Recap: Buffy The Vampire Slayer S 2 E 19 I Only Have Eyes For You
To forgive is an act of compassion, Buffy. It's not done because people deserve it. It's done because they need it.
Ghosts of two lovers possess students and force them to act out their tragic Murder-Suicide
- Ankle Drag: Willow is pulled into the floor by the ghost.
- Bait and Switch/Meaningful Echo: The ghosts' reenactment appears to be about a male student who murders his older female lover because she tries to leave him. When the roles are Gender Flipped with Buffy possessed by James and Angel possessed by Grace, everything takes on a new context — both Grace and Angel, acting out of lust and loneliness, took advantage of a youth they were responsible for, with James and Buffy now doomed to suffer eternal guilt in the belief that It's All My Fault after having accidentally killed their One True Love.
- Best Served Cold: Spike
- Big Fancy House: Angelus, Drusilla and Spike move into a mansion.
- Buffy Speak: Actually referred to as "Xander Speak" by Giles.
Xander: This was no wimpy chain rattler. This was 'I'm dead as hell, and I'm not gonna take it anymore.'
Giles: Well, despite the Xander-speak, that's a fairly accurate definition of a poltergeist.
- Captain Obvious
Buffy: I'm telling you, something weird is going on.
Xander: Something weird is going on. Isn't that our school motto?
- When Buffy says the ghost will just have to "live with" his guilt, Xander tells her that he can't "live with it" because he's dead.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?
Giles: Many times the spirit is plagued by all manner of worldly troubles. Being dead, it has no way to, uh, to make its peace. So it, it lashes out, growing ever more confused, ever more angry.
Buffy: So it's a normal teenager, only dead.
- Everything's Worse With Huge Swarms Of Magical Wasps
- Foreshadowing: "The city council was told that you could handle this job. If you feel that you can't, perhaps you'd like to take that up...with the Mayor." Season 3's Big Bad.
- Willow does a spell. She kinda likes it. Good for her.
- She also goes through Ms. Calendar's files, though by this point she hadn't yet found the ones saved on the floppy disk, which would help her restore Angel's soul.
- Also the ghost dialogue foretells Bangel events in "Becoming, Part 2", and in Season 3. In season 3, Buffy forgives Angel for what he did this season. Angel breaks up with Buffy so that she can have a normal life, but she doesn't care about not being able to have a normal relationship with him.
- "He killed a person and killed himself. Those are pretty much two of the dumbest things you could do." One of them later kills a person, and one of them later (depending on how you interpret the events of "The Gift"), commits suicide.
- Cordelia wonders what would happen if the school closed down, which happened after the events of the season 3 finale.
- Gas Leak Cover Up: The snakes are explained away by the principal saying the sewers were backed up.
- Gender Flip: The ghost always possesses a man and a woman to reenact his murder-suicide. By deliberately saying the ghost's opening line ("you can't make me disappear just because you say it's over") Buffy manages to invoke the reenaction with her playing the ghost's part.
- Except Buffy is already under James' thrall by that point. As she says later; "He picked me. I guess I was the one he... could relate to. He was so sad..."
- Good Hurts Evil: Once Grace's possession of him has ended, Angelus is so mortified he flees even though Buffy is at his mercy. He's later shown vigorously washing his body and complaining about being "violated" by having been forced to feel love, and insists on going out immediately to commit an act of evil, like killing a child.
- Government Conspiracy: As hinted in "School Hard", the local authorities know what's behind the weird happenings in Sunnydale and are working to keep a lid on it.
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: Done without the Time Travel. The loop is broken when Grace's ghost inhabits Angelus, who can't be killed by gunfire and so survives to tell James what he needs to move on.
- He Really Can Act: It was this episode that convinced Joss Whedon that David Boreanaz was an actor strong enough to have his own series.
- Hey, It's That Place!: The exterior of Angel's mansion is of Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House.
- High School Dance: The Sadie Hawkins Dance.
- Hope Spot: For a second Buffy thinks Angel has been restored, then she's pushed away in anger by Angelus who flees the scene.
- Hypocritical Humor
Giles: You should never be cowed by authority. Except in this case when I am clearly right and you are clearly wrong.
