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September 2, 2014

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Out of Mind, Out of Sight

by Keith McDuffee, posted Aug 7th 2006 5:43PM
buffy classroom
(S01E11) It's interesting to watch how, in the infancy of shows that become cult classics like Buffy, there are some missteps here and there while the series figures out where it wants to go. This episode is an example of one of those missteps.

Sometimes it's interesting to see baddies on Buffy that aren't just demon in nature. While we'll see ghosts in future episodes, this was a totally different take on the invisible threat theme. It was full of holes, and those holes were filled with cheesy badness.

It was good to see more of Cordelia in the show, and you get the feeling here that Whedon wanted to give her more presence on the show, to work her into the show more as the next season approached. It still didn't make her any less annoying, though I have to admit she had some choice lines.

Ironically, as soon as the flashback scene shows Marcie Ross, I knew I saw the actress before but couldn't place her. Finally after digging trough the mindwebs, I realized it was Clea DuVall from the short-lived Carnivale series.

I think the last straw for me was the Feds at the end and the following events at their special "classroom." I know it's nitpicky of me, but wouldn't the FBI be smart enough to be wearing infrared goggles to pick out the invisible kids? Hell, put fricken necklaces on the kids so you can tell them apart.

It's sad that this episode had to come immediately before the season finale, as it could have turned people off the show and not give the (in many peoples' minds) excellent finale a chance.

Interesting point of note: When I was scrolling through the DVD to get a screenshot for this post, I got to the scene in the FBI room where the "students" are opening their books. The chapter we see is titled "Assassination and Infiltration", but the text under it looked ... odd. It turns out it's the lyrics to The Beatles song "Happiness is a Warm Gun."

Main points of interest in the episode:
- Giles and Angel meet for the first time.
- The first time I recall Cordelia working with the others.

Quote of the episode:
Angel: "Looking in the mirror everyday and seeing nothing there -- it's an overrated pleasure."

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Eric J.

This episode always felt to me like a failed X-Files spec script that got rewritten for Buffy.

August 07 2006 at 9:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Karen

Well, this episode may not be much on its inner merits, but it was my first ever exposure to Buffy, as I surfed channels one bored night in grad school. I happened upon the scene where Buffy and Cordelia are strapped to the May King and Queen thrones, and it caught my attention. The rest is history.

Yeah, it's probably not intrinsically great. Marcie's plan for Cordelia's face sounds a bit like fighting "to the pain" in "The Princess Bride." So, it's derivative.

But hey--you always remember your first love.

August 07 2006 at 7:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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