The scene where Xander and Buffy discuss Spike moving in... I'm not sure what people think is missing. For all dramatic purposes, we *saw* that scene. We saw it in the extrapolation of the invitation scene. There's nothing that would've happened between them when the subject was brought up, really, in emotional dynamics, that didn't happen onscreen. It wasn't a casually mentioned thing where the real drama happened offstage already -- because we saw that same drama in the argument while Xander was inviting him in.
The scene where the gang find out Spike has a soul? Another story.
This isn't a Spike apologista thing. This isn't viewers wearing Spike-goggles who want the plotline that's important to *them* to be important to the Scoobies, because we can't tell the difference between our omniscient POV and their limited ones, or our desires and theirs. Check it: I know that Xander, in-character, is not going to start loving on Spike because of the soul. I find it unlikely that even if Xander had been the one to walk into the church and see Spike babbling, see him burn himself on the cross, that he would evince any outward signs of caring beyone "Man, he's a nutcase" or possibly "Good, he deserves it."
Yeah, Spike-hos are wistful that we didn't get to spend time on it onscreen. Dawn's relationship rant (Xander did bad things with a soul! People can do bad things with souls! From beneath you it devours!) was a bit of a sop (though annoying in its own right, as people have pointed out, because yeah, Xander leaving Anya at the altar is definitely the Big Evil that shows that people with souls can still be terrible). It pales in comparison though to the Big Scooby Revelation Scene that the summer had us anticipating. We got a Buffy Revelation, but not all of us are about Spike/Buffy. Some of us are about how does this change the way Spike relates to *other* people -- because we already *knew* how he felt for Buffy.
But. That one moment when they find out? When *anybody* finds out -- besides Anya and Buffy, who we saw, and which provided great dramatic tension and connection to their characters -- we didn't get that with the others. *Now* that they know? It's not out of character for them to be either not discussing it at all, or saying "No big deal" or "What does that change?" But that it would *never* be a moment of surprise, or something they would need to think about, something each of the scoobies and Dawn would have a potential emotional reaction to... Nuh-uh. *That* was a piece of drama that wasn't capitalized on. Wasn't reflected in their later "ho-um whatever" comments. So, something that yeah, we Spike-lovers are emotionally invested in seeing, didn't get shown, and we're perturbed -- but it's something that has dramatic meaning for the series, that didn't get shown.
Here's my Thing: those of us who are wondering where it is and why it didn't happen? We're not (all) stupid. We *get* that ME have something in mind. That they have a dramatic purpose in offstaging it. Well, *I* do, anyway. I dunno what it is, but I'm interested to find out. I don't know if it's going to pay off for them, if what they're not showing is going to be a reasonable sacrifice for what's around the corner -- but I'm not displeased.
So what I'm mostly annoyed with is the spoken or hinted-at "Get over it, everybody's life is not about Spike" floating out there in fandom/production-land. (Possibly more production than fandom.)
Hi. I'm a smart cookie. I was aware of that. If I talk about how I didn't like seeing Xander beat on a defenseless Spike in "Normal Again," you can bet I'm talking about it in context, comparing it to how Buffy acted even in Season 5, pointing out that Spike was baiting him and that Xander was just as emotionally destroyed as Spike at that time... and not rewriting the show's dynamics around one character.
If I say I see something missing or worrisome, it's not because I'm All. About. Spike. It's because I see something missing or worrisome.
And a quote, from RJA at the Cross & Stake Spoiler Board, which pretty much says it for me today: "If ME want the fans, like the Scoobies, to underplay the significance of Spike going to get a soul, don't make it the cliffhanger of the last scene of the season."