- Insane Troll Logic
Snyder: I'm gonna look at all the pieces carefully and rationally, and Iím gonna keep looking until I know exactly how this is all your fault.
- Ironic Echo: The dialogue between the ghosts once they possess Angelus and Buffy matches what Angel and Buffy would say to each other, if only they could.
- It's Not You, It's Me: When Ben hints he's like Buffy to ask him to the dance, Buffy responds "Oh Gosh!" He quickly backs off thinking she doesn't like him but Buffy hastens to add that he looks like a nice guy, but she's not seeing anyone. Ever again.
- Leitmotif: The Giles/Jenny theme plays briefly while Jenny is being discussed.
- Kissing Under the Influence
- The Lost Lenore: Jenny for Giles, and ensouled Angel for Buffy.
- Meaningful Echo: Specific lines of the James/Grace dialogue will be spoken by Buffy/Angel in Season 3's "Lover's Walk" and "The Prom."
- Metaphorgotten: In a rare unfunny example, Buffy's refusal to forgive the ghost rings strongly of her own past with Angel. Cordelia of all is the first to notice.
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.
(Buffy storms out)
- Mind Rape: What Angelus thinks has been inflicted on him. After this event his goal changes from tormenting Buffy to bringing about The End of the World as We Know It, implying that Angelus is so disturbed at feeling love he wants to abolish all chance of it ever happening again.
- Monster of the Week
- No OSHA Compliance: Spike dryly notes the large windows for letting sunlight into their new mansion (ironic given that it's the notoriously unsafe Ennis House).
- Nothing Is Scarier: The Oh Crap look on Snyder's face when the Mayor is mentioned tells us this is no mere small town politician.
- Our Ghosts Are Different
- Out-of-Character Moment/Theory Tunnelvision: Commented on by the characters — Giles is still so torn up by Jenny's death that he refuses to take note of any evidence that she's not the one haunting the school.
- Also Willow pointing out that Jenny would never be this mean (as the ghost is). Giles finally accepts this point.
- Prison Rape: So it seems that in order to put an end to the ghost Buffy has to forgive James for what he did. Is this agreeable to her? Oh hell no, since he's already dead she thinks he should be subjected to making special friends with Roscoe the weightlifter.
- Remonstrating With A Gun/Railing Kill: How Grace was killed.
- The Reveal: The principal, the city council, and the mayor know about The Masquerade.
- Saw It in a Movie Once
Buffy: I don't incite! I stopped that boy from killing his girlfriend, ask him. Ask the janitor.
People can be coerced, Summers. I'm no stranger to conspiracy. I saw JFK
- Snakes Are Evil: At least when the burger you're about to bite into turns into a wriggling nest of them.
- Sunnydale Syndrome: Snyder and the police chief worry that it's starting to fray.
- Talking Down the Suicidal
- Teacher/Student Romance: The ghost lovers are student and teacher.
- Tearjerker: Oh yes...
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!
James (1955): Don't walk away from me -
- This Is Unforgivable: Buffy says what the ghost did was unforgivable even if he felt remorse later.
- Throwing Off the Disability: After Angelus taunts him again and leaves with Drusilla, bidding him "Have fun without us", Spike slowly rises from the wheelchair he was in since Buffy tried to kill him and kicks it across the room.
"Oh I will. Sooner than you think."
- Titled After the Song
- Shirtless Scene: Angelus gets one at the end, as he's trying to wash off the love.
- To Shakespeare
Xander: Yikes! The quality of mercy is not Buffy.
- Skewed Priorities: When Cordelia gets bitten by one of the snakes, she is worries about getting a scar and swelling. When a swarm of bees invades the school, she wonders whether they would be considered graduates if the school got closed down.
- Very Special Episode: Ended with a PSA by SMG about calling the suicide hotline.
- Why Don't You Just Bite Her?: Angelus has become bored with his mind games with Buffy and decides to finish her off once and for all. Fortunately the ghosts have other ideas for the two of them.
- Wham Shot: See Throwing Off the Disability
- Would Hurt a Child: Drusilla suggests she and Angelus go find a toddler to kill.