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Season 1, episode 08
Season 108
1st release (U.S.): 04/28/97
Production number: 4V08
Last update: 03/04/05

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SYNOPSIS by Sally Dye

Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers)
Nicholas Brendan (Xander Harris)
Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg)
Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase)
Anthony Stewart Head (Rupert Giles)

Robia La Morte (Ms. Calendar)
Chad Lindberg (Dave)
Jamison Ryan (Fritz)
Pierrino Mascarino (Thelonius)
Edith Fields (School Nurse)
Damon Sharp (Male Student)
Mark Deakins (Voice of Malcolm/Moloch)
Joss Whedon (Newscaster) - uncredited

Written by Ashley Gable and Thomas A. Swyden
Directed by Stephen Posey

WB, Monday, 9pm


Willow, saddened by Xander's affection for Buffy turns to the chat rooms and meets a charming boy on-line, ignoring Buffy's concerns about Internet freaks. Meanwhile, the rest of the gang discover a demon trapped in the school computer network. TVTome.dom


This synopsis is by Sally Dye.

In 1418 Cortona, Italy, the demon Moloch asks one of his followers if he loves him. When the follower says he does, Moloch snaps his neck, killing him. Elsewhere, a group of monks chant a spell to bind Moloch. They place his essence within the pages of a book. They close the book and bury it in a box, hoping that it will never be opened again.

In 20th century Sunnydale, Buffy opens a box and extracts the same book. The school's computer teacher, Ms. Calendar, is scanning some of the books into a computer. Willow and some of the other computer students are helping. Giles is suspicious and disparaging of this new-fangled way of preserving the knowledge in books. He says he needs to clean up some of the shelves and that he will be back in the Middle Ages. Ms. Calendar: "Did you ever leave?" As Willow scans the pages of the Moloch book, the writing disappears in the book itself, but Willow doesn't notice. When she turns to get ready to leave, "Where am I?" appears on the computer screen.

At school a week or so later, Buffy wants to know why Willow's line was busy all the night before. Willow smiles and says she was talking. Buffy says secrets are not allowed. Willow says she met someone last week after they did the scanning. His name is Malcolm, and he's very nice. Buffy wants more details. Willow says he's smart and romantic, but Buffy wants to know what he looks like. Willow says she doesn't know.

Later Willow explains that she met Malcolm online. She shows Buffy some of his e-mails. Buffy cautions Willow that she shouldn't rush into this kind of relationship. Within the computer, the video camera focuses on Buffy and runs a scan of the student database until it finds her. It sends the info to another computer student, Fritz, and tells him to watch her.

Buffy and Xander discuss their concerns about Willow and Malcolm. They realize that Malcolm could be anyone. Buffy hopes they are overreacting. But the next day, Willow is very late to school, and when Buffy tries to warn her again, Willow says that Malcolm said she wouldn't understand. Buffy: "Malcolm was right."

Buffy talks to another computer student, Dave. She asks how she could trace an e-mail. When she mentions Willow, Dave says to leave Willow alone and brushes her off.

Buffy goes to Giles and tells him about Dave. Giles suggests she follow him. When she does, Dave leads her to a supposedly deserted factory, where quite a lot of activity is going on. Security cameras spot Buffy peering through the fence, and Fritz asks the computer what he should do. The typed reply is "Kill her."

Buffy tells Giles that her spider sense is tingling. Giles is puzzled by the pop culture reference. Buffy and Xander decide to break into the factory after dark. Ms. Calendar comes in to check Giles' computer and marvels that Buffy and Xander spend so much time in the library. Xander: "To read makes our speaking English good." Buffy sighs at this lame statement, and she and Xander take the opportunity to exit.

Willow and Malcolm are typing messages to each other. When Willow mentions Buffy, Malcolm says she's a trouble-maker -- that's why she got kicked out of her last school. Willow wonders how he knew that. Malcolm says it is in her permanent file. Willow is disturbed by this exchange and signs off.

Giles and Ms. Calendar argue over the advantages of the computer age. Ms. Calendar casually looks into the Moloch book, which is now completely blank. When Giles sees the cover, he realizes what it is and rushes Ms. Calendar out of the library.

Dave tells Buffy that Willow is looking for her in the girls' locker room. When Buffy goes there, it seems deserted. Fritz is hidden in the shower and turns it on, so Buffy comes that way. When she goes in to turn off the shower, the water touches an exposed electric wire. Dave shouts a warning to Buffy, who leaps clear of the water just in time, though the soles of her shoes are singed and smoking.

Dave goes to the computer room and says he's not going to do it. The computer replies that he promised -- the project is almost complete. Dave says it's wrong. The computer starts typing a suicide note, signed Dave. Dave turns around, and Fritz is standing behind him.

Buffy says she doesn't understand why Dave would have tried to kill her. (She is mainly concerned about how her hair looks after almost being electrocuted, but Xander and Giles reassure her that it's fine.) Giles shows her the book and explains that in the Dark Ages, demons were sometimes trapped in books and could only be freed if the book were read aloud. He knows this book had to do with Moloch the Corrupter, a very deadly demon who preyed on impressionable minds. Xander: "And Moloch is inside the book?" Giles: "Not anymore." He shows them the empty pages. Buffy realizes it is one of the books that were scanned. They all turn to look at the computer. Buffy: "He's gone binary on us." Giles suggests they try to delete the file. When they try, an image of Moloch fills the screen and tells them to stay away from Willow. Buffy: "So that's what Malcolm looks like."

Buffy, Xander and Giles start theorizing on all the dangerous things Moloch could do if he controls all the computers which are connected over modems. Buffy says the first thing they need to do is find Willow. Buffy goes to check the computer lab and finds Dave's body hanging with the suicide note pinned to his shirt.

Buffy and Xander head for Willow's house, telling Giles to work on a way to get Moloch out of the computer.

Willow comes home and goes to her room. Her computer says she has mail. It's from Malcolm, who says he has to see her. She turns off her computer, but it comes back on by itself. The doorbell rings and when she answers it, Fritz grabs her and chloroforms her.

Ms. Calendar comes to the library. Giles says he needs her help and that he's going to tell her something she might not understand. He finally just says, "There's a demon on the internet." Ms. Calendar: "I know." Giles is stunned.

Buffy and Xander get to Willow's house and find the door ajar and Willow gone. They find the e-mail message and head for the factory.

Ms. Calendar says there were many signs of demon involvement with the computers. She had thought it might be a mischief demon of some sort. Giles: "It's Moloch." Ms. Calendar recognizes the name, startling Giles yet again. He hopes she can help him bind Moloch. She contacts a group of internet users to form a sacred (albeit online) circle and Giles begins the chant.

Willow wakes up in the factory. A computer generated voice says, "Welcome, my love," and a robot-like Moloch steps into view. Moloch says it's great being able to walk, and touch, and (snapping Fritz's neck) kill. Moloch says Willow is really the one who created him, even though the people he brought to the factory gave him his physical form. Willow says he lied to her.

Buffy and Xander get into the factory, but Moloch releases a gas into the hallways to slow them down.

Moloch is about to kill Willow when Giles' chanting gets control of him. Buffy makes it into the room where they are and gets Willow.

Sparks fly from Ms. Calendar's computer and they realize that Moloch is out of the 'net. Giles looks at the book, but it's still blank. Ms. Calendar: "Where is he?"

Moloch crashes through a wall and confronts Buffy, Willow and Xander. He knocks Xander down and throws Buffy into a wall. Willow calls out to him as he's about to kill Buffy: "I think it's time we break up!" She starts hitting him with a fire extinguisher, but he tosses her aside. Buffy sees an electrical panel behind her and tells Moloch to take his best shot. When he punches, she ducks, and his fist goes into the panel. The electricity fries him, and he explodes.

Giles comes to the computer lab. Ms. Calendar: "Welcome to my world. You scared?" Giles: "I'm remaining calm, thank you." He returns her earring that was in the library. He says he's even less anxious now to be around computers than before. She says it was a book that started all the trouble. He defends books, and she says he's old-fashioned. Giles: "Well, I don't dangle a corkscrew from my ear." Ms. Calendar: "That's not where I dangle it."

Buffy and Xander urge Willow to come to the Bronze with them. Willow is depressed because her boyfriend turned out to be a demon robot. Buffy reminds her that the one boy she's liked is a vampire, and Xander says the teacher he had a crush on -- giant praying mantis. Willow agrees and perks up a little. Buffy: "Let's face it -- none of us are going to have a happy, normal relationship." They all agree laughingly, and then grow somber as they ponder that statement.


There seems to be a picture of Willow and Rupert in Willow's hall locker at the beginning of the show. Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia) does not appear in this episode, even though she is credited in the opening titles.

In the scene with Giles listening to the radio, the newscaster's voice is none other than Joss Whedon himself, creator of the show we know and love.

Jenny was originally going to be called 'Nicki' but was changed to avoid confusion on the set as Nicholas Brendon is generally called Nicky

On the computer, Buffy's school profile reads: that her birthdate is 05-06-79, GPA is 2,8, with only one absence for the slayer which we must believe is from the two-part series premiere when Joyce asks Buffy about missing school that day.

Fast National Rating: 2.3.

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