In 'How I Met Your Mother', the romantic Ted Mosby spoke of the art of 'winning the breakup'. This is a cold war contest between exes to determine who is doing better post-breakup, thus winning. When Riley rolls back into Sunnydale, he's got Buffy dead to rights.
When Buffy's not missing garbage day, she spends her time slaving over a deep-fryer, thus branding her with a perma-stench of fat, grease, and other Doublemeat funkiness, all the while wearing the most unattractive uniform on the planet. Meanwhile, Riley is crushing it at his cool black ops job...and oh yeah, he's married to one of the most beautiful women on the planet. Buffy the Burger Slayer, meet Samantha Finn.
Still, they need the help of the Slayer. Something to do with a dealer selling massacre-causing demon eggs blah, blah, blah. The demon is bore snore, but Riley's mission finds him at Spike's crypt... where he catches Hostile 17 boning his former flame. Yep, Buffy and Spike are done caught. They slay the demon no prob, and on his way out of town, Riley and Buffy finally give their relationship the dignified closure it deserves. Which inspires Buffy to go all Looney Tunes and end things with Spike. Told yall the Slayer is a masochist.
* Yes indeed, it's gotta sting when your ex-boyfriend waltzes back into town with a shiny new badass hottie of a wife and a super-cool job, while you, on the other hand, have found employment that requires you to wear a stuffed cow on your head. Like Buffy, I have worked my fair share of degrading service industry jobs -- blissfully none that require me to don plush livestock -- and if I ran into an ex while working, I would be mortified. But Buffy seemed to get a lot out of Riley's heartfelt pep talk at the end of the episode, so good for her. I guess. 'Cuz honestly, I thought it was bullshit. Here's mine:
Buffy, last year your mother died. You were forced to drop out of school to support your sister. You died, saving her and the world. You were ripped from heaven by your best friends, only to find yourself broke as shit. Your mentor and father figure left you. You had to take whatever job you could to continue supporting your sister, all the while saving the fucking world on a nightly basis. What's Riley's biggest problem? That you dumped him. Buffy, you won the breakup. Girl power, bitches.
* "What a bitch". Seriously, could Sam be any more perfect? She's a badass, independent woman. The woman could write a book on wedding planning on a budget. She loves and respects her husband, but isn't afraid to call him out -- seriously, the woman makes Riley seem attractive and charismatic. Is she a witch? Speaking of "witch", Sam's one social gaffe with Willow results in the former magic addict getting the world's best pep talk. Really, Sam's words to Willow bodyslammed Riley's 'quite the hottie' to Buffy speech into the ground. Instead of being petty and jealous, Sam is respectful and even reverent to Buffy...her husband's first real love. Who else wants to be this woman?
But here's the rub: she's had this perfect marriage to Riley for four months, eh? But in a heart to heart with Buffy, she admitted it took Riley over a year to get over the Slayer. If memory serves, Riley left Sunnydale just over a year ago. That means Sam married Riley while he was still into Buffy. Sure, Sam has a pretty demanding job where she may not have much opportunity to court suitors, but still, she is a bloody amazing woman. Why settle for a man pining for another woman? It's a shame this is the one and only episode Sam is featured in. She's a super intriguing character.
* Holy shit, Xander and Anya's wedding crept up fast -- a sentiment I'm sure the groom agrees with. With Willow's magic addiction and Buffy's sexytimes with Spike -- sorry, let me just pause for a delicious mental picture -- the wedding always seemed to be in the periphery. But now the wedding bells are about to ring, and both bride and groom are stressing. Well really, Xander's been all a-flutter about his upcoming nuptials since they announced the engagement. But now with the arrival of family, and a Chinese puzzle box of a seating chart, Anya's piled onto Xander's stressball. Okay, I get it, weddings are stressful. I'm about to start planning one myself. But that stress-eating was over-the-top. One bag of chips, no prob. Piles of bags in your car? Come on. Still, I loved their scene in the bathroom, where Xander told Anya that while he's dreading the headache of the wedding, he's looking forward to the marriage and spending the rest of his life with her. I've almost forgotten how much I love these two together. But while the romance is all fine and dandy, I also crave their 'shiver me timbers', if you know what I'm sayin'.
* Now that Willow's far down the road to recovery, she's back as the best friend ever. 'Cuz as nice as Sam may be, the redhead is right: it is the best friend's certified duty to be as bitchy and hateful to their best friend's ex's new flame. It was hella adorbs when Willow agreed to stay in touch with Sam, and then turned around and called her a bitch to Buffy. Still, let's take this return to Queen Bestie one day at a time. Did you see that mountain of dishes Willow and Dawn left behind before they headed out to the Bronze? What, is overworked Cinder-Buffy just supposed to do them after her shift? And I really don't think Willow is paying Buffy any dough for her lodgings. So while the freaking Slayer has to sling burgers to get by, Willow gets to follow her academic pursuits while living rent-free in a master bedroom in a really nice house. Maybe before she went cold turkey, the redhead really should have conjured up some magic rent.
* When you end a long term relationship, it's not just the one person you break up with, it's the family. And Dawn feels dumped. As boring as the Iowan melba toast was, he was a good big brother figure to the little bit, and having him leave without a word has gotta smart. Dawn really hasn't had an easy go of it, and Riley's return really ripped open old wounds for her. But she was still big enough to forgive him. Take that, haters.
* Methinks someone needs to call the men in white coats. Because Buffy just ended her bang-ship with Spike. I've said it before, I really don't think Buffy is doing anything wrong. She says she's 'using Spike', but she has always been upfront about her feelings for him. He's a big boy and can make his own decisions. When Riley walked in on them, Buffy acted so ashamed, you'd think the soldier boy caught her raping a three-legged puppy. Okay, I would be embarrassed at how petty Spike was acting towards Riley, but that aside, he was the one who left her. Buffy is free to shag whomever she pleases, be it a model citizen or an 'evil, disgusting thing'. Still, Buffy is clearly full of self-loathing for her actions, so for her peace-of-mind, I support her decision to end things.
* But man alive, Slayer, way to pour salt on Spikey's sexy wounds. When she showed up at his crypt to hand Spike a one-way ticket to Dumpsville, she looked absolutely, positively, bloody gorgeous. That purple shirt is one of the most stunning pieces of fashion ever to appear on the show, and it's beautifully paired with those jeans and that exquisite pendant. As much as I wanted to give it to Sam for her sexy black ops look, the Slayer is quite the hottie and wins this week's Fashion Slayer award.
That's all for me this week, my lovely readers. What did you think of this episode? How much do you love Sam? Buffy leaving Spike's bed -- sound decision, or worst idea ever? Whose wedding would you rather go to -- Xander and Anya's or Riley and Sam's? Post a comment and let me know. Check in every Tuesday for my latest Buffy blog.