Where being a fan means something…

HappyEp060 – S6 Character Growth

Okay sit down, get comfy and prepare for the first half of an awesome two part episode. Kim is joined by Kate who after telling us about how she got into Buffy, discusses character growth in Season 6.

How I got into Buffy: Kate

Topic: Character Growth in Season 6, Part One

Promo: Knights of the Guild

Additional: Why did Spike go to Africa?

8 Responses to “HappyEp060 – S6 Character Growth”

  1. Kate, no offense, but you are absolutely wrong about Spike’s intentions in going to Africa. It has been repeatedly made clear, both in statements from the writers and in Season Seven scripts, that Spike’s apparent desire to get his chip out was an intentional misdirect on the part of the writers and that his actual intention was to regain his soul.

    The following essay contains quotes from the writers verifying Spike’s actual intentions plus analysis of his dialogue with Clem prior to his departure for Africa: http://www.allaboutspike.com/africa.html

  2. My main contention is what they showed on the screen was not congruent with they said was happening.

    A twist, is something where you are expecting ending “A” but when you go back and re-watch, it’s completely possible for the ending to be “B”

    If that makes any sense.

    What Spike was saying, and how he said it, left no indication that he was looking for his soul.

    As i mentioned in the cast, I knew I would not be popular with this idea, but based on what they showed me, it’s the one of the only conclusions I could come up with.

    You can think i’m wrong forever, that doesn’t mean I agree.

    But thanks for the comment, I always like a good debate


  3. Frankly, I could not care less about the chip-vs.-soul debate. By the end of Season Six, I was so sick of Spike I was ready to hurl. Talk about character overuse — and then, after BtVS ends, they send him to Angel! ARRRRGH!

    And then, you spend fully half of this podcast on Spike, relegating Willow to Part Two. I would hope that you spend at least as much time on her character development (or degradation, I should say)… except that I have a hard time caring even about one who used to be my favorite character. I could tolerate her turning to the Dark Side with her delving into power, but the ham-handed magic-as-drugs metaphor ruined the whole storyline for me.

    And the outright murder of Tara, in effect reducing this wonderful character to a plot device, was the final straw. I used to love BtVS, which is why I subscribe to Happyland. But the conclusion of Season Six irrevocably soured me on this, and every other Joss Whedon show.

    Please don’t take this as criticism of your podcast. I find it very entertaining. You just inadvertently pushed several of my buttons. Ciao.

  4. I agree that Spike was overused. I mean, he’s an interesting charchter to have around, but I agree that the show used way too much of him in S6 and S7.

    As for Willow, yes we get into a lot of Willow in the second half, in fact she’s the main portion of the second-half.

    I’m sorry that you saw the murder of Tara as a plot device. But it was, any big change by a character in a work of fiction is.

    Don’t get m wrong, I loved Tara, especially in S6, she grew so much, we learned a lot more about her, and it was heartbreaking to see her die.

    I do apologize if some of the conclusions “soured” you, but I’m somewhat glad it pushed your buttons, because it would be a little boring if everyone agreed on everything all the time. 🙂

    All I can say is check out Pt 2,

    Have Fun,


  5. I know I’m a little late but I agree with Kate on the issue of Spike’s reason to go to Africa. Frankly I don’t care what’s in scripts and what writers/producers/actors say off-screen. I care about what I see. And in the dialogue itself, how it is said and facial expressions is where I seek answers.

    Nothing indicated that Spike wanted to get his soul. Definitely didn’t show in JM’s face. Actually it looked like evil Spike to me. Most important to me is something that was said twice in the cave scenes. About Spike ‘wanting to be what he was’/’returned to his former self’. Spike was NEVER a vampire with a soul. He only has 2 former selfs. Human William and chip-less vampire Spike.

    Also have to agree with CaptMurdock on the overuse of Spike. BTVS pretty much became STV (Spike The Vampire) and then AtS turned into StS. And everybody was pushed into the background for him.

  6. The reason I take so much offense to the whole “Spike really went to get the chip out” idea is that it sells him short. The CHARACTER was significant at that point because he fought for his soul and that made him grow and become the man he was in season 7.

    So by saying that you can’t buy that he did go to find his soul, you are also saying you don’t buy the rest of the series in regards to that character. There is a lot more that he says after this event that counteracts the idea he was only going for his chip, why doesn’t that dialog and expression hold as much weight?

    But again read the article that has been mentioned twice in this post (thanks Andy Gavin for reposting the link) please, it looks at all of the things you all mention (like his SPECIFIC dialog and tone of voice).

    There’s also a recent article from some discussion with Joss during his trip to Australia.


    “Joss also spoke about Spike, who he felt ultimately became the most fully developed character in the Whedonverse, coming from the lowest rung in Season Six (when he forced himself on Buffy) to someone who literally earned his own soul, as opposed to Angel, “who had a soul thrust upon him for a hundred years and moped about it.”

    Thanks to all of you for your awesome comments, and I’m always excited when my episodes get people motivated to say something.

    CaptMurdock I hope part 2 satisfied your Willow concerns, and rest assured, there’s plenty of discussion on other characters in episodes coming up. This was just part one of a full discussion, and Kate and I wound up talking about Spike earlier pretty much at random. My lovely editor just picked a spot that made sense to stop at for timing’s sake.

  7. I say it again in case you didn’t really read my first post. I do not care what was explained off screen. I do not care what was said by any character after the event. I care about what I see and hear in that moment. And what it comes down to for me is Spike asking to be what he was. And he was NEVER a demon with a soul.

    There wasn’t much significant character growth. Because he was basically the same after he got a soul. And it doesn’t seem to bother anyone that he isn’t grown enough to take responsibility for the things he did. Instead he lays the blame at Angels feet who had nothing to do with him turning into a monster. He is also still proudly wearing the black duster he stripped off a woman he killed. Like he sais ‘It’s my second skin. It’s who I am.’

    Not everyone loves Spike. I have issues with the character starting back in S4. Not only did Joss screw up his own mythology because he loved JM/Spike so much but he made every other character look like an idiot because of it.

    But hey we are all entitled to our own opinions. Some like his story. Others don’t.

  8. “know I’m a little late but I agree with Kate on the issue of Spike’s reason to go to Africa. Frankly I don’t care what’s in scripts and what writers/producers/actors say off-screen.”

    If you don’t care about the off-screen stuff when it comes to the Spike-getting-his-soul-back, then at least take notice what it is said on screen. On the “Angel” episode “Destiny”, Spike clearly states how he “fought for his soul”. So if you don’t care what’s on the script or what the writers say, then at least care what the character itself says! If you don’t, then you’ve only created a kind of a fanfiction world for you. Which is fine, so long as you keep the canon and the fanfiction separate.

    Oh and I hate what they did with Spike’s character too. From season 5 on, he had _NOTHING_ to do except obsess over Buffy. Every single thing he did was related to his obsession with Buffy. It got really boring in season 5, but then they went ahead and did two more seasons with Spike having no other material than his relationship with Buffy. Plus he was definitely overused in season 7.

    But in fact I like Spike in Angel season 5. There he has more varied material and he isn’t overused. Season 5 of Angel is the perfect example of how to handle a character like Spike.

Leave a Reply