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May 24 2004

Fanboy Planet reviews 'Not Fade Away'. "The finale is a good reflection of the season overall: There’s a lot of good stuff and a few disappointments, the whole thing feels too rushed, and the viewer is left wanting more."

Alright I wasn't sure if we needed yet another review, (plenty in there I don't agree with) but a line in there struck me: "Here one really wishes Joss Whedon could have backed off his “I don’t do two hour finales” stance. "

I've never heard or read anything about Joss refusing to do 2 hour finales. I always assumed Buffy and Angel ended with normal 40 minute episodes because the networks wouldn't allow/finance big 2 hour endings. Anyone know anything about that?

He got the name of the episode wrong. Power Play was episode 21.
Most television shows that have two hour finales really only combine the last two episodes together into a two hour block, like what was done for "Graduation Day." In my mind, "Power Play" and "Not Fade Away" are pretty much two parters anyways.
He was asked about this last year. He was thought that 2 hour finales were self indulgent.

Update: here the relevant quote from a Chicago Sun Times interview.

"Most of the lessons I learned [from other series' finales] were cautionary tales," he said. "Part of it was: Don't be self- indulgent. I love the end of `MASH.' I cried and watched it with everybody else. But ... 3 ˝ hours? Seventy minutes for the last `Family Ties'? `Family Ties'?!? Seventy minutes?!?

"It's very easy to think so much of what you're doing that you forget that what you really need to do is just turn out an episode that's really great. ... Of course you're paralyzed with terror that this one won't measure up."

"Still, a few more episodes to give the writers more time to wrap up the series would have been nice."

Personally, I think 22 more episodes would have been even nicer.

Every character's moment was a perfect distillation of where they came from and where they are now. I would rather have that 'always leave them wanting more' feeling when I saw Joss Whedon's name on that black screen than to start checking the clock. The finale did seem to fly by, but in being dark and sharp and quick, it stayed true to the series.
While I'm still devestated (not too strong a word in this case) that Angel's really over, I do have to say, that was THE BEST DANG EPISODE I think I've ever seen. I mean, I really loved some eps, thought they were good, but none of them packed in so much into just one show. Even with all that was packed in, the episode didn't seem to drag on.
I have to say, looking back, I think Joss did an EXCELLENT job of tying up lots of loose ends while not closing the door, and not leaving too many unanswered questions. Great job Joss. I can't wait for your future projects, whatever they may be, I'm sure they'll be great!!

Two points to pick: a) perhaps the WB wouldn't allow a 2 hour finale. Would impeded on their precious Smallville, you know.
b) I found Angel signing the prophecy to be meaningful. It showed that just as he asked the others, he was willing to give up the one thing he's been wishing for to fight the good fight, which in my mind, is the true definition of a hero -- fighting the good fight for others, not for your own gain.

[ edited by WilliamTheBloody on 2004-05-24 20:34 ]
"he was willing to give up the one thing he's been wishing for to fight the good fight, which in my mind, is the true definition of a hero"

That's exactly how I saw it, too.
That's how I saw it too. Yes, he wanted the Shanshu prophecy to be about him but when he had to chose between it and doing what he thought was right, he did the right thing and to me that makes him more than a hero and it made me more sure that if the prophecy is ever addressed in some future show, it will be Angel who gets it just because he was so willing to give it up for the greater good.
Yeah I liked the prophesy bit. I mean it was never meant to happen anyway, just to be a sub plot. If it did happen, either Angel or Spike would be human. And then what? Woop ti doo. No, the only thing about that was what they were going to do with it in terms of surprising us. I always said they wouldn't go for "Oh it's Angel." or "Oh it's Spike". And they didn't. They come with a surprising resolution. In a way that was meaningful.

In 'I will remember you' it was already clear that the fight was more important than being human. Hell I think he'd prefer to stay a souled vamp and just have the happiness curse removed. And when did Spike ever show that becoming human was something he craved?

No this worked. Angel had no choice, even hesitation would've blown his plan, so he did it. And even then he didn't mourn it all that much. More like he liked and mourned the IDEA of it more than the reality of it. And maybe on some level he realized it.
I thought that the way Angel played the Shanshu was right in character. Did he want to give it away, no? But he had to to achieve what he wanted. He showed the regret and wistfulness in the scene with Harmony as well as in his decision to see Connor, his (now) only hope of humanity.

What were the alternatives? As EdDantes said, even hesitation would have blown it, and afterwards, he was in constant surveillance while at Wolfram & Hart, so only allowed himself the few questions presented to Harmony. On top of that, he had to fight alongside Spike, and there was no way he was going to confess to Spike what he had done and the probable implications.

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