Original airdate: Nov. 9, 1999
Project 310 re-watch date: Feb. 20, 2009
It’s weird when I find myself questioning my own gimmicks in Project 310, but I have to wonder if Veruca qualifies for “Random Student Alert!”. This episode marks her third appearance on the show (second credited appearance), so she’s not exactly a random character, but it should definitely raise a red flag that she goes from on-stage performer to involved in everyone’s lives girl so quickly.
That said, I really liked her character. First of all, Paige Moss is incredibly sexy. And I know that’s not her actual singing voice, but it’s hot. And when she turns out to be a werewolf, well, actually, that’s not that hot, but it at least makes her sudden involvement in everyone’s life make more sense.
Obviously her sudden arrival and departure marks the end of the Willow-Oz relationship. I know fans of the show were pissed about this back in the day, but it was something that needed to happen. Willow was a character that wasn’t really growing anymore. She started to develop the magic thing in Season 2, but that hadn’t really gotten big by this point. I’m not saying Oz was getting in the way of that, but by splitting them up, the writers gained creative freedom.
With Veruca’s death by Oz’s hands (or paws) at the end of the episode, there have now been three cool potential recurring villains killed off in six episodes in Season 4. Sunday, Kathy and Veruca all had the opportunity to be so much more than they were. At least Veruca got multiple episodes and a lasting impact on the lives of the Scoobies.
There are two small things that bother me about this episode. For one, it almost seems too long. It’s no longer than any normal episode, but a lot of the elements repeat, and without a good B-story going on, it feels like things get dragged out before the big conclusion.
Also, we obviously find out in later episodes that Professor Walsh is actually working with The Initiative. So when you see her get totally freaked out by the werewolves, it’s a little weird. I’d expect her to have a better defense than just throwing her briefcase.
Oz: “Veruca was right about something. The wolf is inside me all the time, and I don't know where that line is anymore between me and it. And until I figure out what that means, I shouldn't be around you... Or anybody.”