Previously: Dru came to town, Spike told Buffy he loved her and Buffy got grossed out, and Tara pretty much implied that Spike is Quasimodo, and it was magical.
I Was Made To Love You
Kirsti: Okay, I hate this episode SO FUCKING MUCH, YOU GUYS. Because of reasons. Not least of which is the introduction of quite possibly my least favourite character in the whole of the Buffy-verse. Oh Number Gods, why must you torment me like this? SIGH.
Sweeney: Robots + Warren? Yeah, this was pretty bad draw.
Lorraine: Let’s just remember that you ended up third in the rotation because you HAD to cover School Hard.
K: Okay, fine. I have no one to blame but myself. You still have to admit that this AND Where the Wild Things Are was a pretty shitty draw…
ANYWAY. We open in the training room at the Magic Box, where Buffy is punching out her angry “Spike’s in love with me” feels. Giles LOLs a little in the background, while Xander – who’s inside the giant sumo suit thing that Buffy is punching – is all “OW. LESS FEELS PLZ.” Buffy apologises, on account of she forgot there was someone in the suit, and then wonders what it is about beating the living shit out of a guy on the regular that makes him go “I GOTTA GET ME SOME OF THAT.” Xander assures her that it’s not her, and that a decent guy will come along soon. Buffy starts listing off ways that she could change in order to not scare a guy away and GODDAMMIT IT’S NOT WEDNESDAY, ENOUGH WITH THIS SHIT ALREADY. Public service announcement: if you have to completely change who you are for a guy, that guy is not a guy that you want. That guy is a douchecanoe. Xander sort of backs me up, and Buffy hugs him.
He then postulates that maybe the reason all their relationships end up in Sucksville is the fact that they live on the Hellmouth, which isn’t really an ideal place to build anything. That segue magics us over to the centre of town where a girl in sandals and a floral dress is getting out of a car. She’s super peppy as she thanks the driver for picking her up. He encourages her to get the hell out of town, on account of nothing but murder or maiming awaits in Sunnydale, but she says she’s looking for true love, and I resist the urge to make a thousand Princess Bride references. Roll credits.
After the credits, Joyce is in the Summers’ living room. She’s wearing a dress, and Buffy and Dawn are making her spin in circles. She has a date that night with a guy named Brian.
Anyway, her dress gets the required sign-off from the girls, and then she has kind of a nervous breakdown about the evening’s plans. She asks Buffy for advice, and Buffy is all “LOL, NOPE. My boyfriends all leave town, remember?” Dawn chimes in that maybe Buffy will meet someone at the spring break party she’s attending that night.
Over at Contrivance U, Tara and Anya are talking about the internet, and how the computer stuff is mostly Willow’s domain:
Sweeney: 1430 for Tara.
K: Agreed. Anya’s a big fan of the internet because of online trading, and she says that she’s tripled the money she’s made working for Giles. Tara’s taken aback: “Tripled? Like…first, money. Then money, money, money?” Bless.
The girl in the floral dress approaches them, and asks if they know where Warren is. They’re all “Uhhhh, who??” and she thanks them and leaves. We follow her briefly as she approaches another random stranger and asks if he’s seen Warren. Meanwhile, Anya’s continuing her YAY INTERNET! spiel, by talking about the website she’s designed for the shop, which features a huge photo of her. I’ve been a little up and down in regards to Anya this season. Right now, I love her.
Sweeney: She loves the internet. We can be friends.
Lor: She’s making money off the Internet. We NEED to be friends.
K: Snark Squad Booze Fund: Sponsored by Anya?
Cut to the spring break party that night. Buffy’s dancing with Xander while Anya stands on the sidelines talking to Willow and Tara about how she let Buffy dance with Xander and now she’s expecting karma to give her a reward. Aaaaaaand we’re right back to me hating Anya again.
Buffy and Xander finish their dance, and she spots Ben across the room on account of contrivance. She places herself in his eye line and waits for him to notice her. When he does, he makes a terrible joke and she fake laughs and NO MAKE IT STOP. They awkward through a conversation that ends in her asking him to dance. He says that he’ll just get rid of his drink and be right back, which makes no sense on account of HE’S STANDING NEXT TO A TABLE.
Meanwhile, Xander and Anya are discussing how Chex Mix is made – she thinks it’s hand-woven – when Peppy Girl turns up. Xander’s all “Wow, who’s she?” which seems like a terrible thing to do when you’re standing right next to your (L: ex-vengeance demon) girlfriend. Peppy Girl calls out for Warren, and we get a shot of a nervous looking guy in the crowd. He rushes across the room to another girl, insists that they have to leave because “she’s going to see me,” and rushes them towards the door.
Peppy Girl goes up to the Scoobies and asks if they’ve seen Warren. Xander asks for more information about him, which Peppy Girl doesn’t have, simply saying that, “he lost me.” She walks away, and Tara says to the other Scoobies that it’s weird Peppy Girl would have spent all day looking for Warren, and Xander replies that he doesn’t think she’ll be lonely for long. Willow’s all, “PREACH,” and Tara gets judgey face. I don’t blame her.
Buffy, meanwhile, is still waiting for Ben to come back. But Spike turns up instead. He asks if she’s looking for the next ex-Mr. Summers, and she’s all “Didn’t I tell you to get the hell out of town??” His reply is typical Spike:
There’s some tongue action involved, for those of you playing at home, and then a dose of Intense Chemistry Staring, even though Buffy tells him to GTFO. He walks away just before Ben returns, and then stands in the crowd being jealous of the fact that Buffy’s talking to another guy. The Buffy and Ben awkwardness continues, with him giving her his phone number, “you know, in case you want to get coffee…” He then proceeds to use “coffee” as a euphemism for “Buffy,” and she says that she’ll call him.
Sweeney: This was cute. I’m not generally a fan of bumbling-awkward-Buffy, but this was cute.
Lor: I’m just annoyed because Ben kind of being Glory really can’t end well for the overall score of Buffy’s romantic life.
K: Exactly. I’m too busy being annoyed about the whole situation to focus on any potential cuteness.
Spike gets jealous face, and walks off. On his way out, he comes face to face with Peppy Girl, who introduces herself as April and says that she’s “looking for my fella.” Spike says that she’s found him, and whispers something in her ear. She gets a disgusted look on her face and picks him up by the collar and holds him over her head before throwing him through a window. Buffy looks impressed in the background.
Buffy – probably thrilled that for once she’s not that person – stops April and suggests that maybe she take a break for a minute. April responds by throwing Buffy across the room. She apologises and says, “I hope your boyfriend will take good care of you,” then leaves.
In a student lounge, Buffy nurses her hurt arm while complaining to the Scoobies about small strong women who aren’t her. Willow’s says that at least there wasn’t too much damage and Xander replies by listing off the things that will need fixing before realising that he’s the adult who can’t see anything but their job, and suggests that they should shun him. (S: Cute Xander moment!) (L: Loved.) Buffy asks the others what they think April is, and there’s unanimous agreement that she’s a robot, and that Warren is probably the guy who built her.
Lor: I love how nonchalantly they all come to this conclusion. Nice touch.
K: Willow says that she can try and track down Contrivance U students named Warren, but Buffy’s a little concerned about April causing more damage in the meantime. Her priority for the night, however, is to save Giles who was on Dawn-sitting duty while Joyce was on her date.
Segue magic over to Chez Summers where Giles is informing Buffy that it’s all too much and he can’t babysit Dawn any more and besides, fourteen is too old to need a babysitter. The BSC would agree! Buffy asks what Dawn made him do, and the look on Giles’ face is priceless as he replies “Um, well, we listened to aggressively cheerful music sung by people chosen for their ability to dance… then we ate cookie dough and talked about boys.” She laughs and says that she got to watch a robot throw Spike through a window, and he’s all “Seriously? Robot??” She offers to fill him in, but then Joyce arrives home and Giles runs off before he can be subjected to more talking about boys. Buffy tells Joyce that it can’t have been that good a night because Brian didn’t walk her to the door or give her a goodnight kiss. Joyce starts to respond and then stops for this moment of genius:
She teases Buffy some more, and I stop to laugh at the fact that Buffy could never make that joke because she APPARENTLY DOESN’T OWN ANY BRAS.
Sometime later on the other side of town, April has resorted to going door-to-door looking for Warren. The Tinkly Piano of Feels strikes up in the background as people slam doors in her face.
At the Magic Box the next morning, the gang fill Giles in on their robot theory. Willow, meanwhile, has found a total lack of Warrens at Contrivance U and is checking universities slightly further afield. Because, you know, that’s logical. Giles wonders if there’s anything they can do while Willow’s looking, and Tara asks if he has books on robots. Giles’ response makes me love him even more: “Oh, yes, dozens. There’s an enormous amount of research we should do before – no, I’m lying. I haven’t got squat, I just like to see Xander squirm.” ACTUAL BEST.
Conveniently for everyone, Willow then locates Warren – he went to Sunnydale High with them for a semester before going to a technical college, but his parents still live locally. Tara postulates that Warren’s probably home for spring break. Giles wonders why Warren would build a robot, and the gang all turn to stare at him because OBVIOUSLY SEXBOT. Xander then goes off on a “What guy wouldn’t want a sexbot?” segue:
K: Agreed on all fronts.
They then delve further into Warren’s motives, because why not just get a real girlfriend? Willow suggests that maybe it’s easier than being lonely, and Tara says that she thinks it’s a little sad that he couldn’t find someone real. Buffy stares at her hands as the Clarinet o’ Sucks To Be Buffy starts up. She heads into the training room and calls Ben. She suggests getting coffee, and he agrees. They set a date for the following night.
Sweeney: Really convenient that he transformed into himself just at that time. I don’t remember how their magic works, so maybe they’re going to make this make sense later.
K: I’m pretty sure that NOPE.
Elsewhere, Warren is packing his stuff as his ACTUAL girlfriend, Katrina, demands to know why on account of they just got to Sunnydale. She’s also pissed because they could have gone to her sister’s place for spring break instead. He says that he’ll buy her new stuff if she’s not going to pack and rushes her to the door. Buffy’s on the other side, and says she needs to talk to him. Katrina gets jealous, because Warren’s been acting super weird and now another girl has turned up. He acts like a douche some more, including telling her to shut up, and she’s all “DONE WITH YOUR MISOGYNY” and storms out. Buffy demands answers from Warren, and he says that he’s going to blow her mind by revealing the truth about April: she’s a robot. Buffy’s all “Cool story, bro.” and we fade to black.
After the Not Commercial Break, the rest of the gang are filling Dawn in on the robot situation. She asks if it’s a robot like Angel John Ritter was a robot, but no. Spike bursts in the door, stomps out his burning blanket, and then is all “MORNING ALL!” to the Scoobies. They all give him “GTFO” faces, on account of that one time last week he chained Buffy up and threatened to let Dru kill her, and he says that Buffy’s been making untrue allegations. Giles gets BAMF-y and it’s awesome, while Willow informs Spike that they’re trying to find a way to uninvite him from the Magic Box even though it’s not a residence. Spike looks surprised, then resigned as Giles gives him death stares. He puts his blanket back on and leaves.
At a coffee shop, April asks a table of young guys if they’ve seen Warren. One says that she just missed him and that if she hurries she might catch him. She thanks him and leaves, and the other guys ask who Warren is. “Hell if I know!” he replies, and they all laugh.
Back at Warren’s place, Buffy’s grilling him about why he built April. Apparently it wasn’t just for sex – he built himself a girlfriend. One who loved him and cared about him and was interested in all the things he was interested in. But it got boring and predictable and he didn’t want her. And then he met Katrina and fell in love with her. Buffy asks what he did with April, and he says that he just left her in his dorm room and never went back. Buffy gets pissed, because DUDE, SERIOUSLY? He replies that April’s batteries should have run out days ago.
Lor: He just left the robot in his dorm room. RIGHT.
K: Katrina, meanwhile, is in a park nearby. April appears and asks if she knows Warren, and Katrina gets mad. She says that Warren is her boyfriend, and all these other girls need to GTFO. April grabs Katrina’s arm and insists that she stop lying before grabbing her around the waist so hard that Katrina can’t breathe.
Cut over to the TARDIS crypt where Spike is throwing the dregs of his Buffy Shrine into a box. Cut back to the park where Warren is calling out to April and informing Buffy that he programmed April so that if she hears his voice and doesn’t respond, it causes her pain. Buffy looks disgusted and I fight the urge to punch my television because HOLY SHIT I HATE THIS CHARACTER SO FUCKING MUCH. April responds, and the camera pans over to show her holding Katrina up by the neck. “Where have you been? I couldn’t find you, and this girl kept lying to me, and … then she went to sleep,” April says. Buffy and Warren stare in horror as we fade to black.
Sweeney: Warren is a majorly sick, twisted fuck.
K: SO MUCH. I hate that they made him a recurring character. (Spoilers??)
After the Not Commercial Break, Buffy tells April to put Katrina down, but she only answers to Warren. He’s dithering about what to do, and Buffy yells at him until he gives April the appropriate order. Buffy checks Katrina’s pulse and she’s alive. April tells Warren that she waited for a long time and wants to know why he went away. He starts to make an excuse to get rid of her again, but Buffy – who’s over-relating a little on account of the Riley-left-without-saying-anything situation – insists that he has to tell April the truth. He says that he made a mistake and then we cut into a shot from April’s perspective:
Warren says that he made a mistake, that she’s not what he wants, and that it’s over. He says that he doesn’t love her, and April’s screen shows “Combat mode engaged.” Warren then shouts that he loves Buffy, and April switches her combat mode attention across, and growls at Buffy. Buffy’s all “Dude, she GROWLS???” before April throws her across the park. They fight, and Buffy hits April in the stomach with a broken piece of seesaw, exposing her robot-y guts. Katrina comes to, and is all “WTF, is that a robot??” Warren says that it wasn’t just for sex, and Katrina says “Is that your EX-GIRLFRIEND?” before telling him to stay away from her, and running off. Warren runs after her.
The fight between Buffy and April continues. Buffy hits April in the face with a swing, and April grabs Buffy by the throat and starts to strangle her. But then there’s a crackle and a “powering down” whine, and April releases Buffy. Her strength is fading and she has no idea what’s happening or where Warren is. We cut to Buffy and April sitting on the swings in the park, talking. April is slumped to one side, and there’s feelsy music going on. Buffy asks if April can cry, and says that sometimes she feels better when she cries. “Crying is blackmail. Good girlfriends don’t cry,” April replies, and I want to punch Warren in the dick all over again.
Sweeney: WORD. Fucking worst.
K: April has an existential crisis about her purpose if she’s not Warren’s girlfriend, and then says that maybe it’s a girlfriend test and if she waits long enough, he’ll come back. “I’m sure he will. And he’ll…he’ll tell you how sorry he is. You know, he told me…how proud he was of you and…how impressed he was with how much you loved him and how you tried to help him. He didn’t mean to hurt you,” Buffy replies, and it’s pretty clear that she’s having residual Riley feels. April starts to list off a bunch of adages, her voice getting slower and deeper like a tape running out as she talks. The last one is “It’s always darkest before…“, and then she shuts down. I’m still not sure if that’s a little meta moment of semi-foreshadowing or not. Buffy stares at April for a minute as the camera pans out.
Segue magic over the Contrivance U where Xander is repairing the window that Spike was thrown through, because contrivance demands it. Buffy informs Xander that she’s decided to just be comfortable in her own company for a while. He cheersquads appropriately, and she goes off to find a pay phone.
Lor: I really, really enjoy Buffy confiding in Xander. I’m sad for what it says about Buffy and Willow’s friendship, but Xander’s developed into a great friend for her.
K: Agreed. I’m very much enjoying season 5 Xander. Apparently his Gift Apartment came with a side of Not Being An Asshat.
Buffy calls Ben and leaves a message saying that she’s not really ready for coffee right now. We cut over to Ben’s apartment and see Glory and one of her Flattery Demons listening to the message. The Flattery Demon says that it sounds like Ben had a date planned with Buffy. Glory says he must be planning something against her, and then gets pouty over the fact that Buffy turned them down.
Meanwhile, over at Warren’s, he’s on the phone to Katrina trying to make amends. She won’t have a bar of it though, and hangs up on him. He turns around to see Spike behind him. Warren’s mother let him in, apparently, and he wants to place an order for his own robot. Warren says he’s not making any more robot girls, but Spike says “Here’s your specs” and hands him the box of stuff from his Buffy shrine.
Lor: NOPE. NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE.
K: Cut to Chez Summers. Buffy walks in the front door and calls out to Joyce. There’s no response, but there’s a bunch of flowers on a table by the door. She reads the card with the flowers, which are from Brian and thank Joyce for a nice night. She calls up the stairs to Joyce, and over Buffy’s shoulder, we can see an out-of-focus person slumped on the sofa in the living room. When there’s no response, Buffy calls out towards the kitchen, then turns and sees Joyce in the living room. “What are you doing?” she says as she walks in there. She stops in her tracks and we get a shot of Joyce. She’s pale and unmoving and staring sightlessly at the ceiling.
Sweeney: I HAD FORGOTTEN IT WAS THIS TIME ALREADY AND SO THIS PUNCHED ME IN THE FEELS ALL OVER AGAIN. WHYWHYWHYWHY?
Lor: I KNEW IT.
K emailed us about ending the recap on that fade to black, but I have feels and I need to talk about them. SORRY. FIRST TIME WATCHER:
The April/Warren thing was a weak plot but not the worst we’ve ever seen. The scene with April on the swings was Buffy was nicely executed. Most of the more eyeroll worthy beginning set-up plot didn’t weigh this episode down as much as I thought it would, mostly because there is a ton of Buffy and plot development happening in the background.
This episode, with its pink clad fembot, and couple of scenes with Buffy laughing (which we often say doesn’t happen enough) really was almost cheery. And then the ending. Part of me feels like it was fantastic that we got to see Joyce happy (and looking beautiful) before the end. The other part of me felt manipulated. I’ll reserve judgement on that until next episode.
It’ll be interesting to see how this episode fares in my memory after things develop from here.
Next time on Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Bring your tissues, because S05 E16 is here – The Body.