there’s so much going on Spike’s song in Once More, With Feeling it slays me every time
* the whole emotional conceit is so powerful and relatable because we’ve all had those unhealthy loves who we wanted out of our lives and brains but who we couldn’t stop inviting in and chasing after. Spike starts out wanting Buffy to leave because he’s worried he’ll betray his deepest feelings by singing a song, and then he does end up singing a song … about … wanting her to leave so he can bury his love. and so all the blocking is Spike simultaneously wanting her to leave and refusing to let her
* the actors’ expressiveness and physicality is INSANE especially in the first part of the song - Marsters ricochets from desperate to angry to horny and Gellar follows his split-second moves with precision, alarm to his anger, exasperation to his recrimination, wary glances when he gets quiet, crossing her arms to protect herself. and it makes every line meaningful. like the verse “you know i’m a willing slave / and you just love to play the thought that you might misbehave / but til you do i’m telling you stop visiting my grave” has so much going on. the first line, Spike sinks to his knees, totally abject, Buffy suddenly looks frightened at his desperation. second line his eyes drift down her body and he’s suddenly sexual, and she’s pissed off by that. by the third line he’s back up in anger, opening the door forcefully, but he keeps his arm on it so she can’t pass - the perfect visual representation of the conflict in him. and that’s just three frickin lines!!
anyway let’s talk about the death metaphor for a second, which is obviously worked into every line of the song and everything that happens
* for Spike obviously death represents emotional numbness here, as well as welcome respite from his painful infatuation
* but it also represents a normal part of life that neither Spike nor Buffy is “allowed” to access (because of demonhood on the one hand and Buffy’s friends on the other hand), and both of them sort of want a rest, they both abhor company and seek isolation, and death as the ultimate isolation is appealing to them both. Spike is also the only other character in the series besides Buffy who is suicidal (S4) and ends up spectacularly choosing death as the ultimate sacrifice (S7). for all these reasons Spike and Buffy have very similar relationships to death, which is again powerfully represented when they both fall in the coffin at the end of the song.
* Spike sings “you can’t tell the ones you love / you know they couldn’t deal / but whisper in a dead man’s ear / doesn’t make it real…” “…since i’m only dead to you / i’m saying stay away” which drives home that Spike’s undeadness is what makes him a non-person to Buffy, a non-entity, the sort of thing she can use as an emotional dumpster when she can’t tell her friends about her suffering
* relatedly, for Buffy as a depressed person, death is a metaphor for escaping real life. by the end of the song Spike literally drags her back into the grave, demonstrating visually that that is his effect on her - she is drawn by him into dark spaces, tombs, dead areas, so that she doesn’t have to face her life. this theme of dead Spike being an escape from life shows up throughout S6.
* “I know I should go / but I follow you like a man possessed / there’s a traitor here beneath my breast” … there’s the obvious meaning, which the words capture beautifully - the way you feel powerless and like something else is controlling you when you’re in the throes of an unwanted infatuation - but there’s also a vampire metaphor: Spike should die, but he can’t because his body is possessed by a vampire whose evil nature is at odds with his human soul
I was looking for images to accompany a BtVS post I’ll probably never write, because I completely lost my train of thought over the myriad images of Xander’s bold, patterned shirts. Honestly, kudos to Nicholas Brendon for pulling it off (or, rather, putting it on). Each is so very…eye-catching:
I mean, the above episode, “Earshot”, originally aired on September 21, 1999, nowhere near Christmas to come close to explaining the red, white and green holiday wrapping paper of a shirt.
In comparison, the above shirt’s (photo credit: spikebuffy) pretty mild. If you don’t think
it’s supposed to be contrasty, though, just look at the outfits of all
the other students around them: they appear much more subdued, almost
monotonic. And next to Xander, Buffy is looking tres stylish in a sexy LBD with a strategically-placed thigh-baring slit.
You know the Producers’
line: “If you’ve got it, flaunt it”? Well, Buffy certainly is. Flaunting it. And
Xander is covered up like he’s dressed for a completely different
USDA-regulated hardiness zone. As if he’s subconsciously covering up his
inadequacy by…covering up, buttoning up, and bottling up.
OK, that last one’s not so bad, really. Checkered and striped are sort of traditional patterns, right? For shirt designs that think outside the box, check out the following (I kinda like the purple one, actually):
For double the fun, both SuaveXander and ScruffyXander display(*) the same fashion sense! (*Mostly. SuaveXander has at one point put on a blazer to look sharp, if memory serves.)
And of course there’s paisley! Against a similarly ornate-patterned, warm-toned couch, no less:
As a bonus, here’s newly-chipped Spike, his humiliation made complete by being forced to wear Xander’s totally-non-threatening Aloha shirt (the “official” name for the now-ubiquitous so-called Hawaiian shirt). The final nail in the coffin of Spike’s carefully curated and cultivated “evil Big Bad” image:
But seriously, what does Xander’s fashion sense tell us, other than that he wasn’t a snappy dresser?
Well, we know about his family, the neglect he’d long suffered at the hands of irresponsible, alcoholic parents. He had to pay rent to live in his parents’ dingy basement after high school, and he worried about affording his own apartment. Clearly, his family wasn’t rich (something for which he’d been mocked by Cordelia at one point).
He had nobody to splurge on him, no cool male role model to emulate, and little money of his own. His childhood memories include not getting the birthday present he wanted (a firetruck at age 7), so I doubt his family had had vacationed in Hawaii for him to have gotten Aloha shirts as souvenirs. Were they, then, another traveler’s castoff? His clothes, given those constraints, could’ve easily been hand-me-downs or thrift-store purchases.
There’s another explanation, of course. Xander, the comic-book-reading, scifi-loving, outsider geek boy, the self-acknowledged social outcast (as confirmed by “Queen C” Cordelia), was dressing exactly as he wanted, or at least as he was (within budget): His fashion choice offered an accurate portrayal of his personality, his identity: quirky, non-conforming (a historical association with paisley), down-to-earth, and fun. Far from superficial, he paid no attention to fashion trends. He worn his ugly shirts unironically, totally unself-consciously, and dare I say it? Absolutely adorably.
The flashy, bold patterns reflected his sense of humor as much as his desire to be noticed, to stand out. (There is something ironic and thought-provoking in the high school reality that Xander still got ignored by most people, almost as if he were invisible — a theme Joss explored in the episode “Out of Mind, Out of Sight” — while dressed in the most outlandish outfit.) The vibrant, feminine colors (purple, red, magenta, etc.), and the floral motif (Aloha shirts) make him appear less masculine — which unfortunately for Xander, rendered him not, as a teenage boy no doubt desired, appear to teenage girls as an assertive and highly-desirable date, but as an awkward funny guy relegated to the tragic friend-zone. For the “jocks” that occupied the coveted tip of the high school male social pyramid, Xander’s unique style only reinforced the fact that he was not one of them.
Rumor has it that Joss had at one point intended for Xander to be Buffy’s romantic interest. By Hollywood stereotype, however, he was dressed on the show as the supporting character: no iconic item to anchor his style, confirm his status (like Giles, for example), no billowing long coat or mysterious black ensemble befitting of a male lead (Angel, Spike), no expensive power suit (the W&H lawyers on AtS) to intimidate or inspire awe. He was dressed as the plucky comic relief: the one who’d stand by the the protagonist, get the best jokes in the script, but not the girl. And as the true friend and ally: nonthreatening (therefore trustworthy), unpretentious, and authentic; someone who didn’t give a damn about how he looked, but cared deeply about getting the job done. As his clothes attested: you could count on him to say what was on his mind.
Somehow, Xander’s fashion sense allowed him to be simultaneously relatable, unique and endearing. Because when your best friend is giving you a hug? Who cares if he’s wearing an ugly shirt?
sometimes I imagine spike and Xander adopting dawn and living as a family with her. so cute. Dawn would be spolied rotten.
