Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
Mya Stone

S02.E15: Phases

Recommended Posts

 

Buffy and her friends discover secrets about themselves as they battle a werewolf, its hunter, and their own emotions.

 

A slight break from the intensity of Buffy/Angelus. 

The wolf hunter - corny, corny, corny - even worse all these years later. But I can overlook that for two scenes: 

-Oz on the phone with his aunt, finding out his cousin is a werewolf. Short, sweet, and to the point - oh, that's Oz in a nutshell. 

-Larry coming out to Xander. I remember at the time thinking nothing of it (as a "theater girl" in high school I had gay friends who were out), but it was really kind of a big deal. 

Plus, this interaction between Oz and Larry makes me laugh a lot, even to this day: 

Larry: I would love to get me some of that Buffy and Willow action, if you know what I mean.

Oz: That's great, Larry, you've really mastered the single entendre.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

"He'll be a little sore in the morning, but... he'll be Oz."  Awww!  (And, as you might have noticed, I'm not normally one to "Aww" over Oz/Willow.)

 

Joss really does a beautiful job of making sure that the two episodes between Innocence and Passion have two of the most uplifting endings in the series.  Keeps the unremitting drear from setting in, as it does from S5 on.  (When Him aired, I noted that the last episode that ended on a truly happy note was Where The Wild Things Are, almost three seasons earlier.) Not that this episode, like BB&B, doesn't have its somber moments ("I live with that every day" and "she had a lot of friends" are two of the most sympathy-inducing Buffy lines in the series, IMO), but on the whole uplifting and affirmative.  

 

Even the funeral home sequence, which starts with Buffy depressed and ends with her despairing, includes this lovely bit of Xander-support:  

 

Buffy, you can't blame yourself for every death that happens in Sunnydale.  If it wasn't for you, people'd be lined up five-deep waiting to get themselves buried.  Willow would be Robbie the Robot's love slave, I wouldn't even have a head, and…Theresa's a vampire!

 

Awww.  (Plus credits-worthy easel-slayage; good ep for Xander.)

 

One of my favorite lines is "I didn't leap.  I took a tiny step and there conclusions were."  I think I've even used a variant of it online, a couple of times.

 

One of my favorite "Lines You'll Never Hear on Buffy the Vampire Slayer" contributions was also based on this ep:

 

XANDER:  You're not boned, you're Buffy.

BUFFY:  Of course, I'm boned!  How do you think Angel lost his soul, anyway?
XANDER:  Um, Buff, that's not what I—

BUFFY: I'll give you a hint…it wasn't crême brulée.

 

I do wish they'd cut a little bit of Cain melting his silver bullets, or whatever, and left in the "Willow and Cordelia work out their issues by beating up Xander during the self-defense class" scene from the script.  It reads as though it might have been fun to see.

 

And speaking of girls who aren't currently Buffy, I notice that after Cain tells Buffy and Giles that werewolves are "suckers for that whole sexual heat thing", we see Oz-wolf invade the Bronze, where he ignores an entire dance floor full of horny teenage couples and drops down to interrupt…Willow and Cordelia.  Apparently, Oz's werewolf senses are so keen he can sniff out Willow's physical reactions to Cordelia's proximity, years before Will herself is aware of that aspect of her sexuality.  Cool.  (And Cordy was sitting with her legs pointed towards Willow, which is said to be a sign of interest…)

 

Once again, middle-of-the-season in quality, but definitely a fun ep.

Edited by DAngelus

Share this post


Link to post
One of my favorite lines is "I didn't leap.  I took a tiny step and there conclusions were."  I think I've even used a variant of it online, a couple of times.

 

 

That is one of my favorite, and most quoted, lines of the series.  :)  I just watched Phases last night (doing a rewatch of the series with my best friend who just moved in with me). 

 

Phases has always been one of my favorite episodes.  I unapologetically adore Willow/Oz and her final line about not being that nice to be around three days out of the month never ceases to make me smile.  That episode had everything....Willow/Oz love, great snark, Willow/Cordy interaction, classic Cordy (loved her reaction to daddy's car being messed up) and even Xander getting to stake a vamp (RIP Teresa). 

