Mark Watches ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’: S01E11 – Out of Mind, Out of Sight

In the eleventh episode of the first season of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Cordelia is the catalyst for a series of brutal attacks at Sunnydale. Also CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT OH MY GOD. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Buffy.

(Just a heads up: We sort of have to talk about bullying and loneliness below, but if you’re one of the people who don’t watch Buffy and only read my reviews, just be warned if you’re not up to reading about this sort of stuff.)

Loneliness can do some terrible things to a person, and I know that as someone who had to deal with the pervasive nature of it all throughout my public schooling experience. “Out of Mind, Out of Sight” certainly takes that to an extreme, but the episode works so well because it’s such an emotional and affectionate take on something quite a few of us had to deal with growing up. (And, of course, many of us still experience it, too, and I certainly do often.)

High school, simply put, can be a brutal thing for anyone, and what this episode does best is show us that even those at the top of the social change are not the perfect, emotionally stable people we imagine them to be. First, however, I need to do something. Allow me this moment:

OH MY GOD WE FINALLY GOT CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT FOR CORDELIA AND OH MY GOD IT WAS WORTH SITTING THROUGH TEN EPISODES BEFORE WE ARRIVED HERE AHHHHHHHHHH SOMEONE HOLD ME ON THE ASTRAL PLANE.

Okay. I’ll be fine now.

When I think about it, this is the saddest episode of Buffy so far, and that sadness isn’t played as a joke. The cold open not only hinted that this story would focus more on Cordelia than anyone else, but it had that raw, depressing moment where Buffy tried to be nice to Cordelia, and she brushed her off rudely. My mind instantly went to one place: trying to gain the acceptance of the people who bullied me. That might be something that’s strange or confusing to some of you, and I get that. Why would you want to be friends with someone who was so violent and rude to you? For me, it was never necessarily about that. It wasn’t that I wanted that person on my side so much as me wanting to just feel….well, wanted by that person. I think that more often than not, this is what I felt by people who bullied me for years: they were impossibly cool and accepted by most of the school population. I didn’t care what others thought: I just wanted that guy or girl to think I was awesome, as if their validation was some greater commentary on myself.

In hindsight, of course that’s a ludicrous concept, and I’m sure things would have been easier if I’d known this back then. I didn’t though. I was the smart, bookworm kid who all the teachers loved and most of the students despised. The non-nerdy kids used me to do their homework or to get ahead, and then ignored me and picked on me ruthlessly once anyone else was around. No, honestly, it was just as ridiculous as it is here in “Out of Mind, Out of Sight.” That scene at the end where Cordelia stops being awesome to the group and insults them as she walks away with Mitch? Yeah, it was literally the same for me, so the scene wasn’t ridiculous at all. That happened to me often, by the way.

So why give in to that? Why allow someone to be nice to be when they needed something and rude to me when other people might consider us to be friends? Because I was lonely. When the other nerds won’t accept you because you don’t study like they do and because you like loud music and going to shows and dying your hair strange colors, you get lonely. When the kids who listen to hardcore and punk rock think you’re faking everything you’re doing, calling you a poser and a fraud and other words I’d rather not type here, you get lonely. When your church makes you feel like an outsider, and you don’t live with your family, and the people you do live with have made it clear that you’ll always be nothing more than a guest, you get lonely. And when you know you like dudes and the whole society around you tells you that you’re not supposed to do that, so you suppress it all and you never tell anyone that you like them because you don’t want to get beat up again after school, the loneliness is probably the worst.

This is why I did foolish things, like letting people I thought were my friends copy all my answers for AP History and then go home and feel vacant because none of them wanted to hang out with me outside of our study sessions. It’s why I played nice, it’s why I never stood up for myself, and it’s why I stayed quiet. I’ve spoken to a few people I went to high school with in the last couple years, and most were shocked that people treated me so poorly. It’s strange because I was good in school and I was involved with a lot of sports and clubs and my name got around a lot. I won things, I did speech class, and I was an honor student. People generally knew who I was, but I wasn’t popular like Cordelia was here.

However, what I related to (and still do) was her brilliantly-written line where she opens up to Buffy and tells her that even when she’s surrounded by people, she still feels alone. They don’t truly know her, she explains. That was a powerful thing to see in this episode, and it’s my favorite part. Because while a lot of people at my high school knew who I was and spoke to me and such, not a single one of them really knew much about my life aside from an extremely select few. Even then, it wasn’t until I was nearing nineteen and already graduating that I found even one person I could actually tell the secrets I’d been holding in for over a decade. LOL I SWEAR I WILL NOT MAKE EVERY REVIEW ABOUT ME BEING A BIG OL’ GAY, Y’ALL. But that’s an important thing to acknowledge here! Having to stay in the closet for so long and never being able to experience a date or a kiss or holding hands between classes once meant that no matter how many people I was around, I always felt alone.

You know, it never really went away. I’m okay with it now. Honestly! I enjoy being alone, and even some days I like feeling lonely. It’s because I’m comfortable with myself and that makes me feel better being in a solitary in environment. But you know what? If I had seen this in 1997, to see a character as popular as Cordelia saying that even in a crowd of people, she feels utterly alone, I might have felt a little better about my predicament. That’s a powerful message to send to someone struggling with that sort of experience.

OTHER MOMENTS I LOVED

  • Research Xander. He is so cute when he researches!
  • CLEA DUVALL. She’s in everything I love, I swear. She was on Heroes and in Zodiac and Carnivale and I thought she was on The X-Files? Apparently not, though.
  • The unexpected appearance of Angel in a largely non-mythology episode. What the hell does the Codex say about Buffy???
  • Hey! Look! A reference to and use of The Merchant of Venice that isn’t completely fucking terrible! Take that, Stephenie Meyer!
  • The general creepiness of this episode is fantastic, especially since we genuinely don’t know what’s going on for so long.
  • Principal Snyder’s obsession with not getting sued. WE HAD A PRINCIPAL LIKE THAT ONCE!!!
  • “Have a nice summer!” is truly a death sentence. SERIOUSLY. Oh god, this show is painfully accurate sometimes.
  • The bad science is so clever that I don’t care about it. It’s such a rad idea that someone who is no longer perceived in any way slips out of reality. THIS IS HOW TO PULL OFF BAD SCIENCE.
  • CORDELIA CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. Oh my god, I want her to join the group so goddamn bad now. SHE’S SO CLOSE. I mean, she just witnessed an invisible girl attack her. She’s like…one attack away from being pulled in! I WILL CELEBRATE THE DAY.
  • I love open-ended conclusions to monster-of-the-week stories, and sticking Marcie in some sort of assassination program for the federal government was so silly that I didn’t want to waste a drop of energy hating it.

OH GOD THE SEASON FINALE IS TOMORROW OH MY GOD

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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188 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’: S01E11 – Out of Mind, Out of Sight

  1. <font color="white">What's up, guys? This is Marcie. Liked my episode, huh? Finally noticed how cool I am? Well, you better watch out. Except you can't watch out.

    Not for me.</font>

    Okay, pretend you can actually use the font tag on this site and that text was effectively invisible and you had to highlight to read it and I was really clever or something.

    • Elexus Calcearius says:

      Awww, we all know you're pretty clever, ghost cow.

    • NeonProdigy says:

      Well now I'm thinking of Marcie with a giant cue ball for a head and talking about what an excellent host she is.

      LOL IS THERE NOTHING I CAN'T RELATE TO HOMESTUCK?

      No, probably not… what is my life?

  2. misterbernie says:

    OH GOD THE SEASON FINALE IS TOMORROW OH MY GOD
    …is it time to break out the one of us chant?

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      I am super excited for the finale! I WILL BE ONE OF YOU.

    • NB2000 says:

      Yes, yes it is. If only because those are always fun.

      One of us! One of us!

    • Partes says:

      …is it time to break out the one of us chant?

      Those are far too entertaining to ever be considered inappropriate.

    • Elexus Calcearius says:

      Assimilate, assimilate, assimilate

      Um…I''ve gotten on Season 2, I think the one of us chant's a bit late for me. XD

    • misterbernie says:

      V pbzcyrgryl nterr jvgu lbh gurer.

      Cyhf, gur Naablvat Bar qbrfa'g trg uvf nccebcevngr avpx hagvy gura. Rira gubhtu vg'f fberyl arrqrq va Jura Fur Jnf Onq.

    • Dru says:

      I honestly can't wait for tomorrow's review, because with this show sometimes even the fact that there is more of it after this is n fcbvyre.

      (Gur Tvsg unq zr htyl pelvat, naq gur JO cebzbgrq vg nf gur "frevrf svanyr". Xabjvat gurer ner gjb zber frnfbaf nsgre gung, V jbaqre vs vg gnxrf njnl sebz gur vzcnpg bs Ohssl'f qrngu sbe snaf jub jngpu abj jvgu gur xabjyrqtr gung fur'f pbzvat onpx?).

      • @liliaeth says:

        V qba'g xabj, V xarj gung Fcvxr jnf tbvat gb pbzr onpx ba Natry, naq V fgvyy pevrq jura ur qvrq ba Pubfra, gubhtu n ybg bs gung unq gb qb jvgu ubj abar bs gur fpbbovrf bgure guna Ohssl zbhearq sbe uvz. (gurer ner znal inevnag ernfbaf jul V ungrq gur fpbbovrf nsgre gung znyy fprar, ohg gung'f qrsvavgryl bar bs gurz)

        Naq xabjvat gung ur oryvrirq gung Ohssl jnf ylvat nobhg gur 'V ybir lbh', vg oernxf zl urneg rirel gvzr V frr vg.

        Nf sbe gur Tvsg, V xabj Ohssl jvyy or onpx, naq V fgvyy fgneg pelvat jurarire V frr Fcvxr oernx qbja jura ur ernyvmrf fur'f qrnq.

        (Jung pna V fnl, Fcvxr'f gur urneg bs gur fubj sbe zr*t*, jura ur'f fnq, V srry fnq, jura ur ybirf fbzrbar… gur jubyr ernfba V ybir Qnja vf orpnhfr Fcvxr qvq…)

        • Dru says:

          oh bb *pets you* I rather love him too.

          And 5.22 (or is it 5.20? Cannot keep them straight) elicits the same crumpled face from me even on repeat watch after I know everything, there are certain reactions that even spoilers cannot prevent but after a decade and a half in fandom I think going into things unspoiled always, without fail, is a better viewing experience.

          Though tbh some revelations are like the one about Luke Skywalker's paternity (i.e. the punch is all in the shock value, which is lost if you're spoiled) and some are like things on this show, where things are going to be devastating to watch even when you know what happened already.

        • Dru says:

          And honestly, I think it was 1000xworse and the cause of more sobs than ever when I thought Gur Tvsg was THE END, because we literally didn't know whether we'd get any more of the show, either through being UPN-less or (before that) the standoff between Joss and the WB where no one looked like they were backing down.

  3. Raenef_the_5th says:

    "Have a GREAT summer!" lol

    Cordelia's speech about feeling alone with people all around is so great, I can't…

    "V JVYY PRYROENGR GUR QNL."

    Naq gung qnl vf gbzbeebj, YBY.

    • Raenef_the_5th says:

      I just have to add, none of my classes ever had as much enthusiastic hand-raising for questions like in Marcie's flashback of Ms Miller's class did.

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        Ha! I was thinking that too! Like in 90% of my classes the teacher always had to just pick on someone random if there was a question.

        • knut_knut says:

          haha same here. There was a lot of intense scribbling and averting of the eyes. Or just sitting really still in the hopes that your teacher is similar to a T-Rex and won't notice your existence if you don't move

        • Mauve_Avenger says:

          One of my first college professors threatened that if no one volunteered answers in class he'd take out his Dungeons & Dragons dice and whichever number he rolled would be the roster number of the person who has to answer the question. IIRC he never had to do that for our class, though I'd heard that it had in some of his past classes.

