Recap: Buffy The Vampire Slayer S 3 E 16 Doppelgangland
Wishverse Willow: This is weird.
(Joss wrote it, honey. What do you expect?)
Anya unsuccessfully entreats D'Hoffryn to help return her amulet and, with it, her Vengeance Demon powers. When she's turned away, Anya vows to find someone else to help.
Principal Snyder browbeats Willow into tutoring basketball star Percy West. Percy makes it clear that his idea of "tutoring" is Willow doing his homework for him. Frustrated and unhappy with being "book girl", Willow agrees to assist Anya with her spell. But rather than retrieving the magic amulet, Anya summons the vampire Willow from the alternate universe in "The Wish" and sets her loose in Sunnydale. Neither Anya nor Willow realizes the consequences of their spell.
Wishverse Willow goes to the Bronze, where she beats up Percy and shows her vampire face to Xander and Buffy. Two vampires sent by the Mayor attack her, but she turns them to her side. Buffy and Xander tell Giles that Willow has been killed and turned vampiric, but the genuine Willow appears in the door, cuing a round of hysterics.
Angel and Anya drop in to the Bronze, just in time to see Wishverse Willow and her new cronies hold the club hostage. Angel escapes to find Buffy. Anya realizes her error, offers to return Wishverse Willow to her own world in return for help in retrieving her amulet, and suggests capturing the other Willow to fix the spell. Angel, Buffy and Xander head for the Bronze, but Willow, returning to get the tranquilizer gun, is cornered by her doppelganger. Willow shoots her clone unconscious and locks her in the library cage. The gang discuss plans, and Buffy says that she has a really bad one... Outside the Bronze, Willow is dressed up in WW's leather catsuit, about to go in alone and try to diffuse the situation. Meanwhile, a dim-witted Cordelia releases Wishverse Willow.
Inside the Bronze, Anya makes Willow as a human, despite Willow's "look at my outfit
" defense. Buffy barges in and stakes the other vampires, then captures the returning doppelganger. Anya returns vampiric Willow to her own timeline, where she is immediately killed. Before she dies, she mouths a very un-Willowish obscenity.
The next day, Percy, thoroughly intimidated by "Willow" strangling him earlier, shows up for tutoring with all his work completed.
- Abbey Road Crossing: During the filming of "Doppelgangland", Alyson Hannigan and three doubles (two each dressed as human Willow and vampire Willow) posed this way for a photo.
- An Aesop: At the end of the show,Buffy asks Willow if she wants to go out that night, but Willow is into being a good little girl. She says her evil self "messed up everything she touched." Subverted when a newly-sycophantic Percy pops up, book report in hand.
Buffy: You wanna go out tonight?
Willow: Nine sound good?
- And I'm the Queen of Sheba: Anya finally smells a rat, and calls Willow out as a human.
- Badass Boast / Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking
For a thousand years I wielded the powers of the Wish. I brought ruin to the heads of unfaithful men. I brought forth destruction and chaos for the pleasure of the lower beings. I was feared and worshipped across the mortal globe. And now I'm stuck at Sunnydale High. Mortal. Child. And I'm flunking math
- Bad Guys Play Pool: Percy is cockily shooting some pool when Wishverse Willow crosses his path.
- Because I'm Good At It: Oz tries to get at Wishverse Willow before she kills a hostage, but a henchvamp restrains him. He calls Willow's name, saying she doesn't want to do this. Wishverse Willow menaces, "I don't? But I'm so good at it."
- Better Living Through Evil: Faith gets a brand new apartment with a view and a Playstation.
- Between My Legs: Wishverse Willow making her grand entrance into the Bronze. Tellingly, the figures between her legs are Angel and Oz — two people she would recognize from the Wishverse — but she doesn't spot them yet.
- Big "Shut Up!": The henchvamps from earlier enter the Bronze, and the one with the broken fingers tells everyone to shut up, which they do. He barks that if they don't cause trouble, no one will get hurt.
