Daniel ‘Oz’ Ozborne was a student at both Sunnydale High and UC Sunnydale. He was a main member of the Scooby Gang, a werewolf, and a boyfriend of Willow Rosenberg.
He was also the lead guitarist in the band Dingoes Ate my Baby. He moved to Tibet to learn to control his werewolf powers. There, he met his wife Bayarmaa with whom he had his child, a son named Kelden.
Oz is initially introduced as a character in Episode 4 Season 2 (Inca Mummy Girl) where he sees Willow dressed as an Eskimo at the Cultural Exchange party in the Bronze Club.
Devon, the lead singer in the band Dingoes Ate My Babies (and close friend of Oz) is romancing Cordelia, whom Oz is not impressed with. Devon remarks that Oz could have any girl he wants, to which Oz replies that he’s not picky, Devon is just easily impressed.
Later on in Episode 6 Season 2 (Halloween) Oz again sees Willow driving past in his van whilst she is wearing her skimpy outfit Buffy convinced her to wear for the Bronze Halloween party.
Despite a strong initial attraction from Oz, the two would only officially meet in Episode 9 Season 2 (What’s My Line? Part 2) when both Willow and Oz are in a waiting room before an interview for the same tech company.
Whilst Buffy is targeted at the careers fair by the third assassin from the Order of Takara, she narrowly escapes a bullet- which instead hits Oz in the arm after he pushes Willow out of harm’s way, saving her life.
Later in the episode, Willow and Oz meet at a vending machine where Willow tries to thank him for saving her life- he replies he doesn’t do thanks and compliments her smile.
It’s after this point that Oz becomes more involved in the Scooby Gang’s lives and he and Willow slowly build their relationship despite both their awkwardness and Willow’s longtime infatuation with Xander. Willow and Oz go on a few dates but nothing physical comes of it.
In Episode 13 Season 2 (Surprise), Willow asks Oz to be her date to Buffy’s birthday party. Whilst Angel and Buffy’s friends wait inside the Bronze to surprise her, Buffy comes crashing through the window fighting a vampire (one of Spike’s crew).
When Buffy stakes the vamp, Oz gets his first sight of the supernatural and is officially part of the Scoby Gang. In classic Oz mannerisms, he simply responds to the slaying with ‘that explains a lot.’ Willow tells Oz the truth about Sunnydale and that it is built over the Hellmouth.
After Angel loses his soul in Episode 14 Season 2 (Innocence),
Oz helps the Scooby Gang by driving them in his van to the military base. Earlier in the episode, Willow sees Cordelia and Xander making out and is completely crushed- when in Oz’s van, she asks Oz if he wants to make out.
He declines, as he knows Willow is only asking to get back at Xander. This moment shows Oz’s good character and Willow grows to respect him more.
In the next episode (Episode 15 Season 2, Phases), Oz gets bitten by his cousin Jordy whom Oz’s aunt confirms is a werewolf. Worried the Scooby Gang would have to kill him, Oz doesn’t reveal to them that he is the werewolf responsible for the attacks at Sunnydale over the last two nights.
While chaining himself up, Willow goes to Oz’s house to confront him for not getting physical with her and is interrupted by him turning into a werewolf.
She runs away and Oz is nearly killed by hunter Cain who wants to kill him for his pelt. Buffy and the gang save him. The following day, Oz asks Willow to spend some time apart, but instead, they share their first kiss.
With the help of Giles and the scoobies, Oz finds better ways to manage his condition and protect others during his cycles.
He continued to help the Scooby Gang over the rest of the year, helping find Buffy when she was turned into a rat in Episode 16 Season 2, (Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered) and helping Willow restore Angelus’ soul in Episode 22 Season 2 (Becoming, Part 2).
Redoing Senior Year
After the trials of being a werewolf and other distractions, Oz fails senior year and has to repeat. This put him in the same year group as the rest of the Scooby Gang.
During the Summer whilst Buffy was away in Los Angeles, Oz and the gang try to slay vampires in her absence but not particularly successfully- Oz states they have a success rating of ‘six out of ten’.
On Buffy’s arrival, Oz organizes a welcome back party with his friends and band Dingoes Ate my Baby. During his repeated year, Oz remains controlling his abilities, apart from when suspected of killing Jeffrey Waken (Episode 4, Season 3, Beauty and the Beasts).
