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Episode Poll: 5.10 Into the Woods

will116
Welp, this episode is mightily controversial. You know the drill, guys! Ticky ticky, share your thoughts! Let's do Into the Woods.





1. Joyce's surgery turns out well in this episode, leading us to think that she'll be okay. However, a few episodes down the line, she dies due to a complication involving the surgery. Good play on Joss' part or cheap trick?

Good play. It works well for the season.
73(64.0%)
Cheap trick. It's just a way for Joss to jerk the audience around.
11(9.6%)
A little of both
28(24.6%)
Not sure
2(1.8%)

2. There is controversy about how this episode portrays the problems in the Buffy/Riley relationship. Some people feel that it pushes the burden all onto Buffy's shoulders. Let's get some questions about this going. Do you think Buffy's being "shut down" was a significant part of the Buffy/Riley breakdown?

Yes
26(23.4%)
No
58(52.3%)
I have another answer
17(15.3%)
Not sure
10(9.0%)

3. If you chose "no" in #2, do you think this episode piled the blame on Buffy?

Yes
70(64.2%)
No
9(8.3%)
I chose "yes" in #2!
15(13.8%)
Not sure
15(13.8%)

4. Do you think the writers believed that Buffy's being shut down was the primary reason for the Buffy/Riley break-up?

Yes
35(31.2%)
No
28(25.0%)
I have another answer
3(2.7%)
Not sure
46(41.1%)

5. Spike spies Riley going to the vamp house. The next night, he takes Buffy there to reveal what Riley was doing. Good thing?

Absolutely. Buffy deserved to know.
22(19.5%)
Buffy deserved to know, but the way Spike went about it was kinda douche-y
85(75.2%)
No way. It wasn't any of Spike's business.
3(2.7%)
I have another answer.
1(0.9%)
Not sure
2(1.8%)

6. At some points, Riley's repeated visitations to the vamps for blood-sucking fun resemble a drug addiction. At other times, the show draws a comparison to infidelity. Which one works best for you?

Drug addiction
4(3.6%)
Infidelity
38(33.9%)
They both work
62(55.4%)
Neither
8(7.1%)

7. Buffy and Giles get into a disagreement about the bloodsucking-for-cash business. Do you think the Slayer should spend time rooting out the vampire-human feeding dens?

Yes. "Vampires are vampires."
9(8.0%)
No. "They're willing victims. [...] There are people out there who deserve your help who aren't."
69(61.1%)
I have another answer
6(5.3%)
Not sure
29(25.7%)

8. Riley stakes Spike with a plastic wood-grain stake and warns Spike to stay away from Buffy.

Riley's gone round the bend. That's fucked up.
63(55.8%)
A little extreme, but no harm done. Spike's a vampire so violence is how he rolls.
27(23.9%)
Spike was being a jerk. Riley had to keep him in line.
5(4.4%)
I have another answer
13(11.5%)
Not sure
5(4.4%)

9. Riley's douchiest act of the episode?

Visiting vamp-whores
4(3.6%)
Torturing Spike
4(3.6%)
Blaming Buffy for his visiting vamp-whores
85(76.6%)
Giving Buffy an ultimatum
16(14.4%)
Leaving
2(1.8%)

10. Tell me your thoughts on Xander's speech. You know the one. Check all that apply:

It was more about Xander/Anya than Buffy/Riley
71(24.7%)
Well-intended but off the mark
63(22.0%)
Insulting
47(16.4%)
Insightful. It shows why Xander is the guy who sees things
12(4.2%)
Buffy needed to hear it
10(3.5%)
It hurt Buffy in the long-run by convincing her that she was the problem
77(26.8%)
It helped Buffy in the long-run by spurring her to find a way to open up
7(2.4%)

11. Biggest douche of the episode?

Riley
88(80.7%)
Spike
9(8.3%)
Xander
12(11.0%)
Buffy
0(0.0%)

12. Xander tells Buffy that she took Riley for granted. True?

Yes
30(26.8%)
No
55(49.1%)
I have another answer
9(8.0%)
Not sure
18(16.1%)

13. Pretend you're a movie reviewer and give this episode a star rating:

***** (Five stars)
2(2.0%)
**** (Four stars)
24(23.5%)
*** (Three stars)
50(49.0%)
** (Two stars)
16(15.7%)
* (One star)
10(9.8%)


Comments

lynnenne
Mar. 20th, 2012 01:57 pm (UTC)
I actually liked the Buffy/Riley relationship in S4. It seemed functional and healthy. Riley's sudden insecurities that "she doesn't love me" seemed to come out of nowhere. And those insecurities could have easily been put to rest if Riley had just talked to her. Granted, Buffy's never been the best communicator, but she is capable of opening up when pressed.

