- Angel kills Archduke Sebassis via poisoning the blood of his slave demon, who was first seen in Angel: Life of the Party (2003).
- Wesley fights sorcerer Cyvus Vail, first seen in Angel: Origin (2004).
- Gunn fights Senator Helen Brucker and her gang of vampires, first seen in Angel: Power Play (2004).
- Spike fights the Fell Brethren, while rescuing Amanda's sacrificial baby, first seen in Angel: Time Bomb (2004).
- Illyria fights Izzy and three other Black Thorn members, first seen in Angel: You're Welcome (2004).
- Lorne and Lindsey fight the Sahrvin Clan, first seen in Angel: Harm's Way (2004).
Jump to: Spoilers (7)
The poem Spike reads in the bar is the same poem he reads to Cecily, the object of his affection, in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Fool for Love (2000). After Cecily rejects him, he wanders around London until he runs into Drusilla, who sires him.
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Wesley's last scene was Alexis Denisof's last scene, and the last scene of the whole series (in the alley in the rain) was the last one to be shot.
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Christian Kane (Lindsey) was unavailable for filming at the same time as the rest of the cast, so he filmed his scenes one and a half months before the rest of the episode was shot.
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As of the series finale, David Boreanaz is the only actor to have appeared in every episode, David Boreanaz and Christian Kane are the only actors to appear in both the first and last episodes of the series and David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpenter, Alexis Denisof, Julie Benz and J. August Richards are the only actors to have appeared in every season.
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Charles Gunn uses a pair of retractable stakes, hidden in his sleeves, while fighting the senatorial candidate's cronies. These are exactly like the ones used by Angel in the series' first season.
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There is only one character to appear in both Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Unaired Pilot (1996) and this episode. While most people would assume it was Angel, he was not in the unaired pilot. The only character in both was Harmony.
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The alley where the final fight takes place is the same alley where Angel fights with Faith in Angel: Five by Five (2000).
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The girl that Gunn helps move, was first seen in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Lie to Me (1997), as a vampire worshipper named Chantarelle. In Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Anne (1998), she reunites with Buffy as a runaway. Buffy gives her the name Anne to use as a thank you for helping her. Anne is Buffy's middle name that she was also using as her alias as a waitress.
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During Angel's speech before the plan, Spike says he's not wearing any amulets, alluding to Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chosen (2003), when he wore an amulet to close the hellmouth, which killed him in the process.
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WILHELM SCREAM: As Lindsey is fighting with his demons.
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Joss Whedon says of this episode, "This was not the final grace note after a symphony, the way the Buffy finale was. We are definitely still in the thick of it. But the point of the show is that you're never done; no matter who goes down, the fight goes on. Did I end it this way so that it could lead into an exciting sixth season? Yes, but this is still a final statement, if that's what it needs to be."
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Besides Angel, Lindsey is the only character to appear in both this episode and the pilot, Angel: City of... (1999).
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Sarah Michelle Gellar expressed interest in returning for this episode, but Christian Kane didn't want the finale to focus on a guest star at the expense of the regulars. He told TV Guide, "I want to end the show with the people who've been in the trenches together, the characters who have lived - and occasionally died - together." Jeffrey Bell elaborates, saying Gellar was intended to appear in Angel: Power Play (2004) but couldn't make it due to other commitments. By the time the producers learned she was available for the finale, Bell says, "to force her into the very last episode to reread stuff that we already dealt with didn't make any sense."
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Spike announces a second poem, The Wanton Folly of Me Mum, a likely reference to the traumatic events of when he sired his mother, seen in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Lies My Parents Told Me (2003).
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In classic Buffyverse style, the writers and producers retire the Wolfram & Hart Los Angeles branch set by utterly destroying it: Sunnydale High School in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Graduation Day: Part 2 (1999)", the Magic Box in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Grave (2002), the Angel Investigations offices in Angel: To Shanshu in L.A. (2000) and the entire town of Sunnydale in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chosen (2003).
Angel asks Harmony about her humanity, which she lost only five years previously, because he can no longer remember what it was like to be human due to his being turned so long ago. However, he was made human four years earlier in Angel: I Will Remember You (1999) and although the Oracles' temporal loop caused it to have never happened, he still retained the memory of it.
Spike reads his poem to a cheering audience, which he wrote back when he was a human, as seen in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Fool for Love (2000). He dedicates his reading to Cecily Addams, the object of his affection at the time.
The team depart for the final battle in the reverse order Angel initially met them: Lorne, Gunn, Wesley, then Spike.
Lindsey tells Eve "It's nice to know you're one of the few things in my life [Angel] didn't get his mitts on." This raises the question of whether he's fully aware of everything that took place in Angel: Life of the Party (2003), considering that Angel and Eve had sex under a mystical influence.
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Christian Kane says that the series is about redemption, "something you fight for every day, so I wanted him to go out fighting. People kept calling it a cliffhanger. I was like, 'Are you mad, sir? Don't you see that that is the final statement?'"
David Fury felt that this was "the perfect way to end the series, and anybody who says otherwise is dumb." The central theme of Angel, Fury explains, is that "the fight never ends...You can't ever win but the fight is worth fighting. Any proper resolution of, 'Oh, we've defeated the demons, they've gone back to hell, let's get a beer,' just would have been absolutely wrong for that show." Part of Angel's story, Fury says, is that "everybody that he's ever been close to dies...he will always outlive the people he cares about."
This episode marks Alexis Denisof's 100th appearance as Wesley on the show.
Christian Kane says "That ain't a cliff. 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." David Boreanaz says he is "comfortable with the way they're ending it. It's very open-ended [and] goes out fighting."
Connor reveals to Angel that he now has a recollection of his past and knows Angel is his father, due to the events from Angel: Origin (2004).
After the Fall is the canon continuation of the series in comic book form, which contains the events that take place just after this episode.
Those who survive the Circle of the Black Thorn are told by Angel to meet in the alley near the Hyperion Hotel, Angel Investigations' base of operations for the majority of the series.
Team Angel separately attempt to kill members of the Circle of the Black Thorn, the main powers behind Wolfram & Hart's long planned apocalypse:
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Christian Kane was unhappy with the way Lindsay ended the season, but mostly because the series ending came as a shock and "we've all just now gotten comfortable in our skin."
When Angel asks Lindsey for help, Lindsey pretends to be asleep because he wants to show Angel that he does not take him seriously. In Angel: Blind Date (2000), Angel did the same with Lindsey.
Hamilton reminds Angel of his fallen soldiers: Doyle, Cordelia and Fred.
In the scene in which Harmony is in bed with Hamilton, plastic inserts in her bra are clearly visible as she turns to the side. Jeffrey Bell jokes in the DVD commentary that she is "not a special effect," that she is quite real, despite the digitally added fake blood on her lip.
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Just before Lindsey meets his fate, Lorne tells him "I've heard you sing." This is technically true, as Lindsey did sing in front of Lorne - in Angel: Dead End (2001), three years earlier. The all-seeing Lorne did not seem anything less than pleased with Lindsey's song in that episode. However Lindsey also sings a few bars of Christian Kane's "L.A. Song" just before Lorne shoots him, possibly sealing his fate in Lorne's eyes.
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Alexis Denisof was asked what he would like them to do with Wesley, so he suggested he be killed off. He says that he "couldn't think of anything more fitting...the perfect human death of a human life.
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Christian Kane says he wouldn't have killed Wesley if the series hadn't been canceled, but that scene ended up being "one of my favorite moments that we shot... If you're going to go out, go out hard."
Christian Kane jokingly discussed the final battle in SFX Magazine: "Gunn is dead. Illyria keeps fighting. Angel loses an arm. Spike gets Shanshu. And Xander loses another eye, which is funny, because he isn't even there".
Spike asks Angel if one of them will get to be "a real boy" after the battle, something himself achieved in Angel's dream in Angel: Soul Purpose (2004). Angel turns out to be the one made human by the Senior Partners in the comic After the Fall, Part Three.
Angel's final words, "Let's go to work", are also Buffy's final words in the Season Eight comic finale Last Gleaming, Part Five.
Lindsey is killed by Lorne as a favor to Angel. He is the only known being killed by Lorne in the series.
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