- Riley Finn
Infobox Buffyverse Character
Marc Blucasas Riley Finn
Last="As You Were"
United States Army, formerly the Scooby Gang, and The Initiative
* Military training grants him knowledge of strategy, combat techniques, tracking, and handling of weapons
* Temporarily possessed enhanced strength due to the drugs he was secretly fed
Riley Finn is a
fictional charactercreated by Joss Whedonfor the television series"Buffy the Vampire Slayer". The character is portrayed by Marc Blucas, and is a regular in Season Four and the first part of Season Five.
A native of
Huxley, Iowa, Riley was Buffy Summers' boyfriend for parts of Season Four and Five. Leading a double life as part of a secret government organization known as the Initiative, but also as a regular college guy, Buffy found some normality in Riley, but she also found someone to whom she could relate. Initially, each kept the other from knowing of the secret lives, but the truth came out during the events in the Emmy-nominated episode "Hush".
Buffy and Riley fought demons together and continued saving each other's lives and the world, although Riley was never quite let into Buffy's inner circle. The Initiative was destroyed at the end of Season Four, and Riley was relieved of his military standing. He was left at loose ends, and his behavior became reckless. Seeking thrills, and wondering what Buffy seemed to find so appealing about vampires - Buffy having allowed both Angel and
Draculato drink from her - Riley began to let vampires feed from him, which Buffy discovered in the episode "Into the Woods". His behavior, as well as a sense that Buffy would never truly love him, led to their breakup. Riley left Sunnydaleto join another black ops army unit fighting demons elsewhere, and left the show.
Riley returned in the Season Six episode "As You Were," in which he showed up unexpectedly, tracking a demon about to hatch eggs that could wipe out
Sunnydale. However, he did not return to make up with Buffy, having recently gotten married to a fellow demon hunter named Sam. The battle done, Riley left Sunnydale, never to return again. He was, however, mentioned in Season Seven when Buffy asked for the Initiative to remove the malfunctioning chip in Spike's head.
In contrast to both Angel and Spike, Riley held out the possibility of normalcy in Buffy's life. He is also notable in that he is the only boyfriend of Buffy who was accepted by and developed a friendship with
Xander Harris, who usually displayed jealousy of the males in her life.
Writing and acting
Marc Blucas was asked how the character was described to him during the audition process, he replied that "They said that Riley is a nice, charming guy, and there's going to be some kind of dichotomy, some kind of double role going on. But that was never really specified." [Stokes, Mike, "The Life of Riley", from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer magazine" #14 (UK, November 2000), page 11.]
Whedon defended the character of Riley Finn, "The important thing for us was to find a character that was the anti-Angel and to have Buffy go through something very different, part of which was the question, 'How do I get over Angel?' That was the same thing the audience was going through. We knew it wasn't going to be easy and it was very hard trying to find somebody. But Marc [Blucas] has a quality that I love very much: he has sort of an un-David-like, firm, strong, trustworthy quality. I always think of him as
Gary Cooper." [Bassom, David, "Meet the Master", from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer magazine" #11 (UK, August 2000), page 7-8.] During Season Five, writer/co-executive producer, Marti Noxon, noted that they were making Riley a more tortured complex character, "He's starting to fray around the edges. That's very compelling to me - that this straight guy is starting to get a little strange." ["High Five", from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer magazine" #18 (UK, March 2001), page 6.]
Christian Kanealso auditioned for Riley Finn. Kane went on to play the role of Lindsey McDonaldon the spin-off show "Angel". Kane says he played his audition for Riley "perhaps a little less than wholesome", which he feels resulted in Joss Whedonlater casting him as a darker character.Citation |url=http://www.cityofangel.com/behindTheScenes/bts4/chrisSpot2.html |title=Return of the Spirit Boy: an Exclusive Spotlight on Christian Kane |first=Sue |last=Grimshaw ]
Riley has appeared in:
; "Buffy the Vampire Slayer": Riley was introduced in the show's fourth season as a recurring character but he became a regular in the episode "Doomed" and continued on as a regular until Season Five's "Into the Woods", appearing once afterwards. He appeared in 31 episodes.
:: Season Four - "The Freshman", "
Fear, Itself", "Beer Bad", "Wild at Heart", "The Initiative", "Pangs", " Something Blue", "Hush". Regular from "Doomed" onwards.:: Season Five - Regular from " Buffy vs. Dracula" to "Into the Woods":: Season Six - "As You Were"
Notes and references
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