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24 September 2015 @ 01:52 pm
The One That Got Pulled AKA Earshot  
This is a good episode, even though it's pretty much running around the houses waiting for the Mayor to actually ascend already!

Buffy has an encounter with a demon...

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....which, unbeknownst to her, infects her with 'aspect of the demon', which turns out to be telepathy.

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That's why the demons don't have mouths, Giles opines. Weird. Don't they need to eat?

Anyway, much wackiness ensues, firstly while Buffy frets about what aspect of the demon she's been infected with.

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Willow doesn't help by suggesting it could have been a boy demon.

Also by, along with Xander and Oz, being very distracted by the pep rally (that's the right term, isn't it?) for the school football team.

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Never mind, though.

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Angel - with whom Buffy is still somewhat on the outs, due to the Faith-kissing incident - assures Buffy he'd still love her even if she was covered in slime.

He doesn't have to prove it, though, since Buffy is only infected with telepathy.

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Mind you, it may feel to Buffy that slime is involved when she finds herself listening in to various teenage boys' trains of thought. Mostly in the gutter.

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Xander (who, throughout the second half of the episode, is wearing the most horrible shirt imaginable. Seriously, it looks like pizza), turns out to be no different, despite his best efforts to prevent Buffy realising he thinks about sex (including sex with her) a lot.

Other secrets also come out.

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Mr Beach, one of the teachers, wishes all the students would disappear.

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Nancy, a very competitive girl who we never see again, is vastly irritated by Buffy outdoing her in class (though Buffy was cheating and reading the teacher's thoughts).

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Freddy Munson, editor of the school newspaper (who we also never see again), is a cynic who thinks school activities - especially cheerleading - are pointless.

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Cordelia thinks exactly what she says (which we already knew).

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Joyce had sex with Giles on the hood of a police car, twice, (and no, Buffy doesn't seem impressed by the whole 'we were teenagers' excuse),

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and someone wants to kill all the students.

Also, rather conveniently,

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telepathy doesn't work on vampires. Angel does, however, assure Buffy that she's the only thing he's ever loved in 243 years. Aww!

More wackiness then ensues while Buffy is temporarily incapacitated due to excess telepathy,

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and Wesley, Giles and Angel search for a cure,

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as the gang interrogate various suspects, which include,

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Mr Beach (not guilty),

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Jonathan, because he was in the school cafeteria when Buffy overheard the murderous thoughts (ultimately not guilty except of stupidity in planning to commit suicide with a hunting rifle. What's wrong with a handgun?),

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these three girls (not even suspects),

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Nancy (not guilty),

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Larry (also not guilty, and apparently only a suspect because he's gay and therefore can be presumed to be tortured and full of resentment which makes him want to kill people, cue hilarious misunderstandings when Larry assumes Xander's line of questioning is based on Xander's own closetedness),

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and Freddy (despite suspicious behaviour, also not guilty except of writing bad reviews - and given the clunky old office equipment he's stuck with, who can blame him?).

In the end, the would-be murderer turns out to be,

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the lunch lady, who - perhaps not surprisingly, is sick to death of cooking and serving food to ungrateful school children. I do think she might have tried a less fatal method of expressing her disgust, though.

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So does Buffy.

And all the detective-ing and wearing of stupid hats by Willow...

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(evidence)

...isn't wasted, as because of it, Buffy finds Jonathan in time and stops him killing himself.

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Have to say, I'm not entirely convinced by Buffy's 'everyone is lonely and miserable, no matter how pretty/popular they are' argument. But she does have a point. And even if she didn't, Jonathan blowing his own brains out (if he'd succeeded, which strikes me as dubious given his choice of weapon) wouldn't have solved anything.

This episode was pulled from the schedules when it first aired, because of the Columbine High School massacre. I can quite see why. It would have seemed way too on the nose, and a couple of lines - notably Oz's comment about people getting gunned down at American high schools being 'bordering on trendy' would have seemed in very bad taste. They sorta kinda still do seem in very bad taste, but not talking about it, of course, is not going to make it stop.

Best lines:
GILES
Good to see you've emerged from
your psychic adventure more or less
intact. Feel up to some training?
BUFFY
Sure. We can work out after school.
You know, if you're not too busy
HAVING SEX WITH MY MOTHER!

Sadly, there's no screencap of Giles walking into the tree.

Thoughts, anyone?
 
 
 
Ruugerruuger on September 24th, 2015 02:36 pm (UTC)
This is probably the one episode of Buffy I have seen most often because my sister and I used to have a tradition to watch bunch of Buffy episodes every Halloween, and somehow we always end up watching "Eartshot". At first it was because we only had about five episodes on VHS, and it was the best one of the bunch, but even after I got the DVDs "Earshot" somehow always crept into the selection. Every year we'd swear we wouldn't watch "Earshot" again and every year we'd watch it anyway :D

It has some great comedy moments, though, that continue to be funny no matter how many times you've watched it ;) I love the scene where the cook is caught putting rat poison into the food, and all the mind reading bits.
Shapinglight: Homecoming Buffyshapinglight on September 24th, 2015 06:23 pm (UTC)
It is a very funny episode somehow, despite the dark, dark subject matter.

