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Riley in As You Were

shpadoinkle

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Howdy everyone! I just finished watching As You Were and realized that Riley is actually a really great character. Not that I disliked him before, but he's just much more likeable and a stronger character in this episode. I do realize that is by design for the episode, for him to return to Sunnydale a stronger and more happier person. I guess I never really paid too much attention to this episode before, but I really like the person he became and his relationship with his wife. I kind of wish they played more of a part in the remainder of the series. I sort of see it as Riley as he should have been. Anyone feel the same?
 
fauxindigo
fauxindigo
I always loved Riley.
sosa lola
sosa lola
I love Riley
W

WillowFromBuffy

Guest
I am undecided between these two interpretations:

1) Riley is exactly where he is should be and is finally able to be the best version of himself that he can be. The time he spent apart from The Initiative was important for his moral development, but it was right for him to go back.

... or ...

2) Riley should have stayed with Buffy and continued to grow as a person. Going back to The Initiative was an act of regression, after he had gained his independence from them, comparable to Buffy submitting to the authority of The Watcher's Council.
 

brinkster130

Riley's BFF
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Sineya
I agree, although I don't know that I would have wanted to see more of his story. There just didn't seem like much for him in Sunnydale; him leaving and figuring out his own life was good closure for his character. He did appear a little bit in the comics and we learned that him and Buffy are still friends which I thought was really cool and sweet. I suppose having him pop up every now and then is fine, but I don't like the idea of him running to Sunnydale or Buffy anytime something big happens....Buffy already has two people who do it and we didn't need a third (Plus his wife deserves better than that).
 

thrasherpix

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I agree, though I know what irks me (and probably many others) is this was just written in another way to make Buffy suffer, as all else in this season was.

Buffy sees how happy he is, and seems to even be teased by a possible getting back together, and then that's yanked out from under her feet by a woman too good to be true who now has what she "threw away." (That season 5 ep is something else.) Then she's humiliated when she's caught with Spike, and shown to be an idiot as Spike turns out to be the Doctor (which is something else that doesn't ring true to many viewers).

It's also worth noting that Joss LOVES writing stories of women who rejected a man crying when that man winds up with some other woman (and feels spiteful on his part, IMO), and this feels like it's entering that territory.

But hey, realism. :p
 

sosa lola

Scooby
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Riley was a gentleman in this episode, never judged Buffy's choices, asked her if he should kill Spike or not because he was ordered to kill the Doctor and he didn't kill him for Buffy, told her she was amazing and that things would get better, he apologized for not giving her all the details of the mission when she killed the demon, he promised to fill her in on everything and he did, he was nice to her friends and happy to see them, he was aware of Dawn's anger at him and this time made sure to give her a proper goodbye.
 

Mr Trick

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I agree, though I know what irks me (and probably many others) is this was just written in another way to make Buffy suffer, as all else in this season was.

Buffy sees how happy he is, and seems to even be teased by a possible getting back together, and then that's yanked out from under her feet by a woman too good to be true who now has what she "threw away." (That season 5 ep is something else.) Then she's humiliated when she's caught with Spike, and shown to be an idiot as Spike turns out to be the Doctor (which is something else that doesn't ring true to many viewers).

It's also worth noting that Joss LOVES writing stories of women who rejected a man crying when that man winds up with some other woman (and feels spiteful on his part, IMO), and this feels like it's entering that territory.

But hey, realism. :p
I think one of the reasons for the episode is to contrast Riley's life as someone whose settled into married life (although still pretty career focused), as opposed to the more inconsistent and yet passionate relationship Buffy and Spike have. I would have to re-watch the episode, but I don't actually think the writers are making a judgement about one being more right than the other. In a way, there's a suggestion that both Buffy and Riley have found someone who fits their lifestyle/personalities. I suppose Sam in a way comes off kinda boring, but maybe that's the point that Riley needs someone boring but stable.

Its a decent episode overall. Someone refresh my memory does Riley ever apologise for how he acted towards Buffy before leaving? Don't think he does? If not that's a black mark against it for me. Even if in some way he still believes he was at least partly in the right, I think it would have been a nice gesture.
 

spikenbuffy

"The big bad is back, and you will aaaggggg"
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Yes, he was really sweet and amazing towards Buffy in AYW, I would have loved to see him stay in Sunnydale for sometime or maybe reconcile with Buffy and of course if he would have reconcile with Buffy, he should have not married Sam. Riley didn't judged Buffy and gave her an amazing speech which helped her to get out of her unhealthy relationship with Spike which made her to hate herself. Riley's speech helped her.

I also loved how he loved her new hair cut lol, he also had a sweet moment in hugging Dawn.
 

white avenger

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Concerning Riley in "As You Were," here is a great article, kinda long, if anyone would care to read it, explaining why things weren't quite what they seemed in Sunnydale when Captain Cardboard came back...


(I've always loved conspiracy theories.)
 
thrasherpix
thrasherpix
worth reading!
thetopher
thetopher
Twaddle :P

Btvs fan

Scooby
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Concerning Riley in "As You Were," here is a great article, kinda long, if anyone would care to read it, explaining why things weren't quite what they seemed in Sunnydale when Captain Cardboard came back...


(I've always loved conspiracy theories.)
I hate As You Were. It's a terrible episode both to Buffy the character and the Audiences intelligence.

But it's no surprise though. Petrie loves the Riley character. If you ever listen to the Directors commentaries by Petrie, every second sentence is how cool Riley is. Fool For Love was more a happy accident regards Spike and his character, Petries focus was on Riley in the commentary.

Just read the schooting script, there is literally notes saying that Riley is giving "manly handshakes" or how awesome he looks when he shows up 😕
 
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thetopher

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Sineya
The key tot he episode is that Riley has every opportunity to judge Buffy harshly, but never does and doesn't because he's been there himself. Exactly there, getting his suck-on in a flop house with a vamp-tramp when Buffy walked in on him.

So when he sees Buffy with Spike why should he at all be gratified or judgmental? He's entirely sympathetic (to her, I love how dismissively he treats Spike) and tells her that he sees past her current circumstance to the women she will always be to him.
Maybe he's hoping that at the end of the day she thinks the same of him?
And its worth noting that she does, she comes to heavily rely on Riley several times in the future (mainly comics that is).

Also this is the first- of three times- where Spike gets to rub his relationship with Buffy in the face of one of her exes- and its unpleasant all three times. What a charmer.
 
Bluebird
Bluebird
I cheer when I see Riley push Spike aside like that, especially after all his smugness. That's some good Riley!

DayDreamer27

Potential
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The key tot he episode is that Riley has every opportunity to judge Buffy harshly, but never does and doesn't because he's been there himself. Exactly there, getting his suck-on in a flop house with a vamp-tramp when Buffy walked in on him.

So when he sees Buffy with Spike why should he at all be gratified or judgmental? He's entirely sympathetic (to her, I love how dismissively he treats Spike) and tells her that he sees past her current circumstance to the women she will always be to him.
Maybe he's hoping that at the end of the day she thinks the same of him?
And its worth noting that she does, she comes to heavily rely on Riley several times in the future (mainly comics that is).

Also this is the first- of three times- where Spike gets to rub his relationship with Buffy in the face of one of her exes- and its unpleasant all three times. What a charmer.
Agreed on everything, especially Spike. He seemed to see Buffy as the ultimate conquest & prize. He's killed 2 slayers, then got to screw one. He even says the only thing better than killing them is screwing them, like he fantasized. Nevermind Buffy was not proud of her relationship with him, and didn't want anyone to know. But who cares long as he's got bragging rights to Riley, Angel, and Xander. And recall his blabbing to Xander was after Buffy saved his life & tried to be respectful to him in their split.

I will forever love how Riley treated Buffy. He didn't tear her down, like Xander's initial response. He built her up by reminding her of her good traits. The woman he loved. Which was needed after doubting herself that season for being "wrong" anf Spike enforcing her worries by telling hrr constantly how dark & wrong she was.
 

thetopher

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Sineya
Agreed on everything, especially Spike. He seemed to see Buffy as the ultimate conquest & prize.
"She's not your bint anymore, mate." ...urgh.
But, y'know, perfectly in character. See how he treats Harmony, disposable pleasure. And he moves on from that to claim a 'prize'. It's like he regressed from his time with Drusilla where, you could argue, he respected as well as loved her.
 

white avenger

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Here's a little something that just occurred to me that would work with the 'CAPTAIN Cardboard" article that I posted earlier, and would also answer a long standing question from way back in Season 1, concerning one of Xander's early "encounters" with demons:

The so called "Suvolte eggs" obviously didn't come from an animal that big who had just arrived in Sunnydale, because, obviously, they almost equal its own body mass. They could, however, be the mantis eggs from Season one, matured over the years, which would make the hatchlings the larval stage of the mantis, and explain why why they look more like insects than a bipedal demon. The Initiative would probably have found them at some point and, being familiar with the Mantis creature and the gestation period of its eggs, and Riley simply used them to set Spike up, which would explain how he "just happened" to show up at the precise moment that they were about to hatch.
 

