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  • Nikki Wood's coat -who deserves it?

    This was brought up in another thread.

    Many fans hate the episode "Lies My Parents Told Me" due to Spike's harsh behaviour towards Robin Wood. Spike beats up and bites him, then takes back the coat.

    I feel that this is Spike's biggest ***hole moment in the entire series. While it's true the coat is part of Spike's "iconic look", and he has been wearing it for years, this doesn't change the fact that it belonged to Nikki and Robin was entitled to keep it.

  • #2
    I can see the gripe about the coat, but not about Spike treating Robin harshly. I mean come on, the guy lured Spike in there to kill him and Spike simply fought back once the trigger was broken. He had every reason to beat Robin to the point of submission; Robin was sure going to try his best to kill Spike himself, so it was either an extreme beating so he physically couldn't fight anymore or outright killing the guy, the latter of which Spike was unwilling to do. To me any complaints of harsh behavior gets thrown out the window when its a situation of one guy fighting for his life.

    But back to the point of the coat...if Robin wanted it, I could see the argument that Spike owed him at least that much. On the other hand Robin never shows much sentiment towards the jacket beyond taking it off of him in that one single scene in the entire time he was on the show. And even after that he didn't seem to care much at all that Spike still had it, which leads me to believe the coat meant little to him in the first place. Which makes sense to me, I mean Robin has his own mementos of his mother already, that's not what he was after. His main interest was avenging her death, not getting another keepsake.
    Sacred Knight
    Hellmouth Tourist
    Last edited by Sacred Knight; 11-03-08, 09:00 AM.

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    • #3
      LMPTM was probably the worst episode for all the important characters in it. Spike, Buffy and Giles were all wrong. I'm not agreeing with what Robin did, but I can see where he was coming from. Spike killed his mother and I can can see why he doesn't care about Spike's new soul. He trained his whole life to kill Spike and he finally can do it ... and than he hears that he isn't allowed because of Spike's new soul. He doesn't know Angel, he don't know how big a difference a soul can make. Was he wrong? Yes, but it was understandable.

      Spike should've understood that. He should've been man enough to defend himself but leave after that. Instead he start destroying Robin's memories and view of Nikki. And when he broke Robin, he took the duster again and left. That is probably soulled Spike's worst moment, he has no empathy for one of his victims. Of course, Robin was unfair but Spike is not in the situation to blame others. I mean, how would everybody react when Angel went to Giles in season 3, and said; "I don't give a piss about Jenny, it's a normal thing to do ... I'm a vampire, I kill... get over it and be happy I don't kill you.". I know one thing, he wouldn't be my favourite character.

      We find out in 'Destiny' that Spike sees himself as the only real victim, it can explain his behavior in LMPTM. But I still can't see anything good in what Spike did to Robin at all.

      If I want to watch this same story, but very well executed .. I will watch the Angel/Holtz episodes.
      Nina
      and her haircut.
      Last edited by Nina; 11-03-08, 03:41 PM.

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      • #4
        Spike had the right to defend himself in 'Lies My Parents Told Me' as anyone does. But I think there was a point where he went from defending himself, to deluding himself. Nikki didn't "sign up" for anything, anymore than Buffy did. People who try to rationalise this as a victimless act, are IMO just trying to give Spike a get out of jail free for his bad behaviour in this episode. They certainly wouldn't make that argument for any other vamp if they'd snapped Buffy's neck, stripped her clothing and wore it.

        The idea that Nikki "signed up" for anything goes against, pretty much everything they've set up in the series for Buffy's entire arc. She was chosen, she didn't choose, and Nikki is exactly the same. Spike knew this, it just took Dana to beat some sense into him in 'Damage' and his Spike grew big time after that.

        Spike shouldn't have been wearing the coat, Angel was justified in being disgusted by it. Yeah it's iconic for his character but that doesn't mean it makes sense within the context of the story whatsoever. It undermines his entire redemption arc, he's walking around with a killer trophy. There's no justifying that, even if he did look very cool in it.

        ?Lies My Parents Told Me' was a pretty shocking episode for every central character involved. Giles had no right to go behind Buffy's back, Spike was just making up crap because he didn't want to deal with his part in it, Wood had no right to try and kill a powerful ally against the First or go behind Buffy's back, and Buffy telling Wood she'd let Spike kill him was the wrong way to go about everything.

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        • #5
          To me, the fact that Robin took the coat from Spike in the first place indicates that he wanted it back. I agree that Spike had the right to defend himself, but he had no right to actually bite Robin, and no right to keep the coat.

          I thought that the Wood vs Spike storyline had potential, but didn't actually go anywhere.

          To me, keeping the coat undermines Spike's redemption. Angel doesn't like Holtz and (probably) Giles but he doesn't act like a dick to these people.

          I think what would have made an awesome scene in "Chosen" is when Buffy is having her final moments with Spike, he knows that he's going to turn to ash so he takes off the coat and gives it to her. For me, that would bring Spike's redemption story full circle.

          "Spike, I love you."
          "No you don't, but thanks for saying it."
          "Spike, I'm not going to make it either."
          "You have to, pet." *takes off coat* "Who else is gonna give that son of a... slayer his sodding coat back?" *Buffy puts on coat and runs after the bus* "I want to see how it ends."

          I think it's a total shame that Robin didn't get the coat. I was peeved when the Immortal blew it up. Because not only did it destroy the history behind the jacket, but it also blatantly pointed out the fact that Spike could keep his iconic look with a similar jacket, something that I'd rather not have to think about.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
            Spike had the right to defend himself in 'Lies My Parents Told Me' as anyone does. But I think there was a point where he went from defending himself, to deluding himself. Nikki didn't "sign up" for anything, anymore than Buffy did.
            Spike is a lying liar sometimes. It's part of what makes him interesting. He can go from having some quite profound insight about someone else...to being COMPLETELY blind about himself. I thought his speech in LMPTM works if you take it as him lying to himself. The trouble is, he's never brought to task for that lie, so I end up just feeling let down by the episode. They should've explored that further in episodes to come - and perhaps used it as a way to truly address the Buffy and Spike relationship, perhaps if Buffy saw that it's not as simple as "Spike was a monster but he has a soul now". Rather, Spike was a monster, but he can still be an ******* with a soul.

            Spike shouldn't have been wearing the coat, Angel was justified in being disgusted by it. Yeah it's iconic for his character but that doesn't mean it makes sense within the context of the story whatsoever.
            Then again, fashion has never been about virtue. It's about false appearances and hiding Much like Giles's production of Death of a Salesman.


            ?Lies My Parents Told Me' was a pretty shocking episode for every central character involved. Giles had no right to go behind Buffy's back, Spike was just making up crap because he didn't want to deal with his part in it, Wood had no right to try and kill a powerful ally against the First or go behind Buffy's back, and Buffy telling Wood she'd let Spike kill him was the wrong way to go about everything.
            Yes - I think Faith summed it up pretty well! "That makes me feel better about me, worse about Giles, and kinda shaky about you".

            Damn, I wish we'd had more time with Faith and Spike together. Or Faith Spike and Giles and Buffy working together at some point.


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            • #7
              This is the transcript for the conflict between Angel and Holtz;

              Angel gives the door a push so it closes behind him then grabs Holtz by the throat and slams him up against the wall.

              Angel: You stole my son.

              Holtz: I kept your son alive. You murdered mine.

              After a beat Angel slowly backs off and withdraws his hand from Holtz' throat.

              Angel: I was different then.

              Holtz, reaching up to touch his throat: Yes. So was I. - You feel remorse. You feel remorse yet you can't express it.

              Angel: You want me to say I'm sorry? How can I? It wouldn't mean a thing.

              Holtz: It would mean a little. Not much, but it would be something.

              Angel: Then I'm sorry. For whatever little it might mean. It's all I've got.

              Angel stands still, looking straight ahead, not at Holtz.

              Holtz, lowering his hand: Not all. - You had a son. - So - there it is. (Sits down) I thought by depriving you of that son it would allow me some measure of justice. I was wrong.

              Angel: Taking Connor from me was never justice. It was vengeance.


              That's how it should have gone between Spike and Wood. Spike shouldn't have made excuses for himself, should have apologised and shouldn't have started trying to make Wood feel bad about his mother. He had no freakin idea what their relationship was like, he was just being an arse. And at the same time Spike had every right to defend his own life and to point out to Wood that he doesn't have a right to attack him like this, it wasn't justice it was vengeance. That's how this should have gone.

