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Next — The Complete Buffy Episode Guide
New Moon Rising
May 02, 2000


Marti Noxon

James A. Contner

Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
Marc Blucas as Riley Finn
James Marsters as Spike
Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles
Guest Stars:
Seth Green as Oz
Amber Benson as Tara
Emma Caulfield as Anya
Leonard Roberts as Forrest Gates
Bailey Chase as Graham Miller
Conor O'Farrell as Colonel McNamara
George Hertzberg as Adam
Robert Patrick Benedict as Jape, Adam's Lackey (scenes cut; see Notes)
James Michael Connor as Scientist #1
Mark Daneri as Scientist #2
Dorron Keeman as Commando #2


After Tara and Willow share a nice walk to Giles' place, their blossoming relationship takes a hit when Oz suddenly appears at the door. When Oz arrives at Willow's place to talk that night, he takes her outside, and points out the full moon — no wolf. The two stay up all night talking; Oz reveals that he traveled the world and found his salvation in Tibet, where he learned to control the wolf via chanting, herbs, charms, and the like. Willow goes to Tara that morning, expressing her confusion. Later, Oz runs into Tara on campus, and sensing Willow's scent all over Tara, draws the logical conclusion. He gets upset and wolfs out, chasing Tara, who's saved by Riley and the boys. They take Oz to Initiative Headquarters. The gang works out an infiltration plan, which benefits from Spike's help. He claims to be needing money, but he's actually in cahoots with Adam, who has promised to get Spike's chip out in return for help with his big plan. Inside the Initiative, Riley almost shoots Oz, but stops when Oz becomes Oz again. This doesn't stop the scientists from experimenting on him, despite Riley's protests. By the time the gang gets in to the Initiative, Riley has already been made prisoner for trying to set Oz free. Buffy holds Colonel McNamara hostage, saving both Riley and Oz; Riley is now a traitor and a fugitive. Willow and Oz realize that they can't be together right now, as Willow is the one thing that can set off the wolf in Oz. Willow reveals that she is, however, happy, and Oz leaves again. Willow goes to Tara, and when Tara tells her she should be with the one she loves, Willow replies, "I am."

For the full, detailed synopsis, click here.

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Weredemon If you're new to the show, you may want to get the scoop on werewolves from "Phases." According to one of the Initiative scientists, there are over 40 demons with similar characteristics, two of which attacked Graham's team of soldiers. (Some people think they were werewolves - please see the Notes for details.)

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Body Count

Willis (Commando)
Mauled by a demon while on patrol.
Total: One
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Dialogue to Die For

Buffy (about Riley's concern about Willow dating a werewolf): God, I never knew you were such a bigot!
Riley: Whoa, hey, how did we get to bigot? I'm just saying it's a little weird to date someone who tries to eat you once a month.

Giles: How did you get in?
Spike: The door was unlocked. You might want to watch that, Rupert. Someone dangerous could get in.
Buffy: Or, someone formerly dangerous and currently annoying.

Anya (wanting a high five from Giles): Slap my hand now!

More quotes from this episode...

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  • Tara: "This would be a sneaky cat."
    Willow: "That would be cool. You mean it'd be sort of like a familiar?"
  • A familiar is, in the context that Willow uses it, an animal that somehow aids a witch in his or her witchcraft. The traditional notion of a witch with her black cat stems from this, and cats are "popular," if you will, as familiars. However, familiars are not always cats; they may be any of a wide variety of animals. You can find a bit more information here and here.

    Miss Kitty
  • Tara (about what to name her cat): "We could name her Trixie, or Miss Kitty Fantastico or something."
  • This isn't exactly a direct reference, but The Kat (a.k.a. Miss Kitty) and Julio Fantastico are both W.W.F. wrestlers (Miss Kitty is female; Julio is male). It's possible that this was unintentional, but it's also possible that it was an intended allusion. Hey, maybe Tara is a closet wresting fan. ;-)

  • Oz: "A woman in Tibet traded it to me for the Radiohead record."
  • Radiohead is an alternative band from Oxford, who first became famous in the US with the single "Creep," off of their album Pablo Honey," and who later won a Grammy (Best Alternative Album) for OK Computer.

