Drinks Taken: 11
Vamps Dusted: 0
Follow the whole rewatch here!
By the end of this post, Adam will no longer be a thing, so I won’t judge you for speed reading. But just a few reminders of what’s happening before we dive in: last week, Oz returned and then left after Willow chose Tara, while Spike sowed seeds of distrust between the Scoobies because he’s working for Adam, who wants to separate the Slayer from her friends.
Now let’s get to it, because the Initiative is about to be OVER! Cheers to that!
The Buffy Season Four Drinking Game Rules
Drink once every time:
A vamp is dusted
You see the “University of California Sunnydale” entrance sign
A scene takes place in a cemetery
You actually see a class in session
Oz is ridiculously low-key cool
Spike has mad swagger
Willow and/or Tara gets witchy with it
The Initiative makes you go, “Bored now”
Riley is a drag
Things get funcomfortable between Anya and Xander
Drink twice every time:
Giles drinks tea
There’s an extremely outdated pop culture reference
A vampire is invited into a house
There’s a call back to previous season shenanigans
Harmony says something dumb
Someone uses a payphone
(If you want to up that Initiative rule to two drinks, be my guest!)
Beginning right where the last episode left off, Adam monologues (zzz) about the chip in Riley’s heart, which Adam has activated to control his behavior. He wants Riley to embrace his destiny and join him, because all humans are imperfect and GAH I already can’t wait for this episode to be over. Adam shuts up enough to take Riley to a secret room in the Initiative lab, where he’s building a new race with the help of Zombie Dr. Walsh (who looks legit gross, btw). And oh hey, look who else is here–Forrest, who has been Frankensteined into a terrible actor monster!
Things are still supes awkward with the Scooby Gang thanks to Spike’s meddling and their complete lack of communication. Buffy feels all alone, while Xander tells Anya that he fears his friends are right–maybe he is a directionless loser. In a rare display of empathy, Anya comforts him and admits that she’s in love with him, awww! It’s maybe the sweetest moment between the two in the entire series. Meanwhile, Willow is still trying to crack the Matrix disc when suddenly it decrypts itself, and she heads to campus to meet up with the other Scoobies.
Buffy, having discovered Spike outside of Adam’s secret computer lab, informs the crew that they’ve all been played–Spike was working for Adam and feeding them stories to separate them. Duh, you guys! Please hug and make up already. Willow shares her intel from the disc, that Adam is creating an “evil guy assembly line,” and his intentions towards the Initative are now clear: he wants to free the imprisoned demons so they will attack the soliders, with the resulting battle supplying him with body parts. Ew.
Apologizing and hugging along the way (much to Adam’s disappointment), the Scooby Gang heads to the Initiative lab, where they’re greeted by a lot of soldiers with guns. The Colonel refuses to believe that Adam is somewhere in the compound, and it’s obvious that he will be of ZERO help in this situation, but that’s okay, our heroes have a ritual planned that involves a gourd! A magic gourd.
The next second, the Colonel has more important freaks to think about when Adam shuts down the power, and the demon prisoners escape and begin attacking everyone. Spike arrives to join in on the fun (gotta say, he’s gotten really good at kicking demon ass), while Buffy and the gang make a break for Room 314, where Giles, Willow and Xander begin setting up the ritual to invoke the powers of the Slayer lineage. Buffy heads deeper into the lab and discovers Riley and Adam, who commands Walsh and Forrest to kill the Slayer. Shyeah, right! Walsh moves slower than a George Romero zombie, though Forrest seems to be a real threat–until Riley digs the chip out of his own heart and joins the fight WHAT THE WHAT. Dude, that is legit the coolest thing you’ve ever done, and yet somehow, you’re still lame. There’s a ton of slo-mo fighting that results in Riley blowing up Forrest, then Buffy ventures ahead solo to battle Adam.
Once she finds him, Adam shows off his new machine gun arm, which he is WAY too proud of, while the magic of the ritual kicks in and Buffy is possessed by the power of the OG Slayer. She’s suddenly impervious and turns one of Adam’s missiles into, I’m sorry, are those doves?! Is this a Prince video? Whatever, the point is, she totally beats the shit out of him and then punches her hand into his body and pulls out his spine/energy reactor. That totally makes up for the doves. Adam’s dunzo, and his energy source disappears, thanks to the ritual. BYE ADAM, MAY WE NEVER SPEAK OF YOU AGAIN.
The episode ends with a council of old white dudes concluding that the Adam experiment failed (what did I just say, guys?!), and therefore, the Initiative should be filled with concrete and forgotten. “Burn it down,” Old Dude #1 declares, “and salt the earth.” Finally!
How many times do I have to take a drink?
0. I mean, they were probably some killed in the Initiative melee but we didn’t explicity see it, and I’m a stickler for the rules.
The Truest Thing Anybody Said This Week
SO MUCH, Xander. So much.
