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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.





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

( 89 comments — Leave a comment )
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lycoris
Mar. 20th, 2012 01:52 pm (UTC)
My answer to number 2 is "Yes and no." It's significant to Riley that he percieves her as having shut down so therefore it's significant altogether. But I don't think Buffy had shut down. That's Riley's flawed perspective.

I'd like to think the writers don't think it but I don't really know what they are thinking so I've gone for not sure. I hope they didn't think it though because I really don't feel it.

Ugh, Xander's speech. I've not watched the episode for a while so I've forgotten enough to make it hard for me to vote. I think it was definietely well intended and he was trying to push her into talking to Riley before he left just for closure if nothing else but I think it falls ... a bit flat and that's where the feeling of it all being Buffy's fault comes in for me.
gabrielleabelle
Mar. 20th, 2012 02:04 pm (UTC)
Oh! First comment! Fair warning, you get all my THOUGHTS on this ep (and I have many!) :)

My answer to number 2 is "Yes and no." It's significant to Riley that he percieves her as having shut down so therefore it's significant altogether. But I don't think Buffy had shut down. That's Riley's flawed perspective.

Yeah, I agree. I can see that.

I'd like to think the writers don't think it but I don't really know what they are thinking so I've gone for not sure. I hope they didn't think it though because I really don't feel it.

Heh. I think they did think it mainly based on Jane Espenson's commentary on I Was Made to Love You.

Ugh, Xander's speech. I've not watched the episode for a while so I've forgotten enough to make it hard for me to vote. I think it was definietely well intended and he was trying to push her into talking to Riley before he left just for closure if nothing else but I think it falls ... a bit flat and that's where the feeling of it all being Buffy's fault comes in for me.

THOUGHTS AHEAD:

Xander's speech was going well until Buffy tells him what Riley was doing. That should have completely derailed Xander's attempt to get Buffy to SEE what he saw. Instead, when Buffy tries to walk away, he forces her to listen to him as he subsequently blames Buffy for it all. That's beyond the fucking pale. Really? His response to learning that Riley was visiting vamp-whores is, "Well, Buffy, it's kinda your fault cause you were all shut down after Angel left"? Fuck that, dude.

*huggles Buffy*
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beer_good_foamy
Mar. 20th, 2012 01:55 pm (UTC)
2 etc: Depends on how significant "significant" is. This episode is a pretty big fuckupathon on all sides and it's hard to say that one single thing was THE cause. Is there emotional shutdown on Buffy's side? Yes. Is it the one single thing that's wrong with them? Absolutely not. (Of course, Scott Hope gave the same reason for dumping Buffy back in s3, and I suppose one could argue that he was hardly shown in the best light for it...)

So for instance, I want to check most boxes both on 8 and 10 and a bunch of other questions as well; there's nothing wrong with Xander's observations as such, it's just that the conclusions he draws arerather self-involved. And both Spike's and Riley's actions in this episode earn them some pain.

Eh. Don't like this episode much.
penny_lane_42
Mar. 20th, 2012 02:03 pm (UTC)
there's nothing wrong with Xander's observations as such, it's just that the conclusions he draws arerather self-involved.

That's a great way of phrasing it.
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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! :)
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penny_lane_42
Mar. 20th, 2012 02:02 pm (UTC)
I think Xander's speech is both well-intended and insulting. I'm not sure how I manage to believe both of those, but I do. On the one hand, I do think Xander was trying to help (even if he was definitely projecting his and Anya's issues onto Buffy/Riley), but on the other hand, I do think he was acting like he had insight that he definitely didn't have to such an extent that it was insulting.

As to how the writers actually feel about all of this? I have no clue. I could argue multiple ways.

There's no doubt that Riley was a douche to blame all the problems on Buffy. Gross. But I also think that the downfall of this relationship was a lack of communication on both their parts--a lack of communication about what they both expect from a relationship. It's okay for Riley to want to be with someone who is more emotionally open with him and who makes him more of a priority. But he has to realize that that's not Buffy and he can't expect her to be that way, especially if he doesn't actually tell her that that's what he wants. On the other hand, it's okay for Buffy to be as self-reliant and compartmentalize her life if she wants to do that, but she needs to realize that that's not going to make for good times in a relationship with a guy like Riley. They want fundamentally different things from relationships, and their problem is that they never talk about those things. Riley seems to me to make the assumption that all relationships should work a certain way and if they don't, they are failing. That's not necessarily true. BUT THEY NEVER SEEM TO TALK ABOUT THESE THINGS.

Basically, this was a breakup that needed to happen, but the way it went down was douche-y and I hate it.
gabrielleabelle
Mar. 20th, 2012 02:16 pm (UTC)
IT'S ALL ABOUT COMMUNICATION!

Basically, this was a breakup that needed to happen, but the way it went down was douche-y and I hate it.

Word.
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treadingthedark
Mar. 20th, 2012 02:15 pm (UTC)
Buffy was dealing with a LOT right then. Her relationship was going to suffer at that time with anyone. A good relationship would have helped, supported her, gave to her and been her rock so she could deal with the other stuff. A bad relationship is greedy and wants to be a priority even though everything else in your life is falling apart.
The Vamp whores were just the insulting and devastating icing on the cake.
Xander did her a terrible disservice, albeit well-intentioned.
Not sure how the writers felt, it probably differed from writer to writer just like everything else!
It was pretty bad how Spike showed her, but I'm not sure how else he should have let her know. She needed to know and I don't think he would have believed her just telling him. Maybe he should have told Giles instead. But you know, it's Spike!
I gave this episode a one, because the helicopter run is one of the worst character moments for Buffy in the television show.
gabrielleabelle
Mar. 20th, 2012 02:19 pm (UTC)
Buffy was dealing with a LOT right then. Her relationship was going to suffer at that time with anyone. A good relationship would have helped, supported her, gave to her and been her rock so she could deal with the other stuff. A bad relationship is greedy and wants to be a priority even though everything else in your life is falling apart.

*nods*

It was pretty bad how Spike showed her, but I'm not sure how else he should have let her know. She needed to know and I don't think he would have believed her just telling him. Maybe he should have told Giles instead. But you know, it's Spike!

Yeah, I hesitated on this one because I'm not sure how else Spike could have told her. I mean, bad at him for being all creepy stalker dude in the first place, but once he knows, I think it's a good thing for her to let Buffy know (even if his motives aren't so pure).
jaymi_leaf
Mar. 20th, 2012 02:20 pm (UTC)
Oh goody, this episode...

1. I went with 'good play', there is definitely an element of Joss' evil planning but I think it works quite well with how these kind of things operate, how you can be getting better one minute then drop dead the next.

2. Went with 'not sure' on this one, I think there were elements of her being 'shut down' in the sense of trying to be strong for Dawn and Joyce and still being affected by what happened with Angel. That Riley saw this as a problem probably makes it 'significant' but I don't think Buffy would see it in this way. Until after this episode (my answer to 3 would be 'yes'). It isn't the only significant issue in their break-up though. The biggest problem has to be Riley's lack-of-identity/purpose post-Initiative.

4. I wasn't sure about this one, ultimately I went for 'yes' as that has been stated I believe by Jane E but I don't know about the rest of the writers. The fact that there are nuances there makes me hope that they saw it as a lot more complicated issue than simply Buffy being 'shut down'.

5. Spike, (almost) as always pre-soul, was serving his own needs first. Buffy deserved to know but there were a lot of better ways that she could have found out. Spike showing her in the way that he did probably speeded up the inevitable though. If he had gone to one of the other Scoobies first or confronted Riley himself then Buffy/Riley could have dragged on for a few more weeks.

6. They both work for me.

7. I went for 'not sure' here. These vamps aren't trying to destroy the world and they're not walking around killing people but they are preying on vulnerable people, some of whom will commit crime to feed their habit and some of whom may die due to their addiction. Now I'm picturing The Wire but with Vampires. Awesome.

8. That's fucked up. I mean..how long does it take to make one of those? Do you have to special order? In which case has he had it lying around for ages just waiting for this moment?

9. Blaming Buffy for the vamp-whores.

10. I went with 'insulting' and 'hurt Buffy in the long-term'. I just rage at that scene. I hate it so much and I hate how it hurts Buffy for a long time afterwards. And how some of the writers seemed to believe that what Xander said was true. It's all about Xander continuing to put Buffy on a pedestal and with Riley he thought he had someone he could put up there with her, someone he finally approved of. Ugh, and Xander... your friend tells you her boyfriend has been getting 'suck jobs' off vampires and has now given her an ultimatum to get over it and instead of comforting her you basically say 'yeah but it is kinda your fault'.. these are not the actions of a good friend. Don't like.

11. Xander

12. No.

13. Two stars.
gabrielleabelle
Mar. 20th, 2012 02:28 pm (UTC)
1. Very true. I agree.

2. Yep.

5. Possibly. Though the army's offer to Riley would still have taken place. Maybe Riley wouldn't have been as interested if Buffy hadn't just caught him visiting the vamps? I'm not sure how that would play out.

7. CROSSOVER NEEDED

8. lol! I hadn't thought of that!

10. YES
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ardentdelirium
Mar. 20th, 2012 02:45 pm (UTC)
2/4: I think Buffy is more guarded with Riley than she was with Angel and Parker, which is totally understandable, but is not her being shut down. But Riley was looking for a Buffy/Angel dynamic and so perceived it as a bad thing. The writers...I don't know WHAT they thought was going on.

5: Buffy needed to know, but Spike wasn't doing it for her (or Riley's) good-he did it for douchey selfish reasons, and it wasn't his business.

8: I think this scene is problematic for different reasons than that Riley was potentially torturing Spike. This shows that Riley doesn't trust Buffy. I'm in a relationship right now where a mutual friend of ours is interested in me. My boyfriend isn't worried about it because he trusts me. Riley doesn't trust Spike, obviously, but this shows he also doesn't trust Buffy.
gabrielleabelle
Mar. 20th, 2012 09:32 pm (UTC)
2/4. *nods*

8. Good point! And we see that all the way back to The Yoko Factor where Riley thinks Buffy spontaneously slept with Angel.
molly_may
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)
mcjulie
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.
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menomegirl
Mar. 20th, 2012 03:46 pm (UTC)
I left #9 blank because I wanted to check them all. I really hate the way Riley was written out.

I also left #11 blank. Because I couldn't decide which guy was the biggest douche. But I don't think Buffy was.
gabrielleabelle
Mar. 20th, 2012 09:35 pm (UTC)
I actually went with Xander on #11, mainly cause Riley is going through hardcore angst and such. He's still a douche, but he left reasonable three stations ago. Xander doesn't have such an excuse. He's just being a douche and insists on continuing to be a douche.
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kikimay
Mar. 20th, 2012 03:59 pm (UTC)
Episode poll about Riley being a jerk and leaving all the blame on Buffy. 'Kay.

1. I said "bit of both". Obliviously, Joss plays with his audience but, in the end, so many deaths are sudden and we can't blame Joss Whedon if human life's like this.

2. Yes. We see on Riley's side the insicurities and the cheating, but on Buffy's side the presuption of being shut down. Riley accuses her to be far away from him and, in his perception, is a thing that matters.

4. I think that the writers put a lot of emphasis in this theme. Buffy is often portrayed as a young woman "shut down" for different reasons (Depression, duty ...) And this characteristic became important and discussed at beginning with Riley.

5. Buffy deserved to know, but Spike was insensitive and childish.

6. I wish I can say "sex addiction". Sex addiction is actually a pretty twisted condition, especially since sex is part of human life.

7. Pointed out that vampires are vampires and "willing victim" is such a volatile concept, since the slayer is one and is Buffy is better for her to focus on "unwilling victims" like the people on the street and such.

8. Really, Riley? A plastic stake? What you've thinking, dildos for vampire slayers?! O.ò

9. Give her the ultimatum.

10. I like that speech if a consider it exclusively about Anya and Xander. It's sweet, but totally off mark for Riley/Buffy.

13. Yes and no, in the sense that he was her boyfriend and, in a critic situation, is perfectly normal to focus more on the problems and less on the things that seems to work out. If we have a great problem, we put our effort in resolving it, counting on the people that we have on our side, no?



gabrielleabelle
Mar. 20th, 2012 09:36 pm (UTC)
6. Ah, I hadn't thought of that.

