Listening to Fear is an episode where the side plot is more interesting than the main one. The whole alien thing was a bit too sci-fi for Buffy but it worked well and the demon of the week was brilliant; very creepy and disgusting. The two things that keep the episode better than average are the continuation of the Joyce arc and a few classic Anya lines.
The demon summoned from outer space was just a bit out there for me. It was enjoyable but it just didn't feel like it fitted in with the mythology of the show well and felt a bit like a sci-fi hack job. Fortunately, it is mainly believable and not as sci-fi as two certain episodes of "Angel" that just felt completely out of place. I could accept the idea of the space demon and I must admit, it was a pretty cool idea.
The Willow/Tara scene at the start was one of my favourites. I'm a huge fan of theirs- I love their relationship and think they have fantastic chemistry. I liked learning Tara's own versions of star constellations too Willow! Then the meteor crashing down to Earth ruined the moment but it looked good so I can forgive it.
The Queller demon was very interesting and unique; it could have easily been fake and completely unbelievable but the costume looked great and it was quite menacing, what with it following Joyce around. The revelation that Ben was involved in it's summoning was shocking the first time. Not so much these days; there are some things in the show that still shock me but this isn't one of them. Ben annoys me but seeing as he is part of one of my all time favourite villains, Glory, I can forgive it.
The Joyce arc was the real highlight here. I felt it had a really sleepy, monotonous atmosphere around it (a very good thing as it's not supposed to be pulse pounding drama) and I could really feel Buffy's pain here. I love the bit where she breaks down crying when washing up. I felt really bad for her and Dawn also. Some really good scenes.
Anya was hilarious here (as usual!) and one of my all time favourite Anya lines is said here; where she refers to the Queller demon as the "space lamb". Anya is just the awesomest character. I love her so much.
Listening to Fear is a bit out there but for the most part it works. It's not amazing or groundbreaking but it's very enjoyable and a worthy addition to the season. A great episode.