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Stew’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer Retrospective: Season 4, Episode 18

March 1, 2024 | Posted by Rob Stewart
Buffy the Vampire Slayer 4-18 Image Credit: 20th Century Fox TV

The Ice Cream Of The Future: A BTVS Retrospective, S4 E18


Episode 18

Image Credit: 20th Century Fox TV

As we head ceaselessly and unpleasantly towards season’s end, we open this episode in the classical format, but with a twist: Buffy is out killing monsters… and Riley is with her! Aw! The couple that kills together Netflix & Chills together. Which is fitting because they immediately go off to bone after stopping the dual threat of one (1) Vampire and one (1) Other.

In the middle of the night, post-coitus Riley wakes up and wanders around the house. He finds a dripping faucet in the bathroom. Ah yes, the modern threat of terrible frat house plumbing! Can even a Slayer stop that? I want to see her equip a plunger end to her stake now.

We cut to an ice cream truck driving Xander who just can’t stop getting humiliating jobs this year. Is Ice Cream Truck Driver a job; is there an employer there? With, like, a fleet? I always assumed Ice Cream Truck Driver was a self-starter part-time gig. You buy your own truck. You go sell ice cream. But I doubt Xander did that. So is it a job that comes with a boss? Huh. Do I know? Do the writers of this show know?!

Anyway, he and Anya are bickering because they did not have sex the night before, and their entire relationship is built on having sex. Anya dramatically thinks the relationship is over now! Xander says they can have sex right then and there, and he starts stripping. When he turns, he sees a line of children having witnessed all of this while waiting for their Dippin’ Dots or whatever. It’s the Ice Cream Of The Future! And has been for, like, thirty years.

To paraphrase Chris Jericho: Xander, you just made a list! Good luck telling all your neighbors.

The Scoobies are gathered to discuss why vamps are partnering with other demons now, because I guess this is supposed to be unusual. They can only deduce it must be because of Adam. Satisfied with this resolution, Buffy and Riley head off to bang.

At the frathouse, Team Riley hears Buffy and Riley going at it. They also note the house is freezing cold. They start a fire, but it erupts out of the fireplace and catches a no-name guy on fire! No, not no-name guy! I loved him! He was my 4th favorite member of Team Riley!

Elsewhere, a lone Anya is walking to The Bronze where Spike tries to mug her. Turns out he is reduced to trying to scare people for their wallets so he can afford to survive off butcher’s shop blood.

The two of them end up inside commiserating over both their lost powers and their lost lovers. Anya doesn’t want to kill Xander yet, though. I still can’t believe Drusilla is just fucking GONE like this and not being resolved. She BETTER come back. She has to, right? There are a few seasons left…

Later that evening (I guess? Time is a mystery in this show. All I know is that not enough time has passed that Dippin’ Dots is called The Ice Cream We All Eat Now, Obviously, So Just Call It Ice Cream), the frat house is hosting a big party. At some point, we see a guy flirting with a girl, and he goes to lean on the wall in his “cool guy pose”. But when he touches the wall, he starts… orgasming, I guess?

A lonely and dejected Xander starts flirting with a girl at the party in just the worst blocking of a cinematic shot I’ve seen in over a season here, as they both look like they are standing at urinals and chatting. Weird posture, standing straight ahead, occasionally tilting their heads towards each other. I frequently wonder about the directorial choices in this show, but this made it through several layers of editing, and no one said “Am I the only one seeing this here”?

Forrest is wearing a salmon colored turtleneck to his frat party. Remember the frat party from season, oh… let’s say two? Where they all wore suits? That was a better attire choice than Forrest’s.

Buffy and Riley sneak away from the rest of the party to go bang. Back at the Ejaculation Wall, the guy from earlier is getting a friend of his touch the W-Spot instead of, you know, slinking away to clean himself up. His friend enjoyed the sensation of the wall, too. Now they BOTH need to clean up.

More party adventures, as Willow and Tara talk about horses. Willow rests her hand on Tara’s leg, and Tara gets big mad at that, calling it dirty and disgusting. She panics and runs upstairs.

Anya brings Spike to the party so all of our stories today can be at the same place, and Spike loses his shit that he is at an Initiative-hosted party. But no one pays attention to him, even after Xander draws attention to it. Xander thinks that he and Anya can just work through their issues, but she doesn’t see how, so they break up. Xander storms off and sees the urinal girl playing Spin The Bottle.

Xander spins, and it lands on the girl. He feels remorse, for possibly the first time in his life, and reluctantly gives her a very chaste cheek kiss, but then she pounces him back. She seems shocked by her own reaction, apologizes, and runs away. Xander soon finds her having locked herself in a closet, cutting off her own hair, and saying “I’m bad” over and over again. Which, as far as naughty “I’m bad” games you can play with a romantic partner go… not a very fun one.

Willow tries looking for Tara in the bathroom, but finds a drowning ghost instead. She lets out a scream when the ghost vanishes from the tub and reappears next to her. Buffy and Riley hear the scream, but won’t stop copulating, which is a very non-horny word I am using because this show is horny enough. Copulating sounds very specifically like what insects do, actually. Why is that?

Surprisingly, THIS episode is way less horny than the Faith one from last week. Sex is just the plot here and not something the writers are throwing in because they want to titillate.

Xander is trying to find someone to help the girl who liked him, but he runs into Willow who tells him about the ghost. Tara re-emerges and wants to leave this creepy ass party. The Spin The Bottle bottle explodes! A line of kids are petting the climax wall! Stuff is happening!

The Scoobies run off to Riley’s room to find Buffy, but Buffy and Riley just fornicate through their pleas. The bedroom door starts growing branches to keep other parties out. In a more interesting episode, it would let them in. And then… you know. Rhymes with… yorjee.

The house gets nuttier and starts shaking! A chair attacks a bemused Spike. Charlie Haas Guy starts reciting Bible Quotes to Forrest, but Forrest gets him in the elevator to head to Initiative HQ. The Initiative starts planning what to do about all of this in their lair, but this is the last we will see of them today, so who cares?

Image Credit: 20th Century Fox TV

The Scooby Gang saves everyone at the party and gets them out of the house, but Buffy and Riley continue having tree-protected relations. The team goes off to find Giles.

And find him they do, as we cut to Giles singing at an espresso bar. Anthony Stewart Head was like “God damn it, it’s been four years, and the people want to hear me SING!”, so this goes on for just about an entire song. Even as Giles sees his former students come in and catch him, he just keeps going, which I like to imagine wasn’t in the script, but A.S.H. just refused to stop and then made the editors use it all.

The team does a quick study and finds that the frat house used to be a Home for children, and it was overseen by someone named Genevieve Holt. This first and EffortlessTM guess takes the team to visit her, and she quickly starts talking about how she merrily repressed the children, scolded them for dirty thoughts, and baptized the bad ones. She destroyed the looks of the more vain kids in such ways as cutting off their hair. Giles yells at her that she traumatized the kids, but she doesn’t care. She just calls them all sinful. Well… Xander, yeah. But imagine if she knew two of them were lesbians! She would be baptizing everyone up in there!

Giles is convinced the problem isn’t ghosts, as no kids DIED in the house, so it must be a poltergeist of repressed sexuality. Buffy and Riley banging all of the time must have empowered or angered it or turned it on or whatever.

Willow, Tara, and Giles start a spell to contact the poltergeist while Anya and Xander rush off to the frat house to save Buffy and Riley once it kicks in.

Anya gets a branch all the way through the palm of her hand, and that BETTER be a lasting effect because she can’t heal or anything! Xander starts getting baptized/drowned, but Anya pulls him out of the tub.

The spell works and the other three talk to the childlike spirits of the poltergeist, allowing Anya and Xander to fight through to the bedroom door and break it down. Buffy and Riley are shocked, but had no idea anything out of the normal was going on outside of their sexual smorgasbord, which is another very unsexy word. But it DOES make me hungry.

Everyone gathers together at the end to discuss what we learned this episode about how telling little kids not to have sex is… bad, I guess? So in the earlier scene, when the kids stopped Xander and Anya from having public sex in front of them… were the CHILDREN the villains there? I’m very confused. I miss when the sexuality of BTVS was Tara and Willow doing a very erotic spell and not trying to teach me a morality.

Also, what was the problem here? In this episode, our threat:

-made people orgasm if they touched a wall.

-made Buffy and Riley, college students in their early 20’s, have sex for a few hours.

-shook a house.

-made some harmless apparitions appear.

-made the house slightly chilly.

-caused Tara to not like having her leg touched.

I guess it also made the one girl cut some of her hair off. Oh, and it burned Sergeant No Name…

Okay, okay… I was probably wrong.

But it still wasn’t the biggest threat we have faced and was really more of an inconvenience than anything else.

Anyway, Anya and Xander are back together because when you fight off tree branches in a haunted house with a boner wall together, you must be in it for the long haul.

Those crazy kids.