AOQ Review 3-5: "Homecoming"

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Arbitrar Of Quality

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Mar 10, 2006, 10:12:50 AM3/10/06
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A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
threads.


BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
Season Three, Episode 5: "Homecoming"
(or "Who exactly is supposed to be coming home?")
Writer: David Greenwalt
Director: David Greenwalt

I don't think there'll be a need for a TIRSBILA section this
week...

I'm into enough sci-fi and am sufficiently isolated from the real
world that I thought it was a cool title, and didn't make the
connection to the traditional high-school dance party until Mrs.
Quality pointed it out. Then the first line of the episode was "I
think we should get a limo." So I braced myself for some stupidity,
and got it in droves. This also continues the trend of following a
sorta-male-bashing show like "Phases" or BATB with a show about how
girls are frivolous. (Guess the ME staff just hates everyone.) So,
would this show be another over-the-top bit of trash like "Bleak,
Bothersome, And Borderline-Unwatchable?" Not really.
"Homecoming" confines itself to the lower-key comedy that comes
from kids being kids, and plays it with just the right tone for the
material.

Early in the show, Buffy breaks up, so to speak, with Angel. Given his
apparent state (all that twitching!) that might not the best topic to
bring up. But we don't even really know what his condition is right
now, as the show seems content to keep us waiting on that plot,
callously stringing us along. Meanwhile Scott rather abruptly breaks
up with Buffy, and uh, that's it. Huh. If we don't see him again,
that'll go down as one of the series' more half-baked
relationships. And when in recent memory has Buffy ever been full of
life? (What's weird is that his two later scenes have different
tones: the "my vote" bit makes him seem like a nice guy in the end,
whereas the other one makes him seem more plot device/jerk/punching
bag. Maybe that's just how Faith sees him.) Given Buffy's
sometimes-obsessive nature, she ends up challenging Cordelia in the
race for Homecoming Queen, and she throws herself fully into it.

Now, like at least some of the show's fanbase, I consider the
selection of a Guacamole Queen or whatever to be a deeply stupid
process. So it's to the show's credit that it acknowledges the
silliness involved while still managing to sell it as something
that's important to our hero. A light touch, but not too light, is
important when wallowing in stupidity. And obviously something's
working, since despite the fact that I "clearly" hate all humor, I
smiled a lot (including at Cordelia scaring away Gorch near the end,
which is one of the dumbest scenes so far in the series). It also
helps that the flyer/cupcake/etc. scenes are too short to get very
annoying. The central moment of these sequences, is, of course, Buffy
and Cordelia insulting each other and being all catty and girly and
stuff. Even here Buffy isn't so horribly diminished (again, contrast
with how *that episode* treated its female characters), coming up with,
well, Buffy-esque lines like "your brain isn't even connected to
your mouth, is it?" (Cordelia comes off as pretty unlikable, sure,
but hey, I don't like her anyway... Cordy apologists can argue that
stress [this is a life-and-death situation to her] brings out her nasty
side or something.)

I've got to express serious disappointment in one of my favorite
fictional people here. Why the hell is Willow helping Cordelia's
campaign? She should either be with her best friend, or staying out of
the dumbassery entirely. Xander, I can see (and it's kinda funny
seeing Buffy get burned after assuming he'd side with her against his
own girlfriend). But Willow?

Speaking of whom, there's this thing between Willow and Xander that
you may recall. First of all, anyone else see exactly where it was
going the moment it started? But anyway, the two of them have a moment
together in which their latent attraction again surfaces. None of the
cheesy melodrama of Bec2, this is more of a quiet moment of friendship
that turns into more, as in "When She Was Bad." How well a scene
like this works probably has a huge amount to do with the actors, so
I'm going to target my praise towards Hannigan and Brendon here. The
viewer has to believe that they're close friends, and I did. This
gives their scenes together a real sweetness and it's hard to not
smile when they finally kiss, even though they're both cheating on
their (presumably) faithful significant others. And of course, being
who they are, the end result of it all is that the characters only get
more confused and sad. Well, I am invested in this plotline now, show,
so good job. Please don't fuck it up.

Meanwhile Trick is organizing a monster army to attack, and continuing
to amuse with his constant stream of prattle (taking the piss out of
the sillier monsters). This episode has him form an alliance with the
Mayor at the end. I don't know what they were trying for with the
Mayor character here, but he doesn't come off as anyone I'd ever
particularly like to see again. Just because someone's slightly
crazy doesn't mean he's automatically interesting or non-annoying.
On the other hand, his job title opens story possibilities. We don't
really have a Master-style Big Bad this season yet. So maybe the
writers, knowing they (probably) can't top Angelus in terms of
ancient supernatural evil, are giving us villains who can use the
"real world" to their advantage. Enemies armed with cops,
helicopters, computers, and politics. It'd be a little different.
We'll see.

So we start Slayerfest and our two rivals have to fight for their
lives. The scenes are pretty fast-paced, and it's about time someone
brought in the heavy artillery. I have a feeling I'll be wondering
why people on the show don't use guns and grenades more often now,
but oh well. Now, a lesser show would've used this as a chance to
have Buffy and Cordelia "amusingly" insult each other constantly,
even in the midst of battle. A different lesser show would have them
come out of it as good friends, and an... um, least show would do both.
Here we get neither unrealistic personal-problems-above-survival
tension nor unrealistic getting along. Moments like "I know what
you're up to. You think if you get me mad enough, I won't be so
scared" help. And we do get at least an understanding from each
character of why the other one is trying so hard to beat her, and leave
it at that.

Some shorter comments clustered together before we get to the ending:

Okay, Homecoming is a popularity contest. Are we supposed to buy that
either of the heroes have a serious chance of winning? (Yeah, I know
it's convention. Bill Reid - if you're reading this, did you
hate the parts of this episode that could've been from a Freddie
Prinze Jr. movie?) Buffy, despite her potential, is not popular. And
the last string of episodes have suggested that Cordelia isn't so
popular anymore either. I wonder if we're *supposed* to conclude
that they've been deluding themselves, given how it ends?

Giles' joke/scare in The Bronze is hilarious. Very much fits his
sense of humor.

Nice to see Gorch (from "Bad Eggs") again, and perhaps even nicer
that he again runs away at the end. Maybe ME should turn that into a
running joke (but never have anyone on-screen comment on it).

It's interesting when a show uses then-contemporary pop songs and one
watches it for the first time years later. I don't think I've
heard, thought about, or been in any way affected by the existence of
"Fire Escape" for many years.

I'm starting to feel a vague worry that the show doesn't have as
much "momentum" as it did last season now that Buffy's back home.
Of course, said direction was mainly in the later parts of the season
(I'm trying to remember how I felt about the series after "Reptile
Boy"), so there's time. Needs more Angel?

Okay, we're at the end of the episode, and they're announcing the
Queen. See what the show does here - convention is for Buffy to win
(Mrs. Quality's guess) or, in a really sappy show, for them to tie.
Having them both lose (which was my guess) is only slightly less
obvious. Basically, every possible outcome has already been done to
death. So how does the episode make something fresh out of the tired
premise? By combining the tie and both-lose endings, which I actually
don't think I've seen before, in a way that teases us with the
worst ending before giving us a better one. We laugh and say "good
one, David and/or Joss," and then laugh harder as the co-winner
starts giving her amusingly vapid, bubbly speech. Comedy's all about
the timing, and there's nothing like a good joke to make one forget
about any worries regarding the direction of the series.


So...

One-sentence summary: Dumb fun.

AOQ rating: Good

[Season Three so far:
1) "Anne" - Decent
2) "Dead Man's Party" - Excellent
3) "Faith, Hope, and Trick" - Good
4) "Beauty And The Beasts" - Decent
5) "Homecoming" - Good]

kenm47

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Mar 10, 2006, 10:38:38 AM3/10/06
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More later. Only have time for a quick comment now.

I just rewatched this last night in anticipation. I had forgotten how,
IMO, excellent this episode was. How they had just about totally
redeemed Cordelia in it. How darned funny it was while having a dark,
non-monster, understory.

As for Xander: I still say "told you so." Willow, however, very sad.

Ken (Brooklyn)

gree...@gmail.com

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Mar 10, 2006, 11:13:02 AM3/10/06
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Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:

> Given Buffy's
> sometimes-obsessive nature, she ends up challenging Cordelia in the
> race for Homecoming Queen, and she throws herself fully into it.

I remember liking this episode the first time around mainly because
it's the first time this season, Buffy does something spontaneously and
not because she was forced into it. Kind of a pointless something, but
you gotta start somewhere.

> (including at Cordelia scaring away Gorch near the end,
> which is one of the dumbest scenes so far in the series).

Loved that bit then, love it now.

> Even here Buffy isn't so horribly diminished

[...]


> (Cordelia comes off as pretty unlikable, sure,
> but hey, I don't like her anyway... Cordy apologists can argue that
> stress [this is a life-and-death situation to her] brings out her nasty
> side or something.)

Or, you know, if Cordy is unlikable hurling insults at Buffy, maybe
Buffy should be unlikable for hurling insults at Cordy.

> Why the hell is Willow helping Cordelia's
> campaign?

Guilt. She and Xander did a thing they shouldn't have, and she's trying
to compensate.

> Please don't fuck it up.

Define "don't fuck it up".

> This episode has him form an alliance with the
> Mayor at the end.

Well, not so much Trick forming an alliance as Trick acknowledging he'd
rather be undead than a pile of dust.

> I don't know what they were trying for with the
> Mayor character here, but he doesn't come off as anyone I'd ever
> particularly like to see again.

Yeah? I think he's the best Big Bad they've had. Well, maybe he'll grow
on you.

> Okay, Homecoming is a popularity contest. Are we supposed to buy that
> either of the heroes have a serious chance of winning?

A lot of people in the newsgroup thought Cordy still could. There was a
belief that Cordy and Xander dating was making Xander more popular
rather than diminishing Cordy's popularity. She does still have ~some~
pull here. Maybe that'll change. As far as Buffy, well, she may not be
popular, but there are other factors at work.

Someone even did the math to prove either/or would have one if the
other had withdrawn, but you know how that goes.

> Nice to see Gorch (from "Bad Eggs") again, and perhaps even nicer
> that he again runs away at the end. Maybe ME should turn that into a
> running joke (but never have anyone on-screen comment on it).

Greenwalt once commented that they'd killed his brother and his wife,
so they should have brought him back to kill his dog and wreck his
pickup, thereby completing the C/W song.

> I'm starting to feel a vague worry that the show doesn't have as
> much "momentum" as it did last season now that Buffy's back home.

Seemed fine to me.

> Needs more Angel?

Not in my opinion.

> We laugh and say "good
> one, David and/or Joss," and then laugh harder as the co-winner
> starts giving her amusingly vapid, bubbly speech.

Pretty much how I saw the ending.

-- Terry

shuggie

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Mar 10, 2006, 11:27:53 AM3/10/06
to

Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:


> Season Three, Episode 5: "Homecoming"

I've been waiting for you to get to this one.

> So,
> would this show be another over-the-top bit of trash like "Bleak,
> Bothersome, And Borderline-Unwatchable?" Not really.
> "Homecoming" confines itself to the lower-key comedy that comes
> from kids being kids, and plays it with just the right tone for the
> material.
>

See I think you're warming to the show and are becoming more forgiving
of what originally wasn't in tune with your sense of humour ;)

> Early in the show, Buffy breaks up, so to speak, with Angel. Given his
> apparent state (all that twitching!) that might not the best topic to
> bring up. But we don't even really know what his condition is right
> now,

I think it's supposed to be him still recovering from being in Hell.

> as the show seems content to keep us waiting on that plot,
> callously stringing us along. Meanwhile Scott rather abruptly breaks
> up with Buffy, and uh, that's it. Huh.

Always felt abrupt and plot-convenient to me too. Having said that when
I re-watch I always think "Why's he dumping her" in the close up but
when we get to the big lonely long-shot I understand - it's those
hideous pants.

Which leads to another pet hate of mine. You might think it odd since I
generally swallow anything for the sake of the story - but it always
bugs me that they're transmitting a video feed over a normal 1998
analogue cellphone. The compression needed to acheive this boggles the
mind. Oh well.

> If we don't see him again,
> that'll go down as one of the series' more half-baked
> relationships. And when in recent memory has Buffy ever been full of
> life?

Guvf vf gur frpbaq be guveq gvzr NBD unf pbzcynvarq gung Ohssl frrzf
qbja be zvfrenoyr be yvsryrff - vs ur guvaxf guvf vf onq jung'yy ur
znxr bs frnfba fvk?

> (What's weird is that his two later scenes have different
> tones: the "my vote" bit makes him seem like a nice guy in the end,
> whereas the other one makes him seem more plot device/jerk/punching
> bag. Maybe that's just how Faith sees him.) Given Buffy's
> sometimes-obsessive nature, she ends up challenging Cordelia in the
> race for Homecoming Queen, and she throws herself fully into it.
>
> Now, like at least some of the show's fanbase, I consider the
> selection of a Guacamole Queen or whatever to be a deeply stupid
> process. So it's to the show's credit that it acknowledges the
> silliness involved while still managing to sell it as something
> that's important to our hero. A light touch, but not too light, is
> important when wallowing in stupidity.

As Ferris Bueller once said:

"It's a little childish and stupid, but then, so is high school. "

> And obviously something's
> working, since despite the fact that I "clearly" hate all humor, I
> smiled a lot (including at Cordelia scaring away Gorch near the end,
> which is one of the dumbest scenes so far in the series). It also
> helps that the flyer/cupcake/etc. scenes are too short to get very
> annoying.

Told you above. The show's wearing you down. "One of Us. One of Us!"
etc

:)

>The central moment of these sequences, is, of course, Buffy
> and Cordelia insulting each other and being all catty and girly and
> stuff. Even here Buffy isn't so horribly diminished (again, contrast
> with how *that episode* treated its female characters), coming up with,
> well, Buffy-esque lines like "your brain isn't even connected to
> your mouth, is it?" (Cordelia comes off as pretty unlikable, sure,
> but hey, I don't like her anyway... Cordy apologists can argue that
> stress [this is a life-and-death situation to her] brings out her nasty
> side or something.)
>

I admire the show for bringing Cordy into the Scooby gang, even having
her date Xander, but not lose her cattiness. Plus in Cordy-land this
stuff is *really* important and for Buffy to mess with it majorly
annoys her.

> I've got to express serious disappointment in one of my favorite
> fictional people here. Why the hell is Willow helping Cordelia's
> campaign? She should either be with her best friend, or staying out of
> the dumbassery entirely. Xander, I can see (and it's kinda funny
> seeing Buffy get burned after assuming he'd side with her against his
> own girlfriend). But Willow?

Uhm, she told you why. She felt so guilty about the "clothes fluke"
that she over-compensated.

>
> Speaking of whom, there's this thing between Willow and Xander that
> you may recall. First of all, anyone else see exactly where it was
> going the moment it started?

I can honestly say I didn't see it going here. At the time I first saw
this I wanted W&X to get together. I hated W&C because it prevented
W&X. And this scene was so tender and well played as you say that I
loved it but there was still an undercurrent of "not this way". I
wanted to see them together but not as an illicit relationship.

Since then (and as a result of this) I've been cured of shippiness and
now when I re-watch I'm able to enjoy W&C and W&X.

>But anyway, the two of them have a moment
> together in which their latent attraction again surfaces. None of the
> cheesy melodrama of Bec2,

Bec2 was friendship as far as I'm concerned.

>this is more of a quiet moment of friendship
> that turns into more, as in "When She Was Bad." How well a scene
> like this works probably has a huge amount to do with the actors, so
> I'm going to target my praise towards Hannigan and Brendon here. The
> viewer has to believe that they're close friends, and I did. This
> gives their scenes together a real sweetness and it's hard to not
> smile when they finally kiss, even though they're both cheating on
> their (presumably) faithful significant others. And of course, being
> who they are, the end result of it all is that the characters only get
> more confused and sad. Well, I am invested in this plotline now, show,
> so good job. Please don't fuck it up.
>

I hope you enjoy where they go with this as much as I did.

(**bites down hard, clamping mouth shut, must not spoil, musT NoT
SPOIL!**)

> Meanwhile Trick is organizing a monster army to attack, and continuing
> to amuse with his constant stream of prattle (taking the piss out of
> the sillier monsters). This episode has him form an alliance with the
> Mayor at the end. I don't know what they were trying for with the
> Mayor character here, but he doesn't come off as anyone I'd ever
> particularly like to see again. Just because someone's slightly
> crazy doesn't mean he's automatically interesting or non-annoying.
> On the other hand, his job title opens story possibilities. We don't
> really have a Master-style Big Bad this season yet. So maybe the
> writers, knowing they (probably) can't top Angelus in terms of
> ancient supernatural evil, are giving us villains who can use the
> "real world" to their advantage. Enemies armed with cops,
> helicopters, computers, and politics. It'd be a little different.
> We'll see.

We will. When I first watched this I was intrigued about who the Mayor
was and what he knows. Clearly he knows about supernatural stuff -
Snyder's had to report to him about cover-ups and he tells Trick that
he's "not a man exactly" and he seems unconcerned about it. Whatever he
knows the Mayor isn't afraid to be alone in a room with a vampire and
tell him that he will be joining his team.

Also, IIRC you're a Terry Pratchett fan right? Well there's a little
phrase he uses in the earlier scene when he assigns a task to his
deputy:

Deputy: I'll take care of it.

Mayor: You have all my faith.

It reminds me of something Pratchett says about Patrician Vetinari in
Guards, Guards:

"'I shall deal with the matter momentarily,' [the Patrician] said. It
was a good word. It always made people hesitate. They were never quite
sure whether he meant he'd deal with it now, or just deal with it
briefly. And no-one ever dared ask."

I always got the feeling that the Mayor deliberately used a
non-standard phrase to unsettle people.

<snip>

> Giles' joke/scare in The Bronze is hilarious. Very much fits his
> sense of humor.
>
> Nice to see Gorch (from "Bad Eggs") again, and perhaps even nicer
> that he again runs away at the end. Maybe ME should turn that into a
> running joke (but never have anyone on-screen comment on it).
>
> It's interesting when a show uses then-contemporary pop songs and one
> watches it for the first time years later. I don't think I've
> heard, thought about, or been in any way affected by the existence of
> "Fire Escape" for many years.
>

Is that the Four Star Mary song?

> I'm starting to feel a vague worry that the show doesn't have as
> much "momentum" as it did last season now that Buffy's back home.
> Of course, said direction was mainly in the later parts of the season
> (I'm trying to remember how I felt about the series after "Reptile
> Boy"), so there's time. Needs more Angel?
>

Interesting thing about "momentum" - Homecoming is the start of a run
of 4 episodes that I almost always watch together.

William George Ferguson

unread,
Mar 10, 2006, 11:46:34 AM3/10/06
to
"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:

>A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
>threads.
>
>
>BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
>Season Three, Episode 5: "Homecoming"
>(or "Who exactly is supposed to be coming home?")
>Writer: David Greenwalt
>Director: David Greenwalt
>
>I don't think there'll be a need for a TIRSBILA section this
>week...

More correctly, you seem to have gone for a very large TIRSBILA section
this time. (and if you thing this ep is TIRSBILA ..., well, you've kind
of admitted to already having seen the next one)

>I'm into enough sci-fi and am sufficiently isolated from the real
>world that I thought it was a cool title, and didn't make the
>connection to the traditional high-school dance party until Mrs.
>Quality pointed it out. Then the first line of the episode was "I
>think we should get a limo." So I braced myself for some stupidity,
>and got it in droves. This also continues the trend of following a
>sorta-male-bashing show like "Phases" or BATB with a show about how
>girls are frivolous. (Guess the ME staff just hates everyone.) So,
>would this show be another over-the-top bit of trash like "Bleak,
>Bothersome, And Borderline-Unwatchable?" Not really.
>"Homecoming" confines itself to the lower-key comedy that comes
>from kids being kids, and plays it with just the right tone for the
>material.

Back when it originally aired, we 'Merkins were having to explain what
the heck this is all about to the Brits and others.

>Early in the show, Buffy breaks up, so to speak, with Angel. Given his
>apparent state (all that twitching!) that might not the best topic to
>bring up. But we don't even really know what his condition is right
>now, as the show seems content to keep us waiting on that plot,
>callously stringing us along. Meanwhile Scott rather abruptly breaks
>up with Buffy, and uh, that's it. Huh. If we don't see him again,
>that'll go down as one of the series' more half-baked
>relationships. And when in recent memory has Buffy ever been full of
>life?

He was fairly clearly referring back to Buffy last year (not so much the
end, of course) rather than new, readmitted, pretending to be normal
Buffy. He's sort of attracted by the same vibe that attracted Owen back
in Never Kill a Boy (or NKABOTFD if you prefer). Buffy was acting too
normal and non-weird for him.

This was playing the theme that Buffy was trying to tone down and
disguise exactly what attracted him to her in the first place.

>(What's weird is that his two later scenes have different
>tones: the "my vote" bit makes him seem like a nice guy in the end,
>whereas the other one makes him seem more plot device/jerk/punching
>bag. Maybe that's just how Faith sees him.)

That was my vote (the Faith bit).

>Given Buffy's
>sometimes-obsessive nature, she ends up challenging Cordelia in the
>race for Homecoming Queen, and she throws herself fully into it.

"Sometimes"?

>Now, like at least some of the show's fanbase, I consider the
>selection of a Guacamole Queen or whatever to be a deeply stupid
>process. So it's to the show's credit that it acknowledges the
>silliness involved while still managing to sell it as something
>that's important to our hero. A light touch, but not too light, is
>important when wallowing in stupidity. And obviously something's
>working, since despite the fact that I "clearly" hate all humor, I
>smiled a lot (including at Cordelia scaring away Gorch near the end,
>which is one of the dumbest scenes so far in the series). It also
>helps that the flyer/cupcake/etc. scenes are too short to get very
>annoying. The central moment of these sequences, is, of course, Buffy
>and Cordelia insulting each other and being all catty and girly and
>stuff.

Did you notice that on Buffy's plus/delta chart for Cordelia, Xander was
listed as a liability for Cordy?


>I've got to express serious disappointment in one of my favorite
>fictional people here. Why the hell is Willow helping Cordelia's
>campaign? She should either be with her best friend, or staying out of
>the dumbassery entirely. Xander, I can see (and it's kinda funny
>seeing Buffy get burned after assuming he'd side with her against his
>own girlfriend). But Willow?

Over-the-top Fluke-guilt. She's trying to make up for the Fluke that
Cordy doesn't even know about (and from now on, yes, it will be
capitalized).

And now we can return to using 'Fluke' as a verb :) Oh, the stuff we
have edited these last few weeks.

>Speaking of whom, there's this thing between Willow and Xander that
>you may recall. First of all, anyone else see exactly where it was
>going the moment it started? But anyway, the two of them have a moment
>together in which their latent attraction again surfaces. None of the
>cheesy melodrama of Bec2, this is more of a quiet moment of friendship
>that turns into more, as in "When She Was Bad." How well a scene
>like this works probably has a huge amount to do with the actors, so
>I'm going to target my praise towards Hannigan and Brendon here. The
>viewer has to believe that they're close friends, and I did. This
>gives their scenes together a real sweetness and it's hard to not
>smile when they finally kiss, even though they're both cheating on
>their (presumably) faithful significant others. And of course, being
>who they are, the end result of it all is that the characters only get
>more confused and sad. Well, I am invested in this plotline now, show,
>so good job. Please don't fuck it up.

They may or may not screw it up (depends on your own judgment on the
result) but the Fluke is not going to be forgotten, not by the fans, and
not by the writers (isn't it easy to spot fanfic-inspiring moments?).

>Meanwhile Trick is organizing a monster army to attack, and continuing
>to amuse with his constant stream of prattle (taking the piss out of
>the sillier monsters). This episode has him form an alliance with the
>Mayor at the end. I don't know what they were trying for with the
>Mayor character here, but he doesn't come off as anyone I'd ever
>particularly like to see again. Just because someone's slightly
>crazy doesn't mean he's automatically interesting or non-annoying.
>On the other hand, his job title opens story possibilities. We don't
>really have a Master-style Big Bad this season yet. So maybe the
>writers, knowing they (probably) can't top Angelus in terms of
>ancient supernatural evil, are giving us villains who can use the
>"real world" to their advantage. Enemies armed with cops,
>helicopters, computers, and politics. It'd be a little different.
>We'll see.

Mayor Wilkins is very much a different type of villain than we've seen so
far. Considering that they've been building up an anticipation for this
since School Hard (the real beginning of the City Hall arc), nothing they
could have done, up to and including having the mayor with cloven hooves
and a pitchfork, would likely meet the expectations. They went the other
way, very low-key introduction, very mild-mannered middle-american
politician. But note the way his flunky sweats bullets at a very mild
verbal reprimand, or the very mild mannered threat to Trick at the end.

This is a character that fandom started sewing vests on to buttons even
faster than with Faith in terms of back-story. All we really know at
this point is his name (from the office door) Richard C. Wilkins III,
that he's the Mayor of Sunnydale, that he knows about all the weirdness,
even more than Buffy, that he knows exactly who and what Buffy is, and
that he will employ obvious bad guys for his own purposes. We haven't
actually seen him do anything overtly evil yet, but I don't think anyone
doubted that he is Evil. Up until this point, there were still some
people <cough>Don Sample</cough> that argued that Snyder might actually
be a good guy working at cross-purposes to Buffy, but I don't think that
anyone had even a second's doubt about Wilkins.

