AOQ Review 1-11: "Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight"

8 views
Skip to first unread message

Arbitrar Of Quality

unread,
Jan 21, 2006, 4:42:59 PM1/21/06
to
A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
threads.


BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
Season One, Episode 11: "Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight"
(or "Episode thinks it's invisible")
Writers: Ashley Gable and Thomas A. Swydon; story by Joss Whedon
Director: Reza Badiyi

If I were a Sunnydale High student, I'd now know that both locker
rooms are bad places to be, not just the girls'.

I was considering doing the whole review as a series of random quips to
emphasize the fact that I don't have very many strong opinions about
anything in "Out Of Mind," but let's at least pretend to do a
real review here. This show concerns various people, all of whom tend
to be close to Cordelia, being attacked under mysterious circumstances.
At first it seems like a ghost story, and I was thinking it'd be
cool if the villain were one of the various kids who've been killed
over the course of the year. But eventually Buffy brushes against
what's clearly a person and the story takes shape around an invisible
girl. Maybe I'm more sensitive to it now that a few posters have
mentioned it, but talk about applying your metaphors with an anvil. No
one really noticed this kid... it was like she was INVISIBLE or
something! And now she's INVISIBLE! Get it? I should mention that
the flashbacks are a good device to gradually tell Marcie's story.

Marcie's main target is Cordelia, who never really did anything
malevolent to her, other than the mere crime of being popular and
shallow. This episode is splattered with the stain of the character,
and it wouldn't be an AOQ review unless I complained about her some.
I think I could handle her being a stock character, or being annoying,
or having her intelligence apparently fluctuate from scene to scene, if
she were less predictable. One of the most appealing things about
dialogue in BTVS is that characters turn unexpected phrases and the
viewer never quite knows exactly how someone will frame their next
line. Whereas Cordelia's jokes are all the same. Ooh, she's
rambling about Shylock, I wonder if she'll find some way to
transition into talking about herself? That's her one note, which we
get to hear sounded over and over throughout OOM/S.

There's not a huge amount to say about the tale of Marcie and
Crodelia, but I'll try to wring a few paragraphs out of it. One line
that I appreciated the sort of sums things up comes towards the end,
when Buffy says something to Invisible Girl along the lines of "I was
feeling bad for you, but now I know you're a psycho." This
suggests that the episode is able to draw the necessary line between
sympathizing with Marcie's plight and approving her actions. We do
feel sorry for her, but she loses our approval once she starts acting
out her overwrought fantasies (many teens would imagine beating up
semi-random people and carving up cheerleaders, but very few would
actually do so). Both the "victim" and "villain" are
thoroughly unsympathetic; now the nods to _The Merchant Of Venice_ take
on a new meaning! (Actually, they don't, I'm just trying to keep
myself entertained here.) But then the show lets Marcie off the hook
at the end, so maybe the writers sympathized with her excessively after
all.

Cordelia does contribute one thing to this show: responses from the
characters that we actually care about. I don't understand Buffy's
stammering nervousness in the teaser (it should be clear by now that no
one's going to bat at eye at a girl carrying around pointy crosses,
considering the way this school gets), but the rest of her reactions
are interesting, as someone who could be popular if life didn't get
in the way. I mean, maybe _we_ know that popularity is overrated if
you're not being yourself, but from the perspective of an outcast who
has the looks and poise to be a May Queen (and once was), it looks
different. However flippantly it was meant, Xander's "well, nw you
have us," is not the right thing to say at a time like that,
especially after he and Willow had just been excluding her by giggling
over sixth-grade stories. [Mrs. Quality: "I _hate_ it when people do
that."] I guess that scene is kinda applied with an anvil too when I
think about it, but it works well anyway.

The Slayer's presence also makes it even more impossible to have any
sympathy for Cordy; our hero has been popular, she's been a loser,
and managed not to be intolerable or shallow either way. Actually, if
you have a certain sense of humor, it's funny how the show repeatedly
sets things up for Cordelia to display some sort of depth, and then
keeps backing out. The closet scene is probably the best example;
Buffy is trying to enact the typical moment in which the two realize
how much they actually have in common, but her partner in said scene
steadfastly refuses to play along.

