Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Into the Woods

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Into the Woods
Into the Woods
Season 5, Episode 10
Airdate December 19, 2000
Production Number 5ABB10
Written by Marti Noxon
Directed by Marti Noxon
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Buffy the Vampire SlayerSeason Five

Into the Woods is the tenth episode of the fifth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the eighty-eighth episode overall, and fractures Buffy and Riley's relationship beyond repair. When Riley is recruited by the Initiative again, Buffy must choose whether or not she can handle the discovery that he has been frequenting vampire brothels.

Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Marc Blucas (Riley Finn), Emma Caulfield (Anya), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn Summers), James Marsters (Spike)

and Anthony Stewart Head (Giles)

Guest Starring: Bailey Chase (Graham Miller), Nick Chinlund (Major Ellis)

and Kristine Sutherland (Joyce Summers)

Co-Starring: Randy Thompson (Doctor Kriegel), Rainy Jo Stout (Junkie Vampire Girl), Emmanuel Xuereb (Whip), Adam G. (Tough Vamp)


Plot Overview

Riley's feelings on his relationship with Buffy comes to the surface when she discovers that he's been allowing vampires to feed on him. When the military offers him a job that would take him out of the country, Riley presents Buffy the choice of whether he stays or leaves.


Monster of the Week

  • There is no monster of the week introduced as this episode deals overwhelmingly in character drama.

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8 Vampires Buffy Staked Magic Shop Alleyway


  • Emilana Torrini - "Summerbreeze"

Arc Advancement



  • Riley: Riley's patronage of vampire brothels is discovered and he leaves with the Army to fight a secret evil in South America. This brings an end to his relationship with Buffy.



The Show

  • Final Appearances: This is the last episode in which Graham Miller appears.

Behind the Scenes

  • Dedication: This episode was dedicated to the memory of D.C. Gustafson, a Leadman for the first two seasons of the series and a close friend of Sarah Michelle Gellar's. He died in November, 2000 after a long battle with cancer and AIDS.

Allusions and References

  • Rambo: Rambo was a series of movies made throughout the 1980s starring Sylvester Stallone as a mentally unstable Vietnam veteran who could be characterized by how incredibly violent and dangerous he was. There were three movies made in all, First Blood (1982), Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) and Rambo III (1988).
Xander: Yeah, when we went to deal with that vampire nest, she got all Rambo and torched the place.

Memorable Moments

  • Buffy taking out 8 vampires in one fight by herself after arguing with Riley.
  • Riley taking off in the helicopter as Buffy watches helplessly from a distance.


  • Buffy has more knowledge about Riley leaving than what he tells her. He only states that he's leaving "tonight", yet she's not only aware that he departs at midnight, but also from where.


  • Willow: What time is it?
Xander: There's a clock on the wall behind you, Will.
Willow: I know, but there's a watch right there above your hand.
  • Dawn: When I was younger, I used to put my chopsticks in my mouth like this... and then Buffy would chase me around the house yelling "I'm the Slayer! I'm gonna get you!"
Anya: That's disturbing. You're emotionally scarred and will end up badly.
  • Anya: Well, we could play that game again, Life. That was fun.
Dawn: For you. You always win.
Anya: Well, we can make a wager this time. You can give me real money. That would be different.
Xander: And after we teach her to gamble, maybe we can all get drunk.
Anya: I don't think the bar would serve her, but we could bring something in. (to Dawn) Strawberry Schnapps tastes just like real ice cream.
  • Xander: How's about a movie? They're showing 'em in theatres now. I hear it's like watching a video with a bunch of strangers and a sticky floor.
  • Dawn: Alone time always translates into "get Dawn out of the house so we can have loud, obnoxious sex."
Anya: (to Xander) Oh, does that mean we can't?
  • Joyce: I don't know, Buffy. I think I'll look like I had a cat on my head.
Buffy: But a very well groomed cat.
Joyce: I think maybe I'll stick with a scarf.
Buffy: Come on. Wigs are fun. We can get you a whole bunch of different ones. You know, you can be, like, Sixties mom, Action mom, French Maid mom...
Joyce: I must be getting better 'cause you're making fun of me.
  • Buffy: (about Riley) And I'm sure he'll come over later lookin' for a little... Bible study.
Joyce: Well, good. I mean, just as long as the two of you are spending some quality time with... the Lord.
  • Buffy: Every time you show up like this, you risk all of your parts, you know that?
Spike: I wouldn't be here if I didn't have a good reason. As usual I'm here to help you and I -- Are you naked under there?
  • Anya: Who ordered more chicken's feet? The ones we have aren't moving at all.
Xander: That's generally what happens when you cut them off the chicken.
Anya: I'm serious. Maybe we could do a holiday promotion - one free with every purchase.
Giles: Ah, yeah. Dear holiday memories. Merry tykes by the fire, enjoying their new Christmas chicken feet.
Willow: Aw, holding them tight as they fall asleep, painting their little toenails.
  • Anya: That's very humorous. Make fun of the ex-demon. I can just hear you in private: "I dislike that Anya. She's newly human and strangely literal."
Willow: What? I don't say that. No one says that. No one talks that way.
Anya: Well, there's nothing wrong with my idea, anyway. I've been very good for this store. If it wasn't for me, Giles would be a terrified old man staring at a quarterly tax statement and wetting himself.
  • Anya: Fine! Take her side instead of mine, even though I'm the one who sleeps with you and feeds you and bathes you.
Willow: She bathes you?
Xander: Only in an erotic, Penthouse-y way. Not in a sponge-bathy, geriatric sort of --
Giles: Please. Stop. I beg of you.
  • Giles: Anya, will you mind the store?
Anya: Have a nice day. Don't get killed!
  • Xander: I guess everybody jumped ship once word got out that the Slayer found their crib. I just wanna apologise for that use of the word crib.
  • Spike: Sometimes I envy you so much it chokes me. And sometimes I think I got the better deal. To be that close to her and not have her. To be all alone, even when you're holding her, feeling her, feeling her beneath you, surrounding you - the scent. No, you got the better deal.
  • Buffy: You are unbelievable. You're giving me an ultimatum?
Riley: No. I'm not.
Buffy: Yes, you are! You expect me to get over it now or you're gone!
  • Buffy: What are you doing here?
Xander: I thought you might need to talk. Then I saw the skirmish happen. I was going to lend a hand, but I noticed you grew a few extra ones.
  • Buffy: I don't even know who he is any more. I mean, I thought he was... dependable.
Xander: Dependable? What is he, State Farm?
  • Xander: I've gotta say something 'cause I don't think I've made it clear. I'm in love with you. Powerfully, painfully in love. The things you do, the way you think, the way you move. I get excited every time I'm about to see you. You make me feel like I've never felt before in my life - like a man. I just thought you might wanna know.