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What would the conclusion to this season be like without the Pylea arc?

slayer730

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I've always liked the Pylea as an interesting and lighter diversion from the rest of the season, but it always felt like a random conclusion.

If that arc didnt exist, what do you guys think would have been an alternative conclusion to the Darla season arc would look like?
 
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I think they would have extended the middle of the season - had Angel remain separate from the team for longer. I think they would have put epiphany in at maybe episode 18 and then had them try to rebuild the team for the last few episodes before Willow came to tell them about Buffy. Maybe we would have followed Darla a little bit as well - follow her story line as she leaves L.A and maybe realises something is wrong with her ... but we don't know what.
That would mean she would have to have a shortened pregnancy if season 3 was to keep to the same timeline - but Cordelia became nearly full term overnight with the spawn of the Haxil beast, so there is precedent for demon pregnancies being short. It wouldn't be too great a stretch.

I'm glad they didn't do that, though. I don't think I could take more treading water filler episodes like Happy Anniversary and the Thin Dead Line. I know a lot of people don't like the Pylea arc, but it's one of the highlights of the entire season for me.
 

white avenger

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Without the Pylea arc, Angel and his team would have been available to help Buffy out in Sunnydale, at least in her last big showdown with Glory. (I'm assuming that they would all be on speaking terms at least by that time) That was the last Season that both shows were on the WB, so crossovers wouldn't have been as problematical then as they would have been later.

Of course, at that time, having Angel and soulless Spike on the same team, and actually cooperating, would be like taking two pit bulls out for a peaceful Sunday stroll in a dog park. The only real question would be whether they would end up fighting each other, or fighting all of the other dogs in the park, and THEN fighting each other. Buffy wouldn't have had time to handle anything like that.
 

slayer730

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Without the Pylea arc, Angel and his team would have been available to help Buffy out in Sunnydale, at least in her last big showdown with Glory. (I'm assuming that they would all be on speaking terms at least by that time) That was the last Season that both shows were on the WB, so crossovers wouldn't have been as problematical then as they would have been later.

Of course, at that time, having Angel and soulless Spike on the same team, and actually cooperating, would be like taking two pit bulls out for a peaceful Sunday stroll in a dog park. The only real question would be whether they would end up fighting each other, or fighting all of the other dogs in the park, and THEN fighting each other. Buffy wouldn't have had time to handle anything like that.
I've always debated whether or not Team Angel would have been avaliable to help Buffy during that time period if they werent in another dimension, but thinking about it that doesn't seem likely. They both probably would have been busy dealing with their own problems at the same time.
 

slayer730

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I think they would have extended the middle of the season - had Angel remain separate from the team for longer. I think they would have put epiphany in at maybe episode 18 and then had them try to rebuild the team for the last few episodes before Willow came to tell them about Buffy. Maybe we would have followed Darla a little bit as well - follow her story line as she leaves L.A and maybe realises something is wrong with her ... but we don't know what.
That would mean she would have to have a shortened pregnancy if season 3 was to keep to the same timeline - but Cordelia became nearly full term overnight with the spawn of the Haxil beast, so there is precedent for demon pregnancies being short. It wouldn't be too great a stretch.

I'm glad they didn't do that, though. I don't think I could take more treading water filler episodes like Happy Anniversary and the Thin Dead Line. I know a lot of people don't like the Pylea arc, but it's one of the highlights of the entire season for me.
Darla was the main focal point of this season so I think she'd definitely be back for the final arc, but I'm not sure what her motivation would be for returning unless she came back with an accelerated pregnancy at those final stretch of episodes
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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Angel Season Finales are always about breaking the current season's scenario, and putting the pieces together for next season. So, let's assume Team Angel had to "bond" after Angel's Batman voice month. The Host needed some kind of backstory, and we needed to be introduced to Fred. Let's assume riding to Buffy's aid was never much of a possibility, unless the WB paid for a crossover episode. Probably the most likely option is W&H forcing Angel to deal with Darla and Dru, requiring the assistance of Lorne, and Fred is one of their captives could work. But really, that's just extending the original theme of the season.
 

white avenger

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I've always debated whether or not Team Angel would have been avaliable to help Buffy during that time period if they werent in another dimension, but thinking about it that doesn't seem likely. They both probably would have been busy dealing with their own problems at the same time.
Probably so. What got me to thinking about it, at least partially, is the annual DCEU/Arrowverse crossover that was just completed a few weeks ago. It's fun to see the whole gang together occasionally.
 
