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  • The attempted rape in Seeing Red...

    First off, no I am not going to write AR because that seems to make it less horrible than it really is! Anyway there has been much discussion in another thread on the attempted rape in Seeing Red. Everyone seems to have an opinion on the subject so I decided to make a thread that will let people explain the way they feel.

    I for one think the scene was horrible and shouldn't have been in the series whatsoever. There have been enough scenes throughout Btvs where there were metaphors about rape and for some reason Buffy was always at the other end. A good example was Xander in The Pack. Realizing this I don't feel it was necessary for the actual attempted rape scene. I do not agree with those who feel sorry for Spike and not Buffy. I don't care if she was more superior in their "relationship" and said no multiple times but ended up having sex with him anyway. She meant that no in Seeing Red and he knew that. It's not like she gave in and said fine after a little convincing by Spike. He could have stopped their destructive relationship early on but he didn't so it's not only Buffy's fault that this took place as some people suggest.

    Anyhoo, let the debates begin!!!!!! *shoots gun into the air then 's*
    T _A _T _E _R _S'____ W _O _R _L _D

    Proud recipient of the "Vagenis Award of Excellence"

  • #2
    I think it was a terrible idea and that the writers did not foresee the inability of fans to wish it away as they apparently wanted us to.

    There have been three instances of nominal sexual misconduct on "Buffy" that I can think of.
    • HyendaXander and Buffy in "The Pack"
    • Faith and Xander in "Consequences"
    • Spike and Buffy in "Seeing Red"


    What we need to realize, and what the writers should have realized, is that the first two instances are mitigated for the audience in terms of holding them against the characters in a number of ways.

    In the case of HyendaXander, there are two factors that mitigate Xander being held accountable by fans. First is the obvious -- supernatural possession. It may have been Xander, but it was a completely uninhibited Xander. The second is more to the point that we're not even sure how hard or far he pushed things. He did push Buffy around, but he never actually tried to force himself on her in an overt manner -- he mostly was sniffing around her as he held her down waiting for her to get too excited to resist or something. After it cuts away, Buffy doesn't give much detail other than that his idea of 'wooing' left much to be desired and that she'd hit him with a desk. So not only is there a supernatural excuse, there's also the fact that we just didn't see and don't even know how much really happened.

    In "Consequences", it's stickier. It actually offends me that people don't recognize this for what it is. Faith does use her power to force Xander into a sexually exploited position, kissing him and grinding her girl parts against his boy parts, after he'd already said he wasn't there for that. The real mitigating factors here are that the scene is mostly remembered for how it escalated (she tried to strangle him), and also the politically incorrect fact that it was a woman violating a man, about which there are pretty well entrenched double standards in society.

    With "Seeing Red", I think the writers looked at where they had tread this ground before and thought the audience would be fine in Season 7 and didn't realize how valuable mitigation -- the circumstances, what they see versus what they don't see, and the extent to which the acts are metaphor-driven -- were.

    So they presented an attempted rape of the kind that is probably happened somewhere in the United States as a I type this sentence. And probably as I type this one as well.

    It was brutal, it was visual, and it was as un-metaphorical as it could possibly have been. It cast the hero and feminist icon of the series as a helpless victim, and really broke a lot of trust with the audience, some of which was never repaired.

    The worst offense, however, was that it was more or less whitewashed in Season 7. Buffy hit her magic button and said "he has a soul now". And it's as if the writers again failed to realize that the audience didn't care. For that matter, neither did the characters. For that matter, neither do the vampires. Buffy has really been alone amongst the characters in the entire series to treat Angel or Spike's soul as simply removing any moral responsibility for them. They don't. The other Scoobies don't. And, the majority of the audience doesn't. You can't ask the audience to *rely* on a phlebotenous element like that to define their view of a character. They saw Spike try to rape Buffy, and they see Spike in front of them, and they don't (and probably shouldn't) imagine that they were seeing good twin vs. evil twin.

    I don't think there's any one plot development that Joss and the other writers should regret as much as the attempted rape in "Seeing Red". They needed to maintain the security blanket of a supernatural hook to it or some other mitigating qualities for the audience that they had in earlier seasons if they wanted the audience to go where they wanted.
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    • #3
      I feel that, as a work of fiction, it furthered the character story arcs in a satisfying way. Was it shocking and disturbing? Of course it was. That was the intention. And it definitely got me emotionally involved.

      I agree that it lacked the symbolic poetry of many of Buffy's other heart-wrenching moments (Angelus and Buffy in 'Innocence' immediately comes to mind). But I do disagree with the thought that there needs to be a clear emphasis on a fantasy/supernatural/metaphorical element when the show focuses on heavy-handed subject matter. 'The Body' was as stark and real as could be hoped, and I think it soared for it. That's not to put this episode on the same level as that, simply to point out that there's precedence for broaching real world issues head-on.

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      • #4
        I agree with King. I read someone, somewhere, suggesting that it would have been better for Spike have attempted to bite Buffy. I agree with this- the metaphor would have still been there, since biting has long been a metaphor for sex, but it wouldn't have been as brutal nor as realistic as the attempted rape was. Rape is a very serious issue, and, as King said, it was not handled anywhere near as well as it should have been the next season. In fact, Spike was more or less portrayed as the victim throughout this season, which disgusts me. In "Never Leave Me", Spike says that he has "come to redefine the words pain and suffering since [he] fell in love with [Buffy]." What about the pain he put Buffy through? It wasn't Spike, sure. Fine. Whatever.
        The story's kinda bland. It's about this guy named Dumbledore Calrissian who needs to return the ring back to Mordor.

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        • #5
          I agree with KoC, except that the whitewashing started long before that, and after the AR, it pretty much started when they focused on Spike's feelings (and later when everyone acted like he was so good to go get his soul). I think it was an important scene because all of a sudden Spike became marginally personable after Buffy left him. It was like none of the events of Smashed and Dead Things (among others) had happened, and Spike was really the good guy. To not have that scene would be just extending the whitewashing farther back.
          Buffy: It sounds like it's difficult for you. Maybe your sister makes it hard for you to establish your own identity. You said she's controlling, she doesn't let you make your own decisions -
          Dawn: Yeah, and she borrows my clothes without asking.

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          • #6
            Maybe it is the whitewashing that's my problem with this. I don't think I would've been as pissed as I am with it if they dealt with it better in season 7. Don't get me wrong rape is the worst thing any man can do to a woman or vise versa so I would still be pissed. I just don't like the fact that Buffy was fine and dandy being around/with Spike not too long after it happened. I'm sorry but people don't get over attempted rape that fast. I don't care if you deal with horrendous things on a regular basis it still has to have an affect on you. How long was Buffy uncomfortable around Spike? The only time she was cautious really was when he was trying to find the worm thing that ate the dog with her. Can't remember that ep but that's the only time where she flinched around him. All the other times she was saying the basement was making him crazy or "he has a soul now"
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            • #7
              Originally posted by KingofCretins
              It was brutal, it was visual, and it was as un-metaphorical as it could possibly have been.
              That was kinda the point, though, wasn't it?

              I read an interesting essay on this subject just recently (from Slayage, October 2004):

              To simply call something evil is to remove it from our responsibility, to keep it at arm's length. As philosopher Susan Neiman says, "We are horrified... not when beasts and devils behave like beasts and devils but when human beings do". In this context, we can learn from our reactions to Spike. We are most horrified, not by all the previous murders he has committed as an active vampire, but by his attempted rape of Buffy that occurs after we come to accept him as human. Spike can only be truly horrific outside of the boundaries of essentialist evil. Because we can no longer dismiss him as a monster he is only now a true threat to us.

              Which might explain why Steven DeKnight said "[the writers] thought it was a very human thing", and why they didn't choose to water it down through metaphor (aside from the fact that Season 6 was intended to be stark and literal in itself, to highlight the characters' venture into adulthood).

              I didn't think anything inappropriate happened in Season 7, all things considered.
              - The bathroom scene was filmed in such a manner that we were allowed -- encouraged, even -- to feel sympathy for Spike: he has his jacket off, looking more vulnerable than he ever had, he wears his human face, he pleads for Buffy's love, among the first things he tries is to kiss her forehead, and in the next scene, he is shown to be torn between two opposite paths, like your classic tragic hero ("What have I done...? Why didn't I do it? What has she done to me?" ... "It won't let me be a monster. And I can't be a man.")
              - Spike did get his soul back, which, despite doing nothing to attenuate his guilt (and rightfully so), ensured that he would never hurt Buffy again (which seemed to be Spike's reason for seeking it out in the first place -- "To be the kind of man that would nev[er hurt her like that again]").
              - Even so, his relationship with Buffy didn't become physical again until episode 20, and didn't become sexual unless you wanted it to (in that fade-to-black scene in Chosen). Even the "I love you" was left ambiguous.

