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Discussion of "Riley: Commitment Through Distance" - Released 8/18/10 (Dark Horse)

sosa lola

Scooby
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Nov 26, 2007
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Age
35
Aw, Joan, I actually loved Riley in this issue. :D

The last panel was awesome, Riley on the floor with Twilight's symbol on his chest choosing Buffy over the world.
 

Kean

Professional Bangel
Joined
Nov 13, 2007
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11,943
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31
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Sineya
I loved this issue. Sam and Riley are such a good couple, there interactions were so enjoyable, I especially enjoyed the parallels of the Sam/Riley relationship with that of Buffy and Angel. Even the Moline cover, with Sam and Riley leaping into the fray hand in hand, seems to be a nod to Buffy and Angel leaving Twilight together. *points to sig*

Reading the issue the Sam/Riley conversation appeared to hearken back to that of the Buffy/Angel conversation in #35. (Especially the panel where they go from being in an plane to it suddenly being just them in a white background. Their own world of husband and wife, Riley fixing Sam's collar in the midst of they trying to decide their destinies. So epic and domestic all at once. Much like Buffy and Angel.) To me it seems that Sam is playing the part of Angel-(driven to help Buffy by duty and trust in an empirical power. For Sam that power is the US government, for Angel the PTB's) while Riley plays the role of Buffy (Uninterested in duty for duty's sake anymore and instead motivated by their emotional, human connections. For the same reason Buffy chooses her friends, Riley chooses Buffy).

Commitment Through Distance, Virtue Through Sin.

I particularly enjoyed the Sam/Riley moments where Sam points out that she wouldn't require Riley's permission to make any epic-world-in-peril-life-choices, his approval would just make her feel better. Similarly Riley's line "It's okay. We're together, even when we're not" is perfectly representative of Buffy and Angel, IWRY jumped into my mind here, both Buffy's line of "Whether I see you or not, I feel you. Inside." and Angel's choice to ask the Oracles to turn him back. Being physically in the same place bears absolutely no reflection on Buffy and Angel being together, we always knew this, the last arc has made that abundantly clear ("There's always an us") but I really appreciated how Espenson reiterated that in this issue. Allie is right, she is HOTT!

What I loved more than anything in this issue was Angel. I needed to hear him say "I hate this". I needed to hear him say he wanted another path, another way. The fact that it was Whistler, his very first connection to the powers, that is setting him on this journey is the sense that I needed brought to this whole thing because I can believe Angel believing and trusting Whistler. He has no reason not to. (Although, I have this really horrible feeling that Whistler is gona be the "once ally" that turns enemy.)

From the church architecture it seems that Angel's conversation with Whistler takes place after his encounter with Buffy in A Beautiful Sunset. In that issue he tells Buffy that "I've seen that move slayer", given his distress when talking to Whistler and his pleading for he and Buffy to fight this thing together rather than against each other I have to wonder if he said that line on purpose, to try to let her know who he was. To stop the whole thing.

I loved that he was still Angel in this issue, that he was still the dork that was concerned with his hair being ruined by his stupid mask. He was still the Angel that believed in Buffy more than anything else in his life.

"She should be the most powerful player in the game, not a piece on the board. This is wrong."

This is the Angel I know.

I don't know how he got from here, hating the plan, to issue 34 where he was Mr. Plan Guy but I expect Joss to fill in those huge, gaping blanks.

With the news that Darkhorse has re-acquired the rights to Angel, the future of B/A seems more hopeful. I tend to hope think that perhaps this issue, where Riley and Sam navigate a life that is both normal and extraordinary at the same time, is an indication of what we can expect from Buffy and Angel as a couple in the future.

Seperated, but together. Always.

It would rather appropriate for Riley, Buffy's "normal" guy, to be the one to show Buffy how to lead a normal life and be a super-hero at the same time.
 

Spanky

I'm came here to chew bubblegum and go off topic.
Joined
Aug 12, 2008
Messages
19,682
Black Thorn
yada yada, blah blah
You really irk me sometimes with your long-winded posts. You could have just said something BRIEFLY on how you liked it and not give a whole dissertation making me want to buy the damn thing. I havent bought a comic since Dawn turned into a robot in Japan and it just.. lost it for me. But this has me interested. Darn you, Kean.
 

Spanky

I'm came here to chew bubblegum and go off topic.
Joined
Aug 12, 2008
Messages
19,682
Black Thorn
Kean said:
That is us playing nice lol
Speak for yourself, toots! I was mad.. I was really really mad.. see my mad face? I wear it for you!
 
Kean
Kean
*pats shoulder* There, there. There, there.

citiegal17

Potential
Joined
Mar 3, 2010
Messages
189
I loved this issue. Sam and Riley are such a good couple, there interactions were so enjoyable, I especially enjoyed the parallels of the Sam/Riley relationship with that of Buffy and Angel. Even the Moline cover, with Sam and Riley leaping into the fray hand in hand, seems to be a nod to Buffy and Angel leaving Twilight together. *points to sig*

Reading the issue the Sam/Riley conversation appeared to hearken back to that of the Buffy/Angel conversation in #35. (Especially the panel where they go from being in an plane to it suddenly being just them in a white background. Their own world of husband and wife, Riley fixing Sam's collar in the midst of they trying to decide their destinies. So epic and domestic all at once. Much like Buffy and Angel.) To me it seems that Sam is playing the part of Angel-(driven to help Buffy by duty and trust in an empirical power. For Sam that power is the US government, for Angel the PTB's) while Riley plays the role of Buffy (Uninterested in duty for duty's sake anymore and instead motivated by their emotional, human connections. For the same reason Buffy chooses her friends, Riley chooses Buffy).

Commitment Through Distance, Virtue Through Sin.

I particularly enjoyed the Sam/Riley moments where Sam points out that she wouldn't require Riley's permission to make any epic-world-in-peril-life-choices, his approval would just make her feel better. Similarly Riley's line "It's okay. We're together, even when we're not" is perfectly representative of Buffy and Angel, IWRY jumped into my mind here, both Buffy's line of "Whether I see you or not, I feel you. Inside." and Angel's choice to ask the Oracles to turn him back. Being physically in the same place bears absolutely no reflection on Buffy and Angel being together, we always knew this, the last arc has made that abundantly clear ("There's always an us") but I really appreciated how Espenson reiterated that in this issue. Allie is right, she is HOTT!

What I loved more than anything in this issue was Angel. I needed to hear him say "I hate this". I needed to hear him say he wanted another path, another way. The fact that it was Whistler, his very first connection to the powers, that is setting him on this journey is the sense that I needed brought to this whole thing because I can believe Angel believing and trusting Whistler. He has no reason not to. (Although, I have this really horrible feeling that Whistler is gona be the "once ally" that turns enemy.)

From the church architecture it seems that Angel's conversation with Whistler takes place after his encounter with Buffy in A Beautiful Sunset. In that issue he tells Buffy that "I've seen that move slayer", given his distress when talking to Whistler and his pleading for he and Buffy to fight this thing together rather than against each other I have to wonder if he said that line on purpose, to try to let her know who he was. To stop the whole thing.

I loved that he was still Angel in this issue, that he was still the dork that was concerned with his hair being ruined by his stupid mask. He was still the Angel that believed in Buffy more than anything else in his life.

"She should be the most powerful player in the game, not a piece on the board. This is wrong."

This is the Angel I know.

I don't know how he got from here, hating the plan, to issue 34 where he was Mr. Plan Guy but I expect Joss to fill in those huge, gaping blanks.

With the news that Darkhorse has re-acquired the rights to Angel, the future of B/A seems more hopeful. I tend to hope think that perhaps this issue, where Riley and Sam navigate a life that is both normal and extraordinary at the same time, is an indication of what we can expect from Buffy and Angel as a couple in the future.

Seperated, but together. Always.