He had actually been killed by a mutated Pete Clarner, who then attacked Oz as he believed he had been cheating with his girlfriend.
Pete catches Oz just before he goes in his cage on the night of the full moon and thus Oz transforms into a werewolf. Buffy luckily arrives in time and Oz runs away transformed, before being apprehended by Willow and Faith.
When Willow, Buffy, and Amy Madison were threatened with being burned at the stake by the anti-witchcraft parents association ‘MOO’(Mothers Opposed to the Occult), under the influence of a demon, Oz and Xander attempted to save them by sneaking through ventilation shafts where they are being held before the execution (Episode 11, Season 3, Gingerbread).
Willow’s mother doesn’t remember any of the events that transpired apart from the fact that Willow is dating someone, which means Oz has to visit for dinner to be introduced.
After the Sisterhood of the Jhe attempted to open the Hellmouth, Oz is briefly released in werewolf form and kills and eats a zombie.
After Willow and Xander are trapped by Spike, Oz catches them kissing which leads to them breaking up (Episode 14, Season 3, Lovers Walk). They got back together weeks later as Oz missed Willow (Episode 15, Season 3, Amends).
Willow’s vampire counterpart from an alternate dimension holds Oz hostage in Episode 16, Season 3, (Doppelgangland).
Oz and Willow have sex for the first time before the fight with the evil Mayor, cementing their relationship. Oz commands the students to rally in attack during the battle for the high school (Episode 22, Season 3, Graduation Day Part 2).
Oz attended UC Sunnydale with Buffy and Willow, enrolling in Psychology with them. He stayed off-campus with his bandmates. As his cage was destroyed after the fall of the high school, Oz locked himself in the crypt during the full moon.
After meeting Veruca, (a fellow werewolf) and being unable to control his animal lust for her, Oz kills Veruca after she attempts to kill Willow, believing Willow is holding Oz back from embracing his werewolf nature.
Oz then tries to attack Willow whilst still in werewolf form before being tranquilized by Buffy. Knowing that he can’t control this side of himself, Oz packs up and leaves for Tibet (Episode 6, Season 4, Wild at Heart).
After leaving, he stuns the gang by coming back in Episode 19, Season 4 (New Moon Rising), saying he loves Willow and has his lycanthropy under control.
This is before he learns Willow is now in a relationship with Tara and this brings on a transformation, almost killing Tara. Oz realizes he still has work to do and he leaves again, this time on good terms with Willow knowing she is happy.
Oz was one of the most beloved Buffy characters. He was well known for his cool, calm, and collected demeanor. His typical reaction to big news or life-changing events tended to be ‘huh’.
In the first appearance of Oz, he is shown to be not shallow by his lack of interest in Cordelia and is seen to be the polar opposite of his slightly sexist and dumb bandmate Devon.
Despite his friend’s flaws, Oz is never mean or derogatory to him- instead just being himself and letting others act how they want. He took the existence of the supernatural in his stride and though he became a werewolf, usually responded to something life-threatening with his trademark witty remarks. He always took the danger he posed to others seriously as a werewolf.
When he realized he couldn’t control his werewolf abilities and was a risk to those he loved, Oz leaves Willow and his college life for Tibet to try and control his werewolf demons. When Oz returns, he and Willow leave on better terms when he knows she is in love with Tara.
Oz’s hair changes multiple times over the seasons, ranging from auburn to brown, bleach blonde, and black.
Oz wore a few different outfits over the seasons. During high school, he sported boots, jeans, and different t-shirts under a bowling shirt most days. In college, he wore sneakers, baggy pants and usually teamed this with a sheepskin coat when outside.
Oz accessorized his outfits with earrings, painted nails, and student bracelets. When he returns from Tibet to get Willow back, he wears a V-neck jumper and prayer beads.
As a werewolf, Oz is at first portrayed as a biped with long clawed fingers, ragged brown-gray fur, and a long snout. Every transformation after this shows him as a quadruped with a small tail, more wolf-like body, and black, gray, and white fur. He also has a bare, wrinkled face that is more human-looking with a flatter nose rather than a wolf snout.
Oz was a werewolf so whenever he transformed gained the abilities of one. This included enhanced speed, strength, and sense of smell. He also had razor claws and a powerful wolf body. Like most werewolves, he transformed under the influence of the full moon, the night before it and the night after it.
