Buffy the Vampire Slayer
"Out of Mind, Out of Sight"
Story by: Joss Whedon
Teleplay by: Ashley Gable & Thomas A. Swyden
Directed by: Reyza Badiyi
Blurb: As Cordelia prepares for Sunnydale High's May Queen competition, an invisible force starts attacking her closest friends.
Scene 01: We open on the usual pan of Sunnydale High as we hear Cordy in voiceover. She's happy that Spring has sprung. Harmony says she's excited because Spring always means school is coming to a close, which Cordelia whole-heartedly agrees with.
As they continue down the hallway, Cordelia and Harmony are already planning ahead to Cordy being crowned May Queen and her current boyfriend (who makes an exit as fast as he's made his entrance) being the King in the photos.
Buffy rushes out into the hallway from the library, colliding with them. Her purse dumps, in a nice callback to when the same thing happened with Xander in WttH. But instead of a stake, this time an assortment of weaponry calls tumbling out all over the hallway. Cordelia tells everyone in the hallway, "Behold the weirdness".
Buffy tries one of her lies-on-the-spot about what she's doing with all of the junk in her bag, but Cordy really isn't interested. In keeping with Buffy being unable to lie proficiently (also a call back when she tried to lie to Flutie in WttH/The Harvest), she uses show and tell for History class as an excuse. Cordelia gives her a look, because as we learned just last episode, she and Buffy have the same history course and Cordelia would know if there were some sort of show and tell going on... she doesn't point this out, but probably because Harmony distracts by pointing out how often Buffy is hanging around with that 'creepy librarian' (HEY, Giles is not creepy!).
Cordelia leads her boyfriend and Harmony away, telling her boyfriend about the time that Buffy attacked her at The Bronze (Also in WttH - it's callback week!). Buffy looks after them a little pathetically.
Scene 02: Later in English class, they discuss "The Merchant of Venice" and Cordelia speaks to how self-involved she thinks Shylock is for wanting his pound of flesh. Not only is it 'yicky', but she opines that he's making it all about himself by whining, whining, whining.
We see a new side of Cordelia here, in that she does actually pay attention and absorb knowledge - it isn't all about fashion and popularity with her. This is the beginning of adding depth to Cordy's character and continuing to bring Charisma more into the Buffy-fold. We'll see an even better example coming up. Of course, she's still Cordy. In her role as comedy-relief, she also complains about the time when she had a small accident with her car... she hit a pedestrian on a bike... and even though Cordy was traumatized, the girl kept trying to make it all about her leg....
In the background, Xander and Willow can hardly believe their ears.
Cordelia stops by at the teacher's desk after class for assistance on her term paper and the teacher compliments her observations. Over her shoulder, Willow rolls her eyes on her way out of class.
The teacher arranges for Cordy to stop by later to discuss her paper.
Scene 03: We cut to Cordelia's boyfriend in the locker room... the most well lit, spacious and generous shower room ever. It even has individual shower stalls! No group showering for Sunnydale's MALE athletes. As we've seen in "I Robot, You Jane" and "The Puppet Show", the girls don't get anything nearly so nice. In fact, the girl's locker room is so dark and dank, you can practically feel the mildew growing on you everytime the camera wanders through.
We get broad-backed male flesh... so....
Mitch engages in sexist, high school banter with his teammates about climbing on Cordelia after the May Queen dance.
After his friends walk away laughing over the cleverness that is Mitch, POV and footsteps approach him, but alas, he's already put on his pants (Damn you, and your timing, Marcie!). Mitch hears someone nearby but obviously sees nothing. Nothing until a baseball bat levitates and beats him by itself!
Scene 04: In the halls of Sunnydale, Cordelia is passing out chocolates and reminding everyone to vote for her for May Queen. Cordelia passes by Buffy and starts to give her a chocolate, before she snatches it back:
"Ohh, I don't think I need the looney fringe vote."
Buffy tries to respond she doesn't even like chocolate, but it is obviously a big fib. Xander and Willow comes up to her and they discuss Cordy's bribery. Xan tells Buffy that Cordelia does love titles, which sends he and Willow off on a tangent about something that happened on a field trip in 6th grade.
All of this, Cordelia - the dance - the Queen thing - and now the stories she has no reference for is to show that Buffy is feeling like an outsider, in keeping with both the Shylock discussion earlier and comparing Buffy's separation from school life around her with Marcie Ross' ... who is our bad girl, in case you haven't cottened onto that, yet. Sorry to spoil the big reveal so soon.