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Darla was the main focal point of this season so I think she'd definitely be back for the final arc, but I'm not sure what her motivation would be for returning unless she came back with an accelerated pregnancy at those final stretch of episodes
I don't see it as her returning. More that Epiphany gets pushed back so she doesn't actually leave until episode 18. And then in 19, 20, 21 and 22 - whilst team Angel are rebonding - we occasionally get scenes of Darla's onward journey - probably into South America. We'd get little hints that she didn't feel right - and then in the final episode she would come to the conclusion that something was really badly wrong and we would close out her story on her dramatically saying 'what's wrong with me?'
It would have been cool if she could have met up with Drusilla - and the two of them could have been travelling together, and it was Dru's precognition that realised something was wrong with Darla. We could have finished on Dru freaking the hell out and having a classic Drusilla melt down, before she ran away. Cue Darla's dramatic question. Then we get to wonder for the whole summer, until the end of Heartthrob.

Maybe for team Angel - 19 could have been a stand alone (they could have stuck with Disharmony) and then they could have extended evil hand Lindsey episode into a two parter - to give Angel some closure to the Wolfram and Hart storyline without it pissing off the other team members. Episode 22 should have been about them finding the Nyazian scrolls, or at least learning about them - because they suddenly become a thing in 'offspring' which are vital to all of season 3 and just appear out of nowhere. It would have been good to give the Nyazian scrolls a bit more back ground so they weren't quite so obviously plot devicey when they turn up. And then finish on Willow as per canon.
 

slayer730

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I don't see it as her returning. More that Epiphany gets pushed back so she doesn't actually leave until episode 18. And then in 19, 20, 21 and 22 - whilst team Angel are rebonding - we occasionally get scenes of Darla's onward journey - probably into South America. We'd get little hints that she didn't feel right - and then in the final episode she would come to the conclusion that something was really badly wrong and we would close out her story on her dramatically saying 'what's wrong with me?'
It would have been cool if she could have met up with Drusilla - and the two of them could have been travelling together, and it was Dru's precognition that realised something was wrong with Darla. We could have finished on Dru freaking the hell out and having a classic Drusilla melt down, before she ran away. Cue Darla's dramatic question. Then we get to wonder for the whole summer, until the end of Heartthrob.

Maybe for team Angel - 19 could have been a stand alone (they could have stuck with Disharmony) and then they could have extended evil hand Lindsey episode into a two parter - to give Angel some closure to the Wolfram and Hart storyline without it pissing off the other team members. Episode 22 should have been about them finding the Nyazian scrolls, or at least learning about them - because they suddenly become a thing in 'offspring' which are vital to all of season 3 and just appear out of nowhere. It would have been good to give the Nyazian scrolls a bit more back ground so they weren't quite so obviously plot devicey when they turn up. And then finish on Willow as per canon.
This is somewhat similar to Spike leaving at the end of season 6 while something else was going on back in Sunnydale. The idea of her saying whats wrong with me would be cool, but I don't think it would hit the audience as hard like when she stepped from behind the bar and revealed she a pregnancy and to have the audience wait and wonder for so long without being clear might be a bad idea because thats a large criticism I've seen about the season 3 finale. Comparing that to the Spike scenario, we knew he got a soul by the end.

I'm surprised I never thought of this before I started this thread, but Wolfram & Hart being the focus for the final stretch as you outlined actually makes sense since they technically are the ones who brought Darla back. Not to mention in Pylea they were vaguely implied to be pulling the strings.

Also since you mention the Lindsey episode, I think it actually had enough content to probably fill the space we're referring to, or rather Lindsey's exit should have been saved for the finale because it always felt like an odd and quick removal to me. The Nyazian scrolls are interesting because I don't remember how they were introduced, but I do know they felt random and possibly no lead up at all. It also bothered me that Angel used two pretty big tropes pretty frequently prophecies (Shanshu, Nyazian) pregnancy (Darla & Cordelia) . I'm trying to think of a way where if they did have these Nyazian scrolls and introduced them it wouldn't feel like a repeat of the Shanshu, which also felt randomly introduced as well
 
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This is somewhat similar to Spike leaving at the end of season 6 while something else was going on back in Sunnydale. The idea of her saying whats wrong with me would be cool, but I don't think it would hit the audience as hard like when she stepped from behind the bar and revealed she a pregnancy and to have the audience wait and wonder for so long without being clear might be a bad idea because thats a large criticism I've seen about the season 3 finale. Comparing that to the Spike scenario, we knew he got a soul by the end.
I'd not thought of that - it is a bit similar to Spike. But, of course, in our brave new world - this would have come first and it would be Spike copying Darla. :p And knowing something was up might lessen the impact of the end of 'Hearthrob' ... but then it's hard to get into the mindset of someone who doesn't know what is going to happen. I suppose nobody would have guessed 'pregnancy' - because vampires can't have children. So the end of heartthrob might still land like a ton of bricks.


Also since you mention the Lindsey episode, I think it actually had enough content to probably fill the space we're referring to, or rather Lindsey's exit should have been saved for the finale because it always felt like an odd and quick removal to me. The Nyazian scrolls are interesting because I don't remember how they were introduced, but I do know they felt random and possibly no lead up at all. It also bothered me that Angel used two pretty big tropes pretty frequently prophecies (Shanshu, Nyazian) pregnancy (Darla & Cordelia) . I'm trying to think of a way where if they did have these Nyazian scrolls and introduced them it wouldn't feel like a repeat of the Shanshu, which also felt randomly introduced as well
Yeah Lindsey should have got more. Maybe he could have introduced the idea of the Nyazian scrolls. (they turn up in 'Offspring' - the same episode where Darla comes back, pregnant. Wes and Gunn break into some guy's house to steal them and Cordy and Angel have a chat about how these scrolls say the end is coming. We are never given any context of how they learned about these scrolls, what they said or where they were. They really are just a plot device dumped into the episode to make them realise that Connor is 'the destroyer')
Yes Angel relies very heavily on both prophecy and mystical pregnancy (at least 5 - 3 of which happen to Cordelia). I suppose if you remove those it becomes a completely different show. It might have been interesting to see if they could find another way to bring Connor into it ... but then we might be wandering into introduction of Dawn territory.
Maybe rather than have Connor - and Holtz brought back from the past - they could have had 'Kathy' - Angel's murdered little sister snatched out of time before she was killed and brought to Angel to protect for ...( insert plot reasons here) - but they don't know if she's evil or good ... but again - it's a bit 'Dawn'.
 
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slayer730

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Yeah Lindsey should have got more. Maybe he could have introduced the idea of the Nyazian scrolls. (they turn up in 'Offspring' - the same episode where Darla comes back, pregnant. Wes and Gunn break into some guy's house to steal them and Cordy and Angel have a chat about how these scrolls say the end is coming. We are never given any context of how they learned about these scrolls, what they said or where they were. They really are just a plot device dumped into the episode to make them realise that Connor is 'the destroyer')
Yes Angel relies very heavily on both prophecy and mystical pregnancy (at least 5 - 3 of which happen to Cordelia). I suppose if you remove those it becomes a completely different show. It might have been interesting to see if they could find another way to bring Connor into it ... but then we might be wandering into introduction of Dawn territory.

Maybe rather than have Connor - and Holtz brought back from the past - they could have had 'Kathy' - Angel's murdered little sister snatched out of time before she was killed and brought to Angel to protect for ...( insert plot reasons here) - but they don't know if she's evil or good ... but again - it's a bit 'Dawn'.

Thanks for the refresher. Its unfortunate that at times Angel wasn't a little more structured and set things up in advance. You can kind of see how the first half of season 3 (specifically episodes 1-10) are held down by this. It is a little bit Dawn like to have Angel's sister be the one brought back outlined the way you did and i'm not sure what the motivation or relevance would be to have her be there.

I kind of came up with an idea that maybe you could edit the Connor/Holtz story to where maybe Connor was ACTUALLY the son of Holtz. The flashbacks scenes would show Holtz training Connor trying to pass down the mantle to him as well as scenes of them trying to catch Angel & Darla. From there we would get a flashback where Angelus would trick Connor into a situation where he'd lure him away from his family in order to have Darla attack them (similar to what Angelus & Drusilla did to Buffy in Becoming) and Connor could rush back to find his entire family murdered. Then, Connor would be the one who would freeze himself in time to search for revenge.

The positive to this would be that you would still have the essence of Connor's (and Holtz's) character with the rage and angst being a little more justified and if it became too annoying for viewers (like it did in the show) you'd have an easy out to kill him because he wouldn't have that familial tie to the protagonist. Also he'd be a much more formidable hand to hand fighter due to the fact that he is younger which could provide for some tense moments.

The cons to this however might be dependent on how much you liked the version of Connor that we ultimately got. Events like Darla's pregnancy, Wesley reason for betraying Angel, and Sahjhan's motivation (which also felt like another plot convenience thing imo) would have to be rewritten entirely. I would personally be open to that, but i'm at a mind block as far as how you would specifically do it.
 
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