- Brains and Brawn: Snyder explains that Willow is the pinnacle of academic achievement ("despite her unsavory associations."), and Percy is a basketball star. He concludes that it's "a match made in heaven."
- Brick Joke: Wishverse Willow gives two hugs in this episode: upon first encounter with Xander, and upon sendoff with regular Willow. Both hugs involve "Hands!"
- Call Back: Snyder emphasizes that the school can't afford a losing year in basketball, especially after the previous year's "debacle with the swim team."
- Buffy stops herself from staking Vampire Willow when someone calls out for her not to, in contrast to Faith's actions re Finch in "Bad Girls".
- Call On Me: The plan is for Willow to go into the Bronze alone and try to defuse the situation, but if things get out of hand, to scream for Buffy and co. Once she's busted, Alfonse says he should have sniffed Willow out as a human earlier. "A human?", Willow scoffs. "Oh yeah? Could a human do this?" She screams. Anya and Alfonse exchange looks and patronize her that yes, humans can do that.
- Curse Cut Short: "Aw, f --"
- Captain Obvious: Buffy and Xander start to explain to Willow that they just saw a vampire Willow at the Bronze, but they aren't sounding terribly coherent. A very confused Buffy asks if Giles is planning to jump in with an answer.
Giles: Well, uh, something, something, um, very strange is happening.
Xander: Can you believe the Watcher's Council let this guy go?
- Chekhov's Boomerang: Willow grabbing the tranqulizer gun they use for Oz and shooting herself (?) with it.
Wishverse Willow: Bitch. [collapses]
- Willow's pencil floating trick ends up saving her life in "Enemies".
- Comfort Food: Willow, fuming at Percy's arrogance and life in general, decides to sit right down and take a banana out of her bag.
- Comically Missing the Point
- Devon, a bit slow on the uptake, whispering to Oz, "Dude, check out your girlfriend!"
- Xander assumes that Percy is roughing up Vamp Willow instead of vice versa.
- Cordy is still yapping about Xander to her captive audience. Noticing Willow's blank stare, she asks if she's got something on her neck. Willow: "Not yet." Cordy worriedly checks for a pimple.
- Continuity Nod:
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: In a torch-lit chamber, D'Hoffryn tells Anya that she can't have her powers back, as she lost them as a result of her own carelessness. She tries to lean on her thousand-year vengeance track record, then whines, "Do you have any idea how boring 12th-graders are?!"
- Cordy enters the library in a sexy dress, on the prowl for Wesley. From the book cage, Wishverse Willow gets her attention, and pulls out Cordy's name from the depths of her memory. Cordy asks if she locked herself in. "Yeah. Lemmie out. ...'Cause I'm so helpless." Cordy goes to get the spare key, but suddenly says that this is a good opportunity for them to talk. "What could we talk about...hey! How about the ethics of boyfriend-stealing?" This goes on for some time; in the next cut, Cordy has taken a seat and made herself a hot drink. Willow, hanging against the cage, looking very...well, bored now.
- Corpsing: Before Alyson Hannigan was dating now-husband Alexis Denisof, she already had a huge crush on him. In the scene with vampire Willow, Cordelia, and Wesley in the bathroom, Wesley waves around a bottle of holy water to ward Willow off. While he was taking it out he made a noise like "tuhh" that made Alyson crack up for multiple takes.
- A Day in the Limelight: Willow.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Buffy and Faith have to take a series of mental and physical tests devised by the Watcher's Council. "Aren't you sort of naturally buff, Buff?", Willow queries, then chuckles at her own phrase. "Hee hee, buff Buff!"
- Buffy's reaction to the "new" Willow.
"Y-You know what? I like
the look. It's extreme...but it looks good, it's a...leather thing
, it's very— [to Xander] I said extreme already, right?"
- Description Cut: Once Anya is done declaring that she'll find someone else to get her necklace back, we cut to Willow on Sunnydale High's lawn.
- Faith asks what Willow's doing. Willow casts her a sidelong glance and says she's trying to hack into the Mayor's personal files. Cut to Faith's apartment. She's just finished relaying this information to the Mayor personally.
- Buffy and Xander enter the library. Giles emerges from his office; noting the looks on their faces, he asks what's wrong. Ostensibly a short time later, they're sitting on the steps, all in shock.
Giles: She was truly the finest of all of us.
Xander: Way better than me.
- Die Hard on an X
- Dominatrix: Touth quoteth: "It was you, except for the part about being a dominatrix." Thanks Buff.
- Double Take: Wishverse Willow groping Xander in the Bronze. Buffy chooses this moment to join them: "Aren't you gonna introduce me to— holy god you're Willow."
- Double Vision: Using a combination of Over The Shoulder and Green Screen shots.
- Dramatic Irony: Buffy allows that Faith isn't going to make the cover of Sanity Fair, but that she sympathizes with her — Faith had it rough growing up. "Different circumstances, that could be me." Willow vetoes that idea, declaring that some people don't have that in them.
- Exposition of Immortality: A basic dialogue example in Anya's exchange with a bartender demanding ID before he serves her alcohol. See the Really Eleven Hundred And Twenty Years Old entry below for the actual lines.
- Eviler than Thou: Wishverse Willow quickly has the Mayor's lackeys at her mercy, and under her control. She tells them to round up their friends so they can take over the Bronze and make it the way she remembers it.
- Failed Dramatic Exit: Buffy apologizes for the "ol' reliable" remark, saying it wasn't an insult, but Willow whines that she doesn't want to be reliable all the time. She turns to go. Buffy tries to stop her, but Willow meekly explains that she's storming off. "It doesn't really work if you come with me."
- Family Values Villain
Faith: Thanks, sugar daddy.
- Fanfic Fuel: Oh Goddess, yes.
- Foreshadowing: Willow's shift in sexuality.
Buffy: Willow, just remember, a vampire's personality has nothing to do with the person it was.
Well, actually- (sees Buffy's Death Glare)
..that's a good point.
- It is hinted for the first time that Willow might become a lesbian in the future, one of several hints in the first three seasons that either Willow or Xander would later become gay; Joss Whedon had not yet decided which.
- Forgotten Fallen Friend: Cordelia's moment of grief over the vampirized Willow.
"They got Willow. [to Wesley] So, you doing anything tonight?"
- Gamer Chick: Wilkens gets Faith a PS1 for working with him. We never actually see her play it but that pretty much seals the deal.
- The Glomp: The gang is eulogizing Willow when she walks in. Buffy approaches Willow hopefully, and then leaps over and hugs her close. Xander follows suit. Willow groans that breathing is "becoming an issue," and they disengage. Pleased, but flummoxed, she starts to ask Giles for an explanation, but he quickly shuts her up with a bear hug.
"It's really great that you guys missed me. Say, you didn't all happen to do a bunch of drugs, did ya?"
- Golden Moment: Spoofed when Willow says goodbye to Wishverse!Willow who just stares at her coldly. She then grabs her Evil Twin in a hug, and Wishverse!Willow starts to smile as if this display of affection is actually getting through to her...only for Willow to jump away and complain that she's being groped.
- Got Volunteered: Snyder wants Willow to tutor his star athlete, Percy, because he's flunking history.
- Half Truth: Anya swears to Willow that she's just looking for her necklace — "a family heirloom." When it's over, a disturbed Willow exclaims that that was a little bit blacker than she likes her arts, and leaves.
Willow: Did you try looking inside the sofa IN HELL??"
- Hypocritical Humor: Buffy compliments Willow on her floating pencil trick, and Willow says emotional control is the key to it. Faith's name comes up, and Buffy apologizes for talking about her so much. Willow says it doesn't bother her, but Buffy directs her attention to the pencil, which is now spinning like a buzzsaw. It finally lodges itself in a nearby tree.
Willow: Working on it.
- Willow grousing that she hates Snyder's bullying; "He just assumes everyone's time is his!" Predictably, Giles shows up and orders her onto the computer, and she sunnily complies.
- If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: When Willow is impersonating her vampire self and is asked to "prove it" she says, "I'm a bloodsucking fiend! Look at my outfit!" Later, when challenged again, she says, "A human? Oh yeah? Could a human do this?" and screams really, really loudly, signaling Buffy and Co. to rush the building and start with the ass-kickage. Absolutely hilarious.
Willow: Oh yeah? Could a human do this [Screams her head off}
Head Vampire: Yeah.
Anya: A human could do that, yes.
- However an earlier played-serious scene averts the trope. Faith has told the Mayor that Willow is trying to hack into his computer files, so the Mayor decides that Willow must be killed. When Faith looks upset, the Mayor assures Faith that it's too early in her Face-Heel Turn to expect that of her, and says he'll send some vampires to do the job instead.
- "I Know What We Can Do" Cut: They try to decide what to do about the scene at the Bronze, but are at an impasse until Buffy says that she has "a really bad idea." Cut to outside the Bronze, where Willow is uncomfortably wearing Wishverse Willow's leather getup.
- Improvised Weapon: In the Bronze melee, Buffy does an action movie roll across the pool table and proceeds to joust with a cue stick. Angel grabs a handy billiard ball and hurls it at a mook's skull.
- In Spite of a Nail: In the Wishverse, Willow rematerializes and looks pleased, but Oz runs her into the wooden protrusion again.
- Invulnerable Knuckles: Averted; Willow decks Anya with a perfect right hook... then grimaces, shakes her fist and yells:
Willow: Ow, ow, happy, but OWWWW!
- Is That What They're Calling It Now?: The Mayor surprises Faith with some new digs; a fancy penthouse apartment. He says she's not going to live in that "fleabag hotel" any longer. "There are immoral liaisons going on there."
- It's All My Fault: Buffy blaming herself for Willow getting turned by vampires, as Willow threatened to do something reckless the last time they met.
- Karma Houdini: Rather than being shipped back to England by the Watchers Council, Giles and Wesley appear to have struck a deal where both Slayers undergo physical testing and psychiatric evaluation.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Wishverse Willow getting struck in the book cage. In "The Wish", she was on the other side of the cage, having just trapped Giles inside it. As an added bonus, she gets to be lectured at by Cordelia, whom she and Xander killed in the Wishverse.
- The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: This episode has satisfied Willow's rebellious urges for a long while. "Strangely, I feel like staying at home. And doing my homework. And flossing. And dying a virgin."
- The Triple: "I was feared and worshipped across the mortal globe and now I'm stuck at Sunnydale High! A mortal! A child! And I'm flunking math."
- "I'm so evil. And skanky. (whispering) And I think I'm kinda gay."
- Lecherous Licking / Les Yay: Wishverse!Willow licks both Sandy at the Bronze and her alternate fuzzy self.
- Let's Split Up, Gang: The group mobilizes to storm the Bronze, but in the hallway, Willow realizes she "forgot something," and tells them she'll catch up. She reenters the library, and reaches behind the counter when a hand grabs her around the mouth. It's her doppelganger, who smiles, "Alone at last." Whoops!
- Magical Computer / Hollywood Hacking
- Make an Example of Them: Wishverse Willow slinks over to a female hostage who's sitting alone, and asks her name. It's Sandy. Willow takes Sandy by the hand ("You don't have to be afraid...just to please me."), and announces to the humans that if they're good, the vamps will make them "young, and strong" forever. She licks Sandy's neck, then warns that if they're not good — she vamps out and bites Sandy.
- Make It Look Like an Accident: Wilkins is in the mood to kill Faith's "little friend." Faith looks hesitant, but the Mayor says he wouldn't ask her to do it "at this point in [their] relationship", and that a vampire attack would look less suspicious anyway
- Mirror Match: A one-sided version, with Willow being cornered on the Bronze's stage by her doppelganger. Willow guesses that the time for canoodling has passed. Wishverse Willow clocks her out, then straddles and starts choking her.
- Most Definitely Not a Villain: Wishverse Willow's explanation for how she got stuck in the cage. "Um, I was looking at books. ...I like books. ...'cause I'm shy."
- Willow in particular has trouble getting in character. "I killed her! And sucked her blood, as we vampires do."
- Mugged for Disguise: Wishverse Willow awakening in the book cage, her catsuit stolen, and now wearing a fuzzy pink sweater.
- Nameless Narrative: The Mayor's enforcer is never referred to by name, but is credited as "Alfonse."
- No, Except Yes: Giles asks an exhausted Wesley if he should take Buffy out for evaluation instead.
Wesley: I'll be fine. (pants) Just give me a minute. (pants) And some defibrillators, if it's (pants) not too much trouble.
Faith: You're gonna love it, B. It's just like fun, only boring.
- Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught Outside the school, Willow catches up with Percy. She tries to make a date to go over his paper, but he says Snyder expects her to do the whole thing for him.
Willow: He never said that!
Percy: What meeting were you at?
- Not Now, We're Too Busy Crying Over You: Giles is devastated at the loss of Willow, while Buffy and Xander both blame themselves. On cue, Willow walks in. "Geez. Who died?" Then, seriously: "Oh, God. Who died?" Xander runs up and sticks a cross in her face, telling her to "BACK! GET BACK, DEMON!" Getting no reaction, he shakes the cross as though it were broken and tries again.
- Replayed when Angel barges into the library (in full mourning face) and, while breaking the news to Buffy, does a neck-spraining double take.
"Willow's dead. Hey Willow."
- Of Corsets Sexy
Buffy: (regarding the corset) 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. (Cue Giles and Xander looking flustered)
- Offhand Backhand: Alfonse makes one final lunge at Buffy, but she jams the business end of her cue stick into his chest without even looking back, dusting him.
- Oh My Gods!: Anya begs D'Hoffryn to fold the fabric of time, and when he refuses, swears that "if you won't help me, by the pestilent gods I will find someone who will!"
- One Dialogue, Two Conversations: As Willow (in vampire guise) strides into the Bronze, Anya and Alfonse look at her expectantly. Anya asks where Willow is. She tells Anya not to question her, and goes on that Willow bothered her. "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."
- Other Me Annoys Me
- OOC Is Serious Business: Xander calling Angel "Buddy" because they are both so Mind Screwed about finding out that Willow is a vampire but not really.
- Percussive Therapy: When her retrieval spell comes up empty, Anya smashes a plate in frustration.
- Political Correctness Gone Mad: Percy claiming it's not his fault he's unmotivated: "I'm challenged."
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Two of the Mayor's henchvamps accost Wishverse Willow, mistaking her for the human one.
Vamp Willow: I'm not supposed to talk to strangers.
Alfonse: Then we won't talk.
- Punched Across the Room / Neck Lift: Wishverse Willow enters the Bronze (in our reality) and cases the joint. Eventually, she bumps into Percy, who demands to know why she's not at home polishing off his history report. "Till we graduate, I own your ass." Willow's bored by now so she shoves the heel of her palm into his chest, sending his sorry ass flying over the pool table. She mews that she's having a terrible night, and picks Percy up by the throat. "Wanna make it better?"
- Rant Inducing Slight: Buffy and Xander happen upon Willow outside, and Xander asks Willow if she remembered to tape a show for him, which she did. "See, I told you.", Buffy declares. "Old Reliable." This hits a raw nerve. Willow tells them that she's tired of being a doormat and "homework gal," and let's them know that maybe she'll change her look or cut class - something crazy! She storms off.
- Really Eleven Hundred And Twenty Years Old
Anya: Gimme a beer.
Anya: I'm 1,120 years old! Just gimme a frickin' beer!
Anya: (sighs) Gimme a Coke.
- Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: The gang see Wishverse Willow and assume the normal Willow is dead. Leads to some humorous moments.
- Scare 'Em Straight: Percy getting manhandled by Wishverse Willow. Xander shows up and, misreading the scene, shoves Percy away, yelling at him to stay away from her. Percy's down with that idea, and bolts. At the end of the episode, Percy shows up and hands Willow the did the outline for his report. He didn't know which President Roosevelt the assignment was on, so he did one for both of them. He piles on a bibliography as well, and invites her to let him know about any mistakes. He leaves, but ducks back to give Willow a shiny apple, then dashes off again.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: Wesley upon meeting Wishverse Willow.
