Episode Reviews (26)

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  • 7.5


    By arkanitoo, Jul 13, 2012

    The battle for Homecoming Queen is on, and it's a lot more fun than it has any right to be. This isn't a mind blowing episode of BtVS, but it's quite entertaining. Where it loses some credibility is in its choice of demon contestants in Mr. Trick's SlayerFest 98. As example, the remaining Gorch vampire and his 'wife' are somehow cornier that when he appeared back in "Bad Eggs" (2x12). Nevertheless, lots of other important stuff happens here. The Mayor is introduced, Buffy tries to compete in a popularity contest in hope that she's chosen for something besides beheading, and there's more Mr. Trick.

    Early on we see Buffy visiting Angel at the mansion trying to explain to him that she's moved on and that things are different now. Angel's reaction to all this news is perfect because his last ensouled memory is sleeping with her. It's no wonder that he still feels extremely close to her. Buffy also tells him about her relationship with Scott Hope. She thinks he's a stable guy, but it turns out her "out of it" behavior hasn't gone unnoticed, so he breaks up with her.

    This (the emotional detachment with her boyfriends) is a problem that Buffy has throughout the entire series. She feels like she's giving a relationship her all even though she's not genuinely emotionally open. Like Riley says in "Into the Woods" (5x10), "It's about me taking care of you! It's about letting me in." In that same episode, Xander tells her that in order to have a working relationship you've got to be completely open with your partner, "I'm talking scary, messy, no-emotions-barred need." Buffy fully understands and articulates her problem by "Conversations with Dead People" (7x07), while talking to the vampire Holden.

    The rest of the episode is completely focused on Buffy and Cordelia. Because Cordelia gets side-tracked by her Homecoming Queen campaign and forgets to remind Buffy about the photo shoot, Buffy takes a stand and decides to compete against Cordelia (and the others) for Homecoming Queen. She tells everyone it's not a big deal to her, but it's obvious it means a ton. Buffy breaking the glass bottle with her hand after she discovers that all her friends are helping Cordelia instead of her is the first striking example of its importance. It's not until later and under attack when Buffy admits to Cordelia the true reason for competing. She simply wants to be chosen for something other than slaying for once so that she's recognized as being a person, and not simply the Slayer.

    It's amazingly fitting, though, that neither of them win the crown. Cordelia is made for this competition, so when she loses too, Buffy doesn't have to feel very bad about it. On an unrelated topic, we finally got to see the Mayor! Right from his very first scene he comes across as creepy and multi-layered. There's a lot more entertainment and development for him on the way.

    Overall this is a perfectly enjoyable episode with a few small problems. The only thing I outright hated was Willow and Xander's kiss. This relationship is really coming out of nowhere, from a character development perspective, and I don't buy it at all. It appears as though the only reason the writers made them do this is because Cordelia is moving over to AtS next season. Also, Anya (entering the picture soon) will need Xander to be free so she can put the fun moves on him. I find the Willow and Xander 'thing' one of the few times in the series where the characters did something I felt was out of character. In reality, though, it's a small complaint in an otherwise very fun episode.moreless

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  • 10


    By joxerlives, Jan 19, 2012


    The Good;

    Buffy and Cordy's campaign is the funniest thing ever! Jonathon! Love the ending, love the hunting, love Cordy facing off with Lyle Gorch, love the Mayor and Mr Trick, love everything about it, truly fantastic.

    The Bad;

    Find me some? Actually, why bring back Lyle Gorch who is a stupid villain if there ever was one?

    Best line;

    The Mayor; "Oh no, that wouldn't be a problem" (wonderful line from Harry Groener, it's all in the way he delivers it, perfectly polite and reasonable but with all the menace in the world)

    Shot; no, despite all the lead flying around. Odd to see Buffy using a gun although it seems to run out of ammo awfully fast.

    Knocked out; yep, Giles again and Buffy

    Women good/men bad; Scott dumping Buffy but he has his reasons. Faith and Buffy plan to pick up a couple of studs, use them then dump them as revenge on the male of the species. Although I'm sure they won't be complaining!

    Kinky dinky; Willow and Xander, awwwwwww. Even the most dedicated of Tara's kittens can't help but be charmed by this scene, especially the music. How does Buffy get her SDH 'letterman' jacket for her campaign? Borrowed from Larry or as a gift in return for her favours? "That thing with her mouth that boys like"? Or is it Xander's from his time on the swim team? Buffy describes Cordy as a 'vapid whore'. Xander refers to Cordy as his 'conquest' whilst Oz and Willow are 'rounding 2nd' which is apparently slang for heavy petting.

    Calling Captain Subtext; just as they're getting serious Scott dumps Buffy. But in Conversations with Dead People we discover why, I don't think his Homecoming date would have got too far either (he earlier comments that he's a bad liar). Willow's attraction to Xander gives more credence to her status as bi. Xander refers to Buffy and Faith in the library 'Getting all sweaty' whilst Oz suggests that Buffy and Cordy have been mudwrestling. Essentially in this ep Faith asks Buffy out on a date to the Homecoming dance and Buffy says yes. She also says 'Boys should break up with you more often' Plus half-naked musclely German men wrestling for no apparent reason.

    Questions and observations;

    Love the list of Buffy's rivals set of strengths and weaknesses especially that going out with Xander is considered one of Cordy's weaknesses. What does PB crazy mean? Playboy? Just what are the chances that the shack that Buffy and Cordy stumble upon has a working phone? Love Faith's little trick against Scott. There is no Vulcan deathgrip. Wonderful introduction for the Mayor, Harry Groener is just amazing. Nice line where Mr Trick tells him that the whole 'not fitting in' concept was old even before he became a vampire (although one ventures that the undead really couldn't care less about human concerns such a racial politics just as Spike doesn't care about the Nazis in 'Why we fight?'). The picture scenes are smashing and lovingly recreated in the SDH Yearbook. Faith believes rage 'gives you an edge'. Buffy asks if she's invisible, well not yet. Xander refers to his relations with money, presumably not Uncle Rory. The only time we see Faith all dolled up at the dance and she looks beautiful. Buffy tortures the hunter in the trap.The SDPD seem to overcome Mr Trick very easily. Joss bascially reuses this storyline for the second episode of Dollhouse, it's derived from the famous short story 'The Most Dangerous Game' which in turn inspired real life serial killer Robert Hansen who hunted and murdered over twenty people after kidnapping them, releasing them into the Alaskan wilderness and giving them a head start.

    10/10 no question


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  • 9.5


    By TrueTvWatcher, Oct 14, 2010

    Homecoming was a Superb episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This episode really focused on the relathionships between Buffy and Cordelia, and then also with Willow and Zander things are taking a turn down an unexpected road. The story itself was amazing, entertaining, and well thought. This episode introduces us finally to the Mayor of Sunnydale, whom weve only heard of by mention of others. The Mayor introduces himself to Mr. Trick, who is currently running Slayerfest 98, and Buffy and Cordelia are evading the players. While in the cabin Buffy and Cordelia have a real touching moment, and it really makes you see both characters in new ways, as they both had their own realizations. This season is shaping up to be great, as expected!moreless

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  • 9.5

    Season 3, Episode 5.

    By Wanted23, Apr 22, 2009

    Mr. Trick plots to kill Buffy as Scott dumps her and she competes against Cordelia for the title of Homecoming Queen. Meanwhile, romance begins to blossom between Xander and Willow.

    Let me just say that the guys that were spying on Buffy were hot! The scene where the two guys were shirtless and fighting was pretty hot. I was pretty shocked by the sudden Willow and Xander romance.That scene was amusing. I liked that Buffy and Cordelia were involved with SlayerFest '98. I liked that they had to run while in dresses, though. I liked when Cordelia didn't think it was important to mention that there was a phone. Haha, awesome episode. I loved what Faith said to Scott at Homecoming. Good episode. :)moreless

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  • 10

    Buffy and Cordelia compete for Homecoming Queen and Mr. Trick has a new plan to kill Buffy. Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan, Charisma Carpenter, Seth Green, David Boreanaz, and Anthony Stewart Head as "Giles".

    By budde22, Aug 28, 2008

    A very original idea that came up in the series. I really enjoyed the idea of Slayerfest, and thought that it was a clever idea from the writers. But what was even better about the episode was the small little feud between Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter), and with that was the comedy that Cordelia brings to the series. The solutiuon to the problem that Faith (guest star Eliza Dushku), Willow (Alyson Hannigan), and Oz (Seth Green) came up with was amazing. This is one of my favorite episodes of the series and i really hoped that the rest of the series could have been as good as this episode.moreless

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  • 8.2

    Homecoming or death?

    By addict666, Jul 31, 2008

    This very well may be my least favorite episode of the whole series and it is probably because of the unholy union that is Xander and Willow. Every time I see them together I just want to pull them apart and scream "Noooooooooo!" at them. I know at some point the 'had' to go there, but I would of been perfectly happy if they hadn't. Xander and Cordelia were so great together and Cordy's character really goes downhill on Buffy after this (she springs back in Angel though). And Willow and Oz, my favorite couple, how could she do that to him, and for Xander who has continually rejected her. I cannot stand that. And it is a little hard to watch Buffy running for homecoming and knowing that she will lose. The Slayerfest '98 is the only redeeming quality of this episode, it is pretty hilarious and Mr. Trick's character is pretty great. But Willow and Xander are getting an ew and a no from me.moreless

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  • 7.0

    If only they did more Slayerfest

    By ticktock24, Mar 26, 2008

    As mentioned in previous episodes, Buffy's life before she was called was similar to Cordelia's, concerned more with superficial high school socializing than saving the world. However, she had to give up many of those things (or suffice for more chaotic versions of them) because of who she was. So the seasonal theme turns to Buffy wanting to claim some of her old glory by taking the Homecoming crown away from Cordelia, who has been preparing for it since first grade. As Faith represents what Buffy could've been as a slayer, Cordelia in this episode represents what Buffy would've been had she not been chosen.

