Okay, I'm a new member here and I read someone's essay about Spike and how he should not have been brought back on Angel. I just thought I'd share a few of my thoughts.
So while I wasn't happy about the fact that even as Spike died I knew he would come back, I still think he should have come back on Angel. However, it should have been a surprise in order to not cheapen his sacrifice.
Spike is one of my favorite characters because I love his character progression. To go from Big Bad to the hero was amazing. I loved all of the changes the character underwent, but if he had not come back we would not have gotten to see hero Spike for more than the few minutes he was fighting and sacrificing himself. Granted, Angel didn't do a good job at showing his character as a hero, but that is because 1. it's Angel's show, and 2. it was unexpectedly the last season. I feel there would have been more development into the "hero Spike" if it hadn't been the last season. This is one reason why I would love to see another spin-off, but not based around a single character, but star many of the characters that are still continuing to develop. The three I would like to see are Spike (to see him continue to develop as "the hero), Illyria (to explore her character more as she learns more about the world), and Faith (to see how she has changed through her road to redemption, as well as I'd love to see some background on her!).
Another reason that I thought Spike returning was that it brought some light-heartedness to the characters in Angel without making it seem forced. There has always been tension between Spike and Angel whether it be about Buffy or not. Think back to Angelus/Spike conversations in BTVS season 2. Some of the best lines were between the two of them. Other times in Angel when there was humor it often seemed a bit out of character. For example, when Angel had Conner as a baby, Angel acted quite, for lack of a better word, goofy. It seemed entirely out of character for him. Yes, I know people act different around babies, but still. The humor that came from the Angel/Spike dynamic was much more in-character, I thought.
Wow, this wasn't meant to be this long, but I hope you all enjoyed and I'd love to hear your comments!