Season 4 Episode 14 - Goodbye Iowa
Picking up where we left off last week, Buffy's explaining to the gang how Walsh tried to kill her. Spike points out that Riley was probably in on it, and Giles does agree that it is a possibility. Buffy says that all she knows is that if Walsh is after her, then the whole Initiative is; and since they know her friends, they're all in danger. Buffy doesn't know why Walsh would want to kill her, but she does know that she wasn't too keen on all the questions Buffy was asking; the gang figures Buffy must have been getting too close to something. Unbeknownst to them, that something — Adam — has just escaped from the Initiative, stepping out into daylight. Buffy starts handing out weapons, announcing that they need to hide. She decides that Xander's basement is a good option, though Anya and Giles aren't too keen on it. Giles reasons that they can stay there, figuring that the Initiative boys aren't going to come there. Just then, Riley bursts in, looking for Buffy. Buffy tells him that Walsh tried to kill her. He's hesitant to believe that, thinking there must be a mistake. He suddenly notices Spike, declaring him as Hostile 17. Spike starts to play innocent, but gives in. Riley is quite perturbed to know that Buffy's known where he was the whole time they were looking for him, though he doesn't make a move when Spike announces that he's leaving. As Riley questions Buffy about Spike, Xander vehemently suggest that he back off — after all, his boss tried to kill her. Riley keeps trying to find an explanation, but Giles wonders if there's some dark secret that Buffy was getting too close to. Riley insists that nothing sinister goes on there, and suddenly leaves, deciding that he needs to sort this out on his own.
In a woodsy area of Sunnydale, Adam spots a little boy playing with an action figure. He approaches him, asking, "What am I?" The boy, in awe, tells him that he's a monster. "What are you," Adam asks, to which the boy responds simply, "Me? I'm a boy." Adam, who thought as much, then asks how the boy "works." The boy doesn't know, but spots the place in Adam's arm where the skewer shoots out, and has his own innocent question for Adam: "What's that for?" Adam looks down at it, and then back up at the boy. He smiles.
That night, Riley is still on his own sorting things out, walking around the campus looking sad and confused. Back at IHQ, Dr. Angleman walks into room 314 and flips on the light switch, but the lights are out. "Professor Walsh?" No answer. He steps in further. "Adam?" No answer. He starts to walk further into the room, but slips on the floor and falls, his hand landing in a pool of blood. He looks at his hand... and then he looks up, spotting Walsh's dead body. Horrified, he runs out.
The next morning, Giles wakes up in Xander's basement, a mirrorball flashing in his eyes, and clearly uncomfortable having slept on an inflatable chair, with his feet propped up on an inflatable ottoman. A few feet away hang some curtains, on the other side of which are Willow, Anya, and Buffy watching Road Runner cartoons together. Giles comes in and turns off "the noise," citing a splitting headache. Willow jokes that he's a "cranky bear in the morning," which he reasons is because he slept in a beach ball. Anya complains that it squeaked all night, and Giles wonders how she heard it over her own snoring. Buffy puts a stop to their arguing, and they grumble apologies. Willow, knowing that Buffy's upset, reassures her that Riley's just confused. Anya advises that Buffy needs a boring boyfriend like Xander — but she can't have Xander. Buffy remarks that Riley was supposed to be a boring boyfriend, so Anya figures she should just dump him. It's too late for that, though, says Buffy — she's already reached the stage where she hurts when he hurts and smiles when he smiles. Xander suddenly comes running down the stairs, breakfast food in hand, demanding that they turn on the TV. Willow does, and a newscaster is announcing the story of a mutilated little boy who had been stabbed with a large skewer. Buffy reasons that it must be the Polgara demon that they brought to the Initiative alive, and she and Giles figure that Walsh must have sent it after her. She goes into In Charge Slayer mode, announcing that she's going to make that demon pay for that boy's life. Then she looks down at herself. "That probably would have sounded more commanding if I wasn't wearing my 'Yummy Sushi' pajamas."
At Lowell House, Riley is just getting back. Forrest spots him, and assumes that he was out with Buffy, getting past "the shy phase." Riley corrects him, saying that he think some things through. He takes Forrest into his room, and tells him that Professor Walsh tried to have Buffy killed. Forrest points out that Buffy is always putting her nose where it doesn't belong, and figures that Walsh may have found out that Buffy was up to no good. Riley wonders why Forrest is so perturbed by Riley hanging out with Buffy, asking if it's because she's a better soldier than Forrest. Forrest says no, it's because she's using Riley to infiltrate the Initiative. Riley thinks he's crazy, but Forrest points out that Walsh isn't stupid: "If she tried to kill Buffy, maybe Buffy needed killing." Just then, Graham comes in, and announces that Professor Walsh is dead.
