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MikeB
15-09-15, 12:16 PM
There’s a lot of discussion in the Season 10 Speculation thread (from http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/showthread.php?19893-The-Season-10-Thread-2-Discussion-Speculation-and-News/page28 and it’s continuing on page 30) regarding whether Spike wants to be human; therefore, I decided to make this thread.



* Regarding AtS s5, Spike didn’t so much want to be human as he didn’t want Angel to become human as Spike considered Buffy might prefer a human Angel to a vampire Spike. Spike is fine throughout AtS s5 and after not being human.


* Spike’s in BtVS S9: Spike daydreaming about walking on a sunlight beach with Buffy simply implies Spike wants to be sunlight-resistant.


* I don’t consider Season 10 canon but even Spike’s contemplation about the Shanshu is because in BtVS S10 he was still threatened by the idea of Buffy/Angel.


* What’s Spike actually done? He’s gotten the Gem of Amarra, which main benefit was sunlight protection. Spike after “Seeing Red” (B 6.19) didn’t seek to become human. He got his soul back and remained a vampire. If AtF is canon, Spike simply liked being able to be in sunlight. He still liked having his superpowers. Spike since becoming a vampire has always enjoyed his superpowers.


* Spike would much rather be sunlight-resistant and invulnerable than be human; in addition, Spike since “End of Days” (B 7.21) clearly is unsure about his relationship with Buffy given how long he stays away from her afterward. I’m not sure even if the only way he could be happy with Buffy is to become human and if Buffy/Spike forever was guaranteed that he’d prefer being human to being a vampire.

- Spike would very likely prefer that the spell that was done to make Sophronia Fairweather and Lavinia Fairweather essentially immortal be used on Buffy so that Buffy and Spike could be together forever.

Clavus
15-09-15, 01:50 PM
Interesting discussion over on the other thread, here's my 2 cents:

I think if Buffy was harping on and on about how important it was that Spike was human rather than vampire, like she did back in season 6 when "soulless" was such a central accusation leveled at him, she could feasibly wear him down to the point where he'd try and make himself human. However, like the original impulse to get the soul, it would be "for her", not as an end in itself or as something Spike would aspire to.

I think he was pretty happy with himself soulless and really only set out to fight for a soul in order to be someone Buffy could love, even though later he did view it as an achievement and improvement independent of attaining her.

Similarly he's always been happy with the strength and resilience that being a vampire is giving him and he's always concealed and been ashamed of his human existence. I do not see him go back to that voluntarily and without some strong outside motivation. Drinking from the cup in AtS5 to me was not so much a shot at becoming human, but a way to stick it to Angel. He has a tendency to become a tad reckless when it means he can best his grandsire. (Going after Slayers just because Angel fears them is a case in point.)

Also he's had front row seating when Buffy/ Riley blew itself apart in BtVS5, partly because Riley felt he had to keep up with Buffy in power and fighting ability and couldn't. I don't think he'd want to repeat that particular mistake. While I think he'd be less threatened by the imbalance in power than Riley was, because he has less of a chauvinistic attitude when it comes to powerful women, he'd be upset that he cannot have Buffy's back or help with fighting.

I could see a temporary change into a human as an interesting plot avenue to pursue, but as a permanent state they'd just be doubling up on Xander (big heart but little effect in a fight) or maybe Giles (William was bookish, so he could be the new research guy?), and I think that would be kind of boring. He'd be hanging out and probably developing a gut from eating too much junk food and drinking too much booze...

Being a vampire is so central to Spike's character. Take that away and you pretty much lose who he is. I really hope wanting Buffy doesn't make him go there.

Stoney
15-09-15, 04:42 PM
However, like the original impulse to get the soul, it would be "for her", not as an end in itself or as something Spike would aspire to.

I think he was pretty happy with himself soulless and really only set out to fight for a soul in order to be someone Buffy could love, even though later he did view it as an achievement and improvement independent of attaining her.

I think that is too simplistic for why he went to get his soul even from the get go. It was undoubtedly in part to be what he felt Buffy wanted in a lover and he makes that clear in Beneath You but he also identifies one of the main issues that drove him in Seeing Red to leave on the soul quest. In Beneath You he calls it to be a kind of man and I think that confusion Spike goes through in his crypt when talking to Clem is also key. He knows he isn't one or the other, monster or man, and he chooses a side in part to remove that confusion and inner discord that he can't get his mind around, he is upset but why is he upset, why didn't he do it etc. From the start it wasn't totally about Buffy.


Similarly he's always been happy with the strength and resilience that being a vampire is giving him and he's always concealed and been ashamed of his human existence. I do not see him go back to that voluntarily and without some strong outside motivation. Drinking from the cup in AtS5 to me was not so much a shot at becoming human, but a way to stick it to Angel. He has a tendency to become a tad reckless when it means he can best his grandsire. (Going after Slayers just because Angel fears them is a case in point.)

I think it was mixed in Destiny. The flashback with Dru serves multiple purposes I think to explain the layering you see in the Angel/Spike dynamic. Angel and Spike know how to push each others buttons and Angel is intentionally belittling Spike's relationship with Buffy to get a rise, to make Spike feel that he mattered less than he wanted to to her. This is the same thing that Angel graphically showed Spike was the truth with Dru, as we also got to see. Angel likes to pull him down and make him feel less and insecure to feel better about himself. Spike, through the experience we are seeing over Dru, has learned not to voice his expectations and feelings to Angel, it just gives him weapons, so he is crude in response about his relationship with Buffy. He isn't going to be open about how he feels about Buffy, especially as Angel's barbs hit very close to home on Spike's insecurity about how Buffy felt for him. Equally he also isn't going to show too much personal interest in the idea of Shanshu either. In retaliation, Spike can press Angel's feeling of frustration over the relationship with Buffy and stir his jealousy. Spike may also correctly suspect that Angel is feeling insecure around him having sought his soul, the fact he didn't tell his team about Spike helping Buffy and having his soul gave that hint and he is going to hit back where and how he can. And also in there is Spike's jealousy that Angel was secure about Buffy's feelings for him, that he could easily draw Dru's attention away from him. Spike does compare himself to Angel and that means that yes, I think there is a degree of petty retaliation in trying to take away from Angel his 'destiny' (the cup), as Angel took Dru after Spike had expressed his feeling that she was his destiny to Angel.

But, and this is a really big but, Spike took that cup and took that drink believing that it might turn him human. I think it is a massively layered scene because of all the history with the two and the relevance on multiple fronts of the Dru/Buffy issues. But whilst Spike can be impulsive and he most certainly runs on his emotions, how much he cares for something is reflected in how much interest/focus/fight he puts into it. That aspect even plays on Angel's mind, whether Spike wanted it more. But Spike I don't believe would risk becoming something he categorically didn't have any interest in solely to p*ss off Angel. You say yourself how much he enjoys his strength as a vampire and there wasn't much of a pause before he risked throwing it away. That drink could have had such a massive impact on him he wouldn't have taken it lightly and just to get one over Angel. If pure retaliation was the aim but he had no interest in being human at all then he could have just poured it away and laughed at Angel, like he laughed at Spike, for having any notion of destiny. But that isn't what happened and I think it is telling.


Also he's had front row seating when Buffy/ Riley blew itself apart in BtVS5, partly because Riley felt he had to keep up with Buffy in power and fighting ability and couldn't. I don't think he'd want to repeat that particular mistake. While I think he'd be less threatened by the imbalance in power than Riley was, because he has less of a chauvinistic attitude when it comes to powerful women, he'd be upset that he cannot have Buffy's back or help with fighting.

How Spike would feel about it if it happened, even if he chose it, and the differences he would face is hard to say, he could regret it for sure. His issues that appear to be surfacing about being a monster still may be something he needs to balance and find an inner acceptance of rather than remove, as I say, I'm on the fence as to whether it is something he would go for in the end. But he has always, at the least, been shown to be interested in the idea I think.

Clavus
15-09-15, 05:15 PM
But, and this is a really big but, Spike took that cup and took that drink believing that it might turn him human. I think it is a massively layered scene because of all the history with the two and the relevance on multiple fronts of the Dru/Buffy issues. But whilst Spike can be impulsive and he most certainly runs on his emotions, how much he cares for something is reflected in how much interest/focus/fight he puts into it. That aspect even plays on Angel's mind, whether Spike wanted it more. But Spike I don't believe would risk becoming something he categorically didn't have any interest in solely to p*ss off Angel. You say yourself how much he enjoys his strength as a vampire and there wasn't much of a pause before he risked throwing it away. That drink could have had such a massive impact on him he wouldn't have taken it lightly and just to get one over Angel. If pure retaliation was the aim but he had no interest in being human at all then he could have just poured it away and laughed at Angel, like he laughed at Spike, for having any notion of destiny. But that isn't what happened and I think it is telling.

Actually you make a good point there to argue that Spike might be toying with the idea of becoming human after all. He did have the option to thwart Angel in other ways than drinking from the cup. The fact that he is willing to accept the consequences of drinking could point to the fact that he'd be open to risking the transformation.

Perhaps if he saw it not as a reversion back to his former self, but rather the logical next step in seeking out his soul - a move forward on his own journey rather than back - he could rationalize it to himself. Actually I chose "Maybe" on the poll...

