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The Yoko Factor
May 09, 2000


Doug Petrie

David Grossman

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:
David Boreanaz as Angel
Emma Caulfield as Anya
Amber Benson as Tara
George Hertzberg as Adam
Leonard Roberts as Forrest Gates
Conor O'Farrell as Colonel McNamara
Bob Fimiani as Mr. Ward
Jade Carter as Lieutenant


Colonel McNamara is ordered to get Riley back; Willow and Tara play with their new kitten. Spike, in order to help Adam, plays each member of the Scooby gang against each other, resulting in a drunk Giles and a big fight between Willow, Xander, and Buffy. Angel follows Buffy back from Los Angeles to apologize, but gets into a fight with Riley before he can do so, giving him even more to apologize for. He and Buffy come to terms. Buffy witnesses Adam kill Forrest and has to tell Riley. Buffy walks out on the gang to fight on her own; a distraught Riley pays a visit to Adam. To be continued...

For the full, detailed synopsis, click here.

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Body Count

Skewered by Adam in a cave.
Total: One
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Dialogue to Die For

Riley (about Angel): "Sometimes things happen between exes, and when I saw that he was bad..."
Buffy: "He's... not bad."
Riley: "Seriously? That's a good day? Well, there you go. Even when he's good, he's all Mr. Billowy Coat King of Pain, and girls really...."

Giles (to Buffy, about Adam): "You never train with me anymore. He's gonna kick your ass."

Willow (to Buffy, about Buffy and Xander): "Besides, when is there any "us two"? You two are the two who are the two. I'm the other one."

Willow (fighting with Buffy): "We have to face it, you can't handle Tara being my girlfriend."
Xander (to Buffy and Willow): "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 (from upstairs): "Bloody hell!"

More quotes from this episode...

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  • Tony RobbinsSpike (to Adam): "I get why 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."
  • Anthony "Tony" Robbins is a successful motivational speaker and author, also referred to as such titles as "performance coach" and "the nation's leader in the science of peak performance." He teaches people how to "discover [their] true purpose, take control of [their] life and harness the forces that shape [their] destiny. An example book title: Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical & Financial Destiny!

    Frankenstein is, of course, the 1818 novel by Mary Shelley. The title character was a doctor who created a monster out of dead humans.

  • Xander (about Buffy): "L.A. woman? Haven't heard from her."
  • L.A. Woman is a song written and recorded by The Doors in 1971. The song first appeared on the album of the same name.

  • Xander: "You know what makes Angel happiest? I'll give you a hint. It's not Crème Brulee."
  • Crème Brulee (broo-lay) is a delicious dessert made with vanilla, sugar, cream, and eggs. Basically, it's custard with a crusted, caramelized sugar top.

  • Xander: "So you don't have to be G.I. Joe while your civvies are getting washed."
  • G.I. Joe was debuted in 1964 as an 11-1/2 inch soldier "doll" for boys. Named after the 1945 movie The Story of G.I. Joe, it became the first boys' "action figure" in the world and was dressed in military clothing. Still a very popular toy for young boys, they are now approximately 4 inches tall and produced by Hasbro. This is the third G.I. Joe reference this season (one in reference to Xander, the other in reference to Riley).

  • Willow( about Buffy): "I used to assume that we'd be roomies through grad school, well into little old ladyhood, you know, cheating at bingo together and... forgetting to take our pills."
  • Bingo is a lottery- or keno-like game in which each player has one or more cards printed with differently numbered squares. Numbers are drawn at random, and if a player has the number on their card, they mark it. The first player to mark a complete row of numbers is the winner (at which point, they should shout "bingo!"). Bingo originates from a game called Beano, and can be traced back to 1530. It's commonly played at churches and community centers as a fund-raiser, and is notorious for being popular among elderly people.

  • Spike: "Something about being... uh, all you can be, or all you can be."
  • The U.S. Army's slogan, used in commercials and the like, is "Be all you can be." The line is also used by the Army Reserve.

  • Starbucks mugXander: "'Xander got fired from Starbucks.'"
  • Starbucks is a famous coffeehouse chain, commonly (and probably deservingly) 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.

  • 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 Trilogy (consisting of The Godfather and its two sequels).

    The Wizard of Oz
  • 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. (Listen: Windows Media 38K) The surrounding lyrics (from "We're Off To See the Wizard"):

    We hear he is a wiz 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!
  • Spike:"It's called 'the Yoko factor.' Don't tell me you've never heard of 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. When they broke up, everyone blamed Yoko, but the fact is, the group split itself up, she just happened to be there."
  • The Beatles were, of course, a ridiculously famous and popular British music group in the 1960s. "Helter Skelter" is a 1968 song from The Beatles (White Album). The song is said to be a favorite of serial killer Charles Manson. Yoko Ono was member John Lennon's wife, and as Spike explained, she is commonly accused of manipulating Lennon and causing the break-up of the band.

  • Xander: "I'll stay behind and putt around the Batcave with crusty old Alfred here."
    Giles: "Ahhh, no, I am no Alfred, sir. No, you forget, Alfred had a job."
  • Yet another Batman reference: Alfred was Batman's faithful butler.

  • 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.

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  • School Hard

    Spike tells Adam that he's killed two Slayers, which confirms what he said in "School Hard."

  • Angel: Sanctuary

    The whole deal with Buffy having gone to Los Angeles goes way back to last week's episode of Angel, in which she went to protect Angel from Faith. The two ended up fighting because Angel insisted on helping Faith, refusing to let Buffy take vengeance on her. To read more about the episode, check out the Link Database page for some links to Angel sites and episode guides.

  • Seasons One through Three

    If you're new to the show, you'll want to read up on much of seasons one - three to get the full scoop on the Buffy / Angel relationship. You may also want to rent or buy The Buffy and Angel Chronicles video set. The highlights mentioned in this episode that can be narrowed down to one episode include: Surprise (he turned evil); "Passion" (he killed people, i.e. Jenny); "Becoming Part Two" (she cured him - well, actually, Willow did); "Graduation Day Part Two" (he left).

  • The Freshman through The I in Team

    Professor Maggie Walsh is again mentioned — she was Buffy's psychology teacher as well as the head of Initiative Headquarters until she was killed by Adam, her pet project.

  • Pangs

    Spike finds a packet of blood in Giles' place, commenting that he "knew he left one." This would be from when Spike stayed at Giles' place, beginning with "Pangs."

  • New Moon Rising

    Xander mentions that Spike should have kept his military outfit from the last time they broke into the Initiative, which was last week. Spike, as part of his plan with Adam, helped the gang get into the Initiative to save Oz.

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Goofs and Gaffes

  • When Spike comes "bursting" into Giles' place with the "top secret" disks, his reflection can be seen in a mirror behind Tara and Willow (not the one by the door).

  • Angel says that he needs an invitation to enter Buffy's dorm, but Sunday and her buddies didn't need one in "The Freshman." (We're not talking about the dead boy's dorm, we're talking about Buffy's dorm — they stole all of Buffy's stuff.) (Spike knocked first in "The Initiative," but there was no evidence that he needed the resulting invitation or even that he knew he'd get it.) There are various excuses one could make, but the whole thing just doesn't sit right; they can't have it both ways. ;-)

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  • The cup Anya holds in the scene with her, Xander, and Spike appears to be from the fast food burger joint In-N-Out, a California staple (also with locations in Nevada and Arizona).

  • Spike now has in his lair what appears to be a VCR, an old Nintendo, and a TV to replace the one Forrest broke in "Goodbye Iowa."

  • Xander mentions that he's worked for and gotten fired from Starbucks (see References and (unless he's joking, which doesn't appear to be the case), a phone sex line.

  • When Tara and Anya are in the bathroom, some of the muffled arguments seem to be from "Pangs." (In case you're wondering, we're not counting it as a goof because it's virtually impossible to make out.)
          Spotted by Joseph B.

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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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A great episode showcasing what our favorite bad-ass vamp can do even if can't actually hurt anybody. I just wish we could hurry up and find out exactly what Adam's plans are already. This is shaping up to be a great beginning to the season finale story arc. The hard thing about the argument between the gang is that they are all right and have valid points. Talk about some great writing starting early in the season to build up to this. The meeting of the boyfriends was, of course, as delicious as we all thought it would be. I'm impressed at how well Riley was able to hold his own against Angel. David had a spectacular performance, but I thought his smirk to Riley when Buffy wanted to talk to him first was a bit out of character — it was, nonetheless, very funny. "To be continued..." (9/10)
Jamie Marie:
Whoo hoo! That was fun. It doesn't get much better than that. Angel and Riley — fun! Angel and Buffy — excellent! Willow and Tara and Miss Kitty Fantastico — awww! Spike — fun! Giles — hilarious, and more singing to boot! Xander and Anya — tee hee! The gang fighting — funny and sad and excellent! Have I ever mentioned that I like Angel (the character) a lot more these days? Anyhow, this is shaping up to be a good culmination of what's been going on all season on many fronts — there's not just a big bad to fight, but there are relationships that have been changing all season, and it's great that it's being dealt with now. This was a truly excellent episode, especially considering how hard it sometimes seems to create a really good first part of a two-parter. I'm eagerly looking forward to part two. I'm truly torn between giving this episode a 9 or a 10, so... (9.5/10)
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Air Date Rating Ranking
May 09, 2000 3.0 87 of 128

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