New Moon Rising

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  • 9.0

    New Moon Rising

    By arkanitoo, Aug 14, 2014

    Oz returns to Sunnydale (yay, it's Oz!) to find an oddly conflicted Willow. This is an episode that just had to happen and it's pulled off pretty well. Tara and Oz meet and Willow has to decide now which way she wants to go: back to Oz or continue with Tara. Since Oz left Sunnydale a bit abruptly back in "Wild at Heart" (4x06) there's been a lack of closure in his relationship with Willow, and this episode gives us that closure in a pretty satisfying way. It also manages to elevate Willow and Tara's relationship to a new level. Some other important bits happen as a result of Willow's conflict, including both Buffy and Riley coming to understand each other's point of view on demons. This leads to Buffy's not-so-complete disclosure of her relationship with Angel, which I say qualifies as an elevation in their relationship as well.



    It all begins when Willow brings Tara along to a Scooby meeting discussing Adam's whereabouts. In the middle of this, Oz appears in the doorway and shocks everyone. As soon as Tara hears that it's Oz she disappointingly says, and then Buffy looks over Willow's way with this questioned look on her face. Oz comes in and is very respectful towards Willow, not expecting anything right away. He walks in, politely asks her if they can chat later, and then heads out. I really liked this entire scene and felt Willow's confusion, like



    When they get together to 'chat' later, Oz takes her outside to show that it's a full moon, and he's not a wolf! Go Oz! Willow's reaction is really interesting though. At first she is absolutely thrilled and hugs him, but as Oz hold her she begins to notice it doesn't feel quite right anymore. She then backs off a bit and says, "it's wonderful for Willow isn't the same person she was when Oz left; a lot has happened including her separation from Buffy and the Scoobies, which coincides with her growing relationship with Tara.



    It turns out the reason Oz returned is because he thinks he has his wolfy nature under control now and can give Willow what she needs. Interesting side-note, it just hit me that Spike also left town to better himself for a girl -- interesting. After an evening of chatting in which Willow never reveals her feelings towards Tara, Oz feels like he's got a good shot at hooking up again with her. Tara comes to the door when Willow's in the bathroom, sees Oz there, and basically runs off. This makes Oz mighty curious for a few seconds but just dismisses the oddness, probably assuming that it's just Tara's personality.



    I am switching topics to Buffy for a bit because what her and Riley go through is connected to what's happening with Willow. While patrolling Riley begins expressing his observations of Oz's return. Buffy says, "The thing is before that, they were doing great. I mean, she was totally dealing with Oz being a Riley responds in a very surprised manner saying "Whoa, wait. Oz is a werewolf, and Willow was dating him!? ... You're kidding me. Gotta say I'm surprised. I didn't think Willow was that kind of girl ... Into dangerous guys. She seems smarter than These comments obviously tick Buffy off, because she knows that she's the kind of girl who gravitates towards "bad boys" and Riley's comments likely rub off as an indirect insult of her relationship with Angel, which Riley doesn't even know about yet. Buffy's response supports this theory, "Yeah, well love isn't logical, Riley. It's not like you can be Mister Joe Sensible about it all the time. God knows I haven't



    I can't help but be reminded of Spike's speech in "Lover's Walk" (3x08), "Love isn't brains, children, it's blood, blood screaming inside you to work its This issue between Buffy and Riley brings out some very interesting discussion about the nature of demons. Buffy is so used to dealing with nicer demons that she's forgotten what it's like for someone finding it out for the first time. She was surprised when she initially found out that a vampire can be good in "Angel" (1x07). It's safe to say she was 'thrown,' which is a word that is used in this episode.



    The next morning Buffy and Riley wake up (in his bed) together and she is angry at all things Riley because of his comment the previous night. This squabble feels very realistic to how a real couple would interact. Riley says, "Okay, I'm up less than a minute, and somehow I've managed to piss you Buffy tries to tell him that it isn't as simple as "Demons bad, people She even goes as far as saying "It's with different demons. There are creatures - vampires, for example -- that aren't evil at This is obviously a reference to Angel and is further evidence she was reminded of Angel when Riley made the comment about Willow.



    All of this discussion is a wonderful lead-in to when Buffy finds out Willow is in love with Tara. Buffy walks into her dorm to find Willow sitting on her bed (which is a rarity these days). When asked by Willow if she's okay, Buffy doesn't want to chat and would rather redirect the conversation to Oz's return. In previous years Buffy was much more open with Willow -- things have definitely changed. Anyway, Willow is trying to explain to a confused Buffy why the situation is When Buffy still isn't "getting it," she sighs and says, "It's of Buffy amusingly responds with "You mean Tara has a crush on It's at this point when it finally sinks in.



    The reactions Buffy has is not surprising in the slightest. If my best friend announced he was seriously gay, I'd definitely back up a few steps myself. For one, it's simply a huge surprise. Additionally, I'd be concerned he thought I was hot in some way, which honestly would be a bit disturbing to me because I'm not homosexual. So when Buffy reacts exactly like I would, I can definitely understand what she's feeling. After the initial shock/confusion and backing away has passed, though, Buffy is more understanding, because she knows Willow is still her best friend.



    When getting very impatient waiting for confirmation about whether or not Oz was the demon that did the damage, Riley just pulls out his gun and decides to end it. At the exact time he does that Oz morphs back into a human and shocks the crap out of Riley, much like Buffy was shocked about Willow's confession. This, of course, leads to Riley throwing away his career with the Initiative to help Oz escape, which fails. Quick note: the Initiative is still annoying me and have become a plot device rather than an institution for interesting discussion, and this hurts all episodes they are in, including this one, a bit. Anyway, I like how when Buffy frees Riley from the brig he expresses a moment's concern that if he leaves now he won't be able to come back. Buffy's resulting static expression of "yeah, duh, what are you waiting is awesome.



    Both Buffy and Riley's separate experiences after having their initial fight have shaped them to be more open about the other partner's perspective. The way the Willow/Oz/Tara situation affects Buffy and Riley is simply brilliant writing. The two of them are hanging out at the ruins of Sunnydale High after their actions against the Initiative, when Riley admits he was being a bigot about the Oz situation. Buffy, though, in light of being 'thrown' herself by Willow's 'change' sees now that Riley was simply 'thrown' by the idea of good demons -- that the world they live in is one with shades of gray, especially when love is involved. In light of this new level of understanding, Buffy chooses this moment to begin telling Riley about her relationship with Angel. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful characterization! I love it!



    While all of this is happening, Adam pays a visit to Spike. A result of this communication is Spike offering help to Buffy because he thinks Adam will remove his chip. Adam also opens the doors into the Initiative for the Scoobies, which is pretty cool. The bad guy's helping the good guys without the good guys knowing it because it's all part of a larger scheme. Anyway, you've got to feel sad for Oz in this episode, because he came all the way back to Sunnydale hoping to reconnect with the girl he loves, only to find out that he has the same problem as when he left and that his girl now loves another girl. Oz makes it clear that he's not terribly at peace with the fact that Willow's in love with a girl now. This becomes clear when she says "I can't explain it" and Oz replies, "It may be safer for both of us if you



    This episode gives much better closure to their relationship than what we got in "Wild at Heart" (4x06). The final scene between Willow and Tara was not only incredibly sweet, but very suggestive as well. Overall, this episode is extremely solid. It gives closure to the Willow/Oz relationship and beautifully sets up the Willow/Tara one. At the same time, a whole new level of trust and openness is gained between Buffy and Riley, who learn from the Willow/Tara/Oz situation. Great stuff!moreless

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  • 9.0

    Oz returns to Sunnydale to find an oddly conflicted Willow.

    By tarafan2, Jun 23, 2013

    This is an episode that just had to happen and it's pulled off pretty well. Tara and Oz meet and Willow has to decide now which way she wants to go: back to Oz or continue with Tara. Since Oz left Sunnydale a bit abruptly back in "Wild at Heart" there's been a lack of closure in his relationship with Willow, and this episode gives us that closure in a pretty satisfying way. It also manages to elevate Willow and Tara's relationship to a new level. Some other important bits happen as a result of Willow's conflict, including both Buffy and Riley coming to understand each other's point of view on demons. This leads to Buffy's not-so-complete disclosure of her relationship with Angel, which I say qualifies as an elevation in their relationship as well.



    It all begins when Willow brings Tara along to a Scooby meeting discussing Adam's whereabouts. In the middle of this, Oz appears in the doorway and shocks everyone. As soon as Tara hears that it's Oz she disappointingly says, and then Buffy looks over Willow's way with this questioned look on her face. Oz comes in and is very respectful towards Willow, not expecting anything right away. He walks in, politely asks her if they can chat later, and then heads out. I really liked this entire scene and felt Willow's confusion, like



    When they get together to 'chat' later, Oz takes her outside to show that it's a full moon, and he's not a wolf! Go Oz! Willow's reaction is really interesting though. At first she is absolutely thrilled and hugs him, but as Oz hold her she begins to notice it doesn't feel quite right anymore. She then backs off a bit and says, "it's wonderful for Willow isn't the same person she was when Oz left; a lot has happened including her separation from Buffy and the Scoobies, which coincides with her growing relationship with Tara.



    It turns out the reason Oz returned is because he thinks he has his wolfy nature under control now and can give Willow what she needs. Interesting side-note, it just hit me that Spike also left town to better himself for a girl -- interesting. After an evening of chatting in which Willow never reveals her feelings towards Tara, Oz feels like he's got a good shot at hooking up again with her. Tara comes to the door when Willow's in the bathroom, sees Oz there, and basically runs off. This makes Oz mighty curious for a few seconds but just dismisses the oddness, probably assuming that it's just Tara's personality.



    I am switching topics to Buffy for a bit because what her and Riley go through is connected to what's happening with Willow. While patrolling Riley begins expressing his observations of Oz's return. Buffy says, "The thing is before that, they were doing great. I mean, she was totally dealing with Oz being a Riley responds in a very surprised manner saying "Whoa, wait. Oz is a werewolf, and Willow was dating him!? ... You're kidding me. Gotta say I'm surprised. I didn't think Willow was that kind of girl ... Into dangerous guys. She seems smarter than These comments obviously tick Buffy off, because she knows that she's the kind of girl who gravitates towards "bad boys" and Riley's comments likely rub off as an indirect insult of her relationship with Angel, which Riley doesn't even know about yet. Buffy's response supports this theory, "Yeah, well love isn't logical, Riley. It's not like you can be Mister Joe Sensible about it all the time. God knows I haven't



    I can't help but be reminded of Spike's speech in "Lover's Walk", "Love isn't brains, children, it's blood, blood screaming inside you to work its This issue between Buffy and Riley brings out some very interesting discussion about the nature of demons. Buffy is so used to dealing with nicer demons that she's forgotten what it's like for someone finding it out for the first time. She was surprised when she initially found out that a vampire can be good in "Angel". It's safe to say she was 'thrown,' which is a word that is used in this episode.



    The next morning Buffy and Riley wake up together and she is angry at all things Riley because of his comment the previous night. This squabble feels very realistic to how a real couple would interact. Riley says, "Okay, I'm up less than a minute, and somehow I've managed to piss you Buffy tries to tell him that it isn't as simple as "Demons bad, people She even goes as far as saying "It's with different demons. There are creatures - vampires, for example -- that aren't evil at This is obviously a reference to Angel and is further evidence she was reminded of Angel when Riley made the comment about Willow.



    All of this discussion is a wonderful lead-in to when Buffy finds out Willow is in love with Tara. Buffy walks into her dorm to find Willow sitting on her bed. When asked by Willow if she's okay, Buffy doesn't want to chat and would rather redirect the conversation to Oz's return. In previous years Buffy was much more open with Willow -- things have definitely changed. Anyway, Willow is trying to explain to a confused Buffy why the situation is When Buffy still isn't "getting it," she sighs and says, "It's of Buffy amusingly responds with "You mean Tara has a crush on It's at this point when it finally sinks in.



    The reactions Buffy has is not surprising in the slightest. If my best friend announced he was seriously gay, I'd definitely back up a few steps myself. For one, it's simply a huge surprise. Additionally, I'd be concerned he thought I was hot in some way, which honestly would be a bit disturbing to me because I'm not homosexual. So when Buffy reacts exactly like I would, I can definitely understand what she's feeling. After the initial shock/confusion and backing away has passed, though, Buffy is more understanding, because she knows Willow is still her best friend.



