Saturday, 19 February 2011

Buffy: 3.5 'Homecoming'

Vote Cordy…or else!

Writer: David Greenwalt
Director: David Greenwalt

What's the sitch?

Buffy gets dumped by dullboy Scott and decides to run for Homecoming Queen to cheer herself up...much to Cordelia's extreme annoyance. The two wannabe queens fall out big time and battle lines are drawn with Xander, Willow and Oz caught in the middle. Meanwhile, Mr Trick, now running solo and freed from his Kakistos support role, has organised a special event: Slayerfest 98, where competing teams pay for the opportunity to take down both slayers and win the grand prize. Using his, er, trickiness and cunning, Trick captures what he thinks is Buffy and Faith on their way together to the Homecoming dance...except it is actually Buffy and Cordy. You see, their friends have tricked them both in to riding the limo together in order to sort out their issues. Unfortunately the pair soon gets dumped in the middle of nowhere and must go on the run for their lives while being pursued by various nasty hunters of the demon and human variety.

What's the sitch beneath the sitch?

Thematically this is all about Buffy feeling lost and adrift in her life. It's the 'I just want to be a normal girl with a normal life' thing. Buffy’s favourite teacher doesn't remember her and she feels unknown to most people at school. So she decides to reinvent herself as Homecoming Queen in order to become someone again. Unfortunately this puts her on a collision course with Cordy who can't understand why Buffy would even care about such things when she's the Slayer. Cordy being Cordy is wonderfully clueless. And so Buffy has to explain it to her, how she just wants to have some normal high school experiences to look back on, to have been known by people for something other than killing things and beating people up.

Why it rocks

Quite simply this is a great script by David Greenwalt. It juggles teen angst, teen hormones (Xander and Willow getting smoochy), sharp smart comedy and lots of cool action with aplomb. You get the sharp smart funny of a really good high school comedy like, say, 'Easy A' mixed with some angsty drama, real character development, and some mightily cool action sequences, all brilliantly performed by the cast. All in all this is a near perfect hour of entertainment.

Mr Trick is back. Love this guy. Slayerfest '98 is a great 'Hard Target' idea.

Cordy and the spatula.

Giles's joke to a morose looking Xander and Willow.

Cordy and the gun.

The brilliant montage of Buffy and Cordy competing for votes.

The traded bitchy insults. “Vapid whore!” LOL

Buffy's cunning plan to defeat the snipers using wet toilet paper. Love her.

Faith getting back at Scott for dumping Buffy. Love her too.

Harry Groener as The Mayor, my fave Buffy big bad of all. Love him.

Last but by no means least...Charisma Carpenter. She's truly excellent here. The entire cast is great but this is her show. Like Nicholas Brendon, Charisma is a natural comic actor and would have been great in her own situation comedy. The producers felt the same and in Season 3 of Angel she does get to star in her own sitcom…albeit an alternate universe one called 'Cordy'. Its a shame Charisma's post Buffy/Angel career has gone mostly nowhere. I say get Charisma, Nicky Brendon and Alexis Denisof to co-star in their own new sitcom. If only poor Andy Hallet were still with us then he would be in it too. Other Whedonverse peeps can guest star. Oh, and get David Greenwalt and Jane Espenson to write it. Hey, I can dream.

Why it sucks

Oh no, it's a Gorch Brother.

Not enough Faith.

Okay, I'm struggling now. Uh...nope that's all I got. Love this episode.

Dialogue to die for

Xander: Buffy and Faith are in the library getting all sweaty.
Cordelia: They're training.
Xander: I stand by my phrase.

Oz (to Buffy apologetically): As Willow goes, so goes my country.

Cordelia: Rip out my innards, play with my eyeballs, boil my brain and eat it for brunch? Listen up, needle-brain. Buffy and I have taken out four of your cronies, not to mention your girlfriend.
Lyle Gorch: WIFE!
Cordelia: Whatever. The point is… I haven't even broken a sweat. See, in the end, Buffy's just the runner-up. *I'm* the Queen. You get me mad, what do you think I'm gonna do to you?

Buffy (to Cordy): Vapid whore!

It's Bufftastic

Ooh, so many, but I'm going with Cordy and the spatula. It just made me laugh out loud.

And another thing

Chad Stahelski, who played spiny-headed demon Kulak in this episode, was regularly employed on Buffy as David Boreanaz's stunt double.


Buffy vs. Cordy. Gotta love it. 4.5 (out of 5)

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