Spike & the Chip: Gentling His Condition
by Alane S. Megna
November 2001

DRUSILLA: I don't believe in science. All those bits and molecules no one's ever seen. I trust eyes and heart alone.
Spike's chip no longer works in regard to Buffy. But why not?
I don't believe anything is inherently wrong with Buffy. She's not infected by a demon or is part-zombie or soulless or anything else. She's still "just Buffy."

Spike rationalized that Buffy had come back wrong because he couldn't imagine the more obvious he loves Buffy so much, he couldn't possibly have the intent to actually hurt her. Thus, the chip wouldn't fire.

In "Crush," Drusilla thought he could overcome the effect of the chip through evilness, by being a bad dog. We see through the failed attack on the woman in "Smashed," however, it cannot be evil that overcomes the chip. Instead, it's Spike's humanity which the Judge commented on way back in Season 2's "Surprise" that can overcome the chip.

In "Afterlife," many fans pointed out that, at the scene where Spike pushed Xander into the tree, the human didn't display much pain. In spite of himself, Spike liked Xander. They'd fought together all summer. Perhaps Spike even saw Xander as a friend of sorts. At any rate, Spike's feelings clearly were hurt that the people he had fought with had failed to include him in the plan to resurrect Buffy. But he did not really want to injure Xander either.

As a Redemptionist, my theory is that as Spike comes to care for an increasing number of humans, he will have more "chip failures" until, finally, the chip won't work at all. At that point, he no longer has any evil and murderous intent toward the human race.

A very different path of Redemption than Angel is following? Yes. But it would be internal change and would be just as valid as such. It wouldn't be filled with expressions of remorse or atonement which, as Darla pointed out in "Lullabye" are useless and counterproductive because one can ever possibly make up for all that pain and death and destruction.
All Spike can do is go forward and do better. Just as the rest of us flawed human beings must do.
Dru, then, had the answer in "Crush" but misinterpreted what she "saw." In the end, science truly is no match for the heart a heart that is capable of great love..

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