Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 4, Episode 20

The Yoko Factor (9 May 2000)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Action, Drama, Fantasy
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 1,105 users  
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After joining forces with Adam, Spike drives a wedge between Buffy and her friends. Meanwhile, Angel's return to Sunnydale leads to a violent confrontation with Riley.



(created by), (as Doug Petrie)
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Episode cast overview:
Rupert Giles (as Anthony Stewart Head)
Bob Fimiani ...


While the Iniatiative brass and its political superior worry about its commandos' moral, unreliable control -loose gun Riley- and what to do with captured demons, Adam promises to put Spike back on the map as 'terrifying beast' after removing his behavior chip implant and eliminate slayer Buffy together. Spike cleverly makes a deal with Giles, who accepts his demands for blood supply, money and immunity from slaying in return for discretion and information on the Initiative and Adam, on heavily encoded data media which even Willow finds quite a challenge. Meanwhile Spike stirs potential strife and personal insecurities among the gang so Buffy feels almost isolated, such as Willow's lesbianism, only laborer Xander's lack of status and (self-)respect, Giles' midlife crisis after professional (library) retirement and feeble hold on his almost solo-slaying charge. After Xander accidentally told Riley about Angel's curse while bringing the demoralized ex-soldier silly clothes in his ruins ... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

9 May 2000 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title of the episode refers to Yoko Ono, blamed by many for The Beatles' break up. In this episode, Spike acts as the "Yoko factor", sowing dissension within the Scooby Gang. Also, when Spike asks Adam if he has ever listened to the Beatles and Adam answers that he likes Helter Skelter. Spike remarks that he is not surprised, which is probably a reference to Charles Manson and his murders (Manson believed that the Beatles had hidden messages directed at him, and named his killing spree Helter Skelter) See more »


Willow is talking to Tara and playing with a kitten. The kitten changes position and location while Willow is in mid-sentence. See more »


Xander: It happens that I'm good at a lot of things. I help out with all kinds of... stuff. I have skills and... stratagems... I'm very... help me out.
Anya: He's a Viking in the sack.
See more »


References The Godfather (1972) See more »


Buffy the Vampire Slayer Theme
Written by Nerf Herder
Performed by Brandon K. Verrett
See more »

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User Reviews

The Destructive Gossiper
24 August 2006 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

Spike associates to Adam and agreed to split the Scooby group, and in return Adam would remove his chip. He intrigues each friend of Buffy as if she had made gossip: Giles and his early retirement as librarian; the lack of culture of Xander; the homosexuality of Willow. He is well succeeded and Buffy is left alone by her friends. Meanwhile, Angel comes to Sunnydale to say to Buffy that he is sorry for their misunderstandings in Los Angeles, and he accidentally meets and fights against Riley.

"The Yoko Factor" is a good episode of Buffy, with a very intriguing last scene to be continued. I was curious about this title, and Spike explains that his attitude was equivalent to Yoko Ono with "The Beatles". Buffy's friends, specially the experienced Giles, accepted the gossips told by Spike very easily, and the mystery about the relationship between Riley Finn and Adam seems to be clarified in the next episode. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "O Fator Yoko" ("The Yoko Factor")

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