Season 1 – Episode 8 (Original air date 28 April 1997)
Favourite Quote / Quotes:
Oh look, a book.Buffy
The printed page is obsolete. Information isn’t bound up anymore. It’s a living entity. The only reality is virtual. If you’re not jacked in, you’re not alive.Fritz
Thank you Fritz, for making us all sound like crazy people.Jenny
That is a fact that I regard with genuine horror.Giles
Yes, it was a joke I made up.Willow
I met him online.
Online for what?Willow, Buffy
Well no. He doesn’t talk like somebody who would have a hairy back.Willow
Yeah, but keep guessing anyway.Xander, Willow
Well you’re missing out. I’m planning of making fun of all the people who won’t talk to me.Xander
Yeah, colour in the cheeks, bounce in the step. I don’t like it. It’s not healthy.Xander
Oh, I had knowledge.Buffy
Things involving the computer fill me with a childlike terror. Now if it were a nice ogre of some set, I’d be more in my element.Giles
Well my uncle use to work there. In a floor sweeping capacity.Xander
Besides, I can just tell something’s wrong. My spider sense is tingling.Buffy
You here again? You kids really dig the library don’t you?
To read makes our speaking English good.Xander
This isn’t a fad, Rupert. We are creating a new society here.Jenny
Well it’s been so nice talking to you.
We were fighting.
Must do it again sometime.Giles, Jenny
Tell me the truth. How’s my hair?
It’s great. It’s your best hair ever.Buffy, Xander
I didn’t read it. That dreadfull Calendar woman found it and it was already blank.Giles
Well even if she could, how am I going to convince her there’s a demon on the internet?Giles
Wrong and wrong, snobby.Jenny
That bad old science made the magic go away?Jenny
Right now, a man in Beijin is transfering money into a Swiss bank account for a contract on his mothers life. Good for him.Moloch, the Corruptor
Couldn’t you just stop Moloch by entering some sort of computer virus?
You’ve seen too many movies.Giles, jenny
Hey! I got to hit someone!Xander
Malcolm! Remember me, your girlfriend. I think it’s time we break up. But maybe we can still be friends.Willow
Books smell. Musty and rich. The knowledge gained from a computer, it has no texture, not context. It’s there and then it’s gone. if it’s to last, the getting of knowledge should be tangible, it should be smelly.Giles
Well I don’t dangle a corkscrew from my ear.
That’s not where I dangle it.Giles, Jenny
That’s life on the hellmouth.
Let’s face it, none of us are ever going to have a happy, normal relationship.
*laughter*Xander, Buffy, Willow
We start off in Cortona, Italy in 1418. A demon has a following of humans. They obviously worship him. There is a sect of monks who are trying to stop him. They cast a spell that summons Moloch, the demon, into a book, binding him forever inside this book.
Back to Sunnydale, modern-day. The scoobies are in the library. It seems the library teacher, Miss Jenny Calendar, is trying to digitize the library’s books. There are a couple of other students there as well, who are in the computer science class. Everyone has a stack of books that they are scanning. Buffy opens a crate with an old book in it, the same book that the demon Moloch was cast into.
Miss Calendar tries to convince Giles that there are benefits to the computer age. Everyone leaves but Willow, who stays behind to work a little longer. She scans in the book Moloch is bound in, and as it scans, the print disappears from the book but Willow doesn’t notice. “Where am I?” appears on the monitor, after WIllow leaves.
The following week, Willow tells Buffy that she’s met someone online and they chat every day. She’s obviously in love with Malcolm, but Buffy has reservations about Willow dating someone she’s never met. While talking in front of one of the computers in the computer lab, the girls are being watched on the webcam.
We then see the computer in an unoccupied office, scrolling through the student’s records. Whatever is controlling the computer stops at Buffy’s school record. A copy of it is sent to one of the other students in the lab, Fritz. A message appears on the screen saying ‘watch her’.
We scan a few scenes where people are complaining that their computer files have been tampered with.
