Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 4 Episode 13

The I In Team

4
Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Feb 08, 2000 on The WB
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (16)

8.3
out of 10
Average
503 votes
  • The I in Team

    8.0
    It's been too long since the Initiative arc has been directly touched upon (6 episodes) and, while solid, this episode does not make up for the wait. Many of my major problems with this season begin to show themselves here, and even more so in "Goodbye Iowa" (4x14). "The I in Team" is a turning point in the season, like "Innocence" (2x14) was for S2. The difference here is that this episode does not "change everything" in a good or exciting way. Professor Walsh gets killed off, which I feel was a dire mistake. Additionally, the entire idea of Commando Buffy just doesn't work and looks ridiculous. Not only does the military not mesh with anything that is Buffy, but the fact a secret military group would show her their operation and send her out on missions that quickly is ridiculous. The Initiative rubs off as unprofessional and sloppy.



    Putting aside the flaws for the time being, this episode is still pretty good. The characters continue to logically develop, which in this season involves separation from one another. An early conversation, while playing Poker, between Willow and Xander is telling. Willow says, "Guess she's out with Riley. You know how it is with a spanking new This statement says a lot. Willow is a little annoyed that Buffy's spending more time with Riley than with her. We see this annoyance return later at the Bronze when Buffy shows up an hour late, and with a bunch of Initiative guys. Now this is interesting, because Willow's been hiding her growing relationship with Tara from Buffy.



    It is unfair of Willow to expect Buffy to be hanging out with her when she, herself, is busy with another person. Willow's double standard is blatant when both Buffy and her walk into their dorm the following morning. Buffy wasn't the only one out with someone all night, and at least Buffy's not concealing what she's doing. I can remember not too long ago, in "The Harsh Light of Day" (4x03), when Willow was running up to Buffy with friendly curiousity about whether or not she had sex the previous night. The two of them have lost touch of their friendship because of new people in their lives.



    Still during the Poker game Xander eventually poses a question I think the whole group, non-Buffy, is thinking: "am I the only one with a big floating question mark over his head about this Initiative thing? There's still heaps we don't know about these commandos. What exactly are they up to?" The truth of the matter is something that sounds more like it belongs in a Star Trek episode. The plot arc of the season has been said to be magic versus science. While that's an interesting comparison, S4 falls flat on delivering much of anything in the way of interesting thought on the matter.



    I think the writers should have left Professor Walsh alive until the end of the arc (or at least close to the end). She should have been the "big bad" with possibly Adam as the leader of her growing army of demonoids. I was very pleased to see that the Initiative was working on something insidius, but unfortunately all that opportunity is squandered the moment Walsh (and her co-scientist guy in "Goodbye Iowa" [4x14]) dies. The season then just turns into Buffy versus Adam, which honestly isn't all that interesting. Buffy versus Walsh, with Adam as a tough obsticle in her way would have been much more powerful. Buffy had an entire semester of Psychology with her -- imagine the awesome topics that could have been debated! Instead Adam just wanders around all day asking questions about his existence, and that gets boring quickly. It doesn't help that the Initiative completely falls apart as well, getting even more sloppy and ridiculous. This is the moment where the plot arc of S4 starts to fall apart.



    Anyway, in this episode Buffy essentially 'joins' the Initiative after a worried Professor Walsh sees her demolish the commando team. Right before Buffy sees the Initiative base, Riley tells her "You don't have to do this ... I mean, if you'd rather This is a very clever bit of wording, because we think Riley's talking about sex, when really he's talking about entering the Initiative. Sex and the Initiative do have a lot in common here. Riley's words are similar to Parker's words to Buffy right before sex in "The Harsh Light of Day" (4x03). Parker says, "Is this okay? It's your Both men are giving Buffy a choice, and both times Buffy decides to move forward even at great risk and uncertainty. Parker betrays her expectations and the Initiative turns out to do the very same. This ties both Parker and the Initiative together as manipulative bastards who only have their own disturbing agenda in mind.



    Later, in a really interesting scene, Buffy and Riley do have sex, so the sexual innuendo to the viewer earlier might not have been a mislead after all. This also makes me sure that the only reason Buffy is working with the Initiative is because of her relationship with Riley. The sex scene itself is very weird and original (as far as I know) -- I like it a lot. It is blended together with the two of them fighting a Polgara demon (which looks incredibly hokey and hurts the scene a bit). The connection for Buffy between fighting and having sex is once again established.



    After the fight, a flustered Buffy asks Riley what he wants to do now. Notice how Buffy didn't kill the demon -- she only helped capture it. Faith says in "The Zeppo" (3x13) that the demon she is fighting "got me really wound up. A fight like that, and no kill. I'm about ready to It's obvious that here Buffy is too, which goes to show that Faith's "hungry and horny" philosophy of Slaying might be a universal trait of Slayers after all. I'd also like to add that I am pleased the writers didn't make a big deal out of Buffy's sexual encounter here. I think by now we don't need to treat it like a monumental deal each and every time. Although, I was very much amused by Buffy's reaction the following morning. She wakes up, gets really worried, and quickly turns around to see if Riley's actually there still. He's awake and immediately tells her, "Weren't expecting to see me?" Buffy replies, " I never know what to Fun!



    The rest of this episode is concerned with moving plot pieces forward. The best example of this is when Professor Walsh is very disturbingly watching video of Buffy and Riley having sex. That and the fact Buffy's question to Riley about '314' got him suspicious is enough for Professor Walsh to worry on a new level. Walsh undoubtedly thinks Buffy is using sex as a way to get information out of Riley. As a result of this, she attemps to kill Buffy before things get further out of hand. This development makes a lot of sense, and even sets up a big upcoming conflict between Buffy and Professor Walsh. Unfortunately, as described above, that conflict never happens because of Walsh's death.



    One final thing I'd like to point out is Giles' attempt at taking advantage of Spike's current chipped situation. He tries to pose the possibility of Spike helping out the group more frequently. Spike's response to this is "piss off!" Also in retaliation he throws out some unkind words about the Scoobies. It's interesting that he doesn't insult either Anya or Buffy, once again showing that he likes Anya and has respect for Buffy as a Slayer even though he very badly wants to kill her. To sum it all up, this is a good episode which gets the Initiative arc moving again. Unfortunately, the direction it's going in isn't nearly as great as it could have been.

  • It's been too long since the Initiative arc has been directly touched upon and, while solid, this episode does not make up for the wait.

    8.0
    Many of my major problems with this season begin to show themselves here, and even more so in "Goodbye Iowa". "The I in Team" is a turning point in the season, like "Innocence" was for S2. The difference here is that this episode does not "change everything" in a good or exciting way. Professor Walsh gets killed off, which I feel was a dire mistake. Additionally, the entire idea of Commando Buffy just doesn't work and looks ridiculous. Not only does the military not mesh with anything that is Buffy, but the fact a secret military group would show her their operation and send her out on missions that quickly is ridiculous. The Initiative rubs off as unprofessional and sloppy.



    Putting aside the flaws for the time being, this episode is still pretty good. The characters continue to logically develop, which in this season involves separation from one another. An early conversation, while playing Poker, between Willow and Xander is telling. Willow says, "Guess she's out with Riley. You know how it is with a spanking new This statement says a lot. Willow is a little annoyed that Buffy's spending more time with Riley than with her. We see this annoyance return later at the Bronze when Buffy shows up an hour late, and with a bunch of Initiative guys. Now this is interesting, because Willow's been hiding her growing relationship with Tara from Buffy.



    It is unfair of Willow to expect Buffy to be hanging out with her when she, herself, is busy with another person. Willow's double standard is blatant when both Buffy and her walk into their dorm the following morning. Buffy wasn't the only one out with someone all night, and at least Buffy's not concealing what she's doing. I can remember not too long ago, in "The Harsh Light of Day", when Willow was running up to Buffy with friendly curiousity about whether or not she had sex the previous night. The two of them have lost touch of their friendship because of new people in their lives.