      • Partes says:

        We'd just stare sullenly and refuse to answer out of protetest against The Man/sheer laziness, and then someone might throw a wad of paper at the back of another student's head if they were feeling extra rebellious. Hardcore life in southern England.

        I think if anyone responded as enthusiastically as even Xander (who did the reading apparantly, wat?) the class would have ended anyway as our lovely teacher would have had a heart attack.

  4. dasmondschaf says:

    I was SO HAPPY to finally get some Cordelia development! Also, every time I watch this episode I become incredibly grateful for the real friends I made in middle school–on the first day, I latched onto a group of "popular" girls and basically followed them around while they ignored me, until I overhead them actively laughing at me. Thankfully, I was taken in by a group of fellow nerds/outcasts, and some of that loneliness was mitigated. I did eventually stop ordering yearbooks, though, precisely because I was sick of "Have a nice summer!!!"

    Other things… that conversation between Giles and Angel in the library was so delightfully awkward, and I don't know how much of it was that David Boreanez still can't act very well, but it was great, in that "I can barely watch this from second-hand embarassment" kind of way.

    EDITED to add some ROT13 thoughts: V'q pbzcyrgryl sbetbggra gur raqvat gb guvf rcvfbqr, naq gura V jnf xvaq bs nzhfrq gung vg arire orpbzrf eryrinag ntnva, rira jura gur fubj QBRF trg nebhaq gb vgf tbireazrag pbafcvenpl nep va frnfba sbhe.

    • Hotaru_hime says:

      Wasn't David Boreanaz literally approached on the street and asked to act? Not for Buffy, but I remember hearing this story somewhere…

      • Raenef_the_5th says:

        There's a cast interview where they relate the story (I think it's on one of the DVDs?) It's on youtube too.

    • James says:

      If only that could've happened for Marcie. I get the impression she would've avoided the outcast types because she was so desperate to be in with the popular crowd and being seen with the "wrong" people can be a death sentence for that

  5. arctic_hare says:

    Man, that's what everyone always wrote in my yearbooks: "have a nice summer". πŸ™ Yeah. I was pretty alone at school too, and even my so-called "friends" could be pretty awful to me. I never really had anyone I could call a real friend. I can understand how Marcie felt. It's given me issues of insecurity that I've been struggling with ever since.

    You continue to be unprepared, Mark.

    • Elexus Calcearius says:

      *hugs*

      Have a nice summer really was the kiss of death. "Hope next year is awesome" was a close second.

  6. Seventh_Star says:

    cordelia exploration, mark!

    1. we get to see how cordelia and buffy are similar, why cordelia immediately felt that she identified with buffy in the first episode and why she attempted to take buffy under her wing. before buffy was burdened with being a slayer, she was the popular girl at her school, the "it" girl, just like cordelia. you'd never know it to look at her now because there was no way that buffy could remain unchanged while carrying her massive secret. it has, for all intents and purposes, made her an outcast.

    2. "this girl's sort of petty for a god."
    this line always gives me pause because the greek/roman gods are almost always being petty, no? they run around being immature like its their job.

    3. "a vampire in love with a slayer. it's rather poetic…in a maudlin sor of way."
    this is one of the writing techniques that makes buffy as a show stand out. the writers are "hanging a lantern" on the melodrama. joss and co. are constantly saying something profound and then immediately undercutting it. they want the audience to know that they are aware of what they are doing, and it works to great effect.

    4. quick personal sidenote: i play the flute. that is all.

    5. as a self-proclaimed nerd, i loved that the explanation for this show's menace wasn't necessarily supernatural. it was based on (shaky) physics and some philosophy. the question of perception has always fascinated me. as da vinci said, "all our knowledge is the offspring of our perceptions." marcie saw herself as invisible and she became thus, with a little help from the hellmouth.

    6. it's worth noting that a couple vampire rules are established in this episode: they have no reflection and they do not need to breathe/ cannot be choked. (bs pbhefr guvf ehyr vf oebxra va gur svanyr bs frnfba 2 jura fcvxr vapncnpvgngrf qehfvyyn ol fgenatyvat ure. vg unccraf.)

    7. and we come to the crux of this episode, joss's favorite subject: loneliness. marcie is literally completely alone, buffy, with so much to bear, is doomed to be alone, and cordelia often feels alone because, although people rally around her for her attention, they don't actually care to know her at all. in the end, we are all alone. all we have is ourselves. these three characters handle this loneliness in their own very different ways. marcie's drives her to the point where she can rationalize harming people, believing it's what should be done, buffy survives it through the help and support of her friends, and cordelia chooses to be popular because she has concluded that it's better to be alone and be loved than to just be alone.

    well, i didn't realize i had so much to say until i said it…

    • NB2000 says:

      2. "this girl's sort of petty for a god."
      this line always gives me pause because the greek/roman gods are almost always being petty, no? they run around being immature like its their job.

      I had the same thought, Tybel unq fbzr engure crggl zbzragf gbb.

      • Elexus Calcearius says:

        I thought the exact same thing. I mean, gods of almost all cultured seemed fueled by pettiness. 'Oh noes, my wife is mean, I'll go shag a mortal woman'

        "You talk to much, I'll punish you so you can only repeat what others say."

        "You think you're a better seamstress? NOW YOU'RE A SPIDER!"

    • tzikeh says:

      Alas. Mark has said (repeatedly) that he will not be watching Angel except for the few vital crossover episodes. He has already scheduled several "Mark Watches" programs after this one, and has a second list of shows that are checkmarked as "definitely will be watched," bust just ont finalized on the calendar yet.

      • Seventh_Star says:

        *heavy sigh*

        it's certainly understandable. i'm overjoyed that he's watching buffy, so i'm satisfied.

    • Dru says:

      "this girl's sort of petty for a god."

      naq gurl unira'g rira zrg Tybel lrg. Though in her case that almost adds to the TERRIFYING.

  7. guest_age says:

    I share your Clea Duvall love. SHE IS IN ALL THE GOOD THINGS.

    The only thing I dislike about the episode is Marcie's ending. It's just a little…too out there for me. On the other hand, I kind of love stories about secret supernatural or alien branches of the government so I could be down with exploring that idea, just…it feels tacked-on and cheesy here. STILL. OTHERWISE? AWESOME EPISODE.

    Vg'f orra njuvyr fvapr V jngpurq guvf rcvfbqr naq qhevat gung fprar va gur yvoenel orgjrra Tvyrf naq Natry, V sryg fb fvpx ng zl fgbznpu guvaxvat nobhg jung Natryhf vf tbvat gb qb gb Tvyrf jvgu gur ebfrf naq gur pnaqyrf naq Wraal'f obql. Nalbar ryfr trg gung srryvat jura gurl jngpu gur rneyl fghss? FB ZHPU SBEROBQVAT.

  8. Avery says:

    I didn't remember a thing about this episode except for the Buffy and Cordelia interaction, and maybe that's a plus because good lord the rest of it was way more alarming than I expected. Marcie taunting Cordelia with mutilation, trying to suffocate her teacher, and setting off the gas leak felt like such immediate and un-Buffylike threats – the show deals with horror and danger in a very specific, character-driven way that makes the violence more abstract (which is occasionally unfortunate but necessary if the greyer characters are to be understood as sympathetic), and that scene with the surgical instruments felt like straight-up torture porn out of a different show. MAKE IT STOP!!!! Marcie's monologue there also didn't quite work because it became obvious that scene required Buffy to sit still for five minutes instead of trying to break the ropes. That was believable when she was coming out of her stupor, but after that I kept thinking of that trope where the hero takes on dozens of villains at the same time, which is only made possible because they're really polite and take turns fighting. And then Buffy ~*hears Marcie's presence*~, what. I don't know if the fighting was filmed with special effects or an actual person, but if it's the latter it is kind of great the stuntwoman fought under a blanket.

    I do love Cordelia opening up about her loneliness. What a great moment for her. Yay, character development! And yeah, it is realistic that she reverts back to her standard persona at the end. She may have it harder than people think, but it's much, much easier and safer for her to maintain that hierarchy. She still feels like she has a lot to lose.

    The ending is so bizarre and incongruous, but I love it as a weird, only-in-S1 relic because if there were ever a perfect place to insert a Buffy/X-Files crossover it would be there. The bulk of the text in the chapter Marcie opens to are the lyrics of the Beatles song "Happiness is a Warm Gun," written in prose. "Happiness is a warm gun" has been changed to "joy is a hot revolver."

    Some spoilery talk about the writers of this episode: gur jevgref jrer Nfuyrl Tnoyr naq Gubznf Fjlqra, jubfr bar bgure jevgvat perqvg ba guvf fubj vf V Ebobg, Lbh Wnar. V'z qba'g xabj vs gur jevgvat fgnss tbg errinyhngrq nsgre rirel frnfba be jung (fvapr gur pber fgnss frrzrq gb unir orra qrgrezvarq nebhaq frnfba guerr), ohg vg'f vagrerfgvat xabjvat gung gurfr jrer Tnoyr naq Fjlqra'f bayl rcvfbqrf. Sbe gur zbfg cneg V qba'g guvax gurve jevgvat jbexrq sbe gur fubj, ohg fbzrgvzrf V guvax abguvat fhzf hc rirelbar'f eryngvbafuvcf orggre guna gung zbzrag ng gur raq bs VELW.

    • tigerpetals says:

      Just substitute Mulder and Scully for those agents in a fic and you have a good wellspring for future Buffy/X-Files x-overs.

    • Seventh_Star says:

      thanks for the beatles tip. i had never noticed. i'll have to go back and look.

    • NB2000 says:

      Slight thought vomit about the writers, I got a bit rambly.

      V jnf ybbxvat bire gur rcvfbqr yvfg ba Jvxvcrqvn gur bgure jrrx naq vg'f ernyyl jrveq gb frr ubj yngr fbzr bs gur zber erpbtavfrnoyr jevgref wbvarq gur fubj. Lbh'er evtug nobhg vg orvat frnfba 3 jura gur erthyne fgnss gnxrf funcr, V xabj gung'f jura Wnar Rfcrafba wbvaf. Nsgre gung gurer'f gur bppnfvbany jevgre jub bayl qbrf n unaqshy bs rcvfbqrf ohg vg frrzf yvxr vg'f zbfgyl gur pber fgnss.

      V xabj ba bar bs gur QIQ rkgenf sbe n yngre frnfba bar bs gur pber jevgref, be cbffvoyl zber guna bar, zragvbaf ubj Wbff jbhyq nqq n ybg bs yvarf naq fprarf gb bgure fpevcgf fb vg jbhyqa'g fhecevfr zr vs gung svany fprar sebz VELW jnf bar ur nqqrq.

      • NB2000 says:

        Vg'f n irel jbeq-ibzvg jbegul jevgvat fgnss. V qb gur fnzr guvat jvgu frnfba svir, zbfgyl orpnhfr vg'f zl snibhevgr frnfba. Vg'f nyy jevgref sebz rneyvre frnfbaf naq arj jevgref jub jbhyq fgnl ba. V qba'g frr nal anzrf gung jrer whfg gurer sbe gung frnfba.

        V unqa'g znqr gur pbaarpgvba hagvy abj ohg V xabj Qna Iroore raqrq hc jbexvat ba Shghenzn, vg qbrfa'g ybbx yvxr gung jnf jul ur yrsg Ohssl tbvat ol gur qngrf ba VZQo gubhtu. Qvrtb Thgvreerm jnf Wbff' nffvfgnag naq gurl whfg…yrg uvz jevgr n fpevcg gung frnfba, gung zvtug rkcynva gur fvghngvba gurer.

      • @liliaeth says:

        V erzrzore ubj zhpu crbcyr ng ONCF ybirq Qbht Crgevr nsgre Sbby sbe Ybir, naq gura ur jebgr uvf arkg rc naq ur sryy bs uvf cvyyne, orpnhfr crbcyr ernyvmrq ur jnf whfg n Evyrl sna πŸ˜‰

        Nsgrejneqf gubhtu, gurer jnf n ybg bs thrffvat nobhg ubj zhpu bs Sbby Sbe Ybir ur npghnyyl jebgr, naq ubj zhpu bs vg jnf erjevggra ol Wbff.

        Gung rfcrpvnyyl orpnzr boivbhf nsgre Orarngu Lbh, jurer unys bs gur rc, nxn gur Fcvxr cnegf, ner fbzr bs gur orfg cnegf bs gur frnfba, naq gur bgure unys, nxn gur Knaqre naq gur jbez ovgf ner obevat nf uryy.

  9. guest_age says:

    Re: your ROT13'ed part: I WAS THINKING THE SAME THING. *snickers*

  10. enigmaticagentscully says:

    -Oh Cordelia…
    -DON’T YOU DARE CALL GILES CREEPY
    -Ooh they’re doing the Merchant of Venice
    -Cool, is this going to be a Cordelia episode? So excited!
    -There are no dead students here. This week. LOL
    -God, compiling a list of dead kids in this town could take a looooong time
    -Invisible girl!
    -Awwww Xander as research boy!
    -Oooh it’s Angel!
    -Omg lolariously awkward conversations with Giles
    -“It’s rather poetic! In a maudlin sort of way…” ILU GILES
    -Sooooo…who are those two suit guys?
    -If I could become invisible I would not go crawling around in the vents of my school. I’d live at the movie theatre eating popcorn and watching movies for free!
    -NOOOOO don’t hurt the cool teacher lady!
    -Oh she’s ok. Phew!
    -Awww poor Marci!
    -So yearbooks are like an American thing, right?
    -“Have a great summer! See, I cared!”
    -Giles, you fail physics forever. That is not how you science.
    -Huh, Cordelia is actually pretty perceptive about Buffy, isn’t she?
    -I love how they don’t even worry about her being right there in the room with them while they’re discussing this
    -I mean, it didn’t even cross their minds?
    -Awwwwwww Cordelia!
    -How many doors must Buffy have punched through in this school by now?
    -GAS!
    -So is Marci naked or did her clothes turn invisible too?
    -URGGGG that is so creepy. At least she numbed her face first?
    -WOOT Angel to the rescue!
    -Oooh Buffy’s slayer senses are pretty cool
    -Seriously, this is a really awesome moment
    -FBI??
    -What the fuck?
    -This is some X Files conspiracy shit going on right here
    -Willow’s dungarees are adorable
    -So….that ending was kind of unexpected?

    So this episode was…weird. IDK, I really liked it, but the ending just totally threw me for a loop. It’s like some random Men in Black hopped over from the X Files set next door and made the ending really bizarre I’m not holding out much hope that it’ll ever really be explained either. BUT having said that, I loved seeing more of Cordelia and her getting at least a little more characterisation beyond just being an asshat. I’m not entirely sure where they were going with the Marci character though. Were we supposed to feel sorry for her, or hate her because she was a murderous weirdo? I suppose they were going for ‘morally grey’ but really all I got was ‘confused’. Well, I enjoyed it anyway, so I guess it doesn’t matter. Neat episode.

    • tigerpetals says:

      This sparks a question; is OOM, OOS the first episode to take place entirely at the school? Naq V fhccbfr fur fhssref sebz Fhaalqnyr cnerag flaqebzr, jvgu onq cneragf jub arire abgvprq ure rvgure? Gubhtu V pna'g snhyg nalobql sbe gurz abg orvat va gur rcvfbqr, tvira ubj nzovthbhf gur yratgu bs gvzr Znepl fcrag vaivfvoyr vf. Jr qba'g rira xabj vs vg unccrarq orsber be nsgre Ohssl neevirq.

      I guess if Marcie went invisible because of her social invisibility, that would include her clothes.

    • NB2000 says:

      -So yearbooks are like an American thing, right?

      Definitely not something we had here in Wales or at least my school didn't. Giles not understanding the "Have a nice summer" thing makes sense if they're an American thing and not something he'd have had in Britain.

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        Yeah because I didn't get it either. I don't know of any school here in Britain that has yearbooks. It's actually kind of nice to have Giles as the resident Brit so that things can be explained to him that I wouldn't otherwise understand!

        • eternaleve says:

          We had some at my school but they were seriously awful compared to American ones – just messages from teachers and stuff. We were forbidden from signing them.

        • Hanny says:

          My school (which I left in 2008) had yearbooks. They weren't fabulous, but there were funny stories and year pictures and pages for everyone to sign and messages from teachers and photos of key times from our lives as a year group. (Most of which meant fuck all to me because I'd only been at the school for a year but still!) So they are around. My younger brother (and older sister's) school had them too.

    • James says:

      I actually think it's creepier that Marcie numbed Cordelia's face! If she didn't Cordy would probably pass out from the pain/shock. This way she'd be awake for the whole thing.

    • msnaddie says:

      -So yearbooks are like an American thing, right?

      Surprisingly we have it as well, and our school system is based more on the UK's school system instead of the American's. (I'm from Malaysia btw.)

      We have class pictures instead of individual pictures though, which didn't pressure us as much I guess? Oh and the senior classes (usually 5-6 classes) would get a 2-3 spread pages for them to put in their creative messages or whatever lol. My class did the whole "fairy tale come to live" photoshoot for our senior class spread and I got to be a witch πŸ˜€

  11. tigerpetals says:

    Stream of consciousness.

    The Greek gods are petty, Buffy.

    I never really noticed the Giles/Angel bonding of their scene while watching it.

    I never tried to get in with a popular crowd, but I know what that experience in the bathroom is like. Only with people who didn't outright tell me to go away or who sometimes even made the first move of putting me in the situation.

    This is the first time I've noticed that the men in black appear before the ending.

    I can also relate to Marcie's ranting. These are rants I have done about the people who treat me like she was treated.

    Well it's not just the face, it's how you work it.

    I guess Marcie believes some of those rumors Cordelia spreads about Buffy being violent?

    She's like a less sympathetic Carrie.

    V xabj Ohssl'f fgeratgu inevrf sbe gur rcvfbqr, but getting beaten up by your average teenage girl when you have Slayer powers? When Marcie was only in band? Has Marcie been bulking up during her period of invisibility?

    I suppose this season is "let's try different things to find a place." Jr unq bhe ubeebe pyvpué gung jnf arire sbyybjrq hc ba jvgu Grnpure'f Crg naq abj jr unir bhe tbireazrag vaibyirzrag gung jnf arire erghearq gb, rkprcg vs frnfba sbhe pbhagf. Vg jbhyq unir orra tbbq jbeyqohvyqvat gb yvax gurfr jvgu gur Znlbe fbzrubj. Yvxr ur nyybjf pregnva guerngf gb or qrnyg jvgu ol Ohssl naq gur tbireazrag, ohg ur jnf cnegyl erfcbafvoyr va yvzvgvat vgf ebyr hagvy ur jnf tbar. Naq V unir arire tbggra jul Znepvr vf fb cbchyne jvgu gur snaonfr. Znlor vg vf gur ernyvfgvp cbegenlny bs ure fvghngvba. V frr gung, ohg V qba'g guvax fur'f gung snfpvangvat nf n punenpgre, rfcrpvnyyl gb erghea zhpu yngre bhg bs gur uvtu fpubby frnfbaf.

    It does have a bit of the feel of that season three X-Files episode, when Mulder and Scully were been looked at through the POVs of civilians dealing with alien abduction.

    Well, Mark finally got his Cordelia development. Yeah, Cordelia's like Buffy – notice the not wanting to drop social activities for her own protection – except she doesn't have to constantly be jerked out of normal high school life and live with being a high school loser. She can pretty much choose how to do things. And yes, in some ways being alone with people is better than being alone by yourself, at least if you have power over those people. Many times I wish I could fake it to an extent, when it would be convenient and get people off my back.

  12. James says:

    I was so looking forward to getting here just to see you flail about the Cordelia development. I love Cordy! I love that she notices enough to decide going to Buffy for help was the best course of action.

    I think the ending is really cool, actually, but I'm a sucker for government conspiracy stuff. I especially love that it's happened in so many other schools, that it can't just be a Hellmouth thing.

    Eee, finale! EXCITEMENT.

  13. NB2000 says:

    Yay development for Cordelia! Her slightly warped and selfish perspective of things like the story of the girl with the broken legs is just endlessly entertaining to me. You have to give her credit for working out that she should go to Buffy and the gang when things are getting weird though.

    For me it's the flashback of Marcie in the bathroom with the other girls acknowledging her and ignoring her at the same time that hits home the most. They pay her just enough atention to put her down even more. The flashback showing that even the teachers ignored her, while it doesn't have that same personal resonance it's still a really harsh sign of how bad things were for her.

    The little story Xander and Willow fail to tell about the field trip, I think it's Alyson Hannigan's delivery of "Be my deputy!" that makes me laugh even though there's no context to it.

  14. Kickpuncher says:

    A death “sentence.”

    Oh Mark, you’re very funny.

  15. enigmaticagentscully says:

    Personally, I always liked that none of my teachers could remember me at school. It meant I never got picked on in class, because they didn't want to admit they didn't know my name! πŸ˜›

    • hassibah says:

      I had a couple of teachers that would always call on me regardless of whether my hand was up or not it was really annoying.

      But I totally know the rage of when the teacher asks a question, you answer it, they don't hear you, person behind you says the exact same thing right after, then all of a sudden they get their hearing back. Credit me damnit credit meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee >:(((((((((((
      Actually this happens on the internet a lot too

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        AUGH this happens to me on the internet all the time! Like, I'll post a piece on art on Tumblr and it'll get a few views…and then someone else will post it on THEIR blog and it will get like hundreds of views and I'm just sitting here like BUT I DREW IT YOU ASSHOLES.
        Even if they give me credit for it, it still peeves me off that my original post didn't get any attention. :/

        • Dru says:

          This is why tumblr sucks. Reblogging is basically just a way to drag some other person's content onto your dash and show off your "good taste" for liking the stuff.

          (I hate it even more when I post things with credits for photographers, artists etc and then some assole reblogs it WITHOUT THE CREDITS, that is dishonest and awful)

    • calimie says:

      I had that one teacher who for the whole year only ever called this one girl. The rest of us barely worked, of course. We were pretty sure she only knew her name.
      I got really scared the last two weeks of the year because she learnt my name (I had to ask her permission for something); I even did all the homework but luckly I wasn't called.

  16. knut_knut says:

    AGH! How are we already at the season finale?! I feel like we just started! I’m so glad we FINALLY got a Cordelia episode! I think it’s time she becomes one of the gang even though I do really like them as a trio + Giles.

    I didn’t even realize Marcie was being trained as an invincible assassin. I thought she was put into a school of people just like her and they happened to be learning about assassination *facepalm*. If she stops feeling lonely at her new assassin school, will she lose her invisibility?

    Is all the background info about Buffy’s life at her old school in the movie version? Does that mean I need to watch it because I have a million questions about her pre-Sunnydale.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      I didn’t even realize Marcie was being trained as an invincible assassin. I thought she was put into a school of people just like her and they happened to be learning about assassination

      Ooops me too…

      <img src="http://i42.tinypic.com/14ih8c8.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    • tigerpetals says:

      Maybe the invisibility is irreversible. Or it becomes part of her identity now, as an assassin. She learns to love it.

