Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Hush

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Hush
Buffy-410.jpg
Season 4, Episode 10
Airdate December 14, 1999
Production Number 4ABB10
Writer(s) Joss Whedon
Director(s) Joss Whedon
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Buffy the Vampire SlayerSeason Four

Hush is the tenth episode of the fourth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the sixty-sixth episode overall, and is considered by many to be the best episode of the show. Hush is written as a silent episode where classic horror archetype villains invade Sunnydale looking for human hearts to steal. These villains, named "The Gentlemen," steal the town's voices, taking away their ability to talk. The episode, consequently, features 25 solid minutes where there is no dialogue spoken.

Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), James Marsters (Spike)

And: Anthony Stewart Head (Giles)

Guest Starring: Marc Blucas (Riley Finn), Emma Caulfield (Anya), Leonard Roberts (Forrest Gates), Phina Oruche (Olivia), Amber Benson (Tara Maclay), Brooke Bloom (Nicole), Jessica Townsend (Cheryl)

And: Lindsay Crouse (Maggie Walsh)

Co-Starring: Doug Jones (Gentleman), Camden Toy (Gentleman), Don W. Lewis (Gentleman), Charlie Brumbly (Gentleman), Carlos Amezcua (Newscaster), Elizabeth Thuax (Little Girl), Wayne Sable (Freshman)

Contents

Plot Overview

Notes

Monster of the Week

The Gentlemen are quite likely the closest Buffy has ever gotten to capturing the look and feel of a 'classic' horror villain. The Gentlemen are never really fleshed out, probably intentional. What we do know is that they come to Sunnydale looking for seven hearts. Because their weakness is a human scream, they steal all the voices of the town in order to carry out their mission.

The Gentlemen are closely followed by six minion demons, all of which are tied up in straitjackets. However, they don't seem to have a clear purpose other than to act as bodyguards.

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1 Freshman Gentleman Heart ripped out Room 118
2 Minion Buffy Neck snapped Field
3–6 Off-Screen Victims Gentlemen Hearts ripped out Various
7–11 Minions Buffy Scream Clock tower
12–17 Gentlemen Buffy Scream Clock tower

Arc Advancement

Happenings

  • The Initiative: While fighting in the clock tower, Buffy discovers that Riley is part of the Initiative, although she isn't actually introduced to the full concept of the military organization until later on.

Characters

  • Buffy and Riley: This is the first time in the series where Buffy and Riley both find out each others' secrets: that Buffy is the mythical slayer, and that Riley is working for a secret government program named The Initiative.
  • Willow and Tara: This is the first time Tara and Willow ever see each other. Although there has been subtle foreshadowing about Willow's lesbianism in previous episodes, it is this episode where we see a true romantic connection between Willow and another female.

Referbacks

Trivia

The Show

  • First Appearance: This is the first appearance of Tara Maclay, played by Amber Benson. She will go on to be an integral character in the next three seasons of the show.
  • The Little Girl's Poem: In the teaser of the show, we are privy to one of Buffy's dream sequences. In it, she encounters a little girl who chants the following haunting poem that foreshadows the rest of the episode:
Can't even shout, can't even cry,
The Gentlemen are coming on by.
Looking through windows, knocking on doors,
They need to take seven and they might take yours.
Can't call to mom, can't say a word,
You're gonna die screaming but you won't be heard.

Behind the Scenes

  • International: Buffy the Vampire Slayer has been dubbed into many different languages and the title translated for each different international version. Some international translations of this episode's title are:
    • French: "Un silence de mort" ("A Deadly Silence")
    • Italian: "L'urlo che uccide" ("The Cry That Kills")
    • German: "Das große Schweigen" (The Great Hush")
    • Spanish: "Silencio" ("Silence")
  • Emmy Awards: This episode was nominated for two Emmy Awards, one for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series and another for Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series. It did not win either award, losing out to The West Wing in both counts (respectively, "In Excelsis Deo" and "Pilot"). "Hush" is the only episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer to be nominated for a televised, non technical award.
  • Ratings: This episode received a 4.1 in the Nielsen ratings the first time it aired.
  • Real-Life Connection: The newscaster that appears on the television talking about the "epidemic" that has plagued Sunnydale is Carlos Amezcua, an actual newscaster on KTLA, the WB affiliate in Los Angeles.
  • Cameo: Many of the people in the classroom during Buffy's dream sequence are people who work on the show, because Whedon wanted the room to look like it was completely full. In the top left corner of the frame when Buffy is sitting in her seat, Andy Hallett can be seen. Hallett was formerly Whedon's personal assistant and played Lorne in Angel.
  • The Gentlemen: The lead two Gentlemen are played by Camden Toy and Doug Jones. Toy will appear on the series from time to time as demons like the Turok-Han in season seven. Jones, however, will not appear again on the show but will famously portray the Faun and the Pale Man in Pan's Labyrinth.

Allusions and References

  • Danse Macabre: Danse Macabre is a haunting tune melody by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns, and can be heard during Giles's transparency lecture of who and what The Gentlemen are. Coincidentally, it was the theme music for Jonathan Creek, a show on which Anthony Head guest-starred.
  • Revelations 15:1: The passage of The Bible that people are reading when Buffy and Willow first walk through the town on the way to Giles's house after they discover that their voices have been stolen.
Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete.
  • Blessed Be: This is what Willow calls her Wiccan group as a false imitation of. A "blessed be" is a Wiccan phrase used to describe a wish of goodwill towards someone.
Willow: Bunch of wanna-blessed bes.
  • Clark Kent: Superman's secret identity - few people in the DC comics world know that Clark Kent is secretly Superman. Used in this context to refer to Riley's nondescript persona as a grad student, though he secretly is a member of the Initiative.
Forrest: "We have a gig that would inevitably cause any girl living to think we are cool upon cool. Yet, we must Clark Kent our way through the dating scene never to use our unfair advantage. Thank God we're pretty."

Memorable Moments

  • Xander mistakenly thinks that Spike is feeding on Anya due to his depth perception and field of vision.
  • Giles's presents a transparency lecture to the Scooby Gang about The Gentlemen with Danse Macabre playing in the background.

Quotes

  • Giles: I have a friend who's coming to town, and I'd like us to be alone.
    Anya: Oh, you mean an orgasm friend?
    Giles: Yes, that's exactly the most appalling thing you could've said.
  • Anya: This isn't a relationship; you don't need me! All you care about is lots of orgasms!
    Xander: Okay, remember how we talked about private conversations? How they're less private when they're in front of my friends?
    Spike: Oh, we're not your friends; go on.