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Dark Willow - just enough or too short of an arc?

Taake

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The 20 Day Challenge thread got me thinking, I really enjoy that Willow’s character goes dark, but as @katmobile (I think, sorry if I’m misremembering) pointed out in that thread, it was almost more of a phase than her actually turning evil, in the way of other characters.

In this thread I pondered if s6 is kind if Willow’s season It had to be Willow

With that in mind, do you think that the Dark Willow was just enough, or should it have been extended into a longer arc?

Would it have been possible to extended it? The skinning of Warren is technically an evil act, but it has some fans (me) cheering for Willow because I detest Warren so much. If Willow was dark for a longer period of time, she arguably would’ve done more evil deeds, would the audience have been able to forgive that?

As mentioned, I enjoy Dark Willow, but it does feel a bit short and, indeed, more of a phase. The writers clearly limit the actual damage Willow does, beyond Warren, and turn things around in only three episodes.

Would you have enjoyed Willow going dark sooner and becoming the main threat of the season earlier, even if it meant turning her down an even darker path?
 
H
HerrMister
Interesting question.

WillowFromBuffy

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Willow is "dark" for around 24 hours or day to night to day. But it is part of a larger story that starts after Willow becomes curious about magic after Jenny's death and intensifies in S6.

Messing with Tara's mind and being drunk on magic with Dawn are certainly immoral acts.

I say it was a nice lenght. I don't want permanently evil Willow. However, I love immortoal crazy future Willow, using her magic to protect earth. That lasts centuries... until Fray is called.
 

DeadlyDuo

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I think they could've extended Dark Willow into a longer arc.

If they're going with the magic = drugs storyline, then have Tara killed whilst Willow is still spiralling down so that she gets even more into the magic because it is her coping mechanism. Her grief and her magic use is what turns her into Dark Willow. She isolates herself from Buffy and Xander, she's essentially self-medicating to blot out the pain of Tara's death rather than working through it. Have her come across Warren later which is when she kills him yet she doesn't feel victory at his death. Have Xander then reconnect with her which enables her to finally process her grief and begin to move on. Dark Willow should be Willow's rock bottom.
 

Anyanka Bunny Slayer

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I definitely wanted more Dark Willow. It was really interesting to see watch her, especially when pitted against Buffy and Giles. I absolutely feel that her arc was far too short.

Her skinning of Warren was pretty awesome, buy I would've liked to see a lot more evil acts from her. I mean, if you're going to the trouble of creating such a drastic character, give her at least half a season to wreak some serious havoc! As it was, everything happened far too quickly, and the yellow crayon moment...? Meh. The battle between her and Giles should've lasted so much longer. More fighting with Buffy would've been fun as well.

I would've liked to see her stop because Tara's spirit appeared before her, perhaps saying something like, "Willow, you have to stop now. I will always love you, and I will always be with you." Then she strokes Willow's face, and slowly disappears. Then Willow reverts to her regular self.
 

Cohen

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“The Dark willow Trilogy” is an excellent read for anyone wanting more dark willow. It’s an alternate version of the story but definitely satisfying! My favorite Buffy books!
 

spikenbuffy

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I think I read somewhere in a Buffy official magazine that Tara was meant to die earlier in S6 before Seeing red but that writers reported it a few times and then they made Tara's death in Sr, I think it was Amber who said it.

To answer the question of this thread, yes!! I would have loved to see more of Dark Willow.
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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Just enough. The best part of that Arc was it's sense of urgency, that the Scoobies were reacting to a true crisis, that Will was drunk with power, and would in her immediate grief, hurt people. If Wil was a finger twiddling villian who was now leading the Trokia, or seeking out the Satanic Temple or looking for the deathly hallows or destroy the Jedi, over the course of part two, it wouldn't have worked. We wouldn't have been able to forgive her. So, keeping those episodes for May sweeps alone worked best.
 

thrasherpix

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One, I'd have rather Willow progressed into evil territory through hubris and arrogance than by magic crack. She would essentially be the Witch version of Faith in season 3, even thinking herself the Good One at first as Faith did, and that all the good she did cancelled out a few "indiscretions and accidents."

