Buffy Logo 'The Yoko Factor'
Story Code '4ABB20'

by Doug Petrie

In the Initiative, Colonel MacNamara is talking to someone on a monitor screen about Riley’s defection; the man on the monitor wants Riley back, and observes that Buffy may be the key. Meanwhile, Spike warns Adam about the threat that Buffy poses to his plan, but Adam welcomes the challenge, instructing Spike to separate the Slayer from her friends so that she will have to fight on her own when his plan comes to its culmination. Buffy returns from Los Angeles and arrives at her dorm room. Xander visits Riley at the remains of Sunnydale High, bringing him some clothes; when Riley questions him about Angel, Xander reveals that Angel lost his soul when he and Buffy had sex; information that upsets Riley. Spike arrives at Giles’ house, offering to steal files about Adam from the Initiative in exchange for cash and a guarantee of his safety; Giles agrees, but Spike says he will only take Buffy’s word, not a retired librarian who no longer has any respect as an authority figure. Spike leaves, but his words have affected Giles deeply. As Willow and Tara discuss their classes for next year Willow expresses her doubt about living with Buffy the following year. The next morning, Riley visits Buffy in her dorm room, enquiring as to how she got on in L.A.; but Buffy is unforthcoming, and so Riley leaves. Meanwhile, Xander and Anya take some soldier gear to Spike, to help him break into the Initiative; the vampire tells Xander that the others have discussed how he should join the army, as he is useless to them. Out on patrol, Buffy investigates a cave and runs into Forrest, also searching the area; they squabble about Riley, but are interrupted by Adam, who effortlessly kills Forrest. Realising she is outmatched, Buffy flees from the cave, but then trips and rolls down a hill, knocking herself unconscious on some rocks. Later that night, Spike arrives at Giles’, and, pretending to be out of breath, barges in with some data discs which he claims he stole for them. Willow sets to work decrypting the files; meanwhile Giles has gotten drunk following Spike’s last visit. Spike deviously tells Willow that Buffy and Xander think she is just going through a phase with her relationship with Tara, causing Willow to doubt her friends’ loyalty. At the Initiative, Colonel MacNamara is discussing the state of overcrowding in the Initiative cells when a mayday call comes in. Riley hears the call on his radio and goes to help the soldiers, now under attack from Angel. When Angel remarks that he is there to see Buffy, a fight breaks out between him and Riley, but they are forced to run when more soldiers arrive. Buffy returns to her dorm room, and Angel arrives moments later, but before Angel can explain why he is there Riley bursts in, armed with a gun. He and Angel bicker, causing Buffy to push them apart. Buffy and Angel then go out into the hallway so they can talk, and Angel tells her he came because he wanted to apologise for leaving things in L.A. on a bad note. They both understand that their lives have moved on, but Angel still disapproves of Riley; he then leaves to return to L.A.. Euphoric after breaking up the Scooby Gang, Spike returns to Adam’s lair; when Adam questions his success, Spike likens his actions to Yoko Ono breaking up the Beatles, and demands that Adam remove his chip, but Adam has one more task for him. In her room, Buffy is trying to explain to Riley why Angel came to see her; at first, Riley thinks she is breaking up with him so that she can go back to Angel, but when Buffy expresses her love for him, they hold each other close. She then has to tell him of Forrest’s death. Later, Buffy joins the others at Giles’, where Willow has been unable to break the encryption codes on the discs. Giles is steaming drunk now, and tells Buffy that Adam will rip her apart. Willow and Xander offer to accompany Buffy while she hunts Adam, but the Slayer dismisses them, remarking that it is too dangerous; after Xander comments about being shipped off to the army Buffy tries to reassure her friends that she does need them, just not right now. Willow wants to know how she is needed by Buffy, causing the Slayer to demand what is going on, and why they are all acting oddly. Giles tries to sit down, misses the chair, and collapses in a heap on the floor. Anya and Tara have retreated to the bathroom, where they wonder how long the argument will go on for. Giles retreats to bed, while Buffy, Willow and Buffy argue about the army, Xander’s relationship with Anya, Willow’s computer and Wicca skills, her relationship with Tara, and Buffy’s superiority. Xander is shocked to discover that Tara is Willow’s girlfriend. Buffy has finally had enough, and asks them if they want to help, but now they are not so sure. Buffy suggests they all go, with the three of them arguing and the funny drunk drooling on her shoe. She demands to know how they can help, and when they offer no answer, says she understands why there is no ancient prophecy about the Chosen One and her friends. She then leaves. Elsewhere, Adam turns as someone enters his cave - and tells Riley that he has been expecting him…

Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Marc Blucas (Riley Finn), James Marsters (Spike), Anthony Stewart Head (Rupert Giles), David Boreanaz (Angel), Emma Caulfield (Anya), Amber Benson (Tara), George Hertzberg (Adam), Leonard Roberts (Forrest Gates), Conor O’Farrell (Colonel McNamara), Bob Fimiani (Mr. Ward), Jade Carter (Lieutenant)
Directed by David Grossman

TX (US): 9th May 2000
TX (UK - Sky One): 19th May 2000
TX (UK - BBC): 29th March 2001

*Featuring Buffy, Xander, Willow, Giles, Riley, Anya and Tara