Sunday, 27 November 2011
BUFFY: 4.06 ‘WILD AT HEART’
A video about this episode featuring ‘Need to Destroy’ by THC as heard in the episode.
WRITER: Marti Noxon
DIRECTOR: David Grossman
WHAT’S THE SITCH?
It’s full moon time again and Oz is getting ready to get hairy. But his growing friendship and obvious attraction to sultry singer Veruca is worrying Willow, though she won’t say anything as she doesn’t want to come across all jealous. On the first night of the full moon (remember in Buffy that werewolves change the night before, the night of, and the night after the full moon) Oz gets loose from his cage and meets up with another werewolf, scaring Professor Walsh in the process. The two werewolves fight. Fade to black. The next day Oz wakes up in the woods naked…entwined with a naked Veruca. It is obvious the pair got it on while in wolf form. Veruca is a free spirit and won’t be caged when she turns. She tries to entice Oz to give up locking himself away at full moons and to be with her from now on. Their mutual animal attraction is undeniable but Oz resists. That night, concerned that Veruca might hurt someone, Oz tricks her in to his lockable cage. The next morning Willow turns up to free him but she is heartbroken to find a naked Oz and naked Veruca entwined yet again. Oz tries to explain but Willow is inconsolable. The next night, Veruca, determined to get Oz for herself, decides to eliminate the one thing standing in her way: Willow.
WHAT’S THE SITCH BENEATH THE SITCH?
The heartbreak around relationships that for what ever reason are just not working anymore. Plus the old resisting the beast inside, and how pure animal lust based upon nothing more can be destructive.
WHO’S GIVING US THE WIGGINS THIS WEEK?
WHY IT ROCKS
The script. Marti Noxon wrote a smart, funny, tragic, heartbreaking script that in one episode utterly destroys a brilliant relationship which had been at the very heart of this show for the previous two years.
Oz and Willow. We watched as Oz became utterly entranced upon his first seeing Willow back in early season 2, a then rather awkward, geeky young girl. And we watched Willow become deeply attached to this kind, whip smart, stoically funny base player who just happens to be a werewolf. Their chemistry together has been second to none, making them a pure joy to watch on screen. But in the space of 44 minutes it all gets torn asunder.
Alyson Hannigan. We already know she’s an excellent actress and in this episode she gets to bring the pain in a big way: the floods of tears, the look of utter devastation that haunts her face and her entire demeanour. As Joss once said, and I paraphrase, if you want to get the audience on side then just put Willow in danger or make her cry. Instant emotional gut wrench. And he’s right. Ally making the big wet eyes just stabs your heart.
Seth Green. We love Seth Green. He’s Scott Evil. He’s Chris Griffin. He’s co-creator of the ace Robot Chicken. He’s been in loads of movies. But to some of us he will always be Daniel ‘Oz’ Osbourne – the first big love of Willow’s life. Here, Seth gives a typically low-key Oz style performance, though you can feel the confusion, the anger, the pain and the anguish radiating from him throughout. His last scene with Willow is brilliant and would make the stoniest of hearts crack just a little. We will miss you Oz. You were THE (wolf) man! *Sniff*
Spike’s hilarious cameo. At the start of the episode the platinum vamp is watching from a safe distance as Buffy bests a vamp. He then starts to give an angry and dramatic monologue directed at the Slayer only to be suddenly and unceremoniously stunned unconscious by one of the mysterious army guys seen prowling around all season. And that’s the last we see of him all episode.
WHY IT SUCKS
Though a very good episode it feels like a rather rushed exit for such a beloved character. But there were unavoidable reasons for this. See ‘AND ANOTHER THING’ further down for more.
Veruca. The sexy, sultry, dangerous bad girl act doesn’t really come off. She comes across more as a rather annoying wannabe. You want sexy bad girl? Faith. ‘nuff said. Paige Moss who plays Veruca is okay but using my own inner animal I detected no real depth or edge to her performance. Nothing to make my inner beast perk up. Guess it’s just a werewolf thing.
The werewolves. Since the show redesigned the wolves after their first appearance in 2.15 ‘Phases’ they have looked like utter shit. I hate them. They look like people in silly furry costumes prancing around like idiots. There is nothing remotely wolf-like about them. Professor Walsh even says in this episode that at first she thought they were gorillas. That’s an insult to gorillas. And what's with Oz’s ridiculous werewolf mutton chops in his mid-transformation phase? Jeez!
Lip synching. Paige Moss’s lip synching to the songs Veruca sings is terrible. It doesn’t match at all. Plus her ‘sultry’ and ‘seductive’ stage performance is so overdone it is pretty darn funny.
A tie between Spike’s hilarious cameo at the start and the last scene between Willow and Oz. It gets you right here (points at chest).
DIALOGUE TO DIE FOR
Buffy (to random vamp she's fighting): "You know very well, you eat this late... (Stakes him.)... you're gonna get heartburn. Get it? Heartburn? (He turns to dust.) That's it? That's all I get? One lame-ass vamp with no appreciation for my painstakingly thought out puns. I don't think the forces of darkness are even trying."
Willow: "I have wrong feelings about other guys sometimes. But I feel guilty and I flog and punish."
Buffy: "Exactly. I'm sure Oz is flogging and punishing himself... this is sounding wrong before I even finish."
Spike (to Buffy, out of earshot): “Watch your mouth, little girl. You should know better than to tempt the Fates that way. 'Cause the Big Bad is back, and this time it's... VARGHHHHHH!” (As he's being shocked with a taser.)
Giles: “Don't look at me that way. I'm down with the new music.”
Willow (To Xander): “I need a translator from the 'Y' side of things.”
Oz: “Look, Buffy, you should know that, that —“
Buffy: “Oz, now might be a good time for your trademark stoicism.”
Willow: “Oz, don't you love me?”
Oz: “My whole life I've never loved anything else.”
AND ANOTHER THING
THC is the real band playing the music of Shy, Veruca’s band.
Seth Green’s departure from Buffy was a rather short notice affair. He’d had a big hit that summer with Austin Powers 2 and was looking to further his film career. Luckily Oz wasn’t killed off and would reappear in one episode of season 5 to draw a final line under the Willow/Oz story.
HOW MANY STAKES?
Bye, bye Oz. 3.5 (out of 5)