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April 24 2006

Those top ten TV season ending cliffhangers. Buffy's "Becoming Part 2" gets included alongside Dallas, West Wing and Twin Peaks in this article about shows that left viewers in a "summer full of anticipation" with their cliffhangers. Stay away if you haven't yet seen the Battlestar Galactica season 2 finale.

I dunno, I kinda think Buffy dying was more of a "cliffhanger" moment in a where do we go from here kind of way. At least, as close to a cliffhanger as Buffy got - I wonder, was the writer right about Joss' reason for not going the cliffhanger route?
I always liked the season-enders on BtVS b/c they were open-ended and decidedly not cliff-hangers. After a while, it seemed as though every show was doing them, and truthfully, I think suspense is one of the cheaper ways to get people watching. The payoff rarely matches the excitement of the set-up.
Tammy: I think the writer was spot-on with why Joss didn't write cliffhangers. Buffy season 1 was a shortened, half-season. There was no guarantee it was going to be picked up in the fall. When it was picked up in the fall, it was only picked up for, you guessed it, a half-season. So, if you watch season 2 critically, you can see the halfway point, and how the series would have ended if the show had not been picked up again. Joss wrote self-contained arcs that would have been felt like closure, without a full *stop* ending.

I like cliffhangers, but the resolution always seems... not to meet expectations. I expect I'm showing my age, but does anyone else remember "Dynasty's" carnage at somebody's wedding somewhere in Europe? Gunmen annihilate the entire cast... the season ends with everyone bleeding on the ground. Next season? I guess they were only flesh wounds.

And now, to show my cheesiness, one of the more fun ones in recent years was the Ben/Noel question on S1 Felicity. Damn JJ made us wait through the entire episode to find out what happened! Poor Felicity. I'd have picked Noel every. Single. Time.
Tammy, I believe Joss has said in a number of interviews that he prefers to wrap at least the main arc up at the end of each season, so that each season ender could also potentially be the series ender, should it not be continued (feel free to correct me if I'm mis-paraphrasing you, Mr. W). Obviously, minor threads are left dangling which often grow into major threads down the road, etc., but I've always appreciated having a strong resolution to go out on, so you get your catharsis, and you get to have your whole story. Makes for a nicer summer, really.

That said, I really did enjoy the little cliffhanger at the end of Veronica Mars' first season. I won't go into it further than that, lest I spoil anyone. But I thought it was a beautiful question mark to toss up there for the summer.
Becoming was incredible! I like the second part so much more then the first. To me the best of all of Buffy's season enders.

I will refrain judgement on BSG until I see how they get out this mess. But first thought is wow and yikes, mixed with I am not sure.

I also think last years Alias should be up there for the best what the hell moment!

[ edited by Zip-Ity-Do-Da on 2006-04-24 15:18 ]
XanFan32, I remember that Dynasty ending or at least reading about it when it happened which places me in the same age demographic. Anyone else remember the Chicago Hope season ender, with the hospital bankrupt and on the point of being bought by Christine Lahti's character's evil ex-husband, one doctor shot by his evil brother-in-law and bleeding to death in a parking lot, two other doctors without any warning running off to work in Africa and Christine Lahti having just lost custody of her daughter to aforementioned evil husband, taking the girl and running off to Australia one step ahead of the police? And then next season...everyone's home and except for a few bandages on the previously bleeding to death doctor, okay. Talk about cliffhanger letdown.
Regarding the season 5 finale, once people knew there was a sixth season they kinda guessed Buffy would be coming back from the dead.

However, with Becoming part 2 it was like "holy f***ing s**t, she killed Angel, she's left Sunnydale!!". Much more of an emotional impact and left me wanting to know how this would be resolved in season 3.
I remember looking at the clock going "We are running out of time here.... Save him, Do something.. Hurry.....". Much like my shock over him turning bad it not being settle in those two eps.

Plus that song gets you everytime!

Star Trek:TNG Had some great cliffhangers But ALL of their season openers let you down.
zip-ity, i agree... and then the last part with angel was heart-wrenching and the song....

whenever i hear "full of grace", i can't help but to be reminded of that episode.... it's one of my all-time favorites

[ edited by obscuredemerald on 2006-04-24 16:36 ]
Zip, it seems like we should do a list of great season openers after cliffhangers since those seem to be the more difficult thing to do.

I thought the Angel season 4 opener did an excellent job with the season 3 cliff hanger (and there was even a real cliff in it).

BSG 2 did an excellent job with the Adama being shot cliff hanger. Any others?
I think Buffy's season 6 finale with Spike getting his soul was a big cliffhanger too. I remember a lot of speculation about how he was going to act in the next season.
"Becoming" is one of the series' finest moments, there's no doubt about that. But okay, has anyone here seen the Smallville S2 finale? It involves Clark getting all angsty, saving the world again, and doing something that he doesn't want to do...then, yes, leaving Smallville...WITH THE EXACT SAME SHOT AS BUFFY HAD WHEN BUFFY LEFT SUNNYDALE.