It would rather appropriate for Riley, Buffy's "normal" guy, to be the one to show Buffy how to lead a normal life and be a super-hero at the same time.
I disagree, but your entiled to your own opinon on it. Buffy and Angel is pretty much not good, I just can't see anything more replusive than Buffy making out with a guy who not only hurt her and helped to murder the people she cared about, not to mention she betrayed everything she stood for when she decided to listen to Angel about what he did, he's excuses are weak, and lets not pretend he didn't personally benefit from the prophetcy, he didn't show too much consideration for life when he refused to let soliders who were being lied to about the slayers to retreat, he didn't care about who died so he could have superBuffy who never wanted the powers in the first place. I'm not getting what being happy has to do with doing whats right in this situation.Frankly as Buffy's feminist icon status is at risk with this, I don't see how Buffy can be a postive remodel for girls, if she just accepts that her ex went behind her back, hurt her and others she cared about, it just sends the wrong message, that a girl needs her man to tell her what she wants or what she should do. I can understand how maybe Angel was tricked into this bad plan and how he was generally suckered into it, but lets not pretend he shouldn't know better than to do evil as a way to good, a lesson he repeatly failed to learn in ATS. I'm saying this to bash Angel either, he's just not the same great heroic guy he was when he was first introduced in BVS, he's too compromising and too willingly to let innocent people suffer for grand schemes, like the Black Thorn or Twilight. Riley comes off much better in this issue, he won't harm or patronize Sam to get her to do what he wants, and he generally doesn't want to do anything evil, he's got real values and sticks to them, Angel just doesn't or at least he used to. I think Angel is just one of the tragic hero's who has fallen into evil, whether he had good intentions or not I think that the people who suffered because of what he caused to happen should matter espcially to Buffy.
 

Kean

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Sineya
I disagree, but your entiled to your own opinon on it. Buffy and Angel is pretty much not good, I just can't see anything more replusive than Buffy making out with a guy who not only hurt her and helped to murder the people she cared about, not to mention she betrayed everything she stood for when she decided to listen to Angel about what he did, he's excuses are weak, and lets not pretend he didn't personally benefit from the prophetcy, he didn't show too much consideration for life when he refused to let soliders who were being lied to about the slayers to retreat, he didn't care about who died so he could have superBuffy who never wanted the powers in the first place. I'm not getting what being happy has to do with doing whats right in this situation.Frankly as Buffy's feminist icon status is at risk with this, I don't see how Buffy can be a postive remodel for girls, if she just accepts that her ex went behind her back, hurt her and others she cared about, it just sends the wrong message, that a girl needs her man to tell her what she wants or what she should do. I can understand how maybe Angel was tricked into this bad plan and how he was generally suckered into it, but lets not pretend he shouldn't know better than to do evil as a way to good, a lesson he repeatly failed to learn in ATS. I'm saying this to bash Angel either, he's just not the same great heroic guy he was when he was first introduced in BVS, he's too compromising and too willingly to let innocent people suffer for grand schemes, like the Black Thorn or Twilight. Riley comes off much better in this issue, he won't harm or patronize Sam to get her to do what he wants, and he generally doesn't want to do anything evil, he's got real values and sticks to them, Angel just doesn't or at least he used to. I think Angel is just one of the tragic hero's who has fallen into evil, whether he had good intentions or not I think that the people who suffered because of what he caused to happen should matter espcially to Buffy.
Angel and Buffy are my favourite characters so I can basically love them through anything. Not exactly politically correct but that is the nature of fandom. If you are a fan of this show and these characters then any one of them are pretty much guaranteed to have done something that is utterly unforgivable to me but understandable to you.

I can totally understand how their actions are completely reprehensible to you but I can understand the decisions they made, no matter how ill advised.

I hope the rest of this season manages to redeem them in your eyes :)
 

GrrArghx

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This was a nice one-shot. Never thought I'd ever like Riley, but he and Sam are very cute together! She keeps him in check.

Also love that Whistler made an appearance - I've missed the guy!
 

white avenger

white avenger
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Riley and Sam were refreshingly domestic together after more than 3 years of practically unending warfare on the part of Buffy and her army, and I like the idea of Riley feeling that, while he knows that helping Buffy and her cause is the right thing to do, the decision will ultimately affect both of them, therefore she should have the chance to offer her input into the final decision, rather than just going ahead and taking the action that would be "In her (and everyone else's) best interest" without giving her any input.

