Buffy 5×15: I Was Made to Love You

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: Jane Espenson | Director: James A. Contner | Aired: 02/20/2001]

Let me start off by saying “I Was Made to Love You” is a strong candidate for “Surprise Hit” of the season. There’s a whole lot more to like here than it’s given credit for. I’ll be up front and admit that the AprilBot itself doesn’t always work for me, which is just barely enough to rob this from an A-range grade. Everything else, though, succeeds marvelously with unbelieveably superb and sharp character work for Buffy. The plot, like most Buffy episodes, is actually intended to further the depth and journey of the characters. This material focuses right on Buffy: her expectations, beliefs, wants, worries, and ultimately a big realization. Once again we have an episode where the plot only exists to service the characters, which is exactly what I love seeing in my entertainment.

I’m going to start off by talking about the one major thing I didn’t care for, and that is Espenson’s attempt to make me feel sorry for the AprilBot. Unfortunately I just don’t really give a hoot about the AprilBot and the episode fails at making her very sympathetic, although its final scene is both touching and important because of its direct affect on Buffy. But the constant shots of it asking people where Warren is and many of those people ridiculing it isn’t sad because it’s a robot and it has nearly no personality. Ultimately, though, the AprilBot is a very small portion of the episode and doesn’t drag it down very much.

Okay, now moving onto the many highlights. The episode begins with a wonderful scene involving Buffy punching an unseen Xander while venting over the fact Spike wants her. She complains that there must be something about her that made him think that she was the one for him, which makes her “feel dirty” (which is exactly how she feels during S6). I think there are three dominating factors to help explain why Spike fell in love with her: she’s the Slayer, she’s got a complex personality, and Spike’s been restrained for so long from relieving himself by killing her that the killing instinct has turned into sexual attraction and, now, love. The slayer part of Buffy appeals to Spike’s vampiric and sexual side while her complex personality appeals to his poetic side retained from William, which he’s tried so hard to wash away over the years but will always be stuck with.

While that may help explain where Spike’s coming from, it doesn’t help Buffy much right now. She verbalizes that she hopes there’s still a guy out there she doesn’t scare away with her “uncanny strength and remarkable self involvement.” This is both a strong nod to her relationship with Riley and allows for Buffy to be very introspective, even though I think she’s still neglecting to see why she often seems self-involved–she’s sacrificing herself day-by-day for others through her job as the Slayer, so the rest of the time she’s thinking about herself which, honestly, is understandable.

Buffy’s unique situation makes me wonder if it will ever be possible for her to live the “normal life.” I think it may take a lot more time after the end of the series, but I think it is possible for her to have that. Xander, like usual, tries to cheer Buffy up and offers a possible answer to this craziness: “You ever think maybe the reason you haven’t found a great relationship on the hellmouth is… because it’s a hellmouth? Seems to me it’s a pretty terrible place to try to build anything.” And how about Puffy Xander? His interaction with Buffy here is incredibly sweet. Also sweet is seeing the two of them dance together later on as friends with so much respect for one another (a far cry from their last dance in “When She Was Bad” [2×01] ). Anya being all proud she let it happen is amusing too.

All of this self analyzing by Buffy convinces her that she needs to change something about herself to make a relationship work, which is the character plot of the episode. This is why she jumps at the opportunity to hang out with Ben in “Crush” [5×14] and almost dances with him later on here. I enjoyed the way she positioned herself in Ben’s view so he could initiate the conversation. Earlier Buffy was pondering ways to make guys like her more and said, “Maybe I could change. You know, I could, I could work harder. I could spend less time slaying, I could laugh at his jokes, I mean, men like that, right, the, the joke-laughing-at?” As she talks with Ben, he makes a bad joke and she laughs in a way that brings us right back to Cordelia in “Reptile Boy” [2×05] who said, “Dr. Debi says when a man is speaking you make serious eye contact, and you really, really listen, and you laugh at everything he says.” A little creepy to see that Cordelia’s been there, done that, over three years ago. This behavior makes Buffy no different than the AprilBot, whose only purpose is loving her man.

Anyway, right when Buffy thinks she might really be beginning something with Ben Spike shows up and bugs her. After retreating from mean looks he gives some fun expressions while watching Buffy and Ben talk together. Eventually he gets fed up and whispers something dirty to the AprilBot and hilariously gets thrown through a window. Then the AprilBot tosses Buffy across the room and simply says, apologetically, “If I hurt you just now, I’m sorry. And I hope that your boyfriend will take good care of you.” The sad, pouty look on Buffy’s face is priceless. You can tell that comment dug deep and hurt a lot more than the physical pain she’s feeling at the moment.

The AprilBot was designed to be the perfect girlfriend and devoted everything to Warren, yet it still didn’t work out. This is like an epiphany to Buffy who has been acting just like the AprilBot when interacting with Ben. She realizes “I don’t need a guy right now. I need me. I need to get comfortable being alone with Buffy.” She then immediately calls Ben again and tells him that she’s not ready to go out with him. A big w00t for Buffy for realizing that she needs to understand herself before being able to have a real shot at being a part of a successful relationship. Even after another two years of regression, confusion, and discovery we find out that she’s still not completely done discovering who she is. This episode represents the last we see of this part of Buffy’s exploration, a point which is repeated during the infamous “cookie dough” speech in “Chosen” [7×22] .

At the very end of the episode, after Buffy’s relationship journey is temporarily wrapped up in favor of self exploration, we see the beginning of the Pain Era. Joyce on the couch. Oh my what a painful moment after such an overall cheery episode. Here it is everyone, the bridge to Act III of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Act I being S1-S3, Act II being S4-now). Looking back at this episode I must say I’m quite impressed. When it wasn’t so focused on the AprilBot I discovered that this has a lot of depth, character moments, discoveries, and humor. We get to see Buffy giggle and be happy for the last time in very long while. Warren was introduced along with plans for the BuffyBot. We get to enjoy Puffy Xander. We see Joyce happy and alive for the last time. Although the AprilBot misses the mark in of itself, it still functions as a useful tool for Buffy’s development. All in all, “I Was Made to Love You” turns out to be quite the pleasure, flaws included.


Minor Pros/Cons (+/-)

+ April innocently walking into Sunnydale wanting “true love,” which is laughable after being shown Buffy’s troubles in that area over the years.
+ It’s nice to see Joyce so happy before her sudden tragedy. Damn Whedon!
+ Anya pointing out the AprilBot’s odd speech pattern and Xander complimenting Anya for the same thing.
+ Tara getting a little jealous at Willow’s reaction to the AprilBot.
+ The unanimous and casual agreement of the Scooby Gang that April must be a robot.
+ Joyce teasing Buffy with fake sexual comments.
+ Warren getting all excited to tell Buffy that that April’s a robot. Buffy’s trying to tell him she already knows leading to the enevitable “uh huh.”
+ How often Spike is running around in the daytime with a flaming blanket over his head.
+ Giles going into full-on Ripper mode when telling Spike to leave the shop and “get over” Buffy.
+ The ‘robot eyes’ view from the AprilBot’s perspective is very amusing.
+ Glory’s reaction to Buffy turning Ben down for a date: “what the hell?” and then “she turned us down?”
+ Spike gets desparate and has Warren begin construction of the BuffyBot. Oh my.


Foreshadowing

* Buffy calls Warren “one creepy little dweeb.” Need I say more?


[Score]

85/100

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55 thoughts on “Buffy 5×15: I Was Made to Love You”

  1. [Note: bookworm posted this comment on January 6, 2007.]

    my favorite scene right at the beginning: Buffy and Dawn having fun making Joyce spin around. oh, how sweet their relationship is… *sniff*

    and, don’t forget: “I’m thinking of buying something big. Maybe an antelope.”

    and Trina was cool, real cool, and she plays with this little cars.

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  2. [Note: pjc posted this comment on January 8, 2007.]

    So much fun.

    The last time we see Buffy relatively care free, in the scene with Joyce and Dawn. Its along time to the next genuinely joyful moment

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  3. [Note: Jessica posted this comment on March 13, 2007.]

