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Angel Co-Creator Joss Whedon Defends the Show's Divisive Ending

Ahead of the show's 20th anniversary in October, Whedon weighs in on the controversial finale

Amanda Bell

If you're still torn about what exactly happened in the last few seconds of the series finale of Angel, you're not alone.

The ending of the beloved WB series unleashed hell to Earth, as monsters and demons swarmed the streets of Los Angeles, and vampire-with-a-soul Angel (David Boreanaz) and his remaining allies geared up for what seemed to be an impossible final fight. They still kept their wits about them of course -- as they observed the sprawling onslaught of the harbingers of the apocalypse, a badly injured Gunn (J. August Richards) quipped, "OK, you take the 30,000 on the left." -- but the odds were certainly stacked against them. The last line belonged to Angel himself as he declared, "Well, personally, I kind of want to slay the dragon. Let's go to work."

The Cast of Angel Is Reuniting... Without Angel

For many fans, the fade-to-black that followed became a major point of frustration because we didn't get to see whether they'd emerge victorious or simply go down swinging against this death brigade. According to the show's creator Joss Whedon, though, the ending wasn't meant to be obscure at all. He and several stars from the show reunited to celebrate the show's 20th anniversary for Entertainment Weekly, and Whedon dispelled the popular belief that the ending was a cliffhanger.

"That ain't a cliff," he told the magazine. "I understand why people would want closure, but for me, that would be like adding a cliff note to the end. What I always wanted to say is, trying to become worthy of the life that you have is a life's work. The fight is for always."

In Whedon's mind, the point of the final scene was that they were all back on two feet and ready to keep fighting, a task that would never end for any of the surviving quartet so long as they lived. "I always hope that people feel the difficulty and possibility of redemption within the show. The price will always be high," he explained. "Do the work, it will always be worth it."

Angel is streaming on Hulu.

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David Boreanaz, Angel

David Boreanaz, Angel

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