Rebcake (rebcake) wrote,

BtVS S9 #7 — The relationship part

If you're not interested in parsing the comics, I don't blame you a bit, and this is probably not going to be your thing.

People who do read the comics seem fairly happy with one point in this issue: Spike came clean about his feelings for Buffy. To her face, even! Possibly.

I'm not that thrilled with this development. Even though the jury is out on whether he said it to a robot or to Buffy's "consciousness", the whole thing made me vastly uncomfortable.

Here's the exchange from S9 issue # 7, On Your Own, Part 2:

BUFFY: Is it true, Spike? Are you still in love with me?
SPIKE: You really going to make me say what everyone else already worked out?
BUFFY: You know I'm terrible at everything that doesn't end with slaying. I'm not well rounded. I have lots of corners. And most of them are pointy. Why didn't you tell me?
SPIKE: 'Cause you had bigger problems and you needed my help. But I get how things work with us. I was a twit to think they might have changed. So once I know you're okay, I'm getting in my spaceship and flying into the wild black yonder. 'Cause I don't want to be the dark place you run to when things aren't working. That's not why I fought to get my soul back. That's not why I've been sticking up for you about the seed. And that's certainly not why I've stuck around this bloody city.
BUFFY: You stayed for me?
SPIKE: I didn't stay for cable cars and rice-a-roni. I can give you what you need. I want normal, too. And I want it with you.

(The conversation is cut short by mayhem, mayhem, mayhem.)

Aside from Spike dissing my fair city (you could do much worse, buddy!), it's sort of sweet and thrilling, isn't it? Spike's a heart-on-the-sleeve kind of guy, so it makes sense he would spill his guts at some point. I'm unhappy because it seems really unfair of Buffy to demand a declaration from him. I'm not saying it's not true to her character; I'm just saying that it's not right to insist on having the emotional upper hand like that.

For example, here's an exchange from the S2 episode Lie to Me:

BUFFY: Who's Drusilla? And don't lie to me. I'm tired of it.
ANGEL: Some lies are necessary.
BUFFY: For what?
ANGEL: Sometimes the truth is worse. You live long enough, you find that out.
BUFFY: I can take it. I can take the truth.
ANGEL: Do you love me?
BUFFY: What?
ANGEL: Do you?
BUFFY: I love you. I don't know if I trust you.
ANGEL : Maybe you shouldn't do either.
BUFFY: Maybe I'm the one should decide.

There are two things here. Buffy's right — she should be the one to decide. (Angel's insistence that he gets to decide what's good for other people is the basis of my problem with him throughout BtVS and AtS. Ditto S4-S6 Willow.) But beyond that, people have noted that it's manipulative of Angel to insist on a declaration of love (without giving his own) before telling Buffy something she might not like to hear. It's understandable that he might be nervous about revealing his ugly past, but it's the right thing to do and making it conditional on her "love" is a douche move, and cowardly as well.

It's true that S9 Spike is a grownup, while Buffy is still a teenager in S2, and so the balance of power between them is theoretically not the same as that between S2 Buffy and Angel. I don't think Buffy means to be manipulative in the way that Angel was, but the end result is the same — one party gets the other party to "commit" without committing themselves. It's a bit of a low blow in the game of love and war. (Yeah, I know, everything is fair...tsk.)

Spike, whatever his other faults, is unlikely to put another person into this uncomfortable position. So much so that I am always worried about his unguarded heart even when he isn't — I have to watch Crush while peeking through my fingers, and I'm not talking about the part where he eats the girl in the Bronze. I'm talking about the clumsy attempts to participate in date-like activities with Buffy, and especially the part where he completely bares his soul heart to her. So stressful! It's supposed to be funny, but the humor of humiliation isn't for me.

Anyway, the conversation does seem true to the characters. I just wish Buffy was being braver.

I was giving McDiva the synopsis, since she refuses to read the things but likes to hear what's going on, for the lulz. When I got to the part where Buffy's is a robot, she came up with an unprompted theory:

McDiva: Well, obviously the real Buffy is still off in Rome with the Immortal! *koff*jackharkness*koff*

This is so close to what I suggested to Barb C when she was prognosticating, that I cannot help but feel that I have successfully programmed brainwashed raised her right!

This entry was originally posted at Please comment here or there using OpenID.
Tags: btvs, comics, meta
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