Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 5 Episode 7

Fool For Love

4
Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Nov 14, 2000 on The WB
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (25)

9.3
out of 10
Average
592 votes
  • I think it's safe to say that my love of this episode will not come as a surprise to anyone.

    10
    This is easily one of the best episodes in the series. The main plot of the season isn't even touched on, but the emotional and character themes of the season are right at the front. The revelations made about Buffy and Spike affect my entire outlook on the series in regard to these two characters. This episode is masterful in its direction, music, and acting. Several times I even find myself in complete awe over hearing some of the sharpest dialogue the show ever put out, which is saying something huge.



    There's really nothing more to say to conclude this review except that this is, flat out, one of the most phenonemal episodes of television I've ever seen, with its only competition being other Buffy episodes.
  • The delight of Spikettes everywhere

    9.0
    The Good;

    All the flashbacks are great. It's also nice to see Riley who's been so put upon lately in full John Wayne mode, reminding everyone he can be pretty hardcore when he wants to be. Also love Dawn's pride at having participated in some Scooby-related coverup, it's clear that despite their sibling rivalry she actually adores her sister and wants her to be proud of her .



    The Bad;

    Not much this is pretty damn stunning



    Best line;

    Buffy/Cecilly "You're beneath me" (Stick it in and break it off why don't you?)



    Women good/men bad;

    In this case we see Cecily/Buffy destroy William/Spike with just a few words.



    Jeez!;

    The deaths of both Slayers is awful. Buffy stabbed is pretty vicious too



    Kinky dinky;

    Darla get's turned on by the thought of Spike and Angelus fighting. Buffy refers to her 'sexcapades with Riley' and once again Dawn seems to revel in the opportunity to burst in upon them at an intimate moment. Spike describes Buffy's wound as 'something nasty got a taste' which seems to be his plan. Dru sucking on Spike's bloody finger.



    Captain Subtext;

    Spike calls Angelus a 'poofter' Also love Dawn's pride at having participated in some Scooby-related coverup, she obviously longs to be in the gang. Buffy learns of a past Slayer who forged her own weapons and says that you "Gotta love a girl with her own anvil" Buffy tells Giles she loves him, obvious for a long time but possibly the first time she's said the words. Spike and Buffy at the Bronze could almost be construed as a date.



    Guantanamo Bay;

    Buffy beats/bribes Spike for info



    Scoobies to the ER;

    Buffy get's stabbed with her own stake. Thankfully Riley both saves her at the scene and patches her up afterwards.



    Apocalypses; 5,



    Scoobies in bondage:

    Buffy: 8

    Giles: 4

    Cordy: 5

    Will: 3

    Jenny: 1

    Angel: 4

    Oz: 1

    Faith: 3

    Joyce: 1

    Wes: 1

    Xander; 1

    Dawn; 1



    Scoobies knocked out: Buffy passes out offscreen

    Buffy: 16

    Giles: 10

    Cordy: 6

    Xander: 8

    Will: 5

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 6

    Oz: 3

    Faith: 1

    Joyce: 3

    Wes: 1

    Anya;1



    Kills: 5 vamps for Riley, even without his superpowers he's still a deadly warrior.

    Buffy: 86 vamps, 30 demons, 6 monsters, 3 humans, 1 spirit warrior & a robot

    Giles: 5 vamps, 1 demon

    Cordy: 3 vamps, a demon

    Will: 4 vamps

    Angel: 3 vamps, 1 demon, 1 human

    Oz: 3 vamps, 1 zombie, 1 werewolf

    Faith: 16 vamps, 5 demons, 3 humans

    Xander: 5 vamps, 2 zombies, a demon, a demon

    Anya: a demon

    Riley; 17 vamps + 7 demons



    Scoobies go evil:

    Giles: 1

    Cordy: 1

    Will: 2

    Jenny: 1

    Angel: 1

    Oz: 1

    Joyce: 1

    Xander: 3



    Alternate scoobies:

    Buffy: 6

    Giles: 3

    Cordy: 1

    Will: 2

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 3

    Oz: 2

    Joyce: 2

    Xander: 3



    Recurring characters killed: 9

    Jesse, Flutie, Jenny, Kendra, Larry, Snyder, Professor Walsh, Forrest, McNamara



    Sunnydale deaths;

    83;



    Total number of scoobies: 7

    Giles, Xander, Willow, Buffy, Anya, Tara, Riley



    Xander demon magnet: 5(6?)

    Preying Mantis Lady, Inca Mummy Girl, Drusilla, VampWillow, Anya (arguably Buffy & Faith with their demon essences?), Dracula?



    Scoobies shot: how does Spike think he can shoot Buffy when he can't even aim the fake gun Xander brought him in the Yoko factor.

    Giles: 2

    Angel: 3

    Oz: 4

    Riley; 1



    Notches on Scooby bedpost:

    Giles: 2; Joyce & Olivia, possibly Jenny and 3xDraccy babes?

    Cordy: 1?

    Buffy: 3 confirmed; Angel, Parker,Riley, 1 possible, Dracula(?)

    Angel: 1;Buffy

    Joyce: 1;Giles, 2 possible, Ted and Dracula(?)

    Oz: 3; Groupie, Willow & Verucca

    Faith:2 ;Xander, Riley

    Xander: 2; Faith, Anya

    Willow: 2;Oz and Tara

    Riley; 2 Buffy and Sandy



    Questions and observations;

    In 'School Hard' Spike claims the last Slayer he killed begged for her life. Here we find she didn't although maybe he changes his story as he's trying to get with Buffy. Later we'll find she did beg but maybe not out loud? Spike's reasoning on why Buffy has survived so long seems very sound though, he's also correct that Buffy can't win forever, eventually she and Faith are going to lose if it's just the 2 of them.

    The scene where the Fang 4 are strolling through the Boxer rebellion is interesting, if you watch Buffy first it's as it appears to be. If you watch the Angel ep Darla you realise that 'Angelus' is actually a resouled Angel and has just been saving missionaries. Buffy says she's in the best shape of his life. Dawn is still shorter than her although that will change by season 7. Love the way Dawn takes such pride in covering up for Buffy, she really idolises her sister. Xander forgets the military signal Riley gives, his commando knowledge must have totally faded.

    Willam the Bloody is just great. He's sired in 1880 which means he's NOT Jack the Ripper as some have suggested who terrorised London in 1888. Note that WTB has glasses but Spike doesn't need them. Now as a vamp his scar should heal so presumably the Chinise Slayer's weapon is enchanted.

    This ep has one of the weirdest scenes ever where Buffy actually apologises to Giles that she's going to die young, implying that she's accepted her death and he hasn't?

    Marks out of 10; 9/10 a stunning ep and to the delight of Spikettes everywhere.

  • The Spike episode

    10
    Spike has been one of my absolute characters ever since his very first appearance in season two. This episode was a gift to me.

    When Buffy gets hurt on patrol, she becomes more aware of her mortality in the everyday. She interrogates Spike on his unlife and how he got two slayers under his belt.

    His story is told in flashbacks, starting from his turning, and showing pivotal points in his vampiric life and how he became the man he is today.

    We see that Spike started out as the shy poet William, who got his infamous nickname as part of 'William the Bloody Awful Poet'. He is spurned by his ladylove, an upper class snob. He leaves in tears and runs into Drusilla. The scene is part of the B side of a crossover scene with Angel's 'Darla' episode. Then Angelus sparks his interest in slayers while William picks up a rougher working class accent. His fight with his first slayer is shown at the Boxer Rebellion, during which he acquires his eyebrow scar. He kills her, obviously. Then again, in 1977 New York, he fights his second slayer in a subway. He is full on punk by now, with the bleached blond hair we know so well. He kills this slayer not by drinking her, but by breaking her neck and taking her black coat as a trophy.

    These scenes are intercut with Spike's interactions with Buffy. They take the scene outside to the alley, where Buffy rejects Spike's advance, repeating to him the words that ended his life, "You're beneath me." Enraged, he determines to kill her, but seeing her on the back porch of her home, crying at the news of her mother's hospitalization, he sits down next to her and comforts her.

    This episode is not perfect, and most of the beginning up to where Spike comes in bores me, but it is definitely one of my all time favorite episodes. I recommend this to all newcomers.
  • Season 5, Episode 7.

    7.5
    A vampire stabs Buffy in the stomach with her own stake, and she becomes obsessed with the deaths of past Slayers. So, she seeks knowledge from someone who knows about the deaths better than anyone: Spike. Meanwhile, Willow, Xander, and Anya must go patrolling with Riley after Buffy's injury.

    This was an OK episode. I hate when the show has all these 1800s flashbacks. But the present had some good stuff. Buffy looks amazing, as always. I think this blooming Buffy and Spike romance is a little weird, especially because Buffy is still with Riley. Anyway, this was an OK episode, especially toward the end. :)
  • Fool For Love

    9.5
    Fool For Love was a superb episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's fifth season. I really enjoyed watching this episode because we got to learn more about the past of Spike, Druscilla, Angel, and Darla. Buffy wanted to learn how and why other Slayers died and asks Spike to fill her in since he killed two himself. This episode is very vital to future story lines and is also a glimpse into characters on the spin off series Angel. We start to really see the infatuation Spike has with the Slayer, and also the darkness that is in Buffy. I was really sad to hear the bad news Joyce had, and I am actually surprised that the gang didn't surmise that the monks who put Dawn in Buffy's life are responsible for what is troubling Joyce. I really look forward to finding out what happens next and to watch the story unfold!!!!!
  • A somewhat disappointing look at how Spike came to be.

    6.8
    Sadest problem with this one, was that they completely rewrote Spike's past hence why it was a bit of a let down for me.

    For starters Spike said in two seperate occassions way before that Angel was his sire, in 'School Hard' he states exactly that and in the Angel episode 'In the Dark' he refutes that statement saying quote:

    'I don't get my ring I'll stake me own sire right here and now!'.

    That's area number one which is a bit of a letdown for me simply because they changed that around.

    Area number two is of course when Spike says he was turned in the 1880's his math (and that of the writers) is very off namely because if he was sired in that time period and he's one hundred and twenty-six now well he would've been six years old when he was turned.

    This of course ties into School Hard where Giles states that Spike is 'barely over 200' clearly if Spike wasn't that old then why are there records of him dating to before his turning?

    Next is how Spike got the scar, unless the sword was made with holy water or blessed there's no possible way that wound would have not healed over.

    Finally we have the whole quote in School Hard where Spike states that the last slayer he killed begged for her life either Spike was lieing about that or the writers have very poor memories.

    The latter of course sounds alas about right, don't get me wrong the way Spike weaves a story was good as was his defiant attitude but is it too much to ask that they keep things true to context?

    Not to mention Buffy's attitude towards him throughout season four and later on was pretty much intolerable.
  • An outstanding episode; epic, brutal and just plain awesome!

    10
    Fool For Love is just one of those episodes that make you realise just how good the show is. Everything about it is amazing; the acting, the writing, the sets and the music. It's just a phenomenal episode.

    This is part of a Buffyverse two parter, along with "Darla" from Angel. I prefer the Angel version as I just love Darla the character so much but this is almost as good. I loved learning the history of Spike and how he became who he is. The flashbacks were used to amazing effect and the sets for the Boxer Rebellion blew me away. It truly looked historic and it's hard to believe it's just a set. The explosions, the crowds, the villages, everything about it was mesmerizing. Just a stunning looking episode.

    The first scene really sets the scene; it is very rare for Buffy to lose a fight and to see her get stabbed with her own stake was shocking and brutal. The following small family moments between Buffy and Dawn were a nice touch and just little thing like this add up to make a perfect episode.

    However, the main meat of the episode is Spike's backstory. It was just brilliant to see the Fang Gang together and to see the origins of the character who's history we know least about.

    Spike the human was not at all what expected- an upper class English poet! The reasons he got both his names "William the Bloody" and "Spike" were so great and funny- "they call him William the Bloody because of his bloody awful poetry!" Cecily was a bitca although it's nice to see Kali Rocha as she will go on to play Halfrek on the show!

    Spike's siring by Drusilla was a great scene- Dru added good comedy to it but there were very dark undertones. They truly are a magnificent couple and it's so awesome to see their origins here. Also yay to see Darla again! Darla is the best. Ever.

    The fight between Spike and the Chinese slayer was one of the show's best- epic and brutal. The stunts were just amazing and the whole thing just looked perfect. Her death was very gory and the following scene with Drusilla added to their twisted relationship.

    The second battle between Spike and the subway slayer was also awesome. It was again, amazing stunts and every punch and kick felt real and brutal. Also, nice to see Nikki Wood before the storyline with Robin in Season 7!

    The scenes between Spike and Buffy were fantastic also- the scene where she tells him he's beneath her was so awful (in a good way) and sad and you can't help but feel bad for him. He looks so pathetic, scrabbling for the money in tears that you can't help but hate Buffy a little. The last scene is one of all time favourites; as a Spike/Buffy fan, I loved seeing him try to comfort her after learning about Joyce going in for a brain scan. It was quite moving and just a fantastic scene.

    Fool For Love is a very special episode. It is shocking, sad, funny, brutal and epic. A real treat for fans.
  • I've always been bad

    9.6
    After being wounded by her own stake in a fight with a vampire (one vampire that is), Buffy seeks out the one vampire she knows who's killed a slayer before (Spike). Spike takes her on a trip down memory lane as he reminisces about his exploits before he got a chip in his head. The episode sets up crucial information for the rest of the season as well as the rest of the series. In the end, we get to see a different side of Spike, and the flashbacks to previous times are great as well. It's nice to see Angel, Drusilla, and Darla again. Drusilla and Darla haven't been seen since the end of Season Two.

    Spike tells Buffy about the night he became a vampire (and first met Drusilla) and some years later, the first slayer he killed; an unnamed Chinese slayer during the Boxer rebellion. What makes me love this episode is the great writing along with the many surprises. Some great lines are uttered in this episode (I've always been bad). The further fleshing out of Spike makes this one of my absolute favorites. And then the final scenes really make me love this episode. This is the first time we truly see the other side of Spike. Before it's just been self-motivated.
  • William's Bloody Past

    10
    Fool For Love-When a run-of-the-mill vampire seriously wounds Buffy with her own stake, she begins to obsess over the deaths of previous Slayers. Desperate for answers, she turns to the only person with firsthand knowledge of how two Slayers fell in battle... Spike.

    A beyond stunning episode that finally looks into the past of our resident bleached vampire, Spike. "Fool For Love" not answers questions about how Spike was sired and how he killed those 2 slayers but also get a chance to see a vunerable Spike and one whose feelings are growing stronger for Buffy. James Masters is...well...masterful throughout conveying a lot of emotions as Spike as we see how he became the infamous vampire he is today.

    The flashbacks are brilliant and the revelation of Spike being a complete nerd before he became a vampire is ironic. You really do feel bad for Spike as he had no respect from anyone. Spike's siring scene is very well done, especially having Juilet Landau back as Drusilla. Then there's David Boreneaz and Julie Benz who also make appearence but their roles in this episode is only a glimpse of their storyline in the "Darla" episode. Anyway, the Boxer Rebellion sequence is one of the most epic scenes from the series. It's obvious the budget was put to good use as the new settings looked stunning. The fight scene between the Chinese slayer and Spike was well choreographed, especially when Spike goes in for the kill. Then there's the flashback in the 70s with Spike fighting the other slayer, Nikki on a subway train which is wonderfully directed as it interwines with the scene of Spike and Buffy fighting in the present.

    Sarah Michelle Gellar and James Masters are excellent throughout, especially when on screen together. The scene where Buffy sees Spike is played so well by James and is amazing how he always makes you feel sorry for Spike despite what he is and what he's done. Then the final scene between them is touching as Buffy is unconsoulable after finding out her mom has to go to the hospital again. Buffy's vunerablity and Spike's determination was just perfect in that scene with nothing more needing to be said. "Fool For Love" is a Buffy classic that develops Spike convincingly with stellar flashbacks, solid acting and beautiful scenes.
  • 'what can i say, baby, i've always been bad'- spike

    9.2
    i love this episode as its one of the few episode that have flashacks of the characters past. we can see that spike was a bad poet thus gaining the name of 'william the bloody'. it was interesting to see a different side of spike. this episode also showed how he killed the two other slayer. one was during the boxer rebellion where he almost died if it wasn't for the bomb(if you notice carefully, you can see the chinese slyer almost staked him but a bomb shocked her), and another one in new york. this episode mostly revolve around spike and his past. being a spike lover, i have to say this is one of my favorite episode.
  • Information about Spike's past and the previous slayers

    9.1
    I love this episode! Spike's old side is revealed and we get to see how he killed the slayers! It changes from the "annoying" Spike of season five and it makes the viewer realize what connection exists between Spike and Buffy. The scene at the end of the episode, in the alley behind the Bronze is just awesome. Spike's fight with Nikki, the slayer in New York and his fight with Buffy are mixed together while he tells his tale. Just great! First real flashback about Spike's past. Also the beginning of Buffy's quest about the other slayers and the origin of her powers.
  • Some nasty thing gets a taste of the slayer.

    8.0
    After a vampire bests Buffy, stabbing her with her own stake, Buffy is worried that even though she in the best physical condition of her life about her mortality. Seeking out Spike this episode focuses on the events of the past, it's very much a Spike-centric episode though it has a lot to do with Buffy as well. We are first taken to the events leading up to Spike getting sired and then the night itself, through his learning of the slayer and the events of The Boxer Rebellion, all the way through 1970's New York where he killed his second slayer. This really is a great episode, as most of the flashback one's are. Spike is really a fascinating character and with such a long and versatile history I always enjoy watching events from his past.

    This is also a crossover episode with Angel, though they are both about to very different things.
  • As a big fan of Spike, this is an all time favorite episode of mine! And for many reasons...

    10
    While advancing the general storyline of the growing interaction between Slayer and Vampire, this episode also chronicles the development of William, the weak social fop into Spike, the vicious vampire. Along with revealing the circumstances of his turning, the viewer is shown how William eventually morphs into Spike: he turns his back on English society ("I was through living by societies rules.") changes his accent (Angel: "I'm not your 'mate'...and when did you start talking that way?"), acquires his trademark facial scar (from the Chinese slayer's sword), and goes from a sensitive poet's personality ("I prefer placing my energies in creating things of beauty.") to embracing violence and mayhem ("I'll take a good brawl anyday...all out fighting in a mob, back against the wall, nothing but fist and fangs!")

    This episode, beyond providing a rich back-story for Spike, interesting interaction between characters, and superb acting, has above average cinematography which seemed to me a step up from many of the other episodes in the season.

    For example: the smoky scene in the Bronze, all hazy with sparkly lights in the background...the camera moving slowly around the pool table following the two main characters in the scene. Then there are the flashbacks leading to William's turning, his first slayer kill during the Boxer rebellion all in reds and fire, and the Fanged Four power shot at the end of that scene. Superb. (You can see the same Boxer rebellion scene, but from Darla and Angels viewpoint in Season 2 episode 7, of "Angel"...)

    I also enjoyed the cross-overs to NY: Buffy's somersault over present day Spike in the alley is completed by the Slayer, Nikki, in the 1977 subway car...what a great shot! In fact the whole fight scene in the subway itself was compelling: flashing lights and smoke making the car motion seem real, and punk-Spike twirling a metal pole switching to present day Spike twirling a pool cue. Having punk-Spike speak directly to present day Buffy while straddling the NY slayer also worked really well.

    And that last scene: instead of a cliff hanger or the big finish viewers come to expect, it ends on a very quiet and sad note as the Slayer allows her mortal enemy to gently comfort her on the porch steps of her own home.
  • "My heart expands, ’tis grown a bulge in it, inspired by your beauty… effulgent" – William the Bloody "What can I tell you, baby? I’ve always been bad" – Spike

    9.8
    We open with Buffy in the graveyard, too busy with quipping (and with approaching hubris) to notice that the rocker vamp she is fighting is about to stab her with her own stake. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Buffy falter in the face of a vampire; the last was Sunday and then the Slayer was incapacitated by first-day-at-University nerves. Riley saves her, but it’s Spike she spends the episode with – he gets his wish to be kicked around by, and have a date with beer, buffalo wings and Buffy.

    The backstory shows how important Spike has become to the series - he’s gone from bit-part to player. Like the Angel-centric episode Becoming (I), this episode shows how it was the women in Spike’s life who made him the vamp he is today. Cecily/Halfrek rejected and taunted him (“You’re beneath me”) but Dru loved him before he loved her. She flattered him and seduced him, took his virginity and his life in a dirty alley (much like the Darla/Angel siring), starting off Spike’s sex and violence obsession. The next two women who influenced him, the two Slayers, were important in making him a man in the eyes of the vamp-gang and giving him his trademark coat. Finally, we have Buffy, the slayer he no longer wants to kill, only sleep with. His lurid tales and lies are to puff himself up, but also an attempt to impress Buffy. He doesn’t understand that being himself and telling his bad boy stories are enough to make an impact on Harmony, but not our Slayer. He thinks that their mutual obsession with death makes them the same, and that this will make her want him. He is not prepared to change in order to make her desire him, that is, until the last scene.

    The backstory is a marvellous psychological yarn acted wonderfully by Mr Marsters. Whereas Darla and Angel were effectively the same in their lives and un-lifes, and Dru was terrorised and maddened before she became a vamp, Spike uses the change to become a new man: new name, new hair, new accent, everything. School Hard seemed to have written the character into a corner, but here we see that not everything was as it seemed. The Spike nickname had nothing to with torturing victims with railroad spikes but because people would rather impale themselves on spikes than listen to William the Bloody (Awful Poet). Spike put across these rumours to create an image for himself, a vision of how he wanted to be. He sought out humans to fight in order to relinquish his foppish past, to prove himself and his reputation as a slayer-killer was unjustified. He was motivated to kill them by his lack of standing in the gang and he was not a particularly good fighter - both the Chinese slayer and the New York slayer were distracted by an explosion and the tunnel darkness respectively. Like Dru when Kendra had given her stake to Buffy, like the rocker vamp when Buffy was distracted, he just had “a good day”.

    Spike didn’t try to turn the Slayers, he didn’t even feed off Nikki – it was all about the fight for him. Whereas Angel liked a project, such as Dru, Spike wants a challenge and at present that challenge is Buffy - whether killing or seducing her. Angel and Spike’s essential differences are thus shown - the cold planning artistic torturer versus the street fighting man. And now, just as Angel took Dru, Spike is after Angel’s ex. In the flashback to the Boxer rebellion, it seems that Angel has lost his top dog position; unfortunately the crossover makes more sense if you see both episodes. Still, the black and red slo-mo walk through the flames with Spike jumping the obstacle is pretty amazingly shot. Whilst Spike is hanging with his girl, Riley is living Spike’s life. He is hunting, dressed in camouflage and stealthing through the graveyard (accompanied by the Scoobs, wearing bright pink and eating crisps). Riley lies to the gang, pretending he’ll surprise the vamp nest at daybreak but instead, he goes back with a grenade. This is the equivalent to Spike’s rushing into battle, all “fists and fangs”. Poor Riley, he’s so into the mission, yet the mission isn’t interested. Xander may admire his alpha-maleyness, but Riley is missing the life of an (anatomically correct) action man. He is so busy proving himself to Buffy that he’s not there when she needs him and his (im)mortal enemy can thus step into his size 11s to comfort her.

    Spike’s story moves outside of the Bronze as Buffy tries to get him to give her what she wants – a lowdown on how the Slayers lost their fights with him. For Spike it’s all about the weapon; Buffy lost hers to the rocker vamp; Spike warns her to always have a hand on hers because a vamp always has his with him. The stake, the source of power, is more than a little phallic to Spike. His other information is useless to her, but interesting to the audience for it hints at and foreshadows Buffy’s death and implies that Spike will be the one to kill her after all. He tells her that all Slayers have a deathwish – to be freed from their calling but also to “stop the fear and uncertainty…because you’re a little bit in love with it. Death is your art - you make is with your hand day after day. Part of you is desperate to know: what is it like? Where does it lead to?” He goes on to tell her that “the only reason you’ve lasted as long as you have is because you have ties to the world”. At the end of S5, this rings true: when Joyce has gone and Riley has gone and the only way to save Dawn is to die for her, Buffy does dive off into the abyss – to find out what it’s like, to stop “putting off the inevitable”. But what isn’t true is Spike’s claim that “the second it happens, I’ll be there”. Our attitude changes to Spike changes from moment to moment in this episode. We feel for him when he is humiliated by Cecfrek, but it’s horrible to watch a (beautifully choreographed) fight where the slayer(s) don’t win. We watch in awe as he fights Buffy/Nikki with the same moves, but we feel Buffy’s disgust as his fighting with her turns to lust – the the killing/f*cking thing mixed up again in Spike’s head. He, a dead thing, is in love with someone who he thinks has a death wish. He is in love with death (which made him the man he is today) and believes she is too. She, who wants to be real and alive, thinks that Spike trying to kiss her is part of his taunting of her and so she debases him when he’s down on his knees by punching him, throwing money at him and echoing Cecfrek when she tells him: “Say it's true. Say I do want to….It wouldn't be you, Spike. It would never be you. You're beneath me.” Under Spike’s influence, Buffy’s statement could be about sex, could be about killing. Spike has come full circle. After everything he’s been through, he’s still the same, rejected by the one he loves. Humiliated and weeping in the street, he is still a fool for love. Like Cecfrek, Buffy treats Spike as unimportant, which could be another explanation for his attraction to her. He is fascinated with strong women, be they vampires or slayers. His comment to Buffy: “That’s all we’ve ever done” when she asks: “You think we’re dancing?”, shows that perhaps he has sub-consciously been seeing Buffy in a romantic way for some time. In the scene with Dru and the “slime and antlers” chaos demon, she once again uses her psychic powers to look into him and discovers his depth of feeling for the Slayer. Her suspicions were already roused when Spike took Buffy’s side against Angel and he failed to kill Buffy even when she was weakened. And how else do we explain Spike’s return to Sunnydale, if not for Buffy?

