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Jossathon
Episode Post: AtS - 5x22 Not Fade Away 
July 30, 2006
Episode Info
Written by: Joss Whedon and Jeffrey Bell
Directed by: Jeffrey Bell
Original Airdate: May 19, 2004

Synopsis
As they prepare to take down the Circle of the Black Thorn, the gang takes one last day to themselves.

Relevant Links
Transcript: at BuffyWorld
Screencaps: at Screencap Paradise
Fanlisting: Slay the Dragon

Extra Info
This is the final episode of Angel.

The Mods' Sad Attempt to Start Discussion
I really like seeing how everyone decides to spend their final day. Of course Wesley and Illyria really have nowhere to go so they're left alone. I like seeing that Gunn goes to Anne's, though. It's nice to see her, she's a character who's been with not only this show but with Buffy for such a long time. Also, with all of the change Gunn went through it brings him back to his roots. The scenes between Angel and Connor are nice as well. It's nice to see Vincent Kartheiser get to be a teenager. I like the place that their relationship has ended up. As for ended up, and I'll talk more about it later, it's interesting to see where Lorne has ended up. He's very stoic here and spends his day at a karaoke bar. Spike reciting poetry is classic.

I like everyone taking part in the plan. They know what they have to do and they accept it. As cheesy as it sounds, they all take their roles as champions. I remember being completely shocked at seeing Lorne kill Lindsey. I understand why Angel would ask Lorne to do it, Lindsey would never see it coming. He clearly doesn't, he tells Eve that he doesn't. It's something from Lorne we've never seen before and you can understand from that why he'd need to leave and never have any part of this anymore. It's just not in him.

Illyria brings a lot to the final battle. She feels grief, she doesn't want Gunn to die. She's feeling attached to these people and she also feels anger at being beaten up. It's been a fascinating arc. It's been well written and Amy Acker has written it so well. She and Alexis do such a nice job during that final scene between Wesley and Illyria when she asks him if he'd like her to lie to him now.

I find it a memorable ending and an inspirational one.

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Comments 
July 30, 2006 (UTC)
I love this episode so very much. So much! I agree, it's very inspirational and memorable and I love it as a series finale. I don't consider it a cliffhanger at all. Angel's journey has always been about the fight; the outcome of the battle doesn't matter, it matters that they fought.

I must say, for me it almost feels strangely right that Wesley dies. He's so destroyed at this point, I'm not sure what else would give him peace. That scene is so brilliant and sad.

I understand why Angel wanted Lindsey dead, but I feel bad Lorne did it when he wasn't comfortable with that burden. Lindsey wasn't on the side of good because he had changed. He most definitely hadn't changed! Lindsey always went for power and control, and Angel knew it.

I could go on and on... *sigh* Such a wonderful, wonderful show. <3
July 30, 2006 (UTC)
Wesley died! As a huge Wesley fan, that just killed me when it first aired. I had been spoiled for it, but I was hoping it was a foiler. Before the episode aired, I had planned to curse Joss until the end of time if Wesley died. But when it happened I was so caught up in the moment, so moved by his last seen with Frillyria, that I couldn't say anything about it other than it was the best ending Wesley could have had. Him finally allowing Illyria to lie to him, to become Fred, to promise him an afterlife with the woman he loves - it was heartbreaking and very beautiful. It had me crying when I watched it, when I posted about it in my LJ later, and when I read the transcript a week later. The only other Buffyverse episode that affected me that much was Becoming Part 2.

Knowing what Joss had planned for Wesley and Illyria in a sixth season, it makes this episode so much more heartbreaking. There was just more story to tell, and the ending of this story, how it just cuts off at the start of the fight, with our surviving heroes' fates undetermined, it fits precisely with how this show was cut off prematurely, mid-story. Since Joss was forced to end it here, it's the best ending they could have done, and the mission statement at the end is poignant, and a motto I try to live by: What do you do when you can't win? You just keep fighting.

What an amazing story this show is.
July 30, 2006 (UTC)
I love this episode too. I think that, like The Gift, it's just about perfect. 5x22! There are lovely and enjoyable moments for every character and there isn't anything that feels out of place (except maybe Eve and Harmony getting so much screen time, heh). It's got such a grand and sombre tone to it. The scene where Angel is giving everyone their assignments is really well done, too ("Can I deny you three times?"), and I like that last moment when they're all leaving. It's sad to think that that's the last time Angel and Wes will see each other. Spike asking Angel about the Shanshu prophecy is like a punch in the gut for him. I couldn't believe the Circle made Angel sign it away! And of course by signing it away, he proves that he deserves it. Poor Angel.

Spike's last day is my favourite -- I love so much that he gets applause for his poetry. LOL! But I enjoy seeing Angel and Connor together, too, and it really makes me happy that they get that resolution. Connor showing up to fight is fantastic. All the fights are great, really! I like watching Gunn kill vamps again. I feel so badly for Lorne, but I like Lindsey's death -- demanding that ANGEL is the one who should kill him, dammit! It's very Lindsey.

I agree with Julie about Wes dying. As he told Illyria, there was nothing he wanted, and he had no reason to live, which is so incredibly sad, but at least he gets to go out fighting. That last scene between him and Illyria is very upsetting but also really nice -- again, it's interesting character development for Illyria since we see that she keeps crying even after Wes is dead when she has no reason to keep her lie going. Illyria switching back to her true appearance and punching a hole in Vail's head is a great moment.

And I've got to say that the last scene in the alley is possibly my favourite ever ending for a TV show. I. LOVE. IT. At the time it annoyed me because DAMMIT. I wanted to know more. But it's such a fitting way for them to go out, fighting to the death against the hordes of hell. The reason I think it's so great is that, for once, they are absolutely certain that they're doing the right thing. Through the entire run of the show, it's been all about the grey area and never really knowing what they should be doing, and this season especially has seen them almost paralyzed by this inability to figure out whether they're actually doing good or just helping evil along, but here, they have conviction. For me it goes back to Angel's conversation with the W&H operative guy in the season premiere:

"You think I'm just a trigger happy jerk who follows orders. I'm something you will never be: I'm pure. I believe in evil. You and your friends, you are conflicted and confused. You are not evil, that's why you are going to lose. Because we possess the most powerful thing in the world: conviction."

I think it ties everything together really nicely and I love it as an ending for the show. It's one of the only times we see Angel actually looking happy -- he's finally been able to make a big move and feel good about it. I love his last line ("Let's go to work!") and that final shot of him in action. Fantastic. I also think it's a really nice parallel to and contrast with the last shot of Buffy: the hero with his/her team behind him/her, finally happy with the knowledge that they've actually changed things. It's awesome.