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Discussion of 1.08 "I Robot, You Jane" - Aired 4/28/1997 (WB-US)

Willow Rosenberg

I might be just like you!
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#1
Season 1, Episode 8 "“ Aired: 4/28/1997
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...
SOURCE:TV.COM
 
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#2
The ultimate fail episode of Season One. Although it was good enough and awesomely 'Willow-centric' the demon was pathetic. The best bit was the introduction of Jenny into the show. She opened with an awesome line and continued being awesome for her entire run on the show. But other than that I did have major problems with the demon. Is it just me or did it make you think of Adam? You know, just the overall attitude, he didn't feel very scary.
 

VisionGirl

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Sineya
#3
Not my fav ep, but love this exchange:

Ms. Calendar: Well! You really are an old-fashioned boy, aren't you?

Giles: Well, I-I don't dangle a corkscrew from my ear.

Ms. Calendar: (mischievously) That's not where I dangle it.

The scene at the end is funny, although for someone who has seen the entire series gave me a feeling of impending doom. Buffy: "Let's face it: none of us are ever gonna have a happy, normal relationship." Wow, they really have no idea!!
 

FetalPig

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#5
The scene at the end is funny, although for someone who has seen the entire series gave me a feeling of impending doom. Buffy: "Let's face it: none of us are ever gonna have a happy, normal relationship." Wow, they really have no idea!!
It's amazing how often a character will quip the basic plot premise halfway through a show ...
 
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#6
I think it`s funny that in the beginning there is a mentioning of a god called Kayless and in Star Trek one of the klingons predecessor/god is called Kahless and pronounced the same. I wonder where they got it from? I think the episode is really enjoyable. Miss Calendar makes her first appearance and she is cool as ever. I find the mad computer theme funny too. Or have i just watched too many sci-fi series and movies? ;) This episode is the first where Willow "whines". I mean is it the actor, is it the manuscript? Anyways she looks really silly when she cries cause her almost boyfriend Malcolm turns out to be an evil robot.
It´s funny when Buffy tries to kick the robot ;) And it`s really cute when the three scoobys cuddle together in the corner to get away from Moloch. And the ending is great too-"That`s life on the Hellmouth-we`re doomed". And they don`t seem too upset about it ;)
 
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#7
Looking back, it seems like a silly episode, but many season 1 episodes were to be honest.
I did quite enjoy it when I watched it though. I like the whole "internet dating" thing. Thought it was interesting. And Willow is so cute in the episode.
 
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#8
I really like this episode too, it does seems silly but yeah what doesn't in this show.. But it's silly in a good way.
It has some really funny scenes, my favorite is after Buffy's been almost elctrocuted and she's worried about her hair :D
Buffy: "Tell me the truth. How's my hair?"
Xander: "It's great. It's your best hair ever."

I don't mind the the whole 'dangers of internet dating' story, I thought it was fun, but I hate the scene in CRD at the end when Willow attacks Moloch with a fire extinguisher, that's a lousy scene not worthy of this show..
 
Jules
Jules
I love the ''hair'' quote as well

BananaBuffy

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#9
SO, welcome back to Short to Long Buffy Reviews...yep. Today you join me while I am sitting in the dark because my sister fell asleep on me and it's not even midnight yet. So, anyhow....today I am discussing an episode that goes by the title 'I Robot...You Jane'. Silly title, supposedly silly episode...but is it. Looking back at my first comment, I realize that my opinion of this ep has changed a lot since I wrote that. So without furthur ado...I bring you the main event.

I ADORE THIS EPISODE!!! I have a real soft spot for it and always look forward to reaching in in rewatches. It seems I'm not the only one either. I think Willow is adorable, Jenny is fantastic and the humour always makes me laugh. I think what I don't like about it is the fact that it falls short around three quarters of the way through. The last scene is great though, so it's nice that it picks up. But all the parts when they go to the place and the demons there and stuff is just lame.

So, Jenny Calendar...dun, dun-ity, dun or whatever. Anyway, you get the picture...DRUM ROLL. Oh, oh, oh...SPOILER ALERT....she dies. But whatever. Now that I've spoiled you on one of the biggest season 2 plot points, I will continue to talk about her introduction into the series. Jenny is funny, Jenny is sassy and Miss Jenny Calendar is 'oh, so sexy'. Watching her with Giles really amuses me, his character is taken to all new heights whenever there's a scene with the two of them. Her dialogue in this episode is all fantastic and she couldn't have a stronger character intro. Although, I believe the strongest goes to Oz with his natural charm and...Oz-ish-ness.