    Ultimately Cordelia's puzzled as to why Buffy would care so much about a meaningless title when she slays demons. Cordelia's questioning of Buffy's jealousy is analogous to envy everyone's experienced where we'd like to live someone else's life (or have a particular element) while we overlook what we have going for ourselves. This may explain some of her behavior towards Buffy: it's jealousy.

    Despite feeling inferior to Buffy when faced with the would be assassins, she is stronger than she gives herself credit, even if it is because the mercenaries are thwarting her attempts at a Homecoming Crown. This transformation would be far more profound on "Angel", but this season serves as a foundation for her changes and growth on the spin-off.

    The threat Buffy and Cordelia (in lieu of Faith) face is an interesting one. Eventually demons, especially those not connected to powerful beings, were going to hire mercenaries to help take out the slayer. Considering Mr. Trick's willingness to adapt to the times, it fits that he'd try this after his previous boss was dusted. The mayor recruiting him for his operation effectively ends that campaign, but it would've been nice to see more of that in future episodes, although modern technology would play a part in several seasonal arcs.

    The mercenaries eager to participate in Slayerfest range from human mercenaries (like Mr. Pitt from "Seinfeld") to their demon counterparts. Why they decided to include Lyle Gorch, from one of season two's worst episodes, is a mystery. The obvious vampire to return for Slayerfest is Spike, but there was no logical way after "Becoming". Despite the small pool of undusted vampires, they decided to try it anyway. Unfortunately, no one remembers him but himself, dulling the impact that past connection might've had.

    Willow's attraction to Xander has been a big force for her character since the early episodes. Unfortunately for her, Xander was oblivious to her feelings as he pined for Buffy and Cordelia. Only in this episode, when she reveals her third dress choice for Homecoming (which makes me question why she thought the first two were appropriate, and I know nothing about fashion) does he realize what he has been overlooking for so many years. While "the path not taken" is the big theme for Buffy, it also applies to Xander and Willow's friendship and what could've been had Xander been more aware.

    Xander's fears of post-high school life are warranted. Throughout the series he's joked, often as a self-defense mechanism, about his underachievement and how he'll wind up working in a low entry job because of it. Now that the end of high school is certain, he's faced with that reality and it rightfully scares him. Perhaps he subconsciously wants to sabotage his relationship with Cordelia because he wants to make leaving high school as dramatically crushing as he sees it. His motivations are easier to explain than Willow's, whose behavior is more to make this point happen (although later seasons may explain this Willow's confusion over who she wants).

    No sooner does he establish himself does Scott Hope fall back into the chorus of Sunnydale's student body. His presence as Buffy's new boyfriend was to make Angel's return as uncomfortable as possible. Now that that happened, Scott can leave. His departure also raises her level of angst over what slaying does to her personal life. While they could've had him stick around, getting rid of him was probably the better decision. Despite being single, Buffy can't run back to Angel and have things be the way they were before "Surprise". Having her available, but unavailable, nails the tragic element of the romance.

    At this point Faith is probably at the peak of her closeness with Buffy's gang. Considering Faith's references to the losers she's been around, she's obviously the first to understand what Buffy's going through with Scott, offering some advice, albeit questionable, and humiliating him in front of his date. This unity would be short lived as it quickly corrodes as the season progresses.

    No discussion of this episode would be complete without the introduction of the season's big bad, Mayor Richard Wilkins III. Unlike the previous big bads, Wilkins isn't a vampire, which eliminates the restriction that they had to be one. As far as we know he is human, but considering the past references to him and how even the mentioning of him caused Snyder to coil up in uneasiness, that status is in question.

    This reputation plays into his first scene, where the deputy displays his hands while a letter opener is prominently displayed in the frame. We expect the mayor to impale the nervous deputy and do who knows what to him afterward. Instead he has a brief monologue about the importance of hygiene! He's right out of a "Leave It to Beaver" episode (the lost one where Wally and the Beave become Satanists). As far as major antagonists go, this was something we've never seen.

