I dunno, I just don't think Joss would've gas lighted his own audience if Riley was intentionally meant to be bad.Didn't Joss once say he didn't know how to write Angel because he was such a hero type and Joss didn't identify with such characters? Well to me Riley is cut from the same cloth, so I will never believe Joss loved that character. Virtually every word out of Riley's mouth says different, every action is a negative one. These writers wrote some of the most interesting and empathetic characters, and yet they offer us Riley Finn as Buffy's love interest? They make big bads and one hit motw compelling and then drop the ball so badly with Riley.
No he said he found Angel hard to write as the Angel character was the one who beat him up in high school