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Thread: BtVS rewatch: SEASON 6

  1. #601
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    Hey

    I realise you weren't talking about the scene in the kitchen and that you were referring to the crypt but that's exactly the point I was trying to make. In the kitchen scene Spike approaches Buffy, Buffy tells him no, Buffy even physically tries to stop him, and Spike grabs her wrist, ignores her telling him no, and touches her on the genitalia. That's a very clear example of Spike instigating sexual contact with Buffy. It's also comparable to Buffy trying to give Spike a blowjob after he tells her to leave which you were referring to when you said "Spike didn't want sex - but it happens anyway." By that same standard, Buffy didn't want sex with Spike in the kitchen - but he touches her anyway.
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  3. #602
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    To clarify, I should have said also that I meant Buffy is the one who instigated the sexual nature of the relationship. She's the one who puts it onto that footing. Until OMWF I think Spike would have carried on loving her from a distance. He even tells her about his confusion in the song. She wants to play with the notion that she misbehaves.

    Having once got that footing, I do agree with you that it is clear that Spike displays more confidence around her. Anyway from the excellent points you make, to me it simply reinforces my own view that a pattern is established between them that blurs the boundaries. It is indeed portrayed as a rough not tender relationship.
    Having started the relationship it then seems to me that Buffy is unwilling to take ownership for how things play out between them. To put distance between herself and Spike.
    Last edited by debbicles; Yesterday at 01:28 PM.
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    Buffy may have initiated the sexual nature of their relationship in "Smashed" but that doesn't mean she should take full ownership of it as Spike is still entirely responsible for his own behaviour. It's not just Buffy who is responsible for how things played out. Nor does it mean that she can't later feel that Spike's "doing things" to her that she doesn't like. It's not as if Buffy is accusing Spike of assaulting her in "Dead Things." She says "why do I let Spike do those things to me" and "why do I keep letting him in" so she's taking responsibility for "allowing" it to happen but doesn't understand why she's allowing it to continue because it's clearly upsetting her. In both "Gone" and "Dead Things" she tells him to stop and he doesn't and I assume this is what Buffy is referring to in "Seeing Red" when she says she should have stopped him a long time ago.

    Nevertheless, whilst I agree with you that episodes like "Gone" establish the blurred lines in their relationship, I've never really bought that as a significant factor in what happens in "Seeing Red." By the time the AR takes place, Buffy has already firmly ended things with Spike and made it clear that things are over between them. Spike understands this and things have been over between them for weeks, at least. Buffy may have been equally responsible for how things were between them whilst they were in a relationship but once Buffy had very clearly and explicitly ended things with Spike, anything that happened past that point is entirely on Spike. Consenting to sleep with someone once or even multiple times whilst in a “relationship” in no way means that you have to accept responsibility for your ex partner’s behavior after you have ended that relationship. And it's not as if Spike doesn't have a history of trying to force people to like him again (typing up and torturing Dru) or that he wouldn't have sexually assaulted people before so his actions in AR don't seem specific to me to how his past relationship with Buffy had played out.
    Last edited by vampmogs; Yesterday at 01:58 PM.
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    Hey all,

    after lurking around and restricting myself to reading only on this thread, I finally want to throw in a few thoughts of my own. First of all, I want to say thank you to everyone who contributes to this rewatch and thus gives me the opportunity to gain so much more insights into this unique show.

    debbicles:
    when Spike asks her if she cried I genuinely think he does mean just the wedding, it is Buffy who shows us she cried about something else.
    I have to agree with that. I simply can`t imagine Spike asking Buffy :"Did you cry because of our break-up?" They have already met after the break up without him asking her whether she cried or not. The question would have been absurd, given the fact that it was her, who broke up with him. The last time they`ve met was during the non-wedding, where Spike left before the big event (the bride being left at the altar) and he clearly has heard none of it. When he refers to the happy couple, I can see nothing else behind his words than him asking her if she shed tears of happiness at the wedding of her best friend. If his question is asked out of genuine interest or if he just tries for some small-talk, is another question. But I have no doubts at all that the thought she could cry over him never entered his mind, let alone that he would confront her with such a thought.

    I`d like to say a few words regarding two other crucial scenes in Entropy and what was said about them so far in the reviews and the responses.

    When Buffy confonts Spike about the camera, she tells him, that his feelings are only real to him. American Aurora has already said, that this was an unbearable cruel thing to say, which I agree with. But I think, it goes even further.

    One of the reasons Buffy broke up with Spike was, that she realized, she was using him and that this had a negative effect on her. She very specifically said, that it was killing her. Her realizing that it is wrong to use Spike (although he himself does not object to it) is connected to her realizing that he is not a thing, despite everything she has firmly believed and told him up until now. Buffy takes a step forward here. She realizes that Spike is a person - not a thing - and that`s why it is wrong to use him. The same thing, Spike longed for - that Buffy would acknowledge him as a person - inevitably leads to her breaking up with him.

    But when she tells him, his feelings are only real to him, she basically takes a step back again and reduces him to somethjing that can`t have real feelings. Mind you, if she had said, he is delusional about her feelings and that he is wrong to assume that there is anything between them, it would have been a different matter. But she is explicicably referring to his feelings and calling them unreal to everybody except him is more than just a cruel thing to say. It is simply wrong.

    Stoney
    It is tough isn't it because she needs to draw these firm lines, but she can see how his version of love isn't healthy. He can't understand it and even if she tried to explain it it wouldn't seem accurate to him.
    I wholeheartedly agree with you in so far as that she has to draw the line. Maybe he wouldn`t understand it, even if she`d explain it. She doesn`t make an effort to do so. But that`s okay, because she doesn`t has to justify her reasons. But what she says to him in this specific scene is not about the unhealthiness of their relationship nor is it drawing a line. It is cruel and hurtful and it`s not what their break up was about. She did not break up with him, because he can`t have real feelings. She broke up with him, because she can`t or does not have feelings for him.

    In the other crucial scene - the one outside the Magic Box - Spike, while recovering from Xander`s axe attack, reveals that he and Buffy had had a sexual relationship. But is this really a betrayal on his part?

    On the very morning after their first sexual encounter, Buffy ordered Spike to never tell any of her friends about them. She even threatened to kill him, should he not obey. I am inclined to believe that she does not mean it as a literal threat but as a figure of speech - like me telling my husband, that I will kill him, if he does not take the garbage out.

    It is, of course, entirely Buffy`s decison whether she tells her friends, whom she is sleeping with or not. It is not her decision, whether Spike tells anyone, whom he is sleeping with or not. That is entirely up to him. When two people have an affair, it is for each of them to decide to keep it a secret or to talk about it with whomever they choose (which Buffy by the way did, when she told Tara). Buffy could have, of course, asked him to consent on keeping it a secret affair. But she never does. She never once asks him and he certainely does not promise to do so. He did not tell until that very scene for several reasons that are not relevant anymore.

    I don`t think that Spike revealing the secret is in any way a betrayal, nor is he doing anything wrong. I do strongely object calling it a betrayal, because that would make Buffy the wronged party here. And as debbicles has pointed out - to make her look like the wronged party in this scene, belittles what she herself has done here.

    With the exception of trying to kill Faith to in order to feed Angel her blood (that`s lower in my book), I regard this very scene behind the Magic Boix in Entropy is Buffy at her lowest point in seven seasons.

    This is the dialogue immediatly before Spike speaks up:

    XANDER: You let that evil, soulless thing touch you. (pointing at Spike) You wanted me to feel something? (Anya looking chagrined) Congratulations, it worked.

    Anya stares at him, looks like she might cry again.

    XANDER: I look at you ... and I feel sick. 'Cause you had sex with that. (points at Spike again)

    Anya looks down at the ground, hurt.


    I won`t try to excuse Xander`s behaviour here. But there is one thing to say about him - although he has - as Anya points out - no right at all to feel hurt, I can concede that he still does feel hurt. He is talking from an emotional turmoil, he is not entitled to, but nevertheless experiences. But Buffy has told Spike the very day - only hours before this scene - to move on. It was her advice to him, so he would finally get over her. And now she stands an listens to Xanders verbally abusing and insulting Anya as well as Spike and she does not speak up.
    Not. A. Single. Word.
    I think it was American Aurora, who has talked about what is at the core of Buffy`s personality: Her love of humanity, her strong moral belief and her sense of justice. It is the last one, that has left her completely and utterly in this scene and I still find it hard to understand not only why that happened to her but also that it happened at all.

    It should have been Buffy to step in instead of Spike and not only because two friends of her were being insulted in a cruel and hurtful way but also because she was the one who had done the exactly same thing Xanders belittles Anya for doing.

    In this very scene there are imho two persons who have done nothing wrong at all - maybe something that feels hallow and empty now, but was never wrong - and two persons who have absolutely failed and betrayed their own beliefs. Stoney has said, that Spike seems pretty unapologetic at this very moment and I do not only agree with that but would be absolutely surprised if he would express shame or regret, because it is not called for.

    Stoney:
    I think like burying himself in a bottle a beating by Xander just becomes another way to numb himself in his pain. Or perhaps rather than escaping it, which didn't work, this is wallowing in it. I'm not sure that he would have stood there as Xander staked him though, but as you say, he isn't looking to avoid the beating.
    I have never before noticed, that he does neither try to hold his own against Xander nor to run away. I am trying to decide, whether he
    a) is in such a state of depression now that spells, alcohol and sex all have failed to numb his pain, that he thinks getting the axe is a welcome option
    b) he thinks, that nothing he could do would affect Buffy more than letting himself be killed by Xander of all people
    c) He tries to distract Xander from Anya, who ist still in the Magic Box and likely to be his next target, if Spike would simply run away.

    vampmogs:
    Buffy may have initiated the sexual nature of their relationship in "Smashed" but that doesn't mean she should take full ownership of it as Spike is still entirely responsible for his own behaviour. It's not just Buffy who is responsible for how things played out.
    Yes, I completely agree with that, but it does not explain, why Buffy is presented to us as someone, who let`s someone else things do to her, when in fact she is entirely responsible for her own behaviour and together with Spike and to the same degree responsible for how things have played out sexually between them until the moment where she breaks up with him.

    flow
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  9. #605
    Scooby Gang DanSlayer's Avatar
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    debbicles:
    Quote Originally Posted by debbicles View Post
    Just one quick point. Dan, you mentioned Hank as a source of stability for Buffy, as do others who post about her father issues. I have to say I personally never felt that Hank mattered as much to Buffy as Joyce did, and that her loss is what hits Buffy the hardest. Particularly in S6, when she barely has a chance to properly mourn Joyce before she throws herself off the tower.

    Also I must apologise again. I've just tried to cut down my previous post on NA but there must be something wrong with the way I did it originally as I keep getting thrown out. So I've had to give up on that plan and leave it. Argh, I shouldn't go anywhere near technology.

    Thank you for your post, looking forward to the rest and Happy Birthday! Have fun!
    Gah, oops, I guess I should have clarified better. I was speaking of losing Giles in that he left her thinking it was the only way she'd grow.

    TriBel

    That's a tantalising statement that I can't do justice to in the time (and space) I have available. I'm presuming you're referring to Angel? However, from a psychoanalytic point of view, the child's first love is the mother and the mother is "given up" in exchange for a place in the (paternal) symbolic. For all sorts of reasons, I think her feelings for Spike (love/hate/self and other disgust) are intrinsically linked to her feelings for Joyce.
    Interesting take. Yes, I meant Angel though I do think if Joyce were still alive in this season, perhaps her "thing" (doubt Buffy would call it a relationship here) with Spike would have started; or at least not started as quickly or easily had she had maternal love to anchor her after coming back.

    Oh...and Happy Birthday! I wish I could recall being 26 but it's shrouded in the mists of time. I'm fairly sure it involved both dinosaurs and the New Romantics but I could be confused.


    Shout out to flow for tanking a giving me rep on these posts recently, making it easier for me to go back into the thread and find the responses!

    debbicles 2

    Entropy, according to a jargon buster I’ve just read in a science magazine, is integral to explaining the second law of thermodynamics. It reflects the number of different ways the components in a system can be rearranged. So, to use this post to illustrate entropy, the letters making it up have low entropy: there’s only one way to sequence them to produce what I’ve written. But if you scramble the letters, that results in higher entropy, as there are lots of ways to rearrange them after they’ve been jumbled up. The second law of thermodynamics reflects that it’s easier to go from an ordered page to scrambled letters than vice versa. It’s easier to break an egg than unbreak it.

    So entropy seems to be a crucial stage in the process, and doesn’t necessarily mean disintegration. But this is Buffy, and Buffy Season 6. So it’s purely the negative aspects of entropy – the “falling apart” as evinced by Tara quoting from, yes, The Second Coming – that concern this disparate group who previously held together with love, if nothing else. The Beatles might sing “all you need is love” but for our intrepid protagonists, love is not enough. Except for Tara and Willow. More on that later.
    Nice little follow up to the maternal love bit. Of course, Willow never stopped loving Tara, even to the point of mind-wiping her, and Spike believes he loves Buffy; but in Season 6 those lead to some broken eggs in Seeing Red and beyond.

    To me, the acting honours in this episode belong to Emma Caulfield, who is splendid as Anya. Within each discrete scene she displays such a wide range of emotions that I find her performance mesmerising. She’s funny, she’s pathetic – in the true sense of the word – she evokes my sympathy, she makes me laugh, she makes me cross at a couple of points. I could go on. She’s a star. I also love seeing Kali Rocha again, she’s superb as Halfrek. Very inventive curse on the man who didn’t pay child support. But why is she hanging around still?
    True, Emma does very well here. I would guess Halfrek is excited about/monitoring her vengeful BFF again to see how she does on her first day back at work so to say. Though Anya fails to get a wish, she does intentionally get revenge on Xander in the end.

    Sadly we see Anya has indeed returned to the vengeance gig. Frankly I hardly blame her, but in the end we see all she wanted was comfort. I loved seeing how Willow hugs her, those two have come a long way. But what I don’t understand is how none of them clued into how she was manipulating the conversations. Perhaps it’s because they’re all so absorbed in themselves they have nothing to spare?
    Buffy says exactly this to Giles before the great laughing fits.

    As for Buffy, I found her attempts at being perky quippy Buffy painful and brittle. I appreciate that many watching her little chat with Spike will probably be applauding her. Well done. You’re distancing yourself from him, showing emotional maturity, etc, etc. Unfortunately to me she just comes across as the classic snobby girl who thinks she’s too good for the man she’s been using for comfort. She’s above all that. He can’t have feelings, according to her personal canon, so she treats him as if he doesn’t. I think she should have been more careful, to hark back to Xander’s words from Crush – and I paraphrase here – yes, because I should always be careful not to hurt the feelings of a murderer. I don’t find that her dog-in-the-manger attitude towards Spike does her any credit, and in his shoes I would certainly have drawn completely the wrong conclusion as well. Her scene with Dawn makes me cross – again, she’s trying to put distance between herself and her actions, a relationship she is shown as instigating, or encouraging at the very least. If the writers and producers actively wanted me to dislike her, they couldn’t have done a more effective job.
    You and about everyone that cause Marti Noxon's Twitter bio to say she ruined Buffy. Relapse is part of recovery and if we're sticking with the drug metaphors of Wrecked, while it is part of the cycle, apparently many were dissatisfied when it originally aired. I wonder if the airing breaks prolonged the sense of negativity and indecision in the viewers eyes? I haven't kept up with the Buffy reactors but for Lost I distincly remember a personal slog in the middle of Season 2 for me; I still occasionally skip some of those episodes reactions. General consensus for that show is the first batch of Season 3 episodes before a months' long break was the main slog, but in both cases, reactors of the here and now generally seem to like those batches of episodes (for the most part).

    Yes, I know, I should perhaps be more temperate and objective. Calm down, debbicles, it’s just a television show!
    I spent a solid 15 minutes last night freaking out about some drawings and sound effects, in all things a superhero cartoon. So I know the feeling. Not the main reason, but still one of the smartest/most competent ways I've seen a super-villain group (The Light) written. They know the heroes secrets and weaknesses but have bigger plans then simple revenge; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxEtGNGe1rg

    Willow and Tara are shown as reconciling. And here sadly is the scene that actually makes me see red. Tara just wants to skip to the kissing. For pity’s sake, woman! Willow mind-raped you (twice counting Tabula Rasa), actually physically violated you at least once that we know about and still hasn’t shown a jot of self-awareness about any of it, never mind remorse. I am constantly boggled at what message I am supposed to draw from this. For me this is the storyline that actually does depict that someone gets back with their abusive ex who remains defiantly unreconstructed.
    That's typically the one area Willow and Tara as characters draw a lot of criticism from in current analyses. (Tara's death and Dead Lesbian Trope is more directed at the writers); perhaps the reason they took it that far is that they'd knew they wouldn't have to write a way to deal with the fallout? Though The Killer In Me suggests they don't know how to deal with the fallout of Tara's death either.

    Thanks for the response.

    Aurora, Stoney and indirectly Sousa later, move the thread on if you wish. I need time to go through the longer ones sufficiently. It's a bit out order as it is so I'll make due if the thread gets longer.
    Last edited by DanSlayer; Yesterday at 08:58 PM.

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  11. #606
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    Hey all! I haven’t ever properly posted on this thread before and don’t want to disrupt the discussion or the next review, but just thought I’d add my own 2 cents (side note – I’ve been *loving* the reviews on this thread and learn so, so much from them! )

    Entropy is one of my absolute favourite episodes from S6. Really great points by debbicles, vampmogs, flow, in this discussion. I empathise with both Buffy and Spike over how things play out in S6. It’s a really difficult situation (kudos to the writers for bringing out the nuances!)

    Buffy admits she has unresolved feelings for Spike in Hell’s Bells ("If you’re wildly curious, yeah it hurts,”) and Spike recognises this - he takes it as a cue to leave, as well as takes comfort in the fact that this isn’t easy for her either. When she says: “You have every right to be here, I pretty much deserve–” he cuts her off to contradict her, before exclaiming: “God this is hard.” It really is a difficult situation for both, and in Entropy it’s presented as a sequence of events precipitating the other, spiralling out of control and leading up to Seeing Red.

    I think Buffy’s at war with herself because she does recognise glimmers of humanity in Spike and does recognise that there’s a certain truth to his feelings for her – in the crypt scene in Entropy when he says “I don’t hurt you”, she looks down, abashed, and says “I know” and there’s a genuinely regretful note in her voice. I think when she tells him to move on, she’s operating under the mode of “cruel to be kind” in a bid to look at the bigger picture. Buffy often internalises guilt and beats herself up for it privately (in Dead Things with Tara and in Conversations With Dead People, she judges herself extremely harshly), so while outwardly she can appear emotionally opaque, she’s not without feeling - in fact I think it's precisely when and because she's resisting her feelings that she comes across as unwontedly harsh sometimes.

    She recognises in the crypt scene in Entropy that she’s only making it worse after she sees Spike’s expression (once she delivers the whiplash of “Real for you” she sees that Spike is pole axed and reeling), she says no more after that. I think this scene shows how they’re both right and wrong at the same time.

    Spike’s feelings ARE real, but he’s deluded in thinking he’s as different/ transformed (by his love) at this point that he won’t ever hurt her (as the next episode will show). For her part, Buffy is right in that his soullessness would limit his moral capacities /understanding of love, but she’s also wrong to conclude that there’s nothing real about his feelings– his feelings are very much grounded in something real – so real that it leads him to seek back his soul. So they’re both wrong and right at the same time and there’s a symmetry to the scene that I’ve always really loved (it’s like the negative inverse of O Henry’s The Gift of the Magi, ha!)

    This is really one of my favourite episodes because we get to see the confusion, turmoil and torment on both sides. In the confrontation in the alley with Xander and Anya, Buffy’s angry remark to Spike: “Didn’t take long, did it?” is another reflection of her warring with herself – her feelings and her belief that making a clean break from a relationship with a soulless vampire is really the best way to go - which is at odds with her own unresolved feelings for him which leap to the surface here again (as they did in Hell’s Bells). I don’t think it’s presented as Buffy being in the right to say that, but she doesn’t continue to say more after that, or act like she has any right to stand there and chastise him (because she walks away). But she does feel an automatic hurt despite her previous words, and that’s understandable given that she does still have unresolved romantic feelings for him that she can't shut off.

    I think she’s finding it incredibly difficult to house those feelings for him whilst knowing there’s no chance for a future between them so long as he’s soulless – but I can also see exactly how frustrated and heartbroken Spike would be left feeling. Which I think is what the episode intends to show – that something’s about to snap – it’s an untenable situation – and the complexity of the situation for all the characters involved is handled in a way that feels really authentic.
    Last edited by SpuffyGlitz; Yesterday at 08:53 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by flow View Post
    vampmogs:

    Yes, I completely agree with that, but it does not explain, why Buffy is presented to us as someone, who let`s someone else things do to her, when in fact she is entirely responsible for her own behaviour and together with Spike and to the same degree responsible for how things have played out sexually between them until the moment where she breaks up with him.

    flow
    I don't see the two as antithetical. The fact that Buffy "lets" Spike do those things to her is acknowledgment of Buffy's own agency in the relationship. She takes ownership of the fact that she "keeps letting him in" not that he forced his way in.

    Plenty of people in abusive relationships consent to sexual activity that makes them unhappy even if they choose to participate in it. Buffy's asking why she "allows" Spike to behave like he does on the balcony when it clearly fills her with self-loathing and unhappiness. She's not claiming that Spike is assaulting her or that she lacks agency. In fact, I'd think that would almost make it easier for Buffy if she felt that way. What troubles her is that she's "allowing" it to happen despite it making her feel horrible.
    Last edited by vampmogs; Yesterday at 11:06 PM.
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  15. #608
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    Quote Originally Posted by vampmogs View Post
    I don't see the two as antithetical. The fact that Buffy "lets" Spike do those things to her is acknowledgment of Buffy's own agency in the relationship. She takes ownership of the fact that she "keeps letting him in" not that he forced his way in.

    Plenty of people in abusive relationships consent to sexual activity that makes them unhappy even if they choose to participate in it. Buffy's asking why she "allows" Spike to behave like he does on the balcony when it clearly fills her with self-loathing and unhappiness. She's not claiming that Spike is assaulting her or that she lacks agency. In fact, I'd think that would almost make it easier for Buffy if she felt that way. What troubles her is that she's "allowing" it to happen despite it making her feel horrible.
    I agree—

    I would just go further:

    Despite it making her feel horrible, even as it gives her pleasure....

    And that pleasure, as I argued in my review of NA, gives
    her a certain freedom, although it is not yet one she can
    understand, embody—

    It is this multiplicity that so tortures, creates so much pain,
    even as it so holds her—
    Last edited by StateOfSiege97; Yesterday at 11:29 PM.

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