5. Doppelgangland (Season 3, Episode 16) — Words by Brianna Reeves
Does this episode even need a defense for why it belongs in Buffy’s top ten? Season 3 is the show’s cream of the crop; Doppelgangland is irrevocably one reason why. This hour in the series’ third run is another written and directed by creator, Joss Whedon. It comes on the heels of Faith’s killing a man and Buffy dealing with the second Slayer’s lack of remorse. As such, levity is needed. What better way to provide a break from Bad Girls and Consequences than to have a storyline focused on Willow’s vampiric doppelgänger from an alternate reality, previously brought into existence per a wish by Cordelia? Short answer – there is no better way.
For an episode filled with some of the most hilarious dialogue and character interactions, it tackles the heart of a character (Willow’s), like few others. In trying to find and maintain a sense of self, “old reliable” inadvertently embarks on an adventure to learn, and teach, that sometimes it’s okay to be the moral center.