January 12 2010

Buffy Season 8: Willow One-Shot


Characters Seen:

Yes, I know I’m very late with this, but I have been insanely busy, and since it wasn’t a normal issue I figured I would get to it when I could.

Well, and since it wasn’t a normal issue, I’m also going to not be quite as detailed as I normally am on the main series issues.

Since Season 8 took off, we’ve gotten some hints about Willow having some sort of relationship with a female snake demon, Aluwyn, but we’ve gotten no real details on what exactly happened, or how it came about.  In this one-shot special we see Willow telling Kennedy that she has to go off some special training that all real witches go and do, but she had missed out on doing it at that time she should have because she was busy being busy with the Scoobies.  Kennedy feels she doesn’t need to go, but Willow finally tells here there isn’t a choice.

As Willow is descending into the mystical realm, she is taken aback as her guide meets her in what looks to be a train station … with kids in robes … getting on a train … yeah, they never call it by name, but Willow is horrified by how derivative kids have become.  Her guide agrees and takes into a field of flowers which leads to an interestign conversation about just how big of a “dyke” Willow really is.  (Joss said it folks, not me)

The first guide introduces her to Aluwyn who says that she will take Willow the rest of the way through the mystical realm, and Willow doesn’t take much time to decide she would rather have her original, wheel chair bound, guide back, but she follows Aluwyn any way.

The two of them immediately run into a giant black knight who says that Willow may not follow the path because she is tainted.  Aluwyn tells him that there is nothing that says the path is only for the righteous.  Aluwyn says this is all because the knight is angry with her for a love spell she once cast on him and tells him this will be a fight to the death … which Willow isn’t thrilled with and she gets wrapped up in something that makes her speak only in song titles while she fights the Knight.  Willow finally blows his armor part, much to Aluwyn’s amazement.

They move on next to a sea where Aluwyn tells her that Willow needs to take a sea journey and … Willow says enough.  Both guides I had mentioned in passing that she needed to get beneath the surface of things, and suddenly she has realized that beneath the surface means realizing that Aluwyn is not her actual guide, and none of this is real.

… the world peals away and she and Aluwyn are surrounded by giant entities that appear to be all sorts of Goddesses.  All of them are impressed with how fast Willow figured things out, and angry with Aluryn for misleading Willow for her own entertainment.  The Goddesses tell Aluryn to leave and to leave Willow alone.

She slithers off and Willow asks them who her guide is, and they say while there are many guides along the path to wisdom, it is obvious she has one in mind … and we see Tara standing in a sunlit field.  Willow sheds a tear, but she finally waves her hand and says “No.”  Tara disappears and the Goddesses question why she would wave her off since that is what she wished for.  Willow says she had hoped, but knew it was a lie.

I said I wanted to understand my power — and I do.  But under that, I wanted to know my fate.  Darkness?  enlightenment?  Was I a good witch, or a bad witch?  I feel the pull of each.  That was my secret motive … But it’s not.  Under the under, I just wanted her.  She was my light.  She was my order.  She was my journey.  Completed.

But either she’s an illusion … or Tara is at peace.  And either way, no thanks.

One of the Goddesses starts crying, which annoys one of the others, but they are all touched, but Willow must still choose a guide for her journey.  Willow says she has someone in mind…

We see Aluwyn by a river bank complaining to the wheel chair guide, the black knight a huge fly (that was delayed from helping win over Willow due to a fight with a giant leaf blower) about how they all kept her from aligning with the most powerful witch of her age.

Willow pops up out of the river … naked … and says it’s cold, to which Aluwyn replies she can see  that (you get the idea).  Willow says, “They say you’re no good.  That you run in circles, the snake that eats its tail.  I’ve got a bit of a rep myself.”  After a brief exchange Willow says she chooses the trickster to guide her, and they come to an agreement that Aluwyn will be her guide … all Willow wants to know is where they start.

Overall an interesting interlude from season 8, and nice to see some back story on this character that keeps popping up, but one thing that bugs me is that it has been all but bluntly said that Willow had sex with Aluwyn at some point which means she cheated on Kennedy.  Seems kind of un-Willow like to me.  I hadn’t really thought about it before at some point Willow had told Buffy that Kennedy died for a bit, and I figured it had been in that time period, but nope, looks like it was while Kennedy was alive.  Weird.

Anyway, not an essential part of the season 8 story by any means, but interesting to see.

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Buffy Season 8, Vol. 1 Buffy Season 8, Vol. 2 Buffy Season 8, Vol. 3
Includes Issues #1 – #5 Includes Issues #6 – #10 Includes Issues #11 – #15
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Buffy Season 8, Vol. 4 Buffy Season 8, Vol. 5 Buffy Season 8, Vol. 6
Includes Issues #16 – #20 Includes Issues #21 – #25 Includes Issues #26 – #30
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