BSV Forum - General - The Bloodshedpub

Spike's Insight

Dec 28 2007 09:33 pm   #1SpikeHot

In season 4, Spike tends to know how to hurt the Scoobys and has some insight into their fears and insecurities. How did he get to know them in such a short time? Does living with Giles and Xander makes him learn more about them? He gets to roam in Giles' house freely, which probably made him see what Giles does in his private time, see the disappointment when Buffy doesn't ask for his opinion. He probably got to hear Xander's parents fight and see Xander flinch at the sound, see Xander back home from a crappy day at work.

But then what about Buffy and Willow? He didn't have the same chance to know them as he did with Giles and Xander.

Dec 28 2007 10:15 pm   #2SpikesKatMac

There are three reasons Spike is able to read the insecurities and foibles of the Scoobies so easily:  One, he's a predator, a top of the food chain predator, so he's naturally got excellent observational skills; he sees more than most people, and because he is intelligent, he's able to draw conclusions from those observations.  Two, the Scoobies treat him like he's garbage and/or invisible, talking around him like he's stupid; when people don't 'see' you, they tend to say more then they would normally.  And finally, Spike is himself deeply insecure and sensitive, and is thus able to find the Scoobies sore spots and hidden fears more easily than a casual observer might.

A beautiful and ineffectual angel, beating in the void his luminous wings in vain - Matthew Arnold
Dec 28 2007 10:34 pm   #3slaymesoftly

Well said, SpikesKatMac - took the words right out of my mouth (er, or off my fingertips, anyway)

I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Dec 29 2007 01:33 am   #4Izzy

Whenever the subject of Spike's insight comes up, I think of the speech he gives to Angel and Buffy about love in "Lovers Walk". I think William was a very sensitive individual and becoming Spike just had him trying to hide that, not changing it. He received an education that most people don't know about, assuming he can only fight and is an impatient thug, so his intelligence helps him. For Willow, I think William was a lot like her so Spike can imagine what she must think and feel from experience. He and Buffy are a lot alike in reactions and I would guess Spike can see that in the Slayer, even if she denies it.

Too, I completely agree that the Scoobies treat Spike in a manner that would ignore any information or insight he might gain by hearing them or watching them interact. After Buffy's mixed signals and his own conflicted feelings in Season Six I think Spike doubts his own instincts about what he sees in others and tries to act in a Big Bad way in an attempt to protect himself. In Season Seven I think he gets a lot of his observational insight back but is buried in guilt and thinking he was so wrong about Buffy's feelings in Season Six that he doesn't mention it much.


Dec 29 2007 02:30 am   #5Eowyn315

SKM covered it pretty well. I think that first point is especially true in Buffy's case - she is his enemy and has been for years. He's literally studied her, looking for weaknesses. Plus, he has the added advantage of Angelus' knowledge. That's how he knows to hurt her with the "not worth a second go" comment in "Harsh Light of Day," and surely he gleaned other things from that time with Angelus. 

The thing I always thought was interesting about Spike was that he could be so observant and insightful about other people and what they were thinking and feeling, and yet when it came to his own feelings and relationships, he was utterly clueless. If Spike had been a third-party observer of a relationship like his and Buffy's in season six, I think he would've been able to see the problems and where it was heading, plain as day. But because he was involved, he got it completely wrong.

Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Dec 29 2007 03:16 am   #6SpikesKatMac

But because he was involved, he got it completely wrong.

I agree completely, E.  I think we're all like that; not just the Scoobies, cause God knows they couldn't see the noses at the end of their faces; I think until you're out of a problem or a relationship, you often can't see the issues that everyone else could point out to you with their eyes closed.  And I swear I'm not speaking from personal experience! 

And I just thought of another reason why Spike would be so insightful into the Scoobies and their thoughts, feelings and insecurities:  He's freakin' old!!! 

A beautiful and ineffectual angel, beating in the void his luminous wings in vain - Matthew Arnold
Dec 29 2007 03:30 am   #7Eowyn315

Yeah, good point. Once you've lived for a century or two, you've probably seen just about every personality type there is. That makes it pretty easy to predict how certain people will react in various situations.

Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Dec 29 2007 04:42 am   #8Scarlet Ibis

You know really, all of the Scoobies are pretty (overtly, I think) insecure about something.  Honestly, they made it easy.

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Dec 29 2007 04:52 am   #9SpikesKatMac

Yeah, you didn't really need a degree in Psychology to pick the group apart, did you??  I doubt it took much time away from Passions for Spike to figure out their weak points.  *Cuppa blood, cuppa blood, plot demise of stupid Scoobies, Timmy's down the well, cuppa blood* 

A beautiful and ineffectual angel, beating in the void his luminous wings in vain - Matthew Arnold
Dec 29 2007 05:37 pm   #10nmcil

One of the reason that Spike could discover so much about the scoobies (how I hate that name) is that he had lived through all their emotional experiences himself - plus with giles, he had the same type of education and the class background experience.   With Giles, the one time that he seriously underestimated him was just after Crush, when he encounters Giles in Ripper mode..  Spike could read the scoobies, because he had most of their same experiences and emotional problems himself.  The same reason that the viewers related so easily with these characters. 

from my perspective the characters that primarily lack self-awareness were buffy, Xander and Willow and for me these three were symbolic of The Hero/Potential hero, the common and flawed man, and the potential of our intellect (willow) to either reach high potential and then have to make choices for how the intellect would function in the world.

With regards to how he is understands his own connection and actions with them - mainly, I think that he wanted so very much to become a part of buffy's life and love that we simply  ignored what he knew as "truths" much of the time.  I don't think Spike could not see his real status with the other characters, but that he ignored and denied according to his need.  

One of the things I so love about the series was the use of icontrasts - Spike as the outsider was in the position to observe and give  valuable information that was never wanted, had the sensitivity of a romantic young poetic man twisted by his demonic face; past life, vamp life, and chipped life all mingled and in constant turmoil.

 

” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Dec 30 2007 12:53 am   #11Spikez_tart

Spike probably gets to watch the Scoobies (girk) all the time while he's living with Giles and with Xander.  I think sometimes he just says something that he suspects might be hurtful and is usually rewarded.

If Spike had been a third-party observer of a relationship like his and Buffy's in season six,

Actually, he did vicariously through Passions.  There's a scene where he's talking to the TV telling somebody (Timmy?) that it's obvious that "she" doesn't love you - any idiot could see it. (Sorry, I couldn't find the quote)

 

If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Dec 30 2007 01:29 am   #12Eowyn315

Hahahaha... that wasn't Passions, that was Dawson's Creek. And, ironically, he's talking to Pacey, who DOES get the girl at the end of the series. lol

Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Dec 30 2007 01:50 am   #13GoldenBuffy

Well see there, Spike was talking to Pacey. But called Angel Dawson. So see, there it is, plan as day. Spike ends up with Buffy in the end! HA! Okay, going back th lurking now.

And in the air the fireflies
Our only light in paradise
We'll show the world they were wrong
And teach them all to sing along
Dec 31 2007 12:22 am   #14Spikez_tart

No wonder I couldn't find it.  I'm Television Impaired.

If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?