It seems like every time a new Buffy comes along, somehow the conversation turns to the big Spike question. Well, here it is - The Spike Thread. This is where we can have a comprehensive discussion about Spike’s status and maybe resolve the issue one and for all. And then when the next episode comes along, we can bump it back up.
I’ll start with my premise as the grounds for discussion. I’ve come down against Spike before and I remain there. Let’s start the fun:
I think we can assume that before he came to Sunnydale Spike was a nasty piece of work. He was a vampire and he killed two slayers. Probably killed lots of other folk too. He got the name Spike 'cause he tortured his victims with railroad spikes. I really only bring this stuff up for the sake of completeness. Most Pro-Spikers think that his behavior since getting chipped indicate the actions of a reformed soul who fights the good fight and would make good boyfriend material.
Post-Chip Problem #1: The lady in the alley in Smashed. I’ve heard some people say that he would never have really hurt this lady if the chip hadn’t kicked in. Pure speculation. He tried to hurt her. Not the action of a white hat.
Post Chip Problem #2: The demon eggs in As You Were. Regardless of whether you like the episode or not, Spike was actively involved in a scheme that was likely to have hurt or killed lots of people. I have again heard the excuse that he was trying to get money for Buffy. Until I hear some evidence to back this up, I’m not buying it. Besides, when he gets caught, this is not his excuse. This is what he tells Buffy:
Besides, the idea that it’s acceptable to cause mayhem, destruction and death because Buffy has a crappy job doesn’t impress me much.
Post-Chip Problem #3: In Bargaining Part 2 he says that the chaos being caused by the biker demons “looked like fun”. Not very white-hat.
I think a comparison can be made to Angel/Angelus. Angelus killed lots of people, including Jenny. He tortured Giles and stalked Buffy. But he at least paid for his crimes. He spent several hundred hears in a hell dimension being tortured and he brought his better half (Angel) along for the ride. I don’t think Spike should get a Get Out Of Hell Free Card until he pays for his crimes as well.
Following are some other ways I’ve heard people excuse Spike’s behavior:
- But he loves buffy.
I’m willing to believe he does. But so what? Ted Bundy had a girlfriend too. It’s all those pesky other people he killed that got him into trouble. Just because Spike has killed people off screen or in the past (or was willing to do so) doesn’t get him off the hook, no matter how he feels about one person right now.
Besides, I’m not too impressed with his idea of love. He said in this past episode that he would never hurt Buffy, yet at the end he tossed out that “It was good enough for Buffy” line in a situation that looked pretty hurtful to me. And how about all those other situations where he was being deliberatly manipulative?
But he helps fight demons.
Well, sure. But in Doomed we are led to believe that he only does it 'cause he enjoys the beating-things-up and the causing-pain. There’s probably some trying-to-impress-Buffy too. Motivationaly speaking, we aren’t talking sainthood. There may be some gray here, but I’m not that impressed.
I’d like to address something pepperlandgirl said in this thread:
I, for one, am uncomfortable excusing his violence on the premise that “She was asking for it.” None of this gives Spike the right to kill people.
- The Anya problem.
Let me go on record here. I think Spike should spend several hundred heard paying for his crimes. If you want to toss Anya into the same hell dimension with him, I have absolutely no problem with that. The only progress I see that Anya made is from this line from Shadow:
At most this gets her out of the hell dimension a few years early. But that’s it.
So, that’s my thinking. I see no reason to think Spike is reformed, redeemed or the world’s most perfect boyfriend. If he’s being abused, it’s because he’s an unrepentant criminal. I’m not saying that it’s impossible for him to be redeemed, but he ain’t there yet.
I now open the floor for discussion.