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Episode Poll: 5.10 Into the Woods

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

Poll #1827612
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 114

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?

View Answers
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?

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26 (23.4%)
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?

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70 (64.2%)
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?

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35 (31.2%)
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?

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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?

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Drug addiction
4 (3.6%)
38 (33.9%)
They both work
62 (55.4%)
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?

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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.

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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?

View Answers
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%)
2 (1.8%)

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

View Answers
It was more about Xander/Anya than Buffy/Riley
71 (24.7%)
Well-intended but off the mark
63 (22.0%)
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?

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88 (80.7%)
9 (8.3%)
12 (11.0%)
0 (0.0%)

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

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30 (26.8%)
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:

View Answers
***** (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%)


Mar. 20th, 2012 03:06 pm (UTC)
1. Good play. I know people like to rag on Joss for how much he loves bringing the pain, but the fact is, in real life people really do sometimes die suddenly, and I don't think the writers are jerking people around by portraying that.

2. I picked "I have another answer", only because in Riley's mind, Buffy being "shut down" was a significant cause of their break-up, and he made it so that Buffy ended up believing that as well. The fact that his reasoning was a bunch of crap is beside the point.

3. Yes, definitely.

4. Yes. I wish I didn't believe that, but I think later episodes bear this out. In "Intervention" Buffy says "I was never there for Riley. Not like I was for Angel". I saw S4, so I know this is bullshit. She was there every step of the way for Riley, until in S5 her 13 year old sister and her mother with a brain tumor took precedence over a grown man who could presumably take care of himself for a little while. And then in "As You Were" Buffy is the one to apologize for her shortcomings in the relationship, while Riley beneficently accepts her apology without offering one of his own. So. I'm forced to accept that the writers agree with Riley, because they never, ever contradict him in the text.

5. It IS douchey, but I voted for the first option, because Buffy wouldn't have believed Spike if he just told her what was going on without showing her. At best, it would have planted a seed of doubt in her mind that festered for a while before the truth was revealed. Also, as a Spike fan I like the development he goes through here, when Buffy runs past him and he realizes that he hurt her by showing her this, and in "Triangle" he's clearly feeling guilty over causing her pain.

6. Eh, they both work.

7. Since it never comes up again, I have a hard time working up any strong opinion (and I'm too busy having strong opinions about everything else in the episode!)

8. See my reply to lynnenne above.

9. Blaming Buffy. Jeez, what a jerk.

10. In my heart, I know it was well-intended, but I hate it so much that I can't even bring myself to tick that box. Insulting and incredibly hurtful to Buffy.

11. Riley, though Xander makes an impressive last minute showing.

12. No.

13. One star. I know there are some good things about his episode, especially the acting which is solid across the board (even Blucas brings his A game), but I find the whole thing so incredibly unpleasant to watch that it can only be one star.

Edited at 2012-03-20 03:07 pm (UTC)
Mar. 20th, 2012 04:12 pm (UTC)
So. I'm forced to accept that the writers agree with Riley, because they never, ever contradict him in the text.

The only contra-indication in the text is Buffy's cookie speech in Chosen. Since that was Word of Joss, I have decided to believe that's the FINAL word on the subject. Because it makes me feel better.
Mar. 20th, 2012 09:33 pm (UTC)
1. *nods*

4. Ah, yeah. I tend to lean towards thinking the writers bought into Xander's speech. Le sigh.
Mar. 21st, 2012 02:15 am (UTC)
So. I'm forced to accept that the writers agree with Riley, because they never, ever contradict him in the text.

YES. This is when the Buffy POV guiding the direction of the story demands a counterpoint. It's so wrong that no one outside ever contradicts Riley's stance. Buffy takes it all on her shoulders, thanks to Riley and Xander, and no one offers another viewpoint on the situation intratextually. Ugh.
Mar. 21st, 2012 03:46 am (UTC)
Yep. All it would have taken to help the situation would be for a character like Dawn or Anya to say something snarky and pointed in AYW to deflate the idea that the relationship failed because of Buffy, but the writers chose not to do that. To my everlasting grief, apparently.;)


The One Who Isn't Chosen

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