Fritz is acting very creepily when ever people speak to him. He’s sat alone in front of a PC, chanting over and over, while cutting the letter ‘M’ into his arm.
Buffy and Willow are still not getting along very well the next day, as Willow ditches a few classes because she overslept after chatting to Malcolm all night. Buffy’s suspicion intensifies after speaking to Dave, one of the other students in the computer lab. He acts as strangely as Fritz does.
Buffy turns to Giles for some advice, but he can’t help her due to his lack of computer skills. They decide that she should follow Dave. She follows him to what is suppose to be an abandoned computer research lab. It’s filled with workers. Fritz and Moloch watch her on the CCTV and Moloch tells Fritz to kill her.
Willow and Malcolm/Moloch are chatting again. He makes a reference about Buffy getting kicked out of her old school. Willow becomes a little suspicious as she’s never told Malcolm/Moloch that before and she signs off early.
Miss Calender and Giles are in the library argueing about technology. Giles is dead set against it, he prefers books. Jenny discovers the old book which use to bound Moloch and shows it to Giles, as it is now empty. He is visibly disturbed by the book.
More incidents where computer records are being tampered with around the school.
Dave lures Buffy into the girl’s locker room where she is electrocuted. Thankfully, her slayer reflexes save her from any major injury. Dave did try to warm her last minute, as he did not want to kill her. He argues with Moloch about it. Moloch gets Fritz to kill Dave. They leave a suicide note.
Giles informs Buffy and Xander about the empty book which use to inprison Moloch, the Corruptor. He is a deadly and seductive demon who draws people to him with promises of love and power. The group figure out that Malcolm must be Moloch and he is now online and can control everything worldwide.
After getting home, Willow gets abducted by Fritz. Buffy and Xander, realizing she’s been taken, decide to go look at CRD, the research facility she saw Dave at.
Giles tries to get Jenny’s help in binding Moloch again. She is surprisingly nonchalant and already knows there’s a demon in the internet. Jenny talks about casting bones and is familiar with the lore around the demon Moloch. She says she’s not a witch but instead is a techno-pagan. They work together to cast the spell to get Moloch back in the book. Jenny calls on her online coven and types while Giles chants aloud.
Willow comes to, in a research lab. She meets Moloch, who is in a robot body now. He can not only control the robot body, but he is still connected to the web, being able to be omnipotent virtually, but is happy to have a form again as he seems to enjoy killing his followers. He kills Fritz just because he can.
Moloch tells Willow he wants to give her the world, as she is the one who freed him. She is very upset to find out that her new boyfriend isn’t a person and tells him she wants nothing to do with him. He then tries to kill her.
Meanwhile, Buffy and Xander break into CRD. Buffy saves Willow just in time, at the same time Giles & Jenny’s spell takes affect and Moloch is removed from the internet, but instead of being bound to the book, he gets bound to the robot body he was controlling.
Moloch is pretty angry that he no longer has unlimited access to the web and takes it out on Buffy, Willow and Xander. Buffy destroys the robot body, thus also destroying Moloch.
The next day Giles and Jenny seem to reach a better understanding of one another. Jenny seems to like how Giles is just an old fashioned guy. She flirts a little with him, taking him by surprise.
The episode ends with the scoobies sitting outside, reflecting on their love lives. They are all a little depressed by their history of falling for monsters and creatures.
This is the 3rd episode where no vampires appear.
Moloch is the first robot to appear on BTVS.
This is the first time Buffy slays a non-vampire.
This is the first appearance of Jenny Calendar. Jenny was originally going to be named Nicki, but it was decided that in order to avoid on-set confusion with Nicholas Brendan, who plays Xander Harris, whose nickname is Nicky, it was changed.
When this episode was first aired, chat rooms were becoming popular and there was a lot of scaremongering that chat rooms were filled with people pretending to be someone else so that they could lure young women to them. This is the first of many times, that BTVS touches on real, unpleasant real-world events.