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Why do people try to retcon Buffy's love confession to Spike

katmobile

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I don't think it's a retcon of Buffy loving Spike. I think it's an interpretation.

Kind of like how some viewers interpret Buffy and Angel's love as a puppy love therefore it does not equal real love. Well that goes against what Joss has to say about Bangel because he in fact says they were the Romeo and Juliet love- which in the end is still love.

Maybe Buffy did love Spike, maybe she didn't. It really comes down to how you interpret it, even if how you interpret it maybe was not the intent of the author.

I interpret Buffy's "I love you" to Spike in basically the same way Spike does - no she doesn't but that was a nice thing to say to someone who is sacrificing their life to save the world. I do believe on some level Buffy cared about Spike. Do I think she was in love with him? No. I think what Buffy told Angel was true. "I feel for him." Because she did, but those feelings were complicated due to a multitude of reasons including Spike being soulless during their sexual relationship, Buffy being extremely depressed during their sexual relationship, Spike just now getting his soul back, Buffy having to fight yet another apocalypse, and Buffy still having Angel in her heart. Spuffy's complexity is what makes them interesting even to this Bangel right here. I like that what they have is complex and ambigious. I like that it isn't a love of the ages because not all relationships are that. Some relationships are just something you needed in the moment. While I find Spuffy unhealthy and toxic on many levels, I also find them incredibly rich to view because it speaks to how so many people end up in relationships that are bad for them but yet somehow they are still getting something they need from that relationship. Spike is getting recognition and Buffy is getting an escape from feeling so hollow since she came back from the dead. But not once do I ever view what they have as love- on either end no matter how many times Spike may say it. I seem to have went off on a tangent so I'll just end it here.
I don't think it's as simplistic as viewing Bangel as either puppy love and OTP. It was first love - first serious love and they have a soul connection, a lasting connection but that doesn't mean that they are the great star crossed lovers destined to be together IMO. First real loves are not insignificant but they don't generally last. I don't buy the narrative you only ever love one person and that's it I think she loves both Spike and Angel in different ways but equally. As she points out it's not as if Bangel was always healthy either - 'what was our highlight 'when you left me or when I killed you?'.
 

BuffyBot22

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Interesting and thoughtful response. I agree and I agree my original post is not quite accurate people aren’t retconning anything it is an interpretation. Also I think Buffy’s feelings are definitely up for interpretation depending on the view one takes of the Spuffy relationship. However I thought most people concede that Spike was in love with Buffy so I am surprised that you don’t think it was love on either end

I do not think Spike was in love with her. I think he was obsessed with her. And IMO obsession can never be love, not in its truest sense.
Spike has been obsessed with Buffy since day 1- the obsession just changes. First he is obsessed with killing her, then he is obsessed with making her love him and then he is obsessed with sleeping with her.

By the end of s7, he may actually love her. But I am not sold on that because at this time he is recently ensoulled and having to cope with what it means to have a soul and deal with all the horrid he things he did while soulless including horrible things he did to Buffy.

I don't think it's as simplistic as viewing Bangel as either puppy love and OTP. It was first love - first serious love and they have a soul connection, a lasting connection but that doesn't mean that they are the great star crossed lovers destined to be together IMO. First real loves are not insignificant but they don't generally last. I don't buy the narrative you only ever love one person and that's it I think she loves both Spike and Angel in different ways but equally. As she points out it's not as if Bangel was always healthy either - 'what was our highlight 'when you left me or when I killed you?'.

I'm not saying that is your view on Angel. But, I have seen where people call it puppy love and try to discredit their love based on that. Or discredit it based on it being a first love. I personally know people in successful relationships with their first love- it may not be the norm, but it does happen.
I'm not saying you only ever love just one person. I think you can fall in love more than once- each love will be different but you can love more than one person in your life time. Buffy can too, I just didn't see it on screen. Riley was safe rebound guy and even Riley recognizes she will never love him. Spike is an escape from her depression and something she is using to sabotage herself because she hates herself- that's not love. Again, my interpretation, yours is different and that's the beauty of complex writing.
 
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Miss Muffet

"Can I trade in the children for more cash?"
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Spike also said to Buffy "No you don't, but thanks for saying it".

It would make sense for Buffy to have feelings for Spike and tell him the words he's so long wanted to hear as he is dying, and it's a great end to Spike's arc for him to acknowledge and accept that Buffy doesn't love him, especially given his obsession for her in Season 5 and 6 when he would've loved to hear her say those words.
I think the "No, you don't..." is probably the biggest reason people say Buffy didn't love him in that way. Even as a die-hard Bangel fan, I acknowledge the fact Buffy has strong feelings for Spike, but the fact that *he* is the one to say she doesn't love him should count for something.
 

katmobile

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I think the "No, you don't..." is probably the biggest reason people say Buffy didn't love him in that way. Even as a die-hard Bangel fan, I acknowledge the fact Buffy has strong feelings for Spike, but the fact that *he* is the one to say she doesn't love him should count for something.
People can be wrong even if it's not in their interests to be. Also even a Bangel....you're not telling me that doesn't give you bias or a reason to believe she couldn't love anyone but your hero.
 
Antho
Antho
Do you know the same thing can be say on you ? 🧐

Miss Muffet

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People can be wrong even if it's not in their interests to be. Also even a Bangel....you're not telling me that doesn't give you bias or a reason to believe she couldn't love anyone but your hero.
I probably am a bit biased, but I'm not going to deny Buffy loved Spike. I feel like the question is more to what extent she loves him.
 

katmobile

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Antho - nope she loved Angel it's just a question of to what extent and if it's an OTP - that's the debatable point.
 

Antho

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Antho - nope she loved Angel it's just a question of to what extent and if it's an OTP - that's the debatable point.
But you are still biaised by the fact that you are Spuffy fan. That’s what you said to missMuffet, that she has bias as a Bangel fan. That’s something we can return, if it’s true for her it’s also true for you
 
thetopher
thetopher
Bingo. Loves to throw the 'you're so bias' around when they're just as bad/actually worse.
K
katmobile
And you of course thetopher never let your Faith bias ever judge things unfairly and give her passes no one else gets or fail to see her bad behaviour that parallels other characters you tear into - get outta here!!!

katmobile

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But you are still biaised by the fact that you are Spuffy fan. That’s what you said to missMuffet, that she has bias as a Bangel fan. That’s something we can return, if it’s true for her it’s also true for you
Everyone has bias but I'm prepared to own it
 

katmobile

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thetother - and you're not a patronising bar steward in the slightest are you?
 

Spanky

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Black Thorn
no matter if they are biased towards one ship or another.
h98026.jpg
 

katmobile

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That is enough, this isn't the Spuffy section remember, so everyone is allowed their opinion, no matter if they are biased towards one ship or another.
But they're not entitled to be rude or patronising about it.
 

katmobile

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And neither are you, which is exactly what you are doing with this post
Which post? The one were I point out people's biases which everyone has I just wish people would own that or the one where I respond to thetopher being snide and patting me on the head - because I'm just saying it as it as far I'm concerned. If you want to take issue with me, you need to take issue with them too because otherwise that kinda feels arbitary and what's worse from your POV it ain't the only one who it's gonna look like that to.
 

nightshade

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I'm taking issue with you, because you are the one constantly posting about what the mods have said. We give warnings and you are the one arguing with that. Listen to us, and what we say, we don't have to individually mention each person or post, it applies to everyone.
 

katmobile

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I'm taking issue with you, because you are the one constantly posting about what the mods have said. We give warnings and you are the one arguing with that. Listen to us, and what we say, we don't have to individually mention each person or post, it applies to everyone.
Ok
 
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Buffy and Spike's relationship is a major subplot in Season 7. The show invests a lot of time and care into building what's happening between them. IMO it just doesn't make sense narratively for that arc to end in a platonic or pity declaration from a storytelling perspective. We have a prescient character alluding to this moment 18 episodes before it happens and those episodes in between show us how Buffy gets there. Even if she doesn't until literally the last second, she has to arrive in order to complete that story because that's how storytelling works. Cassie says to Spike "someday she'll tell you" and it's clear that that something is going to be "I love you" because a significant part of Spike's story the last few seasons has been about loving Buffy and wanting/demanding/expecting/needing/hoping that love will be met, and it's explicitly romantic love, not platonic. That moment with Cassie doesn't matter or mean anything to that story if he doesn't finally receive what he has been aching for regardless of whether or not he can ultimately accept it. Having that moment be "I love you like a friend" or "thanks for sacrificing yourself, here's a cookie" is just... I mean... that's not what the story has been building toward. It's just not. And it doesn't really fit in a series that regularly leans in hard to the epic and the tragic and the painful (especially in a finale episode, let alone a series finale episode) - I mean you could maybe tell a story like that with Spike when he was the comedic punching bag, but he hasn't been that in a long time. We now have a Spike who endures trials and torture to win back his soul so he will be loved only for him to realize because of the soul that he doesn't deserve to be who then finally receives that love only he can't accept it because of the very thing he needed to get it... That's an arc fit for a JW finale IMO.

As for Buffy, there's a whole scene in S5 with Giles where Buffy talks about how hard it is for her to say those words which indicate pretty strongly to me that when she does say them we're meant to take it as the truth and we're meant to understand the depth of that truth. Like for real, I can't stand Riley but I absolutely believe she loved him even though I honestly can't remember how or when she says it, I just believe it because she says it at all. I don't think that's necessarily true for every character ever created by the way, but I believe it for Buffy. I believe it for Spike too. It's a part of who they are and is another example of the mirroring that happens between them constantly from the very first episode Spike appears in, and that mirroring happens twice at the end of Chosen - first with Spike's denial and then with his sacrifice. "No, you don't" is what Buffy says to him in Dead Things when he says he loves her and in both instances, one of them can't accept the truth from the other because of themselves not because what the other party is saying isn't true.
 
TriBel
TriBel
Nice post! Thank you.
K
katmobile
Seconded.
B
Btvs fan
Nice post but for argument sake it does ignore Angel S5 where Spike is back and doesn't go back to Buffy
Stake fodder
Stake fodder
"thanks for sacrificing yourself, here's a cookie" LOL!
r2dh2
r2dh2
Love your post!
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@Btvs fan Nice post but for argument sake it does ignore Angel S5 where Spike is back and doesn't go back to Buffy

I don't think that it does?

Spike is incorporeal for the first 7 episodes of ATS5 and is also kind of traumatized - look at his body language in the scene in the lab - he has his coat and his arms wrapped tightly around himself, recalls in vivid detail what happened to his body as it died and is clearly not ok with being back and having his sacrifice, his redemption, nullified. Not only is all that taken away from him, he's then *punished* by being sent back as a ghost chained to someone he hates and who hates him and who is also a huge trigger for his insecurity especially re: Buffy. He has no agency, can't touch or feel or eat or drink which for Spike, a vampire who has always very much been a part of the world and actively enjoys it, must be akin to an extra layer of torture. Meanwhile, he keeps blipping out and seeing hell snapping at his heels despite the fact he has a soul and that he's saved the world - literally nothing he's done or achieved in the past year matters (from his perspective). (Btw, more Buffy mirroring as this is the *second* time he's died and come back. Not to be all Eve about it esp. bc she annoys me but *that means something, kids*) So, basically... mental state during those first 7 episodes and beyond? *Not Great Bob*! Also, he physically *can't* go to her (he'll get zoinked violently back to W&H) even if he wants to, which he actually does. Immediately after the opening credits roll in Ep 2, he asks after her, says he needs to find her and talk to her, and then he and Angel start their bicker fest bc it's what they do. During it Spike asserts that he and Buffy "had something" but he doesn't specify what, which is a constant throughout S7 mostly in Buffy's responses to several converations where she can't name or identify what they are to eachother even though literally everyone in the Summers' increasingly dilapidated household can. I feel like that is another S7 thing that points us to that last moment and it makes sense (to me anyway) that he can't say what that something is for them as a Them in this moment because he didn't believe they were experiencing the same thing which... your joined hands burst into flames, Spike. You're a poet. Figure it out, man.

Anyway, the one thing Spike does know unequivocally re: Buffy and him is that his sexual relationship with her was A Thing That Happened and happened long enough and often enough for it to be an Actual Thing They Had. Notice Spike brings that up whenever Angel insinuates or outright says that Buffy didn't love him instead of insisting that she did. The sexual relationship he had with her is something he can definitely point to with confidence that they *both* enxperienced at the same time. It's kind of the only undeniably concrete thing he feels he has to hit back at Angel with. In "Destiny", the episode where Spike becomes corporeal, Angel outright says Buffy never loved him because he wasn't *him* which... first of all Angelcakes you haven't been a part of this girl's life for FOUR years and at this point Spike actually knows the person she is now better than you just by virtue of being in her direct constant orbit for a solid 2/2.5 years, secondly, owww, that is a direct and palpable hit that plays on p much every insecurity Spike has and has had since meeting you let alone falling in love with your ex, so honestly... nice shot. I think it's really important to note that this discussion/fight/argument between Angel and Spike happens *right before* the episode where he can finally go to Buffy, seems to have every intention of doing so, and then ultimately just can't do it. It's not in the text below, so you can take it or leave it, but I don't think it's an unreasonable assumption to make that Angel's words might have had some bearing on his not going.

This is what he says to Harmony at the end of "Harm's Way":

SPIKE: I was on my way. Had a boat ticket and all. Then I put a little thinking into it. A man can’t go out in a bloody blaze of glory saving the world and then show up three months later tumbling off a cruise ship in the south of France. I mean, I’d love to, don’t get me wrong. But, uh, it’s hard to top an exit like that.

And in response to Harmony saying that "girl’s don’t care about stuff like that", he says,

Well, I’d expect Buffy’d be happy enough to see me. It’s just I gave up my life for her, the world, and if I show up now, flesh and bone, grand finale won't hold much weight. All of it won’t matter.

I totally understand him lit up like a sun making the ultimate sacrifice is how he would want to be remembered by Buffy - *especially* at this stage of the game where he once again, after Doin' the Dew and nothing happening, is back in a place where he's kind of lost again. At least if he stays dead to Buffy his sacrifice can still mean something (and it's pretty clear it's important to him that it did and I think that's for a couple reasons both having to do with himself and himself in relation to Buffy). In addition to that, I completely buy that he'd chicken out and not want to risk further pain and heartbreak when he's as down as he is. After all, I'm sure it's hard to be away from someone you love, but it's harder being right in front of them and knowing or thinking they don't love you. Spike knows this feel intimately and it's probably the biggest source of his pain in general as a human and a vampire. His staying away reads as protective of himself to me (which I feel like that comes up in the comics?). Doesn't mean there's no love there or the love is less true for him, he's just maybe attempting to not destroy himself over it this time which, hey! Growth! And probably some embarrassment that he managed to eff up his own redemption! Which is very Spike of him! Even though it's not his fault! Someone bring this man a Sea Breeze and an umbrella for the lady who deserves much better closure than she actually gets in this scene!

I mean ultimately the plot/network requires Spike to stay put lol, but I think it totally works based on what I said in my last post. I really don't think it negates anything about those final moments or S7's relationship subplot in general to have him stay in LA. If he can't accept her love or thinks he doesn't deserve it, or thinks she doesn't really mean it (at least not in the way he does, which is alluded to in the hallway convo post-Touched) at that point in his story, then it makes sense for him not to go to her. I mean at least not right now - he has no problem running to her aid later which consequently is after he's been racking up Good Guy points and making an active choice to be a person who does that even when he has other options - he's in the process of Becoming who he's going to be and Idk, I'm choosing to believe that the timing matters (altho he'd go anyway regardless of whether or not he was ready to see her if she was in trouble) because it makes sense to me re: where he's at by this point in the season vs where he was at the top of it.

Also, Spike's not cookies yet either and he knows it. He's like a year into his soul and hasn't really been able to fully grapple with what that means to him or for him because the First was messing with him well into the season, and then he was preparing for and training Slayerette's with Buffy for a battle there was a good chance of them losing and then he was also being there for her in any way and every way she needed while also dealing with his own feelings and past mum trauma on top of present soul trauma, dying in that battle, being traumatized again but this time with the ghostieness and the very real threat of hell waiting for him, his Angel insecurity in full bloom, the prospect of redemption yanked away *again*... the dude's got a lot on his plate and his becoming who he's going to be with a soul is what his arc is about on ATS5. The Buffy stuff weaves in and out of that especially in the beginning here and there, but she's not a big part of his character arc anymore and that's a good thing! We already had that! It was awesome! Also, she's not on this show! Now is his time to come into his own and, eventually, evolve into a man who can not only love but also accept love. From Buffy specifically. Which he does. And it's awesome.

Anyway, the primary relationships for both Angel and Spike in ATS5 is with themselves and each other, so the story shifts in that direction accordingly which means when it comes to identifying previous season arcs or subplots and how they interweave or are still present in the current season is even more open to interpretation on how or if they do than I think they are when they're being explored in their own seasons which of course makes sense. They're in their own seasons for a reason. They're not always a main dish anymore in the new ones, but they're a flavor and imo they should be present especially if you spend an entire season (if not more) making it. I think it's especially difficult with Spike because we're not just moving on to a next season we're moving on to a different show and that show has very specific asks and needs of his character that doesn't necessarily line up very easily with where he's just come from imo so I am leaning into interpretation that can help fill in stuff or make stuff make more sense re: Spike in ATS, but it's in relation to/filtered through what I genuinely think are supported things in BTVS so I don't have to throw away 2+ seasons of character development wholesale for jokes (even if they're really good jokes). Ultimately, for me, I do think it's important to look at the story that is being told or is trying to be told when figuring out what's actually happening whether I like what's happening or not and to ask myself "Is what I'm interpreting supporting the story or actively fighting against it?" I tend to give more weight to interpretations that fit the story either within the season arc or within the series itself if it's been completed, but we all engage with and come to fandom from different places and for different things and that's ok :)

Yikes.

Sorry. That was a lot.

I guess all that was to say... I think what I've said in the post above still holds up in ATS5 if you let BTVS7 be present in it and look at it through that lense.
 
GothicBuffy
GothicBuffy
Completely agree with your analysis, this is great. I also spend a lot of time thinking about how Spike's trauma and insecurities affect him and what role they play in AtS.
AstridDante
AstridDante
Excellent post

r2dh2

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I don't think that it does?

Spike is incorporeal for the first 7 episodes of ATS5 and is also kind of traumatized - look at his body language in the scene in the lab - he has his coat and his arms wrapped tightly around himself, recalls in vivid detail what happened to his body as it died and is clearly not ok with being back and having his sacrifice, his redemption, nullified. Not only is all that taken away from him, he's then *punished* by being sent back as a ghost chained to someone he hates and who hates him and who is also a huge trigger for his insecurity especially re: Buffy. He has no agency, can't touch or feel or eat or drink which for Spike, a vampire who has always very much been a part of the world and actively enjoys it, must be akin to an extra layer of torture. Meanwhile, he keeps blipping out and seeing hell snapping at his heels despite the fact he has a soul and that he's saved the world - literally nothing he's done or achieved in the past year matters (from his perspective). (Btw, more Buffy mirroring as this is the *second* time he's died and come back. Not to be all Eve about it esp. bc she annoys me but *that means something, kids*) So, basically... mental state during those first 7 episodes and beyond? *Not Great Bob*! Also, he physically *can't* go to her (he'll get zoinked violently back to W&H) even if he wants to, which he actually does. Immediately after the opening credits roll in Ep 2, he asks after her, says he needs to find her and talk to her, and then he and Angel start their bicker fest bc it's what they do. During it Spike asserts that he and Buffy "had something" but he doesn't specify what, which is a constant throughout S7 mostly in Buffy's responses to several converations where she can't name or identify what they are to eachother even though literally everyone in the Summers' increasingly dilapidated household can. I feel like that is another S7 thing that points us to that last moment and it makes sense (to me anyway) that he can't say what that something is for them as a Them in this moment because he didn't believe they were experiencing the same thing which... your joined hands burst into flames, Spike. You're a poet. Figure it out, man.

Anyway, the one thing Spike does know unequivocally re: Buffy and him is that his sexual relationship with her was A Thing That Happened and happened long enough and often enough for it to be an Actual Thing They Had. Notice Spike brings that up whenever Angel insinuates or outright says that Buffy didn't love him instead of insisting that she did. The sexual relationship he had with her is something he can definitely point to with confidence that they *both* enxperienced at the same time. It's kind of the only undeniably concrete thing he feels he has to hit back at Angel with. In "Destiny", the episode where Spike becomes corporeal, Angel outright says Buffy never loved him because he wasn't *him* which... first of all Angelcakes you haven't been a part of this girl's life for FOUR years and at this point Spike actually knows the person she is now better than you just by virtue of being in her direct constant orbit for a solid 2/2.5 years, secondly, owww, that is a direct and palpable hit that plays on p much every insecurity Spike has and has had since meeting you let alone falling in love with your ex, so honestly... nice shot. I think it's really important to note that this discussion/fight/argument between Angel and Spike happens *right before* the episode where he can finally go to Buffy, seems to have every intention of doing so, and then ultimately just can't do it. It's not in the text below, so you can take it or leave it, but I don't think it's an unreasonable assumption to make that Angel's words might have had some bearing on his not going.

This is what he says to Harmony at the end of "Harm's Way":



And in response to Harmony saying that "girl’s don’t care about stuff like that", he says,



I totally understand him lit up like a sun making the ultimate sacrifice is how he would want to be remembered by Buffy - *especially* at this stage of the game where he once again, after Doin' the Dew and nothing happening, is back in a place where he's kind of lost again. At least if he stays dead to Buffy his sacrifice can still mean something (and it's pretty clear it's important to him that it did and I think that's for a couple reasons both having to do with himself and himself in relation to Buffy). In addition to that, I completely buy that he'd chicken out and not want to risk further pain and heartbreak when he's as down as he is. After all, I'm sure it's hard to be away from someone you love, but it's harder being right in front of them and knowing or thinking they don't love you. Spike knows this feel intimately and it's probably the biggest source of his pain in general as a human and a vampire. His staying away reads as protective of himself to me (which I feel like that comes up in the comics?). Doesn't mean there's no love there or the love is less true for him, he's just maybe attempting to not destroy himself over it this time which, hey! Growth! And probably some embarrassment that he managed to eff up his own redemption! Which is very Spike of him! Even though it's not his fault! Someone bring this man a Sea Breeze and an umbrella for the lady who deserves much better closure than she actually gets in this scene!

I mean ultimately the plot/network requires Spike to stay put lol, but I think it totally works based on what I said in my last post. I really don't think it negates anything about those final moments or S7's relationship subplot in general to have him stay in LA. If he can't accept her love or thinks he doesn't deserve it, or thinks she doesn't really mean it (at least not in the way he does, which is alluded to in the hallway convo post-Touched) at that point in his story, then it makes sense for him not to go to her. I mean at least not right now - he has no problem running to her aid later which consequently is after he's been racking up Good Guy points and making an active choice to be a person who does that even when he has other options - he's in the process of Becoming who he's going to be and Idk, I'm choosing to believe that the timing matters (altho he'd go anyway regardless of whether or not he was ready to see her if she was in trouble) because it makes sense to me re: where he's at by this point in the season vs where he was at the top of it.

Also, Spike's not cookies yet either and he knows it. He's like a year into his soul and hasn't really been able to fully grapple with what that means to him or for him because the First was messing with him well into the season, and then he was preparing for and training Slayerette's with Buffy for a battle there was a good chance of them losing and then he was also being there for her in any way and every way she needed while also dealing with his own feelings and past mum trauma on top of present soul trauma, dying in that battle, being traumatized again but this time with the ghostieness and the very real threat of hell waiting for him, his Angel insecurity in full bloom, the prospect of redemption yanked away *again*... the dude's got a lot on his plate and his becoming who he's going to be with a soul is what his arc is about on ATS5. The Buffy stuff weaves in and out of that especially in the beginning here and there, but she's not a big part of his character arc anymore and that's a good thing! We already had that! It was awesome! Also, she's not on this show! Now is his time to come into his own and, eventually, evolve into a man who can not only love but also accept love. From Buffy specifically. Which he does. And it's awesome.

