Splitting your soul is not necessarily healthy and it does have serious repercussions, as Willow is soon learning. Can her inherent goodness overcome the darkness that lurks inside? We shall soon find out!
Note: This recap may contain spoilers!
As we start the issue, it’s clear that Willow’s not doing too good since the soul tie spell. She’s tired all the time and can’t be bothered by anything. It’s like she’s disconnected from the world around her and there’s no help in sight. While Giles keeps trying to reassure her it’s normal, she knows it’s not. Xander seems to have recovered well. Why can’t she?
When she does finally get some relief and falls asleep, it’s only to awaken in a dream world turned nightmare. Her hair is streaked black, everything’s backwards, and she sees an image of Dark!Willow in her bedroom doorway, urging her on. This cannot end well for her. And then Dark!Willow explains that the dark and light sides of her personality are intertwined. Which did she give Xander?
The nightmare continues as she sees a dark image of Xander. He tells Willow that she didn’t do enough for him, then shows her his gravestone. The old Xander is dead, but who is the new one? And what has become of Willow as a result? While Willow tries to reassure herself that her life is good, that she doesn’t need her dark side, the doubts remain.
We get a culmination of the nightmare as a final confrontation takes place. Willow sees torturous images of monsters and fire before Dark!Willow stabs her in the stomach. Willow keeps telling herself that she doesn’t know what else she could have done to save Xander, to protect the world. But she cannot let the darkness defeat her, despite her doubts, and Willow manages to rise up and stab Dark!Willow in the back. She refuses to give herself up to anyone.
Back in the land of consciousness, Willow recounts her nightmare to Xander the next day. She hasn’t shared the information with Giles yet, and Xander agrees that it would likely spook him. But despite what she saw and what she’s feeling, it doesn’t change the fact that she’s a good person and will come out of this okay.
Willow wants reassurance that Xander is okay as well, happy and back to the way he was before. While he cannot give her that reassurance, because he is indeed noticeably changed, he does know he’s lucky to have his friends and be alive. Being a half-human / half-vampire is better than the alternative, so they will all have to readjust to their new normal. And we end the issue with that sort of hopefulness. Willow and Xander seem to be okay. Let’s see if they can continue on with that when the next threat comes along.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars