Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 4 Episode 20

The Yoko Factor (1)

5
Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM May 09, 2000 on The WB
8.8
out of 10
User Rating
509 votes
20

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Adam enlists Spike to turn the gang against each other, leaving Buffy alone and helpless. Playing on their fears about how the others perceive them, Spike begins to sow discord among the Scoobies. Meanwhile, into the chaos walks Angel, who has come to apologize to Buffy for the fight they had in L.A., but Riley sees only that there is another vampire in town.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The Yoko Factor

    9.5
    This is the successful payoff we've been waiting for all season. The Scoobies have been slowly separating from each other all season long, and now all these problems everyone's had with each other explodes out into the open with just a nudge from good ol' Spike, who's been silently observing these conflicts all along. The big argument scene at the end is extremely well acted and I find it potent. The lameness of the Initiative isn't even enough to pull this one down! In addition to more great characterization, the final pieces of the plot are being put in motion for the big battle to come in "Primeval" (4x21). Lets not foget that Angel comes to town and beats up Riley, then whines to Buffy that "he [Riley] started" it. So, tastefully gentle reader, lets dive in!



    These are quite the upbeat days for Spike, as he gets to prove to himself he is still dangerous. In the caves he gives Adam some advice on Buffy based on personal experience: "Little Miss Tiny's got a habit of bollixing up the plans of every would-be, unstoppable bad-ass who sets foot in this town. Just want you to know, when the big ugly goes down, the Slayer's gonna be right in the thick of Adam seems to be pretty perceptive as well when he analyzes Spike's feelings on what it feels like to have the chip in his head. It's when Adam suggests to separate the Slayer from her friends does Spike agree in excitement.



    The thing that's been keeping Spike from being able to defeat Buffy, since the moment he arrived in Sunnydale in "School Hard" (2x03), are her friends and family. He says back then, "A Slayer with family and friends. That sure as hell wasn't in the Now he says, "There's your -- what do you call it -- variable. The Slayer's got pals. You want her evening the odds in a fight you don't want the Slayerettes mucking I also like how he draws a comparison between the Beatles' separation and the Scoobies' separation. He says that the Beatles "ruled the world. And when they broke up everyone blamed Yoko, but the fact is the group split itself apart, she just happened to be there. And you know how it is with kids. They go off to college, they grow apart. Way of the







    The next target of Spike's verbal misleads is Xander who's been constantly switching jobs, is lost, and is kind of lame right now. So Spike tries to put a wedge between him and Willow and Buffy using a bit of fabrication based on how they actually feel. He says, "Attitude. See how far that'll take you in boot Xander replies, "Boot camp? Yeah. Like I'd go When Xander asks who said he was joining the army, Spike replies, "Oh, your girlie-mates were talking. Something about, uh, being all you can be. Or all you can be. And having a laugh. Figured you were signing Xander says, "This is so like them, lately. It's all about them and the college He has been feeling really left out this year. At least he has Anya to keep him frequent company.









    This next scene is simply wonderful. Riley and Angel are exchanging harsh words to each other while Buffy is simply standing in middle with a "what the expression on her face. Then, after Angel really goes over the line with "You actually sleep with this guy?," Buffy has to pull the two of them apart and say "Okay, that's enough! I see one more display of testosterone poisoning and I will personally put you both in the hospital! Anybody think I'm exaggerating?" Way to go Buffy! See, this is the point when a lot of reviewers will bring out their inner shipper and pick sides, nearly always Angel. Me? Well, personally I love all of Buffy's boyfriends for what they brought out of her during different times in her life. I love what Buffy and Angel had, I love what Buffy and Riley have, and I while I don't love what Buffy and Spike will have pre-S7 (because it's depressing for Buffy), I very much love that it happened for reasons I'll get to later in the series. I'm a shipper of all her relationships! So there!



    After Buffy and Angel have a chat in the hallway (which I'll talk about soon), her and Riley have a chat as well in which Riley shares that he thought the two of them had sex. She then explains Angel's still good and Riley responds, "Even when he's good he's all Coat, King of Pain and girls What Riley was about to say is very interesting. In my experience Riley is completely correct. It feels to me that most girls would rather be with the risky bad boy than the kind and gentle guy, which is completely contrary to what they say they want. This phenomenon is very confusing to me and I won't continue to dwell on it, except to say that I understand Riley's worry.



    Fortunately, Buffy responds well: "Have I ever given you any reason to feel that you can't trust me?" Riley naturally responds "No" and goes on to say that "I'm so in love with you I can't think While the depths of Buffy's feelings for Riley are debatable, I think it's pretty clear that Riley really loves Buffy as much as he says. Right after this, though, she breaks the news to him that Adam killed Forrest, which makes Riley get up and walk out of the room. Now, his response is very confusing to me. Did that news somehow trigger the chip in his chest, or did Adam just happen to trigger it right at the same time? This is never clearly answered.



    In "New Moon Rising" (4x19) the Willow/Oz relationship reached a satisfying closure which resulted in the continuation of the Willow/Tara relationship. Here we see the same thing happen for Buffy and Riley. The ex-boyfriend comes back to town to "make things right," but almost ends up accidentally messing everything up. After Buffy returns from Los Angeles in "Sanctuary" (AtS 1x19), in which Angel says to her "You don't know me anymore, so don't come down here with your great new life and expect me to do things your way. Go home!," we see her lying on her bed looking very sad (and Willow not being there to talk to likely added to the sadness). Angel's words were incredibly harsh but Buffy knows he's not wrong, and I think that's likely a large part of why she's so sad.



    After a quick rest, Buffy gets back in determination mode and goes hunting for Adam by herself -- this time with a taser gun. Along with finding Adam himself, she also finds that he can absorb taser energy (why not bring a machine gun too?) and has to fight him hand-to-hand again, getting all beat up and tasered. While I didn't feel Buffy was justified in freaking out about Adam before, I think she has more evidence to now. Where'd she put that rocket launcher? Anyway, after getting a big cut on her head and being knocked out she returns to her dorm and checks out the damage done to her. Something I found interesting was how her 'wincing' reaction to touching the cut on her head is very similar to the wincing she gave when mending her head wound in "Helpless" (3x12). In both episodes she feels completely powerless and very much alone.



    The Angel/Riley confrontration in her dorm soon happens and she takes Angel outside to ask a few interesting questions, like "Okay. I come to see you, to help you, and you treat me like I'm ex ... Shut up! And then you order me out of your city and then you come here and start pounding on my boyfriend!? I would really like to know what the HELL are you trying to do!?" Fortunately, though, instead of the conversation being another hurtful exchange of words, Angel's response, "I was trying to make things better," can instead only illicit laughs. This reminds me of Giles' return in "Grave" (6x22), and how he and Buffy simply laugh at all the ridiculous things she's done since he left. It goes to show that Buffy has the capability to happily laugh at a ridiculous response from someone she loves, even when she's angry or in pain. That's a good trait to have.



    After the "laugh track" and some clarification, Buffy is able to kindly respond, "It means a lot that you This statement reinforces Buffy's never-ending love of Angel, and the fact Angel did indeed come says the same in reverse. Additionally, when he shows up immediately after Joyce's funeral in "Forever" (5x17) to give comfort to Buffy just goes to prove this even further. Anyway, here Angel leaves after saying, "oh, and Riley ... I don't like him. (smile)," and Buffy smiles in response saying, "thank This is a wonderful way for these two to part.









    After all of this, Buffy brings the subject back to the core. She says, "Enough! All I know is you want to help, right? Be part of the team? ... No! No, you said you wanted to go. So let's go! All of us. We'll walk into that cave with you two attacking me and the funny drunk drooling on my shoe! Hey! Hey, maybe that's the secret way of killing Adam!? ... Is that it? Is that how you can help? You're not answering me! How can you possibly help? So, I guess I'm starting to understand why there's no ancient prophecy about a chosen her friends. If I need help, I'll go to someone I can count This entire scene is potent, sad, and a huge payoff, which traces back to more brilliant writing. On a whole, everything adds up to one fantastic episode!

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  • Another Angel and Buffy Reunion

    7.5
    I like this was good!

    my fav part was when Angel comes back and punches Riley that was very 'knight in shining armour' of him. Its nice to still see his jealously for Buffy's boyfriends even thou they are trying to move on and havent been seen each other for some time. His jealously still continues when he teams up with Spike in his spin off in Angel.

