Saturday, July 28, 2012

"Crush" (Buffy 5.14): Spike's Got 99 Problems

And the bitches are like, #1-3. This is the episode where we get the big reveal re: Spike's feelings re: Buffy. And, as Jenn points out, the results are a bit underwhelming. So here's the meh Buffy guide to dealing with a love that ain't requited. Spoiler alert: Spike doesn't follow any of these rules.

DO try not to be too fucked up. And here's where Spike earns his first major fail. First of all, he dresses like a prepster doofus.

Are those khakis? I blame Riley.

Second of all, he engages in some utterly perverse role playing with Harmony.

Where has she been lately, anyway?

DON'T disregard the foreshadowing. Tara fulfills her usual role this season of being incredibly insightful, even when she doesn't know she's being insightful. (So is that just "sightful"? Whatever.) She might think she's discussing The Hunchback of Notre-Dame when she says that the love story would never work out because the hero acts out of selfishness and "you can tell it's not going to have a happy ending when the main guy's all bumpy,"  but methinks there is a second meaning there.


DO avoid falling into bad patterns with old lovers. Dru takes a break from growing back her skin from the Angel flambe and makes a little trip to Sunny D. She wants to snag Spike for the Her and Darla Army (since Angel slaughtered the last group of recruits), and goads him into eating the recently dead female half of the, as Jenn points out, least sexy maker-outers ever seen in The Bronze.

It's like they're slow dancing in junior high.

And, if you are going to be fucked up, DON'T let the crazy show.

Pictured: Crazy showing.

DO take a hint. And this goes for Harm, too. Both Spike and Harmony love in a way that completely disregards not only the actions, but the actual articulated rejections of their crushes. Buffy basically dry heaves whenever Spike professes his love for her,

The expression everyone dreams of seeing when dropping the L-word.

and Spike, in turn, freaking tried to stake Harmony not that long ago.

Um, awww?

DON'T forget about the key. It's actually Dawn's crush, on Spike, that for me is what makes this episode relevant for the season and series. Buffy is revolted at her sister's fixation because Spike is a vampire without a soul.

Unlike this guy.

But Dawn's glib "same dif" when comparing Angel's soul to Spike's chip is pretty provocative. Does the prohibition against Spike's bloodlust give him the space to choose an ethical and human life? As Drusilla tells us, vampires can love, "quite well . . . if not wisely."

It's the line of the episode.

Let's keep an eye on this question, shall we? Is a soul materialistically ontological (you have one or you don't)? Or is it existential (about the choices a vampire makes)?

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