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"Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Earshot (#3.18)"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" Earshot (1999)

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27 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

A great monster-of -the -week episode

Author: katierose295 from United States
4 August 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This episode revolves around the problem of school violence. Someone at Sunnydale High is out to commit mass murder and it's up to the Scoobies to stop them. Buffy's temporarily developed the ability to read minds. Able to hear the pain of the people around her, she becomes more aware of the normal problems that surround her every day. "Earshot" doesn't have a lot to do with the season's story arc, but it's an episode that you really shouldn't skip if you're watching on DVD.

"Earshot" revolves around Buffy's new power to read minds. After battling a demon, she develops the ability to hear peoples thoughts and, at first, she enjoys it. She shows off in class, preens in front of boys, and tries to learn more about Angel's feelings for Faith. Pretty soon, the voices in her head become overwhelming though. She can't shut them up and it's driving her crazy. To make matters worse, she overhears someone plotting to kill everyone in Sunnydale High the next day.

While Angel, Giles and Wes try to cure Buffy, the Scoobies search for the killer. They question the students and try to figure out who is planning mass murder. The suspects include, Freddy, the disaffected school newspaper editor; Mr. Beach, the teacher who hates students; and Nancy, the girl who is jealous of Buffy. But, when Cordy finds an incriminating note that Jonathan, the school outcast, wrote, Buffy sets out to locates him. She finds Jonathan with a high-powered rifle and takes it from him, but it turns out that he may not be the killer after all...

There are a lot of good parts to this episode. I love the Scoobies trying to find the killer. "Hi, are you planning to kill a bunch of people tomorrow? It's for the year book." Also, who doesn't laugh when Buffy reads everybody's minds in the library? Oz's philosophical musings, Xander's panicked sex thoughts, Cordy saying and thinking the exact same things... It's all great. And Giles and Joyce's reactions to Buffy discovering that they slept together are hilarious... "TWICE?!" Also, Xander and Larry's scene is really funny and plays off their conversation in "Phases." Finally, I'm glad that Angel finally gets to save the day, by finding the heart of that other demon and curing Buffy.

On the downside, it's sort of sad to hear Jonathan swear that he'd never hurt anyone. I like Jonathan a lot. He's a interesting and conflicted character. But knowing what will happen to him in seasons six and seven, this episode seems almost tragic. Like he's calling for help and nobody can hear.

My favorite part of the episode: Sunnydale High's newspaper headlines.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The One Where Buffy Can Read Minds...

Author: Taylor Kingston from Australia
18 May 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I love this episode. It's one of my all-time favorite episodes from the entire series.

In this episode, after Buffy runs into a mouth-less demon, she gets infected with its blood and gains the ability to hear people's thoughts. It's really quite hilarious until the thoughts become too overwhelming and too disturbing for her to handle. She thinks she's going to go crazy, and when she hears about someone wanting to kill students, she has to find the person, to stop people from being killed.

Fun Fact: We discover that the Sunnydale High School newspaper has an obituary section.

Fun Fact: The scene at the end of the espied where Giles walks into a tree was Anthony Stewart Head's idea, the actor who plays Giles.

Fun Fact: This episode was filmed before the Columbine massacre, but was scheduled to air a week after. Because of this, it was delayed until this season.

Overall, I give this episode a 10 out of 10, which in my ratings book is: Freaking Ridonkulous.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Utterly fabulous

Author: Joxerlives from United Kingdom
22 July 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

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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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

If your friend develops the ability to read minds, just remember your times tables...

Author: elle-ss
17 May 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

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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If you could hear the world's problems

Author: Realrockerhalloween from United States
2 October 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Buffy is infected with demon blood making her hear their inner thoughts. When she heard that someone is planning on killing off the student body the scoobies set out to find the culprit. A fine episode as it turns out to be Jonathan thinking no one cared he was around which makes us realize everyone has problems not just the lonely geeks but the beautiful cheerleader or the smartest kids in class. Everyone hurts sometime and we all need to learn to listen and try to include others as our friends.

The only thing is I would rather it cut off there instead of the lunch last since her motivations are weak and she makes the food they eat. It robs it of the powerful scene before hand for a cheap twist ending.

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7 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

Good lessons!

Author: oldvsnew from Canada
2 March 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Buffy is stun by a demon which gives her the ability to hear people's thoughts with price. Angel, and the rest of the gang must find a cure for Buffy before she ends up coming mad. Meanwhile Buffy discovers the secrets of all of her friends and family.This episode was to air the week of the Columbine High School massacre. The Wb moved the viewing of the episode to September.

I believe that this episode brings a valuable lesson in that fact that that bullying in schools across the country must end. I hope that this Government will stand up and help this problem in schools cease to exist. Hopefully, the next generation will not have this problem to deal with.

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