So, Willow really doesn't come off well when Cordelia's around,
does she? That's one thing I don't like so much about her.
([Lemony Snicket]"I don't like" as used here means "I am
discussing a flawed character, not complaining about the show, in case
that was unclear."[/Snicket]) She's either intimidated or envious,
but in any case, think of the scenes in the library. Giles is
planning, Xander is taking constant verbal swipes at the annoying
chick, Buffy is doing some of each, and Willow's just kinda sitting
there. And of course she actually tries to _invite Cordelia to hang
out with them_ at the end. Bad Willow. You're better than that.

Angel makes a few appearances here for the first time in about a month;
it's kinda interesting that he's avoiding Buffy, which I assume
can't last. He and Giles start up a book exchange program, which is
every bit as exciting as it sounds, and he doesn't really have much
to do with things. Yes, some of his scenes do very superficially tie
in with the theme of invisibility, but it's quite the forced
connection. The fact that they're starting up a plot now, though,
does suggest that something big is in the works for the impending
season finale. (Then Angel gets to play hero a little, but the whole
gas-filled room thing seems more like a way to write characters who
aren't Buffy and Cordelia out of the main story.)

The ending comes rather out of nowhere, with the deadpanning
suit-wearing types. I think these characters who seem to shown up at
some point in every TV series (always in pairs) have been used so often
that no one remembers what they were originally a nod to. And by "no
one" I mean "me." The classroom full of invisible books being
opened and such makes for a rather cute sight gag to cap off a largely
forgettable episode.

I think this is the second week in a row where no one dies. The first
nine episodes all had at least one death, save for "Witch." I
don't think the show really needs to be killing people constantly
anyway; save it for when it counts.

Are we meant to buy that a Slayer can be held (however briefly) by
loosely slacking a rope across her?

Giles has a line I enjoyed that incorporates the word "maudlin,"
but I have no recollection of the context. Any of you serial quoters
care to help out?

Shouldn't anyone be thinking about graduation? Or should we just
forget that "Robot" listed Buffy as a senior since her birth date
seems to have changed since then too?

Director Reza Badiyi is the second prominent person (after Shimerman)
in this series who was also working on _Deep Space Nine_. It makes me
with I were watching DS9 instead of writing this. Of course, that show
also had its share of blah episodes during its first season, and look
how good it ended up getting...

I struggled a little with coming up with a rating for this one (the
perils of the five-point scale, I guess)... it doesn't seem right to
imply either that OOM/S is as good as, say, "The Puppet Show," or
that it's as bad as IRYJ. In the end, episodes like this (or
"First Date") that are pleasant enough but fail to thrill are by
definition ranked as "Decent." Shows can be middle-of-the-road for
different reasons.


So....

One-sentence summary: A fairly invisible episode.

AOQ rating: Decent

[Season One ratings so far:
1) "Welcome To The Hellmouth" - Good
2) "The Harvest" - Decent
3) "Witch" - Excellent
4) "Teacher's Pet" - Decent
5) "Never Kill A Boy On The First Date" - Decent
6) "The Pack" - Excellent
7) "Angel" - Good
8) "I Robot... You Jane" - Weak
9) "The Puppet Show" - Decent
10) "Nightmares" - Good
11) "Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight" - Decent]

Mike Zeares

unread,
Jan 21, 2006, 5:03:00 PM1/21/06
to

Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
>
> If I were a Sunnydale High student, I'd now know that both locker
> rooms are bad places to be, not just the girls'.

You'd think they'd figure out that SHS is a bad place to be, period.

[massive snip. I just can't think of anything to add. I never really
cared much about this ep.]

> Giles has a line I enjoyed that incorporates the word "maudlin,"
> but I have no recollection of the context. Any of you serial quoters
> care to help out?

"A vampire in love with a Slayer. It's rather poetic, in a maudlin
sort of way."

> Shouldn't anyone be thinking about graduation? Or should we just
> forget that "Robot" listed Buffy as a senior since her birth date
> seems to have changed since then too?

Yes to forgetting. The date in IRYJ was an error. Buffy was born in
'81, and the characters are sophmores in S1.

>
> One-sentence summary: A fairly invisible episode.
>
> AOQ rating: Decent

Can't argue with that. Like much of S1, it has its moments, but isn't
really anything memorable. Generally, the more prominent the teen
metaphor is to the plot, the weaker the episode is. I think my
favorite part is listening to Cordelia scream (I'm a screamer fan --
Charisma is a good one).

