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Ending Interpretations
July 19, 2008
3:40 pm
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So, basically, I was just wondering what people\'s interpretations of the ending were.
And by ending, I mean those last three or so seconds where Billy\'s at his computer.
Because I know that some people thought that it was just him being sad and blogging, and assumed that everything which had happened up until that point was still true...but personally, when I saw it, I had two different interpretations:
1) None of it had actually happened, and it was just some blog/story that Billy made up, almost like a radio show or something, or
2) After Penny died, he gave up being a villian and none of the stuff with him joining the league and meeting bad horse actually happened, he was just thinking about what could have been.
Now, these interpretations sprouted from the fact that Billy was wearing plain clothes as opposed to his lab coat/costume...which could mean something or it could mean nothing.
So yah, I was just wondering what others thought.

The only thing I know;
Joss Whedon never fails to surprise us...even though we know he\'s going to.

July 19, 2008
3:48 pm
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Honestly, the entire show played out like the imagination of some timid highschooler who wished he had the stones to ask out the girl. With that, I could buy the \"it was all in his imagination\" line. The only problem is that Penny dying in Act III couldn't really have any grounding in reality. Everything else fits perfectly with it all being an angsty daydream.

July 19, 2008
3:50 pm
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Joss Whedon sure did surprise me. My family and I have been contemplating the ending: I personally would go with the number 1 option, except the look of agony on his face is so genuine... it doesn\'t quite fit. I think the normal clothes are a symbol of the fact that, as Dr. Horrible gets all the things he dreamed of, Billy has just lost everything, and is still just a weak and heartbroken guy at a computer. While Doctor Horrible might \"not feel a thing,\" that\'s not the case for Billy.

But that\'s just my interpretation. I think Whedon deliberately left it so that all interpretations were valid. Sheer brilliance, from beginning to end.

Hopes and dreams are shattering apart and crashing to the ground.
July 19, 2008
3:50 pm
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Here's my theory:

All of what we saw happened, but that's not what he wants to be anymore because he doesn't have anyone to do it for.

Think about it, every other time he's been at his blog he was in Dr. Horrible attire. He wanted to be Dr. Horrible and he wanted to be the world's most evil villain. Now he is and he realizes that it wasn't worth it because he lost Penny. A blog is a sacred place where a person can be who they want to be in front of their biggest fans.

Just my opinion though...

July 19, 2008
3:50 pm
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Here's my theory:

All of what we saw happened, but that's not what he wants to be anymore because he doesn't have anyone to do it for.

Think about it, every other time he's been at his blog he was in Dr. Horrible attire. He wanted to be Dr. Horrible and he wanted to be the world's most evil villain. Now he is and he realizes that it wasn't worth it because he lost Penny. A blog is a sacred place where a person can be who they want to be in front of their biggest fans.

Just my opinion though...

July 19, 2008
4:00 pm
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I can't really see option one happening becuae why would he imagine pennys death? Still I dont think it could be the second one because he became really evil in the end and I can't see him going back to being his old sad self.

I think it was just Joss trying to mess with our minds... again.

July 19, 2008
4:03 pm
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I don\'t see it as an imagined daydream. I do see it being played out as a classic \"comic book\" type ending. There are two personas as there are in most comic books, Dr Horrible and Billy. It\'s a great point that every time he blogged he was dressed as Dr. Horrible and to go further every time he saw Penny he was dressed as Billy.

What I saw in the end was Dr. Horrible stating he did not feel a thing and Billy stating with his 10 mile heartbreaking stare that he felt it all completely and totally and probably much deeper then most. Hence his need for Dr. Horrible.

July 19, 2008
4:07 pm
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I dunno... as much as I laughed about it at first, I think the \"Dr. Horrible actually got shot by the Death Ray\" theory is the most consistant I can see. Watching it again, everything gets a little etherial after that point. I still can't pass over the irony of him getting everything he'd hoped for only to find that world he'd imagined for himself was his own personal hell.

July 19, 2008
4:27 pm
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The Green Goblin had a quote, \"We all wear masks, but which is our face?\"

My point is, that no matter which way you cut the cards, there is a battle between himself and his persona, and Dr. Horrible won. Doctor gets to be the cool guy, living it up at parties, while Billy is at his computer, mourning Penny. Horrible even makes the point of putting on the googles, seperating himself from the Billy persona entirely. Real is irrelivent at this point. Now the question is \"Is Billy wishing for Doctor Horrible's life, or is Horrible wishing for Billy's?\"

July 19, 2008
4:28 pm
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The power of the ending came in the performance of NPH. Personally I reckon that what we saw was reality and like serenity1222 said a \"classic comic-book ending\". What would be interesting would be the aftermath. Does Dr. Horrible continue in his life of evil? Does the event maybe even force a change in him? I half expected him turn his deathray on himself or the ELE.

July 19, 2008
4:31 pm
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My theory is kind of a combination of both ellyphant's and TheatreGeek1988's.

Billy figured out that while Horrible got everything he wanted Billy had lost everything. He lost the love of his life and basically his identity. Billy was nothing without Dr. Horrible. Everyone knew him as Horrible but no one knew him as Billy…except for Penny.

Also my interpretation borrows from TheatreGeek1988 in talking about the blog idea where Billy became something. He lost himself in this fictional character he had made up. He was hiding from a life he didn't want and instead created something of his own. But when he fell in love with Penny, he couldn't have her because this new life would never allow it. He basically suffered an identity crisis due to Dr. Horrible's blog.

The ending plays out like a clashing of personas. Billy's life clashed
with Dr. Horrible's and Billy realized that if he were to become Dr. Horrible he would lose everything he loved.

Anyway you look at it though, you have to admit it is a stunning masterpiece not only of storytelling, but of what is capable on such a small budget and premiering online. No longer should the average viewer be subjected to crap like 'Quarterlife'. “Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog” has pushed the envelope forward and (this is weird for me to admit this) I actually was so deeply moved by the ending that I teared up. Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic!

July 19, 2008
5:42 pm
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The dual-personality conflict makes sense, but i don't think it starts as early as Dr. Horrible begins blogging.

Up until he devises the plan to kill Captain Hammer, or maybe even a little earlier when he sees him with Penny, Dr. Horrible and Billy are still pretty much the same person - even as Dr. H he still is awkward, bumbling, and just a little geeky. Even though his freeze ray malfunctions at the last minute in a last comedic blunder, Billy has already begun really becoming Dr. H because of his bitterness and dismay in society. Penny was the last thing holding the 'true' Billy, and with her death Dr. Horrible takes cold, unfeeling domain over the giref that consumes the Billy we see in the last couple of seconds.

Who can blame him, though? It's much easier to just embrace Dr. Horrible and feign apathy, than have to deal with the guilt of accidentally killing your dream girl. Oops.

July 19, 2008
6:00 pm
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Preposterous said:

Even though his freeze ray malfunctions at the last minute in a last comedic blunder, Billy has already begun really becoming Dr. H because of his bitterness and dismay in society. Penny was the last thing holding the 'true' Billy, and with her death Dr. Horrible takes cold, unfeeling domain over the giref that consumes the Billy we see in the last couple of seconds.


Yeah I just re-watched the whole thing again and at the beginning of Act II, Billy sings about how bitter he is towards society and one part in the song that actually served as a foreshadowing was:

\"And it's plain to see,

Evil inside of me, is on the rise...\"

He became conflicted with how to get Penny back from Captain Hammer and Dr. Horrible began to have more of a grip over Billy offering a solution. The \"evil inside of me\" is Dr. Horrible.

July 19, 2008
7:24 pm
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jakal73 said:


Yeah I just re-watched the whole thing again and at the beginning of Act II, Billy sings about how bitter he is towards society and one part in the song that actually served as a foreshadowing was:



“And it\'s plain to see,


Evil inside of me, is on the rise…”



He became conflicted with how to get Penny back from Captain Hammer and Dr. Horrible began to have more of a grip over Billy offering a solution. The “evil inside of me” is Dr. Horrible.


Along with
\"The dark is everywhere
And Penny doesn\'t seem to care
That soon the dark in me is all that will remain\"

And for some reason the symbolism of Doc\'s new costume just really occurred to me too. His old costume was pure white, but the new one is blood red (not to mention that the gloves look awfully similar to Captain Hammer\'s).

July 19, 2008
11:35 pm
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I agree with some of what you guys says; but I see the end a bit differently: it was real; she did die; and in Dr. Horrible gaining everything he wanted; and thereby lost everthing. He had nothing to live for at that point; no goals; no girls; no one to stand up to him, nothing.

It was a shocking ending; but after parts 1 and 2; I\'m honestly completely disappointed. It was like going to see a mel brooks film; amd getting stuck with the ending from Friday the 13th. I feel completly unsatisfied and extremely disappointed.

July 19, 2008
11:58 pm
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I wasn't sure at first but I don't think this is a “it was all a day dream” ending… or a jump from somewhere in the story to the very last shot thing either.

I think he did what he always planned on doing and it was ashes in his mouth.

The ending was nothing like what I thought would happen… I expected some last minute change of heart and we'd end with 'boy gets girl' but ----

Man, I loved the names of the Evil League of Evil members… LOL!

... I don't have time for a grudge-match with every poser in a parka
July 19, 2008
11:58 pm
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This was a story about how a man became a monster. There was only one way it could go.

The gamut determines the acceptible range of conditions. It's Genius' Awesome Sauce in an 8oz. glass bottle with a cork stopper.
July 20, 2008
12:55 am
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Personally, I was surprised by the ending. While Part I was more light and silly, this was anything but. Part II was dark, but still maintained some comedy. Part III was a total 180, which reflected the change in personality from Billy to Horrible. In the beginning, Dr. Horrible was, in all honesty, Billy in a costume. By the end, Horrible is his own person, and Billy is no more, as reflected by the new costume. It could almost be interpreted as a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde scenario. Penny was all that tied him to his life as Billy. Now that she is gone, he has no need for Billy anymore.

July 20, 2008
12:56 am
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TheatreGeek1988 said:

Think about it, every other time he's been at his blog he was in Dr. Horrible attire. He wanted to be Dr. Horrible and he wanted to be the world's most evil villain. Now he is and he realizes that it wasn't worth it because he lost Penny. A blog is a sacred place where a person can be who they want to be in front of their biggest fans.

That is a very good observation.

Also, note that this is really the only time we see him in \"blogging position\" in this episode.

July 20, 2008
2:18 am
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I think in some ways, the Dr. Horrible at the end is an act, what's expected of him now that he's in the Evil League. I've been thinking about the scene in act 2 where Penny and Billy are talking about layers, and he says something to the effect of \"And there's a third layer, behind the second layer, that's really more like the first layer.\" To me, that's saying he's good on the surface, bad underneath (Dr. Horrible), but ultimately a good person. After her death, he's dealing with his pain by living up to the new expectations of the Evil League, but the last shot shows there's a good guy inside somewhere. I even doubt if he would have pulled the trigger on Hammer. He says something like \"chin up\" when he's walking up to the stage.

Like all of Whedon's stuff, it's more about the characters than the plot or setting, and Dr. Horrible shows the complexity of social pressures, expectations, and reaction to life's unexpected events that we all deal with every day.

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