Still, in the storyline of the comics, I don't know if I'd want to read about it if it was a permanent change. I do like character development, but altering someone so drastically seriously impairs my coping mechanisms. I'm still not 100% on board with child-Giles, either...

vampmogs
15-09-15, 11:45 PM
From Destiny;

ANGEL
Spike, wait. Wait. That's not a prize you're holding. It's not a trophy. It's a burden. It's a cross.
One you're gonna have to bear till it burns you to ashes. Believe me. I know. So ask yourself: Is this really the destiny that was meant for you? Do you even really want it? Or is it that you just want to take something away from me?

SPIKE
(shrugs)
Bit of both.
(drinks from the cup)

Doesn't this settle it? Spike drinks from the cup wholeheartedly believing that it will seal his role in the Shanshu Prophecy and therefore he will one day become human. A part of him must have wanted it or, at least, certainly been ok with the idea, otherwise he'd have never drank. If he was truly as spiteful and childish as some claim him to be he could have simply tipped the cup out to ensure that neither he nor Angel would ever become human. But he didn't.

Also, I'm going to give Spike a little more credit and believe him when he says "bit of both." It's odd to me that anyone would want him to have been motivated solely by spite, pettiness or revenge against Angel and not because a part of him wanted it too. To deny Angel a chance at being human when he doesn't even want it for himself, just because it's Angel, is really selfish and cruel. I'd like to take Spike at his word that whilst a part of it may have been about taking something away from Angel, he also wanted this for himself as well.

KingofCretins
16-09-15, 04:53 AM
You would think, mogs, you would really think it is the last word on the matter. Certainly as of that moment in time, yes, he manifestly wanted to be human. If he has changed his mind since, it has been a non-textual shift in his ambition. As far as we can factually assert, it is just a non-issue for him since as far as he knows, no such option is available.

I find it... reductive to define Spike's own feelings about vampirism, or humanity for that matter, as a laundry list of superpowers either possessed or not possessed. Being a vampire is not, pace Napoleon Dynamite, just an aggregate of great skills for getting chicks and beating up bad guys. Not in this mythos anyway.

Silver1
16-09-15, 08:48 AM
Well I wouldn't, because as we know Spike has often been a creature of impulse, as well as you know, can actually change his mind on the subject? As he appeared to by the end of AtS season 5? :D

But then I'm biased as because unless this was a temporary change (what happened to Storm in the X Men comics years back) it would imo be the slow death of the character in more senses then one.

kamw30
16-09-15, 02:24 PM
Actually I don't think the "bit of both" comment settles anything. Destiny was all about how much Angelus had demeaned Spike. Quite rightly Spike had issues with Angel, and vice versa. If you want to brand those feelings as spiteful and petty then fine, but I saw them more as bone deep resentment over how little Angel thought of Spike and how much he had taken away. Added to that, Spike is impulsive by nature. Yeah, maybe a tiny part of him would have accepted becoming human, but I doubt that was by any means what motivated him. He was showing Angel he was just as entitled - consequences be damned.

I also think the same applies to Angel. IWRY pretty clearly shows he doesn't want to be human (at least not cheaply - if at all) yet he was going to drink from the cup too. Does that mean he really did want it or was he just trying to show Spike it was his 'Destiny' - consequences be damned. I reckon the answer is 'bit of both'.

They have an intense volatile relationship. Pettiness, vengefulness and impulsiveness all bleed into that. There are no other indicators that Spike wants to be human other than if it suits Buffy.

Silver1
16-09-15, 02:53 PM
Yeah, thats pretty much how I saw it. Glad I wasn't the only one. :D

KingofCretins
16-09-15, 08:39 PM
I don't think the comment settles it -- I think drinking the cup does. In fact, even if he had explicitly said he was just trying to screw with Angel and drank, I'd have given him the benefit of the doubt that that comment was just the screwing with Angel. Because otherwise, the only other possible interpretation of events, is that he is so empty and facile and meaningless as an individual that he'd have taken on the misery and danger of the trials expected and if he survived that also have given up the vampiric state that we're assuming in this context he preferred... just to dick-move Angel. That would make him the most pitiful cipher probably in the history of popular fiction to me.

Compare, for instance, had he just poured the thing out. Made Angel lick it off the floor if he wants it so bad.

kamw30
17-09-15, 12:49 AM
Wow! I only thought he was bitter and angry in the middle of what was a pretty irrational and intense fight. But if the 'only other interpretation' is that he was a spiteful, childish, vengeful, cruel, selfish, empty, facile, meaningless, pitiful cipher I will have to rethink it...

KingofCretins
17-09-15, 01:19 AM
Wow! I only thought he was bitter and angry in the middle of what was a pretty irrational and intense fight. But if the 'only other interpretation' is that he was a spiteful, childish, vengeful, cruel, selfish, empty, facile, meaningless, pitiful cipher I will have to rethink it...

Think about the thrust of the discussion. If he drank that cup and didn't even want to be human, there is nothing good to say about him, it makes him not only the biggest d-bag in the history of the series, but also a gobsmacking moron. Because why would you ever drink the one and only cup that will ever be offered you that makes it even possible you'll eventually be human (in fact guarantees it, if he were only but to survive)... if you did not want to be human? Again, if he just wanted to deny Angel, he could have poured it out. If he just wanted to show Angel up and humiliate him, he could have held Angel's mouth open and poured it down himself.

He didn't do any of that. He drank it. He wanted to be human. All other possibilities are ludicrous.

Silver1
17-09-15, 02:55 AM
Wow! I only thought he was bitter and angry in the middle of what was a pretty irrational and intense fight. But if the 'only other interpretation' is that he was a spiteful, childish, vengeful, cruel, selfish, empty, facile, meaningless, pitiful cipher I will have to rethink it...


Yeah, you and me both. :D

kamw30
17-09-15, 03:40 AM
Well I didn't say he didn't even want to be human, I said it wasn't a prime motivator. It may be semantics, but what you see as him just wanting to take something away from Angel, I saw as him trying to prove he was just as worthy - Angel was not the specialist flower in the garden. "look at you thinking you're the big saviour.... But you still can't lay flesh on a cross without smelling like bacon, can you?" I'm just as deserving as you,mate and I'll prove it. As for the consequences, well he probably thought he could deal with them, but they weren't his prime motivation. Reminding Angel he was no better then him has always been his thing. In this context throwing away the cup would be meaningless and only prove he didn't see himself as worthy.

Look, the question is "Does Spike want to be human?". Does he yearn for that. Has he laid awake thinking about it and all the ramifications? I'd say probably not. Is it a passing thought thought that, like Angel, becoming human may prove he was a worthy champion or that dancing in the sun with Buffy would be nice - yeah maybe. Is it what he wants? Doubtful.

Or maybe I'm just biased because a think a human Spike is a terrible idea.

vampmogs
17-09-15, 12:14 PM
It may be semantics, but what you see as him just wanting to take something away from Angel, I saw as him trying to prove he was just as worthy - Angel was not the specialist flower in the garden.

And he wanted to prove that by... taking something away from Angel. Either way you cut it, it'd be extremely juvenile and cruel. Regardless of what you feel about IWRY Spike doesn't know that episode even took place so it has no bearing on his opinion of Angel. As far as he's concerned Angel truly wants the Shanshu and wants to be human. It's something he's yearned for, for years. It matters to him a great deal and becoming human again is something that Angel actually desires. For Spike to tear that away from Angel when he doesn't even really want humanity would be really ****ed up. This isn't Spike taking one of Angel's cars or having the last mug of pig's blood. Denying Angel his chance at humanity again out of nothing but pure spite and vengeance, when he doesn't even want it for himself, would be messed up.

I'm going to take Spike at his word. I think a lot of people are projecting their own biases onto the character because they don't like the idea of him being human. However, in doing so I don't think they realise what a terrible person it'd make him look like if they believe he took the cup (and it's promised humanity) just to hurt Angel. My only horse in this race is making Spike look like a decent guy and that's by accepting it at face value when he says "a bit of both" and that a part of him desired the Shanshu/humanity for himself.

I mean, in Not Fade Away he explicitly asks Angel if one of them will get to be human again if they make it through the final fight. It's on his mind right until the very last time we see him.

Silver1
17-09-15, 12:57 PM
So you think both characters can't be petty and cruel to each other? Cos I know both of them can be and have.

Spikes not a damn saint. I may be a fan of his character but I do know he can be a right bastard at times. And how long had Spike been souled? Not very long in comparison to dear old Angel. :D


I'm going to take Spike at his word. I think a lot of people are projecting their own biases onto the character because they don't like the idea of him being human.

I think both camps of guilty of that, but then I admitted as such in one of my comments. I firmly believe it is an awful idea.

vampmogs
17-09-15, 01:45 PM
So you think both characters can't be petty and cruel to each other? Cos I know both of them can be and have.

To that extent? No. It's one thing to bicker constantly or exploit each other's insecurities but for Spike to actually rob Angel of his last chance at humanity for no other reason than to be cruel would be really ****ing horrible. It's one thing if Spike legitimately wants it for himself but it's horrible to take it from Angel just to hurt him.

There'd be no justification for it. I certainly wouldn't see it as some sort of "justice" after the way Angelus hurt Spike in those flashbacks because, um, Angelus didn't have a soul. You expect a soulless creature to be heartless and cruel but what's Spike's excuse? I think better of Spike to believe that he loathes Angel that much that he'd deliberately hurt him in such an extreme way. Not to mention that it'd be utterly pathetic, frankly, for Spike to turn himself human which he supposedly doesn't event want just to spite Angel. A little extreme, no? It's the kind of Spike-bashing I'd expect to be hear from certain Angel/Bangel fans. I consider Spike has more self-respect and dignity than to actually transform himself into a completely different being, which according to you he doesn't even want, just to say "ha! ha! Angel! I got it and you didn't!" It'd be, as I said, utterly pathetic.


Spikes not a damn saint. I may be a fan of his character but I do know he can be a right bastard at times.

Spike is flawed. But personally I think better of him than to believe he's actually that horrible. As I said, we're not talking about stealing one of Angel's cars, gloating about sleeping with Angel's ex, or sitting in his office chair. We're talking about robbing Angel of his last chance at humanity and 'salvation' (in Angel's eyes certainly) not because he wants it too but because he wants to hurt him that much. He'd rather become human just out spite and damn Angel to eternal vampirism just to destroy him. I'd expect that kind of behaviour from villainous Spike in In the Dark. Not Champion Spike in Destiny.


I think both camps of guilty of that, but then I admitted as such in one of my comments. I firmly believe it is an awful idea.

I have no horse in this race. I couldn't care a less whether they made Spike human or not. I also don't see what it has to do with what we're discussing. The poll was asking if you believe Spike wanted to become human, not whether you thought it would be a good story if he did. It's two totally different discussions. Admitting that Spike clearly expressed that a part of him wanted to become human ("a bit of both") and that he drank from the cup fully intending that one day he'd be turned human is not remotely the same thing as you saying you'd be happy if it happened one day. You can admit one without being the other.

Dipstick
17-09-15, 02:38 PM
I think Spike and Angel both want to be human in a similar really immature, poorly thought out, ridiculous way. Day in and day out, both of them love being super-strong, virtually indestructible, perpetually youthful. Spike likes to smoke without health consequences. It is some effort to subsist on animal blood when their demons crave human blood- but I don't believe it's much harder than the day-in-and-day-out responsibilities of a human to manage their diet, avoid dangerous things that can kill them, work a steady job to pay for all of the basic necessities that human require, visit doctors and dentists. I never watch the show and think that Spike and Angel have it harder than their human colleagues or Lorne/Doyle. And their human colleagues are, with the exception of Giles, young and in prime physical condition. (Although, S1-8 Giles isn't young but he's in prime physical conditions. Rawr.) Wait until age and increased financial responsibilities start to take a toll.

IMO, Spike and Angel have these false visions in their head that humanity is just romance with Buffy and never feeling wrong temptations and some big cosmic cookie from the world where their humanity is the pass-code of redemption, rendering their debt to society completely paid for. In Angel's case, it's particularly ridiculous since he resented both times he was turned human (IWRY, the comics) and he supposedly signed his Shanshu away for nothing other than to stick his middle finger up at the Senior Partners, proving how little he valued it

Spike and Angel are dissatisfied beings- and their unusual position and status makes them feel like their dissatisfaction is completely unique to them and requires a huge fix instead of seeing that dissatisfaction is pretty endemic to humdrum humanity. So yeah, I think in the moment, they both really wanted The Cup but they'd both benefit from some careful thought and introspection on what they really want.

Silver1
17-09-15, 02:47 PM
To that extent? No. It's one thing to bicker constantly or exploit each other's insecurities but for Spike to actually rob Angel of his last chance at humanity for no other reason than to be cruel would be really ****ing horrible. It's one thing if Spike legitimately wants it for himself but it's horrible to take it from Angel just to hurt him.


Even in the very same episode we see more examples of Angel trying to take away what Spike Loved. We know the troubled past these two have, and so I don't find it at all unusual or out of character that the two of them would go to such extreme extent to rub each other up the wrong way (oo-err).

Spikes decision seemed to be a spur of the moment thing to me and as others have said not thought properly through.

The whole human Spike thing? Crap idea that I'm sure will never come to pass as DH won't want to kill the golden goose. Same with Angel and any of the other main characters, save poor bloody Giles who imo has suffered awfully in this stupid childlike state of limbo.

Dipstick
17-09-15, 03:15 PM
To add to my post:

I can actually empathize with why Spike wanted humanity in AtS S5. Spike was new to this soul-deal and Shanshu deal and he's the impulsive one- I get how he lurched to humanity as a good fix for his troubles.

However by S5, Angel's relationship to humanity and Shanshuing is really dark. By S5, Angel did enough bad things with a soul and squandered enough relationships that it should invite some reflection that his being-status isn't the problem so much as the way he behaves. You'd think that one of the main benefits of humanity is getting to have a family. Well, Angel had a miracle son and he was a terrible father. However, I don't think Angel understands what was wrong with how he treated Conner in S4-5. IMO, Angel thought that being human will give him a chance to be a great father to his human children while Conner exists apart with his fake family and his fake memories. And human!Angel could have these children with Buffy while Cordelia rots in a W&H hospital in a coma.

Then, at the same time, Angel is also invested in his role as a Champion, who lives as the world ought to be and thus, has the moral authority to exclude people from his Hotel on a Hill and even his City on a Hill. (LOL, even though Los Angeles is in a coastal basis surrounded by mountains outside the city limits. Not a city on a hill geographically speaking.) So according to Angel's own statement, does he feel that he needs humanity for absolution for the terrible things he's done or does he feel above absolution? If he's not above absolution, why is he in charge of leading humans instead taking moral direction from them?

This all goes to just how shallow Angel's supposed desire for humanity was in S5.

kana
17-09-15, 07:52 PM
I frankly find this topic incredibly confounding.

I think many people are focusing on the practicalities of being human rather than what being human represents to them. The are multiple things that can motivate someone but at the very least, one of Angel's motivators is some kind of external validation. If one wants to almost get Freudian about this, it most likely relates back to his father, the father he always disappointed. I've always seen the Shanshu as a cosmic "atta boy" for him more than anything else.

Now in IWRY, I don't think it's a coincidence that he had this exchange with the Oracles:


Angel: "It was the demon's blood. It wasn't the Powers-That-Be that did this?"
Man: "The Powers-That-Be? Did you save humanity? Avert the Apocalypse?"

Now I definitely believe there was an element of manipulation going on here, but it seems as though they are implying that if the PTB's were responsible for making Angel human it would be a reward.

Also we have this:


Angel: “I want - - forgiveness.”
Marcus: “Yes. That’s the truth, - and you want to earn it. You’re not the type that takes the easy way out.

It's uncertain, but it's implied, as far as I can see, that Marcus (ITD) had either psychic or empathic abilities and he was able to see into Angel's psyche. So having humanity randomly granted to him is not something he's for which he's looking.

I'm probably going to get chewed out for this, but I think Spike wants something similar. Although he'd perhaps never admit it, I think he wants that external validation too.

I do think these "tropes" are "zigzaged" so to speak. Angel certainly has been conflicted about the Shanshu but it's more pointed because we know he's contemplated it a bit but I do think he wants to do good for it's own sake and he finds the idea of there being a cosmic design that involves him appealing. However, if anything, there is a nihilist in Angel who believes that his misdeeds are all that are going to count on the overall moral scales.

I'm not sure about Spike but...

I don't think it's merely about taking something away from Angel, because Spike denying the concept that Angel gets an automatic claim to this destiny, but more denying the assumption that he automatically gets the prize, because he's, you know, Angel. At this point both have got equal claim to it, so from his perspective, fair's fair. It also shows how his rivalry with Angel is not just about of spite, but about his own validation as an individual. Is this petty? To a degree but most of things that have meant something to Spike in his life, Angel has had already: reputation, being with Dru, being with Buffy, a soul, the chance to be a champion and the chance to be the champion.

Like Angel, I think Spike has and most likely will, go back and forth on this, but I don't think it's just about being human, but what being a human represents. I can't really speak for Spike as much, but for Angel, being a useful vampire with a soul is at least in part about that "cosmic atta boy" but then so is(was depending on his personal view of the PTB's now) a higher power granting his humanity so in that sense the two things aren't mutually exclusive, it more depends on the circumstance.

KingofCretins
17-09-15, 08:50 PM
Point being that denying Angel the Shanshu as an end unto itself is less "puckish", "impulsive", or "petty" than it is "worst and lowest POS ever" territory. Fans of "Game of Thrones" may recall a philosophical Tyrion Lannister looking out over the Blackwater asking Varys why the gods are such V.C.; that wouldn't be an unfair toss at Spike were his motives as venal as suggested.

But actions speak louder, and the action of drinking the cup instead of just discarding bears all other arguments into silence.

kamw30
17-09-15, 09:15 PM
And he wanted to prove that by... taking something away from Angel. Either way you cut it, it'd be extremely juvenile and cruel. Regardless of what you feel about IWRY Spike doesn't know that episode even took place so it has no bearing on his opinion of Angel. As far as he's concerned Angel truly wants the Shanshu and wants to be human. It's something he's yearned for, for years. It matters to him a great deal and becoming human again is something that Angel actually desires.

I must have missed something because I'm really not sure how Spike would have any idea that Angel had been yearning for humanity for years - something I don't think was true anyway. Again I'll say what I thought was happening was that Spike was trying to prove he was just as worthy of the Shanshu as Angel. Everyone keeps using phrases like "...take something from Angel" or "just to hurt Angel' which was true in part, but more importantly Spike was saying this could be mine too. So in that context I'll definitely agree with you that he did want "the Shanshu" for himself - I'm just not overly sure he thought about the consequences all that much.




I mean, in Not Fade Away he explicitly asks Angel if one of them will get to be human again if they make it through the final fight. It's on his mind right until the very last time we see him.
Well I thought Spike was just being ironic. By that stage neither of them believed they were coming out the other end. But that's just my opinion.

vampmogs
17-09-15, 11:10 PM
Even in the very same episode we see more examples of Angel trying to take away what Spike Loved.

When he was soulless and evil you mean? It's very telling that you'd have to compare Spike's actions to Angelus to get an accurate comparison of just how ugly he'd have to be to do this. There's no "justice" or "tit for tat" in Spike robbing Angel of humanity because when Angel was soulless he was cruel to Spike. Spike has a soul and is expected to behave better than a soulless monster. And as far as I'm concerned he is better. Like I said, this is the kind of character assassination that I'd expect to see from some Bangel/Angel fans. Not people who apparently actually enjoy the character. It reduces him to such a horrible person and for no other reason than that you don't want to admit that a part of him genuinely wanted to become human.

Silver1
17-09-15, 11:22 PM
See I don't see him as being 'horrible'. He hadn't done this in cold blood. He'd just finished a grudge fight with Angel where both parties had tried to get arise out of each other and I'm sure this had been a spur of the moment decision to take things this far.

But then I admit I like characters that are flawed and complex and not verging on saints.

And as I said before I think a permanent human Spike would be a bloody dreadful idea. But then I'd hate a human Angel too. :D


There's no "justice" or "tit for tat"

Oh come on. Both Vamps have been guilty of doing that many times down the years. This is Spike and Angel for gods sake. :D

Stoney
18-09-15, 01:44 AM
I'm probably going to get chewed out for this, but I think Spike wants something similar. Although he'd perhaps never admit it, I think he wants that external validation too...

I'm not sure about Spike but...

I don't think it's merely about taking something away from Angel, because Spike denying the concept that Angel gets an automatic claim to this destiny, but more denying the assumption that he automatically gets the prize, because he's, you know, Angel. At this point both have got equal claim to it, so from his perspective, fair's fair. It also shows how his rivalry with Angel is not just about of spite, but about his own validation as an individual. Is this petty? To a degree but most of things that have meant something to Spike in his life, Angel has had already: reputation, being with Dru, being with Buffy, a soul, the chance to be a champion and the chance to be the champion.

Like Angel, I think Spike has and most likely will, go back and forth on this, but I don't think it's just about being human, but what being a human represents. I can't really speak for Spike as much, but for Angel, being a useful vampire with a soul is at least in part about that "cosmic atta boy" but then so is(was depending on his personal view of the PTB's now) a higher power granting his humanity so in that sense the two things aren't mutually exclusive, it more depends on the circumstance.

It could be that there would be this aspect of it representing validation that is like Angel's perspective, but I think Angel's sought redemption doesn't hit the same notes in Spike. He has approached this all from a different path where he has gotten himself down the road in a way that Angel seems to feel he needs to 'earn' too. I'm not saying that Spike having sought his soul is 'better', once souled they are both in the same position in that sense, both able to make morally stronger choices and decide their paths, but he didn't become souled with the same conflict within over it. So although they are both really trying to do the same thing, make a positive difference, they aren't seeing it/themselves in the same way I don't think.

In Damage when Angel challenges what difference it has made to Spike being souled he storms out to be "doing [Angel's] job". In the corridor Spike is blunt about Dana and Angel references paying for all they have done. Spike's response is to say he should let it go. I definitely don't think this is supposed to show Spike is unaffected by all he did unsouled at all, we saw his pain in S7 over his past, such as in his conversations with Buffy in Never Leave Me when he chokes up about what he has done. But I think his way of dealing with it is to look to make an impact going forward and focus on what he can be. He isn't I don't believe thinking about it in the same redemptive terms that also has Angel simultaneously looking back too and that is why he is so moved by Buffy saying he can be, is a better man (obviously calling back to one of his hopes in being souled revealed in Beneath You).

In OMWF Spike sings to Buffy that she is escaping the pain of her life by telling him because whispering in a dead man's ear isn't 'real'. He talks about not getting release when he lays down to rest. I think it has the double meaning obviously related to her playing the thought of misbehaving with him but also not resting in peace and as an animated corpse of course, that isn't available to him and wherever he lays is his 'grave'. This is the same episode that holds one of the times Spike uses the phrase 'real boy' in a Pinocchio reference, when Sweet's minion breaks away from him he remarks that he is strong "someday he'll be a real boy". This is followed by Buffy ignoring his offer of help above the scoobies and his anger at being dismissed. Then we see his focus when he does stop her dancing is that one of them should go on living as that is how you heal from the pain. I think there is a difference for Spike between living and existing.

It works, appropriately, almost poetically perhaps. I think Spike possibly sees becoming human more as a greater validation than mere existence. Killing the slayers and getting the reputation that he does soulless is about leaving a mark and being 'known'. I think that the repeated identification of being human as being 'real' is quite telling that there is something almost symbolic about the specific passing of time that a mortal life holds that it makes its specific mark in history. It starts and ends and so has a story to it and touches the lives around it within its boundaries and your effect is contained and intensified by that. Spike has always human to vamp (souled and unsouled), wanted to matter.

When first souled he validated himself through sacrifice and making a difference to all of those he helped/saved, his goal twice in fact if we try to make sense of him joining the plan in NFA. But his mini last season showed that as he has settled into this new existence he has started to dislike wandering and wants to belong. We see his dissatisfaction in S9 at being confined to the shadows, the dark. He is looking for something more and seeking the light further, and his connection to those he cares about who live became more important to nurture and focus on.

As I said earlier, there are a lot of things churning around in that scene between him and Angel that shows how complex their relationship is. Spike isn't a saint for sure and that is why, partly, taking the cup gave him a sense of satisfaction on other levels that were more shallow/petty. But he isn't soulless any longer and he is inclined to keep his feelings covered from Angel where he can and so covering through the fight his interest in winning for the goal of the cup itself isn't a great surprise. His interest in winning the cup is shown in him drinking from it, that is a choice that he makes and indicates that this is something that if possible he would take the option of. And, as I say, it could be something that is very difficult for him after if he did because of what he would lose that he also values, but that doesn't mean that on balance he wouldn't still choose it if it was there.

Cassiopeia
19-09-15, 04:54 AM
i've only watched btvs/ats tv series, haven't gotten to reading the comics yet, but i voted for 'maybe' simply because, imo, it seems that spike without a soul (btvs s6) already seemed to have many human qualities to him, and maybe he thought by fighting and winning his soul that would make him more 'human'. i do think he did it specifically for buffy than for himself, so maybe his desire to be human is a subconscious one. and also not every time he helped out was for the 'fight' to win over buffy, he helped other scoobies just as much as he helped buffy, and he was going to leave flowers for her mother after she died (and didn't have a name/card attached to it). even though spike is a vampire, he is also very much in touch with his human qualities :):

Silver1
19-09-15, 08:18 AM
Oh when I refer to the 'fight' I mean fighting the forces of darkness, not just trying to keep on Buffy's good side. :D

Priceless
29-01-18, 05:04 PM
I used to think Spike didn't care about being human, apart from how is would antagonise Angel and it would feel that he had beat him somehow. But after S11 I am not sure. We see him dashing out into the sunlight at least once to help Buffy, and he walks in the daylight at other times, covered up in a hoodie and wearing gloves. I think it is starting to bother him more and more, that he can't walk in the sun with Buffy. Personally I want Spike to stay as a vampire because wanting to be 'a real boy' was always Angel's thing, but if the writers take it in that directions I'd go along for the ride :)

Silver1
29-01-18, 05:43 PM
He goes out because he has too. I think It's a stretch to say that indicates he want to be human. I think he'd hate such an idea myself.

Priceless
29-01-18, 05:58 PM
He goes out because he has too. I think It's a stretch to say that indicates he want to be human. I think he'd hate such an idea myself.

I don't think he would hate it now. I also don't think he goes out in daylight because he has to. In the scene where Buffy is leaving the safe zone, they are outside in daylight saying goodbye, but they could have done that in the caravan, and Spike could have watched her go from the caravan window, he didn't have to be outside for that. I really think Gage was flagging up the fact that Spike was going out more in daylight then he ever did before (it just felt more obvious then in any other season) and I wonder if this is foreshadowing for what may happen in a S13.

Stoney
29-01-18, 10:27 PM
It's very much in the text throughout his story, he often makes comments which show he has issue with not being perceived as real, and this goes alongside the issues with still being a monster that are added in once souled too. He has fantasised about walking in the sun with Buffy and being made human again more than once. I'm not sure it will ever go there in actuality, but these are issues that he could do with dealing with if it doesn't. And I do think it is different to Angel too Pricey, as being a real boy is Spike's thing, whereas the main focus for Angel has always been about the shanshu and becoming human again as a reward, indicative of having achieved some balance/some goal in his quest for redemption. That isn't the way Spike works and that contrast on looking forward rather than backwards as Angel does is clearly part of this I think.

Priceless
29-01-18, 10:45 PM
Stoney ,the outcome will be the same, they'd both be human. I'd rather Angel were made human, I think Spike is far more interesting as a vampire, with all the insecurities that come along with that. If they go back to the Vampyr book in S13 then anything is possible and they could give Spike the ability to walk in the daylight

Stoney
30-01-18, 12:55 AM
Stoney ,the outcome will be the same, they'd both be human. I'd rather Angel were made human, I think Spike is far more interesting as a vampire, with all the insecurities that come along with that. If they go back to the Vampyr book in S13 then anything is possible and they could give Spike the ability to walk in the daylight

I assume you mean S12. :D

I can't see them trying to write anything in the Vampyr book to just gain Spike perks. Or not having fallout probably if they did. They made it clear that they shouldn't just try to put wish fulfilment into the book, wasn't that what bit Drac in the butt, because you can't totally limit how it was interpreted. It's the age old wish warning, monkey's paw story principle (or whatever it was called).

