Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 3 Episode 5

Homecoming

11
Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Nov 03, 1998 on The WB
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (26)

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  • Homecoming

    7.5
    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.
  • Stunning!

    10
    Homecoming;



    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

  • Homecoming

    9.5
    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!
  • Season 3, Episode 5.

    9.5
    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. :)
  • 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".

    10
    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.
  • Homecoming or death?

    8.2
    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.
  • If only they did more Slayerfest

    7.0
    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.
  • B!tchfest '98

    9.5
    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.
  • Go Cordy!

    10
    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.
  • One of my top 5 Buffy episodes (episode for everyone)

    10
    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.
  • Marital Spatula

    9.8
    Cordelia was pretty much wasted in season three, so any moment where she took most of the limelight automatically put a smile on my face. So it's no surprise Homecoming is one of my personal favorite Buffy episodes.

    Playing like a laugh-a-minute teen movie with less Freddie Prinze Jr and more horror, the episode sees Buffy "embracing the prom queen within", and attempting to drum up support to become Homecoming queen, whilst Cordelia does the same. Whilst some fans may dislike this element of the episode, I personally loved it, as it produced some of the funniest moments of the episode, as well as some of the best b*tchy dialogue seen on TV. Period.

    I also liked how it was completely in character for Buffy to get involved in the whole thing. Dumped by Scott, harbouring a huge Angel-sized secret from her friends, and generally being unhappy, it's unsurprising she seeks support and acceptance in its most unlikely form. And though she didn't win the title, it hopefully raised her confidence at Sunnydale High, knowing that despite not being Homecoming Queen-popular, she's not seen as a total loser.

    Meanwhile, the demons competing in Slayerfest '98 were all pretty much awesome. Despite some of them barely appearing, each monster is given its own personality. I wasn't a fan of Lyle Gorch the first time he appeared, but he makes a neat pair with Candy, and the scene where Cordelia trashes him is hilarious, and Charisma completely sells it. I also loved Mr Trick's dialogue with the monsters, especially the one with the "spiny-looking head thing".

    In other news, Willow and Xander got all touchy-feely, and produced an emotion in me similar to violent illness. I see season three as the best Buffy year, but I can't deny that this was one of the worst storylines during the show's duration. Willow and Xander have always acted like siblings, and whilst Willow's teeny crush on him in season one was cute, to see them actually making out and acting on their sudden feelings is plain icky to watch, and it just doesn't feel right to see them acting like that together. Ick.

    Despite the near-incest, Homecoming is a classic comedy episode of Buffy, featuring a series-best performance from Charisma Carpenter, and hilarious dialogue between Cordelia and Buffy, who are at their comedic best when rivals.

    Director: David Greenwalt
    Writer: David Greenwalt
    Rating: A+
  • Slayerfest '98 and wait what's going on with Willow and Xander?!

    9.4
    I loved Cordelia and Buffy going at it again. It's always a real treat to see the two of them get competitive against one another. It was so amusing to see their horrible tactics at sabotaging each other to win Homecoming Queen. I found it even better that both of them lost in the end.

    Xander and Willow was WOW!!! Both of them are finally in a relationship with someone else and then they chose that time to really see each other! It was cute in a way though. I loved when Xander told Willow that he saw her in a new light when she was talking about Buffy and Cordelia's problems.

    Faith was amazing too. I loved how she went and embarrassed Scott in front of his date after he broke up with Buffy. I loved Buffy and Faith working out in the library together they were just incredible.

    I loved seeing Cordy and Buffy when they were out in the little cabin trying to figure out how to fight these guys. I loved that Cordy didn't think that the phone would be a good weapon.

    This was a really great episode and it had some character development too.
  • Silly, but fun!

    8.5
    Favorite Quotes:
    Cordelia: And now I'm never going to get the chance to tell him.
    Buffy: Yes you are. We are gonna get out of here, and we're gonna head back to the library, where Giles and the rest of the weapons live. Then I'm going to take out the rest of these guys, just in time for you to congratulate me on my sweeping victory as Homecoming Queen.
    Cordelia: I know what you're up to. You think if you get me mad enough I won't be so scared. And hey, it's working! Where's a damn weapon? Buffy is still taking care of Angel, and keeping it from her friends. She is also feeling more and more like a non-entity at school these days. Scott Hope breaks up with her, she misses her Senior picture..etc.. She does what any girl would do; runs for Homecoming Queen. Meanwhile, Mr Trick has cooked up a plan to take out both Faith and Buffy. He calls it Slayerfest 98. Yes, it is lame and in the end it backfires on him, but it was a cute idea all the same. Loved the ending when neither Cordy nor Buffy won Homecoming Queen. Oh yeah....Xander and Willow kiss in this one, which makes it worth watching!
  • Slayerfest '98

