Buffy the Vampire Slayer
As You Were

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Sep: B- | Grade It Now!
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That old spud of mine

Strangely, we segue right to Anya and Xander, hiding in their bathroom and bickering. Anya seems resentful of how much Xander has been blathering about Riley. She wonders if he thinks Riley's marriage is better than his own (technically he's not married yet, but that's what she said), and Xander assures her that isn't the case, although he has a hard time "imagining Nick and Nora Fury hiding out from their own relatives in the bathroom." Nick and Nora Fury. Kute. Anyway, to summarize the rest of the scene: Xander is scared of the actual wedding, but looking forward to being with Anya for the rest of his life. "Our wedding is not our marriage," realizes Anya. Moving on? Moving on.

Riley and Buffy amble out of Der Zauber Kasten as they talk about where the Kute Kommandos will be going next. Riley offers to send a postcard from Nepal, and then asks Buffy in a neutral tone if she wants him to "take the Doctor out." Wait -- he likes Spike now? Wants to treat him to dinner and a movie? Oh, no, right. That's military speak for killing Spike. "Do I want you to --?" says Buffy incredulously. "How can you ask me?" she continues in a tone that seems to make clear that she doesn't want Riley to do that. "I'm sleeping with him. I'm sleeping with Spike," she attempts to explain. Riley gets another "heh" from me for dryly saying, "I had actually noticed that." Buffy lashes out a little, asking if he actually waited until his life was perfect before coming back to Sunnydale, but Riley protests that he was terrified to see her again. "I'm sure my incredible patheticness softened the blow for you," self-pities Buffy. Riley is all, "I don't know what you're talking about." Dude? Has the potato grown so large that you cannot see what is right in front of your tuber nose? Riley tells her that none of the unfortunate circumstances that she finds herself in right now "mean anything." "It doesn't touch you," he continues. "So you're not in the greatest place right now. And maybe I made it worse. Wheel never stops turning, Buffy. You're up, you're down. Doesn't change what you are. And you are a hell of a woman." See, I think that's nice. I was spoiled for this episode, and I was all worried that Riley was going to fix Buffy's wagon right up by delivering a huge condescending lecture about how wrong everything was in her life, but instead he just tells her she's fantastic. Nothing wrong with that at all, and something more people should tell the people they love more often. See? Look at that. I don't need to call Riley an ass if he's not being an ass. Buffy sadly says, "Riley, that night. I never got the chance to tell you how sorry I was about what happened between us." "You never have to," he replies. I don't think she was accepting all the blame for the end of the relationship there, as some people have speculated. I think it was more her expressing sadness and regret that things ended with so much anger and resentment. You can be sorry that something happened without thinking it's all your fault. Our nice moments are over, however, because Sam leads Xander, Willow, and Dawn out of the Magic Box as she and Xander talk more boring wedding talk. Oh my god! No. Body. Cares. Sam makes nicey-nice goodbyes with Xander and Willow while Dawn glowers as only teenagers can, finally sneering at Riley, "So you gonna say goodbye this time or just split all secret-agenty like last time?" Since he and Sam are standing there saying goodbye, this seems like a rather stupid question. Dawn shouldn't miss so much school. In fact, Dawn should probably get shipped off to boarding school to catch up. Preferably a boarding school somewhere in a galaxy far, far away. Riley asks for and gets a hug from Dawn, and gives her a formal goodbye. Then a chopper flies in, and Mr. and Mrs. Potatohead are air-lifted out clipped to a wire. Are they going to drag them all the way to Nepal? Whatever. Buffy is the cheese and stands alone as the others wave goodbye. Before she goes inside, Willow steps over to Buffy and says in re: Sam, "What a bitch!" Of course she doesn't mean it, but it's still rather charming.

Spike surveys the bombed-out ruins of his lair and sighs. As he stares at the ground, Buffy walks in, wearing a strange tucked and gathered lavender peasant blouse. "Thought you'd be off snogging the soldier boy," Spike says grumpily. "He's gone," Buffy tells him and Spike asks if she's there for "a bit of cold comfort." He then makes a half-hearted quip about the bed being blown up but them not needing it anyway. "I'm not here to…" says Buffy gently. "And I'm not here to bust your chops about your stupid scheme either." What she is there to do is tell him, "It's over." Spike steps towards her, saying he's heard this one before and that she still wants him. Buffy agrees that she does: "Being with you makes things simpler. For a little while." In the same calm tone, she continues, "I'm using you. I can't love you. I'm just being weak and selfish…and it's killing me." Spike looks at her like he finally believes something is different about her protests this time. They stare at each other, and Buffy sadly says, "I'm sorry, William." She turns and leaves the crypt, where Spike shakes his head a little in pain. Upstairs, Buffy walks into a bright ray of sunshine and looks up in a hopeful visual statement.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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