Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 3, Episode 18

Earshot (28 Sep. 1999)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Drama | Fantasy
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Reviews: 4 user | 1 critic

Buffy fears she will descend into madness after she acquires the ability to read minds.


(as Regis B. Kimble)


(created by),
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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Rupert Giles (as Anthony Stewart Head)
Larry Blaisdell (as Larry Bagby III)
Freddy Iverson (as Keram Malicki-Sanchez)
Justin Doran ...
Hogan Martin
Nancy Doyle (as Lauren Roman)


After an encounter with a mouth-less demon, Buffy is infected with the demon's blood and she gains the ability to hear people's thoughts. At first her newfound ability is useful for cheating on schoolwork and eavesdropping on the thoughts of those around her, but when the voices continue to flood her mind, she realizes that she cannot control the power. Amid the chaos, Buffy hears a killer planning a mass murder at the school. Now she must keep herself from going mad long enough to prevent a catastrophe. Written by Alex

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Action | Drama | Fantasy


TV-PG | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

28 September 1999 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When the gang are together in the library, Oz thinks to himself "I am my thoughts. If they exist in her, Buffy contains everything that is me, and she becomes me. I cease to exist". This is a nod to French philosopher René Descartes, who came up with the Latin phrase "Cogito, ergo sum" which translates to "I think, therefore I am". Descartes used it to prove his own existence, claiming his ability to form thoughts made him a real, living, human being. On her DVD commentary, writer Jane Espenson says that Joss Whedon suggested Oz's reaction by telling Jane to "write him something that sounds like something Friedrich Nietzsche would have said in the situation." See more »


Obvious stunt double for the villain during Buffy's final showdown. See more »


Willow Rosenberg: So, you're feeling better about Angel?
Buffy: Well, we talked, then, then he ripped out the heart of a demon and fed it to me, and-and then we talked some more.
Willow Rosenberg: See? That's how it should work.
See more »


Buffy the Vampire Slayer Theme
Written by Nerf Herder
Performed by Brandon K. Verrett
See more »

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User Reviews

Utterly fabulous
22 July 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Good; It's all stunning. Jonathon shows his star quality, the mindreading is excellent, the comedy and action fantastic. If I was to select one ep to show to people to demonstrate how great the series is I think it would be this one. The only thing that could make it better would be if Faith and Dawn were in it.

The Bad; Um? Well, the excuse of why Buffy can't read Angel's mind is rather stupid. It's also a letdown that we never get to read Faith's thoughts.

Best line; Hard to pick but I think I'll go for Jonathon 'You all think I'm an idiot. A SHORT idiot!" (although at 5'2 he's only an inch shorter than SMG, not "3 feet tall"). The one I use all the time though is Oz's 'I call that a radical interpretation of the text' plus Angel's 'I'm a funny guy'. Buffy's entire speech to Jonathon is just too beautiful for words.

Character death; None, thankfully

Shot; Again none although Jonathon has a deer-rifle to kill himself. Some have asked why he uses something as cumbersome as a rifle but even the US has some gun control and they're easier to get than a handgun.

Tied up; Not this ep

Knocked out; Dinner lady by Buffy and Buffy herself faints.

Women good/men bad; Again a female villain

Kinky dinky;

Buffy is flattered by one of the male students admiring her beauty (love her bashful preening) then shocked that he wants to slam her against the lockers and ravish her (love to know what the second guy in that scene was thinking?). She won't always be so dainty, one day she'll happily allow Spike to do that to her and a whole lot more! But maybe it's an inherited thing amongst the Summer's girls as we finally discover the truth about Joyce and Ripper and the handcuffs on the hood of the police car? And Dawn will of course end up giving RJ a lapdance in 'Him'. Seems denial and sluttiness run in the Summer's family? (as well as incredible beauty). Oz and Xander admire Cordy and the cheerleaders. Freddy describes them a 'pseudo prostitutes whipping men up into a sexual frenzy'. Wes considers himself a very bad man for lusting after Cordy. Cordy has kneemarks on her back but claims they're from the cheerleading pyramid. Once again Xander shows his yen for older women, fancying the English teacher. Willow tells Jonathon that 'fantasies are fun'. Xander questioning of a trio of babes seems to resemble the questions Playboy ask their Playmate of the Month rather than the FBIs serial killer profile (Nic Brendon now a recurring character on Criminal Minds dealing with FBI serial killer profilers).

Captain Subtext; Xander once again has one of his uncomfortable talks with Larry. Despite being able to read Willow's mind Buffy doesn't pick up any hints of lesbianism. Her reading of Cordy's mind demonstrates that Cordy really doesn't have a subtext, she literally says what she thinks. Nice to see that The Merchant of Venice is still relevant in supernatural teen US series. Xander considers Wes 'Pierce Brosnany'.

Where's Dawn? It would have been interesting to hear Dawn's thoughts about all things Sunnydale. The only time we see Wes meet Joyce and presumably the littlelest Summers as well.

Questions and observations; Wonderful in just so many ways, perhaps the most perfect ep of Buffy ever.

Xander's maths needs work. Snyder is a Bangels fan. Love the headlines in the school paper, especially 'Apathy on the rise, no one cares'. The final tree gag makes me laugh every time and was apparently ASH's idea. The mislead with Jonathon is so clever. Would the Flaying of the Demon Azareth really be a bad thing? Presumably for the demon Azerath? Percy becomes a recurring character. 'Magic' Jane Espensons commentary is wonderful. The demons closely resemble the Drakh from Babylon 5. Angel comments that in his whole life he's only ever loved one girl, Buffy, which is bad news for Darla in season 2 of Angel;TS. As Jane comments we see Angel hunting solo which is rare before his own show. What is with Willow's hat, is she taking up flyfishing or something? Marks out of 10; 10/10 , up there with Dopplegangland as possibly the best ep ever

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