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(a.k.a. Take the Initiative)

Plot Summary

In her first year at UC Sunnydale, Buffy took on the Initiative, a government organization designed to experiment on demons in order to create a Frankenstein monster out of human, demon, and mechanical parts.

Plot Details

Buffy arrived at UC Sunnydale and found herself overwhelmed. It did not help that Willow and Oz seemed to fit right in. This feeling not only affected Buffy in the classroom but also in the slaying, particularly when a local vampire gang targeted her. A pep talk from Xander helped her regain focus and defeat the gang.

Soon afterward, Buffy began to have conflicts with her roommate, Kathy. Buffy even became convinced that Kathy was a demon. The other characters did not believe her and tried to restrain her. They were probably a bit embarrassed when Buffy proved to be correct.

Buffy met a fellow student, Parker, and started a brief but intense relationship with him. Unfortunately, she did not agree to the brief part and became very hurt when he moved on to other conquests.

Xander's prom date, Anya, returned to Sunnydale in order to get Xander out of her mind and chose just about the worst method to do so. She slept with him. Fortunately, Xander was amenable to forming a relationship with her and she turned out to be good for him.

This being an even numbered season, there was a Halloween episode in which Giles was wrong about beasties staying out of the way on that day. This time, Buffy, Willow, Xander, and Oz ended up trapped in a fraternity house where Gachnar showed them their fears. Giles, with Anya in tow, had to rescue them. All six of them were confronted by Gachnar himself, who turned out to be only a few inches tall and easily squashable.

Spike returned to Sunnydale briefly with a new girlfriend, Harmony, who became a vampire during graduation. He sought the Gem of Amara but left when Buffy managed to take it from him. He returned only to have mysterious commandos capture him.

Willow's love life hit some ups and downs. Oz noticed a singer (Veruca) in another band who also happened to be a werewolf. She became very interested in him, and he did nothing to discourage her advances. Eventually, Willow caught the two of them naked in his cage. Veruca tried to kill Willow, but Oz saved her. He then decided that he needed to leave town, which left Willow very sad.

Willow even tried to cast a spell that would cause her will to be done, namely, to stop feeling so sad. Unfortunately for everyone except the audience, it backfired and took effect only when Willow was being sarcastic or facetious. This meant that Giles ended up going blind, Xander began to attract demons, and Spike and Buffy became engaged.

It turned out that the mysterious commandos included Buffy's psychology teaching assistant, Riley, and were led by her psychology professor, Prof. Walsh. They captured demons, drugged them, and performed experiments. One of these experiments involved placing a chip in Spike's brain that caused him to feel pain whenever he tried to hurt any living thing. He escaped and eventually found refuge with the other characters, who reluctantly took him in to find out more information about the Initiative. He felt depressed about not being able to hurt people until he found out that he could hurt demons.

Meanwhile, Riley figured out that he was attracted to Buffy and decided to court her. Willow lent reluctant assistance. For a while, the relationship did not go very far, but he and Buffy finally kissed when some demons came to town and robbed everyone's voices. However, in the process of fighting these demons, they discovered each other's secret identities. This caused some problems when Buffy was reluctant to date another demon hunter, but it worked out in the end.

When everyone lost their voices, things also worked out for Willow. She met someone who was much better for her than Oz was. There was a slight hitch in that this someone, Tara, was a woman, but this did not seem to be too much of an obstacle. Willow liked having someone in her life apart from the other characters and did not tell any of them about the fact that she often visited Tara to do "spells."

Once again, someone got the bright idea to celebrate Buffy's birthday, and, once again, something went wrong. This time, too many people at the party said things to Giles that were more hurtful than intended. This led to a drinking bout with Ethan Rayne, which led to Ethan turning Giles into a demon. With Spike's help, Giles found Ethan just as Buffy, with Riley's help, found the demon they thought attacked Giles. Buffy finally recognized the demon as Giles and they managed to persuade Ethan to turn Giles back.

Prof. Walsh eventually decided to take Buffy into the Initiative. Buffy proved to be very able in the field, but she asked far too many questions for their comfort. Even worse, she encouraged Riley to become too curious. In order to protect her main project, the creation of a Frankenstein monster named Adam, Prof. Walsh set up Buffy to be killed. Fortunately, Prof. Walsh greatly underestimated Buffy.