    Another foreshadowing part is the Aprilbot’s last lines, right before she runs out of batteries: “and things are always darkest before…” the last word to that quote is supposed to be “dawn”, referring to buffy’s little sister.

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  4. [Note: gabrielleabelle posted this comment on November 12, 2007.]

    I appreciate this episode for the message in it. It’s rare to have a heroine in the media realize that she can be alright without a boyfriend. So I was very happy to see Buffy decide to take some time to get to know herself.

    But I just can’t watch this episode very often. The actual plot bores me. And I usually have trouble getting through it knowing what’s coming in the next episode.

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  5. [Note: buffyholic posted this comment on November 26, 2007.]

    At first I didn´t get this episode very much but now that I´ve seen it again and read your review, I understand it a whole lot better now and it´s cool to see that the robot is just a means to develop the characters even more, especially Buffy understanding all she needs is herself. And of course, the scene with the robot and Buffy in the swings is beautiful. Really well done.

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  6. [Note: Plain Simple posted this comment on February 28, 2008.]

    And things are always darkest before Dawn… only they’re not on this show. It definitely got a lot darker after Dawn.

    Btw, knowing what we know now, AprilBot asking Tara if she knows where Warren is, is quite an awkard moment too. Specially in this episode where death is coming.

    Re ‘Buffy calls Warren “one creepy little dweeb.” Need I say more?’: Yes please. If there’s something specific about this phrasing, then I’m missing it. If you would call the comment in general foreshadowing, I think it’s a bit far fetched. One off characters can also be called creepy dweebs.

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  7. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on February 28, 2008.]

    The line about Warren is indicative of what Warren is capable of, which we get to see in full force in S6.

    Also, I have to say I really disagree with people who think foreshadowing is material purposely placed by the writers ahead of time. Whether intentional or not, I believe if something ends up hinted at what’s to come, it’s foreshadowing. The writer’s original intent doesn’t really matter — it’s what’s on screen that matters.

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  8. [Note: Jaden posted this comment on June 25, 2008.]

    i dont know about you mike but i have to disagree about the bots feelings not being worth anything. whenever i see her though i know shes a robot i know that she has a basic sense of being and consiosness, though they are completely directed to the love of one person. with everything she exists for suddenly dissapearing she is still able to feel the void of where that is. even if she ISNT feeling those emotions the shots of her tirefully searching for him make her appear that she really does want to find him and is dissapointed at not and thats enough to make me feel sorry for her.

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  9. [Note: adastra posted this comment on September 7, 2008.]

    I had a feeling that the entire conversation between Buffy and April at the end was full of foreshadowing and hints of whats to come; coping with Joyce’s death, Buffy’s death (“It’s getting dark. It’s so early to be dark.”), Buffy’s resurrection, the following depression, the way Willow acts, etc (“What if he comes back and he can’t find me in the dark?” – “I’m here. I’ll make sure that he finds you.”) and Buffy eventually getting better (“When things are sad you just have to be patient. Because, because every cloud has a silver lining. And when life gives you lemons make lemonade. And things are always darkest before…”). It’s a very touching conversation, not necessarily because we should feel sorry for April, but just because IMO it describes (Buffy’s) life and death so accurately…

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  10. [Note: Tony posted this comment on September 18, 2008.]

    Yeah, I also loved the end scene with April and Buffy. I have to disagree with you Mike, there was sympathy on April’s part.

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  11. [Note: Nix posted this comment on October 12, 2008.]

    Yet another possible parallel between here/The Body and The Gift. Looking at the timelines it seems very likely that Joyce was dying at around the same time as the BuffyBot was, certainly at about that time of day. Joyce dies as the sun is going down: Buffy, as the sun is coming up…

    (This is really reaching, given that it’s considering events that were never even shown on screen.)

    Like

  12. [Note: bigmoneygrip posted this comment on November 18, 2008.]

    I love seeing Xander competent at something! I love to do home repair, carpentry, and the like and it is neat to see this.

    Like

  13. [Note: Richie posted this comment on January 6, 2009.]

    Nope, try as I might, I just can’t get into this episode. The whole April robot thing just doesn’t work for me. Shame, cos there is a lot of great character interaction, and seeing Joyce for the last time made me feel rather sad! How we get attached to these wonderful characters. Time to move onto ‘The Body’ with a box of tissues at the ready!

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  14. [Note: Selene posted this comment on July 24, 2009.]

    Like everyone, I loved the Joyce/Dawn/Buffy scene. It was so great to see Joyce so well and then the later teasing of Buffy about leaving her bra in the guy’s car is priceless! Makes what’s about to happen even more heartbreaking.

    The whole ‘molded plastic’ line from Tara just sounded off coming from her.

    Got a kick out of how Willow was obviously a little attracted to the Aprilbot, then the somewhat guilty looks she kept casting Tara’s way after she realizes she said too much.

    Giles joking with Xander about the robot books was cool. Nice to see him loosen up a little among the Scoobies, but wow LOVED seeing Ripper!

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  15. [Note: Susan posted this comment on September 24, 2009.]

    When I saw this episode the first time I thought it was a little silly. I had no idea that there were so many things in here that would be significant later on. Just the introduction of creepy Warren, leading to the Buffybot which is important in the last season six episode and also to the Scoobies after Buffy’s death.

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  16. [Note: Darth Bunny posted this comment on October 12, 2009.]

    “Warren getting all excited to tell Buffy that that April’s a robot. Buffy’s trying to tell him she already knows leading to the inevitable “uh huh.””

    I think this is another clever piece of foreshadowing. Warren is under the impression that Buffy won’t get it, even though she’s already pieced everything together. Warren’s sexism, while not directly on display, is evident from the way he talks and treats the women around him.

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  17. [Note: Blue Fan posted this comment on November 6, 2009.]

    I’ll have something to add to what everyone has already said.

    Maybe I’m stretching too much, but I tend to see the AprilBot as a metaphor of one of the main theme in the series: the place women have in society and the expectations over them and their behaviour.

    I mean, April was created and treated by Warren and other men in this episode (Spike, the guys that made fun of her) as an object. And the only thing April could do was to please his owner, a selfish man. Even when she was dying (and this make me feel sad about her) she was thinking that maybe Warren would come back for her.

    Isn’t this one of the key topics of the series? But this is just my opinion of a great episode.

    Like

  18. [Note: Zaphe posted this comment on November 25, 2009.]

    I dont like this episode because everyone especially Giles treated Spike very badly after they found out that he was in love with Buffy. I think a person’s good nature shows in how they treat a lesser being. All through S4 & S5, everyone treated Spike badly and yet time and time again, they would go to him for help in fighting. I guess that’s probably the way writer wants to create sympathy for Spike and I just flinched for Spike when he was treated so badly. Especially the scene in the Magic Shop with Giles.

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  19. [Note: Sven posted this comment on May 9, 2010.]

    I know it’s a part of the episode that’s it’s really pointless to complain about, but I have to wonder why the AprilBot has a combat mode. 🙂

    And why make her so strong in the first place? Honestly, if I were to build a robot for the purposes of having sex with it, I wouldn’t want there to be a risk of getting my pelvis crushed if a short-circuit causes one of her servos (or whatever she uses to move) to malfunction. Also, how about giving her a safety word which would shut her down?

    Geez, can you tell I’m an electrical engineer? 😛

    Like

  20. [Note: Beth posted this comment on May 19, 2010.]

    I do feel sorry for the AprilBot, but only at the very end of the episode. Also, Warren is completely unlikeable, which helps force my sympathies. I think the conversation between Buffy and the AprilBot is one of the best moments in the season, and just heartbreaking in retrospect.

    I agree that the Scoobies treated Spike badly, but this was right after he helped knock Buffy out with a cattle prod, locked her up and threatened to unleash Drusilla on her, so…understandable.

    Like

  21. [Note: Afterthebattle posted this comment on October 5, 2010.]

    “Things are always darkest before…” I see this a foreshadowing to “The Gift”, and not to Dawn’s character. Remember the moment where Buffy realizes what to do in order to close the portal? From the script:

    Buffy stares at Dawn in anguish.

    DAWN: (tearfully) You know you have to let me. It has to have the blood.

    Buffy gets a realization look on her face.

    :::FLASHBACKS:::

    Buffy frowns. Turns around slowly.

    Shot of the platform extending into the air. In the distance, holes seem to be opening in the sky. The sky is growing lighter as the sun tries to rise.

    Buffy looks peaceful. She turns back to Dawn, who stares wide-eyed.

    DAWN: Buffy … no!

    BUFFY: Dawnie, I have to.

    … Beautiful.

    Like

  22. [Note: fray-adjacent posted this comment on February 9, 2011.]

    Something I’d add to the plus column is the fantastic acting by the woman who played AprilBot, especially in its final “death” scene. The way she moves her mouth and eyebrows looks just the right amount of mechanical. Very impressive, even more so than Sarah Michelle Gellar’s BuffyBot.

    Like

  23. [Note: Trycicles posted this comment on May 14, 2011.]

    “I just flinched for Spike when he was treated so badly. Especially the scene in the Magic Shop with Giles.”

    Giles’ hostility towards Spike is expected. In this scene, he’s just like any father, overreacting, to protect his daughter. I thought Dawn snubbing Spike was worse, since she was the only scooby who had any respect for him.

    Like

  24. [Note: deadlego posted this comment on May 22, 2011.]

    I think this episode shows joyce at her very best:-getting on so well with both buffy and dawn at the same time, great sense of humour and very very beautiful. The scenes with her in were perfect and served so well to show exactly what dawn and buffy lose; not just their mum but a truely wonderful woman who is able to make the best of all situations and has been a fanstastic role model for independent women. Considering the extraordinary situations surrounding her daughters she has (with a few understandable hiccups which serve to make it all more realistic) done an amazing job as a mother.

    Just for these mother/daughter/s scenes this episode is well worth watching, and the aprilbot provides a plot which brings out some important character revelations for buffy, and some pretty funny stuff in there too. It also introduces warren and is very important in giving some background on him. Also it brings up some interesting subjects, one being how far lonely people will go to be with someone and how a lot of the reason we feel we need someone is because society tells us that is how it’s supposed to be.

    Overall this episode has interesting ideas but felt slow paced to me and like they could have done a lot more with the theme, for instance it would have been nice if warren was initially a bit more sympathetic as a character. I’d give this one a ‘B’.

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  25. [Note: nathan.taurus posted this comment on November 24, 2011.]

    joaquin: Good point. Not sure.

    Buffy: I don’t know. I was standing right here. I didn’t see Price Charming. I didn’t even see a goodnight kiss…it all looked pretty tame to me.

    Joyce: I suppose by your standards it could seem pretty…oh dear.

    Buffy: What!?

    Joyce: I left my bra in his car.

    Buffy: Mother!

    Joyce: I’m joking.

    Buffy: Good God that’s horrible, don’t do that.

    Joyce: I left it in the restaurant.

    Buffy: No more. No more. No more. (Buffy blocks her ears and runs upstairs)

    Joyce: On the desert cart!

    Buffy: I can’t hear you.

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  26. [Note: Odon posted this comment on December 20, 2011.]

    Spike’s mother invited him into Warren’s house.

    As to how the Scoobies treated Spike, remember that he zapped Buffy with a cattle prod, then chained her up and threatened to feed her to Drusilla. It’s hardly surprising they’d treat Spike like a lecherous villain with sinister designs on their beloved princess.

    The ‘dweeb’ comment isn’t foreshadowing – it’s the fact that Warren, when faced by a malfunctioning and about-to-become violent Amy, sicked her onto Buffy by claiming she was his girlfriend. This shows the lack of moral centre that turns Warren from a geek wannabe supervillain into a murderer in Season 6.

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  27. [Note: Odon posted this comment on December 20, 2011.]

    Sorry, that should have been “Warren’s mother invited Spike into Warren’s house”. Spike can be charming when he wants to be.

    Like

  28. [Note: Iguana-on-a-stick posted this comment on January 4, 2013.]

