PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A SPOILER-RICH ZONE. If your diet requires you to dine on television spoiler-free ... good luck with that.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My spider sense is tingling

Episode 1.8: I, Robot ... You, Jane. Original Airdate 4.28.97

"Let's face it - none of us is ever gonna
 have a happy normal relationship."
"We're doomed!"
Hahahaha ... ha.

"Willow unwittingly unleashes a powerful demon that takes refuge on the internet." 

Daniel's Thoughts:

  • I love a good origin story and I like that Moloch is from Italy. And I'm glad they actually speak Italian instead of just English in an Italian accent.
  • Will continues to be cute:
    • Xander: Are you kidding?
    • Willow: Yes, it was a joke I made up.  - Great line, better delivery
  • Love that Giles has someone to flirt with and Miss Calendar seems to be very good at it
  • This show creates its own language... "Wigged" is introduced here.
  • I love when Willow says she met "Malcolm" online and Buffy says, "On line for what?"  - Email and the internet is all still pretty new this decade.
  • Fritz is creepy. And a bad actor. "Party". Ew.
  • I forgot how much Xander made me laugh in season one: "To read makes our English speaking good."
  • Shenanigans! Turning the monitor off does not turn the computer off, Willow.
  • Shenanigans! When Willow leaves her room, the icon for "You Have Mail" is open but when Buffy and Xander go into her room later, the email that "Malcolm" sent is now on the screen.
  • Although not said out loud, in the script, Miss Calendar's first name is Nicki.  This later got changed to Jenny because they called Nicholas Brandon 'Nicky" and it was too confusing.
  • So far there's been one Xander-centric episode and one Willow-centric episode. The Willow one was tons better. [Wrong - Z]

Zelda's Thoughts:

Okay, here's my thing: I was really dreading rewatching this episode because I roll my eyes whenever I think of Moloch. And it's a bit unfair, because as you'll see, I love so much of the dialogue and there are some gems here. So ... I like the idea of it. A lot. It's really clever, to spin the demon's essence being read as scanning him into the computer network and thus bringing him back. It's a great marriage of the magical demon stuff and modern technology. That idea is awesome. The Willow character development is awesome. But ultimately, I'm just kind of bored by Moloch himself, and all his minions. So that's the stuff that induces eye-rolling.

THAT ASIDE, I think the final moment of the episode is so important (not to say hilarious) to what the show is. And, even as the show has arguably weak episodes running left and right, I think most of them have at least one redemptive moment like this. The acknowledgement that they have remarkably bad luck (which, in the metaphor of high school is hell, we all feel that) when it comes to love, and then laughing about ... and then ceasing to laugh about it - is just perfect. Love Love Love. Now to the bullets:
  • This episode is a demonstration of the dangers of technology. We on this blog agree that technology and all sorts of internets are DANGEROUS.
  • I like how excited Buffy is for Willow's boyfriend. Yay good friends.
  • OMG WHAT IS THAT LAPTOP [It's called a "word processor" - D]

Also a 90s Factoid.
  • "Does it involve a midget and a block of ice?"
  • Oh Buffy. Calling it an e-letter. You're so cute. Go play with your beeper.
  • Daniel's winces in reaction to Fritz during this episode were pretty hilarious.
  • "What, I can't have information sometimes?" / "Well, it's just somewhat unprecedented."
  • I call Shenanigans on Willow speaking aloud to her computer in the lab as she types.
  • "I simply don't adhere to a knee-jerk assumption that because something is new, it's better." Oh Giles, I feel like smartphones would make your poor head explode.
  • Yes, Jenny Calender, a book the size of an Atlas is a diary. Your intelligence is staggering. No wonder you got spoilered.
  • Do you think calling Moloch's minion Dave was a shoutout to 2001: A Space Odyssey? [Yes! - D]
  • I'm impressed SMG was willing to let them static-ify her hair for her post-electrocution scene. I feel like she usually makes sure to look good even when she doesn't.
  • "For those of us in our studio audience who are me..."
  • "I think I pretty capped it with that nuclear missile thing." / "You're right, yours was best."
  • Oh, the days when being online meant your phoneline was busy.
  • Buffy really is taking charge of the mission in this episode, giving Giles instructions, and not taking his whining when he protests.
  • Aw, Jenny called shenanigans on the virus-planting in Independence Day.
  • Buffy trying to kick Moloch down and bouncing to the ground was pretty hilarious.
  • Yay, Willow gets to be badass as she wails on Moloch with a fire extinguisher.
  • When braun fails to defeat metal-made Moloch, Buffy turns to brains and tricks him into zapping himself dead. That's why she's the best.
  • Giles defending books is quite sweet. Yay books!

Crossfire!: First Demon?

Daniel: So, I think this is our first Demon of the season.
Zelda: What about the fake Natalie French? She was a demon.
Daniel: I think she might have been a were.
Zelda: No - in this 'verse, the only were we have is the werewolf - and they only change (spoiler!) the three nights around a full moon.
Daniel: Hmm, okay, probably not a were ... but I still don't think she was a demon. She was never referred to as more than a giant bug.
Zelda: Okay so, not a were, but a giant bug - but that doesn't count as a demon? She clearly has more powers than a regular bug, since she can pretend to be human and somehow make babies with other humans. What are your prerequisites for demons?
Daniel: Well, if we're being totally technical, a vampire is a demon.
Zelda: A half-demon, if you ask a pureblood. That's a good point.
Daniel: Also, according to Anya later, we've never seen a pure-blood until the Mayor (spoiler!).
Zelda: Also an excellent point! So then, does Moloch count more as a demon for you because he was green and scaly?
Daniel: Yes, I think Moloch represents the traditional demon we'll see later in the show.
Zelda: But Moloch as we actually see him in modern times is a metal construction! That argues more robot than demon.
Daniel: But he was originally a demon. And Giles and everyone calls him a demon. "There's a demon on the internet." And his demon essence was in the internet. The robot body he uses is just a shell...I guess like vampires use human bodies!
Zelda: Okay, so we do agree he is a demon. But does he count as the series's first demon? Hey audience, what do YOU think?

Favorite Lines:

Daniel: "Smell is the most powerful memory trigger there is. A certain flower or a whiff of smoke can bring up experiences long forgotten. Books smell -- musty and rich. Knowledge gained from a computer has no texture, no context. It's there and then it's gone. If it's to last, the getting of knowledge should be tangible. It should be smelly." ~Giles into why books are superior to computers and the reason I insist I won't use a kindle ;)
Zelda: "To read makes our speaking English good." - Xander. Also, I like books and kindles. I think it's an and, not an or choice. 

90s Factoid:

Willow's retro scanner - the Scan-o-Matique
Arc/Continuity Stuff:
  • First appearance of Jenny Calendar. She knows about demons and such already! She casts bones! She's a witch! Burn her! Okay, fine, techno-pagan.
  • Buffy's birthday is 10/24/80 ... sometimes.
  • Xander's uncle used to work at CRD in a floor-sweeping capacity.
  • Willow has a dad. Who forgets his keys.


Voiceover - Creepy B-Movie Guy
Angel's Character - in the recycle bin ... with Cordelia, who is also AWOL
Dead Humans - 2
Dead Undeads - 1
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 1
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal - 0
Shenanigans Called - 3
Apocalypse Called - 0


  1. Thank you! I think this episode gets more hate then it deserves. Watching it the first time as a kid, I thought Moloch was pretty scary. Plus, we forget that it is a product of it's times and while the technology is outdated, the overall metaphor of the episode still stands pretty true today. Be careful who you talk to online because they could be anybody or anything. Not to mention, I think this episode is lots of fun.

    "The only reality is virtual! If you're not jacked in, you're not alive." Lol! Cheesiness at it's best.

    1. *its time

      Oh my, I'm getting sloppy with my typing. Lol

  2. I'm in Z's corner. This episode, while having moments of brilliance, is mostly "eh."

    That said, I love Daniel's choice of quote, because it is EXACTLY how I feel. All my friends are like, "try a Kindle, Kindles are awesome" and I'm like, "no, sir! I do not wish to!"

    It's fine that THEY use 'em, but I prefer my more tactile experience when I read. Sometimes the old ways (for me) are best.

    Great review, you guys!