Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 2, Episode 15

Phases (27 Jan. 1998)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Action, Drama, Fantasy
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Reviews: 2 user | 2 critic

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



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Episode cast overview:
Rupert Giles (as Anthony Stewart Head)
Camila Griggs ...
Gym Teacher
Larry Blaisdell (as Larry Bagby III)
Theresa Klusmeyer


While Xander and Cordelia make out in the woods in her dad's car, they are attacked by a giant werewolf, who also killed various animals, on the night before the full moon. Giles insists no silver bullets, as a werewolf remains an innocent human except for three nights per lunar month, an ethical consideration wasted on former ivory poacher Kane, who wants his twelfth werewolf kill for the fur. Xander suspects and confronts school bully Lary, but finds out his secret is in fact queerly innocent and worth keeping. When they check the corps of Theresa, the only human fatal victim, Xander saves Buffy staking her: she's a vampire, attacking courtesy of her sire Angelus... After Oz wakes up naked in the wood, his aunt confirms Jordy is a werewolf too, but Willow is trough waiting for him to make the first move... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Action | Drama | Fantasy


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 January 1998 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Oz- "This cheerleading trophy. It's like its eyes follow you wherever you go. I like it." This is a possible reference to Amy Madison's mother, Catherine, who was banished to the trophy in the 1st season episode, "Witch." See more »


(at around 46 mins) Xander's mouth movement does not match at all as he says "werewolf" to Buffy. See more »


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.
See more »


References Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Teacher's Pet (1997) See more »


Buffy the Vampire Slayer Theme
Written by Nerf Herder
Performed by Brandon K. Verrett
See more »

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User Reviews

Arooooo! Werewolves of Sunnydale
24 January 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews


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 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?

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.

Much better werewolf than we'll see later, note they switched back to the more traditional image for Nina on Angel. 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 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

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