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Discussion of 5.05 "No Place Like Home" - Aired 10/24/00 (WB-US)

Buffy Summers

Staff member
Nov 20, 2001
The City of Angels
When doctors cannot determine why Joyce is sick, Buffy is convinced that the cause must be supernatural. When she tries a spell to let her see magical influences, Buffy sees far more than she had planned.
Source: TV.com

Discuss this episode here!
Nov 9, 2010
This episode is amazing, I love it! you finally get to know what the hell is going on, but I had already spoiled myself on everything so there was no real surprise for me.

There so many things about this episode I love, I dont know what to mention, I love the scene in the beginning in the Magic Box, Willow and Buffy are talking and you hear something breaking and one second later you hear Dawn going "oops" i the background. One of the many reasons I love Dawn, how can you not..? :D

Best line:
Anya: "Please go."
Xander: "Anya, the Shopkeepers Union of America called. They want me to tell you that 'Please go' just got replaced with 'Have a nice day.'"
Anya: "But I have their money. Who cares what kind of day they have?"
Xander: "No one. It's just a long cultural tradition of raging insincerity. Embrace it."
Anya: "Hey, you! Have a nice day."
Xander: "There's my girl!"


Maybe it was taquitos. Maybe he lived for taquitos
Staff member
Jan 1, 2010
Stockholm, Swe
Black Thorn
This episode is great, and I agree with the three words mentioned above. The scene between Buffy and Giles where he's in his wizards outfit is just priceless!

In this new turn of events my heart keeps going out to Riley in the re-watch of this season, ain't easy being Buffy's somewhat neglected beau... :S

I love Anya finding her 'calling' so to speak. It's a very sweet moment too when Giles offers her a job. :)
Agree about Riley- heartbreaking.
The Riley scenes always kill me in this one. :(
The Thirst Evil
The Thirst Evil
Glad to see that some other people share my affection for Riley
I felt bad for Riley too
Sep 1, 2011
An absolutely brilliant episode - it is packed full of great stuff and really moves the plotline foward. As already mentioned the Anya moment, "Please go" is classic as well as that moment Buffy enters the Magic shop and Giles is just standing there waiting with the wizard outfit hilarious! Theres also another great Giles moment:

I put this before the group. What the hell is it?
It appears to be paranormal in origin.
How can you tell?
Well, it's so shiny.

We also have the fabulous introduction of Glory. She is just a great character, so funny, really hot and just a pleasure to watch on screen. I remember watching this episode first time and thinking how mental but how hilarious she is at the same time!! She has some great lines here:

"Im talking about the whole mortal coil now, you know? It's disgusting! The food... the
clothes... the people. I could crap a better existence than this. (beat) But... okay- and feel free to tell me if this next part gets a little too personal, because I'm told I have boundary issues- but I'm hurt! Yes, by your incredibly selfish behavior. Newsflash,
hairdo: it's not always about you. All I want is the Key! Why? Why can't you tell me where the Key is?"

"The whole "beat ya to death" thing I'm doing? It's valuable time out of life that I'm never gonna get back."

I also love the bit when Buffy is talking to the monk and Glory silently approaches from behind - the way she does this is so funny!!

I think the whole trance thing really works - I remember watching it the first time and just being at the edge of my seat when she sees something wrong with Dawn. Dawn appearing and disappearing out of the photos is so eerie!! The episode works well in misleading you. The first time watching you think Dawn herself is something evil and hurting her mother. This links with the end of "Real Me" when you are left with a questionmark over Dawn and her motivations, "she still thinks I'm Little Miss Nobody, just her dumb little sister. Boy, is she in for a surprise." This feeling is enhanced in this episode like when she says "Do you really think I care you're the Slayer?" and then the way she offers Joyce the tea in that peculiar way. However, on a rewatch the way she says it, "I made it for you" is so weird and unnatural when thinking that in reality Dawn is innocent. However, I think its all done really well.

I love the revelation scene with the Monk - when he finally reveals that Dawn is the key. Buffy's reactions are great - her slow realisation, her questioning all her memories - this scene just gives me chills. SMG is incredible here. And then Dawn playfully calls Buffy adopted - it just gets me!!!

Great episode and a highlight for me.

There is also possibly one of Spike's greatest quotes:

Buffy: What are you doing here? Five words or less.
(Spike counts the words on his fingers.)
Spike: Out... for... a... walk... bitch.


Also, I love Spike's names for Riley, here he calls him, "Captain Cardboard" and in earlier episodes has called him, "enourmous hall monitor," "cub scout" " a good tin solider" HILARIOUS

Love all these comments!
Yes to all of this!
[No message]
Oct 9, 2011
This episode was pretty jam packed full of stuff :) I did think it was quite good :)
I liked the dagonsphere, like previously stated, as Giles said 'It's so shiny' lol :D
Dawn annoys me again, taking full credit for the lovely breakfast Buffy made for her mum, it's the little Dawn things that niggle me :rolleyes:
Loving the brand new Magic Box, it makes me want a store of my own even more! lol :D Giles' wizard outfit, was funny buy so glad he took it off lol :D
I think Glory is kinda weird, definatly a diferent choice for the new big bad :)
I thought they did the viewing of the spell good, making everything look all weird and making Dawn flicker, I thought that was pretty neat :)
When Buffy finds out about Dawn you can see an instant change in her, you can see her view in Dawn change and be more protective :)
Jun 18, 2003
Black Thorn
I like the concept that Glory is a god that goes crazy and draws her sanity from others by making them crazy instead.

I really wasnt a fan of Dawn in this episode, especially when she's telling the group what Buffy had said about Riley when Riley was stood there.

I love Giles in his wizard outfit and Willow's wrapping. It was so funny.

I also liked the concept that Buffy clings to the hope that what is affecting Joyce is something evil and she can fight it away. A bit like in Killed By Death but in that episode there was an evil demon at work.
Jan 17, 2012
Boston, MA
This was a great episode. Filled in a ton of gaps that were needed to be able to progress with this whole season. My first go-around with this season I absolutely HATED Dawn's character. Now that I'm older (and wiser--hahahaha), I find myself liking Dawn a lot more. Even though she acts like a complete child (which she is) I feel for her. Now that Buffy knows she's not really her sister, I liked the way she went back home and showed more of a tender side to her "sister."

As for the rest of the episode, the wizard outfit was AWESOME! I definitely couldn't get enough of it!!

I liked how Buffy showed Dawn some love there too. Poor girl needed some.


The ooze that eats itself
Feb 18, 2014
Denver, Colorado
Captain Cardboard, ouch! Straight from a writer too; that wasn't a fan name for Riley...

I'm liking this new villain. She seems incredibly formidable! She must be the big bad.


Member of the Church Of Faith
Dec 23, 2013
The Moot, England
Very strong episode, like the introduction of the Big Bad, and the mystery about Dawn being sort of revealed.
Plus a really good fight scene where Buffy gets her ass kicked. :D Way more effective than when it happened in S4.
Buffy just can't catch a break...:(

Plus lots of funny lines from Xander, Giles, and the classic conversation between Spike and Buffy: Out...For...A...Walk...Bitch :)

IMO, S5 has a biggest run of consistantly funny/moving episodes from here on out.


Fan student
Jan 11, 2014
Black Thorn
I remember being really unsettled when I saw this episode for the first time.
I re watched it a few times since and I actually like it a lot but at the same time it makes me feel weird.
First, as a Riley-liker, it's painful to see his scenes and how Buffy and even the Scoobies act around him. It makes me sad and angry.

THe thing I cannot wrap my mind around is how Buffy can suddenly show some genuine love to Dawn now that she knows who/what Dawn is and that she is a part of her mission.
Is it the sister or the slayer talking?
I know that Buffy loved Dawn already, the monks made sure of that. But suddenly, she accepts Dawn...

Glory and the Mayor are my favourites Buffy villains and I laugh every time I see Glory's introduction. I think Kramer does a great job.

Finally, Wizard hat:I love how it shows the evolution of Buffy and Giles' relationship. In the season 4 Halloween episode, she told him to get rid off his sombrero. Now she just looks at him, he knows, she knows. They know each other so well, it's beautiful and shown really effectively!

And, of course, Anya and money and Spike's "Out for a walk bitch".... ahhh can't get enough of those.

Wild At Heart

the moon lights his way
Sep 1, 2008
Such an amazing episode for all of the reasons mentioned above. Giles in his wizard hat & robe...one of the funniest scenes that I love in the entire show. Plus him offering Anya a job, I love it. I really enjoy having the Magic Box as the meeting place for the Scoobies vs. Giles' apartment last season even though I really didn't mind his apartment. It's just nice seeing him feel more motivated & like he has more of a place in the gang & in Sunnydale. This episode does make me sad though because Joyce is struggling with her health & being sick. I just hate it because I know what's coming & I love Joyce. I love Buffy's initial reaction to finding out Dawn doesn't belong there. I completely understand how scared she must've felt to know that something was making her mother that ill. Then come to find out what she does at the end of the episode...it's such a long journey from how Buffy feels about Dawn at this point to how she does by the end of the season. One of my fav eps!!!
Dec 16, 2011
I agree with the majority - this is a great episode. It's one of my favourites even though it's not really a stand-out episode.

I love the spell Buffy performs, it's really spooky. I remember being totally freaked out the first time I saw this, when Joyce is talking to Buffy and you can see Dawn appearing and disappearing in the photo in the background. It still sends a shiver down my spine.

And a really, really sad ending to the episode, with Dawn asking what's wrong with Joyce, and Buffy replying she doesn't know. Makes me :(
Jun 2, 2013
I think this is a great episode, and even though I'm a Dawn fan anyway there are moments in it that would even make those who don't like her warm up to her a little.
Giles and Anya are great. Shame that Tara couldn't have been in a few scenes in the shop though.
The concept that Glory feeds off people's sanity is a unique and Clare Kramer's performance is brilliant. (As was SMG's this episode especially)
Agree with YummySushiPJs- The spell is really cool (and the soundtrack that went along with it)and a great way into making us wonder who the hell Dawn is, as well as tricking the audience into thinking she's evil. Great job by Michelle, she comes across as extremely creepy, especially when Buffy's about to tell Giles what she saw and she appears behind her. (Although the part with the tea was way too overdone :p )
Especially love the bit where she walks into Dawn's room and it keeps switching back and forth to a dusty storage room.
Oct 17, 2015
Black Thorn
Some observations:

Buffy looked at Giles' wizard dress and oppressed herself from bursting into laughing. This was because Buffy already had enough giggle twins in that very morning, and she thought that Giles was also exposing the same kind of childish behavior. She didn't want to coddle Giles by playing along.

The final scene is perfect. Maybe the best dialogue in the whole show. Check out the micro expressions of both Buffy and Dawn. I die each time I watch it.

Give Us A Kiss

Fuffy Apologist
Feb 4, 2015
The monks have to protect the key, I already know that Dawn is the key.

Big guy trying to kill Buffy, Buffy wins ;)

The janitor is creepy...

Buffy, Dawn is not a baby :mad:

Dawn, don't touch the flowers.

Dawn definitely looks a bit like a lil pumpkin belly :p

Giles, I like the hat :)

Giles, how is patience fun ??? o_O

Dawn, can you shut up please ???

Joyce, hospital, now !!!

Ben references Spiderman :)

Glory :eek:

Anya, being mortal sucks, you have to pay for things :(

Glory, why are you on the mortal coil in the first place ??? o_O

Glory, boundaries...

"Speak American" :p

Glory, what do you even need the key for anyways??? o_O

Glory, we don't suck brains out :mad:

Anya, we don't say "please go"...

Willow, I can't wrap things nicely either :(

Buffy, I don't think it's such a good idea...

Riley seems more tolerable here than ever...

Dawn, you are an annoying little sister.

So, Joyce's illness isn't supernatural after all...

Buffy, this is also not such a great idea...

Dawn, she is the slayer, she needs to go out.

Spike the stalker :p

Buffy cannot be fooled, and Riley is more than cardboard...

Joyce, Buffy went out, as usual.

Glory has quite a lot of strength :eek:

Anya has a job :D

Glory is entertaining and evil ;)

No, slayers can't fly.

Buffy, I think that the monk is about to die...

Buffy, you can't abandon the key :(

Dawn, butthole is not a swear word :p

Next time: A more Tara/Tillow centric episode.


Did I get it?
Jul 31, 2017
Problems I have with this episode:
- The dialogue is just flat in certain areas, but that's a common theme in Doug Petrie eps. Yes, some great jokes. Why do I get the feeling Marti/Jane/Joss came in to punch up the ep with some good jokes? Overall, though, I'm generally not a fan of Doug's writing - it's lazy. See below.
- When Buffy confronts Dawn in her room, and says "you're not my sister", shouldn't she be worried about what this entity has done with her real sister? In her mind, Dawn is real and her family is being attacked - her immediate thought to seeing a fake Dawn would not be to doubt the actual Dawn's existence. Instead, she would be freaking out about where real Dawn is. When you take yourself out of our perspective of knowing Dawn is not real, and put yourself into Buffy's perspective, her reaction makes NO sense.
- Likewise, when the monk tells her that Dawn is the key, her first reaction is "my memories, my mom's". This doesn't feel true to me. The monk hasn't told her when they inserted Dawn. For all she knows, it could have been as a fetus. Again, from her perspective, and not ours, the immediate first question she would ask is "when did you do this" how long has she been there"? It's not natural for her first gut reaction to be to question an entire lifetime of memories.

I would almost buy Buffy's reactions more if Real Me hadn't set the plot up so well so that we see how much Buffy takes care of and loves her sister. After that (the superior ep imo) this was a step back, only working if you rely on the supposition that something didn't quite "take" with re-programming Buffy. Which again, doesn't work seeing how much she loves Dawn going forward.
Oct 12, 2017
Never been my favorite episode, but reading through all the comments here, I do appreciate it more.

Of course, I've always loved Spike's immortal line - "Out. For. A. Walk... Bitch." JM delivers the line perfectly!

Glory has a nice cool entrance. And the reveal to Buffy by the monk was moving and confusing and scary all at once.

But the real highlight was the spell Buffy does. (By the way -- if Buffy can do a pretty complicated spell this easily, why isn't everyone going around doing spells? Giles does spells too, and Dawn, and even Xander. And they show Willow working so hard on floating a pencil. I don't know, it feels off.)

Anyway, that spell was creepy, suspenseful, and unnerving, especially the first time I watched it. I really had no idea what was going on, so it was well done. Side note - I like Buffy's shirt in this episode -- the gold demon on the front is a nice little joke.
love the trance scene and her demon t-shirt too. Cute meta joke there!
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