I'll definitely need to watch it again...and again...to fully process what I saw. But, my immediate reaction was just "wow". More shockingly, nothing pissed me off. Not even the murder of my beloved tiny Texan.
Yeah, I'm bummed about his death, mostly because I believed him. Lindsey may be selfish, self-serving, and manipulative but I never felt that he was evil in the strictest sense. We've seen him have the capacity for good in the past. And let me throw this out there, if we assume the worst - that someone is incapable of change - well then, Buffy should have driven a stake through Spike's heart in season 4. Did Angel have the right to determine that Lindsey could not be 'saved'? Then again there was Lorne's telling "I've heard you sing". Did he see three years ago that Lindsey was incapable of being redeemed?
Still, I console myself with a damn fine death scene. It wasn't that Lindsey couldn't face death, heel, he seemed to expect it's just that it was supposed to be Angel - "Angel kills me". BTW, Christian mentioned at the Con that during his first two years on the show Joss was always trying to kill him...Joss finally succeeded.
"Would you like me to lie to you now?" Wes' death should have been a punch to the gut, yet I was, dare I say, happy for the guy. At long last he found peace and if we believe in that heavenly plane Buffy was once on then Wes at long last will be together with Fred. God, I'm tearing again just thinking about that scene. AA and AD gave us some of there best work ever.
Did Angel really sign away the Shanshu? First off, I don't really care - I never felt that was Angel's ultimate goal nor that of the show. Besides, there always seems to be a loophole in these prophecies. He signed his name Angel. Is that who he is or is it Angelus or Liam? As for humanity, I think they've proved it's overrated.
For someone (that would be me) who only tuned into Angel this season because of Spike, his story was of the least interest to me. In the end it needed to be about Gunn and Wes and Angel. Some of Angel's final and best scenes would be with Lindsey. They started this show together - it was fitting they should end it together. And I have to say they gave us one of the funniest exchanges I've ever heard on this show:
"I want you Lindsey. (pause) Thinking about rephrasing that."
"Yeah, I think I'd be more comfortable if you did."
Really, considering the close friendship between CK and DB I have to wonder how many takes it took before they could get through that. I know I practically fell off the couch laughing.
Other inspired, exhilarating, and heartbreaking moments:
I felt Angel had closure with Conner before, but this was the perfect denouement. They had a true father/son moment - what Angel always longed for. Could offering to help your kid with his homework be any more normal? And after trying to kill Angel for so long, Conner risks his own life to aid him.
"I was at the taping of the first Carol Burnett Show. Tim Conway was on fire."
Not just having Spike recite poetry but the same poem that brought about his great humiliation and led him to be turned. Only this time, his audience loves it. 'That was for Cecily. The next one is called the wanton folly of my mum' - God I love any Buffy reference. :)
Gunn returning to his old neighborhood to catch up with Anne! Gee, so that's what being unspoiled feels like. ;)
I loved in Wes' discussion with Illyria he casually mentioned his Watcher training. On the downside, it made me recall they never did address where those robots came from.
I actually felt sorry for Eve (who I'm guessing didn't mention her tryst with Angel). Lindsey really did care for her. She gave up immortality for him and now is left alone seemingly with nothing.
"It isn't my kind of work anymore, it's unsavory." Lorne has largely been wasted this season on the show, but it was a powerful final moment for him and us. The carefree, fun loving Host turned into an assassin.
I'm curious as to what a Season 6 would have been about. Is it a coincidence that Angel made their rendezvous point just north of the Hyperion? I sincerely doubt Wes would have died. I'll hazard to guess that's one of the 'small' adjustments Joss made to the script. And what of Harmony? She was to be made a series regular next season, was Angel going to forgive her betrayal? If I had to pick out a weakness in this episode it was the Harmony stuff. Yeah, I understand they needed her to be the dupe, but in such a tightly written episode it just seemed predictable and far too convenient.
Out of all the finales I've seen this would have to rate as one of the best. I'm sure many will disagree but I'd rather have Angel go out like this rather than *hope* it would go out like this next season. For the record, the 'cliffhanger' didn't bother me in the least. Evil can't be defeated, the fight just keeps on going. And, in my opinion, they win this fight. :)
In related news, this pre-empted my completing my Con report. This weekend I'll post it - I swear!
And I had what I thought was an interesting fanfic idea...which Joss has now screwed up. Oh well, I could always go AU.