Title: Buffy S3.E05 “Homecoming” + S3.06 “Band Candy”
Released: 1998

Drinks Taken: 24
Vamps Dusted: 3


Follow the whole rewatch here!

Last week, Sarah introduced us to the new slayer in town and we welcomed Angel back with open arms. (Well, some of us did.) This week, Buffy really throws herself into the high school experience, but these pesky assassins and candy cursing villains can’t just let a girl enjoy her senior year.

Buffy eagerly watching a pitcher of beer being poured into her glass.

The Buffy Season Three Drinking Game Rules

Drink once every time:

A vamp is dusted
A scene takes place in a cemetery
Cordelia says something cutting but true
Principal Snyder hates on students
Oz is ridiculously low-key cool
Spike has mad swagger
Willow gets witchy
You roll your eyes at Faith
The Mayor is a germaphobe

Drink twice every time:

We see the entrance to Sunnydale High
Giles drinks tea
Jonathan appears in a scene
There’s an extremely outdated pop culture reference
A vampire is invited into a house
Someone wears leather pants

Now it’s time to meet a major season 3 player and find a whole new side of Giles to love!

Willow and Xander sit on her bed holding hands

3.5 “Homecoming”

The gang is at the Bronze talking about renting a limo for the homecoming dance. Xander balks at the expense, so Oz offers up his van, but Cordelia insists that the homecoming queen can’t show up to the dance in a van. not that she’s actually been elected yet. The whole conversation is pretty insensitive, seeing as how mopey Buffy is obviously not feeling as coupley as the rest of the group. She’s pretty non-committal about the plan, which Willow correctly interprets is because Scott hasn’t asked her to the dance yet. When he joins the group, Cordelia outright calls him out on it, of course. He figured Buffy would think the dance was corny, but is in if she is. She calls it an early night and kisses him goodbye, so she can go hang out with her other boyfriend, the newly returned Angel. She takes him a blood delivery, and he’s pretty jumpy and barely verbal. She tells him that she hasn’t told the rest of the group that he’s back, and she’s not going to. She doesn’t think they would understand that he’s “better” now. She tells him that things are different now, and she’s involved with a nice, solid guy who she can depend on.

Cut to the next morning, and Scott dumping her because she used to be filled with life, and a force of nature, and now she’s distracted all the time. She promises to be less distracted from now on, which is really pathetic to watch. Girl, you can do SO MUCH BETTER. We see that two teutonic meatheads were watching Buffy’s humiliation through binoculars from a shady van in the parking lot. They send the video feed back to an old man in a mansion who confirms with Mr. Trick that she is the target.

At City Hall, a frightened Deputy Mayor informs Mayor Wilkins that two wanted German murderers have arrived in town. The Mayor is less concerned with that than the fact that the Deputy Mayor hasn’t been doing a thorough enough handwashing job. (Drink!) He asks that the Germans be put under surveillance and that he be kept apprised of any other colorful characters who come into town.

The gang poses for yearbook photos and then wonders if Buffy is going to miss them since she’s off training with Faith in the library. Cordelia offers to go remind her but gets distracted along the way, with her queen campaign. Faith is impressed with Buffy’s post-break-up rage and the edge it’s given her. She suggests that they go to the dance together and pick up a couple of studs to use and discard.

Buffy is having trouble getting the glowing recommendation from a teacher that Principal Snyder deemed a condition of her returning to school, due to the fact that none of her teachers seem to remember her well, other than that she was absent a lot. It’s making Buffy feel a bit invisible. At her old school, she was queen of everything, and now she’s barely going to be on one yearbook page. When Xander informs her that, actually, she won’t even have that, because she missed photos, she rightly takes her anger out on Cordelia. Cordy doesn’t think it’s a big deal that she forgot to tell Buffy about photos since she’s so busy with her important campaigning. Buffy decides to get back at the snide attitude by giving Cordelia some homecoming queen competition.

Mr. Trick gives an orientation speech to a motley group of humans, vampires, and demons, who have all gathered to pay for a chance to compete against each other in killing Buffy and Faith. He welcomes them to Slayerfest ‘98. I wonder if there are t-shirts?

Willow and Xander are trying on their homecoming outfits in her room, since she needed help choosing a dress to wow Oz. They reminisce about old times and ask how far each has gone in their relationships, without ever answering. Once they get a load of each other in their formalwear, they seem to see each other in a whole new light and there’s so much sexual tension, they end up kissing and NOOO. I hate this plotline. Like me, they think it’s best if we pretend this never happened.

