Episode 92: Out of My Mind


For this episode of Myth Taken we talk about muppets, the beginning of the end for Riley, and of course, sodding breadboxes! Thanks for joining us for our discussion of Season 5, Episode 4: Out of My Mind.



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One thought on “Episode 92: Out of My Mind

  1. There are things I like and don’t like about the dissolution of Riley and Buffy’s relationship. On the one hand, I think the problems that crop up in Riley and Buffy’s relationship make total sense for who both characters are and where they’re at at this point. Buffy IS really independent. She’s used to having to shoulder responsibility herself, and maybe she feels this even more acutely after she kills Angel and leaves for LA (Angel was someone she used to run to – she doesn’t do that anymore at this point, with anyone really). Yes, she renewed her relationships with Joyce and her friends since then, but she’s now established that when things go really wrong she can rely on herself, even if, after season 4, she knows she prefers to work with her friends.

    Season 5 introduces entirely new responsibilities – Dawn (sure, she doesn’t *know* it’s a new responsibility, but it still kind of feels like one, to her, especially once she learns Dawn’s true backstory, even as she very obviously loves her as a sister) and Joyce’s illness. And depending on what type of relationship you want, being so independent – so instinctively dealing with things on your own and not really thinking to ask for help in terms of emotional support – can be a real issue. And I totally believe it’s a real issue for Riley, just based on everything we know about him. He’s used to being part of a team. He’s used to being *central* to the team, and having his own responsibilities, and with Buffy (and without the Initiative) he’s unmoored in a way that he immediately reads as ‘not loved.’

    This was an issue even early on in their relationship, though, from back in ‘Doomed’ on – Riley has always seen them as a team, as two people who can do amazing things together, and Buffy just isn’t on the same page. Which doesn’t mean she doesn’t love him, but I can see why the relationship dynamic just isn’t working for him, and that he’s feeling it more acutely in season 5. Now, as you both said on the podcast, this doesn’t absolve him of not talking about it with her, for sure. What’s happening is a mismatch of expectations and lack of communication between them (the latter of which is mostly coming from Riley’s side because he’s the one who’s upset about the relationship and isn’t telling her), NOT Buffy failing to care for Riley the way a woman ‘should’ and reaping the consequences (which I would say is for sure the message we get in Into the Woods, which I despise).

    But this is also what makes Riley’s return in season 6 work for me. Not because I think he should get to show Buffy up, or something, but I think it makes total sense that he would thrive in a situation where he got to be part of a team again, where he felt needed, in his work and in his relationship.

    Ah, I feel really weird leaving it there because it feels like such a defense of Riley, so I should say – I still don’t think it makes sense for them to be in a relationship at ALL, after their argument in Doomed, and the circumstances around Riley leaving were enormously messed up in so many ways.

    What else? Oh, the part about Spike’s feelings for Buffy happening almost against his will – yeah, I’m not a huge fan of that, as a concept, but I also don’t know how else it might’ve looked. Like, you’d think he would have known he was attracted to her before now, but it also moves from attraction to fixation/’love’ fairly quickly on his end (the quotes are not because I don’t think he ever loves her, but I think he has a pretty twisted vision of what love is, for a while, especially with the way he kind of throws himself into it, and especially when the Buffy bot gets involved). But this kind of intense/all-consuming version of love is something the show seems to tout in this season, with Spike’s feelings for Buffy but also Xander’s speech (UGH) to Buffy in Into the Woods, and Xander’s own speech to Anya about how much he loves her in the previous episode. Then again, this isn’t new, considering this is also the show of ‘when you kiss me, I wanna die.’ The melodrama is here to stay.


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