Project 310 - I Robot, You Jane

Season 1, Episode 8 - “I Robot, You Jane”
Original airdate: April 28, 1997
Project 310 re-watch date: Dec. 29, 2008

Prior to this episode, we’d had 2 Xander-centric episodes, but none centered around Willow. That changed with “I Robot, You Jane”, which featured Willow being semi-seduced by a demon that was accidentally trapped in the Internet. I know that concept seems incredibly absurd now, but back in 1997, it was a little more believable (at least, as believable as something like that could be in the confines of a show about demons and vampires and whatnot).

One of the things that always bothered me about this episode -- and still does upon rewatching -- is that the robot Moloch that’s built at the end of the episode looks so much worse than the demon Moloch from the beginning of the episode. In fact, Moloch was one of the better demon makeup jobs from the early seasons.

This episode also served as the debut for Jenny Calendar (played by the attractive and incredibly nice Robia LaMorte). It’s funny, but you could tell from the bickering between Jenny and Giles during the scene in the library that they were destined to be a couple (people on TV don’t fight like that unless they secretly have a thing for each other).

When Jenny says “I know” after Giles tells her “there’s a demon in the Internet”, the writers of the episode were obviously going for a red herring that people would ever so briefly think Jenny was evil. Obviously, that wasn’t the case, and the line doesn’t have nearly the same effect upon re-viewing the episode. One thing that is enhanced is the effect of Jenny debuting one episode after Angel’s curse is revealed. There didn’t seem to be any connection at the time, but it became pretty obvious a season later.

Sometimes I see episodes with great lines and they don’t seem as memorable the second (or third, or fourth, or ninth) time. But in this case, when Jenny calls out Buffy and Xander on being in the library so often, and Xander responds “To read makes our speaking English good”, I laughed out loud. It’s still funny, and it’s even funnier when Buffy scolds him for saying something so stupid as they leave the library.

Random question: why is Giles screaming the incantation to trap Moloch as if they’re in the same room, when really he’s just dictating it to Ms. Calendar? I understand the whole idea behind dramatic effect, but it seems kind of silly.

At the end of the episode, Buffy and Xander cheer up Willow by recalling their strange relationships, and Buffy says, “Let’s face it: none of us are ever going to have a happy, normal relationship.” It’s amazing how true that ends up being. Let’s pull up the scorecard for each of them.

Buffy had relationships with Angel (turned evil, sent to hell, left for L.A.), Parker (used her), Riley (left for the Army) and Spike (died).

Xander had relationships with Cordelia (cheated on her) and Anya (left her at the alter, she died) -- not to mention the one-episoders who always tried to kill him.

Willow had relationships with Oz (turned into a werewolf, left her), Tara (she got shot) and Kennedy (she turned into Warren when she kissed Kennedy).

And I thought my relationships sucked.