    The problem now is that Willow is placed in an impossible situation of having to choose between Oz, who she still greatly cares about, and Tara, who is naturally trying to be supportive but is very obvious in showing how she feels. Willow says, "I don't wanna hurt anyone, Buffy's response is the hard truth: "No matter what, somebody's gonna get hurt. And the important thing is, you just have to be honest, or it's gonna be a lot This all leads to the Oz/Tara confrontation scene in the hallway. Oz smells Willow's sweater on Tara and finds out about their relationship even though Tara tries to keep out of everything. This entire situation gets Oz so flustered he starts to somehow transform into the wolf, chases Tara, then gets tagged by Riley and the Initiative because they think he's the demon that tore apart their group earlier in the episode.



    When getting very impatient waiting for confirmation about whether or not Oz was the demon that did the damage, Riley just pulls out his gun and decides to end it. At the exact time he does that Oz morphs back into a human and shocks the crap out of Riley, much like Buffy was shocked about Willow's confession. This, of course, leads to Riley throwing away his career with the Initiative to help Oz escape, which fails. Quick note: the Initiative is still annoying me and have become a plot device rather than an institution for interesting discussion, and this hurts all episodes they are in, including this one, a bit. Anyway, I like how when Buffy frees Riley from the brig he expresses a moment's concern that if he leaves now he won't be able to come back. Buffy's resulting static expression of "yeah, duh, what are you waiting is awesome.



    Both Buffy and Riley's separate experiences after having their initial fight have shaped them to be more open about the other partner's perspective. The way the Willow/Oz/Tara situation affects Buffy and Riley is simply brilliant writing. The two of them are hanging out at the ruins of Sunnydale High after their actions against the Initiative, when Riley admits he was being a bigot about the Oz situation. Buffy, though, in light of being 'thrown' herself by Willow's 'change' sees now that Riley was simply 'thrown' by the idea of good demons -- that the world they live in is one with shades of gray, especially when love is involved. In light of this new level of understanding, Buffy chooses this moment to begin telling Riley about her relationship with Angel. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful characterization! I love it!



    While all of this is happening, Adam pays a visit to Spike. A result of this communication is Spike offering help to Buffy because he thinks Adam will remove his chip. Adam also opens the doors into the Initiative for the Scoobies, which is pretty cool. The bad guy's helping the good guys without the good guys knowing it because it's all part of a larger scheme. Anyway, you've got to feel sad for Oz in this episode, because he came all the way back to Sunnydale hoping to reconnect with the girl he loves, only to find out that he has the same problem as when he left and that his girl now loves another girl. Oz makes it clear that he's not terribly at peace with the fact that Willow's in love with a girl now. This becomes clear when she says "I can't explain it" and Oz replies, "It may be safer for both of us if you



    This episode gives much better closure to their relationship than what we got in "Wild at Heart". The final scene between Willow and Tara was not only incredibly sweet, but very suggestive as well. Overall, this episode is extremely solid. It gives closure to the Willow/Oz relationship and beautifully sets up the Willow/Tara one. At the same time, a whole new level of trust and openness is gained between Buffy and Riley, who learn from the Willow/Tara/Oz situation. Great stuff!moreless

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  • 9.0

    A brilliant episode; the official ending of Willow/Oz and the official start of Willow/Tara.

    By TwistedConverse, Jan 23, 2011

    New Moon Rising is a fantastic episode that rounds off the romance of Willow and Oz and officially starts the romance of Willow and Tara. It is emotional and shocking all the way through.



    Oz coming back was good. I feel his story arc was naearly over in Wild at Heart and this episode was needed to really finish his storyline and his romance with Willow. It is nice to see Willow and Oz together for the last time, as even though I'm a Willow/Tara fan, I've always liked Willow/Oz as well. I thought they were just a nice, interesting relationship and nnot overly dramatic like some (Buffy/Angel) or boring like others (Buffy/Riley).



