Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 3, Episode 18

Earshot (28 Sep. 1999)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Action, Drama, Fantasy
8.8
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Ratings: 8.8/10 from 1,287 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 1 critic

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

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(as Regis B. Kimble)

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(created by),
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Title: Earshot (28 Sep 1999)

Earshot (28 Sep 1999) on IMDb 8.8/10

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Oz
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Rupert Giles (as Anthony Stewart Head)
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Larry Blaisdell (as Larry Bagby III)
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Freddy Iverson (as Keram Malicki-Sanchez)
Justin Doran ...
Hogan Martin
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Nancy Doyle (as Lauren Roman)
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Storyline

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

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TV-PG | See all certifications »

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28 September 1999 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

Although Jane Espenson was the author, in her DVD commentary she says that the scene in which Buffy repeats her teacher's very sophisticated theories on William Shakespeare's play "Othello" was written instead by show creator Joss Whedon. See more »

Goofs

When Buffy is talking to Angel about his charade with Faith, Angel's necklace jumps from being tucked inside Angel's shirt to lying over top of his shirt and back again. See more »

Quotes

Xander: You know, Oz, I look at all this beauty, all these healthy young women and I wonder why I ever wasted my time on Cordelia. I mean, look at her. She's no better lookin' than the rest of 'em.
Oz: None of them are really my...
Xander: Oh, my God! He's lookin' at her. He's got his filthy adult Pierce Brosnany eyes all over my Cordy.
Oz: You're a very complex man, aren't you?
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Theme
Written by Nerf Herder
Performed by Brandon K. Verrett
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User Reviews

 
If your friend develops the ability to read minds, just remember your times tables...
17 May 2012 | by See all my reviews

Although 'Earshot' doesn't advance any of the wider arcs of the Season, it's still a very entertaining and thought-provoking episode.

The crux of the matter is that, after getting infected by a demon she slayed, Buffy can now read minds. At first this is really cool to Buffy, as you can imagine, and she certainly makes the most out of being able to hear her teachers' and friends' thoughts...the scene in the library is particularly hilarious, with Xander trying desperately not to think about sex, Wesley trying desperately not to think about how good Cordelia's looking, and Cordelia...well, Cordelia thinking exactly what she says. Shocking! The power also reveals an awkward secret or two later in the episode, with Buffy discovering that her mum had sex with Giles...TWICE! Cringe.

However the power comes with some pretty serious consequences too. Buffy hears someone thinking about killing the students whilst in the cafeteria, and eventually her poor mind begins to unravel as she is bombarded with the thoughts of all of Sunnydale! As Giles, Angel and Wes search for a cure for Buffy, the rest of the Scoobies hunt down the would-be killer, with limited success.

Considering this episode is effectively a stand-alone, with little to no reference to the bigger picture besides the odd mention of Faith, I actually thoroughly enjoyed it. The interactions between Buffy and her friends and family are hilarious as they all try to evade her ability, whilst Angel saving the day and winning back Buffy's trust was a nice element too. 'Earshot' has an effective balance between humour and drama , and I think that is what makes it a success. Buffy's new power is a heavy burden to bear, but it does give her an insight into the minds of those around her, and helps her to understand that these people are all carrying burdens too.

Thankfully Buffy is cured in time to save the day, and the student with the gun turns out to be a red herring - the real would-be killer is in fact the lunch lady with the rat poison in the cafeteria kitchen! (It's not quite Clue, but it'll do)

So all-in-all, not much progresses in 'Earshot' but with the themes it addresses that's perfectly acceptable.


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