Francine - harvest
I Blame the Dutch mpoetess
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Um. So, I mentioned I'm not a redemptionist, right?
But I'm watching comments float past about redemption, redeemable, irredeemable.

Just wondering -- not patronising. Does everybody share the same definition of "redeemable?"

Because where I come from, it means "able to be brought (or brought back to) to a state of goodness/rightness/acceptedness." It doesn't mean "redeemed" implying that a person is currently good. It doesn't mean "forgiveable" implying that redemption is in the eyes of whoever's deciding whether the subject's past deeds are too evil to ever forgive.

It means, is there a chance that the person can, under any circumstances, become, through experience, through forgiveness, though conscious attempt to change or through an act of God -- an acceptable person, to the universe/God/Powers-that-be. Can he change, does whatever passes for God care enough about him to assist him with that change. Does he have the *potential* to be aware of wrongness, and regret having caused it, and wish not to cause it again?

To say that Spike is irredeemable based on any of his past actions misses the point of what redemption is. To say that Spike is irredeemable (on his own, though not by act-of-god) because he has shown no sign of remorse for any of his crimes, implying that he has no ability to feel such -- was a valid argument, though not a proven one -- until this episode.

Wherein he *did* show remorse. The question is not what the crime was, how forgivable any particular viewer finds it, whether it was worse than any of his past crimes, whether he meant to harm, whether he's seriously disturbed, even whether *Buffy* forgives him. It is, does he show the capacity for change? And yes, imho, he does. Did it take something awful for him to finally experience (but not yet understand) guilt and remorse? Yes. But *has* he experienced it? I think so. Think he still is experiencing it. Does his attempt to deny that make it less real? No.

I think many people are confusing -- or perhaps purposely replacing -- "redeemable" with "Forgiveable in my eyes" or with "already redeemed."

Worth precisely $0.02.


2002-05-08 02:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

I agree with your definition of redeemable, and I would have contended many, many episodes ago that he was redeemable on the sole basis of his ability to love. Whether he was attempting redemption at that time or no, he was redeem*able*. Right now he's finally realized that he's been wanting redemption, and that's what's got him running scared.


2002-05-08 03:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

And once again my only response is "Yep, what she said."

I lied, I have more to say. Is Spike redeemable? Yes. Does he *want* redemption? Unsure. He is too confused right now to know. Everything he was pre-chip is screaming 'No!', but his love for Buffy (I truly think he does love her, but his concept of relationships is as screwed up as Buffy is at this point) is making him seek it. Now that he knows that, and knows how badly he has screwed up, he is running away.

Side note: Will Buffy see his departure as one more man who left?

Back to the point: Spike reveled in being a vampire. He loved it all, the fear he created, the hunt, the feeding and the power. But his humanity (are we all agreed that Spike retains a lot of William?) forces him to seek acceptance, whether it is from Angelus, Dru, Buffy, Giles or anyone. Spike needs to be needed, to be appreciated and to a certain extent *liked*. But it is hard and the people whom he is currently surrounded with are constantly belittling him and attacking him; even his lover. So, who can blame him for wanting to exact some sort of revenge/reaction/payback/pain? Not I. But then, that is human nature, too.

Sorry this is rambly and nonsensical...I have a two year old climbing on me and chanting in my ear.

Oh, and I think I am slowly becoming a redemptionist...I want him to be a good person, but more than that I want him to have his happy ending. Who knows? Maybe he would be honestly happier as a blood drinking killing machine in great threads? But I doubt it. He's come to far already.