When it comes to a Willow that both radiates on-screen Power, and that makes you want to don your “knee-high thigh length boots” (that just ooze Sex Appeal) – then there’s really no better season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, than Buffy Season Six:
Best season to watch for “Darker Evil Willow” – the “Black in Witch” – Buffy Season Six
Here do I find that Willows character is akin to a Willow Tree, that just happens to be at the edge of some “Mighty Chasm”. The Chasm is Witchcraft, and it’s “gravity” is her Quest for Power. Yet, this is no ordinary Chasm – for Willow adds two further ingredients. The first ingredient is added knowingly: her desire to “jump” into the Chasm, which comes from her desire to learn. The second ingredient is added unknowingly: her emotional state continues to fluctuate – and she has no choice, but to careen down the sides, with a great big grin on her lips! It’s a Power thing 🙂 The roots of her Quest for Power, are found in the very first episode (of season six) – where she brings Buffy back “from beyond the Grave”. It’s Willows “single minded” determination that she’s her resurrect Buffy, even when the rest of the Scoobie Gang, appear to have “changed their minds”. It’s her “single mindedness”, that sees Willow using magic more than she should, even when the Scoobie Gang voice their concerns. It’s the magic that begins to dominate Willow, even ignoring the advice of Tara – wanting to change things, “just the way” she wants them to be. It’s the darker magic that seeds itself in Willow, which along with her “revealed” friend Amy – is just “much more fun”. Yet, are we really to be surprised? For there’s a saying: Power Corrupts. And in Willow’s case, does Power not only Corrupt – for she becomes like a Sun, that radiates her “Sense of Self”, through both her friendships, and her willingness to help Buffy. Whilst Buffy seems to have “lost the plot” (such as her relationship with Spike), Willow knows exactly what she wants: More Power! It radiates through her Being. It radiates through her Soul. It radiates through her Spirit. It may be rooted in Darkness, but Willow doesn’t care! For a time: she Eclipses Buffy. It’s roots lie not in Jealousy. It’s vines lie not in Friendship. It’s leaves lie not in Morality. For it’s Revenge – a dish that’s best served Cold. And Willow, is “best equipped” to serve that dish: an Emotional Wreck, Lost in Space, no need for Friends, just “Two to Go”.
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).
Willows character then starts to go off the rails – for two specific reasons. First: she starts to make use of darker magic (instead of just lighter/safer magic). Second: she starts to make use of too much magic (instead of accomplishing some tasks naturally). Initially, Willow has no choice but to play with darker magic, when she undertakes a “Resurrection Spell“, with the aim of bringing Buffy back from the mystical death that she suffered (after defeating Glory).
Darker Willow – At an early stage of the Resurrection Spell – With “sacrificed blood” upon her face
The spell involves Willow speaking several incantations, together with: using blood from a sacrifice (within a specific urn), enduring several tests (cuts, lumps, a snake emerging from her throat) and powerful red fires engulfing Willow (whilst she casts the spell). Willow eventually succeeds in resurrecting Buffy, although she is a “little drained” afterwards (and as such, is unable to cast any spells – for a while).
It is not until Buffy starts to battle Glory (a hell god who has been banished to Earth) that we realise just how powerful Willow is becoming. This is first evidenced when Willow (with the help of Tara and some magic dust) casts a “Teleportation Spell” on Glory: to remove her from a fight that Buffy was losing. In doing so, Willow again encounters concern from Giles, who advises her that the spell was “dangerous for an adept at your level Willow”.
Willow – with Darkest Magick and “revenge intent” Black Eyes
Further evidence of Willows growing power (and lack of emotional control) occurs after Glory destroys Tara’s mind. Willow seeks revenge, and after reading a book on “Darkest Magick“, goes knocking on Glory’s door. It is here that we first encounter the darker side to Willows character, as she uses black magic to cause Glory pain: Willow freezes Glory, then lashes out with powerful blue lightening. Willow also makes use of several other nasty spells in her assault against Glory: throwing of shards from a shattered mirror, throwing of a bag of knives and summoning of a serpent. Unfortunately, none of this has any lasting affect on Glory (as she’s a god), and Buffy has to intervene to rescue Willow (as Willow has tired herself out).