Sarah Michelle Gellar wants her son to remain Team Spike.
The former “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” star told The Hollywood Reporter in a profile published Wednesday that earlier in the pandemic, she decided to rewatch the show with her kids, since they were now old enough and expressed interest.
Gellar has two kids, Charlotte, 13, and Rocky, 10, with her husband of 20 years, actor Freddie Prinze Jr.
“We watched seasons one through five,” Gellar said, adding that after viewing these seasons, her kids have taken sides on which of Buffy’s vampiric romances they prefer.
Gellar said her daughter is a fan of broody, tortured Angel, while her son likes the punk-rock villain-turned-hero Spike.
And it seems like Gellar curated which episodes of the show’s seven seasons her kids would watch in order for her son to retain his opinion.
“We skipped around a lot on those last two [seasons],” Gellar told the outlet. “I have trouble with six. It wasn’t appropriate for them at the time, and I just don’t want to rewatch it.”
Season 6 of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is certainly the series’ most controversial — and marked a network switch from The WB to the now defunct UPN in 2002. In that season, Buffy is resurrected from the dead, is traumatized by it, and has a season-long depression. During this time, she engages in a toxic sexual relationship with her former enemy, the vampire Spike.
Spike, portrayed by the charming James Marsters, was a beloved, three-dimensional character with a strong redemption arc at this point in the long-running series. His romance with Buffy wasn’t healthy, but his friendship with her certainly was.
So, it seemed completely out of character and unnecessarily disturbing when Spike attempts to rape Buffy in the Season 6 episode “Seeing Read.” The violent and stomach-churning scene left many fans feeling “betrayed” by the show because there never seemed to be any real repercussions for Spike’s actions. Instead, the show attempts to manipulate the audience into rooting for Spike, who uses the experience as inspiration to get a soul. This leads to his Season 7 arc in which he gains Buffy’s love and becomes one of the show’s biggest heroes.
Marsters, who played Spike, told Vice in 2017 that the “scene sent me into therapy, which turned out to be a very good thing for me.”
He also told Vice that although he still thought the scene was a “worthy risk,” he understands why fans find it such a misstep.
“We did traumatize the audience maybe a little too much,” he told Vice at the time. “I’ll now routinely turn down roles with rape scenes in them. Not again.”
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.