Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Buffy Rewatch Week 23: Spoiler Forum

Once again, the place where you can talk about Buffy and Angel episodes without fear of spoilage. LOTS of good stuff in this week's eps that are foreshadowing later ones.

The eventual relationship between Buffy and Spike, with her subtle suggestion at the end of “Something Blue” that maybe it wasn’t all a spell making her act like that. She talks to Will about how she’s drawn to dangerous types, ones that are more difficult to love.

It also foreshadows not only Willow’s homosexuality (the banner being put up at the beginning of Something Blue) but her inability to deal with difficult situations, turning increasingly to her magic to find a way out of the pain and becoming more and more dangerous each time.


Dusk said...

I wonder how many cookies of guilt Willlow would bake for her actions in Season 6?

I'll ave this mostly for when we get there but Nikki's problems with Riley are pretty much the oppisite of why I can's stand Kennedy. I know Joss wanted an anti-Tara but they overdid it so much it is completly unbelivable Willow would go for her, and a little insulting when they try and put up that her feelings fo here are as deep as her love for Tara.

Add to that that the rumoured "One Wish" storyline and Kennedy seems even more contrived.

Colleen/redeem147 said...

Xander talks about summoning evil - which he will in OMWF.

Spike mentions Nazis - who we discover were doing vampire experiments in Why We Serve. So his question is from experience.

If Spike 126 it means he was turned when he was 17.

Joyce is visiting Aunt Darlene. Who is she and why didn't she step in when Buffy was trying to raise Dawn when Joyce died?

Willow wonders what else is under their feet - like a big ol' pagan temple that rises in season 6?

Maggie sort of is harvesting ears (and stuff) to build another demon.

Giles has a shadow puppet on his wall - is that a watcher thing? (season 7)

Buffy sarcastically says to Spike 'Let's be best pals' - but they will be for a time in season 6.

Sorry, Buffy. Riley will so cause you heartache.

Xander has seen what booze does to people - his parents. I'm thinking the mother was being nice because his father wasn't home.

Willow has enough power for D'Hoffryn to notice just because her cheating boyfriend left town - forshadowing of the kind of power she'll unleash when Tara dies.

Verification word dolln - that would be November.

Stephanie said...

Willow “Buffy, she likes cheese.” -> She will see a lot of cheese from Cheese Man in Restless!

In these early season 4 episodes Riley was actually somewhat charming/funny. To me the Buffy/Riley relationship always felt forced. Plus Riley gets super annoying- thank god he leaves, only to return with an equally annoying wife! oh well.

Tom D. said...

I agree that Riley's often annoying, but I've always loved his line in New Moon Rising: "No sir -- I'm an anarchist!" right before he punches out his commanding officer and goes AWOL.

But, of course, in season 5 he turns out not to really be much of an anarchist at all -- it was just a phase he was going through, more's the pity. I think he'd have been a much more likeable character if he was ultimately able to break free of the government/military.

Also, if he had first become a beloved character, it would have been much more tragic and moving when he realized Buffy didn't really love him and ended up consorting with vampires and then going back to the government. But because he wasn't really all that awesome to begin with, the season 5 part of his arc just made him kind of contemptible.

Colleen/redeem147 said...

I liked Riley more when he started to fall apart and see the vamp hos and such - perfect characters are boring.

lyssiria said...

Buffy's entire relationship with Riley reminds me of high school relationships. You like someone for the sole reason that they like you. I mean, on the surface, Riley and Buffy are compatible, with their similar "jobs," but they're so DIFFERENT. I could see the end coming when they were having that conversation in the graveyard after Buffy's "interview" with Dr. Walsh and he says he "Find[s himself] needing to know the plural of apocalypse." Remember Riley's glee at the earthquake? Despite his experiences and knowledge of the supernatural in the real world, he's still an innocent whereas Buffy is, well, not. Things are very black and white for Riley, such as when he says he didn't think Willow was "that kind of girl" for dating a werewolf. Buffy knows there's a grey area.

She should have stuck with her gut feelings in the beginning of the season and NOT decided to date Riley.

Tom D. said...

lyssiria, I think that's a very illuminating analysis.

On further thought, I guess I'd add this. Buffy doesn't like Riley for the "sole" reason that he likes her. It's also because he's a genuinely nice, clean-cut, well-built, and gentlemanly fellow who (as you say) has stuff in common with her. In other words, he's the kind of guy who Buffy probably thinks she ought to like, and therefore thinks she does like. (He's also the kind of guy who Xander thinks she ought to like, at least if it has to be someone other than Xander himself -- see Into the Woods.)

Of course, the relationship looks very different from Riley's point of view. For him, being with Buffy is an exciting walk on the wild side, the same way that Buffy flirts with danger when she's with Angel and Spike. Buffy challenges him and makes him expand his whole worldview. Unfortunately for him, he doesn't do any of that for her.

