|Buffy the Vampire Slayer|
|Season 3, Episode 16|
|Air date||February 23, 1999|
|Written by||Joss Whedon|
|Directed by||Joss Whedon|
|Sarah Michelle Gellar||Buffy|
|Anthony Stewart Head|| Giles |
|Harry Groener||Mayor Wilkins|
|Armin Shimerman|| Principal Snyder |
|Jason Hall||Devon MacLeish|
|Norma Michaels||Older Woman|
|Corey Michael Blake||Waiter|
|Jennifer Nicole|| Body-Double Willow |
|Christa Engelskirch|| Student |
|Band (K's Choice)|
|Gert Bettens||Guitar Player|
"Doppelgängland" is the sixteenth episode of the third season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and is the fiftieth episode altogether. It was written and directed by Joss Whedon. It originally broadcast on February 23, 1999.
In a local crypt, Anya, who is now a mere human being, begs the demon D'Hoffryn, her former boss whom she has summoned, to create a temporal fold to allow her to go back and retrieve the necklace which served as her power center. The demon denies her request, and Anya vows to get the amulet back with or without his help. At school, Willow practices floating a pencil while Buffy does sit-ups in preparation for Slayer testing. When Buffy mentions Faith, Willow loses her emotional control and the pencil goes flying into a tree.
Principal Snyder orders Willow to tutor one of the basketball team stars, Percy West, in History, despite her protests. Later at the library, Giles asks Willow to make another attempt to break into the Mayor's files. Faith and Wesley come in after training on the obstacle field and Faith finds out about Willow searching through the Mayor's files and informs him of it.
The Mayor presents Faith with a brand new, fully-furnished apartment and then tells her that he plans to have some vampires kill Willow and make it look like a random attack so she is out of the way and unable to access his computer.
Back at school, Oz meets up with Willow and informs her about a gig his band had the other night that she didn't know about. When Willow confronts Percy about tutoring him, he gives his own interpretation of events: That she is to do his work for him. Buffy and Xander pick the wrong moment to ask Willow if she recorded "Biography" for them the other night. Willow, offended at being labeled "Old Reliable," storms away, threatening to do something irresponsible — change her look, cut class, or eat a snack between meals.
Anya finds Willow and asks her to help her with a spell—some dark magic. Willow, eager to do something shocking and unreliable, agrees. The spell involves chicken feet and the ritual pouring of sand over the representation of the object desired to be pulled out of the alternate dimension. The two perform the spell in an empty classroom, and as it's working, several scary images flash before their eyes. Shocked, Willow moves, accidentally spilling some of the ritual sand on herself. After the spell is finished, seemingly unsuccessfully, Willow refuses to try the spell again because she is unnerved by what she saw. In an abandoned warehouse, Vamp Willow appears, looking confused.
Vamp Willow walks through Sunnydale, clearly out of sorts in a world in which humans freely walk the streets at night. She enters The Bronze. Percy finds her and warns her to finish his paper. Vamp Willow throws him across the pool table, then tries to strangle him. Xander breaks up the fight and Vamp Willow recognizes him, only to be disappointed that he is actually alive. Buffy is surprised by Willow's new leather look, and even more surprised when Willow snarls at her with vampire face.
As Buffy and Xander watch her, heartbroken, Vamp Willow leaves the Bronze and is attacked by the two minions of the Mayor sent to kill the human Willow. She easily defeats them and tortures them until they agree to work for her. Her plan is to change this Sunnydale into the one she is used to.
Buffy and Xander return to the library and tell Giles that Willow is dead. The three sit mournfully recalling their friend until the real Willow shows up. Xander tries to chase her away with a cross, and Willow merely looks puzzled; recognizing that this Willow is not a vampire, her friends simultaneously enfold her in a crushing embrace.
Meanwhile, at The Bronze, Anya tries to get a beer at the bar, claiming she's 1120 years old, but settles for a Coke. Angel shows up looking for Buffy. Vamp Willow and her new minions appear, taking control of the Bronze. Angel leaves to get Buffy and Oz watches as Vamp Willow kills a girl. Anya, recognizing what has happened, approaches Vamp Willow with the idea of restoring her to her own world (and Anya's amulet to herself).
