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BtVS Season 5 Rewatch

NeonSlayer

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Buffy didn't read the book The Hunchback of Notre Dame. That's pretty clear from the 'kinda not' the 'I'm kidding' refers to her quip about the actor being one of the singing gargoyles. And honestly why read when you can watch the movie? :) Buffy is a busy Slayer with limited time. She has a God to deal with.
Buffy is a busy Slayer but she still does read. Her bedroom bookshelf in high school had about 3 dozen books on it. She references many books, writers, and historical figures & events. Buffy read a lot more in college. On one paper, getting a higher score than Willow. In New Moon Rising she referenced William Burroughs then was annoyed when no one understood what she meant, asking, "Was I the only one who did the reading?" Two episodes before Crush she was debating her teacher on Rasputin and he brings up her theory on the mysterious sleeping patterns of Prussian generals. In Out of My Mind Buffy was talking to Willow about Corday, Marat & Robespierre. In The Replacement Buffy was on a double date but was reading a book on the Crusades instead of watching the martial arts movie.

The joke falls flat if she was just making it about Tara asking if it was the one with Charleston Heston.
 

Grace

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Black Thorn
I guess I don't understand why whether Buffy read one particular book or not is a blanket statement on her intelligence? Do I believe Buffy could have read and understood and aced a test on The Hunchback of Notre Dame? Sure.
 

Mrs Gordo

Bangel extremist...
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Black Thorn
The joke falls flat if she was just making it about Tara asking if it was the one with Charleston Heston
Ahh well I guess it fell flat then. Not the first time that's happened. It worked for me.

Buffy is not bookish. She and I are similar in that way. I think she is very intelligent in a number of ways and she does on occassion read (so do I) but the dialogue and Buffy's personality (along with the fact that she's about to drop out) lead me to believe my interpretation of that line is accurate.

But unless someone can track down Fury we just may have to agree to disagree.
 

NeonSlayer

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Ahh well I guess it fell flat then. Not the first time that's happened. It worked for me.

Buffy is not bookish. She and I are similar in that way. I think she is very intelligent in a number of ways and she does on occassion read (so do I) but the dialogue and Buffy's personality (along with the fact that she's about to drop out) lead me to believe my interpretation of that line is accurate.

But unless someone can track down Fury we just may have to agree to disagree.
Buffy only dropped out because her mom just died and she wanted to focus on taking care of Dawn. She tried several times in s6 to get back into college. The only reason she wasn't in college in Lessons was because she missed the deadline for reenrollment back in January

I'll go with your agree to disagree. I genuinely think she did read the book because nothing about Buffy as a university student points towards trying to coax on an exam by watching the movie instead of reading the novel. I don't think she would take that risk, movies often change things and don't have the same amount of detail or cover all the themes. Buffy wouldn't have taken a course that requires reading classic novels if she wasn't going to read them.

I don't think she's a bibliophile like me but she doesn't go out of her way to wing things. She is the kind of person to have so much on her plate she forgets about an assignment, not the kind to choose off the bat to cheat on it. Buffy would be like whaaaaat if she knew how many books I read every year. Rory Gilmore would be like whaaaaat if she knew how many books I read a year then high five me.
 
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W

WillowFromBuffy

Guest
I wanna add that Drusilla's reaction to Harmony is very similar to how she reacts to Spike's mum in "Lies My Parents..."
"Was I the only one who did the reading?"
That is not what Buffy says. She asks if she was the only one who was awake.

I don't think Burroughs ever wrote about his killing of his wife, though I may be wrong. He did write about Lucien Carr's killing of David Kammerer in And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks, but it took a long while before the book could be released, because apparently murder is illegal and writing about it can get you in trouble.

I would love to see Buffy's reaction to reading one of Burroughs novels. They're fun and all, but they're really a sauce of misogyny, gay rape and paedophilia.

Btw, Willow is a fan of Ginsberg fan, which feels appropriate, even if he too was a character and a supporter of NAMBLA.
 
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NeonSlayer

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I wanna add that Drusilla's reaction to Harmony is very similar to how she reacts to Spike's mum in "Lies My Parents..."

That is not what Buffy says. She asks if she was the only one who was awake.

I don't think Burroughs ever wrote about his killing of his wife, though I may be wrong. He did write about Lucien Carr's killing of David Kammerer in And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks, but it took a long while before the book could be released, because apparently murder is illegal and writing about it can get you in trouble.

I would love to see Buffy's reaction to reading one of Burroughs novels. They're fun and all, but they're really a sauce of misogyny, gay rape and paedophilia.

Btw, Willow is a fan of Ginsberg fan, which feels appropriate, even if he too was a character and a supporter of NAMBLA.
Same difference. A Buffy who chastises soldiers for not paying attention in class enough to get her reference isn't a Buffy who watches the movie when the test is on the book. "Was I the only one awake in English that day?"

I would love episodes that were just the characters commenting on movies and books in real time the way actors do for commentaries.
 

Grace

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Black Thorn
I Was Made to Love You

I really like this episode, though I can't quite explain why. I guess I like the questions raised about what's fair when it comes to love, loneliness and relationships, and how Buffy decides that she wants to get comfortable being on her own. (Though of course any interesting exploration of this is pretty much put on hold from Joyce's death until, what, the cookie dough speech in Chosen?)

The benefit of the rewatch thread is that I can ask you to explain to me where Xander is coming from in this episode.

XANDER: The problem is not you. Don't do this to yourself, please.
*flashback*
XANDER: But you miss the point. You shut down, Buffy. And you've been treating Riley like the rebound guy. When he's the one that comes along once in a lifetime. He's never held back with you. He's risked everything. And you're about to let him fly because you don't like ultimatums?

DOES NOT COMPUTE!!!

Is he just lying to her now to be nice? What other interpretation is there of what he said in that Into the Woods line other than "the problem is you"? Someone help me understand!

It's so sad to see Buffy's takeaway from her relationship with Riley is that her strength and "self-involvement" are the problems, and nothing about him. But of course those "flaws" sunk in, since Riley's been complaining about them directly or indirectly since mid-Season 4.

Also, what's up with Xander putting down Hellmouth relationships in general? He's got one himself! I guess my take is that he is saying what he thinks Buffy needs to hear throughout this scene, and who knows how much of this reflects his true feelings (though I do think he loves and admires Buffy — I'm not questioning that).

Oh, and then JOYCE! OMG, Joyce, "bad luck" with guys leaving town? Now miiiight be a nice to time to mention the little word you had with Angel. (NOT that I think Angel didn't make up his own mind. But it's a pretty big thing for Buffy to not know.) She looks really great in this episode, though, and of course is getting a little romantic happiness, since Joss always loves to work that in before he brings the pain. (I like to call this "Giles and Jenny-ing.")

"Tripled it? Like first money, then money money money?" This is perhaps the best line of the entire series.

Jane Espenson says they had no idea at the time of this episode that Warren would ever appear again. She also says the final scene was never included with the script, to try to stop it from leaking. (Even the version online now stops at Spike ordering the bot.) JE wrote a version of that scene, but Joss wrote the version that was used.

I give the writers props for all the building/manufacturing references. Also, in addition to Tara's "money money money" line, April's "Crying is blackmail. Good girlfriends don't cry." is an exceptionally good line for this episode.

And, in closing, Ben looks pretty hot in a dress.

A few things worth noting from the script online:

This is so cute!
DAWN
I think a date should be in a real fancy restaurant, then champagne at a night club with a floor show, then ballroom dancing.

JOYCE
Unfortunately, we're not dating in a movie from the thirties. Buffy, what do you think? Should I try to make things romantic or sort of let him set the pace?
I would like to UGH in this general direction:
WILLOW
Yeah. I mean, maybe this Warren guy is gone, but maybe there's some guy she's neglected that'll pop up right when she doesn't even know she needs him.

AND IMMEDIATELY, WE'RE WITH

SPIKE AND BUFFY
(The aired version, for contrast: "I, I was just saying, a pretty girl like that, there's always someone lurking around, looking for some action.")

