Down The Rabbit Hole: An Analysis of Spike and Buffy's Relationship
The world of Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer premiered on our small screen 20 Honestly, I didn't really root for any of Cordelia's relationships until Angel. Riley always gets the short end of the stick but I loved him!. For Buffy, having been in a relationship with the cursed vampire Angel and the good college boy Riley, no one would ever have dreamed that. I personally don't hate Riley, I just find him boring and kinda I love his bromance with Xander, and for the most part I like his relationship with Buffy ( minus the last . And then 'Something Blue' happened, before Buffy and Riley had .. way, though Kosovo does seem too late for the timeline to work out?.
They were responsible for much of the best material stories in the early Buffy episodes and many a tear shed by the audience and the characters. Angel even grew to be so popular that he received his own self-titled spin-off.
Angel turned Buffy the Vampire Slayer into not just a show, but a whole universe. Yet there's more to Angel and Buffy than simple melodrama. There are tons of behind-the-scenes secrets coming from production and cast interviews that only the hardcore Buffy and Angel shippers realize exist.
It turned from the funny and quirky high school drama with vampires to the funny and quirky high school drama with vampires where horrible, awful and tragic things happen. It was during season 2 that Buffy slept with someone for the first time.
She slept with her serious boyfriend and Angel turned into a literal monster. Angelus and Buffy battled and it all ended with Buffy being forced to face Angelus in single combat. Yet the Buffyverse was better off keeping Angel in it. Nothing can bring out the ire or praise from a fellow Buffy fan than sharing an opinion on which vampire was best for the slayer. Discussing the merits of Buffy and Angel is minefield for even the most level headed Buffyverse fans.
However, the father of the entire franchise, Joss Whedon has his own very specific opinions. Whedon has gone on record several times explaining that he found Angel incredibly difficult to write. Spike, however, was much easier for Whedon to craft. Whedon felt there was far more between the two character. Though Whedon does admit that Buffy and Angel was his most epic romance. Once Angel left the series, Spike did really start to dominate as a character.
He turned from a recurring side player to series regular. A Buffy and Spike relationship analysis can't exist without a discussion on that episode and I could probably do an entire post on the horrific nature of that bathroom scene. In case you need a refresher, this is where Spike drops by Buffy's house to beg her to continue sleeping with him. He believes that the only way to do this is to force himself on her. Buffy is able to fight him off long enough for him come to his senses but it feels like there is no going back from there.
Seeing a character like Buffy who has always been portrayed as strong and good and with the ability to take care of herself almost get sexually assaulted by a character that we were supposed to think of as a possible leading man or love interest is enough to make you sick. After watching, I wasn't sure I could ever go back to wanting them together because of the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach as Buffy sits there on her bathroom floor in her dis-shoveled robe and cries.
This is rock bottom for their relationship. After this, their relationship doesn't even exist. All of the secret kisses and touching hands and witty banter and beating the crap out of each other just doesn't matter because you've just witnessed something so horrific.
The only thing that is left, the only question that comes to mind is: Is redemption even possible? Well, maybe you ask "why? When Buffy finally finds him in the basement of the new Sunnydale High, he has been with The First Evil and his own sins for a very long time. He wants to make everything better, the fact that he can't makes him crazy, and her ends up hugging a cross while his flesh sizzles. The moment that Buffy learns that Spike now has a soul, everything changes.
As Spike starts to integrate back into the group and readjust to life with a soul, he begins to prove that he is worth a second look. Eventually, he gets kidnapped by The First and refuses to cooperate even though it tortures him relentlessly. All the time he is there he believes that Buffy will come and get him due to the bond they began to develop before he was captured.
When Buffy does come to get him, this strengthens their relationship and his faith in Buffy. That strength is what finally redeemed his character in my eyes. After suffering endlessly for most of the season, Spike finally gets his groove back, finding a balance between kicking bad guy butt, being his old self and dealing with having a soul again.
She leaves them and Spike comes back looking for her. He finds out what happens, tells everyone off and goes to find Buffy. When they find each other, he gives the best damn speeches I've ever heard on television: I've been alive a bit longer than you, and dead a lot longer than that.
I've seen things you couldn't imagine, and done things I'd prefer you didn't. I don't exactly have a reputation for being a thinker; I follow my blood, which doesn't exactly rush in the direction of my brain. So I make a lot of mistakes. A lot of wrong bloody calls. A hundred plus years, and there's only one thing I've ever been sure of. Hey, look at me.
I'm not asking you for anything. When I say I love you, it's not because I want you, or because I can't have you - it has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try I've seen your kindness, and your strength, I've seen the best and the worst of you and I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You're a hell of a woman. You're the one, Buffy. Spike and Buffy just hold each other that first night.
He tells her that spending that one night with her was the best night of his existence and she opens up to him. That's one of the main reasons Riley left. I think it is that moment of honesty which tells us the most about these two together.
They've known each other long enough to carve out a meaningful relationship and have each sacrificed to be with each other.
