Recap: Buffy The Vampire Slayer S 4 E 17 Superstar
Xander: So we're saying he made a spell just to make us think he was cool?
Xander: That is so cool!
The Scoobies are having trouble with a demon so they turn to...Jonathan?! (The one and only!)
- Alone with the Psycho: Buffy goes off alone with Jonathan to hunt the demon. Then the Scoobies discover that if Buffy kills the demon, Jonathan's alternate universe will collapse.
- An Aesop
Buffy: Jonathan, you can't keep trying to make everything work out with some big gesture all at once. Things are complicated. They take time and work.
- A Day in the Limelight: The illustrious Jonathan. It's about time, too!
- Badass Boast: Delivered by the man himself, Jonathan.
Jonathan: Spike, you're the worst type of scum. The second you're back to your old tricks, well; let's just say before you even sniff out your first victim you'll be pretty indistinguishable from, oh what should we say (smirks) instant soup mix?
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Who else but Jonathan?
- Bait and Switch: Jonathan looks like he's going to push Buffy into the abyss, but he pulls her back from it instead.
- Black Comedy: Jonathan dusts a vampire (being the awesome fighter that he is) and the quarrel he fires sets off the mobile phone in its jacket pocket.
- Damsel in Distress: Tara, showing how she's taken over the role from Willow.
- Betty and Veronica: When Riley wonders why Buffy is avoiding him intimately, Jonathan wisely points out that Faith was sexually experienced and Buffy is worried he'll be comparing. Jonathan's so insightful!
- Black Hole Sue: Used In-Universe when Jonathan uses a wish spell to fold reality around himself and turns himself into an invincible, charismatic hero, admired by everyone. Unfortunately he forgot to read the fine print.
- Brick Joke
- The Alternate Universe consisting only of shrimp. The payoff occurs several years later in the spin-off series Angel when the Illyria is boasting of all the alternate dimensions she's visited.
"I walked worlds of smoke and half-truths, intangible. Worlds of torment and of unnamable beauty. Opaline towers as high as small moons. Glaciers that rippled with insensate lust. And one world with nothing but shrimp. I tired of that one quickly."
- Chair Reveal: How the episode introduces us to our real hero, Jonathan.
- Chekhov's Gun: Jonathan tells the Initiative about Adam's uranium core, which becomes relevant in the final confrontation with the cyborg Big Bad. Thank God for Jonathan!
- The Chick: Spike is shocked when 'Betty' suddenly slams him against the side of a crypt.
Hey! You're not supposed to do that!
- Circling Monologue: Spike and Jonathan do this to each other.
- Convenient Slow Dance: Jonathan creates this so Buffy and Riley can make up. What a guy!
- Cranial Processing Unit: Averted with Adam; even cutting off his head won't kill him.
- Dark Messiah: A vampire jokingly calls Adam "the evil messiah guy."
- Dogged Nice Guy: Jonathan is unfailingly polite to all his rabid fans (he even lets a chipped Spike know he's still dangerous), and gives Buffy and Riley advice to help patch up their relationship. Part of this is because that's how a superhero is supposed to act, but he also enjoys being friends with the Scoobies and clearly still appreciates Buffy saving his life in "Earshot".
- Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Retrospectively in the episode's attitude to earlier events. Faith's rape-by-body-swap of Riley is discussed entirely in terms of Riley proving himself to be a bad boyfriend and an imperceptive lout for not noticing the body swap, and the possibility that he might be in any way traumatised by it is never brought up.
- Dramatic Shattering: Jonathan crashes into the vampire crypt through a stained glass window.
- Egopolis: Jonathan's face is everywhere in Sunnydale; from billboards to baseball cards. It's a beautiful sight.
- Equivalent Exchange: By turning himself into a paragon of all that is good, Jonathan also creates a demon that is totally evil. Worth It.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Giles has Jonathan's swimsuit calender. It Was a Gift.
- When Jonathan plays the trumpet, Anya wants to go have sex. Xander agrees.
- Inverted sexually with lesbians Willow and Tara creating a Jonathan collage.
- Eyes Never Lie: Lampshaded re Faith's Grand Theft Me.
Jonathan: I don't think this about you being angry with Faith; I think you're angry with Riley. I mean you have this amazing connection with him, and then at the one moment when it matters the most, he looks into your eyes and he doesn't even see that it's not you looking back at him.
Buffy: There's no way he could know. I mean you don't just look at someone and say 'Hey that's not your body, get out of that body with your hands up!'
Jonathan: I know you know that. But you have to believe it.
- Fanservice The Likes Of Which The World Has Never Known: Jonathan's swimsuit calender.
- Foreshadowing: Jonathan's desire to use magic as a shortcut to the good life causes him to become one of the villainous Trio in Season 6.
- Hands-On Approach: Riley tries to show Buffy how to throw a ball through the mini-basketball hoop in his room. However Buffy is still upset that Riley slept with Faith, so she just walks out the door the moment the sexual tension gets too high.
- Heroic Sacrifice: When the demon gets the drop on Buffy, Jonathan throws himself at it sending them both into the abyss. Fortunately Buffy grabs Jonathan's ankle to stop him from falling too.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: Spike caresses a frightened Buffy's hair in a very suggestive manner.
- I Just Want to Be Special: Jonathan, which is the reason he becomes the paragon of excellence that we all knew he should be.
- I Just Want to Have Friends
Buffy: Jonathan, you get why everyone is angry though, right? It's not just the monster. People didn't like being the little actors in your sock puppet theater.
Jonathan: You weren't! You weren't socks! We were friends.
- I Resemble That Remark
Jonathan: Vampires only form nests to make hunting easier. They're not big on the cooperation. They mostly like to hang out all creepy and alone in the shadows. Don't you agree... [turning head] SPIKE?
Sinister guitar music as Spike steps out from behind a bush.
- Lame Comeback: Buffy's Deadpan Snarker skills have been affected too.
Spike: Yeah, back off Betty.
- The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Jonathan crushed the bones of the Master, blew up a big snake made out of Mayor and coached the U.S. Women's Soccer Team to a stunning World Cup victory.
- Language of Magic: "You can't just say 'librum incendere' and-" PHWOOSH!
Giles: Xander, don't speak Latin in front of the books.
- Marty Stu: Justified. It's Jonathan, and he really is that great. Also there was magic involved.
- The Minnesota Fats: Subverted
- Moral Event Horizon: Averted — rather than kill Buffy, Jonathan helps Buffy kill the monster and change reality back to normal.
- No Sell / Anti-Magic: Adam is the only one not affected by Jonathan's spell, because he has absolute knowledge of every part of his body.
- One Head Taller: Spoofed during the Initiative's Mission Briefing, when all the soldiers tower over the amazing Jonathon.
Riley: Did anyone else feel way too tall? I felt way too tall.
- Quick Draw: Xander is shown practicing this with a stake.
Quick draw's about more than speed. It's also about pointing a stake the right way. And there can be splinter issues.
- Reality Warper: Jonathan improves the world greatly by making himself the glorious pinnacle of greatness that he should be by way of a spell.
- Reset Button: The death of the demon reverts reality back to normal, and memories of the events fade away over the next few days. Such a shame.
- The Scoobies Who Say Squee
- Sexophone: Anya and Xander stare at the suave and cool Jonathan playing the trumpet.
Anya: Xander, let's go have sex now.
- She's Back: Living in a world where the Slayer is overshadowed by Jonathan has dramatically effected Buffy's self-confidence and fighting skills. But as she beats on the demon and Jonathan's staggering power wanes, Buffy starts to enjoy herself.
Buffy (smiling): I remember this. This good.
- Shout-Out: The James Bond tux and music.
- Smart People Play Chess: During the Scooby Mission Briefing, the brilliant Jonathan takes time out to checkmate Giles.
- Smoke Out: Tara does this with magic.
- Special Edition Title: The spell even spilled over into the Title Sequence, with scenes of Jonathan defusing an Incredibly Obvious Bomb and doing a Power Walk. Much better than the usual fair, of course; it's Jonathan!
- Stalker with a Crush / Squee: Karen, over Jonathan (as expected, of course).
- Throw It In: As it was raining buckets in Los Angeles at the time, the coffee scene was filmed inside the Expresso Pump (extras can be seen holding umbrellas out on the street) and Karen's encounter with the demon takes place in the pouring rain.
- Twin Threesome Fantasy: Jonathan has a couple of Swedish twins in his Big Fancy House. Those lucky twins.
- Vocal Dissonance: Jonathan crooning a forties pop song. Pro athlete, military genius, star of The Matrix, and now he's Sinatra. Because he's Jonathan. He's just that cool.
- William Telling: Jonathan is shown preparing to shoot apples from the heads of several Initiative soldiers while blindfolded, because he's that skilled.
- Written Sound Effect: Homaged in Willow's description of her fight with the vampire nest.
Twang! Poof!" [Tara looks confused] That was the sound — the crossbow, vampire dusting...
- You, Get Me Coffee: Buffy makes a cup of coffee for Jonathan. And what an honor, making coffee for the wonderful, talented, appropriately-heighted Jonathan!