willow and oz Phases

Season 2, Episode 15 (Episode 27 of entire series)

This episode is a turning point for Willow's and Oz's relationship...plus everyone finds out that Oz is a werewolf! (Yes, even Oz didn't know!) Larry resurfaces in this episode, and Xander and Cordy are still playing the hormones game. Angel appears briefly to kill a classmate of Buffy's...yow.


Show opens with Oz standing in front of the trophy case; he's moving from side to side. Willow comes in and they exchange a greeting; Oz tells her that he likes one of the cheerleader trophies because "It's like its eyes follow you wherever you go." -- See The Witch. This scene provides a good transition for the next episode...check out Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered. Anyhoo, Willow and Oz chat and it's apparent that they like each other, but neither of them is really making a move. Okay, so I can relate to that all too well, which makes it even more frustrating to witness, but whatever...Enter Larry and his cronies. Larry knocks some books out of a chick's arms so he can be obnoxious while she bends over to retrieve them. He then gives Oz the business about Willow, but Oz doesn't rise to the occasion.

Cut to Willow and Buffy walking outside. Willow's complaining to Buffy that she wants "smoochies" with Oz, and that she doesn't want to be the only girl in school without a real boyfriend. Given Buffy's situation, this probably wasn't the most sensitive thing to say, but Willow apologizes. Then she muses about what could Xander possibly see in Cordy. So..apparently Cordy and Xander have smoochies in common, because that's the next scene we see. They're parked up at some lovers' spot in Cordy's car. Xander's wondering what Willow sees in Oz, and Cordy's frustrated. She has a point. Then Xander tells Cordy that he hears a noise, but Cordy just gets exasperated. As it happens, a werewolf breaks through the sunroof on her car and goes for them. Cordy's driving skills serve to get her and Xander out of a sticky situation...

Next morning, the gang's in the parking lot looking at Cordy's car. Xander says that he thinks they saw a werewolf, and Giles agrees, remarking that there've been a few incidents which left animal remains behind. Willow's upset by the animal remains thingy, but Oz calms her down. Giles says that everything should be okay until the next month's full moon, but Willow tells him that that evening will be the full moon; last night was the night before the full moon. Giles heads off to his books while the others go to class.

In gym class, Oz is sitting behind Willow and Buffy, and Xander's sitting a few people down, next to Cordy. Nice pairing, eh? Oz tucks Willow's tag back into her shirt, which causes Xander to get a little incensed. The class is on self-defense, and everyone heads off into their groups. We see Larry with a bandage on his wrist and Xander asks him what happened. Larry mentions that some stray dog bit him, and he had to get around 39 stitches. Oz can sympathize; his cousin Jordy just got his grown-up tooth and "does not like to be tickled." Oz has a bandage on his finger. During the class, Larry begins to torment Teresa until Buffy steps in. Sorry this is so long-winded, but they just aired it and so all this stuff is fresh in my mind. Anyhoo, Buffy ends up flipping Larry big-time.

In the library, Giles is telling Buffy, Willow, and Xander about werewolf information; they know that they can't kill the wolf since the werewolf is a person for the better part of the month. Later that night, Buffy and Giles are up around the lovers' lane area. They haven't found anything, so they go their separate ways again. Unfortunately, Buffy steps into a net and is hoisted up into the trees. Enter Cain, a guy who hunts werewolves 'cause their pelts fetch a pretty penny in Sri Lanka. He's killed 11 werewolves already, and he sports a necklace made out of werewolf teeth. Cain makes suggestive comments about Giles's and Buffy's relationship, and he also makes snide remarks about Buffy's abilities since she's female. Cain's a clueless guy, I guess, but he does know that werewolves are suckers for the whole sexual heat thing, so this tips off Buffy as to the wolfie's whereabouts.

In another part of town, we see Teresa walking home. She's pretty nervous, thinks she hears stuff. Then she starts running and slams into Angel, who's twirling a flower and looking semi-innocent. He looks pretty sinister if you ask me...So he plays the nice guy, asks Teresa if she knows Buffy, and she relaxes a little. He then offers to walk her home, and she accepts. Assume something horrible happens, because it does.

Meanwhile, Cordy and Willow are at the Bronze discussing Xander and guys in general. I think I could use a talk like that every so often, too. Who couldn't? Anyhoo, the werewolf drops down and everyone goes shrieking out of the Bronze just as Buffy and Giles show up. Buffy tries to wrap a chain around the wolf's neck, but it makes a break for it. Then we see Cain at the Bronze, and he busts Buffy's chops for letting the wolf get away. Then he leaves.

