Out of Mind, Out of Sight

This is the first Cordelia-y episode of the series, and really, who doesn’t love Cordelia? I mean, even before she *~*grows*~* and everything. She’s such a ridiculous caricature of The Popular Girl in high school that I find it impossible to be angry at her, almost ever. Luckily, though, that’s not ALL she is (or she would be pretty boring) and this episode is the first time we really see that.

What is that THING in your hair, Harmony? Stop it, stop it now.

The episode opens with Cordelia being herself, i.e. walking down the hallway with a teenage boy who looks about 47 years old, talking about herself, running into Buffy and humiliating her in front of everyone, etc. The very next scene is typical Cordelia too–a class discussion which Cordy takes totally the wrong way. (By the way, class discussions in Buffy totally helped me in real-life class on more than one occasion.) But, in this same moment, we get a glimpse (a teenie one!) of a different side to her. She’s done the assigned reading, she’s asking her teacher for guidance on a paper, she’s making plans to stay after school for extra help. This never seemed weird or unnatural to me. Cordelia’s not dumb and has never seemed dumb; she’s too quick-witted with insults, at the very least, for that. This just confirms that she’s smart and, well, maybe speaks a little bit about her perfectionist tendencies.

Probably some more lighting would help…

And then her middle-aged boyfriend gets attacked by a giggling, floating bat in the locker room. GASP. You’d think students would just stay out of Sunnydale’s locker rooms by now. Nothing good ever happens there.

This episode isn’t completely about Cordelia, of course. It’s also a lot about Buffy and her insecurities. She feels excluded from Being Popular like she was at her old school, and she feels a little excluded from Xander and Willow, too. She doesn’t seamlessly blend in with either group. She’s been caught in too many strange situations to be in Cordy’s group and she’s only known Xander and Willow for a few months so she doesn’t have the history that they do. To be fair, I don’t think she WANTS to be in Cordy’s group…she just wants to belong somewhere and be liked. Who doesn’t?

We can tell it’s a flashback because of the different filter, duh.

We get a strange flashback from the POV of a yet-unidentified-character who’s following Cordelia and Harmony around listening to their boring conversation, and then we zip back to the present and Harmony is knocked down a flight of stairs by nothing.

(Can I just say, as far as invisible people go, Marcy is the worst one ever. I guess she’s emotionally damaged enough to not care or whatever but seriously, stop cackling like a hyena every time you jostle people around. It’s annoying.)

I find it very weird that Cordelia is “working on her May Queen” dress. In the school, no less. Cordy doesn’t seem the type to make her own dress, but okay. Buffy stays after school, too, because the Scoobies have figured that the Invisible-Still-Unidentified-Person has a grudge against Cordelia.

CORDELIA LITERALLY HAS HAND-MAIDENS.

Giles is still at school too because in Season 1 he doesn’t have a house or something. And then Angel shows up! Remember him? He tells Giles he hasn’t fed off people “in a long while” but doesn’t mention his habit of, what? Stealing blood from hospitals? (Remember the bags of blood in his fridge?) Tsk, tsk, Angel. He also says that it’s “too hard to be around” Buffy, so I guess lurking around her father figure is second-best. They talk about the Master, too. Remember how he’s actually supposed to be a threat? Yeah, the writers are scrambling to tie up the season since the finale is the next episode. Angel promises to get a book for Giles (aww, they’re friends) and then he says, rather cryptically, “Looking the mirror and seeing nothing there? It’s an overrated pleasure.” Um, that doesn’t sound pleasurable to me at all, but okay.

Can you believe this girl wasn’t popular?

Another weird flashback, and we meet Invisible Girl! Only by face, not by name. Then Cordy wins May Queen and delivers an amazing speech that we only hear part of. Willow gives Buffy the “Dead or Missing” student list, which exists and I love it for doing so. Buffy deducts that the Invisible Girl is a girl named Marcy because of a flute she heard (yeah, again, making massive intuitive leaps she doesn’t seem to possess when she, I don’t know, jump-kicks a robot and is surprised by his metallic body) and then goes to the band room and finds Marcy’s nest, which is actually pretty cozy. I used to nap in my closet sometimes. I put blankets down in there and had magazines and it was nice. And now I have fully and forevermore secured myself as being the weirdest kid alive, so anyway.

Marcy’s in the room, too, watching Buffy go through her stuff. Not only is Marcy a chronic giggler, but she’s a mouth-breather too, and Buffy doesn’t hear her for some reason. She also doesn’t notice the knife Marcy’s waving around her head. She’s losing touch a little bit.

Maybe this is why I hate Marcy, because she’s just an irritating five-year-old who can’t even deface a picture creatively.

Then Marcy tries to murder a teacher which…..okay, I get attacking Mitch and Harmony, but clearly Marcy’s insane. Buffy shows the others her yearbook. “Have a nice summer” is the kiss of death, that is true. I don’t really understand why Marcy has a ninth-grade yearbook. The only time it’s acceptable to buy a yearbook is when you’re graduating. Ah well. The Scoobies deduce that Marcy became invisible because that’s how the other students perceived her, and–look, this is all sad and everything, but I kind of hate Marcy? I just can’t relate at all to wanting to be popular that badly. I think if Marcy stopped trying so hard and just hung out with people like Xander and Willow, she would have been fine. Cordelia’s not nice, not at all secretive about it, and Marcy is surprised when Cordelia’s not nice to her? I’ve been in high school with literally NO friends, and it sucks, it does. But Marcy still annoys me a lot.

And then Cordelia surprises us all with beautiful poignancy.

Hey, you think I’m never lonely because I’m so cute and popular? I can be surrounded by people and be completely alone. It’s not like any of them really know me. I don’t even know if they like me half the time. People just want to be in the popular zone. Sometimes when I talk, everyone’s so busy agreeing with me, they don’t hear a word I say.

When Buffy asks why she works so hard at being popular then, Cordy says, “It beats being alone all by yourself.” I love her! I mean, I don’t get wanting to be popular, but I get that. Loneliness. And I get that everyone feels it, that it doesn’t matter how many people you’ve got in your corner, and maybe that’s part of why I never craved popularity? I don’t know, I probably wasn’t that smart as a kid and I probably just didn’t want to be popular because I hated everyone with a passion, but whatever, we can pretend I was as smart as Cordelia, okay?

What she’s saying really speaks to Buffy. After all, in LA Buffy was popular, but her parents were fighting and she became the Slayer and learned a lot about the loneliness Cordelia is talking about. I think here Buffy realizes that she’s lucky to have Willow and Xander, friends she can be honest with above everything else.

While Buffy’s playing bodyguard for Cordelia, Giles, Willow, and Xander decide to follow the flute music and try to grab Marcy. BAD IDEA. Marcy locks them in the boiler room and attempts murder for like the tenth time in the past thirty minutes by letting gas into the room. Meanwhile, Marcy ‘naps Cordelia (how she manages to drag her up into the ceiling, I have no idea) and drugs Buffy which is just rude. When Buffy wakes up, she and Cordy are restrained and Marcy’s about to do plastic surgery on Cordelia’s face.

I do enjoy Marcy’s use of glitter.

They also receive Marcy’s last message, to complete the set: “LOOK. LISTEN. LEARN.” Although I don’t like Marcy or her ideals, I think the lesson here is important. Don’t be shitty to people. Don’t bully. Pay attention to people who might be hurting and try to help them.

What I like about this part is that Cordy can’t talk her way out of it. Marcy has no reason to believe Cordelia feels her degree of loneliness, and it wouldn’t be realistic if she had a change of heart. She’s crazy, remember? Or as Buffy says, “a thundering loony.” So Buffy kicks Marcy’s ass, after a little bit of difficulty. She actually hones her Slayer senses to do it, which is always nice to see. Angel breaks down the boiler room door to save Giles and co.  And the episode ends with a ridiculous government-training-invisible-people-to-assassinate program which Marcy is adopted into.

SPIDEY SENSES.

Cordelia also goes out of her way to thank the Scoobies, which is lovely. Even though she immediately insults them and walks away when her boyfriend-who-should-really-be-arrested-for-soliciting-a-minor confronts her about it. Oh well. Give her time.

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Re: Nightmares

This is my favorite episode of Season One. Well, maybe tied with the finale. I think I love this one so much because it’s the first time we really see all of our favorite characters as well-rounded, through their deepest fears. Sure, we know they’re afraid of vampires and being brutally murdered and general things like that, but clowns? Stage fright? Being unable to read? Being buried alive? Failing as your duties as a protector? Ahh, it makes them all the more realistic and lovable to me.

I always wondered how long he'd have to sit there to give the tarantula time to crawl up his body and onto his face.

As B pointed out, Buffy has never seen the Master in person, but I’m pretty sure she knows what he looks like from all her prophetic dreams. As I recall, we got images of the Master in bits and pieces during her dream in the very first episode. Also, this episode begins with a dream about the Master. I’m pretty sure she’s just inferred that this creepy blue bat guy she keeps having nightmares about is the Big Bad himself. Perhaps she has even confirmed it at some point with Giles; maybe there’s a picture of the Master in the library somewhere.

(Side note. In class when Willow makes the joke about Cordelia’s hair “weighing heavily on the cerebral cortex” with that little nerdy chuckle, I want to marry her. Forever. Oh, I love her.)

I’m really down with the idea of nightmares coming true. I think Joss is one of the best people ever at conveying dreams on screen, and while these aren’t actually dreams, they still have a lot of that unreal-but-totally-terrifying quality that nightmares have. The Master’s monologue in the beginning is definitely over-dramatic but it actually says a lot about what this episode is about. He says that fear defines you, but also, it can be controlled. So it stands to reason that how the characters control their fear, in a way, also defines them. Everyone in this episode does control their fears to fix what’s wrong and help Billy. They all FACE their fears in the end (Giles admitting he’s scared of failing Buffy, Willow attempting to sing opera, Xander sucker-punching a clown, Buffy using her vamp strength to her advantage) and that’s really beautiful.

Speaking of Billy, I really don’t understand why the doctor made a connection between Laura’s unfortunate basement beating and Billy’s comatose state. One attack happened in the high school’s basement, during school hours, to a teenage girl. The other happened after a baseball game, presumably nowhere near Sunnydale High, to a little boy. I mean, other than “two people got beaten,” why assume it was done by the same person? It really doesn’t make any sense, but oh well.

Noooo, Buffy, stop that. 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦

Buffy’s conversation with her father is so, so painful to watch. Even though we, as the audience, know it’s (most likely) supernatural and not actually how her father feels, and even though Buffy knows weird shit is going on, too…it’s still a really terrible scene and makes me feel things. My only solace is that directly after her father walks away, Buffy sees Billy lurking nearby. Since she’s already seen him after Wendall gets attacked by the spiders and after time goes all wonky during her history test, I’m going to assume she realizes that this, too, isn’t exactly naturally happening. It’s probably little comfort for her, but at least it’s comfort.

Know whose body this is? A not-15-year-old.

While I appreciate all of B’s questions about how this nightmare reality works, I think going back to the default explanation of “It’s a Hellmouth” is the only way to deal with…well, everything that happens. I LOVE this explanation because it sums everything up and makes anything possible. When Willow asks how Billy could possibly astral-project himself out of his comatose body and bring the nightmare world with him, and Giles just says, “Things like that are easy when you live on a Hellmouth,” I can’t help but think, Okay, well played. But, to answer at least a few questions, I think that once the nightmares stop, everyone (not in the Scooby group, that is) assumes that everything that happened was just a series of bad dreams. That’s immediately what Billy says when he wakes up (“I had the strangest dream, and you were there…and you…”) and it’s reasonable to assume that this episode isn’t so much an alternate universe, but rather, feels like a dream to those who experienced it.

Also, I *love* how everyone is having super-scary stuff happen to them, and then we cut to Cordelia, who’s having a bad hair day and being dragged off to join the chess team. Oh, Cordy. Don’t ever change (even though you will and I will love that too).

Buffy’s conversation with Billy in the gym creeps me out because it’s very “show me on this doll where he touched you” and….ugh. I think this is also why I love this episode so much, because what happened to Billy IS a nightmare and it happens in real life. There’s actually nothing supernatural or Hellmouthy about what started all of this, and for the bulk of the episode, you can only imagine what happened. Did his parents beat him? Was he kidnapped? What happened to this little boy. It’s very disturbing and although supernatural things happen as a result, the original act is monstrous and scary and all too realistic. This brings me to my next point…Sometimes I think that the Hellmouth is a blessing in disguise. Without it, without the Scoobies’ investigation, would Billy’s coach have gotten caught? Would Billy have gotten the catharsis of literally pulling back his coach’s mask? Who knows.

ughhhhh I didn't even like looking at the screencaps for this picture.

XANDER’S NIGHTMARE IS THE SCARIEST FUCKING THING EVER. I know that clown phobia is a *thing* and I don’t have it. I mean, clowns and grown-ups dressed as Barney and shit did sort of unnerve me as a kid, but nothing too serious. Anyway, I want to curl up and cry when the clown bursts out of the plastic sheet thing with a knife. Ughhhh. I’ve seen it a dozen times and I’m still not…adjusted.

