Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Doppelgangland   Rewatch 
July 1, 2015 10:11 PM - Season 3, Episode 16 - Subscribe

Anyanka enlists Willow's help to retrieve her power amulet from the alternate dimension, but ends up bringing Willow's vampire doppelgänger over instead.
posted by yellowbinder (7 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Yay, Doppelgangland!

I’ve written about my love of this episode before, so instead of repeating myself, I’ll just mention new stuff that has come to mind since I wrote that:

I find Cordy’s line “The famous shy girl act all the boys fall for,” to be hilarious, because it shows how fundamentally self-centered Cordy still is. Anyone who’d paid attention would know that the only boys ever interested in Willow were Oz and Xander, but because Xander mattered to Cordelia, that gets turned into “all the boys”. (It also reminds me of some hyper-confident extroverts I’ve encountered who cannot understand that shyness is a real thing, and not just something people fake to get attention.)

I love Giles’s delayed reaction hug in the library, and Buffy invading Willow’s space throughout that scene. And how depressing is it that one of the happiest moments for Buffy on the show is “It turns out my best friend wasn’t turned into a vampire after all.”

I love Xander thinking that he’s been a big hero saving Willow from Percy.

I know that they weren’t going to film the last ten minutes of the show with Vamp Willow being naked, but I find it hilarious that they put all of Old Reliable Willow’s clothes on her, right down to the smiley-face necklace.

That wave to Oz!

“Well, did you try looking inside the sofa *in Hell*?”

“It's really nice that you guys missed me. (wide-eyed) Say, you all didn't happen to do a bunch of drugs, did ya?”

“I’m a blood-sucking fiend! Look at my outfit!”
posted by creepygirl at 10:19 PM on July 1, 2015 [7 favorites]

Doppelgangland is probably my favourite episode of the series; not that it's necessarily the best episode, but it is bar none the episode I've watched the most often, and I will put it on randomly when I need a lift. I've probably posted pictures of my Vampire Willow costume before, but I don't care, I'm going to do it again! (I can't find where I put it and that's a sad, sad story.)

That scene in the library when Giles, Buffy and Xander are mourning Willow ("She was truly the finest of all of us." "Way better than me." "Much, much better.") and she walks in is my favourite part of the episode. I love how highly Giles thinks of Willow, and I wish there were more episodes focusing on the two of them. Giles' asphyxiating hug (Amazon payphrase?) is so great. But, like you said in that other post, it's also clear that he needed to think about how valuable she is, because he does impose on her frequently.

Then Angel comes in and his tortured-breathing-acting becomes so, so funny. "Something's happened that...Willow's dead. Hey, Willow. Wait a second." "Right there with you, buddy." I could watch that whole scene a million times, and I'm probably getting there.

Also, the "mistress of pain" bit.

Oz's reaction to seeing Willow as a vampire is perfectly simultaneously understated and desperate.

I like Buffy and Willow's goofy conversation at the start of the episode that shows they both have trouble with their feelings about Faith. It sets up "Choices" nicely, and in that episode has a great bookend in one of my favourite moments in the series, when Willow tells Buffy she's decided to go to UC Sunnydale and Buffy tackle-hugs her, and then they go for mochas.

Emotional control vs. Willow's magic is going to be a long-running issue. "Magic is dangerous, Anya. It's not to be toyed with" - oh, the irony.

Reliable dog geyser person would be a great MeFi username.

"You want us to breed?"

I think "You're lazy, self-involved and spoiled. That's quite the challenge" in response to Percy's "I'm challenged" is a great burn from Snyder.

The line about Faith getting a PlayStation always stuck out oddly to me; I guess I'm not used to the show using brand names.

I guess Oz's "It's like I have no will of my own" gets a bit sadder when you think about what happens down the line when he's unable to control himself when it comes to Willow.

"I believe these chicken feet are mine!"

Watching Vampire Willow scare the hell out of Percy is very, very satisfying. I guess thank goodness everyone forgets everything in this town, or real Willow would have had some serious explaining to do about all of that.

