Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Season 4, Episode 6
406 WildAtHeart
Air date November 9, 1999
Written by Marti Noxon
Directed by David Grossman
Episode Guide
"Beer Bad"
"Rm w/a Vu"
"The Initiative"
"Sense & Sensitivity"
Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy
Nicholas Brendon Xander
Alyson Hannigan Willow
Seth Green Oz
Anthony Stewart Head Giles
Guest Starring
Marc Blucas Riley
Paige Moss Veruca
James Marsters Spike
Lindsay Crouse Maggie Walsh
George Sarah Keyboard Player

"Wild at Heart" is the sixth episode of the fourth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer television show, and the sixty-second episode in the series. It was written by Marti Noxon and directed by David Grossman. It was originally broadcast on November 9, 1999.

Oz discovers that Veruca, the singer with whom he feels a strange connection, is also a werewolf and soon finds his relationship with Willow and his control over his wolf side called into question.


Buffy is chased by a vampire, which she fights and then stakes. Her well-thought puns are not appreciated. Spike watches from a distance and promises trouble, but he is struck by tazers and carried off by the masked and heavily armed people lurking in the Sunnydale shadows.

At The Bronze, the gang talk about college and why they're still hanging at The Bronze, and then to their surprise, Rupert Giles joins them. Veruca's band, "Shy" starts to play and all the guys are mesmerized by her singing, which distresses Willow.

406 WildAtHeart1

Veruca performs at The Bronze.

The next morning, Willow wakes up in Oz's bed and they talk about how they'll be apart for three nights while there's a full moon keeping Oz locked up, and a Wicca group is meeting on those three nights. At school, Buffy gets a great grade on a psychology paper and Professor Walsh asks her to lead a discussion group on the topic. Willow actually feels academically envious of Buffy. Veruca invites Oz to sit with her at lunch, which he accepts since there is room for Willow and they start talking amps. Willow arrives and is lost by their terminology, leading everyone to flee the incredibly awkward situation. Buffy tells Willow not to worry about Oz.

That night Oz locks himself into a cage in a crypt, but the door isn't secure enough and he breaks free. As Professor Walsh is leaving the school that night, Oz jumps out at her. Another werewolf appears and while Professor Walsh runs and hides in the bushes, the two werewolves jump out and fight with each other. Oz wakes up the next morning to see that the other werewolf is Veruca. They sneak into the campus laundry room for clothes and Veruca appeals to the animal within him. Willow shows up at Oz's and instead of being welcomed with opened arms, Oz is closed off and so she leaves. Buffy informs Giles of the two werewolves being spotted on campus and later goes to Oz, but he says he doesn't remember anything about what happened when he got out. Desperate for a male perspective, Willow asks Xander Harris about Oz and he tells her that the reason he's off with her is probably because he can sense her uneasiness, and suggests they talk and work it out.

406 WildAtHeart2

Oz and Veruca awaken together.

Oz arranges for Veruca to meet him in the crypt that night. He wants her to lock her in the cage with him so no one will get hurt. Veruca initially refuses, telling them they should be running free. Eventually, Oz loses the fight against his feelings and drags her into the cage and starts kissing her as they transform. The next morning, breakfast foods in hand, Willow arrives and is shocked to see Oz and Veruca curled up naked together. After Oz gets dressed and, in an uncharacteristic burst of anger, orders Veruca out, he tries to explain things to Willow, but she doesn't want to hear it. After furiously blasting him for choosing a solution that involved him and Veruca locked up together rather than him telling someone what was happening, she asks him if he loved Veruca more than her in that animal way and finally leaves when he doesn't answer.

Walking home in a dazed state, Willow walks in front of an oncoming car, which Buffy can't save her from, but Riley Finn happens to be there and does. Buffy takes Willow back to their dorm and is told the whole story. Buffy then leaves, determined to take care of Veruca. She finds Oz also trying to find Veruca and start working together; however, she's furious with him for hurting Willow so badly and isn't interested when he tries to explain. Using Oz's heightened senses to lead the way, Buffy and Oz find Veruca's clothes. They realize this is just a diversion and come to the conclusion that she's gone after Willow. Buffy and Oz quickly rush back to the college, but Buffy runs into a commando. The two briefly scuffle, but Buffy grabs her gun and leaves.

406 WildAtHeart3

Oz kills Veruca.

Willow is in one of the campus labs, conjuring a spell that will prove to be devastating revenge against Oz and Veruca. She can't bring herself to complete the spell; however, and Veruca then enters, locking the door with the intention of killing Willow when the sun goes down and getting her out of the way. Just in time, Oz breaks in and warns Veruca (as the two begin their transformation) not to hurt Willow, but Veruca refuses believing Willow to be stopping Oz from fully embracing his wolf side. She then tells Oz that they're animals at heart, and Oz agrees that they're animals and they kill. At this point, he viciously attacks Veruca, still not completely changed. The two wolves soon completely transform and continue the fight, before Oz kills Veruca by ripping her throat out. The wolf then turns its attention to Willow, and she tries to reach Oz, but the wolf leaps in for the kill only to be stopped at the last second by Buffy. She finally tranquilizes him and then comforts a traumatized and hysterical Willow.

B&W Wild

Buffy comforts a traumatized Willow.

The next day, Buffy tells Giles about the heavily armed man she saw while searching for Veruca, who was dressed the same way as the men she saw on Halloween, and, how because of him, she couldn't stop Oz from killing Veruca and nearly killing Willow. Although they know that this is serious, both are far more concerned about Willow and Oz, and Buffy can't imagine how they're going to get through this.

Willow finds Oz in his room, packing. Unsure of what separates him from the wolf, he is leaving until he can figure it out. Oz tells Willow she is the only one he has ever loved and then walks out leaving Willow heartbroken and in tears. Oz starts up his van but, just as devastated as Willow is over the abrupt and violent end of their relationship, considers returning. However, he decides against it and drives away in his van.


  • The episode reveals the reason for the connection Oz was feeling with Veruca, as seen in "Living Conditions" and "Beer Bad".
  • Upon Willow discovering Oz and Veruca together, Oz says he remembers "how it feels," in reference to the time he and Cordelia saw Willow and Xander kissing each other ("Lovers Walk"). Willow says she thought this was behind them, as they dealt with the betrayal and resumed their relationship in "Amends".
  • This episode features another hint that Willow might misuse magic, first seen in "Lovers Walk," which  becomes a major plot point of season 6. She performs a very hurtful spell of revenge against Oz and Veruca but cancels it at the last moment. It also sees the rise of Willow's power, especially when she is emotionally affected, as the equipment she used for the spell levitated without her intent.
  • Unlike the Lycanthropus Exterus species of werewolf, Veruca remains in her wolf state after Oz killed her.
  • Giles lives at number 4616.
  • Buffy is now interested in the commandos she keeps seeing. This is building the plot-line of the Initiative.
  • Oz's time in Tibet after this episode (and before "New Moon Rising") is seen in Retreat, Part Two.



Organizations and TitlesEdit



Weapons and ObjectsEdit

Rituals and SpellsEdit

Death CountEdit

Behind the ScenesEdit

Buffy Promo - Wild at Heart

Buffy Promo - Wild at Heart

Original WB Promo for "Wild at Heart"


  • This episode marks the last time Seth Green appears in the opening credits. Joss Whedon had originally envisioned the love triangle between Oz, Veruca, and Willow to continue for most of Season Four. However, Seth Green abruptly left the show to pursue a movie career, explaining that "the character was always better served in a recurring capacity and Joss and I both felt it was better to revert to that status." Nevertheless, Green would only return in two more episodes ("New Moon Rising" and "Restless", both in Season Four). Whedon says losing Green so suddenly was a "heartbreaker… and so Willow got her heart broken. I took what we were feeling and put it on-screen, so everybody would be on the same page."
  • While filming a scene where Oz and Veruca have supposedly just woken up from mating as werewolves, Seth Green talked about being naked except for a "man-thong". He stated that this was incredibly uncomfortable since Paige Moss had her boyfriend visiting the set.
  • During the portion of the episode where Oz is supposed to be turning into a werewolf, Joss Whedon wrote a special direction to Seth Green in the script. He told him to imagine he was "about to come onto acid".

Deleted ScenesEdit

  • Willow and Buffy discuss Veruca:[citation needed]
Willow: "And I don't want to be the kind of girl who freaks every time my boyfriend notices somebody else (and now cut) - even if she is throwing herself at him like a twenty dollar ho."
Buffy: "Please. Ten dollar ho. Fifteen, max."
  • Maggie is telling Buffy and Riley about the "dogs":[citation needed]
Maggie: "I know how it sounds. But crazy is my specialty. And I definitely saw what I saw."
  • Buffy discuss Maggie's "dogs" with Giles:[citation needed]
Buffy: "Clearly we need to get you kicking some monster bootie, stat."
  • Xander reacts to Veruca:[citation needed]
Veruca: "Go ahead and cry - but you should have seen this coming. You can't tame a wild thing. He's not yours anymore. He's in you, he'd be thinking about me. No. Not thinking. It's deeper than that. Why don't you just try to relax now? In a minute or two, it'll all be over."
Xander: "Love. It's a logic blocker."

Pop Culture ReferencesEdit

  • When mocking Giles for coming to the Bronze, Buffy mentions the band The Rolling Stones.
  • When listening to Shy's concert, Buffy disdainfully compares Veruca to the singer Fiona Apple.
  • Willow is established to be a fan of Elvis Presley.


International titlesEdit

  • French: Coeur de loup-garou (Wereworf heart)
  • Portuguese (Brazil): Corações Selvagens (Wild Hearts)
  • German: Wilde Herzen (Wild Hearts)
  • Spanish (Latin America): Corazón Salvaje (Wild Heart)
  • Spanish (Spain): Salvaje de Corazón (Wild at Heart)


  • In 1985, Lindsay Crouse played Seth Green's mother in the ABC After School Special episode "I Want to Go Home". In "Wild at Heart", Green's character, Oz, attacks and tries to kill Crouse's character, Professor Walsh; Green laughingly called this coincidence "the circle of life".
  • This is the second of three Oz-centric episodes. Marti Noxon states in the DVD commentary that "Phases" is viewed as the first in a "Willow/Oz Trilogy." This episode is the second, with "New Moon Rising" as the last with the final actual appearance of Oz (his official last appearance is in "Restless," though he is only in a dream).
  • This episode is included in The Slayer Collection: Willow DVD.
  • The relation between Oz and Veruca is reminiscent of Angel and Darla in "Angel". Veruca, like Darla with Angel, wants to attract Oz to the dark forces by killing his lover.




Willow: "Oz, don't you love me?"
Oz: "My whole life, I've never loved anything else."
Willow: "How come you didn't tell me I look like a crazy birthday cake in this shirt?"
Buffy: "I thought that was the point."
Oz: "Look, Buffy, you should know that--"
Buffy: "Oz ... now might be a good time for your trademark stoicism."
Buffy: "I've never seen her like this before, Giles. It's like it hurts too much to even form words."
Giles: "But you've felt that way yourself, and you got through it."
Buffy: "Well, I ran away and went to hell ... and then I got through it. I'm kind of hoping Willow won't use me as a model."
Giles: "Fair enough."
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