    But when Spike could slay the Slayer, when he turns up to her house with a gun and virulent anger, finding her at her most vulnerable, all he can do is console her. It’s not the chip that stops him shooting her, but the last vestiges of his humanity. Just as he was humiliated William in the alley, here, he is again the sum of his human parts. He is still a bad poet, pretty much a bad vampire, but he is still a good man. Forget the bravado, the sex and death lust; this is the real start of their relationship. When there’s no-one else for Buffy to turn to, Spike will be there.
  • all about spike

    7.7
    a good episode with some good flashbacks and we learn more about spike. the angel version darla is much better but i liked this version too. many good moments and spike was not so annoying as usually.

    the end was pretty when spike went to kill buffy but instead he hugged her. i hate spike with buffy but that scene was touching.
  • Spike's story told a sad tale about how a hopeless romantic with an unrequited love who was transformed into a heartless beast who only thrived for the rush of a life threatening battle.

    9.4
    I remember watching this episode in conjunction with the Angel episode which complimented it. They were two separate stories that looked into the past and focused on the origins of Spike and Angel. Their stories overlapped, but but they stood on their own. That's what I loved about the smart writing and the rich characters of Buffy and Angel.

    Spike's story told a sad tale about how a hopeless romantic with an unrequited love who was transformed into a heartless beast who only thrived for the rush of a life threatening battle. It really drew out what drives his character, why he fights and how he is different in character with Angel. Of course, Spike isn't really heartless, as it was shown when Buffy rejects him, using the same phrase that his love did over a century ago. Despite all the horrors Spike has caused, he still feels the emotional anguish of rejection. The fact that Buffy's comment brings him to the brink of tears really garners the villain some sympathy. I think the best scene was at the end, where Spike, hellbent on ridding the Slayer forever, finds Buffy sitting on her back porch, tears in her eyes over news that her mother is going to go to the hospital over a mysterious ailment. You can see the anger just wash away from his face as concern takes over. Him, sitting next to Buffy, not sure how to console her and settling with a pat on the back was touching. The fact that Buffy lets him, despite the animosity she shares with him really shows how deeply she needed it.
  • Spike's past, as seen through his own warped point of view

    9.0
    With this episode, the season arc begins to take a turn towards darker material. Buffy has always been aware of her eventual fate, based on the Chosen legacy, but it’s been easy enough to keep that in the back of her mind. After all, having survived the major threats and with things being generally quiet, why get overly concerned?

    Buffy’s lapse is hardly surprising, but it does jolt the audience back into a sense of “reality”. Slayers don’t usually live so long, and there’s a reason why that must be true. If it’s not about prowess or resources, then what it is about? Is it just a matter of time and odds, the damning harsh probabilities? Sooner or later, with so many battles, the Slayer must eventually lose.

    Buffy, already in the process of exploring the Chosen legacy within herself, may have been ready to ask the question anyway. With her mother’s health dominating her thoughts, she must be thinking of the inevitable. This experience had to be the final straw, pushing her to ask the difficult questions. What’s somewhat amazing is that she hasn’t considered the notion that it’s always there, hanging in the air around them.

    In fact, she fails to realize how hard it must be for Giles to be her Watcher. For all that the Watchers can be distant and chauvinistic, the ones forced into personal relationships with their charges must be left with an enormous sense of loss. The longer the Slayer lives, the harder it must be to reconcile the end. The entire conversation between Buffy and Giles is a nice bit of indirect foreshadowing for the end of the fifth season. In fact, the entire episode serves to remind the audience of the possibility that comes to pass all too soon.

    All of which leads Buffy into a long and tense conversation with Spike, the one person who knows exactly how Slayers can be beaten. Having killed two Slayers himself, Spike seems like the right person to consult in terms of a post-mortem. It’s definitely a good excuse for Spike to tell the tale of his creation and rebirth, all wonderfully detailed from his admittedly warped point of view. What Buffy overlooks is the most obvious flaw in the concept: Spike is his own best PR machine, and it’s hard to know whether or not Spike is being entirely honest.

    So the question is: can Buffy trust what Spike is telling her? After all, if Spike had simply explained the battle scenarios, down to the moves and countermoves, it would be all but useless. Buffy is really looking for some sense of the Slayer’s psychology in each case. She’s looking for a magic bullet, something simple to avoid. If she wanted to take a more rational look at the problem, she’d realize that two examples out of thousands would be all but useless.

    More interestingly, Buffy seems to take Spike seriously enough to listen to what he has to say, and he’s more than willing to give her practical advice. It would be enormously easy for Spike to set Buffy up for failure, but he genuinely tries to get through to her. He’s still doing it for personal reasons, since Buffy is his current obsession, but he gives her better advice than Giles in this instance. Both of them let confusing personal issues lead them into a conversation that requires, on some level, a sense of common cause and trust. In retrospect, the dynamic between Buffy and Spike in this episode makes the beginning of the sixth season a lot more sensible and consistent than usually acknowledged.

    This episode is most often remembered for the exploration of Spike’s history. Even taking Spike’s perspective into account, this episode goes a long way towards exposing what happens when a vampire is created. There is ample evidence in this episode that Spike began his life as a human with strong obsessive tendencies. More than that, the object of his affection was often someone who presented a challenge. (There’s even a mention of his mother, who would later be revealed as another object of obsession in the seventh season.)

