BSV Forum - General - Episode Discussions

Entropy

May 07 2009 03:04 am   #1Spikez_tart
Here's an episode for you angst lovers.  Could Spike screw up anymore than this?  I guess so, since Seeing Red is next.

In the first scene, we see the Trio chasing a couple of vamps in their little cars.  What kind of lame-ass vamps are these?  Then Buffy fights one of them and it takes her a while to beat him up.  Of course she's distracted by Spike.  It was pretty funny watching him hold Vamp 2 up by the hair. 

So Buffy taunts Spike - you want to tell them so badly? Go ahead.  Is she just jerking Spike's strings or does she mean this?  Spike asks why she won't sleep with him again.  Not very romantic considering. 

Xander - okay the Xan man just terminated his love life with extreme prejudice because he doesn't want to grow up to be just like his parents.  So, what does he do?  Start drinking.  This makes the kind of sense that doesn't.  After looking at the later scene with Anya, where he wants to start dating or shacking up or whatever he wants, I came to the conclusion that he doesn't actually love her.  And, he is still mooning over Buffy at some level, although he may not even know that himself.  He says later "Who's obsessed with Buffy?  Who likes to hang out in her yard and keep an eye on her?  Who's in love with you and not getting any?"   Couldn't this speech apply equally to himself?  It really doesn't make sense that Spike would have a camera - what would he do with it?  Besides Spike likes to do his stalking in person.  (Must have been that wicked international arms dealer Clem again.)   Also, wow an axe is Xander's weapon of choice.  Who knew?

Coffee - these are supposed to be wild, college student types - drinking, doing drugs, having sex and wild parties and what is the drink of choice?  Coffee.  I can't make up my mind whether it's just a sop to the teen audience to not give them any wicked ideas or what. 

Pet store - how is it that Buffy doesn't have a dog?  She needs one plainly.

Deader than an ex-girlfriend - Jonathan has become a pretty interesting character.  He could have been a good guy if Buffy had followed up after the Superstar spell, instead he fell in with Warren and got involved in some bad bad stuff.  Sadly, he is naive enough to think that Warren will let him walk away. 

Halfrek - Why doesn't she slam Hank with a couple thousand paper cuts? 

Anya - In her journey back to being human, she makes that wonderful speech right before Xander runs away from their wedding.  She made the leap to mature, adult love (Xander didn't), but, she hasn't learned the vengeance doesn't work out lesson yet.  She falls right back into vengeance with barely a thought.  Also, how is it that she never figures out that Spike and Buffy are an item?

Buffy - got up early.  So, Dawn gets breakfast if Spike isn't keeping her out all night.  Jeesh.   Then, per Anya "guys have been running roughshod over you for years.  Torturing that perky little ticker."  Buffy's response three, not four, could mean that she knows that Spike didn't do any roughshodding.  Anya them predicts that (Spike) will rip her heart out.  Which, how could he do that, if she didn't love him?

Garden gnome - did this ever appear before?  Like in As You Were?  Buffy stumbles on the gnome and what does she do?  Runs right to Spike.  She's got the camera and has disabled it.  She could bust Spike's chops any old time, but no she has to see him ASAP.  She says she knows that he wouldn't hurt her (which of course he will), so again why is she at his crypt? 

Spike - I think Spike has actually given up on Buffy by the time he goes to the Magic Box.  He asks Anya for a spell, which he never did before no matter how crappy Buffy treated him.  And, he tries out a little vengeance himself by sleeping with Anya.  Which works out badly.  I think he's working off a death wish when Xander shows up, too.  He makes no attempt to run away or save himself.

Dawn - Buffy told her in Normal Again that she was sleeping with a vampire she hates.  I know Dawn was wigged what with Buffy trying to kill her and everything, but why is Dawn acting like she didn't have a clue after Spike and Anya are caught? 
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?
May 07 2009 06:25 am   #2nmcil

The writers have been setting up Spike as "the fall guy" for all the shit that happens in Buffy's life - his William Pratt name is perfect.  Even when he tries to help himself and move away from his desperate love and need of Buffy - he get hooked in by the machinations of women and how women want to use him.  And while Spike could totally not have chosen to drink with Anya, being in his own emotional hell he falls into Anya scheme of USING HIM for her own agenda.  The writers just never give this character a break.  Instead of letting Spike have some dignity and compassion for what the character must have been feeling, he gets to be the Big Bad Boy Friend plot device fodder for the other characters that are equally screwing up their own lives. 

I say again, that the writers treated Anya very badly - forget all the efforts for trying to learn how to live within the human world, and just throw out that her beautiful and final marriage vows - At least the character is allowed to end this terrible mistake she makes by retracting her desire for vengeance on Xander.  Spike "the outsider," at the ending scene is portrayed as mean spirited without honor or self-respect.  With that one perfectly timed line " It was good enough for Buffy.. "  the writers take most of any sympathy viewers had for his emotional need and pain. 

Buffy and Anya have just committed the same sins and the real horror of the emotional devastation that Spike must have felt at the moment upon  hearing those words becomes obscured with all the fury and angry words.  Spike goes into the Magic Shop wanting nothing more than to do the right thing - find some way of 'moving on" and instead ends up as - the guy that makes all the wrong choices and taking the blame from Buffy and the responsibility for errors made.

Who are we suppose to have sympathy for - the two demons that want only to find some temporary solace from their human inflicted pain or the White Hats that gutted and ripped out the hearts of their partners?  I had a really hard time finding much sympathy for Xander or Buffy in this episode - frankly, they came over as whining self-centered and selfish. 

 

” 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.
May 07 2009 06:48 am   #3Guest
What got me the most about Xander's and Buffy's reactions was that they got what they asked for. Buffy wanted Spike to move on, he tried. She realized that it hurt when she saw it and gave him grief. Xander jilts Anya and thinks she has no right to have sex with another guy. Killing a defenseless guy for the crime of sleeping with your ex is a bit extreme. I was so furious at their reactions. (Not that Spike/Anya was what I wanted either) I spent much of Seasons 6-7 wanting to slap Xander anyway.

What amazed me more was that the people writing the show expected me to side with Buffy and Xander. And I couldn't. They're not just self-centered, they were mean spirited too.

Varin
May 07 2009 06:55 am   #4Scarlet Ibis
Is she just jerking Spike's strings or does she mean this?
That entire exchange, for the most part, was confusing.  What kind of sense does it make to compare being insane with demon venom to having sexual relations with Spike?  Big whoop.  And Buffy's parting line of "Because I don't love you."  WTF?  I know she didn't love him before.  You don't have to love someone to sleep with them.  That whole deal was just retarded.  If her whole thing for keeping Spike a secret was because she was shaking in her boots as to what her friends would think, then turning around saying that if they didn't care she tried to kill them (while insane), then who cares if they knew she was sleeping with Spike, then why not sleep with him?  Just trying to find a logical train of thought in there, though knowing damn well that's fruitless.

Halfrek - Why doesn't she slam Hank with a couple thousand paper cuts?
Good point.

She made the leap to mature, adult love (Xander didn't), but, she hasn't learned the vengeance doesn't work out lesson yet
That's cause by losing Xander, Anya lost her identity.  So she leans on a familiar crutch, which we later see also isn't her true identity.  Anya wasn't done "baking."

Buffy's response three, not four, could mean that she knows that Spike didn't do any roughshodding. Anya them predicts that (Spike) will rip her heart out. Which, how could he do that, if she didn't love him?
Hadn't looked at it that way--I just thought she meant it in a "Spike doesn't count, so of course it'd be three and not four" kind of way.  I don't think she loved him, though..

She says she knows that he wouldn't hurt her (which of course he will), so again why is she at his crypt?
Seemed to me, to get one last dig in.  After all, she does try to tell him how his "love didn't count, cause it's only real to him, but he isn't real at all" B.S. before he kicked her ass out.

I think Spike has actually given up on Buffy by the time he goes to the Magic Box. He asks Anya for a spell, which he never did before no matter how crappy Buffy treated him.
I agree.  At that point, something had changed though.  Buffy saying she doesn't believe Spike is in love with her is wholly different from "Your love isn't real."  That was below the belt and beyond, there.  So he figures, why keep torturing himself over someone who not only doesn't acknowledge his love, but is now saying it only exists in his imagination, cause souless beings can't love.  And how needs shit like that?  Talk about a blow to self esteem.  Oh right--Spike's self esteem doesn't count cause he's soulless.

And, he tries out a little vengeance himself by sleeping with Anya. Which works out badly. I think he's working off a death wish when Xander shows up, too. He makes no attempt to run away or save himself.
Not vengeance--solace.  There was no malicious intent behind that.  It wasn't rutting either.  Though he did have a death wish--he was totally waiting for that stake to end it all.

And while Spike could totally not have chosen to drink with Anya, being in his own emotional hell he falls into Anya scheme of USING HIM for her own agenda.
I agree that initially, she was trying to use him for a vengeance spell.  But then it became solace for her too.  Then it turned to shit again with her "he was just there" comment.  It was more than someone with a penis just being "there," and Anya knew that.  If that had been one of the Trio or some random customer, she wouldn't have had sex with them.  I didn't like that at all.

Also, Xander's comment of "he was just there--like I used to be" was...weird.  What, he considered himself to be Anya's penis ride?  Which, is not how I view the Spike/Anya scene, but is how Xander refers to it.

Who are we suppose to have sympathy for - the two demons that want only to find some temporary solace from their human inflicted pain or the White Hats that gutted and ripped out the hearts of their partners?
I never thought it was a question, frankly.  I mostly feel sorry for Spike, then Anya.  It's the end of the line right there.  Why would anyone feel sympathy for Buffy or Xander?  Did anyone actually feel sympathy for those two in that scene?  If so, please explain.  Though I do get where Xander's coming from.  But hey, he made that bed up all by himself.  Tough titty.


"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
May 07 2009 10:37 am   #5sosa lola

I'm so glad I'm not dating Anya, those wishes were so awful. Imagine if she was capable of granting a wish to herself? Xander wouldn't have existed…. So much would have changed…


because he doesn't want to grow up to be just like his parents. So, what does he do? Start drinking.

I agree. He doesn't wanna end up like his parents, but he surely acts like them in the episode by being a drunken, verbally and physically abusing jerk. That's what depression does in the BtVS, I guess.

After looking at the later scene with Anya, where he wants to start dating or shacking up or whatever he wants, I came to the conclusion that he doesn't actually love her.

I've always thought that Xander's intentions in Hell's Bells weren't about breaking up with Anya. He wanted to stop the wedding, not their relationship. But he did a lousy job explaining himself to Anya. It reminds me of his scene with Faith, when he tried to tell her he was there to help her, but she misunderstood him thinking he was there for sex.

And if Xander didn't love Anya, he wouldn't have gone crazy with the axe. Just saying.

It really doesn't make sense that Spike would have a camera

He already used a camera in Halloween to spy on something (don't remember the ep)

Halfrek - Why doesn't she slam Hank with a couple thousand paper cuts?

And Tony Harris, and Mrs. Rosenberg, and Faith's mother, and Tara's father... Halfrek is a lousy "justice" demon.

Also, how is it that she never figures out that Spike and Buffy are an item?

Because they're not Xander. Her entire focus is Xander, anyone else? They could rot in hell for all she cares. She won't learn how to love others until S7, I guess.

What amazed me more was that the people writing the show expected me to side with Buffy and Xander. And I couldn't. They're not just self-centered, they were mean spirited too.

Who said we were supposed to sympathize with Buffy and Xander? Always thought that the point would be about sympathizing with Spike and Anya. That's how the scenes were written.

May 07 2009 08:36 pm   #6Scarlet Ibis
He already used a camera in Halloween to spy on something (don't remember the ep)
He had a lackey record Buffy's fighting style. But Buffy and none of the Scoobies ever knew about that.  Putting surveliance on her house?  That has the Trio written all over it.  That was a big retard moment with a capital R for Buffy right there.  Tart's right.  If Spike was going to do some stalking (which he didn't need to then), he'd do it himself.  Yeah, the guy with no phone and no cable was an international arms dealer, and had cameras all over the crypt so he could spy on Buffy.  Puhleeze.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
May 08 2009 01:29 am   #7sosa lola
I'm just saying that it's not far-streched for Spike to use it, he can't stalk Buffy at day, so he'll use a camera. But when thinking about it, obviously Xander was too upset he wanted to blame Spike for the sake of it. And Buffy was happy to do that as well.
May 08 2009 01:39 am   #8Scarlet Ibis
Eh, Spike was the typical scapegoat.  I wasn't surprised
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
May 08 2009 03:00 am   #9Spikez_tart

 

 

With that one perfectly timed line "It was good enough for Buffy.. "  the writers take most of any sympathy viewers had for his emotional need and pain.  I took that line to be meant for Buffy as in why haven’t you told them? How can you be so cruel to me? 

 

then who cares if they knew she was sleeping with Spike, then why not sleep with him?  Buffy is right not to sleep with Spike, it would only be leading him on when she isn’t prepared to love him or accept love from him. It’s wrong and she knows it. 

 

Anya lost her identity.  Anya wasn't done "baking."  I’ve always hated the theory (see my previous rants on this subject) that being in a loving relationship was not part of the baking process. Nothing jerks you into maturity faster than a spouse and family. She still had an identity (no matter what bilge Joss put out in later shows). She had a successful business, she was an attractive woman. Wait!  She had a high school diploma from Sunnydale High!  She didn’t need Xander half as much as he needed her.

 

I just thought she meant it in a "Spike doesn't count, so of course it'd be three and not four" kind of way.  When I first saw the scene, I thought Buffy was trying to hide the number of men she’d had sex with, so didn’t want Anya to start thinking about who Number Four might be.

 

[Spike having sex with Anya.] There was no malicious intent behind that.  I think there was some, from his comment that they are “moving on.” He’s worked himself into a drunken meanie, so I think there’s a twinge of anger and payback there.  I'll show her that I don't care.

 

Then it turned to shit again with her "he was just there" comment.    That comment was unbelievably cold. Poor Spike, everybody wants to have sex with him, but nobody wants to love him and stand up for him. Anya should have told Xander to drop dead.  And, so should Buffy.

 

What, he considered himself to be Anya's penis ride?  Yes, I think that is part of his problem. She is so focused on sex that if they miss a single night, she goes crazy. He’s got to be wondering what it’s going to be like in the future if he has ahem performance issues.  Maybe he thinks that being an ex-demon she isn't capable of love. (Like Spike?)

 

Why would anyone feel sympathy for Buffy or Xander?  I did feel sympathy for Buffy. Buffy is finding out that she isn’t so lacking in feelings for Spike as she thought. If Spike had picked some unknown person, it might not have been so bad for her (like Tarantula), but Anya is close to the inner circle. Xander – not so much with the sympathy.  He tries to kill Spike.  Buffy, who is hurting just as much, saves Spike even though he's hurt her. 

 

He wanted to stop the wedding, not their relationship.  Xander wants his relationship with Anya on the cheap. He reminds me of Gunn deciding he wants to be a brilliant lawyer without ever cracking open a book and letting somebody give him a brain floop instead. Jerk.

 

And if Xander didn't love Anya, he wouldn't have gone crazy with the axe.  Yeah he would, because it’s Spike. Xander hates Spike. He may or may not love Anya, but he sure doesn’t want Spike touching her.   Or Buffy.

He already used a camera in Halloween to spy on something (don't remember the ep)  Completely forgot about that, but still that was just a single camera, not a complicated set up like the gnome. Spike occasionally shows that he’s able to use technology (he breaks into the University and looks up Buffy’s dorm room number on their computer), but that kind of set up is beyond the casual user. 

 

 

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?
May 08 2009 03:16 am   #10Scarlet Ibis
Anya was successful, yes, but unfortunately, Xander was her identity.  How many times did she look over and go, "Isn't that right baby?  Xander?" needing that reassurance.  I'm not saying I agree with it, though.

He’s worked himself into a drunken meanie, so I think there’s a twinge of anger and payback there. I'll show her that I don't care.
Yeah, except he never expected her to find out about it.  Both Spike and Anya say it-- "I didn't go to Anya for that," and "It was solace."  They weren't putting on a show for those people--they were hurting and wanting to know that they mattered to someone, if only for a moment.

I did feel sympathy for Buffy. Buffy is finding out that she isn’t so lacking in feelings for Spike as she thought. If Spike had picked some unknown person, it might not have been so bad for her (like Tarantula), but Anya is close to the inner circle. Xander – not so much with the sympathy. He tries to kill Spike. Buffy, who is hurting just as much, saves Spike even though he's hurt her.
Really?  She was probably more pissed he wasn't pining for her in a dark corner somewhere.  She allows Xander to say all of those awful things, then scowls at Spike for spilling the beans, just cause he was trying to defend himself, and even though she pretty much said she wouldn't care if he did.  Yeah--no sympathy from me for Buffy.

Xander wants his relationship with Anya on the cheap. He reminds me of Gunn deciding he wants to be a brilliant lawyer without ever cracking open a book and letting somebody give him a brain floop instead. Jerk.
I agree about the Xander bit, but not about Gunn.  So Gunn took a short cut.  After the life he's had?  Meh.

Yeah he would, because it’s Spike. Xander hates Spike. He may or may not love Anya, but he sure doesn’t want Spike touching her. Or Buffy.
He wasn't weilding an axe in "Intervention..."


"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
May 08 2009 03:46 am   #11nmcil
Yeah, except he never expected her to find out about it. Both Spike and Anya say it-- "I didn't go to Anya for that," and "It was solace." They weren't putting on a show for those people--they were hurting and wanting to know that they mattered to someone, if only for a moment.

Splendid description - reaching out from all their pain and sorrow to another person - how horrible it must have been for Spike to have her use the very same excuse and sentiments that he gets from Buffy after he and Anya were trying to find some release from their pain and solace with each other.  I really hated the way that this very mature theme and all their pain was used as a plot device to resolve the "dirty little secret" of the Heroine role model.  It was such a sad and poignant moment for these two "outsiders"  -  I do have to give credit however to the powerful effect from bringing the Buffy "gut wrenching your just convenient" line sentiments repeated by Anya. 
” 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.
May 08 2009 10:42 am   #12sosa lola
Also, Xander's comment of "he was just there--like I used to be" was...weird. What, he considered himself to be Anya's penis ride? Which, is not how I view the Spike/Anya scene, but is how Xander refers to it.

ANYA: To tell you the truth ...(puts bottle down) all I wanted was to use him and lose him. I hadn't had a good tumble in a thousand years...

Xander was actually there. The only boy without a date for the prom, the only one who seemed to give a damn about Anya. And he's good in the sack. No wonder she clung to him for so long. Until she fell in love with him.
May 08 2009 11:50 pm   #13Spikez_tart
She was probably more pissed he wasn't pining for her in a dark corner somewhere.  - Okay, I'm going to have to view this again.  She looked pretty miserable to me and not pissed. 