-- Mike Zeares (I swear I'm not stalking you. I just happen to be
online at the same time as you)

Michael Ikeda

unread,
Jan 21, 2006, 5:16:44 PM1/21/06
to
"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in
news:1137879779.0...@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com:

(snipped)

>
> There's not a huge amount to say about the tale of Marcie and
> Crodelia, but I'll try to wring a few paragraphs out of it. One
> line that I appreciated the sort of sums things up comes towards
> the end, when Buffy says something to Invisible Girl along the
> lines of "I was feeling bad for you, but now I know you're a
> psycho." This suggests that the episode is able to draw the
> necessary line between sympathizing with Marcie's plight and
> approving her actions. We do feel sorry for her, but she loses
> our approval once she starts acting out her overwrought
> fantasies (many teens would imagine beating up semi-random
> people and carving up cheerleaders, but very few would actually
> do so). Both the "victim" and "villain" are thoroughly
> unsympathetic; now the nods to _The Merchant Of Venice_ take on
> a new meaning! (Actually, they don't, I'm just trying to keep
> myself entertained here.) But then the show lets Marcie off the
> hook at the end, so maybe the writers sympathized with her
> excessively after all.

Not sure "off the hook" is the right phrase. It's just that
there's a special ops group that thinks she'll be useful. Whether
they're right or not is a separate question.

(snipped)

>
> So, Willow really doesn't come off well when Cordelia's around,
> does she? That's one thing I don't like so much about her.
> ([Lemony Snicket]"I don't like" as used here means "I am
> discussing a flawed character, not complaining about the show,
> in case that was unclear."[/Snicket]) She's either intimidated
> or envious, but in any case, think of the scenes in the library.
> Giles is planning, Xander is taking constant verbal swipes at
> the annoying chick, Buffy is doing some of each, and Willow's
> just kinda sitting there. And of course she actually tries to
> _invite Cordelia to hang out with them_ at the end. Bad Willow.
> You're better than that.

Most people in high school would like to hang out with the popular
crowd. Willow may have mostly accepted her not-popular status but
that doesn't mean she's an exception. Plus, Willow and Cordelia
have a history. A mostly unpleasant history (at least recently),
but still a history. Willow's probably known Cordelia longer than
just about anyone (aside from Xander). And they may even have been
friends when they were young children.

(snipped)

>
> Giles has a line I enjoyed that incorporates the word "maudlin,"
> but I have no recollection of the context. Any of you serial
> quoters care to help out?

The context is that Angel has just surprised Giles in the library.

(From AleXander's Thompson's transcript, punctuation slightly
edited)

Giles: Is that why you're here? To see her?

Angel: I can't. It's, uh... It's too hard for me to be around her.

Giles: A vampire in love with a Slayer. It's rather poetic. In a
maudlin sort of way.

>

> Shouldn't anyone be thinking about graduation? Or should we
> just forget that "Robot" listed Buffy as a senior since her
> birth date seems to have changed since then too?
>

They're all sophomores at this point. The "senior" listing can be
interpreted as Moloch playing with the files. The real reason it's
probably there is as an in-joke reference to the Kristy Swanson
"Buffy" movie, where Buffy is a senior.

(snipped)

--
Michael Ikeda mmi...@erols.com
"Telling a statistician not to use sampling is like telling an
astronomer they can't say there is a moon and stars"
Lynne Billard, past president American Statistical Association

Don Sample

unread,
Jan 21, 2006, 5:23:20 PM1/21/06
to
In article <1137879779.0...@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,

"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:


> Giles has a line I enjoyed that incorporates the word "maudlin,"
> but I have no recollection of the context. Any of you serial quoters
> care to help out?

"A vampire in love with a Slayer. It's rather poetic, in a maudlin sort
of way."


>

> Shouldn't anyone be thinking about graduation? Or should we just
> forget that "Robot" listed Buffy as a senior since her birth date
> seems to have changed since then too?

The records we saw were wrong. Moloch was scrambling them. We were
told in WTTH that Buffy was a sophomore. If you watch the screens you
will see that Buffy's school record even changed between the time that
Moloch first brought it up, and when he showed it to Fritz.


This episode also has a nice nod back to 'The Puppet Show.'

In TPS, after the "Questioning the Witnesses" scene Xander says "*next*
time we do that, someone else has to talk to Cordelia."