Anyway, the primary relationships for both Angel and Spike in ATS5 is with themselves and each other, so the story shifts in that direction accordingly which means when it comes to identifying previous season arcs or subplots and how they interweave or are still present in the current season is even more open to interpretation on how or if they do than I think they are when they're being explored in their own seasons which of course makes sense. They're in their own seasons for a reason. They're not always a main dish anymore in the new ones, but they're a flavor and imo they should be present especially if you spend an entire season (if not more) making it. I think it's especially difficult with Spike because we're not just moving on to a next season we're moving on to a different show and that show has very specific asks and needs of his character that doesn't necessarily line up very easily with where he's just come from imo so I am leaning into interpretation that can help fill in stuff or make stuff make more sense re: Spike in ATS, but it's in relation to/filtered through what I genuinely think are supported things in BTVS so I don't have to throw away 2+ seasons of character development wholesale for jokes (even if they're really good jokes). Ultimately, for me, I do think it's important to look at the story that is being told or is trying to be told when figuring out what's actually happening whether I like what's happening or not and to ask myself "Is what I'm interpreting supporting the story or actively fighting against it?" I tend to give more weight to interpretations that fit the story either within the season arc or within the series itself if it's been completed, but we all engage with and come to fandom from different places and for different things and that's ok :)

Yikes.

Sorry. That was a lot.

I guess all that was to say... I think what I've said in the post above still holds up in ATS5 if you let BTVS7 be present in it and look at it through that lense.

Love your post! There's certainly a lot of vulnerability in Spike post-soul. We can definitely see it in S7, he finally realizes why she couldn't be with him before and he's content being there for her, helping her and ready to leave (First Date) if that's what it's needed for her safety (tbh, the others are secondary). He definitely doesn't feel that he deserves her and, yup, I was also thinking about their brief chat in the kitchen after the slept together in Touched. He has such a hard time opening up in that moment, I can feel his pain... and she isn't ready either, the biggest battle is coming up and she loves him but it's not something they are ready to talk about.

In S5 AtS, they also made him a running joke again, but he's definitely scared of seeing her and being rejected, especially after becoming a champion for her. I can understand why he wants to stay away and keep the nice memory instead of risking losing that. I haven't read the comics, so I don't know how they get together again or how she reacts when she sees him.
 

spikeverse

Townie
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Well I'll answer this for me the answer is clear she loved Spike she was even in love with him

I agree that in season 6 she was not in love with him but who says she does not love him and I am in deep disagreement with the people who say Spuffy season 6 = sex because NO there is has a lot more than sex you just have to dig a little when you look well in S6 (at the beginning) she confides in Spike there is nothing sexual in there she spent a lot more time talking / hanging out with Spike that it's own friends and what says yes but there never were any feelings blah blah blah you're deaf she even says (I'm not making it up) in the red passion episode she says "I have feelings for you I admit it but I would never trust you enough to love you "in a way I find it funny that she emphasizes the trust because even if she denies it she trusts him
she wears the handcuffs, she confides Dawn to him and she feels * betrayed * when he sleeps with Anya to the point where even the Scoobys realize it has to do it anyway and I remind you that to feel * betrayed * you need a feelings of * confidence * so YES she loved him in season 6 (I'm not saying she had a super huge confidence in him but she had a minimum)
some proof that she loved him in S6

in the episode where Buffy thinks to have killed Katrina she beats Spike and he says to her "who likes catit well"
while talking to Dawn we see the parralèle she says to Dawn while thinking of Spike "who likes to chat well"

I find an inter-present parallel also where she says in "let the show begin" she says "I want my flame to come back" and in the last episode Buffy has the hand that ignites with Spike (he would not have created this atmosphere romantic if she didn't like it)
in season 7 "Make Yourself Dangerous" Buffy says "Why does everyone think I'm still in LOVE of spike if it's not a revealing labsus I don't know what it is ...

Season 7 was the culmination of her feelings a relationship more focused on trust love ... and for me it was in this season that she fell in love with spike

Quote from some screenwriter:


Buffy was in love with spike the moment their hands came together - Joss Weldhon

Angel was her first love nothing more - Janes Esperon

Spike shuts hell's mouth Buffy opens her heart true love transforms - Joss Weldhon

so YES she was in love with spike that's undeniable
 
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