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Episode Poll: 5.07 Fool for Love

will51
Fool for Love! I'm so excited!

William! If some of these look familiar, it's because I've kinda done polls for this episode in the past. I'm a fan of recycling...but there's new people and maybe your opinion's changed! Also, new questions! Have at it! Seriously, I had to stop myself. I was coming up with far too many questions. It's not fair to the other episodes.

Let's do this!






1. After Buffy is stabbed by a vampire, Riley offers to patrol. Buffy insists that he take the Scoobies along with him. Reasonable?

Yes. Buffy just got almost-killed by a regular vamp. Strength in numbers is smart.
121(81.8%)
No. Riley can handle himself.
13(8.8%)
I have another answer.
5(3.4%)
Not sure.
9(6.1%)

2. So...Cecily?

Unreasonably rude to William.
86(58.1%)
Eh, William was probably being a creepy stalker guy. He deserved the smackdown.
24(16.2%)
I have another answer.
18(12.2%)
Not sure.
20(13.5%)

3. Did William actually go back and drive railroad spikes through those party-goers' heads after he was turned?

Well, yeah. That's how he got his name, right?
100(67.6%)
Nah. That was part of the joke about how he got his name
33(22.3%)
I have another answer
5(3.4%)
Not sure
10(6.8%)

4. So did Drusilla actually use her super-seer sense to realize how fantastic Spike would be when she turned William?

Yep. Hence the whole talking about his greatness and effulgence and such
89(59.7%)
Nah, Darla showed that she would have done that to the first person she saw. She wanted a playmate.
36(24.2%)
I have another answer
10(6.7%)
Not sure
14(9.4%)

5. Do all Slayers have a death wish?

Yes
56(38.4%)
No
40(27.4%)
I have another answer
17(11.6%)
Not sure
33(22.6%)

6. Does Buffy have a death wish?

Yes
17(11.4%)
Sometimes
109(73.2%)
No
15(10.1%)
Not sure
8(5.4%)

7. Does Buffy want to dance?

Yes, of course!
30(20.7%)
Maybe a little, though she wouldn't admit it
99(68.3%)
No way.
7(4.8%)
Not sure
9(6.2%)

8. Buffy shoved Spike to the ground, threw money at him, then gave him the ultimate put down.

Wow. That's mean.
55(37.4%)
Nah, Spike was being a jerk. She had reason.
62(42.2%)
I have another answer.
18(12.2%)
Not sure.
12(8.2%)

9. The Chinese Slayer or the Subway Slayer?

Chinese Slayer
38(26.2%)
Subway Slayer (Nikki Wood)
107(73.8%)

10. If Buffy hadn't been crying - and assuming his chip wouldn't disable him - would Spike have shot and killed Buffy?

Yes
16(10.8%)
No
86(58.1%)
Not sure.
46(31.1%)

11. Did Spike tell Buffy the truth about his past as a bloody awful poet and his rejection by Cecily?

Yes
23(15.4%)
No
112(75.2%)
Not sure
14(9.4%)

12. Which flashback did you like best?

William getting turned by Drusilla
24(16.3%)
William - Spike - learning about the Slayer from Angelus
16(10.9%)
Spike killing his first Slayer
18(12.2%)
Spike killing his second Slayer
76(51.7%)
Drusilla getting caught cheating on Spike
13(8.8%)

13. Pretend you're a movie reviewer and give this episode a star rating:

***** (Five stars)
119(82.6%)
**** (Four stars)
23(16.0%)
*** (Three stars)
2(1.4%)
** (Two stars)
0(0.0%)
* (One star)
0(0.0%)


Comments

rebcake
Feb. 7th, 2012 11:14 pm (UTC)
I voted for the subway scene as my favorite, because it's SO exciting and interesting, but the Chaos Demon scene is a very close second. The lulz! The slime! The total normalcy of the breakup! The hoof-kiss! *happy sigh*

Also wanted to say that I thought both Cecily and Buffy were unreasonably mean, but that's because it's always distasteful to me when the person in the position of power uses it to hurt or humiliate someone, even if that someone has flaws. Cecily could have said what women have said for ages: It's very flattering but I'm afraid it wouldn't work out." And Buffy specifically asked for the unvarnished truth. When he gives it, it's unfair of her to turn on him.

Edited at 2012-02-07 11:30 pm (UTC)
boot_the_grime
Feb. 7th, 2012 11:41 pm (UTC)
What power did Buffy have over Spike, from her POV, that she used in that scene to humiliate him? Yes, she could have beaten him up and couldn't defend himself because of the chip, but she didn't do that... so?
rebcake
Feb. 8th, 2012 12:03 am (UTC)
Um, I don't think I quite understand the question. Are you saying that it's NOT humiliating to be pushed down and showered with money, and told how low you are? That Buffy wasn't trying to humiliate him? 'Cos I'd have to say that it is, and that she was.

Or is it that she only recognizes her physical strength as having any power over him, and wouldn't believe that she can hurt him without hitting him? I can see her thinking that she's going easy on him by only roughing him up a little in this ep, which he comments on earlier. I can also see her thinking that his feelings can't be hurt because he doesn't have any. But if she really believes that, why is she trying so hard to do just that?

I still don't think I'm exactly addressing your question though. Can you explain what you mean a little more?
boot_the_grime
Feb. 8th, 2012 12:07 am (UTC)
You said it's a person using a "position of power" to humiliate another person. What position of power? We knew that Spike was in love with Buffy, she had no idea. From her point of view, she had no reason to think he would particularly give a crap about what she thought of him. So what position of power did you think she thought she was using?
menomegirl
Feb. 8th, 2012 01:53 am (UTC)
Buffy knew Spike couldn't fight back; that knowledge gave her her position of power alone.
boot_the_grime
Feb. 8th, 2012 02:15 am (UTC)
But she's not beating him up in that scene, she's saying "You're beneath me". Isn't that what we're discussing? His inability to fight back isn't the issue. He's more than capable of fighting back words with words - or attacking with words, as was the case with most of that evening.
menomegirl
Feb. 8th, 2012 02:23 am (UTC)
I'm not quite sure what to reply; I only know that when I watch that scene, there's no doubt in my mind that Buffy is in a position of power over Spike. I'm unsure just how to express why I feel this, just that I do feel it.

Her words caused more damage to Spike than a punch would have and I can't view that scene without thinking that Buffy knew that. She might not have known why but she knew it all the same.
samsom
Feb. 8th, 2012 03:42 am (UTC)
I think it's because Spike is very aroused right then, and imo, so is Buffy, but her position of power comes from KNOWING he's trying something with her other than fighting. It's almost like she knew she could 'get' him emotionally right then - that he was vulnerable.

Maybe because she used "You're beneath me" - the one comment that drove William to give up his life - on him again.

It might be a combination of things, but I get the same feeling you did, that Buffy has power over Spike right then. I mean, there's even one point where he's kneeling on his knees in front of her - you can't get a clearer picture of who had the power between them right then.
boot_the_grime
Feb. 8th, 2012 10:13 pm (UTC)
This all spells "power from the Doylist perspective". The audience knows that Spike is in love with Buffy, and the audience knows that "You're beneath me" reminds him of Cecily's rejecti But Buffy knows none of that. And the kneeling is again a picture from the Doylist perspective, since he isn't begging her or anything, and the fact he finds himself on his knees means nothing to her from the Watsonian perspective.

I don't think that realizing he is coming onto her sexually gives her the power or that she would know she would get to him emotionally. Surely you wouldn't presume that a guy is emotionally vulnerable just because he's coming onto you sexually? It's in fact often used by men as an aggressive move and a way to make the woman uncomfortable. In this case, we know that she doesn't think he might have genuine feelings for her (since she's so surprised by it in Crush) and from his past behavior, she knows that he likes to use words and trash talk to mess with her head (The Harsh Light of Day was the most obvious example). And he's just been telling her all night that he likes to kill Slayers and gets off on it, that she has a death wish and that he's going to kill her. Suddenly making a move as if he's going to kiss her was bound to feel disturbing (especially since I do think she was attracted to him and would be horrified to admit that) and in addition she had reason to suspect it was one of his mind games.

Basically, I think this scene as written and shot is extremely manipulative, in that the viewer is made to see it from Spike's POV and it gives a perfect Woobify Spike fuel. And for that purpose, Buffy had to say the words "you're beneath me", which is one thing I really find OOC - I can see her saying something to that effect, like "you're pathetic", "you're disgusting", she's told those things to him before. But "you're beneath me" just doesn't sound like the language she'd use, but she had to say it just to echo Cecily. Anyway: the moment one puts things into perspective, Buffy's behavior doesn't seem at all "particularly mean and abusing a position of power", but we're given all those insights into Spike's feelings and his geeky past that's screaming that we should just focus on how poor Spike is hurt. And somewhere along the line Buffy becomes just an frustrating object of desire in Spike's story.

That's one thing that I have a problem with in this episode now, which I didn't have when I first watched the episode. All those fannish Spike-woobification and Buffy-bashing has left a sour taste in my mouth and I can't get that out of my mind anymore when I watch this scene.

If the scene was focused on Buffy, she wouldn't seem any more "unnecessary cruel" than when she told Snyder "You never got a single date in high school". Both were parts of verbal sparring and reactions to the guy acting like an ass, and that line could hurt most people who were unpopular in high school - even though, hilariously, it turns out not to bother Snyder at all. But I don't see people complaining about Buffy's cruelty to Snyder in that scene (except for one guy on the TrekBBS forum who seemed to overidentify and started a thread about how cruel that line was).
gabrielleabelle
Feb. 9th, 2012 04:26 am (UTC)
Not getting into the power debate, but you did spark some thoughts.

For one, I've always found it so interesting that in S5 we get not one, but two episodes that seem specifically designed to a) show us Spike's viewpoint and b) get us to sympathize with him. Given the amount of fannish vitriol surrounding Spike and the people that like him...that's odd. Crush, in particular, is very much from Spike's POV. Even though he crosses so many lines, the finally shot is meant to inspire sympathy for him.

Not going anywhere with that thought. Just find it interesting.

Another thought is that I agree, Buffy's "beneath me" line seems oddly OOC. I think it's important, though, that we get a brief shot of Spike looking up at her before she says it. The camera angle and everything is meant to mirror Cecily's line from earlier. I think, much like everything else in the episode, we're seeing what Buffy says from Spike's viewpoint. She might have said anything at that point, and Spike would have heard exactly that: what Cecily had told him long ago.

Because FFL, as a whole, is about Spike's construction of his own narrative, first through the depiction of the flashbacks - which often counter his boasts - and then through the meta-narrative of the frame story wherein Spike comes to a point where he can choose to blow away the woman who thinks he's beneath her (again) or he can give in and comfort him. He's choose his own story in doing so.

/thoughts
boot_the_grime
Feb. 9th, 2012 04:53 am (UTC)

Another thought is that I agree, Buffy's "beneath me" line seems oddly OOC. I think it's important, though, that we get a brief shot of Spike looking up at her before she says it. The camera angle and everything is meant to mirror Cecily's line from earlier. I think, much like everything else in the episode, we're seeing what Buffy says from Spike's viewpoint. She might have said anything at that point, and Spike would have heard exactly that: what Cecily had told him long ago.


That idea has never occurred to me. I like it. There have been times in the show where the characters are seeing or hearing something differently than what it is (The Zeppo, Storyteller), but it's usually made clear that it's not reality; not always, though: the script for Faith, Hope and Trick makes it clear that Scott gave Buffy an ordinary 'friendship ring' (whatever that is) and that she just saw it as a Claddagh ring in her head, but that bit didn't make it to the finished episode and most people thought it was really a Claddagh ring, which made Scott seem so much creepier and the whole thing a weird coincidence.

And then there are entire episodes that work much better if seen as "POV story" even though they were almost certainly meant to be seen as reality. (Hello, As You Were!)

Crush is an interesting example, it makes you see things from Spike's POV but it also shows just how messed up he is. That's why it's one of my favorite Spike episodes. Spike yelling at the "bloody women" for what they're doing to him, while he's got them both chained up and threatening them with death, is both disturbing and hilarious.
rebcake
Feb. 8th, 2012 02:43 am (UTC)
Ah. Well, the most obvious is her physical strength as the Slayer, of course. But as you say, the physical part isn't really the fulcrum of the action in this case. Buffy has other advantages, though. She has family and friends for backup and moral, emotional, physical, and financial support. Spike has...Harmony.

But the lever that she's using most egregiously here is her power of righteousness. She's not only human, she's the Chosen One, with the power to decide who is worthy. She IS the moral high ground. Just as I find it distasteful when bishops and imams (or city fathers and the Harper Valley F-ing PTA) go around designating certain people as sinners, heathens, or harlots, etc. I find it equally distasteful when Buffy does it to prop herself up. It's an abuse of her power, to which she rarely lowers herself.

Now, when you ask about her POV and what position of power she thought she was using, it's very possible that she is not conscious of her advantages and many positions of power over Spike. It's human nature to focus most clearly on the obstacles we personally face, rather than the advantages we have. However, exercising a privilege subconsciously is still exercising it.

All the above is my Watsonian viewpoint. From the Doylist perspective, it's well established that Buffy has a cruel streak, as well as a kind one, and it's one of the ways she's just so Buffy. It makes perfect sense here. Especially as I'm pretty sure she's madder at herself than at Spike, as blackfrancine so eloquently put it further down in the comments.
boot_the_grime
Feb. 8th, 2012 10:17 pm (UTC)
I don't think that Buffy was being any more cruel than when she told Snyder "You never got a single date in high school". Both were parts of verbal sparring and reactions to the guy acting like an ass, and that line could hurt most people who were unpopular in high school - even though, hilariously, it turned out not to bother Snyder at all. But I don't see people complaining about Buffy's cruelty to Snyder in that scene (except for one guy on the TrekBBS forum who seemed to over-identify and started a thread about how cruel that line was).

The reason why the 'beneath me' scene gives such an impression of Buffy's cruelty is because it's very manipulatively designed to be seen from Spike's POV first and foremost. I've already written a longer summary of my thoughts on that scene upthread: http://gabrielleabelle.livejournal.com/364053.html?thread=15214869#t15214869
rebcake
Feb. 8th, 2012 10:46 pm (UTC)
Heh. Well, yes, Buffy was trying to be cruel to Snyder, but the reason it doesn't bother me much is because Snyder is in the position of power in that situation. He's ALL ABOUT misuse of power. The entire point of his character is to be the undeserving authority figure standing in the way of Buffy's use of HER righteous power.

I doubt that anyone would seriously claim that Buffy is incapable of cruelty. The wonder is that she wields it so seldom. As I said above, it's the use of cruelty from the position of power that bothers me. And here, she has all the power. Usually, when Spike gets all excited about killing her, a simple "Shut up, Spike" is enough for her. Here she goes for the full-on humiliation. Why? She's scared he's right. She does want to dance, deep down.
gabrielleabelle
Feb. 8th, 2012 03:41 am (UTC)
I had so much trouble choosing a scene! In the end, I erred on the side of WILLIAM. *loves*

But your icon is reminding me of the biceps of GUH in the subway scene... *waffles*

And Buffy specifically asked for the unvarnished truth. When he gives it, it's unfair of her to turn on him.

Hmmm. I might agree if that's all he did. As it is, I think Spike went above and beyond. He taunted her about her own death, expressed his own wish to kill her, pondered on whether she'd like it. When she told him to calm down, he kept bouncing around, asking her to hit him, etc. He was acting like an ass and in going on about her death, he struck a nerve.
rebcake
Feb. 8th, 2012 03:48 am (UTC)
Biceps vs. Antlers. What were you thinking, Dru?

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