Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 1 Episode 8

I Robot, You Jane

8
Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Apr 28, 1997 on The WB
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (41)

7.6
out of 10
Average
860 votes
  • Ahead of its time

    8.0
    Upon the first few watchings of I Robot, You Jane, I also wasn't impressed and found it corny. However, when I watched it recently, I realized how pertinent the social commentary is to our time. Yes, the technology is dated, but the ideas aren't. The part where Giles talks about the danger of technology making human interaction obsolete is dead-on. People have become mindlessly attached to their technology, whether they'd like to admit it or not. This is coming from a person that loves Facebook and has an i-Phone, so don't take me as a technophobe. I just think this episode is interesting as a cautionary tale about how deeply technology can suck us in. The scenes between Jenny Calendar and Giles were good, and the final scene was very appropriate and funny. Overall, not a great episode, but an overlooked one.
  • guess it's only Willow's epi I don't like...

    9.0
    since Willow is one of my favorite characters (actually, the most favorite one), I kinda like every moment in the show with her, and especially the episodes where she is like the main character (fine example, the end of S6). but gotta say, that "I Robot, You Jane" is not one of them. it has really nice scenes: for example, I really like Buffy/Willow kinda quarrel or the end of the epi where realization comes to Scoobies; some funny scenes... plus, Jenny Calendar's first appearance in the show (actually, it's the big plus! -- adore Robia LaMorte). but still, all the storylines not about Buffy seem kinda unnecessary and boring in the first season.



    FAVE SCENE: Scoobies' realization in the end.



    FAVE QUOTE: Buffy (about Malcolm): 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!
  • "I Robot, You Jane"

    4.0
    And then we go from the sublime to the ridiculous. I knew going infrom friends, mainlythat this episode and the one that follows are considered series lows by many, and having expended so much energy contemplating "Angel," I'm not going to spend a whole lot of time on "I Robot, You Jane".



    In the episode learn that the world of 1997 is a whole new era where people get "jacked in" and "go on line," while old fuddy-duddies like Giles with their ancient texts and disdain for the modern are in danger of becoming obsolete. And yet, consider this cautionary tale: What if Willow were to inadvertently scan a spell from one of those ancient texts into a networked computer, thereby releasing the demon Moloch into the web, where he would proceed to enslave a couple of vengeful nerds and to flirt with Willow? Well, much silliness would ensue, obviouslyeven before Moloch inevitably downloads himself into a robot body and gets electrocuted.



    As I said, I'll get into the fundamental problem with "I Robot, You Jane" in a moment, but for now, let me point out a few things I found odd about the episode: like the sudden appearance of other students and an additional teacher in Sunnydale's library, and the presence of stereotypical computer geeks to further confuse the issue of where Buffy, Xander and Willow rank in the high school pecking order.



    What did I like? I enjoyed the brief glimpse of Buffy's transcript, and I loved the episode's capper scene, in which Buffy, Xander and Willow laugh mirthlessly over the s*** luck all three of them have had at romance. Also, I suppose I liked the character of Ms. Calendar the computer science teacher as a potential romantic foil for Giles, though I don't know if I'm basing that on her appearance in this episode, or on my general awareness that she's going to reappear later in the series.



    Other than that, "I Robot, You Jane" was a misfire: corny, tonally off and lacking even the illusion of depth that other slack episodes have provided in Season One.
  • I Robot, You Jane

    3.0
    Antiquated: "Old-fashioned or outdated." This is how I'd professionally describe the travesty that is "I Robot, You Jane," in brief. How would I describe it unprofessionally? Well, it's shit. A story with emotional resonance and lasting value could have overcome the fact that it's dated from a technology standpoint, but it's sadly nowhere close to subtle and emotionally resonant. This is also the only Buffy episode in the entire series that actually leaves me bored for most of its running time. Only Jenny Calendar and the laugh-at-it moments kept me interested from time-to-time. Not even the reliably fun characters had their mojo going for this one. The episode has all the worst qualities of S1, amplified, and only a hint of its more positive qualities. I'd be curious to hear what Whedon thinks about this episode nowadays.



    Literally the only positives to talk about revolve around Jenny Calendar's introduction and subsequent arguments with Giles over the advancement of technology, a handful of good quotes, and the final foreshadow-y scene. I genuinely enjoyed Jenny and Giles' spirited debate and can sympathize with both positions as, while I'm definitely into modern technology, I'm also quite a bit old-fashioned in many ways. Jenny flirting with Giles a bit in the background is a nice added layer to their banter.



    Beyond simply being incredibly outdated, most of "I Robot, You Jane" has abysmal dialogue, execution, and pacing. The dialogue usually one of the positives of the show is so boring outside of a handful of quotes that I'm actually pretty shocked. Most of it is entirely plot-based and there to help the viewer and the characters from plot point A to plot point B to plot point C. Perfunctory is the word I'm looking for.



    Then there's the problem of the demon of the week, Moloch. This is an ancient demon that is apparently smart enough to understand and control computers and spread itself across the internet. This strikes me as entirely unbelievable and completely ridiculous. Somehow the episode craps on itself even more with the big climax involving Robo Moloch. There is no tension, no real stakes, a poor setup, and absolutely no subtext or subtlety to the entire proceedings. It's all laughable at best and blehhh at worst.