Now, that show has ripped a fair deal from a number of genre shows--and I'm not talking about taking inspiration, as Joss, Quentin Tarantino, and J.K. Rowling do, I mean actual rip-offs--and especially Buffy, but that was a bit much, and sort of pissed me off. I mean, it's a bad show, yes, but that was just going above and beyond being rippy-offy.

Anyway, back to season cliffhangers...

I was surprised not to find the Lost episode "Exodus" on the list. That left me pretty much breathless.
Oh how I could I forget the season 6 finale ending? I was unspoiled for it and I was shouting "NNNNOOOOOOOOOOO" at the tv. I did not see that coming.
Simon: I, too, was completely unspoiled for that. I believe I also had a good "noooooo" going. (Or was it: "Holy Crud, what just happened? Rewind, Rewind!!") But then, I felt that way after a lot of Joe Sweden's season-enders. Or just episodes in general.

But as for decent followups to a cliffhanger? That's a toughie. The Lost S2 opener was fun. We were given a very literal answer to the question... that of course, being Lost, led to only more questions. None of which we have answers to, FYI. I think part of the problem with a good season-ender cliffhanger is you have all summer (or hiatus) to worry about how it will resolve. A decent two-parter in the middle of a season is so much better, IMO, because it's resolved quickly. You don't have months to obsess.

Not that I obsess or anything!
The Worst Abuse of a Cliffhanger award has to go the British sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf. The series itself ended on a huge cliffhanger, and I think a couple of the seasons before that also ended on cliffhangers, which weren't really resolved in the season openers - they just picked up again back at status quo with little or no explanation. Pure evil :-)
Simon ans XanFan32, I am right there with you. I even remember noting seeing Amber's name in the opening credits, thinking, "I guess she's going to be around permanently..." I should've guessed. My single favorite moment in the series is seeing Giles open that door. I lept to my feet and started cheering. I'd forgotten how much I missed him, and I knew Giles would fix everything. I was almost right. Then I thought they were going to kill him, too. Great television.

The most open-ended of the season enders in the Buffyverse was the Angel season 3 ender. Angel trapped, descending into the ocean, Cordelia, glowy and ascending. That was a long summer.
As far as great season openers to follow cliffhangers, I thought Lost's S2 opener was actually better than the S1 finale. The West Wing's opener after WKoDHIB (mentioned in the article) is really great (with the limo 180, the flashbacks, "What's next?", etc.).

On the Buffy side, I don't see The Gift as a cliffhanger so much. Many (including myself) have said it would have been a great series finale ("series" in the American sense, meaning the whole run of the show). I mean, it the series was a novel, "She saved the world, a lot." would have been a fantastic last line. It only had open questions once you knew that the series was coming back, and you wondered how they'd do it.
Well, there's the ongoing cliff hanger at the end of Angel season #5...what did happen in that alley?? Seems to me having Buffy dead and buried at the end of season #5 made for a rather long summer as well!
I think Joss did a great job with the endings of all the seasons of Buffy. They would have been satisfying series enders.

Maybe with the exception of Season 6. The soul thing was HUGE, we didn't even know whether he meant to get it so it was a big mystery. Unfortunately Season 7 was a real let down as far as dealing with the soul. Not so huge.

I just watched Becoming 1 and 2 yesterday. What great episodes!
Buffy angst, evil Angelus, beautiful Spike, all the gang doing their thing, I was shocked that Angelus was sent to hell but it didn't feel like a cliffhanger to me because I just assumed that it was over for him. It never occured to me that he would be coming back.

Angel Season three was the one true cliffhanger. That would have been and awful ending for the series.
I think the *worst* cliffhanger was the end of season 5 of Angel - and yes, it WAS a cliffhanger. But as to the emotional devastation, I have to go with Becoming II. I was floored. And like others, I still can't listen to "Full of Grace" without remembering Becoming - and I still cry every time too.

No wonder Joss had that little "grr argh" demon saying, "I think I need a hug!" - I know I felt that way after the episode - as I sat there a broken, sobbing mess. I never thought Buffy (and Willow) would be unable to save Angel. But I also never saw it being Angel that got sent to hell. Angelus, yes, but Angel? Gah!
When I first saw it I thought Becoming Part 2 was the most amazing television episode ever. I didn't knew if the series would come back at the time,I didn't really knew the internet back then, all the plots seemed wrapped up, it didn't came back a week later, and the tvguide said finale, so I was very afraid it was the end. I had to find out if there would be more, found the whole community and everything, well, it was a special moment.

While it left me craving to find out what would happen, I wouldn't call Becomming p.2 a cliffhanger though. It wrapped up the ongoing plots and I think it would actually have been a better end to the series than the gift would have been, though I would ofcource hate it if the series had ended so soon.

The Angel 3rd season finale I guess is the only season ender I see as a real cliffhanger. And I'm glad thats the only one, cause season 4 is by far my least favourite Whedon season, and I think that's partly because of the plot choices at the end of the 3rd season.

[ edited by the Groosalugg on 2006-04-24 19:46 ]
love4ba: I had a lot of trouble with the Angel series finale. I was very angry about it. Not quite as angry as the end-of-Serenity folks were angry, but I was hurt. It took quite a bit of talking down from friends and loved ones before I was okay about it.

I love the Becoming II end. I mean, I love it because it's so damn emotional. I still get teary how many years (and re-watchings?) later. I'm in the beginning of S2 with my daughter (she's 12 now. I'm so excited to be watching with her. S2 has some great lessons: Don't go to frat parties. Don't sleep with your boyfriend. I like this season*g*)
I think the cliffhanger with Spike getting a soul, made me more annoyed than curious. But for me, that had more to do with the execution of it. The three lame fights and what Spike said before he left Sunnydale did not add up to getting a soul back. It seemed to easy. And the let down was that IT was too easy, and that none of the questions about the soul were ever really answered. Too many questions such as why was he in the basement, was this all the First's plan from the beginning, how if crazy did he know to come to Sunnydale or how to get back, why was he suddenly not crazy....way too many.

Becoming, I never had any questions, except why would would Cordy wear that ugly yellow dress and did Giles see her when he seemed to pause for a moment and look straight at her?

I dislike Angel's finale only on the principle that it felt more like a suicide mission and a selfish need to get one shot in. The lead up was too rushed and it made everything that happend feel rushed and un-Angel like. It felt like IMO, that he forgot about never giving up and that redemption is never done. Sure he was fighting the big bad, but if they also had an office in Rome and the fact that there was only going to be four of them (really three since we all know Gunn was going to die) against an army, it felt more like dying. If the army got past it would destroy L.A and move on. Angel did not do a back-up call to Buffy for a secondary line (unless we will find out about that in the new comic) so more people would die then be saved and the only difference would be they finally got rid of Angel. In the end it felt more like he played right into the bad guys' trap.

I loved Angel's season 1 ending and 2 beginning. The power walk in the gym was hysterical and cool.

[ edited by SoddingNancyTribe on 2006-04-25 01:56 ]
I think it all depends on how you define "cliffhanger." For me, a TV show cliffhanger is a series or season finale that poses but refuses to answer an obvious question that is absolutely necessary to close out a storyline. By that definition, Buffy had but one cliffhanger -- the end of S6 (Spike has a soul?! Now what?). Becoming Part II was not a cliffhanger. Nor was The Gift. As stories, they left no questions unanswered.

A close cousin to the cliffhanger is the "ambiguous ending." An ambiguous ending does not decisively close a storyline. Instead, the story is left open to interpretation, with lots of information for the viewers to decide for themselves how to close it. The series finale to Angel is a perfect example. The series finale to Buffy is another. Neither story tells us for sure what happens next, but we have enough information to answer that question for ourselves.
I think both Buffy and Angel had some terrific season ending episodes. I think they were generally either cliffhangers or pretty satisfactory conclusions.

Seasons one, three and seven of Buffy were the kind of endings that pretty much tied up all the important plots of the season, whereas seasons two, five and six ended on really shocking cliffhangers whilst resolving a lot of other plots. Season was was more satisfactory and "neat" however Restless was so cryptic, especially the ending, that you couldn't help but feel that something big was coming up.

I think Angel generally tied its plots up for the first couple of seasons, and ended on cliffhangers after that. The news that Buffy was dead at the end of season two wasn't quite as surprising because it had already happened in Buffy, and it wasn't quite the same as something happening to one of the Angel regulars.

Personally I love the wait between episodes of a TV show, and even when I get shows on DVD I watch one episode a week, because I like to think about the last episode and speculate about what will happen next. Plus it means you don't want a whole season in a few days. I really loved season four of Angel which was constantly ending on cliffhangers and had such a huge story going on over a short space of time in the Buffyverse.

Also, I think Alias was worth mentioning too. The first season, particularly, was very focused on having every episode end with a cliffhanger, then the next episode picking up from where we left off and the rest of the episode sets up the next dramatic ending. And the first and second season finales were definitely explosive, although I personally found the third season finale really disappointing and still don't really understand what it was about. Jack was using Sydney in some kind of project? Didn't we already find out about him involving her in Project Christmas so she would be able to defend herself?
One of my favourite ever season ending cliffhangers was for the first season of a show called Earth 2. For those of you who don't remember it, think of it as Lost in space. Erm, by that I mean the show 'Lost' but with the crash survivors landing on another planet, not actually 'Lost in Space' ... aah, you know what I mean.

