Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 5 Episode 5

No Place Like Home

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Oct 24, 2000 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
492 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

When doctors cannot determine why Joyce is sick, Buffy is convinced that the cause must be supernatural. When she tries a spell to let her see magical influences, Buffy sees far more than she had planned.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • I'm sure many of you are very surprised right now.

    This episode shares many of the same qualities that made "Becoming Pt. 2" so amazing: a perfect blend of drama, comedy, and action to form a sensationally satisfying whole. The major difference is that this episode is an introduction to the major plot and many of the major character threads of the season while "Becoming Pt. 2" is the grand resolution to them. I very much adore this episode and it rubs off on me in that powerful 'perfect' way, which goes to say I have absolutely no big complaints with it. I definitely won't claim this to be as important as the other big episodes this season, but I am firm in saying "No Place Like Home" is definitely deserving of the P score.moreless
  • Here's Glory!

    The Good;

    First appearance of Glory and she's a kick in the head, love her exaggerated creeping up on Buffy and her rambling madness, panto style. Also clever the way Dawn is actually a little menacing when remarking to Buffy that Joyce will be home soon, is the tea she offers her mother poisoned we wonder for a moment? But the very last scene is beyond beautiful, Buffy stroking Dawn's hair for the first time, the way the Summer's girls seem to express physical affection for one another. Giles' wizard outfit and Anya's skill as a salesgirl are also great. Like the little Anya/Giles moment when they reminisce about the sorcerer. Spike has a small role but it's fried gold.

    The Bad;

    Not much although it seems to be mighty convenient that the building just collapses on Glory.

    Best line;

    Spike; (explaining why he's outside the Summer's house in five words or less) OUT-FOR-A-WALK....BITCH!

    Women good/men bad;

    Nope, female villain time. In fact couldn't Buffy have made a little more effort to make Riley feel needed? Riley's slow fall is agony to watch. Ben comments that Buffy has some serious muscles for a girl.


    Brainsucking for the first time and it's HORRIBLE!

    Kinky dinky;

    Spike starts stalking Buffy. Joyce wonders if a 14 year old Dawn could be pregnant? When Dawn asks what Buffy is doing in her room she replies 'My boyfriend'!!!! Glory thinks the stutter is sexy (look out Tara?)

    Captain Subtext;

    Joyce comments that Buffy is so grown up, we'll she's going to need to be.

    Guantanamo Bay;

    The poor monk tied to the chair and tortured

    Scoobies to the ER;

    No but Buffy goes to get Joyce's medication.

    Apocalypses; 5,

    Scoobies in bondage:

    Buffy: 8

    Giles: 4

    Cordy: 5

    Will: 3

    Jenny: 1

    Angel: 4

    Oz: 1

    Faith: 3

    Joyce: 1

    Wes: 1

    Xander; 1

    Dawn; 1

    Scoobies knocked out:

    Buffy: 15

    Giles: 10

    Cordy: 6

    Xander: 8

    Will: 5

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 6

    Oz: 3

    Faith: 1

    Joyce: 3

    Wes: 1



    Buffy: one vamp for Buffy so 86 vamps, 29 demons, 6 monsters, 3 humans, 1 werewolf, 1 spirit warrior & a robot

    Giles: 5 vamps, 1 demon

    Cordy: 3 vamps, a demon

    Will: 4 vamps

    Angel: 3 vamps, 1 demon, 1 human

    Oz: 3 vamps, 1 zombie

    Faith: 16 vamps, 5 demons, 3 humans

    Xander: 5 vamps, 2 zombies, a demon, a demon

    Anya: a demon

    Riley; 12 vamps + 7 demons

    Scoobies go evil:

    Giles: 1

    Cordy: 1

    Will: 2

    Jenny: 1

    Angel: 1

    Oz: 1

    Joyce: 1

    Xander: 3

    Alternate scoobies:

    Buffy: 6

    Giles: 3

    Cordy: 1

    Will: 2

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 3

    Oz: 2

    Joyce: 2

    Xander: 3

    Recurring characters killed: 9

    Jesse, Flutie, Jenny, Kendra, Larry, Snyder, Professor Walsh, Forrest, McNamara

    Sunnydale deaths;


    Total number of scoobies: 7

    Giles, Xander, Willow, Buffy, Anya, Tara, Riley

    Xander demon magnet: 5(6?)

