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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Yoko Factor

Riley: "I take it you're not an Angel fan either?"
Xander: "Well, it's not like I hate the guy. Just, you know, the guts part of him."

I KNEW IT! I knew that there was something we didn't know about Riley. Could he perhaps be an artificial person, Maggie Walsh's first attempt?

The Angel/Riley brouhaha didn't actually have anything to do with the plot, but I enjoyed it so much that it didn't matter. I'm not surprised that Buffy didn't tell Riley everything about Angel, but Riley might not have lost it in such a big way if she had told him more and he'd had some time to adjust. David Boreanaz was a hoot; I really loved the deliberately half-joking jealous touches, like "He started it," "I don't like him," and best of all, "You actually sleep with this guy?" Riley held his own fairly well with Angel, too, all things considered. And he gets points for not listening at the door while Buffy and Angel were talking in the hall.

And we got more Spike! Spike was the Yoko factor in the title; he planted that Army thing on Xander, the "retired librarian" barb on Giles, and the Tara thing on Willow. That scene with the Buffy/Willow/Xander argument with Giles' drunken interjections from upstairs was way overdue and really, really wonderful.

Forrest is dead. Rats. I rather liked Forrest.

Bits and pieces:

— There was mention of the Slayerette housing situation changing. I wonder what will shake out.

— Only Spike would have the nerve to call Adam "Mr. Bits."

— Where does Anya live and how does she make a living? This is the first time it's been referred to; is she making a living doing phone sex?


Spike: "Wow. I mean, yeah. I get why the demons all fall in line with you. You're like Tony Robbins. If he was a big, scary, Frankenstein looking... you're exactly like Tony Robbins."

Xander: "And you know what makes Angel happiest? I'll give you a hint. It's not creme brulee."

Xander: "Hey, man. That's all ancient history."
Riley: "She went running to L.A. to bone up on her history."
Xander: "No. I'm sure it's boneless."

Xander: "It happens I'm good at a lot of things. I help out with all kinds of stuff. I have skills and stratagems. I'm very... (to Anya) Help me out."
Anya: "He's a Viking in the sack."

Spike: "Can you fix it?"
Willow: "Crack a government encryption code on my laptop? Easy as really difficult pie."

Buffy: "Okay, well, how long before you un-crypt it?"
Willow: "Hours. Days maybe. Anyone suggesting months would not be accused of crazy talk."
Giles: "What ever happened to Latin? At least when that made no sense, the church approved."

Xander: "You and Willow go do the superpower thing, I'll stay behind and putter around the Bat Cave with crusty old Alfred here."
Giles: "Ah-ah, no. I am no Alfred, sir. No, you forget. Alfred had a job."

Xander: "And if I did join the Army, I'd be great! You know why? 'Cause they might give me a job that couldn't be done by any well-trained border collie."

Willow: "Look, I'm not the one being judgmental here. I'll leave that territory to you and Buffy."
Buffy: "Judgmental? If I was anymore open-minded about the choices you two make, my whole brain would fall out."

Three out of four stakes. Very good,

Billie Doux reviewed all of Buffy and Angel, so she knows the plural of apocalypse.


  1. I usually think of this episode as one of my lesser favorites, but this time through I really liked it. The tension among the Scoobies has been building. The fact that Spike was able to determine and then use exactly what was bothering each of them is just another example of his ability to see beneath the surface. Clever boy.

    The touch with Tara and Anya in the bathroom was great. Sensitive enough to leave the others to their argument, but worried about what was happening.

    I've always liked the Angel/Riley confrontation. But, this time it made me laugh. When SMG puts herself between the two of them, it is clear how much smaller than they she is. I love the fact that both boys do exactly what she tells them to do.

  2. This episode reminded me how often I'm more empathetic to the secondary characters than I am to the primary four. Is the writing consistently highlighting of the outsider's viewpoint of them as a clever way to examine the flaws of people who do great things? Or am I just more comfortable relating to people on the fringes of the action? Anyway, I'm with Chris, I loved watching Spike stir the pot. With his excellent grasp of motivations, why isn't he ruling the vampire world?

    I've made no secret of my dislike of Riley, and Angel's appearance definitely showed the cracks in that relationship even if Buffy isn't ready to see it yet. So yay, I hope the end is in sight there.

  3. I think this is about the only time when I feel a bit sorry for Riley, his living conditions are pretty awful and now he's lost his best friend. The confrontation was fun though and the Buffy and Angel interactions were not as angst ridden as usual so managed to not annoy me which is a bonus!

    Love Spike's conniving, he knows just what buttons to press.

  4. I enjoyed seeing Angel again and as his not so perfect, jealous self. I sort of sided with him in LA - Buffy was putting her nose where it didn't belong but him beating up Riley (not to mention hitting her in LA) was a bit TOO moody for the hero self he is in LA. I love Riley's "Even on a good day, he's all billowy coat, king of pain.." and his assertion that girls love that kind of thing. Like Annie, I felt sorry for Riley. I'm hoping that he is having a confrontation with Adam not changing sides.

  5. This has never been one of my favourite episodes but the scene with drunk Giles and everyone yelling and Anya and Tara hiding in the bathroom was brilliant. Funny and sad in equal measure.

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  7. [Sorry for deleting the comment, I had posted a link filled with spoilers without any warning.]

    Last episode we had closure for Willow and Oz, now it’s Buffy and Angel’s turn. Having Angel back was so much fun. It was great seeing him kick Riley’s ass, his glee when Buffy called him to the hall in spite of Riley’s jealousy was priceless. Buffy and Angel’s conversation was very honest and it allowed their relationship to get out of the angst place it was stuck on and move to a more friendship zone. “Riley? I don’t like him.” Hee! Love you, Angel.

    I didn’t like Riley this time. How dumb is he? Ok, first, how dumb is Xander for telling stuff he’s not supposed to? Now, how dumb is Riley? Yes, Riley, your girlfriend had sex with her ex-boyfriend, get over it. I could also not believe he assumed Angel was evil again and that implied Buffy had slept with him. How na├»ve is Riley? Interesting that he told Buffy he was in love with her, but she didn’t say it back.

    I never liked Forrest, but since this list (full of spoilers, stay away, newbies! www.buzzfeed.com/adambvary/buffyverse-characters-ranked-worst-to-best) theorized he might have a crush on Riley, it was fun watching him this episode. But his death scene was so dumb. His weapon doesn’t work against Adam so he goes for body to body combat?

    What makes this episode so much fun is, of course, the Scooby fight in the end. It’s hilarious! Giles’ shirt falling on Xander is guaranteed laugh every single time. Also, “bloody hell”. All four actors really nailed it.

  8. Riley is just sooo *adorable* (cheek pinch) in his sheltered naivete - thinking that *that* was the evil version of Angel. At least Anya had just seen the flying leap directly to the instant neck snap to prompt her "What was he like when he was evil?"

    Also, Buffy is still very discreet with her friends private information. She told Riley that *she* "cured" Angel of his evil-ness. Willow's witch-y-ness is not something that Buffy will take it upon herself to reveal. (Of course, she also seemed to have left out the "I kissed him and told him I loved him. And then I stabbed him through the heart and sent him to Hell." part.)


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