Unfortunately, the show was then axed and so I never got to find out what happened to Devon and the rest of the surviving colonists. Such a shame that show didn't last longer. It would have been one of the greats, I reckon.
I was so upset when the just left Devon in that sleep thingy. I was a major Alonzo/Julia fan. So you know there was another fan out there.=)
come back next time for ten shows that left you cliffhanging…forever.

Well, it's a pretty safe bet Angel's gonna be on that list.

As well as Popular and Models Inc., probably.

[ edited by Storyteller on 2006-04-24 23:40 ]
There is simply nothing better than early BTVS. Season 1-3 are brilliant and Becoming 2 was Buffy at its best.
"No friends, no weapons, no hope...what's left?"
Follow that up with a "I love you, close your eyes." and history was made. Nobody will ever top that moment of moments on television, it had it all.

Close second was "The Gift."
Angel's finale should have shown an army of slayers with the first, original, accept no substitute slayer leading the way.
Cheryl - I agree, on all points.
I think they should of had Angel Series Finale in there I still havn't had closure to that ending. : (
"Becoming" was great although I do consider that a cliffhanger.

I consider season 2,4,and 6 of Buffy as cliffhanger endings. In all three cases,Joss knew the show was going to be back the next season. Season 3 and 5 were given early renewals if I recall. UPN had picked up Buffy for two seasons so Joss knew there the show would have a season 7. In each of the cases,Joss probably felt safe in ending those three years with cliffhanger type wraps. I remember him specifically saying something along those lines somewhere in regards to,"Restless" and "Grave." In the case of seasons 1,3,and 5 you had a different situation. With season 1,nobody knew if the show would get a second season and all the episodes were filmed and completed before The WB even aired the premiere,weren't they?

In the case of "Graduation Day", everybody knew there would be a fourth season, since it also got a early pickup, but it made sense to make that have a natural bookend feel to it since it was the end of high school and the launch of Angel. It felt like a natural cut off point/end point with season 4 feeling like a new beginning as the show reinvented itself. Season 5 was originally supposed to be the last season. Joss had a five year plan and was going to end the series with Buffy's death. He kept that ending and like season 3 and GD, season 5 has a nice bookend vibe even though it was a sad end. Season 7 was pretty much planned as the last season from the start and so "Chosen" was crafted to be a series ender. 1,3,5,7 all have very natural series finale vibes IMO.

Angel though, to me anyway, has a totally different structure in the way the series ran from Buffy and all five seasons had a cliffhanger ending,in my eyes. Doing this worked fine up till NFA when the show was canceled. Season 2 got a early renewal from The WB along with season 5 of Buffy. Hard to believe that The WB ever gave Angel an early renewal isn't it? But they did so they knew the show would be back for a second season and thus introduced the shanshu and brought back Darla in the season 1 finale.

In the case of the season 2 finale, UPN was under contract to pick up Angel should The WB cancel it at any point in the two years they had Buffy. So in the case of season 3 and 4,Angel was safe for renewal. It was just a question of which network it would be on. So for season 2,ending the season with the cliffhanger of Angel learning of Buffy's death was safe to do. This is where The WB started to leave Angel's renewal to the last possible minute but the show would have a season 3 somewhere,either The WB or UPN. Same deal with the season 3 finale,"Tomorrow" and the cliffhanger there. If The WB canceled, UPN was contractually obligated to pick up Angel for season 4. I think the whole waiting to the last minute to renew was a way to make the producers and 20th Century Fox sweat some. In the case of season 5 and the end of season 4,the safety net was gone. With Buffy ending, UPN was no longer required to pick up Angel and still to this day, I believe The WB only kept Angel for season 3 and 4 so UPN couldn't pick it up and have the 2 hour Buffy/Angel block, something the then in charge UPN brass said they wanted.

I have no doubt that The WB was going to cancel Angel at the end of season 4 and the only reason they did not was because of all the demands they could order, a big one of them being bringing over Buffy characters and having guest appearances. Ever noticed how they wanted Angel completely divorced from all things Buffy as much as possible when they lost the show and prevented crossovers/guest appearances and even mentions of Buffy characters, but the minute Buffy was ending their tune changed? I seem to recall an interview with Jordan Levin in the official magazine around the time of the renewal where he admitted a major reason he renewed Angel for a fifth season was because in his mind they were getting Buffy back and the two shows were going to be folded back into one with a Buffy regular becoming a Angel regular, a Buffy re-occurring becoming an Angel re-occurring and guest appearances by other Buffy characters including the hope SMG herself would make some guest appearances.

