Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Out of Mind, Out of Sight   Rewatch 
February 18, 2015 10:51 PM - Season 1, Episode 11 - Subscribe

When a girl so unpopular she's actually turned invisible wreaks havoc on the school, Buffy and the gang must figure out who she is and what she wants before the bodies start piling up.
posted by yellowbinder (19 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The only note I took for this episode: "Harmony's pants and Cordelia's dress and jacket are all the exact same mint green colour. Ick!"

A fine episode, but nothing exciting. Clea DuVall is great but wasted, barely appearing on screen. I do love the mental image of her working with all that glitter for her final LEARN warning sign. Her plans for Cordelia are gruesome and the invisibility and school dance theme give the climax a nice Carrie feel.

The Angel/Giles scene I've been expecting would be in each of the last few episodes finally turns up here. It's a nice one that will be used in Previously Ons for a while, and does a little groundwork laying regarding the Codex for the finale.

The ending is fun but a little odd, with government(?) agents capturing Marcie and taking her off to assassin school. It's a nice nod to the fact that there's a greater world out there and not everyone is unaware of the supernatural, and some will seek to study or exploit those forces. This is space the show will explore with mixed success in the Initiative arc.
posted by yellowbinder at 11:40 PM on February 18, 2015

I'm always a little curious as to how the FBI manage to turn up so quickly, or are they just monitoring Sunnydale? Buffy's suggestion this has happened before implies there's lots of schools where this has happened. Well. There is another hellmouth in Cleveland.

This is a fine episode, mostly powered by Cordelia. At this point the writers clearly know (if they didn't already) what an asset they have in the character, and he is allowed to be a little human in this episode, while being delightfully mean. There are some bits and pieces of this episode which don't add much for me (the flashbacks feel a bit unecessary) and a couple of logic problems (how did Marcie get them both from the school to the Bronze with no-one noticing. And why is no-one at the Bronze?) but all in all this is mostly enjoyable.


-"There are no dead students. This week." That Synder, always looking on the bright side.
-I love Cordelia's rant about Shylock, and how encouraging the teacher is about it.
-Xander talks about going to the womans locker room. Well the first place we "see" Marcie? The boys locker room
-First "no reflection" shot of Angel
-Angel and Giles conversation is fun, and sets up the next episode.
-Marcie played flute at band camp. She and Willow might get on real well.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 12:13 AM on February 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

I received a copy of the Sunnydale High Yearbook for Christmas ages ago, and my favorite detail is that the back is filled with 'have a nice summer' from everybody. :)
posted by mordax at 1:14 AM on February 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

Haha I have the same one and I made my friends add their own "Have a nice summer."
posted by yellowbinder at 1:25 AM on February 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

I do love this bit:
CORDELIA: What's that feeling?
WILLOW: Nausea?

I don't know, I'm with Willow on the whole Cordelia subject. I understand it's meant to be funny, but for me it's not so much. I don't find the irony delicious, I just find it maddening.

The MiBs are hanging about from early on in the episode if you're paying attention.

And what is it with guys and invisibility? I've asked a number of men what superpower they'd pick and a lot go for invisibility. Seriously overrated if you ask me.

Pergamon/Pergamum was an ancient Greek city. In Revelations, John said it was one of Satan's main hangouts and housed his throne (which was probably an altar to Zeus). It was best known for its temple to Asclepios and, wait for it, its library - apparently second only to Alexandria's.
posted by Athanassiel at 2:20 AM on February 19, 2015

Of all the "the end... OR IS IT?!" endings for Season 1 episodes, this is the one I'm most annoyed at for never being referenced again.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:20 AM on February 19, 2015 [2 favorites]

Clea DuVall is great but wasted, barely appearing on screen

O the irony.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:41 AM on February 19, 2015

I wished that character would return. She was scary, especially in that ending!

Hah, I had a debate with someone recently about invisibility and I pointed out that technically you'd be blind if you were invisible, which would make it really inconvenient and a lot less fun than you think.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:12 AM on February 19, 2015

Joel Rosenberg's Guardians of the Flame series addresses the invisibility/sight thing outright, in the first book I think. They're spelled into invisibility and everything fades out and then there's a separate or companion spell allowing them to see with those transparent retinas. Apparently Marcie's subconscious spell-slinging is equally detailed.
posted by phearlez at 10:18 AM on February 19, 2015

I have positive memories of Guardians of the Flame, but I've been avoiding rereading because I read them in middle school and I've got a sneaking suspicion my opinion of them might fall if I read them now.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:39 PM on February 19, 2015

Oh, and it's really funny to hear Giles and Angel talking about "the Codex". It's like saying, "the Prophecy Book would be really helpful". "The Book?" "Yes, The Book." "Well I might be able to get hold of The Book for you." I can just picture Angel walking into a library saying, "So hey, do you have The Book? No, I don't know the author or the title, it's just The Book! You know, The Boooook."
posted by Athanassiel at 4:39 PM on February 19, 2015 [3 favorites]

It would have been great if Joss had brought Marcie back in one of his subsequent shows as one of those Easter eggs for fans he's fond of. She could have gone to school with Gwen Raiden, or worked for/tried to bring down the Dollhouse, or been an agent, or something.

Sometimes I am so grateful that a student has actually done the reading for my class and is showing some kind of passion that I might let them go on a bit like Cordelia's Shylock rant and try to respond diplomatically. I feel for that teacher. I mean, even before she was almost murdered.

"The guy with antlers on his belt!" "Be my Deputy!" (I enjoy unexplained private jokes between Willow and Xander; a nice reminder that the characters had lives before all of this. Though, it being Sunnydale, I'm surprised the guy didn't just have antlers.) I'm watching Angel right now, so I enjoy that they make up that Mitch's dad is a lawyer nicknamed "The Beast."

"Thundering loony" is a great insult. Very Pythonesque.
posted by ilana at 11:12 PM on February 19, 2015

"The guy with antlers on his belt!" "Be my Deputy!" (I enjoy unexplained private jokes between Willow and Xander; a nice reminder that the characters had lives before all of this. Though, it being Sunnydale, I'm surprised the guy didn't just have antlers.)

Yeah I loved that bit, I agree that its lovely that the show doesn't forget that Xander and Willow have a shared history that no-one else on the show has. And the show is pretty consistent about remembering that, even at the finale to Season 6.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 11:59 PM on February 19, 2015

Ah, the one where we finally see Cordy's sympathetic side. I forget how long it takes before she becomes a fully-deputized member of the gang, but it'll be interesting to track that as we go on. I appreciate how the series develops her as Buffy's shadow self, still full of the false consciousness of May Queen politics, and not yet awakened to Sunnydale's true nature.

After a couple of episodes of somewhat less specific horror, it's nice to see that they're back to what the show does best: Finding apt genre metaphors for teen issues. Sid the dummy and the nightmare-coma boy were fun, but I don't know that either of them are as immediately relatable as Marcie. The juxtaposition of her story against Buffy's dawning realization that she misses being popular makes it all more personal. The staging of the final confrontation has Cordy/Marcie/Buffy forming a trinity of Queen Bee, Wanna Be, and Used To Be, illustrating the cycle of teen popularity in microcosm.

I suspect that this episode may have arisen from budgetary necessity, since having an unseen villain means zero expensive makeup or CGI; I don't think Angel even goes into vampface for this one. For all intents and purposes this is as close as the series comes to being just a normal high school show, give or take a few stunts like Harmony going down the steps.

Speaking of which, I think this is also the first episode where Harmony is specifically foregrounded in Cordy's clique. Mercedes McNab is definitely one of the show's undersung utility players, reliably funny and always an equal player with whoever she's paired with for a scene.
posted by Strange Interlude at 4:23 PM on February 20, 2015

Marcie's ending always bothered me. Nobody can see all these invisible kids/assassin trainees so how could you watch them? There should have been special glasses or special glitter you could cover them with. (I realize I'm arguing believability on a show about vampires.)
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 6:22 PM on February 22, 2015

The real thing that bothers me about that final scene is how did she know which seat to take?
posted by yellowbinder at 6:53 PM on February 22, 2015 [5 favorites]

I like to think the invisible people can see each other and thus she now has a community.
posted by phearlez at 6:48 AM on February 23, 2015 [3 favorites]

Of all the "the end... OR IS IT?!" endings for Season 1 episodes, this is the one I'm most annoyed at for never being referenced again.

I'm pretty certain the assassin school teacher at the end is the same as River's teacher from the beginning of Serenity, so take that as your crazy-ass pay-off if you want.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:46 PM on October 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

-"There are no dead students. This week." That Synder, always looking on the bright side.
Love that line.

Also -
Harmony (after falling down the stairs): Ow!
Snyder: Don't sue.
posted by bunderful at 3:53 PM on January 2, 2016

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