In OoM,OoS, we have Xander objecting to his assigned role of doing
research, and asking if he can have Buffy's job. Buffy says she's going
to talk to witnesses, and Xander can take Cordelia. Research suddenly
looks like a much better option to Xander.

--
Quando omni flunkus moritati
Visit the Buffy Body Count at <http://homepage.mac.com/dsample/>

Don Sample

unread,
Jan 21, 2006, 5:38:27 PM1/21/06
to
In article <1137879779.0...@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:

> Whereas Cordelia's jokes are all the same. Ooh, she's
> rambling about Shylock, I wonder if she'll find some way to
> transition into talking about herself? That's her one note, which we
> get to hear sounded over and over throughout OOM/S.

I'd say that this episode adds a second note to Cordelia's character:
She is smart enough that she has figured out Sunnydale Survival Rule #1:

When things get weird, go get Buffy.

Don Sample

unread,
Jan 21, 2006, 5:41:02 PM1/21/06
to
In article <9KednR42Zup...@rcn.net>,
Michael Ikeda <mmi...@erols.com> wrote:

> "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in
> news:1137879779.0...@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com:
>
> (snipped)
>
> >
> > There's not a huge amount to say about the tale of Marcie and
> > Crodelia, but I'll try to wring a few paragraphs out of it. One
> > line that I appreciated the sort of sums things up comes towards
> > the end, when Buffy says something to Invisible Girl along the
> > lines of "I was feeling bad for you, but now I know you're a
> > psycho." This suggests that the episode is able to draw the
> > necessary line between sympathizing with Marcie's plight and
> > approving her actions. We do feel sorry for her, but she loses
> > our approval once she starts acting out her overwrought
> > fantasies (many teens would imagine beating up semi-random
> > people and carving up cheerleaders, but very few would actually
> > do so). Both the "victim" and "villain" are thoroughly
> > unsympathetic; now the nods to _The Merchant Of Venice_ take on
> > a new meaning! (Actually, they don't, I'm just trying to keep
> > myself entertained here.) But then the show lets Marcie off the
> > hook at the end, so maybe the writers sympathized with her
> > excessively after all.
>
> Not sure "off the hook" is the right phrase. It's just that
> there's a special ops group that thinks she'll be useful. Whether
> they're right or not is a separate question.

And since Marcie (and presumably the others) became invisible because
everyone was ignoring her, I figure that this particular black-op
backfired, because now Marcie has got all these people paying attention
to her, so she'll stop being invisible.

kenm47

unread,
Jan 21, 2006, 5:45:44 PM1/21/06
to
<Sigh>

Ken (Brooklyn)

kenm47

unread,
Jan 21, 2006, 6:06:58 PM1/21/06
to
>>>>>I'd say that this episode adds a second note to Cordelia's character:
She is smart enough that she has figured out Sunnydale Survival Rule
#1:

When things get weird, go get Buffy.<<<<<<

There's that. Other things why I like this episode

1. It's really the start of the redemption of Cordelia into a full
person. We get the Cordy-centric jokes, omne of my favorites:

"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."

But later we get her big reveal that makes us the audience actually
care that she's in peril:

"Cordelia: (stops Buffy) 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.
Buffy: Well, if you feel so alone, then why do you work so hard at
being popular?
Cordelia: Well, it beats being alone all by yourself."

Cordy also keeps her head to help Ms. Miller out of that plastic bag
and does express concern.

Lastly, Cordy also shows genuine gratitude at the end to the outsiders,
at least until her buds arrive.

2. It has Clea Duval who went on to do great work in Carnivale - sadly
the writers let her down there (granted this is a new after the fact
reason to like the show)

3. The Giles/Angel Codex chat. First Giles gets to meet Angel and in a
weird way seems to approve of Angel's interactions with Buffy. The
scene also furthers the season arc. Angel gets to save the day.

4. Lots of humor, and/or bittersweet, including Xander's "Vampire Bat"
line. Cordy's explanation why Giles has not seen her in the libraruy
before that: "I have a life."

5. The snarky anti-war theme with Marcie drafted into the invisible
assassination squad.
Note: you might want to "pause" on the chapter Marcie turns to and read
what's there. It's not significant, but it is fun.

Not a favorite of mine, but not worse than Decent Plus to me on the
current scale, a B- would seem a better way of grading it. I thought
clever enough and a nice penultinmate episode to what then seemed
likely to be the next last episode forever. (I knew the season would
end the next episode; I d/n/k then if it had been picked up - d/n hear
on that until after the season was over).

