BSV Forum - General - Episode Discussions

Life Serial: Episode Discussion

Dec 06 2008 09:00 pm   #1sosa lola

- Did the gang expect Buffy to sleep with Angel and come back the next day? It's weird that none of the Scoobies has a cell phone until S7. Cell phones could help in situations like these:

Willow: "Hey, Buffy, when will you get back?"
Buffy: "Won't take long, I'll be back early at night."
Willow: "So, we'll wait for you for dinner."
Buffy: "How about I get you something on my way back?"
Willow: "Buffy, we have food at home. And you've got money issues. No need to spend money unnecessarily."

- Still, so sweet of them to eat from the chicken Buffy got.

- Hee at Giles' grimace at Willow's "I'm a breast girl, but you already know that." Anya's inappropriate sex-with-Xander comments haven't trained him yet on accepting that the younger Scoobies have an active sex life.

- Seems that the meeting with Angel didn't go well… but then Buffy's always down lately, so we'll never know.

- Giles was discussing Buffy's life plan with the gang… poor Buffy thought they were discussing the bills, which they should have. What Buffy does with her life should wait until the bills problem gets solved… I guess Giles had already planed to pay the bills.

- Poor Buffy, so lost in class, she shouldn't expect herself to be ready at this point. She's been away from school for a while now, it'll get some getting used to.

- Warren bumps Buffy as he walks past them. Buffy almost falls over but Willow and Tara catch her.
 
WILLOW: (yells after Warren) Hey! You could at least say sorry, rude-o!

I love when Willow is protective of Buffy and gets pissy when someone is being rude to her. Reminds me when she told Parker off in S4.

- I hate, hate, hate, hate the idiot nerds! I really wanted to see Buffy in class with Tara.

- Hee, Buffy was gonna say "fuck", in S8, she'll say "balls"

- I wonder how Xander was able to get a girl to work for the crew. He said he had to call in a few favors to let her in… from the scowl on Tony's face, Xander probably left out the part about Buffy being a girl.

- So, Xander just supervises? Is he also a foreman or someone that ranks higher than an average construction worker and lower than a foreman… I remember there was a deleted conversation between Xander and Willow in Fall for Love where Xander tells Willow that he gets to order guys around…


- I hated how Xander reacted to Buffy's story about the demons, I guess he was too scared of what'll happen to him since Buffy is the friend he recommended and he feared this will ruin his rank and his career. It did take him a whole year of crappy jobs to find something he's so good at. Sigh, at least he does believe Buffy and didn't think she was hallucinating.

- I have a question, wasn't Warren a student at a college in Dutton? What's he doing here? And wasn't Jonathan a student at UC Sunnydale in Superstar? They don't seem to go to school at all.

- The work at the Magic Box, while boring to Buffy, seems quite easy. It sucks that the trio ruined that for her. She should have continued working there after this mess was taken care of instead of working at the Doublemeat Palace. Anya would have been more understanding about slayer activities than those at the Doublemeat Palace.

- Buffy can't handle her whisky.

- SPIKE: So you, uh, just what? Gonna let this whoever play you till it figures out what kills you?
BUFFY: (shrugs, puts down her glass) Giles is working on it.

Buffy seems too bored with life she just doesn't have the fire anymore. She throws her problems on Giles and expects him to find the answers on his own. No wonder he'll want to leave soon Back in the day, Buffy does as Spike suggested, she asks around for info, usually it's Willy, but she doesn't sit waiting for Giles to figure it out.

- SPIKE: You're a creature of the darkness. Like me. (Buffy looks at him) Try on my world. See how good it feels.

Spike's first attempt to get Buffy into the darkness with him.

- I'm glad that Spike has a life outside Buffy's world. Sometimes I'd think he just sits alone in his crypt until night to go out and meet Buffy, which pathetic. Thankfully, he has his kitten poker with the guys and Clem is his bud.

- BUFFY: Ooh, ask him if he's heard-
SPIKE: Later.

Was she talking about the events that had happened to her or something else?

- "Her skin's so tight, I don't even know how you can look at her." Well, she got the same tight skin as Spike. Lol

- BUFFY: Forget it. I'm not playing by anyone else's rules any more. (gets up) I'm done.

Aww, poor Buffy (how many times did I say this?) Everyone seems to be forgetting her for their own benefit.

- BUFFY: And the only person I can even stand to be around is a ... neutered vampire who cheats at kitten poker.

If I were Spike, I'd be very happy by this confession. It also shows that Buffy started to have feelings for Spike before the wild sex happened.

- I laughed when Spike went to help Buffy up and she yelled at him to get away from her because she's fine and she can handle it, the way he held up his hands in surrender was so adorable.

- Giles is right. Buffy shouldn't beat herself up at what had happened. I think she should go back and work at the Magic Box, even if it's boring, Giles and Anya will welcome her back.

- Giles giving Buffy the check… which seems to contain a lot of money that will not only cover up the bills, but also help Buffy with her everyday needs of food for a while. However, Buffy's comment about feeling safe that Giles will always be there made Giles frown. He will not always be there, just like her mother couldn't always be there, Buffy needs to learn how to support herself if something ever happens to Giles. Not just find someone to throw her problems on whenever she wanted. I get Giles' way of thinking, but I guess he could have waited a little more before he decides to teach Buffy how to be an adult. She's still adjusting to being alive again.

Dec 06 2008 10:50 pm   #2Eowyn315
Did the gang expect Buffy to sleep with Angel and come back the next day?
I don't think they knew what to expect. It does seem to be a different day, though, since everyone's wearing different clothes.

It's weird that none of the Scoobies has a cell phone until S7.
Well, I don't know why they didn't get them before this, but I can certainly see why Buffy doesn't have one now. (If she's that broke, a cell phone is probably an unnecessary expense.)

Hee at Giles' grimace at Willow's "I'm a breast girl, but you already know that."
That line has always bothered me. It sounds like something Anya might say, but not at all something Willow would say in front of people. It's like they're just trying to shoehorn in lesbian jokes.

I have a question, wasn't Warren a student at a college in Dutton? What's he doing here?
He was... maybe he got kicked out? He strikes me as the genius-who-never-does-any-homework type. No idea what Jonathan's excuse is.

Was she talking about the events that had happened to her or something else?
I would assume she's talking about what happened to her. That's the whole reason they went out, right? So they could beat up demons for information? Except, apparently, Spike wasn't totally on the level when he suggested that, if his plan was actually to play poker and talk to the demons instead of beating them up.

If I were Spike, I'd be very happy by this confession. It also shows that Buffy started to have feelings for Spike before the wild sex happened.
Well, it depends on what you mean by "feelings." I don't think she's sharing anything particularly revealing here. She doesn't mind spending time with Spike - at best, she thinks of him as a friend. At worst, he doesn't count because he's not a real person. And it's precisely that attitude that Spike sings about in "Rest in Peace." He's still in love with her, more than ever, and it's driving him crazy to be around her all the time and not be allowed to show her any affection, for fear it'll send her running (which is exactly what it does - she runs away after the song). Part of him would rather she just leave him alone than keep torturing him with something he can't have. So, no, I don't think he'd be particularly happy about that confession.
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Dec 06 2008 11:05 pm   #3sosa lola

Well, I don't know why they didn't get them before this, but I can certainly see why Buffy doesn't have one now.

Cell phones appeared since the mid of the 90s, right? High School Buffy strikes me as someone who'd want to buy a cell phone, but I can see why she won't get one. I think her mom would think it's too expensive and unnecessary. College Buffy would certainly get one, I can see why Giles won't consider buying it seeing as he's old fashioned and not much of a technology fan, but eventually he'll buy one (he has a cell phone in S8), Xander would get it in S5 since he could offered it by then, Willow would get one in S4 like Buffy.

It sounds like something Anya might say, but not at all something Willow would say in front of people.

Maybe it's part of Willow's growing confidence. I agree with you that it's more of Anya line than Willow.

At worst, he doesn't count because he's not a real person.

I like the explanation about Spike "not being real" or "not counting as someone important" because it explains why she's not talking to Giles. Buffy always talked to Giles, actually he's usually the first she tells everything to. I found it weird she didn't tell him and her being in heaven, he wasn't one of the Scoobies who did the spell, hence her trying not to crush them with the truth.
 

Dec 07 2008 02:01 am   #4Scarlet Ibis
Seems that the meeting with Angel didn't go well… but then Buffy's always down lately, so we'll never know.
You know, I'd imagine that Angel did most of the talking--he's changed a lot since the last time she saw him (thanks to Cordy, Wes, and even Gunn), and he'd been through a lot by that point--a "dark path," sex, an epiphany, losing all his friends, going to another hell dimension of sorts, and Buffy probably sat there all quiet like, cause it wasn't as if she was going to disclose the truth of where she'd been.

Hee, Buffy was gonna say "fuck", in S8, she'll say "balls"
"Balls" is more of a British euphemism...is it not? 

She should have continued working there after this mess was taken care of instead of working at the Doublemeat Palace.
That would have been much too easy, wouldn't it?

Spike's first attempt to get Buffy into the darkness with him.
Not like she hasn't been there before.  Has everyone completely forgotten when Buffy and Faith were BFF's?


FAITH: Whatever we want. We're Slayers, girlfriend, the Chosen Two. Why should we let *him* take all the fun out of it?
BUFFY: Oh, that would be tragic, taking the fun out of slaying, stabbing, beheading.
FAITH: Oh, like you don't dig it.
BUFFY: I don't.
FAITH: You're a liar. I've *seen* you. Tell me staking a vamp doesn't get you a little bit juiced. Come on, say it. (laughs) You can't fool me. The look in your eyes right after a kill? You just get hungry for more.
BUFFY: You're way off base.
FAITH: Tell me that if you don't get in a good slaying, after a while, you just start itching for some vamp to show up so you can give him a good (grunts and punches)!
BUFFY: Again with the grunting. You realize I'm not comfortable with this.
FAITH: Hey, slaying's what we were built for. If you're not enjoying it, you're doing something wrong.

and later--

FAITH: When are ya gonna get this, B? Life for a Slayer is very simple: want... take... have.
BUFFY: Want... take... have. I'm gettin' it.

Of course there's a line and Faith crossed it, but the general concept remains the same and was in Buffy anyway, regardless of who (Spike or Faith) is pitching the idea.

If I were Spike, I'd be very happy by this confession. It also shows that Buffy started to have feelings for Spike before the wild sex happened.
Ditto to everything Eowyn said to that, really.  What was he to say to that?  "Thanks for the toleration?"

Spike wasn't totally on the level when he suggested that, if his plan was actually to play poker and talk to the demons instead of beating them up.
He explains that the demons are more inclined to talk about what they know when there aren't gaping holes in their corpses.  "Slow and steady wins the race" and all that.

I get Giles' way of thinking, but I guess he could have waited a little more before he decides to teach Buffy how to be an adult. She's still adjusting to being alive again.
Well, Giles didn't have much of a choice on his "leave Sunnydale" time table, since Tony Head had to go off and do his thing.  But at the same time, had he waited a week, a month, or six months, Buffy wouldn't have gotten any better.  The only way to strenghten the leg is to let go of the damn crutch.




"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
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Dec 07 2008 03:50 am   #5Spikez_tart
Cell phones were the size of bricks in the 90's.  How would Buffy have gotten one in her tight ass pants?  Actually Joss does talk about the cell phone issue on the S7 disks when they finally get her one.  They didn't want to make things so easy.
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 07 2008 04:12 am   #6Eowyn315
What was he to say to that? "Thanks for the toleration?"
You know, actually... I could totally see Spike saying that, lol. In a dry, sarcastic kind of way, of course.

He explains that the demons are more inclined to talk about what they know when there aren't gaping holes in their corpses.
True, but he doesn't explain that until after they're already at the poker game. What he says to get her to go to the bar in the first place is, "I'd hit the demon world. Ask questions, throw punches, find out what's in the air. Hmm? It's fun, too." He basically promised Buffy a fight (and alcohol), and then when they got there, he's like, "Oh, actually, you're going to sit quietly while I play poker." Not saying the "demons talk while they play" plan was a bad one... it's just not the one he proposed in the crypt.
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Dec 07 2008 09:45 am   #7sosa lola

"Balls" is more of a British euphemism...is it not?

I honestly don't know, won't they use it on the show if it were? They seemed okay with British curses. But even so, being around Spike for so long, I can see Buffy using some of his speech patterns, including his curses.

That would have been much too easy, wouldn't it?

Easy, smart and realistic. But I agree with you, the point of the season is to make Buffy hate life and just suffer. So logical things like Willow getting a job to help with the money issue, selling the house and living in a smaller apartment, working with Anya at the Magic Box are all out. Actually, if we wanna talk realistic, how was Buffy able to stay that long -jobless- until she started working at the Doublemeat Palace? I don't think Giles' check would cover her up all that long. So, to fill in the blanks, I can see her friends pitching with some money that Buffy promised she'd pay back. Which is what makes the most sense and not hard to believe at all, I mean they're risking their lives to help her save the world, why won't they offer her the money she needs?

Not like she hasn't been there before.

Not my point. What I meant was that Spike is now starting to push her to be where he is, in the dark. Something Buffy doesn't want, and even if she did on the inside, she chooses to be good and far away from that destructiveness.

What was he to say to that? "Thanks for the toleration?"

I can see Spike saying that But I thought it was a good thing, he's the only person she stands to be around... means she prefers hanging out with him and not her friends. That'll make me happy, personally, even seeing as she's so upset about it.

Cell phones were the size of bricks in the 90's.

And they got small and delicate by 2000, which was the year when Buffy went to college. I get Joss' reasons for not adding them, but he should be more realistic, at least have one Scooby buying a cell phone and then have it get broken by the fight in the episode. I mean, live in the now, as Buffy would say.

True, but he doesn't explain that until after they're already at the poker game.

It appeared to me that everybody -the Scoobies and Spike- started out wanting to help Buffy then they got so engrossed with what they were doing -classes, work and poker game- and acted like they knew what Buffy needed when it was in fact what they needed. Hence, poor Buffy.
 

Dec 07 2008 10:16 am   #8Scarlet Ibis
But even so, being around Spike for so long, I can see Buffy using some of his speech patterns, including his curses.
Yeah, that's exactly what I meant.  Spike says, "Oh, balls" in "Dead Things."

she chooses to be good and far away from that destructiveness.
But destructive how?  He starts out that little bit by saying she isn't the average girl--she's more than that (which she is).  Know your boundaries and limits, sure, but accept who you are--you'll be much happier if you do.  And besides, the beginning of that exchange before the "try on my world" comment?

SPIKE: Damn right! I'd hit the demon world. Ask questions, throw punches, find out what's in the air. Hmm? It's fun too.
BUFFY: (slurred) It's not my kind of fun.
SPIKE: Yeah. It is. And your life's gonna get a lot less confusing when you figure that out.

Thing is, she's figured it out before.  Buffy did enjoy patrolling.  She used to sneak out of bed in the middle of the night to go and do it--for fun, exhilaration, and it helped her sleep better.  I just don't think that interpreting "dark" in this instance as "filthy hole of evil," (and yes, I know no one's said those words ) or just a general bad/negative connotation is accurate.  And besides, if he meant it in a bad way, as in keeping her all to himself or whatever, he would have kept pouring the drinks or kept her talking in his crypt instead of offering to help her find answers as to what was playing her, and taking her out into the open.

RE: "Thanks for the toleration."
<--feels all pumped up cause her Spike voice sounded on point
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
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Dec 07 2008 02:10 pm   #9sosa lola
Yeah, that's exactly what I meant. Spike says, "Oh, balls" in "Dead Things."

Hee! I don't remember that, that's so cool.

And besides, if he meant it in a bad way, as in keeping her all to himself or whatever, he would have kept pouring the drinks or kept her talking in his crypt instead of offering to help her find answers as to what was playing her, and taking her out into the open.

I think he meant it in a way to saparate Buffy from the living and keep her with him. Like he did in Dead Things. He isn't pushy about it, but he does drop the hints from time to time, not to make Buffy feel better but to make her see that she belongs with him.
Dec 07 2008 04:56 pm   #10Eowyn315
I just don't think that interpreting "dark" in this instance as "filthy hole of evil," (and yes, I know no one's said those words ) or just a general bad/negative connotation is accurate.
The thing is, there are limits. Faith's encouragement was fine as long as it was just getting Buffy to enjoy slaying, but once they get into the "want, take, have" stuff, they begin breaking laws and getting a sense of entitlement that is absolutely wrong.

Same thing with Spike. It sounds all nice and encouraging here because all he wants is for her to enjoy being the Slayer, right? But later on, his "in the dark" comments are a way of separating her from her friends, a way of persuading her to stay with him even though she thinks it's wrong. At that point, Spike's not saying those things for Buffy's own good; he's saying it to manipulate Buffy.

There has to be some middle ground. Being the Slayer doesn't mean you get to do whatever you want - it's not the free-for-all Faith thought it was. There's responsibility and duty, which Faith seemed to have no concept of - but you also don't have to let that crush you, the way Buffy often did. And even though there may be a darkness to the power, slaying doesn't mean you have to stay in the dark, where your only company are the creatures you kill. Spike himself has said that the only reason Buffy's still alive is because she has family and friends. So why separate her from them? That's not going to make her a better Slayer. I think Buffy managed to find the balance in the beginning of season five. She was happy with being the Slayer - she was going out patrolling a lot, but she was enjoying it, and she wanted to learn more about her power. She wasn't isolated or pulling away from her friends; she was surrounded by people who loved her. And that's what she should've been encouraged to find again - that balance when she was happy, not the line Spike was selling her about belonging in the dark.
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Dec 07 2008 05:52 pm   #11Scarlet Ibis
Like he did in Dead Things. He isn't pushy about it, but he does drop the hints from time to time, not to make Buffy feel better but to make her see that she belongs with him.
But later on, his "in the dark" comments are a way of separating her from her friends, a way of persuading her to stay with him even though she thinks it's wrong. At that point, Spike's not saying those things for Buffy's own good; he's saying it to manipulate Buffy.
He only says it three times--here in this ep (and he didn't imply it in a "you belong with me" way--only that she'd have more fun if she let loose a bit from time to time), "Dead Things," where it was more about him purposely playing the "bad" role to get her off and therefore, only manipulating her into an orgasm (come on--she can sense Spike.  She knew he was there), and in "Normal Again," but only cause he's pissed at her, but also making a point.

that balance when she was happy
But that's the thing--she was completely imbalanced here when he said that.  And Spike wasn't even just referring to the whole mundane job/normal girl mold she was trying to force herself to fit, but also the fact that she'd clearly given up--she wasn't even going to try to see who was messing with her--she was quitting. She lacked that "slayer fire" (which she later sings about, and come to think of it, we don't even see her patrol until OMWF, so there is something off about that), and Spike tells her to simply "try it on."  And again, after saying that, he doesn't keep her there in his crypt--he doesn't even take her out to purposely hit things, if that's what people are finding so offensive--he takes her out, away from his "dark" crypt or whatever, and tries to help her. 

And my Spike and Faith comparison wasn't saying that what they were telling Buffy was exactly the same (Spike never told her she should take anything she wanted and live above the law like Faith, but only to see that she did in fact like the rush of it, which shouldn't be news to her because she'd been there before posthumously--he was trying to help her remember), but only that she admit to herself that there's something more to her normal girl persona.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
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Dec 07 2008 09:31 pm   #12Eowyn315
But that's the thing--she was completely imbalanced here when he said that.
Right... but that's not a result of her having issues with being the Slayer. It's not just that she's given up on finding out who was messing with her - she's given up on everything. She's not trying to take care of Dawn (she pawns that off on Giles), she's not trying to find a job she's good at (she gave up after only a day at each, when she knows it wasn't her fault she screwed up), and she's not trying to get out of the depression she's in. So while Spike's advice may be helpful in this episode (although it's really not, since they don't get any information on the Trio, and their excursion doesn't seem to improve her attitude about slaying), it's not even close to solving the whole problem.

You know, Spike's "You're not a schoolgirl. You're not a shop girl" is pretty easy for him to say - but Buffy's the one who still has to pay the bills. Encouraging her to be a "creature of the darkness" doesn't solve the problem that she's still broke, and unless she's going to take Anya's suggestion to charge people for her slaying, she's going to have to force herself into some kind of human mold if she wants a job that makes money. Instead of Spike telling her what she's not, why not tell her what she can do to make money? The reason she ends up at the Doublemeat Palace is because no one pushed her to find her place in the human world, so she goes for the easiest thing, the job that requires least amount of effort to obtain.

She may have lacked the "slayer fire," but she's also lacking fire for everything else in her life, so I don't think the problem is that she's trying to be too "normal" for the Slayer. The problem is that nothing makes her feel anymore, not slaying, not anything. Buffy's completely disengaged from the world, from her friends, and from her calling. The solution isn't to retreat further from the human world into the dark with Spike - the solution is to engage with the world (which her friends encouraged her to do in this episode) and to learn how to live in it again. What Spike is offering is an escape from the world, a way for her to continue to dwell in her depression and never face up to the fact that she's detached from everything.

I think this is one of those times when Spike just doesn't get it. I think he's trying to be helpful, but he just doesn't understand what it means for Buffy to be human and to have to live in this world, whether she wants to or not. He only sees it from his perspective - and that means he only understands the Slayer side of her problems. And his method of solving her problem only focuses on that one little piece, and it ends up running completely counter to fixing the big-picture issue. It's something I think we'll see repeated throughout the season with Spike.
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Dec 07 2008 10:11 pm   #13Scarlet Ibis
The solution isn't to retreat further from the human world into the dark with Spike - the solution is to engage with the world (which her friends encouraged her to do in this episode) and to learn how to live in it again. What Spike is offering is an escape from the world, a way for her to continue to dwell in her depression and never face up to the fact that she's detached from everything.
But he doesn't tell her to retreat--he tells her to go out and do something, and to be productive and proactive with the way her life is going.  He basically says stop allowing things to happen to you with an "Oh well" attitude.  There was nothing about retreat or wallowing in depression in what he said here.

Instead of Spike telling her what she's not, why not tell her what she can do to make money?
Who knows?  He might have--she does ask him about finances, and we don't see what he says cause there's a cut to Giles and Dawn.  Maybe he gave a response along the lines of Anya (I could see him offering up her own version of a detective agency or whatever, seeing as how he knows it works for Angel), and of course, such a response would get the brush off again.  Of course, that's just speculation.  Either way, I know that DP couldn't possibly be the first instance in which he offered to help her financially, since Buffy's financial status was no secret.

ETA: "The reason she ends up at the Doublemeat Palace is because no one pushed her to find her place in the human world, so she goes for the easiest thing,"

Not true--this is exactly what this ep is about.  She pretty much just gives up after trying out two jobs, even when she knew that someone or something was purposely making the jobs harder than what they were.  She doesn't return to the Magic Box, even when Giles tries to stop her, or ask Xander if he knew of another job and explain the "someone was screwing with me" situation.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Dec 07 2008 10:31 pm   #14Scarlet Ibis
Oh, also, just to note...

He says here (sticking with just this ep to avoid tangents) "creature of the dark like me" and not "stay here in the dark with me."  Also, even if he had said "stay in the dark, yada yada," it's a laughable notion coming from Spike.  Spike is and has been more connected to humanity than Angel was in the three years he was in Sunnydale.  Spike runs out into the light and hangs with humans, eats food, isn't all cryptic and monosyllabic.  He enjoys tv and music, and all kinds of things that he and Buffy could talk about that don't involve slaying, vampires, or anything that pertains to the demon world. 

And this isn't me hating on Angel, cause I like the guy, but if you're talking about "staying in the dark," then Angel fits the bill better (s1-s3 Angel, not Angel on his own show), and was much more unhealthy with a younger Buffy.  Let's have a date in the cemetery.  Seriously?  Making out against a headstone?  It wasn't the vampire thing either--it was Angel's disconnect from the human world at that time, and by that comparison, Spike was better.  Spike would have been open to pretty much anything suggested when it comes to dating in the human the world.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Dec 08 2008 03:17 am   #15Eowyn315
But he doesn't tell her to retreat--he tells her to go out and do something, and to be productive and proactive with the way her life is going.
I think his talk about being a creature of the darkness and telling her she shouldn't try to fit into the shopgirl or school girl roles is encouraging her to stop trying to fit in with the human world, when detaching herself from the human world is the last thing she needs. It's definitely more pronounced in later incarnations when he's pointing out that she belongs with him and not with her friends, but I don't think his "don't give up" message really extends to anything other than the matter at hand - finding out who's messing with her.

Either way, I know that DP couldn't possibly be the first instance in which he offered to help her financially, since Buffy's financial status was no secret.
But if he did, I imagine his help was along the lines of "I can get you money" (which she'd probably turn down, considering the likely methods he'd use to get it). What she needed was, "Hey, let's talk about what kind of job you might be good at," which I really doubt they talked about, because then he probably would've brought it up when he confronted her on the job - "Why didn't you take my advice? Why are you working here instead of (fill in the blank of much better job Spike suggested)?"

"The reason she ends up at the Doublemeat Palace is because no one pushed her to find her place in the human world, so she goes for the easiest thing," Not true--this is exactly what this ep is about.
Yeah... and after one day on the job, no one says to her, "Hey, Buffy, maybe you should try that again when someone's NOT messing with you"? No one says, "Well, why don't you try something you might be better suited for?" Instead, Giles hands her a check and says don't worry about it, "you don't have to figure the whole thing out at once, you know, job and everything." Buffy was a quitter in more ways than one in this episode, and no one - not even Spike - called her on giving up at trying to work.

And this isn't me hating on Angel, cause I like the guy, but if you're talking about "staying in the dark," then Angel fits the bill better
I don't think Angel's really relevant to the conversation at all, but since you brought him up, Angel never told Buffy she was dark or belonged in the dark. Just the opposite, in fact - he always wanted a normal life for her, and actually left her because he knew a relationship with him would keep her into the dark when he wanted more for her. That's not to say Angel's way was better, since he didn't get it any more than Spike did - Spike only addresses the Slayer side of Buffy's problems, but Angel was only thinking of the human side.
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Dec 08 2008 11:49 pm   #16Scarlet Ibis
Yeah... and after one day on the job, no one says to her, "Hey, Buffy, maybe you should try that again when someone's NOT messing with you"?
Honestly?  That should be a given.  But for someone with a defeatist attitude, it wouldn't have mattered if someone had said it.

I don't think Angel's really relevant to the conversation at all, but since you brought him up, Angel never told Buffy she was dark or belonged in the dark. Just the opposite, in fact - he always wanted a normal life for her, and actually left her because he knew a relationship with him would keep her into the dark when he wanted more for her.
I brought up Angel only because everyone was stuck on the "in the dark" comment.  He only told her about the "normal life" business and left after three years (or nearly three years, taking into account the hiatuses of their relationship), and not right away.  My point was that Buffy being in a relationship with a vampire period is less than normal (whatever that means when you're in Sunnydale and more than human).  But, between the two of them, Angel at that time was more abnormal than Spike would have been.  Loss of soul restrictions aside, Angel didn't have much contact with the human world--Buffy's world, unlike Spike.  Spike could have given her more of a sense of normalcy than Angel was capable of at that time. Showing up in the daytime alone is a plus. So when we talk about "dark" or "being in the dark," I feel that that sentiment is more appropriate when looking at Buffy and Angel, and not Buffy and Spike.

My point was, whenever the topic of "Spike tried to bring her into darkness," etc., what exactly does that mean?  Nevermind what he said when he said it--what does it mean to you guys when you say that?  What creepy darkness did he introduce her to?

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Dec 09 2008 12:51 am   #17Eowyn315
But for someone with a defeatist attitude, it wouldn't have mattered if someone had said it.
You never know. If Giles, for example, had said to Buffy, "I'll help you with your bills as long as you stick with the job and do your part," maybe she would've done it. Or even if someone had just framed the situation as not being hopeless, it could've helped her perspective.

What I think this episode shows is that with a push, Buffy will make an effort. She went to school, and she tried two different jobs, and she went looking for information with Spike. But when it didn't work out on the first day, it seemed like everyone gave up on pushing her. It's interesting... everyone's usually so willing to jump on the Scoobies for not helping Buffy in season six, but they always focus on money - who's not paying rent, who's eating her food, etc. There's hardly ever a focus on encouragement - which is really what Buffy needs. (Well, what she really needs is therapy, but we'll start small.) Give a man a fish, feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime, and all that. I think the problem is that Giles gave her a fish with that check, and then expected her to know how to catch them on her own, but no one had ever taught her how.

It's also interesting because I've often seen it argued that Buffy (and the Scoobies) ought to encourage Spike to be good, because reinforcement of good behavior will help him - well, I think the same thing applies to Buffy here.

He only told her about the "normal life" business and left after three years (or nearly three years, taking into account the hiatuses of their relationship), and not right away.
Not exactly true. Angel had been resisting their relationship the entire time. He was the one saying they couldn't be together in "Angel," even before he vamped out on her, a sentiment that is reiterated at the end of the episode. He was the one who kept resisting Buffy's advances in the beginning of season 2, reminding her of the age difference and the drawbacks of his being a vampire, and he expressed regrets that he couldn't give her a normal relationship. He was even hesitant about having sex with her, but Buffy was all "shut up and kiss me." Their whole relationship, he kept trying to put the brakes on, but Buffy kept plowing on ahead, and he'd cave to her. Buffy continued to call the shots in the beginning of season 3, but after "Amends," he started being more assertive with her, and ultimately, he was the one to walk away, because he knew where their relationship was headed, and he didn't want that for Buffy.

My point was, whenever the topic of "Spike tried to bring her into darkness," etc., what exactly does that mean? Nevermind what he said when he said it--what does it mean to you guys when you say that? What creepy darkness did he introduce her to?
Well, for me it means turning her back on the human world - on her friends, her human responsibilities, and a normal social life. And as I mentioned earlier, I don't think that's a good thing, since Spike himself has stressed the importance of having friends and family in keeping her alive. The Slayer needs ties to the world in order to give her something to live for. But now Spike's saying she doesn't need that - she doesn't belong in a normal job (Life Serial, Doublemeat Palace), she doesn't belong with her friends at the Bronze (Dead Things), she doesn't belong with a normal guy (Older and Far Away).

