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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: New Moon Rising

Willow: "There's woo and hoo. But there's uh-oh, and why now, and... it's complicated."

Oz comes back to Sunnydale and discovers that, even though she doesn't have a new guy, Willow is not exactly available any more. I really like Seth Green and I like the Oz character a lot, but I also like the Willow/Tara relationship and I'm really glad that Willow didn't just dump Tara for Oz. My only reservation is that nagging worry about what was going on when Tara screwed up Willow's demon-search spell -- but I simply can't believe any more that Tara could be a bad guy. After all, she could have eliminated Oz as her rival quite easily just by not saying anything at all.

There is a "duh" here, though. Buffy really didn't notice what was going on with Willow and Tara? Where has she been? In bed with the clean marine at the frat house, I guess, but still, it's a lot not to notice about the best friend you live with, isn't it?

Riley finally had to choose between Buffy and the Initiative, and it wasn't as hard as he thought it would be. Exposure to Buffy and the gang has neutralized his demon-bigotry, I guess. Riley is still a question mark for me, though. What did Professor Walsh do to him?

So Adam is recruiting Spike to do what? What did he mean by "heavy casualties on both sides?" Guess I'll have to stay tuned. At least Spike is finally in the gang, even if it's just as a spy.

Bits and pieces:

— Riley does push-ups every morning before he even goes to the bathroom? I thought Buffy had a human boyfriend this time.

— I liked the way Alyson Hannigan said "wolfie."

— Amber Benson looked really good in this episode. Is she doing her hair differently?


Xander: "Oz, man. Hate to sound grandma, but... you don't call, you don't write."

Oz: "This warlock in Romania sent me to the monks there to learn some meditation techniques. Very intense. All about keeping your inner cool."
Willow: "Good. 'Cause you were such a spaz before."

Riley: "How'd you get in?"
Buffy: "Talk later. Stealthy escape now."

Buffy: "Stay back! Or I'll pull a William Burroughs on your leader here."
Xander: "You'll bore him to death with free prose?"

Three out of four stakes. Good episode, but I really can't wait for next week.

Billie Doux reviewed all of Buffy and Angel, so she knows the plural of apocalypse.


  1. Great episode! Much better than the last few in my opinion. It was great to have Oz back, acting even more zen-like than usual, and I thought it was cool that he figured out a way to control his wolf side.

    As much as I loved Oz and Willow and would love for them to be back together, by this point I have already grown pretty attached to the tenderness between Tara and Willow and I was glad Willow didn't push Tara aside for Oz. Allyson Hannigan as always did a fantastic job portraying the inner struggle within Willow. That girls sad eyes get me every time.

    I also enjoyed Willow opening up to Buffy about Tara and the way in which Oz figured it out. I loved how in particular what upset Oz was that Willow was in love with someone else, not the fact that Willow had turned "gay" for a girl. Willow's sexuality is done in such an open and sensitive manner on this show, and I love how she is never required to "declare" her sexuality and put a label on it. Willow is just a human that happen to have a romantic connection with both Oz and Tara, nothing more too it.

  2. Although I have seen this episode several times in the past, this time through it just wrecked me. I sobbed through it, although I couldn't tell you why. Willow always affects me in this episode, especially the scene where she opens up to Tara about how she is struggling and the scene at the end.

    I think Miguel puts it beautifully above. This show was just wonderful in the way it portrayed the Willow/Tara relationship as just another romance. What it didn't do, however, was go too far the wrong way. Buffy's reaction to hearing the news is perfect, as is her acceptance of it once she is over the initial surprise.

  3. This is one of the episodes that I saw when Buffy first aired and at the time I was really disappointed that Oz left. I'd seen early Oz episodes, but not the later angst so didn't have the context, and didn't even know who Tara was.

    Watching it now I still feel a bit sad about Oz's departure, Willow and Oz were just so cute together in the beginning, but I think that it makes the most sense for him to leave, it would have been really awful if Willow had dropped Tara.

    It is a bit of a tearjerker...

  4. Oh, this is a great episode. It would totally be among Buffy’s best if it didn’t have the Initiative holding it back.

    So, the writers bring Oz back and give him and Willow terrific closure. That scene in the van is my favorite Willow and Oz scene ever. It’s very satisfying to see two characters with shared history reach such a maturity place regarding what they mean to each other but how their paths now diverge. Sniff. Seth Green and Alyson Hannigan are both amazing. This is completely random, but I love the way Alyson moves her head just a tiny bit and looks at the side right after she says “cause you’re with me, you know?”, it’s so cute. :)

    This episode reminded me why I love this show so much, and it’s not because of The Initiative or Riley, even though I do like the dude. It’s about our main core of characters and the pain they endure and how brave they are through it. I mean, how can you not love Willow here?

    The episode also does a good job of putting the pieces into place for the arc’s conclusion, but BtVS doesn’t do government conspiracy stuff well – it shouldn’t be about that in the first place – so I’m just happy the arc is ending.

    On a side note, Buffy’s reaction to Willow coming out is so great and spot on. Billie, you asked if Buffy didn’t notice about Willow and Tara, and even though it’s pretty obvious (Faith noticed it right away) it’s also very true that close friends don’t notice it, or take a time to do so. Also, Buffy is not that bright. “Like what, Will?”

  5. I really liked this episode a lot, partly because I was never sure where it was going. The way that Riley reacted to the news that Oz was a werewolf, made me wonder if we were going to see another Lover's Walk episode, since Xander and Anya seem on thin ice, too.

    I thought Buffy's not seeing it was fairly realistic, especially for the time...things have changed a lot over the past fifteen years. A friend of mine who had been living with his lover for years was completely floored when a mutual friend noticed that their apartment--and it was not the first time he'd been there--had only one bedroom, and asked if one of them used the hideabed sofa. He had never actually "come out"; he just assumed everybody knew.

    It was a very emotional episode and everything rang pretty true, though it was awful that Tara brought out the wolf in Oz. It reminded me of Beauty and the Beasts in season 3. But the final conversation between Willow and Oz was excellent. I loved that Willow chose Istanbul of all cities (a place as cool as Oz) as where they might run into each other again, and the notion that part of her would always be waiting for him was sweet and sad. It reminded me of the closing lines of the Paul Simon song, Hearts and Bones:

    The arc of a love affair
    Waiting to be restored
    You take two bodies and you twirl them into one
    Their hearts and their bones
    And they won't come undone

  6. when Tara screwed up Willow's demon-search spell

    Huh? I just watched the episode and I somehow missed that COMPLETELY. Can you elaborate?

  7. Unknown, that happened in, I think, "Goodbye Iowa." Willow created a spell to search Sunnydale for demons, and Tara palmed and hid the stuff in her hand that would have made it work.


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