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Recap: Buffy The Vampire Slayer S 4 E 14 Goodbye Iowa
I seem to have a design flaw.

Walsh's creation has escaped The Initiative. Riley is suffering from drug withdrawals.

Tropes in this episode include:

  • Air Vent Escape: Adam escaping the Initiative.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot
    Angleman: Adam, Maggie would want you to stand down.
    Adam: Yes. But I seem to have a design flaw.
  • Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: Spike gets beaten up by the demons at Willy's bar for allying with the Slayer.
  • Arson, Murder, and Admiration: Spike giving Riley the thumbs-up for apparently trying to kill Buffy.
  • Badass Boast: Adam going on about his specs.
    "I'm a kinematically redundant, biomechanical demonoid. In addition to organic material, I'm equipped with GP-2/D-11 Infrared Detectors. A Harmonic Decelerator, plus DC Servo."
  • Bad-Guy Bar: Willy's Place.
  • Bullethole Door
  • Brief Accent Imitation: Spike tries putting on his fake US accent again when Riley sees him...then gives up.
  • Comically Missing the Point
    Buffy: I'm the only one that can pass the retinal scan.
    Xander: The Eww! I don't wanna see that!
    Buffy: Retinal scan, Xander.
  • Clipboard of Authority: Actually comes in useful when Buffy uses it to stop a door closing.
  • Coincidental Broadcast
  • Contemplate Our Navels
    Adam: I've been thinking about the world. I wanted to see it. Learn it. I saw the inside of that boy and it was beautiful. But it didn't tell me about the world. It just made me feel. So now...I want to learn about me. Why I feel? What I am?
  • Description Cut: Giles wonders what Prof. Walsh was so desperate to hide that she'd kill Buffy over it. Cue Adam walking out into the open air.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Xander in his army greens and Buffy as a lab-coated scientist.
  • Epileptic Trees: Tara secretly disrupting the demon locating spell led to months of online speculation that she might be a succubus.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: Played unabashedly straight when Buffy and Xander infiltrate the Initiative to determine what is wrong with Riley, only for two scientist mooks to walk around the corner discussing it.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama
    Buffy - I'm going to the crime scene to see what I can find out. You guys research the Polgara demon. I want to know where it is. When I find it, I'm going to make it pay for taking that kid's life. I'll make him die in ways he can't even imagine. (looks down at herself) That probably would've sounded more commanding if I wasn't wearing my yummy sushi pajamas.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out: Subverted. Xander sees two soldiers walking towards them, grabs Buffy and tells her to pretend to make out with him. Buffy stops him by pointing out little is more suspicious than a scientist and a soldier making out in a secret military base.
  • Fatal Attractor: Lampshaded by Spike re Buffy.
    Got to hand it to you Goldilocks — you do have bleeding tragic taste in men. I've got a cousin married to a regurgitating Frovlax demon got better instincts than you.
  • Final Boss Preview
  • Foreshadowing: Tara sabotages Willow's demon location spell; the reason is revealed in Season 5's "Family".
    • Riley threatens to kill Adam. He replies, "You won't. You haven't been programmed to."
  • From the Mouths of Babes
    Adam: Who am I?
    Child: You're a monster.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Another magic = lesbian love discussion.
    Willow: I had so much fun the other night, with the spells...
    Tara: Yeah, that was nice.
    Willow: I hope you don't think I just come over for the spells and everything, I mean, I really like just talking and hanging out with you and stuff.
    Tara: I know that. But you wanna do a spell, right?
    Willow: Yeah, but...
    Tara: Oh, you don't have to explain. I've been thinking about that last spell we did all day.
    • Then they conjure the Goddess Thespia.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: Lampshaded by Riley.
  • Heroic BSOD: Prof. Walsh's actions shake Riley's unquestioning loyalty to his superiors.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Xander's "Can I sleep with Riley too?" after seeing the Elaborate Underground Base.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Buffy tells everyone to grab a weapon from the chest.
    Xander: And storm the Initiative? Yeah, let's take on those suckers!
    Buffy: I was thinking more that we'd hide.
    Xander: (relieved) Oh, thank God.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted.
  • The Informant: Willy returns from Season 3. He insists Buffy hit him to make it look good.
  • It's a Long Story: Played straight for once — Buffy on why "Hostile 17" is in her house.
  • It's Personal: The Initiative commandos disobey orders and go searching for the Polgara demon they think killed Walsh.
  • The Lady's Favour: Buffy wraps her headscarf around Riley's injured hand. At the end of the episode she's talking about how she needs to be with Riley as he has "nothing to hold on to" any more. Description Cut to Riley in hospital, looking at Buffy's scarf in his hand.
  • Like an Old Married Couple
    Willow: Well look who's cranky bear in the morning!
    Giles (who slept on Xander's inflatable chair): Yes, I can't imagine why I didn't sleep well in my beach ball.
    Anya: Every time you moved it made squeaky noises. It was irritating.
    Giles: Really? I'm surprised you could hear it over your Wagnerian snoring.
    Buffy: OK you guys, could we not, please? Everything's screwed up enough without you two doing scenes from my parents' marriage.
  • Magic Floppy Disk: Kinda detracts from Adam's Bad Ass cyborg look.
  • Nerd Glasses: Buffy wears these while posing as a Hot Scientist. The Glasses Come Off when she starts Perp Sweating Dr. Angleman.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: As an attractive female teenager working in an all-male military unit, Buffy must have gotten a lot of covert checking out — it's surprising none of the Initiative guards recognise her.
  • Parental Substitute / Not So Different
    Riley: Maggie is not my mother! (to Buffy) I have a mother! A real—
    Adam: A birth mother. Yes. But after you met Maggie, she was the one who shaped your basic operating system. She taught you how to think. How to feel. She fed you chemicals to make you stronger. Your mind and body. She said that you and I were her favorite children. Her art. That makes us brothers. Family.
  • Psycho Serum: Riley is unaware that Walsh was covertly drugging the commandos food (presumably the "vitamins" he took in the last episode). He starts to suffer withdrawal symptoms including aggression and paranoia.
  • Pun
    Buffy: So Maggie sends me down into the sewers with one of those Blasto-guns. And the next thing I know, it's raining monsters.
    Xander: Hallelujah.
  • Red Shirt: Dr. Angleman
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud
    Buffy: And then this gate slams down behind me and I try to use the gun but it goes phitt!
  • Scare Chord: Willow opens the curtain to find a crazed Riley awake and looking back at her.
  • Shout-Out: Obvious references to Frankenstein.
  • Tempting Fate: Giles says it's unlikely the Initiative will come looking for them at his place — cue Riley walking in the door.
  • Thinks Like a Romance Novel
    Buffy: Riley was supposed to be Mr. Joe Guy. We were gonna do dumb things like hold hands through the daisies going tra-la-la!
  • Two-Part Episode
  • Walk In Chime In / Dynamic Entry
    Buffy: Everything that we need to know is here! We just need to find out what was in 314!
    (Dead commando drops to the floor; everyone looks up to see Adam standing on a catwalk)
    Adam: Me.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Riley's prejudice against demons comes through; this turns to Rage Against the Reflection when he meets Adam.
  • The Worf Effect: Buffy kicking and punching Adam to no effect.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy:
    Xander: Quick; pretend to make out with me.
    Buffy: (pushing him away) Wait, what are you talking about?
    Xander: Well I uh, you know. In the movies the guy and the girl have to hide...
    Buffy: Please, could you possibly draw more attention to us? This is the Initiative, Xander. Military guys and scientists do not make out with each other.
    Xander: Well maybe that's wrong with the world. Ever think about that?

The I In TeamRecap/Buffy the Vampire SlayerThis Year's Girl

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