Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 4 Episode 19

New Moon Rising

3
Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM May 02, 2000 on The WB
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (18)

8.7
out of 10
Average
508 votes
  • Case of the Ex-Werewolf

    9.1
    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.
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