      Is it spoilery to answer that last question? Yes, so: jr trg n yvggyr zber nobhg ure byq yvsr yngre ba, ohg abg zhpu. Gur zbivr vf abg pnaba jvgu gur fubj, ohg gur onfvpf bs vg pna or uryq gehr naq V pbafvqre gubfr nf cneg bs zl vagrecergngvba bs Ohssl. Guvf vf inyvqngrq ol Ohssl: Gur Bevtva, n pbzvp nqncgrq sebz Jurqba'f bevtvany fperracynl. Gur pbzvp vf va gur svefg Ohssl bzavohf pbzvp. Gubfr onfvpf V whfg ersreerq gb unccra fvzvyneyl va gur pbzvp.

    • robin says:

      Well, Joss wrote the tv series as a sequel to his original script for that movie. So if you watch the Buffy movie then yes it includes her old life before she becomes the Slayer that's referenced in this episode. However, it's just… not a serious film. What they did with Joss' original script is pretty criminal. It's kind of a cute movie, though. I admit that I still enjoy it. It's fun.

      The best thing to do is really to read the graphic novel "Origin" that was put out, as it is basically what that movie was intended to be and would be the canon background for the tv series. (It has a tone that melds more with the Buffy tv series, not quite so satiric and comedic as the film is).

      But if you can't get a hold of the graphic novel/don't want to… then if you want some of those questions answered, the movie might be an ok compromise if you just accept the over-the-top silliness.

    • robin says:

      If you just want a little glimpse into pre-Slayer Buffy from the movie, here's a 2 minute clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s316C5vbOnM

  17. LindsayFunke says:

    Mark, I'm shocked that you (as a gay dude) would have neglected another of Clea Duvall's most well known rolls (rot13'd in case): Ohg V'z N Purreyrnqre! RuPaul's in it too!

    I know some people read subtext into Marcie being a lesbian in this episode, but I'm not so sure. If it's there, it's way below the surface, not to mention a little problematic because it would fall into the "psycho lesbian" trope. Anyway, I think this is a great episode. I love opportunities in which Cordie gets to shine without being mean, and this is one of those Buffy story lines that truly IS chilling to me. The scene at the end between Cordelia and Marcie so disturbing

    ETA: Also a great example of a scary villian on a shoestring budget! The only special effects used to portray Marcie are a voice over and floating objects (some of which I suspect could have just been on strings).

    • Hotaru_hime says:

      Lesbian subtext? Do the people who think that ever see how girls interact?

    • guest_age says:

      I love the movie you ROT13'd there. It's my favorite Clea Duvall role outside of Carnivale.

      I've never heard of people reading Marcie as a lesbian…I suppose it's possible, but it's honestly never occurred to me. I'm all for "queering up fiction" (ILU for introducing me to that term, Mark) and digging into subtext but I honestly have never seen any in this episode. And I agree–if that was the intention, it goes way too trope-y and problematic for my tastes, particularly given the time when this episode came out–while there are certainly still strides to make in terms of lesbian visibility on television, there's no denying that it was even worse when this episode aired. For me to put this episode in that context and then add on the problematic trope, it's just…yeah. A mess.

      Interesting point, though. Maybe I will re-watch it tonight to look out for any potential subtext.

      • guest_age says:

        V wbva lbhe enagvat bire Fnagnan'f nep, cnegvphyneyl vs lbh'er gnyxvat nobhg gur "V Xvffrq n Tvey" rcvfbqr, juvpu znqr zr jnag gb fgno zl rlrf bhg.

        V guvax V jngpu gung fubj whfg gb snatvey fbzr bs gur npgbef naq npgerffrf naq gura enag nobhg gur npghny rcvfbqrf. *urnqqrfx*

        • LindsayFunke says:

          V qba'g trg natel nobhg fghss yvxr gung, ohg V jnf npgviryl RAENTRQ ol gung rcvfbqr. V zrna ernyyl? ERNYYL? Jr arrq n fgenvtug juvgr thl gb thvqr Fnagnan guebhtu ure pbzvat bhg cebprff nsgre orvat gur thl jub sbepvoyl bhgrq ure?! V pna fgvyy srry zl zhfpyrf grafvat hc whfg guvaxvat nobhg gung fuvg fubj.

          V'z ng gur cbvag gung V qba'g rira jnag gb jngpu gung ubg zrff nalzber nsgre gur jnl gurl'ir unaqyrq Fnagnan/Oevggnal. V srry yvxr gur jevgref jrer whfg cnaqrevat gb dhrre tveyf, naq abj gung vg'f bire, vg'yy cebonoyl arire or zragvbarq ntnva. HTU.

          Naljnl, V xabj gurer ner fbzr anlfnlref bhg gurer sbe ubj gur Gnen/Jvyybj eryngvbafuvc jnf unaqyrq ba guvf fubj, ohg ng yrnfg vg jnf qbar erfcrpgshyyl, naq jvguva jung yvzvgngvbaf gurer jrer ng gur gvzr. Vg'f orpnhfr bs punenpgref yvxr Jvyybj naq Gnen gung jr pna unir Xheg naq Oynvar, naq Fnagnan naq Oevggnal, naq gung'f jul Tyrr vf rira zber qvfnccbvagvat. Gurer vf fb zhpu cbgragvny sbe tbbq ba gung fubj, naq V Xvffrq n Tvey fdhnaqrerq vg!

          • guest_age says:

            Cerggl zhpu, lrnu, nygubhtu V ernyyl ybir Xheg naq Oynvar, fb V'z fgvyy jngpuvat. Gubhtu gurer unir qrsvavgryl orra zvffgrcf gurer, birenyy V'ir rawblrq gurz.

            V'ir yrnearq gb xvaq bs gnxr gur fubj guebhtu gung yraf–V fgvyy trg natel jura bgure fghss vf qbar jebat (V'z FGVYY abg bire ubj enpvfg "Nfvna S" jnf) naq gel gb pnyy vg bhg nf orfg nf V pna (be ng yrnfg eroybt ba Ghzoye jurer bgure crbcyr unir pnyyrq vg bhg va orggre cuenfvat guna V pbhyq'ir pnzr hc jvgu) ohg vg qbrfa'g qrgenpg sebz gur snpg gung V xabj Xheg naq Oynvar unir urycrq n ybg bs crbcyr. (Gurl'ir rira urycrq zr va n jnl–frrvat gur eryngvbafuvc orgjrra Xheg naq uvf sngure cnegvphyneyl va pbagenfg jvgu gur jnl Oynvar qrfpevorq uvf qnq unf znqr zl zbz fgneg gerngvat zr yvxr na npghny uhzna orvat. Orsber, jura V svefg pnzr bhg gb ure, ure rknpg erfcbafr jnf, "Ab, lbh'er abg," naq gung jnf vg. Jr arire gnyxrq nobhg vg ntnva hagvy fur fgnegrq jngpuvat Tyrr jvgu zr.)

            Fb V'z xvaq bs gjb zvaqf nobhg vg, ernyyl. V jnag gb xrrc gur fghss gurl qb jryy (juvpu vf cerggl zhpu whfg Oheg / Xheg naq Oynvar) naq svaq crbcyr jub pna npghnyyl jevgr gur bgure fghss (V'q ybir Oevggnal/Fnagnan fgbelyvarf gung ner npghnyyl jryy-jevggra orpnhfr jvgu gur cbffvoyr rkprcgvba bs "Qhrgf" gurvef arire unir orra). Orpnhfr gur jevgref gurl pheeragyl unir boivbhfyl pna'g.

            Jura V gryy crbcyr V jngpu guvf fubj, gurl fpbss naq gur svefg jbeqf bhg bs zl zbhgu ner, "AB, ERNYYL, V UNGR VG, GBB!" naq gura gurer V nz gur arkg Ghrfqnl, jngpuvat vg ntnva.

  18. WindsName says:

    Are you going to do a review for the Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe?

  19. Fuchsia says:

    For some reason, I always forget about this episode entirely [oops that's kind of what the whole plot of the episode is against!] even though I remember every other episode of this season. But I love this episode so much when I do watch it. I wasn't entirely alone in school, although I definitely felt it at times, but my best friend would've been Marcie if it weren't for me. I don't mean that in a "I'm such a wonderful person" kind of way, I mean that she was avoided by 99% of the school population just because she suffered from cystic fibrosis, spent more time in hospitals than in class, and didn't have time for extracurricular activities where most people made friends. I know that high school was complete hell for her and I'm glad that she survived, got out of town [and the whole northeast!], and now has a wonderful group of friends, even if that means I only get to see her once every couple of years.

    Now, as an adult, I'm going through loneliness of my own at the moment and I do feel completely forgotten about, with the exception of my mom and sister. I moved here six months ago and have yet to make any friends in the area, and my friends that I already had here haven't made any effort to see me or even pretend to have an interest in seeing me. So, yeah. I could become invisible at any moment and nobody would notice [except my tumblr friends possibly because they wouldn't get constant pictures of my face!]

    In a lighthearted comment, V ybir ubj zhpu Znex nyernql ybirf Pbeqryvn rira gubhtu fur qbrfa'g trg *gung zhpu* punenpgre qrirybczrag va guvf frevrf. V jbaqre vs Znex jvyy punatr uvf zvaq nobhg jngpuvat bayl fryrpg rcvfbqrf bs Natry jura ur yrneaf gung Pbeqryvn vf n znva punenpgre gurer? Fur tbrf guebhtu nznmvat punenpgre tebjgu ba gung fubj, rira vs ure punenpgre qvq unir n fhpxl raqvat.

  20. Ryan Lohner says:

    Part of the episode has gotten a lot funnier after the release of American Pie. Willow seems a bit too quick to shut down any talk about flutes, huh?

    • Partes says:

      I had somehow dissociated Michelle and Willow before now, but now I won't be able to avoid American Pie references in my brain for the rest of this rewatch. Oh DEAR. I want a crossover.

      • notemily says:

        I was just watching How I Met Your Mother, in which Alyson Hannigan plays Lily, and fur naq ure uhfonaq jrer gnyxvat nobhg onol anzrf naq gur svefg bar fur fhttrfgrq jnf "Gnen." V YBY'q.

  21. Mez says:

    Failure of Secret Identity Count:
    9 + 1 (Cordelia) = 10

  22. enigmaticagentscully says:

    It's really sad that no-one at school noticed Marci was just…gone.

    Have you ever seen the movie 'It's a Wonderful Life'? It's supposed to be a really positive and joyful thing because this guy who is going to kill himself is shown how much worse off the world would be if he had never existed. But it always just kind of made me sad because if I had never existed absolutely nothing be be at all different for anyone. Maybe my parents would be a little richer with only one child, but that's about it? It's kind of a depressing thought and no-one really gets why I hate that movie so much. To me it just illustrates what little positive impact I've had on the world.

    Ok, that was a slight digression there, but this episode kind of reminded me of that, anyway. The idea that if you disappeared completely, no-one would even notice, let alone care.

    • settlingforhistory says:

      I totally agree, I hate that movie.
      That cheesy 'everybody is important" message is just depressing, because it's not true.
      I know my family loves me, but their lives wouldn't be any different without me.
      Not everyone leaves such an impact in people's lives enough to change them by not existing.
      That's why I love this episode's ending, no happy family reunion, no student who suddenly notices Marcy. She was ignored, she became invisible and no one will ever really care about her. That's what happens in real live (except for the invisibility).
      Gur Juvfu cbegenvgf guvf irel jryy, gbb.
      Bs pbhefr Fhaalqnyr jvgubhg Ohssl jbhyq or qvssreag, ohg Tvyrf, Bm naq Natry ner fgvyy svtugvat ntnvafg gur Znfgre rira jvgubhg fhcreangheny uryc.
      Fb fur vf n ovt cneg bs gurve yvirf ohg fur qbrf abg qrsvar gurz, gurl ner fgvyy jub gurl ner jvgubhg ure.

