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The Yoko Factor

Colonel McNamara is talking via video communications to some old guy, Mr. Ward, in a suit sitting behind a desk — probably one of the big-wigs in Washington. The Colonel is telling him that the commandos are keeping it together, and their capture ratio (of demons) is increasing. But morale is low, with Professor Walsh's death and the escape of the prototype (Adam). Mr. Ward comments that the incident with Riley was unfortunate. Despite the Colonel's opinion that Riley is not the soldier they thought he was, "they" want him back. The Colonel figures he won't be too hard to find, as he'll stay close to his girlfriend. "Buffy Summers," Mr. Ward looks at a file, and says that their data banks don't have much on her. "She's just a girl," McNamara tells him.

Adam and Spike

"She's a lot more than that," Spike is telling Adam, in his underground hideout in the sewers. Adam thinks she makes things interesting. Spike tells him that he's gonna be "interestingly dead," and that when the Adam's plan goes down, she's going to be right in the thick of things. Spike asks if he's ready for that. "I'm counting on it," Adam says.

Back at Adam's lair, Spike has told him how he killed two Slayers. Adam asks him why he fears Buffy, then. Spike is offended, saying he doesn't fear anything, he's just had bad luck. And with the chip in his head, he can't do anything now anyway. Adam knows how he feels. Spike doesn't think so, but Adam deciphers that he feels trapped like an animal, unable to actualize the urges within, clinging to one truth. "I will make you whole again. Make you savage." Spike finds himself moved by Adam's speech and realizes why all the demons follow him. Adam says that he'll remove Spike's chip when he has the Slayer where he wants her. Spike tells him it's easier said than done, and points out that the Slayer's got pals to help her. Adam suggests taking them away from her. Spike likes that idea, and tells Adam he'll take care of them. Adam says that since Spike can't hurt them, what can he do? "Not a blessed thing," Spike tells him. "They're gonna do it for me."

At UC Sunnydale, Buffy is walking into her dorm room after having just returned from L.A. and seeing Angel. She notices that Willow's bed looks as if it hasn't been slept in for a while and lays down on her own bed with a forlorn look on her face.

In the ruins of Sunnydale High School, Riley is still camping out, a fugitive from the Initiative. Xander has brought him some clothes to wear so he doesn't have to wear his uniform while his civilian clothes are being washed. Riley wonders if Buffy's gotten back yet, commenting that he'll feel better when she returns; Xander agrees. Riley catches on that Xander doesn't like Angel either. "It's not like I hate the guy," Xander says. "Just, you know . . . the guts part." He asks Riley how much Buffy told him about Angel. Everything, Riley says. How he went evil, she cured him, and he left. "One moment's happiness," Xander comments. Riley asks what he means, and he explains how Angel loses his soul when he experience one second of pure happiness. Riley realizes that it's sex with Buffy that provides that happiness, and Xander realizes that Buffy left that part out of the story. He tries to reassure Riley that it's all ancient history, but Riley doesn't seem so sure.

Giles is playing acoustic guitar singing "Freebird" when he is startled by Spike suddenly standing in his home. Demanding to know what he's doing there, Spike tells Giles he knows a way to get some files from the Initiative for Buffy and he'll be willing to trade for a year's supply of blood, merry bushels of cash, and a guarantee that he's not to be slain. Giles agrees, but Spike says it's not good enough — this deal's for the Slayer. Giles claims that he'll tell her, but Spike asks why he should trust that Buffy will listen to Giles. Unsure, Giles tells him he's her Watcher. Spike points out that he's her former Watcher and that she hardly listened to him when he was in charge. Spike reveals that he's noticed how she treats Giles — "Like a retired librarian." A tad depressed, Giles pours himself a drink as Spike leaves, telling him to pass the word to Buffy if she wants to make the deal.

Willow and Miss Kitty Fantastico

In Tara's room, Tara's helping Willow decide on her courses for next semester. Willow plays with their new kitten, Miss Kitty Fantastico, talking about all the cute things they've seen her do. Willow thinks she might take Drama as her elective and says she hasn't even dealt with the housing situation, but mentions there are some off-campus places that are cool for groups to do together. Tara just figured that Willow would be dorming with Buffy again, but Willow's not sure. "It hardly feels like we're roomies now." She explains that Buffy is busy with Riley and how she herself is also gone a lot. Willow supposes she should talk to Buffy about it.