>So we start Slayerfest and our two rivals have to fight for their
>lives. The scenes are pretty fast-paced, and it's about time someone
>brought in the heavy artillery. I have a feeling I'll be wondering
>why people on the show don't use guns and grenades more often now,
>but oh well.

Well, you aren't really sunk in the mire until you start wondering why
they aren't using Holy Water super-soakers :)

>Now, a lesser show would've used this as a chance to
>have Buffy and Cordelia "amusingly" insult each other constantly,
>even in the midst of battle. A different lesser show would have them
>come out of it as good friends, and an... um, least show would do both.
> Here we get neither unrealistic personal-problems-above-survival
>tension nor unrealistic getting along. Moments like "I know what
>you're up to. You think if you get me mad enough, I won't be so
>scared" help. And we do get at least an understanding from each
>character of why the other one is trying so hard to beat her, and leave
>it at that.

And now we can start using our "Cordy! Spatula!" sigs.


>Some shorter comments clustered together before we get to the ending:
>
>Okay, Homecoming is a popularity contest. Are we supposed to buy that
>either of the heroes have a serious chance of winning? (Yeah, I know
>it's convention. Bill Reid - if you're reading this, did you
>hate the parts of this episode that could've been from a Freddie
>Prinze Jr. movie?)

I'm not Bill Reid, nor do I play him on Usenet, but it's interesting that
a lot of this is virtually a parody of an FPJr movie, considering that
SMG was already at least a close friend of (if not romantically involved
with yet) FPJr. Actually, both Buffy and "She's All That" were shooting
at Torrance High (which was Sunnydale High, at least for exteriors)
around this time, and SMG did a cameo appearance as an extra in "She's
All That".

>Buffy, despite her potential, is not popular. And
>the last string of episodes have suggested that Cordelia isn't so
>popular anymore either. I wonder if we're *supposed* to conclude
>that they've been deluding themselves, given how it ends?

I don't know if we were supposed to, but I certainly did.

>One-sentence summary: Dumb fun.
>

>AOQ rating: Good

A valid rating. I'd add that people (including me) like this ep a lot
more than we probably should.


--
HERBERT
1996 - 1997
Beloved Mascot
Delightful Meal
He fed the Pack
A little

Scythe Matters

unread,
Mar 10, 2006, 12:18:50 PM3/10/06
to
shuggie wrote:

> Guvf vf gur frpbaq be guveq gvzr NBD unf pbzcynvarq gung Ohssl frrzf
> qbja be zvfrenoyr be yvsryrff - vs ur guvaxf guvf vf onq jung'yy ur
> znxr bs frnfba fvk?

I've wondered that for a while now. For several reasons. I guess we'll
see. ;-)

burt...@hotmail.com

unread,
Mar 10, 2006, 12:29:01 PM3/10/06
to
Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
> Okay, we're at the end of the episode, and they're announcing the
> Queen. See what the show does here - convention is for Buffy to win
> (Mrs. Quality's guess) or, in a really sappy show, for them to tie.
> Having them both lose (which was my guess) is only slightly less
> obvious. Basically, every possible outcome has already been done to
> death. So how does the episode make something fresh out of the tired
> premise? By combining the tie and both-lose endings, which I actually
> don't think I've seen before, in a way that teases us with the
> worst ending before giving us a better one. We laugh and say "good
> one, David and/or Joss," and then laugh harder as the co-winner
> starts giving her amusingly vapid, bubbly speech. Comedy's all about
> the timing, and there's nothing like a good joke to make one forget
> about any worries regarding the direction of the series.

I had pretty much the same reaction here that you did when I first
watched this episode. It's a bit of meta-humor, in that it plays on our
expectations as viewers in order to make the joke work, but it's a
well-done one.

> So...
>
> One-sentence summary: Dumb fun.

Pretty much, but we also see one of the major recurring themes of the
show here, one that's been present since the pilot and "Never Kill a
Boy On the First Date" - the fact that deep down, some part of Buffy
still wants a normal life very badly. And yet again, the main plot of
the episode reinforces the fact that she can't have it. Even one of her
most "normal high-school girl" moments is interrupted by the
supernatural. But we see that even with all the constant reminders,
that desire never really goes away - Buffy just pushes it aside most of
the time. I actually thought that this was one of the better episodes
that dealt with that theme, myself.

kenm47

unread,
Mar 10, 2006, 12:34:23 PM3/10/06
to

She wants it. She can't have it. She deals with what is. She overcomes.
She triumphs.

Good for her!

Ken (Brooklyn)

burt...@hotmail.com

unread,
Mar 10, 2006, 12:58:28 PM3/10/06
to
kenm47 wrote:

> burt1...@hotmail.com wrote:
> > Pretty much, but we also see one of the major recurring themes of the
> > show here, one that's been present since the pilot and "Never Kill a
> > Boy On the First Date" - the fact that deep down, some part of Buffy
> > still wants a normal life very badly. And yet again, the main plot of
> > the episode reinforces the fact that she can't have it. Even one of her
> > most "normal high-school girl" moments is interrupted by the
> > supernatural. But we see that even with all the constant reminders,
> > that desire never really goes away - Buffy just pushes it aside most of
> > the time. I actually thought that this was one of the better episodes
> > that dealt with that theme, myself.
>
> She wants it. She can't have it. She deals with what is. She overcomes.
> She triumphs.
>
> Good for her!

If you simplify it enough, you can make anything sound dull :)

EGK

unread,
Mar 10, 2006, 1:03:11 PM3/10/06
to
On 10 Mar 2006 08:27:53 -0800, "shuggie" <shu...@gmail.com> wrote:

>
>Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:

>> If we don't see him (Scott Hope) again,


>> that'll go down as one of the series' more half-baked
>> relationships. And when in recent memory has Buffy ever been full of
>> life?
>
>Guvf vf gur frpbaq be guveq gvzr NBD unf pbzcynvarq gung Ohssl frrzf
>qbja be zvfrenoyr be yvsryrff - vs ur guvaxf guvf vf onq jung'yy ur
>znxr bs frnfba fvk?

V'z svaqvat NBD'f zragvbaf bs guvf vagrerfgvat. Vg svgf jvgu jung v'ir
nyjnlf fnvq nobhg frnfba 6 va cnegvphyne. Gurer jnf abguvat gurl rkcyberq
jvgu Ohssl gung unqa'g nyernql orra qbar orggre (VZB) va rcvfbqrf yvxr Jura
fur jnf Onq naq Naar. Ng yrnfg va gurfr rcvfbqrf, Ohssl'f orvat qribvq bs
yvsr zhpu bs gur gvzr jnfa'g nyy gurer jnf gb gurz.
--
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

"There would be a lot more civility in this world if people
didn't take that as an invitation to walk all over you"
(Calvin and Hobbes)

kenm47

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Mar 10, 2006, 1:05:14 PM3/10/06
to

EGK wrote:
> On 10 Mar 2006 08:27:53 -0800, "shuggie" <shu...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> >
> >Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
>
> >> If we don't see him (Scott Hope) again,
> >> that'll go down as one of the series' more half-baked
> >> relationships. And when in recent memory has Buffy ever been full of
> >> life?
> >
> >Guvf vf gur frpbaq be guveq gvzr NBD unf pbzcynvarq gung Ohssl frrzf
> >qbja be zvfrenoyr be yvsryrff - vs ur guvaxf guvf vf onq jung'yy ur
> >znxr bs frnfba fvk?
>
> V'z svaqvat NBD'f zragvbaf bs guvf vagrerfgvat. Vg svgf jvgu jung v'ir
> nyjnlf fnvq nobhg frnfba 6 va cnegvphyne. Gurer jnf abguvat gurl rkcyberq
> jvgu Ohssl gung unqa'g nyernql orra qbar orggre (VZB) va rcvfbqrf yvxr Jura
> fur jnf Onq naq Naar. Ng yrnfg va gurfr rcvfbqrf, Ohssl'f orvat qribvq bs
> yvsr zhpu bs gur gvzr jnfa'g nyy gurer jnf gb gurz.
> --
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------


Right there with you!

Ken (Brooklyn)

Scythe Matters

unread,
Mar 10, 2006, 1:12:16 PM3/10/06
to
A good review, and you didn't even miss that much. ;-)

Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:

> I'm into enough sci-fi and am sufficiently isolated from the real
> world that I thought it was a cool title, and didn't make the
> connection to the traditional high-school dance party until Mrs.
> Quality pointed it out.

It might be worth remembering that the show, as aired, doesn't have
titles (there's an exception, but it's far in the future, and I don't
think it's much of a spoiler to tell you that). Some of the titles are
amazingly clever in retrospect, and some aren't, but as a broadcast
viewer you have no way of knowing what they are without getting online
and looking them up. The DVDs change this, yes, but it's probably wiser
to watch first, and figure out the title later.

> "Homecoming" confines itself to the lower-key comedy that comes
> from kids being kids, and plays it with just the right tone for the
> material.

I agree with others; I think you're becoming accustomed to the tone.

> Early in the show, Buffy breaks up, so to speak, with Angel.

Yes and no. I'm surprised you find her little monologue even vaguely
convincing. Certainly she doesn't.

Two important moments: Angel's reaction to Giles (there's guilt there,
which is good) and Angel's semi-violent (in context) reaction to finding
out Buffy's dating someone. What was that I was saying an episode ago
about "emotionally abusive"?

And, of course, whether she's distancing herself or not, she's still
hiding the relationship.

> But we don't even really know what his condition is right now

Recovering from hundreds of years of torment.

> Meanwhile Scott rather abruptly breaks
> up with Buffy, and uh, that's it. Huh. If we don't see him again,
> that'll go down as one of the series' more half-baked
> relationships.

Yes.

> And when in recent memory has Buffy ever been full of life?

Yes.

> I smiled a lot (including at Cordelia scaring away Gorch near the end,
> which is one of the dumbest scenes so far in the series).

It's interesting how quickly we've come from her running away in
"Becoming 2" ("not too brave") to this. I always figured that it was the
"old" Cordelia's self-confidence reasserting itself; the newer, more
sympathetic version is much less sure of herself.

> The central moment of these sequences, is, of course, Buffy
> and Cordelia insulting each other and being all catty and girly and
> stuff. Even here Buffy isn't so horribly diminished (again, contrast
> with how *that episode* treated its female characters), coming up with,
> well, Buffy-esque lines like "your brain isn't even connected to
> your mouth, is it?" (Cordelia comes off as pretty unlikable, sure,
> but hey, I don't like her anyway... Cordy apologists can argue that
> stress [this is a life-and-death situation to her] brings out her nasty
> side or something.)

Well, calling someone a "vapid whore" isn't very nice, either.
Especially since it doesn't even appear to be true (well, half
not-true). The last time Buffy got mean like this ("WSWB") she was
undergoing psychological trauma that she was trying to suppress. Hey, do
you think maybe that's happening here? (Now, what was that I was saying
about "emotional abuse"?)

On a non-surface level, one wonders if this is how Buffy's felt about
Cordelia all along. We know she's felt that Xander could do better, but
this is a previously-unexplored level of hatred.

On a meta-level, this was the episode where I became convinced that
different writers had *completely* different conceptions of the Cordelia
character. Sometimes unmanageably different, as with Whedon and
Greenwalt. I like this episode, and I like the sweet and helpful
Cordelia of "Becoming 2," but it's a little jarring to go back and forth
between them without warning.

> I've got to express serious disappointment in one of my favorite
> fictional people here. Why the hell is Willow helping Cordelia's
> campaign? She should either be with her best friend, or staying out of
> the dumbassery entirely. Xander, I can see (and it's kinda funny
> seeing Buffy get burned after assuming he'd side with her against his
> own girlfriend). But Willow?

It's as others said: the guilt and the hiding. And note that Buffy's
able to exploit these later, for her own purposes, with Willow and the
database. But here's the one subtext you missed. The "fluke" obviously
has ramifications for Xander, Willow and their relationships. But their
guilt and their desire to keep it from people upsets the entire group
dynamic, and in fact causes some actual harm. Yet this applies to Buffy
as well, doesn't it? She's hiding Angel. It's already affected her
relationship with Scott, but this episode points out that it might not
be the best thing for her other relationships either.

> Speaking of whom, there's this thing between Willow and Xander that
> you may recall. First of all, anyone else see exactly where it was
> going the moment it started?

I did, more through sheer luck than anything else. At least, I was close
up to this point. I was *completely* wrong as to what's going to happen
from now on, though, so my predictive powers aren't too impressive after
all.

> None of the
> cheesy melodrama of Bec2, this is more of a quiet moment of friendship
> that turns into more, as in "When She Was Bad." How well a scene
> like this works probably has a huge amount to do with the actors, so
> I'm going to target my praise towards Hannigan and Brendon here. The
> viewer has to believe that they're close friends, and I did. This
> gives their scenes together a real sweetness and it's hard to not
> smile when they finally kiss, even though they're both cheating on
> their (presumably) faithful significant others.

Yes, this was perfectly written and perfectly executed, especially by
Hannigan, who is just *desperately* cute here. Old, old friends indeed.