Riley was upset about Buffy being set up, but he soon had other problems. Upon being activated, Adam proceeded to kill Prof. Walsh. Also, unbeknownst to Riley and his fellow commandos, they have been getting medication in their food. This caused him to be a bit irrational.

For Buffy and her friends, the search for Adam had to be put on hold when Faith woke up from a coma. Rather than leave town quietly, she obtained a device that Mayor Wilkins left for her that allowed her to switch bodies with Buffy. She fooled most people, including a Watchers Council wetworks squad sent to retrieve her. However, Tara figured out that something was wrong and guided Willow as she sought the truth. Tara constructed a device that allowed Buffy to reverse the spell. Faith left town soon afterward.

After adventures in which Jonathan turned himself into a super being and Buffy and Riley's bedroom activities conjured up repressed sexuality spirits, Oz returned to town. He had terrible timing as things were working out between Willow and Tara. He thought that he had his werewolf tendencies under control, but he turned into the werewolf after Tara borrowed a sweater that Willow had been wearing. While chasing Tara, the Initiative captured him. The Initiative scientists performed experiments until Riley tried to have him freed. They were both caught and Riley was sent to the brig. Fortunately, Tara told Willow that Oz was captured, so Willow, Xander, and Buffy formed a rescue party with Spike, who was working for Adam. They ended up freeing both Riley and Oz. Oz soon left town.

Adam wanted to start a battle between demons and humans with maximum fatality so he could use their parts to create more Frankenstein monsters. He managed to convince demons to let the Initiative capture them so they could be in place when Adam opened the holding cells and let them loose on the commandos. He was worried that the demons would overwhelm the Initiative commandos, so he wanted Buffy in the fight as well. Spike warned him that Buffy tended to win fights, so Adam sent Spike to split Buffy from her friends, thus weakening her.

Spike was very successful. He managed to instigate a large fight that resulted in Buffy, Willow, and Xander not wanting anything to do with each other. However, they were not estranged for long. Xander, Giles, Buffy, and Willow came up with a plan to combine their strengths into Combo Buffy who could take out Adam. They were successful and helped save most of the commandos. The spell, however, upset the first slayer. She entered the dreams of the four of them and tried to take what they contributed to the spell.

The Good

If I had to name one thing that was good about this season, it was that it took risks. It was willing to upset the formula of the last two seasons and do something original.

There were a number of great episodes this season. Two of the four best episodes of the entire show, "Hush" and "Restless," are in this season. "Hush" asked a lot of the actors by forcing them to tell a story without any dialogue for much of the episode. They were clearly up to the challenge. Later, Joss Whedon wrote another episode that was almost pure character development with minimal plot. Again, everyone involved was up to the challenge.

Another risk involved shedding several characters and adding new ones. For this season, Angel and Cordelia moved on to a spin-off series. Faith was in a coma, and Wesley disappeared. Soon after the season started, Oz left town. In their place, four more characters were added. Two of them, Spike and Anya, played a small role in season three. The other two, Riley and Tara were new. It was a big risk for the show to get rid of characters that fans have grown to love. I will expand on why I believe that this switch in characters was an improvement in Random Commentary.

A related risk was to create what is allegedly the first, longest, and best same-sex relationship ever to air on television. I have to take people's words for it on the first two points, at least, but I have no problem with the latter point.

Finally, this season had fewer weak stand-alone episodes than in any previous season.

The Bad

Two words: The Initiative. Writing these reviews forces me to study each episode carefully. In doing so, I find it hard to believe that anyone could believe that an organization like the Initiative could possibly exist. I will briefly mention minor quibbles that others have raised, such as going into combat in dress uniforms and misuse of weapons. Understanding these errors requires a far greater knowledge of the military than I have, but the fact that these errors occurred indicate that the writers had very little knowledge of the military. There are far more serious instances of illogic such as:

