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Wild at Heart

Buffy starts us off this week by running from a vampire across campus. Running from a vampire? Yep, luring him to a deserted area of campus so that there are no witnesses. She makes quick work of him, and a heartburn pun to go with it, and wonders to herself why the forces of darkness aren't sending her better foes. Spike is at a distance, watching and listening, and comments (out of Buffy's earshot) that she shouldn't tempt the Fates, because he's back in town, and this time — but he doesn't get to finish his threat, as he's interrupted by the commando guys who zap him with a taser and drag him away.

Oz stares at Veruca

At the Bronze, the gang is discussing the benefits of hanging out at the Bronze as college students, as well as the predictability of it. Giles suddenly drops in for a social visit, ruining the predictability. He defends his coolness — "I'm down with the new music!" — as Veruca takes the stage. Willow looks uncomfortable, Oz stares intently, Buffy says Veruca's boring, and Giles says she has presence. Tension ensues.

The next morning, Willow and Oz wake up in Oz's bed together. They cuddle and engage in sexual banter, but Willow has to get to class. They realize they can't get together tonight: it's the night before the full moon, so Oz has to be locked up. Willow says that she'll be checking out a campus Wicca group orientation on each of the three nights Oz will be wolfy, so he'll have to lock himself up.

In Psych. class, Professor Walsh returns a paper to Buffy and compliments her work, saying she wants Buffy to lead a discussion group in the next class. Buffy shows Willow her paper and tells her about the discussion group thing, and Willow is both happy for Buffy and also jealous academically. Oz, who's supposed to be meeting Willow at the campus cafe, runs into Veruca. He joins her, and they discuss amplifiers. Willow arrives, spotting them together, and joins them. More tension ensues. Willow tries to get in on the music talk, but she mistakes an amp brand for an Elvis song. It's not long before Oz bails on the situation, leaving Veruca and Willow staring at each other. Veruca leaves, too, just as Buffy's arriving. Willow tells Buffy that Oz thinks Veruca is sexy (he gets blushy behind the ears), but Buffy reminds her that "Oz just isn't the type to stray." Especially not tonight, agrees Willow, since he'll be locked in his cage.

However, we next see Oz locking himself up, wolfing out, and promptly breaking out of his cage. Professor Walsh is walking across campus that night when she hears a noise. Oz-wolf comes out of the bushes, but before he attacks, another wolf arrives, and the two werewolves roll around violently, forgetting about Walsh, who runs away in terror. The next morning, Oz wakes up naked in the wilderness (a la "Phases") — with a naked Veruca at his side. Veruca realizes he doesn't remember, but she does. Apparently werewolves eventually do begin to retain memories of their wolf-time. Oz is clearly distressed, and they go to a dorm laundry room to steal some clothes. Oz throws on a shirt and shorts, and Veruca picks a little black bra and panty set to strut around in. Oz finds out that Veruca doesn't even have a cage; she just allows herself to run free. Veruca tries to convince him to accept that the wolf is a part of him all the time, and he shouldn't try to restrain it. Oz isn't sold; he doesn't want to kill people. Veruca insists that they belong together, but Oz disagrees and walks out.

At school, Professor Walsh is telling Riley about her shocking run in with two giant wild dogs. Buffy approaches, and Walsh tells her about it, so that Buffy will be careful on campus. Buffy realizes what she saw, and takes off.

Willow goes over to Oz, dressed in leather pants, and tries to seduce Oz. He resists, though, claiming that he's too tired. Willow claims to understand, but she's obviously hurt. She leaves, and Oz looks guilty.

Giles is at home, watching a TV trivia show, when Buffy arrives. He's glad for the company, and hopes there's something for them to work on. Buffy tells Giles about Walsh's run in with the two werewolves, and then goes to ask Oz about it.

Willow goes to Xander for advice. Xander notes that his mom won't let him put a lock on his door (probably fearing that he'll have "the sex"), so he's withholding rent. Willow asks what it means if a girl wants to make love and her boyfriend doesn't want to, and tells him that Oz and a girl have been noticing each other. Xander encourages to talk things out with him.