The next day, Riley goes to Buffy's room, telling her he got tired of sitting around. She's worried that it might not be safe for him to be there with the government hunting him down, but Riley informs her he was able to tap into the Initiative's frequency to keep tabs on their movements. He notices she looks a little uncomfortable and asks if she okay. She tells him Angel just upset her a little. When he asks how, she says she doesn't want to talk about it now, she just wants to go out and patrol and find Adam. Riley suggests that he should leave her to that then. He doesn't look happy as he leaves.

At Spike's crypt, Anya accompanies Xander as he drops off some military fatigues for him. Xander tells Spike he should have kept the ensemble from the last time they snuck into the Initiative, as he's not a clothing delivery service. Spike finds a gun in the bundle of clothing and likes it, but the chip hits him with pain when he points it at Xander. "You got to be kidding me!" Spike says, exasperated. Anya thinks it's humiliating that he can't even point a gun, and Xander tells him the gun's a fake anyway. Spike pleads about self-defense; Xander informs him how much he doesn't care. Spike comments that with attitude like that he won't make it very far in boot camp. Anya is furious to hear that Xander is joining the Army. Xander tries to calm her down, saying he's doing no such thing, and asks Spike where he heard this from. He tells Xander he heard Willow and Buffy talking about how he could be all he can be, so Spike figured he was signing up. Xander is frustrated that the girls think of him as a useless lunk. "They look down on you," Anya confirms. He points out that they hate her. "But they don't look down on me."

Buffy is armed with the blaster patrolling the woods when Forrest jumps out behind her and they point their guns at each other. Forrest tells her not to shoot. She's wants him to give her a reason why not. Forrest asks if she's killing humans now. "Not yet. Beating you senseless should do just fine." He suggests they just go their separate ways, and Buffy heads towards a cave up the hill. Turns out that's where Forrest was going. They enter the cave together and Forrest mentions how things were going fine at the Initiative until she came along. He blames her for getting Riley to commit treason and ruining his future. "Future doing what?" she demands. "Illegal experiments. Torture. Murder. I guess killing someone isn't really a problem for you?" Forrest takes a threatening step toward her, and she warns him that if he touches her he'll find out what Slayer strength is like. Forrest thinks it's time she showed him. "Yes." They turn around and see Adam standing behind them. "I think that would be interesting," he says.

Buffy tries to shoot him but Adam knocks the blaster out of her hand. As they fight, Forrest tries to rush in but Buffy pushes him back telling him to get out of there. Adam throws her against the wall and his skewer juts out of his Polgara arm as he turns his attention to Forrest. Forrest shoots him with the blaster but Adam seems to absorb the charge. "Thank you," he says. Forrest attacks him and Adam runs the skewer through his chest then tosses his body at Buffy, knocking her down again. He picks up Forrest's blaster and shoots Buffy. She manages to stay on her feet but has a little trouble running as she flees the cave. It doesn't look like Adam is chasing her as she runs down the hill, but she loses her footing and tumbles down the incline. She hits her head against a large rock and loses consciousness.

That night, Spike is casually walking to Giles' front door, wearing the fatigues Xander gave him. He preps himself then rushes inside the apartment where Willow, Tara, and Giles (who's still at the bar drinking) are waiting for him. "I think I lost the buggers," he tells them. He hands Willow several disks and she loads one into her laptop. He notices the intimate way Tara is subtly playing with Willow's hair. He asks Giles when he's going to get paid. Not until Willow finds out what's on the disks. Unfortunately, the disks are encrypted; Spike asks Willow if she can crack it. She replies that it'll be difficult, prompting Spike to comment that she's not exactly the computer whiz she once was. She insists she is. He tells her he had heard Buffy and Xander saying how she was too busy with the "new thing" (her and Tara's Wiccanism) to work with computers as much, and that it's a phase and she'll get over it. He comments that if a person wants to be a witch that's their business. "I knew Buffy was freaked," Willow says to herself.

