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Thread: Spike's portrayal in Crossover Angel episode Darla

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    Post Spike's portrayal in Crossover Angel episode Darla

    Just wondered what people thought of it. FFL is often mentioned but rarely is it's sister episode Darla.

    In it human William is revealed to have bumped into Angelus and Co when he yells watch where you going in FFL. Its shown that he was the first drooling idiot that came along (that Darla suggested to Dru) who Dru picked.

    As a Vamp he Feasts on the Gypsy family giving a big burp slapstick style then follows Darla's orders to show no mercy.

    You have the Boxer scenes where Darla says while Spike, Spike is out killing a Slayer you were saving missionaries from me. The obvious implication that Vampire Spike is not held in high regard until this point.
    There is clearly shown a contrast with Angel looking moody and down while Spike is literally leaping high in the air. Thankfully they cut out the script scene of Angel killing a Boxer who attacks them and the rest (including Spike) look on really impressed. It wouldn't have worked after Spike had just killed a Slayer.

    But anyway what did people think of the Spike scenes in this episode

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    I think they are great! "Darla" is quite the episode.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willow from Buffy View Post
    I think they are great! "Darla" is quite the episode.
    Agreed and The Boxer Rebellion scenes by Minear are so well shot

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    I love this episode in general, finding out all about Darla is so interesting. She's so ethereal, yet earthy, there really is a duality in her character that I really like and getting more of her backstory with Angel is enjoyable.

    The William/Spike we saw in FFL was from Spike's pov, and he saw his live self as a prissy little poet, laughed at by those who knew him. Spike is either hard on himself, or he knows himself incredibly well and can allow himself to sympathise with William while also feeling a deep distaste for him.

    In Darla, the pov is very different. When we first see William he is barging down the street, being incredibly rude. I don't think FFL's William would be rude to ladies as that's not what gentlemen do, and he saw himself very much as the snobby gentleman.

    As a vampire Darla paints him as the 'drooling idiot' she already thought him to be. He's as rude as he was as a man, but she also portrays him as simpleton. Where Spike knew himself to be a kind of fool, Darla sees him as another kind of fool. He is nothing to her, and I think she actually despises him and thinks him unworthy.

    I wonder if Darla associates Spike with everything that went wrong for her. He was turned in 1880 and only 18 years later Angel is cursed. I think 18 years must be a very short time for someone who's existed 289 years up to that point.

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    Just realized, this is the episode where the internet term Whirlwind comes from

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    Quote Originally Posted by Priceless View Post
    I love this episode in general, finding out all about Darla is so interesting. She's so ethereal, yet earthy, there really is a duality in her character that I really like and getting more of her backstory with Angel is enjoyable.

    The William/Spike we saw in FFL was from Spike's pov, and he saw his live self as a prissy little poet, laughed at by those who knew him. Spike is either hard on himself, or he knows himself incredibly well and can allow himself to sympathise with William while also feeling a deep distaste for him.

    In Darla, the pov is very different. When we first see William he is barging down the street, being incredibly rude. I don't think FFL's William would be rude to ladies as that's not what gentlemen do, and he saw himself very much as the snobby gentleman.

    As a vampire Darla paints him as the 'drooling idiot' she already thought him to be. He's as rude as he was as a man, but she also portrays him as simpleton. Where Spike knew himself to be a kind of fool, Darla sees him as another kind of fool. He is nothing to her, and I think she actually despises him and thinks him unworthy.

    I wonder if Darla associates Spike with everything that went wrong for her. He was turned in 1880 and only 18 years later Angel is cursed. I think 18 years must be a very short time for someone who's existed 289 years up to that point.
    What you say is so great.
    I would've loved to have seen more Darla/Spike scenes imo

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    I've always read the FFL flashbacks as authorial, showing us the truth of the situation rather than it being Spike's subjective recall (and intentionally misrepresented facts). We are seeing what really happened in contrast to his account to know him better than he'd reveal. Then we can see how as his cultivated image becomes closer to the present his account and the flashbacks become in sync, he's no longer covering who he was because of his comfort in the projection of self he's managed to create. I suppose the FFL flashbacks could still be his genuine recall rather than what he is saying and not authorial. But it is clearly supposed to be distinct as 'truth' against his misrepresentation.

    The biggest discrepancy in the scripting between the scenes in the two eps if I recall correctly is in the inclusion of an extra line from Darla that isn't in FFL in the Boxer Rebellion scene. Her asking Angel if he heard what Dru just said about Spike. I think if that had been said and FFL was Spike's pov he would most certainly have recalled it as it underlines the contrast between him and Angel in his favour in a way that he desires and would have really validated his feeling of proving himself. But Darla could easily be remembering her own disbelief and disdain as having been voiced aloud in a way it wasn't. So one being authorial doesn't mean that Darla isn't based on her subjective recall. I've no idea if the writers have ever talked about this and confirmed one way or the other though.

    But generally I get the impression Darla is pretty dismissive of Spike and it is more how the comparison contrasts badly (from her pov) on Angel that bothers her, rather than her finally having come to have high regard for Spike. I do think it;s a key moment for Spike in feeling he is proving himself and how he compares himself to Angel always matters to him so it is interesting to see how the comparison is key to both Darla and Spike at that time. The general presentation of Spike as foolish and young just seems a very believable opinion of him from Darla's pov to me.
    Last edited by Stoney; 09-08-19 at 04:45 PM.

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    What you say is so great.
    I would've loved to have seen more Darla/Spike scenes imo
    Oh me too. She thinks she's so far above him, and is probably right She's sophisticated in a way Spike will never be. I don't think he'd know how to handle Darla at all, and he'd just show off more and more to get her attention, like a child.

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    I've always read the FFL flashbacks as authorial, showing us the truth of the situation rather than it being Spike's subjective recall (and intentionally misrepresented facts). We are seeing what really happened in contrast to his account to know him better than he'd reveal. Then we can see how as his cultivated image becomes closer to the present his account and the flashbacks become in sync, he's no longer covering who he was because of his comfort in the projection of self he's managed to create. I suppose the FFL flashbacks could still be his genuine recall rather than what he is saying and not authorial. But it is clearly supposed to be distinct as 'truth' against his misrepresentation.
    You could well be right Stoney, but I think it adds something to both Spike and the episode if you think it is shown from Spike's pov. I know he tells Buffy a different version, but I don't think either version, or the version from 'Darla' is particularly 'true'. Is the version of William we see in S7 different to the one we see in FFL or Darla?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Priceless View Post
    You could well be right Stoney, but I think it adds something to both Spike and the episode if you think it is shown from Spike's pov. I know he tells Buffy a different version, but I don't think either version, or the version from 'Darla' is particularly 'true'. Is the version of William we see in S7 different to the one we see in FFL or Darla?
    Yes it could be that what we see in FFL is Spike's specific memory of events. That works still as a revealing truth against what he is saying. The important part on the front being that he is being unreliable and is falsely presenting himself to Buffy whilst we see 'the truth'. In S7's LMPTM when we go back into Spike's memories it could still be his own recall rather than literal truth, but the two images of William are quite different. I think he looks more cultured rather than foolish in that, but then his souled perception of his human self could well be different anyway! Anything in his head with the memory that is used for the trigger is 'his' so to speak. With all of the flashbacks in the series the key thing I think is that we are being shown them as revealing truths, whether or not that is inclusive of the person's own interpretation or not, it is what is 'real' to them and what in their past informed who they became. It all makes my brain ache.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoney View Post
    Yes it could be that what we see in FFL is Spike's specific memory of events. That works still as a revealing truth against what he is saying. The important part on the front being that he is being unreliable and is falsely presenting himself to Buffy whilst we see 'the truth'. In S7's LMPTM when we go back into Spike's memories it could still be his own recall rather than literal truth, but the two images of William are quite different. I think he looks more cultured rather than foolish in that, but then his souled perception of his human self could well be different anyway! Anything in his head with the memory that is used for the trigger is 'his' so to speak. With all of the flashbacks in the series the key thing I think is that we are being shown them as revealing truths, whether or not that is inclusive of the person's own interpretation or not, it is what is 'real' to them and what in their past informed who they became. It all makes my brain ache.
    Yes I think that is part of the issue, that S5 Spike's perception of William may be very different to S7's. It's really hard to know which is true, or if either is true or just pov. Perhaps what we see in S5 is William being social, not fitting in and being derided by his peers, whereas S7 William is with his mum, someone who truly loves him, and that changes him and he behaves differently with Anne than he does in society and about to see the girl he loved.

    It makes my brain ache too I can't say for definite what I believe. Either, neither or both could be pov or not . . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoney View Post
    Yes it could be that what we see in FFL is Spike's specific memory of events. That works still as a revealing truth against what he is saying. The important part on the front being that he is being unreliable and is falsely presenting himself to Buffy whilst we see 'the truth'. In S7's LMPTM when we go back into Spike's memories it could still be his own recall rather than literal truth, but the two images of William are quite different. I think he looks more cultured rather than foolish in that, but then his souled perception of his human self could well be different anyway! Anything in his head with the memory that is used for the trigger is 'his' so to speak. With all of the flashbacks in the series the key thing I think is that we are being shown them as revealing truths, whether or not that is inclusive of the person's own interpretation or not, it is what is 'real' to them and what in their past informed who they became. It all makes my brain ache.
    I agree that Spikes POV would be different, I hardly think he'd tell Buffy that Angelus was man handling him when he told him about the Slayer.
    But that Did you hear was not to Spike just Angel, who Spike thought was simply being jealous of Spike, whereas we the audience know was due to his Soul and his desire to get them away from that family that was hiding. So it stands to reason Spike wouldn't have heard it or wouldn't think it worth mentioning.

    I also noticed the Power Walk is longer on the Darla episode as opposed to FFL

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    Quote Originally Posted by Priceless View Post
    Yes I think that is part of the issue, that S5 Spike's perception of William may be very different to S7's. It's really hard to know which is true, or if either is true or just pov. Perhaps what we see in S5 is William being social, not fitting in and being derided by his peers, whereas S7 William is with his mum, someone who truly loves him, and that changes him and he behaves differently with Anne than he does in society and about to see the girl he loved.
    Any which way the importance of them is perceived truth. I actually quite like the idea that the differences between William in S5 is Spike's soulless perspective on what a wimp and 'fool' Williams was, the softer curly hair a major difference to S7. So that then is souled Spike's point of view of who William was and he is visually far more controlled and less dreamy. But there is also that element of his emotions in the two situations at play into his memories too as you say. It's brain ache worthy but really interesting and especially in considering that subjective interpretation is always involved in what we remember. Even if we were going to try to give a genuinely accurate account (rather than the bull that Spike feeds Buffy through some of his account ).

    Quote Originally Posted by BtVS fan View Post
    I agree that Spikes POV would be different, I hardly think he'd tell Buffy that Angelus was man handling him when he told him about the Slayer.
    But that Did you hear was not to Spike just Angel, who Spike thought was simply being jealous of Spike, whereas we the audience know was due to his Soul and his desire to get them away from that family that was hiding. So it stands to reason Spike wouldn't have heard it or wouldn't think it worth mentioning.

    I also noticed the Power Walk is longer on the Darla episode as opposed to FFL
    Well Spike's isn't necessarily recounting aloud all that we're seeing anyway about the Boxer Rebellion (or a full version of it), but I think vampiric hearing and all he would have caught what Darla said to Angel and it would have boosted his ego further. But he could have just been caught up with Dru and distracted at that moment, I don't remember exactly. There's definitely scope for false recall but that doesn't take away what we see as 'genuine' if it is how the person remembers events because that is how it is in terms of what will feed into who they are. Even if they are wrong, or just a bit 'off'.

    I really like the idea of the power walk feeling longer to Darla who is mulling and concerned about what is happening compared to Spike who is full of energy and buzzing, eager to carry on with this life he is taking charge of and making himself something he wants to be. A great point of contrast.
    Last edited by Stoney; 09-08-19 at 06:21 PM.

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    I don't think any of the views are at odds with each other. Each instance is a brief moment. In FFL, you see William out of his element, at a party and trying to court a girl. In S7, he's more safe at home with his mother. I don't think the scene in Darla conflicts with it, either.

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    Visually he looks different, that was what I was referring to really, the wigs are very different. I don't have a problem with it as just a memory variation. Characterisation wise I don't think there's any issues that context doesn't simply explain either, or that his current memory perception wouldn't. I think the coherency for Spike across the series is excellent.
    Last edited by Stoney; 10-08-19 at 12:27 AM.

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    I liked how much like Spike Angelus was in dealing with the Master. Overall I think the episode is less well put together than FFL. It meanders. Spike's story is the creation of Spike. Darla seems to have been the exact same person before she was turned. I actually prefer the scenes set in modern times.
    Can we agree that the writers made everyone do and say everything with a thought to getting good ratings and being renewed. This includes everything we love as well as everything we hate.

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    I don't think we see enough of Darla as a human the first time around to know what she was really like. I'd have liked to have seen more of that. When she is returned, she still has her vampire memories so she's different again.

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