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Question Why did Spike try to hide his soul?

gnarl

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Sineya
So I just re-watched 'beneath you' (season 7) (so SPOILERS obviously) and Spikes behaviour in that episode is really chaotic:

First he comes to Buffy not 'looking to atone' but to help, but at the same time making it clear that he's sorry about the almost rape ('I don't have word for it either'), then he says he's changed but won't say how.

Then, when Anya sees his soul, he punches her and tells Buffy that he hasn't changed 'a lik' and says 'this must be first contact since… (smirk). Up for another round on the balcony then?' (so cruel!).

Then when he hurts that sluggoff guy he runs off and does the 'they put the spark back in me and now all it does is burn' speech and says he wanted to be the kind of man Buffy deserved, the 'kind of man who would never… (pained look)'

So, what I'm asking is why did Spike try to hide his soul and why did he behave the way he did when Anya figured it out? Because he didn't think he deserved forgiveness? Because he's crazy? Because The First is pulling his strings? Because he wants to earn Buffy's trust without her knowing about it? Because his demon is still fighting for control? Any other theories? I'm perplexed.
 

Spanky

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Black Thorn
He was full of self-loathing. He wanted Buffy not to view him differently as he himself viewed him differently. At least if Buffy still saw him as the monster he was he could pretend to still be that, thus the pain of his realization would be lessened.
 

Priceless

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As Mr Pole says, it's Spikes self-loathing, his sense of self has dramatically changed. He feels shame and humiliation, things he hasn't felt for a long time and doesn't know how to deal with.

There is also 'crazy' there too, it must be similar to a psychotic-break; he's hearing voices, seeing ghosts, he doesn't know it that's the soul or the First or what it is. It must be terrifying to be Spike right now, and he's trying to cling onto 'normal' and present a sane version of himself, while inside he's breaking.
 

Athene

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I think that he just didn't want Anya to be the one to break the news to everybody. I think he wanted to tell Buffy privately and in a more sensitive way so she'd truly understand what it meant for him.
 

thetopher

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Spike just wanted to go back to the way things were before his self-annihilation by way of a soul. So if he can fool Buffy then maybe he can fool himself.

But really its a weak way to explain the out-of-story concept of dramatic reveal; the writers wanted a heartfelt revelation so they engineered it so Spike would have a complete breakdown by the end of the episode; doesn't change the fact that the guy is fairly loathsome and unlikable for a lot of this episode though.

Basically this episode is like 'Five-By-Five' just done quite badly.
 

white avenger

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Maybe Spike was trying to hide the fact that he had obtained a soul because he didn't want Buffy to ever find out about it. Remember, he went to all the trouble to get his soul so that Buffy would see him as being worthy of her love. Now that he had it, along with all of the shame and guilt that accompanied it, he no longer felt worthy of that love. Hence, he pretended to be the same old Spike, the soulless monster who Buffy, by her own statement, could never love.

Hiding the fact that he had a soul was Spike's attempt to punish himself for all of the bad things that he felt responsible for. Taking that logic to the extreme, he might have even thought that, if it got to the point that he could no longer bear the guilt, it would be easier to convince Buffy to dust him if she didn't know about the soul.
 

Athena

The original one-eyed chicklet
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I think the writers were trying to push the idea that Spike never wanted his soul in the first place; that he took part in the trials to "give the Slayer what was coming to her" by removing his chip, not by reinserting his soul. It was mooted for a while that the whole chip thing was actually a misdirection. I personally think they were still keen on duping the viewer by making them believe he never wanted it, and that was why he tried to hide it. It was just a stupid writers' decision.

Character-wise, I guess you could argue he felt guilt and remorse, or that he wanted to be the one to tell her rather than Anya, but I don't for one second believe any of it. I genuinely just think the writers were trying to back up their previous misdirection, and to be honest it's pretty dumb. He went for his soul, he got his soul.
 

Priceless

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I still don't believe he went for his soul.
Do you think he went to get the chip removed or for some other reason? It makes no logical sense to me that he would go to a cave in Africa to see a demon to get his chip removed. Surely it would make more sense to go to the nearest hospital and find a surgeon?
 

Spanky

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Do you think he went to get the chip removed or for some other reason? It makes no logical sense to me that he would go to a cave in Africa to see a demon to get his chip removed. Surely it would make more sense to go to the nearest hospital and find a surgeon?
Nope. I don't think he went to get the chip out either. But he did try a surgeon and he could not get it out.
 

Priceless

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Nope. I don't think he went to get the chip out either. But he did try a surgeon and he could not get it out.
Why do you think he went to Africa? Spike tried one surgeon and I think he would have got a second opinion if it was all about the chip.
 

Spanky

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Why do you think he went to Africa?
I think Spike went to Africa to fix what was wrong with him. As he said he wanted to be "whole again" so that he could "give that bitch what she deserves." I do not think it far from the realm of possibility that Spike said the same thing to the demon. There are numerous things that "be whole again" could mean. It could mean a soul, it could mean a chip, it could mean remove the love that he felt for Buffy; I don't think it really mattered to Spike at that point as he was lost and desperate to regain something from what he used to be.

You saw a similar breakdown when Dru left him and he went running to the Slayer for help. It would also explain why in the subsequent season he asked "It's what you wanted isn't it?" ie making sure the Demon give him what she deserves. I don't think he went there for a soul, nor to get the chip out... he went there to feel himself again.
 

DeadlyDuo

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Why do you think he went to Africa? Spike tried one surgeon and I think he would have got a second opinion if it was all about the chip.
The surgeon was also an Initiative surgeon who had no intention of taking Spike's chip out. I think if "Crush" was set before Dru's appearance on Angel, then Spike should've gone with her and got W&H to take his chip out in exchange for siring Darla.
 

gnarl

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I got the impression that The First put him up to it (going to see Buffy I mean) 'cause of the conversation he has with the rat/invisible person/himself in the basement at the beginning of the episode. He wouldn't be much good as a weapon against the Scoobies if he's locked away in the school basement and it didn't seem like he was in any hurry to get out of there (above comments about self-loathing etc.). Maybe it was the first's plan to have him go and get close to Buffy. Maybe Spikes erratic behaviour was a result of those conflicting motives.

Just throwing that out there, could be a load of nonsense.

I definitely agree that him trying to hide is soul came from self-loathing, shame and guilt. But if he doesn't think he deserves forgiveness why approach the Scoobies at all? The 'I have nothing better to do' excuse rings a bit hollow.
 

Guy

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I think he did it for the same reason that Angel went back to Darla after he was re-ensouled (as we saw in 'Darla'). Getting a soul is a traumatic event - it completely changes a person, and it is full of pain and uncertainty. A person who gets a soul after being a souless vampire can't know what to do - he doesn't want to be evil anymore, but he doesn't know what to do in his new life either, and he feels terrible guilt about his past. It is the greatest existential crisis possible.

So, what does a newly-re-enouled person do? He tries to go back to what he was before his soul, to seek safety and comfort in what's familiar to him. In Angel's case, that meant going back to Darla and pretending to be a killer vampire again. In Spike's case, that meant going back to Buffy and pretending to be a soulless ally again. He wants to go back to the way things were before the soul.

Of course, the reason he came to Buffy at all is because of the earthquakes caused by the sloggoth demon - he saw there was a problem, and he wanted to help. But he preferred to help as the old Spike, the familiar Spike.
 
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WillowFromBuffy

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"Ta-da! Sorry for trying to rape you. I'm a good guy now." I guess that was what he originally planned. Once he got his soul back and went mad, it was no longer that easy.
 
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