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BTVS Episode Poll: 6.15 As You Were

NoShoes
Wow! From out of nowhere! Just in time for Saint Patrick's Day! The return of the late Season 6 Buffy polls!


"My hat has a cow."


I know there's a typo in the first answer set, but when I corrected it and resubmitted my poll, the XML wouldn't resolve and I couldn't instantly figure out why, so I got impatient and decided to just live with the typo. TContext is supposed to be "Context" Here, let me distract you with shirtless Spike:



"I've seen enough of your dead body for one night."

Poll #1960798 BTVS Episode Poll: 6.15 As You Were

1. During the opening scene, Buffy has no idea who Machiavelli is and her co-worker condescendingly implies that this is because she dropped out of college. But in previous episodes, Buffy has made or picked up on references easily as obscure as Machiavelli (for example, her threat to "pull a William Burroughs" during "New Moon Rising.") So, why doesn't Buffy pick up on the Machiavelli reference?

Character inconsistency for the sake of establishing the "Buffy feels like a loser" theme of this episode.
9(37.5%)
Fatigue. She's exhausted.
6(25.0%)
Depression. It can really interfere with cognitive abilities.
3(12.5%)
TContext. She's not expecting a scholarly reference right at that point.
1(4.2%)
Sheer randomness. You ever play pub trivia? Everybody knows different random things.
5(20.8%)
Other
0(0.0%)

2. When Buffy first sees Riley, she utters the line "Were you always this tall?" Fill in with your preference:

Were you always this boring?
6(25.0%)
Were you always this big of a jerk?
4(16.7%)
Were you always this inconsiderate?
2(8.3%)
I'm okay with tall.
11(45.8%)
Other
1(4.2%)

3. Why doesn't Riley tell her that he's married?

He's been awake for 48 hours and is getting punchy. That's probably also why he fails to tell her not to kill the demon.
3(13.0%)
Because he's a big jerk. That's why.
2(8.7%)
Because he's still hung up on her, duh.
6(26.1%)
Because he's still hung up on her, AND he's a big jerk.
11(47.8%)
Other
1(4.3%)

4. Willow: "Just so you know: I am prepared to hate this woman any way you want." Do you hate Riley's wife Sam?

Actually, I kinda do.
3(13.0%)
No, she's great.
0(0.0%)
I like her, but I feel like the script works just a little too hard to try to get me to like her.
8(34.8%)
She's way better than Riley deserves.
4(17.4%)
like Sam. But, seriously, Riley has been away for ONE YEAR and he's still, like, 25 years old tops. I don't think their marriage was necessarily entered into with the best possible judgment.
5(21.7%)
Other
3(13.0%)

5. Sam's speech to Willow about the shamans who got addicted to dark magic and now are "gone" -- what do you think?

What's the difference between a shaman and a wicca?
1(4.2%)
FORESHADOWING.
1(4.2%)
What, so now "getting addicted to dark magic" is a thing?
7(29.2%)
Where did they go? Does she mean they, like disappeared into an alternate dimension? Or does she mean they are hollow inhuman shells gibbering into the darkness? I want details here!
6(25.0%)
She's trying to be nice, but she clearly has no idea what she's talking about.
8(33.3%)
Other
1(4.2%)

6. Riley busting in on post-coital Buffy & Spike. What do you think?

I can't watch this scene. I just can't.
5(20.8%)
You know, Riley and Spike really bring out the worst in each other.
7(29.2%)
I'm okay with its unspeakable awkwardness and embarrassment, right until the point Riley deliberately shames Buffy with that "have you forgotten?" line.
8(33.3%)
What is it with Spike and the sexual tension with the other male characters, anyway? Does Riley even notice?
3(12.5%)
Other
1(4.2%)

7. The scene downstairs in the crypt -- Buffy says "No more games, Spike." Then Spike gets really upset. "That's bloody funny, coming from you? No games? That's all you've ever done is play me, and keep playing with rules you make up as you like! You know what I am -- you've always known -- and you come to me all the same!" Is Spike right?

Yes.
12(50.0%)
Kind of. He knows that Buffy has been in denial about his bad side. But he also knows that if she stops being in denial about it, she's likely to break it off with him.
10(41.7%)
No. He's upset, and he's projecting.
2(8.3%)
Other
0(0.0%)

8. The Xander/Anya wedding jitters sub-plot. What do you think?

Totally pointless. Just there to remind us what to expect for next week.
7(30.4%)
I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THIS IS A COUPLE THAT COULD POSSIBLY NOT SUCCEED IN GETTING MARRIED A WEEK FROM NOW.
7(30.4%)
It's fine.
6(26.1%)
I don't like the implicit fat-shaming in all the jokes about their compulsive snacking.
1(4.3%)
Other
2(8.7%)

9. Riley's little "you're a hell of a woman" pep talk. What do you think?

He's got some nerve, the big jerk.
5(21.7%)
It's fine. He doesn't say anything that's wrong or bad advice.
2(8.7%)
It's fine, but seems a little overly practiced. That's probably why he forgot to tell her he was married or the objective with the demon. Too busy rehearsing this little pep talk.
7(30.4%)
You know, closure is good. She gets closure here. So I'm giving it a thumbs up.
7(30.4%)
Other
2(8.7%)

10. In the final scene, Buffy breaks up with Spike. What do you think?

It's just because that big jerk Riley shamed her, and it really bugs me.
2(8.3%)
I appreciate that she's trying to do the right thing for herself, but it's tainted by all the Riley-shaming beforehand.
9(37.5%)
Wow, she's really adult here -- taking care of herself, and respecting both the relationship and Spike as a person. Plus, it's the first time she's ever broken off a relationship properly. Go Buffy!
4(16.7%)
Her depression is getting better, so it was inevitable that this was coming, Riley or not.
2(8.3%)
I think she does it for all the right reasons. And I appreciate her maturity. But my fantasy life is going to be so much poorer for the rest of the season...
6(25.0%)
Other
1(4.2%)

11. Quotes

DAWN Some vamp get rough with you? BUFFY He's not getting any gentler.
1(4.3%)
WILLOW You know when I was little, I used to spend hours imagining what my wedding to Xander would be like. And now that I see them together I just think ... Nyeah heh.
1(4.3%)
BUFFY Don't you want your garbage ... ?
1(4.3%)
BUFFY My hat has a cow.
5(21.7%)
ANYA I think maybe we died in this car on the way to the airport. And now we're in hell. XANDER The radio said no traffic. ANYA It's a hell radio. Of course it said that.
3(13.0%)
XANDER Why did we ever agree to let your friends -- who are demons -- and my family -- who are monsters -- stay at our place?
0(0.0%)
WILLOW Just so you know: I am prepared to hate this woman any way you want.
4(17.4%)
SAM There's no bad guys in this one, Buffy.
0(0.0%)
BUFFY Tell me you love me. SPIKE I love you. You know I do. BUFFY Tell me you want me. SPIKE I always want you. In point of fact, I -- BUFFY Shut up.
5(21.7%)
RILEY I've seen enough of your dead body for one night, thanks.
1(4.3%)
RILEY Can you shut him up? BUFFY Not so far.
0(0.0%)
XANDER No! I mean, granted, it's hard to imagine Nick and Nora Fury hiding out from relatives in their own bathroom
2(8.7%)
Other
0(0.0%)

12. Rate this episode

Mean: 4.29 Median: 4 Std. Dev 2.07
0
0(0.0%)
1
1(4.8%)
2
5(23.8%)
3
3(14.3%)
4
3(14.3%)
5
1(4.8%)
6
4(19.0%)
7
3(14.3%)
8
1(4.8%)
9
0(0.0%)
10
0(0.0%)



Bonus question! Have you ever worked at a job that left you "stinky"?

