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Dark Willow - Terrible Mistake or Neccessity

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WillowFromBuffy

Guest
Imagine if Willow did not go dark. Buffy dies in hospital, leaving Dawn an orphan. Giles is still in England. Anya works for D'Hoffryn. Spike is on his way to Africa, full of self righteous fury. Warren goes to the demon bar, they tell him a girl was brought to the hospital, so Warren goes there and learns that Buffy did actually die from her wounds. Warren goes back to the demon bar and tells them they were stupid for doubting him.

It is Xander, a powerless Willow and Dawn, wrecked by grief, against the forces of darkness. Is there any way it could have had a happy ending?
 

NeonSlayer

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Why are you so sure Buffy would've died from the gunshot wound? Tara died instantly. Buffy survived Xander calling 911, the ambulance driving there & to the hospital, and getting wheeled into an OR.

She flatlined because Willow's magic was affecting the electricity in the area and she ordered the doctors out mid surgery.

Being a Slayer kept her alive long enough to get to the hospital. As soon as they removed the bullet, her accelerated healing would've been working on any damage.

In Fool for Love she was impaled in the stomach with a stake but the next night mimicked the Nikki Wood fight. In Bring on the Night she was beat until she had internal bleeding but was completely healed within days. In Chosen she was run through with a sword, hand in flames, and kept fighting & jumped from rooftop to rooftop onto a speeding bus. In The Core she was impaled through the shoulder with the stake side of the Scythe, lifted off the ground with it, tossed 20 feet, survived an explosion, then killed a Turak-han Slayer and climbed out of a crater.
 
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W

WillowFromBuffy

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Why are you so sure Buffy would've died from the gunshot wound? Tara died instantly. Buffy survived Xander calling 911, the ambulance driving there & to the hospital, and getting wheeled into an OR.
You just generally assume that when a character in a story is saved by another at the last minute, then that character would have died if the other character had not intervened. Buffy's death may not have been certain, but it was at least highly probably.
She flatlined because Willow's magic was affecting the electricity in the area and she ordered the doctors out mid surgery.
How would that work exactly? She wan't on life support.

To me, it seems like Buffy would have flatlined anyway and the doctors would have had to abort the surgery to get Buffy's heart working again. She was bleeding internally. I am not a doctor, but I am pretty sure she was dying.
 

thetopher

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The assumption being that Buffy would die from being shot in the upper torso (not heart), and I'm not sure that was especially evident.
All DW did remove the bullet and close up the wound which seemed to speed up Buffy's enhanced recuperative abilities. But the doctors would've done that anyway.

It's worth noting that- even after killing Warren- DW didn't go completely off the rails until she decided to go and kill Rack for a power-up. It was only after that she started really trying to hurt people who got in the way like Dawn or Giles (truck ramming aside).

It is Xander, a powerless Willow and Dawn, wrecked by grief, against the forces of darkness.
Xander could call Giles- probably- or AI (less likely) and had them come help. If we're talking about the mighty Warren then either could've handily dealt with him.
 
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WillowFromBuffy

Guest
All DW did remove the bullet and close up the wound which seemed to speed up Buffy's enhanced recuperative abilities. But the doctors would've done that anyway.
Buffy is flatlined and suffers internal bleeding. The doctor needs to start her heart again, remove the bullet, sow her up, and hope she does not bleed to death. Willow heals Buffy's chest perfectly. Buffy does not heal that fast. Her wounds in Helpless and Fool for Love needs to be cleaned and time to heal.
Xander could call Giles- probably- or AI (less likely) and had them come help. If we're talking about the mighty Warren then either could've handily dealt with him.
AI? You mean Fred, Gunn and Connor? How would Xander and Giles so easily stop Warren? He has a gun, a robot and several dangerous gadgets. More importantly, he notifies the the demon community of Buffy's death, so all the bad guys will presumable descend on Sunnydale.
 

