Wednesday, January 7, 2009

An ending less Horrible

OK, this has been bothering me for months now, and it's time to get it off my chest.

I hated, absolutely hated, the ending of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.  I realize I'm in the minority on this.  When I visited the official fan site to hear others' reactions, the overwhelming majority were positive.  Many argued that the dark, bitter conclusion was the only truly fitting end for the characters as they had been drawn.  Those who suggested that perhaps such a dark, bitter conclusion was a little inappropriate for what had been billed as a lighthearted comedy were almost universally derided as fluffybunny wimps who like all their stories to be nothing but sweetness and light and the good guys living happily ever after.  One fan even ventured to suggest that the ending wasn't dark and bitter enough, because Dr. Horrible never intentionally killed anyone or overtly embraced his true, evil nature.

Well, bollocks to them all.  I didn't like it, but that doesn't mean I wanted a sweet, fluffy ending in which Dr. Horrible and Captain Hammer both realize they should be nice from now on and decide to be friends and team up to save homeless kittens.  After some thought, I've concluded that the ending I wanted would have looked something like this:

Everything is the same up until the point when Captain Hammer pulls the trigger and the Death Ray explodes in his hand.  Then:
[CAPTAIN HAMMER runs from the room crying like a little girl. BILLY lies on the ground, his body pierced through by the shrapnel of his failed weapon. PENNY runs to him.]

PENNY: Billy!

BILLY: (weakly) I'm sorry, Penny. I didn't want you to see...who I really was...

PENNY: But Billy, I knew that all along.

BILLY: You did?

PENNY: Yeah, those goggles really aren't as good a disguise as you think they are.

BILLY: Then why...why didn't you leave...if you knew who I was...underneath?

PENNY: (crying) Because I knew there was another layer under that. Like pie.

BILLY: (understanding) Pie.... (dies)

PENNY: (sings)

I always thought that I knew what a hero was
I always thought I knew the way
That I could change the world someday
I thought I knew

What do you do when the hero pulls the trigger
When the villain takes the blow
Changing the whole world that you know
What do you do

What if the bad guys are the good guys after all?
The ones who make a change for real
Who care about how people feel
How can it be?

I think at last I see a meaning in it all
At last the way is clear to me
The hero that I was meant to be
At last I see
My destiny...

(Slowly, gently, she removes the goggles from Billy's head. Slowly, deliberately, she puts them on. Looks directly into the camera.)

(laughing fiendishly) Ha ha ha ha! (pause) I'm gonna have to work on that. (Fade to black.)
There.  That's what I call an ending.  A bit of a rip-off of V for Vendetta, maybe, but hey, it works.

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