Oz is welding his cage back together when Buffy arrives. She asks if he knows about another wolf having been out last night. Though he does admit that he got out, he claims he wouldn't remember if he saw another wolf (apparently he doesn't "remember" waking up naked next to one, either). Buffy says she'll be looking for this other wolf tonight.

Veruca and her band rehearse at the Bronze, and we cut back and forth between shots of them, shots of a worried Willow at her Wicca meeting, and shots of Oz thinking heavily in his bedroom. He makes a phone call, and Veruca arrives at his cage. He tries to convince her to stay in the cage with him, warning her that someone will be out hunting for her. She comes closer, telling him that she sensed him and wanted him even before she saw him. He grabs her by the hair and pulls her in the cage. The cage door shuts and locks, and the two wolf out.

Willow finds Oz and Veruca

The next morning, Willow drops in, and she is shocked to find Oz and Veruca curled up naked together. They wake up, and Oz gets his pants on while Veruca slowly stands and stretches. Willow looks like she's going to throw up. Oz tries to claim that it's not what it looks like, and he had to lock her in there with him so she wouldn't hurt anyone. Willow disagrees, pointing out that he could have told someone. Oz orders Veruca to leave. Oz says he knows how it feels, but Willow argues that what happened with Xander doesn't compare to this. Oz tries to argue that he can't control what he does once the wolf has taken over, but she knows that he wanted her even as a human. Oz can't argue, and Willow runs out. She wanders in the street, in her own world, and is almost hit by a car. Buffy spots her, but is too far away to get to her in time. Luckily, Riley is nearby, and her saves her. He tells her whatever is going on isn't worth hurting herself over.

Later, in the dorm, Buffy tells Willow she has to go find Veruca and end this thing. Willow is practically a zombie, and Buffy tells her the important thing is to put the blame where it belongs and not hurt herself. Buffy leaves, and Willow mulls over this advice.

Buffy goes to Oz's, and he says that he doesn't know where Veruca is, but he can follow her scent. He tries to explain to Buffy, but she doesn't want to hear it. In a lab at school, Willow is working on a spell against Oz and Veruca, to let them find no love, solace, or peace. Buffy and Oz track Veruca's scent into the woods, and find her clothes, realizing that Veruca wanted to throw Oz off her scent. They rush off to find Willow. Willow's about to finish her spell when she changes her mind at the last minute. Veruca arrives just then, and locks the door. She points out that the sun's almost down. Oz gets ahead of Buffy when she runs into one of the commando guys. They tussle for a minute, but she gets away and takes off after Oz. Veruca hits Willow just as Oz arrives on the scene. He orders her not to touch Willow again, but Veruca argues that when Willow is gone, he'll be able to be his true self. "Animals kill," she says, as they begin to wolf out, and Oz agrees, attacking her. They fight as they finish the wolf-formation, and he mauls her, ripping open her neck and killing her. He then runs toward Willow, but Buffy arrives just in time to shoot him with a tranquilizer. Willow sobs in Buffy's lap.

Buffy goes to give Giles the rundown, and tells him about the commando guy. Giles is intrigued, but Buffy is more worried about Willow. Giles reminds her that she's gotten through that kind of pain, but Buffy points out that she ran away first.

Oz kisses Willow goodbye

Willow goes to Oz's place, and finds him packing. He says he's leaving. Willow asks if she has any say in this, and he matter-of-factly tells her no. He tells her that Veruca was right about the wolf being inside him all the time, and he no longer knows where the line is between him and the wolf. Until he gets a grip on that, he feels that he shouldn't be around her or anyone else, so he's going to find somewhere to be alone. Willow cries, and asks, "Don't you love me?" Oz tells her that he's never loved anything else. They hug, he kisses her on the forehead, and Oz walks out. He sits in his van for a moment. Willow cries in his room. Oz, holding back tears, starts the van and drives away.

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