NeonSlayer

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I think Willow just sped up the process. Like how she sped up a download on her laptop. It would've gotten there just a little slower.

Angelus broke Buffy's arm in Killed by Death but it was healed the next morning. She had a 103 fever but it was gone and she had to infect herself to get sick again. In The Freshman Sunday probably broke Buffy's arm but it healed by her next fight with her. In Prophecy Girl Buffy was fed on, drowned, then spent the night dancing. In Pangs Buffy got an arrow in the arm, fought vengeful spirits & a bear, then had Thanksgiving dinner.

Do you mean that Warren might attack Buffy while she was recovering at the hospital? Similar to Mayor Wilkins?
 
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WillowFromBuffy

Guest
Do you mean that Warren might attack Buffy while she was recovering at the hospital? Similar to Mayor Wilkins?
He certainly could have. He could have sent the kookaburra bomb he tried to kill Willow with.

Mostly, I just think Buffy is actually dying until Willow shows up. If Buffy was never in danger, then what's the point of all that dramatic music and filming? Xander looks scared enough. The surgeons certainly sound stressed.

It is like the eagles in Lord of the Rings. We have to assume that Aragorn and his friends would die unless they had showed up.
 

DeadlyDuo

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In The Freshman Sunday probably broke Buffy's arm but it healed by her next fight with her.
I think Sunday only dislocated Buffy's arm rather than broke it. Buffy was in pain and not using it but when Sunday yanked it, I think it popped back into place hence why Buffy was suddenly able to use it and said "the arm's hurt, not broken."
 
NeonSlayer
NeonSlayer
Somehow dislocated didn't occur to me but it definitely makes the most sense. It explains why it took a day longer to heal, it needed to be popped back into place.

Dora

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Why are you so sure Buffy would've died from the gunshot wound? Tara died instantly. Buffy survived Xander calling 911, the ambulance driving there & to the hospital, and getting wheeled into an OR.

She flatlined because Willow's magic was affecting the electricity in the area and she ordered the doctors out mid surgery.

Being a Slayer kept her alive long enough to get to the hospital. As soon as they removed the bullet, her accelerated healing would've been working on any damage.

In Fool for Love she was impaled in the stomach with a stake but the next night mimicked the Nikki Wood fight. In Bring on the Night she was beat until she had internal bleeding but was completely healed within days. In Chosen she was run through with a sword, hand in flames, and kept fighting & jumped from rooftop to rooftop onto a speeding bus. In The Core she was impaled through the shoulder with the stake side of the Scythe, lifted off the ground with it, tossed 20 feet, survived an explosion, then killed a Turak-han Slayer and climbed out of a crater.
I think Buffy would have died in hospital if not for Willow they had no idea what they were doing they were about to operate while Buffy was fully clothed no doubt she would have got an infection
 
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WillowFromBuffy

Guest
I think Buffy would have died in hospital if not for Willow they had no idea what they were doing they were about to operate while Buffy was fully clothed no doubt she would have got an infection
I am not an expert, but I assume hygiene is a secondary concern when someone is brought in with a bullet in her chest and is minutes from cardiac arrest. They would probably cut her shirt and bra up, but Sarah does not do nudity and female chestage is sinful, so it would not fly on regular telly. Sometimes realism must be sacrificed for convenience.
 

Taake

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With Buffy dead? No, I don't see much of a happy ending. Willow isn't powerless though, maybe she could tackle the Trio, or Warren, with the help of Xander and Dawn... but without the rage over Tara it feels like she'd mostly be crippled by grief.

But I don't think that makes Dark Willow necessary in general, only necessary for said line of events. But without Dark Willow in the plan, the events would have played out differently because the writers would have no reason to go down that path. So though necessary in the current sequence, one could still argue for Dark Willow as a terrible mistake.

On a character level I think that Dark Willow was necessary though, and I think the episode when she turns dark is one of the most powerful of the series. The two subsequent episodes is where it peters out a bit for me and the truly frightening Dark Willow becomes a bit more silly and hammy (like riding on top of a truck, magicking out… it's all a bit... meh, for me... compared to the DW who just flayed Warren alive. There's too much stalling basically, because they don't want her to kill more people.)
 
W

WillowFromBuffy

Guest
But I don't think that makes Dark Willow necessary in general, only necessary for said line of events. But without Dark Willow in the plan, the events would have played out differently because the writers would have no reason to go down that path. So though necessary in the current sequence, one could still argue for Dark Willow as a terrible mistake.
I didn't mean to suggest that the writers had written themselves into a corner, because they had clearly been setting this up for a long time. I am more interested in the choice Willow makes when she goes to the Magic Box to consume those books.

In Bargaining, we see the Scoobies operate more or less as usual, but at the end of Seeing Red, the Scoobies are effectively destroyed unless Buffy survives and even if she does, Warren still has a gun and an arsenal of deadly gadgets. In Becoming and Graduation Day pt 1, we give Buffy a pass, because we understand that her choices are preferable to the options. I am just trying to make the same case for Willow :p Saving Buffy and stopping Warren both requires a lot of power, so I think she has to go dark or go home. I mean, Warren throws bombs at her and cuts her with an axe, and he has a WarrenBot.
like riding on top of a truck,
I enjoy that scene, but they should have found a way to make the stand-off in the Magic Box flow better.
 

Ethan Reigns

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The whole idea of drama is to be dramatic. Seeing the former scoobies remain stoic or breaking down after Buffy dies is not really drama the way I would want to watch. But seeing Willow turn into a Big Bad, a monster we never dreamed she could have become at the beginning of the show, is real entertainment. We have a "will she or won't she" situation with Warren and I find his termination to be quite satisfying. Plus, there has to be away to get Willow back into the fold of humanity and who better but the much maligned Xander, her friend from kindergarten until forever?

This is drama writing at its best and that doesn't happen by mistake. Willow is the only person who we see gaining competence throughout the series and we have to see whether she has gone from mousy little schoolgirl to badass villain or from mousy little schoolgirl to ultra competent witch with full capabilities in magic. The answer here is the correct one - she follows both paths.
 

Dora

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Just a thought why didn't willow just fly after Johnathon and Andrew herself ? like she left Xander and Buffy at the bus ? . One of the things I hate is there is no comeuppance for Andrew , Johnathon died but Andrew who conspired to gang rape , was part of the murder and then murdered Johnathon got away Scot free , much better he went than Anya
 

Taake

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I didn't mean to suggest that the writers had written themselves into a corner, because they had clearly been setting this up for a long time.
I see, now this got juicier in my opinion... I'll try to gather my thoughts.

I am more interested in the choice Willow makes when she goes to the Magic Box to consume those books.

In Becoming and Graduation Day pt 1, we give Buffy a pass, because we understand that her choices are preferable to the options. I am just trying to make the same case for Willow :p
I think motivation and execution are probably why it's harder to give Willow a pass.

Now, clearly she is motivated by grief and revenge, Buffy is also motivated by revenge when she tries to kill Faith, but the key difference is Buffy being willing to compromise herself by committing one terrible act, while Willow is willing to lose total control in order to achieve her end. Her choice isn't to do an evil thing, but to become evil. One could argue of course that if Buffy had killed Faith she would've become a different Buffy too, perhaps a more evil Buffy, or at least demonstrated a capacity for evil not seen in her before… but I think Willow's choice is still different because I see it as Willow giving up on Willow. When she consumes those book she has no exit strategy and she doesn't care, not because she's cold hearted but (this sounds a bit melodramatic) because at that point she probably felt like Willow didn't matter anymore, didn't exist anymore, not without Tara. So she gives herself over to these powers she knows she may not be able to handle, and damn the consequences. That recklessness is, I think, something that makes her harder to feel with in this situation, as compared to Buffy in previous ones.

Saving Buffy and stopping Warren both requires a lot of power, so I think she has to go dark or go home. I mean, Warren throws bombs at her and cuts her with an axe, and he has a WarrenBot.
He's still just a human being though, it turns out that she needs power to defeat him (though regular non-grief Willow could probably have deduced there'd be a Warrenbot and wouldn't have had to waste time looking for him) but I'm still not sure that the dark powers were a necessity. Even if Buffy died… she could've called Giles. She could have consulted with Anya. Figured out what kind of powers she'd need to wield or absorb in order to defeat Warren (and not necessarily kill him).

Warren wasn't the Mayor or Angelus sucking the town into hell. The urgency to deal with Warren was only in relation to the shooting of Buffy and Tara, not a grander event. So Willow wasn't desperate for power at that exact time except for revenge purposes. I think Buffy, eg. trying to kill Faith gets more of a pass too because she is actively trying to save someone, so time is of the essence. Obviously, Dark Willow saves Buffy, and Willow goes to consume the books with this in mind, so you could argue that time is of the essence for her as well. But from Willow's perspective - had she any idea how badly Buffy was hurt? Not really. She pretty much walks past the scene, gets an idea what happened, and assumes it is really Life-or-Death urgent, no doctors can save her? That Willow powerboosting is the ONLY option? I'm not so sure...

As seen in this thread, though it is logical in the narrative that Willow has to save Buffy from this… it's not entirely clear for the audience. It doesn't feel as dire as someone dying from a mystical poison and no medical help can do anything… With Buffy's super healing combined with medical expertise, it appears as though maybe Willow is just speeding up the process, saving Buffy faster than doctors can. But it's not 100% clear that Buffy would have died with out her interference.


Also, she does save Buffy, but she almost appears to do it as an after thought, because her main goal and motivation seems consistently to be Warren's immediate destruction, for selfish (understandable) reasons. But going dark is, in this light, definitely a terrible mistake because she abandons herself to a single cause at any cost, making a unilateral choice to deal with a situation as she sees it, but then leaves the others to clean up her mess. Was stopping Warren worth almost ending the world? Was saving Buffy worth almost ending the world?

The only thing I could argue makes Dark Willow necessary is saving Buffy, but again I don't think the show did a good enough job showing that Buffy would definitely have died without her. They should've made it not just probable but certain. But even if they had, it'd still be muddled up with the fact that Willow mostly seems to save Buffy so she can help stop Warren. When she does not, Dark Willow turns on her. So it's all mired in this very personal vendetta.

The vendetta makes sense, but as for the choice to consume those books, I think the character of Willow makes a terrible mistake fueled purely by hate. I think even if there were options she was not willing to see them at this point. That's probably why it's harder to give her a pass, she's acting only from self-interest and without reflection, and I think it is harder to forgive her for it because she's the rational one, the smart one, so the viewer knows that she has the ability to stop and think, should she want to.

Does that make any sense or am I just rambling at this point?
 
W

WillowFromBuffy

Guest
She could have consulted with Anya.
I am not sure Anya would have helped her. Of course, Willow does not know this, so it did not influence her choice, but Anya works for the bad guys now. She reluctantly helps the Scoobies with Dark Willow, but in S7, she is bitter and quite unwilling to associate with them.
The urgency to deal with Warren was only in relation to the shooting of Buffy and Tara, not a grander event.
In Bargaining, Willow uses the BuffyBot to keep Buffy's death secret. We learn why, when an entire gang of demons overrun Sunnydale after they learn of Buffy's death. Warren's first act after shooting Buffy is to spread words of his deed to the demon community, but they have just heard a girl has been brought to hospital after a shooting, so they decide to wait it out. If Buffy had died, Sunnydale would likely be overrun again.
But even if they had, it'd still be muddled up with the fact that Willow mostly seems to save Buffy so she can help stop Warren.
Clearly, Willow does not need Xander nor Buffy to kill Warren, because she is nigh invisible and moves faster on her own. Willow takes a detour on her vendetta to pick up her friends and save Buffy.
 

