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

Giles: "It's a bit of a puzzle, really. I've never actually heard of anyone attacked by a lone baseball bat before."
Xander: "Maybe it's a vampire bat."

Interesting premise; weak episode. I wish it had been better because I like the idea of someone being ignored to the point of actual invisibility, but the plot kind of fell down in the middle and only partially recovered with cool X-Files ending.

The best part of this episode is the beginning of a change in Cordelia. She is Marcie's main target, and is smart enough to go to Buffy for help. Even though Cordelia is so self-centered that it borders on burlesque (complaining that Mitch will have black eyes in their prom pictures), we get our first, brief hint that she might be a human being when she talks about being alone, and says that being popular isn't the same as having real friends. She even thanks the gang in the end, but continues to maintain her distance.

Angel drops by mostly to skulk in the shadows, pine for Buffy, and rescue the Slayerettes while Buffy is otherwise occupied. The most interesting scene is the Giles/Angel conversation in the library (their first scene together), which is a set-up for the finale. They appear awkward and uncomfortable with each other. Angel reveals that it is hard for him to be around Buffy, and Giles says, "A vampire in love with a slayer. It's rather poetic, in a maudlin sort of way."

Bits and pieces:

-- In a transparent literary comparison, Mrs. Miller talks about Shylock, and the anger of the outcast.

-- Harmony is back, basically for the sole purpose of giving Cordelia someone to do dialogue with. She has a name now.

-- Xander says he would love to be invisible so he could "use my powers to protect the girl's locker room." Marcie is indeed in the boy's locker room when she clubs Mitch; maybe she had the same idea.

-- "Look, listen, learn" sounds like a railroad crossing. I like "Crush, kill, destroy" a lot better.

-- Xander has actually begun acquiring research skills, much against his will.

-- This episode was originally called, "Invisible Girl." Why did they change it?

-- A codex is an ancient, handwritten manuscript, which fits the "Pergamum Codex" "lost in the fifteenth century" deal. No wonder Giles was almost drooling.

-- Books all over the library are tumbled about and on slants, and some of the call number
:S1.E are at the top. In a real library, there are book holders on each shelf to keep the books upright, and the call numbers are all on the bottom. It looks like they bought a bunch of library books as props, but didn't realize how a library really looks. Okay, I'm done now.

-- The page of the textbook we see Marcie open at the end has the lyrics of the Beatles' song, "Happiness is a Warm Gun" as the text.

-- I know it's a coincidence, but Alyson Hannigan later on plays a character who plays the flute and goes to band camp in the movie, American Pie.

-- How did Marcie get drugged Buffy and Cordelia to the Bronze? Did she carry them?

Quotes:

Snyder: "There are no dead students here. This week."

Xander: "Well, yeah, I would give anything to be able to turn invisible. Well, I wouldn't use my powers to beat people up, but I'd use my powers to protect the girls' locker room."

Willow: "Oh, my God! 'Have a nice summer. Have a nice summer.' This girl had no friends at all."
Giles: "Once again I teeter at the precipice of the generation gap."
Buffy: "'Have a nice summer' is what you write when you have nothing to say."
Xander: "It's the kiss of death."

Giles: "You know, I don't recall ever seeing you here before."
Cordelia: "Oh, no. I have a life."

One out of four stakes,

Billie
---
Billie Doux reviewed all of Buffy and Angel, so she knows the plural of apocalypse.

15 comments:

ChrisB said...

Agree with this review completely, Billie. The premise was fantastic, but the delivery was weak.

Even so, it is good to see the beginnings of a kindler, gentler Cordelia. In spite of it all, she does appear to have a heart.

Katherine said...

It just dawned on me that the end of this episode is a bit of foreshadowing for season 4's government business, no?

Billie Doux said...

The BUFFY RE-WATCH is on! Post your comments! Remember, no spoilers for future episodes. If you'd like to talk spoilers and foreshadowing, you can post them here. And please tweet the link and/or like this review on Facebook!

Juliette said...

I think I liked this episode more than you did, but I have to confess I haven't seen it in a very long time! I do like the premise, which fits the idea of metaphorically dealing with teen problems very neatly.

celticmarc said...

Agreeing with you (and Chris). Could have been better. Oh heck.

Oh ! Men in black ! Loved Willow's Scooby Doo T-shirt. Nice touch. Also love it when they put some crickets sounds in TV shows to reminds us....that we are in the evening or night. (a Wilhelm scream would be nice too)

Love also to see a very young Clea DuVall LOL. And Angel saves the day. Our gang needs some help and backup...

Quoting you : "Okay, I'm done now." Just a TV show, thank Goodness. No respect for books.

"Xander, if you're not doing anything, would you like to help me?" "What !? There's homework now ?! When that happened ??"

ChrisB said...

Interestingly, a show I reviewed for the most recent New Shows column, Motive, had a very similar premise. In it, the killer (I’m not spoiling if you want to watch -- you learn this about ten seconds in) is a high school boy who is ignored by all. Unlike Marcie, he wants to be invisible and to create havoc, which he does.

This time through, I liked the juxtaposition of invisible Marcie with our glimpses of a better Cordelia under all the nonsense. Although Cordelia is not ignored, neither is she taken seriously. “Everyone is so busy agreeing with me” moved me this time through. Both girls want to be seen for who they are, yet neither is.

Suzanne said...

Do we know why the gang lied to Buffy about how they were saved from the gas? It bothered me that they did.

I, too, like the premise, but thought the execution could have been better. It would have been nice if this first season had reused some of the kids who get hurt or affected in various episodes so we could care about them. As soon as we see a kid we have never seen before we immediately know something will happen to him or her.

pucklady said...

Newbie report:

So, Moaning Myrtle comes to Sunnydale? Invisible girls watching boys in toilets and locker rooms. Whee!

I LOL'd at the "vampire bat" joke. Xander looked so proud that he'd come up with it.

It was a cute little filler episode, but again, not much to do with vampires. Angel gets a cameo just to keep us reminded that he's out there watching, but when is the last time Buffy did any actual vampire slaying?

And I wondered - when Marcie became important - when she became a threat to the other students and they became aware of her, why didn't she become visible again?

Only one episode left in the season to resolve the whole big bad thing?

celticmarc said...

pucklady

I'm giving you a chocolate filled gold medal for you humorous comments !

Annie said...

I like this episode, its good to see the glimmer of another level to cordy and the hints of a change in her relationship with the scoobies.

I like the two sides to marcie's story. The flashbacks ask the viewer to sympathise, but her actions are absolutely those of a madwoman. This sentiment is voiced by Buffy rather well 'I really felt sorry for you, you suffered, there's one thing I really didn't factor into all this – you're a thundering loony'

Good seeing Clea Duvall, I enjoyed Carnivale and was sad when it ended.

Billie Doux said...

I liked Carnivale too, Annie. It had just gotten really interesting and boom, it was canceled. Another show that ended too soon because it just wasn't like other shows.

TJ said...

I like this ep actually. As Billie said, it has great potential, but somehow though it was poorly executed.

I think I like it because of Angel...again. It reminds me that all the episodes with Angel in it, from the first season...I like. The others...not so much.

Let's buckle up for the the season finale:)

pucklady said...

Well, TJ, all I can say is, there better be some vampires in the season finale, since there weren't many in the penultimate (see, Sam, people DO say that!) episode.

And, just guessing here, but Guy with the Lisp and Creepy Kid get theirs? (Guess I'd better get the limerickerator online.) Oh, and Sexy!Angel is sexy?

sunbunny said...

pucklady - That SPN quote always bugged me. I say 'penultimate' too! C'mon Sam. Jump on the bandwagon. What a great catch about Marcie not becoming visible again! I never thought about that.

Billie - I always like to think of Giles as not being an expert in libraries. He's a watcher, not a librarian. His forte is researching and killing evil monsters, not the Dewey Decimal system. :)

I agree with what everyone's said. Great concept, sub-par construction, basically filler. I like the twist that the girl so ignored she turned invisible is, ultimately, the villain of the piece. We're on...Cordelia's side. Love Cordelia.

The book 'Legends of Vishnu's title is in the Buffy font.

Buffy's hair in the first few scenes is the cutest it's been thus far.

If Cordelia's face was numb, she wouldn't be able to move it/speak as well as she does.

So is Marcie eternally naked or are her clothes so ignored they turned invisible too?

sunbunny said...

Oh and they probably changed the episode title so it wasn't too similar to the next episode's: "Prophecy Girl."