snickfic: (Spuffy deep)
[personal profile] snickfic
It always mystifies me in S7 when the decision to keep Spike around is justified by pointing out what a strong fighter he is. As if we've ever cared tuppence for brute force on this show. As if he is somehow a better fighter now than he was, say, in late S5 through early S6, when he'd already proven his loyalty but hadn't committed the AR yet and wasn't a brainwashed murderer.

Also, for some reason the word 'fighter' bothers me. Spike... is good with his fists? Enjoys a rumble now and again? Gets antsy for a spot of violence? Can handle himself in a fight? Yes to all those things. But somehow 'fighter' seems so generic and nondescript.

I realize that it's largely (entirely?) Buffy using this justification, and that it's a good, safe, pragmatic reason she can give to mask other, more personal reasons. It always fell really flat to me, though. I mean, really, no one ever called her on this?

Then again, If they challenged that logistical decision, then they might also question why this apocalypse requires tactics no other apocalypse has required and various other plot peculiarities of S7...

Date: 2011-03-01 03:21 am (UTC)
rahirah: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rahirah
Well, Giles kinda sorta calls her on it...

Date: 2011-03-01 03:34 pm (UTC)
rahirah: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rahirah
I don't think he specifically says anything about "Spike's our best fighter" being kind of dumb, but in "First Date" and LMPTM, he's the one who keeps pointing out that keeping a mind-controlled vampire around a bunch of young girls that he's been programmed to kill is kind of dumb. He tells Buffy several times that she's thinking emotionally, not rationally, about Spike.

The best fighter line never particularly bothered me because it was so patently ridiculous. They were fighting an immaterial enemy, so Spike's prowess in a physical fight was immaterial. Buffy was obviously using it as a feeble excuse to keep him around for whatever reason it was she wanted to keep him around. I don't remember anyone else ever saying it or agreeing with her, so it seemed to me that the others saw it as a feeble excuse as well, but since Buffy was being all "I am the decider!" that season, they never challenged her on it in a serious way.

Date: 2011-03-01 03:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] penny-lane-42.livejournal.com
The title of this post made me cackle madly.

Date: 2011-03-01 05:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ever-neutral.livejournal.com
I think, as you said, it's Buffy rationalizing, and then most everybody else deciding to stay out of the crazy.

Also, well, Spike is useful with the fighting...

Date: 2011-03-01 08:48 am (UTC)
quinara: Spike and Buffy approaching 'their' tree in AYW. (Spuffy tree)
From: [personal profile] quinara
Which particular episode are you talking about? All I'm remembering is the end of First Date, where Spike says Buffy has Principal Wood as a demon fighter, so she doesn't need him, at which point Buffy says that that's not why Spike is there; then their argument in Get It Done, when Buffy says Spike was a better fighter before the soul and Spike rips her a new one for belittling what he's done for her...

Date: 2011-03-01 09:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gryfndor-godess.livejournal.com
Buffy says that they need him because he's a fighter a lot in LMPTM (and she's deliberately ignoring the fact that the trigger is still working); but to be fair that's mostly to Giles, who wouldn't understand or accept any other rationalization (and doesn't even accept this one).

Date: 2011-03-01 10:03 am (UTC)
quinara: Sheep on a hillside with a smiley face. (Default)
From: [personal profile] quinara
But does she, though? What she says to Giles is

Spike is here because I want him here. We need him. I'm in the fight of my life.

which isn't really the same thing at all. Giles picks up on the 'want' more than anything, to which Buffy responds that things are different because Spike has a soul. Apart from that, Buffy doesn't do much vocal defending (apart from denying that the trigger's still active, which is wrong, but nothing to do with Spike being a fighter).

Date: 2011-03-01 10:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gryfndor-godess.livejournal.com
I think the juxtaposition of "We need him" immediately followed by "I'm in the fight of my life" indicates she does need him b/c he's a fighter. Even if Giles picks up on her latent reasons, Buffy's still using his fighting abilities as a rationalization.

In any case, I realize I was also conflating Giles and Robin b/c she does say to the latter in the garage, "Spike is the strongest warrior we have. We are gonna need him if we're gonna come out of this thing alive."

Date: 2011-03-01 04:21 pm (UTC)
quinara: Sheep on a hillside with a smiley face. (Default)
From: [personal profile] quinara
It absolutely could imply that, yes, but I think it could also easily imply 'I'm in the fight of my life, so I get to decide who to keep around as my emotional (and physical) support'. When she and Giles clash again in Empty Places, I think it's fairly heavily implied that when Buffy talks about Spike being 'the one person who's been watching my back' she means more than in combat - Giles says they've all been doing that, after all, but they are definitely not all fighters.

You're right about that comment to Wood, but I suppose I hear 'warrior' as being about more than plain physical prowess as far as Buffy's concerned, though that's almost certainly what she's trying to sell to Wood. But I am a S7 Spuffy apologist generally. :D

Date: 2011-03-01 09:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gryfndor-godess.livejournal.com
I think it's fairly heavily implied that when Buffy talks about Spike being 'the one person who's been watching my back' she means more than in combat -

I definitely agree about that particular quote. I'm not suggesting that Buffy is rationalizing/lying to *herself* about why she needs Spike around (perhaps earlier in the season but definitely not toward the end). And by Empty Places it looks like she's done rationalizing to others as well.

But I am a S7 Spuffy apologist generally. :D

S7 Spuffy is the best Spuffy! :D

Date: 2011-03-02 08:54 am (UTC)
quinara: Sheep on a hillside with a smiley face. (Default)
From: [personal profile] quinara
But... We only hear it once, specifically, and you got annoyed about the wording which isn't even what Buffy uses?

Date: 2011-03-01 11:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gryfndor-godess.livejournal.com
I agree that Buffy's rationalization is weirdly heavy-handed in S7, but to be fair she does justify keeping him around for the same reasons in earlier seasons. As early as Checkpoint she states (when she still doesn't like him) that he's the only one who can protect her mother and Dawn. I'm pretty sure she also says something to that effect in the finale when Xander or someone demands why Spike is along for the ride.

why this apocalypse requires tactics no other apocalypse has required and various other plot peculiarities of S7...

Word. Whenever Buffy says something like 'I'm in the fight of my life," I think, 'Yeah, no. That would have been Glory. For f's sake, the First can't even touch you.' The First could have been the biggest bad if the writers had pulled out all the psychological stops (Jenny, Joyce, Angelus, Tara, etc.), but they didn't (and in some cases, due to actors refusing to appear, couldn't). Making the characters face their worst fears and baggage, especially after S6, would have been awesome and would arguably have fit even better the 'choosing-to-have-more-than-one-Slayer' theme in Chosen.

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