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Discussion of 4.20 "The Yoko Factor" - Aired 5/09/00 (WB-US)

Buffy Summers

Yataro
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Adam enlists Spike to turn the gang against each other, leaving Buffy alone and helpless. Playing on their fears about how the others perceive them, Spike begins to sow discord among the Scoobies. Meanwhile, into the chaos walks Angel, who has come to apologize to Buffy for the fight they had in L.A., but Riley sees only that there is another vampire in town.
Source: TV.com

Discuss this episode here!
 

BananaBuffy

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Watching Spike tear the Scoobies apart was very interesting for me. This episode is funny and it has a lot of Spike which is...typically great. I can't think of anything bad right now. Giles made me laugh a hell of a lot with his "And I'm not going to miss a minute of it.." and then DONK. Hehehe. And of course the "Tara's your girlfriend?""Bloody hell". He's one of the funniest parts of this episode. And seeing the Scoobies work out their issues is fun and saddening at the same time. Especially when you take into account that all they were saying was true.
 

brinkster130

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I liked seeing Angel again! Him and Riley fighting was entertaining, funny way for the new boyfriend to meet the ex. Made me miss having Angel around Sunnydale.
 

Ianigsy

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Just watching this earlier and couldn't help thinking that the corridor set outside Buffy and Willow's dorm room looked really quite badly-made- in particular the brick panels on the columns are so obviously painted on. I'm guessing that when the set was designed at the start of the season, it was only ever meant to be used in group scenes with lots of people going back and forth and nobody planned for it to be shot the way it was in an intense two-handed scene between Buffy and Angel.
 

Amethyst

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I thought this was an interesting episode too :) Spike trying to tear the scoobies apart, he should have known it wouldn't last lol :D
I enjoyed hearing Giles singing again :p and Miss Kittyfantastico is just soo cute!! lol :p
I enjoyed seeing Angel again, as I'm all for Bangel :D but he seemed different, obviously time has passed etc but still it felt weird....:rolleyes: Enjoyed watching him kick Rileys ass though lol :rolleyes: :D
I'm also loving drunk Giles in this one....soo funny! :D
 

Jules

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I loved this episode because Angel comes back!! His fight with Riley was amazing, and I loved the scene with Buffy and Angel in the corridor. I just wish Buffy had asked him to stay, and Angel's ''Oh, and . . . Riley, I don't like him.'' I love it.

I liked the scene with Xander at the beginning when he put his foot in his mouth by telling Riley about Angel's trigger.
 

patriot1123

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It would be impossible for a Giles fan not to love this episode. We get to hear Giles sing! And we get to see the range of ASH's talent, for example when he squeals and leaps off the couch when he's startled by Spike's appearance while he is singing. I love that next dialogue between them, when you can see Giles become more and more glum. And then drunk!Giles is absolutely hilarious. "Ah, I am no Alfred. Alfred had a job." One of the less noticeable parts of this scene is the way that Giles gives both Tara and Anya a silly, completely out-of-place grin when they each walk past him to get out of the room.
 

Carolina

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I love the part where Riley/Angel/Buffy are at the dorm and Buffy tells Riley she needs to talk to Angel alone and Riley says he's not leaving the room. So Buffy gives Angel the look to go out into the corridor and Angel gives Riley that "Ha ha, she picked me" look. Too funny. I'm so glad they gave us a chance to see Riley and Angel go at it.

As for the rest of this episode, who doesn't love a bunch of Spike? Totally made my afternoon. I just love this episode!

Oh and Giles falling down from his drunken state was just icing on the cake!
 
PassionBecoming
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PassionBecoming

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I love the part where Riley/Angel/Buffy are at the dorm and Buffy tells Riley she needs to talk to Angel alone and Riley says he's not leaving the room. So Buffy gives Angel the look to go out into the corridor and Angel gives Riley that "Ha ha, she picked me" look. Too funny. I'm so glad they gave us a chance to see Riley and Angel go at it.
Petty Angel is one of my favorite Angels. :) And I love Riley referring to him as "Mr. Billowy Coat King of Pain". Heehee.

