Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 4 Episode 17

Superstar

4
Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Apr 04, 2000 on The WB
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (28)

8.0
out of 10
Average
549 votes
  • Worst episode so far

    1.0
    Worst episode so far.



    I don't condemn Whedon for experimenting. Experimentation is good.



    But there is no denying that some experiments fail. This is one of them.



    The standard formula for leading men and leading ladies has a logical basis.
  • Season 4, Episode 17.

    1.0
    Buffy, Xander, Anya, and Willow hunt vampires and kill one, but they follow another to a nest. They realize they cannot fight the vampires alone, so they seek help from Jonathan, who has gained fame. Finally, Buffy realizes that something mysterious is behind Jonathan's popularity.

    WOW! I hated this episode! I couldn't even pay attention. I kinda like how they changed the credits for Jonathan to fit the episode, but the episode itself was dull. Just when season 4 was getting good, they give us this crap! I HATE the character of Jonathan! I missed out on most of the episode because I lost interest. It was very random. Probably the worst episode of Buffy ever.
  • Worst episode ever

    1.0

    really this was the worst episode of buffy the vampire slayer and btw i am a big fan so its not easy for me to say that this episode was not only the worst in buffy but in all the series that i have ever watched during my life



  • Buffy and the Scoobies are nothing...it's Jonathon that is the Superhero.

    3.5
    A alternate universe that is funny in idea, but not fun to watch. Maybe it's the fact that once again, Adam is being pushed to the side or maybe I just don't find the Jonathon character that interesting in any but small bits, but I hate this episode. Sure, it's mildly amusing to think of a universe dominated by the ultimate Betty-Sue fanfic character. As a matter of actually reading (or watching in this case) such a story though... it's no fun at all.

    I also thought the counter-demon that appeared in response to Jonathon's alteration of reality was pretty lame. I would have liked to see Jonathon actually become a Scooby during the series run, but not in this way.
  • Jonathan - Superstar. What is wrong with that concept? Hopefully it is not real.

    5.0
    "Superstar" is easily the worst episode of Buffy's whole run. Of course that is just my opinion. But why it was intended to be funny and obvious to give the viewer a break from the overall Adam-storyline, I only experienced it as a bore. I could hardly watch it until the end, which I only did once.In every rewatching session i start and try to find something I like with it, but I end up skipping it. Jonathan is just not a character that should be put in the spotlight at least not in a superhero-ey way, be it through a spell or anything else. Later on as part of the Trio he absolutely worked. But this episode is not one I would miss, had it never been shot.
  • I didn't think it was their best work. I didn\'t like the whole story line with Jonathan being the big man on campus, it was very irritating for me. I thought for a little while that it was kinda funny, but in the end, I\'m glad it was over.

    5.0
    Its basically one big dream world, Jonathan is the big man on campus, and Buffy is the one that everyone looks and and thinks, \"who does this girl think she is?\" Jonathan got to have something done on everyone, like some sort of spell, that had everyone look at him like he was the popular guy and the epitome of perfection. I didn\'t really like the episode much, I\'m glad it was only a spell, otherwise, buffy wouldn\'t be such a big hit.
  • Supernerd

    5.9
    Superstar-Buffy, Willow, Xander and Anya are out hunting vampires and kill one of a pair. They track the other to a nest and decide to call in the big guns and visit... Jonathan.

    One of the few experimental episodes that went wrong, "Superstar" starts out with many viewers going what the hell when Buffy and the gang having trouble defeating a group of vampires and going to Jonathan of all people for help. It seems that Jonathan did a spell which has made him into god-like figure where everyone loves him and he is literally good at everything including demon fighting. While it's nice to see Danny Strong agian who is a very talented actor and of course, who wouldn't have fun playing a character whose worshiped for an episode but "Superstar" literally works half the time. Some gags are funny, most just fall flat. Also, some cast members just seem a bit OTT in their performances, maybe even a bit uninterested in the storyline.

    At least the episode does move the other storylines of the season along like Buffy and Riley dealing with the fact he slept with Faith while she was in Faith's body. Also, we find out that Adam has an unlimited power source that will keep him alive forever and destorying it is the key to killing him. But besides some funny lines here and there, "Superstar" is an average Buffy hour with nothing really special about it.
  • This is an occasionally fun, but nearly completely inconsequential episode that simply doesn't have a lot else going for it.

    6.0
    Why isn't this an arc episode anyway? This just tells me that the writers probably knew they didn't have much of anything to do with Adam and the Initiative at this point. Jonathan somehow manages to alter all of reality so that he's the big hero that everyone loves. Buffy and Riley mend their wounds over the Faith issue and Jonathan learns a couple lessons. That's about all that happens. It's also got the whole James Bond-type music going for it. The demon that was summoned as a side-effect to Jonathan's spell is incredibly hokey, annoying, and certainly not the sum of everyone's worst nightmares. I'm not a big fan of this episode, but I admit there's some worthwhile stuff mixed in here.