In the case of "Home",the episode feels like more a series premiere then a season finale and in a way it was. Joss and his team had to basically re-pitch the show to The WB with,"Home" being the pilot. I understand they also shot a little 6-8 minute thing to pitch the new direction to The WB brass. "Home" was not the way the show was intended to end but the show's fate was up in the air and they had to sell the new direction to The WB executives. We didn't even know if there would be a season 5 when "Home" aired. Angel was renewed after the finale already ran on television.

In the case of season 5, "Not Fade Away" was supposed to be a season finale, not a series finale. At E!Online, for the 100th episode promotion, they had interviews with the Angel cast and Joss. Joss said he knew how season 5 was going to end and was already planning the direction of season 6. This was several weeks before the cancellation. When the cancellation came in, all Joss tweaked for the last episode was killing Wesley and having Angel signing away the shanshu. Everything else played out like it was going to including the alley battle. They did toy with also killing Gunn on-screen briefly in light of the show ending. The cliffhanger would of been resolved at the start of season 6. NFA was not supposed to be the end point of the series and was never planned to be. Unfortunately that's the way it turned out and so we are left with a cliffhanger ending to the series.

Once again, IMO.

Well, it's a pretty safe bet Angel's gonna be on that list.

As well as Popular and Models Inc., probably.

[ edited by Storyteller on 2006-04-24 23:40 ]
Storyteller | April 24, 23:39 CET

Also Lois&Clark:The New Adventures of Superman and Tru Calling.

[ETA: You might want to break the text up into more easily-digestable bites. Ta. SNT]

[ edited by SoddingNancyTribe on 2006-04-25 01:55 ]
I don't think any season of Btvs had a cliffhanger except S6. Spike's soul was a major moment not only in the development of the character but also in the evolution of the mythos of the verse.

Only Angel S3 and S5 had honest to God cliffhangers. But I also consider S5's ending not a cliffhanger in that I like how it ended. It was good for me. I didn't need to see anyone's body lying around, or for that matter dust themselves off and live on to fight another day.

I certainly didn't want or need to see an army of slayers come in and save the day. I know some people would have loved that but personally I think it would have done a massive disservice to the characters on Ats. They didn't slayer help before, why should they now. Anyhoo, they were considered the enemy now, Buffy didn't trust Angel anymore, so it wouldn't make any thematic sense for them to show up. Plus, how cheesey would that have been, I mean isn't The Cheese Man enough. ;0)
[ETA: You might want to break the text up into more easily-digestable bites. Ta. SNT]

[ edited by SoddingNancyTribe on 2006-04-25 01:55 ]

You're right,that looks better.

I didn't see season 6 as a cliffhanger for BtVS at all. In fact, had it ended there, it would have worked. Spike has a soul now, Willow is saved, Buffy and Dawn look forward to the future together where Buffy can show her the world, Giles lives.

Nothing about Spike's soul getting struck me as cliff-hangery. It would have been a fitting end that an evil soulless demon gets a soul, thus changing his path.

Cliff-hangers are Buffy leaving town and her mom and friends not knowing where she is or if she'll ever be back. Or Angel sinking to the bottom of the ocean and wondering if he'll ever be found. And certainly the end of AtS was the biggest cliffhanger. Did they live? All die? Some live and some die? Did anyone else come to help? And if not, why? Major apocalypses do tend to bring slayer force so to me, having an army of slayers would have made the ONLY sense. To not have slayers show up at the site of a major apocalyptic battle makes no sense to me what-so-ever. Why even have slayers then...that IS what they do after all.

But Spike getting a soul seems like closure to me. The end of evil Spike and beginning of new Spike. And then he's free to go on with his life just as Willow, Xander, Buffy/Dawn...

To me, that's no different than wondering how their lives did or did not go on at the end of NFA...

Oh, and as for Buffy not trusting Angel - that came from Andrew - the Storyteller and known liar. I wouldn't trust anything he says at all.

I also think it says something that they've never fought a battle as big as this one before so needing slayer help is appropriate. Just as Spike using the amulet brought by Angel. You use the resources you have available to fight evil/apocalypses.

So I can't agree that it would have been cheesy. It WOULD have been smart - instead they chose the Custer last stand/suicide mission plan.

[ edited by love4ba on 2006-04-25 03:53 ]
I don't think the fact that Angel season 5 was originally slated to end the way it did makes it a cliffhanger. If Joss et al hasn't thought it could stand on its own as an ending, they wouldn't have ended it that way - they had plenty of time to come up with something more definitive as they wanted to. Just as The Gift becomes a cliffhanger ending when you know there's another season, Not Fade Away is not a cliffhanger when you know there's not. Ambiguous or unresolved does not equal cliffhanger (nor does it equal incomplete or lacking) in my book.
I guess we will have to agree to disagree. I don't think that just because NFA was the end of the series makes it less of a cliffhanger. That is an oxymoron to me. In fact, the very definition (at least one of them) to a cliffhanger is "A melodramatic serial in which each episode ends in suspense." For the record, the second listing for cliffhanger was, "A suspenseful situation occurring at the end of a chapter, scene, or episode."

