Buffy faces double trouble as Xander 1 and Xander 2 try to replace each other in The Replacement. Another post in my SPOILER filled My Year of Buffy craziness!
What Buffy Did!
Buffy, Riley, Xander, and Anya are watching an action movie in Xander’s basement. Xander’s parents are drunk and shouting at each other upstairs. Xander decides to move out and goes apartment hunting. He finds a nice place, but doesn’t think he can afford it, which pisses off Anya. Giles fights a demon in the store and survives. It is looking for Buffy. The Scoobies search the city dump for the demon and find Spike rummaging for stuff. The demon attacks and Xander is hit by a magic blast. He gets up and leaves with the Scoobies. But another Xander is seen in the garbage. The next day, Xander 1 wakes up in the garbage and heads home. He sees his double, Xander 2, getting all dressed up and looking really confident. Spike has a mannequin that he beats up, and it looks like Buffy. Xander 2 gets a promotion at his construction job. He also signs for the apartment. And asks Anya out. Xander 1 sees all this while stalking Xander 2 and confronts himself. later, Xander 2 tells the Scoobies about the double and makes him sound evil. Xander 1 tries to get Willow’s help and succeeds. Xander 1 figures out that Xander 2 wants Anya. Xander 2 talks to Anya and she talks about her fears of mortality. Giles figures out that there is not an evil and good Xander, but really an unconfident Xander and a confidant Xander. The demon was aiming for Buffy, all because if one half dies, the other half dies. Xander 1 bursts into his apartment and pulls a gun on Xander 2 and Anya. They accuse each other of being demons. Buffy shows up and informs them of what is happening. The demon shows up and tries to kill Buffy, but she and Riley defeat it. As the spell to recombine them is prepared, Xander 1 and Xander 2 start acting like each other. Willow does the spell and we have one Xander again. Later, the Scoobies are moving Xander into his new apartment. Xander and Riley talk about relationships. And Xander realizes he wants a new life.
The Scoobies, minus Willow and Tara and Giles and Dawn, all watching a movie together. Xander looks so not happy that his parents are home. And the embarrassment of your parents arguing. I wonder what Bruce Lee movie this is? Buffy really is always on duty isn’t she? This scene just gets more and more awkward. Speaking of cauldrons, demon wants Buffy dead. Xander’s finally manning up and getting his own place. How can he afford his own place? Buffy and Riley! Behave yourself, no smooching in Xander’s wannabe bedroom! Love how Anya talks a lot, especially about things she shouldn’t. Now for another argument, this time Xander and Anya. Are they heading for a break up? I have wondered where Anya lived and where she got money. Why doesn’t Xander just move in with Anya? Giles! Giles versus demon! Nice try beating the demon with the fertility god statue. Love Giles re-enacting the fight for the Scoobies. What is the difference between British slang and demon names. Let’s talk about demon spells shall we? Willow finds the most useful spells, doesn’t she? Spike! Spike being almost kinda maybe sorta helpful. Demon fight! Xander’s been hit! Will he now get a personality? Wait! Another Xander! Meanwhile, in the morning at the dump, Earth 2 Xander wakes up. He sees Xander Two! Pay phone! Dang, this Xander dresses nice and looks sharp. Dawn! Being a typical bratty young teen. Okay, now I want to drop both Buffy and Dawn into the Hellmouth. Spike must be really really lonely if he is dressing up a mannequin. Or just getting his aggression out. Xander stalking Xander. That outhouse door joke was stinky. Sigh, is this over yet. They didn’t hear him falling? That Klingon joke was not funny. Okay, finally figured this non funny episode out. The demon is pretending to Xander. Using his Two Face coin to do the trick. Is Evil Xander planning on Anya sex? That is wrong and very rapey. Xander meets Xander. Now the rain just because. The Scoobies wouldn’t notice that is Evil Xander? Yes, they fall for it all because of the plot. Xander can hear a lot through that closed window. Xander seeks out Willow, which makes sense. Charlie Brown callback! Love Xander’s Snoopy dance! Is Giles figuring it out? Yes, he is! Love how Xander jumps right to robot. Great, now we are back to the stupidity of The Zeppo, with Xander allegedly being completely useless. Xander, It’s more like Evil Xander has a lot more self confidence. Now he thinks of Anya, who he really does care about. Hey Xander, Willow did quite well handling her Evil Twin. Anya should figure it out. Anya wants a puppy! Anya still has a way to go to grasp being mortal. Aww, Evil Xander is so sweet and nice, then goes and says something we know has evil intent. Xander bursts in! Anya prefers non loser Xander, i.e. Evil Xander. So both Xander’s are real. Original plan was to transporter accident Buffy. Paging Captain Kirk split into two bodies. One thing, Xander has rarely shown this much self confidence, ever. Look out, he’s got a gun! The whiny Xander does. Riley likes Buffy just the way she is because he is cool Riley. Riley just said LOVE! It’s Anya’s gun? Why would Anya have a gun? Love how Buffy just tosses both Xander’s around. So the magic coin is simply a cool trinket. And the demon shows up, because. Demon now dead. Let’s all examine Xander’s face, shall we? You can take Riley out of The Initiative but you can’t take The Initiative out of Riley. Anya looks like she is thinking of a Xander threesome. If both Xander’s have the same memories, wouldn’t the self confident Xander recall being a loser? Called it with the threesome! Giles is so Victorian around sex talk. Star Trek joke! And now they acting alike. Willow doing the spell is so natural. And it works. So Xander is still moving out. Babylon 5 mention! So maybe Xander is finding his self confidence, especially with Anya. Xander finally admits what I noticed a long time ago, he is finally over Buffy. Awww, Riley is so in LOVE with Buffy. Which means he is marked for death isn’t he? So Xander sees the LOVE of Buffy and Riley and realizes what he wants in life. So will Xander finally become a better, less annoying, character?
Anya yet again gives TMI to the Scoobies, “We think the cat peed on it.” Giles tells the Scoobies about his status with, “Well, I’m not dead or unconscious, so I say bravo for me.” Buffy tells Dawn something that so many fans are saying, “Go away Dawn.” Willow explains Xander’s living conditions to him with, “Xander, the basement is not like the dump. It’s more like a really nice.. hovel.” Giles tells the Scoobies something as Willow comes through the door, “I swear this time I know I had that locked.” Giles tells the Scoobies all about Xander with, “Yes, he is clearly a bad influence on himself.” Willow breaks the spell on Xander with, “Let the spell be ended.”
What started as a Xander episode that I thought I was gonna dread, instead you gave us Joss something different and important. The duality of confidence versus non-confidence, especially in Xander who was never a favourite character of mine, was actually very fascinating. Also, I really feel this is a turning point for him, something that was much needed.
…is currently reading Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger