I'm still unspoiled for the vast majority of the upcoming plotlines, so this one article about an episode that won't even start filming for a while yet isn't going to send me into tailspins. In fact, it cements for me what I think has to happen this season to provide a satisfying conclusion to the season, and perhaps the series. What follows is speculation and does not mention any of the content of said spoilers. I'll tag it as
It's like I said before -- they can't fight evil, for it lives within. Each of them is going to have to embrace both halves of their moral selves in order to win out. If I had my druthers, *every* character would fight this battle, but as time and television schedules impede the storytelling, I imagine we'll onlly get the confrontation for a handful of them -- Spike and Buffy being primary, others following along as needed. Some would say that Anya had hers already in Selfless and that Willow had hers in STSP. I disagree that Willow's tale has been effectively told, but Anya's could possibly be complete. Xander has been on the sidelines all season--all series? And Dawn. Well, what a waste we have there.
Anyway, the tricky part of this is that acceptance of self isn't a particularly tangible action. It lives in our heads, and shows in how our actions and behavior patterns change over extended periods of time. That's really, really hard to do on TV. So I fully *expect* ME to come up with plot devices, metaphors (please, let somebody moderate Marti!) that show how Buffy accepts her dark side, contends with it, and comes out whole and integrated. And I *need* them to show me Spike's acceptance of both his new, 'good' side and his evil past. I desperately need both of them to hit the emotional wall and come away from it whole in some fashion. I really don't care so much what plot devices they choose to accomplish that, so long as there's *emotional* integrity to it. And there's really no way to judge emotional integrity til you see the ep on screen, imho. Never Leave Me is the perfect example -- had I been spoiled for that episode's events, I'd have been *elated*, expected one of the best episodes ever. It was a total disappointment to me, mainly because it didn't feel emotionally honest. And I really, really think that's what will make or break upcoming episodes as well.
Maybe I'm just too much with the rose-colored glasses, too. Shrugs. I am on board to be entertained, and they have not failed me yet. On with the show!
And, if I can rant just a quick minute here -- if I was going to be accidentally spoiled, why couldn't it have been in re: Giles' storyline? I am just *desperately* waiting to see if I'm right that he's still himself and always has been... (but no, don't tell me. There's a bet riding on this one)