              It was too early for anything more than that at the time, but with the special rules of the 'verse, the subject really isn't very complicated. Spike is redeemable, as Joss himself pointed out. With his lack of a moral compass in Season 6, he had circumstances far more extenuating than anything we could have pointed out in a similar real life situation -- it's hardly even comparable. And the soul clearly matters to Buffy, so she was able to reach the "trust" place with Spike, maybe even the "love" place (which is already a step up from her relationship with Angel, since she claimed she didn't trust him at the time she was in love with him). And Spike proved that her trust was well-placed, with his sacrifice in Chosen.

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              • #8
                later when everyone acted like he was so good to go get his soul
                I don't really think anyone acted like it was such a great thing, except for Buffy. Willow, Dawn, and Xander have almost no comment, except for Xander's mild hostility in "Him". It makes me miss Season Two Xander, who questioned the morals and ethics of a vampire with a soul. But in Season Seven, he couldn't do this, since the writers had blurred the line so much between Soulless Spike and Soulful Spike. Had this been Angel in Season Two, Buffy could've told Xander that "Angel didn't know what he was doing. He didn't have a soul; he didn't know it was wrong." But since Spike obviously did know that it was wrong, they couldn't use that. So instead we have Buffy declaring at every turn that Spike's not the same guy as the one who tried to rape her, and when asked his opinion on it, Xander says, "I've got a house to put back together."
                The story's kinda bland. It's about this guy named Dumbledore Calrissian who needs to return the ring back to Mordor.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Enisy View Post

                  It was too early for anything more than that at the time, but with the special rules of the 'verse, the subject really isn't very complicated. Spike is redeemable, as Joss himself pointed out. With his lack of a moral compass in Season 6, he had circumstances far more extenuating than anything we could have pointed out in a similar real life situation -- it's hardly even comparable. And the soul clearly matters to Buffy, so she was able to reach the "trust" place with Spike, maybe even the "love" place (which is already a step up from her relationship with Angel, since she claimed she didn't trust him at the time she was in love with him). And Spike proved that her trust was well-placed, with his sacrifice in Chosen.
                  But don't you think Buffy's sudden trust is a little odd? She never really trusted him before as she stated in season 6 Dead Things; Spike: "Do you trust me?" Buffy: "Never." And that was before the attempted rape. I want to know, why the sudden change? Yes he has a soul now but Angel had a soul and she didn't trust him AND Angel never tried to rape her. Even when he was Angelus. I just don't understand how she can all of a sudden trust him. That's all. *shrug*
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                  • #10
                    She answered "Never"... and yet she wore the handcuffs. Like Steven DeKnight said, "she can say she doesn't trust him, but part of her does". The attempted rape was more of a breach of trust than a verification of distrust. And even at the time, Buffy must have acknowledged that he hadn't meant to hurt her -- perhaps even wanted to talk to him about it -- given that she took Dawn to him the next day. And seeing Spike try to make amends for that violation of her trust immediately after it occurred, I imagine it wasn't difficult for her to get back to the "trust" place, especially considering her history with another souled vampire. (Maggie takes this a step farther and points out that the soul's significance to Buffy is magnified in this case, because it "heals" her from her trauma with Angel: loving her made Angel lose his soul, loving her made Spike gain his.)

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                    • #11
                      That was kinda the point, though, wasn't it?
                      Yes. It was the ill-conceived point. Ill-conceived, because they clearly went into Season 7 expecting that when Buffy learned that Spike had a soul, and pronounced that to her friends, and her friends began to treat him like Angel, that Everything Would Be Fine???, and it clearly wasn't.

                      The fans, at least by large proportion, weren't buying it.

                      What they thought of as 'watering it down' would have actually been something that could have saved audience empathy for the relationship and the characters in Season 7. You don't have to search far or wide for Buffy fans tht honestly hated both of those characters in Season 7, and blame the failure to address the attempted rape in any meaningful sense, and their relative single-mindedness about each other.
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                      • #12
                        I always thought a negative point towards season six in general was that the writers dropped the metaphorical approach of story telling for "reality" and just threw everything at us at face value. We see that on TV everyday, what made Btvs so clever in the first place was how it deal with real life issues through metaphors and interesting story telling. I can turn on most series and see 'reality' depicted in 'reality,' Btvs became critically acclaimed because it explored these issues in different ways. By dropping that in season six the show lost a lot of what made it so appealing in the first place. And like others have mentioned, they couldn't have had Spike try and bite Buffy and still get their message across? Were the seasons before lacking the emotional punch when they depicted the 'reality' of a boyfriend going nasty after sex through the Angelus storyline? Or when Tara's "demoness" was a metaphor for her family's disgust of her homosexuality?

                        Buffy was unique in its approach in dealing with realistic situations through metaphors and supernatural storytelling, it's what made the series so unique in the first place. Season six really in many ways became like any other good series out there. And this scene just wasn't dealt with properly at all the way it was shied away from in season seven was pretty bad actually. If they were willing to plonk it in there they should have been willing to deal with it head on.

                        And really I have issues with the scene in general and the reactions you get from it. Yes I know a part of us was supposed to sympathise with Spike but there's a very thin line between sympathising with him on some level and just excusing him, and that happens far too much.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                          And really I have issues with the scene in general and the reactions you get from it. Yes I know a part of us was supposed to sympathise with Spike but there’s a very thin line between sympathising with him on some level and just excusing him, and that happens far too much.
                          I couldn't sympathise with Spike at all in the AR scene. Buffy became trapped in an unhealthy relationship as a result of being, effectively, an emotional cripple. Spike chose to be in that relationship and could have ended it any time he wanted. Why should I suddenly feel sorry for him when he tries to rape Buffy because he can't accept that she doesn't love him?

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                          • #14
                            My biggest problem wasn't the fact that Spike tried to rape Buffy. (Btw, didn't Buffy did something like that already in season 6? I remember Spike saying 'no' and Buffy doing 'yes' but I haven't seen it in ages so I can be wrong'.)

                            I also have problems with the whitewashing, but more that it was made all about Spike. I always believed that the AR was to show Spike as an evil vampire. But after that, they made it all about poor Spikey and not about the victim is this case, Buffy ... who is also the main character in the show.
                            We never see Buffy have real trouble with it, an episode after the AR she wants to drop Dawn with Spike. The message is just wrong because after the writers attempt to show Spike as an evil monster, there are a lot of fans who feel sympathy for him ... there are big groups of fans who think that Buffy is the *evil* one. It's just one big failure.

                            Besides, what should a vampire do to be staked by the slayer? Spike abused her, raped her, made a sexrobot of her, tried to kill her and her friends etc. We get it, Spike has shiny hair and James is a great guy ... but the bad writing made Buffy look pretty stupid. Where is the girl who tried to kill Angelus?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                              And really I have issues with the scene in general and the reactions you get from it. Yes I know a part of us was supposed to sympathise with Spike but there's a very thin line between sympathising with him on some level and just excusing him, and that happens far too much.

                              I am a huge Spike character fan but I don't sympathise with him at all. I feel sorry for him for the way Buffy treated him but he reacted how he was supposed. He's a demon or course he's going to hurt her.

                              I excuse him from it because of what he did after it. The change he brought on was the good thing that came out of that.

                              Buffy is not the victim in this, she brought it all on herself. You kick a vicious dog and over and over again and one day it bites you. Giles says it best to Willow 'I wouldn't congratulate you if you'd jumped off a cliff and happened to survive'

                              Buffy abused Spike in season 6. She got a taste of what he really was and so did he. The fact he changed after is great and the fact that Buffy forgives him means she understands her part it why it happened.

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Nina View Post
                                I always believed that the AR was to show Spike as an evil vampire.
                                I actually think somewhere it was stated by Marti that this was one of the reasons they actually did it?

                                We never see Buffy have real trouble with it, an episode after the AR she wants to drop Dawn with Spike.
                                That was most certainly the wrong message out there. You don't go leave your kid sister at the home of someone who's just attempted to rape you. It was just bad.

                                Originally posted by Nikki View Post
                                I am a huge Spike character fan but I don't sympathise with him at all. I feel sorry for him for the way Buffy treated him but he reacted how he was supposed. He's a demon or course he's going to hurt her.
                                I'm speaking universally here. But are you desensitised from what actually happened because, you well, expected him to do it? I mean it's strange, you hear those kind of comments a lot in relation to the AR but not for example, when Angelus killed Jenny. I'm not sure it's a good thing.