    I really enjoyed the altered opening credits along with how, right from the beginning of the episode, everything is already changed. Being thrown into something while it's happening is a technique I'm quite fond of, the best example of which I've seen used is in the movie Dark City. Early on it is obvious that this Buffy has not gone through nearly as much as the Buffy in the real reality. Here she dresses in a way that makes her look frivolous and we can see she doesn't have a lot of confidence because, as Giles puts it, "she's never stood alone against something like this This is what Buffy would be like at this age had she not killed the Master, defeated Angelus, fought Faith, and dealt with all the daily fighting she's had to endure mostly by herself. In this reality, Jonathan did all that. This means that Buffy never trained, got little fighting practice, and didn't have to go through all that pain, which made her able to take more both physically and emotionally.



    Buffy's conversations with Riley reveal a lot more. When she's with him, she's very much like the Buffy in the real reality. Certain characteristics, such as caring for and loving others, are a part of who Buffy is, regardless of memory. Her instincts are still extremely sharp as well. While borderline frivolous, we can still see that there's some depth to Buffy. Riley tells her, "If they'd just put a little trust in me I know I could get the job She replies, "I've felt that way my entire This Buffy is untrained, underdeveloped, and just itching to blossom but is always superceded by Jonathan who is able to do everything better. That makes it all the much warmer when Riley sticks up for and supports Buffy when no one else will after she questions the perfectness of Jonathan.



    That brings us to Jonathan who is, as Buffy puts it, "trying to make everything work out with some big gesture all at He did that in "Earshot" when he was going to commit suicide, and he's definitely done it again here. At the end Buffy tells him that "things are complicated. They take time and Through this fantasy Jonathan gets everything he wants. His album addresses his lack of popularity, the slaying addresses his lack of power and self confidence, the Swedish girls address his lack of a love life, and the Scoobies address his lack of companionship. While obviously envious of Buffy, he still very much likes her and who she is. That's why when he gives her good advice on her relationship with Riley, it's completely genuine. What's also genuine is when he decides to help Buffy fight the demon, even though it means he will lose his fantasy. He does something very similar in "Seeing Red" when he tells her how to drain Warren of his power, even though it means he'll likely end up in prison for what he's been a part of. This is something that is a part of who Jonathan is, and a good something at that. He should be, at the very least, proud of that.



    One last thing to point out is the second scene between Buffy and Spike. Spike says, as he caresses her hair, "Someday sweet slayer. I would love to take you on. See you face the evil alone for Spike seems a bit infatuated with her already, and Buffy doesn't do anything to deter him from continuing. Anyway, this episode has some humor, a decent amount of cheese, and a little bit of character insight. Overall, though, it's simply mediocre.
  • Confusing, and slightly irritating, until about half-way through.

    6.0
    Though the episode does contain some of the elements that Buffy fans have come to know and love, the first half of the episode may leave fans confused and possibly even irritated. Jonathan is suddenly the focus of (almost) everyone's lives, even to the point of superstardom (hence the episode's name). The changes to reality are, at first, so unusual and so drastic, even for the Buffyverse, that viewers will probably lose interest shortly into the story. While I doubt this ruins the series or anything like that, it does seem to take the momentum away from the season a little bit.
  • Superstar

    6.5
    This is an occasionally fun, but nearly completely inconsequential episode that simply doesn't have a lot else going for it. Why isn't this an arc episode anyway? This just tells me that the writers probably knew they didn't have much of anything to do with Adam and the Initiative at this point. Jonathan somehow manages to alter all of reality so that he's the big hero that everyone loves. Buffy and Riley mend their wounds over the Faith issue and Jonathan learns a couple lessons. That's about all that happens. It's also got the whole James Bond-type music going for it. The demon that was summoned as a side-effect to Jonathan's spell is incredibly hokey, annoying, and certainly not the sum of everyone's worst nightmares. I'm not a big fan of this episode, but I admit there's some worthwhile stuff mixed in here.



    I really enjoyed the altered opening credits along with how, right from the beginning of the episode, everything is already changed. Being thrown into something while it's happening is a technique I'm quite fond of, the best example of which I've seen used is in the movie Dark City. Early on it is obvious that this Buffy has not gone through nearly as much as the Buffy in the real reality. Here she dresses in a way that makes her look frivolous and we can see she doesn't have a lot of confidence because, as Giles puts it, "she's never stood alone against something like this This is what Buffy would be like at this age had she not killed the Master, defeated Angelus, fought Faith, and dealt with all the daily fighting she's had to endure mostly by herself. In this reality, Jonathan did all that. This means that Buffy never trained, got little fighting practice, and didn't have to go through all that pain, which made her able to take more both physically and emotionally.



    Buffy's conversations with Riley reveal a lot more. When she's with him, she's very much like the Buffy in the real reality. Certain characteristics, such as caring for and loving (and I mean this not in the romantic way) others, are a part of who Buffy is, regardless of memory. Her instincts are still extremely sharp as well. While borderline frivolous, we can still see that there's some depth to Buffy. Riley tells her, "If they'd just put a little trust in me I know I could get the job She replies, "I've felt that way my entire This Buffy is untrained, underdeveloped, and just itching to blossom but is always superceded by Jonathan who is able to do everything better. That makes it all the much warmer when Riley sticks up for and supports Buffy when no one else will after she questions the perfectness of Jonathan.



    That brings us to Jonathan who is, as Buffy puts it, "trying to make everything work out with some big gesture all at He did that in "Earshot" (3x18) when he was going to commit suicide, and he's definitely done it again here. At the end Buffy tells him that "things are complicated. They take time and Through this fantasy Jonathan gets everything he wants. His album addresses his lack of popularity, the slaying addresses his lack of power and self confidence, the Swedish girls address his lack of a love life, and the Scoobies address his lack of companionship. While obviously envious of Buffy, he still very much likes her and who she is. That's why when he gives her good advice on her relationship with Riley, it's completely genuine. What's also genuine is when he decides to help Buffy fight the demon, even though it means he will lose his fantasy. He does something very similar in "Seeing Red" (6x19) when he tells her how to drain Warren of his power, even though it means he'll likely end up in prison for what he's been a part of. This is something that is a part of who Jonathan is, and a good something at that. He should be, at the very least, proud of that.



    One last thing to point out is the second scene between Buffy and Spike (when only Jonathan is with her). Spike says, as he caresses her hair, "Someday sweet slayer. I would love to take you on. See you face the evil alone for Spike seems a bit infatuated with her already, and Buffy doesn't do anything to deter him from continuing. Anyway, this episode has some humor, a decent amount of cheese, and a little bit of character insight. Overall, though, it's simply mediocre.

  • An average episode. It has some cheap laughs but overall, a very weak episode when compared to the previous two.

    6.5
    Superstar is one of the very few episodes of Buffy (and I mean very, very few) that I don't much like. It's an episode of Buffy of course, so it is better than most things TV (the worst Buffy episode is way better than the best episodes of One Tree Hill or other annoying teen dramas for example) but for a Buffy episode, it's bottom of the barrel.

    It felt like the writers were out of ideas and really worn out after the extravaganza that was This Year's Girl/Who Are You? and stuck with their first idea that wasn't awful. The storyline of this episode is particularly weak (and has a few gaping plot holes) and Jane Espenson, a normally brilliant writer (probably the best after Joss himself!) is at her worst here.

    I felt like the writers tried to add cheap novelties here to keep this episode from being an utter waste. The opening credits were a really neat idea and gave the world a bit more credibility. Seeing what the world is like when Buffy isn't all powerful is interesting (but was done similarily and so much better in The Wish) but besides that, everything is bad/average.

    Jonathon isn't a particularly strong character. He isn't bad but really isn't interesting. He's good when he's a background character (Earshot anyone?) but as the main focus, he doesn't work so well. Danny Strong puts in a good effort, as do the main cast but it is a rather shaky foundation to lay an episode on.

    Anya was really the best thing about this episode. She was hilarious as always and injects a bit of life into a stale plot. She gets all the good lines and is the one thing that keeps this episode above 6/10 (usually the lowest I'd give a Buffy or Angel episode, though there are so exceptions).

    Superstar is an average episode- poor storyline, average writing and just has "meh" written all over it. It is still an episode of Buffy though, so it earns a reasonable mark from me!
  • hmmm...jonathan as the hero? somthing isn't right there...

    6.6
    this episode was funny in many ways. the credits was funny with jonathan constanly appearing. the scoobies were very funny and the settings were hillarious. they have jonathan's face simply everywhere. but in some ways this episode was annoying and irritating. buffy was no longer the leader. i guessed it was a change to see buffy following insted of leading but it was annoying how everyone was constanly looking to jonathan for orders and advice. the worst was how everyone was obsessed about him. anya kept reading his book. willow and tara was sticking his pictures on the wall. buffy and riley's relationship looked like it depended on jonathan, with his singing in the bronze. i just cant stand this reality. it was just wrong.
  • 'Xander, don't speak Latin in front of the books.'

    6.7
    ‘Superstar’ is definitely my least favourite episode of the show.

    It had a good cast, good writing and a good storyline but I felt like it was poorly done and just couldn’t hold my interest. The episode is far from being bad, but as far as Buffy episodes go, I wouldn’t mind if this episode had never existed.

    The episode is about Jonathan being a superstar, everyone thinks that he starred in the matrix and did all the things that would someone make popular. The downside of this is that you already know it’s going to end with Jonathan ending as a loser again.

