wisteria_ did her screencap review to “We Are the Champions” and made a lovely (shareable) Goodnight icon.
stakebait asked for (and received) St. Crispin Day speech icons.
stakebait’s way of thanking Joss Whedon (She notes that "he didn't do it alone -- and in the case of ATS there's people who arguably did a lot more. But he invented the world, and that's what I'm mourning, and that's what I want to honor.") without flooding the poor man in fan mail is to make “a donation in his honor to his alma mater, Wesleyan, since he talks about it and the film studies program so fondly in interviews. Just a small one, 'cause that's all I can afford, but the best way I could come up with to say thank you to Joss for 12 pretty damned good years, with something he might actually value. Anyway the kid who gets financial aid will value it, and Joss doesn't have to store it or throw it away.”
minervacat is doing a 5 favorite Buffy/Angel-verse things meme.
When Illyria asks Wesley “Do you want me to lie to you?” i fully expected him to say “No,” but hello “Lie To Me.”
He talks about the importance of distinguishing between reality and illusion, which sets us up nicely for the whole, fighting/killing Vail (who can “manipulate the very fabric of realty,” as he himself boasts) “the old-fashioned way.”
I was thinking about the precedent for Wesley choosing reality over illusion even though it’s hard, and my first thought was of his taking away Connor because he believed Angel was going to kill Connor, and i was reminded of Giles killing Ben (he says Buffy can’t because she’s a hero; do we think Angel is less of a hero because he killed Drogyn et al?). I think of Wesley as being the one out of all the AI gang who is willing to make the tough choices, sacrifice for the greater good, pragmatic lesser of two evils, etc. Other people who are more expert on Wesley’s character can argue for or against this better than i can, but this is my impression.
When “Fred” says they’ll be together again soon, i couldn’t help thinking of the big deal they made of the fact that Fred’s essence got burnt up in Illyria’s resurrection, that Fred is gone. Surely they [the writers] must expect the viewers to pick up on that, surely they must know Wesley would know that, even in dying.
When Wesley is talking to Illyria after regaining his memories of last season, he talks about how the fake memories help one bear the burden of the pain of the true memories. Though this serves to neatly tells the audience that they have 2 sets of memories, i didn’t really buy the logic coming from Wes. Oh it sets us up nicely for Connor, for whom i do think that is true (“I know what you did, and I’m grateful, and that’s as far as I want to go with this.”) but just as Illyria’s show for the Burkles doesn’t make the loss of Fred any easier to bear for Wesley (if anything it probably makes it worse, reminding him of what he has lost, of what he will never have, of what could have been, etc.) neither do i think the false memories of Season 4, whatever they were, somehow buffered him from the pain of the real Season 4 once he knew what that reality was.
So i was having trouble with Wesley wanting the lie at the end. Though of course it provided a marvelous way for us to see Illyria realizing her humanity, really feeling this grief she thought she was only faking.
Then i was rereading the “Home” transcript, researching for a fic, and the Previouslies include Connor saying “I know she's a lie. Jasmine. My whole life's been built on them. I guess I thought this one was better than the others” (“Peace Out” 4.21). Which is rather interesting, since everyone quotes him from near the end of “Home”: “There's only one thing that ever changes anything... and that's death. Everything else is just a lie. You can't be saved by a lie. You can't be saved at all” (emphasis added).
Perhaps sometimes the lie is kinder, and maybe Wesley wanted that at the end. He knew he was dying, he must have known he was never going to see Fred again (though i’m still not entirely certain why they believed the doctor that "Miss Burkle's soul was consumed by the fires of resurrection. Everything she was is gone.") and maybe he wanted that comfort one last time. People have argued that the Fred that Wesley loved wasn’t the real Fred, was instead this paragon of Sweetness and Light and Purity. (Personally i was really interested in post-“SuperSymmetry” Fred/Wes, when they were both grey, but we didn’t get that. Sigh.) There is already post-“Not Fade Away” fanfic that Wesley ends up in Hell (*cough*withLilah*cough*). I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Wesley suspects that’s where he’s going, so this would be sort of a last happy. I’m still not entirely convinced, but this is my fanwank.
I wrote before in a post on Chosen that Chosen was the perfect finale for Buffy because Buffy was about free will, was about the freedom to choose, to overturn destiny, to rewrite fate. And this was so perfect for Angel because Angel's not about that. Angel isn't just that you're not sure everything's going to turn out all right -- Angel is about knowing that things are going to turn out badly, that everything you love will be stripped away from you, that happiness is the brief lull before the storm. Angel is about knowing that and fighting anyway, in the face of all odds, in the face of almost certain defeat.
katie_m said it better: "Angel says to me that there can be grace even in darkness; Buffy says to me that that you can get a damn generator and turn the lights on."
Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.
-GK Chesterton (hat-tip ponygirl2000)