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Enemies/Brothers/Lovers/??? Angel and Spike

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  • Enemies/Brothers/Lovers/??? Angel and Spike

    So I've been thinking about the relationship between Angel and Spike lately and I am coming to find it one of the most interesting ones in Jossverse.

    They often seem to act as mirror opposites of each other, claiming to hate everything about the other and yet...it doesn't really ring true.

    Does Angel only hate Spike because he feels guilty? It certainly appears that William would never have gotten so bloody without Angelus' lessons.

    Is Spike still trying to gain Angel's approval?

    Is Angel more like William and Spike more like Liam? Angel became more of a thinker and Spike a man of action, quite the opposite of the men the were.

    If it weren't for residual Buffy-related jealousy would they have gotten along better once Spike had a soul?

    What about Angel's dreams? The ones where everyone preferred Spike. What do people make of them?

    Is there love there? How about Spike sticking around to help Angel or Angel trying to save Spike from Illyria, were those acts of love?

    So I am hoping for some discussion about the boys. Not who is better, we have a thread for that, but about how they relate. Is Angel Spike's father? his brother? his friend?
    "All I ask is that... that you try to see me."

  • #2
    I see all three...

    Angel is Spike's father (sire) and Spike seeks approval from him. We see that many times in the flash backs. Him trying to earn his place in the vampire gang.

    Angel is Spike's brother in that they have somewhat of a sibling rivalry between them and competition. Buffy's love is one area and now the Shanshu.

    Angel and Spike have the potential of being friends. I don't believe the trust is there yet. But there does seem to be some loyalty or some expectance of loyalty especially from Spike. He was very hurt by Angelus tagging Drusilla.

    Spike acquiring a soul seems to have brought about better circumstances between the two. I began to really enjoy the dynamic between them towards the end of Season 5. They were settling into an "Odd Couple" arrangement.

    One particular episode I loved was when Spike was the only one who showed up at Angel's business meeting. He was finally included and wanted to show Angel he could be a part of team - with beer of course. He also tried to tell Angel in the beginning that his joining W&H was a mistake. But after re-corporealizing he stayed to help Angel fight when others were turning away from him.

    I can only echo your observations about the contrast between Spike and Liam and Angel and William. Just as Angel seems to be the introverted thinker/planner, Spike seems to be the extroverted action/reactor. Very opposite from the humans they once were.

    Their approaches to un-life seem to be in contrast as well - Angel being careful not to enjoy it too much (because of the curse) and Spike throwing himself into it a little too much.

    The dream I interpreted as Angel beginning to lose what tenuous control he had over his life. Everything being the opposite of what he had thought. Angel was also having to make some difficult decisions - compromising his ideals in W&H. It was the first occurance that he may have to make some unpopular decisions because of his managing W&H. Spike was still highly suspicious of the firm and was less inclined to go along with protocol. The A Team was siding a bit with Spike at that time because they were not as intimate with the details of managing the firm unlike Angel.
    -TP<3
    "At that point I'd love a fight and a heart to heart and then of course naughtiness and happy ever after."
    - Dorian's Kitten re: Spuffy Reunion

    Spuffy Videos!

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    • #3
      It's erotic. Buffy complicates things dreadfully because Buffy is the female edition of Spike (the literalists will complain that Buffy does not have punk hair and does not drink nor slaughter people). Spike is actually the one with the power in the relationship, the power of the erotic object; Angel, like so many gay men, is attractive to women but can't get no satisfaction, less because of the curse than because he's an old Irish queen fixated on William, who re-invents himself as Spike precisely not to become the "frilly cuffs & collars" variety of vampire who'll behave himself at Angelus's elbow & be dark page to his dark knight.

      It can be spun out other ways also -- Angelus was the romantic artist teaching lessons to the disciple who decided to become a dadaist & overthrow art altogether; Angelus is the father of the little family who abandons it when he gets his soul back.

      Because Spike wins his soul back, they reluctantly become each other's audience, the old opposition being less & less substantive & becoming more & more pure shtick, a habit they can't quite be rid of and can't find a proper substitute for.
      Entrer dans la lumi?re comme un insecte fou respirer la poussi?re vous venir ? genoux - Patricia Kaas

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Dorian's Kitten View Post
        They often seem to act as mirror opposites of each other, claiming to hate everything about the other and yet...it doesn't really ring true.
        I believe a lot of it is insecurity....


        Does Angel only hate Spike because he feels guilty? It certainly appears that William would never have gotten so bloody without Angelus' lessons.
        Well who loves guilt like Angel likes guilt lol. I don't necessarily believe that Spike and Angel are opposites as such although they are very different and that should be taken into consideration.

        Angel(us): Introverted, methodical, cerebral, contemplative.
        Spike: Extroverted, rash, instinctive, observant of the here and now.


        Is Spike still trying to gain Angel's approval?
        I believe Spike may use Angel as frame of reference in a sense but I don't believe he is looking for his approval any longer at least not soley. Of course Spike, like most of the character, wants to receive some of sort validation from time to time but I doubt that Angel's approval is really going to do that much more for Spike.

        Is Angel more like William and Spike more like Liam? Angel became more of a thinker and Spike a man of action, quite the opposite of the men the were.
        Well William was always more extroverted. He was trying to connect what was around him and rarely wanted to be alone. He (like Xander in a sense) was a people person who kept his own company by default. Liam was actually quiet and a little reflective as a child. Both of them craved a more exciting life and were given the chance by their respective sires but it's unsurprising why both vampires fall for Buffy. Can you say Owen Thurman?

        If it weren't for residual Buffy-related jealousy would they have gotten along better once Spike had a soul?
        Well that was part of their problem but it wasn't simply down to that. There was a jealousy and rivalry between them independent of Buffy but I believe now they can get along despite the Buffy issues.

        What about Angel's dreams? The ones where everyone preferred Spike. What do people make of them?
        Like I said, insecurity. Angel was already doubting his destiny and Spike's arrival made him question it even more. Angel is in a morally ambiguous place and having Spike about as an ensouled champion is making him wonder if he really is the one.

        Is there love there? How about Spike sticking around to help Angel or Angel trying to save Spike from Illyria, were those acts of love?
        I do think Spike believes in the mission but I believe they care about each other in a way. I believe pride gets in the way of their feelings towards each other.

        Is Angel Spike's father? his brother? his friend?
        All of them. Angelus was a mentor to Spike at one point (his yoda), they have had that sibling love/rivalry and I think deep down they are friends as well even if they daren't admit it. lol.

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        • #5
          They have a very complex relationship. They've been student and teacher. They've been rivals. They've been friends. They've been enemies. They've even been intimate (at least according to Spike "...well, there was that one time"). I don't think their relationship can really be defined. I think there is affection, of a sort. But I think mainly that they have been through so much together that there is a certain "comfort" there, even if they don't particularly like each other.

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          • #6
            I think at the very least there's a grudging respect, especially by the end of Season 5.

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