Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | December 27, 2010

Cordia’s Review: S1, E08 – I Robot…You Jane

I, Robot… You, Jane
Season 1, Episode 8
Original airing: April 28, 1997

My Rating: 51

The Good: The little character moments remained strong in this episode. Xander was witty, Buffy was fierce and Willow was sweet. The introduction of Jenny Calendar was a highlight of the episode. Her interactions with Giles were real and strong, showing their individual passions for their chosen mediums. This gave them real things to discuss and helped form an interesting bond between them. The ending hints at romantic possibilities with Jenny being a bit new-age and free spirited to balance Giles’ stuffiness.

The Bad: The villains of this episode were not good. The demon looked cheesy, both online and in robot form. The kids who followed him – Fritz and Dave – had no other characterization, so why they chose to the bidding of some text on their computer screens was unclear. Fritz started out as computer obsessed and creepy and just got worse from there. It all put me in mind of Owen (Season 1, Episode 5), who just didn’t have much characterization outside of the necessary elements to move the plot forward. The sad part is, the plot wasn’t really worth the effort. It started out well being based around Willow’s desire for a boyfriend, but it quickly veered off into being just about the demon. Unfortunately, he was so poorly portrayed, there wasn’t any tension in this episode. Of course, Buffy was going to defeat him and all would move on. It’s a flaw of the Monster-of-the-Week formula.

Favorite Moment: The strength of this show isn’t the monsters or the crazy evil things, it’s the strong main characters and their interactions and lives together. My favorite moment brought the show back to that after an episode that frankly went off the rails. In the final scene, Xander, Willow, and Buffy are sitting outside lamenting their love lives. Xander and Buffy step up to make Willow feel better about falling in love with a demon. In the process, they all realize that they may never have normal relationships. This is portrayed humorously, but it’s really a sad and truthful moment to end the episode.

The Bottom Line: This is a disappointing episode, especially following on the heels of Episode 7 – Angel. The support characters are back to being bland, boring and one dimensional which matches perfectly with the predictable and silly storyline. It’s a good thing the main actors are so good and the main characters are so witty and strong.

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