Angel: Season 5, Episode 22

Not Fade Away (19 May 2004)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Action, Drama, Fantasy
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Ratings: 9.4/10 from 1,542 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 1 critic

In the series finale, Angel reveals that his questionable moral behavior has been part of a bigger plan: to destroy The Circle of the Black Thorn and show the Senior Partners that the power... See full summary »



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Title: Not Fade Away (19 May 2004)

Not Fade Away (19 May 2004) on IMDb 9.4/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Senator Helen Brucker


In the series finale, Angel reveals that his questionable moral behavior has been part of a bigger plan: to destroy The Circle of the Black Thorn and show the Senior Partners that the power of good can still make a difference. Wesley struggles with helping Illyria adapt to the world, scolding her for her attempts to take on Fred's form. As Gunn continues his quest of self-discovery, Lorne becomes more aware of the lack of happiness in the world. Harmony attempts to seduce Marcus Hamilton for information, Lindsey makes an important decision regarding his alliance, and Eve continues to deal with being mortal. As Spike comes closer to understanding the nature of heroism, Angel pays a visit to the one person he truly loves. On Angel's bidding, the gang goes out and spends each day as if it were their last... Written by TheGreenSaga

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

apocalypse | See All (1) »






Release Date:

19 May 2004 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


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. See more »


During the exchange between Angel and Harmony near the beginning of the episode, Angel says that he doesn't recall what it is like to be human. Technically, he should remember, as he was human back in Season One's "I Will Remember You". See more »


Gunn: What if I told you it doesn't help? What would you do if you found out that none of it matters? That it's all controlled by forces more powerful and uncaring than we can conceive and they will never let it get better down here? What would you do?
Anne Steele: I'd get this truck packed before the new stuff gets here. Wanna give me a hand?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The WB added a short "thank you" to the credits, thanking the creators for their work on the series. This angered many fans, who blame the WB for canceling the series. See more »


References The Carol Burnett Show (1967) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Finale and Season 5
31 March 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

So, I certainly didn't expect that ending going into the finale. I kinda expected it when I saw how few minutes were left, but I'm so glad the show didn't end the way Buffy did. Not that Buffy ended badly, but sometimes, no real resolution is good. This really could've been a season finale. I also aren't a fan of a season having to build up to a "big fight" for the majority of its episodes. Season 5 wasn't like this because what we thought was the enemy kept changing.

Wesley's death was extremely fitting, and I'm glad he did. His scene where he's explaining to Illyria that nothing really makes him happy is proof that, really, he had nowhere else to go. He really had the best arc in this show, and it's not even a question for me. His last scene with "Fred" is one of the best things I've seen Whedon do, and the only truly "heroic" way I've seen a character go. In that way, I'm glad Whedon gave us that. Despite all of the moral ambiguities expressed through the story lines and characters in the five seasons, in the end, the show ended the way it had started. Someone trying to do good just because, without anything offered as a reward.

And this brings me to the whole season. It has the worst episode of the series (The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco) but it also has a higher number of heights, moreso than the previous seasons. I thought the first half complimented the second half nicely, and unlike Season 4, I don't really think it felt messy or uneven. I'm also glad it went back to being more episodic, I missed that in Season 4. I wish it had gone further, Illyria was an amazing character, but the show ended on a truly high note, its best season was its last (unlike Buffy, where I'd say Season 6 was its best and 7 the worst next to 1). The characterization was at its best, and the story arcs and progressions really well developed. I do wish Cordelia's death had made more of an impact after 5.12, but alas, amazing send off.

It's true what I've heard from many though. The show went on five seasons, but it still feels like it could've gone further. I appreciate that the show kept changing gears, kept changing what it was willing to do and what it did with the characters so that it never became stale or pointless. For my money, this is a really amazing series and I wish it had more exposure, certainly nearly as much as Buffy gets.

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