In 1418, a group of Italian priests use magick to trap the demon Moloch in a book, only to be released if the book is ever read aloud. In 1997 Sunnydale, the computer teacher, Ms. Calendar, is working on a project to digitally scan all the books in the library. When a new arrival, in a strange language, is scanned, Moloch is released into the computer... and into every computer connected to it. Now Buffy must face Moloch's human minions, while Giles must figure out how to exorcise a demon from the Internet.
Meanwhile, Willow meets a nice boy online. His name is Malcolm...
Buffy Anne Summers
Alexander 'Xander' Harris
Goof: In the opening scene, one of the monks says an Italian word incorrectly. He states "viene" when in fact the correct wording to use would have been "vieni".
Goof: When Malcolm scrolls through the student registry, looking for Buffy, it is just the same few pictures over and over again.
The software Willow is using to scan books is called Scanner Pro. The surveillance software Fritz is using to watch Buffy at the computer plant is called Watcher Pro. Both have the same style and color scheme in their logos, suggesting the same software company.
Goof: Buffy's school record appears on two computer screens. When it first appears, the file reads:
Name: Buffy Summers
The second time we see it, it reads:
Name: Buffy Summers
Not only does this information contradict itself, but we later learn that even the birthdate is wrong. We are told in several later episodes that Buffy was born in 1981, not 1980. We never learn her exact birthday, but she does say that she is "a Capricorn on the cusp of Aquarius" which would place her birthday between January 17th and 20th.
As Giles listens to the radio in his office, listen carefully to the announcer. It is the uncredited voice of show creator Joss Whedon.
When Willow opens her locker, a picture of her and Giles can be seen hanging on the door. In later episodes, she mentions that she had a crush on Giles during this period.
Goof: Just as Xander and Buffy try to get into the room where Moloch and Willow are, a sealed door shuts them out of there. That apparently was the only way into the room in that hallway. Give it a minute or two, and they burst into the room with Moloch through some door that appeared.
Nitpick: Buffy says that the only guy she's liked since moving to Sunnydale turned out to be a vampire. She's obviously referring to Angel but she is apparently forgetting Owen.
When Moloch threatens Dave and Fritz shows up to kill him and make it look like a suicide it is not clear where Fritz comes from. The camera shots have shown us the entire room, including the corner that Fritz steps out of. And there's no sign or sound that the door opened. Although it's possible that Fritz was in the room the whole time, and only showed himself once Dave knew he was about to be killed.
Nitpick: Buffy is watching Dave at the high school. He gets in his car and in the next scene he's at the CRD office building with Buffy still watching him. Since Buffy's Slayer powers do not include superspeed, it seems strange that she was so easily able to follow him without a car.
Ms. Calendar: Hi. I got your message. What's so urgent?
Giles: (nervously) Um... Thank you for coming. I need your help. But before that I need you to believe something that you may not want to. Uh, there's, uh... something's got into the, um... inside, um... (takes a breath) There's a demon on the Internet...
Ms. Calendar: (calmly) I know.
Buffy: (to Willow) So, you've been seeing a guy, and you don't know what he looks like? Okay, this is a puzzle. No, wait, I'm good at these. Does it involve a midget and a block of ice?
Buffy: Whoa! You're the Late Girl.
Willow: I overslept.
Buffy: Till fifth period?
Giles: Hoping and betting, that's what we've got.
Ms. Calendar: You want to throw in praying? Be my guest.
Ms. Calendar: You really are an old-fashioned boy, aren't you?
Giles: Well, I don't dangle a corkscrew from my ear.
Ms. Calender: That's not where I dangle it.
Giles: Things involving the computer fill me with a childlike terror. Now if it were a nice ogre or some such, I'd be more in my element.
Fritz: The printed page is obsolete. Information isn't bound up anymore. It's an entity. The only reality is virtual. If you're not jacked in, you're not alive.
Ms. Calendar: Thank you, Fritz, for making us all sound like crazy people.
Xander: Are we overreacting? He's in a computer, what can he do?
Buffy: You mean besides convince a perfectly nice kid to try and kill me? I don't know, how about mess up all the medical equipment in the world?
Giles: Randomize traffic signals.
Buffy: Access launch codes for our nuclear missiles.
Giles: Destroy the world's economy.
Buffy: I think I pretty much capped it with that nuclear missile thing.
Giles: Right, yours was best.
Buffy: You're a computer geek, (stops to rephrase herself) genius.
Ms. Calendar: What is it?
Giles: (trying to hide the apparently supernatural origin of a book) Uh, nothing, um, a diary, yes. I imagine that's what it is... Well, it's been so nice talking to you.
Ms. Calendar: We were fighting.
Giles: (distracted) Must do it again sometime, yes... Bye, now.
Moloch: Don't you see? I can give you everything! I can control the world! Right now a man in Beijing is transferring money to a Swiss bank account for a contract on his mother's life... Good for him.
Buffy: Hey, did you forget? The one boy I've had the hots for since I've moved here turned out to be a vampire.
Xander: Right, and the teacher I had a crush on? Giant praying mantis?
Willow: That's true.
Xander: Yeah, that's life on the Hellmouth.
Buffy: Let's face it: none of us are ever gonna have a happy, normal relationship.
Xander: We're doomed!
Giles: When I've examined it, you can, uh, uh... skim it.
Ms Calendar: Scan it, Rupert. That's scan it.
Giles: Of course.
Ms Calendar: Oh, I know our ways are strange to you, but soon you will join us in the 20th century. With three whole years to spare!
Giles: Ms. Calendar, I'm sure your computer science class is fascinating, but I happen to believe that one can survive in modern society without being a slave to the idiot box.
Ms Calendar: That's TV. The idiot box is TV. This is the good box!
Giles: I still prefer a good book.
Xander: (to Giles) You released Moloch?
Buffy: (sarcastically) Way to go!
Buffy: I can just tell something is wrong--my spider sense is tingling.
Giles: Your spider sense?
Buffy: Pop culture reference...sorry.
Xander: I mean... sure, he says he is a high school student -- but I could say I'm a high school student.
Buffy: You are.
Xander: Okay, but I could also say that I'm an elderly Dutch woman... Get me? And who's to say I'm not if I'm in the elderly Dutch chat room?
Buffy: I get your point... (beat) I get your point! This guy could be anybody -- I mean he could be weird, or crazy, or old, or... he could be a circus freak -- he's probably a circus freak!
Giles: I'm, I'm just gonna stay and clean up a little. I'll, uh, I'll be back in the middle ages.
Ms. Calendar: Did you ever leave?
Buffy: CRD, whatever that means.
Xander: Calax Research and Development. It's a computer research lab. Third largest employer in Sunnydale 'til it closed down last year. (everyone stares at Xander) What, I can't have information sometimes?
Giles: Well, it's just somewhat unprecedented.
Xander: My uncle used to work there. In a floor sweeping capacity.
Ms. Calendar: You're here again? You kids really dig the library, don't you?
Buffy: We're literary.
Xander: To read makes our speaking English good.
This is the first time we see Willow's house.
This is the first appearance of Jenny Calender (Robia Lamorte) on the series.
If you look at Xander's shirt in the beginning of the episode, when he's in the computer lab with Willow, you'll notice that his shirt says "Porn Star".
The character of Jenny was originally going to be called "Nicki" but was changed to avoid confusion on the set because Nicholas Brendon is generally called Nicky by the cast and crew.
Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia) does not appear in this episode, even though she is credited in the opening titles.
Xander: With a little help from my friends?
This is a reference to the Beatles' song, "With A Little Help From My Friends".
Thelonius: By the power of the circle of Kayless...
The name of the lead monk, "Thelonius," is probably a reference to Jazz great Thelonius Monk (1917-1982). Monk was a piano jazz musician who composed many famous pieces such as "Round Midnight" and is often credited with the creation of "bebop."
Thelonius: It is Moloch. The Corrupter. He walks again.
As with all demons in Buffy, this one is completely invented to meet the needs of the story. The name, however, is a reference to a bull god who was worshipped throughout the Near East. We do not know the god's original name, but the Hebrew writers of the Torah referred to the deity as "molech" or "king" and claimed that the god was an idol to which the people sacrificed their young children. So far there has been no archeological or anthropological evidence to support such a cult (not to mention the fact that a society which sacrificed its own children would probably die out very quickly).
Buffy: He's gone binary on us.
Binary code is a code made up of only zeros and ones and is the most basic level of computer languages.
Title: "I Robot, You Jane"
This is a double reference. In the old Tarzan movies, the main character's jungle upbringing was demonstrated with poor English such as "Me Tarzan. You Jane." That line became a famous catchphrase, used to describe any stupid person or anyone who would try to force their attentions on a woman. Also, I, Robot is the title of a collection of pivotal short stories by Isaac Asimov, which included many of the early robot stories which broke SF robots out of the turn-on-their-creator "Frankenstein" mold they were stuck in prior to his writings. Otherwise, it presumably would have been entitled "Me Robot, You Jane".
Moloch: I've shown you a new world, Dave. Knowledge, power...
When Moloch discusses plans with one of his new student minions, Dave, he sounds a lot like Hal, the homicidal computer from Stanley Kubrick's 1968 classic 2001: A Space Odyssey, who's increasingly condescending and menacing remarks were distinctively punctuated by Hal's repeating the name "Dave" (the astronaut he's tormenting, played by Kier Dullea).
Giles: Couldn't you just stop Moloch by entering some computer virus?
The deus ex machina of the day seems to solve all nasty problems with a skillfully placed computer virus. See for example the movie, Independence Day.
Buffy: I can just tell something's wrong. My Spider Sense is tingling.
From the Spider-Man comic books. When danger was near, Spiderman would get a tingling feeling called his Spider Sense.
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