    I was very satisfied with how they ended the romance. It was all very believable; I understood that Willow still has a place in her heart for Oz but is not in love with him anymore and I felt her choosing Tara was a natural choice.



    I felt this episode had some really great scenes; the last scene between Willow and Oz was brilliantly written; sad and emotional. I love Willow saying she's sure they'll meet again; whether it's in Sunnydale or in Istanbul. It gave fans of Willow/Oz hope that they might reunite but didn't feel like an attempt to satisfy them in case of angry reactions from fans (e.g. Angel coming back in End of Days/Chosen and Buffy's annoying and irrelevant cookie dough speech).



    The Initiative scenes were good and furthered the main arc slightly. Spike being Adam's ally is a reminder that he's still evil and the scenes between them were OK- nothing special as I don't really care for the arc at all. Nevertheless, it didn't make the episode feel completely out of place.



    Riley finally did something that wasn't annoying OR boring- punching that annoying Colonel McNamara. That guy is so irritating and up himself. I look forward to watching his death in Primeval again. Willow coming out to Buffy was a really good scene. Buffy's initial weirdness about it but her acceptance and support of it immediately after sends out the right message to people in the same predicament. It really reminds us of the close bond between them.



    The last scene was so- for lack of a better word- cute! It was a little cheesy with Tara blowing out the candle but really made a nice start for their official relationship.



    New Moon Rising is an excellent episode and one that has sad endings and happy beginnings. It isn't one of my favourites but is still a really great episode and one not to be missed.moreless

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  • 10

    New Moon Rising

    By TrueTvWatcher, Oct 25, 2010

    New Moon Rising was a perfectly classic episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer because it has a lot of important character development especially for Willow. In this episode we see the return of Oz, at a time not so convienent for Willow as she has moved on, and to a whole new field. When Oz finds out the truth he turns into a Wolf and gets captured by the Initiative, though when Riley finds out its Oz he does try to help. This created a complex scenario resulting from Willow and Tara's relationshiop, that brings all the characters stories together in some way. Willow finally reveals all her true feelings to Buffy, Oz, and Tara.moreless

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  • 10

    As Willow & Tara's friendship/relationship continues to evlove,Oz returns to Sunnydale to ask Willow to consider getting back together after explaining that the 'wolfy' is under control.

    By swanstoon, Oct 23, 2010

    I'll put my cards on the table from the outset & declare that this is my favourite episode,Tara my favourite character & the Willow/Tara relationship one of my all-time favourite television relationships.



    That declaration out of the way,there is much to like about this episode as Willow and Tara continue to grow closer,although I think that Tara fell head over heels in love with Willow after their initial encounter in 'Hush'.



    As far as plot development is concerned I guess it was neccesary that Oz return to tie up some loose ends & the writers are to be congratulated for the way they handled Oz's return & eventual departure.



    This is one of Amber Benson's strongest performances & she will continue to grow as an actor as Tara continues to grow as a character.



    As Willow & Tara's relationship blossoms it evolves into one of the more believable relationships on television,at the same time managing to distance itself from sensationalising a same-sex relationship.



    And the final scene between Willow & Tara? Simply perfect!moreless

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  • 9.1

    Case of the Ex-Werewolf

    By lenzinoH20, Oct 23, 2010

    New Moon Rising-Tara and Willow's relationship seems to be progressing when Oz returns to town. Through his travels Oz has found a combination of charms, potions and meditation that allows him to avoid turning into a werewolf. When Oz discovers that Willow and Tara are more than friends, however, he loses control and the wolf is set free.