> Meanwhile Trick is organizing a monster army to attack, and continuing
> to amuse with his constant stream of prattle (taking the piss out of
> the sillier monsters).

Continuing the theme of rejecting the "classic" horror clichés in favor
of something a little hipper. Or at least, Buffy-esque.

> I don't know what they were trying for with the
> Mayor character here, but he doesn't come off as anyone I'd ever
> particularly like to see again. Just because someone's slightly
> crazy doesn't mean he's automatically interesting or non-annoying.

He's not crazy. Slightly obsesssive-compulsive, but not crazy. Rather
the opposite: he comes off here as frightfully calm. Especially in the
face of the situation...Slayers, vampires, wanted murderers in his town.
Is he at all phased? Apparently not.

This is a fairly classic BTVS setup/payoff at work. We've gotten all
sorts of threatening hints about the Mayor for almost a full season now.
He was being built up to be a really powerful, menacing guy. He's got
something to do with Snyder's presence, he's got some sort of control
over the police, and this episode confirms something we've seen in
"Becoming 2" and "FH&T": he's got some sort of specific interest in
Buffy, and obviously participated in the effort to get her expelled. So
we wonder what sort of evil mastermind is at work, and when we see
him...he's Ward Cleaver. *Classic* BTVS.

This also peels another layer from the "Sunnydale forgetty-itis" issue.
Sunnydale officialdom, right up to and including the top guy, knows
what's going on.

> So maybe the writers, knowing they (probably) can't top Angelus in
> terms of ancient supernatural evil

Heh.

> So we start Slayerfest and our two rivals have to fight for their
> lives. The scenes are pretty fast-paced, and it's about time someone
> brought in the heavy artillery. I have a feeling I'll be wondering
> why people on the show don't use guns and grenades more often now,
> but oh well.

This is something often-argued in fandom. It seems rather obvious,
though, that a show that employs modern weaponry gets impersonal rather
quickly. The show needs the personal moments that come from
hand-to-hand. For more on this subject, though...you're just going to
have to wait.

> Here we get neither unrealistic personal-problems-above-survival
> tension nor unrealistic getting along. Moments like "I know what
> you're up to. You think if you get me mad enough, I won't be so
> scared" help. And we do get at least an understanding from each
> character of why the other one is trying so hard to beat her, and leave
> it at that.

Yes, and this was all quite well done. We get to a place where, despite
hateful behavior earlier in the episode, we're once more "fine" with the
characters (well, maybe you're not... ;-) ). Cordelia really does have a
strong respect for Buffy, though she doesn't show it. And there's the
ironic moment, too...in the same episode that Xander is smooching
someone else, Cordelia's confessing that she actually *loves* him, or at
least thinks she does. As has been said before, it's likely that
Cordelia is more into Xander than he's into her, which is exactly the
opposite of how this relationship would play almost anywhere else. You
should, at least, give props for that.

And, of course, it sets up all sorts of juicy goodness for future
possibilities.

> Okay, Homecoming is a popularity contest. Are we supposed to buy that
> either of the heroes have a serious chance of winning?

Cordelia, yes...but I think the episode *is* supposed to lead us to
realizing that Cordelia is not, in fact, what she once was in terms of
popularity. And maybe Cordelia is realizing this now, too.

That Buffy appears to even have a shot is another interesting thing.
This is a big change from season one, where she was a complete outcast.
The student body has apparently noticed her.

> I'm starting to feel a vague worry that the show doesn't have as
> much "momentum" as it did last season now that Buffy's back home.
> Of course, said direction was mainly in the later parts of the season
> (I'm trying to remember how I felt about the series after "Reptile
> Boy"), so there's time.

No, it's not a good idea to compare end-of-season BTVS with
beginning-of-season BTVS.'

1) "When She Was Bad" - Good
2) "Some Assembly Required" - Weak
3) "School Hard" - Decent
4) "Inca Mummy Girl" - Good
5) "Reptile Boy" - Decent

1 weak, 2 decents, 2 goods.

1) "Anne" - Decent
2) "Dead Man's Party" - Excellent
3) "Faith, Hope, and Trick" - Good
4) "Beauty And The Beasts" - Decent
5) "Homecoming" - Good

2 decents, 2 goods, 1 excellent.

If that by you is a lack of momentum, then your expectations have been
elevated. (That's a good thing, by the way.)

> One-sentence summary: Dumb fun.
>
> AOQ rating: Good

Yes, and yes.

Other notes: did you notice that on Buffy's chart, under "negatives" for
Cordelia, that one entry was "Xander"? Cracked me up.

I love Faith's encounter with Scott Hope.

Cordelia's "Vulcan Death Grip" scene...marvelously oblivious acting on
her part.

Finally, something the Mayor says near the end made me think:

----

Mayor Wilkins: Do you have children? (Trick just smiles) Children are
the heart of a community. (walks around his desk again) They need to be
looked after. Controlled. (sits on his desk) The more rebellious element
needs to be dealt with. The children are our future. We need them. *I*
need them.

----

That's...interesting.

kenm47

unread,
Mar 10, 2006, 2:12:50 PM3/10/06
to

Scythe Matters wrote:

<SNIPPAGE>

>
> > I smiled a lot (including at Cordelia scaring away Gorch near the end,
> > which is one of the dumbest scenes so far in the series).
>
> It's interesting how quickly we've come from her running away in
> "Becoming 2" ("not too brave") to this. I always figured that it was the
> "old" Cordelia's self-confidence reasserting itself; the newer, more
> sympathetic version is much less sure of herself.

Cordy's smarts have improved quite a bit since "Deliver." Just hanging
in the library seems to have donre her a world of good. Anyhow, she
does know she's been mistaken for Slayer Faith when she confronts
Gorch. I thought all-in-all a very ballsy move on Cordy's part with
Buffy then out of commission. She wasn't doing Queen C; she was doing a
Slayer impression. Of course Lyle might have wondred why a Slayer was
sparing him, but most vamps aren't shown as all that bright.

<More Snippage>

>
> Yes, and this was all quite well done. We get to a place where, despite
> hateful behavior earlier in the episode, we're once more "fine" with the
> characters (well, maybe you're not... ;-) ). Cordelia really does have a
> strong respect for Buffy, though she doesn't show it. And there's the
> ironic moment, too...in the same episode that Xander is smooching
> someone else, Cordelia's confessing that she actually *loves* him, or at
> least thinks she does. As has been said before, it's likely that
> Cordelia is more into Xander than he's into her, which is exactly the
> opposite of how this relationship would play almost anywhere else. You
> should, at least, give props for that.


That could be me that noted that Cordy's feelings for Xander run deeper
than his for her, but I think I did in a ROT 13 section re something
else.

>
> And, of course, it sets up all sorts of juicy goodness for future
> possibilities.
>
> > Okay, Homecoming is a popularity contest. Are we supposed to buy that
> > either of the heroes have a serious chance of winning?
>
> Cordelia, yes...but I think the episode *is* supposed to lead us to
> realizing that Cordelia is not, in fact, what she once was in terms of
> popularity. And maybe Cordelia is realizing this now, too.

She accuses Buffy of splitting her vote. Seems right to me.

<SNIP>

>
> Other notes: did you notice that on Buffy's chart, under "negatives" for
> Cordelia, that one entry was "Xander"? Cracked me up.

I've never noticed this. I'll have to go back. Thanks.

>
> I love Faith's encounter with Scott Hope.

I had forgotten that Faith even made it to the prom. Great hairstyle;
perfect!

>
> Cordelia's "Vulcan Death Grip" scene...marvelously oblivious acting on
> her part.

Please explain. I thought Cordy actually seemed to know what she was
talking about - could have picked it up from Xander after all.

>
> Finally, something the Mayor says near the end made me think:
>
> ----
>
> Mayor Wilkins: Do you have children? (Trick just smiles) Children are
> the heart of a community. (walks around his desk again) They need to be
> looked after. Controlled. (sits on his desk) The more rebellious element
> needs to be dealt with. The children are our future. We need them. *I*
> need them.
>
> ----
>
> That's...interesting.

Something else I hadn't registered. Yes. Thanks again.

Ken (Brooklyn)

Scythe Matters

unread,
Mar 10, 2006, 2:19:59 PM3/10/06
to
kenm47 wrote:

>>Cordelia's "Vulcan Death Grip" scene...marvelously oblivious acting on
>>her part.
>
> Please explain. I thought Cordy actually seemed to know what she was
> talking about - could have picked it up from Xander after all.

It's the greeting ("live long and prosper," etc.), not the "death grip"
(which doesn't exist). There's a Vulcan nerve pinch, but that involves
the base of the neck and doesn't involve V-shaped fingers. Neither of
them involves poking foreheads, and in fact Vulcans don't touch each
other under normal circumstances. The joke is that she knows how to form
the greeting but gets everything else involved with it hilariously wrong.

Yes, I'm a multi-faceted geek.

kenm47

unread,
Mar 10, 2006, 2:23:57 PM3/10/06
to

I just figured she screwed it up a little in the excitement of
campaigning. :-)

Probably not. Probably oblivious as you suggest. (Me too, I guess)

Ken (Brooklyn)

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

unread,
Mar 10, 2006, 2:44:33 PM3/10/06
to
In article <1142018637....@i40g2000cwc.googlegroups.com>,
"kenm47" <ken...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

> Scythe Matters wrote:
> > kenm47 wrote:
> >
> > >>Cordelia's "Vulcan Death Grip" scene...marvelously oblivious acting on
> > >>her part.
> > >
> > > Please explain. I thought Cordy actually seemed to know what she was
> > > talking about - could have picked it up from Xander after all.
> >
> > It's the greeting ("live long and prosper," etc.), not the "death grip"
> > (which doesn't exist). There's a Vulcan nerve pinch, but that involves
> > the base of the neck and doesn't involve V-shaped fingers. Neither of
> > them involves poking foreheads, and in fact Vulcans don't touch each
> > other under normal circumstances. The joke is that she knows how to form
> > the greeting but gets everything else involved with it hilariously wrong.

there is no vulcan death grip
its a lie spock invented to apparently kill kirk
and give him an opportunity to steal the romulan cloaking device

the nerve pinch is not a death grip
but an overloading of some unknown nerve
that temporarily shuts down the cns

(theres a nerve or ganglia at the back of jaw
which causes a knockout if the jaw is hit hard enough)

the v gesture is something nimoy borrowed from a ritual gesture of rabbis
when he was a boy

arf meow arf - nsa fodder
al qaeda terrorism nuclear bomb iran taliban big brother
if you meet buddha on the usenet killfile him

Don Sample

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Mar 10, 2006, 2:46:19 PM3/10/06
to
In article <1142008073....@e56g2000cwe.googlegroups.com>,
"shuggie" <shu...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Always felt abrupt and plot-convenient to me too. Having said that when
> I re-watch I always think "Why's he dumping her" in the close up but
> when we get to the big lonely long-shot I understand - it's those
> hideous pants.

Third season has Buffy's worst wardrobe, for her "at school" clothes.
They're all frilly and girlly and mostly look silly. I think that she's
trying to overcompensate for the Slayer side of her life.

--
Quando omni flunkus moritati
Visit the Buffy Body Count at <http://homepage.mac.com/dsample/>

Don Sample

unread,
Mar 10, 2006, 2:48:52 PM3/10/06
to

>
> > I've got to express serious disappointment in one of my favorite
> > fictional people here. Why the hell is Willow helping Cordelia's
> > campaign? She should either be with her best friend, or staying out of
> > the dumbassery entirely. Xander, I can see (and it's kinda funny
> > seeing Buffy get burned after assuming he'd side with her against his
> > own girlfriend). But Willow?
>
> Uhm, she told you why. She felt so guilty about the "clothes fluke"
> that she over-compensated.

Plus she agreed to help Cordelia before Buffy entered the competition,
and she's not the sort to go back on her word.

Don Sample

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Mar 10, 2006, 2:49:55 PM3/10/06
to

> I can honestly say I didn't see it going here. At the time I first saw
> this I wanted W&X to get together. I hated W&C because it prevented
> W&X. And this scene was so tender and well played as you say that I
> loved it but there was still an undercurrent of "not this way". I
> wanted to see them together but not as an illicit relationship.
>
> Since then (and as a result of this) I've been cured of shippiness and
> now when I re-watch I'm able to enjoy W&C and W&X.

Willow and Cordy? Are you seeing something I'm not?

Don Sample

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Mar 10, 2006, 3:09:53 PM3/10/06
to
In article <YrSdnSXFjM7...@rcn.net>,
Scythe Matters <sp...@spam.spam> wrote:

> he's got some sort of specific interest in
> Buffy, and obviously participated in the effort to get her expelled.

Actually, I've always thought of it the other way. It was the Mayor
that got Buffy back into the school. She's right were he wants her at
the moment.

Scythe Matters

unread,
Mar 10, 2006, 3:15:50 PM3/10/06
to
Don Sample wrote:

>>he's got some sort of specific interest in
>>Buffy, and obviously participated in the effort to get her expelled.
>
> Actually, I've always thought of it the other way. It was the Mayor
> that got Buffy back into the school. She's right were he wants her at
> the moment.

Funny you should say that, since I was just reading your initial
response to the episode via Google's archive. ;-) Your opinion has
evolved a *little*, I'd say.

There's no direct evidence of the Mayor's actions either way, though I
understand the reasoning that leads you to this conclusion. All we have
to go on is Snyder's statements...that Buffy's expulsion would be "good
news" to the Mayor, and that Joyce's appeal to his authority would be
"interesting." Snyder clearly expects that an appeal to the Mayor would
not result in Buffy's readmittance. Now, he could be wrong...and he
could have been wrong when he thought the expulsion would be "good
news"...but if he was wrong the first time he talked to the Mayor, he'd
have known that the Mayor wouldn't support him the second time, and
there would be no reason for his reaction to Joyce's threat. Thus, I
think it's a more logical supposition that the Mayor wanted Buffy expelled.

Don Sample

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Mar 10, 2006, 3:25:49 PM3/10/06
to
In article <1142017970.4...@z34g2000cwc.googlegroups.com>,
"kenm47" <ken...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

> Scythe Matters wrote:
>

> > > Okay, Homecoming is a popularity contest. Are we supposed to buy that
> > > either of the heroes have a serious chance of winning?
> >
> > Cordelia, yes...but I think the episode *is* supposed to lead us to
> > realizing that Cordelia is not, in fact, what she once was in terms of
> > popularity. And maybe Cordelia is realizing this now, too.
>
> She accuses Buffy of splitting her vote. Seems right to me.

I thought it was likely starting out as a 40:30:30 split, until Buffy
entered the race, and concentrated on going after Cordy's share of the
vote, which turned it into a 30:30:20:20 race.

While Cordy may have been dethroned as "Queen C" with the popular crowd,
that might actually gain her votes in some other sections, and she's
still got those two attributes that a lot of the guys are looking for
most in a girl.


> >
> > Cordelia's "Vulcan Death Grip" scene...marvelously oblivious acting on
> > her part.
>
> Please explain. I thought Cordy actually seemed to know what she was
> talking about - could have picked it up from Xander after all.

Except there's no such thing as a "Vulcan Death Grip" and all True Fans
know this.

hopelessly devoted

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Mar 10, 2006, 3:25:45 PM3/10/06
to

Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season Three, Episode 5: "Homecoming"

For reasons that you don't complete understand yet, but will become a
hot topic later, your first time perceptions are pretty much in line
with mine. More, much more, at a later time.

> Then the first line of the episode was "I
> think we should get a limo." So I braced myself for some stupidity,
> and got it in droves.

Even when I was IN highschool, I hated the homecoming/prom/graduation
aspects so much that I refused to attend either of them, so don't feel
alone in the braced department. The opening scene with the limo
discussion reminded me of all the reasons I didn't go.

> Early in the show, Buffy breaks up, so to speak, with Angel. Given his
> apparent state (all that twitching!) that might not the best topic to
> bring up.

It was interesting to me that she was being completely honest with
Angel but with no one else.

> Meanwhile Scott rather abruptly breaks
> up with Buffy, and uh, that's it. Huh. If we don't see him again,
> that'll go down as one of the series' more half-baked
> relationships.

I think the suprise for me at that point was he had survived for so
long and hadn't been killed, eaten, vamped or sacrificed in some way.
The breaking up part came as a pretty big shock ofv.

> Now, like at least some of the show's fanbase, I consider the
> selection of a Guacamole Queen or whatever to be a deeply stupid
> process.

I liked the very simple setup, F and B training and the relationship
advice while Cordy completely forgetting about telling Buffy about the
pix. Teacher's not remembering buffy and the reference to OoSOoM.

"It involves being a part of this school and having actual friends." -
Ouch!

> So it's to the show's credit that it acknowledges the
> silliness involved while still managing to sell it as something
> that's important to our hero. A light touch, but not too light, is
> important when wallowing in stupidity. And obviously something's
> working, since despite the fact that I "clearly" hate all humor, I
> smiled a lot (including at Cordelia scaring away Gorch near the end,
> which is one of the dumbest scenes so far in the series). It also
> helps that the flyer/cupcake/etc. scenes are too short to get very
> annoying. The central moment of these sequences, is, of course, Buffy
> and Cordelia insulting each other and being all catty and girly and
> stuff. Even here Buffy isn't so horribly diminished (again, contrast
> with how *that episode* treated its female characters), coming up with,
> well, Buffy-esque lines like "your brain isn't even connected to
> your mouth, is it?" (Cordelia comes off as pretty unlikable, sure,
> but hey, I don't like her anyway... Cordy apologists can argue that
> stress [this is a life-and-death situation to her] brings out her nasty
> side or something.)

One of the more interesting lines I found was the Chia Pet analogy.
Can be used also to describe Cordy at this time in the Buffyverse.
Again, highschool flashbacks.

> I've got to express serious disappointment in one of my favorite
> fictional people here. Why the hell is Willow helping Cordelia's
> campaign? She should either be with her best friend, or staying out of
> the dumbassery entirely. Xander, I can see (and it's kinda funny
> seeing Buffy get burned after assuming he'd side with her against his
> own girlfriend). But Willow?

I've always thought that her willingness to help C was out of guilt for
kissing X although I don't believe they ever did address the why's.

> Speaking of whom, there's this thing between Willow and Xander that
> you may recall. First of all, anyone else see exactly where it was
> going the moment it started? But anyway, the two of them have a moment
> together in which their latent attraction again surfaces. None of the
> cheesy melodrama of Bec2, this is more of a quiet moment of friendship
> that turns into more, as in "When She Was Bad." How well a scene
> like this works probably has a huge amount to do with the actors, so
> I'm going to target my praise towards Hannigan and Brendon here. The
> viewer has to believe that they're close friends, and I did. This
> gives their scenes together a real sweetness and it's hard to not
> smile when they finally kiss, even though they're both cheating on
> their (presumably) faithful significant others. And of course, being
> who they are, the end result of it all is that the characters only get
> more confused and sad. Well, I am invested in this plotline now, show,
> so good job. Please don't fuck it up.

ofv, right there with ya, predictable but just too damn sweet not to
smile and go WELL IT'S ABOUT DAMN TIME! Although the significant
other's............

> Meanwhile Trick is organizing a monster army to attack, and continuing
> to amuse with his constant stream of prattle (taking the piss out of
> the sillier monsters). This episode has him form an alliance with the
> Mayor at the end. I don't know what they were trying for with the
> Mayor character here, but he doesn't come off as anyone I'd ever
> particularly like to see again. Just because someone's slightly
> crazy doesn't mean he's automatically interesting or non-annoying.

Cue scary music. This is a bad guy???? Him???? My Spidysense has
been tingling because of ........Huh???? Yeah, I hear the music but
..... Him?????

Really????

Again liked that you didn't see is face right off the back. Really hit
the anticipation button. Also loved Alan in that scene. His face as
he left the room after the Mayor's "You have all my faith." Never
realized until reviewings how truely talented Alan was in creating the
mood. He really deserves all the credit in that scene IMO.

> On the other hand, his job title opens story possibilities. We don't
> really have a Master-style Big Bad this season yet. So maybe the
> writers, knowing they (probably) can't top Angelus in terms of
> ancient supernatural evil, are giving us villains who can use the
> "real world" to their advantage. Enemies armed with cops,
> helicopters, computers, and politics. It'd be a little different.
> We'll see.

Yeah, but the scary music is scarier than.......Him!!!!!! Huh????
Really??? OOOOK.

> So we start Slayerfest and our two rivals have to fight for their
> lives. The scenes are pretty fast-paced, and it's about time someone
> brought in the heavy artillery. I have a feeling I'll be wondering
> why people on the show don't use guns and grenades more often now,
> but oh well. Now, a lesser show would've used this as a chance to
> have Buffy and Cordelia "amusingly" insult each other constantly,
> even in the midst of battle. A different lesser show would have them
> come out of it as good friends, and an... um, least show would do both.
> Here we get neither unrealistic personal-problems-above-survival
> tension nor unrealistic getting along. Moments like "I know what
> you're up to. You think if you get me mad enough, I won't be so
> scared" help. And we do get at least an understanding from each
> character of why the other one is trying so hard to beat her, and leave
> it at that.

That was the first time I every understood that part of highschool. Up
until that moment, none of it ever made any sense to me.

> Some shorter comments clustered together before we get to the ending:
>
> Okay, Homecoming is a popularity contest. Are we supposed to buy that
> either of the heroes have a serious chance of winning? (Yeah, I know
> it's convention. Bill Reid - if you're reading this, did you
> hate the parts of this episode that could've been from a Freddie
> Prinze Jr. movie?) Buffy, despite her potential, is not popular. And
> the last string of episodes have suggested that Cordelia isn't so
> popular anymore either. I wonder if we're *supposed* to conclude
> that they've been deluding themselves, given how it ends?
>
> Giles' joke/scare in The Bronze is hilarious. Very much fits his
> sense of humor.

Priceless!!!

> Nice to see Gorch (from "Bad Eggs") again, and perhaps even nicer
> that he again runs away at the end. Maybe ME should turn that into a
> running joke (but never have anyone on-screen comment on it).
>
> It's interesting when a show uses then-contemporary pop songs and one
> watches it for the first time years later. I don't think I've
> heard, thought about, or been in any way affected by the existence of
> "Fire Escape" for many years.

You'll come to notice that with the more contemporary songs, with a few
exceptions, I rarely listen to the music, while if it is strictly CB,
I'm on the floor.

> I'm starting to feel a vague worry that the show doesn't have as
> much "momentum" as it did last season now that Buffy's back home.
> Of course, said direction was mainly in the later parts of the season
> (I'm trying to remember how I felt about the series after "Reptile
> Boy"), so there's time. Needs more Angel?

>From my post for DMP........

> > Having said all of that, at the time of airing, I still did not
> > understand the format of the show. S1 began mid-season and S2 was the
> > only substantial basis I had to form a theory about the show. My
> > appreciately for the ep has not really grown over time, but I did have
> > to learn how the Buffy rollercoaster actually takes off.

When someone asked me what I meant.............

While most shows operate on the BIG opening and the BIG cliffhanger
ending, "tune in next season when you can find out who shot JR Ewing"
type of thing. This show did just the opposite. This particular
roller coaster starts off slow, works it's way toward the build, and
then drops you down at breakneck speeds, whips you around until you
can't stand it any more, you have to throw your hands in the air and
scream on the final big decent as your stomach leaps into your throat
and you almost pee your pants before it wraps everything up and comes
to a screeching halt. Then all you can do is say, I WANT TO DO IT
AGAIN!

Maybe it will help to tell you that we aren't anywhere near the top of
the first climb. But feel free at anytime to let go of the rails.

> Okay, we're at the end of the episode, and they're announcing the
> Queen. See what the show does here - convention is for Buffy to win
> (Mrs. Quality's guess) or, in a really sappy show, for them to tie.
> Having them both lose (which was my guess) is only slightly less
> obvious. Basically, every possible outcome has already been done to
> death. So how does the episode make something fresh out of the tired
> premise? By combining the tie and both-lose endings, which I actually
> don't think I've seen before, in a way that teases us with the
> worst ending before giving us a better one. We laugh and say "good
> one, David and/or Joss," and then laugh harder as the co-winner
> starts giving her amusingly vapid, bubbly speech. Comedy's all about
> the timing, and there's nothing like a good joke to make one forget
> about any worries regarding the direction of the series.

Overall, I love the ep for alot of different reasons. Most of all for
giving me an understanding for a part of highschool that truely had me
mystified. Not yet on my list, though.

kenm47

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Mar 10, 2006, 3:29:40 PM3/10/06
to

Enough! I'm already hanging my head in shame.

Ken (Brooklyn)

hopelessly devoted

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Mar 10, 2006, 3:49:00 PM3/10/06
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Something got lost in the translation so I decided to repost with the
correct spacing. Feel free to disregard if it made sense the first
time.

Don Sample

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Mar 10, 2006, 3:58:23 PM3/10/06
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In article <1142022345.2...@v46g2000cwv.googlegroups.com>,
"hopelessly devoted" <cry...@cinstall.com> wrote:

> Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:

> > Meanwhile Scott rather abruptly breaks
> > up with Buffy, and uh, that's it. Huh. If we don't see him again,
> > that'll go down as one of the series' more half-baked
> > relationships.
>
> I think the suprise for me at that point was he had survived for so
> long and hadn't been killed, eaten, vamped or sacrificed in some way.
> The breaking up part came as a pretty big shock ofv.

Bs pbhefr jr yngre yrnea vg'f orpnhfr ur'f tnl.

hopelessly devoted

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Mar 10, 2006, 4:18:23 PM3/10/06
to

BU ZL TBQ!!!!

