Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Crush

Joyce: "Honey, did you somehow, uh, unintentionally lead him on in any way? Send him signals?"
Buffy: "I do beat him up a lot. For Spike, that's like third base."

Who ever thought we'd end up empathizing with Spike? Half of me was squirming for the poor guy throughout, while the other half was laughing out loud. And I kept wanting to say, "For pity's sake, Buffy, give him something!"

Spike was always the most sympathetic of the vamps (except soul-having Angel, obviously), and it wasn't just his weakness for Drusilla; he's romantic, witty, and perceptive about what hurts people emotionally. He was always nice to Joyce, even pre-chip. And he's spending time with Dawn because he likes her. (Could anything force him to be nice to a teenager if he didn't want to?) With a year of Clockwork Orange aversion therapy on top of it, Spike has genuinely changed, and he really does love Buffy. If vamps can change, if they can love, it blurs the boundaries of that whole vamp/soul/Angel thing. Doesn't it?

I really liked Spike trying to handle Buffy, Drusilla, and Harmony, all at the same time, with the help of chains and ropes. (And can you think of three more dissimilar women?) I actually believed for a moment that Spike would stake Drusilla. He had to commit, to make a choice, and he chose Buffy, and wow. If Drusilla couldn't turn Spike back, no one could.

Now what? Spike has given up both Drusilla and Harmony for Buffy, and Buffy won't have anything to do with him. He hasn't a shred of pride left, and nothing to lose. Will he withdraw and mope, or launch a full-scale Buffy assault? (Knowing Spike, it'll be an assault.) She may be adamant about never-never-in-a-million-years, but knowing someone is in love with you can change the way you feel about them. And post-Riley Buffy is protesting too much. She has to feel something for Spike or she wouldn't be fighting it so hard.

Bits and pieces:

-- Loved Harmony pretending to be Buffy in order to turn Spike on.

-- Did you all catch Tara's speech about Quasimodo? It's Spike to a T.

-- Dawn and Spike are so much fun together. I also think it's funny that Xander is peeved about Dawn transferring her crush from him to Spike.

Quotes:

Anya: "Xander, I think you may have hurt his feelings."
Xander: "And you should never hurt the feelings of a brutal killer. (pause) You know, that's actually some pretty good advice."

Willow: "I just don't see why he couldn't end up with Esmerelda. They could have the wedding right there, beneath the very bell-tower where he labored thanklessly for all those years."
Tara: "No, see, it can't end like that, 'cause all of Quasimodo's actions were selfishly motivated. He had no moral compass, no understanding of right and wrong. Everything he did, he did out of love for a woman who would never be able to love him back. Also, you can tell it's not going to have a happy ending when the main guy's all bumpy."

Dawn: "I feel safe with you."
Spike: "Take that back!"

Spike: "I've changed, Buffy."
Buffy: "What, that chip in your head? That's not change. That's just holding you back. You're like a serial killer in prison!"
Spike: "Women marry them all the time!"

Harmony: "Wait. I get it. Our little sex game was just the beginning. Now you've gone and picked up some cheap queen of the damned to dress up like your precious Drood-zilla."
Spike: "Harm..."
Harmony: "You'd better not be thinking what I think you're thinking. 'Cause my answer is the same as always. No threesomes unless it's boy boy girl, or Charlize Theron."

Buffy: "Whatever you think you're feeling, it's not love. You can't love without a soul."
Drusilla: "Oh, we can, you know. We can love quite well, if not wisely."

Spike: "Just give me something ... a crumb ... a barest smidgen. Tell me maybe, someday, there's a chance."
Buffy: "Spike, the only chance you had with me was when I was unconscious."

Harmony: "You forget about me again? The actual girlfriend? I gave you the best... bunch of months of my life."

I have to give this episode a four,

Billie
---
Billie Doux reviewed all of Buffy and Angel, so she knows the plural of apocalypse.

14 comments:

Sooze said...

sold, sold, sold...count me completely on the Buffy/Spike ship.

Miguel said...

What a great episode!

That scene with Drusilla, Buffy, Harmony and Spike at at the end is one of my favorites. It was wonderful to have Drusilla back in Sunnydale, although I wish her visit could have been longer. Her cackling while Spike declared his love to Buffy was a hoot ("I could do without the laugh track Dru!").

Remco said...

This is the episode where Buffy's path to destructiveness begins. Some have described her as a mopey 'bitca' ever since the pilot, but it takes two failed relationships, an ailing mother and Spike's declaration of love for it to truly hit the fan. She is pissed at life, and who can blame her? I can see why some would tune out, because it can get a little dark and depressing. I say it makes you appreciate the little glimmers of hope all the more.

Billie Doux said...

BUFFY RE-WATCH comments begin here! Remember, no spoilers for future episodes. Want to talk spoilers and foreshadowing? Season five spoilers are posted here.

Annie said...


I love this episode, Spike is such a hugely entertaining character, that episodes with plenty of Spike screen time are always a winner for me.

It does irk me that Buffy is so mean to Spike at Bronze considering she's recently
trusted him to protect Joyce and Dawn. I could kind of understand if she knew of his feelings at that point and was trying to put him off but she doesn't, she's just seems to be being mean to be mean and then next thing you know, when Dawn's missing, she runs straight to Spike for help...annoying!

I don't think that Spike's wrong that there's something between himself and Buffy, but Buffy does have it right, he pretty much is a serial killer in prison he's not good because of his morals, he's good because he has to be, and wants to impress her, so whatever's going on in the depths of her mind she's not going to entertain it.
He does seem to be conflicted about whether he wants to bite the girl Drusilla murders, not sure if that is wholly because 'Buffy wouldn't like it' or because he has changed a bit too, but it is pretty clear from his actions in this series to date that he has little concept or care about what is wrong in general, so if he has changed, it is only a bit.

The way he tries to resolve it all between Buffy and Drusilla is just hysterical, and Harmony just makes it even better.

I do feel for Spike, he's really quite adorable, He loves her, but doesn't seem to understand why it can't be, because he doesn't understand evil for what it is. He's got no soul and doesn't even know what's missing.

ChrisB said...

Although Spike doesn't have a literal soul, he is one of the most soulful characters in this world. From the first time we meet him with Dru, he is the one who is able to commit to something with everything he is worth. He is capable of deep feelings, be they love or hate. When he was alive, he had the soul of a poet. I think that part of that soul is still within.

I do think Buffy doth protest too much. It is powerful when you know someone loves you. You may not love them back, but there is always a part of you that appreciates being the one.

lisam said...

I don't know how anyone can defend what Spike did. If a human guy kidnapped his ex and his crush, tied them up and threatened to kill them, would you defend that guy?

Billie Doux said...

Lisa, if Buffy the Vampire Slayer were real life and vampires actually existed, there's no way we could love a character like Spike. It just isn't, though, and we just do. What can I say.

Josie Kafka said...

Billie, that's a very good point. In the heightened world of Buffy violence among superpowered folks (like Buffy, Harmony, Drusilla, and Spike) feels very different from violence against regular humans.

lisam said...

I think people are able to excuse what Spike did because Drusilla and Buffy have superhuman strength and weren't really in any danger and because Spike's love for Buffy seems sweet sometimes. But I'm not willing to excuse what he did just because this is a supernatural show. What if someone excused that guy in "Go Fish"'s attempted rape of Buffy because her superhuman strength prevented her from being in any real danger?

M said...

Lisa- Have you seen "The Pack"? Xander tried to rape Buffy when he was posessed, and he was pretty well forgiven. He just pretended he didn't remember and all was well. In general, characters on Buffy are always forgiven if their actions are caused by demons. So, I excuse Spike because he is a vampire/posessed by a demon. It keeps him from making good choices, even people he cares about.

Plus, he is just so confused and heart sick. It makes him sympathetic.

sunbunny said...

My favorite part of this episode is Spike's failure to understand who his big romantic gesture of kidnapping and attempted murder didn't succeed. He was so confident kidnapping his obsession and chaining her to the wall while he killed his ex-girlfriend would make her fall in love with him.

Annie said...

I certainly wouldn't defend what Spike did (but it was pretty funny), but I judge him in the context of what he is - a vampire, not a man and the universe he exists in - Buffyverse. As soulless vampires go he's about as good as they get, and always was lighter on the evil than his peers... but he's still 'evil' with no moral compass so I wouldn't expect him to not do this kind of thing.

sunbunny said...

"I certainly wouldn't defend what Spike did (but it was pretty funny)." That's like 90% of Spike's character right there. :)