Reviewing Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Season Four)

The Scooby Gang swap the trials of high school for the tribulations of the freshman year of college in Buffy season four… 

 

Synopsis: Though she has now graduated from high school, Buffy Summers’ troubles are far from over. Not only are there the usual vampires, demons and the forces of darkness about but she will find herself coming up against The Initiative, too – a paramilitary paranormal organisation based under UC Sunnydale. Beware what lurks in Room 314…

 

1. The Freshman

It’s tough to watch Buffy losing her confidence and struggling with university life, but this is a fun episode. In particular, Sunday the vampire is a great villain who should have lasted longer. 8.5/10

2. Living Conditions

Buffy’s roommate Kathy is driving her crazy – literally. But is there something demon-y going on? A light-hearted episode that gives a Buffy twist to the idea of a roommate from hell. 8/10

3. The Harsh Light Of Day

Spike returns to Sunnydale – with the newly-vamped Harmony – on his arm. Meanwhile, Buffy sleeps with Parker. An enjoyable episode with a unifying theme of jilted women. 8.5/10

4. Fear Itself

The Scoobies get caught in a real-life house of horrors on Halloween. A hilarious episode with some terrific dialogue that also examines the character’s deepest fears. 9/10

5. Beer Bad

Buffy turns into cavewoman after drinking some cursed beer in one of Buffy‘s worst episodes. It’s clunkily-written and lacks the show’s usual wit. At least Xander and Giles get some fun moments. 6/10

6. Wild at Heart

It’s difficult to judge this one. On the one hand, Oz’s struggle with his wolf side and departure is emotional but it’s hard to love an episode that breaks up the wonderful Willow and Oz relationship. 8/10

 

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13 thoughts on “Reviewing Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Season Four)

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  1. I’ll admit, watching this on TV week to week, I found this season kind of dull. However, when it came out on DVD and you could watch it more rapidly, the characters develop really nicely throughout this season making the transition from teens to young adults, and while Adam will never be a good villain, there’s more than enough other points of interest to keep this season moving. It also has my favourite villain of the week in this season which are the Gentlemen. Those guys are incredibly creepy.

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    1. Really agree with you there. Season four is much better when binge-watching. It’s very much a transitional season, with some great stuff and some less good stuff. Yeah, Adam is rubbish but the Gentlemen are amazing!

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  2. I never understood how people can hate Buffy season 4 but love Angel season 5 when they’re essentially exactly the same:

    -A sort of ‘soft reboot’ to show, change of main locations and sets.
    -Bringing in Spike to replace Cordelia as the comic relief.
    -Gimmicky episode that everyone seems to love (Hush//Smile Time)
    -Dream episode (Restless// Soul Purpose)
    -Terrible character with biblical name (Adam// Eve)
    -Serious 2 parter, one of them written-directed by Whedon (Faith Episodes// Fred’s death episodes)
    -Season starts off humorous and becomes more serious a bit after the halfway point.
    -One of the worst episodes in the series according to fans (Beer Bad// The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco)

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    1. That’s a really good point, I hadn’t thought of these similarities before – except Spike replacing Cordelia in both.

      For me, I enjoy both, I’m not sure which one I prefer. Like you say, both have great points and less good points.

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  3. I actually enjoyed season four except Adam being the Big Bad. I love all the seasons of Buffy honestly but this season was a transistion from high school to college and dealt with very real issues. And I loved the character development in this season in particular.

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      1. Ah this is the hardest question for me because I have multiple favorites for all different reasons. Okay so my favorite character Willow and Cordelia for the Angel series because her character development was so good. My favorite season…6 season because of the dark themes and how deep everything got. What about you?

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      2. Great picks! It is really hard to choose but for Buffy my faves have to be Willow/Spike – Wesley’s my fave Angel character. I guess seasons 2-3 are the best for me – maybe 3, If I had to pick just one.

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