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By the fifth season, Spike was a very different vampire--with a chip in his brain that stopped him hurting humans and he fell desperately in love with a Buffy, who had not yet learned to trust him; "Fool for Love" was the episode in which we learned Spike's back-story: he was a minor Victorian poet, turned by Drusilla when rejection in love led him down the wrong alley, his entire hyper-aggressive persona is based on a need to hide his sensitivity. Spike was always one of the main focuses of the show's combination of acute wit and passionate romanticism and these four episodes admirably sample what made him so appealing to fans.
On the DVD: The Slayer Collection: Spike also includes a documentary about the history of Spike as a character in which James Marsters talks intelligently about his portrayal of his most famous role. --Roz Kaveney
Despite the fact that Lie To Me is very Spike-light, the episodes were well chosen, IMO, to illustrate his development up to Fool for Love. The interview feature explained this development very well, and of course James Marsters is very easy on the eyes.
What was disappointing? Anyone expecting this to be a complete Spike showcase would be sorely disappointed; the character is too rich and complex for one DVD to do this. This is early Spike. Perhaps there will be more to come? I hope so.
I give 4 stars for the sake of School Hard which welcomes him to the show thereby changing the show forever, Lover's Walk which shows his weak side and Fool For Love as one of the greatest episodes of the show tells us the story of Spike, William's step by step transformation into Spike that we all know and the turning point of his relationship with the Slayer. Fool For Love alone would be enough to buy this DVD and it comes along with other great episodes.
Even with these great episodes, I'm disappointed because they are not enough. It would be great to see Harsh Light of the Day, The Yoko Factor, Out of My Mind, Crush, Intervention, Dead Things, Smashed, Beneath You ,Sleeper, Lies My Parents Told Me and of course Chosen.
There are enough episodes to fill 3 DVDs easily.
In terms of performances that episode has one of David Boreanaz's best (Angel gets possessed by the female ghost), but I cannot believe that what I consider the single best "BtVS" episode ever, "Becoming, Part II," is not included in either this set or the Buffy one (which has "Becoming, Part I"). The argument could be that two Angelus episodes out of four would be a bit much, which would scratch "Passions" as well, but then the only other episode in the running would be "The Prom." So, on balance, they did not do too bad of a job with putting this one together. Of course, ultimately "The Slayer Collection" is for those who are not die-hard fans, who will want to own each complete season on DVD, but for those who want the choice episodes to watch when they want. In that regard, three out of four is not bad.