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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Episode Guide

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 1, Episode 11: Out of Mind, Out of Sight

by Helen

            Cordelia is walking down the halls of Sunnydale High with her boyfriend and Harmony. They are excited about the upcoming May Queen Competition which Cordelia is probably going to win. Their conversation is interrupted when Buffy rushes out of the library and runs into them. Her bag spills and medieval-looking weapons scatter all over the floor. Buffy explains it away as a history project, but Cordy and friends aren’t really interested. They’re too busy mocking her. They walk away leaving a downcast Buffy sitting on the floor trying to clean up.

            That day in English the class discusses the literary theme of angry outcasts. Cordelia thinks that those who whine about being misunderstood or looked down upon are completely self-involved, giving an example where she comes off as pretty self-involved herself. After class Cordelia stops to ask Ms. Miller, their English teacher, for extra help. Ms. Miller is pleased that Cordy is involved in the class and agrees to go over her paper the next day after school. Going into the hall, Cordy meets up with Harmony to tell her that her dress for the May Queen dance is ready. Cordy thinks her boyfriend, Mitch, is going to like it. “It’s so great,” she announces. “Mitch is going to die.”

            Mitch meanwhile is getting dressed in the locker room. He thinks he’s alone until he hears a girl giggling creepily. He reaches for his baseball bat but before he can grab it an invisible force picks it up and begins viciously beating him with it, giggling the whole time.

            Cordelia walks through the halls handing out chocolates with a big “C” stamped on them, reminding people to vote for her for May Queen. When she gets to Buffy’s locker she starts to hand her a chocolate and then pulls backs saying that she doesn’t need the loony fringe vote. Buffy is again feeling dejected when Willow and Xander walk up and begin mocking Cordelia. Soon their conversation turns to their younger days, before Buffy knew them. Then Xander starts making fun of people who would want to be something like May Queen. Buffy tells him she was the equivalent of May Queen at her old school. The look on her face indicates she misses that kind of life. Xander feels bad but before long Buffy is left outside the conversation once again. Suddenly a guy runs down the hall shouting that Mitch has been attacked.

            Soon paramedics bring a conscious but badly injured Mitch out on a gurney. Buffy runs up to him and asks what happened. He tells her and Buffy heads for the locker room to get a look at the crime scene. She’s intercepted by Principal Snyder, who is still suspicious of her and the way she is always around when bad things happen. Willow and Xander pull Snyder’s attention away from Buffy, allowing her to sneak into the boy’s locker room. There she finds the word “LOOK” written in red spray paint across a row of lockers

            Buffy consults with the gang in the cafeteria during lunch. They decide the most likely suspects are a person with telekinetic powers, an invisible creature, or a poltergeist. The group divides up the work of the investigation. Willow is to look up dead or missing students, Buffy is to talk to Mitch’s friends and Xander is to help Giles research.

            Harmony finds Cordelia on the second floor balcony of the courtyard. They start talking about Mitch. A flashback shows Harmony and Cordelia on the same balcony gossiping about Mitch earlier in the year. The girl from whom’s perspective this is being seen walks up to the two of them and says hello. They answer disparagingly. Back in the present Buffy comes out onto the balcony and asks Cordy if she can talk to her. Cordy is annoyed but before she can answer a force hits Harmony in the stomach, knocking her down a long flight of stairs. People gather around her, including Snyder. He asks what happened and Cordy says that Harmony fell, though Harmony insists that someone pushed her. A girl’s creepy giggling floats through the air, but everyone is too busy with Harmony to notice, everyone except Buffy who follows the laughter into the darkened band room. She slams into someone but as far as she can see no one is standing there. Then she hears footsteps and noises. Suddenly the noises stop. Above her head a missing ceiling tile fits back into place, but she doesn’t see this and leaves.

            The gang talks in front of the school, not noticing two men in dark suits lurking by the trees. Buffy asks what it’s like to walk into a ghost and Giles tells her they’re amorphous so they go right through you. Buffy tells him that she ran into their perpetrator but she was solid. They decide it must not be a ghost but a girl with the ability to become invisible. They figure that this girl must have something against Cordelia since she’s attacking all of her friends. Buffy decides to patrol the school that night because Cordelia is staying after to work on her May Queen dress. Giles wants to know how Buffy is going to hunt someone she can’t see and teases her that she might actually have to start listening to people.

            That night, Buffy peaks into the room where Cordelia is trying on her dress for all of her friends. The room looks warm and everyone in it is smiling and laughing. Buffy, standing alone in the dark hallway, is at first pleased by what she sees but then grows sad, no doubt reminiscing about when her life was more like that. Suddenly melancholy flute music fills the hall. In the library, Giles also hears the music but it stops suddenly. Then he hears a door creak. Looking around he faces a glass cabinet where he sees his own reflection. He turns to find Angel standing right next to him. Angel’s lack of reflection reminds Giles that Angel is a vampire, albeit a vampire who doesn’t feed on humans. Giles asks Angel if he’s come to see Buffy but Angel insists it’s too hard causing Giles to comment on the irony of a vampire being in love with a vampire slayer. Angel has instead come to warn Giles that The Master has set something in motion and to ask how Giles’ research into The Master is coming along. Giles says he’s read all the Slayer lore but the best volumes of Slayer prophecy have been lost. Angel tells him one, The Codex, hasn’t been. Angel knows where it is and he can get it. Giles is very pleased by this and the conversation turns to talk of the current case. Angel tells Giles he doesn’t know much about invisibility and Giles says he doesn’t either but by all reports it’s an excellent power to have. Angel disagrees. He thinks looking into the mirror everyday and seeing nothing there is an overrated pleasure. As he says this he stares at the glass cabinet; so does Giles. Only Giles’ reflection stares back.

            In another flashback a girl stands alone in a bathroom. Cordelia and her friends come in and surround her. They are gossiping about a particularly bad teacher. The girl tries to join in but they won’t let her. Cordy repeats what the girl has just said, and the minute it comes out of Cordy’s mouth, all her friends find it extremely funny. The group moves on leaving the girl standing alone, clearly upset by the incident.

            In the present, Cordy wins the May Queen title and immediately proceeds to give a long speech in the school courtyard. Buffy watches from a distance to make sure nothing happens to her. Xander and Willow find Buffy and present her with the list of missing and dead kids of Sunnydale along with their school files. Willow notices the two creepy men from the day before watching Cordelia and assumes that Cordy has hired private security. Buffy looks through the list and is interested by the latest case. A girl named Marcie Ross went missing six months ago. She was in the band and played flute. She seems to fit with the evidence so far. Neither Xander nor Willow knew Marcie, so Buffy heads back to the band room to investigate. There various clues lead her to a small living area set up in a crawl-space in the ceiling. Sitting on a makeshift bed is flute and yearbook with Marcie Ross’ name in it. Buffy is so busy examining everything she doesn’t hear the heavy breathing behind her or see the free-floating knife poised at her neck. At the last moment the knife drops and the breathing gets less tense. Buffy crawls out of the ceiling unharmed, taking Marcie’s yearbook with her.

            That day after school, Ms. Miller is sitting at her desk when she hears footsteps. Then she hears a girl giggling. Suddenly a plastic bag goes over her head and is pulled tight. She starts suffocating. Cordelia shows up to her extra-help session to find Ms. Miller half-unconscious with the bag still over her head. Cordy takes it off of her and Ms. Miller begins to breathe again, saying she was attacked. Suddenly disembodied chalk starts writing on the chalkboard. It spells out the word “LISTEN.”

            Buffy meets with the gang in the library and shows them Marcie’s yearbook. Every single person who signed it wrote “Have a nice summer,” and nothing else. The kids explain to Giles that that’s what you write when you have nothing to say to a person. If that’s all people put then she must have had no friends. Buffy asks Xander and Willow if they’re sure they hadn’t met her. They’re sure. Buffy points out that they both signed her yearbook. Willow is shocked and checks Marcie’s file. Xander and Willow both had four classes with her the year before. Apparently absolutely no one noticed this girl and now she’s invisible. This reminds Giles of an idea in physics that reality only exists because we perceive it. Combine this idea with the magic that the Hellmouth spews all over the area and it’s perfectly possible that Marcie became invisible because everyone perceived her as invisible. 

            Another flashback shows Ms. Miller asking the class a question. Several people, including the girl Cordy’s group ignored in the bathroom, raise their hands. Ms. Miller calls on Cordelia, then Willow, then Xander. She continues asking questions and continues calling on people for answers. The girl keeps raising her hand but Ms. Miller so much as glances at her. Frustrated, she looks at her hand as though to make sure it’s really there and to her horror realizes that it is becoming translucent.

            Back in the present Buffy is realizing that Marcie’s invisibility isn’t some great power that she has but something that was done to her. Now the gang understands why she is angry. They also realize that their theory about Cordelia was right. The yearbook has a page featuring a large picture of Cordelia and Marcie has drawn angrily over it, giving Cordelia a crown and scribbling all over her face. Just then Cordelia rushes in asking Buffy for help. She’s more observant than the gang would have thought. She insists that the attacks are all about her and for once she is right. She’s also noticed that Buffy is very strong and always present when weird things happen and the owner of many weapons. Buffy tells her what’s going on and shows her Marcie’s yearbook picture. Marcie is indeed the girl featured in all the flashbacks, but Cordy insists that she’s never seen Marcie before in her life. Marcie meanwhile is up in her crawlspace mumbling angrily to herself about Cordy. She seems to be getting ready for another attack. This time she pulls out rope. Back in the library, Cordy has told the gang what happened to Ms. Miller and they decide that Marcie is upset about the May Queen thing and is sending a message to Cordelia. The safest plan is to keep Cordy away from her coronation at the Bronze that night but Cordy refuses to go along with it. She insists that if she isn’t crowned May Queen then Marcie’s won. Buffy agrees and points out that continuing with the May Queen activities will be the best way to draw Marcie out. Giles, Xander and Willow hit the books again, while Buffy goes with Cordy to put on her dress. What none of them realize is that Marcie is watching and listening to them. Cordelia mentions how terrible it would be to be as lonely as Marcie must have been. Buffy snidely comments that Cordy doesn’t know anything about being lonely but Cordy insists that’s not true. Again showing she is more observant than she lets on, she points out that many of her friends only hang out with her so they can be popular too. None of them really know her and she’s not sure if they even like her. Buffy asks why she works so hard at being popular if that’s true and Cordy responds that’s better to be lonely and surrounded by people than to be lonely all by yourself.

            Back in the library the gang hears flute music again. They decide that maybe they can reason with Marcie and follow the sound of the music. Buffy meanwhile finds a safe-looking mop closet for Cordelia to change in. Giles, Xander and Willow follow the music into a back room of the basement, where they find it is coming from a boom box. They realize it’s a trap but before they can get out the door slams shuts and locks. Then they hear a hissing noise. Buffy stands outside the mop closet trying to have a heartfelt talk with Cordy through the door, but Cordy is back to being her annoying self. Buffy asks Cordy to stop talking and to her surprise Cordy goes silent. Then Buffy hears Cordelia’s muffled screams. She breaks into the locked mop closet to see Cordy being pulled up through the ceiling. Buffy follows. Back in the basement Giles realizes that the hissing noise is gas. The shutoff valve has been broken and they can’t risk breaking open the door because its metal and so much as one spark will set the gas aflame. Buffy finds Cordelia in Marcie’s crawlspace. She’s unconscious. Suddenly a fearsome force shoves Buffy. She flies backwards and crashes through the ceiling. She is too dazed from the fall to react when a bag drops after her, opens and syringe floats out. The syringe stabs Buffy in the neck, her vision goes fuzzy and she too falls unconscious. She wakes up backstage at the Bronze tied to a throne. Cordelia is next to her and also tied to a throne. She is fully conscious but her face is numb. Written in glitter on the curtain in front of them is the word “LEARN.” Back in the basement, Giles manages to close the gas valve a bit but isn’t strong enough to turn it off completely. At the Bronze Marcie rolls out a covered cart. Cordelia asks what she’s done to her face. She tells Cordy that she’s going to give her what she’s always wanted: a face that nobody will ever forget. She uncovers the cart to reveal a variety of surgical tools. In the basement Giles and Xander attempt to break down the door by covering a crowbar with Giles’ jacket and ramming the lock with it. On the stage Marcie prepares to cut up Cordy’s face. She’s numbed it so Cordy can be awake for the whole thing. In the basement the gang starts blacking out. Cordy tries to reason with Marcie but only succeeds in enraging her. Marcie slashes Cordy’s face. Buffy meanwhile has loosened her ropes. She kicks the cart at Marcie and knocks her over. Buffy wiggles out of her bindings and is trying to get Cordy out of her’s when Marcie attacks her. Just as it looks as though there is no hope for Xander, Willow and Giles, Angel opens the door from the outside and rescues them. He was entering the school through the basement to bring Giles The Codex when he smelled the gas. Giles takes the book and the kids and leads them out of the basement while Angel goes to shut off the gas. Buffy tries to fight Marcie, but Marcie easily gets the upper hand. Cordelia starts freaking out but Buffy gets an idea. She tells Cordy to shut up and then goes very still herself. She hears a squeak and punches in its direction. She hits Marcie in the face and knocks her into a curtain. Now, with a curtain covering her, Marcie is visible. Clearly not used to being socked in the face, she collapses. Before Buffy can subdue her however, the creepy men in the dark suits burst in. They have guns and identify themselves as FBI. Quickly collecting Marcie they make it clear that this is not the first time this has happened. They claim they can make her a useful member of society again.

            The next day in school the gang walks down the hallway talking about what happened. Buffy asks how they got out of the gas-filled boiler room and Giles lies to her, saying that a janitor found them. Just then Cordy runs up. She thanks them for helping her and seems to be much nicer than before, but then Mitch walks over and demands to know why Cordy is talking to such losers. Cordy immediately gets mean again and leaves with Mitch. Xander wants to know where an invisible girl is when you need one.

            The answer is: in a government facility. Marcie is led to a classroom full of other invisible students. Her teacher tells them to open their textbooks to page 54. It’s the beginning of chapter titled “Assassination and Infiltration.” Marcie is pleased.


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Updated 9/14/07  

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