An invisible force is attacking the students and teachers at Sunnydale High. Buffy and the gang must find a way to stop this unseen menace, and determine why it seems to be centering its attacks on Cordelia.
Buffy Anne Summers
Alexander 'Xander' Harris
Goof: Just before Harmony falls down the stairs she has a purple backpack slung over her right shoulder, but it is gone when she tumbles down the steps.
Goof: At the very end of the episode as the invisible girl gets taken along a corridor by FBI agents, look towards the top of the screen, you can see a boom mike creep in as the agent says his line, then is withdrawn.
Nitpick: Page 54 of the textbook at the end reads: Chapter 11: Infiltration and Assassination. There is a subheading below it (Case D: Radical Cult Leader as Intended Victim), but the rest of the page is irrelevant. The paragraph begins with "August 2nd, 19xx" and the rest of the page appears to consist of the lyrics to the song "Happiness is a Warm Gun" by The Beatles.
In this episode, Willow wears a white Scooby-Doo t-shirt. Beginning in the episode "What's My Line (1)", the Slayer and her friends start calling themselves "The Scooby Gang" or "The Scoobies".
We learn that vampires have no need for oxygen and cast no reflection.
Goof: When the gang are having lunch, watch Xander's food. First he's eating a sandwich, then he's not, then he's back to the sandwich again.
Nitpick: Buffy says that Marcie, who disappeared six months ago, is the most recent person on the "dead and missing" list. Since this episode deals with the May Queen, it probably takes place in late April or early May. This means that Marcie disappeared in late October or early November. The timeline of this season is not very exact, but it is clear that students have died and/or disappeared more recently than this.
Angel and Giles meet for the first time in this episode.
Goof: When Buffy takes the yearbook from Marcie's "nest," there is a blue post-it sticking out the top of it. Later in the library, the gang is looking at the yearbook and the post-it is gone.
Nitpick: The announcement board outside The Bronze says that the club is closed for fumigation. Since that makes no sense (the dance is to be held there that same evening), this is obviously recycled stock footage from the episode "Angel" (1x07).
Nitpick: When Buffy was trying to get into the closet while Cordelia was being taken, Buffy first tries to push the door. However, you can clearly see the hinges on the door, meaning it would open outwards.
The agents in this episode say they are FBI, but later Marcie is reading about Assassination and Infiltration, clearly learning to be a spy. The CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) is in charge of spying on other countries, while the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) is in charge of investigating crime, not spying on other countries. In fact, the FBI does not even have the right to take Marcie without an arrest warrant.
Most likely, the agents actually belong to some sort of secret, black ops agency (perhaps The Initiative?) and lied about their affiliation.
Goof: In the scene where Buffy and Cordelia are tied to chairs, Cordelia's face wound is a little suspect. Right after the slice is made, her "blood" dries quickly, but in the next shot, the cut is moist again and continuing to drip blood.
Goof: After Buffy frees herself from the chair at the Bronze, she goes over to untie Cordelia. As Buffy is knocked down by Marcie, the rope around Cordy's left hand becomes untied. For the rest of the scene, the rope is tightly tied around Cordy's hand once again.
Goof: When Buffy goes to save Cordelia and falls through the floor, she lands on her back and rolls onto her side. But in the next shot, she is still on her back.
Giles: I'll research all the possibilities, ghosts included. But Xander, if you're not doing anything, would you like to help me?
Xander: What, so there's homework now? When did that happen?
Buffy: It's all part of the glamorous world of vampire slayage.
Xander: Well, what part do you have?
Buffy: Gonna find out what I can about Mitch. This attack wasn't random.
Xander: Well, I want that part.
Buffy: Fine. You can do it. Ask around, talk to his friends. Talk to Cordelia!
Xander: Talk to Cordelia? (to Giles) So, research, huh?
Harmony: Ow! Oh, my ankle! I think it's broken.
Buffy: What happened?
Snyder: (to Buffy) Hey! Who's the principal here? (to Harmony) What happened?
Cordelia: (giving her acceptance speech) Ask not what your school can do for you, ask "Hey! What am I wearing to the Spring Fling?"
Buffy: You guys didn't know Marcie Ross?
Xander: Never met her. Why?
Buffy: 'Cause you both wrote it, too.
Xander: (reading Marcie's yearbook) "Have a nice..." Yeesh!
Willow: Where am I? Oh. "Have a great summer." See, I cared!
Buffy: So you've come to me for help.
Cordelia: Because you're always around when all this weird stuff is happening. And I know you're very strong, and you've got all those weapons... I was kind of hoping you were in a gang.
Buffy: You know what you were saying before? I understand. Somehow it doesn't seem to matter how popular you are when...
Cordelia: You were popular? In what alternate universe?
Buffy: In L.A.. The point is, I did sort of feel like something was missing.
Cordelia: Is that when you became weird and got kicked out?
Buffy: Okay. Can we have the heartfelt talk with a little less talk from you?
Cordelia: Look, um, I didn't get a chance to say anything yesterday with the coronation and everything... but, um, I guess I just wanted to say thank you. All of you.
Xander: That's funny, cause she looks like Cordelia.
Willow: Why is Marcie doing this?
Giles: The loneliness, the constant exile. She has gone mad.
Xander: You think?
Cordelia: 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!
Buffy: Monsters don't usually send messages. It's pretty much crush, kill, destroy. This was different.
Giles: I'd have to say you're right.
Buffy: I love it when he says that!
Cordelia: If I'm not crowned tonight then, then Marcie's won! And that would be bad. She's evil, okay? Way eviler than me!
Giles: You know, I don't recall ever seeing you here before.
Cordelia: Oh no, I have a life.
Giles: How exactly do you propose to hunt someone you can't see? You may have to work on listening to people.
Buffy: Very funny!
Giles: I thought so.
Cordelia: You should have seen him lying there all black and blue. How's that going to look in our Prom pictures? How am I ever going to be able to show them to anyone?
Harmony: Well, they can do wonderful things with airbrushes these days.
Giles: Buffy told me you don't feed from humans anymore.
Angel: Not for a long while.
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.
Xander: I'd give anything to be able to turn invisible! Well, I wouldn't use my power to beat people up, but I'd use my power to protect the girls' locker room.
Willow: (reading Marcie's yearbook) Oh, my God! "Have a nice summer." "Have a nice summer." This girl had no friends at all.
Giles: Uh, once again I teeter at the precipice of the generation gap.
Buffy: "Have a nice summer" is what you write when you have nothing to say.
Xander: It's the kiss of death.
Giles: It's a bit of a puzzle, really. Um, I've never actually heard of anyone attacked by a lone baseball bat before.
Xander: Maybe it's a vampire bat. (everyone just stares at him) I'm alone with that one, huh?
Giles: Of course! I've been investigating the mystical causes of invisibility when I, I should have looked at the quantum mechanical! (off their look) Physics.
Buffy: I think I speak for everyone here when I say, "huh?"
Cordelia: I just love springtime. Me and bright spring fashions!
Mitch: Spring training.
Cordelia: Me at the end of school dance.
Harmony: The end of school.
Cordelia: Definitely my favorite time of year. I am, of course, having my dress specially made. Off the rack gives me hives.
Cordelia: So, are you saying she's invisible because she's so unpopular?
Buffy: That about sums it up.
Cordelia: Bummer for her. It's awful to feel that lonely.
Buffy: Hmm. So you've read something about the feeling?
Cordelia: 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.
Buffy: (to Marcie) Y'know, I really felt sorry for you. You've suffered. There's one thing I really didn't factor into all this. You're a thundering loony!
Cordelia: (to Buffy) I know that you share this feeling that we have for each other, deep down...
Snyder: There are no dead students here... this week.
Giles: There's an... invisible girl terrorizing the school.
Angel: That's not really my area of expertise.
Giles: Nor mine, I'm afraid. It's fascinating, though. By all accounts it's a wonderful power to possess.
Angel: Oh, I don't know. Looking in the mirror everyday and seeing nothing there. It's an overrated pleasure.
Cordelia: This is all about me! Me, me, me!
Xander: Hey! For once, she's right!
This episode marks the first time in the Buffy cannon where the federal government, this case the FBI, is very much aware of the existence of supernatural forces and is attempting to use them. This would later become a major plot point in the fourth season.
Siciliano by Johann Sebastian Bach - Flute melody that Marcie plays
This episode will affect the rest of Cordelia's life as she had her first major encounter with the paranormal, and became more involved with the Slayer and her friends.
This episode is also (erroneously) known as "Invisible Girl."
Cordelia: Ask not what your school can do for you...
Cordelia is paraphrasing a line from President John F. Kennedy's 1961 Inaugural Address.
"And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country."
Visual: (written on the blackboard behind Mrs. Miller) To every man his little cross. Til he dies. And is forgotten.
This comes from Samuel Beckett's play, Waiting for Godot, in which two men wait in vain for the ambiguous title (non)character.
Buffy: It's pretty much "Crush! Kill! Destroy!"
An android killer in the 1960s sci-fi show Lost In Space episode "Revolt of the Androids" pursued the astronauts saying only "Crush! Kill! Destroy!", which Buffy says here, referring to the fact that monsters usually don't communicate ideas.
Cordelia: God, is she really wearing Laura Ashley?
Laura Ashley is a home furnishings and clothing designer that is apparently below Cordelia's high standards. Laura Ashley creations are typically up-scale and often feature floral prints.
Buffy: Gee, it's fun that we're speaking in tongues.
Buffy, not understanding Willow and Xander's inside joke, equates their conversation to the practice of speaking in tongues. Some religious groups believe that those of their number who are divinely inspired will begin to speak in strange languages. Since this usually sounds like gibberish, the term "speaking in tongues" also refers to someone saying something that cannot be made out or understood.
Cordelia: That is such a twinkie defense.
Cordelia is making a reference to Dan White's defense in the murders of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk. Urban legend claims that part of White's defense was temporary insanity, due to the consumption of too much junk food. The term "twinkie defense" has come to mean a specious claim of non responsibility.
In reality, White's lawyers argued that the previously health conscious White was suffering from untreated and spiraling depression, as evidenced by his conversion from a healthy diet to high fat, high sugar foods, such as Twinkies.
The term "twinkie defense" has become a commonly recognized phrase, but it is based on something that never actually occured.
Cordelia: He acts like it's justice, him getting a pound of Antonio's flesh.
Ms. Miller is reading from Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice. In the play, Shylock lends three thousand ducats to Antonio. As a bond, Anontio agrees that if the sum is not repaid, Shylock is entitled to a pound of his flesh.
Shylock's position as an outcast in his society and the class discussion is a fitting background for the story of an outcast/unseen girl.
Cordelia: My eyes are hazel, Helen Keller.
Helen Keller (1880 - 1968) was a world famous author and speaker. Due to a childhood disease, she was left blind and deaf. Her story and that of her tutor, Anne Sullivan, have been told in numerous biographies and movies.
Title: Out of Mind, Out of Sight
A play on the phrase "out of sight, out of mind." The original means not thinking about someone (or something) because it is not around. The twisted phrase, which is the title of the episode, is also a summation of the plot. The girl that no one felt invisible and so became it.
Also, "out of mind" is a reference to insanity, which clearly describes Marcie. This may be a nod to a well-known story of a mistranslation from "out of sight, out of mind" to "invisible, insane."
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