I Only Have Eyes for You (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

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"I Only Have Eyes for You"
Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode
I Only Have Eyes for You (Buffy the Vampire Slayer).jpg
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 19
Directed by James Whitmore, Jr.
Written by Marti Noxon
Production code 5V19
Original air date April 28, 1998
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Killed by Death"
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"Go Fish"
List of Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes

"I Only Have Eyes for You" is episode 19 of season two of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A ghost possesses high school boys (and Buffy) while his school teacher-lover possesses high school girls (and Angelus). The episode borrows its title from the song of the same name that is featured in several scenes.


This ghostly episode starts out at The Bronze where Buffy rejects the advances of a boy who's looking for a date for the Sadie Hawkins dance. She checks in with Giles at school, but first stops a male student from almost shooting a female student. They have no recollection of why they were fighting and the gun disappears. Principal Snyder blames Buffy for the incident. While waiting in his office, a yearbook from 1955 falls off the shelf. Willow gives Giles a rose quartz that she found in Ms. Calendar's desk. In class later that day, Buffy starts daydreaming about a relationship that a student had with his teacher. As she comes back to the present, she finds that her teacher has unknowingly written "Don't walk away from me, bitch!" on the black board. Later, Xander is grabbed by a monster arm inside his locker. Buffy helps him break away, but the arm then disappears.

Giles is intrigued by the possibility of a poltergeist. Meanwhile, Angelus, Spike and Drusilla have taken up home in a mansion where Angelus taunts Spike and flirts with Drusilla. Later that night, Giles witnesses the result of another argument in the school halls. The janitor had shot a teacher who then fell over the balcony of the school, though only moments earlier they were cordial. Giles is convinced that Jenny is haunting the school.

Willow finds information on her laptop about a killing in 1955, where student James Stanley killed his teacher Grace Newman after she tried to break off their affair. In the cafeteria, chaos erupts as they find that the food has all been turned to snakes. The room empties quickly, and Cordelia is bitten on the face by a snake. Outside, as firemen and other crews are cleaning out the school building of the snakes, Snyder talks to the police chief about the incident and it is revealed here that they know all about the Hellmouth under the school (and the possibility of Buffy being the Slayer). The police chief tells Snyder that he must contain situation or the mayor will have to get involved. Principal Snyder is visibly cowed by the mention of the mayor, and he tells the police chief to notify the mayor and the city council that he will handle the situation.

In the garden of their new home, Drusilla gets a vision about Buffy meeting with death. Spike is visibly angered as Angelus holds Drusilla tight against him. Willow devises a plan to contain the spirits, and they head off to the school where they prepare, though Giles has already arrived and is trying to summon Jenny's spirit. Buffy hears music coming from the Music Room and goes to see Grace and James dancing there. James' face suddenly changes to a gory mess, startling Buffy. Cordelia looks in the mirror to find her face has turned a gory red color. On the stairwell, Willow begins to sink into the floor and Giles rushes to save her. Willow finally convinces him that the spirit is not Jenny. Everyone lights their candle and starts chanting the spell, but the candles blow out, and a swarm of wasps enter the school. Everyone rushes out to find the school surrounded by wasps.

Everyone recuperates at Buffy's while Buffy continues to show her anger towards James. She rushes off to the kitchen where she finds a sign for the 1955 Sadie Hawkins dance in her pocket as James' voice whispers, "I need you." She heads to the school where the wasps part for her to enter. Willow finds the ad and everyone rushes after Buffy, but they cannot enter the school.

Angelus appears in the halls as Buffy, now possessed by James, talks to him as if he were Grace. They continue the ghosts' argument with Angelus playing the role of Grace. At the climax, Buffy pulls out a gun and shoots Angelus. He falls off of the balcony as though dead. Buffy, still possessed by James, rushes off to the music room where "James" plans to kill himself. Angelus, still possessed by Grace, is not killed by the bullet as Angelus' vampire nature prevents him from dying of that. He wakes up and proceeds to the music room just in time to stop Buffy from pulling the trigger. They exchange apologies and kiss. The spirits, now able to pass on, leave their bodies. Buffy and Angelus break away from the kiss, and Angelus, realizing what he has been doing, pushes Buffy away and rushes off.

At the garden, Angelus scrubs furiously at his body knowing how close he had been with Buffy. He then invites Drusilla out to feed while demeaning Spike and forcing him to stay behind because he is in a wheelchair. When they are gone, Spike stands up and kicks the chair aside revealing that he has healed from his spinal injury, and is looking for revenge on Angelus.

Production details[edit]

Series creator Joss Whedon has said that it was this episode that convinced him that David Boreanaz was an actor strong enough to have his own series.[1]

Marti Noxon, author of this episode, admits that she is haunted by the idea of ghosts which for her, are figurative expressions of the need for “repentance and second chances” that she perceived as being necessary thanks to “a difficult family situation”: “I realize that I was constantly telling the story of my family and fears,” she says. Noxon was also influenced in her storytelling by the movies Poltergeist and Truly, Madly, Deeply, which featured a widow who was unable to move on after the loss of her husband.[2]


  • In the scene where Willow is teaching the Computer Science class, the name "TARA" can be seen on the blackboard under "Detention" with "x2" next to it. In seasons 4 - 6 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Willow's girlfriend is called Tara Maclay.
  • In this episode, it is shown that Snyder, and at least part of the police force are aware that Sunnydale is built on a Hellmouth.
  • This episode marks the first reference to Mayor Richard Wilkins though not by name, a character who would go on to be the central antagonist of Season Three.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of the mansion that would serve as Angel's home throughout the remainder of this season, and the whole of the third season.
  • Willow's discovery of Jenny Calendar's magic files inspires her own interest in magic, which will become central to her character from thereafter.
  • Willow tells Giles that she was using Ms. Calendar's teaching plans which she'd left on her computer, the same computer Angel attempted to destroy in "Passion". However, he only destroyed the monitor.
  • The Flamingos' recording of the eponymous song, playing on a turntable in the music room, was not made until 1959, so it wouldn't have been available in 1955.
  • Angel would later refer to the events of this episode in the Angel Season Three episode "Waiting in the Wings" in which he and Cordelia are similarly possessed by the spirits of dead lovers.


  1. ^ Florez, Paul (April 2, 2007), JOSS WHEDON: A TO Z, archived from the original on May 9, 2007 
  2. ^ Christopher Golden; Stephen Bissette; Thomas E. Sniegoski (2000), The Monster Book, Simon and Schuster, p. 259, ISBN 0-671-04259-9 

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