So, yeah, maybe Buffy was a little shut down. Or preoccupied with mom possibly dying. But that in no way absolves Riley of his infidelities/blood abuse/whatever. Or of trying to lay it all on Buffy's shoulders.

Also, stabbing Spike with plastic wood grain was just a stupid writing ploy. It would have been far more believable if Riley had just staked Spike outright. (Although, speaking as a Spike fan, I'm glad he didn't. :)
gabrielleabelle
Mar. 20th, 2012 02:14 pm (UTC)
I actually liked the Buffy/Riley relationship in S4. It seemed functional and healthy.

Ditto. Though I don't know that Riley's insecurities come out of nowhere. They seem to me to be foreshadowed with S4's The Yoko Factor where Riley randomly thinks Buffy cheated on him with Angel. I don't think he ever gets over Buffy's past with Angel.

Also, stabbing Spike with plastic wood grain was just a stupid writing ploy. It would have been far more believable if Riley had just staked Spike outright. (Although, speaking as a Spike fan, I'm glad he didn't. :)

Haha! But they needed a dramatic act closer! :)
molly_may
Mar. 20th, 2012 02:35 pm (UTC)
Also, stabbing Spike with plastic wood grain was just a stupid writing ploy. It would have been far more believable if Riley had just staked Spike outright. (Although, speaking as a Spike fan, I'm glad he didn't. :)

Agreed, on all counts. It was just a way to give the episode a "shocking!" act break, while ignoring the fact that the very existence of a plastic wood grain stake makes no sense whatsoever. Where did Riley get it at, The Stake Store (Serving Both Your Real and Fake Stake Needs Since 1982)?
beer_good_foamy
Mar. 20th, 2012 03:04 pm (UTC)
Where did Riley get it at, The Stake Store (Serving Both Your Real and Fake Stake Needs Since 1982)?

Surely there's a market for it in Sunnydale? Between all the various magic shops, demon bars, etc... The forces of darkness need silly novelty items too.

I'm convinced there's a 24-hour leather pants boutique for the recently evil, myself.
molly_may
Mar. 20th, 2012 03:15 pm (UTC)
Hee, I imagine the owner of the leather pants boutique was able to retire early and move to a safer location before Sunnydale turned into a hole in the ground.

The forces of darkness need silly novelty items too.

Mom! Sally's pretending to be a slayer again! She's scaring me, make her stop!
angearia
Mar. 21st, 2012 02:08 am (UTC)
The plastic wood grain stake is clearly a vampire sex toy. Dru had it commissioned for naughty play time when she had Angel all tied up in "What's My Line?"

blackfrancine
Mar. 20th, 2012 03:55 pm (UTC)
the very existence of a plastic wood grain stake makes no sense whatsoever. Where did Riley get it at, The Stake Store (Serving Both Your Real and Fake Stake Needs Since 1982)?

YES. Every single time I watch that scene I end up muttering to myself about how that plastic stake just makes no sense at all. Where did it come from? Why? How?
eowyn_315
Mar. 21st, 2012 08:36 pm (UTC)
Right?? Why would anyone even make plastic stakes??

Oh. You know what we need? A Fake Stake Ficathon, in which people come up with reasons why Riley might've had that on hand. (The crackier the better, obvs.)
mcjulie
Mar. 20th, 2012 04:02 pm (UTC)
Riley's sudden insecurities that "she doesn't love me" seemed to come out of nowhere

To be fair, they could have come out of his growing realization that he was in love with her. I think Riley's marriage in Season 6 shows that he was in an emotional place where he was looking for The One, and he wanted it to be Buffy, but he was starting to suspect that the feeling wasn't mutual.

In fact, if this particular episode were better handled, I would really like the reversal of the traditional sex roles -- the guy who's looking for serious commitment, the girl who's, like, "what are you talking about, we're barely twenty."

Also, stabbing Spike with plastic wood grain was just a stupid writing ploy.

Maybe, except I love the way that scene plays out, where Riley is trying so hard to be self-righteous and then realizes he's the asshole and gives up. (He doesn't stake Spike, because he wants to kick Spike's ass.)

But then it makes me even madder when he's so self-righteous with Buffy, without ever having that "hey, maybe I'm the asshole" moment. Is this suggesting that Riley is male-defined? He hates Spike, but he recognizes Spike as an equal and fully autonomous individual?

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