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October 18 2006

Which Whedon death sucked mostest? Non-open poll, but interesting statistically, plus decent discussion in the comments.

(Mods: First post, so I erred on the side of caution by checking spoiler tickybox. That burning sensation Wash was complaining about in his chest is just heartburn, honest...)

I would split it 3 ways I think, with Wash being a little bit ahead of Joyce and Tara. There was just no inkling that anything would happen to him; he hadn't been ill and he also hadn't just gotten back together with Zoe or had resolved a huge argument with her, therefore happy again. So I'd say his was the most shocking, with the other two just as emotionally painful.

Sidenote: Interesting that Buffy and Angel aren't on that list. What, the revived who once were dead can't have had a sucky first or even second death? Also, all of those deaths were painful jolts and deeply felt to me. I don't want to minimize their importance in the grand Whedon scheme of things.

[ edited by Tonya J on 2006-10-18 00:22 ]
No need for a spoiler tag on this one :).
They all hit hard, but for me it's Wesley at the top of the heap. A little because I knew it was the last episode, but for everything else as well. Anya was the only other character on that list who even came close to having as much onscreen total time, and while I do love her, there is almost nothing in Buffy history to equal the roller coaster of fun that is the progression of Wesley Wyndham-Pryce.

*raises glass of single malt*
A three way split for me as well. Wash, Tara, and Fred. Heartbreakers all of them, but those three - a special kind of ouch. Wash edges out of the pack slightly more, I think because we didn't have the sense of closure (seeing those left behind cope and move on etc)that we had with Tara and Fred. Although Wes is up there too for the same reasons. Now I'm sad, :( , must go watch a happy Firefly ep and focus on living only in the moment and not remember the end(s).
Doyle, Fred and Wash for me... I've definately shed the most tears over Doyle. And that's a LOT of tears. But then I've cried for every one of them.
Doyle's the only death that actually made me cry.
I actually thought that the point of the poll was to question which death was the worst (ie done badly or shouldnt have been done). I think thats why Buffy and Angel arent in it, and I think thats why Wash is winning. I wasnt part of the fandomn when Serenity came out, but I did hear alot of people were unhappy with that.

For me, the death that sucked the most was Tara but I wont bore you with the details.

ETA: Yeah Doyle and Buffy were the ones I cried over. When Buffy died in The Gift, I bawled (and I dont mind admitting it) like a baby because of its beauty and heroic nature. House once said that death is never beautiful, but he had never seen The Gift.

[ edited by jerryst3161 on 2006-10-18 00:47 ]
Seeing as every single Buffyverse character did die at one point (alternate dimension, the futurem dreams etc), it's really hard to choose.

At the time when Buffy killed Angel at the end of season 2, it hit me really hard. I was so wrapped up in the show, desperate to see how the season ended and then Joss pulls a blinder and kills Angel. After that, the deaths of characters were shocking but not so much of a surprise any more.
Doyle's made me cry, too, vampire dan and silv.

My friend and former colleague was tucked weeping into bed--by her 9 year old daughter--when Wesley died.

Cordy's really got to me, because I never saw it coming. And it was so wonderful to have her back!

In Buffy, it had to be Jenny, because, well, just because.

Barely on topic, but I hated that Sunday only lasted one episode. I thought she could have been a really great longer term Medium Bad.

And, duh, Wash.
This was a hard one but I'll have to say Wash's death hit me the hardest with Joyce being a close second. When Book died I thought that was the "shocking" death of the movie and that the rest of the characters would make it until the end. I sat there stunned and crying and had a hard time even focusing on the rest of the movie my first time viewing it.

Jenny's death was probably the most shocking because it was the first unexpected death (I don't count Jesse because he wasn't around long enough to feel for him). And Jenny's death was the moment that you really knew that Angel was gone and Angelus was pure evil.

And both Buffy and Angel's deaths left me sobbing and stunned.
Oh, yes, I bawled like a colicky baby when Buffy made the ultimate sacrifice.
Okay, I'll admit, I sobbed like a baby for each death! But, I was a total wreck when Buffy sacrificed herself and I can't even listen to the cd without starting to get all emotional as my mind goes back to that moment when she turns in slow motion and the realization on Dawn's face as she realizes what Buffy's going to do! *sob*!!
Just y'all wait until a Buffy movie eventually happens and they all die in a bus crash. Including Miss Kitty Fantastico. But don't worry, at the end you'll learn the movie was just a dream as Buffy steps out the shower.
Wash's was the top shocker-death for me, but I cried the most for Fred. Well, if you're gonna have her calling out for "A Little Princess" and her Feigenbaum, you're gonna kill me. Plus, the acting was to die for. Both doomed, though I never suspected it then...

Whereas I actually did suspect at the time that Joyce wasn't long for this world -- it seemed likely, but I thought the cause would be supernatural. I was so glad it wasn't, and that her death brought forth the episode "The Body" -- about which enough cannot be said.

For the final Angel, I knew they were all potentially up for the chop, expecially after seeing Anya bite it in the Buffy final "Chosen." Both she & Wesley were huge losses.

And watching "The Gift" still makes me cry every time. I picture my little brunette sister in peril and sobbing, and want to dive off the tower myself. And I cry for Buffy, even though I know that she's coming back. The writing is so good -- for both Buffy's death here, and Angel's in "Becoming II" -- but it's Sarah's expressive face in both that does the real damage.

Can I say which Whedondeath sucketh the most? No, they all sucketh and sucketh right heartily in such mightily different ways.

Arrrgh. I'll be in my happy place...
I think, for me, (tv) death that doesn't serve a purpose or is random is the worst. Buffy, Spike, Angel, Doyle...all their deaths served a higher, better purpose. Doesn't mean I didn't cry like a baby, but it makes you curse the fates a little less.
Hell, as blasphemous as this is to say, even Wash's death served a purpose-for the Reavers. And Wash's death was during a battle, and all bets are off in a battle.
But Tara...Tara's death was so pointless and random. Getting hit with a bullet that wasn't meant for her.

As for Joyce...The Body touched me because of the Scooby's emotions over Joyce, not my own. I didn't really feel like she was a presence I missed, and I still have some unresolved anger over her attitude toward Buffy in S2 and 3.
Doyle's death sucked because I was really starting to like him with Cordy and then he was gone. Also, his character wasn't fully fleshed out.

The premature death of the series ANGEL (leaving our four heroes standing in the rain facing monsters) was probably the worst one though..

