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OUT OF MY MIND (ep #5.04)

Written by: Rebecca Rand Kirshner
Directed by: David Grossman
Starring: 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 Summers
James Marsters as Spike
Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles
Guest Starring: Mercedes McNab as Harmony Kendall
Bailey Chase as Graham Miller
Charlie Weber as Ben
Time Winters as Dr. Overheiser
Amber Benson as Tara Maclay
Kristine Sutherland as Joyce Summers
Co-Starring: Dierdre Holder as Hospital Doctor

Plot Summary

Riley resisted getting treatment for aftereffects of Initiative experimentation.

Plot Details

In a cemetery, Buffy was hunting newly risen vampires. She managed to get one before he even made it out of the ground. A second got out just in time for Riley to beat it up and take it out. A third rose only to have Spike take it on. Buffy was upset at the competition and pushed Spike out of the way before staking the third vampire.

Buffy was not happy about having competition in the slaying department. She chose to chew out just Spike, but Spike figured out that Riley was just as unwelcome. When Buffy and Riley left, Spike, not learning his lesson from "Wild at Heart," made another villain vow to beat Buffy. This time, however, he merely fell into an open grave rather than get zapped by Initiative commandos.

Willow and Buffy walked out of a class and discussed the French Revolution. Willow was quite excited that the two of them were having intellectual discussions. They arrived at Giles's magic shop. Buffy went to the back of the shop to train, where Riley ambushed her. The back room included a punching bag, a pommel horse, a stationary bicycle, and a straw dummy.

Harmony desperately pounded on Spike's door. She believed that Buffy was hunting her down. Spike took her in even though he doubted that Buffy cared about Harmony. However, he did not make much of an effort to convince her of that.

While making breakfast for her and Dawn, Joyce collapsed on the kitchen floor. Riley and Buffy met Dawn at the hospital. While Ben, an intern, made a report, Dawn played with Ben's stethoscope. Ben's and Buffy's heartbeats were normal, but Riley had a very rapid pulse. A doctor did not want to let him out of the hospital, but Riley refused to stay.

Buffy, Willow, and Dawn discussed Riley's condition. Actually, Dawn talked about CIA conspiracies. Buffy wondered how she could contact the Initiative. Dawn simply suggested that Buffy say what they needed to know. If the Initiative were spying on them, they would hear whatever Buffy said. Buffy immediately left to do so.

Buffy, went to Riley's apartment, picked up his phone, heard obvious clicks from a wire tap, and said that Riley needed help. Soon afterward, Riley saw Graham while playing basketball. Graham tried to convince Riley to get help, but Riley did not believe him. He fought off Graham and two other agents and escaped.

Graham went to Buffy for help. Riley's problems came from Initiative experimentation. There was a neurologist who could help, but Buffy had to get Riley to the neurologist. Buffy promised to help.

Xander, remembering the conversation at the end of the last episode, thought that Riley's actions were due to Riley not being confident of Buffy's love. However, Xander said this in such an obtuse way that Anya thought that Xander was not sure of her love. She quickly assured him that she loved him.

Xander and Anya went to try to find Riley at the docks. Willow and Tara went to the ruins of Sunnydale High. Buffy realized that Riley might go to the Initiative caves. She did not know them and did not want to go to Spike. She was convinced that he was doing something nasty in his crypt...

... Like playing 20 questions. He successfully guessed that Harmony was thinking of a "sodding bread box" when Buffy started pounding on the door. She offered him money in exchange for finding Riley and bringing him to the hospital.

Graham spoke with the doctor. Apparently, things were very dire for Riley. They heard a knock on the door. They hoped that it was Riley. However, it appeared that Spike did not plan to earn his money. Instead, he and Harmony wanted the doctor to remove his chip.

Spike and Harmony led the doctor to an unused teaching facility. The doctor protested that he did not know how to remove the chip, but Spike thought otherwise.

Buffy found Riley in a cave. For obvious reasons, he did not trust the government to work on him. They had a discussion over the state of their relationship that ended with Riley willing to go along with her.

They arrived at the hospital and found Graham and a security guard on the floor. Graham regained consciousness and said that Spike and Harmony attacked them.

The doctor managed to open up Spike and drop something metallic in a tray. Spike decided that he wanted a snack when Buffy and Riley arrived. Riley took on Harmony while Buffy fought Spike. Spike went to bite Buffy, only to feel the pain again. He realized that the doctor slipped a penny into the tray when Harmony was not looking. He and Harmony left, which was good because Riley's condition became critical.

After the operation, Buffy was glad that Riley was OK. She promised to be more accessible. A bit later, Graham expressed his relief that Buffy found Riley in time. Graham did not think that Riley belonged in Sunnydale. Instead, Riley belonged with Graham.

Buffy once again burst into Spike's crypt. They exchanged words that ended with Spike removing his top (to the delight of many fans) and begging Buffy to finish him off. She was about to, but they kissed instead. A horrified Spike woke up.

The Good

Most of the good points were tangential to the plot. For example, I liked the Willow / Tara scene in the magic shop and Anya assuring Xander that she cared for him.

The Bad

The main plot was rather bland.

Overall Rank: 109

Action: 6

Buffy, Riley, and Spike took on vampires during the teaser.

Riley took on Graham and Agents Goodman and Brown.

Buffy and Riley fought Spike and Harmony.

Comedy: 2

Spike walked into a grave.

The "something nasty" that Spike was doing in his moldy crypt was playing 20 questions with Harmony.

Drama: 7

Riley had a serious health problem, but his distrust of the Initiative made him not want to get help.

Buffy spent much of the episode worrying about Riley and her mother.

Romance: 7

Riley had become insatiable in bed.

Buffy and Riley's relationship issues affected much of the plot.

Anya made it clear that she cared for Xander when she thought he was insecure.

Buffy and Spike had a romantic moment in his dream.

Character Development: 5

Riley had lasting effects from the Initiative experimentation. He greatly distrusts the Initiative and refused treatment even though his life was in danger. He believes that Buffy is with him only for his increased strength.

Spike is back together with Harmony. However, he is now afraid that he prefers a different blonde woman.

Importance: 5

Graham is trying to lure Riley away from Sunnydale.

Spike might be attracted to Buffy.

Most Valuable Player: Dr. Overheiser

Dr. Overheiser gets the MVP for tricking Spike and Harmony into thinking that the chip was removed and for eventually saving Riley's life.

Sherlock Holmes Award: Dawn

Dawn came up with a way that Buffy could contact the Initiative, or what was left of it. Buffy figured out that Riley would hide in the caves and that Spike wanted the chip removed. Dawn's idea made it possible for the doctor to come to help Riley, so she gets the award this week.

Goat of the Week: Riley

There are two weak candidates. I understand Riley's reluctance to trust anyone connected to the Initiative, but he could have prevented a lot of trouble by being more cooperative. Harmony let Dr. Overheiser trick her into thinking that he removed Spike's chip. Harmony has a great defense against getting the Goat: low expectations. She was defeated by a superior intellect, even though nearly everyone had a superior intellect. Riley gets the Goat.


Some have noticed that in the last episode, Buffy was studying the crusades. In this episode, she was studying the French revolution. They seem to think that this was weird. Given Buffy's difficulty with history from the first season, I think that it was weird that she was even taking a history class. It was also very possible that the class that Buffy and Willow walked out of in this episode was a literature class.

Memorable Dialogue

"I will know your blood, Slayer. I will make your neck my chalice and drink deep. Ow!" Spike

"Hey, wasn't that Robespierre the coolest!" Willow

"Come on, Spike, pretty please, I'll do anything." Harmony
"Anything, will you?" Spike
"Yeah, I said I'll do anything. Oh, you mean, will I have sex with you? Well, yeah." Harmony

"Hey, I have the endurance of ten men." Buffy
"Let's make it women, OK, just for the imagery." Riley

"If they're really spying on you all the time, say something so you know they'll hear you. Like sometimes, I write fake things in my diary in case..." Dawn

"I had this friend once who really liked this girl, and he got worried that maybe she didn't like him back, and maybe that made him act like a total jerk. Maybe Riley reminds me of that friend." Xander

"I also have this 'friend,' and I have it on really good authority that she really likes that guy, you friend, and by the by, my friend..." Anya

"Say, look at all those pretty pieces of paper." Spike

"Do you think that I spent the last year with you because you had super powers? If that's what I wanted, then I'd be dating Spike." Buffy

"I read a magazine that some women think a man's real sex organ is his brain. Yuck, no contest. I mean, look at it. It's so pink and wriggly looking." Harmony

"You used to have a mission, and now you're what, the mission's boyfriend?" Graham

Characters in Peril


Evil Escaped

Strictly the Caucasian Persuasion

Spoiler Questions

Highlight the space after each question to find the answer. It is strongly recommended that you do not do so if you have not seen episodes through the episode indicated.

This page was last modified on November 28, 2012