    At this point one might ask what the episode was trying to do? Well, I think that's explained early on and is followed by heavy-handed silliness. In the Italy flashback, the demon Moloch asks, "Do you love me? I can give you everything. All I want is your love." Once he has their love he snaps their necks (even though it looks more like polite turning than snapping). "I Robot, You Jane" is pretty transparently about the dangers of the internet, but more specifically the dangers of getting emotionally invested with people who you haven't met in person before. Online dating is heavily implicated here as well even though chat rooms appear to be the episode's focus. The concept behind how love can be used to manipulate others, made particularly easy with modern tools of communication, is one that is actually somewhat interesting. As a fellow geek who is all-too familiar with online dating, this is a theme that had the potential to resonate with me. This theme, however, is woefully under-developed, lacks subtlety, and is just horribly outdated in its presentation.



    Back in the day online dating was something to be terrified of. There was a perception that only completely anti-social lunatics participated in it. Times have changed a lot though. Online dating is now much more modern, much more accepted, and much less scary. With that said, the dangers of nave girls (or anyone, really) in chat rooms getting tangled up in a mess of a situation with a molester or abductor is certainly all-too real, although there's generally only a risk for the seriously gullible and weak-willed among our youth. Of all the people to get caught up in something like this, Willow would be the last one I'd think of. I think I'll just blame it on the fact that Moloch was influencing her to act abnormally which then, of course, strips away any hope of lasting character relevance.



    Another problem I have is with the portrayal of the computer science guys. I should disclose that I'm a professional software developer and that I know my reaction will be stronger than others, but my God did those guys grate on me. They weren't just displayed as stereotypical geeks; they were displayed as complete lunatics who spoke in a way that's totally foreign to me. I grew up in the thick of that era of technology and nobody talked like that. If anything, there should have been less talk about being "jacked in" and more talk about who would win in a fight between a couple Borg Cubes and the Death Star (easy answer, by the way: one cube left standing due to adaption technology). These S1 techies make the Trio in S6 look like high class geeks.



    So to sum all this up, what we have here is a complete mess of an episode. "I Robot, You Jane" is a pain and a bore to sit through in every phase of the episode with only brief reprieves from Jenny and Giles. The underlying concept behind the episode manipulation through love tangled with the dangerous side of the internet -- is worth a careful, lasting, and relevant discussion but, alas, all of those attributes are absent here. Its portrayal of computer geeks (demon's thrall or not, it's painful), general lack of ability to hold my interest for most of its running time, long-term irrelevance, and shoddy production values all add onto the pile in what is my easy pick for the 'honor' of being the worst episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Only a couple other episodes ("Teacher's Pet" [1x04] and "Where the Wild Things Are" [4x18]) come close. To quote Xander, "Shoot me. Stuff me. Mount me."
  • Willow dates a demon

    8.5
    In this episode, you see that Willow accidentally puts a demon on the web, and he quickly becomes one of the gang's most challenging enemies yet. The demon not only manages to enslave students at the school, he manages to break up the Scooby Gang. This episode was pretty good, it shows the second and final time that Willow falls for a demon, the first time being when Willow fell for the Master's minion in Welcome to the Hellmouth. It was also pretty cool seeing the giant robot being electrocuted at the end of the episode. All in all a pretty good episode
  • A demon is trapped in a book by priests in 1400s Italy. In present day, the tome ends up in the school library; Willow scans it – and the demon enters the computer. Soon after, Willow meets a seemingly perfect boy online. Love it or hate it – I love it...

    9.5
    This review contains spoilers.

    Well, I knew when first watching "I Robot, You Jane" that this would be a Marmite episode – love it or hate it. And most people seem to hate it! But personally, I love it; it has such an intriguing premise, and really taps into a new fear – people posing as something other than themselves online – that was becoming apparent in the late 1990s.

    But looking on TV.com as I write this review, I find that it's actually currently the lowest rated episode of the season, coming in at 7.6. I think it ranks far higher than this, and I enjoyed it more than say, "The Pack".

    This is one of the several first season episodes to feature no Angel (Cordelia doesn't appear also), absolutely no vampires, and no Master or mention of the overall season story arc. No doubt this is much of the reason that some don't like this episode to begin with, but – as I've touched upon in several previous reviews – while I love those story arc-heavy later entries, I also love these early episodes, for having so much variety and, to put it simplistically, wondering what the "monster of the week" will be this week.

    After two Xander-centric episodes previously in the season ("Teacher's Pet" and aforementioned "The Pack"), finally Willow gets one focused around her. And that alone makes for a good episode in my opinion, as Willow is such an interesting character (especially in these early episodes before all of the characters "became cool"), and Alyson Hannigan plays her perfectly.
    Some have questioned Willow's sudden change in personality, but I have never had any problem with this, as I took it that Moloch was so convincing and manipulative that he won her over as he did his over minions.

    But probably the most notable thing about the episode is the introduction of Robia LaMorte as brash IT teacher Jenny Calendar. Her interaction with Giles is great, and thankfully they brought her back for a number of return appearances instead of making this just a one-off guest character. Strangely, I'd actually forgotten about Ms. Calendar until coming to watch this episode on DVD tonight to review.

    The plot itself... again, some totally hate it, but I think it is so intriguing. Even beyond the whole dirty old men element, as the internet and chat rooms became an issue in the late 1990s, concerns grew that anyone could make out to be anything on-line (does that make sense?). And this episode puts a unique spin on that. A couple of fellow reviews seem to take it to literally – no it does not mean anyone you meet on-line will turn out to me a giant demon, just, if you sleep with someone, does not mean they will turn into a murderous vampire... get where I'm coming from? It's more of a metaphor, a spin on a particular fear.
    It is dated in some respects (check out the ancient hand scanner, use of modems, and such), but I don't see how that can be considered a minus – the episode uses what was around at the time.

    Although some knock just about everything about the episode, I personally found it to play out very well, and if nothing else, had great helpings of the show's trademark humour (for some reason, I love Xander's comment about his Uncle working at the factor "in a floor sweeping capacity"). The thing that has always most stuck in my mind about this episode, ever since first watching it on BBC Two way back when, was when Dave dared defy Moloch, who then opens up a blank computer document and writes Dave's suicide letter to his parents; Dave is found dead soon after. For some reason, this always creped me out.

    Of course, after such a build up, especially over they mystery over who / what "Malcolm" is, the final act can come as nothing but an anti-climax. And it certainly is that; but worse still is the terrible robot costume of Moloch, that looks like something straight out of a kid's Saturday morning show. I suppose the limited first season budget prevented them from doing anything more lavish, but the whole element – from the realisation of Moloch now being a robot, down to the dodgy costume itself – really lets the final act down, and this is the only thing that stops this episode getting a 10 from me.

    Some rank this episode as the weakest of the entire show's run. While I can appreciate that some might not like it, I can definitely think of worse. I think many compare it to the later, sharper episodes, but I feel if watched as a "stand alone" story, this episode is really good. As I say, it is only the disappointing final act, complete with terrible robot costume, that knocks this otherwise intriguing episode down from a 10 from me. But I personally really like this one enough to give it a 9.5. It's not that bad folks! The worse thing is the TERRIBLE episode title – it does the episode no favours, is somewhat of a spoiler, and is enough to put some people off from the start!
  • There's a demon in the internet!

    7.5
    This episode was so odd, though not bad, when a demon of the very very old world gets lose on the internet. I really liked the concept of a demon being lost on the internet, the old world of demons meeting the modern world of technology. The oddest part has got to be near the end though when the demon, Moloch, forges this huge metal robotic stuit. The first season was full of these odd and unique yet good episodes and concepts.
  • Great...Willow gets a love interest and he is a computer demon.

    6.3
    I really didnt like much about this episode. It was so cute to see Willow all happy about someone she met online ("on line for what?") Unfortunately, he is a demon who has been trapped in cyberspace thanks to some books Willow was scanning for Giles. One of the redeeming things in this ep was that we meet Ms Calendar for the first time and see how she interracts with Giles. (Lots of mutual attraction there!) As far as demons go, Moloch was one of the lamest I have seen in Jossverse ever. Nothing redeeming or mildly interesting about him.
  • My Mini review...

    3.0
    Best Scene:
    Ther is not things that I like about this episode. it really has to be one of the only episodes out of all of Buffy that I actually dislike.

    Worst Scene:
    Its not a scene that I dislike about this episode it is more the whole basic storyline that I dislike. Just the idea that scannign words into the computer releases a monster onto the internet. its not plausable to me. There are already enough monsters on the net without there being any supernatural ones.

    Funniest Moment:
    Again this would be the general interaction between Giles and Jenny.

    Best Quote:
    I like the interaction that we first see between Janny and Giles in this episode. This is one of the many time throughout her stint on Buffy that Jenny Calender and Giles bicker about the difference between books and computers. Jenny: I know your ways are strange to you, but soon you will join us in the twentieth century - with three whole years to spare!

    Worst Quote:
    Ummm... which one to pick.

    12th out of Twelve.
  • Demons on the Internet!?!?!

    9.2
    This episode started with the promise of a great episode filled with blood, guts and gore. Instead we got the 'how to' on removing demons from the internet.

    Even though I probably would have enjoyed the gore more I liked this episode. It gives Willow a bit more to do and yet again shows that this show is willing to tackle the over done 'vampires and demons scenario' and place it in the modern world.

    Jenni Calendar is introduced and immediately you can tell from the friction between her and Giles that there is a relationship there...books smell!!

    The funniest part of the episode was the realisation of Xander, Willow and Buffy that they were doomd to never have a normal relationship whilst they were living on the hellmouth. There are simply too many bad guys around.
  • a robot in the internet

    1.2
    the worst episode of the first season. it was ver funny sometimes but the whole idea was very stupid. a demon in the internet and then as a robot? too lame for words. the end is great because they all realise they are never going to have a healthy relationship. poor them.
  • Willow scans an ancient text, enabling the demon bound within it pages to break free and regain power by way of a computer network.

    8.0
    Although this was somewhat of a silly episode, it does reveal more of Willow's character. Ms. Hannigan shows herself to be a fine young actress, not just a one-note comic relief character. Giles provides more of the comic relief in this episode as he displays his suspicions of computers, but this comedic display does not really fit his character well. Buffy, as usual, is the blond with which to be reckoned, but using her bravery against a computer-generated "robot" seems a bit of a waste. The robot demon looked no more menacing than one of the animated Transformers of the Saturday morning cartoons.
  • Demon on the web oh no I'm on the web I should run!!! LOL

    8.6
    Okay a demon on the internet was definatly something not of the norm but hey nothing in Good old Sunnydale is ever of the norm. Okay Willow having a thing for the previously mentioned demon should have told people that internet dating is not good.

    Anywho, the two guys that were trying to kill Buffy were total geeks and really just weird and they gave me the creeps.

    Buffy and Xander were so funny though. I loved when Xander said "Reading makes our speaking English good" It would have been funnier if he had said gooder though! I loved Buffy freaking out that Willow's online guy could be a circus freak though.

    Jenny Calendar and Giles were so funny when they got into little spats about books and computers and which one was better it was just too funny.

    I'm glad that they got that demon out of the web and killed it cause that was a creepy demon. And love has already doomed them all in Sunnydale.

    In general the demon stuff and all was so lame but Xander came in and saved us with his Xander spice obviously meaning humor!
  • techopagan - love her...

    10
    This is where we first meet Jenny, um…Ms. Calendar, the computer teacher at Sunnydale who also happens to be a techopagan (and related to the whole Angel situation, but I’ll save that for later.) Willow really like her as she is a computer dork herself. Willow has been scanning in Giles old books so they are easier to reference. Little does she know that she released a spell into the computer when she did that. Now little Willow has a secret admirer on the computer, which is actually the demon. Giles figures it out and Buffy tries to delete the program and the demon but she is warned by the computer. They find out that the demon is now in a robot so it is mobile and coming for Willow. With the help of Jenny, Giles and Xander get the demon put back where it belongs and Willow is broken-hearted about her “relationship”.
  • One of the best season one episodes. If you don't believe me, read this and go and watch it again.

    9.4
    I'm going to start this review with a little rant. I've been reviewing season one (obviously) and for each episode I review I read the re-caps and glance at other reviewers scores and comments. If I have to defend ONE more season one episode from the popular band-wagon that they are are "stupid", "silly", "poor" and "ridiculous" I will become a little bit more annoyed than I am now. Thank God there are only 12 episodes! Although I feel my role as defender will have to be reprised for "Beer Bad" (which is great!) and a few other eps.

    Look beyond the "silly" main plots people. Look at the script, the acting, the character developments. Embrace the early antics that shape our Scoobies for the following six years. Think "metaphor". Be amazed at the cinematic feel that a pilot season T.V. show can achieve. Admire the Wit that is Xander before he gets fat and depressed. Try and view it in the context of when it was made (a decade ago). Spank your "season one is rubbish" inner moppet and enjoy the underrated goodness!

    I feel better now. Okay, with apologies to those who share my love for this (an other season one eps) I shall start my review. The first flash back. Ooooh I love the idea of this. To show the contrasts between medieval Moloch and modern-day Moloch was a stroke of genius. I love a good flash back, and I think Joss has always done them superbly. So, we get straight into the metaphorical "Boxing Ring". In the Giles' corner is The Book: Knowledge should be smelly and in new-addition-to-the-cast Miss Calendar's corner is The Computer: Making knowledge accessible to everyone and not just the white guy. "I Robot, You Jane" deals with the rising use of the computer and the scepticism that surrounded it in the late 90's(Millenium Bug anyone?) It also deals with the idea of internet dating (or internet "grooming" to be precise) teenage loneliness, teenage suicide(though not in detail) and the modern reliance on technology. It's amazing to see how dated most of the computer technology looks now. Although the idea of scepticism is still incredibly relevant to today's world, it's a great example of how fast the computer age has evolved.


    Willow has scanned The Moloch book into the computer (even if her scanner was too short and shown to not be scanning all of the page, even though it appears on the monitor) and has unwittingly activated the spell that releases him. However, Moloch has not been released into the world, but into the computer! He is now Malcolm. A chat-room junkie, Willow-admirer and potential destructor of the modern world. Lonely Willow finally has a reciprocating love interest(!) in the form of a a cyber demon. No wonder she became gay. Alyson and Sarah do really well in the scene's that deal with their contrasting views on Malcolm. Sarah really succeeds in showing that she is both majorly wigged-out but also, understandably, concerned. I love Willow's, "see, I knew you wouldn't understand" which shows that being the best friend of a beautiful superhero who your all-time crush loves and who could get any guy she wants, does in fact, have an un-spoken, realistic affect on her. Well I did start to wonder? The whole "changing-room" scene with the two of them is one of my favourites. Not only is it a very premature look at "bad Willow" (blowing off classes for lusty cyber-time with Malcolm, being an "addict" of something), but it is also the scene where the two girls create a lot of tension and we see Buffy come out of it as the more level-headed. Willow tells her, quite disturbingly, that, "Malcolm said you wouldn't understand" and Buffy replies with the coolest line of the episode, "Malcolm was right". Then slamming the locker. I love that bit!

    Xander becomes, as what will be accustomed with his character (his reaction to Dawn's supposed crush on Spike in season 6), slightly jealous of Willow's new beau through fear that her affections for him are waning. Buffy goes into detective-mode and we learn that Pervy Malcolm is also grooming computer nerds, psycho-Fritz and Dave. (Can I just say on the Dave note, that I was surprised that there was a Sunnydale student who's parents had actually opted for a "normal" christian name). Buffy amusingly becomes the source of "tell me about the internet" for the shows less computer literate viewers. All the time we are learning of Malcolm's internet power as he causes havoc technology-wise (editing student essays and messing with medical records) and psychologically, as he persuades Fritz and Dave to do his evil bidding. True, people don't usually talk-out-loud whilst chatting on the web, but this was purely a story-telling device. So no complaining!

    A few bloopers can be spotted to entertain your inner-geek. Buffy's school records show two entirely different date-of-births, and how did she really NOT see dead Dave hanging from the ceiling when she first walked into the computer lab? But, personally, I think these make the episode even better comedy-wise! I love, (LOVE) the scene where Moloch appears on the monitor in the library when Buffy is trying to delete Willow's file. LOL! When he says "Stay away from Willow. It is none of your business!". Completely, and wonderfully cheesey! Okay, it's un-intentionally funny, but my God, it's funny! "So that's what Malcolm looks like?". Better looking than Riley though. Sorry Buffy. I am really spoilt for choice when trying to choose some funny dialogue from this episode. The script is absolute dynamite. Giles, after Buffy blames him for Moloch's(Malcolms) release says, " I didn't read it! That dreadful Calendar woman found it". The gangs specualtion on Moloch's potential threats; "mess up world medical equipment... randomize traffic signals... access launch codes for nuclear missiles... destroy the world's economy" amusingly ends with Buffy's, "I think I pretty much capped it with that nuclear missile thing" and Giles' blunt, "Right, yours was best". Pop-culture referencing sees Spiderman get a mention, "My Spider senses are tingling" as Giles and the audience are made aware that the writer's are in fact aware that they always do this, confirming that pop-culture lingo is now a BtVS trademark. Uncle Rory, although not named, gets his first reference, as Xander explains that his uncle worked at CRD, "in a floor sweeping capacity". I'm also going to give Buff's deadpan "Shut. Up." a mention, as I thought it was great and her comedy skills are often underrated (and slightly obsolete in the last couple of seasons, in making way for Anya-isms).

    The "old and new coming together" as Giles and Miss Calendar join forces is a great metaphor for their future relationship, Buffy and Angel's future relationship and for the early Buffy seasons in general; Giles and the gang's generation gap, Giles and the gangs vocaulary, Spike's Billy Idol and Dru's 19th century-goth peasant, the Mayor's demonic traditions vs his commercial avenues...I really could go on forever, but you get the idea. I should just use the ultimate one, that is: ancient pre-destined status, demon's and a Hellmouth vs Californian high school-life.

    I must praise the Giles' conclusive, "books are good" speech. After Miss Calendar's, "books don't smell" we have the wonderful, "I know! Smell is the most powerful trigger to the memory there is. A certain flower or a, a whiff of smoke can bring up experiences...long forgotten. Books smell. Musty and, and, and, and rich. The knowledge gained from a computer, is, uh, it... it has no, no texture, no, no context. It's, it's there and then it's gone. If it's to last, then, then the getting of knowledge should be, uh, tangible, it should be, um... smelly" This is one of my favourite Giles moments of the season. It shows the excellence that is Giles, not to mention the acting skills of Tony Head himself. And Miss Calendar is obviously impressed too as this sets-off her quest to seduce him.

    The ending reflects the episode in terms of goodness. The gang sum up their relationships of the series so far. Vampires, She-mantis's and cyber demons are all guilty of being Scoobie love interests. and, in keeping with tradition, they will evolve into; more vampires (Spike), more demons, (Anya) and a monocyclic werewolf (Tara, oh, I mean Oz!). Xander gets it right. "We're doomed".

    Fantastic episode. In my season one, top three for it's witty script, it's character exploration and it's thought-provoking subject. And for the "Moloch appearing-on-the-monitor" scene!. "Stay away from Willow!" LOL.
  • This episode deals with two things in the show. The topic of internet dating and the emergence of Ms. Calendaras a Techno-Pagan. The demon Molech {SN Malcolm} Is an interesting character...

    10
    This episode starts out with the demon Molech being adored by his followers. He only asks that they love him. A group of monks seal him in a book where he is imprisoned until the words are read aloud. While willow is scanning Giles' old documents into the computer Molech is released into the internet.
    Molech under the Screen Name Malcolm begins to court Willow via the net. As problems start to develop from this largely from Buffy's suspicions it becomes revealed to the gang that Molech is Malcolm.
    As buffy investigates Malcolm a student who are also involved with Him is ordered to eliminate Buffy. Meanwhile a Technological Group that is not dwelled on for much in the show is building a robotic shell for the demon.
    Towards the episode finish willow is brought to the robotic demon, and Buffy appears to save the day. Malcolm is disconnected from the net and trapped in the body by ritual carried out by Ms. Calendar over the web, Once disconnected Buffy dispatches him in the normal fashion.
    This episode brings to light Jenny Calendar's techno-pagan background along with a development of Willows computer knowledge it also starts the spark of the Calender/Giles romance.
  • Message in a Ro-Bottle

    4.9
    An episode which hasn't dated well, this is one of the classic examples of "first season jitters" as it features all the things that made Buffy painful to watch back in 1997: the bad demons, the unintentionally hilarious story development and the bad 80's-keyboard-music.

    The episode sees Willow meeting a guy called Malcolm in a chatroom whilst the rest of the Scoobies discover a demon has escaped from an ancient book into the internet.

    Whilst still being watchable, this is Buffy on autopilot with an extreme "after-school special"-style storyline which may as well be called "How to Keep Your Children Safe From Prowling Paedophiles on the Internet!” Alyson Hannigan does her best with the script and it's nice to see her get at least some male attention (despite the male attention being from an, uh, ancient robot). The scenes in which Willow reads out exactly what she is typing are hilariously bad as well as being extremely clunky.

    The internet was quite new back in 1997 but, in retrospect, seeing Buffy ask things like "what's a chatroom?" or "what's this weird thing with loads of buttons with letters on them?" make her seem like she's just walked out from Stupidity Anonymous.

    Jenny Calendar makes her first appearance and makes an immediate impression. Did anybody really believe that she and Giles wouldn't end up together? Robia LaMorte is awesome throughout and it was a good decision to have her "technopagan" identity be revealed in her opening episode, instead of dragging it out for a while.

    I, Robot - You, Jane is an entertaining episode which suffers from a bad script and the fact that it seems really old compared to the rest of season one.
  • This is an episode that I love, and personally feel people underate. It's worth watching for the great character build up, and well written script.

    8.1
    I think I may be in a minoraty here, but I thought this episode was great. It was the first time in the world of Buffy that we see Willow's character start to flurish and show real emotion and feelings, which would again be explored to greater detail in later episodes and series.

    Although the episodes "bad guy" wasn't the greatest in the first series, it did produce a thought provoking one which really explored the theory of "big brothers watching you", and how everyones details are now easily available on-line.

    The show also displayed it's normal brilliance by producing a well written piece of television full of raw emotion and humour - not an easy job to do.

    I can understand why people refer to this as a weak episode, but personally I think it is one of the strongest in the first series, certainly in terms of character development (an area that I love in TV). In all one that I feel is often underated.
  • Monster in the machine.

    8.0
    This was a good episode of Buffy. I really liked seeing a different side of Willow that we had seen before. She becomes obsessed with Malcom aka Moloch and starts becoming irresponsible. This episode also featured the introduction of Jenny Calender who would play a bigger role in season 2. There are some bad things about this episode like Moloch torwards the end, I mean he looked stupid, really stupid and cheesy, it was like he became robo moloch, but it didn't take any enjoyment out of a good episode. Overall, a good episode that uses a demon to show the dangers of the internet.
  • A glimpse of Willow's loneliness and the Giles/Jenny cute meet is the only reason to check this one out.

    6.8
    Average episodes are the hardest to write reviews for because, as you can imagine, there's not a lot to point to.

    The monster make up effects of Moloch in Italy are good, but he's only on screen a short time before in the opening teaser. Once he gets 'scanned' into the internet and later as a robot, he's just not impressive.

    Still we get some nice vulnerable scenes from Willow and Aly does vulnerable extremely well. She also shows the early signs of the inner strength that her character develops throughout the series when she takes on Moloch with nothing but her determination and a fire extinguisher.

    The real pleasurable scenes however don't belong to Willow even though this is nominally her episode. They actually belong to the Giles/Jenny meeting and the wonderful technology vs. books debate. Funny, sweet, and we are already hoping these two find a way to hook up.
  • A demon on the Internet!

    8.0
    The first ‘real’ demon the Scooby’s have to fight, until now it have been vampires, animals (as I will call the She Mantis and the Hyena’s). When I first started watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer I didn’t like this episode, why exactly I can’t remember, maybe because it was about a demon on the Internet. But after quit some time I watched it again and I noticed that I didn’t dislike it at all, it’s a great episode.

    We get introduced with the character of Jenny Calender, one of my favourite guest actress in the first couple of seasons. I’m glad that they didn’t just keep her for this episode and made her come back for quite some episodes in the future.

    This episode starts with a great scene and the first look in history we see on Buffy, Willow finally has a boyfriend, but then it turns out that his name isn’t Malcolm but Muloch a demon that had been captured centuries ago, but now brought back, on the internet trough a scanning device.

    A very good stand alone episode.
  • A episode centered around Willow, can't be all bad.

    7.6
    This wasn't the greatest Buffy episode ever, but it was pretty good. Plus we get to meet Jenny Calendar and although she wasn't my favorite (she betrayed Buffy and Angel after all), she was a great plot twist.

    The monster in the computer was bound to happen. Willow being so good on them and we are a computer dominated world. They had to do it.

    Pretty good ep. It only got better from there.
  • Unfairly judged against later episodes.