I think my favourite moment has to be Giles walking into the tree at the end.
Sandysandy_s on September 24th, 2015 03:38 pm (UTC)
I actually think this whole episode is very helpful in showing that what you think about people from the outside isn't necessarily how they are on the inside...and just because you think/feel something doesn't mean you're going to act on it. It's a nice ep to show that we're not as alone as we think we are sometimes.
Shapinglight: Buffy and Willowshapinglight on September 24th, 2015 06:24 pm (UTC)
This is true, and Buffy's words here are kind of illustrated a couple of episodes later when the graduating class - most of whom she doesn't know and who don't seem to want to know her - turn out to have been aware of her and what she was doing for them all along.

Hidden depths. ;)
Kiki May: Buffy and Willowkikimay on September 24th, 2015 06:10 pm (UTC)
A filler after all but it does have some great comedy moments like Buffy reading Oz's mind or Xander discovering the lady while she was trying to poison everybody. That was iconic XD

Also a bunch of Bangel moments to remind us that THEIR WUV IS TRU WUV.

Btw, did anybody else how cute is Willow during these episodes? Okay, she always wears some crazy stuff, but I love her make-up and hair and Aly has the prettiest face.
Shapinglight: Homecoming Buffyshapinglight on September 24th, 2015 06:27 pm (UTC)
I don't know if filler is really the right word. None of the season 3 standalones are really filler. In fact, at times, it feels like the arc episodes are the filler ones. Odd.

Also a bunch of Bangel moments to remind us that THEIR WUV IS TRU WUV.

I think the Bangel stuff is being laid on extra thick at this point in order to squeeze maximum angst out of the breakup a couple of episodes later.

I'm really not a fan of Willow's clothes, I'm afraid, but they do suit her character, and Aly is very pretty.
Ruuger: Giles - librarianruuger on September 24th, 2015 09:17 pm (UTC)
In fact, at times, it feels like the arc episodes are the filler ones.

I've never really thought about it that way, but you're right. The main arc does sometimes feel very padded and drawn out, like they were trying to squeeze as much out of it as possible. It's not nearly as bad in S3 as it is in S5, however, where you could leave out half of the arc episodes without losing any of the story.
Shapinglight: Buffy and Willowshapinglight on September 25th, 2015 03:25 pm (UTC)
Yes, the show never really seemed to find the right balance. In season 2, you have a great season arc constantly interrupted by sub-par MotW episodes. In season 3, you have a sub par season arc (albeit with a very fun villain) constantly interrupted by great MotW eps. In later seasons, everything just seems to get muddled up together. I'm not sure I agree about season 5. I think it would have been quite difficult to ditch any of the episodes, because there aren't really any standalones as such (maybe The Replacement, but that's such a fun episode). There's something contributing to one arc or another - either the season long plot, which again is a bit lacklustre - or individual characters' arcs in every single episode. In season 2, you could have ditched all the MotW eps and I don't think anyone would have missed them.
velvetwhip: Joyce Hair Pornvelvetwhip on September 24th, 2015 09:07 pm (UTC)
I have to admit to being totally underwhelmed by Buffy's speech to Jonathan. I loathe him as a character, but on principle I have to feel for him here. Suicidal kids deserve a more compassionate pep talk. Other than that, though, I adore this episode (and I have to stand up for Willow's apparel because I think it's adorkable). There is, however, no excuse for Xander's shirt.

Also, Joyce should have been allowed to have lots more wild sex.


Gabrielle
Trepkostrepkos on September 25th, 2015 07:50 am (UTC)
I guess her speech wasn't very kind, but then, at that point, she thought he was going to kill a bunch of people, not himself, didn't she? She did seem a bit up herself though!
Shapinglight: Homecoming Buffyshapinglight on September 25th, 2015 03:29 pm (UTC)
There is, however, no excuse for Xander's shirt.

No, it honestly looks like that pizza with the green stuff on it.

I don't dislike Jonathan. He's stupid, but lots of people are in Sunnydale. It's probably something in the water. ;) Buffy's speech is pretty underwhelming, though. 'Course, as trepkos points out, at that point she still thought Jonathan planned to kill other people, not himself (and with a gun like that, who can blame her?)

Also, Joyce should have been allowed to have lots more wild sex.

I agree. :)
Danna: Fool for Lovechasingdemons on September 25th, 2015 04:34 am (UTC)
I find that I don't have much to say about this episode. I didn't love it and I didn't hate it. It was nice to see Angel do something productive, though.
Shapinglight: Buffy and Willowshapinglight on September 25th, 2015 03:32 pm (UTC)
Yes, he was very proactive in this one. I still don't find I have a lot to say about him, though, beyond being slightly miffed with him for Darla's sake.
Trepkostrepkos on September 25th, 2015 07:51 am (UTC)
I love the inside of Oz's head!
Shapinglight: Homecoming Buffyshapinglight on September 25th, 2015 03:32 pm (UTC)
It's a very zen place. ;)
Butterflysnogged on September 25th, 2015 12:24 pm (UTC)
I agree that there's no excuse for Xander's shirt or Willow's yellow hat.

I do appreciate that this episode exists. Not only does it give us insight into other characters in the school, but it also touches on a culture where school shootings/suicides are surprisingly common and sad. I'm glad Buffy is able to stop Jonathan, even if her speech wasn't exactly accurate.
Shapinglight: Buffy and Willowshapinglight on September 25th, 2015 03:34 pm (UTC)
I agree that there's no excuse for Xander's shirt or Willow's yellow hat.

Some people like the hat, but I think the verdict on the shirt is unanimous. ;)

Not only does it give us insight into other characters in the school, but it also touches on a culture where school shootings/suicides are surprisingly common and sad.

I do like it when we get a chance to see Buffy and her friends as part of the wider school community. That's an aspect of the show I miss once we get to season 5.