    Preying Mantis Lady, Inca Mummy Girl, Drusilla, VampWillow, Anya (arguably Buffy & Faith with their demon essences?), Dracula?

    Scoobies shot:

    Giles: 2

    Angel: 3

    Oz: 4

    Riley; 1

    Notches on Scooby bedpost:

    Giles: 2; Joyce & Olivia, possibly Jenny and 3xDraccy babes?

    Cordy: 1?

    Buffy: 3 confirmed; Angel, Parker,Riley, 1 possible, Dracula(?)

    Angel: 1;Buffy

    Joyce: 1;Giles, 2 possible, Ted and Dracula(?)

    Oz: 3; Groupie, Willow & Verucca

    Faith:2 ;Xander, Riley

    Xander: 2; Faith, Anya

    Willow: 2;Oz and Tara

    Questions and observations;

    Glory whines about having to live in our reality. Well if you don't like it you can go to hell baby! (or go back there?). That said I think Clare Kramer does a wonderful job as Glory especially when she's acting insane (apparently she's a great friend of ED although they never have any scenes together much as Marc Blucas was a good friend of Christian Kane) Joyce refers to Dawn as 'little-pumpkin belly'. Buffy never had a pet name (except for Sleepyhead?) and never got piano lessons either (Will can play). Anyone else think that the monk on the run from Glory looks an awful lot like a young Lance Henrikson (Aliens, Terminator)? Dawn seems to have inherited Xander's big mouth. Buffy wears a very demonic looking t-shirt? Glory asks Buffy 'Can you fly?', the same words Angel uses in his pilot (and in Robocop)

    Marks out of 10; 8/10

  • No Place Like Home

    No Place Like Home was a great episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We are introduced to the Beast, and find out that Dawn is not all she seems. This episode also saw the Grand Opening of the Magic Box under Giles's ownership. I really enjoyed watching this episode as there was a lot of plot and character development. There were some interesting twists and turns that answer and ask questions. I look forward to learning more and seeing what happens next. Buffy also discovers a mysterious orb which is meant to repel Ancient Unspeakable Evil, so it should be fascinating to find out more about that as well!moreless
  • "You’re not my sister" - Buffy

    Buffy finally gets the “big surprise” that she was “in for”. I’m glad that there have only been three episodes since the badly bewigged monks made the key into the whiny brat at the exact same moment Buffy walked into her room. To drag out the not knowing until the middle of the season would have been tedious

    So this week’s mystical MacGuffin is a paranormally glowy ball which Buffy comes to suspect is harming Joyce. The other thing she thinks is hurting Joyce, or at least Buffy’s relationship with her mum, is Dawn. She is left out and annoyed at Joyce & Dawn’s book-club and pet names and li’l sis taking credit for Buffy’s breakfast. Despite Willow’s “natural empathy” with another “big spazz”, Buffy is only irritated by Dawn and her big mouth (telling Riley that Buffy thinks he’s “cute” when he’s all “weak and kitteny”) and her dyspraxia. She complains that she wants to be an only child, a hint towards the conclusion of the episode.

