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"Wild at Heart" is the sixth episode of the fourth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the sixty-second episode in the series. Written by Marti Noxon and directed by David Grossman, it was originally broadcast on November 9, 1999, on The WB network.


HONEY, IT'S A FULL MOON — Buffy does her best to console Willow when Oz is undeniably drawn to another woman, Veruca. Even after it is discovered that his attraction stems from the fact that she is also a werewolf, his powerful primitive instincts may be too innate to ignore.[1]


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 tasers and carried off by the masked and heavily armed people lurking in the Sunnydale shadows.

In the Bronze, the Scooby Gang talk about college and why they're still hanging at the Bronze. To their surprise, Giles joins them. Veruca's band, Shy, starts to play and all the guys are mesmerized by her singing, which distresses Willow.

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. In class, Buffy gets a great grade on a psychology paper and Professor Walsh asks her to lead a discussion group on the topic. Willow is excited for feeling 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. Veruca and Oz leave, and Buffy arrives. She 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 in the crypt. She finds him welding the door and asks if he got out, then mentions another werewolf. He tells her he did, but he says he doesn't remember anything about what happened when he got out.

Seeking a male perspective, Willow asks Xander 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.

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 in hand, Willow arrives and is shocked to see Oz and Veruca curled up naked together. Oz gets dressed and orders Veruca out. He then tries to explain things to Willow, but she doesn't want to hear it. She accuses him of choosing a solution that involved him and Veruca locked up together rather than him telling someone what was happening. Oz tells her he knows how it feels, and she asks if this is supposed to be payback. He tells her it isn't, but Willow questions about whether he wanted Veruca in an animal way before he knew she was a werewolf. Oz remains silent and Willow runs out crying.

Walking home distraught, Willow walks in front of an oncoming car, which Buffy can't save her from, but Riley happens to be there and does. Riley tells Willow that he doesn't know what happened, but it's not worth hurting herself over. Riley then suggests Buffy take her home. Buffy agrees and takes Willow back to their dorm, where Willow tells the whole story. Before she leaves to find Veruca, she tells Willow that Riley was right and she shouldn't hurt herself. She tells Willow to put the blame where it belongs. Buffy then leaves, determined to take care of Veruca.

Willow repeats Buffy's statement about putting the blame where it belongs and goes and opens her trunk full of magic ingredients. Buffy goes to Oz's room and asks him where Veruca is, but he tells her he doesn't know. He points out that he does know all the usual haunts, so he's pretty sure he can follow her scent. When Oz tries to explain what happened, Buffy says it might be a good time for his "trademark stoicism." She chastises him for not only hurting Willow, but for lying about knowing who the other werewolf was. 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 tranquilizer gun and leaves.

Willow is in one of the campus labs, conjuring a spell clamoring "deceitful hearts be broken." She takes a picture of Oz and put it in the spell pot, but she can't bring herself to complete it. Everything she has levitating suddenly smashes down and the fire goes out. She turns around when she hears Veruca say that she thought for a minute that Willow actually played dirty, but she knew Willow was "too weak" to actually finish the spell. Veruca locks the lab's door and tells Willow that she's going to kill her when the sun goes down. That way Willow can't stand between her and Oz anymore.

Just in time for their werewolf transformation, Oz breaks in and warns Veruca not to hurt Willow. Veruca refuses, believing Willow is 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 attacks Veruca, still not completely changed. The two soon completely transform and continue the fight. Oz kills Veruca by ripping her throat out. The wolf then turns its attention to Willow, and she calls him by his name. The wolf leaps in to attack Willow, only for Buffy to stopped him at the last second. She finally tranquilizes him and then comforts a crying 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. She says that, because of him, she was too late to stop Oz from killing Veruca and almost wasn't able to stop Oz from 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 they hug. As Willow cries alone, Oz walks out, starts up his van, and drives away.


  • In Oz's room, there are posters from two bands who have played at Bronze before: Cibo Matto from "When She Was Bad" and Velvet Chain from "Never Kill a Boy on the First Date."
  • Oz mentions having seen Giles's record collection, which he explored in "The Harsh Light of Day."
  • This episode reveals the reason for the connection Oz has been feeling with Veruca, as seen in "Living Conditions" and "Beer Bad."
  • When Willow discovers 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 that was behind them, as they dealt with the betrayal and resumed their relationship in "Amends."
  • Buffy tells Giles about running into the commando guys on Halloween, referring to their brief encounter in "Fear, Itself."
  • Buffy mentions the time she lost Angel, ran away ("Becoming, Part One"), and went to hell ("Anne").
  • This episode features another hint that Willow might misuse magic, first seen in "Lovers Walk," which becomes a major plot point of season 6.
  • 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.
  • Unlike the Lycanthropus exterus species of werewolf ("Unleashed"), Veruca remains in her wolf state after Oz kills her.
  • Buffy is now interested in the commandos she keeps seeing. This is building the plotline of "The Initiative."
  • Oz's time in Tibet after this episode (and before "New Moon Rising") is seen in Retreat, Part Two.



Organizations and titles[]





Rituals and spells[]

Death count[]

  • One vampire, staked by Buffy.
  • Veruca, bitten by Oz in werewolf form.

Behind the scenes[]


  • This episode marks the last time that 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 4.[2] However, Seth Green left the series to take a film role[3] and would only return in two more episodes ("New Moon Rising" and "Restless"). Whedon says losing Green was a "heartbreaker… and so Willow got her heart broken. I took what we were feeling and put it onscreen, so everybody would be on the same page."[2]
  • Marti Noxon has stated that "Wild at Heart" is viewed as the second episode in a "Willow/Oz trilogy," with "Phases" as the first and "New Moon Rising" as the last.[4]


  • "Wild at Heart" had an audience of 4.1 million households upon its original airing.[5]

Deleted scenes[]

  • Willow and Buffy discuss Veruca:[6]
    Willow: "I know. I know. And I don't want to be the kind of girl who freaks every time my boyfriend notices someone else — 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 "wild dogs":[6]
    Maggie: "Biggest tings I've ever seen. The first one, I thought it was... well for a moment, I thought it was a gorilla. My heart practically stopped." (to Buffy) "I know how it sounds. But crazy is my specialty — and I definitely saw what I saw."
    Buffy: "No. I believe you."
  • Buffy tells Giles about Maggie's "wild dogs":[6]
    Buffy: "Clearly — we need to get you kicking some monster bootie, stat. So check it — one of my professors said she almost got attacked by two wild "dogs" last night."
  • Xander and Willow discuss her worry over Oz:[6]
    Willow: "Okay. Now that you said that — I knew it. How come I didn't know I knew it before you said it?"
    Xander: "Love. It's a logic blocker." (then) "Talk it out with him, Will. You'll both feel better."
  • Veruca teases Willow about Oz:[6]
    Veruca: "I know what you love. I have his scent on me right now. Go ahead and cry — but you should have seen this coming. You can't tame a wild thing. He's not yours any more. He's in you, he'd be thinking about me — no. Not thinking. It's deeper than that." (then) "Why don't you just try to relax now? In a minute or two, it'll all be over—"

Pop culture references[]

  • Buffy says that the "Stones can still keep rolling," in reference to the band The Rolling Stones.
  • When listening to Shy's concert, Buffy disdainfully compares Veruca to the singer Fiona Apple.
  • Oz compares the hairiness of his wolf transformation to Jerry Garcia from the Grateful Dead.
  • In their conversation about guitar amps, Oz and Veruca mention the Crate Blue Voodoo, the Johnson Millennium, the Alessandro Redbone, and the Alessandro Hound Dog.
  • Willow claims to be a fan of Elvis Presley.
  • Xander mentions the singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan when describing tender lovemaking.
  • Veruca calls Oz's cage "Habitrail," a brand name for a hamster cages.


International titles[]

  • Armenian: "Վայրին սրտով"
  • Czech: "Divokost v srdci" (Wild at Heart)
  • Finnish: "Piilevä peto" (Latent Beast)
  • French: "Coeur de loup-garou" (Wereworf Heart)
  • German: "Wilde Herzen" (Wild Hearts)
  • Hungarian: "Távozás" (Getaway)
  • Italian: "Lupi mannari" (Werewolves)
  • Japanese: "ワイルド・アット・ハート" (Wild at Heart)
  • Polish: "Dzikość serca" (Wild Heart)
  • Portuguese (Brazil): "Corações Selvagens" (Wild Hearts)
  • Romanian: "Suflet nebun" (Crazy Soul)
  • Russian: "Дикий сердцем" (Wild at Heart)
  • Spanish (Latin America): "Corazón Salvaje" (Wild Heart)
  • Spanish (Spain): "Salvaje de Corazón" (Wild at Heart)
  • Swedish: "Det Vilda Hjärtat" (The Wild Heart)



Behind the scenes[]



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."
Willow: "Oz, don't you love me?"
Oz: "My whole life, I've never loved anything else."


  1. "The Mortuary." Buffy.com. Archived from the original on March 31, 2001.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Laura Miller, "The man behind the Slayer." Salon.com, May 20, 2003.
  3. Josh Wolk, "Seth Green is leaving 'Buffy.'". EW.com, September 29, 1999.
  4. The Complete Fourth Season on DVD: audio commentaries for "Wild at Heart." 20th Century Studios, June 10, 2003.
  5. "Nielsen Ratings for Buffy's Fourth Season." Nielsen Ratings for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, & Firefly. Archived from the original on July 6, 2008.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 "Wild at Heart Script." BuffyWorld. Archived from the original on August 13, 2018.