Xander put down his pencil and glared at Spike’s shaking leg. “Would you stop? I have to finish going through the science building plans before tomorrow.”
“How can you be this calm?” Spike’s tense fingers lit up a cigarette. “Dawn is going out with that DJ ponce to God knows where and all you care about is your bloody job.”
“His name is RJ. They’re going to the Bronze. And my ‘bloody job’ is the reason there’s a roof over our heads.” Spike kind of resented that Xander was the provider of their little family. Xander used to assume it was some fragile male ego crap, but it turned out Spike hated his inability to help out.
Stealing was out of the question - it took three fights for it to sink in Spike’s head, two of which were almost deal breakers until Dawn threatened to run away. Regular jobs needed an identification, which Spike didn’t have, so he reluctantly accepted his role as a stay at home dad.
“Yeah, well, someone wouldn’t be here scribbling if it weren’t for Spike killing off the nasty schwalbe demon.”
Spike was turning this into a competition again. If Xander wanted to get some work done, he better let Spike have this one. Sometimes he felt he was the only adult around here.
“Fine, Spike. You’re our big hulk protector. We’d be lost without you.” Xander couldn’t help but sound patronizing. He could tell Spike was more aggravated than satisfied. “Look, I know you’re worried about Dawn, but it’s just a harmless date. Dawn is a responsible girl. You gotta trust her.”
On cue, Dawn walked out of her room looking like she came out of a Britney Spears video.
“Hold it right there, missy!” Xander’s wide eyes couldn’t get wider. “When did you shred your clothes? And is that a ring on your belly button and since when do you show your stomach?”
Dawn did her perfected version of adolescent eye roll. “Willow okayed it.”
“Last I checked Willow was not your legal guardian, I am.”
“Me too.” Spike jumped to his feet and stood next to Xander, copying his stern stare if not the foot tapping. “Except without all that boring paperwork.”
“You’re not serious.” Dawn twisted her lips in disdain. “Buffy used to wear worse than that when she was my age.”
“I’m calling Tara.” Spike pulled out the big guns.
“You wouldn’t,” Dawn gasped. She tried to snatch the cellphone out of his hands, but Xander stood between them.
“Dawn, go and change now,” he ordered.
She shook her head, the mop of brown curls swung left and right. “You can’t make me.”
Xander slipped her purse off her shoulder. “Then I’m taking your phone.” He unzipped the purse and waved the phone in Dawn’s face.
“Give it back!” Dawn jumped up and down trying to get her phone. Xander held it up over her head when he realized she was much taller than she used to be last year.
“It’s all right,” Spike said, snapping the phone in his hands shut. “Let her go.”
“What?” Xander was caught off guard, and Dawn took advantage and seized her phone from his loosening grip.
Spike placed a chaste kiss on her forehead. “Be back before ten. It’s a school night.”
She flashed him a grin. “Thanks, Spike.” She threw a daring glance Xander’s way before strutting out of the apartment.
“What the hell did you just do?”
“Relax,” Spike said. “Tara and Willow are going to the Bronze to keep an eye on her. She doesn’t know.”
“Oh.” Tara and Willow were their backup parents. Willow would have been the better choice to raise Dawn if she wasn’t still in school. Xander was the only Scooby with a steady income and a place of his own which made him the most qualified to take care of Dawn.
Not that he was complaining. Dawn’s presence filled the void Anya’s death left in his life. The summer after they had defeated Glory was the hardest on Xander because not only did he lose Buffy, but he also lost Anya. Dark times dimmed more by Giles’ departure, and soon it was impossible to keep pretending that Buffy was alive, especially when they lost the house. One of them had to step up, and it was him.
Dawn had endured his mood swings for so long until she ran away to Spike’s crypt… one thing led to another… and now…
“So, we’re alone,” Spike said suggestively. “Why don’t we…” He nodded his head to the direction of our room.
“Spike, I need to finish…”
He pulled Xander towards him. “Work can wait. The birds would probably piss off our little girl and she’d come back home in a huff before her curfew.”
