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The Shooter Episode

“Earshot” is a good episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, rooted in the premise of Buffy accidentally garnering the ability hear the thoughts of everyone around her (following an encounter with a demon). Like most episodes, the brilliance is less in the central concept than the multiple masters it serves. The episode has a comedic bent, including Buffy using her new powers to steal answers from a class know-it-all during a class discussion, besides eavesdropping on Oz’s zen, profound thoughts and uncovering that Cordelia says exactly what she thinks. The new ability also sets up the central threats of the episode, though: the promise that Buffy will lose her mind if she can’t lose this ability and the discovery that someone in the school is planning to commit a mass murder. Ask the average viewer from the late 1990s about this episode and I doubt they remember much, if any of the above about this episode. For this, arguably the most infamous episode of the seven-season series, there a…

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