Buffy Logo 'Earshot'
Story Code '3ABB18'

by Jane Espenson

Buffy battles with two demons, and while one of the creatures escapes, she kills the other - however, she is unaware that she has been infected by the dead creature’s blood. When Buffy and her friends meet up in the school library the next day, Giles reports that he is still unable to find any new information regarding the Mayor’s coming Ascension; Wesley arrives and the gang immediately leaves, obviously having no time for him. Buffy feels left out because all of her friends are going to the school basketball game that evening, while she has to patrol. Discovering that her hand has developed a strange itch where the demon’s blood touched her, Buffy consults Giles, who suspects that she may be infected with an aspect of the demon. That evening, Buffy tells Angel she is worried about the demon infection, but he reassures her he will love her no matter what. In the morning, Buffy feels even more left out when everyone comments on how great the game was; curiously, she also seems to know what Xander is thinking when he sees Cordelia, and soon realises that she can hear what the all other students are thinking too. She informs Giles, who realises that the aspect of the demon that she has been infected with is telepathy. By using her new power to read the teacher’s mind Buffy excels in class; but the gift does not work on Angel, who assures Buffy he has nothing to hide from her, and warns that mind reading can have its drawbacks. Giles does some research on telepathy and discovers that one such gifted man went crazy because the power could never be turned off. As Buffy heads to the cafeteria, the barrage of everyone’s thoughts assaults her mind - then it suddenly goes quiet and she hears just one person thinking “This time tomorrow I’ll kill you all” before fainting from the onslaught. She wakes up outside, surrounded by her concerned friends; she tells them what she heard, and is then taken home by Giles. After overhearing his concerns that she will go insane if the power does not go away, Buffy is shocked when she hears her mother’s thoughts, discovering that she and Giles slept together while under the influence of the bad candy. Willow takes charge of the investigation to discover the identity of the would-be murderer; using her computer skills, she compiles a list of suspects for the gang to interview; unfortunately they have no luck, although the editor of the school newspaper, Freddy, seems to be hiding from Oz. Giles and Wesley discover that the cure for Buffy is the heart of the other demon, and Angel sets out to find it. The investigation at the school is going nowhere, and as they still can’t find Freddy the gang presume that he is the murderer. Angel arrives at Buffy’s home with the cure, which he administers to her. The gang finally locate Freddy, only to learn that he was hiding from Oz because he wrote a bad review of his band’s last gig. Buffy arrives just as Cordelia finds a note on Freddy’s desk: it is from Jonathan, implies that he is planning to murder everyone. The gang split up to find him, but Xander is distracted when he spots some Jell-O in the cafeteria! Buffy spots Jonathan in the school clock tower with a rifle, but when she confronts him, it becomes apparent that he is actually going to kill himself, not the other students. Meanwhile, Xander is stuffing his face with Jell-O, when he sees the dinner-lady pouring rat poison into the food. He chases her through the canteen, stopping the students from eating anything, just as Buffy arrives and overpowers the dinner-lady. The next day, they find out that Jonathan has been suspended from school, and Giles is shocked to learn that Buffy knows about him and her mother.

Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase), David Boreanaz (Angel), Seth Green (Oz), Anthony Stewart Head (Rupert Giles), Alexis Denisof (Wesley Wyndam-Pryce), Kristine Sutherland (Joyce Summers), Danny Strong (Jonathan), Lauren Roman (Nancy), Ethan Erickson (Percy), Larry Bagby, III (Larry), Justin Doran (Hogan), Wendy Worthington (Lunch Lady), Karem Malicki-Sánchez (Freddy Iverson), Robert Arce (Mr. Beach), Molly Bryant (Ms. Murray), Rich Muller (Student), Jay Michael Ferguson (Another Student)
Directed by Regis Kimble

TX (US): 21st September 1999
TX (UK - Sky One): 11th November 1999
TX (UK - BBC): August 2000

*Featuring Buffy, Xander, Willow, Giles, Oz, Cordelia, Faith and Angel

*This episode was shown out of order in the US, due to the tragic Columbine High School shootings