"I firmly believe it's his feelings for Buffy that are changing
Spike, but only sort of. Had he never been chipped I think Spike
would have continued to have an obsessive interest in Buffy without
understanding the roots of his attraction. I imagine those feelings
would have intensified until one of them killed the other. Except
for the chip.
Kind of like those who live on a farm don't usually allow themselves
to become emotionally attached to animals meant for slaughter,
Spike-as-vampire never had the need or desire to get to know the
humans he came in contact with. While I believe his capacity for
caring and empathy had been there all along, his instincts for
violence were too strong to allow them to show. Once he was chipped,
however, it enabled him to spend non-violent time getting to know
her and the rest of the Scooby gang. The movements we're now seeing
reform/redemption are in part because of his feelings for Buffy
but also because of all of his interactions with the humans he
now associates with. He's made connections and I don't think he
can just walk away from that"
"I believe that Spike's Redemption has come from and is progressed
by his forced interaction with humans, Buffy, Dawn, and others,
due to his love for Buffy and the chip. I think that this reintegration
into humanity forced his latent 'human-ness' to the forefront.
His love for Buffy is 'burning' out his vampire self, leaving
only his transformed self. Now, he has even moved beyond internalising
Buffy as a moral compass and has begun to see things on his own.
He has achieved much, but can do even more"
"Redemption - What does it mean for Spike?
Do I want to see it happen for him? Yes.
Why? Because I like the character, I want to see him satisfied.
And at this point, what will satisfy him is Buffy's love, and
perhaps more besides...
First, dealing with Buffy's love: I think the biggest barrier
to Buffy being comfortable loving Spike and admitting her feelings
for him publicly is that the likelihood that if his chip fails,
he will start feeding on people again. Aside from being obliged
at that point to stake him, she'd have to be disgusted with herself
for loving such a creature. So redemption in that context means
being able to control his blood lust with the general public (if
and it seems likely, when) his chip fails. I think Spike may already
have reached this stage, without realizing it.
I like to see his attack on the woman in Smashed as his last
attempt to be a killer of humans. He tried it, I think he would
have done it if the chip hadn't fired, but it was clearly an effort,
not the joy it used to be. So in one way redemption for Spike
is to realize/decide that he feels connected enough, not just
to Buffy, Dawn and the Scoobies, but to humanity in general, that
he no longer wants to snack on people.
Is there more to Spike's redemption than becoming someone Buffy
can openly love? I think there is. He has to find a new raison
d'etre. He knew who he was as a vampire, he's still figuring out
what to do as vampire who empathizes with humans. He's learning
to respect this new self. I don't think just being Buffy's boyfriend
can be Spike's mission in life. But being Buffy's watcher and
Slayer helper would be a good role. He and Buffy just have to
realize that it's a job that needs filling, and that Spike is