Share this post


Link to post
On ‎14‎/‎07‎/‎2014 at 6:35 PM, Mya Stone said:

 

A slight break from the intensity of Buffy/Angelus. 

The wolf hunter - corny, corny, corny - even worse all these years later. But I can overlook that for two scenes: 

-Oz on the phone with his aunt, finding out his cousin is a werewolf. Short, sweet, and to the point - oh, that's Oz in a nutshell. 

-Larry coming out to Xander. I remember at the time thinking nothing of it (as a "theater girl" in high school I had gay friends who were out), but it was really kind of a big deal. 

Plus, this interaction between Oz and Larry makes me laugh a lot, even to this day: 

Larry: I would love to get me some of that Buffy and Willow action, if you know what I mean.

Oz: That's great, Larry, you've really mastered the single entendre.

Yeah, it was quite  a gutsy move to have a relatively lightweight ep here (according to Marti Noxon they were getting calls from the network every day checking they were going to change Angel back) but it works. Yes, Larry coming out still cracks me up (reminds me of Glee?) nowadays no big deal but at the time big news. 

 

On ‎20‎/‎07‎/‎2014 at 5:15 PM, wingster55 said:

Boy I wish we could've seen that mentioned scene between Giles and Oz. 

Almost better when left to the imagination?

 

On ‎21‎/‎07‎/‎2014 at 10:21 AM, DAngelus said:

"He'll be a little sore in the morning, but... he'll be Oz."  Awww!  (And, as you might have noticed, I'm not normally one to "Aww" over Oz/Willow.)

 

Joss really does a beautiful job of making sure that the two episodes between Innocence and Passion have two of the most uplifting endings in the series.  Keeps the unremitting drear from setting in, as it does from S5 on.  (When Him aired, I noted that the last episode that ended on a truly happy note was Where The Wild Things Are, almost three seasons earlier.) Not that this episode, like BB&B, doesn't have its somber moments ("I live with that every day" and "she had a lot of friends" are two of the most sympathy-inducing Buffy lines in the series, IMO), but on the whole uplifting and affirmative.  

 

Even the funeral home sequence, which starts with Buffy depressed and ends with her despairing, includes this lovely bit of Xander-support:  

 

 

Awww.  (Plus credits-worthy easel-slayage; good ep for Xander.)

 

One of my favorite lines is "I didn't leap.  I took a tiny step and there conclusions were."  I think I've even used a variant of it online, a couple of times.

 

One of my favorite "Lines You'll Never Hear on Buffy the Vampire Slayer" contributions was also based on this ep:

 

 

I do wish they'd cut a little bit of Cain melting his silver bullets, or whatever, and left in the "Willow and Cordelia work out their issues by beating up Xander during the self-defense class" scene from the script.  It reads as though it might have been fun to see.

 

And speaking of girls who aren't currently Buffy, I notice that after Cain tells Buffy and Giles that werewolves are "suckers for that whole sexual heat thing", we see Oz-wolf invade the Bronze, where he ignores an entire dance floor full of horny teenage couples and drops down to interrupt…Willow and Cordelia.  Apparently, Oz's werewolf senses are so keen he can sniff out Willow's physical reactions to Cordelia's proximity, years before Will herself is aware of that aspect of her sexuality.  Cool.  (And Cordy was sitting with her legs pointed towards Willow, which is said to be a sign of interest…)

 

Once again, middle-of-the-season in quality, but definitely a fun ep.

Interesting, I never noticed that although I thought the Willow/CC dialogue was very suggestive? I wish we could have seen more of Theresa, they could have brought her back in

Spoiler

The Wish as the 3rd member of the white hats.

On ‎22‎/‎07‎/‎2014 at 3:48 PM, ladyrott said:

 

That is one of my favorite, and most quoted, lines of the series.  :)  I just watched Phases last night (doing a rewatch of the series with my best friend who just moved in with me). 

 

Phases has always been one of my favorite episodes.  I unapologetically adore Willow/Oz and her final line about not being that nice to be around three days out of the month never ceases to make me smile.  That episode had everything....Willow/Oz love, great snark, Willow/Cordy interaction, classic Cordy (loved her reaction to daddy's car being messed up) and even Xander getting to stake a vamp (RIP Teresa). 

Everything EXCEPT Spike and Dru?

 Phases
The Good; Wonderful opening scene, Oz's reaction to the news he's a werewolf, the burgeoning Oz and Willow/Xander and Cordy relationships, the mislead with Larry is hilarious and a nice subplot with Theresa as Angelus and co are not forgotten.

The Bad; Very little, excellent ep

Best line; Willow; "Three days a month I'm not much fun to be around either" Is just beaten by; Giles "Let's not jump to conclusions" Buffy "I didn't jump, I took a tiny step and there conclusions were"

Questions and observations; Willow and Cordy seem to be bonding despite Will's reference to CC as a 'skanky ho', their disparaging of men smacks mightily of subtext. That said Willow says she 'Wants smoochies' and seems less alarmed by Oz's possessing chains than intrigued. He doesn't wear them however unlike Buffy who finds herself helpless once more, caught in Cain's net. Cain's suspicion of Buffy and Giles in a May-to-December romance seems incredible but what else would the pair be doing in lover's lane at midnight? Guffy? Buffy's comments on the male nature of the werewolf are positively misandrist (and later we'll see

Spoiler

the female werewolf is deadlier than the male). Cordy refers to the things she can't tell her father about because he still thinks she's a good girl? It's pretty clear Xander doesn't have sex until The Zeppo so how far do they go? Much better werewolf than we'll see later, note they switched back to the more traditional image for Nina on Angel.


The scene where Angelus offers to walk Theresa home is just chilling. I think what makes it so effective is that he seems so plausible, the devil with the Angel's face.

Oz is shot for the second time and knocked out for the first whilst Xander kills his second vamp. It had to be pointed out to me at the time but now it seems hard to miss the 2 guys pushing Giles' car as it arrives at the Bronze.

So presumably Oz's cousin bit him whilst human? So a werewolf can infect someone even in human form? Willow better not let Oz give her any lovebites. And did Oz's cousin get bitten or does being a werewolf run in families, Teenwolf style? How come Oz wakes up the second night naked and wondering what happened but not the first? Probably the best ever example of Slayer strength, Buffy bending the barrel of Cain's rifle in her bare hands, totally impossible for any human to do.

I always thought the Owen who Buffy spots cheating on his girlfriend in Lovers Lane was the same Owen from Never Kill A Boy on a First Date but it's not (nice to see that despite her own heartache Buffy still likes romantic gossip). Nice reference to The Witch too with Oz examining the cheerleader trophy. Larry and Xander is a wonderful scene, one of my favourite of the entire series. Surely even the most fervent of 

Spoiler

Tara's kittens

can't fail to be charmed by the Willow/Oz romance?

The series just hitting a series of straight sixes right past the boundary every time, 10/10

Share this post


Link to post
On 7/22/2014 at 7:48 AM, ladyrott said:

her final line about not being that nice to be around three days out of the month never ceases to make me smile.

My late father always found it uproarious.  Kind of explains my parents' divorce, come to think of it.

1 hour ago, Joe Hellandback said:

according to Marti Noxon they were getting calls from the network every day checking they were going to change Angel back

Oh, FFS, really?  Goddamn 'shippers, let the writer tell his story.  

What they should have done was 

Spoiler

just left Angel in Acathla's dimension forever, and then Joss could be all, "what? You asked me to change him back, we changed him back.  Wish granted."  And we could all live happily ever after.

 

1 hour ago, Joe Hellandback said:

Willow better not let Oz give her any lovebites. And did Oz's cousin get bitten

She tells him this, "no biting, though.  Okay?"  And I guess so, given that there's no mention of inherent lycanthropy.  I guess cousin Jordy had a bad encounter with a "big dog" that saw him as easy pickings before he got rescued.  Only to discover that they don't make a rabies shot for this.

1 hour ago, Joe Hellandback said:

Larry and Xander is a wonderful scene, one of my favourite of the entire series

And only slightly spoiled by Larry Bagby III mis-emphasizing a phrase, with that "what do you want, hush money?"  No, Larry, Xander wants hush potatoes, instead.  (You want to hit the "hush" part of that, Mr. Bagby; the adjective modifies the noun, not the reverse.)

1 hour ago, Joe Hellandback said:

It had to be pointed out to me at the time but now it seems hard to miss the 2 guys pushing Giles' car as it arrives at the Bronze.

Sure, being powered by IATSE (the stagehands' union) means that the Citroen doesn't have much of a top speed, but OTOH, it's completely emission -free.  Giles, doing his bit for green energy well before the Tesla came on the market.  Good show, Rupert.

Edited by Halting Hex
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

On ‎24‎/‎06‎/‎2018 at 11:19 AM, nosleepforme said:

I always wonder if Larry would

  Hide contents

have been paired with Xander, since Joss was toying with making either Xander or Willow gay. But given the fact that Willow only turned gay in season four, when Larry was long dead, probably not.

 

 

I kind of liked how such a relatively minor character like Larry got some development over the run of the show.

I don't think so, I don't think the show was that brave. 

Spoiler

Tara and Willow were controversial enough and they were a couple of straight male titillating lipstick lesbians. Even in the Angel ep Provider they only refer to Jeffrey Dean Morgan's obviously gay lover as his 'friend'.

. I think it took Glee to do that and even they preferred to show us Britanna getting it on than Kurt and Blaine actually ever doing anything together

Edited by Joe Hellandback

Share this post


Link to post

Willoz is a travesty. Therefore this ep happens to be one of my least favorite.

Quote

Buffy: (sees Willow walk by) Certainly gonna put a strain on Willow and Oz's relationship.

Xander: What relationship? I mean, what life could they possibly have together? (counts off on his fingers) We're talking obedience school, paper training, Oz is always in back burying their things, and that kind of breed can turn on its owner.

Buffy: I don't know. I kinda see Oz as the loyal type.

Xander: All I'm saying is she's not safe with him. If it were up to me...

Buffy: (interrupts) Xander...

Cut outside to Willow walking over to Oz sitting on a table.

Buffy: It's not up to you.

It's good to see Xander as a sober and fair-minded type (except when it came to Cordelia). The real Xander.

Spoiler

And not a parody the writers turned him into starting with the season 3. God, how I wanted him to be that reasonable kind of person in the subsequent seasons and tell Anya to sod off when he had a chance... OTOH the fact that both X & W were involved with the monsters for a considerable part of the series proves the two of them had much more in common than most people tend to believe.

And Buffy... just shut up. You're the typical airhead, you know. Always support your friends when they make the dumbest decisions. 

Spoiler

First it was "I guess now it's just about showing Oz that he comes first", then - "they have a miraculous love"... And whether you like it or not, but Xander was totally right about Willow not being safe with the plastic werewolf (Beauty and the Beasts, The Zeppo and Wild at Heart come to mind as the shining examples).

Share this post


Link to post

Addressing spoilers. 

Spoiler

Whatever your opinions of Willoz, I don’t think you can blame the romance for endangering Willow outside of Wild at Heart  I think the Scoobies would have the local werewolf submit to a cage guarded by one of them regardless of whether the wolf was dating a Scooby. It is the best, humane, safe way to deal  

I love this ep. This feeds into the spoilered but I love how Willow is so matter of fact about tasing WolfOz, clunking him on the head with a trash can, containing him with little melodrama or gnashing of teeth (er from Willow, not WolfOz). 

Edited by Melancholy
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Well, she certainly shows some emotion, at least.  Her pained "I shot Oz!" always tugs at my heartstrings, and it's not because I'm terribly invested in the romance.  But JMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Spoiler

Having to deal with half-man/half-beast who didn't know that much about his condition, i. e. couldn't fully control it... Wasn't it a disaster in the making? I guess it was. As for the cage... I don't think the Scoobs would have guarded caged Oz for the rest of their lives. In fact, no one guarded him after the SHS was blown to kingdom come (as we saw in Wild at Heart). Bringing him food in the morning had nothing to do with watching. And the cage itself wasn't always enough to contain the Wolfboy. Humane way to deal? Yes, probably. Safe?  I find this notion kind of debatable. Oz was potentially dangerous for everyone around him including Willow. The things didn't spin out of control only because (fortunately) W/O romance didn't last too long. Then again humans should date humans. Not vampires, werewolves, vengeance demons or other things that go bump in the night. 

Share this post


Link to post

On ‎23‎/‎10‎/‎2018 at 1:29 AM, lembergwatcher said:

Willoz is a travesty. Therefore this ep happens to be one of my least favorite.

It's good to see Xander as a sober and fair-minded type (except when it came to Cordelia). The real Xander.

  Hide contents

And not a parody the writers turned him into starting with the season 3. God, how I wanted him to be that reasonable kind of person in the subsequent seasons and tell Anya to sod off when he had a chance... OTOH the fact that both X & W were involved with the monsters for a considerable part of the series proves the two of them had much more in common than most people tend to believe.

And Buffy... just shut up. You're the typical airhead, you know. Always support your friends when they make the dumbest decisions. 

  Hide contents

First it was "I guess now it's just about showing Oz that he comes first", then - "they have a miraculous love"... And whether you like it or not, but Xander was totally right about Willow not being safe with the plastic werewolf (Beauty and the Beasts, The Zeppo and Wild at Heart come to mind as the shining examples).

There is no REAL Xander, there is just the character who develops over time. 

Share this post


Link to post
8 hours ago, Joe Hellandback said:

Does he go back to being a teenager?

There are lots of moments in season 2 when he acts more mature

Spoiler

than in the three final seasons.

More importantly, he was able to confront Buffy when it was necessary.

Spoiler

I can't imagine something like "If they hurt Willow, I'll kill you" coming from the mouth of Xander the Buffy's yes-man, Anya's sex slave or Dawnie's nanny in seasons 4 - 7. Even his arguing with the Slayer over killing/not killing Anya in Selfless looked rather pathetic. And his constant attempts to make it up to Anya post-Hell's Bells climaxing in that disgusting sex-on-the-kitchen-floor scene in Touched (just because the writers decided he couldn't have a relationship with another girl even though Casa Summers was full of young & pretty girls) were even more pathetic.

Therefore I prefer teenage Xander over "mature" one.

Spoiler

His few shining moments (Bargaining, Grave, Him) weren't enough for me to think otherwise

Edited by lembergwatcher

Share this post


Link to post
14 hours ago, lembergwatcher said:

There are lots of moments in season 2 when he acts more mature

  Hide contents

than in the three final seasons.

More importantly, he was able to confront Buffy when it was necessary.

  Hide contents

I can't imagine something like "If they hurt Willow, I'll kill you" coming from the mouth of Xander the Buffy's yes-man, Anya's sex slave or Dawnie's nanny in seasons 4 - 7. Even his arguing with the Slayer over killing/not killing Anya in Selfless looked rather pathetic. And his constant attempts to make it up to Anya post-Hell's Bells climaxing in that disgusting sex-on-the-kitchen-floor scene in Touched (just because the writers decided he couldn't have a relationship with another girl even though Casa Summers was full of young & pretty girls) were even more pathetic.

Therefore I prefer teenage Xander over "mature" one.

  Hide contents

His few shining moments (Bargaining, Grave, Him) weren't enough for me to think otherwise

I disagree, in the final few seasons he moves out of his parent's basement and takes charge to a huge degree.

Share this post


Link to post

Steven G. mostly liked this one, but he was surprised by Xander being so ultra-jealous about Willow/Oz.  I'd say that means they should have left the "I would have taken a bullet for you!" scene from the Surprise script in, but given how ginormous that shooting script was, I can see Joss being reluctant to open those particular floodgates.

And while "she had a lot of friends" is one of the great "Buffy's burden" lines (along with this episode's similar "I live with that, every day") and is the prompt for Xander's wonderful "Buffy, none of this is your fault" speech, I do wonder how accurate it is, given that Theresa seems to be a bit of a wallflower.  I mean, we don't see anybody other than Buffy step to her side when Larry is smirking at her in gym class, and she is walking all alone on that street when she runs into Angel.

But…there were a good number of signatures in the Funeral Home register.  Are the Klusmeyers an exceedingly-large family, and all the signatures are from relatives?  Are Theresa's parents key figures in the community, and all the signatures just sucking up?  Was Angel hanging around the Home, practicing his forgery skills while waiting for Theresa to rise, before getting bored and giving up?  

Or was Theresa actually quite popular and all her seemingly-invisible friends swung by the Funeral Home on their way back to Lovers' Lane?  Hmm.

Share this post


Link to post

On 5/18/2019 at 2:46 AM, Halting Hex said:

But…there were a good number of signatures in the Funeral Home register.

Theresa could've been "a bit of a wallflower" and a loner. But none of these should've been the reason for other people not to mourn her death. Popular or no popular, family or no family, death is still a tragedy. Thus people who left their signatures in the Funeral Home register didn't have to particularly like Theresa, be friends with her or even know her too well.

I wonder though whether the Klusmeyers even gave Theresa a proper burial since her body "disappeared" etc.?..

Overall, not a bad episode. But I still don't like it. 

Share this post


Link to post

Going to her soon-to-be-boyfriend's place all alone right before sundown, after Theresa's cruel demise, despite the werewolf roaming around and equally high chance of bumping into Buffy's ex-boyfriend, was too reckless (or should I say stupid) even for a teenager like Willow.  

Share this post


Link to post

"Buffy says sometimes a girl has to make what seems to be the first move."  Willow's past her sit-at-home-and-wait days.  Good for her.

And she did make it to Oz's lair before sunset, so no supernatural worries for her.  It's not as if she's expecting Oz to be the werewolf.  (He did have multiple chances to own up to it during the day, after all.  I'm not going to blame her for assuming Oz would have had the sense to do so.)

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, Halting Hex said:

And she did make it to Oz's lair before sunset, so no supernatural worries for her.

There are lots of supernatural worries for my beloved Will 😊 Or you mean she didn't plan going back home (after dark whether we like it or not) after having conversation with Mr. Perfect?

 

4 hours ago, Halting Hex said:

Willow's past her sit-at-home-and-wait days.  Good for her.

Sometimes it's better to sit & wait a little bit more... 

Share this post


Link to post
47 minutes ago, lembergwatcher said:

There are lots of supernatural worries for my beloved Will 😊 Or you mean she didn't plan going back home (after dark whether we like it or not) after having conversation with Mr. Perfect?

Depends how the conversation goes, heh.   But on the more practical tip, "Oz has a van."  I'm fairly sure he'd be gentleman enough to give her a lift.

Share this post


Link to post

And now, the dramatic climax!

Quote

Willow BURSTS through the doors.

WILLOW: It's Oz! It's Oz!

BUFFY: What's Oz?

WILLOW: The werewolf!

GILES: Are you certain?

WILLOW:  Can't you just trust me on this?! (distraught)  He... he said he was going through all these changes, and then he went through all these... changes.

Yeah, seriously, G-Man.  I'm a big fan of caution and skepticism, generally…but what part of "Willow saw Oz turn into a werewolf" are you not getting, exactly?  

I grant you she doesn't specify this until her next line, but still.   I'm having a hard time imagining what "mistake" Willow could be making here…she saw Oz toweling off after a shower and mistook his back hair for evidence of lycanthropy, is that what needs more investigation, are you thinking?

I rather think "it's Oz!" pretty much clinches things, IMO.

Edited by Halting Hex

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Customize font-size