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Spike on Angel Season 5 Was it worth it or a waste of time ?

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  • Spike on Angel Season 5 Was it worth it or a waste of time ?

    I just wondered how people feel about bringing Spike back from the dead to be on Angel. Did people like or dislike it and was it worth it or fundamentally just a waste of time ??

  • #2
    I am answering this as someone who hasn't watched Angel except for season 5. Therefore I am only judging with regard to Spike, not to Angel (the series, not the character).

    Spike's character regressed from BtVS season 7 in comparison to Angel season 5. There is not only the cameo as a ghost, the wild goose-chase through the streets of Rome and the not-calling-Buffy-for-silly-reasons. There is also his whole demeanor and the fact that he does not once question Angel's stupid Black Thorne scheme but is acutally the first to volunteer. He also tortures a human and lets himself be manipulated very easily by Lindsay. The only decision he makes in Angel season 5 which does remotely connect him to the person he had become in BtVS season 7 is not sacrificing hundreds or thousands of people to save Fred in A Hole In The World.

    For the show itself it was not necessary to bring Spike in. He did not contribute anything meaningful.

    But he and Angel were actually very funny together. I like how they constantly bicker and banter and make fun of each other. It's probably the most likeable thing about Angel season 5.

    Therfore it wasn't a waste of time either.

    flow
    ................................ Banner by buffylover

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    • #3
      Originally posted by flow View Post
      I am answering this as someone who hasn't watched Angel except for season 5. Therefore I am only judging with regard to Spike, not to Angel (the series, not the character).

      Spike's character regressed from BtVS season 7 in comparison to Angel season 5. There is not only the cameo as a ghost, the wild goose-chase through the streets of Rome and the not-calling-Buffy-for-silly-reasons. There is also his whole demeanor and the fact that he does not once question Angel's stupid Black Thorne scheme but is acutally the first to volunteer. He also tortures a human and lets himself be manipulated very easily by Lindsay. The only decision he makes in Angel season 5 which does remotely connect him to the person he had become in BtVS season 7 is not sacrificing hundreds or thousands of people to save Fred in A Hole In The World.

      For the show itself it was not necessary to bring Spike in. He did not contribute anything meaningful.

      But he and Angel were actually very funny together. I like how they constantly bicker and banter and make fun of each other. It's probably the most likeable thing about Angel season 5.

      Therfore it wasn't a waste of time either.

      flow
      I reccomend watching the crossover episodes with Spike/Buffy and Faith in Angel S1 if nothing else. 5by5 and Sanctuary are must see TV and really tie if the Faith arc in Buffy S4
      That and Darla in Angel S2 for answering the FFL mystery.

      But I digress, I agree his character seemed to regress that was evident in Destiny where he says "what's in it for me" whereas Angel in contrast is being noble and heroic, it's a bit to on the nose imo

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      • #4
        Originally posted by BtVS fan View Post
        I reccomend watching the crossover episodes with Spike/Buffy and Faith in Angel S1 if nothing else. 5by5 and Sanctuary are must see TV and really tie if the Faith arc in Buffy S4
        That and Darla in Angel S2 for answering the FFL mystery.

        But I digress, I agree his character seemed to regress that was evident in Destiny where he says "what's in it for me" whereas Angel in contrast is being noble and heroic, it's a bit to on the nose imo
        I don't think Angel was portrayed as noble and heroic at all. In fact, the one good thing I can say about AtS S5 Spike, without reservations, is: at least he was less annoyjng than Angel. And I say that as someone who loved seasons 1-4 Angel, he was my favourite character on the show other than Darla and Faith, but in season 5 - he was really unlikable. Now, I guess that was the point - abd Spike brings out the worst in Angel, or, should I say, they bring out the worst in each other. But Angel started it, by being incredibly petty and jealous to the point of wanting Spike to disappear, literally, for a while, instead pf helping him - in spite of knowing of his soul and heroic deed in Sunnydale. Or rather, because of it - Angel felt like crap after taking the deal to work for Wolfram and Hart, anf he hated that Spike was now more heroic than him. Spike quickly sunk to the same level, and there was a lot of bickering, dic.k-measuring and generally awful and pathetic behavior. But, it was an interesting relationship in its dysfuctionality, we learned more of their history, and He'll bound, Destiny and Damage were good episodes. Tue latter forced Spike to deal with killing Nikki Wood in a way he hadn't before - and that was the best thing for Spike to come out of that season. Also, he used Harmony again, but was confronted with it when she yelled how she felt, and at least managed to be a bit nicer and more decentt to her in Harm's Way, which would've been a goof ending for their relationship. (Trust the comics to ruin itm)

