Buffy descends the stairs to Tucker's basement. This set looks suspiciously like every other basement I've seen on the show. Tucker's preparing to loose the hellhound, but Buffy throws him up against some shelves. He tries to break a vase over her head, but she deftly blocks his attack. She notices several videos with prom scenes, such as Carrie, Pump Up The Volume, and Pretty In Pink. Man, it's too bad the hounds didn't run into Molly Ringwald on the way to Sunnydale High. Buffy asks him why he would want to destroy the prom, but Tucker says he has his reasons. Hilarious cut to him asking a girl to the prom, and her simply saying, "No." Buffy manhandles him and ties his hands behind his back. She happily says she's going to lock him in the other room, but upon opening the door, she sees three empty cages with TV screens in front of them. He gloats that his "three fiercest babies" are on their way already. "If you think formalwear makes them crazy, wait till they see the mirror ball." Hee. But what about that whole remote-control thing? I don't get it.
The hellhounds move toward the school entrance. Buffy raises a crossbow and shoots, dropping one of them. The other two start chasing her. She runs, trying to lure them somewhere, but they stop when they hear Kool & The Gang's "Celebration" from inside. Ha! Buffy turns to pursue them. She finds them growling at the gym door. One of them tackles her onto a table. They roll over, and suddenly there's a knife in its chest. Huh? I'm willing to accept the knife's presence, despite the fact that it came out of nowhere, but wasn't the hound's chest pressed to Buffy's? Whatever. See? I do it too. Some dude comes out of the gym, and the remaining hellhound turns to attack him. Buffy drags it off and snaps its neck. Tux Dude, shakily: "Bathroom?" Buffy points him in the right direction and smiles. Hee.
Buffy drags the corpses under some bushes. She opens a large bag, and starts to let down her hair.
Prom. Dancing. Buffy enters in a wraparound number and long straight hair. Giles sees her, and they exchange a smile. Willow and Oz see her, and they're all happy.
Some time later, it's the awards ceremony. They're up to the class clown award, and Xander rubs his hands together in anticipation. He doesn't get it, and complains that "none of the people who vote for these things are funny." That explains Nielsen ratings, I guess. Buffy, her back to the stage, pours herself some punch. Jonathan takes the mike, lowering it to his height. From here on in, it's nothing but tears, folks. It's nothing to be ashamed of. Jonathan says that they have a special award, and asks if Buffy Summers is there. Buffy looks around warily. Jonathan reads a prepared statement from the prom committee that I think would be an injustice not to transcribe: "We're not good friends. Most of us never found the time to get to know you. But that doesn't mean we haven't noticed you. We don't talk about it much, but it's no secret that Sunnydale High isn't really like other high schools. A lot of weird stuff happens here." At this point, several students call out examples of weird stuff that's happened since the beginning of the show. Giles looks on lovingly. I'm even grateful to Wesley for unsmilingly looking on like the ponce that he is, because it gives the lump in my throat a two-second break. Jonathan goes on, "But whenever there was a problem, or something creepy happened, you seemed to show up and stop it. Most of the people here have been saved by you or helped by you at one time or another. We're proud to say that the Class of '99 has the lowest mortality rate of any graduating class in Sunnydale history, and we know at least part of that is because of you. So the senior class offers its thanks, and gives you, uh, this." He holds up the miniature umbrella we all know so well. "It's from all of us, and it has written here, 'Buffy Summers, Class Protector.'" I need to take a little break. Okay, I'm back. The crowd parts to let Buffy through, and gives her an ovation. Even Wesley is smiling and clapping at this point, which makes me hate him again. Huh? I know. My only problem with this scene is SMG's acting choice; she's all smiles, and I'd think Buffy would be at least a little teary after everything that's happened. But it's a minor point.