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Lies My Parents Told Me

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  • Lies My Parents Told Me

    This is a controversial episode that tends to splits the fandom. I don't have a lot of sympathy for Robin, they're in the middle of a war and his vendetta should wait till after they've won. Spike isn't the same person that killed Wood's mother. Nikki knew what her job was and knew that one day she'd wouldn't be coming home, it just happened to be Spike that killed her. I think she would be angry at Wood for going after Spike, because for her the mission was everything and beating The First is the mission and she'd want Wood to concentrate on that.

    How do people feel about Spike, Wood and Giles in this episode? Should Spike have left Nikki's duster for Robin or was it simply the spoils of war going to the victor? Does your sympathy lie mainly with Wood or with Spike? How do you feel about Buffy's response? Do you have sympathy with Giles? I'd really like to hear your views.

  • #2
    I do think Spike is too callous towards Robin and takes it too far after he regains control. But I do also think that his anger is understandable as Robin, who openly acknowledged Spike wasn't the monster who had killed his mum any longer, deliberately took away Spike's control by triggering him. I find both their responses and feelings are understandable, and neither of them come out of it smelling of roses.

    I think the fact that Spike had rejected wearing the coat when souled and clearly wanted to turn away from the connections it held matters a lot in coming to accept his choice to wear it again. He didn't relish the fight any more souled and the urge for violence is connected to the demon within that is suppressed now by the soul, and that part within was what the coat represented to him then. There was an immediacy of need, a pressure established in Get It Done, which showed Spike's choice to go and get the coat to specifically be about giving himself that connection. He was being told he wasn't being as effective as needed in the fight and the coat was used to fix that. LMPTM then gives what I'm sure is an intentional mirroring in Spike connecting to that side of himself through wearing the coat again, having to overrule who he is souled, and Robin's desire to draw the monster out too in openly admitting he was overruling who Spike is now by using the trigger. Importantly, in continuation to this, there is also then the very deliberate framing of Spike's choice to wear the coat and to continue to keep wearing it despite learning who Robin is, against Buffy's and Nikki's message that it is the mission that matters. In this way I think you are probably right that Nikki would be supportive of Spike doing what was needed to pull his big boy pants on and be the most useful he could be to the fight, but I don't think she would be angry at her son, I think she'd probably just feel desperately sad for him.

    Image is a consistent character theme for Spike and his insecurities are often exposed this way. That he has a need for props to create a persona and allow himself to connect with something he feels fundamentally separate to now is a result of a personal weakness, but it is a consistent character trait and it is still about him setting aside other considerations, both his own and Robin's, but for the greater good. I really can understand why some fans don't like Spike wearing it and continuing to wear it, but I just have to agree to disagree because I think the show adequately covers how wearing the coat is a choice that goes against what Spike wants and it explains why he does it anyway. For me especially, framing it against Nikki's choice to put the mission first really underlines that this is about him choosing to take up the mantle which can now be what the coat represents too and put himself fully, emotionally and physically, on the line for the mission.

    When it comes to Giles I find it hard to fully reason through where he was coming from in trying to overrule Buffy's authority and going behind her back. Could there be some of the trauma from S2 and Jenny's death playing its part in his desire to break Buffy's attachment to another souled vampire or in siding with someone who was directly connected to a victim of their unsouled actions? His conversation with Buffy could be indicative that he is fearing that her emotional connection puts her at greater risk and, like her sacrifice for Dawn, she could make choices that he doesn't want to see her make. I'll be interested in particular to see how others see the Giles aspect.
    Last edited by Stoney; 11-02-18, 09:55 PM.

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    • #3
      Stoney I agree Spike felt he needed a connection to the demon to be able to fight, which is why he wore the coat, but I think that just as importantly Buffy was the one asking him to return to being a fighter, even a killer. I think Spike would only have worn the coat again because it was Buffy asking him to be something he couldn't be without the coat. I don't think he'd have done it otherwise, no matter how badly the war was going.

      I'd never considered Giles feeling trauma over Jenny's death being the reason he colluded with Wood. I think he probably did feel some guilt, as he encouraged Buffy and Angel's relationship. I wonder if the First ever visited Giles as Jenny, although he never spoke of it, it would seem odd that Giles was the only person who wasn't visited by The First (in my fanfic addled brain The First/Jenny definitely visited Giles and warned him against Spike )

      It is difficult to understand Giles' reasoning, because Buffy had made decisions without him before, and back in S4 he felt she had outgrown him and of course he left in S6, wanting her to stand on her own two feel and not rely on him. I think Spike is the biggest difference in Buffy's life, so that must play a part in Giles' feelings, and also for the first time he has an ally in Wood, another man who has a similar hatred for vampires, and for Spike in particular. I don't think Giles would have moved against Spike if Wood hadn't been in the picture.

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      • #4
        I understand both Wood and Spike and I feel sympathy for both of them. I feel that Wood is more in the wrong, he is acting as a vigilante. And I guess a slayer is a vigilante and that is what has been modelled for him by his mother but at the same time this is exactly why we have law courts and judges, to take the emotion out of punishment. He may not agree with Buffy putting Spike on her team but she's the judge, jury and executioner and if he couldn't accept it he should have left. The person who makes me the angriest in this episode is Giles. He can counsel Buffy and try and steer her but he left and she's been a grown up slayer for a long time. She sees the bigger picture and to go behind her back was simply unconscionable.


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        • #5
          Spike had every right to defend himself but his comments about Nikki were foul. Not only did he have no right to speak for the woman he killed, or tell her son that she never really loved him, but the wider implications of what he is saying about working mothers in general ("not enough to quit though, was it?") are pretty gross. Telling Wood that, unlike him, Spike had a mother who "loved him back", is beyond cruel and extremely unfair to Nikki. It's also extremely unfair to Buffy.

          Spike doesn't "know Slayers." He barley interacted with Kendra, at this point he doesn't even know that he's met Faith, he murdered Xin Rong without understanding a word she says and completely misses the fact that her mother is the very last thing she thinks about, and he didn't even know Nikki had a son until mere moments ago. Spike doesn't know them. It's complete bullshit. Buffy is the only Slayer he knew on a personal level and Slayers are not a monolith. In fact, if anything, I think this episode proves without a doubt that Spike knows very little about Slayers at all if he truly believes that by accepting their mission, it means that they love the people around them any less. It was Buffy's love for Willow in Prophecy Girl that made Buffy embrace her mission and selflessly sacrifice herself.

          Wood was absolutely wrong to try and kill Spike. He knowingly played right into the hand's of The First and I agree that on some level he knows that Spike has changed which is why he triggers the demon within. His thirst for vengeance has blinded him to reason and he's selfishly putting himself before the world. However, I think Spike comes across as really loathsome in that scene not only in his baseless and unfair critique of Nikki as a mother, or his vindictiveness towards a man who's life he ruined, but by saying he doesn't "give a piss" about Nikki. It isn't a "game." She was a person. Just like Buffy was a person when Spike fell to his knees and wept over her death in The Gift. We'd spent season seasons watching Buffy juggle her life as a Slayer with her hopes, passions and aspirations as a young woman with so much life yet to live. Joss ended the series with Buffy's face broadening into a smile as she pondered for the first time the future that awaited her ā€“ and it's that future that Spike snuffed out in Nikki.

          Nikki's death was a tragedy. I've always been disturbed at the moral relativism it takes to dismiss it as a "game" or some kind of fair death because she was a Slayer and died by a vampire. Even if I bought into that, which I don't, Spike made it his obsessive mission to hunt down Slayers and kill them for sport. Spike's fixation on Slayers was akin to Angelus' obsession with his victims and "it made them different from other beasts."

          I also find the leather coat grotesque. Frankly, I don't care what it means for Spike or why he needs it to connect to his inner fighter. I guess my pretty radical interpretation of that is... who cares? Since when do the murderer's feelings take precent over the victim's family? It belongs to Robin. It was his mothers and Spike stole it from her when he stripped it from her dead body. It'll never not be gross that he has, frankly, the audacity to wear it in front of her son.
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          • #6
            Spike had every right to defend himself but his comments about Nikki were foul. Not only did he have no right to speak for the woman he killed, or tell her son that she never really loved him, but the wider implications of what he is saying about working mothers in general ("not enough to quit though, was it?") are pretty gross. Telling Wood that, unlike him, Spike had a mother who "loved him back", is beyond cruel and extremely unfair to Nikki. It's also extremely unfair to Buffy.
            I don't think Spike was talking about working women, he was talking about Slayers and I think he was right. We saw Buffy try to quit in S1 but there is no quitting for a Slayer.

            Spike doesn't "know Slayers."
            I have to disagree here. I think Spike understands the Slayer mentality perhaps more than they understand themeselves. He's lived a long time, he's studied his enemy and he is an intuitive character anyway. He intuits about the demon inside the Slayers, which they don't know about themselves until Buffy learns the truth in S7.

            I agree that on some level he knows that Spike has changed which is why he triggers the demon within.
            It's not just 'on some level', Wood knows definitely Spike is not the same person and even says so. He is deliberately triggering the demon because he knows killing the soulled Spike is wrong.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Priceless View Post
              I don't think Spike was talking about working women, he was talking about Slayers and I think he was right. We saw Buffy try to quit in S1 but there is no quitting for a Slayer.
              The implication is there whether he was talking about them or not. He criticises Nikki for not quitting her, as Buffy once said, "pesky life and death job that [she] can't quit or even take a break from", and claims that it's proof that Nikki didn't love her son, unlike his "housebound mum". That's a pretty ugly and unfair commentary on women who dare to have aspirations outside of motherhood or of women who don’t have a choice and have to work as in Nikki's case.

              I don't see how S1 proves him right, either. Spike claims that Nikki "didn't love her son enough to quit" and sees it as an indictment against Slayers that they prioritize the mission. However, in S1 it is Buffy's love for Willow that makes her change her mind about quitting and decide to face the Master, thus proving that a Slayer fulfils her duty out of immense love for people, not the opposite as Spike claimed.

              I have to disagree here. I think Spike understands the Slayer mentality perhaps more than they understand themeselves. He's lived a long time, he's studied his enemy and he is an intuitive character anyway. He intuits about the demon inside the Slayers, which they don't know about themselves until Buffy learns the truth in S7.
              How does he study his enemy, though? He couldn't understand Xin Rong and if he had he'd have known that her mother was the very last thing she thought about (thus proving him wrong once again). He knew nothing about Kendra or Faith besides his brief interactions with them or what Buffy had told him. He apparently knew so little about Nikki that he wasn't even aware that she had a son. And despite watching Buffy in Schoolhard, he's taken for complete surprise when her mother comes to her rescue ("A Slayer with family and friends. That sure as hell wasn't in the brochure"). We see Spike studying Buffy's battle technique in Halloween but we never see him study her in any meaningful way and even after studying her fight, she kicks his ass more convincingly in that episode than perhaps any other in the series.

              And, again, what he says about Nikki (and by extension Buffy) is proven wrong. Not only he is projecting his extremely unhealthy and co-dependant relationship with his own mother onto them (and therefore judging them to a standard that nobody should want to be judged to because his relationship with his own mother was neither positive or helpful for a man of his age) but Buffy proved him wrong in Prophecy Girl, and again in The Gift when her love for Dawn compelled her to "do the work she had to do", or even in this very episode when Buffy slips into Dawn's room at night and tenderly strokes her face as she sleeps – thus undercutting the hardened, 'the mission comes first', attitude she was trying to front to Giles.

              Spike's assessment of Slayers ("the rest of us be damned") is a damning and unfair interpretation of Buffy. This episode actually convinces me that Spike understands Buffy much less than he thinks he does (or I thought he did prior to this episode) rather than that Spike has any real meaningful insight into Slayers. And I really don't think Spike has any claim to know Kendra, Faith, Nikki or Xin Rong better than they know themselves from the extremely little time spent with them.

              It's not just 'on some level', Wood knows definitely Spike is not the same person and even says so. He is deliberately triggering the demon because he knows killing the soulled Spike is wrong.
              I don't believe Wood knows killing Spike is wrong. I believe Wood thinks it is completely justified and if anything, I think what Spike says to him at the end of the episode only convinces Wood even more of that ("Don't delude yourself, Buffy. That man still exists"). It's a deliberate script choice to have Spike echo to Wood exactly what soulless Spike said to Nikki -- "I don't want the game to end so soon. Do you, Nikki? Fun's just gettin' started"/"I don't give a piss about your mum. She was a Slayer and I was a vampire. That's the way the game is played" Which isn't to say I think ensouled Spike is just as bad as soulless Spike but simply that, like Angel/Angelus, there's still darkness in there.

              I think Wood wanted to face the monster because Wood wasn't interested in facing a man who, as far as Wood believes, is pretending to be something different than he really is. Wood sees it as not just a lie but an inconvenient and unsatisfying lie. Wood wanted to face the animalistic, monster laid-bare to satisfy his vengeance. Which absolutely isn't right but I don't think Wood really believes that. I think Wood knows he is doing something wrong by playing into The First's hands, though.
              Last edited by vampmogs; 12-02-18, 10:40 AM.
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              • #8
                The implication is there whether he was talking about them or not. He criticises Nikki for not quitting her, as Buffy once said, "pesky life and death job that [she] can't quit or even take a break from", and claims that it's proof that Nikki didn't love her son, unlike his "housebound mum". That's a pretty ugly and unfair commentary on women who dare to have aspirations outside of motherhood or of women who don’t have a choice and have to work as in Nikki's case.
                William's mum was dying. I think he'd swap that for a healthy mum who went out to work. I honestly do not think Spike was making a judgement on all women or all working women. Spike loves women, he finds more comfort, friendship, respect and love in them then he ever does in any male friendship, both as William and Spike. The woman he falls in love with is a working woman and he shows incredible respect for her both as a woman and for the job she does.

                My point about season one was that you believe Spike is talking about working women and that slaying is a job, well on one level it is, but on another it's so much more and one that you cannot quit. Slaying is not a job, it's a calling, you are specially chosen, Spike knows that, therefore he cannot be criticising Nikki for doing her 'job'. What Spike is saying is that all slayers put the mission above all else and Robin would do better just to accept that, as Spike has done. He knows that loving the slayer means always being second, even if she loves him back. He's saying that as a man we must accept that we cannot ever be the most important thing to the woman that is slayer. I think he did Robin a favour by spelling it out to him so brutally.

                Fool For Love was all about how Spike understood slayers. Buffy goes to him to learn about herself. To say Spike doesn't understand slayers is to partially misunderstand Spike's nature. Yes he is reckless, but he does his research. His understanding of slayers is rocked in School Hard when he's faced with a slayers mother, that goes against everything the knows and it's a shock to him, but we are told that Buffy is like no other previous slayer, so this goes to prove he knows slayers.

                I agree there is still darkness within Spike once he has a soul, he's still the same person. But Wood is an educated intelligent man, he knows in this verse that if you have a soul you are treated differently and considered to be different then if you are soulless. The fact that he and Giles have to collude in secret about his plan must have at least given him a clue that what he was planning would be considered wrong by the majority, or why not be open about it? If Wood was compeletly sincere about his beliefs and feelings, he should have openly said to the group 'Spike killed my mum, I am going to kill him', but he didn't because he knew he was doing something wrong. They had to keep Buffy busy and out of the way, if you have to do that, it's another clue that what you are doing is wrong and you know it.

                I do have some sympathy with Wood. A vampire killed his mother. It's horrible. But his mother was a soldier in a war, every night she faced death and one night if found her. Maybe Wood got some personal satisfaction at Spike sacrificing himself at the end of the season.

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                • #9
                  I've never really considered that Robin didn't fully believe in what he was saying about knowing souled Spike is not the person that had killed his mum. But I don't think it makes much of a difference really. Even if he was convinced there is a greater connection to the unsouled person still, the fact that he knows he is going to have to override who Spike is now to access that side acknowledges clearly that who he wants to face isn't who is in front of him. So he knows, he just doesn't care. Angel and Spike definitely still struggle with the demon that is still a part of who they are when souled, it is very literally still within them and they still have demonic drives. But they are fundamentally different when souled and so I don't think it's right to simply say they are the same person. There is continuity for sure, but there is also a very meaningful difference as neither of them would commit the same acts that they did unsouled.

                  I do have sympathy for Robin, he's angry, hurt and wants revenge. But I think the episode means to draw the parallels between Robin and Spike both calling forth that side of him and Spike and Nikki putting their own personal wants secondary to the mission. I really do understand why people don't like Spike keeping the coat but I think the tie to him putting aside his own want to not wear it again in order to give all he can to follow the mission matters, for me anyway. And as much as Robin may want to focus on that connection to the person that killed his mum still residing within Spike because the soul which overrules/suppresses the demon doesn't eradicate it, he knows that if the truth of the distinction wasn't important/meaningful that he wouldn't need the trigger and Spike would have killed him for what he did.

                  I'm not totally sure myself that Spike believes everything he is saying to Robin and it isn't in part about hitting back because of what Robin has tried to do to him and also about trying to retain that distance from who he was and what he'd done unsouled. He definitely tries to handle his redemption by looking forwards to what he can do and this all plays into using the coat and his attempt to move on from the event Robin has forced on him. There is personal character weaknesses at play in the ways that Spike handles things badly but I do think that overall he is trying to focus on the greater good above himself here, and Robin definitely isn't. But then I return to feeling that I understand why Robin doesn't care.

                  Spike is very newly souled and struggling with that, he doesn't need this violent reminder of his unsouled past, but he is needlessly cruel and callous about how hard it must be for Robin. Robin is grieving and is driven by his emotional pain but is knowingly violating who Spike is now and despite the role he is trying to take. Neither of them come out of it smelling of roses.
                  Last edited by Stoney; 12-02-18, 02:33 PM.

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                  • #10
                    I actually like Spike's "teaching" of Robin, i.e. the over-the-top beatdown. For the most part, the message he is communicating is how easily he could kill him, so that the fact that he doesn't carries more weight with Robin even if it's layered in humiliation. The thing I think most reminds me of Spike in this whole situation is Budd in "Kill Bill, Vol 2" -- "that woman deserves her vengeance. And we, we deserve to die. But then again so does she." Which is not to say that Robin deserves to die -- Spike certainly didn't think so -- but Spike seems pretty congenial about the fact that Robin was not wrong to want to kill him for it. Spike doesn't play Buffy's petulant shell-game that she uses on Angel and also on Spike to some game, of pretending that "soul" and "no soul" are two different cats completely. HE killed Nikki, it was the way of the world, Slayer, vampire, and it makes total sense that Robin would want revenge. And hell, I'm not sure I disagree as I type with with Spike's point about Nikki not walking away from it for him. It's certainly possible. Would be an interesting question to ask Nikki if someone hadn't snapped her neck.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Priceless View Post
                      William's mum was dying. I think he'd swap that for a healthy mum who went out to work.
                      Ehh, I'm actually not so convinced about that myself. I certainly don't think he was happy she was dying but I think there's some legitimate truths to what Vampire!Anne said when she accused him of relishing the fact that his housebound mum was "captive" to his attentions. Spike's relationship with his mother was extremely unhealthy. He must have been in his late twenties/early thirties and was still sitting by her knee whilst she stroked his hair and sang him lullabies. He made excuses around women because "mother was expecting him" and wanted to bring his mother along on adventures with his exciting new girlfriend. He's projectively massively onto Wood when he compares Anne to Nikki and I don't think he really faces up to the fact how unhealthy and, well, bizarre his relationship with his own mother was (though he's self-aware enough to lie to Giles about it and claim she only sang the songs to him "when [he] was a baby"). In Spike's eyes, considering he had such an intense and all-consuming relationship with his mother, a mother who has to go out and work and has priorities other than just her child probably doesn't sound that appealing at all.

                      Spike loves women, he finds more comfort, friendship, respect and love in them then he ever does in any male friendship, both as William and Spike.
                      I’m sure this isn’t going to be a popular comment amongst Spike fans, but Spike has also referred to women as “sluts”, “bitches” and “bints”, resented and threatened women for not reciprocating his feelings, stalked women and disrespected their boundaries, victim-blamed women for walking home alone at night, and sexually assaulted women. I agree with you that Spike prefers the company of women but the idea that he couldn’t possibly have some sexist or harmful opinions about them isn’t at all farfetched.

                      My point about season one was that you believe Spike is talking about working women and that slaying is a job, well on one level it is, but on another it's so much more and one that you cannot quit. Slaying is not a job, it's a calling, you are specially chosen, Spike knows that, therefore he cannot be criticising Nikki for doing her 'job'. What Spike is saying is that all slayers put the mission above all else and Robin would do better just to accept that, as Spike has done. He knows that loving the slayer means always being second, even if she loves him back. He's saying that as a man we must accept that we cannot ever be the most important thing to the woman that is slayer. I think he did Robin a favour by spelling it out to him so brutally.
                      I think you've romanticised Spike's speech a bit here. What Spike actually says is "See, unlike you, I had a mother who LOVED ME BACK." He's not saying that Wood simply didn't come first. Or that Nikki had other priorities but it didn't mean she didn't love Wood. He explicitly tells Wood that Nikki did not love him back. When Wood protests Spike digs the heel in deeper, claiming that if she had, it'd have been enough to quit. He then proceeds to generalise all Slayers and claim "the rest of us be damned" and that Nikki was "no different."

                      Fool For Love was all about how Spike understood slayers. Buffy goes to him to learn about herself.
                      Fool For Love was all about Spike thinking he knows Slayers and being an unreliable narrator. The story he is telling Buffy is not the story the audience is actually seeing ("What can I tell you baby, I've always been bad"/ "In order to do that I had to get myself a gang"). Everything Spikes says in that episode should be taken with a grain of salt. He's lying to himself and he's lying to Buffy.

                      And Buffy doesn't go to Spike to learn about herself. She goes to Spike to learn about how he killed Slayers and why they lost in battle. A bemused Spike isn't off the mark when he says that she was essentially hoping for a "a blow-by-blow description that she could map out and memorise." Buffy certainly didn't go to Spike so he could psychoanalyse her.

                      His understanding of slayers is rocked in School Hard when he's faced with a slayers mother, that goes against everything the knows and it's a shock to him, but we are told that Buffy is like no other previous slayer, so this goes to prove he knows slayers.
                      If he knew Nikki at all it actually wouldn't shock him that a Slayer could have family and friends because Nikki had a family too. Which is actually my point. Spike can't claim to know Nikki when he doesn't know something as basic about her that she's a mother. He had no idea! What brilliant insight could he offer about someone whom he knows so little about? He can't claim to know Xin Rong when the episode actually makes a point of showing that he couldn't even understand her. Spike may know the most basic general mythos behind a Slayer ("She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness") but that hardly gives him an insight into the psyche of a Slayer. And why would it? Slayers are not a monolith. They may share things in common but they're all individual women who are completely different from one another. Buffy's issues are not Faith's issues. Kendra's issues are not Buffy's issues. To pretend they're all the same and to make sweeping generalisations about how they think and behave is pretty illogical.
                      Last edited by vampmogs; 13-02-18, 09:28 AM.
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                      • #12
                        You want my take on it? Well I think Spike was doing what he always did when he's being attacked and thats retaliate with both fists and his words. He's always known how to injure with them both and so this was just another classic example of that.

                        Was he right in doing so? Yes and no. Yes he was being extremely rude and hurtful making these sweeping statements about the son of the mother he killed whilst souless, but at the same time his life was being threatened by this man, and so he's not just going to lie down and accept that even though Wood has the moral high ground.

                        The stakes were too high at this point and so he had to survive both for himself and Buffy.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                          Ehh, I'm actually not so convinced about that myself. I certainly don't think he was happy she was dying but I think there's some legitimate truths to what Vampire!Anne said when she accused him of relishing the fact that his housebound mum was "captive" to his attentions. Spike's relationship with his mother was extremely unhealthy. He must have been in his late twenties/early thirties and was still sitting by her knee whilst she stroked his hair and sang him lullabies.
                          Wasn't Spike comforting his Mother because she was dying (seriously ill) it felt to me that the mother was trying to calm the situations down because well she just did cough up blood singing is so therapeutic. I wouldn't call that an unhealthy relationship quite the opposite actually.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by buffylover View Post
                            Wasn't Spike comforting his Mother because she was dying (seriously ill) it felt to me that the mother was trying to calm the situations down because well she just did cough up blood singing is so therapeutic. I wouldn't call that an unhealthy relationship quite the opposite actually.
                            At the time (and even today, to be honest) it would have been considered very abnormal for a man of Spike's age to still be living at home with his mother with no wife or family of his own. Yes, Spike is also interested in Cecily, but then there's moments like this;

                            ANNE
                            She's lovely. And you shouldn't be
                            alone. You need a woman in your life.

                            He looks at her.

                            WILLIAM
                            I have a woman in my life.


                            That are... pretty odd.

                            Then, you have the moment later in the episode when Dru is pretty stunned and not at all amused that Spike wants to bring his mother along with them;

                            DRUSILLA
                            Three?

                            WILLIAM
                            You, me and Mother. We'll open their
                            veins and bathe in their blood as
                            they scream our names across the--
                            (off her look)
                            What?

                            DRUSILLA
                            (squinting at him)
                            You-- You want to bring your mother
                            with us?


                            How many men (or their new girlfriends for that matter) want to have mum around cramping up their style when they just get a new girlfriend?

                            They'd already hinted at Spike's somewhat strange relationship with Anne in Fool For Love ("mother'll be expecting me" - it could be a joke line taken straight from the page of The Simpsons anytime there was a scene of Principal Skinner/his mother Edna) and it's all a buildup to this pretty twisted moment later in the episode;

                            ANNE
                            God, how I prayed you'd find a woman
                            to release me. But you scarcely
                            showed an interest. Who could
                            compare to your doddering, housebound
                            mum? A captive audience for your
                            witless prattle?ANNE (cont'd)
                            All you ever wanted was to be back
                            inside. And you finally got your
                            wish, didn't you? Sank your teeth
                            into me, an eternal kiss-

                            WILLIAM
                            No. I only wanted to make you well.

                            Now she grows darkly seductive. Moving closer still.

                            ANNE
                            You wanted your hands on me. Perhaps
                            you'd like to finish what you
                            started, hum?


                            Where his mother, now a vampire, literally comes onto him and accuses Spike of being romantically and sexually in love with her. Now, don't get me wrong, I am NOT saying I think William actually wanted to have sex with his mother but it clearly wasn't a completely healthy relationship and Vampire!Anne was able to exploit that fact to hurt Spike.

                            It's admirable that William cared for his mother so much but it wasn't healthy that he couldn't spread his wings and find independence from her. Yes she was sick, but even after he sired her he couldn't bare to leave her side and she resented him for that. The writers even state that they deliberately named his mother "Anne" because it was Buffy's middle name and that they found an actress that resembled SMG/Buffy. So... yeah.
                            Last edited by vampmogs; 13-02-18, 11:39 AM.
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                            • #15
                              Spike was deliberately trying to hurt Wood, which is why I'm not completely convinced he really believes everything he says to him and he has certainly just been goaded into being brutal. Even though I do think that he is too cruel, I can understand where he is coming from there and then. Just as I can understand why Robin didn't care that he was having to force Spike to be something he wasn't any longer. I don't agree with either's behaviour.

                              I have to say that I agree with vampmogs that Spike has some issues in the expectations he has of the women that he becomes emotionally tied to. Soulless and selfish he fixates and obsesses and we see him angry and frustrated when his regard isn't returned, a violent response rather than William's upset, but both are still originating from his own wants/needs. When he is souled he still fixates on those he cares for, but his expectations of responses becomes less unhealthy and certainly loses the drive which can steer him towards selfish violent acts. It is hard to say with his mum where the lines crossed on dependency. How much did Anne hold William back from maturing by pandering to his image of himself? How much was he driven to try to keep her with him out of concern for her health against his own emotional neediness? I think there was care/love between them definitely, but looking objectively at it they probably both didn't help structure the relationship in the healthiest way. A lot of these aspects of emotional dependence which originated in William and which souled Spike shows (and has been somewhat maturing on and working through) were unsurprisingly very negatively evidenced in Spike when he was unsouled. I'm sure he didn't enter the bathroom with the aim of assaulting Buffy but it was, just like in Crush, about trying to force something he was being told wasn't wanted. Although he does often speak of women in disrespectful terms, I don't think of Spike as misogynistic in that he does also show specific regard and appreciation for the women he cares for. He isn't prejudiced against females as a gender and shows that he can appreciate Buffy's leadership and strength. However, unsouled some of the attitudes he displays shows disregard for the rights of the women he cares for to not care for him or not respond as he wants of them and he oversteps boundaries repeatedly.

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