Buffy Postmortem: Is Spike Dead?
As far as series finales go, Buffy the Vampire Slayer's was a doozy. We laughed, we cried, we hurled large objects at the TV in utter despair. But darnit if the show's creator, Joss Whedon, didn't leave us wanting more... closure, that is. For example, why of all the Scoobies did Anya (Emma Caulfield) have to die? And what's the deal with Spike (James Marsters), who bit the dust just days after making a date with Angel this fall? For answers to those questions and more, read on...
TV Guide Online: I have a bone to pick with you: When last we spoke, you claimed that "no decision" had been made about bringing Spike over to Angel next season. Then, days later, the WB announced that, well, Spike would be making his way to Angel next season. Why did you lie to me, man?
It wasn't until the last minute that it was actually decided that he was going to be a regular on the show. When I spoke to you, a) it was true that we didn't know his status, and b) he was about to die on Buffy
, so the less about him being on Angel
in the press beforehand, the better.
TVGO: Fair enough. But couldn't the WB hold off on announcing it?
There was no f---ing way. They were very excited about James. They have a shiny blond thing to show people, and they're gonna do it.
TVGO: So, how do you plan to resurrect Spike?
That's a conversation I'm going to be having with the Angel
writers very soon.
TVGO: There's always Shanshu (the ancient prophecy introduced during Angel's first season that says once a soulful vampire fulfills his destiny, he becomes human).
It's not quite
that simple, although a lot of people have been making reference to that. But that's an
interpretation, and ultimately could become the
interpretation if we decide to go that way. I have some other ideas. The trick is how to bring him back without losing the integrity of what he did... the sacrifice. If it's just, "Hey, I'm back!" then that whole moment at the end of Buffy
is kind of lame now. Like Buffy returning from the dead, it's going to be something that we're going to have to earn and play the ramifications of, possibly without making it so depressing.
TVGO: Will you pair him with a new special someone?
I'm still trying to figure out how to bring him back to life. I don't think he's the kind of guy that would be like, "Well, that was a fun time with Buffy... " I don't think he feels a sense of resolve or resolution about the relationship. I think he feels that he was ready to sacrifice himself for her, and it was a beautiful thing, but... it wasn't like he's cured of loving Buffy any more than Angel is.
TVGO: Now that Buffy is free to do whatever she likes, how will you explain why she doesn't make a beeline for Angel?
Well, I think I did
in the episode. She said very specifically she doesn't want to go and find a boyfriend. She wants to go and find herself spend some time becoming a grown-up and finding out who she is, and then she can stop to find out who fits with that. That was the point of the whole cookie dough speech. Her internal search isn't for a boyfriend, it's for herself. And then if true love fits into that, that would be the best thing ever. But if she instantly went off and attached herself to Angel, she'd be throwing away everything she'd just been given, which is her freedom. It would be the last thing she would do. Well, not the last
thing. She wouldn't do it until sweeps.
TVGO: November sweeps?
I don't know if necessarily it will be November, but she has stated time and again that she's perfectly willing to come on and make an appearance, assuming schedules work out. Nothing's definite, but it's as sure a shot as one could hope for.
TVGO: Why was Anya marked for death?
I wanted to kill somebody, and I wanted to do it brutally and suddenly and never really pay it off. I wanted a death that was a real middle-of-the-battle death the opposite of the Spike death, [which was] perfect, noble. And Emma had made it clear that she really was not interested in coming back. I think things with Fox weren't great and she felt ill-used not by the show. She had a good time making the show, I think. But she was ready to move on. But it was tough [killing her off]. The last shot before we wrapped her was that shot where she gets sliced. And it's very weird to play your death and go, "Okay, I'm done."
TVGO: No one seemed to be too broken up about it.
I had a lot to wrap up, so I let Xander (Nicholas Brendon
) have a moment of closure about her, just enough to get him to the point where he could rejoin the group for a moment of, well, "We won." You have to get yourself to a good place if you want the show to go out on an uplifting moment, which I did. So I used shorthand.
TVGO: Had you known that Eliza Dushku was going to pass on the spinoff, would you have killed off Faith?
No, I doubt it. There's a certain element where the loss becomes unacceptable for a happy ending, and the idea that she's been the primary Slayer behind Buffy, it felt like she should be in that mix.
TVGO: Given Eliza's decision, do you regret not making Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg) a Slayer?
No, I don't think Dawn was meant to be a Slayer both mythologically and emotionally. Dawn plays a different part than that. I don't think we necessarily got to explore all the aspects of Dawn's character that I would have liked to have, because she kind of got swept up in the larger story. But being a Slayer was never one of them. That's not to say you couldn't build a spinoff around Michelle she's an interesting actress, and the same goes for a lot of the players. But I wouldn't just necessarily take someone and make them a Slayer. I don't think that would really fly.
TVGO: Today is the first day of life after Buffy. How are you holding up?
I'm doing just fine, because it's like Day 13 of trying to get my 5-month-old to sleep, so I just go from one problem to the next. (Pauses
) Your sense of closure never comes when you think it's going to. It'll happen two weeks from Monday. I'll suddenly go, "Good Lord. My entire life has changed."On Tuesday, Whedon answers the question on the minds of
Angel fans everywhere. Has Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia) been fired?