    Jonathan proved to me that he is a good character, he didn’t know that there was a loophole (the big demon that was created) and he didn’t mean any harm, but sadly he just did another dumb thing and still doesn’t learn his lesson because he comes back as one of the trio’s.

    What was highly enjoyable about the episode was Anya who kept saying funny stuff like the shrimp thing or the Jonathan moan.
    It also developed the Ruffy relationship because of Jonathan and they didn’t have to make a whole episode about them coming back together.

    The downsides is for one, the demon which was a really…bad demon, he looked like a copy of the demon in ‘Nightmares’ which was also a pretty bad demon.
    The way of exaggerating some stuff, most of everything was very unlikely like Buffy moaning his name at the end of the episode and some humor was irritating with all the Jonathan obsession.

    But this episode was definitely not useless, Jonathan learned the gang about Adam’s weak point and we got a very nice scene at the bronze.
    ‘Superstar’ is definitely not a bad episode but it’s also far from being a classic, it had an interesting premise that would have worked better if the writers had worked better on it.

  • This episode was random.

    7.8
    This episode came out of the blue. It's like the creators were like, "Hey, let's do this!" I didn't like it. I though it was boring, useless and weird. I'm glad that Buffy came to her senses that something wasn't right because I was about to turn the TV off it was so awful. I get they were in an alternate reality and trying to make fun and "What if..." kinda way but it didn't work well. Poor Tara, being chased by the evil monster... and Karen with a K. Xander had a crush on Jonathon and that was hilarious. Giles even having a calender of him. What in the world? Weird. As this season is coming to a close, I hope it goes out with a bang and they kill Adam and find out the REAL secrets of the initiative. I'm hoping for some superb episodes to come.

    Rating = C
  • The halfway point

    8.0
    The Good;

    How brilliant is Danny Strong? So glad we had him back in the 6&7 seasons. His final talk with Buffy is a winner



    The Bad;

    Monster looks a bit lame, aside from that, great ep



    Best line;

    Graham;(upon seeing the Initiative's 'tactical consultant' Jonothan) "About time we brought out the big guns"



    Women good/men bad;

    Actually in this case 'man' brilliant but it's hardly real



    Jeez!;

    Poor Tara, you so feel for her



    Kinky dinky;

    Anya moans Jonathan's name during sex and describes him as 'lickable' (as indeed does Buffy although she claims she was only joking). She also seems to find his trumpet playing a turn-on. Jonathan has a threesome with beautiful twins which appears to be an illicit yet universal male fantasy to judge by all the Buffy/Dawn/Joyce or Charmed sisters sexfic on the net? 'Buffy the Streetwalking Hooker' , 'Thanks for taking care of my body Faith' and 'Don't Go' probably the most tasteful in a highly dubious genre if you're over 18.



    Calling Captain Subtext;

    Exactly why does Giles have a copy of the Jonathan swimsuit calender to hand? Was it a gift? Tara and Willow seem infatuated with Jonathan, one wonders if he suggested it they might come 'running back to boys-town', at least for the night? Xander also seems alarmingly devoted to Jonathan. Spike strokes Buffy's cheek, their attraction evident. Note the evidence of Jonathon's heroism, no wonder he comes good in season 6&7.



    Guantanamo Bay;

    Buffy and Jonothan beat Spike up for info. The police seem quite content to just let Jonothan handle things without their help.



    Scoobies to the ER;

    Poor Tara gets pretty banged up



    Where's Dawn?

    Does she share in the Jonathan idolisation?



    Scoobies in bondage:

    Buffy: 8

    Giles: 4

    Cordy: 5

    Will: 3

    Jenny: 1

    Angel: 4

    Oz: 1

    Faith: 3

    Joyce: 1

    Wes: 1



    Scoobies knocked out: no but Jonathan knocked unconscious by the beast.

    Buffy: 15

    Giles: 10

    Cordy: 6

    Xander: 8

    Will: 5

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 6

    Oz: 3

    Faith: 1

    Joyce: 2

    Wes: 1



    Kills:

    Buffy: 3 vamps for Buffy so 79 vamps, 26 demons, 6 monsters, 3 humans, 1 werewolf, 1 spirit warrior & a robot

    Giles: 5 vamps, 1 demon

    Cordy: 3 vamps, a demon

    Will: 4 vamps

    Angel: 3 vamps, 1 demon, 1 human

    Oz: 3 vamps, 1 zombie

    Faith: 16 vamps, 5 demons, 3 humans

    Xander: 5 vamps, 2 zombies, a demon, a demon

    Anya: a demon

    Jonathan; 2 vamps and 1 demon

    Riley; 11 vamps + 6 demons



    Scoobies go evil:

    Giles: 1

    Cordy: 1

    Will: 2

    Jenny: 1

    Angel: 1

    Oz: 1

    Joyce: 1

    Xander: 2



    Alternate scoobies:

    Buffy: 6

    Giles: 3

    Cordy: 1

    Will: 2

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 3

    Oz: 2

    Joyce: 2

    Xander: 3



    Recurring characters killed: no but for a moment you really think Tara might go the same way as Jenny Calender

    Jesse, Flutie, Jenny, Kendra, Larry, Snyder, Professor Walsh



    Total number of scoobies: 7

    Giles, Xander, Willow, Buffy, Anya, Spike, Riley



    Xander demon magnet: 5

    Preying Mantis Lady, Inca Mummy Girl, Drusilla, VampWillow, Anya (arguably Buffy & Faith with their demon essences?)