Spike is one of those characters that is hard to forget because he completely transformed himself over and over to become what Buffy needed. What undercuts a utility friendship it is built on rationality alone. For Milavec and Kaye, when Buffy desires to date a wholesome good guy like Riley, she does so for all the wrong reasons and fails to connect to her partner emotionally.
They benefit one another in utility and nothing more. Here, Milavec and Kaye argue that Buffy and Spike have the pleasure friendship because it is fueled solely by passion: It is rather a segment to a much larger picture, a note that will be expanded and elaborated upon further. Milavec and Kaye argue that Buffy and Angel classify the complete friendship because they achieve the rarity of valuing each another for who they are. Any attempt to define them as primarily one thing or another is bound to fail, because just when they appear to qualify as one term, they transition into another.
What is important to take away from this argument is that unlike Angel and Riley, the tendency for Buffy and Spike to be inconsistent in definition is precisely what made them compelling and authentic in its change over time. In essence, the indefinable bond that is reached between Buffy and Spike is a model for a meaningful relationship that any individual would want to reach with another.
By the beginning of the fifth season, Buffy and Spike are easily termed as enemies. Spike is still rendered harmless to humans due to a chip that has been implanted in his brain by the Initiative, and being that he is still a demon, one should wonder why Buffy does not dispatch him in his impaired state.
They may be enemies, but are not entirely useless to the other. At first, the plotline appears to be recycled because the audience has already seen this, even before the predicament of an implanted chip came into play — Spike has a plan, Buffy stops the plan, and Spike fumes until another plan for another episode is conceived.
During the retreat back to his crypt however, the flare and feist in his rage appears more elevated than usual: The scene is shot in a blue and gray tint that is ambiguous in that it is neither overtly light nor dark. According to Leigh Clemons, colors in clothing on the show are also far from insignificant. Dream Spike wears all black as a symbol of his inherent evil, and Dream Buffy dons a pair of flaming red leather pants, a shade that attracts the eye and is a stimulant for eroticism.
When Dream Spike tears off his shirt, he is also symbolically removing his evil front and reveals the vulnerability that is beneath it. Dream Spike then grabs Dream Buffy roughly by both arms and submits her to a hungry kiss, though she willingly returns it. When the real Spike lunges upward in bed, he is panting and his limbs rise uncomfortably beneath the sheets, suggesting an erection. So how to classify Buffy and Spike now? While they are no longer mutual in their opinion of one another, the inclusion of romantic feelings are unquestionably one-sided.
Spike, on the other hand, has schemed, kidnapped, and tried to kill them. The rarity in this one-sided affection is significant because Spike falls in love with someone who is an adversary not just in principle like Angel but also in personal history. Spike does fit this qualification, for a while anyway. He regularly composed dreadful verses in an attempt to win over socialite Cecily, who declared him as beneath her.
While this behavior is at times wonderfully comedic, it is nonetheless undeniably creepy. He takes it to its most extreme form when he, the obsessed lover, threatens murder in the name of the beloved. In addition to obsessed lover however, the courtly lover in Spike is also still active.
The robot may be uncanny in appearance but is a simplified and degrading version of the real thing that Spike programs to talk dirty and pleasure him. Similarly, Buffy also steps back from her attitudes when she displays her first genuine regard for him. She acknowledges his loyalty with a soft kiss that is not driven by formality but by a gratitude held between friends.
She articulates this sentiment afterwards: What you did, for me and Dawn, that was real.
15 Secrets Only True Fans Know About Buffy And Angel’s Relationship
The fifth year for Buffy and Spike began with a relationship based on mutual hatred to a relationship based on imbalance, with Spike becoming a courtly lover, an obsessed lover, and at times a hybrid of both.
When Buffy is determined not to sacrifice Dawn to save the world, she goes further to say that she will kill anyone who even goes near her, a pointed comment that gives insight to her apprehension, even for her friends. And yet, Spike is the one that Buffy personally counts on to protect Dawn because she instinctively knows that he will.
Buffy may not trust him, but she values him in a conditional manner. This concept is best demonstrated in the scene when Buffy and Spike return to the Summers home for supplies. When Buffy is on the staircase, he calls her and she stops halfway to listen: But you treat me like a man.
This is precisely why a utility friendship fits them in these circumstances. Spike loves Buffy, Buffy values Spike conditionally. The beginning of the sixth season finds Buffy gone and her friends and sister carrying on the fight against evil without her — and then there is Spike.
Having wept openly at the sight of her lifeless body, Spike fights alongside the Scoobies all summer and continues to look after Dawn. Spike believes that he has failed Buffy, and can only make up for it by protecting her sister in life where Buffy, having died, cannot. Gone is the notion of courtly love, obsessive love, and the perversity of the previous season — Spike has entered another league in his emotions towards Buffy, even without her in the picture anymore. This is not to say that their sentiments have not changed however, for Buffy connects to Spike in ways that she cannot with anyone else — note that he is the only one that she allows to touch her without an initial flinch when he takes her bloodied hands in his.