Hee:
WILLOW
Kind of an unusual name. There's hardly any except Warren Beatty and, you know, President Harding.(beat)
It's probably not either of them.

XANDER
Sounds like a nerd to me.

ANYA
Hey, President Harding was quite the package when he was young. He had these amazing gray eyes--
I'm mad we didn't get this scene!!!! This is now canon for me.
DAWN enters from the kitchen, licking cookie dough off her fingers.

DAWN
What the heck is going on out here?

JOYCE
I'm just torturing your sister.

DAWN
I'm for it. How was the date?

JOYCE
Good. Really good.

DAWN
You gonna see him again?

JOYCE
You know? I hope so. I think he had a good time. And what did you do tonight?

DAWN
Irritated Giles. I'm beginning to get why Buffy likes it so much.
I was going to watch The Body tonight, but I chickened out. Maybe tomorrow.
 

Mylie

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I don't have much to say about I Was Made To Love You so I decided to post my thoughts on The Body at the same time.

I Was Made To Love You

I'm not a fan of this episode. I hate that I've said this quite a lot for a season that I adore.

Everyone is acting really strange in this episode. I

Buffy laughing at Ben’s joke and trying to flirt with him makes me so uncomfortable.

Xander saying he misses Oz because he’d get it… Except I really doubt he would...

The highlight of the episode is Buffy saying she doesn't need a man.

The ending is brutal.

The Body

Such an amazing episode, but so difficult to watch. I'm always a bit more impressed with it with each rewatch..

I don’t really like the group scene at the beginning, not for the scene itself but I find it jarring with the rest of the episode. It takes me out of it.

Buffy’s reaction when she’s asked if she knows CPR breaks my heart.

Dawn cutting herself in Blood Ties is referenced here. I love Dawn saying her big sister could beat the crap out of that girl.

I like that the little bit of action is driven by Dawn not being able to believe Joyce is really dead. She wants to see it with her own eyes.

Anya's speech used to be one of my favorite scenes of the episode and I find it doesn't work for me anymore. It feels kind of forced and overplayed. I feel bad for saying this and you will all probably throw rocks at me for this.

There are a lot of standout moments. I adore the Buffy/Dawn stuff, Willow/Tara, Willow/Xander, Buffy/Tara and of course SMG is incredible.

Ranking
The Body
No Place Like Home
Blood Ties
Checkpoint
Fool For Love
Family
Real Me
Buffy vs. Dracula
Shadow
Listening to Fear
The Replacement
I Was Made To Love You
Crush
Triangle
Out Of My Mind
Into the Woods
 
Ethan Reigns
Ethan Reigns
Another vote for Anya's speech seeming to be awkward and forced.
W

WillowFromBuffy

Guest
I hope Tara never goes on BB. She would be traumatised.

I Was Made to Love You

This is a great episode. I think of it as an exploration of solipsism, which is the belief that we ourselves are the only real person in the world. We all seem to have this yearning for or even expectation of perfect and unconditional love. We want someone who can fix us and complete us ... and then we get dumped with someone else to fix and complete. It's a con is what it is. I am pretty sure that if we could design our own partners, we would all do like Warren and tailor someone to perfectly match our needs and desires. The cost would be that we would completely lose our ability to engage with regular people.

The woman who plays April does a great job. It's interesting how an actor can enter the uncanny valley without any make up or prosthetics. It's kinda like what Juliet Landeu is able to do with Drusilla or Clare Kramer with Glory. I don't know if it is a tragedy or a blessing that Britney turned the role down. Disclaimer: I really don't like Britney Spears as a performer. She was never able to sell her image as a (supposedly virgin) sex queen. I cannot think of another star who is so obviously a designer product and who looks so utterly uncomfortable in that role. In a sense, that would make her perfect for the role, but her poor acting skills would be a problem. There is also the cultural relationship between Britney and Buffy. Buffy's Spordelia persona in "Becoming" is very similar to Britney's character in "Baby one More Time." There were a lot of those blonde, blue-eyed, all American girl stars with a supposed girl power edge at that time ... most of whom quickly disappeared into obscurity.

Joyce's date provides an interesting parallel story. It is a nice little portrayal of the excitement, expectations, dread and angst that goes into dating and it stands in stark contrast to April's uncomplicated affection.

April's "death" scene is devastating. It is so odd. I can't decide if the average person is more like a Warren or an April. I think we are all a bit of both.

If there is a flaw with this episode, it is that Warren, who is really the central character of this story, isn't given much attention. Buffy is really just an observer, commentator and reactor. Warren seems to have no true regard for Katrina, which is probably a result of his time with April ... or it could be his lack of regard that made him create April in the first place. We don't know, because there is no journey for Warren. We don't know the innocent pre-April Warren and we don't see Warren realise his mistakes and repent. He is just self involved, solipsistic ruined-by-his-own-creation Warren. When we see him again, he is a complete psychopath, which suggests to me that he was always like this. I don't think someone who was really a decent guy gone wrong could be so unremorseful in S6.

I think one of the most haunting lines of April is: "If I hurt you just now, I'm sorry. I hope your boyfriend will take good care of you."

Willow still hasn't learned that Tara does not like her admitting attraction to other people.

The discussion of the ethics of sex bot-ing between Willow and Buffy reminds me of "I Only Have Eyes For You" and also Willow's plea for Quasimodo in "Crush."

I like the phrase "aggressively cheerful." My favourite music is either either aggressively cheerful or soul crushingly morose.

And now Joyce is dead and that marks a severe shift in the Buffy story. Things will never be quite the same :(

(Even the version online now stops at Spike ordering the bot.)
I don't like that. I think the viewer should start The Body knowing that Joyce is dead. It would be too jarring for Buffy to walk in and find Joyce's body without buildup or context.
XANDER: The problem is not you. Don't do this to yourself, please.
*flashback*
XANDER: But you miss the point. You shut down, Buffy. And you've been treating Riley like the rebound guy. When he's the one that comes along once in a lifetime. He's never held back with you. He's risked everything. And you're about to let him fly because you don't like ultimatums?

DOES NOT COMPUTE!!!

Is he just lying to her now to be nice? What other interpretation is there of what he said in that Into the Woods line other than "the problem is you"? Someone help me understand!
If Xander is lying in IWMTLY, then he is also lying to Anya in Triangle. Why would he lie to Anya?

In Into the Wood, Xander tells Buffy that: "It is not about fair." To me, that implies that Xander is not passing judgement on Buffy. He is simply trying to stop Buffy from letting this argument be the end of their relationship. Imagine if Xander ran into Riley at the helipad. Would he tell Riley that everything is Buffy's fault and that if Buffy does not run down and apologise, he should just leave? Or would he give her a similar kind of pep talk as the one he gave Buffy, only tailored to Riley?

Anyway, accusing Xander of lying is a bit strong when we are talking about what is really just beliefs and judgements. If Anya left Xander and Buffy told him that it wasn't his fault, would that constitute a lie, seeing that she tells him in "Into the Woods" that he treats her like an inconvenience?

Ranking of the episodes so far:
Fool For Love
Blood Ties
Listening to Fear
Family
Real Me
Crush
Checkpoint
I Was Made to Love You
Triangle
No Place Like Home
Into the Woods
Shadow
The Replacement
Buffy vs. Dracula
Out Of My Mind
 

sosa lola

Scooby
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Nov 26, 2007
Messages
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34
The benefit of the rewatch thread is that I can ask you to explain to me where Xander is coming from in this episode.

XANDER: The problem is not you. Don't do this to yourself, please.
*flashback*
XANDER: But you miss the point. You shut down, Buffy. And you've been treating Riley like the rebound guy. When he's the one that comes along once in a lifetime. He's never held back with you. He's risked everything. And you're about to let him fly because you don't like ultimatums?

DOES NOT COMPUTE!!!

