Principal Snyder A lot of educators tell students, 'Think of your principal as your pal.' I say, 'Think of me as your judge, jury, and executioner.'
Principal Snyder is an insecure man who has been given the responsibility of running a school that sits on a hellmouth without all the information he needs to do it. He knows about the hellmouth to some extent (School Hard, IOHEFY, Band Candy), and probably does not feel totally up to the job, but he won't admit it.
Although Snyder isn't nice to any of his students (except jocks, it seems), he has a special interest in harassing Buffy:
- spies on Buffy and confronts her at Morgan's locker (TPS).
- resents Buffy's intrusions into "his domain", e.g., investigating Mitch and Harmony's accidents in Invisible Girl.
- predicts Buffy will be expelled or in jail (WSWB).
- gets Buffy in trouble with her mom even after all her hard work in School Hard.
- puts Buffy to work baby-sitting, but tells her not to talk to them (Halloween).
- keeps an eye out for Buffy at the Career Fair.
- busts Buffy instead of her steroid-crazed date(Go Fish).
- expels Buffy from school, perhaps at the Mayor's request. "In case you haven't noticed, the police of Sunnydale are deeply stupid," he tells her, and yet he can't figure out that Buffy could help him keep the school under control.
- the hard, bigoted rodent man gets "a nearly physical sensation of pleasure" at keeping Buffy out of school.
- gets humiliated by Buffy and Joyce when Buffy's let back in school.
The corrupt Snyder: Snyder uses bravado as a shield. I'd feel sorry for him, if he didn't get off on throwing what little weight he has around so much.
- tries to get Willow to change Gage's grade (Go Fish).
- aids and abets MOO
- coerces Willow into doing a jock's homework.
The repressive Snyder: Principal Snyder is good at sticking his head in the sand.
"Why couldn't you be dealing drugs, like normal people?"
-- to Buffy and the Gang in Choices
- while Snyder, Joyce, and some SHS teachers are trapped in the science room during a vampire siege, he declares, "This is my school. What I say goes, and I say this is not happening." Even the normally repressive Joyce doesn't buy that.
- helps Buffy in Band Candy, and still thinks she's a delinquent the next day.
- stumbles in on the Willow-Box of Gavrok exchange looking for drug dealers. When he sees the Mayor instantly heal after the demon spider attack, he is shocked.
- The demise of Principal Snyder
But was he evil? Joss on Principal Snyder
"Okay. You do remember that you're a vampire, right?" Spike I think that our interest in him based... on the very ambiguity of his character. We don't know what category to put him in. Yes, he's a killer. But is he completely evil? He's no Angelus. He's capable of love. He has a sense of honor (warped as it occasionally is). In other words, he's more "human" than most vamps (Mircalla, Mar 23 21:03 1999).
Spike is a bigger example of moral ambiguity than Angel because there's no human soul lurking in his vamp body; that's gone. He's all demon. Yet, his devotion to Drusilla is obvious, and he's not particularly interested in destroying the world. We feel for him, we cheer on one of Buffy's enemies! Spike makes us wonder if all demons are truly evil in and of themselves or only evil because they are anti-human. With Spike, we begin to see that at least some evil is in the eye of the beholder. Examples of Spike's ambiguity:
Spike's ability to love | Spike and the Slayer | Spike's finest moments | Other examples of Spike's ambiguity | SouledSpike
Spike's ability to love:
When William the Bloody was made into a vampire, he didn't lose his ability to love. He came to love his sire, Drusilla, and he continued to love his mortal mum. Highlights of the doting Spike:
- turning his mother into a vampire so they could stay with each other. But when he saw that his mother had lost her ability to love, he was forced to kill her, or die himself.