My favorite exchange:

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!
 

Kenimowy

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Ok this may be a dumb question but I have never been quite sure of the answer.
So when Angel tells Buffy that he doesn't like Riley, and she says thank you,...what is she thanking him for?
I assume it is because he is more or less expressing to her that he still cares enough about her to dislike the new man in her life, but I have never been 100% sure if I was interpreting it correctly.
Is this right?
 

PassionBecoming

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Ok this may be a dumb question but I have never been quite sure of the answer.
So when Angel tells Buffy that he doesn't like Riley, and she says thank you,...what is she thanking him for?
I assume it is because he is more or less expressing to her that he still cares enough about her to dislike the new man in her life, but I have never been 100% sure if I was interpreting it correctly.
Is this right?
I think that's pretty much it. Plus, though Angel says he "doesn't" like him, that's kind of giving his stamp of approval (because obviously he isn't going to really like any guy she dates.) That's how I always took it, anyway.
 
Wesley Pryce
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Ethan Reigns

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Even though BtVS has a psych graduate student / TA (Riley) and another avid psych major (Holden Webster) in Converstions with Dead People, Spike appears to be the only one with any real-world psychological perception and the only one to be able to put this ability to use. Spike was the one to tell Giles and Buffy that Willow was hanging on by a thread. He was the one to say that the Chumash Indians were not about to be placated by talk. He was the one to tear a strip off everyone for throwing Buffy out of her house and he leadership position in Season 7. He was the one to deliver that magnificent speech from Lovers' Walk to Buffy and Angel:

"You're not friends. You'll never be friends. You'll be in love 'til it kills you both. You'll fight, and you'll shag, and you'll hate each other 'til it makes you quiver, but you'll never be friends. Love isn't brains, children, it's blood. Blood screaming inside you to work its will. I may be love's bitch, but at least I'm man enough to admit it."

It is fascinating to watch the true psych expert drive a wedge between the scoobies. He plays on all their insecurities and failings. But in BtVS, everyone can be forgiven if it suits the drama and his plan stops short of delivering what Adam wanted - the slayer on his turf in the Initiative complex, alone.
 
E
EffieT1
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Robb Stark

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As an Angel fan, this episode was a lot of fun. It was awesome seeing Angel just not be able to leave things with Buffy after "Five-by-Five" and "Sanctuary" so badly. And watching Angel just beat the hell out of Riley and then trump him in every conceivable way was killer.

However, if I'm writing that season, it might not have been the best plan. Sure, it made Angel look like gold, but it wasn't exactly the best way to get Riley over as the credible new love interest/male lead. I mean, he was already a bit of a flop, and then to bring Angel back and just put him in his place pretty much killed him in my eyes (although, I'm not the most biased of opinions). However, it's entirely possible that by this stage of S4 that Joss and the producers/writers could tell that Riley wasn't entirely working out and they were already planning an exit strategy for him.
 

marie21

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I liked seeing Angel again! Him and Riley fighting was entertaining, funny way for the new boyfriend to meet the ex. Made me miss having Angel around Sunnydale.
Oh yes! I loved seeing him again too. How I miss him in Sunnydale. And sorry Riley, sorry to Riley fans but the scene when Buffy is so upset over the argument with Angel in LA, plus the scene when she starts shouting at him in the corridor and then, they both smile and laugh together make me realize that there's still this incredible bond between them! I love that laugh. for me, it says it all. and her behaviour when she arrives from LA is very clear to me too!
it's not over between them, it will never be for me! they understand each other so well and I feel so sorry for Riley in this episode because Buffy doesn't respond to him the way she reacts to Angel. I m not saying that she doesn't like Riley, she does, but she doesn't love him. It's not as intense as what she feels for Angel. Riley is just a guy, a boyfriend and in this episode, he's clearly the one who is left aside. She keeps hiding things from him, when he tells her that he's in love with her, she just says "I understand the feeling". She truly feels confortable with him and with him unlike with angel, she can do normal stuff, like going to the beach in daylight...but he's just the guy she goes out with. He's never gonna last. We can already see how doomed their relationship is in this episode!

I also like this episode because of the way Spike manages to split the scooby gang!
 

nightshade

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Forgotten how good this ep was, loved Angel coming back and poor Riley thinking Angel was all bad! Nope that just normal Angel. Drunk Giles and of course Giles singing, the way Spike manipulates the gang, wish we had seen more of that kind of behaviour from him, showing that despite the chip Spike can still be reasonably bad.
 

white avenger

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I'm not saying this in any Bangel bashing way, but I would love to have seen Buffy tell Angel that, if LA was his town, Sunnydale was hers, and he had no business coming back there and stirring up trouble. I know, it was basically Riley and the Initiative that actually started it all, but Buffy had no way of knowing that, plus, that would have been the perfect time to have them first start planning to have a "special place" to meet, somewhere halfway, without the possibility of territorial disputes.
 

thetopher

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Spike appears to be the only one with any real-world psychological perception and the only one to be able to put this ability to use. Spike was the one to tell Giles and Buffy that Willow was hanging on by a thread. He was the one to say that the Chumash Indians were not about to be placated by talk. He was the one to tear a strip off everyone for throwing Buffy out of her house and he leadership position in Season 7.
And I can point to far more often the times where Spike's 'insight' is a load of horse crap. What Spike is actually really good at is seeing other people's vulnerabilities, playing on those insecurities and exploiting them for his own betterment.

It's that talent he uses here against the Scoobies, he sees Willow's pain in 'Something Blue', because that's what Spike's good at- seeing weakness.
Giles made the same points as Spike about the Chumash, just not is so blunt a way.
Through S6 in his relationship with Buffy- he prays of her weakness/psychological frailty to further isolate her from her friends.

When it comes to using psychology to readother people in any more meaningful way(especially Buffy) he usually gets it utterly wrong. He trying to 'make a connection/point' that is almost always non-existant.

He tries to do it in 'Fool For Love' to try and get under Buffy's skin/make a connection with her, even though he's wrong about the whole 'death wish' thing.
In S7 he talks utter crap about Buffy needed 'somebody to hurt her'.
And in 'Touched' he accuses Faith of being behind the whole 'Buffy getting chucked out' thing, (read- Buffy storms off becasue she can't work with Faith) when she was the only one sort of defending Buffy (Spike accuses her of 'finally getting what she wanted')

You want to see masterclass psychological warfare that would be S4 Angelus. He tears apart a bunch of relatively hardened monster hunters instead of teens. :)
 

white avenger

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And in 'Touched' he accuses Faith of being behind the whole 'Buffy getting chucked out' thing, (read- Buffy storms off becasue she can't work with Faith) when she was the only one sort of defending Buffy (Spike accuses her of 'finally getting what she wanted')

:)
I'm not sure if the way that Buffy left could be by any stretch of the imagination called "storming out," at least by the definition as I understand it. Yes, she left, which I fully believe was a mistake, but I thought that it was more about having very strong feelings that the Vineyard and what was going on there was very important(surprise, surprise, she was right, and didn't rub the fact in a bit)

As for Faith catching all the blame for "sort of defending Buffy," I never saw that, but it does seem to be Faith's lot in life, whenever she has dealings with Buffy, to be seen as the culprit whenever things foul up. It's as though Joss and his writers go out of their way to assure that Buffy will never see Faith as anything more than a barely trusted ally whenever such an alliance becomes absolutely unavoidable.