Comments

( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
mcjulie
Mar. 16th, 2014 03:14 pm (UTC)
1. I could have said "a little bit of all of them" but I went with context. And by the way, could her co-worker possibly be any more smug? I don't think there is any more smug a person could be.

2. Were you always this boring? I admit, I say it in my head every time. But I know there are Riley fans out there. I'm not sure any of them will be taking this poll, but I have talked to them in person at conventions and such, and they have sound reasons for their opinions. I just don't share them...

3. Because he's still hung up on her, AND he's a big jerk. Seriously, it's a jerk move any way you look at it. He's just getting a little thrill from being around her, and I think he selfishly doesn't want that thrill to end by telling her -- and therefore reminding himself -- that he's committed to someone else.

4. I like her, but I feel like the script works just a little too hard to try to get me to like her. I go back and forth on this. Sometimes I think it's the character -- you know, Sam herself is very conscious of trying to get along with everyone and not step on toes and not hurt people. And other times I feel like the intent of the script -- "your ex comes back and his life is perfect and he's married to the most awesome person you ever met" makes it just a little too pushy on the subject of Sam's awesomeness, where it doesn't feel organic.

5. Where did they go? Does she mean they, like disappeared into an alternate dimension…
I appreciate Sam's intent here, but in a show like Buffy, I think you really have to qualify a statement like "nothing left," because it could be meant literally in all sorts of surprising ways.

6. I can't watch this scene. I cringe and turn away when I know it's coming. It just pushes my social discomfort meter too high into the red. I mean, it's so EMBARRASSING and then Spike acts like a jerk and then Riley acts like a jerk and then Buffy is so EMBARRASSED and… ah, I just can't.

7. No. He's upset, and he's projecting. Seriously, dude. "Games" does not even begin to describe what you've been doing with Buffy.

I do like this scene, though -- as much as I wince during the scene above -- because I think it indicates a deep conflict in Spike. He doesn't get upset like that very often. He's usually playing the guy who's too cool to care. It's obvious that Buffy feels embarrassed because Riley "caught" her with Spike, but Spike also feels embarrassed because Buffy caught him being the bad guy. He feels shame and he's not comfortable feeling shame here. He doesn't think he should. He still hasn't resolved his identity conflict between hero and villain. He still wants to be both, have it both ways. But his regard for Buffy makes that impossible, because when he looks at himself through her eyes, suddenly he's ashamed to be a villain.
mcjulie
Mar. 16th, 2014 03:14 pm (UTC)

8. I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THIS IS A COUPLE THAT COULD POSSIBLY NOT SUCCEED IN GETTING MARRIED A WEEK FROM NOW.

Earlier episodes have made the case for "Xander isn't really ready for marriage" and "Anya has gotten distracted by all the wedding plans and has forgotten what marriage is really about" pretty well, but this one -- that moment in the bathroom when they resolve their conflict -- it's too perfect. I don't believe they're going to be breaking up a week from now. Do you hear me? I JUST DON'T BELIEVE IT! (Shakes angry fist at writers.)

9. It's fine, but seems a little overly practiced.
You know, like he got it off an advice column or something. Or from one of those self-help books they sell in the SkyMall catalog.

10. I think she does it for all the right reasons. And I appreciate her maturity. But my fantasy life is going to be so much poorer for the rest of the season...
I admit it. This action totally makes sense for Buffy when you look at it as part of her emotional arc. And she's working so hard to be an adult about it, to be respectful of Spike, to take ownership and control and all that. But my heart sinks every time. Does this mean no more hot and wildly inappropriate super-powered sex? Sigh. Yes. It does mean no more hot and wildly inappropriate super-powered sex.

11. BUFFY Don't you want your garbage ... ?
I love her delivery on this line and I quote it whenever I miss a garbage or recycling pickup.

