"The Replacement"
Written by Jane Espenson; directed by James A. Contner

Buffy, Xander, Riley, and Anya watch TV in Xander’s basement, while Buffy studies. (Anya’s arm is in a sling - see “Real Me.”) Xander’s basement is not his ideal habitat - he doesn’t have many of the comforts of home and his parents can be heard fighting upstairs. He decides that it might be time to find his own place. Riley pulls Buffy away from studying and gives her a shoulder rub. Xander starts to give Anya a shoulder rub, but is reminded that she has a dislocated shoulder. Buffy criticizes the fighting in the kung-fu movie they’re watching, pointing out that when they watch movies about witches, Willow remarks that no one uses cauldrons anymore. No one except for one demon using a cauldron and plotting to kill Buffy.

Buffy, Willow, Anya, and Riley tag along with Xander while he goes apartment hunting. The first apartment he looks at is both spacious and expensive, so, of course, Anya wants it. Xander pulls her aside and tells her that his construction job is ending and he doesn’t think he’ll have the money to afford the new apartment. She is frustrated that she’s been dragged to look at an apartment they can’t have. Giles is working at the magic shop when the cauldron-using demon shows up looking for Buffy. Giles tries to ward him off but, unsurprisingly, is knocked out. Later, he explains what happened to the Scoobies, who aren’t too surprised that Giles was attacked in the magic shop. He finds the demon in a book and sees that its name is Toth. He deduces that Toth hangs out at the dump and they head off. The Scoobies run into Spike, then encounter Toth, whom Spike encourages to kill Buffy. Toth tries to blast Buffy with a stick but winds up hitting Xander instead. Toth disappears and the Scoobies help Xander home, not seeing another Xander (hereafter known as Scruffy!Xander) still at the dump.

The next morning, Scruffy!Xander wakes up at the dump, confused. He goes home and spots his other half (hereafter known as Suave!Xander) in the basement. Scruffy!Xander decides that he needs to call Buffy, but before he can talk to her, he spots Suave!Xander and goes after him. Dawn spies on Buffy and Riley kissing in Buffy’s room and they wind up complaining to Joyce about each other. (Note to avid fans: Joyce has a headache.) In his crypt, Spike sets up a mannequin with a blond wig, then kicks its head off, promising that someday he will do the same to Buffy. Suave!Xander heads to the construction site, where his boss calls him in to talk. While Suave!Xander plays with something shiny and Scruffy!Xander watches through the window, the boss offers Suave!Xander another job with more money. Suave!Xander gladly accepts and Scruffy!Xander becomes suspicious of the shiny thing he’s playing with.

Suave!Xander heads back to the apartment building, where he tells the manager that he’d like to take the apartment after all. She flirts with him as Scruffy!Xander eavesdrops, amazed. Suave!Xander calls Anya and leaves her a message asking her to meet him at the apartment. As he exits the apartment, Scruffy!Xander attacks him but Suave!Xander runs off. Scruffy!Xander arrives at Giles’ apartment in time to hear Suave!Xander telling Buffy that he has a doppelganger. Buffy assures him that she’ll find him and kill him. Willow returns to her dorm room to find Scruffy!Xander there, desperate to prove to her that he’s the real Xander. He tells her stories that only he would know, and caps off his pleas with a performance of the Snoopy dance (see “Passion”). He tells her what happened to him and worries that Buffy, Giles, and Riley don’t know that the Xander with them is dangerous,

Buffy realizes that Toth is behind the Xander doppelganger. Willow realizes the same, disproving Xander’s theory that they’re dealing with an evil robot (see “Ted”). Buffy heads off to look for the Xander doppelganger while Suave!Xander heads to his apartment to meet up with Anya. Scruffy!Xander complains to Willow that he’s always in trouble and has to be rescued by Buffy. “That’s not true!” Willow protests. “Sometimes we all help save you.” He is upset that the demon is living his life better than he lives it. He wonders if he should just let the demon keep his life. The only thing he has that’s worth anything is Anya, who he suddenly realizes could be in danger. Willow points out that he’s just now thinking about Anya. Xander tells her that, when she has an evil twin, she’ll see how hard it is; she pouts that she already had an evil twin and did just fine (see “Doppelgangland”).

Scruffy!Xander arrives at Anya’s apartment, plays the message that Suave!Xander left for her, and takes off for the new apartment. Anya is amazed that Suave!Xander is renting the apartment and he tells her that he’s doing it because he knew she wanted it. She looks forward to the future, wondering when they get a car and a puppy. She tells Suave!Xander that she doesn’t have much time left now that she’s mortal. He tells her that they’ll get through it together but she worries that he won’t want to be with her when they get older. Scruffy!Xander bursts in and Anya quickly becomes confused. She tells Suave!Xander to “make it go away.”

Buffy, Giles, and Riley are about to split up to look for Xander and Toth when Willow runs in and announces that Scruffy!Xander is the good guy. Giles realizes that both Xanders are real. Toth’s stick splits a person into two - he wanted to separate Buffy into one being with all of the strength and one with all of her weak qualities. He could then kill the weaker half, which would also kill the stronger half. Buffy realizes that, if one of the Xanders dies, they will both be gone. Back at the apartment, Scruffy!Xander tries to convince Anya that he’s the good one. When Suave!Xander announces that he’s going to take care of Scruffy!Xander, Scruffy!Xander pulls out a gun.

Anya tries to keep Scruffy!Xander from shooting Suave!Xander, and the three wind up fighting for the gun. Buffy and Riley head towards Xander’s apartment and she asks if he wishes she really were two people. He tells her that he loves all of her, even when she’s crazy. They arrive at the apartment and Buffy takes the gun from Suave!Xander, who has wound up with it. She explains that they’re both Xander and tries to prove it by asking them what number she’s thinking of. They both respond eleven and a half, demonstrating the theory. Scruffy!Xander mentions Suave!Xander’s shiny object, which turns out to be a flattened nickel. As they are all about to head over to Giles’, Toth arrives. Buffy fights him and, of course, defeats him.

At Giles’, Willow compares the two Xanders, Riley mentions wanting to do psychological experiments on them, and Anya expresses interest in having a very unique threesome. Suave!Xander encourages Scruffy!Xander with the knowledge that he really is confident. Willow easily ends the spell, putting the Xanders back together and disappointing Anya. Later, Buffy, Riley, and Anya help Xander move out of the basement while he reminisces about various things that have happened there. Anya complains that Xander wants her to actually help out and Riley assures him that their relationship is solid. He tells Xander that he himself is lucky to have Buffy. “But she doesn’t love me,” he says.


GRADE: B- The Xanders are only great when they’re together, and Anya is a little too whiny. Redeemed by the Snoopy dance.

MEMORABLE QUOTES - XANDER: “I do have Spaghetti-O's. Set 'em on top of the dryer and you're a fluff cycle away from lukewarm goodness.”
Riley: “Hmm. Yeah, I had dryer food for lunch.”

Willow: “If you get the apartment, this’ll be your hallway. We'll walk down this hall, and we'll say, ‘La la, I'm on my way to Xander's.’”
Buffy: “Just warning you, Xander, I probably won't be doing that.”
Riley: “Really? I will.”

(finding Buffy and Riley kissing in his future bedroom) “Guys, you can’t save it for the bedroom?” (Buffy and Riley look around pointedly) “Okay, good point.” - Xander

Buffy: “So, a mythic triumph over a completely indifferent foe?”
Giles: “Well, I'm not dead or unconscious, so I say bravo for me.”

“So you bought the magic shop and you were attacked before it opened. Who's up for a swingin' chorus of the ‘We told you so’ symphony?” - Xander

“Ooh! I found a quarter! I found a quarter!… Well, ma'am, for me it is worth getting excited about.” - Scruffy!Xander to operator

Dawn: “Did I give you a headache, Mom? I'm sure part of it is Buffy's.”
Buffy: “But part of it is Dawn's.”
Joyce: “It's so nice you've learned to share.”

Scruffy!Xander: “It's a robot. It's an evil robot constructed from evil parts that look like me designed to do evil.”
Willow: “Uh huh. Or it's Toth.”
Scruffy!Xander:Or, it's Toth.”

Scruffy!Xander: “Hey, wait till you have an evil twin. See how you handle it.”
Willow: “I handled it fine.”

Giles: “Oh, dear Lord.”
Riley: “Buffy, our Xander, did he seem a little--.”
Buffy: “He seemed kind of forceful and confident.”
Willow: “That's not Xander.”
Giles: “I said, ‘Oh, dear Lord.’”
Buffy: “You always say that.”
Giles: “Well, it's always important!”

“We better get there soon. If Xander kills himself, he's dead. You know what I mean.” - Buffy

Suave!Xander: “It's a nickel someone flattened on the railroad track. I found it on the construction site and I thought it was cool. It's not magic.” Scruffy!Xander: “No, I…huh. It is kinda cool. Washington's still there, but he's all smushy. And he may be Jefferson.”

Giles: “Uh, uh, we just need to light the candles. Also, we should continue to pretend we heard none of the disturbing sex talk.”
Willow: “Check. Candles and pretense.”

Anya: “What'll we do if this doesn't work?”
Both Xanders: “Kill us both, Spock!”
Buffy: “They're...kinda the same now.”
Giles: “Yes, he's clearly a bad influence on himself.”

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