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Thread: All the times souled Spike messed up

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    Default All the times souled Spike messed up

    There is a part in fandom that believes Spike did not change at all after he got the soul. I don`t belong to that part and I can easily see fundamental changes in him as well as in his actions. But Spike also made mistakes after he got his soul. That`s not really surprising because we all make mistakes. Anyway, here is my list of all the times Spike spectacularly failed in BtVS 7, AtS 5 or in the IWD and DH comics. Please feel free to add more of his mistakes or to defend him!

    1. He did not call Buffy after he popped out of the amulet. Yeah, he was a ghost, but I am sure Harmony or Fred would have held the telephone reciever and dialled the number had he asked them to. He must have known that Buffy would grieve him, regradless if she was in love with him or not. He should have spared her that grief.

    2. He did not return Nikki`s coat to Robin. We have recently been talking about LMPTM in the After Show Reacts thread. I know that this episode is highly debated in the fandom and a lot of things Spike said to Robin during their fight are also at least questionable. But Spike was fighting for his life and he was really pissed off. However I do think, he should at least have offered to hand over Nikki`s coat to Robin a couple of days after the fight.

    3. He fell for Lindsay`s stupid scheme. Had he confided at least in Fred they would easily have found out who really was behind the "be our new Champion" charade.

    4. He humped Harmony after he was corporeal again. There is nothing bad about humping per se, of course. But he treated her even worse than he had treated the Buffybot. At least they also went out for a drink afterwards.

    5. He bit Cordelia. This is more or less part of mistake no. 3 but if he was already suspicious, why not just ask?

    6. He went after Dana. As Angel pointed out, a vampire was the last Person she needed to encounter and the least likely to be able to help her.

    7. He tortured a doctor from Wolfram & Hart. I know they desperately needed to know the whereabouts of Illyria. But still. Torture is torture. I can`t give him a pass for that, even considering the dire circumstances.

    8. He voted for Angel`s scheme to kill every single member of the Circle of the Black Thorne. It was a stupid scheme and he should have recognized it for that and talked Angel out of it. It affected millions of innocent people in L.A. when the city was pulled into a hell dimension. It was predictable that something apocalyptic like that would happen as pay back from the Senior Partners. That`s his biggest mistake in my opinion.

    What do you think?

    flow
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    He sleeps with Harmony again in the comics, and tries to get off with Faith, but she turns him down

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    Regarding the coat, I recently put forward why I think him keeping the coat works in the defending your favourite character thread so I won't go back over it all again. Basically, it goes against his personal wishes to wear it again and so is putting your own wishes aside for the greater good, he's pushed to do what is needed to offer more for the fight, to be more effective. I understand having an issue with him keeping it but I think it is narratively supported very deliberately against Nikki (and Buffy) putting the mission first and Spike then putting the need to connect to that side of himself above both what he/Robin want. He is taking on the mantle of the slayer and the coat then represents that and him putting his life on the line for the mission. But as I said, I do understand disliking it, needing the image connection is part of a character weakness and I don't think that his treatment of Robin in that whole scene, the way he spoke to him, was okay. He definitely took it too far even though I do also understand his fury at what Robin did too.

    His drink with Harmony was incidental in AtS 5, they just bumped into each other if I recall correctly, and during the course of his talk at the bar with her he makes it clear he doesn't care about her personally yet again. So I don't think having a drink was much of a positive but that he at least realised that he had been treating her callously was. Sleeping with her was a poor choice and he does at least see it as connected to being at a low point with some distance after he does it again in the comics.

    I tend to see the things he said to Robin, sleeping with Harmony (both for the callousness and because she's soulless) and torturing the doctor as the things he has done that were wrong when souled. I also think the NFA plan was destructive and negative, but I see his struggle to see worth in himself and the path he should walk as greatly leading into him falling to sacrificing himself again and not seeing it as clearly for the wider picture as he should have because of that.
    Last edited by Stoney; 06-04-19 at 11:13 PM.

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    Stoney
    He is taking on the mantle of the slayer and the coat then represents that and him putting his life on the line for the mission. But as I said, I do understand disliking it, needing the image connection is part of a character weakness and I don't think that his treatment of Robin in that whole scene, the way he spoke to him, was okay. He definitely took it too far even though I do also understand his fury at what Robin did too.
    I agree that his choice to wear the coat again is a choice to become the fighter he was again and it is a choice he makes against his own wishes but he knows it`s what is needed in the situation. He later says in AtS 5 that the coat is his secoind skin and "it`s what I am". I do believe that the coat holds far more significance to him than it ever did to Nikki or Robin. I think he was right to take the coat back after he had won the fight with Robin. I also think he was justified (not right) to say what he said to Robin during the fight because it was part of getting the upper hand against someone who tried to kill him. But I do think there should have been a moment somewhere between that fight and the final battle in the hellmouth where he should have talked to Robin and just said "Here`s the coat if you want it". If Robin would have taken it back, he would have had to cope without it but I think there is a good chance that Robin would simply have said "Keep it, itīs yours now." And maybe that even happened off screen ;-). Okay,probably not...

    Priceless
    He sleeps with Harmony again in the comics, and tries to get off with Faith, but she turns him down
    I don`t regard those flirts or flings as him completely messing up. Sex with Harmony in the comcis is certainley sex to escape his own feelings of lonelyness and rejection but he does not treat her badly when they meet in London or at least we don`t see it. About Faith - well. They are both single. He basically says "We are both single, how about?" and she goes "Nah." Thatīs okay for me and it even would have been okay if they had gone for it. Itīs how he has sex with Harmony in AtS 5 that rubs me the wrong way. Not the fact they have sex at all. It`s that he treats her like a doll or a robot. Humping her on a desk during her lunch break, even closing his eyes and ordering her to not talk so he can imagine it`s someone else. I can only get over it by telling myself, he doesn`t get as far as opening the zipper of his jeans...

    flow
    Last edited by flow; 07-04-19 at 09:15 AM.
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    Which wouldn't have been putting the mission first, it's the bigger battle(s) that he is using it for, not the fight with Robin. It is definitely a character weakness, to have a need to use items/a costume to build an image, but it is very consistently so for him. It's a shame it wasn't something that ever was given specific development over the comic seasons. But having said that, it'd be interesting to look back through and see how his outfits shifted. I've a feeling in the later seasons he was shown far more often to stray outside of the traditional outfit and how much that happened, especially if there was a split evident before and after his decision to return and become more integrated, would be interesting to consider.

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    3. He fell for Lindsay`s stupid scheme. Had he confided at least in Fred they would easily have found out who really was behind the "be our new Champion" charade.
    I think this is a bit harsh. Lindsay 'proved' that he was Doyle and he could see the future, there was not way Spike could have known he wasn't the real Doyle and it was all a set up. He wasn't in a good place emotionally, and he wanted to be a Champion and prove himself. Lindsay played on Spike's own self doubts and hopes.

    Lindsay calling himself Doyle was a stupid, arrogant thing to do. Though I wonder if Fred would have known who Doyle was? I'm sure Angel and Cordy may have mentioned him, but how much of it would have stuck with Fred? Considering how Spike felt, there was no way he was going to tell Angel anything that could be used against him.

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    I agree with most of Flow's points. In regards to not calling Buffy, I think Spike suffers similarly to how Giles does in Season 6, wherein outside circumstances dictate the plot and the character kind of gets thrown under the bus as a result. They obviously needed to keep Spike for the entirety of Season 5 so they had to come up with *some* reason why he didn't return to Buffy. Unfortunately, that meant Spike allowing Buffy to believe he's dead because he didn't think he could 'top' his heroic exit. It's pretty cowardly, IMO, and yet another example of someone abandoning her, but knowing the reasons behind it (much like ASH wanting to leave the show and thus Giles abandoning Buffy when she needed him the most) I can't get too mad.

    However, I do agree with Priceless that I don't really blame him for believing Lindsey. Angel believed Doyle with nothing else to go on either so I always thought it was unfair that Angel called Spike a "brain-trust" in "You're Welcome" for believing Lindsey so readily. Doyle turned out to be legitimate but he didn't really offer Angel any kind of proof that Lindsey hadn't as well.

    Other than what has already been mentioned, I'm in the middle of rewatching AtS Season 5 along with ASR and it has reminded me of how callous Spike could be towards people in need. He has a terrible attitude about helping Nina in "Underneath" and pretty much says that it's a waste of time, he victim-blames the woman in the alley in "Soul Purpose" despite her saying that she was "just trying to get home" and he is also really sexist (criticises her for wearing heels, calls her a "cow" and a "bimbo"), and he's really insensitive and unsympathetic about Dana until she, literally, beats some sense into him. It's been a while since I've rewatched these episodes and I was a little taken aback by just how unsympathetic and uncaring he actually could be at times. I also thought that his attitude towards Lindsey when he first approached him and Spike believed he was just hitting on him, was needlessly aggressive and unpleasant.

    I also think it was somewhat of a failing on his part that after becoming corporeal he initially showed no interest whatsoever in fighting evil and instead he just wanted to sit around strip clubs and get hammered etc. I say "somewhat" because it had only been a week or so and *maybe* Spike would have eventually decided to fight evil on his own accord, but when Lindsey first approached him he outright rejected the idea of being an evil fighter and dismissed it as Angel's gig. Doyle obviously played a pivotal role in setting Angel on his path but in the opening of "City Off.." we find Angel prowling the streets and fighting vampires pre-Doyle and of his own volition. Doyle even mentions that Angel "came to LA to fight evil and atone for his crimes" and this was pre-Doyle/visions/PTB/Shanshu etc. I find it disappointing that after being under Buffy's positive influence throughout Season 7 and fighting against The First Evil and sacrificing himself for the world, that Spike seemingly had no plans to make up for his past or even help people of his own accord now that he was back.

    His "why even bother [helping people]?" in "Hellbound" was also a little off-putting after Angel had told him that no matter how much good they'd do that they'd still be destined for hell. I mean, I'm a little more sympathetic about this because that would be really depressing, disillusioning and frightening, even, but it still comes across as if Spike was only interested in helping people as long as it meant a reward in the end.

    All that said, these flaws are part of the reason I'm glad that Spike was resurrected after "Chosen." Had he remained dead after his sacrifice it certainly would have still been a heroic and noble death but I think Season 5 also proves that it would have been a premature death, too. Spike had only recently got his soul and whilst he certainly would have died a hero it also means that he'd have died without truly learning to care about his atonement, to have genuine empathy for those he isn't emotionally invested in, and to wage war against evil completely of his own accord. Most of these flaws I pointed out I do think he overcomes as the season progresses.
    Last edited by vampmogs; 06-07-19 at 11:58 AM.
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    Was it Spike being callous or simply the writers writing him that way because they didn't want him to outshine Angel on his own show ?

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    Isn’t that the same? If the writers write him being callous, he is being callous. He doesn’t exist outside the fiction that’s being written by the writers. That said I am aware that there is a not very flattering shift in his personality from BtVS s7 to AtS s5 but it’s the price for him appearing on AtS s5.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BtVS fan View Post
    Was it Spike being callous or simply the writers writing him that way because they didn't want him to outshine Angel on his own show ?
    As flow says, regardless of whether that's true or not, if he's written to be callous then he's callous. Every single scene is written with an intent behind it and characters only behave a way because a writer is dictating for them to.

    Nevertheless, I doubt that was their intent. Spike displayed a degree of callousness in regards to Nikki so it's not as if it's OOC or anything. Also, if they were afraid that Spike may outshine Angel I really doubt they'd give him such pivotal roles in episodes like "Soul Purpose" or "Damage." The simple solution would to minimise his screen time. It's not as if they didn't give Angel plenty of flaws throughout Season 5, either.
    Last edited by vampmogs; 06-07-19 at 03:02 PM.
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    I think AtS showed the flaws that Spike still had and the way he could be callous towards people was certainly one of them. It is pretty consistent right back to William for him to draw lines on who matters to him and who doesn't ("Oh, they're vulgarians. They're not like you and I." FFL). I agree it makes for greater personal development and examination of more character depth.

    I tend to be more sympathetic for his seeming disinterested/laddish behaviour early on as I think a great deal is just despondency and a general sense of loss of path/purpose. He has only very recently been souled and although he definitely benefited from following Buffy's example and going back to Sunnydale, he is trying to work out who he can be for himself and if he has any worth if he sacrifices himself and it means nothing. It's a lot to process on top of those initial months dealing with everything going on within him about his past and his tendency is to turn from it and try to look forwards, but he doesn't know what he is looking towards anymore. I think they managed to make it work well enough for his reason to not return to Buffy being tied into all that, his sense of a lack of self-worth and uncertainty about the path he could/should walk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vampmogs View Post
    As flow says, regardless of whether that's true or not, if he's written to be callous then he's callous. Every single scene is written with an intent behind it and characters only behave a way because a writer is dictating for them to.

    Nevertheless, I doubt that was their intent. Spike displayed a degree of callousness in regards to Nikki so it's not as if it's OOC or anything. Also, if they were afraid that Spike may outshine Angel I really doubt they'd give him such pivotal roles in episodes like "Soul Purpose" or "Damage." The simple solution would to minimise his screen time. It's not as if they didn't give Angel plenty of flaws throughout Season 5, either.
    As well as long before that, re initially refusing to help in 'Why we Fight' and leaving those Wolfram and Hart members to Dru's tender mercy's.

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