Rewatching Buffy – Episode 36

buffy-titleWelcome to Rewatching Buffy, the part of the blog where I rewatch Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Each Tuesday evening, you’re invited to join me as I attempt to rediscover what made me love this show 20 years ago.

Dead Man’s Party

  • Buffy’s back home after spending her summer in LA as a runaway.
  • Joyce is hanging a mask in her bedroom. She makes a big deal about it being Nigerian. This is probably a big deal.
  • Buffy wants to go out and find Xander and Willow. Joyce doesn’t seem too sure how to interact with Buffy again now that she’s back.
  • She sneaks up on Xander, on patrol in an alley. She warns him about playing with pointy sticks: “It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.”
  • Who knew that would be a prophetic statement before the end of the series?
  • Then an actual vampire comes out of hiding. Buffy slays. The gang is happy (?) to see her.
  • Buffy and the gang go to Giles’ flat. No one quite knows how to interact with her.
  • The next day, Buffy and Joyce meet with Snyder about letting her back in school. It doesn’t go well.
  • Afterward, Willow stands Buffy up for their coffee date.
  • Buffy walks home and bumps into Pat, from Joyce’s book club.
  • Joyce decided to invite all the Scoobies over for dinner, hoping Buffy would be okay with it. She says it’s okay. I don’t believe her.
  • When Buffy goes to the basement to retrieve the good plates, she finds a dead cat. She and Joyce bury it in the back yard. What an awesome bonding experience for these estranged family members.
  • Remember that mask on Joyce’s wall? The eyes glow at night. And the dead cat rises from its shallow grave in the back yard.
  • It’s just like Pet Sematary. Well, not just like it… But they both have a zombie cat.
  • The next morning, Buffy is walking around a deserted high school. Angel shows up. Must be a dream. ‘Cause he dead.
  • Joyce discusses the possibility of an all girls’ private school. Buffy is kind of upset about that. “You made some bad choices,” says Joyce. Just before she gets startled by zombie cat.
  • Giles comes and pulls the cat out from under a chair in Joyce’s room. He notices the mask.
  • While researching the zombie cat, the gang decide to turn the dinner into a real party.
  • Buffy’s setting the table as Pat rings the doorbell. That’s a lovely surprise.
  • Then Oz’s band shows up. Then everyone shows up.
  • Suddenly it’s Bogey Lowenstein’s party.
  • Buffy’s not excited about it being more than her small circle of friends.
  • I can’t help but notice that this party is full of nameless individuals, aside from the series regulars. That tells me that all but about a half dozen of the partiers are expendable.
  • The mask starts glowing again. Then we cut to a dead guy who just got hit by a car. He gets up.
  • A burn victim flatlines at the hospital. Then he gets up and attacks the doctors and nurses.
  • Buffy walks in on Joyce and Pat sharing a bottle of liquor. I guess “book club” is grown up code for “drinking buddies.” Buffy overhears Joyce complaining that things seem worse now that Buffy’s back. Obviously, out of context.
  • So Buffy heads up to her room, ready to pack up and move on. Again.
  • Meanwhile, glowing Nigerian mask is summoning the walking dead to the party.
  • Giles discovers the truth about the mask and heads to Buffy’s. “Do you like my mask? Isn’t it pretty? It raises the dead.” – Giles, mocking Joyce.
  • Willow walks in on Buffy packing. Time to hash things out. Then Joyce walks in. Hashing things out becomes a big fight. For everyone.
  • Then zombies attack. And it becomes an actual fight. For everyone.
  • I count only two dead partiers, Pat included.
  • Zombie Pat puts on the mask and apparently becomes Queen of the Zombies.
  • Giles arrives just in time to tell Buffy to destroy the eyes of the mask. She then shoves a shovel through Pat’s face.
  • I’m sure Joyce is devastated that her best drinking buddy is dead. Funny how she’s never mentioned again.
  • Nothing like a life-or-death-zombie-brawl to bring friends back together.
  • You know how Giles was hardcore in his youth? He pulls that personality out on Snyder. The intimidation factor works to help get the ball rolling on getting Buffy back in school.
  • Body count: Vampires – 1; Humans – 4; Cats – 1; Zombies – all of them
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