After traveling around the world, he gained some control over his abilities with herbs, rituals, and meditation. He much preferred staying human and only changed when under great emotional turmoil. Though there was always the potential for transformation, he found a way to let the werewolf energy transfer into the earth rather than into him.
Oz had a heightened sense of smell even in human form and could tell if someone was fearful based on their scent. In human form, he was also proficient with a bow and arrow during the fight against the Mayor.
Oz also was a talented musician and guitarist.
After admiring Willow from afar, Oz and Willow begin their romance after Oz saves her from a bullet meant for Buffy at the careers fair. Their relationship starts slowly and Willow confronts Oz about their lack of passion just before being interrupted by Oz’s transformation into a werewolf.
After Oz transforms back into a human, he and Willow share their first kiss. Willow cheats on Oz with Xander, whom she has had long-brewing feelings for throughout her young adult life, and they both kiss whilst getting ready for homecoming.
After a few episodes of hiding from Cordelia and Oz, the two are outed and both couples split up.
When Willow tries to apologize, Oz states he needs time to figure out where they stand and it’s not his responsibility if she feels guilty. In ‘Amends’, Willow makes a romantic show to Oz, displaying that he comes before Xander and insinuating that she wants to have sex with him.
Oz declines and instead, they kiss. Unlike Xander and Cordelia, Oz wants to make amends and he and Willow reconnect.
Willow and Oz’s relationship often is drawn in comparison to Buffy and Angels- to begin with, Willow is worried that Oz and she don’t have the same passion as Buffy and Angel, as when talking about sex, Buffy says it’s ‘inevitable between her and Angel whereas Willow feels like Oz is disregarding her advances.
Later on, after rekindling Oz and Willow’s romance, they come together just as Angel and Buffy reconnect in the snow. Willow was held for ransom by Mayor Wilkins and Oz tries to save her, later when they think they are going to die in the battle against the Mayor they have sex for the first time before graduation. Willow says she ‘feels different now’ and Oz agrees, despite not being a virgin himself.
They maintain their close relationship for the first few months of college at UC Sunnydale before Oz has an intense and animal connection to Veruca.
Before he realizes she is a werewolf, Oz is bewildered by his animal attraction to her and tries to repress it- especially because he is so deeply devoted to Willow.
Despite this devotion, Oz eventually cannot control himself and after fighting as werewolves, Oz and Veruca have sex whilst in werewolf form and wake up naked together having transformed back into humans in the woods.
Oz has no memory of his time as a wolf and is consumed with guilt at his actions. Veruca tries hard to convince Oz to embrace both herself and his dark animalistic nature but Oz refuses.
He locks her in a cage- sensing her dangerous nature. But he wolfs out before he can secure her and they both end up sleeping together again in wolf form.
They transform back just in time for Willow to walk in and see them, and she runs off crying- heartbroken at his betrayal. Veruca tries to kill Willow, who is saved by Oz.
Knowing he cannot control his powers and is a danger to everyone, Oz decides to leave Sunnydale even though Willow begs him to stay. When Oz eventually returns to Sunnydale, claiming to have control of his emotions, he is unable to resist transforming and trying to attack
Tara after he realizes Willow and her are now in a relationship. Oz and Willow leave on good terms after Oz realizes Willow is in love and only wants the best for her.
Veruca is Oz’s other love interest though he hates her and eventually kills her after she tries to kill Willow. Veruca tries to get Oz to come over to the dark side and embrace his werewolf nature rather than trying desperately to control it.
Veruca revels in her transformation and doesn’t care who she hurts when she transforms during her moon phases. Oz eventually rips Veruca’s throat out when she threatens Willow’s life.
Oz appears in 37 Episodes of Buffy:
- Inca Mummy Girl
- What’s My Line? Part 1
- What’s my Line? Part 2
- Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
- Becoming, Part 1
- Becoming Part 2
- Dead Man’s Party
- Faith, Hope & Trick
- Beauty and the Beasts
- Band Candy
- Lovers Walk
- The Wish
- Bad Girls
- The Prom
- Graduation Day, Part 1
- Graduation Day, Part 2
- The Freshman
- Living Conditions
- The Harsh Light of Day
- Fear Itself
- Beer Bad
- Wild at Heart
- New Moon Rising
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