    Scoobies shot:

    Giles: 2

    Angel: 3

    Oz: 4



    Notches on Scooby bedpost:

    Giles: 2; Joyce & Olivia, possibly Jenny

    Cordy: 1?

    Buffy: 3; Angel, Parker, Riley

    Angel: 1;Buffy

    Joyce: 1;Giles, possibly Ted

    Oz: 3; Groupie, Willow & Verucca

    Faith:2 ;Xander, Riley

    Xander: 2; Faith, Anya

    Willow: 2;Oz and Tara



    Questions and observations;

    The first mention of the world without shrimp as far as I know? Of course it's actually Jonathon who works out Adam's weakness although surely if you cut his head off it would slow him down a great deal? Note Buffy know's how to make Jonathon's coffee. Less Adam in this ep and it's all the better for it. An ep much beloved of fanfic writers as whatever has gone on before Jonathon can always put it right. We also see Buffy show her strength, able to see beyond the illusion and show her latent power. Riley begins to see beyond the Initiative and is introduced to magic. How great is magic Jane's commentary? Now of course this marks the halfway point of Buffy, 72 down, 72 to go.

    Marks out of 10; 8/10 I think, bordering on the marvellous

  • Ultimate filler episode?

    8.0
    In order not to advance the main plot too hastily, Jonathan is once again thrown into the Buffyverse. This time he uses a spell to alter the way the world percieves him. Instead of being a loser that tried to kill himself in school, he is now the ultimate paragon, excelling in everything he does. He even outdoes Buffy when it comes to slaying.

    I personally think this is about as good as a filler episode can ever get. Jonathan is extremely funny and the storyline takes on a charming measure of surrealism thanks to his meddling with the perception of reality.
  • Overall, this episode is a pleasant diversion from the usual format, with just enough overlap with the “real Buffyverse” to allow the writers to maintain progress on the season arcs. Jonathan’s story works perfectly with the season’s theme of self-identi

    8.0
    After a couple of episodes that focused strongly on Buffy, Faith, and Adam, the season’s theme of self-identity veers into unexpected territory with this installment. Essentially a professional version of the everyday fanfic “Mary Sue” staple, this is all about someone trying to escape one’s reality through creation of fantasy world. In the process, much is revealed about the characters and what they believe about themselves.

    Everyone sees in Jonathan, thanks to his spell, the person that they wish they could be. In some cases, it’s the effect of the spell; it’s as if a little bit of everyone was stolen away so that Jonathan could be the best at everything at all times. But that also serves to emphasize, for many of the characters, the qualities that they struggle with about themselves.

    Right from the beginning, the effects are obvious on Buffy and Giles. Buffy lacks her usual confidence and sharpness, which is remarkably like the person that Buffy had been in the season premiere. This actually helps to explain why Buffy is able to recognize that something is very wrong as the episode unfolds; Buffy has been in this psychological space before, and she was able to work past it.

    Giles, on the other hand, seems obsessed with gaining some sense of approval for his efforts. The suggestion is that he feels like his life is lacking a clear direction and meaning, and that his purpose as Buffy’s mentor has lost much of its necessity. The fact is that Giles doesn’t know what to do without the Watchers; as the series would later demonstrate, he eventually finds a way to resolve that inner conflict when the opportunity presents itself.

    If this episode had focused entirely on the fallout of Faith’s seduction of Riley, then it might have been a bit tiring. Allowing the healing process to take place within the context of Jonathan’s fantasy world is a brilliant move. Jonathan points out exactly what many fans assumed in the previous episode: Buffy is disappointed that Riley couldn’t do what she could do with Giles in “A New Man”. Using the “Mary Sue” of Jonathan to point it out is really just a different spin on exposition, letting the audience understand Buffy’s emotional state while keeping things interesting.

    Beyond the sight gag of Jonathan working with the soldiers of the Initiative, that scene reveals important aspects of the season arc. For one, it firmly connects the Initiative to a military operation, secret or otherwise. It also highlights the fact that the Initiative is completely unprepared for an adversary with the intelligence and purpose like Adam. Jonathan gets to deliver more exposition on Adam (including producing design specs that really shouldn’t exist), setting the stage for the end of the season.

    Like Buffy, Riley’s emotional state is explored in his conversation with Jonathan. Another intriguing question comes up: even in her confused state, did Faith rock Riley’s world? After everything that Faith mentioned to Spike, one has to wonder if she didn’t use a few of those tricks on Riley. It’s unlikely, since Faith wasn’t operating in her usual vixen mode, but Buffy’s concerns on that end would be sensible.

    Turning to Xander and Anya, some interesting aspects of their relationship are revealed. Xander, not surprisingly, has some serious self-confidence issues. He’s constantly worried about whether or not he’ll prove worthy of Anya’s near-constant attentions. Anya’s obsession with all things Jonathan doesn’t help. One can speculate that this is indicative of an obsessive personality in general, based on her transition to human life and the need for something to give her a consistent feeling of comforting normality. (There’s also an odd return to the “Is Xander gay?” motif of earlier seasons, but it’s not that meaningful.)

    What’s most interesting about Jonathan in this episode, beyond how his spell throws the format off kilter, is how he chooses to live out the world of his spell. He could simply be rich and beloved, but it goes beyond that. He genuinely wants to help people, and it genuinely bothers him that Karen is hurt because of something related to his spell. He immediately recognizes that the creature is a product of his choice, and for the rest of the episode, Jonathan deals with the fact that he can’t allow others to be hurt, even if he gets everything he wants in the process. (This becomes very important to his character in the sixth season.)

    Even Adam’s reaction is revealing. Adam responds in such a way as to explain the depth of his perception and how he interprets it. Clearly, Adam thinks of himself as being far more powerful than he really is, but he’s still gathering data and trying to build his understanding of his purpose and being from that data. It’s exactly what all self-aware beings do; most of them simply don’t have self-diagnostic programs to help them along!

    Getting Riley to the point where he takes Buffy’s side, despite the evidence of his own senses, was a big part of this episode. Riley is a lot closer to seeing the world from outside of the Initiative’s perspective. Unfortunately, this also means that his strongest material is nearly at an end; once his character arc is done, his presence is little more than a distraction in the fifth season. But that moment also mirrors Buffy’s realization in the season premiere, where she grabs onto reality, despite the momentary lack of self-confidence.

    In another early hint at what would come to pass between Buffy and Spike, Spike shows a remarkable amount of attraction to the Slayer. For that matter, she’s rather attracted back. This is possible foreshadowing for the sixth season (Joss plans a couple seasons ahead, after all), since a lack of confidence and self-worth opens the door for her attraction to dark things. After everything Faith said to Spike in the previous episode, there’s certainly a lot of reason for him to consider what it would be like!

    One thing doesn’t quite come together. The Scoobies figure out that in order for Jonathan to become a paragon of everything good, then the monster is supposed to be a paragon of everything bad. Except, of course, that the monster is rather unimpressive. Conceptually, it works; in practice, it simply wasn’t possible.

    As Jonathan comes to the realization that he must accept who he is, rather than endanger others in the process of trying to be a paragon, Buffy comes to the realization (at least on a certain level) of who she is supposed to be. In essence, she is realizing what it really means to be a Slayer. That leads directly into the eventual consequence of the fourth season: Buffy’s search for self-identity turns into a quest to understand what it means to be a Slayer.

    As a diversion (and even as a distraction), the Jonathan/”Mary Sue” concept worked well enough. It’s not the kind of episode that one watches very often, but when running through the DVDs, it’s a pleasant change of pace. Jane Espenson gets to show her best snark, and the cast gets to play things a little differently than usual. It’s rare for commentary on fanfic and the season’s theme get to have so much in common!
  • Jonathon The Vampire Slayer

    8.5
    This episode is entertaining from start to finish. I believe this episode is incredibly underrated. I think people don't like it because it's a filler episode. But I can't help but find it adorable. Espenson proves again that she is a great writer.

    Jonathon has cast a spell that makes him a Superstar, but with terrible consequences. Along with his new found fame, comes a demon that is out to kill. So many hilarious moments in this episode. Willow and Tara's shrine to Jonathon, Riley's poster, The dialogue between Jonathon and Spike early on, Jonathon speaking to the commandos, and Karen with a K.

    It's not all humor though. Jonathon actually helps Buffy resolve her issues with Riley. So I guess Jonathon's spell wasn't a total loss.
  • Superstar

    9.0
    Superstar was a great episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This episode was a nice distraction from the main story lines even though it incorporated them and some important information. We saw the return of Jonathan, the lonely school nerd who was going to kill himself back in high school. It was neat how the episode started with his spell already in effect. There was some action, drama, and lots of humor. I really enjoyed watching the characters in this episode. This may seem like a filler at first glance but their are important details relevant to the main story lines.
  • The scooby gang are fighting the good fight with a mistory star! Of more importance is the continuing and escalating relationship between the scoobies and their new friends!

