Monday, July 21, 2008

The Horrible End

Spoilers below!

On Saturday, the final act of Joss Whedon's Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog was posted.

I should have seen it coming.

I'm a huge Whedon fan (duh), and so I don't know why I was so taken aback by the ending. After all, Joss rarely goes for the happy ending and always goes for the sucker punch. Penny's inadvertent death by Dr. Horrible's destroyed death ray played like authentic greek tragedy, and Dr. Horrible getting what he wanted (inducted into the Evil League of Evil) but at the cost of his very sooooul was pure poetic irony.

Like I said, I should have seen it coming.

But I didn't. For a story that opened with such a sweet, funny beginning (I defy anyone to not get that opening number about the freeze ray stuck in their head), it ended on a completely dark note. In the beginning Billy's purpose is to do bad to get the girl for the express purpose of loving her, but by the end, Dr. Horrible has done bad and now feels nothing. Not only did he lose Penny, but he also lost any capacity for emotion he had.

I suppose going back and rewatching would lend all sorts of clues and foreshadowing, after all, at the end of Act II, Dr. Horrible tells the audience he is ready to kill. And because Neil Patrick Harris is so good, we believe him. But in the end, when he is standing there with the gun ready to kill Captain Hammer....he hesitates. But with Penny's death, there is no mercy, there is no remorse, there is nothing.

Part III wasn't all darkness though. Nathan Fillion of course brought the funny ("I hate the homeless.....ness"), and it was cool to see the other members of the League (Bad Horse is an actual horse! And look, it's....Fake Thomas Jefferson?). But all in all, it was sad. Not a downer, but sad. Genuinely sad. And that's what made it good. The sadness wasn't gratuitous, it was earned, and it wasn't followed by disappointment (not a lot, anyway). It was real.

And come on. We shouldn't have expected things to turn out well for a character named Dr. Horrible, right?

I should have seen it coming.

You can read rumors of pending sequels, Broadway shows, and special DVD extras here. AND read Joss' live chat at here. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Monkey Sri said...

Well said! I need to go watch it again, now. And again, and again. *sigh* Joss for SBotW :P