He wasn't weilding an axe in "Intervention..."  Okay - if you're going to use logic on me, I'll have to give up.  (What happened to my Smiley Face?) 
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?
May 09 2009 01:04 am   #14Scarlet Ibis
She was probably more pissed he wasn't pining for her in a dark corner somewhere. - Okay, I'm going to have to view this again. She looked pretty miserable to me and not pissed.
She scowls at him before stalking off, though she did look worried when Xander was going to stake him.  Meh.

Okay - if you're going to use logic on me, I'll have to give up.
Ha (also used a smiley face, but isn't sure it showed up)

Xander was actually there. The only boy without a date for the prom
That's...not the best of examples.  I'm dateless, so I'll ask the only person out who's dateless is more convenience than anything.  And he wasn't really banging down her door--he just never sent her away (in the beginning).  The comment was "He was just there.  Like Everest, like I used to be," or something like that, and it seemed weird, because that comment was a response to Anya's "he was just there," as in, she only had sex with Spike cause he was "just there," so for Xander to follow up with "like I was just there" is weird, cause they're both boiling down everything to sex, which is just way wrong in oh so many ways.  And still, really disappointed in Anya in that comment, and I'm still confused by Xander's response.  Majorly confused.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
May 09 2009 06:51 pm   #15sosa lola
That's...not the best of examples. I'm dateless, so I'll ask the only person out who's dateless is more convenience than anything. And he wasn't really banging down her door--he just never sent her away (in the beginning). The comment was "He was just there. Like Everest, like I used to be," or something like that, and it seemed weird, because that comment was a response to Anya's "he was just there," as in, she only had sex with Spike cause he was "just there," so for Xander to follow up with "like I was just there" is weird, cause they're both boiling down everything to sex, which is just way wrong in oh so many ways. And still, really disappointed in Anya in that comment, and I'm still confused by Xander's response. Majorly confused.

But can't we say that she only dated him because he was the only one available and not because she thought he was good enough? It can be the same as "I was just there", if there was another guy around, she'd pick him in a heartbeat over Xander.

I remember in Where the Wild Things Are Xander wanting their relationship to have more meaning, and Anya reducing it to nothing but sex. Maybe that increased Xander's insecurity about their relationship, the thing that didn't make him fall for Anya faster.
May 09 2009 08:38 pm   #16slaymesoftly
Every time I swear I'm not going to get involved with one of these discussions again, something catches my eye and I can't remain quiet. LOL  Buffy's face when she saw what was going on in the Magic Box, her retreat to the yard to hide her pain, Dawn's immediate recognition of what was wrong with her, and the sprint to the MB to prevent Xander from killing Spike...none of these came even close to causing me to think she was just pissed because he wasn't sitting home drunk and mourning her loss.  They looked to me like the actions of someone who'd just been badly hurt, knew she'd brought it on herself and needed to cry but didn't want to.  Did she scowl at Spike before she left the MB? Probably. Many people react to emotional pain with anger. Plus, Spike had just spilled the beans and in a rather crude way, so...yeah, scowl.  But she'd also just saved his life. 

And Spike knew it too. Hence the drunken and disastrous visit in Seeing Red.  He'd seen how badly he'd hurt her (which she reinforces when she says "you could try not sleeping with my friends". (and Dawn's visit to the crypt when she sarcastically congratulates him on finally being able to hurt Buffy.)  She wants to call what she feels "feelings for him", he wants to call it "love", but they're both aware of what was going on. 

I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
May 10 2009 04:16 am   #17Guest
Here's the thing--the only part Spike sees is the scowling and the not defending him.  Remember--earlier on she said she didn't care a lick if her friends knew.  So his spilling the beans?  Shouldn't have been that big a deal.  Instead, she looks apologetic at Xander, scowls at Spike, then storms off in the night.  So he doesn't actually know she's hurt at all until Dawn's interference, which was completely one sided.  I think if he had been sober, he might have connected the dots on how illogical it was for him to apologize, and may have stayed away.
May 10 2009 04:16 am   #18Guest
Oh hell...That was me.

~Scarlet
May 10 2009 05:03 am   #19Guest
But can't we say that she only dated him because he was the only one available and not because she thought he was good enough? It can be the same as "I was just there", if there was another guy around, she'd pick him in a heartbeat over Xander.
But should either of them feel that way by season six?  Both comments are still odd and off putting to me.

~Scarlet
May 10 2009 05:16 am   #20Scarlet Ibis
Apologies Slayme--my comment almost had nothing to do with what you were talking about.

<--shouldn't type while sleepy, particularly not signed in so she can't edit stuff.

I agree that she was worried about him being killed.  However, the fact that she allows Xander to go on and on with how much of a big nothing Spike is?  Whereas before in "Gone," she was at least willing to divert Xander's attention from the callous insults (though those were nowhere near the level of what went on in "Entropy." ).  She was being a total coward, and was unjustifiably angry at him when it was over.  Not to mention he was single anyway.   That's where my "she'd rather him be pouting in a dark corner alone somewhere" came from.  Also, why I'm not able to muster up an ounce of sympathy for her there.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
May 10 2009 05:51 am   #21nmcil
The thing is that the writers make some viewers totally conflicted with how the see the Hero/White Hat role models.  In this episode we are shown a Xander that is, IMO, completely "in the wrong" with his fury against Spike and vicious tirade against Anya and his hateful words and disappointment with Buffy.  Keeping in mind the context of where this all comes down from - His own insecurities and lack of courage and honesty about his pending marriage.  Xander plays the HUGE ANGRY JERK and Buffy  - what the hell she is playing at is also a great big Nonsense Moment.  Over and Over she gives Spike the message that he means nothing to her, that he is a disgusting vile worthless creature, that he has no place in her life.  But as soon she finds out that Xander is out for Spike's blood and head she is running for all she's worth to save the situation.  Is she running to save Xander from killing Spike and doing something that he might be very sorry for, or is she running to try to save Spike?  I frankly don't know the real answer to that question.  And why would she be hurt with Spike being with Anya?  She just told Spike that his love for her is his delusion, that is has no meaning whatever in her life.  Her last words to Spike state clearly what she believes and feels.  So what's the "Buffy is hurt" thing all about - she shouldn't be hurt  'cause Buffy doesn't give a flying fuck about how he feels or about his love.

Buffy:  (gently) I think it is. (a beat) For you. (a beat) I know that's not what you want to hear. I'm sorry. I really am. But, Spike, you *have* to move on. You have to get over --

this is all followed up  with the big reconciliation between Buffy and Xander and once again what to me are "the sacred characters" are again placed on the right side of all the crap that happened - and that happened by their direct action.   As a viewer I am left completely conflicted and confused with the series Role Models - they both acted like a couple of self-centered, and with Buffy very selfish, people.  Xander was out to kill Spike for revenge and Buffy used Spike as her sex escape from her reality.  Anya gets turned back into a ruthless vengeance demon and Spike gets rewarded by being turned into a would be rapist for all his efforts.  Was Anya's love for Xander also nothing but a delusion?  Since the writer have her revert directly back into the vengeance mode - what are we to make of her Xander Love?   Even in the reconciliation scene, Buffy and Xander are so self-involved.    Not quite sure what I am ranting about, just that I find myself being really pissed off lately with the treatment for these four characters in this arc. 

XANDER
: How did we get here?
BUFFY: Scenic route. Long drive.
XANDER: These past few weeks...
BUFFY: I know.
XANDER: I thought I hit bottom, but... It hurt. That you didn't trust me enough to tell me about Spike. It hurt.
BUFFY: I'm sorry. I should have told you.
XANDER: Maybe you would have. If I hadn't given you so many reasons to think I'd be an ass about it.
BUFFY: Guess we've all done a lot of things lately we're not proud of.
XANDER: I think I got you beat.
BUFFY: Wanna compare?
XANDER: Not so much. (beat) I don't know what I'd do... without you and Will.
BUFFY: Let's not find out. (they hug) I love you. You know that, right?


To me, Buffy seemed to be both angry and hurt - that idea that her friends would care "Zero" about her sleeping with Spike did not remotely turn out to be correct.
” 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.
May 10 2009 04:58 pm   #22sosa lola

this is all followed up with the big reconciliation between Buffy and Xander and once again what to me are "the sacred characters" are again placed on the right side of all the crap that happened - and that happened by their direct action.

I actually love Entropy and Seeing Red. All four characters were awful and sympathetic, none was the saint, and none was the villain. We see a Buffy who acted all smug and uncaring about Spike moving on -probably thinking he's not capable of doing it- only to have her heart twist with pain when he actually attempts to. We see a Xander so blinded by rage and hurt beating someone who can't fight back and insulting two women he loves. We see a Spike so full of hurt losing control and hurting the woman he loves. We see an Anya who seemed to have learned nothing from her humanity, losing herself in a moment of anger and hurt, and keeps granting wishes to wronged females.

But those characters aren't one dimensional villains, they're so human with their flaws and good qualities, we see Buffy and Xander admit their mistakes, apologize to each other, and remind one another how they love each other. We see Spike regret what he did and try to amend it. We see Anya stopping Spike from hurting Xander even though he just talked cruelly to her.

Loving those characters help understanding them and sympathizing with them, even if they were so awfully wrong. *hugs Buffy, Xander, Spike and Anya*
 

May 10 2009 08:53 pm   #23slaymesoftly
Nicely put, Sosa. They aren't one-dimensional - none of them. And it's that very lack of black and white that makes it so easy for us to have such passionate discussions about their behaviors.  No one was on his or her best behavior in Season Six (maybe Tara, but she dies for her trouble...). No one. It was a hard season on everyone, but there was a certain amount of reconciliation among those in the core group. The pain they caused each other led to anger and estrangement - perfectly human reactions.  Some of them didn't get their chances to reconcile until the following season, and that's pretty realistic, I think. It takes a while to get over being really hurt, no matter how much you may love someone or wish them back into your life.
 
NP, Scarlett - yeah, we were sort of looking at different aspects of the events.
I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
May 10 2009 09:18 pm   #24Spikez_tart
Every time I swear I'm not going to get involved with one of these discussions again - heh heh slayme, you should know by now you can't possibly stay away.  Smiley Face.
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?
May 10 2009 09:36 pm   #25nmcil
In honor of Mother's Day and the love that I hope we all have and share with our mother's I am going to be like Joyce and just forget about all the conflicts between the characters and accept all of them today -

Great Discussion everyone -
” 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.
Feb 08 2010 07:41 am   #26Niori

I know I'm WAY late in joining the dicussion, but I was just surfing the forum and felt the need to contribute.

This is one of my fav episodes, or at least my fav depressing one. It's probably considered blasphemous on a Spuffy site, but I like Spike and Anya as a couple. I really do, and if it had gone that way instead of Spuffy after this episode, I would have been okay with that- nobody shoot me okay? lol

The converstaion between Spike and Anya brings tears to my eyes everytime I see it. They're my two favorite characters, and to see them hurt so badly and callously by the 'good guys'. Whoever said that they thought Spike had finally given up on Buffy by the time he got to the magic box, I completely agree. To me, it seemed like he was finally doing something pro active for himself, even if it was resorting to magic to get rid of his feelings, or at least numb them. In my opinion, good on him. And when he just sits there and waits for Xander to kill him? Heartbreaking to see how far down he is- even when Dru left him, he was all loud and sulky, now he has a death wish. It just shows that not only has he given up on Buffy, he's just given up.

And poor Anya. How did Xander ever think he was going to make it right? How do you expect someone to accept 'sorry I left you at the alter, but let's go back to dating now"? Anya going back to vengence demon, imo, is like Spike trying to get a spell to make his feelings go away. Maybe not the best choice and it was probably done in the heat of the moment, but can anyone blame her? For over a thousand years she was a vengence demon, and we see in her flashback episodes (can't remember the name and am too lazy to get up and look), she was HAPPY as a demon. It makes sense that, when she's miserable, she'd turn to something that made her happy. I even understand her wish to get vengence on Xander- there's not a woman out there that wouldn't to get back at the jerk who left her at the alter.

I hated how Anya had that he was there line. It was so much more than that- there was a connection there, even if it was never going to be anything more than comfort sex. They were in complete understanding of each other, and that's hard to come by. If they hadn't, there probably wouldn't have been the sex. And yes, there was vengence in there, but it was more personal vengence. It wasn't like they were (probably) going to let anyone else know what had happened. It's not like they knew they were being recorded, and that Willow would pick that exact moment to hack into the feed. It was their way of excersing demons (pun intended).

Random question, why couldn't Hallie grant Anya's wish? Was it because she was a demon, or because Hallie only did it to bad parents? Speaking of bad parents and the paper cut comment about Hank Summers- why the hell did Buffy never sue for child support? That would have been a source of income that would have helped, and her father would have no choice to pay it legally.

