Dead Man's Party (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
|"Dead Man's Party"|
|Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode|
|Episode no.||Season 3
|Directed by||James Whitmore, Jr.|
|Written by||Marti Noxon|
|Original air date||October 6, 1998|
|List of Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes|
"Dead Man's Party" is episode 2 of season 3 of the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Buffy struggles with life back in Sunnydale. Her problems with Angel, combined with the anger and distance of her friends and mother, only make things more difficult. However, everyone is eventually brought back together when a Nigerian mask that Joyce has acquired causes an army of zombies to rise up all over Sunnydale.
Joyce is hanging up a Nigerian mask given by a gallery friend when Buffy finishes unpacking. She reluctantly allows Buffy to go to find her friends, who are coordinating a vampire hunt via walkie-talkies. They are surprised by one another. At Giles' apartment, Buffy avoids most questions about her summer, while Giles hides his emotions in the kitchen and Oz reveals to Buffy that she is no longer a murder suspect.
The next day, Joyce takes Buffy to see Principal Snyder, who takes vindictive pleasure in making it difficult for Buffy to re-enter Sunnydale High School. Joyce then drops off Buffy at a coffee shop for a scheduled meeting with Willow, who does not show up. She goes home and meets Pat, a member of Joyce's book club, who does not hesitate to comment about Buffy's recent behavior and its impact on Joyce. While fetching fancy company plates for a dinner with her friends, Buffy finds a dead cat. Buffy and Joyce bury it but, that night, the Nigerian mask's eyes glow red and the dead cat crawls out of the earth.
Buffy has a nightmare involving Angel. When she wakes, the dead cat surprises her in the kitchen. Giles arrives to remove it in a cage. He notices the mask before leaving for the library, informing Buffy that she is not allowed on school grounds. At school, Buffy's friends decide to throw a big party. The discussion distracts Giles from a page showing Joyce's mask.
Dingoes Ate My Baby soon arrives at Buffy's house without notice. Overwhelmed by dozens of guests she does not know, Buffy tries to talk to a distracted Willow, but gives up. Xander and Cordelia are too busy kissing to care. Meanwhile, Joyce is telling Pat in the kitchen how tough Buffy's return has been on her. Overhearing Joyce's words, Buffy decides to pack again.
At the library, Giles is horrified by what he finally uncovers about the mask. He tries to phone Buffy, but party-goers fail to relay the message. Driving to the party, Giles hits a man in the road, gets out of the car and finds the man reanimated. Giles barely escapes oncoming zombies as bodies rise all over Sunnydale.
Willow finds Buffy in the bedroom packing to leave and expresses her disapproval. Joyce joins her and when Buffy tries to leave the party, she stops the merriment. Buffy and Joyce argue right in the midst of the party, and Willow, Xander, and Oz immediately side with Joyce over Buffy who still refuses to talk about what is going on with her. Just as Xander and Buffy are about to come to blows, the zombies crash through the windows and doors, causing the Scoobies to immediately drop their argument and band together to combat the threat. Several guests are killed. Oz and Cordelia hide in a downstairs closet while Buffy and others rush upstairs with a gravely-injured Pat. In the bedroom, Willow checks Pat's pulse and finds she is dead.
Giles arrives to tell Oz and Cordelia about the mask containing the powers of the zombie demon Ovu Mobani, which means "Evil Eye." Whichever zombie puts it on becomes the demon incarnate – and Pat does so. Other zombies are cowered while Buffy soon realizes that its gaze hypnotizes the recipient when its eyes flash (like a camera flash) in the direction of the recipient. Buffy pushes Pat out of the window when it is about to kill Willow. Oz tries to tell Buffy about how to kill it when he is hypnotized. Buffy takes the opening to plunge a shovel into its eyes. It vanishes along with all the other zombies. With this, Joyce and the other Scoobies are unable to bring themselves to spite Buffy any longer, and the entire group embraces.
The next day, Giles tries to convince Snyder to let Buffy return. When he refuses, Giles applies a little physical intimidation. In the coffee shop, Willow tells Buffy about her dabbling in magic and the two, once again best friends, yet Buffy still does not want to talk about why she left months before or about where she was. The episode ends with Buffy and Willow trading playful insults.
- Buffy has reconciled with her friends. She now must deal with herself.
- This episode hints about Principal Snyder's connections with the mayor (when Joyce and Buffy are in his office). The mayor will eventually become the Big Bad of this season.
- In the beginning of this episode, when Buffy stumbles across Xander, she warns not to play with stakes, for he could lose an eye- possibly a foreshadow to Season Seven when Xander is blinded in one eye.
- Willow talks about her practicing of magic, indicating her growth as a witch - something that becomes important later on in the series.
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