Wolfie-boy emerges from the shadows of an alley, and he spots a blood trail. He follows it and ends up over Teresa's body -- then there's a staring-and-snarling match between him and Angel. No one really wins, Angel leaves, and the wolf looks a little sad as he bends over the body. Meanwhile, Buffy and Giles are back in the woods again. Only Buffy was out in the woods hunting while Giles was sort of napping in the car; it's almost daybreak, and a news report comes on about the death of Teresa Klusmeyer. Giles tells Buffy not to worry since the werewolf will be reverting back to its human form at daybreak. And that they'll have another night to catch it. In another part of the woods, at daybreak, we spot the wolfie. It's changing back..into...Oz!

Long-winded aren't I? You'll thank me later. Maybe. Anyhoo, Oz wakes up naked in the forest and is thoroughly confused. Back at home, he calls his Aunt Maureen to ask if cousin Jordy is a werewolf. So of course Jordy's a werewolf. Oz is freaked out and goes into the library at school. He walks in on a convo. among Buffy, Giles, Willow, and Xander. When he asks if anyone got hurt the other night, Willow tells him that they're all fine. But Buffy says that Teresa was killed. Oz is shaken by the news. Xander says they need to figure out who the wolf is, and that he can help, since he can relate. -- See The Pack, the episode where Xander was a hyena. -- By stating that he can identify with the werewolf, Xander outs himself as having memories of the hyena incident, something that he'd claimed to Buffy and Willow not to remember at all. Anyhoo, Xander decides that Larry's the werewolf and goes to get a confession. Buffy and Giles retreat to Giles's office to discuss other methods of bagging the werewolf, leaving Willow to talk with Oz. She asks if he wants to help her do research on the computer, but he says he can't, and leaves.

Meanwhile in the locker room, Xander's confession-grilling of Larry goes awry when Larry admits to Xander that he's gay. Then Larry mistakenly believes that Xander is gay. Larry's unburdened and feels great; Xander's a little freaked. When Buffy asks Xander what happened, Xander covers up. It's then that Buffy realizes that none of the reports said that Teresa had been mauled; she and Xander go to the funeral home and learn that a vampire killed Teresa. Teresa vamps out and tells Buffy that Angel sends his love. Buffy's shocked by this and loses her advantage over Teresa; fortunately, Xander kills Teresa.

Okay so basically what happens is Buffy later tells Willow to make a move on Oz since it's slow-going. So while Oz is preparing to shackle himself somewhere in his house --does this guy even have parents? -- there's a knock on the door. An irate Willow starts to chew him out sort of, and Oz tells her they'll discuss it later. This only riles her more, so she gets to have a front-row seat (standing room only?) when Oz begins to make the change into wolfman. She flees the house and makes it into the woods, and Cain, who's outside in his van, hears the howling and goes to set a trap.

Willow runs into the library to tell Buffy and Giles what's happening, and they all take off, tranquilizer gun in hand. Cain's about to shoot Were-Oz when Buffy kicks the gun out of his hands. The two struggle, then Buffy struggles with Were-Oz. The wolf tosses her off of him and she slams into Giles and Willow. Willow recovers enough to get the tranquilizer gun and shoot Oz.

At school, we see the kinder, gentler side of Larry, who thanks Xander. Buffy's confused, but whatever. So Willow and Oz do the chat thing and she tells him that she still likes him, even though he thinks maybe she should stay away from him. Thus begins the relationship of a girl and her wolf. This was too long, even by my standards. Sorry.

What Got the Job Done:

1. Buffy fought Teresa-vampire, but Xander staked her with some easel-thing's leg.
2. Buffy kicked Cain and sent him on his way.
3. Willow shot the tranquilizer gun at Were-Oz.


What We Learn in This Episode:

1. The moon, though it brings out evil tendencies in people, also led to the invention of the moon pie. (Xander)
2. Larry reveals that he's gay.
3. Oz is still sort of unflappable.

An Amusing Exchange:

Willow: "Well, I like you. You're nice, and you're funny, and you don't smoke....And yeah, okay, werewolf, but...that's not all the time. I mean, three days out of the month, I'm not much fun to be around either."
Oz: "You are quite the human."
-- Willow explains to Oz why "she'd still."

Settings Seen:

1. Sunnydale High School
2. The place where they had Teresa's funeral
3. Oz's house
4. An overlook (where the kids go parking)
5. The Bronze
6. An Alley
7. The woods

Characters Seen:

1. Buffy
2. Willow
3. Xander
4. Giles
5. Cordelia
6. Angel
7. Oz
8. Teresa
9. Larry
10. Cain

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This page last updated on September 18, 1998.

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