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Date Posted: 19:32:50 10/15/07 Mon
Author: Trent
Subject: Captain Cardboard?

From the first time I saw Riley in Season Four, I liked him. I've always liked him. He had a quirky personality behind the so-called "bland" facade. It's a shame that many had failed to notice this. Did I think he was right for Buffy? No. It's not because he was never "dark" enough for her. That whole schmiel about only someone like Angel or Spike would be dark enough to satisfy or understand Buffy, because they were the very beings that she fought is a lot of nonsense to me. I believe that Riley had the potential to be a very dark person. Look at how dark Willow, Xander and Warren became in Season Six. This is a guy who had volunteered to become a demon hunter for the Army. Nor have I ever viewed him as being normal. But I do not believe that he was the right person for Buffy. One, I think that she had used him as someone with whom she could have a "normal" relationship. Two, I think that Riley was the rebound guy and by early Season Five, he probably suspected it. Three, both Riley and Buffy had similar personalities. Both were reserved, yet aggressive personalities. Quite simply, they were too similar to each other. And to me, this symbolized a lack of balance in their relationship. I've also had similar feelings about Willow's relationships with Oz and Tara.

Also, I never understood why Buffy had treated Riley like china, after he had lost his superstrength in "Out of My Mind". Despite what had happened to him in that episode, Riley was still an experienced demon hunter/fighter. I really saw no reason why she had believed that the Scoobies would be able to protect him. And the fact that she had never bothered to confide in him whenever she was troubled over Joyce's medical problems or Glory did not help. Yet, Riley did not help the relationship with his actions. Like Buffy, he had failed to confide in her about his own problems. I think that his lack of communication had contributed to the relationship's breakdown as much as Buffy's actions. And his decision to go to vamp whores was rather stupid.

Someone named Shadowkat once criticized Riley for failing to wait for Buffy or give her another chance at the end of "Into the Woods". Personally, I feel that he had done the right thing. He and Buffy never really had a chance as a couple. Buffy became involved with him for the wrong reasons. Riley tried to maintain the relationship for the wrong reasons and had failed to tell Buffy about his fears regarding her. And he had allowed himself to wrap his identity over her . . . just as Spike would do in Season Six. However, the main reason why I believe that he had done the right thing is that he had been right about Buffy. She was never in love with him. Not really.

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