- bringing the weakened Dru to the Hellmouth to restore her predatory strength
- saves Drusilla from Buffy
- Dru tames Spike's normal nastiness in WML, and his jealousy of Angel as well
- watching in pain as Dru enjoys Angelus' flirtation (Innocence-B2). His capacity for tenderness and suffering is especially telling in comparison to Dru's sadistic sire
- Spike's Oedipal complex
- returning to Sunnydale a broken shell of a vamp after Dru leaves him
- being both an unrepentant soulless vampire and an expert on love. When Buffy and Giles try to convince themselves Willow is coping with Oz's departure, Spike can see she isn't
Spike and the Slayer
In the beginning...
- The notorious "William the Bloody" had an obsession with Slayers. He'd already killed two of them.
- When Spike first came to town, he thought he could dispatch the slayer rather quickly. When that didn't happen, their relationship got... interesting.
- ...the original Buffy-Spike flirtations in B2: "Hello cutie!" and all that followed (jengod, 1:37 pm Oct 25, 2000).
- Spike was down right "Buffy-whipped" in Lover's Walk. He got nasty again after that,
- but when he was "neutered" by The Initiative, he was her starving lap-dog again (or at least he pretended to be).
Kiss or kill? Spike's secret thing for the slayer:
"Wasn't lurking. I was standing about. It's a whole different vibe." --William the Bloody, 2001
- At the beginning of ...Something Blue, when Buffy was feeding Spike in the bathtub, there was a vibe. It was vibey (Bob K, 1:19 pm Oct 25, 2000).
- Spike shows almost genuine concern when Buffy is trapped in Lowell House. After calling her "sweet slayer" in Superstar, one might wonder what thoughts Faith put in his mind about Buffy in Who Are You. Faith ...came onto him with some very strong, seductive, bad-girl language, and Spike was not unaffected.... And, as I recall, no one ever bothered to tell Spike that the woman who flirted with him WAS NOT BUFFY (Dunlin, Oct 25 16:49 2000)
- Spike realizes his feelings in Out of My Mind and becomes shy stalker-boy in NPLH....he might have walked away from Buffy sooner outside her house if she hadn't been so mean to him.... Do you think she has any idea the effect she has on him, every time she gives him a smack? (J. Hergert, 7:41 am Oct 25, 2000)
- There's a part of Spike that wants the Slayer dead. But every time he heads off to kill her, something else stops him. Can Spike feel real love and compassion?
- Riley had his own problems in his relationship with Buffy, but Spike's jabs at Riley's ego hastened the ex-Initiative soldier's exit.
- Spike: bumbling suitor, or self-involved stalker?
- Spike professes his love for Buffy in front of Drusilla--while both are bound in his crypt.
...I enjoy the fact that my character [Spike] is in love again because when we met him he was in love. That was the primary interesting thing about Spike, for me, that he was a psychopathic killer but at the same time he was the most gentle lover and the most gentlemanly lover that you could get...and how the hell is that? ...And I think that it can motivate him towards acts of heroism or villainy. Love will do that to you (J. Marsters [Spike], July 20, 2001).
The morally ambiguous relationship of vampire and slayer
- Is Spike becoming more like Buffy, or is Buffy becoming more like Spike?
- When Spike realizes he can physically harm Buffy, his ambivalent feelings clash. The consummation of love and hate
- is Spike trying to seduce Buffy into darkness? Why is he tempting her away from her friends?
- is it only a coincidence that Buffy dumps Spike after she discovers the deadly Suvolte eggs in his crypt?
- Spike reaches an impasse: he isn't human, but he's no longer much of a demon. He journeys to Africa--ostensibly, to get rid of the chip. But that's not the wish the demon guide grants him.
Unsouled Spike's good deeds
- agrees to guard Buffy's family for an afternoon with only an idle threat to his un-life in exchange.
- helps Dawn break into the Magic Box and later helps Buffy search for her run-away sister.
- helping Dawn with a spell to raise Joyce.
- doesn't spill the beans when Glory tortures him for Key-info
- assures Dawn she isn't evil, 'cause Spike knows something about evil.
- tries to fight (1) the Knights when they attack the camper and (2) Glory when she takes Dawn from the gas station.