The guys head down into IHQ, and see Walsh's body. Forrest draws Riley's attention to the wound, saying that she was staked, and he only knows one person who could do something like that. Riley argues that the Polgara demon had that skewer in its arm, but Forrest insists that it was Buffy, and that the "supernatural freak" has blinded Riley. Angleman breaks up the impending fight, insisting that they show respect for Walsh's death. The two back off, and Angleman tells them that Washington is sending some people in and that they are to lock down until they arrive. As soon as Angleman leaves, Riley takes charge, and orders the guys out to hunt the Polgara. They head out into the cemetery in broad daylight, in full uniform and driving Humvees. They spread out, and Forrest and Graham happen into Spike's mausoleum. They can tell that someone's been staying there, and the warm TV reveals that they've been there recently. They remove the lid from a cement coffin, expecting to find a demon, but instead finding nothing but a skeleton. They leave, Forrest smashing the TV on his way out. In the coffin, Spike sits up from his hiding spot — underneath the padding the skeleton was laying on.
Buffy heads to the crime scene, and watches the boy's body be carried off on a stretcher. Riley arrives, and Buffy apologizes for this morning. Riley doesn't say anything, until he finally tells her, "Maggie's dead. Happy now?" Buffy is offended by that, and even though Riley says that the circumstances are classified, Buffy figures out that the Polgara must have killed her and escaped. She tells him that she's going to find it and kill it, and then he can stop asking her how happy all this death makes her. She storms off, and a moment later, he follows.
Willow arrives at Tara's, and reassures Tara that she doesn't come over just for spells; she also likes just hanging out and talking. Tara says she knows that, but guesses that Willow wants to do a spell. Willow says yes; they're going to contact the goddess Thespia to help them locate demonic energy. Tara balks a bit, wondering if they're ready for Thespia, but Willow insists that it's beneath them. Still looking slightly doubtful, Tara agrees.
Buffy heads into Willy's bar (now called Willy's Place), and finds Willy none too happy to see her. He claims that he's cleaned up his act, and isn't a double-dealing snitch anymore. She wants to know what he's heard about the Polgara demon, but he says that he can't let his customers see him dealing with her. She realizes that she's going to have to punch him, and he agrees, but asks her not to make it hurt. He loudly begins to say, "No, I can't talk to you," but she interrupts him with a good punch to the face. He tells her that there was a Polgara demon around, but the word is that she and the army guys got it, and it hasn't been heard from since. Buffy then begins to ask what he's heard about the Initiative and 314, but Riley comes in. She turns to him, and he reveals that he followed her, thinking he'd help her hunt the Polgara. He's pretty pissed off to think that she's socializing with demons instead of hunting them. Willy tries to calm him down, offering him chicken fingers, but Riley offers to take him back to the lab. Buffy tells Riley that Willy is human, and Riley grabs her by the shoulders, demanding the truth from her. She argues that he knows the truth, but can't see it because he's upset over Walsh. A woman at the bar starts to leave, but Riley pulls a gun on her. She cowers while he wonders whether shooting her would result in a corpse or a pissed off vampire. Finally, he slams the gun down on the bar, shaking, and the woman runs out. "I don't know what's happening to me," Riley worries.
Buffy takes Riley to Xander's, where she realizes that he's scratched his hand to the point of bleeding. She takes the bandana out of her hair and wraps it around his hand to stop him. Riley, shaking, reveals that he doesn't know anything anymore — like what team he's on, or who the bad guys are. "Maybe I'm the bad guy," he rationalizes, but Buffy corrects him. She begs him to just lay down and sleep, and he does, curling up in the fetal position and closing his eyes. Buffy goes to the other side of the curtains, and tells the gang that he's not just suffering from grief — something is affecting him physically. Buffy reasons that Walsh must have kept records somewhere, so she orders Giles and Anya to research while she and Xander go undercover. Anya is not happy with that idea, but Xander promises to be careful.
At Tara's, the girls have set up a square to represent Sunnydale. The spell is supposed to create a mist over where the demons are, with different colors for different breeds. Willow pours the necessary dust onto Tara's hand and then her own, and they close their eyes. Tara chants, then Willow; Willow blows her dust onto the square, and Tara makes a blowing noise, but leans over and places the dust under her bed. Willow finishes the spell, and opens her eyes, only to find that the square has done nothing. She looks at Tara, who looks innocently back at her.
Buffy and Xander head to Lowell House, Buffy wearing glasses and carrying a lab coat, and Xander wearing military gear. Buffy steps in front of the mirrored elevator entry, and her retinal scan clears her. They step into the elevator, and when they step out (Buffy now in her lab coat), Xander is in awe, and wonders if he can have sex with Riley, too. When two Initiative guys approach, Xander tries to pretend to make out with Buffy, since that's what they do in the movies. A frustrated Buffy refuses, and instead pretends to look at her clipboard. The two go unnoticed, and head in.
At Xander's, Willow is explaining that the spell didn't do anything at all. Giles reveals that they haven't fared any better in their research; all they've found out is that this is a highly atypical Polgara — a Polgara has never been known to mutilate a victim, as happened to the boy, and their low I.Q. and need to eat every two hours normally factor in to make them easy to find. The gang doesn't understand, then, how it could have gone unnoticed for two days. Willow opens to curtain, startled to find Riley's face staring back at her. An irate Riley wants to know where Buffy went. Willow admits that Buffy went to the Initiative to figure out how to help him, and Riley is angry, claiming that Buffy doesn't belong there. He puts on his shoes and prepares to go after her; when Willow tries to stop him, he knocks her to the floor and runs out.
