We finally have our first real human villain on Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 1 Episode 11. Sure, she's invisible, but she's there!
Marcie Ross is the first human who is the Monster of the Week. This isn't a rarity in Buffy the Vampire Slayer; humans can be the bad guys too. We just barely see her to begin with.
Grab your popcorn and let's rewatch "Out of Mind, Out of Sight".
"Out of Mind, Out of Sight" is wholeheartedly a Cordelia episode. She is the main focus here.
We've had our Xander, Angel and Willow episodes to give us their character development. This week is the one where we learn about queen bee Cordelia. And how she starts working with the Scoobies in the demon-hunting capacity. (This is a big episode for her.)
Still, Cordelia's priorities are never fully grounded. She's more focused on popularity, image and being May Queen. We love her for it, but we can agree she grows from her.
Mitch may be one of my least favorite Cordelia boyfriends. He's a stereotypical jerk who only wants to get laid. Typical high school cliche.
So, to my surprise and everyone else's, I was shocked when the invisible girl hurt him. Who would want to get revenge on Mitch?! (He said while giving side-eye and drinking coffee.)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer plays with special effects from time-to-time. We see this more later on in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 6, but we get a full scene with the floating bat here. And for a 90s show on a budget, it wasn't bad.
The last shot of it looked too CGI. However, the shots before of it floating looked almost lifelike. The team did a good job with getting it done.
Giles: How exactly did you propose to hunt someone you can't see? You may have to work on listening to people.
Buffy: Very funny.
Giles: I thought so.
Is this Giles and Angel's first scene alone together? I feel like it is. They never really talk together.
This was a bit surprising, especially because these two characters don't have a reason to chat when Buffy isn't there. It seemed pretty random. I guess it was needed to push the story to get the codex, but it was forced.
The tidbit of vampires not having a reflection was fun to see. Giles is so jumpy when Angel appears; he shouldn't be surprised to learn that vampires don't have a reflection.
He's a trained Watcher!
If you're going after Cordelia, Harmony seems like the next logical target. She's second-in-command and just as snobbish. The queen and her lady-in-waiting.
Her fall down the stairs, on the other hand, was weird. Marcie pushing her made sense since the invisible girl shoved her. Though, the way it was edited made it look like Harmony stopped falling after the first few steps.
Seriously! Look at the first clip again. "Harmony" stops sliding in the beginning. It's the next cut that has her tumbling down the stairs before reaching the ground.
It's a small editing glitch that I look past. We get Snyder's "don't sue" commentary at the end to make up for it.
In between all the attacks, we're treated to flashbacks of the invisible girl. We can tell they're flashbacks from the filter.
Why was Marcie completely ignored? Did she have any friends before high school? What about the band?!
This reminds me a lot of 13 Reasons Why. Nobody is noticing the signs that she's in trouble. If she went invisible, chances are her parents ignored her too.
Very troubling to see this happen. She seemed like a nice girl before going crazy.
Buffy: Check it out.
Willow: Oh my God!
[They stare at Marcie’s yearbook]
Willow: “Have a nice summer”, “Have a nice summer”. This girl had no friends at all.
Giles: Once again I teeter at the precipice of the generation gap.
Buffy: “Have a nice summer” is what you write when you have nothing to say.
Xander: It's the kiss of death.
Why did Marcie go after Mrs. Miller? The teacher didn't do anything except doing her job.
Marcie could've killed the teacher! She went right to suffocation while all she did was hit Mitch with a bat and push Harmony down the stairs. The punishment comparison does not seem balanced.
Why didn't Marcie seek help from a teacher or counselor if she felt alone? Though, she probably didn't feel she'd get the help she needed.
Her ploy to scare Cordelia definitely worked.
Kudos to the writers for their explanation of Marcie's disappearance. I'm glad they didn't settle on a spell or something supernatural. This was all about physics.
Sure, the hellmouth heightened the affects of being ignored; however, this was all done to her BECAUSE of everyone ignoring. That's brilliant. It's a clever twist.
Wait...Marcie went missing six months ago. What else was she seeing all this time? Did she overhear conversations the Scoobies had in the library?
That's really creepy.
Buffy: So, no one noticed her and now she’s invisible.
Xander: What...she turned invisible because no one noticed her?
[Giles slams the table]
Giles: Of course! I’ve been investigating the mystical causes of invisibility when I should’ve looked at the quantum-mechanical.
[They stare at him confused]
Buffy: I think I speak for everyone here when I say, “Huh?”
Cordelia has a right to be scared. Marcie is blaming her for everything, even though it's not all Cordelia's fault. She's just popular.
And why is it just Cordelia? There must've been more popular kids who treated Marcie terribly.
I loved seeing the Scoobies come together to help her. This is the first time Cordelia is reaching out to them and getting involved in Scoobie drama. It's like her origin story.
She'll be spending a lot more time in the library from this point on.
Cordelia: Somebody is after me! They just tried to kill Mrs. Miller. She was helping me with my homework. And Mitch, and Harmony. This is all about me. Me, me, me!
Xander: Wow! For once she's right.
Buffy: So, you've come to me for help?
Cordelia: Because you're always around when all this weird stuff is happening. And I know you're very strong, and you've got all those weapons... I was kinda hoping you were in a gang. Please, I don’t have anyone else to turn to.
As mentioned above, Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 1 Episode 11 is a Cordelia episode.
We got a lot of character development for her. She isn't simply the spoiled queen bee who loves to shop. There is more depth to her. Though, it's still a bit of a caricature by the end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 1.
It's getting there with her. This is a stepping stone toward a more developed role. We still have to wait awhile.
Cordelia: Hey, you think I'm never lonely because I'm so cute and popular? I can be surrounded by people and be completely alone. It's not like any of them REALLY know me. I don't even know if they like me half the time. People just want to be in a popular zone. Sometimes when I talk...everyone's so busy agreeing with me, they don't hear a word I say.
Buffy: Well, if you feel so alone, then why do you work so hard at being popular?
Cordelia: Well, it beats being alone all by yourself.
So, my biggest concerns in "Out of Mind, Out of Sight" are due to timing. Similar to Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 1 Episode 10, the timing doesn't make sense.
Let me break it down. Marcie has trapped Willow, Xander and Giles in the boiler room with gas, but a few minutes later she's kidnapped an unconscious Cordelia. She went from the basement to the main floor ceiling in minutes.
How did she do this?! Marcie isn't magical. She's a normal invisible teen girl!
And furthermore, how did she lift an unconscious Cordelia to the ceiling, and move her quicker than Buffy, in less than a minute?
Fine...I'm just going to go with "a wizard did it."
Angel saved the big day by not needing oxygen. (I never thought I would say that.)
Even at this point his involvement in "Out of Mind, Out of Sight" has been forced him. His comment about bringing the codex was a complete throwaway line. You had to really pay attention to hear it.
The only time Angel has been properly utilized was during his own episodes on Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 1 Episode 7.
Buffy stopping Marcie wasn't too big of a trouble. She honed in on her Slayer senses and kicked some butt. We can see her training is improving.
Luckily Buffy was there to stop her. Marcie was out for revenge. Who knows how badly Cordelia's face could've turned out?!
The fact she was able to steal all that medical equipment for her revenge shows that Marcie was out to do serious harm.
How did the FBI know where to find invisible Marcie?
Clearly it shows the government is aware of the supernatural world and how to detect these individuals. They had a full training program for these invisible teens. Maybe there are many other training programs for different abilities?
We'll have to wait until Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 3 for when politics and city/governments get involved. And then it gets really complicated...
What did you think of "Out of Mind, Out of Sight"? Could people be cured of invisibility? Is THIS the moment when Cordelia learns about vampires?
Want to join us in rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer? We'll be posting new rewatch posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Come back here and share your thoughts in the comments about the episode.
Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.