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

Miss Muffet

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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?
 
B
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Delight armour

DeadlyDuo

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

Miss Muffet

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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.
 

Bop

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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

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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.
 
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AnthonyCordova
AnthonyCordova
nice head canon idea

AstridDante

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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

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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.
 

thetopher

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The honest answer? The writers had a story to tell and it just wasn't ever going to be one about a survivor of sexual assault revenging herself on her attacker, it was about the attacker's journey of redemption.
By the end of Beneath You that much was clear, before Spike was either crazy in the basement or telling Buffy 'I've changed' so Buffy- as she had done many times in the past- stayed her hand until she could get a clearer picture because she obviously 'felt' that something was amiss.

By the end of the episode all is made (melodramatically) clear; Spike has a soul, he got it for Buffy, he loves her and wants to be a kind of man.
This is not Buffy story, she must look on in awe, mostly silent (Buffy had much more to say in the previous version of this scene), eyes glistening with unshed tears, as she understands the magnitude of what Spike did for her, the episode ends with Spike resting on a cross.

I mean, that's what they're going for, the scene was heavily re-written for that precise effect. I guess how you feel about it depends on what story you wanted; Buffy's story or the story we got.
 
Skeletor Rigby
Skeletor Rigby
In the original scene Buffy speaks a grand total of 5x and one of those times is just to say "Spike." In JW's rewrite she speaks 11x. And the direction in the script re: her ultimate response is not 'awed' it's 'horrified'.

Spanky

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Buffy's story or the story we got.
But it is Buffy's story. It's a story about how her love and acceptance can even sway the most heartless vampire. It's a story about her compassion and forgiveness in light of events that others would not have such feelings. The heatless Spike is redeemed because of Buffy's heart.
 
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K
katmobile
And his own to some extent and some operant conditioning. But on this occasion I agree with you.

thetopher

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But it is Buffy's story.

It can't be, she's way too passive. Think about it, what are the two iconic Spuffy bits of S7? The Beneath Me scene and the Touched scene? In both scenes Spike just speechifies about his feelings at Buffy, she in turn gets all weepy and doesn't say much. Things are always happening to Spike; a tool fot eh First, a prisoner of the First, the victim of a malfunctioning chip, the target of a vengeful Wood....
All Buffy has to do is 'trust' and 'forgive'...but she's basically done that by 'Him' telling Dawn (and stating to the audience) why Spike did what he did and its all okay now. The rest is just unspoken 'belief' or whatever. It's passive. And its not like anyone really challenges her on it with any force. Giles? He voices some fatherly concern but he's away most of the time looking for a cure for that pesky trigger.
 

Spanky

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It can't be, she's way too passive.
I didn't say she was the focal point of the story, or the main character of the story, only that it is Buffy's story. A story about how Buffy affects other people. S7 is the Buffy Effect.
 

katmobile

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It can't be, she's way too passive. Think about it, what are the two iconic Spuffy bits of S7? The Beneath Me scene and the Touched scene? In both scenes Spike just speechifies about his feelings at Buffy, she in turn gets all weepy and doesn't say much. Things are always happening to Spike; a tool fot eh First, a prisoner of the First, the victim of a malfunctioning chip, the target of a vengeful Wood....
All Buffy has to do is 'trust' and 'forgive'...but she's basically done that by 'Him' telling Dawn (and stating to the audience) why Spike did what he did and its all okay now. The rest is just unspoken 'belief' or whatever. It's passive. And its not like anyone really challenges her on it with any force. Giles? He voices some fatherly concern but he's away most of the time looking for a cure for that pesky trigger.
I profoundly disagree - forgiveness and the recognition of someone else's redemption especially someone who wronged you is both active and heroic and it takes a lot to be able to do it. Buffy isn't passive - you see her in the early part of season seven try and sort through the tangled web of her own feelings and work out what she can do for him without hurting herself and what's going on. She gets him out of the basement, plants the seeds that led him to investigate what's happening to him in Sleeper and she rescues him. If you mean she accepts his version of how he regained his soul it's because she can see he's too broken to lie to her anymore. It's in the response to her 'no more mind games' which is 'no more mind' whether he's insane or not he clearly believes he is. I know you hate Spike especially ensouled Spike but that's the text.
 

thetopher

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I profoundly disagree - forgiveness and the recognition of someone else's redemption especially someone who wronged you is both active and heroic and it takes a lot to be able to do it.

Yes, in theory this is correct; forgiveness can be hard and a profoundly brave thing to do...but you need to show it, the process, the push and pull of conflicting emotions; to wanting to over the fear of. We JUST don't get that here, partly because the season is too crowded and things happen so quickly but also partly because, again, that's not the story the writers wanted to tell.
This was about Spike grand gesture to 'be better' and Buffy just accepts it. Do we really see her hesitation at all? In the first episode Spike lurches out of the dark and touches her face and...Buffy is just kinda confused, not shocked or angry or triggered by the sudden appearance of her attacker; its all 'oh, he's crazy and is covered in big scratches, how intriguing'.
It's only the next episode- with a different writer- that the even bother to show Buffy having any kind of reaction to Spike touching her. And again its just 'you're not telling me everything Spike....' wow, what a profound non-event to be confronted by the man who tried to rape you mere months ago. No struggle or hesitation, her friends are more anxious that Buffy is.
And after the episode, when the truth is revealed, they barely interact until 'come out of the basement', 'are you killing again, Spike', 'I believe in you Spike because you fought against your monster...' blah, blah, yawn.
It actually only really works if Buffy is blindly projecting onto Spike because she needs to believe that the soul is a good thing and not a burden-because she has been told over and over that she is the cause of it- at least that would give Buffy some skin in the game, some investment, some effort. Unfortunately that's probably just projection.

Buffy does come to some conclusions about her love life, but those realizations are almost entirely seperate from her relationship with Spike, and she shares her most intimate thoughts with Holden and Angel, never Spike.


She gets him out of the basement, plants the seeds that led him to investigate what's happening to him in Sleeper and she rescues him

I'll agree that Buffy takes Spike out of the basement, which isn't exactly a chore now, is it? She investigates Spike because of what Holden said, which has not one thing to do with Buffy and Spike's relationship; she's just wondering if he's killing people or not. And again, she just 'feels' that there's something more going on and the very next episode she's proclaiming that Spike 'fought to be a better man'.
I see no doubt, no struggle, no journey on Buffy's part regarding either the trauma Spike inflicted on her or him forcing his way back into her life.

If you want to see Buffy actively struggle with her complex feelings for a vampire I would direct you to Season 3, not Season 7

I know you hate Spike especially ensouled Spike but that's the text.

I know you love and are protective of Spike so you are bias but I think you're projecting and seeing something that just isn't there.
 
K
katmobile
Sure but it doesn't negate anything I've said.

thetopher

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I thought they showed it in the previous season when, after the event, Buffy still sought out Spike's help and care.

Please tell me what the event was? Can we be specific? Was the event a violent sexual assault that left Buffy traumatized? And were there any other events that might've motivated Buffy to do what she did around about this time? Or are you saying that Buffy specifically sought out Spike because of Spike and not for any other reason. Was she desperate? Scared for her sister? Or did she just want to see Spike again?

I don't see how Buffy going to Spike shows anything other than the ineptitude of the writers when it came to dealing with a specific, feminine trauma. I think they showed that here and they showed it in the following season.

She knew then what and why it happened and knew that, despite everything, he wanted to help her.

Where was it shown that Buffy knew this, specifically?
 

Spanky

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Where was it shown that Buffy knew this, specifically?
When she went to leave little Dawnie in his care.

Or are you saying that Buffy specifically sought out Spike because of Spike and not for any other reason.
I think Angelus was a big part of the reason. Because she witnessed how both "bad" vampires acted and their differences. The way soulless Angel behaved informed the intentions of soulless Spike and his actions, and the fact that, if he really wanted to hurt her, her simply pushing him off would not have stopped him.
 
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