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BuffyGuide.com — The Complete Buffy Episode Guide
The I in Team
February 08, 2000
4ABB13

 
Credits

Writer:
David Fury


Director:
James A. Contner


Regulars:
Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
Marc Blucas as Riley Finn
James Marsters as Spike
Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles
Guest Stars:
Amber Benson as Tara
George Hertzberg as Adam
Leonard Roberts as Forrest Gates
Bailey Chase as Graham Miller
Jack Stehlin as Doctor Angleman
Emma Caulfield as Anya
Lindsay Crouse as Professor Maggie Walsh
Cast:
Neil Daly as Mason

 
Synopsis

Professor Walsh and Riley familiarize Buffy with the Initiative, but Willow worries that Buffy's not only getting involved with something she knows nothing about, but she's also not making enough time to see her friends. On patrol with Riley and a group of Commandos, Buffy helps capture a Polgara demon for Walsh. Afterwards, Buffy and Riley spend their first night together and, unbeknownst to them, are watched via camera by Professor Walsh. Concerned that Buffy is becoming a threat to her plans, Walsh sets up a trap to have Buffy killed. Walsh assumes Buffy is dead and tries to explain this to Riley, but just then Buffy appears on video behind them, telling Walsh that her plan failed. Riley runs off, and Walsh goes to room 314 to check on her pet project, Adam. Behind her, Adam wakes, and shoves a skewer through his creator. — Short synopsis by Boo.

For the full, detailed synopsis, click here.

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Monstervision

Adam The clear inspiration for the introduction of Adam is the gothic horror classic Frankenstein, written by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797-1851) and published in 1818, in which a brilliant scientist named Victor Frankenstein builds a creature from scratch and brings it to life. Considered one of the first works of science fiction, it is one of the most influential works in the history of speculative fiction. Buffy has done the Frankenstein bit before, albeit in a different way, in "Some Assembly Required." We're also told by Mathew Ignash that there are lots of references to/takeoffs of Aliens, but unfortunately we've never seen the movie and don't have time to rent it. So for now, we'll give him the benefit of the doubt. :-)


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Body Count

First Squid-Faced Demon
Accidental axe blow from the Second Squid-Faced Demon in the sewers.
Second Squid-Faced Demon
Electrocuted by Buffy in the sewers.
Professor Maggie Walsh
Skewered by Adam in Room 314.
Total: Three
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Dialogue to Die For

Willow (about Buffy): "Guess she's out with Riley. You know what it's like with a spanking new boyfriend."
Anya (re: Xander): "Yes, we've enjoyed spanking."

Buffy (about Riley's lunch selection): "... A Twinkie! That's his lunch? Oh, he is so gonna be punished."
Willow: "Everyone's getting spanked but me."

More quotes from this episode...

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Dialogue to Bury

Willow: "Wow, I've been trying to find a dolls-eye crystal my entire life. Well, since June, anyway."

Adam: "Mommy."

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References

  • The I in Team
  • The title of the episode is itself a reference to the adage "There's no 'I' in 'TEAM.'" This is often used by coaches in team sports, as well as other team situations. Taken literally, it means exactly what it says, but the point of it is that the individual should be a complete and total team player — the team should work as a unit, with no one individual acting for themselves alone.

  • Xander: "You are looking the new local distributor for Boost Bars — the natural food bar that provides a natural energy boost for active, health-conscious people."
  • Boost Bars are, according to their website, a "great-tasting, nutritious snack alternative... to satisfy between-meal hunger." They don't seem to actually have all the exotic flavors Xander mentioned, only Chocolate Crunch and Strawberries & Cream.

    Twinkies
  • Buffy: "... a Twinkie?! That's his lunch?"
  • Hostess Twinkies are sweet snacks consisting of cake with a creamy vanilla flavoured filling, invented in 1931 by James Dewar in Chicago. The original Twinkies were filled with banana creme, but changed to vanilla due to a World War II banana shortage. Twinkies were originally sold two for a nickel, and their name came from a St. Louis billboard that Jimmy Dewar saw for Twinkle Toe shoes.

  • Spike: "And I don't want you crawling back here, knocking on my door, pleading for help the second teen witch's magic goes all wonky, or little Xander cuts a new tooth."
  • This could be a reference to the 1989 comedy Teen Witch, in which an unpopular girl is bestowed with magical powers on her 16th birthday.

  • Buffy: "So I've seen. On the Discovery Channel."
  • The Discovery Channel is a US cable station that deals primarily with science and nature.

  • Xander: "She's probably out living the life of Riley."
  • The "life of Riley" is an informal phrase meaning that someone has a carefree, comfortable life. It's often, but not always, associated with being rich. Of course, Xander is giving it its own spin.

  • Buffy: "Coke, please."
  • The pharmacist Dr. John Stith Pemberton concocted a caramel-colored syrup in a three-legged brass kettle in his Atlanta backyard in 1886. He began selling his drink from the soda fountain at Jacob's Pharmacy. In his first year he averaged about nine drinks a day. Today, Coca-Cola is enjoyed around the world. Early advertising discouraged calling the product "Coke." It urged "Ask for Coca-Cola by its full name; nicknames encourage substitution." Since people kept asking for "Coke," the company relented to popular demand. In 1941, the trademark "Coke" received equal prominence in advertising with "Coca-Cola," and in 1945, "Coke" was registered as a trademark. The term is used fairly generically now, with many people using it to refer to any number of cola flavored soft drinks.

  • Willow: "Are they going to... get [the neutered vampires and demons] jobs as bag boys at Wal-Mart?"
  • Wal-Mart is a large chain of discount stores started by Sam Walton in the mid-western United States in 1962. However, none of the Wal-Marts that we have ever been to have had dedicated bag boys.

  • Riley: "Mother wants us."
  • This is a possible reference to the originally British 1960's series "The Avengers." Mother was John Steed's wheelchair-bound boss starting in the sixth season of the show. Mother also appeared in the 1998 movie The Avengers, along with the newly created character Father. By the way, Mother is a man and Father is a woman.

  • Buffy: "Oh, you mean the camo and stuff. I thought about it, but on me it's gonna look all Private Benjamin."
  • Private Benjamin Private Benjamin was a 1980 movie starring Goldie Hawn as a high-society woman who joins the army on a whim. A short-lived TV series (1981-1983) followed, with Lorna Patterson in the lead role.

  • Spike: "I don't care if it's playing 'Rockin' the Casbah' on the bloody Jew's harp, just get it out!"
  • We can only presume that Spike is referring to the Clash's 1982 song "Rock the Casbah." In case you are wondering, a casbah is a palace or castle in Northern Africa.

    A Jew's harp (a.k.a. Juice Harp, Gewgaw, and Jaw Harp) is a small musical instrument which is held against the teeth or lips, and plucked with the fingers. This instrument is not in any way associated with Jews exclusively and is not meant in a derogatory nor offensive manner; it's just one of those words that has been mangled over the years by the English language.

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Continuity

  • A New Man

    Giles pays Spike for his help during Giles' "recent metamorphosis," referring to Ethan having turned him into a demon in the last episode. Giles had to offer Spike money to help him find Ethan. Willow also mentions "that 314 thing that Ethan told Giles about."

  • The Initiative

    Riley says that Walsh liked Buffy before he did, and told him so herself. This refers to when Buffy told Walsh off, prompting Walsh to comment, "I like her."

  • The Freshman

    Buffy and Riley make comments about Buffy having been a student of Walsh's. Buffy was enrolled in her introductory Psychology class last semester, beginning with "The Freshman."

  • Halloween

    Xander comments on his "pseudo-soldier memory bank," referring to when a spell of Ethan's turned him into his Halloween costume (a soldier).

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Goofs and Gaffes

  • When Walsh hands Buffy the stack of papers in the IHQ, Buffy is holding them fairly high in front of her. Whenever the camera angle is behind her, the papers can be seen in that position, but whenever the angle is in front of her, they are so low that they can't even be seen in front of her.
          Spotted by Mathew.

  • Walsh goes into room 314, and the door falls shut behind her. Cut to a frontal shot of her coming in, and the door shuts again.

  • In the first shots of Buffy and Riley having sex, the pillowcases are striped green and white, but afterwards (and the next morning), the pillowcases are dark red, like the sheets. There are excuses to "justify" this, but it just doesn't sit right.

  • There's a hole in Spike's t-shirt from where he was shot with the tracer, but his duster is fully intact.
          Spotted by m_mski.

  • Yes, we noticed that Buffy has different clothes on the first day, and our first instinct was to call it a goof. But she does have a bag with her, and it is very possible that she had some extra clothes in it. She comes prepared.

  • While Buffy is crouched over the map of the sewer system, her arms are crossed with her hands near her elbows. In the next shot from over her shoulder, her hands are clasped together. And then back at the original camera angle her arms are once again crossed.
          Spotted by Willowpal.

  • When the demon in the sewer knocks Buffy down, she falls in front of the gun, with her head to it. A cut later, she's shown to the right of it, with the gun near her left arm.
          Spotted by Matt C.

  • The com-cam picked up on audio, so when Buffy threw it down, Walsh probably should have still heard the fighting going on. Some people claim there was a click-on button, which may have gotten clicked off when the camera fell, which is a possibility.
          Spotted by Willowpal.

  • Walsh sees the com-cam (on Buffy, she thinks) fall to the ground and land sideways, showing a sideways shot of the sewers. A few minutes later, the camera is shown flat on the ground, in a way that would result in a vertical picture. When Riley comes in to IHQ later and Walsh tells him about Buffy "dying," the shot (before Buffy picks it up) is still the same sideways shot that Walsh saw, which would imply that the camera hadn't been moved.
          Spotted by Mathew.

  • From the angle that Walsh was skewered at, it really looks like Adam should have been visible behind her — especially considering that when she looks behind her, he is clearly visible right where he wasn't visible a moment ago.
          Spotted by bluestar.

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Notes

  • Xander's job of the week consists of selling Boost Bars (see References).

  • The area of the Initiative Headquarters where hands-on research is done on the demons is called "The Pit."

  • Other Initiative guys: Kevin and Jay.

  • There is only one firm confirmation (that we've spotted) that it's a new semester in the Buffy-verse, which it should be — Buffy comments that she thought she'd never get homework from Walsh again.

  • We didn't count the Polgara demon in the Body Count because there is reason to believe that it could actually be alive — it's clear that the Initiative doesn't always kill their capture, so even without its arm, they may have saved the rest of him for something else.

  • A new goddess mentioned by Willow: Neisa (goddess of chance and fortune). She does not appear to be from any real mythology.

  • A couple of people have told us the Dr. Angleman and the Polgara demon were named after regulars at the Official Buffy site's posting board (Angle_man and Polgara). However, we have yet to see any proof of this — if you have any, feel free to send it our way. The Polgara demon may have gotten his name from the title character of the 1997 David & Leigh Eddings novel, Polgara the Sorceress.

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Music

Note: To cut down on bandwidth theft, sound files are password protected. After you click "Listen," just enter the username bg and the password 8rt at the prompt. If the password doesn't work, that probably means it's been changed; refresh/reload this page to get the new one.

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Comments

Jeremy:
I thoroughly enjoyed this episode, but it's not gonna stand out as my most favorite or anything. I loved the cinematography in the sex/fight scene, but it still didn't beat "Living Conditions." Killing Professor Walsh seems like a bad idea to me so far. If she wasn't supposed to be developed into the main baddie for this season, who is it going to be? The Initiative at large, Adam, or what? Oh well, just leave me guessing I suppose (until I read the spoilers that is). One of the things I've just realized I am starting to miss from the third season is the gang's mind-melding sessions in the library. I can definitely see how Willow is feeling left out having to hang only with Anya and Xander. I really wish I had time for a longer review, but frankly, I'm really tired. I'll let Jamie pick up the slack. (7.5/10)
Jamie Marie:
Well, I don't know if I'm in the mood to pick up the slack. It's been such a busy week, I haven't even had time to gather my thoughts. But I'm afraid if I make you wait just for that, we'll start getting bomb threats. Is it good enough just to say that I liked it? I liked the plot, I liked the sex scene (sex scenes ought to be sexy, I think), I liked Riley, especially his reaction to Walsh's fake revelation/betrayal. I didn't like that the commandos don't put their pagers on vibrate. Conspicuous, much? The dialogue was a bit lacking, IMO — not bad, really, but there wasn't much to die for. So, for the first time ever, I leave you with a review even shorter than Jeremy's. Perhaps I'll add to it later, if time ever permits (not counting on it). (8.5/10)
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Nielsens
Air Date Rating Ranking
February 08, 2000 3.5 95 of 136
April 18, 2000 2.0 101 of 138 (tie)
May 30, 2000 1.8 97 of 135 (tie)

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