                                I excuse him from it because of what he did after it.
                                Are we supposed to excuse him for it though?

                                Buffy is not the victim in this, she brought it all on herself.
                                See I can't agree with this though, to me, that's basically like saying she 'deserved it.' If she isn't the victim, isn't a willing participant, than she either 'had it coming' or 'deserved what she got' and I don't think *anyone* deserves to be raped.

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                                  That was most certainly the wrong message out there. You don't go leave your kid sister at the home of someone who's just attempted to rape you. It was just bad.
                                  Yes but Spike couldn't actually hurt Dawn. Plus he'd spent most of season 5 and 6 protecting her, even before Buffy was back from the dead. He'd made a promise and stuck to it, to protect her.

                                  Plus if there was any reason not to leave Dawn with Spike it would be because he tried to kill Buffy and the Scoobies before his chip!

                                  Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                                  I'm speaking universally here. But are you desensitised from what actually happened because, you well, expected him to do it? I mean it's strange, you hear those kind of comments a lot in relation to the AR but not for example, when Angelus killed Jenny. I'm not sure it's a good thing.
                                  Not expected as in I know it was going to happen exactly how it happened but yeah, evil thing, no soul getting abused, one day he's going to strike back.

                                  And with Angelus of course he was going to kill someone, not necessarly Jenny but it makes sense he did. Dru told him she was trying to restore his soul so he went after her. He is evil.

                                  If we had a thread about Angelus killing Jenny my post would be about how surprised I was that she's all he killed. I felt sure someone else would die from him and from Buffy not being able to kill him when she should have done.

                                  Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                                  Are we supposed to excuse him for it though?
                                  Not if you don't want to. Excuse maybe isn't the right word, understand maybe. Do you understand why Angelus killed Jenny? Doesn't make it good or ok but he's a demon, he's going to do what Demons do.

                                  Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                                  See I can't agree with this though, to me, that's basically like saying she 'deserved it.' If she isn't the victim, isn't a willing participant, than she either 'had it coming' or 'deserved what she got' and I don't think *anyone* deserves to be raped.
                                  She doesn't deserve it, but she should have known that she couldn't walk away like she tried too. Spike is a bit on the crazy side anyway, he's not smart and he's evil, he has no soul, no remorse, what did she expect? Him to just say 'we'll be friends then'?!

                                  Nobody deserves to be raped. Buffy wasn't raped. She didn't think about what would happen when she started abusing Spike. And yes it was abusing. If Spike had done that to Buffy everyone would be outraged but because it's a woman doing it everything is seen differently but the label is still the same.

                                  She should have been more aware of what Spike was.

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Nikki View Post
                                    Yes but Spike couldn't actually hurt Dawn. Plus he'd spent most of season 5 and 6 protecting her, even before Buffy was back from the dead. He'd made a promise and stuck to it, to protect her.
                                    Yeah but it still feels icky to leave her with the guy who just tried to rape you. Wether or not he could actually physically harm or not, he was still capable of such a thing, was still that person.

                                    Not expected as in I know it was going to happen exactly how it happened but yeah, evil thing, no soul getting abused, one day he's going to strike back.
                                    Do you blame him for his actions or do you believe that because he's evil he can't be blamed? I think there two different things personally. As for example, when Xander was getting inappropriate with Buffy in 'The Pack' he was possessed, he couldn't control himself, he couldn't not be this evil thing. But that was a condition, Spike actually *was* the evil thing.

                                    And with Angelus of course he was going to kill someone, not necessarly Jenny but it makes sense he did. Dru told him she was trying to restore his soul so he went after her. He is evil.
                                    My point was more that people don't really give Spike a lot of crap for the AR because they say "what do you expect" but completely support Giles in trying to kill Angelus for what he did. I'm not saying you're saying that, you just made me think of it.

                                    Not if you don't want to. Excuse maybe isn't the right word, understand maybe. Do you understand why Angelus killed Jenny? Doesn't make it good or ok but he's a demon, he's going to do what Demons do.
                                    It was your choice of word that stood out to me, but now I understood what you were saying.

                                    She doesn't deserve it, but she should have known that she couldn't walk away like she tried too. Spike is a bit on the crazy side anyway, he's not smart and he's evil, he has no soul, no remorse, what did she expect? Him to just say 'we'll be friends then'?!
                                    She was foolish to get into the relationship with him in the first place, but she was as Anon put it, "emotionally crippled." She wasn't wise to get into the relationship but I still see her as the victim in the situation, because she was victimised. Regardless of what relationship she got into, how dumb she was for getting into, this shouldn't be the price.

                                    Nobody deserves to be raped. Buffy wasn't raped. She didn't think about what would happen when she started abusing Spike. And yes it was abusing. If Spike had done that to Buffy everyone would be outraged but because it's a woman doing it everything is seen differently but the label is still the same.
                                    Spike *did* abuse Buffy. They both abused eachother. Buffy used him, Spike emotionally manipulated her, using what he knew about her against him. The difference IMO is that Buffy made it so clear to Spike that she was abusing him and was using him, he states he knows it, he actually states he doesn't mind. However, Buffy was an emotional wreck, she wasn't the strong girl anymore that would stop someone doing the things he did to her. Spike knew her friends were her strength, he states so in 'Fool for Love' but he says that she doesn't belong with them in 'Dead Things' and that she should come "into the dark with me (him)" Aswell as emotionally blackmailing her into being with him in 'Normal Again' or spilling the beans to her friends aboud their relationship. They both abused eachother, but I think Spike was far more sneaky and the big difference for me is that Spike said he loved Buffy and how right he was for her, Buffy never claimed any such thing she made it so explicitly clear this is what it was.

                                    She should have been more aware of what Spike was.
                                    Agreed. I agree with Xander when he asks her "what were you thinking" and I agree with Riley when he says "deadly, opportunistic, immoral, or have you forgotten?"

                                    I think more or less we're on the same page here, just see Buffy's situation a tad differently.
                                    Last edited by vampmogs; 11-02-08, 01:04 PM.

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                                      Yeah but it still feels icky to leave her with the guy who just tried to rape you. Wether or not he could actually physically harm or not, he was still capable of such a thing, was still that person.
                                      It was just Buffy he couldn't hurt so we know he couldn't hurt Dawn as did Buffy. Plus why would he? She wasn't the one who abused him. He could have left her to die many times if he was going to do that. I think if Dawn had been around during Season 2 and 3 Buffy would have left her with Angel after he got his soul back, regardless of the fact he killed Jenny and tried to kill Buffy. Heck Willow tried to kill everyone and hurt Dawn in season 6 but was forgiven because of what she was going through and the magicks had control of her just like the demon had control of Spike.


                                      Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                                      Do you blame him for his actions or do you believe that because he's evil he can't be blamed? I think there two different things personally. As for example, when Xander was getting inappropriate with Buffy in 'The Pack' he was possessed, he couldn't control himself, he couldn't not be this evil thing. But that was a condition, Spike actually *was* the evil thing.
                                      He deserves blame for sure but Buffy deserves more.

                                      If Spike is actually an evil thing which you say then it's the same as Xander being possessed. He's an evil thing too and can't control himself. Spike doesn't have a soul or a conscious how can he control the demon he is without either? The fact he'd controlled himself so far is amazing. You look at any other vampire, even if they couldn't hurt they would never stop wanting to. Spike did until he was overcome with Buffy, which was brought on by her starting things with him.

                                      Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                                      My point was more that people don't really give Spike a lot of crap for the AR because they say "what do you expect" but completely support Giles in trying to kill Angelus for what he did. I'm not saying you're saying that, you just made me think of it.
                                      The big difference here is that Angelus did actually kill Jenny and Spike only tried to rape Buffy. Angelus killed Jenny because it was his nature. I imagine if Spike had killed anyone then they would try and kill him too. And it's not about the vampires they are, it's just that they are killers and have to be stopped whether they can be redeemed or not.

                                      Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                                      It was your choice of word that stood out to me, but now I understood what you were saying.
                                      Yeah sorry about that, sometimes I just go so fast I don't stop and think of a better word cos in my head I know what I'm saying

                                      Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                                      She was foolish to get into the relationship with him in the first place, but she was as Anon put it, "emotionally crippled." She wasn't wise to get into the relationship but I still see her as the victim in the situation, because she was victimised. Regardless of what relationship she got into, how dumb she was for getting into, this shouldn't be the price.
                                      She was the victim of being brought back to a life she didn't want. I can't imagine how hard it was and how horrible and she has all my sympathy for that. And if she wants to use someone to feel then she could have gone to a bar and picked up a guy. But she didn't. She picked a demon, but worse than that, a demon who was beyond obsessed with her already. She should have known that something bad would happen.