Is he just lying to her now to be nice? What other interpretation is there of what he said in that Into the Woods line other than "the problem is you"? Someone help me understand!



Into the Woods shows Xander challenging Buffy about her true feelings when it comes to Riley. He points out that Buffy have been treating Riley like a rebound and that she shut down because she was burned with Angel. He gave her the choice: If you don’t love him, let him leave. If you love him, stop him from leaving. It’s no brainer that Xander was clearly rooting for Buffy and Riley to make up and stay together. Xander wasn’t aware at that time that his speech had a negative effect on Buffy: she started blaming herself for Riley leaving.



Triangle shows Xander and Anya in bed after sex discussing Buffy’s break up with Riley. Anya started blaming Buffy for the break up and I think that moment awakened Xander’s sense of guilt. He defended Buffy, emphasizing that he was more worried about how she was taking the break up. He didn’t think Buffy was at fault and hoped she didn’t see it that way.



I Was Made to Love You: too late. Buffy was ranting about how dirty she was, about how she chases men away, about whatever that is wrong with her and why she can’t keep a man. Xander reassures her there’s nothing wrong with her.

“Don’t do this to yourself. Please.” Xander was the reason she felt this way. ‘Cause at first her anger was directed at Riley but then Xander opened her eyes to the possibility that she didn’t treat Riley right herself.

Xander does a good job making Buffy feel better and directing the blame to the Hellmouth instead. He does his best throughout the episode to be the greatest best friend: dancing with Buffy at the party and later complimenting her and supporting her decision about not needing to date at the moment.

While Buffy’s luck in the romance department is at a rotten point, Xander on the other hand is doing so well. He’s grown fond of Anya and admits to liking her quirks and the way she speaks. That can be attributed to his newfound confidence which he acquired after The Replacement: new shiny job with new shiny promotion with new shiny apartment and of course the shiny girlfriend!

Among all the Scoobies, Xander was an adult! In the literal sense of the word. He even comments on it twice in the episode: the adult who sees life through his job and turning into a person Buffy would want after a crazy attack to fix what’s broken – which is Xander’s calling on the show in the physical and emotional sense.

He even looks so damn proud and happy with himself it’s so refreshing after seasons of insecurities and self-loathing. Even Buffy looks impressed.

At that moment in the show, Xander’s character is done – something Joss had stated – he was fully baked and ready to be served. It’s understandable why Joss thought of making Xander Glory’s other half. At that point there were no stories left to tell about Xander – which IMO is completely unimaginative and wrong, but I understand when a writer gets tired with a character.

Anya was also in a very good place in her life. She was growing into her own, not just with the Magic Box, but also the stocks. She’s incredibly smart and the characters will realize that in The Gift, when Xander will state his attraction to smart chicks.

Speaking of Xander, his declaration of love made Anya more confident and trusting. During S4, she had to remind Xander’s female friends that Xander is hers and that they can’t have him. Right now, she’s suggesting her dances with Buffy and isn’t bothered with his flirty comments about April.

Outside of Xander, Anya seemed to have taken into interacting with other people and forming new relationships: Giles and Tara. Anya and Tara appear to be buddies outside the Scooby Gang – if I’m not mistaken, Tara is Anya’s bridesmaid, right?
 

Grace

Destructo-Girl
Joined
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Messages
1,787
Black Thorn
I don't like that. I think the viewer should start The Body knowing that Joyce is dead. It would be too jarring for Buffy to walk in and find Joyce's body without buildup or context.
Oh, it was never intended to be aired that way. That was just to keep it secret. I'm guessing that scene would only have been given to SMG, KS and the crew members who needed it directly, not copied and handed out to everyone who was involved with the episode, like a normal script would, because that would make it more likely to leak.

If Xander is lying in IWMTLY, then he is also lying to Anya in Triangle. Why would he lie to Anya?
There's nothing about his comments in Triangle that I would take as a contradiction.

ANYA: Well, maybe it won't happen to us because it's all about *her* messing things up. She couldn't make it work with Angel, and then she let Riley go away.
XANDER: Yeah, relationship debris is kind of piling up on the Buffy highway.
ANYA: Hmm. Humans make the same mistakes over and over. I saw it when I was a vengeance demon. Some guy dumps a girl, she calls me, I exact vengeance, blah blah blah, the next year, same girl, different guy. I mean, after you smite a few of 'em you start going "my goodness, young lady ... maybe you're doing something wrong here too."
XANDER: I don't think it's a pattern with her. No, it's just ... you know, now that it happened again ... man number two ... I wonder how she's dealing with it.

All he says is that it's not a pattern — that Buffy didn't make the same mistakes with Riley that she did with Angel. And that fits, because Xander does not think that Buffy drove Angel away by treating him like the rebound guy. He views Buffy's relationship with Angel as a bad thing that never should have happened and I'm sure he approved of Angel leaving.

Anyway, accusing Xander of lying is a bit strong when we are talking about what is really just beliefs and judgements. If Anya left Xander and Buffy told him that it wasn't his fault, would that constitute a lie, seeing that she tells him in "Into the Woods" that he treats her like an inconvenience?
I'm not accusing him of high treason, merely of saying something other than what he thinks to be nice. Everyone does it. I'm not saying Xander is a bad person. In fact, I think I'm accusing him of being kind? LOL.

He didn’t think Buffy was at fault and hoped she didn’t see it that way.
But can you explain how you think he got from "you treated him like the rebound guy and that's why your relationship is imploding" to "it wasn't your fault"?

Xander does a good job making Buffy feel better and directing the blame to the Hellmouth instead.
So do you think he's just trying to make her feel better? That he still believes she treated Riley badly? That's what I'm trying to get at and understand.
 
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Mrs Gordo

Bangel extremist...
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Jul 11, 2017
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Location
Texas
Black Thorn
He is simply trying to stop Buffy from letting this argument be the end of their relationship.
Except, that's really not how that scene in Into the Woods reads. First of all, its not an argument. Riley has cheated on Buffy/lied etc and has attempted to blame her and their relationship for his actions. So it's not an argument over where they are going to dinner, it's a full-on betrayal of their trust and a significant event in their relationship. But separate and apart from that, Xander is not simply trying to stop Buffy from letting this "one argument" be the end of their relationship, Xander is conveying to Buffy that her actions, as a whole, with Riley have lead to the culmination of this moment. He is backing up his bro Riley's position that the only reason Riley got to the point where he did what he did is because Buffy treated him like the State Farm guy. And Xander is asking Buffy to own up to that in order to save their relationship.

Xander's intentions may be good, his heart may be in a good place. But he is incredibly wrong, IMO.

If you don’t love him, let him leave. If you love him, stop him from leaving.
Again, I don't see it this way. Sure he ends his speech with "if you think you can love this guy... etc." But that is preceded with: "And you've been treating Riley like the rebound guy. When he's the one that comes along once in a lifetime. (Buffy looks dismayed) He's never held back with you. He's risked everything. And you're about to let him fly because you don't like ultimatums?" Essentially Xander is telling Buffy "how can you let this guy go!?" It places little emphasis on Buffy or her feelings for Riley.

Does Xander think Buffy loves Riley? Or does Xander think Buffy SHOULD love Riley? I think it's the latter. And I think Xander is just... out of line.
 
W

WillowFromBuffy

Guest
Oh, it was never intended to be aired that way. That was just to keep it secret. I'm guessing that scene would only have been given to SMG, KS and the crew members who needed it directly, not copied and handed out to everyone who was involved with the episode, like a normal script would, because that would make it more likely to leak.
I got that, but didn't you also say that the episode is now available to view online without the scene revealing Joyce's death?
There's nothing about his comments in Triangle that I would take as a contradiction.

