Running through my Friends-of-Friends page, I ran across this here poll with some quite interesting thoughts so in addition to friending the poster, answering the poll long windedly and now checking back every few hours in order to check out any additional thoughts, I'm now posting the question/my answers here, since it has been a few days since the poll was issued. Please clicky on linky below and check out the thoughts of others....
(The poll is by coalitiongirl who mutually friended me, making me feel special)
Was Spike prone to torturing and raping his victims?
Rarely - but I could see him being easily goaded into it if Angelus challenged him about it. You know, "You'll never be a real vampire if you don't...." or if Dru had a sudden vision that "he/she deserves it, Spike" and wanted it done at least as far as prolonged torture. The rape question? That one I'm not so sure about but I'd suspect it was done more often, especially if you consider that women in William's time were little more than objects to be owned as it was. Even with his admittedly large romantic streak (just gaze upon his Cecily-love) pre-vamping, I don't see that respectful sense toward women/sex as lasting long.
"Make me what I was so Buffy can get what she deserves." (I.E. Was he after a de-chipping or after his soul?)
I'm the 1 person who said it was the chip. I base this strictly on the way the scene plays out when Spike gets on his motorcycle. Everything in his demeanor and James' line delivery screams, "I'm going to make that bitch pay" not "I really want to be a better man for Buffy" ... that came after the double-cross of the wish-granting demon, not before.
Spike and Dawn? (I.E. Did they share a true friendship?)
Bonded over being outsiders, but as she matured in S6/S7 and especially after the revelation of what he tried to do to Buffy I see Dawn as pulling away from him and not being able to see him through that hero worship/he's-my-great-protector eyes again. I think they both care deeply about each other, but Spike, post chip, would respect the distance that Dawn placed between them. I even see Dawn telling him in no uncertain terms that what he tried to put her sister through was unforgivable, whether she meant literally unforgivable or not (I can't be sure, but I don't recall any on screen reference to Dawn confronting Spike directly about the rape attempt - only about warning him against hurting her sister again).
The attempted rape? (I.E. Why'd he do it?)
I chose that he thought no meant yes again in this context - but I think now I should have gone with 'other'. I think all of the possible answers are applicable. Spike is screwed up because he's a vampire, Buffy had said no before and then submitted, they had engaged in violent confrontations before and then had fiery sex so he was conditioned to expect that behavior from Buffy again and, being a vampire, it is easy for him to fall into the "I want! I take! I have!" impulse - especially when he's frustrated or angry in a situation. A sort of 'fuck it, I can have what I want when I want, I'm a big bad, still' sort of thing. I think all of these things were mixed up in his head and emotions in that moment.
Spike, circa Season Six... (I.E. Was he really changed or was it just the chip talking?)
Still a killer - but I chose restrained by his love for Buffy. I think that would protect the Scoobies (and I could see him not victimizing Dawn because of his love for the 'Little Bit' on its own merits). I believe though that it would only be a matter of time before he began to justify feeding on people again from 1) The guy was a scumbag anyway to 2) I need to be at my strongest to protect Dawn to 3) It's not like Buffy even knows them anyway, and I'm saving a lot more people by helping the Slayer than I'm killing, anyway... it would be a short road to acting like a vampire again when not in Buffy or the Scooby Gang's sight.
Spike, after his escape from the Initiative...goes to the Scoobies??
I had to *coughmywaythroughanswer* 'cause the writer's didn't do such a good job of giving him a stated reason that made sense for why he'd do this. After the Scooby's save him from the Initiative tracker device, I could see him scheming to use them for a shield until he was back in action - but the way he makes a beeline directly for Giles' place?! Giles?! He didn't expect the WATCHER to say, "How delightful" and then give him a pointy stick to the chest? Yeah. (Or, in other words I chose: *coughabsurdplotdevicecough*)
Spike with a soul is:
Anything involving vampires, demons and souls are really tough because it is all so ambiguous. I finally went with Still Spike, But Informed by William's Morality because it seems to me that there was never the delineation between what Angel is like when Liam is in residence and what Spike is like after the restoration. He's still basically Spike.
Bonus question! Angel is...
In addition to a prat and a hair-gel addict, I went with: An even more difficult question. I put him down as Liam the drunkard and womanizer - but I think he was shaped by Angelus' memories and his guilt and despair into being a better man. Perhaps this is what Liam would have been like if his father wasn't such a demanding prick who he could never please? I do agree with the comments above that Angel and Angelus aren't separated entities - even though nearly everyone acts like they are. I agree with the reasons stated as well - friends of Angel need to believe he's not Angelus and Angel himself doesn't hold that illusion (or didn't, anyway - I'm not sure he doesn't think of himself differently post-Orpheus).