Season 4, Episode 17 - Superstar
Original airdate: April 4, 2000
Project 310 re-watch date: March 3, 2009
Remember what I said yesterday about the writers not knowing what to do with Adam? Well, now we’ve got another episode that barely advances his plot, while distracting us with a completely unrelated plot.
“Superstar” features Jonathan in a starring role, after he cast a spell to change the world. The credits have even been modified to feature him prominently, which is really funny.
This episode sticks to a commonly-held theory among Buffy fans that when Buffy has curly/wavy hair, there’s usually something weird going on. She’s got the same hairstyle in this episode that she had in “Something Blue”, so right away, you can expect some kind of wackiness in this episode.
While the Jonathan stuff is going on, we do see Adam in his lair, and he’s pretty boring. He mentions some stuff about wanting chaos, which doesn’t seem to fit with his M.O. He also refers to himself as all-knowing and more aware of his surroundings than anyone else, which doesn’t help explain why he’s needed to learn by killing in previous episodes.
We do also learn, thanks to the souped-up Jonathan, that Adam’s power source is nuclear, which will come in handy in a few episodes.
As for Jonathan, this is the first time we see him since the end of Season 3, and obviously he’s moved on from being a nobody student to, well, early in the episode, being the world’s greatest everything. Really, though, underneath it all, he’s still the same old Jonathan, and Buffy calls him out on it at the end (when she tells him to stop going for the grand gesture).
One last thing about this -- there’s some dramatic irony in the fact that Buffy goes to Anya to discuss the possibility of alternate dimensions (think back to “The Wish”). But it does raise the question -- does Anya remember anything about the alternate dimension from that episode? It didn’t seem like she would have, based on the end of “The Wish”, where Cordelia is making all kinds of wishes and Anya can’t grant them. But come “Doppelgangland”, Anya seems to have some knowledge about it when she sees vampire Willow. I wonder if she’s ever talked about it with the Scoobies.
Overall, I did think this episode was really funny, and within itself I enjoyed it, but there’s not enough advancement of the Season 4 story to salvage this season.
Favorite Quote:Buffy: “It's all Faith's fault. She's like poison. No, worse, she's like acid that eats through everything. Maybe she's a bomb. “