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Just finished Angel for the 3rd time


Billowy Coat, King of Pain
Aug 2, 2007
San Diego, CA, USA
It often makes lists as one of the greatest finales of all time.

The whole point was that the fight never ends. Angel was always going to lose everyone he's ever loved, as that was always his future unless the Shanshu came to pass. Gunn is last seen bleeding out, while Angel, Spike and Illyria (who killed one of Angel's friends, lest we forget) are three inhuman immortals who might walk away from it, but the most likely of them to walk away is the most inhuman (Illyria). Angel: After the Fall comics not withstanding, of course. Angel is often given the symbolism of being Hell's angel; damned no matter how good of a boy he is.

He always picks fights that are far beyond his pay grade, but tries anyway because it's the right thing to do. Wolfram & Hart's whole modus operandi was using humanity to do their dirty work for them and destroy themselves, while Angel was all about human free will, no matter the cost.
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Jul 8, 2021
I got to thinking of it because of how Angel season 5 ends, especially taking into the context with what goes before leading up to it. Other than some surgical strikes, it's just plain destruction, not to win a war, but to spit in their faces, to burn down the house they're in as Wes put it. More specifically, Angel's own words: "We can't bring down the senior partners, but for one bright, shining moment, we can show them that they don't own us."

I just finished S5 for the second time, and it's definitely less disappointing when you know what's coming. I actually quite liked it- they spent the whole season worrying that they were selling out, so for them turn around and hit self-destruct in order to do big damage was pretty gratifying. Plus I was far more invested in the characters this time around so it was a 'yassss!' moment for them all. I don't need them to win, I just want them to be their best.


Aug 8, 2021
That's funny, I consider the Angel finale to be one of the best finales of all time, if not the best. What is your issue with it?

I agree...

Angel season 5 has one of the best endings to a series I've ever seen. It reminded me of the British sci-fi series Blakes 7, which was always a cynical, violent and pessimistic show (not unlike Angel) and the finale proves the point of the show - like the crew in Blakes 7 Angel finally agreed with Lindsay that heroes (even anti-heroes) don't accept the world the way it is and are prepared to go down fighting, not just picking an opponent they can beat. It worked on both a deconstructionist level in attacking the network for cancelling it and went out on a huge high, with Denisov and Acker in particular putting in some absolutely stellar work and Angel's team dramatically rejecting the comfy corporate, corrupt life.

The show did a great job pulling round from the messy season 4 and I'm just thankful it finished in a way that was so memorable, acting as a total contrast to the (equally memorable) end of Btvs. It proved how different an entity it was with its doomed face-off in the rainy alley, and thematically it's the best way the show could have bowed out.
Stake fodder
Stake fodder
I loved Blake's 7!


Nov 13, 2018
I can understand some people being annoyed with the finale as it is bleak, and also it looks at a glance like Angel unleashed a worse evil than the one he prevented LOL.

Still the whole point is that by destroying the Circle of the Black Thorn, Angel has destroyed Wolfram and Hart's main weapon on earth and set them back by thousands of years. However he hasn't destroyed Wolfram and Hart. They will not only eventually recover, but they have their fingers in other pies in other worlds too. Whilst the appocalypse is a big deal for Angel, for them it's just another of many evil plans in thousands if not millions of worlds. (We saw this as far back as season 2, with the Senior Partners having a hand in the evil monks plan.)

Angel's plan was basically just to show them that whilst they might never be defeated, they will never win. There will always be people fighting against them. Even when there is nothing in it for the people fighting, and it seems like a suicide, Wolfram and Hart will always be opposed and therefore never have the complete control they want.

The fact that the final fight is so bleak further reinforces this by having Angel and friends still go into battle when all seems lost. It also ties into the theme of the entire series, that at first Angel fights because he thinks he will be forgiven, but later learns that he should fight to help people because it's the right thing to do.

Ultimately that's what he does here. He gives up his chance to be human, and risks certain death all to set the Senior Partners back for thousands of years, which will save more people in the long run.

It's really the perfect ending to the show, however I do concede that it is undermined by having the Demons let loose in LA which like I said just makes it look like Angel caused the appocalypse and hurt more people LOL. I think that final scene was a mistake.

I always thought the Demons were just there for Angel and friends after which they'd **** off, but that's probably just me rationalizing it.

I think the final scene would have been better if just Angel, Spike and the others were sent to hell by the Senior Partners and attacked by an army of Demons there. You could end it in exactly the same way, and leave it open, but not be left thinking that Angel doomed the world LOL.

Still that aside it was a good finale.

(BTW I don't care about the comics. Never liked them much.)
As Holland Manners explained in s2, they had no intention on doing anything so prosaic as winning. Despite Angel's actions, I think Manners would've applauded Angel's final plan. Everyone has their role to play, and no one is going to win.
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