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    I like Oz, but I think he is so likeable because he's a blank slate, written as a slacker, without too much personality. He's so laid back, from what I remember he only loses his temper twice in the show, and both times he was being protective of Willow. I actually find him quite bland when compared with other characters who had more depth.

    Are you an Oz fan, and if so why . . . or why not?
    Never much cared for picket fences anyway. Bloody dangerous.

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    I adore Oz, especially his sense of humor, however, he's not a character I'm interested to read fanfic about for the reasons you stated. I enjoy reading fics about Xander, Spike, Willow which explore their flaws and complicated characterizations.

    Oz is... simple. You can predict his reaction. And he's, like Tara, too nice and sweet. People like that are great to have in real life, but in fiction I like more layered characters.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sosa lola View Post
    I adore Oz, especially his sense of humor, however, he's not a character I'm interested to read fanfic about for the reasons you stated. I enjoy reading fics about Xander, Spike, Willow which explore their flaws and complicated characterizations.

    Oz is... simple. You can predict his reaction. And he's, like Tara, too nice and sweet. People like that are great to have in real life, but in fiction I like more layered characters.
    Tara was just too perfect and had no flaws. She and Oz were the nicest people, which makes them pretty dull and predictable. I wasn't a fan of Tara on the show when it first aired, but fanfic has actually made me a Tara fan. The writers tend to flesh out her character, and always make her a positive presence and very pro-Spuffy.
    Never much cared for picket fences anyway. Bloody dangerous.

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    I feel like Oz is the sex/gender inversion of the Magic Pixie Dream Girl trope, just designed in a lab to be this perfect fantasy object to "fix" the broken and woundef heroine of the romantic comedy of which Willow is the de facto star in S2. And I love Oz, that isn't a shot, but it does hold up. He spends all of s2 and s3 knowing exactly the most perfectly understanding and intuitive thing to say and be a great boyfriend, but still retain a fantasy bad boy edge with fashion, bass, and oh yeah werewolf. Masculine but unthreatening, etc.

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    I like Oz because he's real. I've known people like Oz. I also love his relationship with Willow. In general, Willow parallels and contrasts Buffy, right? So, like Buffy, she has a supernatural boyfriend, that's the parallel, but the relationship is well, decidedly unmiserable, and that's the contrast. It gets to the point where Willow/Oz basically becomes an exercise in just how hard can we shit on the tropes of the genre we're actually embracing with the main character? And it's awesome.

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    I recently wrote the below post. It only deals with some minor grievances about him. I do actually like him quite a bit, but I like Tara a whole lot more.

    Things I Don't Like about Oz
    This is not an anti Oz post. I like Oz, and I have often called him the perfect boyfriend. I just wanted to write down some grievances I have with Oz and the Woz-saga.

    What attracts Oz to Willow? When we first meet Oz, he tells us that he is unimpressed by the “hot girls” that Devon likes. We are supposed to be impressed by this, because it shows us that Oz is not as shallow as most boys. However, I have to wonder, what is Oz attracted to? He does not say. He simply berates Devon for not having standards when it comes to women. He does not tell us what those standards should be. If Oz had simply told us that he liked confident, passionate or funny girls, then I might have been moved by that. Instead, Oz simply comes across as a snob. The fact that he distances himself from Devon's lecherous objectifying doesn't really impress me all that much.

    Later that evening, Oz spots Willow for the first time and is immediately taken by her. It is hard to understand what impresses her so much. Is it the cultural insensitivity of dressing up as an Eskimo? Is it the stupidity of wearing an outfit that is way too hot? I admit Willow looks kinda cute, but that is mostly because we already know her and because she looks so forlorn. Later, on Halloween Oz spots Will again. This time with a miniskirt, a mid-riff bearing top and raccoon eyes. Once again, he is smitten by her. Why, though? We as viewer know this is an important moment, because Will has just found the confidence to wear such a revealing outfit. Oz does not know that, and I thought he liked girls dressed as Eskimos.

    In Innocence, we get a sweet scene where Oz refuses to kiss Will, because he figures she still loves Xander. Oz admits to having a crush on Will. I like this scene, but it starts off a power dynamic in their relationship that I am not too happy about. Oz expresses moral superiority, because he is in love with Willow only, while Willow is thorn between Oz and Xander. I can't really tell if I think Oz is being sweet or if he is being prideful. He still hasn't said a word about why he likes Will.

