And so it comes to an end. Act 3 of 3 of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog is up. But it will only be up till tomorrow. So unless you plan to buy it on iTunes, or buy the DVD when that comes out, you better get out there and watch it. My (somewhat spoilery) thoughts and more screencaps after the link …
Holy crap. Joss really went with the dark ending there, eh? Right up till the end, I kept wondering if there was some kind of trick, if Dr. Horrible was going to invent a time machine or something, but knowing how much Joss isn’t afraid to go to those dark places, I knew that wouldn’t be the case. And to be honest, that final 30 seconds or so was horribly gratifying. He got what he wanted. Sort of.
If you’re the kind of person who trolls the credits, like me, you’ll notice that Joss incorporated some of his writers as actors in this final act — David Fury, Marti Noxon, Doug Petrie, and Drew Goddard. Which is pretty cool, considering that the whole reason for starting this project was to keep himself busy during the writers’ strike.
My god. I watched this very early this morning and was so taken back by the ending. I wasn’t expecting it to be serious and gloomy at all. I’m not sure what I think of the whole thing now, considering the silliness of the other two parts. It was just sad.
I’m just going to repeat what I said over on TMFT …
I’ve watched the whole thing a few times over now, and every time I watch it, you can see that the elements of a tragedy are right there. It’s practically a Greek play. Dr. Horrible undoes himself right in the first act. There’s that moment after he finishes having that first conversation with Penny, and he walks away from her, and he has a moment of doubt. “Why did she have to talk to me NOW?” It’s like he’s literally asking the universe what it’s trying to tell him. And you can see on his face that he wonders if he should he follow Penny or follow through on the heist. He chooses the latter, and because of that, Penny ends up dead.
Then Horrible blows it again, after the second act, by not continuing to be Penny’s friend, by not just trusting her enough to let the relationship with Hammer burn out on its own. He chooses to make his hatred for Hammer more important than his love for Penny, and plays into Hammer’s game of turning Penny into a trophy. And in the end, Horrible — not Hammer — is the one who creates both the situation and even the weapon that kills Penny, even if he isn’t the one who pulls the trigger. Every step of the way, Horrible has been his own undoing … and Penny’s.
I would have liked a happy ending, but I don’t know if I would have been as satisfied by it. Nobody pulls off sadness out of silliness the way Whedon does. Because of the sad ending, I can watch this a million times and probably never get bored with it.
Hmm, I see your point but I guess not expecting it to take that direction is what made me so bewildered by the ending.
The key moment of this is the last 3 seconds, where Dr Horrible realizes that his victory tastes like ashes. Without that absolutely-destroyed-oh-my-god-what-have-I-done look that gives you a glimpse of the regular guy behind the goggles & rubber gloves, the whole production has an entirely different flavor. In that respect, it’s like any of those movies that have the huge twist at the end (i.e. The Sixth Sense, Fight Club, etc): entertaining, but then taken to a completely new level that makes you reevaluate everything that has gone before.
I’ve watched it maybe a dozen times already, and I can’t seem to get enough. Pure genius.
Was it really a “twist”? I mean, didn’t we pretty much get clear glimpses of “Billy Buddy” throughout, and it just progressed to that final scene? I’m not disagreeing that that last moment (is it even 3 seconds long?) is powerful. But for me, it was powerful moreso because in the few moments just before it, Dr. Horrible not only dons the new red costume, but also actually puts the goggles over his eyes for the first time. Up till that point, the goggles have always been up on his forehead, presumably because he was never 100% fully invested in the role of supervillain. It’s the reason Hammer recognized him for who he was in the laundromat. One could make an argument that Horrible maybe wanted to be recognized. But in the end, after Penny’s death, he divorces the two sides of himself — there is Dr. Horrible, whose eyes you will never see again, and there is Billy, who cries, and who now keeps the video blog. The strength of the one half is fueled by the weakness of the other.