Anyway, Buffy reveals to the guys that back in L.A., before the Slayer-gig took over her life, she did the Cordelia thing, too. Cheering (we've seen in The Witch), proms, being voted for due to her popularity....
Buffy's feeling sorry for herself is interrupted by a student running through the hall with news about Mitch.
Scene 05: Cut to Snyder, where he is telling students snottily that there are no dead students there that week... Mitch was beaten, not killed. Buffy, in an unthinking moment, walks past Snyder with a "I'd better check out the scene". He stops her.
Snyder tells Buffy to stay away from the crime scene, and further more that she's always sticking her nose into things.
Willow interrupts by calling out, as if she were engaged in a conversation, "Sue?" (as in legal action, not a random name) and that certainly pulls Snyder's attention from the Slayer so she can dash into the male locker room and the site of Mitch's attack.
Commentary: In retrospect, this is interesting because it gives us a clue that Buffy's activities aren't being as forgotten or ignored as we've been led to believe. The students and faculty are aware that she seems to be whereever the weird stuff in happening. This is even more nicely done in retrospect when we reach S3, where we see the students acknowledge what Buffy has done for them and we find out that Snyder's interest in Buffy is not casual or caused necessarily by what he observes....
Scene 06: With Mitch having told Buffy from his gurney that the baseball bat attacked him on its own, she toes it gingerly when she finds it lying on the floor with his blood. It rolls, but otherwise doesn't respond to her. During her investigation, Buffy finds a series of four lockers open... she notes something no their doors and when she closes them she finds, "L O O K".
Scene 07: In the cafeteria later, the gang discuss the non-animated bat when Giles joins them with possibilities. He mentions telekinesis, which we'll see on Angel the Series, poltergeist activity, which we'll see next season and an invisible monster (bing-bing-bing: Yes, I consider Marcie a monster - human, but a monster none-the-less).
Scene 08: On the balcony outside later that day, Harmony sympathizes with Cordelia. Cordy describes Mitch looking all black and blue, and you almost think she's feeling badly for MITCH, but no. She complains to Harmony about how he's going to look in their prom photos.
As Cordy and Harmony walk and talk, we get a flashback of POV cam. It is from sometime earlier in the year when Cordelia first noted Mitch's interest. The POV cam says hi, but Cordelia gives her a snotty response in keeping with how she usually treats Willow.
Where Willow isn't interested enough in Cordelia's circle to bother with her, we'll see Marcie make continual efforts to be part of the popular crowd. It would almost make you feel sorry for her, if she didn't allow it to turn her into a psycho (Or ... yes ... into Shylock, seeking a pound of flesh from those who wronged her - see how the script is oh so cleverly tying these things together?)
Anyway - Harmony takes a tumble down the stairs and claims she was pushed, even though no one was near enough to do it, except Cordy who knows didn't. We hear Marcie laugh and Buffy goes back up to the top of the stairs just in time to see a door swing shut.
She follows into the room beyond and bumps into someone... we hear footsteps rushing away as Buffy calls for whoever is there with her to identify themselves. She wanders into the nearby band room and hears shuffling and bumping, but Marcie won't respond to her. We keep getting shots of the ceiling, indicating where Invisible Girl has gone.
Scene 09: Outside the school at the end of the day, Buffy asks Giles about what it may be like to touch a ghost. In the background, we can see completely out of place, mysterious men-in-black taking notes and basically standing around looking entirely obvious in their not belonging there.
Commentary: Which is going to be one of my complaints, actually - everything is so ... obvious and unclever, even the Scooby quips. There isn't any cleverness in this script or the direction.
Buffy reports the band room encounter and the fact that whoever she bumped into felt very physically real. They discuss the new possibilities opened up by this discovery and settle on invisible person. Xan is proud of his research when he reports on the Greek Myths involving cloaks of invisibility, but also says they're only for the Gods.
Commentary: I mention this rather wordy, boring scene because Buffy says that 'She seems kind of petty for a God', which is funny in retrospect because when she actually meets a God, she'll find not only are they petty, but also vacuous and shallow ... in other words, Glorificus is actually exactly like Cordelia's presentation of herself. But, where Cordy is going to grow, change and reveal depths (starting in this very episode), Glory will be stuck in a self-involved narcissism. Deep, eh? Okay, you're right, it isn't really - but it is an interesting tidbit in retrospect.
The gang tie Mitch and Harmony to their common connection - other than being shallow - Cordelia Chase. Buffy reports to Giles that she'll be trying her May Queen dance gown that evening so The Slayer will hang out and see if their invisible girl tries anything. Giles (in an obvious post-recorded line) tells Buffy to stop this girl, she'll actually have to listen to somebody.
Commentary: I don't like this line, because it isn't as applicable to Buffy as implied. I think it was more included just to give Buffy what she needs to defeat Marcie in the end, but it wasn't necessary and feels like the clumsy add-in that I'm sure it was.
Scene 10: That evening Buffy is patrolling the school when she spies on Cordelia and her entourage working on her dress and hair. She's jealous!wistful!Buffy. Also, I can see Cordelia's mic between her cleavage at the top of her dress where it was clipped. Perhaps they should have post-recorded these background sounds, rather than Giles' dialog earlier.
Suddenly a melancholy flute echoes through the corridors of the school where Buffy hears it and starts to track it down, while Giles also hears it in the library.
Commentary: Her playing is so short, though, that I didn't understand what the point of it was... until the scene continued. Obviously it is to remind of that Marcie is about invisible so that when Giles hears the sound of the library doors squeak, we'll be afraid that it is Marcie targeting him (which doesn't exactly work because Marcie has no reason to bother with Giles at this point). They even have Giles look at his reflection in a glass door, so we can see that no one else's image is there, before...
... It isn't Marcie. It's Angel. This is the first meeting between Angel and Giles. Angel is there to give vague warnings, as is his m.o. in Season One because he can't do so with Buffy - it is too hard for him to be around her with their obvious attraction having come to light in the episode Angel. He warns Giles that something big is coming involving The Master, but he can't find out what. For some reason, he suggests it involves Slayer Lore. When Giles reports that there is an important book that is missing from his collection regarding Slayer Prophecy, Angel tells him that he knows where it can be found and can get it.
Commentary: I shouldn't have to report that this is the Codex, and there is nothing in it that does not come to pass! It will be the book that Giles consults when he finds out Buffy is destined to face The Master, and she will die(!) next episode.
I really wish they'd introduced this concept three episodes ago and then revealed two episodes ago that Buffy was fated to die. That would have given Anthony two and a half episodes or so to play Giles as struggling with what to do or whether to inform Buffy about what he has found out. If there is a real weakness in Season One, it is that Joss was so up in the air about whether the show would be extended that he couldn't really plan out story arcs, so everything is almost entirely self-contained within a single episode. ASH has the acting chops that he could have given us layers and subtextual emotion in his interactions with Sarah throughout this latter quarter of the season, if only it had been structured better. What this scene really does though, is give Angel and Giles a reason to work together and for them each to form a sort of unofficial partnership in keeping Buffy as safe as possible, so she doesn't go the way of her predecessors.
Scene 11: In another flashback, we finally get to meet Marcie (sort of) and see that she is Clea Duvall. She's in the bathroom at school when Cordelia and her Cordettes join her, while ignoring her. She tries to enter their conversation with a joke, but no one responds to her, although Cordelia uses her joke a few seconds later to great laughs. They leave the bathroom with Marcie looking alone and miserable behind them.
Scene 12: Outside, Cordy is being announced by Snyder as the student's choice for May Queen. There are very few students caring enough to listen to her speech about her rights and responsiblities in being so popular. Xander and Willow join Buffy, where she is watching over Cordelia, convinced she is the key to finding Marcie and stopping her.
Willow has compiled a list of their missing students to find which one is the girl they're looking for. She also notices the men-in-black hanging around, but thinks that they may be bodyguards hired by Cordy, blowing off their extreme not-fitting-in... because as we know, Federal Agents only ever wear dark suits everywhere they go. One must wonder where the Federal version of Jump Street is.
Buffy notes that Marcie Ross played flute (giving a reason for Buffy to both identify her and to return to the band room). She investigates where she lost Marcie before and finds a powdery and perfectly laid shoe print, leading her to Marcie's hiding place.
In the warren above the band room, Buffy finds Marcie's year book. She's menanced briefly from behind by a floating knife, but Marcie chooses not to slice and dice her. Marcie also huffs and puffs loudly enough that there is no way Buffy wouldn't notice she isn't alone, even without her Slayer instinct.
Scene 13: In the classroom of the English teacher from the start of the episode, she's waiting for Cordelia to come in and go over her outline for her paper (remember that vast acres of time ago). Marcie comes up behind her and puts a bag over her face, trying to smother her. Thankfully for her, Cordelia arrives before serious injury is received. On the blackboard though is another message, "Listen".
Scene 14: In the library, Buffy is sharing her discovery with the gang, and reviews the yearbook. It turns out that Xander's claim he didn't know Marcie was incorrect. Both he and Willow shared several classes with her, and both signed her yearbook... but with the dreaded, "Have a nice summer"... neither one remembers anything about her.
Giles conjectures that no one noticing Marcie with the Hellmouth nearby (at this point no one knows just how close the portal is to them) caused her to literally fade from view. This, we found out earlier in one of those dull talky scenes, happened six months ago. Over that time, Marcie must have lost her connection to the world even more - now not only ignored, but literally unseen (her family life is never mentioned, except for her being reported missing).
We get a flashback to Ms. Miller's classroom, where Marcie was also a student. She tries to answer questions, but the English teacher looks right through her. As Marcie looks at her hand, it starts to just fade away.
Scene 15: Returning from flashback, Buffy finds Cordelia's picture in the yearbook vandalized. At that moment, Cordelia comes in panicked. She tries to ask Buffy for help, but starts off with:
"I know we've had our differences, with you being so weird and all, hanging out with these total losers...."
Cordelia has reached the same conclusion as the Gang, following the attack on her English teacher who was trying to help her. "This is all about me! Me, me, me!"
And for once, she's right. And she continues to make new friends by telling Giles she's never been in the library before because she has a life. You can see that Buffy really doesn't want to feel like she has to help her, but being the Slayer and not a sociopath, she feels the need to assist. Buffy points out Marcie, who Cordelia says she's never seen before in her life - which is probably absolutely true - despite the flashbacks showing her being insulting and the fact that Marcie was sitting right next to her in English class.
Scene 16: Back in Marcie's hideout, she's ranting to herself. She's also staring at some rope.
Scene 17: In the library, Giles theorizes further. They come up with a plan to draw Marcie out at The Bronze, where all school related dances seem to be held (see Prophecy Girl next episode as well). What the gang don't realize (rather clumsy, too, considering they know she's invisible) is that they're making plans all under her watchful gaze.
Commentary: And, also, we saw Marcie's hand turn invisible in flashback, but not her sleeve. Is Marcie running around the school naked? Alas, the shoe print puts paid to that idea - she's at least got on footwear, but before I realized that, I had fun thinking of a nude Marcie running around pushing people and wandering around the building hanging out all over. Apparently, we have to accept that the Hellmouth fading included her clothing - damn it.
Scene 18: In the hallway, Cordelia starts to stretch as a character, finally. When Buffy confirms that basically Marcie is invisible because she was so unpopular, Cordy actually expresses some sort of sympathy for her. She tells Buffy that it's awful to be that lonely. Buffy responds with a quip about Cordy reading about that feeling, but Cordelia forcefully tells Buffy that she knows what loneliness is too. She shares that sometimes when she's surrounded by the jocks and the Cordettes, that she's sure no one is hearing a word she says. They're all so busy being in her zone of popularity, that they don't have any clue who she is beyond that.
Buffy asks why she tries so hard then and Cordy tells her that it's better to be alone with other people than to do it by yourself.
Scene 19: As all of that was happening, school has let out (even though we heard no bell) because it is darkened and the hallways are empty when Xander, Willow and Giles hear Marcie's flute and try to track down where it is coming from so they can try to talk her out of hurting Cordelia.
Scene 20: In the meantime, Buffy leads Cordy to the mop closet to change into her dress - believing with only one way in and out, she'll be able to keep Cordy safe from Marcie. Cordy is appalled, but goes along with it.
Scene 21: The rest of the gang (and why Buffy and Cordelia can't hear this music playing is one of those mysteries of physics on the Hellmouth, I guess) track the flute to the furnace room. They go in. Xander discovers a tape recording of Marcie's flute playing (which conveniently stops right after they find the player) and the door slams shut on them.
With the flute music silenced, Giles hears a hissing. and they discover that a fitting has been loosened, allowing natural gas to flood the room they're trapped in.
Giles warns Xander against using an axe on the steel door, because a spark could blow them sky high. They start to choke on the lack of oxygen.
Scene 22: Buffy, outside of the changing room/mop closet, tries to bond with Cordy. It is a challenge because Cordy keeps casually insulting her. There is a sudden strange sound. Buffy breaks in just in time to see Cordelia being dragged up into the ventwork and goes after her and Marcie.
Scene 23: The gang discover that a fitting has been loosened in the heating/cooling/electrical room, allowing natural gas to flood the room they're trapped in. Giles warns Xander against using an bar on the steel door, because a spark could blow them sky high. They start to choke on the lack of oxygen.
Scene 24: Buffy finds Cordelia in Marcie's hideout, unconscious, but Marcie knocks her down through ceiling tiles to the room below, where Buffy smashes a desk. As she's stunned, Marcie gives her a needle full of something or other putting Buffy into dreamtime.
Commentary: I appreciate the attempt to give Marcie a way that she could possibly have gotten Cordelia under control and kept Buffy from immediately intervening in her plans, but it still doesn't work. Buffy was literally right on Cordelia and Marcie so there isn't any way that the Invisible Girl would have been able to knock Cordelia out and drag her to her loft without Buffy intervening long before they reached her hideout. In addition, we're about to see Marcie's plans and they involve The Bronze, so we're being expected to buy that Marcie (with no on screen evidence of any super strength to go along with her invisibility) will also manage to get Cordelia and Buffy lowered back through the ceiling and then moved across town, where she breaks into the closed Bronze (which is weird in itself - either hours have passed, or the club has picked a weird night to be closed up), dragged both girls in and then arranged the tableu with them that we'll see... and she did all of this without any intervention by the Agents we'll see make a sudden appearance at the end of the episode in The Bronze... story logic FAIL.
Scene 25: At The Bronze, Buffy and Cordelia have been tied to the King and Queen chairs for the dance. Buffy, somehow despite her Slayer constitution wakes long after Cordelia who now reports that her face has been numbed up.
Commentary: Except, she is speaking completely normally - when I go to the dentist, my lips are too numb to keep from drooling, let alone to speak without slurring everything. Cordelia seems to have been given a wonder numbing agent.
As the girls look around, in front of them they see a black felt hanging. On it, LEARN, has been placed in gold glitter.
Scene 26: Back in the gas filled room, Giles is able to decrease the amount of gas, cutting up his hand in the process - but they're still trapped and there is still gas replacing the oxygen. He opines that Marcie has gone insane from her isolation. Xander gives a big, "You think?".
Scene 27: In The Bronze, a cart with gauze, alcohol and carving tools is rolled into view. Marcie tells them that she's disappointed her plans haven't become clear.
Commentary: I like the ghastliness of Marcie's insanity here. As you should have guessed by now, her plan is to carve up Cordelia's face and leave her for the students to find. As she opines, Cordy will never be forgotten. Alas, that seems like the wrong lesson... Marcie's bitch wasn't that she was forgotten throughout the episode, it was that she was ignored. Cordy wasn't ignored, so Marcie's twisted revenge scenario isn't in keeping with what the episode has spent its entire time setting up. It makes sense that she'd mutilate Cordelia in order to put her in a place where she'll be shunned (i.e. ignored in future). It would even work that Marcie is making sure she'll never be forgotten, if she'd been doing all of this because in the last six months everyone has forgotten that she existed. That isn't really what has happened though - no one noticed she existed in the first place, which is why she turned invisible. There is a disconnect between the script's reasoning for why Marcie may be doing what she is doing, and then her stated goals here that comes across less like Marcie is whackadoo, and more like bad plotting in the end. One thing I do like about Marcie's rant here is how she asks Buffy if she's going to Slay her to stop her, giving an indication that Marcie has been spying on her for the past six months and knows about the weird happenings around the school and Buffy's role in stopping them. At least they remembered that Marcie has supposedly spent the last six months wandering around the school - it also explains why she'd be ready for Buffy with the large dosage of drug to keep her from interfering.
Scene 28: While Marcie is playing out her revenge scenario, the Scooby Gang is overcome by the gas fumes. It looks like it'll be curtains for them.
Scene 29: Cordy tries to reason and sympathize with Marcie, but she listened to her telling Buffy about feeling so alone in a crowd already and it didn't move her, it fails to do so here, too. She tells her she's just a self-involved, spoiled brat and slices her face with the scalpel.
Buffy has gotten herself free by this point and kicks the tray of implements into Marcie's invisible form. She tries to get Cordy free (of her very, very loose ropes), but Invisible Girl punches her and knocks her away. Cordy whimpers and cries.
Scene 30: Meanwhile, in the basement of doom, Angel saves the Gang and turns off the gas. Giles agrees not to mention to Buffy that he is still hanging around. Angel also delivers the mysterious Codex (which for being a complete record of Slayer Prophecy Lore, appears very thin and not particularly old).
Scene 31: Back with Marcie - Buffy finally tells Cordelia to shut up. Using her listening skills, she detects her coming up behind her and punches her out. Marcie flies into a curtain, where she can be seen and quickly subdued. Also? Marcie is again displaying some really powerful punches for being a high school girl in band with no enhanced strength (which we can say she has, but it is fanwanking - a line somewhere following the resolution from Buffy acknowledging that Marcie had greater strength than she expected would have gone a long way).
Men-in-black arrive to escort her away and Buffy asks them if this has happened before at other schools, but they refuse to answer.
Commentary: The interesting implications of this, is that the Hellmouth in other areas are emitting mystic energy, even though they aren't the active Hellmouth portals. I don't really know what that means, but clearly they can't be opened or there would be plots to bring Hell to Earth or vice versa in places other than Sunnydale that Buffy wouldn't be around to stop. However, it is interesting that these other portals aren't completely dormant, either. One could speculate that this is why there are so many Watchers, and in retrospect, what the Potentials' taught skills who aren't called could be utilized for. It would make an interesting short story to get see one of these potential, but uncalled Slayers, having jobs as guarding inactive, but still 'leaking' Hellmouths in cities where Buffy isn't active (Perhaps Kennedy, since we'll learn that she has extensive training as a Potential). A S7, pre-arrival in Sunnydale story could make for some interesting plot ideas. Also, after the focus on the black felt with the word LISTEN, it would have been better for Marcie to have flown into that, and having her own message be the thing that trips her up in the end. But, I do really like the use of slow motion and panning to suggest Buffy using her enhanced senses to detect where Marcie is just before she spins and punches her out.
Scene 32: The following day, Cordelia expresses her thanks to the Scooby Gang for helping her. Until Mitch wanders up and asks if she's actually talking to the losers. At which point she leaves, telling him that she was being charitable with her time and advice on their extreme fashion problems (Which would actually BE useful, but she needs to take it to the costumer on set).
Scene 33: Meanwhile, elsewhere, the actors playing the agents try to talk to invisible space without looking ridiculous and fail. Also, there is a boom mike shoved so far into the scene above their heads that it is practically a dayplayer.
Marcie is dropped off into a classroom of fellow invisible students. We see that this classroom is teaching the kids about Infiltration and Assassination... Marcie says, "Cool."
Commentary: The fact that there is this program introduced here really needs to be followed up on. These invisible assassins would have been perfect to re-introduce in Angel the Series, but would be even better and easier to deal with in the comic books. C'mon, how could they have General Voll mustering a 'resistance force' to the Slayers and not give him Marcie as a guest star in Buffy Season 8? What a lost opportunity. Hopefully one to be corrected in Angel's S7 or Buffy's S9.
The Good: I think Marcie's ghoulish plan is a positive.
I like that Cordelia is given a bit of human-ness throughout the latter half of the episode.
The Bad: The pacing on this one is slow, ponderous and full of a screen in which there is no one there because Marcie is invisible.
The Secret Agents are really out of place in both the plot and the Buffyverse in general. This will become a large problem in S4 when complex government programs become a focus and in S6 when Real Life intrudes too deeply into the fantasy/horror of the Buffyverse. Here, it is mostly the feeling that these guys were clumsily shoe-horned in after somebody realized they had no idea what to do with Marcie since Buffy couldn't slay her.
The script could have used some sprucing up... I have to think Joss didn't actually go through this one, or this was filmed before he had such a collaborative framework in place that improved the storytelling so dramatically in S2 through S5.
Other Thoughts: While this episode is valuable in a meta-way, it feels like it is a lot longer than it is. I think the problem is that there just isn't a lot for Marcie to do and when she is busy doing things, we can't see her so it is mostly POV cam wandering around with a little bit of voice over work that doesn't add anything. This script really needed some more focus on Marcie herself rather than on the Scooby Gang investigating Marcy.
The Score: I do like the character changes that we're just introduced to here for Cordelia Chase and I like the shout out to the problems that Angel is struggling with in his attraction to Buffy, but none of it is really engagingly written, which is a problem. Too many of the strengths of this episode are only recognized post-series when you can recognize the seeds for other stories found here, but while watching it, it just isn't interesting. Cordelia gets some humorous self-involved lines, but that isn't enough to carry the episode and everyone else just comes across as flat and relatively dull.
2.75 out of 5