    9.7
    It's homecomming and Buffy is running for homecomming Queen against Cordelia. That's not even her biggest problem. Mr. Trick is holding Slayerfest '98 in order to kill Buffy and Faith. Since Buffy and Cordelia were fighting Cordelia gut sucked into this whole thing. They thought she was the other slayer. Her I'll kill him with a spatula thing was so funny. The even funnier part was it did kill that lady vampire. Other then that Xander and Willow kissed then said it was a big mistake. Faith got back at Buffy's ex boyfriend which he deserved. And neither Buffy or Cordelia were elected homecomming queen.
  • It's time for Slayerfest '98

    9.2
    An ingenius idea to bring reality game shows into the horror concept. The living Gorch brother really is unlucky; first time around his brother dies and he runs away from a demon, the second time his wife dies and he runs away from Cordy. What a wuss, I just hope he isn't brought back anymore.

    The battle for Prom queen shows us what Buffy used to be like at Hemery High andot be honest I prefer the Sunnydale Buffy.

    Xander adn Willow kiss after seeing each other in their prom outfits. I would have expected it from Willow last series but now she is with Oz I was really shocked. Xander is Xander and I completely expected it from him.
  • Buffy prepares for her toughest battle yet. She will be facing a foe that even scares vampires away. She will be facing Cordelia in a struggle to be Homecoming Queen. Mr. Trick has a trick up his sleeve which he calls Slayerfest '98.

    7.0
    I was expecting a public service announcement starring one of the show's cast directly after this episode telling abused women to contact the police. Thankfully, there was not. Beauty and the Beasts was another great example where Buffy has a message, but it does not let that message get in the way of a good story.

    This episode did not take the simplistic view of its theme either. It explored a complex, multi-layered theme in all its glory. The plural in this episode’s title is important. Our protagonists are not dealing with one "beast" but with three "beasts:" our Jekyll/Hyde student, Oz as a werewolf, and Angel returned from Hell.

    Faith remarks that all men are beasts. While she meant her statement to be derogatory, it is true. This episode's monster-of-the-week, a student who could do a Jekyll/Hyde routine, was a beast in that he abused his girlfriend. Since I am a male, in defense of my kind, the two good guys in this episode are also male. Both Oz and Angel fight Pete. Angel fights Pete to save Buffy’s life.

    Right now I am reading Wild at Heart by John Elredge. In this book, Elredge explores true manhood. God created man to be wild, go on adventures, and rescue the beauty. Society is scared of the beast within every man, because they are scared of the men who do abuse women, but it is also the beast within every man that enables him to protect women. It is sin nature that causes a man to use his strength in an evil way.

    Society has attempted to tame the beast within every man. Buffy is known for its messages of empowerment for women. This episode carries an important message for both men and women. This is my favorite Marti Noxon episode thus far. I give it 7 out of 10.

    -Matthew Miller
    Find this review and more at tv.swingthesickle.com
  • Not the best, but not the worst.

    7.0
    As far as Buffy episdoes go this was just a bog standard one. It was obviously an attempt to give Buffy some form of normal existence in school, and in typical Buffy style even that couldn't go right. As far as plot goes, the gang trying to get Buffy and Cordy talking was believable, as was their rivalry for Homecoming Queen. The two parts I did love was the phrase 'Slayerfest' and Cordy attacking demons with a spatula! We had the Mayor's first appearance (i think) telling us he was interested in Mr Trick. I liked that they didn't win Homecoming Queen.
  • who will be the homecoming queen?

    6.0
    this episode is a little stupid. who cares about a slayer fest and who becomes a homecoming queen? I sure do not!

    but it was fun. cordelia and buffy working together and surviving in the wild. yeah. fun! cordelia really is the queen of the show as she can make bad episodes turn good. my favorite part was that neither cordelia or buffy won. ha!
  • bad Mayor...

    10
    In a town like Sunnydale you knew the mayor had to be bad. We see the mayor welcoming some tourists to the town. Turns out that they along with Lyle (the surviving Gorch brother) are in town for SlayerFest 98, an all out hunt for Buffy and Faith. At the school it is homecoming time and Cordy is campaigning hard for the Queen. She forgets to tell Buffy about the pictures and is once again making fun of Buffy so she decided to run for queen against her. Everyone is getting ready for the dance, Willow and Xander try on their outfits for each other and one thing leads to another and then they are kissing. The next day at school they feel so bad they start helping Cordy campaign, which upsets Buffy. Willow and Xander don’t know what to do around each other after the kissing and the feelings. The fighting between Buffy and Cordy gets real bad so everyone decides that they are going to be in the limo alone together to the dance. The hunters don’t know this so when they kidnap the limo for SlayerFest they have the wrong people. The two of them realize they have to work together to survive and do just that. They arrive at the dance dirty just in enough time to hear they lost.
  • Welcome to slayerfest 98!

