Guest Starring: 
 Amber Benson: 
 Emma Caulfield: 
 George Hertzberg: 
 Bailey Chase: 
 Conor O'Farrell: 
 (Colonel McNamara) 
 Lindsay Crouse: 
 (Maggie Walsh) 
 Jack Stehlin: 
 (Dr Angleman) 
  21. Primeval.  
  With the Initiative crippled, Buffy and the Scoobies take the fight against Adam to a new level of intensity, invoking the power of the first Slayer.  
  Great quotes:  
Uber-Buffy with Adam's heart.
  • Xander: "Does anyone else miss the Mayor, 'I just wanna be a snake'?"
  • Giles: "Just because this is never going to work it's no reason to be negative."
  • Xander: "Great plan! Right up there with 'duck and cover'."
  • Buffy to Adam: "You can never hope to grasp the source of our power, but yours is right here." She pulls out Adam's power source (a rather bizarre greeny glowing thing).
  • Spike (half joking): "Well let's go save them by gum!"
  Fantastic moments:  
Riley v zombie-Forrest is a great fight.
  • The 'climbing down the elevator shaft' scene is very touching. Buffy and Willow reconcile and hug, then they hug Xander, they tell him they love him. Xander responds "Oh god we're gonna die aren't we?" He then calls up the lift shaft, "Giles, you wanna get down here for this."
  • The zombie version of Forrest is awesome, as is his massive brawl with Riley.
  • Buffy's battle with Adam is worth the effort, there are piles of references to 'The Matrix' as Buffy pulls some cool moves and turns a grenade into some doves (?) In fact, the whole blowing up of the Initiative is like a John Woo film and as a result looks really cool. A lesson in how best to destroy an expensive film set.
  Duff Bits:  
  • The 'previously on' segment is a minute long. That's just silly.
  • Forrest gets a really bad line: "Adam made me to be nearly as bad as he is."
  • Although I applaud the producers of BtVS for scheduling the 'flash-bang' finale one episode before the end of the season, I think it shows up the unfortunate shallowness of this season's 4 'big bad' plot.
  Dean's comments:  
An exciting finale to the season's arc which somehow fails to re-capture the drama of the end of season 2 or the action of season 3. Everything comes together nicely and the 'full-circle' aspect of the season is neat, the Scooby-core come back together by defeating the bad guy after being so long apart and fractured from each other's lives. There is even a convenient 'Spike saves them all so they wont kill him for betraying them to Adam' moment to keep Spike in the series for next year. The battle between technology and mysticism is won by the later (as one might have suspected it would be) with even the secret echelons of government recognising Buffy's instrumental role. "You can never hope to grasp the source of our power." says Buffy to Adam. Although she literally means the power of the first slayer, the subtext is of her closeness to and camaraderie with the Scoobies and the power that those friends give her. The final shot then is of Buffy kicking arse as the government suits close the Initiative down, the final triumph of Humanity over bureaucracy. Thankfully that's the last we'll see of the whole 'government conspiracy' thing; despite the rousing ending the season's arc is fairly dull and the baddies have often been annoying without any endearing or entertaining tendencies like in previous seasons. On the plus side the action is great, with some spectacular special effects and plenty of slow-motion fighting with stuntmen and stunt-demons flying around amongst explosions.
Adam's machine gun arm owes a nod to 'Robocop' while Buffy's 'Primeval Slayer' act has a lot to thank from 'The Matrix'. Finally I'd like to note how the 'big finale' isn't the final episode. A bold move from a television producer, but it confirms my suspicion that the real arc of season four was always the fracturing of the Scooby gang while the Initiative was a flashy side-plot.
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