I am saddened by Buffy's death in the GIFT (although it's an incredible moment in the series) and Spike's death in CHOSEN is heroic, but I always start getting weepy when the music starts up. I don't know if it's Spike's death (he did come back) Anya's death, or just that the series ending, but I it never fails to get to me.
It's very hard for me to rank the deaths -- although I, too, think Jenny's death was the most shocking initially, because it was so unexpected, as FF said. But, I didn't cry over hers. I cried buckets in "The Body," even though Joyce's death was expected. But I think I was crying over the episode and the reactions of all, rather than over Joyce herself, despite the fact that I hated to see her leave the show.

I also cried over "The Gift" -- and I still do -- just at the moment that Spike breaks down. Gets me each time. But the most shocking death in BtVS was Tara's. I was not expecting it at all -- and I learned to curse Joss at that moment for his evilness in ripping our guts out.

I boo-hooed over Fred's death -- but I had been spoiled about it, so it didn't have the same shock as did Wesley's. But I must say that Wash's death did indeed shock me, as I figured Book's death (a) was going to happen, since I knew ahead of time that he had little screen time, and (b) once he died, I figured we were "safe" from any more deaths. Oh, well, curse the evil Joss-man again. But, all things considered, I think Tara's was the most surprising of all to me -- and, since it ultimately led to her "replacement" by Kennedy -- well, 'nuff said.
For me "Becoming II" and "The Body" were the ones that you felt physically, right down in the pit of your stomach.

However, the one that sucked the most had to be Tara's. I mean, Amber finally gets regular billing and they kill her off! Made me want to drink and do bad things. Ok, I didn't (well maybe a few beers) but I still wanted to!
WASH

but I do understand the why
Tara. End of story for me.

I think Wash is getting so many votes for the simple reason that his was most recent, and that has stuck in the mind of a lot of people- plus, as some of the posters on that board have noted, they did not see some of the shows on which the other, older, deaths happened. I found Wash's death completely predictable (as I have posted in the past). This does not take away from its effect, but its ramifications are far less than, say, Tara's death. Wash died, and then Zoe fought and then the movie ended. Tara died, and Willow went Dark and the Buffyverse was never the same. And the effects of Tara's death will undoubtedly flow into S8 of Buffy. As for Fred, well, at least the actor still had a job. :-)
I was shocked by Anya and Wash. I was saddened by Buffy and Spike and Angel. Joyce, frankly, only affected me inasmuch as I felt bad for the other characters. For me, Fred was the worst.

For everything she had gone through and suffered, and all the stumbling blocks between her and Wesley... for her to die that slow, painful, useless death was just heart-wrenching. Also worsened by the situation on the other side of the world, where they couldn't save her, god! Every once in awhile, when I have pent-up tears that I just can't let go of, I pull up Lynn's "Do Not Go Gentle" video, and just bawl my eyes out.

Just did, matter of fact.

Part of it, from a more clinical standpoint, may be the circumstances. If you think about it, the other deaths were abrupt... someone was stabbed or broken or whatever. With Fred, we sat by that deathbed for days.

Damn you, Joss.

[ edited by UnderTheDark on 2006-10-18 02:02 ]
Sucked most? Wash.
Including Miss Kitty Fantastico.

Nooooooooooo........
Doyle and Joyce. whenever I see Cordy watching the Doyle video in season 5 'Your welcome' I get teared up. especially when she gives her 'first soldier down' speach.

And although Joyce was not one of my favroites on the show, watching 'The Body' just made it seem so real. That episode was so bleak and pure it just ripped me out of my livingroom. I dont think I have ever seen a death done so realistic on tv (and the part where Anya breaks down still gets to me when I see it).
UnderTheDark: "Every once in awhile, when I have pent-up tears that I just can't let go of, I pull up Lynn's 'Do Not Go Gentle' video, and just bawl my eyes out."

*perks up tiny, shell-like ears*

What-what-what? What's this, now? UnderTheDark, is this, perchance, something I could see online somewhere? It interests me strangely...

“Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light!”

-- Dylan Thomas
Doyle's death is the very first I remember. And I was in love with him, little spikey face and all. I kept saying for weeks, "he saved the world, they'll bring him back, right? He's not really off the show, right?" Clearly, Whedon was not yet my master.

But Wash....the worse by far.....I'm still not over it.
I teared up for Wesley, but I sobbed aloud for Wash. However I was always content to have Joss tear out my heart and give me the big emotional moment, since I loved the shows all the more for it.

[ edited by embers on 2006-10-18 03:18 ]
Several people at my forum have mentioned Anya's death as being one not honored by the Scoobies enough. One poster said that they treated her badly. Here was my response (what do you all think):

"Why do you say treated badly? Help me understand this. Xander treated her badly. The others empathized. Anya screwed Spike and hurt Xander, went demon again and caused the deaths of an entire frat house. Her wrong was reversed by D'Hoffryn. She rejoined the Scoobies, if I remember right, because she didn't want to be alone during the final battle and thought she could do some good. Though I wasn't happy there wasn't more effusiveness about her death, which I've written about before, Xander's "That's my girl," it did seem as though her story had gone as far as it could. She went down a warrior and actually served humanity instead of persecuting it as a vengeance demon. YMMV."
As hard as it was to watch Buffy, Spike and Angel die, the pain was lessened by knowing that all three of them were not gone for good (and in my world, Spike and Angel walked away after the alley fight in NFA).

Jenny's death was the most shocking for me. I was unspoiled at that time and Angelus's killing her by snapping her neck made my jar drop.

I couldn't chose between Tara, Wash, Joyce, Anya, Book, Cordy, Fred or Wes in terms of whose death made me the saddest. All of their demises made my saddometer go off the charts.
Cordy, Doyle, Joyce and Merl. I loved that little guy. Seriously.
Jeez, where's the Tara love? That's the only death that still has actual real-world ramifications today. :-)
Wash's death was shocking, but I cried more for Wesley. I wish Cordy had been on the list - for some reason that episode just gets me every time.
Wash - it killed any chance i'd take on whedon in the future.
Pumps: "Wash - it killed any chance i'd take on whedon in the future."

How so?
Wesley. Though I sobbed like a baby while Fred died, it did look as though hints were being dropped about her eventual return in some form when Illyria "became" Fred. But Wes. Wes just couldn't seem to get a break, and I think that half of my sobs at Fred's death were on behalf of Wesley. There's more, but that's the sum of it.

But all of them made me cry, some of them made me sob broken-heartedly--and Spike's nearly made me come unhinged. But that's just 'cause of my little obsessi crush.

And yeah, Merl. I liked the little weasel, too. As Angel said (possibly slightly paraphrased) when they discovered pieces of Merl hither & thither, "Yeah, but he was my demon [snitch??]."
Jeez, where's the Tara love?

Here! For lots of reasons her death sucked but I can sum it up as: I still enjoyed watching BtVS and Serenity after those other deaths.
Wash's was the most visceral for me. Literally felt like i'd been punched in the stomach (I didn't predict it but then I avoided spoilers like the plague and deliberately didn't really analyse possibilities before watching the film).

Tara's was probably the saddest because it was Willow that suffered most as a result and because they deserved to be happy together but the most emotional for me would be Buffy's in 'The Gift'. Her (if you will ;) serenity, sureness of purpose, the beautiful score and SMG's wonderfully expressive face all combine to make that a very powerful scene for me.

And Joyce's in 'The Body' (not because I was particularly sad that Joyce was gone but mostly for Buffy's 'Mommy ?' in the previous episode and Anya's break-down). I think the emotional after-math from 'The Body' is about the truest i've ever seen depicted on film or TV and i'm not a bit surprised that it helps people cope in the real world.

Fred's was a close runner up and Cordy's was also poignant but I think i'd already started to disengage from the character just because of time away from her. The guys - Wesley, Spike 1, Gunn etc. - were more clenched fists of exhilaration and vicarious defiance than actual sadness for me (though Wesley's probably had the most sad in it), "Into the valley of death" and all that (or the fear/thrill feeling from the charge of the Rohirrim in 'Return of the King'). Maybe that's a guy thing though ;).
Okay, not that anyone in this thread is responsible for this particular button of mine, but I've seen seven people on this thread mention something that just irks me, and has every time I ever heard it mentioned on the show or anywhere else. So if you'll excuse my rant, I just have to get it off my chest. :)

Angel was not killed at the end of Buffy Season 2. Anyone who says otherwise, including the characters in the show or even Joss himself, is forgetting how vampires are killed. Was the sword with which Buffy stabbed him wooden? Was he somehow decapitated, or set on fire, or exposed to sunlight? No? Then he didn't die. Buffy banished him to hell for centuries of his subjective time, but she did not kill him. She probably felt like she did, but that stabbing doesn't really count as a death.

As for my answer...Wash's death hit me very hard, and so did Wesley's. And so did Tara's. But ultimately I have to go with Kaylee's "death" in the Firefly pilot as the one that sucked most. (Hey, if people in here are saying Angel was killed, I can choose a faux-death!)

[ETA: To seriously answer the question...Joyce.]

[ edited by BAFfler on 2006-10-18 11:24 ]
Good point, BAFfler. Something like that (Angel's "faux death") was sorta skittering around the far reaches of my brain, but I just never articulated it. Acathla actually sucked Angel into the vortex, due to Buffy impaling him on the sword. We didn't even see him fall down go boom. He just went. Yeah, Buffy felt like she'd killed him, and I think all the characters thought she had as well. But I'm with you on the non-deathliness of it.

I want to add about Joyce's death that what moved me the most, as many here have said, was everyone else's pain/loss, Anya's breaking down, etc. Where I differ from most people's postings here is that I just can't watch this episode. It is way too painful for me. I think it must be because I'm an abject coward. There's just too much verisimilitude. Joss, as always, just nailed it in one.
Oh, and Saje,

The guys - Wesley, Spike 1, Gunn etc. - were more clenched fists of exhilaration and vicarious defiance than actual sadness for me. . . . Maybe that's a guy thing though ;).


Yep.
How could I forget Merl? I loved him, too. He reminded me of Angel on Rockford Files and I was hoping he would become a recurring.
"Angel was not killed at the end of Buffy Season 2. Anyone who says otherwise, including the characters in the show or even Joss himself, is forgetting how vampires are killed. Was the sword with which Buffy stabbed him wooden? Was he somehow decapitated, or set on fire, or exposed to sunlight? No? Then he didn't die. Buffy banished him to hell for centuries of his subjective time, but she did not kill him. She probably felt like she did, but that stabbing doesn't really count as a death."

Ahh but here is a question for you: couldnt Angel have been incenerated by the portal itself? Remember, thats how Buffy died in The Gift, she was basically killed by the portal which tells me that portals are deadly even to vampires (he could have easily been set on fire or electrified which means he still dies by fire). But more than that, doesnt the definition of death in the Buffyverse mean that someone crosses over to some heaven or hell dimension unless you are a God? Which inherently means that something happened to Angel to kill him, whether the portal killed him or whether he was staked when he got hell, what matters is that he did die. Right?
Is there any episode of Buffy which states it *has* to be a stake which dusts vamps? Nope. In fact, there's canon episodes in Buffy The Vampire Slayer (and Angel) where characters kill vamps using swords, axes etc.

So, Buffy did kill Angel.
"Angel was not killed at the end of Buffy Season 2. Anyone who says otherwise, including the characters in the show or even Joss himself, is forgetting how vampires are killed."

On the other hand, the information about the ways in which vampires can be killed also comes from characters in the show. So the characters could have been wrong when they listed all the ways to kill a vamp - they might not have known at the time that getting swallowed by Acathla would kill a vamp.
At the end of season 2, I was left with the impression that Buffy killed Angel and I'm sure that's what Joss and his merry crew intended. Obviously with hind sight it didn't happen but at the time it was a totally different kettle of fish.
But more than that, doesnt the definition of death in the Buffyverse mean that someone crosses over to some heaven or hell dimension unless you are a God?


Well, Buffy went to a hell dimension of some sort (okay, one that looked like a Pat Benatar video, as Marti Noxon pointed out) and she wasn't dead. Wasn't Fred rescued from a hell dimension? I'm not clear on 'Angel' stuff.

I always thought of Angel as having been killed by Buffy. It still works for me and I'll stick with it. However, I can see the argument that he wasn't killed but simply condemned to the hell dimension. Either one seems to work and I guess it's just a case of choosing whichever suits best.
Moley75- I think you meant ANGEL and Firefly, right? "cause like you, I did not want to watch Buffy as much after Tara was gone.
Death is very ambiguous in the Buffyverse, as is crossing between dimensions. They have similarities and differences, which serve the story at hand. Nobody ever seems to die so as to disappear completely out of the 'verse permanently. The only exception to the coming back of beloved characters I can think of is Doyle, who could only come back on videotape because the actor had actually died. Doyle's death really hit me hardest. I think I'd expected to have years with him and I was averse to Wesley for replacing him for a while, though I grew to love.
Geez, I never though my little comment would raise such a ruckus. So I guess I'll respond as best I can.

jerryst3161: It looked to me as though Angel was physically sucked into the portal, so I choose to believe that the portal didn't kill him...much in the same way the portal to Qor'toth didn't kill Holtz or Connor.

gossi: Swords and axes kill vampires by decapitation.If you'll recall, Angel was stabbed through the chest. He has been stabbed with numerous other metal objects (rebar in "Untouched," Spike's sword in "A Hole in the World"), and even wooden objects through the stomach ("Somnambulist"). These are just a couple examples. (No one wants me to get into how much I hated "Couplet," so I won't.) None of THOSE killed him. So I don't think a sword driven through the heart, even a special sword wielded by a Vampire Slayer, would do so.

mjwilson: Since nobody knows what going through Acathla's mouth does to ANYONE, I cannot answer your objection, except to say that I think my interpretation is more inherently consistent with the show's events.

Simon and dashboardprophet: I understand what Joss intended to do...and in effect, he did it. I'd say getting sucked into a hell dimension pretty much makes you dead to everyone that ever knew you, and had Angel not been released, I'd stick with the show's explanation. Besides, what really matters was the big emotional moment that went along with Buffy's decision, and the impact of that isn't affected no matter which interpretation you believe. Still, it irks me just a bit to hear Buffy say "I killed Angel!" when no other vampire would have been killed by what she did. Shouldn't a Slayer know better?
Okay, I can see the point made about how Buffy actually did kill Angel. (I am such roundheels!) But the only ways I can remember to kill a vamp, according to this 'verse's rules, are by sharp pointed wooden objects in the heart, fire, exposure to sunlight or decapitation--whether by sword, axe, battleaxe or even barbed wire.

But Buffy put a sword through Angel's mid-section, and that in itself doesn't kill vamps. In season 5 of Angel, Spike runs Angel through with a sword just to kill some kind of icky thing that was on his back (as well as to get on Angel's wick) and Angel was still walking around whingeing about it. So I still kinda think Angel was just popped into some kind of hell dimension without actually being killed. But does it ultimately matter, given that he was there, he was tortured therein, and then he came back? Not really to me. I just see BAFfler's point.
Sorry, BAFfler, I didn't see your post as I was composing mine. You make a much better case for your case (as it were) than I did. :^) I just can see both sides on this one. And you're right, "what really matters was the big emotional moment that went along with Buffy's decision, and the impact of that isn't affected no matter which interpretation you believe."

Well said.
You got me :o)
Moley75- I think you meant ANGEL and Firefly, right? "cause like you, I did not want to watch Buffy as much after Tara was gone.

No, I did mean Buffy (never seen Angel - hangs her head) - I was quite happy to watch BtVS after Jenny, Kendra, Joyce, etc, all departed but it was not the same pleasure for me after Tara's death.
Spike's 'death' in Chosen broke my heart and hit me the hardest of all I guess...even though I knew he would be returning.
I also have to say that I loved Anya and that really hurt to see her go.

As for Blondie Bear's fate post NFA, I am comforted by the fact that Joss intended more for Spike so I am confident that he, Angel and Illyria made it out of that alley.
I hope that Gunn did too, but not too sure on that one.

Buffy's demise in the Gift surprised me, but Joyce's death just scared me...made me really think about how 'real' it was and how it could hit home...you know???

As far as Jenny and Tara...they were both surprises too and equally tragic.

Doyle's death was so sad and in all honesty...I cried when Cordy died too, because I felt so bad for her and FOR Angel...her death really got to him IMHO.

Wes, Fred ... were sad but I guess by then I was pretty much expecting it and somehow I was just numb.

Sigh.....I miss them all so much.......
"Still, it irks me just a bit to hear Buffy say "I killed Angel!" when no other vampire would have been killed by what she did. Shouldn't a Slayer know better?"

I think the point in that case is the meaning of the phrase "I killed Angel." especially in the context used. She did not "dust" him, but she diliberately sent him to a hell dimension for what she could only assume would be all eternity. I think the shortened version, "killing" him, gets her point across that she has sacrificed someone she loved to the greater good. She says it in language that people will viserally understand and as a counterpoint to the killing that she is anticipating having to do. Even without the context, I think it makes perfect sense that Buffy would use "kill" to describe what she did to Angel. It is actually a less tormenting thought for her than what she actually did to him.

That said, the word "kill" has many connotations and meanings. Add to that that Whedon shows deal with analogy and metaphor and the word can be used to describe alot more than the physical deaths of any of the characters. I have always thought that Angel actually dies the first time on BtVS when his souls is taken from him in "Innocence." His soul is gone, doesn't that make Angel (as opposed to Angelus) dead? ...And of course the innoccent romantic girl in Buffy was killed in the process. So I go with there being a lot more deaths rather than less in the Whedonverse.

Original Question: Wash is the freshest so I still remember the original shock. I cry the most in "The Body" because of Buffy's pain and Anya's confusion...or really my own pain and confusion about deaths of people I have cared about. Fred's was the first I saw in real time and made me feel awful for her, but I ended up enjoying Illyria more than Fred, so that really doesn't make the list. Tara was a huge loss, and heartbreaking, but made sense for the story. ...I think the suckiest may have been Doyle. He was only on a short time, he did not come back, and I really liked him. Besides, slap-stick, treacherous Wesley was never of much interest to me, (though I loved AD's performance once Wesley started becoming a person) so Doyle's death always seems especially sucky.
Dreamlogic- Tara never came back either. Her end was her end. We did not see her in CWDP, so we have no idea if that really was her or if it was just The First Evil heaping pain on Willow, and I believe it was the latter. Why couldn't the First portray Tara, since all he needed was for someone to be dead in order to use his or her body? In one way, this might be interpreted to mean that Tara was not really dead; in another, it might mean she was so good she could not be depicted in physical form. But like Doyle, when she was gone, she was gone forever. And no noble death for her.

Moley- sorry, you are correct, and I agree with you.
Dana - in CWDP, the part with Faux!Tara was supposed to be played by Amber, but she couldn't film for whatever reasons. They had also planned to bring Tara back at the very end of season 7 of Buffy - Joss had the story broke - but Amber wasn't available.
Thank you to the people who are raising questions about what happened to Angel when Buffy ran him through with a sword. I wasn't watching the show when Becoming, Part II first aired and by the time I got around to seeing it, I already knew the ending. But in my mind, I always saw it as a mere bloodletting, not death. Even though Buffy always referred to the incident as her "killing" Angel, my brain refused to accept that version of events.

Many of you have pointed out the two strongest claims against Angel's being slain: (1) Buffy thrusts a metal sword (wood is necessary) through Angel's chest, but not his heart, and (2) Angel didn't disintegrate into dust.

In support of those claims, consider these key lines from the episode itself. Angel(us): "Blood. Of course. The blood on my hands must be my own. I am the key that will open up the door. My blood." And later, Whistler: "Then only Angel's blood will close it. One blow will send 'em both back to Hell." That seems clear. A blow need not be lethal. You could even say a little nick to the arm or hand would do the job, as long as it drew blood.

That being said, it's clear that Buffy thought she needed more force than a small cut, which is why she plunged the sword in deep rather than, say, cutting a clean slice across the palm of his hand. Wonderfully ambiguous, that scene.
Yep gossi, in the sorely missed "Buffy's Wish" episode. Man I wish it'd got made. Don't think there'd have been many dry eyes by the end of that one ;).

Re: Angel, at that point we didn't know of the various ways beings could travel into and out of hell dimensions so he was as good as dead, IMO. That said, given that swords don't kill vamps without beheading and that Angel appears back in Sunnydale the same way he went, i'd say he wasn't dead, just really, really wishing he was.
Wow, the possibility that Buffy actually killed Angel in Becoming has never occured to me. To be honest, though, I think I like the idea of Angel's death more than hundreds of years spent in a hell dimension. Not for any emotional reason, but it seems more realistic somehow given Angel's time spent in the hell dimension is never really alluded to at all but it was an extremely long time he would have spent there.

Buffy's death in The Gift would be the worst death for me. Followed closely by Wesley and Wash. Although the most gutwrenching moment in the Jossverse for me was not a death at all. The scene with Kaylee and Jubal Early in Objects in Space gets to me more than any of the deaths ever have.
I think Spike's death at the end of "Chosen" would have had much more of an impact on me if the WB hadn't already announced that they had signed on James Marsters for Angel.

How awesome would that have been if we had all thought that Spike was dead and gone for good at the end of "Chosen" and we had spent the summer depressed and crying only to tune into AtS season premiere and suddenly see Spike pop out of that amulet!! I'm sure that's how Joss would have loved to have been able to do it but the WB ruined any chance of that happening before we even knew that Spike had "died"!
gossi- don't mix the business reality of running the show with the depictions of what was actually shown on the show. What happened in real life is irrelevant to canon; the fact is, Tara did not come back, her death had no nobility and we do not know why the First could not use her body. It may be that the issue was never even considered by ME as a result of their failure to sign Amber, but to me that is a huge hole in continuity that to this day cannot be satisfactority explained in terms of the intertext of the show. But it is not debatable that Tara did not come back; she did not.
I for one was really glad I knew that Spike was coming back because I literally would have spent the summer depressed and crying. I personally don't care for feeling that way.

When I read the poll about deaths that sucked I interpret it as deaths that were meaningless or pointless or not well-done.

Wash to me would be the winner on that. Even though I had only seen Serenity not Firefly by that time I really thought his death was a gratuitous gimmick. Simply put in for shock value. JMO. Anya's death comes close to that for me as well.

The other's deaths, although I may not have liked them had meaning, and true story impact. Spike's, Angel's, Buffy's all were well done with real meaning and emotion. Not even contender's in the sucky death competition.

Tara, Joyce, Doyle, Fred, Jenny were upsetting, but still added to the story and had emotional impact.

Wes and Gunn? come closer to the sucky side. Not necessary to the story, and not that well-done.
Wait wait wait...it took me a whole day to realize Darla isn't on this list. I know she was bad, but her death made me cry more than just about anyone's.
I can't think of a BtVS, AtS, or Firefly/Serenity death that wasn't excrutiating. Everyone taken was a blow and every one of the scenes where it happened is burned in my memory, for so many of the reasons listed above. I'll make mention of Book, to keep his spirit alive here, because that one hit me even worse than Wash. Oddly, though, it was Anya's death that had me most raging against the machine. Not for any reasoned, well-thought out assessment of her character's arc, but just for pure gut reaction. I knew the battle/the story/the series was coming to a close and I felt in it like I never had before. Her quick and brutal slaying, and the lack of space to grieve it, is still tough to take, even to this day.

That said, I always felt that the deaths in the W-verse served the story and the characters so beautifully. They were always devastating, but they were so pitch-perfect, I never wanted to change a one. At the time I scrunched up my forehead and rebuked the characters on the TV for not acknowledging Anya's loss more explicitly, but with time and distance, I can see that even her death was fitting, the reaction not unexpected, and sadly, it was in keeping with her place in the shared story of these characters. /sigh

He wounds us so, and we thank him for the pleasure. Bitcas. Every last one of us.
I'm glad you mentioned Anya again. I feel the same way. Not to be a bore, but I asked a question upthread no one responded to. I would be very interested to get the reactions of knowledgeable folks here what they think about people I know saying Anya was treated disrespectfully by Buffy and friends. Also that they (or I suppose the writers) gave her death short shrift at the end. I never felt that so much as what you mentioned barest_smidgen, it was the heat of battle and there wasn't time.
I sort of have to agree, that Wash's death was a gimmick. The point, as always with JW, is that a character death makes the audience realize that no one is safe. For those of us who have followed Joss' writing and programs over the years, we know this- but- Serenity had to appeal not just to the cognoscenti, but also to all the newbies that had no experience with the Jossverse. Thus, I had commented before the movie even came out that we would see character death, and to me the most obvious death was Book- but it was so obvious to me that I felt that a second death had to occur as well, and when I analyzed it, the only answer left was Wash- no other character could serve. If Simon died, then saving River would lose resonance; if River, where do we go from here? And she was the key to the tale, so killing her at the end would be huge mistake, to get the audience to invest and then kill her. If Mal, not gonna happen. Same for Zoe- but, and this is a key but, Zoe is in a happy relationship, with a wonderful and mild man (like Tara was wonderful and mild), and that immediately put Wash at risk. Kaylee was a no go from the start; she is just too cute but her pining after the doc so far has been just pining, but no relation, and it is relations that Joss kills. And Jayne, nope, he's just muscle and comic relief. No resonance there. Wash it was....

ETA, since the post came in as I was writing: Anya's death was sort of predictable as well. She was the only main character who was not a complete and long-time Scooby, outside of Andrew. I don't think you could really kill a main scooby at the very end, since there would be no way to really address that; hence, that put Anya at risk more than anyone, even Andrew. There had to be a death, beyond Spike (since he was not really dying), and Andrew would mean little in terms of audience resonance, so it had to be someone more important- and here again, we need to address relations, so that meant either Kennedy (but no way was Joss going to kill another lesbian) or Anya (and Xander still loved Anya, and they had come to a reconciliation, which is pure death on Buffy). So, Anya. Faith it could not be; she was needed for future Angel. No to Buffy and to Dawn (dawn's death would have hurt the end of S5). Giles was a no go since they were still considering Ripper. Anya is left...

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2006-10-18 19:23 ]
"Angel's time spent in the hell dimension is never really alluded to at all but it was an extremely long time he would have spent there."

At least three allusions to Buffy having sent Angel to a hell dimension occur to me right off the bat, and I don't even know Ats all that well. I think they specified 100 years at least once but I don't remember how solid the information was that that estimate was based on.

From the text in the shows it seems clear that Angel was in conscious existence in a hell dimension for a long time after Buffy stabbed him and and let him be sucked into the vortex. The rest all seems an arguement in semantics concerning the definition of killing someone.

"Re: Angel, at that point we didn't know of the various ways beings could travel into and out of hell dimensions so he was as good as dead, IMO. That said, given that swords don't kill vamps without beheading and that Angel appears back in Sunnydale the same way he went, i'd say he wasn't dead, just really, really wishing he was.
Saje | October 18, 17:57 CET "


(sigh) I'm back to agreeing with Saje. (Stop me. Stop me, please!) While adding that I don't think that Angel being in a hell dimension with no known way or expectation of ever getting back excludes the concept for Buffy that she killed him.

As far as the lack of acknowlegement/mourning of the loss of Anya, and Spike for that matter, I have always thought that the scene made perfect sense for a group of people who had been sure they were all going to die and the world be overrun with evil. Just as with Zoe, I have always thought that the grieving would come later after the shock of survival. From the first time I saw it, I saw mourning, shock and disbelief of everything that had happened in the way the usual dialog, so much like what they had said at other times and other circumstances, was being delivered in an uncharacteristically wooden and forced way.
Tonya J, I more meant there wasn't time for me to grieve Anya's death, given the circumstances of her dying, the reaction/lack thereof from the others, and the rapidly approaching end of the series, you know? I do feel Anya's death got the short shrift from the writers and from the other characters, but I've come to believe that this choice was right and fitting with the story. I may not have liked it, but "liking" each decision made by the writers of a favoured show would make for a very boring show, indeed. As a group, the gang didn't warm to Anya as we did and it would have rung hollow for them to use the final moments of the series to mourn her more explicitly. I cross my arms across my chest, frown, and admit it was a smart and painful choice to handle her death as they did.
dreamlogic wrote:
Death is very ambiguous in the Buffyverse, as is crossing between dimensions. They have similarities and differences, which serve the story at hand.


Exactly, dreamlogic. Death in the Buffyverse is not a definitive state. I would agree with the argument that Buffy did not literally kill Angel at the end of Season 2, but that emotionally it was the same thing to her. In that sense she is accurate in saying that she killed Angel.

I would also argue on the same basis that Spike did not die at the end of "the Chosen." He was after all merely decorpealized and sucked into a jewel, from which he later emerged, with no awareness of any passage of time. Uncomfortable maybe, but not dead. On the other hand, he thought he was dying and he chose to accept death in order to help save the world, he was removed from this plane of existance for some time, and no one had any expectation of his coming back among his colleagues (unless of course they'd been spoiled for Season 5 Angel). Emotionally to him, and those around him, it felt the same as if he had literally died.

Not to mention the fact that both these guys were already dead - technically undead - which muddies definitions further.
What no tears for Lindsey? My poor evil boy. Wes and Linds dying at the end of Angel kicked me in the guts. Those were my boys. I was so pissed at Joss.
You know, goth_huntress, I couldn't have cared less about Lindsey until that very moment, when I suddenly thrilled at the prospect of his redemption, and then felt gutted by his loss. Joss' refusal to make it easy on us is why I love these stories so. Damn.
Thanks, guys. Great reactions to my question.
I had totally forgotten about Lindsey. That one shocked the hell out of me. And it kind of saddened me, because I sort of liked Lindsey even when he was evil.
(sigh) I'm back to agreeing with Saje. (Stop me. Stop me, please!)

"Just when I think i'm out, they pull me back in". Err, how can I make it easier ? I'm against the right to a fair trial by a jury of your peers, umm, the moon's made of green cheese, the Yankees/Mets are the best/worst team evah. Oh and also, 'less filling'. Definitely. ;).

I think that's a fair analysis Dana5140 (glad I didn't read it before 'Serenity' ;) especially about Anya though I still found all the deaths affecting. Had to be her really since despite rumours to the contrary I just couldn't see a core scoob dying in the final episode. It was a bitter-sweet victory already in some ways, if Buffy, Xander, Willow or Giles had died, well, not so much with the sweet (if there wasn't so much talk of a spin-off at the time i'd probably not have rated Faith's chances too highly either).

I thought Anya's death was too quick (certainly on TV where it was cut even shorter for gruesomeness) but it was heroic and Xander at least would have grieved afterwards (just not in the immediate aftermath of the biggest fight any of them had been in, time and a place after all - maybe it'll be addressed in the comics ?). I like the scene where Andrew realises that he (literally) lived to tell the tale.

Lindsey's death bothered me a bit for its shock value and for its effect on Lorne, arguably the last innocent left in the Angel-verse, though I didn't mind him dying (he had a chance to 'go straight' and blew it) and, IMO, it made perfect sense for Angel in new, not necessarily improved, means/ends mode to remove the potential future threat Lindsey represented.

(not seen her mentioned but Amanda dying in 'Chosen' gave me a little "Oh no, not Amanda" moment. Liked her)
Wow, great points by all. I have a bit of a different perspective, coming to all three series after their endings, I have a couple of comments:

1) Wash. Wow. I am seriously impressed by both Whedonesque and FireFlyFans.net that I could be unspoiled through the massive number of pre-screenings and such. I echo the coment about this being the most visceral. In fact, the 2nd & 3rd times I saw the movie in the theater, I was more peoplewatching than anything else. I heard my dad audibly exhale/grunt ("oof.") at the impact. If that's not a visceral reaction, I don't know what is.

2) All the other deaths... were spoiled. Well, not all of them, but most. Tara, Buffy, Joyce, Anya, Cordy, Fred, Wes...
Frankly, I didn't have a problem with most of them. Tara and Joyce needed to die for Willow and Buffy's arcs, respectively. Of the 'spoiled' deaths, I think Fred's and Wes's were done the best. I know that everyone who watched Buffy contemporaneously will have a markedly different perspective, but I was almost LEAST impressed by The Gift. Not that it was done bad, but I knew there would be another season and she would be back. On the other hand, I think Anya's was handled the worst--because there was no aftermath. (Edit: Oh, yeah, and I thought Andrew's appearances in AtS S5 were lame. I would much rather have had him die off instead, and have had Giles or Xander confront Angel over Dana. The humor would need to have been different, but I would have traded that for the history each of them had with Angelus.)

Doyle, I didn't pre-know, but was pretty unmoved by. Frankly, it seemed like more of a payroll/finding-the-right-cast kill-off, which I was fine with--Wes was far more interesting than a drunken deadbeat half-demon.

Like someone else said, Book was almost a "whew, that's the obligatory Joss kill-off..." and Wash's death was that much more unexpected after that set-up.

[ edited by jclemens on 2006-10-18 20:54 ]
Sooo... why isn't Cordy on that list?
I'd have to vote for Fred. Her last words were with me for days afterwards. I probably haven't been that moved by a TV death since watching Radar report Lt Colonel Blake's death on MASH when I was young.
"Sooo... why isn't Cordy on that list?
Fitz | October 18, 20:59 CET "


Good question. It seems like she should be there. Maybe it was the way she died, sort of fading way, or maybe whoever compiled the list was in denial.

"(sigh) I'm back to agreeing with Saje. (Stop me. Stop me, please!)

"Just when I think i'm out, they pull me back in". Err, how can I make it easier ? I'm against the right to a fair trial by a jury of your peers, umm, the moon's made of green cheese, the Yankees/Mets are the best/worst team evah. Oh and also, 'less filling'. Definitely. ;)."


Hmmm, I think you'll have to try harder than that, though I've got to give points to a Brit for trying the whole Mets/Yankees thing. I mean first of all taking a flyer on baseball, and then using teams whose fans mostly hate each other and are specific to my area. Kudos. (Just curious, did you know they were specific to my area? Yeah, you knew. You're a New Yorkaphile, aren't you Saje. Come on, fess up.)
Oh, no you didn't. That scene with Radar was the first, real TV death I can remember and I've been trying to put it out of my head all these years, bigsofty. It leveled me, and I'm all messed-up with the remembering. Whaddya have to go and do that for ...? ;) *reaches for tissue, embarrassed*
Ohh, I'm like a kid in a candy store! There's so many good ones to choose!

But seriously, my favourites (all for different reasons and in no particular order) have to be Wash, Fred, Wes, Joyce, Buffy.

Wash because it was so visceral, when you first watched it you felt like that stake was in your chest.

Fred because it was really the only Buffyverse death that was long and drawn out, where you really experienced the process of it with the character. Also probably the best "death acting" of the jossverse on the part of Amy.

Wes because it was so appropriate. Fred was gone, and he didn't really have that much left to hold on to, so he made his final act a heroic one. His final scene gets me everytime, with Illyria becoming fred once more. Its so simultaneously unsettling and heartwrenching, is great.

Joyce because "The Body" is the single best "death episode" in the history of broadcast, because it focuses on the survivors rather than the deceased.

And buffy for all the obvious reasons.
I think I might have a Whedon death binge and watch all these incredibly powerful eps. My heart hurts just reading this thread and yet I want more! Whedon-pain - addictive much?
BYO razors...

ETA: Oh yeah, the poll!
Wash, Wesley, Fred, Buffy, Cordy...so many fallen soldiers. I've cried for them all, and am probably about to do so again, very shortly.

[ edited by lone fashionable wolf on 2006-10-18 21:30 ]
Cordy's, Lilahs and Buffy's deaths are my least favourites as they were, in my opinion, quite badly executed and plotted a bit lame, and didn't bring me to really care.

I don't think any of the other deaths came even close to sucking. They were executed very well, made for great story, all in a unique way.
Joyce's death was the most powerfull, and it made for the story. Both of this mostly because the absolute perfect script, direction and top notch acting in the 'the Body' episode. Freds death also really hurt in a good way, and also made for a really good episode, and gave great material to the rest of the cast. Merls death gave him a good reason to show up again, made me feel sad, and made the viewer understand why randomly killing demons was so bad. Jenny's death gave material for poor Giles and made the entire Buffy series more intense. And Wash death did same for Serenity as made it me feel Joss would be able to kill of the entire cast in the last act of Serenity.

[ edited by the Groosalugg on 2006-10-18 21:43 ]
the top 2 choices on right on but I would've picked Anya or Joyce over Tara. But honestly Fred had the Suckiest Death Ever because while everyone else would go to heaven or hell or wherever, Fred completly ceases to be!!!!
Dude. I actually forgot about Lilah until you mentioned it just now. And I love Lilah.

I'm starting to worry. I think that if we made a list of characters of Buffy and Angel who died, versus those who lived it might show that Joss likes death just a little too much to be healthy.

The Firefly verse probably won't be as impressive/depressive because he didn't have enough time.
How about a vote for the best near-death?

It's Simon in Serenity by a mile. Which of you DIDN'T think, after Book, after Wash, after Kaylee and Zoe and Jayne being wounded, just for one brief second, "[expletive], Joss really IS going to kill everyone!" But of course, it's River's turn, and thank goodness for movie posters, we immediately knew how it was going to end... n'est-ce pas?
(Just curious, did you know they were specific to my area? Yeah, you knew. You're a New Yorkaphile, aren't you Saje. Come on, fess up.)

Heh, figures if there're two teams in a city their fans are going to be rivals newcj, it's like a law or something but, yeah, i've seen characters argue over it on TV (good naturedly though, you guys seemingly chose to avoid the whole sports excused sectarian violence schtick, smart move ;). The "tastes great/less filling" thing I think I saw on 'Cheers'.

New York must be great, right ? Otherwise why name it twice ? ;)

Re: Fred, yeah the 'soul death' was horrible but I think by that point the creators had to find a way to up the stakes, otherwise we'd all have thought she was going to come back later on. The idea behind it and the wonderful job all the players but especially Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof did made it one of the more affecting TV deaths (and gave us Illyria, bonus).

(the death of Colonel Blake was one of my first TV deaths and boy did it hurt. Like the end of "Blake's 7" but more real)

Totally jclemens, Wash's death definitely had the desired effect on me, I really thought they were all for the high jump.

Best near-death ? I might nominate Xander in 'The Zeppo' for the list (even though he didn't get wounded). When he told Jack he 'liked the quiet' we saw a whole new side of him, made me realise where the impetus comes from to constantly throw himself into the fray. Sure he was making a play but I don't think it was all bluff, I think (then at least) he had a slightly off-kilter, almost crazy recklessness that he used to great effect.
Ok, cancel the death binge. I made it through *parts* of Not Fade Away and realised I'm gonna run out of tissues. Spike's poems did away with me.
Weird how all these things still hurt years after the fact.

As for near-death - I had a deep pit of fear in my stomach that Joss was gonna kill Faith in Chosen when she went down under the ubervamps. I worked hard to stay unspoiled and thought my heart was gonna be broken. Phew!
Sorry about the MASH talk, barest_smidgen. I went around for days after Blake's death, going "Why'd they do that? They didn't hafta do that!" Nothing on TV since has managed to affect me as profoundly.

It's amazing how deep this stuff can go, this frivolous TV nonsense. You'd think fiction mattered or something. ;)
Lindsey's death is my favourite death in the whole of Buffy and Angel put together... in fact, it might be my favourite scene ever in either show. It was just so unexpected, and brilliantly acted I must say, by both actors.

It's not my saddest death though - that would actually be Buffy at the end of season 5. The Gift just built to such a ridiculous emotional climax that it affected me the most, I think.

Also - Jonathan dying sucked, and should be on the list clearly. I miss him .
Yeah, I saw the Col Blake death unspoiled when it was first on and it hit me pretty hard. It racheted things up a bit.

I missed Lilah when she was gone. Oh and Jonathan....

I hated seeing any of them go, but for me it was part of the overall story and I loved that feeling. It just occured to me, Did Joss ever kill a character just because the actor was leaving the show? No instance comes to mind.

"The "tastes great/less filling" thing I think I saw on 'Cheers'."

The "tastes great/less filling" thing was from a set of beer commercials where groups of men or male sports figures would start by agreeing that they loved a particular light beer (I know "light beer" in America = redundant term, and I don't even like beer.) but then would start to argue a la sports fans or atheletes & refs about whether it was so good becuase it...yeah, you know the rest. ;-)

"Heh, figures if there're two teams in a city their fans are going to be rivals newcj, it's like a law or something but, yeah,"

Actually I was raised a Cardinals fan, which made me really popular in grade school the year the Cards beat the Yankees in the Series. (/sarcasm) Later I found myself enjoying the Mets when they weren't playing the Cardinals and went with it. My son, however, has been lured to the dark side by his dear old Dad and is a Yankee fan. As long as I can keep him on my side of the political fence, though, I won't worry too much about having a Yankee fan in the house. Maybe I should get a signed agreement from his father. Hmmmm. ;-)

"i've seen characters argue over it on TV (good naturedly though, you guys seemingly chose to avoid the whole sports excused sectarian violence schtick, smart move ;)."

Yeah, it is nothing like you guys seem to go in for. I'll tell you though, it starts feeling that way up in Boston. My son forgot that we were going to Red Sox territory and only brought his Yankees cap. We didn't go into the bell of the beast to any games or anything but he got nervous about the looks he got a couple times on the street. Mostly people were just funny though and joked with him very good naturedly. I was tempted to get the Red Sox vs Yankees chess set I saw up there just because it was funny.

"New York must be great, right ? Otherwise why name it twice ? ;)"

It is, it is. ;-) ...and when you are ready to take that trip across the pond, it would be a great first stop. Just make sure you let me know you are coming so I can help with the sightseeing thing or I will be very miffed. ;-)
Very interesting discussion. I've read all the comments and just had to chime in with an answer to the suck question, just in passing.

Many of the deaths on both Btvs and Ats moved me, Wesley's most of all but I think the suckiest Whedon death was the death of Lindsey.
Well, they all sucked but even now Wash's death sits wrong with me. So does Book. It was the rushed aspect of their deaths that was brought on by the "verse" coming to an end too soon. Okay, there are rumblings of sequels but Firefly is no more so the mystery of these characters won't play out. That, to me, is what sucks most. It is the lingering feeling that these characters had too much unfinished business. But, of the two I would put Wash at the top. He and Zoe were great.
I think the mystery that is Book and Wash will play out. As many have noted, there are always Things To Do in the Whedonverse When You're Dead.

And Wash's death sucked for me personally because the !@&* New York Times reported the weekend before Serenity opened that two main characters died in the movie, so I sat through it waiting for the other body to drop. (Note to the Times: Courtesy is more than courtesy titles.)

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-10-20 18:31 ]
It is, it is. ;-) ...and when you are ready to take that trip across the pond, it would be a great first stop. Just make sure you let me know you are coming so I can help with the sightseeing thing or I will be very miffed. ;-)

Ta newcj, never know what the future may bring. And it is handy to have someone who can tell you where not to get shot ;).

because the !@&* New York Times reported the weekend before Serenity opened that two main characters died

Yikes, sounds like New York may be great but The New York Times has issues. I know it's an otherwise respected paper but that would earn a lifetime boycott from me (unless there really was no other choice). Dancing around burning piles of the issue in question would be optional ;).
Saje, if you do come across the pond, you might as well continue across the continent as well!

And for me, Wash's death was the most unexpected and hard to take. I understand the choice for story-line purposes, but every time I've seen the movie since the first time, I start to brace myself as soon as Wash says "I'm a leaf on the wind" the first time. It never seems to get easier to watch (most times I close my eyes at the moment of impact!).

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