Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: Homecoming

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We’re back! We couldn’t give up on the awesomeness that is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. As with any binge-watch or rewatch list, a little break is needed to recharge the batteries.

Plus, Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 3 Episode 5 is the perfect episode to return to for the rewatch! “Homecoming” paired our favorites queens in a thrilling battle that showed every reason why Cordelia and Buffy needed more scenes together.

Don’t believe us? Join us by rewatching “Homecoming.”

Battle For The Crown - Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Going to the homecoming dance is a cliché plot you’d expect in any teen drama.

The focus on the date for the dance, competing for the crown and having the “night of their lives” tropes typically rise to the surface. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 3 Episode 5 was no exception. All of the Scoobies fell into the same trap.

On the other hand, we’re talking about Buffy the Vampire Slayer here, nothing ever sticks to the same old same old. There had to be a dose of supernatural flair to the mix.

In this case, it was Slayerfest ’98.

Slayerfest 98 - Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 3 Episode 5

Were you happy to see the return of Mr. Trick? Mr. Trick was a fun and enigmatic character, so his return was definitely welcomed in our books.

After his cunning escape during Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 3 Episode 3, he had all the elements to be a one-and-done villain. Kakistos became nothing more than a dust pile and Mr. Trick boasted about knowing when to get out. So, it seemed like he was saying his goodbyes.

When he returned to town, it didn’t exactly feel like a move his character would make. He had no reason to come back for revenge against the slayers, especially if he valued his own life.

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Though, we can look past this lapse in plot explanation because he created one of the best Monster of the Week storylines in the Sunnydale High days.

Slayerfest ’98 is so much fun to watch! Regardless if you watched it back then or rewatching it now, you can’t deny how entertaining “Homecoming” was. And, the introduction of the motley crew of baddies raised the threat more so than what Buffy usually experienced in her weekly adventures.

The plot also started the mayor plot, but we can get into that later on.

Failed Date - Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 3 Episode 5

Let’s get this right up front: Scott was the worst.

He was the ‘90s equivalent of that guy you text with and date (while not calling it “dating”), but he’s also seeing a few other people at the same time to hedge his bets. When things get too serious or not fun anymore, he bails. Scott was terrible. Don’t be like Scott ... or Parker.

Sure, it’s understandable that he felt Buffy was being distant and not totally invested. In reality, Buffy was going through those exact feelings when Angel arrived. However, she tried to rectify it and go all in for the homecoming dance to show her feelings for Scott.

Not only did Scott bail on her, but he found a new date to the homecoming dance within a day or so. That was quick for someone who became recently single. He had to have been talking to other people and planning his breakup with Buffy for a while.

In hindsight, we all know why this relationship couldn’t last (Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 7 revealed a truth about Scott’s life). Still, it was fun to see Faith call him out and make him uncomfortable at the dance.

Bye, Scott! We hardly cared about you.

Homecoming Traps - Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 3 Episode 5

The battle for the crown, while total teen drama cliche, might be one of the funniest scenes during the Sunnydale High era of episodes.

Cordelia and Buffy went to full political campaigning war to earn the title. There was no stopping either of them in their pursuit to win the prize. If the Scoobies hadn't had stepped in the middle, things could've gone to full nuclear takedown.

Don't get me wrong, Cordelia deserved all the harsh words that Buffy threw her way in the beginning.

Her not coming to Buffy to inform her about the yearbook photo was self-centered and heartless. Taking a final class photo is an important part of any high school journey; Cordelia took that moment away when all it would've cost her was two minutes at most. And, Cordelia was the one who offered to tell Buffy in the first place, so it was completely her fault.

Xander: Okay, let's not say something we'll, uh, regret later, okay?
Cordelia: You crazy freak.
Buffy: Vapid whore.
Xander: Like that.

On the other hand, this crown campaign was simply a petty revenge plot against Cordelia. Sure, Buffy and Cordelia are alike in so many ways; we've talked about how Cordelia was essential the pre-slayer version of herself. They both were the same, which meant they understood each other best.

However, did Buffy think she could actually win the crown as the underdog vote?

Related: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: Beauty and the Beasts

Cordelia was the most popular girl in school, and the three women had been campaigning long before she joined the race. All Buffy did was split the Cordelia vote and lose the crown for the both of them. Also, their smear campaigns most likely turned some votes away from them.

The tie vote at the end wasn't completely surprising in hindsight.

Cordelia: After all that we've been through tonight, this whole 'who-gets-to-be-Queen-capade' seems pretty...
Buffy: Damn important.
Cordelia: Oh, yeah.

Willow and Xander's illicit affair was simply terrible. This relationship could be equated to the Rachel and Joey romance on FRIENDS. Everything about their connection was bad overall.

There was some light flirtation we witnessed before "Homecoming," but their kiss in her bedroom was the first time that their feelings crossed the line.

Luckily, they pushed away from each other after realizing how bad of an idea it was. Unfortunately, they didn't stick with it!

We're going to have to deal with their cheating until it blows up in their faces in a big way.

BFF Kiss - Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 3 Episode 5

As weird as it sounds, the best thing to happen to Cordelia and Buffy's friendship was being forced into Slayerfest '98. 

The Scoobies' hearts were in the right place by tricking them into riding the limo alone. However, tensions were still rocky as the ride went on. If it had not been for Mr. Trick forcing them to compete in the woods, the duo wouldn't have taken the time to bury the hatchet.

Would you have gone without many amazing scenes like Cordelia defending herself with the spatula, Buffy getting mad at Cordelia not using the phone, or Cordelia finally admitting her true feelings about Xander? We think not.

Plus, the game show forced Cordelia into the field to show off her fighting skills. It wasn't much, but it was there. They survived a human hunter, a demon, two vampires, and two assassins; that's pretty impressive for a night's work.

Buffy did most of the vanquishes, but Cordelia had her few victories too.

Buffy: You really love Xander?
Cordelia: Well, he kinda grows on you, like... a Chia Pet.

Cordelia's best moment was her speech in the library to the Gulch brother.

Her conviction and the seriousness in her words left the villain shook. She was so convincing in pretending to be Faith that she got the vampire to never return to Sunnydale ever again. (Let that moment sink in for a bit.)

We have to applaud her for stopping a villain with just her words. Cordelia had the power within her; she only needed to use it to make it count.

The Mayor - Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 3 Episode 5

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 3 Episode 5 was the first introduction to the mayoral plotline. Mayor Wilkins' appearance was only a short cameo left to leave us on a cliffhanger; however, the mood, music, and tone of his words made it clear that the mayor was going to be a big threat.

Before Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 3, light references to the mayor and city hall were made by some of the adult characters. The heads of Sunnydale knew about the Hellmouth and the evil going on around town, but they never did anything to stop it.

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At this point in the story, the mayor was going to be the main antagonist, with Mr. Trick as his main lackey. Obviously, things changed as the season went on. (Looking at you, Faith.)

Regardless of hindsight, the mayor's appearance was creepy and unnerving. He had the smile and approachable personality that most likely won him votes for leadership. However, you could sense the evil behind his expression.

His plotlines are going to be so exciting for us to rewatch!  

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. Besides, I look cute in a tiara.

Buffy

What did you think of "Homecoming"? Were Cordelia and Buffy robbed from the crown? Did you want to see the vampire brother return again? Would you argue to get the orchid corsage?

Want to join us in rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer? We'll be posting new rewatch posts on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Come back here and share your thoughts of the episode in the comments.

Homecoming Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (4 Votes)

Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 3 Episode 5 Quotes

Xander: Okay, let's not say something we'll, uh, regret later, okay?
Cordelia: You crazy freak.
Buffy: Vapid whore.
Xander: Like that.

Cordelia: After all that we've been through tonight, this whole 'who-gets-to-be-Queen-capade' seems pretty...
Buffy: Damn important.
Cordelia: Oh, yeah.