Buffy the Vampire Slayer: As You Were   Rewatch 
February 17, 2016 8:59 PM - Season 6, Episode 15 - Subscribe

Riley Finn surprises Buffy at the Doublemeat Palace and enlists her to help fight demons with his new wife. Following the trail of an underworld figure known as The Doctor leads Buffy straight to Spike, and she reaches a final decision regarding their relationship.
posted by yellowbinder (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I'm not surprised this episode gets a lot less comments than the other. I don't really like it that much either. This is another step in Buffy's journey to recovery. With her sleeping with Spike being revealed to Riley, it really demonstrates to her that she needs to end things for her own mental health.

But urgh. I don't really like the writing of Buffy and Riley and their silly military speak, I think the plotting of this episode is often really silly (Riley didn't mention that the mission was to capture the critter during the entire journey?) and sometimes actively harmful to what the characters are saying (Riley didn't get over Buffy for a year, apparently. But Sam and Riley are married, and he left about a year ago. Also, Sam went from being a member of the peace corps to an amazing demon fighter???). I think this is a shame, because the core idea, and the final speech Riley makes to Buffy, are both really good. I just think that, given their respective situations, and given how Riley left, this episode had too much plot on it's shoulders to bear.

There are some funny moments, mostly from Xander and Anya's upcoming nuptials, but they are undermined by, well, the nuptials. The line Xander speaks to Anya at the end, about a wedding not being a marriage (which is wise), is a promise the episode makes to the audience which it will then go on to break. Lines like that are explicitly designed to make us think everything is going to be alright for these two, so for the next episode to contradict them feels like an attack.

But yeah, there is only one episode of an "old flame comes back unexpectedly" which really work

-Buffy calls Spike William
-That dam scene is taken directly from Goldeneye
-"My hat has a cow"
-Buffy gets rejected from college.
-Buffy at the start of this episode isn't strong enough to resist sleeping with Spike outside her own home. By the end of this episode she is, and I wish this episode sold that journey better. I guess we have Normal Again to do that for us.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 8:29 AM on February 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


But urgh. I don't really like the writing of Buffy and Riley and their silly military speak, I think the plotting of this episode is often really silly (Riley didn't mention that the mission was to capture the critter during the entire journey?) and sometimes actively harmful to what the characters are saying (Riley didn't get over Buffy for a year, apparently. But Sam and Riley are married, and he left about a year ago. Also, Sam went from being a member of the peace corps to an amazing demon fighter???).

Yes, this is what frustrates me so much about this season in particular. The writers were so eager to make Buffy suffer and be humiliated over and over again, and they'd come up with ideas ("Let's have Riley show up, and be happy! And even worse, at first Buffy thinks he's come back for her, but it turns out he's married! And Buffy screws up the demon-hunting in front of him and his new wife!") and not think about whether the ideas made any goddamn sense at all. Like Riley having time to flirt with Buffy in the first scene, and yet not have the time and/or inclination to tell her what the mission was, seems like writing that prioritized Shocking Act Break over characterization and logic. Or the idea that Riley married his soul mate 5 seconds after he got over Buffy. Just really sloppy stuff.
posted by creepygirl at 6:55 PM on February 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Or the idea that Riley married his soul mate 5 seconds after he got over Buffy. Just really sloppy stuff.

Erm, yeah... Both of my marriages came so closely after I'd left my immediate previous long-term relationship that I have relatives who call my second spouse by the name of the person I was all-but-married-to before my first marriage, because by the time they heard about the breakup, I was already married so they figure they just heard wrong about the breakups. Life can be sloppy.
posted by Etrigan at 8:43 PM on February 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


I always took Riley's return as kind of filtered through Buffy's eyes; like she's so miserable and then he appears and she has this glimmer, but no, of course he's married and his wife is pretty awesome and they fight demons together. It's like the most miserable fantasy for Buffy.
posted by jeweled accumulation at 5:07 PM on February 19, 2016


I can buy that Riley wouldn't say that. This is the first time he's seeing her after the ultimatum, which he thinks she LET HIM GO. Even captain america here has ego and so yeah having Buffy at a weak place think he's come to save her? This is the guy who wants to be needed. Of course that would totally feed his ego.

I don't, however, like the wife or the marriage. I just don't buy it. Riley dumped Buffy because he didn't feel needed so he ends up married to.....another super woman. True she's human human, but still seems like he would go the other direction. I think the writers made her into super woman to make Buffy feel like crap (see you CAN be super and employed and happy and married), but I don't buy that Riley would so quickly have the emotional maturity to be ok with her.
posted by miss-lapin at 7:44 PM on February 20, 2016


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