Recap: Buffy The Vampire Slayer S 4 E 12 A New Man

Spike: How ya feeling, mate?
Giles: (growling) Like snapping necks until everyone is dead.

Giles turns into a demon after a night of drinking with his old foe Ethan Rayne.

  • An Aesop / Fantastic Racism: Everybody seems to be prejudiced against demons, even when they are not attacking or being aggressive.
  • Alien Blood: Giles bleeds green after Buffy stabs him.
  • The Alleged Car:
    Buffy: Why would a demon steal a car?
    Anya: Why would a demon steal that car?
  • Always Someone Better / Obsolete Mentor: Giles has this feeling on meeting Walsh — her unit has the demon world terrified and she appears to be taking over his role as Buffy's mentor and surrogate parent.
  • Amazon Chaser
    Riley: You're really strong. Like Spider-Man strong.
    Buffy: Yeah. But I don't stick to stuff. But . . yeah.
    Riley: And you're in charge. You're like, make The Plan, execute the plan. No one giving you orders.
    Buffy: (beat) I'm the Slayer.
    Riley: I like it.
  • And This Is for...
    Buffy: (stabbing Demon!Giles) This is for Giles!
    Giles: For me?
  • Arc Number: 314
  • Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad: Spike offers to help Giles "out of the evilness of his heart."
  • Basement-Dweller: Spike gets in some barbed comments to Xander when he leaves the latter's basement to look for a crypt, "but not as dark and damp as this place."
  • The Berserker: By the time Giles catches up with Ethan, he's too demonic to do anything but try to kill him, even though Ethan could change him back.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: The Initiative monitors all 911 calls for signs of demon activity.
  • Blatant Lies
  • Black Magick
    Ethan: Enjoy the night. We're still a couple of sorcerers. The night is still our time.
  • Body-Count Competition / But for Me, It Was Tuesday / Is It Always Like This?: Professor Walsh proudly talks of the eleven vampires and six demons that Riley has taken down, then asks Buffy how many she's slain. A Description Cut later...
    Riley: But you've killed a— You did the thing with that— Uh, you drowned. And the snake! Not to mention the...daily...slayage of...wow.
    Riley: Buffy. When I saw you stop the world from, you know, ending...I just assumed that was a big week for you. Turns out I suddenly find myself...needing to know the plural of "apocalypse."
    Buffy: Look. If you've been fighting since you were fifteen you'd have a hefty resume too.
    Riley: (shocked) Fifteen!?
  • Breaking Speech: Professor Walsh telling Giles that Buffy lacks positive male role models.
  • Buffy Speak / That Came Out Wrong
    Giles: Buffy, I don't want to ask you to betray any confidences, and I certainly don't want to interfere—
    Buffy: Uh-oh, you have "but-face." (Giles' Double Take) You look like you're gonna say "but."
    • Understandable given that Buffy has left Giles "out-of-the-loopy".
  • Car Chase
    Spike: You just try and stop me you stupid jarhea__ (crashes car)
  • Chekhov's Gun: Ethan leaving his hotel address with the waitress.
  • Clean Up Crew: Giles is puzzled there's no sign of the demon prince who's going to rise. Willow suggests the Initiative got there first and cleaned things up like they usually do.
  • Clothing Damage: Demon!Giles can't fit into his shirt.
    "And I liked that shirt!"
  • Commercial Break Cliffhanger: Syndication cuts to make room for more commercials created one — Ethan Rayne casually tells Giles "I put poison in your drink...you'll be dead in an hour." There's some dramatic soundtrack, then he laughs "Just kidding!". A commercial break was put in between the two lines.
  • Comically Small Bribe: Giles offers Spike a hundred dollars if he helps him find Rayne. Spike ups the ante to $200. Later when they're being chased by the Initiative, Giles suggests that he jump out of the car and let them chase Spike.
    Spike: Hold on. These commandos. They're the same guys that are after me too.. Maybe I want you around to split their attention a bit?
    Giles: I'll pay you another hundred dollars. (Cut to Giles jumping out of the car as Spike floors it)
  • Continuity Nod: The Sunnydale Arms motel was Faith's residence before she was taken under the wing of the Mayor.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Averted; Giles wants to know if he has Eye Beams, but apparently the only power a Fyarl demon has is to sneeze large amounts of mucus.
  • Description Cut
    • Xander tells Spike that Buffy is meeting with someone who's still scary — cut to Riley introducing the Slayer to Professor Walsh.
    • Ethan says about the Initiative, "We're headed for one hell of a fight." Cut to Buffy sparring with Riley.
    • Xander says that there's no-one cooler in a crisis than Giles — cut to Giles snapping at Spike over his driving skills.
  • Despair Speech: Giles feels he's obsolete and pours out his troubles while drowning his sorrows.
    "The world has passed us by. Someone snuck in and left us a couple of has-beens in our place. This Initiative, I mean, their methods may be causing problems, but they're getting the job done. Where am I? I'm an unemployed librarian with a tendency to get knocked on the head."