    Well, it’s a bit hard to take seriously and therefore gets mocked a lot. It’s not quite as terrible as people sometimes act like it is, though. Mike defends it in his review.

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  29. [Note: seagull posted this comment on January 16, 2013.]

    Even though she’s not a major part of it, this episode has some great Willow moments – her obvious attraction to the robot, the way she looks a little sad and uncomfortable for a moment when Xander mentions Oz, and her reflection that ”having someone around, even someone you made up…maybe it’s easier”. Obviously it’s classic Willow behaviour to take the emotionally easy route without thinking about the moral consequences (something we see again only a couple of episodes later in ”Forever”), but her phrasing here reminds me very strongly in particular of how she acts next season by repeatedly trying to wipe Tara’s memory.

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  30. [Note: Arachnea posted this comment on March 5, 2013.]

    You said “I dont like this episode because everyone especially Giles treated Spike very badly after they found out that he was in love with Buffy. I think a person’s good nature shows in how they treat a lesser being”.

    I know it’s a bit late to answer, but I for one believe that Spike rightfully deserves to be treated like this by the gang ! And Spike is not a lesser being, he’s a monster, a vampire, a demon with superpowers, he’s sentient and intelligent. He’s lesser human, lesser soul but not lesser being :P.

    Dawn’s infatuation was understandable because she had never witnessed Spike’s violence, he was honest with her and even Buffy let him protect her and her mother. But he’s just abducted her sister and she opened her eyes !

    Spike has betrayed the scoobies many times and before his chip, tried to kill them many times (plus a hundred years of killing). I see where the pity comes from, but Spike’s actions were despicable, though understandable from his twisted point of view. Plus, he was outright lying to them just to get on their good sides. I was cheering for Giles who saw right through Spike and it was touching to see him being so protective of Buffy.

    Having said that, believe it or not, Spike is one of my favourite characters on the show. Not because I love what he does, but because of his complex personality that stems from scary, creepy, despicable, despisable to pitiable, likable, redeemable (and I probably invented new adjectives… sorry).

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  31. [Note: Charlotte posted this comment on April 9, 2013.]

    All the awards. My opinions to a tee. We should also note that he has no apologized for events in Crush AT ALL.

    Remember in the last episode, he just kind of followed her home and said “We’ve fought before, it doesn’t change things.” Here, he had the gall just approach her kind of smug at the party. I am curious for interpretations about what logic he was working under there…

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  32. [Note: sageharris posted this comment on December 8, 2013.]

    Britney Spears was supposed to play April. I think Joss’ decision to have the most popular pop star in this specific episode was because he needed to catch viewers in order to introduce Joyce’s death at the end, and the episode’s plot by itself wasn’t enought.

    Like

  33. [Note: Freudian Vampire posted this comment on March 2, 2014.]

    Am I the only one who is reminded a little of Dollhouse by this episode? I know April is far more artificial than the on-mission actives and more sentient than the doll-states, but the idea of having somebody whose every thought and feeling is fake and yet you are still able to sympathize is definitely Dollhouse-esque.

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  34. [Note: Sarah posted this comment on March 4, 2014.]

    I think this episode tried to make us feel sorry for April and Buffy, but instead I got annoyed with them, and felt for Warren. I know I am going to get a lot of hate for this, but I like Warren a lot. He actually kinda reminds me of Willow for some reason. Though overall I think this episode is good.

    Like

  35. [Note: DRMProd posted this comment on April 4, 2014.]

    I knew it was comming, I knew Buffy was going to find Joyce dead on the couch. I listened to her say “mom” a couple of times. But when she said mommy I just couldn’t stop the tears from flowing. What an amazing performance.

    Like

  36. [Note: Nebula Nox posted this comment on May 23, 2014.]

    Is there any point to Puffy Xander? Yes, it is an amusing costume, but is there any reason for it? Buffy already has a punching bag.

    Like

  37. [Note: Beatnik posted this comment on June 15, 2014.]

    ITA with you.

