• Thank you for visiting Buffy-Boards. You obviously have exceptional taste. We just want you to know that:
    1. You really should register so you can chat with us!
    2. Twelve thousand people can't be wrong.
    3. Buffy-Boards loves you.
    4. See 1 through 3.
    Come on, register already!

Why The Plastic Stake?

white avenger

white avenger
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
15,549
Age
72
Location
rome, georgia
In Season 4, after Spike rats on Riley about his weakness for vampire prostitutes, there's the Riley/Buffy confrontation, followed by Riley leaving town. Before he leaves, however, he busts into Spike's crypt, gives him the "If you ever so much as think of hurting Buffy..." speech, then stakes Spike with a PLASTIC stake.

Why didn't he just go ahead and use a real stake and get the job done properly right than? This is the same Spike who he's been pushing around since the "Hostile 17" days, he's not under Buffy's protection, he's not all that much help to the Scoobies at that point, and there certainly isn't any love lost between them, so why did Riley leave town without reducing Spike to dust?
 
thetopher
thetopher
It's Season 5 I think.

Athena

Has anyone seen my human vessel?
Staff member
Joined
Feb 2, 2016
Messages
6,341
Location
UK
Black Thorn
Maybe he felt it wasn't his duty? I dunno, maybe he thought it was something Buffy had a responsibility to do?

At that point, Spike was getting into Riley's mind about Buffy preferring Spike over him.... maybe he thought that by dusting Spike, it'd just anger/upset/annoy Buffy and he didn't want that.
 

gite63

Gone
Joined
Feb 21, 2015
Messages
1,888
Location
Brazil
Sineya
I presume that a plastic stake is a toy, and I wonder why Riley would have a toy with him...

The reasons Riley would not kill Spike I understand; what we should be asking is why exactly he went to Spike's crypt, played this little prank, and stayed there, having a civilised conversation with a vampire over their heartaches, even sharing a bottle of alcohol. I think Riley should have been much more mad at Spike, and leave after the warning.
 

Joan the Vampire Slayer

Carpe Spuffy!
Joined
Jun 5, 2008
Messages
5,568
Age
34
Location
WA State
I think Riley's intention was just to scare and intimidate Spike, not kill him.

As for where he got the plastic stake, who knows. Maybe he picked it up at the local dollar store?
 
cryptwarmer
cryptwarmer
The plastic wooden stake is so ridiculously campy things in BTVS. Did he buy it on ebay, a prop for people who cosplay Buffy.

white avenger

white avenger
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
15,549
Age
72
Location
rome, georgia
I presume that a plastic stake is a toy, and I wonder why Riley would have a toy with him...

The reasons Riley would not kill Spike I understand; what we should be asking is why exactly he went to Spike's crypt, played this little prank, and stayed there, having a civilized conversation with a vampire over their heartaches, even sharing a bottle of alcohol. I think Riley should have been much more mad at Spike, and leave after the warning.
Under other circumstances, like, Buffy training with Angel or Spike, I would say that the plastic stake was some sort of training weapon, something that Buffy could use without hurting her vampire sparring partner. As for why Riley would have something like that, maybe it was really a plastic tent peg, though I've never seen any of those that weren't either yellow of orange.

As for sharing the drink, I've never seen a soldier turn down free booze.

thetopher: It's Season 5 I think.

Yeah, you're right. It was Season 5. I just hit the wrong button and didn't catch the mistake.
 

GoSpuffy

Vampire Lover, I mean Slayer
Joined
Nov 2, 2015
Messages
2,490
Location
Vancouver, BC
Black Thorn
I think Riley recognized that Spike was under Buffy's protection and was therefore untouchable by this point. Also, it's not like he was there out for "business" reasons, he hadn't caught Spike being evil, he was there for "person" reasons, mainly jealousy. If he had killed Spike it would have been for the wrong reasons.
 

cryptwarmer

I'm in charge of morale!
Joined
Nov 19, 2008
Messages
1,419
Location
Sunny South Carolina USA
Black Thorn
He knew he'd have no chance at all left with Buffy if he killed Spike. Riley wasn't sure why, but he knew that Buffy not only didn't stake Spike herself but actively kept him around. Best not kill superwoman's pet.

He wanted to make Spike squirm, and let Spike know he COULD have killed him had he really wanted to. Some chest beating going on there. Then, to carry on the "guy thing" metaphor, they share a drink and talk about their heart ache.
 
GoSpuffy
GoSpuffy
[No message]
Wildfly
Wildfly
Yeah. Also never seen someone as easily influenced as Riley. I don't get what Xander likes about that toy soldier.

bespangeled

Scooby
Joined
May 26, 2014
Messages
3,389
Location
Tucson
Black Thorn
I still boggle at the idea of someone deciding to manufacture plastic stakes. That's the ultimate useless product.

I'd say it was because he was driving his point home - and he kinda does have a sadistic, paranoid streak. After all, he assumed Buffy went to LA not to confront Faith but to sleep with Angel, and then attacked Angel. By this stage of the game, Riley was half past crazy on the cuckoo clock.
 
white avenger
white avenger
I found black plastic tent pegs at Harbor Freight today, about the same size as one of Buffy's stakes, so that's probably what Riley used.

bespangeled

Scooby
Joined
May 26, 2014
Messages
3,389
Location
Tucson
Black Thorn
I think @cryptwarmer 's got it; I don't think killing Spike was actually a real option.
Yeah - but how would Buffy even know? All piles of dust look the same - Spike could have left Sunnydale - or he could have been staked by anyone. It's not like Riley would tell her, or that Spike would be around to complain.
 

cryptwarmer

I'm in charge of morale!
Joined
Nov 19, 2008
Messages
1,419
Location
Sunny South Carolina USA
Black Thorn
Yeah - but how would Buffy even know? All piles of dust look the same - Spike could have left Sunnydale - or he could have been staked by anyone. It's not like Riley would tell her, or that Spike would be around to complain.
Buffy knew Spike wouldn't leave, he was obsessed with her.
If Spike was staked by anyone else, the Sunnydale underground would know about it. Someone would talk or brag and the word would be out at Willy's
She'd find the tell tale empty package and Spencer's bag showing that Riley had invested 5 bucks in a plastic stake.
It's TV land and there is no way in Sunnyhell the writers would leave that lying there like a pile of dust, so she'd find out somehow.

I love picking all the details apart as much as anyone, but at the end of the day, especially when something stupid happens (like a special ops guy carrying a plastic, yet convincing looking, wooden stake around) I have to accept that it's a television show and sometimes that's the real answer.

That's all I got.
 
GoSpuffy
GoSpuffy
[No message]

Athena

Has anyone seen my human vessel?
Staff member
Joined
Feb 2, 2016
Messages
6,341
Location
UK
Black Thorn
There was nothing stopping anyone on the show from staking Spike, apart from Buffy's reaction. The Scoobies generally disliked him from day one and I think the only reason they didn't stake him between S5 & 6 was literally in Buffy's memory; that she wanted him to take care of Dawn and she knew he was the only one who could and they all knew that.

Riley was just interested in a pi**ing contest.
 
GoSpuffy
GoSpuffy
[No message]

thetopher

Member of the Church Of Faith
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
10,075
Location
The Moot, England
Sineya
My theory: The stake belongs to Buffy, not Riley.
Riley stole it and symbolically stabbed Spike as a sort 'passing on the torch' moment- the final death of Briley and the true beginning of Spike's romantic pursuit of Buffy (that would start the very next episode).
Riley subconsciously knew (or perhaps just believed) that, with him and Buffy being over, that she (who apparently finds vampires irresistable) would eventually fall for Spike's charms. - see Riley's utter lack of surprise in 'As You Were', at seeing the two of them together.

It also expalins the weird bonding over a drink that happens right after the pretend staking- Riley asking if Spike seriously has a chance, talking about loving Buffy etc, its almost like he's talking to Buffy's future beau and wants to make sure he's 'good enough for her' or something.

Really, that makes just as much sense as anything else I've heard. Riley could've staked Spike and nobody in the Scoobies would've cared at all.

As for why Buffy would have a long, plastic, cylindrical object that was stake-themed, well maybe she and Riley were a little kinkier than anyone realised.
And no, that wasn't my idea, I'm pretty sure somebody accuses Faith of the inappropriate useage of stakes in the comics.
 
GoSpuffy
GoSpuffy
[No message]
cryptwarmer
cryptwarmer
love the metaphor and symbolism, the passing the torch thing, but the kinky plastic stake thing is interesting too. Look mom, no splinters!

gite63

Gone
Joined
Feb 21, 2015
Messages
1,888
Location
Brazil
Sineya
Yeah - but how would Buffy even know? All piles of dust look the same - Spike could have left Sunnydale - or he could have been staked by anyone. It's not like Riley would tell her, or that Spike would be around to complain.
Riley wouldn't do that: kill Spike and not tell Buffy, keep it a secret forever. If he, by any chance, had done Spike in, he would have gone to Buffy and told her, before leaving.
 

bespangeled

Scooby
Joined
May 26, 2014
Messages
3,389
Location
Tucson
Black Thorn
Riley wouldn't do that: kill Spike and not tell Buffy, keep it a secret forever. If he, by any chance, had done Spike in, he would have gone to Buffy and told her, before leaving.
Riley also wouldn't be getting suck jobs from vamp whores, and not telling Buffy. Like he said: You may have noticed, Spike, I left reasonable about three exits back.

Given his state of mind, and his expressed anger at Buffy not letting him in, letting him take care of her, I can see him easily rationalizing it as a way of taking care of her.
 

cerocket

class protector
Joined
Feb 5, 2016
Messages
37
Age
30
I love picking all the details apart as much as anyone, but at the end of the day, especially when something stupid happens (like a special ops guy carrying a plastic, yet convincing looking, wooden stake around) I have to accept that it's a television show and sometimes that's the real answer.

That's all I got.
But then what will I do with all of my free time?! (you're absolutely right.)
 

gite63

Gone
Joined
Feb 21, 2015
Messages
1,888
Location
Brazil
Sineya
Riley also wouldn't be getting suck jobs from vamp whores, and not telling Buffy. Like he said: You may have noticed, Spike, I left reasonable about three exits back.

Given his state of mind, and his expressed anger at Buffy not letting him in, letting him take care of her, I can see him easily rationalizing it as a way of taking care of her.
But the suck jobs were related to their relationship. Riley could have killed Spike thinking of protecting Buffy, but then there was the fact he was a vampire who Buffy had deals with, and it was for her to decide his fate, and Riley would see that as a soldier; he would not be comfortable not telling Buffy.
 
bespangeled
bespangeled
Okay - that's fine too

Spanky

Scooby
Joined
Aug 12, 2008
Messages
20,004
Black Thorn
Given his state of mind, and his expressed anger at Buffy not letting him in, letting him take care of her, I can see him easily rationalizing it as a way of taking care of her.
And he wouldnt really be wrong. He would be doing her and the world a favor. Certainly he would be doing a favor for all those people Spike would later kill.
 
Top Bottom