Emmie (angearia) wrote,

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more than a killer, more than a monster

I haven't written meta in ages, but I was watching a Spuffy vid and the imagery of Spike in chains and Buffy freeing him gave me ~feels.

For Buffy, Spike symbolizes her dark place, her Slayer self, the darkness within she fears will make her a killer, a monster.  She struggles to embrace this aspect, constantly struggling.  She's fraught between extremes of understanding her Slayer self as "full of love" or violence, death, and destruction.  These two extremes come together in the realization of "you always hurt the one you love."

Spike becomes the locus of Buffy's self-hate in Season 6, the parts she wants to hide deep down, keep in the dark.  But Season 7 brings acceptance, she doesn't "hate like that anymore," and she's able to forgive Spike because she's learned how to forgive herself. Spike's reclaiming his soul in "Grave" mirrors Buffy accepting the world and wanting to share it with Dawn as she claws her way back into the light.  

Here's the pattern: Buffy goes into the dark to form a twisted, intimate love affair with the darkness she's been intent on denying.  And when she leaves that dark place, the darkness follows her into the light.  Spike, her Slayer self, all coming to the forefront, breaking past denials, yearning to be brought into the circle of self-acceptance.

Spike beneath Buffy, in the basement of the school, in the basement of her house.  In chains, restrained, the way the First Slayer was kept in chains and a demon was forced upon her.  And Buffy releases him from his self-imposed chains of iron, from the First's chains in the cave, from the trigger, even helping him crawl back from the insanity brought on by his soul. 

She has faith in him, in his ability to beat back the rising dark, even as she struggles to believe in herself.  The manifestations of evil, Caleb and the Turokhan hordes -- she doesn't have faith in her ability to kill, to slay, and save the world.  She knows she alone is not enough and this torments her. 

Forced to face her physical shortcomings, grappling with her own crises of faith, Buffy somehow finds a way to show faith in others, to believe in the inner strength of others.  It's a gamble, a leap of faith that could lead to Spike going on a killing rampage, all the Potentials dying in battle, or Willow losing herself in the darkness again.  But it's the only way she knows.  And so she frees Spike from his chains, she believes in Willow's ability to find the balance between power and control, and she frees the Potentials from the restraints forced upon them by the Shadowmen.  

Who's got the power?  The stake isn't the power.

Power comes from faith in the soul.

Tags: buffy, meta, spike

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