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.
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.
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THE PRINTED PAGE IS OBSOLETE.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?
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.
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.
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.
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. 😦