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"Wish I could stay. Your stalwart, standing fast."
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May 01 2006

Show's Over. It's not easy for TV writers to think up the perfect ending to a hit series...

I would not call NFA immensely satisfying. It was okay. It made you proud to love these characters. But there was alot of anger at the suicide plan. Much of it at the end seemed more about getting one last hit at the bad guys, then protecting the helpless. Fighting is hard and never over, but two vamps,a half dead human and half-powered god facing an endless horde and a firebreathing dragon, did seem like the end. Then again I hope they got some help, from either Faith, Buffy and/or Conner and regular humans wnating to take back their streets. Sunnydale's graduating class was willing to fight back, why not people in L.A. IMO.

But to me one of the worst finals of all time had to be Xena. It was aweful! It was a huge slap in the face of the fans.
I found Buffy's ending to be "immensely" satisfying. Angel's ending was a completely different experience, I felt like the Fang Gang did not get to have their story fully told due to the unfortunate cancellation.
Wow, you really feel that way about NFA? To me, it's just about the best series finale I could've imagined for Angel. The fact that the fight's never over, you always have to keep fighting the good fight . There is no ultimate redemption, just the road towards it. To me, that was in line with what Angel was about.

The scene also hit home visually. Just the gang, standing in an alley, ready to fight. To me, that image summed up five great years of television. Not to mention that NFA is actually a very good episode. No, I was very very happy with NFA.

I was less happy with Chosen. Not so much the themes of the episode, but the execution. The sudden awakening of all the potentials, while a powerfull metaphore, seemed slightly odd and the big LotR-style battle in the cave felt slightly OTT. Of course, all in all, it was still a satisfactory end to a great series, but I myself would've preferred 'The Gift' as a series finale over 'Chosen' (though, ofcourse, that would've meant missing S6 and S7, and I'm not willing to do that ;-)).
I was really surprised they didn't mention the finale of M*A*S*H in the "best" list. That was a classic episode.
Although the scene in the hellmouth from the time that Buffy fell to Spike/Buffy's lovely scene was incredible, I found the feel of CHOSEN to be...rushed? I don't know. Seems like it needed to be a two hour finale. THE GIFT was absolutely perfect, but I loved season six and seven, so ending the show then would have sucked. (I am such a prolific writer)

NFA was fitting, but again there was some depressing moments. Lorne, who was generally a happy character, was completely disillusioned. Wesley is asking Illyria to pretend to be Fred with a soul which could be salvaged. It was just horrible to think about. Spike coming to terms with human William geek was great to watch, though. Also--fighting on. Yeah..

BTW, are they really using our beloved CHOSEN theme to hype ONE TREE HILL? WTF?
Sometimes I discuss here with BTVS fans who just hate "Chosen". I think it is brilliant, although I can understand them _even myself, I think I have never seen a TV episode more smashing.

By the way, how does MASH ends? The show was cancelled in Spain and it was one of my favourites when I was a child...
I know Joss swears it wasn't, but NFA will always feel like a cliffhanger to me, and I hate cliffhanger endings. I know that per everyone, most of the gang in the alley survives, but without a miracle, it's hard for me to see that as realistic(yes, I know we're talking about a supernatural show anyway...). But as an 'ending', I didn't like it. Because to me, if that's how it 'ends', then they all die.

Hmm, on second thought, I guess it's not a cliffhanger at all to me. It's very 'Butch and Sundance' and I'm pretty sure I know how that ended.

Chosen, on the other hand, felt right. As much as I had problems with season 7, Chosen felt like a good summation of the series. I liked the message and the result.
They don't all die. They all fight.

Now, as far as I know, Angel's ending was the original idea for Buffy's ending. As in, not the Wolfram and Hart stuff, but the ending-whilst-they're-fighting image.

Life is often full of impossible odds and great conflict, but people fight anyway. To me, NFA is a perfecting ending to Angel.

Also with the Chosen love.
The problems I had from Chosen come more from the set-up and the plan. I love the B/a scenes,perfect in every way. Seeing Faith and Buffy come together and work side by side again was fantastic. The scooby scenes were touching. One of my favorites being Xander and Buffy holding hands as the walk down the hall. Or Giles playing D&D. Chosen was filled with great moments.


It was a very half-baked plan. They knew there thousands of these uber-vamps. And up until that moment even Buffy was having a hard time with defeating just one. At the most they had maybe 30 girls and the gang. The were walking to their deaths with no real plan but to fight and hope once these things got past them, Angel could stop them. The amulet saving the day took away alot of the meaning of the last fight. And then there was the activating the girls. With Buffy alive the line was already stretched with two slayers, I can't imagine how it would be with millions.

I also thought it was very OOC of Buffy to be willing to burden all these girls with her calling after everything she has lost or had to give up. It was terribly irresponsible, given everything she went through with Faith also. In then end , it did not matter, because it was not the slayer power that won the day it was the amulet. I do think it would have been better for Buffy and Faith to win on their own without any tricks.

I agree. I think as great ends go The Gift would have been perfect. I do wish it had been the end ep or something similiar.

NFA had great moments as well,like Conner and Angel's last fight and scene. IMO though, it had alot more WTF ones. Such as Angel ever asking Lorne to do what he did and not doing it himself. Lindsey being just murdered. Wes's easy death, to name two.

With Buffy's end I felt some hope. With Angel's after the depressing way Wes died,Lorne walking away and odds they were facing, I felt hopeless.

[ edited by Zip-Ity-Do-Da on 2006-05-01 16:57 ]
Small Blue Thing, The MASH finale was a two-hour episode where they (finally) ended the war, everyone got to go home. Both funny and tear-jerking. You should be able to find it on VHS and very likely on DVD by now.
Yep, that's in interesting point, Zip-Ity-Do-Da. I was also annoyed by the fact how, in the beginning, the ubervamp was this undefeatable mega-powerful creature, and in the end a gang of Buffy and relatively inexperienced potentials fight a whole heap of 'em.

The power of the amulet didn't bother me so much, but scene where the potentials were awakened didn't work for me. Suddenly this was no longer about Buffy and her friends, but it was about unlocking power in girls the world over. Of course, thematically, this gels with "girl power" message Buffy has always had, but it distracted from the more personal focuss of the episode.

I also agree that is was odd that Buffy would 'burden' all these girls with extra responsibilities. Of course, Buffy carried these responsibilities and they helped her grow as a person over the years (although some might argue she didn't grow as much as change for the worse) and with all these girls having their powers unlocked, it might be less of a burden. Then again, you never know how having these powers might warp some of those girls, which might make them dangerous to their surroundings. So, yes, it always felt like they didn't think this part through, and it's one of the bigger problems I have with Chosen.

As for going to their deaths: I think that was sorta fitting. I believe they simply ran out of options and chose to have their last stand (like Angel and the gang do in NFA). The fact that it ends up working doesn't alter the fact that the feeling going into it is very much that they probably just won't live.

As for NFA, I was puzzled by the scene with Lorne. For me it works as a scene, but I still don't quite get why Lindsey had to be murdered (I get he might have ended up being dangerous, but this seems like a drastic measure). Now I also get that Lorne might be the perfect person to do this (Lindsey never saw it coming), but it effectively wrecked his relationship with Angel, and I don't know why Angel was willing to do that.

Wes's "easy" death was not a problem. There's no "easy" death, just death, period. Plus, it gave us that heartwrenching scene with Illyria, so I'd say it was worth it ;-).

And although Angel ended on more of a downbeat note, there's the same hope there: these people never give up the fight, no matter what. To me, that's a hopefull message and a testament to the power of the human (or demon, if you will ;-)) spirit. It was pretty powerfull as far as I'm concerned.
Oh my god, SpikeyLover, I'm so glad someone else noticed that. I was horrified and even slightly offended. Good ear!
One Tree Hill is the least of it. It's also been used for a Hornblower advert and for the WWE apparently. How come of all the pieces of score from all their shows Fox whore that one?
BTW, are they really using our beloved CHOSEN theme to hype ONE TREE HILL? WTF?

Will I for ever be banished to the nether realms of bad taste if I say I actually enjoyed the first season of OTH? Yes? Never mind then.
From what we can gather, it did not make anyone's life easier as they now have to hunt down all these slayers. You can bet for every 3 like Buffy there was at least 1 like early Faith. And the main problem was there is no Watcher's council or even watcher's to help guide these girls. So Buffy and her group would be doing all the guiding, training and still have to slay themselves. A much greater burden. One that it almost seems from what we know of Buffy, she abandons and lets the other take care of. I also wonder what kind of role a person like Faith would have in Gile's new order.

As for Lindsey, his whole story in season 5 never made any sense. He was there working with eve. He did not want them to destroy W&H, but he gives Spike the way to save Angel form certain death with the slugs. He never made sense. And unless Angel really did not care about Lorne or his feelings, asking him to do that kind action was horrible. But then again Lorne could have been corupted by the baddies.

I just thought Wes died to easy. For man who knew every kind of magic, his counter attacks seemed weak. It was almost like her had a death wish.

My thought was what about the people he is leaving behind. The city he was going to leave to the horde's once he died and they had nothing to stop them. What about Faith and telling her that redemption was hard and you never give up or stop fighting. I felt like Angel stopped fighting.
Uhm, I think the point of that episode is that Angel never stops fighting. And he accepts that point.

I strongly suspect the reason Lorne was dispatched to off Lindsey was two fold - the obvious element of surprise. Both that Lorne would do it, and that Angel would even ask Lorne. That's why it was a surprise.

In a 'war', you have to make tough choices as a commander, and Angel made those choices. He was that army commander, leading his troops over the hill - was it the right hill? Who knows. The troops followed.

I don't really see any better options. Run away? That'd be not fighting.
As for Lindsey, his whole story in season 5 never made any sense.

That actually does make sense. It's a long and convoluted explanation that isn't mine but from one of the Slayage essays but I'll try and explain:

Lindsey wanted to get into the Circle. To do that you have to kill someone close to you, hence why Angel wanted them to believe he had killed Fred, and as Lindsey had been shown as being obsessed with Angel the only person he could kill was Angel himself. But Angel was in charge of Wolfram and Hart, so in order to not piss the Senior Partners off he had to make them think Spike was their guy so when he killed Angel it was okay. That plan failed though and Lindsey was discovered by the SP and having pissed them off he decided to join Angel in the final battle.

Couple that with any knocks he may have taken to the head while he was traveling the world and you more or less have Lindsey's plan. I think. I'll let everyone get back on topic now.
I loved Chosen, it seemed a rounded and fitting end to the show, and although I cried, it was becuase Buffy was over and not because I didn't like the ending.

When I first watched NFA I was really really angry (I called Joss names, sorry Joss), a lot of the anger was becuase the show had been cancelled but it was also so hard to not know what happened next. But the anger was a good thing really, it meant I cared, if I hand't cared about the show I wouldn't have cared that it was over. But it felt more like the end of a season than the end of the whole show.

It took me a long time to watch that episode again. Now with a little time behind me, I do love the episode and I like the ending, although it's never gonna be my most watched episode - it's still a little hard to watch.

In my head, Angel Season 6, episode 1 starts as NFA ended - but at the other side of all the nasties coming towards our friends, stand Buffy and the scoobies, backed up by all the slayers they could find.
I strongly suspect the reason Lorne was dispatched to off Lindsey was two fold - the obvious element of surprise. Both that Lorne would do it, and that Angel would even ask Lorne. That's why it was a surprise.

Yep, I agree gossi, and it makes sense from an intellectual standpoint. But emotionally, I still don't quite see how Angel got to the point where he'd be willing to completely sacrifice his friendship with Lorne to get this done. I mean, I understand why he did it, but I would've liked to have seen more of the process behind it. But, hell, it did make for a killer scene.

This thread is making me want to rewatch NFA :-).
They used the CHOSEN theme in WRESTLING? I'm deeply horrified.

I thought Wesley's death was fitting, it's just the idea that Fred's soul was destroyed and Illyria was doing that "we'll be together again" (the big lie) that made me feel so horribly sad. Also, poor Wes wanted to be dead.. With Angel/Spike, I think at least one will shanshu and the other will live on as a champion. Gunn needed to do what he was doing (because of what happened with Fred) as much as Spike needed to wear that amulet and finish the job in CHOSEN, so although I LOVED Gunn, I could be satisfied with his sendoff. I also agree that killing Lindsey seemed a bit off, as did the sacrifice of Drogyn by setting it all in motion.

It's no secret I dislike the Chosen laughing/joking ending (imagine if everyone was laughing when Buffy died, or after Tara died or during Fred's death scene) I guess Demons don't mean as much as humans in the verse--even if they are good or were redeeming themselves. (although, arguably the Potentials were human)

As for strange finales--didn't they blow up WALNUT GROVE in LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE or did I dream that? ;)
Yeah.. and then all walked away singing... LOL! It's funny you mention that, I just saw the end just this weekend while flipping through channels.

Gossi, I understand what you are saying, but knowing Lorne was already at his wits end, it just seemed weird. Angel was alot like Giles in season 5 with his decision about Ben or Buffy when she was willing to kill Faith.. The greater good.

I did love the smile and joking at the end, as much as I loved the circle scene were they were discussing what to do after with the scobbies and Buffy. Those were perfect full circle scenes. Just the main gang. I was happy to see Buffy look so at peace. It was important that those closest to her made it through and she could at that moment at least feel free of all her burdens.

[ edited by Zip-Ity-Do-Da on 2006-05-01 17:54 ]
Yeah, I'm not saying Lorne's ending was.. uhm.. happy. It clearly wasn't. In fact, his journey on the show was going from being the happiest person on the show, to being completely lost at the end. Did he get lost in celebrity/power culture? That's an interesting question, and it's surprisingly common in LA (as it happens).
Personally, I loved the Buffy conclusion, felt it wrapped nicely and fit into Joss' girl-power theme.

I also think part of the reason I liked it was because you got a glimpse into Buffy's world through Angel later on in his series, so you knew she was ok, and living life.

Same with Firefly, no real conclusion at the end of the series *sob* but we got the BDM, so had a happy-ish ending...they go on flyin'!

So, as you can guess, with Angel, I didn't like the ending at all. I liked the idea of them fighting for what they believed in, and there were some very memorable moments...wes and illyria...but I didn't get to see what happened to my favourite vamps, no definitive conclusion one way or the other. Yes, there are theories...but do you really truly know? no, really, do ya? please tell me! *sob*

The newbie weighs in....*wave*
I disagree (with the exception of Dawn) that the scoobs at that time were those "closest to her". They had just thrown her out of her house, etc. She was sleeping with Spike in the basement.

Sue me, but I also don't like the idea that since it's the "main gang" that this makes it a happy ending. Again, are Spike/Anya meaningless because they are/were demons? (I imagine what Willow would have done if everyone told funny mall jokes after Tara died. She might have de-skinned them)
The missing gaps after Not Fade Away will potentially be filled in by the Spike DVD project. Should it happen.
In my head, Angel Season 6, episode 1 starts as NFA ended - but at the other side of all the nasties coming towards our friends, stand Buffy and the scoobies, backed up by all the slayers they could find.

Wouldn't it be cool if we got some resolution to this in the Spike movie? Probably as a flashback, though, since having all that happen in real time would beg the question why the movie wasn't about EVERYONE who survived.

I doubt it will happen, though. Even if the Spike movie gets made, Joss would be ticking off everyone who liked the ambiguous NFA ending (not me, thanks, I'm all for more resolution...) and quite possibly most of those who didn't like the ambiguous ending--they might like the resolution worse.

So, Joss, you just can't resolve NFA, ever, because it would be an insult to all your fans and everyone would hate it, much like... oh, most of your other most masterful creative decisions.

Darn, I was trying to keep a straight face for the reverse psychology.
Buffy had forgiven them. And I think the scene with just the five of them talking about the mall and then the way they walked down the hall together showed that they were close again. Especially the Wills and Xander's hand holding. Families fight. They forgive and move on. Buffy, when she cam back held no hard feeling towards any of them. Infact she asked Xander to take care of the person in this world most important to her. her plan hinged on Wills and Gile. She made peace with Faith. She and Giles shared that very parental smile that said all was forgiven.

She slept in the basement with Spike because Faith who was injured was in her bed,not because she was no longer close to them. Yes, she wanted Spike to give her comfort. But in the end Buffy had to do that herself that night after the talk with the First. He slept, she worried. In the end Buffy spent the night planning.

It's full circle and the need to have no one close to Buffy die and to let her still have her happy ending. I don't think it has anything to do with them being demons. It has to do with them fighting asnd dying bravely. Buffy respected Spike's death and was happy he found his peace. Same with Xander and how proud he was. They and the others honored the memories of those they lost by moving forward and living. The smile was perfect as was the joking. It was living.

I think we will find out a little about NFA from the Joss comics too. And if the dvds never happen, then they can let the Angel comics tell the story.It's a win win.

[ edited by Zip-Ity-Do-Da on 2006-05-01 18:33 ]
I understood the feminist implications in 'calling' all the Potentials toward the end of "Chosen"; and on some basic level, I agreed with it, too. Frankly, though, I thought it was an inappropriate way to end the seven-year story that was BTVS.

Like her or not (and there definitely were times when I didn't), Buffy is the Chosen One. She must stand alone, and fight for those who cannot. She never asked to be what she was, but her story is her journey toward reconciliation with, if not unconditional acceptance of, her destiny. To me, at least, that isn't so much a feminist manifesto, if you will, as it is one for anyone who is a prodigy at something, and finds their gift to be both a blessing and a curse. I'll bet Moses never asked to lead his people out of bondage, but he did so, because he realized that he - like Buffy, like all of us should - was an instrument for change, there for the betterment of mankind; and it was that - 'the mission' - that mattered, not his feelings about it.

IMO, giving the slaying powers to all Potentials, thereby making Buffy 'just another girl' (albeit, one with a little something extra), might have satisfied her emotional need, but again, it's not about her. It's not about how she feels about being the Slayer. It's about being the Slayer, and everything, both positive and negative, that entails.

Then again, maybe what Joss was trying to do was reward her, in a sense, for emerging from all her battles victorious, the way Angel was led to think his reward at the end of all his battles would be to Shanshu, and become human again. I dunno. I just felt like the only true way to end Buffy's story would've been Buffy and the First, mano a mano, in a final battle; and whether she lives, or dies, the message would've been clear that this was the moment she was destined for.
I also think part of the reason I liked it was because you got a glimpse into Buffy's world through Angel later on in his series, so you knew she was ok, and living life.

Heh. Don't get me started on the whole business with The Immortal. That was all just very silly, so I like to pretend "The Girl in Question" never happened. I like to think of it as a fun episode that happened in an alternate reality ;-).
I don't know. I think as in life, that people do grow apart and have different interests. I don't think that Buffy and the Scoobs were as close as they had been before. It is telling that they have moved on with their lives seperately when we hear of them again on ATS.

As for "Faith having Buffy's bed" as the reasoning behind her sleeping on that tiny cot with Spike-- I would hope that it had a bit more to do with it than that. You can always sleep on the floor.

[ edited by spikeylover on 2006-05-01 18:47 ]
I thought Chosen and Not Fade Away were both fantastic endings to their respective shows. Chosen had to end on a hopeful note since Buffy was about growing into adulthood with all the pain but also liberation and potential that involves. Angel on the other hand was all about being an adult and I think most of us know how that one ends (much as we might live in denial of it ;).

(and I think that a jokey/laughing ending is actually more realistic. Just after the biggest fight of their lives they'd all be pretty full of adrenaline and relief to be alive. Afterwards, there'd be mourning and depression and coming to terms with loss)

I also don't really get the whole amulet controversy (though I agree the previously nigh invincible ubervamps did seem to go a bit easy). As far as I know we're never told what powers the amulet so to me it could just as easily be partly Buffy (literally) taking a stand against evil that juices it up (with the immortal 'Get Out of My Face' line). When she takes that stand we see the Potentials re-ennervated, Faith throws off her multiple attackers, the scythe once again sings in Buffy's hands (a common idea with mythical/enchanted weapons) and, in general, the tide of battle turns in the good-guys favour. Then the amulet does its thang. The feel of it wasn't saving the Slayers from inevitable defeat more like ending the fight earlier and easier than it might otherwise have been.

Angel (and by extension NFA) was all about continuing the fight and specifically about there not being easy answers or solutions so it would (IMO) have been totally inappropriate to have everything tied up in a nice neat package. Ending in the alley (and not just any alley but the one north of the Hyperion) had a nice circularity (both geographically and thematically since it was a kind of return to the original noir roots of the show) and was suitably climactic without leaving everything resolved. Fighting the good fight is hard. People die doing it all the time. That's life.

As to Lorne, well he was Angel's friend but he was also a soldier and as such there to be used to reach a goal (in this case killing a potentially huge future threat in the form of Lindsey). No-one gets out of life untarnished and that was one of Angel's messages.

Second the MASH ending love. Not a dry eye in our house when we watched that one. I'd nominate 'Moonlighting' as one of the most memorable though I didn't think it was particularly good. 'Quantum Leap' was very depressing to me but definitely memorable.
She did sorta go man to man. I mean she did kick Caleb's ass.

Utimatly the problem comes down to the bad guy. The First was never scary and way to long winded. He taunted, jeered and was basically useless.He left Buffy alive when he should have killed her, which made no sense. In the end his plan did not involve Spike as was played with all season, nor ending the slayer line, just opening the hellmouth with a bunch of fruit punched mouth vamps, who seemed to lose all their power by the end. Example: I KNOW Faith is good fighter, but they dogpiled her ass, and she came away with not even a scratch, while Buffy could barely fight one earlier or Caleb. Buffy is THE Slayer.

I agree I would have liked to see Buffy be the one to take the final shot and do the final battle by herself. Her moment to show the world what she has learned and how far she has become as the slayer.

We have no idea what the set up for the new council is. We do know Buffy and the group are still together. Just because Xander is in Africa looking for slayers does not mean they are not close. It comes with the choice they made when activating the girls. Same with Giles leading and Wills doing her magic again. Buffy is in Rome, but since we know Andrew is near, we know that she is in contact with Giles and is living with Dawn. Faith is really the only person who dropped of the face of the earth with no contact.But that is all we know. The Immortal thing has alot of holes in it. I still think she is working his ass. That is why I can't wait for this new comic.

There is the floor. But why? So she went ot find some comfort. Everyone else was doing their own mental preps. Yet,she did not find much with Spike, through no fault of his. She is the leader and her mind would have never slowed down that night as evidence of being wide awake when the First arrived.

[ edited by Zip-Ity-Do-Da on 2006-05-01 19:01 ]
I thought the NORTHERN EXPOSURE ending was awfully lame. I was all about shipping Joel/Maggie. The actor left and she ended up with the guy on the radio. Marsters is in two seasons of it (with bloopers YAY) and I don't want to invest in that very expensive series, because the final season was such a huge disappointment for me.

Saje, that was a lovely post. I want to make clear that I love both of those shows. I wouldn't be here posting on them years afterwards if they didn't effect me in a major way. :) I also would love a continuation of them.