Arire, rire, rire znqr gung pbaarpgvba!!!!

GUNG Fpbgg Ubcr??????

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Mar 10, 2006, 4:19:14 PM3/10/06
to
gree...@gmail.com wrote:

> > Even here Buffy isn't so horribly diminished
> [...]
> > (Cordelia comes off as pretty unlikable, sure,
> > but hey, I don't like her anyway... Cordy apologists can argue that
> > stress [this is a life-and-death situation to her] brings out her nasty
> > side or something.)
>
> Or, you know, if Cordy is unlikable hurling insults at Buffy, maybe
> Buffy should be unlikable for hurling insults at Cordy.

Cordelia's always the one who elevates it. She's the one who starts
the competition by making comments like the "having actual friends"
thing. More to the point, the later confrontation: Buffy and Cordelia
are snapping at each other about stupid Homecoming stuff and whether
bribes are okay and whatever, and then Cordelia not only is the first
to bring personal insults into it, but she then gets outright nasty.
Under what circumstances is it okay to tell someone that you have "two
of them [parents], unlike some people?"

If you insist on finding Cordelia likable despite being such a bitch, I
suggest the stress line of defense - no matter how into it Buffy gets,
I think the voting is more important to Cordelia, so she has more
leeway to act less than admirable... if you're feeling charitable
towards the character, anyway.

> > Okay, Homecoming is a popularity contest. Are we supposed to buy that
> > either of the heroes have a serious chance of winning?
>
> A lot of people in the newsgroup thought Cordy still could. There was a
> belief that Cordy and Xander dating was making Xander more popular
> rather than diminishing Cordy's popularity.

Yeah, I guess it's hard to say at this point since we don't really see
much of the popular crowd here. But if you hang out almost exclusively
with a clique of wierdoes...

> > Nice to see Gorch (from "Bad Eggs") again, and perhaps even nicer
> > that he again runs away at the end. Maybe ME should turn that into a
> > running joke (but never have anyone on-screen comment on it).
>
> Greenwalt once commented that they'd killed his brother and his wife,
> so they should have brought him back to kill his dog and wreck his
> pickup, thereby completing the C/W song.

Heh.

-AOQ
~but they can't take the sky from him... oh, wait...~

Shuggie

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Mar 10, 2006, 4:18:02 PM3/10/06
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Don Sample <dsa...@synapse.net> wrote:
> In article <1142008073....@e56g2000cwe.googlegroups.com>,
> "shuggie" <shu...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> I can honestly say I didn't see it going here. At the time I first saw
>> this I wanted W&X to get together. I hated W&C because it prevented
>> W&X. And this scene was so tender and well played as you say that I
>> loved it but there was still an undercurrent of "not this way". I
>> wanted to see them together but not as an illicit relationship.
>>
>> Since then (and as a result of this) I've been cured of shippiness and
>> now when I re-watch I'm able to enjoy W&C and W&X.
>
> Willow and Cordy? Are you seeing something I'm not?
>

Oops

That should be X&C obviously.

(phew! nearly let the cat out of the bag for the S4 storyline of Cordy's
lesbian self-discovery)

--
Shuggie

blog: http://www.livejournal.com/users/shuggie/

Scythe Matters

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Mar 10, 2006, 4:23:36 PM3/10/06
to
Don Sample wrote:

> Bs pbhefr jr yngre yrnea vg'f orpnhfr ur'f tnl.

V'ir eneryl unq fb zhpu gebhoyr gelvat gb erfvfg fcbvyvat fbzrguvat nf V
unir jvgu gung.

Mike Zeares

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Mar 10, 2006, 4:25:08 PM3/10/06
to

Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:

> "Homecoming" confines itself to the lower-key comedy that comes
> from kids being kids, and plays it with just the right tone for the
> material.

I think they got the tone right. Homecoming Queen is one of those
things that seems SO important while you're in high school (unless you
were one of the outcast contingent like me, in which case it was
useless and stupid). The episode allows the characters to take it
seriously while allowing the viewers a chuckle at how silly is all
really is. But without outright laughing at the characters. I hope
that makes sense -- I'm having a bad English day.

> Meanwhile Scott rather abruptly breaks
> up with Buffy, and uh, that's it. Huh. If we don't see him again,
> that'll go down as one of the series' more half-baked
> relationships.

Looking back, I'm not quite sure what the purpose of it was, unless it
was just another high school thing for Buffy to go through.

> I've got to express serious disappointment in one of my favorite
> fictional people here. Why the hell is Willow helping Cordelia's
> campaign?

She felt guilty about her and Xander's clothes fluke. She stated this
rather explicitly. Her excuse to Buffy was pretty lame.

> I don't know what they were trying for with the
> Mayor character here, but he doesn't come off as anyone I'd ever
> particularly like to see again. Just because someone's slightly
> crazy doesn't mean he's automatically interesting or non-annoying.

He definitely wasn't what I was expecting. The reveal of the Mayor was
one of the most anticipated things in S3. I think we were expecting
someone... well, eviler. I know I was. Not a germophobic doofus.
Still, I adjusted pretty quickly. I learned early on to take what the
writers gave me and roll with it.

> I'm starting to feel a vague worry that the show doesn't have as
> much "momentum" as it did last season now that Buffy's back home.
> Of course, said direction was mainly in the later parts of the season
> (I'm trying to remember how I felt about the series after "Reptile
> Boy"), so there's time. Needs more Angel?

It's actually a lot like the first part of S2 at this point. There are
only hints of a seasonal storyline. Meanwhile, Buffy and the gang just
sort of do stuff.

> One-sentence summary: Dumb fun.
>
> AOQ rating: Good

I put it rather high on my guilty pleasures list.

-- Mike Zeares

Arbitrar Of Quality

unread,
Mar 10, 2006, 4:27:26 PM3/10/06
to
shuggie wrote:

> See I think you're warming to the show and are becoming more forgiving
> of what originally wasn't in tune with your sense of humour ;)

And I think the show is improving its "comedy episodes," or at least
getting more in tune with what viewers like me enjoy. So there.

> Plus in Cordy-land this
> stuff is *really* important and for Buffy to mess with it majorly
> annoys her.

Yep.

> > I've got to express serious disappointment in one of my favorite
> > fictional people here. Why the hell is Willow helping Cordelia's

> > campaign? She should either be with her best friend, or staying out of
> > the dumbassery entirely. Xander, I can see (and it's kinda funny
> > seeing Buffy get burned after assuming he'd side with her against his
> > own girlfriend). But Willow?
>

> Uhm, she told you why. She felt so guilty about the "clothes fluke"
> that she over-compensated.

Yeah, a few people have said that. You're probably right. I don't
remember the order of the scenes exactly.

> > Speaking of whom, there's this thing between Willow and Xander that
> > you may recall. First of all, anyone else see exactly where it was
> > going the moment it started?
>

> I can honestly say I didn't see it going here. At the time I first saw
> this I wanted W&X to get together. I hated W&C because it prevented
> W&X.

I know Don already pointed it out, but... W&C? Ew. (Well, I probably
wouldn't have reacted any more violently than to X/C...)

> Also, IIRC you're a Terry Pratchett fan right? Well there's a little
> phrase he uses in the earlier scene when he assigns a task to his
> deputy:
>
> Deputy: I'll take care of it.
>
> Mayor: You have all my faith.
>
> It reminds me of something Pratchett says about Patrician Vetinari in
> Guards, Guards:
>
> "'I shall deal with the matter momentarily,' [the Patrician] said. It
> was a good word. It always made people hesitate. They were never quite
> sure whether he meant he'd deal with it now, or just deal with it
> briefly. And no-one ever dared ask."
>
> I always got the feeling that the Mayor deliberately used a
> non-standard phrase to unsettle people.

Interesting. Nothing to add beyond that.

> > It's interesting when a show uses then-contemporary pop songs and one
> > watches it for the first time years later. I don't think I've
> > heard, thought about, or been in any way affected by the existence of
> > "Fire Escape" for many years.

> Is that the Four Star Mary song?

No. It was the second single from Fastball, which got kinda ignored
because everyone was still either obsessed with or anxious to forget
about "The Way." I always kinda liked it. About half of the song is
played over the campaigning+cupcakes montage.

-AOQ

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Mar 10, 2006, 4:41:57 PM3/10/06
to
Scythe Matters wrote:

> > But we don't even really know what his condition is right now
>
> Recovering from hundreds of years of torment.

Yeah, but where in the recovery process is he, and how long can he be
expected to wait before tlaking in complete sentances again? (Yeah, I
know, I do plan to keep watching. Funny, that.)

> Well, calling someone a "vapid whore" isn't very nice, either.
> Especially since it doesn't even appear to be true (well, half
> not-true). The last time Buffy got mean like this ("WSWB") she was
> undergoing psychological trauma that she was trying to suppress. Hey, do
> you think maybe that's happening here? (Now, what was that I was saying
> about "emotional abuse"?)
>
> On a non-surface level, one wonders if this is how Buffy's felt about
> Cordelia all along. We know she's felt that Xander could do better, but
> this is a previously-unexplored level of hatred.

I think it's a lot simpler than that. Cordelia starts to insult Buffy
personally, going so far as to make a crack about her divorced parents.
Buffy gets angry.

> On a meta-level, this was the episode where I became convinced that
> different writers had *completely* different conceptions of the Cordelia
> character. Sometimes unmanageably different, as with Whedon and
> Greenwalt. I like this episode, and I like the sweet and helpful
> Cordelia of "Becoming 2," but it's a little jarring to go back and forth
> between them without warning.

I know what you mean, although I hadn't thought about that. It's
definitely been hard for me to get a handle on the character. That
could explain some of it.

> > I don't know what they were trying for with the
> > Mayor character here, but he doesn't come off as anyone I'd ever
> > particularly like to see again. Just because someone's slightly
> > crazy doesn't mean he's automatically interesting or non-annoying.
>
> He's not crazy. Slightly obsesssive-compulsive, but not crazy. Rather
> the opposite: he comes off here as frightfully calm. Especially in the
> face of the situation...Slayers, vampires, wanted murderers in his town.
> Is he at all phased? Apparently not.

I forget, whose spelling pet peeve was that? (It's "fazed.") Anyway,
the stuff that put me off was the more inhuman stuff - the OCD moment,
sniffing intensively at people, and so on. I might have found him more
interesting/scarier if they'd stuck with the pure soft-spoken,
always-calm politician-type that some fo the responses have suggested.


> No, it's not a good idea to compare end-of-season BTVS with
> beginning-of-season BTVS.'
>
> 1) "When She Was Bad" - Good
> 2) "Some Assembly Required" - Weak
> 3) "School Hard" - Decent
> 4) "Inca Mummy Girl" - Good
> 5) "Reptile Boy" - Decent
>
> 1 weak, 2 decents, 2 goods.
>
> 1) "Anne" - Decent
> 2) "Dead Man's Party" - Excellent
> 3) "Faith, Hope, and Trick" - Good
> 4) "Beauty And The Beasts" - Decent
> 5) "Homecoming" - Good
>
> 2 decents, 2 goods, 1 excellent.

And one "HOW COULD YOU RANK [episode] ABOVE [other episode]??!!" moment
apiece.

By "momentum" I was thinking more in terms of direction rather than
pure quality. But yeah, S3 has started better than S2 in both
respects... I guess I'm spoiled by mid-to-late S2.

> Other notes: did you notice that on Buffy's chart, under "negatives" for
> Cordelia, that one entry was "Xander"? Cracked me up.

Missed that one, but funny.

> Cordelia's "Vulcan Death Grip" scene...marvelously oblivious acting on
> her part.

Another good bit.

-AOQ

hopelessly devoted

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Mar 10, 2006, 4:42:51 PM3/10/06
to

Nyfb pbafvqrevat gung gung rc jbhyq or zl #2 nyy gvzr sni, yrg zr fnl
ntnva. FUBPX! QVFZNL! HGGRE PBASHFVBA!

Scythe Matters

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Mar 10, 2006, 4:47:50 PM3/10/06
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Mike Zeares wrote:

> Looking back, I'm not quite sure what the purpose of it was, unless it
> was just another high school thing for Buffy to go through.

I've always assumed a fake-out. Not a massively successful one, but I
think that was probably the intent. Buffy is moving on, see, and
then...well, back to Angel.

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Mar 10, 2006, 4:47:47 PM3/10/06
to
kenm47 wrote:
>
> As for Xander: I still say "told you so." Willow, however, very sad.

I suspect character bias here. Xander and Willow are on the same moral
footing here: both wrong their SOs the same way, both feel guilty
enough to try to back off but both try to hide it...

I actually think of Willow as a different world from Xander's interest
in Slayers. He's never made a secret of how much the femal form
appeals to him. But I can think of two hot chicks that he wasn't
obviously/obnoxiously attracted to immediately: Willow, and Cordelia.
Is it just that he's kown them since childhood, or does it suggest
anything more about him?

-AOQ
~I don't know, which is why I'm asking. It's not a pointed rhetorical
question~

Scythe Matters

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Mar 10, 2006, 4:54:07 PM3/10/06
to
Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:

> Yeah, but where in the recovery process is he

Not too far along, judging by external (high school) evidence.

> and how long can he be
> expected to wait before tlaking in complete sentances again?

Are you suggesting that Angel was big with the complete sentences
before? ;-) (Not Angelus, Angel.)

> I think it's a lot simpler than that. Cordelia starts to insult Buffy
> personally, going so far as to make a crack about her divorced parents.
> Buffy gets angry.

Angry, yes. "Vapid whore" is pretty harsh. Buffy gets in arguments, but
she doesn't often go for the jugular in this fashion. I'm not saying
that this was the intent, but it made me wonder.

> I know what you mean, although I hadn't thought about that. It's
> definitely been hard for me to get a handle on the character. That
> could explain some of it.

Greenwalt seems to think of her as still quite bitchy and unredeemed, on
recent evidence. Whedon clearly portrays her as evolving and softening.
Others falls somewhere in the middle. It *is* hard to follow, especially
for you; we all have the advantage of knowing the full Cordelia arc.

> I forget, whose spelling pet peeve was that? (It's "fazed.")

Yes. I had just used "phased" in another, more important (than Usenet)
context and it drove out the other spelling when I typed this. Oh well.
Won't be the last time.

> And one "HOW COULD YOU RANK [episode] ABOVE [other episode]??!!" moment
> apiece.

Yes, but both are sensible complaints. ;-)

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Mar 10, 2006, 4:58:51 PM3/10/06
to
Scythe Matters wrote:

> Are you suggesting that Angel was big with the complete sentences
> before? ;-) (Not Angelus, Angel.)

Point taken.

> > And one "HOW COULD YOU RANK [episode] ABOVE [other episode]??!!" moment
> > apiece.
>
> Yes, but both are sensible complaints. ;-)

I still like "Inca Mummy Girl," in case anyone was expecting me to
recover at some point.

-AOQ

gree...@gmail.com

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Mar 10, 2006, 5:09:42 PM3/10/06
to

Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
> gree...@gmail.com wrote:
>
> > > Even here Buffy isn't so horribly diminished
> > [...]
> > > (Cordelia comes off as pretty unlikable, sure,
> > > but hey, I don't like her anyway... Cordy apologists can argue that
> > > stress [this is a life-and-death situation to her] brings out her nasty
> > > side or something.)
> >
> > Or, you know, if Cordy is unlikable hurling insults at Buffy, maybe
> > Buffy should be unlikable for hurling insults at Cordy.
>
> Cordelia's always the one who elevates it.

"The sixth grade defense really doesn't work here, Will."

Cordy and Buffy are doing the same thing. Either they're both right or
they're both wrong. If there are no circumstances under which it's
right to say, "I have two parents, unlike some people", then there are
no circumstances under which it's right to call someone a vapid whore.

And I like Cordy in spite of herself. She doesn't have to be right all
the time for me to like her; she just has to be her.

> > > Okay, Homecoming is a popularity contest. Are we supposed to buy that
> > > either of the heroes have a serious chance of winning?
> >
> > A lot of people in the newsgroup thought Cordy still could. There was a
> > belief that Cordy and Xander dating was making Xander more popular
> > rather than diminishing Cordy's popularity.
>
> Yeah, I guess it's hard to say at this point since we don't really see
> much of the popular crowd here. But if you hang out almost exclusively
> with a clique of wierdoes...

Thing is, the popular group in any high school is generally a minority
in the high school population. Unpopular's problem is a lack of
organization, or else the band geeks and AV club nerds would be
deciding who the prom king and queen are going to be.

-- Terry

Rowan Hawthorn

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Mar 10, 2006, 5:33:06 PM3/10/06
to

Me, too, actually. Even if the entire rest of the episode was complete
dreck, it would be worth it just for Eskimo Willow. (Also, keep in mind
the scene where Willow's mask slips, just for a moment...)

--
Rowan Hawthorn

"Occasionally, I'm callous and strange." - Willow Rosenberg, "Buffy the
Vampire Slayer"

Kevin

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Mar 10, 2006, 5:22:49 PM3/10/06
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Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
> "Homecoming" confines itself to the lower-key comedy that comes
> from kids being kids, and plays it with just the right tone for the
> material.


With Season 3's increased budget we get more sets, more locations, more
everything, and I think it's great to see this episode that's so firmly
grounded in the high school experience. The metaphor that helped
define Season 1 was necessarily dissipating by this point (the gang are
seniors, after all), and I was actually starting to get a bit nostalgic
for the little world of those first 12 episodes.

That said, the increased freedom in S3 is certainly wonderful, and we
get a bigger story when the girls get dropped in the woods. I loved
that Cordelia ends up in Faith's place unbeknownst to the Slayerfest
competitors. Things really move along in Homecoming, the humor is
on-track, the plot is solid, and the Mayor is in place. More goodness
to come.

--Kevin

Kevin

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Mar 10, 2006, 7:06:16 PM3/10/06
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shuggie wrote:
> Guvf vf gur frpbaq be guveq gvzr NBD unf pbzcynvarq gung Ohssl frrzf
> qbja be zvfrenoyr be yvsryrff - vs ur guvaxf guvf vf onq jung'yy ur
> znxr bs frnfba fvk?

Be ubj nobhg gur cnvashy qhyyarff bs zvq-Frnfba 5? V'yy org NBD jvyy
or nf oberq fgvss nf V. Rire gel whzcvat sebz genpx gb genpx ba F5
QIQ, naq frrvat ubj znal fprarf ortva jvgu crbcyr zbcvat va gur
ubfcvgny? (Abg rirel fprar trgf n genpx, ohg fgvyy...) Vg srryf yvxr
n fubj gung jnf fhccbfrq gb or pnapryyrq; mreb erfrzoynapr gb gur OGIF
V xarj. Gur qhyyrfg yvoenel rkcbfvgvba fprar vf guevyyvat va
pbzcnevfba. Tynq V obeebjrq F5 sebz gur yvoenel sbe serr.

--Kevin

One Bit Shy

unread,
Mar 10, 2006, 7:11:46 PM3/10/06
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> So,
> would this show be another over-the-top bit of trash like "Bleak,
> Bothersome, And Borderline-Unwatchable?" Not really.
> "Homecoming" confines itself to the lower-key comedy that comes
> from kids being kids, and plays it with just the right tone for the
> material.

Perhaps not quite so over the top (though Slayerfest 98 isn't exactly a
low-key concept), but I suspect it still owes a lot to BB&B, which I think
the folks at ME likely considered to be a success and a model of sorts for
the future. On its face it's just a fun romp, but one that still allows for
useful character and plot development, without making it any less a fun
romp.


> Early in the show, Buffy breaks up, so to speak, with Angel. Given his
> apparent state (all that twitching!) that might not the best topic to
> bring up. But we don't even really know what his condition is right
> now, as the show seems content to keep us waiting on that plot,
> callously stringing us along.

Well, I think it's fairly clear that he's still recovering from his time in
Hell. But, as for stringing us along, I'm pretty much with you there. Not
least for that half-hearted break-up that nobody believes. Some things
happen on the Angel front. I think Scythe went into that. It can be
logically explained what these relationship baby steps are for. But for me
I'm already getting itchy to just get on with it.

> Meanwhile Scott rather abruptly breaks
> up with Buffy, and uh, that's it. Huh. If we don't see him again,
> that'll go down as one of the series' more half-baked
> relationships.

Nice enough guy I suppose. Kind of dull. Buffy imagines/wishes that's the
kind of guy she wants, but really, that's about as believable as the
break-up with Angel. I don't think Scott was really intended to be more
than half-baked. It wasn't a relationship so much as it was Buffy wishing
she was normal. One might think she wanted more to be Scott than to be with
him. (She sure rarely seemed comfortable with him.) It also didn't break
up that badly when he left. She was surprised, yes. But it didn't take
long for her to play him for his Homecoming Queen vote.

> And when in recent memory has Buffy ever been full of
> life?

Curiously, right here in this episode. Going for Homecoming Queen really
engages her. In any case, I'm not sure what's behind Scott's remark. Maybe
he remembers something from the past. Maybe Buffy looked different from a
distance than she does close up. I tend to think it's Scott's way of
putting things nicely. Rather than tell her that he's sick of her
constantly making excuses to get away from him, he lets her keep her
pretenses intact and obliquely references them instead.

> (What's weird is that his two later scenes have different
> tones: the "my vote" bit makes him seem like a nice guy in the end,
> whereas the other one makes him seem more plot device/jerk/punching
> bag. Maybe that's just how Faith sees him.)

The scene with Faith says nothing about Scott at all. That's all about
Faith. And it's interesting too. I'm not sure it rises to the level of
really important, but it's worth noting. First of all, it's showing Faith
sticking up for Buffy. She's really offended that Scott would dump Buffy.
Her way of sticking up for Buffy is certainly uniquely hers, but it's kind
of sweet to show that kind of loyalty. She didn't act that way back in
FH&T. Secondly, it shows how she sees things differently than the rest of
the gang. Their priority is fixing the Buffy/Cordy rift. That's their big
deal. Faith doesn't give a damn about that. But mean boyfriend is
something to intervene on.


> Given Buffy's
> sometimes-obsessive nature, she ends up challenging Cordelia in the
> race for Homecoming Queen, and she throws herself fully into it.
>
> Now, like at least some of the show's fanbase, I consider the
> selection of a Guacamole Queen or whatever to be a deeply stupid
> process. So it's to the show's credit that it acknowledges the
> silliness involved while still managing to sell it as something
> that's important to our hero. A light touch, but not too light, is
> important when wallowing in stupidity. And obviously something's
> working, since despite the fact that I "clearly" hate all humor, I
> smiled a lot (including at Cordelia scaring away Gorch near the end,
> which is one of the dumbest scenes so far in the series). It also
> helps that the flyer/cupcake/etc. scenes are too short to get very
> annoying. The central moment of these sequences, is, of course, Buffy
> and Cordelia insulting each other and being all catty and girly and
> stuff. Even here Buffy isn't so horribly diminished (again, contrast
> with how *that episode* treated its female characters), coming up with,
> well, Buffy-esque lines like "your brain isn't even connected to

> your mouth, is it?" (Cordelia comes off as pretty unlikable, sure,


> but hey, I don't like her anyway... Cordy apologists can argue that
> stress [this is a life-and-death situation to her] brings out her nasty
> side or something.)

Hmmm. Well, I'm glad you smiled some at Cordelia. Though I have to say I
really loved her in this episode.

Anyway, though this isn't life-and-death, it really is something that
matters to Cordy. And she's genuinely ticked off that Buffy is messing with
it. With some justification I think - more so than usual for her catty
insults. After all, she doesn't horn in on Buffy's slayer game. (Until she
faces down Gorch that is. For all the humor in that moment, please do note
that the content is filled with the rhetoric of rivalry. And Cordelia's the
queen..) More on Cordy later.

There's a lot of fun stuff in the campaign scenes, but what I especially
like is Buffy's part. She's so engaged. She actually knows what she's
doing. (One might suspect that if she and Cordy hadn't scared so many
people off by snapping at each other that both had real chances of winning.)
I really liked the brief shot of Buffy chatting up the lettermen, lightly
touching them and flashing a smile. Calculated, yes. But she was having a
blast. There's a bit of irony in Willow being so upset about the rift
between Cordelia and Buffy when Buffy is having more fun than she has in a
year. And of course, in the end, she and Cordy understand each other better
than ever. Hardly about to call each other sisters, but when they agree
near the end that the crown is important, they say it on common ground.
(Incidentally, pigtails are my favorite Buffy look.)

Cordelia: This whole trying to be like me really isn't funny any more.
Buffy: I was never trying to be like you. And when was it funny?

And then there's that. (I like how when was it funny effectively
contradicts her denial of wanting to be like Cordelia.) I hope it's obvious
how much Buffy is grasping for what she wished her life was like by doing
this. But I think it's also useful to remind us how much Cordelia
represents that. Much more so than Scott could ever do. Buffy really was a
prom queen once. Cordelia is a daily reminder of what she once had. It's
curious how the chasm between the two can be so huge, yet there's still a
natural kinship. Perhaps that explains some why they've been drawn
together? (There's another kinship involving Cordelia that this show
illuminates a bit too.)

> I've got to express serious disappointment in one of my favorite
> fictional people here. Why the hell is Willow helping Cordelia's
> campaign? She should either be with her best friend, or staying out of
> the dumbassery entirely. Xander, I can see (and it's kinda funny
> seeing Buffy get burned after assuming he'd side with her against his
> own girlfriend). But Willow?

Answered elsewhere. I think it's also interesting to see how flustered
Willow is here under pressure. She isn't always. She hung in there in the
morgue last episode for example. When she gets determined, she pulls it
together. But she's also said that she doesn't like pressure and tends to
silly talk her way through moments when she's lost. Willow is often the
first to get Buffy's feelings, but here she's projecting her own upset over
Xander and is just freaked out by Buffy's behavior.


> Speaking of whom, there's this thing between Willow and Xander that
> you may recall. First of all, anyone else see exactly where it was
> going the moment it started?

Do you mean back in WSWB? Or do you just mean when the dressing scene
started? I was completely surprised by it happening in this show, but, yes,
I did sense romance right when the scene started. I don't mind the latter
at all. It's far more important to get the moment right than to make the
actual kiss a shock. It was plenty shocking enough that it happened at all.
I mean, the possibility always existed, but after all this time and
divergant paths I was hardly expecting it.

> But anyway, the two of them have a moment
> together in which their latent attraction again surfaces. None of the
> cheesy melodrama of Bec2, this is more of a quiet moment of friendship
> that turns into more, as in "When She Was Bad."

Because, IMO, it was built from WSWB, not from B2. I think an element of
romantic undercurrent may have been there in B2. It's fairly normal for the
realization of love to come when faced with the loved one's departure. I've
experienced something like that myself. Though not on a hospital bed. It's
just that there's so much more in B2. A lifelong friendship. The horrible
fear that she would never wake up again. Xander confessed to her how much
he needed her in his life, but not just to kiss. Way deeper than that. And
it didn't lead to anything - even during the summer when Cordelia was away.
It was the WSWB type of intimacy that did that - and blind-sided them.

> How well a scene
> like this works probably has a huge amount to do with the actors, so
> I'm going to target my praise towards Hannigan and Brendon here. The
> viewer has to believe that they're close friends, and I did. This
> gives their scenes together a real sweetness and it's hard to not
> smile when they finally kiss, even though they're both cheating on
> their (presumably) faithful significant others. And of course, being
> who they are, the end result of it all is that the characters only get
> more confused and sad. Well, I am invested in this plotline now, show,
> so good job. Please don't fuck it up.

That's one of the all-time great BtVS scenes IMO. Good reason to hope for
it to play out well.


> Meanwhile Trick is organizing a monster army to attack, and continuing
> to amuse with his constant stream of prattle (taking the piss out of
> the sillier monsters). This episode has him form an alliance with the

> Mayor at the end. I don't know what they were trying for with the


> Mayor character here, but he doesn't come off as anyone I'd ever
> particularly like to see again. Just because someone's slightly
> crazy doesn't mean he's automatically interesting or non-annoying.

> On the other hand, his job title opens story possibilities. We don't
> really have a Master-style Big Bad this season yet. So maybe the
> writers, knowing they (probably) can't top Angelus in terms of
> ancient supernatural evil, are giving us villains who can use the
> "real world" to their advantage. Enemies armed with cops,
> helicopters, computers, and politics. It'd be a little different.
> We'll see.

Slightly crazy. Hmmm. Well, I guess everybody's made it clear that we'll
see him again. So we'll also see how or if he grows on you. I suspect you
won't identify him as a stock character. Which, as a reminder, you did for
both the Master and Spike.


> So we start Slayerfest and our two rivals have to fight for their
> lives. The scenes are pretty fast-paced, and it's about time someone
> brought in the heavy artillery. I have a feeling I'll be wondering
> why people on the show don't use guns and grenades more often now,
> but oh well.

The question of guns is one of those ongoing discussion points. You've seen
guns several times now. The fake cop in WML that wounded Oz. (Leave it to
Oz to call it an interesting experience.) Xander's gun in Halloween. The
rocket launcer in Innocence. The pistol in IOHEFY. The real cops in
Becoming. Darla in Angel. The werewolf hunter in Phases.

I may be forgetting something, but you know, guns aren't actually all that
uncommon. Even though it feels like they are.

Curious.

Anyway, the most important thing about guns here is that when Cordelia tried
to use one she shot wildly (Cordelia! Spatula!) and when Buffy tried to use
the same gun it didn't fire at all.

Hmmm.


> Now, a lesser show would've used this as a chance to
> have Buffy and Cordelia "amusingly" insult each other constantly,
> even in the midst of battle. A different lesser show would have them
> come out of it as good friends, and an... um, least show would do both.
> Here we get neither unrealistic personal-problems-above-survival
> tension nor unrealistic getting along. Moments like "I know what
> you're up to. You think if you get me mad enough, I won't be so
> scared" help. And we do get at least an understanding from each
> character of why the other one is trying so hard to beat her, and leave
> it at that.

Ok. Back to Cordelia. She is so wonderful in the hunt. I love how she
retains her personality throughout yet manages to listen, to think, to act
smartly, even to express love. Swatting at the demon with the spatula is a
hoot, but I hope you noticed that it was that same spatula - the ultimate
dumb weapon - that dusted Gorch's wife.

When she puts on her 'tude and scares away Gorch, the thing that came to
mind to me was how much I missed her running monologues from pre-Xander
days. You remember, when she'd walk along with a gaggle of followers musing
about whether it was possible for someone to have too much depth. There's
nothing like a Cordelia riff. That's when she's truly in her element. Just
saying whatever it is that comes to mind. Rashly oblivious to consequence.
She is rash. And blunt. And she tends to surface understanding. (Like
grabbing the spatula, but ignoring the telephone.) And, damn it, an awful
lot like Xander sometimes.

In this episode she expresses love for Xander. And, perhaps more clearly
than ever, shows why they fit as a couple in spite of the social gulf
between them. And, of course, this has to be the episode that Xander kisses
Willow. Oh, the humanity.


> I'm starting to feel a vague worry that the show doesn't have as
> much "momentum" as it did last season now that Buffy's back home.
> Of course, said direction was mainly in the later parts of the season
> (I'm trying to remember how I felt about the series after "Reptile
> Boy"), so there's time. Needs more Angel?

I'll probably have more to say about that in a few episodes. Both the Angel
part and "momentum". Using your rating method, for me there have so far
been 4 goods and a decent. (The decent, of course, being your excellent.
Oh, well.) But nothing close to an excellent.

OBS


One Bit Shy

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Mar 10, 2006, 7:16:53 PM3/10/06
to
"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
news:1142027267....@p10g2000cwp.googlegroups.com...

I don't believe that's explained. I'd go with the knowing since childhood
part, though I'd also add that Willow would not be considered hot in this
world and Cordelia was specifically his enemy going back some number of
years. (The I hate Cordelia Club.)

OBS


One Bit Shy

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Mar 10, 2006, 7:24:11 PM3/10/06
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"Don Sample" <dsa...@synapse.net> wrote in message
news:dsample-4B1E2E...@news.giganews.com...

> In article <1142017970.4...@z34g2000cwc.googlegroups.com>,
> "kenm47" <ken...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:
>
>> Scythe Matters wrote:


>> > Cordelia, yes...but I think the episode *is* supposed to lead us to
>> > realizing that Cordelia is not, in fact, what she once was in terms of
>> > popularity. And maybe Cordelia is realizing this now, too.
>>
>> She accuses Buffy of splitting her vote. Seems right to me.
>
> I thought it was likely starting out as a 40:30:30 split, until Buffy
> entered the race, and concentrated on going after Cordy's share of the
> vote, which turned it into a 30:30:20:20 race.

I thought it was made fairly clear during the campaigning that the
Buffy/Cordelia squabbles and one upmanship was turning people off.

OBS


Carlos Moreno

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Mar 10, 2006, 7:00:42 PM3/10/06
to

Yeah, but it is a question that we can not answer -- I mean, you're
asking us a question about a personality trait that may or may not
be answered in future episodes... So, as usual, don't ask us any
question except the rhetorical ones :-)

Carlos
--

One Bit Shy

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Mar 10, 2006, 7:37:27 PM3/10/06
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"hopelessly devoted" <cry...@cinstall.com> wrote in message
news:1142022345.2...@v46g2000cwv.googlegroups.com...


> Even when I was IN highschool, I hated the homecoming/prom/graduation
> aspects so much that I refused to attend either of them, so don't feel
> alone in the braced department. The opening scene with the limo
> discussion reminded me of all the reasons I didn't go.

There was no homecoming dance at my school.

OTH, I went to no less than 3 different senior proms and 2 junior proms.
It's difficult to explain why, but I loved them.

Never been to anything remotely akin to a formal affair since.

OBS


Carlos Moreno

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Mar 10, 2006, 7:15:37 PM3/10/06
to
Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:

> I've got to express serious disappointment in one of my favorite
> fictional people here. Why the hell is Willow helping Cordelia's
> campaign? She should either be with her best friend, or staying out of
> the dumbassery entirely. Xander, I can see (and it's kinda funny
> seeing Buffy get burned after assuming he'd side with her against his
> own girlfriend). But Willow?

I guess the Willow helping Cordelia comes as a "silly humor" detail
with the added value that it emphasizes the effect of Buffy getting
burned after assuming all of her friends would side with her. Call
it "humor by exaggeration" or even "humor by absurdity" (because it
*is* really absurd, the idea that Willow would side with Cordelia,
even if it was not against Buffy -- being that she is siding with
Cordelia *and* going against Buffy in doing so, it's... well, pure
absurdity that turns into humor).

> Okay, we're at the end of the episode, and they're announcing the
> Queen. See what the show does here - convention is for Buffy to win
> (Mrs. Quality's guess) or, in a really sappy show, for them to tie.
> Having them both lose (which was my guess) is only slightly less
> obvious. Basically, every possible outcome has already been done to
> death. So how does the episode make something fresh out of the tired
> premise? By combining the tie and both-lose endings, which I actually
> don't think I've seen before, in a way that teases us with the
> worst ending before giving us a better one. We laugh and say "good
> one, David and/or Joss," and then laugh harder as the co-winner
> starts giving her amusingly vapid, bubbly speech. Comedy's all about
> the timing, and there's nothing like a good joke to make one forget
> about any worries regarding the direction of the series.

Nicely put!

One detail that you didn't mention (or was I reading too fast and
missed it?!) is what to me is the "big highlight" of that episode,
which was Cordelia standing up to and threatening (and seriously
scaring) the poor vampire! That was absolutely brilliant, I find.

> AOQ rating: Good

Now that you make me think about it, I don't know why I always
rate this episode so low -- I tend to give it a "weak+" (weak, but
with some good elements in the mix)... But maybe putting all the
elements together and taking into account the "nice dumb fun", as
you put it, I should probably rate it a bit higher... Oh well...

Carlos
--

BTR1701

unread,
Mar 10, 2006, 7:52:38 PM3/10/06
to
In article <YrSdnSXFjM7...@rcn.net>,
Scythe Matters <sp...@spam.spam> wrote:

> Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:

> > The central moment of these sequences, is, of course, Buffy
> > and Cordelia insulting each other and being all catty and girly and
> > stuff. Even here Buffy isn't so horribly diminished (again, contrast
> > with how *that episode* treated its female characters), coming up with,
> > well, Buffy-esque lines like "your brain isn't even connected to
> > your mouth, is it?" (Cordelia comes off as pretty unlikable, sure,
> > but hey, I don't like her anyway... Cordy apologists can argue that
> > stress [this is a life-and-death situation to her] brings out her nasty
> > side or something.)
>

> Well, calling someone a "vapid whore" isn't very nice, either.
> Especially since it doesn't even appear to be true (well, half
> not-true).

Which half isn't true? Cordelia was shown to be both intelligent and
somewhat chaste. She's certainly wasn't either vapid or whorish. Utterly
tactless and elitist, sure. But "vapid whore" ain't accurate.

Apteryx

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Mar 10, 2006, 8:28:36 PM3/10/06
to
"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
news:1142003570.0...@i40g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...

>A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
> threads.
>
>
>
> Meanwhile Trick is organizing a monster army to attack, and continuing
> to amuse with his constant stream of prattle (taking the piss out of
> the sillier monsters). This episode has him form an alliance with the
> Mayor at the end. I don't know what they were trying for with the
> Mayor character here, but he doesn't come off as anyone I'd ever
> particularly like to see again. Just because someone's slightly
> crazy doesn't mean he's automatically interesting or non-annoying.

Now thats just plain rude. A man devotes his life to serving the public,
reminds staff of old fashioned health standards, and seems to have a pretty
uplifting view of life, but he just gets called crazy and annoying. Young
people today!

But it is the Buffy/Cordelia story-line that makes this episode, and it
makes it funny. You must have used up all your sense of humour before the
Mayor's scene with Trick.

>
> So...


>
> One-sentence summary: Dumb fun.
>
> AOQ rating: Good

That makes 3 episodes in a row where we agree on a rating. Must be a
record.To me it's the 39th best BtVS episode, 9th best in Season 3

--
Apteryx


DysgraphicProgrammer

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Mar 10, 2006, 8:29:26 PM3/10/06
to

Huh? I do not remember this. Of what episode do you speak?

vague disclaimer

unread,
Mar 10, 2006, 8:25:17 PM3/10/06