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All Shows > Buffy the Vampire Slayer > Season 4

Buffy the Vampire Slayer - 4x07 - The Initiative

Synopsis: Spike escapes from the Death Star a changed vampire. He finds himself incapable of biting.

Review: A lackluster season is finally showing signs of improvement. There are several reasons why this episode is great (unfortunately, the plot is not one of them):

* James Marsters as Spike is officially a regular cast member as of this episode.
* The Initiative set is stunning. The giant set is something you would expect to see in a big budget movie. Buffy had been conservative with its special effects budget the last couple of seasons, so Joss Whedon told the writer and director of this episode to go all out.
* The Xander/Harmony fight was laugh-out-loud funny.
* The beginning of on ongoing joke comparing Spike's implant that keeps him from biting humans to sexual impotence.
* The season arc begins finally giving some momentum to the season.

This excellent episode earns a 7 out of 10. It could have been even better if it had a more engaging plot to accompany the necessary bits making Spike a regular cast member and explaining what the Initiative is.

Rating: 7 out of 10 (Reviewed by: Matthew Miller)

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The quality of a Buffy episode seems to be directly proportional to the amount of screen time Spike gets.

I like going back an watching these episodes where Riley is almost likeable.
--Matt Pickle (Agrees: yes)