By contrast, both Spike and Angel do put themselves at serious risk by getting involved with Buffy. Especially Spike, before he gets his soul, has to be well aware that Buffy really ought to be staking him. Likewise, she risks a lot by being with both of those guys. No wonder those relationships are so intense -- it's not just "true love" (though maybe it's that), it's also a gnarly combination of lust and the threat of sudden death.

Dusk said...

Riley does seem like a genuinely nice person, and not being a mass murderer should be a plus, and I do believe Buffy did have true caring feelings for him.

He tried to be what he thought she wanted time and time again, I think their biggest pitfal was ignorance. Riley's "innocence" in terms of demon dealing never truly goes away, so he doesn't mesh. He ends up marrying a Sue so it proves it more. He didn't understand Buffy.

This is before Buffy tries to unlick her Slayer origins, and her non-human side is what like the lust & death side. She is they guy she *should* like. She didn't have the internal confidence of her place in the world yet.

Her "pure" human pals like Riley the most. Dawn, Xander, and Giles never have a major problem with Riley. Only Willow & Anya seems to embrace Spike or Angel truly into the team. An ex-demon and Willow clearly lost some of her humanity along te way, (which is intresting because she always treated Angel well even before she changed).

Now I'm thinking of certain Willow implications in the comics, but I'll leave it at that.

I also wonder what kind of man Robin Wood's father was?

Blam said...

Ah, Riley... He and Faith would be perfect together. He's looking for danger and she likes to take advantage of square dudes. They'd have little babies who learn how to recite dialogue that sounds uncannily like actual simulated human speech.

We never heard of The Powers That Be before Episode 1 of Angel, did we? 'Cause Buffy mentions them in "I Will Remember You" like she knows about them. Did the episodes of Buffy where Angel returned from the hellish dimension mention them at all?

Blam said...

Nice thoughts on Buffy & Riley, Tom D. and Lyssiria.

@Dusk: I know Joss wanted an anti-Tara but they overdid it so much it is completly unbelivable Willow would go for her

But she had a tongue ring!

VW: sansau — French periodic chart that leaves off gold.

Blam said...

Nice thoughts on Buffy & Riley, Tom D. and Lyssiria.

@Dusk: I know Joss wanted an anti-Tara but they overdid it so much it is completly unbelivable Willow would go for her

But she had a tongue ring!

VW: sansau — French periodic table that leaves off gold.

Tom D. said...

Blam said in the non-spoiler thread: Oh! Fun fact! Epsenson's IMDB page says that she came up with the name of the much-maligned, would-be-hip alcoholic drink Zima.

Oh, is that why Andrew, at some point in season 7, seemingly randomly says something like "can't I have a nice refreshing Zima?"

We never heard of The Powers That Be before Episode 1 of Angel, did we?

No -- nor, I believe, do we ever hear about them on Buffy. They're purely an Angel thing.

Colleen/redeem147 said...

I wrote a lot of Riley/Harmony fan fic. She wants a man to love her, he wants a girl to bite him...

lyssiria said...

@Tom D - You're right, it's not the sole reason; he is the guy she "should" like. My brain is drawing weird parallels now between Buffy/Riley and every romance novel ever written where the heroine goes for the total WRONG guy. Like, ANY of the paranormal romances out there now. Or Twilight (which is a whole OTHER can of worms and do NOT get me started). And I do feel really bad for Riley. I mean, it takes until the middle of the season for him to even realize that Buffy doesn't feel for him what he feels for her. And then, since he wasn't a "beloved character," it didn't really sting that much when he admitted that he knew. Xander was shocked though, which I thought was odd (in a rewatch), since later on it's supposed to be Xander's superpower to see everything. Why couldn't he see this?

@Dusk - I'm pretty sure Robin Wood's father was a tragic figure.
I also feel kinda the same way about Kennedy, but I mostly found her annoying as a character and bad for Willow in general.

@Blam - Re: the PTB. On Buffy, there is no 'higher power.' (Except maybe the First Evil, but I guess it might be fair to say that's a LOWER power.) And that's why I thought it was weird when Angel's all like, 'ooh, I gotta work for the Powers That Be.' I mean, Sunnydale is only two hours on the freeway away from Neiman Marcus (which I took to mean LA). How can there be a higher power THERE but not HERE? Not having watched Angel when it was first broadcast, I can't say for sure how I would have felt watching simultaneously, but I can tell you that when I watched it for the first time (and I think I watched like, the whole first season in two days), I was a little mystified as to where they (the PTB) and why they were only in LA. Wasn't Angel trying to be redeemed before? Meh.

Dusk said...

@lyssiria, I'm pretty sure Xander didn't see this because he was blindly happy that Buffy was dating someone who wasn't a mass murderer, plus was oly slightly better in a fight compared to him, and he actually had a guy in the group he could talk too. Xander clearly is Team Riley. (This is mentioned outside the show once as well).