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Captain Hammer

Don't You Just Love a Picnic?

One thing that always kind of bugged me about Riley was that I never quite felt like his lines were genuine. They felt like they were, well, acted. They felt rehearsed.

But, then, I thought about that scene in 4.09 “Something Blue” where Riley tells Buffy that he practices before each of their conversations! Add that to how he’s got a secret identity to keep, and it totally makes sense!

Everything Riley has ever said ever is something he practised in the mirror. That’s why his lines are overly cheesy and awkward! That’s why everything he says sounds too thought out! He never delivered a sincere word in the entire series. Everything about Mr Riley Finn is brilliance upon brilliance, thoughtful writing layered over by Mark Blucas’ brilliant delivery.

Riley is the single greatest character in the Buffyverse!

Or he’s just poorly executed.

(Okay, yeah, it’s the second one.)

Comments

Heh. I'm not a Riley fan by any means, but I think there's more than a germ of truth in what you say. There's a reason why he and Buffy are only able to break through when they can't talk. Which, you know, is probably not a good start to a relationship. They are ultimately not able to overcome their communication problems. A lot of people like to hold Buffy responsible for that, but you've pointed out that Riley fails, too.

I've read meta (usually around the whole "Doctor" thing) that indicates that we don't really know if anything Riley says is on the up-and-up. That family back in Iowa? Could be a cover story, with all its blander than Rockwell-ness. (I like Rockwell, okay?)

I had a talk with Jane Espenson once, wherein she said that Riley was always intended as a "bridge" relationship for Buffy, and that they knew from the start that it was doomed. Probably why they get together in an episode called "Doomed". Heh.
Now, in all fairness to the Buffy/Riley ship, there's got to be some level of understanding when two people agree (without discussion) that ASL "cook" is the same as "box."

Can't think of much else they have immediate consensus on, though, but obviously that would be more important to a relationship in the long run. I mean, what are you going to need more in a successful relationship? Agreement on pantomimes, or agreement on personal values?

Ah, but that makes me feel so much more confident in the show, if Riley never really had a chance.
Angelus/Dru

March 2014

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