    8.9
    This was a great episode of Buffy, from the good dialogue to the brilliant fight scenes. The story of the episode is mainly about Buffy and Cordelia trying to out do each other to become Homecoming queen. Sarah Michelle Gellar and Charisma Carpenter were both great in this episode. The subplot was also quite good, Willow and Xander being attracted to each other was quite a good part of the episode. This episode also had some quite comedic parts, like when everyone get's their picture taken all perfectly and then Willow get's hers taken when she looks quite weird. The best thing about the episode is the part at the end, when the person says that there is a tie in the homecoming race and you assume both Buffy and Cordelia won but they didn't and that's why I love Buffy so much because you will never know what will happen next. Overall: This was an amazing episode.
  • A superb episode of buffy.

    9.8
    this episode of Buffy is one of my favourites out of the whole series, it was done brilliantly, and the action scenes were just as good as normal if not better and there was lots of comedy in this episode mainly between Cordeilia and Buffy because they are the two the episode focuses on but also with faith. I liked the idea of all the different kinds of demons trying to kill Buffy at once in a competition but they were all pretty rubbish if they couldnt kill Buffy with cordeilia slowing her down then they would of had no chance against Buffy and Faith.Overall this was a very good and enjoyable episode with a lot of action and a lot of comedy.
  • When Cordelia insults Buffy once too often, Buffy goes on the offensive...to take Cordelia's homecoming crown for herself.

    7.4
    An amusing and light hearted episode revolving the phenomena of the Homecoming Queen contest. Buffy and Cordelia are played well off one another without thing turning too ugly and its nice to see the Scoobies band together when they get tired of being put in the middle of the two.

    Trick is kinda fun, but this isn't my favorite episode with him in it. I like it more when he's recruited by the Mayor.

    The Gorch brother is back, this time with a wife and they are just as big a disappointment as before. Too cartoony for his rather disturbing back story (he helped to massacre a whole village of people while still human). Candy is kind of fun in a tacky way, but I'm glad we won't get another visit by her.

    Overall, a pretty forgettable episode unless you're dying to know who Sunnydale High's prom queen is this year.
  • 'A campaign is like a war. It's won or lost in the trenches. Holly, Michelle, and our real competition, Cordelia, all have big head starts. And speaking of big heads, if I had a watermelon as big as Cordelia's, I'd be rich.'

    9.1
    ‘Homecoming’ was once again an excellent episode with a great and hilarious storyline that did had it’s flaws here and there.
    I wasn’t really thrilling with the storyline, Buffy and Cordy fight over the homecoming queen title? But at least they made it excellently.

    The episode is mostly blessed thanks to the competition between Cordelia and Buffy. Both girls together make for a lot of fun.

    It’s about the homecoming party, Cordelia is very busy with it that she forgets all about other people (that has gotta be the first) so when it’s picture week she forgets to tell Buffy about it and that upsets Buffy. They have a fight and Buffy ends up being Cordy’s new rival, now she’s going into the competition as well.

    Meanwhile Mr. Trick organised a slayerfest filled with demons and people who want to kill the slayers, Buffy and Faith. Lyle Gorch is back and now with his new wife Candy. Also a neat spiny demon called Kulak, some hunter and germans with technology.

    While Buffy tells Angel how much he sucks and makes her miserable and how her newest boyfriend makes her happy and dumps her. The germans learn more about her and how to eliminate her.

    Also two old friends begin with their love here, Xander and Willow kiss when they are in a suit, is it a fluke or is it more?

    Anyway, when Cordy and Buffy are in the limo all the hunters think that it’s Faith and Buffy. They try to kill both girls (Cordy looked soo hot btw) but they don’t succeed. The neatest part was when Kulak tries to kill them in the little house but then he’s blown up by the german’s bomb.

    The bad parts of the episode were the Gorches, I didn’t like them in ‘Bad Eggs’ and once again I couldn’t stand them. I was glad that the vamp b!tch died but I think that Lyle should have definitely died as well. Though it was fun to see Cordy scare him away. The other part was Mr. Trick, he has got to be the most boring villain ever. He gets eventually arrested and taken to The Mayor’s office who wants to work together with him. Who’s not impressed?