Buffy’s nightmare of becoming a vampire strikes me as particularly scary, just because Buffy never really knows if what she dreams is a prophecy or not, does she? I’m sure there are some dreams she can totally rule out, but ones that could come true…what’s to say that they won’t come true? It doesn’t surprise me that she never told Giles about this dream. She didn’t want to voice it, to admit that she was scared it might be prophetic. There is pretty much always a possibility that Buffy will be vamped and dreaming about it on top of that must be awful.

Her second tombstone inscription is much better. SPOILER.

I also love that Giles asks her to please hold it together until they can stop these things from happening. He recognizes that Buffy is (understandably) having a really difficult time with everything that is happening to her, and instead of commanding her to do her duty (as I’m sure some Watchers would), he asks her. And she says she will. And he thanks her. That’s huge, and I don’t think we understand how huge it is yet, but we will. Giles and Buffy truly are leagues ahead of other Watchers and Slayers and I just love them so damn much.

So anyway, this isn’t a perfect episode, but it holds a special place in my heart forever. The end.

This is the face of a girl who's happy to not have a vampire face anymore.

P.S. Just so people don’t think I’m unfair to the characters I dislike (because, well, I totally am), I like Joyce in this episode. I like that she’s optimistic about Buffy’s outing with her dad. I like that she intuits that Buffy might be nervous about him not showing up, and I like that she comforts her and quiets those fears. There’s nothing I hate more than a parent who bad-mouths another parent after a break-up (or at any time, really). I think kids should be left to form their own opinions about their parents without interference (and in the end, Buffy does). Joyce probably has a lot of anger and sadness towards Hank but she doesn’t show it, and that’s good stuff.

Nightmares

That is fairly nightmarish.

One of the elements of Joss shows that I’ve always been really fond of is the way he deals with dreams. In some ways this is a clumsy example of that but on the other hand, it’s a complicated idea. He’s not dealing with a dream in the strictest sense, after all. It’s their nightmares coming true but they are TRUE so it would need to lack a little bit of the dreamy quality and randomness I think he does quite well in later episodes. I’m still not sure it’s a complete sucess but I like the episode well enough, so I won’t bitch about it.

We open on one of Buffy’s nightmares. While watching this, it occurred to me for the first time – how does she know what The Master looks like? We’ve seen him so many times that I had more or less completely forgotten that she never has. Is it the prophetic element of the dreams? This one really isn’t exactly prophetic in nature, it’s just her being understandably afraid of the bat like man who wants to murder her. Or maybe it is supposed to be prophetic and I missed it? Either way, it had just never occurred to me before.

Buffy’s hurt while she explains to Willow about her parents splitting up just absolutely kills me. (See how I could have said slays me and didn’t? But then ruined it by saying it? Yeah.) SMG has always been so talented at crying and looking hurt. The dialogue is a little clumsy and a little over the top but I don’t even care. I just want to hug her and tell her everything will be okay and to hang onto Giles because he’s the best daddy figure she’s going to have. Instead I sit back to watch the emotional carnage.

He has a great ponytail. Also, he looks way too happy about spiders.

We have our first nightmares are real moment with Wendell (what a great name). Wendell and Xander have a nice little moment making fun of Cordelia. I like it when you occasionally get a glimpse of how other people know who the Scoobies are and have friendly interaction with them. I wish we saw more of that. Unfortunately Wendell opens his book and is suddenly covered with tarantulas. I know he says later that he had lots of different kinds of spiders but apparently only the tarantulas could make the party. General horror ensues and then we are taken below ground to the Master.

This is where The Master takes some time out of his busy day to monologue to Colin, in fairly tired cliches, about how great fear is. I’m really fond of the Master but all these big bads do seem to head towards overdramatic cliche more often than not. Colin listens raptly (why, I wonder? His kid self had a way shorter attention span). The Master talks about pain like fear and how the cross fills him with mortal dread but it can be controlled and blah, blah. This actually led me to another line of thought that I find frustrating in Buffy. Why do crosses work? There is no indication in Buffy that the notion of Christ really has any weight. As Joelle mentioned in an earlier post, the show generally sort-of skirts the issue of whether or not God even exists. Now I have read/watched quite a few vampire things and there are certainly mythologies where God’s existence is pretty much untied to the cross warding off evil. The usual explanation for this is that it’s not the symbol itself that works; it’s a person’s faith. So if you’re holding the cross and don’t believe it, you may as well be trying to ward off a vampire with a rubber ducky; it’s not going to be very effective. However, that is certainly not true in Buffy. Anyone can use a cross and it always works. Holy water is also consistently useful. Why? Just wondering.

"I will monologue for a really long time now."

Back to the gang. Xander makes fun of Willow for being totally insane about the spiders, which I think is a little unfair. I’m not overwhelmingly freaked out of spiders but that would certainly throw me. Whatever, he’s really just setting himself up for walking into the classroom wearing only boxers. Is that what he dreams about? The stereotype is naked, after all. But then, I’ve never had one of these dreams at all so I have no idea. Seeing Xander shirtless makes me a little sad. He’ll get so doughy in years down the line, as the alcohol and all that starts to get to him but here he’s a good looking guy who very obviously has not been 15 in a number of years.

When does Buffy phase out the lollipop? It seems to show up a lot in this first season.

Also, they interview Wendell. Just like they’ll later interview the smoker girl, whose name I have already forgotten. Apparently everyone in the school has simply accepted their detective status? Or… something? Whatever. Wendell waxes a little too poetically about spiders, in my opinion. Like dude, I get that you loved them and you feel guilty about them being dead or whatever but I’m pretty sure their relatives are not plotting in sewers about killing you for the death of the brethren. If that’s what happens, we’re all probably in very big trouble. He then disappears from the Buffyverse for the rest of time. I like to imagine that he went insane and got sent away, raving about spiders.

Let’s also picture the clean up of this scenario, btw. What happened? Wendell started screaming, everyone started screaming, there were probably two dozen tarantulas on him. Did someone come pluck them off of him? I mean, they’re not especially dangerous spiders but in his nightmares they might be. Clearly none of them hurt him, they just kinda… crawled around. So did like the maintenance guy (man, the maintainance crew at Sunnydale must HATE their jobs) get pulled in to pluck these spiders off one by one? Or brush them into a container? Then what? Did they give them to a pet store? Don’t you think they would have closed school, to take care of the clear (albeit impossible) infestation they seem to be having? I HAVE QUESTIONS, PEOPLE.

