Ok, this is where we can now discuss any and all episodes that feature anything Spuffy, whether its  postive or negative concerning their relationship, or even them individually, as long as it still relates to the relationship-we have the other threads designated for them to discuss them as individual characters separate from the other characters.

So, let's get started!

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We have been planning on discussing the three season six episodes, Dead Things, Older and Far Away, and As You Were. I am going to start with the last one, because that one really just irritates me on so many levels, and I know that I am not the only one, as I have read how so many people found fault with it before I saw it myself. Boy, though, were all the naysayers right.  This could be such a good episode-even in its awfulness there are still some important things that happen, but unfortunately that seemed to be the point. I am in total agreement with some other opinions that the plot just seemed to be thrown together to get Riley back in town with his new, almost perfect wife so that Buffy could feel even more dismal and more like a failure than she already did, and Spike could behave like a pompous twit just so both Buffy and Riley could play a round of kick the Spike, if only verbally on Riley's part.  Of course, the fall out is serious, with Spike smarting big time when he tells her about her always playing him-I was like, you go, Spike, even though they had written him, like I said, like a twit concerning the "eggs".  Of course, there is also the painful breakup.

It doesn't start out so bad. There is some good humor in the show, especially the running joke about poor Buffy and the DMP special aroma. The funniest line, IMO, is when Riley is explaining the seriousness of his mission and Buffy, just out of the blue says, "My hat has a cow". I don't know, maybe that was a funny way to say that Buffy was subconsciously "having a cow" because she seemed embarassed that Riley had found her working at the DMP.  I, of course, liked Spike and Buffy kissing, but I wasn't necessarily pleased with Spike pushing for the quickie outside the house. 

So, many things just were ridiculous, IMO.  The one thing that really jumped out at me-no pun intended-was how both Riley and Buffy could not get the upper hand with the dangerous demon, but Mrs. Riley comes along, and-at least at first-has no problem beating down the thing. Then, when Buffy and Riley jump in to help, and Buffy kills it we find out that they needed the thing alive.  In all of Riley's vast military training, did he miss that a person is supposed to know what the objective of a mission is before you go on the mission? That info would have been a nice thing for him to hand out to Buffy along with a kevlar vest.

Concerning Mrs. Riley Finn, could she be any more like she was custom made for Riley by the evil geek trio, ala Buffybot? Has anybody seen the original Stepford Wives movie, or the remake? It was like she was a Stepford Wife with Commando Training.

 

Also, the actual plot, what there was of one?  Give me a break!  Whoever gave Spike the eggs surely would have known that they would have to be refrigerated. From a real world POV, this would have been an operation that would have probably been worth a great deal of money, and anybody handling the merchandise would have been given instructions on how to take care of it, and they certainly wouldn't pick somebody who was inept for something this big. But, there we were. Under the scenario we were given, whoever Spike's contact was, was stupid, and Spike was also stupid. If Buffy thought Spike was so inept, she certainly should not have entrusted him with the things she did long before he got his soul-like the lives of her mother and sister.  There also should have been more explanation as to why Spike agreed to have these things. Was it because he was trying to get enough money to help Buffy so she could quit TDMP? I know that is what alot of Spike fans think, and it does seem a logical explanation when one thinks about the conversation that Spike and Buffy had about the bad effect working at TDMP was having on Buffy, and that he told her he could get money.  That's just an assumption, though, and that is all it will ever be since it was not explained in the show, and if none of the writers explained anything about the show. Maybe somebody knows something about that, if they did.  That would have made for some great conflict if Spike had told Buffy that he did that to get money for her and Dawn.  She would probably have denied it, told him she didn't need his help. blah, blah, blah, but it would have been great to see SMG play that scene as it hit home. Again, no pun intended, but she would have had more egg on her face than she already did-by getting caught in her birthday suit with Spike because they had been "doing it" earlier. That would have only added to the humiliation she felt. 

Speaking of humiliation, I felt so sorry for Spike. Although I wanted to whop him right in the head for being such a smarty pants and thinking he could rub Riley's nose in the fact that Buffy was in bed with him.  Also, although I did not like seeing her punch him later, if she had punched him for referring to her as a "bint" I think that would have been one of the few times she would have been justified for hitting him during season 6.  That was the one time in the whole episode that I would have liked to have knocked his block off myself. I felt sorry for the character because they were so obvious in making Spike the fall guy in this episode.  If they had had JM wear a shirt that said "Fall Guy" on the front it could not have been more obvious. Despite Spike's stupid mistakes in this episode, from the point that Riley walks into the crypt, Spike's heart, emotionally, starts a slow march to being ripped out, which is completed at the end of the show with the break up.

 

Riley's appearance is meant to be Buffy's wake up call.  He shows up to serve as a measuring stick to compare his life with hers.  He was hurt by what happened between Buffy and him, but his heart healed, and healed enough so that he could love somebody else, which he did. So, Buffy becomes even more depressed to see that Riley has easily replaced her, apparently with a much more suitable woman.  Riley still despises Spike, yet he isn't judgemental of Buffy's involvement with him-mainly because Riley probably always knew that Buffy was attracted to Spike, even if she was in denial back then, so there was still some jealousy there on his part, even if he was married to somebody else-some feelings just can't be turned off, however irrational they are.  He did help Buffy some just by letting her know how great a person that he will always think she is, even if it is really bittersweet.

 

I really hate it when Buffy hits Spike after finding out about the eggs. It's not that she doesn't have a reason to be angry at him, but all she can ever do is treat him like a punching bag, and the fact that he calls her on it is one of my favorite scenes in the whole show. He always joked about her kicking him in the head, and then running away with her virtue fluttering. This time, though, he wasn't joking, and Buffy's virtue was nowhere in sight, fluttering or otherwise. There was no virture in her behavior, and she was getting hit right in the face with it, and-at least at the time, that lesson wasn't lost on her. That realization, though, would lead to even more heartbreak for Spike when she breaks up with hiim.

The scene where Buffy comes to Spike is one that I find that I both love, and hate, on some levels. I love how Spike tenderly tells her he loves her-gah, that is some of the best acting that JM did. His face looks so joyous that she's come to him. He tells her he loves her, at her encouragement, and also that he always wants her. Then, his demeanor changes into a bit of a more teasing mode. That's when I start to hate things. Not Spike's  change from rapturous lover to mischievous one, but when Buffy tells him to "shutup". Then she grabs onto him. It's apparent that she just wants sex. JM, at that point, portrays Spike as looking just a little confused. Maybe its because Buffy is so, well, aggressive isn't the right word, because she's been aggressive before. I think that he does perceive that something is different about the way she has approached him. Of course, he wants the sex, too, so he responds. Then, of course, it explodes in the big reveal, and Spike finally lets it be known that he's well aware of her hypocrisy. Sadly we're not through with the hypocrisy, even after the breakup.

I had hopes after the breakup. I had hopes that Buffy would go back to treating Spike with respect. That lasted an episode, and then we were back to Hypocrite Buffy.

 

One final pet peeve I want to mention, and that is how the helicopter arrives and takes Riley and Sam away. That was another thing that was such an obvious attempt at making a point. The guy had been driving around a black SUV. Couldn't he and Sam just drive it out of town? Was it just rented? Where did it go? If it belonged to the government, which I thought was implied, somebody had to drive it back where it came from. 

 

I'm looking forward to everyone else's thoughts on this.

Oh, I forgot something that I really wanted to mention, and that is about what Riley said about being authorized to kill Spike.  I thought that it was thoughtful of him to take Buffy's feelings into consideration, but, after I thought about it some more,  even though Riley has a lot of bad feelings toward Spike, I actually think he might have a hard time just executing Spike. I think that he would find himself in the same situation that Spike was in when he fought Angel in Destiny.  Now, we know that, because of the fact that Angel was the star of the show, that-even though Joss has no problem killing off even the star of his shows-the odds were that he wasn't going to be killed off at that point. From the story POV, though, we also had a pretty good idea that Spike, as angry as he is with Angel most of the time, was not going to kill him. He used Buffy as an excuse, and he wasn't totally lying about taking the fact that she'd be really upset with him and he didn't want to hear her "b#tch" about it, but he has that connection to Angel, and at that point killing Angel was not something that he was prepared to do, and really didn't want to, or else he would have-again purely from the show and character's POV.

 

In Riley's case I think it would be because of his familiarity with Spike. Riley is a moral person, and, in spite of himself, I think he sees Spike as a person, even if he thinks he's a jerk-and he's still a vampire, who Riley believes can still be a loose cannon, as we will unfortunately find out in a couple of episodes.  Now, if Riley had to confront Spike in a situation where Spike was actively engaged in wrongdoing, I believe that Riley would be capable of killing Spike. For example, if Riley had caught Spike in the process of making the deal about the eggs, and Spike and his partner had engaged Riley and whoever was with him-I am leaving Buffy out of this scenario-in a fight, then I think that Riley would have felt that Spike had set himself up as an enemy, and he would have treated him as such.  Under the scenario that Riley did find Spike with the eggs, even if Buffy hadn't been there, I don't think Riley would have just blown up the crypt without telling Spike to get out. Then, if Spike had refused, and fought him, it would have been like the situation I described above. Of course, they avoided all that by having Buffy be there, so....

 

I think this is also borne out in season seven when Riley responds to Buffy's urgent message about Spike's chip. He can't resist insulting Spike by calling him that naughty little name, but he responds because he realizes it is a life or death situation, and even though it may be mostly because he knows that Buffy values Spike, for her own reasons, he still works to get Buffy what she needs to help Spike. So, again, even though he considers Spike a pain in the *ss, he still endows him with enough personhood to show compassion toward him to try and help Buffy save his life.

lulurose:

In Riley's case I think it would be because of his familiarity with Spike. Riley is a moral person, and, in spite of himself, I think he sees Spike as a person, even if he thinks he's a jerk-and he's still a vampire, who Riley believes can still be a loose cannon, as we will unfortunately find out in a couple of episodes.  Now, if Riley had to confront Spike in a situation where Spike was actively engaged in wrongdoing, I believe that Riley would be capable of killing Spike.

 

Great commentary Lulurose -  I will come back later with remarks but I just want to post this before I forget it.  I believe that the reason Riley makes Buffy decide is because that is the, as you describe it Riley is the measurement.  The entire episode is all from Buffy's dreamscape made flesh perspective, It is she WHO MUST kill her inner demons; nothing else will serve.  The heartbreaking tragedy is that Buffy is once again killing the wrong demon.  Go back to the first of the triad, "Dead Things" and her text while she is brutally attacking Spike -  Buffy is the one who is seeing everything as dirty and disgusting and wrong.  Spike even tells her what she is doing when he gives his "put it all on me."

Riley and his Mrs. Perfect Joe Normal parade into town as the Perfect Warrior Couple - what Buffy feel she through away when he left in the helicopter.  That is why, they exit in their blaze of glory, In a helicopter.  This  is a continuation of his first exit and her continued unresolved fantasy of what life with Mr. Perfect Joe Normal Riley could have been. 

This is a dreamscape episode, it is, IMO, intended to speak to Buffy's inner demons and her extreme emotional trauma - the plot is Buffy's nightmare dreams and how she sees her life and how she wants/needs to place the blame for a great deal of that on Spike.  Just as Buffy uses him to escapes life with their sexual encounters, I believe that she is still trying to escape all the darkness and inner demons of her life.  I truly believe that Spike is not the primary problem, the thing that is making her miserable and killing her, Buffy is doing that mostly to herself. 


Thinking of these three episodes as all connected, but primarily "Dead Things" and "As You Were" I think gives a much greater understanding of the Buffy and Spike relationship and her mental and emotional status.

 

One little interesting tid bit left over from Season 5 is that the Doc from Season 5 brings in the potential of another person in Sunnydale that looks very much like Spike - The notion that Spike is this global drug dealer is completely ridiculous but it fits the
"dreamscape" quality of the episodes.  What does fit within the context of the character of Spike is that he was attempting to get money to help her out and help fix her life.  This is how Buffy sees him in the start of the season.

Here are the links for Buffy data base  -

 

  Dead Things  -  http://vrya.net/bdb/ep.php?ep=113

  As You Were  -  http://vrya.net/bdb/ep.php?ep=115

  Older and Far Away  -  http://vrya.net/bdb/ep.php?ep=114

Thanks for the links, Cil. I love to go and read the dialogue on that site. It really helps to refresh one's memory about the individual episodes.

 

The helicopter was a tie in to Riley's original exit, and Buffy's feelings about it, for sure. It would have been  easy to explain it given the type of military operations they were involved in.  All they would have had to do was to have them apologize to Buffy and Co. for their abrupt exit, but there was another demon emergency "somewhere" so HQ sent a helicopter to transport them as quickly as possible. They could have also thanked Buffy for letting them leave the SUV there temporarily, and that somebody would be arriving to pick it up over the next day. So simple.

I guess this is one of those cases where they thought the audience would infer that, since Riley came rushing into Sunnydale on such an assignment, it shouldn't be any surprise that he and The Mrs. would go rushing back out.  I think we, the audience, did "get" that, but it still was glaringly obvious.

Since my interpretation is almost exclusively based on Buffy's dreamscape life and how it ties in with her conceptions of Spike as the reflection of her self hatred and the misery of life - the elements really do work for me.  The helicopter exit goes perfectly with the other couple in the episode, Xander and Anya.  It was Xander who sent Buffy running to bring back Riley, the man whom she saw as the answer to her "bad boy" devastating relationship with Angel and the future Spike.

 

Xander was wrong about the  complex emotional relationship that Buffy and Riley had just as he is wrong about his own emotional fears and his coming marriage.  The bathroom scene with them taking about the perfect example of the hidden inner demons and fears theme.  Xander does not confront his own fears and is giving Anya his great exposition on how "Mr. & Mrs. Perfect Marrieds" does not reflect on themselves, which of course "Hells Bells" showed just how much hidden fears and inner demons destroy his own marriage.   One of the most important elements of the Buffy-Riley Xander-Anya transition is how Xander immediately goes to tell Anya how much he loves her and wants to spend his life with her after his speech to Buffy in the alley. 

 

Buffy is wearing the brown-black outfit  both the Riley exit and in "Dead Things" when she plans her own exit/punishment and her brutal attack on Spike, again an alley scene. 

 

 

 

Lulurose said:

Thanks for the links, Cil. I love to go and read the dialogue on that site. It really helps to refresh one's memory about the individual episodes.

 

The helicopter was a tie in to Riley's original exit, and Buffy's feelings about it, for sure. It would have been  easy to explain it given the type of military operations they were involved in.  All they would have had to do was to have them apologize to Buffy and Co. for their abrupt exit, but there was another demon emergency "somewhere" so HQ sent a helicopter to transport them as quickly as possible. They could have also thanked Buffy for letting them leave the SUV there temporarily, and that somebody would be arriving to pick it up over the next day. So simple.

I guess this is one of those cases where they thought the audience would infer that, since Riley came rushing into Sunnydale on such an assignment, it shouldn't be any surprise that he and The Mrs. would go rushing back out.  I think we, the audience, did "get" that, but it still was glaringly obvious.


I have really not analyzed Xander and Anya that much, mainly because Anya is not one of my fave characters. I thought that she and Xander were funny in the car scene.  I know that this is just before Xander jilts her at the altar. 

I haven't got time to say much, but Lulurose: I like your description of Sam as "a Stepford Wife with Commando Training"!

And I can buy Spike keeping the eggs for a "friend" who paid him to do it. (It would be nice to think he did it for Buffy, but less noble reasons are fine with me too.) But I think the idea of him being an international arms dealer is simply preposterous. Besides it being virtually impossible from a practical point of view, it's also a totally un-Spikish thing to do. So my interpretation is that he was really speaking the truth when he denied being the Doctor. "Fall guy"" indeed.

The helicopter thing didn't bother me, I saw the parallel with Into the Woods and I didn't even think of the practical side of things  (SUV problem). Probably because I was just so happy to see the Perfect Pair go.

Final random remark for today: in the episode, people were all the time pointing out to Buffy that she smelled bad. It is strongly suggested that until this episode, Buffy never realized exactly how bad the DMP made her smell. So, I'm pretty sure Spike never in any way commented on Buffy's smell even though it must have been less than pleasant to his sensitive nose (and he was closely confronted with it during their intimate encounters).


I'd never thought of that, and it's lovely, thanks for pointing it out.


Double Dutchess said:

Final random remark for today: in the episode, people were all the time pointing out to Buffy that she smelled bad. It is strongly suggested that until this episode, Buffy never realized exactly how bad the DMP made her smell. So, I'm pretty sure Spike never in any way commented on Buffy's smell even though it must have been less than pleasant to his sensitive nose (and he was closely confronted with it during their intimate encounters).

Well, Spike is a rather unique fellow. Maybe he found the aroma "stimulating." ^_^

 

However, I once worked at a doughnut shop for several years, and I know that at the end of my shift, my clothes, and my hair, smelled like a combination of grease and sugar-stale grease and sugar. So, to say that I couldn't wait to get home and take a bath is an understatement. So, Buffy being oblivious to the smell, while it made for some good laughs, isn't really very realistic, especially since Buffy described her heightened senses as "Spidey sense." So, unless her heightened senses did not include her nose, it doesn't seem that she should not realize how she smells. Unless, for some reason, her sense of smell is just supposed to adjust to it for some reason.

 



Double Dutchess said:

I haven't got time to say much, but Lulurose: I like your description of Sam as "a Stepford Wife with Commando Training"!

And I can buy Spike keeping the eggs for a "friend" who paid him to do it. (It would be nice to think he did it for Buffy, but less noble reasons are fine with me too.) But I think the idea of him being an international arms dealer is simply preposterous. Besides it being virtually impossible from a practical point of view, it's also a totally un-Spikish thing to do. So my interpretation is that he was really speaking the truth when he denied being the Doctor. "Fall guy"" indeed.

The helicopter thing didn't bother me, I saw the parallel with Into the Woods and I didn't even think of the practical side of things  (SUV problem). Probably because I was just so happy to see the Perfect Pair go.

Final random remark for today: in the episode, people were all the time pointing out to Buffy that she smelled bad. It is strongly suggested that until this episode, Buffy never realized exactly how bad the DMP made her smell. So, I'm pretty sure Spike never in any way commented on Buffy's smell even though it must have been less than pleasant to his sensitive nose (and he was closely confronted with it during their intimate encounters).

That sequence about Buffy and "The Smell" is another neat statement on the Buffy and Spike relationship - where that vamp can't take the DMP Smell, does not even want to eat from Buffy, Spike takes her in all her aspects, both the miserable and the grand.  Spike is completely devoted to her - and for all this great love that Riley claimed, how much time has passed since he left Sunnydale?  He has moved on from Buffy found a new love and married all in a year or just a little longer. 

The contrast between Riley-Buffy and the limitations of what they will accept and demand from each other is totally different from how Spike reacts to her. 


Sam is like the Buffy Bot, for Riley, the perfect made to order wife/lover/friend in contrast to Katrina who was created by humans to be a living sex slave.

Yes, I think that Sam also probably should have been wearing a shirt that said "Riley's Perfect Wife Designed To Make Buffy Feel More Like A Failure." She really did seem like a  "Made For Riley 'Bot."

 (DD, I am glad you liked found my description of Sam humorous)

I am rather torn about Riley, in some ways.  When I think back, I believe that season four Buffy was one of the seasons that I saw the most of, but back then, it was just a tv show that I watched sometimes. It was when I saw season six and I feel in love with Spuffy-strange, I guess, since some people don't think that it was their finest hour even if they like the pairing. I was touched by Spike's pathos-well, I guess both of their pathos and how Spike wanted so to connect with Buffy, etc. Well, that doesn't explain Riley though, but I was just trying to say that I wasn't in love with the show back then like I am now, and now my interest is still mostly from the Spike/Spuffy angle.  At the time I, of course, realized that Riley was Buffy's new love interest, and got that he was supposed to be the human guy that should be more suitable than Angel.  I was neutral about Riley. Now, of course, I prefer Buffy with Spike over any one else. 

The thing that I am torn about is whether or not-if Riley had not fallen in love with someone else-would this seemingly more mature and together Riley be able to handle a relationship with Buffy. Again, I don't want Buffy with Riley, but just for the sake of debate, was Riley really more confident in himself now, and could fight comfortably along side Buffy? I didn't get to read the Riley comic, but I know that he is supposed to have been totally devoted to Buffy's side of the conflict.  What it seemed to me when Riley came back in AYW, even though he swooped in, and Buffy was following his lead, it was only because she had to because he was the only guy who knew what was going on, and he was informing her as they went. She, of course, was not his subordinate since she wasn't in the military, and he didn't treat her that way at all, and I don't think that it was because of the difference professionally, but that he had matured and came back to seek Buffy's assistance because of her expertise. True, he didn't subordinate himself to Buffy, but he didn't come over as trying to "one up" her, either. They really characterized him as approaching Buffy as her equal in many ways, but still with the respect for her ability and experience.

Of course, it was only that one episode, and they married him off to somebody else, so it was never tested whether or not he would, or could, fit himself into Buffy's lifestyle where he hadn't been capable of it earlier. I took it, at the time, that he had matured, and he realized that he had found his niche, and that he would always think highly of Buffy, but that she had her place, and he had his, and he accepted that it wasn't together-so he had absolutely moved on and built a life for himself, complete with a new love. I am just talking about Riley's possible POV, and not even addressing Buffy's issues concerning them, and everything else.  

cil domney said:

That sequence about Buffy and "The Smell" is another neat statement on the Buffy and Spike relationship - where that vamp can't take the DMP Smell, does not even want to eat from Buffy, Spike takes her in all her aspects, both the miserable and the grand.  Spike is completely devoted to her - and for all this great love that Riley claimed, how much time has passed since he left Sunnydale?  He has moved on from Buffy found a new love and married all in a year or just a little longer. 

The contrast between Riley-Buffy and the limitations of what they will accept and demand from each other is totally different from how Spike reacts to her. 


Sam is like the Buffy Bot, for Riley, the perfect made to order wife/lover/friend in contrast to Katrina who was created by humans to be a living sex slave.

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