Buffy Logo 'The Replacement'
Story Code '5ABB03'

by Jane Espenson

Buffy, Riley, Xander and Anya relax in Xander’s basement watching a kung-fu movie, though Buffy is more interested in the Slayer-related book she is reading. When Xander’s parents begin arguing loudly above them Xander contemplates finally moving out. Meanwhile, a strange demon recites an incantation for the death of the Slayer. The next day, Riley, Buffy, Willow and Anya accompany Xander to look at an apartment; Anya gets upset when Xander says he cannot afford it, but he fills in the application to appease her anyway. At the 'Magic Box’, Giles is busy sorting through a box when the demon appears and knocks him to the ground. Later, Giles tells the Scooby gang of his encounter with the monster, and from his description they discover that it is Toth, the last demon of its kind; the demon smelt odd, prompting them to decide to look for it at the town dump. Here they bump into Spike, but when they ask him if he has seen the demon he simply points out that it is directly behind them. As they turn round Toth fires a blast from his staff, but Xander pushes Buffy out of the way and takes the shot in his chest. Toth disappears, and the gang pull Xander up from the rubbish that he has fallen in and take him home; however, as they leave, unseen by Buffy and her friends there is another Xander lying unconscious in the rubbish. This Xander wakes up in the rubbish dump the next morning and makes his way back to the basement. But when he gets home Xander is shocked to see himself already getting ready for work; he tries to use a payphone to call Buffy, but then decides to follow the impostor instead. At Buffy’s house, Riley is concerned as Buffy packs weapons for a fight against Toth; Dawn watches them from the doorway, and soon the two sisters are involved in a war of words. Joyce interrupts them, mentioning a terrible headache that she is suffering from. At the construction site, the impostor Xander is called to the boss’ office, but to the real Xander’s surprise, instead of getting fired, he is promoted. Later, Xander watches as the impostor gets the apartment that Anya liked, and then calls Anya and invites her over. As he leaves, Xander jumps him, but the impostor knocks him off easily and leaves Xander lying in the hallway. Xander rushes over to Giles’ houses, only to find that the impostor has beaten him to it, and has the gang convinced that he is the real Xander. Xander goes to Willow’s dorm room and soon has her on his side, but as they talk, he realises that the impostor will now go after Anya. He goes to his girlfriend’s apartment, but she is not there; Xander listens to her answerphone and hears the impostor inviting her over to his apartment. Meanwhile, the impostor Xander is impressing Anya by telling her how he got the apartment to please her; as they kiss the real Xander barges in to save Anya. Willow goes to Giles’ houses and tells him, Buffy and Riley that she has seen Xander. They compare notes: the Xander that came to Giles’ was forceful and commanding, not like Xander at all. Giles informs them that neither Xander is a demon, as the spell that Toth hit him with has spilt him into two separate entities, and that one cannot live without the other; Toth’s plan was to split Buffy in two and then kill the weaker half, which would therefore eliminate her altogether. Back at the apartment, Anya sides with the stronger version of Xander, but the weaker Xander pulls a gun on his other self, threatening to shoot him. As Riley and Buffy take Giles’ car and race to the apartment, Buffy asks Riley if he wishes that she were a normal girl, but he assures her that he loves every part of her. In the apartment, the stronger Xander overpowers the weaker one and is about to shoot his other half when Riley and Buffy arrive. They take the gun from him, and Buffy explains what Toth has done; they are just about to go back to Giles’ house when Toth crashes through the door, and a fight breaks out, but Buffy quickly kills the demon with a sword. Back at the 'Magic Box’, the gang are amazed as the two Xanders stand side by side; while Willow prepares a spell to put him back together, Anya voices some very disturbing sexual thoughts about having two Xanders for a while. Willow completes the spell, restoring Xander to his normal, complete self. The next day, everyone helps Xander move out of his basement; while he and Riley are alone for a while, Xander tells Riley he is jealous of his and Buffy’s calm, steady relationship, compared to how turbulent his is with Anya, although Xander is then struck speechless when Riley tells him that he knows how lucky Xander is, because he knows that Buffy doesn’t love him back. Buffy walks back in before Xander can respond...

Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Marc Blucas (Riley Finn), Emma Caulfield (Anya), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn), James Marsters (Spike), Anthony Stewart Head (Rupert Giles), Michael Bailey Smith (Toth), Kristine Sutherland (Joyce Summers), Kelly Donovan (Xander Double), Cathy Cohen (Building Manager), David Reivers (Foreman), Fritz Greve (Construction Worker)
Directed by James A. Contner

TX (US): 10th October 2000
TX (UK - Sky One): 19th January 2001

*Featuring Buffy, Xander, Willow, Giles, Riley, Anya, Tara and Dawn