Home page All episodes sorted by rank All episodes sorted alphabetically All episodes sorted by writer All episodes sorted by director All episodes sorted by season Episodes with the most polarized opinions Episodes largely forgotten by fans Best and worst streaks of episodes An analysis of what makes episodes great Buffy writers sorted by the quality of their episodes Buffy directors sorted by the quality of their episodes Seasons of Buffy sorted by the quality of their episodes Buffy characters sorted by their possible contribution to episode quality Predicted episode quality based on writer, director, characters, and when aired Episodes that are much better or much worse than predicted Tastes in episodes Episodes ranked by taste Seasons ranked by taste Characters ranked by taste Writers ranked by taste Directors ranked by taste How the results on this site were obtained Ranking important contributors Reviews and Essays Frequently Asked Questions The links page Go to the sitemap


(a.k.a. Robotic Love)

Written by: Jane Espenson
Directed by: Michael Gershman
Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar as the Buffybot and Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
Emma Caulfield as Anya
Michelle Trachtenberg as Dawn Summers
James Marsters as Spike
Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles
Guest Starring: Clare Kramer as Glory
Adam Busch as Warren Meers
Troy T. Blendell as Jinx
Amber Benson as Tara Maclay
Co-Starring: Sharon Ferguson as Primitive
Todd Duffey as Murk
Kelly Donovan as Xander Stand-in

Plot Summary

While Buffy was away on a spiritual quest, the Buffybot entertained Spike.

Plot Details

Giles had been helping out at Buffy's home in order to feel useful. He cooked and washed dishes but was less interested in cleaning out the garage. Buffy pulled him aside and said that she was not happy at what slaying had done to her. She was worried that she had become so hard that she was no longer able to love. Giles suggested that Buffy go on a quest that would help her find answers. Buffy did not want to leave Dawn alone, but Dawn was comfortable with that.

Warren showed Spike the Buffybot. Warren really wanted to leave in a hurry, but Spike wanted to be certain that he would be happy. When she was turned on, Spike was very happy.

Glory was not happy with just information about the key. Instead, she wanted the key itself. She ordered her minions to observe Buffy and her friends to determine who was new, different, and/or special in her life. Such a person would be the key.

Giles drove Buffy to the desert to perform the ritual needed to call on a guide who will lead Buffy to the sacred spot. Unfortunately, the ritual was a little undignified and bore more than a slight resemblance to the Hokey-Pokey.

Buffy wandered until she saw a mountain lion. She concluded that it was the guide. It did lead her to ground similar to the desert in Buffy's dream from "Restless."

Tara performed a warning spell around Xander's apartment. Xander wanted Willow to come by later to boost it. He and Anya went patrolling while Tara stayed with Dawn. Dawn swiped a pair of Anya's earrings.

Spike had a lot of fun with his new toy. Eventually, the Buffybot went patrolling and ran into Xander and Anya. Anya was quite pleased that the Buffybot thought to ask about her money. A breathless Spike (who, being dead, should be breathless all the time) ran up. He tried to suggest that they split up, but three vampires attacked. Anya, Spike, and the Buffybot staked one vampire each.

Spike tried to send Xander and Anya home. The Buffybot decided that she was not satisfied. Xander thought that Buffy was a little off, especially in not asking about Dawn. They went back and saw the Buffybot straddling Spike.

Xander, Anya, Willow, and Tara discussed what Xander saw. At first, Tara suggested that they not judge Buffy to harshly until Tara found out exactly what Xander saw. Having a hard time understanding why a woman would want to do that, Tara thought that Buffy went nuts. Xander decided to go back to find Buffy and see what was going on.

Xander confronted Spike over taking advantage of Buffy. Jinx and four other Glory minions burst into the crypt. They quickly knocked out Xander and restrained Spike, thinking that he was the key.

In the desert, Buffy met with the guide, who took the form of the First Slayer from "Restless." It told her that Buffy is capable of love and that she draws strength from it. It will lead her to her gift, which is death. Buffy did not like this response, but the guide considered Buffy's question to be answered.

With Xander still lying unconscious on the crypt floor, the Buffybot went to his apartment for help to find Spike. Willow wanted to talk about what Xander saw earlier. She was distressed to find that what she thought was Buffy did have sex with Spike many times.

Xander interrupted Willow confronting the Buffybot to say that Glory's minions captured Spike. They all looked to the Buffybot for guidance, but all she said was that she fought with weapons.

The minions somehow brought Spike to Glory's mansion in a non-dusty state even though the sun rose during the trip. Glory instantly recognized that Spike was a vampire and, therefore, not pure enough to be the key. Jinx protested that the Buffybot saw him as precious. Glory started to torture Spike for information.

