Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 2 Episode 15

Phases

14
Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Jan 27, 1998 on The WB
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (23)

Write A Review
8.7
out of 10
Average
677 votes
  • SPOILERS ahead!!!

    7.5
    It is always difficult to review an episode which just so happens, to its own misfortune, follow a much beloved episode. "Phases" is the follow up to "Innocence", and in many ways, is the type of episode that needed to follow "Innocence". Don't get me wrong, the episode is far from perfect, but it is an episode almost entirely devoid of Angelus (until the near end) and represents Buffy moving on from her traumatic experience with Angel.



    There is a werewolf in Sunnydale, and the Scooby Gang fear that he has murdered a school girl. In among this, Cordelia and Xander continue their much eccentric relationship, whilst Oz and Willow continue to get closer.



    In this episode, Oz discovers that he is a werewolf. Whilst the title "Phases" may suggest a psychological exploration of Oz's life, upon such a shocking discovery, the episode is more concerned with Buffy saving the werewolf, whom she does not realize to be Oz, before he is killed by Kane, a generic werewolf hunter.



    That is the biggest issue with this episode. The plot to the episode is of an early Season 2 quality (Monster of the Week type) but the episode itself could so easily have unravelled something greater. To discover that you are a werewolf, a beast three nights a month, is a life altering realization. And we get little snippets of Oz's life suddenly changing before his very eyes. Unfortunately, the episode leaves far too much time dealing with the new "threat" Kane, building up some rather weak suspense on whether Kane will kill Oz.



    Oz is such an endearing character in his limited appearances thus far in the series. Seth Green is excellent and the interactions between himself and Alysson Hannigan's Willow are priceless, timeless, and simply, PERFECTION!



    As I mentioned earlier, Angelus has only a cameo in this episode as Buffy attempts to move on from the sudden loss of her boyfriend. Angelus' very little appearance too is metaphorical of Buffy moving away from her personal life, and further embracing her duties as Slayer. There isn't much mourning of Angel's death (it really is a death), but rather, about reeling from the shock. The end of the episode further rips at Buffy, who realizes she is the target of Angelus' passions (further elaborated on in the episode titled "Passion")



    "Phases" is a difficult episode to review. It must somehow mount the challenge of following "Innocence", and whilst it is entirely devoid of brilliance, the episode is entertaining, if not disappointing.
  • Oz and Willow!

    10
    As a werewolf plagues the town of Sunnydale, the Scooby gang attempts to find it before Cain, a professional werewolf hunter. Unbeknownst to any of them, the werewolf just so happens to be Oz!!

    I love this episode! It's so funny, and has great character development. I really love the early episodes with the initial Willow and Oz relationship.
  • Phases

    8.0
    This is a relatively lightweight Oz episode that makes him even more part of the group and manages to also further his relationship with Willow. We find out that Oz is a werewolf, amusingly bit by his cousin. I have really mixed feelings on this revelation. I'm not too happy that another one of the group is a supernatural being. Buffy's a Slayer, Angel's a vampire, Willow's soon going to be dabbling in witchcraft, and now Oz is a werewolf. While the writers do a great job of using the supernatural as a metaphor for life, I actually liked the mix of regular humans to supernatural beings. Now things are beginning to get weighted in the supernatural and I suppose I'd have preferred otherwise.



    The episode begins with a series of light and entertaining scenes. Oz is looking at the same cheerleading trophy that Amy's mom got stuck in back in "The Witch" (1x03), which is beyond cool. This is a subtle reference to something that only the viewers even know about and is further proof that the writers of this show have respect for its viewers. I also love the P.E. scene where Oz says he got bit by his little cousin and Buffy 'acts' all weak with Willow cutely nodding approvingly. Larry then grabs Buffy's ass, and she flips him over her shoulder in response. I guess I've got a soft spot for seeing Buffy flex her supernatural muscles in front of the "regular people" from time to time. This is why I also loved Buffy bending the hunter's rifle with her bare hands towards the end.



    The werewolf turning out to be Oz is actually pretty unexpected. I love his comment after waking up in the forest naked: "huh." Reminded me exactly of Mal's 'huh' in Firefly's "Serenity." Oz discovers part of him is now a monster and that he is a danger to those around him. We know from "Wild at Heart" (4x06) that the instincts of the beast are within him even when he's not in werewolf form.



    There's also a lot of anti-men dialog in this episodes with Buffy basically saying that the typical male has no conscience, is preditory, and is aggressive. All these comments seem to fall flat when they discover Oz, one of the most gentle guys around, happens to be the savage beast they've been hunting. Perhaps what's being said here is that all men have a beast within them, but what's important is how they use those instincts. If used in a positive way, such as to create a sense of self-confidence and motivation, then having some 'beast' within them becomes an asset. But if not kept in balance all you'll see is the beast, which in turn will create a predatory and aggressive individual. Oz becomes the counterpoint to Buffy's opinion of the typical male here and essentially proves her wrong.



    On the smaller side of themes, I found it amusing to see Buffy's name appear at the top of the list on Willow's search for school offenders. I also found it very intriguing to consider the possibilities of the reason behind Buffy giving Xander a close hug after he kills a vamped Teresa who had her pinned down. Buffy hugs on tight, then right after she lets go she looks up at him for a second like she's considering saying something important to him, but instead storms out of the room. Xander's reply perfectly reflects his confusion, "Oh, no, my life's not too complicated." Xander is still is very attracted to Buffy and wants to date her quite badly (I can't say I blame him either). Us viewers can tell Buffy didn't mean anything romantic by her glance or her hug, it was meant as comfort with a friend. But to Xander, who is still sexually attraction to her, it means a lot more and now has him thinking about possibilities again. This confusion is directly dealt with in the next episode.



    Willow also got some good development here. She complains about Oz showing so much affection for her one moment and then going quiet and cold on her the next. At this point in the show, Oz is still a very new member of the Scooby Gang, so it is understable that he isn't immediately able to confide in them when he finds out he's the werewolf. In defiance of this lack of communication, Willow goes over to his house and unleashes Willow-fury (even an angry Willow is cute, in the first three seasons at least) on him right as he's changing into the werewolf. Willow's gradual confidence boosts gained over the course of the season, which prominently began back in "Halloween" (2x06), is finally put to full use here. It's great to see Willow be so up front with her feelings.



    At the end Willow goes to talk with Oz about everything that happened. Oz is gentle and offers to give her some space after what happened. The new and improved Willow, though, decides to say "screw it" with needing time and tells Oz she very much wants to actually begin dating him and that she doesn't care that he's a werewolf. This series has the most subtle and wonderful character development I've ever seen. Willow's slow growth of confidence over the season is simply one more thing added to a long list of character growth for proof.



    So while there were a lot of strong and intriguing themes running through the episode, some stuff didn't make it through so well. The werewolf suit looked preposterous and only worked when it was in the dark so I couldn't see it. In addition to the werewolf, the werewolf hunter was also dumb and came across completely one-dimensional. That's never good. I also didn't appreciate Buffy's semi-light attitude considering what she had just went through. She seems almost content with the way things are until Angelus reminds her with a dead student that he's bad now. Overall, though, the strengths overpowered the weaknesses in this solid episode.
  • Why we love Oz

    10
    Phases



    The Good

    Wonderful opening scene, Oz's reaction to the news he's a werewolf, the burgeoning Oz and Willow/Xander and Cordy relationships, the mislead with Larry is hilarious and a nice subplot with Theresa as Angelus and co are not forgotten.



    The Bad;

    Very little, excellent ep



    Best line;

    Willow; "Three days a month I'm not much fun to be around either"

    Is just beaten by;

    Giles "Let's not jump to conclusions"

    Buffy "I didn't jump, I took a tiny step and there conclusions were"



    Questions and observations;

    Willow and Cordy seem to be bonding despite Will's reference to CC as a 'skanky ho', their disparaging of men smacks mightily of subtext. That said Willow says she 'Wants smoochies' and seems less alarmed by Oz's possessing chains than intrigued. He doesn't wear them however unlike Buffy who finds herself helpless once more, caught in Cain's net. Cain's suspicion of Buffy and Giles in a May-to-December romance seems incredible but what else would the pair be doing in lover's lane at mignight? Buffy's comments on the male nature of the werewolf are positively misandrist (and later we'll see the female werewolf is deadlier than the male). Cordy refers to the things she can't tell her father about because he still thinks she's a good girl? It's pretty clear Xander doesn't have sex until The Zeppo so how far do they go?

    The scene where Angelus offers to walk Theresa home is just chilling. I think what makes it so effective is that he seems so plausible, the devil with the Angel's face.

    Much better werewolf than we'll see later, note they switched back to the more traditional image for Nina on Angel. Oz is shot for the second time and knocked out for the first whilst Xander kills his second vamp. It had to be pointed out to me at the time but now it seems hard to miss the 2 guys pushing Giles' car as it arrives at the Bronze.

    So presumably Oz's cousin bit him whilst human? So a werewolf can infect someone even in human form? Willow better not let Oz give her any lovebites. And did Oz's cousin get bitten or does being a werewolf run in famillies, Teenwolf style? How come Oz wakes up the second night naked and wondering what happened but not the first? Probably the best ever example of Slayer strength, Buffy bending the barrel of Cain's rifle in her bare hands, totally impossible for any human to do.

    I always thought the Owen who Buffy spots cheating on his girlfriend in Lovers Lane was the same Owen from Never Kill A Boy on a First Date but it's not (nice to see that despite her own heartache Buffy still likes romantic gossip). Nice reference to The Witch too with Oz examining the cheerleader trophy. Larry and Xander is a wonderful scene, one of my favourite of the entire series. Surely even the most fervent of Tara's kittens can't fail to be charmed by the Willow/Oz romance?

    The series just hitting a series of straight sixes right past the boundary every time, 10/10

  • Phases

    10
    Pha, Pha, Pha, Phases.... was a Perfect episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. This episode is definitely a Classic of the series, though the series is in whole. This episode was great in intorducing new twists in a few different characters. Buffy and Angel are no more as he is evil now, however Zander is with Cordelia, Willow is with Oz, and it makes Buffy feel like the odd one out. I really enjoyed watching Oz's story line increase and be really cool. Seth Green was great in this role. I didn't know when to bring this up, but this episode seems good enough, considering the kiss between Oz and Willow, it is interesting that they both appeared in My Stepmother Is An Alien and kind of went on a date, and here they are again dating. I really think that the series is getting better with each episode, though they are all instant Classics in their own right, at least in my opinion.
  • Season 2, Episode 15.

    9.5
    Buffy and Giles hunt for werewolves. Not a bad episode, I guess. I absolutely loved the scene in gym class where the slightly-sexy jock grabbed Buffy's butt and she flipped him over. Sarah Michelle Gellar is a beautiful actress. I thought Angel would only hurt Theresa, but I didn't know he was going to kill her. How can Oz just ask his aunt if his little cousin is a werewolf? That's psychotic. But Oz is a werewolf! Willow's dating a werewolf! I liked the season 1 references in this episode, like the cheerleader's statue from 1.03, and how Xander finally got caught for lying after he became a hyena in 1.06. Awesome episode. :)
  • Oz becomes a werewolf.

    10
    I love Seth Green as Oz, he is such a great character and he is finally shown more in this episode. The real reason I love this episode is the subtlety of the episode and just the quiet greatness that occurs. The Xander and Larry conversations are hilarious and it is so funny to see Xander's reaction to Larry being gay and it is nice to see how some of the recurring characters are given more important roles. And then Oz and Willow are the sweetest couple and I just love to see them together and they are so cute in this episode with the tag and then when she comes to confront him and he has his chains and then he changes. I also really like when the hunter thinks that Giles and Buffy are having an affair. An overall great episode.
  • The Hazard of Oz

    8.7
    Phases-Buffy and the gang track down a suspected werewolf roaming in the woods and also try to stay out of the way of a bloodthirsty hunter who is after the same beast. Meanwhile, Willow worries when Oz doesn't appear anxious to take their relationship to a physical level. Even if it's another "classic horror movie monster" episode, it works well by developing the recent new member of the Scooby Gang, Oz and his relationship with Willow. Seth Green is great throughout as Oz realizes his going through some serious changes and is a werewolf. Also, Alyson Hannigan is at her cutest as Willow when trying to get closer to Oz even when he pushes her away slightly to protect her. There are also some real hilarious scenes like when Oz finds out his a werewofl and tries to act cool around everyone. I love how he gets so nervous when Xander comes to the conclusion of who the werewolf is. Then there's Xander's interrogation of Larry that leads to Larry coming out the closet and thinking Xander is gay too. I just love how Xander is so tense around Buffy when Larry comes up in the conversation.

    But there are some weak points of the episode. First there's the sexist werewolf hunter, Cain, played by Jack Conley. The character comes of as annoying and arogant and you just want him to leave desperately! Ironically, Jack goes on to play the demon Sahjhan in the second series of the Buffyverse, Angel, in it's 3rd season. Also, the werewolf itself look very fake as you can tell it's a guy in a suit. Luckily, for Season 3 onward the designers came up with a more modern, surreal looking werewolf costume that looked much better. I love how at the end of the episode, Oz and Willow finally became a couple. Also, keeping Oz as a werewolf was a great idea as it not only makes the couple closer but also creates great conflict and storylines for the future. All and All, despite some minor flaws, "Phases" is a great episode full of good metaphors, cool hunting scenes, hilarious moments, and great performances from Seth Green and Alyson Hannigan.
  • Good use of a transitional episode to develop the new member of the gang, but some errors in the story keep it from being something really good.

    7.0
    With Oz’s status in the group cemented in the previous two-parter, they wisely decide to spend this episode developing his character further. Also, with the inclusion of Frankenstein, mummies and vampires (obviously) as story fodder, it’s fitting they would get to werewolves. This episode tackles both. That introduces the interesting contrast of Oz: he’s the most laid back of the main characters, yet he has a dangerous other side. Oz’s demeanor is so collected that even traumatic events like finding out he is a werewolf or waking up the first morning after in the woods naked don’t shake him as expected. With his animalistic other side, how can the gang deal with it?

    His cool demeanor was a big draw for Willow, like Willow’s unique quirks were for Oz. The discovery of his bad side three nights a month shakes up what could’ve been a quiet joining. Unlike Angelus, this side is much easier to control, and isn’t persistently with him. Willow compares his “phases” to her time of the month. However, perhaps this was made to avoid another “my boyfriend is a monster” storyline that they were already handling; they could show how far the beast in Oz could go later.

    While Oz’s appeal to Willow in “Innocence” is sweet and endearing, it contradicts the common teenage guy mindset (“Looking at linoleum makes me want to have sex”). Cynically, it could be determined that there was something else that made Oz want to keep Willow from getting too close. Like some people who are known for being in control, they don’t want it revealed that they are human and can lose their cool like anyone else, and the werewolf analogy is a good fit. This episode is about Willow discovering that and the beginning of Oz learning to accept it.

    Before the Oz reveal, the obvious choice for the werewolf’s identity was Larry, the jerk who harassed every woman in sight (except Cordelia for some reason). This subplot, where Xander, through several vague questions, gets Larry to come out, serves as comic relief. While some may criticize Xander’s reaction to the allusion of his own sexuality as homophobic, it’s not hard to believe an insecure teenage guy acting that way. Considering where the show would go, you can hardly claim “Buffy” or her friends were anti-gay. Larry’s coming out changed his character for the better. The intention of these moments in relation to Xander was Joss Whedon’s wish that one of the central cast members be gay and this would be foreshadowing if they wanted to make Xander gay.

    The biggest mistake of this episode besides the werewolf costume was the decision to show that Angelus, not Oz, killed Teresa before the gang discovered it. The scenes with Angelus weren’t necessary altogether. Having the audience know that the easy out is the case isn’t better than using it and revealing it later. As Oz realizes that he is a werewolf, we’re not subjected to the lingering doubt he has over his believed actions, which could’ve added to the episode, considering Buffy’s guilt. Plus it would’ve established the notion of Angelus being a present danger for Buffy even when they aren’t together.

    This episode develops the concept of Buffy’s guilt over not being able to save someone from a menace she could’ve killed or incapacitated. This topic was going to be addressed eventually, as Buffy is only one person and she can’t kill every one of her adversaries as soon as they come at her. Not killing a demon, especially a vampire, will lead to further lives lost. When looking at future events, Buffy’s guilt over Teresa was more setting up future episodes, when her lack of action would prove costly to those close to her.

    After Xander’s dusted the newly minted Theresa, he shares a near kiss with Buffy. Considering how poorly things have progressed and fallen apart with Angel, Buffy is likely wondering how things would’ve played out had she chosen him in “Prophecy Girl”. They are obviously close, and considering their genders, it makes sense that they might consider what it’d be like to have them get together.

    Following Buffy’s recent heartbreak, it makes sense that Giles, who is still clueless in the way of teenage minds (bringing a flashlight and supplies to Lover’s Lane!) would be protective when Buffy confronts the condescending Kane (the actor would later play Sahjhan on “Angel”). Considering his own guilt over possible failures as a Watcher, he is putting Buffy’s best interests at heart.

