Episode Title: I Was Made To Love You
Original Air Date: February 20th 2001
“Ow. I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve had it with super-strong little women who aren’t me.” – Buffy
Despite on the surface seemingly like another monster of the week episode, this one actually when viewed knowing what lies ahead for the series really marks a lot of key moments for the series. The main focus though is on a robot girlfriend who arrives in Sunnydale looking for her creator while at the same time harbouring a serious jealous streak which could spell trouble for anyone who gets in her way.
While the concept of the robot girlfriend might essentially be a reworking of “Ted” Joyce’s memorable robot boyfriend who was certainly a lot more convincing than the doe eyed April who much like “The Terminator” is solely driven to locate her creator / boyfriend Warren who created her with the sole purpose of being completely devoted to him. She is also completely devoid of any kind of social cues and hence unable to understand sarcasm or why you shouldn’t throw someone through a window even if it is Spike.
April was originally a role that had been written with Britney Spears in mind to play her, only for her to role leaving the role to be played by Amelinda Embry who does a fantastic job in the role, even if its clear who she is basing the performance off. Why Britney turned down the role is unclear especially considering that the show was the height of its popularity at this point. Randomly she would later play an almost identical role on the inferior “How I Met Your Mother” were she played the Ted obsessed receptionist Abbie.
The real key aspect of the episode through is the introduction of Warren who while on first appearances would appear to be a throwaway character and a reason for a robot girlfriend being on the rampage, more so when he seems to be continually in a state of panic that his creation has become so obsessed with him after he found a real life girlfriend while worse still didn’t shut down as originally planned when he kind of ….well abandoned her. By the end of the episode he is being commissioned by Spike to build him a robot girlfriend as well or more precisely the “Buffy-Bot” which we can assume is what happens to the remains of April. Warren later on in the series we will also see become a major villain in the series whose actions will seriously affect at least one of the Scoobies. For now though its interesting to see his introduction here as another nerd in the Buffy-verse with incredible power that he’s unable to control.
Relationships or more precisely relationship problems is one of the main themes of this episode as Buffy is still trying to deal with the revelation that Spike has been developing a crush on her, which we open to her trying to work out on Xander in a sumo suit while she equally questions her own failed relationships, which Xander blames on the Hellmouth which considering how Xander has previously almost been killed twice by his relationships with both a soul sucking mummy and a shape-shifting praying mantis its fair for him to equally have his own reasons to blame the Hellmouth for his own dating woes.
While April might be far from the toughest opponent that Buffy has faced, its fun to see Warren confessing to Buffy only for her to be completely nonplussed by his explanation, as its really just another day in Sunnydale for her at this point. The fact that the episode is played with such a humerous edge to it equally helps as to play this one more serious would have just come off like a gender swapped rehash of “Ted”. At the same time while relationships might be the main focus of the episode we also get a couple of fun asides such as Anya and Tara discussing the internet and in particular Anya’s surprise mastery of playing the stock market which plays nicely into her general obsession with making money even if it won’t overly affect her character over its throwaway mention.
Still the one person whose not having these issues is Joyce who we get to see getting ready for a date with seemingly one of the few normal guys in town, though sadly we never get to see how this plays out as this episode ends with one hell of a stinger and arguably the most shocking moment in the series as Buffy returns home to find her mother lying dead on the couch, the aftermath of which we look at in the next episode.
Next Episode: The Body