Xander, Willow, Anya, and the Buffybot went to Buffy's house for weapons. Willow and Anya sent the Buffybot upstairs for more weapons and a change of clothing. The others suggested that it might be time for an intervention.

Just then, the real Buffy walked in. Xander, Anya, and Willow confronted her. For a very understandable reason, Buffy was very confused. The others got confused when the Buffybot came down. Xander thought he knew what was going on, but he was thinking of the wrong Jane Espenson episode. Buffy realized that it was a robot.

The Buffybot reminded everyone that Glory had Spike. Buffy brought them and Giles to the spot where she killed the snake in "Shadow." The Buffybot wanted to save Spike, but the others wanted to kill him.

Spike claimed that he had enough torture and will talk. After a drink and a little relief from the torture, Spike named Bob Barker from The Price Is Right as the key. Jinx and Murk were ready to go get Bob Barker, but Glory realized that he was not the key either. Glory got angry and punched him so hard that it broke the chains binding him.

Spike crawled to the elevator door and fell down the shaft. He climbed into the elevator car. When it opened on the first floor, Murk confronted him just as Buffy and Xander burst into the mansion. They fought with the minions until Giles and the Buffybot arrived. The four of them chased the minions away. The minions tried to explain how Spike escaped, but Glory was not in the mood for excuses and tortured them.

Willow worked on repairing the Buffybot. She thought that it would be easy to fix, but Buffy did not like the idea of doing so. Giles and Xander dumped Spike back in his crypt. The characters wondered if Spike told Glory that Dawn was the key.

Someone played by Sarah Michelle Gellar walked into Spike's crypt. She offered to tell Glory who the key was so Glory will not hurt him anymore. He insisted that Glory never know who the key was because it would hurt Buffy. The real Buffy gave him a peck on the lips and expressed her appreciation for helping her and Dawn.

The Good

The Buffybot was a lot of fun.

The humorous tone of the episode was a welcome break from two episodes of pain.

The Bad

Overall Rank: 46

Action: 7

Xander, Anya, Spike, and the Buffybot fought three vampires.

Jinx and four other minions fought Xander and Spike, kidnapping the latter.

Buffy, Xander, Giles, and the Buffybot fought Jinx, Murk, and the rest of Glory's minions.

Comedy: 9

Nearly everything involving the Buffybot was amusing.

Spike convinced Glory's minions that Bob Barker is the key.

Glory actually looked at her rear end when Spike suggested that it was lopsided.

Tara believed that Dawn would believe that Spike had a robot built to play checkers.

Drama: 4

Buffy worried about what her slaying was doing to her.

The characters were worried about someone they thought was Buffy having sex with Spike.

Romance: 4

There was "romance" between Spike and the Buffybot.

Buffy gave Spike a real, albeit platonic, kiss.

Character Development: 6

Dawn is comfortable with Buffy being gone for a day or two. She also swiped a pair of Anya's earrings.

Buffy was worried that being a slayer was interfering with her ability to love. The first slayer said no and also said that death was Buffy's gift.

Willow gets upset about the Salem witch trials. When watching television with Tara, Willow controls the remote.

Tara finds it a little hard to believe that some women might actually want to have sex with someone who looks like Spike. Her idea of teen rebellion is lying to her family and staying out all night.

Importance: 7

We now know that Buffy's gift is death. We do not know what it means.

Glory has started looking for the key among Buffy's friends.

The Buffybot is repairable.

Spike is now on better terms with Buffy.

Most Valuable Player: Spike

Spike gets the MVP for not giving up any legitimate information about the key despite severe torture. Granted, he is a masochist and probably enjoyed some of the torture.

Sherlock Holmes Award: Buffy

After losing out to Tara in the last episode, Jinx fought hard for this award in this episode. However, one must be right to get consideration. Glory gets a little credit for instantly realizing that Spike was not the key. However, Buffy gets the award for immediately figuring out that the Buffybot was a robot.

Goat of the Week: Jinx

Jinx gets the Goat for bringing Glory the wrong suspect as the key.

Random Commentary

Just a random thought, but I wonder if the animal actor who played the mountain lion was the same one in one of the most notorious plot lines in 24 and ended up biting Elisha Cuthbert.

Buffybot View Screens






Memorable Dialogue

"Helping you two out makes me feel useful." Giles
"Wanna clean out the garage on Saturday? You could feel indispensable." Dawn
"How tempting." Giles

"A guide, but no food or water? So it leads me to a sacred place, and then a week later it leads you to my bleached bones?" Buffy
"Buffy, please, it takes more than a week to bleach bones." Giles
"So, how's it start?" Buffy
"I jump out of the circle, then I jump back in it and then I shake my gourd." Giles
"I know this ritual. The ancient shamans were next called upon to do the 'Hokey-Pokey' and turn themselves around." Buffy

"Willow wants to watch this thing on the History Channel tonight, Salem witch trial stuff, which is only gonna get her all upset." Tara
"I was there. It really wasn't all that bad. See, if you were really a witch, you could do a spell to escape. So, really, it was only bad for the falsely accused, and, well, they never have a good time." Anya

"Anya, how is your money?" Buffybot
"Fine, thank you for asking." Anya

"Those darn Salem judges with their less-Satanic-than-thou attitudes." Willow

"Everyone, before we jump all over her, people do strange things when someone they love dies. When I lost my mother, I did some pretty dumb stuff like lying to my family and staying out all night." Tara
"Buffy's boinking Spike." Anya
"Oh, Tara's right. Grief can be powerful, and we shouldn't judge." Willow
"What, are you kidding? She's nuts." Tara

"I'm not a monster." Spike
"Yes, you are a monster. Vampires are monsters. They make monster movies about them." Xander
"Well, yeah, you got me there." Spike
"Spike, Buffy has lots of friends, and we love her very much, and we'll do whatever it takes to protect her. Now, if that means killing you, then, well, that's just a bonus.

"You are full of love. You love with all your soul. It's brighter than the fire, blinding. That's why you pull away from it." Guide
"I'm full of love? I'm not losing it?" Buffy
"Only if you reject it. Love is pain, and the slayer forges strength from pain. Love; give; forgive. Risk the pain. It is your nature. Love will bring you to your gift." Guide

"You didn't, you know, sleep with Spike?" Willow
"No, I had sex with Spike." Buffybot

"I think with your mom and everything, everyone was being all sympathetic and making you feel weak, and Spike wasn't like that. So, just this one time, you just did something kinda crazy." Willow
"It wasn't one time. It was lots of times and lots of different ways. I could make sketches." Buffybot

"Angel's lame. His hair grows straight up, and he's bloody stupid." Buffybot

"Death is your gift." Guide

"He can't be the key, because, see, the key has to be pure. This is a vampire. Lesson #1: vampires equal impure." Glory
"Yeah, damn right I'm impure. I'm as impure as the driven yellow snow." Spike

"We're kinda thrown by the you having sex with Spike." Anya
"The who whating how with huh?" Buffy
"OK, that's denial. That usually comes before anger." Anya
"I am not having sex with Spike!" Buffy
"Anger." Anya
"No one is judging you. It's understandable. Spike is strong and mysterious and sort of compact, but well-muscled." Xander
"I am not having sex with Spike, but I'm starting to think that you might be." Buffy

"Say, look at you. You look just like me. We're very pretty." Buffybot

"Hey, I know this. They're both Buffy." Xander
"No, she's a robot." Buffy

"I really think we should be listening to the other Buffy, Guy-les. She's very smart and she's gonna help us save Spike." Buffybot

"You're right. He's evil. But you should see him naked. I mean, really." Buffybot

"The key, here's the thing. It's that guy, on TV, what's his name?" Spike
"On the television?" Glory
"On that show, the price show where they guess what stuff costs." Spike
"The Price Is Right?" Murk
"Bob Barker." Jinx
"We will bring you Bob Barker. We will bring you the limp and beaten body of Bob Barker." Murk
"It is not Bob Barker, you scabby morons! The key is new to this world, and Bob Barker is as old as grit." Glory

"You're never gonna get your sodding key, 'cause you might be strong, but in our world, you're an idiot." Spike
"I am a god." Glory
"The god of what, bad home perms?" Spike

"The slayer is gonna kick your skanky, lopsided ass back to whatever place would take a cheap whorish fashion victim ex-god like you." Spike

"We're safe, right, and Spike built a robot Buffy to play checkers with." Dawn
"It sounded convincing when I thought it." Tara

God, I kind of feel kinda bad for the guy. Gets all whupped and his best toy gets taken away." Xander
"Xander, please don't be suggesting what I'd have to kill you for suggesting." Buffy

"Spike, you're covered in sexy wounds." Buffy

"Buffy—the other, not-so-pleasant Buffy—anything happened to Dawn, it'd destroy her. Couldn't live with her being in that much pain. Let Glory kill me first. Nearly bloody did." Spike

"That thing, it wasn't even real. What you did for me and Dawn, that was real. I won't forget it." Buffy

Characters in Peril


Evil Escaped

Departed Characters Remembered

Strictly the Caucasian Persuasion

Spoiler Questions

Highlight the space after each question to find the answer. It is strongly recommended that you do not do so if you have not seen episodes through the episode indicated.

This page was last modified on November 30, 2012