    9.0
    I was confursed to start with - Jonathen??? What is he doing in the intro, about 10 minutes later it started to click and I was really enjoying the episode and wondering who was going to catch on first.
    Then I got distracted by the touch of hands and weird goodbye between Willow and Tara, now there is something to watch - hmmm I wonder what will happen!
    Anyway back to Jonathen, all in all what started to seem like a really good episode was a little anitclimactic in the end. There needed to be clearer revelations from Jonathen - an apithany or complete disregard, he seemed to sit on the fence a bit. Still I loved it for abit of fun.
  • Funny, good silly fun

    9.0
    Maybe not one of the best episodes ever but very funny. There were some great lines most of which are covered in Quotes but Xanders "The man moistens his eyeballs and we're having a meeting about it" line was, I feel worth a mention. OK so this ep definitely involved putting your brain into neutral and just enjoying it for what it was a funny filler episode. I thought Danny Strong was brilliant. The only gripe I have is the monster. Considering he was supposed to be the opposite of the perfect Jonathon he was kinda lame and a bit too easy to kill
  • So the guy everyone always picked on in high school is Mr. Big Shot huh???

    9.4
    This was a very confusing episode at the beginning. Jane Espenson as always wrote a fabulous episode. Jonathan is her favorite character so it's not surprising that she wrote this one.

    It was amazing to see something that was so different than usual. It was really freaky though seeing Buffy all afraid of a few vampires. It was odd to see that all those things that you remember Buffy doing Jonathan had done.

    I loved how Buffy realized that Jonathan seemed just too perfect and Buffy asking Anya about alternate universes and stuff was incredibly funny. Anya trying to tell Buffy to get out of Xander's basement and all was quite amusing too.

    I found it very amusing that Giles had a Jonathan swim suit calendar. It was fun to see that look on Giles' face like 'what are you talking about I don't have that calendar?'

    Jonathan giving Buffy advice about Riley was a good point I liked that because it was obvious that Buffy was off since the body swap with Faith where Riley slept with Faith. Buffy should have felt angry with Riley for not realizing that she wasn't her because Tara knew Buffy wasn't Buffy without ever meeting Buffy.

    This was an interesting episode to watch I also like that Adam wasn't affected by the spell.
  • Classic Xander line #284

    9.5
    So we're saying he did a spell just to make us think he was cool? That is so cool.
  • When the amazing Jonathan comes to Sunnydale a weird and powerful long-armed demon also comes to Sunnydale, marked with an symbol. When Buffy sees the same symbol on Jonathan's shoulder, she feels something is not quite right in the reality of Sunnydale.

    9.5
    The viewers will be confused by the opening credits to be all about Jonathan. Thanks to Faith sleeping with Riley in Buffy's body Buffy seeks advice from Jonathan about what to do about Riley. The Scoobie gang then go out and relax at the Bronze. Meanwhile, an unknown demon attacks a girl she then rushes to seek help from her idol Jonathan. The Scoobies help Jonathan investigate this demon attack but when investigating further Buffy imidately becomes intringed by the weird appearance of the demons symbol on Jonathan's shoulder. But it seems that no-one is believing her! They all are under Jonathan's spell, and when Buffy's life comes into question what will they believe? A reality where everything is perfect but is possibly lies or something that only Buffy's word depends on? This is an episode that will make you want to watch more!
  • "People can’t see what’s in front of their nose" - Jonathan

    9.5
    The gang that slays together stays together, but Buffy doesn’t get closure and fails to kill the vamp-nest. The Scoobs need someone better than Buffy – no, not Faith: Jonathan. Urgh, he’s in the credits! No, not Jonathan: Riley. The big lug.

    The beauty of this episode is that it’s not a stand-alone ep in the usual sense - the story is advanced as we learn more about Adam, we see Tara finally hanging out with the gang (although no-one pays her any attention), and Riley and Buffy, after some wise words from Jonathan, make up, following the Faith debacle. It’s a pity Jonathan isn’t in every episode, we’d be saved a lot of whining from the Buffster and pouting from the Big Lug.

    So, anyway, Jonathan is a sports/music/literary/technical superman, as well as being an evil-fighting comic-book mr lover-lover hero. We know it’s not a dream, because the dreamer would have to know a lot about each of the Scoobs; we know it’s not an alternative reality because everything is the same, except that Buffy is a whole lot weedier, and it takes Adam to point out that it’s only a spell. Interestingly, it is Jonathan who points out that Adam’s existence is non-biological and that his power core is uranium. The anti-Jonathan, the demon who is everyone’s nightmare, could be a version of Adam. Buffy, in the normal world, is the superhero(ine): the best of everything and Adam, with his intelligence and super-strength and evilness, is the worst. Jonathan is so great that he even settles arguments between Xander and Anya, and seems to have both gaying and un-gaying powers (on one hand, Xander wanting to have sex after seeing Jonathan sing, Giles owning the Jonathan swimsuit calendar, and on the other, Willow and Tara being more interested in Jonathanstar than each other).

