"I Only Have Eyes for You"
Written by Marti Noxon; directed by James Whitmore, Jr.

Xander and Cordelia dance at the Bronze as Willow sits alone at a table and Buffy stands up on the balcony. A guy named Ben approaches Buffy and they talk about the math class they took together the previous year. He asks if she’s going to the Sadie Hawkins dance the next night and wonders if she wants to ask him. Buffy politely declines, telling him that she’s not seeing anyone “ever again, actually.” She heads downstairs and runs into Willow, telling her she’s going to head to the library. Willow says that she’s been “all work and no play Buffy” and encourages her to be impulsive and get back into dating. “Love can be…nice!” she says. In a hallway at Sunnydale High, a guy chases a girl, angrily telling her that they’re not done. He accuses her of not caring anymore, and she says that it doesn’t matter how she feels. “Then tell me you don’t love me,” he urges. She asks if that will help, then tells him she doesn’t love him. He argues that a person can’t just wake up and stop loving someone. He pulls out a gun, points it at her, and says, “Love is forever.”

Buffy arrives in the middle of the boy and girl’s stand-off as the boy yells at the girl, “DON’T WALK AWAY FROM ME, B&$%#!” In another hallway, a janitor named George hears the yelling and hurries towards the scene as Buffy gets the gun away from the boy. Suddenly, the boy is confused and asks what happened. The girl tells Buffy that they hadn’t even been fighting a minute earlier. Buffy asks why the boy had a gun, and George points out that it’s not there. The next day, Snyder calls Buffy to his office and tells her that he’s going to figure out how she fits into what happened the previous night. After he’s called away, a 1955 suddenly falls off of one of his bookshelves. She glances at it, but just puts it back on the shelf. Giles arrives at the end of a class that Willow is covering for Jenny (see “Passion”) and she expresses how excited she is that things are going well. She mentions that she was looking through some of Jenny’s things about paganism and found a rose quartz that she thought he might want. She tells him that it has healing powers and he accepts it.

In history class, Buffy finds herself falling asleep and dreaming of a classroom in the 50’s. Students around her talk about the upcoming Sadie Hawkins dance and, as everyone else leaves, a student named James approaches the teacher, Ms. Newman. They talk about Hemingway and demonstrate that they might not just have a student-teacher relationship. Buffy awakens in time for her teacher to unwittingly write on the board, “DON’T WALK AWAY FROM ME, B&$%#!” After class, Buffy tells Xander what happened and he says that it doesn’t sound that dangerous. As he opens his locker, a green arm reaches out and grabs his shirt. Buffy manages to save him, and when she opens the locker again, nothing suspicious is inside. They head to the library (where Willow, seeing Xander’s torn shirt, asks, “Did Cordelia win another round in the broom closet?”) and mention all of the strange things that have happened. Xander manages to unknowingly describe the work of a poltergeist, and Giles agrees that that sounds right. He says that the spirit might be trying to make peace, but is lashing out instead. They need to figure out who the spirit was and help him or her resolve his or her problems.

That night, George chats with a teacher named Ms. Frank on her way out of the building. They suddenly begin talking about being unable to continue their relationship, and Ms. Frank says that people won’t understand them being together. George says that he’s going crazy thinking about her, but Ms. Frank says that they can’t go on. They begin echoing the boy and girl’s conversation from the previous night, and a gun suddenly appears in George’s hand. When George yells, “DON’T WALK AWAY FROM ME, B&$%#!” Giles hears and grows suspicious. He hears a woman speaking and thinks it’s Jenny. He runs out into the hallway in time to see George shooting at Ms. Frank. She falls over the balcony and Giles tackles George before he can escape. George drops the gun, which disappears, and asks what happened. Giles angrily tells him that he shot a woman.

Angelus has gone abandoned mansion shopping, trying to find a new home for himself, Spike, and Drusilla, after the destruction of their warehouse in “Passion.” Drusilla loves their new place, mostly because of the garden, but Spike is skeptical that they’ll be safe from the sun. Angelus mocks Spike’s wheelchair-bound state and tries to woo Dru with flowers, making Spike more frustrated. In the library, Giles tells the Scoobies what happened with George and Ms. Frank. He announces that he thinks Jenny is somehow involved - she was killed in the school and, though she wasn’t shot, she died violently. Buffy disagrees, pointing out that the couples’ arguments are specific. Giles accepts her and Willow’s points, but tells them that they’re wrong. Buffy, Willow, and Xander head to a classroom to chat about Giles’ inability to let go of the idea that Jenny is the poltergeist they’re dealing with. Willow does some investigating and finds an article about a high school student killing a teacher and himself on the night of a Sadie Hawkins dance. The two were having an affair, and after she broke up with him, he killed her, then went to the music room and killed himself. Without even looking at the article, Buffy knows that the incident occurred in 1955.

Buffy shows Willow and Xander pictures of James and Ms. Newman (Grace) from the 1955 yearbook and tells them about her dream. Willow asks her if she feels sorry for either of them, and Buffy replies that she feels sorry for Grace - James was a murderer and deserved to spend the rest of his life in jail. She says that she thinks James’ ghost is the one that they’re dealing with. Willow says that she could go through Jenny’s pagan things and find out how to communicate with James to find out what he wants, but Buffy says that what he wants doesn’t matter. She would rather stop him from possessing someone else and getting someone else killed. The Scoobies head to lunch, where Cordelia announces that she’s boycotting the Sadie Hawkins dance because girls have to ask the guys and “pay and everything.” Suddenly, students start screaming - the food has turned into snakes. A snake bites Cordelia’s cheek as Snyder arrives and sees what’s going on. The police arrive and Snyder and Chief Bob (“School Hard”) try to figure out what to tell everyone. They finally decide to say that a sewer line backed up. Snyder states that people will figure out what’s really going on sooner or later, and Chief Bob threatens that, if he can’t take care of things, he can speak to the Mayor (see “Homecoming”). Tense, Snyder assures him that he’ll handle everything.

That night, the Scoobies gather in Buffy’s bedroom and Willow announces that talking to James’ spirit is out of the question. She decides that an exorcism is their only choice. Cordelia protests (“I saw that movie! Even the priest died!”), but Willow says that they need to form a Mangus-tripod. One person will chant near the balcony and the other three will chant in three other places in the school that form a triangle. This will bind James’ spirit and keep it from hurting anyone else. Buffy offers to be by the balcony, but Xander worries that James will be violent towards her, since he’s mainly been focusing on her. The Scoobies head to the school, where Willow hands out scapulas made from sulfur, which they will wear around their necks for protection. As they’re about to split up, the doors in the hallway slam shut. Drusilla digs around in the dirt at the mansion, then has a vision of a gate opening. She tells Angelus that something wants Buffy, and that she’s ready for him. Spike says that Angelus is all talk and won’t actually do anything to Buffy, and Angelus replies that he thinks he should turn his attention to something else. He says that he thinks he should stick around and help Spike and Drusilla with whatever they need him for.

Willow passes the library on the way to her chanting spot and she and Giles startle each other when he comes out into the hallway. He tells her that he’s going to try to contact Jenny and warns that Willow could be in danger if she’s around when it happens. Cordelia goes into a bathroom, examining her snake bite in the mirror, and Buffy walks down a hall, hearing the song “I Only Have Eyes for You.” As she continues, she is transported to 1955 and sees James and Grace dancing in the music room. Xander heads to the cafeteria, which is “snake-alicious,” and Willow goes upstairs. As James turns towards Buffy, she sees that his face has rotted. Cordelia is shocked to see that, in the mirror, half of her face appears to have rotted as well. The stairs under Willow begin to pull her down and she screams for Giles. He rushes over and manages to pull her out. On the balcony, Buffy has a vision of James shooting Grace, then killing himself in the music room. Back in reality, James grabs Buffy, says, “Get out!” and fades quickly.

Cordelia looks in the mirror again and is relieved to see that her face has gone back to normal. Willow tells Giles that Jenny can’t be the spirit they’re dealing with because she would never be that mean. He reluctantly agrees. The clock strikes midnight and Willow heads back upstairs to light her candle. In their positions, the other Scoobies light their candles as well. Giles helps Willow light her candle and she chants, “I shall confront and expel all evil.” “I shall totally confront and expel all evil,” Cordelia says. “Out of marrow and bone,” Xander chants. “Out of house and home…never to come here again,” Buffy says. Everything is quiet for a minute, until a breeze blows through the school, blowing out everyone’s candles. The Scoobies hear buzzing and see a huge swarm of wasps flying down the hallway. Everyone runs outside and watches the wasps surround the school.

The Scoobies head back to Buffy’s house, unsure about what to do. Buffy says that James wants forgiveness, and Giles notes that he seems doomed to kill Grace over and over, making forgiveness impossible. Buffy says that he doesn’t deserve it, and Giles replies that forgiveness is given because people need it, not because they should receive it. She argues that he killed the person he loved “in a moment of blind passion” and has to live with it. Xander points out that he’s dead and can’t live with what he did. Buffy heads to the kitchen and Cordelia sums everything up nicely by saying, “Overidentify much?” Buffy pulls a flier for the 1955 Sadie Hawkins dance out of her pocket and hears a male voice say, “I need you.” She quickly leaves the house. Giles tells the other Scoobies that they need to figure out how to defeat the spirit. Buffy heads back to school, where the swarm of wasps parts to let her inside, then closes itself again. Willow goes into the kitchen, sees the flier, and figures out where Buffy went. The Scoobies hurry back to the school and Giles says that Buffy must be under the spirit’s “thrall.” James wants her to reenact what happened with Grace, but he wants to change things and have a happy ending. He points out that no one else is inside the building, so Buffy should be safe. As Buffy walks through the halls, she hears someone behind her and turns to see Angelus.

Buffy tells Angelus that he’s the only one she can talk to and he says that that’s pretty pathetic. They begin speaking James and Grace’s words, and we switch back and forth between them and the real James and Grace in 1955. However, Buffy is speaking James’ words and Angelus is speaking Grace’s. Buffy winds up aiming a gun at Angelus and chasing him through the school. She shoots him, and outside, the other Scoobies hear the gunshot. As 1955 Grace falls off the balcony, Buffy looks down to see Angelus lying on the ground. She enters the music room and Angelus opens his eyes and looks up at the balcony. Buffy puts “I Only Have Eyes for You” on the record player and is raising the gun to shoot herself when Angelus enters. He tells her that “his” death wasn’t her fault and promises that “he” never stopped loving “her.” In 1955, Grace and James kiss as current day Buffy and Angelus kiss as well. A light appears in the ceiling and James and Grace’s spirits leave the school. Buffy and Angelus break apart, and he angrily leaves.

The Scoobies meet up in the library with mixed emotions about the fact that the school is now free of snakes and wasps and can open the next day. Buffy tells Giles that James must have chosen her to possess because he could relate to her. She says that she’s not sure why Grace would forgive him, and Giles replies that it doesn’t matter. At the mansion, Angelus scrubs himself in a fountain and complains about his possession. “What was it? A demon?” Drusilla asks. “Love!” Angelus exclaims. He invites Dru to join him for a kill and she asks if Spike wants to come along. Angelus says that they have to “travel light” and tells Spike to have fun without him. As soon as Angelus and Dru are gone, Spike says that he will. He stands up, kicks his wheelchair aside, and adds, “Sooner than you think.”

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Ghosts are both dead and deadly.

GRADE: B+ The best part is the way Grace and James’ dialogue fits so perfectly with Buffy and Angelus’ relationship.

MEMORABLE QUOTES - Willow: “Maybe you need to be impulsive.”
Buffy: “Impulsive? Do you remember my ex-boyfriend, the vampire? I slept with him, he lost his soul, now my boyfriend’s gone forever, and the demon that wears his face is killing my friends. The next impulsive decision I make will involve my choice of dentures.”

“I’m no stranger to conspiracy. I saw JFK. I’m a truth seeker.” - Snyder

Secretary: “Mr. Snyder, Billy Crandal chained himself to the snack machine again.”
Snyder: “Pathetic little no-life vegan.”

Buffy: “I’m telling you, something weird is going on.”
Xander: “Something weird is going on. Isn’t that our school motto?”

Xander: “I’ll have you know I was just accosted by some kind of, um, locker monster.”
Giles: “Loch Ness Monster?”

“I defined something? Accurately? Guess I’m done with the book learning.” - Xander

“Yes, well, I, uh, I appreciate your thoughts on the matter, I, in fact I…well, I encourage you to, to always, uh, challenge me, uh, when you feel it’s appropriate. You should never be cowed by authority. Except, of course, in this instance, when I am clearly right and you are clearly wrong.” - Giles to Buffy and Willow

“Your dreams are getting wicked accurate, Buff. You wouldn’t happen to see me coming across some big cash? Or possibly knowing the love of a woman? In a full body sense?” - Xander

Buffy: “He’s a murderer and he should pay for it.”
Willow: “With his life?”
Buffy: “No, he should be doing sixty years in a prison, breaking rocks and making special friends with Roscoe the weightlifter.”
Xander: “Yikes. The quality of mercy is not Buffy.”

Buffy: “He wants forgiveness.”
Giles: “Yes. I imagine he does. But when James possesses people, they act out exactly what happened that night. So he’s experiencing a form of purgatory instead. I mean, he’s, he’s doomed to, to kill his Ms. Newman over and over and over again, and…forgiveness is impossible.”
Buffy: “Good. He doesn’t deserve it.”
Giles: “To forgive is an act of compassion, Buffy. It’s, it’s not done because people deserve it. It’s done because they need it.”
Buffy: “No. James destroyed the one person he loved the most in a moment of blind passion. And that’s not something you forgive. No matter why he did what he did. And no matter if he knows now that it was wrong and selfish and stupid, it is just something he’s gonna have to live with.”
Xander: “He can’t live with it, Buff. He’s dead.”

“You might want to let up. They say when you’ve drawn blood, you’ve exfoliated.” - Spike to Angelus


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