With Willows thoughts being beyond all logic/reason, Willow fights Buffy: eventually rendering Buffy unconscious (by hitting her with some powerful blue lightening). Fate then intervenes – as Giles returns, leading to a magical duel between himself and Willow: he blasts her across the room, he commands her to stay down and he binds her in a stasis field (to prevent her from causing further harm).
Evil Willow – Smiling – With a red Fireball in her Hands
Unfortunately, Evil Willow is too powerful to be defeated so easily: she’s able to use mind control (on Anya) to help free herself from the stasis field. The magical duel then resumes, with Willow eventually defeating Giles and absorbing all his powers (which he borrowed from a coven). In doing so, Willow becomes more powerful, which combined with her emotional state, leads her to conclude that: the whole world is suffering emotional pain (and that it must be stopped). Thus, she decides to destroy the world (even though this goes against everything that Tara stood for). Fortunately, Willow has managed to overlook one emotion: love. And it is love that finally defeats her: when Xander tells her he loves her (as a friend).
After casting a spell to track down Tara’s killer (Warren), Willow goes after him, making use of various magic’s along the way: power to recover from an axe in her back, power to turn an explosion into “nothing”, power to control vines (that hold Warren) and power to destroy Warren (by both flaying and burning him).
Evil Willow – With Black Eyes – Out for Revenge
The scoobie gang now realise that Willow has gone too far, and it falls to Buffy to track her down (and attempt to reason with her). Unfortunately, Willow’s emotions (grief/fury/rage) still have control of her, which together with her addiction to magic, have helped to give her an altered sense of reality (including the ability to harm her friends). Having cast a “Strengthen” spell upon herself, Willow intends to beat Andrew and Jonathan to death; and is only stopped when Buffy intervenes.
To help exact her revenge, Willow decides she needs more power, and as such, heads straight for the local magic shop. Upon entering, it is obvious that Willow is not herself: her mere presence being enough to shatter several electrical lights; on her way to the shelves containing the “black arts books“.
Evil Willow – Rede like never before!
Willow then demonstrates a new approach to learning: when she proceeds to absorb their text (by “sucking” it out of the books and into herself). Although Willow has lost control of her emotions (running on pure grief/fury/rage), she has not yet lost her ability to help others: as she saves Buffy’s life by magically removing a bullet that would have killed her (as Warren initially shot Buffy). Despite this, Buffy refuses to help Willow destroy those responsible for Tara’s death (as the scoobie gang does not kill humans). This refusal is enough to serve as the final catalyst for Willows emotions: as she casts aside “old reliable/nerdy” Willow and becomes “Evil Willow” (with black eyes and dark veins across her face).
Willows character then goes further off the rails: when Tara is shot (and dies), causing Willows “cold turkey” to come to an abrupt end. As such, Willow hits the dark magic’s again, and attempts to bring Tara back (even though Tara had earlier said that “magic can’t be used to alter the natural order of things”).
Evil Willow – With Red Eyes – Starting to “go off” the rails
This is proven to be so, as Willows magic is prevented from working: Tara died a human death (through human causes), and everything is as it “should be”. Having lost control of her emotions, Willow decides to seek revenge on the humans she holds responsible for Tara’s death: Andrew, Jonathan and Warren (all old school acquaintances – that just so happen to have been running a “crime gang” together).
It is at this time (whilst having a hard time dealing with her emotions) that Willow realises how to turn Amy back from being a rat (by using a “Reveal It” spell). For a time, Willow has a new friend to practice magic with, who unlike Tara, does not have any morality concerns regarding magic (and its use).
Darker Willow – Smiling (with the “fun” in magic)
Amy helps lead Willow along a forbidden path: using magic for fun/pleasure. When this does not prove to be enough (for Willow), Amy introduces Willow to Rack (a warlock), who helps her experiment with black/dangerous magic: eventually resulting in Willow summoning a demon. Shortly after, things come to a head when Willow nearly kills Dawn (Buffy’s sister), and Willow is forced to admit that she needs help with her addiction to magic. It is here that we find the concept of a “spring clean“, when Buffy and Dawn help Willow remove all magical items from Buffy’s house (such as candles, charms and crystals), thereby removing temptation (so that Willow stands a better chance of going “cold turkey”). For a while, the tougher approach works, and “old reliable/nerdy” Willow is back (e.g. using computers for research).
Shortly after, Willows character changes as she starts to use magic for non-essential purposes. For example: Willow conjures up confetti to decorate Buffy’s house with (after Anya and Xander announce their engagement), raising concern from both Giles and Tara (as she could have just gone to the local store to purchase some).
Darker Willow – My magic couldn’t harm a fly!
Willows character then undergoes a more serious change, as she starts to use magic to make things the way she wants them to be (without regard for others). For example: Willow deliberately casts a spell on Tara to make her forget about an argument that they have had (ironically over Willow using too much magic). When Tara discovers the truth, she gives Willow a stern warning that “you know how powerful/dangerous magic is” and that “too many spells is not good for you Willow”, eventually leading to Willow agreeing to go “cold turkey” for a week (i.e. not cast any spells). Unfortunately, Willow is so addicted to magic, that she casts a spell almost immediately, and when Tara finds out, she leaves Willow.