"Primeval"
Written by David Fury; directed by James A. Contner

Buffy looks around for Riley but is unable to find him, since he’s in Adam’s lair (see “The Yoko Factor”). He asks Adam what he’s done, but Adam says that Walsh is to blame - she implanted a chip in Riley’s chest, attached to his central nervous system, to control his behavior. Phase one of the big plan was to lead Riley to Adam. He addresses Riley as “brother,” and Riley tells him they’re not brothers. Adam instructs him to sit, and Riley does, unable to stop himself. Adam says that Riley has no power now, but once he agrees to accept his destiny, he’ll share have more power than he ever thought he could have. He says that demons turned to humans for their intelligence, but that their emotions are obstacles. Walsh will deliver them to their destinies.

Spike arrives, reminding Adam that he promised to remove Spike’s chip. Adam tells him that he’ll get his chipectomy when Buffy is where he wants her. Spike says that he’s already separated her from the Scoobies, and Adam says he wants her in the Initiative when the battle starts so that as many demons die as humans. Spike starts to brag about his success at breaking up the Scoobies, then suddenly realizes that his accomplishment may not be permanent. Adam sends him away. A hung-over Giles greets Willow and Tara, who have come to get Willow’s laptop and the Initiative disks. Xander mopes in his basement and Anya tells him to get over the fight he had with Buffy and Willow. He wonders if they’re right about the things they said, and Anya says that it doesn’t matter, because he’s still a good person.

Buffy goes looking for Adam, who has taken Riley to a secret lab in the Initiative, the future location of the big battle. He has somehow regenerated Walsh, Forrest, and Angleman into his zombie minions. Buffy arrives at Adam’s lair and is met by Spike, who pretends that he doesn’t know they’re in Adam’s cave. She notes that he’s moved out and must be planning to go ahead with whatever it is he’s going to do soon. (Try to figure it out. Seriously. I dare you.) Spike asks if the disks were useful, but Buffy says that Willow has them. Spike says that she and Willow can’t let a little fight get in the way of gaining information. Buffy realizes that something strange is going on but doesn’t let on. Willow continues to try to decrypt the disks in her dorm room, and is typing in a new code when the disks suddenly become readable. She notes that she didn’t do anything, and wonders if they were programmed to decrypt themselves after a certain amount of time. Moments later, Buffy calls.

In the lab, Riley tries to talk to Walsh as Forrest explains how they were reanimated. Forrest tells him that he can’t wait to get another change to fight Buffy. He says that Adam will fix Riley up in the same way and that his will belongs to them. Riley protests, but Walsh injects him with something. On campus, Buffy, Willow, Xander, and Giles meet up. Buffy asks Willow who told her that she and Xander were talking about her and Willow replies that it was Spike. Xander confirms that he heard his false info from Spike as well, and the four realize that he played them. They quickly dismiss their fight and get down to work. Buffy tells them that she thinks Spike is working with Adam. Willow mentions that the disks are decrypted and contain info on the final phase of Adam’s plan, in which he creates strange “cyber-demonoids” in a secret Initiative lab. Buffy notes that Adam gave the disks to Spike so that the Scoobies would know about his plans. She adds that the Initiative is overrun with demons because Adam is planning a Trojan horse attack - the demons and commandos will kill each other. Adam wants her there to help with the killing, and he isn’t worried that she’ll defeat him.

In the lab, Adam says that he feels Buffy coming, but Spike isn’t interested in anything other than getting his chip removed. Adam tells him that he’ll get it out when Buffy arrives. In Giles’ apartment, Buffy tells the Scoobies about Adam’s uranium core (see “Superstar”) and Willow suggests a spell that will help them get it out. Giles has a paralyzing spell, which must be recited in Sumerian, but which can only be performed by an experienced witch. Xander jokingly says that they just need a combination Buffy with Slayer strength, language skills, and magic. Giles realizes that he may be on to something. The Scoobies head for the frat house, nervous about something which could be dangerous.

In order to get into the Initiative undetected, the Scoobies have to scale down the walls of an elevator shaft. Buffy and Willow start chatting during their descent and Buffy apologizes for the strained relations between them. She notes that they’ve all been drifting apart since they started college and that she misses being with the core Scoobies. Willow points out that she has to deal with a lot of important stuff, but Buffy says that she’s been spending a lot of time with Riley. Willow says that she kept secrets, but Buffy notes that she was going through some important stuff. Willow says that she wanted to tell her, and Buffy assures her that she can tell her anything. They tell each other how much they love each other and hug as they start to fall. At the bottom of the shaft, they keep hugging and, when Xander reaches the bottom, hug him, too. “We’re gonna die, aren’t we?” he asks worriedly. They assure him that they just missed him and he calls up to Giles, “You definitely wanna get down here for this!” The four prepare to head into the Initiative, but are immediately met by commandos with blasters.

Adam and Spike watch the proceedings on monitors and Spike asks for his chipectomy again. Adam points out that Buffy isn’t alone, and Spike tries to escape. Forrest drags him back in and Spike protests that he tried. Adam agrees and says he’ll remove the chip. “Take his head off,” he tells Forrest. Spike struggles against Forrest and puts out a cigarette in his eye, finally succeeding at escaping. Adam lets him go, saying that there’s no place for him to run. Buffy and the Scoobies have been brought to MacNamara’s office, where he’s trying to figure out why they’ve snuck into the Initiative with a magic gourd. Buffy tells him that Adam is in a secret lab in the building and is planning an attack, but MacNamara tells her he doesn’t know about the secret lab. He denies that anything could be going on in the Initiative without his knowledge. Buffy tells him that his plans to defeat Adam won’t work, and that, as the Slayer, he’s playing on her “turf.” The electricity goes out and a commando announces that they’re trapped in the facility. Elsewhere, Adam finishes turning everything off and says, “This will be interesting.”