Two, if they decided to go with magic crack, then they could've at least drawn THAT out more (showing her partaking, against Tara's wishes, even in the first episode--natch, she wouldn't turn into an instant stereotypical junkie dragging kids down dark alleys and stealing cars, that would come much later).


As for what the audience can forgive...I think you underestimate the power of being a hottie, especially one around as long as Willow has been. (This is true of the males as well.)

Though it could've been interesting if say Warren had a little sister that he was fond of. This could be a brother, but I think sister would be more interesting. He'd be highly protective of her knowing "how men are" (that is, like himself, in his mind). This isn't unrealistic, plenty of men who objectify and even predate on women can still love (and be highly protective of) mothers, daughters, and sisters, many of whom may never have reason to suspect a dark side. And in this case, his little sister is a true innocent which irks Dark Willow, who telepathically assaults the girl with Warren's crimes, but the sister can't reconcile this with her brother and believes Willow a lying demon.

About this time Buffy and friends catch up, but Dark Willow either uses a force field (like in season 5) or paralysis, or tied up by plants like Warren, so they're forced to watch as Willow torments this girl as much Warren. DW threatens Warren to give his sister to "a man like you" to which he says this is between him and her, leave his sister out of it.

Dark Willow laughs harshly and then says, "But you didn't leave Tara out of it." She then muses that this girl is the one person Warren actually loves, sounding surprised Warren is even capable of such an emotion, and then uses the bullet that killed Tara to kill his sister while Warren shrieks. THEN Willow says bored now and twists Warren inside out and sets him on fire.

I'd be curious if that WOULD be seen as very different...especially by viewers who also turn a blind eye to Warrens in their lives (which they know, at least subconsciously).


(And I'm now suddenly wondering how the scene would've been different if the room of lawyers that Angel locked up with Dru and Darla also had Holland Manner's grandchildren that he was actually trying to protect from the vampires, and Holland begs Angel to at least save his grandchildren, and Angel still locks them in.)
 
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DeadlyDuo

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(And I'm now suddenly wondering how the scene would've been different if the room of lawyers that Angel locked up with Dru and Darla also had Holland Manner's grandchildren that he was actually trying to protect from the vampires, and Holland begs Angel to at least save his grandchildren, and Angel still locks them in.)
It's generally a rule of thumb in movies and tv that kids and animals can't be harmed unless you want to portray a character as truly evil hence the "pet the dog" and "kick the dog" tropes. If Angel had deliberately left children in with Darla and Drusilla then the audience may take issue with that. By portraying Angelus and Angel as almost two separate characters, the writers get to have their cake and eat it. They can have Angelus do all these horrible things without it reflecting badly on Angel whilst they can have Angel try and atone for Angelus' misdeeds.
 

Athene

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If Willow was dark for a longer period of time, she arguably would’ve done more evil deeds, would the audience have been able to forgive that?
I think they went as far with Willow as they wanted to seeing as they didn’t intend for her to stay a villain for very long. Willow still does a lot of evil crap like threatening to essentially kill Dawn, fighting Buffy, torturing Giles, killing a human and trying to kill two other humans and finally single-handedly attempting to end the whole world. They went far enough with Willow that it was a question of forgiving her or not for the audience I think. As Willow said “I’m not coming back” she didn’t intend to ever come back from the lengths she reached because they were in fact evil. But the writers definitely wanted Willow to come back so that’s why things happened as they did.
 

Ethan Reigns

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The Dark Willow segment lasted three episodes, just like the Pylea episode in Angel in the previous year. It appears that when the plot goes off the reservation (probably not a PC term any more), it takes one episode to get into a predicament, one to operate in the new milieu and one to get out of it. It seems to be the right amount of time. Less, and the plot would have to be too crowded, more and the writers have to start generating some reason to believe things can go back to normal. I think the arc was just right - we don't want our beloved Willow to go bad permanently and four episodes would start to look permanent or at least long enough that she would never fully return. Two episodes would make it seem like a glitch in the overall plot and a lot of bad would have to be concentrated into two episodes - that would be too much darkness.
 
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