I think Spike is very interesting with his issues as a vampire, but I think he could be interesting with different ones and some of the same still and human. His previous/existing issues about being weak would certainly flare if he ever did become human. I think it is just important that the story keeps moving and doesn't look to try and hold the characters static. Progression in dealing with accepting problems is still progression. Trying to handle how much it emotionally affects them to not be able to change something, looking to proactively move on to try and achieve it any way possible, etc. There are many different ways they can address these character points that can provide character development. Actually striving to be human doesn't necessarily mean it would be successful and that would be a whole separate thing to deal with. The scope of stories around it is pretty huge. They could make the story interesting for either vamp in how they dealt with the change or with not getting it. I'd prefer it if they didn't go down the same path for them both but you can be certain if they both did end up there it would at least be likely to be very different ways and with different responses. For Angel it is this imagined light at the end of the tunnel, a finish line that has been artificially drawn in his story, proof of redemption and freedom from the guilt that weighs on him. Spike's doesn't have that same meaning to it, in the same way that becoming souled meant some of the same things to them both but their stories and how they respond remained very much individual. Whether they'll go there with either, ever, we'll just have to wait and see. But it certainly wouldn't be coming out of nowhere for Spike.

Priceless
30-01-18, 09:49 AM
:D Yes Season 12, I'm just dreaming of endless seasons of Buffy

Don't the new-type vampires (Vickies crew) all have the ability to walk in daylight or am I getting confused? I think they could just write in the book that Spike become a new type vampire and have all their abilities. Though of course there is the moral dilemma of using the book for personal gain. Being able to walk safely in the sunshine would be a progression of the character without having to turn him human.

I think the most interesting story would be if Angel were made human and that would bring all of Spike's insecurities to the surface and I imagine him doing something stupid because he couldn't deal with Angel being what he thinks Buffy needs. :D I'm just writing all this in my head, but I can't wait to see what Joss and Gage have come up with for next season

Stoney
30-01-18, 10:50 AM
Yes the new vamps have different abilities, but I still think they'd be rightly too wary how the book tried to fulfil what they wrote in the 'careful what you wish for' sense. If they wrote in that Spike had the abilities of the new vamps he might be given them but totally 'reset' to a new vampire state and his soul be lost. He could gain the ability to change into a bat but not any other abilities. There would be some way it would bite them in the butt. It would be the equivalent of risking everything by making a wish, even without considering the moral dilemma. Of course it isn't impossible, but the ease with which the gain would be accomplished by writing in the book would almost certainly lead to negative consequences and difficulties. Things that are earned through personal achievement or are gained through deepening self-awareness or personal development are better for the characters in a positive sense. Otherwise Willow could just keep casting spells to fix everything.

I think Spike would struggle with Angel becoming human too, but I can't see Angel staying human or choosing that unless he felt it was confirmation of his redemption. He has already rejected being human 'easily' in IWRY. There are just so many ways that they could go with it all and these issues for Spike are being continuously flagged so I think they'll go somewhere with it, even if it is just him coming to terms with what he is better. That's more likely (and more likely to be a good thing) than the chance of anything being written in the book and it going well for him, ha!

I suspect the season 12 discussion, if there is going to be one, happened between Joss/Gage when they met recently. It feels like they are waiting for the Giles mini to happen before they announce anything. We're going to have to just sit and wait patiently (or pretend to). :p

Silver1
30-01-18, 12:26 PM
There is no way the comics or Whedon would make either vamp permanently human. Short term as a novelty but not permanent imo.

It would totally destroy what the majority of the casual readers/viewers find attractive in both characters.

TimeTravellingBunny
30-01-18, 12:33 PM
I realized I had not voted in this old poll, but this time I voted "No". I don't know why I didn't the first time - maybe because the debate in this thread seems to have been along the lines of "did Spike really want Shanshu in Destiny, or was he just being spiteful?" No, I don't think it was just spite, I think that kana hit the nail on the head that both Angel and Spike wanted it - but only because they saw it as a sign of validation from a "higher power". So, yes, you could say Spike wanted it at the time.

But I don't think Spike really wants to be human, and I don't think Angel really wants to be human, either. (What Angel wanted was to feel validated and forgiven by a higher authority.) And I certainly don't think this is ever going to be a thing in the comics. That plot device is past its expiration date.

The only way it could happen were if there actually was a Buffy reunion movie/mini-series, and JM and/or DB agreed to return. In that case, "he is/they are human now!" would b the best way to explain why Spike and/or Angel have aged. But I don't think that's gonna happen.

GoSpuffy
30-01-18, 05:57 PM
I don't think Angel wanted to be human, he wanted to be washed clean and redeemed. His was a journey of redemption. I don't think Spike wanted the shanshu for any other reason than to piss Angel off and to show he's better than Angel. He can be petty that way.

TriBel
30-01-18, 06:34 PM
No, I don't think it was just spite, I think that kana hit the nail on the head that both Angel and Spike wanted it - but only because they saw it as a sign of validation from a "higher power". So, yes, you could say Spike wanted it at the time.

But I don't think Spike really wants to be human, and I don't think Angel really wants to be human, either. (What Angel wanted was to feel validated and forgiven by a higher authority.) And I certainly don't think this is ever going to be a thing in the comics. That plot device is past its expiration date.

TBH, my reading of A11 suggests "validation by a higher power" is exactly what's happened. With Illyria "standing in" for the "God" and Fred validating his essential humanity. (I'm trying to avoid getting too Freudian about it but it all hinges on the different manifestations of his father). As for Spike - I'd prefer it if he didn't become human. At the moment his strength comes from having the status of "other" and I think it makes him a valuable tool in Whedon's political arsenal. I'd hate it if he lost his "different from" and became merely "same as". It makes him vulnerable in so many ways.

Stoney
30-01-18, 07:29 PM
I don't think Angel wanted to be human, he wanted to be washed clean and redeemed. His was a journey of redemption. I don't think Spike wanted the shanshu for any other reason than to piss Angel off and to show he's better than Angel. He can be petty that way.

Yes he can be and it was certainly playing its part but I think it is just simplifying his very mixed feelings about it all to simply rule out any personal want being part of it too. There's a difference to being petty and being vindictive and I think it would have been the latter if he'd had zero personal interest but actually still took it from Angel. If all he'd wanted was to do that then he would have beaten him in the fight and poured it away, not drunk it when that was literally accepting/choosing the possibility of becoming human as a result then and there. Spike says outright the motivation was both for him.

I don't know where they will go with it, if they will ever have either vamp become human, but Spike's issues over being 'real', being in the light and the monster within are all pretty firmly established in the text I think, through multiple seasons. It would be bizarre if none of it got any further exploration even if it is just him coming to terms with the insecurities. Personally, I get preferences for both directions to be honest and think either could be written to make perfect sense for the character. I'm not sure I have a personal preference, I just want the through line to be considered and the writing characterisation strong.

TriBel
30-01-18, 08:13 PM
but Spike's issues over being 'real', being in the light and the monster within are all pretty firmly established in the text

I get your point and part on me really wants a "Blue Fairy" moment (Sigh...would you believe I actually compared some of the S11 illustrations to the original Pinocchio drawings? I've persuaded myself this is one of Sebastian's ancestors - below). However, "real" and "light" are very ambiguous terms - both inside and outside the verse. Arguably nothing is "real" - everything/everybody is a linguistic construct and too much light can blind. "Monster" - to quote Spike "Well, yeah, you got me there" - but I/m taking refuge in the fact that the word shares a root with "demonstrate" so provided he shows his humanity that counts :) In fact, the idea of the "monster" within (in the sense that we all have an unconscious we can't control or fully know) is usually taken as indicative of the human condition...and I realise I coming perilously close to A11!



1264

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Stoney
30-01-18, 10:48 PM
Yes, there's some ambiguity in the terms, what it really means and so some lack of clear definition to the personal insecurities he feels and what exactly it is that he doesn't like in his current circumstances, what he could reach out and look to change. But it isn't totally unfathomable and there is scope and related points in the text that could be tied together and led somewhere, it exists and is raised in vague terms repeatedly so it could be given more form and direction I think. But as I said, his sense of dissatisfaction could just be something that gets some exploration generally and be something he comes to terms with and accepts, rather than it necessarily being that any defined true 'lack' is drawn out that he seeks to remedy, as he did at the end of S6. But that, being soulless, had the repeated references too and went somewhere, as these things sometimes (but not always) do.

I'm all for that being one of Sebastian's relatives. :)

MikeB
04-10-18, 03:26 PM
All caught up.

All said regarding writers, producers, actors, directors, viewers, readers, etc. are what I remember, my opinions, etc.




* Given the end of Season 12, if one wants to consider post-Season 9 canon, this question of “Does Spike want to be human?” perhaps seems moot. Spike doesn’t seem to want to be human and even causally tells Buffy that she’ll die of old age while he’ll remain immortal and nonaging. Nonetheless, I consider post-Season 9 cannot be canon, and so will respond to all the succeeding posts in this thread after my Original Post.



* With all the focus on “Destiny” (A 5.18), if Spike truly wanted to be human, he would have became human instead of becoming ‘only’ ensouled. He would have had the bugs figuring out how to make him human. He would have become human in AtS S5 or after.


* Regarding the notion of ‘being human’ for Buffy:

Spike can move on from her. He went from Cecily to Drusilla to Buffy. Very little suggests that Spike considers it impossible that he’d eventually find someone even more suitable for him than Buffy.





