Dead Man's Party
Season 3, Episode 2 (Episode 36 of entire series)
"You can't go home again" -- or can you? More later on that. This episode marks the return of Principal Snyder, Jonathan, and Devon! Even spiffier than that, though, is the fact that Oz's and Devon's band, Dingoes Ate My Baby has a return engagement -- playing at Buffy's house. This ep., while it seems to rely a bit heavily on oh, say, Pet Sematary and Night of the Living Dead, basically deals with Buffy's return and the gang's reaction to it.
I could nutshell this one, I bet...let's see...So Buffy's returned home and found out that her mom's been keeping busy doing the art thing at home, attending book club meetings, that sort of thing. After her mom nails up some grotesque-looking Nigerian mask to her bedroom wall, Buffy asks if she can leave the house to catch up with the gang. It's a go!
Buffy soon finds out that people change when you're gone for a good amount of time. I mean...Buffy's returned to find the Scooby-Live-Action-Power-Heroes -- um, okay, the Slayerettes -- taking over her duties. Sure they've gone a little wacky with the walkie-talkies, but come on...remember the '70s?
She and the gang head to Giles's place and try to maintain some semblance of normalcy. Or is that normality? So now Giles doesn't have to go looking for Buffy anymore...he can stay home to give out scones and tea.
Anyhoo, Buffy seems to be getting the cold shoulder from just about everyone..she sort of expects it from Snyder, but is dismayed to hear that he won't let her back into Sunnydale High. He does, however, recommend that she consider working at Hot Dog on a Stick.
Anyhoo, when Buffy's supposed to meet up with Willow at the coffee shop, a lot of time passes before Buffy realizes that she's been stood up. On her way up the walk to her house, she runs into this woman named Pat who's a friend of her mom's. Apparently Pat met Joyce through the book club. (But we all know that's a big fib...check out the Dingo Action! Results for the real scoop. Heh.)
Inside, Joyce tells Buffy that Willow called to say she couldn't make it. Joyce also asks Buffy how she'd feel about a "welcome back" dinner party. She bugs Buffy to go get the good plates from the basement. That's an odd place to store 'em but whatever. Down in the basement, Buffy's startled by a dead, mangy-looking cat. She and Joyce go to bury it in the backyard. We never buried anything in our yard, though we may have used a ravine as the happy hamster haven...boy I'm up late.
Anyhoo, what do you know...the Nigerian mask's eyes start to glow and alls of a sudden, kitty wants to play...the dead cat is reanimated. It's like Pet Sematary.
In the library, the gang, sans Buffy, has mixed feelings about the dinner party. It's like a bunch of 'em want to avoid dealing with the Buffy issue, so they turn the small soiree into a huge bash. Oz's band plays, people dance, people drink, Pat shows up, and the mask gets an eyeful...
We see bunches of zombies rising, think Night of the Living Dead, and we see Giles discover that the mask is the key to it all. When he can't reach Buffy by phone, he and his lemoncar burn rubber. Very figuratively speaking. But suddenly, it's just like shades of Never Kill a Boy on the First Date -- Giles hits a person, goes to investigate and sort of finds himself in the middle of Michael Jackson's Thriller. He drops his keys on the pavement and has to hotwire his car.
At the party, meanwhile, Willow, Xander, and Cordy aren't making Buffy feel very welcome...she overhears a convo between her mom and Pat, in which her mom says that maybe things were easier before Buffy came back. It's the proverbial straw, straw, camel's back..you see what I'm saying. So Buffy goes to her room and starts throwing clothes into a bag...Willow comes in to talk to her. The two chicks have their emotional outbursts and then Joyce pops in and starts reading Buffy the riot act. Then the unspeakable happens.
Buffy's mom has it out with her in front of everyone at the party. Xander jumps into the fray with some nasty remarks, and everyone's getting all heated. Fortunately, they're distracted by the huge Zombie league that's crashing its way inside.
Basically, Pat gets killed and Zombified and we learn that the mask held the power of this demon, Ovu Mobani. Buffy found a new use for the shovel when she rammed it into Pat/Zombie's eyes. Everyone sort of gets back on track it seems. Willow and Buffy are back to bonding at a coffee house, and...Cordy even tried to take up for Buffy in her own special way.
Y'know what? Nutshell or no....let's just say: Nigerian art masks with glowing eyes are definitely NOT gonna be hanging on my walls. The batik from Niger, however, is staying.
1. The gang tried to beat up on the vampire, but it was Buffy who staked it.
2. Random "get out/get off" techniques to ward off zombies.
3. Buffy put a shovel into Zombie/Pat's eyes.
1. Cordelia's always the dip -- the dip girl, that is, at parties.
2. That the zombie-demon's voice sounds a lot like Eyghon's.
3. A lotta "hoot" and a li'l bit of "nanny" makes the "hootenanny." (So sayeth Oz.)
4. Joyce can actually beat the hell out of something.
5. Willow now embodies the song "Witchy Woman.."
6. Never bury a dead cat in your yard.
1. Sunnydale High School
2. An alley
3. A coffee house (Espresso)
4. Some streets
5. Buffy's house
6. Giles's place
7. Sunnydale Hospital (interior)
7. Joyce Summers
10. Principal Snyder
13. Party-Goer Dude (aka Random Stoner Party Guy)
14. Zombie Demon (aka Ovu Mobani)
The ABCs of Sunnydale