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As You Were - why a wife?

Antho

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So the takeaway is : Riley was the one who got away, Buffy was completely wrong and is a mess, but now that she got the validation of role model Riley Finn (who totally didn't cheat on her and put the blame on her), she can get her shit together.
That isn’t what this episode is about for me. It’s not about getting some approbation from Riley aka the perfect man with a perfect life. It’s about making Buffy realise she is in a destructive relationship that is not good for her, it’s killing her and she says it herself at the end. She was living a life she wasn’t happy with and Riley helped her to find strength to move on.

About Briley, Buffy and Riley have each theirs flaws about theirs relationship. I get that you feel that the show never adressed or not correctly Riley for his flaws but « As You Were » wasn’t the good episode to do it as it is in my eyes an episode where Buffy realize she needs to move on for the better and stop looking at the past. Plus, the cheating affair was already solved on « Into the woods » no need to talk about that again. Buffy running after that helicopter doesn’t mean she is the only responsible in all of that, Riley sure has a biggest part of responsibility, it’s just her realizing that she has her responsibilities too and she acknowledged that.
The only thing unresolved between Riley and Buffy is that he didn’t know that she was there when he left town. He believed she let him go, that isn’t true and he needed to know that.


Also, on the DMP scene are you talking about the sex scene between Spike and Buffy behind the wall ? I don’t get the comparison.
 

thetopher

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Sineya
I'm probably reading too much into it, but the 'who's on top' line is a sexualised reference, about the sex Buffy is having with Spike. We never saw her on top with Riley did we?
Yeah, I'd say you'r reading too much into it. For one Buffy was on top during their sexy times- in The I In Team actually- and two Riley isn't the type to make a sexually suggestive comment in that regard.

At no point does Riley patronize Buffy, he ultimately respects her decision re; the fate of the Doctor. Plus bonus points for not calling her a bint and acting like she's his property.
 

Cheese Slices

A Bidet of Evil
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That isn’t what this episode is about for me. It’s not about getting some approbation from Riley aka the perfect man with a perfect life. It’s about making Buffy realise she is in a destructive relationship that is not good for her, it’s killing her and she says it herself at the end. She was living a life she wasn’t happy with and Riley helped her to find strength to move on.

About Briley, Buffy and Riley have each theirs flaws about theirs relationship. I get that you feel that the show never adressed or not correctly Riley for his flaws but « As You Were » wasn’t the good episode to do it as it is in my eyes an episode where Buffy realize she needs to move on for the better and stop looking at the past. Plus, the cheating affair was already solved on « Into the woods » no need to talk about that again. Buffy running after that helicopter doesn’t mean she is the only responsible in all of that, Riley sure has a biggest part of responsibility, it’s just her realizing that she has her responsibilities too and she acknowledged that.
The only thing unresolved between Riley and Buffy is that he didn’t know that she was there when he left town. He believed she let him go, that isn’t true and he needed to know that.
I see your point of view but I just don't think Riley was the good person for that, especially not in the way that it was written. I just feel I'm being force fed what I'm supposed to think instead of having it suggested.
lso, on the DMP scene are you talking about the sex scene between Spike and Buffy behind the wall ? I don’t get the comparison.
No, I mean the scene where he tells her the job is going to kill her and that he can help her get by.
acting like she's his property.
When did this happen ?
 

thetopher

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Sineya
When did this happen ?
SPIKE: she's not your bint anymore, and if I can speak frankly, she always had a little thing for me even when she was shagging you.

Plus before there's the same crap about Buffy needing 'a little monster in her man' or whatever.
Definite ownership. Spike is saying 'She was yours and now she's mine'. By now everyone (including Riley) knows that Buffy never really 'belonged' to Riley, in fact she doesn't belong to anyone.
Then again, soulless, selfish, evil. Not too surprising really.
 

Cheese Slices

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I’m curious to know what comparison you make between that scene and Riley’s behavior ? If you want to be clearer of course 😌
Basically in both scenes you have Buffy's kind of boyfriend coming to her workplace and asking her to leave with them, symbolically speaking offering her an escape/out. In DMP's case it is clearly shown as the wrong option : Buffy has to be strong and stick with her job, and Spike is the "bad boyfriend" who makes her take reckless decisions; in AYW, Riley is the rescuer, he's taking her away from the dreadful job because suddenly she doesn't need the money anymore apparently, and the way the scene is shot you almost expect him to carry her princess style out of the restaurant. It's the contrast and the framing of the scenes that stand out to me, but I get that not everyone sees it that way.

SPIKE: she's not your bint anymore, and if I can speak frankly, she always had a little thing for me even when she was shagging you.

Plus before there's the same crap about Buffy needing 'a little monster in her man' or whatever.
Definite ownership. Spike is saying 'She was yours and now she's mine'. By now everyone (including Riley) knows that Buffy never really 'belonged' to Riley, in fact she doesn't belong to anyone.
Then again, soulless, selfish, evil. Not too surprising really.
Now who's reading too much into things ? ;) He says she's not your bint anymore. You interpret an extra meaning of "she's mine now", but there's no indication that's the case.
Even if that were the case, Angel calls Buffy "his girl" (so does Faith), so I guess soullessness, selfishness or evilness doesn't really factor into it.
 
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Dogs of Winter

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I always felt that Riley being married was a plot device so they could have a big dramatic reveal rather than something that felt true to what we knew about him. It just seemed strange that within a year he had left town, got over Buffy, met someone else and got married all while working as a full time demon hunter.

I dont think the episode was intended to make Buffy feel bad in comparison to Riley being married. She was still only 19/20 which is way too young to be worried about not being married. It was more to get her to take a long look at how her life was going and whether she was happy with it, and if not what could she do about it.
So the episode could still have made the same points about where Buffy's life is at the moment and her relationship with Spike if Riley had just been in a new relationship or engaged rather than married.

And I do think that his wife was written as far too perfect. The first time I watched the ep I thought she was really cool, but when I watch it now the way she is and everyone else's reaction to her is just way too much. (Not blaming the actress though. I still think she is great in Banshee)
 

Antho

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Basically in both scenes you have Buffy's kind of boyfriend coming to her workplace and asking her to leave with them, symbolically speaking offering her an escape/out. In DMP's case it is clearly shown as the wrong option : Buffy has to be strong and stick with her job, and Spike is the "bad boyfriend" who makes her take reckless decisions; in AYW, Riley is the rescuer, he's taking her away from the dreadful job because suddenly she doesn't need the money anymore apparently, and the way the scene is shot you almost expect him to carry her princess style out of the restaurant. It's the contrast and the framing of the scenes that stand out to me, but I get that not everyone sees it that way.
In my opinion you are reading way too much into it and compare things that aren’t even comparable. Don’t take it bad but I think it shows your bias that you love Spike and hate Riley. In all honesty theses two situations are completely different. Spike proposed to her to leave the job to have sex with him. That’s a shallow reason. and then he said he can have money and that she doesn’t have to work but we know Spike will not get money by fair ways.. of course it was wrong options !
In Riley’s case he just came to see his ex girlfriend and to ask for her help to kill a demon because she is the slayer an excellent fighter. And actually Having a demon to kill is a more serious reason to leave your job. So it’s not because « apparently she doesn’t need money anymore » but because saving people from a demon is more important than having sex with your sexfriends. It makes sense she goes with him.
About that fairy tales vibes you seem to feel, I don’t share that vision at all but I’m leaving it here as you have the right to see it that way.
 

thetopher

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Now who's reading too much into things ? ;) He says she's not your bint anymore. You interpret an extra meaning of "she's mine now", but there's no indication that's the case.
So we're all allowed to put the very worst spin on all of Riley's dialogue, even the very intent of the episode, and yet not the actual evil character? Oh, if only I knew the rules. :p

But sure, my opinion here is that Spike is thrilled that they've been discovered (and by Riley no less); he says that Buffy 'is not your bint anymore mate' (implicitly stating change of ownership TO Spike) and then he's crowing over having 'won' Buffy over Riley since he specifically brings up the unpleasant events of 'Into The Woods' (so incidentally, Riley is not whitewashed of his past actions, they're actually thrown in his face).

