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What if ... the Soul Glutton had devoured Spike`s soul?

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  • What if ... the Soul Glutton had devoured Spike`s soul?

    In season ten, we see Buffy and Spike return to Sunnydale and face the Soul Glutton. Before the fight Spike tells Buffy:

    Spike: "Slayer, that thing eats souls. If it gets hold of me... I ain`t afraid of dying. But if it just sucks out my soul ... I`d be like I was before. That happens, you dust me on the spot."

    Of course our heroes save the day, no soul gets sucked out and Spike remains undusted.

    But what if? What if the Soul Glutton had actually sucked out Spike`s soul. Do you think, Buffy should have dusted him? Do you think, she could have dusted him?

    The question has been raised in this very short ficlet by BarbC called But My Sorrow has No Friend:
    https://dark-solace.org/elysian/viewstory.php?sid=5202

    and that`s how I got the idea for this thread. The story has it`s own answer, of course. But I`d like to know, what you think!

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  • #2
    No idea, but it would be the ultimate test for whether it is impossible to learn goodness in the Buffyverse.

    When Spike was chipped and fell in love with Buffy, he not only lacked a soul, but he had not been thinking about issues of morality for over 100 hundred years, meaning that he had the moral insights of a cloistered young man from Victorian high society. If Spike lost his soul in S10, he would have a much better grasp on what being a good person means. Whether he would be able to be such a person is a different question, though. He doesn't have a chip any more, so he would have free reign.

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    • #3
      I haven't read the fic, but I doubt Buffy would dust Spike, at least not immediately. He'd have no chip, so would be totally free to commit any carnage he so wished, but I'd hope his love for Buffy, and the life they'd created, would stop him from killing anyone. Without a soul he'd probably not ask to be staked, because without a soul, would he care?

      I'm not sure Buffy would be able to be with Spike if he didn't have a soul, as she placed so much emphasis on it. I think she'd allow him to live but she wouldn't be able to be in a relationship with him.

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      • #4
        It would’ve a very interesting moral dilemma. I don’t think she could dust him on the spot, not after everything they’ve been through post-soul. She couldn’t be in a relationship with him any more if the soul was permanently gone. He’d be at best the guy from Seeing Red -he’d be fundamentally lacking something that is required to be a truly good person.

        It would be a complete ass-pull and would go against the mythology completely if Spike was able to just go on being good without a soul.

        He’d still love Buffy, but it would be the unhealthy pre-soul love. He’d refrain from killing for a time because that’s what Buffy wants (not because he feels that it is wrong), and he’d still want to have *some* kind of working relationship with her.

        But eventually, he’ll grow frustrated that his relationship with her isn’t what it used to be, and he’d start to wonder why he shouldn’t start killing again. He’d justify it to himself that he’s still helping the scoobies kill demons, so what’s the harm in draining a human here or there if he can get away with it without anyone knowing? I think Giles and Xander would be the first to seriously consider the fact that soulless Spike may need to be staked just because they will see the inevitablity that soulless Spike will eventually kill someone.

        He’d certainly try to kill Wood, Riley or Angel if they ever crossed his path in this state.

        If he crossed paths with Drusilla, he’d probably be tempted to run away with her and try to resume his old life. Deep down he’d never be satisfied being evil again, because he’d still remember what it was like to have a soul and be accepted by the scoobies. He’d lie awake longing for that again, but he’d know it was impossible to ever be that man again if the Soul Glutton had consumed his soul permanently.

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        • #5
          It's a really interesting question.

          I don't think losing the soul would be the equivalent of an amnesiac who loses his memories, so he wouldn't forget all his personal growth and the evolution of his relationship with Buffy and would still love her and probably want to continue in the same way as before.

          However, he would completely lose the ability to perceive right from wrong, he wouldn't care about that any longer (except in so far as it pleases his own interests.) He'd lose the deeper emotional understanding of morality and fail to care about hurting others, and his love would again be fuelled by a more selfish agenda. So the relationship would not be able to work in the long run, given that he'd basically be morally untethered and any attempt to "do good" would be fuelled by his desire to stay together with Buffy. And it would only be a matter of time before he slipped up and committed some heinous act or the other.

          Like in S5's Triangle when he says: "I'm not sampling, I'll have you know. Just look at all these lovely blood covered people. But not a taste for Spike, not a lick. Knew you wouldn't like it."

          That's how I'd imagine he'd probably be. Buffy wouldn't be able to stake him, though. It would be too hard for her imo.
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          • #6
            I agree with those that have said that he would return to being fundamentally morally limited and it would eventually fall apart. The show explored this very thing in S6, whether he could draw the lines himself and choose to be good and he can't with a lack of boundaries and sense of morals. So whether he had more recent memories of what it meant to be good or not I don't think that would bridge the gap that is there without the soul and his understanding and care for the changes it makes would be reduced by the loss of it. Other than the impact that it would have on him and Buffy of course. He chose to go to get his soul when he was soulless for the difference between them that he thought it would make. Having experienced the difference that it did make, I think he'd be more determined to look for a solution.

            But I do think that Buffy would not be able to just stake him instantly. They were stating in S10 that a soul being consumed wasn't something that was recoverable, but I would expect that this would be exactly the sort of thing that they would start to explore, any possibilities to recover or replace his soul. Spike made it quite clear to Buffy that with his soul in place he looked at the scenario and saw something that he would not want to return to. I think that she would respect and appreciate that but would look to find an alternate solution somehow.

            Whether he would be tempted to leave and look to return to Dru if this happened with him unchipped I doubt to be honest. He rejected having a life with Dru in favour of just a crumb of a chance of one with Buffy in S5 and I think the scenario they were in at the point that this happened, where they were in the relationship, would have him more determined to stick around and try to fix the situation to regain what he had had. Spike went for his soul without fully understanding what it would mean and in reasonably large part because he felt it would get him what he wanted. But he understood that it could make a difference and so set his mind to getting it. He can be very blinkered in his determination, to the point of being self destructive, so I don't think he would accept the negative repercussions without trying to find a way to solve it.
            Last edited by Stoney; 24-04-19, 12:58 AM.

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            • #7
              Oh man! That story is a heart breaker. I don't think Buffy would dust him but like Priceless I believe that the lack of a soul would end the romantic relationship. Clearly they've got both a friendship and deeper feelings, I think the friendship would endure.


              “I like who I am when I’m with him. I like who we are together.”

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              • #8
                I often wished he'd lose his soul just to see what the outcome was. In fact, I was half-hoping S12 would end with the revelation he had lost it to the SG and no-one had noticed. As far as I can tell, once turned, the id has free rein, there's nothing to curtail its drive towards pleasure. The soul seems to function as a sort of super-ego (or law) and the ego adapts itself to the reality principle. It's a learned process. The learning process for Spike began with the chip - a simple binary yes/no. We see him testing and trying to establish boundaries throughout S4,5,6. The soul simply adds another layer of nuance to that. It's the difference between plucking a word from a dictionary where a word has a multiplicity of meaning and knowing how to use it in a sentence. There's no inherent meaning in the word, the word takes its meaning from its place within sentence, from the words around it. It's no coincidence that the first meeting in S7 involves a misunderstanding of a single word - Duck. The point I'm making is, he's spent 10? years learning to integrate and adapting to being in a community. Why should he forget that?

                SpuffyGlitz:

                Like in S5's Triangle when he says: "I'm not sampling, I'll have you know. Just look at all these lovely blood covered people. But not a taste for Spike, not a lick. Knew you wouldn't like it."
                Sorry SG but that kinda proves my point. Where's the difference between Spike not doing something he'd like to do and not doing it because of Buffy, and people not doing something because they think God, their parents, their teacher, their boss, their friends wouldn't like it? Why do we get up for work in the morning? Is it because we're intrinsically good people who believe that if we didn't society would implode or is it because there's a cash reward at the end of it?

                However, he would completely lose the ability to perceive right from wrong, he wouldn't care about that any longer (except in so far as it pleases his own interests.) He'd lose the deeper emotional understanding of morality and fail to care about hurting others, and his love would again be fuelled by a more selfish agenda. So the relationship would not be able to work in the long run, given that he'd basically be morally untethered and any attempt to "do good" would be fuelled by his desire to stay together with Buffy. And it would only be a matter of time before he slipped up and committed some heinous act or the other.
                Where's your evidence (genuine question. I'm not being passive aggressive )? "Morality" isn't timeless - it's culturally/historically specific. Was he wrong to kill Rudi in S11? Was he being merciful or was it murder? Buffy couldn't do it - even though Rudi pleaded for it because it transgressed her boundaries. Who was being selfish here? Was Spike giving in to his baser instincts or was he considering Rudi's needs before his own? Couldn't Buffy not killing Rudi be seen as pleasing her interests and not his? Killing him would have caused her psychic pain - was she right to leave Rudi suffering similar pain?

                any attempt to "do good" would be fuelled by his desire to stay together with Buffy
                . But why do any of us "do good"? Where does social coherence come from? Benedict Anderson talks about nation being "an imagined community". I'm hard-pressed to think of any community that's organic.