Anyway, Buffy has a traumatic test experience. This is another thing I wonder about. Does she really not have that class at all and the nightmare reality just made her think she did? Or did she have the class and the nightmare reality made her forget? Did all those other people come in there with similar nightmares or did they experience just taking a test in normal time? Buffy certainly can’t be the only person with test anxiety so in the interests of time, it would seem prudent to have everyone having the experience together. Maybe it was a reality altering thing so everyone was freaking out but to them, everyone around them looked calm. Except Cordy, who shows no sign of nerves. So I don’t know.

I just really need to talk about how much this kid looks like a young JGL. I have looked it up, they are unrelated. But seriously.

SO SIMILAR

This is followed by the girl whose name I can’t remember going down into the basement (which turns out to be another place that they are turning off lights to save on electricity). Okay, first question. Is smoking in basements a common thing? I would think that smoke alarms would be an issue. I get that you don’t want to get caught but in other movies I’ve seen, it’s usually behind a bush or something. Then there’s me wondering why the monster attacked her. I mean, he’s after the kid and there’s really never any indication of him assaulting someone else except when people are with the kid. Clearly this girl was not with the kid. Why was he hanging out in the basement anyway? Just sitting there, grunting and pondering his next move when she was unfortunate enough to wander down?  Everything else that happens to people is part of their nightmares but the girl… Laura! I think her name is Laura. Man, I really should have been able to remember that. Anyway. Laura did not dream about getting beaten up and so it’s a confusing thing that doesn’t really fit with everything else.

"It's totally cool. We are more than capable of dealing with the monster who tried to murder you. Don't we LOOK capable?"

As mentioned earlier, they go to interview Laura. She’s happy to see them so that she won’t be alone (which is understandable, except where is her family?) but what is less understandable is when they start asking questions because  they are “anxious to make sure this doesn’t happen again” says the school librarian and high school sophomore. That’s totally acceptable, right? Whatever. Lucky 19.

Giles then has his worst nightmare fulfilled, which is suddenly not being able to read. OMG, this horrifies me every time. I literally cannot think of many more bizarre things. Buffy seems weirdly unwigged by it, not nearly sufficiently upset for poor Giles. I know she’s distracted but come on! Well, she’s about to have her heart shattered into a hundred pieces and kicked around a bit so I guess I’ll let it go.

OMG I want to hug her. 😦

In comes her father. I know it may not be 100% fair to hate him because of this scene. But honestly, since he basically never comes back except for this next summer she’ll spend with him and he never calls her back when death happens and… well, dammit, there’s just a lot to hate. He sits down and tells her what most children probably dread hearing; that the problems in their parents lives were their fault. When she is understandably devestated, he tells her she’s being immature. I know it’s over the top, I know it’s extreme to the border of ridiculous but it totally gets me every time.

But of course Buffy is the Slayer. No matter how personally damaged she is right now, she has to fix this, has to find out what’s wrong and set it right. So when she sees Billy she follows him. Meanwhile, Giles is busy with Willow and Xander making the intuitive leap to what’s going on. They decide, not terribly wisely as Willow points out, to split up to find Buffy. Meanwhile, Buffy and Billy are being assaulted by the giant man. Willow is adorably terrified of opera singing in front of people, Xander is a moron and picks up tons of candy in a construction zone. Was someone afraid of construction zones? There’s a lot of that going on in this episode. I like to picture someone afraid of construction zones. Is there a name for that phobia?

She is so adorable.

Then Buffy runs into The Master, who tells her she’s prettier than the last Slayer (indicating HE didn’t know what SHE looked like, btw). The Master is just one of many, many people over the course of the show to tell Buffy that she’s prettier than the last Slayer. Who was that poor Slayer? I mean, every single one we ever see is really hot; was she just the unfortunate exception? Anyway, here’s my question here. Is The Master really out? I mean, we never really see him reacting to being out or to being back in his cave. Is this a reality shift or whatever so the “real” Master is still underground? Or does he actually get to come out and play but only under the guidelines that he goes after Buffy? I would think he would be quite frustrated about being shoved right back underground if that was the case and the whole turning her into a vampire thing would seem to muddle things. Does the alternate universe remain an alternate universe even when they go back to the real one? Is there a new Slayer to take Buffy’s place in that universe? Is it still Kendra? Anyway. He buries her alive, which is fairly terrible (and make events of season 6 even more so). Giles has his heartbreaking scene where he says he failed in his duty. Oh Giles. Every watcher fails. It’s a terrible job.

I am not a big fan of Buffy as a vampire. I mean, it’s partly because they haven’t really gotten the make-up down yet and it still looks super awkward and giant but I just don’t think it’s a good look for her. I’m glad it was never a repeat thing. Giles  screams at the comatose boy, eventually they convince him to jump back in himself. Lo and behold, the kiddie league coach is the monster, he is caught by Xander being heroic (or something). Then Buffy heads off to hang out with her dad, which is supposed to be happy but, let’s be honest, isn’t really because you know that while he may never actually say something as cruel to her as he did in this episode, he absolutely is going to pretty much abandon her forever. SAD.

Look. Here he even looks not evil.

Re: The Puppet Show

I am also unnerved by dolls/dummies. True story: as a child I was convinced that my toys came to life while I was asleep. Not in a cool Toy Story way, in an evil, “let’s plot against the little girl who imprisons us” way. I had a few porcelain dolls, they lived on top of my bookshelf, and their faces freaked me out so much I would often turn them around to face the wall. I once put a Sailor Moon doll in the trash because its huge, unblinking eyes bore into me and gave me nightmares. I did the same to a Jasmine doll I had, but felt so guilty because someone had given that doll to me and because Jasmine trusted me to take care of her that I ended up digging it out of the trash 20 minutes later. That is basically all you need to know about what kind of child I was. ANYWAY, the point is, this episode is fairly freaky for the aforementioned reason (unblinking. eyes. living. doll.) but B did a good job of summarizing and there’s not a whole lot going on here, so I’m going to use this review to talk about the Sunnydale police force.

Oh, the men and women who protect and serve the great and mighty town of Sunnydale…….couldn’t be dumber if they tried.

Sunnydale police chief's most valuable informant: the highschool librarian.

“Sure, Mr. Librarian, of course you can come beyond the yellow crime scene tape and ask questions. We’ll let you know what’s going on in our investigation, including intimate details about the murder weapon and the state of the deceased body. And, of course, we won’t find any of this suspicious enough to warrant an investigation on you.”

