originally aired September 21, 1999

Cordelia Synopsis

The episode begins with Buffy fighting two icky, strange-looking demons that don't have mouths.  She manages to slay one of them but not without accidentally brushing her hand up against it first.  While this is happening, the other demon runs off.

Later on, the gang is sitting at the pep rally for the night's basketball game, bored out of their minds.  That is, except Cordy, who is enthustiastically shouting out cheers like "T!  O!  M!  It's Tom!  Gooooo TOM!!" with her fellow cheerleaders.  Sitting in the crowd, Buffy is worried about what will happen to her as Giles found out that if she touches the weird demon she encountered the night before then she becomes infected with an aspect of that demon.  While Willow is consoling her, Xander is busy drooling over the cheerleaders, telling Oz that he doesn't know why he ever bothered with Cordelia when there are so many other beautiful women at their school.  But once he spots Wesley on the stairs looking at Cordelia, he changes his mind completely:

"He's got his filthy, adult, Pierce Brosnany eyes all over my Cordy!"
The next day as Oz, Willow, and Xander are at school talking about how fantastic the game the night before was, they quickly shutup once Buffy comes by as her slaying duties prevented her from seeing the game.  They tell her that the game was extremely dull, but Cordelia walks by and overhears their conversation:
Cordelia: Are you guys crazy?  It was an incredible game!  I've never cheered so hard in my entire life!  I still have knee-marks on my back!
(gets strange looks from the gang)
Cordelia: From the pyramid!
Once Cordelia walks away, though, Xander looks back at where Cordelia's standing, and thinks, "I wonder if she and Wesley have kissed."  The strange thing is that Buffy hears it loud and clear, and, thinking he actually said it, replies:
Buffy: Really bugs you, huh?
Xander: What?
Buffy: Cordelia and Wesley smooching.
Xander: Man, you read my mind!
This is the moment where Buffy realizes the aspect of the demon she inherited: telepathy.  She immediately goes to the library to talk to Giles about it (and hearing some interesting, amusing, and perverted thoughts on the way) and they both agree that it could be a very useful tool in battle.

Once the Scooby Gang hears about this they have some mixed reactions.  How can they stay around Buffy when she knows their every uncontrolled thought?  Xander can't stop thinking about sex (and therefore runs out of the library as he is too embarassed), Oz has deep, philosophical debates within his mind, and Willow is still a lot more insecure than she lets on.  Wesley demonstrates how trying to guard your thoughts will lead you to thinking what you least want Buffy to know:

Wesley: (thinking)Look at Cordelia.  No!  Don't look at Cordelia!  She's a student.  Oh, I am bad.  I'm a bad, bad man!
No one says what they're thinking, that is, everyone except Cordelia.  She's the only one in the gang who is completely and utterly honest (and the only one who doesn't leave in fear of Buffy discovering her thoughts):
Buffy: Well, I guess I won't be writing that book, "Making Friends Through Telepathy".
Cordelia: (thinking) Whatever.  I wonder when I can go.
Cordelia: Whatever.  Can I go?
Later, Buffy gets lunch at the cafeteria but the crowded thoughts of so many people at once proves too much for her to handle and she faints.  Before she does, though, she hears a bitter voice saying "By this tomorrow I'll kill you all".  When she wakes up the faces of the gang are looking over her.  Everyone's thinking thoughts about how they are grateful that she's awake and that she's okay, but not Cordelia, who's thought is "I'm cold".  When Buffy tells everyone what she heard, they all start to worry about what to do.  Not Cordelia, though, who is still thinking about the temperature when she thinks, "I'm not getting any warmer."

With Buffy in bed trying to fight the voices inside her head and Giles and Wesley trying to find a cure, Willow takes charge of a campaign to find out who the future murderer will be.  She gives question sheets to Xander, Oz, and Cordelia that are based off the mass murderer profiles from the FBI that they are supposed to ask to everyone who was in the cafeteria that day.  Using the yearbook as their alibi, they each go off their separate ways, but not before Cordelia says that she wants to be in Wesley's team.