                                      Did she deserve it? No she didn't. But Spike didn't deserve the treatment he got too. And I honestly think the fact that all he wanted to do was have sex with her when he tried to rape her and not hurt her more shows how broken he was over her and what had happened.

                                      Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                                      Spike *did* abuse Buffy. They both abused eachother. Buffy used him, Spike emotionally manipulated her, using what he knew about her against him. The difference IMO is that Buffy made it so clear to Spike that she was abusing him and was using him, he states he knows it, he actually states he doesn't mind. However, Buffy was an emotional wreck, she wasn't the strong girl anymore that would stop someone doing the things he did to her. Spike knew her friends were her strength, he states so in 'Fool for Love' but he says that she doesn't belong with them in 'Dead Things' and that she should come "into the dark with me (him)" Aswell as emotionally blackmailing her into being with him in 'Normal Again' or spilling the beans to her friends aboud their relationship. They both abused eachother, but I think Spike was far more sneaky and the big difference for me is that Spike said he loved Buffy and how right he was for her, Buffy never claimed any such thing she made it so explicitly clear this is what it was.
                                      Buffy kissed him, in OMWF and then again in TR. Considering this is a demon who has been following her around completely in love for a few years this is not smart. Then she starts having sex with him. Of course he wants her to come into the dark with him. He's finally got what he always wants and she won't let him be in her world with her friends then he's going to want her to come into his so he can keep her.

                                      The worst part for me is in ?As you were' when she goes to him after seeing Riley and Sam and actually gets him to say ?I love you' before jumping on top of him. That is just horrible.

                                      Blackmail isn't the best word for what Spike did to get her to tell her friends, he just offered to stake a vamp if she did But he wanted her to tell her friends to admit to herself what she's doing. And I don't exactly think there is anything wrong with that. If she's that ashamed she should stop sleeping with him.

                                      Spike isn't smart enough to be sneaky. He loves her and wants her and she's let him have her. And she only said she's just using him when she broke it up. Several comments about only seeing him on her terms and kicking him in the head after they have sex but that's it. But seriously if you are just sleeping with someone and they start telling you they love you then you know it's time to get out before you hurt them. Buffy didn't care for him at all.

                                      Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                                      Agreed. I agree with Xander when he asks her "what were you thinking" and I agree with Riley when he says "deadly, opportunistic, immoral, or have you forgotten?"
                                      Originally posted by vampmogs View Post

                                      I think more or less we're on the same page here, just see Buffy's situation a tad differently.
                                      Yep she forgot and paid a price. Not saying she deserved that price but she got it anyway and at least he didn't manage to actually go through with it.

                                      I think it's just that you see Spike a lot smarter and devious than I see him. For me the whole thing feels like he's really just in love and wants to be with her.

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Nikki View Post
                                        If Spike is actually an evil thing which you say then it's the same as Xander being possessed. He's an evil thing too and can't control himself. Spike doesn't have a soul or a conscious how can he control the demon he is without either? The fact he'd controlled himself so far is amazing. You look at any other vampire, even if they couldn't hurt they would never stop wanting to. Spike did until he was overcome with Buffy, which was brought on by her starting things with him.

                                        The big difference here is that Angelus did actually kill Jenny and Spike only tried to rape Buffy. Angelus killed Jenny because it was his nature. I imagine if Spike had killed anyone then they would try and kill him too. And it's not about the vampires they are, it's just that they are killers and have to be stopped whether they can be redeemed or not.
                                        I wanted to hit both of these points with regard to what I was saying about mitigating the narrative impact for the audience.

                                        With Xander, his possession and influence was a textually temporary thing. It was within the four walls of the episode. Spike's character is a vampire -- his possession is matter of fact, it's part of what we absorb with every action. It becomes irrelevant to deciding when we like him and when we don't.

                                        In the case of Angelus killing Jenny, the mitigation is the difference in scope. First, it's a murder, which is always a *little* further from everyday experience than the attempted rape is. Second, it was a very supernatural murder -- he appeared out of nowhere in front of her and broke her neck with effortless supernatural strength.

                                        It also matters that we saw Angelus punished for it, in that same episode -- Giles beating him with a flaming bat. That eases the strain. Spike never took any honest to goodness punishment. Buffy never beat his ass for it, she stopped Xander from going after him in "Seeing Red". It would possibly have made a difference if there had been that sense of gratification.
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