    Phases is not a good episode, but it is my favourite Woz episode, because Will is the one with the initiative. She bemoans the lack of physicality with Oz to Buffy, she later goes to confront Oz about it, she forgives Oz for hiding the werewolf curse and she runs back to kiss him. Good stuff!

    Then comes season 3. Will cheats on Oz. Oz wants space, which is understandable. Then we get to Amends, in which Will finds it is time to consummate their relationship physically. Oz surprises Willow and all the viewers by turning her down, much as he did in Innocence. Oz is afraid that Will is only seeking to prove his love to him, after having cheated. I am pretty sure Oz is wrong. Will has been ready since before Phases. She may be nervous – who isn't? - but when she says she is ready and that she wants it – repeatedly – I think Oz should believe her. Oz is of course free to turn Will down, but I don't like the way he questions Will's motivations. It feels as though he is uncomferatble with Will taking the initiative. It would have been such a great moment for Will as a character to let her be the instigator of her first sexual experience.

    Will and Oz finally do the deed in Graduation Day. This time, Oz takes the initiative. I am not sure what Oz feels has changed since last time. How does he know that Will is now ready to loose her virginity? If he was worried about Will feeling pressured by her guilt before, should he not be equally worried about Will feeling pressured by their impending deaths at the hands of the Mayor?

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    Oz was actually based on someone Joss Whedon knew. So, no, he's not a "Magic Pixie" whatever. And the criticism of characters - Oz, Tara etc. - as supposedly badly written/unrealistic because they are "too good" makes me want to ask: Have you guys met real people? You know that there are actually quite a few real people who are good, nice people who have their $hit together, and that this is really not such an incredible, unrealistic, crazy proposition? If anything, I wouldn't be surprised if there are more of them in real life than there are super-evil and depraved people, and maybe even more than there are completely messed up and socially awkward people with all sorts of anxieties and insecurities, or people whose every second sentence is a joke, pun or snarky comment, and I'll also be willing to bet that, contrary what TV show are telling me, not every genius is a complete anti-social jerk who treats people like crap because his dad was distant, or something. I get loving deeply flawed, psychologically messed up or broken characters or morally ambiguous anti-heroes, many of my favorite characters belong to some of these categories - but I don't get why you would want every single fictional character to be like that, and even if you only like this type of characters - claiming that they are more "realistic" than characters who are just good, reasonable and nice and have their $hit together for the most part, is ludicrous.

    About Oz, I'll copy and paste my post from a few weeks ago from the "Favorite Male Character" thread:

    I've always loved Oz and found him to be incredibly funny in a deadpan way. I love his calm reactions to finding out things that would make anyone else freak out and how he just took everything in stride:

    She hears a locker slam behind her and spins toward the
    noise, notices Oz quickly bearing down on her, takes him by the neck and
    shoves him into the wall.
    Buffy: Try it!
    Oz: (confused) Try what?
    She realizes she's made a mistakes and lets go of his neck.
    Buffy: Uh... (exhales) I-I'm sorry.
    Oz: Still not clear what I'm supposed to try.
    Buffy: Nothing. God, I'm... sorry, I... (walks away embarrassed)
    Oz (to himself): That is a tense person.
    (What's My Line part 1)


    Willow: (to Oz) Are you okay?
    Oz: Yeah. Hey, did everybody see that guy just turn to dust?
    Willow: Uh, well, uh... sort of.
    Xander: Yep. Vampires are real. A lot of them live in Sunnydale.
    (gestures between Willow and Oz) Willow will fill you in. (walks off)
    Willow: I know it's hard to accept at first.
    Oz: Actually, it explains a *lot*.
    (Surprise)

    Cut to a view of Sunnydale from atop a hill. The sun is coming up in the
    distance. Cut to the werewolf asleep on the ground in the woods. The
    camera pans from its hind paws over to its head. When sunlight hits the
    werewolf it morphs back into its human form. Oz wakes up, opens his eyes
    and looks around confused. He sits up and stares around at the forest.
    He looks down at himself and realizes he's naked.
    Oz: Huh.
    (...)
    The dining room at Oz's house. He's on the phone with his aunt.
    Oz: Aunt Maureen. Hey, it's me. Um, what? Oh! It's, uh... actually it's
    healing okay. That's pretty much the reason I called. Um, I wanted to
    ask you something. Is Jordy a werewolf? Uh-huh. And how long has that
    been going on? Uh-huh. What? No, no reason. Um... Thanks. Yeah, love to
    Uncle Ken.
    (Phases)

    (Only it is much better with Seth Green's delivery.)

    It's true that the show didn't develop him as much as it could - and Seth Green decided to leave the show just as the show was starting to develop him more. But there were things to explore - not only did we learn that, in spite of his monosyllabic manner, he was thinking deep, even philosophical thoughts all the time (Earshot), but it was also hinted that he had a duality inside of him. Oz being a werewolf was always ironic because he was the last person you'd suspect, with his calm and collected manner - while the werewolf state is the exact opposite of that. In season 2 and 3, his werewolf nature mostly seemed to be played as something that had nothing to do with his regular personality. But we already saw glimpses of his impulsive, passionate side that would come out suddenly and in full force, usually when it was something to do with Willow (punching out Xander in Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, smashing the box in Choices), and then in season 4, we saw that the werewolf nature and the regular human nature weren't so clearly divided, as Oz had explosive emotional reactions and would wolf out, even in broad daylight, due to them (Wild At Heart, New Moon Rising). If Seth Green had remained on the show, maybe we would have seen his struggle in more detail.

    Quote Originally Posted by Willow from Buffy View Post
    Then comes season 3. Will cheats on Oz. Oz wants space, which is understandable. Then we get to Amends, in which Will finds it is time to consummate their relationship physically. Oz surprises Willow and all the viewers by turning her down, much as he did in Innocence. Oz is afraid that Will is only seeking to prove his love to him, after having cheated. I am pretty sure Oz is wrong. Will has been ready since before Phases. She may be nervous who isn't? - but when she says she is ready and that she wants it repeatedly I think Oz should believe her. Oz is of course free to turn Will down, but I don't like the way he questions Will's motivations. It feels as though he is uncomferatble with Will taking the initiative. It would have been such a great moment for Will as a character to let her be the instigator of her first sexual experience.
    Except Oz is right, and it's blatantly obvious that Willow doesn't initiate sex with Oz because she's ready, or because she really wants sex at that point (she all of the sudden wants it now, so soon after he had broken up with her after catching her with Xander? Hmmm...), but because she thinks that will fix her relationship with Oz by proving something to him - proving that she's ready to "give" him something she did not "give" Xander. It's Willow once again - and not the last time - trying to 'fix' things. And that's a bad reason for having your first sexual experience.

    But I'm not surprised that some of Oz' most reasonable,smart and decent actions are turned into something negative - that happens all the time when people try to find reasons to criticize characters they dislike. The weirdest example was when someone on Whedonesque said about Simon Tam from Firefly - spoilers for Firefly
    Spoiler:
    that Simon trying to save his sister from getting burned by a mob and offering himself to be burned instead as a desperate way to save her - was "Simon once again making everything about himself".

    And that's when I realized what a funny thing character hate is and stopped being surprised by anything.
    You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

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    Whatever his origin, he is an incredibly idealized version of whatever idea first popped into the creative mind -- and present in the story at all so that Willow can find her self-worth in a romantic context and get out from under the shadow of her unrequited crush on Xander and her own personal meekness. And he even satisfies the element of the original trope in that he has no discernible goals of his own. He hangs around long enough in the story that he expands, but honestly, isn't part of the Veruca arc shocking because it's like the first time Oz does anything particularly wrong at all?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimeTravellingBunny View Post
    Except Oz is right, and it's blatantly obvious that Willow doesn't initiate sex with Oz because she's ready, or because she really wants sex at that point (she all of the sudden wants it now, so soon after he had broken up with her after catching her with Xander? Hmmm...), but because she thinks that will fix her relationship with Oz by proving something to him - proving that she's ready to "give" him something she did not "give" Xander. It's Willow once again - and not the last time - trying to 'fix' things. And that's a bad reason for having your first sexual experience.
    It may be obvious to you, but it is not obvious to me. Willow seems pretty clear in her speech. Is it equally obvious in Graduation Day that she is now ready? I just wish Willow could have decided this for herself, rather than have Oz analyse her and make decisions for her.

    Quote Originally Posted by TimeTravellingBunny View Post
    But I'm not surprised that some of Oz' most reasonable,smart and decent actions are turned into something negative - that happens all the time when people try to find reasons to criticize characters they dislike.
    I don't dislike Oz. I love him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willow from Buffy View Post
    It may be obvious to you, but it is not obvious to me. Willow seems pretty clear in her speech. Is it equally obvious in Graduation Day that she is now ready? I just wish Willow could have decided this for herself, rather than have Oz analyse her and make decisions for her.



    I don't dislike Oz. I love him.
    He wasn't making a decision for Willow. He was making a decision for himself. That is, the decision whether or not to have sex with Willow, which was very much his to make, and he had the right to decide on "no" just as he later had the right to decide on "yes". It's not like sex between Willow and Oz was something that only concerned Willow and that only Willow had the authority to make decisions about.
    You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimeTravellingBunny View Post
    He wasn't making a decision for Willow. He was making a decision for himself. That is, the decision whether or not to have sex with Willow, which was very much his to make, and he had the right to decide on "no" just as he later had the right to decide on "yes". It's not like sex between Willow and Oz was something that only concerned Willow and that only Willow had the authority to make decisions about.
    Are you deliberately misinterpreting me? You seemed to understand what I meant in your first post.

    I am not saying Will should decide when they have sex. I am saying Will should decide when she is ready to have sex. You say it is obvious that Will wasn't ready, even if she said she was. What do you base that on? And how did Oz know Will was ready in Graduation Day?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willow from Buffy View Post
    Are you deliberately misinterpreting me? You seemed to understand what I meant in your first post.

    I am not saying Will should decide when they have sex. I am saying Will should decide when she is ready to have sex. You say it is obvious that Will wasn't ready, even if she said she was. What do you base that on? And how did Oz know Will was ready in Graduation Day?
    Regardless of what Willow has decided, regardless of why Oz thought she's not ready, if Oz thought that she's proposing sex not because she wanted it, but to prove something or for whatever other reason, and he didn't feel comfortable having sex with her for that reason, he had the right to refuse.

    And really? The fact that she proposed having sex so soon after they had broken up because he caught her cheating with Xander, and then so quickly after he gave her a chance for reconciliation, and her tense, over-the-top attempt at seduction with sexy clothes and Barry White and all, didn't seem to you like signs that she was trying to prove something to Oz and 'fix' her relationship, rather than that she was really, at that particular time, into having sex?
    You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

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    I really like Oz and Tara. I used to believe that Tara must be boring because she's too perfect but I've grown to really appreciate her role in the show. It's important to have a diverse mix of characters and there are a lot of people like Tara. She's certainly not unrealistically perfect or perfect at all, really, she just tends to be in a better place than some of the other characters. I know a lot of Tara's. She's cool.

    I also really like Oz but I guess I don't think about him all that much? I mean, I think he's a perfectly enjoyable addition the cast, and the werewolf mythology was cool, but I didn't miss him when he was gone. I actually don't think he's perfect and I found that the way he freaked out over Tara/Willow was actually pretty scary and not at all normal. It's one thing to be upset and I get that, but to grab Tara as violently as he did and to scream at her in the hallway was really OTT. Willow certainly didn't owe him to stay single and even if it's surprising and hurtful that she had been with another woman his reaction was still way out of line. You can't blame the werewolf for it either because it's his meltdown that is the catalyst for bringing the werewolf out of him. I think we see flickers of this rage come out in other episodes too. He sucker-punched Xander in BB&B. He also came across as even a little threatening when he told Willow to "get away from [him] in Beauty and the Beasts. He smashes over Willow's cauldron in Choices which I get is supposed to be all badass but use your words, dude. And he snaps and screams at Veruca in Wild At Heart, not to mention succumbing to the conclusion that he should/wants to kill her for threatening Willow, and then he does. The running joke is that Oz is incredibly thoughtful, cool, calm and collected but he can go from 0-10 in a flash when he's legitimately angry.

    I also have to admit that Oz's "I'm just going to follow the red head" in Homecoming or his "Where Willow goes so does my nation" in Earshot are both a copout and kind of lame. It's nice that he's so loyal and supportive to Willow but he should be able to form his own opinion and he should have some emotional investment in people other than Willow. He's pretty lame in Homecoming when he supports Cordy's campaign because Willow does, especially when he has no reason to do so unlike Willow who is feeling guilty over the affair. Either that or he genuinely wants to support Cordy over Buffy which in that case he should have the guts to just say it rather than pretend he has to do the same as Willow. And then in Earshot he leaves the library as soon as Willow does and implies that there's no reason for him to be there if Willow isn't as she's his focus, his emotional investment, and his purpose for being in the gang. It isn't until S4 that I really start to get the sense that he actually cares for Buffy or Xander as legitimate friends and not just because they're Willow's friends. He shows some genuine affection for Buffy in S4 that is pretty much non-existent in S2-S3.

    It's a shame that Seth Green decided to leave the show in S4. I feel like he really starts to be fleshed out as a character (his appearance in AtS is even cool) and the original plan was for the Oz/Veruca arc to play out throughout the entire season. I would have really enjoyed that and it would have given Oz an interesting storyline.
    Last edited by vampmogs; 15-02-18 at 11:42 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimeTravellingBunny View Post
    Regardless of what Willow has decided, regardless of why Oz thought she's not ready, if Oz thought that she's proposing sex not because she wanted it, but to prove something or for whatever other reason, and he didn't feel comfortable having sex with her for that reason, he had the right to refuse.

    And really? The fact that she proposed having sex so soon after they had broken up because he caught her cheating with Xander, and then so quickly after he gave her a chance for reconciliation, and her tense, over-the-top attempt at seduction with sexy clothes and Barry White and all, didn't seem to you like signs that she was trying to prove something to Oz and 'fix' her relationship, rather than that she was really, at that particular time, into having sex?
    We're never really ready, are we? Even now as an adult, I never feel ready. I guess Tara could have refused to do sexy spells with Willow until she came out to her friends and sorted out her feeling about Oz, but if we always second guessed ourselves, where would we be?

    I believe Willow was ready for sex in Amends and I think she had been wanting it for a long time. She complained about the lack of intimacy in Phases and she tried to cast a de-lusting spell on herself to help herself keep her hands off Xander. Willow is clearly shown to be a sexual subject. She isn't the frigid girl from the pilot episode.

    I guess Oz had reason to second guess Willow, but I wish he had made it about himself rather than all about her. He could have asked her to think things through rather than simply shut her down. I also wonder how he figured that Willow became "ready" from the time between Amends to Graduation Day. In Graduation Day, he jumps her without giving her the chance to think things through. It seems inconsistent.

    This is just a minor gripe for me. I just feel it would have been a good thing for Willow if she had been the one to initiate her first sexual experience, rather than be turned down, only for Oz to take the initiative a few episodes later.

    Quote Originally Posted by vampmogs View Post
    I actually don't think he's perfect and I found that the way he freaked out over Tara/Willow was actually pretty scary and not at all normal. It's one thing to be upset and I get that, but to grab Tara as violently as he did and to scream at her in the hallway was really OTT.
    Consider the way he finds out. Imagine someone came walking past you wearing your SO's clothes and your mind figured out that your SO had moved on. He freaks out. Remember, he spent the night talking to Willow and probably figured she was gonna take him back. I think he would have calmed down quickly if it hadn't been for the werewolf curse.

    I was actually more bothered when he hit Xander in BBB. I mean, Xander deserved a punch to the face, but Oz did not know what Xander had done.
    Last edited by Willow from Buffy; 15-02-18 at 11:45 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willow from Buffy View Post
    Consider the way he finds out. Imagine someone came walking past you wearing your SO's clothes and your mind figured out that your SO had moved on. He freaks out. Remember, he spent the night talking to Willow and probably figured she was gonna take him back. I think he would have calmed down quickly if it hadn't been for the werewolf curse.
    I get that it was a shock and that it would have been really hurtful but you can't go around yanking people really aggressively, screaming at them in public, stop them from leaving, and demand that they "answer you." Oz literally had Tara by the arms and was shaking her. I sympathise with how painful it would have been for him but his reaction was actually pretty threatening.
    Last edited by vampmogs; 15-02-18 at 11:55 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vampmogs View Post
    I get that it was a shock and that it would have been really hurtful but you can't go around yanking people really aggressively, screaming at them in public, stop them from leaving, and demand that they "answer you." Oz literally had Tara by the arms and was shaking her.
    I am sure he would have apologised afterwards, but it was an extreme situation.

    Now I love Willow, and I can see why she did it, but Willow could definitely have acted better. She told Tara about Oz, but she does not tell Tara what she would do if Oz comes back. When Tara says, "I'm yours," Willow doesn't answer. She keeps Tara away from the Scoobies, so that they won't suspect anything. I think she owed it to Tara especially, but also to Oz, to make up her mind before Oz came back.

    Bottom line: We do stupid things when we are in love. Violence is not okay. Aggressive outburst should be avoided. I feel like I wanna give Oz a pass, because he had it sprung on him in such a horrible manner, and I don't think he was going to hurt Tara. If he hadn't turned, I am sure he would have apologised, before crawling into a bathroom stall to cry his little heart out

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    I really like Oz and Tara. I used to believe that Tara must be boring because she's too perfect but I've grown to really appreciate her role in the show. It's important to have a diverse mix of characters and there are a lot of people like Tara. She's certainly not unrealistically perfect or perfect at all, really, she just tends to be in a better place than some of the other characters. I know a lot of Tara's. She's cool.
    You've made me consider something I'd never thought of before. How is Tara so well adjusted? Sure she has a stutter and she's shy, but really with her upbringing surely she should have more neurosis and inner conflict than she does
    Never much cared for picket fences anyway. Bloody dangerous.

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    Slayer Supporter vampmogs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willow from Buffy View Post
    I think she owed it to Tara especially, but also to Oz, to make up her mind before Oz came back.
    I don't think it was a given Oz was coming back though? For all Willow knew, he may never come back or it could be years before she ever saw him again. I can't really blame Willow for not operating under the premise that she needed to make up her mind before Oz came back because I don't think Willow should have, or did assume, that it was a forgone conclusion she'd see him again anytime soon.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly about how hard it must have been for Tara. I greatly sympathise with all three characters in New Moon Rising (which is part of the reason I cherish the episode so much) but I think Tara in particular had it worst of all. To copy and paste my thoughts from the S4 Rewatch Thread;

    Tara gets a really raw deal in this episode and her position isn't enviable at all. That's true of all the characters involved but the more I think about it (and relate to it, I guess) the more I feel for her the most. One thing that both Willow and Oz have that Tara doesn't have is the certainty that they loved each other and that they were in a committed relationship. And that, that relationship was acknowledged by Willow's dearest and closest and was officially recognised as a proper romantic relationship. Up until this point Tara doesn't have that and it's actually really sad that she's forced to deal with this alone when Oz reenters all their lives. Oz appears at Giles' door and everyone is awkward for Oz, and of course everyone is awkward for Willow, but Tara has to deal with this bombshell completely alone. She's just Willow's study buddy right? Her new college friend? Nobody even registers that she may be reeling from this news because the profound bond that has been growing between Willow and Tara is shrouded in secrecy.

    It's something gay people have had to deal with forever. Two people can enter a same-sex relationship and build an entire life together that is just as profound and loving as any other heterosexual relationship but then one of them gets hospitalised and a family can swoop in and deny their partner any rights whatsoever. It's like their relationship meant nothing and wasn't 'real' and that can be devastating. Now, that's not exactly the case here, but it's why it can be so hurtful to have live your life in secret. It's why Tara was hurt that "it's like [she] doesn't even exist" and that she knows everything about the Scoobies but they know nothing about her. When Oz came to that apartment Xander and Giles' first instincts were to reach out to Oz and Buffy's first instinct was to comfort Willow but nobody comforted Tara. Nobody acknowledged her existence at all. She had fallen completely in love with Willow and Willow may or may not have fallen completely in love with her but their homosexual relationship wasn't legitimised the same way Willow/Oz was so Tara has to hide her feelings from the gang and deal with them alone.

    Part of the reason Tara retreats rather than fights is because she lacks the confidence or certainty that this is even real. Up until now both Willow and Tara have skirted around this issue (as did the writers as they tried to avoid censorship) and have dropped vague hints ("I am ya know" "what?" "Yours") but without ever coming out and saying it. I agree with Dipstick's analysis completely that up until now Willow/Tara have mostly treat their relationship as a friendship and that they certainly haven't had sex or even kissed. Tara, I think, is more confident in knowing that she is homosexual but she lacks the assurance that this isn't really completely one-sided and that she isn't simply misreading Willow or that Willow isn't just flirting with the idea or going through a phase (and she'll carry on those fears right up until Tough Love). How does Tara fight for a "relationship" when they haven't even defined what that is? How does Tara fight for a girl who may not love her back but more importantly might not even be gay? How does Tara cope with these feelings when Willow's family don't see her as anything but a platonic friend and are hoping for Willow and Oz to get back together?

    Now, I know some fans think Willow is being really unfair to Tara and that it's cruel to hide her like this but I actually don't. As someone who has been in both of their shoes I understand where Willow is coming from just as much as I do Tara. I do think Willow holds more power at this point in their relationship as I think she has greater certainty that Tara is romantically interested in her than Tara does in Willow's feelings. She is also the one who has to "choose" between Oz and Tara, after all. But Willow is still coming to terms with her sexuality and how unexpected it was to develop feelings for another woman. Willow is still just fearful and uncertain about having to come out to her friends and family as any other gay person. And as Dipstick says, Willow is still nervous and uncertain about taking things to the next step with Tara (like in WTWTR which ended badly) because, well, that's just Willow. She doubts herself. So, whilst Willow's actions do inadvertently hurt Tara and put her in a pretty awful position I think Willow's own fears and insecurities are understandable enough that it's hard to fault her for this.

    It's not an easy situation for either of them and, again, as someone who has been on both sides of this I really understand where they're both coming from and I think the writers handled it wonderfully. I just think that out of all of them (and I have a lot of sympathy for Oz too) I find Tara gets the rawest deal of all. She has no one to comfort her or even acknowledge her whatsoever and how can she fight for a relationship that hasn't even been defined as that? It's a sucky position to be in. And it can be really, really hurtful to grow close with someone in private and then have that secrecy come back and bite you on the ass when nobody even registers that, hey, you were kind of a big deal in this person's life too!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Priceless View Post
    You've made me consider something I'd never thought of before. How is Tara so well adjusted? Sure she has a stutter and she's shy, but really with her upbringing surely she should have more neurosis and inner conflict than she does
    Her upbringing is a little murky for me. Tara seemed to have a really great relationship with her mother and her mother didn't die until Tara was seventeen. Which means that whilst her father was most likely always a pretty terrible person, Tara had at least one parent she was really close to for the majority of her upbringing. Assuming she moved to Sunnydale for college when she was eighteen, that was really only one year where she had to deal with her father without her mother's support. That year would have been rough but I don't think it's unrealistic that Tara is still as well adjusted as she was.
    Last edited by vampmogs; 15-02-18 at 01:20 PM.
    "You've got ... a world of strength in your heart. I know you do. You just have to find it again. Believe in yourself."

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  33. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Priceless View Post
    Are you an Oz fan, and if so why . . . or why not?
    Sorry I haven't had time to read through the thread but just wanted to answer the basic question because I love Oz. I think he's a great character because he's quite different and I enjoy the inclusion of a character with such laconic style of speech. He says little but it is so brilliantly scripted when he does and just gives great contrast to the other characters. The whole tone of the character adds variety and it is great to see another personality type represented and given strengths and weaknesses that are coherent. I wish we'd seen more of him and where they would have developed him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoney View Post
    I wish we'd seen more of him and where they would have developed him.
    I agree. I would have loved to see in S2 how much becoming a werewolf three days a month affected his life, his relationship with his parents, especially considering that his aunt knew his cousin was a little werewolf.
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