Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | January 8, 2012

Podcast #50: Doppelgangland

Here’s the podcast for Season 3, Episode 16 – Doppelgangland

Willow and Willow

Willow and Willow

Download: Doppelgangland

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The next podcast will appear on Monday 16th January 2011 for episode seventeen of Season Three: “Enemies.” That’s the one where Faith tries to bring Angelus back.

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  1. The Good:
    I loves me a good villain and sadly I think it’s something that is lacking from TV nowadays, so seeing Angelus back (even if it was an act) was really entertaining. A good villain can greatly improve a show (even make the show) and on the flip side if a villain is weak the show suffers. Not only is Angelus an entertaining villain because he is so close to Buffy and the scoobies but that he so enjoys being evil. Speaking of good villains I’m enjoying the mayor he’s certainly very different that Angelus last season that’s quite clearly on display here but he’s still fun in his nonchalant-ness and most importantly threatening. I like so far this season the mayor has been present since early on but knowing they’d have to wait to reveal his plans toward the end of the season they have slowly revealed his plans in a very natural way to the Scoobies, we still don’t know what exactly the Ascension is but we know have a definitive date and we have Faith pulling a full Vader now.

    The Ehhhh….
    It’s kind of unfair to put this in the bad because it isn’t the episode’s fault so it’s going in the ehhh… I think this episode really suffers from a rewatch because you know that Angelus is not real so the whole thing is pretty tedious. So for time I saw this I absolutely loved the twist, because I actually thought Angel got desouled but now it’s just kind of there. So pretty much anything where we are dealing with Buffy being sad about Angelus doesn’t matter for me because I now know it isn’t real. So while originally I was like “Haha suck it Faith! You got PLAYED” now it’s more “faith got played” with the same inflection of a person who is dead inside.

    The Bad:
    The con is not well explained once its revealed and by that I mean there is almost no explanation.

    I’m also really annoyed by Buffy’s behavior in at then end of this episode, telling Angel they need a break. Ok I get that this would stir up the feelings of betrayal that Angelus did last year for Buffy but it’s awful thing to do to Angel. To Buffy’s credit she knows he only did what she asked but that kind of behavior is also really annoying even if it’s realistic and logical. And it’s no secret that I have a Buffy/Angel fangirl love of much less cynical person, but even I can’t deny that “You still my girl?” line was cheesy and awful, not to mention completely un-Angel.

    And now it’s time for a special double feature of
    This Week Xander is a Douche AND Faith is Batshit Crazy Cakes
    Xander only qualifies this week for recidivism (doucheism is the illness with one of the highest rates of recidivism right up there with drug addiction) anyway if this was the first time that Xander had raised the pitchforks in Angel hunt he probably would qualify but Xander in a very hipster way has been hating on Angel before it was cool and this is not the first time he’s tried to kill him so the fact that he is trying to do it again doesn’t win him any non douche points. Also it’s an incredibly bad idea for Xander to get Cordelia, Wesley, Willow and Oz as his let’s kill Angel group when they are fighting against both Faith and Angel two super strong deadly people who could take them all out rather easily.

    And there’s Faith, stabbing people all day everyday. The scene where she kills the demon is really brutal and show’s that Faith is well on her way to becoming the mayor of Crazytown. As well as her screaming about being played once Buffy and Angel reveal they’ve been coming her. She does come off as legitimately threatening especially when she is at the point that she is going to torture Buffy. I’m not entirely happy with her how quickly still she went evil and I agree that Faith is still suppose to have some reservations but I’m not getting that from Eliza Dushku’s acting.

    (By the way I’m pretty sure this won’t say my name when I post it so this is Derek, I’m just posting using my wordpress account for my new website

  2. First, I just wondered, is there a cat where you record your podcast? Because I think now and then I heard a miaow in the background..which is funny, because I have a cat too, and she’s like “talking” all the time 😉

    Well, you wondered where I learned that the writers originally wanted Wesley to be cool: I heard it in the commentary of this episode on DVD 🙂

    Doppelgangland: I always enjoy this episode. It’s really funny and there are a lot of good scenes. I think I read it in a forum or somewhere that Joss Whedon liked Alyson Hannigon so much as Vampire Willow that he
    specifically wrote this episode for her to bring this character back.

    Bad Girls/Consequences:
    The last episodes showed that Faith is interested in fun (food, sex, beating up her enemies) – all very direct and basic sources of pleasure. She is not a
    slayer because it’s her duty. She loves to be a slayer (“Slaying is what we were build for. If you don’t enjoy ot, you’re doing something wrong.”)
    She doesn’t appear to care very much that slaying serves a moral purpose. So, Faith is/was “good” only in an external sense. She’s a force for good because her actions result in the protection of the weak against the demons. But is she internally good? She never once utters a line reflecting any serious interest in the goals fo which she is fighting.
    Faith still suppresses her guilt about killing an innocent because feeling guilt is painful. Above all she seems to love pleasure and hates/avoids pain.
    So she decides to become a force of evil rather than regretting it? Maybe at this point evil seems to be more enjoyable. She can’t compare the pleasure of an evil life to the actual pleasure of a good life (which she obviously never experienced) but only to a life that was externally good but internally..we don’t know. I think she realized that she has more power than she thouht she has. She committed a crime and there are no consequences..Maybe she gets a taste for blood and needs more.

