Buffy Ep 3.16 "DoppelGangLand"



There we go. Top episode. 9 and a bit on the Robbiemeter.


Anya - the demon/goddess from "The Wish" - is petitioning some sort of demon (The lower lords are mentioned) to get her stone back. (This was destroyed in the alternate universe of the wish).  The demon lord says, in effect, "Hard luck, you had your chance."
("I'm mortal, I'm a child, I'm in school... and I'm flunking math.")
Anya is determined to get her powersource back. She needs someone to help her...

Next scene, Willow and Buffy are talking. Buffy is generally working out - doing crunches, etc, while talking. Willow is levitating a pencil. Apparently, Wesley is running some tests on the two Slayers. Faith appears to be back in the fold (at least on the surface) and they are going through some evaluations. Willow demonstrates she is not happy with Faith... apparently levitating requires 'control of emotion', among other things, and when she starts to talk about Faith, the pencil buries itself in a tree!

Willow is roped into "tutoring" one of the schools top Jocks (Basketball, I think) and not given a greate deal of choice about it.
(Snyder's approach to volunteers.) (After the swimming fiasco last year, the school is desperate for a winning team.)

Willow is still complaining about this when they walk into the library. Giles asks/orders Willow to get on the computer and try and get more info on Mayor Wilkins. Willow cheerfully agrees. About this time, Faith walks in with Wesley. She looks as though she's had an enjoyable workout, Wesley looks nearly dead.

Giles: Are you up to taking Buffy out next? Or will I do it?
Wesley: No.. I'll be OK. Just give me a minute to catch my breath... and some defibrillators, if it's not too much trouble...

Faith notes what Willow is working on (attempting to crack into the Mayor's files) and promptly reports this to the Mayor.
He, in turn, is turning out to be a generous employer. He's just arranged for a new flat for Faith... a rather snazzy one.

Mayor: No slayer of mine is going to live in a fleabag hotel. That place has an unsavoury reputation. People using it for immoral liasons.
Faith: Yeah, plus all the screwing.
Mayor: Now, let's kill your little friend.

Faith is impressed, but seems a little taken aback when the Mayor decides to kill Willow. He's not going to ask Faith to do it... besides, a vampire attack would look more plausible. He then distracts Faith with a Playstation....

In school Willow finds out that when Snyder said "tutoring", he meant "doing his homework".
There are a couple of other scenes where her general "reliability" is highlighted.
By the time Xander and Buffy come up to talk about Biology Homework, she is well and truly sick of being "reliable" and "helpful", and generally has a major tizzy fit over it. (Major for Willow, that is.)

Willow: "I'm storming off. It doesn't really work if you come with me."

Then Anya finds her, and wants her to help with a "temporal-fold" spell, to get her stone back. Willow, in a rather reckless mood, agrees to help.
The spell is cast... and Willow gets quite a few glimpses of the events in "The Wish", ending with the final massacre scene. They snap out of it just prior to Vampire Willow being impaled....

Willow decides that this is just a little darker than she likes to deal with, and leaves. (The spell failed to retrieve the stone, BTW. Possibly because it *was* destroyed in the alternate universe.)

Unfortunately, Vampire Willow has just appeared in Sunnydale! She's more than a little disoriented... things are quite different in this world!

(Recap: In "The Wish", Cordelia wishes that 'Buffy had never come to Sunnydale', and is sent to a new universe, where the Master succeeded, Xander and Willow are vampires, and Sunnydale is totally overrun by vampires)

Willow goes to the Bronze. Willow's Jock corners her about his homework, and makes the foolish remark "Until the finals, your ass is mine."
Vampire Willow picks him up by the neck, and more or less gently shakes him.
She appears to be considering having him for a snack, when Xander intervenes. He didn't see the start of it, and rushes to Willow's defence, dragging the Jock away, and telling him never to touch Willow again. (The Jock doesn't argue... he just runs!)

Vampire Willow seems surprised to find Xander alive.... and even more to find him *Alive*. Buffy shows up, is stunned by the change in Willow (she is wearing tight leather gear) and then is shocked to find that she is a vampire.

Vampire Willow is attacked just outside the Bronze by the Mayor's vampires. They quickly find this was a big mistake. (There is a rather nice fight scene. I'm not sure if Alyson Hannigan did the fight scene herself. I know she does kick boxing, but I couldn't tell from the camera angles whether it was her or a stunt double. )
Willow proves she is a rather nasty vampire... (about the only scene in the episode with a doubtful Stephanie Rating) and she rapidly recruits her attackers. Her plan... take over the Bronze and kill everyone.

Back at the library, a rather stunned trio (Xander, Buffy, Giles) are dealing with the fact that Willow is now a vampire. They are pretty shocked when Real Willow walks in. (At their glum faces, she asks "Who died?")

Xander leaps forward with a cross, the repel the vampire... when nothing happens, shakes the cross to see if it's broken somehow, and tries a again... when they realise that she is actually human, Buffy hugs her.. then Xander hugs both of them...

Willow: I love you guys too, but oxygen is becoming an issue here...

They back up... and an overcome Giles hugs her!

Xander: Giles will jump right in here any minute with an explanation.
Giles: There is... definitely... something very strange going on here.
Xander: And the Watchers let this guy go?

In the meantime, the Vampires invade the Bronze. (I'm sure this happens about once per season, they should be used to it by now...)  Angel and Oz are trapped in side, and they're just debating plans, when Vampire Willow walks in. Oz sends Angel for help at this point.

Anya realises what is going on, and convinces Vampire Willow to help her. The killing bit is put on hold as Vampire Willow goes out on an undisclosed mission.

Angel shows up at the library, putting an end to discussion. He breaks it to them that Willow has been Vampired. The reactions is "been there, done that." It's a bit of a shock to Angel, too! The gang arm up, and head out. Willow goes back to get something, and, you guessed it, is ambushed by her own double!

(The camera work here was brilliant... either that, or they found a geniune Willow look alike. There are a couple of scenes of Vampire Willow holding Normal Willow, and you can clearly see both faces.)

Real Willow breaks free, and in desperation uses the first weapon she finds ... in this case, the dart gun they use for knocking out Werewolf Oz. It appears to work on Vampires too.

The gang has returned, and they are locking an unconcious Vampire Willow (referred to hereafter as 'Villow') in the library cage.

Willow: It's horrible. That's me as a vampire! So evil...and skanky...I think I'm kinda gay...
Buffy: Willow, just remember... a vampire's personality has nothing to do with the person it was.
Angel: Well, actually... (pause, thinks better of it) ... that's a good point.

The gang come up with a plan to rescue the people at the Bronze... send Willow in dressed as Villow! (It's impressive seeing the difference between AH as Willow or a Villow, even dressed the same.)
Willow manages to convince the vampires (for a while anyway) although Anya is annoyed that the Willow was reportedly  killed.

Cordelia walks into the library, looking for Wesley, and finds what appears to be Willow locked in a cage. She goes to release her, then realises it's her chance to have a go at her about Willow's behaviour with Xander... (once again her own relentless self absorption saves her life)

However, Cordelia eventually lets her out, and then has to run screaming from Villow. Just in time, Wesley shows up and drives Villow off. (He may be good for something after all) It sure looks like Cordelia and Wesley are being set up as an item!

Eventually, Willow's cover is blown, and the calls the gang in. A terrific fight ensues, (Xander is definitely getting better at this
vampire fighting business) and Villow is captured... just as Buffy is about to stake her, Willow stops her, unable to bear 'killing herself'.  Buffy isn't too keen on killing "Willow" either.

They decided to send Villow back to her own world. Just before they do, Willow and Villow hug... (apparently rather more sexually than Willow was expecting...) and the Villow is returned to her own world. (Just in time to get staked...)

Next day, at school, Willow is not feeling very rebellious any more. She is deciding to stay home and be virtuous rather than go out with Buffy that night.
Willow:Stangely, I feel like staying at home. And doing my homework. And
Flossing. And dying a virgin.
Buffy: You know you can OD on virtue.

Then the Jock shows up. He's done his homework... and the bibliography.. and some more homework just in case...
It would appear that Villow made an impression....

Willow decides to go out after all.

End of Synopsis.

A great fun episode.
After last week's very dark episode, this was a pleasant change. For all you fans of Vampire Willow and Xander, you get another go. (At Villow, anyway).

It showcased Alyson Hannigan's acting ability. I was very impressed at the differences between Willow and Villow, and they had great fun with the contrasts.

When I saw The Wish, I thought it was a pretty interesting episode (though very dark) and I'm pleased that it turns out not to have been a standalone.
One of the things I like about this show is that it has history, and events have consequences. And sometimes loose ends... in this case, Anya.

It does raise a few questions. Who was the demon Anya was talking to at the start of the episode?
How many of these damned things (I use the term advisedly) are hanging about?
How many orders of Demon are there?
The Mayor thread is still unfolding in a interesting fashion. Faith is still on a downhill slope, though.

Lots of places where I laughed out loud.
I give this a 9.2 on the Robbiemeter, with a Stephanie rating of 'Yeah, it's OK.'
(Dea rating "OK to watch with an Adult")

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