Doppelgangland

Episode Reviews (35)

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9.5
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  • 9.5

    Doppelgangland

    By arkanitoo, Jul 13, 2012

    Here represents another Whedon-written success. This episode is everything we've come to expect from BtVS. Willow's self-confidence is the focus and it manages to be hilarious, witty, fun, exciting, and fascinating. There's significant character development and foreshadowing going on and the entertaining Vampire Willow is the reason why it all gets forced out. Plot threads from the season are also seamlessly woven into the story along with development for a reappearing Anya now stuck in a younger body and forced to live as a human again. This is simply wonderful television.



    Early on Buffy is talking about how if things had turned out differently for her she might be just like Faith is now. Willow responds, "some people just don't have that in them." This is ultimately a correct statement. Some people just don't have an evil bone in them and Buffy, for all her issues, is fundamentally a person who will not do evil.



    Ever since the S2 episode "Halloween" (2x06) Willow has been slowly gaining and retaining confidence boosts. The problem is that these boosts have been confined within her circle of friends. To the outside world, as iconified by Percy here, she is still weak and accomodating. Her natural growth of confidence just isn't fast enough. All of this explodes to the surface when Buffy calls her "old reliable." She acts out by breaking her routine and turning to black magic. Willow herself fully realizes her perceived problem through Vampire Willow's influence on everyone around her.



    Willow says about herself, "She bothered me. She's so weak and accommodating. She's always letting people walk all over her, and then she gets cranky with her friends for no reason. I just couldn't let her live." And with that statement she actually has killed off her innocent persona. Percy's newfound respect for her is a confirmation to her that having power makes you important in the eyes of other people. Although her change won't be instant, she takes action to rid herself of this persona as early as "Choices" (3x19) when she volunteers for a dangerous mission, proactively uses her magic in the field, and then stands up to Faith at knife-point.



    By the time Tara comes into the picture ("Hush" [4x10]) Willow's built a new personality for herself where she is confident in the outside world. The problem is that most of this confidence stems from the power she gets when using black magic. In "Wrecked" (6x10) she says, "if you could be ... you know, plain old Willow or super Willow, who would you be? ... I mean, Buffy, who was I? Just, some girl. Tara didn't even know that girl." That just highlights how much of a turning point this episode actually is for her.



    If someone had for some reason been reading this review up to this point without seeing the episode, they'd probably be under the impression that this was a serious episode. All of the huge issues that are going on with Willow are expertly wrapped up in a genuinely fun package. Nothing exemplifies this fact more than the scene in the library where Willow walks in when Buffy, Xander, and Giles all thought she was a vampire. Xander runs up to her and sticks a cross in her face, hilariously shakes it a bunch, and then sticks it in her face again. Buffy and Xander then run up to hug her as she asks Giles what the heck is going on. Then Giles runs up and hugs her! After getting a hilariously worried face she poses a question to the group, "Say, you all didn't happen to do a bunch of drugs, did ya?" There are really too many hilarious scenes to even count in this one including Anya's chat with D'Hoffryn, her failure to get beer, Wesley's boyish fright, and the outfit exchange with Vampire Willow.



    When seeing this episode for the first time I had a genuine good time but didn't think the episode held any lasting importance to the series. Upon review I realize that this has a ton of lasting importance involving Willow's character. All of this wonderful development and foreshadowing is cleverly camoflauged by Whedon as a hilarious throw-away episode. Whedon is a genius (I'm curious how many times I'll end up saying this by series end). Enough said.moreless

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  • 10

    Possibly the best ever Buffy ep?

    By joxerlives, Jan 19, 2012

    Dopplegangland



    The Good;

    The beginning of the father/daughter relationship between Faith and The Mayor, Anya comes into her own, VampWillow is a joy to behold, Wes actually makes himself useful, all of the library scenes are comedy classics and the lesbian subtext rapidly starts to become text. The great final gag.



    The Bad;

    None, it's all fabulous



    Best line;

    Willow (appreciating her cleavage in VampWillow's leathers) "Gosh, look at those!"



    Character death;

    Poor Sandy, although this isn't the last we'll see of her. And VampWillow get's her dusty desserts back in the Wishworld.



    Shot;

    VampWillow by real Willow.



    Tied up;

    Nope although Vampwillow is caged



    Knocked out;

    Anya and VampWillow



    Women good/men bad;

    VampWillow; "Bitch!" (all in the delivery). The beginning of the epic hostility between Anya and Willow.



    Jeez!;

    VampWillow killing Sandy is akin to snuff. Also her breaking of the other vamps fingers



    Kinky dinky;

    How much time have you got? VampWillow has the hots for everything in sight, Xander, Willow, Sandy. She speaks of 'riding people in chains like ponys' (and I've met more than a few Alysson Hannigan fans over the years who would gladly volunteer). Plenty of naughty touching. Meanwhile Faith refers to 'all the screwing' at her hotel and the Mayor as 'Sugardaddy' but he turns down her advances, making her actually love him more. Best of all is the scary visual place of Willow and Oz playing 'Mistress of Pain' (I'm sure there's a fanfic somewhere?). Percy says he 'owns Willow's ass' but actually it seems to be the other way around. Willow says she feels like 'Dying a virgin'



    Calling Captain Subtext;

    Will refers to snuggling and thinks her vamp self is 'kinda gay'. She also get's a curious look on her face at the thought of 'breeding' with Percy. VampWillow fancies everything in sight but her lusting after Cordelia's neck is especially interesting considering VampWill's already had a bite in The Wish. Willow's jealousy of Faith is very apparent. Note VampWill still loves Xander much in the same way Spike and Dru still love one another (maybe they were sired by Dru in the Wishverse?). Giles seems to have a very real affection for Will and as we'll later learn she has the same for him. We learn that VampWillow has a great deal in common with real Will.



    Guantanamo Bay;

    Pretty much everyone is ruthless all around, the plan for luring the vamps out is masterful. Again Buffy shows her skill as a general and not just a fighter.

    The dodgy message of the week is to make athletes care about history tests you should beat them up?



    Scoobies to the ER;

    Not this week



    Questions and observations;

    The first appearance of Percy and D'Hoffryn. Devon back again, Oz and Angel seem to have a pretty good relationship to judge from their conversation. Faith continues her slide but can't kill for the Mayor yet. Wes saves Cordy for the first but not last time. According to Angel your human self influences your vamp self (as we see with Spike). Xander is oddly pleased at the thought of his vamp self. I figure that the Wishworld run's paralell to the real world but stops dead the moment Giles smashes the necklace. Anya is 1120 years old.

    When you look at the scene in the Bronze where VampWillow beats up Percy and Xander asks 'Is it a funny thing?' it looks as though it's Larry amidst the crowd but his name isn't in the titles

    This ep features one of the most understated but important scenes in the whole series. VampWillow walks down Sunnydale mainstreet. In her world where Buffy never came to Sunnydale it's a bleak and deserted wasteland. In the real world, it's full of happy, laughing people. Sure people still die in Sunnydale but the difference one person can make! D'Hoffryn says Anya will live out her mortal life and die. Why does Anya go to Sunnydale High, did she create parents etc for herself as well? Or is she hiding out from those seeking vengence? Buffy has lots of sympathy with Faith, Willow says that Buffy would never kill people but she does. Some lovely moody music at the Bronze. Wonderful performance from Alysson Hannigan, the way she slips from real Willow to VampWillow and effortlessly back again then to real Willow pretending to be VampWillow and VampWillow pretending to be real Willow is just masterful.

    The Bronze must go through pool cues at a fearsome rate. 'Dingoes ate my baby' apparently know only three chords but nowadays that doesn't seem to bar anyone from musical success.

    Marks out of 10; 10/10, totally brilliant, possibly the best ep of Buffy ever?

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  • 9.0

    Doppelgangland

    By TrueTvWatcher, Oct 15, 2010

    Doppelgangland was a very good episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This episode was a little focused on Willows character. She is starting to feel overwhelmed when everyone seems to rely on her for some thing, and she is predictable. Little does she know just how wrong she could be. The new girl or demon at Sunnydale High, Anya asks Willow to help her with a spell. It is great to see Willow getting into Magic, this is a really great element for the show. The spell backfires because Willow secretly backed out, and now her Alternate-Self from the Hell Dimension where Cordelia wished Buffy never came there, was on the loose in this reality. There are a few good laugh, some drama, and action of course. Great episode!!!moreless

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  • 10

    Willow: I'm a blood-sucking fiend. Look at my outfit!

    By addict666, Jul 31, 2008

    So, evil Willow makes her second appearance on the show and it's even better than last time. I love the beginning of the episode which portrays Willow at her slightly awkward, doormat, reliable self as she wishes to rebel from the image that she has created for herself. I love the first interaction between her and Oz where he hugs her and tells her about the gig of which she 'might of' wanted to attend. They are the cutest couple ever. Then as evil Willow comes to play she is hilarious, I love how Devon goes "look at your girlfriend" when she shows up at the Bronze in the classically random Devon fashion. I love how he sends Angel to get Buffy and their plan develops. Then when Evil and Good Willow interact it is hilarious and I love how Evil Willow is hitting on her self. Then when Cordelia comes to 'return' a book and bores Evil Willow. Then watching good Willow pretend to be evil is just hilarious. This is a really fantastic episode and it has so many funny moments. When Giles, Buffy and Xander are grieving and they all acknowledge that she was the best of them all and then hug her when she returns and she just thinks they have been doing drugs. A great episode.moreless

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  • 10

    Perfect storyline

    By Anyanka22, May 07, 2008

    This episode is one of my personal favorites, and I find it to have serious charector development on Willow's part. This Certainly gives off a the thought of the fact that everyone now knows what it would be like to have an evil willow as an enemy. On a lighter note, I'd have to say I think this is rather interesting in it's own brand of funny that I find most often in this show. I also do believe this is a sign that Willow has come along way from the comuter nerd shown in the first season, considering the nessesity for a little bad-girl Willow.moreless

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  • 10

    A Tale of Two Willows

    By lenzinoH20, Jan 18, 2008

    Doppelgangland-Anya convinces an unsuspecting Willow to assist her with a spell that will return her amulet and, with it, her Vengeance Demon powers. Willow, sensing something wrong with the magic, balks at the last minute and disrupts the spell. Instead of returning the amulet, the spell summons the vampire Willow from the alternate universe in "The Wish" and sets her loose in Sunnydale.



    It's no secret that Willow is series creator, Joss Whedon's favorite character of the series. So it was obvious when it came to writing the episode that Willow's alternate reality vampire self comes back, that he would be behind the pen this time. Probably Alyson Hannigan's best performance of her career and some of the funniest scenes of series, it's no wonder "Doppelgangland" is an instant fan favorite! The episode is basically Willow's yearning to want to be more than who she is. Willow has always been the smart, quirky and yes, reliable character who you count on to be responsibly. But Willow gets more than she bargained for when her vamp-out self from an alternate reality comes to Sunnydale.



    Alyson really shows she's one hell of an actress switching from innocent, sweet Willow to slutty, vampire Willow flawlessly. The best scene has to be when they both meet and vampire Willow hits on normal Willow. There's even a hint of Willow's hidden sexual orientation as Angel makes a comment about how vampires are not that different from the people they originally were. Also, I love how vampire Willow inadvertently beats up Percy thus making Willow look like more of an intimidating person in the end. Also, the scene in which normal Willow acts like Vamp Willow is too hilarious as she politely tells vampires to go outside, gets her hand tangled in a girl's hair and quickly waves to Oz to show that she's the real Willow. Other great scenes are Cordelia having a talk about the ethics of boyfriend stealing and Vamp Willow tries not to be so bored. I even like this little exchange:



    Cordelia: "What? Do I have something on my neck?"

    Vamp Willow: "Not yet."



    Also, Wesley coming to save Cordelia only to react like a complete sissy when Cordelia touches his shoulder is too priceless for words. It's also great how normal Willow decides to send Vamp Willow back to her world only for her to die the second she comes back, lo. We also get some great scenes between The Mayor and Faith as she gets a new place as well as more Anya, which she was wondeful throughout. All and All, truly remarkable episode as we get some of the funniest writing of the series and a fantastic performance from the undeniable Alyson Hannigan.moreless

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  • 10

    anya finds out that willow is a witch and asks for her help to get her magic necklace used for vengance spells working again. they screw up the spell and bring an " evil willow" from another realm( the one where buffy never goes to sunnydale) =choas

    By lolipy_lou, Oct 10, 2007

    i loved this episode it was awesome. i think the main reason i liked it so much is becasue it links well to other episodes and if you've seen every episode this one is much more enjoyable. there are many memorable lines in this episode such as when willow dresses up as the "evil willow" and she has clevage and she looks down and says "oo look at those". and at the end of the episode when they are sending " evil willow" back they hug and willows like " hands HANDS!" and later on she says i think im kinda gay does this mean they always meant her to be gay over all very good episode. very funny.moreless

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  • 10

    Double Your Fun

    By maxpower03, Jun 17, 2007

    If you ever wanted to "turn" somebody onto Buffy, Doppelgangland is the perfect episode to have on in the background when the turnee comes over for a "so-called" friendly gathering, when in truth it's an elaborate scheme to make them a fan of this show.



    This is because, more so than any other Buffy episode, Doppelgangland features every single genre the show does so well, playing as both a hilarious comedy and a dark fantasy thriller. Plus there's some great dialogue, awesome use of the complete cast, and a pretty fun fight scene. And I doubt anybody would not fall in love with this show after seeing it.



    This is undoubtedly the best Willow episode. Ever. Alyson Hannigan gets to completely shine, showing her talents as both the quirky, nerdy normal Willow, and the kinky, evil "kinda gay Vamp Willow. Joss Whedon managed to make the Vamp Willow so loveable, and it was great to see her survive the episode. Well, at least in this universe.



    I found Willow really hilarious in this episode. She has become "old reliable", and her situation pre-doppelganger was at its worst in terms of loser-ness, so it was understandable she wanted to break out of the norm a little. The scenes where Will was playing her evil duplicate were great, especially her quick little wave at Oz.



    I also loved Anya making a return appearance. In just two episodes, Emma Caulfield has completely gotten a hold on the character, and already feels like a permanent member of the cast. So it was no real surprise when they decided to use her a lot more on the show.



    Evil duplicate stories have been done to death on TV, but Doppelgangland is by far one of the best. Featuring a blindingly great performance from Alyson Hannigan and hilarious scenes which showcase each member of the cast's talents, Doppelgangland is truthfully one of the best episodes Buffy ever did. A true masterpiece.



    Director: Joss Whedon

    Writer: Joss Whedon

    Rating: A+moreless

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  • 10

    An absolute classic.

    By willow_powered, Apr 06, 2007

    Without a shadow of a doubt I can say that this is my all time favourite episode of the show.



    Willow has always been my favourite character and I think Alyson Hannigan does an amazing job with her. Whether she is being dramatic or comic Alyson just blows my mind, she is amazing.



    A perfect example is this episode where Alyson has to make the two characters the same yet distinct in their own ways. It was just hilarious watching "good Willow" trying to play "bad Willow" and it is done to perfection - wow, look at those.



    Amazing writing and acting and a perfect example of why I love the show so much.moreless

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