    Fashion: I love Cordelia’s dress in Consequences…she looks sooo cute 🙂

  3. First of all, congrats to Robin and Cordia for completing their 50th Buffy Rewatch Podcast. That’s no small feat and you deserve some thanks for what you’ve accomplished.


    Writing-wise, I can’t think of a better-written TV episode. This may seem like a bold statement, but I’m still new to this “critic” thing and can afford to make such claims. All of the characters act like they did before, which is an improvement over everyone’s concern for Xander’s health in “The Zeppo”. Every minor characters has screen time, which is no small feat with approximately 12 ongoing characters. Cordelia, Faith, and the Mayor even advance their seasonal arc during their short time on-screen.

    Anyanka is one of my favorite characters in the whole series, and I wasn’t disappointed watching this episode with fresh eyes. But instead of her attitude being annoying to me, I think that Anyanka is actually feeling what it is like being in the body of a teenage girl without any powers. In “The Wish”, she acts like an 1120-year-old being pretending to have teenage angst. In “Dopplegangland”, I believe she actually feels the frustration she’s displaying. I wish every ‘ancient’ creature on Buffy acted as haughty and as arrogant as Anyanka.

    Allison Hannigan’s acting as Vamp Willow was deliciously evil, just like in “The Wish”. Having Good Willow and Vamp Willow face-to-face (tongue-to-face?) displayed Allison’s acting range better than “The Wish”.

    Faith’s reaction to Mayor’s plans to kill Willow shows that Faith hasn’t thought about all of the consequences of her actions. I hope to see more flashes of concern/guilt from Faith in future episodes.

    I like Wesley’s character in this episode. Despite sucking wind after Faith’s physical test, he chose not to defer his duties to Giles. During Evil Willow’s attack on Cordelia, he was 1) prepared and 2) willing to face down an opponent with (mostly) non-lethal weapons. Wesley is displaying Giles-like characteristics, though he is still used mostly as a punch-line.

    Cordia’s comments made me realize that a bump to a vampire’s back in Season 1, Episode 2 is enough to drive stake through its heart, but in “Dopplegangland” we see Giles raise a stake above his head in both hands, in order to dust the vamp. This is believable for someone with normal human strength and makes me appreciate how strong Buffy and Faith are.

    The Bad:
    • The blocking at the end of the Cordelia/Evil Willow chase made it look like Wesley ran into the girl’s restroom, hid, and jumped out between Willow and Cordelia.
    • Comedy-wise, Xander’s “What’s going on? Is it something funny?” line annoys me. If the line was a more Xander-like, such as “Hands! Hands in new places!”, this would be a good moment instead of a bad one.
    • I disliked the cringe humor when Good Willow first enters the Bronze. (BTW, “cringe humor” is how I describe moments where a character delivers an embarrassing monologue and you cringe because they won’t stop talking. I have no idea how The Office (America) succeeded in milking this annoying comedic crutch for so many years.)

    Favorite Moment: There were a lot to choose from, but I can’t stop grinning about the roadie conversation between Oz and his band mate. I just love the lines and how they were delivered.


    I didn’t remember that Angel just acted like he lost his soul, just that he wasn’t Angelus for more than this episode. Therefore, I enjoyed watching him chew through the scenery, though Angelus wouldn’t have hesitated attacking the Mayor. Looking back, it was Angel acting like Angelus, which makes the restraint logical.

    However, Angelus’ “reappearance” makes me even more annoyed by Angel’s puppy-dog attitude around Buffy. I don’t feel any chemistry between the two of them, especially in the opening scene when hormones should have been flowing full-tilt. Instead, it’s like he’s a brooding Chewbacca, and I just want someone to get the walking trench coat out of the way. In the final scene, he’s like, “A break? That’s okay. I’ll just sit here by the fire reading some old books until there’s another apocalypse.”

    I loved Faith’s Kiss of Death, and how it echoes the famous scene in The Godfather Part II. Unfortunately, the kiss was used to break a Mexican stand-off. In real life, those end in a much more messy way (see Reservoir Dogs). When Faith lunged forward for the kiss, I think that Buffy’s reaction would have been to slit Faith’s throat. On the other hand, this could be a sign that Buffy doesn’t have it in her to kill Faith.

    Favorite Moment: Angel/Angelus punching Xander. It comes out of nowhere and accurately reflects what Angelus is – Angel without restraint. In Angel’s eyes, Xander really is the Zeppo, and Angelus wouldn’t need to waste time killing someone he can take care of with a punch. Faith’s non-reaction to her former lover getting one-shotted is another nice component of the scene. Props to Xander for understanding how Angel feels about him by the end of the episode.

  4. My favorite part was Willow saying, “Could a human do this?” then screeching shrilly, and Anya and the vampire saying, “Yeah, yeah, humans do that.”

    Just throwing that out there since that specific moment wasn’t mentioned.

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