Even if that were the case, Angel calls Buffy "his girl" (so does Faith), so I guess soullessness, selfishness or evilness doesn't really factor into it.
Ah,, but Angel and Faith have souls and so are capable of selfless love by definition. So no, them saying a casual colloquialism isn't the same as Spike rubbing his tryst with Buffy in Riley's face with obvious glee.
Also, although Angel's 'my girl' implies relationship status at least Buffy replies with 'always', which is sweet and consensual.
With Faith it's more about revealing Buffy's 'true self', the one that Faith knows and thinks is very much like her. It's not 'ownership' in any sense, although perhaps Faith wishes it were...
 

Moggin

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To answer the original question, having Sam be Riley's wife takes out any guesswork on Buffy's chances with Riley. If Sam had been a girlfriend, we might have had story time wasted on whether or not Sam is a serious girlfriend, a rebound partner, or even on par with the relationship Riley and Buffy had. Making Sam the wife instantly elevates her status in Riley's life over Buffy. Sam is who Riley committed to. Buffy is who Riley left. This all would have worked differently with Sam as a girlfriend.
 
Antho
Antho
Agreed

Cheese Slices

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In my opinion you are reading way too much into it and compare things that aren’t even comparable. Don’t take it bad but I think it shows your bias that you love Spike and hate Riley. In all honesty theses two situations are completely different. Spike proposed to her to leave the job to have sex with him. That’s a shallow reason. and then he said he can have money and that she doesn’t have to work but we know Spike will not get money by fair ways.. of course it was wrong options !
In Riley’s case he just came to see his ex girlfriend and to ask for her help to kill a demon because she is the slayer an excellent fighter. And actually Having a demon to kill is a more serious reason to leave your job. So it’s not because « apparently she doesn’t need money anymore » but because saving people from a demon is more important than having sex with your sexfriends. It makes sense she goes with him.
About that fairy tales vibes you seem to feel, I don’t share that vision at all but I’m leaving it here as you have the right to see it that way.
I don't hate Riley, and I don't care about what Spike here. I just hate how poorly written the episode is, but it's cool that you enjoy it and see no problem with it. I just find it frustrating because I think the writers are better than that, and that was a missed opportunity for a pretty pivotal episode.
So we're all allowed to put the very worst spin on all of Riley's dialogue, even the very intent of the episode, and yet not the actual evil character? Oh, if only I knew the rules. :p
I'm not putting a spin on Riley's dialogue, I am analyzing the episode and his arc with the writer's intention (which I've actually researched beforehand, mainly because I actually thought the episode was meant to be a parody/distorted POV à la Zeppo) in mind and finding it lacking and dishonest. Maybe the problem is that we're looking at it from two different perspectives ? I'm making more of doylist argument, while you come from a watsonian perspective ?
But sure, my opinion here is that Spike is thrilled that they've been discovered (and by Riley no less); he says that Buffy 'is not your bint anymore mate' (implicitly stating change of ownership TO Spike) and then he's crowing over having 'won' Buffy over Riley since he specifically brings up the unpleasant events of 'Into The Woods' (so incidentally, Riley is not whitewashed of his past actions, they're actually thrown in his face).
I did not contradict you on the fact that Spike is being an ass, I was contesting the idea that he was considering Buffy his "property". If I'm quoting only a specific part of the post, there's a reason. Also, if you write a character as the clear villain of the story that is in a current pissing contest, his bringing up Riley's past issues just doesn't have the same weight as Buffy confronting him about it. The result is simply not the same, and that was a deliberate choice to have her not address it and him not apologizing for it.
Ah,, but Angel and Faith have souls and so are capable of selfless love by definition. So no, them saying a casual colloquialism isn't the same as Spike rubbing his tryst with Buffy in Riley's face with obvious glee.
They are also capable of selfishness and possessiveness. And again, I was referring specifically to the idea that Spike was considering Buffy his property, which imo is a stretch that doesn't have much material to support it.

@Antho no problem ! We're all different people with different perspectives, and it's cool you can enjoy things I can't.
 
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Antho
Antho
D’accord. On a visiblement pas la même opinion sur le sujet mais c’était cool de débattre un peu haha. Je vais me faire gronder j’écris en français mais mon cerveau est en mode repos et je dois l’activer pour écrire Anglais 😂😜. Bonne soirée

TriBel

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On the one hand it seems like the writers are trying to say “see Buffy, see what you’re missing”
I just find it frustrating because I think the writers are better than that, and that was a missed opportunity for a pretty pivotal episode.
It's not simply frustrating - it's bloody ludicrous. Why would they ask us to invest in a ‘super cool secret agent episode’ when it's deliberately drawing on every stereotype in a book called "Dummies Book of Stereotypes Necessary to Write a Super Cool Secret Agent"? Witness: "Sorry. It's just ... you still carry around all that James Bond stuff". Per..lease...he even has the equivalent of a Prussian duelling scar: "We see that he has a long scar running from his forehead across one eye and down his cheek. His expression is grim". He's both physically and emotionally wounded. Figuratively speaking, someone hurt him...someone else is helping him heal. I find this interesting in an episode with a hypothetical doctor. I think it's only the surface text that's concerned with how poor Buffy's life is in comparison to Riley's. If it was this and only this...and the solution was marriage...I'd have turned off in 2001 and wouldn't be watching in 2021.

I like the range of pronouns here.

RILEY: Sorry to just drop in on you like this, Buffy. BUFFY: It's you. RILEY: It's me. BUFFY: You're here. RILEY: I know. BUFFY: And ... were you always this tall?

[/QUOTE]
IIRC, "Me" is how we see ourselves; "I" is how we want to be seen (invisible Buffy in Gone is doing what "me" wants to do. "I" is what she wants the social worker to see). "You" is how the Big Other "language and the law" sees us...or we see ourselves being seen.

I'm probably reading too much into it, but the 'who's on top' line is a sexualised reference, about the sex Buffy is having with Spike. We never saw her on top with Riley did we? It takes Buffy's mind back to sex with Spike, which is meant to make her feel guilt and shame.
I wouldn't say you're reading too much in - although Buffy might be. Meaning isn't with the sender or in the message...it's with the receiver. Riley doesn't need to mean anything by it. It's enough that it starts a train of thought in Buffy's conscious...or, indeed, unconscious. I think we're back with a gaze again. Not necessarily the Male Gaze but a shaming gaze. "In Lacanian psychoanalytic theory, the gaze is the anxious state of mind that comes with the self-awareness that one can be seen and looked at. The psychological effect upon the person subjected to the gaze is a loss of autonomy upon becoming aware that they are a visible object." It doesn't matter what Riley thinks about the hat...it's what Buffy thinks Riley thinks that's significant. It might work with Sartre's gaze/look but then I'd have to pretend I'd read Sartre (or could remember the difference). It's crap getting old.

Riley is tall...it's one of the first things she says. He literally looks down on her. With Spike she gets "back on top" as it were...he's "beneath her"? She's subject...he's object.

As for thingy being his wife...is she? I was thinking Riley in a dress. Riley's Imago perhaps...his mirror image. They're like the Androgyne (from the Greek andros, "man," and gune, "woman" is a creature that is half male and half female). She's even got an androgynous name. Gives another meaning to the idea Riley's "a double agent". I suspect it's something to do with "we" / "us" / lack / difference. Riley's also an androgynous name. LOL! Riley "From the Old English ryge leah, meaning "wood clearing." 😂

Interestingly Riley's speech here is plagiarized by Spike in Touched. It's a speech that problematizes the subject/object dyad and also emphasises looking but I think the look owes more to Merleau-Ponty. I'd worked on that without realizing this also featured the gaze. "Were you with me. Yes I was".

I'd have to think more about it but now all I want to do is watch Sam Riley playing Ian Curtis in Control. @Taake Thanks - not thanks. 😄
 

Dora

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I thought it was more crap on Buffy when the whole season was basically crap on Buffy, just more depressive rubbish that was S6 , it had a point
as it made Buffy feel even worse , she ended up going to and shagging the evil dead while Riley has little miss perfect , Only catalyst is that Riley finds out Spike is the doctor and keeping illegal demon eggs and finding how low Buffy had fallen give's her a pep talk , which makes her realise that the thing with Spike must end
I can really believe the dislike of Riley First he stabs Spike in the heart with a plastic stake ?@X*% , then in this episode disobeys a direct order and does not terminate Spike Why ? not to upset Buffy ? he didn't give a thought about up setting her when he just left her . we would have had a much better S7 if he had followed orders
 
AlphaFoxtrot
AlphaFoxtrot
You can’t kill Spike, as the doctor, he could regenerate.
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