At the Initiative, Colonel McNamara is walking through the containment area which seems to be overflowing with demons. The lieutenant walking with him informs him that cell capacity maxed out three days ago and the demons will start tearing each other apart. The Colonel doesn't have a problem with that. They enter the communications center, which is alive with activity, and they hear a mayday from one of their patrols out in the field being attacked.


At the ruined high school, Riley is listening to the same mayday and grabs his gear to hurry to that location. He enters an alley to see a commando crashing against the wall and shines his flashlight where he hears fighting further up the alley. A person is standing over the unconscious bodies of three other commandos and Angel whirls around to face him.

"Riley Finn," Angel says. Riley asks if he should know him, and Angel informs him they have a friend in common. "Angel," Riley says. Angel wants to know if the welcoming committee (the commandos) was his idea. Riley says he heard that Angel was all peaceable now and wonders if he by any chance lost that pesky soul again. "Don't push me, boy," Angel tells him as he approaches. "Now what possibly could've happened with Buffy that would make you lose your soul?" Angel informs him that's none of his business. Riley demands to know where he thinks he's going. Angel says to see an old girlfriend. Riley tells him he's not going to let that happen. "You think you're going to stop me?" Angel asks. "I surely do," Riley replies.

At this point they start fighting. With the help of a couple of weapons Riley actually manages to get in a few good shots, but ultimately Angel knocks a few pounds of crap out of him. When he hears an approaching vehicle, Angel disappears over the top of a building and a battered Riley leaves the area just before an Initiative Humvee enters the alley.

Buffy, who isn't looking too good herself, is just returning to her dorm room and examines the gash on her forehead when there is a knock on her door. She opens it to see Angel standing there. He asks to come in and she invites him in. She asks him if he came to see her because he thought of something even more hurtful to say to her and he couldn't tell her by phone because then he wouldn't be able to see her expression. He says he doesn't have a lot of time. Concerned, she asks him what's going on; just then Riley bursts into the room and points his gun at Angel. Taking in Riley's appearance, Buffy fumes, "You've got to be kidding me! This is why you came?" Angel tells her this was an accident. "Running your car into a tree is an accident! Running your fist into somebody's face is a plan!" She demands to know what happened. Angel tells Riley to put down the gun. Riley doesn't think so, he tells Buffy Angel attacked four of his men and he thinks he's up to his old tricks. Buffy wants Angel to tell him he won't hurt anybody. "Might hurt you," Angel tells him instead. Riley wants him to try. "You actually sleep with this guy?" he asks Buffy. Riley punches him in the face and Angel punches him back. Buffy steps in between them and shoves them apart, threatening to send them both to the hospital if she sees one more display of testosterone poisoning. They know she's not exaggerating.

Buffy tells Riley that she needs to talk to Angel alone. Riley insists he's not leaving the room, so Buffy motions to Angel and they step out into the hall. Angel doesn't hide a smirk as he walks past Riley. Out in the hall, Buffy demands to know what the hell he thought he was doing by coming here pounding on her boyfriend. He says he was trying to make things better. At the sincerity of his words, Buffy can't help but to laugh. He came to apologize for the way he spoke to her in L.A. Buffy admits that he wasn't completely wrong. They don't live in each other's worlds anymore and she had no right to barge in on his and start making judgments. Angel's still sorry, though next time he'll apologize by phone. Angel noticed how intense things are in Sunnydale and offers to help. Buffy thinks the best thing he can do would be to leave. He understands and starts to walk off, but he turns around to tell her something about Riley. "I don't like him." She smiles and thanks him again.

In a good mood, Spike walks into Adam's lair. "Now that was fun," he says. Tearing the Scooby gang apart was easier than he thought it would be. Adam asks if he's sure. Spike tells him it's the Yoko Factor, asking Adam if he ever heard of the Beatles. He has. He likes "Helter Skelter." Spike explains how they used to be a powerful band and when they broke up, everybody blamed Yoko, but she just happened to be there when the band broke itself up. The same with kids, going off to college and growing apart. Adam is pleased that the Slayer has been separated from her friends. Spike asks if he has everything he needs. "No. There's one more thing," Adam says.

