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Defending Spike's Actions in Seeing Red

Wezza Wozza

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DISCLAIMER: I AM IN NO WAY DEFENDING THE ACT OF SEXUAL ASSAULT, I AM SIMPLY GIVING ANOTHER SIDE TO THE CONTROVERSIAL SCENE.

When I first saw Seeing Red, specifically the bathroom scene, I was hit very heavily by what we were given as viewers. I did not know what to think about Spike anymore. I have always been of the opinion that the viewers are naïve in thinking that Spike is incapable of doing such a horrific act. This is because Spike is a soulless vampire and even though he has shown acts of compassion and love, as supported by the Judge's opinion of Spike in season 2 of Buffy, it is not out of the realm of possibility that he would be fine with doing something like this.

With all that said, I do not believe that what Spike did, he did it because he wanted to harm Buffy. This is where the defence of Spike enters. Throughout season 6 (season 6 is my least favourite season from any Whedon show) Buffy and Spike have a very destructive sexual relationship. Both Buffy and Spike initiate sex by hitting one another (as equals) So I have always wondered if Spike thought that Buffy resisting him in the bathroom was the same situation as before when one of them would attack the other and thereby initiating the sex. These others occurrences were abusive but nonetheless were consensual.

When Buffy kicks Spike off of her, Spike looks absolutely devastated straight away. He now realises that this is not like those other times, he has truly hurt Buffy but did not realise what impact his actions had beforehand which supports my opinion that he did not go there with the intention of assaulting her.

This is where I may get some hate but I think that I should still share my thoughts on this anyway. Even though in the bathroom scene, Spike is clearly more of the abuser, throughout the season I believe that Buffy is more of the abuser than Spike. For example, each time her and Spike have sex, she says things like "get off me you disgusting...." or "Your just a monster" and "You are nothing" and even though we as the viewer can see that Spike isn't offended by these comments, throughout the season, we see him questioning his role of whether he is a "man or a monster" and Buffy's comments could be influencing him to think that he is a monster and therefore needs to act like one as Spike has been shown to try and impress people and act in a way in which they want him to be. (Drusilla loves the dominating personality of Spike so he acts that way but when he is around Joyce, he is much more vulnerable as Joyce does not put him up to these standards.)

Would I remove this scene if I were Joss? No, I think that even though this scene is heart breaking to watch, without it, Spike would not get a soul and as a result, not get the character arc that he needed, in my opinion.

Many of the Buffy cast however, have stated that this scene feels very out of place but I do not agree with this statement. It is much more extreme than anything we have seen before from Spike, but the build up I think is there and hopefully I have explained to you why I think that is.

My final thoughts is that this was a very abusive relationship, on both sides. I absolutely do not agree or support Spike's horrific actions but I have hopefully tried to give a viewpoint on why he did this and the rational and moral side of his thoughts and another way it could be interpreted.
 

Spanky

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this was a very abusive relationship,
I wouldn't even go that far. It just seemed physical and both were expressing themselves physically. The Willow and Tara relationship I could see being considered abusive because of the predatory actions of Willow, but Spike and Buffy both seemed willing and accepting when they were a couple.
 

Wezza Wozza

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I wouldn't even go that far. It just seemed physical and both were expressing themselves physically. The Willow and Tara relationship I could see being considered abusive because of the predatory actions of Willow, but Spike and Buffy both seemed willing and accepting when they were a couple.
I know that Willow and Tara's relationship wasn't the most healthy but the reason I am completely accepting of that is because Tara learns what Willow has done, helps her and because Tara is pure of heart, forgives Willow and loves her all the same. Buffy, on the other hand, acts extremely hypocritical and accuses Spike of everything that happened in their relationship while never reflecting on her own actions.
 

Faded90

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I know that Willow and Tara's relationship wasn't the most healthy but the reason I am completely accepting of that is because Tara learns what Willow has done, helps her and because Tara is pure of heart, forgives Willow and loves her all the same. Buffy, on the other hand, acts extremely hypocritical and accuses Spike of everything that happened in their relationship while never reflecting on her own actions.
Seriously? Buffy blames herself for their entire relationship to the point of absolute nausea in S7. We have an entire episode of her reflecting on it describing herself as acting like a ‘monster’. Honestly I agree with @Spanky that their sexual relationship itself I just kind of shrug at. It was a consensual sexual relationship, Buffy was actually clear it was only ever going to be about sex and wouldn’t progress. Were they awful and toxic to each other? Sure absolutely but honestly they were both painfully clear with each other about what it was. It’s a very honestly toxic relationship. I hate Spuffy in general but at least the show acknowledges what it was. It’s no excuse whatsoever for the AR either, Spike says ‘I’m going to MAKE you feel it’, he was well aware it wasn’t actually what she wanted and even acknowledge she was saying no. He in the moment just didn’t care. He reflects on it that it was wrong sure but in the moment he was very much going to have sex with her whether she wanted it or not hence the ‘making’ her feel it.