“Don’t close the school or send anybody home. There’s probably a murderer nearby, prowling the halls, preying on students, but whatever! Let the students mill around the crime scene, too, scattering evidence and erasing fingerprints.”

(They do seem to leave bodies out in the open on Sunnydale’s campus on more than one occasion.)

Wouldn't want all that pesky evidence making this shiny knife less shiny!

“Let’s just wipe all the blood and yucky stuff off this knife before putting it in this ziploc bag Jimmy brought his sandwich in today. No need for evidence bags! Or evidence.”

“Another student dead, with another missing organ (thereby suggesting a serial killer of some kind)? No problem. Don’t close the school, don’t even call off the talent show. Life goes on, after all!”

“A student is missing. Meanwhile, some students decapitated a human-looking thing (albeit a rather scaly one) during the talent show on the same day said student was last seen. Oh well.”

"Umm...shouldn't the police be asking me these ques--no? Oh, okay."

One more thing….the Scoobies decide early on that the murderer is a human (based on the shoddy knife clue B mentioned). So….why didn’t they, then, tell the police what they suspected? I know that involving the police in a supernatural case would be futile, but they didn’t believe this was supernatural. They also don’t seem to notice how doltish the policemen of Sunnydale are. It just doesn’t make sense for them to handle this investigation on their own.

Don't speak ill of this outfit. This is my favorite Buffy outfit. I would wear the shit out of this outfit.

Random thoughts:

  • The fact that Buffy faces unspeakable evil unflinchingly every other day but almost pees her pants and seeks help from her mom when she thinks there’s a doll creeping around her room is precious to me forever.
  • I love love love love the scene during the ending credits. Nobody can take Buffy, Xander, and Willow’s bad-acting away from me.
  • Principal Snyder! ❤
  • The dummy is perverted and this just makes me sad.

The Puppet Show

Not going to lie, there are totally parts of this episode that give me “the wiggins” as Buffy says. I am totally not cool with dummies. They are creepy and, while I think it’s fascinating that humans are  capable of things like throwing their voices or speaking with their mouths closed, that does not make it any less creepy. So I sympathize entirely with Buffy and when Willow says nonsense like that she thinks dummies are cute, I assume she must be lying.

Sing your little heart out, hun

We open on Cordelia. Oh Cordelia. Singing with every fiber of her being. Although it’s possible that singing should be in quotation marks. The sound she’s making could not exactly be considered musical but kudos to her for giving it her all. The kids come in to mock Giles, which I love. It’s a sweet dynamic, very parent/child, which is of course so important throughout the show.

Enter Principal Snyder. This guy is fantastic. He’s just so delightfully evil. He takes such obvious pleasure in being evil that he’s tortuously awesome to watch. There is an excellent moment where Buffy yet again ALMOST MENTIONS HOW SHE’S KILLING DEMONS. I really feel like she should be better at covering this stuff by now.

That's the kind of woolly headed, liberal thinking that leads to being eaten!

Query from the homeschool girl: Can  you be forced to be in the school talent show?

When we move into the locker room where the dancer is obviously about to be killed, I find myself wondering several things. First and foremost, why doesn’t anyone ever turn on a light in the locker rooms at Sunnydale? Is there a power shortage in this town? Second off, since we know who the killer actually is, the filming angle really doesn’t make any sense. If it was a puppet coming to kill her, it would make sense that he was that low to the ground and jerky. But since it’s not, the conclusion I’m forced to come to is that he’s wriggling along on his stomach for no apparent reason. And that’s weird. Also, he left behind a giant butcher’s knife, just cause. Do demons not have fingerprints? Oh, you know who has fingerprints? Students at the school. LIKE THE ONE WHO IS ACTUALLY A DEMON. Oh well. I guess it’s probably safe to assume that the cops in Sunnydale aren’t the brightest crayons in the box.

He's hunched over just to throw the camera off the track.

The body is found and, for no good reason I can think of, Giles is behind the police tape. I like picturing the auditions for the screamer who finds the body. I bet it’s hard to scream like that, especially the multiple times she probably had to. I do think it’s a bit odd that they just assume if a knife was used, then it couldn’t have been something supernatural. I mean, I get that most demons have claws and teeth and whatever but I feel like even in the few episodes we’ve had so far, we’ve probably learned enough to indicate that there’s no inherent reason that a demon couldn’t use a knife if it felt like it. I have this problem all through the episode, really. Why do they have so much trouble believing that a dummy could be possessed or alive in some way? Is that really so much further out there than basically anything else they’ve run into so far? Also, let’s stop for a brief moment to take note of Giles line, “A demon is a creature of evil, pure and very simple.” NO, Giles. We are going to be arguing about this for a while, obviously but it’s very clear that THAT IS TOTALLY UNTRUE.

Buffy's dress is silly (and shorter than her coat) but let's really examine Willow's pants here.

So, off they all go to interview all the students from the talent show. Does no one find this odd? I mean, I’ll let it slide that everyone is more or less totally unphased by the fact that this girl just died brutally in the locker room. To some extent, I get that that’s part of the joke of Sunnydale. All these people are constantly dying and people are pretty untouched in general. Part of the denial or whatever. So let’s ignore that part and focus on what I assume would be weird – random students and a teacher going around conducting essentially police interviews about the recent murder of a student. But since no one seems to notice it’s odd, whatever. Also, is there really a dancer/band rivalry? Is that a thing?

CREEPY DUMMY! NOT OKAY!

When Joyce comes into Buffy’s room that night and asks if she’s okay, I find this odd. I mean, okay, again not everyone in Sunnydale seems to get all upset about the murders and things but a student was found horribly murdered in the locker room. Wouldn’t Joyce know this? Wouldn’t everyone know this? Wouldn’t that be a fairly reasonable explanation as to what might be bothering her? I mean, honestly, it’s not rocket science. Whatever. I do really like the touch of Buffy having her mom check the bed for her after she wakes up. It’s sweet to see these touches of her as really being still a kid. I think they definitely disappear as the show goes on but I’ll cling to her moments while they’re there. 😛

Why does the school need an iron light fixture heavy enough to pin a superhero to the ground?