  1. The United States military has its own chain of command. The only civilians who are in that chain are the President of the United States and the Secretary of Defense. Military personnel will never be under the command of a civilian professor of psychology. A professor of psychology might serve as a consultant. However, that person would simply advise military officers. It is possible that someone in the chain of command might order military personnel to cooperate with a civilian, but this would be only on a temporary basis.
  2. By law, the United States military may have no role whatsoever in the enforcement of laws. Military personnel have no jurisdiction off military bases and are not even allowed to hold civilians for very long for offenses committed on military bases.
  3. It may not look like it, but being a professor is a very time consuming job. At a major research institution like any campus of the University of California, professors teach courses to undergraduate and graduate students. They are required to perform research and contribute scholarship. They participate in the administration of the university. I do not see Prof. Walsh having the time to run a secret government facility.
  4. At such universities, teaching assistant positions go to graduate students. They do not go to commandos in secret military programs. It is possible that Riley was also a graduate student, but, if he were, he would not have the time to participate in the secret military program.

The result of all this nonsense is perhaps the weakest season arc since the first season, which barely had a season arc. It started well with "The Initiative" and ended well with "The Yoko Factor" and "Primeval." However, two key episodes in the middle of the season—"The I in Team" and "Goodbye, Iowa"—were quite weak for such important episodes.

Also, Adam was probably the least interesting major villain of the show. The other major villains—like The Master, Spike, Drusilla, Angel, Faith, and Mayor Wilkins—had personality. Adam may have had human and demon parts, but his personality seems to have come from the mechanical parts.

Finally, even though there were fewer weak stand-alone episodes in the fourth season than in previous seasons, there were a few. "Living Conditions," "Beer Bad," "Doomed," and, especially, "Pangs" stand out.

Overall Rank: 2


Standout actions scenes include:


With the inclusion of Anya as one of the group, the show had a comic-relief character that it had not had since before Cordelia started to date Xander. The addition of Harmony in a few episodes also helped. Standout comic scenes include:


This season had its share of pain. Buffy and Willow were both hit hard in the romance department and Riley faced a crisis of conscience. Dramatic highlights include:


By the end of the season, Buffy, Willow, and Xander all had significant others who loved them and were good for them. However, both Willow and Buffy experienced a lot of pain on the way. Romantic highlights include:

Character Development:

Buffy was initially lost when she entered UC Sunnydale, but a pep talk from Xander helped her regain her focus. She quickly entered into a rebound relationship with a fellow student named Parker, but it ended badly when he quickly moved on to another woman after sleeping with Buffy. It took a while for Buffy to stop obsessing over him. A bit later, Riley started to court her, and she slowly became interested in him. He brought her into the Initiative, but she asked too many questions and was deemed to be a bad influence on Riley, so Prof. Walsh tried to have her killed. This only enraged Buffy. Buffy soon had other things to worry about. The Initiative created a Frankenstein monster named Adam who was on the rampage, and Faith woke from a coma. The latter became a more pressing problem, especially when Faith switched bodies with Buffy. After getting her body back, she continued to pursue Adam but could not defeat him until she merged with Willow, Giles, and Xander.

Willow enjoyed the freedom and the intellectual atmosphere of college life. Things were going well for her until Oz started to notice a fellow werewolf. He eventually left town, which devastated Willow. She was very depressed until she met Tara, who was also interested in magic. The two quickly became close and started to do "spells" with each other. This caused Willow to revert to her normal, happy self. This peace was threatened when Oz returned to Sunnydale and put her in a position in which she had to chose either Oz or Tara and hurt the other. Fortunately, Willow made the right choice and stayed with Tara. This choice was made easier when Oz's control over his werewolf side turned out to be much less than he thought.

Xander was no longer in high school and did not have a good idea of what to do with himself. All of his friends were in college, which separated them from him. He worked a series of jobs over the fourth season, but he did not hold on to any of them for long. It seemed that the only bright spot in his life was his relationship with Anya. By the end of the season, he was seen as important and merged with Buffy, Willow, and Giles to help defeat Adam.

Giles had lost two jobs in the third season: that of watcher and that of librarian. This season, he found himself with too much free time and too little to do. Buffy had matured to the point where she no longer depended on him and no longer trained with him. He had a long distance relationship with a younger woman, but an encounter with the Gentlemen might have put an end to that.

Riley, at first, appeared to be simply a good-natured teaching assistant for Introduction to Psychology. Initially, he seemed interested in Willow. However he decided that Buffy was peculiar and soon found out what that meant. With Willow's help, he started to court Buffy. Meanwhile, we found out that he was also one of the mysterious commandos that hunted vampires and other demons. When Prof. Walsh tried to have Buffy killed, he had a crisis of conscience. He stayed with the Initiative for a while as a double agent until the Initiative imprisoned Oz. Riley tried to help him escape, but they were caught and he was jailed. After Buffy helped him escape, he laid low until Adam summoned him. Like Spike, he had a behavior control chip. He was able to cut it out of him, and he helped his former comrades escape the Initiative.

Spike reluctantly returned to Sunnydale to find the Gem of Amarra, which he promptly lost. He returned again only to be captured by the Initiative. When he escaped, he found that he had a chip that made him unable to hurt any person without intense pain. Feeling helpless and fearing the Initiative, he realized that good guys protect the weak and sought sanctuary at Giles's apartment. He was given sanctuary in exchange for information that he grudgingly gave. His inability to hurt people made him very depressed until he learned that he could hurt demons. Later, he formed an alliance with Adam in which he manipulated the other characters in exchange for getting his chip removed. He failed but managed to avoid retaliation from the other characters.

Anya had been obsessing over Xander for most of the summer between the third and fourth seasons. She returned to Sunnydale hoping that sex with Xander would help her get over him. She turned out to be wrong. Fortunately, Xander was amenable to dating her and they grew to love each other. Still, from Anya's perspective, the relationship is mostly about sex.

Tara had been practicing magic for nearly all her life. She attended a Wicca group hoping to learn more but found only one other person with the same interest, Willow. The two grew close and even started having "spells" with each other. Her relationship with Willow became explicit when Oz returned to town. Tara assumed that Willow would go back to Oz, but, fortunately, Willow made the right choice.

Oz decided that his battle to control his werewolf side meant that he had to leave Sunnydale. In the process, he hurt Willow. He returned thinking that he had the werewolf side under control, but it was simply less predictable. He left Sunnydale again, this time for good, but that is what we thought the last time.

Adam was a Frankenstein monster who turned on his creators. Through some programming error, he concluded that his purpose in life was to kill as much as possible in order to create more Frankenstein monsters. Like his creators, he was good with technology but did not understand the supernatural.

Prof. Walsh started out as a demanding professor who had a low tolerance for excuses. Like a surprising number of such professors, she liked it when students stood up to her. Like very few such professors, she also headed a military base where vampires, demons and other creatures of the night were studied in order to create a Frankenstein-monster super-soldier. In this role, she devolved into a mad scientist who spied on the bedroom activities of her soldiers. In a bit of poetic justice, her creation killed her in its first action after activation.

Forrest was a friend of Riley's in the Initiative. In the beginning, he supported Riley's relationship with Buffy until it got too serious. It was not clear if this was because he got jealous or because he did not trust Buffy. He remained loyal to the Initiative for his entire life and resented Buffy for luring Riley away.

Harmony was apparently sired during graduation. As a vampire, she was still as shallow as ever, although she was not willing to put up with too much from Spike. She may also be the most pathetic fighter of any vampire on the show.

Most Valuable Player:

The following characters received MVP awards in the fourth season:

The following characters received consideration for the MVP:

Buffy once again remembered that she was the title characters and took the most MVPs. Spike did well despite missing four episodes, and Tara managed to get two MVPs despite missing half of the episodes. One again, Xander failed to keep up with his pace from the first two seasons. Despite being tied with Buffy for the most MVPs after the first two seasons, he is now a distant second with fewer than half of Buffy's total (11 to Buffy's 23). Faith, Giles, and Spike are tied for third with six each.

Sherlock Holmes Award:

The following characters used their brains the most in the following episodes:

The following characters received consideration for this award:

Buffy and Giles are still fighting hard in this category. So far, Buffy is slightly ahead (22 to 20 for Giles). Xander is third with ten, and Willow and Angel are tied for fourth with six each.

Goat of the Week:

The following characters messed up the most in the following episodes:

The following characters received consideration for the Goat:

I suppose that this was a good season for Goats. Nobody won the award in six episodes, and only four Goats died in the episode in which they earned the Goat (Sunday, Prof. Walsh, Dr. Angleman, and Col. McNamara). Nitpickers might point out that Nobody died in "Restless."

