Spike shirtless in bed.


Title: Buffy S5.E03 “The Replacement” + Buffy S5.E04 “Out of My Mind
Released: 2000

Drinks Taken: 30
Vamps Dusted: 5


Follow the whole rewatch here!

Last week, Kandis brought us into Season 5, where, alas, Dawn is a thing. But at least Riley’s clock is ticking! 

Let’s drink to a really fun Xander episode, and also to the acknowledgement that Xander has improved greatly over the past couple of seasons, so “a really fun Xander episode” is actually possible!

Buffy eagerly watching a pitcher of beer being poured into her glass.

The Buffy Season Five Drinking Game Rules

Drink once every time:

A vamp is dusted
A scene takes place in a cemetery
Willow and/or Tara get witchy with it
Riley’s a drag
Things get uncomfortable between Anya and Xander
Dawn is annoying
Anya loves money
Spike has zero chill around Buffy
The Magic Box has customers

Drink twice every time:

Giles drinks tea
There’s an extremely outdated pop culture reference
A vampire is invited into a house
There’s a callback to previous season shenanigans
Someone uses a payphone
Glory sucks someone’s brain

Bring on The Toth!

Xander lies in a pile of garbage bags

5.03 “The Replacement”

Two foreshadowings before we get into the meat of the episode, one lame, one sad: Riley’s getting kinda pouty about Buffy’s Slayer gig (drink!), and Joyce has a headache.

Poor Xander. His parents are always getting into very audible drunken brawls while his friends are over to visit, and Anya is SUPER over the basement. They go to look at a nice apartment but since Xander has less than no credit, the realtor makes him feel about two inches tall, and he has to tell Anya that his construction gig is coming to an end. She’s way more high-strung than usual, even, and he’s feeling really bad about himself.

Enter Toth, of the Tothric Clan Toths. He has some fancy wand thingy intended to split the Slayer in two, making two Buffys. His motivation is unclear, and his aim is unstraight. While the Scoobs are hunting him after he paid Giles a violent visit at the Magic Shop, Toth accidentally doubles Xander, instead. One Xander leaves with the unsuspecting Scoobs, and the other wakes up the next morning in a pile of trash. It’s funny!

We spend most of the rest of the episode from Trash Xander’s perspective, leading us to believe that this is Real Xander. It’s also easy to believe, because when Trash Xander spies on the other Xander, the other Xander is all dashing and well-dressed and competent and shit, so obviously he must be the fake. Trash Xander watches incredulously as Posh Xander convinces the Scoobs he’s the Real Xander, smooths his way into a permanent job at the construction company, woos his way into the apartment (winning over the previously disdainful realtor to the point that she’s practically throwing her bra at him), and has an insightful conversation with Anya, telling her he understands that she’s in a hurry to progress their relationship because she’s feeling the pangs of mortality after her injuries from last week. Trash Xander sees Posh Xander holding a small, shiny disc during these exchanges and assumes he’s hypnotizing his way into success (spoiler alert: it’s just a smooshed nickel), and so Trash Xander goes to see Willow, the only person he believes he can convince he’s the real Xander.

Willow, of course, believes him, but Trash Xander is feeling so low, he says he just wants to give his life to Posh Xander because he’s living it better than Trash Xander ever could. Aww! Meanwhile, Buffy and Giles are doing their research thing, and they discover that BOTH Xanders are actually the real Xander! Toth’s wand was intended to split the Slayer into her strongest and weakest characteristics, so he could kill the weak one because one can’t exist without the other. They meet Both Xanders at Anya’s to explain that Xander is, in his truest soul, Posh and Trash, while Toth shows up for a tussle. Buffy quickly dispatches him and the Xanders are reunited! (To Anya’s disappointment – she wanted to have a three-way with two Xanders, which reminds me of a hilarious 30 Rock exchange I quote constantly. Anya needs to cool it.)

Anyway, it’s a nice lesson for Xander, to know he has some Posh in him, and the combined Xander gets to keep the job, apartment and happy girlfriend achieved by Posh Xander! Score!

Ugh, and the episode ends, for some reason, with a long, torturous speech from Riley to Xander about how much he loves Buffy, concluding mopily, “But she doesn’t love me.” DRINK.

How many times do I have to take a drink?


Vamps Dusted


Scooby Gang Feels

This lil double-date in the basement! 

Xander/Anya and Buffy/Riley in an awkward double date in Xandre's basement.

The Truest Yet Meanest Thing Anybody Said This Week

When Anya’s explaining to the realtor why Xander needs the apartment, she overshares in typical fashion: “He’s been living in his drunken parents’ basement where something urinated on the hot plate.”

Xander’s Worst Shirt

So that probably had something to do with why the realtor initially didn’t want to give the apartment to Xander, but his shirt definitely didn’t help, either.

Xander in a yellow long sleeve and loudly patterned short sleeve button down

Stylish Yet Affordable Boots

Buffy’s outfit is somehow… worse?… than Xander’s???

Buffy in a beige tank and ugly patterned pants

Best Flashback

When Trash Xander is trying to prove to Willow that he’s the real Xander, he does the Snoopy dance, and I LOVE THIS REFERENCE.



Oh wait, there’s one more foreshadowing nod in “The Replacement” – Spike is training himself to kick Buffy’s ass, and he does that by putting a blonde wig on a mannequin and it feels, uhm, intimate.

Spike sits up in bed shirtless with a sleeping Buffy next to him.

5.04 “Out Of My Mind”

Jeezy chreezy, does the Riley stuff suck in this episode. He’s acting extra crappy – he keeps attacking Buffy out of nowhere to “keep [her] on [her] toes,” he’s infringing on her patrolling duties, he’s making their sex life a competitive sport, and he’s super sweaty. Turns out, all of the chemicals The Initiative pumped into him to make him a super soldier are backfiring, and his old troop buddy Graham is urging him to go to some brain doctor to rid himself of any remaining super soldier cells. Riley doesn’t want to, and Buffy has to force him, tearfully calling him out on believing she’s so shallow that she’d only love him if he has superpowers. It’s another A+ scene from SMG, and poor Marc Blucas canNOT keep up. 

In other Summers Women Are Amazing news: Joyce is in the kitchen with Dawn, and suddenly she stares at her like she’s a stranger (or an abruptly conceived plot device) and cries out, “Who are you?” Joyce passes out, but once she’s in the hospital, the doctors say she’s fine and can’t find any reason she would have suddenly lost consciousness. She’s tough as heck through all of this, and Dawn and Buffy are both really great, too. Sigh.

Meanwhile, Spike and Harmony are reunited! Harmony’s seeking sanctuary in Spike’s crypt, claiming that Buffy’s been hunting her because they’re arch-nemeses. It’s hilarious! She keeps trying to smoke and sound tough since she thinks she’s a super villain, but she’s as much a super villain as Riley is a super soldier anymore. Spike has the wise idea of taking the brain doctor hostage and forcing him to remove the chip from his head, with Harmony on back-up, and the plan actually works! Until Buffy kicks the crap out of Spike, whose hatred for her is over-reaching obsessive levels, and when he tries to hit her back he gets the old familiar headache, chip or no. INTERESTING.

So Spike and Harmony split, with Spike going on an epic rant about how Buffy is haunting him – I repeat, INTERESTING – and the doctor fixes Riley right up. He’s okay, but Graham giving him guff about how he used to be the mission and now he’s “the mission’s boyfriend” is frankly not helpful (although I enjoy the burn). Tick-tock, Riley!

The episode ends with a dream fake-out: Buffy shows up at Spike’s lair to kill him, and he tells her to do it: “End my torment.” They stare at each other for a moment, then start hard-core making out instead, with Spike telling Buffy he loves her and can’t live without her. It is, I’m sorry, quite hot. Of course, he wakes up in bed next to Harmony, HORRIFIED, and we go into credits scored by the sound of my cackle.

How many times do I have to take a drink?


Vamps Dusted


Best Pop Culture Reference

God, what I wouldn’t give to watch Dawson’s Creek with Spike. 


Spike: “Oh, Pacey, you blind idiot. Can’t you see she doesn’t love you?”

The Truest Thing Anybody Said This Week

Buffy, to Riley, when he mopes about not wanting to lose his superpowers because her last boyfriend was a vampire: “You’re going to die over some macho pissing contest.”

Scooby Gang Feels

Buff’s been studying a ton, both for her Slayer duties and her schoolin’, and you guys, Willow is SO proud. 

At The Magic Shop

Everyone’s working together to get the place in order before it opens, and they all worked together to build a training studio for Buffy! It’s so cute! Also Willow and Tara are extra flirty and adorable – BUT we get another foreshadowing glimpse when Willow takes a lighting spell Tara taught her and amps it up, and Tara seems a little concerned. 

That’s it for this week! QUESTION, a big one: how do you guys feel about Spuffy? Obviously later some really troubling complications arise, but I have to admit, at this point in their storyline, I am all about it. 

Meet Stephanie here next Wednesday morning as she covers “No Place Like Home” and “Family”!

Meredith Borders is formerly the Texas-based editor of Fangoria and Birth.Movies.Death., now living and writing (and reading) in Germany. She’s been known to pop by Forever Young Adult since its inception, and she loves YA TV most ardently.