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November 03, 1998


David Greenwalt

David Greenwalt

Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase
David Boreanaz as Angel
Seth Green as Oz
Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles
Guest Stars:
K. Todd Freeman as Mr. Trick
Fab Filippo as Scott Hope
Harry Groener as Mayor Richard Wilkins III
Eliza Dushku as Faith
Jeremy Ratchford as Lyle Gorch
Ian Abercrombie as Germans' boss
Danny Strong as Jonathan
Jason Hall as Devon
Jack Plotnick as Deputy mayor
Billy Maddox as Frawley)
Joseph Daube as Hans
Jermyn Daube as Frederick
Lee Everett as Candy Gorch
Tori McPetrie as Michelle
Chad Stahelski as Kulak


Competition is in the air at Sunnydale High, where winning the Homecoming crown seems to be the most important thing on the agenda. After Cordelia makes fun of Buffy, she unleashes the Prom Queen within, prompting Buffy to run against her for the Homecoming Queen title. Buffy seeks the help of her friends, but Xander and Willow are helping Cordelia out of guilt for having secretly shared a kiss. On the night of the Homecoming Dance, Buffy's friends put Buffy and Cordelia in the same limo, hoping they'll make up. Instead, Cordelia ends up in Faith's place in Mr. Trick's Slayerfest `98, where the two Slayers were to be hunted down for sport. After realizing this, Buffy and Cordelia work together to stop Slayerfest, only to return to school and find that there was a tie for Homecoming Queen — between the other two contestants. — Short synopsis by Anthony C. Blade.

For the full, detailed synopsis, click here.

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The hunter/hunted scenario that Buffy and Cordelia go through was most likely inspired by Richard Edward Connell's famous short story "The Most Dangerous Game," in which a hunter has the tables turned on him by being hunted through a jungle by another hunter. It's also reminiscent of the 1967 episode of The Avengers called "The Superlative Seven" (which guest-starred a young Donald Sutherland, of Buffy movie fame, in a role very similar to that played by Ian Abercrombie in this episode).

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Body Count

Blown up by Hans and Frederick in a cabin in Miller's Woods.
Candy Gorch
Staked by Buffy with a spatula handle in the Library.
Shot with an AR-15 by Frederick in the high school.
Shot with an AR-15 by Hans in the high school.
Total: Four
Compiled by Eric B.

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Dialogue to Die For

Scott asks Buffy to the Dance: "But I'm in. I mean, y'know, if you are. If you want to."
Buffy: "Uh, sure... I do. Y'know, if you want to."
Scott: "Well, I do if you want to."
Oz: "The judges will accept that as a yes."

Buffy: "You've awakened the prom queen within."

Mr. Trick: "I mean, whether we're human, vampire... whatever the hell you are, my brother, you got...
Kulak: "I am Kulak, of the Meequai Clan!"
Mr. Trick: "...Isn't that nice."

Oz apologizes for helping Cordy: "As Willow goes, so goes my nation."

Cordelia: "Hello! How stupid are you people? She's a Slayer. I'm a Homecoming Queen!"

Mr. Trick: "If this is the part where you tell me that I don't fit in here in your quiet little neighborhood, you can just skip it. 'Cause, see, that got old long before I became a vampire, do you know what I'm sayin'?"

More quotes from this episode...

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  • Chad Stahelski, who played spiny-headed demon Kulak in this episode, is regularly employed on Buffy as David Boreanaz's stunt double.

  • Buffy refers to her time at Hemery High, mentioning that she was the Prom Princess and the Fiesta Queen at that school.

  • Willow and Buffy mention the events of "Dead Man's Party."

  • Miller's Woods is somewhere within relatively close walking distance of Sunnydale.

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  • Lori Carson - "Fell Into the Loneliness" (From Where It Goes, Restless Records, 1995)
      This song plays in the opening scene in the Bronze.

  • The Pinehurst Kids - "Jodi Foster" (From Minnesota Hotel, Symbiotic Records, 1997)
      This song plays over the scenes of the gang getting their yearbook pictures taken.

  • Lisa Loeb - "How" (From Firecracker, Geffen Records, 1997)
      This song plays in the background during the first scene in Willow's bedroom, where she and Xander try out their Dance outfits.

  • Fastball - "Fire Escape" (From All the Pain Money Can Buy, Hollywood Records, 1998)
      This song plays over the montage of scenes showing Buffy and Cordelia campaigning for Homecoming Queen and the hunters preparing for SlayerFest.

  • Four Star Mary - "She Knows" (From Thrown to the Wolves, MSG Records, 1999)
      The music of Oz's band, Dingoes Ate My Baby, is provided by the band Four Star Mary. Dingoes/FSM play this song on stage at the Bronze during the Homecoming Dance. Willow says that Oz wrote the song for her.
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Clearly, David Greenwalt consulted Emeril Lagasse before writing this episode, and learned how to kick Buffy up a notch. Bam! There were so many things I liked about "Homecoming," and so few things I didn't like, that this will almost certainly rank among my favorite episodes when all is said and done. I'll mention first the few things I didn't like: I thought that Giles' goofiness at the Homecoming Dance was just strange, and Greenwalt seems to be unable to assimilate the changes that have taken place in the relationship between Buffy and Cordelia over the last two seasons, instead having them perpetually stuck in their catfighting adversarial mode of season one (witness the last episode he wrote and directed, "Reptile Boy"). Okay, now on to all the things I loved about this episode. The mayor, who was interesting and delightfully creepy—I anticipate the future of his storyline with both enjoyment and trepidation. The return of Lyle Gorch (I loved him in "Bad Eggs") and Cordelia standing up to him. A terrifically well-crafted "Most Dangerous Game" pastiche the was skillfully set up and eloquently executed. Another thoroughly enjoyable appearance from both Faith and Mr. Trick. And the Kiss. Ahh yes, that Kiss. The kiss I never thought would happen. I was a supporter of Willow/Xander romance during the first season, but with the advent of Oz and of the weirdness that is Xander and Cordelia during the second season I abandoned those hopes. I came to see Xander as completely wrong for Will, and if you'd asked me two weeks ago about the possibility of passion between those two I would have had a hearty laugh. But once again the writers of this show have taken a plot development that I envisioned as at best inadvisable and at worst impossible, and have pulled it off convincingly and entertainingly. I thought it would be horribly cringeworthy, but instead it was sweet and fun and (despite the pain my beloved characters will no doubt go through as a result of it) I can't wait to see more. It's becoming increasingly clear to me that this show is going to break my heart yet again before the season is through, possibly several times. Why do I view that as a good thing? (9/10)
I am very happy now. I must say that I was totally and completely entertained by this week's episode. It took a few weeks to build up to this point, but it was well worth the wait. Let me start at the beginning: Xander and Willow kissing... oh my! I am not unhappy that it happened, but I am surprised that the writers went in that direction. It will add a bit of awkwardness between them and that is always fun. It is about time that they kissed and I have a feeling that this is a secret that will eventually come out and will cause more than a few problems (call that my prediction). On the topic of Angel, I am able to live with this troubled, Angel-like character that returned from Hell. I do want a bit more information about exactly how he came back. I suppose I will get my answers in time. I didn't really care for the super-bitchy Cordelia, but I guess that it was necessary to create the Homecoming Queen rivalry. Finally, Mr. Trick: he is really beginning to grow on me. He is arrogant, witty, and a snappy dresser. Not mention he will be teaming up with the mayor. On the topic of the mayor... he is really wacky. I like him... he's neat. Overall, I really liked this episode, and I can honestly say that the rest of this season will certainly rock if this week's offering is any indication of future greatness by the writers. It feels like everything is perfect in the world because Buffy is back and better than ever. (9/10)
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Air Date Rating Ranking
November 03, 1998 4.3 95 of 134 (tie)
February 2, 1999 3.3 93 of 123
May 31, 1999 2.1 102 of 131

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