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Spoiler alert for the pure of heart. But, for those not so pure ;), the article discusses who wiil/won't appear in the final ep's (BTW - this article contradicts other recent articles) and how, in general, they intend to address certain plot issues.

Jeff Bell discusses the end of Angel.</i>
I still haven't decided how spoiled I want to be for the end of the show. I don't mind knowing casting information or general information like what is in this article, but, beyond that, I'd like some surprises.

In fairness to Sarah, I don't think she knew which episode they wanted her back for and assumed it was the last one. I've had the sense for months that both sides were unclear as to what the other side wanted and weren't talking to each other but through the press. That's why I held out little hope for a Buffy appearance.

I'm a bit confused, it sounds as if they wanted her for the next to last ep, yet I thought the episode that addressed the relationship wa Ep 20? Then again, I may be getting my little bit of spoilage confused.

I agree with you on just letting the characters go there own way. If Joss has Buffy choose he's going to piss off half his fan base one way or another. If he leaves it open ended we can draw our own conclusions and, as you pointed out, continue the story on in fanfic.

I also concur that the end of the series should not be all about Buffy and the love triangle. It would be grossly unfair to the current storylines, character arcs, and Angel fans to all of a sudden make the focus Buffy/Sarah.
Oh, thank God. I'd been thinking this "done and dusted deal" that SMG would be in the finale didn't add up with anything else we knew. I don't think I'm giving away anything you don't know already if I say that I think it's Ep. 20 they mean, not the third-to-last one.

I think Buffy had her perfect ending in Chosen. Of course we want to know that she's happy and that she's getting on OK, but I felt she just wouldn't fit in if she was slotted into the plot at such a late stage. The fewer big, thumping resolutions we get the better, from where I'm standing. There isn't time to conclude things satisfactorily, and I'd hate to see things rushed. A nice, open ending would be something I'd be fine with.

Thank you so much for that link. No doubt in a few days time we'll hear something that completely contradicts it, and who knows what kind of games are going on in attempts to keep plotlines under wraps, but it does seem to make more sense than other information that's come out recently.
They are going to drive us crazy. Like we need more things to be obsessed with!!

And, yes, i pretty much think all the same. ;)
Of course we want to know that she's happy and that she's getting on OK, but I felt she just wouldn't fit in if she was slotted into the plot at such a late stage. The fewer big, thumping resolutions we get the better, from where I'm standing. There isn't time to conclude things satisfactorily, and I'd hate to see things rushed. A nice, open ending would be something I'd be fine with.

You've voiced my sentiments exactly. While Buffy has been mentioned repeatedly, she has not been the focus of any of the storylines nor do I see any reason for her to come swooping in at the last minute to help save the day. Angel's out of nowhere appearance on BtVS shows how awkward these situations can be with no plausible build up to them.

The show has enough to deal with without throwing another storyline into the mix. As you said, it can't be resolved in a satisfactory way in the time they have left. And I don't want to see any of the series regulars lose screen time/closure to deal with it.

Thanks for confirming it's Ep 20 that she would have appeared in. Jeff Bell's statements left me a bit confused with what I did know.
Since I just couldn’t get away from casting information, I decided to not consider it spoilers. About the actual issue: I am happy that it is done already. I am so tired of mulling over the subject of SMG appearance, (is she-isn’t she; should she-shouldn’t she; do we blame her in any case?) that after reading this article I am honestly relieved that the matter is over, the show will end without Buffy on screen. The whole issue appears to be a case of severe miscommunication between sides (but then, how many times they poked fun at good guys’ lack of communication skills?)
Buffy (the character) had a beautiful send-off. That final smile with tears – something ends, something begins – was great. Her appearance – in 20th or 21st episode – what would it actually achieve? The shippy ending of any kind wouldn’t make sense, anyway, but I still want a room for my own interpretations.
Her appearance – in 20th or 21st episode – what would it actually achieve? The shippy ending of any kind wouldn’t make sense, anyway, but I still want a room for my own interpretations.

Excellent point. And I think it's best for Joss, the show, and the fans to leave it open to our imaginations. I'm still convinced Buffy and Spike had sex their last night together. ;)

The whole issue appears to be a case of severe miscommunication between sides

Yep, I've been picking up on that too in recent weeks. No one seemed to be actually talking to each other. It's called a phone people, use it. :p But, I hope this is the end of the great debate because it's quite exhausting following it all.
SMG etc
I normally avoid any spoilers, even previews and casting but I could not resist this. And it was not very spoilery. And that way my hopes won't be up for a Buffy apperance only to be dashed.

I am disappointed that SMG will not be there somewhere. I think true closure would require that. But I can understand the thinking that it would be a disservice to the regular cast to have the last episode revolve around the triangle.

And as others have said, maybe this will leave the door open for more fanfic or a movie.
Re: SMG etc
I would love to see a movie (think of how cool it would be to have both casts together!). Not right away, maybe in two or three years. And perhaps that is why Joss hesitates tying up all the loose ends - he may have hopes of a big screen outing himself.

Guess we'll have something to discuss in chat tonight. :)
Re: SMG etc
And as others have said, maybe this will leave the door open for more fanfic or a movie.

I think fanfic will continue on no matter what the ending may happen to be for the S/B/A saga.

Has there been talk about a BtVs or AtS tv movie in the near future?
Re: SMG etc
No talk of a movie. Right now I'm holding out as much hope as I am for a second X-Files feature. :p
Yes, you would think in the 21st century the parties involved would know about phones and stuff ;)

Which makes me wonder if they ever really wanted SMG in the first place - that all the speculating in the press was just to heighten interest, when unfortunately the series itself wasn't generating enough.

I agree, the end of the show should be about the regulars and their struggles, which always made me wonder why they had to have Spike and Harmony in the mix - I know, pressure from the WB to add some Buffy characters. But, did Spike really add anything to the season? Couldn't Angel have come to the same conclusions about his destiny without him?

I haven't seen a complete summary of ep. 20, so I dearly hope the last scene we have of Buffy is indeed her beautiful smile at the end of Chosen and not the back of some extra's head. I hope Joss still has enough respect for the character for that to not be the case, that the story has some deeper resonance for Buffy as well as her two vampires.
*deep sigh of relief*

Was going to post this in my own journal, but alas, i've grown so tired of the Buffy/SMG: Love her or Hate her rounds... At least this time around, it can't all be placed on SMG's shoulders.

I'm assuming they made a mistake with the second-to-last ep, and meant ep.20. And like i expected, it was all a wild goose chase that would end with Angel and Spike "coming to an understanding". Which i think is best. I didn't want Buffy to come in to distract us from the rest of the show, i dislike even taht there's a whole ep dedicated to it in the first place. Seems so heavy-handed to me. Angel's appearance on the finale left such a bad taste in my mouth that his presence was even needed. Joss was never going to give us any *real* closure, so i prefer to fanwank all by myself, thank you very much.

My one qualm? Spike not telling Buffy he's alive. Of course, again, i can fanwank it that he tells Andrew to let Buffy know, or that at the end of the series, Spike pats Angel on the back and says, "I have to see a horse about a girl". Something like that, of course ;) But now Spike believes Buffy has moved on and has decided that he shouldn't interfere in her life. Just...Spike is not like that. Kinda feel off, you know? Maybe he'll believe it's not the right time what with all the drama back home, but... I dunno. That is the only part that feels off. I don't think we need an appearance of Buffy for him to make a quick phone call.

Ah well, i guess it will just have to live on in fanfiction, as i highly doubt a movie, big screen or television, will ever come. I just may get my Casablanca-ish ending fro Angel and Spike after all!
It's entirely possible I'm being overly optimistic, but, if we are to take Jeff at his word, he says that Angel and Spike come to an understanding and Buffy "has come to some sort of understanding too". Maybe I jumped to a conclusion, but I took that to mean she knows Spike is alive by the end of the series.

I have not read a detailed summary of Ep 20. Still, I find it hard to believe Buffy doesn't find out Spike's back after events in that episode.

And I agree, it's hard for me to fathom Spike not butting into her life at some point. I can understand why he didn't contact her when he first returned (putting aside he was a ghost, emotionally I don't feel he was ready). Lately though, he seems to have gotten his confidence and self-esteem back. Even if she rebuffed him romantically, I believe he would at least want to have come contact with her to know how she is doing.
::kisses the ground and Jeffrey Bell and Spike and Wesley...loses train of thought::

Well anyway, :D

I fully agree that the show doesn't need to be about the triangle any more than BtVS was. We are more than those whom we sleep with.
Hi, I just found your LJ, hope it's alright to friend you. ::waves::

I'm usually unspoiled, not even for promos, but I couldn't resist the temptation to read the Ep. 20 sides when they came out.*g*

Thanks for the link, I agree with Jeff Bell/ME that the finale shouldn't be about Buffy, but I'm kinda concerned as to how they will "resolve" the triangle. Like sweet_ali, I don't want to see Spike giving up on Buffy and just stays away from her life. And how could they really resolve the love triangle without Buffy even being there? Feels...inadequate in some way. ::sigh::

I should try to remain optimisstic though, maybe Joss does know what he's doing. *g*
Of course it's alright you friended me. :) ::waves back::

I've been torn all season on whether or not Buffy should come back. My shipper heart wants a Spike/Buffy reunion, but I never believed Joss would actually give us that on screen. So, maybe it's for the best Sarah doesn't appear and we'll get the satisfaction that in drawing our own conclusions.