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Amazon Prime — The Complete Buffy Episode Guide
Out of My Mind
October 17, 2000


Rebecca Rand Kirshner

David Grossman

Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
Marc Blucas as Riley Finn
Emma Caulfield as Anya
Michelle Trachtenberg as Dawn
James Marsters as Spike
Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles
Guest Stars:
Mercedes McNab as Harmony
Bailey Chase as Graham Miller
Amber Benson as Tara
Kristine Sutherland as Joyce Summers
Time Winters as Initiative Doctor
Charlie Weber as Ben
Dierdre Holder as Hospital Doctor


While at the hospital due to a mysterious fainting spell on Joyce's part, Dawn discovers that Riley's heartbeat is off the charts. Despite the doctor's advice and Buffy's concern, he insists on leaving. When Buffy enlists the Initiative's help, Riley punches Graham rather than allow that government to get near his body again. He eventually admits to Buffy that he's afraid they'll make him a normal guy, causing her to lose interest in him. She manages to get him to the Initiative doctor, only to find that Spike has forced the doctor to remove his chip — or so Spike thinks. Instead, Spike is only left angry at his conviction that Buffy seems to live to torture him. His frustration expresses itself that night in his dreams, when much to his chagrin, he dreams about kissing Buffy and confessing his love for her.

For the full, detailed synopsis, click here.

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Body Count

Staked by Buffy while just coming out of his grave.
Staked by Riley in the cemetery.
Staked by Buffy in the cemetery.
Total: Three
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Dialogue to Die For

Spike: (as Harmony lights up a cigarette) Taking up smoking, are you?
Harmony: I am a villain, Spike. Hello!

Harmony: Is it safe? Has Buffy gotten to you yet? I saw her patrolling just now... with a stake! She won't give up until she's killed me to death.
Spike: Buffy's looking for you?
Harmony: Of course. That's why I'm on the lam. Didn't you hear? I'm totally her arch-nemesis.
Spike: Is that right? I must've missed the memo.
Harmony: There was a mem— Spike, oh my God, this is like a real emergency!

More quotes from this episode...

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Thanks to Mathew Ignash for help with the references this week!

  • Willow: "You can't possibly be arguing that Marat didn't betray the French Revolutionaries. This was the guy who declared the Rights of Man, and then the next thing you know he's killing Girondin like it's going out of style."
  • Marat

    Jean-Paul Marat (1743-1793) was a French politician, physician, and journalist, a leader of the radical Montagnard faction during the French Revolution. His early political works included The Chains of Slavery (1774), an attack on despotism addressed to British voters, in which (according to some) he first expounded the notion of an "aristocratic," or "court," plot; it would become the principal theme of a number of his great speeches and articles. The Girondin were members of the moderate republicans, many of them originally from the département of Gironde, who controlled the Legislative Assembly from October 1791 to September 1792 during the French Revolution. In 1793, the Girondins had Marat arraigned before a Revolutionary tribunal. His acquittal of the political charges brought against him was the climax of his career and the beginning of the fall of the Girondins from power.

  • Buffy: "Charlotte Corday wasn't a real martyr either."
  • On July 13, 1793, Charlotte Corday, a young Girondin supporter from Normandy, was admitted to Marat's room on the pretext that she wished to claim his protection. She stabbed him to death in his bath and was put to death for the the assassination.

  • Willow: "Hey, wasn't that Robespierre the coolest?"
  • Maximilien-François-Marie-Isidore de Robespierre (1758-1794) was a radical Jacobin leader and one of the principal figures in the French Revolution. In the latter months of 1793 he came to dominate the Committee of Public Safety, the principal organ of the Revolutionary government during the Reign of Terror, but in 1794 he was overthrown and executed in the Thermidorian Reaction.

  • Buffy: "You're like my fairy godmother, and Santa Claus, and Q all wrapped up into one. Q from Bond, not Star Trek."
  • The Fairy Godmother is a character from the story of Cinderella. When Cinderella has unable to attend the royal ball, her Fairy Godmother used magic to provide her with a dress, glass slippers and a coach to take her there. (The idea of a fairy godmother is not exclusive to Cinderella, but is most commonly associated with the story.)


    Santa Claus is the legendary figure who is the traditional patron of Christmas in the United States and other countries. His popular image is based on traditions associated with the 4th-century Christian Saint Nicholas. You can read about the history of Santa Claus here.

    Q from James Bond, played by Desmond Llewelyn (1914-1999), appeared in 18 of the James Bond series of spy films from 1963's From Russia With Love to 1999's The World Is Not Enough. He worked for the British Secret Service supplying gadgets, weapons, and trick vehicles to James for his various secret missions.

    Q from Star Trek, played by John de Lancie, is a character created in the pilot of the sci-fi television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, Encounter At Farpoint. He was an omnipotent being who placed the humans on trial for being a savage race. He became a reoccurring thorn in the side of many captains on The Next Generation and the various following Trek series.

  • Spike: "Oh, Pacey! You blind idiot. Can't you see she doesn't love you?"
  • Pacey is a character on the WB show Dawson's Creek, played by Joshua Jackson. In regards to "she doesn't love you," Spike is surely referring to the character of Joey Potter, played by Katie Holmes.

  • Buffy: "It's so unfair. It's like Big Brother can spy on you all the time, and the second I have something to say, no one will listen."
  • Big Brother is a term for government that spies on its citizenry. The term comes from George Orwell's 1949 novel 1984.

  • Dawn: "Did you know that one time the CIA tried to kill Fidel Castro with poisonous aspirin?"
  • The CIA, of course, is the Central Intelligence Agency. It is responsible for the US's counter-intelligence. Fidel Castro is Cuba's Communist dictator.

  • Willow: "Better to light a candle than to curse the damn darkness."
  • This is an old proverb from Confucius, sometimes quoted with slightly different phrasing.

  • Tara: "I taught you teeny Tinker Bell light."
  • The pixie Tinker Bell is a character from the 1902 short story-turned play-turned novel Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie. Tinker Bell was the faithful companion to Peter. After the story was turned into an animated adventure for children by Walt Disney, the character of Tinker Bell became one of the characters associated with Disney.

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  • The Initiative, Goodbye Iowa, and Primeval

    If you're new to the show or missed some of last season, you can get the gist of the backstory behind Graham, Walsh, the Initiative and Riley's experience with them by checking out the episode guides for these episodes.

  • The Replacement

    Xander's comment that Riley reminds him of a friend of his who worried that a girl didn't like him back stems from his conversation with Riley last week, in which Riley stated his love for Buffy and then calmly stated that she doesn't love him back.

  • New Moon Rising and The Yoko Factor

    Willow mentions that Riley previously hid out in the high school, which he did after helping Oz escape the Initiative and then walking out on it himself.

  • Graduation Day, Part Two

    Sunnydale High School was transformed into the "burnt out school" it is today when Buffy blew it up, with the Mayor-snake in it.

  • Seasons One through Three

    Riley is referring to Angel when he says that Buffy's last boyfriend wasn't exactly a civilian. You may want to rent or buy The Buffy and Angel Chronicles video set to get the scoop on their relationship if you're new to the show.

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Goofs and Gaffes

  • After Riley's basketball game, the front of his shirt is drenched in sweat, but the back is completely dry. Once he hits Graham, the back is sweaty, too.
          Spotted by Mathew.

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  • Fiat Lux, which Willow says as she conjures the light, is Latin for "Let there be light." We're told, though, that Willow mispronounced "lux." (Note within a note: Fiat Lux is the motto of UC Berkeley, a real school in the UC system.)
          Thanks to thorsdad for the note.

  • We see a shot of Riley's apartment for the first time.

  • Sunnydale's local hospital (or one of them, if there's more than one) is Sunnydale General Hospital.

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As Riley isn't one of my favorite characters, it's hard to really get into an episode that he is the center of. The scene in the cave with Buffy and Angel— oh wait, that was Riley. This episode didn't do much to stimulate neither my squishy frontal lobes, nor my occipital lobe (I wonder who on the Buffy crew used to be a neurosurgeon?), however it was a great first showing of the new writer, Rebecca Rand Kirshner. She definitely has a good feeling for the characters and their interactions; I'm sure she used to be a fan. Oh, and what a great way to wake up the Buffy/Spike shippers! (6/10)
Jamie Marie:
Hmm. There once was a time when I defended Riley. And I still like him well enough. But I must say, he's starting to bore me. Plus, we can see the B/R breakup coming a mile away. Not that I'm against the idea of them breaking up (like I said, I'm getting bored with him), but I don't necessarily want it spelled out for me in advance. And please don't let this Ben guy be a new love interest — he's just Riley with slightly darker hair. Anyway, Spike and Harmony saved me from complete boredom during this episode, and the end dream alone raises my rating a full point. Yummy! (7/10)
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Air Date Rating Ranking
October 17, 2000 3.4 84 of 128 (tie)
January 02, 2001 2.6 84 of 129 (tie)

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