Homecoming (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
|Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode|
|Episode no.||Season 3
|Directed by||David Greenwalt|
|Written by||David Greenwalt|
|Original air date||November 3, 1998|
"Homecoming" is episode 5 of season 3 of the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
After Scott breaks up with her, Buffy runs for homecoming queen. This puts her against Cordelia and the two fall out. Meanwhile Willow and Xander kiss and feeling guilty help Cordelia's run for homecoming instead of Buffy. Buffy and Cordelia are tricked into a limo to reconcile but end up in a deadly game of SlayerFest '98. Old enemies have returned to kill the slayers and Cordelia is mistaken for Faith and therefore has to help Buffy fight for their lives.
After Scott asks Buffy to the Homecoming dance, the young Scoobies decide to share a limo on the night. However, Scott breaks up with Buffy the following day, leaving her feeling hurt. Buffy continues to feed a weak Angel in secret, telling him the others would not understand that he is now better - as well as telling him about Scott.
At school, Buffy is monitored by two men in a van that are somehow connected to Mr. Trick. They overhear Buffy mention that a limo will pick up Faith and then her to take them to Homecoming. Meanwhile, Deputy Mayor Allan Finch enters the Mayor's office. He reports two German brothers who are major criminals arriving in Sunnydale. The Mayor gently chides him for not cleaning his hands enough. At school, the gang sends Cordelia to remind Buffy that yearbook photos were about to take place. However, Cordelia is distracted in persuading other students to vote for her for Homecoming Queen, and she leaves without giving Buffy the message.
After Buffy realises her favourite teacher does not even remember her, she becomes saddened by her low stance on the social hierarchy of Sunnydale High. She tells her frustrations to Xander, Willow and Oz who reluctantly remind her that she missed yearbook photos. Upon learning it was Cordelia's fault, Buffy confronts her. However, Cordelia shows no caring and blames her hectic Homecoming Queen campaign. Enraged, Buffy decides to also run for the title.
Meanwhile, Mr. Trick introduces a competition, "SlayerFest '98", with a group of participants, including the German twin assassins (whom had been monitoring Buffy beforehand) Hans & Fredrick Gruenstahler, "The Most Dangerous Game" hunter Frawley, Kulak, a demon of the Miquot Clan, and Lyle Gorch from "Bad Eggs" and his new wife Candy.
At night, Xander and Willow meet to try on their Homecoming clothes. They admire one another before finally kissing. The following day, Buffy is analyzing the competition for Homecoming Queen with Xander, Willow, Oz and Giles. Cordelia enters the library and tells Buffy her friends are all instead committed to her campaign, Xander helping as her boyfriend, Willow constructing a database and Oz going along with Willow. Slightly confused, Buffy decides to carry out her campaign alone. After a few days, Buffy and Cordelia engage in a heated argument, while Xander and Willow continue to help Cordelia; feeling guilty about their kiss.
As Homecoming night arrives, the limo arrives to collect Buffy. Cordelia, the only other person in the limo, gives Buffy a note from the rest of the gang whom have decided to make their own way to the dance, giving Buffy and Corelida time to make up. Upon exiting the limo, the girls find themselves isolated in a remote location. They discover a tape addressed to Buffy and Faith detailing the hunting of the slayers in SlayerFest '98. Not realizing Cordelia is not the correct target, the participants begin to attack. Buffy defeats Frawley before the girls seek shelter in a cabin.
While at the dance, Xander and Willow are still feeling guilty about their kiss. Faith, annoyed at Scott for breaking up with Buffy, embarrasses him in front of his new date. Back in the cabin, Buffy and Cordelia find a phone and attempt to alert Giles of their situation, but the phone is soon cut dead. While hiding, Cordelia says she loves Xander while Buffy mentions she spent a years allowance on her dress to have one perfect moment in high school. For a moment the two girls understand one another. Kulak breaks into the cabin and fights with Buffy. Meanwhile, the German assassins throw a grenade inside. Buffy and Cordelia escape and run back to the library, but Kulak is killed.
Upon arriving at the library, Buffy and Cordelia find Giles has been knocked unconscious by Lyle and Candy. Buffy manages to stake Candy, but is knocked out in the process. Cordelia then scares off Lyle by taunting him. As Buffy and Giles regain consciousness, they realise the German assassins are able to track them by their corsages which were also in the limo. Buffy distracts the assassins as they enter the school, managing to plant the corsages on them and have them annihilate each other with their high-tech equipment. As Slayerfest '98 concludes, two policemen escort Mr. Trick to the Mayor's office, who informs him he help to control rebellious youths.
Buffy and Cordelia finally arrive at the Homecoming dance only to find that they both lost the campaign for the title. Beaten, the girls then leave together.
- Oz's reply to Buffy's call for support in the library, "As Willow goes, so goes my nation," is a reference to the traditional American political phrase "As Maine goes, so goes the nation", alluding both to Oz's inseparable devotion to Willow, and the increasing political atmosphere of the episode.
- Mayor Richard Wilkins III appears for the first time, and displays what will be his trademark: a disturbing attention to cleanliness.
- Xander and Willow begin to explore their mutual attraction.
- Buffy's wish for a perfect moment in high school will be granted in "The Prom".
- This episode marks the second and final appearance of Lyle Gorch.
- Buffy's favorite class in high school was "Contemporary American Heroes from Amelia Earhart to Maya Angelou".
- Kulak identifies himself as a Miquot demon. This is the first Buffyverse instance of a demon being identified as a member of a particular subspecies; in previous episodes, demons were known only by individual names (Eyghon, der Kindestod, Machida, Moloch, etc.) -- and, on a single occasion, a name for a group of demons (the Brotherhood of Seven) -- implying that each demon was unique. Identification of Buffyverse demon subspecies became far more common with the spinoff series Angel.
- This is a rare episode in which Buffy deliberately (albeit indirectly) kills "normal" humans (e.g. humans without magical powers), as she manipulates the Gruenstahler brothers into shooting each other.
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