Buffy and Riley

Back in her room, Buffy asks Riley how badly he's hurt. He doesn't know; the night is still young. She says she has to tell him something, but Riley wants to go first. He admits that he doesn't know much about Angel or her relationship with him, he just asks that if she's going to break his heart to do it fast. "What? You think Angel and I . . ." She tells him of course "that" didn't happen, wondering how Riley could even think that. He explains when he found out what makes Angel lose his soul, he just went a little nuts, especially when he saw him bad. She assures him Angel isn't bad. "Seriously," he asks, "that's a good day?" Buffy sits him down on the bed and asks if she had ever given him any reason for him not to trust her. He admits she hasn't, but he's so in love with her he can't think straight. Buffy knows the feeling. They hold each other tight. Unfortunately, Buffy still has something to tell him, and he encourages her to just say it. "Forrest is dead." Buffy is pained as Riley rests his face in his hands as she explains how Adam killed him. Not looking at her, he says he has to go and leaves the room. Buffy is concerned as she watches him leave.

Later, Buffy is at Giles' apartment where Willow still hasn't been able to crack the encryption. Slightly frustrated, Buffy says she can't wait around here, that maybe she should go back to the cave and try to track Adam. Willow sarcastically tells her that she might get lucky and Adam will still be there and he can rip her arms off for her. Giles, in the kitchen more inebriated then ever, offers his opinion. "You never train with me anymore. He's gonna kick your ass." Buffy is shocked. He apologizes for being a bit honest. Xander says that she won't go alone and tells Giles to break out the weapons. Buffy tells him he's not going. Not happy, Xander remarks that she and Willow can do the superpower thing while he putts around the Batcave with crusty old Alfred. Giles points out he's no Alfred, because Alfred had a job. Buffy tells him Willow isn't going either — it's too dangerous for both of them, and she's doing this alone. "Oh, great," Willow says, "and then when you have your new 'no arms' we can all say 'Gee, it's a good thing we weren't there getting in the way of that!' " Xander offers to help by getting Buffy some new fighting pants. Buffy tells them this isn't helping. Willow's impressed that they're already getting in the way, they're so good at it. Xander comments he's so good at it that they might have to ship him to the Army to get him out of the way. The argument continues to escalate. Buffy says, "I need both of you. All the time. Just not now. Adam is very dangerous." Willow wants to know exactly how Buffy needs her. Buffy tells her that she's good at the computer stuff . . . usually, and also the witch stuff. This incites Willow and she demands to know what Buffy meant by "witch stuff." "You guys, what is happening? This is crazy!" Buffy says. Giles doesn't agree: "It's all finally making perfect sense and I'm not going to miss a moment of it." He tries to sit down but misses the chair.

Anya and Tara had slipped away at the beginning of the argument and retreated to Giles' bathroom. They wonder how long this is going to go on, and comment that Giles has a nice bathroom.

Willow and Xander

Xander is still on the tirade about the idea of him being in the Army. Giles says he's going to bed and stumbles upstairs. Willow says Xander would be great in the Army, but wonders if the umbilical cord between him and Anya could stretch that far. Xander knew she didn't like Anya, but Willow counters by saying she'll leave being judgmental to him and Buffy. Buffy tells them if she was anymore open-minded about some of the choices they made, her whole brain would fall out. Xander reminds Willow not to forget how superior Buffy is. "You guys, stop it! What happened to you today?" Buffy says. But Willow tells her it's not just today, that things have been wrong "since Tara," because Buffy can't handle the fact that Tara is her girlfriend. Xander disagrees, saying it started when they went off to college and forgot about him. Then he turns on Willow in shock. "Tara is your girlfriend?!" Giles, listening from the loft above, comments, "Bloody Hell!" Buffy tells them that's enough and asks them if they want to help. They shake their heads, not sure anymore, but Buffy suggests they can all go. They'll all go into the cave with Willow and Xander attacking her and the funny drunk drooling on her shoe. "Hey, maybe that's the secret way of killing Adam!" Xander tries to calm her down but she doesn't stop. She demands to know how they can possibly help her. Willow and Xander stand silent, not having an answer for her. "So . . . I guess I'm starting to understand why there's no ancient prophecy about a Chosen One and her friends." She hurries out of the apartment, saying that if she needs help she'll go to someone she can count on.

In his lair, Adam turns as someone walks in. "I've been waiting for you."

"And now I'm here," Riley says.

To be continued...

Synopsis written by Joseph B.

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