We are in the final showdown between Willow and Aelara. Can Willow escape Abhainn and get back to her friends in Sunnydale? Or will Aelara’s hold on her be too strong? The limited series concludes in this issue.
Note: This recap may contain spoilers!
So, we pick up immediately from the last issue, with Aelara and her followers in the woods squaring off against Willow. The young witch just wants to leave town and get back home, but Aelara’s not giving her a choice. She must stay, it is the way of the witches. Too bad Willow doesn’t do well with orders such as this. Instead, she lets loose a taste of her real power and unleashes a massive burst through the ground, scaring the wolves and making her true self known.
With the distraction laid, Willow starts running through the woods in hopes of escaping, but Aelara uses her own abilities to control the tree roots and snag her. Thankfully, Willow’s power is just getting started as she bursts out of her confines and her anger rages on. They cannot keep her here, they cannot contain her. And she is a witch unlike they have ever seen before, but Aelara points out that Willow still has a lot to learn. If she will just stay, they can craft her power and make her reach her fullest potential. Sounds enticing, but Willow’s not on board.
Both Aelara and Willow are strong. As they both let loose their powers, it’s almost at a standstill because neither can overtake the other. However, Willow’s got one more trick up her sleeve. Or, rather, she’s got help from the other side. After she calls out for help, Willow sees an image of Xander. The young witch wishes her friend were there for real, but perhaps he is. Xander says he’s been sending Willow messages about the lack of birds, an indication that Abhainn was a trap all along. And now he’s helped them break through the barrier of protection surrounding the town, sending the birds as reinforcement to help Willow fight Aelara.
With Aelara neutralized, we begin a journey of explanation as to Aelara’s mindset and why it was misguided. Aelara always knew who Willow was, that she would come, and she hoped their combined force could fight what’s on the horizon. Aelara doesn’t understand why any witch would want to turn away from Abhainn, which offers protection from the dangers of the outside world. And Willow understands why Aelara might see it this way. She, too, felt safe in Abhainn, but the reason she and others are trying to escape is because Aelara made it a choice of staying there forever or trying to escape. She was trying to take away their free will and make it an order.
Willow relates the situation of her friends back in Sunnydale. They needed her, but they let Willow walk away because she needed to go. It’s about choice and letting others have free will. And now Willow needs to go back there. She promises she will return if they ever need her. It’s the freedom to go and also the freedom to return. And Aelara lets her go, sending her off with a book to help Willow in the journey she’s taking now. Thus concludes Willow’s adventure in Abhainn. Now it’s back to Sunnydale and back to the fight. Hope she’s strong enough to face what’s to come.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars