Fool for Love • S05E07 • TPN's Buffy Guide
My soul is wrapped. In harsh repose. Midnight, descends. In raven-colored. Clothes. But soft. Behold. A sunlight, beam. Cutting a swath, of, gloomering. Gleam. My heart expands. Just grown a bulge, in it. Inspired, by your beauty. Effulgent. Buffy is doing buffy things in one of the many sunnydale, cemeteries. Battling a vampire, in an 80s, style, punk, getup, if spike's, 70s, billy idol punk style is something we have grown, too accustomed, to the use of the 80s big hair version serves as a nice visual reminder, of the fact that vampires. Are frozen. In particular. Eras, and i so, want that big pile of majesty, on his head to be real this guy, is great, he's, owning, the physicality. All those head whips and a bit of a smolder, going on kind of like you know who buffy is quipping like it's a normal day until she has an unusual. Lapse in attention. This particular, shot stirs, every, wagon, circling, protective, impulse i have for one of my favorite characters, ever as one that we look to for strength and inspiration. It is even more unnerving. To seeing her injured. We get a rare, riley, cheer, moment and from the source of a groan, earlier in the season, him backing, her up my list of riley, cheer moments, goes punching, parker. And. Yes. I am a lesbian. Though i think that last one is on there just so i could technically, call it a list, riley lets vampy brewster go and buffy fades into his arms, back at home he bandages, her up and they're both taken aback by the curious, fact, of buffy's, injury, how many. One. Dawn does buffy a solid, warning of some incoming. Mommage, and taking responsibility. For the medical supplies, i love the nice intimacy, between, sisters, as buffy shows dawn her wound, is repayment, for the favor, oh cool. I i mean gross, in deference, to buffy's request. Riley takes the scoobs, on patrol, with him and right along with all the incredible, things going on this episode i somehow, always remember, how loud that bag of chips, is he's like a cat. You know a big jungle cat. How come i'm not like that because last time you had a pack animal spirit, xander, it uh, turned out rather badly, meanwhile, buffy and giles are combing, through watcher, journals, looking for helpful clues and tactics, that might have been learned from the demises.
As Previous, slayers. I realize that every slayer comes with an expiration, mark on the package. But, i want mine to be a long time from now. Like a cheeto, i am reminded, of two things in this scene, the first is that the council doesn't hold the slayer's, watcher, in particularly. High regard. Never forget, how they treated giles, but perhaps, that is due to the inevitability. Of the watcher's, attachment, to the slayer, where are the details. Why didn't the watchers keep fuller accounts of it the journals just stopped, i suppose if they're anything like me they just found the whole subject too. Unseemly. Painful. I was gonna say the second thing i'm reminded, of is helpless. And the crucimentum. No need to keep copious, notes on her demise, when there is always another cheeto, in the bag. Giles observes, that once the slayer, dies and her watcher moves on there's no one left to tell the story of that ending. Except for. Are you feeling all right slur this stuff usually hurts, buffy takes spike to the bronze, for a conversation, about the two slayers, he killed something he first bragged about in school hard. I don't like to. Brag. Who am i kidding, i love the brag, spike takes any opportunity, to annoy buffy he can find and we get an iconic. Moment, from the series. Were you born this big a pain in the ass. And what can i tell you, baby. I've always been bad. Quickly. I'm the very spirit of vexation. What's another word for gleaming. Smitten and pre-bitten, william, of 1880, has a bit less swagger than spike does and we discover that some of the spike. Mythos. Might have been a tad rewritten. Along the way, they call him william the bloody because of his bloody awful poetry. It suits, him, william sits down with half. Cecily. And proclaims, his poetry, to be about her, and in admission, i feel pain-hearing. I know i'm a bad poet. But i'm a good man. Get your stuff i'll be here cecily, has clearly been putting out some harsh vibes that william, has been, failing to pick up on so she instead, scorches, the earth around him, you're nothing to me william. You're beneath, me william storms out into the streets, tearing his palm apart and in the alleyway, is approached, by drew cilla. And i'd never noticed until watching this time that she grabs, his. Bangers and mash, here begin with spike's confused, perceptions, of love, sex, and violence. William, dies, aroused. In love, broken-hearted. And in tremendous. Physical, pain, in another flashback, we see spike and angel going at it because angel thinks that spike is a bit reckless.
