"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" The Replacement (TV Episode 2000) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
7 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Double the Xanders
katierose29529 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Xander is a surprisingly complex character. Of all the Scoobies, he is the only "normal" one, a fact that weighs on him through the series. He has a terrible family life and is scared of turning into his parents. So, he often uses jokes to cover up his insecurities and deeper feelings. He always underestimates himself and, of all the Scoobies, he has the hardest time feeling like a grown up. But in reality, he's the only Scoobie to hold down a real job and stand on his own in the adult world. "The Replacement" deals with Xander's conflicted personality. It's not the best Xander-sode (In my opinion, that would be "The Zeppo" in season three.) But it does give us some added insight into Xander's character. The issues that he confronts in "The Replacement" will have an even greater effect on him next season, so you shouldn't skip this episode if you're planning to watch season six.

"The Replacement" revolves around Xander getting zapped with a magical demon ray. A big blue robe-y creature named Toth is after Buffy. The Scoobies track it to the Sunnydale dump, where Toth tries to hit Buffy with a bolt of lightning from his staff. He accidentally hits Xander instead, knocking Xan into a pile of trash. Xander seems okay, though, and the Scoobies walk him home. Little do they know that there is another Xander still lying in the trash pile. Toth's ray has split him in two. One Xander has all the confident, adult qualities. The other his nervousness and insecurities. When the Xanders meet up, both of them are sure the other is a demon. (Or possibly an evil robot.) The confident Xander enlists Buffys' help, while the insecure one winds up at Willows dorm. Both Willow and Buffy promise to help their Xander.

Xander has been trying to move out of his parents' basement and get an apartment of his own. Anya, after being injured by Harmony's goons last week in "The Real Me," is struggling with the idea of death. After 1122 years as a vengeance demon, she's scared at having as "few as 50 years left" to live. She wants Xander to make a real commitment to her. When the confident Xander signs a lease on a new apartment, he and Anya celebrate. Suddenly, the insecure Xander shows up waving a gun and trying to rescue Anya from the Xander that he's sure is a demon. Luckily, Buffy has figured out what Toth's ray really did and she and Riley get to the apartment in time to stop the Xanders from killing each other. When Toth attacks, though, Buffy has to stop him once and for all. The episode ends with Xander moving into his new place and Riley realizing that Buffy's feelings for him aren't as deep as he'd like.

There are some good parts to "The Replacement." Ironically, I think that it's Riley's best episode. I really like his reaction to the two Xander's. "Doesn't it make you wanna lock them up in separate rooms and do experiments on them?" And then at the end of the episode, he shows heretofore unknown depths by calmly declaring that Buffy is his dream woman. "But she doesn't love me." When I watch this episode, it's like I can see the character that Riley COULD be if they just stopped trying to push him as the tough guy, super cool, ultra commando, nothing-but-a-boyfriend role. If the show let him have some quirks and develop real personality, I think that the character could have worked. I also enjoy Giles confrontation with Toth. Smashing him with a statue of Offta, the goddess of childbirth, until Toth turns and "sweeps out majestically." And, I like that Anya, given the choice between the Xander's, thinks that the "adult" one is her real boyfriend. It shows that she really does see Xander in an admirable and positive light. Still, she'd like to try sleeping with both Xanders before Giles and Willow do the "reconnecting" mojo, because after all, "It's not like it would be cheating." Finally, I love the two Xander's interacting. They're both him. But, they're so different that you can easily tell them apart. It's not until the end of the episode that they start acting alike. (Laughing at "Star Trek" jokes, etc...) Giles is right, Xander really is a bad influence on himself.

On the down side, I wish Spike had been in this episode more. Also, I'm not sure why Toth was after Buffy in the first place. Just 'cause she's the Slayer or did he have some deeper plan that I just missed?

My favorite part of the episode: Willow and Xander's conversation, which references the season three episode, "Dopplegangland." Xander: "Wait 'til you have an evil twin. See how well you handle it." Willow: (pouty) "I handled it fine."
23 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The Confident and the Insecure Xander
claudio_carvalho6 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Xander is not satisfied living in the basement of his parent's house and is looking for an apartment of his own to live with Anya. Meanwhile, a demon called Toth chases Buffy at the Magic Box, and his smell guides Giles to the city dump. When Buffy and the Scoobies see Toth in the garbage landfill, he uses a rod device called Ferrula-Gemina blasting a ray against Buffy but hitting Xander instead. Toth vanishes and the group leaves the place with a confident Xander. Later the insecure Xander awakes in a pile of trash, follows his double and meets Willow to tell about his clone. Giles finds that the ray discloses one person into half, distilling personality traits into two separate bodies. Further, if one part is destroyed, the other will die. While trying to find a mean to unite Xander, they have to face the evil Toth.

"The Replacement" is a good episode about the silly and insecure Xander. The story shows a hidden personality of this character, actually the opposite to what he really is. There is an initial conflict between the opposite personalities, but later they complement each other before their unification. There are great and funny lines along the good episode. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "A Substituição" ("The Substitution")
10 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Twice the Xanders, twice the fun
Joxerlives26 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The Good; Great performance from NB in both roles, you wish you'd had more Xander eps in later seasons but instead he get's squeezed out by the girls. Worth it for the snoopy-dance alone.

The Bad; Anya says she wants a car, puppy, child and boat. But didn't she refer to her car in Graduation Day pt2?

Best line; "Kill us both Spock"

Women good/men bad; None but Giles fends off the demon using a fertility statue, the power of the female.

Kinky dinky; Buffy and Riley can't keep their hands off each other, nipping to the bedroom for a quick smooch even when house-hunting. The estate agent quite shamelessly throws herself at cool Xander. Interesting that she assumes Riley is 'Mr Harris' at first, he is the guy you'd want as a tenant. Anya wants to take both Xander's back to her place and have a threesome with them, maybe it's not just men who fantasise about sex with twins/triplets etc? As indeed Dopplegangland suggests, thinking about it. Dawn is quite the voyeur and seems to enjoy spying on Buffy and Riley smooching. The Xanders checked out some stuff in the car but one Xander quickly qualifies this as fingerprints. Anya refers to herself as Xander's slave.

Captain Subtext; Spike's mannequin speaks of his Buffy obsession. Xander has been a soldier, clad in leather (The Wish) and now a construction worker. Half way to being his own Village People tribute band. When Xander refers to his love for Anya Willow replies 'Really?'. Riley and Buffy's car conversation is loaded with not-so hidden meaning. Riley tells Buffy he loves her unconditionally and she doesn't say the same back. The final revelation between Riley and Xander in the basement probably stems from this.

Guantanamo Bay; Riley lapses back into scary government mode by saying he wants to lock both Xander's up and perform experiments on them (although as a psychology student I know what he means)

Scoobies knocked out: Xanderx2. Giles comments on his constantly being knocked out Buffy: 15 Giles: 10 Cordy: 6 Xander: 10 Will: 5 Jenny: 2 Angel: 6 Oz: 3 Faith: 1 Joyce: 2 Wes: 1 Anya;1

Kills: Buffy: one demon so 85 vamps, 29 demons, 6 monsters, 3 humans, 1 werewolf, 1 spirit warrior & a robot

Alternate scoobies: cool Xander. Willow also refers to her own evil double, VampWillow and claims she handled it fine (by shooting her with a tranquiliser gun and sending her back to another dimension to get staked?) Buffy: 6 Giles: 3 Cordy: 1 Will: 2 Jenny: 2 Angel: 3 Oz: 2 Joyce: 2 Xander: 4

Scoobies shot: no but Anya owns a gun, a snub nosed revolver. Giles: 2 Angel: 3 Oz: 4

Questions and observations; I guess if one of your lead actors has an identical twin it seems a tremendous shame not to include them in an episode at some stage? (Terminator star Linda Hamilton is the only other actor who I can think off in this regard however, can anyone name any more?). Terrific performance from NB on all counts. Now I heard that the original idea for this ep was a version where Buffy and Xander get zapped and he get's her powers (very similar to an old ep of Superman; Lois and Clark). She has to adjust to being normal once more and he revels in being a superhero and has sex with the entire female cast including Joyce (but except Dawn obviously!), even lesbian Tara unable to resist the ultimate alpha-male. But the power starts to drive him gradually insane which is why the Slayer always has to be a female. Now you can see where they went with this, it has elements of The Replacement in it plus Helpless, Superstar and Him. Some nice moments between Buffy and Riley too and the final scene between Riley and Xander is probably the most touching they'll ever have, Xander seems to be the confidant for all the Scoobies. Riley comments on Buffy's ice-skating film obsession, wonder what she made of MT in Ice Princess? Joyce refers to her headaches but blames them on living with 2 teenage girls rather than anything more. We get to see the Snoopydance, yay! Xander thinks his double is a robot (Ted, I was made to Love you, Intervention). Anyone intrigued to see what pure Buffy and pure Slayer might be like? (Superbimbo and a blonde version of the first Slayer?) Why do both Xanders change into the same clothes prior to the spell? Anya anticipates many years before her death, not that many.

Marks out of 10; 8/10
6 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The One With Two Xander's...
taylorkingston8 October 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I love this episode, so much. It's so funny.

