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18 June 2014
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Episode Guide
Doppelgängland

Review

As Faith settles into her new abode, and into a cosy new power pact with Mayor Wilkins, the protagonist role shifts to Anyanka (a.k.a. Anya), the demon from The Wish, a very promising character with an interesting history.

This episode is the flip side of The Wish: in that episode the characters from our version of Sunnydale were flung into an alternative universe. Here it's the other way around: a character from the parallel dimension is dragged into our reality, an event that gives Alyson Hannigan the perfect opportunity to have a lot of fun. Joss Whedon's taut script contains elements that would be more familiar in a West End farce, but the episode sizzles with energy, and bubbles with memorable, snappy dialogue.

This is a tour de force for Hannigan, who skilfully manages to play four different roles (‘our’ Willow, the Vampire Willow, 'our' Willow pretending to be the Vamp Willow, and the Vamp Willow pretending to be 'our' Willow) and she provides the funniest scenes of the season in the process!

On the debit side, there's a strange sense that time is being manipulated to accommodate all the twists and turns that Whedon has created, particularly during the scenes when Willow is trying to hold court as the Vamp Willow, and it's hard not to fault Whedon's decision to stake the Vampire Willow at the end of the episode. Joss may think that the character had run its course, but it's likely that the audience would strongly disagree with him…


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