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Question Why does Buffy sleeps with Spike *only* after his chip stops working?

Annie Hall

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I've never quite understood this part of the S6 plot.
 

thetopher

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Buffy doesn't have sex with Spike because the chip stops working.
Spike tells Buffy- and we see- that the chip still works well enough, in 'Smashed' the first thing he tries to do is murder a woman and is physically prevented from doing so.

But firstly Buffy and Spike were fighting; since S3 and Faith slaying and sex have been linked; 'hungry and horny' and (despite her denials) Buffy experiences this with Riley in S4. Post-slaying (without the slay part) she and him slept together for the first time after capturing some demon.

Another factor Buffy and Spike have sex because Buffy 'came back wrong'; Spike tells her this to dehumanize her, then attacks her and afterward takes pains to constantly undermine her sense of self (like in DP for example).

And Buffy believes him, she is baffled at to why he can hurt her but we never see her bring up the possibility that the the chip may actually have malfunctioned. She never tells the other Scoobies that Spike might be a danger to them because of wonky tech, she is in denial and keeps things to herself because she is somehow 'wrong'.

It's not until 'Dead Things' that Buffy (accidentally) confesses to Tara her shameful secret when Tara tells Buffy that she's fine/no different.
 
Spanky
Spanky
He told her she came back wrong to console her, not dehumanize her.

r2dh2

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Another factor Buffy and Spike have sex because Buffy 'came back wrong'; Spike tells her this to dehumanize her, then attacks her and afterward takes pains to constantly undermine her sense of self (like in DP for example).
I interpret it in a slightly different way. The way I’ve thought about it is that it’s the result of two things happening in parallel.

1. First, before OMWF, Buffy cannot open herself to her friends and uses Spike as her confident, she can “be alone with him,” he doesn’t judge her. But these episodes also show Buffy flustered when in close proximity to Spike, for instance, In All the Way, he proposes “a bit of the rough and tumble,” which she clearly misinterprets (he meant patrolling together). IMO, these reactions show that Buffy is feeling intensely attracted to Spike. Although, I believe that it is only physical attraction enhanced by his capacity of being a “trusted” confident of her secrets.

But also importantly, I think that before OMWF, Spike is there for her, but he’s no longer as pushy as he was in S5. During OMWF, however, he confesses wanting to rest in peace because she still cannot love him but he’s still a willing slave to her. Meaning that he still loves her. And her confessions about “going through the motions,” “touching fire but it freezes,” and “being ripped out of heaven” tell me that she’s desperate to feel again, so at the end of the episode she gives into “lust” by kissing Spike (he wants her and she wants to feel). And she obviously gives into it once more in Tabula Rasa.

In Smashed, they further show her confusion about the way she feels about it:

XANDER. It must be seductive, just to give into it. Go totally wild. We need to keep an eye on her.
BUFFY. Okay. We'll keep an eye. But we don't have to assume everybody's getting seduced. Sometimes—

2. The second element is that her emotional numbness makes her believe that there’s something wrong with her after being resurrected. And Spike’s ability to punch her confirms her fears.

The two things come together at the end of Smashed. She feels alone and confused by her mental state and now she has confirmation that there’s something wrong in her. So, she gives into her lust because if there’s something wrong with her, there’s no point in trying to do the right thing. She wants to feel again, and this is the only way that she can make herself feel something. Basically, she gives herself permission because she came back wrong. And this is the beginning of her using Spike (to feel something) and of him trying to bring her into the dark (to establish an emotional connection).
 

DeadlyDuo

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Buffy fears she's come back wrong and Spike's chip not working on her only "confirms" her fear. This then gives her "permission" to sleep with him.

My answer is basically the same as @r2dh2 :p

Buffy breaks down to Tara because Tara tells her she didn't come back wrong which essentially takes away the "permission". There is a sexually repressed vibe around Buffy in Season 6, she feels free when she's with Spike but then fells guilty and ashamed of what she's doing with him when she's around the scoobies.
 
r2dh2
r2dh2
Well, I guess that sometimes we can agree on something as long as we don't discuss Kennedy or Spuffy ;).
Ceadsearc03
Ceadsearc03
Agree with this interpretation.

DeadlyDuo

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Also, Xander's attitude to Spike in Season 6 makes no sense considering he was more tolerating of him in Season 5 BEFORE Spike spent the summer helping the scoobies out.
 
r2dh2
r2dh2
I don't understand this point in relationship with the original question. Can you explain?

thetopher

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But these episodes also show Buffy flustered when in close proximity to Spike, for instance, In All the Way, he proposes “a bit of the rough and tumble,” which she clearly misinterprets (he meant patrolling together). IMO, these reactions show that Buffy is feeling intensely attracted to Spike. Although, I believe that it is only physical attraction enhanced by his capacity of being a “trusted” confident of her secrets.
I agree to an extent. Buffy's feelings for Spike shift after 'After Life' when she comes to confide in him, is comfortable in his company the way she can't be with anybody else, and with that comes a certain physical attraction.

Also, Xander's attitude to Spike in Season 6 makes no sense considering he was more tolerating of him in Season 5 BEFORE Spike spent the summer helping the scoobies out.
Yeah, its kinda inconsistent. look at 'Intervention' when everyone thinks Buffy is sleeping with Spike; Xander is the calm non-judgmental one (when it comes to Buffy at least) but Tara is the one who says that Buffy is acting nuts.
Willow is the only one who's reaction in both seasons remains the same; shocked but also having a willingness to understand and not condemn Buffy's choice.
 
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Black Thorn
It's more exciting when it's dangerous...joking, kind of.
Sex has been linked to slaying many times and I think it gives her the same kind of thrill. Buffy also can't stand to be around the scoobies and his chip not working on Buffy makes her feel like her attraction to him is a part of her being wrong so she allows herself.

Yeah, its kinda inconsistent. look at 'Intervention' when everyone thinks Buffy is sleeping with Spike; Xander is the calm non-judgmental one (when it comes to Buffy at least) but Tara is the one who says that Buffy is acting nuts.
Willow is the only one who's reaction in both seasons remains the same; shocked but also having a willingness to understand and not condemn Buffy's choice.
I think that Tara's views would probably change because she has seen how well Spike has taken care of Dawn and has been fairly well behaved. The only explanation I have for Xander is that it was from stress after bringing Buffy back as well as arranging the wedding and just took it out on Spike, or he felt like Spike was attempting to take advantage of Buffy's situation so Xander was trying to keep him away. Both of those ideas are a bit of a reach but it's all I can come up with for how he treats Spike.
 

r2dh2

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Buffy breaks down to Tara because Tara tells her she didn't come back wrong which essentially takes away the "permission". There is a sexually repressed vibe around Buffy in Season 6, she feels free when she's with Spike but then fells guilty and ashamed of what she's doing with him when she's around the scoobies.
After our brief period of agreement, I realized that I didn't read the last paragraph of your comment.

Again, I interpret this scene in a different way. Tara doesn’t take away her permission, Tara actually validates her feelings for Spike, whatever those feelings might be:

TARA: Do you love him? I-It's okay if you do. He's done a lot of good, and, and he does love you. A-and Buffy, it's okay if you don't. You're going through a really hard time, and you're...
BUFFY: What? Using him? What's okay about that?
TARA: It's not that simple.

And actually, I see Buffy acting more relaxed in “Older and Far Away” and I think that she’s playing (or partially weighting) the idea of actually being in a “relationship” with Spike:

TARA: Of course, sweetie. So, how're you doing?
BUFFY: Oh, you know. Better. Mostly. Sometimes.
TARA: So, is, um... Spike coming?
BUFFY: No. He may be a chip-head, but ... he still doesn't play too well with others.
BUFFY: Besides, I'm definitely not ready to, to...
TARA: Come out.
BUFFY: Yeah. I'm all ... stay-inny.
 
M
MrsDupas
I've always interpreted the party as Buffy being extremely uncomfortable.

DeadlyDuo

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@r2dh2 What I mean by Tara taking away Buffy's "permission" is that Buffy justified what she was doing with Spike because she "came back wrong". However, when Tara tells her that she didn't come back wrong, then Buffy's justification for sleeping with Spike is gone and Buffy can't handle it. She's more relaxed in Older and Far Away because Tara knows her secret and isn't judging her because of it, she's lifted a little weight off of Buffy.

The point about Xander's attitude to Spike in Season 6 compared to Season 5 is that Buffy is terrified of the scoobies finding out about her and Spike and judging her harshly over it (on top of everything else she was dealing with in Season 6). Unfortunately, her fears were justified by Xander's reaction to Anya sleeping with Spike where he told her that she "disgusts" him and he also refers to Spike as a "thing". However, Xander never had that attitude towards Spike in Season 5. Despite Spike working alongside the scoobies all summer and being trusted to look after Dawn, Xander's attitude towards him gets worse for apparently no reason at all.
 

thrasherpix

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I see plenty of reason, however irrational, for Xander to lash out. He still loves Anya. He's flailing about blindly in rage and loathing (including of himself). Had Anya not been in the picture then I can see him reacting more like he did in season 5 toward Buffy & Spike. I'm not saying he was right to do so, but it makes sense to me that he would.

However, after the AR, Xander was justified in his loathing of Spike, and I'm in the minority who will defend him on that.


And far be it for me to bring up nonsensical season 7, but as all too many forget I'll add that Xander was the only one who supported Spike and Spuffy in season 7, even when he had the trigger...hell, he allowed him as a murder suspect to share his place with him an Anya!
 
one eyed chicklet
one eyed chicklet
Wait I never knew people had a problem with Xander in regards to his reaction to the AR...

r2dh2

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@r2dh2 What I mean by Tara taking away Buffy's "permission" is that Buffy justified what she was doing with Spike because she "came back wrong". However, when Tara tells her that she didn't come back wrong, then Buffy's justification for sleeping with Spike is gone and Buffy can't handle it. She's more relaxed in Older and Far Away because Tara knows her secret and isn't judging her because of it, she's lifted a little weight off of Buffy.
Yes, I know that Tara telling her that she didn’t come back wrong causes a lot of shame and confusion to Buffy. But I still think that Tara offers her something better (which is what her friends should have offered her had they known… and later we know that they wouldn't have given her by looking at Xander's reaction). Tara gives her non-judgmental validation and reassurance. She’s compassionate and understanding of Buffy’s relationship with Spike and of her confusion. I don’t think that Buffy is in love with Spike at this point, but Tara accepts whatever Buffy is feeling for him and accepts her relationship with him. Clearly, Buffy breaking down in front of Tara shows that she feels that it’s not enough to make herself feel better.

I still read “Older and far away” as an episode where Buffy toys with the idea of having something more with Spike by letting him stay in the party and by sneaking glances in his direction throughout most of the party, I'm also making an interpretation based on her demeanor towards Spike in that episode (it also helps that he looks good). Having Tara around also subconsciously help her.

@r2dh2
The point about Xander's attitude to Spike in Season 6 compared to Season 5 is that Buffy is terrified of the scoobies finding out about her and Spike and judging her harshly over it (on top of everything else she was dealing with in Season 6). Unfortunately, her fears were justified by Xander's reaction to Anya sleeping with Spike where he told her that she "disgusts" him and he also refers to Spike as a "thing". However, Xander never had that attitude towards Spike in Season 5. Despite Spike working alongside the scoobies all summer and being trusted to look after Dawn, Xander's attitude towards him gets worse for apparently no reason at all.
Yes, I also agree that Xander is extremely judgmental in S6 and, in Seeing Red, he actually recognizes that he was a jerk and that his attitude made things much more difficult for Buffy. But my question was how is this attitude related with the original question of the thread? Correct me if I’m wrong, but you’re trying to say is that Xander’s attitude at the beginning of S6 is another element makes Buffy sleep with Spike ONLY after his chip is not working? Meaning that even if she had romantic/lust feelings towards Spike she’d never act on them because of the shame that she’d feel? Am I interpreting right what you said?
 

white avenger

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I'm pretty sure that the term "sleep" is somewhat misleading when used to describe what Buffy and Spike did together in Season 6, but as to why their affair didn't start until after she discovered that he could, indeed, hurt her, I think that it had a lot to do with her emotional state at that time. She was depressed, borderline suicidal, and felt that her friends no longer really cared what happened to her. Spike ws the only one who pretty much said "Okay, Slayer, you had it bad, and it ain't getting any better at present. Tough. Now, get on with business. I may not be able to give you the warm and cuddlies, but I can damn sure ring your chimes loud enough to make you forget all the bad s**t for a little while."

In "Once More With Feeling," Buffy sang about wanting the fire back, and that "this isn't real, but I just want to feel." That's what she needed, and Spike was the only one available who could give it to her. Maybe that's not a really good reason to do what she did, but it was her excuse. And, who's to say? What she did with Spike in that crypt just might have actually saved her life.
 

thetopher

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Yes, I know that Tara telling her that she didn’t come back wrong causes a lot of shame and confusion to Buffy. But I still think that Tara offers her something better (which is what her friends should have offered her had they known… and later we know that they wouldn't have given her by looking at Xander's reaction). Tara gives her non-judgmental validation and reassurance. She’s compassionate and understanding of Buffy’s relationship with Spike and of her confusion.
I'm not sure Tara's reaction is the 'right' reaction either, even ifs not as harsh and judgemental as Xander's. We're talking about being in a relationship with an unrepentant murderer.
Okay so said murderer loves Buffy and can been made incapable of doing evil to an extent. So what? He's still that monster and it's still damaging for Buffy to be in a relationship with him.
And on the flip side Buffy is using a sentient being that she barely even likes half the time to simply make herself feel better. So that realization is hurting her as well. Buffy 'would never do this', and as she says to him 'I can't love you' as in she is incapable of loving Spike.
Using her was killing him so she ended it, respectfully enough, for both of them.

If Tara had done anything like enable Buffy and Spike relationship later on that would've been a terrible thing and ultimately counter-productive. Luckily in the next episode Tara acts as a gentle, unobtrusive support system for Buffy and strengthen her own resolve.

The reaction that rings true for me as the 'right' one was Riley; sympathy for Buffy, non-judgemental about her life choices, reassurance that she's a good person in a bad place right now and that she'll come out of it some how.
Meanwhile showing contempt for Spike for being an evil creep.
Sounds like the right balance.

I still read “Older and far away” as an episode where Buffy toys with the idea of having something more with Spike by letting him stay in the party and by sneaking glances in his direction throughout most of the party,
Wow, I don't this episode that way at all, quite the opposite in fact.
Remember that Buffy specifically invites Tara but Spike turns up uninvited. Tara is Buffy's secret ally and support system who is there to help Buffy and get in the way of Spike's rather crude advances.
I don't see any evidence of Buffy is thinking of 'embarking on a proper relationship' here and Spike's behavior this episode is a classic indicator of why; he's simply not capable of hanging out with Buffy and her friends in a domestic setting for any real length of time without upsetting Buffy.
 

HerrMister

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I'm not sure Tara's reaction is the 'right' reaction either, even ifs not as harsh and judgemental as Xander's. We're talking about being in a relationship with an unrepentant murderer.
Okay so said murderer loves Buffy and can been made incapable of doing evil to an extent. So what? He's still that monster and it's still damaging for Buffy to be in a relationship with him.
And on the flip side Buffy is using a sentient being that she barely even likes half the time to simply make herself feel better. So that realization is hurting her as well. Buffy 'would never do this', and as she says to him 'I can't love you' as in she is incapable of loving Spike.
Using her was killing him so she ended it, respectfully enough, for both of them.

If Tara had done anything like enable Buffy and Spike relationship later on that would've been a terrible thing and ultimately counter-productive. Luckily in the next episode Tara acts as a gentle, unobtrusive support system for Buffy and strengthen her own resolve.
I disagree. Tara sees her friend in pain and understands that Buffy is experiencing shame and confusion. Tara’s reaction tries to ease her pain in a moment where Buffy is clearly breaking down. Buffy is terribly confused, sad and still consumed by her depression. At this point, Buffy needed compassion and love from the people around her. Tara offers her that. You have a point, Spike is not the best partner for Buffy at this point. But she still needed the support she wasn’t getting from her friends/family. Had the relationship lasted longer, then possibly she would have needed somebody helping her to assess more objectively what she was doing, or as you call it in the USA, she might have needed an “intervention” from those who love her. But we only saw them together in two more episodes. Even Xander acknowledges that his attitude made Buffy more ashamed and withdrawn. Had they been more perceptive, then maybe Buffy wouldn’t have even started sleeping with Spike at all and would have sought professional to help to move pass her depression.
 

thetopher

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Tara’s reaction tries to ease her pain in a moment where Buffy is clearly breaking down. Buffy is terribly confused, sad and still consumed by her depression. At this point, Buffy needed compassion and love from the people around her. Tara offers her that.
But that's not all Tara offers. Tara also says 'its okay if you have feelings for him/are in love with him' which is going too far imo. All Tara needed to be here was a sounding board, but in the scene I actually think she overcompensates and tries to validate the idea of a relationship with a demon.

Whilst this is understandable in the moment (just like Xander's extreme reaction is understandable in the moment) it wouldn't have been in the long run, there's nothing nice about enabling a toxic relationship.

You have a point, Spike is not the best partner for Buffy at this point. But she still needed the support she wasn’t getting from her friends/family.
Well Buffy wasn't getting any support precisely because she was hiding it from her friends/family.
We see that when her friends/family do find out that two of the three of them (Willow and Dawn) are actually pretty supportive despite all the other drama going around (the whole messy Anya/Xander/Spike thing).

If Buffy had sat down with, let's say, just Willow, Xander and Tara in the Magic Box, and maybe explained what had happened (the events of Smashed, the aftermath and the subsequent things that happened) then I very much doubt Xander would've reacted in the way he did.
 

katmobile

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But that's not all Tara offers. Tara also says 'its okay if you have feelings for him/are in love with him' which is going too far imo. All Tara needed to be here was a sounding board, but in the scene I actually think she overcompensates and tries to validate the idea of a relationship with a demon.

Whilst this is understandable in the moment (just like Xander's extreme reaction is understandable in the moment) it wouldn't have been in the long run, there's nothing nice about enabling a toxic relationship.



Well Buffy wasn't getting any support precisely because she was hiding it from her friends/family.
We see that when her friends/family do find out that two of the three of them (Willow and Dawn) are actually pretty supportive despite all the other drama going around (the whole messy Anya/Xander/Spike thing).

If Buffy had sat down with, let's say, just Willow, Xander and Tara in the Magic Box, and maybe explained what had happened (the events of Smashed, the aftermath and the subsequent things that happened) then I very much doubt Xander would've reacted in the way he did.
Judging by Xander's reaction when he does find out and Willow using it as a stick to beat her with can you really blame her. Willow's reaction was due to her own issues - i.e. grieving for Tara and her having a point about Buffy's hypocrisy in telling her she had things to live for and morals to uphold when Buffy had been struggling to find a reason to to get out of bed in the morning and the one she found up to that point made her feel like shit but Xander's was NEVER going to be anything other than being a douche about it. Seriously you really think Xander's would be been anything other than WT literal F the only difference is that Anya would be adding insensitive comments and/or questions on top of it.
 

r2dh2

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But that's not all Tara offers. Tara also says 'its okay if you have feelings for him/are in love with him' which is going too far imo. All Tara needed to be here was a sounding board, but in the scene I actually think she overcompensates and tries to validate the idea of a relationship with a demon.

Whilst this is understandable in the moment (just like Xander's extreme reaction is understandable in the moment) it wouldn't have been in the long run, there's nothing nice about enabling a toxic relationship.
But we DO NOT know if she enabling it as such because in the moment that Buffy confessed, she couldn't bear what she was feeling, she was feeling extremely broken in that moment, Tara was supporting her in that moment. It wasn't the time nor the place to add more shame and guilt. @HerrMister already said it, we don't know what would have happened, Buffy ends the relationship shortly afterwards.

Well Buffy wasn't getting any support precisely because she was hiding it from her friends/family.
We see that when her friends/family do find out that two of the three of them (Willow and Dawn) are actually pretty supportive despite all the other drama going around (the whole messy Anya/Xander/Spike thing).

If Buffy had sat down with, let's say, just Willow, Xander and Tara in the Magic Box, and maybe explained what had happened (the events of Smashed, the aftermath and the subsequent things that happened) then I very much doubt Xander would've reacted in the way he did.
It has already been said before and extensively discussed in other threads. People around Buffy never actually showed too much interest in understanding what she was feeling (they also felt lost about how to treat her and were walking on eggshells around her). They do discuss it among them a couple of times when Buffy is not around but that's it. Besides that, they are also wrapped in there own problems to notice more: addiction (Tara/Willow), wedding planning/cold feet (Xander/Anya), leaving to England (Giles), feeling neglected (Dawn). We do see Buffy trying to bring up the topic at least once with Willow but she is unavailable figuratively speaking.

I also understand that Buffy is feeling a lot of shame (with the Spike thing) and a lot of pain (with her depression) and her friends, especially Xander, are extremely vocal and judgmental of Spike (we've already established this point). Talking about this situation is not easy and it's made worse by the attitude that she sees in them. Heck, even Xander apologizes to Buffy in Seeing Red about being such a jerk and understands that his attitude didn't help Buffy coming clean. You can watch the episode, it's the last scene before she's shot.

I sympathize with Buffy, she doesn't understand what she's going through AND she's ashamed to the point she doesn't find an easy way to bring it up. And still believe that Tara's response is appropriate in the moment, she shows compassion and understanding, this is Psych 101 btw when dealing with depression and shame. Later on, more calmly, she could have brought up the topic to discuss it in a more objective way, but the relationship doesn't last longer. Had they been together longer, then I'd be inclined to agree with you that it's all Buffy's fault and Tara is enabling her.

I'm pretty sure that the term "sleep" is somewhat misleading when used to describe what Buffy and Spike did together in Season 6, but as to why their affair didn't start until after she discovered that he could, indeed, hurt her, I think that it had a lot to do with her emotional state at that time. She was depressed, borderline suicidal, and felt that her friends no longer really cared what happened to her. Spike ws the only one who pretty much said "Okay, Slayer, you had it bad, and it ain't getting any better at present. Tough. Now, get on with business. I may not be able to give you the warm and cuddlies, but I can damn sure ring your chimes loud enough to make you forget all the bad s**t for a little while."

In "Once More With Feeling," Buffy sang about wanting the fire back, and that "this isn't real, but I just want to feel." That's what she needed, and Spike was the only one available who could give it to her. Maybe that's not a really good reason to do what she did, but it was her excuse. And, who's to say? What she did with Spike in that crypt just might have actually saved her life.
This! Another way to express the point I've been trying to make.
 
Last edited:

thetopher

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Judging by Xander's reaction when he does find out and Willow using it as a stick to beat her with can you really blame her.
Willow was on a murder rampage, so...maybe not in her right mind?

But when Willow initially finds out- when Tara tells her- she clearly is wrestling with the fact and trying to understand why Buffy would do such a thing. She is not being horrible or judgemental or anything like that.

Xander's was NEVER going to be anything other than being a douche about it. Seriously you really think Xander's would be been anything other than WT literal F
But he does. Xander actually does come to accept that Buffy and Spike had a thing by the end of Seeing Red. He found out about it at the worst possible moment- his own personal life had just imploded minutes earlier - and still he gets over it in about an episode.

So if he'd found out about it at another, better time from Buffy herself? Yes I think he would've had a better reaction.

But we DO NOT know if she enabling it as such because in the moment that Buffy confessed, she couldn't bear what she was feeling, she was feeling extremely broken in that moment, Tara was supporting her in that moment. It wasn't the time nor the place to add more shame and guilt.
Well I basically agree. Tara was telling Buffy what Tara thought she wanted to hear in the moment, and I think it came from a place of love and support, but personally it was a bit too far the other way,
I've already explained why but I don't exactly condemn her. Tara's reaction is generally more helpful to Buffy than Xander's initial and very negative one.

People around Buffy never actually showed too much interest in understanding what she was feeling (they also felt lost about how to treat her and were walking on eggshells around her).
It's hard to help somebody who is suffering from depression, especially considering that Buffy has voiced to others that its hard being around everyone, pretending all the time.

So what are her friends supposed to do? If they hang around then Buffy feels exhausted from 'pretending' or merely having to feel like she has to pretend. If they give her space/deal with their own crap then they're being neglectful friends.

With Buffy's relationship with Spike there wouldn't be the same problem, there are many constructive things her friends can do to help Buffy through and out of the toxic relationship.
But I still maintain its hard to help somebody if they keep their problems a secret from you.

I also understand that Buffy is feeling a lot of shame (with the Spike thing) and a lot of pain (with her depression) and her friends, especially Xander, are extremely vocal and judgmental of Spike (we've already established this point). Talking about this situation is not easy and it's made worse by the attitude that she sees in them. Heck, even Xander apologizes to Buffy in Seeing Red about being such a jerk and understands that his attitude didn't help Buffy coming clean.
Can you show me where Dawn and Willow are extremely judgemental towards Buffy? Because I'm drawing a blank.

Xander finds out at the worst possible moment in the worse possible way (Spike throwing it in his face after sleeping with Anya) so he has a bad reaction. But as you yourself point out he gets over it.


As for Buffy battling depression with lots of 'O''s, Buffy probably would've been better going out and doing a little shopping for some 'electronic assistance' rather than using Spike. Would've been healthier for sure.
 
NeddaSai
NeddaSai
Agree about Xander. "No one is judging you. It's understandable. Spike is strong and mysterious and sorta compact but well-muscled.."

r2dh2

Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain
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Willow was on a murder rampage, so...maybe not in her right mind?
But when Willow initially finds out- when Tara tells her- she clearly is wrestling with the fact and trying to understand why Buffy would do such a thing. She is not being horrible or judgemental or anything like that.
Willow finds out once she's in a better place emotionally speaking. But the Willow that Buffy tried to talk to wasn't available, again figuratively speaking. Besides, we saw what happened in Intervention when they thought that Buffy was sleeping with Spike. They were clearly against it. Buffy knows it. If I were Buffy, I'd be hesitant as well, it's a mistake, she knows it, therefore bringing it up is incredibly difficult.

But he does. Xander actually does come to accept that Buffy and Spike had a thing by the end of Seeing Red. He found out about it at the worst possible moment- his own personal life had just imploded minutes earlier - and still he gets over it in about an episode.
So if he'd found out about it at another, better time from Buffy herself? Yes I think he would've had a better reaction.
It's easy to rationalize ex-post, once we've seen his reaction. Ex-ante, all Buffy hears if how terrible Spike is and how shameful would be for somebody to have anything to do with him (i.e. Gone, one of the first scenes in the kitchen).

It's hard to help somebody who is suffering from depression, especially considering that Buffy has voiced to others that its hard being around everyone, pretending all the time.
So what are her friends supposed to do? If they hang around then Buffy feels exhausted from 'pretending' or merely having to feel like she has to pretend. If they give her space/deal with their own crap then they're being neglectful friends.
With Buffy's relationship with Spike there wouldn't be the same problem, there are many constructive things her friends can do to help Buffy through and out of the toxic relationship.
But I still maintain its hard to help somebody if they keep their problems a secret from you.
OMWF:

BUFFY:
There was no pain
No fear, no doubt

Till they pulled me out
Of Heaven.

[looks back at the others. Giles and Xander looking surprised]
So that's my refrain.

[Willow looking horrified]
I live in Hell

[Xander looking horrified]
'Cause I've been expelled
From Heaven
I think I was in Heaven

[Willow looking horrified]
So give me something to sing about.
Please
Give me something...


Tabula Rasa:

ANYA: Do you think she ... walked around on clouds, wearing like ... Birkenstocks and played a harp? 'Cause those are just not flattering. You know, the clonky sandals, not a harp. (softly) I mean, who ... doesn't look good with a harp?
ANYA: What? I'm just saying what everyone's thinking, right baby?
XANDER: You are attractive and have many good qualities.
TARA: It's totally not stupid to wonder what it was like for Buffy. But it could have been any one of a zillion heavenly dimensions. All we know is that ... it was a good place and she was happy there.
WILLOW: And we took her away from that. We wrecked it for her.
XANDER: We didn't wreck. We didn't know.
WILLOW: We didn't wanna know. We were so selfish. *I* was so selfish.
XANDER: Maybe we were. I just feel weird feeling bad that my friend's not dead. It's ... too mind-boggling. So I've decided to simplify the whole thing. Me like Buffy. Buffy's alive, so, me glad.
TARA: Not to be Miss Psycho Pep Squad, but we have *got* to stop obsessing about what we did and start trying to make things better for Buffy.
ANYA: I'm with Miss Psycho Pep Squad.
XANDER: Ah, we need to spend more time with her, just hang out. Maybe have ... weekly dinners over here, or, uh ... a book club. Short books. Videos.
WILLOW: I can fix it. I know a spell.

GILES: You have to be strong. I'm, I'm trying to-
BUFFY: Trying to, to what?Desert me? Abandon me? Leave me all alone when I really need somebody?
GILES: I don't want to leave-
BUFFY: So don't. Please don't.
BUFFY: I can't do this without you.
GILES: You can. That's why I'm going. As long as I stay you'll always turn to me if there's something comes up that you feel that you can't handle, and I'll step in because, because ... Because I can't bear to see you suffer.
BUFFY: Me too. Hate suffering. Had about as much of it as I can take.
GILES: Believe me, I'm loathe to cause you more, but this...
GILES: I've taught you all I can about being a slayer, and your mother taught you what you needed to know about life. You ... you're not gonna trust that until you're forced to stand alone.
BUFFY: But why now? Now that you know where I've been, what I'm going through?

Not sure, but this sounds pretty much that she's confessing that she's living in constant Hell.

It also sounds to me that they understand that she's going through a horrible period. Xander wants to sweep it under the carpet, Giles decides to leave, Willow wants to use magic to make her forget, only Tara proposes a more realistic solution: "let's try to find a way to help her out." But it doesn't goes beyond that. And Dawn is acting like a child that needs attention, oblivious to whatever her sister might be going through (we saw it in Older and far away and once again in Grave when she tells Buffy that she knows that she was happier being dead than being with her). And by the way, she did ask for help to his fatherly figure and she got a no as a response. Giles later on regrets leaving her.

Can you show me where Dawn and Willow are extremely judgemental towards Buffy? Because I'm drawing a blank.
Xander finds out at the worst possible moment in the worse possible way (Spike throwing it in his face after sleeping with Anya) so he has a bad reaction. But as you yourself point out he gets over it.
They never contradicted Xander. What's Buffy supposed to think? That their silence means that they do not agree with Xander's assessment of Spike every time he talks (and insults) about him? And see above, ex-post reaction vs. ex-ante expectation of a reaction.

As for Buffy battling depression with lots of 'O''s, Buffy probably would've been better going out and doing a little shopping for some 'electronic assistance' rather than using Spike. Would've been healthier for sure.
Sure. But human beings are complicated and decisions aren't entirely rational if you are *really* going through depression. It's like saying: "It's better to get up every morning and push through the day than stay in bed going crazy with your thoughts." For a person with depression, crawling out of bed might feel like an impossible task, sometimes it's simply impossible to function. It's always easier to judge from outside about what she *could* have done.
 
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