- swears to Buffy he will fight for Dawn to "the end of the world.". But when he tries to save Dawn from Doc, he fails.
- is devastated when Buffy sacrifices herself instead
Spike always wanted to slip in and have himself a good day, he finally got what he said he wanted only to find it the worst day and loss of his unlife...his reaction was extreme...his facade of the big bad finally dissolved in grief (Rufus, 19:13 5/23/01).
- stands loyally by Dawn's side while he mourns the death of Buffy, but he is also a bit envious of the demons and their frolicking destruct-o-rama.
- tells newly-risen Buffy that he has been haunted by his failure to protect Dawn--a failure that lead to Buffy's decision to jump into the portal.
- pulls Dawn to safety after a demon attacks her in Wrecked.
- helps fight the sword demon in Older and Far Away
- helps capture and guard the GGK demon
Other examples of Spike's ambiguity
- changing his mind about the value of an apocalypse between Surprise and B2
- Would Spike have combusted if the Judge had touched him?
Lots of the vamps we've seen use humor to render their sadism more... sadistic. ...But Spike, while his humor is dark and ungentle, doesn't always have a utilitarian purpose when he says something sarcastic or ironic or smartass. He just seems to like being witty, and to like amusing himself... [e.g.,] his hilarious mockery of Angel from the building above... And then there's Spike's pop culture proclivities. Angel mopes around reading Proust and "Sonnets from the Portuguese." Spike likes the Sex Pistols, and... watching tv... he moves with the times. He's got energy and vitality that Angel doesn't (Diajanwal, Dec 08 1999 02:59)
- going from vicious predator to sensitive guy when he can't feed on Willow
- Neutered Spike seems just a little intimidated when a taller-than-him ex-Initiative soldier threatens to kill him in BvD.
- Since the flaccid vamp found out he could do violence to other demons in Doomed, he has made a reputation for himself among Sunnydale's inhuman population. He gets a fist in his face in Goodbye, Iowa and some nasty attitude in Real Me.
- Is Spike joking when he says he would bite all the Scoobies but Anya if he had the chance?
Remember, it ain't over until the inebriated British cancer-stick-inhaling, scorned, bleach bottle blond undead guy sings.
What is the explanation for Spike's"humanity"?
- pure, unadulterated self-interest. Spike will do good or evil if it gets him what he wants
the influence of the human soul that once inhabited the body--
Vox on Spike's insecurity as mortal and vampire
After brutally attacking Buffy in a desperate attempt to get her to admit her love for him, Spike decides there is only one way to truly win her love. He heads to Africa, where he asks a demon to make him the kind of man Buffy "deserves". The demon puts him through several torturous trials. Spike endures the trials, and in the end, is rewarded with his soul.
Upon his return to Sunnydale, however, he captures the attention of the First Evil, who sees in Spike the same potential It once saw in Angel: the potential for malevolent vampiric evil. The presence of a soul should have empowered Spike, it should have given him the freedom to chose between good and evil, to become his own man, the "master of his fate." But due to the First's manipulations, Spike has become less his own man than ever.
- crazy basement Spike
- follows the trail of blood spatters left by Gnarl to a cave where the demon lives.
- falls under the hypnotic thrall of the First Evil and goes on a killing spree, then later confesses his "transgression" to Buffy.
- Spike's killing spree comes to an end with the help of Buffy, but the First Evil has other plans for Spike--like using his blood to open the Hellmouth.
- Should Spike be staked now?
- Spike wants to be a better man, the kind of man Buffy can respect. A worthy goal, but is Spike doing it for himself, or for Buffy?
- [Principal] Wood has been saved ironically enough at least 6 times by Spike: 2 times in Him from Buffy herself, once in First Date sort of from the she demon, once in Get it Done (when the beast attacks), once in Storyteller - in the school from rampaging kids, and once in LMPTM from a vampire (shadowkat, 3/26/03 20:21).
- After Wood tries to kill Spike to avenge the death of his mother, an angry Spike threatens to kill Wood. He stays his fangs in acknowledgement of the fact that he did, indeed kill Wood's mother, but he promises that he won't do it again if there any more threats from Principal Demon-fighter.
- Spike sees Buffy and Angel kiss and gets jealous at how easily they seem to slip back into their former relationship with each other.
- Spike's back, and straddling the crevice between Earth and hell. But why is he keeping this information from everyone but Fred? Is it fear? Pride? Or something else?
- cat-fights with Angel to claim the cup he believes will erase his sins, make him mortal, and show-up his grand-sire (i.e., prove his worth).
- Is Spike finally starting to see his treatment of Harmony from Harmony's point of view?
- becomes "champion of the helpless" when he is recruited by a faux-Doyle to "work for" the Powers that Be.
- Some things never change: Spike's rough-and-ready approach to doing good closely resembles his approach to doing evil.
- is a little embarrassed when he finds out he's been duped into playing Champion for one of Angel's enemies
- tortures the Wolfram and Hart doctor until he gets information about Illyria's temple.
- Although Spike doesn't believe he has a shot with Buffy, he's still determined to "save" her from her new boyfriend, the Immortal. But he can't even save his leather duster.
Spike needs to move on. Stop holding on to the past. And in a way he compromises - he gets the same jacket, but newer, cleaner, and no longer associated with old crimes or accomplishments. Just as Spike keeps the name Spike, yet isn't still Spike - the jacket looks the same but isn't (shadowkat, 2004-05-05 23:28).
Souled Spike's finest moments
The evil of Spike
Jonathan Levinson cannot really be called evil in any way, but he sometimes does questionable things out of low self-esteem and a need for attention. Does he need redemption? Or just higher self-regard?
Jonathan the victim: When we first meet Jonathan, he's the kid who nobody notices, and yet he seems to show up everywhere--just in time to get munched.
- almost has the life sucked out of him by a 500-year-old Incan Mummy
- has the "fortune" of being Cordelia's "young man" date at the Bronze in Reptile Boy
- is held at knife-point by a Tarakan assassin
- screams when Bezoars attack him in Bad Eggs, then, under the influence, coolly heads over to dig up Mama Bezoar as if nothing has happened.
- gets picked on by a bewildered Xander when he walks into the library in Passion
- has his head shoved under water by steroid-crazed swim-team members who have no intention of letting him on the team
- is the "you over there by the dip" who gets picked on by Buffy in Dead Man's Party
- finds himself the object of conniving queen-candidates in Homecoming
- is Harmony's way of ridiculing Cordelia's recent taste in men in The Wish
In Earshot, we get inside Jonathan's head and discover a very lonely, isolated young man. He tries to commit suicide with a rifle in the school clock tower. Luckily, Buffy stops him in time. After this, things start to look better for Jonathan. But are they?
- arrives at the Prom with a date on his arm and gives Buffy the class-protector award
- helps with the battle preparations in G2
Jonathan, Superstar: After Earshot, Jonathan is still suffering from low self-esteem. He boosts himself up with a spell that makes him a super-talented celebrity--every person's ideal, noticed and adored. But magic comes with a price. The spell also creates a monster with an evil equal to super-Jonathan's good. It wreaks havoc in Sunnydale until Jonathan decides to stop ignoring it. He throws the monster down a chasm, ending the spell.
geekvillain: When we see Jonathan again, he has joined a trio of geeky guys whose "super-cool mission statement" is to become the crime lords of Sunnydale. While amoral Warren seems up to the task, Jonathan and Andrew struggle to determine what exactly that means to them, besides (an unlikely) access to "chicks, chicks, chicks." The Trio has decided that Slayer is their arch-nemesis. But Jonathan knows Buffy has saved his life "a bunch of times". Can he really be her enemy?
