Buffy: Did Buffy and Riley really love each other?

Sarah Michelle Gellar stars in Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy The Vampire Slayer is a classic teen supernatural series which has been picked up by the streaming platform, All 4. The series stars Sarah Michelle Gellar as the title character, and she ended up forming a relationship with agent Riley Finn (played by Marc Blucas). Fans have discussed whether Buffy and Riley really did love each other, as they had a turbulent relationship.

Did Buffy and Riley really love each other?

Buffy Summers had a number of relationships throughout the series, starting with the half-human, half-demon, Angel (David Boreanaz).

The pair loved each other deeply but they were destined to take separate paths, as Angel could never give Buffy the life she needed.

Buffy then had a brief relationship with her former enemy Spike (James Marsters) after he came to the realisation he loved her.

While he confessed his true feelings repeatedly, Buffy was adamant the feeling was not mutual, and she broke off their relationship.

Riley was introduced to the cast in season four, as a teaching assistant who worked with Professor Walsh (Lindsay Crouse).

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Riley’s friends noticed he was starting to fall for Buffy, and they encouraged him to ask her out.

Since Angel left, Buffy was uncertain as to whether she was ready to commit to another relationship, and she seemed to play hard to get.

Riley had called Buffy “peculiar” as he knew there was something different about her, but he had no idea what until her true identity as the Slayer was revealed.

In the episode, which saw Buffy and her friends fight off the terrifying Gentlemen, Buffy and Riley shared their first kiss.

Buffy has discovered Riley was in fact an undercover agent, working for the government as part of an initiative to capture demons and experiment on them.

After both of their secrets had been revealed, the relationship became strained as Buffy grew more distrusting of Riley.

Riley, on the other hand, saw the positive side to Buffy’s special abilities and he was keen to see more of her Slayer skills.

Buffy did not feel the same way about her abilities, and as she was in fear of losing someone else close to her, she rejected him.

The pair continued their relationship to an extent, but they would always argue over their stances on fighting evil.

Eventually, Riley started to feel like an amateur as he watched Buffy hone in on her skills, and he seemed to be jealous of her ability to lead a group.

In the end, Riley left Buffy with an ultimatum, saying she had one last opportunity to tell him how she felt, otherwise he was breaking things off.

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Sadly Buffy was too late to come back with an answer, and she ended up watching Riley being taken away in a helicopter as he rejoined the military.

Fans have taken to Reddit to discuss whether Buffy really loved Riley, with glo87 saying: “I struggle a lot with this question, but despite what seems to be popular belief, I think she really did.

“I don’t think it is fair to compare her relationship with Riley with what she had with Angel. With Angel it was dramatic and intense, but I attribute a lot of that to her being younger (emotions run a lot higher as a teenager) and it was all so new to her.

“Plus girls always fall harder for the guys that are mysterious and dark. However, the love she had for Riley was real and sincere.

“To me, he was much too hard on himself, but it was probably difficult for him to accept the role of the normal boyfriend while she was the protector with the weight of the world on her shoulders.

“I think he pushed his own insecurities onto her, and Spike used that weakness to help push him out of the picture. The whole idea of her needing a ‘little monster’ in her man is preposterous, and makes her seem immature and typical.”

Although many fans did not think much of Riley as a character, he was the closest thing to a genuine boyfriend for Buffy, and he would have given her a somewhat normal life, which was what she had always wanted.

Some fans have said the Buffy and Riley relationship was the best-written in the series, whereas others have said the relationship was detrimental to Buffy.

He was clearly an insecure character, and it meant he was unable to accept the fact Buffy was capable of standing on her own two feet, and she did not need him to be the alpha male he hoped to be.

Equally, Buffy would never let her guard down with Riley, and this contributed to their difficult relationship.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer airs on All 4 and Prime Video

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