Xander: You have no shame.
Cordelia: Oh please, like shame is something to be proud of?
So everyone goes off and we see Willow interrogating Jonathon and Oz being careful to keep the yearbook cover.  Not Cordelia, though, who walks straight into a classroom and asks the teacher the following:
"Hi Mr. Beach, I was just wondering if you were planning on killing a bunch of people tomorrow.  Oh, it's for the yearbook."
The only conclusion that the gang can make, based off the fact that he was the person that nobody could find, is that the editor of the school newspaper must be the guy, causing Cordelia to respond with:
"The newspaper guy?  But we can't figure out it's him without the worksheet, right?"
Willow, Xander, Oz, and Cordelia take action by going to the editor's office.  It turns out that the editor was just trying to avoid Oz since he gave "Dingoes Ate My Baby" a bad review.  The crew is discouraged and out of ideas when Buffy shows up, all cured and ready to go (Angel got the heart of the other demon and fed it to her to cure her).  Cordelia then starts reading out a letter:
"'(reading out letter) By this time tomorrow you'll all know what I have done.  I am sure you understand that I had to do it, and that although death is never easy, it's the only way.' (stopped reading letter) God!  Doesn't anyone write in to praise the cheerleaders?  We are so unsung!"
The letter turns out to be from none other than Jonathon.  They all run off trying to find him and Buffy finally spots him in the clocktower.  She runs up there (using some impressive gymnastics) and catches Jonathon right before he's going to do the deed.  She talks him out of it and convinces him to give over the gun.  Then it comes out, though, that Jonathon had no intention of killing anyone but himself!

Meanwhile, Xander spots some jello in the cafeteria and immediately gets sidetracked.  Walking in the kitchen, looking around for something to eat, he spots the cook right before he's about to shove food into his mouth pouring a huge amount of rat poison into the food she's cooking.  He immediately runs out to the cafeteria screaming at everyone not to eat their food with the cook running after him.  Buffy gets there in time, though, and stops her from hurting anyone.

Most memorable line

There are so many of them that it's a tie between the two (I'd actually list all of them here but I thought I should limit myself :)):

Xander: You have no shame.
Cordelia: Oh please, like shame is something to be proud of?

"Hi Mr. Beach, I was just wondering if you were planning on killing a bunch of people tomorrow.  Oh, it's for the yearbook."

Most memorable scene

The scene in the library with the Scooby Gang trying to cover up their thoughts, except for Cordelia.  It gave us so many insights into the characters as well as really confirming that Cordelia says exactly what's on her mind.

Even though this scene doesn't involve Cordelia I have to mention it.  Buffy, through telepathy, was shocked to discover that her mom had had sex with Giles twice on the hood of a police car (under the influence of the band candy of course).  So, at the end of the ep, when Buffy and Giles are talking, Buffy says she's free to train as long as Giles isn't "too busy having sex with my mother".  Giles is stunned and, not watching where he's going, runs into a tree.  The scene is absolutely hilarious.

What we learn

Story arcs Comments

Mesuvius: Before I had seen 'Earshot' I had heard some people say that it is not only their favorite ep of the season but also one of their favorite Buffy episodes ever.  I was a little sceptical but after watching it, I'd have to agree that it is a wonderful episode.  'Earshot' is brilliant - the writing, acting, delivery and pace were done just right.  The dialogue was fantastic (too bad their were some jokes that now seem tasteless in light of Littleton) and their were several memorable moments.  Some people have said that the third season is too serious - that the show has lost all of its quirky charm over the years.  I've disagreed with them for awhile but this episode is tangible proof that Buffy is still one of the funniest and most thought-provoking shows on television.  It's too bad that the WB felt like its audience couldn't handle 'Earshot' as it sends one of the strongest and deepest messages against school violence I have seen in a long time.  If only someone actually saw Buffy for what is was, not what it can be blamed for, then this ep would've already have been shown and millions of people would have fallen in love with it the way that a select few of us have.

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