Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | October 3, 2011

Cordia’s Review: S3, E5 – Homecoming

Homecoming
Season 3, Episode 5
Original airing: 11/3/98

My Rating: 53

The Good: This episode was rather up and down. We got some good stuff with the introduction of the Mayor, the hunting concept, and Willow and Xander, but we also got some bad stuff with Scott, the hunters and Cordelia.

The Mayor has been a looming presence for a while now and we finally get to meet him. It was very unexpected to me for him to be so cheerful, gregarious and informed. I really enjoyed the enigma he presents. His aide, Allan, is obviously terrified of him and we know he exerts considerable fear and influence over Snyder. However, we didn’t see much of that here. He just seems overly concerned with hygenie. He’s also completely aware of Buffy, vampires and SlayerFest. I expected he would have some clue what’s going on, but he’s very well informed. I look forward to the future of this character.

The hunting concept of the episode was also a good idea, but unfortunately never took flight. The hunters ended up being just a little too annoying and incompetent. The show also never really took advantage of the fact that they kidnapped Cordelia instead of Faith.

Finally, we had an excellent development with Willow and Xander. After two and some seasons of back and forth, she likes him, he likes her, they finally kiss. And it’s a serious one too. This has felt like it’s been in process for a while, but had almost reached a point of thinking it would never happen. It’s an excellent example of a show causing drama to evolve organically. Of course, this is going to be a huge problem because we see in the second scene in Willow’s bedroom, that neither Xander nor Willow can let it go. They are tender with each other and lightly hold hands. There will be fall-out from this and most likely broken hearts. So many possibilities are opened up here.

The Bad: Scott was very disappointing in this episode. His character seemed to have changed pretty drastically as he suddenly dumps Buffy with the excuse, “You seem unhappy a lot.” That’s really bizarre for his incredibly sweet, caring character. It was also out of place to have him dancing lovingly with a new girl a few days later at the dance. It felt like they wanted to turn his character into a plot point to make Buffy feel unpopular, so they chucked all of his previously defined personality out the window.

It was also disappointing to see Buffy and Cordelia revert back to despising each other, aka the first season. We’ve moved on from this. They may not be the best of friends, but they’ve been through enough together that this cat fighting shouldn’t have flared up so quickly and been so persistent. It’s ridiculous to think Cordelia still doesn’t understand Buffy’s desire to have more normality in her life.

Favorite Moment: I love seeing new depths in Giles’ character and his joke at the dance was pulled off with aplomb. I love his grin after he pops up behind Willow and Xander and scares them by saying something has gone terribly wrong and they have to find Buffy.

The Bottom Line: Some good, some bad. This was not a stellar episode, but it had it’s moments.

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