In this episode, we talk about earthquakes, Hawaiian shirts, and the horrors of going back to high school! Thanks for listening to our discussion of Season 4, Episode 11: Doomed.
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Music for this episode is “Digging a Grave,” by Shadows from the Underground, and is used under license from Audiosocket.
One thought on “Episode 74: Doomed”
Doomed really IS such an apt title for this episode, particularly re: Buffy and Riley’s relationship. Every time I try to articulate what about their relationship bugs me, I think it’s just that they’re too different, and that Riley especially doesn’t really see that difference. I get the feeling that throughout their relationship he sees Buffy as some idealized (to him) version of herself – like he saw all this evidence that she was independent and he thought he liked that, but part of him still seemed to think she wouldn’t stay that way. That she’d become someone a little more… what he wanted; a little better suited to him. I know this is just my personal take but that’s always the feeling that I got from Riley – that he had these unconscious-to-him assumptions about and expectations of Buffy that she never gave him a reason to assume or expect, and it just took him the duration of their relationship to realize that he had those expectations and what an issue it was for him that Buffy wasn’t meeting them. In this episode he comes off as naive, and (because of the ‘third no’ you discussed – I HATE that scene) pushy in a way that reads almost like a red flag to me – not to say that it makes him seem dangerous or like a bad person, but just that he’s already got a vision in his head of what this relationship could be, and he’s not willing to really listen to Buffy’s objections, or believe that she might have them for a *reason.* He comes off as someone who’s very used to things working in his favor if he just gives his best, most earnest effort, but relationships involve more than one person, and more than one person’s wants, needs, and reservations. It’s not a good conversation if you find yourself saying “I’m not going to force myself on you. But…”
You mentioned “Into the Woods” and I know we’re not there yet, but I wanted to link you to an episode of the podcast Extra Hot Great (a TV podcast hosted by the former creators of the Television Without Pity forums which were very active when Buffy first aired). In this episode (146), “Into the Woods” is submitted to the Nonac, the podcast’s hall of infamy for exceptionally bad episodes of otherwise good television shows (the reverse of this is the Canon, showcasing exceptionally good episodes – they have The Body in there). Anyway, if you want to listen to a 20-or-so minute very snarky/rant-filled takedown of “Into the Woods,” (it starts around the 36-minute mark) here’s the link: https://www.extrahotgreat.com/146
Finally, I feel kind of weird not commenting on Hush after continuing to leave these long comments, but as much as I love it I don’t actually think I have much to say about it – maybe it’s just easier to write about things that annoy me, episode to episode. 🙂 But I did want to add that one of the two pieces of Buffy-related home decor I have is a painting of the Gentlemen that my friend made for me. The other piece is also from season 4: Giles’ ‘kiss the librarian’ mug, painted red on the inside of course, because Spike drinks blood from it. 🙂