    The B-story is the wholly successful opening of the magic shop. Despite our expectations that it will fail, Giles soon finds out that he preferred it “when demons would just crash in here and tear the place apart. It was much simpler”. At least he didn’t have to wear the magician’s coat the whole day – Buffy's silent admonition of him is funnier than any quip. Fortunately he has a saviour in “bitter” Anya who, despite having replaced “Have A Nice Day” with “Please Go” in the shopgirls’ lexicon, has discovered, via the Game of Life, that money is fun and is turning into the Mr Krabs of Sunnydale. Also providing the comic relief is Spike who has either taken up chain smoking or has been hanging ‘round the Summers’ residence for a good few hours on his way from “one part of town to another”. His sweet ‘n’ shy “Hi Buffy” is compounded by his teen-insults: “I never liked you anyway. And you have stupid hair”. He remembers that he has to keep up appearances and insult the slayer; when she asks him to explain his presence in five words, he tells her: “Out for a walk. B*tch. This delicious slice of Spike shows that he is not fighting his new feelings for Buffy, as well as pointing the way forward for their burgeoning non-relationship.

    Meanwhile, Buffy is investigating her mom’s illness as she gets it into her head that the blethering brain-sucked security guard has given her a clue: a demon is attacking Joyce remotely in order to get to the Slayer. Buffy’s monstrous ego, once again. This of course lets the viewers, who know Dawn shouldn’t be there, think that it’s Buffy’s fake sister who’s distressing Joyce. This leads to Buffy’s trip, skilfully shot and brilliantly revealing. Her druggy spell is similar to mental illness as she sees how things ought to be – she views her life as it was in Seasons 1-4, before Dawn was photoshopped into the family portraits. Interestingly, we don’t see Dawn removed entirely from Sunnydale life, but flickering in and out; the two possible worlds. The duality is also shown in there being two possible explanations for Dawn’s behaviour from this point. On one hand, she is a malevolent presence, trying to interrupt Buffy’s spell, telling Buffy “do you really think I care you’re the Slayer?” making threats about Joyce coming home and bringing a cup of Evil Tea to her mom. On the other, she is just a brat, a typical teenager, which is what Buffy discovers when she visits the abandoned warehouse and finds the monk who provides the big reveal – Dawn has a bigger purpose than Buffy, but she knows nothing about it; she is an innocent, a child, someone who above all is to be protected. She doesn’t know that she is the key to unlock the door between this world and Glory’s.

    Also interesting is the fact that Buffy is wrong about Joyce. The Dagonsphere isn’t harmful, a demon isn’t hurting Joyce, and Dawn is not evil. This, and Joyce lying prone on the sofa, is a foreshadowing of Joyce’s death and Buffy being unable to do anything about it. Joyce tells Buffy that she is “still the mom”, but Buffy feels responsible for Joyce and by the end of the episode, she is responsible for Dawn as well - as a big sister and as a Slayer. Buffy always felt the dichotomy between being the chosen one and life as a teenage girl, but now we see that she must deal with other responsibilities besides her slaying duties. Her slayer-sense telling her that something wasn’t right coupled with her antagonistic feelings towards Dawn made her believe that Dawn was the new bad, but now she must learn to be a sister – and we have the first of many hair-stroking sessions.

    As the monks quiver before the Beast, we are finally introduced to this Season’s Big Bad - a valley girl with a predilection for red dresses and ultra-violence. She is the good cop and bad cop in one, she is hysterical solipsism in action; she is the 50 foot woman. She is also copied wholesale at the end of Angel S4 which also had an un-named Goddess from another dimension who needed to suck people dry to survive. The chick-fight that Buffy can’t win is only halted by Glory breaking a heel and the warehouse floor. Will she back? I reckon so.moreless
  • Season 5, Episode 5.

    Buffy is confident that there is a supernatural source behind her mother's illness after doctor's cannot determine what is wrong with her. When she tries a spell to let her see magical influences, Buffy sees far more than she had planned.