    8.5
    I know amongst the Buffy fan community, this episode isn’t very highly regarded, but I don’t understand why. I’ll be the first to admit that it can’t begin to compare to the classics found later in the series, but all throughout this first season, the show was finding its feet. It was showing signs of what was to come, but wasn’t there yet. Sure, the premise is a bit silly, and for those of us who prefer episodes that advance the season-long arc to ones that are just simple monster-of-the-week, this one doesn’t deliver, as it is a shining example of MOTW.

    Nevertheless, you get some quality character development, Willow in peril (always fun, and increasingly rare as she got more powerful), and one of the best pieces of Giles dialogue ever. Moloch was a bit silly, this much is true, but you can’t really focus on the monsters anyway. I’ll always have a place in my heart for this episode, despite the general dislike voiced by most fans.

    If nothing else, the sole redeeming quality of any of these episodes from season 1 is the abundance of quality interaction between the original core Scoobies. While many characters will win the fans (including myself) over in subsequent years, the original gang remains my favorite, and the favorite of many Buffy fans. And with the constantly expanding cast on the show, you have to enjoy the moments with the originals where you can get them, and there really isn’t any better place for that than season 1. And this is a fine season 1 episode for just that.

    No, it’s not the Gift. It isn’t Hush, or Once More With Feeling. It isn’t whatever classic episode you want to compare it with. It isn’t even Prophecy Girl for that matter (though I refuse to believe it’s any worse than Reptile Boy or Go Fish). What it is, is simply a little bit of fun, and for those of us who watched from the beginning and can look back on the entire series now, a little nostalgia.
  • Didn't I see something like this on the original Star Trek?

    2.5
    O.K.
    Confession time.
    I've got my confession robe on and I've lit a candle.
    In a previous review, I commented that "Teachers Pet" was probobly the worst episode of season 1. I was wrong. This was. The only positive thing I can say about this episode is that it centered on the cute and adorable Willow. Talk about a possessive boyfriend...this guy takes the cake! The thing is, this episode wasn't half bad until they put the demon in the robot's body. This was even worse than the Babylon 5 episode "Infection", which with "Believers" are the only 2 episodes of B5 I refuse to watch.
  • El Diablo Robotico?

    5.0
    When the internet was open for a public use, no one could really predict the way it has permeated our everyday lives, how electronic communities have sprung up from everywhere, connecting people previously separated by geography. Information that used to be hard to find can now be brought up by a snap of a finger (or more accurately, by a click of a mouse, and some taps to the keyboard). The internet is now so entrenched into our lives that we'd be lost without it, much like we are without electricity.

    But while all that sounds very nice, the internet also brought with a host of problems. Viruses are easier than ever to transmit, ignorant people are being duped and cheated every day, and most abhorent of all, is that people are finding easier and easier to give in to their baser nature without being constraint by society.

    One of the drawing features of the internet is the near total anonymity of it all. In one way, this is a good thing, since that it allows for us to communicate with each other without bringing any prejudice or preconceptions into it. In another way, this anonymity also allows people to say things they won't normally say, to be rude, to outright lie, abominable spelling etc. In short, everything that most culture taught us is wrong, but embolden by the fact they cannot be caught. You don't have to believe me, just check ANY chat rooms.

    So, what does all this have to do with this week's Buffy? Well, this episode really emphasizes the importance of the 'net and how much power someone with total control of it would have. It emphasizes with the fact that not everything on the 'net can be believed out of hand, and how much must be taken with a grain of salt. And most of all, it tells us not to rely too much on it, because a demon might invariably gain control of it and control you with promises of love and power.


    Thoughts

    - I really hate when TV/Movies deals with computers. It always grossly exagerated and inaccurate. Buffy is no exception. While some of the screens look plausible, nobody, and I mean nobody types in a chat room and talks out loud, unless you want everyone to know what you're talking about. And the computer-y voice is just so fake. For one thing, I doubt that technology existed then for a school(1997), or that it can pronounce the nuances of a word so well. And lastly, you don't turn off you computer by turning off the screen. >:(

    - The makeup for the demon Moloch in the teaser is exceptionally well made, especially for a Season 1 episode. Too bad they replaced it with the cheesy and campy demon robot. El Diablo Robotico?

    - Did anyone flash to Illona Costa Bianchi when you heard the Italian lines? :o

    - You SO know that Giles and Jenny are going to get it on. They just sparked with chemistry.
    "Giles: I'll, uh, I'll
    be back in the middle ages. (starts up the stairs)
    Ms. Calendar: Did you ever leave?"

    "Giles: Well, I-I don't dangle a corkscrew from my ear.
    Ms. Calendar: (mischievously) That's not where I dangle it."

    - Catch the picture of Willow and Giles on the door of Willow's locker. Apparently she has a crush on Giles, which is confirmed in Season 4's Where the Wild Things Are.

    - Xander's kinda jealous, isn't he? He never seems to approve of anyone dating "his" girls. Except Riley. Huh.

    - Paranoia is apparently fun.

    - "I'm jacked in". Ugh. Camp to the max.

    - Following somebody in dark glasses and a trenchcoat in Broad Daylight is a really, really bad idea.

    - "To read makes our speaking English good." Cl@ssic Xander line.

    - Willow's Whackus Interruptus.
    Malcolm! *whack* Remember me, your girlfriend?!*whack* Well, I think it's time we break up! *whack* Or maybe we can still be friends!
    I heart the beep out of her. :)

    - I agree with Giles. As much as I love my computer, it will never replace the feeling of settling down to read a good book.

    - "Buffy: Let's face it, none of us are ever gonna have a happy, normal relationship."
    And how. If only they knew. ;)

    This episode is much better than I remembered it, which isn't saying a lot. I still hate fake technology they used, but I guess the whole episode isn't as bad as I think.
    I give this a 5 out of 10.
  • Cautionary tale of meeting people online is potentially the worst episode of the entire series.

    4.0
    Demons and internet chat rooms are a laughable (and not in a good way) mix. SEE: 'I Robot, You Jane'. Willow (Alyson Hannigan) is feeling the pangs of being a nerd, and all she wants is a little love outside of her obsession with her best friend, Xander. So, like any lonely nerd would--Willow heads online for companionship. Soon enough she meets Mr. Perfect. But the gang soon suspects Willow's Mr. Perfect isn't even human. Whackiness ensues.

    This is the worst episode of Season One and quite possibly of the entire series. The only episode that I consider shutting off before it's finished. The only saving grace of this turd is the final scene, which for my money is one of the best character moments you'll ever find in the series.

    Recently, I've undertaken the daunting task of re-watching the whole series for the benefit of my girlfriend. She was very much onboard for every episode... except for this one. Bad Buffy! Bad!
  • Very, very difficult to watch; fortunately blessed with a great last scene.

    4.8
    The last scene was cute, sad, and made me laugh.

    Now on to the bad parts.

    First of all, whoever wrote this show ignored any information they may have come across about computers and how they are used. Sure, it was in the late '90s, but there were way too many impossibilities in this episode, even before the supernatural element was introduced.

    On top of that, Willow acted completely out of character, with no real supernatural explanation. Her distant, desperate demeanor may have been explained by the demon, but I didn't hear about it. It's hard to watch a show with inconsistent characters.

    And the acting wasn't that different than usual, but I definitely heard at least one bizarrely delivered line. Oh, well...at least it was so bad I laughed.
  • I Bored...You Suck

    5.1
    I Robot...You Jane-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...

    Well, if the lame title isn't enough of a hint for you, this episode has plenty of lame to go around. It's not that the story itself was bad, but the way it was handled was poor. Moloch the Corrupter looked like a great villian in the teaser and by the end of the episode he is turned into the Demonator...literally! Also, his minions were annoying, especially the one who craved "M" on his arm.

    Also, the whole Willow falling for a guy on the internet is weak, I mean Willow changes to fast and trusts a complete stranger too quickly. I don't care if it was demon using mind control or whatever, it just felt forced. Seriously, by the time you see Moloch as robot, you're pretty much waiting for the episode to end at that point.

    On the plus side, the introduction of Ms. Calender was a welcomed treat. Immedialtely a likeable character, all the scenes between Jenny and Giles are hilarious and you can already sense a hidden attraction between the 2. I also loved how she was a technopagan and the agruments about books vs computer were very entertaining. All and All, besides a fun sub-plot, the main plot falls flat completely becoming the worst episode of the season.
  • I Robot, You Jane

    8.5
    I Robot, You Jane was a great episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Its underlying message is about being careful with meeting people on the internet. The approach to this topic was successful in getting its message across using typical Buffy standards of story telling. The story is great, with some shots back into history. The bad guys are really bad, and serious in their agendas. Buffy tries to look out for Willow, who has fallen under this enemies spell. This was Willows first attempt at a relationship. So far all the gangs love lives have a bleek outlook. The end was very foreshadowing in that aspect. I think this episode also brought viewers closer to the characters. Jenny Calendar is a welcome addition to the episode, and look forward to seeing her again.
  • The Demon Moloch is trapped within a book in the 1400's and eventually is released when scanned into a computer system by Willow. This episode introduces Giles romance with Ms. Calendar the Computer Class teacher.

    8.5
    Another episode which at the time seem sort of a throw away. The robot thing was sort of archaic and the whole premise was, even though clever, a little bit nerdy for anyone to take seriously.

    The real importance to this episode is the introduction of Robia LaMorte as Ms. Calendar. She ends up being an ally for Giles and a major distraction. Very pretty and at the same time she could give him a run for his money about things that most people are totally oblivious too. In a way, a perfect match.

    The episode itself is interesting in that Willow is drawn to someone who is hiding their true identity in the same way Xander was taken in by Miss French in Teacher's Pet. Once again one of the gang is taken in by something that is not quite what it seems.

    The premise of the Demon being trapped in the book is sort of interesting in itself. The notion that scanning the pages would release it into a computer system is also interesting, but a little off. It is a fun idea though and it was a little strange in the end with the Robby the robot they built for him. It sort of made the whole thing silly.

    Another episode that was key to the series for introducing new characters and developing one of the original characters into more of a three dimensional person is the key though. Thanks for reading...
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