Buffy and Xander spot Angleman, and hide while they listen to him talk to another doctor. Angleman is worried about the guys — they're off their medication schedule and won't know what's wrong with them, since they don't realize that they've been getting drugs fed into their systems. The other doctor reveals that most of the guys have been brought in and stabilized, but Riley is still at large. Angleman is most concerned about Riley, stating that he's "too important to the work to lose now."
Spike goes to Willy's Place and orders a double shot of O Negative blood. He's making conversation with Willy about how the Initiative has been after him. A demon's hand comes to rest on Spike's shoulder, and when he looks up to see what he wants, he's confronted with a fist in his face.
At IHQ, Angleman tells the other doctor that he'll be in records. He lets himself into a secured door, and Buffy and Xander follow him in. Buffy grabs him by the shirt, and orders him to tell her what was done to Riley and then give her a tour of room 314. Angleman points out that she's probably already been spotted on the security cameras, but Riley comes in just then and reveals that the cameras went down about ten minutes ago. Buffy is confused because she didn't do that, but Xander figures they should be thankful for small favors. Angleman orders Riley to take Buffy to the stockade. Buffy gets Angleman to admit that Walsh wanted her dead, but he insists that the Initiative wasn't involved; it was a personal vendetta of Walsh's. Buffy wants more details, and Angleman admits that "the project" escaped. Riley butts in now, defending Walsh and accusing Buffy of making him sick and killing Walsh. Buffy orders him to stop it, telling them that they just need to find out what was in 314. Just then, the apparently dead body of a commando falls from above and drops to the floor. On a platform above them, Adam answers Buffy's question: "Me." Adam tells them that he's been thinking about the world; he wanted to see it and learn it. Seeing the inside of the boy didn't help; it just made him feel. So he decided to come home and learn about himself: why he feels and what he is. He jumps down to their level effortlessly, and inserts a floppy disk into a disk drive in his chest, spouting the details of his construction (see Monstervision). He declares that Walsh was his mother, and loved him. Riley insists that Walsh was not his mother, and didn't love him; she made him because she was a scientist. Adam inserts another disk, labeled "Finn," and announces that Maggie created him, too. Riley argues that he has a mother, and Adam agrees that he has a birth mother. But when Riley met Walsh, she shaped his operating system, taught him how to think and feel, and fed him chemicals to make his mind and body stronger. Adam says that he and Riley were Walsh's favorite children; "her art," and that makes them brothers. Riley insists that they're nothing alike, and threatens to kill Adam. Adam calmly declares that Riley won't, as he is not programmed to do so. He pulls out another disk, claiming that it contains Walsh's plans for them, and how it all will end. He offers to share this information, but Riley pulls a gun on Adam. Fighting ensues; the gun is knocked to the ground, as is Buffy. Riley is sent flying, as is Xander. Buffy gets up and tries again, only to be knocked down again. Angleman tries to sneak out, but Adam skewers him from behind. Riley jumps Adam from behind, but Adam sticks the skewer into his stomach and Riley falls to the floor. Buffy gets knocked down again, and then thrown into a door. Outside the room, the other commandos are trying to break in. Adam thanks the group for this interesting experience, walks up the stairs, and leaves through the vent. The commandos get in, and Xander and Buffy tells them that a demon just escaped through the vent. "Right," Forrest accuses Buffy, "and you just happened to be in the neighborhood." A wounded Riley confirms that Buffy's telling the truth, and orders the guys to go after Adam. Forrest, Graham, and a couple of others stay behind, and Forrest insists that Riley will be going to a military hospital — without Buffy. "We take care of our own here," he declares, and the other guys (except for Graham) aim their guns at Buffy. Xander urges Buffy to back off, and she grudgingly does. Forrest and Graham take hold of Riley, and Forrest orders the others to escort Buffy and Xander out. Riley whispers, "Buffy," and she watches him leave.
Back at Willy's, a bloody Spike is tossed out of the bar. A demon follows after him, and two others watch from the doorway. The demon reveals that they know that he's been teaming up with the Slayer and killing other demons, which is apparently against the demon code of honor. The demon threatens that he sees Spike around Willy's again, he'll break that code.
The next day, Buffy and Willow walk and talk at school. Buffy is frustrated because she can't get to Riley and he needs her. She also has to worry about Adam, whom she admits she could barely fight. Willow says that he's got to have a flaw, but the only one Buffy can think of is that "the fact that he's pure evil and kills randomly was probably an oversight." She reverts back to worrying about Riley, who's had everything he believes taken away from him, and now he's alone, with nothing to hold on to.
Cut to inside a hospital somewhere. A bandaged Riley lies on the bed. He looks sadly at his hand, wrapped with Buffy's bandana, and then just looks around the room, alone.