PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A SPOILER-RICH ZONE. If your diet requires you to dine on television spoiler-free ... good luck with that.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Welcome to SlayerFest '98

Episode 3.5: Homecoming. Original Airdate 11.3.98

As Buffy and Cordelia vie for Homecoming Queen, a group of killers gathers to participate in SlayerFest '98.

Daniel's Thoughts:

  • Cordelia Episode! Cordy Episode!
  • Hey Scott Hope's last episode! (I'll miss you, Scott!)
  • "Has Scott not asked you yet?"  Oh Cordy.  Tactless as always.
  • Awkward kiss...  He's just not that into you, girl.
  • Angel is still a bit rabid but he's clothed now.  He still doesn't know how to button his shirt, it that's good.
  • Buffy admits to Angel that she hasn't told anyone.  So now I can hold Angel as accountable as Buffy for not encouraging her to tell Giles.
  • Aww, Scott has finally accepted himself and is dumping Buffy.  Poor Buffy.  But good for you, Scott.  (I'm here if you want to talk about it, Scott!)
  • Scary hot German twins!  Did we just switch the channel to porn?
  • Why are they using binoculars if they have her on a camera feed?  Seems pointless. [I thought the camera feed was coming through the binoculars? They plug a wire into them. - Z]
  • Ian Ambercrombie!  RIP!  He died just last year.
  • First time with the Mayor.  Some say he's just a retread of the Master with the goofy sense of humor, etc...but I disagree.
  • And Alan Finch!  (Openly gay actor - he does drag a whole bunch, too.)
  • And right away, we're introduced to the Mayor's germaphobia.  
  • I love the HS pictures.  
Poor Willow
And Oz's pic is just him being stoic as usual.
  • Eliza Dushku has the oddest gestures.
  • I'm glad they followed up on Principal Snyder's demands of getting a glowing recommendation. (Not from a British Librarian).
  • SHENANIGANS! "contemporary American Heroes from Amelia Earhart to Maya Angelou" a high school course?  A junior's high school course? For a HS junior that doesn't exactly excel in school?   I can see it being offered to students like Willow as pre-college credit but it's not a standard HS class and Buffy would never.
  • Fiesta Queen? Heh.
  • I like that this show takes the time (sometimes) to actually remember that they are in high school.
  • Shut up, Mr. Trick!
  • Slayerfest '98!  Whoo hoo!
  • Ugh.  I hate this. I hate the Willow/Xander thing that transpires in the next three episodes so much.  It just doesn't make sense to me as anything other than a plot device to cause drama.  Willow, sure - MAYBE.  She's always had a thing for Xander. But that was before she met Oz.  Wonderful Oz!  I feel like her crush on Xander was mostly because he was basically her only friend.  And I know she loves him as a friend and will always.  But she has cool Oz now.  And he has Cordelia.  So why now?  Because they're all dressed up in formal wear?  Bullshit.  The "moment" is pure contrived bullshit.  I would have bought this way back in the beginning of Season 2 with the whole ice cream on the nose thing.  The two were gelling, then.  But now?  No.  /rant  
  • I love how serious Buffy is about running for homecoming queen.  It's also interesting that she assumes her friends are going to help her instead of Cordelia.
  • "As Willow goes, so goes my nation".  Oh, Oz.
  • The campaigning montage mixed with the assassin training montage is brilliant.
  • Getting Scott's sympathy vote...nice.  I guess she's over him. (I'll always be there for you, Scott!)
  • Oh, manipulative Buffy!
  • "You crazy freak!"//"Vapid whore!"  Awesome!  I'm also siding with Cordy here.  Don't hate me. [I'm not. Don't hate me either. - Z]
  • And willow and Xander are continuing to flirt stupidly:

tea length is a strange length
  • Cordelia's dress is prettier than Buffy's.
  • Buffy looks like she's going to a dance in the 50s.
  • that TV plugged into?
  • I love Devon's 90s grungy voice.
  • Oh Scott.  You dumped Buffy to take another girl to homecoming? (There's always college experimentation, Scott!)
  • Giles made a joke!  He's pretty useless in this episode, may as well make him fun.
  • I love that one of the extras is wearing a tuxedo t-shirt.
  • Good thing there was that abandoned CABIN IN THE WOODS
  • The whole spatula/telephone conversation between Buffy & Cordy is so good.  These two have really good chemistry and should have had more to do together.  
  • The abandoned cabin in the woods has a working phone? Really?
  • I looked up the German twins on IMDB.  They only have this one credit to their name.  But hey, look at this.
  • I love Ian Abercrombie's Tron-type tracking device.
Clever quote from Tron. Hilarity!
  • So the Gorches' plan was to just...wait in the library?
  • There are wooden spatulas?
  • I love Cordelia's speech to Lyle and that look is priceless.
Don't fuck with the Lords of Hell?
Don't fuck with the Cordelia!
  • So this is Lyle's second episode of Buffy and he doesn't die.  I'm surprised they never bring him back.
  • "Long story"//"Got Hunted"//"Apparently not that long"  Repeated joke but always a good one.
  • And we have a tie! Buffy and Cordelia??  No! Fake out!

Zelda's Thoughts:

  • I would just like to point out that, as promised by Daniel here, we are eating empanadas as we watch. And they are delicious.
  • Buffy's hair was so pretty in season three.
  • Angel learned how to put on a shirt again. That's progress. Though he hasn't learned how to button it closed.
  • I dunno, if I were Angel, I wouldn't really want to hang out in the mansion where I was evil and also died. What happened to that museum-style apartment?
  • "It hurts ... less." Good line, good delivery (I KNOW, Zelda said something nice about DB, we're confused, too.)
  • I'm glad Angel seems to be feeling remorsey about Giles. As he should.
  • Scott, you're such a dickwad. This breakup makes very little sense, except for reasons of plot.
  • I do not like your shirt, Buffy.
  • Look at these hi-tech German boys with their fancy binoculars.
  • omfg I love Harry Groener so much.
  • Deputy Alan looks alarmingly like Sheriff Rick.
Right??? Right???
  • "Dirt gets trapped there. And germs. And mayonnaise."
  • The Mayor refers to his mother, who never caught a cold. Is that cuz ... she's a demon?
  • That's a terrible school photo, Xander. Also Willow. But Oz? Perfect.
  • Cordy's earrings are crosses.
  • Booooooo, Cordy, not telling Buffy about pictures like you said you would, booooooooo.
  • And Buffy, post training, looks supercute today too!
  • Our senior yearbook photos were done in August before the school year started, not during the day. Buffy would have missed ours, too.
  • "It involves being part of this school" - it's actually a very good point Cordelia makes, and it's a goal Buffy will eventually achieve this year in a really satisfying way.
  • Willow has one of those folding screens. I was about to type that I'm jealous, until I remembered that I have one, too; we use to to separate the kitchen from the living room. New York living, baby!
  • I think our homecoming dance was slightly less formal - we kept the tuxedos for prom, I think just regular suits for homecoming. ... Not that I ever actually went to homecoming, now I think on it.
  • Xander does look pretty good in his tux. Willow's dress is kind of dull though.
  • I know Daniel has stuff to say about the Willow/Xander kissage, so I'll just leave it at: NO. STOP. LOOK AT YOUR LIFE. LOOK AT YOUR CHOICES. STOP. STAAAAAHP.
  • I lied, I have one thing to say: on a lot of teen-geared TV shows, we're expected to root for the shy girl who pines after the boy and then finally gets him (I'm looking at you, Joey Potter, and I am not pleased), and I feel like this is playing into that trope, and maybe a tiny bit of my memory from first 'shipping them was gratified, the first time around, but no - not cool. They're both in relationships now, and Oz is the best, and they should both know better.
  • Buffy's strategy board is awesome.
Can we just point out that Xander is listed under Cordy's weaknesses?
  • Oh Buffster, read your audience. They are feeling very awkward.
  • I like the montage song ("Fire Escape" by Fastball, for anyone who cares)
  • It's nice to see Buffy being good at campaigning. Because she has done this before; she's not inept.
  • Staaaaaaaaaahp Xander. Staaaaaaaaahp, Willow.
  • Cordelia looks amazing.
  • Shenanigans! Cordelia has never had a sallow tint to her skin.
  • Wow, Scott Hope, you took another girl to Homecoming? Such a douchenozzle. [He's struggling!  Leave my Scott alone! - D]
  • I dunno, Buff, I don't think I'd like wearing a corsage on my heiny.
  • "A telephone? And you didn't think that'd be helpful?" // "No this is better for ... (swats the air with spatula) oh."
  • Buffy has to be veddy careful with humans hunting her, because she's not supposed to kill humans.
  • "This is all I do. This is what my life is.You couldn't understand. I just thought ... Homecoming Queen....I could pick up a yearbook someday and say, 'I was there. I went to high school, I had friends, and ... for one moment, I got to live in the world.' And there'd be proof. Proof that I was chosen for something other than this." Again, this speech will have such a gratifying payoff in The Prom. (And, of course, in Chosen)
  • Bless, Cordy, just swatting at Yellow Spiny Demon with your spatula.
  • Oh man, YSD jumping at the window and bouncing right back on the floor had me laaaaaaaaaaaaughing.
  • Giles is unconscious! Yay! I mean, not YAY, but yay for our stats.
  • Haha Trick got arrested. ARRESTED. I freaking love the Mayor.
  • So YSD blew up, Random Human Hunter got bear-trapped but didn't die, the Germans blow each other up, Trick gets arrested, Lyle runs away after his wife gets spatula'd ... what happens to Ian Abercrombie?
  • "The children are our future. We need them. I need them." To eeeeeeeeeeeat.
  • The Mayor: someone even vampires fear.
  • I remember, my first time watching it, feeling really gratified that not only is there a tie, but that neither Cordy nor Buffy are a part of it. Really fun cliche-buster.
  • Love Oz's retro tux.
  • Over the black credits screen: "I promised myself I wasn't gonna cry."

Discussion Question

At this point in the series, did we already know the Mayor is evil before he hires Mr. Trick? Is that an evil reveal? We can't remember anymore when we didn't know, because we're old and stuff. Snyder has invoked his name in evilish ways ("Tell the Mayor I have good news"), but so has Joyce in non-evilish ways. Zelda thinks it might count as an Evil Reveal when he wants to hire Trick rather than eliminate him, but her doubts are enough that it's not currently in our stats.

Favorite Lines: 

Daniel: "The point is, I haven't even broken a sweat. See, in the end Buffy's just the runner-up. I'm the Queen.  You get me mad?  What do you think I'm going to do to you?" - Cordelia
Zelda: "We have to find Buffy. Something terrible's happened. Just kidding. Thought I'd give you a scare. Are those finger sandwiches?" Giles, you are so my spirit animal.

90s Factoids:
Dial-up Modem
Box TV and VCR
Buffy's rocking the body glitter.

Arc/Continuity Stuff:

  • As mentioned by Snyder in Faith, Hope & Trick, Buffy needs a glowing letter of recommendation from someone who's not a librarian.
  • Recurring characters in attendance: Scott Hope, Mr. Trick, Faith, Lyle Gorch, Jonathan, Devon.
  • First appearance by the Mayor and Deputy Alan!!
  • Buffy took Contemporary American Heroes last year. (Yeah, we think it's ridiculous, too)
  • Cordelia admits she loves Xander (to Buffy).
  • This is a Very Important Year for the Mayor. eeeeeeeeeeee


Oz's Hair - strawberry blond
Dead Humans - 2
Dead Undeads - 2
Dead Flashbacks - 0
Giles Unconscious - 1
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal - 0
Shenanigans Called - 2
Apocalypse Called - 0


  1. Whoever said the Mayor is a retread of the Master is WRONG. The Mayor is the best villain on Buffy.

    (Okay, I thought about that for a second, and instead I think he's tied with Spike and Angelus. But he's awesome.)

    "Contemporary American Heroes" is something a private school would offer, or a public school with a nice budget (ie, not a California public school).

    As for Willow and Xander, I just see "plot device" written all over it. It tells us a bit more about Willow's character (her "I wanted everything" from "Lover's Walk" is one of the few things that makes her Season 6 arc remotely plausible, in my opinion), but... Oz! Oz is the best! Don't hurt him! And this episode just increases my love for Cordelia. Of course the writers need to hurt her just as she's gaining empathy and maturity...

    Did the writers know that Cordelia would be on "Angel" when they started this arc? That would explain things more.


    1. I think I remember in the commentary for Reptile Boy, David talking about how much he loved Cordelia and Charisma. I can't *quite* remember if that's what made him decide to bring her along - we know that the idea for Angel the Show came after I Only Have Eyes For You, when Joss saw DB's "range."

      So I actually have no clue whether they knew, or whose idea it was. I know the Almighty Joss plans arcs years in advance, but he's still subject to which actors decide to stick around (see: Oz's exit. and Prof Walsh)

    2. From what I was told it was mostly a Joss decision. I think in an interview or commentary, Charisma said that Joss came too her when they were filming Graduation and he was all "You're fired." and she got all "Oh shit" for a second, but then he was "I'm hiring you to do Angel." I believe his reasoning was that she was a popular as a foil for Buffy, and that she played off Angel's broodyness really well. Cause I mean if Cordy wasnt there the entire show would probably be Angel Standing in the dark shirtless brooding and feeling sorry for himself.

  2. I hated the whole Willow/Xander hook up but then, I never wanted them together anyways. The only time I thought they were cute together was in the opening for When She Was Bad but immediately after that I was all, Nope! again. I'm sorry but if a guy completely ignores you when another girl walks in, he's not that into you. Willow deserved better.

    I also love you for mentioning the Joey Potter thing because for some reason, in cliche tv land evening wear is magical and turns geeky (or supposedly geeky girls) into hot chicks that stupid "nice guys" finally notice. I mean really? I hate that trope so much. Evening wear cannot change someone's feelings for you that drastically and in Willow and Xander's case, it shouldn't have been enough for both of them to forget their awesome significant others.

    1. I agree with all of the this. And formal wear never ONCE made everyone fall in love with me at the ball. Way to build up expectations for real life, FICTION.

    2. *shakes fist* Damn you, Fiction!! You lied to us!