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Discussion of 5.08 "Shadow" - Aired 11/21/00 (WB-US)

Mr Trick

Scooby
Joined
Jan 9, 2015
Messages
15,718
Age
41
Location
London, UK
Urghh I just hated the sweater sniffing. After the incredible FFL, Fury put that in deliberately just to say, see Spike's disgusting and so is Spuffy and Spuffy fans 😠

The sweater sniffing is both funny (because of Spike having egg on his face having been caught:p) but also twisted and creeper. But then Spike is meant to be a murky character. So it works for me.
 

Oromous

Socially Awkward
Joined
Aug 16, 2020
Messages
650
Age
31
Location
Singapore
Sineya
It was inevitable that Riley would be left behind, especially evident when he was missing from the scene where Buffy said, "We're family." Initially, I felt that his insecurities were unjustified, but looking at that scene again from "Family", it makes sense. Buffy was subconsciously leaving Riley behind, even if she doesn't know it. But much as I feel for Riley, I feel like his inadequacies are dragged on way, way too long. If this was a normal love story, Riley would be the "nice guy whom the main character just isn't that into" and left behind in a five minute scene, not dragged out over five or six episodes having him moping about how the girl doesn't love him. It might be cruel to say this, but the guy needs to get over it and leave the series already. At this point, his melodrama just feels so tacked on and very soapy. This whole Riley angst plays like an obligatory departure of the character to make way for Spuffy.

Feelings of insignificance in a group should have resonated deeply with me as can be seen from my reaction towards "The Replacement", but Riley feeling out of place just never really grabbed me the way Xander's inadequacies did. Over the past few episodes, I'm starting to understand why he feels that way, and I certainly could sympathize with him, but his entire arc just feels so unnecessary this season other than write him out as Buffy's boyfriend. We were never really given a compelling reason why the Briley relationship is suffering, why Buffy would (inadvertently) make Riley feel inadequate unlike Angel or the Scoobies; it feels out of the blue. The only reason this relationship wouldn't work is a more meta reason: because the way Buffy and Riley hooked up was so poorly written in season 4 that there was never chemistry in the first place, with Riley practically bludgeoning his way into Buffy's heart with his passive-aggressive shaming of Buffy. So did Buffy finally realize that fact? That they don't have that spark or connection the way she does with the Scoobies and Angel? Why not ditch him earlier? Why now?

And god, Riley isn't doing himself any favors by feeling sorry for himself when Buffy's the one suffering right now with her mum's illness. Way to give her more reason to dump your butt. Almost every word that came out of Riley's mouth in this episode feels like self-pity, as if he's saying "I'm trying to make myself useful to you so you will love me more" instead of genuine compassion or sympathy for Buffy and her mum.

Also, another snake monster? Come on!
 

Faded90

Scooby
Joined
Apr 2, 2020
Messages
894
Age
63
It was inevitable that Riley would be left behind, especially evident when he was missing from the scene where Buffy said, "We're family." Initially, I felt that his insecurities were unjustified, but looking at that scene again from "Family", it makes sense. Buffy was subconsciously leaving Riley behind, even if she doesn't know it. But much as I feel for Riley, I feel like his inadequacies are dragged on way, way too long. If this was a normal love story, Riley would be the "nice guy whom the main character just isn't that into" and left behind in a five minute scene, not dragged out over five or six episodes having him moping about how the girl doesn't love him. It might be cruel to say this, but the guy needs to get over it and leave the series already. At this point, his melodrama just feels so tacked on and very soapy. This whole Riley angst plays like an obligatory departure of the character to make way for Spuffy.

Feelings of insignificance in a group should have resonated deeply with me as can be seen from my reaction towards "The Replacement", but Riley feeling out of place just never really grabbed me the way Xander's inadequacies did. Over the past few episodes, I'm starting to understand why he feels that way, and I certainly could sympathize with him, but his entire arc just feels so unnecessary this season other than write him out as Buffy's boyfriend. We were never really given a compelling reason why the Briley relationship is suffering, why Buffy would (inadvertently) make Riley feel inadequate unlike Angel or the Scoobies; it feels out of the blue. The only reason this relationship wouldn't work is a more meta reason: because the way Buffy and Riley hooked up was so poorly written in season 4 that there was never chemistry in the first place, with Riley practically bludgeoning his way into Buffy's heart with his passive-aggressive shaming of Buffy. So did Buffy finally realize that fact? That they don't have that spark or connection the way she does with the Scoobies and Angel? Why not ditch him earlier? Why now?

And god, Riley isn't doing himself any favors by feeling sorry for himself when Buffy's the one suffering right now with her mum's illness. Way to give her more reason to dump your butt. Almost every word that came out of Riley's mouth in this episode feels like self-pity, as if he's saying "I'm trying to make myself useful to you so you will love me more" instead of genuine compassion or sympathy for Buffy and her mum.

Also, another snake monster? Come on!
Riley wanting to comfort Buffy isn’t even about him simply wanting to support her it’s all about him wanting to feel like the big strong man in the relationship. I hate the scene where he walks into the Magic Box in this episode and before they’ve even said where Buffy is he’s annoyed simply because she isn’t there. She’s just found out her Mother has a poor prognosis and he’s making her pain all about him and their relationship
 
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