    Kane’s attitude is a toned down version of Angelus’: a guy who continually underwrites her achievements because of her gender. Such a character is a popular adversary for Buffy, and it’s fitting to bring one up shortly after Buffy’s been hurt so badly by another man. By standing up to him, it’s like a stepping stone for her to eventually confront Angelus. His other contribution to the episode is placing Oz in danger, since the monster of the week isn’t the main villain and Buffy can’t kill a human, even a werewolf.

    “Phases” can be compared to the earlier “Surprise”/”Innocence” combo, in that they both show how two of the leading women deal with the reveal of a monstrous side of their respective boyfriends and how their understanding either brings them together or tears them apart. Unlike Buffy, Willow’s beau is easier to maintain: the werewolf is only there a few nights a month. While that may not be as exciting as Angelus going on a killing spree, there are hints of problems we’ll see later (besides that cheese ball line “A werewolf in love…”)

    While previous episodes in between major stepping stones in the season have been filler, this episode takes some advantage by developing a new character, setting forth his motivations for the future. It also briefly touches upon the difficult concept for Buffy that she can’t save everyone, a fact that would explode in coming episodes.
  • Yes! A werewolf storyline, with Oz as the werewolf!

    9.5
    Wow! Great episode! I loved that they didn't kill Oz, so, hopefully, we'll get to see life of a werewolf from the point-of-view of the monster himself. I look forward to seeing his and Willow's relationship develop, and how they will work through the "evil creature" snag. There were perfect intense, suspensful, and "Oh my gosh, is he going to kill Willow?!" moments, which kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time, waiting to see what happens next. Mixed in was the perfect amount of humour (like seeing Larry come out to Xander, with him all uncomfortable).

    I really loved how they threw out references to past episodes (not having a head, being love-slave to Robby the Robot), especially Oz's remark about the cheerleading trophy whose eyes follow you. All in all, a wonderful piece of work. Just another reason to love this show!
  • Werewolves in Sunnydale

    9.5
    Okay I loved this one because I believe in werewolves because we all know people act extra weird and creepy during the full moon.

    I liked that Oz was the werewolf and that they didn't want to kill him. It was great to see Oz try and cope with his new found wolf side. I loved the development of Willow's relationship with Oz too. I loved how she just wanted him to kiss her already. They were so cute together.

    Larry and Xander were great too. I loved how Xander believed that Larry was the werewolf and in trying to get him to confess Larry admitted to being Gay I loved how Larry thought that Xander was gay it was just too funny. I loved that before Larry admitted to Xander that he was gay he was trying so hard to check out the girls, it was a dead giveaway that he was gay I loved how Larry came to talk to Xander at the end. Seeing Xander so on edge was very comical.

    Angel seemed to be forced into this episode. He wasn't in there that much but it seemed like he was just pushed in there to be there. I liked that Angel was trying to send Buffy a message by killing someone she knew and turning them. It was good to see that Buffy was going to have to deal with Angel.

    This was an amazing episode of Buffy. I loved all of the werewolf stuff and of course Willow and Oz. And let's not forget how funny it was to hear Willow tell Buffy that she thought of Cordelia as a skanky ho!
  • Oz has a problem

    9.3
    Favorite quote: Willow: I can't figure him out. I mean, he's so hot and cold. Or, luke-warm and cold.
    Buffy: Welcome to the mystery that is men. I think it goes something like, they grow body hair, they lose all ability to tell you what they really want. It seems there is something else out there attacking people, and much to our surprise (and his) we find out Oz is a werewolf. I love Oz, hair and all. I am glad the gang found a way to contain him during the full moon and Will still wants to date him! Unfortunately, Angelus is still out there wreaking havoc and Buffy steels herself even more for the fight that she knows is inevitable.
  • Oz is a werewolf.

    7.4
    Willow's new little boyfriend is a werewolf, turns out Buffy isn't the only one who likes to pick her dates from the demon pool. Although in this case it's a little less complicated then simply dating a vampire, or even a vampire with...or without a soul. Oz and Willow have this severe cuteness factor, except maybe when Oz is trying to eat here but all the same. I like that they gave it a little complication, we didn't want things to be to safe or to dull. That wouldn't be very fun. The end scene between the two is so sweet and adorable! A werewolf in love.
  • Oz is a werewolf!

    9.6
    A bit of an anti-climax after the excitement of the last two episodes but a good story none the less.

    Yet again the writers of Buffy aren't afraid to challenge new concepts, turning Oz into a werewolf could be called a desperate attempt at adding another supernatural character to the scooby gang but it is done cleverly and in a way which makes you consider the impact on Oz.

    The hunter Kane, is a nasty piece of work, I am sure that he will pop up again in a later episode, he has been too developped for him to be a one off character.
  • Willow: Great. I'll give Xander a call. What's his number? Oh, yeah, 1- 800-I'm-Dating-A-Skanky-Ho

    10
    There have been sightings and reports of an attack, but no one is really sure of who the werewolf is. Xander thinks he has an idea but when he confronts who he thinks it is – turns out the only secret that guy is hiding is that he’s gay. Back to square one. The night after an attack we see Oz wake up naked and confused. He calls his aunt to ask about a little cousin that nit him and it turns out – they are now both werewolves. Oz starts acting distant and so Willow decides to follow Buffy’s advice and make the first move. She shows up at his house as he is about to handcuff himself do he can’t hurt anyone. She distracts him and sees him turn wolfey. She gets away and goes to tell the group because she doesn’t want to hunter to kill him. They rescue him in time and all is well. And Willow is ok with him being wolfey. Willow: "Well, I like you. You're nice, and you're funny, and you don't smoke. Yeah, okay, werewolf, but that's not all the time. I mean, three days out of the month I'm not much fun to be around either."
  • One of the bests!

    9.6
    There was Oz so there was no reason for me to dislike this episode :) Oz and Willow's conversation in the first scene was sooo cute.
    Xander thought Oz is attractive :D he he he's right but he's a guy but at the same time he's Xander so no comment!
    While Oz was figuring out he was the werewolf he worried and scared about hurting people so he tired to chain himself. And at the same time sweet Willow found out he was the werewolf in a very scary way. In the end of the episode i was so happy that Willow and Oz are together and very happy. Just like Oz said he was in love!
  • Throw Me a Frickin' Full Moon Here!

    8.8
    The cleverest story development in Phases is not that Oz is revealed to be a werewolf, but the fact that the episode concludes with him continuing as normal. The writers didn't resort themselves to some wacky de-werewolf-ing spell and "cure" Oz, but just left him with his hairy alter ego. In fact, the revelation actually helps him, drawing him closer to Willow, who says she too isn't that great to be around three days out of every month.

    When this first aired, Oz was quickly becoming one of my favorite characters. Seth Green is the only actor you could imagine playing him, with his monotone voice, his undeniable coolness and his subtle, Zen-like comedy. He and Willow also make a really cute couple, and his presence allows Willow to not always be the voice of reason, as she frequently gets things wrong in relationships, whilst he sits back, listens, learns and goes with whatever happens next.

    The best aspect of this episode is the dialogue. Rob Des Hotel and Dean Batali are sitcom writers, and their sitcom influence is pretty noticeable throughout Phases. From the classic sitcom situation of two characters in a conversation where both believe they're talking about something else, to the quirky comedic dialogue ("I took a tiny step, and there conclusions were") and the OTT reactions to things like "moon pie", the script itself is probably more entertaining than the werewolf storyline.

    One thing that obviously stands out from this episode though is the werewolf costume. One of the trademarks of Buffy was the rubber outfits the demons were frequently put in, and the costume in this episode is by far the lamest looking monster in the show's history. It looks okay in close-up but in long shots, when it's painfully obvious a grown man is just zipped up inside, it looks completely ridiculous. But this is one of those great things about Buffy. Despite having a small budget, they still managed to put together intriguing, entertaining episodes with impressive bad guys, and the Abbott and Costello-style outfits just helped even more in creating the illusion of an old-fashioned monster show.

    Phases is one of the most underrated masterpieces from season two, featuring an entertaining premise, an excellent script and characterization that lesser shows pray they had.

    Director: Bruce Seth Green
    Writers: Dean Batali, Rob Des Hotel
    Rating: B+
  • Oz being a warewolf was brilliant

    10
    I just loved this episode, it was very cool Oz becoming a warewolf and I loved him and Willow talking while he was still in the house with the handcufs and after when she kissed him...it was so sweet.
    I kind of was expecting Buffy at least to punch Cain, he made me angry with all that stuff about no woman can do a man's job, but I didn't see him fighting with barehands with a beast like that LOL
    And the scene with Xander and Larry in the locker room was so funny.
    About Angel, although he didn't appear much as I was expecting he was able to harm someone, and I like his dark side(not the killing the girl but he looked hotter).
  • First the gang's worldview is turned upside down by Angelus' reversion; now before they can recover another shock...this time by Oz.

    7.5
    A great mystery in the beginning; followed by a surprising revelation.

    The interaction between Oz and Willow is great and its so nice to see them get together in a romantic way at the end. And Willow finally begins showing a sense of self confidence around boys.

    As for the secondary villain (or primary, depending on your view) we have Caine...arrogant, jerkish, misogynistic. Who doesn't cheer when Buffy tells him to get out of her town?

    Angelus puts in an appearance to, killing a friend of Buffy's just to twist the knife a bit. Unfortunately since she's a girl we don't know and will never hear about again...it kinda blunts the 'trauma'. Its nice to see Xander step in and save Buffy again though, when she can't fight for herself.
  • 'A werewolf in love.'

    10
    A very sweet episode with character development and a new addition to the show, werewolves. I am obsessed with werewolves.

    It begins with Larry watching girls and asking Oz how far he has gone with Willow, Buffy asks the same to Willow and she says no where. She wants to and gives Oz signals but nothing happens.

    Meanwhile Cordy and Xander are kissing at night, Willow doesn’t understand what he sees in her and Xander doesn’t understand what she sees in Oz. So anyway while they try to kiss, Xander hears something and then they are attacked by a wolf and they escape.

    On school they are learning how to self defence and Larry seems to like a girl named Theresa, Buffy has to practise with Larry and when he touches her bum she knocks him over.

    At night Buffy and Giles go hunting and then they meet a werewolf hunter and he has caught many and is now after the one in sunnydale, he says that the werewolf goes to places filled with hormones and Buffy knows where that is.

    Meanwhile Theresa goes home and she feels followed until Angel appears out of no where and he says he knows Buffy and will walk her home, while in the bronze everyone is attacked by a werewolf but when Buffy comes to stop him he has already fled.

    When the werewolf walks in an alley it sees Angelus feeding out of Theresa and the werewolf leaves them alone. The next morning Oz wakes up in the woods naked, he is the werewolf.

    Oz is freaked out, ofcourse you can’t see it. He calls his aunt because his little cousin had bit him and apparently is a werewolf. Oz then goes to school and asks if someone was injured and they tell him about Theresa and Xander thinks he knows who it was. Xander thinks it was Larry and when he goes to talk to him in the locker rooms Larry says that he’s gay and thinks that Xander is gay too.

    Meanwhile Buffy and Xander go to visit the dead Theresa but they find out that she was bitten by a vampire who then arises and tells her love from Angelus. Buffy stakes her and hugs Xander, then leaves. ‘No, my life’s not complicated’

    When Willow goes to Oz to talk, he says he’s busy and going through changes but she doesn’t want to leave until she sees his chains. Oz starts to change and when Willow goes to find him he jumps at her and she runs. She goes to the library and tells the gang it’s Oz all along.

    When the hunter goes to kill Oz, Buffy stops him and Willow shoots Oz and makes it fall unconscious. Buffy then makes the irritating hunter leave.

    Next day Willow goes up to Oz and they still want to be together and hang out, I’d still. ‘A werewolf in love’

    This was a very cute episode that develops Oz and my obsession for werewolves. An awesome episode that also introduced the first gay character.
  • Phases or just big secrets

    8.6
    This episode could also been named Secrets. There are a lot of big secrets that we as the audience get to discover. First and the greatest of them all in this season is that fact that Oz I not just a regular lead guitarist he is also a werewolf three nights a month. The fact that you are transformed into the werewolf also the nights before and after the full moon is a nice addition to the traditional werewolf transformation stages.
    The other rather funny secret is that Xander under the pretence that Larry is the werewolf accidentally reveals that Larry is gay. The funny part is that Larry thinks that Xander also is gay, but that he is too afraid to get out of the close.
    Angel only makes a small appearance in this average episode, but a really powerful appearance, when he lures one of Buffy’s schoolmates into coming with him, and therefore condemning her to a certain death.
  • "Werewolves! It’s one of the classics" - Giles