The cages in the containment area open and the demons all escape. Buffy tells MacNamara that she’s the only one who can stop Adam and tells him to get the commandos out. Instead, he tells the commandos to arrest the Scoobies. Buffy knocks out the commandos who are supposed to take them to the brig and the Scoobies start looking for Adam on the monitors. Giles says that they need to find a place that’s relatively quiet so that their enjoining spell won’t be interrupted. This may be easier said than done, as chaos has broken out all over the Initiative. Demons and commandos are fighting, and Spike has joined in. Willow finds what may be the secret lab, behind room 314, and the Scoobies head off, fighting demons on their way. When they get to room 314, they barricade themselves inside. Giles tells Buffy that the ritual should take about 5 minutes to work and Buffy heads for the secret lab, telling the Scoobies that she won’t be alone inside.

In the lab, Buffy spots Riley, who can’t talk to her. Adam tells her that he’s under his control, and that Buffy’s movements were supposed to be directed by Walsh’s big master plan. He instructs Forrest to kill her and Walsh decides to join in the fun. Buffy struggles against them as the Scoobies start their spell, calling on the primal power of the Slayer. Riley starts to break away from Adam’s control a little as Buffy and Forrest continue to fight. Riley slowly reaches for a piece of broken glass and cuts himself with it. In the enjoining spell, Willow takes on the role of Spirit, Xander takes the role of Heart, Giles takes the role of Mind, and Buffy takes the role of Hand. Riley, having cut into his own chest, tries to perform a self-chipectomy. Willow continues the spell, calling on the power of the First Slayer. As Walsh and Angleman hold Buffy down so that Forrest can kill her, Riley pulls out his chip and joins in the fight.

Buffy makes sure that Riley can handle Forrest, then runs off to find Adam. She finds him and tries to fight him, but still doesn’t have the power she needs. She manages to break his skewer, but is shocked to see that his other arm is now a gun. She runs around the room as he tries to shoot her. When she stands up, her eyes are orange and she tells him that “we are forever,” then begins speaking Sumerian. “Interesting,” Adam comments, trying to shoot her again. However, some sort of shield has gone up around her and she is safe. Riley fights Forrest with an oxygen tank, eventually blowing it and Forrest up. Adam shoots a rocket at Buffy, but she turns it into birds and sends the launcher back into Adam. Inside room 314, Xander says, “You could never hope to grasp the source…,” and Buffy finishes, “…of our power. But yours is right here.” She reaches into him and pulls out his uranium core, rendering him powerless.

As Riley enters, Buffy levitates the uranium, then makes it disappear. She passes out in Riley’s arms as the other Scoobies also drop to the floor. Suddenly, a demon enters room 314, quickly followed by Spike, who kills it. The Scoobies are glad to see that Buffy is all right and that the spell worked. They congratulate each other and head out to help the commandos. Later, a military guy lectures that the Initiative was an experiment in trying to control demons for military purposes, but didn’t quite work out. The only reason they didn’t lose every soldier was because Riley, a deserter, and the Scoobies helped out. The man says that demons cannot be controlled, and the project was a failure. The Initiative will be filled with concrete and burned, and the ground where it stood will be salted.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: When we work together, we can accomplish anything! Or something.

R.I.P.: Adam, I guess

GRADE: B- I love the Scoobies’ reunion, but things got a little too weird.

MEMORABLE QUOTES - Spike: (re: Riley) “What’s with him?”
Adam: “I activated his chip.”
Spike: “Oh, so, it’s chips all around, is it? Someone must’ve bought the party-pack.”

Xander: “Maybe I should join the Army.”
Anya: “Don’t they make you get up really early in the morning?”
Xander: “Oh, yeah. Never mind.”

Willow: “Must be programmed to self-decrypt to a certain point. That is so annoying. It’s like someone blurting out the answer to a riddle just when you’ve - I mean, yippee! We have the information.”

“Spike’s working for Adam?! After all we’ve done - nah, I can’t even act surprised.” - Xander

“Does anybody else miss the Mayor, ‘I just wanna be a big snake’?” - Xander

Willow: “Nervous?”
Xander: “No way. I’m full of that good old kamikaze spirit.”
Giles: “Xander, just because this is never gonna work, there’s no need to be negative.”

“Hello? Paging Dr. Owe Me One.” - Spike to Adam

MacNamara: “You think you and your friends can just keep waltzing into a government installation brandishing weapons like--. Like--.”
Willow: “It’s a gourd.”
Giles: “Magic gourd.”

Spike: “Nasty sort of fellow. Lucky for you blighters I was here, eh?”
Giles: “Yes, thank you. Although your heroism has been slightly muted by the fact that you were helping Adam to start a war that would kill us all.”
Xander: “You probably just saved us so we wouldn’t stake you right here.”
Spike: “Did it work? Well, then everything’s all right. And we all get to be not staked through the heart. Good work, team.”


Back to Buffy episode guides

Back to Fun and Games