Also Tara doesn’t ‘help’ Willow. She quite rightly stays the f*** away from her abusive ex girlfriend. She very much distances herself from her- as she should. It’s only in Entropy when she says f*** it and they get back together. Even them Getting back together she acknowledges that she wants to skip building the trust etc which is toxic in itself and Tara regressing a bit in her self esteem. What you’re describing isn’t being ‘pure of heart’, it’s having little self esteem and little self respect - although in fairness to Tara that’s not actually what she does until Entropy

Buffy actually shows a LOT more contrition about her actions re Spike than Willow ever does re Tara
 

Wezza Wozza

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Seriously? Buffy blames herself for their entire relationship to the point of absolute nausea in S7. We have an entire episode of her reflecting on it describing herself as acting like a ‘monster’. Honestly I agree with @Spanky that their sexual relationship itself I just kind of shrug at. It was a consensual sexual relationship, Buffy was actually clear it was only ever going to be about sex and wouldn’t progress. Were they awful and toxic to each other? Sure absolutely but honestly they were both painfully clear with each other about what it was. It’s a very honestly toxic relationship. I hate Spuffy in general but at least the show acknowledges what it was. It’s no excuse whatsoever for the AR either, Spike says ‘I’m going to MAKE you feel it’, he was well aware it wasn’t actually what she wanted and even acknowledge she was saying no. He in the moment just didn’t care. He reflects on it that it was wrong sure but in the moment he was very much going to have sex with her whether she wanted it or not hence the ‘making’ her feel it.

Also Tara doesn’t ‘help’ Willow. She quite rightly stays the f*** away from her abusive ex girlfriend. She very much distances herself from her- as she should. It’s only in Entropy when she says f*** it and they get back together. Even them Getting back together she acknowledges that she wants to skip building the trust etc which is toxic in itself and Tara regressing a bit in her self esteem

Buffy actually shows a LOT more contrition about her actions re Spike than Willow ever does re Tara
Tara keeping her distance from Willow is helping her. Willow gains an addiction to magic because of the power that she gets from it. Tara is also a key part in Willow's life so Tara keeping her distance helps Willow to realise the consequences of her actions.
 

AstridDante

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I don’t think I would compare their previous rough and tumble passionate encounters to the events in Seeing Red to state that Spike may have been confused. I mean the only encounter on screen where there actually ‘beat each other’ before sex was Smashed and once the sex started it became quite different passionate, tender even. I really think Spike was just out of his mind desperate to make a connection with her the only way they had up to that point, through sex. He was going to force her in the hopes she would remember what they had. Yes Buffy was abusive and used him but she was also vulnerable and not making great choices and Spike seized that opportunity to have her. Then again he is soulless so cannot expect him to do the honourable thing, he is going to do what feels good in the moment. Buffy is depressed being with Spike made her feels when nothing else good. It was a toxic but compelling dynamic
 

Wezza Wozza

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I don’t think I would compare their previous rough and tumble passionate encounters to the events in Seeing Red to state that Spike may have been confused. I mean the only encounter on screen where there actually ‘beat each other’ before sex was Smashed and once the sex started it became quite different passionate, tender even. I really think Spike was just out of his mind desperate to make a connection with her the only way they had up to that point, through sex. He was going to force her in the hopes she would remember what they had. Yes Buffy was abusive and used him but she was also vulnerable and not making great choices and Spike seized that opportunity to have her. Then again he is soulless so cannot expect him to do the honourable thing, he is going to do what feels good in the moment. Buffy is depressed being with Spike made her feels when nothing else good. It was a toxic but compelling dynamic
I do agree but I do have some problems with Buffy still. Even after she admits that being with Spike is wrong, she still goes back to Spike which makes it majorally hypocritical. I also find problems with the episode where Buffy turns invisible and goes to Spike's crypt, pins him up against the wall, undresses him and su**s his "private areas" I think the reason people do not see Buffy's abusive actions is because they were not as aggressive or intense but she still does them. I also refer back to the episode where Spike says that he does not want sex and she pulls out a steak, puts it to his chest, threatening to kill him if he does not be with her.
 

Spanky

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pins him up against the wall, undresses him and su**s his "private areas" I think the reason people do not see Buffy's abusive actions is because they were not as aggressive
I thought they were very aggressive. In fact, as best I can recall, wasn't Spike worried about what was happening until he realized it was Buffy. Some invisible force throws you against the wall I would call it aggressive. But again, they like aggressive love-making so it's all good, but it's still sexual aggression.
 
