In Honor of Ringer's Buffy and Tara Reunion, Let's Relive Our Five Favorite Tara Episodes of Buffy

‘Tis the TV season of Buffy reunions on The CW: Supernatural recently paired up James Marsters (Spike) and Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia). And tonight’s episode of Ringer—starring Buffy herself, Sarah Michelle Gellar—features a guest appearance by Amber Benson (Tara).

For fans of the Whedonverse, this is big news. So in honor of Benson and Gellar crossing paths again, we've listed the five essential Tara episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (Which is currently streaming on Netflix, just in case you’ve never had the pleasure.)


“Hush” (Season 4)

Tara’s first appearance on the series was a quiet one: primarily because she was painfully shy, but also because her arrival coincided with the arrival of the Gentlemen, demons who stole everyone’s voice. But Tara shone in silence, performing a spell with Willow that saved both their lives—and hinted at the romance to come.


“Restless” (Season 4)

While Tara spent most of Season 4 as Willow’s companion (and later girlfriend), “Restless” hinted at how essential she’d become to the series. She was a spiritual guide of sorts, a conduit for the First Slayer. Oh, and she showed a lot of skin in one scene and donned leather apparel in another—if you’re into that sort of thing.


“Family” (Season 5)

Joss Whedon penned the first real Tara-centric episode, in which Tara’s relatives (including a young Amy Adams) came to visit and generally be awful. Turned out her folks perpetuated some silly rumor about the women in Tara’s family turning evil at a certain age. “Family” proved Tara wasn’t, you know, a soulless demon—and fully integrated her into the group.


“Once More, With Feeling” (Season 6)

And she sings! The Buffy musical is a classic for a variety of reasons, but it’s also a showcase of the cast members’ vocal talents. Benson has a lovely voice, and she got to sing “Under Your Spell,” one of the episode’s best (and raunchiest!) numbers. The song was a great articulation of Tara’s maturation from quiet loner to outspoken witch.


“Tabula Rasa” (Season 6)

The one-two punch of “Once More, With Feeling” and “Tabula Rasa” was the best Season 6 ever got. When the gang lost their memories in the latter, Tara and Willow fell for each other again—particularly bittersweet given that they were about to part ways. And that final break-up scene, scored to Michelle Branch, still makes my lip quiver.


Ringer airs tonight at 9pm on The CW.

Comments (44)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
Tara was a great character! I really enjoyed these episodes! If any character was annoying at this point it was Dawn more than any one else.
Reply
Flag
I'm sorry, but Tara was the worst. I couldn't stand that character. Amber Benson's awesome as Lenore though on a certain other show that occasionally has vampires in it.
Reply
Flag
Supernatural... yes, I liked her there, but I ended up liking Tara. She started growing on me in season 5 with a few breakout scenes, then in season 6, I really liked her.
Reply
Flag
Damn, I watched every ep of Buffy back in the time. I can't recall seeing that gal just once...
Reply
Flag
SHe was WIllow's first girlfriend. Tara.
Reply
Flag
SPOILER ALERT

The reunion was only about two seconds, and SMG and AB didn't even have any scenes together. Rip-off. Also, did Logan Echolls just become a full-on rapist?
Reply
Flag
RIght. I was stunned. Maybe she will become a recurring character, and they will have some flashback scenes.
Reply
Flag
Total let down.
Reply
Flag
*SPOILER ALERT*

I am still not over Tara's death... That was just tragic. And then Whedon saying that she was originally supposed to be resurrected at the end of the series finale due to a wish that Buffy made or something... that would have been a great ending. I did not like Kennedy and Willow together...
Reply
Flag
Before I click the link I was thinking "Hush" too!
Reply
Flag
Ah, I'm currently watching Buffy through for the first time right now. I'm almost done the 2nd season and I'm totally hooked, such a great show!
Reply
Flag
Hush was not her first appearance.
Reply
Flag
Definitely was.
Reply
Flag
Uhm, yes it was.
Reply
Flag
No it wasn't. I few episodes earlier she was seen helping hang up a lesbian poster.
Reply
Flag
I must say I had a hard time getting to like Tara at first but she finally won me over. And that scene you mentioned from "Tabula Rasa" with her and Willow in the back of Zander's ice cream truck went a long way towards redefining my licentious appreciation of those 'nice high school kids' from Buffy. That fetching tableau continued to invade my dreams for weeks afterwards- not in ways unpleasant either.



All-in-all it will be good to see old faces again on this upcoming episode of Ringer- even if they contain a few crow's-feet that weren't there on my Buffy DVD's.

Reply
Flag
THe Ice Cream Truck was from Restless. But it was quite a scene. Especially for Xander.
Reply
Flag
Now you've got me eager to catch up on the ginormous backlog of Ringer episodes I missed. Mmm. I see what you're doing :P
Reply
Flag
Well that kinda of a let down. I blinked and almost missed her.
Reply
Flag
Oh God I hated Tara. Worst Buffy character ever.
Reply
Flag
You do know a little someone named Kennedy, right? Or Rona? Or Parker? Or the Anointed One? No WAY Tara was the worst ever. No. Way.
Reply
Flag
Or Scott... but especially the annoying one.
Reply
Flag
I love Amber Benson, I hope they keep bringing in Buffy alum!!! James Marsters!!!
Reply
Flag
Seeing Red is my favorite as well, Tara was so cool
Reply
Flag
Although not my favourite character, Tara did (as shown above) have some great moments- but I felt like she was more a tool to bring things out in the other characters more than anything else. Restless was an awesome episode, but I could never really fathom why they chose Tara for the role in that episode...
Reply
Flag
I think Joss mentions on the DVD commentary that he was either going to try to get David Boreanaz or Seth Green to do it, but it didn't work out.



Continuity-wise, though, it kind of makes sense. Tara is someone that the gang, aside from Willow, didn't really know/get yet (see Xander and Buffy chatting in "Family"), and the First Slayer was also something foreign and unknown. In the dream sequence, it kind of fits?
1
Reply
Flag
Yeah, I agree with these as Tara's best episodes. Seeing Red should be there.
Reply
Flag
Those are all pretty great episodes, I may have added Seeing Red, tho that's more for shock value.
Reply
Flag
I think "Family" is my favorite Tara episode. I liked her a lot. So much better than Kennedy (well everyone was).
Reply
Flag
Ah man I hated Kennedy so much I blocked her from my memory. :-( now its back
Reply
Flag
I may or may not have cried when Tara died. :-( I was even more bummed when Josh explained what he really wanted to do with Tara in the final episode of the series but couldn't bc of schedule issues. I'll be tuning in tonight. Ringer and Son's of Anarchy, if anyone tries to call me from 9-11:05 they will be cut!
Reply
Flag
I'm fairly certain that I, as a grown man in his mid-twenties, did cry when Tara died. But its all okay now because John Boehner made crying cool?
Reply
Flag
I Love Tara!!! Such an amazing character, awesome posting!
Reply
Flag
I wasn't the only one who just didn't like Tara, right?

Her character just wasn't interesting, very boring actually.

I liked Oz-he was the first to love Willow, back when she was still uber-geek (eskimo costume ftw). He had a personality, too. So sad when he left Willow to do some soul searching in Tibet.

I also would like to nominate the episode in which Tara dies for this list-I'd say more important than "Restless".
Reply
Flag
I didn't like Tara at first at all, but then I really started to like her, when they made her her own character, rather than the extension of Willow. Then I liked her, by season 6, she was great.
Reply
Flag
Loved Restless!!! hysterical and so cool! the swing set scene, and the Ice Cream truck...just too good!
Reply
Flag
AARGH now I want to watch Buffy again :p
Reply
Flag
I really didn't like Tara as a character, but I did love the Marsters/Carpenter reunion in Supernatural, it was genuinely a great episode as well.
Reply
Flag
Agree with Faithin1 on "The Body." WHAT an episode--possibly the series' best. Heck, possibly the best hour of tv ever, though so hard to watch.
Reply
Flag
Yes, I couldn't agree more.
Reply
Flag
Those are some of my favorites! I Loved Family very much, especially Spike's "saving the day" and sarcastic banter, but I would like to add "The Body" where Tara is really a support to Buffy, "New Mood Rising" when we first realize the relationship between Willow and Tara has gone even farther than Willow's love of Oz. And then either "Dead Things" or "Older and Far Away" when Tara is the one that Buffy entrusts her secrets to, and confides in. Other than that, "Tabula Rasa" has to be one of the best, and "Once More, With Feeling." Of course, a pivotal episode also could be "Seeing Red" because Tara's death.
Reply
Flag
she was pretty awesome in Buffy but I refuse to watch Ringer haha
Reply
Flag
I completely agree. I loved the show, and loved Tara, and these are also my top 5 Tara episodes. Great show, great actors/actresses, and the musical episode was easily one of the greatest moving moments, if not the most moving moment, in the entire run of a fantastic show.
Reply
Flag
Some fabulous choices there! I'm not sure where a lot of you guys might stand on the whole Tara Vs Oz debate but as far as I'm concerned she was a far more suitable partner, not just because her and Willow and THE best couple in television history, but because she felt like more of an integral part of Buffy than Oz ever was. With Willow, he was great but as part of the Scoobies he never really meshed with them quite as well as Tara did, he just felt like more of an extension of Willow. I am a bit impartial to some of the bromance between him and Xander though!



Can't wait to see her in 'Ringer'.
Reply
Flag

Like TV.com on Facebook

  • 8:00 pm
    Caught on Camera With Nick Cannon High Jinx
    NEW
    NBC
  •  
    500 Questions
    NEW
    ABC
  • 10:00 pm
    20/20
    NEW
    ABC