    I know some think that he shouldnt be the one to apologies but face not like its like Buffy to apologies.. theres no way she would. Plus Angel looks HOT when he's jealous. His machoness in this episode was sexy! Go Angel!moreless
  • This is the successful payoff we've been waiting for all season.

    9.5
    The Scoobies have been slowly separating from each other all season long, and now all these problems everyone's had with each other explodes out into the open with just a nudge from good ol' Spike, who's been silently observing these conflicts all along. The big argument scene at the end is extremely well acted and I find it potent. The lameness of the Initiative isn't even enough to pull this one down! In addition to more great characterization, the final pieces of the plot are being put in motion for the big battle to come in "Primeval". Lets not foget that Angel comes to town and beats up Riley, then whines to Buffy that "he [Riley] started" it. On a whole, everything adds up to one fantastic episode!moreless
  • What has been broken....

    6.0
    The Good;

    Love the fact that when the argument starts Tara and Anya head to the bathroom, they have a few scenes like this together through the series, the newcomers to the Scooby gang bonding. Miss Kitty is the cutest ever. Lovely to see Angel and Buffy make up.



    The Bad;

    Spike can't even hold a fake gun without getting pain, so how come he's able to get his shotgun out in season 5?



    Best line;

    Buffy; "Xander? Oh he's the deadest man in deadonia!"



    Women good/men bad;

    Buffy refer to Riley and Angel suffering from 'testosterone poisoning'.



    Jeez!;

    Poor Forrest gets skewered.



    Kinky dinky;

    Anya declares Xander a 'Viking in the sack'. As she is from medieval Sweden that's quite a compliment and once again suggests she enjoys rough/exotic sex (as we'll see later with Spike). Xander used to work at a telephone sex line.



    Calling Captain Subtext;

    Xander used to work at a telephone sex line. You know I've never seen one advertised for straight women, was this a gay sex line? Willow refers to Tara as her girlfriend for the first time. Spike twigs Will/Tara long before Xander/Giles do. Wicca is once more used as a euphanism for lesbianism. Buffy asks Forrest if the Initiative is a 'boys club'. Spike seems to have a high opinion of Buffy. Willow talks of doing 'drama' which foreshadows Restless. Willow refers to the umbilical chord between Xander and Anya, jealousy rising.



    Guantanamo Bay;

    The demons are starting to rip one another apart and the Colonel really doesn't care.



    Apocalypses; 5,



    Scoobies in bondage:

    Buffy: 8

    Giles: 4

    Cordy: 5

    Will: 3

    Jenny: 1

    Angel: 4

    Oz: 1

    Faith: 3

    Joyce: 1

    Wes: 1

    Xander 1



    Scoobies knocked out: Buffy trips and falls like a horror heroine

    Buffy: 16

    Giles: 10

    Cordy: 6

    Xander: 8

    Will: 5

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 6

    Oz: 5

    Faith: 1

    Joyce: 2

    Wes: 1



    Kills:

    Buffy: 79 vamps, 27 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

    Riley; 12 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:

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



    Total number of scoobies: 7

    Giles, Xander, Willow, Buffy, Anya, Riley, Tara



    Xander demon magnet: 5

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



    Scoobies shot: Riley threatens Angel with his pistol saying it's 'all he's got left'. Forrest zaps Adam but it only makes him stronger.

    Giles: 2

    Angel: 3

    Oz: 4



    Notches on Scooby bedpost:

    Giles: 2; Joyce & Olivia, possibly Jenny

    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;

    Lovely to see Angel back, lovely to see his reconcilliation with Buffy. Sorry Spuffers BuffyandAngel4ever. Angel can defeat Riley in single combat, even with all Riley's hi-tech gear. Xander's famous big mouth makes another appearance. In later seasons this role will be taken over by Dawn. Adam likes 'Helter Skelter' which is the Beatles song Charles Manson cited for the motivation for his infamous massacre. Riley refers to Angel as 'Mr Billowy-Coat King of Pain' and thinks girls like that. More than Gary Cooper in camoflauge actually. Spike is 100% right of course, what makes Buffy different and more successful than all the other Slayers is that she has her friends and family around her.