Clavus

* Buffy with Spike never suggested or implied to him that she wanted him to be human. Hers “You can’t love without a soul.” is something she said to him in “Crush” (B 5.14). In “Intervention” (B 5.18), it’s clear she considers he loves her, and she falls for him (even more). Notably, in “The Gift” (B 5.22) she tells all assembled, “I love you all”, albeit did she actually love Tara and Anya?


* Spike considers he ‘moved up on the food chain’ after becoming a vampire. But he’s never ashamed of his human existence. Drusilla (Keeble?) fell in love with William Pratt and Spike wanted Buffy to love all of him including his ‘human self’. And Spike always made sure to imply that he’s well-educated by belittling the educations of those like Angel, Cordelia, and Buffy.


* Spike went after Slayers for a similar reason he faced mobs. The thrill and achievement. It’s somewhat implied in “Fool For Love” (B 5.07) that he killed Xin Rong (the Chinese Slayer) to fully ‘have’ Drusilla. That was largely to prove himself the alpha male among the Fanged Four. But he did seem to consider that if he could kill a Slayer that Angel perhaps could.

We don’t even know where Drusilla was when Spike faced and killed Nikki Wood. Killing Nikki was about the thrill, pleasure, and achievement.

Facing and killing Buffy was mostly about Spike/Drusilla vs. Buffy/Spike.


* A human Spike would be more like a human Anya than like Xander. Spike would still have knowledge and magical ability. He’d still have fighting ability. And Drusilla could easily sire him whenever he wanted to be a vampire again. So, he’d be a step up from Anya.



Stoney

* Regarding “Destiny” (A 5.18), there’s a Spike/Drusilla thread, so I’m not going to get too much into Spike/Dru in this thread.

But Spike still loves Drusilla and his being human wouldn’t help Spike/Drusilla, Spike/Harmony, and Spike/Beck (if canon), Spike/Spider (if canon), and Spike/Morgan.


* In AtS S5, both Spike and Angel know that Buffy/Angel was more ‘romantic’ and ‘girlfriend-boyfriend’ than Buffy/Spike and that Buffy/Spike was more ‘physical’ than Buffy/Angel; therefore, that’s what Spike and Angel use against each other.


* Regarding the Cup of Perpetual Torment, I’ve always considered that Spike considered that if he didn’t drink from the Cup, then Angel could still be the Shanshu guy—meaning pouring the contents out wouldn’t have resolved anything.

Spike was concerned whether Buffy would prefer human Angel to vampire Spike.


* If Cecily Underwood was indeed already a vengeance demon when William sees her, all of Spike’s love interests have been supernatural. Even still, Spike shows around zero interest in Halfrek in BtVS S6.

I consider it telling that Spike doesn’t actually pursue Winifred Burkle and even Fred was partly supernatural given she could do magic.

There’s simply around zero evidence that Spike actually wants to be human and would become human to be with someone.

_________________________________________

* Spike in BtVS S7 and very soon after “Damage” (A 5.11) considers he only needs redeeming for attempting to rape Buffy. Notably, Spike doesn’t even apologize to Buffy regarding all the times he’s tried to kill her.


* Buffy in “Once More With Feeling” (B 6.07) doesn’t ignore Spike’s offer of help. She tells him, “I thought you wanted me to stay away from you. Isn’t that what you sang?”

Spike didn’t want Buffy to die because he wanted to be with Buffy.


* Drusilla, Spike, Angel, and Darla weren’t “famous”. Little suggests Spike and Drusilla were trying to ‘leave a mark’. They were simply having fun and enjoying life. They were happy.

Arguably, Spike’s “specialness” and “uniqueness” only first begins when Spike is chipped. Then he becomes probably the only vampire in history to get his soul back by passing The Trials.

Becoming human would lessen Spike. Spike would much rather prefer to become even more unique.

William Pratt wasn’t getting into any history books until after he became a vampire and killed two Slayers.

_________________________________________

* Spike’s story is largely about his ‘moving up the food chain’ in terms of power and romantic attachment. He goes from Victorian aristocrat (at least landed gentry) who has Doctor Gull providing the medical care to his dying mother to a “legendary dark warrior” to hero who destroys the Turok-han and closes the Hellmouth. He goes from the aristocratic Victorian lady Cecily Underwood to the most powerful female vampire (and [arguably] the most beautiful) to the Best Slayer Ever.

In ways, Spike’s story in Season 9 would have made the most sense to remain the King of the Bugs and perhaps get with Morgan. And probably have Beck and Spider and Co. as his ‘Slayer army’.


* When has vampire Spike “fantasized about” “being made human again more than once”?



vampmogs

* In AtS S5, Angel was doing his best to keep Spike from Buffy—even seriously considering destroying Spike. Angel then reprimands Fred for spending company money trying to re-corporealize Spike.

Spike in “Destiny” (A 5.18) was well within his rights to dust Angel. Drinking from the Cup so that Angel could perhaps never be with Buffy is more than okay.

_________________________________________

* Just like Drusilla Keeble and Buffy Anne Summers, the Shansu isn’t Angel’s. Angel doesn’t have ownership rights over any of those 3.

In AtS S5, Angel’s working for Wolfram & Hart. Spike in BtVS S7 had saved the world and already fulfilled the requirements of the Shanshu Prophecy.


* Spike in “Not Fade Away” (A 5.22) tells Angel, “As long as it’s not you.” regarding the Shanshu Prophecy.

_________________________________________

* Given the Shanshu Prophecy is supposedly a unique thing, Spike’s getting it wouldn’t be pathetic.

I wonder if you consider Spike’s pursuing Buffy was pathetic? He knew it was possible given she was with Angel.


As I said, we're not talking about stealing one of Angel's cars, gloating about sleeping with Angel's ex, or sitting in his office chair. We're talking about robbing Angel Again, Angel doesn’t have ownership rights over Buffy. Buffy is not Angel’s possession. You literally lump Buffy in with “one of Angel’s cars” and Angel’s “office chair”.


* Spike knows Angel is cursed. Spike literally fought to get Spike’s soul back. Spike very likely considers Angel doesn’t deserve the Shanshu.



KingofCretins

* Spike doesn’t want Angel to be human. That doesn’t mean Spike wants to be human. Post-BtVS 8.39, even in Season 12 there’s not much reason for Spike to think Buffy could prefer Buffy/Angel over Buffy/Spike, so, there’s no reason for Spike to be human.


Being a vampire is not, pace Napoleon Dynamite, just an aggregate of great skills for getting chicks and beating up bad guys. Not in this mythos anyway. Um, what?

Cordelia Chase preferred Angel to Alexander Lavelle Harris.

Anya Jenkins seems to prefer Dracula and Spike to Alexander Lavelle Harris.

Darla prefers Angel (and the Master?) to Lindsey Macdonald.

Drusilla immediately sires William Pratt. Drusilla’s never been much attracted to a normal human (outside of a love spell).

Buffy Anne Summers prefers Spike and Angel (post-BtVS 8.39 only Spike) to any human.

Buffy in BtVS S7 considers Spike her best warrior. Not Xander. Not Robin Wood.

Over in AtS, Charles Gunn and Wesley Wyndam-Pyrce are never as formidable as Angel.

_________________________________________

* Spike by “Destiny” (A 5.08) had already died and gone to heaven. “Hellbound” (A 5.04) perhaps made Spike consider he might not go to heaven again if he dies. Being the Shanshu guy means one is redeemed. Spike doesn’t want to be human. He wants to go to heaven when he dies.

_________________________________________


If [Spike] drank that cup and didn't even want to be human, there is nothing good to say about him, it makes him not only the biggest d-bag in the history of the series I’ll assume that’s hyperbole.


If [Spike] just wanted to show Angel up and humiliate him, he could have held Angel's mouth open and poured it down himself. Huh? So, Spike would somehow restrain Angel and then force Angel’s mouth open?


Spike found a way to get his soul back without needing to be cursed. We know the Mohra demon exists. We know Spike cured Drusilla. We know Spike got the Judge. What is somewhat ludicrous is assuming Spike wouldn’t know of a way to make himself human if he wanted to become human.



kamw30

* Angel likes and respects Spike far more than Angel likes and respects Penn and James. Angel in 1880 didn’t like that William seemed to perhaps care more about and love Drusilla than William cared about and loved Angel.

Angel considered facing mobs and facing the Slayer dangerous because those things were dangerous. And Spike and Dru didn’t exactly have a great time in Prague and Dana beat Spike (“Damage” (A 5.11)).

_________________________________________

* Spike fought and beat Angel in “Destiny” (A 5.08) to demonstrate to Angel that Spike is the superior fighter. Spike didn’t need to fight Angel to drink from the Cup.

_________________________________________

* Outside of the nonsense of that ‘evolution diagram’ in IDW’s Spike , Spike since sometime after killing Xin Rong (the Chinese Slayer) and before “School Hard” (B 2.03) considers he’s better than Angel.



Dipstick

* I’m not sure what you mean by Giles being in “prime physical condition”, but he’s certainly nowhere near “peak human”. Giles isn’t even in athlete physical condition.


* Angel did what he did in BtVS S8 to be with Buffy. Spike in BtVS S7 and seemingly afterward considers the mere act of getting his soul and then getting Buffy’s forgiveness is more than enough for his redemption.

_________________________________________

* I consider Angel intellectually gave up on the Shanshu idea the moment he decided to work for Wolfram & Hart. And that it was seeing Spike re-corporealized that renewed Angel’s interest in the Shanshu.



kana

* Spike’s “external validation” was already given to him by Drusilla Keeble and Buffy Anne Summers. Spike doesn’t need the Powers That Be to give him validation.

Heck, Spike rejects Morgan, who told him she considers him superior to Kings, Pharaohs, and Popes.


* Spike considers he has more claim to the Shanshu than Angel does.


* Did Angel have a reputation before William is sired? Remember that the Scourge happens because of Spike. Angel avoided mobs, ran away across continents from a human, and avoided Slayers.



Cassiopeia

* Spike’s being more ‘human’ than the average vampire doesn’t mean Spike wants to be human.



Priceless

* Spike regularly ‘walks in the sunshine’ from BtVS S4 on. He drove his car in the daytime.

Spike would want to be powerful enough to be sunlight resistant. By BtVS S6, only white-hot sunlight could harm him.

_________________________________________

* Angel should be killed. You want him to become human? Get even further rewarded for what he did in BtVS S8?

_________________________________________

* Spike would likely be done with Buffy/Spike if Angel became human and Buffy got with Angel. Spike would think less of Buffy, not less of himself.



Silver1

* Almost all the “casual readers/viewers” either ignore BtVS S8 and after or want Angel punished for his BtVS S8 actions.



TimeTravellingBunny

* I agree that Cursed Angel probably doesn’t actually want to be human. He’d probably prefer to simply have no perfect happiness clause.


* For anyone who watches things like the Terminator movies, the Underworld movies, etc, I never really understood the ‘David Boreanaz and James Marsters are now too old to play Angel and Spike, respectively’ thing. David and James aren’t wrinkly or anything. And it’s only been recently that Arnold Schwarzenegger has had to come up with a reason why the T-800 is looking older.



TriBel

* I don’t see why Spike’s vampire status has anything to do with Joss Whedon’s politics. If anything, Spike is perhaps the pinnacle example of ‘the bad boy girls the girl’.

And Spike in BtVS S4 and BtVS S5 is only “other” because he wanted to be and refused Scooby Gang status in BtVS S4 and Scooby Family status in BtVS S5.

In both BtVS S6 and BtVS S7, he seems to want Buffy for himself and away from the Scoobies.

Even in Season 9, he wanted to literally take Buffy away from the Scoobies.

Priceless
04-10-18, 03:53 PM
* Spike regularly ‘walks in the sunshine’ from BtVS S4 on. He drove his car in the daytime. Spike would want to be powerful enough to be sunlight resistant. By BtVS S6, only white-hot sunlight could harm him.

I can understand why you'd say that, because the show does play fast and loose with the concept of sunshine. We see vamps in sunshine, 'protected' by the lightest of shadows. But I think the fact remains that vampires are destroyed by direct sunlight.



* Angel should be killed. You want him to become human? Get even further rewarded for what he did in BtVS S8?

Angel did terrible things as Twilight, but one of the tenets of this show is that everyone is forgivable, no matter what they have done. Angel can earn forgiveness, and I think he does so throughout S9 especially. He is punished for Twilight, by the blame he puts on himself. I also think that the Powers That Be will always have plans for him, and even if he were dusted at the end of S8, they'd bring him back.

I am continually torn by my feelings towards Angel. Even more so now we've seen S12. If he were human he perhaps couldn't go after Illyria, and Illyria might not want him or value him in the same way. Would that be a good thing? How would he feel about a relationship with Buffy? Would he go find Connor and try to reconnect?


* Spike would likely be done with Buffy/Spike if Angel became human and Buffy got with Angel. Spike would think less of Buffy, not less of himself.

I think Spike would still have Buffy in his heart, if she and Angel became a couple, but I don't think he could stand seeing it. He'd leave them to their lives. I do think he would think Buffy only got back with Angel because Angel was human, and he'd secretly wish he were human to. Whether he'd really wish it for himself is doubtful.

TriBel
04-10-18, 04:38 PM
I don’t see why Spike’s vampire status has anything to do with Joss Whedon’s politics. If anything, Spike is perhaps the pinnacle example of ‘the bad boy girls the girl’.


And who decides who's "bad" and who isn't? The concept "bad" as a moral judgement doesn't occur in nature - neither do "boy" and "girl". It's cultural - therefore political with a small p.


And Spike in BtVS S4 and BtVS S5 is only “other” because he wanted to be and refused Scooby Gang status in BtVS S4 and Scooby Family status in BtVS S5. Nope. He doesn't have that autonomy. Structurally, he's "other" even in S12. He's a demon - it's that which "human" is defined against. He can "queer" definitions (which he does) but until the definition of "human" is extended to include the undead, he's "other".

Stoney
04-10-18, 06:15 PM
* Regarding “Destiny” (A 5.18), there’s a Spike/Drusilla thread, so I’m not going to get too much into Spike/Dru in this thread.

But Spike still loves Drusilla and his being human wouldn’t help Spike/Drusilla, Spike/Harmony, and Spike/Beck (if canon), Spike/Spider (if canon), and Spike/Morgan

I have no reference to what I said here that you are responding to and that makes having a conversation harder work than it needs to be. I'm not going to take the time to connect the dots back through the thread and 'guess' which part prompts which responses.

We don't know in canon how Spike would respond to Dru and what he thinks about her still once souled. He rejected her in Crush and had turned to focus on Buffy already and he certainly never goes to find her once he is souled. I'm sure Dru would still be significant to him but as he has also described himself as her victim in Damage it is hard to be sure of what he thinks beyond that. Of course it is certainly up for subjective speculation as to what he would/wouldn't feel with little canon to go on, but there is some.


In AtS S5, both Spike and Angel know that Buffy/Angel was more ‘romantic’ and ‘girlfriend-boyfriend’ than Buffy/Spike and that Buffy/Spike was more ‘physical’ than Buffy/Angel; therefore, that’s what Spike and Angel use against each other.

I think those distinctions are true but Buffy and Spike got more emotionally close in S7 than they had ever been in S6, it was deliberately contrasting to what they had previously shared. Spike was never going to open himself up to be mocked by Angel so he brags about their physical relationship rather than making himself vulnerable to Angel's mockery about whatever connection he felt they had achieved, or hoped they had. What is being said between Spike and Angel in Destiny is very deliberately about trying to wind each other up and pull each other down. It also runs alongside the flashbacks which show what happened when Spike had opened up to Angel about how he perceived his relationship with Dru, when Angel 'taught' him how nothing was his. Spike has learned from that and keeps his emotions about Buffy and their relationship from Angel. Of course the flashback is informing us about how they are interacting in the present.

Of course Spike is very insecure about how his relationship with Buffy compares to Buffy/Angel, he's insecure about how he compares to Angel full stop, as is Angel about how he compares to Spike because Spike sought his soul and fought for it. So Angel pulls him down and tries to mask his insecurities too. They are both vulnerable to fearing comparison and coming up short.


Spike in BtVS S7 and very soon after “Damage” (A 5.11) considers he only needs redeeming for attempting to rape Buffy. Notably, Spike doesn’t even apologize to Buffy regarding all the times he’s tried to kill her.

Spike is openly upset about the voices that are taunting him in the basement and he is distressed about all the people he has killed in Sleeper and when he talks to Buffy, I think it was in Never Leave Me, about what he did to girls Dawn's age and the person he was. It always frustrates me personally when people reduce Spike's guilt and remorse to just being about attempting to rape Buffy just because he doesn't talk much about his past and prefers to look forward to what he can do now. He does show he is bothered by more than just the attack on Buffy.

As Spike tells Buffy that he can't say sorry or ask for forgiveness for the AR in Beneath You, that all he can do is prove that he has changed and try to help, I don't see why he would treat all the other things that he had done against Buffy any differently or would feel needed listing separately to confirm he couldn't apologise for them but just prove himself changed from too. When Buffy finds out Spike is souled now she understands that he is meaningfully different from the person that he was and believes that he can be a better man, has faith in him.


There’s simply around zero evidence that Spike actually wants to be human and would become human to be with someone.

Becoming human would lessen Spike. Spike would much rather prefer to become even more unique.

Spike’s story is largely about his ‘moving up the food chain’ in terms of power and romantic attachment. He goes from Victorian aristocrat (at least landed gentry) who has Doctor Gull providing the medical care to his dying mother to a “legendary dark warrior” to hero who destroys the Turok-han and closes the Hellmouth. He goes from the aristocratic Victorian lady Cecily Underwood to the most powerful female vampire (and [arguably] the most beautiful) to the Best Slayer Ever.

In ways, Spike’s story in Season 9 would have made the most sense to remain the King of the Bugs and perhaps get with Morgan. And probably have Beck and Spider and Co. as his ‘Slayer army’.

* When has vampire Spike “fantasized about” “being made human again more than once”?

A lot of this is your speculation about Spike and your subjective view of the character. Spike's story to me is about reaching forward to what can be and striving to achieve it. He does look to carve out an image and a great part of that is moving away from the weaknesses of the man that he originally was, to not be seen as weak again and in that sense I agree it is connected to power. But he is still greatly driven by a desire to belong and a wish to be loved and wanted, seen for who he is underneath it all. I don't believe he is trying to just move up a hierarchy and pecking order or his story would have followed the kind of directions you are suggesting, but it didn't. In the end Spike just wanted to belong with the people that he cared about most and that's why he resolved to stop wandering and wanted to go and live/work with the Scoobies regardless of his feelings for Buffy. That was where his S9 mini took him.

Spike fantasised about running along a beach with Buffy I think it was when he was drunk/maudlin on the bug ship in the sun room that had been built for her. He also had a similar fantasy when he was holding the Vampyr book in S10, before he said to Xander that he wouldn't have used it to make the fantasy he described (which included shanshu) come true. Spike is openly bothered about the monster that is still within him in S10 when they are trapped by the apartment monster in fantasies of their past, when he is plagued by the Archaeus dreams and faces that connection to his demon essence and he admitted to Angel that taking the cup in Destiny was only partly about taking it from Angel. Ergo, it was in part about winning it for himself too. There is definitely text to support that Spike fantasises about the possibility and would have taken the step knowingly on at least one occasion.

SpuffyGlitz
04-10-18, 07:41 PM
* With all the focus on “Destiny” (A 5.18), if Spike truly wanted to be human, he would have became human instead of becoming ‘only’ ensouled. He would have had the bugs figuring out how to make him human. He would have become human in AtS S5 or after.


Spike found a way to get his soul back without needing to be cursed. We know the Mohra demon exists. We know Spike cured Drusilla. We know Spike got the Judge. What is somewhat ludicrous is assuming Spike wouldn’t know of a way to make himself human if he wanted to become human.

I think the text has at several instances highlighted Spike's longing to be human ..(but you can ignore the S10 examples if you don't see S10 as canon) :

-He's very clearly said to Buffy that he "wants normal too" in S9, and stressed to her that he can be a good father,
-Later in the canon comic Spike: A Dark Place he fantasises about walking in a sunlit beach with Buffy (as Stoney has pointed out.)
-In S10 he fantasises about the Shanshu prophecy, it came up directly when he daydreams about writing in the Magic book to make it happen so that he and Buffy can live happily ever after. Xander catches him red-handed.
-And he promises that he won't try any quick schemes / strategies because the easy way out is not the correct route to getting what you want (which shows his evolution post-soul.)

In S10, Spike's "vampire"-status is constantly hinted at as a roadblock in his relationship with Buffy, which Spike is extremely aware of and insecure about (ultimately Buffy reassures him that every relationship has its own unique roadblocks). He knows she wants normal and worries he can't provide for her what she may desire in the future -babies, a normal life, eating human food together, walking in the sunlight, living a normal human lifestyle.


* Given the end of Season 12, if one wants to consider post-Season 9 canon, this question of “Does Spike want to be human?” perhaps seems moot. Spike doesn’t seem to want to be human and even causally tells Buffy that she’ll die of old age while he’ll remain immortal and nonaging. Nonetheless, I consider post-Season 9 cannot be canon, and so will respond to all the succeeding posts in this thread after my Original Post.

His comment in S12 isn't about pleasure at remaining immortal - he's just saying that the only thing that will part him from Buffy is her own mortal death.

I love Dru.
But in my subjective pov (which you can take with a grain of salt), I think that boat has sailed for Spike and in S12 he even refers to Dru as his "crazy vampire lady" ex which shows he's moved on from his past exes.) Nothing is stopping Dru from having moved on from Spike either.


Spike can move on from her. He went from Cecily to Drusilla to Buffy. Very little suggests that Spike considers it impossible that he’d eventually find someone even more suitable for him than Buffy... He goes from the aristocratic Victorian lady Cecily Underwood to the most powerful female vampire (and [arguably] the most beautiful) to the Best Slayer Ever.

I don't think the ONLY reason Spike fell in love with Buffy was because she was 'the Best Slayer ever'. :p



* Regarding the notion of ‘being human’ for Buffy:
Spike can move on from her. He went from Cecily to Drusilla to Buffy. Very little suggests that Spike considers it impossible that he’d eventually find someone even more suitable for him than Buffy.

I don't think he ever thought Buffy was 'suitable' for him anyway. He's not looking for someone 'suitable.' He fell in love with her despite how unsuitable she was - she was his mortal enemy.

Anyway, these are all subjective POVs and conjecture at the end of the day, but they're interesting!

- - - Updated - - -

Also want to add that in S12, the repeated references to him as William Pratt by Buffy could also be seen as possibly foreshadow-y of Spike becoming human in the future, OR of Buffy seeing him as more human than vampire now, if you choose to see it that way.

Stoney
04-10-18, 08:33 PM
Also want to add that in S12, the repeated references to him as William Pratt by Buffy could also be seen as possibly foreshadow-y of Spike becoming human in the future

Definitely to this. It could well be one of those things that groups with all the hints towards his dissatisfaction at remaining a monster within, his consideration about being 'real', his fantasies about sharing a life with Buffy in the light fully, if his path led him to change in this way. The constant referencing of the distinction is more likely imo to result in Spike determining to seek a solution to what exists as a barrier if he decides it's what he wants. I only think that Spike's interest in being human is a 'maybe' because he hasn't done this, decided to make things change for himself. Not yet anyway. I do personally think the direction of his story leads most logically that this is where what he wants will take him, and that he has indicated that he would see it as something to reach for, a fantasy wish. So although I voted 'maybe' for the uncertainty that still remains, my leaning would be to a yes rather than a no.

bespangled
05-10-18, 04:18 AM
I agree - Spike could have been human when he wanted most to be with Buffy. He wished for a soul instead. He doesn't believe in redemption because he doesn't hold what he did as separate from who he is. Without the Angel(us) split he can't believe the actual evil he did can be erased because it's been done and nothing will change that. I've also never seen any scene that indicates her would prefer being human - he considered himself rescued from a life time of mediocrity. Even with after he got his soul, Spike knew he would become William without the demon - and he didn't like William.

That fight was about kicking Angel's ass for once. We saw the beginning - "You can take what you want - have what you want - but nothing is yours." Translation - I will take anything I want from you and you can't do a thing about it. That's pretty much how Angel has acted since Spike showed up, and he believes Angel is corrupted by his decision to take over W&H. Keep in mind the last time they saw each other Angel(us) went to great pains to destroy everything he had, and Spike had Angel(us) tortured. He doesn't see a split personality - he sees Angelus with a soul and a soul can be corrupted by wealth and power. I think he really believed he was the one who should drink the drink. Besides which - the battle had nothing to do with Shanshu. It was to stabilize the realities - not make the vampire human. He gave Shanshu back to Angel the next time he saw him.

Unlike us, Spike has not had the benefit of watching 4 seasons of Angel.

Beyond that lies comics.

Stoney
05-10-18, 05:39 AM
Spike's choice that a soul would fix him enough for him to be acceptable to Buffy and that Dru saved him are both the perspectives of a soulless vamp. Once souled he would see things differently, including seeing himself as Dru's victim, as we know he did. Spike's fears of how weak he was as William, although deep underlying insecurities, don't have to be set in stone either, not necessarily to the point of rejecting a return to humanity because he would never be completely as he was now anyway, because of who he has become since. If that was how he felt he would never have risked drinking from the cup. How he responds to being around Angel, how they make each other feel, isn't going to be the perspective he holds all the time. I don't believe the fight for the cup was just about taking it from Angel but that, as he says, that was only part of it. I think it's right that drinking from the cup was just to stabilise realities, but it had been explained that part of being the figure the prophecy was about was again becoming mortal, even if not right at that literal moment. Spike when asked if he really wanted it or if he just wanted to take it from Angel said it was for both reasons. The comics just build on and are supported by what was already there.

This question is certainly one that polarises Spike fans. It often seems to be split to those that have want/reason for Spike to not lose some trait of immortality/vampiric strength, that seem to be invested in him wanting to remain a vampire, and others that have a focus on him constantly looking to move forward dark to light, and how the show presents humanity as an ideal. As many discussions show, mileage varies greatly for fans. :D

bespangled
05-10-18, 07:17 AM
I think it's pretty split between those who read the comics and those who don't as well. I ever saw any indication in the show but most people are referencing the comics as well.

Silver1
05-10-18, 08:35 AM
Well I've read the comics and I still didn't see a desire coming from Spike to be human. In the show he definitely didn't.

flow
05-10-18, 08:22 PM
I haven`t voted on this because I have seen the comic panel in which Spike opens the vampyre book and thinks about getting shanshued.

I can see him considering what it means for Buffy to be with a vampire - no days in the sunlight, no sharing the joy of food the way other couples do, no biological children, even if there are other ways to have children if they want to.

But on the other hand he clearly remembers William for what he was - a good man and a bad poet and nothing else. Spike is a good man too - and maybe a better Poet - but he is also a good warrior. He would loose that part of him if he would become human again.

To become human would give him something he lacks now but it would also take away something from him that he has now and values.

Remember that Xander - the only Scoobie who has no super powers and no magic at all - has dropped out of the fight against supernatural evil and is working in construction again. I don`t see Spike working in construction.

What would he do?

I do see this comic panel as Spike weighing his options. But in the end he would - I think - choose what he is now. A souled vampire using his super powers to fight against the forces of darkness.

flow

TriBel
05-10-18, 08:43 PM
Meh...why bother with the soul and stuff? :confused: The only thing I learned from Scooby Doo was that all the monsters end up being human.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXUqwuzcGeU

bespangled
05-10-18, 10:55 PM
Did you see the Supernatural episode where Sam and Dean end up in the Scooby Doo cartoon universe. Sam tells Velma that monsters are real and he and Dean fight them. Then he looks at Daphne and slowly says "We saved the world...a lot."

:xd

Double Dutchess
05-10-18, 11:41 PM
There were some hints in the comics that Spike may have wanted to become human, but the comics are not real enough to me to believe he really does. So I voted "no" from a show!Spike perspective.