Out of My Mind (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

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"Out of My Mind"
Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode
Spike awakens after having a dream of Buffy
Episode no.Season 5
Episode 4
Directed byDavid Grossman
Written byRebecca Rand Kirshner
Production code5ABB04
Original air dateOctober 17, 2000
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"The Replacement"
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"No Place Like Home"
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (season 5)
List of Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes

"Out of My Mind" is the fourth episode of season 5 of the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Plot synopsis[edit]

At the cemetery, Buffy stalks her vampire prey, killing several new vampires with a little unwanted help from both Riley and Spike. Riley demonstrates quite a bit of enthusiasm and new strength while fighting, while Buffy simply orders Spike to stay out of her way. As Buffy and Riley leave, Spike swears to taste Buffy's blood, but as he walks off, he falls into an open grave. Buffy and Willow debate over a topic from class and discuss Buffy's busy schedule.

Buffy arrives at The Magic Box to train and is pleasantly surprised to see that the backroom has been transformed into an amazing training room. Harmony seeks Spike and his help because she is frightened that Buffy is out to destroy her. The two conspire to kill the Slayer. Joyce is chatting while making breakfast for Dawn, and in the midst of a sentence suddenly asks, "Who are you?" before collapsing onto the floor.[1]

At the hospital, an intern informs Buffy and Riley that Joyce will be fine, but that doctors aren't sure what caused her to collapse. Dawn is playing with a stethoscope and when she listens to Riley's heart, she finds that it is racing much faster than normal. After listening to Riley's heart, a doctor recommends that he stay in the hospital, as tachycardia puts him at high risk of a heart attack, but Riley disregards their concerns. Buffy tries to think of a way to help Riley and finally resolves to go to Riley's place and contact The Initiative via the bugs in his room.

Still part of the government, Graham tries to force Riley to see a doctor, but Riley is stronger than Graham and the other agents and gets away. After speaking with Graham later that day, Buffy takes it upon herself to get Riley to a doctor before he dies. Buffy gives Spike information about the doctor that can help Riley hoping that the vampire could help find Riley and bring him there. Instead, Spike and Harmony kidnap the doctor in order to force him to remove Spike's chip.

Buffy finds Riley in the Initiative caves, punching into rock because he can't feel any pain. He tells her that he's afraid he won't be enough for her once he lets the doctors operate on him. After convincing Riley to get medical attention, Buffy brings him to the hospital and finds Dr. Overheiser gone. Just after Overheiser finishes sewing up Spike's skull, Buffy arrives with Riley and a fight ensues. As he tries to bite the Slayer, Spike finds that the doctor only pretended to remove the chip from his head. When Riley suffers a heart attack and collapses while fighting Harmony, Buffy and the doctor immediately turn their attention to him. With the humans distracted, an enraged Spike escapes with Harmony, ranting about his disgust with Buffy and his weariness with how she is seemingly the source of everything wrong with his life.

The doctor is able to operate successfully on Riley. Later, Graham talks with Riley and tells him he no longer has a purpose in Sunnydale. Without the Initiative, he's nothing.

Afterwards, Buffy goes to Spike's crypt with the intention of staking him; however, when she confronts him, he angrily tells her to kill him. Spike angrily berates Buffy as the source of his torment, and yells that he would rather die and be free of her: however, Buffy cannot bring herself to do it and the pair kiss. Suddenly Spike wakes up beside a still sleeping Harmony; he's merely suffered a nightmare, but Spike is mortified at the thought he has feelings for Buffy.

Cultural references[edit]

  • When Buffy discovers the training room, she says, "You're like my fairy godmother and Santa Claus and Q all wrapped up into one... Q from Bond, not Star Trek."
  • Spike says, "Oh Pacey, you blind idiot. Can't you see she doesn't love you?" This is a reference to the US television show Dawson's Creek, in which the character Pacey was in an on again/off again relationship with Joey. Spike has previously shown an interest in another soap opera, Passions, when held by the Scooby Gang in Giles' apartment, as well as when Giles painfully admitted to having watched Passions with Spike out of boredom. This also foreshadows his own frustrations with his coming love for Buffy.
  • Buffy refers to the U.S. government as Big Brother.
  • When Buffy references thinking that hard work would be like a montage where the girl wakes up from sleeping on a pile of books with her glasses on crooked, the writers may be referencing the Charmed episode "Ex Libris" which aired several months prior to "The Real Me," and features a scene in which Phoebe wakes up from falling asleep on a pile of books with crooked glasses. (Charmed and Buffy shared crew and production facilities during this time period.)


Arc significance[edit]

  • Spike discovers his love for Buffy, much to his horror. Spike's feelings for Buffy will continue and develop until the end of the series.
  • This episode is the first to hint at Willow's preference for using magic when not strictly necessary and Tara's unease with Willow's power and attitude. This will continue to be developed until the end of the series.
  • Joyce has her second outward sign of a head problem (she was troubled by a headache in the previous episode, which she attributed merely to Buffy and Dawn fighting), which produces another instance of someone with distorted perception being able to tell that Dawn was not originally human.
  • This is the first time Riley verbally conveys to Buffy he feels he's not enough for her. Other times this is visible include his confrontation with Angel in The Yoko Factor, his reaction to Buffy's attraction to Dracula in Buffy vs. Dracula and his subsequent visits to a vampire brothel in Shadow and Into the Woods.
  • Dawn empties a box of cereal so that she can find the cereal box prize. Joyce says, "You want the cereal prize, but you don't want the cereal. You are growing up." This signifies that Dawn is increasingly becoming more human.[1]


  1. ^ a b Kirshner, Rebecca Rand (October 2000). "Buffy Episode #82: "Out of My Mind" Transcript". BuffyWorld. Retrieved April 7, 2013.

External links[edit]