Robot 6

The Middle Ground #97 | How Buffy got her groove back

There were, let’s face it, numerous warning signs about Buffy: The Vampire Slayer Season Nine, not least of all the way that Season Eight had turned out. But adding a second ongoing book to the line? Joss Whedon only writing the first issue instead of the first arc, because of his commitments to Marvel’s The Avengers? There was, it seemed, little possibility that the series could regain the support or excitement it had at the launch of Season Eight. And then, to quote Jarvis Cocker, something changed.

To be fair, the change had actually started with the final issue of Season Eight, which ended with a text piece from Whedon where he broke the hidden golden rule about making comics: Never admit that you’re wrong. In his trademark good humored tone, Whedon admitted that parts of Season Eight had strayed a little from what made Buffy Buffy, and had gotten so used to the idea of “It’s comics! With no budget worries, we can do anything!” that the question of “Is doing anything necessarily a good idea?” sometimes got left behind. It was a short essay that, in one fell swoop, won back a lot of the goodwill that the series had lost over its forty issue run just by being honest and recognizing some of the problems that had plagued the series throughout its run.

There was something to that, to the idea that the creators were aware of some of the things that had turned readers, turned me off the series up until that point. And yet, the nervousness about the new series remained: Two monthly series, including one starring the character many fans believed was “ruined” forever by Season Eight? Surely that would be disaster! And yet… Angel and Faith is, for me, the better of the two Buffy series these days, a surprisingly great book that jumps off from the events of Season Eight but doesn’t feel weighed down by them, with wonderful art by Rebekah Isaacs.

Buffy, too, is a surprisingly improved book. Whether it was the reaction to Season Eight or simply the new start afforded by the break and new volume, it has a focus and a level of “reality” — well, Buffy reality, at least — that the previous series didn’t, and new writer Andrew Chambliss manages to not only get the Whedon tone exactly right – The reveal at the end of #7 was spectacular, and seemed to fit in with some classic moments from the television series – but also makes it work in comic format in a way that the previous series didn’t.

There are, of course, still some problems with Season Nine, but those are more fanboy nitpicking than what was there before (Seriously, I am done with Spike already), but overall…? Buffy as a franchise has, against all odds, found its feet in comics in a way that I genuinely wouldn’t have expected to this far into its comic existence, and turned into a couple of series that I’ve found myself really looking forward to each month. Guess she somehow found a way to save her world (a lot) one more time.

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31 Comments

Done with Spike?! That’s crazy talk McMillan! There’s never enough Spike!

More seriously, Buffy and Angel & Faith are great books – I’d recommend them for any fans of comics, not just fans of Buffy. Though the latter certainly helps.

I”ve enjoyed season 8 more than I have season 9 so far.On the Buffy side anyway.

I’m overloaded on Spike as well.Way too much of the Buffy and Spike stuff for my taste which is turning me off on the book more and more each issue.Didn’t care for it on the show either but it seems worse in the comic.One of the things I liked about season 8 was no Spike for the majority of the season and no Buffy and Spike slog.It’s been tedious so far in season 9.

Angel & Faith is the much better book in my opinion.

John O'Connor

April 3, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9 is a turd that won’t flush. And I heartily reject it.

I don’t think Spike is the problem. The problem is the fact that Spike’s declaration of desire for normality was completely out of the blue and not in character for him. He wants the Shanshu. Even with “Destiny” and other AtS Season 5 episodes, that’s Angel’s thing, not his.

@Emily:

Hmm. That’s the complete opposite of my take. Spike has only ever wanted Buffy (since he realized he wanted Buffy)…if he wants the Shanshu it’s because he wants normal and if he wants normal it’s because he wants Buffy. And maybe to keep it from Angel as a bonus.

Interesting.

As always there are Spike fans and there are non-Spike fans. I can see how this “season” is rough on non-Spike fans, the same way it is the greatest thing ever for those of us that have long been missing the character.

Spike is bringing down the series. I’ve always hated his interactions with Buffy (HUUUUGE Bangel shipper here—Spike deserves to rot in hell). That’s my only complaint about the season because I’m loving everything else.

Eh, I think it’s good that Buffy has someone to lean on while her friends are off finding their own lives. I was a fan of Spike as Buffy’s quiet support in Season Seven, and I’m glad that they’re working as a team together again. It makes for a good duo!

I really am enjoying season 9. I read season 8 and was seriously disheartened by it. However season 9 is fun, a little whacky, but overall it’s something I look forward to every month.

I have missed Spike so very much though and he was gone for all of season 8. He’s a Buffy character and should be in the books. We haven’t seen that much of him (and what we have has only focused on Buffy) and certainly we haven’t had real character development for him in a long time. I’m seriously enjoying every bit of him. But alas, Spike is both the most loved and hated character in the series. So either it’s too much or not enough (and too much could simply be one freakin’ panel for some). Faith had an entire arc in season 8 sans the scoobs and I don’t hear about anyone complaining about that.

(It’s extremely frustrating why my favorite character isn’t allowed character development and focus but Buffy, Willow, and Faith can. I love those characters as well but it just makes me so upset that Spike is constantly singled out. Just let the story that needs to be told be told, enjoy the characters as the appear. I very much dislike Xander but even though he was prominently focused in season 8 I enjoyed what I did see of him…)

Yes, season 9 does have flaws, but Spike (or too much of him) isn’t one of them.

Season 8 was too long and exaggerated, reintroducing every character for no particularly reason (something similar going in the Angel & Faith series, where Gage mentions everybody and his mother more for the sake of pandering to illicit “ohhhh shiiit!” moments from fans rather than to advance plot)

There’s not enough Spike in Season 9 to made me forget about “the pivotal F#@%ing issue of Joss Whedon’s ongoing serial from making the sex matter in multiple ways to tying together Buffy’s big mythological threads” and get rid of humanity (to quote CBR). Luckily, this season feels more like the TV show, close to personal issues, showing that Buffy still matters.

Though Season 9 does not have the “wow factor” of the early arcs of Season 8, it does seem to be a bit more focused and even. It is disappointing that Joss does not appear to be taking an active role at the moment. I am sure this will change. I know that Chambliss is capable of upping the stakes considering his work on Dollhouse and The Vampire Diaries. Right now I believe that Angel and Faith is the stronger title; the creative team seems to be firing on all cylinders. The important thing is that I (as the consumer) feel that both titles warrant their costs.

Season eight became such a horrible mess, so quickly. I’m interested to hear that things have cleaned up and started to fit together again, and I’ll have to take a look at the comic next time they do a ‘jump-in’ issue. Season eight seemed to be about how Whedon felt the characters worked, instead of how the characters worked onscreen. Angel and Buffy, in particular, always felt so straight-laced and simple that the things they did in S8 just didn’t fit with how they’d already been. I still like the Faith arcs, but the rest of the season was a mess which grew worse and worse until the end. Also wasn’t a fan of how the series snatched Angel/Spike without giving IDW much of a heads-up about it. Anyway, season 9! Apparently good! Will have to look into it.

Faith’s arc in season 8 was probably my favourite, so no complaints here :)

As for season 9 I think it’s going great, it finally feels like I’m watching the show again.

Granted, I fall into the pro-spike camp, but it’s not that that’s got me loving it so much, it’s the fact it feels relatable again.

Season 8 went over the top, like way over, not just a little over :)

My only problem with Season 9 so far is the complete absence of the Angel Investigations crew. Betta George and Laura may or may not be available, but I’d still like to see what’s been happening with Gunn, Connor, and Illyria.

I think it’s been going in the WRONG direction for the whole thing. The comics haven’t been great since the beginning, and season 9 from what I hear (stopped reading long ago)only made it worse.

Totally agree with this! Though I don’t have a problem with Spike. My only complaint involving him is that his scenes with Buffy as of recent have been too lovey dovey. I’m a Spuffy shipper, and love both characters, but I was almost cringing at a few lines. I like the plot, but some of the lines said are just… too over the top. And I think that’s just the writer. Andrew manages to get the issues out, and they pass, but they aren’t perfect, IMHO. When he first started writing, I thought he wrote Buffy very “off”, but he’s grown better over time. Angel and Faith is surprisingly the better series. The writing is perfection, and the art is even better. Can’t wait for the upcoming issues.

@Andrew: Connor will show up around July–alongside an unexpected face–in ANGEL & FAITH.

Personally, I’m digging both series! I like the intimate tone of A & F, while simultaneously enjoying a return to intimate scale in BUFFY. Spike’s presence actually helps the story along (imo), although I’ve also enjoyed stories which focused on him, and wouldn’t mind a Spike-centered tale or sub-plot.

The grandiosity of Season 8 didn’t bother me. To me, it just reflected the “new” medium. I enjoyed the absurdity of Giant Dawn & Centaur Dawn–and “Action Comics Buffy” thrilled me! However, I understand the drawbacks for the detractors, and appreciate Joss’ “Good Will” gesture in the Season 8 finale.