        So, a few things were good. But in the second half of he season, Spike was pointless and just there for the humor, and was reduced to Angel'a sidekick, and his actions - deceiving Buffy about his death, hanging out in Wolfram and Hart - made no sense. Plus, without him being there, there wouldn't have been TGIQ...
        So, no, in the end, I think that the bad outweights the good. If he had left halfway through the season, when he became corporeal, it would've probably been worth it. But as it is, no.
        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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        • #5
          But I digress, I agree his character seemed to regress that was evident in Destiny where he says "what's in it for me" whereas Angel in contrast is being noble and heroic, it's a bit to on the nose imo
          Is "Noble and heroic" an alternative way of saying "bit of a dick"? Just asking for a friend.

          In answer to the OP, I didn't dislike it but, at the same time, I don't think it did Spike any favours.
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          • #6
            I think it became clear they were trying and sometimes failing to make up reasons for him being there. As far as Spike the character goes, I don't think it's a waste of time. I didn't care for the progressive/regressive stuff and making him like Angel, but I don't know if that qualifies as objective.

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            • #7
              It broadens the character I think and it did give him some development that made sense. Yes he wasn't his best self when around Angel and there was some foul behaviour and regression, but there was also some interesting aspects from seeing their dynamic and how they compared and contrasted. Which is what I think the point was of how they used him most often. Angel was feeling disconnected from the mission because of taking the deal to be at W&H and how he felt insecure around Spike who had fought for his soul was very revealing. Equally Spike was uncertain who he could be now that he was souled and wasn't simply following Buffy's lead and his self doubt made a lot of sense.

              Yes they forced in his presence because it had been demanded but although it is hard to believe that he wouldn't have just left when he became corporeal again, that he felt insecure about how he would be received and worried isn't totally illogical for the character. I think his desire to try to find his own way a little which then results in actually following Angel instead can be understood, even if it isn't what you would necessarily have expected. Getting caught into petty one-upmanships and childish bickering with Angel when he has so regularly placed himself against him and been in a competitive familial dynamic from the start works. We learn more about them and see the strength of their loyalty as well as how they bring the worst out in each other too. It's dysfunctional but interesting and very true to a familial vibe for that.

              In the end Spike essentially falls back to the security of sacrificing himself which I think can work for someone who fears their worth and is so unsure what path to walk. His presence in the season works for Angel because of his own doubts about himself and I think it works overall for Spike for the same reason. He makes some personal progress in figuring out who he can be now he is souled and although there is plenty of regression and he doesn't end the season in a strong place, it plays its part in him coming to terms with who he is now and who he can be. It works in that way as part of the overall path he was given, but I'm very glad it wasn't where they finished his story. But I think that for Angel too as I see the ending of AtS 5 as a really bleak and negative choice where it is a kamikaze blaze they managed that still showed a lack of connection to the mission. But making mistakes often clarifies what you do want and what you should and I think they both move on from it in ways I can follow.

              As I've complained many times there are some things they do for humour in the season that I personally really dislike in how it breaks/treats important plot and character points from BtVS and I do think that they dumb down the character excessively at points too. But people do behave differently in different contexts and Angel bringing out the worst in him and defensive posturing is hardly inconceivable. And I do think he gained some personal progress on some issues where he wasn't questioning his behaviour and facing it as well as he needed to. It wasn't perfect understanding and he did show in the comics that he still held Harmony in poor regard, but that was pretty in keeping I think with his lack of any real personal care that was still very clear even at the end of Harm's Way. He did at least eventually question this further again. So yes, he also made some pretty big errors in AtS5, but that is actually good I think for showing that he is still flawed and has things that he can improve in himself. As I said, it broadens him overall and I think works as a part of the whole journey he was given so it wasn't a waste of time.
              Last edited by Stoney; 03-09-19, 04:09 AM.

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              • #8
                I take Xander's approach to the subject . . . Me like Spike, Spike not dead(er), me happy

                Just having him and Angel fighting about astronauts and cavemen makes it all worthwhile. Their pairing is one of the best pairings in the show, they bring out the worst in each other and that make it an interesting watch for me.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Stoney View Post
                  It broadens the character I think and it did give him some development that made sense. Yes he wasn't his best self when around Angel and there was some foul behaviour and regression, but there was also some interesting aspects from seeing their dynamic and how they compared and contrasted. Which is what I think the point was of how they used him most often. Angel was feeling disconnected from the mission because of taking the deal to be at W&H and how he felt insecure around Spike who had fought for his soul was very revealing. Equally Spike was uncertain who he could be now that he was souled and wasn't simply following Buffy's lead and his self doubt made a lot of sense.

                  Yes they forced in his presence because it had been demanded but although it is hard to believe that he wouldn't have just left when he became corporeal again, that he felt insecure about how he would be received and worried isn't totally illogical for the character. I think his desire to try to find his own way a little which then results in actually following Angel instead can be understood, even if it isn't what you would necessarily have expected. Getting caught into petty one-upmanships and childish bickering with Angel when he has so regularly placed himself against him and been in a competitive familial dynamic from the start works. We learn more about them and see the strength of their loyalty as well as how they bring the worst out in each other too. It's dysfunctional but interesting and very true to a familial vibe for that.

                  In the end Spike essentially falls back to the security of sacrificing himself which I think can work for someone who fears their worth and is so unsure what path to walk. His presence in the season works for Angel because of his own doubts about himself and I think it works overall for Spike for the same reason. He makes some personal progress in figuring out who he can be now he is souled and although there is plenty of regression and he doesn't end the season in a strong place, it plays its part in him coming to terms with who he is now and who he can be. It works in that way as part of the overall path he was given, but I'm very glad it wasn't where they finished his story. But I think that for Angel too as I see the ending of AtS 5 as a really bleak and negative choice where it is a kamikaze blaze they managed that still showed a lack of connection to the mission. But making mistakes often clarifies what you do want and what you should and I think they both move on from it in ways I can follow.

                  As I've complained many times there are some things they do for humour in the season that I personally really dislike in how it breaks/treats important plot and character points from BtVS and I do think that they dumb down the character excessively at points too. But people do behave differently in different contexts and Angel bringing out the worst in him and defensive posturing is hardly inconceivable. And I do think he gained some personal progress on some issues where he wasn't questioning his behaviour and facing it as well as he needed to. It wasn't perfect understanding and he did show in the comics that he still held Harmony in poor regard, but that was pretty in keeping I think with his lack of any real personal care that was still very clear even at the end of Harm's Way. He did at least eventually question this further again. So yes, he also made some pretty big errors in AtS5, but that is actually good I think for showing that he is still flawed and has things that he can improve in himself. As I said, it broadens him overall and I think works as a part of the whole journey he was given so it wasn't a waste of time.

                  Hmm I'm not sure they took a deep look at Spikes coat. It was basically played for laughs "it's my second skin, its another thing I'll never get back" Next scene "yeah this is good" "iv sent another 10 Los Angeles along with a fine assortment of shoes"

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                  • #10
                    I thought that scene was wonderful, because it was obviously aimed at the fans who take this show FAR too seriously and who kept kicking off about why If Spikes souled does he keep that coat.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Silver1 View Post
                      I thought that scene was wonderful, because it was obviously aimed at the fans who take this show FAR too seriously and who kept kicking off about why If Spikes souled does he keep that coat.
                      I agree. I like that scene too, just pointing out that I'm not sure the show took it seriously.

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                      • #12
                        Which I didn't have any problems with considering the context of which episode It was placed. The whole thing is meant to be seen in a humorous light imo.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BtVS fan View Post
                          Hmm I'm not sure they took a deep look at Spikes coat. It was basically played for laughs "it's my second skin, its another thing I'll never get back" Next scene "yeah this is good" "iv sent another 10 Los Angeles along with a fine assortment of shoes"
                          I've come to find a way through what I hate about it, and I do hate that inclusion myself as it is an important character point in S7 imo that he wore it despite what it represented and how much he didn't want to have that connection but sought it because of what it gave him and how he could use it positively in the fight. A different angle to what it represented. But he was never going to explain to Angel how the coat gave him the connection to an image he constructed and how that aids him in being effective in the fight still when part of him doesn't revel in it the same as he used to. So him playing it off as shallow works in context of being defensive around Angel. We saw this play out directly in Destiny when he made no attempt to argue about the level of relationship he had with Buffy but play into the notion it was just sex and ignore (as in not try to defend) all of S7 in doing so. Sure I am making the connections to get past the way they showed him sulking about it, but it is based on established areas of the text so I'm just happy that it makes me accept what I personally find to be one of the most problematic parts of his depiction in AtS 5. Sure they didn't add depth to every aspect of the character and I never claimed such, but they did add in showing both positive and negative behaviour for him as he progressed more in considering his path now.

                          I've never really seen the whole thing with the coat as mocking fans who disliked him for wearing it still when souled, but I suppose it does draw emphasis to showing him accepting a replacement readily and easily because it actually was never about it being a meaningful trophy of a kill to him anymore, and had become all about the connection to an image he had carved for himself and so the psychological boost that gives him. I really disliked the times they just took serious plot points and used them for gags, but I do agree that it is in keeping to the tone of the episode.
                          Last edited by Stoney; 03-09-19, 05:14 PM.

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                          • #14
                            I honestly go back and forth on this. Sometimes I rewatch "Chosen" and I can't help but feel that the impact of Spike's sacrifice is lost knowing that he'll return in Season 5. However, I also think that in hindsight Spike's character learnt a lot in Season 5 and that his sacrifice as a newly-souled vampire would've been premature.

                            Granted, Season 5 wasn't always kind to Spike. I think he was depicted pretty badly at times (his attitude in "Soul Purpose", his treatment of Harmony, not contacting Buffy and the way he occasionally spoke of her - "all those times I was putting it to her", his lack of empathy towards Nina and Dana, torturing Sparrow etc.) and I can understand why some may prefer his story having ended in Season 7. Under Buffy's watch newly ensouled Spike's mostly remained a crowd-pleaser. However, on the flip side, I think Spike learnt some invaluable lessons in Season 5 too and that his growth in episodes like "Damage" was marvellous and necessary. Knowing the steps he made in "Damage", I'd have thought it would be terribly unsatisfying leaving Spike dead without that growth.

                            In terms of what he brought to AtS and how he related to Angel, I thought overall that he was a great addition. It would've been a missed opportunity not to explore how Angel dealt with another souled vampire in the world and especially in Season 5. Had Spike remained dead and the two had never crossed paths again (since "The Harsh Light of Day") I think would've been deeply unsatisfying and something fans would have wished for. I'm seemingly an odd fan who vastly preferred Spike in the second half of Season 5. His big episodes may have been early on ("Hell bound" and "Destiny") but I much preferred his more muted and serious relationship with Angel once he'd properly settled in. Their scenes in "Shells", as for example, are way more interesting to me than their endless bickering in the first episodes of Season 5. And Spike himself felt far more like an integrated cast member in the latter half than just a novelty in the first half. I thought his dynamic with Illyria and even Gunn was great.

                            So overall I'd say it was worth it.
                            "The earth is doomed!" - Banner by Nina

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by BtVS fan View Post
                              I just wondered how people feel about bringing Spike back from the dead to be on Angel. Did people like or dislike it and was it worth it or fundamentally just a waste of time ??
                              I remember that even before the last episode of Buffy aired it was already known that Spike was going to move to Angel. I was actually surprised that Spike died in the last episode of Buffy.

                              I think that it was a good thing to bring him back on Angel for him to play off of Angel's character. Plus I loved the friendship that he developed with Fred, and later Illyria.

                              Plus if Spike hadn't moved over to Angel then Angel wouldn't have gotten another season since the WB network demanded Spike as one of the conditions for Angel to get renewed.
                              My deviantart: http://vampfox.deviantart.com/

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