For some reason that really makes no sense to me, everyone doubts Buffy’s sanity about the thing with Sid. I will admit that she doesn’t seem that certain herself so maybe that contributes but honestly, the possibility of a living dummy doesn’t seem at all far fetched in this universe and if the Slayer says she saw it, I’d say you should listen to her and not assume she’s “some crazy person.” (Would they allow Morgan to just hang out with his puppet in class? I would have been distracted as hell.) Whatever, puppet is stolen so Buffy can talk to Morgan alone, we find out that it’s probably looking for a human heart and human brain (for what, I wonder? Does it eat them or…?), Sid is a demon hunter or maybe he’s a demon or no, he’s probably a demon hunter. Morgan is killed. Buffy finds his body and just leaves it hanging out in what I’m pretty sure was just the show’s costume room for the next poor screamer to find. Then we find out that Morgan had brain cancer. Another question from the homeschooler. Wouldn’t his teachers know? I mean, he has all these sick days and even if he didn’t, surely this would be… known? I don’t know.

The look on her face is how I feel about her hair. Does she have like hackles?

I love that as they’re researching, Willow is sent to the “toys and magic” section of the library. I would love to see a listing of the books available in this library.

I would also like to observe that the plan of this demon, the major thing he was counting on, was cutting through this rope with the dullest hatchet ever on stage, when anyone could walk in, approximately 3 minutes before curtain time. As far as plans go, this is definitely one of the worst I’ve ever seen. Sid dies, sad, sad, let’s move onto the next episode now, k? 😛

I love this scene but how did they get everything cleaned up in time for the other acts?

Re: I, Robot… You, Jane

Just like B, I love this episode so much. I think there’s definitely a point while watching this episode for the first or second time where you have to just….submit to it. Let it inside you, let it fill you up with its almost-arduous ridiculousness and love it. Love it hard. I think this point probably came for me during the first scene in the library, which I’ll get to in a second.

Demon soul looks like…exploding glowworms?

Okay, so there’s a plot point I missed before reading B’s review, and that’s Giles saying Moloch’s SOUL was taken and put into this book. That makes everything confusing and wrong. For one thing, Moloch’s physical body clearly explodes into little strings of light as he gets put into the book. For another thing, what? Just what. It goes back to my post about Angel’s soul and how utterly complex and confusing souls in this ‘verse are and I haven’t had enough coffee today to get into more BtVS theology discussions so WHATEVER YOU SAY, DADDY GILES. Whatever you say.

His expression says it all, really.

The first scene in the library is eternally wonderful, partly because technology is so terrifying(!!!!!!!!), but mostly because of Fritz. Oh, 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.

That quote had to be in all-caps and bolded because, good lord, Fritz, take some benadryl or something and relax.

I also am a big Jenny/Giles fan. I like how much she teases him, given how straight-laced he can be. I love her easygoing flirting compared with his awkward stuttering. There is only good here. Well, until….you know. Let’s just try to enjoy their adorable courtship, okay.

I like to imagine Moloch typing, “Where am I?” and Willow being all, “HI, YOU’RE IN MY COMPUTER, WHAT’S UP, BE MY BOYFRIEND?” So let’s just say that’s how it happened, okay, B?

B didn’t mention Buffy’s silly, short, velvet dress, so I will.

I love swoony Willow, even if it’s technically caused by an Internet Demon, because she’s adorable and it’s lovely to see her interested in someone other than Xander. Now, I’m not saying I would prefer Willow to get beheaded by a curly-horned demon than be in love with Xander, but…………Anyway, I distinctly remember the Horrors of Meeting People on the Internet being pretty prominent when I was a kid/teenager. In fact, I don’t think my parents even know to this day that the internet is where I met the guy I’ve lived with for the past four years. So Buffy’s immediate concern about this fact isn’t that unrealistic to me. Especially since I don’t think her petty concerns (what he looks like, if he has a hairy back [lol]) is really about his looks. Rather, she’s probably concerned that he’s a serial rapist but some small children are watching BtVS and they don’t want to say that.

She also didn’t point out Buffy’s sparkly swimsuit-like top.

In regards to how petty Moloch is being, I love it. I love that he’s messing up peoples’ reports and shit. I want to say he’s doing small things right now because he hasn’t really figured out how to expand and do bigger things yet…but that doesn’t make sense, because clearly he had to Google (or its equivalent..) Nazi Germany, what penicillin does, etc. So, like, he must be as free to cause chaos and destruction as Giles fears, and just….doesn’t? He’s silly. (Remember, just submit to it.)

I wanna point out something that B doesn’t mention. My general, automatic dislike of Xander is probably apparent by now, but WHAT RIGHT DOES HE HAVE TO BE JEALOUS OF WILLOW’S INTERNET DEMON. I mean, how much of what he does here is out of genuine concern for Willow, and how much is out of petty jealousy because Willow isn’t following him around panting anymore? He is fervently not interested in Willow “that way” but I think what Buffy suggests, that he’s upset that he’s not “Belle of the Ball” anymore, has some truth to it. Ugh. Okay, I know he’s a high school boy. But I hate high school boys. There’s a reason I didn’t start dating until college.

FRITZ I LOVE YOU AND YOUR BUTTERKNIFE SELF-INJURY PLEASE NEVER CHANGE.

I love the depiction of an internet chat, by the way. The robotic voice, Willow speaking aloud, the text, Willow turning off the monitor, everything. Love love love.

So I’m going to hypothesize here for a minute and say that Moloch’s whole master plan is to get a body and start breaking necks again. He seems to really enjoy breaking necks. He came from 1410; I don’t think he has the capability to think about or plan domination on a huge scale (though, again, he knows how to Google. And later in the episode Giles is watching the news and the FBI’s serial killer profiles have been deleted and stuff. Soo…). His whole shtick here seems to be to recruit people into making a body for him, stop people that may prevent him from getting a body, so that he can break necks again. You can practically feel his orgasm when he breaks Fritz’s neck. D’aww. Don’t you kinda feel bad for him? He just wants love and…murder. He’s a simple lad, really. And none of it really makes any sense because towards the end of the episode, Moloch seems totally into the whole being-in-the-internet thing. JUST SUBMIT.

Awwwwwww.

On a sentimental note, I totally learned how to type using a computer like the one in the library. Like, when Buffy goes to delete Moloch’s file, I just felt happy. It looks so familiar! I typed up my very first stories on a sucker like that, which I’m pretty sure my grandparents still own. Oh, how I love the 90s. I also love how Buffy’s only suggestion about how to get Moloch out of “the net” is for Giles to ask for Jenny’s help. When Giles points out, you know, that might not be possible because why would she believe that internet demons exist, Buffy’s all, “FIGURE IT OUT.” Umm. Why would you leave this project in the hands of the least-technology savy person you know? Whatever, it forces him to seek Jenny’s help anyway and then we find out she’s a technopagan, which happens to be my favorite term ever.