After suffering through some needless conflict and drama, at least we got to watch the Scoobies pile on the love.
There was also this sweet moment:
Hooo boy, y’all. I’m really sorry that I ended up having to recap this episode, and by that I mean, I’m sorry for myself, and I’m sorry for you, because there are a ton of people on the internet who believe that this is one of the greatest episodes of Buffy of all time… and I’m not one of them! I’ll do my best, but if you’re looking for deep thoughts and insights on symbolism and shit, maybe, like, Google it?
The Scoobies gather at Buffy’s house, where Joyce (hi Joyce! It’s been ages!) finally meets Riley before he heads out to a debrief. Xander has a whole VidFest planned (VHS tapes! Drink drink!) but since they’re all exhausted from the Initiative action, they fall asleep immediately and slip into dreams, which we follow, one by one. I’ll offer this one piece of obvious commentary before we dive in: most of the dreams explore characters’ insecurities and fears. You know, like dreams do!
First up is Willow, whose dream begins with Tara, wondering why they haven’t named their cat (I thought Miss Kitty Fantastico was pretty good?). After Willow paints symbols on Tara’s back, she heads to campus, sees Xander and Oz, and discovers that she’s in a show–nope, it’s not Madama Butterfly, it’s a very strange version of Death of a Salesman, starring Riley, Buffy and Harmony, and directed by Giles, and I am living for his portrayal of a college theater director. Suddenly, Willow realizes that something is after her, and then oh snap, she’s back to being a supernerd in a high school class, where a monster attacks her. A balding guy with glasses shows up, flashes some cheese slices, and tells her, “These will not protect you.” Cool cool cool.
Next up in dreamland is Xander, who thinks he’s woken up and heads upstairs to pee–Joyce, sporting a red satin nightgown, encounters him on the way and tries to seduce him, but he makes it into the bathroom to pee, only to realize he’s being studied by scientists. He then shifts to a park, where Buffy plays in a sandbox while Giles and Spike ride the swings. I should mention that, in all of these dreams, the characters say a lot of cryptic things to each other, but your girl did NOT have the patience to write it down, let alone analyze it, so see above re: Google. At any rate, Xander moves on to the ice cream truck, with Anya next to him and Willow and Tara, both heavily made up and looking smokin’, getting frisky in the back. The cheese guy shows up, and then we’re treated to Giles, with a dubbed French class voice, explaining something to Xander. That’s two for two for Giles being the highlight of a dream, NO SURPRISE. Principal Snyder makes a cameo as a cynical military drill sergeant (still hates students), then Xander’s dad heads down into the basement and punches Xander in the gut. Tight tight tight.
And now we’ve arrived at Buffy’s dream, in which she’s sporting pigtails and overalls (but not the Overalls of Vulnerability) and walking around a carnival with Giles and his girlfriend. Next, she lands at Spike’s crypt, where everything is in black and white, and he’s posing for the paparazzi. The cheese guy pops in, and then the scene shifts to the Bronze, where Anya is doing stand-up, followed by a song performance by Giles! HIGHLIGHT #3! While the crowd (sprinkled with people with black and white painted faces) holds up lighters, he croons, “The spell we cast with Buffy must have released some primal evil that’s come back seeking, I’m not sure what.” Buffy “wakes up” in the dorm, and then her bedroom, where she says, “Faith and I just made that bed.” Tara appears to tell her, “You think you know what’s to come, what you are. You haven’t even begun.” Back on campus, Buffy discovers Joyce living in a wall, and then she’s at the Initiative, putting clay on her face like it’s a freaking facial commercial. Flash to a desert, where a warrior woman (a.k.a. the OG Slayer) confronts Buffy and Tara translates: “No friends, just kill. We are alone.” And whaddaya know, the cheese guy shows up! OG Slayer attacks Buffy, who finally wakes up, just as the rest of the Scoobies are stirring. They realize that invoking the essence of the Slayer’s power to kill Dude-I-Will-No-Longer-Reference is ushering in something. But what? Tara’s dream words echo in Buffy’s mind: “You think you know…”
Yeah… so that was an episode of television!
How many times do I have to take a drink?
6 (that I technically had to. Lots more that I just needed.)
Take a Bow, Buffy’s Bob
Willow’s dream theater production was totally bananas except for Buffy’s flapper lewk, which she totally owned and could pull off IRL, IMO.
Is Amy Still a Rat?
Yes. I honestly can’t believe Human Amy didn’t make a cameo in anyone’s dream. Everything else happened but not that?!
And that’s a wrap on Season 4! We did it, y’all!
So, don’t let my distaste for the finale scare you away from leaving comments about it, especially if you want to school me on what the hell everything means. (I am happy to learn but fully reserve the right to roll my eyes at Joss’ pretentiousness.)
Tune in next week as Kandis guides us into the dawn (hey-o!) of Season 5 with “Buffy vs. Dracula” and “Real Me.”