      • tzikeh says:

        I know my family loves me, but their lives wouldn't be any different without me.

        That is 100% factually untrue. It is literally impossible for that statement to be true.

        Get back to me about It's a Wonderful Life in ten years. πŸ™‚

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        Yeah, you actually just reminded me of that young woman who was found dead in her London flat after three years. I think there's a movie being made about it? She died and no-one even noticed she had gone until the guys coming to repossess her house broke in and found her three years later. They found her surrounded by half-wrapped Christmas presents for people who didn't even realise she had died.

        It's sad but true – not everyone does make a difference. It's nice to think that each person is important, but in the grand scheme of things, only a few of us really are.

    • tzikeh says:

      It's supposed to be a really positive and joyful thing because this guy who is going to kill himself is shown how much worse off the world would be if he had never existed. But it always just kind of made me sad because if I had never existed absolutely nothing be be at all different for anyone.

      The entire point of It's a Wonderful Life is that George Bailey doesn't realize, just like you don't realize, what would have been different for the people who love you if you hadn't existed. There is zero chance that nothing would be different for the people around you if you had never existed. It is, quite simply, impossible for that to be true.

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        Yeah, I get what you're saying – obviously I have changed the world in a thousand tiny ways. But nothing important or particularly positive. George Bailey had a wife who loved him and kids who wouldn't even have existed without him. I've never even had a boyfriend. He saved his brother's life, and in turn his brother saved thousands of people. I've…never done that.
        All the people in my life would just keep going in exactly the same way with me quite neatly taken out. My parents would still have another child, my friends would have all their other friends, my boring-ass job would just be done by someone else.

        Of course if I DIED NOW I'm sure my family would be heartbroken, but…I don't mean to bring everyone down or anything, but it's genuinely true that if I had never existed in the first place nothing would have been different. IDK, the whole movie just makes me think of the inevitable pointlessness of the average life. Sorry to be so depressing, I mean it more of a 'this is an interesting philosophical point' than 'I hate everything'. πŸ˜›

        • tzikeh says:

          I have changed the world in a thousand tiny ways. But nothing important or particularly positive.

          And again, I say that you cannot know that. That's the whole point of the film. You can't know how many of those thousand tiny ways have made an enormous impact in the life of someone else, or lives of dozens of others, or who knows what.

          You say: "but it's genuinely true that if I had never existed in the first place nothing would have been different."

          And I say, no, it's genuinely true that you are wrong about this. It's literally impossible that you are right.

          But let us, for argument's sake (and I reiterate that I don't believe this even for a second), say that you have had no positive impact on the world (which, again, I cannot stress enough, IS SIMPLY A FALSE STATEMENT).

          You say: "George Bailey had a wife who loved him and kids who wouldn't even have existed without him. I've never even had a boyfriend."

          All right–if we're going to engage in a parallel Gedankenexperiment, then we have to have parallels. How old are you? Are you old enough to have already married and fathered/borne/adopted several children?

          You're not bringing me down; I've just (I'm betting) lived a whole lot longer than you, and I guarantee that what you think is so, isn't so.

        • I've…never done that.
          Have you ever interacted with another human being in any way? Perhaps a positive way? Gave someone a compliment? Hell, just treated someone with respect?

          Everyone has an effect on people, even if they don't realize it. For all you know, something you did brightened a stranger's day and gave them the strength to go on. You just never know. You don't know what's "important" to other people. What seems unimportant to you could have a big impact on someone else.

        • threerings13 says:

          Have you ever held a job? Maybe a job that you performed well or competently and that might not have been done correctly if someone else did it? And who knows what might have been impacted by that.

          Or what you may have said online to someone that might have made a difference in how they felt about themselves or how they lived.

    • BradSmith5 says:

      I don't know about the rest, but I hate how they call that lady at the end an "old maid." She's single––gasp! Her life is ruined! And she was wearing glasses. Oh no.

      • hassibah says:

        "And she was wearing glasses. Oh no. "

        I just love that Hollywood's understanding of what being miserable is hasn't changed in 70 years.

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        My mum find that bit hilarious, because she's a librarian and the movie apparently thinks that is the worst possible thing to happen to a woman. πŸ˜›

        It's still one of her favourite films though!

      • tzikeh says:

        I don't hold the film responsible for that, since it was made nearly sixty years ago, at a time where that was considered an awful fate.

        It's the films that are made today that make that same argument that I hold responsible (and by "hold responsible" I mean "would very much like to set fire to with my brain").

        • BradSmith5 says:

          Sounds like it's time for a remake: with Jim Carrey and CGI angels!

          I do agree with the film's message––and what you said higher up––it's just that one bit I don't like. And I would never hold one gripe against a work, oh no! πŸ˜‰

          • tzikeh says:

            Hee – I'm a forty-two-year-old single woman who teaches high-school English. If I don't hold it against 'em… πŸ˜€

    • notemily says:

      Well, but you never know. Like maybe you said something to someone that you thought was just offhand but they really thought about it and it changed THEIR life or something. I often feel useless, but I don't think I could say for sure that nothing would change if I had never existed, because so many random things could have bigger effects than I realize.

  23. CORDELIA CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.

    *whistles innocently* πŸ™‚

  24. Karen says:

    It’s kind of funny because the reason I am a bit late in responding to this post is because I was out for brunch with some high school friends. My phase of feeling lonely was in middle school. In middle school, I was so desperate to be well liked that I hung around with a group of friends who didn’t really like me all that much. I ate lunch with them and stuff, but I was never invited to birthday parties or things like that. Then towards the end of eighth grade, I realized how silly I was being. It was MUCH better to hang out with people who thought I was funny and enjoyed spending time with me, even if they weren’t popular than to be a hanger on with the popular crowd. But the friends I made in high school are still some of my best friends to this day. So um, moral of the story, I know what it is like to be around people but to feel totally alone, and it’s much better to hang out with people who really like you for who you are even if they aren’t the popular kids in school. Now, on to my thoughts on the episode:

    OMG. What in the fresh hell is Harmony wearing? A shirt with a neon cartoon cat on it? Actually, it’s a crop top, isn’t it? I shouldn’t judge. I was probably wearing equally horrible things in 1997. Although I was also 10 then, so….

    I loled at the “have a nice summer” bit because IT IS SO ACCURATE.

    Oh and we got Xander being the horny teenaged boy, wanting to use being invisible to spy on girls in the locker room. Ha ha? I really think that’s some lazy humor though.

    I love that even though Cordelia has been shown to be shallow and self-involved, she’s not stupid. She has good observations in class and actually seems to care about school. Idk. I just really like that. Of course, Cordelia’s thoughts about A Merchant in Venice are also there to comment on what is happening in the story with Marcie being an outsider and all as well as to set up her being there to see the teacher being suffocated. I love that Cordelia knows the score. She’s popular and she knows it’s all superficial, but she still believes that it’s better to be popular and feel alone than to truly be alone all by yourself. Even the superficial company of others can be comforting. Cordelia has some really accurate insight and honesty about the way the world works.

    Like Marcie, Buffy is an outsider. That scene where she’s looking in at Cordy trying on her dress is very telling, and then later as Buffy is waiting for Cordy to change, she exposits that she was popular in LA. I think being an outsider is especially hard for Buffy because she knows what it’s like to be an insider. A part of her probably misses that.

    Then even with the invisible girl plot going on, we still have that scene between Angel and Giles in the middle of the episode to remind us about the larger plot of the Master.

    This comment was more disjointed than usual due to me being busy and running around, but yes. I really like this episode. I loved getting to know Cordelia a bit more, and I think this episode does an excellent job of capturing themes of many people's high school experiences.

    • hassibah says:

      Harmony's shirt reminded me of these kitty ringer shirts that a lot of people wore in the mid 90s, sometimes they had glitter on them, V guvax Jvyybj jrnef bar va n yngre rcvfbqr.

      The biggest offense is that weird blue thing Buffy wore that has a slit upto her chest. I mean what is that?

      • @Ivana2804 says:

        "Like Marcie, Buffy is an outsider. That scene where she’s looking in at Cordy trying on her dress is very telling, and then later as Buffy is waiting for Cordy to change, she exposits that she was popular in LA. I think being an outsider is especially hard for Buffy because she knows what it’s like to be an insider. A part of her probably misses that. "

        For me the most important Buffy character moment is when she admits that, when she was popular in her old school, she always felt something was missing. So I don't think she'd have traded for her old life, despite everything.

    • notemily says:

      Honesty. That's what I love about Cordelia. She is who she is, and she likes being that way.

  25. Hotaru_hime says:

    Ahaha, I loved Marcie. I mean, not so much for the trying to kill Cordelia, but… well.
    Well, I don't know. For getting into FBI assassination classes. I want more Marcie always. But it's really sad that no one noticed she was gone; no missing girl papers, no announcement at school… just a yearbook filled with "Have a nice summer!"
    God, I hated that. But it's what I put on nearly every yearbook when people I had vaguely been aware of in class asked me to sign. I never felt lonely in high school mostly because I was a complete dunce and literally didn't notice anything happening around me. People could meet, date, be serious, and break up and I wouldn't even know that they knew each other. High school was a rather nebulous period for me.
    Bless Cordelia. She can be an ass, but she's can be an honest ass.
    Jung'f shaal vf gung gur svefg guerr frnfbaf ner nyzbfg cheryl nobhg ubj uvtu fpubby vf uryy.

    • kaleidoscoptics says:

      "People could meet, date, be serious, and break up and I wouldn't even know that they knew each other. High school was a rather nebulous period for me. "

      Hah, I'm glad I'm not the only one who had that type of experience. I was close to a small handful of people, but outside of that I had no idea what was going on half the time.

  26. robin says:

    What I really love about this episode is that it tries to bring in the only important piece of the Buffy character puzzle from that wretched Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie that's only been alluded to so far in S1 – that Buffy WAS Cordelia once. Not only was Buffy not-an-outcast before becoming a Slayer, but she basically used to live Cordelia's stereotypical life in LA before her Slayer experiences changed her.

    So we see her trying to reach out to Cordelia for a moment, to tell her that she understands completely how Cordelia feels (because she honestly does!), to say You Are Not Alone — but just like pretty much every teenager EVER, Cordelia of course rejects this. And not just because like Willow and Xander she has her mental image of Buffy and can't imagine Buffy being someone else (despite the fact that she and Cordelia initially gravitated to each other in the first scenes of the series). Because that's part of being a teenager that this season has been getting very right — that you feel alone and uniquely challenged, and like there's no one out there who could possibly feel what you are feeling right then.

  27. Kari18212 says:

    The "Have a nice summer" thing was even worse at my (middle) school because people got especially lazy and started writing HAGS as an abbreviation for "have a great summer" (which, sorry Will, but that does not mean you cared lol). That's why when high school rolled around I started giving my yearbook only to people who were actually my friends and they got lots of time to write long notes (which they did, my high school friends were pretty great πŸ™‚ middle school… well let's pretend that didn't happen).

    Love this episode (yay Cordelia!!!), but not going to say much because most of what I'm thinking is… Finale tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow! Okay I lied, one thing: Giles' reaction when Angel says he can get him the Codex=A+ yeah it will be helpful and everything, but mostly I see that as his inner book nerd jumping up and down at the thought of finding a book thought to be lost for centuries.

    I do have a question about the Giles Knock Out Count though: Would it go up to 4 in this episode? I can't quite tell if Giles was completely out when Angel came to save them, so opinions are definitely needed. Also, when I started it I was thinking more knocked out by a hit, so I'm not sure if going unconscious from gas would count… Who would have thought this would be so tough?? πŸ™‚

    • Raenef_the_5th says:

      I remember HAGS, oh man.

