Long before there was Bella, Edward, and Jacob, Buffy the Vampire Slayer tore at our teenage heartstrings with a love triangle for the ages, as Buffy was caught between the stalwart hero Angel, and eternal bad-boy Spike. We all had our preferences (honestly, I was Team Faith), and the fan debates raged in all corners of the internet, from #Buffy forums to MySpace to Livejournal. Now, decades after the show first aired, Buffy herself has stepped in to settle the fight once and for all — and there's a clear winner for the Slayer's heart.
Entertainment Weekly recently assembled the Scooby Gang one last time for a special issue and photoshoot, resulting in a gloriously gothic high school reunion in which the cast proved that somehow, they're all more attractive now than when they were on the show.
Charisma Carpenter hasn't aged a day and is that Amber Benson? Holy wow. Not sure why they dragged in Numfar from Angel: The Series but as this photo probably prompted many fans to dance for joy, I guess that's appropriate. Anyway, I digress.
Angel Or Spike: Who Was Best For Buffy?
Of course, you can't have a Buffy reunion without asking the big questions, so here's Sarah Michelle Gellar's final say on who Buffy should have ended up with: Angel, or Spike.
"There was something so beautiful to me about the Buffy and Angel story. I think that Spike understood a different part of who Buffy was and I think she needed to understand that and discover. But for me as Buffy, I think Angel."
Buffy and Angel certainly went through a lot, from their sweet first-love start, to a night of passion turning Angel into the evil Angelus, to Buffy finally killing him to save the world.
Season 3 saw the two get back together when Angel returned from the Hell dimension, but eventually they went their separate ways — so that Angel could get his own show, in which he had a much more mature (but equally complicated) relationship with Cordelia. Angel and Buffy are definitely a sweet couple, and we got the feeling from Angel's brief cameo in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 7 that, once she was done saving the world (again), they would eventually get together. The nice thing about this relationship was that they were both heroes... but Spike and Buffy were another story.
A fan favorite and many people's choice for who Buffy should have ended up with, Spike went from downright evil vamp to well-intentioned antihero, all to make Buffy proud of him. There was a fire to their relationship that Angel and Buffy lacked, but as exciting as that was, there's no denying that Buffy and Spike's fling was far from perfect — which is why James Marsters doesn't think Spike was good for Buffy.
"Spike was evil. And we tried to remind the audience every once in a while — he's fun to watch, but he's actually evil. And when Buffy gets together with him it's not a healthy relationship."
And yet, with seasons more development than Buffy and Angel got, Buffy's relationship with Spike was far more interesting and complex, as Spike evolved immensely along the way — despite his many transgressions. Ultimately, Joss Whedon (Numfar / creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel: The Series) thinks that while Angel and Buffy had a fantastic romance, at the end of the day Spike was best for the Slayer.
"I’m split right down the middle because in terms of a long-term relationship: Spike’s kinda your guy because he actually went and got a soul because of her. But [Angel and Buffy]’s the grandest love story I will ever tell. You can’t argue with that."
Well, it looks like everyone's still pretty divided on this debate, but with an actual Buffy revival show still looking unlikely, it seems we'll never get the definitive answer on whether Buffy ended up with Angel or Spike. Which, honestly, is pretty great for me because I can just continue to believe that Buffy and Faith finally got over their differences, reconnected while fighting demons together, and had that Hellmouth-adjacent wedding I've been writing fan fiction about since I was 15. Hey, I can dream, right?
Who do you think Buffy should have ended up with?
(Source: Entertainment Weekly)
[Poll image credit: Mutant Enemy Productions]