AstridDante
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Exactly they were both aggressive and enjoyed rough and tumble as demonstrated at beginning of DT. Very different from Seeing Red

Wezza Wozza

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I thought they were very aggressive. In fact, as best I can recall, wasn't Spike worried about what was happening until he realized it was Buffy. Some invisible force throws you against the wall I would call it aggressive. But again, they like aggressive love-making so it's all good, but it's still sexual aggression.
It doesn't matter if you like aggressive love making, if you do not say ok to it or do not know who is doing it, it is still assault. That is just like saying, this person loves me so I will drug them and make love to them and they love me so it is ok. It is not ok, Buffy clearly is assaulting Spike here.
 

Spanky

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It doesn't matter if you like aggressive love making, if you do not say ok to it or do not know who is doing it, it is still assault.
But he did say okay. Once he realized who it was it was good. She assaulted him initially but that was for the thrill of it, not to cause pain or for any malicious intent.
 

Wezza Wozza

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But he did say okay. Once he realized who it was it was good. She assaulted him initially but that was for the thrill of it, not to cause pain or for any malicious intent.
That is my point, I do not believe Spike did it with any intention of being malicious or abusive, so would you say his act in the scene is still considered assault?
 

AstridDante

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I do agree but I do have some problems with Buffy still. Even after she admits that being with Spike is wrong, she still goes back to Spike which makes it majorally hypocritical. I also find problems with the episode where Buffy turns invisible and goes to Spike's crypt, pins him up against the wall, undresses him and su**s his "private areas" I think the reason people do not see Buffy's abusive actions is because they were not as aggressive or intense but she still does them. I also refer back to the episode where Spike says that he does not want sex and she pulls out a steak, puts it to his chest, threatening to kill him if he does not be with her.
Buffy was out of line in Gone, I agree but I liken this more to Dead Things (balcony scene) where Spike continues past her ‘don’t’. They were both sexually aggressive. SR is a whole other wheelhouse. I don’t recall any scene with her ‘threatening him with a stake’ to have sex. The only thing with a stake and sex that I recall is with the Buffybot
 

Spanky

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That is my point, I do not believe Spike did it with any intention of being malicious or abusive, so would you say his act in the scene is still considered assault?
Yes.
First: the length of time involved was much longer than the time Spike gave his consent.
Second, and perhaps the biggest thing, in my opinion, that made it an assault: they were no longer a couple. They had broken up and the relationship was over.
 

Wezza Wozza

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Buffy was out of line in Gone, I agree but I liken this more to Dead Things (balcony scene) where Spike continues past her ‘don’t’. They were both sexually aggressive. SR is a whole other wheelhouse. I don’t recall any scene with her ‘threatening him with a stake’ to have sex. The only thing with a stake and sex that I recall is with the Buffybot
Yes.
First: the length of time involved was much longer than the time Spike gave his consent.
Second, and perhaps the biggest thing, in my opinion, that made it an assault: they were no longer a couple. They had broken up and the relationship was over.
But that is just like saying someone can be sexually aggressive to their partner just because they are in a relationship. The point I am trying to make is that it doesn't matter who is doing the act, the act itself is assault so whether Buffy or Spike is doing it, it is assault.
 

AstridDante

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It doesn't matter if you like aggressive love making, if you do not say ok to it or do not know who is doing it, it is still assault. That is just like saying, this person loves me so I will drug them and make love to them and they love me so it is ok. It is not ok, Buffy clearly is assaulting Spike here.
Well then Spike is assaulting Buffy in Dead Things when he continues past her don’t. Also at start of Wrecked when he touches her under her skirt despite her pushing his hand away and saying stop.
 

Wezza Wozza

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Well then Spike is assaulting Buffy in Dead Things when he continues past her don’t. Also at start of Wrecked when he touches her under her skirt despite her pushing his hand away and saying stop.
That's the point I am trying to make. I am well aware that Spike is abusive physically but there is no denying that Buffy is also when she is physically abusive. The thing i dislike is when people hate on Spike, which is well deserved, but they do not look at the actions of the other person, in this case, Buffy.
 

Wezza Wozza

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That's what I am trying to say. Spike and Buffy instigated sex through aggressive contact so Spike in the bathroom scene may have thought that Buffy being aggressive, trying to push him off, was the same as those other occasions when she was pushing and hitting him.
 

AstridDante

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That's what I am trying to say. Spike and Buffy instigated sex through aggressive contact so Spike in the bathroom scene may have thought that Buffy being aggressive, trying to push him off, was the same as those other occasions when she was pushing and hitting him.
It is not the same as those other occasions at all. Spike knew she wasn’t consenting. She was hurt, crying begging him to stop, they had been split up for weeks and she had been consistent about not sleeping with him. Spike was just past the point of being rationale and was going to force her to feel the ‘love’
 

Wezza Wozza

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It is not the same as those other occasions at all. Spike knew she wasn’t consenting. She was hurt, crying begging him to stop, they had been split up for weeks and she had been consistent about not sleeping with him. Spike was just past the point of being rationale and was going to force her to feel the ‘love’
So how did Buffy know Spike was consenting when she was invisible, Spike did not know it was her there, and she pinned him up aggressively against the wall and undressed him?
 
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