Buffy has gathered the troops in the library to strategize her homecoming campaign. She’s made a dry erase board listing all her competition’s strengths and weaknesses. She assigns them all tasks to help her, not realizing that Cordelia has already enlisted their support for her campaign. We get a montage of Buffy and Cordelia schmoozing for votes, while the Slayerfest competitors ready their weapons. Buffy and Cordelia trade barbs in the hallway and it almost gets physical before their friends split them up. Willow is stressed about it, which is compounded by hers and Xander’s ill-timed new attraction.

Buffy gets into the limo to the dance to only find Cordelia, and a letter from their friends who have ditched them, wanting them to work out their differences. We see the limo is being driven by one of the teutonic Germans. Since Faith was supposed to be the one picked up before Buffy, Cordelia has mistakenly been kidnapped along with her, and they exit the limo in the woods to a note to press play on a VCR. A recording of Mr. Trick welcomes them to Slayerfest.

Willow and Xander are moping at the dance when Giles praises them for doing a good thing in putting Buffy and Cordelia together, but they’re too busy wallowing in their well-deserved guilt. Faith sees Scott dancing with someone and decides to get some revenge on Buffy’s behalf by humiliating him in front of his date, suggesting that he has an STD. 

Faith telling Scott "we got to keep using the ointment"

In this moment, I kind of love her.

Buffy quickly takes down werewolf hunter who we’ve seen hunt Oz. The old guy competitor uses tech and the German twins as his weapons to hunt Buffy and Cordelia. They hunker down in an abandoned cabin and Buffy gets the chance to explain that she wanted to be homecoming queen so she could look back one day and know that she had once been chosen for something other than violence and terror. It’s a very touching speech that’s interrupted by the spiny demon competitor. They manage to blow up the cabin with him in it and make their escape. The vampire couple, Lyle Gorch (from “Bad Eggs”) and his new bride, Candy, have taken Slayerfest to the Sunnydale library, where they wait for Buffy to come to them. When the girls arrive, they work together to take down the Gorches, with Cordelia managing to run Lyle off using only the power of her bitchy mouth. It’s kind of amazing. Buffy realizes their corsages have tracking devices in them right around the time the German hunters arrive, directed by the old man, tracking the corsage’s movement. She uses wet toilet paper to stick the corsages to the Germans, causing them to be directed to shoot each other. Mr. Trick is collected by the police, who deliver him to Mayor Wilkins’ office. The Mayor is so impressed with the enterprising Slayerfest that he invites Mr. Trick to join his team.

Buffy and Cordelia arrive at the dance dirty and bedraggled, just in time for the homecoming queen announcement. Dingoes frontman, Devon, announces that there is a tie, and Buffy and Cordelia’s two competitors are crowned the queens.

How many times do I have to take a drink?


Vamps Dusted


Stylish Yet Affordable Boots

Buffy models quite the collection of Stepford Wife dresses in her quest to be queen.

Buffy in a yellow dress reminiscent of the early 60's

The Truest Thing Anybody Said This Week

GIF via Marshmallow the Vampire Slayer

Cordelia: Why is it every time I go somewhere with you, it always ends in violence and terror?

Buffy: I’m not actually popular. Although, I’m not exactly unpopular. A lot of people came to my welcome home party.
Willow: But they were killed by zombies.
Buffy: Good point.

Lyle: I’m gonna kill both you Slayers for this! You hear me?
Cordelia: I hear you, you redneck moron. You got a dress that goes with that hat?
Lyle: I’m gonna…
Cordelia: Rip out my innards, play with my eyeballs, boil my brain and eat it for brunch? Listen up, needle-brain. Buffy and I have taken out four of your cronies, not to mention your girlfriend.
Lyle: WIFE!
Cordelia: Whatever. 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 gonna do to you?

Xander: Oh, God! What did you two do to each other?
Buffy: Long story.
Cordelia: Got hunted.
Buffy: Apparently not that long.

Giles smoking in a white t-shirt followed by Joyce

3.6 “Band Candy”

Buffy and Giles are hanging out in the cemetery (drink!) when their SAT prep is interrupted by a vampire in need of slaying. Buffy is sure that she and Giles and the undead are the only ones working this late. We cut to City Hall where the Mayor is thanking Mr. Trick for coming in so early. He’s giving him the job of tracking down a subcontractor because Wilkins has a demon that demands his tribute, and gosh darn it, he keeps his campaign promises. He also has a filing cabinet in his office full of enough creepy occult objects to make Giles envious.

The next morning Buffy is telling Willow and Oz about her stress dream about being chased by a test answer bubble. Willow hopes that wasn’t one of her prophecy dreams. Oz offers to help Buffy and Willow proudly brags that Oz is the highest scoring person at Sunnydale to ever fail to graduate. Willow is up for helping with SAT prep that night but Buffy says she’s putting in mom time since Joyce and Giles have been hovering a bit much since Buffy got back.

Principal Snyder informs the gang that they’ll be helping sell candy to pay for new band uniforms, despite the fact that none of them are in the band. Typical Snyder. Buffy successfully talks her mom into buying 20 bars, right before she launches into what is obviously a recurring plea to be allowed to drive. But Joyce claims she already doesn’t know where Buffy is half the time, why add the possibility that she’s on the road to Chicago? Buffy is offended that Joyce assumes she’s going to run away again, but then she dashes off for a slay/SAT prep double feature with Giles. Joyce is resentful of how much Giles is monopolizing Buffy’s time. 

Buffy cuts her training time with Giles short, claiming that she has to head home because her mom is in hyperdrive, but we see that she’s actually gone to the mansion to watch Angel do shirtless Tai Chi. I mean, I’m not saying I wouldn’t do the same. He tells her he’s feeling better, right before he almost collapses and she has to help him inside, forcing them into shirtless, sweaty proximity. Angel asks about Scott and Buffy avoids telling him that they broke up. He asks if she’s being careful with the slaying because he worries about her. She admits that she worries about him, too, but knows that he’s getting stronger and soon he won’t need her. He tells her that would be better for both of them.

When Buffy gets home, she apologizes to her mom for Giles keeping her late, but we see that Giles is there and now they’re both onto her using each of them as her alibi. Since she also lied to Willow about her whereabouts, they were concerned. Buffy, who claims to have been at the Bronze, argues that they’re both scheduling her 24 hours a day and she doesn’t need this much active parenting. Giles sends her to bed and he and Joyce munch on band candy while commiserating over how Buffy drives them crazy but they just want to protect her. 

At the band candy factory, one of the workers is about to bite into a candy bar when Ethan Rayne tells him he does not want to eat that. Whatevs, would totally still eat it. 

In study hall, Buffy and Cordelia chat about how Giles has been high-strung and strict lately. Further back in the classroom, Willow and Xander have an innocuous conversation about selling candy bars while playing footsie under the table. GROSS, GUYS, STOP. Willow, for real, you are dating OZ. What is wrong with you?! For some reason, Giles is supposed to be teaching this class but hasn’t shown up. A pouty Snyder (munching on a chocolate bar) forces an older teacher to take over the class, then complains about how unfair it is that everyone expects him to take care of everything since he’s the principal. Ms. Barton announces to the class that they need to pretend to read until Snyder is gone and then they are all out of there.

Xander: “Does anyone else wanna marry Ms. Barton?”
Cordelia: “Get in line.

Worried after Giles didn’t show up for work, Buffy goes by his place to check on him. Giles is looking through his records and hanging out with Joyce. They claim to have listened to her concerns and that they’re working out a coordinated schedule for her. Then Joyce hands over the car keys and basically tells her to scram. After Buffy dashes off before her mom can change her mind, Joyce asks Giles if he thinks Buffy noticed anything. He thinks they’re good, lights up a cigarette, and Joyce busts out the hidden booze. PARTAY. They lay around smoking, jamming out to Cream, and Joyce is now calling him “Ripper”. He decides they ought to head out and have some fun and strips down to his white t-shirt and roughs up his hair.

Buffy, the worst teenage driver on earth, drives Willow to the Bronze, despite the fact that the SATs are the next day. Buffy thinks they can study at the Bronze. But the Bronze is hopping with middle-aged folks, and a drunk or high Ms. Barton. Principal Snyder is there and wants to hang out with them, and he would also prefer to be called just Snyder, like Barbarino. Willow is worried that the old people are going to have heart attacks and Buffy wonders if maybe there’s a doctor around. Willow confirms the shirtless man stage-diving just then is her doctor. They’ve finally figured out that something is not right with the grown-ups in town. Watching the adults behave like teenagers has Buffy, Willow, and Oz sufficiently wigged enough to want to head out and find Giles to help figure out what’s going on. But they’re unable to ditch their new tag-a-long, Snyder. Oz assumes that even if Giles has been affected by the emotional time machine that he’s still gotta be a pretty-together 16-year-old. But Buffy and Willow break it to him that teenage Giles was kind of a misanthropic ticking time bomb. SAME.

Back at the band candy factory, Mr. Trick and Ethan talk about the high product demand. Trick accuses one of the workers of sampling the product and breaks his neck to make sure no one else considers doing so. Trick advises Ethan to keep up the good work because it’s almost feeding time.

Joyce and Ripper are walking down the only street in Sunnydale when Joyce spies a cute outfit in a store window. Since the store is closed, badass Giles busts the window open to procure the feather-trimmed coat for her. A cop shows up, and Giles disarms him and keeps the gun for himself. Joyce finds this very “Burt Reynolds” and they make out on top of a cop car.

While driving to get Giles, Buffy gets in an accident when one of the candy-happy grown-ups isn’t paying attention. The gang realizes that all the adults in town are just hanging around outside, not protecting their homes or anything. She wonders why this hasn’t brought out the vampires. When Snyder overreacts to his chocolate bar being stolen, they realize the candy is to blame. Buffy sends Willow and Oz to get Xander and Cordelia, and to head to the library to research it, and she has Snyder lead her to the candy warehouse. On the way, she encounters Giles and Joyce making out and is unable to reason with either of them because they’re too busy acting like rebellious teenagers.

Buffy busts her way into the warehouse, and finds Ethan on the phone telling someone that the town is wide open and they can come at anytime. Buffy and Giles chase him through the maze-like warehouse. Once they catch him, they get him to admit that he’s just a subcontractor for Trick, who needs to collect a tribute for a demon. The tribute is apparently so big, they needed everyone to be too out of it to notice. We cut to a group of vampires walking into the hospital and gathering handfuls of newborn babies. Technically, that’s really just a bunch of small tributes.

In the library, Willow and Xander have an overly intense finger graze over books. Once Buffy calls to compare notes, Willow is able to confirm that Lurconis the demon accepts a tribute very 30 years of yummy babies. Poor Buffy has to break up a fight between Snyder and Giles as well as make-out sessions between Joyce and Giles. So, she sends Snyder home and drags Giles and Joyce down into the sewers to rescue the babies. The Mayor is down there waiting to witness the tribute but sneaks out before Buffy sees him. She quickly takes out Lurconis, a giant snake-like demon, by barbecuing him with an exposed gas pipe. Later, Mr. Trick tries to spin it as a victory, that the Mayor has one less demon to pay tribute to. But the Mayor makes it understood that he isn’t interested in any more unexpected favors.

The next morning, everything is back to normal, Snyder is awful to students, and Giles wants to know how Buffy’s SATs went, and Joyce is letting Buffy pay for the damage to her car on an installment plan, since it occurred while fighting evil. Buffy says she’s just glad that she got to her mom and Giles before they did anything. They awkwardly can’t meet each other’s eyes and quickly leave. Get it, Joyce!

How many times do I have to take a drink?


Vamps Dusted


Giles For Life

Buffy: “Why do I put up with this?”
Giles: “Because it is your destiny. And because I just bought 20 Coco-riffic candy bars.”

I’m Legit Mad We Didn’t Get More Ms. Barton

Serving Up Looks

These two rebels and their mean mom.

And irritable looking Buffy with Joyce in a fur jacket and Giles in a white tee behind her

And Joyce’s “Juice Newton” aesthetic. I die.

Joyce in a fur-trimmed jacket holding out a pair of handcuffs

While no major plot action happens in these episodes, we’re slowly learning more about the evil new players in town. And while Buffy shows some growth here, especially having to be the grown-up while the adults in her life are acting like children, the fact that she’s still hiding Angel’s return from her friends, without thinking it’ll come back to bite her in the ass reminds us just how young she is. Do we think she made the right call there (despite knowing how it turns out)? What is your favorite “Band Candy” moment? Is it Giles in a white tee? Smoking Giles? Giles’ celebration dance when Buffy punches Ethan? If your answer is Willow and Xander playing footsie, go stand in the corner.

Now please join us in the comments for a Ms. Barton Appreciation Party! And be here next week, when Meredith will be talking about “Revelations” and one of the all-time greats, “Lovers Walk”. 

Kandis (she/her) is a proud member of the Austin FYA book club chapter who loves vampires, romance novels, live tweeting CW shows, and Jonah Griggs. She’s not like a regular mom. She’s a cool mom.