I think my absolute favorite line of this episode comes from Buffy after she flying-jump-kicks Moloch. “Ow. The guy’s made of metal.” WAIT, HOLD ON JUST A SECOND HERE! THIS GUY:

IS MADE OF METAL???? There’s a reason this show isn’t called Buffy the Amazing Information Discoverer.

Electricity effects on this show remain my favorite thing.

I actually really love how Giles describes books at the end. It’s sweet and beautiful and nerdy and I do agree with a lot of his points. I’ve actually heard this exact speech brought up in defense of ‘real’ books during books vs. ebooks debates…and while I prefer a lot of things about real books, there’s something to be said for the convenience, accessibility, and cost of ebooks. I don’t view digital books as a threat to literacy. If literacy was ever threatened, it was when the radio and television were invented. I’m happy to see books keeping up with the times, as it were, and if it gets more people reading more books (which it certainly has for me personally) then that’s a good thing.

Ask me about the complexities of my vagina.

AND OH MY GOD, I NEVER BEFORE NOTICED THE “That’s not where I dangle it” LINE BEFORE. What in the ever-loving hell is she implying?!? MS. CALENDAR HAS A CORKSCREW-DANGLER FOR A VAGINA.

One last comment. When Buffy says, “Let’s face it. None of us are ever gonna have a happy, normal relationship,” and the Scoobies laugh nervously and fall silent, I want to sob forever because I know it’s true. 😦

I Robot, You Jane

Cause why not?

We open in Italy, in 1418. Why? BECAUSE WE CAN. I should say that I love this episode. I really love this episode. Out of all of the subpar episodes in Buffy, this is the one that is the most dated and is, if anything, only going to get more and more silly the more time we have between us and it. It recalls a more precious time, when being online took up the phone line and when the only possible outcome of meeting a stranger online was terrible. Online dating is seemingly unheard of, everyone is calling the internet “the net” and apparently we call being online “being jacked in.” There are few episodes that I have as much pure fun watching as this one. It’s absurd on every level and I love every minute of it. So, back to Italy.

Great! I will now murder you.

In Italy we meet Molloch, a super exciting looking demon, who has really great and curly horns and seems to also have a really impractical method of dealing with worshippers; i.e. killing them. I get that human sacrifice and such is certainly not unheard of but he’s so obsessed with gaining their love and making sure they adore him so that he can murder them. Maybe that’s a route you can take if you have a whole lot of followers but we never see any indication that he does. He just seems to gather a small group and murder them one by one. Not a sustainable plan, I would think. Does he get his charge out of willing sacrifice? That seems unlikely because there’s no indication they know they’re about to die. I’m just saying, it doesn’t seem terribly bright. Seduce the best, richest, brightest, etc so they can help you… and then kill them.

Whatever, then we have chanting monks. I love chanting monks. They chant, the demon gets angry, screams a lot and ends up in a book. They say “Pray this accursed book shall never again be read.” Here’s a thought. Burn it? Tear it up? If you can’t actually destroy it for whatever nonsense reason than fine, go wrap it up in something and throw it to the bottom of the sea? There are totally really excellent ways of handling this that DO NOT involve putting it in a box and apparently just like… on a shelf somewhere? I mean, we don’t really know but if it got handed off to Giles (for what reason, btw? How is this relevant to a high school library?), I have to assume it’s been found for a while, I don’t know. It doesn’t look too beat up. THESE ARE THINGS I THINK ABOUT, OKAY?

Aw, Dave. Your career will not really get much more glamorous.

Here is our introduction to Jenny. I love Jenny. I love Giles and Jenny. Giles all flustered and upset by the computers, her poking fun at him, it is all so damn adorable. Also, we meet computer geeks. Fritz is played by a boy named Jamison Ryan who, according to imdb, was in exactly 3 titles during 1997 and then nothing ever again. And Dave, played by Chad Lindberg, who I primarily know because he’s from my home town. I have seen him in enough things that I’d probably be aware of him either way but the reason I notice him is because sometimes he shows back up to visit his parents and gets stoned and goes to Chuck E. Cheese to have people fawn over him. I’ve never met him personally but I know a lot of people who have. He is also notable for dying in seemingly most of the roles he plays. I’m just saying that I’m obligated to point him out cause he’s from here.

Now Willow will scan things with a remarkable device that I am fairly sure does not exist anywhere. I feel very much like there is a great deal of connective tissue in this episode. Come with me, people. So, Molloch is scanned into the internet (let’s move past the absurd method) and suddenly, on a black screen he asks “Where am I?” and then… what? I mean, does Willow just start talking to him right then? She says she met him after the scanning project so it was either then or shortly thereafter. How did she think he found her? Was she in a chat room of some kind? Did she think this guy just hacked a random computer and hooked up with her? How exactly did their initial conversations go that she didn’t think something was amiss? I get that sort-of his whole deal is making people love him or whatever but I would think there would be at least a little bit of a learning curve to suddenly being online. Although, who knows, maybe it’s easier. I mean, it’s probably easier to fall in love with text then with the giant demon with horns? Still, I just feel like his disorientation should have lasted a couple days, before he started picking up ladies.

Look how it doesn't even scan the whole page? And what is the point of scanning a couple pages into the computer anyway?

The following day we get another really cute talk between Buffy and Willow. I think a lot of the boy talk stuff really dies down as the seasons progress, which I guess makes a certain amount of sense but I still miss it. Also, I love that she was trying to call her all night and her line was busy. Makes me remember my high school days of talking on the phone for hours and hours and hours. What the hell did I talk about anyway? I like Buffy’s concern for Willow to some extent but in a lot of ways of course this whole episode is all about that fear of the internet and that absolute inherent danger of meeting people from “the net.” I don’t know if that’s still a thing or not. I feel like not very much? I know when I was in high school and such, my parents had a lot of concerns about people getting my information, stalkers, etc. When I met my first people from online, they definitely weren’t thrilled about it. However, since so much of my day to day life has really involved people from online, it’s not something that’s ever made much sense to me. This episode in general is obviously about all those deep seated fears but to me now it just seems sort-of adorable. Like those old propaganda films about sex or pot or whatever. It just seems precious. The only part of it that always stands out to me is when Willow rapturously sighs that they “agree about everything.” Is that really an attractive quality in a partner? Maybe in high school, I guess.

Magical Webcam pulls up this! Buffy only has 1 absence? And 2.8 GPA? Good to know.

