Spike the Woobie Thug

Feb 28, 2011 19:05

It always mystifies me in S7 when the decision to keep Spike around is justified by pointing out what a strong fighter he is. As if we've ever cared tuppence for brute force on this show. As if he is somehow a better fighter now than he was, say, in late S5 through early S6, when he'd already proven his loyalty but hadn't committed the AR yet and ( Read more... )

ch: spike, ch: buffy, entry: musings

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Comments 21

rahirah March 1 2011, 03:21:51 UTC
Well, Giles kinda sorta calls her on it...

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snickfic March 1 2011, 03:23:18 UTC
Does he? Remind me, what does he say?

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rahirah March 1 2011, 15:34:30 UTC
I don't think he specifically says anything about "Spike's our best fighter" being kind of dumb, but in "First Date" and LMPTM, he's the one who keeps pointing out that keeping a mind-controlled vampire around a bunch of young girls that he's been programmed to kill is kind of dumb. He tells Buffy several times that she's thinking emotionally, not rationally, about Spike.

The best fighter line never particularly bothered me because it was so patently ridiculous. They were fighting an immaterial enemy, so Spike's prowess in a physical fight was immaterial. Buffy was obviously using it as a feeble excuse to keep him around for whatever reason it was she wanted to keep him around. I don't remember anyone else ever saying it or agreeing with her, so it seemed to me that the others saw it as a feeble excuse as well, but since Buffy was being all "I am the decider!" that season, they never challenged her on it in a serious way.

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penny_lane_42 March 1 2011, 03:45:58 UTC
The title of this post made me cackle madly.

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snickfic March 1 2011, 04:13:03 UTC
I might have been cackling madly as I wrote it. Is possible.

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ever_neutral March 1 2011, 05:05:54 UTC
I think, as you said, it's Buffy rationalizing, and then most everybody else deciding to stay out of the crazy.

Also, well, Spike is useful with the fighting...

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snickfic March 2 2011, 04:29:02 UTC
most everybody else deciding to stay out of the crazy

Heh. I suspect that's the key right there.

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quinara March 1 2011, 08:48:55 UTC
Which particular episode are you talking about? All I'm remembering is the end of First Date, where Spike says Buffy has Principal Wood as a demon fighter, so she doesn't need him, at which point Buffy says that that's not why Spike is there; then their argument in Get It Done, when Buffy says Spike was a better fighter before the soul and Spike rips her a new one for belittling what he's done for her...

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gryfndor_godess March 1 2011, 09:33:47 UTC
Buffy says that they need him because he's a fighter a lot in LMPTM (and she's deliberately ignoring the fact that the trigger is still working); but to be fair that's mostly to Giles, who wouldn't understand or accept any other rationalization (and doesn't even accept this one).

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quinara March 1 2011, 10:03:32 UTC
But does she, though? What she says to Giles is

Spike is here because I want him here. We need him. I'm in the fight of my life.

which isn't really the same thing at all. Giles picks up on the 'want' more than anything, to which Buffy responds that things are different because Spike has a soul. Apart from that, Buffy doesn't do much vocal defending (apart from denying that the trigger's still active, which is wrong, but nothing to do with Spike being a fighter).

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gryfndor_godess March 1 2011, 10:32:14 UTC
I think the juxtaposition of "We need him" immediately followed by "I'm in the fight of my life" indicates she does need him b/c he's a fighter. Even if Giles picks up on her latent reasons, Buffy's still using his fighting abilities as a rationalization.

In any case, I realize I was also conflating Giles and Robin b/c she does say to the latter in the garage, "Spike is the strongest warrior we have. We are gonna need him if we're gonna come out of this thing alive."

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gryfndor_godess March 1 2011, 11:39:20 UTC
I agree that Buffy's rationalization is weirdly heavy-handed in S7, but to be fair she does justify keeping him around for the same reasons in earlier seasons. As early as Checkpoint she states (when she still doesn't like him) that he's the only one who can protect her mother and Dawn. I'm pretty sure she also says something to that effect in the finale when Xander or someone demands why Spike is along for the ride.

why this apocalypse requires tactics no other apocalypse has required and various other plot peculiarities of S7...Word. Whenever Buffy says something like 'I'm in the fight of my life," I think, 'Yeah, no. That would have been Glory. For f's sake, the First can't even touch you.' The First could have been the biggest bad if the writers had pulled out all the psychological stops (Jenny, Joyce, Angelus, Tara, etc.), but they didn't (and in some cases, due to actors refusing to appear, couldn't). Making the characters face their worst fears and baggage, especially after S6, would have been awesome and would arguably ( ... )

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snickfic March 2 2011, 04:33:19 UTC
As early as Checkpoint she states (when she still doesn't like him) that he's the only one who can protect her mother and Dawn. I'm pretty sure she also says something to that effect in the finale when Xander or someone demands why Spike is along for the ride.

Good point. I dunno; maybe it's just my anti-S7 prejudice that's poking me. Certainly I don't mind it when Buffy argues more or less the same thing in Checkpoint and Spiral.

'Yeah, no. That would have been Glory. For f's sake, the First can't even touch you.'

Yeah. Very much a case of the writers telling and never getting around to showing.

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