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              • #8
                The coat was a pretty disgusting trophy, and it was always pretty inexcusable that Spike, with his soul, actually wanted the thing. If anything, he should have reviled it. I'm not going to deal with the actual vendetta with Wood, just the coat, and there's no way Spike should have kept it. I'd have much more enjoyed the episode if, having bitten him, rather than promise Buffy he'd kill Wood (and having Buffy back him, wtf?), that he just peel the jacket off and drop it unceremoniously at Wood's feet -- make it as insulting as possible, but still don't keep it.

                I was actually very happy that the jacket was destroyed.
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                • #9
                  Yeah, I think everyone has covered it really. I actually get the feeling Spike was more pissed at Wood rather than simply defended himself. Could he not have knocked him out of incapicitated him without giving him such a beating? I don't know but Spike was definitely pissed.

                  The thing that got me is that he called his fight with Nikki a game. It certainly was to him but with a soul he surely should have recognised that her life meant more than that, especially with his experience with Buffy. It wasn't a martial arts tournement they were engaged in, he didn't even defend himself against Nikki. He hunted her down for sport.

                  What I read on another site was kind of cool. Spike got a new jacket that looked the same is symbolic of Spike. Although he seems similar to soulless Spike he's actually not. To be honest, Wood was partially right about Spike and Spike admits it. He's not one for reflection, I don't think he really thought much about what Nikki meant to to anyone or any of the lives that he took or at the very least he didn't want contemplate it. The soul changed him but the internal changes were and are works in progress (hence your still kind of arse with a soul comment Wolfie). The change happened more externally with him but he was still emotional and reactive to the moment (hence the austerity of his words to Wood, my only explanation.).

                  Sometimes people don't like this ep because they can't believe Giles, Spike and Wood could act like this.

                  The concept of Spike's rationalization and anger have been addressed. Giles may have adopted some of the Utilitarian features of the WC. Focusing on the larger picture. This is understandable. Although he has deferred to Buffy's judgement on more than one occasion, Seasons 4, 5, 6 and 7 has Giles confused over the whole mentor/protege-authority relationship. Many people say "But it's so obvious!!!!!". Well obviously not to Giles.

                  Did Wood care that Spike had a soul? Well like Holtz he does react to it, although he responds to it differently.

                  He goes to Giles and argues that Spike should be killed but not on the grounds that he is a vampire. Giles knows that Wood wants revenge but Wood argues that in the larger picture that is irrelevent. He uses it as a trade off: one life for many, same justification for letting Dawn die a couple of years ago.

                  When he fights Spike he makes a distinction between demon and soul.

                  (probably rephrased)Wood: I don't want to kill you Spike, I want to kill the thing the took my mother away from me.

                  The fact that Spike kept the coat, and Buffy took his side probably estranged Wood a little from Buffy. Ever since First Date, things have been a little murky eversince he sees Buffy's interest in Spike isn't purely about the mission considering "the look" and the fact she went to see he was alright even before she went to her best friend Xander. This leads us to some of the issues presented in Empty Places...

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kana
                    The thing that got me is that he called his fight with Nikki a game. It certainly was to him but with a soul he surely should have recognised that her life meant more than that, especially with his experience with Buffy. It wasn't a martial arts tournement they were engaged in, he didn't even defend himself against Nikki. He hunted her down for sport.
                    To be fair, Buffy hunts down vampires, too, sometimes as much for sport as for her purpose. "She was a Slayer, I was a vampire" was a pretty sound argument, as I see it.

                    Anyway, if anyone's interested, James's thoughts on the coat post-soul (although this is more about Get It Done than it is about Lies My Parents Told Me):

                    James Marsters: How I felt about it when it came back, you know, okay, I'm ambivalent about that, I really felt like once Spike had a soul, he would not want to go back to the emblem of his evil, and I was really clear about that. And I'd like to hope that we kept him out of the coat for long enough, and then explained why he needed it again. So he's gonna go back to his violent power and own that again, but he's not gonna give into the evil that comes into that. Ah, I thought it was an interesting choice to bring the coat back, frankly, but it was probably function to the fact that the costume without the coat sucked.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Enisy View Post
                      To be fair, Buffy hunts down vampires, too, sometimes as much for sport as for her purpose. "She was a Slayer, I was a vampire" was a pretty sound argument, as I see it.

