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Why Buffy didn’t kill Spike in Season 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7?

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  • #16
    Also, even after everything he just did, I just can’t imagine how they could possibly shoot a scene of her staking him without it not looking pretty dark as long as he couldn’t/wouldn’t put up a fight
    The same way they had her stomp over the hapless Gachnar? I don't recall anyone complaining about the cruel treatment the poor little helpless fear demon got. Or the treatment almost all no name vampires just risen from the grave got - yeah, technically they weren't helpless but generally had about as much chance against Buffy than I would have against a martial arts champion. And in any event the "Out of My Mind" and "Primeval" had proven that Spike was only helpless and harmless in the very narrow technical sense of the word. Kind of like a mob boss in prison - he might not be able to kill anyone with his own two hands but he can order somebody killed. So yeah, plot armor all the way, period.
    Xander: "Willow, you are the best human ever! I adore you! Well, that's the cookies talking, but you rock!"

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    • #17
      Buffy rarely if ever immediately used her most effective weapon on hand to kill a character in their first episode who isn't actually going to die in that episode. It's whacky, I know. In character, I have no problem with Buffy liking a good test, mano a mano, as it were. Notice, it is Spike doing all the bloviating in your intended rebuttal argument, shifty is mostly waiting for the fight to start. In fact, much of their fighting proceeds thusly.

      But, again, the real problem is all the other context that eliminates considering the fantasy as instructive in who Buffy is. It comes back to the point of the thread, which is to go fishing for agreement that the secret inner truth of Buffy is... the Buffybot.

      Consider, though, it does occur to me a realistic reason that Buffy's actual choice, which was to do nothing at all, is consistent in a way. In "Intervention", when Buffy had had done with Spike, she delegated it, there was no personal interest. In "Fool For Love", consider the innuendo-laden exchange at the end, when Spike has mostly shifted the idea of fighting/killing to sex. Now imagine it without the innuendo, just the surface. Spike is telling Buffy someday something will kill her because she wants it to, and Buffy is telling him it will never be him -- he is beneath her. Could be that he was never as much her great nemesis as he aspired to, and in this context, he never could measure up to Angel, not to mention the lady Buffy had just met a couple episodes before. Could be that, as a villain or adversary, Spike was maybe a bit Lindsey to Buffy's Angel, and she didn't go kill him because it wasn't worth the effort. Nobody could argue Spike was a much more significant figure in her life as a tentative ally, lover, friend than he ever was as an opponent.
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      • #18
        Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
        Buffy rarely if ever immediately used her most effective weapon on hand to kill a character in their first episode who isn't actually going to die in that episode. It's whacky, I know. In character, I have no problem with Buffy liking a good test, mano a mano, as it were. Notice, it is Spike doing all the bloviating in your intended rebuttal argument, shifty is mostly waiting for the fight to start. In fact, much of their fighting proceeds thusly.
        I don't really get what your point is here. You claimed that "The non-fantasy Buffy does not typically go after an enemy and stand around chatting it up before attacking." but you didn't offer any evidence, and I offered very strong counter-evidence. I could have listed other examples of Buffy chatting the enemy up before attacking: for starters Welcome to the Hellmouth, when she does just that. Lots of talking and quipping with Darla and the gang. The example from School Hard is particularly striking, however, since she's so much more interested in mano-a-mano than the actual kill that she drops the potentially very useful weapon and suggests a weaponless fight, even though you can't actually kill a vampire that way. You seem to see Buffy Summers as far more pragmatic than she really is. The real Buffy, in fact, at times quite enjoys the fight itself and the "feeble banter portion of the fight". In this case, Spike's bragging and taunting, together with the build-up of Spike's reputation by Angel and Giles, seem to have been a challenge to her and fueled a certain competitive need to prove something. Otherwise she must have been really stupid not to keep that axe and try to take the first opportunity to chop his head off.

        Could be that he was never as much her great nemesis as he aspired to, and in this context, he never could measure up to Angel, not to mention the lady Buffy had just met a couple episodes before.
        Eh? Angel wouldn't have been a great nemesis for Buffy if it weren't for the emotional aspect and the non-fighty mind games - she certainly beat him in Innocence, he admitted himself he couldn't beat her in fight and wasn't even looking to, and right until the big finale fight, he wasn't a great nemesis for his fighting skills. To quote Buffy herself: "The theme is that Angel is too much of a coward to take me on face-to-face" (Becoming I).

        Comparing Spike with Glory is absurd - she's a freaking god. Buffy and co. rarely get to meet one.

        Could be that, as a villain or adversary, Spike was maybe a bit Lindsey to Buffy's Angel, and she didn't go kill him because it wasn't worth the effort. Nobody could argue Spike was a much more significant figure in her life as a tentative ally, lover, friend than he ever was as an opponent.
        In season 5, she might not have seen Spike as much of a threat, but in School Hard she certainly did (see above) and it continues through the rest of season 2 - "I'd rather be fighting you" gets answered with "Mutual". And actually, Spike was a very good match in fights with Buffy whenever he didn't have a chip in his head - unless you want to believe in MikeB's theory that Buffy was holding back every time (but Spike for some reason didn't). Their fight in Smashed was certainly tough and rough and vicious (and much better choreographed and real-looking than the one in School Hard, BTW).

        Regarding the meaningfulness of her put-downs from FFL, I wonder if I'm the only person who ever had the idea that maybe, just maybe, not everything that comes out of Buffy's mouth when she's really pissed off at Spike and coming up with a put-down has to be an absolute 100% truthful representation of her true opinions, and that, generally, people might be prone to exaggeration and not absolutely truthful when they're riled up and trying to say something hurtful and contemptuous during an argument and put the other person in their place.
        Last edited by TimeTravellingBunny; 20-09-12, 08:56 PM.
        You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

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        • #19
          Vampmogs in the first 3 years I am in total agreement it was not the writers intention to even play that angle at all. I just felt as if they were trying to suggest something in Intervention but they ultimately cut that line so I'm guessing its something they didn't want to suggest in the end.
          Bonehead, carrot top, shirty & dope
          the nonsensical vocabulary of Buffy and Spike

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Jack Shaftoe View Post
            The same way they had her stomp over the hapless Gachnar? I don't recall anyone complaining about the cruel treatment the poor little helpless fear demon got.
            Gachnar wasn't a character who Buffy had been interacting with for the past couple of seasons. He hadn't shared an apartment with Giles, a basement with Xander, a Thanksgiving tied to a chair with the gang, the summer watching Passions with Giles. Spike wasn't just some vampire. He was a person to them, a person they may have had found irritating, but a person nonetheless. It is, paraphrasing Willow in Doomed, icky because they know him.

            As disappointing as this may be to the Spike-hating portion of the audience, Buffy isn't so cold blooded that she could just snuff out Spike as if it were just any vampire. Like it or not, she had developed a relationship with him (even if it was contemptuous) and that changes things considerably. And I'd be willing to bet that for the majority of the audience, it would have been unsettling if Buffy had just killed Spike as if he were just a regular demon being squished under the heel of her shoe. He was in the opening credits for crying out loud, you can't just "off" any main character, vampire or not, and just shrug it off like it's just another day at the office. By this point Spike had been elevated to personhood and he was as real to people as the Willow Rosenberg's or Xander Harris's of the show.

            And in any event the "Out of My Mind" and "Primeval" had proven that Spike was only helpless and harmless in the very narrow technical sense of the word. Kind of like a mob boss in prison - he might not be able to kill anyone with his own two hands but he can order somebody killed.
            That's not what I was referring to. I was referring to the fact should this have played out for real, it would have involved us having to watch as Spike just stood there and waited for Buffy to execute him or, worse, Spike start begging and pleading for his life and cowering under Buffy’s stake. I refuse to believe that for anybody who doesn’t loathe the character that this wouldn’t be more unsettling than watching just a regular vampire dusting. It’s one thing to see Buffy kill vampires in battle but it’s another to see her execute a character who literally can’t defend themselves and who we've come to know over the past couple of years. And if it's unsettling for the audience then chances are it would be unsettling for Buffy too. I can't for the life of me work out why people would want her to be this cold, pragmatic and almost ruthless character. Same goes for the Scoobies. The fact Willow can't just leave Spike to commit suicide by stake, or that Buffy can't kill him as long as the chip is in his head, is what makes them so loveable to me. They’d be very different characters and it’d be a very different show if they could, and I can’t say for sure that I would have ever liked it half as much.
            Last edited by vampmogs; 21-09-12, 01:18 AM.
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            • #21
              Call me old-fashioned, but about the one thing Spike could have done -- had Buffy really shown up and (in obviously a much less 'I'm only hesitating because I want you to ravage my body and consume my soul with your dark power' mood than Fantasy!Buffy positively dripped) been prepared to make Spike answer to hand for his actions in that episode -- that would have pretty much guaranteed his death would have been to start begging.

