Xander and several other students are possessed by the spirit of a demonic breed of hyenas that wreak havoc at the high school

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Cordelia Chase (credit only)
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Rupert Giles (as Anthony Stewart Head)
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Kyle DuFours
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Rhonda Kelley (as Michael McRaine)
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Tor Hauer
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Jeff Maynard ...
Lance
James Stephens ...
Dr. Weirick
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Mr. Anderson
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Mrs. Anderson (as Barbara K. Whinnery)
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Coach Herrold
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Storyline

On a school field trip to the zoo, Kyle DuFours's gang of bullies taunt good boy Lance, till Xander stops them balancing the nerd over the fence of still quarantined hyena's- suddenly they are all eerily effected by the evil beasts' magical stare. Willow is completely smitten with Xander, but he chucks in her maths tutoring when the hyena spell progresses, as sensed by the piglet Herbert principal Bob Flutie introduces as mascot for the Sunnydale Highschool's 'Razorbacks' football team. Next Xander dumps Wilow, fully joining Kyle's 'hyena pack' of bullies. When the four known bullies are called in Flutie's office for devouring mascot Herbert, they eat him too. Luckily Xander was enforcing himself upon Buffy, so she knocked him down and locked him up. Giles, who first thought Xander was just suffering from pubertal hormones, now realizes it's a Massai 'primary' cult soul transfer, and Buffy tells him about what zoo keeper Dr. Weirick told them about the nasty hyenas, so they go talk to... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

hyena | bully | zoo | piglet | dodgeball | See All (14) »


Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

7 April 1997 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the dodgeball game, the pack defeats the opposing team easily, leaving Buffy as the last one standing. But, instead of attacking her, they turn on Lance, their own teammate, showing how hyenas will generally avoid confronting powerful animals and prey on the weak instead. See more »

Goofs

When Buffy returns to the library dragging an unconscious Xander, a deadbolt can be seen on the right-hand library door. It was not there when she left (or at any time before this). See more »

Quotes

Xander: Why don't you pick on someone your own species?
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Connections

References The X-Files (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Theme
Written by Nerf Herder
Performed by Brandon K. Verrett
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User Reviews

 
It's Nicholas Brendon's turn to shine.
14 June 2015 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

After the disappointingly routine Never Kill a Boy on the First Date (#1.5), it's great to get something that is a little more original, this episode revolving around demonic animal possession, with Xander and a group of bullying alpha students becoming hosts to evil hyena spirits while on a school trip to Sunnydale Zoo. Once back on campus, the pack prey on the weak, moving from killing and eating the school mascot to attacking and devouring the principal. Buffy realises what is happening and enlists the help of the zoo-keeper to try and reverse the transmigration of the spirits back to the hyenas.

The Pack's success owes more to great performances than showy special effects (all we get here are glowing eyes), with Nicholas Brendon as evil Xander being this episode's best asset, the actor ably proving that he can play dark and threatening as well as dorky. Standout scenes include Xander attacking Buffy and belittling Willow, and a creepy attack on a family in a car. The best quips comes from Giles ("He's turned into a sixteen-year-old boy. Of course, you'll have to kill him") and Willow ("Why couldn't Xander be possessed by a puppy? Or-or some ducks?"). A neat twist towards the end adds to the fun of this very entertaining episode.


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