                      Anyway, if anyone's interested, James's thoughts on the coat post-soul (although this is more about Get It Done than it is about Lies My Parents Told Me):

                      James Marsters: How I felt about it when it came back, you know, okay, I'm ambivalent about that, I really felt like once Spike had a soul, he would not want to go back to the emblem of his evil, and I was really clear about that. And I'd like to hope that we kept him out of the coat for long enough, and then explained why he needed it again. So he's gonna go back to his violent power and own that again, but he's not gonna give into the evil that comes into that. Ah, I thought it was an interesting choice to bring the coat back, frankly, but it was probably function to the fact that the costume without the coat sucked.
                      Yeah, I think the 'function' seems more plausible than the thematic element.

                      Re, what you said, I do actually have a whole thing on 'innocent vampires' but the point is, that it it no longer a game. Even with a soul he didn't seem to change his perspective. To his credit at the end, he does as acknowledges that her life was worth more than than the kill. "I don't give a piss about your mom?" He really should with a soul, and he actually does.

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                      • #12
                        What he's thinking but not saying is that giving the coat to the fanboys and fangirls mattered more than the integrity of the character's change in obtaining his soul, and that he came up with a reason that a post-Method actor could embrace

                        Really, I'd have had more respect for him in "Lies My Parents Told Me", so far you can really respect anyone in that episode, had he ended his beating and biting by making a big contemptuous show of taking off the jacket and throwing it at Wood, like "here you go, you big crybaby". It would still conceded the vital point that he didn't need it, and it wasn't who he was anymore.
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                        • #13
                          Perfect world? Everyone calms down after the fight and Wood and Spike go and burn the bloody thing!

                          Spike wears it as a trophy, of course he does but to me he has also integrated it into the myth of 'Spike' rather than 'William the Bloody'. He's made it such an integral part of his psyche that when he abandons it post souling he needs to get it back in order to get his fight back on.

                          Now when Wood beats down Spike and takes the coat from him, if we freeze frame there, why is her taking it? He already has things to remind him of his mother so at this time he's being motivated by revenge. I think Wood taking the coat could actually, in part, be be viewed as trophy taking too. He is taking the scalp of the monster that took the scalp of his mother.

                          So yes lets have them make a wary peace, build a bonfire and burn it to the memory of Nikki Wood.
                          JUST ENOUGH KILL

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by tangent View Post
                            Now when Wood beats down Spike and takes the coat from him, if we freeze frame there, why is her taking it? He already has things to remind him of his mother so at this time he's being motivated by revenge.
                            Or he just want to stop seeing Spike parading around in his mother's coat. He sees Spike walking in it every day and being proud that he killed Nikki, proud that he wears the coat. And maybe, he just wants to have everything that was Nikki's.

                            I'm not a fan of buring that coat, because it's one of the last things Robin has of his mother. It was a part of her. If Robin wants it gone, fine burn it ... but I think that Robin deserves to have this part of his mother if he wants to.

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                            • #15
                              Well in that case he could just leave. I'm not trying to paint Wood as a bad guy here but he's hell bent on revenge there can't be any doubt on that. He already has a bag of Nikki's stuff we so it's not the only thing he has left. I think your right that he has a case for wanting ewverything that was his mothers. Maybe that is what he's thinking. for most peole though i would suspect that having something to remember them by is more important to having everything they've ever possessed.

                              For me, wether it's a greater or lesser part of what he does there is an element of 'You took it from my mother when you killed her I'll take it from you when I kill you.'
                              JUST ENOUGH KILL

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Enisy View Post
                                To be fair, Buffy hunts down vampires, too, sometimes as much for sport as for her purpose. "She was a Slayer, I was a vampire" was a pretty sound argument, as I see it.
                                Vampires are evil, they deserve to be dusted whereas, nor Nikki or Buffy did. I just don't see how anyone could actually support Spike here, fan of him or not. He hunted Nikki down, he couldn't even claim self defence, and Nikki didn't choose anything, she was chosen. They weren't equals here, it wasn't a game. It was Nikki against the bad guy, and Nikki was hunted down and killed by the bad guy. It was just as much of a tragedy as it would have been if Spike had killed Buffy in 'Schoolhard' when he hunted her down and attempted to murder her.

