Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 2 Episode 19

I Only Have Eyes For You

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Apr 28, 1998 on The WB



  • Trivia

    • Nitpick: Willow says that Ms. Calendar had lesson plans saved on her computer, but we saw Angel smash it in the episode "Passion".

    • Goof: The snake bite Cordelia has on her face is wrong for the type of snake that bit her. The wound is two puncture holes typical of a large fanged venomous snake such as a rattlesnake. However, the snakes that appeared in the lunchroom were nonvenomous kingsnakes and ratsnakes, which have numerous small teeth, not large fangs. Cordelia's bite wound should have been nothing more than a few tiny holes.

    • Goof: The Scoobies were to light the candles for the spell at midnight. But when they regroup later in the library, the clock says 9:10, but it is still dark.

    • Goof: Notice at the end when Buffy and Angel are kissing (in the wide shot) Buffy is holding Angel at the waist, and then in the next shot she is holding her hand by his neck.

    • Nitpicks: When Giles goes to save Willow from the floor, he runs past the trophy case and when he goes up the stairs you see a snack machine behind him. But when they run out of the school you can see Buffy and Cordelia run past the same trophy case, Giles and Willow run through a door to get near the snack machine, and Xander comes out from somewhere slightly in front (but more beside) it ("it" being the snack machine). Giles and Willow shouldn't have had to run through a door to get to where they were. They were already there. Also, Xander should have been able to hear Willow screaming from where he was.

    • Goof: When the yearbook in Snyder's office falls off the shelf, it lands open. When Buffy reaches down to pick it up, however, it is closed.

    • Goof: After Buffy goes into the wasp-surrounded school, the camera cuts to a reaction shot of Giles and the others. It's a shot taken from an earlier sequence: you can just make out Buffy's legs.

    • Goof: In 1955 James plays "I Only Have Eyes For You" but it's actually The Flamingos' version which was released in 1959.

  • Quotes

    • Willow: So what do we do, Giles? About James?
      Giles: Well, he's obviously reliving the night of the Sadie Hawkins dance, when he killed Ms. Newman. It's common enough for a spirit to do this. To recreate a tragedy.
      Cordelia: Hey! If Sunnydale High School shuts down forever, do we automatically graduate?
      Xander: But why? What does he want? Actually... that's an interesting point.

    • Xander: Something weird is going on. Isn't that our school motto?

    • Giles: He's, he's trying to... resolve whatever issues are keeping him
      in limbo. What exactly those are, I'm not...
      Buffy: He wants forgiveness.
      Giles: Yes. I imagine he does. But when James possesses people, they act out exactly what happened that night. So he's experiencing a form of purgatory instead. I mean, he's doomed to kill his Ms. Newman over and over and over again, and... Forgiveness is impossible.
      Buffy: Good. He doesn't deserve it.
      Giles: To forgive is an act of compassion, Buffy. It's not done because people deserve it. It's done because they need it.
      Buffy: No. James destroyed the one person he loved the most in a moment of blind passion. And that's not something you forgive. No matter why he did what he did. And no matter if he knows now that it was wrong and selfish and stupid, it is just something he's gonna have to live with.
      Xander: He can't live with it, Buff. He's dead.
      (Buffy walks out of the room and into the kitchen)
      Cordelia: Okay. Over identify much?

    • Buffy: Impulsive? Do you remember my ex-boyfriend, the vampire? I slept with him, he lost his soul, and now my boyfriend's gone forever, and the demon that wears his face is killing my friends. The next impulsive decision I make will involve my choice of dentures.

    • Willow: Everything seems normal. Not a snake, not a wasp.
      Cordelia: Yup. School can open tomorrow.
      Xander: Explain to me again how that's a good thing?
      Cordelia: I'm drawing a blank.

    • Willow The only solution is the final solution.
      Xander: Nuke the school? I like that.
      Willow: Not quite. Exorcism.
      Cordelia: Are you crazy? I saw that movie. Even the priest died.

    • Buffy: What do we know?
      Xander: Dog spit is cleaner than human.
      Buffy: Besides that.

    • Giles: I think it's very clear what's happening.
      Xander: Fill me in then. 'Cuz I've read the book, seen the movie, and I'm still fuzzy about what's going on.

    • Spike: It's paradise. Big windows, lovely gardens. It'll be perfect when we want the sunlight to kill us.
      Angelus: You don't like it Spike, hit the stairs and go. Take a stand, man.

    • Xander: I'll have you know I was just accosted by some kind of... locker monster.
      Giles: Loch Ness Monster?
      Buffy: "Locker Monster" is what he said, but it wasn't really a monster. It was, like, this big arm that came out of the locker. But then we opened it again, it was gone. Nothing.
      Giles: Ooh! Sounds like paranormal phenomena!
      Willow: A ghost? Cool!
      Xander: Oh, no, no. No. No cool. This was no wimpy chain rattler. This was "I'm dead as hell and I'm not gonna take it any more."
      Giles: Well, despite the Xander-speak, that's a fairly accurate description of a poltergeist.
      Xander: I defined something? Accurately? Guess I'm done with the book learnin'.

    • Buffy: (as James) You're the only one. The only person I can talk to.
      Angelus: Gosh, Buff. That's really... pathetic.

    • Xander: He killed a person and killed himself. Those are pretty much two of the dumbest things you could do.
      Willow: I know, but... Well, don't you feel kind of bad for them?
      Buffy: Sure I feel lousy. For her. He's a murderer and he should pay for it.
      Willow: With his life?
      Buffy: No, he should be doing sixty years in a prison, breaking rocks and making special friends with Roscoe the Weightlifter.
      Xander: Yikes. The quality of mercy is not Buffy.

    • James: Don't walk away from me bitch!

  • Notes

    • This episode is fourth in Joss Whedon's list of his top ten favorite episodes according to his personal letter included in the Australian Chosen Collection Box-set. However the episodes on this top ten list are not ranked, but rather put in order of which episode aired first, so that does not mean that this is his fourth favourite episode, it is just the fourth episode in air-date order.

    • The idea of ghost lovers possessing people and having forgiveness and a kiss be the key to their passing on was present in The Real Adventures of Johnny Quest episode, "Ghost Quest" in which Johnny and Jessie are both possessed by lovers who killed each other out of jealous rage and cannot forgive each other even after death.

    • The scene where Angelus and Buffy get possesed by the spirits had to be re-shot several times due to Sarah Michelle Gellar. It was the last day of shooting "I Only Have Eyes For You" and SMG had a short break down because she was too tired.

    • This episode originally aired with a public service announcement at the end regarding teen suicide. Co-sponsored by Cedars Sinai Medical Center's TeenLine and the American Association of Suicidology, the PSA was voiced over by Sarah Michelle Gellar.

    • The title of this episode comes from a song which plays in it by The Flamingos.

    • The scene when ghosts Grace and James take over Angelus and Buffy's bodies was originally filmed with Meredith Salenger and Christopher Gorham. This was so that the film could be watched and mimicked by Sarah Michelle Gellar and David Boreanaz when they filmed it.

    • Snyder reveals that he and other adults know that the town is on a Hellmouth.

    • Christopher Gorham later on went on to star on Jake 2.0, a show ran by David Greenwalt for Fall 2003.

    • Brian Reddy reprises his role from "School Hard" as the Police Chief.

    • According to Joss, when Angelus and Buffy are doing the speech, David did such a great job delivering those lines he realized that, "this guy can handle his own show".

    • In this episode the speech between Angelus and Buffy could be looked upon as some sort of spoiler for "Graduation Day part 1 and 2".

    • Guest Star Meredith Salenger's last name was misspelled as 'Salinger' in the opening titles of the episode.

  • Allusions

    • Willow: You came, you saw, you rejected
      Willow is probably referencing the famous quote of Julius Cesar, "Veni, Vidi, Vici" which means I came, I saw, I conquered.

    • Xander: Yikes. The quality of mercy is not Buffy.
      This is a reference to the Shakespeare play The Merchant of Venice. The actual quote, from Act 4, Scene 1 is:
      "The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
      It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
      Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
      It blesseth him that gives and him that takes."
      It is an allusion to how the quality of mercy is a natural and gracious quality and not a legal one and is directly the opposite of compulsion

    • Title: "I Only Have Eyes For You"
      This is a reference to the famous song by Harry Warren and Al Dubin, which has been recorded by Frank Sinatra and many others, most famously by The Flamingos. Art Garfunkel had a hit with it in 1975. It was originally written in 1934 for Dames a show with Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell.

    • Xander: This was, 'I'm dead as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore.'
      This is a reference to the 1976 movie Network in which a news anchor successfully convinces viewers to open their windows and shout "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore."

    • Spike: All hat and no cattle.
      This likely refers to those who wear cowboy hats but are not cowboys.

    • Cordelia: Are you crazy? I saw that movie. Even the priest died.
      Cordy refers to the famous 1973 horror movie The Exorcist.

    • Buffy: Now we're Dr. Laura for the deceased.
      Dr. Laura is Laura Schlessinger a widely know radio show host who offers advice to callers.

    • Xander: A little case of chalkboard Tourettes.
      Tourettes Syndrome is a neurological disorder that compels the sufferer to make sudden outburst of movement or speech. The most sensationalized cases involve shouting obscene or otherwise inappropriate words.

    • Snyder: I'm no stranger to conspiracy. I saw JFK.
      The 1991 Oliver Stone movie about the assassination of president John F Kennedy purports that there was a complex conspiracy involved.

    • Buffy: You just went OJ on your girlfriend.
      In reference to the famed case where OJ Simpson (allegedly) killed his ex-wife.

    • Buffy: You mean the Sadie Hawkins thing?
      A Sadie Hawkins dance is one where the women must ask the men in a reversal of traditional roles. "Sadie Hawkins Day" originally came from the comic strip "Li'l Abner". Every year, they held the Sadie Hawkins Day Race, in which the guys are given a head-start; then, the girls chase after them, and get to "keep" whoever they catch.