      • hpfish13 says:

        The other one that was weird was when people whom you had no way of contacting outside of school signed your yearbook KIT (keep in touch).

      • Mauve_Avenger says:

        At my middle school (and maybe also junior high?) it was HAGS and the edgier KATS (kick ass this summer). Seeing the latter in my yearbook always confused me because I'm pretty sure most of the people who wrote it perceived me as the exact opposite of person who'd kick ass in any sense.

    • NB2000 says:

      Maybe put it at 3.5? Partially but not fully unconscious, even if he wasn't hit by someone/thing he's still knocked out…slightly.

    • knut_knut says:

      HAGS was THE WORST. I don’t even understand why my yearbooks are signed by some people, because I know I didn’t go out of my way to get them to sign. I didn’t even have classes with some of them. Ever. Not in high school, middle school, or elementary school. I guess it was a status thing? The more signatures the better? So the other person would be making the rounds, and you couldn’t just sign their book without asking them to sign yours if you were holding yours- that would be awkward.

      • Kari18212 says:

        Yeah I remember literally running around trying to get every single person in my grade to sign and now I'm like, why did I bother? I didn't even know half of them before asking them to sign lol good thing I got out of that habit later on πŸ™‚

        • tactless says:

          I went out of my way not to write any of the standard yearbook lines. Not because I'm such a great person, but because I so desperately wanted to be different than everybody else…So, in the end, just as bad πŸ™

          • Kari18212 says:

            I don't know, if the people whose yearbooks you were writing in didn't know why, it might have made them feel better not to just have the 'kiss of death' lines in there. Plus, I'm guessing it took longer to think up something besides the standards, which is kind of the problem with HAGS and all that, so I think it was a little better πŸ™‚

    • kte says:

      I'm so glad you are doing the Giles Knock Out Count… 3.5 seems good, or you could go with two columns: one for knock outs and one for other times rendered unconscious?

    • t09yavosaur says:

      Pretending Middle School didn't happen is pretty easy for me as my brain seems to have blocked most of those memories. Worst 3 years of my life.

      • Kari18212 says:

        Me too, glad it wasn't just me lol. Sometimes it feels dumb to say that, because when you think about it you're just 11-13 years old, but it really did just suck.

      • notemily says:

        Me too. It's awkward when I run into someone who knows me from then and I'm like "wait who are you and what interactions did we have," though.

        • t09yavosaur says:

          I actually had a moment like that recently! My best friend's ex-boyfriend had apparently been on my soccer team in middle school and I had absolutely no clue. I still dont remember it and soccer was probably my favorite part

  28. echinodermata says:

    "Like this time I sort of ran over this girl on her bike – it was the most traumatizing event of my life, and she's trying to make it about her leg! Like my pain meant nothing!"

    Oh Cordelia I love you. And I'm glad she doesn't just write off school – she does want to do well. Maybe I have a wrong conception that the typical mean girl stereotype is caring about nothing but appearance and status, but either way I'm glad we see Cordelia put effort into her class. And I think it's cool that Cordelia recognizes enough to go to Buffy for help when she thinks she's in danger. Basically, yay we get to flesh out Cordelia's character some more!

    "Hey! You think I'm never lonely because I'm so cute and popular? I can be surrounded by people and be completely alone. It's not like any of them really know me. I don't even know if they like me half the time. People just want to be in a popular zone. Sometimes when I talk, everyone's so busy agreeing with me, they don't hear a word I say.

    Awww Cordelia! I'm so glad you get character development! NOW GIVE ME MOAR SHOW!

    I do like the idea that the students no one notice in high school become invisible – not a subtle story, but if you're writing fantasy set during high school, might as well. I do like the twist with those agents and the spy thing. Cheesy, but fun.

    And okay, at this point I really don't care how hot Angel is when he's so boring! In the episode Angel it's all finally! There's something interesting about him! But now he's back to being all boringly mysterious and popping up without warning and speaking in monotone. Even when he's rescuing people he's still not particularly interesting. Basically, there's only so much being mysterious and showing up unexpectedly will get you when you have no personality to speak of. Unpopular opinion? Eh, probably.

    • knut_knut says:

      I completely forgot Angel was in this episode until I read your comment. Yup, he’s pretty boring so far. I thought there’d be more Interesting Angel after his big reveal, but I guess he’s back to Boring Angel for now. Boooooooooo

    • NB2000 says:

      Unpopular opinion? Eh, probably.

      Probably doesn't make it popular but I totally agree. He's become much more brooding and considerably duller in his abscence.

    • Zoli says:

      I maintain that Angel on Buffy is more plot point than actual character. Maybe it's just because David Boreanz (?) can't act very well, but his constant lurking in shadows and brooding can get a bit trying at times.

      • robin says:

        I think it's that Angel is just The Love Interest. He only functions as a full person when Buffy needs him to be and unless he's a plot device his real point in any given scene is to tell us something about Buffy's hopes/fears/desires. It's like the standard love interest in a lot of action movies…

        • @liliaeth says:

          tbq, V erzrzore V jebgr n enag nobhg gung bapr ba zl yw. abg nobhg Natry va fcrpvsvp, gubhtu V qvq zragvba uvz nf fhpu.

          Ohg ubj gur zbfg vagrerfgvat ybir vagrerfgf, nera'g gubfr gung ner oebhtug va gb or ybir vagrerfg, ohg gubfr jub tnva gung fgnghf nsgre lrnef bs punenpgre qrirybczrag naq fybj tebjgu bs n obaq orgjrra gur punenpgref.

          Vg'f jul gb zr ng yrnfg, gur Fcvxr/Ohssl eryngvbafuvc vf sne zber vagrerfgvat guna gur Ohssl/Natry bar, naq O/N qbrfa'g ernyyl orpbzr rira gur yrnfg ovg vagrerfgvat hagvy Natry tbrf rivy. Ohg rira gung qbrfa'g shyyl fnir uvz. Vg vfa'g hagvy ur trgf uvf bja fubj gung Natry vf nyybjrq gb tebj vagb n shyy syrqtrq punenpgre jvgu uvf bja arrqf naq qrfverf orlbaq Ohssl.

          Va fnvq enag, V zbfgyl sbphfrq ba pbzvp obbx ybir vagrerfgf gubhtu, nf va jul Znel Wnar Jngfba vf fb zhpu zber vagrerfgvat guna obevat nf uryy Tjra Fgnprl, be jul Pngjbzna orgf bhg Ivpxv Inyr rirel fvatyr gvzr.

          Vg'f orpnhfr gurl jrera'g oebhtug va fbyryl gb or ybir vagrerfgf. Gurl unq n cbvag va gur fgbel orfvqr orvat n cevmr sbe gur ureb gb nggnva be va gur zber artngvir frafr, fbzrguvat gb uvaqre gur ureb…

    • hassibah says:

      "Even when he's rescuing people he's still not particularly interesting. Basically, there's only so much being mysterious and showing up unexpectedly will get you when you have no personality to speak of. Unpopular opinion? Eh, probably. "

      Not with me.

      • BradSmith5 says:

        Dang it. Guys. Angel is trying so hard. He got a book and brought it all the way to Giles. And then––then!––he spent the rest of the night working on that broken valve. I'll bet he even waited until the gas cleared so he could start the pilot light again. Someone has to do these things or else the plot would collapse!

    • tzikeh says:

      Maybe I have a wrong conception that the typical mean girl stereotype is caring about nothing but appearance and status,

      When I was in high school (before most of you were born, I believe), all of the girls who would fit into the stereotype of pretty, popular, mean girl were *very* dedicated to doing well in all of their classes, as well as extracurriculars and community involvement, but that may have had more to do with the mindset of where I grew up (wealthy suburb of Manhattan, where everyone is expected to get into an Ivy League school) than anything to do with who is popular and who isn't.

    • WhiteEyedCat says:

      Completely agree about Angel, this is why I never loved him as a character on BtVS the way that I love most other characters. For example, Snyder is a horrible person but a pretty great character.

      Nyfb jul V qvqa'g pner jura ur yrsg gur fubj. Vf gung n fcbvyre fvapr Znex xabjf gung ur jvyy yrnir riraghnyyl gb fgneg uvf bja fubj? Ru, V'yy ebg13 vg naljnl whfg va pnfr.

  29. Maribeth says:

    Don't forget that the High School is on top of a Hell Mouth (so it isn't just bad science… it is bad science made magically delicious!).

    And never ever apologize for talking about being Gay, or being bullied or any of that stuff: the real power of Buffy is that it does cut close to the bone. We all had a hellish time in High School, and a show like this helps you to reflect on it and see it in a new light (and hopefully helps kids watching who are still going through it all).

    I love your reviews!

  30. Smurphy says:

    THIS SHOW IS SO GOOD.

    I LOVE CORDY!

    That was just a really good episode… BUT STILL NOT ENOUGH ANGEL!

    And Mark… here are ALL THE HUGS! Which I will actually be able to give you in two months! EXACTLY! Woo-hoo!

  31. Jessica M.C> says:

    This is actually the first Buffy episode I remember. I used to watch it with my sister, but as i was really little. I was like 3, I didn't remember much. But this one I remembered from back then. Wierd!
    I love this episode because it truly shows Joss ability to write the truth about high school. I think everyone feels alone in high school at one point or another. High school is really hard, socially, And I know that I am really lucky to have a class that is really tightly nit.. I don't think that we really have groups like the jocks or the nerds because there is so few of us, 66 in my class. And My class is also very non-judmental. I know I was really really lucky in my high school experience!! And even with a really great experience, I can relate to everyting Joss writes in Buffy. I wish I could write like him!!
    Mark, I love reading your stuff!!!! Can't wait to read about your reaction to the season finally!!!

    • tactless says:

      I had pretty much the same experiance in High school. (my class was just under twice the size of yours)

      I always get a kick out of how Hollywood sees small schools. One of my first thoughts is "Ha! Your school has got more then one floor! You don't know what a small school is!"

      • Jessica M.C> says:

        I know!! My school is so tiny! Some teachers have to share rooms!!
        I wish I could have gone to Sunnydale High!! My life would be a lot less boring!!!

  32. settlingforhistory says:

    This episode is pretty much my whole school experience. I was never really bullied in high school,
    just ignored.
    After month in class with the same bunch of students almost no one knew my name not even the teachers, I never found a lab partner or someone to compare homework with. At the end of school my class had created something like a yearbook with a picture of the student and what he/she would be remembered for and I was so scared that there would be nothing underneath my picture. When I read "She is a great singer" I was completely shocked, because I had not thought anyone had noticed.
    So yes, I can emphasise with Marcy a lot.

    Anyway, what I love about "Out of Mind, Out of Sight":
    – Angel and Giles interaction, both of them seem so nervous around each other
    – Cordelia staying Cordelia despite character developement
    – Xander knowing stuff
    – Vampire lore: no reflexion, no oxygen
    – flash backs of Xander and Willow's lessons and their inside jokes, nice to know they had a live before
    Buffy πŸ™‚
    – a non magical monster of the week, yay for bad science!

    Love that episode. So EXITE for tomorrow!

  33. enigmaticagentscully says:

    URG sudden awful realisation.

    I've been thinking so much about school in general and how this episode is set at school and all that I didn't realise it ~completely sums up my terrible experience at University~ It's weird, it didn't bother me at all at the time but just now I'm here reading everyone's thoughts on it, the connection occurred to me.
    That was pretty much the worst year of my life and now I guess I can't watch this episode ever again because it's majorly triggering. URG.

    I mean, literally the day I decided to leave University and never come back was when we had a group project…and the people who I was in a group with for the entire of the last week just up and left because they didn't remember me. In a group of six fucking people they didn't even recall there was another person who had worked with them. Then when I went to my lecturer to ask what to do, she didn't remember me either. I swear I've never felt so alone as I did that year and sometimes I did think I might really just disappear.