    Still during the Poker game Xander eventually poses a question I think the whole group, non-Buffy, is thinking: "am I the only one with a big floating question mark over his head about this Initiative thing? There's still heaps we don't know about these commandos. What exactly are they up to?" The truth of the matter is something that sounds more like it belongs in a Star Trek episode. The plot arc of the season has been said to be magic versus science. While that's an interesting comparison, S4 falls flat on delivering much of anything in the way of interesting thought on the matter.



    I think the writers should have left Professor Walsh alive until the end of the arc. She should have been the "big bad" with possibly Adam as the leader of her growing army of demonoids. I was very pleased to see that the Initiative was working on something insidius, but unfortunately all that opportunity is squandered the moment Walsh dies. The season then just turns into Buffy versus Adam, which honestly isn't all that interesting. Buffy versus Walsh, with Adam as a tough obsticle in her way would have been much more powerful. Buffy had an entire semester of Psychology with her -- imagine the awesome topics that could have been debated! Instead Adam just wanders around all day asking questions about his existence, and that gets boring quickly. It doesn't help that the Initiative completely falls apart as well, getting even more sloppy and ridiculous. This is the moment where the plot arc of S4 starts to fall apart.



    Anyway, in this episode Buffy essentially 'joins' the Initiative after a worried Professor Walsh sees her demolish the commando team. Right before Buffy sees the Initiative base, Riley tells her "You don't have to do this ... I mean, if you'd rather This is a very clever bit of wording, because we think Riley's talking about sex, when really he's talking about entering the Initiative. Sex and the Initiative do have a lot in common here. Riley's words are similar to Parker's words to Buffy right before sex in "The Harsh Light of Day". Parker says, "Is this okay? It's your Both men are giving Buffy a choice, and both times Buffy decides to move forward even at great risk and uncertainty. Parker betrays her expectations and the Initiative turns out to do the very same. This ties both Parker and the Initiative together as manipulative bastards who only have their own disturbing agenda in mind.



    Later, in a really interesting scene, Buffy and Riley do have sex, so the sexual innuendo to the viewer earlier might not have been a mislead after all. This also makes me sure that the only reason Buffy is working with the Initiative is because of her relationship with Riley. The sex scene itself is very weird and original -- I like it a lot. It is blended together with the two of them fighting a Polgara demon. The connection for Buffy between fighting and having sex is once again established.



    After the fight, a flustered Buffy asks Riley what he wants to do now. Notice how Buffy didn't kill the demon -- she only helped capture it. Faith says in "The Zeppo" that the demon she is fighting "got me really wound up. A fight like that, and no kill. I'm about ready to It's obvious that here Buffy is too, which goes to show that Faith's "hungry and horny" philosophy of Slaying might be a universal trait of Slayers after all. I'd also like to add that I am pleased the writers didn't make a big deal out of Buffy's sexual encounter here. I think by now we don't need to treat it like a monumental deal each and every time. Although, I was very much amused by Buffy's reaction the following morning. She wakes up, gets really worried, and quickly turns around to see if Riley's actually there still. He's awake and immediately tells her, "Weren't expecting to see me?" Buffy replies, " I never know what to Fun!



    The rest of this episode is concerned with moving plot pieces forward. The best example of this is when Professor Walsh is very disturbingly watching video of Buffy and Riley having sex. That and the fact Buffy's question to Riley about '314' got him suspicious is enough for Professor Walsh to worry on a new level. Walsh undoubtedly thinks Buffy is using sex as a way to get information out of Riley. As a result of this, she attemps to kill Buffy before things get further out of hand. This development makes a lot of sense, and even sets up a big upcoming conflict between Buffy and Professor Walsh. Unfortunately, as described above, that conflict never happens because of Walsh's death.



    One final thing I'd like to point out is Giles' attempt at taking advantage of Spike's current chipped situation. He tries to pose the possibility of Spike helping out the group more frequently. Spike's response to this is "piss off!" Also in retaliation he throws out some unkind words about the Scoobies. It's interesting that he doesn't insult either Anya or Buffy, once again showing that he likes Anya and has respect for Buffy as a Slayer even though he very badly wants to kill her. To sum it all up, this is a good episode which gets the Initiative arc moving again. Unfortunately, the direction it's going in isn't nearly as great as it could have been.
  • Buffy and Riley are finally a couple

    7.0
    The Good;

    Prof Walsh gets her just desserts, Riley and Buffy are finally a couple, some nice comedy, Willow especially looks like a troll doll with the ionisation spell. Anya and Spike becoming more and more Scoobyish. Love the Buffy in the briefing scene.



    The Bad;

    Weak demons and the first appearance of Adam, worst big bad ever.



    Best line;

    Buffy; Don't worry, I've patrolled in this halter top many times



    Character death; Byebye Prof Walsh you psycho!



    Shot; Buffy uses the blaster but it doesn't work



    Women good/men bad;

    No, female villain, Walsh the mother gone bad



    Jeez!;

    Quite a shock when she gets stuck, still!



    Kinky dinky;

    Anya notes that she and Xander have 'enjoyed spanking'. Buffy intends to punish Riley for having a twinkie for lunch. Willow is upset that she's not being spanked too which puts her remarks about her and Oz playing 'mistress of pain' into a new context. For Buffy and Riley fighting seems to be akin to foreplay, maybe Buffy is more like Faith than she likes to admit? (see 'Get It Done)' Meanwhile Prof Walsh plays the voyeur, spying on her boys in their bedrooms. At least Buffy doesn't wake to find her lover gone as she did on the 2 previous occasions.



    Calling Captain Subtext;

    Willow's yellow t-shirt has the word 'fairy' on it. Check out Forrest's jealous attitude about Buffy and Riley, you'd almost think there was something a little 'don't ask, don't tell' between them. Spike remarks that Giles is womanly. Giles wonders if there is a higher purpose in Spike's neutering which indeed there turns out to be.



    Where's Dawn?

    Does Buffy get her and Joyce out of town if she belives the Initiative might be hunting for them?



    Apocalypses; 5,



    Questions and observations;

    Buffy asks if the Initiative have jetpacks? Well, the Nerds will have them by season 6. Didn't Buffy have a pager in 'Never kill a boy on a first date'? (What exactly was her excuse for that? You'd assume she was either a doctor, a drug dealer or prostitute, she certainly doesn't look like the former 2).Xander's fruit bars introduce Anya to capitalism. Poor Will feels a little left out but at least now has Tara to go to. Buffy is keener on the Initiative than the others but it not only means she gets to see more of Riley but that she might live a lot longer and not be dead by 25 like all the other slayers? Why does Graham hit Spike with a tracker rather than a tranquiliser? Buffy kills two more demons, demons that it took 8 armed to the teeth commandos to subdue. The tracker scene has a very Aliens/Predator2 feel to it.

    Marks out of 10; 7/10

  • The I In Team

    10
    The I In Team was such an intense episode yet light and character driven. This episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer combined so many different elements and this is one of my favorites of the season and series. Buffy has been hanging out more with Riley and his crew while Willow is feeling like she is losing Buffy, though she has a new secret friend in Tara. It was interesting to see a change in Buffy's character as she is caught up with the commandos. It was really an awesome intense scene when they were fighting the Polgara, and flashing to them making love. The music really made the scene too. It was also interesting to see the plot twists as Maggie prepares to stop Buffy's questioning ways for good. This episode showed many sides and aspects to the different characters, and was very entertaining! There was lots of action, passion, and drama!!!!!
  • Season 4, Episode 13.

    9.5
    After Riley mentions Buffy to his superiors, she is invited to join The Initiative. However, after they witness her independent attitude, they decide she may not be right for a position in the Initiative.

    I really liked this episode. It felt different than a regular Buffy The Vampire Slayer episode, but in a good way. I liked that Buffy joined the Initiative. Plus, we finally find out about what's in Room 314. I liked when Maggie send Buffy on the mission so she would die and she survived. I liked that she told Riley she died and then she appeared on the television screen. Great episode, and I liked the ending where Adam wakes up and kills Maggie. :)
  • A very good episode.