              The one time this scenario plays out in any sort of real way was, of course, "Sleeper", and I think the thing that spares Spike more than anything else is that he didn't beg, didn't protest innocence. He said "do it fast, okay?", and Buffy held. It was only after she held that she shined to the fact that he was being manipulated. But I don't think it would have ever gotten to that point had he been whimpering on the floor that it wasn't his fault, etc.

              I don't know if Suzanne Collins is a "Buffy" fan or if it's just a case of it being an instantly relatable motif in matters of conflict between people, but this is also played out in "The Hunger Games", when
              Spoiler:
              Thresh has just killed Clove and has Katniss unarmed and prone before him -- she doesn't beg or fight or try to justify, she asks only that it be swift, and he spares her. No Rue or anything else would have figured into that decision had Katniss been trying to crawl away or beg for mercy and certainly not trying to defend herself.


              So, yeah, I actually would have had a less difficult time watching Spike crying and pleading get staked than watching him hold himself upright and face her decision about him.
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              • #22
                ^ I agree with you on that, but I can't see Spike begging and pleading for his life. What he might mock them, make jokes about Bob Barker, deliver insults, piss the other person off and/or manipulate them. Or say "Make it quickly" if he thinks he should be killed. But he's not the begging type when it comes to that.
                You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

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                • #23
                  That's not what I was referring to. I was referring to the fact should this have played out for real, it would have involved us having to watch as Spike just stood there and waited for Buffy to execute him or, worse, Spike start begging and pleading for his life and cowering under Buffy’s stake. I refuse to believe that for anybody who doesn’t loathe the character that this wouldn’t be more unsettling than watching just a regular vampire dusting.
                  Good job fighting a strawman. More unsettling than watching some no name vamp being dusted? Sure. "Pretty dark"? Not really, IMO.

                  I can't for the life of me work out why people would want her to be this cold, pragmatic and almost ruthless character.
                  Because some of us would rather not watch such blatant cases of plot armor. And seriously, ruthless? Someone betrays you at least three times, one time while helping the Big Bad slaughter a whole bunch of people and by the way this someone happens to be (as far as you know) metaphysically incapable of being anything but pure evil and yet killing him is considered cold and pragmatic? I beg to differ. Not killing him is incredibly stupid and irresponsible. There is a reason why Spike's behaviour in Out of My Mind is swept under the carpet - because there was really no reason to spare him any more. I know I sound as if I am on my soapbox but I really hate the way the show shrugged off the potential danger so often - forgiveness is a great thing, but gambling the lives of other people on the hope that the loophole in Angel's curse won't be activated, Spike's chip will keep working, Spike's trigger won't be used to make him kill again, Anyaka 2.0 won't grant any murderous wishes, etc. is astonishingly irresponsible. If Buffy were a real life superhero and people learned about all this, do you think many would say "Forgiveness is great, yay Buffy?" instead of "Just what does somebody needs to do for Buffy to realize they are a danger to society? Apparently even almost destroying the world isn't always a reason to punish them with death". Buffy (and many other characters) often flat out refuse to even consider the very idea of many lives being on the line if Spike, Angel, Willow, Anya, Faith, etc. go back to their old tricks is what upsets me far more than Buffy going medieval on any "helpless" adversary would. I don't care if the potential (and sometimes not just potential) victims are mostly random red shirts, in my opinion this should always be priority rather than misguided chivalry notions about not killing someone who can't fight back or giving every other murderer out there a million chances to "reform". Buffy is so much not ruthless that to me she comes off as incompetent and uncaring about the people she is supposed to protect compared to the stupendous amount of chances she has given to some of her friends and acquaintances who have done some truly heinous things. Funnily enough when Angel pulled that trick on her in Sanctuary she was livid. I guess forgiveness ain't that easy when the shoe is on the other foot, Buff.

                  By this point Spike had been elevated to personhood and he was as real to people as the Willow Rosenberg's or Xander Harris's of the show.
                  So had the Mayor. Was Buffy blowing him up "pretty dark" too or it's okay if the bad guy we have come to know is in a snake form when that happens?
                  Last edited by Jack Shaftoe; 21-09-12, 03:06 AM.
                  Xander: "Willow, you are the best human ever! I adore you! Well, that's the cookies talking, but you rock!"

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Jack Shaftoe View Post
                    Good job fighting a strawman.
                    What strawman? If you're referring to my "Spike-haters" comment it's hardly a strawman. It's no coincidence that the fans most insistent that Buffy could have killed Spike anywhere and anytime, for the “fun of it” or because of something he did, are the fans who just so happen to hate or dislike him.

                    More unsettling than watching some no name vamp being dusted? Sure. "Pretty dark"? Not really.
                    Yes, dark, IMO. But I don't think I have ever seen you concede it would at the very least be more unsettling so we've finally reached a middle ground of sorts.

                    Because some of us would rather not watch such blatant cases of plot armor.
                    I'd take "plot armor" any day then fundamentally changing who Buffy and Willow are, and making them the kind of people not remotely fazed by killing somebody they know. Willow's "Xander, we can't just let him poof himself. It's icky, we know him" is about as sound of a reason I needed to justify Spike's continued presence on the show. Likewise, later in that episode Xander pulls Spike out to safety from the crumbling high school and I always thought that spoke true to the heart of these people. It's why they were the heroes.

                    And seriously, ruthless? Someone betrays you at least three times, one time while helping the Big Bad slaughter a whole bunch of people and by the way this someone happens to be (as far as you know) metaphysically incapable of being anything but pure evil and yet killing him is cold and pragmatic? I beg to differ.
                    Maybe I've misunderstood you, but you seemed to suggest that we could have had the equivalent of the Gachnar-stomping moment between Buffy and Spike and it would have been perfectly justified and just as easy to watch. That is what I believe you were getting at as you quoted a part of my post where I talked about the difficulty the writers would have coming up with a scene where Buffy slays a defenseless Spike without it being disturbing for the viewer? If I’m correct then, yes, that would be turning Buffy into a particularly ruthless character. As I said, despite what he’s done she also knows him on a far more intimate level. He’d shared houses with at least two of the Scoobies, he had watched Passions with Giles, he ended up spending Thanksgiving dinner with them etc. He’s a person to her. If Buffy could just turn around and stake him with the same ease that she stomped down Gachnar then that’s a coldness and a ruthlessness that I don’t believe she is capable of. And I’m glad.

                    I admired that Buffy would wait for a fight. This is very clear when she thinks Spike's chip has been removed and she says "means I get to kill you." What I love about Selfless is that on some level I think Anya totally recongised this as well. I always thought that Anya wanted to loose that fight and that she wanted to be slain as punishment for her crimes. It's why she's so angry that Xander keeps trying to intervene ("stop trying to save me Xander!") and why she looks almost willing to die when Buffy raises the sword on her for the second time. But she knows that she has to attack to make it easier on Buffy. She has to battle because she knows that Buffy wants that person to fight back, it's not her nature to just stand there and execute somebody asking to be killed. So Anya gives her that fight.

                    Not killing him is incredibly stupid and irresponsible. There is a reason why Spike's behaviour in Out of My Mind is swept under the carpet - because there was really no reason to spare him any more. I know I sound as if I am on my soapbox but I really hate the way the show shrugged off the potential danger - forgiveness is great thing, gambling the lives of other people on the hope that the loophole in Angel's curse won't be activated, Spike's chip will keep working, Spike's trigger won't be used to make him kill again, Anyank 2.0 won't grant any murderous wishes and will "merely turn people into Frenchmen isntead of frogs is incredibly irresponsible. If Buffy were a real life superhero and people learned about al lthis, do you think many would say "Forgiveness is great, yay Buffy?" instead of "Just what does somebody needs to do for Buffy to realize they are a danger to society"?
                    You may think Buffy's forgiveness is "stupid and irresponsible" but you ignore all the amazingly positive consequences that it has had. If she'd been as "pragmatic" with Spike as you'd hoped she had been, he'd have never turned out to be the hero that he becomes. He'd never have been there to save the world in Chosen. If she had killed Angel because his curse had a loophole (which would be utterly disturbing, if you ask me) he wouldn’t have been there to save Xander from Faith, to get the demon heart to cure Buffy, to save Cordelia from Russell Winters, to save Buffy from the Chumash spirit, to save countless people in LA, to save Fred from being executed in Pylea, to prevent time from stopping, to save Buffy from Caleb, to hand over the amulet in Chosen etc. Anya heroically died fighting for humanity on the frontline of an apocalyptic war. More often than not Buffy made a gamble and it has paid off. It's one thing to argue at the time that Buffy was being irresponsible but it's another to keep insisting all these years later that, despite seeing Spike evolve into the hero he become, and despite seeing him sacrifice himself to save the world, Buffy still made the wrong choice all those years ago and you still would have preferred it if she had killed him.

                    So had the Mayor. Was Buffy blowing him up "pretty dark" too or it's okay if the bad guy we have come to know is in a snake form when that happens?
                    Huh? How is The Mayor even remotely comparable? If you're looking at it from a Watsion perspective it's not the same because the Scoobies never became attached to the Mayor. Not like they did with Spike even if they found him extremely aggravating. The only person who did was Faith and the show actually did respect her sadness over his death in the video message scene in This Years Girl. And from a Doylist perspective it's not the same because The Mayor was never added to the credits as a main character and we weren't being asked to grow attached to him.
                    Last edited by vampmogs; 21-09-12, 03:47 AM.
                    "The earth is doomed!" - Banner by Nina

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                    • #25
                      Buffy isn't perfect, and that's the way it should be. She can be selfish and rash and stubborn just like every other real person. If I wanted her to be Superman, I'd watch Superman.
                      I know if it came down to me saving my mother or saving 20 strangers, I'd pick my mother every time. Buffy treating her family differently is realistic and understandable. I'd be annoyed if she ignored those feelings to be some "perfect slayer" that acts only in the interest of protecting the greatest number of people possible.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by vampmogs View Post

                        Huh? How is The Mayor even remotely comparable? If you're looking at it from a Watsion perspective it's not the same because the Scoobies never became attached to the Mayor. Not like they did with Spike even if they found him extremely aggravating. The only person who did was Faith and the show actually did respect her sadness over his death in the video message scene in This Years Girl. And from a Doylist perspective it's not the same because The Mayor was never added to the credits as a main character and we weren't being asked to grow attached to him.
                        You missed the main difference - that the Mayor was a snake demon in the process of trying to destroy Sunnydale and kill everyone, not a helpless chap unable to defend himself, so I'm pretty confused why the comparison was even made?
                        You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Foyboy View Post
                          I know if it came down to me saving my mother or saving 20 strangers, I'd pick my mother every time. Buffy treating her family differently is realistic and understandable. I'd be annoyed if she ignored those feelings to be some "perfect slayer" that acts only in the interest of protecting the greatest number of people possible.
                          Totally agree. She wouldn't be as remotely likable or as human to me. Not to mention that it's always so easy to criticise someone in her position from a distance but if you were in their shoes this level-headedness and pragmatism may suddenly not come as easily to you.

                          Originally posted by TimeTravellingBunny View Post
                          You missed the main difference - that the Mayor was a snake demon in the process of trying to destroy Sunnydale and kill everyone, not a helpless chap unable to defend himself, so I'm pretty confused why the comparison was even made?
                          Well, yeah, there's that to...
                          Last edited by vampmogs; 21-09-12, 03:43 AM.
                          "The earth is doomed!" - Banner by Nina

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                          • #28
                            Willow's "Xander, we can't just let him poof himself. It's icky, we know him" is about as sound of a reason I needed to justify Spike's continued presence on the show. Likewise, later in that episode Xander pulls Spike out to safety from the crumbling high school and I always thought that spoke true to the heart of these people. It's why they were the heroes.
                            No, they were heroes because they killed the Spikes of their world. Not wanting to kill Spike is one thing (very irresponsible but at least understandable) but feeling bad because he wants to kill himself? I call plot armor.

                            Let's say Spike's chip stopped working and he killed thousands more people in the future - would you still be willing to call Willow and Xander heroes for saving him back then and thinking the chip would last forever? Personally, I would call such behaviour criminally stupid negligence. And this goes for characters I love, like say Vamp!Willow. Sending her back to her dimension was indescribably stupid, IMO. "Oh, she is going to continue murdering people for all we know, but why should we care if it's another dimension"? Harmony is murdering people? That's okay, she is funny so we will never bother to you know, try to stake her. Who cares about the red shirts, after all?

                            You may think Buffy's forgiveness is "stupid and irresponsible" but you ignore all the amazingly positive consequences that it has had.
                            And you ignore all the contrivances needed for that like Anya miraculously "growing" a conscience and D'Hoffryn being willing to resurrect her latest victims, the First miraculously refusing to take advantage of his "sleeper" agent and have Spike kill everyone in the house, etc. Of course there were going to be positive consequences, they couldn't very well have Spike use that gun in Fool For Love to actually kill Buffy, could they? Let's face it, the odds of giving Angel, Spike, Anya, Faith, etc. those millions of chances blowing in Buffy's face were much higher than it all working out for the better. It's pretty much like putting al l your money on lottery ticket s than saying this was a great plan after winning the lottery instead of losing all your money. Moreover, in-story it's rarely acknowledged as the irresponsible gamble with people's lives that it is, it's generally presented as a great thing to do. Judging by the reactions to Angel's arc in "Angel and Faith", people are getting tired of this mantra, but IMO his case is merely more blatant than all the other "redemption" stories in the verse but not really any different in its inherent stupidity and lack of care for the victims compared to the coddling of the murderers. It's easy to go for the magical third option or infinite forgiveness on TV and rely on blind luck to save your ass from the very likely disastrous consequences. I happen to think this doesn't reflect very well on the characters who do it. Clearly mileage varies.
                            Last edited by Jack Shaftoe; 21-09-12, 03:54 AM.
                            Xander: "Willow, you are the best human ever! I adore you! Well, that's the cookies talking, but you rock!"

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Jack Shaftoe View Post
                              No, they were heroes because they killed the Spikes of their world. Not wanting to kill Spike is one thing (very irresponsible but at least understandable) but feeling bad because he wants to kill himself? I call plot armor.
                              Then we have two fundamentally different versions of Willow Rosenberg. I like mine better

                              Let's say Spike's chip stopped working and he killed thousands more people in the future - would you still be willing to call Willow and Xander heroes for saving him back then and thinking the chip would last forever?
                              Absolutely, yes. They did what was right in the moment. Heroes live as though the world was what it should be, to show it what it can be.

                              And you ignore all the contrivances needed for that like Anya miraculously "growing" a conscience and D'Hoffryn being willing to resurrect her latest victims
                              Erm, what was "miraculous" about Anya growing a conscience? I'd say fighting beside heroes for the past 4 years probably had something to do with that. Along with, as she says, being around humans a lot more and growing to actually like humanity.

                              The First miraculously refusing to take advantage of his "sleeper" agent and have Spike kill everyone in the house, etc.
                              Whatever foolishness Buffy is guilty of, it's that she let Spike walk around unchained in the house or didn't make more of an effort to de-trigger him herself, it's not that she kept him alive. Spike didn’t deserve to die for being brainwashed and he certainly didn’t have to die as long as there were methods out there to cure him like the Prokaryote Stone. People should never resort to killing because it’s easier.

                              Of course there were going to be positive consequences, they couldn't very well have Spike use that gun in Fool For Love to actually kill Buffy, could they?
                              It's a story. There's not a single thing about this story that isn't contrived and written to reach an intended message or goal. If you don't like the message behind this story then, well, I can't help you there, but you pretty much know what you're getting into when you watch a show where you and the writers obviously have fundamentally different views on the world. Complaining about it seems futile. "What ifs" are fun an' all but they don't trump what actually happened. And in this story Buffy's way worked out, sorry *shrugs*

                              Moreover, in-story it's rarely acknowledged as the irresponsible gamble with people's lives that it is, it's generally presented as a great thing to do.
                              It's repeatedly acknowledged as a gamble. From heated arguments in the library about whether it's right to keep Angel around, to conflict between exes over whether Faith deserves another chance or not, to blow-ups over whether Anya deserves to die, to bitter fall outs between friends over whether triggered!Spike needs to be assassinated etc.
                              Last edited by vampmogs; 21-09-12, 04:26 AM.
                              "The earth is doomed!" - Banner by Nina

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                              • #30
                                It's repeatedly acknowledged as a gamble.
                                And yet this didn't happen nearly often enough, considering Buffy was making such gambles practically all the time - for instance did anyone ask for Spike to be staked after Out of My Mind? Nope, somehow not even Riley bothered to even raise the question, let alone try to do it. Things like that take me out of the story completely because they might as well put "plot armor" sign. The Council hilariously is furious that Buffy uses "civilians", yet has no intention of killing Spike either or desire to criticise Buffy much for her own refusal to do so. The possibility of trying to remove Angel's curse isn't even mentioned as an option and everyone moronically assumes that for Angel happiness means sex with Buffy and nothing else. Nobody asks "Hey, ever wondered if Spike's chip might stop working and he will then kill a bunch of people?", nobody feels guilty when they let Harmony go kill more people, as far as I recall nobody suggests sending Andrew to jail where he belongs, etc.

                                Whatever foolishness Buffy is guilty of, it's that she let Spike walk around unchained in the house or didn't make more of an effort to de-trigger him herself, it's not that she kept him alive. Spike didn’t deserve to die for being brainwashed and he certainly didn’t have to die as long as there were methods out there to cure him like the Prokaryote Stone. People should never resort to killing because it’s easier.
                                I didn't say he deserved to die in this particular situation, just that it's easy to gamble people's lives and yet somehow succeed against all odds when you have blind luck and other contrivances working for you. The intended message would have been many times more effective if giving people a million chances wasn't just the compassionate thing to do but at least slightly rational under the circumstances. Characters who aren't just suicidally stupid but gamble with other people's lives aren't really my cup of tea. Which is why I find the current backlash against "Angel and Faith" both justified but also hilarious since Joss has been writing such "redemption" plots for years, yet many fans act like the current whitewashing attempt is something radically new.

                                Erm, what was "miraculous" about Anya growing a conscience?
                                You don't find it miraculous that a person who has murdered for fun and profit for over a millennium suddenly grows a conscience? Or a woman who has hated men for that long is suddenly in love with a man?

                                It's a story. There's not a single thing about this story that isn't contrived and written to reach an intended message or goal. If you don't like the message behind this story then, well, I can't help you there but you pretty much know what you're getting into when you watch a show where you and the writers obviously have fundamentally different views on the world. Complaining about it seems futile.
                                Well, our views didn't seem that different in the early season when I became hooked on the show. And, yes, sure, everything is technically a contrivance in a scripted show but when a viewer sees the mechanics of the plots and the many holes in them it's nigh on impossible for the intended message to be effective, especially if these holes undermine the message due to their nature - say like Buffy insisting that she is trusting Spike in S7 when the whole danger is that Spike might not be in control, so him being the most reformed person ever or the worst monster ever is completely irrelevant in regard to the threat posed by the trigger. Or the fact that the main characters regard Warren as a total monster and Anya as a quirky woman who is merely socially inept rather than a sociopath doesn't stem from what those two have actually done but from the meta consideration of Warren being a villain while Anya is comic relief. Because if we compare the committed crimes Warren is hopelessly outmatched. I am not saying they should have killed Anya in S3 but a show that wants to be taken seriously in regards to the topics of redemption and forgiveness can't just turn the serial killer into a funny foreigner stereotype, sweep her crimes under the carpet and go on as if that's perfectly normal. I love Anya as comic relief but as a character she is, to put it mildly, a mess. And yes, that's not exactly a plot hole but it is another thing that takes me out of the story.
                                Xander: "Willow, you are the best human ever! I adore you! Well, that's the cookies talking, but you rock!"

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