    So William the Bloody Awful Poet, obsessed with Cecily and bitter over her crushing dismissal of his affections, became Spike, the obsessed bastard with an unending desire to generate a terrifying reputation and repudiate his foppish upbringing. The posturing side of Spike, the vaguely poetic remnant, saw the Slayer as the ultimate challenge. And as such, as Spike admits himself, a new obsession began. He was in love with the notion of taking on the most dangerous foe to his kind.

    It’s reflective of the deathwish that Spike insists the Slayers must have. While Spike is more right than wrong about the Slayer and her obvious obsession and connection to death (again, a foreshadowing of the season finale), he’s overlooking his own obvious penchant for self-destruction. His obsessions are an outgrowth and response to his self-loathing. He’s constantly slipping back and forth between the drive for survival and a desire to find eternal peace.

    By the end of the episode, Buffy is left contemplating her recent brushes with death, with her mother’s situation firmly in mind. Spike is incensed by Buffy’s dismissal of him, but he’s still obsessed with her. In the end, despite the hatred, there’s a connection.
  • It's all about Spike.

    9.0
    When Buffy's is injured with her own stake by a super-lame vampire, she starts to wonder what she's missing. Unfortunately for her, only Spike knows why the previous Slayer's lost their last battles.


    A great episode that shows us Spike's past when he was still William, a failed poet and rather milquetoast kind of boy. His love of a woman who is really dispicable just breaks your heart; "I do see you William, that's the problem." and "Your beneath me." OUCH.


    William is a changed man, however, after he's killed by Dru and turned into a vampire. He turns into his brassy, mouthy self that we so love. In addition, he manages to do what Dracula and Angel haven't...kill not one, but two Slayers.


    The episode is great in shedding light on Spike's evolution. We get to find out where that long, long coat came from and the stunt woman playing the Chinese Slayer is just awesome. I found the death of the New York Slayer (who we find out was Nikki Wood later) disturbing as well as Spike's 'lesson' to Buffy.
  • 'Every day you wake up, it's the same bloody question that haunts you: Is today the day I die?'

    10
    Spike has been one of my least favourite characters of this show, but there are a few episodes where he was amazing and this is one of them, this episode is so well written and acted that I consider it to be one of season 5’s best.

    The episode begins with Buffy being staked by a vampire with her own stake, just a regular vampire and that makes her loose grip. Riley saved her before something serious happens. Buffy slipped and she is destined to find out what it made her slip and how vampires kill slayers, she knows that the one who can help her with that is her enemy Spike who killed two.

    Spike is a little difficult about it at first but then begins to tell her how he killed the first, it was in China. Before that he had never heard of a slayer until Angel wanted to kick him out of the group. Spike became obsessed with slayers and one day he fought the Chinese girl and killed her.

    Spike’s real name was William The Bloody because of his bloody awful poems. He became a vampire the night that the woman he loved told him he was beneath her. He ran outside and bumped against Dru who gave him the choice and turned him into a vampire. Buffy then wants to know about the second slayer, she was in New York and Spike’s jacked was hers. He broke her neck in the train when he could. He killed the slayers because they wanted it, he creates art by killing them. Buffy hasn’t died yet because she has ties to the world, her friends and family. But one day for just a second she will slip and die and he will be there to do it. Then Spike wants to dance with her but she doesn’t, she tells him that he is beneath her.

    That breaks Spike and he decides to put her into the ground, he grabs a gun but when he wants to shoot her he finds her crying. She was crying because her mom had to go to the hospital because she might have something after all. Spike can’t kill her anymore and embraces her.

    ‘Fool For Love’ is a simply fantastic episode, the flashbacks and storytelling and the great acting skills from James Marters. Dru always knew that Spike was inlove with Buffy, because he tasted like ashes. Another storyline was Riley’s, he had to haunt for Buffy and he wanted the thrill, he killed some vamps with a grenade all by himself. This episode also continued the fear of Joyce’s illness. The episode did it all and was fantastic.
  • So frickin movie-like!

    9.8
    I loved this episode. The main reason I love it is because it shows the dynamic between Buffy and Spike. I liked Buffy and Angel, but I dont think it has the spark that Spuffy has. This episode showed how Spike killed two slayers, and Buffy wants to know how. What he shows her shocks even her. But it's the first time someone has put the situation in her face: she's flirting with death. All this will lead up to the season finale, "The Gift". Spike tells her that every slayer has a death wish, and instead of thanking him, Buffy wants him to get out of her face. He found that dark place inside her that will be fully explored in season 6, the darkest of them all. But this episode is all about Buffy's twisted yet intruiging relationship with Spike, and I love it till the end!
  • Spike FlashBacks

    10
    Its like a "Lost" episode with Spike flashbacks. I love this episode. Especially since you get to figure out how Spike is a vampire now and why he was turned. And the best question of all: Why is spike so loving when hes a dried up heart souless evil thing? (i didnt just say that) the question i said but not the insult! lol hes cute like that though. it makes him mysterious and hotter ^_^. well um theres also how he killed the two slayers (one in the boxer rebellion and one in 1977 one the subway). I luv his 70's clothes with all the safety pinny ness and the muscle shirt. it shouldnt have changed especially since the duster covered it. the duster is cute over his signature tight black t-shirt and red hawaiian shirt. theres that...
  • 'Fool For Love,' in my opinion has to be among the best episodes of this fantastic series. It is a standout im my eyes as it features everything I love about this show. Plus it gives us insight into a growing friendship/romance, that slowly unfolds over t

    9.7
    'Fool For Love,' in my opinion has to be among the best episodes of this fantastic series. It is a standout im my eyes as it features everything I love about this show. Plus it gives us insight into a growing friendship/romance, that not even we saw coming!

    This episode is particularly enjoyable if you have watched 'Buffy' from the beginning. It helps to answer the liitle questions that have popped up in the past four and a quarter seasons.

    We learn the gory details of how Spike has killed two slayers, and what led him to be the way he is today. (We also learn that Buffy is not a strong as she may seem.)

    The one pivotal thing we do learn from this episode, is that deep inside, Spike is the same sensitive, emotional man that he was all those years ago.

  • Fool for Love is a pivotal episode that shows us where Spike comes from while also laying the groundwork for what will end up being a long, strange friendship.

    10
    I believe that this is one of the best Buffy episodes ever. The seamless way it moves from the present to Spike\'s past, helping us understand not only Spike, but what it means to be a slayer, is beautiful. The insight that Spike has into why Buffy has been able to survive, having ties to the world, made me realize that he is more aware of what is going on then we give him credit for. The parallel in how Cecily treated him and how Buffy treats him is cool. We see Spike as this man/vampire who can\'t help falling in love with girls who are out of his reach. He gets seduced by Drusilla because he has suffered rejection and is at a low point in his life. The fact that Drusilla realizes that Spike has feelings for Buffy, before Spike realizes it herself, shows how connected she was to Spike. The compassion that Spike shows Buffy at the end of the episode is just the begining of a long, strange friendship that I think both are the better for having.
  • With beauty effulgent, Spike tells Buffy his version of his (un)life story while the camera circles around the two circling around each other. It's one of the weirder first dates in TV history. Minor other details intrude.

    9.3
    "Fool For Love" works on so many levels it's almost dazzling. It rummages through the series' rich and largely unestablished backstory to provide some startling (but consistent) revelations about the man Spike once was. It advances one of the season's major themes as Buffy begins to explore the mystery of what being a Slayer really means. It's also a wonderful meditation on stories and the unreliablitity of their tellers, as its companion "Angel" episode "Darla" shows some of the same events in a very different light.

    It's the minor details that make the episode really click. The differing fighting styles between Buffy, the Chinese slayer, and the '70s blaxploitation-styled slayer. The humming direction that provides fluid links in a story that spans more than a century. The welcome returns of Darla, Angel, and Drusilla. Even Spike's loony running obsession with bar food. The pace of the exchanges between Spike and Buffy is so thrilling it makes you wish the other present-day sequences involving the Scooby Gang had been omitted. We already understand that Riley is disillusioned -- this episode isn't about him.

    This is one of those rare ones that stands proudly by itself, but is greatly enhanced by an appreciation of what has come before and what is still to come. We find that the derivation of William the Bloody's appellation isn't his torture techniques but rather his terrible poetry. We finally get to see some other slayers from history and how their styles compare and contrast. We get to marvel at how well Sarah Michelle Gellar conveys Buffy's shock and denial when Spike tells her something she already knows to be true about herself. We get to giggle once more at David Boreanaz's atrocious Irish accent. There's something for everybody in this episode.

    What I find most fascinating about reviewing "Fool For Love" is considering what Spike chooses to tell Buffy about his past and how he conveys it. It's not necessary for Spike to admit that he was something of a lightweight as a living man; Buffy would probably expect him to lie about this anyway. Indeed, there's no reason for William to divulge this information at all. Buffy only asks him to tell her about the two slayers that he has killed. Nonetheless Spike tries to win her sympathy by painting a portrait of a human William too delicate for this world. Then he reverts to his more base nature as he relishes retelling the tale of killing his first slayer during the Boxer Rebellion in China.

    Spike's version of the fight in China ends with a cruel joke ("Sorry, I don't speak Chinese"). This could be what really happened, or it could be Spike trying to simultaneously disgust and titilate Buffy. It's valuable to compare the swaggering William of "Fool For Love"'s flashbacks with the more feckless model seen from Angel's perspective in "Darla." Finally, Spike and Buffy retire to the alley behind the Bronze, where the vampire walks a tightrope. As they mimic the action of Spike's fight with Nikki Wood, Spike both tries to menace Buffy, as the adrenaline from his memories rushes through him, and to entice her to sink to his level. James Marsters is really terrific throughout this episode. His performances from the beginning on "Buffy" all but gave the writers no choice but to give him more and more to do. He really outdoes himself here, and as big of a diva as she may or may not be in real life, looking in isolation at her acting Gellar is there to meet him every step of the way.

    The denouement, where Buffy rejects both Spike's advances and the moral of his lesson, is devastating. Somehow the show makes us sympathize with a character who has just admitted (bragged in fact) of a hundred years' worth of remorseless slaughter. Buffy was just getting started with her mistreatment of Spike, as it so happens. But with what we learn about Spike in "Foor For Love," would he want it any other way?
  • Spike's History

    9.7
    This episode ties up lots of questions about Spike, his history and other characters, including Drusilla, Cicily, Angel, and the other slayers...
    This information becomes very handy in Season 7, when Spike's past is continually being re-examined. Especially in "Convorsations with Dead People," and "Lies my Parents Told Me." (Even though the principal's mom/70's slayer is a different actress, the point is definitely a good one)
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