Asta 2

I've finally succumbed to the siren song....

I think I'm the last of my little group to cave in. But, I have three reasons for why I've chosen to do so.

1) My rampant paranoia - I'm still expecting the fine folks at LJ to relize I haven't posted a damn thing and kick my ass off the site for wasting their valuable space.

2) The nice people who I don't know so well who have friended me. I'd hate for them to check out my LJ and see no thoughts of my own while I continue to post to their sites in some stalkery manner. (Please refer to the paranoia mentioned above.)

3) Tape delayed Buffy showings due to sporting events. I had a lot - A LOT - of thoughts about this weeks ep and hesitated posting them to the board I frequent after so much has already been said. So, here they are...

Some quick thoughts and observations on LMPTM.....

Buffy, Spike, and Wood fighting the vamps in the alleyway. When is the last time we saw slaying that didn’t involve a rescue or training? I enjoyed watching the old routine (and Spike saving Wood’s ass).

The segues from past to present - seamlessly done.

I’ve seen people mention what is perceived as a lack of continuity in regards to William. That the William in LMPTM and William in FFL don’t mesh. I agree, but in the context of the situations it makes sense. How many of us act differently depending on the situation and who we are with? William would, naturally, exude more confidence around his mother. In his mind at least, she loved and excepted him as he was. On the other hand, the ‘Mama’s Boy’ would be ridiculed by society at large and seen by Cecily as a “fool”. How many of us have appeared fully composed one moment only to become a blithering idiot in the presence of our crush?

A vamp who wants to bring his Mom with him? Further evidence that Spike is not your typical vampire. And his “I loved my mother” statement - kinda blows Giles theory to Buffy in Season 1 that it may look, act, and have the memories of it’s host, but it’s still just a demon. Doesn’t sound that way to me.

Buffy to Giles: “Have you seen me with the girls? The way I’ve treated my friends and my family and (beat) Andrew?” Guess she doesn’t know where he stands either. :)

Spike and the necessity to take care of the women in his life. His devotion to Dru in season 2 becomes even more clear now we have witnessed his relationship with his mother. Since it appears he spent a large chunk of his life tending to his mother it was natural for him to devote himself to Dru’s needs. Unfortunately, he received the same treatment for his pains - having his heart ripped out once they were well. His relationship with Buffy fell into much the same pattern. While Buffy was physically well, emotionally and psychologically she has been quite damaged the past few seasons. Last season, didn’t he didn’t want to just love her but rescue her and take care of her?

Buffy telling Wood she’ll allow Spike to kill him if need be. Anyone else think this was huge?! The Slayer permitting a demon to kill a human? In the real world we would call this being an accessary to the crime. Seems Buffy’s black and white world has become very gray indeed.

Now for some overblown analyzing......

Giles and why actually seeing the episode before drawing conclusions helps.

I admit, I was beginning to think, from spoilers, the wildfeed, and the opinions of others, that Giles was off, but not anymore. Giles has legitimate reasons for his concern and doing what he did.

1) The trigger is still there and active. Granted, Woods speech to Giles was born of selfishness and manipulation to get what he desired, but he had a point. Why hasn’t the FE used the trigger lately? Is he waiting for the right time?

2) Spike was not cooperating and has a history of doing so (think of how much information he withheld about the Initiative). Wether in denial or willfully withholding the truth, he was hindering the process and, in essence, endangering all of them.

3) Buffy’s willingness to trust Spike. For a girl who once wouldn’t trust him as far as she could throw him, her loyalty has become unwavering. She knows the trigger is still active, yet she unchains him. She automatically believes him when he says he doesn’t know anymore.

From Giles perspective, I can see why he doesn’t trust him or his ability to do the right thing nor Buffy. Spike is still a danger (no chip - active trigger) and all they have to contradict that is the word of their former enemy and Buffy’s (I’ll admit it) blind faith. Buffy chooses Spike over Giles - that’s clear. Very clear to Spike, who upon existing the basement shoots Giles the ‘I win, you lose’ smirk.

Oh Mother, bleeding family tragedies and Freud’s last fan.

The most problematic scene for me and the one that raises so many questions is the final scene between Spike and his mother. Part of me wonders if it was an act. Maybe Mom didn’t want an unlife and taunted her son into killing her. “There, there will only hurt for a moment.” The hurt being that of murdering your mother?

Of course, I’m probably giving Fury too much credit with that theory (I’m blaming him for this bit of the story) and it was most likely his intent to go the Oedipus Crapus way. I don’t want to even go into the mention of Spike ‘eating’ his mother...oops, too late. While I don’t believe that Spike
wanted his mother in that way, I do think a lot of interesting issues were raised for both Spike and Robin.