I think it also means rethinking how she sees herself - at the very least, acknowledging that there is darkness to her power, and that she might enjoy slaying, but also in a sense letting go of some of the things that make her human. I think she should be a little concerned if violence is always the answer for her, but Spike's encouraging her to embrace that. I think she should adhere to human morality, and she should be upset when she kills a human. (Yes, it happens, but "one dead girl doesn't tip the scales" is not the attitude to have there. It's still a tragedy, not something to be brushed off as no big deal.)

The thing that I find so damaging about this is that it gives Buffy the excuse to stay detached from her friends and from the world. Reconnecting is hard, and as we've seen, Buffy doesn't do it without a push. She's looking for someone to say, "You know what? Don't try to be like them. Stay where you are. This is what you are," and Spike delivers it to her. It may not have been what Spike intended, but he's enabling her depression.

And finally, I think the imagery is a discouraging reversal of the previous season. In season five, we see Spike reaching for the light - he's trying to be good, trying to make himself fit into Buffy's world, trying to be the kind of person she might love. But now, instead of trying to fit into Buffy's world, he's trying to fit Buffy into his world, bringing her into the darkness instead of striving for the light. Symbolically, it feels like a backwards step in his redemption.
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Dec 09 2008 01:48 am   #18Scarlet Ibis
In season five, we see Spike reaching for the light - he's trying to be good, trying to make himself fit into Buffy's world, trying to be the kind of person she might love. But now, instead of trying to fit into Buffy's world, he's trying to fit Buffy into his world, bringing her into the darkness instead of striving for the light. Symbolically, it feels like a backwards step in his redemption.
The problem is though...Buffy comes to him for that sole purpose of being away from her friends and home life.  Spike's problem is that he's too accommodating--he was willing to give Buffy whatever she wanted, and unfortunately for both of them, what she wanted was not best for her.  What happened there in s5 is the same that happened in s6--he tried to be who she wanted him to be.  S5, we get khakis and pastel button down shirts and brown leather.  Season 6?  Same thing, accept the description changed.  It wasn't a regression or backwards step on his part, he was doing the exact same thing he did before. Spike, romantic that he is, thought it was okay being a doormat.  I think there's the line of confusion--he wasn't being an enabler/pusher, but more doing what she wanted him to do.

Spike's saying she doesn't need that - she doesn't belong in a normal job
He didn't say that--he said she was better than that.  There were better jobs in human world (and I'm not knocking the food industry or anything--just explaining) that she could have gotten.  If she'd gone with him, maybe they could have found a better solution together. 

Well, for me it means turning her back on the human world - on her friends, her human responsibilities, and a normal social life.
He doesn't do that though--Buffy walks away from her friends and Dawn on her own.  For the most part, she goes to cemetery to see him.  Besides that dream sequence and the one time by that tree, how many times do we get to see them "hang out" for whatever reason at her house?  She uses Spike as an escape; he's not trying to keep her from Dawn and her friends.  In the Bronze in "Dead Things," had she stayed on the dance floor with her friends, I highly doubt he would have come, tapped her on the shoulder, and escorted her upstairs to the balcony.

Their whole relationship, he kept trying to put the brakes on, but Buffy kept plowing on ahead, and he'd cave to her. Buffy continued to call the shots in the beginning of season 3, but after "Amends," he started being more assertive with her, and ultimately, he was the one to walk away, because he knew where their relationship was headed, and he didn't want that for Buffy.
Yes.  Very true--my mistake.  Well, from an outside party's POV, he still did less to be apart of the human world over all then Spike did.  That was all I was trying to say.  If you're trying to shoot for normal, well, as normal as possible with a vampire, I think that Spike made more sense then Angel (of s1-s3). 

It's also interesting because I've often seen it argued that Buffy (and the Scoobies) ought to encourage Spike to be good, because reinforcement of good behavior will help him - well, I think the same thing applies to Buffy here.
That's a good point.  I think that's what Giles' tough love approach was aiming for, believing her capable of standing on her own two feet, but her friends were too--and when I say friends, I mean mostly Xander since Willow was kind of non-existent, Tara was gone, and Anya parroted Xander--were quick to say, "Good, Buff" and give her pat on the head as long as she got out of the bed in the morning, it seemed.

Also, and I could be wrong, but it seems as if Spike was anti-customer service, and not her working in general.  Buffy didn't like doing that job before the time went all loopty-loop.  And, Buffy (eventually) doesn't seem to want his help here (and also later on).  Okay, she's tipsy/drunk or whatever, but the sentiment of not wanting him to help her comes up again.

I think she should adhere to human morality, and she should be upset when she kills a human. (Yes, it happens, but "one dead girl doesn't tip the scales" is not the attitude to have there. It's still a tragedy, not something to be brushed off as no big deal.)
In that scene, Spike wasn't telling her not feel remorse, but he was telling her not to throw her life away by going to jail.  She can't save people if she's locked up.  Also, he wasn't using human morality (not that all humans do), but logic.  That, and he didn't get feeling remorse.  What he saw was an accident from demons and time loops confusing her, and she should be guilt free because "accidents happen."
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
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Dec 09 2008 05:59 am   #19Eowyn315
I think there's the line of confusion--he wasn't being an enabler/pusher, but more doing what she wanted him to do.
I don't really see the difference, though. Being an enabler means doing what she wants him to do, because that's what allows her to continue her self-destructive behavior. I'm not saying he did it on purpose, but I think that highlights a big problem with Spike. Either he knew it was the wrong thing for Buffy and did it anyway, which makes him selfish, or he didn't know any better, which makes him a really poor judge of right and wrong. I think it was probably a little of both, but mostly the second, which to me is better evidence than the AR that he needed a soul.

He didn't say that--he said she was better than that.
Yes, he said she was better than the Doublemeat, which she is. But he also said she wasn't a school girl or a shop girl. Is she better than that, too? Where do we draw the line? What is good enough for Buffy in Spike's eyes? I guess we'll never know, since he never seems to come up with any suggestions, but the only thing he seems to respect her doing is slaying. And as I've already pointed out (as have the characters), slaying doesn't pay the bills.

Buffy walks away from her friends and Dawn on her own.
But the thing is - she walked away and he was always there waiting. That's where it gets to be enabling. If she'd walked away and he wasn't there for her, how long do you think she'd keep doing it? She doesn't have to try to make things right with her friends because she has Spike. She doesn't have to try to feel anything, because she has sex to make her feel. If she didn't have that crutch, I think she'd have been forced to get better quicker.

Well, from an outside party's POV, he still did less to be apart of the human world over all then Spike did.
True... but what's interesting to me is that Angel recognized that. And he does change on his own show, to the point where I'd say he's just as much a part of the human world as Spike is. In fact, a big theme of early "Angel" was how important it was for him to build relationships with humans so that he doesn't get cut off from the world. Spike's involvement with humans is mostly accidental, forced by the chip and reinforced by his need to interact with humans in order to survive. His change was born out of necessity, not self-awareness.

Also, and I could be wrong, but it seems as if Spike was anti-customer service, and not her working in general.
Well, he doesn't mention the construction job, and Buffy never brought up any other jobs for him to either support or criticize. But he poo-poos the idea of a college education (required for most "respectable" jobs these days), so it's hard to see what kind of job he might have deemed good enough for Buffy. 

Also, he wasn't using human morality (not that all humans do), but logic. That, and he didn't get feeling remorse.
Right, and again, I think this is a pitfall due to his lack of a soul. He doesn't get remorse, which makes him probably the worst person to deal with Buffy in this situation. Whether he knew it or not, it wasn't the right thing to say to her (especially when that whole scene so closely echoes her conversation with Faith). The intention - "don't throw your life away" - may have been good, but the execution was poor. And it was in response to your question about how people interpreted "in the dark," not necessarily what Spike meant by it - and a big part of my interpretation is not just what Spike says or does, but the impact it has on Buffy. And I think the impact here is pretty obvious - and pretty serious.
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Dec 09 2008 06:13 am   #20Scarlet Ibis
But the thing is - she walked away and he was always there waiting. That's where it gets to be enabling.
How?  He lived there.  I don't think Spike would win here--if he stays, he's "enabling," (which I still disagree with), and if he leaves, it would have been "abandonment" just like all the other men in her life.  It wasn't as if he was the crutch next door--she had to get to him.  And staying with the whole "pusher" metaphor (which again, I still don't think he is), you can't blame the dealer if the junkie seeks them out.

Spike's involvement with humans is mostly accidental, forced by the chip and reinforced by his need to interact with humans in order to survive. His change was born out of necessity, not self-awareness.
Angel didn't evolve from self-awareness--it was born from having his defenses brought down by first Doyle planting the seed that he had to, and then Cordelia and Wes.  They became his best friends and his family through work and circumstance.  He didn't have an epiphany on that (becoming attached to humans).

I think this is a pitfall due to his lack of a soul. He doesn't get remorse
No, that's not what I meant--he didn't get remorse in that situation.  But he does get and has had remorse.  He had remorse for not being able to save Dawn, and therefore, inadvertently "contributing" to Buffy's death, remember?  Remorse for Joyce's death.  And I'm too tired to think of other stuff, but yeah. 
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
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Dec 09 2008 05:05 pm   #21nmcil
But destructive how? He starts out that little bit by saying she isn't the average girl--she's more than that (which she is). Know your boundaries and limits, sure, but accept who you are--you'll be much happier if you do. And besides, the beginning of that exchange before the "try on my world" comment? 
           
SPIKE: Damn right! I'd hit the demon world. Ask questions, throw punches, find out what's in the air. Hmm? It's fun too.
BUFFY: (slurred) It's not my kind of fun.
SPIKE: Yeah. It is. And your life's gonna get a lot less confusing when you figure that out.


Buffy in "young woman lost mode" (at least how I interpret the episode) 

 SPIKE: What's wrong, luv?

BUFFY: (struggling with her jacket) What's wrong?! You were gonna help me! You, you were gonna beat heads and, and, and fix my life! But you're completely lame! Tonight sucks! And, and look at me! Look at, look at stupid Buffy! Too dumb for college, and, and, and freak Buffy, too strong for construction work. And, and my job at the magic shop? I was bored to tears even *before* the hour that wouldn't end! And the only person I can even stand to be around is a ... neutered vampire who cheats at kitten poker.

SPIKE: (embarrassed) Oh, you saw the cheating, did you.

BUFFY: Also? I think you're drunk.

I think this is one of the most important scenes in the episode and one that also helped set the season arc. Taken together with the opening scene and her last scene with Giles, the theme of Buffy being lost and trying to place her life, outside of her Slayer duties, in other peoples hands, IMO, is handled with elegance, subtlety, and wonderful style. All three scenes connect this episode plus the following season with the delusions and realities that by all the character set up for themselves; from Buffy to Giles, and The Nerds.

I especially love the scenes between Buffy and Spike, but I think everything works great, but particularly the scenes with The Nerds and Buffy-Spike. While Buffy’s reality is being manipulated by The Nerds, another reality is being established in her own mind set. Buffy’s wonderful intoxicated rant tells much; both about her going to Spike for help and the tragic road they both take plus it show the low self-esteem and sense of a "life in chaos." People in a drunken state often tell their hidden and controlled emotional desires and traumas and Buffy is drinking heavily. While the Spike-Buffy drinking scenes is played with comedy the "life in chaos" and "seeking shelter" is an important part. You will notice that Buffy even wears a diamond lucky horseshoe – she seeks out Spike to help fix her life and then Giles gets her out of immediate money stress with that check, but her emotional trauma are still all there.

Kudos to James Marsters and Adam Bausch (sp?) for their performances – their use of body language is so excellent. Notice how within all the comedy, the violence and tension between Buffy and Spike is brought in by JM.






 




” 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 09 2008 08:01 pm   #22Eowyn315
if he leaves, it would have been "abandonment" just like all the other men in her life.
Who says he has to leave? I never suggested he should leave Sunnydale or stop being a presence in Buffy's life. But allowing her to do what she wants, providing an escape from her friends and her responsibilities, isn't the role he should have been playing.

And staying with the whole "pusher" metaphor (which again, I still don't think he is), you can't blame the dealer if the junkie seeks them out.
Uh... I think you're confusing the terms. A pusher or drug dealer is not the same as an enabler. An enabler is "one who enables another to persist in self-destructive behavior (as substance abuse) by providing excuses or by making it possible to avoid the consequences of such behavior." It can be giving a friend money to support their drug habit, or a battered woman who makes excuses for her abusive husband, or the cop who erases his little brother's DUI so he won't have a record. Often, it's someone who cares very deeply about the person in trouble, but for whatever reason, they're unable or unwilling to address the problem, and by their actions (or inaction), they implicitly condone or even encourage the continuation of the behavior. And by that definition, Spike IS an enabler for Buffy - he's not selling her the "drug," but he's not taking them away from her, either. 

But he does get and has had remorse.
Well, if you think of other examples, feel free to share them, but the trend I see is that Spike only feels remorse when it affects him or someone he cares about. It's one thing when it's Buffy or Dawn or Joyce that's involved - of course he feels bad, because he cares about them and doesn't want to see them dead. But he doesn't understand remorse over a random stranger. Why should he care if some girl is dead? Rahirah said it really well in one of her fics, and I wish I could find the exact quote, but it's something like Spike has a custom-made patchwork morality pieced together from what he learns from Buffy, and that means sometimes he just doesn't get things like why he should care about someone he doesn't know.
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Dec 09 2008 10:56 pm   #23nmcil
Yeah... and after one day on the job, no one says to her, "Hey, Buffy, maybe you should try that again when someone's NOT messing with you"? Honestly?

That should be a given. But for someone with a defeatist attitude, it wouldn't have mattered if someone had said it.


I think this is an important part of the themes that are being introduced - Buffy plays a big part of creating the reality she wants to filter life through during Season Six - Spike's "let yourself live" does speak to how she tries to manages her life.  Giles is right, she has lived through a horrendous and totally unnatural life experience being brought back to life and away from the rest and peace and love  that she found in after her death.  But other than killing herself, her only solution is to learn how to live in this world and try to live as best you can.  For many viewers Buffy chose to try  the opposite.  Even in her relationship with a man that did truly love her, she does not reach out to love and potential joy in her life, instead she creates a personal hell on earth for herself and Spike.  I for one think that the visual metaphor of "The Devil" that Jonathan assumes, refers back to Buffy and to all the inner demons of the Scoobies. 

Growing up and learning how to live within  the "all life is sorrowful" model means taking all the joy and sorrow that life brings   Dawn, Spike and The First Slayer all give her this message.  The lessons and rites of passage are for Buffy to live and pass.  With Angel/Angelus she passed a great challenge and trial, duty over love.  I personally think that the big challenge she needed to learn about in Season Six  is finding her own life, "her own style."   A life apart from close relationship with other humans, will be extremely lonely and painful - but it will at least be controlled and spare one  the huge  pain and  sorrows  that come with deep affections and love - that is why she can be with Spike.  She can be perfectly alone with him, in daylight or night, in anger and hate, in fear and power - all she has to give up is the wonderful love that could have been found had she allowed for that reality.  She Does Not, even when she walks into the light in "As You Were," she, in my estimation, still walking away from life.   
” 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 09 2008 11:05 pm   #24nmcil
Angel didn't evolve from self-awareness--it was born from having his defenses brought down by first Doyle planting the seed that he had to, and then Cordelia and Wes. They became his best friends and his family through work and circumstance. He didn't have an epiphany on that (becoming attached to humans).

One thing that comes to mind when I think of the Angel/Angelus-Doyle encounter is that Buffy, like Drusilla, is also a very young woman.  I can't help but think that his guilt from the torture and turning Dru plays into his sudden change - he could see this as a way to atone for his past. 
” 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 09 2008 11:32 pm   #25Scarlet Ibis
Spike IS an enabler for Buffy - he's not selling her the "drug," but he's not taking them away from her, either.
Okay--Spike was being an enabler (by being a doormat).  We could blame Spike, we could blame her friends for being oblivious, or we could blame Giles for leaving.  But you know what?  She should have helped herself (or at least try to) instead of relying on others to do it for her.  The ones who did try failed.  Instead of examining their failed attempts, why not examine why Buffy didn't even bother to try?

sometimes he just doesn't get things like why he should care about someone he doesn't know.
Most people don't as well.  One might feel bad about something they hear in the news, but it doesn't linger.  And coming from someone who shouldn't care about humans period?  I think he fared okay.  Also, he didn't learn remorse from Buffy.  Remorse stems from your own feelings and emotions, and those (feelings and emotions) are things you can't teach.

But other than killing herself, her only solution is to learn how to live in this world and try to live as best you can. For many viewers Buffy chose to try the opposite. Even in her relationship with a man that did truly love her, she does not reach out to love and potential joy in her life, instead she creates a personal hell on earth for herself and Spike.
I agree.  I'd just add that living in the world isn't a new thing for her.  Or being a slayer.  In fact, as far as reprieves go, she didn't have to worry about saving the world then.  And call me crazy, but I'd personally find "trying to save the world from ending" more stressful than work or bills.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
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Dec 10 2008 12:29 am   #26Eowyn315
We could blame Spike, we could blame her friends for being oblivious, or we could blame Giles for leaving. But you know what? She should have helped herself (or at least try to) instead of relying on others to do it for her.
You're absolutely right. And I don't think I've once said that Buffy wasn't at fault in this season. I think every single person on this show is wrong about something and/or screws up royally numerous times during this season. Occasionally, they're all wrong about the same thing (like how to handle Buffy's post-resurrection issues). But the tendency on this site is to praise and sympathize with Spike and blame (or even hate) Buffy, so I usually try to give the opposite perspective. My experience in season six discussions is that there's no shortage of people willing to catalogue all of Buffy's faults, so I don't feel the need to repeat it.

One might feel bad about something they hear in the news, but it doesn't linger.  And coming from someone who shouldn't care about humans period?  I think he fared okay.
Yeah, but there's a difference between hearing about a death on the news and your friend telling you they killed someone. And sure, he "fared okay," by your criteria. But the criteria isn't just "good enough for a vampire" - it's "be the man Buffy wants/deserves." This whole season is leading up to Spike getting his soul, striving for something more, defying his vampiric nature to be a man. It's not enough to just muddle through the moral decisions anymore. He's got to get it right (because he'll find out what happens when he gets it wrong), and what this bit illustrates to me is that there's something missing. Spike may not need the soul to pass as a "good vampire," but he needs it if he's ever going to fully make that transformation from monster to man.

And call me crazy, but I'd personally find "trying to save the world from ending" more stressful than work or bills.
Well, it's all about what you're good at. You've never tried to save the world (as far as I know), so it probably seems like it'd be pretty hard. Buffy does it on a regular basis. Bills, on the other hand, are a whole new beast.
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Dec 10 2008 02:26 am   #27nmcil
I would also like to interject one thing - Joss Whedon is extremely interested in the psychological elements of his characters - and I would suggest that all that the scene about "realities" is an important part of this entire season.  The self created realities is vital and life choices and balance in individual world views is an element in the season arc that has to be considered and is equally important.  Not only the how, but the why is important.  Why Does Buffy sublimate all her anger onto Spike, why does she feel that she can even begin to take a higher moral ground?  This is the same young woman that was, with full intellectual capacity and moral understanding, willing to kill another human being for her own personal need.  And please, understand, that I don't bring this Faith sacrifice up because I want to place blame on Buffy, or to take blame away from Spike.  But the question and theme is vital to the layers of this season and the entire series.  Considering Joss Whedon's political perspectives and his interest in the dynamics of social groups, I think that he does ask of his viewers to not only think of the Sunnydale realm, but how that is transferred into our real life society and culture.  Spike, for me is the primary arc in Season Six - even above all the trauma of Buffy's life - Season Seven, again for me, is the coming together and transformation of Buffy's World View and the combination of what happens to both through their interconnections - they have become physical and spiritual guides for each other - anyone who does not think that Buffy and Spike have come together in the finale just does not want to see it.  The purification of fire, hands that join and intertwined, and the spiritual transcendence and cycle of Man-Sol and Woman-Moon together, life and death in balance. 

Buffy and Spike are both broken beings,  that will make a journey of self discovery and resurrection and have a magnificent coming together and heal themselves and each other.
” 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 10 2008 02:31 am   #28nmcil
Well, it's all about what you're good at. You've never tried to save the world (as far as I know), so it probably seems like it'd be pretty hard. Buffy does it on a regular basis. Bills, on the other hand, are a whole new beast.

NICE section - life having to worry over money issues is one of the hardest things that our society makes people suffer.  I'm with Anya - the CoW create a system of slavery for Their Slayers and wrapped it up in "duty"  and go their fine and rich and powerful way - the real warriors are left to money grub.
” 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 10 2008 03:05 am   #29Scarlet Ibis
And I don't think I've once said that Buffy wasn't at fault in this season.
But you don't bring up her faults either, which is where I come in

My experience in season six discussions is that there's no shortage of people willing to catalogue all of Buffy's faults, so I don't feel the need to repeat it.
Actually, there kind of is a shortage.  Let's face it--you, myself and Sosa dominate the topic discussions.  I didn't actually count posts or anything, but I'm fairly certain this true   But either way it's good, because it'd be bloody boring if we saw eye to eye on everything.

Yeah, but there's a difference between hearing about a death on the news and your friend telling you they killed someone.
Not that I recall how we even started talking about DT on this thread, but she didn't kill Katrina, and I'm not talking about Warren setting her up.  If those events had really occurred and she hadn't been played by those geeks, then the situation was an accident.  And not only an accident, but something caused directly by those demons who were attacking her in the first place, and making time go wonky to trip her up.  It wasn't the same as the Faith incident, where her reaction time was too slow, but they (the demons, who were trying to kill the girl in the first place), literally made time jump back and forth to mess her up.  Guilt is great, but honestly, I think she laid it on quite thick.  And this is just a personal pet peeve of mine, but I thought it was poor writing for them to not have Spike notice that A--the body was considerably cooler than it should have been for being recently dead, and B--it was probably starting to go into rigor.  I'm guessing it took the nerds at least an hour to set that up, and then go out and find where Buffy actually was at that time.

You've never tried to save the world (as far as I know), so it probably seems like it'd be pretty hard.
No, I haven't.  But I imagine that it's never easy.  Also?  Bills won't kill you like the other might.  You don't have to sacrifice lives--possibly the lives of your friends or family memebers to pay a bill.  Sorry, but between the two, that's a mighty retarded beast to fret over.  No casualties there, except for maybe name brand clothing, and downsizing to an apartment.  Even if you go homeless, you still get to live, and so do your friends and family (excluding natural causes, of course, but that has nothing to do with an apocalypse).

Why Does Buffy sublimate all her anger onto Spike, why does she feel that she can even begin to take a higher moral ground?
Because there is no moral high ground when dealing with something you consider not to be real.  To her, he's just a thing.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Dec 10 2008 05:10 am   #30nmcil
Why Does Buffy sublimate all her anger onto Spike, why does she feel that she can even begin to take a higher moral ground? Because there is no moral high ground when dealing with something you consider not to be real. To her, he's just a thing.

And this takes us back to the whole setting of "realities" and the conversion and contrast of "what is Good and What is Evil" - as you say, Spike to her is just a thing, beyond any moral consideration of her treatment, however the very thing that she claims to loath and hate in Spike, she is also partaking of - brutality and violence against another person, but the introspection and analysis of her part in the sordid affair never becomes part of her life with Spike -

Good discussion everyone - I know that we have all talked over the entire series with other groups - I continue to find the discussions interesting and like having all the different ideas from our members. 
” 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 10 2008 08:14 pm   #31Eowyn315
Actually, there kind of is a shortage. Let's face it--you, myself and Sosa dominate the topic discussions.
Well, maybe we've scared everyone else away. But I'm sure I could dig up previous s6 discussion threads with lots of Buffy-bashing. (I also remember being in the minority in tag discussions on the subject.)

Not that I recall how we even started talking about DT on this thread, but she didn't kill Katrina, and I'm not talking about Warren setting her up.
We started talking about it because you asked about the "in the dark" thing, so I addressed all the instances I felt were related, including this one. And yes, it was an accident, but that doesn't mean Buffy wouldn't have killed her, if it had really happened (is this getting confusing to anyone else?). Just because there are other things interfering doesn't change the fact that it would have been Buffy's hand that took her life, and I can understand Buffy feeling guilt for that - the same way Spike feels guilt for not being quick enough to save Dawn and prevent Buffy from having to jump. It doesn't mean it's his fault - or hers - but it feels that way to them. I don't think Spike's intent was wrong, but think the message was a little mangled and coming from the wrong person. He was a little too callous about Katrina, and that set Buffy off instead of calming her down. She already believes that Spike is immoral and doesn't understand right and wrong, so his writing off the death as "one dead girl doesn't tip the scale" was probably just more proof of what she already knew. She probably could've benefited from hearing Giles' "accidents happen" speech from "Consequences" again at this point, but hearing it from Spike doesn't have the same effect.

And this is just a personal pet peeve of mine, but I thought it was poor writing for them to not have Spike notice that A--the body was considerably cooler than it should have been for being recently dead, and B--it was probably starting to go into rigor.
Yeah, I agree. He definitely should have clued in on that. But that argument probably would've kept Buffy from turning herself in - "Hey, actually, you didn't kill that girl, 'cause she's been dead for hours." - so they couldn't do that if they wanted the alley scene.
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Dec 10 2008 11:03 pm   #32slaymesoftly
so they couldn't do that if they wanted the alley scene.

I think something that has to be kept in mind during any and all of these discussions is that a huge amount of what took place during the show is based on things having nothing to do with telling a good story. Availability of actors, what they wanted to do in the next episode, how long the epi had to be, who was writing it and if he/she had a particular slant on the characters, who was producing/directing and ditto for them, what guidelines Joss gave them (if any), and so on.  The reality of putting on a weekly drama show is that when you have the time to examine it closely, lots of things aren't going to make sense; or, will be logic-defying acts that are going to be there for reasons of expediency that may or may not be story-related. It's why I rarely get overly exciting when commenting on these threads - we're discussing and arguing over things that are long over and probably weren't that clear at the time.
I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Dec 11 2008 12:07 am   #33Eowyn315
The reality of putting on a weekly drama show is that when you have the time to examine it closely, lots of things aren't going to make sense; or, will be logic-defying acts that are going to be there for reasons of expediency that may or may not be story-related.
True... but for me at least, part of the reason for these discussions is to try to reason it out and come up with an explanation that fits what we were given. Sometimes, like with blatant continuity errors, you just have to give up and say, "That doesn't make sense," or "One of those is wrong," but when things are ambiguous, it can be fun and helpful to understanding the story to fill in the holes. And sometimes there's two answers - the "meta" answer (what was going on behind the scenes) and the story answer (how you explain it in terms of character motivation).
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Dec 11 2008 04:44 am   #34Spikez_tart
Important question.  Is the bar that Spike takes Buffy to the infamous Fish Tank?
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 11 2008 05:14 am   #35nmcil
Availability of actors, what they wanted to do in the next episode, how long the epi had to be, who was writing it and if he/she had a particular slant on the characters, who was producing/directing and ditto for them, what guidelines Joss gave them (if any), and so on.

All of the episodes are so directly connected - you can't view any of the series without these connection - unfortunately there were some  instances when peculiar transitions happened.  One example happens between "Dead Things" and "Older and Far Away" where we go from the brutal alley scene to a birthday party where it's like last week never happened.  Plus  the multi-layered style of the series that requires the viewers to look well beyond the weekly episode.  For instance when Giles and Willow argue over the resurrection and Willow answers him with:

WILLOW: No, probably not, but ... well, they're the bad guys. I'm not a bad guy. I brought Buffy back into this world, a-and maybe the word you should be looking for is "congratulations."  

This scene connects to Willow's arrogance and magic/power addiction in the season and even into season 7 with the imbalance that brings in The First Evil.  All the episodes brought in questions that were played out over and over again throughout the entire season. 

Getting back to the writing - what do members think of the whole Buffy-Angel must see each other scene - was that just a tribute to the Bangel and early history of the series or was it put in there in reinforce the Fantasy-Not Love-Using Spike arc?

” 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 11 2008 07:55 pm   #36Eowyn315
Is the bar that Spike takes Buffy to the infamous Fish Tank?
Doubtful. While the Fish Tank is way up there on the Sketchy Places to Go in Sunnydale list, I got the impression it was a humans' hangout. Sheila goes there in "School Hard" and leaves with two human guys. I doubt the demons would be openly hanging out with Sunnydale townies.

what do members think of the whole Buffy-Angel must see each other scene - was that just a tribute to the Bangel and early history of the series or was it put in there in reinforce the Fantasy-Not Love-Using Spike arc?
Maybe a little of both, although I think a big consideration is the fact that it would be out of character for them NOT to meet up. Willow's been keeping Angel in the loop, notifying him of both Buffy's death and resurrection, so it's hard to believe he would find out Buffy's alive and not want to see her. I guess they could've not included that, but again... seems a little out of character for the Scoobies if no one tells Angel. Also, it may have been an aborted attempt at crossover - maybe they planned to have one actually appear on the other's show, but scrapped the idea when Buffy's move to UPN nixed the crossovers.
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Dec 11 2008 09:33 pm   #37Guest
Sheila goes there in "School Hard" and leaves with two human guys. I doubt the demons would be openly hanging out with Sunnydale townies.
I thought that was the Bronze?  I thought they only mention she hangs out at the Fish Tank.
Dec 12 2008 12:47 am   #38Eowyn315
The shooting script has the location labeled as the Fish Tank. I wouldn't be surprised if it's the same set as the alley outside the Bronze, though. They didn't really have the money to build a whole new set for one scene.
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.