Original Air Date: April 28, 1997
Written by Ashley Gable & Thomas A.
Directed by Stephen Posey
In the Middle Ages, a young man approaches a horned demon,
who smiles at him and then breaks his neck. Later, a group of
monks, outraged by the deed, chant in Latin, open a book and
the demon is sucked into it -- its pages now filled.
Back in the library, Buffy opens a crate and finds the
long forgotten book. Along with Xander and Willow, the
school's two computer experts are helping scan books: Fritz,
a menacing looking bruiser, and Dave, a geekier kid. Also
present is Miss Calendar, the computer science teacher, who
rides Giles about his fear of technology. As Willow scans the
ancient book, the characters disappear from its pages. When
she looks away, words appear on the screen: "Where am
A week later, Willow tells Buffy about Malcolm, a boy
she's having an online romance with. Buffy, worried about her
naive friend enlists Dave's help to try to find out more
about Malcolm. Dave tells Buffy to leave Willow alone.
Meanwhile, Miss Calendar stumbles upon the ancient book and
asks Giles about its blank pages. When Giles notices the
horned demon on the cover, he suspects trouble. Dave gets
Buffy to look for Willow in the girls' locker room but when
she gets there, Fritz has rigged up some wires in the shower
to try to electrocute her. A puddle reaches the exposed wires
and Buffy is sent flying into the locker room -- the soles of
her shoes smoldering. A shaken Dave tells the computer he
can't kill Buffy. Angry at his disrespect, it types up a
suicide note for him.
Back in the library, Giles explains to Buffy and Xander
that in the Dark Ages, the souls of demons were sometimes
trapped in certain volumes, where they remained harmless
until the pages were read aloud. When Willow scanned them,
the demon, Moloch, was unleashed into the computer, and how
had access to any computer in the world. Moloch preys on
impressionable minds, which makes both Fritz and Dave
vulnerable to his power. Buffy tries to delete Willow's
files, hoping to "delete" Moloch along with them,
but Moloch appears on the screen warning Buffy to stay away
Looking for Willow in the computer lab, she finds Dave's
body hanging, with the suicide note pinned to it. Fritz goes
to Willow's house, chloroforms her and brings her to a
mysterious warehouse where Dave had been spotted earlier.
A desparate Giles asks Miss Calendar for help and
discovers she has extensive knowledge of the mystical realm.
She helps him repeat the spell the monks had chanted while
she links up a configuration of different computers around
Meanwhile, Buffy and Xander try to save Willow at the
warehouse. By the time they arrive, Moloch has left the
computer and appears as a robotic incarnation of the horned
demon that was back in the Dark Ages. He breaks Fritz' neck
and is about to break Willow's when the spell takes hold,
immobilizing him. Injured, but fighting, he lunges at Buffy,
but she ducks and he punches a high-voltage junction box and
is electrocuted to death.
-The lead monk in the ancient-Italy
sequence is "Thelonius," a reference to jazz great
-Alyson Hannigan is hooked into the Net, but says she's not
the "Net girl" that Willow is.
-The episode features the first appearance of Ms. Calendar.
Though her first name is never used in this episode, it was
originally to be "Nicki" and was later changed to
avoid confusion on set with actor Nicholas Brendon, whose
friends call him Nicky.
Quote of the Week
Jenny: (to Giles) I know our ways are
strange to you, but soon you will join us in the twentieth
century -- with three whole years to spare!