    Marks out of 10; 6/10

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  • remind me why Angel is the one that has to apologise?

    8.0
    This episode was well writen, and it had a great story line. I loved seeing Angel meet Riley, but I don\'t undertand why Angel had to apologies for Buffy\'s b!tchy behaviour. He had a reason to tell her to leave- she acted like she owned the world because she\'s the slayer, and she could do no wrong. Other than the fact that Angel shouldn\'t have come to apologise, it was a good episode. I really enjoyed seeing Willow come out of the closet. I also liked how it was different, with the characters all going against each other. It was really well thought out.moreless
Bob Fimiani

Bob Fimiani

Mr Ward

Guest Star

Jade Carter

Jade Carter

Lieutenant

Guest Star

Conor O'Farrell

Conor O'Farrell

Colonel McNamara

Guest Star

Amber Benson

Amber Benson

Tara

Recurring Role

Leonard Roberts

Leonard Roberts

Forrest Gates

Recurring Role

George Hertzberg

George Hertzberg

Adam

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Goof: At 20:31 Just as Spike enters Giles's apartment, his reflection is visible in a mirror, just behind Tara's left shoulder.

    • When Angel leaps onto the loading dock to confront Riley an optical effect is added to give his coat an additional flair.

    • Goof: When Riley comes after Angel in Buffy's dorm room the door closes behind him as he points his gun at Angel. The camera angle changes and the door can be seen closing a second time.

    • During the fight between Angel and Riley, Angel tosses Riley several yards into a trash pile in front of the warehouse dock. Riley then jumps up on the dock and picks up his baton. However, as the fight began Angel grabbed Riley's arm, causing him to drop his baton(it can be heard hitting the ground) before being thrown.

    • Goof: When Buffy, Riley and Angel are arguing in Buffy and Willow's dorm room, Willow's laptop is on her desk but Willow is supposed to have been decrypting the Initiative Disks from Spike all day, on her laptop, at Giles' house so unless she's got two laptops (which are identical) it shouldn't be in the dorm room.

  • QUOTES (16)

    • Angel: Oh, and... Riley.
      Buffy: Yeah?
      Angel: I don't like him.
      Buffy: (smiling) Thank you.

    • Xander: It happens that I'm good at a lot of things. I help out with all kinds of... stuff. I have skills and stratagems... I'm very... (to Anya) help me out.
      Anya: He's a viking in the sack.

    • Buffy: (about Angel) He's... not bad.
      Riley: Seriously? That's... a good day? Well, there you go. Even when he's good he's all Mister... Billowy Coat King of Pain and girls really-
      Buffy: Riley, stop.

    • Buffy: Enough! All I know is you want to help, right? Be part of the team?
      Willow: I don't know anymore.
      Xander: Really not wanted.
      Buffy: No! No, you said you wanted to go. So let's go! All of us. We'll walk into that cave with you two attacking me and the funny drunk drooling on my shoe! Hey! Hey, maybe that's the secret way of killing Adam?!
      Xander: Buffy...
      Buffy: Is that it? Is that how you can help? You're not answering me! How can you possibly help? So I guess I'm starting to understand why there's no ancient prophecy about a Chosen One and her friends. If I need help, I'll go to someone I can count on.

    • Giles: You never train with me anymore. (about Adam) He's gonna kick your ass.
      Buffy: Giles!
      Giles: Sorry. Was it a bit honest? Terribly sorry.

    • Giles: What ever happened to Latin? At least when that made no sense, the church approved.
      Buffy: I can't just wait around, Will. The disk is no good to me unless you crack it soon.
      Anya: Hey! We worked really hard getting that. Xander delivered clothing.
      Giles: Church approved.

    • Spike: Call it the Yoko factor. Don't tell me you've never heard of The Beatles?
      Adam: I have. I like "Helter Skelter".
      Spike: What a surprise. The point is, they were once a real powerful group. It's not a stretch to say they ruled the world. And when they broke up everyone blamed Yoko, but the fact is the group split itself apart, she just happened to be there. And you know how it is with kids. They go off to college, they grow apart. Way of the world.

    • Forrest: Family's tearing apart.
      Buffy: Family? What kind of family are you, Corleones?

    • Anya: (to Spike) Wow. That chip in your head means you can't even point a gun. How humiliating.
      Xander: Doesn't work anyway. It's a fake.
      Anya: Can't even point a decorative gun?
      Xander: Give it up for a American chipmanship.
      Spike: It doesn't work? What about self-defense? I'm taking a risk here, you know?
      Xander: Can I tell you how much I really don't care?

    • Riley: I got a little tired of sitting around waiting, so...
      Buffy: You joined the circus?
      Riley: Xander took my clothes to clean them, left me these. Does he, uh, hate me in some way I don't know about yet?

    • Willow: (about Miss Kitty Fantastico) I keep thinking, "okay, that's the cutest thing ever." And then she does something cuter, and completely resets the whole scale.
      Tara: Did you see her yawn earlier?
      Willow: Yes! I thought I was gonna die!

    • Xander: Try those on, you'll feel like a new man.
      Riley: (looking at the baggy pants that Xander is giving him) Would this man have a bright red nose and big floppy feet?

    • Spike: I get why all the demons all fall in line with you. You're like Tony Robbins. If he was a big, scary, Frankenstein-looking... You're exactly like Tony Robbins.

    • Willow: We have to face it, you can't handle Tara being my girlfriend.
      Xander: No! It was bad before that! Since you two went off to college and forgot about me! Just left me in the basement to - Tara's your girlfriend?
      Giles: (in the background) Bloody hell.

    • Spike: (startling Giles) You know, for someone who's got "Watcher" on his résumé, you might want to cast an eye to the front door every now and again.

    • Buffy: If I was any more open-minded about the choices you two make my whole brain would fall out.

  • NOTES (4)

  • ALLUSIONS (9)

    • Xander: L.A. Woman? Haven't heard from her.
      "L.A. Woman" is the name of the 1971 album by The Doors. Jim Morrison reportedly recorded the lyrics for the title track in the bathroom of the recording studio to get a fuller sound. In the lyrics L.A. gets referred to as the "city of night", which makes perfect sense in the context of the Joss-verse.

    • Xander: But maybe that all changes when I'm doing sit-ups over at Fort Dix.
      Fort Dix is an Army base/city in New Jersey.

    • Spike: You're not exactly the whiz these days...
      Willow: I am a whiz.
      Tara: She is a whiz.
      Willow: If ever a whiz there was.
      This is a line from "Follow the Yellow Brick Road" / "We're Off To See the Wizard" in the 1939 classic movie The Wizard of Oz.


      We hear he is a whiz of a wiz, if ever a wiz there was. If ever oh ever a wiz there was, The Wizard of Oz is one because, because, because, because, because, because... Because of the wonderful things he does!

    • Buffy: (to Forrest, regarding the Initiative) What kind of family are you, the Corleones?
      The Corleones, an Italian Mafia family, are the main characters in the infamous The Godfather and its two sequels.

    • Xander: Xander got fired from Starbucks
      Starbucks is a famous coffeehouse chain, commonly (and probably deservingly so) credited with creating the influx of coffeehouses in the U.S. The chain started with a single location in Seattle, and now consists of over 2,200 stores around the world.
      Xander called Sunnydale a "One Starbucks Town" in "Welcome to the Hellmouth".

    • Xander: I'll putter around the batcave with crusty old Alfred here.
      Xander makes a reference to Batman's hideout in response to Buffy's suggestion that he stay behind while she goes after Adam. He refers to Giles as Batman's butler Alfred.

    • Adam: I like "Helter Skelter."
      Adam claims to like The Beatles' song "Helter Skelter" which was also favorite of serial killer Charles Manson.

    • Spike: Call it the Yoko Factor.
      As Spike explains the reference is to Yoko Ono who is often blamed for causing the breakup of The Beatles. Yoko Ono was John Lennon's wife and many believe influenced him against his bandmates.

    • Spike: You're like Tony Robbins if he was a big scary Frankenstein looking... You're exactly like Tony Robbins.
      Spike responds to Adam's rousing speech by comparing him to the motivational speaker Tony Robbins. Frankenstein is of course a reference to the Mary Shelley novel about the monster that was pieced together from various human corpses.

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