30.3.09

My Scott and Jean

xmen30

Alert Nerd is hosting an all blogs cross-posting about our Scott and Jean that is all Sarah's fault. And as I've mostly-recovered from the mortifying shame of writing this post and haven't let myself think about people reading this yet (. . . fuck.), I can tell you she had an awesome idea. Thanks to Dan Faust (dude, you thought you were the crackpot? Just WAIT.) for discussing his Scott and Jean on Twitter to start the whole thing.

What the hell is a 'My Scott and Jean'?

The Background: Such an awesome theme could only have been birthed on Twitter. Simply put, when someone says “that’s my Scott and Jean,” it essentially means “that’s my geek sacred cow.” It’s the issue/coupling/whatever that you pretty much can’t discuss because you are too passionate about it and it makes you too crazy. You might hear perfectly reasonable arguments against said coupling/issue/whatever, but you cannot process them. It’s like That One Thing. It could be something like “Scott Summers and Jean Grey are supposed to be together and that is just how it is.” Or maybe “the new Battlestar Galactica does not exist for me because it is not the old Battlestar Galactica.” Or “The only correct portrayals of Batman are the ones that contain X, Y, and Z.” You get the idea. It’s your nerd mental block.

Please go check out everyone else's Scott and Jean's, which you can find Alert Nerd's Master List. There'll be more links as the day goes on, so don't forget to check back. And Sarah wrote that Background summary. Clearly--mine would've been rambling, incoherent and five paragraphs long.

Now that you know what the hell I'm blogging about, here it is:


My Scott and Jean
Spike Shouldn't Have Gotten Souled or: Oh God, I'm So Pathetic.

Giving Spike a soul was a completely useless plot point and that's why it bothers me. The soul bothers me because it's there--it doesn't change Spike, it doesn't exist to give Spike a reason to give a shit about people because he already was. I honestly can't see how him gaining an official Angel Soul would be better than forcing him to work through being a screwed up way overly-emotional vampire--even WHILE understanding the facts of the situation, I Just Don't Agree. It wouldn't have made him less devoted to Fred when he shifted over to Angel, it wouldn't have stopped him from giving a shit about Jerry in his recent mini-series, it existed to give the network and viewers a reason to justify him. It exists because people needed it to, not because the characters needed to. It exists because Buffy needed it to exist so he could play an integral role in fighting the Biggest Evil That Ever Did Evil (Hurrah!) in the next season and continue on and I know his creator WROTE IT and I getitIgetitbutyou'reallstillwrong.

I originally had that paragraph at the end, but at the last minute decided to summarize and then expand. Feel free to not read the mortifying expansion.

So welcome to my Domain of Doom, wherein you get a terrifying glimpse of my younger, kind of creepy side. There's something wrong and demented inside of me and it's all Joss Whedon's fault.

Spike didn't occur to me when I agreed, because I put the crazy in a box and leave it there. After realizing I was probably going to need to branch out of comics to find my Scott and Jean, I felt the dread. I tried not to do Spike being souled. I was convinced I could . . . maybe bend the rules a bit and find my knock-off Scott and Jean. Something else had to come really close to My Spike Issue, close enough to call it a fair shot.

Alas. I was wrong.

Buffy is the reason I got seriously into Geeky Things. I'd always liked the Treks and had read comic books lazily throughout childhood, but it was ultimately Buffy that did it. Specifically Spike, because I was on a mission to find more tortured and sexy villains for my brain to eat. The first piece of television I recorded was 'School Hard', because I saw him in a promo somewhere for the episode and just . . . snap. There. Loved him. Was so excited I figured out how to record something on our VCR. I watched that tape more times than one of my teenaged-male classmates re-watched the shitty porn tape he stole from his dad/brother/uncle/store.

I was crushed when it occurred to me that he was just a one-time character that I'd never have again. I actually spent a month inventing story lines during math and science class to bring him back in. I wrote outlines for fanfiction before I knew what fanfiction was. I couldn't put my finger on it, I didn't really care for short, white-blond mouthy vampire-types, but him . . .

He was hot. Smoking freaking hot and my little sixteen year-old self couldn't help herself. He was also clearly really fucking broken and had a hot crazy lady vampire cooing at him in weird sing-song. Beautiful!!

Then, the most fantastic thing happened. The character kept showing up and oh, oh it made me so very happy. Scott and Jean level happy. When I found out he was shifted to Regular Cast status in season four, I was delirious. More Spike. More greatness--more of his snark and darkness and rudeness and betrayals and hurts laid out for me to enjoy. Yay!

I adored the way they chipped him and progressed his character. His back story was so fascinating and the more that was revealed about him, the more I loved him and how fucked up he was. He was this not-quite-right soulless--and therefore evil--monster surrounded by true heroes and watching him deal with that was some of the best TV watching I'll ever experience.

The bickering with Giles? Beautiful. Watching him slowly unravel everything he'd built himself on, tame for humans and so resentful. Watching him be controlled and broken by the chip. Watching a villain become a non-villain, become an anti-hero.

Then it came. Season Six. And it started . . . oh, it started so beautifully for Spike. He was tortured, grieving, desperate and terribly devoted. So perfect. I liked it even when he and Buffy started working on their private, building demolishing workout routines, which is an event that split most Spike fans in half. Not me--I continued on blithely, and I didn't care that it was Buffy. They were using him to complement Buffy and her main storyline. I got that and it didn't make total unsense for Spike to want to repeatedly cut himself on her.

But then . . . then he went all fucking wrong, tried to rape Buffy in an attempt to get her to love him, realized what he'd done and went to earn his soul. I wish he hadn't gone there. I wish the writers hadn't gone there with him. I think they were Wrong, Wrong, Wrong. And from there on out, my heart would always be a little bit broken.

(As I Edit Note: I'm going to point out here, very loudly and emphatically, that my problem is that the character went down the road to attempting to rape Buffy and thus requiring him to get a soul to remain an empathetic and desired character on the show. My problem is that they didn't let his character naturally progress--or, more appropriately, that I don't SEE that it's a natural progression. If the last few episodes of him in season six just hadn't happened, this wouldn't be an unhappy Scott and Jean. I'm not discussing him getting souled as a result of what he did, I'm discussing that they went to getting him all souled up)

I don't hate the result of what they did, but I hate what they did. I like the Souled Spike stuff, it's good stuff. Especially crazy, hanging himself on a cross Spike. Great character stuff. Just . . . I kind of ignore he's got a soul in Angel. I've actually mentally retconned the last few Spike-centric stuff in the eps of season six. Why?

Spike. Should. Be. Soulless.

Spike. Should. Be. Soulless.

No. Really. Spike should be soulless.

I like it when monsters gain a redemption they shouldn't have. I think it's fan-fucking-tastic to watch something twisted and terrible gain the burden of empathy and regret. And he was gaining it right up until-ARGH. Fuck. FUCK. I hate that he went and got souled. I HATE IT SO MUCH. I hate that you, America, needed to soul something to find redemption value in it, and ruined my Spike. That's right. Mine. Or, uh, Whedon and Co.'s. Whatever. It's not stalking if he's not real, dammit.

(As I Edit Note: I desperately tried to restrain myself to 'Normal People Crazy' in the writing of this piece. I've failed. Terribly. You have my sincerest apologies for that.)

I want Spike to be soulless because that's what makes sense. In the end, it turns out the Slayer mojo is DEMON ESSENCE WHATEVER, so why can't Spike be the most broken vampire that ever did vamp and retain some of that from his days as human. That was one of my Spike Theories, you know, that he was fuckered because it was crazy Dru that turned him and not Angel, because the network can't handle man-on-man biting. Or maybe it was Whedon and Company. Anyway, going through the point of making him souled ruined everything I felt they'd been building towards with him. Shut up, I know, the show was about Buffy.

But why couldn't Spike well . . . create his own soul? Because he already was anyway--did everyone forget late season 5 and early season 6 during their 'Spike is an Evil, Nasty Boy in Need of Spa-souling' lectures?'. It was like all of a sudden everyone remembered that technically, he shouldn't be able to do all the things he's doing because he's an evil soulless monster and that's not what Buffy's supposed to be about. Why couldn't his story be about the weird fucking ways we're all broken, the different ways of being an outcast, why couldn't he have found his moral code while in a group of hormonal teenage heroes? Whyyyyyy?

I'd always felt that Joss Whedon was sitting there back during the Buffy days, thinking about Spike and what to do about him with a vague sense of 'Fuck, I just let this character get completely away from me, what do I do with him?'.

I SAW A QUOTE THIS WEEK THAT CONFIRMED PART OF WHAT I ALWAYS THOUGHT-GO LOOK.

(As I Edit Note: I'm so sorry that sentence was in all caps.)

But that's what Spike's been about from day one. He shouldn't have been able to do any of the stuff he's done, but he's Spike, so he made a way. The character is out of control, goes with his first instinct and just does, but he's got this deep capacity for love and loyalty and RARGH. I felt like he was finding his dark, confused way to his 'soul' right up until he went OOC Batshit Nutbar and did a series of terrible things before motoring off in the night and getting skin-fucked by bugs for said soul.

The soul feels so obvious. I wailed 'No!' when the demon first announced Spike had gained his soul. The cycle BROKE in the evolution of his character, even if it looks like it didn't break at all. Yes, yes, soul to no soul to soul again LOOKS like a wheel, but really, it's a flat wheel. Much like the ones I keep getting on my Neon.

So there, my Scott and Jean, my sacred cow. My utter complete nuttiness. I hope you've all thoroughly enjoyed a glimpse at my Nutbar Crazy.


And, because Sexy Suspenders is my newest obsession, I'd like to connect Spike to Suspenders in two (. . . or is it three? Does he count as the first degree?) degrees.

Spike, played by James Marsters, who played Captain John Hart in Torchwood with Captain Jack Harkness, who wears suspenders. Which counts, because the game of Six Degrees is applicable everywhere.




7 comments:

Thea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ana said...

What an awesome, amazing post.

I relate to everything you said - from the moment this man walked into Buffy it changed the show forever.

And the fact that he got hs Soul WAS wrong: why why why/ He didn't need it. He already had changed and gone THERE without the freaking soul. Everything that he has done BEFORE he got his soul , all the good (and the bad) and all the feelings he develops, etc always made him SO.MUCH. BETTER than Emo Angel who was goodie goodie ONLY because he had a soul. Argh.

Awesome Scott and Jean. This can drive one person crazy - mine is Jack Shephard from Lost.

Ana - The Book Smugglers

Dan said...

I couldn't agree with you more. Spike should be soulless. He was "special" enough even without a soul--Joss, himself, said so...explaining how our boy was able to actually love Dru even when he was a soulless creature of the night.

Anyway...yeah, I agree.

Christina said...

The entire time I was reading that, I was scooting closer and closer to the edge of my chair, and I had to bite my tongue to keep from shouting, "YES! THANK YOU! WHY CAN'T WHEDON HAVE PEOPLE WITH COMMON SENSE WORKING FOR HIM??" I scared my cat with the vehemence of my reaction.

Vampires should NOT have souls. It worked okay for Angel because he had that whole Buffy love thing going on and it was to please angsty teenage girls and repressed twenty-something women, and I'm very okay with that, but vampires need to stop becoming sweet and lovable. They are EVIL. If they get redemption, it needs to be TORTURED and HORRIBLE, not just, "oh, I think I'll go fetch a soul now." It's wrong. WRONG, I TELL YOU.

*ahem*

Clearly the whole vampire thing is my Scott and Jean, and I'm going to reign myself in because I have to go back to campus today and I don't want to scare people with my crazy eyes.

*cough*

Wonderful post.

qtilla said...

Can we just talk briefly about suspenders? That was the point of this whole post, right? Good.

So I really wish suspenders were still in because nobody wears belts and I am tired of seeing underwear all the damn time.

Additionally, last night when I was watching The Fast & the Furious: Tokyo Drift (two thumbs way way up) I was reflecting on this very same issue of anachronistic clothing and its general sexiness, and how it seems that only weirdos embrace suspenders and the like and how I should move back to Japan where a man thinks that suspenders and hair that resembles a fluffy orangish bird in flight is awesome and where I can get a shot of tequila at 4 in the morning like a civilized person.

In conclusion, hooray for suspenders, and I agree that John Barrowman is dead sexy, and although I only watched the first season of Buffy (because around then I discovered the joys of liquor and loitering and may have also considered myself too cool for school), I am sure that your analysis of the Spike/Soul/Crisis/Thingy is on the money.

Elwood said...

I couldn't have said it better myself, which is why I'm glad to have you around to say it for me.

greathera said...

Great post, Kristina! I am really, really loving the connection of Spike to suspenders. Nicely done.

I was pretty "meh" on Spike being souled as well, but my EXTREMELY UNPOPULAR Spike opinion is they should have killed him at the end of s5. I LOVED the character up 'til then and after that...oy. I feel like the writers were a little *too* in love with him. Also hated the Buffy attempted rape. It felt really random and out-of-character. I know people try to combat that with "well, he was an unsouled monster!" but at that point...he wasn't *acting* like an unsouled monster. C'mon.

Also, you don't sound any crazier than the rest of us...wait, I'm not sure if that's a compliment. ;)