    AUGH random personal post! Kill it with fire!

    • hassibah says:

      YES I was just going to write a comment about this.
      I never had tons upon tons of friends in middle school and high school, but I always had people around to hang out with and at least a couple that I knew sort-of well, so not being massively popular was no big deal as far as I was concerned.
      University was easily the most isolating time of my life, especially that first year, I don't think I met one new person the entire year besides like occasionally talking to people in class. Profs and tas were just total assholes and really got annoyed if I ever asked them questions(if they answered them at all), just such a bad experience in general. Also one prof who told me he'd decided not to mark my assignments(just mine, nobody else's) because I hadn't been coming to class, when I'd actually been there every week sitting in the middle of the second row. Eventually I found better places to meet people outside of campus, but damn for a while it was so brutal and depressing.

      I also left school for a while and did eventually go back but when I did I opted for a program where the class sizes weren't at a minimum of 500 people. Jesus Christ.
      V pna'g jnvg gvyy jr trg gb Ohssl'f svefg lrne ng pbyyrtr. V xabj gung'f abg n ybg bs crbcyr'f snibhevgr frnfba ohg tbbq tbq pbhyq V eryngr!

    • dasmondschaf says:

      Oh man, that so accurately mirrors my own experience in my freshman year of college, even in a program with a very "summer camp"-esque dorm setting. I would leave my room and just wander around campus until like 3AM just because I couldn't stand to be lonely while surrounded by people. I remember at the end of the year, our dorm had a "most likely to…" type thing, where everyone voted which people would be most likely to do x or y, and I didn't receive a single vote for anything. Combine that with the fact that I was coping with some massive culture shock, and also was questioning my identity as an "intellectual" because I was no longer the smartest person in the room–I wasn't even in the top 50%, probably.

      Thankfully, it got better as I started to reach out to more people, but man was that year ROUGH and so much worse than my (really quite excellent) high school experience.

    • tactless says:

      On the other hand, this episode is proof positive that a lot of other people have gone through the same thing and that, at least in this, you are definitely not alone

    • threerings13 says:

      I was just reading people's posts and had the same thing happen. This wasn't the case in high school, or at my first college, but I transferred to another University in my junior year and ended up not knowing ANYONE, not living on campus, not having friends. I graduated with two actual friends, one of whom I only made in my last semester. I spent all of my time on campus alone. One time this guy from one of my classes started talking to me, and invited me to lunch with him, but it turned out it was for Bible study and he was just proselytizing, which made me feel used.

  34. Partes says:

    Cordelia: People who think their problems are so huge craze me. Like this time I sort of ran over this girl on her bike. It was the most traumatizing event of my life, and she's trying to make it about her leg! Like my pain meant nothing!

    lolling4ever

    Cordelia is yet another person who I couldn't be around for a day without snapping in that irl thing, but I love watching in Buffy. It's like if the wicked witch was hot/fashionable and incredibly petty. It sounds like I hate her but I kind of think she's awesome, in an absurd way, and it was nice to see her vaguely vulnerable side here. Whatever, I'm rambling.

    SPOOKY ANGEL. I found it hilarious how nervous Giles got around Angel, trying to veer the conversation towards books and looking vaguely like he was trying to impress an older, more experienced Watcher. (When you think about it Angel does have more experience in the area of the undead… hurr hurr.)

    But honestly, this is episode is all build up for me. SEASON FINALE TOMORROW.

    This is going to be fun.

  35. Oh man, I still find this episode kind of difficult to watch because I was always (and still am) the kid that would hang around a group and try to laugh and joke to fit in, but got completely ignored. It's like being a stray dog who follows everyone around wagging their tail, but no one wants the dog because it's dirty or something. Cordelia makes the episode a ton of fun though, and this was the first episode where I really started to like Cordelia more as a person and not just a character I could laugh at. Her statement that she'd rather be surrounded by people who pretend to like her without really knowing her because it's better than having no one was actually kind of sad. It made me wonder if we, the audience, actually knew her as well as we thought we did. We see this shallow girl who epitomizes every annoying self-absorbed popular kid we ever met, but we don't know if that's part of an act, where she comes from, what her family life is like, etc. This episode made me really curious to find out more about her when I saw it.

  36. Meltha says:

    I have come to a conclusion: everyone is miserable in high school, including (and sometimes especially) the people who appear to be having the most fun.

  37. stargaterejects says:

    Okay, I'm really annoyed at myself for getting ahead in this show, because I'm on season 3 now and I can't remember these episodes at all, even though I just watched them last week. I AM NOW ON BUFFY HIATUS UNTIL MARK CATCHES UP TO ME. Anyway.

    I was also really excited about the Cordelia character development in this episode! V tbg rira zber rkpvgrq jura fur wbvarq gur tebhc va frnfba gjb, ohg abj V'z nobhg unysjnl guebhtu frnfba guerr naq fur frrzf gb unir gnxra n fgrc onpxjneqf va grezf bs qrirybczrag naq vaibyirzrag va gur fgbel. Pbeqryvn, cyrnfr pbzr onpx, V ybir lbh! *svatref pebffrq*

    Also, I remember fangirl squeeing when I saw Clea DuVall, because I love seeing Heroes actors elsewhere. Heroes was the first show I ever followed and I had basically never even watched TV before then, so it has great sentimental value to me. <3

  38. plaidpants says:

    I'm just going to pretend those FBI agents were from the X-Files division (or Fringe!) and they take care of all the cover up stuff. My new head canon.

    Additionally, I had no idea that there were so few episodes this season til I like last episode, I was scrolling down the netflix page and BAM – only a few episodes left! Guess that means finale style nonsense tomorrow!

  39. fantasylover120 says:

    Every time Mark started talking about wanting more from Cordelia I knew he was going to love this ep.
    This one sort of hits home for me. I was not AS bad as Marcie in high school but I definitely was one of those kids who people just don't notice mostly because I didn't start speaking up more till I was older. I honestly related to Marcie like whoa. At least on the feeling invisible part. The hurting people thing not so much even though I totally understood where her anger came from.
    Personally though, I would love a spin off of Marcie's adventures as an invisible assassin/student.

  40. feminerdist says:

    My reaction was "OMG YES! MORE PRINCIPAL QUARK!"

    I really hope he doesn't get eaten like the last principal, cause I really love Armin Shimmerman, and I want him to be around for a while.

    And I also love Clea Duvall. She's one of those good character actors who's in everything.

  41. Alayne_Stone says:

    I have this ridiculous attachment to Clea Duvall just because she is pretty much the only person I 'knew' for the longest time who shared my name. I felt a ~bond. Also, she was in some great shows!

  42. Appachu says:

    So many chills at Marcie's story. I totally was her in middle school. I was in band, I played the flute, I didn't make any actual friends until halfway through eighth grade, and my yearbooks were full of the "have a great summer"s and I didn't even care because at least there was something. I was a very lonely person before eighth grade and it took me years to even get an inkling that there existed another way of being. And for that reason I will always be grateful to the girl in my PE class who invited me to eat lunch with her group one day, because through them I met some very awesome people who I remained close to once we all started high school and who I am still in touch with today.

    Also, I will unabashedly admit to giggling a bit at Xander's "vampire bat" line. Hello, my name is Appachu and I am addicted to puns.

  43. Inseriousity. says:

    I really like Cordelia's line about being surrounded by people and still feeling completely alone and I use it a lot now. I am lucky in that I have always felt comfortable with myself and actually enjoy my own company and being independent to the point that I often try to avoid making friends because I'm too shy but because I'd also have to compromise a bit of my independence to make the friendship work but that's just me!

    Tbh, I didn't expect you to like cordelia as she does come across as just another bully but this episode proves that actually, she is a lot more complex than that and that 'thank you' at the end of this episode is genuine. I think we all know people who completely change persona when a friend of theirs walks by. It's sad but that's teenage insecurity for you!

  44. @farwell3d says:

    A vampire in love with a Slayer! It's rather poetic! In a maudlin sort of way. What can I, uh… What can I do for you?

    So unprepared. So, so, SO unprepared.

  45. atalantapendrag says:

    V znqr ahzrebhf nggrzcgf gb trg vagb Natry (yvxrq vg ng svefg ohg jnf pehfurq jura gurl bssrq Qblyr, znqr shegure nggrzcgf gb trg vagb vg sbe Jrfyrl naq Fcvxr, ohg vg arire ernyyl pyvpxrq) naq snvyrq, ohg bapr Znex ernyvmrf ubj Pbeqlevssvp vg vf ur zvtug qrpvqr gb jngpu (vs abg Jngpu) vg nsgre nyy.

  46. Raenef_the_5th says:

    One thing though – too bad they didn't have Jesse in the flashbacks.

  47. WhiteEyedCat says:

    I really like this episode, it's very memorable to me, and one that always sticks in my head when I think of BtVS. I love how we get such a sense of who Marcie is when we only get a couple of short scenes with her (before she turned invisible) and in one of them she doesn't even say anything. Then, even though you completely sympathise with her, it doesn't get in the way of having to stop her, because, well, she beat a guy with a bat, pushed Harmony down a large flight of stairs, tried to smother a teacher and slice up Cordelia's face.

    My original thoughts about Cordelia's "Surrounded by people but feeling alone" comment was sort of an eye roll. Sure, sure, you're so alone, nobody understands the deep inner you etc. But after reading Mark's post and some of the above comments I guess the reason I thought that is because I've really never felt that way. I don't get it because I can't really get it. I've sort of experienced the opposite, since all though high school I had a small, but really close group of friends. This is exactly why I love this blog, reading other people's opinions about TV shows and Books that I love really opens up my mind to different interpretations and perspectives.

  48. lyvanna says:

    My favourite part of this episode is probably the whole 'be my deputy!' conversation between Willow and Xander while Buffy looks on feeling left out (as she already was anyway due to Cordelia/the May Queen) – it's just a brief awkward situation that I always seem to be in IRL but I rarely see on TV*. You really get a sense of both the bond that Willow and Xander share from being friends for years and how it can be isolating to Buffy even when Xander and Willow have been great friends to her. Fits well in with the episode's theme of loneliness.

    *(Angel the series spoilers)
    Vg nyfb znxrf zr guvax bs Natry frnfba gjb 'erqrsvavgvba' jurer Pbeqryvn vf gnyxvat naq lnjavat ng gur fnzr gvzr – obgu nqbenoyr naq gehr gb yvsr.

  49. Elexus Calcearius says:

    Ah. Bullying.

    We've spoken a lot about bullying, but I think it needs to be said again what a horrible thing it is. It really gets to you, shakes your faith. For three years I was very badly bullied, and by the people who previously were my friends, but in the context of a new school, decided I wasn't quite their standards. I understood wanting them to like me. I just wanted to feel accepted, and liked.

    Some other students were nice to me, and let me into their group, and I called them my friends, but it didn't feel like it. They were more like colleagues: people who were nice to me, but we weren't invested. Outside school, we didn't share anything in common. My parents were always so baffled that I'd prefer to stay by my computer or read, rather than hang out with them. But it was just too awkward. It felt like they were babysitting me, not hanging out.

    Eventually, I made friends; but it touches upon the aspect of how easy it is for even the victims to ignore or bully others. There was another girl in school (C, we'll call her), who I don't think had any friends. She decided to hang out with our group- I don't know why. But there was nothing in common. She liked none of the same stuff. She didn't understand sarcasm or ironic humour, which was about 60% of the way we communicated. And…we could get mean. I tried not too, but when she doesn't pick up the clues, like us not inviting her places or the "have a nice summer!" in her year book (OH, GOD, so true!), its easy. So I see where the episode is coming from: not even Xander or Willow remembered her. She was that person. I do hope that in later life she was able to find her niche, although preferably not in a school for infiltration.

