There is no character as complex and as well developed in Buffy the Vampire Slayer than the infamous vampire Spike.
Initially a villain set to kill Buffy and add to his tally of defeated Slayers, William the Bloody ended up becoming one of the show's most important characters, set on a long and winding path to redemption that ended in truly heroic fashion.
During his six season tenure on the show, Spike was everything from Big Bad to love interest, comic relief to invaluable fighter, and with actor James Marsters behind the wheel there was no part of his meticulous and dark character arc that felt stilted or forced.
Turning up in 96 episodes, Spike was one of the show's longest-serving characters, and had numerous stand-out appearances along the way.
For the following list, focus will be put on Spike's best episodes. From the controversial but necessary plot-drivers to the hilarious body-switch misadventures, from the heroic final stands to the epic flashback tales, each of the following episodes helped build Spike's arc and proved him to be a fan-favourite character.
With that in mind and a final warning about major spoilers, here are the 10 best Spike episodes from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
10. Chosen (Season 7, Episode 22)
In the later seasons of the show, Spike returned as a main character and began an epic, constantly plot-twisting redemption arc.
First, the Initiative gave him a behaviour modification chip that stopped him from attacking people; then he fell in love with Buffy and became a sometime ally of the Scooby Gang; and then he fought for his soul in hopes of being a good man.
In Chosen, the show's final episode, all of this comes to a head during the Battle of the Hellmouth, during which the former Big Bad wears a mysterious amulet meant to be used a vampire with a soul during the final fight against the First Evil.
As the battle escalates, Spike fights alongside Buffy and the Potential Slayers, and then begins to feel the amulet take hold. Using his new soul, the amulet caused beams of great power to destroy the First's armies and close the Hellmouth once and for all.
Spike dies in the process, knowing what has to be done, and before he perishes a hero, Buffy tells him she loves and makes it back to her friends safely. It's sad, it's heroic - and it's a great end to his journey.