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: When turned into a demon Giles kneejerks and fist-punches a hole in his bathroom wall. He walks through his home and accidentally tears the banister off of his stairs, smashes a phone when he tries to call for help, rips through his favorite shirt, and breaks the front door off its hinges.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Riley's reaction to Buffy's impressive list of kills is played like a discussion of previous sexual partners.
  • Door Closes Ending: The episode ends on Walsh swiping herself through an electronically-locked door marked 314.
  • Double Entendre: Riley tells Buffy that she's so strong "I'm not even sure I can take you." Buffy looks coy.
    "That all depends on your meaning."
  • Driving Stick: Spike has to do the driving for Giles, with the expected problems re his old Citroen.
  • Evil Gloating
    Ethan: I've got to learn to just do the damage and leave town. It's the "stay and gloat" that gets me every time.
    • Done twice.
    Giles: Who am I kidding? Nothing's going to happen. (Leaves)
    Ethan: (Steps out of shadows) I wouldn't say that. I wouldn't say that at all. In fact, Ripper, old mate, I'd say something rather interesting was about to hap—
    Giles: (Comes back) Did someone...?
    Ethan: Oh, bugger, I thought you'd gone!
  • Eyes Are Mental / Eyes Never Lie: Buffy realises the demon is Giles from his eyes (specifically his annoyed expression on being stabbed).
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: Ethan is about to go into an ominous monologue when Giles hears him and comes back.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The sparring match shows Riley's embarrassment over Buffy's greater strength, which will eventually cause him to question his ability to match her as a partner.
    • Ethan warns Giles the Initiative is involved in a project called 314. At the end of the episode, Walsh walks through a door marked with that number.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Spike nonchalantly grabs Xander's radio when packing up to leave Xander's apartment. When Xander calls him on this, Spike replies, "And you're what, shocked and disappointed? I'm evil!"
  • Flat "What.": Giles reaction to his rather belated finding out about the Initiative.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: Xander pelts Demon!Giles with various cookware, and later advises Buffy to look for a demon with a saucepan-shaped dent on the head.
  • Genre Blindness: When trying to wake up Xander Giles gets way into his demon comfort zone without realising it.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Willow, Tara and Something About a Rose.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Ethan (who tried to kill Buffy and helped the Mayor steal babies) and Giles, because Giles is just that depressed.
  • Holding Hands: Willow and Tara hold hands to "atune their minds" during a spell. Whatever you say, Willow.
  • Hollywood Spelling: Averted when Riley calls the Initiative for a search on hotel registrations matching Ethan's name. "Ethan Rayne, R-A-Y-N-E."
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Ethan describes him and Giles as 'a couple of old mystics' in about the same tone of voice he'd use to call them 'a couple of old queens' (maybe more of a British thing), and after Ethan tells him that 'the night is still [their] time, the time of magic,' the scene immediately cuts to Willow and Tara sharing one of their most obvious 'MAGIC IS HOMOSEXUALITY' moments. Yeah, Joss was not subtle about that one.
    • Following the 'old mystics' line, it cuts to Giles and you hear Ethan say, "You know, I find you very attractive. Maybe you could give me a call some time." This turns out to be Ethan hitting on a waitress.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: Subverted for probably the first time in this show. Buffy's nineteenth birthday comes and goes in this episode, but all the action takes place after it's over.
    Buffy: Of course, you could smash in all my toes with a hammer and it will still be the bestest Buffy Birthday Bash in a big long while.
  • Hulk Speak: Lampshaded by Spike.
    Funny hearing a Fyarl demon say "serviceable." Had a couple of them working for me once. They're more like "Like to crush. Crush now?"
  • Humiliation Conga: Giles' Day in the Limelight.
  • Hypocritical Humor
    Giles: I refuse to act like a monster just because I look like a monster. I have a conscience. I have a soul. I am a human being. Oh, stop the car! (gets out, chases Prof. Walsh down the street with loud roars, then goes back to the car where Spike is laughing his ass off) Right, let's go then.
  • Idiot Ball: Giles decides to trust his old friend enough to give him a chance of poisoning his drink.
    • And then another one when he decides not to send Spike as a messenger to Buffy and Co. to warn about his predicaments right away, because he's too embarrassed over becoming a demon.
    • And yet another one (this one for Ethan though) when Ethan leaves his hotel address with the waitress.
  • Improvised Weapon: The letter opener.
    Riley: Kind of blunt.
    Buffy: Then I'll just have to put a lot of force behind it.
  • Incredibly Obvious Tail: With Hummers, though justified as they were trying to kill or capture Demon!Giles rather than just follow him. Leads to a Car Chase.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: Buffy and Riley have a sweaty sparring session.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Buffy is not amused when Willow interrupts imminent sex with Riley for a Scary Surprise Party.
  • In Vino Veritas: Giles gets drunk and spills out his frustrations to Ethan (including about the Initiative, which he was clearly holding back about at the start of their drinking session).
  • I Resemble That Remark
    Giles: We gotta face it, we've changed. Well not you...you're still sadistic and self-centered.
    Ethan: (toasting himself) Here's to me.