In this episode, the gang fight a mysterious glowing demon, who uses a weapon against Xander. Everyone assumed that he was alright, as he was up and talking and walking around. So they leave the junk yard-type place, where the fight had occurred, and took him home. But then Xander wakes up in the junk yard. What? Xander goes to find Anya but sees him with himself. That's right, there are two Xander's now. Xander A thinks Xander B is a robot, Xander B thinks Xander A is the demon, posing as himself. Which is the more likely scenario. Xander A goes to Willow for help, and she believes him, and Xander B goes to the rest of the group. Which is the real one? Since Xander B seems to be using a coin to mind control people, it makes sense that Xander A is the real one. But it turns out, that they're both Xander. The weapon the demon used, separates a person. His plan was to use it on the Slayer, so one would have all the Slayer strength and power, and the other would be a normal girl. Kill one and the other can't exist. So the demon planned to kill normal Buffy, then the Slayer would be no more. It's actually quite a smart plan. When they go to put the Xander's back together Anya makes threesome jokes, but she's actually really serious. It makes me laugh.

Overall, I give this episode a 10 out of 10.
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A fun episode that attempts to conjure the same magic as "Doppelgangland" from season 3 but does not quite reach those heights
SLionsCricketreviews13 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"The Replacement" was written by the very popular BUFFY writer, Jane Espenson who was responsible for some of the show's most wildly entertaining episodes in previous seasons and would go onto prove herself a worthy proponent of the show's more dramatic episodes with the likes of the season seven classic, "Conversations with Dead People". The biggest problems with "The Replacement" are potentially unfair criticisms in that this episode does not reach the heights of Espenson's best comedic works for the show, nor does it quite recapture the magic of "Doppelgangland", an episode that was wildly imaginative, fun, hilarious but also dramatic and pivotal for the character of Willow.

"The Replacement" is perfectly solid but I would argue that the episode never quite reaches its apex until the denouement where the two personalities of Xander begin to grow closer together. Not only is it tremendously entertaining and hilarious watching Xander's two personalities, the confident and the timid converge into one but it is wildly joyful watching real life twin brothers Nicholas Brendon and Kelly Donovan interact on screen.

The most entertaining, hilarious, charming and beautiful moments of the episode for me all occur in this scene and that is a criticism in itself. Where "Doppelgangland" was the episode that really put Willow's arc into motion, "The Replacement" does not really have as immediate and as significant an impact on Xander as a person. If anything, it enforces in his mind that he has the willpower and potential to be a successful person if he could utilize his courage and confidence. That realization scene is beautifully done in this episode.

The Toth demon who wields a weapon that can split people into separate personalities is a great, if underused addition to the episode. His modus operandi, when you really consider it, is surprisingly effective. Had he hit Buffy, his intended target and not Xander, he could very much have succeeded in killing her, something so many other demons before and since have failed to do. If there is another criticism to make with respect to the Toth demon, it is his demise and how generic his death scene is. It would have been wonderful to see Buffy utilize his weapon to split him into contrasting personality parts though whether the same effect can be placed on demons as humans is something that cannot be guaranteed. Nevertheless, the lack of creativity and fun surrounding his death is part of why I feel the episode never reaches the absolute best that it can and should be. It is a little disappointing in this respect for me.

"The Replacement" is a fun if somewhat disappointing Xander episode.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Just an Add-On to the First Comment
schillsr3 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The first comment said: "Also, I'm not sure why Toth was after Buffy in the first place. Just 'cause she's the Slayer or did he have some deeper plan that I just missed?" This was explained in the episode. When the blast hit Xander, it split him into his stronger points and his weaker points. But the two can't exist without the other. Many demons have tried to kill the slayer. Toth figured that if he split Buffy in two, there would be the Slayer with all the strong points and then there would be Buffy with all the weak points. Most any demon could kill the weaker Buffy half and when that happened, the Slayer would be dead - both halves. So Toth had found an intelligent way to kill the slayer. His aim was just bad.
5 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Do the Xander slit
Realrockerhalloween4 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
A nice episode showing Xander being slit in half one is geeky and the other suave. Xander follows him around spying as he gets the great job, apartment and romances Anya realizing he could do the same if he tried. He realizes he had it in him all along if he stops making excuses or find a source for his problems and faced up to them. I found it very lovely that he rushes off to save the woman he loves, proving there's a hero in there begging to be let out and all it takes is a little motivation.

Also I find Toth to be a cool lava faced demon who's magic slowly kills the host the further apart they are. He was even strong enough to take on the slayer, which many monster don't have a claim to fame of bragging about. It was a brilliant concept that glides across the screen without stopping making you wonder what will happen next.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed