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The Dark Wes Turn

AnthonyCordova

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Sineya
Just because I'm curious, I was wondering if there was anything like a consensus among the fans on when Wes turns into "dark Wes". Is there a particular episode that you feel marks the threshold for dark Wes? Trying to isolate the exact point seems kind of tricky to me. When the question first occurred to me I took it for granted that dark Wes officially happens right after he gets out of the hospital after having lost Connor. But is it that simple? Also, while thinking about it I also feel like you can point to more than one event actually, depending on how you want to define dark Wes. In other words, I think a possible case could be made for marking out Wes' progression in terms of stages. From this perspective, the first point/stage might begin as early as the end of Five by Five. Or maybe another stage in the evolution can be marked around the time after Angel left A.I. and Wes took the leadership role for the team?

So what do you think? Is the answer straightforward for you, or is it more complicated than that? Stages toward Dark Wes? Or a clean, sharp shift from one to the other?
 

AnthonyCordova

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Sineya
I guess another issue is the actual literal definition of dark Wes. The standard direction of thinking on the topic (from what I can see) is that most people mean by dark Wes the cynical, world-weary version of him, wherever that begins. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe there are people out there who think of Wes having lost all of his naivete as dark Wes, or at least the beginning of the dark turn. Anyway, so there is this point in the matter too.
 

Bluebird

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Black Thorn
When it's revealed by the movement of the camera that Wes has just had sex with Lilah, and he's sleeping with the enemy, that's a bit of a turning point for me. But there is no one moment that pushes him over the edge.
 

thetopher

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Is there a particular episode that you feel marks the threshold for dark Wes?
Oddly enough, 'The Price' is the episode that springs to mind. When Gunn comes to visit Wesley for help Fred they have an argument and we get Wes' perspective for the first time since he had his throat slashed.
Angel tried to kill him, Fred chastised him, informed him the prophecy was a fake and told him never to come back to the hotel and Cordelia seems content to forget Wesley ever existed.
Gunn's reaction is telling, he doesn't really respond with a counter-argument of his own, he just leaves. Wesley is now truly cut off, no more friends. So a combination of loneliness, bitterness and pride/inability to admit that he was wrong leads him down a darker path.

I also get the sense that Wesley felt that he did all he could do- from his perspective- and was unjustly punished for it, like it was almost cosmic. And that kinda thinking can effect the way we view right and wrong, good and evil. Wesley was motivated to do something bad for noble reasons, to betray a friend and possibly save him from himself; he knew that he would pay a price. But he also thought he was doing all of that for a reason. Turns out he wasn't.
The revelation that it was all a lie was probably the bitterest part to swallow, far worse than Angel trying to kill him I think, since Wesley must've been aware of the possibility of Angel being furious with his actions and that those actions would doom a friendship.

That could also be why Wesley's world view shifts again after 'Apocalypse Nowish' and The Beast/the rain of fire. A truly terrible and destructive evil has invaded and everyone good has to pull together; in the bigger picture Wesley still chooses a side and makes a stand.

I do think Dark Wes is gradual and actually diminishes greatly in S5, but becomes resurgent again after Fred's death. Or maybe late S5 is Wesley at his bleakest. Yeah, 'Bleak Wes' should be a thing separate from 'Dark Wes', at least that guy knew what he was fighting for.
 

Puppet

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For me, the Dark Wesley turn speaks of the moment when I felt like he was too far gone to ever get back to where he was (which may have been true, if not for the erase-Connor memory spell). As you said, it's gradual, but the moment that clinched it for me, was Deep Down; sleeping with the enemy and keeping slave girl in the closet was when I thought that there may not be a way back for him :)
 
W

WillowFromBuffy

Guest
I think it is the same with Wes as with any other character. Dark Wes was always there and good Wes never went away. It's been a constant tension ever since BtVS.
 
AnthonyCordova
AnthonyCordova
Interesting pov

Altoz

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I would have made him darker still. He forms a relationship with Dru and ultimately, after he's caught in a crossfire after taking one too many risks, she returns and turns him. Imagine him as a vampire...
 
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