Wednesday, November 9, 2011

"Wild at Heart" (Buffy 4.6): The episode of my discontent

I believe this space has adequately, and enthusiastically, documented my devotion to Oz during our re-watch. Therefore, it's no surprise that I have been dreading this episode ever since the first "Who is that girl?" he uttered. But the Buffy guide to dealing when your inner dog gets off the chain has unfortunately arrived.

DO lock your boyfriend up in his cage yourself.
So this might just be wishful thinking. Though Oz's be-wolfed escape from his new holding pen enables infidelity #1 with fellow lycanthrope (and crazed bitch) Veruca, the show is pretty committed to suggesting it would have happened anyway. The mythology/gender politics get a little messy here, but apparently their animal alter egos are attracted to each other, and Oz realizes he is always a little bit a wolf, and, well, see "Fear Itself" for his worst-case scenario. But part of me wishes that Willow would have blown off Wicca orientation and read Call of the Wild to him like back in the day.
To offset the awfulness of the narrative, only sweet Oz screencaps will be used in this post.

DO remember, it's not you it's HER.
Willow beats herself up pretty good (and almost gets hit by a car) for being inadequately cool and/or wolfy enough for Oz. However, any debate about inner beasts aside, Veruca actively makes a bad situation sluttier. She refuses to confine herself when she's dangerous (though what has she been up to before this particular full moon?), practically forcing Oz to spend the second night of their transformation together, prompting infidelity #2. Emphasis on the "practically." Can't blame that kiss on a wolfed-out black-out, Oz.
You even look cute when you're guilty, Red.

But . . .

DON'T use your power for evil, Wills.
In a move with season-6 implications, Willow starts, but can't bear to finish, some sort of Satan-assisted hate spell to punish both Oz and Veruca. It's the first, but not by a long shot the last, time she will turn to magicks to alleviate emotional pain.
Admit it; you couldn't have damned him either.

DO realize I can't stay mad at Oz.
Despite allowing a girl into his life who nearly kills Willow, and then killing said-psycho in a wolf fight that I guess bypasses that whole "can't kill a human" rule, and then running out on his girlfriend when things get complicated, he just about makes up for everything with his response when Willow asks if he still loves her.

"My whole life, I've never loved anything else."
Farewell, Oz . . .  for now. 

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