They walk into the computer lab right after Dave finishes agreeing in creepy, zombie-like ways with his computer screen. Dave, stop talking to your computer screen. As Buffy tries to lay out all of the potential horrors in a guy Willow’s never seen before (he might have a HAIRY BACK, HEAVEN FORBID!!!), Fritz looks at the screen and the essentially magical webcam (do schools have webcams btw?) “sees” Buffy, uses this information to pull up her profile and sends it to Fritz who grins. Oh Fritz. It’s hard to believe you were only ever in 3 things. Meanwhile Jenny, hair all crimped and fabulous, points out to Fritz that he and Dave seem to be clocking some “pretty scary hours” in the computer lab. When he says it’s a project and she asks if she’ll be impressed he says, “You’ll die.” I just love it so much. Even though it really doesn’t make sense because I don’t think the plan is to kill her, is it? Or is it to kill everyone? I’m unclear on how many people Molloch really wants dead.

TINY LAPTOP. Teehee.

Here’s one of many weird things about Molloch. This is the pettiest damn demon alive. I mean, his goal is a little unclear to me  anyway but while he’s accomplishing it he’s also doing things like rewriting a high school paper to praise Nazi Germany, changing a student’s medical records to indicate that he is NOT allergic to penicillin. When Buffy and Giles are talking about all the havoc he can wreak on the internet and they include things like, “Mess up all the medical equipment in the world” (little sketchy on that one) and “randomize traffic signals” I couldn’t help but think, “Okay, why in the world would he do those things?” But honestly he really has been so bizarrely small and petty about all his actions that who knows, maybe he’d find those things to be a good time indeed. He also causes Fritz to chant “I’m jacked in” while carving an M into his skin (OMG SELF INJURY!!!!!!!). This scene is so hilariously absurd that I watched it twice.

Then there is a fight between Buffy and Willow that I really like. In the way that Buffy (particularly in high school) often does, this episode offers a totally absurd situation mixed with the supernatural that really mirrors a much more commonplace situation. Buffy is worried about Willow suddenly devoting all this time to this new guy. Willow blew off some classes, she’s angry and defensive at Buffy for not understanding how amazing this guy is. I don’t know, seems to me that no demon robot needs to be involved for this to be a fight. Also, on a total side note “boyfriendly” is one of the Buffy words I use most often.

I'm not sure she totally understands what subtle is but she definitely understands animal prints!

Buffy needs help so she seeks out the computer nerd. He is nerding in the computer lab (apparently this is before home computers?) and she asks him questions about how to track an “eletter” which totally cracks me up. He ends up getting very upset when he realizes what she’s after (also, is it a challenge to track down which computer an email came from? I mean, it would be for me because I’m not a computer nerd but don’t you just need to track the IP number or whatever?). Buffy is understandably suspicious of the fact that Dave suddenly freaked out on her and decides to follow him in the least subtle glasses and trenchcoat ever. Also, he was driving and she was walking, so was she like running behind him? I know she’s the Slayer and she can run fast or whatever but that seems a bit unlikely and also, how incredibly not subtle is that? She spots him at a factory, talking to a bunch of people who are now working at the factory. Apparently for Molloch. Okay, I know he makes people love him and everything and that’s sort-of his gig and I guess since he’s connected to every computer in the world or whatever, he can probably pay them using money he’s stolen from somewhere. But how did he make them decide to serve him? I mean, they built him a body, they’re clearly pretty involved in this. Did he meet them on the web too? What does he say that is so convincing? Is it magic? I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS.

THIS IS HOW I ALWAYS TURN OFF MY COMPUTER. STOP TALKING TO ME NOW.

Jenny has an encounter with Giles in the library as Xander and Buffy are on their way out, which leads to the line “To read makes our speaking English good” which is one of my favorites. Then we move on to Willow talking to “Malcolm” in the computer lab at school. Again. She does have a home computer, we see it. Whatever. This computer is apparently equipped with the ability to have a robotic voice speak to her. Weirdly the robotic voice still puts emphasis on certain things but whatever, I guess. She talks about loud while she’s typing, which is something I have almost never done in my life. But at least she can type okay. When she becomes suspicious, basically because Molloch overplayed his hand a bit, she tells him she’s signing off. Which she does. BY TURNING OFF THE MONITOR. No one in this episode, including the girl who is supposedly a computer genius, has any idea at all how a computer works.

Meanwhile, Buffy is directed by Dave towards the very, very dark girls locker room and ends up being electrocuted. Would this work through her shoes? I mean, if they had rubber souls…? I don’t really know about these things but it always seems like a super sloppy murder plan to me. Meanwhile Giles is admitting to Jenny what she more or less already knows (because she’s a “technopagan” hehe). I think it’s interesting he wants to know who she is but she never once asks why it is that he knows all this stuff. Anyway, after determining that the book that held the demon is not the world’s shittiest diary (I’m just saying, really huge), Jenny agrees to help get the demon out of the internet.

Things are not going well for Dave. Horrified by what he almost helped do, he tells Molloch he won’t do it anymore and Molloch keeps asking for his love… whatever. It’s not like things would end well regardless. He kills you when you say you love him too.

Now I’m not getting into it here but Giles specifically says that the soul of Molloch was put into that book. THE SOUL. So as if the whole thing wasn’t fuzzy enough already, here’s another bit for pondering.

Power Rangers villain. Also, flimsiest wall ever.

Willow is kidnapped from her house by Fritz (with chloroform, going old fashioned there) and taken to meet Malcolm at last. Buffy and Xander make a plan to break into the building while Jenny and Giles plan to form the circle of Kayless inside the internet. Of course, if everything is happening inside the internet, I’m a little unclear on why they need candles outside but whatever. Willow finds out that looks do matter a little bit when it turns out that her love is actually a Power Rangers villain. He’s about to kill her, there’s chanting and things. Buffy tries to break through the door but can’t because it’s heavy steel. Poison fills the room. All seems lost. Except then the charm sort of works and they get him out of the net but not in the book, just in his body and he crashes through the wall (which seems to be made of nothing but a thin sheet of drywall so Buffy probably should have tried breaking through that part) and there’s a silly ending fight in which Willow gets to kick a bit of ass and have some catharsis and Buffy tricks the not so bright demon into electrocuting himself.

WHERE DOES SHE DANGLE THIS?

Finally we have a cute scene between Giles and Jenny where he explains why he loves books. To some extent I agree with him, although for me that relates to books vs ebooks or whatever. I like tangible books but love computers. Anyway, when he gives her back her jewelry and says that he doesn’t dangle a “corkscrew from his ear”, which I guess is true. He does have an ear piercing though so it doesn’t seem THAT far off. Anyway, her response is “That’s not where I dangle it.” Which leaves me with only one question in this episode. WHERE THE HELL DOES SHE DANGLE IT? PARTICULARLY SINCE IT GOT LOST IN THE LIBRARY??