Back on topic now (lol), I feel no sympathy for Buffy or Xander. More like a 'ha!'. Buffy broke up with Spike, told him (rather callously) to move on. Xander left Anya at the alter- they lost the right to be the injured party in the whole affair. Yeah, they were hurt, but honestly, nowhere near as badly as Spike and Anya were hurting. Spike did exactly what Buffy told him to do, which is why when Dawn comes to his crypt and then with when Buffy was being pissy about it in SR, I wish that Spike had just told Buffy that she had no right to be angry, and really he had no obligation to apologize (hmmm....I see a plot bunny in the future). And as for Xander, you don't talk like that to someone you love, no matter how furious you are. The things he said to her were SO out of line- he made her sound like a whore. At least Anya doesn't go all out with an apology, even if she does make excuses (I personally wouldn't have done that, but that's just me).

So there you have it- Niori's late coming thoughts on Entrophy.

~ Niori ~
Feb 08 2010 10:23 am   #27sosa lola
And poor Anya. How did Xander ever think he was going to make it right? How do you expect someone to accept 'sorry I left you at the alter, but let's go back to dating now"? Anya going back to vengence demon, imo, is like Spike trying to get a spell to make his feelings go away. Maybe not the best choice and it was probably done in the heat of the moment, but can anyone blame her? For over a thousand years she was a vengence demon, and we see in her flashback episodes (can't remember the name and am too lazy to get up and look), she was HAPPY as a demon. It makes sense that, when she's miserable, she'd turn to something that made her happy. I even understand her wish to get vengence on Xander- there's not a woman out there that wouldn't to get back at the jerk who left her at the alter.

While I understand why Anya chose to be a demon again, and her need to punish Xander, that doesn't make it justified. As Buffy said to Giles, "two wrongs don't make a right." It was a bad move from the writers to show Anya trying to curse Xander as comedy, when you really think about it, what Anya tries to do to Xander is so awful and assholic.  She tried to erase his existance! Nothing is worse than that. Xander was awful to Anya with the way he talked to her outside the Magic Box, but all he did was say words, Anya wanted to physically hurt him by using his own friends to wish him some really disgusting and awful things. I get it, she was upset and hurt, but that's no excuse for her behavior.
Feb 08 2010 11:50 am   #28Niori
Oh, I don't excuse her behaviour at all, I just understand it. I wholeheartedly do not agree with trying to erase someone's existance or bring them to a painful death, even as I understand Anya's desire to do so.
~ Niori ~
Feb 08 2010 03:25 pm   #29nmcil
One of the things that I dislike so much in the series is how the writers so often use and treat the Spike and Anya as objects of lesser intellectual and emotional capacity and as plot development.  This is  the case, IMO, with Anya and Hallie given the comedy treatment for vengeance, but beneath all the comedy we have the black comedy that speaks of real tragedy.  Anya reverts to Xander's hidden fears about her former life and she falls right back into the life where she was secure and powerful; where men and people could not harm her or force any connection with her human self.  Anya's "human experiment" ends in total failure as does Spike's unceasing attempt to find love with Buffy.  While all the set-ups "failed vengeance wishes" are treated as comedy, what primarily comes through is the emotional frustration and pain that Anya's is going through.  But because Anya is reverted back to her non-human/demon state, she, IMVHO, is ultimately put in the position of "the fall guy" for all the lousy crap that happens with the wedding.  We can blame Anya and relieve Xander for how everything ends since the writers throw her back into "demon bad category."   By having Anya choose to go back to her demon life, it's like she proves herself unworthy and a failure as a human.  

I wish that the writers had not taken this path for her character, that they had allowed her to stay in her human life form for this episode.  Spike and Anya could still have gone through their desperate emotional sexual connection.  The entire episode could have been done with Hallie tempting Anya to vengeance - still have had Spike and Anya trying to find comfort and relief from their pain and still have all the powerful drama from the "camera watch."  Having Anya turn back into her Vengeance Demon after all this happens would still have given the writers the plot development for her demon revert and it would have given all the characters a more equal share in the responsibility for that happened.  

Both Couples  share the responsibility for the tragic ending to their relationships - but for the events in this episode, my personal perspective is that Xander and Buffy have the largest share for how horrible it all ends.  

There is nothing more destructive and useless than vegeance -  it can't change anything that has happened and for Anya it did nothing but bring more misery into her life.  I love how the two demons are their most human when they reach out to each other to find comfort from their human lovers.    
” 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.
Feb 08 2010 07:44 pm   #30sosa lola
One of the things that I dislike so much in the series is how the writers so often use and treat the Spike and Anya as objects of lesser intellectual and emotional capacity and as plot development. 

I agree about Anya. However, I'd replace Spike with Xander. Spike's storyline had been dealt with with so much heart and thought, he makes mistakes and deals with the consequences, the character, ever since S5, has been taken more seriously, provided with interesting storylines and wonderful follow-up and depth. On the other hand, you have Xander, usually used for plot-devices, or a shoulder to cry on, the writers don't follow with his storylines, don't bother thinking of new ones for him, most of his misdeeds are treated lightly or forgotten about completely (The Lie and OMWF)
Feb 09 2010 04:17 am   #31Spikez_tart
I like Spike and Anya as a couple. - I like them together too, but they don't really have the spark that Spike and Buffy have, or even Buffy and Angel.  Too much alike, I guess.  You can't allow yourself to be sucked in by the sexy James acting either.

How can Xander make it right?  Easy - he and Anya get in the car, drive to Las Vegas and get married without all the baggage of family and friends.  Xander either doesn't want to grow up or he doesn't want to give up on his little Buffy will one day be mine dream.  Spike the Evil Vampire gets it - he understands you don't leave the girl you love kicking her heels at the alter and crying her heart out.

Anya storyline - it doesn't really make sense that she doesn't know how humans operate.  She's been living around them for a thousand years and she used to be one.  Sure, it's funny, but it doesn't make sense.

Buffy/Xander - do you think Buffy is in any way realizing that she has totally screwed up her life the way Xander does?  I give Xander that much credit, at least he realizes he's a screw up.  Hard to tell with Buffy since she keeps everything inside.


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?
Feb 09 2010 04:48 am   #32nmcil
For me, that was the tragedy of Buffy during Season Six  - all those barriers that she puts up and all the blinders - she refuses to see the great potential and also the reality of what her life could be with Spike -

Not saying that Spike was not acting as a contributor to how their relationship played out, but in personal interpretation of the Seaso Six Buffy-Spike arc, she was the prime mover and factor for the end results. 
” 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.
Feb 09 2010 08:44 am   #33sosa lola
Too much alike, I guess.

I agree. I think when a couple is a lot similar, they lose their appeal. It's why I'm not invested in Xander/Dawn. They're too much alike. Buffy/Xander would have been more interesting to explore. 


Easy - he and Anya get in the car, drive to Las Vegas and get married without all the baggage of family and friends. 

I'm not sure if that would work. Anya's victim would've still followed them to Vegas. Xander's fears were about him, not Anya. "It wasn't you I was hating." He wasn't ready, he loved Anya, loving her so much made him leave her.


Xander either doesn't want to grow up or he doesn't want to give up on his little Buffy will one day be mine dream. 

I think by this time Xander is way over Buffy. So glad S8 confirmed it. Xander leaving Anya had nothing to do with Buffy.


Anya storyline - it doesn't really make sense that she doesn't know how humans operate.  She's been living around them for a thousand years and she used to be one.  Sure, it's funny, but it doesn't make sense.

I agree. Actually, in S3 she'd got a good hang on how to behave like a human. Only when they decided to pair her with Xander, they turned her into a dumb little girl.


Feb 10 2010 12:31 am   #34coalitiongirl
I agree. Actually, in S3 she'd got a good hang on how to behave like a human. Only when they decided to pair her with Xander, they turned her into a dumb little girl.

 I don't think that she was dumb at all. They do use her for comic effect a lot, but she's portrayed as intelligent and and blunt, not stupid. A bit stupid emotionally, perhaps, but that's to be expected, since she seems pretty new to relationships, etc.


Anya storyline - it doesn't really make sense that she doesn't know how humans operate. She's been living around them for a thousand years and she used to be one. Sure, it's funny, but it doesn't make sense.

We see in the flashback in Selfless that she really hasn't changed since her last stint as human:

OLAF: Ha, ha, ha! Sweet Aud! Your logic is insane and happenstance, like that of a troll. It is no wonder that the bar matrons talk of you. ANYA: You've been to the bar...
OLAF: It is not my fault they don't take kindly to you. You speak your mind, and are annoying. It's one of the things I love most about you.



The more I see of Anya, the more I love her.
 
Feb 10 2010 03:57 am   #35nmcil
It is completely nonsensical to depict Anya as not understanding the human condition and how humans interact - You cannot help bring about that scene of dead politicos and people  during and a war or large scale revolt without knowing how to move and be credible in a human environment.    This notion that Anya cannot understand how human society works is simply not logical, at least it does not work for me.  It reduces Anya to little more than an automaton - this is one of the problems that the series had with the attempt to have strict lines of separation between the demons and the humans.
” 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.
Feb 10 2010 04:01 am   #36Spikez_tart
You have to love Anya, even at her worst. 

Spike and Anya as objects of lesser intellectual and emotional capacity  - I don't think Spike (or Buffy) are supposed to be very smart.  They're both clever, but not really smart.  I think they let Spike show a lot of feeling, certainly in contrast to Buffy who by S6 has shut down and is keeping a lid on all her emotions.

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?
Feb 10 2010 04:14 am   #37Niori
Can I point out the whole idea of Spike not being very smart also makes no sense? As we see in FFL, he's clearly some type of schlor or intellectual.- he wrote poetry for God's sakes, even if it did suck. Yeah, I get that Spike is an entirely different personality than William, but the idea that his intellegence dropped the minute he became a vampire is dumb. Yeah, I can get that, with this persona he's taken on, not showing said intellegence all the time, but still. The writers dumbed him down about season four when they made him into the 'new Cordelia' and decided to use him to get laughs, and they did the same to Anya. Anya came across as a moron half the time, despite the fact she clearly isn't (she can run a store all by herslef for example).
~ Niori ~
Feb 10 2010 09:55 am   #38sosa lola
 I don't think that she was dumb at all. They do use her for comic effect a lot, but she's portrayed as intelligent and and blunt, not stupid. A bit stupid emotionally, perhaps, but that's to be expected, since she seems pretty new to relationships, etc.

I've read this at TWoP:

"I guess I just don't understand the the confusion here. It seems pretty obvious to me that Anya's character changes between seasons #3 and #4 was a case of EC and the writers not having a firm idea where the character was going. It happened before with Angel in the space between 'Welcome to the Hellmounth/The Harvest' and the rest of the series. And it happened with a few other of the characters that were added in during the show to a lesser extent. I just don't see this as something that needs a lot of time debated over (shrug)" said by SenorTact.

I think Anya's character changes since the Prom, and I think SenorTact is right. They're going to pair Anya with Xander, so they had to change her to fit the comic relief role, which is sad. I'd have loved a more sarcastic Anya, who's got an experience on how men and women behave in relationships. It would have been funnier to see her correcting Xander's actions towards her, the bad and the good -he'd do something whole meaning well and she'd twist it to make it appear bad   - being wary of him, because of her history.
Feb 10 2010 08:17 pm   #39nmcil
The problem that many viewers had and still have is not the right of creative choice from the writers and creators but the lack of logical connections for the changes.  A simple exploration/explanation of why Anya as a Vengeance Demon is incapable of putting on the human social persona.  Even a small scene that established her "blunt speech" as based on her experience with humans and how they easily hide their real thoughts and feelings behind the veneer of social manners.  

So what is Anya?  Is she emotionally  incapable of understanding human social behavior or intellectually unable to understand how humans behave in public settings - or does having lived all those hundreds of years and been exposed to how miserable human can be to each other made her get passed all the BS social masks of human society?  

Take the scene, I think the episode is "flooded"  but I may be wrong.  She makes a perfectly good suggestion that Buffy receive some form of compensation for carrying out her duties as the Slayer.  The fact is that this is exactly how human society works - yet she is seen as having made a totally absurd suggestion, but this is how the human world works.  Then we have the scene when she argues with Xander about keeping their engagement a secret - what is wrong with having their engagement made public?  The writers use that theme often to show how socially inept and lacking the ability to make the transition into human social life. 

It's perfectly fine to use Anya as comedic relief, but to suggest that the woman who can successfully run The Magic Box, make money in the stock market, fall in love with a human, and yet she can't figure out human social and public behavior.  I don't get it.  

Same for Spike and the dumbing down - this is, as stated in the post above, a being that has enough smarts to have attended some form of higher education and intellectual life, he is the same character that is capable of having done all the research and plans to allow him to find the Gem of Amara and then we end up with Spike is not so clever from Agnel Season Five, especially "Damaged" treatment or the Buffy scene when he calls himself not so clever or following the heart (paraphrase) - again, I don't get it or buy it.
” 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.
Feb 11 2010 04:36 am   #40Spikez_tart
he's clearly some type of schlor or intellectual.- he wrote poetry for God's sakes, even if it did suck. Yeah, I get that Spike is an entirely different personality than William, but the idea that his intellegence dropped the minute he became a vampire is dumb. - William has some "book learning" but that doesn't make him smart, only dogged in learning stuff.  His poetry is not just bad it's almost impossibly stupid.  I'm thinking of the stupid poem with the bird' wee beak or whatever the hell it was.  No really intelligent man could write such junk.  James Marsters said that when playing Spike he found himself t-h-i-n-k-i-n-g v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y.  Which seems right to me.  Spike doesn't have to be smart - he's tricky and sexy - a lot more fun.  Spike has a lot of William in him, he just crushes it down.  The scene in FFL where he's sitting in the alley after Buffy has just cut him to the quick with an insult - he's exactly the same guy as the William in the alley in 1880 who gets dumped on by a girl because he didn't understand that she had no interest in him and ends up crying in the ally and letting a vampire girl kill him.  When he tells Buffy he loves her and she says you have a chip in your head (Crush) - look at Spike's face.  It's exactly the same expression that William had when he was talking to Cecily.  The wide eyes, the little nod of the head.  William is always there, lurking just under the surface and maybe Spike is always lurking under William's surface, too.  (Like Giles and Ripper.)

he is the same character that is capable of having done all the research and plans to allow him to find the Gem of Amara and then we end up with Spike is not so clever from Agnel Season Five - The gem of Amara is just typical of a Spike plan.  It starts out clever then crashes into the dust and he's worse off when he started.  I don't think we should have to pay any attention to the Spike of Angel5.  The writers either didn't have anything for him to do, or didn't understand where Spike was at when he died at the Hellmouth so they had him doing things that Spike was too mature to do.  Don't ask what, I can't remember.  Escept for Destiny when he beats the crap out of Angel and steals his car.  Good times.
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?
Feb 11 2010 07:54 am   #41nmcil
I don't see how Spike could come out from a total simpleton - nerdy does not have to make one stupid - but you are so right about those poems of his - they really are utterly foolish - Poor William was one of the sad people who were going to be crushed by life -   Best that he has his encounter with Drusilla.  The really sad thing about Spike is that even with all the power that came from his vampire life - he never got beyond his life and death moment at the alley - he was as lonely and filled with emotional pain throughout his existence.   Dru crapped on him, same as Angel/Angelus, Cecily, Scoobs on and off as desired, Giles and Buffy crapped and used him the worst of all.  So glad that the character was given Season Seven to find his way to some semblance of self-respect and dignity at the close of the series.  It's nice that he finds some connections and even couple of friends in LA.   

So - is William nothing but a numskull that once vamped becomes super strong numskull thug?  Spike does not come across to me as not intelligent but it could be just my love for the character, and my connection to his "outsider" status that has me seeing Spike as more than just street smart.  Spike does not seem like a stupid person to me.   

” 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.
Feb 11 2010 08:09 am   #42Niori
I agree with Nmcil- Spike doesn't seem like a stupid person. Actually, if you look at his plans and such, they really are pretty good and intellegen ones...until he gets too impulsive and does something stupid to ruin them for himself. To me, Spike is plenty intellegent, but too rash and impatient.
~ Niori ~
Feb 11 2010 08:56 am   #43Scarlet 
Spike is quite intelligent and observant--he's made foolish mistakes, yes, but the only character actually portrayed as simpletons are either Xander or at times Buffy (which why her high SAT score was so startling bizarre to me).

If one were to rank the characters in order of intelligence from the main cast of both shows, I'd put Spike in the top five or six.
Feb 11 2010 10:01 am   #44nmcil
I actually never saw any of the characters as lacking in intellect - Xander is portrayed as the big under acheiver, but that seems to come more from his lack  of confidence - Once he finds his talent and love for building we see a very different smart Xander.  There is no doubt that Willow, Oz, Giles, Wesley are the Super Brains but none of the primary characters come across as dumb. 
” 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.
Feb 11 2010 04:47 pm   #45coalitiongirl
I think that it all depends on how you define intelligence- if we're just talking intellectual intelligence, then Buffy and Xander rank pretty low. But in terms of insight and intuition, Buffy, Xander and Spike are all pretty smart. Spike's a great planner who lacks follow-through. Buffy and Xander both understand things as long as they're not too close to a situation. Spike excels at understanding things when he IS close to the situation. Anya understands the worst of human behavior, Tara understands the best. Dawn's got the booksmarts down, but not much more (though she gets relationships pretty well). Giles is a little bit of everything, although he also misses out when he's too close to the situation. Willow is very intelligent and intellectual, though she has little practical intelligence (not to be confused with knowledge). I still maintain that Anya is depicted as intelligent in all ways except for in relationships, she just seems very shallow and gets lumped with the worst of Cordelia because of that. Buffy's kind of emotionally retarded at some times, particularly when it comes to love. Tara and Xander both have trouble understanding themselves at times, but both grow (a much longer journey for Xander) to become the most self-actualized of the group. Spike becomes stupid about things he wants- if he wants them enough, he starts to believe that he has them.
 
Feb 12 2010 02:45 pm   #46sosa lola
 but the only character actually portrayed as simpletons are either Xander or at times Buffy

I don't think Xander and Buffy are simple. Yeah, they can be thick-headed, but that doesn't mean they're simple or black/white. In fact, S4 shows how un-black and white the Scoobies are, especially when you compare them to Riley and his troop.

I actually never saw any of the characters as lacking in intellect

I agree. I remember Joss stating that "Willow is smart, but Xander is clever." Even Andrew who's less smart in some areas, he's smarter than everybody in others.
Feb 12 2010 02:57 pm   #47Scarlet 
I don't think Xander and Buffy are simple. Yeah, they can be thick-headed, but that doesn't mean they're simple or black/white.

They at times both expressed black/white ideas.  Buffy in particular and for the most part.  And yes, at times they were "simple."  Most times?  No.  But of all the characters, they behaved the most so.

And Andrew's not stupid--just majorly lame.