In this episode, Laine and Cory get into some heavy themes, (like why this episode was pushed back so far in the year), but we manage to talk about some fun stuff too. We get into Cordelia being an open book, Angel’s thoughts being like a mirror, and Buffy’s potion being like a lava lamp.
Thanks for listening to our discussion of Season 3, Episode 18: Earshot.
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Music for this episode is “Digging a Grave,” by Shadows from the Underground, and is used under license from Audiosocket.
One thought on “Episode 58: Earshot”
Still catching up on all your episodes! I just traveled by train and listened to this episode and started on the next one. Some thoughts:
My high school experience was probably closest to Jonathan’s overall, so I always thought his scene in the clocktower with Buffy was pretty affecting – though when I first saw this episode I was a young teen, and I think for a while Jonathan’s particular pain of isolation/being ignored/not having friends was something that I related to heavily enough that, though I got Buffy’s point, I felt Jonathan’s pain more acutely. It’s also one of the reasons I was always more sympathetic to Faith’s character – not having the support of friends is really tough, and I think Faith always felt like an outsider in a way that was in some ways closer to what Jonathan felt than it was to Buffy’s own feelings of being outside the norm.
I think it’s particularly interesting to think about how Willow and Xander react to Jonathan throughout the series, in an episode like this one but also throughout season six. Willow and Xander both deal with self-esteem issues around being accepted and being seen how they want to be seen, and like you both mention in this episode, they each give something away here – Willow’s insecurities fester a bit when she learns Buffy can read thoughts, and Xander mentions thinking about shooting up the school. I will say, regarding the latter, that though I’ve never thought anything about harming anyone myself, even in high school, I have had intrusive thoughts, and I therefore don’t mind that Xander said that. Thoughts aren’t impulses, and we have to judge people by their actions/what they say they’ll do rather than their thoughts. Xander seemed to say what he did to express the idea that lots of people have dark thoughts, but that doesn’t mean they’re in any way contemplating acting on those thoughts. I know there’s a lot of nuance to this issue, but overall, lots of people (I would say even most people) have thoughts they have no intention of acting on and would never want to do in real life.
I really liked Laine’s point about wishing there was something more about Buffy not being able to read Angel’s thoughts once it becomes clear she’s having a hard time with the voices – I actually think that could be a kind of sweet metaphor for her significant other being the place where Buffy finds peace.