“We need to stop this thing before Sunnydale turns into the TroubleMeat Palace… I wish I’d said something different.” – Buffy
Season Six really is something of a rough ride for the long term Buffy fan, especially as we are now fifteen episodes in and there’s still no discernible big evil for Buffy to battle and instead we are faced with a show which is bogged down in the minor issues of the group such Xander and Anya’s wedding and Buffy’s still secret relationship with Spike. Thankfully we got something of a reprieve as Riley returns to Sunnydale to find the Black Market dealer known only as “The Doctor”.
As we’ve gone into several times before on these recaps, Buffy’s relationship with Riley is certainly a diversive one with some seeing him as being generally too much of a nice guy and while he might have been alittle loss character wise in Season 5 following the collapse of “The Initiative” it is actually a welcome return to see him come back in this episode with the kicker of course being that he’s now married.
This revelation is perfectly played as it looks until her appearance that the pair might be able to pick things up again. Certainly it’s great to see them battling the Suvolte demon which while perhaps more of a bulky costume and more of a Power Rangers villain of the week it’s great to actually have a proper demon for Buffy to battle, than just disposable vampires. Because of it’s cumbersome nature it perhaps doesn’t provide the most daunting of threats, so the fact that Riley is using it to find the location of “The Doctor” does give something back to the episode….unlike say the Scoobies who contribute well pretty much naff all to this episode.
So who is “The Doctor”? Could this finally be the big villain we’ve been hankering to see make their grand entrance this season?? Well sadly it’s not as it turns out to infact be Spike who for some reason is running a trade on the eggs of the Suvolte demon. The comeuppance for these actions frustrating being minor as bar him getting his lair blown up and Buffy realising that he’s far from the guy she needs to be with, he’s still very much part of the group by the end of the episode.
A slight improvement over the last few epiosdes, if anything this only serves to remind us of how we don’t realise how key certain characters are until we lose them.
Next Episode: Hell’s Bells