Buffy the Vampire Slayer Episode Guide

Season 5, Episode 4

Out of My Mind

Original Air Date: October 17, 2000

The episode opens up with Buffy fighting some vampires, all of which are handled by Riley and Spike before she can get to them. She is somewhat miffed.

Buffy and Willow go to the magic shop which has been newly redecorated. Buffy sees the new training room in the back, and brushes off Riley when he offers to spar with her.

Harmony shows up at Spike's lair and asks for help defeating Buffy. She is "like totally Buffy's arch-nemesis."

Joyce collapses while making breakfast. At the hospital, it is discovered that Riley has some serious heart condition, but he refuses to deal with it, and after Joyce returns from her tests, they go home.

Buffy contacts the Initiative for help with Riley's condition. One of the army guys finds Riley playing basketball and tries to convince him to have emergency surgery. Riley refuses and leaves in a huff. Buffy goes to look for Riley and tries to recruit Spike to help her. Instead, he takes Harmony and goes to find the surgeon in the hopes of having the surgeon remove the V-chip from Spike's brain.

Buffy finds Riley in the Initiative caves. He says he doesn't want to get "fixed" because then he will lose his super-strength, and won't be able to help Buffy anymore. He's afraid she won't love him if he's an ordinary guy. She convinces him to have the surgery.

The doctor removes the chip from Spike's head. Buffy and Riley come in, and Spike attacks her. When he tries to pounce, he collapses in pain. It turns out the doctor removed... a penny... Spike and Harmony escape.

The doctor fixes up Riley. Initiative guy tries to convince him to re-join the army.

Spike dreams about Buffy and realized that he is in love with her.

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out of my mind
By Sharon M. Draper
Atheneum Books, 2010

out of my mind is another of the popular kids-with-disabilities genre that is flooding the children's/young adult markets these days. It is a good one (and a popular one), although perhaps not as realistic as Wonder or Mockingbird.

Melody is smart -- very smart. No one knows this though, as she is trapped in her own mind. She was born with cerebral palsy, and she can't walk (or even sit up on her own), talk, write, or do much of anything else. Her mom and dad know that she's not as dumb as her school and the doctors think she is, but even they don't get how smart she really is.

This changes one day when a teacher aide, at Melody's request, looks up speech generating devices on-line. For those not in the know, these are touch-screen computers that have an array of icons, generally customizable, each icon corresponding to a word, phrase, sentence, or screed. Practiced users can communicate pretty much anything they want, given time and practice. Melody, having plenty to say and a near-photographic memory, masters the device quickly.

Unfortunately, she finds that being able to talk is only half the battle. All the kids at school are so used to thinking of her as non-verbal and low-functioning that they can't accept her as one of them... and the fact that she still can't walk or feed herself doesn't help. Nor does the fact that she's smarter than many of them, and not afraid to show it.

While this type of novel often attempts to give a realistic view of children with special needs, out of my mind is obviously going in a different direction. Melody has special needs, but she is smarter and more motivated than most of us -- and by a significant factor. This is not a bad thing, and of course, there are people like this (after all, Melody's hero is Stephan Hawking), but most of us will never meet someone like Melody.

That aside, this is a good story, with strong characters and a voice that makes a fairly mundane setting engaging. It is fairly fast-moving, and is an easy read, appropriate for kids about 9-15, although it may certainly be enjoyed by those outside this age range.

Accelerated reader level 4.3
ISBN-10: 1416971718
ISBN-13: 978-1416971719

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