Saturday, 20 November 2010

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 1, Episode 11 'Out of Mind, Out of Sight'

Marcie doing her Marty McFly impression

Writers: Ashley Gable & Thomas A Swyden (story by Joss Whedon)
Director: Reza Badiyi

What's the sitch?
An invisible force starts attacking people at Sunnydale High: a baseball bat beating, a push down the stairs, a teacher with a plastic bag over the head. At first the gang think a ghost is responsible. But graffiti that turns up near the attack scenes seem to indicate something non-ghostly. Eventually Buffy discovers that a student who nobody remembers called Marcie Ross is the one responsible for the violence. Giles deduces that being ignored by everyone at school and treated as an outsider is what caused Marcie to turn properly invisible and then sent her in to a vengeful fury to punish all those she blames for making her that way.

What's the sitch beneath the sitch?
This is about popularity, fitting in, belonging. And it's about the loneliness, anger and resentment felt by all those left out in the cold.

Who's giving us the wiggins this week?
Marcie Ross: homicidal invisible girl.

Why it rocks
1. The pain of being lonely. It's a worthy metaphor that many can relate to. Being lonely, being ignored, being an outsider and the anger that comes from feeling that way, from feeling that you don't count.

2. Cordy is human. We get to see and hear about the real Cordelia Chase, about her insecurities and why she is how she is.

3. The end. This episode has possibly the best ending of the season as invisible Marcie takes her place in a class room with other invisible kids in a secret government facility to learn assasination skills.

Why it sucks
1. Despite being invisible, Marcie isn't really much of a threat to Buffy. But she does manage to land a few good thumps.

2. Sadly, because Marcie is invisible we don't actually get to see much of Clea DuVall who plays her except in a few brief flashbacks. But she's very good when we do see her.

3. The idea's a good one but the overall story is rather weak and the episode as a whole pretty unmemorable.

4. The boys playing the jocks at the start are terrible actors. Plus they look about thirty.

It's Buftastic
Buffy has to concentrate and use only her amped up slayer hearing to land a hefty whack on Marcie.

Dialogue to die for
Buffy (to Marcie): “You're a thundering loony!”

Giles: "Once again I teeter at the precipice of the generation gap."

And another thing
Clea DuVall who plays Marcie went on to make a name for herself in movies such as Girl, Interrupted, The Faculty and Ghosts of Mars, as well as on TV in the excellent but short lived Carnivale and then later in Heroes.

How many stakes?
I can see right through it. 2 (out of 5)

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