Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 3 Episode 16


Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Feb 23, 1999 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
702 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

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.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
  • Great, great, great, great, great!

    Have i said too much great? Well, This episode deserves it. Was really great. See a character like Willow with a dark personality, as we get used to, makes me feel chivers running through my body. I love all the episode. My favorite part was the encounter between vampire Willow and normal Willow. "Wanna be bad?" damn it! Also we saw the foreshadowing of Anya, becoming into a regular character, how Willow will be into the final seasons, and the Faith's betray is about to see the sunlight. The conversation between Cordelia and vampire Willow was funny and witty. The farewell between the two Willows was so emotive, Willow is such a good person. This episode rocks, probably this one is my favorites, along with "Becoming", "Hush", "Who are you?", and "Restless".moreless
  • Doppelgangland

    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
  • Possibly the best ever Buffy ep?


    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.


    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.


    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?

  • Doppelgangland

    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
  • Season 3, Episode 16.

    Anya convinces Willow to help her with a spell that will help her get her amulet back, and it results in the vampire Willow rising from the dead.

    I liked this episode! The concept was awesome. Plus, the guy Willow was supposed to help was SEXY! Incredibly sexy. And Angel is also hot. I liked when they were mourning Willow, yet there were no tears, which was kinda weird, but the actors still performed well. Faith looked good as always. This was an all around awesome episode. Every second was enjoyable. Williw's gay Hehe. I liked Willow going undercover as a vampire and the vampire Willow/Cordelia scenes. Cool episode!moreless
Andy Umberger

Andy Umberger


Guest Star

Corey Michael Blake

Corey Michael Blake


Guest Star

Michael Nagy

Michael Nagy


Guest Star

Jason Hall

Jason Hall


Recurring Role

Harry Groener

Harry Groener

Mayor Richard Wilkins III

Recurring Role

Alexis Denisof

Alexis Denisof

Wesley Wyndam-Pryce

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (12)

    • Anya says to the bartender that she is 1120-years-old (and therefore old enough to consume alcohol).

    • When good Willow is upset about Vamp Willow being sleazy and trashy and "kinda gay" Buffy tries to tell her that when a person becomes a vampire there is nothing left of the original personality. Angel is about to correct her, but stops when he gets a sharp look from Buffy. This is foreshadowing Willow's romance with another woman, Tara, in season four.

    • Goof: As vampire Willow walks down the main street center line two kids can be seen coming out of the theater tugging at one another. When she turns to look back over her left shoulder those same two kids are again coming out of the theater tugging at each other.

    • Goof: When Angel enters the library to inform Buffy that Willow is "dead", he is out of breath. But vampires don't breathe.

    • When Principal Snyder is talking to Willow about tutoring a player on the basketball team, he mentions "last year's debacle with the swim team." This is a reference to the Season Two episode "Go Fish" in which several members of the swim team turn into amphibious monsters.

    • Nitpick: When Vamp Willow is walking down the street and the elderly woman asks her, "Excuse me", Vamp Willow does a turn, complete with growl sound, that scares the woman off. But she doesn't have her vamp face that typically goes with the growl sound, and her ordinary, fangless Willow face doesn't look all that frightening, even with a mean expression on it.

    • Goof: Willow's arms change position's in different scenes when she's pinned to the floor at the end. They go from down by her sides to above her head.

    • Nitpick: When Willow goes into the school, she has her banana with her, but when she's walking inside the school...her banana has vanished.

    • Goof: When Vamp Willow is in the alley, and she asked the vampire who he worked for, she broke two of his fingers. Notice that when the camera viewed her about to break the second one, it looked as if the first one was never broken.

    • Goof: The scene where the Vamp Willow licks the real Willow's neck...we see the real Willow's hair tucked behind her left ear, then when the camera switches to the Vamp Willow we see the hair isn't tucked behind her ear anymore.

    • Goof: Wesley gets into the bathroom before Cordelia and Evil-Willow, but he was running toward them out in the hallway.

    • Goof: When Vamp Willow is walking down the street the crane holding the night light is seen in the top of the screen. It is also aimed slightly off.

  • QUOTES (30)

    • Xander: (to Willow, holding up a cross) Get back! Get back demon! (looks at cross, shakes it like that will make it work better, and holds it back out in front of him again)

    • Willow: What's going on? (gang look sad then shocked at Willow's arrival) Jeez, Who died... Oh God! Who died?

    • (Vamp Willow glares at Good Willow)
      Good Willow: No more snuggles?

    • Cordelia: Do I have something on my neck?
      Vamp Willow: Not yet.

    • Anya: I'm just so tired of being around human beings and all their baggage. I don't care if I ever get my powers back. I think he should eat you.
      Willow: This girl has a history of mental problems dating back to early childhood. I'm a blood-sucking fiend. Look at my outfit!

    • Anya: How could you kill her? She was our best shot at getting your world back.
      Willow: I don't like that you dare question me. Maybe I'll have my minions take you out back and kill you horribly.
      Anya: Vampires. Always thinking with your teeth.

    • Willow: Okay, let's get to the killing. Why don't we start with her?
      Anya: Why don't we start with you? If she's a vampire, then I'm the Creature From the Black Lagoon.

    • Anya: Anya. I'm sort of new here. I know Cordelia?
      Willow: Oh, fun.
      Anya: Yeah, listen. I have this little project I'm working on and I heard you were the person to ask.
      Willow: Yeah, that's me. Reliable dog geyser person. What do you need?
      Anya: Oh, it's nothing big. Just a little spell I'm working on.
      Willow: A spell? Oh, I like the black arts.
      Anya: I just need a secondary to create a temporal fold. I heard you were a pretty powerful Wicca, so...
      Willow: You heard right, mister! I'm always ready to work some dark mojo. So, tell me, is it dangerous?
      Anya: Oh, no.
      Willow: Well, could we pretend it is?

    • Oz: There's something about you that's causing me to hug you. It's like I have no will of my own.

    • The Mayor: Oh, hey, hey, hey, shoes, shoes!
      Faith: Thanks, sugar-daddy!
      The Mayor: Now, Faith, I don't find that sort of thing amusing. I'm a family man. Now, let's kill your little friend. Don't worry, I wouldn't ask you to do it. Not this early in the relationship. Besides, I think a vampire attack would look less suspicious, anyway. In the meantime, let's look at the rest of the apartment, huh? If I'm not mistaken, some lucky girl has herself a PlayStation.

    • Giles: How did it go?
      Faith: Princess Margaret here had a little trouble keeping up.
      Giles: How did it go?
      Wesley: Faith, uh, did quite well on the obstacle field. Still a little sloppy, though.
      Giles: Do you feel up to taking Buffy out, or shall I?
      Wesley: Oh, no, no, no, I'll be fine. Just give me a minute. And some defibrillators, if it's not too much trouble.
      Faith: You're gonna love it, B. It's just like fun, only boring.

    • Xander: So, um, in your reality, I'm like this bad-ass vampire, huh? People afraid of me? Oh, yeah. I'm bad.

    • Buffy: Willow, you're alive.
      Willow: Aren't I usually?

    • Buffy: You wanna go out tonight?
      Willow: Strangely, I feel like staying at home... and doing my homework... and flossing... and dying a virgin.

    • Anya: God, what a day... Gimme a beer.
      Barkeep: (deadpan) ID.
      (Anya glares at him)
      Barkeep: ID.
      Anya: I'm eleven hundred and twenty years old, just gimme a frickin' beer!
      Barkeep: ID.
      Anya: (sigh) Gimme a Coke.

    • Buffy: You okay in that thing?
      Willow: It's a little binding. I guess vampires really don't have to breathe. (Looks down at her cleavage) Gosh, look at those!

    • Buffy: See, I told you. Old Reliable.
      Willow: Oh, thanks.
      Buffy: What?
      Willow: 'Old Reliable'? Yeah, great. There's a sexy nickname.
      Buffy: Well, I-I didn't mean it as...
      Willow: No, it's fine. I'm 'Old Reliable'.
      Xander: She just means, you know, the geyser. You're like a geyser of fun that goes off at regular intervals.
      Willow: (disgusted) That's Old Faithful.
      Xander: Isn't that the dog that, that the guy had to shoot...
      Willow: (getting pissed off) That's Old Yeller.
      Buffy: Xander, I beg you not to help me.

    • Oz: You don't want to do this.
      Vamp Willow: I don't? But I'm so good at it.

    • Vamp Willow: This is a dumb world. In my world, there are people in chains and we can ride them like ponies.

    • (Discussing Vamp Willow's similarities to Willow)
      Buffy: ...except you're not being a dominatrix. As far as we know.
      Willow: Oh, right. Me and Oz play 'Mistress of Pain' every night.
      Xander: Did anyone else just go to a scary visual place?

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

    • Giles: Willow was the best of us.
      Xander: Way better than me.
      Giles: Much, much better.

    • Anya: I was just looking for my necklace.
      Willow: Well, did you try looking inside the sofa in hell?

    • Percy: I'm challenged.
      Snyder: You're lazy, self-involved and spoiled. That's quite the challenge.

    • The Mayor: No Slayer of mine is going to live in a fleabag hotel. That place has a very unsavory reputation. There are immoral liasons going on there.
      Faith: Yeah, plus all the screwing.

    • Anya: For a thousand years I wielded the power of the Wish. I brought ruin to the hearts of unfaithful men. I brought forth destruction and chaos for the pleasure of lower beings. I was feared and worshiped across the mortal globe. And now I'm stuck at Sunnydale High. Mortal. A child. And I'm flunking math.

    • Devon: We need a roadie... Other bands have roadies
      Oz: Well, other bands can play more than three chords. I mean, professional bands can play up to six, sometimes seven completely different chords.
      Devon: That's just like, fruity jazz bands.

    • Buffy: Oh. There you are.
      Xander: Hey, Buff.
      Buffy: Aren't you gonna introduce me to your... Holy God, you're Willow.

    • Angel: Buffy... something terrible's happened that... ... Willow's dead... ... hey Willow... ... wait a second...

    • Giles: This is extraordinary.
      Willow: It's horrible! That's me as a vampire? I'm so evil! And... skanky. And I think I'm kinda gay.

  • NOTES (8)

    • According to an interview with Alyson Hannigan in 2005, before she was dating now husband Alexis Denisof, she had a huge crush on him. During this episode, in the scene with vampire Willow, Cordelia, and Wesley in the bathroom, Wesley takes out a bottle of holy water to keep away Vamp Willow. While he was taking it out he made a noise like "tuhh" that made Alyson crack up for multiple takes.

    • This episode is Joss Whedon's 5th favorite of the series according to The Last Sundown featurette on the Season 7 DVD box set.

    • This is one of Alyson Hannigan's favorite episodes of the series, according to an October, 2005 interview with PopWatch, an online feature of Entertainment Weekly.

    • The girl in the Bronze bitten by Vamp Willow, Sandy, returns as a vampire in Season 5 episodes "Shadow" and "Family".

    • The band playing onstage in the Bronze when Vamp Willow enters is K's Choice, singing "Virgin State of Mind".

    • This episode is an unofficial follow-up to the earlier Season 3 episode "The Wish".

    • In the October 1, 1999 issue of Entertainment Weekly, Sophia Crawford, Buffy's stunt double, said this was her favorite episode.

    • According to Buffy The Vampire Slayer Magazine #4, the demon that Anya was speaking to in the beginning was called D'Hoffryn, but was referred to as "Mr. Hodgepodge" by the makeup people because they used pieces from The Judge, a demon of Jhe and the Rage Monster (Pete) to build it.

  • ALLUSIONS (14)

    • Anya: I just need a secondary to create a temporal fold. I heard you were a pretty powerful Wicca, so...

      Wicca is a religion which involves the belief in and use of magick, but unlike the way that it is portrayed in the show, Wicca is strictly peaceful with the primary rule "An it harm none, do what ye will."

    • Faith: (to the Mayor) Thanks, sugar daddy!
      "Sugar daddy" is a term used to describe a wealthy, middle-aged man who gives expensive gifts to a young woman in return for her companionship or intimacy.

    • Buffy: The Watcher's Council shrink is heavy into tests. He's got tests for everything. T.A.T.s, Rorschach, associative logic.
      T.A.T. is the Thematic Apperception Test, developed by Henry A. Murray, an American psychologist, which uses a standard series of provocative pictures and have the patient construct a story around it. Each story would be then carefully analyzed to discover the problem the patient might've been going through. The Rorschach test was developed by Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach who used a group of standardized inkblots and asked the patient what came to his mind when he saw one of those pictures.

    • Faith: Princess Margaret here had a little trouble keeping up.
      Princess Margaret, the Countess of Snowdon, is the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II, born in 1930 to King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. The princess was a heavy smoker for many years (some sources say she smoked up to three packs a day), but reportedly quit finally after having had a stroke, a heart attack, and lung surgery. She passed away in 2002.

    • Xander: Willow, did you remember to tape Biography last Friday?
      Likely a reference to the television show Biography on the A&E network. As you might expect each episode presents a biography of a famous person.

    • Willow: That's Old Faithful.
      Old Faithful is a geyser in Yellowstone National Park which erupts at regular intervals of 64.5 minutes. Apparently as time has gone by it's gotten less faithful and is no longer quite a regular.

    • Willow: That's Old Yeller.
      Old Yeller was the title dog in the 1957 Disney film based on the novel by Fred Gipson. In the tear jerker ending the boy has to put down the sick dog.

    • Title: Doppelgangland
      A doppelganger is defined as a "spiritual or ghostly double or counterpart; an apparitional double of a living person." This theme is recurrent in many different media forms such as "The Picture of Dorian Gray," Star Trek and Superman. According to mythology, if you meet your doppelganger you will die. Many shows choose not to follow this myth.

    • Anya: If she's a vampire then I'm the Creature From the Black Lagoon.
      In the movie of the same title, the creature from the black lagoon was a sort of reptile-human thing. Anya doesn't really look much like the creature.

    • Xander: So we charge in, much in the style of John Wayne?
      John Wayne was an American actor born in 1907 and died of cancer in 1979. He is most noted for his roles in western and war movies.

    • Buffy: See, I told you. Old Reliable.
      Not really a cultural reference but a phrase often used to denote something or someone trustworthy.

    • Mayor: If I'm not mistaken, some lucky girl has herself a PlayStation.
      PlayStation was, at the time, the next-generation video game console system developed by Sony.

    • Snyder: Percy West represents a devastating fast break and 50% from behind the three point line.
      Baseketball talk. A fast break is where a player transitions quickly from defense to offence. The three point line indicates the point beyond which a basket counts as three points instead of the usual two. Put it all together and Percy probably scores a lot of points for his team.

    • Buffy: I know Faith's not gonna be on the cover of Sanity Fair, but she had it rough.
      Buffy makes a word play on Vanity Fair, the fashion magazine and Faith's mental state. From Faith's increasingly reckless behavior and unwillingness to deal with it, it's clear that she's having problems.