beginning | blinding torment | boils | lies | making me bitter | evil compounds evil | blah blah bity blah

































season three   >  homecoming


Welcome to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the continuing story of a doomed romance that's gone to the dogs…no, actually, it's not really all about that. Buffy gets dumped in the first 10 minutes or so, so we can't really say that…but we can take a moment to dig on her outfit when she's getting dumped. Can we get a picture of that? Great. Everyone study this outfit. Memorize it. Take notes. This is not an outfit you want to get dumped in. Ever.


As you might have guessed from the previous paragraph, things are not going smoothly in the land of romance and Hope. It probably has something to do with Buffy being a mopey teenager in love with a dead guy who is sort of going through an insane phase, due to her sticking him through with a sword and sending his way-too-old-for-her ass to hell. Scott, however, knows none of this. He only knows that the hottie with the juvenile record thicker than our list of complaints about season seven is no longer full of vim and vigor. So he pretends in front of her friends at the Bronze, where they are discussing all things Homecoming (ie limos, dresses, tickets, etc), that he's going with her, because he's nice and all, but she totally blows him off to take blood to Angel, so the next day he dumps her ass at school. Okay, hands here people--does anyone honestly blame him? Anyone? I'm not saying don't feel sorry for Buffy, because her mopiness can still be justified at this point, though her wearing a zebra striped shirt and taking blood shakes to her demon ex-boyfriend without telling her friends cannot, but still. No teenage boy's going to stick with someone who seems to be the poster child for lithium use when they've only been on a few dates and haven't even been kicking around gear shifts. They're just not.


Not only is Buffy dumped, but Cordelia forgets to tell her about picture day because she had to stop to schmooze with those who vote for prom queen so Buffy won't be in the yearbook, and Mr. Trick decides to get a bunch of demons together for a little fun he likes to call "Slayerfest". Makes my day of bad hair and no food and evil people look a little trivial, huh? Though how one honestly could not look around and figure out that it's picture day is beyond me. It's the one day of the year when everyone shows up looking pretty because their parents make them. Also, aren't seniors forced to senior pictures anymore? Or has that horrible, awful, "stand here and hug the tree like you mean it" tradition finally been put to rest? [I know I had to go through it. Also with hay. No, I won't be posting pictures here. -SP]


Buffy, whose feelings were truly hurt that Cordelia just forgot about her because they're such good friends and okay they're not but she's sucking the face of one of her really good friends, decides to get even and show Cordelia what a homecoming queen race should look like. Apparently she was a guacamole queen or something when she was popular and her life didn't suck and therefore she thinks she has what it takes to kick Cordelia's ass in a popularity contest. See? It's not always violence with Buffy. Sometimes it's insane egomania.


Ah, the cutthroat world of high school competitions that involve tiaras. Almost as dangerous as slaying. Promises made, lies thrown about like confetti in a tickertape parade, forgotten students remembered and wooed just in time to cast their ballots…I so do not miss high school. Buffy goes after the athletes, Cordy woos nerds, Jonathon gets food and money, posters are postered and Buffy and Cordelia almost get into a wrestling match sans jello. I find it amusing that they both seem to have gotten professional faux sweet but shy posters done for Homecoming. If I recall, the people seeking glory and infamy on the royal court wielded paint and butcher paper at my school. How hideously gauche of them. If I'd known how the right way to do it was, I never would have voted for people so not visionary.


Oh, wait, I didn't vote for them. Never mind. [I was too busy drinking to vote. If I recall correctly, which is certainly suspect at this point.]


Mr. Trick is privy to all of this because he has a team of German-dudes-in-black surveilling Buffy, but never really chimes in on who would get his vote. Instead he greets his guests which include what seems to be an old, rich bored white guy, the two german dudes (bitches of previously mentioned old, bored rich white guy), a man in fur that probably lived a bit too long in the woods alone and, I suspect, subscribes to that survivalist magazine, a yellow spiny demon dude, the surviving Gorch brother and a woman that looks as if she likes to walk the streets, if you know what I mean, but instead turns out to be the wife of Gorch. I think her name's Candy. And if it isn't, it is now.


Competition. Competition is a beautiful thing. It makes us strive, it makes us accomplish, occasionally makes us kill. We all have the desire to win. Whether we're human, vampire... Whatever the hell you are, my brother, you got a spiny-looking head thing, I never seen that before.


Mr. Trick explains the rules--the Slayers Faith and Buffy are the targets and there are no rules. First one to get them gets the prize money. Everyone antes up, and they ain't playin' with kittens, folks. Though that would've been funny. To see an old, rich bored white guy get confused when everyone else around him poured out kittens and he's just sitting there with lots of cash going "dude, kittens? The prize money is a million kittens? That's not cool"? Comic gold.


A montage of Buffy and Cordelia vying for the loony fringe vote (no matter how much Cordy publically announces she doesn't need it, she so does. She's dating Xander Harris. She insulted her sheep. She needs all the help she can get.) and paying people off with muffins and baskets of things is intermixed with the demons prepping for Slayerfest.


Oh, another insult to injury to lemon in a wound--due to Xander and Willow being unable to keep their lips off of each others lips while trying on grown up clothes for the dance, Buffy's friends desert her. In order to assuage their guilt over their indiscretion they go to work for Cordelia's campaign. Oz follows just because he's the coolest guy ever and because Willow's his nation. Aw. Buffy is understandably perturbed by this, it's not her fault Xander and Willow made out like monkeys in heat, Giles doesn't understand those wacky, wacky Americans and I think Buffy and Faith agree to go on a date. Or to the dance together. Or Faith offers to beat up Scott…I'm not really sure.


It's a clothes fluke, that's what it is. And there'll be no more fluking.


The gang can't handle Buffy and Cordy being snippy any longer, so they trick them into taking the limo to the dance alone. Unfortunately for our bickering heroines, the driver of the limo happens to be a scary german dude, and he drops them off in the middle of nowhere. The middle of nowhere with a tv/vcr combo that appears to be running off of electricity. That must be one hell of an extension cord. Being curious, naturally, about what sort of tape one might keep in a vcr/tv combo in the woods, Buffy pushes play. Mr. Trick pops up and welcomes them to Slayerfest 99. Buffy is not amused. Cordelia tries to reason with the psychos by yelling that the idiots are confused and she's not Faith. Sadly, they don't seem to hear her over all the shooting so Buffy and Faith-by-proxy start running.


Hello, ladies. Welcome to SlayerFest '98. What is a SlayerFest, you ask? Well, as in most of life, there's the hunters and the hunted. Can you guess where you two fall? From the beginning of this tape you have exactly 30 seconds -- no, that's 17 now -- to run for your lives. Faith, Buffy, have a nice death.


There's some wackiness in an abandoned cabin, some fighting with antlers and spatulas and you know that scene in the Breakfast Club that almost kills the movie where they're all in the circle being all emotional and confessing their darkest secrets and fears? Yeah, that's in here too, only instead of taping people's buttocks together so they can be more like their old man or admitting to never having done "it", they're wanting to be Homecoming Queen so they can have one moment of normalness in their life and realizing they're in love with Xander Harris. People, if you're going to steal from the Breakfast Club, do it right. Personally I find the lack of dance montages and people putting on lipstick with their cleavage appalling.


Meanwhile, back at the dance Oz is playing in the band and Giles, who I hope to pete is chaperoning and not trolling for a date, tries to be cute by running up to Xander and Willow and waving his arms about insisting that danger's afoot. And it is cute, only Xander and Willow are too busy punishing themselves for having no self control to even crack a smile. Poor Giles. How is he supposed to work with these people? How?


Faith, meanwhile, has taken to targeting Scott Hope because he broke Faith's fellow slayer's heart. She trots on up to him and his new date and informs him that the doctor said the itching should clear up in a week with the cream. Payback's a bitch, eh?


And back at the abandoned shack de pain and torment, Buffy and not-Faith escape right before it goes kaboom. Yellow pointy guy does not.


Somehow they make it back to the school where the Gorches have knocked out Giles and then knock out Buffy after she stakes Candy. Cordy decides to actually pretend to be Faith and steps up and is all "you haven't seen scary. I'm da man." and tough-boy cowboy guy, the scourge of Texas and its surrounding serfdoms, runs like a baby.


Giles wakes up not in a coma, Buffy, given a rare moment of braininess, figures out that their corsages have trackers in them and cleverly throws wet toilet paper with her tracker in it on one of the german dudes, causing his bosom buddy and life long pal to shoot him. Actually, they kind of shoot each other. It's sad. Put that in slo-motion, slap on some moving music and maybe even possibly a touching voice over and you've got your final heart wrenching war buddy film shot.


Mr. Trick, the lucky fella, is dragged from his home and taken to see the mayor.


The girls, looking like they just got dragged into a mud-wrestling contest in prom wear, and Giles join the fiesta in time for the winning announcement. They don't win, by the way. Two other girls tie and share the crown. And who cares, right? I mean, they bonded, they understand each other now, they're mismatched yet oddly fitting friends for life…actually, after all they've been through-the confessions, the fighting, the running for their lives, they still care about who wins and think it's important. Ally and Molly would be so disappointed in them.




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