Angel's interaction with Whistler just looks to me like the Powers manipulating Ol' Broodie one more time, and Angel jumping right on board. Buffy's only chance to win is if Angel organizes all of her enemies into one single, coordinated unit under his command, and he can save the day by just killing a few hundred Slayers and some miscellaneous cannon fodder. And on top of that, by "saving" Buffy, he's able to initiate the piecemeal destruction of the entire universe and every living thing in it in order for he and Buffy to become the new Adam and Eve in their own private universe. Is this the same Angel who refused to save Fred because "it would mean the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives, and she wouldn't want that," or did he get left back there in Hell-A while an evil doppelganger got sent back in his place?

Okay, now I'm through ranting.

It was a good issue, and I enjoyed it. The interaction between Riley and Sam were what every marriage/partnership should be but all too sadly quite often really aren't. I still have serious doubts about Angel's sanity in accepting Whistler's word that doing the wrong things for a seemingly right reason can be somehow justified, especially to the degree and scope involved here, and I look forward with great anticipation to seeing just how Joss will pull this batch of chestnuts out of the fire.

"Riley" certainly didn't answer all of the questions that have been raised about Season 8 in general and Twilight/Angel in particular. Joss certainly has his work cut out for him in the next few issues, and if he fails, he's going to lose more than a few fans and supporters.

I swear to you all, I am NOT saying this because of my loyalties to another ship, but all that I can see here is failure to justify Angel's willingly slaughtering thousands of people, plus being willing to sacrifice hundreds of billions more.
 

white avenger

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Am I reading it wrong, or is the OP implying that Sam dies?
That could definitely lead into the kind of plot twist that Joss loves. Sam dies, Buffy and Riley get back together and settle down in Iowa raising corn, leaving both Angel and Spike standing looking confused by the whole thing. Classic Whedon.
 

VisionGirl

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That could definitely lead into the kind of plot twist that Joss loves. Sam dies, Buffy and Riley get back together and settle down in Iowa raising corn, leaving both Angel and Spike standing looking confused by the whole thing. Classic Whedon.
LOL, that'd be awesome! But seriously, I thought maybe it was something I missed since I haven't read #36 yet.
 

Mrs Gordo

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Black Thorn
What I loved more than anything in this issue was Angel. I needed to hear him say "I hate this". I needed to hear him say he wanted another path, another way. The fact that it was Whistler, his very first connection to the powers, that is setting him on this journey is the sense that I needed brought to this whole thing because I can believe Angel believing and trusting Whistler. He has no reason not to. (Although, I have this really horrible feeling that Whistler is gona be the "once ally" that turns enemy.)
I came here to talk about this issue and basically found that Kean had said most of what I wanted to say. But I'll try to add a little more.

First, I had never read the Riley one shot the first s8 read I did. Because why would I want to read about Riley? Man oh man was I wrong. @Grace had told me she had enjoyed it so I had placed it on my list of things to go back and read and I'm so very glad that I did.

There is nothing that can undo the bitter pill that is the Twilight arc when it comes to Angel's character. The plot is incredibly convoluted and so many things don't add up with Angel's character BUT this comic is the closest thing I have seen to give me some sort of a vague idea as to how Angel got from point A to point Z. As Kean references to above, Whistler was the messenger for the powers that be who pick Angel off of the gutters and showed him that there was an other way, another path. In Angel's eyes, Whistler is the reason he met, fell in love with and learned so many of the lessons from Buffy - that set him on his mission - that lead to his meeting his friends etc. If not for Whistler Angel would be living in alleys eating rats not making a lick of difference. So, I can sympathize with Angel when Whistler comes and tells him this is the way it has to be to save the world. Ultimately we know from A&F s9 that Whistler had gone off the deep end but how could Angel have known that when in his life Whistler was an instrument of good, and worked for the powers.

On of my main problems with my first read of the Twilight arc was that Angel was choosing to forsake the world in order to go off and live in Eden with Buffy. But if you examine the dialogue of what Whistler is saying, Angel has to once again chose the world over Buffy. It's IWRY on steroids. Whistler tells Angel:

"Anyway, I've seen some of the futures. In some of them, right exactly at this point you tell her what's going on. You work as a team, fight side by side. You lose the war side by side very romantic."

And then "You have to decide where your loyalty lies, with the girl or with the world." And that's the thing. Angel will always chose the world. But Buffy is a part of that world so it's a moot point. And also - Buffy is the one who taught Angel the importance of fulfilling your duty over everything, even their love. She showed him that when she bravely sent him to hell in order to save the world.