  • Spike (to Adam): "You were a Boy Scout?"
  • The Boy Scouts is a youth group for boys started by Robert Baden-Powell in England after he wrote the book Scouting for Boys. At about the same time, scouting was being established at YMCAs around the United States. The Boy Scouts of America were incorporated by William Boyce in 1910, and is still strong today. Since Boy Scouts are supposed to be honorable young men, "scout's honor" has become a way of pledging honesty.

    William Burroughs
  • Buffy: "Stay back, or I'll pull a William Burroughs on your leader here."
  • Born in 1914, William Seward Burroughs was a writer of the Beat generation. His semi-autobiographical stories generally dealt with his homoerotic urges and drug use, his most famous work being Naked Lunch. After fleeing from the law to Mexico for his drug activities, he showed off his marksmanship to some of his friends by doing his "William Tell act." His common-law wife, Joan Vollmer Adams, placed a glass on her head and he killed her with one shot.

  • Buffy: "You woke up to a big bowl of Wheaties, and now you're a fugitive."
  • Wheaties® is the so-called "Breakfast of Champions®," a 100% Whole Grain cereal made by General Mills. They're recognized by their ever-changing image of an athlete on the front of the box.

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  • Wild at Heart

    Oz and Willow broke up in "Wild at Heart," when Oz decided he needed to be alone to figure out how to deal with his wolfiness. The two met in "What's My Line, Part One" and began dating soon after, and Oz (as well as Willow and the gang) found out that he was a werewolf in "Phases."

  • Goodbye Iowa

    Giles mentions that they'll need to infiltrate the Initiative "once again." Buffy and Xander had to do this in "Goodbye Iowa" to get information.

  • The Freshman through The I in Team

    Colonel McNamara mentions having looked over Professor Walsh's records — Professor Walsh was Buffy's psychology teacher as well as the head of Initiative Headquarters until she was killed by Adam, her pet project.

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Goofs and Gaffes

  • In the Willow-Oz scene after they've been up all night, Oz's necklace (especially the pendant) keeps moving in and out of visibility, even when he's not moving.

  • When Oz is chasing Tara, he begins to cut down a row of seats, getting a few feet down before the camera cuts to Tara. When it cuts back to Oz, he's at the beginning of the row, starting to run down the aisle again.
          Spotted by Anthony C. Blade.

  • When Tara throws the chair at Oz, Riley nails him with a tranquilizer dart at the same time. Oz falls to the floor, with no dart in his back. Riley steps over him, and the dart is now in his back.

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  • For the first time, Emma Caulfield was listed with the regulars in the script (though she has not yet been added to the opening credits), so one might consider this her first appearance as a regular. (It was reported in the News Bytes quite a few weeks ago that Emma had signed on to become a regular.)

  • Robert Patrick Benedict, who played Adam's lackey in "Superstar," appeared in the opening credits of this episode, but his scenes were cut. He was in the script (with the name of Jape) in a scene after Graham's team is attacked:

    The demons survey their work. Not realizing that Graham is still alive, they crash back into the trees - satisfied.

    A long beat as we take in the sudden silence... The we MOVE TOWARD THE WOODS, searching until we find an ominous presence hidden there. ADAM. He clearly watched the whole battle. His number one henchman, JAPE, is at his side.

    Three down. Six billion to go, give or take. I told you those demons could get it done.

    They were efficient.

    Efficient? They were death on legs. You're telling me it's not enough?


    As his mind turns, calculating plans for his own personal holocaust.

    It's not enough.


    He was also briefly in the scene in which Adam and Spike discuss Adam's plan, but was cut from that as well.

