Worst episodes of the best TV shows
When '24,' 'Battlestar Galactica' 'ER,' 'Buffy,' and other series slipped up
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer"
Episode: "I Robot... You Jane" (Season 1, episode 8)
AKA: "The One With the Demon on the Internet"
"Buffy" season 1 was very much a work in progress, and it might be more fair to pick a later misstep like the goofy episode with Dracula, or Buffy working at a fast food restaurant, or Willow hanging out at a magical crack house. But "I Robot" — about a demon who gets uploaded, like a computer virus, onto the Internet, then placed in a cheesy-looking robot body — is such a howler (all the computer talk felt dated even in 1997) and such a perfect example of the ways in which Joss Whedon's "Buffy" formula could go awry, that it's terribleness needs to be recognized. That the show could evolve past this low point and produce episodes like "Innocence," "The Zeppo," "The Prom," "Hush," etc. is remarkable.