We’ve been mixing it up the past few weeks on Immortal Monday. As a result, I thought we’d take it back to its roots this week and throw around a little gossip coffee talk about a fan favorite, the swoon worthy immortals of Sunnydale.
We have the ever amazing slayer, Buffy Summers, to thank for our introduction to these unique individuals. After all, it’s not every day you get to meet a vampire with a soul. And that’s what we are talking about here, the famous Angel (Angelus) and Spike (William the Bloody).
Fun and quirky, Buffy brought girl power to the screen as she reluctantly took on her role as the one and only slayer. Always a young girl chosen to fight the forces of dark and evil, and also slay vampires, the life was traditionally a lonely one. But this particular slayer managed to land herself some friends and several special friends along the way. And it’s these special friends (aka lovers) that we are going to take a closer look at, I mean talk about today.
The first immortal to stalk onto the scene with staying power is the dark and mysterious Angel, or Angelus as he is called by his given name when he turns bad. We’re left wondering what his motives are as he steps in from the sidelines trying to help Buffy for he is clearly a monster, and as the slayer she is meant to fight monsters. Here is a vampire of all things, a creature of evil, helping the slayer? There had to be a catch. Oh, and as if that wasn’t bad enough! They made him tall, dark, sexy, and clearly overloaded with super-human strength. As if his mysterious brooding nature wasn’t catching us like flying in a web already!
By episode seven we come to find out that he had been cursed by gypsies long ago and thereby has his soul, making him an internally tortured individual. Oh no! He’s hurting. Doesn’t that make you want to nurture him like you’re his own private nurse? You bad girl you! Because his demon past is soaked in so much rotten business he feels he can never atone for all that he has done. The result: a broody kind of hero who leans towards the side of over compensating when it comes to being good.
It’s this side of him that has him pull away from his true-love, Buffy, and walk away. Removing himself from Sunnydale and her life, it tears the slayer apart, but shows the audience that his love runs so deep that he is willing to do anything for her, including walk away. He even endures watching her with others, the pain it causes him – unmistakable. But their past is so littered with bad outcomes that he is willing to step aside and give her that chance.
But we did get three years of them in what seemed like a meant-to-be relationship. She was the reason he had dragged himself out of the trenches and cleaned himself up. He’d made himself a better man because of her. It wrapped up in a lot of tears for many who did not want to see it end. They were the Han and Leah of nighttime television.
You know, they say opposites attract. What better example than Buffy and Spike. In contrast to Angel, the vampire with a soul, there is Spike. The “Big Bad” who rolls into town with a thundering crash as the enemy whom Buffy must fight for many seasons before we come to find that he has fallen in love with her in the end. I know it sounds crazy, and it is, a little bit. Buffy will eventually return the affection, although Spike will assume she is only using him. But is she?
He is 100% demon vampire unlike Angel. Spike has no excuses why he stops trying to kill Buffy, other than he now wants to protect her till the end of days. These feelings didn’t happen overnight and they take Spike by complete surprise. It goes against his nature to feel for the slayer. He has killed slayer after slayer. To now fall for one was completely emasculating. But it was the truth of his situation and he comes to accept it because he gets tired of fighting and hiding it.
Willing to do anything to be worthy of her, he seeks out the ultimate power that restores his soul. We now have two souled vampires! That leaves Angel feeling a little less special now. Boohoo. Spike returns to Sunnydale not as the demon persona Spike, but as a very crazy and tortured version of his human self – William the Bloody; so named for his butchery of poetry. It’s with Buffy’s help that he finds his way back to himself.
We see a man who is able to love even more whole heartedly now that he has his soul intact. He becomes our champion and is willing to go all the way, meaning to the death, for the woman he has fallen in love with. And that is exactly the cost for our immortal in the end. For Buffy and her friends, he puts his life on the line to save them all.
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Buffy and Spike understand each other on a deeper level and she really comes to rely on him, treating him as an equal. Had her love for him really blossomed to that place where they would stand on equal ground? It would never be the same as Buffy and Angel but one built up together through collaboration, hard work, and many mountains and valleys of emotions and experiences. Had the show continued another season I believe their relationship would have deepened considerably. But we will never know since Angel and Spike are now stuck in a hell dimension in the comics. Nowhere near the slayer they both love.
I could go on at great length talking about these two particular immortals, but it is my goal to keep this post at a reasonable length so let me conclude by asking you: If you were a slayer pumped up with massive amounts of super powered strength which monster would be your weakness?
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