Silly Doctor Spike. He should have known better than to keep all his eggs in one crypt, where Captain Cardboard (a.k.a. Riley) could find them so easily. Still, my heart went out to him when Buffy finally had the courage to break up with her undead bit of rough.
I'm surprised how much I enjoyed seeing Riley again. The character works best in secret agent mode, and thankfully there are gadgets and stunts galore, something I enjoyed immensely.
The more I think about it, the more I feel Marc Blucas was, in the eyes of the fans, just in the wrong place at the wrong time. He's endearing in a dumb way (like David Boreanaz), has a commanding presence (like David Boreanaz) and handles himself well in a fight (you get the idea). Trouble is, people just wanted David Boreanaz.
We'll miss you, you big lug...
Riley’s back and he’s gone all James Bond. Unfortunately he’s more in the George Lazenby vein - and even comes complete with a wife. Unfortunately she doesn't die like Diana Rigg.
Bringing back Riley must have seemed like a good idea. With Buffy involved with Spike, there’s ample opportunity for conflict, mixed-emotions and regret. But the opportunity is largely wasted in a plot that’s a bit ‘so what?’
Admittedly there is some nice humour in the shape of Willow and Dawn’s pithy comments, aimed at the vanishing lughead, but the supposedly Sunnydale-shattering threat is laughable and is not helped by the fact that our agents seem to be keeping all emotion Top Secret. Let’s hope the soon to be newlyweds prove more diverting next week.
Riley came back but this time he brought along his new wife and she is...annoying. I didn't dislike Riley nearly as much as when he was a regular on the show, but these two gave the whole episode a cheese factor that kept making me say yuck every time they were on screen together. Ok I know why he came back, I know why he had to have his life sorted and I know he is all James Bond-like, but that little wire gadget being attached to the helicopter so that they are airlifted out of Sunnydale - pure stilton.
The best news of the episode is that Willow is back on form. She was almost giddy and light, rather than full of remorse because of the magic=drugs=addiction thing (remember?). In fact she made me laugh a couple of times - the biggest of which involved Willow confessing that she used to fantasise about planning her wedding to Xander, and "Now I look at them and I say 'hee, hee, hee.'"
A good episode in which Dawn kept the whines to a minimum, Buffy and Willow got some lightness back into their lives and friendship, and Buffy made some big decisions. Great! All in time for next week's wedding - all a bit too good to be true?