    Anyway, the german’s are both eliminated by Buffy putting the censors on them and making them shoot off at each other. And when they arrive at the party they hear it’s a tie, but the winners are those other two girls. That was pretty humerous actually.

    Anyway, ‘Homecoming’ was an excellent and hilarious episode. Even though the storyline was pretty lame, the writers succeeded to make a very good and funny episode.

    It was painfully silly, but surprisingly worked.


  • "You’ve awakened the Prom Queen within" - Buffy

    9.5
    The episode opens with teen excitement about the prom and the limo and the dresses and the corsages etc etc, which is then contrasted with the dark place, literally and figuratively, that Angel is in (although not a cold place, since his shirt isn’t buttoned up). Back from hell in an abandoned house with his ex-girlfreind seeing someone new. There is quite a lot going on in this episode and at first, it seems it’s going to about the showdown between Scott and Angel; about who loves Buffy the most. No contest as Scott joins the long line of boys who dump Buffy. Tsk! Just as things were getting back to normal. To counter this, as Buffy find that she can’t claw back her old life, she decides she wants to reclaim her even older life and become Homecoming Queen. Buffy, The Popular Years. This is possibly the last episode in which Buffy is a bubblehead schoolgirl; from here on in it gets much darker.

    Buffy’s strategies, tactics and training to be Prom Queen are impressive and of course mirror the Slayer Fest ’98 competitors as they fight to be the one(s) to kill Faith and Buffy. The Fest reminded me somewhat of the episode What’s My Line as the various demons, vampires and humans attempt to kill Buffy, only to be outwitted and out-fought by the Slayer. The trapper caught by his own snare and the German twins blowing each other apart were my particular favourites. As I remember, Spike arranged the Order of Taraka to try kill the Slayer, the new, modern, capitalist vamp (“competition is a wonderful thing”) Mr Trick is this year’s organiser, pressing home the (fake) notion that he is this year’s Big Bad.

    Once again Buffy must deal with school and things trying to slaughter her at the same time. Not sure which is harder for her, fighting demons, or Cordelia (“There are forces at work here. Dark incomprehensible forces”). Despite her weaknesses being Brie and Xander, Cordy is a formidable opponent. This is her world and she’s not prepared for Buffy to intrude into it. This is a good chance for her to revert to Seasons 1 and 2 bitch-Cordy; like Buffy this is one of her last chances to do so before she grows up somewhat. She finally gets some guts and, because she has no brawn, uses her brain and dons Faith’s mantel to get rid of Lyle Gorch, who has to quit Sunnydale having lost a loved one for the second time. It is made fairly clear that Buffy wants to be Homecoming Queen because the rest of her life is so all encompassing, she needs a break from it. Does it then follow that Cordelia wants to be Queen C because there is nothing else in her life? After all, it’s only her involvement in the Scooby Gang that has given her any kind of depth. Even her split with Xander doesn’t remove that.

    Buffy is useless at being popular, but we can see what she might have been had she not been the Slayer, but we can also see that what she doesn’t like about herself (being the chosen one) is what makes her the strong, clever, resourceful person she is. She saves Cordelia because this is what she does, what she’s good at. What she is, even though she still occasionally wants to deny it. That is her actual homecoming, her ongoing acceptance of her role, herself. The ending is brilliant, taking the trad. teen drama conclusion of the competition being a draw and turning it on its head - the two winners are Holly and Michelle, the other competitors. Stroke of bloody genius!

    As for the other characters, well everyone has a terrible time at the dance, except Giles who enjoys the snacks and Faith who enjoys pissing off Scott and his new girlfriend. Maybe Buffy should have taken Faith’s advice and used and discarded some studs rather than running for Prom Queen. At the beginning Willow and Xander are all excited about being Seniors and having significant others to accompany them to the prom, but by the end of the episode, they are thrown into confusion, angst and pressure caused by conflicting demands from Cordy and Buffy and Xander finally, finally seeing Willow as a woman, a year too late. You don’t know what you got til it’s gone. Or in Willow’s case – when you get what you want, you don’t want it anymore. They, like Buffy, are just as anxious to be happy, still believing that conventional things like the dance will bring that bliss.

    Finally, the Mayor, all deadliness, surveillance and hygiene (“Moist towelette?”) makes his first appearance. Wonderful.
  • 45 of the most glorious minutes in "Buffy" history. Cordy and Buffy face off against a rogues' gallery of cartoon villains in the Mr. Trick-sponsored "SlayerFest" while Willow and Xander "clothes fluke."

    10
    It's not one of the most pivotal episodes in the show's run -- unlesss you count the voyeuristic thrill of finally watching Willow and Xander kiss -- but "Homecoming" does what it does just about perfectly. Everything from the "Totally '90s" incidental music to the introduction of the mayor to the expectation-defying ending works perfectly in David Greenwalt's masterpiece. It's all almost criminally fun, probably the best "Buffy" episode that showcases Cordelia but equally kind to Faith, Giles, Oz, Mr. Trick, and for that matter everyone. Apocalyptic this isn't but who can fail to enjoy such watershed moments as Buffy squealing "Cordelia, the spatula!" or the Slayer implying that her inner Homecoming Queen is a far more dangerous character to deal with?

    Basically the only "Buffy" that gets better than this are the huge "stunt" episodes like "Hush," "Restless," and the musical. As far as variations on the show's basic theme go, the only one even in "Homecoming"'s class is "Doppelgangland," which doesn't use the entire cast this extensively (it's more of a one-woman showcase for Alyson Hannigan, not that there's anything wrong with that). If you want to show a friend what "Buffy" is all about, there are few better places to start.

    "Homecoming" works so well that it's tempting to go through scene by scene. That's not necessary -- I mean, just go watch the episode -- but it is worth commending how the first half, which is basically all deliriously well-handled teen soap stuff, is just as breathlessly paced as the action-movie conclusion. Cordelia and Buffy's rivalry reaches its breaking point here, and Charisma Carpenter and Sarah Michelle Gellar are so good facing off together that you hardly want them to make up. The story of Buffy longing for her "normal" Hemery life is hardly a new one, but what's clever about how "Homecoming" handles the subject is that even Prom Queen Buffy isn't quite a miror image of Cordelia. She's slightly more subtle, while Cordy is just shameless brute force.

    The way this is shaded with the fallout from Xander and Willow's big illicit smoochies is the key to the episode's genius. The famous "clothes fluke" scene is beautifully played (and both actors look quite appropriately sexy in it) and Alyson (high panic mode) and Nick Brendon (deer in headlights) are wonderful through the whole episode. Oz's loyal obliviousness is pretty poignant as well. It's very funny (and very true) how these two friends who have faced down every evil in the universe together are completely unable to deal with something at least one of them has been thinking about for years on end. It's also very right for this point in Xander's character arc how he plays the emotions at once guilty and somehow completely unaware of how some of this could be his own fault. Poor Willow for her part must be overflowing with things to say (some slip out) but instinctively grasps that she and Xander are not to be. As bittersweet as "Buffy" gets, but not maudlin in the least. The "fluke" would push this episode into the very highest echelon of "Buffy" all by itself if the surrounding adventure plot, plus Buffy and Cordy's battle of wills, weren't so compelling on their own.

    SlayerFest is one of Season Three's weaker monster plots, but it's all tied together by Mr. Trick's showcase performance before he became a minion to the Mayor, who himself is beautifully introduced in this episode. None of the assembled villains -- the Gorches, the bear trap guy, the spiky-headed demon, or the naked wrestling Germans -- are particularly distinctive on their own but all jumbled together they make for a fun diversion, particularly in the face of Buffy and Cordelia's nonstop riffing as they eliminate them one by one. What is "Buffy" all about if not two gorgeous girls in expensive dresses with perfect hair, battling all manner of evil for their lives and yet being more concerned over which of them will get the final word?

    Cordy's big faceoff with Lyle Gorch is the climax of the episode, and in a lot of ways, the whole path of her character through the "Angel" series is laid out right there. Cordelia Chase is many things, but she's no coward, and it's a coup that Greenwalt in sly fashion makes her the real victor in SlayerFest '98. Then for dessert the episode sums up pretty much everything the series thinks about the American high school experience in having Buffy and Cordy, filthy, battered, and bruised, arrive at the dance just in time to find out they've lost the Homecoming Queen election to a bimbo and a moron. One of the all-time greats, and it remains so even when you know every line by heart.
  • Lots of silly fun!

    10
    I love "Homecoming" for several reasons. One reason I love it is the chemistry between Buffy and Cordelia. The whole "Slayerfest" thing was hilarious. The rivalry between Buffy and Cordelia, which has laid dormant for quite awhile, rears it's ugly head once again. But the highlight of this episode is undoubtedly the flirtatious behavior of Willow and Xander. It's easy to be a pessimist about it and say "Oh, great! Now that Xander finally has someone in his life, he realizes Willow has had a crush on him." But I prefer to look at it another way. I think Willow was still chasing Xander. Whether consciously or subconsciously, she was still pursuing him. The only difference now is, for some reason, Xander is receptive to it. Could it be that, perhaps, Xander has realized Cordelia isn't going to be part of his future?
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