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Buffy the Vampire Slayer 7 Seasons 1999

Season 4
4.3 out of 5 stars (110) IMDb 7.8/10

Buffy begins college feeling completely overwhelmed but once the monsters show up, it's just like old times. Then she starts dating Riley, a handsome commando battling the same monsters. He's part of a secret organization called The Initiative, and Buffy is all too happy to join the team.

Starring:
Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Season 4

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1. The Freshman

As Buffy adjusts to college life, she realizes that classmates are mysteriously disappearing.

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 42 minutes
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2. Living Conditions

Buffy finds herself at odds with her new roommate; and is troubled by a series of disturbing dreams involving a soul-sucking demon.

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 41 minutes
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3. The Harsh Light of Day

As Buffy has an affair with a handsome student, Spike searches for a ring that, according to legend, makes the wearer invincible.

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 42 minutes
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4. Fear Itself

On Halloween, Buffy and her friends find themselves trapped inside a haunted frat house; complete with real-life bats, zombies and a terrifying demon from beyond.

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 40 minutes
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5. Beer Bad

Xander finds employment as a bartender at a pub where some of Buffy's friends metamorphose into terrifying Cro-Magnon creatures.

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 41 minutes
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6. Wild at Heart

Oz finds himself unable to control his attraction to a sexy singer - who just happens to be a werewolf.

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 42 minutes
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7. The Initiative

Spike finds himself targeted by a group of commandos after he escapes from a futuristic lab located beneath the streets of Sunnydale.

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 42 minutes
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8. Pangs

On Thanksgiving, Buffy encounters the spirit of a Native American warrior whose people were wiped out by settlers.

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 42 minutes
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9. Something Blue

One of Willow's spells causes her every wish to come true; causing Giles to go blind; Buffy and Spike to plan a wedding; and Xander to become a magnet for demons.

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 42 minutes
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10. Hush

A group of murderous creatures straight out of a fairy tale steal away the townspeople's voices.

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 42 minutes
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11. Doomed

Buffy attempts to stop demons determined to bring about the apocalypse by reopening the Hellmouth.

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 42 minutes
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12. A New Man

After being transformed into a demon, Giles attempts to track down Ethan Rayne in hopes of reversing the process.

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 42 minutes
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13. The I in Team

Buffy teams with Riley after she is allowed access to the mysterious underground complex known as the Initiative; Spike is targeted by commandos.

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 42 minutes
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14. Goodbye Iowa

Tension erupts between Buffy and an ailing Riley as they pursue Maggie Walsh's killer.

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 41 minutes
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15. This Year's Girl

Faith awakens from a coma and seeks revenge against Buffy; Riley joins Buffy in the hunt for Adam.

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 41 minutes
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16. Who Are You?

Buffy, having switched bodies with Faith, finds herself at the mercy of Watcher council members. Meanwhile, Faith uses Buffy's body to further her own ends.

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 42 minutes
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17. Superstar

Buffy and her friends sense that something is amiss when a ubiquitous Jonathan becomes a hero to everyone in Sunnydale.

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 42 minutes
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18. Where the Wild Things Are

Buffy and Riley's passionate lovemaking energizes supernatural elements inside a frat house.

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 42 minutes
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19. New Moon Rising

Oz's return to Sunnydale leads to his incarceration inside the Initiative; and complicates the relationship between Willow and Tara.

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 42 minutes
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20. The Yoko Factor

After joining forces with Adam, Spike drives a wedge between Buffy and her friends; Angel's return to Sunnydale leads to a violent confrontation with Riley.

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 42 minutes
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21. Primeval

Having gained control of Riley's mind, Adam sets in motion his plot to destroy the Initiative and create an army of unstoppable soldiers.

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 42 minutes
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22. Restless

Buffy, Willow, Xander and Giles experience dreams in which they are pursued by a mysterious figure.

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 42 minutes
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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There was a lot of criticism about season 4, mostly from fans who didn't like the change in the Buffy formula and Angel and Cordelia's departure. Buffy couldn't be a schoolgirl for ever and season 4 introduces us to the challenges of becoming a young adult, living in a dorm, falling in and out of love, exploring sexuality, facing an insecure future.
This is a difficult year for Xander, desperate to escape his parents basement and trying to keep up with his college-going friends and Giles, who loses his job.
We are introduced to the lovely witch Tara, whom Willow falls in love with. When Willow's ex Oz comes back in 'New Moon Rising' he discovers she's not waiting for him and this brings pain to all concerned.
Xander's girlfriend, ex-demon Anya, brings fun to the show with her ignorance of society's rules and her rude behaviour.
Bad guy Ethan Rayne is back in 'A New Man' and rogue slayer Faith in the excellent 'This Year's Girl' and 'Who Are You'.
There is an episode centred on Jonathan (the student who tried to kill himself in season 3), the very enjoyable 'Superstar'.
Buffy's new love interest is Riley, a soldier in the Initiative, a secret government organisation hunting and experimenting on demons.
I didn't particularly like the Initiative/Adam storyline but looking back, this was probably the best Buffy season ever with strong episodes as well as good storylines in the background.
Spike is back with a twist as a conflicted, 'neutered' vampire with a chip stopping him from hurting humans. This season sees him trying to find his new place in the world. Spike's situation brings humour to this season when he teams up with Harmony and while he lives with Giles and then Xander.
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With the loss of David Boreanaz and Charisma Carpenter to the spin-off show, "Angel", there were voids to be filled in this, the first season out of high school, and Marc Blucas and Emma Caulfield suitably obliged. The fragmentation of the Scooby Gang was for many the core reason why Season Four didn't match the heights of the previous three: nobody seemed to care enough about each other any more. With Giles out of work, Xander flitting from one deadbeat job to another, and Buffy and Willow settling in to life on campus, there was concern that the old gang would never get back together.
A big risk was taken in introducing a more classic sci-fi element with the arrival of a secret government demon-hunting operation. But there's a big difference from other genre shows: the Initiative was never in control of its actions. And that's the gist of the season: that Buffy and her traditional methods will always be superior, and that it's through her skills and her friends that evil is defeated, not bureaucracy. Which is why there's no big finish in episode 22 (the grand climax happens in episode 21), because the most important storyline is about the reaffirmation of friendships, demonstrated in the most bizarre way imaginable in an episode composed almost entirely of dream sequences.
There are a few misses among the hits (watch "Beer Bad" for the cavegirl activities of Buffy, but don't expect much else), and some classics (the Emmy-nominated "Hush" was possibly the boldest piece of television attempted before "The Body" the following year). And in the final scene of the season, we get a great setting-up of what's to come, without knowing any specific details.
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Comment 8 of 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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This season seems to get quite a bit of criticism. Why? Because people don't like change. They all had to start growing up sometime! Okay, so the season villain was a bit weak, but there was so much more to like about the season that this should be forgiven. There were several very special episodes; the famed 'Hush'-possibly Mr Whedon's greatest achievement to date; the glorious 'New Moon Rising'-who can forget the moment Oz realises Tara is more than just a friend to Willow? And, of course, the dreamy 'Restless'- with a fantastic commentary by Mr Whedon. Spike is back and on a character high! He emulates Cordelia's bitchiness with aplomb! Anya just gets cuter and cuter. Professor Walsh is fabulous while she is alive. What a shame she had to go! She made Adam look like a Care Bear!
The only real low was the fact that Buffy's boyfriend was alive! It had to happen sometime! Otherwise how would she know what she was missing?
Basically, even on a low, Buffy is better written, performed and directed than anything else on the Box. Buy it and enjoy!!
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Season 4 turned the Buffy formula on its head, and was all the better for it. One of Buffy's strong points is that its about real life (albeit in a supernatural world), and life is about change. So, season 4 addresses what happens when you graduate from high school and move towards adulthood. Buffy and Willow went to college, Angel, Cordelia and eventually Oz left, Giles found himself without a job and Xander without a home. Although many people criticise the show for leaving Xander and Giles in the cold, I believe Joss Whedon very wisely did this. Giles' redundancy which lead to loneliness and minor alcoholism, is a common occurance for middle aged men. And Xander's isolation due to him being the only person out of his friends not go to college is very real too. Without this they couldn't have grown as people. And reintroducing Spike and chipping him was a stroke of genius. He's great fun and far more interesting than Angel. The similarities between 'chip' and 'soul' are endless and effective. Later seasons have even shown him to be an even more tragic hero. Giles mentions to Spike that his chip could be part of a greater purpose, and I really hope that pays off some day. And Tara? I think a wolf whistle will suffice. Anya makes a very sexually explicit, welcome replacement for Cordy too. The Initiative and Adam don't really cut it as villians, but then the real villians the gang had to defeat was their differences. What makes season 4 one of the best however is the consistancy of the entertainment in virtually every episode. Restless, Hush, Superstar and The Yoko Factor to name a few. I always struggle to compile my favourite season chart for Buffy, but one thing is for certain, season 4 is close to the best.
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