On a related note I learned two days things today. One - spoilers are evil. Several spoilers I’ve seen turned out to be just plain wrong; others misinterpreted. Two - don’t listen to James when he talks about Spike. His acting is brilliant, his interpretations of
Spike’s psyche, not so much. ;p
Now, before I get to the good stuff, a follow up on the bitchy co-worker situation. Yesterday, the firm held her wedding shower. The really interesting thing about firm events like this, you find out just how well someone is liked. In this case, not so much. :) The room was not crowded, and the gifts few. Literally. There were three - one from the firm, one from our department, and one from the secretaries on our floor. The firm got her several pieces from the china collection she registered for. My department? Hell, I don’t like her and I was willing to chip in twenty bucks. But, her ‘friends’ in the department decided $5-$7 was fair. Yes, I did type that correctly. Actually it ended up be a whopping $8.50. The look on her face when she opened her box of towels...priceless. :) Her verbalization was just as rewarding. “Towels....more towels.....and more towels...and...that’s it”. Hee. Apparently, she was searching for the good gift at the bottom of the box. The final present from the floor consisted of gardening supplies. A watering can, gloves, pruners, a tool caddy, and a (small) box of Miracle Gro. They say what goes around comes around. I just didn’t think it would come around this damn fast.
‘Wow’ was my first reaction upon seeing the episode. My second was thinking there was so much to absorb. Forgive me if I get some stuff wrong or can’t recall certain things. Hunched over my desk, my nose to the screen, with my speakers as high as I could have them on without co-workers asking “What are you listening to over there?” was not the best environment to grasp everything.
Joss said Spike’s return would be long and complicated. He wasn’t kidding. The mystery actually begins at the end of the season premiere. How was the Amulet retrieved and who sent it to Angel? Someone or something wants Spike in LA and attached (yes, they are stuck with each other) to Angel. Why?
Angel speculates on a lot of this himself talking to Wes and Fred (I believe). The Amulet was given to him, he was supposed to wear it. He could be he in Spike’s place and present state. Or he could simply be dead. He points out that it makes no sense for W&H to have given him the firm if they intended for him to be killed in Sunnydale. So, did someone know that Spike would end up being the Amulets recipient? And part of the plan was to bring him back? But for what purpose? Throughout the ep I got the impression that we’d be wondering all season long if W&H is behind Spike’s resurrection or The Powers That Be or maybe some third party we are unaware of. (On a side note, I speculated months ago that Spike would act as Angel’s conscience - questing his judgement in joining W&H to fight evil. He almost immediately does this. :)
As for Spike’s return....it’s a painful one, much more so emotionally than physically. He’s confused, pissed off, and fearful. He really believed he was finally at rest and throughout the episode I get the sense that he was OK with it. His life was complete...or so he thought.
Angel is the first to bring up Buffy’s name. He mentions he had given the amulet to her. Spike immediately looks at him with an expression of deep concern “Is she OK?... Where is She?” Angel tells him she’s fine and somewhere in Europe last he heard from her. Spike wants to see her, wants to talk to her. Angel shoots this down immediately saying it’s not possible. Spike tells him he can’t keep her from him. Angel replies she’s not his to keep or Spike’s.
S: “You got no idea what we had”
A: “You never had her”
S: “Says You”
It quickly becomes apparent that Angel was very vague with the others as to what happened in Sunnydale and Spike’s role in it. Wes is at least aware that Spike was an ally to Buffy and had been helping her for sometime. But, he’s as surprised as the rest when Spike reveals just how close he and Buffy were. Meanwhile, Harmony is appalled to learn that Spike actually hooked up with Buffy - a Slayer - and storms out of the room. :)
A bit later Wes and Fred try to find out what exactly Spike is. Apparently, he really isn’t a ghost - some mumbo jumbo about electromagnetic discharge, not being invisible, brainwave activity, and he’s hot! Well, heat radiates from him and that shouldn’t be. ;) Wes determines that his essence must have been trapped in the amulet (Duh). When he asks Spike if he recalls anything there is a rather graphic description of his final moments in the Hellmouth. Ouch! Fred hypothesizes that Spike may have been brought back by the Powers for some purpose. Spike begins muttering about earning some rest, some peace. How saving the world isn’t enough. Again, news to the group. Angel quickly covers by saying Buffy did most of the work. ;) He has to cover again when Spike mentions he too has a soul. “It didn’t seem worth mentioning.” Gunn comments “Seems to be a lot of that”. I found it interesting that Gunn is the one to verbalize this. Long way from the guy who despised vamps to seemingly taking Spike’s side. I could say the same for the rest of the gang who seem a bit displeased with Angel’s willingness to discount and dismiss Spike’s contributions.
Lorne makes a very interesting remark that many of us will appreciate. He envisions the S/B/A traingle as a film - ‘The Vampire Slayer Both Men Loved, Both Men Lost’. He sees Depp and Bloom in starring in it. He sees that a lot. ;)
At this point I could go into the case Angel & Co are working on involving a necromancer, but, do you care? No. ;)
Amidst the pissing contest throughout the ep, both men seem to be envious of what the other has achieved. Spike can’t seem to fathom why he is in his present state nor why Angel seems to be so prosperous. Spike sacrificed himself for ‘love, honor, and all the right things’ (yes, Buffy played in an equal role in why he did what he did) and he’s trapped between worlds with nothing. Angel didn’t sacrifice himself to save the world and seems to have it all. Yet, Angel is equally angry that Spike chose to get his soul back and only spent three weeks in a basement suffering not a hundred plus years in torment over it all.
The last scene is heartbreaking. Spike goes to Fred for help. Perhaps this scene in addition to some other moments is what is leading some to speculate about Spred. Spike is a bit flirty with her, but no more so than he is with any other woman he’s within three feet of. (OK, except maybe for Harmony who he ignores at every turn as she offers him friendship and the opportunity to ‘share his feelings’ with her. :) In the final scene Spike doesn’t go to Fred not because he feels some connection with her or because he’s drawn to her. It’s because he believes she is the only person who can help him. His openess and honesty with her is a necessity.
Let me start by saying I think Spike is making the wrong assumptions. He comments to Fred that he feels the ground disappearing below his feet. Of falling into the abyss. “I know what’s down there and it’s trying to take me and it’s not where heroes go”. There’s the kicker. Spike believed he had died a hero. Now back, he believes he failed and Hell is waiting to claim him. “I’m terrified. Help me.”
I don’t know why Spike is in his present state, but I don’t believe he’s bound for eternal damnation. Right now, he thinks his only hope (or temporary reprieve) is returning to corporeal form. Maybe he is right in that he has more good to do in the world. But, not because he has to, but because he still can.