  • Jaw Drop: Giles has a duster in his mouth while searching through a Tome of Eldritch Lore; it drops out during his subsequent Oh, Crap moment.
  • Just in Time: Thanks to Riley's help, Buffy arrives just in time to stop Giles killing Ethan, meaning he would have been stuck as a demon.
  • Literal Metaphor: Inverted.
    Spike: Hey, picked up a tail...
    Demon!Giles: Yes, just a little, uh... Hurts when I sit.
    Spike: I mean someone's following us.
  • Love Floats / Something About a Rose: Tara and Willow do a spell to float a rose in the air and pluck off the petals.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: Giles starts taking on demonic characteristics the longer he stays in demon form.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Giles is startled to hear Ethan coming on to him, before realising he's chatting up the waitress.
  • Mistaken for Own Murderer: The Scoobies, not having seen the transformation, think Giles was killed and attack.
  • Musicalis Interruptus: Several examples.
  • No Guy Wants an Amazon: Buffy admits to Willow that she was holding back in her sparring match with Riley.
  • Oblivious Mockery: After Giles is already looking incredibly awkward sitting in the corner of Buffy's birthday party, the oldest man in the room, and has just had to explain to Riley that he was "between projects", Buffy manages the following one-two punch:
    Buffy: You should meet her. She's absolutely the smartest person I've ever met.
    Giles: Perhaps we should have invited Professor Walsh to the party.
    Buffy: Oh, no. I mean, she's, like, 40. She's got better things to do than hang out with a bunch of kids.
  • Oh, Crap: For once Giles uses these exact words.
  • Only in It for the Money: Why Spike helps Giles.
  • Pardon My Klingon / Curse Cut Short: A gag scripted (but unfortunately not used) involved Demon!Giles bursting in on Rayne shouting, "I'm going to rip off your arms and shove them up your—(sudden shift to Giles shouting in Faryl).
  • Parental Substitute: There's a definite introducing-the-new-beau-to-the-parents vibe when Buffy introduces Riley to Giles, and Riley introduces Buffy to Walsh.
  • Percussive Therapy
    Giles: Ethan Rayne, you have no idea how much thrashing you is gonna improve my day.
    • Later Spike encourages Demon!Giles to let loose his frustrations with some gratuitous violence. He refuses...until he happens to see Professor Walsh.
  • Perplexing Plurals: "Apocalypse"
  • Played for Laughs: Most of the episode.
  • Pun
    Walsh: We thought you were a myth.
    Buffy: Well, you were myth-taken.
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad
    Ethan: We used to be friends, Ripper. When did all that fall apart?
    Giles: The same time you started to worship Chaos.
    Ethan: Oh, religious intolerance.
    • When Giles calls Buffy a girl, Walsh corrects him to "woman".
    Giles: Of course. How wrong of me to choose my own word.
  • Put on a Bus: Ethan is taken to a facility in Nevada. This is his last appearance in the show. He does reappear in the Season 8 comics and the non-canon Chaos Bleeds game, however.
  • Rant Inducing Slight: Giles blows up at the Scoobies when he discovers everyone (even Spike!) knows about the Riley and the Initiative but no-one (particularly Buffy!) has bothered to tell him.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Buffy when she thinks Giles has been killed. Giles is a literal version, with plenty of roaring and rampaging.
  • Rock Beats Taser
    Walsh: We use the latest in scientific technology and state-of-the-art weaponry and you, if I understand correctly, poke them with a sharp stick.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: Willow, as usual.
    "I was trying this new spell; floating a rose, when all of a sudden (motions with fork) zing, zing, zing! Like all over the room. It was like a rose-based missile."
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: After Giles' rant over their not telling him about the Initiative, Xander and Willow rush out of the crypt the moment Giles says he no longer needs them. Giles hangs around for a few seconds, then decides he's just wasting time and leaves also.
  • Silver Bullet: Knowing the Fyarl demon can be killed by a silver weapon, Buffy grabs a silver letter opener from Giles desk to get revenge. Fortunately it's cheap pewter and Demon!Giles survives the otherwise fatal stab wound.
  • Sneeze of Doom: Apparently one of the powers of a Fyarl demon, but fortunately not one we see.
  • Stealth Insult: Walsh works in plenty during her conversation with Giles.
  • Tempting Fate: Giles tells Ethan he's going to feel like hell in the morning.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill Muggles: Ethan plays this card on Buffy, pointing out that she can't kill him as he's human. Unfortunately the Initiative is there to take him into custody instead.
  • Translation Convention: Giles appears to be talking English until he's in the room with Xander, who only hears the demon language Fyarl. Giles expects the same thing on meeting Spike, only to find Spike can speak Fyarl.
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods: Spike uses his charms to get information from the waitress.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Demon!Giles comes across Spike checking out a crypt with a tape measure, as he's looking for a new home.
  • The Wallflower: Giles at Buffy's birthday party.
  • We Have the Keys: Riley has a master key for every door on Main Street, as Buffy learns after kicking in a door.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Ethan uses those exact words to Giles.