The entire theme of the episode makes it what could be a 'very special Buffy' but is quite good none the less. It makes sense to do an episode like that around that time. It was when it was all just coming in. We watch it now and we roll our eyes because...well, I'm writing this in a forum of people I've never met and most of which I probably never will meet. I don't know if you're legit...I believe you are because we're all so open and post pictures, videos and stuff but they didn't do that back then. There's always the possibility that you were the one person to run into an axe murderer online. Or a circus freak, haha. But the episode carried well for the time in my opinion.

Hmm....what else? The demon is really, really lame and some things need to be worked out but other than that, I love it. In my head, sometimes I think it's in my top 3 of season one. WOW! Is it in anyone elses?

So...funny quotes time.

FUNNY MOMENTS
"How's my hair?""It's great, it's your best hair ever"
"I'll be back in the middle ages""Did you ever leave?"
"We were fighting""Yes, yes...must do it again sometime"
"You guys must love the library huh""We're literary""To read makes our speaking English good"

I'm too lazy right now to come up with anything else. Sorry :p I totally don't put very much into these reviews.

So, the episode comes at a strong 8/10 for me because I loved it but I don't want to rate it higher because I don't suppose it deserves it. <3

Join me next time on Short to Long Buffy Reviews. This is your host Savannah, who just realized she never introduces herself at the start...signing out.
 

Bluebird

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Black Thorn
#10
Probably my least favourite Buffy episode. The story is stupid, the acting bad, pacing slow as a snail, and overall very forgettable. Yeah, I'm not a fan. It would be the only episode I'd skip in a rewatch, if I ever skipped any episodes.
 

patriot1123

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#11
I love this episode, primarily because of Jenny and her interaction with Giles. Jenny is a great foil for the development of Giles's character and I love the way she pokes at him during this ep for his stubborn refusal to acknowledge the value of computers. She's sassy and interesting and I love her character.
 
A
Abby27
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Abby27

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#13
Yea, I mean, you gotta remember, this episode was written/aired in 1996/1997. Back then, the idea of meeting someone over the internet was considered dangerous and strange, and even today it still gets a somewhat...tainted reputation. So, even with people today being a little weirded out by couples meeting online, imagine what they would have been like in a world without Facebook, Myspace, Youtube, and the general acceptance and need we have for the internet. With all that in mind I thought the whole idea of this ep was fun and really in-tune with the time. The whole theme of combining the old, traditional demons and mythology with the "new age" technology was brilliant! (I thought Moloch getting "read" by the computer and getting put into the internet was a cool idea - call me lame) And then to embody this clash of times with Jenny and Giles was just too fun to watch.

I like it a lot because that's also a general theme of Buffy: putting the old school lore of vampires in the midst of the world as they knew it back in 1997.
 

AmazingMrCross

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#14
This is not my favorite episode. In fact, it's my least favorite in the entire series, but it's bad in a silly and fun way.

"I Robot, You Jane," to be fair, is plagued by the same problem all mid-90s Internet episodes had: misrepresentation of current technology. Chat rooms are not like that, computers do not repeat back what's on the screen to you in a robot voice (at least not in 1997), and there's no default giant text. Computer networks are not attached to nuclear missile silos. I'm nitpicking, but IRYJ has not aged well at all.

Plus it's your typical cautionary tale about the stranger out to get you with this newfangled Inarrzone contraption. They personified the whole 'internet predator' deal in the form of a ridiculous looking robot... that had horns. Moloch reminded me of a monster you might see on "Superhuman Samurai Syber Squad." Servo should have teamed up with Buffy.

A thought just occured to me - it's interesting how Williow's mystery net crush is named 'Malcom' and the main villain's assistant in S4 (I'm not typing that out again) was named 'Malcom Frink.' Eh, but I'm comparing "Buffy" to a kid's show created to sell toys, so I will stop.
 

Jules

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Black Thorn
#15
Was it just me or is the scene with Buffy in the coat and sunglasses were she follows that guy the same as the scene in ''Go Fish''?