Btvs fan

Scooby
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Here's a little something that just occurred to me that would work with the 'CAPTAIN Cardboard" article that I posted earlier, and would also answer a long standing question from way back in Season 1, concerning one of Xander's early "encounters" with demons:

The so called "Suvolte eggs" obviously didn't come from an animal that big who had just arrived in Sunnydale, because, obviously, they almost equal its own body mass. They could, however, be the mantis eggs from Season one, matured over the years, which would make the hatchlings the larval stage of the mantis, and explain why why they look more like insects than a bipedal demon. The Initiative would probably have found them at some point and, being familiar with the Mantis creature and the gestation period of its eggs, and Riley simply used them to set Spike up, which would explain how he "just happened" to show up at the precise moment that they were about to hatch.
It was basically a character assassination to say to the audience, "you shouldn't be rooting for Spike" that and for the writer to let out his frustrations over fans not getting Riley like he did.

The worst thing is the gas lighting of the Buffy character. They deliberately ignore the reason why Riley left, hence, the Vamp whores being omitted in the flashbacks and also having Buffy apologise to Riley at the end urghh :rolleyes:

I'll never understand what they loved about the Riley character so much ?
 

Dora

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Poor old Riley , his character was the first to suffer so we could have Spuffy. The article is good opening the possibility that Riley heard the whole conversation between Spike and Buffy and watched as Spike manipulated sex with Buffy up against the tree,
Riley was so good about not judging Buffy , much as Taya didn't , the whole storming the crypt thing was sort of payback for Spike taking Buffy to the Vampire sucking whore house
His speech to Buffy started to help her with her depression, to start her to see that what she was doing with Spike was so wrong, showing that it was not helping her in fact it was stopping her getting better , as Buffy says she had to be strong
My real grief with Riley is that for a second time he let Spike live even with orders to eradicate the doctor....maybe seeing that Spikes help for Buffy was better than no help? as by this time the scoobies were in meltdown ....remember he got Spikes chip out for Buffy
Why did Buffy get in touch with Riley to get out Spikes chip but not tell him about the thousands of Turkey hams and her great plan of taking a bunch of girls to kill them? I think like Sarah a lot like myself did not really care by then, we were not watching Buffy the vampire slayer any more
 
K
katmobile
Whatever Dora
thetopher
thetopher
Valid points.

Btvs fan

Scooby
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Poor old Riley , his character was the first to suffer so we could have Spuffy. The article is good opening the possibility that Riley heard the whole conversation between Spike and Buffy and watched as Spike manipulated sex with Buffy up against the tree,
Riley was so good about not judging Buffy , much as Taya didn't , the whole storming the crypt thing was sort of payback for Spike taking Buffy to the Vampire sucking whore house
His speech to Buffy started to help her with her depression, to start her to see that what she was doing with Spike was so wrong, showing that it was not helping her in fact it was stopping her getting better , as Buffy says she had to be strong
My real grief with Riley is that for a second time he let Spike live even with orders to eradicate the doctor....maybe seeing that Spikes help for Buffy was better than no help? as by this time the scoobies were in meltdown ....remember he got Spikes chip out for Buffy
Why did Buffy get in touch with Riley to get out Spikes chip but not tell him about the thousands of Turkey hams and her great plan of taking a bunch of girls to kill them? I think like Sarah a lot like myself did not really care by then, we were not watching Buffy the vampire slayer any more
For someone who hates Spike you sure do write about him a lot 🤓

Riley didn't leave because of Spuffy (not completely) or because of the Bangel shippers who hated him too. He left because the Network told Joss too because he was dragging down ratings. The writers loved him, they wouldn't have got rid of him if not for that.
It was unfortunate for him that while Buffy had no chemistry with him, she had it with Spike and the comparison in dream sequences and Something Blue etc showed it.

Urghh Riley was gas lighting Buffy, in a big way, so much so she apologises to him and you think that's good ?

And didn't Sarah originally go to Joss in S4/5 about getting Buffy with Spike, his response being no more Vampires. I think the objection was more the way that it was done rather than the relationship itself.
 
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GraceK

Grr Arrg
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And didn't Sarah originally go to Joss in S4/5 about getting Buffy with Spike, his response being no more Vampires.
That never happened.

Say what you want about the lack of chemistry between Blucas and Sarah, and the legimate problems within the Riley and Buffy relationship, but let’s stick to facts and the truth. Riley didn’t gaslight Buffy. He was upfront about his feelings and gave an ultimatum and then he left. He didn’t try to convince her she was insane or try to drive her crazy. He has a right to his own feelings and to express them whether you agree with him or not.

The fact that the ex boyfriend who disappears after a dickhead move, moves on , gets married, returns a more mature and happier person who literally does nothing but offer some non judgemental friendship and positive affirmations to the heroine who is literally in a depressive state throughout most of the season is being accused of gaslighting, conspiracy, and nefarious scheming is UNBELIEVABLE to me. What makes this even more hilarious is that Riley is being vilified and accused of all of these things purely because Buffy hurts Spikes feelings and stops sleeping with him as a result. Because clearly, driving a wedge between Spike and Buffy is the most important thing in Riley’s life. Buffy’s mental health doesn’t matter, the fact that she’s depressed, using him, feels like crap and is basically using Spikes body the way alcoholics use whisky doesn’t matter, it only matters that poor little Spike ends up looking bad in this episode because SO FAR he’s been looking fantastic this season??😂😂😂😂 of course Riley cooked up a scheme to blame Spike for those eggs!!!!! Spike is just a wacky little mischief maker who is as innocent as a lamb!!! He doesn’t even know what crime means.And Spuffy is amazing this season and pure cookies and cream!!!
 