So Angel here is at a crossroads, he can come clean to Buffy about the plan and he can lose. He trusts that Whistler knows the future (why not Lorne also saw futures and was influenced by the powers - this is not a novel thing for Angel).

Ultimately, I think this all hinges upon whether you think Angel should have relied on the Powers that Be. Angel does feel that they are generally the good guys at this point. I know that is tough to believe after AtF but they did give him the right information regarding the Black Thorn. The powers through Cordy's visions guided his early ats seasons mission. I think he still believes they are not only "the good guys" but also that they are right. And that is why he would agree to follow this plan because not following it would potentially put the fate of the world at risk.

Now how we get from here to the actual Twilight universe - is a little shakey. But a&f s9 seems to address this by saying that Angel planned to bring everyone to the new world. Which actually makes sense within the context of his discussions with Whistler. In other words, the conversations with Whistler here do not indicate to me that Angel's thinking was consistent with Twilight/the universe(?)'s wishes to start new. Instead, he was lead to believe it was a cost benefit analysis to save the most number of people that he could. Yes - it's still in contradiction with the lesson he should have learned after AtF but again - at least it's still about helping people not about being with Buffy.

I especially enjoyed the parallels of the Sam/Riley relationship with that of Buffy and Angel. Even the Moline cover, with Sam and Riley leaping into the fray hand in hand, seems to be a nod to Buffy and Angel leaving Twilight together. *points to sig*
"It's okay. We're together, even when we're not" is perfectly representative of Buffy and Angel, IWRY jumped into my mind here, both Buffy's line of "Whether I see you or not, I feel you. Inside." and Angel's choice to ask the Oracles to turn him back. Being physically in the same place bears absolutely no reflection on Buffy and Angel being together, we always knew this, the last arc has made that abundantly clear ("There's always an us") but I really appreciated how Espenson reiterated that in this issue. Allie is right, she is HOTT!
Now to focus less on the messy messy twilight plot and more on the b/a parallels and metaphors:

Sam and Riley are a great parallel to Buffy and Angel. First, I have always said that what Angel and Riley had in common (initially) is they were both mission driven and had a sense of purpose. I think Buffy respected that about both of them. Riley lost his purpose in s5 and that was his downfall. But when Angel in this issue says that Riley is "Very humans first." and then "I don't get what she saw in him" this is obviously ironic because Angel is always on a quest to save humanity - whether it's human souls or the world.

When Riley and Sam are having the conversation in the cave, its interesting that they are in pitch black and all we see is the dialogue. Riley says "I don't like this. It makes me feel like too free. Like you and me, like we're not tied together." And Sam responds "We're not, were together because we want to be. There are no ties."

This makes me think of two things. First, when Whistler says in this same issue that Angel and Buffy falling in love was a long shot. In other words, this wasn't a giant plot devised by the powers that be, it was a surprise and one that the universe ultimately takes advantage of. But it also reminds me of Buffy and Angel leaving twilight. There they could have been together and happy but the world needs them. So they leave. Buffy tells Angel "You gave me perfection and you gave it up. Jesus, Angel that's not just the love of my life. That's the guy I would live it with." And they go their separate ways. Of course - then Twilight full on possesses Angel and he ends up killing Giles. But it made me think of something Scott Allie said in the Q/A.

Everyone was up in arms about s8, spuffies were mad that Spike was ignored, bangels were mad about the relationship being mocked and Angel fans upset about Angel's characterization (for good reason). They asked him where the b/a relationship was going and if it was being mocked and he basically said "it's evolving."

Buffy and Angel both make decisions in this arc. Angel's decision is the subject of much debate, obviously for good reasons, but both of them ONCE AGAIN choose their duty over each other. Angel does it when he puts on the Twilight mask (when Whistler tells him that is the only way to save the world). Buffy does it when she tells him they should ditch the universe and go and save the world. They are not together. And of course they currently aren't together but....

"It's okay. We're together, even when we're not"

Even if that means there is no way back to them being a couple, or a romance, or a HEA. What will unite them always is that they are out there fighting the good fight. And in doing so, they are together.
 
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