Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Phases

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Season 2, Episode 15
Airdate January 27, 1998
Production Number 5V15
Written by Rob Des Hotel &
Dean Batali
Directed by Bruce Seth Green
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Innocence (2)
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Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
Buffy the Vampire SlayerSeason Two

Phases is the fifteenth episode of the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the twenty-seventh episode overall.

Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase), David Boreanaz (Angel)

and Anthony Stewart Head (Giles)

Guest Starring: Seth Green (Oz), Camila Griggs (Gym Teacher), Jack Conley (Cain)

Co-Starring: Larry Bagby III (Larry), Megahn Perry (Theresa), Keith Campbell (Werewolf)


Plot Overview

With Buffy dealing with the loss of Angel, Cordelia is frustrated with Xander, and Willow yearns to develop a more affectionate relationship with Oz.

Meanwhile, a werewolf is on the loose in Sunnydale, and the Scoobies race to find out who it is. They must stop the creature, not just from others, but also for its own sake, as a hunter aims to kill it to sell its pelt.


Monster of the Week

The werewolf or wolfman, yet another Universal classic movie monster, is reimagined somewhat for the monster of this episode. Most notably, the hypothesis that a man only transforms into the werewolf on the exact night of a full moon is toyed with. Xander and Cordelia are attacked by one such creature on the night before the full moon and, according to Giles, are "potent, extreme representation of our inborn, animalistic traits." The traits emerge for three consecutive nights (two night prior to, and one night including, the full moon).

The characteristics of a werewolf are fairly traditional, however Cain brings up the fact that they are attracted to sexual heat and act completely on instinct. The silver bullet weakness is present, although Giles does not consider it an option because it would also kill the human afflicted. Cain, on the other hand, has no problem with shooting for the kill. He claims that werewolf pelts fetch a great deal of money in Sri Lanka.

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1 Theresa Angelus Vamped Truck Depot
2 Theresa Xander Staked Funeral Home


  • Lotion - "Blind for Now"

Arc Advancement



  • Oz: Oz discovers that he's a werewolf after being bitten by his cousin Jordy. In the future, he'll be forced to get locked up for the three days in which he transforms so that he won't hurt anyone. Despite this, he and Willow share their first kiss, signifying the beginning of their romantic relationship.


  • 1x03 - The Witch: In the opening scene of the episode, Oz comments that the cheerleading statue seems to follow him wherever he goes. During the final battle Buffy deflects magic that Amy's mother is attempting to use on her which sends her into the statue thought the gang has no idea what happened to her.
Oz: This cheerleading statue, it's like its eyes follow you everywhere you go.
  • 1x06 - The Pack: Xander was influenced by the spirit of a Hyena demon while on a trip to the Sunnydale Zoo. He, along with a group of predatory bullies took on the personality traits of hyenas when they entered the exhibit. Among their exploits until they were returned to normal were eating Principal Flutie (Xander wasn't involved) and boorishly hitting on Willow and Buffy. After reverting, Xander claimed that he didn't remember anything, which was a lie that is unraveled in this episode.
Willow: On a count of once you were a hyena?
  • 1x08 - I Robot, You Jane: A charismatic demon who contacted Willow through the internet thanks to a scanning mishap also convinced two misfit computer geeks to build him a robotic body so that he'd have an Earthly anchor. It was willing to spare Willow, but turned violent when she rejected him.
Xander: Willow would be Robbie the Robot's love slave...
  • 1x04 - Teacher's Pet: Xander was very nearly the mate for a praying mantis-like demon which would have snatched off Xander's head in the act of intercourse, like the insects do.
Xander: ...I wouldn't even have a head...


The Show

  • Trilogy: This episode is viewed as the first part in a three part Willow/Oz character arc. The other episodes involved are "Wild at Heart" and "New Moon Rising".
  • Guest star Jack Conley would later portray recurring character Sahjhan (primarily during Season 3) on Angel.

Behind the Scenes

  • International: Buffy the Vampire Slayer has been dubbed into many different languages and the title translated for each different international version. Some international translations of this episode's title are:
    • French: "Pleine Lune" ("Full Moon")
    • Italian: "Notte di luna piena" ("Full Moon Night")
    • German: "Der Werwolfjäger" ("The Werewolf Hunter")
    • Japanese: "狼たちの夜" ("Ōkami-Tachi no Yoru" - "Night of the Wolves")
  • Censored: Buffy's reference to Cain as "mein Furrier," a pun on "mein Führer" or Adolf Hitler, is censored on the German DVDs. Instead, the line is translated to "Wir müssen nur dort sein, bevor unser Trapper dort aufkreutzt", or "We just have to be there before our trapper shows up."

Allusions and References

  • Robby the Robot: Robby the Robot is a science fiction character who first appeared in the 1956 MGM film Forbidden Planet and, after a great deal of popularity, also appeared in other films and television shows like The Twilight Zone and Lost in Space.

Memorable Moments


  • When Willow bursts into the library in the episode's climax, Giles's glasses appear and disappear between every shot of the scene.


  • 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.
  • Willow: Great. I'll give Xander a call. What's his number? Oh, yeah, 1-800-I'm-Dating-A-Skanky-Ho.
  • Giles: You see, the werewolf, uh, is such a potent, extreme representation of our inborn, animalistic traits that it emerges for three full consecutive nights: the full moon, and, uh, the two nights surrounding it.
Willow: Quite the party animal.
Giles: Quite. And, it, uh, acts on pure instinct, no conscience. Predatory and - and aggressive.
Buffy: In other words, your typical male.
Xander: On behalf of my gender: Hey!
Giles: Yes, let's not jump to any conclusions.
Buffy: I didn't jump. I took a tiny step, and there conclusions were.