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Everyone loves a good love triangle. In basically every TV drama, we see the same struggle: should the girl end up with the nice guy or the bad boy? In True Blood it was Eric and Bill, in Lost it was Sawyer and Jack, in Gilmore Girls it's Jess and Dean. And then there's Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The WB/UPN series ran for seven years and has a serious cult following, with fans constantly debating whether Buffy should end up with Angel or Spike (although they both have bad boy tendencies). The debate has raged on for well over a decade, and now Joss Whedon himself has finally weighed in.
There we go, ladies and gents. Joss Whedon is Team Spike, and there's nothing you Angel shippers can do about it.
Buffy's relationships with both Spike and Angel were both pretty full of challenges and darkness during Buffy the Vampire Slayer's seven season run. Being The Slayer isn't an easy job, and her personal life usually mirrored the struggles she faced while fighting demons and the like. But both Angel and Spike provided Buffy something different, leading to the never ending debate.
Angel was Buffy's first love, and the one who is most commonly known as her soulmate. While she was a new high school student a Sunnydale High (and he was hundreds of years old...gross), Buffy opened herself up to Angel's love since he had a soul. But this became a bit of a cautionary tale, as the awakening of her sexuality coincided with the murderous Angelus rising. Buffy eventually killed Angel to save the world, and their relationship never quite recovered. But Angel did provide some stability. Despite being the lead of his own spinoff, he would return to Sunnydale when Buffy really needed him, like when Joyce died or The First was attempting to end the world.
And then there's Spike. While he started as a villain, he eventually became an unlikely ally to the Scooby Gang. And by the time Season 5 came around, his feelings for Buffy became obvious. The two would eventually become lovers, and she would rely on him in moments where her friends simply wouldn't understand the darkness inside of her. Unfortunately, Spikey didn't have a soul, and Buffy's constant rejection and emotional abuse cumulated in him attempting to force himself on her in a scene that is still difficult to watch today. He would eventually procure a soul by Season 7, and sacrificed himself to save the world. In the finale, Buffy tells Spike she loves him, to which he responds "No you don't. But thanks for saying it."
I've personally always been team Spike, although his attempted sexual assault is a blemish that many fans simply cannot get over. This plot would probably not fly by modern standards, but Spike always seemed like the more adult relationship for the Buffster. Angel was her high school sweetheart, but his attraction to her always felt statutory to me.
Are you #TeamSpike or #TeamAngel? Sound off in the comments below.