I did enjoy the message that Internet dating could be a dangerous thing. It was portrayed very well. I smiled at Xander's comment when he said he'd tried to contact Willow and the phone had rang so she mustn't have been on line, how I dont miss dial up internet lol
 

Robb Stark

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#17
This episode gets a lot of hate, and it does get kind of silly, but I still enjoyed it. Like others have said, it's total 90's ("Did you reach Willow?" "No, but it rang so she's not on the net." Man, I hated dial up...). The metaphor is a little on the nose.

But I still liked it. The guy who plays Jesse, the spazy kid from The Fast and the Furious, is in it as Dave, and I'm pretty sure Joss Whedon is the newscaster on the radio talking about things falling apart. This is the first time we see Jenny, and her and Giles bantering back and forth was hilarious. Fritz was pretty funny too, in that he was just absurdly intense. And the ending had some pretty good foreshadowing.

Underrated episode.
 

thetopher

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#18
Oh dear. Well, every season has one stinky episode and this is it....but it still has a surprising ammount of good stuff here, its just got nothing to do with the main plot.
The 'demon in the internet' idea has a lot of milage but the execution- 'The internet is baaad!' is just stupid. Anyway:

Good Bits: Pretty much all of the Giles/Jenny interactions. Their sniping and bickering and then the reveletion that she has more in common with him than he intially thought. And the end interaction, Giles' talk about his mistrust of computers and that knowledge should have 'texture' is a great moment. (One that I sympathise with a little bit- I prefer hardbacks to e-books any day.)
Buffy/Xander talking about Willow is very funny ('But I could also say that I'm an elderly dutch woman!'...'Willow axed to death by circus freak!' :)), 'How's my hair?' (its all in the reading and the pouty face.) plus the ending where Buffy, Xander and Willow console each other about their doomed love lives...boy, they really have no idea do they.

Not So Good Bits: The only Willow-centric episode of the season should be better than this...Where to start. The two nerds, Dave is okay but I would've been fine with Fritz being brutally murdered by somebody, (everything he says is irritating...everything.) a quick neck snap is too good for him.
Why isn't Willow controlled by Moloch like the others? Buffy goes into the computer room and doesn't see Dave hanging from the ceiling until she's right in front of him? Blonde moment perhaps.
The 'hit you over the head' metaphor about the internet being bad. Also this dates the episode really badly. Moloch isn't very cunning for some manupulative demon, and quickly decides to have Buffy killed. Confidential information isn't stored on the internet. A lot of it is protected, Moloch would have knowledge, but not nuclear launch codes. Stupid writing. :rolleyes:
The robot demon body...urgh, looks really stupid, and I'm not a huge fan of robots on supernatural horror shows anyway.
If I had to skip 1 episode this season it (probably) would've been this one, a few good scenes between the characters doesn't excuse the terrible plot.
 

Valjavertjinn

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#19
This episode is one that I actually love despite everything. I mean, the Giles/Jenny stuff brings me a lot of joy (this episode actually introduces Jenny, my favorite character!) but I also just enjoy the episode for its awfulness. If you don't go into it expecting it to be a stellar hour of television, this one becomes a LOT more enjoyable. You just sort of relax and let its dated computer jargon, character inconsistencies, convoluted plotline, and "what the heck were the costumers thinking?" monster designs roll over you like the soothing wave of incomprehensible gibberish that this episode chooses to be.
 

Taake

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Black Thorn
#20
This was so much fun to watch. First - the Scoobies are so adorable! (But man Buffy's skirts are short!) I'm crushing a little bit on all of them simply for being so cute :)

I really enjoyed the ep, yes it's cheesy but I think that's mostly because the idea is better than the execution, not surprising since the show was so young. That said I think they did a fair job if it, e.g.I love the computers vs. books discussions between Jenny and Giles. "We're creating a new society", indeed!

Fritz is unsettling, as intended ;) I'm sure there are people quite like him (minus the murders)

All of the tech stuff - the guy with the laptop, the computer screens, the pay phone are hilarious simply by just being, doesn't get more 90s than this my friends!

Classic, awesome, early seasons ending too

"Let's face it - none of us are ever going to have a happy healthy relationship"
"Yeah, we're doomed!"
"Hahahahaha.....errrrr"

How right they were ;)
 
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