins her over, or wears her down depending on your pov, and she comes to rely on him more than anyone else.

However we never saw, nor did we see, any conflict with Angel. He turns up she immediately kisses him and wants to bask, he gets a bit petty and suddenly she becomes honest about her feelings- 'the cookie dough' speech is there to state where he head is at. She doesn't anything like this with Spike.
The only thing she says to him is that about the night in 'Touched' and that it mattered to her, but she also asks 'does (it) have to mean anything?' when Spike, again, starts pushing for some sort of emotional validation, which is something he's been demanding all season.

If her feelings were clear then when Spike said 'no you don't , but thanks for saying it' Buffy would've stated 'actually, I know my own feelings better than you do and I'm being sincere you lunkhead' or whatever.
She didn't. You can think that Buffy did love Spike or merely felt close to and obligated because 'he got a soul for her'. You can say that she did love him but he didn't believe it because Buffy no longer loves like Spike does (all or nothing), but you can't say that he loved him more than Angel by using the above logic of sending away the one you don't care about.
Buffy did the same thing with Dawn because she was more important that anything.
However that doesn't demean her feelings for everyone who stayed with her to fight; Xander. Willow and Giles are all important to her but she trusted Xander to get Dawn to safety.
But this is no proof of Buffy caring for Xander more than Willow or anyone else, only that she tasked him with a specific thing that she trusted him to do, like maybe she figured that Angel would be capable enough to form a second front, its always sensible to have some kind of backup plan after all.
 
SunnydaleGlitz
SunnydaleGlitz
Ah! I wasn't making that argument about Angel - also wasn't addressing anyone in particular, just airing my general thoughts on it :) It's a hotly debated part of fandom for sure
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