And once more unto the “Best Of / Worst Of Character Moments” in the Buffyverse! This posting, we’ll be taking a small break from the Twilight horror show [except no! We're still stuck in the mire, darn it!!] to focus on Riley Finn and the pretentiously titled one shot, “Commitment through Distance, Virtue through Sin” which was used to explain how Riley ended up inside Twilight’s base camp... [except I was still confused as to why from Twilight's perspective].
And no… thankfully, it isn’t because Riley was betraying Buffy for bitter-cakes reasons.
The issue also gives us some background on Angel and why he’s playing at Twi-Angel and most importantly, who is pulling his strings even though he doesn’t like what he’s doing.
Our character focus in this outing is limited: Riley Finn, Samantha Finn, and Angel [who I believe isn’t mind controlled quite yet].
Our Heroes - Impressive!
Riley: Okay, so I have to give major props to Riley for going into the lion’s den to work as a double agent for Buffy. KUDO
Sam: I’m also handing over a KUDO to Sam for not only agreeing that Riley must do this dangerous mission, in which he’ll be completely out of touch and on his own, but pushes him to realize he was always going to answer Buffy’s summons… and not being bitchy or jealous about it.
Angel: I don’t know what to do about Angel… again. I can’t give him any kudos for sure, but at least we do see him asking some questions of Whistler, and I can definitely see Angel giving Whistler a lot of leeway and benefit of the doubt after all they’ve been through in the past.
Our Heroes - WHAT!?!
Riley: My only problem with Riley is the way he and Sam continue to blab about his taking a mission for Buffy when they’re in the pitch darkness… led there by a strange general neither knows, and to a strange island for reasons mysterious. SHUT UP!
Sam: Oh, Sam… ditto to Riley’s demerit; you get your own DEMERIT.
Angel: I really can’t blame Angel for taking Whistler’s word, despite the extreme circumstances he’s forcing on him. But… those extreme circumstances and actions… where does Angel do these things because he’s buying into Whistler’s explanations and where is it Twilight Entity bringing about Prophecy and screwing with his mind to play his assigned role? I just don’t know. So I can’t give him a demerit… I just can’t, even though I want to for SOMEthing in this mess. I’m tempted to give him a half-demerit for even recruiting Riley when I can’t see what value he brings to the table, but maybe there is some rationale I’m just not seeing so I’ll let that slide, too.
For the same reasons as Angel, I just can’t tell how much of Whistler’s actions are his own and how much he’s just as much a pawn of this Universal Ploy as everybody else. And, you can just add the Powers That Be to this list, too. I can’t issue any demerits because I just don’t know strongly enough about who is doing what separated from their emotional/mind manipulations. Whistler sounds very sincere that he believes that this is the only right choice and if you include IDW’s Angel title - which hints at the coming Twilight mess in BTVS, S8 in the last of that title’s run and so is apparently being accepted in broadstrokes as canon at the least - then Whistler knows that at some point Angel is prophesied to change sides and lead the demon armies against the world; Not Angelus either, but Angel -- you can see him and the Powers believing the only way to avoid that horrible fate on the world is to move Angel and Buffy to Twi-Verse and start fresh without the constant demonic assaults and threats stifling whatever new humanity can arise in the new reality. So… yeah… I’m just not going to issue demerits to them either, even though again I really want to for SOMEthing.
Ugh! Maybe I need a Half-DEMERIT for not having a better handle on this arc, even after all of this time sitting with it. But, I’m going to let myself slide.