Nobody is in the lead for most Goats with ten. Willow had a terrible year and moved into second with five. Angel and Giles are in third with four each.

Random Commentary

The fourth season marks a reshuffling of the characters in which five important characters were lost and four more join the cast. In my opinion, this change led to a stronger cast. I will analyze the changes below.

Xander Love Interests/Tactless Characters (Cordelia vs. Anya) For the first season or season and a half, Cordelia was good as a comic relief character, but she was not fully developed. She became a much fuller and more interesting character when she dated Xander. However, once she broke up with Xander, there was little use for her on the show. It was definitely time for her to go.

Anya is a more interesting character. In addition to being a love interest for Xander and a person who states what was on her mind, she also plays a role that Spock and Data used to play on Star Trek, a character who can be used to explore what it means to be human. Emma Caulfield is a natural comedian who easily took over a role intended for Spike. In this comparison, I believe that the new was definitely better than the old.

Willow Love Interests/Nonverbal Characters (Oz vs. Tara) This is such a blow out that I question whether it is fair to even compare the two. I never wonder why anyone would be interested in Willow. However, I never understood why Oz was the one person who would be interested in her. They shared no interests. Willow loved him, but she seemed so grateful to have someone interested in her that she never thought about whether someone else might be better. Most importantly, Oz hurt Willow by carrying on with another woman and then leaving her rather than working out their problems.

Tara, at least, shares an interest with Willow. Unlike Oz, who seemed to want to be in charge of the relationship, Tara lets Willow be an equal, perhaps even dominant partner in the relationship. She does love Willow, but she supplies something just as important. She admires Willow. This is something that Willow desperately needs. Amber Benson is a very good actress, even when compared with her castmates. She has very good chemistry with Alyson Hannigan and is much better at communicating nonverbally than Seth Green was. This change is a big improvement.

Vampire Characters (Angel vs. Spike) I like the Angel spin-off. If it were not for that fact, I would have left Angel in the Hell dimension he visited in "Becoming, Pt. 2." It had become clear that there was not much for him to do anymore, which was why he was sent to a spin-off in the first place. David Boreanaz is a good actor, but most of the cast was even better unless he was playing Angel without a soul.

Spike, on the other hand, still has a lot more story to tell. James Marsters is one of the best actors to appear on the show, and he can play many different Spikes. Rather than simply be a good guy or a villain, Spike can be ambiguous. He can collaborate with Adam to kill the characters in an epic battle and then save the characters' lives in that battle. Spike has changed a lot since we first saw him in "School Hard," and he will change more. The show is better with Spike than with Angel.

Season Arc Characters (Faith vs. Riley) Faith is an interesting character played by an actress who is well-suited for the role. Her transition from the second slayer to villain was compelling. However, like most season arc characters, she had little use once the season ended. She is probably best as an occasional character from now on.

Riley's realization that he might not be fighting for the good guys could have been compelling. However, there were many problems in the depiction of the Initiative that caused this character arc to fail to reach its potential. Like David Boreanaz, Marc Blucas is a good actor when he is not being compared to his even better castmates. He is being transitioned from a season arc character to a Buffy love interest, so he will stick around, at least for a little while. However, this is one comparison in which the old character was better than the new character.

Buffoonish Watchers (Wesley vs. Nobody) There is no good parallel to Wesley in the fourth season. This is probably for the best. Alexis Denisof is a good comedian, but Wesley never received the depth of the other major characters. Denisof is capable of so much more than mere buffoonery, so it is probably best that he is no longer on Buffy.

Memorable Dialogue

"Buffy, I've gone through some fairly dark times in my life, faced some scary things, among them, the kitchen at the fabulous Ladies Night Club. Let me tell you something. When it's dark and I'm all alone and I'm scared or freaked out or whatever, I always think, 'What would Buffy do?' You're my hero." Xander ("The Freshman")

"I like you. You're funny, and you're nicely shaped, and, frankly, it ludicrous to have these interlocking bodies and not interlock. Please remove your clothing now." Anya ("The Harsh Light of Day")

"The Gem of Amara, official sponsor of my killing you." Spike ("The Harsh Light of Day")

"The wolf is inside me all the time, and I don't know where that line is anymore between me and it, and until I figure out what that means, I shouldn't be around you or anybody." Oz ("Wild at Heart")

