Buffy the Vampire Slayer

A New Man

Season 4, Ep 12, Aired 1/25/00
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  • Episode Description
  • At Buffy's 19th birthday party, Giles has a realization. He is an unemployed, middle-aged man hanging around with a bunch of teenagers. He feels even worse when he finds out that he is the only one who doesn't know about Riley and the Initiative. Feeling useless and insecure, he runs into Ethan Rayne, but the confrontation ends in drinks at the local pub rather than the usual fisticuffs. The next morning, Giles looks in the mirror and sees a massive Fyarl demon looking back at him.moreless

  • Cast & Crew
  • James Marsters


  • Sarah Michelle Gellar

    Buffy Anne Summers

  • Marc Blucas

    Riley Finn

  • Nicholas Brendon

    Alexander 'Xander' Harris

  • Alyson Hannigan

    Willow Rosenberg

  • Fan Reviews (16)
  • A New Man

    By arkanitoo, Aug 14, 2014

  • This is the first episode since "The Dark Age" that is pretty heavily focused on Giles.

    By tarafan2, Jun 19, 2013

  • Buffy joins the Initiative

    By joxerlives, Jan 20, 2012

  • Poor, Poor, Giles.

    By goodridd, Apr 28, 2009

  • A great episode; funny and in keeping with the seasons theme of self identity.

    By TwistedConverse, Oct 18, 2008

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (19)

    • Demon Giles: If you can't find third gear, don't try for third gear. Spike: I'm doing my best, I don't know if I'm driving this thing or wearing it.

    • Demon Giles: You help me a-and I don't kill you. Spike: Oh, tremendously convincing. Try it again without the stutter.

    • Willow (referring to the demon): It stole Giles' car! Xander: Why would a demon want to steal a car? Anya: Why would a demon want to steal that car?

    • Spike: (to Demon Giles) And I'm supposed to just help you out of the evilness of my heart?

    • Xander: (as Spike is packing) That's my radio! Spike: And you're what...shocked and disappointed? I'm evil.

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    Notes (4)

    • In a chat at Raven's Realm (a former BtVS fan site), Jane Espenson (who wrote this episode) had this to say about what happened to Spike after he crashed the car: "That was cut... for time. In fact, he got out of the car injured and he said 'I can kill demons. I can crash cars. Things are looking up!' It's too bad this got cut. It was a nice moment. And now you know..."

    • This marks the final appearance of Robin Sachs as "Ethan Rayne" on the series. He appears again in the video game Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds, and once more in the comic book adaptation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8.

    • Beginning this episode, Emma Caulfield is referenced by character name in the guest credits.

    • Ethan Rayne is removed to a secret military base in Nevada.

    Trivia (10)

    • Goof: Though Giles was seen to have torn off his front door, when Riley arrived later, it was closed and he simply opened it up as normal.

    • Nitpick: In the previous episode "Doomed" when Riley creeps up on Buffy in the cemetery she flips up in order to attack him and he seems in awe of this maneuver, referring to it as "that flippy thing that you did". However, in this episode when Riley is sparring with Buffy he does this same move with ease. It seems unlikely that he would have allowed Buffy to teach him this move considering how is, at this stage in their relationship, rather jealous of the Slayer's abilities and feeling rather emasculated by her. Perhaps one of his fellow soldiers taught him?

    • Goof: In the scene in the cemetery when Giles is talking to Spike, there are several inconsistencies with Spike's cigarette which appears and reappears depending on the camera angle

    • In the scene where they are all in Giles' apartment doing research trying to find the demon, Willow is wearing a shirt with a rainbow on it, and rainbows are a symbol of gay pride. She was fond of wearing rainbows in Seasons 1 & 2 as well.

    • Goof: When Spike is trying to out run the Initiative Humvees he makes a ninety degree right turn with them following. A moment later Spike makes another hard right turn as one of the Humvees spins around. Though filmed separately, it's the exact same corner.

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    Allusions (3)

    • Riley: You're really strong. Like Spider-Man strong.
      In the comics Spider-Man is a man who was bitten by a radioactive spider and hence gained the strength of a spider along with the ability to stick to walls. Buffy's superhuman strength certainly rivals that of Spider-Man but it would be awfully cool to be able to "stick to stuff" as she put it.

    • Ethan: Oh, religious intolerance. Sad there. I mean, just look at the Irish troubles.
      Ethan refers to the situation in Ireland caused by the religious differences between the Catholic Irish and the Protestant British and Northern Irish. The simmering terrorist war that resulted was referred to as simply the Troubles. Giles' rejection of Ethan's worship of chaos isn't quite the same.

    • Giles: I felt like Theseus and the Minotaur in the ... labyrinth.
      The Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur tells of how the man Theseus was able to find his way through the labyrinth by spooling out string that he could follow out. Theseus killed the Minotaur who was half man/half bull.

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