                                I mean can you honestly tell me you'd have been as supportive if a vamp had killed Buffy, shrugged and said "I'm a vampire she's a slayer."? Nikki had a son, a watcher, people who cared for her, it wasn't a "game."

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                                • #17
                                  Spike is a vampire.

                                  Niki was the Vampire Slayer.

                                  Spike killed Nicki.

                                  Spike takes coat - Spike deserves coat. It is HIS trophy.

                                  Coat is Spike's. Period.

                                  People get all wrapped up in the humanity of the situation. That Nicki was a human with a little boy and her little boy deserves her coat.

                                  But it's not about humanity. It's about Vampires and Vampire Slayers. And in this instant the Vampire bested the Slayer and he gets to take her coat - his trophy. Like a hunter gets to hang the head of a dead animal on his wall, or a stuffed fish. It's a trophy.

                                  To Spike at that moment (LMMTM) Robin was taking what made him a VAMPIRE. Yes - he has a soul now - but he is still a vampire. It was the very thing he had just struggled with in a previous episode when Buffy basically told him she didn't need a another "soul-filled" creature who "feels" she needed a Vampire who could fight.

                                  And that's what that coat represents to him. It is his inner Vampire. Yes - a vampire who has a soul now - but still a vampire.

                                  Coat stays with Spike. Robin tries to take it again - I'll fight him!



                                  And as a side note - the coat should have been given to James Marsters.
                                  -TP<3
                                  "At that point I'd love a fight and a heart to heart and then of course naughtiness and happy ever after."
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                                  • #18
                                    Coat doesn't stay with Spike -- Coat is, most joyously, a pile of shredded and scorched leather, thanks to the bomb in "The Girl in Question". So, justice done with regard to the coat.

                                    Poet, I also have to ask -- would you still apply the same reasoning of vampire vs. Slayer and so on if instead of the coat, Spike had cut off Nikki's ears and put them on a gold chain? I don't mean that to be inflammatory, but to raise the point -- a trophy of murder is a trophy of murder, isn't it?
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                                    • #19
                                      And that's what that coat represents to him. It is his inner Vampire.
                                      Yes, it's the part of him that should have been destroyed once he got the soul. It's proof of his murder of an innocent woman. He shouldn't relish that; he should be ashamed of it. He didn't take the life of an animal, he took the life of a human being. A woman who had a son who loved her, a man she was obviously at one point close to, a Watcher who was her friend. People are getting 'all wrapped up in the humanity' because it's a human that he brutally killed. She was an actual person. And I think that, since the audience hardly knows Nikki and is acquainted quite well with Spike, it's easy to take his side, since, as a character, he is more "human" to us. But within the Buffyverse, Spike is an "evil, soulless thing" who has no feelings and kills without remorse. He's dead already; anyone who would stake him would not be killing him but rather destroying a demon. Nikki, on the other hand, is a living breathing human, with thoughts and feelings and emotions. She's the Slayer, the protagonist, the one we should be rooting for. And so Spike's defeat of her isn't a "victory" in some huge game; it's murder.

                                      I don't have any major qualms with the thought that Spike 'deserves' the coat. If you want to say that he should get it since he bested her, fine. But Spike, as a souled vampire, should not want it. There is no justifiable reason for what he did, and he should not want to keep a reminder of the fact that he ended someone's life.
                                      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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                                      • #20
                                        I never really understood the justification for Spike wearing the trophy of someone he killed when he was soulless... did the writers just think, well it's a cool coat and he looks hot in it so lets keep him in it? Because I love Fool For Love, and think the way he got his coat is actually pretty cool.. but when Nikki's son comes along and wants it back, it seems to me of course he should want to hand it over.

                                        If someone killed my mum and took her favourite handbag as a trophy of killing her I'd want it back! Seriously.

                                        If Spike gave it to Wood willingly I'd be a bigger Spike fan than I am. Although I'm still a pretty big one.
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