|'New Moon Rising'
Story Code '4ABB19'
by Marti Noxon
Willow and Tara walk through campus, discussing a possible cat they could share, before meeting up with Buffy, Riley, Anya and Xander at Giles’ place. Oddly, there is no explanation as to why Buffy is finding almost nothing while out on patrol, although Giles thinks Adam has something to do with it. Their discussion is interrupted by the sudden arrival of Oz; he tells Willow he will come to her dorm room to talk, and then leaves. Seeing Willow’s reaction to Oz, Tara also leaves. Later, on patrol, Buffy tries to explain to Riley about Willow and Oz, but when she tells him that Oz is a werewolf, Riley’s reaction appals her, and she calls him a bigot for being insensitive to the complications of love. Oz arrives at Willow’s and asks her to come outside; he tells her to look at the sky, and Willow sees the full moon. Overjoyed that Oz has not transformed into a werewolf, Willow hugs him and asking how he is able to overcome the effects of the full moon. Oz has more important things to discuss, though: he has been to see Xander, and knows that Willow does not have a new boyfriend, which gives him hope that they might resume their relationship. Elsewhere, in a cemetery, three Initiative soldiers are attacked by an unseen creature; one of them manages to catch a glimpse of the monster and believes it to be a werewolf. Willow and Oz have been talking all night in Willow’s room about Oz’s travels; he tells her that in Tibet he met a warlock who trained him how to mediate in order to quiet the werewolf within him, and also how to use a combination of herbs to the same effect. After deciding to go to breakfast together, Willow goes to the bathroom to freshen up; Tara arrives, but when Oz answers the door, she hurriedly leaves. Buffy is still upset about Riley’s comments about Oz, and tries to explain that there are hundreds of different demons, some of which are good; Riley understands, but then Forrest arrives and tells him that Graham is injured and another soldier dead after a werewolf attack. Buffy returns to her dorm room to find Willow sitting alone; she asks how things went with Oz, but Willow replies that everything is complicated, and reveals her romantic feelings for Tara. At first Buffy is a bit wigged out by Willow’s revelation, but is soon very supportive. Meanwhile, Spike wakes up in his crypt and finds Adam standing over him; his punches have no effect on the man-made monster, and he is forced to listen to what Adam has to say: he has come to help Spike. Willow arrives at Tara’s dorm room and assures her that nothing happened between her and Oz; Tara replies that she will be Willow’s friend no matter what happens. The two witches embrace, but Willow is confused about who she wants to be with. Later, Oz runs into Tara in the University and tells her that he is returning to study there; however, he smells Willow’s scent on her, and when she cannot answer his questions, an angry Oz begins to change into the wolf. Tara runs, heading into an empty lecture hall with Oz in pursuit, but as he lunges for the attack, a tranquilliser dart fired by a solider knocks him out. Riley and Forrest rush in, and before Tara can tell them it is Oz, they drag him to the Initiative. Adam tells Spike that he will remove the chip in his brain if he helps him get to Buffy. At Giles’ house, everyone meets to devise a plan to free Oz. Meanwhile, Oz wakes up in a steel cage, but is immediately knocked out; he comes to again later, and finds himself strapped to an operating table, Initiative scientists hovering over him, eager to perform their tests. Riley recognises Oz and tries to convince the scientists to take it easy on him, but an electric shock turns Oz into his werewolf form, the scientists determining that negative stimulation causes his transformation. Just as Buffy decides that she and Xander will infiltrate the Initiative as before, Spike appears and tells them he knows of a back way into the compound. Oz wakes up, naked and bruised in a cell. Riley appears and gives Oz some clothes, but when they attempt to escape Forrest stops them. Riley is put in a cell and confronted by a Colonel, who states that his relationship with Buffy has made him a traitor, and that unless he helps take out Buffy and her friends, he will die in disgrace. Anya and Giles follow Willow’s instructions to cut the power to the Initiative compound, while Spike shows Buffy, Xander and Willow the secret entrance; they surprise the Colonel, and force him to lead them to the cells. They release Riley and Oz, and, using the Colonel as a hostage, make their escape. Buffy takes Riley to the ruins of Sunnydale High, where he can hide out; he will be court-martialled if the Initiative finds him. When Riley admits he was wrong about Oz, Buffy tells him the whole story of her relationship with Angel. Meanwhile, Oz and Willow talk in his van; Oz has realised that the only thing that can make him upset and lose control is Willow. After sharing a tearful embrace, Oz leaves Sunnydale. Willow arrives at Tara’s dorm holding a candle, as there is still no power; Tara tells her that she should be with the one she loves - Willow replies that she is, and blows out the candle…
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Marc Blucas (Riley Finn), James Marsters (Spike), Anthony Stewart Head (Rupert Giles), Seth Green (Oz), Emma Caulfield (Anya), Amber Benson (Tara), Bailey Chase (Graham Miller), Leonard Roberts (Forrest Gates), Bailey Chase (Graham Miller), Conor O’Farrell (Colonel McNamara), George Hertzberg (Adam), James Michael Connor (Scientist #1), Mark Daneri
Directed by James A. Contner
TX (US): 2nd May 2000
TX (UK - Sky One): 12th May 2000
TX (UK - BBC): 22nd March 2001
*Featuring Buffy, Xander, Willow, Giles, Riley, Anya and Tara