Buffy the Vampire Slayer Episode Guide
Written by Jane Espenson. Directed by Regis B. Kimble
Season 3, Episode 18 (#3ABB18)
The show opens with Buffy running for her life. Handheld camera work, dramatic music, dark creepy shadows, the whole deal. As Buffy aproaches the Sunnydale park, she trips, and a big, ugly, scabby, mouthless demon is upon her. Uh-oh. Is this the end for our heroine? Well, no. Buffy was faking. "You demons can't resist a run and stumble, can you?". Demon ass kicking commences. A second ugly mouthless demon shows up, and despite them showing an uncanny syncronicity while fighting, Buffy still kicks both their asses - Killing one messily with a knife, while the other just plain runs for its life. As she watches it go, weird glowy blood stuff from the rather dead demon disappears into Buffy's hand. Oooh. Scary.
The next day Scooby meetage fills everyone in on what Giles and Wesley have been able to figure out about the ascension; Jack. Squat. Nada. Buffy however, has bigger things to think about - Angel seemed awfully good at acting awfully close to the newly-revealed-as-evil Faith (As seen last episode). Could it be that this wasn't an act? Also, her hand seems itchy. really really itchy. Giles postulates that this could be due to the demon encounter last night, as the reference material makes, uh, reference to that particular type of ugly, scaly, mouthless demon being able to "infect the host with an aspect of the demon." Needless to say, this does not go down well with Buffy at all.
After a fruitless night of patrolling - no sign of demon number 2 - time for another fruitless day of school. Or, at least, until the aspect of the demon catches up with Buffy. It seems that these demons have telepathy: now so does Buffy: She is able to read the thoughts in everyone's heads as if they were delivered as a voice-over. Which they are. Giles thinks that this could give her a remarkable edge in combat, but she has better plans. First stealing thoughts from classmate's minds during class, and then, even better, trying to see what Angel has been thinking of Faith. This last bit sadly doesn't go as planned; Buffy's new found powers don't seem to cover the undead.
Sharing the gift with the rest of the Scoobies doesn't go much better; not only do too many thoughts at once start to give Buffy a headache, the general consensus is freaked with an option on violated. Separated from her friends, Buffy finds that an entire highschool of thought turns out to be an awful lot of angsty, lonely voices. Voices that she cannot shut out. Voices that prove too much for her. As the cacophony grows a single venomous thought cuts through all the others: "This time tomorrow, I'll kill you all!" Buffy desperately searches for the source, but swoons from the pressure of alien minds.
Unable to stand the presence of so many people, Giles takes Buffy home, so catching the killer falls into the hands of the Scoobies. Interviewing various likely candidates using the FBI mass murderer profile Willow pulls of the 'net turns up nothing, leaving their main suspect the one person they couldn't track down - Freddie, the editor of the school paper, who has been writing some rather dark and depressing editorials lately. Giles and Wesley work on curing Buffy of her incapacitating telepathy, which a quick bout of research shows can be cured by the heart of the other demon - Time to call in Angel for the hunt.
One demon heart later, Buffy's back in action. Freddie proves to be a hard man to pin down - although this turns out to be because he gave Oz's band a really bad review and thus fears for his safety, not because he's the killer. Desperate, and running out of time, a note from Jonathan, (My personal favorite character from previous episodes) comes to light - In it he expresses that "Death is the only option", and that he hopes that people will understand. Buffy quickly tracks him down to the school's bell tower, where he is slowly assembling a rifle. But he isn't up there to kill anyone else - only himself. Short, geeky, and shunned from the population at large, Jonathan can't stand being ignored anymore. Buffy explains that, if only he could hear everyone's thoughts, he'd realize that he isn't being ignored because everyone hates him; He's being ignored because everyone is too wrapped up in pain of their own.
Talking Jonathan out of killing himself is good and all, but there's still a mass murderer out there to stop. Completely out of leads, the Scoobies degenerate into running about looking for someone trying to kill people. Xander quickly runs into the lunch lady pouring rat poison into the cafeteria food. Mystery solved, and one ass-kicking later, all that's left to worry about is Jonathan's continuing emotional wellbeing.
Alexis Denisof as Wesley Wyndam-Pryce
Kristine Sutherland as Joyce Summers
Danny Strong as Jonathan Levinson
Lauren Roman as Nancy
Ethan Erickson as Percy
Larry Bagby III as Larry
Justin Doran as Hogan
Wendy Worthington as Lunch Lady
Karem Malicki-Sánchez as Freddy Iverson
Robert Arce as Mr. Beach
Molly Bryant as Ms. Murray
This episode was originally scheduled to air some time in early May, 1999. However, due to the events of April 20th, 1999 it was deemed inapropriate to air at that time, and was instead shown out of order, airing on the 21st of September, after the end of the rest of season 3.