Robin’s issues first pop up in his comment to Buffy and how much she reminds him of his mom. Considering he says that as he draws closer to her, looking into her eyes, is this supposed to be some sort of come on? Is he attracted to her solely because she fills the place vacated by his mother? I’ve never seen any other strong reasons why he was attracted to her. If this is the case, suddenly Spike’s past obsession with Buffy - the acceptance of her verbal abuse and ass kickings - suddenly seem healthy in comparison.

It struck me that when Spike initially time shifts, he does so as a third person in the room - witnessing events unfold. His perspective becomes that of the viewer - analyzing the situation from outside of it. (Cool scene by the way - seeing Spike and William as separate individuals.) This all begs the question, are we seeing the ‘truth’ of the events? Is Spike’s piecing together information as that of an active or passive participant? As a member of the audience, he’s drawing conclusions the same as we and, much like we do, he chooses the one that best eases his mind. For, while the ‘demon made her do it’ may sooth his psyche and aid in his recovery, it lacks logic. William’s feelings remained the same before and after his rebirth. Because of that, he should know that there may be some truth in what she said to him - the surfacing of resentment and betrayal. Yet, regardless of how he is reliving his past, there can be no absolute truth to it - only a truth filtered through the perception of the individual and the need for resolution.

Having been through what he’d been through with Wood, I understand the cruelty behind Spike’s remark to Robin - “She didn’t love you”. Nikki did love Robin, but Spike, as he has always done, twists the ‘truth’ of the situation to suit his needs. The remark is self serving and only underscores the similarities in their personal history. Both had mothers that loved them, but perhaps not as fully as they wished they had. And while Robin has now been abandoned twice by a Slayer to the “mission” (and to the same vamp as well), Spike’s speech about the “Chosen One” underscores the fact that he no longer harbors romantic expectations of the women he
loves in loving him back.

After viewing LMPTM, I have some general thoughts about Spike and his journey. But, considering the length of this first post, I’ll wait a few days before continuing.
  • Current Mood: Analytical
It's about time
Hurrah to coming out of your posting finally! We've already covered the fact that I agree with you on all your wonderful thoughts, so this is just a welcoming little "Howdy" from me to you. ::kiss kiss::
I see what you lacked in lj-activity timeliness, you've made up for in length. :D :P

Loved your post pet. The whole issue of actor/audience in BtVS has obsessed me since FFL. Someday, if I ever get up off my ass, I'd like to do a thorough study of it.

I hope you will allow me to consult with you when the time comes, Dr.Astansteen?

I am nothing if not long winded. :)

I'm always available for consultation services Dr. Jones. As a matter of fact, I thought of you when I was writing about the actor/audience issue. Considering ME's appreciation of Shakespeare, it seems very play withing a play to me.
LOL. At least you've posted to yours, I have yet to do so, so I am the remaining slacker ;)

"Yet, regardless of how he is reliving his past, there can be no absolute truth to it - only a truth filtered through the perception of the individual and the need for resolution."

Exactly!!! In the end it doesn't really matter if Spike's mother really resented him or it was just the demon talking, but how he chooses to remember it. After all, it's his guilt at what he'd done to her that is paralyzing him; in forgiving himself he has set himself free.

And where Spike is ahead of Wood is that he at least is trying to resolve his conflict in a positive way. Wood has descended so far into vengeance that he's losing himself. Vengeance on BtVS and AtS is never seen as a positive thing; it dehumanizes the person seeking it.

Excellent post, Asta. Now lets not make us wait too long for the rest of your thoughts :)

Wood has descended so far into vengeance that he's losing himself.

Good point Lynn. Makes me think that, in some way, nearly all of the characters have lost themselves. Willow succomed to the dark side of witchcraft. Buffy has seemed to resign herself to being just the Slayer. Giles has returned to his Watcher responsibilities - protecting the world at any cost. And Spike has become what he is needed to be if not what he necessarily desires to be. All have seemed to sacrifice bits of their humanity for the greater good.
Good point, Asta. I think the difference between Wood and the others is that theirs is what they feel is a necessary sacrifice; his is simple personal vengeance. Well, with Willow it was vengeance but she's trying to atone for that, so she's still ahead of him. Wood says to Giles it's for the greater good, but he doesn't have the greater good in mind when he has Spike in his "sanctuary". Buffy out and out tells him she doesn't have time for personal vendettas. I don't think he gets it yet. It remains to be seen if he ever will, at least to the degree the others have.