    Quite the underrated episode, "New Moon Rising" sees the writers delving back into some serious storylines after 2 sub-par episodes. Oz's return is really sudden and no only brings up emotions for Willow and the rest of the gang but viewers as well. Seth Green plays Oz's maturity since his depature so convincing and Alyson Hannigan just excels throughout as Willow is overwhelmed by Oz's return. What's more important is that Oz's return forces Willow to reveal the truth about her relationship with Tara, and it's one many didn't see coming. It's natural that during college, people start discovering sides of themselves, with sexuality being the biggest part. Willow's coming out scene to Buffy is one of the most daring and pivotal moments of the series. During a time where gay characters on tv were still relatively new, Willow's coming out was one of the most memorable. Amber Benson was also wonderful throughout as Tara fears losing Willow to Oz and is at her most uncomfortable. The highlight of the episode is Oz going in a rage after finding out Willow is in love with Tara. It's a tense scene with both Seth and Amber really selling that scene. I also love how the episode brings back the theme of their being a grey area in the demon world when Buffy is disgusted about his attitude toward all demons. It makes sense that Buffy would feel hurt considering her relationship with Angel and it's nice that finally Buffy revealed that part of her past to Riley by episode end. Riley really grows in this episode as he starts off seeing all demons as a threat, but realizing there are expections when he tries to save Oz after being captured by the Initiative. Riley becoming a fugitive with the Initiative after him provides for a nice development as well. The episode ends with 2 stunning scenes with Oz and Willow saying goodbye for good and Willow starting her new romantic relationship with Tara. Underrated by far, "New Moon Rising" is a great emotional drama that is a satisfying closer to Willow's old relationship as she begins a new chapter in her life.moreless

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  • 8.5

    Willow, Tara and Oz

    By bilanovic, Aug 04, 2010

    Very nice episode.Oz is back, while only for this one episode, I was glad to see him again and I will miss him as a regular.

    Main plot aside (the "monster" plot in this episode is weak, the accent is on relationships between Willow, Oz and Tara) I can't really say that I liked what I saw.

    I never did understand why Willow was attracted to Tara.Tara has some kind of "stoner" personality and I simply don't see that kind of "special" connection between her and Willow, it looks so artificial.

    Well, I guess what I'm trying to say is that I don't really like Tara as a character in Buffy, especially not a regular one.

    It would be so much better if we could just have our good old Oz back.



    Just my couple of cents.moreless

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  • 7.5

    Season 4, Episode 19.

    By Wanted23, Jul 04, 2009

    The relationship between Willow and Tara seems to be progressing, but Oz comes to town and complicates things with some good news: he has found a way to control his wolf metamorphoses. However, he cannot control his transformations after he discovers Willow and Tara are more than just friends.



    This episode was OK. I liked Willow coming out to Buffy. It was a great scene. However, Oz's return was unnecessary, and I think this was just a filler episode because the writers couldn't think of anything better. But I'm happy that Oz is finally gone and that Willow and Tara are finally together. Their homoerotic relationship finally progresses into a romantic relationship. Decent episode. :)moreless

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  • 8.7

    Oz is back but does Willow want him back?

    By Slayergirlkal, Aug 30, 2007

    I really enjoyed the relationship between Tara and Willow in this episode especially since Oz was brought back into the picture. It was nice that Willow was taking Tara to the Scooby meeting and that before then they were just holding hands. Willow and Tara were just really cute.



    I absolutely hated Riley in this episode. It was so annoying how he was all on the path of humans good demons bad. I liked seeing that Buffy took that personally and got a little ticked with him. Riley finding out that the Werewolf the Initiative caught was Oz and trying to help him escape seemed like an act. It just seemed like he would do anything to get points with Buffy when he did that. It was nice to see them talking toward the end when they were in hiding about Buffy's past. Oz and Willow were incredible. I liked that they just talked through an entire night about what had happened in their lives while they were apart. I think that Willow should have mentioned Tara at least so that Oz wouldn't get all jealous the way that he did and wolf out.



    It was so nice that Willow finally admitted to Buffy that she and Tara had a thing. Buffy's reaction was priceless. It was nice to see her just a little freaked out but then become calming and supportive.



    Of course I loved the breaking into the Initiative part to rescue Oz and sadly Riley as well. It was obvious though that Spike was going to be approached by Adam, which was the reason Spike helped the Scoobies get inside. It was that Anya and Giles were working as the rest of the gang was going into the Initiative and I loved Anya and Giles high-fiving. It was very amusing to see Giles' look of huh? And then he suddenly understood.



    It was sad to see Oz leaving again at the end but it was for the best. And I obviously loved Willow and Tara getting together at the end. It was rather sweet to see them like that.



    This was a pretty good episode of Buffy but I really wanted to hit Riley a lot but that's normal!! =Dmoreless

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