Angel goes to the library and announces that Willow is dead, before noticing Willow standing there. They all head for The Bronze, but Willow turns back to get something and is caught by Vamp Willow. The two banter back and forth before finally Willow shoots her evil double with Giles' tranquilizer gun and locks her up in the library cage. Willow ponders how weird it is to be with her double, and how completely opposite she is from herself. Buffy reassures her that there's no similarity at all between a person and the demon they become when they've been turned into a vampire. Angel starts to object that that's not true, but quickly silences himself. At Buffy's suggestion, Willow swaps clothes with her sleeping double. Uncomfortable in the leather bondage attire, Willow does her best to pose as the Vamp Willow while the rest of the Scooby Gang waits outside The Bronze.
Cordelia Chase arrives at the library and finds Vamp Willow—wearing Willow's fuzzy pink sweater with daisy appliques—locked in the cage. Before releasing Willow, Cordelia takes the opportunity to lecture her on "the ethics of boyfriend stealing." She psychoanalyzes her relationship with Xander, saying it was partly because they were always facing danger that she found the relationship to be thrilling, but it wasn't Xander's personality all that much. Bored out of her mind, Vamp Willow humors Cordelia in order to get her to shut up. It works, and Cordelia lets her out. Vamp Willow shows her vampire face and pursues Cordelia, cornering her in a restroom. Wesley, hearing Cordelia scream, intervenes and forces Vamp Willow to depart. Cordelia hugs him and asks what he's doing that night.
Willow tries to get as many vampires as possible to go outside the Bronze, where they can pick them off one by one. She also surreptitiously signals to Oz that she's herself and not a vampire. Unpersuaded by Willow's unconvincing act at The Bronze, Anya points out to the Vamp Willow's vampire minions that their leader is a fake. Willow screams, signaling Buffy, Angel, and Giles to enter. As they fight the vampires, Willow retreats to the stage with Oz. Vamp Willow then returns, throws Oz out of the way and starts choking Willow. Buffy breaks it up, but Willow shouts for her not to stake Vamp Willow. Despite fully knowing what her evil doppelganger is and does, Willow cannot bear to have her staked. She convinces the others to send her back, arguing that Vamp Willow should have the chance to survive in her own world, a suggestion which the doppelganger accepts. With Anya's help they do so; Vamp Willow is transported back to the middle of the brawl in the factory ("The Wish"). She has just enough time to smile at being returned to her reality before Oz grabs her and shoves her against a protruding piece of wood from the humans' cage. Vamp Willow has just enough time to snarl "Oh fu—" before she turns to dust.
The next day, Buffy asks Willow if she'd like to go out that night, but her experience with her vampire double has made her "feel like staying in, and doing [her] homework, and flossing, and dying a virgin," in order to make up for the "double guilt coupons" Vampire Willow has accumulated. But then, Percy shows up, and before Willow can apologize for not doing his work, he starts treating her with great deference, in great contrast to the contempt with which he treated her before. He presents her with papers on both Presidents Roosevelt—he wasn't sure which one the report was supposed to be on, and he didn't feel like risking Willow's wrath again. Willow, now seeing that perhaps there's something to be said for a little vice, agrees to go out for the evening.
- Joss liked the character of Vamp Willow when she was first introduced in "The Wish" so much that he wrote this episode specifically for her.
- Whedon commented on the episode, "God, some of the funniest stuff we ever did was in that episode, but also the scene where they find out that Willow is alive and everybody, everybody, is so goddamn funny. It's Giles, Xander, Willow and Buffy, the fearsome foursome."
- The episode's title is taken from the term "Doppelgänger", a German word for a look-alike or double of a living person, and "gangland", a term associated with organized crime. The form "Doppelgängland" is actually not correct German: "The land of the Doppelgängers" would be Doppelgängerland (note "-er-" inserted), while "the land with doubled gangs" would be Doppelgangland (no umlaut over the "a"). It should be noted, however, that the title is a portmanteau of German and English words. It can be read as "The land of evil doubles." The title was changed to "Doppelgängerland" in the German DVD edition.
- Devon offers Angel a different career track in a cut scene:
- Devon: "Hey, man, how'd you like to be our roadie?"
- Angel: "Less than you'd think."
- And Xander takes responsibility in this exchange also cut:
- Xander: "It's all my fault."
- Giles: "What makes you say that?"
- Xander: "I don't know... Statistical probability."
- This episode is Joss' fifth favorite episode according to "The Last Sundown" featurette on the Season Seven DVD box set.
- This is one of Alyson Hannigan's favorite episodes of "Buffy", according to an interview with PopWatch.
- Alyson Hannigan loved her vampire make-up so much that she was made up again as "Vampire Willow" to attend a Halloween party that same year.
- Andy Umberger, the actor portraying D'Hoffryn, is one of only five actors to appear in the first three of Joss Whedon's shows: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly.
- This episode is Willow-centric.
Willow - "Old Reliable? Yeah, great! There's a sexy nickname." Buffy - "Oh, Will, I didn't mean..." Willow - "No, it's fine. I'm Old Reliable." Xander - "She just meant, 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 has to shoot..." Willow - "That's Old Yeller." Buffy - "Xander, I beg you not to help me."
Anya - "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 worshiped across the mortal globe and now I'm stuck at Sunnydale High! Mortal. Child. And I'm flunking math."
Buffy - "I know Faith's not gonna be on the cover of Sanity Fair, but she had it rough. Different circumstances, that could be me."
Willow - "Where were you yesterday?" Oz - "Mm... We got back late, sort of very." Willow - "We? Who? Where?" Oz - "The band. We had a gig in Monterey Sunday night." Willow - "Oh, you did? How come I didn't know?" Oz - "I thought you did." Willow - "Maybe I would have liked to go." Oz - "Didn't figure you for missing school." Willow - "You think I'm boring." Oz - "I'd call that a radical interpretation of the text."
Willow - "Okay, that's a little blacker than I like my arts." Anya - "Oh, don't be such a wimp." Willow - "That, that-that wasn't just some temporal fold, that was some weird Hell place. I-I don't think you're telling me everything." Anya - "I swear, I am just trying to find my necklace." Willow - "Well, did you try looking inside the sofa in Hell?"
Anya - "What a day. Gimme a beer." Bartender - "ID." [Anya glares at him] "ID." Anya - "I'm eleven hundred and twenty years old. Just gimme a friggin' beer!" Bartender - "ID." Anya - "Gimme a Coke."
Devon MacLeish - "Man, we need a roadie. Other bands have roadies." Oz - "Well, other bands know more than three chords. Your professional bands can play up to six, sometimes seven completely different chords." Devon MacLeish - "That's just, like, fruity jazz bands."
Xander - "This isn't real." Buffy - "I can't feel anything. Arms, legs, anything." Giles - "She was truly the finest of all of us." Xander - "Way better than me." Giles - "Much, much better."
Angel - "Buffy, I... I just... Something's happened that... Willow's dead." (Buffy and Xander nods, when Angel sees Willow) "Hey, Willow. Wait a second." Xander - "We're right there with you, buddy."
Willow - "It's really nice that you guys missed me. Say, you all didn't happen to do a bunch of drugs, did ya?" Xander - "Will, we saw you at The Bronze. A vampire." Willow - "I'm not a vampire." Buffy - "You are. I-I mean you-you were. Giles, planning on jumping in with an explanation any time soon?" Giles - "Well, uh... something... something, um, very strange is happening." Xander - "Can you believe the Watcher's Council let this guy go?"
Buffy - "It was exactly you, Will, every detail. E-except for your 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?" Buffy - "Oh yeah."
Vamp Willow - "This is a dumb world. In my world, there are people in chains and we can ride them like ponies."
Willow - "I'm a blood-sucking fiend! Look at my outfit!"
Cordelia - "Do I have something on my neck?" Vamp Willow - "Not yet."
Willow - "That's horrible! That's me as a vampire? I'm so evil and... skanky. And I think I'm kinda gay." Buffy - "Willow, just remember, a vampire's personality has nothing to do with the person it was." Angel - "Well, actually..." (gets a look from Buffy) "That's a good point."
- Willow comments that her Vampire self seems "kind of gay". Buffy remarks that vampires and their human counterparts are nothing alike, but Angel begins to correct this before letting the matter go.
- In the Season Six episode "Villains", Dark Willow repeats Vamp Willow's phrase "Bored now" before skinning Warren.
- In the Season Five episode "The Replacement", Xander suggests that Willow wouldn't handle having an evil twin any better than he is, prompting Willow to refer to the events of this episode.
- In "Graduation Day, Part One" Percy mentions the time that Vamp Willow attacked him—he is still unaware it wasn't his reality's Willow.
- Sandy, the woman Vamp Willow bites in The Bronze, will appear again as a vampire in the Season Five episodes "Family" and "Shadow", where she will meet her end.
- Buffy stops herself from staking Vampire Willow after Willow shouts for her not to, with about as much time as Faith had in "Bad Girls" between hearing Buffy's warning and staking Deputy Mayor Allen Finch, showing that Buffy has either sharper reactions or greater control in battle than Faith.
- In this episode, Willow and Anya first meet, and it marks the beginning of their mutual dislike, which will be a love/hate relationship until the show's end. It is also the first time they cast a spell together.