ANYA: Well, maybe it won't happen to us because it's all about *her* messing things up. She couldn't make it work with Angel, and then she let Riley go away.
XANDER: Yeah, relationship debris is kind of piling up on the Buffy highway.
ANYA: Hmm. Humans make the same mistakes over and over. I saw it when I was a vengeance demon. Some guy dumps a girl, she calls me, I exact vengeance, blah blah blah, the next year, same girl, different guy. I mean, after you smite a few of 'em you start going "my goodness, young lady ... maybe you're doing something wrong here too."
XANDER: I don't think it's a pattern with her. No, it's just ... you know, now that it happened again ... man number two ... I wonder how she's dealing with it.

All he says is that it's not a pattern — that Buffy didn't make the same mistakes with Riley that she did with Angel. And that fits, because Xander does not think that Buffy drove Angel away by treating him like the rebound guy. He views Buffy's relationship with Angel as a bad thing that never should have happened and I'm sure he approved of Angel leaving.
Man, I knew I should have rewatched that scene. All I remember was that Xander contradicted Anya on something. I am sorry. I really need to be more diligent.

The idea that Buffy has left behind debris is truly absurd ... or that two long term boyfriends could possibly constitute a pattern of any kind. I guess it is just the melodramatic way Sunnydale residents talk about relationships.
I'm not accusing him of high treason, merely of saying something other than what he thinks to be nice. Everyone does it. I'm not saying Xander is a bad person. In fact, I think I'm accusing him of being kind? LOL.
No, your're right. It is just that, it is very hard to talk about truth when we talk about human relationships.
Except, that's really not how that scene in Into the Woods reads. First of all, its not an argument. Riley has cheated on Buffy/lied etc and has attempted to blame her and their relationship for his actions. So it's not an argument over where they are going to dinner, it's a full-on betrayal of their trust and a significant event in their relationship. But separate and apart from that, Xander is not simply trying to stop Buffy from letting this "one argument" be the end of their relationship, Xander is conveying to Buffy that her actions, as a whole, with Riley have lead to the culmination of this moment. He is backing up his bro Riley's position that the only reason Riley got to the point where he did what he did is because Buffy treated him like the State Farm guy. And Xander is asking Buffy to own up to that in order to save their relationship.

Xander's intentions may be good, his heart may be in a good place. But he is incredibly wrong, IMO.
Yes, well, you argue very well and I struggle to fault your position. I think the writer went a bit overboard with the drama. Having Riley go to the vampire prostitute ruined the possibility for nuisance. Still, there had to be some kind of flip in "Into the Woods," otherwise Riley's departure would be a complete non event. ItW the first time in a long while that the viewer is invited to consider Riley's perspective. If the show had been more sympathetic towards Riley earlier, it would have made more sense to condemn him in ItW after his visits to the vampire brothel.

But as a general rule, when prostitutes and vampires are not involved, I think a discourse of score-keeping is very unproductive in a relationship. I think that Xander is just trying to make Buffy consider Riley's side. He bows his head when Buffy tells him where Riley has been spending his nights, so I chose not to interpret his next words as a defence. I hope it is clear that I don't hold with Riley, but a story needs tension, and for there to be tension, we need to be able to consider the other side and not dismiss it outright.

It does suck that Riley sorta gets the last word, but it is good that he got a word.

I must stay, I am quite happy he is gone. I won't bring him up again, I think :p
 

Grace

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W
WillowFromBuffy
No, man, I see it was my mistake. I need to learn to slow down my reading as well as my typing.

DeadlyDuo

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I think the problem with Xander's speech isn't necessarily so much what he says but that it is based around a false view of Riley that was never acknowledged.

Riley was a terrible boyfriend to Buffy and quite controlling towards her. It makes sense that he would buddy up to her friends so they would talk about him highly, including how he's the type of guy that comes along "once in a lifetime". His obsession with being needed stems from the fact that he feels emasculated by Buffy's slayer side, if she needs him then she's not likely to get rid of him.

Because the show never acknowledges Riley's controlling behaviour, it leaves a bad taste in the mouth when the characters talk about how great he is because it means they genuinely believe that rather than having been led to believe that. Buffy not giving into Riley's ultimatum was a fantastic moment for her when she calls him on his crap, yet the show undermined that with Xander's speech about how she should want to be in a relationship with him, especially the bit about "just because you don't like ultimatums". I don't think anyone should be giving ultimatums in a relationship because it's all about control. Riley's ultimatum to Buffy was "Get over the fact I cheated on you now or I'm gone", if Buffy had given into that then it set a precedent that means Riley can control Buffy by constantly threatening to leave if he doesn't get his own way.

Whether Riley's control issues stem from Walsh's control over him during the initiative remains unclear, but what is clear is that he blames Buffy for his actions. He visits the vampire prostitutes to "even the score" from when Buffy "let" Dracula bite her, despite the fact that Buffy made it very clear at the time that Dracula biting her was against her will.
 

Grace

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The Body

I finally watched it! I've been putting it off for more than a week now. It's great, of course, but I don't have a lot to say.

I don’t really like the group scene at the beginning, not for the scene itself but I find it jarring with the rest of the episode. It takes me out of it.
I thought this scene was supposed to be really deep and then I learned that Joss wrote it specifically so the credits wouldn't play over the more emotional stuff. I mean, obviously, he had a reason for choosing that particular flashback, but it made me feel less like I needed to overanalyze it.

I like that the little bit of action is driven by Dawn not being able to believe Joyce is really dead. She wants to see it with her own eyes.
Me too. The first time I watched this episode, I didn't like the vamp appearing, but on this watch I really did. I could have lived without him being naked, though I understand that it's supposed to be uncomfortable.

Anya's speech used to be one of my favorite scenes of the episode and I find it doesn't work for me anymore. It feels kind of forced and overplayed. I feel bad for saying this and you will all probably throw rocks at me for this.
I won't throw rocks at you. I get it. I actually feel a little bit like that about all the Scoobies' reactions. I feel very aware that I'm watching a weighty television episode about death during most of that act, if that makes sense.

I really liked this comment about Anya from a poster named Groovypants on Mark Field's blog, though:

“The one thing that really hit me that I never noticed before is that the first thing Anya says to Buffy is "I *wish* that Joyce hadn't died." It's like, for a thousand years, wishes had made things happen for Anya and now that she doesn't have that anymore, she has no way to actually deal with anything serious, but she says the wish anyway because it’s the literally only thing she knows.”
 

sosa lola

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But can you explain how you think he got from "you treated him like the rebound guy and that's why your relationship is imploding" to "it wasn't your fault"?
I guess because I don't believe Xander blames Buffy. I think Xander was projecting his own feelings for Anya into the speech. He also believes Buffy was happy with Riley and is afraid that Buffy would regret letting Riley go the next day if she really wanted him to stay.

If Xander caught Riley that night, he would most likely chide him over his actions and demand he'd make things right with Buffy. Like when he told him off about his irresponsible actions fighting the vampire nest alone:

RILEY: (to Xander) She'll get herself killed. It's crazy.
XANDER: Yeah. Crazy. Going off alone, half-cocked, instead of waiting for much-needed backup ... charging in with a big old hand grenade ... oh, wait.
Riley looks a little guilty.
RILEY: This is different.
XANDER: Yeah, it is. Buffy needs something she can fight, something she can solve. I don't know what kind of action you're looking for ... (looks closer at Riley) Do you?



So do you think he's just trying to make her feel better? That he still believes she treated Riley badly? That's what I'm trying to get at and understand.
Xander blames the Hellmouth in that scene. I don't think he blames either Buffy nor Riley, but rather the circumstances.


Again, I don't see it this way. Sure he ends his speech with "if you think you can love this guy... etc." But that is preceded with: "And you've been treating Riley like the rebound guy. When he's the one that comes along once in a lifetime. (Buffy looks dismayed) He's never held back with you. He's risked everything. And you're about to let him fly because you don't like ultimatums?" Essentially Xander is telling Buffy "how can you let this guy go!?" It places little emphasis on Buffy or her feelings for Riley.
Because he was talking to Buffy then, but if he was talking to Riley, I'm very sure he'd say the same thing to him to get Buffy/Riley together. I think he feels that both contributed in the end of their relationship.
 
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