Ah, nostalgia. Still seems an OK ep to me. Besides they needed an
homage to another horror classic.

Ken (Brooklyn)

JJ Karhu

unread,
Jan 22, 2006, 7:39:39 AM1/22/06
to
On 21 Jan 2006 15:06:58 -0800, "kenm47" <ken...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

>5. The snarky anti-war theme with Marcie drafted into the invisible
>assassination squad.
>Note: you might want to "pause" on the chapter Marcie turns to and read
>what's there. It's not significant, but it is fun.

Her "Cool!" makes me think she'll fit right in :)

// JJ

John Briggs

unread,
Jan 22, 2006, 9:29:08 AM1/22/06
to
Don Sample wrote:
> In article <1137879779.0...@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
> "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>> Giles has a line I enjoyed that incorporates the word "maudlin,"
>> but I have no recollection of the context. Any of you serial quoters
>> care to help out?
>
> "A vampire in love with a Slayer. It's rather poetic, in a maudlin
> sort of way."

The early script has "the Slayer" - has anyone got the final script?
--
John Briggs


Don Sample

unread,
Jan 22, 2006, 12:03:50 PM1/22/06
to
In article <UEMAf.5246$Y6....@newsfe3-win.ntli.net>,
"John Briggs" <john.b...@ntlworld.com> wrote:

The published script has "the Slayer."

KenM47

unread,
Jan 22, 2006, 1:36:17 PM1/22/06
to
Don Sample <dsa...@synapse.net> wrote:

>In article <UEMAf.5246$Y6....@newsfe3-win.ntli.net>,
> "John Briggs" <john.b...@ntlworld.com> wrote:
>
>> Don Sample wrote:
>> > In article <1137879779.0...@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
>> > "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:
>> >
>> >
>> >> Giles has a line I enjoyed that incorporates the word "maudlin,"
>> >> but I have no recollection of the context. Any of you serial quoters
>> >> care to help out?
>> >
>> > "A vampire in love with a Slayer. It's rather poetic, in a maudlin
>> > sort of way."
>>
>> The early script has "the Slayer" - has anyone got the final script?
>
>The published script has "the Slayer."

"A" makes more sense IMO. Covers all that went before as well as Buffy

Ken (Brooklyn

Mark Nobles

unread,
Jan 22, 2006, 2:40:04 PM1/22/06
to
kenm47 <ken...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

> But later we get her big reveal that makes us the audience actually
> care that she's in peril:
>
> "Cordelia: (stops Buffy) 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.
> Buffy: Well, if you feel so alone, then why do you work so hard at
> being popular?
> Cordelia: Well, it beats being alone all by yourself."

This is where Cordelia pops out of two-dimensionality into the third.
Before, she was a cardboard villain. After, she is a character.
It also has something to do with the central metaphor of the story,
since even Cordelia feels herself being invisible even while she is the
center of attention.

Without spoiling anything, I want to remind you to remember this
episode when you write your review of "Earshot".

One Bit Shy

unread,
Jan 22, 2006, 10:55:19 PM1/22/06
to
"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
news:1137879779.0...@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...

>A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
> threads.
>
>
> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season One, Episode 11: "Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight"
> (or "Episode thinks it's invisible")
> Writers: Ashley Gable and Thomas A. Swydon; story by Joss Whedon
> Director: Reza Badiyi
<snip>

One note about the show. I'd encourage you to watch it again specifically
to appreciate the cinematography. It's a beautifully filmed episode. Look
at the way it handles Angel's lack of reflection in the glass, for example.

More generally, my observation at this point in your reviews (offered as
gently as I can) is that you really need to work on your suspension of
disbelief. I sense that you are forcing yourself to be too detached to be
able to get the most out of these shows. The trick to this (as in most TV
and film) is to simply accept the premise and experience it within that
framework. Yes, for example, the metaphorical constructs of high school
life are often heavy handed. That's kind of the idea of this season. Don't
worry about it. Just go with it. I can't help but feel that you're too
aware of the superficial structures of the shows to immerse yourself in the
experience of them.

I really do mean this as encouragement to greater enjoyment. I've had a lot
of fun reading through your reviews and the insights of others in response.
(Which I very much appreciate since I haven't visited this group before and
came here looking for thoughts fresh to me.) But to me, the progression of
your reviews has been one of slowly losing contact with the show. You were
much more spot on at the beginning. Still, I hold hope that episode 12 will
draw you back in.

Cheers,
OBS


William George Ferguson

unread,
Jan 23, 2006, 3:06:39 AM1/23/06
to
"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:
>A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
>threads.
>
>
>BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
>Season One, Episode 11: "Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight"
>(or "Episode thinks it's invisible")
>Writers: Ashley Gable and Thomas A. Swydon; story by Joss Whedon
>Director: Reza Badiyi

>Cordelia does contribute one thing to this show: responses from the


>characters that we actually care about. I don't understand Buffy's
>stammering nervousness in the teaser (it should be clear by now that no
>one's going to bat at eye at a girl carrying around pointy crosses,
>considering the way this school gets), but the rest of her reactions
>are interesting, as someone who could be popular if life didn't get
>in the way. I mean, maybe _we_ know that popularity is overrated if
>you're not being yourself, but from the perspective of an outcast who
>has the looks and poise to be a May Queen (and once was), it looks
>different. However flippantly it was meant, Xander's "well, nw you
>have us," is not the right thing to say at a time like that,
>especially after he and Willow had just been excluding her by giggling
>over sixth-grade stories. [Mrs. Quality: "I _hate_ it when people do
>that."] I guess that scene is kinda applied with an anvil too when I
>think about it, but it works well anyway.

The word I've come to use for scenes like that is 'anvilicious'. I will
cheerfully acknowledge that some of them do not work.


>So, Willow really doesn't come off well when Cordelia's around,
>does she? That's one thing I don't like so much about her.
>([Lemony Snicket]"I don't like" as used here means "I am
>discussing a flawed character, not complaining about the show, in case
>that was unclear."[/Snicket]) She's either intimidated or envious,
>but in any case, think of the scenes in the library. Giles is
>planning, Xander is taking constant verbal swipes at the annoying
>chick, Buffy is doing some of each, and Willow's just kinda sitting
>there. And of course she actually tries to _invite Cordelia to hang
>out with them_ at the end. Bad Willow. You're better than that.

But she gets maybe her best snark comment of the series in this episode:

Buffy: "Why would someone want to kill Coredelia?"
Willow: "Because they met her?"

And good of you to pick up the fact that when Willow does some of these
things it's not out of character, it's because she has some basic flaws
(some pretty huge ones). I've said over the years (Willow is my favorite
character on the show) that I love Willow more because of her flaws than
in spite of them.

>I struggled a little with coming up with a rating for this one (the
>perils of the five-point scale, I guess)... it doesn't seem right to
>imply either that OOM/S is as good as, say, "The Puppet Show," or
>that it's as bad as IRYJ. In the end, episodes like this (or
>"First Date") that are pleasant enough but fail to thrill are by
>definition ranked as "Decent." Shows can be middle-of-the-road for
>different reasons.
>
>
>So....
>
>One-sentence summary: A fairly invisible episode.
>
>AOQ rating: Decent
>
>[Season One ratings so far:
>1) "Welcome To The Hellmouth" - Good
>2) "The Harvest" - Decent
>3) "Witch" - Excellent
>4) "Teacher's Pet" - Decent
>5) "Never Kill A Boy On The First Date" - Decent
>6) "The Pack" - Excellent
>7) "Angel" - Good
>8) "I Robot... You Jane" - Weak
>9) "The Puppet Show" - Decent
>10) "Nightmares" - Good
>11) "Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight" - Decent]

And I'll add that your rating is higher than this episode's average rating
over the years.

--
HERBERT
1996 - 1997
Beloved Mascot
Delightful Meal
He fed the Pack
A little

Arbitrar Of Quality

unread,
Jan 23, 2006, 8:52:44 AM1/23/06
to
One Bit Shy wrote:

> More generally, my observation at this point in your reviews (offered as
> gently as I can) is that you really need to work on your suspension of
> disbelief. I sense that you are forcing yourself to be too detached to be
> able to get the most out of these shows. The trick to this (as in most TV
> and film) is to simply accept the premise and experience it within that
> framework. Yes, for example, the metaphorical constructs of high school
> life are often heavy handed. That's kind of the idea of this season. Don't
> worry about it. Just go with it. I can't help but feel that you're too
> aware of the superficial structures of the shows to immerse yourself in the
> experience of them.

And I'll have to disagree as gently as I can. My reviews have a basic
premise that readers have to just grit their teeth and accept too: as
far as my reviews are concerned. I am the sole arbiter of quality. It
is a show's job to entertain me, not my job to adjust my frame of mind.
If an episode of a show fails to entertain me, it is the episode's
fault, not mine. Like it or not, that's the assumption with which I'm
writing.

> I really do mean this as encouragement to greater enjoyment. I've had a lot
> of fun reading through your reviews and the insights of others in response.
> (Which I very much appreciate since I haven't visited this group before and
> came here looking for thoughts fresh to me.) But to me, the progression of
> your reviews has been one of slowly losing contact with the show. You were
> much more spot on at the beginning. Still, I hold hope that episode 12 will
> draw you back in.

I can't see any gradual losing contact either; people have been
suggesting that I worry too much about logic or consistency since "The
Harvest." And i was suitably gushing about the second half of
"Nightmares," I thought, and my still-needs-to-be-edited review for
"Prophecy Girl" is full of suspension of disbelief. My only two
"Excellent" ratings posted thus far (hopefully it won't spoil anything
to say that PG gets that rating too) went to metaphor-heavy shows
"Witch" and "The Pack." So why am I more immersed in those shows and
only have moderate suspension of disblief for "Out of Mind?" It has
nothing to do with the way I watch them. Quite simply, they're _better
episodes_ than OOM/S. That's it.

-AOQ
~add "IMHO" to the above post where appropriate~

rrh...@acme.com

unread,
Jan 24, 2006, 11:40:07 AM1/24/06
to

kenm47 wrote:

> 2. It has Clea Duval who went on to do great work in Carnivale - sadly
> the writers let her down there (granted this is a new after the fact
> reason to like the show)

Carnivale! Thank you! I just watched "But I'm a Cheerleader" and have
been wracking my brain trying to figure out where I had seen Clea
DuVall before. I managed to slide right by "Carnivale" on her imdb
entry, probably because I was looking for a movie rather than a series.
I completely missed the Buffy connection, since I didn't scroll down
to notable TV appearances. There's a moral there.

Richard R. Hershberger

rrh...@acme.com

unread,
Jan 24, 2006, 12:06:43 PM1/24/06
to

Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:

> people have been
> suggesting that I worry too much about logic or consistency since "The
> Harvest."

How important continuity and consistent worldbuilding is to you is very
much an individual response. Personally, I have the happy ability to
adjust my response to the situation. I absolutely adore the
worldbuilding of The Lord of the Rings (the book, that is: not so much
the movies). I am also able to watch Star Trek and not think too much
about how that trick they used last season would sure come in handy
this episode. Buffy comes in between these two extremes: the
characters remember what they did in the past, but if you worry about
inconsistencies you won't have to go looking very far.

I'm not suggesting you don't worry about it. These things are like
fingernails on a chalkboard: some people run screaming out of the
room, while others stand around wondering what the fuss is all about.
I bring this up as a friendly caution: if inconsistencies bother you,
you will have troubles with the show, and these troubles will only
increase as the show goes along.

Richard R. Hershberger

kenm47

unread,
Jan 24, 2006, 1:59:31 PM1/24/06
to
"I'm not suggesting you don't worry about it. These things are like
fingernails on a chalkboard: some people run screaming out of the
room, while others stand around wondering what the fuss is all about.
I bring this up as a friendly caution: if inconsistencies bother you,
you will have troubles with the show, and these troubles will only
increase as the show goes along."

Personally, I think the marvel is that there or not, for the longest
time the writing, drecting and acting were so terrific as to suppress
those concerns. For me, at least.

Ken (Brooklyn)

a2zmom

unread,
Jan 25, 2006, 8:34:29 PM1/25/06
to
Personally, I would go with decent on this one also.

One word about Cordelia - to some extent, she is set up as the mirror
to Buffy. What Buffy could have been (and likely once was) if not for
her calling. We see in WTTH that Buffy is easily accepted by the
populat group - she knows what in and what's out, she dresses up to
date, she's pretty - but Buffy makes a concious decision to reject all
of that.

Marcie could have done that too. I find it hard to believe that she
couldn't have found friends but it was either coolsville or nothing and
as a result it's har to have a lot of sympathy for her.

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages