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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Out of My Mind

Buffy: "Do you think that I spent the last year with you because you had superpowers? If that's what I wanted, then I'd be dating Spike."

This was the best episode so far this season. After five years, I love it that Whedon et al still manages to surprise and delight me.

Poor Riley! He's a duck out of water (okay, a fish out of water, but I like ducks), his career is gone, and he has no idea what the government did to his body. What's worse is that he loves Buffy, but he's threatened by being Mr. Buffy Summers and he believes she doesn't love him back – and I think he's right. Buffy didn't like having Riley show up spontaneously to help her slay, but she loved tag-team slaying with Angel, didn't she? Buffy may believe that Joe Normal is what she really wants, but I think she's just fighting the part of herself – perhaps the darker part – that likes the bad boys.

And speaking of bad boys... was that dream sequence at the end wild or what? "End. My. Torment." Spike is such a perverse guy, and he loves powerful women. It makes sense that he'd eventually fall for Buffy. Why didn't I see it coming? I have noticed that Buffy loves to barge into Spike's crypt and slap him around; she does it in practically every episode lately. I'll bet Buffy wouldn't mind slaying with Spike. Not that I think Buffy will ever sleep with Spike, but didn't she end up sleeping with both Angel and Riley for the first time after an intense slaying session?

Harmony has finally found her niche in the Buffyverse! She was such a hoot in this episode, just like last week: "Didn't you hear? I'm totally her archnemesis!" "I am a villain, Spike. Hellloooo..." Loved the twenty questions scene with Spike. And her smoking and kibbitzing during the brain surgery scene was great.

So. Is Riley headed for corpsehood? It seems obvious that Buffy is about to lose another boyfriend and it is, of course, going to be super painful.

Bits and pieces:

-- Love the way the magic shop is starting to look: the round table, the training room. Really liked seeing Xander doing something competently, too.

-- I had a strong feeling Spike wasn't getting rid of that chip so soon. It's an invaluable plot device.

-- Good writing on that hospital scene with the stethoscope; it was a neat way to do several things at once (keep Dawn annoying, let us know what's up with Joyce without boring the audience, and find out what's up with Riley's heart).

Quotes:

Riley: "Not much for bench warming."
Buffy: "No, you made the squad. You threw that vampire like he was a teeny-weeny little vampire."
Riley: "Hey, wanna go again? Come on, I bet this place is just teeming with aerodynamic vampires."

Willow: "I feel like a witch in a magic shop. Ooh. Are these real newt eyes?"
Giles: "No, too rich for my blood, I'm afraid. No, these are salamander eyes. It's the cataracts that give them their newt-like appearance. They're really equally effective, though. It's just a matter of overcoming snobberies."
Xander: "I'm telling you, Giles, you gotta set up a blind taste test and prove once and for all that generic amphibian eyeballs are just as good."

Buffy: "Thank you guys so much. You're like my fairy godmother and Santa Claus and Q all wrapped up into one. (Riley looks confused.) Q from Bond, not Star Trek."

Spike: "Buffy's looking for you?"
Harmony: "Of course! That's why I'm on the lam. Didn't you hear? I'm totally her arch-nemesis!"
Spike: "Is that right? I must have missed the memo."

Dawn: "Every kid tries to make the substitute cry. It's like a rite of passage."

Spike: "Okay, is it bigger than a breadbox?"
Harmony: "No. Four left."
Spike: "So it's smaller than a breadbox."
Harmony: "No! Only three!"
Spike: "Harmony ... is it a sodding breadbox?"
Harmony: "Yes! Oh my god! Someone's blondie bear is a twenty-question genius!"

Tara: "This place kind of creeps me out."
Willow: "You should have been here when it was a school."

I have to give this one a four out of four. Loved it.

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

11 comments:

Josie Kafka said...

My stop-and-start Buffy re-watch has finally taken me to the first disk of Season Five.

I can't imagine what it would have been like to watch this as it aired. I've never loved this episode, although it's damn nifty how many things get set up so quickly and neatly. But if I didn't have another disk ready to go, I'd be going crazy right now with the wondering.

Spike: "Oh, no. Oh, please, no." Oh, Spike, yes.

Billie Doux said...

BUFFY RE-WATCH comments begin here! Remember, no spoilers for future episodes. Want to talk spoilers and foreshadowing? Season five spoilers are posted here.

Josie Kafka said...

It's astonishing how much ground this episode covers: I'm always surprised to realize that so many thing happen in just 43 minutes.

ChrisB said...

The final scene of this episode is one of my all time favorites. Of course Spike would be attracted to Buffy and I love the way they are together. I remember the first time I saw it just being shocked to my core and then laughing out loud at the reveal.

I like Riley, but now that the Initiative is gone, there isn't really a place for him in this world. And, on some level, Buffy knows it as well. The scene where she leaves him to go see her mother is sad. The end must be nigh.

One of the joys of this show is seeing actors we now know when they were very young. Graham is played by Bailey Chase who is a regular on one of my new obsessions, Longmire. If you like Justified, give it a chance.

Annie said...

There's so much going on in this episode. I love it, especially Spike's realization, it just seems so believable, both that he does love Buffy, and how much he doesn't want to. Its so twisted!

In the fight Buffy seemed to only be saved by the chip... where was her stake? Also, she didn't seem too eager to kill him despite her talk.

Jane said...

Chris, my husband just came in while I was re-watching this episode and identified Bailey Chase as being from Longmire for me! I hadn't put it together. We're liking Longmire too - though I do have a rant about the time manipulation those people seem able to do.

I love the building realization of Spike's Buffy feelings. Even in mortal danger Riley doesn't hold my interest. And, it seems pretty clear that he isn't really holding Buffy's either. But I agree with all of the admiration for the neat, economical plotting in this ep. Very nice multitasking for the characters and scenes.

Lamounier said...

This is a very good episode, and it does indeed pack a lot of stories in just forty and plus minutes without feeling overstuffed.

I like how the writers are slowly building Buffy and Riley apart. Riley has lost his life purpose (to be a soldier) and all is left for him is to be “the boyfriend”. It doesn’t help matters that (1) he has issues with dating a woman that’s stronger than him, and (2) Buffy is not following through his act. She’s grown more confident ever since the spell that called upon the First Slayer, and having to babysit her boyfriend isn’t what she wants for now. I love it when she tells Riley she’s taking him to the doctor one way or another.

Harmony is hilarious in this episode. I just love that she thinks she’s Buffy arch nemesis. Ha! Her pairing with Spike is even more fun to watch now. I love how she casually addresses the issue of having sex with him (I’m a little put off by the way he treats her, by the way). Their scenes together are great; I’m only distracted by how Spike is kept awake while having a brain surgery with local anesthesia. What the hell?

Tara and Willow are cute, but Alyson Hannigan is still not quite there. It seems she holds back a little on her scenes with Amber sometimes, and since Amber Benson is still giving us shy, awkward Tara, you’re kind of left searching for their chemistry. The shot of Willow lightning the school with magic is gorgeous, though.

Annie, I think the fight scene was staged in a way to keep us wondering for as long as possible if Spike’s attempt to remove the chip was successful or not. So, first we have Buffy beating Spike, then we have Spike almost biting her twice. His chip should’ve stopped him when he jumped at her, but the fight scene of Buffy vs. Spike and Riley vs. Harmony is interesting overall. And, of course, the final scene of the episode is gold.

Annie said...

I'd agree re the fight staging as the reason, but it does make Buffy seem weaker when she's up against him. Maybe when he jumped her it wasn't murder/violence that was on his mind, hence no firing of the chip... he's very confused.

drnanamom said...

I continue to love reading your reviews Billie - thanks! Also, thanks @Annie. I never would have thought about Spike having other intentions and that's why the chip didn't work right away. This is such a clever show.

Hugo Ahlenius said...

I am a bit torn about Spike and Harmony. I think Spike has been used up as a villain, and he has also been overexposed on the show so far. Interesting too that they are not skipping town if they are so annoyed by the Slayer, but I guess that is the draw of the Hellmouth... Harmony is fun, sort of, but also overexposed...

Georgia said...

One of my favorite quotes that I didn't pick up on at first, but laugh harder at every re-watch, is Spike's line about Riley: "Oh, no. Is the enormous hall monitor sick?"
truly classic Spike