12. Seven. I think seven is my default rating for an episode with serious good, but some bad.
trepkos
Mar. 16th, 2014 03:43 pm (UTC)
I don't understand why Riley needed to bring Buffy in, in the first place. It seems to me that he and Sam could have dealt with the Suvolte perfectly well between them! The whole episode just seemed a bit contrived to me. And I don't buy Spike calling himself "The Doctor" after what happened at the end of season 5. Badly plotted, but with some good lines.
I like the Riley who never went out with Buffy.
mcjulie
Mar. 16th, 2014 04:05 pm (UTC)
Yeah, this episode has a few logistical problems. Like, how does Riley know to find her at the Doublemeat Palace right then?

Of course, in my head canon, that whole "Doctor" thing is something new that Spike is trying because he thinks he ought to, but his heart isn't really in it...
trepkos
Mar. 16th, 2014 04:07 pm (UTC)
Even if he did, he would never take the name of the dude who tried to bleed Dawn.
mcjulie
Mar. 16th, 2014 04:12 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow, I forgot about that! Yeah. But Spike wouldn't have.

Also "The Doctor" is a really lame nickname for anybody who isn't, you know, THE Doctor. As in the one with the Tardis.
fenchurche
Mar. 16th, 2014 04:39 pm (UTC)
That's why I kept thinking we'd found out later that it was the nerd trio who were behind it all.
trepkos
Mar. 16th, 2014 06:32 pm (UTC)
Absolutely!
baudown
Mar. 17th, 2014 01:13 am (UTC)
And I don't buy Spike calling himself "The Doctor" after what happened at the end of season 5.

Exactly. Not a chance.

This always felt like a lame attempt at reminding viewers who loved Spike: See? He's EEEVULLL!!!
itsnotmymind
Mar. 16th, 2014 04:11 pm (UTC)
7. I feel like Spike is right, but a trifle one-sided. He's been playing games, too.

9. Pep talk was nice, but would have had more resonance if Riley had related it to his own experiences. I.e., if he'd said something like, "I was a mess when I last saw you, but I was able to get my life together." But that would mean admitting that HE was the one who fucked up in their break-up.
mcjulie
Mar. 16th, 2014 04:19 pm (UTC)
Pep talk was nice, but would have had more resonance if Riley had related it to his own experiences. I.e., if he'd said something like, "I was a mess when I last saw you, but I was able to get my life together." But that would mean admitting that HE was the one who fucked up in their break-up.

Yes! Thank you for helping me put my finger on it. The scene is nice otherwise, but it bugs me that Riley still takes no responsibility, and the script lets him get away with it. The only person reminding us of what a jerk Riley was being is Spike, who was being kind of a jerk himself at the time.
kikimay
Mar. 16th, 2014 09:09 pm (UTC)

9. Pep talk was nice, but would have had more resonance if Riley had related it to his own experiences. I.e., if he'd said something like, "I was a mess when I last saw you, but I was able to get my life together." But that would mean admitting that HE was the one who fucked up in their break-up.



THIS. Ultimately the pep talk doesn't work because Riley feels like the good teacher for bad Buffy. In the previous year he was totally fucking things up, but the show never addresses it. Shame.
frelling_tralk
Mar. 18th, 2014 01:56 pm (UTC)
Yeah it annoyed me that Riley got to act gracious and say that Buffy never has to apologise to him, yet there was no acknowledgement of why they broke up in the first place
beer_good_foamy
Mar. 16th, 2014 05:25 pm (UTC)
No question about the logic of Spike being a black market demon egg dealer...? ;)

3: This.

I find it hard to hate Sam. Her entire characterisation is "You're supposed to like this character!", to the extent that there's nothing about her to either like or dislike. I still think she's a robot.

And the line "My hat has a cow" is this episode's major redeeming quality.

Edited at 2014-03-16 05:31 pm (UTC)
mcjulie
Mar. 16th, 2014 06:04 pm (UTC)
No question about the logic of Spike being a black market demon egg dealer

You know, sometimes things just don't make good poll questions because the only answer I can think of is "what's up with THAT?"
mcjulie
Mar. 17th, 2014 02:13 pm (UTC)
I read your mini-fic -- nice take on it.
molly_may
Mar. 16th, 2014 05:37 pm (UTC)
I'm on record - multiple records, in fact - as loathing this episode with the heat of a million suns. It's an hour of watching Buffy, my favorite character, be repeatedly shamed and humiliated by Saint Riley, the epitome of an entitled Nice Guy.

4. Willow: "Just so you know: I am prepared to hate this woman any way you want." Do you hate Riley's wife Sam?

I chose Other on this, because I'm completely indifferent to Sam. I don't like her, but I don't hate her either; she's barely a character. I do question her taste in men.

8. The Xander/Anya wedding jitters sub-plot. What do you think?

And I chose Other on this one because my main response to those scenes is to think "Yay! Here is a scene in which I don't have to watch Buffy be embarrassed or Riley be...Riley!"

9. Riley's little "you're a hell of a woman" pep talk. What do you think?

I think it'd be nice if he could get through the speech without telling her she smells bad (I know it's supposed to be a "cute" running joke, but ugh). I think it would mean a hell of a lot more coming from someone who hadn't treated Buffy like there was something wrong with her for not needing him enough. And I think that the moment in which Buffy starts to apologize and Riley stops her without ever suggesting that perhaps he might owe her an apology as well makes me want to throw something heavy at the TV. BUFFY DOESN'T NEED TO APOLOGIZE, YOU CONDESCENDING ASS, BUT MAYBE YOU DO.

So anyway, I still hate it! I guess it's nice to know that some things will never change.:)
mcjulie
Mar. 17th, 2014 02:01 pm (UTC)
I respect your hatred. I had very mixed feelings about this episode when it first aired, and they remain mixed.
kikimay
Mar. 16th, 2014 09:20 pm (UTC)
The episode makes no sense at all. I just like some random scenes and the final break up scene (Yes, I'm spuffy. Yes, it's a good scene)

1. A little bit of everything? But mostly character inconsistency. Buffy isn't Willow, but she manages to be a good student. It guess that the line was all about making Buffy the miserable low paid worker who can't even get the inside jokes of her co-workers.

2. Bored now. This episode is so not-interesting.

3. I can't really understand why he doesn't tell. This episode makes no sense at all. I went for the hung up plus jerk combo.

4. Don't hate her, she's fine. I find ridiculous that Riley was all destroyed by Buffy and next thing you know he found and married his soulmate. WTF?

5. Yes, where did those shamans go? Pointless dialogues also?

6. Riley/Spike vibes much? *C*

7. Kind of.

8. It's fine, but it also a totally remark of the fact that they are going to - not- marry.

9. Answered in the comments above.

10. I appreciate that she's trying to do the right thing for herself, but it's tainted by all the Riley-shaming beforehand. I would appreciate the break up much, much more if it wasn't about Riley being a saint and Buffy understanding that she's the worst.

11. The Willow quote about marrying Xander is awesome. The dialogue pre-sex between Spike and Buffy is also lovely - I'm a shipper - but this quote wins everything.

12. I went for 3.

mcjulie
Mar. 17th, 2014 02:05 pm (UTC)
I find ridiculous that Riley was all destroyed by Buffy and next thing you know he found and married his soulmate. WTF?

Yeah, I mean, talk about ridiculous rebound relationships. Although it sort of implies that maybe Riley got so hung up on Buffy because his biological clock was ticking. You know, he was all hot for marriage, and of course she wasn't.

Still, it's weird that none of the other characters call him on it. When they talk about Sam, nobody says anything like "she's great -- but don't you think it's weird that he married her so soon after being all upset over losing Buffy?"

cjot
Mar. 16th, 2014 09:58 pm (UTC)
My memory of this episode is pretty hazy. Any and all of my answers might change if I saw it again. But in my admittedly hazy memory, what bugs me is that the pep talk which allowed Buffy to get her act together came from the ex who dumped her in a really painful way. I do not think that is one bit realistic.

I mean, who ever made a step forward in maturity by hearing someone who screwed you over say, "No, really, you have it in you to be awesome just like me. In fact, it's only because you inspired me that I became such a stellar success?" OK, not that he used those words. But still.

And I LIKE Riley. I thought Riley's role on the show was to be a decent guy who wasn't right for Buffy. He's the guy who looks right on the surface, except for this one little thing that you can't get past, so you keep trying to make it work, because it seems so petty to let that one little thing be a dealbreaker. But in reality, it isn't always the one little thing - it's the fact that you're just not that into him, and the reason why doesn't matter. The longer you try to make it work, the worse you hurt each other. The one little thing was his jealousy of her physical ability. Without that jealousy... she probably still wouldn't have been all that into him. Not for a reason, but because those things aren't reasonable.

Those relationships sometimes do end in friendship. I just think that it's too soon for Riley to be the one who inspires her.
mcjulie
Mar. 17th, 2014 02:10 pm (UTC)
I just think that it's too soon for Riley to be the one who inspires her.

Maybe we're supposed to be on TV-show time, where it was in fact only a year ago, but the characters have had so much going on that for them it feels like at least five years.

It would also explain why nobody thinks it's weird that he's married already.
lynnenne
Mar. 17th, 2014 03:03 am (UTC)
I seem to be one of the few people who actually like this episode. Mostly because it gave me this icon.
mcjulie
Mar. 17th, 2014 02:11 pm (UTC)
Even my least favorite Buffy episodes have at least a couple of things about them that I love.

And I don't actually hate this episode. I think parts of it work very well. But those other parts...
rebcake
Mar. 17th, 2014 05:05 am (UTC)
There's a lot of important stuff in this episode, and a lot of good little scenes, but also A LOT of things that make no sense whatsoever. However, I will forgive plenty for the additon of "My hat has a cow" to the repertoire.

I think that Riley neglected to mention the marriage and the not-killing parameters of the mission because he's still angry at Buffy, deep down. He doesn't really want her to succeed. He doesn't want Spike to be a force for good, either. And, much as I'm fine with Sam, I can't believe a relationship that new would ever be that solid, so I'm overlaying a bit of fear that someone will see through the front he's putting out there. And I do think Riley is essentially an okay guy.I don't think he's deliberately trying to make Buffy feel crappy. He's just got issues, like everybody does, and he's barely holding it together, just like everybody else. If Buffy were in a better mental state, she'd see through his act, more's the pity. Same with Spike.
mcjulie
Mar. 17th, 2014 02:12 pm (UTC)
I like your reading of it!
pickamix
Mar. 19th, 2014 04:57 am (UTC)
I'm only going to fill in my other vote.

Buffy breaking up with Spike ... it would be great if she would have possibly said something to the effect of: I can't do this anymore. This relationship makes me hate myself because I'm just as abusive as you are in it. It isn't healthy and it's killing me and I have to stop.

If she had just admitted that she was abusive and then made an effort to stop being abusive ... then I would have never started to vehemently hate Buffy the character so much. But as the scene stands I want to rip her eyes out and show her all the places where she was just as bad as he was. He at least doesn't have a soul at this point and there's something of an excuse there. But Buffy has almost nothing to excuse her and because she remains abusive I can't get behind her as a "heroic" character. Heroes can be flawed in some regards but if they cross the line into abusing and don't come back ... forget it they aren't a hero anymore.

Continued abuse prime example: Buffy giving Spike the amulet when she 1) Thinks it is too volatile for either her or Angel to wear ... so in other words ... she threw him under the bus. GRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!

Sorry about the Buffy hate but this scene gets under my skin.

*hugs and love*
mcjulie
Mar. 19th, 2014 02:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks for an alternate opinion!
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )

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