"OK, say that I help, and you start a conversation. It goes great. You like Buffy. She likes you. You spend time together, feelings grow deeper, and one day, without even realizing it, you find you're in love. Time stops, and it feels like the whole world's made for you two, and you two alone until the day one of you leaves and rips the still-beating heart from the other who's now a broken, hollow, mockery of the human condition." Willow ("The Initiative")

"Maybe you're trying too hard. Doesn't this happen to every vampire?" Willow
"Not to me, it doesn't." Spike
"It's me, isn't it?" Willow
"What are you talking about?" Spike
"Well, you came looking for Buffy, then settled. You didn't want to bite me. I just happened to be around." Willow
"Piffle." Spike
"I know I'm not the kind of girl vamps like to sink their teeth into. It's always like 'Ooo, you're like a sister to me,' or 'Oh, you're such a good friend.'" Willow
"Don't be ridiculous. I'd bite you in a heartbeat." Spike ("The Initiative")

"You know, this doesn't make you any less terrifying." Willow
"Don't patronize me." Spike ("The Initiative")

"You won, all right? You came in, and you killed them, and you took their land. That's what conquering nations do. It's what Caesar did, and he's not going around saying 'I came, I conquered, and I feel really bad about it.' The history of the world isn't people making friends. You had better weapons, and you massacred them, end of story." Spike ("Pangs")

"I know that you probably don't approve, and my father's not that far away. I mean, he could... But this day's about family, my real family, and I would like you to be the one to give me away." Buffy ("Something Blue")

"Can't even shout; can't even cry.
The Gentlemen are coming by.
Looking in windows; knocking on doors.
They need to take seven, and the might take yours.
Can't call to mom; can't say a word.
You're gonna die a-screaming, but you won't be heard." Little Girl ("Hush")

"Sometimes I like to crumble up the Weetabix in the blood, gives it a little texture." Spike
"Since the picture you just painted means that I will never touch food of any kind again, you'll just have to pick it up yourself." Giles ("Hush")

"This isn't a relationship. You don't need me. All you care about is lots of orgasms." Anya ("Hush")

"Oh, you mean an orgasm friend?" Anya
"Yes, that's exactly the most appalling thing you could've said." Giles ("Hush")

"______" Buffy, Willow, Xander, Giles, Spike, Anya, Riley, Tara, Forrest, Prof. Walsh, and Olivia ("Hush")

"I don't have much in the way of power. Really, I mean, most of my potions come out soup. Besides, spells going awry, friends in danger. I'm definitely nothing special." Willow
"No, you are." Tara ("Hush")

"When I saw you stop the world from, you know, ending, I just assumed that was a big week for you. It turns out I suddenly find myself needing to know the plural of apocalypse." Riley ("A New Man")

"Tell you what I'll do then. Head out, find this girl, tell her exactly where all of you are, and then watch as she kills you. Can't any one of your damned little Scooby club at least try to remember that I hate you all? Just because I can't do the damage myself doesn't stop me from aiming a loose cannon your way. And here I thought the evening would be dull." Spike ("This Year's Girl")

"Why yes, I would be Buffy. May I help you? Buf-fy. You can't do that. It's wrong. You can't do that because it's naughty. Because it's wrong. Because it's wrong. You can't do that. It's wrong. I'll kick your ass. I'm gonna kill you." Faith ("Who Are You?")

"I am, you know." Tara
"What?" Willow
"Yours." Tara ("Who Are You?")

"I could do anything I want, and instead, I choose to pout and whine and feel the burden of slayerness? I mean, I could be rich. I could be famous. I could have anything, anyone, even you, Spike. I could ride you at a gallop until your legs buckled and your eyes rolled up. I've got muscles you've never even dreamed of. I could squeeze you until you popped like warm champagne, and you'd beg me to hurt you just a little bit more, and you know why I don't? Because it's wrong." Faith ("Who Are You?")

"So Willow's not driving stick anymore. Who would have thought? I guess you never really know someone until you've been inside their skin. And Oz is out of the picture? Oh, never seen two people so much in love. She just couldn't get enough of old Oz." Faith ("Who Are You?")

"At the one moment that matters the most, he looks into your eyes and he doesn't even see that it's not you looking back at him." Jonathan ("Superstar")

"You could have, like, a world without shrimp, or with, you know, nothing but shrimp. You could even make, like, a freaky world where Jonathan's like some kind of not perfect mouth-breather, if that's what's blowing up your skirt these days. Just don't ask me to live there." Anya ("Superstar")

"Why didn't you take advantage of me? Is something wrong with your body?" Anya
"There's nothing wrong with my body." Xander
"Well there must be. I saw that wrinkled man on TV talking about erectile dysfunction." Anya ("Where the Wild Things Are")

"I know I'm not the first choice for heroics, and Buffy's tried to kill me more than once, and I don't fancy a single one of you at all, but... Actually, all that sounds pretty convincing. I wonder if Asian House is open." Spike ("Where the Wild Things Are")

"It's complicated, because of Tara." Willow ("New Moon Rising")

"Life was starting to get so good again, and you're a big part of that, and here comes the thing I wanted most of all, and I don't know what to do. I want to know, but I don't." Willow
"Do what makes you happy." Tara ("New Moon Rising")

"Tara, I have to tell you..." Willow
"No, I understand. You have to be with the person you love." Tara
"I am." Willow
"You mean?" Tara
"I mean. OK?" Willow
"Oh, yes!" Tara
"I feel horrible about everything I put you through, and I'm gonna make it up to you, starting right now." Willow ("New Moon Rising")

"You're not getting it, Mr. Bits. You're gonna be interestingly dead. Little Miss Tiny's got the habit of bollixing up the plans of every would-be unstoppable bad-ass who sets foot in this town." Spike ("The Yoko Factor")

"You feel smothered, trapped like an animal, pure in its ferocity, unable to actualize the urges within, clinging to one truth, like a flame, struggling to burn within an enclosed glass, that a beast this powerful cannot be contained. Inevitably, it will break free and savage the land again." Adam ("The Yoko Factor")

"Demons cling to old ways and ancient feuds, and they're hopeless with technology. Unworthy." Adam
"Not really wanting a lecture right now." Riley
"Disappointed by demon-kind, we turned to humans, smart, adaptive, but emotional and weak. Blind, there's imperfection everywhere. Something must be done. Who will deliver us? Mother." Adam ("Primeval")

"You're a good person and a good boyfriend, and I'm in love with you. Whatever they think of you, it shouldn't matter." Anya ("Primeval")

"You could never hope to grasp the source of our power, [Much kicking, ending in the removal of the power core] but yours is right here." Combo Buffy ("Primeval")

"Sometimes I think about two women doing a spell, and then I do a spell by myself." Xander ("Restless")

"I walked by your guidance counselor's office one time. A bunch of you were sitting there waiting to be shepherded. I remember it smelled like dead flowers, like decay. Then, it hit me. The hope of our nation's future is a bunch of mulch." Principal Snyder ("Restless")

"You think you know what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun." Tara ("Restless")

"Be back before Dawn." Tara ("Restless")

"Oh, we're drawing up a plan for world domination. Key element: coffeemakers that think." Riley ("Restless")

"This could be trouble." Adam
"We'd better make a fort." Riley
"I'll get some pillows." Adam ("Restless")

"I have no speech, no name. I live in the action of death, the blood cry, penetrating wound. I am destruction, absolute, alone." Tara ("Restless")

"The slayer does not walk in this world." Tara
"I walk. I talk. I shop. I sneeze. I'm gonna be a fireman when the floods roll back. There's trees in the desert since you moved out, and I don't sleep on a bed of bones. Now give me back my friends." Buffy
"No friends, just the kill. We are alone." First Slayer ("Restless")

"Are you quite finished? It's over, OK? I'm going to ignore you, and you're going to go away. You're really going to have to get over the whole primal-power thing. You're not the source of me. Also, in terms of hair care, you really want to say, 'What kind of impression am I making in the workplace?' 'Cause..." Buffy ("Restless")


Evil Escaped

Departed Characters Remembered

Police and Guns

Buffy and the Law

Indictments against characters include:

Strictly the Caucasian Persuasion

Giles Unconscious

In other words, this was a very good year for the watcher's noggin.

Unusual Pairings

This page was last modified on November 27, 2012