(Did you notice that I didn't even once mention "You know who" in this post?)
 

thetopher

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I'm not sure if the way that Buffy left could be by any stretch of the imagination called "storming out," at least by the definition as I understand it.
Well, its about as accurate as saying Buffy gets 'kicked out'- it's six of one and half a dozen of the other. Buffy gets defensive to the point of paranoia, thinks that Faith is 'taking everything away from her' and that Faith must 'be loving this'.
She then says to them all 'I can't stay and watch her (Faith) lead you all into disaster.'
So then Dawn quietly says 'Then you can't stay.' Then Buffy leaves, clearly upset and Faith is the only one who goes after her.

Yes, she left, which I fully believe was a mistake, but I thought that it was more about having very strong feelings that the Vineyard and what was going on there was very important(surprise, surprise, she was right, and didn't rub the fact in a bit)
The fact that Buffy was right, given her 'reasoning', was a happy accident imo, engineered by the writers, because the bad guys (led by the First/Caleb) were about the stupidest ones seen on the show.
Buffy didn't rub their faces in it because, as she admiteed to 'you know who', they were all right not to blindly follow her- Buffy had been the one to cut herself off from everybody (for understanble reasons) and distance herself from her friends. So then Buffy was at least partly to blame for those events.
That's why she comes back not holding any grudges against any of her friends- she doesn't blame them.

To put it simply: If the troops won't follow the leader then ultimately its the leaders fault.

As for Faith catching all the blame for "sort of defending Buffy,"
Faith is the one who, pretty much unprovoked, got punched in the face. I'd say that she, and to a lesser extent Giles (who tried to have 'you know who' killed) get all the blame for what happened.
Maybe Faith should get an apology just like Buffy should?

It's as though Joss and his writers go out of their way to assure that Buffy will never see Faith as anything more than a barely trusted ally whenever such an alliance becomes absolutely unavoidable.
See 'No Future For You' to see that Buffy's feelings haven't really changed at all in that regard.

(Did you notice that I didn't even once mention "You know who" in this post?)
No, I didn't. ;)
 

white avenger

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She then says to them all 'I can't stay and watch her (Faith) lead you all into disaster.'
So then Dawn quietly says 'Then you can't stay.' Then Buffy leaves, clearly upset and Faith is the only one who goes after her.



The fact that Buffy was right, given her 'reasoning', was a happy accident imo, engineered by the writers, because the bad guys (led by the First/Caleb) were about the stupidest ones seen on the show.

To put it simply: If the troops won't follow the leader then ultimately its the leaders fault.



Faith is the one who, pretty much unprovoked, got punched in the face. I'd say that she, and to a lesser extent Giles (who tried to have 'you know who' killed) get all the blame for what happened.
Maybe Faith should get an apology just like Buffy should?



See 'No Future For You' to see that Buffy's feelings haven't really changed at all in that regard.



;)
My definition of "storming out of the room" is Dawn slamming the door and screaming "Get out! Get OUT! GET OUT!!!!" Quietly walking away isn't "storming," it's more, "leaving dejectedly."

The fact that Faith didn't get all of her Potentials, and herself as well, killed was another happy accident. Neither Buffy nor Faith were brilliant leaders, they might even be incompetent, and as for how stupid Caleb was, he managed to get both Buffy's group originally, and Faith's group later, ambushed using the same ploy. Who is more stupid, the stupid bad guy, or the stupid good guy who walks blindly into the bad guy's trap?

Unless they've changed the definitions since I was the Navy, if the troops won't follow the leader's orders, that's insubordination. (Yes, that's a military term, but it applies here, whether you see Buffy and her group as a formal military force or simply partisans, fighting a would be conqueror) If they then elect or appoint their own leader while ousting the former leader, that's mutiny, which, in time of war, is a capital offense. Either way, that isn't the leader's fault.

If the Potentials didn't want to follow Buffy's orders, they could always have left with Faith and formed their own group somewhere else. By that time, there were plenty of vacant houses in Sunnydale to choose from. Of course, that's called desertion, which, in time of war, is also a capital offense.

And it appears we both agree that Faith seems to exemplify "Damned if you do and damned if you don't."
 
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