- Screw Yourself
Vamp Willow: I kinda like the idea of the two of us. We could be quite a team, if you came around to my way of thinking.
Willow: Would that mean we have to snuggle?
Evil Willow brushes Willow's hair away from her neck.
- Sequel Episode: To "The Wish".
- A Shared Suffering: Upon her defeat, a droopy-looking Wishverse Willow grouses, "This world's no fun." Willow: "You noticed that, too?"
- Single-Minded Twins: Played for Laughs during the ritual to send the evil Willow home. Giles tells Anya not to try anything funny, but Anya says she doesn't need tricks. "When I get my powers back you will all grovel before me." Willow and Vamp-Willow give an eyeroll in stereo.
- Spanner in the Works: Willow and Anya start to cast the spell, during which they are supposed to pour the sacred sand over the representation of the necklace to bring it forth from before it was smashed. As images from "The Wish" flash through Willow's head her hands start shaking uncontrollably, causing the sacred sand to pour onto one of her hands instead of the image of Anya's necklace.
- Stop Helping Me!: Xander proceeds to dig himself deeper by clarifying what she meant:
Xander: She just means, you know, the geyser! You're like a geyser of fun that goes off at regular intervals.
Willow: That's Old Faithful.
Xander: Isn't that the dog, that the guy had to shoot—?
Buffy: Xander, I beg you not to help me.
- Sweater Girl: Wishverse Willow distastefully eyeing Willow's pink sweater.
"Well look at me. I'm all fuzzy."
- Too Much Information: Buffy asserting that Willow and her doppelganger looked were exactly alike, except for Willow "not being a dominatrix...as far as we know." Willow rolls her eyes. "Oh right. Me & Oz play Mistress Of Pain every night." Giles furrows his brow.
Xander: Did anyone else just go to a scary visual place?
- Torture For Fun And Information: Wishverse Willow asks Alfonse who he works for, but he says he's not telling her anything. Still holding him in an armlock, Willow bend one of his fingers backward until it snaps. He spills that they work for the Mayor. Uh oh, I'm afraid that answer will cost you another finger. She asks again, "Who do you work for?" Al is starting to get the picture: "You."
- Victory Is Boring: Willow tries to free the hostages by telling Alfonse and Anya that she doesn't feel like killing right now, as it wouldn't be enough of a challenge. Nice try, Will.
Willow: I-I-it would be like shooting fish in a barrel. Where's the fun?
- Villain Team-Up: Wishverse Willow recognizing Oz as a "White Hat", and wondering why he's addressing her like they're buds. That's Anya's cue to step in as Ms. Exposition; Anya says that this isn't her world, asks if she wants to get back there. Willow poutily says yes. Anya: "So do I."
- Vampires Are Sex Gods / Hell-Bent for Leather: Wishverse!Willow gets a lot more attention from boys in her leather catsuit. Not that she restricts herself to boys.
- Walk On The Wild Side Episode: Willow gets a little fed up with her reputation as Old Reliable and flirts with danger a bit by doing a dark incantation with Anya. She ends up seeing more of her Dark Side than she ever wants to.
- We Need a Distraction: Willow subtly (as in, not subtle at all) taking her "minions" aside one-by-one and asking them to go check the perimeter — where they'll be pounced on by Buffy & Co.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Two questions related to the clothing switch. If Vampire Willow were knocked out... how did Willow switch clothes? Doubtful Buffy would leave Willow alone and Xander/Giles certainly wouldn't be involved due to privacy concerns. Only explanation would be that Buffy was around but would she have let Willow take Vamp Willow's clothes off at risk of being bitten? One option could be that Buffy undressed Vamp Willow and put her into Willow's clothes but if they were identical... just how much clothing was switched? Presumably the same happened at the end with Vamp Willow and Willow now back in their original clothes.