I love Xander thinking that he’s been a big hero saving Willow from Percy. That's pretty great. I don't know why him saying, "Is there a funny thing?" makes me laugh every time; it's such a throwaway line.

Xander shaking the cross when it "doesn't work" on regular Willow like it's an Etch-A-Sketch or something is another great small detail.

Anya's constant indignities in the real world! Flunking math! Getting denied beer!

Giles: Well, uh... something... something, um, very strange is happening.
Xander: Can you believe the Watcher's Council let this guy go?

There's an interesting callback to Faith not stopping in time and killing Allan when Buffy goes to stake Vampire Willow, but stops in time when Willow tells her not to. "Nice reflexes." "Well, I work out." I don't know if it's implying that Faith could have stopped herself.

Alyson Hannigan really gets a workout here, playing Willow, Vampire Willow, and Willow as Vampire Willow. I think she does a great job with it.

Anyway, I could quote this episode forever, but when I saw it I was 14 and heavily identifying with Willow, and it helped me stand up for myself a bit, so I'll always think of this one fondly.
posted by ilana at 12:15 AM on July 2, 2015 [8 favorites]

I'd love to know whether this episode was always planned, or it was a fortuitous idea based on Emma Caulfield's performance. It's just really great. As an episode, it's mostly just fun, but it also gives us a mini-character study of Willow. Willow, up until season 6/7, is such a superb character. She's got lots of layers too here, to the point that she is capable of giving speeches about who she is (here and in Season 6) which inform us on who Willow is, but more importantly who she thinks she is. She never really loses this idea of herself as the nerd who no-one likes, even when she acquires more and more friends, and a rockstar boyfriend. This chip on her shoulder, and her paranoia that her friends won't be her friends any more, leads to her controlling tendencies, and her attempts to solve her problems through magic (which we can think of as an application of her intellect, although it has obvious emotional connections too).

We also get a little bit of resolution for Cordelia, who, having spent years bullying Willow, is not a fan of her turning the tables, even inadvertently. It's probably worthy of note that when Cordelia wanted Xander, she didn't think for a second about what Willow might think about it.

-Anya is just great in this episode. She summons D'Hoffryn, who is unnamed, to tell him that she's flunking math!
-"I'm 1120 years old, give me a fricking beer!"
-"Holy god you're Willow"
-Top quality Willow jumper here
-"Way better than me." "Much, much better."
-"I think I'm kinda gay." Famous line. I'm sure this has come up already, but at this point Whedon hadn't decided if he was going to make Willow or Xander come out next season, so he scattered hints for both.
-"I killed her and sucked her blood, as we vampires do."
-When Willow strokes a girls hair, she gets her hand caught.
-"Good luck, try not to kill her"
-This will begin a long and slightly inexplicable tradition of sparing vampires who shouldn't be spared.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 8:32 AM on July 2, 2015 [3 favorites]

This is one of my favourite episodes too. Partly because, let's face it, evil Willow is kinda hot as well as kinda gay. And also because it has such brilliant lines that have insinuated themselves into my vocabulary. "As we vampires do", "Bored now". The little wave to Oz. Evil Willow's swagger, and Willow-pretending-to-be-evil's lack thereof, as well as her obvious discomfort in the outfit (wow, look at those!). I don't know, I don't really have much to add to what you guys have already said, but yes, I adore this episode too. Definitely one of my top 5.
posted by Athanassiel at 11:50 PM on July 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

This episode was so good, I may have to rewatch the rewatch. Oz's look when he realizes what fake-evil Willow is up to is fantastic, he's proud and not particularly surprised.
posted by skewed at 12:58 PM on July 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

My all time favorite line in that ep

Evil Willow: This world's no fun anymore.
Willow: You noticed that too?
posted by miss-lapin at 9:15 AM on July 5, 2015 [4 favorites]

I love this episode but I watched it today, one of the thing that pisses me off is that Willow is clearly attracted to men and women, but the conclusion is "she's gay! It just seems strange they wouldn't think she's bi.
posted by miss-lapin at 8:07 PM on February 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

« Older Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Cons...   |  Mr. Robot: eps1.1_one-and-zer0... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments