Wild At Heart

Episode Reviews (25)

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  • 9.0

    Wild at weart

    By arkanitoo, Aug 14, 2014

    The writers were presented with quite the challenge here. Seth Green wanted to do movies, so they had to find a way to write his character off the show that made sense. They led up to this with a quick glance in "Living Conditions" (4x02) and a real hint of problems to come in "Beer Bad" (4x05). This is Oz's sendoff and while he doesn't come off as completely in character throughout the entire episode, it mostly works and makes for quite an emotional ride. Considering the constraints they were under, I call this a success.



    The Willow/Oz problems pick up right where they left off in "Beer Bad" (4x05): Veruca. She's singing again at the Bronze and the gang (with Giles, more on this later) is listening in. This scene is utterly brilliant because of the silent conversation that is had between Buffy and Willow. Buffy notices that Willow wants Oz's attention, which is currently being mesmorized by Veruca, off Veruca a bit. So Buffy pipes in and asks Oz about his band. He responds slowly with a distracted response and quickly returns to staring at Veruca singing. Buffy gives Willow a "sorry, I tried" expression and Willow responds with a silent "darn, but thank you for trying" look. In this interchange we have no words spoken, lots of subtlety, and I completely understand what's going on. Like I said before: brilliant!



    The scene doesn't end there though. Willow still tries to get Oz's attention and says, "they're good, aren't they?" Oz responds, "nothing Buffy then sweetly tries to help her again and says, "yeah ... color me Giles then completely ruins their attempts by complimenting Veruca. Buffy then immediately gives him a "GILES! Don't say that" wide-eyed look even though he doesn't notice her. This is when Willow gets a really worried look on her face like she can sense there's big trouble ahead.



    Trouble is indeed what's quickly happening. Not too far later Willow catches Oz and Veruca chatting at a table together. She looks a bit surprised and worry for a second, but then puts on her brave face and marches forward to jump into the conversation. Unlike Buffy, who would feel hurt and run off, Willow is able to suck it up and face the conflict. Good for her! This scene, with the three of them sitting at a table together, is incredibly awkward for all of them. Willow ends up being a bit embarassed by mistaking their musician talk for the name of a song. Oz takes off first quickly followed by Veruca, who manages to sneak in a quick insult about Willow's "birthday cake" shirt.



    It turns out Veruca is, of course, a werewolf. Oz ends up escaping his cage and fighting (among other things) with Veruca. This leads to a speech from her about Oz's nature, which while heavy-handed at times, gets the point across. She says, "you're a wolf all the time and this human face is just your He pushes her dialog off and is able to leave for now. A bit later, Willow stops by his dorm room dressed up all in leather like Veruca which is strange, yet touching at the same time. She wants to have sex with him but he pushes her away. He says "nothing's wrong," and I genuinely feel that he believes that right now. He thinks he'll be able to push Veruca away and that it won't be an issue. What's really surprising is that he doesn't tell Willow what happened the previous night, or that he even got out of his cage. At least he doesn't try to deny it when Buffy catches him welding his cage back together.



    Willow, now very confused, goes to Xander for some advice from the male side of the species. Xander tells her exactly what she needs to know and manages to be very amusing at the same time. He says, "But you are [jealous and worried]. And odds are, he feels it. I'll bet that's all there is to the weird you're feeling. You guys should talk things out, Will. You'll both feel Here's yet another piece of evidence to support what people just begin to notice of Xander in S7.



    Anyway, Buffy investigates to see if Oz knew anything about the loose wolves the previous night and notices that he got out. One thing that really bugs me here is that he doesn't tell Buffy that Veruca is the other wolf. It's always been in Oz's character to be open and straightforward with people and I feel that this is a a bit out of character. Later when the sun goes down and Veruca meets him by his cage, they begin kissing and end up doing who knows what together as wolves. This could also be interpreted as out of character, but I'm willing to excuse his actions based on the fact that he'd never been with a female wolf before. It's likely he didn't know how powerful his attraction to one would be, especially right when he's changing into a wolf.



    The next morning Willow comes to bring Oz some food and finds him completely naked cuddled up around a naked Veruca. This scene involves lots of fabulous acting from both Alyson Hannigan and Seth Green. Oz brings up the Willow/Xander 'thing' back in S3 but she points out it's not even close to the same, and she's right. She's also correct when she tells Oz he should have told someone about what was going on and that locking Veruca up with him wasn't his only option by a long shot. During all of this Oz yells at Veruca to leave the room, which is very effective, and admits to Willow that he does have lusty feelings towards Veruca along with the fact that he wants Veruca more, in an animal way, than her. This is when Willow completely breaks down and storms off barely being able to keep herself from falling over. Her reaction is very reminiscent of Buffy's in "Innocence" (2x14).



    Later on Buffy tells Willow "The main thing is put the blame where it I think this statement was remembered by Willow long after this episode. Not only does she begin a dangerous cycle of turning to the darkest black magic available to her every time she is emotionally traumatized, but Buffy's words to her also fit every time she does it. Obviously Buffy never meant for Willow to hurt herself in the process of putting the blame where it belongs. Willow has taken that phrase and twisted it to fit her own desires and motivations. This is very cool setup for what's to come and is also able to serve the issues that are currently in front of everyone.



    After failing to go all the way on her dark spell, Veruca tries to kill her and Oz ends up killing Veruca while trying to protect Willow. Now in full werewolf form, Oz charges after Willow and Buffy tranquilizes him. Willow loses it again and starts just pouring streams of tears out while Buffy holds her, just like Willow held Buffy when she was in pain during "The Prom" (3x20). This is very touching and sad to watch. After all of this Oz makes the decision to leave town, to figure things out. He says to Willow, "Veruca was right about something. The wolf is inside me all the time, and I don't know where that line is anymore between me and it. And until I figure out what that means, I shouldn't be around you... Or He kisses her and then abruptly leaves. While in his van he looks back to the dorm, very much in pain and wanting to run back to her, but instead sucks it in and drives away. Bye Oz, you've been highly entertaining to watch and I will definitely miss you.



    Before I wrap up this review I'd like to point out a few interesting pieces of development for Giles. Early in the episode he appears at the Bronze just to hang out with the Scoobies. This obviously surprises all of them, who aren't used to him being around for anything other than work. I like how Oz says, "Don't scoff, gang. I've seen Giles' collection. He was an animal in his Xander, though, as knowing as he is simply jumps to the heart of the problem. He says, "Isn't home that empty place you're trying to escape?" Further along in the episode we see Giles guessing answers to a game show on TV with a sweat shirt on. He sure isn't the tweed-clad stuffy Watcher anymore, that's for sure.



    This episode is an emotional ride which explores and develops Oz's werewolf nature (which should have been talked about more in S3). It also develops Willow's budding magic habit and devastes her emotionally in the process. So a lot of important character threads are moved along and Oz ends up leaving -- quite the episode, though not perfect. Fortunately the writers got the vast majority of it right.moreless

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  • 9.0

    The writers were presented with quite the challenge here.

    By tarafan2, Jun 15, 2013

    Seth Green wanted to do movies, so they had to find a way to write his character off the show that made sense. They led up to this with a quick glance in "Living Conditions" and a real hint of problems to come in "Beer Bad". This is Oz's sendoff and while he doesn't come off as completely in character throughout the entire episode, it mostly works and makes for quite an emotional ride. Considering the constraints they were under, I call this a success.



    The Willow/Oz problems pick up right where they left off in "Beer Bad": Veruca. She's singing again at the Bronze and the gang is listening in. This scene is utterly brilliant because of the silent conversation that is had between Buffy and Willow. Buffy notices that Willow wants Oz's attention, which is currently being mesmorized by Veruca, off Veruca a bit. So Buffy pipes in and asks Oz about his band. He responds slowly with a distracted response and quickly returns to staring at Veruca singing. Buffy gives Willow a "sorry, I tried" expression and Willow responds with a silent "darn, but thank you for trying" look. In this interchange we have no words spoken, lots of subtlety, and I completely understand what's going on. Like I said before: brilliant!



    The scene doesn't end there though. Willow still tries to get Oz's attention and says, "they're good, aren't they?" Oz responds, "nothing Buffy then sweetly tries to help her again and says, "yeah ... color me Giles then completely ruins their attempts by complimenting Veruca. Buffy then immediately gives him a "GILES! Don't say that" wide-eyed look even though he doesn't notice her. This is when Willow gets a really worried look on her face like she can sense there's big trouble ahead.



    Trouble is indeed what's quickly happening. Not too far later Willow catches Oz and Veruca chatting at a table together. She looks a bit surprised and worry for a second, but then puts on her brave face and marches forward to jump into the conversation. Unlike Buffy, who would feel hurt and run off, Willow is able to suck it up and face the conflict. Good for her! This scene, with the three of them sitting at a table together, is incredibly awkward for all of them. Willow ends up being a bit embarassed by mistaking their musician talk for the name of a song. Oz takes off first quickly followed by Veruca, who manages to sneak in a quick insult about Willow's "birthday cake" shirt.



    It turns out Veruca is, of course, a werewolf. Oz ends up escaping his cage and fighting with Veruca. This leads to a speech from her about Oz's nature, which while heavy-handed at times, gets the point across. She says, "you're a wolf all the time and this human face is just your He pushes her dialog off and is able to leave for now. A bit later, Willow stops by his dorm room dressed up all in leather like Veruca which is strange, yet touching at the same time. She wants to have sex with him but he pushes her away. He says "nothing's wrong," and I genuinely feel that he believes that right now. He thinks he'll be able to push Veruca away and that it won't be an issue. What's really surprising is that he doesn't tell Willow what happened the previous night, or that he even got out of his cage. At least he doesn't try to deny it when Buffy catches him welding his cage back together.



    Willow, now very confused, goes to Xander for some advice from the male side of the species. Xander tells her exactly what she needs to know and manages to be very amusing at the same time. He says, "But you are jealous and worried. And odds are, he feels it. I'll bet that's all there is to the weird you're feeling. You guys should talk things out, Will. You'll both feel Here's yet another piece of evidence to support what people just begin to notice of Xander in S7.



    Anyway, Buffy investigates to see if Oz knew anything about the loose wolves the previous night and notices that he got out. One thing that really bugs me here is that he doesn't tell Buffy that Veruca is the other wolf. It's always been in Oz's character to be open and straightforward with people and I feel that this is a a bit out of character. Later when the sun goes down and Veruca meets him by his cage, they begin kissing and end up doing who knows what together as wolves. This could also be interpreted as out of character, but I'm willing to excuse his actions based on the fact that he'd never been with a female wolf before. It's likely he didn't know how powerful his attraction to one would be, especially right when he's changing into a wolf.



    The next morning Willow comes to bring Oz some food and finds him completely naked cuddled up around a naked Veruca. This scene involves lots of fabulous acting from both Alyson Hannigan and Seth Green. Oz brings up the Willow/Xander 'thing' back in S3 but she points out it's not even close to the same, and she's right. She's also correct when she tells Oz he should have told someone about what was going on and that locking Veruca up with him wasn't his only option by a long shot. During all of this Oz yells at Veruca to leave the room, which is very effective, and admits to Willow that he does have lusty feelings towards Veruca along with the fact that he wants Veruca more, in an animal way, than her. This is when Willow completely breaks down and storms off barely being able to keep herself from falling over. Her reaction is very reminiscent of Buffy's in "Innocence".