    This episode's big contribution to the season is the introduction of the Mayor, who we'll learn a lot more about as the season progresses. The idea of identity and what Buffy might've been is covered well in the episode. Unfortunately, the main threat of the episode should've been given more screen time over scenes reinforcing the rivalry Buffy and Cordelia have.moreless

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  • 9.5

    B!tchfest '98

    By lenzinoH20, Jan 16, 2008

    Homecoming-When Cordelia flaunts her sure win for Homecoming Queen it awakens the prom queen within Buffy and the two vie brutally for the title. Meanwhile, the new vampire in town, Mr. Trick, rallies a group of tough vampires, demons and mercenaries together to play a game with the two Slayers... "Slayerfest '98."

    An episode that's just downright hilarious as Buffy and Cordelia go head to head for the Homecoming queen crown. But Sarah M. Gellar and Charisma Carpentar are an awesome comedic duo throughout as both girls' campaign for the Homecoming title. The dialogue is filled with hilarious lines like "vamped whore!" as Buffy blurts out toward Cordelia. It's like watching a classic teen movie but with less Molly Ringwold and more demons. I especially like how the group was affect by Buffy and Cordelia's actions by being forced to help them both like Buffy making Willow feel guilt by reminding her how many times she saved her, lol.

    The main plot is also very entertaing as Mr. Trick returns to create Slayerfest '98 to hunt down slayers for sport. Mr. Trick is hilarious as usual and the group he surrounds himself with is funny. I like the "spinny yellow head looking creature" as Mr. Trick's hilariously delievers. It's also funny watching Buffy and Cordelia fight for their lives without trying to kill each other while doing. Also, Cordelia hitting the yellow demon with spatula was priceless. But it's also a great scene how Buffy confesses to Cordelia how she wants more than just being a slayer and that Homecoming Queen is her way of fufiling that little void.

    Even though this is a excellent episode there are some drwabacks like the sudden lusty relationship that Xander and Willow develop out of no where. After all that waiting, it couldn't come at a worst time. I mean finally they both have these serious stable relationships and they start wanting each other? I'm guessing this was a plot device used to evenually break up Xander and Cordelia as it's one of the pointless character deevelopments the writers came up with. Also, One of Grotch Brothers returns and with a wife no less and they're just annoying. Although, Cordelia's monologue about hurting him was brilliant scene! All and All, One of the finest episodes that has some of the most hilarious dialogue and funniest moments of the series.moreless

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  • 10

    Go Cordy!

    By moggiye16, Jun 23, 2007

    OMG Cordy is fricking annoying but so funny! Wow, she really scared the crap out of that Texan Vampire. I was sort of disappointed with the Homecoming results. I was hoping it would be both Cordelia and Buffy, not the other girls. Those German boys were hot. Pity they were bad guys.

    The moment between Xander and Willow when they were choosing their prom outfits was kind of sweet. I think those two would have been good for each other. Angel went from Mr. I Annoy People with My Broodiness to Mr. I Need Cuddles. Really, I just wanna steal him into my basement and coddle him until I get too old to coddle him. The poor guy.moreless

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  • 10

    One of my top 5 Buffy episodes (episode for everyone)

    By Rogue_Beeyatch, Jun 09, 2007

    This is the major development episode for almost all of the characters, and I wont even mention that all of the dialogs are hilarious.

    Buffy and Cordelia are the main stars of this episode, each of them trying to get a title of "Homecoming Queen". Cordelia believes her victory is certain, but then Buffy decides to join the race, to prove to everyone that she can still be something besides Slayer. Willow, Xander and Oz find themselves between two fires, when Cordy and Buffy start war.

    Also major plot development - we have first real Willow/Xander kiss, and their storyline is just beginning. On the other hand, Cordelia admits to Buffy that she thinks that she loves Xander. Well, that's just her luck - I know I can't wait to see her with Angel. Will and Xander are feeling very, very guilty, so they side with Cordelia in Cor/Buff war, and Buffy, after Scott breaks up with her, stays alone. Well, she has a girlfriend - Faith, whose scene with Scott is, I think one of the best in this episode. Also, Cordy and Gorch vampire "I am the queen" scene - LOL. She's such a cool character, and I love seeing how she came to be who she is in Angel.

    I must say that another reason I love this episode are three dresses from it I love to watch - Willow's and Cordelia's prom dresses, and Buffy's yellow "vote for me" dress. I mean, how cool they are? I think I love Cordy's one the most, but they're all so fab that I'm not sure.

    In this episode we are introduced to new villain - Mayor of Sunnydale, himself. LOL. I liked the way he commands around, he's way cooler then that old vampire guy from first season.

    Anyway, I love this episode, and it's quite possibly my most favorite of all Buffy, if not, then in first five. You should watch it if you like: Buffy's non slayer life, Cordelia, Willow/Xander ship, prom, cool dresses, Faith's comments, or hunting/running episodes.moreless

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