    Okay…enough moaning on my part. I really liked this episode. I loved how much development Cordelia's getting. Usually, she's the type of character that would remain flat all the way through, existing simply as a foil to Buffy. But they're expanding on their character, and that means so much to me.

    I also liked the 'villain' of the episode: although, I lost all sympathy by the end of it. Being bullied and ignored sucks. Being permanently invisible can't be fun either. That is not reason to attack and nearly kill several people. I understand that she had suffered, and that she was in a very dark state of mind, but still…

    …not that the government looks like its going to help much. Seriously, AWESOME ending. I do hope we learn more about the secret training facility of forgotten teenagers, that is such as cool concept!

  50. 00guera00 says:

    I really related to Cordelia in this episode. Not so much because I was popular (I wasn't, but nor was I unpopular) but because I can really relate to being in a crowd and still feeling lonely. I'm not one really for social interaction, but if you throw me in a group of people I can be outgoing and personable. In high school I had a diverse selection of friends, from jocks to nerds to artists to band geeks to gang members to conservative Christians to goths to rockers and I could go on. I adjusted a bit to each "group" and at the end of the day wondered if anybody (myself included some days) really knew the real me.

    Hell, I liked being invisible some days…put my earphones on, sit in the back and get lost in a good book. I can count the number of my good friends now on my hands with fingers left over, but they're good friends who know the real me and don't mind when I need to go get lost for a few hours and be invisible.

  51. notemily says:

    Clea DuVall was in EVERYTHING in the 90s. I mean, she's still in stuff, but I feel like there was a time when I couldn't watch anything without seeing her. But I'm a Cheerleader, She's All That, The Faculty, Can't Hardly Wait, Girl Interrupted, etc. And I loved Carnivale.

    Aww, Cordelia's bouncy curly hair is so cute.

    Surprise! Cordelia actually does the reading and thinks about it! Although… her thoughts are kind of problematic.

    "It's not her arm I'm looking to be on." Okay, what does that even MEAN?

    MAYBE IT'S A VAMPIRE BAT ahahahaha Don't worry, Xander, I found that hilarious.

    "OW!" "Don't sue." Still love you Snyder.

    [V yvxr guvf rcvfbqr zhpu orggre guna gur bar jurer Ohssl gevrf gb pbzcrgr jvgu Pbeqryvn sbe dhrra bs jungrire qnapr. Be ng yrnfg, V yvxr Ohssl'f nggvghqr n ybg orggre. Va trareny V ernyyl yvxr Ohssl va gurfr rneyl frnfbaf, jura fur fgvyy unf, yvxr, ubcr sbe gur shgher.]

    "Petty for a god"? Come on, have you heard anything about the Greek gods? They are TOTALLY petty.

    OHAI ANGEL!! The reflection thing makes no sense. I mean, the whole vampire concept makes no sense, but seriously, if he has no reflection, how does he get his hair so perfectly spiky all the time?

    Anyway, Angel and Giles discuss ~mysterious books of prophecies about the Slayer!~

    [Pna V whfg fnl gung gurl qb gur jubyr "tbireazrag vaibyirq va gur fhcreangheny" guvat jnl orggre urer guna va nyy bs frnfba sbhe? Vg'f zhpu zber K-svyrfl urer. Gur tbireazrag fubhyq or xrcg nf n funqbjl, zlfgrevbhf cerfrapr. V guvax frnfba sbhe fubjf gbb zhpu bs gur Vavgvngvir sbe vg gb or zlfgrevbhf ng nyy nalzber.]

    Every time a teacher we've never seen before is particularly nice to someone, they end up with an attempt on their life. At least Cordelia's nice teacher didn't actually die!

    Love the ominous shot of the yearbook signatures, and the explanation.

    LOL I don't think that's how quantum mechanics works, Giles. But it's cool.

    WHAT is your shirt, Buffy. Slit up AND down?

    Cordelia has layers and shit. Or maybe she's garlic. (Sorry)

    IT'S A TRAAAAP

    I think if Cordelia's face were really numb she would be talking all weird. I had my mouth numbed for dentist stuff and I couldn't talk properly for a few hours.

    Angel saves the day!

    Weird government dudes! It's the X-Files! How awesome would that crossover be?

    Aaaand peer pressure wins again.

    OMG MARK ALMOST DONE WITH SEASON 1!! OMG SEASON FINALE TOMORROW OMG

    • misterbernie says:

      I don't think that's how quantum mechanics works
      *Magic* quantum mechanics, tyvm.

      Pbeqryvn unf ynlref naq fuvg. Be znlor fur'f tneyvp. (Fbeel)
      Guvf vf gbgnyyl haeryngrq rkprcg sbe gur tneyvp ovg, ohg vg whfg erzvaqrq zr bs ubj tneyvp bayl fubjf hc va gur onpxtebhaq rire. Jul fb yvggyr tneyvp ybir, Nzrevpn?

  52. Noybusiness says:

    Very X-Files ending, no?

    I take it you're going to do a Season 2 Predictions post after the finale?

  53. threerings13 says:

    So, somehow convinced that all my yearbooks somehow all said nothing but "Have a Nice Summer" and I was just too oblivious to notice at the time, I went to check. About half of them are blank, because I didn't get the book in time for it to be signed. But of the others, I'd say the majority of the signatures at least BEGIN with Have a good/great/fun summer. Most of them then go on to say something else. But I'm not sure that the ones that say "Thanks for helping me in class" are actually as comforting as I might have thought. Although enough of them are from actual friends and reference inside jokes to reassure me. I think I also stopped asking people I never interacted with to sign, as the signatures get longer and more personal as the years go on.

  54. bookworm67 says:

    "Jura V guvax nobhg vg, guvf vf gur fnqqrfg rcvfbqr bs Ohssl fb sne"

    pbhtuGUROBQLGUROBQLGUROBQLpbhtu

    D:

  55. CrisA says:

    This episode really gets to me now in a way it never used to. I had a lot of friends in middle school and high school, I really did. We were the oddballs, but we were awesome together. But now I'm 29 years old and can go months without talking to anyone other than store clerks and my mother on the phone. I sort of am Marcie, these days.

    Wow, that's depressing as fuck. Especially since I think I'm too old, too out of shape, and too mentally ill to get into assassin school.

    • RaeBear says:

      wow, whoa, yes, me too — older than you and lonelier than ever — I posted below cuz I didn't see this. {{hugs}}

  56. tactless says:

    I love how this episode is the deep breath before the plunge of the season finale. We got just enough of a tease about the season story arc and a big dose of character development to make us care even more for the leads. I've read from a lot of other threads that some people think these eps before the end are in some way throw away stories, but I disagree. This is the breath of fresh air that lets you scream louder at the end πŸ™‚

    P.S. Tomorrow I am planing to put forth a theory (or maybe a philosophy) concerning Heroic flaws as used in BTVS as a comment here. I will NOT mention any thing that is yet to happen, but some may consider looking at over-arcing character traits as a bit spoiler-y. That being the case I would like Mark's and/or other peoples advice.

    Please

    • tactless says:

      Having reread the second part of this after getting some sleep I realized that I had given up accuracy in favor of being concise. It's really not going to be as impressive as it came off sounding.

  57. msnaddie says:

    Heck, I had friends and yet I still feel lonely at times – sometimes I just feel like isolating myself from friends is a little bit therapeutic. (I don't consider myself popular – there are a set of those "popular people" who seemed to have everything, but I wouldn't trade my life for theirs tbh.)

  58. Wow, super late commenting. Just wanted to say that after I saw this episode, I purposefully avoided writing "Have a nice summer" in people's yearbooks. I mean, I wasn't afraid that anyone would turn invisible, but I really took to heart that those words really meant that you didn't care about that person.

    So if I didn't really care about the person, I would put something like "Have a super bombtastic summer!!" and then draw something random, like a puppy.

    Then they could feel special, even though I barely knew them. I DID IT FOR THEIR OWN GOOD

  59. RaeBear says:

    I've got to post to say that I completely disagree — Cordelia is bright enough to have read or heard about loneliness but she's never felt it imo — in my opinion she's just pulling out a line to get help. She is just saying PC stuff. She doesn't mean it. She is too shallow to mean it. gurer vf npghny punenpgre qrirybczrag sbe ure yngre naq rfcrpvnyyl va Natry ohg abg urer. But this ep builds her into the team of scoobies and that's good because it was strange before this — why is this character around? My high school was so big there was no "in crowd/out crowd" stuff — you had your circle of friends and it was up to you. If you wanted to make yourself miserable and consider that you and your friends were poet-nerds instead of friends, no one would care. Or you could just laugh and enjoy having friends who liked stuff that you liked. I just didn't have drama in high school. Middle school, eh, that was of the evil. It is an adult — the older I get — that life is lonely. I miss my poet-nerd friends. I miss having time for friends. I wonder if you go invisible as an old lady do you get to go to assassin school? ha!

  60. RoseFyre says:

    (Commenting late, since I'm still on catch up – I don't normally bother commenting when I'm late, but I do have stuff to say.)

    I find it interesting how many people in the comments are giving their own version of the "I was lonely and bullied and unpopular in school" story. I've noticed that a lot of people I've met on the internet, through a variety of groups, are people who weren't – and aren't – the "popular" people. We're the outcasts, the ones who never felt quite like they belonged…though, to be fair, no one ever really feels like they totally belong, as Cordelia says in this episode. Or she belongs, but still feels lonely, rather.

    I, too, was unpopular, so I'm with you on understanding the end. I had a friend once say, to my face, "I'm going to make fun of you when I'm with my other friends because none of them like you." And I just took it, because I needed her as a friend, because I didn't have others. I knew it was wrong, but what else was I supposed to do? Be completely alone?

    I think this, really, is what I get out of the "it gets better" movement. Unlike you, I am not gay, but my life got a lot better after elementary school/middle school/high school. It's really a good message for ALL kids, I think. Because kids are cruel, both intentionally and unintentionally, and as we grow up, we learn more about life and how to find our place in the world. There's so much world to explore, and so many people to meet, and for me, life really did get better once I was older and could explore more – and could choose things. I chose the college I went to, which is not something you often get to do with school before that. And while there, I found some wonderful friends. And I choose which internet groups I belong to, and through those, I've found some wonderful friends.

    Part of what makes life suck so much at a young age is NOT having that choice, I think. You're stuck with what your parents choose, and there's no way out. The internet has bad sides (though a demon in the internet is not one of them), but it also has good, and one of those is the communities that are formed through it, and the ability to find people who are like you. The ability to no longer feel so alone.

    On an unrelated note, I also find it amusing how many random one shot characters there are at this school, including rather large amounts of geniuses, jocks, rebels, nerds, popular kids…lots of people. I guess it was easier to hire actors for one or two episodes a lot of the time than to hire them to show up as background characters over and over, but it's just weird to see the discontinuity of everyone but the main characters and a very few of the minor ones. Obviously, they couldn't do this with, like, the Principal – you can't change the Principal every week…unless you kill him every week, but then that would be the entire plot – but you can do it with students.

    Also random, but the more I rewatch, the more I go "Nicholas Brendon, you are not 16." Some of the other actors as well, but him most of the main four. I guess that's the way things are with TV shows that take place in high schools – it's very common in most of the shows I've seen – but it's a bit jarring.

  61. flootzavut says:

    Hee hee I have been reading through these and every comment about Cordelia just made me think of this ep.

    I really feel for Marcie – feeling invisible sucks, and you can understand why she might go of the rails somewhat when it becomes literally true.

    Regarding feeling alone because of secrets… it's not much more than a year since I first told someone In Real Life that I was sexually abused as a kid. After 25 years of sitting on that secret. So… yeah, I get that *hugs on the astral plane*

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