    8.0
    This episode does just enough to earn it an 8. I still feel bad for Willow, because she is obviously still reeling over Oz. She is starting to feel like an outsider in the group because she is all alone, and everyone else are in relationships. She has met Tara in a previous episode, but their relationship hasn't really taken off as of yet.

    There is a lot of great material for Buffy in this episode as well. One of the great lines is "Don't worry, I've patrolled in this halter top many times". In fact, the whole scene with her at the meeting when the commandos are getting ready to patrol is funny.

    I was kinda glad the way things happened at the end, because I dislike Maggie. But then were stuck with Adam the rest of the season, and I don't really like him either.
  • Buffy joins the Initiative and it's fun seeing how different the two really are.

    8.0
    Sarah Michelle gives one of her notably better performances in this episode, playing the adorable girlfriend, cutsey new cadet, and confused outsider all in one, here in The I in Team. I defy anyone not to get a kick out of seeing Buffy wrap her head around the way The Initiative do business. So different in styles! Most effective of all is the way she turns on a dime at the end of the ep, kicking into awesome Slayer mode after being set up by Professor Walsh.

    The only reason I'm not scoring this episode higher is that I'm still not the biggest Riley fan (He's so dorky, and I can never believe he'd be able to lead some elite commandos) and here he finally does the deed with buffy, who could so do better.

    Also I was dissapointed that prof Walsh was killed- sure it was an awesome surprise and she was a heffer, but She would have made a better villain this season than the super lame, Adam.
  • A very good episode; interesting and well acted.

    9.0
    The I In Team is an episode I can't figure out why I like so much but I just do. I find The Initiative very entertaining, the Willow/Tara scenes great and I, for some unexplainable reason, found the Buffy/Riley scenes to be very good. Weird, as I usually find them shockingly dull!

    The Initiative arc is pushed into high gear and really gets started. I find this arc starts off well but falters a lot in later episode, and is why this season gets such a bad rap. The Initiative aren't a great idea but the rest of the season is of great quality IMO and is nowhere near bad.

    Maggie Walsh reveals her psychotic streak here and just as she looks to get really interesting, Adam sticks his arm through her heart. I think it would have worked better if she had remained as Adam is a hugely disappointing villain; no charisma and just very wooden. A shame, as he could have been good. I enjoyed seeing Maggie unleash her dark side and thought her ploy to have Buffy killed both clever and stupid. It was a good plan, no doubt, but seriously does she expect two demons to be able to kill Buffy? Silly woman. Her death is shocking and quite gory but I wasn't really caring much.

    The Buffy/Riley sex sequence was done very well, in between shots of them fighting demons. All credit goes to the score here as the music is very good; I don't know what it is but I find it to be a great piece. It definitely makes the scene more interesting.

    I really loved the Willow/Tara scenes here. I thought they were, for lack of a better word, very sweet. I'm very drawn to Tara as I can't help but love her and I was so happy when Willow did come by her room to hang out. I felt bad for her when Willow said she couldn't go the first time but that smile she gives just makes up for it. Such a great moment.

    The I In Team is an excellent episode; well written, acted and important. It's not perfect but is definitely very entertaining.
  • Secret Agent Slayer

    8.3
    The "I" in Team-When Riley tells his superiors about Buffy, they invite her to join the Initiative. It soon becomes apparent, however, that her independent attitude and need to question orders may not be what the Initiative is looking for.

    A very good episode that sets up the remainder of the season very well as we get to the core of the Initiative as well as introducing the big bad of the season. It was obvious that when Buffy and Riley hooked up that their relationship would lead to Buffy getting to explore the Initiative and it works great in this episode. Buffy becoming the Initiative's newest secret agent. It makes for some cool scenes with Buffy being tracked then fighting against the Initiative soldiers and having them back her up as they patrol. But the little rift it cause within the main group is played out well, especially by Alyson Hannigan. It's nice to see Willow and Tara's relationship developing so smoothly as you can see a bit of attraction already.

    Professor Walsh makes for an impressive villain this episode and Lindsay Crouse gives a fine performance showing Walsh's dark transistion. It's obvious that Walsh is protecting something dangerous within the Initiative and her willing to kill Buffy just to protect that secret is a shocking development. I loved after the fact that Buffy survives Maggie's trap, she makes a declaration to show her exactly what a slayer is. I just loved Riley's cold hearted expression as he walked away and Professor Walsh calling his name. The sub-plot with Spike being tracked by the Initiative soldiers was too priceless with Willow causing everyone's hair to go all "Don King" and Xander flushing the tracer. The episode ends with a great twist as just when Maggie is about to end her speech about killing Buffy, she's stabbed and killed by her creation, Adam. All and All, a great episode that with great revelations and pretty shocking developments.
  • Buffy joins the Initiative...

    8.5
    This episode is pivotal for the rest of the season. Buffy joins Riley and the rest of his gang including Professor Walsh. This causes friction with Buffy's old friends - especially Willow. There are some good scenes with Buffy/Willow showing the strain that Riley is placing on their friendship. But Buffy is asking too many questions and Professor Walsh decides to eliminate her. This leads to a scene where Buffy appears to be killed by demons - and Walsh explaining to Riley about her death. Fantastic directing leads to a great scene where Riley sees Buffy alive on the tv monitor and Buffy threatens to get even with Walsh. If this isn't enough of an episode ending, Walsh is talking to a seeming unconscious patched-up demon (Adam) about ensuring Buffy's elimination - and she is killed by the demon! Another incredible scene that lifts the whole episode to another level and sets up the remaining stories for the season.
  • Buffy finally joins up fully with the Initiative, to Willows dismay. Still, something isn't right as Professor Walsh has to deal with Buffy's abrasive approach to slaying.

    8.0
    The episode begins with Xander, Anya, and Willow musing about the Initiative and how it might not be a good thing for Buffy to be a part of them. Buffy is missing from the gang because she is out working and fighting with the Initiative. The next day, Willow reminds Buffy they are to meet at the Bronze to all hang out, but when Buffy gets the grand tour of the Initiative, along with being given a pager, Buffy brings along Riley and some of the guys. Not long after arriving, though, they leave as their pagers beep. Buffy asks too many questions at the monster briefing, which seems to perturb Walsh much. Two scenes are interlaced then; one where Riley and Buffy face the creature and a jump to their sex scene afterward. Walsh monitors this in the base and begins to despise Buffy. She decides it might be best to dispose of her. Sending Riley after a now tagged Hostile-17 (Spike), she sends Buffy alone under false pretenses. Buffy ends up facing two very tough demons that she had seen contained in the Initiative. The rest of the Scoobies are able to remove the tracker from Spike before Riley and his guys could get to Giles place. Upon returning, Walsh tells Riley that Buffy is dead. However, Buffy shows up on the communication monitor to threaten Walsh because she knows it was a set-up. Riley, seeing the truth, stoically walks away as Walsh calls after him. Buffy joins the Scoobies and Spile to tell them that it isn't safe for any of them. The episode ends after Walsh makes a monologue about how she can still fix things, but she is killed by a newly awakened Adam, the experiment housed in room 314.

    This was a good episode. The humor with Spike, as well as with Buffy and the Initiative, were spot on. Filming of the fight/sex scene between Riley and Buffy was also very well done. We also begin to see the relationship between Willow and Tara begin to take form. Finally, I am glad to see Walsh go, because she was a very deceptive and deceitful person.
  • "In the military you learn to follow orders, not ask questions" - Riley

    9.4
    Season 4 has two themes – magicks vs science and the importance of moving on. This episode demonstrates both ideas through Buffy's involvement with the Initiative. Willow is not doing much moving on and is feeling miffed once again. Although happy to hang out with Xander, she hasn’t yet accepted Anya in his life and having to teach an ex-vengeance demon about capitalism through poker (or eat Xander’s new McJob health bars) isn’t her idea of fun. So it’s no wonder she is upset with Buffy, who hasn’t got enough time for her and the rest of the Slayerettes, a feeling compounded by her not inviting her new friend, Tara, out with gang. Willow doesn’t yet see Tara as important; she is merely a back-up for when Willow’s plans fall through. Despite Willow’s prayer to the goddess to “bring me the heart I desire”, Tara is still a “hypothetical someone”. Buffy is playing with her new pals; beating up boys and patrolling with non-medieval weaponry. Out of the Scooby gang, it’s only she who is not suspicious of the Initiative, which is ironic since she’s the one at most harm from them. Her natural curiosity and trust in her instinct does not fit in well with the Initiative. And Buffy is a natural challenger of authority - those in it need to earn her respect; witness her early response to Giles and then to Snyder, the Mayor and the Watchers’ council. Basically, you can’t tell her what to do. At first, she is extremely impressed with Initiative’s set-up, the weapons and being part of a team who can fight almost as well as her. Her entry into the underground lair is given a sexual metaphor – “You don’t have to do this,” says Riley. “I’m ready” replies Buffy, and Willow points out that Buffy may be “rushing things”. Add Riley’s rod during the fight with the demon who can spontaneously shoot out his spike and you’ve got a big slo-mo sexual thang going on. I guess Buffy was lying to Faith when she said that slaying didn’t make her horny. Ironically, it’s the sex between the two that starts the destruction of the Initiative. Yup, bad things always happen after Buffy has sex. (It’s interesting that we don’t see what happened to Willow post-Bronze on the night that neither Willow nor Buffy sleep in their own beds).

    Meanwhile, the two themes of S4 interlink as it is the Scoobies who trounce the might of the Initiative simply by flushing Spike’s tracer down the toilet. A combination of the old gang and the new (Spike, Anya and Tara (there in spirit as Willow holds her crystal whilst casting the spell)) defeat the commandoes. The Scoobies are consolidating whilst moving forward. They are happy to put the commandoes off of Spike’s scent – working with the old enemy against a new foe. This act shows how much better the gang are than the Initiative – the commandoes only see: humans good/demons bad, but Spike, Anya and the actions of Prof Walsh show us the grey sides. Riley says his motive is to protect the public, he sees things as simply right or wrong and he needs Buffy to instigate his autonomous thinking. In the past, both Willow and Buffy looked up to their boyfriends, now they’re in the position to be the inspiration, the teacher. In showing the good guys to be wrong-headed, the series not only questions this particular “monster military squad”, but the hierarchical unquestioning nature of armies in general. The Initiative don’t really have that much initiative. But as Willow says, irony is ironic that way.

    As well as Buffy's free-thinking personality, it’s her influence over Prof. Walsh’s son-substitute that riles Maggie. Even faithful Finn is infected with inquisitiveness as he peers into Room 314. Walsh uses Buffy’s impetuosity, something she sees as negative, to convince Riley that Buffy is dead. But under-estimating Buffy comes at a cost. Her defeat of the two demons is reminiscent of Helpless, when she fought a vampire whilst debilitated. Here, without weapons or a means of escape, she uses cunning and resourcefulness whilst Walsh sips tea and watches her “die”. In the wonderful scene when Buffy appears on the TV screen behind Walsh, the Slayer not only tells Riley the truth, but lets Maggie know what’s what: “If you think that's enough to kill me, you really don't know what a Slayer is. Trust me when I say you're gonna find out." One slayer > an army full of demon-slayers.

    Something that is further proved in the coda. The Initiative is not only ill-advised - it is dangerous and out of control. In our first glimpse of FrankenAdam, who unfortunately and tediously takes over the rest of the season, we see that Buffy and Riley may have lost their innocence but Walsh has lost both her “sons” – and her life.
  • Buffy is excited when she's invited to join forces with the Initiative.

    7.7
    The real beginning of the Adam storyline begins here, setting him up as the big bad. Buffy has always seemed to lament that she's out there alone (as the Slayer, despite her friends) fighting for her life night after night. Now she has the chance to be backed up by real military. In addition she gets to work with her boyfriend, so she's excited about the Slayage for a change.

    The Scoobies aren't so sure, however. Willow is feeling left out again and Buffy is drifting away from her old friends to hang out with her boyfriend's. What they are really worried about, though, is that they know so little about what the Initiative is trying to do. What is the reasoning behind their conditioning chips?

    When Buffy starts asking questions and encouraging Riley to want to know more too, she's targeted for termination by Maggie Walsh. The episode is decently plotted and the introduction of Adam is well done at the end, but there's something missing. Some sense of danger or excitement or genuine menace to our characters.

    Only three scenes stand out: a) the revelation that Maggie had Riley's room camera'd and has been watching him and Buffy have sex; b) Buffy's statement to Walsh upon the failed assassination attempt and c) Maggie's unexpected exit.
  • Important aspects in this episode

    8.4
    This episode is an important one for the season arcs as it draws the battlelines between the Slayer and the Initiative. In a more general way it shows that some people are just not suited to certain ways, especially if they're used to working on their own, or with their own methods.

    It seems strange that Professor Walsh would send only two demons to take down Buffy in the sewers despite knowing about the myths behind the Slayer and I'm assuming gotten a good idea of her abilities during the training exercises.

    Walsh's oversight seems unlikely, she may as well just let Buffy leave the initiative and make her sign some official secrets act.

    The sub plot, Spike being on the run also was entertaining, especially when everyones hair stood on end.

    An entertaining and plot important episode.
  • 'Everyone's getting a spank but me.'

    9.3
    ‘The I In Team’ is a brilliant episode with loads of funny stuff and it continues this season’s story arc, it takes off from the past two episodes that weren’t a big success.

    The episode begins with Willow playing poker with Xander and Anya, she isn’t enjoying herself and she misses Buffy a lot.
    Meanwhile Buffy is being tested by the initiative and she’s very strong, but soon as she begins to ask a lot of questions she brings out a suspicion to Maggie as a threat.

    Buffy is also taken to the initiative for the first time and when she promised Willow to go to a party she comes late and brings friends with her, but soon she gets peeped away and she and Riley capture a demon and then they have sex which was a very good scene, the creepy factor was that Maggie was watching them doing it,.

    When Riley begins to question stuff because of Buffy, Maggie and Dr. Engelmen realise that Buffy is an unnecessary risk they will have to put out. Maggie sends her to a mission to capture two demons she let loose with a gun that doesn’t work.

    Meanwhile Spike is being hunted because he was shot by a tracker and now he begs for help, I can’t stand his character during this season let alone this episode. But away, they flush away the chip and when Riley gets back to the initiative Maggie tells him that Buffy died, Without knowing that Buffy is still alive and appears in some monitor screens where she said that I she wants a war she will give her one.

    ‘The I In Team’ succeeded to capture everything this show is good at but still felt like missing something. The best thing about it was the twist at the end where Adam, something Maggie was creating behind room ‘314’ awakens and kills her.


  • Buffy finally joins the Initiative, leaving the 'scooby gang' to feel pangs of jealousy. Riley & Buffy consummate their relationship as Giles & Willow help take out a tracking device in Spike's head.

    7.8
    I always thought Season 4 to be an odd, possibly off, season for Buffy. Maybe it's the addition of Riley, who really is eye candy but boring as a tooth to watch. But this episode had meat in it, something lacking ever since the acclaimed "Hush" episode a few weeks back. Buffy is welcomed into joining the Initiative as Prof. Maggie Walsh tries to learn what exactly a Slayer is. Meanwhile Willow is feeling neglected by all the time Buffy is spending with Riley & the Initiative. Her new friend Tara helps to fill the void a bit, but she is still sullen from Oz and needs her best friend to help her through. Buffy, for the third time so far, has sex. This time it's with Riley and finally it does not end in her boyfriend turning evil and wanting to kill the world nor does it end in a one-sided one-night stand. Nope, Riley is the real deal and Buffy likes that. Neither of them realize that Maggie Walsh has a spy-cam on Riley's bedroom and watches them as they have sex. So she does what any motherly slash Freudian individual would do, she sets Buffy up to die. Only Buffy doesn't die, and Riley finds out about what Maggie tried to do. In the end Maggie Walsh got her Karma, as she is killed by her new 'son' Adam. Yeah for killing of Maggie Walsh.
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