    9.1
    This episode integrates Oz into the gang:– he has a wacky secret just like the rest of them. Unlike Teenwolf, where the beast analogy is growing pains, this episode is, like "The Pack", more about the nastier side of masculinity. I find it odd that the transformation into Bad Male wolf is a product of the full moon; as Willow points out, this is usually the kind of thing associated with women - 3 days of cranky behaviour related to the lunar cycle. The werewolf costumes are terrible but the morphing from wolf to human is very well done (anyone else remember Manimal?) as we see the ferocious furry beast CGI into – Oz! Didn’t see that coming. Buffy says to Willow, who wants some wolfish snogs, that it’s good that Oz isn’t just acting like an animal – he is the opposite to the aggressive, predatory, single-entendre Larry who we, and Xander, assume to be the wolf. Self-assured, laconic, mild-mannered Daniel Osbourne is the last person you’d think of as a werewolf, although he does have a kind of foxy face. Is the monster side of him his deep-buried dark maleness? Sahjhan has travelled back in time and is posing as Cain, a werewolf-hunter. He has perfected the chauvinist woman-belittling attitude that goes with the job. He doesn’t believe a girlie girl as Buffy has to pretend to be can stop a werewolf, but she gets to kick his sexist ass outta town.

    As for Xander – well. Sort it out, man! He’s dating the most popular girl in school, the kind of chick football stars and lead singers usually go out with; he is now the boy of whom the likes of Larry would be jealous (if he hadn’t come out of the closet), but now that Willow has got herself a guy, he’s coming over all macho and possessive. Willow is his childhood plaything and no-one else is allowed to have a go. And, during his tender, mature moment with Buffy when he finally gets to save her from a vampire (she being temporarily and literally floored by the “message” from Angel), he reveals to the viewer that he still has a crush on her. Willow puts it pretty succinctly when she says: “He’s so busy looking around at what he doesn’t have that he doesn’t realise what he does have”. Willow is bonding with Cordy and getting over Xander, but he is only just starting to notice Willow. Nobody’s love-life is going very well (Giles is still ignoring Jenny) which is ironic since the full moon is bringing out the smoochies in everyone else, until the werewolf attacks anyway. Still, they’re used to cleaning and clearing up in the Bronze. I’m glad that at least one teacher has recognised that Sunnydale is a dangerous place and has the sense to do a self-defence class, which unfortunately doesn’t do much good for Teresa who dies at Angel’s hands purely because she knows Buffy. Isn’t Angel looking a lot paler now he’s lost his soul? His animal nature comes out as he and Ozwolf sniff and snarl at one another, each deciding not to attack the bigger prey.

    There’s a great payback from Season 1 as Xander recollects his hyena experiences which he previously claimed he’d forgotten (being a predator embarrassed him). He gets a little bit of revenge when he interrogates Larry, even if the outcome is not quite what he expected. After Larry has outed himself, he is then a nice person and stops being aggressive to women. The point is that now he’s happy with himself, he stops being horrible to those he perceives weaker than himself, but is the other point that men acting aggressively macho are doing so not because they are really like that, but because they are over compensating? Or at least it is in the high school hating minds of Joss and co. Larry’s a great character - it’s a pity that he only appeared in 4 more episodes and was then splattered by the Mayor. Although I did see him recently playing a news reporter in ER so I guess he wasn’t harmed too much. Xander is obviously not comfortable in his sexuality – he is wary of Larry after he has ‘become’ gay (perhaps a nod to the fact that Joss had a plan for either Willow or Xand to go gay) and he’s still punching Buffy on the arm to show he likes her. Maybe he does have a point – both of his best friends’ boyfriends have tried to kill them. But unfortunately for him, even though Willow’s yellow dungarees’d put anyone off, she finally makes the first move and she and Oz share their first kiss and Willow’s tough but forgiving attitude makes Oz realise that he is “a werewolf in love”.




  • This isn't your parent's werewolf!

    9.0
    When someone says WereWolf to me, the first thing that comes to mind is David Selby's portrayal of the WereWolf/Quentin Collins in the classic series Dark Shadows. I know I'm dating myself here, and you youngsters have probably never seen it, but for it's day (Dark Shadows was a daily soap opera that ran on ABC from 1966-1971, and featured witches, werewolves, ghosts and a 200 year old vampire) Selby's performance really set the bar. The werewolf in Buffy not only breaks the bar but destroys it with a nuclear blast! It was also good to see Willow moving on with her life, and the character of Oz is awesome.
Tuesday
No results found.
Wednesday
No results found.
Thursday
No results found.