Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 6, Episode 15: As You Were
Written and Directed by Douglas Petrie
And Buffy sinks to yet another low. I’m serious, but is anyone actually enjoying this any more? The performances are comprised of nothing but the barest essentials, the direction is so perfunctory that I can only imagine Douglas Petrie - whose episodes used to be so fun - was in autopilot, and the audience… well, I’m sure someone out there likes this episode, but it’s not a position I can even begin to fathom.
This week, Riley shows up in town with his new wife on tow, on the trail of a demon. Why, you may ask? Presumably to contrast his got-together new lifestyle with Buffy’s, to show how totally screwed up she is. All well and good, but, as was recently pointed out to me, could they have picked a worse character to do this with? When Riley left Sunnydale in Season 5, he was the king of all fuck-ups, allowing vampires to feed on him and offering Buffy the sort of “convince me not to leave you” ultimatum that is hardly a solid foundation for any relationship. And yet, despite leaving Sunnydale an absolute wreck, and despite apparently having taken a year to get over Buffy (roughly the same amount of time he’s been gone), he seems to have got himself back into gear, picked up a new wife, and been happily married for four months. Huh?
Tack on an utterly stupid plot involving Spike being some sort of demon egg trafficker, which makes absolutely no sense and is never referenced again, not to mention the sheer unbelievability of Riley taking Buffy on a demon hunt and not bothering to tell her that he wants it alive (this is Buffy, whose profession is to kill demons, we’re talking about), and I find myself wondering if anyone bothered doing any quality control on this episode. It feels like the first draft of a hastily-penned filler episode, and yet I know for a fact that Marc Blucas’s guest return was being heralded as a big deal long before it happened, so I find it hard to believe they just pulled this one out of their asses.
Overall rating: 2/10.
Next time: Hell’s Bells.