I’m looking forward to reading more of both titles! Good job on the transition, Mr. Chambliss!

Well Spike had a big role in Angel S6 plus he had his own series which was awesome for a Spike fan like myself.

So just give me a spike solo again and I would be ok.

Not really into Spike/Buffy or Buffy/Angel pairings anymore as I rather those characters each see new people.

Season 8 was bizarre and cringeworthy. I am enjoying season 9, it’s more like Buffy to me, and I am thrilled that we finally got Spike back into the mix.
The absence of Spike certainly didn’t help season 8, although I’m not sure anything could have. It was jarring though, since he was such a part of Buffy’s life at the end of the series, that they brought Angel back instead.

@Xane, it wasn’t jarring at all. Buffy and Angel are soulmates. Spike was just the guy she used for sex and the scumbag who tried to rape her.

The thrust of this article is complete garbage. The promise of season nine wasn’t evident from that essay – it was evident from the grand comeback of the back quarter of season eight (salvaging the series after some awkward drift) and especially the brilliant final issue of that run that effectively served as a backdoor pilot for season nine. All that essay said was “hey, you liked this issue? Well guess what, we’re going to do lots more of it starting in September!”

And of course the other things that were ‘fixed’, and from the get-go, were a) the length of the series – a more concise 25 issues (albeit shared by two separate series) and b) each book having its own permanent writer (whereas before, due to the lack of a shared writer’s room, there wasn’t much opportunity to build and develop things in a natural way, as the TV show did) – I don’t think any fans were hesitant about those things.

Silly silly catsmeow. You keep on enjoying your world, I will enjoy this one.

The thing that made Buffy the TV series (and Angel and Firefly too) great was that huge issues were expressed in small specific moments. Big truths and huge themes were expressed in human scaled moment, even when the Big Evil was a government or a god or something older than the gods. Humor and horror were intertwined.

Buffy Season 8 lost that perspective. The story became big scale with tiny characters instead of up-close human scale reflecting the big scale. The first seven seasons of Buffy were like some like of fractal story telling; season 8 lost that and paid the price.

Season 9 has returned towards telling the universal through the personal and it’s a good shift. But they gotta lose the giant bugs in a spaceship.

Xane: “The absence of Spike certainly didn’t help season 8, although I’m not sure anything could have. It was jarring though, since he was such a part of Buffy’s life at the end of the series, that they brought Angel back instead.”

That was the point – the theme of season 8 was Buffy’s “self-betrayal”, as Joss defined it. For the entire run of season 8, she felt lonely, isolated from humanity and disconnected from the Slayers who were putting her on the pedestal, and Angel as Twilight tortured her mentally for a year in order to break her and get her to the place of perfect despair where she’d receive the superpowers and be so broken that she’s overlook his actions and swallow his talk of destiny and give in to Twilight. it was a very defeating season for Buffy, and as a Spuffy shipper you should only be happy that it was Angel who played that extremely negative role, and that Buffy/Angel was shown in all its destructive and delusional aspects, in a farcical replay of season 2, only with Angel-with-a-soul doing worse things out of his misguided hero complex and trust in higher powers and destiny, than he did in season 2 without a soul. I thought that the viciously satirical way in which B/A was shown by Joss, particularly in #36, was too much (the relationship in seasons 1-3 was better than that), but when I posts by hardcore Bangels like catsmeow, I see that Joss may have had good reasons to dismantle and lampoon the silly “destined one true love 4eva soulmates” myth.

Spike wasn’t there because all this could have never happened if he had been there for Buffy, if she had had his emotional support throughout. He’s back in her life now, when Buffy is trying to pick up the pieces of her life after last season, in the season in which she (according to Chambliss) is supposed to grow up and find who she is.

About season 9 so far – there are pros and cons. I love the smaller scale, I love the real world problems. I love Spike’s role and Buffy/Spike interactions (however, I grew tired of Chambliss’ habit of having new characters randomly start talking about B/S and questioning Spike about his feelings for Buffy, and it was done too many times. I’d much rather have the two of them talk to each other, and Buffy talk about her feelings). I like most of the new characters, especially Koh, Anaheed and Tumble, while Dowling has been a bit inconsistent. I really liked #1 and I loved #6, at least the Buffy parts of it – I’m still not sure what they were trying to do with the Nikki parts of the issue, and I suspect that what I got from it might not be what was intended (were they trying to paint Nikki as a bad mother or what, as a warning, or as a supposed contrast to Buffy? If so, the former it didn’t work for me, and the latter doesn’t make sense, since the same complaints that Robin leveled against Nikki – she wasn’t “strong enough” (WTF?) to quit Slaying (!) is the same thing that could have been said about Buffy all along, and it makes no sense whatsoever, unless we’ve been lied to about the role of the Slayers all along.

I don’t like the zompires and the nonsensical explanation why they exist (it’s just an easy way to introduce zombies into the issue and make them the main opponents – they are zombies for all intents and purposes, only faster and stronger). I don’t like how flat some of the writing is, and the repetitive nature of some of the conversations (e.g. Willow and Buffy going on and on about the Seed in the first 5 issues, new characters talking about Spike’s feelings for Buffy). I really don’t like the WTF twists and, even more than that, I don’t like how those Gotcha plot twists were used in the sensationalist marketing by Dark Horse (if you’ve followed the pre-release of the covers and Allie’s comments, you know what I’m talking about).

I’m finding season 9 of Buffy very disappointing so far and a major drop from season 8..

Spike’s return and the Buffy/Spike ship have brought back all the worst sludge of season 6 and season 7.Which is something I was not looking forward to as soon as it was confirmed Spike would be back in Buffy this season.I think Spike can be a good and interesting character but not with Buffy.He worked much better in the fifth season of Angel and the various IDW books paired with Angel and those characters or his own stories.I hope Spike is not back in Buffy as a supporting character in season 10.That he is either moved to another book or gets his own monthly.His characterization in season 9 has made him seem pathetic.He is coming across as little puppy searching for table scraps from Buffy.He really needs to move on from Buffy.

If it was just the Spike aspect and Buffy/Spike than that would be one thing but I’m also finding season 9 boring as a whole.Season 6 and 7 had other things going for it that I could get into.The story in season 9 though has just been dull as dishwaterl.The Buffy story in season 9 may have worked better on T.V. but in a comic book format it is just lifeless.It feels like the only things interesting are when they pull out shock cliffhangers almost every issue to create excitment.And even those seem to have been done more for shock value or Whedon getting on a preachy soatbox.The pregnancy and abortion plot amounted to nothing and feels like a stunt now.

Buffy in season 9 is coming off as a bunch of small vignettes strung together that aren’t very exciting.

Angel & Faith on the other hand has been rocking from the start.It’s been very strong in story and characterization and has a real pop and energy to it that I don’t feel from Buffy this season.Angel &Faith feels like it’s going somewhere.Buffy feels like it’s twiddling its thumbs.

I dropped Buffy way back in S8 when it stopped making any sense. And, honestly, I could never get over George Jeanty’s art.

Given what is being written here, I think I’ll check out Angel and Faith. Faith was always one of my favourite characters, especially when she began her search for redemption in “Angel” then “Buffy” and I wish they had been able to do a TV series with her. This is the next best thing and it sounds like that book is coming along well.

I’m going to give a pass on the Buffy series for now. I just wish someone would stake Spike and be rid of him and, quite honestly, if the current Buffy S9 has any elements of Buffy S6 and, especially, S7 (which was an absolute mess and a shining testament to the need to end a series at its peak) I don’t want to get smeared with that crap again.

Interesting that Joss wrote that essay. I’ve noticed that when he is distracted by other projects, his earlier stuff falls apart. This is what happened with the Buffy TV series. After S5, Joss handed over the reins to Marti Noxon and David Fury so that he could concentrate on “Firefly”, and they simply did not know what they were doing. Or, more accurately, they did a bad job of what they were doing. Oddly, Angel continued to flourish during that period, indicating that this is not a hard and fast rule.

Sumtor274: I don’t know which comic you have been reading. Spike has been anything but “little puppy searching for table scraps from Buffy”. He came back in season 8 only when the world was at risk and he needed to help with saving the world. (That’s after 2.5 years that he was away and didn’t even contact Buffy after his resurrection – something I would be very angry and hurt about if I were Buffy – and I’m sure she was as well.) Then he went into space to chase the demon and came back 2 months after the breaking of the Seed, and acted nonchalantly when Buffy asked him if he was back “home” for good now. Over the next period he seems to have visited her occasionally to tell her about the danger that was coming for her (which turned out to be Severin) and he gave her a supportive pep talk that made her break in tears. She was the one that looked vulnerable, not Spike, who didn’t express any romantic interest in Buffy until #6-7 and didn’t expect any kind of romantic/sexual relationship from her. He was just there to offer help because she needed it – and that’s anything but “pathetic”, that’s what a person who cares about someone does. In fact, when Buffy invited him to his party in #1 and tried to flirt with him, he shut her down: “Any chance I could make you beg?” – “Not this year.” Later he was seen making out with some other girl a few feet away from Buffy. He didn’t even think she should be with him, not because he thought she didn’t love him but because he thought she needed someone “normal” and that wasn’t him, and he even told Dowling he’d like Buffy to be with someone like him. (Which I wasn’t too happy with, but it’s the polar opposite of “looking for scraps from Buffy”.) He only decided to tell her about his feelings after much prodding from Dowling, and then changed his mind, believing he needed to be supportive of Buffy instead. And he only told her about how he felt about Buffy directly asked him about it, after having heard Dowling’s opinions that Spike is in love with her. And Spike didn’t “ask for crumbs” at all – he made an ultimatum, either he’s going to be a full part of her life or he’s going to go away.

The only thing that’s bothered me about this is that Spike has assumed that Buffy wants “normal” , which she’s never said, and that he’s acting as if Buffy should have realized he was in love with her – but why would she? Considering everything I’ve mentioned, it makes sense to me that she didn’t think he was in love with her anymore. It’s not like it was obvious – not even from the fact he risked his life for her in #4 – so did Eldre Koh, and caring about an ex a lot doesn’t necessarily mean you want to rekindle a romantic relationship with them. Not to mention Buffy’s huge insecurities.

Really, the only reason you’re saying this is, IMO, because your own prejudices: whenever Spike is around Buffy, that’s enough for you to call him “pathetic” and claim that he’s “looking for scraps”, as if nothing changed for you since season 5. I think the IDW books completely mis-characterized Spike, and I also marvel at the idea that he’s better when he’s being Angel’s sidekick and comic relief. Personally, I think that this “Spike has to be away from Buffy!” thing comes out of misogyny. Yeah, tell me I’m making baseless accusations, fire away. But that’s what I think. It’s the whole “bros before hos” thing. If you’re a guy, you can be the sidekick to a guy who’s constantly tried to belittle you and hang out with a bunch of people who don’t particularly care about you – but god forbid you’re there to emotionally support a woman you love, if she happens to be a hero herself and a protagonist of her story! Women are there only to support men’s stories, like Cordelia or Fred.

Shaun: I’m afraid you’re wrong – Joss did not hand over the rains to Noxon and Fury, despite from some fans would like to believe. He was very much still the guy with the last word, who came up with most of the ‘controversial’ plot points of season 6 and devised the story and had the last word even on the plot points he did not come up with; he rewrote scenes, and when he didn’t have time to write or rewrite any dialogue, he gave the writers notes and they were working from them. Dark Willow? Killing Tara? Buffy and Spike’s relationship? The Buffy/Spike fight-sex in Smashed? The invisible Buffy sex in Gone? The infamous balcony scene in Dead Things? All Joss. (The AR is one of the few things in that season that weren’t his idea.) If you want to “blame” someone for seasons 6 and 7, you have to blame Joss at least as much as Noxon and Fury, if not more, since they were doing what he wanted them to do.

Personally, I think season 6 was awesome (it’s my favorite) and the Spike and Buffy/Spike story was great in both season 6 and season 7, so for me it means that I give Joss credit, not blame.

Interestingly, IMO ‘Angel’ was really bad in the same period. Season 2 was great, but season 3 was a mixed bag and they went wrong with the whole Cordelia goes to a higher plane thing and with her characterization – and then season 4 was terrible, just terrible. It almost made me stop watching the show, I had to force myself to continue. Season 5 was an improvement in some aspects, but in others it continued the horrible tendency from season 4, to fridge the female characters in the worst possible ways – stripping them of their agency completely and having them violated/raped/left for dead. That season has some great highs, but also some of the worst episodes of the verse – the cheesy tearjerker A Hole in the World (talk about fridging), Why We Fight with its the weird OOC characterization and retcons in the flashbacks, and the embarrassing The Girl In Question (worst piece of garbage produced my Mutant Enemy, ever).

In general, i whole heartedly disagree. End if season 8 got a bit too…outlandish at times, to me the characters always felt spot on and right where they should be at this point in their lives. Buffy should be a commander at this point, she did change the world. Willow should be a bad ass Wicca. Xander a leader as well. Season 9 has backtracked them all for the sake of being more like the show. Buffy back on a roof complaining about being a slayer ? She’s well passed that – I mean by season 5 shed already embraced her role as a slayer and the consequences that entails. Season 9 is meandering – and now the only line that had me interested (her pregnancy) is seemingly getting negated by the fact that she’s a robot.

Anyway, hoping it all pays off at some point but have been bored thus far. Won’t ever give up on Buffy tho. Would like to see more guest writers from the show tho please!!!

I’m one of the people that gave up on Season Eight, too. But my only real complaint about Season Nine so far is pretty simple.

Needs. More. Andrew.

Ivana:I’m reading the same comics you are.We just have a different opinion and I think ship preference influences both of our thoughts.

I think the seventh issue proved my point when it shows that Spike was looking for more from Buffy.He even says this is why he stuck around SF and why he stuck up for Buffy about the seed.He even confirms it’s why he got the soul in the first place.He’s looking for more from Buffy and when he thinks he is not going to get it here he than tells her that once the situation is okay he is leaving.Getting in his ship and flying into the wild black yonder to quote him.These other characters questioning him about his feelings for Buffy are what made him admit that to himself and to Buffy in the seventh issue.

I think your pro Buffy/Spike prejudices are also showing because I don’t think that’s noble at all or romantic and I do think it’s pathetic.It’s one thing to emotionally support a woman you love and not expect or hope for anything in return but this has always felt like to me with Spike that it’s trying to emotionally blackmail a person into feeling more for you than they might feel.It’s the motives that are the issue and has always been the issue IMO.The last issue just reinforced my opinions. He also says in the seventh issue that everything he’s been doing was because he thought things had changed between them.And it’s a problem I’ve had with the Spike character on Buffy in the last few season. This is why I think Spike worked better on Angel and in his own stories.The character comes off much better to me.He actually feels like a heroic character and actually felt like he grew.And unlike with Buffy’s gang I think he had actual friends in Angel’s group and his own supporting cast at IDW.

On that note I’ll just add that I find certain aspects of your post to me very insulting.You’ve come off as a person who likes to play shipper war and anybody who does not agree with your opinions about the story you throw insults at while trying to make your point.I would of respected your opinions even if i don’t agree with them had you not taken that tactic.The ironic thing is that I actually agree with you on some of your criticisms of season 9 so far.Your approach interacting with others that don’t hold the same views as yourself doesn’t do you any favors though.

Ivana, very well said. I completely agree with your points.

I’m personally enjoying season 9. Thought season 8 was (finally) the end of Buffy/Angel. And I’m waiting to see how Buffy reacts to Spike’s admission that he’s still in love with her.

@Sumtor274: “Trying to emotionally blackmail the person into feeling more for you than they might feel” is what he was doing in seasons 5 and 6. Maybe at some points early in season 7. But definitely not in season 8 or 9. He wasn’t expressing any romantic feelings for Buffy and he wasn’t expecting any relationship because he thought she would be better off with someone “normal”, as he said in #4 and #6. Buffy was the one who flirted with him, Buffy was the one who told him she wanted to ask him to run away with her and raise her child with her, and Buffy was finally the one who questioned him about his feelings for her. *She* was the one who made every overture along the way. He wasn’t going to talk about his love for her until she made him to. And when he said he had hoped things had changed, he was talking about respect and treating him as a person who can be a part of her regular life, rather than someone to be ashamed of and someone who is only there when she feels she needs “dark” or when she’s feeling bad. (Which I don’t agree with him on – I don’t think Buffy has been treating him like that at all, and I think he misunderstood her words about “normal” – I think she was trying to say that she was starting to understand she wasn’t looking for “normal”. But this is another issue that has nothing to do with what you’re accusing Spike of.)

What exactly was Spike supposed to do that you would approve of, when Buffy asked him if it was true that he was still in love with her?

And for the record, I don’t think Spike was really friends with anyone on Angel’s team in AtS season 5, apart from Fred. None of them seemed to particularly care for him, despite not having any of the troubled past that the Scoobies had with him. If the only way to have Spike have friends is to come up with original characters whose only purpose is to be Spike’s friends, as Lynch did with Jeremy and Beck and Betta George, that’s just sad – and boring, IMO. I find it far more interesting and better for Spike’s character to interact with people that he has established and complex relationships with, than to surround him with Lynch’s creations.

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