  • Some people think that the demons which attacked Graham and his team were werewolves, but we disagree. For one thing, their faces look less werewolf and more demon (see Monstervision for a picture). Also, we've got the script on our side — the shooting script reads (capitalization is from the script):

    Then, suddenly, TWO LARGE DEMONS CRASH THROUGH THE TREES AND ATTACK. (NOTE: The demons should be of the hairy variety. NOT too close in appearance to a werewolf - but close enough that a *description* of one might be confused with the other.)
    Much thanks to Rayne, owner of The Buffy Shooting Script Site, for the above three pieces of information.
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Nice. Very nice. In an eviscerating rip-your-heart-out-of-your-chest-while-its-still-beating-like-in-Indiana-Jones kind of way. This episode is definitely the emotional rollercoaster that we expect out of the Buffy cast and crew, and Marti Noxon writes these types of episodes flawlessly. She has definitely become a favorite writer of mine, second only to Joss. But, she must really not like Oz and Willow together, since she penned both this and "Wild at Heart." (Don't look at me like that, Marti's the one that wrote these episodes. wink) The WB demanded no kissage between Willow and Tara worked in this episode, however I don't think it can stay that way. Why is it that these hypocritical networks allow same sex kissing in funny/quirky/experimentation/ratings ways, but not as part of a loving relationship? This is about my only problem with this spectacular episode, which is completely beyond the control of the creative forces of the show. OK, now regaining my composure from all this emotional stuff, I can't wait to find out what plan Adam has for Spike, Buffy, and the rest of the world. But why do I keep getting the feeling that all they have to do to stop Adam is whip out the ol' bazooka again, ala The Judge. (9/10)
Jamie Marie:
Okay, we can officially stop with the "Are Willow and Tara involved?!" emails now, right? Please? You've got your answer; it's your business what you think of that answer. Although some of you are wrong, of course. grin Anywho, I was quite impressed with the whole Willow-Tara thing in this episode. I hadn't really formed much of an opinion of their blooming relationship, aside from my initial dislike of Tara, but this episode convinced me. Now, I wouldn't call myself a "shipper," as I don't really go in for that kind of die-hard support of a couple. But they are darn cute together, and I'm really growing to like Tara. I will admit that she had a couple moments of... well, lameness, in my eyes: the moment in which she tells Willow to do what makes her "Ha-ha-happy," for one. Yes, I know she's been a bit of a stutterer all along, and there's nothing wrong with that in real life, but sometimes it seems overdone and just cheesy, and this was one such time. Something about it just irked me. Also at the end, when Willow says, "I mean. OK?" and Tara says, "Oh, yes!" That "oh" was just too much for me. A simple, smiling "yes" would have been perfectly sufficient. But those are wee things; like I said, Tara's growing on me. (Amber Benson herself has also made quite an impression on me lately, both on and off the show, but that's not the issue here.) Right. Moving on... the Willow / Oz thing was dealt with excellently; it was really quite true to life (er... aside from the werewolf issue). The fact is, much like Buffy and Angel, they really can't be together at this point, regardless of the Tara issue. And I for one think it's great that Willow has grown enough to accept that, and has the courage to move forward with a new relationship. Oh, there were other people in this episode, too, weren't there? Well, they were all lovely, plenty of tears and cheering for me (yay, Riley!). I also enjoyed "The Sanctuary," the crossover ep. of Angel (try the site of the same name, The Sanctuary, for an episode guide). The look on Buffy's face when Angel hit her was enough on its own to make me give the ep. a thumbs up, so the rest, including the excellence that was Eliza Dushku, was just icing on the cake. It's about time Buffy and Angel actually fought like real ex-es (well, most hopefully don't hit each other, but whatever). The only problem I have with the crossover was the timing... it irks me that Buffy went to L.A. while she and Riley were supposed to be hiding out. Oh well. (9/10)
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Air Date Rating Ranking
May 02, 2000 2.9 91 of 131 (tie)
September 5, 2000 2.1 91 of 136 (tie)

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