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Why didn't Buffy stake Spike in 'Beneath You'?

Miss Muffet

"Can I trade in the children for more cash?"
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Apr 28, 2021
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Why didn't Buffy stake Spike when she didn't know he had a soul? I may be missing something, as I haven't seen 'Beneath You' in over a year, but I honestly can't figure it out.
Ideas?
 

DeadlyDuo

Scooby
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Probably for the same reason she didn't stake him in Seasons 4-6.
 

Miss Muffet

"Can I trade in the children for more cash?"
Joined
Apr 28, 2021
Messages
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Probably for the same reason she didn't stake him in Seasons 4-6.
But what changes it for me is the attempted rape. I'm not sure if I can explain what I mean very well, but I can't see her any sort of trust with him after that, even the 'he won't kill anyone because of the chip' trust she had in S4.
 

Athene

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Sineya
But what changes it for me is the attempted rape. I'm not sure if I can explain what I mean very well, but I can't see her any sort of trust with him after that, even the 'he won't kill anyone because of the chip' trust she had in S4.
Buffy was bad at looking out for herself sometimes, when we can see she was sad Spike left town and wanted to leave Dawn with him the day after she was almost raped by him, it’s not surprising that she wouldn’t stake him in season 7.
 

Stake fodder

Soulless
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Plot armor, really. But if I had to come up with an in-show reason, maybe it's because Spike seems still somewhat crazy, and so that's like another chip, that it wouldn't be a fair fight. She might have staked him after he attacked Anya, but Xander calls her away
 

thrasherpix

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Plot armor, plain and simple. And Spike could hurt Dawn if he wanted (not personally, but I'm sure the Slayer's sister would fetch a nice price on the demon market, either out of revenge or a misguided plan to get back into Buffy's good graces by saving Dawn after he arranged for her to need saving in the first place) so I sure wouldn't have risked it in her place after the AR.

It was surreal to me that he wasn't staked early in season 5 (and the writers played on that expectation making it look like she was only for it to be Spike's wet dream).

But my head canon, which I'm reasonably sure never occurred to the writers, is that the monks had Spike as a backup plan to protect the Key. If Buffy was killed and/or the Key revealed, the last place Glory and her minions would be likely to look for Dawn is to a vampire (and were it not for the Buffybot that they couldn't foresee it would've been a good plan). They tweaked Spike to care for Dawn, and Buffy to not stake Spike, no matter how good a reason she had, since Spike was their backup plan.

This feels more paper thin to me in later seasons, but I'm sticking with it being a lingering effect of the monk's spell until I can think of better headcanon that doesn't sound like a bad romance novel.
 
Last edited:
AnthonyCordova
AnthonyCordova
nice head canon idea

AstridDante

Potential
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Because she still had strong feelings for him. She admitted in SR she had feelings. She couldn’t let herself love him as she didn’t trust him but I think it was very close to love. She is not going to be able to take him out just like that. She would if she had to like she did with Angel but it’s complicated. Spike isn’t just some vamp she had an intense relationship with him even though it ended badly
 

Nearwild

Townie
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It's probably quite hard to just stake someone you know without provocation, especially someone you have feelings for regardless of past behaviour. It's rare Buffy stakes someone without a fight first, and she might've staked him when he was fighting and being a jackass in the Bronze, but not once that moment passed. Plus he's so random in the episode- goes from being reasonable, to a jackass, to a 'hero demon fighter', to insane, to crying about the dog- you'd have to have a lot of either anger or don't-care to just put a stake in that level of weird.
 

katmobile

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I think because she'd seen him before in Lessons and he was trying to be helpful but obviously in a poor physical and psychological state. She knows something's up with him but she needs to work out what that is, what she feels about it and what to do about it and she knows that the latter two are complex issues on some level. She knows that although this is someone who psychologically damaged her that this is also someone she didn't treat well although the latter doesn't justify the former. She also knows that she may not understand who is now anymore, he keeps surprising her for both good and bad when she thinks she's got his measure. She knows that she needs answers before she makes any decisions that she can't reverse and can't just act out of a sense of vengeance. I also think a part of her doesn't want it, she just wants him to acknowledge what he did and apologize sincerely and a part just wants him to leave so she doesn't have to deal with how she feels about him and what they did to each other.
 
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