Bluebird
Bluebird
Your sarcasm cracks me up lol poor wee Spikey poo

Btvs fan

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That never happened.

Say what you want about the lack of chemistry between Blucas and Sarah, and the legimate problems within the Riley and Buffy relationship, but let’s stick to facts and the truth. Riley didn’t gaslight Buffy. He was upfront about his feelings and gave an ultimatum and then he left. He didn’t try to convince her she was insane or try to drive her crazy. He has a right to his own feelings and to express them whether you agree with him or not.

The fact that the ex boyfriend who disappears after a dickhead move, moves on , gets married, returns a more mature and happier person who literally does nothing but offer some non judgemental friendship and positive affirmations to the heroine who is literally in a depressive state throughout most of the season is being accused of gaslighting, conspiracy, and nefarious scheming is UNBELIEVABLE to me. What makes this even more hilarious is that Riley is being vilified and accused of all of these things purely because Buffy hurts Spikes feelings and stops sleeping with him as a result. Because clearly, driving a wedge between Spike and Buffy is the most important thing in Riley’s life. Buffy’s mental health doesn’t matter, the fact that she’s depressed, using him, feels like crap and is basically using Spikes body the way alcoholics use whisky doesn’t matter, it only matters that poor little Spike ends up looking bad in this episode because SO FAR he’s been looking fantastic this season??😂😂😂😂 of course Riley cooked up a scheme to blame Spike for those eggs!!!!! Spike is just a wacky little mischief maker who is as innocent as a lamb!!! He doesn’t even know what crime means.And Spuffy is amazing this season and pure cookies and cream!!!
How do you know it didn't happen, I remember it being talked about on the boards at the time.
Or is it simply because it goes against your views of Spike/Spuffy that you don't want it to be true ?

You don't think it ridiculous that apparently Riley met and got married to Mary sorry I mean Sam all in 8 months 🤷‍♂️
 

GraceK

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How do you know it didn't happen, I remember it being talked about on the boards at the time.
Or is it simply because it goes against your views of Spike/Spuffy that you don't want it to be true ?

You don't think it ridiculous that apparently Riley met and got married to Mary sorry I mean Sam all in 8 months 🤷‍♂️
Do you know my views on Spike and Buffy? Please enlighten me if you do. I don’t think I’ve had a conversation with you at all since you’ve been here.

Secondly, yeah I know it didn’t happen because Sarah has said many times that she never agreed with the idea of her character getting together with Spike. She loves JM as person, but she thought it went against who Buffy was fundamentally as a character. Check out interviews , use google. It’s not a secret. James Marsters himself also said he never thought it was realistic, and now as a father himself he would rather his daughter go out with Riley. He spoke about it recently on a Podcast called Slayerfest 98 for the episode Fool For Love. Sarah is HUGE Bangel shipper actually.

As for Riley and Sam, I find it much more realistic he met someone else who appreciates him and allows him to love her and who he can love back without a ton of baggage involved , then the idea of him orchestrating a false marriage , military black op style operation a year and a half later just to stick it a undead vampire for...reasons? That’s retarded. It’s ten times easier to just kill Spike. That kind of conspiracy is QAnon level of ridiculous. He even decides the next season to provide help and get Spikes chip out.

Why this need to Vilify Riley anyway? Spuffy wins. Riley is married, in a different country. Spuffy spends seasons together, happy . If anything, Riley and Buffy is a great example of healthy , failed relationship in the buffyverse that benefited both partners.
 

thetopher

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Sineya
The Initiative would probably have found them at some point and, being familiar with the Mantis creature and the gestation period of its eggs, and Riley simply used them to set Spike up, which would explain how he "just happened" to show up at the precise moment that they were about to hatch.
But...how did the Initiative sneak a dozen unstable demon eggs (demon, not Mantis, they hatch so we see what's inside) into the area right beneath Spike's crypt without him noticing?
This is the problem with conspiracy theories, they take some minor plot inconsistencies and weave an alternate version of events that have thundering black holes of contrivance in them. Highly amusing.


I can just imagine Riley asking for a special deployment and resources just so he can set Spike up so Buffy will have to break up with him (he also arranges this somehow, don't ask how he just does) and Riley can look smug and Spike will be really sad. What a terribly cunning, evil plot done by a horrid soldier on this poor, sweetie-pie vampire.:rolleyes:
 
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