Taake

Something Wicked This Way Comes
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In Bargaining, Willow uses the BuffyBot to keep Buffy's death secret. We learn why, when an entire gang of demons overrun Sunnydale after they learn of Buffy's death. Warren's first act after shooting Buffy is to spread words of his deed to the demon community, but they have just heard a girl has been brought to hospital after a shooting, so they decide to wait it out. If Buffy had died, Sunnydale would likely be overrun again.
I have such a hard time buying this at any point in this season. Why wasn't Sunnydale a hellhole when she arrived if no Slayer = overrun with demons. That whole thing is one of the dumbest things they've done in my opinion, it's such a ramshackle attempt at forcing some dire needs for the others to think they have to resurrect Buffy. I don't buy that it would've been overrun with demons. And I don't think the possibility of it much affected Willow's decision making process.

I am not sure Anya would have helped her. Of course, Willow does not know this, so it did not influence her choice, but Anya works for the bad guys now. She reluctantly helps the Scoobies with Dark Willow, but in S7, she is bitter and quite unwilling to associate with them.
With Buffy out of comission and Tara gone, I'm not so sure Anya wouldn't have been willing to help hinder the Trio at least.

Clearly, Willow does not need Xander nor Buffy to kill Warren, because she is nigh invisible and moves faster on her own. Willow takes a detour on her vendetta to pick up her friends and save Buffy.
So yes, then it's a terrible mistake and not a necessity in my eyes because the good she did is only a detour to a self-serving end.
 
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Dora
I always thought the heart monitor stopped working because of Willow and they had not started on Buffy as yet as she was still dressed...Never thought there if there was a problem why was Buffy not be given blood?
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WillowFromBuffy

Guest
I have such a hard time buying this at any point in this season. Why wasn't Sunnydale a hellhole when she arrived if no Slayer = overrun with demons. That whole thing is one of the dumbest things they've done in my opinion, it's such a ramshackle attempt at forcing some dire needs for the others to think they have to resurrect Buffy. I don't buy that it would've been overrun with demons. And I don't think the possibility of it much affected Willow's decision making process.
Well, this is the very obvious flaw in the show's main premise. It is mentioned in The Prom that Buffy made sure class of 99 has the lowest mortality rate in Sunnydale history, but the situation before Buffy arrives is nothing like what we see in The Wish and Bargaining.

We just have to accept that after Buffy became the slayer it became extremely important to have a slayer permanently stationed in that exact town, because of a Hellmouth that has probably been there forever. What is a Hellmouth and what does it do? Who knows?
 
DeadlyDuo
DeadlyDuo
The Wish was more about if Buffy hadn't been there to stop the Harvest rather than generally what would happen without a slayer.

Ethan Reigns

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Anya had gone back to being the avenger of wronged women. By then, she would have known from Buffy that the Trio had attempted to rape Katrina and had killed her, so there is every reason to believe Anya would have worked hand-in-glove with Willow to avenge Katrina even if it was not to avenge Buffy or Tara. We see that Warren can easily outwit the law - after all, the only witnesses to his crimes with Katrina are dead or complicit and he has the Warrenbot to give him an alibi that he was in some other place for any other crimes he commits or to serve his time for any legal penalties. At this point, Warren had gone dark and needed another dark force to oppose him. This made Dark Willow a necessity - no one else was willing to do what needed to be done and since he could outwit the cops (even Snyder had said that they were deeply stupid), some form of vigilante justice was going to be necessary.

I like the Dark Willow trilogy. It makes sense for it to be in the story. You don't get bored watching it.
 
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Dora
Anya was asked why she was not helping Willow and replied that if Willow asked her she would but, Willow wanted to do it herself
W

WillowFromBuffy

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@DeadlyDuo After the Harvest comes the Ascension comes Adam comes the time Glory will unravel the multiverse.
 
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