[ edited by spikeylover on 2006-05-01 18:58 ]
Star Trek: Deep Space 9 had of those let down, WTF just happened endings. I remember wondering if I had missed something.

I also must be one of the few who totally disliked the Friends final ep. I found it boring and not very funny.
"Chosen" is a great capper, and "Not Fade Away" is simply the greatest series ender of all time.

TV Guide named "Chosen" the best series/season finale of the year back in 2003.
I also think that Buffy and the scoobies weren't as close as they once were. And was also glad to see them in seperate parts of the world. The ending for Buffy was for me a pretty final ending. While ubervamps were less strong then before they were still heavily outnumbering the slayers. And those girls were dropping like flies, it was Spike's soul with the amulet that saved the day. I was so proud that he had gotten his champion ending, laughing away while he was slowly being dusted. Now that's having balls. The NFA ending was also superb.
It felt alot more real in that Joss killed off members of the fang-gang. I never felt that Wesley had a fighting chance, i mean that demon was a seriously powerful wizard that even Willow would have to fight real hard to defeat.
'Quantum Leap' was very depressing to me but definitely memorable.

Oh god, I was so unhappy with that ending! Broke my 13 year old heart...

However, on a happier(and completely off W topic) note: Quantum Leap: A Bold Leap Forward
The thing about Angel season 5 was that most of it would probably have been explained in season 6 (especially Robot Wes Dad). Well that's how I justify most of the more outlandish plot holes.
I loved the endings to both Chosen and NFA and found them very satisfying. I have no doubt Spike, Angel and Illyria escaped (not too sure about Gunn) to fight another day.

My only problem with Chosen is the very ending, when some of the Scoobs make lame jokes. Buffy is perfect, who face is full of both sadness and hope and her smile is very bittersweet. And I know Joss wanted to end the show on a happy note but imo just having so many of them survive was a happy thing.

What I do when I rewatch Chosen is turn down the sound after Buffy says "Spike" to Giles and pretend the rest of the Scoobs never say another word, in silent tribute to not only Anya, Spike and the Potentials who lost their lives in the big battle, but also to Joyce, Tara, Jenny and all the other loved ones whose bodies are in the rubble of

But overall, I think Joss did a smashing job of ending the shows because he left so much to our imagination and both series really live on in our own heads.
"It's full circle and the need to have no one close to Buffy die and to let her still have her happy ending."

HUHHHH...excuse me, but someone VERY CLOSE to her DID die...SPIKE.
I also agree with Spikeylover, that she was sleeping in the basement for a lot more reasons than Faith having her bed....come on people, surely she could have found a little spot in the corner, or a sofa, or the garage...or wherever, but she still ended up with Spike in the basement. I don't think anyone was twisting her arm to make her do it either!

Ok...anyway...Chosen and NFA made me cry for days, not only because of sorrow, but because the best shows on TV were over.
Both should have been 2 hours finales, these shows deserved that!

There are several things I didn't like about Chosen, but I don't want to dredge up shipper debates about the Angel kiss, or the NYDBTFMI. I am pretty sure these things were added to set up the Angel S5 plots and endless triangle crap, at least IMHO they were, and I don't think they will ever be resolved.

What I hated most though, was the Mall talk and the seemingly upbeat banter after many of the Potentials and two of your closest friends have died in battle. Yeah, people die all the time, but these two characters were major. Xander was going to marry Anya...Buffy loved Spike and Dawn did too I think. If nothing else they all should have been pretty somber about the whole deal. Buffy was the ONLY one I could forgive for the wistful least her last word was Spike and I'm sure she was thinking about him and hoping he was at peace, but the rest was just in bad taste and made me feel like these heroes deaths were cheapened.

NFA just made me feel cheated, these characters stories ended before their time. In my heart I guess I can console myself with the belief that at least Spike and Angel and probably Illyria survived, but I doubt we'll ever get the full story anyway. Maybe it's better to be able to finish it for ourselves.

[ edited by kathylovesspike on 2006-05-01 19:29 ]
I stopped watching Quantum Leap in the later seasons. My mom has the dvds. Now I am afraid to go look.....Did someone die???

I don't think it had anything to do with Spike's soul as the reason it worked. It would have worked with any champion according Angel. Just good timing and whatever unknown plan that W&H dreamed up for the person who used it.

It makes me hope against any real hope Gunn lived, so one of his Fang Gang lived to survive with Angel. I don't count Spike as part if the Fang Gang, because he just came in and had little history with the group.

Yes, that robot story, while great for the Wes character, made no snese. Who was behind it? Why? How did daddy survive council being blown up?

I will not start shipper stuff either, I will just say I respectfully disagree with you on why Buffy went to Spike. I also have to say, I don't think Dawn had any care for Spike even souled after she found out what he tried to do. She was Buffy's sister and logic( him having a soul now) would never win over her emotions to keep Buffy safe. She was also young and headstong and very attached to Xander, who's oppinion of Spike never got better.

Xander also showed alot of emotion for Anya, as did Andrew. I think they mourned, said their good-byes and moved on to embrace life, even if that was at a shopping mall. Live life to the fullest is what both Anya and Spike would have wanted. We know they are. It was not the first time they had lost and it would not be the last. They understood by now even heroes die. But they have to forge on as there are other people who need them and other battles to fight.

I wonder if Buffy had even thought yet about the fact she had lost her mother a second time. How sad.

[ edited by Zip-Ity-Do-Da on 2006-05-01 19:46 ]
Khan, I disagree with your interpretation of "Chosen." If Buffy's empowering all the potentials really did make Buffy "just another girl," I concede that it would be cheap and unsatisfying. What I loved about it, though, is that Buffy did not give up her power: she shared it. On a fundamental level, Buffy is a metaphor for women everywhere, and I'd argue even more generally, to everyone. She is us. And each of us has our own crosses to bear, and each of us has to be, in our own way, Moses, carrying the tablets. None of us have the clear statement of mission that Buffy has, and because of that our lives do not tend to be as painful as hers. But I think we all have the burden of personal responsibility, of having to do the right thing, even when it's painful. We all have to be strong. And yet we also have to recognize that we aren't alone in that.

Buffy's epiphany in "Chosen" is that she can share her power, no longer be "alone," without giving up her responsibility, or anything that makes her special, and without taking the easy way out. Sharing her power is, to me, much more heroic than hording it, which is all she does for season seven. And by letting others be The Slayer, without stopping herself from beint The Slayer, she's sending the audience, and women everywhere, the message: be strong. And don't be alone.

I don't like the plot problems in "Chosen," but I like the themes. And I love "NFA."
While I could rant and rant against Chosen, NFA, I thought, was great. It really brought out themes set up in Epiphany, for instance, and it was just a great episode. On the other hand, Chosen is one of those episodes where, if I turn off my brain and forget many of the problems I have with season 7, then its a good episode. Of course, the second I think about it, the thought of 30 slayers versus thousands of ubervamps that Showtime told me took alot to kill even one, the lack of resolution in Chosen to all of the themes of EP, the clear and obvious pandering that went on for all shipper factions, and just so many other things, make Chosen such a disappointing end to a disappointing season.
My favorite series Finale has to be Farscape's. I know I'm probably alone in that. But they did a great job with what they had to work with. Very satisfying. Maybe it's because I watched the whole series after it was over.
"Chosen" is good. "The Gift" would in its way have been better, but as many have commented, that would mean we'd have to do without seasons 6 and 7 and that is not a sacrifice anyone should be willing to make. Also, though "The Gift" is the better episode, it ends on a sore note, and Buffy, both the series and the character, deserved a more optimistic ending. Not an ending without a price, of course, but still less tragic than "The Gift", and quality of the episodes aside, I think that is the better way to end the series.

"Not Fade Away" is one of the best episodes of any television show I've ever seen. Off the top of my head, I prefer only two ("The Body" and "A Hole in the World"), and those focused on only one event, which, though obviously unfathomably brilliantly done, I'll imagine is far less difficult than combining all the things NFA did in one episode and still make it that awesome. Every single character had at least one great moment during that episode. Most had more. Many more. The theme was superbly in place - after re-watching season 1 and 2 of "Angel" some times, I'm seeing more and more thematic similarities between them and the last episode of season 5. That alone is magnificently well done, coming full circle but not being too obvious about it. For example, Angel gives a speach, Lindsey more or less yawns in his face, but then accepts the deal anyway - the exact same thing happened in season 1, in "Blind Date", with their roles reversed.

Yes, "Not Fade Away" is, like "The Gift" would have been, a sore, tragic ending, but "Angel" was always a show hovering around the edges of tragedy, at least in my experience. "Buffy" was not. The theme of Buffy sacrificing herself for the world was ever-present, of course, but it was still upbeat, with more humour and sillyness, generally lighter. So it should have a hopeful ending. "Angel" was the opposite. "Angel" was dark and brooding, but forced through hope and light anyway. And that is exactly what NFA did. It was dark. It was overwhelmingly bad. They probably would lose. But there is just enough ambivalence about it, just enough doubt that we can still have hope that some of them maybe made it. That, to go up against the impossible, voluntairily, and just maybe beat it a little bit back, that was "Angel". They did that in NFA, they wrapped it up so beautifully despite the horribly premature cancellation, and thus, I'm happy.

Crying my heart out, of course, but happy. (For about five minutes, then I started waiting for a Spike-movie. XD)

Oh, and as for the easily beaten übervamps, it annoys me too, but my theory is that just like The First boosted Caleb into near invulnerability, it did the same with that first übervamp. When all of them got out at once, though, it wasn't powerful enough to do that with all of them at the same time.

[ edited by Loki on 2006-05-01 19:52 ]
Let's not bring the shipping talk to this thread, please!!!!
I loved NFA. I liked seeing how each one of them spent their last day and felt that all the choices were right - true to themselves and to us. Some of it was hard, but it was never easy for them.
As for why Lorne had to do the killing? Well, I like to think that he then walked out of this world and regained some peace somewhere. That otherwise he might have been in the alley.
As for Chosen, I thought it was a great idea imperfectly brought off. And I always disagree with Joss' definition of a happy ending. Spike and Anya are dead. That is not happy. He did the same with Serenity, of course. Declared it a happy ending. Not for me, it wasn't.
I loved the woman-power theme of Chosen, the idea that Buffy would snatch the slayer system away from it's patriarchal, misogynistic beginnings and make it much more user friendly to all of the potential slayers.

It's simply impossible for me to look at either NFA or Chosen as having a "happy" ending. Bittersweet and satisfying, tragic with wonderful moments of comic relief, yes. But even knowing Spike would be on Angel the following season, I still cried my eyes out for him and Anya.

Imo, Chosen had a positive ending and I'm glad so many survived, but it wasn't a happy ending. And to enjoy it I just have to ignore Xander's stupid jokes when he knows Anya is dead. At least Buffy looks devastated and can't even get words out. I needed to see the Scoobs do a little mourning, not have them be so cavalier. I know the intent was to have them cover up their pain with humor, but I felt a bit cheated, emotionally speaking.
Am I the only one that is surprised as hell between the two shows entire runs and their debatable endings, that not once on either did we ever get to see Buffy,Angel,Faith and Spike in a scene together???

Aside from never geting to have Xander/Faith talk their issue out or Buffy and Faith have better more meaningful scenes, this where I think they missed a golden moment. All shipper crap aside, just the fun of watching the four of them kick a little ass would have been grand.

It would have given Faith some fun, she was really wasted coming abck to Buffy after such an impact on Angel.IMO.

Xander's way of dealing with pain has always been humor. Even way back to when Jesse was killed. Everyone deals in different ways. I think Buffy was sad, but very, very happy to be alive and very anxious to start her new life and all of it's possibilities. She had with her the one person she could not live without, her sister.

[ edited by Zip-Ity-Do-Da on 2006-05-01 20:00 ]
Yes, that robot story, while great for the Wes character, made no sense. Who was behind it? Why?

If the emblem on the chest plate of one of the cyborgs was anything to go by the Circle of the Blackthorn was behind it. As for why I'm not sure but it may tie in to Vail's comment about Wes's "intriguing instability."

As for NFA, I wasn't overly keen on it as a series finale. I thought the character arcs were all wrapped up well, but after five seasons of battling with the Senior Partners it didn't seem that there was that much resolution. (...which was mostly the point, but it still didn't work for me...)

With Chosen there had only been a season of build up with the First Evil so I didn't feel as cheated that Buffy didn't defeat it personally and can put up with the vague comment of it being "scrunched." If the First had had a presence since season one though and it still ended with just its plan being stopped then I may have felt different though.

And I also liked how the character arcs in Buffy were wrapped up and wasn't overly bothered with the last few minutes. What can't be explained away by shock can be explained away by most of the characters not being the best of friends with Spike or Anya.
The main thing for me was my all-time favorite show was ending and I really needed a cathartic finale, which I got, right up until the stupid mall talk. I needed the Scoobies to cry just as hard as I was. I also know a lot of fans who didn't watch because they couldn't bear to see Spike and Anya die. Probably a case where spoilers hurt the ratings.

But, as I said, overall I loved Chosen (and NFA) and I just fanwank the tiny bits of stuff I dislike to make it all work for me.
Whilst not wanting to diss fans, I'm being geninue here when I say death spoilers never hurt ratings. The amount of people who hunt out spoilers online compared to the general audience is literally a tiny, tiny percentage.

If the gang had started crying at the end of Buffy, I'd have checked out personally.
I think alot of the lead up hurt Chosen. Season 7 had so many flaws that fans were turning Buffy off way before Chosen.It started off great.

But the crazy soul thing that had no point, Wood and the coat issues, Pod Giles, a untouchable bad guy who talked to much with little action,eps that repeated the same story , and SITs really tired alot of fans out fast.

But usually, you tune in to watch the end if you invest time into a show, even if don't watch for awhile. I loved Charmed in it's first few years, have not watched it really since, but will watch the final ep.

It just would not have been in character for the Scooby's to cry over Spike's death, since they were okay with trying to kill him earlier, no matter what he did. Xander was perfectly in character. And Faith did not know or care about either character to much. Buffy was happy and her sister was alive so all in all she had made it out of this thing okay. Spike and Anya knew the risks and made the choice, you celebrate thier lives with laughter.

[ edited by Zip-Ity-Do-Da on 2006-05-01 20:30 ]
That's probably true about spoilers, but I thought that might account for the relatively low ratings for Chosen. The finale got tons of press and I was sure the ratings would go through the roof, the way they did with Dawson's Creek (the other show that was also having a much ballyhooed ending) and was disappointed more people didn't check it out. Oh well, they missed a great show.

If not crying, I at least needed to Scoobs to be more like Buffy, somber and quiet. The joking really bothered me.
Coming into this discussion way late, but just thought I'd add my $.02...

I loved the finales for both Angel and BtVS, mostly because they were both so tonally perfect for their respective shows. Sure, I have plenty of quibbles with each of them, many of which have been raised already: the rushed feeling of Chosen, the suddenly defeatable ubervamps, the messiness of Lindsay's arc, etc. – and I'm vocal about how much I disliked most of BtVS Season 7.
But for me, the way I judge them as finales is to ask whether that final moment left with a sense of completeness, and of "rightness" for each show. And, in each of these cases, they did.
With Buffy, i loved the smile, the optomistic ending, the feminist themes that fit with the long-running and deep-seeded themes of the show throughout its 7 seasons, the final end to Buffy's most constant challenge: being alone, and being "the one girl in all the world..." It made sense, given the tone of the show, to have the humor that the finale had, the tragedy, the big fight, the core 4 still together.

With Angel, meanwhile, even while I also hate cliffhanger endings, the end made perfect sense to me, and I couldn't have imagined a more fitting way for the show to bow out, or one that more completely exemplified that attitude of "the fight never ends" (and even Angel's epiphany of "all that matters is what we do" - even when it seems hopeless and inconsequential). It perfectly pulled together the themes of power and its corrupting influence, whether to work from within the system or outside of it, etc. And it made sense for everyone not to survive, and for things to look pretty bleak, but for the fight to continue. Plus, I loved the final day - especially Spike's.

I can't imagine how hard it is to craft a fitting finale for shows that are so complex, long-running, and with such rabid fans. But I thought in both these cases that Joss succeeded fabulously.
"I don't think it had anything to do with Spike's soul as the reason it worked. It would have worked with any champion according Angel. Just good timing and whatever unknown plan that W&H dreamed up for the person who used it."

"It makes me hope against any real hope Gunn lived, so one of his Fang Gang lived to survive with Angel. I don't count Spike as part if the Fang Gang, because he just came in and had little history with the group."

I think it did had to have been a vampire with a soul, and it doesn't matter that Angel wanted to do it. In the end it was Spike who went through with it. W&H's plan was to get the person that wore the amulet killed and stuck in it. Wich they wanted Angel to be.
I also don't count Spike as one of the fanggang, more like a temporary help. I believe he has his own journey away from Angel and his gang.
Well, it really depends on your sense of humour with regards to joking about death. I go to funerals and make jokes. That's the kind of person I am.

You only have to look at something like Serenity, or The Body to find those kind of elements in JW's work. Thankfully it's one of the main appealing factors for me in the series. I didn't want Buffy to go out sombre - her whole Chosen One life changing (or destroying?) thing has just been resolved and they changed the world. I'd be happy, then.
"With Buffy, i loved the smile, the optomistic ending, the feminist themes that fit with the long-running and deep-seeded themes of the show throughout its 7 seasons, the final end to Buffy's most constant challenge: being alone, and being "the one girl in all the world..." It made sense, given the tone of the show, to have the humor that the finale had, the tragedy, the big fight, the core 4 still together."

Wow, I wish I could see it that way. For one, how are the core four really together if EP is still out there? They havent faced anything, they simply beat The First, as if thats a panacea. The smile seemed so hollow to me, not because I feel like she should be in mourning, but because I just feel like the show didnt earn that moment. And I could go into a thesis size rant here, but Ill save you all the pain of that one...

[ edited by jerryst3161 on 2006-05-01 20:56 ]
Hee. I was on the other day, and one of the posters was accusing Whedonesque of being a site where everybody loves Joss and worships him. I am thankful to say this isn't the case.

(Goes off to his Joss alter).
Whilst I agree that Chosen has a slightly rushed feel to it, I thought it the perfect ending to Buffy - in that it really left you with the feeling it wasn't so much an ending as a beginning. Through her battles with the demons of Sunnydale, Buffy had resolved a lot of the emotional issues that were holding her back. The closing of the Hellmouth - and seeing herself as one of many rather than the one and only 'chosen'- opened up life for her, making Chosen an upbeat and positive conclusion.

But NFA is my favourite ending to a series EVER. Angel had made amends for his past misdeeds (as had Spike) and, in a way, the Shanshu prophecy was fulfilled - the vampire with souls become human, or at least mortal. They were allowed to die. Heroically. Tragically. But triumphantly.
The amulet remains a puzzlement and I'm confused about the connection with it and Lindsey. It was my understanding that W&H weren't interested in actual apocolypses, so they sent that over through Angel to help Buffy.

If Buffy or Faith would have worn it, would it have burnt them to a crisp, took their soul and stored it away inside? I am assuming it would since Buffy caught fire when she touched Spike. My definition of a champion (who could wear it) would be one strong enough (and heroic) to withstand unbelievably horrible pain in order to eliminate the Ubervamps.
They sent Angel *with* the amulet, spikeylover, hoping for him to wear it, burn to a crisp, and then be *bound* to Wolfram and Hart, mystically.
Chosen was fine for me as Buffy was really over, though like most of you I would love a reincarnation in some form besides comic books.

Angel, on the other hand, was a personal tragedy for me. I liked the way NFA ended because it didn't really end. It left open many possibilities. However, I have only been able to watch the final DVD a couple of times. In fact, I just "finished" watching season 5 a few days ago and could not bring myself to watch disc 6. I just went straight to Buffy, Season 1.
Gossi, in retrospect, that is how it came out.. Angel told Buffy that only a champion like him (or her) could wear it. I assumed that the reasoning for this is as I described. Nobody else could withstand that kind of pain, and you had to be superhuman and also extremely heroic (a Champion) to be able to go through with that horror. It was great that Spike had the heroism to go through with it but I don't think that was part of W&H's plan. The thing with Lindsey was what was confusing me.

Also, I wanted to add that just because fans are sometimes critical, doesn't mean any disrespect for Joss. We are all here years after the show ended. That speaks more in favor of him than anything.
For one, how are the core four really together if EP is still out there?

Forgive my total denseness - and I'm sure it'll come to me in a sec and I'll feel foolish for asking – but what does "EP" mean?
Chosen had problems, as many of you have pointed out. In his commentary for the DVD, Joss dismissed criticism of the suddenly vanquishable vamps as much ado about phlebotinum (sp). The real story, for him, is never the plot devices (e.g., the godawful amulet) or genre elements but the emotions of the characters. As he's said elsewhere, Joss constructs his stories around the big moments of emotional truth. And while I am always bothered by the inexplicably wimpy ubervamps, what I actually remember--and love--about Chosen are the big moments of emotional truth. Namely: Buffy telling Spike "I love you" and Spike saying to her, "No, you don't" AND Buffy's little, unfinished smile just before the end credits. Perfect moments in an imperfect finale.
I have two feelings about "Chosen". When watching it, I think its a brilliant ending, one that encapsulates all the themes, stays true to the series' original message, is heart rending, euphoric and beautiful. On the other hand, when I'm looking back at it, I still think it was excellent, but it could have been more. Like I wanted "Chosen" to be a whole pie, but I only got three quarters of it. Or ok.....5/6ths of it. To be honest I think this is down to it only being one hour, and that if Joss had been given time to flesh it out a bit more it would be truly great

Regarding "Not Fade Away", I thought it was rushed. I mean this in the sense that the Circle had only become the Big Bad in a few episodes. The clues had been there earlier on in the series, yet I always felt the finale lacked something because that sense of foreboding and overriding arc wasnt there, the Circle would have seemed a bigger threat. Was still a great closing though.
Ironically, I recently wrote the following as a personal aesthetic regarding literature as an artform for my creative writing class. I thought this was a good spot to share it...

All good things must come to an end, or do they? When I am left with my mouth gaping and tears streaming down my face, that is a story I can’t get enough of. Call me depressing or even sadistic, but happy endings are overrated. I crave to be left wondering, did she love him? Could he have saved her? What if she went this way instead of that, would it have made a difference? If after a dozen times I am still looking for clues to my answers, or even rewriting it as I go along, that means it is perfect! It steers me left and then goes right, it kills off a beloved character, and the couple in question does not live happily ever after. I am compelled to go through the story again and again, and it leaves me wanting more. It’s torturous and it’s heart wrenching, and I am left to ponder what the future holds. I can make it end how I would like in my own mind. But ultimately, the story goes on...

[ edited by girlpowerbit on 2006-05-01 21:40 ]
Regarding Not Fade Away being rushed - they had only found out fairly close to that they were cancelled. The original plan was to spin it into a 6th series -- apparently -- as a post apocolyptic LA type thing. Apparently. I can't remember which writer said that. Either way, I think the big bad did emerge very very quickly, and I think part of that is due to the way it was cancelled/let go.

ETA: girlpowerbit, I think you really (really) hit the nail on the head with regards to finales there. I've seen some finales where they resolve everything, and you don't tend to find rabbid fanbases wanting more of those shows any more.

[ edited by gossi on 2006-05-01 21:42 ]
"Forgive my total denseness - and I'm sure it'll come to me in a sec and I'll feel foolish for asking – but what does "EP" mean?"

LOL, sorry, it stands for Empty Places. No worries mate.
girlpowerbit, I completely agree. I love that both Chosen and NFA had so many ambiguous elements and I do think that's one reason we'll all still here and debating our own interpretations and writing fanfic.
"Forgive my total denseness - and I'm sure it'll come to me in a sec and I'll feel foolish for asking – but what does "EP" mean?"

LOL, sorry, it stands for Empty Places. No worries mate.

I must admit that, as acp, I too did not understand "EP" (we should avoid using acronyms because many times they only mean something to people which have the same line of thoughts as ourselves... and, you know, communication should not assume that other have the same thoughts as we do ;) ).

Nevertheless, "EP" as "Empty Places" does make sense, to me, in this message of yours, jerryst3161:

For one, how are the core four really together if EP is still out there?

What does this mean "EP is out there"? To me, Empty Places is just the title of an episode, and designates the fact that sunnydale is emptied a few days before the apocalypse... how can such a thing "be out there"?

Or there's something I am missing...
Angel's ending rocked. Just because depressing things happen during a finale doesn't mean they are bad. Lorne shooting Lindsay dead was excellent because of both Lindsay's reaction and Lorne's realization that the work isn't what he wants anymore. Lorne realizes he's too much of a chipper fellow and idealist to be working for the big bad to make big good. Wesley's death anchors in that anyone can die feeling Joss gives. Excellent. As for the last scene, 3 words: "Keep on Fighting". Perfect.

Buffy's finale also great. Sure the Ubervamps were reduced to regulars vamps, but Buffy was always more about the message then the technicalities and mythology strictness. Plus I felt like everyone was scared and angry enough that they could beat the crap out of anything at that point. Keep in mind alot of potentials died, even though some of the main potentials lived. Many did die. Buffy was stabbed in the stomach. Some people may have not lost their lives, but they did lose certain things.
What does this mean "EP is out there"? To me, Empty Places is just the title of an episode, and designates the fact that sunnydale is emptied a few days before the apocalypse... how can such a thing "be out there"?

Well, I dont think Empty Places is simply a designation for Sunnydale itself, its much more metaphorical than that. What I mean by "EP is out there?" is that the problems, emotional and physical, that arise from Buffy's dismissal from the house are largely ignored as the season comes to an end in Chosen. Its one of the reasons I see Buffy's smile as the hollow act of someone who has not faced her problems. Really, a psycho-analysis of Buffy reveals alot of different ideas, some of which are covered in Conversations with Dead People, and while a few of those ideas are dealt with, the issues of Empty Places seem largely ignored. Its as if Chosen attempts to cut the head off the snake to solve the problems, and yet, the body lives on as deep psychological wounds. Even better is the notion that the problems that Chosen attempts to solve are analogous to a a patient who has a compound fracture in her leg and cut on her arm, and whose doctor, chooses to treat the cut. Does that really help? Or does your patient still have a compound fracture? I hope that makes sense, I am quite tired today!

ETA: I should say that I dont think you can solve those problems in three episodes nor do I think that the happy ending of a well-adjusted Buffy is feasible either, but because those issues are brought up in Empty Places, I do expect them to be dealt with in some fashion. When they are not, it only adds to my belief that, unlike seasons 1-5, story became paramount over characterization. Emotional truth is one thing, but unless you earn that truth, it is no longer emotional truth, its emotional mockery. The reason? Emotional truth is born of great characterization. If you dont have that, you cant feel for a character, and thats why season 7 is sorely lacking.

[ edited by jerryst3161 on 2006-05-02 00:04 ]
OK, now I understand.

But, you know, if Buffy hadn't solve the Umbervamp's army "cut on her arm" problem, her psychological "compound leg fracture" problems would have been quite irrelevant, isn't it? ;)

I nevertheless see your point; anyhow, as Joss states in the commentary, the end of Chosen is not THE end, it is just the end of a growth: Buffy has become an adult... which does not mean that she has solved all of her problems (not many people can solve their problems just by becoming adult, they simply bring the problems with them, some partially resolved, some changed, but most of them will last more or less until death). Hence, I don't see the inherent problem to Chosen; as Not Fade Away, it is not the end of everything, life goes on after that (or plenty of deaths, in the case of NFA ;) ).
I nevertheless see your point; anyhow, as Joss states in the commentary, the end of Chosen is not THE end, it is just the end of a growth: Buffy has become an adult... which does not mean that she has solved all of her problems (not many people can solve their problems just by becoming adult, they simply bring the problems with them, some partially resolved, some changed, but most of them will last more or less until death). Hence, I don't see the inherent problem to Chosen; as Not Fade Away, it is not the end of everything, life goes on after that (or plenty of deaths, in the case of NFA ;) ).

I agree with that. But let me ask you this, when Buffy killed Angelus what made that such an incredibly powerful moment? Characterization. The story, in this case, didnt matter--what mattered was that we knew Buffy, we knew Angel, and we felt for both. The same goes for The Gift, what makes that such an incredibly powerful moment is the idea that we know Buffy, we feel for her, and its a logical conclusion to the story. Empty Places had potential to be emotionally powerful, as did Chosen, but when the story became what mattered, we dont feel for the characters, we were glad to see TF defeated. As you said, winning the battle was the important part. Hence, the story isnt about Buffy, its about defeating TF, where The Gift is about Buffy and Becoming is about Buffy and Angel. Story over characterization and emotional mockery follow from this. In the end, think about this, whats important about Becoming or The Gift? Is it that both portals were closed and the world was saved? I dont think so, I think whats important about those episodes are the characters, its the scooby gang reaction to Buffy's death, its about Buffy's abject pain at Angel's death, its about a tortured Giles hoping for the safety of Buffy. In other words, its about characters, relationships, and what makes us special as humans, its about heart. Not so, in Chosen.

[ edited by jerryst3161 on 2006-05-02 00:26 ]
I know what you are saying about the emotion/characterization. What I remember most in CHOSEN is Buffy/Spike in that scene in the hellmouth. The Scoobies final scenes seem a bit forced to me, because as you said, nothing was really resolved the way it should be to feel like they were close again. (and I'm not only talking about EMPTY PLACES--I mean since she was pulled from Heaven) I felt that she and Xander were on decent terms--certainly she understood him having lost so much. Also he above the rest showed a growth of character concerning other people's feelings and just generally keeping his mouth shut.

In the end, from the way the story played out-- I felt that Buffy was closest to Spike. Also,the Scoobies obviously knew about Buffy/Spike's closeness(certainly it was brought up to her all the time) so the mall jokes seemed almost an insult to Buffy, if I'm saying this right. I certainly didn't get a warm touching feeling there like I think I was suppose to get.

As for NFA, I thought Angel had gone daft with his plan, but I loved all the heroic characters in the NFA ending--Yes, even Illyria, who had taken over Fred's body.

[ edited by spikeylover on 2006-05-02 01:22 ]
I'm with you Spikeylover...I don't think Joss would have gone through the trouble of showing the closeness Spike and Buffy shared if there was no emotion there.
It did bother me that 'that closeness' was often joked about, but I think it might have been because it was such an unusual thing for Buffy as The Slayer to have feelings for a vampire.
I doubt the Potentials would have known about her previous thing with Angel, but her current thing with Spike must have thrown them for a loop.

I do think of all the Scoobs though, Xander was a bit more accepting of Spike by the end, and I thought that Dawn was making steps in the right direction too...she did blast one of the SITs for a comment about Spike I think ...Rona maybe, but then I think they all ran out of time.Giles was just a self righteous prig and I still can't forgive him. Thats why I wish we would have had 2 hour finales for both series instead of crunching everything into 1 hour.

For NFA, I guess after all his years of planning to bring down the SPs..Angel thought he had a good plan, but I still didn't get why Drogan had to die. I mean Angel already had them confinced he had let Fred go...but hey...on short notice, maybe thats what the writers had to work with.
Still like you said...I came away from NFA loving every damn one if them, and Illy...well hell she made me proud.
In many ways she and Spike were in the same boat. Both of them were the outsiders, this fight really wasn't thiers, but both of them stayed to fight it out...pretty damn heroic if you ask me.
In my heart and mind they did survive. Spike takes over the job of helping Blue with her humanity,maybe even getting Fred back somehow, and Angel goes to find Connor and Nina. Not too sure about Gunn, but if he makes it I hope he's with Anne.

Oh well...we can make it any way we want now I guess.....
I loved Chosen. But like Jerry I have to dismiss much of what came before in order for it all to gel.

But I loved that Buffy was happy and smiling and hopeful for the future (man, I love that happy smile she has! We got to see precious few of them in season 6/7 - being with Angel was one of those few moments), I loved that Joss (in his own words) gave us a happy ending by having Buffy alive and with her best friends Willow, Xander, Giles - that he didn't kill Dawn or Faith. Now they can all truly reconnect.

Buffy and Spike had their moment and came to that place of peace. They had that closure - they were done. So his death was fitting. I didn't see it as an insult to Buffy or Spike.

As for NFA - well I thought it was a great SEASON ender. Or even a great episode on it's own. But as THE series finale? I hated it. But only because, despite Joss' claim - it IS a cliffhanger and I think the characters and certainly the fans deserved better than a cliffhanger.

Ah well.
I loved Chosen. But like Jerry I have to dismiss much of what came before in order for it all to gel.

I'm the same way, actually, but that might be why I like it. I'd just as soon forget that much of Season 7 (including - and perhaps especially - Empty Place) didn't exist. Most of it did very little for me. But I really felt like Chosen was a fitting end to the series (as opposed to the season). Yes, it was rushed. Yes, it was imperfect. No, that one moment with the core four didn't really feel earned given everything that had happened. But - to me, at least - the finale did most of what I would have wanted it to do, and ended the series on what seemed like the right note, and with themes that fit everything we'd seen for seven years.
Some people have suggested The Gift would have been a better finale, but while I think it was a better episode, it would have seemed to me like a grim note on which to end a series that was at its core pretty optimistic.
A lot of people have mentioned Wesley's death, that it didn't seem real because he didn't really try. I really think that Wesley gave up. It seemed like he didn't fight at all, because he didn't want to. In season 4, Wesley was very dark. He didn't see a direction or a purpose. In season 5, the only thing he had was Fred. When he lost her, he couldn't find anything else worth living for, and he didn't really try to. I also think that even though they'd been told that Fred's soul was lost, Wesley believed-or at least wanted to believe-that it was out there, or up in Heaven, waiting for him. Which I think it why he wanted Illyria to pretend to be her. He needed the illusion.

I also loved NFA, for the same reason that most people have said: because it was about always fighting, against all odds, against terrible odds. How even if you're looking death in the eye, you aren't going to go out without a fight.
I really really enjoyed Chosen for the end of Buffy.
Buffy had hope for the future and the Scooby gang made it out alive. Angel's return was a nice treat, so thank you Joss if you ever read any of this.

NFA was a bitter sweet moment for me. I'd have to agree with Cider and say that in my mind, if the camera had zoomed in behind the bleeding gang, we would have seen an army of Slayers, led by the Queen of Slayers herself. THAT would have been the perfect ending to a brilliant era.

It's almost the only thing that makes sense with the fact that we know the group survived because of the post NFA comics. Maybe if we ever get a Big screen movie, looking at YOU Joss, we'll get a flashback scene to that night in the alley.
A girl can dream can't she?

I simply can't end without mentioning just how much the WB suck and how they have been punished for their idiocy since cancelling ATS. Am I that petty? Why yes, I am.
I don't think it would have been fitting to have Buffy come back for NFA, in the same way most people thought it would have been inappropriate to have had Angel stay and help in Chosen. The Circle, Wolfram & Hart, the Senior Partners, they weren't Buffy's fight. I can see the argument for having Buffy there, and I can't really explain why I oppose it. It's just the feeling. To me, panning across and seeing Buffy and the Potentials wouldn't have felt right. It would have been-I don't want to say too easy, but almost. Almost like "oh man, impossible odds, we're never gonna make it; oh, look, I have this handy demon repellant spray in my pocket." I just can't see it working. It would be like being saved. And Angel was about how you better keep fighting, and you better keep going, and you better not give up, because no one's coming to help you; you aren't going to be saved.
Ditto to everything you just said Cheryl! I would love to see SMG and DB and all the SG and FG come back on the big screen and show us more stories.

And yes, I loved Chosen for the B/A hope Joss gave us as well. Chosen gave me everything I needed for the end of Buffy.
I agree with you Ormaybemidgets, that fight was for Angel,Spike and the fanggang. They were the ones who had started it and therefor should finish it or die trying. It would have been an absolute joke to see Buffy and the slayers saving their asses.

Kathylovesspike, i think that Buffy and Angel have totally become different leaders and Buffy wouldn't accept some of the things that Angel has done. He has no problem with killing humans or champions if he feels that the situation calls for it.
And Drogan was one of those situations.
Ormaybemidgets...I can't agree with you but your comparrison to Buffy showing up and the handy repellant spray was the funniest thing I have heard in quite some time, so thank you. *g*

Sethsky, imo, Buffy has always been defined by her huge forgiving heart. Considering the circumstances that spawned Angel's actions...I don't think she'd hold it against him at all.
They have both been in very bad places emotionally and when faced with the death of someone so close to them, both have offered to do unthinkable to prevent it.
I think she just might understand more than you think.
Cherly, i don't think so. Buffy had a very strict policy about killing humans and while season7 Buffy was more openminded, that doesn't mean that she would have done the same like Angel. There is always more then one choice and NFA was showing us what Angel had decided to do.
If Spike had not returned on Angel I might agree that he and Buffy's story was done, but since the events and a statement in TGIQ kinda put both vamps on equal turf as far as Buffy loving them...I think this story will go. After all we still have no proof that she even knows Spike is alive and I for one would like to see what happens when she finds out.

Or maybe in Joss's comics we find out that she is happily married to the Immortal, who is probably like Xander or wait...Christian Slater (wasn't that something Buffy dreamed of doing and mentioned in some episode?) then I guess both vamps will have to move on......

See...both finales left a lot of open questions IMHO.

Oh and sethsky...yeah I think Angel killed the W&H baddie in Conviction too which kinda blew me away, even though that guy was a creep, but the whole Drogan thing bothered me. I guess in war though some things have to get ugly, but I just thought that Angel sort of compromised his principles.
I guess my mind always returns to Buffy trying to kill Faith. Faith wasn't exactly human but she wasn't a demon either. Faith was a souled being and I think if a line were to be drawn on Buffy's thoughts regarding the "off limit" bads, those that she must let the authorities deal with, it would be those who hold a soul.
My real point was only that there is always an exception to the rule. Buffy found hers in season 3 and Angel found his in season 5 of his series. That's what I meant when I said that she might not hold it against him but rather identify and forgive his actions.

If we are going to talk about characters crossing a line, consider Giles behavior from killing Ben in season 5 to the attempted murder of Spike in season 7 and yet Buffy forgave him.

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