    If the Scoobie Gang doesn’t trust or like Spike then perhaps they shouldn’t use him when they’re fighting. Let them do it on their own. I see how good they were at fighting in season 6 Bargaining episodes when Buffy was still dead. Giles almost got killed in the cemetery if Spike wouldn’t have lit the vampire on fire. Seems to me like they needed Spike, a strong fighter and 2nd strongest after Buffy to fight. They needed all the help they could get even if Spike was mostly doing it to get on Buffy’s good side. What exactly do Xander and Dawn do in a fight? Most of the time Buffy has to help them instead of getting any real help from them.

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  38. [Note: Lydia posted this comment on August 5, 2014.]

    Damn it, Whedon!

    This episode is particularly difficult to watch on rewatch because of the next one when you just KNOW what’s coming. This one was just loaded with tons and tons of smart foreshadowing, character insights and witty dialogue as usual. I got a little emotional everytime I saw Joyce all smiley. Of COURSE Whedon totally HAD to turn the tables on us just when things got too happy. What!? A character is HAPPY on a Joss Whedon show? Well, we can’t have that! I bet the audience went into a frenzy when this first aired. Surprise hit indeed.

    I thought Buffy saying, “You have lots of time till seven. Vast acres of time in which you can plant crops.” Oh, I see what the writers did there! Now that is just cruel, knowing that she’s going to die the very next day it literally irks me that they had to do that.

    I agree that they treat Spike a little too horribly. But I see where they’re coming from. Xander can never warm up to a vampire, let’s face it. Especially when that vampire is named Angel or Spike. Willow, well, she has her reasons for hating the guy. He’s abducted her, used her; he almost bit her! Giles has to be the protective father figure, and he HAD given Spike a chance, but Spike had turned him down, remember? Plus, how can one NOT relish The Ripper on their screen? What did irk me, however, was Anya’s reaction. If there’s been one Scooby who hasn’t been particularly hostile to Spike, and who has understood him, it’s Anya. They can relate. Almost all their scenes were cordial; if not friendly. And now suddenly she’s mocking him? Also, I find it strange how Dawn’s just over her crush on him like it never existed, I highly doubt Buffy spilled the gory details of what happened in Spike’s Crypt to Dawn. Tara is the only one who didn’t seem to be particularly taking amusement in Spike’s agony. Despite my justifications for most of their actions, I’ll admit I felt bad for the guy on how they all ganged up on him. None of them really make up their minds about him. And speaking of sad, what about poor, homicidal little Spike? They’re all ganging up on him! It’s funny being on both sides of this situation; I was all gung ho for the macho way Giles was dressing Spike down, and then all sympathetic toward Spike while he was taking it. What a schizophrenic situation. They don’t want to kill him, but they can’t stand him around them. Not fair, really. He’s trying, isn’t he! Or maybe I’m just biased because JM’s sad face gets me all the time.

    The storyline about poor, “perfect girlfriend” April was just sad, especially the Buffy/April conversation on the swings at the end. “Crying is blackmail. Good girlfriends don’t cry.” Warren, you’re a shithead. No, seriously. I really really loathe Warren, despised him even more in S6, didn’t know it was humanly possible to hate a fictional character that much with such a burning passion. Or, well, now I do, I watch Game of Thrones! LOL. Oops. I went off-topic. I did like the way the whole gang picked up on the fact that April was a robot almost instantly; is there anything weird or supernatural that these guys haven’t seen by now?

    Anya was cool in this episode. Hand-woven Chex mix? Online trading? I especially liked the Lutheran line. It’s intelligent writing like this that has made me such a big fan of this show. Anddd it was nice having Buffy lean on Xander, and he was so sweet and supportive. Hey. Didn’t Willow used to do this stuff?

    Finally, love this episode but it’s weirdly difficult to separate it from that ending. It’s great and all but somehow in retrospect, it all seems to be working up to those final few shots, which makes it strangely difficult to judge on its own. Awesome review!

    Like

  39. [Note: Val posted this comment on November 6, 2014.]

    Yes, definitely reminds me of Dollhouse! Warren (especially in this episode) is like a rough draft of Topher Brink, without the redemption.

    Like

  40. [Note: Kyle posted this comment on December 6, 2014.]

    Is it just me, or does this episode seem to have an air of dread to it? I even had this feeling watching the episode for the first time, like I knew that something terrible was going to happen. Any thoughts?

    Like

  41. [Note: Freudian Vampire posted this comment on December 6, 2014.]

    I think it’s our subconscious knowing that Joss Whedon showing his characters happy means death, misery and despair are right around the corner. But yes, I agree. The death of the AprilBot is one of the saddest and most poignant scenes in the show for me, and there’s an ominousness hanging over all of it which beautifully sets up “The Body”.

    Like

  42. [Note: Courtney posted this comment on May 4, 2015.]

    Saying that she can have a normal life after then end of the series… you obviously havent read the comics that continued the show after the series finale. They’re on season 10 right now, and I’m reading season 9 right now lol.

    Like

  43. [Note: thebuffster posted this comment on September 7, 2015.]

    I also thought that it was forshawdowy that in the final scene Buffy and April are in a children’s park and that’s where April “dies.” Knowing that the next episode is The Body and that Buffy is then thrusted into the mother role I took that as the final nail in Buffy’s childhood coffin.

    Like

  44. [Note: LouisLittForEmperor posted this comment on December 1, 2015.]

    As much as Spike’s actions were pretty shady I have to admit for feeling kind of bad for him when basically the whole Gang basically decided to kick him out like a leper. The kind of mixed feelings this plot brings out is one of the better aspects of the season for sure.

    It isn’t quite on the level of unfortunate relationship troubles that a certain season of a certain show (I you know me you know the one) brought out but it was pretty damn close.

    Like

  45. [Note: SageHarris posted this comment on May 10, 2016.]

    The autor wrote this review backin January 2007, like almost two months before season 8 came out. So lol for you.

    Like

  46. [Note: Krssven posted this comment on February 7, 2017.]

    Overall this is a great episode. I have to disagree that April wasn’t interesting or sympathetic, as that feeling should really be leaping off the screen at people. Warren created the perfect girlfriend for himself (showing how creepy he is) but then we see even this character came to realise that having a robot girlfriend wasn’t emotionally fulfilling. He actually leaves April because he has a real girlfriend and it isn’t until she’s left that he really starts on the road to becoming the murderer. April is sympathetic because she’s a sapient being who (despite it being programming) feels genuine affection for someone and has that rejected, and comes to feel that rejection totally.

    It’s worth a mention here that they really expanded on how exactly people can create these weird robots in the Buffy RPG. They are called ‘superscientists’ and have magical ability just like witches, but instead of creating enchanted items, they create weird technological gadgets that wouldn’t work unless they were built by him. That’s why he needs mystical ingredients (such as the gland of a demon to power the Cerebral Dampener in S6). It’s a shame they never expanded and explained it on the show.

    This episode is one that doesn’t have a plot that exists to purely service the characters. It’s too easy to just dismiss plot in this show when it is 50% of what this show is about! Half of a show is character, and another half is what the characters DO, ie the plot. Here are some elements from this episode’s plot that come BEFORE their effects on the main characters, and some after:

    – Highlighting April’s emotional bewilderment and abandonment
    – Showing that fantasies aren’t always what we want
    – Showing that relationships with real people are ultimately the most fruitful and healthy
    – Sympathy can be given to anything, putting cracks in the Buffy worldview that the world is divided into human/good and non-human/evil
    – [character focus and impact]
    – Introducing a new character that will have massive impact next season
    – Providing a means of getting the BuffyBot into the season’s arc without it being dropped in without warning

    An episode has to be a contained story while also utilising past and future threads. This is why you have the Spike/Buffy interactions with April, but the main purpose of these scenes is still what is happening with April. You can’t write an episode like this with character focus play the absolute centre – the episode has to have a plot first, with the impact of the characters being fleshed out afterward so the whole thing fits with the season narrative. It is however possible to REVIEW episodes by focusing entirely on character, as you choose to. Separating them makes you sound uninterested in the actual premise of the show. Does show why some consider S6 a good season despite being terrible…the plot is thrown under the bus in many episodes and overall across the season, which hurts it badly.

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