Jul 19 2008
I loved Acts I and II of the Dr. Horrible Sing-Along Blog, and if you haven’t seen them yet, see them quick, because after Sunday, you’ll have to buy them on iTunes or wait until the DVD comes out. I and II were quirky fun full of memorable tunes and great, campy lines.
The clues were all there. Billy Buddy (aka Dr. Horrible) had two competing desires. Joss took it one way, but that was unsatisfying to me because he’d spent so much time building the character of Penny and the budding relationship between Billy and Penny. They’ve breached the conversation hurdle in Act I and nearly kiss in Act II. They were all set to fall in love, and love would have filled the space that Dr. Horrible thought the Evil League of Evil was going to occupy. She was looking for something, and he was looking for something, but in the process of chasing something out of reach, they were finding something real.
And then Joss did what Joss does. He doesn’t believe love should ever be requited (although it can apparently be consummated). He has a history of killing off key characters, and at the end of this, all I can see is pure, unadulterated nihilism.
Well, balls. The clues were all there to have an alternate ending. I haven’t worked this all out yet, but it goes roughly like this:
Act III – Do the first two musical numbers.
We see DrH takes a stun raygun and covers Stun with a piece of tape with the word “Death”. (This is key.) Granted, we see him working out the formula for the death ray, but when has his stuff ever worked the way it was supposed to before?
If this was just a toy gun, how did he intend to ‘kill’ Captain Hammer with it? Maybe never intended to. This could have worked if his revelation at the end of Act II was not how to /kill/ Captain Hammer, but how to use his dim wit and his self-serving ego against himself.
And all Joss would have needed to do was leave Penny on the stage.
She’s up there and her face falls more and more as CH embarrasses himself, but that’s just the beginning. CH is nearly finished with the song. DrH freezes him. So far, the same. But Penny stays on the stage, horrified that ‘billy’ is this bad guy. And then he winks at her.
He walks up to CH and points the ‘death’ ray. The freeze ray shuts down. “That’s not a good sound…” But remember, his stuff /never/ works as expected, and furthermore, he knows this.
So he’s pointing the ‘death’ ray at CH and CH thaws. CH grabs for the gun, but DrH steps back. “Not this time. You’re cunning, but you’re thick as a brick.. I’ve already demonstrated my functioning freeze ray. Today, I also demonstrate my Death ray, kill you, and finally take my place in the Evil League of Evil. (A whinney might be imagined stage left).
CH blusters, stalling for time. And then he grabs Penny, using her as a human shield. “You wouldn’t shoot a guy with glasses, would you?” He hides his head behind Penny’s. Then he pops his head back out. “The glasses are her breasts.”
A damp policeman bursts in from the side door. “Stop, Dr. Horrible! I’ll shoot!” He wipes his hand on his pants.
Thinking quickly, Dr. H throws the ‘death ray’ up in the air.
CH pushes Penny at Dr. H.and grabs the ‘death’ ray. “ha ha ha! ” he says. “The tables are turned!”
Dr. H puts Penny behind him, shielding her. “Penny, I’m sorry it had to work out this way. I thought I wanted to change the status quo, but what I really wanted was just to get your attention. You mean more to me than anything. You’re trying to change the status quo right here. All I could think of was myself.”
Penny says. “It doesn’t have to be like this. You could help me.”
Billy says: “By capturing wild signatures?”
Penny: “Whatever it takes.”
Billy: “That sounds nice. But I promised Bad Horse a death, and I’m a man of my word. Goodbye.”
CH says “Say your last goodbye!”
They both look at him like he’s dense, or maybe a /corporate tool/.
CH pulls the trigger. The gun spits out those little sparks the toy guns make. “That’s not a good sound…”
Penny: “You’re not a hero, Captain Hammer. You’re a self-absorbed twit, you don’t know about love, and you wouldn’t save anyone if it wasn’t in your own self-interest.”
Billy says. “And cheesy. Don’t forget cheesy.”
Penny: “And for what it’s worth, it’s not a hammer, it’s a more of a spork. A tiny, bendy spork.”
The cameras are flashing with CH holding the ‘gun’ and Dr. H protecting Penny. CH sees the cameras, sees his posture, sees “Dr. H” doing the heroes’ work. He has a horrible grin on his face.
CH smiles sadly, snaps the gun in half over his knee. “Billy, you’re really not all that horrible. You know that, right?”
Billy: “I do now, thanks to you.”
CH chuckles. He looks at his wrist. “Goodness, look at my glove. It’s time for me to go.” (He leaves.)
Billy clears his throat.
The damp cop says “Oh, yeah. Stop, Dr. H – you’re not going anywhere!”
Melodramatically, Dr. H says, “I promised Bad Horse a death,” says Dr. H, “and a death is what I’ll give him!” He takes a step toward the ‘cop’ and a shot rings out. Dr. H falls to the floor clutching his chest. Red goo squishes between his white gloves.
Penny screams and runs to his side. “No!”
Four flunkies rush in and load him onto a stretcher, and rush him out, Penny at his side. When they get out into the ambulance, Penny weeps. They close the door. Inside the ambulance, Penny sobs.
The policeman takes off his policeman’s hat. “How’d I do?”
Billy sits up in the stretcher. “You have a future on the stage, Moist.” He takes off his white glove and they high-five, after which Billy wipes his hand off on his white jacket.
Penny is aghast. “Dr. Horrible?”
Billy says, “Dr. Horrible is dead,” he said, and takes off his goggles. “With you, I’m Billy. Just Billy.”
Penny says, “What was that about the Evil League of Evil?”
“Killing is neither elegant nor creative,” he says. “It’s not my style. And as it turns out, I don’t actually like horses.”
They kiss. Billy says, “Besides, that’s a much better way to make time stand still.”
Billy looks at the camera. “This is totally going on my blog,” he says.
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