    Mind you, you’d have thought Jonathan would have some better ambitions than being the exalted champion of Sunnydale, starring in The Matrix and coaching the women’s football team. Making himself a few inches taller for one thing. But his aspirations, like his stature, were always small; his goals are practically the same when he teams up with Warren and Tucker’s brother to take over Sunnydale in S6 (co-incidentally, it is Tucker voicing Jonathan’s song during the jive night at the Bronze). Buffy, despite her Faith-esque hair, is still feeling somewhat put out by the second slayer and her antics. It’s this perhaps, along with her natural intelligence and – to an extent – ego, that makes her suspicious of Jonathan. She had someone take over her life in the last ep, she doesn’t want it happening again. She is also motivated, as ever, by the attack on an innocent - Tara being mauled by the demon (now that Willow is powerful and confident, there needs to be a new chick in danger). After all, Tara saw through Faith-as-Buffy in the previous ep, Buffy needs to do the same now. As in The Wish, this alt. reality also has a weakened Buffy in it – then she was a fighter with no other life, here it was Jonathan who fought the Master, the Mayor (presumably Angel protected Jonathan rather than Buffy, but Jonathan’s gaying-up powers weren’t enough to get Angel to lose his soul….I think I’m straying into fanfic territory here) and presumably Spike as well. Thus, Buffy, never having beaten Spike, does not feel superior to him and has no snark to hurl at him. For his part, Spike is obsessed with Jonathan and not Buffy: he doesn’t even remember her name.

    Buffy’s experiences have made her into the Slayer she is today, however imperfect that person may be. Her suspicion of Jonathan, expressed to an unconcerned Anya, is that he’s a little too perfect. She knows that perfection does not exist and her understanding of the role of the Chosen One (“I’m the Slayer – that’s supposed to mean something, right?”) is like the moment in dreams when you realise that although the asleep-world seems to make sense, there’s a part of you that is logically thinking: “But hang on, why does?...” This imperfection spills over into her love-life as she realises that she has to work at her relationship with Riley, just as Jonathan has to make an effort – back in the real world – at becoming someone. You don’t get change overnight - life is complex and flawed.

    In the end, Jonathan redeems himself as he is prepared to save Buffy, kill the monster and therefore lose his unreal reality. And Buffy is prepared to forgive him, moralise at him and not invite him over to sit with the gang. Still, nobody’s perfect.
  • Buffy is the slayer but Jonathan(yes Jonathan is the man) Yes he is shown as the main focus of the show. Come to find out it is all beacause of a ......

    9.5
    What a wonderful break form the norm. Most alternate episodes show you how it happens in the beginning, not this one. I especially like to re-make of the opening credits..FANTASTIC I can not think of any other show that has done that. From minute one to almost the end we are asking how? and most important What is happening? I give this episode 2 thumbs up, one of my top five episodes of all time and I mean of all the shows I watch.
  • What is going on!?!?!?!

    10
    You are pretty confused through out almost the complete first half of the episode. Things are being said that didn't happen, everything is different, people are...and it's...Sunnydale...

    You become pretty flustered, having no idea what is happening, but that is defenitely the episodes charm. Seeing Danny Strong make another cameo was also a surprise delight, giving off quite a nice performance.

    This is one of my favortie episodes, I don't think I really made that clear. But it is stellar.
  • Hilarious. You go Jonathon!

    10
    I felt this episode was a nice break from the continuing storyline. It seems like some unknown force you knew was out there but never expected always seems to show up at the worst times to add to their problems. In most of the Buffy episodes where some kind of magic takes place you get to see someone or something planning the evil deed then carrying it out, so you something odd is gonna be taking place. This one, however, doesn't tell you anything, and starts off as if Jonathon has been the main character all along. Of course he does everything better than everyone else, he's Jonathon! And what Jonathon says goes! How they even let Buffy become the main character after giving us a glimpse of Jonathon is beyond me! But seriously, I started cracking up right away cause me and my roommate were joking about him ever since Buffy yelled, "hey you, by the dip, got something to say?," at her coming home party and he just looked up, scared outta his mind. He reminds me of Charlie in Charlie's Angels in this episode. I love the way the crew, especially Xander, are hesitent to reverse the spell. You can tell how much they love Jonathon. It's really funny when Willow and her witch friend are hanging up pictures on the wall and they switch camera angles to show you that all of the pictures are of Jonathon. Another funny part is when they ask Giles if he has the Jonathon swimsuit calendar, and Giles says no, before admitting he was lying and goes to get it. The episode helps to show you how the average person looks at Buffy as being super important. You can often forget how useless the average person is against demons but this episode reminded you how special Buffy really is. Overall, hilarious epidose, all I gotta say, well, except for maybe, Give Us More Jonathon! Okay, that's enough.
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