BSV Forum - General - Episode Discussions

Buffy vs. Dracula Ep Discussion Thread

Aug 25 2008 09:10 pm   #1Scarlet Ibis
Okay, looks like we'll be doing all of s5.  Here's the first specifically for this episode (I say "specifically for this episode" because there was thread awhile back about whether or not Dracula penetrated Buffy.  With his penis, since he obviously bit her.  You can find that here: http://bloodshedverse.com/forum.php?go=read&no=4042)

I can't say much about this ep except that this is where we start to learn (if I'm recalling correctly) that a slayer's powers are intertwined, if not derived from, the very demons she is supposed to kill, and that Riley isn't "monster" enough for Buffy.  Also, that Xander was continuing his role as Shemp, and that Buffy somehow has a young, teenage sister from, well, out of the blue.  Spike's still around, with a few stray demons on his tail for, well, killing other demons, and Riley likes to threaten him, making him feel all big and strong.

Oh, this is when Giles first expresses his desire to leave and pursue a life of his own, and Willow really, really doesn't want to let him go and fly free.  "We need you," when at that point, it wasn't technically true...The poor bastard.  But then, Buffy, confused about her powers, decides she does need Giles, and to start training again.

Yep, that's all I got for now.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Aug 25 2008 10:10 pm   #2DsZ
Since I'm new here I don't really know how you usually discuss these episodes, I'm just gonna give my opinion and see how it goes. Please let me know if I'm doing this wrong or anything.

"Buffy vs. Dracula"... well, it was an okay season opener. Nothing more, nothing less.
That guy who played Dracula had no sex appeal (compared to Spike anyway), so I never bought the whole "Oh he's so strangely attractive and irresistible" angle.
I did like the little bit of foreshadowing about Buffy having darkness in her and needing it. I thought it was also nice to see a Buffy who finally accepts more of her Slayer power and the responsibility that comes with it, like training and meditating in earnest.
Xander, the Bug Eating Butt Monkey was pure genius in this episode though, even before he started to become an actual bug-eater. Especially him imitating the Count from Sesame Street had me in stitches.
The ending with Dawn's first appearance was well done I thought, and certainly had me floored.

All in all I'd say the episode gets 6/10 from me.

Butt Monkey Tai Chi
"One of the lesser known dances for white people, the butt monkey."

Yeah, I suck at captions.
Ah, that's the stuff! Slayer musk, it's bitter and aggravating!
Aug 26 2008 12:35 am   #3chlarkspuffy
I don't care for this episode. Dracula is such a bore and Buffy is really quite silly falling victim to his thrall and what not. It's a weak episode, I think, for a season opener. It does set up for Riley's betrayal and other stuff, but all in all, it's boring, save the few delicious Spike moments.
"If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now."

- Zaphod Beeblebrox
Aug 26 2008 04:59 am   #4Spikez_tart

I didn't think much of Dracula the first five times I watched this, but he grew on me.  Also, he is very creepy which is not something Joss usually does with vampires.  They can be hot like Spike and Angel or nerdy looking or toad like, but mostly they look human.  Dracula looks, well, dead.

Somebody shot me down earlier on whether Dracula had sex (penetrated) with Buffy because later (S6) she says she's only had sex with four guys (including Spike), then retracts and says three because she's still trying to hide that.  I do think she had an orgasm when Drac bit her.

I think the Dracula appearance is important because at the end of S4, as part of the spell to join up so they can kill Adam, Buffy (and possibly all of the Scoobies) becomes tainted.  Buffy becomes for the first time a Hunter.  She begins to relish the kill.  When Riley can't keep up in the sack, she runs out and kills a vampire.  Perhaps this is what Riley is sensing and Spike certainly tunes in on the girl likes some monster in her man theme.  (The others are tained as well.  Willow starts her slide into Dark Magic.  Giles ultimately kills a human (Ben).  Xander I don't know about him.  Maybe he becomes weaker and so becomes a likely victim for bugeating.)

It is Buffy's new level of darkness that attracts Dracula to the hellmouth - apparently he's known about her for some time.

Xander bugeating, Spike complaining that Dracula owes him money, Giles falling into the love pit with the vamp sisters, Buffy being starstruck - all fine moments.  Lots of fun.

 

If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Aug 26 2008 07:39 pm   #5Eowyn315
I think the Dracula appearance is important because at the end of S4, as part of the spell to join up so they can kill Adam, Buffy (and possibly all of the Scoobies) becomes tainted.
I would disagree. I think the things you attribute to the "tainting" from the enjoining spell were all evident well before that happened. Buffy, for instance, is shown enjoying the kill in s3 with Faith, but then she shoved that feeling down because she thought it was wrong (since it led Faith to kill a human). Willow's abuse of magic starts in s3 when she wants to do the "anti-love spell" to stop herself and Xander from having feelings for each other. She continues to use magic for the wrong reasons in s4 when she plans to do the spell on Veruca, and then tries to take away her pain with the "will be done" spell. And Giles' dark side goes way back to his Ripper days - killing Ben was certainly not his first "tainted" act by any means.

What I think the enjoining spell did was allow Buffy to get more in touch with the Slayer side of her, to explore what was already there, not tainting her (or the others) in any way.
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Aug 26 2008 07:45 pm   #6nmcil
quoted]Xander bugeating, Spike complaining that Dracula owes him money, Giles falling into the love pit with the vamp sisters, Buffy being starstruck - all fine moments. Lots of fun.

I very much liked the comedy in this episode, especially Giles and the brides - Drac is "very creepy" as you state, and this is the only time that another vampire outside of Buffy's lovers is ever allowed to be intimate and come close to her physically - The Master only came close to drink from her and kill her, Angel only drinks from her for his salvation  - actually, her blood is salvation for both The Master and Angel.  I really liked how Drac turns the Vampire-Prey-Slayer-Blood connection around.  In some ways, the metaphor of Slayer Blood - Salvation - and Vamp Lovers connects to the theme of Spike-Buffy as saviors for each other after her resurrection. 

I happen to like this episode very much, and I thought the use of the famous Dracula (a fantasy literature vamp) was a great way to introduce how the characters are all going to change and have parts of themselves that they hide or will come out with so tragic results later in the series. 

Riley and Buffy were another fantasy that goes along with hidden faces and self-discovery - Buffy is a hunter and killer as part of The Slayer and needed to accept that part of her Slayer self.  Of course, taste, learning and taking in of the dark side that Drac represented all goes to bloody hell with Spike and her resurrection.

This season opener, for me, was a little like  "Anne"  - it gains more significance  as the season developed.

Off to watch episode now - with the DNC this week - my night was spent on watching our Power Elites in action.  Anyone see that Great LA Weekly Vampire Presidential Election cover from the last election?  I always think of the Buffyverse as a metaphor for not only a young woman's rite of passage and self-discovery but how the power structure also are at work in our society.
” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Aug 26 2008 10:33 pm   #7sosa lola

To be honest, I never enjoyed Dracula until S8 where he was more fun, interesting and somewhat Spike-like. His dull, show-off persona in this episode didn't capture my interest.

I really enjoyed the Giles parts of this episode. I loved how Joss worked a believable way to make Giles stay, which is Buffy's need to learn more about her slayerhood. She wouldn't be able to achieve that without Giles.

Riley's confusion about Buffy's obsession with vampires and easily falling under their thrall is the first step in this season to his storyline of insecurity and inferiority. Poor guy. Really loved his scene with Spike in this episode. Wish we got a scene between Spike and Dracula, I know there's a comic out there that gives the story behind Dracula stealing Spike's money but I don't know its name. Before S8, I never read a comic book and never intended to read the Buffy ones pre-S8.

Dawn's first appearance was cleverly handled and it was a great WTF moment, I can picture how the fans thought that Joss lost it when he featured Dawn until we learn in episode five about the real reason behind Dawn's existence.

Aug 26 2008 10:47 pm   #8DsZ
Wish we got a scene between Spike and Dracula, I know there's a comic out there that gives the story behind Dracula stealing Spike's money but I don't know its name.
It's a series of comics, five to be exact, called "Spike vs. Dracula" (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spike_vs._Dracula). They're pretty good, just like all of the "SPIKE" comics really.
Ah, that's the stuff! Slayer musk, it's bitter and aggravating!
Aug 27 2008 12:03 am   #9Guest
I liked a lot about this episode though it bothered me that Buffy was so blase about letting Drac go and kill many more people at the end instead of finding a solution to stop him. Also, they opened up so many great ideas and possibilities about teh Slayer and then just... forgot about them. Buffy doesn't accept the Slayer part of her or make peace with it or use it in a different way. Besides, why Giles stayed, to help her look into her origins-- there is one scene where Buffy is meditating while she does a handstand and a short convo mentioning reading books about it. That's it.
Then they leave it all behind until season seven to go to the Slayer's power as a huge metaphor and more the people who wanted to use the demonic power instead of being specific and talking about what it coud mean for Buffy.
Aug 27 2008 01:34 am   #10DsZ
Buffy doesn't accept the Slayer part of her or make peace with it or use it in a different way. Besides, why Giles stayed, to help her look into her origins-- there is one scene where Buffy is meditating while she does a handstand and a short convo mentioning reading books about it. That's it.
I dunno, it seemed to me that Buffy took her calling a lot more seriously starting in Season 5. I mean, I remember her bitching about training a lot in high school (could be just my swiss cheese memory though) but when she got the training room in the Magic Box she seemed very excited and trained regularly in there without bitching. She also seemed to get a lot better when it came to training/fighting. Just look at the scenes where the council tests her later in Season 5 and the training montage in OMWF. Then there's the whole vision quest thing she went on, how she started to rely on the Scoobies less and less on patrol. I also seem to remember the whole "I am the Slayer, I know best and I fight alone" thing starting around this time.
The way I see it she accepted her Slayer powers more, though maybe just on a subconscious level, even if she still liked to live in denial about the darkness inside of her.
Ah, that's the stuff! Slayer musk, it's bitter and aggravating!
Aug 27 2008 03:16 am   #11Spikez_tart
Eowyn - you're right - all those personality cracks were there before Restless - still they all seem to take some big steps in the wrong direction.
If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Aug 27 2008 10:54 am   #12nmcil
quoted]Eowyn - you're right - all those personality cracks were there before Restless - still they all seem to take some big steps in the wrong direction

"Restless" is all about the their insecurities and fears and also foreshadows much of the Season 5 themes;  even has that reference to "crack drac" in the Vamp Throw Hitting Game.  Went back to check some of the "Restless" elements trying to get the chronology of the Tara "You think you know ... what's to come ... what you are. You haven't even begun." This theme is used again by Dracula and at the exact point when Buffy is able to throw off Drac’s control when she is drinking his blood. Buffy connects back to the dreamscape of "Restless" and her confrontation with The First Slayer. From this point she uses her own Slayer power and her definition and understanding of "darkness and Slayer powers" and back to her connection with Giles as her Watcher. The use of both episodes is a wonderful connection of the finale and start of the new season.

While Dracula may not appeal physically to some viewers he was certainly intended to be  sexually attractive – the camera work is similar to the close-ups of Buffy and Angel sexual encounter. Much as I dislike Riley, I really did feel sorry for him in this episode with all his insecurity and the approaching of his relationship with Buffy. Unfortunately, he also shows a weakness in his character and his "bully" style with Spike – he knows full well that Spike cannot fight back against his threats – plus he uses info from Spike without giving his source during the Scooby research meeting.

 Was a nice touch with Willow trying to give support to Giles during their meeting, a wonderful Willow moment – plus, this must be one of the best ever Xander comedic episodes. The Buffy-Riley dynamics was another element that I felt was effective, sad to see how, IMVHO, these two people are so not right together – I cringed during their Dracula schmacula scene – all the sweetness will ultimately dissolve.

What is one of the absolute worst things of this episode?  Drac's make-up, especially in his opening scene - this was probably the worst make-up work in the entire series.  All that white  that covers only his face and shows Martin's natural skin in the neck area, inexcusable production work.

” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Aug 28 2008 03:24 am   #13Spikez_tart
Guest - I'm not sure Buffy could kill Dracula - he kept turning to dust and a bat and a wolf. 
If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Aug 28 2008 08:00 pm   #14nmcil
Guest - I'm not sure Buffy could kill Dracula - he kept turning to dust and a bat and a wolf.

Buffy tells him "you always come back" (paraphrase) that is why he could be used in Comic Season 8 -  vamps with use of magic can come back i.e., Darla.  Dracula's ability to come back after staking would make an interesting Fan Fiction story and history of really powerful vampires.
” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Aug 29 2008 12:01 am   #15Eowyn315
all those personality cracks were there before Restless - still they all seem to take some big steps in the wrong direction.
Yeah, I just don't see tying it all to the enjoining spell. I mean, most of the things you mentioned don't happen until almost a year later - Willow doesn't go black-eyed until Glory brain-sucks Tara, Giles kills Ben in "The Gift," and Xander, for whom you didn't really specify a "dark side," actually gets better and stronger as a character in season 5. The only thing I think you can link to the spell is Buffy's behavior - and again, I wouldn't say it's tainting her, just bringing out what's already there.
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Aug 29 2008 03:52 am   #16Spikez_tart
I wouldn't say it's tainting her, just bringing out what's already there.

What is already there?  Is she part demon?  What is it that Spike and Dracula are reacting to? 
If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Aug 29 2008 03:38 pm   #17Guest
The Shadowmen bonded the demon's strength to the girl to create the Slayer. She's not part demon genetically, like Doyle was, but there's an essence in there. Seems to be entirely mystical, like how Willow being a witch wouldn't show up in any medical test. I would say that it activates the more primal parts of the brain in order to work, heightening the senses, the fight or flight response....  Buffy is a bit of a new Buffy post the Restless spell - she's dressing better, the hair and make-up are perfect, she walks with utmost confidence. She's become a more powerful woman. And she's been hunting. Chasing her prey down with ease and killing efficiently. Connecting her with the First Slayer seems to have melded Buffy to her power better, both in body and mind.

(She's probably also feeling more secure as a woman because she and Riley seem to be having a perfectly happy summer, minus her hunting in the middle of the night and Drac's visit. Summer has less demon activity, meaning more boyfriend time, and boyfriend-boinking time, so she's also been connecting with her femininity. 'Outfits' were mentioned in "Restless", so she's definitely gotten more comfortable with her sexuality.)

CM
Aug 29 2008 07:39 pm   #18Eowyn315
Yep, what CM said.

Buffy is a bit of a new Buffy post the Restless spell - she's dressing better, the hair and make-up are perfect
LOL, considering that Buffy criticizes the First Slayer's haircare habits, it cracks me up that the spell would indirectly give her better fashion sense.
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Aug 29 2008 11:43 pm   #19nmcil
 

I not so sure about this Buffy vs Drac post Restless confidence - at least with the Riley-Buffy relationship. If you look at the visuals, which is a Joss Whedon episode, Buffy has a great many symbols that point to a very disturbing emotional state regarding her freedom and status as a woman. There is all the hunter nuance of BvsD, but if you take both Fearless and BvsD - you have many references to women who have suffered emotionally with their relationships. There is the reference to The Yellow Wallpaper and to Sally Bowles and then you have The Death of a Salesman with Riley playing a part of a military man in the Riley-Adam War Room scene. You have Harmony playing the milkmaid, another connection to Cabaret and the Weimar Republic era. All this symbols lead to the struggles of woman that were involved in very bad relationships or made series errors about the men they wanted.

Of course, all the symbols of war also go along with her battle with Drac and struggle with her The First Slayer and how she will define what her Slayerhood means. Plus after all her troubles with Riley, where do the writers take her? They have her running after him as if her life and happiness depended on Riley – and on top of all that, it is Xander who sends her off running after him. While Buffy seems like all is great in Buffyville, I would not take her confidence and independence at full "face value." There are a lot of layers when we take both "Fearless" and "Buffy vs Dracula" together – Buffy is seriously repressing emotional problems with her love relationships, and how she understands her Slayer powers – why she wants Giles to help her understand them and to control them. And how interesting that she goes to the one person that she loathes most of all and guts him while she is trying to learn that control.

It's kind of a neat change how Joss Whedon  made use of his Season Four finale as a connection to the opening episode for Season Five - he usually has the season first episode to introduce the major themes of the new season.

” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Aug 30 2008 09:11 am   #20sosa lola
I'm actually very exacited to explore the Buffy/Riley relationship in this S5 rewatch. It'll be a good experience. And I'll be able to see their relationship with open eyes.
Aug 30 2008 10:23 am   #21Guest
Just for this episode, by all appearances, Buffy felt in a good place with this relationship. We find out later that she reached her limit of natural affection progression for the guy, but right now, she believes she's wholly committed and experiencing a relationship in a way she hasn't before. It's in how Sarah plays her, vs. season 4 - maybe it's just Sarah's confidence with her real life leaking into Buffy, but Buffy's less twitchy, nervous, socially clumsy, even prettier, to begin the season. Joss wants us to see her as this kick-ass warrior woman here, before he tears her life apart. And it's great contrast to how she acts around Dawn, which is pretty immature. Without the Dawn/Joyce/Glory trauma, this was a Buffy fully coming into her own as a woman in her twenties, when we start the season.

CM

As for all the literary links....you might be the only person who cross connects this much in depth, sweetie.
Sep 01 2008 06:17 pm   #22nmcil

I always come away with the impression that all the romance and affection  in the Buffy-Riley has a forced and false quality about them - that Buffy is trying to assure herself that Riley is the love she needs and wants; the love that is good and safe for her.  I know that Buffy cares for him, even loves him, but under all these layers, the foundation is missing.

Anyone else get this impression of "false and forced" from their romantic scenes?  When the contrast between all the raw emotional power that is shown with Angel/Angelus and Spike.  Riley-Buffy romance scenes always leave me with a sense of sadness and that happened even before they start on the road of their falling apart.

” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Sep 01 2008 06:49 pm   #23sosa lola

I agree that there seems to be more passion with Buffy and Angel, sometimes even over the top, but maybe it has to do with the forbidden love feel to it. Buffy and Angel shouldn't be a couple, it'll never work, angst and all, it gave the relationship lots of spark and passion.

Now Buffy and Riley was more natural, happy, accepted by all, real and normal. So maybe that didn't help give it the passion and fire that she had with Angel.

I think Riley was Buffy's healthiest relationship, I never saw her as happy as when she's with him, as normal and as full-of-life. She was acting like a real nineteen year old with him as a boyfriend. Re-watching these episode will help me see where the relationship will crumble. The Dracula episode seems to be the start, with him biting Buffy, her falling under his thrall, her covering the bite, all brought back Angel-related insecurities to Riley.

Sep 02 2008 03:42 am   #24nmcil
With all the hiding that Buffy was doing with her being thralled by Dracula and all the insecure feelings that Riley vocalized things terrible wrong between them.  For all the "healthy" titles that are given to their relationship - I don't see it as a good relationship for her.  Nothing will ever top the Buffy-Angel Disaster, IMO their relationship was even worse than her relationship with Spike.  I think that Buffy had to reign in her own power to accommodate a relationship with Riley - I know that many viewers would not agree with me, but I think that Buffy stepped  down to normal and Riley.   Most of the problems that came with their relationship were driven by Riley's insecurity and his definition of the power dynamics.  

Why did Buffy repress the information about Dracula - was it primarily due to Riley's reaction?  Would she have approached Giles and the others earlier about what happened with Dracula had she been less concerned over Riley's reactions?  Or was this all about Buffy, trying to hide or deny her own fears?   What was her motivation to keep secret her encounter with Drac?  If the relationship between Riley and Buffy had been on a secure foundation - two people on an equal  basis of love and support, would she not have spoken of it right away. 

Dracula and Buffy are shown in a sexual environment that repeats the start of the episode; Buffy and her boy friend in bed..  The writers chose to have Buffy and Dracula take blood from each other in the same room.  This exchange of life giving substance could have taken place at any location, but it was Buffy leaving her bed and seaching out something else - just like the first scene with Riley when she leaves the bed to seach and hunt.  

I understand that Riley was suppose to be Mr. Normal and Mr. Good for her - but why would a good and mature relationship be so susceptible to damage when one person has to suppress her own strengths and development to support the emotional needs of her partner?  Buffy was not in competition with Riley, but he could never accept that she could be his superior.  It takes a really strong, mature and self confident person to be in a relationship with a person of superior qualities.

Since we are taking Riley-Buffy relationship - what are some of the ways people interpreted Riley the Cowboy and the salesman in "Restless" -
” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Sep 02 2008 05:09 am   #25Guest
What I thought was more telling from Restless was Riley ina suit with Adam being high-handed and technological and looking down on Buffy's methods and being a little girl, and tehn being in his regular clothes, angry with her for being alone, for being different, and saying "I thought you were looking for your friends. If that's the way you want it, killer." or something similar, he definitely calls her killer. It was like Riley was dragging her back to being the girly-girl, though he says he likes who she is totally, it can only be independant and strong to a certain measure and she has to come back to him.
Sep 02 2008 11:22 am   #26sosa lola
Buffy was not in competition with Riley, but he could never accept that she could be his superior. It takes a really strong, mature and self confident person to be in a relationship with a person of superior qualities.

I don't think that's the sole reason why Riley felt insecure. If I remember correctly, Riley was upset that Buffy keeps stuff from him, like the Dracula bite, Joyce's illness and Dawn's keyness. He wanted to be in her life.  Not just there for a good shag. I even remember Joyce chiding Buffy for neglecting Riley. And she was right. Buffy and Riley are partners now, lovers, boyfriend/girlfriend, pick your term, they should confide to each other.

So the problem wasn't just from Riley, it was from Buffy as well. Both of them could have avoided the damage if they were honest with each other. This relationship could have worked, I believe that. I'm not one of those who believe that Buffy needs a monster in her man. Buffy isn't that simple. She needs someone who accepts her as who she is, believes in her and still tells her off when she steps out of line regardless of his species.

It'll be really interesting to see the regression of the relationship. From a very happy, secure and normal relationship we saw at the beach to the sad confrontation in Buffy's training room.
Sep 02 2008 11:22 pm   #27nmcil

What do you make of the fight scene between Buffy and Drac when she tells him "thanks" for showing "her true nature." - before taking his blood, she is under his thrall, but after she connects with her memories from "Restless."

Is Buffy as The Slayer rooted in the darkness as Dracula said? Trying to make sense of the encounter between Drac and Buffy and the info from Giles and Willow, that his victims must want to be connected with him, does Buffy really hunger for "monster in her man" or was that all Drac Spin?

Was good to watch the episode again – helped clear up some of my questions about her concealing her bite – while she was being controlled by Drac I also think that Riley’s insecurity played a part in it.

Buffy seems very confident when she is fighting Drac but not so when she speaks with Giles –

 

Can there be a separation between Buffy, The Slayer and Buffy the woman?

BUFFY: And then this whole thing with Dracula ... it made me face up to some stuff. Ever since we did that spell where we called on the first slayer ... I've been going out a lot. Every night.

GILES: Patrolling?

BUFFY: Hunting. That's ... what Dracula called it. And he was right. He understood my power better than I do. He saw darkness in it.

BUFFY: I need to know more. About where I come from, about the other slayers. I mean, maybe ... maybe if I could learn to control this thing, I could be stronger, I could be better. But ... I'm scared. I know it's gonna be hard. And I can't do it ... without you. I need your help. (pause) I need you to be my Watcher again
” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Sep 02 2008 11:32 pm   #28nmcil
It'll be really interesting to see the regression of the relationship. From a very happy, secure and normal relationship we saw at the beach to the sad confrontation in Buffy's training room.

Again, not so sure about stable their relationship is - The Beach scene is not only happy couple playing - check out the conversation it's set in the context of what is an icon of Male World and Power - and he tells Buffy she throws like a girl, which she then completely shows exactly how powerful she really is.  Buffy next  throw (which I whould suggest she was holding back on) completely knocks him down.  This scene, to me, tells a great deal of their dynamics, I came away from that scene with a very different feeling about them.
” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Sep 03 2008 12:26 am   #29Scarlet Ibis
So the problem wasn't just from Riley, it was from Buffy as well. Both of them could have avoided the damage if they were honest with each other. This relationship could have worked, I believe that.
I agree that the problem wasn't just Riley--Buffy should have been more honest, particularly so with her strength.  She's like the tall girl who wore flats, and that was annoying as hell.  However, the relationship wouldn't have worked, because secrets and inferiority complex aside from both respective parties, bottom line is that she didn't love him.  He was Reliable Riley in her eyes--convenient.  Someone who was somewhat normal who could be by her side so she wouldn't be fifth wheel with her friends.  Unfortunately, that was all he was.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Sep 03 2008 01:23 am   #30Eowyn315
So the problem wasn't just from Riley, it was from Buffy as well.
I agree, and I actually think a lot of Riley's relationship issues stem from Buffy's relationship issues. She's the one who closed down and wouldn't let him in. If she had truly treated him as a partner, confided in him, let herself love him - instead of keeping him emotionally at a distance and treating him like he was fragile - I don't think he would've developed the inferiority complex and wouldn't have been so paranoid about things like the Dracula bite.

bottom line is that she didn't love him.
But that's not to say she couldn't have. To continue from my previous thought, I think a lot of Buffy's relationship issues stem from Angel - the reason she was closed down is because she gave Angel everything she had, and it blew up in her face. She threw her entire heart and soul into that relationship, and got nothing but repeated heartbreak and abandonment. The damage was already done by the time Riley came around, and I don't think Buffy would've been any different no matter who she'd dated next. Hell, she was still closed off and unwilling to love even after Riley left, in her relationship with Spike. She was just determined not to love anyone, to never let herself be that vulnerable again. I think if there'd never been an Angel, Buffy could have certainly loved Riley.
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Sep 03 2008 02:53 am   #31Spikez_tart
I'm not one of those who believe that Buffy needs a monster in her man. Buffy isn't that simple.

Buffy herself recognizes her own romantic interest in men who are not good and she says in Pangs (coincidentally not long before Spike comes banging on the door.)

"And the thing is, I like my evil like I like my men-- evil. "

If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Sep 03 2008 07:29 am   #32nmcil
Buffy describes herself with relation to Riley and presumably all other people in her life in "Out Of My Mind"

BUFFY: (angrily) Don't Psych 101 me. (Riley looks away) Not now. Not after everything that ... Nobody has ever known me the way you do. Nobody. (Riley doesn't look at her) I've opened up to you in ways that I've never opened up to ... God, you're just sitting back there thinking that none of this means anything to me

I think that Buffy wanted very much to have Riley be "The One" - that she cares deeply about him and their relationship but their inequality in physical strengths is a huge barrier - from Riley's side - he can never be her equal, and from her side, while she may think that they can work together, she is always worrying about his safety, she also cannot accept him as her equal. 

I watched up to "Out Of My Mind" - their problems just get worst with every episode - and Buffy is also very harsh with Dawn.  Riley, Tara and Xander all see how hard she is being with her little sister.   Buffy has a lot of issues not just her Riley but with all the pressures of taking care of Dawn as well.

” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Sep 03 2008 12:20 pm   #33sosa lola
Buffy herself recognizes her own romantic interest in men who are not good and she says in Pangs (coincidentally not long before Spike comes banging on the door.) "And the thing is, I like my evil like I like my men-- evil. "

But is it really true? I don't think she liked Angelus more than Angel, and she came to respect Spike a lot when he got himself a soul. So I don't believe that Buffy prefers bad guys over good guys. Why would she?

BUFFY: (angrily) Don't Psych 101 me. (Riley looks away) Not now. Not after everything that ... Nobody has ever known me the way you do. Nobody. (Riley doesn't look at her) I've opened up to you in ways that I've never opened up to ... God, you're just sitting back there thinking that none of this means anything to me

Sadly, I don't think Buffy opened up to Riley as much as she believes. She hides things from him most of the time. It hurts that he knew about Angel from Xander, heard about Joyce's illness from someone else, knew there was something going on when Buffy wouldn't let Dawn out with her friends but Buffy chose to leave him in the out. He was supposed to be her boyfriend, but she's treating him like a friend minus boy. A friend she has sex with.

I don't think Riley losing his strength would be an issue if Buffy and Riley talked it out. Riley could be a strong fighter without super strength, just like Wood. He and Buffy could be equals once they worked out all their issues, but sadly she wasn't able to reach him before he left.
Sep 04 2008 03:12 am   #34Spikez_tart
I don't believe that Buffy prefers bad guys over good guys. Why would she?

Mythologically speaking because they are the dark to her light.  Possibly she gets tired being a goody goody all the time and longs to break free and act crazy.  Also, uber sex, at least with Spike.  As in Smashed:  (They're talking about Willow earlier in this scene, Buffy is talking about herself.)

ANYA: I'm serious. Responsible people are ... always so concerned with ... being good all the time, that when they finally get a taste of being bad ... they can't get enough. It's like all (gestures) kablooey. 
BUFFY: That's not true.
ANYA: Okay, not kablooey, more like bam.
XANDER: It's human nature, Buff. Will's getting a taste of something powerful, way bigger than her.
ANYA: Yeah, she was getting out of control with it before Tara left, and now that she's gone...
XANDER: It's gotta be seductive.

Buffy runs right out and gets into a big fight with Spike and has sex with him.  So yeah, she likes those bad boys.
 

If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Sep 04 2008 03:43 am   #35Scarlet Ibis
I don't believe that Buffy prefers bad guys over good guys. Why would she?
Sometimes, "good" is plain boring.   And "bad" doesn't necessarily constitute evil--sometimes "oh, he's bad for you" can just mean diversity.  Like "the bad guy from across the tracks."  Not bad, but different.

As for Buffy potentially loving Riley, I'm still going to disagree.  She only started to date him cause her friend's, well, Willow specifically, was pushing her in that direction.  Buffy was lead by her friend's opinions of her for quite awhile. Also, she viewed him as being "safe and solid," and not capable of hurting her.  She essentially dated someone who she knew deep down she could never fully give herself to for self preservation.  When Riley left, she wasn't all that hurt.  It was more of a slapstick crying moment--the one, and that was it.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Sep 04 2008 04:41 am   #36Eowyn315
And "bad" doesn't necessarily constitute evil--sometimes "oh, he's bad for you" can just mean diversity.
Yeah, but in Buffy's case, bad actually does mean evil. Angelus and Spike were both evil at one point - and she clearly prefers them to be... not. She's also extremely upset by Riley's attempts at being "bad." I think "the bad guy from across the tracks" would be a refreshing change from her usual version of bad boy.
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Sep 04 2008 04:50 am   #37Scarlet Ibis
ngelus and Spike were both evil at one point - and she clearly prefers them to be... not.
Exactly--but when she dated them (or however one would phrase what she had with Spike), they were not evil.  They weren't "good boys," made of pure niceness and white light, sure (but then, who was?), but they weren't evil.  Could they be considered bad as in "bad boy," not necessarily from the...right side of the tracks perhaps?  Sure.  Those were two guys with dark pasts, made of gray.  And I'm talking about season six Spike, not souled Spike. 

And as for Riley trying to be bad, well, that was the wrong kind of bad.  That was forcing it, and he was doing it for the soul purpose of...well, being purposely bad. I don't know, there was just something inherently wrong about that.  He didn't get the kind of "bad" that Buffy needed--getting suck jobs wasn't it.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Sep 04 2008 04:59 am   #38Eowyn315
Yeah, but the original point wasn't about a guy from "the wrong side of the tracks" - the words that get thrown around on the show are "evil" and "monster," and I don't think that's what Buffy really wants from a guy. The problem with Riley wasn't that he wasn't bad enough - or even that he wasn't interesting enough. The problem was poor communication, lack of trust, and lack of openness in the relationship.
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Sep 04 2008 05:06 am   #39Scarlet Ibis
I still think that Buffy only dated him because he was "safe," and nothing more.  Buffy (at that point) seemed more concerned with being able to say "I'm with somebody" as opposed to being with someone she actually cared about.  Not to say that she didn't care about him, but romance wise, she might as well have been dating Xander.  At least he kind of got her, and she wouldn't have had to have held back with him (like she did constantly with Riley to preserve his ego).  Riley, as Faith said, was just a beef stick (or was it meat stick?)--a safe one who she could have on her arm.  Buffy just needed to be in a relationship, and Riley was "good enough" to fit the bill.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Sep 04 2008 11:23 am   #40sosa lola
Man, that makes me feel so bad for Riley and hate Buffy.  But I guess it's a matter of opinion, I still believe she loved him and could have loved him more if they worked out their issues.
Sep 05 2008 03:33 am   #41nmcil
This is one viewer that never liked Riley - for me, he was the worst kind of "Bad" - The Sugar Coating Sweet Person that could be brutal and destructive to anyone or any thing that went against his version of "Good and Acceptable." 

Was there ever anytime in the series that Riley, deep down where his heart, mind and ego live, that he could ever accept his male image when compared to Buffy?  From the very start, the fundamental  problem with their relationship stemmed  from his sense that she was superior to him psychically.  If you  add Buffy's oftentimes  emotional distance and not going to him for emotional support, his insecurities kept escalating.  He knew, and Spike knew, that he would not be "the long haul guy" for her.  Buffy's  "long haul guy" wants are down  in LA.   She was  left with such a powerful imprint on her from Angel  that  in "Forever" she still answers Angel/Angelus with "does forever work for you." (paraphrase)

Buffy, irrespective of her professed and preceived  love for Riley, is still wanting her dream of love and shared life with Angel/Angelus. One of the reasons  she loathes Spike so completely and wanted Riley to be her "normal" love are directly connected to her first love.

P.S. - Scarlet Ibis - NICE ICON
” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Sep 05 2008 04:05 am   #42Spikez_tart
they weren't evil.  - they weren't evil when Buffy was dating them, but they both were both serial murderes in the past and once they were drawn to the good side of the equation  they didn't follow the crowd, especially Spike.  Neither Angel nor Spike ever really became part of the gang and Spike particularly didn't give a damn what anybody thought, except maybe Buffy and Dawn.  Spike also snarked on people whenever they were being full of crap. 

Buffy and Riley -  Buffy cares for Riley, perhaps, but she never completely loves or trusts him.  I don't think she ever actually tells him she loves him and for Riley's part, he never makes an offer of marriage or even shacking up with her (and he gets married quick enough out in the jungle to Sam the Smug Bitch.)  Here is Buffy's conversation with Willow about Riley in Something Blue at the beginning of their relationship

WILLOW: So he's nice?
BUFFY: Very, very.
WILLOW: And there's sparkage?
BUFFY: Yeah. He's- have you seen his arms? Those are good arms to have. I really like him. I do.
WILLOW: But..?
BUFFY: I don't know. I really like being around him, you know? And I think he cares about me.. but.. I just.. feel like something's missing.

Bottom line - he's nice.  That's pretty lame.

If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Sep 05 2008 04:13 am   #43Scarlet Ibis
Neither Angel nor Spike ever really became part of the gang and Spike particularly didn't give a damn what anybody thought, except maybe Buffy and Dawn. Spike also snarked on people whenever they were being full of crap.
Well, that's not evil.  That could be being an asshole, but that doesn't constitute "evil."  Just cause they weren't eager to conform to Buffy's friends (like Anya and Tara to an extent) doesn't mean that they weren't over all "good" while they were in love with Buffy or wanting to be with Buffy.
ETA:  Also, Riley's previous profession at the Initiative wasn't exactly morally right.  It was not on the up and up and just plain wrong, so in a sense he has a shady past and was semi "evil" too.

Was there ever anytime in the series that Riley, deep down where his heart, mind and ego live, that he could ever accept his male image when compared to Buffy? From the very start, the fundamental problem with their relationship stemmed from his sense that she was superior to him psychically. If you add Buffy's oftentimes emotional distance and not going to him for emotional support, his insecurities kept escalating.
Well, it certainly didn't help matters that she leaned on Spike during Joyce's illness.  She allowed herself to be vulnerable around Spike, sharing information with him, and didn't bother to call Riley.  He wasn't even on her radar till Spike rubbed it in his face, letting him know where Buffy was.  I think that made it pretty concrete to him that he wasn't that important to her.  And he wasn't wrong.  He was an arm piece--nothing more. 

I don't think she ever actually tells him she loves him and for Riley's part, he never makes an offer of marriage or even shacking up with her (and he gets married quick enough out in the jungle to Sam the Smug Bitch.)
That's an interesting point--if Riley really wanted to test her love of him or whatever, he could have proposed, or said "Hey, let's get a place together," but that never even comes into the equation.  I mean, Anya and Xander were living together, as were Willow and Tara.  And this was all before Joyce got sick.

nmcil--Thanks.  I have many pics from Dragon Con on my LJ
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Sep 05 2008 04:37 am   #44Guest

With Riley , Buffy basically talked herself into the relationship (with a giant push from Willow). With Spike , she kept trying to talk herself out of it. The majority of her objections to Spike were Angel related because she believed that since Angel didn't love her without a soul ,Spike couldn't.Plus there were her friend's objections.

Yet even without all the obstacles that were there for Spike, Buffy still had to talk herself into being with him and she had to be talked into going after him(in a quick run after a helicopter that was extremely cringeworthy to watch).Her running after Riley smacked of a desperate need to please her friends and to stick to that normal that Angel told her she should have.

I think that says a lot about how drawn she was to them.

 

Sep 05 2008 01:33 pm   #45sosa lola
Her running after Riley smacked of a desperate need to please her friends and to stick to that normal that Angel told her she should have.

I don't think it had anything to do with Buffy's friends. I think Buffy thought that Riley could be the one, if they worked things out, maybe everything will be alright. She out right told Xander to stay out of it, and he gave her a choice, either take Riley or leave him. Obviously, she wanted to give Riley a second chance, which is why she ran after him, so she won't drown in the "what if".

So I don't think Buffy's friends had anything to do with it. They all liked Riley, which is nice. But their opinion wasn't what mattered to Buffy.

Even with Spike in S6. I don't think it was more of Buffy was scared of her friends' opinion as much Buffy was ashamed of being with Spike. Other than Xander, who would object with Buffy being with Spike? No one. And Xander could get over it, she had dated Angel regardless of what Xander thought of him. Why not do it now? Because the problem was from her, not her friends. 
Sep 05 2008 05:54 pm   #46nmcil
I don't think it had anything to do with Buffy's friends. I think Buffy thought that Riley could be the one, if they worked things out, maybe everything will be alright. She out right told Xander to stay out of it, and he gave her a choice, either take Riley or leave him. Obviously, she wanted to give Riley a second chance, which is why she ran after him, so she won't drown in the "what if".

Sorry - but I have to disagree with you on this one - Buffy chasing after Riley was based on Xander's intervention - without his "if he is the one speech" she was  set on letting Riley go away.  Had she really loved Riley, would she have taken that stance? Would she have allowed all that anger and frustration to set the parameters for how she dealt with Riley and vamp house?  If Xander had not been there, I believe  Buffy would have been controlled by her anger and disappointment.  And another very important part of their break-up was Riley's ultimatum.  Considering the way Buffy found him at the vamp house and knowing how much he had hurt her and how dangerous it was, not only for him, but dangerous to her and all her loved ones, it was a badly considered move on his part.  

Many viewers liked Riley very much and  believed in their relationship but,  IMVHO, the scripts did not support a vital and long-term relationship - however, we all have our individual perspectives on their relationship and I also think that being a believer in Spike-Buffy Together as a relationship, I tend toward seeing Riley as "not the one."  - but I do believe that the script did not support them as a viable couple.
” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Sep 05 2008 06:10 pm   #47sosa lola
Sure, Xander played a big part opening Buffy's eyes. But it was Buffy's choice in the end, and she chose Riley. Even if Xander wasn't there, Buffy would beat herself over it, why didn't she stop him? Maybe if she did they'd work things out. Xander's scene with Buffy opened both Buffy's and Xander's eyes that they're taking their partners for granted. Xander was able to tell Anya that he loved her, but Buffy was too late to catch Riley.

Many viewers liked Riley very much and believed in their relationship

Many? More like a few, very very few. And most of the many -who don't believe that Buffy and Riley could work- base their judgement on their dislike of Riley.

I think the script doesn't support Buffy being in love with Riley, but not that the relationship could never work. But each of us have their own opinion and there's nothing wrong with different opinions
Sep 05 2008 07:12 pm   #48Scarlet Ibis
I don't think it had anything to do with Buffy's friends. I think Buffy thought that Riley could be the one, if they worked things out, maybe everything will be alright. She out right told Xander to stay out of it, and he gave her a choice, either take Riley or leave him.
I'm going to have to jump on nmcil's bandwagon for a bit.  How in the blue hell did Buffy *not* notice all of those vamp bites on Riley?  How more clueless could she be when it came to him?  If it hadn't been for Spike, she would have been all "la la la, he's my boyfriend, and that's that."  Or if it weren't for Xander's intervention, she would have let him go.  She was in that alley, not caring he was leaving.  Her thoughts were pretty much "fuck it and fuck him--he can go," and if Xander hadn't said anything, she wouldn't have given a damn.  Cause she didn't give a good damn before.

I don't however feel that "many" believed in her relationship with Riley   I think that's a big part of why his character got the axe anyway.

Even with Spike in S6. I don't think it was more of Buffy was scared of her friends' opinion as much Buffy was ashamed of being with Spike. Other than Xander, who would object with Buffy being with Spike? No one.
Exactly. So why *be* ashamed?  Of what?  Spike had changed--everyone, ,her friends, her father figure, her sister saw it, trusted him, so what is she ashamed of?  I mean, had this been s4, or even s5, I would get wanting to hide.  In Buffy's delusional mind though, she assumed that they would not be accepted by her friends as a couple.  Come on--she *begs* Tara to tell her that being with him is wrong, and you know what?  Tara doesn't do it!  She says it's okay, and Buffy is still bitching about Spike being wrong, "wah, punish me" cause he's soulless and evil.  Bullshit.  If she had let him, Spike would have been an attentive and caring boyfriend.  But yeah, she was ultimately ashamed simply because she deluded herself into believing they would be shunned, when that was far from the truth.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Sep 05 2008 07:52 pm   #49Eowyn315
BUFFY: I don't know. I really like being around him, you know? And I think he cares about me.. but.. I just.. feel like something's missing.
I think it's important to point out that this conversation takes place before Buffy knows anything about Riley's involvement with the Initiative. She's pretty clear at the end of the episode that she doesn't like the "bad boy" thing, so I don't think it's just that he's too nice. I think what's missing is the sense that she can't tell Riley the truth about herself - and she can't share that with him the way she did with Angel. Notice that after "Hush," Buffy never complains about there being something missing, and once she gets over her initial reservations about getting involved, she seems pretty excited about patrolling with Riley and working with the Initiative.

Buffy chasing after Riley was based on Xander's intervention - without his "if he is the one speech" she was set on letting Riley go away. Had she really loved Riley, would she have taken that stance?
Yeah, I think she would have... at least, at first. We all do stupid things when we're angry, and a lot of times, right after a big fight, you might be tempted to say, "Well, fuck it, I don't care if he leaves," but a day, or a week, or a month later, when you've had the chance to cool down, you regret having been so hasty and throwing away a year-long relationship without even trying to work it out. But by then, it would've been too late for Buffy, because Riley would be long gone. Xander's speech made her realize that it was now or never, and while maybe she wasn't totally ready for "now," she clearly didn't want it to be "never." (And, for the record, I think it goes for both of them. If Riley hadn't been so hasty to run off with the military at the first fight, they both would've had time to cool down and think about things.)

How in the blue hell did Buffy *not* notice all of those vamp bites on Riley?
Her mother was sick, and she was trying to be responsible and take care of Dawn and chores around the house, so she was probably too distracted to pay attention to something like that. I doubt she and Riley were having much sex, so as long as he wore long sleeves, he'd be fine. Most people don't go around checking for bite marks unless they have a suspicion.

So why *be* ashamed? Of what?
Well, I think part of it was the fact that the sex was violent and kinky. I think she was a little bit shocked at how much she enjoyed it, and she was ashamed to admit to herself that she got off on rough, kinky sex. She also thought something was wrong with her to want that - and to want him - and so she felt that acknowleding her feelings meant she was fucked up or something (especially since she didn't "come back wrong" so she couldn't blame it on anything but herself). And of course, regardless of what her friends think, Buffy still holds the soul as all-important, so the fact that he's soulless makes it shameful to her that she'd be attracted to him in the first place.

Come on--she *begs* Tara to tell her that being with him is wrong, and you know what? Tara doesn't do it!
Uh... doesn't that indicate that it wasn't her friends' opinions holding her back? Tara basically gives her the okay, but she's still ashamed and still trying to convince herself she doesn't care about him. In fact, she even says in "Entropy" that he can go ahead and tell them, because if they didn't hate her for trying to kill them, they won't hate her for sleeping with Spike, either. I think Buffy's reasons for not wanting to admit her feelings for Spike, and not wanting to be in a real relationship with him have more to do with herself and her own issues than her friends' opinions.
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Sep 05 2008 08:03 pm   #50Scarlet Ibis
Her mother was sick, and she was trying to be responsible and take care of Dawn and chores around the house, so she was probably too distracted to pay attention to something like that. I doubt she and Riley were having much sex, so as long as he wore long sleeves, he'd be fine. Most people don't go around checking for bite marks unless they have a suspicion.
Not 100% true--in "Into the Woods," they have sex.  She seems him full monty, minus sweater, and she *still* didn't notice anything.

Well, I think part of it was the fact that the sex was violent and kinky.
Just because Anya occasionally described her sex life with Xander didn't mean that Buffy had to as well.  No one had to know what kind of sex they had just because they were together.  Or hey, that they even had sex.  Sure it'd be farfetched, but her friends wouldn't be entitled to know anything beyond, "we're together."  So that's a silly reason, IMHO.

Uh... doesn't that indicate that it wasn't her friends' opinions holding her back? Tara basically gives her the okay, but she's still ashamed and still trying to convince herself she doesn't care about him. In fact, she even says in "Entropy" that he can go ahead and tell them, because if they didn't hate her for trying to kill them, they won't hate her for sleeping with Spike, either.
When Tara tells her it's okay, she looks shocked and appalled.  I think she was still hellbent on convincing herself as well as Tara that it was something not to be accepted because Spike was "bad."  ("Why do I let him do those things to me?" as in he's evil and wrong, and anything with him is evil and wrong).  And in "Entropy," she was clearly lying.  When Spike spills the beans to Xander, she gives him a look--like a "how could you tell them?" look.  She looks pissed that they now know, as opposed to her previous flippant "I don't care what you tell them" attitude.  I guess she supposed that in the end, he would keep mum, and he didn't.  When he didn't, she got pissed.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Sep 05 2008 10:54 pm   #51Eowyn315
No one had to know what kind of sex they had just because they were together.
I'm not talking about being ashamed of her friends knowing about the sex. I'm talking about Buffy feeling dirty and degraded for doing it, regardless of who knows. She doesn't have to be telling people about it for her to think it's wrong.

I think she was still hellbent on convincing herself as well as Tara that it was something not to be accepted because Spike was "bad."
Right... because Buffy thinks it's bad, and Spike is bad, no matter what her friends think. It's not like she's sitting around going, "Gosh, if only my friends would accept Spike, we could be together and happy." She wouldn't have let herself be in a relationship with him no matter what they said. And that's entirely because of her issues, not her friends'.

She looks pissed that they now know, as opposed to her previous flippant "I don't care what you tell them" attitude.
Er... I think that cat was out of the bag before Spike said anything. Willow and Dawn clearly know something is up when thy see Buffy's reaction to the camera. Xander only missed it because he was too absorbed in seeing Anya with Spike, but it was only a matter of time before he would've found out anyway. But the way Spike tells Xander is pretty rude, and it's at a point where he really doesn't need to be causing more trouble, so Buffy being pissed doesn't have to be just about him spilling the beans. I'm sure at least some of her anger is about him having sex with Anya in the first place, and also for further provoking Xander, and using their relationship to do it.
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Sep 05 2008 11:06 pm   #52Scarlet Ibis
Er... I think that cat was out of the bag before Spike said anything. Willow and Dawn clearly know something is up when thy see Buffy's reaction to the camera. Xander only missed it because he was too absorbed in seeing Anya with Spike, but it was only a matter of time before he would've found out anyway.
It really wasn't.  Excluding Dawn.  In SR, Willow thinks that a small something is up, but is completely floored when Tara tells her that Buffy and Spike had been sleeping together.  If Willow is oblivious...I mean, Xander walked in on them having sex, and still didn't know what was going on.  He may have saw things in s7, but he was utterly blind in s6.

As for Spike spilling the beans in that moment, it was actually perfect timing.  Xander was ranting on and on about how disgusting it was to have sex with Spike, so why not then?  When would have been a good time?  There really was no good time.  I mean, if that'd been me, and some dude was hell bent on insulting me, talking about me as if I wasn't there, Spike's little "It was good enough for Buffy," was like the equivalent of "I fucked your wife."  In that instance, there couldn't have been a better time to say it.  It was the ultimate comeback.

And "causing more trouble?"  That's not fair.  Like they knew there were cameras...and Anya's the one who got him tipsy anyway.  Not for sex, but still.  Also, they were both single, dumped, as a matter of fact, and Buffy and Xander had no right whatsoever to be pissed.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Sep 05 2008 11:44 pm   #53Eowyn315
Spike's little "It was good enough for Buffy," was like the equivalent of "I fucked your wife." In that instance, there couldn't have been a better time to say it.
Well, yeah, if you're trying to get yourself killed. But if you're Buffy, and you're trying to prevent Xander from killing Spike, even though you're almost as upset as Xander is, then the last thing you want to hear is something that's going to potentially set Xander off again, whether you were trying to keep it a secret or not.

And "causing more trouble?" That's not fair.
Why not? It's not Spike's fault that he and Anya got caught, but he didn't have to keep poking the bear. He was doing so well not fighting back (to the point that it seems he thinks he deserves it), but he couldn't resist getting that jab in. And at that point, it wasn't even about wanting to come clean about him and Buffy, it was about twisting the knife one step further with Xander, like he's not already pissed enough. (And no, it doesn't really matter whether he and Buffy had a right to be pissed or not, the fact is, he was, and it was stupid and petty of Spike to try to make him angrier.)
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Sep 06 2008 01:12 am   #54nmcil
We have to remember that by this point everything had gone to hell - absolutely every character was deeply affected by what was shown on the cameras and the two characters most in pain and emotional trauma are Anya and Spike.  They had both been chewed up and spat out by Xander and Buffy, they were the victims of their partners, not the other way around.  Buffy and Xander had disgarded them and then they want to take a "high ground" when they had no rights whatever at this point.  

With this much anger and emotional trauma people were going to act very badly and irrationally.  And kudos to the writers for the irony of having the pain suffered by Anya and Spike be manifested in their physical connection - a connection that is the normal act of lovers.   When Spike said "It was good enough for Buffy,"  he was fighting back with his anger and pain both to  Buffy and Xander. 

 -Spike is completely defenseless against physical attack and the same can be said about Buffy's emotional attacks - that he brought out her dirty big secret and gets back at her makes perfect sense.  There are so many layers involved in the scene - who is Buffy primarily trying to save, was it Xander from becoming a killer or Spike from becoming his victim?  Why is she even upset, if she hates everything about Spike, if she hates herself so much for "letting him do those things to me" - it's a messy complicated vicious cycle of fears, self-hatred, selfish love and heart ache for all of them; they did not know who they were and what was to come and they all mess up their lives and the lives of people who loved them. 
” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Sep 06 2008 03:25 am   #55Scarlet Ibis
They had both been chewed up and spat out by Xander and Buffy, they were the victims of their partners, not the other way around. Buffy and Xander had disgarded them and then they want to take a "high ground" when they had no rights whatever at this point. With this much anger and emotional trauma people were going to act very badly and irrationally. And kudos to the writers for the irony of having the pain suffered by Anya and Spike be manifested in their physical connection - a connection that is the normal act of lovers. When Spike said "It was good enough for Buffy," he fighting back with his anger and pain both to Buffy and Xander.
I agree 110%. 

And further more, on the point of Spike not being able to fight back, words was all that Spike had left.  Was it adding flames to the fire?  Perhaps.  But when you've been beaten so much emotionally and then physically, it was like his only way to rebel.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Sep 06 2008 12:41 pm   #56sosa lola
I think Spike wanted to be killed, in Seeing Red, he told Buffy he wished she let Xander kill him. When he spilled the beans about him and Buffy in a rude way, he just wanted Xander to get angrier and finish the job.
Sep 06 2008 02:52 pm   #57Scarlet Ibis
I think Spike wanted to be killed, in Seeing Red, he told Buffy he wished she let Xander kill him. When he spilled the beans about him and Buffy in a rude way, he just wanted Xander to get angrier and finish the job.
Briefly he did, yes.  But once Buffy stopped Xander initially, those feelings had abated--he knew that Buffy wouldn't let Xander do it. If she hadn't in the first instant, literally running to stop him, why let him do it only moments later?  It wouldn't make any sense.  She protected him physically, but refused to protect his name, so he did it himself.  As stated earlier, words were the only way Spike could fight back, and he was finally fed up enough with the situation to do so.

ETA: He looked vindicated once he said it.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Sep 06 2008 03:40 pm   #58sosa lola
Guess you're right, I think he wanted to hurt both Buffy and Xander when he spoke up. He was too pissed off he was ready to wish something against Xander, if it wasn't for Anya stopping him. She knew that what Xander saw was the greatest punishment he could ever get. Plus Anya finally confessing to Xander about how she really felt about his way to deal with his insecurities was a good punch. Wish she told him that years ago.