Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 5, Episode 7

Fool for Love (14 Nov. 2000)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Action, Drama, Fantasy
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Ratings: 9.0/10 from 1,344 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 1 critic

After being bested in a fight by an ordinary vampire, Buffy asks Spike to explain how he killed two Slayers many years earlier.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Rupert Giles (as Anthony Stewart Head)
Male Partygoer


While patrolling the cemetery, the self-confident Buffy fights against a vampire, is stabbed with her stake and saved by Riley. She tells the incident to Giles and decides to research how the previous Slayers were killed. She does not find any information in the watcher's journals and decides to seek the information from Spike. He tells that in 1880, in London, he was a bad poet and a shy good man in a non-corresponded love with Cecily. When he meets Drusilla, she bites and converts him in the evil vampire. Later, in the same year in Yorkshire, he meets Angel and Darla and is challenged to defeat a slayer. In 1900, in China, he is well-succeeded and kills his first slayer. In 1977, in the subway of New York City, he kills his second slayer. He advises Buffy that she must never be reckless and keep her death wish to survive. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

14 November 2000 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Spike get a his prominent eyebrow scar when fighting the Chinese slayer. See more »


At 8:19, as Giles says the "D-word," the glass front of the display case beyond his left shoulder reflects something moving off-camera, likely the boom operator maneuvering the boom microphone. See more »


Dawn Summers: When do I get to patrol?
Buffy Summers: Not until you're never.
See more »


Referenced in Angel: Darla (2000) See more »


Buffy the Vampire Slayer Theme
Written by Nerf Herder
Performed by Brandon K. Verrett
See more »

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User Reviews

Spike redefined
31 August 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

From this episode on, Spike's the male lead of BTVS. Maybe it's not official yet, but after "Fool for Love" the writings on the wall and it's clear that Spike will be filling the hole that Angel left. Buffy needs to be dating a vampire and if it's not Angel, then it's gonna be Spike. "Fool For Love" does more than just bring Spike and Buffy closer, though. It shifts the focus and sympathy of the show. It shows Spike's past, his motivations and gives us a deeper understanding of his character. "Fool for Love" doesn't change Spike, so much as it explains him. In DVD terms, before this we were only seeing Spike in pan-and-scan and now he's in widescreen. We're getting more information, more detail, and we have a better idea about where he's coming from. It you plan on watching any later BTVS episodes or "Angel" seasons two and five, it helps to see "Fool for Love."

"Fool for Love" revolves around Spike's past. It shares flashbacks with the "Angel" episode "Darla" and you really need to see them both to get the full story. (Also, I recommend "Lies My Parents Told Me" in season seven of BTVS and "Destiny" in season five of "Angel" which fill in even more of Spike's history.) "Fool for Love" starts with Buffy nearly dying at the hands of a vampire. Shaken, she becomes consumed with hearing how past Slayer's died. Since Spike killed two of them, he seems like that natural "person" to ask. Spike begins telling her about his past. At the same time, we see flashbacks about how things REALLY went. From Spike as a polite English gentleman in 1880, to Spike fighting a Slayer in the Boxer Rebellion, to his hero worship/rivalry with Angel, to a "Warriors" style subway fight with a Slayer in the 1970s, and finally to his Brazilian break up with Dru. As Buffy listens to him she becomes overwhelmed and afraid. According to Spike, Slayer's have death wish and sooner of later she's gonna want to take that final leap into the unknown. Then he tries to kiss her. Buffy pushes him away and unknowingly crushes his feelings. Spike gets a gun, stalks over to Buffy's house and is mad enough to shoot her, chip or not. When he sees her huddled on the back step, crying about Joyce, though, Spike realizes that he can't really hurt Buffy. He sits down next to her, and he and Buffy stare out into the night.

There's a lot to love about this episode and most of it is because of Spike. The guy just dominates in this episode. There's just not enough room to list all the reasons I adore him. Spike always mixes fighting and sexual metaphors. When he tells Buffy in the alley way that all they've ever done is "dance," it pretty much confirms Harm and Dru's contention that Spike's earlier fights with Buffy were "foreplay." He didn't want to kill her. He was in it for the fun. Then Buffy unconsciously echoes Cecily's words, saying Spike was beneath her, and tosses that money at him. He starts crying and gathering up the bills and it just about breaks my heart. Also, I'm glad that this episode finally showed Spike and Dru's break up, giving it more complexity than Spike's numerous re-tellings ever suggested. And, on the non-Spike front, Giles and Buffy's conversation is very sweet. He tells her, in his own round about way, that he loves her for who she is, not just her Slayerness.

I imagine that when this episode first aired, it must have been a shocking. For the past four seasons, Spike has been the chain smoking, hard drinking, leather jacket wearing, wise ass, bad guy. Now he's got a whole new past as a 19th century mama's boy. Angel, as a human, was a spoiled womanizer. Darla was a prostitute. Dru was plagued with visions that she couldn't control. But William/Spike was a sweet, sensitive poet. If not for that run-in with Drusilla, William/Spike would have probably lived out his life in privileged obscurity, happily thinking up words that rhyme with "gleaming." Instead he channeled all his emotional neediness into becoming the worst vampire he could manage. When the newly re-ensouled Angel learns that Spike killed his first Slayer and says "Well, I guess you're one of us now." I always get the feeling that Angel is mourning the last bit of William that Spike had been clinging to and is blaming himself that Spike so evil now.

So did Dru really just pick Spike randomly like Angelus suggested? I doubt it. Not the same Dru who obsessed over getting just the right floral arrangements for her party in "Suprise." What does Dru see in William that convinces her that he's the one? She says that there's something golden around him that makes him different than the others, but what is it? Could it be the mysterious "whatever" that makes Spike's such an unusual vampire? Able to feel and reach for something better? I think so. Sometimes watching "Fool for Love" and knowing how it will all turn out, it seems as if the entire Buffyverse is telling the story of Spike's journey. Like Dru finding him in that alley way really was destiny guiding him to where he needed to be.

On the down side, why is Riley cluttering up this episode? I could be watching Dru and Darla and Spike and Angel flashbacks, but instead I have to see Riley blow up a stupid crypt. It just bugs me every time.

My favorite part of the episode: Spike's poem. It will be referenced into season seven of BTVS and season five of "Angel." And, honestly, it's so utterly horrible that I smile every time I hear it. How many people would rhyme "ebullient" with "effulgent?"

59 of 63 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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