That is NFA explicitly.
Given that when Angelus got his soul it was just the beginning of his story, I can't see how Spike winning his soul back means that it's the end of his. *shrugs*

Some may not trust Andrew, but I trust the narrative and that clearly indicated that Angel and his crew were not trusted by Buffy and the new Council of Watchers. I mean if it wasn't true then just how thoughtless was it of them not to help Fred, you know if they trusted them. Surely they'd help people they trusted.

Slayers showing up at that battle, a battle they didn't know was happening I might add, to help people they no longer trusted would make, imo, no sense whatsoever.
I think love4ba has a good point about NFA. After everything he's done for her, Buffy would not let Spike die in that alley without trying to help. Buffy did say she loved him after all and she's much more credible than Andrew.
Angelus did not get his soul, Angel did. Unlike Spike, Angelus and Angel are distinctly two different personalities. I know picky, picky.

I trust the narrative too. And clearly there was something wrong there. Both times. Plus the fact that the writer of the actual ep said that Andrew was not to be trusted. But to each their own. Everyone sees Eps differently that is the beauty of these shows. No one is anymore right then the next.

With Andrew, he already had a connection to Spike and was trying to push his authority. Never mind if Angel wanted to he could and would have killed ALL those slayers. If he was not to be trusted, I highly doubt Giles or Buffy would have sent newbie Slayers and a fresh Watcher against the Scourge. They were working for W&H and if there was serious not trust issues that small force would not have had any effect if Angel or W&H wanted to keep Dana.

The second time, I still don't believe Buffy would have ever discussed ANYTHING about her emotional feelings to someone like Andrew. She could not stand him. If she was not going to talk to Wills, Xander or Dawn,Andrew would be the very last person. He just said what he needed to say to get them to leave, and they did. There is ALOT more to this Immortal story. Some of which I bet we get in those Joss comics next year.

Honestly unless the baddies decided to go easy on Angel, there is NO way with a fire-breathing dragon, and an endless horde of monsters, that those three could have survived without some help. Fire bad. We don't know what Buffy and her side knew about this end fight. But if the witch's coven could feel Willow's power and send Giles to help, I am betting they could feel this surge of power. And there is no way they would just sit back and let all those innocents die. Nor do I believe Faith would ever NOT trust Angel, no matter what she was told. She would want to see for herself.

Maybe it was just Faith and Willow or maybe Conner rallied the the remaining people on the streets. But whatever the case, help coming does not take away form their fight. And trust issues as shown many times in the past are put away when everyone is on the same side. Angel fighting W&H would be a side Buffy and the rest would fight on, wiether they were on friendly terms or not. Much like Buffy did when she teamed with Spike to take down Angelus and when she sides with Faith(whom she still has trust issues with). Bigger picture and all that.

[ edited by Zip-Ity-Do-Da on 2006-04-25 05:38 ]
Heh. I don't think I said that iowagirl - after all Buffy told Spike she loved him and then let him die, so...

And exoticmushroom, I didn't say Spike getting a soul was the end of his story - I said it was the end of old Spike and beginning of new Spike. And that, like Buffy and Dawn getting a new beginning and Willow getting a new beginning, the end of season 6 Buffy was closure in one sense of the word. In other words, it was not suspenseful. All of their stories would continue after that.

And I trust the narrative too - and it has always said that Andrew was the unreliable story-teller. As for not helping Fred, well she was dead. What could they do at that point? Angel spoke to Giles who was never in favor of bringing back the dead. So I don't blame them for not helping in that situation. Now, if Angel and co had called before it got to that point and they refused to help, then I could see it.

And even if I believed that they didn't trust Angel and company - which I don't - it wouldn't be a good enough reason to ignore an apocalyptic battle in which thousands of innocent lives would potentially be in jeapardy. That says something very bad about the slayers and just isn't viable imo.

Edited to add that I agree with everything you just said Zip-ity-do-da.

[ edited by love4ba on 2006-04-25 05:29 ]
If Angel coming in to save the day was good enough for Buffy's end then surely it was good enough for Angel's end. Remember that trickly little Mohra Demon? The one that said...Together you are powerful, alone you're dead? It would have made perfect sense to have her there.
Maybe they didn't have time or there could have been scheduling conflicts between stars but to say that Buffy's presense would have been out of place?? I don't get that.
Joss DID want SMG there for the end, just like David was for Buffy. Sadly it didn't work out.

As a long term fan it was something I longed to see from the minute I heard the WB cancelled ATS.

Buffy is more credible than Andrew, hell the cheeseman was more credible than Andrew but I think Buffy already let Spike die. It happened in "Chosen" and for that reason I don't think that would have been a factor in Buffy's motivation to come and help. Buffy would have returned to help Angel, just like he returned to BTVS to help her. They kinda had a relationship like that, imo.

ETA...Twin Peaks finale to this day infuriates me. It was straight up evil.

[ edited by cheryl on 2006-04-25 06:13 ]
Well, love4ba and Cheryl, I do remember Buffy killing Angel/sending him to hell, as well. So, I guess she really would let Angel die in NFA. If I were to trust your version of the narrative, Buffy would have to be the most coldhearted bitch that ever lived. I know you guys had a spoiler source about the super secret SMG scene/bangel ending that somehow never aired. So was the real ending Buffy leading an army of slayers to the alley with orders of saving only Angel and allowing the others to die? With heroes like that, who needs the Senior Partners?
LMAO - not sure what your point about the spoiler source (or not) is, but okay... We had hope, based on what JW and company said about wanting Buffy for the ending - that she would be there. We had some fun with some stuff too that I see still bugs people..

But you are missing my point. You are trying to make it about romantic entanglements. I'm merely saying that Buffy and slayers not showing up for an apocalyptic battle is out of character and makes no sense for the story.

And yes, Buffy did send Angel to hell - after clinging desperately to him, crying, hugging him, kissing him - and then she left town, disconsolate (a very different reaction to Spike's death which does not mean she didn't still love him in her own way) - and after that one time she always refused, unequivocally to let him die again. Even to the point in Graduation Day II of offering up her own life and blood and physically overpowering a weakened Angel because she couldn't let him die - not again. That was reaffirmed in "Chosen" when she said she couldn't risk him. Just like she sent Dawn away - the other person she refused to let die. That, I believe, is the point Cheryl is trying to make.

I don't think Buffy has to be cold-hearted just because she wasn't IN love with Spike. There are all kinds of love. And Spike accepted what was - and what wasn't. That was good enough for me.

But bottom line, I don't think she would go to Angel and company in order to just save Angel. Although ironically in your first post you seemed to indicate that she would ONLY be going because of is that any different?

[ edited by love4ba on 2006-04-25 06:58 ]
Thats kinda rude.

I don't think this is place for accusations. Spoilers are called that for a reason. Many times they can be wrong. Hell, how many foilers came out in season 4 of Angel? Some of people even named names of writers and pretended to be them. No matter how many said they were true, they did not happen. Why is this one being thrown into people's faces?

I think Buffy would have lead the slayers into the fight. Like all fights people die. But I doubt, that Buffy would come just to save Angel. She would come to do the right thing. That's what she does. Saving the heroes, any of the heroes is beside the point but a hope they ALL survive. What ever made you think Buffy would only come for Angel? What about Wes Or Gunn? She did not end on bad terms with Spike, so why would she want him to die?

As for Buffy sending Angel to Hell, yes she had to do it. She kissed him, told him she loved him and sent him to hell. She also broke completely after. Her leaving Spike to die was not her choice. It was his. He chose to wear the amulet, not knowing what it could do and he chose not to fight once the light came out. She also was okay at the end because it was his choice. Angel did not have that choice.

Buffy, IMO would have come reguardless of trust. It was a fight and Angel and the rest were fighting the bad guys. They needed her and her slayers. Faith would have come for Angel and Wes. But Angel deffinatly would have been her one and only purpose. He trusted her when no one else would, thee is no way in his darkest time would she not trust him back.

I very firmly believe Faith helped in that alley.
Not clear to me how a thread about cliffhangers has descended into a shipper melee, but enough already. Please return to the topic at hand, please.
Re: Cliffhangers, I thought BTVS season two, Five and six were incredible ones. Even BTVS Seven with Spike dying and knowing he was going to ATS (thanks to the WB announcement) made it a cliffhanger. I thought NFA was really the only way they could have ended the show. Although I would have loved a Buffy/Spike reunion, the slayers weren't what the show was about.

[ edited by spikeylover on 2006-04-25 19:00 ]
Since we knew Buffy would be back in 5, It really had no what will happen effect. Same with Six. Since he had a soul and was a regular we knew Spike was going to be back and now a good-guy. All of these were ruined by either the connection to the other show or spoilers seeping out. NFA was the only true....MY GOD! Where is the rest of it???

If Buffy did not trust Angel, she did not trust Spike. But her point of coming would not have been them. Nor do I think they would have saved the boys asses, more like joined the fight and then the credits rolled. A romantic reunion with anyone would have changed the feel of the Ep and since Angel the show was not about that.In all honesty the main reason I would have liked to see Buffy and Faith come was to see the four of them in the same scene, fighting together. Something the show never did.

[ edited by Zip-Ity-Do-Da on 2006-04-26 00:01 ]
I don't disagree that the slayers weren't what the show was about. But really, that's not the point. The slayers have made numerous appearances over the course of the years, so having them show up to help in battle, would make sense for the story.

Just as I believe Buffy and the gang would not have been able to defeat the army of Turok-han if Angel hadn't first shown up to give them the amulet - which, let's face it - did the majority of the work in wiping out the vamps, I don't believe Angel, a weakened Gunn and Spike and Illyria could survive the battle they went into without help. So of course, I wanted to see them have that help so that it might feel like less of a cliffhanger. The balance would have tipped and the chances for success would be much greater.

The only good thing about ending the series on that cliffhangery note is that we can all imagine what we want to have happened next - and nobody can say it didn't happen that way.

As for seeing Buffy/Spike reunite, well Joss and company could have shown an off-screen reunion like they did with Buffy/Angel in season 6/3 of BtVS and AtS had they wanted to (especially once they realized they weren't going to have Buffy/SMG show up) - but since they didn't, I don't believe that was important to the story they were telling.
Buffy and Angel retained a connection for the entire run of BTVS. He dropped everything and went rushing off to help her in EOD/Chosen. My main thought is that if she had known what was going down, she would have done the same for him. I believe Faith would have too.
It would have been a moment of continuity between the established connection between them. That's just IMO.
I understand it wasn't to be for whatever reason but that doesn't stop me from wishing it had.
Truthfully I loved a lot of things about NFA but I wasn't ready to let the Universe go. The WB execs were idiots.
On to a happier topic....Becoming 2. The best hour of television to date.
Didn't Angel at first refuse Lilah's offer of the amulet saying Buffy could take care of herself? Angel's deal was to help Connor, not Buffy - the amulet was just kind of tossed in with the deal. Not exactly my definition of dropping everything and running to help.

As cliffhangers go, Becoming 2 doesn't really fit my definition of one. Great episode but the only question I had going into the next year was if Spike would be back. I don't think Buffy ever had a real cliffhanger ending.
Or what happened to Angel? Or where did Buffy go? How would the gang deal with the vamps? What was in the letter? It is the very deffination of cliffhanger. And made that summer wait long. There were alot of questions and yes it deffinately rates as one of the best cliffhangers ever. In a way so was Chosen, only to answered the next year by some Buffy/Scooby refrences.

Yes, he did refuse. And???? He still went to Buffy,for Buffy, even though he had alot on his own plate. He had still just lost his son, Cordy in a coma, and his own future very unknown. It does not matter why he went, just that he did. Tossed in or not, it was part of the deal. A part that in the long run, W&H were more intrested in as they obviously hoped Angel or Buffy would use it. Spike was an unknown to them. But he still went and was willing to wear it for Buffy, knowing it could kill him. They have always been there for each other, even if the views are different to if it is for friendship or love. That can not be denied. It is what hero's do. They go where needed no matter what.

Does it makes Spike's sacrafice any less, because he wore the amulet, that Angel brought. Or that the amulet really did all the work, used him, and in essence forced his death? No. He still died heroically because he went and made the chioce to wear it and to die there. He went for Buffy.

Seriously,please. let's leave the my vamp is better then yours, and shipper stuff alone. Be glad both characters and Buffy were created and all were incrediably intresting and well loved by their fans. No matter the fandom or shipper prefrence.

[ edited by Zip-Ity-Do-Da on 2006-04-26 03:41 ]
I had so many questions floating in my mind after watching Becoming 1 and 2. I, too, wondered about Spike and Dru but not before crying my eyes out for Buffy's loss. It was a gut wrenching moment. Full of Grace hammers in the background as we see Joyce on the bed reading the note, that alone would get me everytime if I wasn't already such a mess from the "Close your eyes" moment. The gang looking out wondering what happened and finally Buffy leaving town on the bus.
If that wasn't a was brilliant. I find that I can't say enough about it.
But did anyone really think Buffy wouldn't be back in Sunnydale in season three? There was no mystery. The cliffhanger was "Who shot JR" not would JR die.
We obviously disagree. Yes, I believed Buffy would be back, but the cliffhanger in 2 was not just about Buffy - it was about Angel. Would HE be back? Because I surely didn't know the answer to that - I knew he wasn't "dead" so there was hope, but not being an online fan, I was shocked and spent the summer wondering and hoping desperately that somehow, some way he'd be brought back from hell. THAT makes it a cliffhanger.
That's pretty much what happened to me as I wasn't spoiled or an internet junky then either. I was terrified that Angel was GONE.

Even if you can't bring yourself to consider this episode a cliffhanger it is still, imo, the best hour of BTVS ever.
The only word I can really think of is brilliant. Joss was Brilliant.

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