” ‘Have a nice summer.’ ‘Have a nice summer.’ This girl had no friends at all.”
-Willow Rosenberg, Buffy the Vampire Slayer S1E11: “Out of Mind, Out of Sight”
Brief synopsis: A girl at Sunnydale High was ignored so much that she disappeared. She has decided to take revenge on Cordelia and everyone else who ever ignored her.
Title significance: The title is a play on the phrase “out of sight, out of mind” which means that once something is no longer in front of someone, they forget about it. We see the main portions of this phrase in play this episode. “Out of sight” connects with the girl being invisible. “Out of mind” connects with her being ignored.
It is of note that the order is switched. This indicates the cause for Marcie’s invisibility. She was ignored, always “out of mind,” and so she disappeared. This cause is a huge part of the episode, and a huge motivator for Marcie’s murderous rampage. This title gives away the entire mystery of the episode.
Girl Power:Female villains, when they are effective, I think are a demonstration of girl power. Women can be almost anything men can be, and that includes being a bad guy. While I think the actions are not good and that it’s not really girl power to be beating up a guy with a bat while invisible, the concept is what connects it with girl power.
Speaking of unconventional examples of girl power, let’s look at Cordelia and Buffy. Cordelia participates in class, and it’s evident her teacher is impressed. When it comes down to it, she listens to and trusts Buffy as opposed to giving into her fear or her dislike. Buffy herself puts aside her dislike of Cordelia and goes out of her way to protect her. Much more so than being a villain, two women who dislike each other working together and not being mindless harpies is an example of girl power.
Success of girl power: Meh. I was impressed by Cordelia.
What “Out of Mind, Out of Sight” does right:
- Giles and Angel – My favorite part of the episode was Giles and Angel’s conversation in the library. I feel like they actually bonded on some level. It was really nice to see Angel interact with someone other than Buffy. Also, as this is the second to last episode of the season, it’s probably a good idea to remind us of the main plot (the Master) and how dire things actually are, as Angel does.
- Cordelia – I think in the end, what really made Cordelia shine wasn’t her talk about being lonely; it was her gratitude at the end of the episode. She thanks the Scoobies, acknowledging what they did for her, and we see a glimpse of the Cordelia that we get later in Angel. I also liked that she didn’t completely lose her head when Marcie kidnapped her. She listened to Buffy and quieted down. We got to actually see some depth to her.
- High school issues – I think Buffy is at its best in these early seasons when it really gets at being a high schooler. Most high schoolers feel invisible or lonely at some point during the four years. A girl literally disappearing, and it being portrayed as an awful experience, was a great way of getting at this. I felt like there really was a really relatable emotional core to the episode.
What “Out of Mind, Out of Sight” could have done better:
- Buffy’s loneliness – I really feel that this should have been set up better. There’s no real indication of Buffy feeling lonely in previous episodes. She just randomly seems to want Cordelia’s approval at the beginning of this episode. Then, at the end, her loneliness is suddenly resolved. It seemed like a very lazy way of creating similarities between Buffy and Marcie, and it just didn’t work. If you’re gonna do it, go for it. She’s the Slayer. She does feel lonely. Play with that instead of making Xander and Willow ignore her for random inside jokes.
- Killing Buffy – Marcie hovers behind Buffy holding a knife, then decides to let her live. This is curious to me. Marcie doesn’t seem to be one prone to mercy. By the end of the episode, she’s decided Buffy is just like everyone else. Is her belief that Buffy might understand be what stays her knife? If so, why get the knife in the first place. We don’t see any other moral conflicts with what she does. It just didn’t feel right for her character.
- Spooks – I know, by definition, spooks are supposed to be mysterious. But I have the exact same question Buffy did. Where were they when Marcie was about to carve up Cordelia? And also, how did they find them in the first place? What’s going on? I wish they were better integrated into the episode, and we got some idea of how they operated besides standing around.
Overall: A fairly good episode.