I have to say I just finished watching Dr. Horrible's third act and I am completely speechless. I litterally haven't said a word since it stopped playing. Fortunately I don't type with my mouth.
This third act relies on the first two for background, but it is by far the most powerful. Anything more I say will need to be under spoiler protection, but I think you will agree with my by the end of it.
[Spoiler Alert] Act III Reacap:
First of all, the last act left me a little dubious about what was going to happen. The plot really isn't that complex so I felt like I'd seen this kind of thing before. I must say that I was both right and wrong.
The act begins with the city planning to open the homeless shelter in Captain Hammer's name (with statue). Penny and "Billy" duet again and it's clear through some visual clues (frozen yogurt, friends calling) that Billy is falling away from Penny and the rest of the world in preparation for the big event. Dr. Horrible is seen doing devious things in his lair while the news media fills us in that Penny and Captain Hammer are getting more serious. We also see who is wearing those shirts they sell in the Jinx store.
As the shelter is being dedicated, the room is set up with a presumed statue of Captain Hammer under a cloth in the room and a podium with the Mayor and other relevant people. Captain Hammer give a speech and it becomes clear to Penny that he really doesn't think much of anyone but himself. The crowd eats it up though as Penny edges her way off the stage.
Near the end of Captain Hammer's pretty amazing song, he is suddenly frozen by Dr. Horrible, who was (rather obviously) hiding under the statue's hood. It looks like the "Freeze Ray" is finally working. Dr. Horrible begins his song, telling everyone that they are sheep and if they only listened and thought a little they would see through Captain Hammer's veil of goodness. This is also a pretty awesome scene because you just don't know what's going happen...the climax, so to speak.
Finally Dr. Horrible begins firing his Death Ray (shown in a slightly earlier scene) in the air and scaring most people away. Just as he is about to kill Captain Hammer and seal his destiny, his Freeze Ray fails and Hammer punches him about 10 feet. Captain Hammer then picks up the Death Ray and intent on firing it on Dr. Horrible, it blows up in his hands. He hurtles away in pain, screaming.
It is at this moment that Dr. Horrible discovers that the bits of the blaster that exploded have impaled Penny and she is dying. She just barely recognizes, say, "Captain Hammer will save us," and then dies quickly. I'm not sure what to make of all this so if any one has any decent analysis of it, post in the comments. Anyway, the press immediately asks about why he murdered her and it is driven home that SHE, not Captain Hammer, will be the murder that gets him into the League of Evil.
The rest of the episode is a big flowing scene of his new status as a supervillan, his donning of a more evil looking uniform (pulling down the goggles), and his entry into the League. It is interesting to see that among the rather weird League members (Fake Thomas Jefferson?), Bad Horse is actually a horse and this is why he has cowboy messengers.
All of this slowly comes to an end and at the last possible moment, when the song goes, "...and I won't feel...a thing," the words are spoken by Billy, sitting in front of his webcam, out of his costume. This image was a real stunner because we really see how getting all he wanted in the end doomed him to not being able to enjoy it.
So, were you stunned by the ending as I was? I can't even begin to figure out what to do with this show in my mind. Absolutely incredible!
[Here are links to my thoughts on Act I and Act II.]
Saturday, July 19, 2008
The content of this page is completely the creation and opinion of James Rogers. He is affiliated with Connect Mason and formerly Broadside Online but the relationship only governs republication, not content.
Further, in the interest of full disclosure, this author holds minor financial investments in Apple, Inc. and Advanced Micro Devices.