    Sarah Michelle Gellar, once again, looked hot in this episode. Emma Caulfield looked good too, as did Alyson Hannigan. This was a very good episode with appearances. Anyway, I liked when Buffy cast the spell and saw all of Dawn's pictures disappear. I liked Buffy flipping out on Dawn because she thought she was evil. Great episode. I'm surprised Buffy hasn't staked Spike yet. Great episode. Dawn is the Key! And not really Buffy's sister! Amazing episode! :)moreless
James Wellington

James Wellington

Night Watchman

Guest Star

Paul Hayes

Paul Hayes

Older Night Watchman

Guest Star

Staci Lawrence

Staci Lawrence


Guest Star

Clare Kramer

Clare Kramer


Recurring Role

Charlie Weber

Charlie Weber


Recurring Role

Kristine Sutherland

Kristine Sutherland

Joyce Summers

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • Nitpick: At the beginning of this episode we find out that Joyce has a followup doctor's appointment later that day because of her headaches. Buffy even asks her mother to remind her of the time of the appointment and yet we never see Joyce go to the doctor at any time during this episode and the appointment is never mentioned again. When Buffy and Dawn come back from the Magic Shop they see their mother on the couch obviously suffering from a strong headache and Buffy says that she (Joyce) should go to the doctor but Joyce doesn't want to go and simply asks Buffy to get her prescription. The weird part is that at the beginning of the episode when Buffy asks her mother what the doctors have said about Joyce's headaches she says that they just said: "To take four of some pills and call them in the morning." Why is it that we never see Joyce go to the doctor when her headaches are this bad?

    • Nitpick: The warehouse lot where Buffy fights the vampire at the beginning of the episode is open and well lit, yet the night watchman acts as though he saw nothing when he walks up on Buffy seconds after the fight is over.

    • Goof: When Giles first talks to Buffy at the Magic Box look at the clock on the wall behind the counter. It isn't working. The sweep hand doesn't move.

    • Goof: When they're all in the Magic Box talking about what's hurting Buffy's mom, Xander and Buffy are sitting side by side with Willow standing behind Buffy. The shot cuts to Buffy up close, then widens out a little. As the camera moves back, Willow sits down next to Buffy. Where did Xander go?

    • Goof: After Buffy head butts Glory and begins to press the attack with a few kicks and punches, you can tell Sarah Michelle Gellar is trying desperately not to actually hit actress Claire Kramer (Glory) in the face because her kicks and punches are soft and completely off target.

    • Goof: When Buffy meets Glory for the first time, she is thrown against a stone wall and the force of the impact breaks the stone. In the shot where she falls from the stone wall, it clearly vibrates, this would not happen to stone, even if it had been depressed as shown.

  • QUOTES (22)

    • Giles: Would someone please rip that bloody bell off its hinges?
      Xander: Would that involve moving?
      Willow: My feet are numb.
      Xander: I'll see your numbness and I'll raise you a lower back pain.
      Giles: I think I liked it better when demons would just crash in here and tear the place apart. Just seemed so much simpler.
      Anya: You're out of crystal balls. Those babies are really popular with the amateurs. Better re-stock and raise the price 10%. Make it 15.
      Giles: Anya...
      Anya: Your cash register looks like squirrels nest in it.
      Giles: Anya...
      Anya: And the Hand of Glory packs some serious raw power. Better institute a seven-day background check for-
      Giles: Anya! (beat) Would you like a job?
      Anya: Okay.
      Giles: Good. Then we can talk shop tomorrow.
      Anya: Okay... boss.

    • Anya: (smiling as she finishes a sale) Please Go!
      Xander: Anya, the Shopkeepers' Union of America called -- they want to tell you that "please go" just got replaced with "have a nice day".
      Anya: But I have their money, who cares what kind of day they have?
      Xander: No one. It's just a long cultural tradition of raging insincerity. Embrace it.
      Anya: (looks up at an exiting customer) Hey you! Have a nice day!

    • Buffy: I think we should get a second opinion.
      Joyce: Well, we need a first opinion first, honey.

    • Dawn: Check out all the magic junk.
      Giles: Our new slogan.

    • Dawn:(to Buffy) You said it'd be easier if you didn't have to look out for anybody.
      Buffy: Well, I wasn't talking about Riley.
      Riley: Don't worry about it.
      Dawn: Oh, she just said you look even cuter when you're all weak and kitteny and she'd better go solo or you'd get hurt. So welcome to the club. She'll never let me go either.

    • Buffy: I just had a bad day.
      Dawn: Well, join the club.
      Buffy: Can I be president?
      Dawn: I'm president. You could be the janitor.

    • Buffy: I'm sorry.
      Dawn: You hurt my arm.
      Buffy: I know.
      Dawn: Butthole.
      Buffy: Really sorry.
      Dawn: I tell you I have this theory? It goes where you're the one who's not my sister. 'Cause mom adopted you from a shoebox full of baby howler monkeys and never told you 'cause it could hurt your delicate baby feelings.
      Buffy: That's your theory?
      Dawn: Explains your fashion sense. And your smell.

    • Monk: For centuries it had no form at all. My brethren, its only keepers. Then the abomination found us. We had to hide the Key, gave it form, molded it flesh... made it human and sent it to you.
      Buffy: Dawn...
      Monk: She's the Key.
      Buffy: You put that in my house?
      Monk: We knew the Slayer would protect.
      Buffy: My memories... my mom's?
      Monk: We built them.
      Buffy: Then un-build them! This is my life you're-
      Monk: You cannot abandon.
      Buffy: I didn't ask for this! I don't even know... what is she?
      Monk: Human... now human. And helpless. Please... she's an innocent in this. She needs you.
      Buffy: She's not my sister?
      Monk: She doesn't know that.

    • Glory: (to Buffy) Wait, I've always wanted to try this. You know that thing with worms, where if you have one, and you rip it in half, you get two worms? Do you think that'll work with you? (Buffy hits her) You hit me! What, are you crazy? You can't go around hitting people. What, were you born in a barn?

    • Glory: I just want you to know -- this whole "beat you to death" thing I'm doing is valuable time out of my life that I'm never going to get back.

    • Willow: Does this look right to you?
      Anya: Sure, if you wrapped it with your feet.

    • Glory: You know, when you think about it, I'm the victim here. First off, I don't even want to be here. And I'm not talking about this room or this city or this state or this planet. I'm talking about the whole mortal coil now, you know? It's disgusting! The food... the clothes... the people. I could crap a better existence than this.

    • Giles: Did you see that? Customers, real live customers. They came in, and I gave them things, and they gave me money, and then they left! It's brilliant!
      Willow: Congratulations. You're an official capitalist running dog.

    • Ben: Hey! It's Buffy, isn't it? Ben... but you can call me man-nurse. Everybody else here does.

    • Joyce: I get to worry about you two, which is a good thing, because you're a Vampire Slayer. And you, you are my little punkin' belly.
      Dawn: Mom, that's, like, my kid name.
      Joyce: So, I can't be retro?
      Buffy: Did you ever have any names for me?
      Joyce: No, I think you were always just Buffy.
      Dawn: I got some names for ya.

    • Joyce: The headaches they said would go away came back and brought some friends along with.

    • Joyce: Oh! Check out the "Pamper Mom" platter. You two do all this?
      Dawn: Oh, Buffy helped.
      Buffy: I didn't "help"...
      Joyce: I'm sure you did. So neither of you is pregnant, failing or under indictment? Just checking.

    • Vamp: I've always wanted to kill the Slayer.
      Buffy: And I've always wanted piano lessons. Really, who's surprised we have all this unexpressed rage? But honestly, I think I'm expressing mine better. Tell you what... you find yourself a good anger management class, and I'll jam this pokey wood stick through your heart. (stakes the vampire) I think that sets the world speed record for closure.

    • Buffy: Don't take this the wrong way, but... (punches Spike in the nose) ...what are you doing here? Five words or less.
      Spike: Out. For. A. Walk.... Bitch. You know, contrary to one's self-involved world-view, your house happens to be directly between... parts... and other parts of this town. And I would pass by in the day, but I feel I'm outgrowing my whole "burst into flame" phase.
      Buffy: Fine. Keep going, I'll cut you a break.
      Spike: Oh, yeah. Okay, let me guess... you won't kill me? Wooo... the whole crowd-pleasing threats-and-swagger routine. How stunningly original. I'm just passing through, satisfied? You know, I really hope so because God knows you need some satisfaction in life besides shagging Captain Cardboard and I never really liked you anyway and... and you have stupid hair.

    • Buffy: Actually, I have a little scooby-centric deal to deal with first. (pulls out the Dagon Sphere) I put this before the group... what the hell is it?
      Giles: It appears to be paranormal in origin.
      Willow: How can you tell?
      Giles: Well it's so shiny.

    • Dawn: What are you doing?
      Buffy: (Sarcastically) My boyfriend, go away.

    • Giles: Xander, there's too many of them... people! And they all seem to want things.
      Xander: I hear ya. Stay British. You'll be okay.
      (walks away from Giles)
      Xander: The Thousand Yard Stare. Damn! You hate to see it on any man, but especially in retail.

  • NOTES (5)

    • Clare Kramer's character was originally meant to be called "Cherry" rather than Glory.

    • In this episode we learn Dawn is not human, but an energy called the 'Key'; putting to rest all the cries of outrage from fans when they were introduced to Buffy's sister who was never seen before.

    • We are introduced to Glory in this episode, although we do not yet know her name, or exactly what she is.

    • This is writer Douglas Petrie's first episode to feature Dawn, but it is not the first time he has written for Michelle Trachtenberg. He wrote the screenplay for the 1996 Nickelodeon movie Harriet The Spy, Michelle's first feature film; and was also a staff writer on the Nickelodeon series Clarissa Explains It All, which guest starred a young Michelle.

    • The fight sequence between Glory and Buffy in the warehouse appears to display many characteristics of the fight between Neo and Agent Smith near the end of the film The Matrix.


    • Buffy: I want you to relax all day, keep your feet up, plenty of Oprah.
      The Oprah Winfrey Show is a daytime talk show hosted by Oprah Winfrey. The show started in 1984 in Chicago and started running as a syndicated show in 1986. The show and Oprah have won more than 30 Emmy Awards.

    • Dawn: I tell you I have this theory. It goes where you the one who's not my sister 'cause mom adopted you from a shoebox full of baby howler monkeys and never told you 'cause it could hurt your delicate baby feelings.
      A howler monkey named Esperanzo was taken to Siglo XXI (an animal shelter in Chile) when he was found abandoned in a shoebox on the street.

    • Glory: (...) until someone's gonna sit down on their tuffet and make this birthing stop!
      By mentioning "tuffet," Glory makes a subtle reference to the Mother Goose nursery rhyme 'Little Miss Muffet'. It goes:

      Little Miss Muffet, sat on a tuffet,
      Eating her curds and whey.
      Along came a spider,
      Who sat down beside her
      And frightened Miss Muffet away.

    • Riley: Giles, you got that Danger Room set up out back?
      From the comics/TV series X-Men, the Danger Room was a training room which simulated various dangers for the Mutants to practice their skills against.

    • Dawn: Who died and made you the Iron Chef?
      Iron Chef is a Japanese produced show that now airs on The Food Network in the US. The host of the show pits his 'Iron Chefs' master chefs in various culinary , against challengers who try to prove their culinary prowess and skill, in an arena called 'Kitchen Stadium.'

    • Ben: (about Buffy's strength) Radioactive spider bite?
      The Marvel Comics character Spider-Man received his powers when he was bitten by a radioactive spider.

    • Title: "No Place Like Home"
      The title of this episode has its origins in The Wizard of Oz, the 1939 film in which the main character Dorothy, clicked her heels together and repeated, "There's no place like home" in order to get back to her home in Kansas after having found herself in the magical world of Oz.