    Later on Buffy tells Willow "The main thing is put the blame where it I think this statement was remembered by Willow long after this episode. Not only does she begin a dangerous cycle of turning to the darkest black magic available to her every time she is emotionally traumatized, but Buffy's words to her also fit every time she does it. Obviously Buffy never meant for Willow to hurt herself in the process of putting the blame where it belongs. Willow has taken that phrase and twisted it to fit her own desires and motivations. This is very cool setup for what's to come and is also able to serve the issues that are currently in front of everyone.



    After failing to go all the way on her dark spell, Veruca tries to kill her and Oz ends up killing Veruca while trying to protect Willow. Now in full werewolf form, Oz charges after Willow and Buffy tranquilizes him. Willow loses it again and starts just pouring streams of tears out while Buffy holds her, just like Willow held Buffy when she was in pain during "The Prom". This is very touching and sad to watch. After all of this Oz makes the decision to leave town, to figure things out. He says to Willow, "Veruca was right about something. The wolf is inside me all the time, and I don't know where that line is anymore between me and it. And until I figure out what that means, I shouldn't be around you... Or He kisses her and then abruptly leaves. While in his van he looks back to the dorm, very much in pain and wanting to run back to her, but instead sucks it in and drives away. Bye Oz, you've been highly entertaining to watch and I will definitely miss you.



    Before I wrap up this review I'd like to point out a few interesting pieces of development for Giles. Early in the episode he appears at the Bronze just to hang out with the Scoobies. This obviously surprises all of them, who aren't used to him being around for anything other than work. I like how Oz says, "Don't scoff, gang. I've seen Giles' collection. He was an animal in his Xander, though, as knowing as he is simply jumps to the heart of the problem. He says, "Isn't home that empty place you're trying to escape?" Further along in the episode we see Giles guessing answers to a game show on TV with a sweat shirt on. He sure isn't the tweed-clad stuffy Watcher anymore, that's for sure.



    This episode is an emotional ride which explores and develops Oz's werewolf nature. It also develops Willow's budding magic habit and devastes her emotionally in the process. So a lot of important character threads are moved along and Oz ends up leaving -- quite the episode, though not perfect. Fortunately the writers got the vast majority of it right.moreless

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  • 8.0

    Willoz fans, prepare to cry!

    By joxerlives, Jan 20, 2012

    Wild at Heart



    The Good;

    If you have tears in your heart please prepare to shed them now, terrific performances from AH and SG. Spike is also fantastic.



    The Bad;

    The werewolf makeup hasn't any got any better.



    Best line;

    Willow; "Oz don't you love me?"

    Oz; "My whole life I've never loved anything else"



    Character death;

    Buffy nails another vamp. Oz kills Veruca



    Shot;

    Oz tranqulised again whilst Spike get's zapped by the Initiative.



    Tied up;

    No but Oz and Veruca have cage sex.



    Knocked out;

    Oz and Spike although he's not a Scooby for another couple of seasons.



    Women good/men bad;

    Actually here we actually have 2 females fighting over their man. Note Willow can't go through with her spell. Willow asks Xander for some advice from the Y side of things but may regret it as he defines love as either 'Wild-monkey-love' or 'Tender-Sarah Machachlan love' (who provides some of the musisc for the series).



    Kinky dinky;

    Werewolf sex! Plenty of backscratching there! Veruca even says 'I like it rough'. Also Veruca parading around in a black lace bra and Willow attempting to dress more rock chick. Xander's mum won't let him put a lock on the door in case he starts having 'The sex'. Too late! Even Giles considers Veruca 'Quite striking' as indeed does Xander to judge by his expression. Xander thinks there are only 7 minutes a year where a guy isn't thinking about sex. Buffy is sure that Oz is 'flogging and punishing himself'. Oz blushes behind the ears when he's attracted to someone.



    Calling Captain Subtext;

    The scene with the speaker discussion is so laden with subtext, it might as well be Jane Austen, Willow feeling she's being frozen out. Buffy later tells Willow she loves her.



    Where's Dawn?

    You wonder what Dawn's attitude to Oz was? To judge by the comics she loved him too



    Questions and observations;

    Goodbye to Oz as a regular character which is a shame as he was terrific, he's sorely missed. But it does leave room for Tara. Buffy seems to be doing well in class, once again she's more than some superpowered bimbo. Is the stuff in Xander's basement salvaged from the vamp's house from 'The Freshman'? Oddly Prof Walsh doesn't recognise werewolves when she sees them. Giles' watches ganeshows rather than PBS. All the Scoobies at one time or another have walked in on their beloved whilst they were cheating except for Giles who walked in on Jenny when she was dead. Buffy has often been accused of constantly falling for diversionary tactics but here she figures out Veruca's ruse.

    Marks out of 10; 8/10

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  • 10

    Oz! Don't Go!

    By Phunner1416, Jun 22, 2011

    This episode is Oz's last episode as a main character, and he goes out with a bang! In this episode Oz has to try extremely hard not to give into his animal instincts, with Veruca trying to seduce him, break him and Willow up, and get him to go wild. Even though she dies at the end, she gets 2 of the things that she wanted, Oz goes wild and kills her, he also leaves town so that he can't hurt Willow. This is also the first time that one of the Scooby Gang members transforms and tries to attack Professor Walsh, The second time being when Giles is transformed into a demon in the episode The New Man. This episode is filled with action and suspense. Buffy also has one of her first run0ins with the initiative guys. This was an excellent episode.moreless

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  • 10

    Wild At Heart

    By TrueTvWatcher, Oct 21, 2010

    Wild At Heart was a perfect episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This episode had many interwoven sub plots that came together to form an awesome story. There were some familiar faces when Oz woke up in the woods next to another werewolf! This episode centered on developing Oz's character and his relationships with others. There were quite a few twists and turns that kept the action going. I really enjoyed watching this episode unfold and for little parts that lead into future stories. There was a lot of subtlety and some of the characters lives have changed forever in this episode. I really look forward to seeing how every thing workd out.moreless

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  • 7.5

    Season 4, Episode 6.

    By Wanted23, May 23, 2009

    Oz escapes from his cage on a full moon and wakes up naked next to Veruca, who is apparently a werewolf as well. Willow gets jealous of Oz noticing Veruca.



    This episode was just different. Not bad though. I was pretty entertained. It was weird seeing Giles at The Bronze, trying to be cool. Hehe. The Oz and Veruca chemistry was weird. Veruca is a tramp. Buffy is pretty though and I felt bad for Willow in this episode. Hehe, she did look like a birthday cake. Yahoo for Buffy's good grade! Season 4 has been a letdown so far but hasn't been entirely bad. Can't wait to see HUSH though.moreless

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  • 9.2

    Oh Willow, Please don't cry :(...

    By goodridd, Apr 26, 2009

    The opening scene led me to believe that this was going to be a funny episode, but I ended up getting my heart broken. Tragedy is my favorite form of art and Mr. Whedon can bring the pain. That's probably why I love him so much.



    I doubt there are many people who are fans of Buffy that can stand to see Willow cry without breaking into tears themselves. In this episode we see Willow and Oz struggle to remain connected. The source of their problems being Veruca. She is the lead singer of a band that Oz enjoys. He finds himself attracted to her, but doesn't really know why. Well, it turns out it's because she's also a werewolf. In an unselfish attempt to keep Veruca from harming anyone, he locks her in his cage with him. They end up having Werewolf sex(lol), and when Willow comes to check on him in the morning, she finds Oz and Veruca laying together nude.



    And the heartache rolls in...moreless

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  • 8.5

    Allyson Hannigan really breaks our hearts, in a great Oz/Willow story.

    By RobGrizz, Feb 04, 2009

    Buffy takes a back seat to Oz and Willow's sad break-up. The first really well-written episode since the premiere, A lady warewolf is brought in and her feral nature instantly connects with Oz. The two are attracted to each other, and I loved seeing Seeth Green gets some meaty material to work with- conflicted and tragic this is a great story for him, as he leaves the show.



    Equally good, though, is Allyson Hannigan who absolutely breaks your heart as Willow! Her heartbreak is what we're really following, and though Oz is not "evil" he is somewhat the bad guy here. A fine episode.moreless

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  • 9.0

    A sad, emotional and strong episode but one that really could have been better.

    By TwistedConverse, Oct 12, 2008

    Wild At Heart is a brilliant episode that is funny, sad and action packed. It features the departure of Oz who has been very important to the show since Season 2 and while having a lot of powerful scenes, really could have been better.



    Oz leaving felt very rushed to me. I understand it was because Seth Green wanted to leave but the whole thing with Veruca just popped up 1 episode ago and then he's gone. I felt there was more that could have been shown for this arc. Nevertheless what we do great is great.



    I'm not really broken up about Oz leaving to be honest. He's a great character but I just love Willow/Tara so much more than Willow/Oz. I'll miss his humour though. The scenes where he is leaving are very sad; Alyson Hannigan is nothing short of exceptional all episode and the last scene proved what a great actress she is. One line that is very moving is when Oz says "My whole life, I've never loved anything else". It was very sad to see him drive off into the sunset.



    I didn't like the Oz/Veruca stuff much. Aside from Veruca's name being hideous, she isn't interesting. Paige Moss was quite poor here; as if someone told her lolling her head around and pouting would make her look sexy and dangerous. It didn't. She came across as really quite an idiot. Her whole "You're hiding your true self" rubbish to Oz was just cliched. And anyone who tries to kill Willow is just bad news.



    Also very important for this episode is Willow attemtping to curse Oz. She does back out but the fact she's even considering it is shocking and will come into play a lot in later seasons. Willow is already becoming more powerful and this episode really shows this.



    Wild At Heart is an excellent episode that is sad and moving but not spectacular. It's very strongly written and acted however, and not to be missed.moreless

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  • 9.4

    Animal Instinct

    By lenzinoH20, Jun 30, 2008

    Wild At Heart-Oz escapes from his cage during a full moon and runs across another werewolf, the sultry, sexy singer Veruca; and wakes up next to her naked in the wilderness the next morning.



    A heartbreaking episode which centers around Oz and Willow's relationship when another woman and his animal instincts literally get in the way. The hidden attraction between Veruca and Oz has been hinted on since episode 2 of this season, and it's makes some of the saddest scenes of the series in this episode. Both Seth Green and Alyson Hannigan steal show with their powerful performances as Oz and Willow are faced with the harsh reality of losing each other. Oz's struggle to keep his feelings for Veruca as well as controlling his werewolf half brilliantly played by Seth. Alyson couldn't more amazing in her performance if she tried, she makes Willow's pain so surreal and the scene where she finds Oz and Veruca naked together is hard to watch as Willow's whole world comes crashing down.



    Paige Moss (Veruca) gives a great performance and Veruca is an inriguing villianess as she tempts Oz with the power of being a werewolf. Just being introduced to character who finds being a werewolf freeing and powerful is refreshing. The climax of the episode is one of the saddest scenes of the series as Oz makes the toughest decision of his life when he lives Sunnydale for good as well as a grief stricken Willow. Marti Noxon writes some superb material as Oz and Willow say their goodbyes which couldn't be more heartbreaking if she tried. This episode marks the official exit for Seth Green as Oz on the series. An underrated actor by far who played one of the most unique characters of the series, Oz and his "trademark stoicism" would me missed for the rest of the series. All and All, "Wild At Heart" is one of the best episodes of the season with some touching scenes, shocking development and strong performances from Alyson Hannigan and Seth Green.moreless

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