                My youngest is "morally untethered" - he has autism. It has to be explained to him that "shagging his bird" is not to be used as an explanation for why he didn't answer his phone and that his mother doesn't really need to hear about his masturbatory predicaments. He can't understand WHY he's not supposed to share this information with me. "Because I'm your mum" or "Because it's wrong" always seems like a lame reason. Seems to me, in this aspect, he's no different than Anya - and sometimes Spike.

                I honestly don't know what would happen in the scenario flow's referring to - which is why I'd have liked to have seen it. I don't think we're talking about something intrinsic. I think we're talking about value systems and our ability/failure to internalize them. I also think Buffy/Angel/Giles ideas about the soul are sometimes in conflict with the text's ideas.

                I read BarbC's story...I don't think it would have panned out like that - though who's to know? The only reason I think Buffy should stake him is it was his last wish. However, this is a decision based on how he feels before the event. How does he know how he'll feel after? Surely we've all been in situations (I know I have) when we've said "Kill me if I end up like that". Can we know how we'll feel if "that" actually happens?

                If I had to hazard a guess I'd say - no, she wouldn't stake him. As for their relationship, she might end it and the Scoobies might withdraw their support (Xander might ask him to leave) BUT his isolation could be the catalyst for him becoming evil again, rather than the lose of the soul.
                Last edited by TriBel; 24-04-19, 09:40 AM.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by TriBel View Post
                  The point I'm making is, he's spent 10? years learning to integrate and adapting to being in a community. Why should he forget that?
                  He wouldn't forget it but there is an inherent capacity to connect to it and understand it on a different level that is lost. Hence him not 'getting' why wanting praise for not feeding off disaster victims is gross. He learns that Buffy thinks it is, but he isn't going to feel it is himself. The soul in BtVS has a specific function and a vampire's emotional/moral complexities are reduced without it. If Spike had returned to being soulless in S12 and it hadn't noticeably made a difference it would have trashed the character imo. All the Spike haters I've conversed with over the years that totally failed to see the remorse he felt and the shifts in his personality it caused, the difference it made that led to his sacrifice for the greater good in Chosen, who believed it made no real difference to him in S7 at all would have felt vindicated. I can't imagine an ending that would have made me feel more miserable tbh.

                  There is a huge difference between doing something because you have learned it and still lacking a connection to really understanding why it is/was an issue, and/or not caring even if it is explained and you come to understand others feel it is. It only takes not being in the mood to conform for him to decide to do something he knows wouldn't be liked if they won't find out (like trying to kill the girl in Smashed). He can never be trusted to self govern if he lacks the capability to actually make the choices and understand these things for himself. Even when he had attacked Buffy and attempted to rape her, had seen her reaction, he still didn't get it and was torn/confused about why he didn't do it. He went to get his soul because he realised he failed to be able to walk the line by just willing himself to be able to and he couldn't feel/see the boundaries clearly even when they were drawn for him. There's a fundamental lack of capacity that means he would come to fail in some way eventually because of his soullessness.

                  The evidence of how Spike lacks a sense of morality is scattered throughout S5 & 6. Yes we gain cultural/social understanding of what is perceived to be right/wrong, but Spike had that too when he was human and yet he started murdering people for pleasure/food as soon as he was turned. The show depicts there being an immediate disconnection to morality when people are turned into vampires. If not then the line between the person Spike is when soulless who literally enjoys torturing, murdering and raping and who he is souled isn't meaningful. He could always have chosen not to because he knew from the moment he was turned that by human standards it was wrong, but he didn't care and not only that but he enjoyed it. That he was literally incapable of truly understanding those actions/choices, that he didn't have the choice in the way that humans do, allows the character (and Angel's) to move beyond some truly horrific choices and ones well beyond the normal 'bad' decisions people make.

                  I can see the point that goodness is to a degree learned, but it is also something felt and understood and that disconnection exists in the vamps from the moment that they are turned. Inverse it is shown as something that is lost, that they lack and that it has a huge impact on them. Spike fails to draw the lines himself, he can't be reliable through sheer willpower. The vamps in society storyline was terrible, but it showed that vamps can choose to not kill if they want, but they always throughout were still not trusted as it was understood that if they wanted to change their minds for whatever reason they preferred to, they would. This is why Spike recoils at the idea of soulless Vicki having equal rights to him when the camps are being introduced and Willow suggests him being acknowledged alongside humans could be a benefit. And this lack of trust they are presented time and again to be right to apply to soulless vamps, is the function Harmony has repeatedly in the narrative. She even came up with the rules to rub along with humans, but she betrays the group whenever it suits her. It isn't always that vamps can't foresee that humans would have issue with some choices, or learn which ones they would or wouldn't care about. Sometimes it is shown to be that way, but it is also sometimes simply to be about whether or not they are bothered by it personally or not in that specific moment. Their unreliability is constantly supported.

                  I think the ways the soul is discussed has some uncertainty to it and there are some assertions characters make over the seasons that are questioned for sure. But these all fall into the topic being generally explored within the stories and understanding developing I think. But importantly I feel, both Spike and Angel are shown to believe there is a distinction when they are souled that has them look back on their soulless selves as 'less' than themselves souled and that they couldn't understand what it means without having it. They are the only characters that have been in both states and both see it as distinct and impactful, even though they feel a sense of continuity of self across both states too. In the story the distinction and meaning of the soul is consistently supported I believe, and, for me, there is a point where discussion that looks to draw tight comparisons to real life and transpose the distinctions and limitations the verse gives alongside social structures, othering, conformity etc falls apart. Aurora has written some really interesting posts about the possible physical changes, cognitive/emotional disconnections that happen through siring which equates to the difference in capacities as they are presented in verse and suggests possible explanations. I think it is interesting to try to consider what could happen that would explain what we're given but still, this is a supernatural show after all and some separation from reality is part of that, so I'm also comfortable that there may not be any direct, straight real-life equivalents. Although what she presents does work exceptionally well in drawing literal physical effects together with a mystical/supernatural change.

                  I haven't read the fanfic mentioned, so I don't know how it has it the scenario pan out. I agree that if a solution couldn't be found, that no matter what ways Buffy or Spike tried to find to fix the situation, he couldn't in any way be returned to being souled/human, then Buffy staking him would be respecting his last wish. Of course Spike unsouled wouldn't feel the same about it, because he would have lost the increased emotional/moral connections and is meaningfully distinct from the person he is when souled. This is the difference that meant he went from feeling Dru was his saviour to feeling that he was her victim after all. Whether Buffy could do it without him doing something specific to give her reason again, without him failing somehow again in trying to walk the line by will alone, I don't know. I don't think they could/would stay together romantically, but I think she would definitely struggle to kill the potential of the person he had been ever returning. I think she could come to accept that was the case if no solution was possible though. Whether unsouled Spike could stay away to remove the need for her to even have to consider it I doubt very much. But I think the text has already explored whether he could walk the line successfully and he would eventually fail again in some way that wouldn't have even been a risk of him doing if he had been souled. I think this is what the scene between them in the hellmouth reconcludes in S10 too as Spike asserts that no matter what potential was in him, it isn't enough unsouled to be reliable.
                  Last edited by Stoney; 24-04-19, 12:09 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Hey TriBel! I'll read through this properly to do it justice before replying...I'll just say, I don't remember who Rudi is (I guess I didn't read S11 that closely...) Be back in a bit
                    Last edited by SpuffyGlitz; 24-04-19, 12:16 PM.
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                    • #11
                      Just like SpuffyGlitzt I`ll have to come back later after I have read and thought all this through properly. But one thing kinda hit me instantly:

                      TriBel:
                      Buffy couldn't do it - even though Rudi pleaded for it because it transgressed her boundaries. Who was being selfish here?
                      The interesting question is, what Buffy would have done if Spike hadn`t been around to do the deeds? Spike did not only kill Rudi out of mercy for Rudi. He also killed him out of mercy for Buffy. His death does not weigh on her conscience now and neither does his pain.

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                      • #12
                        I don't think she would've poof-ed him and I don't think she should've poof-ed him.

                        The entire premise behind slaying is that soulless vampires are evil killers and that's why the slayer must unceremoniously hunt them down. Except that's not true - I mean, Harmony exists. And while you could certainly describe Harmony as evil, she's not exactly a killer. She's not dangerous. There's no reason to slay her. It's an idea that Buffy herself voices as early as in season 3 (Oh, let him go. I don't think he falls into the deadly threat to humanity category) So as long as the newly soulless Spike doesn't hurt anybody I don't see why Buffy should slay him. It doesn't make sense. But would Spike go back to his murderous ways?

                        No, of course not. Despite what Spike tends to say about himself, he's actually not an idiot. This is season 10 we're talking about. Forget about Buffy, there are thousands of slayers out there, battle-ready witch covens, wood-packing law enforcement and on top of that everybody knows about vampires, Spike's even kind of a minor celebrity. In a world like that you can't just go full Angelus and expect to survive. It's not an option. Not that there's a reason to, a lot of people would pay good money to be fed on by Spike but that's a topic for another discussion.

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                        • #13
                          He wouldn't forget it but there is an inherent capacity to connect to it
                          See - that's the fundamental difference. I have real problems with the idea of inherent anything. Go back to Life Serial and the discussion of Social Constructionism. I'm firmly on the side of the (con)structuralists.

                          I'd argue that all connections are ideological/cultural. The only connections that aren't are, by necessity, outside of language. That's why the most important part of Touched is silent - that's why they can't say what the night means. What I will say is this: - Pneuma...is an ancient Greek word for "breath", and in a religious context for "spirit" or "soul". ... In classical philosophy, it is distinguishable from psyche...which originally meant "breath of life", but is regularly translated as "spirit" or most often "soul" (I've just realised the significance of evicting the man from the house).

                          from the Shooting Script (Touched): "They look at each other. No more words...Buffy and Spike lie in each others' arms. Looking deep into each others' eyes. So close. Breathing each others' breath. Just holding each other". What you're getting is a collapsing of the meaning of soul. This is the embodied consciousness/mind/soul (fairly sure Espenson is aware of this 'cos she worked with Lakoff on it). I don't think there's a common understanding of Soul in the verse (the characters might have it. I'm not sure the text supports it). Angel understands his differently. It's why Buffy embodies Spike (in her heart) at the end. It's quite feasible he gets "something" from Lloyd. It's equally feasible he doesn't. In Beneath You, he talks about the "spark". IIRC, it's how the Ancients thought of the soul. It's possible to argue that it's dormant - that it needs something to ignite it. IDK.

                          Hence him not 'getting' why wanting praise for not feeding off disaster victims is gross.
                          My argument would be that a kid doesn't inherently know that messing in the toilet bowl is gross. I wouldn't tell a kid it was evil for messing in the toilet. I'd praise him/her for not doing so. Spike's showing restraint - why shouldn't he be praised? Spike's most formative relationship is with Anne. What he's seeking from Buffy here is the mother's approval. Psychologically, speaking the mother's smile predates the father's approval. Whedon KNOWS about the return of the repressed. Robin Wood posits it at the heart of horror and Whedon's expressed his awe for Robin Woods' essay on the return of the repressed. Does it consciously know it's doing this? IDK but there's a reason we get LMPTM.

                          Plus - who decides what's gross and what isn't? Who draws the lines. Consuming blood/body of a "victim" isn't considered gross by some Churches - hence the debate over transubstantiation. Dealing with the abject is often the function of ritual. Are menstruating women inherently gross? They're still considered so in some parts of the world - and they were here at one time. It's only fairly recently it's been discussed openly. What we're talking about here is the abject and thoughts on the abject vary depending on which philosophical road you go down.

                          All the Spike haters I've conversed with over the years that totally failed to see the remorse he felt and the shifts in his personality it caused, the difference it made that led to his sacrifice for the greater good in Chosen, who believed it made no real difference to him in S7 at all would have felt vindicated.
                          . See that's where we differ. I think for Spike to labour to learn, to learn to be good of his own volition, to invest his trust and his belief in himself and Buffy (rather than some nebulous sky pixie) is a positive thing . This doesn't preclude growth, the emergence of feelings of remorse etc. And Spike haters are always gonna hate.

                          See - this is why I didn't want to do the bloody Grave review. I'm not saying you're wrong. I'm saying it would be interesting to find out. And I'm not saying it goes against canon because I think there flexibility in what canon says.

                          flow:

                          The interesting question is, what Buffy would have done if Spike hadn`t been around to do the deeds? Spike did not only kill Rudi out of mercy for Rudi. He also killed him out of mercy for Buffy. His death does not weigh on her conscience now and neither does his pain.
                          IDK. Like SG, I'd have to go back to S11. IIRC, the impression I got was that she wouldn't but Faith would...but I could be talking complete and utter BS!
                          Last edited by TriBel; 24-04-19, 02:25 PM.
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                          • #14
                            Whether one culture and their rules should reside over another I think is definitely debatable, but I do think the verse has consistency about what a soul means for a vampire and that it is consistent on there being a limitation without it from the human perspective. Spike can try to meet expectations he doesn't feel/understand without one, but his boundaries are different, fundamentally so. I think having a 'nature' and inherent limitations that influence you are part of the verse. But we know that we just see this differently. I don't think that Spike shouldn't be praised for showing restraint, but the point is that he doesn't actually connect in a 'real' way to the reasons for making the choice he is and so could swing entirely another way in the same scenario on another occasion if his motivations shifted. It's the instability and unreliability in his choices and how he responds to his own motivations that is the problem. It's why there is no reliable basis for his learning what to do, what not to do, and that having a lasting result/impression. It's why he stated with certainty that he didn't hurt Buffy and then proceeded to do exactly that. I think the text specifically explores whether there is an inherent limit and it deliberately answers it with Spike's arc so that it can see him move beyond it.

                            Spike tried to do what you suggest in S6, they considered it and decided that he can't learn because he fundamentally lacks, the character is proven to be limited without his soul and that's the story we got imo. I understand that some don't feel the same or wish that it looked at if differently, but personally I think that weakens the verse overall and the issue then with connecting them to the person who enjoyed all the immense violence that they did before would be hard to push aside. Having Spike fail to draw the lines pulled him inline with the verse and strengthened the distinctions and consistency on souls in relation to vamps. Yes you could instead have remorse emerge, but these are immense acts of violence that brought him great pleasure and so how/why he could do it before and what it says about him that he did becomes a very real part of the story. It would make the character as problematic as Anya is to be honest, and worse without coherence to the human he'd been created with a retcon that I think it would be terrible after 11 seasons to decide to work in. But without that it pulls down the sense of continuity across the character human/vamp/souledvamp too. As it is Spike learned that he had a limit that came with becoming a vampire, is part of that change, and he came to see that he couldn't be what he wanted as he was and so choose to become something else. To do something that he felt could give him the chance to become a better version of himself. It was something he was able to choose and then action, and it wasn't easy to do. I think it is a positive point of self awareness, even if he didn't fully understand what it would mean exactly and how it would work and even if it is saying that he needs something beyond what he currently is to be something 'else', he still had to see/accept that and then put himself on the line to fight for it. S7 then shows that he has to continue to fight aspects of who/what he was, to face them with a new level of understanding just as Angel does. The road isn't smoothly paved and just fixed by becoming souled, it just enables him to develop beyond his own previous limitations.

                            I think we've seen what you're saying would have been interesting to see about him soulless and have had an answer. If the new Boom comics choose to explore the need for the soul differently from the start then I'd be interested to see how they structure and support what they do. But yes, for me, seeing the alternate answer playing out afterwards in canon would have just diminished/pulled down what came before that they addressed once. So I'm just very glad they didn't choose to do that. And hey, we already knew that we don't see this the same, I'm sure both our stances here are of no surprise, and I'm happy to just continuing to disagree on it.

                            All of which is separate to the Grave review. I was intending to check with you when the SR review completed if you were still wanting to withdraw from doing Grave. I'd just like to reiterate that everyone has the right to review as they like, say what they think, because we wouldn't have to agree then just as we aren't agreeing now.

                            Re: Rudy - Spike isn't subject to human laws as Faith and Buffy could possibly be for having killed Rudy, but he is judged by his actions by the slayers. Both Buffy and Faith were complicit to him doing as Rudy had requested, I can't remember them trying to stop him, so they were morally involved in it being an acceptable choice imo, even if they didn't feel able to do it themselves. Not being able to take someone's life even if they want you to is understandable. As is Spike finding it easier or feeling very clearly different to someone requesting their life be ended when he has so many memories of taking life by force. With it being possible for vamp bites to be pleasurable, stated unambiguously by Angel to Willow in S9 and supported by some examples through the seasons, it was arguably even more of a mercy for Spike to do what Rudy wanted. I think Buffy leaving Ben alive was more questionable on a moral level.

                            Arrrgh, I've not done anything I'm supposed to be doing today so I'm going to berate myself and get on with what I should be!!
                            Last edited by Stoney; 24-04-19, 03:48 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Stoney:

                              Arrrgh, I've not done anything I'm supposed to be doing today so I'm going to berate myself and get on with what I should be!!
                              Ha-ha - I have - I've finished my marking. I'm feeling really, really smug about it! As a reward, I'm gonna watch Antman and Wasp which has just come through the letter-box! I'll PM you!

                              flow: how are you reading that BarbC fic? Seems to me the situation is very similar to the Rudi one.

                              a) he carries on fighting; b) he takes the decision out of her hands. I'm reading it as paradoxical.
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