Thanks to db2305 and her collection of downloads, I can now claim a certain measure of being up to speed with AtS and the Spike it shows us, and I must say: I don't know what all the hullaballoo was about. I love this Spike! He's witty, he's snarky, heroic, annoying, insightful, empathic, tugging-at-the-heartstrings Spike; same as he ever was.
Having watched 'Conviction' and 'Just Rewards' with her last time, this time we decided to watch the rest out of sequence and therefore ended up with 'Lineage', 'Destiny' and 'The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco' for the evening. Not too much Spike in the first offering, but what there was, was brilliant -- from the quasi-casual "Sex with robots"-comment through the awkwardness of the introduction to Wyndham-Pryce Sr. and the gleeful Percy Headboy-remarks to the sincerely meant solace of a shared experience at the end (however off the offer comes off). And throughout, it looks as if Spike is having a whale of a time being a major pain in Angel's butt, which is consistent with his BtVS-persona, and damn funny besides.
Meanwhile, I'm impressed with Wesley, who I agree did the most expedient thing under the circumstances up on the roof, but won't allow himself any excuses for what he feels that makes him -- a patricide. It appears there's a ruthless streak in him, but the person he's most ruthless with, is himself. (This may not come as a surprise to anyone else, but I haven't seen Wesley much since BtVS's 3rd season).
'Destiny', the most Spike-centric of the episodes we watched last night, I loved from start to finish. From Whingeing!Spike to Ecstatic!Spike in 2 seconds flat was wholly believable and extremely fun to watch. And he is such a guy! No sooner is there food in his belly than his thoughts turn to gratification of another kind.
The fight and Spike's argument had me glued to the screen, and I hope for his sake that Angel's learned a valuable lesson out of all this, and will start to lose some of that holier-than-thou attitude of his.
I have no comment to make about the reappearance of Lindsey -- as I never used to watch AtS before Spike joined the cast, I'm drawing a complete blank as to the significance of this.
'The Cautionary Tale of No. 5' didn't really do much for me, although Angel being miffed at the demon for not taking his heart gave me chuckle and reminded me of that old Dutch saying, 'it's never good or there's something wrong with it' (roughly translated). He was definitely looking a gift horse in the mouth!