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"How's it sit? Pretty cunning, don'tchya think?"
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May 25 2004

Watch with Kristin. Angel, Tru Calling, and Wonderfalls mentions. She also didn't like Not Fade Away.

Also, TV Gal has ranked this season's finales and put Angel under the "Great" list.
Calling an episode a "pile o' steaming dung" because it didn't have Buffy in it doesn't make sense to me. But of course this is the same woman who thinks Tru Calling is a good show, so her disapproval can be viewed as a ringing endorsement.

She does get kudos though for asking Jordan Levin what he was smoking when he cancelled Angel in favor of Jeff Foxworthy and Drew Carey.
"Either"? I liked it fine and so did most viewers. And Kristin's answer to everything is "Bring Buffy over" Give me a break, should Angel's end be all about Buffy again? They tried to get her to come over many times and it was either 'no' or 'can't'. By the time she could for the finale, it would be stupid story wise to just suddenly shove her in.

I was shocked too when the ep ended, but I get it. And overall I thought the finale was one of the strongest Whedonverse eps I've seen. On several levels beating Chosen.

What bugged me in Chosen was that Buffy's grand plan of activating all potentials was great in terms of theme, but pretty insufficient as a battle strategy. If it wasn't for the Amulet they would simply have been overrun by Ubervamps in a matter of hours. One Slayer or a dozen doesn't make much difference against an army of tens of thousands. And yes the Amulet was indeed a Deus ex Machina.

Also, with Not Fade Away, the idea was different. Not just 'we fight the good fight and win and then celebrate', but 'we do what we can even though it won't be a lasting victory and know we won't get away with it'. Much more powerful.

And you can still think up ways they made it out. Well, not Gunn, he was a goner, but the rest, sure.

Funny bit in this article though is how Levin fumbled his answer about Angel's cancellation and asked if he could do it again. Niiice....
I meant "either" as "also", I should probably make that a bit clearer. I'm not exactly thinking on the higher levels today.

[ edited by +Faith+ on 2004-05-25 20:27 ]
I think there's some bitter feelings about it ending and leave you wanting more etc.

[ edited by SeanValen on 2004-05-25 20:27 ]
If I had to watch as much TV as she does for her job, I think I'd have to kill myself.

So Levin didn't feel he appeared confident in his answer, huh? I'm sure he's been watching his back a little bit. Hey Mister, watch out for those dark alleyways. There may still be two vampires, a wounded lawyer and a blue meanie in one of them.
I loved the finale particularly because it left you wanting more and it didn't feel as if it ended, so it's kept me safely out of denial.

As for comparing the two finales, I like them both equally. They fit the series they were meant to, and they both had Spike. You can't go wrong there with me.
Well, from the way I see it, the majority loved this episode. And if she was really expecting SMG to show up she is extremely naive. I don't blame Joss or SMG for not being able to schedule an appearance of Buffy, they both tried and the timing was off. I don't think it was a question of Joss holding a grudge and not wanting SMG in the final episode. The final episode was not about Buffy and it was appropriate that Buffy wasn't there. I honestly didn't think about Buffy at all the whole episode because I was so caught up with what was going on. It was exciting, emotional and action packed. What more could you ask for.

And when it ended abruptly the way it did and Joss Whedon's name showed up I was stunned at first because it took me a second to realize it was over. But it was a brilliant way to end. I was sitting on the edge of my seat wanting more. It wasn't supposed to be the same ending as BtVS because it wasn't the same show. Both endings were wonderful in their own ways. I loved the very end of Buffy with them all standing around and that last tight shot of her small smile when asked what she was going to do now. That was wonderful, but I had a little bit of a problem with the show supposed to be about girl power and Buffy has all the potentials empowered. That was great but it wasn't because of that the First was stopped. It was because Angel brought the amulet that Spike wore that saved the day, the amulet given to him by Wolfram & Hart. I know it was a means to bring Spike over to Angel but that little bit has always bothered me somewhat. But Angel ended just as it should have, them fighting the good fight. And I believe they would've found a way to save Gunn. Illyria implied he'd fade away after ten minutes but that could've just meant not enough strength to fight anymore and not death. She clearly stated that Wesley was mortally wounded.

Besides, first she says it's a pile of dung and then she makes excuses that she might like it better after she views it again because she was tired. It was a pile of dung to her until others said they liked it and then she seems to make excuses as to why she didn't like it.
I have to disagree with Kristin, like many of you I too loved Not Fade Away, I don't know how in the world she sees it as a "pile of dung." The Levin comment heehee, good I hope he now sees what a mess he has gotten himself in. I read on in the chat and it seems 7th Heaven is probably going to have a 10th season...what kind of world am I living in where my beloved Angel gets the boot after 5 and 7th Heaven gets 10?? JMO
I think the nature of the finale's last scene made sense. Joss said that the show's cancellation made him take the finale to a more abrasive level. "Angel:The Series" was abruptly cut short when it was so close to it's climax.

The finale echoed this fact.

And Levin's sputtery response could be remorse OR just a failed attempt not to utter a shady reason for Angel's cancellation...
JUST THIS SECOND...come from watching 'not fade away' for the first time (finally got it downloaded!) to read kristins this woman on something? I read all the spoilers i've known for months about Wes and the army of demons and and it and i am still finding it hard to type because i'm shaking from come down...only 4 things in history have given me a heart-rate like this, the return of the king, chosen, tara's death and Xanders eye poke i'll now make that 5 by adding not fade away.
They weren't fighting the good fight. It was a manufactured conflict rendered from Angles huberious and murder of a holy man and lack of faith in the chain reaction put into effect by doing good deeds in a good way.

He needed the satisfaction of seeing somthing big happen, of reeping some large harvest, of making sense of being at Wolfram & Hart and so forced a situation--he MURDERED Drogan (why don't I hear ANYONE talk about that?) Almost more horrific than it happening, is it being overlooked in the post analysis. It screamed at me when I saw the ep.

This ep argued the cause of using evil to fight evil and so greatly diminshed Angels heroic stature in my eyes.

This stunk for me--because he is being applauded for being no better than a punk, murdereing and imposing his will over those around him without giving them enough information to make an intelligent decision. Lorne leaves but we are still left cheering for Angel--he is never taken properly to task and this is clearly displayed by Angel being rewarded with the: "I want to slay the dragon." line.

Cheering for a punk with a gangster mentality does not a great ending make unless you can CONTINUE the discussion. As it stands this is Joss's conclusion and it shocks me.

Production values didn't bother me, SMG is moot; cliff hanger--don't care, that's a device of the storyteller and works in the context of ongoing struggle I get the construct--but what conclusion is Joss drawing about HOW to conduct that struggle? What you are saying at the end of the book matters.

He can say O.K. go ahead, fight evil with evil--that is his right as a storyteller. But that isn't the theme I tuned in to watch all these years. It feels like a switch and a sucker punch to the moral structure the series had been building. We have all seen many instances in the past years of our characters falling down and then finding out how to get back up again, how to keep the faith--but it has always been about building the moral self to a higher ground. To murderer an unwilling innocent is to let go of faith completely, to not trust anything about what you have been doing, burning faith--not continuing to build it.

This just doesn't sum up the series that I had been watching as I had been watching it. Maybe my hope for the world I want to see made ME's intention different than it was. But I don't think so. I'm pretty good at picking things like this up. I would have felt this vibe before.

As it is, I'm still stunned.
Well, Kristin's never struck me as all that interested in the more artful and profound aspects of TV, preferring more to squee over the hotness of certain actors and waste column space on reality dreck, so her response doesn't exactly surprise me. I mean, she works for E!, after all.
I don't get Jason15's comment: "No battle for the ages, no earth-shattering events, no cool cameos--tell me this is not over or I'm gonna die. I need closure! What do you know about the movie-of-the-week deal? Give me something!"

earth-shattering events: Lorne shoots Lindsey, Wesley dies, the ending, etc.
cool cameos: Anne, Connor, the circle of the blck thorn

And BisforBeth - I don't get what you mean when you said "They weren't fighting the good fight" and "They were using evil to fight evil." Because they were fighting the good fight - they fought even though they knew they would probably die, and Angel sacrificed his humanity just so he could continue fighting.
Also, they weren't using evil to fight evil, Angel manipulated evil to fight said evil.

I'll agree with you that the murder of Drogyn is an ambiguous situation, but it is important to note that he was sacrificed for the greater good. But "fight evil with evil" was not a theme of the story.
Invisible Green -- the murder of Drogyn is not ambiguous, to me. It was wrong, and in the Whedonverse, Angel will have to pay for it, as others have had to pay for wrong things. That said, it fit in with other things in Angel's past, allowing all of those WRH lawyers to be killed, for example.

The biggest Whedonesque news, for me, from that chat is that Tru Calling is being paired with The O.C. on Thursdays. My friends, if you are a fan of Tru Calling (I haven't watched it, myself) then this is GREAT news! The O.C. is a breakout hit and should provide an excellent lead-in for Tru Calling this upcoming year.

I want to point out that I was flat out wrong about the chances of Tru this year. I thought that facing the final season of Friends as well as Survivor All-Star would doom any show, not to mention that one, but it survived, and will now be paired with Fox's number one new show. Guess this means there won't be any Faith the Vampire Slayer in the near future, but congrats for the time being for Eliza Dushku.
A stray thought here but perhaps the lack of confidence that Kristen senses is more a disappointment in the finale being the finale, that the show does not get to continue.

Read the bit about the amulet above. I too have had trouble reconciling the amulet with Buffy's empowerment of the Potentials. This cetrtainly seems a doomed plan without said amulet kicking in, but then I began to think that Spike is a Champion because of Buffy's faith & support throughout Season 7, a faith & support offered with little to no hope of success. In the end, Buffy empowers Spike just as she has empowered the Potentials.

[ edited by Unitas on 2004-05-25 23:47 ]
"Let's get to work." Then I heard a sound as if a large weapon just scraped metal, then it went black and we saw Joss Whedon's name. I glanced over to my left and looked at the clock on the start bar of my computer screen's lower right corner, with a smile on my lips. I remember saying, "bastard" out loud a couple times, as if Whedon were in the room to hear me call him one, but y'know what? I couldn't stop smiling. That's the sign of a good ending in my book.

Kristin calling it a pile of dung? I haven't thought about Kristin much, but come to think of it she's never really impressed the hell outta me either, y'know whut ah mean? She calls it like she sees it. I do that too. I think we all do. And the gang over at didn't really go gaga over the finale either, but to call it a pile of dung?

The only thing I can think of off the top of my head as a critique for "Not Fade Away" is that it was too short. I would have wanted to see all the fight scenes. Not just Angel's fight scene. I would have wanted to see more of Wesley and that old dude. That shoulda been a whole episode all by itself, and not just "well you can't hurt me" "well I think I can" "I'd like to see you try" "boot to the head" "you missed" blah blah blah. Spike's and Gunn's fights were great set ups, but each time they'd cut away, probably cuz there was no money left in the budget for high caliber fight choreography. Besides it wasn't about the kicks and punches anyway.

Still, I woulda loved to see more, and I think that's the beauty of the episode. It leaves you wanting more, which I wager is precisely what Whedon wanted to leave us with. Always leave them wanting more. It's classic theater.

Kristin doesn't leave me wanting more.
I thought this was the best Whedon episode I've ever seen. This is me talking, a week after seeing it, and I still feel that way. I loved Buffy, but didn't feel like this about it's final episode.
I found it amazing. Boy, did Kristen miss the point and all the refereces to previous episodes and seasons, and the clever tying up of some loose ends.
"Kristin doesn't leave me wanting more."

Would look perfect on a banner.
I'm not surprised Kristen didn't like 'Not Fade Away'. She's been hoping for a B/A ending all along, hasn't she? I get the fact that she and a lot of other fans wanted closure for Angel's relationship with Buffy by the end, but it just wasn't going to happen (whether SMG's schedule had allowed her to appear or not). Sad in some respects, but appropos for Angel the series, which should be about Angel and his people.

Buffy and the rest of the Scoobies had turned their backs on Angel and Co. since his ascendency to the big chair at W&H; for her to show up at the end, without any communication prior to that point, would have been ridiculous. Not to mention sort of emasculating. (I'm a girl, and go!girl power! and all, but Angel was a guy's story, told from a male protagonist's POV. It's only right that Angel kick the demon horde's asses, along with those who've stood by him til the end; anything else dilutes the message of his story from the moment he came to Los Angeles).

Not being a shipper, I was more interested in how JW and the writers were going to wrap up Angel's hero's journey. I think they did a great job, considering they only had four unwritten eps to bring the entire series to a satisfactory (and somewhat open-ended) conclusion by the time they found out about the cancellation.

Did I get everything I wanted from the finale? No, but that's not going to be possible, and I wouldn't have been satisfied with everything tied up neatly. In the Jossverse, I expect big, complicated knots. Was I upset, and moved, and yet compelled to keep watching anyway? Yes, yes, and yes. We can all take the end anywhere we want it to go in our heads, and to me, that's better than actually seeing them all lying dead, or else being deus ex machina'd at the last minute by a shiny-happy brigade of last-minute teen slayers (for instance).

Kristen was right to wonder what drugs Jordan Levin was on for canceling Angel. Putting two half-hours of has-been comedy on in its place is just a travesty. When the Wednesday ratings go into a nausea-inducing tailspin, taking the rest of his crappy fall lineup with it, I hope JL curls up in his bed at night and cries like a little girl.

Re: Drogyn -- yeah, Angel's going to have to pay for that. But it was obviously another test. If he'd refused to kill Drogyn, both he and Drogyn would have been killed and the plan to infiltrate the Black Thorn would have fallen apart. Angel did what he had to do because he knows he's already doomed for every other black deed he's ever done. He gave up the Shanshu, and he told Spike earlier this season he knew he was going to hell when all was said and done. It's a gloomy forecast, but Angel's a realist. Killing Drogyn was going to get him where he needed to be to do a greater good, and it was just one more blight on an already blackened record. Anyone else would have balked; that's why Angel, with nothing left to lose, was the perfect choice.

The Powers gambled on Angel, and won. He chose his own side, which happened to coincide with theirs, and stood against the Senior Partners at the end. And even though they've played fast and loose with him throughout the years, and he signed away his chance at humanity, I have a feeling the SP will reward him somehow down the road. Because in my head, I do believe they somehow managed to make it out of that alley on their own.
I've heard that "I needed closure" blather from a few people in the past week, and it seems to me that they're missing the entire point. Not only of the finale, but of the themes of the show in general. I've also heard people complain that there was no Buffy appearance, but last I heard this wasn't Buffy's show. I'm surprised that Kristen got it all wrong, since she's usually a big supporter of the show.
I had minor problems with the finale.
Here is my list:
1.Those bastards at the WB should have given Angel a 2 hour finale, I think most of you will agree that 2 hours would have definetely done the storyline for thise episode justice.
2.We should have gotten a buffy cameo, or at least someone from Buffy.(It's not Buffy's show, I get that, I just wanted her to assist Angel in any way she could before or during his big fight. Like he did in her finale.)
3. We should have gotten a full ending, that cliffhanger, although cool, was a little dissappointing.
4.We should have seen more action, I mean we barely saw what Spike and Illyria did, and I wanted to see Angel "slay the dragon". But that's just me.
That is my short list of problems with the finale. Now, before you all come at me with pitchforks and torches, hear me out. I've watched Angel since day 1 and think it was one of the best things on TV. However, just like with Buffy, I liked the ending, but felt that given the talents that surrounded both shows we should have gotten a little more.
I got closure, its just that i wanted to see more cool stuff.
Angel didn't sacrifice his humaity--he signed it away due to a cause and effect relationship from a series of events set in motion by decisions HE MADE. He bears complete responsiblity for that. Murderers do not deserve reward. They should be held apart from society. Make it real for yourself. Would you want the guy on your block who just murdered his brother in cold blood be rewarded with a 'happily ever after' and a lucrative book deal?

