Drinks Taken: 27
Vamps Dusted: 9
Follow the whole rewatch here!
Last week, Xander kinda sorta won me back for a minute with “The Zeppo,” and then Buffy went all bad girl with Faith, resulting in the mouthier Slayer’s accidental staking of the [human] deputy mayor. Ooops!
And nowwwww we’re getting into one of my favorite episodes ever, so let’s drink to “Doppelgangland!”
The Buffy Season Three Drinking Game Rules
Drink once every time:
A vamp is dusted
A scene takes place in a cemetery
Cordelia says something cutting but true
Principal Snyder hates on students
Oz is ridiculously low-key cool
Spike has mad swagger
Willow gets witchy
You roll your eyes at Faith
The Mayor is a germaphobe
Drink twice every time:
We see the entrance to Sunnydale High
Giles drinks tea
Jonathan appears in a scene
There’s an extremely outdated pop culture reference
A vampire is invited into a house
Someone wears leather pants
Allow me to prepare you: the leather pants budget continues to ramp up this week.
We open with Buffy in the midst of a drowning dream, pretty clearly processing some guilt and anxiety over the deputy mayor’s death. Faith is insisting that Buffy keep that little snafu a secret, but Buffy’s not sure she can – and everyone in town is really reacting over this particular death, I guess because he’s a deputy mayor? Because humans die all the damn time in Sunnydale! Joyce cares, Wesley cares, the police care, the Mayor sure as shit cares (mostly because the deputy mayor left some smoking gun evidence of the Mayor’s evil dealings). He sends Trick to kill Buffy and Faith after they’re caught on camera investigating the Mayor’s office, but c’mon, how many times have they tried to kill these slayers? What makes them think today will be any different? (It will not.)
Meanwhile, Buffy’s still feeling a lot of guilt and Faith’s still strongly maintaining that she does not, and that as a Slayer, “we were built to kill.” Cue eye-roll drink! Stuff’s still awkward between Buffy and Willow after Buff blew off Will last week, and she goes to Willow’s house to talk, and Willow is so great and mature and forthright, communicating her hurt feelings, but then Buffy bursts into tears and sweet Willow is like, “NEVER MIND, I’M BAD, YOU’RE WONDERFUL!” Buffy tells Willow everything, which is how it always should be, and then Willow convinces Buffy to tell Giles and the rest of the Scooby Gang.
Buffy heads to give the scoop to the Scoobs, but Faith’s gotten to Giles first, telling him that Buffy killed the deputy mayor, you know, like a liar. Giles pretends to believe Faith, and Buffy’s stricken, but after Faith skips off all smug and leather-panted, Giles tells a hugely relieved Buffy that he knows Faith killed the deputy mayor. (I feel like I should have looked up the deputy mayor’s name by now and saved myself a lot of letters, but we’re this far into it so “the deputy mayor” he remains.) They decide to see if Angel can talk some sense into her, seeing as how he used to be evil so he can relate to a-holes, but Wesley is of course eavesdropping and immediately snitches to the Watcher Council.
Xander also thinks he can talk some sense into Faith, and he keeps dancing around their “connection” until everyone in the room understands that they had sex. Willow plays it VERY cool as Buffy and Giles both “oh? oh!” their way through this revelation (but later she cries in the bathroom, and I sorta get it, but also I don’t get it, so let’s just move past it).
Willow: “I don’t need to say ‘oh,’ I got it before. They slept together.”
Okay, this is about to get terrible! In fact, TW/CW for this paragraph: sexual assault. Xander goes to Faith to try to convince her to turn herself in, but she pretends to think he’s there for “round two,” and she keeps physically encroaching on him and he keeps saying no until she overpowers him, throws him on the bed, and starts to choke and undress him. It’s so deeply upsetting and speaks a lot to the really messed up ways this show treated Faith’s character. I get it, “slayer gone bad” is an enticing arc, but this is something else, and I hate it.
Angel shows up just in time (I shudder to think before what), knocks Faith unconscious and takes her to his lair. He starts trying to relate to her on the “I, too, have done bad stuff but the Scoobs are good people who can look past it” level, and it miiiiight be working when Wesley and some Watcher muscle show up, give Angel the cross and arrest Faith. She OF COURSE escapes, but Buffy finds her at the docks, about to take off on a cargo ship, and right then Trick and some vamp hoods show up and fight the Slayers. Buffy gets caught under a cargo container and Trick almost kills her, when Faith kills Trick instead. It seems like things are going to go back to normal for the Slayers – and Faith’s certainly going to pretend it will, though I feel like the previously dire consequences of the deputy mayor’s death just go poof all of a sudden?? – but in reality, she goes to The Mayor and tells him that she killed Trick, and that she assumes that means there’s a vacancy on his staff. Ruh-roh!
How many times do I have to take a drink?
Stylish Yet Affordable Boots
Willow looks exactly like Chucky here, you guys.
Giles For Life
Buffy: “I’m not gonna give up on her.”
Giles: “Then I think she stands a chance.”
Cordy’s Picker Is Still Broken
Cordelia meets Wesley and decides he’s the posh British Watcher of her dreams. “I like a man with two last names,” she tells him. Wesley seems ominously undeterred by his realization that she’s a student. “My, she is cheeky, isn’t she?” Uhm, gross.
Is Amy Still A Rat?
Amy is, in fact, still a rat. Willow uses her de-ratting attempts as an excuse to bail on Buffy the way Buffy bailed on her last week.
Okay, I think it’s fair to say that Season 3 has been kinda rough upon rewatch? At least for me. But I’m VERY pleased to discover that “Doppelgangland” remains a perfect gem of an episode. Just about every minute of this ep is cute and funny and energetic and makes me long for S2 (or “Band Candy”) when they were all this good.
“Doppelgangland” opens with the return of Anyanka, and she resembles the beloved fierce, snarky weirdo-Anya of Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s future much more than she did in “The Wish.” After losing her demon necklace, she’s still stuck at Sunnydale High, and she’s EXTREMELY cranky about being forced to live as a mortal child who also happens to be flunking math. “Do you have any idea how boring 12th graders are?” I love her.
Meanwhile, Buffy’s working hard to get in shape for the Watcher test – and she wants to beat Faith, understandably. Faith’s pretending to be her friend and be a good lil Scoob, but all the while she’s really just spying for the Mayor, who just bought her a Playstation! Aww, I can’t help it, I kinda like their relationship.
But this episode’s all about Willow! She’s feeling boring and taken advantage of. Snyder’s forcing her to tutor a dummy basketball student, who translates “tutor” as “do my homework for me.” Oz skipped school to play a gig and didn’t bother asking Willow because he assumed she’d never cut class (fair?), and Buffy makes the mistake of pleasantly referring to Willow as “old reliable,” a nickname that Willow does NOT deem “sexy.” You’re about to have more sexy than you can handle, Will.
So when Anya approaches an unsuspecting Willow to help her out with some witchery, she’s excited to have her own little Zeppo-like adventure. Anya pretends she just needs some innocent help to find her necklace, but the spell goes kinda nuts, unsurprisingly since it’s actually intended to reach into a dystopian alternate reality. Willow’s wigged out by the dark power she senses as they’re doing the spell – “That’s a little blacker than I like my arts” – and bows out, to Anya’s contempt. Oh, the irony here:
Willow: “Magic is dangerous. It’s not to be toyed with.”
Take your own advice, S6 Willow! Anyway, it seems like the spell didn’t work – until an irate Anya smashes something, and suddenly Vamp Willow from “The Wish” appears in our universe! She starts with the hijinks right away – she beats up the basketball jock, hits on Xander and commands an army of vampires – and the Scoobs are all heartbroken at the seeming revelation that Willow is now a vampire. They’re sitting in devastated silence at the library when Our Willow shows up, and they all throw their arms around her in the cutest dang moment, especially when Giles joins the hug party. They start trying to figure out what’s up with the Two Willows, while Oz and Angel are now meeting Vamp Willow at The Bronze, and Anya recruits her to force Our Willow to return them back to the other reality where Anya can be a demon and Vamp Willow can feast on the unlimited victims of a dystopian society.
Vamp Willow catches Our Willow unawares, and then she fully hits on her and licks her neck, and listen, it’s real, real weird. The Scoobs get the best of Vamp Willow and lock her in the book cage and put her sexy leather vamp outfit on Our Willow, so Our Willow can convince the army of vampires to not eat everyone at The Bronze. Anya quickly catches on that this is Our Willow, and at the same time clueless Cordy has freed Vamp Willow, thinking it’s Our Willow, so Vamp Willow joins the chaos and it turns into a big group Bronze fight. Buffy and Angel are staking vamps left and right – but Our Willow stops Buffy from staking Vamp Willow at the last moment.
They team up to magick Vamp Willow back to her world, because Our Willow just can’t stand to kill her, and Buffy gets it. It’s a little sweet – I love when the Willows are sort of getting along!
So the spell works, and Vamp Willow is sent back to her world – where she is immediately staked, haha. I love this episode! It ends with the jock kissing Willow’s ass, and Willow realizes that having a tough-ass doppelganger stomping all over Sunnydale wasn’t the worst thing in the world for her reputation. Let’s all celebrate at The Bronze!
How many times do I have to take a drink?
Scooby Gang Feels
I like seeing Buffy and Willow practice their respective specialties together!
The Truest Thing Anybody Said This Week
Giles: “She was truly the finest of all of us.”
Xander: “Way better than me.”
Giles: “Much, much better.”
A World Of No
Willow: “And I think I’m kinda gay.”
Stylish Yet Affordable Boots
Check out the super-cazh dress Cordy wears (TO SCHOOL) to impress Wesley. It works, too! He saves her from Vamp Willow and the age-inappropriate superficial sparks continue to fly.
That’s it for this week! Questions: how do you feel about Faith and The Mayor? Do you kinda… ship it? (I mean in a nice villainous father-daughter duo way, NOT a sexy way, to be very clear.) And are you also finding S3 not quite as fun this time around as the first time you watched it? (“Band Candy” and “Doppelgangland” aside, obviously.)
Meet us here next Wednesday morning, as Stephanie covers “Enemies” and “Earshot”!