"Wild at Heart"
Written by Marti Noxon; directed by David Grossman

Buffy battles a vampire on campus, not realizing that Spike is watching her from a distance. He starts to vow to go after her again, but is interrupted when he’s captured by commandos. At the Bronze, the Scoobies are happy to be in a familiar place, but are shocked when Giles arrives. Willow is surprised to see that Veruca’s band is playing again, and is upset when Oz is again mesmerized by her. The next morning, Willow and Oz cuddle in bed and he mentions that that night is the night before the full moon. Her Wicca group is meeting, so he’ll be locking himself up. After a Psych class, Professor Walsh compliments Buffy’s work on a paper and asks her to lead a discussion group. Willow congratulates Buffy, though she’s slightly jealous. Oz spots Veruca in the cafeteria and makes small talk with her until Willow arrives. Willow feels out of place and tries to keep up with a conversation about music equipment. Oz splits, followed by Veruca, and Willow complains to Buffy that she doesn’t “speak musicianese.” Buffy tells her not to be jealous of Veruca because Oz isn’t the sort of person who would cheat.

Oz locks himself up that night, but escapes from his cage. He runs into Professor Walsh, who runs, only to encounter another werewolf. The wolfies go at it with each other. The next morning, Oz and Veruca, the other werewolf, wake up together outside. They take clothes from a laundry room, and Veruca mentions that she doesn’t lock herself up. She tells him that he’s not just a wolf three nights out of the month - he’s always a wolf, and his human visage is a mask. He tells her that nothing else will happen between them, but she says that being a wolf makes them free. Somewhere on campus, Professor Walsh tells Riley, then Buffy, about her encounter with the werewolves. Willow goes to Oz’s room and apologizes for acting strangely about Veruca. She tries to seduce him, but he begs off, injured from the night before. Hurt, she leaves.

Buffy goes to Giles’ apartment and relays Professor Walsh’s story to him. Willow goes to Xander’s basement and tells him she needs “a translator from the ‘y’ side of things.” She asks him what it means when a girl wants to have sex but the guy doesn’t. She also mentions that Oz has been checking Veruca out and he asks if she’s talked to Oz about it. She worries that he’ll think she’s jealous, but Xander encourages her to talk things over with him. Buffy tracks Oz down in an underground cave, where he’s fixing up a cage. She asks him if he saw another werewolf the night before and he tells her he doesn’t remember what happened. Later, Veruca arrives in the cave, having been summoned by Oz, who wants to lock her up. She tells him she wants him and they start making out. Then…doing more than making out.

The next morning, Willow arrives at the cave and sees Oz and Veruca sleeping together, naked. He tries to excuse his behavior, but Willow is hurt and angry with him. Oz tells Veruca to leave, then tells Willow that he knows how she feels (see “Lovers Walk”). He says that when he becomes a werewolf, the animal takes over, but she accuses him of being attracted to Veruca even before that. She asks if he wanted Veruca more than her, then leaves. On the street, she distractedly walks into the path of a car and is saved by Riley. Buffy takes her home and tries to comfort her before setting out to find Veruca. She goes to Oz’s and he tells her he doesn’t know where Veruca is. They decide to follow her scent.

In a lab at school, Willow begins a spell to break Oz and Veruca’s hearts. Buffy and Oz find Veruca’s clothes in the woods and wonder if she’s trying to throw them off her trail so that she can get to Willow. Indeed, Veruca has found Willow in the lab and is prepared to kill her in order to hold on to Oz. Buffy and Oz take off through the woods, but Buffy is slowed when she runs into a commando. Veruca mocks Willow until Oz shows up and tells her to leave Willow alone. They both begin to transform into wolves, then fight. Oz gets the upper hand and kills Veruca, but then turns on Willow. Buffy shows up just in time to shoot him with a tranquilizer dart.

At Giles’ apartment, Buffy tells him what happened, making him wonder who the commando in the woods was. She says that Willow is taking things hard and she doesn’t know how she and Oz are going to work through everything. Oz has decided that the best way to handle the situation is to leave town. He wants to figure out how to control the animal inside him, and is afraid that he’ll hurt people if he doesn’t. They share a tearful goodbye, and he drives away. (Don’t worry - he’ll be back for a visit in “New Moon Rising.”)

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Cages are acceptable locations for sex.

R.I.P.: Veruca

GRADE: C- Bad acting (sorry, Paige Moss), bad writing (not sorry, Marti Noxon), bad write-out.

MEMORABLE QUOTES - Giles: “I'm...I'm...I'm down with the new music. And I have the albums to prove it.”
Buffy: “Yes, but it's your cutting edge 8-tracks that keep you ahead of the scene.”

Giles: “You've made me feel right at home.”
Xander: “Isn't home that empty place you're trying to escape?”
Giles: “Oh, yeah.”

“All Geminis to the raspberry hats.” - Willow, faking having a dream

Giles: (watching a quiz show) “Peace of Westphalia.”
Contestant: “Uh, Yalta?”
Giles: “Oh, you moron. That dinette set should be mine.”

Willow: “Oz…don’t you love me?”
Oz: “My whole life…I’ve never loved anything else.”

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