If I can't teach you. Maybe someday an angry crowd will. That. Or the slayer. What's a slayer, we see spike's, first kill during the voxer rebellion. This scene explains, spike's, meaning about a slayer needing to reach for her weapon, and my heart, cracks, in half, whenever she. Says. After spike and drew have some pelvic, time the famed four decide to leave china, you got off on it, well yeah. Suppose you're telling me you don't, well. Sometimes, i crave a non-fat, yogurt afterwards, in an episode where death is a big aspect, of the theme riley, lies to the scoobs, so he can go on a suicide, mission and grenade, some vamps, and the alleyway, scene between buffy and spike, is. Well. Without hyperbole. It's one of my most favorite, scenes, in anything, ever. Ever, as spike explains his battle with 70 slayer, nicki the action cuts back and forth between nicki and buffy with his motions, being repeated, identically. Each time, it's some of my favorite, film making ever and we'll spend some time on it in a minute i was also struck by how buffy and spike's, no sex is sexier, than buffy and riley's, actual, sex, though partly that has to do with just james marster's. Unbelievable. Smolder, buffy rejects, spike and returns home to find that joyce is checking herself, into the hospital, spike out for revenge, against all the women that have ever shunned him finds a scared, and sad buffy, and the episode ends with the two of them sitting alone, breathing, in sync, on the summer's, back step, before we get to the discussion, i want to acknowledge, that i know how, important, this episode, is to everyone. It is to me as well, full for love is probably my second favorite episode in the series, i've already mentioned my first that is also in this season, full for love is also an episode, 7, one that may episode, 7, harder, than any other episode 7 has and will ever, episode, 7., and what episode 7s do well, is light the fire. Set up the ideas, fuel the ark ask, the important, questions. For the season to answer, for love raises many of those questions, that don't really have answers, we'll be able to fully dive into until the last. Three or four minutes of the season, because we try and sometimes, fail to not spoil, here that also means that some degree this video has to be limited to my we'll say effusive, ravings, and rantings, about just how damn good fool for love is, so let's get to that and my, god, what an unbelievable. Jewel, this episode, is when i talk about how good buffy, is to people, i generally, talk about the show entire. And a small handful of episodes, that are some of the best bits of television, i've ever seen, the types of episodes, that i could point to when listing the reasons i started to make the videos, in the first place three of buffy's, biggest, are in the later seasons. Starting, here, the writing is fun, engrossing, and typically, subversive. The editing is some of the best in the series, geller and marsters, have, crackling. Chemistry. The flashback, sequences, are absolutely, epic we've seen vampires, throughout history before but this is the first, experience, of the slayer, herself, living through generations. This one was also a loose crossover. Event with the angel episode that aired the same evening, darla, i say loose because the crossover. Parts of the crossover, don't drive, either episode's, plot, but provide different perspectives. On the whirlwind, flashbacks. Through that ultimate, perspective, we discovered that angel already had his soul in all the scenes we see him in his reaction to spike's, um. Achievement. In murdering, his first slayer wasn't, jealousy. But repulsion. I smell fear. It's. Intoxicated. This rebellion's starting to bore me fool for love is working on another level, visually, but not just through the flashback, sequences, where we could see the budget, on screen. Static, and functional. Two-shot, sequences, where the camera starts on a wide and cuts back and forth between the two people having a conversation. Are usually. The bread and butter of the 22, episode a season, show, functional. Visual, storytelling. On a time crunch, establishing. Shot boom boom boom, next scene, establishing. Shot boom boom, boom and there are a few of those in fool for love but often. The camera, is in motion, creating the same kinetic, energy, and the storytelling. Of the episode, as there is in spike's, story that he's telling buffy, i particularly. Loved this shot from the lit match, to buffy's, face, michael gershman, is credited, as the cinematographer. On this one among the 82, episodes, to his name but this is one of only, seven from director, nick mark, among those are something blue, full for love, life cereal, conversations. With dead people and the woefully, underrated, surrealist.
Nightmare, That is double meat palace, all of this excellence. Builds, to the alleyway. Fight sequence, which again, is one of my favorite sequences, of any movie or television, show ever in the video for family, i talked about the mutant enemy use of dialogue, driven transitions. From one scene to another character, says a line cut to the next scene where that line is somehow relevant. Well i mean that in a positive way get out of sunnydale, that's a good thing what kind of moron would ever want to come back here. There has long been a visual, equivalent, to this storytelling. Technique, called a matched, action, cut where the motion, or energy of one shot directly, feeds into the shot that follows it it's one of my favorite, editing techniques, in visual storytelling. And the entire. Alleyway, scene in fool for love is constructed. With it spike, tosses, buffy off of him cut to a shot of nikki, rolling away buffy throws a punch at spike, cut to a shot of spike in the past, reacting, to nikki's, punch in his face, functionally, the technique, develops, a kinetic, energy, that starts to accelerate, the scene to its. Uh, payoff, eroding, the boundary, between the two time periods until it is literally, spiked from the past, explaining, things to buffy in the present, the effect serves spike's desire, to angle, buffy into the same position, he had nikki in and i didn't see it until this watch but the entire, sequence, builds, like an orgasm. You have the sexual, symbol of a subway, train racing through a tunnel, the accelerating. Edits, and spikes, rampant, innuendo, all building to a very violent, horrifying. Climax. That you can even hear doug, petry, cringing, at in the episode's, audio commentary. I've talked about the show's use of the little death, or likening, sex and death before, when buffy once said to angel in reptile, boy. When you kiss me i wanna die. But spike is a character who may as well have been spawned, by the phrase, openly, and regularly, conflating, sex violence, and love either he can't always distinguish, one from another or he just doesn't bother, there have been many examples, throughout the series already but let's examine his use of the word dance, in this one we first hear him use the term when introducing, buffy to nikki, she was cunning. Oh i didn't mention. Fault. I could have danced all night with that one so by sexualizing. Nikki he's already tied sex and violence, into, the dance, next he shifts that same lens onto buffy. You think we're dancing. That's all we've ever done. And the thing about the dances. You never get to stop, he then describes. Exactly. What he means by the dance, stopping. As much applicable, to an orgasm, as it is to death, you make it with your hands day after day. That final, gasp. That look of peace. Finally, spike thinks, he has buffy in the same position, he had nikki, chipped spike, who can't physically, harm buffy but who cares, because the dance to him is all the same thing, what the hell are you doing. I can feel a slave. You know you want to dance. But buffy denies, him and without, realizing, it makes spike's, third, connection. You're beneath, me. Love. The entire, sequence is masterful. Undercut only by one thing, at this point i've commented, a few times on the show's, unfortunate. Record with non-white, characters, on top of that nikki, evocative. Of 70s, blaxploitation. Characters, is perhaps, an inadvertent, use of the jezebel. Stereotype. The sexually, voracious. Promiscuous. Black woman, i say inadvertent. Thinking douglas petry, might not have realized, what combining, his acknowledged, in the commentary, track, love, of 70s, cop films, spike, sexualization. Of everything, and nikki dying at the height of a metaphorical.
Orgasm, Was creating. Nevertheless, the stereotype. Is what's there, there's a wonderful series of essays that delve into the topic and more in a book called joss whedon and race, that i have linked to in the description, below, full for love is pivotally, important, for the arc of the season but it's also a spike-centric. Perspective. Story, which means that any consideration, of the themes it touches, on need to be filtered through an examination, of spike, himself. And from the very beginning. Spike is established. As an unreliable. Narrator, i've always been bad. I prefer not to think of such dark ugly business at all. That's what the police are for, there is no evidence to suggest that the things we're seeing, in the flashbacks. Are false but clearly the things spike is saying to buffy, are, half truths, and manipulations. While there is plenty to talk about and the episode foreshadows, a ton of things to come this season, i mean if you're looking for fun there's death there's glorious, sod all else right nothing, spike says in the episode should be taken at face value, revisiting, a previous, spike centric episode for a moment, lovers walk i made a statement in that one that was an error if the soul is as whedon suggests, the moral compass then without a vampire, is incapable, of moral development, and a developmental. Process, that only grows in parallel, to that is the development, of empathy, devoid of empathy, a vampire, can't put themselves, in the position of their loved ones can't understand, and share in their feelings. Since lovers, walk there have been, several, events that demonstrated. Spike as capable of empathy, defined, as the ability to understand. And share, in the feelings, of another, for example in something blue when giles and buffy were discussing, how well willow was doing in a post-oz. World, spike, spoke up why are you people blind. She's hanging on by a thread. And then ninny could see that marsters, delivery, is as endearing. As it gets but consider the timing and intent of spike's, statement, spike saw willow was in pain but didn't reach out he waited until the use of the observation. Served, to shame, buffy and giles and make himself look better by comparison. Psychologist. Paul ekman. Separates, varieties, of empathy into three categories. Cognitive. Is in being able to imagine, someone's feelings, but not actually, feeling them yourself. Oh yeah, you too. Just friends no danger there, emotional. Actually, feeling others feelings. Right now i'm just trying to keep from dying. And compassionate. A balance of the two, you must be so disappointed. In me, no. No no i'm not. To this point spike has fallen into the first category. While too much of the second can be crippling, for anyone, a being with an abundance, of the first but little of the second is capable of using that ability to manipulate. People, we saw spike first realize, that capability, and doomed.
