Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The Yoko Factor (1)

Episode Report Card
The Yoko Factor (1)

Buffy returns from LA and enters her dorm room. She looks towards Willow's side of the room, but Willow isn't there. Buffy rubs her head exhaustedly and lies down on her bed, looking sad and preoccupied. I like to imagine she's pensively considering the unworkable cross-over timeline between her show and Angel's, but she's most likely just trying to remember if she needs to pick up any of her leather pants from the dry cleaner's.

At the burned-out shell of Sunnydale High school, Riley asks Xander if he's heard from Buffy. Xander replies that he hasn't, and tosses Riley some clothing to wear while his civilian clothing is being washed. Riley pulls a pair of loudly patterned, super-baggie Hammer-style pants out of the bag and makes a crack about looking like a clown. At Xander's squinchy face, Riley apologizes, but really we all know Xander had it coming for bringing Riley those pants. Riley hopes Buffy gets back soon, and when Xander agrees, Riley asks Xander's opinion of Angel. Xander says he doesn't hate any part of Angel except the "guts part" and Riley tries to be fair, saying that what people hate is the curse. Which is such a strange way to phrase it that it makes me wonder exactly what Buffy told Riley about Angel. I mean, who hates the curse? They hate the lifting of the curse or the fact that he's a vampire at all, but the curse is actually protecting them from Angelus. At Xander's question, Riley says that Buffy told him "everything" about Angel, about how he turned evil and killed people. "One moment's happiness," muses Xander but Riley doesn't understand him. Xander explains the happiness was Angel's trigger to turn evil. Xander continues that Buffy what was made Angel happiest, and Riley slowly realizes that Xander means "sex with Buffy" was Angel's happiness. Riley bows his head, and Xander gets that Buffy left that part out of her explanation to Riley. Ooops! Riley is hurt; Xander tries to assure him that Angel is "ancient history." Riley sulks that Buffy ran to Angel in LA, but Xander tries to assure him that Buffy will be back soon -- she just had to make sure that Angel was okay. Riley picks at the clothes he's holding and looks worried.

At Giles's pad, Giles is strumming his acoustic guitar and singing "Freebird." He sounds great and is totally into it, but suddenly he gives a girly shriek and leaps up. Spike is standing right in front of him and snarks that, as a person who has "Watcher on his résumé" Giles really should pay more attention to his front door. Humph -- Sep and I have been saying that all season. Annoyed, Giles stomps over to Spike, who is rummaging around in Giles's fridge. Spike pulls a baggy of blood out of the fridge and asks if Buffy is there. When Giles inquires why Spike wants to know, Spike sneers that he wants to speak to "the lady of the house" and throws his blood bag into the microwave. Spike tells Giles to give Buffy the message that he has something she wants, and when Giles inquires what that thing is, Spike tells him he has information of the classified variety. Giles looks mighty skeptical, but Spike assures him he knows of files in the Initiative containing the secrets of Maggie Walsh, including info on Adam. Wuh? They mentioned that Professor Walsh person again. Do you think she was important to the plot at one point, but then was killed and not mentioned for six episodes or so? Because I'm starting to get that feeling. Spike is offering to break into the Initiative and get the files for the Scooby Gang. As Spike sips at his mug of warm blood, Giles expresses cynical surprise that Spike happens to have just what they need at that moment, but Spike isn't thrown. He tells Giles that the information won't come cheap -- he wants blood, cash, and a guarantee that Buffy won't slay him. Giles agrees to his terms, but Spike says that's not good enough and that he wants to make the deal with Buffy herself. Giles assures him he'll tell her, but Spike begins to turn the knife, saying that Buffy never listens to Giles, and didn't even when Giles was her Watcher. He sneers that Buffy treats Giles "very much like a retired librarian," and this causes Giles to pour himself a drink. Spike leaves, and Giles begins drinking.

In Tara's room, Willow is cuddling the cutest little black kitten with white markings and musing on how cute she is. Tara, sitting nearby, agrees. Willow addresses the kitten as "Miss Kitty Fantastico," and Tara wins points by saying that they have to get the kitten a real name. Willow says she's happy the kitten is "ours" and then backpedals that the kitten is Tara's, but Tara assures her that the kitten can belong to both of them. Oh, stop dithering already, you two wacky spell-casters. Tara then turns back to the materials in her lap, saying that Willow needs to pick an elective. She suggests psych, but Willow understandably declines (with a third mention of Dr. Walsh! Sorry, writers, but mentioning her three times in one episode doesn't make up for pretending she never existed for the past six). Willow suggests drama and then, holding the kitten up to her face, theatrically declares, "You cannot have more catnip! You have a catnip problem!" The girls laugh, and the kitten endearingly bats at Willow's hair and nose. Wasn't it established that Willow has a fear of public speaking? Oh well, I suppose her self-confidence might have increased after all enjoying all those flaming Os and blowing out all those candles with Tara. Willow lowers the kitten and mentions she needs to decide about her housing for next year. She suggests off-campus housing, but Tara says she thought Willow would be living with Buffy again. Willow replies that she had envisioned living with Buffy all the way through college, but now she's not so sure, since both of then are hardly ever in their room. She says she'll ask Buffy.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer




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