- helps summon a M'Fashnik demon to rob a bank
- puts Buffy through a repeating time loop to test her reasoning skills. Later, he transforms into a demon to try to intimidate Buffy (unsuccessfully)
- freezes a guard when the Trio steal a diamond from a museum
- there's an irony in Jonathan inadvertently causing an invisibility in Buffy he must have felt all through high school. But Jonathan stands up to Warren when he wants to let Buffy die of her invisibility.
- after Jonathan realizes the Trio is attempting rape and that Warren is attempting to cover up their intended victim's death, he begins to question his involvement with the Trio.
- in response, Andrew and Warren keep their new plans to themselves, making Jonathan even more wary (Normal Again, Entropy).
- keeps super-Warren from pummeling Xander in the Bronze, then gives Buffy the key to foiling super-Warren's robbery and Slayer-killing plans (Seeing Red)
- Let's hope we see more of Jonathan. His readiness to accept responsibility for his actions slips again into a desire to escape responsibility when the Scooby gang work to protect him from Willow.
Jonathan's end: Jonathan dies in the act of trying to help the slayer save Sunnydale. So long, friend.
Willy the bartender
"So he's human. He just harbors demons. Which makes him a good guy...?" --Riley, Goodbye Iowa
Willy is a duplicitous "double-agent" snitch. He's a human being who owns a bar frequented by demons and vamps, and when he hears things, he passes them on for money. Or his own physical safety.
- When Angel gets a bit "Angelus" on Willy in WML, Willy tells him who sent the Order of Taraka after Buffy. He also saves Angel from combusting. But Willy also gives a weakened Angel to Spike for the ritual that would have killed him, and when he takes Buffy to the church to save Angel, he hands her over to the Order of Taraka.
- Willy gives Buffy information about the First Evil, but has to shoo away some vampire patrons before he talks to her.
- Willy is the bartender with the heart of gold in The Zeppo, urging Buffy to be with Angel before the Sisterhood of Jhe end the world.
- Willy is willing to give the slayer information about who is skewering people around town, but only if she pretends to punch him out first. He doesn't want his customers questioning his loyalties. It's us who should wonder what the heck his loyalties are--is this just about making a buck? Your clientele ain't exactly nuns and orphans, Willy.
The Mayor is a unique villain. Sort of a Mr. Rogers crossed with Charles Manson (Llewellyn, Mar 17 22:23 1999). Mayor Richard Wilkins III
It has long been implied that something was up with the political leader of Sunnydale, but the man we meet in Homecoming seems pretty normal. Well, human, at any rate. Highlights of the morally ambiguous Mayor:
- worries about exposed gas pipes and sewer repair while waiting to witness the ritual murder of four babies (Band Candy)
- gets his picture taken with boy scouts (Lover's Walk).
- The Mayor and Faith
He's as nutty as a fruitcake, but he does have some capacity for loyalty. ...I think he cares for Faith. That is a redeeming factor in my book. Not totally redeeming, mind you. ...But it shows that at least he as some trace of humanity (StGermain, May 18 18:52 1999).
- Did the Mayor love his wife?
- threatens the life of Buffy more than once with a chipper smile on his face.
- on his knife gift to Faith: "You be careful not to put somebody's eye out with that thing. 'til I tell you to."
- reveals that he has a soft spot for Faith which transcends his other priorities.
- giving his vampire minions instructions that will enable him to devour the student body on graduation day: "No snacking. I see blood on your lips, it's a visit to the woodshed for you boys... And boys? Watch the swearing."
The evil of the Mayor: corruption and deception
The Watchers Whatever one might think of their methods, the Watchers train slayers to fight on the side of good. They see themselves as a group engaged in a war against evil, with the slayer as a soldier in that war.
What are Watchers and the Watcher's Council?
Giles and the Watchers
Known activities of the Watcher Council:
- sent Giles to Sunnydale to serve as Buffy's Watcher.
- didn't inform Giles about Kendra.
- ...we learned that there is a Slayer's Handbook so they've been quietly indulging in publishing activities (Cleio, Mar 14 21:50 1999).
- informed Giles about Faith's watcher's death in FH&T
- retreats with lectures and outdoor activities
- swore to Giles there was a memo about Gwen Post being kicked out of the Watchers
- The Cruciamentum test: the ethics of the warrior
- fired Giles for his emotional connection to the slayer
- didn't take Giles' calls afterwards, even though the world was in imminent danger (The Zeppo).
- Wesley Wyndam-Pryce's Watcher activities
- took Faith off active duty temporarily when she killed Allan.
- refused to help save Angel from the "Killer of the Dead" poison.
- The watcher council didn't send anyone to help Buffy when the whole world was a stake (twice!!!) why is it so strange that they wouldn't just for one town? (gazoo, May 18 21:47 1999)
- Sent a retrieval squad, (which soon became a hit-squad) after Faith
- The Watcher's Council and the struggles for power among the forces for good: Buffy vs. the Watcher's Council, part 1 (Graduation), part 2 (Checkpoint)
- found information on Glory and held it hostage hoping to regain control of the Slayer.
Fan opinions on the value of Watcher Council:
Whatever their origins, their presence is vital. If every Slayer begins as a teenager, even if she's found as a child, how will she ever learn all that stuff about demons, prophecies, mystical charms, etc on her own. Having access to all that knowledge in a Watcher is most helpful. Plus, Slayers are kids even in centuries past and how are they supposed to always do the right thing or even know what that is with such limited life experience (Hostile-17, 19 Nov 1999 17:59).
While the Watchers' Council may be overrated, they have been around for centuries. I'd argue that the Slayers' Handbook more than likely holds lessons learned by Slayers past, lessons that could serve Buffy well if she were ever required to read it (Monique, Jun 20 18:13 1999).
Mudpuppy's defense of the Watcher Council
They are fighting not just for one person, but for the entire human population of the world. If you were a normal person, with no knowledge of vamps, it'd be your rump they're trying to protect. If you did know of vamps, but didn't know they Slayer personally, wouldn't you feel comfortable that there was someone out there looking out for you and your family? Wouldn't you want them as trained and as bad @ss as they could possibly be? (Doc, Jan 20 07:42 1999).
The Council, in their present form, are in my opinion useless. They haven't kept up with the changing times and are out of touch with how things are in the real world. They have spent too much time going over how it used to be that they have forgotten that there's a girl risking her life every night and that they (the Council) have to do whatever they can to support her in her fight (CharlieX, Mar 10 19:50 1999).
...Perhaps the Watchers Council was organized to gather information about demons and other evil things and to assist the Slayer in her fight against them. Gradually over the centuries, the Council became more bureaucratic and forgot who was the real power - the Slayer. It would be very easy for a group of grown men and women to usurp authority from a single teenage girl. A girl, who until she is called/chosen, is naive about the fight against evil. A girl who is not expected to live beyond her 25th birthday. Because the Council is ongoing, not forced to start from scratch every few years when a new Slayer is called, they began to see themselves as the real authority. Kind of like a big government machine - no matter how the players change, the basic operations don't change and the people who perform those jobs believe that everything would fall apart if their jobs ended (purplegrrl, 11-Dec-00 12:27).
Activities of The Initiative
- The demons have known for a while there is an organized group harming their kind--and it's not the slayer.
- Initiative members call demons "hostiles", a military term for the enemy.
- Initiative conditioning techniques specifically prevent harming humans. Spike can cause violence to other demons without pain. But he wasn't meant to escape; his device was probably given to him to keep him manageable within the lab.
- Dr. Walsh instructed the initiative soldiers to keep the peace dressed as civilians during the "outbreak of laryngitis" in Hush.
- Initiative soldiers prevented the rise of the demon Barvain.
- The gang debates the Initiative's morality
- How sharper than a serpent's tooth: Maggie's death
- Although Adam is evil, his behavior is due in part to a design flaw that was not part of Maggie's original intentions for him. After his escape, he was considered a "hostile".
- Government officials originally in charge of The Initiative now monitor Buffy and her friends.
The Initiative vs. the individual
- "Control" isn't called "control" for nothing. The Initiative does not value too much independence in its soldiers. They capture and contain demons without asking too much about the purposes for doing so.
- Maggie claims to want to learn from Buffy, but doesn't trust her independence. In the end, she tries to decommission the non-team player slayer.
- Riley and the Scooby gang as anarchists
The Initiative and civil rights
- Trampling on the Constitution?
- Initiative doctors torture Oz to discover how his werewolf trigger works.
The Initiative and demon's rights
- The Initiative tends not to draw subtle distinctions among the creatures they call "HST's".
- "Pain as bright as steel" That lab isn't the Ritz--demons are imprisoned, starved, experimented on. And there aren't any... facilities.
Is torturing, experimenting on, imprisoning, or implanting demons a proper moral action? Do demons have rights...[?] (Lady Wolfsbane, Feb 22 23:36 2000)
[Demons] are merely another form of life, and considered to be lower on the evolutionary scale than humans. ... What the Initiative is doing may not be that far from internment camps at best, and racial genocide at worst. Joss has broadened the types of demons - some just want to be left alone, and don't want to bother humans, period. Others will live amongst us but hide what they are. Is this an allegory on how accepting society is of differences in people today, be it their religion, sexual orientation, etc? (NuPhalanx, Jan 19 21:03 2000)
- I think their fatal flaw [is] arrogance. They have totally underestimated both the power of the slayer and, most importantly, the power of the demons and monsters. These creatures of the night are not stupid (DSP, Feb 9 14:47 2000).
Hospital intern Ben is a human being whose body is the unwilling fleshly prison of an exiled demonic god. Although he was created by Glory's fellow hellgods for that purpose, he seems to have a human soul and has tried to live a normal life, going as far as graduating from medical school and finding a position as an intern. But Ben is an outsider among everyday humanity. Even his choice to become a doctor arose from his desire to observe the "lives and deaths" of normal humans. Glory has the ability to take over for periods of time like an evil alter-ego, and Ben has spent much of his life trying to minimize the damage she has done. He wants to have a life and make his own choices. But Glory will only die when he does, and if she escapes, he will be destroyed in the process.
The deeds of the sometimes gentle Ben:
- gives Buffy a sympathetic ear during her ordeal with her mother's illness.
- ...Ben's beneficent nature, as seen by his medical work, is contradicted by his brutal beating of Glory's minion and his casual extermination of the crazy people (LenS, Jan 24 13:56 2001).
- refuses to turn Buffy over to Glory, and Glory does not have the ability to persuade him otherwise. She'd only be hurting herself.
- finds out that Dawn is the Key but doesn't tell Glory's minions.
- offers to get "inappropriately violent" when Spike harasses Buffy, although Ben claims he doesn't actually want to have to.
- gives Buffy his phone number like a potential suitor would, only it's Glory's phone number, too.
- stabs Jinx after he reveals too much about the key to the Glory-minion.
- has the opportunity to destroy the Key and doesn't. Of course, he had the opportunity not to enter the Slayer's protected refuge and did. As a result, Glory got her hands on the Key.
- tries to help Dawn escape from Glory. Then in a moment of human weakness, he changes his mind and decides to save himself. In the end, there can be only one fate for poor Ben, though. To save the universe from Glory's evil, he must die.
It is tempting to think that Ben never was a good man, I don't believe that though. He did want to become a doctor to help people. His life has been destroyed by his "sister" Glory. ...Both Ben and Buffy have now had a similar moment where they gave in to wanting it over. Buffy in the magic shop, Ben in an alleyway. ...I don't think that Ben is a bad person as much as a person in a no win situation. ...Ben has tried everything he can to rid himself of the sister he hates. Now that he shares her mind he feels he can't win. Her offer of a separate life with no regrets was enough for him to say to Dawn it's either you or me. In that moment Ben chose himself (Rufus, 14:37 5/20/01).
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