Buffy. Fights the forces, of evil. You're, her groupies, you're just the same 10th grade losers you've always, been. And she's too much of a softy, to cut you loose, empathy can be a powerful, tool of the con artist, playing off or against, most people's innate desire, to feel seen, something spike heavily used to his advantage, in the yoko factor. Generally, i think that most people's associations. With empathy, are selflessness. Compassion. Care but empathy is really just an ability to perceive someone else's emotions, clearly, what anyone, does, with that ability. Is still. A matter of choice. And up until this episode. Spike has chosen, to weaponize. His, what am i bleeding broken record i'm bad, thematically. Season five of buffy, revisits. Some of season one and spike's, character, study here, makes a great medium, for two of season five's, biggest themes to be explored. Love, and death, we've already seen many unique, forms, love can take in this season, familial. Self-love, but it's always tricky to discuss the topic broadly, in my review for in your eyes, i wrote about how, to some degree we're all trapped in our own heads, the space between our inner life and someone else's feeling like an uncrossable. Gulf, we all want to feel seen. And connected. Somewhere on that spectrum, of intimacy. I just don't. Think of you that way, we'll try. William. Is desperate, for it all i ask is that. You, try to see me. I do see you. And when he reveals, the full breadth of his feelings, to her one of the most devastating. Pieces of blocking, is when cecily, turns away from him in their meeting together in the alley drew definitely, makes william, feel seen, but the moment lacks, any sense of genuine, intimacy, because, we know she can read his heart, almost as though she's found his journal and scoured, every page, she didn't validate, him by having to do the work to value, him, she tells him what he wants to hear, their connection, seeming to william, faded in the stars, but the flashbacks.
Of This same sequence of events as told from angel's, perspective, in the angel episode, darla, tell a different story, well if you're lonely drew why don't you make yourself a playmate. I could. I could pick the wisest, and brightest, night in all the land. Okay, what, where are you, going. Or you could just take the first drooling, idiot that comes along. Drew. Was hunting, not all that much different from parker, who told buffy, exactly what she wanted to hear in the harsh light of day, so, whatever her affections, for him we see in later seasons, this was still a matter of selfishness. One of the ways i've tried to distinguish, between the various types of romantic, love the show has modeled, in previous, seasons, is selfish, or conditional, love versus, unselfish. Compassionate. And for the purposes, of a show about, adolescence. Adult. Love, to put it in terms of identity. Since, that is what the show is all about the distinction, might be knowing who you are and. Loving someone else, see in my fantasy, when i'm kissing you. You're kissing me it's okay. I can wait, versus knowing who you are through. Loving someone else, angel when i look into the future. All i see is you, spike may be able to love in the moment as an expression, of his template but he is still stuck perpetually. Measuring, himself, through his relationships. I'm nothing without, her. Yeah that'll have to agree with i'm not suggesting, that there is a level of self-love, or pre-validation. That can make anyone, immune, to rejection. Only that, lacking, that, leaves a person a slave, to other people's feelings, about them incapable. Of the freedom, necessary, for genuine. Self-actualization. Lots of people lose themselves, in love, it's no shame. Right they write songs about it. The hitch is. You can't, stay lost. Sooner or later you. You have to get back to yourself. If you can't. Well, love becomes your master, and. You're just it's dog. I may be loves bitch, but at least i'm man enough to admit it, spike. Projects. His feelings, onto other people and any fluctuation. In their returning, them is devastating. Still, there is a curious, honesty, to buffy and spike's relationship. Even if it's one that neither of them understands. Just yet spike has been present for some of the biggest moments of buffy's, life, buffy coming out to joyce, spike telling buffy, she and angel will never just be friends, i can't fool myself. Or spike for some reason, and here, for suffering, induced by her mother's illness, in the final shot they're dressed alike. Same shoes, same colored outfit evoking, the mirror, theme that was there way back in season two when spike, asks, her, what's wrong, it does. Feel, like we're seeing something we've never seen from him before, compassion. But genuine, intimacy. Requires, consent. And one of the most significant. Things about the scene is that buffy, lets. Spike. Console, her, after all of the poetry. And bluster, and theatrics. And constructed. Personas. Spike's, truest, moment of intimacy. Comes when he and buffy just stop, saying. Anything. And for a moment, the gulf between them disappears. Which, indirectly. Relates to the question he leaves us all with. Does buffy have a death wish, a death wish is defined, as desire, for someone's, death, especially, an unconscious, desire, for one's own death buffy's, chosen, career. Is, intrinsically. Dangerous. And within the getting through adolescence. Allegory. Of the show where the slayer role is the metaphor, for adulthood. The inevitability. Of death was always, a factor, in that choice, when buffy donned, the white dress, and went into the tunnels to face the master, despite the prophecy, that she was going to die was it because she had a death wish, if she knew the rock was never going to stay at the top then why did she go and get it death and its philosophical. Place in adulthood, are big parts of the season's, theme but in a spike-centric. Episode, where we see the how and the why, of the ways in which spike conflates, love sex and death, all the time, and projects, all those feelings onto other people, it's far more likely that he's just doing that to buffy, again.
With Death, does buffy have a death wish or to spike, spiker, treats death and orgasm, the same, spike who is obsessed, with tracking, down slayers, the only people capable, of killing him it's all built into the moment of his siren, getting killed made me feel alive for the very first time, maybe it isn't buffy, but spike. Who just, wants to see, how it. Ends. You.