He did not sacrifice Drogan. He murdered him.

Drogan counted him as a brother in the cause--when Angel comes through the flames Drogan moans a 'thank you' for saving him and then Angel murders him. That is evil. You can not commit murder and remain remote from that changing who you are.

This act makes him a criminal and Joss, by having Spike's attack upon Angel wildly ineffectual and by giving Angel the pivot point to slay the dragon is rewarding the behavior and drawing a series to a conclusion. As I said before--if this were to be continuing--it would be a great forum for discussion, but the more I think about it the more frightened I become.

He is making a series final statment that it is alright to do evil to fight evil.

Under this mantle of true evil--and Angel admits nothing short of doing an act of unambiguis evil would allow him access into the circle--he says himself that the circle would know the difference, they can FEEL the difference in him--through doing this evil, he gains access to the circle--he does evil to follow his ambition to kill the evil.

And how can Angel operating from this dark space make trustworthy evaluation that Drogan's life is worth less energeticly that the circle of evil. How does 1 = 5 ?
Does anyone realize how hard it is to progress spiritualy? What if one Drogan actaully = 100 of the darkest demons? What if Angel actually put the world into a deficit? How does a baby weigh in the scale or a drug addict and who gets to make that call? Angel became with that action a very scary guy.

A man's word is important. We all know that. We know it it.

And this finale sees his word loosing it's value. A man's word is turned into dust. He woos Lindesy into the fight and then has Loren murder him in cold blood. If that isn't gangster, what is?

And as I mentioned in another post--Angel had the lawyers killed by Dru and Darla and then in turn set them on fire--but he did this with a degree of mailce that spoke of character flaw. It was brilliant at that time in the series because it was an illustration of how we fall down and led to an avid discussion.

But in this finale he acts with the cold remoteness of a general with a vision. A single person acting, using only their own council and with access to great power is an extremely dangerous combo in todays society. In this finale Angel is being validated by Connor saying 'yeah' you redesinging the world and manipulating all our lives was a good thing (and what happened to Cordy's other worldy perspcetive that Angel was wrong? That he had basicly raped everyone's life experiance but now it gets the nod? That proposal from Cordy was totally thrown away)

This finale is drawing the conclusion that Angels tactics may be evil but that it is o.k. to trust a monarch with a vision for the MAYBE greater good. This speaks to such a loss of faith for Angel...for everything he has fought to be. That doing things the honorable way doesn't get things done. And that we should follow such a leader acting under an evil modis operandi?

This is the series concluding statement?

O.K. maybe it is...O.K...but I can't find a hero in it for me personally except for Lorne...and maybe Cordy for standing up to Angel. And the questions both chacters raised are good ones but still the series ends with Angel claiming the right to slay the dragon and that is a significant symbol...and hey, I don't want THAT guy from THAT finale fighting for me.

He didn't stand againest the senior partners, in the end, he became one of them--still has that circle in his chest. In the end it was a 'family' fight. And one gangster fighting another is not a noble battle...just doing the world a favor.

Where is my show? (sob)
You miss the point BforBeth. Angel only wanted Drogyn to think he'd turned evil, so that the Circle would believe it. It wasn't his idea to have Hamilton take him. When he had Drogyn in his arms at the end, he was right. Refusing to kill him at that time would only have resulted in both their deaths. But he did indirectly cause it by involving him. But to give everything up at that point meant that it all as for nothing and Drogyn would still be as dead. And he could make it quick, which is not what the circle was doing.

The show leaves it up to you wether or not some decisions were right or not. Or if in the end they were justified. And why is Lorne a hero in your eyes but not Angel? Lorne is the one who shoots Lindsey in cold blood remember? And yes Angel does wrong. Is he right to do it? Maybe, maybe not. Buffy wasn't capable of sacrificing Dawn to save the world in S5 either, but in S7 she admitted that she could if it was necessary. She would have let Spike kill Wood if he tried again, sacrificed him herself in the blink of an eye if it was necessary. That's the point. The bigger the battle, the bigger the evil, the greater the nasty decisions that had to be made. And wether or not it's right is not answered by the show, it is a question that is raised.

And as for Lindsey, I liked him and I felt for him but yes, Angel made the right decision because Lindsey would've turned on Angel in a heartbeat. And why is it awful to kill Lindsey more than any of the other 100's of other enemies that both Angel and Buffy have killed over the years? Because he was human? That old thing? Is it just about race then? Lindsey could be as evil as any of those demons if he wanted to.

Honestly, why is Buffy staking a vamp, or being willing to sacrifice Dawn a hero, but Angel doing all this a 'gangster'? They did stand against the Senior partners. That was what the whole thing was about, it's nonsense to say that he wasn't. And that circle on his chest is just that, a circle, a scar, nothing else. And it certainly doesn't 'make' him a senior partner.

They weren't 'gangsters'. This was like a bunch of cops going vigilante and taking out the Dons of several families, knowing that they would die for it, and knowing there would always be a mafia, but also knowing they would strike a severe blow against organized crime, temporarily crippling it, and that it would echo for years to come.
Also, Giles killed Ben, who was really just a pawn of Glory's and had no choice in the matter and therefore was an innocent. But Giles didn't hesitate to kill him because it was for the "greater good". Giles also thought that Buffy had no choice but to kill Dawn, an innocent because it was for the greater good. Also, this was initially supposed to just be a season finale and not a series finale and I'm sure Joss would've addressed this same issue. Spike was shocked and upset when he realized what Angel had did and Lorne also questioned his trust in Angel's decision to kill Drogyn so I think if there had been a next season we would've seen some questioning of this action.

And Spike and Angel could've saved Fred, who they both loved, but it would've been at the expense of thousands so they let Illyria kill Fred because it was for the greater good.
Bforbeth raises some very valid points about the final episode's failings (not failure). Angel does some very disturbing stuff - he kills Drogyn, he poisons the bloodslave in order to kill his master, he (apparently) orders Lorne to kill Lindsey should he survive their mission. That stuff bothered me, too - especially the Lindsey murder. Killing someone because you think they'll probably do evil in the *future* is just plain wrong, especially in an episode where Harmony, the *right-now* betrayer, gets to keep her life and a letter of recommendation to boot.

And was Angel's plan kinda, well, dumb? When you think about it, his plan was a lot of mayhem with no guarantee of any payoff whatsoever beyond the satisfaction of bloody hands. As far as Angel knew, the SP's would simply promote themselves a new set of Black Thorns from that "Great Machine", then it's business as usual again asap, so I wasn't convinced that *this* was the hill he should have chosen to die on.

But then again, who cares? This was it. The end. The plot holes, continuity lapses, and dumb ideas are all part of the ME experience, and we have enjoyed years of picking the show apart because of them. I'm willing to let things slide because overall the episode was entertaining,(it held my attention the whole time, and I am as spoiled as they come!), and because the Fat Lady has finished her song.

I'm gonna miss those guys.
Excellent discussion, that's all I wanted...kick up the dust a little on the topic. Thanks everybody.

Actually I thought Buffy was right in 5 but wrong in 7. In my mind the micro makes the macro. What you are in the infinesimal is what you are in total. Besides Dawn was willing in the end to go--it would have been her sacrifice to make. If she had been unwilling it would have been murder, loss of the world or no.

When Buffy says How can I live in a world where I have to make a decision like that--it always gets to me. I agree. It is not death--it is how you die. Respecting free will choice as best we can. She can't live in a world where murdering her sister is an option. Such a world isn't worth the effort. I agree. AND BY HER HONORING HER FEELINGS ANOTHER OPTION BECOMES AVAILABLE.

Her faith brings the vision for another way. Loss sure...but she is a soldier and she will do it herself.

I think going into the Hellmouth was a leap of faith. All season her realtionship with Spike was based in instinct and a leap of faith. That he was sincere and that that love and sincerity was there to serve her selflessly. I.E. a gift from god. Do I need to bring up the church scenes? Spike refers upward to 'heaven' when he says "this is what YOU wanted,' while framed in the back by a cross.

She made that comment to Giles in the gravyard about killing her sisters, but in crunch time she went on love and trust and faith.
And took only warriars onto the battlefield. She sends her sister away and she comes back of her free will--which now makes her a willing soldier and Buffy accepts that with barely batting an eye. Agreement is important in her world.

Angel murdered his brother in cold blood as a tool to put in his hand to deal with the problem. Very different.

The kind of world Angel is willing to do that for does not really seem worth the effort to me--I don't want a world run by gangster law and it gangster law. Observe The Sapranos, or The Godfather. Retribution and preemptive strike are the rules.
And certainly what Angel did in the finale. And not on the battelfield. Lindsey was off the battlefield when Lorne killed him. It was a 'hit.' Not combat.

What if we all just stopped and said--I'm not gonna kill that guy. It's wrong. I admire Lorne because he at least is sweating about it. And like many, he feels compelled to just follow orders...and there is sympathy for the guy who gets stuck with the dirty work far away from the high command.

One of the reasons given for the concept of war crimes is that there is a higher law that exempts the soldier from following orders in order to do the right thing because he will be held accountable when he doesn't. Lorne at least knows the law and it hurts him to break it.

Hence the special distinction of War Crimes Mei Lei, the entire Holocast--all following orders and all war crimes because they were all done in cold blood and out of the combat zone.

There is a different rule of behavior off the battlefield, a different system of agreement. Rules for those being held as prisoners. Drogan.

I think one of the differences for Buffy is what she would do 'in battle' She never staked Spike when chipped because he couldn't defend himself. There was an honor for her about how to do it. Not hurting an unarmed creature despite it's past. Amazing. She only kills in battle. I grant you that line was wavering in 7--not with Wood--he had declared war on Spike, which brought it on to 'the battlefield' but in her answer to Giles. But I accepted that as a characters ambiguiety discussed in the season (not as a series finale statement) and have already discussed that I think she acted in the end, in faith vs murder.

When Angel is told Illeryia is with Drogan he is instantly concerned--he knows Hamilton went to get Drogan--that Drogan was set up from the beginning. If you track events it appears he was even pulled, provoked off sentry duty so he could be kidnapped and murdered by Angel. Angel set the whole thing up without Drogan's agreement.

Fred was more like triage when dealing with casualties of war. Treat who you can save in the time allowed. And indeed that was a catch 22--becasue what if by allowing Illeryia to live you then had set loose and even more dreadful being than the death of thousands. And indeed if her army had been waiting for her--oops.

Such calls are in the heat of battle and are never clear. Great writing too by the way.

The words that make all the difference are 'in cold blood'.

I'm not challanging the discussion taking place in the season only being placed at the very end as if in conclusion.

But thanks for the discussion--I needed to hear another viewpoint. And thanks wissxwe the other thing should be said too. Because...I have enjoyed watching all these years and that needs to be said too.
BforBeth, I have nothing wrong with you expressing your views and am also happy for the discussion it invoked. I had problems with Kristen's views on the episode and her apparent dislike for it really had nothing to do with anything but her disappointment in Buffy not being there. Your views are valid even if I don't necessarily see it the same way.

That said, I do think you bring up good points but I just feel a bit differently about what the meaning was. I was also alarmed when Angel killed Drogyn and had Lindsey killed but I feel Angel felt he had no choice in the Drogyn matter as EdDantes pointed out before. As for Lorne killing Lindsey. Well, at one point Lindsey offers to sing for him and Lorne replies that he's already heard him sing and they also touched on earlier in the episode Eve's worries about Lornes grim prediction of her future. Now, I may be wrong but I felt that Lorne knew by reading both Lindsey and Eve's futures when they had sung for him that they would do more evil and that is why he, reluctantly went along with Angel's instructions to kill Lindsey. I can certainly see though why you admire Lorne still because he did show remorse and Angel did not appear to do so. But I honestly feel that this would've been addressed in the sixth season and Joss has said that he did not change much of anything because it was cancelled.

I also feel that if we had been presented with Buffy again having to chose to kill her sister to save the world, she still wouldn't have done it. It bothered me when she had that conversation with Giles and said it would've been the right thing to do but I still feel she wouldn't have been able to bring herself to do it. And when Giles killed Ben he told Ben he was doing it because Buffy was good and noble and wouldn't have killed him even if it was the right thing to do.

I also like your thoughts on that allowing Illyria to re-enter the world was risking her setting loose an even bigger threat that was never addressed or thought of. They didn't know at the time that Illyria's army had been destroyed and that most likely would've resulted in more deaths.
Re: Lindsey. In addition to what blwessels said about Lorne's having read Lindsey, Lindsey himself indicated the possibility he was not promising to remain on Angel's team in NFA. There was a line to the effect that "after the dust settles, we'll see." And, while I think it was cruel on Angel's part to ask Lorne to kill Lindsey (leaving aside for the moment the morality of killing Lindsey in the first place), it was clear that Angel chose Lorne to do the deed precisely because it would be perceived by Lindsey as an insult. It was the cruelty to Lorne, Angel's manipulation of his friend, that was most upsetting to me. I never thought Lindsey was trustworthy, and it did not surprise me that he would be sacrificed -- and not with a hero's death.
I kind of agree with that Palehorse, because for Lorne, he felt he would never want anything to do with Angel again and ordered Angel not to even look him up if they lived through it. It's more reason to wonder what next season would've been like because obviously Lorne would've been back in the story at some time and what would this have done to him by then.

But I don't know if Angel had Lorne do it as an insult to Lindsey or if he just thought Lorne would be the one to be able to quickly kill him without him expecting it. The others were sent on more dangerous assignments and weren't available. But it does still ask the question, why not wait until he definitely gave them reason to do it. Angel had opportunities in the past to kill Lindsey and didn't do it. Maybe Lindsey was more of a danger because he had since grown so much stronger and was able to go undetected by them for so long and could've hurt them badly. And maybe Lorne knowing what Lindsey's future was to be knew how dreadful it was. Kind of like the guy from Stephen King's "The Dead Zone" seeing that the guy running for president was going to destroy the world in a nuclear war and he had to stop him no matter what. Lorne may have seen something that bad that Angel felt he had no choice but to kill him. That's something we may never get the answer too but for Lorne to go along with it, character wise, I think it would've had to be something like that.
Kristin is the second person I have heard of to watch this show under adverse conditions. A girl posted on my Live Journal how she hated it, but had a migraine at the time and would give it another go. I must say that I saw it under perfect conditions, with my best friend. :)
That's how I viewed it too, JamieCOTC. I waited until Friday of last week to watch it so that my best friend and I could view it together.
A quick point. I think it's a mistake to think that Not Fade Away would be exactly the same episode if there was going to be a season six. Joss & Co. may have been planning this finale since the beginning of the season but the episode was written when they knew the show was gone. I sincerely doubt we would have seen Wesley & Lindsey die if this was just a season rather than series finale. The general overview is probably very similar to where Joss & Co. wanted to take the story but I am sure some of the details have been shaken about by the news of cancellation.

[ edited by Unitas on 2004-05-26 18:45 ]
Some great thoughts in this thread, ya'll.

BforBeth, I struggle with Angel killing Drogyn for the same reason you mentioned. He sacrificed a noble, powerful warrior of known good moral character (whom he knew and respected) to achieve an evil short-term goal in order to advance a good longer-term goal. There's no doubt in my mind that Angel was morally wrong in the black-and-white sense of the word. There's also no doubt in my mind that if he wanted to infiltrate the Black Thorn, he was forced to kill Drogyn or else risk making Drogyn's slow, horrible death by torture -- and his own, which would have resulted from such a refusal -- meaningless. Even an undead thing will strive for life, and Angel, with a human soul, may be even more so inclined because he knows there's nothing for him after he's dust. No reward. No chance for repentance and atonement in this real, tangible world, let alone redemption that would allow his benighted soul to be at peace in the next.

The comparison with Buffy's choice regarding Dawn's life in S6 seems parallel. Only it isn't. Buffy is human, and by Joss's explanation of what a soul is and what it means for any being possessing it, she is inclined toward good. Her soul is part and parcel of her expression of that humanity, but her moral nature is informed by her duty as a Slayer, as well as a number of other events and forces (including killing Angel, the love of her life, at the end of S2) that have shaped and molded her character. She is good, beyond her soul, by virtue of her human status (in Joss's 'verse, specifically. Such distinctions aren't readily quantifiable in the real world ;).

Angel, on the other hand, is a vampire -- a demon, a human/monster hybrid born of the very stock of infernal creatures which he's sworn to destroy. Fighting for good as he has since coming to L.A., what too often seems forgotten is the internal war he is forced to wage against his own nature every day. The resisting of drinking human blood and remaining significantly weaker than his potential as a result; of taking what he wants because he's immortal and powerful enough to do so at his whim; to even work shoulder-to-shoulder with humans, which the rest of his own unsouled ilk (including demon-Illyria) regard as weak, pestilential filth upon the earth. Imbued with a human soul, yes. But Angel's own nature is not yoked in accord with this overlaid inclination towards good, this conscience that now informs his decisions and causes him immense pain, remorse and regret for his past crimes.

Buffy enjoys a distinct advantage: her moral conscience works in tandem with her intrinsic nature as a being more highly evolved than demonkind. Angel, by dint of his damned physical state -- human soul/conscience considered -- does not.

Buffy went to heaven when she died; when Angel gets dusted, he is going to hell. Straight up. He is an evil thing, but -- as he once described himself to Kate, significantly -- 'a not-evil evil thing). He knows it, and there's nothing that can be done to change his future date with eternal damnation (so far as we know). That he deserves hell is one question that's being raised. (Debate at leisure.) Why keep trying, then? Why do good at all? Because he's got a human soul. It ennobles the demon by its very presence, but it doesn't render him human. So what can he do to expunge his karmic debt? Probably, most likely, nothing. And that's why he remains a hero, even to the end. Even after killing Drogyn.

He defies his demonic nature, and no, he doesn't make decisions the way a shining paragon of virtue like Buffy would. But he's doing what he can do, even if all that is is not giving in to his own elemental nature. He's already tried giving in, in the alley in New York. Giving up. And we saw how that worked. He was pressed into service by the PTB; without Angel, Buffy might not have made it as far as she has. Doing what was right, even at a terrible cost, is something Angel himself helped to teach her. Duty forced her to kill him, though she loved him with all her young heart; how could Angel look back to that pivotal moment in his development as souled being and, in his choice to strike at the heart of W&H or step away, show less commitment and conviction to his own sense of right and moral duty?

A demon's got to do what a demon's got to do. I think Buffy would have abhorred his choice, but if she'd seen what was being asked of him, and what he'd been willing to give in order to have a chance to destroy part of W&H's power -- not the least of which was his own life, knowing that hell awaited him on the other side -- she might have grudgingly (or maybe, post-S7, not so grudgingly) understood where he was coming from. And agreed he made, if not the right choice, then the only choice he could in his particular circumstance.

Buffy didn't wait for Willow to ensoul Angel (Xander's lie aside). Nor should Angel have waited for the PTB to swoop in and spare Drogyn so he wouldn't have to kill him. There was no calvary coming to the rescue. There was nothing but duty, love, and choice. In the clinch, they both chose the same.

(It's worth noting that of the two, Angel has stayed more consistent throughout his development as a character -- the demon nature's inherent fixity of purpose and moral stasis, perhaps? I believe a duty-bound Angel would have killed Drogyn in S1, for the same reason. Buffy, however, has changed. For Acathla over Angel, she chose duty. For Dawn over closing Glory's dimension, love ruled. Then Wood over Spike -- duty again, but not without the admonition to Wood that love of Spike would rule should necessity of action warrant.)

Thanks for your thoughts. :)
Wiseblood that is absolutley amazing and I agree and have been intrgued and have marveled over that complexity in both series for years especially the points you made in highlighting the difference between being human with a soul and demon with a soul--that has been my main arguement as to why it was necessary for Spike to get a soul in order to advance spiritualy, as a demon even deeply in love he could only resonate so high. Buffy is honest when she says having sex with him is hurting her.

Exchanging energy and being so intimately involved with something so dark was draining her. Kiliing her. But I never took it that she didn't love him...there were many indications and freudian slips in the writing to indicate she did, even in six. The series kept interchanging the meaning of 'no' with 'yes'.

But even if being close to the dark was hurting Buffy it was helping Spike, giving him a taste of a broader spectrum of love. He says as much to Anya. Being close to something so light was helping him want her more, want IT (love) more and was galvanizing him toward some permanent change in his nature. He had gone past the point of recall. But still placed as he was in an adolescent perspective of 'I want'--he struggled with something new, how to arrange love intertwinded with desire--a wonderful metaphor for many young men. Completly cosmicly correct. Season six was brilliant. We learn by ever expanding experiance.

Surrendering to love for Spike led ultimatley to surrendering to god. (church scene in 7, finale in 7) that's why how the character of Spike was being written in ATS5 was a bit of a a huge 'HUH'? What are they doing here? And the begining of my confusion with this season.

Fire transforms in reality, in myth in metaphor--fire by it's own nature changes a thing down to it's molecular structure; there is no going back--only being reborn as something new. For Spike to be that humble at the end of 7; and then come back to serve Buffy and the greater good after witnessing 'the kiss' placed him as well and truly a man. Fire confirms this and transforms him...but ATS5 not only disreguarded that fact...but regressed the character to...I don't know what...some kind of Michael Jackson sized version of arrested development. JM has confessed on many occiasions to playing a jerk this time around.

Now can anyone imagine Wesley being regressed to the befuddled bumbling he once was after all he was been through. Or Gunn going back to being the street wise after teh download? Of course not. Experience changes one forever.

Spike did not loose himself with Buffy he FOUND himself.

Humilty the great humainty.

Imagine season 7 Spike being made corporeal, a truly great moment indeed and then to seize that moment to bang Harmony. Well. Her being 'willing' doesn't matter. Spike was the more mature one. It was the equivilant of a full grown man taking advantage of a 'willing' child. All those early situations seemed...retread...if Spike hadn't learned (and obviously he had) humilty by the end of 7--he never would. Now then, is that what ATS5 was doing--rewriting 7 to say Spike was just a jerk?

And more importantly, was he being made smaller only so Angel could be bigger...has this whole season been about Angel's brassies and securing top dog position? Leading to the final conclusion about the rights of top dog. Monarch, whatever, you get it. Why, after commiting these crimes, did people still do what he said? Our actions define us. It should have been a clue. It's the clue every soldier has if they need to challenge orders. And to say 'no' I won't support a war crime is the soldiers only defense in refusing orders. As I have mentioned, Spikes righteous puch punch goes wild and looks immature. His 'no' looks childish and small and he is held easily in Angel's grip by the throat. Another pack signal in a dog fight. Submit or die. Spike submits.

I accept Wiseblood's analysis for Angels problem solving skills and agree but in the end of the series are they saying: it is all about who's got 'em?

Hamilton admonishes Angel with 'I'm not a little girl.' he suggests to Illeryia that maybe it shouldn't have chosen a skinny little body. (A female?) Certainly all the woman have been killed by this point, anyone without brassies is gone or subdued into the pack. It's no use to say it's not happening, it's in the writing. And the writing is our guidepost for understanding the thing beneath the thing. What is really being communicated on a viseral level in the collective unconscious as we understand these symbols.

Wow, I'm wandering, what I guess I'm saying is that...well..I haven't really understood this season for a while. I couldn't seem to see where the writers hearts are. I'm having difficulty finding the center and maybe that's true...because I was afraid it would deeply trouble me and I was putting THAT revelation off--hoping the finale would wrap it up as Joss so often does in a way I liked. (of course it's all about me and what I need)

I am ABSOULTELY in tune with, if not agree with a lot of what Wiseblood has taken the time to draw so well--if I need to boil my issue down to one question it would be this:

Ahem (sound of throat clearing after having pointlessly waxed the car)

By being allowed the speak the hero's words about slaying the dragon does the CHARACTER of Angel--still see himself as the hero reguardless and INDEPENDENT of the series final statement

OR Do you think the series is drawing us to the conclusion AND...wants us to agree with: Yes...the ends justity the means.

I mean if that is Joss's conclusion...well...I don't like it, but o.k. it's his story is what it is.

? Thoughts?

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