8. rofl! So...I guess we know a bit more about Buffy and Riley's sex life...
rebcake
Mar. 20th, 2012 04:23 pm (UTC)
Hey! I did a poll for this over at fantas_magoria:

http://fantas-magoria.livejournal.com/293475.html

Re: the Joyce thing. I'll never be happy that she gets killed off because of how horrible it is for her kids, but I do think that Joss earned the right to tell it however he likes, as he was the kid who lost his mom. I'm sad for him and for Buffy & Dawn. (The thing that always gets me on rewatch is Buffy hoping that the cost of textbooks don't give her mom an aneurysm — way back in The Freshman. *sob*)

I don't see the show as comparing "blood-sucking fun" to "infidelity". Let's call it by name — it's comparing it to prostitution. Either idea — crack house or whore house — works equally well. I do think that there are very interesting issues (barely) raised here about the sex trade. Is it a "victimless" crime? Should it be decriminalized or regulated? If not, are the "johns" or the "pros" the perps? Should feminists support the workers or try to stamp out an institution that ultimately hurts women? (Good luck with that one, gals. It's the "oldest profession" for a reason.) There is also the barest hint of the traditional intersection between prostitution and the military here, and its role in the dehumanization of indigenous populations by occupying armies. There's loads more they could have done with the metaphor, but it goes nowhere after this. It's a bit much for a "teen" show to take on, but I appreciate the attempt.
gabrielleabelle
Mar. 20th, 2012 09:38 pm (UTC)
Interesting point about the prostitution metaphor.
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flagless_piracy
Mar. 20th, 2012 04:33 pm (UTC)
1) Works well. And he's giving us a message not to relax too much via the episode's title. Can't say we weren't warned that stuff was just about to hit the fan.

2)& 3) & 4) I've talked about this before, can't do it again. Let's just say I'm furious for how they used Buffy's character traits against her and leave it at that. Obviously, when it comes to women and their expression of love, the needier the better. Words speak louder than actions, it seems.

5) Spike went about it in an awfully gleeful way. What did he expect, that Buffy was gonna jump into his arms after he showed her what Riley was doing? (Actually, he might have expected just that.) Another thing that bothers me: Spike shows up in Buffy's bedroom in the middle of the night and tells her to come with him, and she just agrees, even though she doesn't know where he's taking her? He could've led her to her death! I get that Buffy disregards Spike as a threat, but still. It's a bit contrived.

7) Not sure. If Buffy was not the only Slayer, I suppose they could've afforded taking care of it, cause, you know, a willing victim is still a victim. As it is, I'd have to go with Giles...

9) & 10) & 11) & 12) Stop blaming Buffy for everything. It makes me sick.

13) One star. It's horrible. There are episodes I don't like (Where the wild things are, for example), but they're not offensive the waay this one and As You Were are. The show needs to stop using Riley as the stick to beat Buffy with.
gabrielleabelle
Mar. 20th, 2012 09:39 pm (UTC)
What did he expect, that Buffy was gonna jump into his arms after he showed her what Riley was doing? (Actually, he might have expected just that.)

Yep. *pets Spike*

The show needs to stop using Riley as the stick to beat Buffy with.

Horrible mental image. HORRIBLE.
rebcake
Mar. 20th, 2012 05:49 pm (UTC)
I'm going to quote myself on the question of whether Riley blames Buffy for his visiting vamp-whores:

Riley doesn't say that it's Buffy's fault. Quite the opposite.

Riley: This isn't your fault. It's mine. And I feel like hell for what I've put you through.

But Buffy hears that it's her fault, even though the harshest thing Riley says is "you keep me at a distance". However, good ol' Xander comes along right after and enumerates her many failings:

1. She's "acting crazy".
2. She's oblivious to her lover's needs.
3. She has the power to "make" him stay.
4. She ought to beg, if that's what it takes.
5. She treats him like a convenience. (Not in the Brit sense.)
6. She's emotionally closed off.
7. She's never going to get another chance.
8. Riley "never held back" (not like she did, presumably).

At that point Xander says that she should just let Riley go if she's not feeling the love, but the damage has been done, imo. /rant

I'm willing to let Riley slip off into the dark night without a lot of vitriol. He screwed up. He bailed. Not ideal for a gal with abandonment issues, but these things happen. Riley actually gives Spike more "blame" than Buffy. But even there Riley doesn't pretend it's Spike's fault — he admits he's just jealous.

The problem is that Xander gets the last word in the episode about what was wrong with the relationship, and it leaves the impression that the other characters agreed with his version. It looks like Buffy buys it, anyway. It's natural that people would misremember his comments in such a way as to think he's speaking for Riley.
gabrielleabelle
Mar. 20th, 2012 09:44 pm (UTC)
Riley doesn't say that it's Buffy's fault. Quite the opposite.

Well, he says that at first. But then he goes on to implicitly blame her:

RILEY: It wasn't real. I know, it was just physical. But the fact that I craved it ... that, that I kept going back ... even if it was fleeting, they made me feel like they had such... hunger for me.

BUFFY: And I don't ... make you feel that way? (Riley looks away) How on earth can you compare me to that? How can you tell me you understand what those vampires are feeling? You aren't a passion to them, you are a snack! A willing, idiotic snack.

RILEY: (angrily) No, I know exactly what they feel when they bite me, because I feel it every time we're together. It's like the whole world falls away. And all there is is you.

BUFFY: And you think that I don't feel the same way about you? How dare you tell me what I feel?

RILEY: You keep me at a distance, Buffy. You didn't even call me when your mom went into the hospital.

I mean, it's nice of him to preface all that by saying it's not her fault, but when he goes on to say that the reason he visited them was because Buffy keeps him at a distance and he doesn't get any passion from her...yeah, I'm afraid I just don't feel it.

I agree with you about Xander's speech, though. He just amps it all up to 11 and tears Buffy apart. To be honest, I don't judge Riley too harshly in this episode because I think he's in a pretty bad place (why he thinks he'd be mentally fit to just join the military then and there, I have no idea). Hell, I think even the ultimatum was largely a miscommunication that ended poorly. But he does manage to start the avalanche of blame onto Buffy's shoulders, even if he does so in a more subtle way than Xander did.
(no subject) - rebcake - Mar. 20th, 2012 10:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gabrielleabelle - Mar. 20th, 2012 10:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rebcake - Mar. 21st, 2012 06:49 am (UTC) - Expand
alexeia_drae
Mar. 20th, 2012 09:19 pm (UTC)
6. I went with how Buffy seemed to view it: infidelity. She's the best person in her relationship to know what counts as infidelity to her.

5. With this in mind, there's a lot of debate as to whether or not to tell someone if a partner is cheating on them. There's not even a consensus in counseling as to what to do. Some say it is between the couple and to leave it there. Now with the concerns about STDs, some people feel that there is a health obligation to warn the partner being cheated on.

There most likely wasn't a risk of Buffy getting an STD from Riley getting suck jobs (though, can vamps pass on hepatitis?) And eventually she would have started to notice things weren't adding up, because with the blood her was losing it would eventually impact his performance and life. So it might have been better for her to learn on her own.

At the same time, when the hurt partner finds that their partner was cheating and other people knew about it, they tend to feel like everyone was playing them for a fool and wish someone had told them (whether or not a supposed informant would have been believed is another story). Bottom line is, Spike wasn't acting in Buffy's best interests here. He did it because he knew it would break them up.

Now his method of telling her. I don't think Buffy would have believed him if he'd told her Riley was getting suck jobs from vamps. She didn't trust Spike at that point and time. And he'd also tried to break the group up in season 4 by telling lies. I think the only way he could have told her so she would believe him was how he did it, by showing her. It's undoubtedly harsh, but that's how it goes.

Oh boy. In the time it took me to write this B. has trashed the office...
gabrielleabelle
Mar. 20th, 2012 09:45 pm (UTC)
(though, can vamps pass on hepatitis?)

I'm suddenly insanely curious, myself...

(no subject) - jaymi_leaf - Mar. 21st, 2012 10:40 am (UTC) - Expand
slackerspice
Mar. 20th, 2012 10:19 pm (UTC)
Checking in to compliment the wonderful timing of this poll - Mark Watches just did "Something Blue". All I could think when I read his reactions was "Dude, the next few seasons are gonna drive you to drink."

*sigh* Suppose I should comment.

1. You know, I never really considered this until now. Now that you've mentioned it, it does kinda look that way if you squint.

5. Buffy deserved to find out somehow, but probably in a better way than how it happened. There isn't really any truly good way, but there's definitely got to be a better one than finding your boyfriend with someone's fangs in his wrist...
gabrielleabelle
Mar. 21st, 2012 12:57 am (UTC)
Checking in to compliment the wonderful timing of this poll - Mark Watches just did "Something Blue". All I could think when I read his reactions was "Dude, the next few seasons are gonna drive you to drink."

Yeah. I just read his post. :)

5. This is true. *sighs at Riley*
(no subject) - slackerspice - Mar. 21st, 2012 03:32 am (UTC) - Expand
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