Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 4 Episode 17


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



  • Trivia

    • Goof: In the cave when Jonathan runs out to help Buffy then runs back to hide look at the stalagmite in front of him. As he first runs out he brushes against it and it wobbles back and forth.

    • Goof: Look closely at the floor of the cave when the creature first throws Jonathan down. One of the seams in the floor can be seen.

    • Goof: Near the end of the episode, the overhead establishing shot of the campus uses previously unseen film from the closing shot in "The Initiative". Look closely and Buffy and Riley can be seen walking away in the distance wearing the same clothes from the other episode. Also, the other people in the shot and what they are doing are the same.

    • Goof: When Buffy and Riley are dancing you can see that the same dance sequence is used multiple times.

    • Goof: The chess setting is weird in the fact that both white and black sides have the king in a more frontal row than the queen, which is peculiar but not unheard of. There is a clear error, however, in that Jonathan identifies the layout as the Nimzowitsch Defense. The Nimzowitsch Defense is a well-known opening strategy, not an end-game strategy. Jane Espenson, in the audio commentary, notes that while she researched chess scenarios to find an actual situation no one on the crew knew how to set up the Nimzowitsch Defence.

  • Quotes

    • Anya: Alternate realities are neat.
      Xander: You know what I'll always remember?
      Riley: The swimsuit calendar's sticking in my mind... Not in a good way.

    • Riley: These spells... these really work? I mean, can you really "turn your enemies inside out"? Or... learn to "excrete gold coins"?
      Anya: That one's not so much fun.
      Willow: They work Riley but they take concentration. Being attuned with the forces of the universe.
      Xander: Right you can't just go 'librum incendere' and expect...
      (The book page bursts into flame, and Xander slaps it shut to put out the fire)
      Giles: Xander, don't speak Latin in front of the books.

    • Buffy: Shut up, Spike.
      Spike: Ooh, semi-harsh language from Betty.

    • Buffy: Well, I was just kind of wondering if maybe anyone else thought that Jonathan was kind of too perfect?
      Xander: No, he's not. He's just perfect enough. He crushed the bones of the Master, he blew up a big snake made out of Mayor, and he coached the US Women's soccer team to a stunning World Cup victory.

    • Buffy: (about Jonathan) He starred in The Matrix but he never left town. And how did he graduate from med school? He's only 18 years old.
      Xander: Effective time management?

    • Buffy: Anya, when you were a demon, you granted wishes, right?
      Anya: Vengeance wishes, on ex-boyfriends. I'd wish he was a dog, or ugly, or in love with President McKinley, or something.
      Buffy: But someone could wish the whole earth to be different, right? That's possible?
      Anya: Sure, alternate realities. 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: Xander's not here.
      Buffy: Oh.
      Anya: (pause) You're not going away. Why aren't you going away?
      Buffy: Well, I was kind of hoping to look at some of Xander's stuff.
      Anya: Oh. sure. Come on in, make yourself at home. And so on... (realizes Buffy is still there) Oh, you're still here? That's nice.

    • Riley: Buffy, I want you to know...
      Buffy: Do we have to have the talk? No talk, more dance.
      Riley: I just want to say I'm sorry. That it's only you that I want.
      Buffy: I know. I know all of that.
      Riley: You do? Since when?
      Buffy: Since you put your arms around me.

    • Buffy: (about Riley sleeping with Faith) There's no way he could know. I mean, you don't just look at someone and say, "Hey, that's not your body. Get out of that body with your hands up!"

    • Buffy: It's all Faith's fault. She's like poison. No, worse, she's like acid that eats through everything. Maybe she's a bomb.

    • Willow: (to Tara) I know she's not over the whole Riley sleeping with Faith thing. You know what I mean - Faith's insides in Buffy's outsides, when her insides were out.

    • Xander: We knocked 'em dead. Which they already were.
      Willow: We knocked 'em deader.
      Anya: Well, they weren't very well organized. If they'd all rushed at Buffy, they could have killed her right away.
      Buffy: Thanks, Anya. That won't keep me awake all night.

    • Giles: I can't find a reference to any rituals. Seems more like a... family meal, if you will.
      Buffy: And they say no one eats without the TV on any more.

    • Buffy: A nest. No biggie. I bet I could do it. I mean, I know I could take at least two.
      Anya: Yes. And then we could run for help while the other three suck your heart out through your neck.

    • Willow: (confused) Buffy was right. (trying again) Buffy was right.
      Anya: It doesn't sound very likely, does it?

    • Buffy: (to Spike) It's Buffy! You big, bleached... stupid guy!

    • Xander: So we're saying he did a spell just to make us think he was cool?
      Giles: Yes.
      Xander: That is so cool!

  • Notes

    • In the beginning of the episode, after the opening credits, in the background Anya is eating a box of cereal called Johnny O's.

    • When the world turned normal again, one of Jonathan's posters in Bronze became Oz's band's, Dingoes Ate My Baby's, poster.

    • This is the only episode of the season that Jonathan appears in. Danny Strong doesn't return to Buffy until season six's "Flooded" as a member of the Troika.

    • The Jonathan comic books are made by Dark Horse comics, the same company that (in real life) makes the Buffy and Angel comics.

    • Jonathan's last name is Levinson. Though the Sunnydale High Yearbook stated this, it's the first time it's been stated on the show.

    • Due to the memory altering spell, everyone believes that Jonathan crushed the bones of the Master and blew up the Mayor, naturally we know that it was Buffy who did those things (cf. "When She Was Bad" and "Graduation Day (2)", respectively). Also, Willow says that Buffy gave him the Class Protector award at the Prom, but of course it was the other way around ("The Prom").

    • Jonathan's singing voice in the Bronze belongs to Brad Kane, who previously appeared as Tucker Wells (the hell hound trainer) in "The Prom".

    • The actor who plays Jonathan, Danny Strong, has noted that he has all of the merchandize from the show, and he'll sell it on eBay sometime.

    • This episode contains a unique version of the opening credits that heavily feature Jonathan, in keeping with the story of this episode in which everyone is besotted with the character.

    • Jane Espenson also wrote the season 3 episode "Earshot", the first episode to feature Jonathan as a key character. She and Danny Strong have since become good friends.

    • Jonathan mentions the time that Buffy saved him from committing suicide in the high school clock tower in "Earshot".

    • Adam is immune to Jonathan's spell. He claims it's because he's so aware of every aspect of himself.

    • Adam doesn't eat. Jonathan believes he has a Uranium power source.

  • Allusions

    • Jonathan: The Nimzowitsch Defense.
      Used by Aaron Nimzowitsch (1886-1935) this chess defense is considered uncommon and would be applied at the beginning of the game.

    • Buffy: He starred in The Matrix but he never left town.
      Keanu Reeves was the actual star of the 1999 sci-fi action movie The Matrix.

    • Xander: Oh! He's like your kryptonite.
      Kryptonite, a fictional radioactive mineral formed by the explosion of the planet Krypton, is the only substance to which Superman is vulnerable.

    • Anya: I was just at the part where he invented the Internet.
      There are many actions ascribed to Jonathan that were actually done by others in the real world in this episode. This particular example is a bit of poking fun at the Vice President Al Gore who seemingly claimed to have invented the Internet while he was a senator. While Al didn't quite make that claim he certainly took more credit than he deserved.

    • Jonathan: Watch out for southpaws Buffy. Don't let 'em surprise you.
      Southpaw is a sports term to refer to left handed people. Since the majority people are right handed a left handed person will sometimes have a surprise advantage.

      According to the alt.lefthanders FAQ the term came from baseball where the majority of stadiums used to have the left side of the pitcher's mound facing south.