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18 June 2014
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Episode Guide


The Homecoming dance is one of those weird American customs that seems somewhat bizarre to English audiences and Homecoming is based on the strangest aspect of the whole notion: the Homecoming Queen contest, a concept that summons up heady Wicker Man-type images of lambs being led to the slaughter.

The highlight of the episode, and, not coincidentally, the only element of the story that has any lasting resonance, is the kiss between Xander and Willow which revives a storyline that harks back to the groundwork laid out in the series’ earliest episodes.

It’s a scene that’s rather clumsily set up, but it's rescued by David Greenwalt’s sharp dialogue and direction and, especially, by excellent comic performances by Alyson and Nicholas. The rest of the episode doesn’t seem to know where to settle. There’s no real symbiosis between the plot strands about the two parallel contests (the Homecoming Queen competition and SlayerFest), but at least pairing Buffy and Cordelia as the SlayerFest prey re-establishes some of the self-centred rivalry that made Cordelia so sparky. Her confrontation with Lyle Gorch is a joy to behold, as is her dumbfounded astonishment at not being voted Homecoming Queen.

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