Buffy, etc - Which episodes best showcase Spike?

Buffy fans -

I have a slightly quirky question. I’m currently directing a musical theatre production in which there is a villain character. The actor playing this character is quite talented, but is an extremely nice guy. He has very little trouble imagining a sort of over-the-top, angry, evil monster, but much more trouble conceptualizing a type of evil that is, for lack of a better term, more fun-loving than angry.

For me, the character that exemplifies that sort of bad guy was always Spike from BtVS, before his conversion to (sort of) good guy. He always seemed to be in it for the thrill of the kill; causing suffering, psychological torment, ending the world - these were all distractions from the entertainment and amusement he derived from his unlife.

I’d like to illustrate this quality to the actor in question by assigning him a couple of *BtVS * episodes to watch in his spare time. He has never seen a single episode of the show. I’m trying to pick out a few episodes that will get to the heart of this character most quickly, and illustrate the sort of thing I’m describing above. I have already decided to use “School Hard” (the character’s debut episode) and “Fool for Love,” but am looking for suggestions on other possibilities.


You absolutely want "Fool For Love ", which fills in a lot of Spike’s backstory very nicely.

“Becoming, Part 2”

“Billions of little Happy Meals on legs.”

I don’t think you want to dismiss the post “conversion” episodes too quickly; when he was shagging Buffy when she came back from the dead, he wasn’t all that nice then, either. In Season 6 - “Seeing Red” he tries to rape Buffy; the lead-up to this event and the fall-out are pretty complex - Spike doesn’t want to hurt Buffy, and hates that he almost did, but he is a soul-less vampire, and a creature of evil, nonetheless. Like I said, complicated.

ETA: “As You Were” might be a good choice, too, with Buffy cogitating on her awful relationship with Spike.

Lover’s Walk, perhaps?

“School Hard” & “Becoming, parts 1 & 2”

The one in, I believe season 3, where he comes back to Sunnydale and takes Willow hostage to get her to cast a love spell to get Dru back is a great one.

I have always thought it was interesting that a lot of people seem to regard Spike’s worst crime vis-a-vis Buffy was the attempted rape. All those times he tried to kill her weren’t as bad?

Anyway, Knorf’s list of great Spike episodes:

Season 2:
School Hard
What’s My Line? Parts One and Two
Becoming, Part 2

Season 3
Lovers Walk

Season 4
The Harsh Light of Day
The Yoko Factor

Season 5
Out of My Mind
Fool for Love

Spike’s all over Seasons 6 and 7 of course, but his role is never quite as distinctively memorable and effective as it is in Seasons 2-5.


Lies My Parents Told Me from Season 7 is very good, and has important elements of Spike’s backstory in it.

Thanks, all, for the input. I’m leaning heavily toward avoiding all of the episodes that followed “Fool for Love,” but especially those that followed Season 5. While I never had as much problem with the shift in Spike’s character that happened during that period as others did, there was nonetheless a definite shift. He became less fun, for lack of a better word, more serious and broody and less amused with himself and his own sowing of discord.

I think the final list looks like:

School Hard
What’s My Line? - 1 and 2
Becoming - 1 and 2
Lover’s Walk
The Harsh Light of Day (?)
The Yoko Factor
Fool for Love

That’s not so many episodes that it will overwhelm the actor in question, but enough to get a good idea of the character. Anything utterly crucial I’m leaving out?

Lie to Me is also a great Spike episode. Pangs, Something Blue, Harsh Light of Day, and Out of My Mind are all fantastic Spike episodes (and I think there’s a moment in Family that deserves an honorable mention). If you count Angel episodes, In the Dark is classic, and he’s got some great moments in The Girl in Question and Destiny.

I understand why you want to avoid post Fool For Love eps, but Crush and Tabula Rasa are great episodes, and The Gift has, for my money, the three best Spike moments ever (“We few, we happy few.” “We band of buggered.”).

It’s been a while (I had to look up the specific episode name), so I’m not sure how much help it’ll be overall, but one of my favorite Spike lines is from “No place like home” (season 5)

Buffy: What are you doing? Five words or less.
Spike (counting on fingers): Out. For. A. Walk. (looks at his hand and holds up five fingers) Bitch.

Just seems to sum up “ok, you can kick my ass so I’ll follow your rules, but I’ll still get away with whatever I can”.

That’s a good point. My counter-argument would be context and just how well-done the attempted rape and consequences were. Spike was always trying to kill Buffy when he hated her and basically wanted another notch on his slayer-slaying belt. When he tried to rape her, it was much more personal (if you know what I mean, and if you’re in this thread, I bet you do :smiley: ).

I would say one difference is that when Spike was trying to kill Buffy, she didn’t trust him and think of him as a sorta friend. She didn’t let her guard down around him, and her feelings toward him were less confusing. Whereas when he tried to rape her, she’d stopped thinking of him as dangerous and evil, for the most part. I mean, she trusted him to be alone with her sister (while Spike wasn’t able to physically hurt Dawn, he could’ve allowed someone else to hurt her easily enough, if he wanted to cause Buffy pain).

I don’t think Spike even really hated her when he was trying to kill her. I think he viewed it as the natural order of things. Slayers slayed vampires. Vampires drained slayers. Nothing personal. Hell, he said as much to Robin about Nikki. I don’t give a piss about your mum. She was a slayer. I was a vampire. (Spike kicks Robin) That’s the way the game is played.

The attempted rape was different because it wasn’t a vampire and a slayer “playing” their game. It was Buffy and Spike with a whole bunch of stuff between them that had nothing to do with being a slayer and vampire.

“Beneath You,” the second episode of Season 7, is fantastic because every possible shade of Spike shows up in rapid succession. That role in that episode is the kind of opportunity actors dream about.

There is also some keep development in OMWF that it would be a shame to miss out on:

*I hope she fries,
I’m free if that bitch dies.
I better help her out. *


Not to mention, having just watched OMWF for the third time, that it is a positively brilliant episode in general.

I seriously hope you aren’t assigning the poor actor some 9+ hours of Buffy for a role in a musical.

For on thing, I like Buffy, but that’s a lot of Buffy all out of episode arcs to watch.

For another, come on, surely you can think of other fun loving villain characters.

Is this an original piece, or an established work? and if the latter, what show? because if I know which show, I might be able to suggest some non-Spike alternatives