“If we wanna move into a bigger apartment where Dawn being here won’t be a big issue, then you gotta let me work.”
“Don’t know why you insist we need a bigger place. This flat is big enough for the three of us.”
“Spike, our bedroom is a closet.”
“Vampire-friendly,” Spike reasoned and then leaned in to nibble on Xander’s earlobe.
Xander gasped. “Fine. Five minutes.”
“Spike, you’re supposed to go down.”
“Oh, I’ll go down.” And went down on him Spike did. The sex lasted more than thirty minutes. Interrupted by an angry slam of the apartment’s front door.
“Dawn is back,” Spike whispered against Xander’s lips. “We should probably…”
“Hell no!” Xander crashed his lips against Spike’s and they went at it for another half an hour.
“Are you guys done?!” Dawn roared from outside. “I need to talk to you! My life is OVER!”
It turned out, their backup parents ‘stole’ RJ from Dawn and were fighting each other for his affections. Through the stream of rivers sliding down her cheeks, Dawn described in detail how Willow magic kidnapped RJ and how Tara teleported to another place, muttering something about turning RJ into a woman.
Spike squeezed Xander’s shoulder. “You finish up your construction plans. The hellmouth is my job.”
“Go get ‘em, babe.” Xander gave a mocking air kiss.
Spike threw in his trademark smirk, slipping on his duster. He strode to the door with his duster fluttering behind him like some superhero, and now it was Xander’s turn to feel envious.
Imagine walking home from church and Spike saves you from getting attacked by Angel.
Spike pulled you to your feet, wiping a smear of blood from his lip with the back of his hand. “You alright, love?” he asked, blinking at you.
You nodded breathlessly, unsure of how to process the situation. “What just happened?” you whispered, voice high-pitched with a mixture of confusion and fear. The man’s face had changed and turned animal-like when he had fought off the other creature. The creature that had tried to hurt you. You wrapped your arms around yourself to try and stop your body from shaking.
Spike offered a crooked smile, “I just saved your life, love. The normal response is to say thank you.”
You nodded absently, “Th-thank you. Um, what are you?”
He shook his head, slinging an arm around your shivering shoulders, “Best to pretend like this is all a dream, love. Go on and have your lovely beans on toast. Don’t tell anyone about this ‘cause, if you do, you’ll get them killed. Ta for now.”
Get your shit together!
Get it all together and put it in a backpack.
All your shit. So it’s together.
And if you gotta take it somewhere, take it somewhere, ya know?
Take it to the Shit Store and sell it. Or put it in a Shit Museum. I don’t care what you do.
You just gotta get it together.
Get your shit together!
holy shit after jenny’s uncle is like “it is not justice we serve, it is vengeance” you can see her disbelief. that’s the moment where her doubts about her family are confirmed and i am so fiercely proud of her
Joss Whedon a few days ago: I'm a Buffy/Spike shipper. I always felt like he was a more evolved person, but that's like saying Juliet's going to be so happy with Benvolio and everyone will love it. Buffy/Angel is for the ages; Buffy/Spike is maybe for me." And compare with Julie's response to being se or de? are we supposed to believe that its the same? that she's a se shipper but the story went to de really?
That’s actually very interesting because I see Joss’ point; as a character (and this is only in BTVS, I haven’t watched Angel) Spike is certainly a more evolved character than Angel and so his dynamics with Buffy are more complicated but for the narrative, the story, nothing can really compete with the poetry of Bangel or that kind of chemistry, as he said it’s for the ages, it’s eternal. With TVD, the story and the poetry and the narrative belongs to SE and it belongs to SE because they’re both equal participants in this relationship, it’s about them and their mutual and individual journeys, DE is literally just about Damon so how can the story really go to DE; I think JP needs to be honest and say that DE is for herself but the story belongs to SE.
“i was sent here to watch you” no…you were not sent here to watch buffy, you literally only told your uncle, who sent you here, who didn’t know she existed, about her one episode ago….what the fuck is up with this writing i really think it’s trying to make jenny look as Awful and Villainous to buffy as possible while it contradicts itself