Why I Believe Neo!Spike Is And Is *Not* Old!Spike
By Lisa

September, 2002

GILES: The books tell the last demon to leave this reality fed off a human, mixed their blood. He was a human form possessed, infected by the demon's soul. He bit another, and another, and so they walk the Earth, feeding… Killing some, mixing their blood with others to make more of their kind.

-- "The Harvest," BtVS Season 1


I'm sure we all noticed the "Demon's soul" part. Mutant Enemy Co-Executive Producer David Fury would probably prefer we didn't, but… I suppose the way that Fury fanwanks that is that it's not a human soul. It's something else. So what is it?

Well, there's a really strange word choice in Giles's explanation-- "possessed" and "infected." You aren't possessed by a cold or the flu, now are you? They aren't really saying that vampirism is some sort of virus, are they? I don't think so. But Giles's whole explanation is about procreation, "making more of their kind," but. . .is it all one soul? He did say "infected by the demon's soul."

It's really hard to see how all vamps could have the *same* soul. Angelus isn't much like Spike. Spike isn't remotely like Darla, etc. They aren't of some hive mind. They are separate creatures. Bacteria can reproduce through mitosis. Maybe the vampire "infection" is something like that. There is mitosis of the demon going on so that that offspring is an entirely separate entity. And it is this entity that "possesses" the human form. This would in some ways fit with what was seen in the AtS Pylean arc and in the BtVS ep "The Dark Age" where the demon Eyhgon jumps into Angel and is slain by Angel's inner demon…which we glimpsed briefly.


GILES: You listen to me! Jesse is dead! You have to remember that when you see him, you're not looking at your friend. You're looking at the thing that killed him.

-- "The Harvest," BtVS Season 1

GUNN: No. What came to your door that wasn't your son. It looked like your son, but it wasn't him.
AUBREY: Maybe I could have found a way to turn him back.
ANGEL: When somebody becomes a vampire there is no turning back. (Wes looks over at Angel) No matter how much you want to believe there is some part of him you can save, all that's left is an evil thing.

-- "Loyalty," AtS Season 3

XANDER: We saw her body, Will. We buried it.
WILLOW: Her body, yeah. But her soul … her *essence* … I mean, that could be somewhere else.

-- "Bargaining," BtVS Season 6

GILES: Ancients I beseech you.  The soul, abstracted.  Let it revert to its true seat. Let it be finished.  Let the unnatural vessel be emptied, let the essence be returned to its original host.

-- "Living Conditions," BtVS Season 3


William the Bloody Awful Poet *died.* *Liam* died. In the Buffyverse their *essence*--their soul--went wherever souls go. Their form remained behind possessed (according to the show) by a demon. It is the demon that inhabits the form. It is the demon that animates the body. But the crucial factor here is that the demon POSSESSES that body. Spike sees through William's eyes. Spike hears through William's ears. Spike thinks with William's mind. Spike has William's memories and knowledge. If you assume the mitosis theory, Spike's first moment of existence was *in* William's body, with that brain, that mind. He knows no other existence. William's thoughts and memories are *first person* for him.

Seeing the demon in Pylea, we are left with the idea that the demon really isn't all that bright. It's more of a primal or aboriginal being. . .but it is this primal being that animates the human body it possesses. It's energy or magic or whatever is processed through the human brain (and hence the heightened intelligence.) The intellect seems to be part of the body…not the demon. The intellect went with the brain, all thoughts are processed through the body's brain. All sensory input comes from that body. Therefore to Spike, William has always been *first person* to him. William's past is his past because he remembers them in first person. Those memories were recorded in that brain… and that's the brain Spike thinks with. . . but the *essence* that is Spike is NOT the essence that was William. They may have the same memories, the same knowledge, the same body… but they are essentially different creatures albeit because they share a brain, there's a great deal of overlap.

However, as has been stated on more than one occasion, the vampire has NO morality. Witnessing the demon of "The Dark Age" and "Pylea"… the demon on its own is pretty animalistic. It has no innate morality. The human soul that once resided in the body may have had morality, but the demon isn't that human even though it uses that human's brain. Perhaps it's something similar to brain damage where suddenly there is detachment from the memories. The demon possesses the brain and its memories…but it doesn't have the emotional connection to it. Perhaps it's like someone who has neuro-cognitive disorder, perhaps even though the demon can use the human's brain, it doesn't use it in quite the same way. Perhaps like someone with brain damage, or a psychopath, the demon cannot properly access some areas of the brain such as the amygdala and therefore creates a supernatural psychopathy, a lack of empathy and moral understanding that the human possessed but the demon does not and cannot even though ostensibly they have the same memories as the human. They don't FEEL the same. They don't process emotion in quite the same way. That would fit with the copious mentions of what Spike feels isn't "real." It's not real in quite the same way, it's not processed in the same way. It's missing. . .something. He may possess William's memories, but he doesn't feel the same about them as William felt. There is a distance and disconnect there. The demon is a foreign entity that is only using the parts it can access… but it's not a human.

********************************************************************** *

WESLEY: Yes, you will. I know you. We know you. We know you're a man with a demon inside - not the other way around.

-- "There's No Place Like Plrtz Glrb" AtS Season 2

HOLTZ: Angelus.
WES: No. Angel. He's not Angelus anymore. He's a good man.

-- "Loyalty," AtS Season 3

WES: He has a soul now.
HOLTZ: Yes. That he might know the pain that he has inflicted on his countless victims. A brilliant curse, I must admit. Gypsies do have a knack for creative vengeance. Where they fail, however, is in the execution of justice. And that I will have.
WES: If it's a sacrifice you require, take me. Angel's no more responsible for the crimes of Angelus than I am.
HOLTZ: Really?
WES: Yes.

-- "Loyalty," AtS Season 3

ANGEL: You stole my son.
HOLTZ: I kept your son alive. You murdered mine.
ANGEL: I was different then.
HOLTZ: Yes. So was I.---You feel remorse. You feel remorse, yet you can't express it.
ANGEL: You want me to say I'm sorry? How can I? It wouldn't mean a thing.

-- "Benediction," AtS Season 3

ELDER WOMAN: Nici mort, nici de-al fiintei, Te invoc, spirit al trecerii. Reda trupului ce separa omul de animal! [Translation: Neither dead, nor of the living, I invoke you, spirit of the passing. Return to the body what distinguishes Man from the beast!]

Angelus breaks through the trees into the clearing of the camp. He trips and falls by the great bonfire raging near the center of the camp.

ELDER WOMAN: Asa sa fie. [Translation: So it shall be.]

He gets to his hands and knees and looks over at the Elder Woman, still chanting. Cut to the Elder Woman.

ELDER WOMAN: Utrespur aceastui. [Translation: Restore this one.]

The glowing Orb suddenly gets very bright for an instant, and then goes dark. Cut to Angelus. His eyes grow bright for a moment, then return to normal, his soul now restored. An elder man of the clan steps up to him as he sits back on his ankles.

-- Becoming I, BtVS Season 2


So the human is restored. The essence of the man is returned to his body. Since the demon has been using the brain… chances are new memories are in it…but the *man* didn't do those things. The demon in possession of the body did them. And the *man* can feel the remorse that the demon isn't able to. But-- it is a DIFFERENT BEING feeling these things. It is the essence of the man.

Perhaps we can say that Spike was extraordinary. Perhaps through his special circumstances with the chip, with association with humans he was able to perhaps momentarily access areas that most vampires can't. Perhaps in the crypt scene he did touch upon remorse. Perhaps he did learn something about *real* love … as best the demon could. But it wasn't the same as the man because he wasn't the man. He was the demon using that man's brain and body. Related…as two beings who share thoughts and memories must be…but essentially different. Spike *wasn't* William even if William was "I" and "Me" to him. He thought he was William… he would continue to think so because he uses the same mind, the same eyes, the same body…but, he's something else.

1880 William was the man and the man alone in the body, using that mind.

Spike of Season 2 - 6 was a demon… and a demon ALONE in that body, that form, that body and that mind. But that kind of existence is *over* and died in a cave in Africa. He surrendered that "life" such as it was.

What returns. . .well, the demon is still around. It is what animates the body. But William? The ESSENCE of William is now *also* back. The MAN is there. And it is as BtVS stated in the above mentioned scene -- the man distinguished from the beast. He has memories of Spike's crimes for the last 120 years and experiences those memories first person. But they aren't *his* crimes. He wasn't there.

Neo!Spike isn't Spike as we knew him. Neo!Spike is also not William as he was. He is the man with a demon inside. The Spike as we knew him is gone and cannot exist as he was as long as William is also in residence. William wouldn't even be "alive" without the demon. Two essences inhabit the same body, the same mind, the same eyes, and ears and nerve endings and they experience everything simultaneously they are, in essence, a hybrid because for all intents and purposes they function as one being.

Angel isn't Angelus…though Angelus is within him. Nor is Angel Liam… though we presume Liam is within him (depending on whether he got Liam's soul).

Neo!Spike is most probably NOT Spike…though he has Spike in him. Nor is he William, though it is William who is destroyed by the guilt and culpability in his mind and memories.

I'm betting Spike -- as we knew him-- no longer exists. He surrendered his independent existence, he's subjugated himself and is now part of the man in that he is part of the entity that is Neo! Spike but he is ESSENTIALLY different because the essence of the man -- WILLIAM has been restored to the body that was initially his.

There may be some jockeying for dominance…but in the end… whatever the result, he is neither Spike nor William and he is both Spike and William. He's a new entity comprised of the former entities parts metaphysically combined.

At least. . .that's my fanwank unless or until contrary information surfaces.

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