Avengers-Sousa Thompson

I had another thought about the Agent Carter finale

... well, not just ONE, but I was specifically thinking about something that [personal profile] xparrot said to me about White Collar, once upon a time.

She asked me, if I'd gotten exactly the ending that I wanted for White Collar, with everyone happy and all the loose ends tied up, if I would've still been as actively fannish about it as I am with something that is going to be forever in need of fixing.

My first reaction was "BUT I WANTED THE HAPPY ENDING!" but then I got to thinking about it and realized she's right. As much as I wanted an ending that would have tied a happy bow on the series ... would it really have left me with that desperate yearning to fill the gaps that makes me write fic? I really don't know. It certainly gave me years worth of fixit fodder, since there's literally no way to write fic after the finale without fixing it in some way ... but at the same time, the finale didn't destroy everything and salt the earth in a way that would make fixits impossible without going total AU (like some show finales I will not name).

And Agent Carter is kind of the same way. I got everything I wanted and would have had an absolutely perfect forever-ending if the show didn't get picked up ... and then the last thirty seconds of the episode happened. But it's those last thirty seconds that have spawned a million episode tags in my head. (I'm already working on another one and plotting a third one that's more of a plotty epic. Of course I am.)

It would really suck not to get a season three, though possibly not as much as it would suck (for me personally anyway) to get a season three that confirms he's really dead instead of mostly dead. But if the show does end with season two, it's an absolutely glorious springboard for writing all the fic forever ...


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I really doubt he's dead, as you know. That probably plays a large part in why I feel the way I do about the finale: I like it a lot!

Buuuut: if you didn't have that 1 minute, would you really be wishing so hard for S3? Everything would have been pretty neatly tied up. From the perspective of show-runners hoping that the show gets renewed it was a good move.

Now with WC, instead of getting "everything I possibly wanted like someone reached into my head and said HAVE AT IT", what I got was a complete turnabout in what I had thought was the characterization. I nearly quit the show in S5 because I realized that Neal wasn't who I thought he was all this time and I wasn't sure who this new person was. So instead of delivering on everything I wanted, the show gave me JUST enough to make it possible to still be very fannish about it and read all the fic because the open ending doesn't preclude the possibilities I'd like to read about. So /shrug YMMV but for me the AC ending is infinitely more preferable because I love and understand these characters more now than I did when I first started watching.
Yeah; I mean, between the two, I liked the Agent Carter finale WAY better, for emotional satisfaction and the show delivering exactly what I wanted. The WC finale made me feel betrayed; the AC finale made me happy and then made me go AARGH (although it also makes a difference that the WC finale was meant to be the last episode ever, while the AC one is only meant to set up the next season -- I mean, if they had intended Jack's shooting to be the last-ever scene in the series, that would be a whole different thing than having it as a cliffhanger). But I still think a similar principle applies to both: in either case, providing a nice tying-everything-off point would've made it easy to just put the show aside, leave it to be its happy perfect self, and move on ... whereas dangling loose ends get my creative brain engaged.
Yeah, agreed.

And I personally prefer this way myself, because it keeps the show alive for a lot longer in fanfic :)
I just finally got the chance to watch the finale, and so then I had to come read your posts and comments.

And mostly, just assume I'm saying "yup, ditto, ditto, ditto" on pretty much everything you've said, both about AC and WC. (And what Sheron just said about WC applies somewhat to me, too, though not exactly, but I won't go *totally* off-track on the difference for me in S5 for now ;-))

Seriously. They did *such* a great job with both the seasons of AC we've had, and I realllllly hope they do an S3, but like you said, I just don't want them to mess up what wonderfulness we've got right now. And I'm totally with you: Jack isn't dead. Just nope. AND that file is about Michael, *totally*.

I haven't had a chance to read your fic yet, but I'm getting to that soon!! LOL!!
Yes! I hope for a season three, but I also hope season three won't mess up what we've got. Which was also what I said about season two, and then it didn't, so ... I'm hoping! I just want it ALL! :D
LOL Exactly!! Honestly, AC is one of my very, very favorite things in the MCU, and that's saying a lot!!
That is so true. The WC finale left me SO MAD at Neal, and I basically wanted to a) torture him a lot, and b) fix everything ever.

But for me, I'm so in love with the characters, have so many headcanons for them, and am so monofannish that I probably would have stayed in the WC fandom till its dying breath XD

Yeah; my usual tendency is to be serially monofannish, and it's really surprising to me how the WC characters have settled into my heart and seem inclined to stay there. I'm not actively writing them right now, but they're definitely still there, and I know I will be writing them in the future. Which is something that doesn't seem to be true of most of my older fandoms. I don't know if it's that I've changed a bit as I've gotten older (I seem to be hanging onto things longer now, and revisiting old fandoms more often) or if it's just that there's something special about those characters -- it's impossible to let them go.
Well, I'm 18, and I'm not inclined to let go of these characters anytime soon either, so *g*

I think it's the characters. I read in a review somewhere that the reviewer would be happy to watch episodes at end of these characters just bantering, they were so enjoyable to watch.

And I think it's also that the show has hinted at backstories for them that are very conducive to headcanon-creation. So, in my head, all these characters are quite well fleshed-out. And if I have a complete character like that, I'm going to want to fic it. (So much that I have a spreadsheet with at least 30 listed projects and a separate tab for this gigantic near canon AU that I haven't even started writing).
Yeah, one of my sadnesses with the truncated 6th season is that I would have absolutely LOVED to see one of the various ideas Tim and Matt had talked about over the years of an episode that was basically just "Peter and Neal hang out and banter" (which is actually what "Forging Bonds" is, come to think of it) -- the "trapped in an elevator" episode they talked about, the idea of doing a road trip episode ... I would have watched 42 minutes with no plot except Peter and Neal snarking at each other in an absolute heartbeat.

The characters are just so lovely and nuanced and fun to work with. I think the thing is, with most of the shows I've fanned on, I eventually run out of new things to do with the characters. I never felt that way with White Collar, and I still don't. I still have ideas; I still have the urge to write them. And now the canon is closed, so while there will never be new canon to work with (*sob*), there also won't be any jossing or fresh mucking up of their relationship ...
Oh my goodness, that sounds lovely!! All of the characters, honestly. Peter and Neal and Diana and Jones and Moz and Sara stuck in one room would be so much fun! They'd drive each other up the wall XD

Exactly!!! There's so many things to explore.
It's not always that with me. Looking back on it, writing a long fixit was the thing that got me into fandom -- the initial impetus that got me from "oh, I like that thing" to writing all the fic about it. But a lot of my fan fixations have just been wanting more. I get to the end of the show, or the existing part of it, and I'm not ready to let go of those characters yet. So this is a different way of looking at it, for me. But it works, I think!
That's a very intriguing question! I was never very active in the WC fandom (I think I made one icon and left some reviews, but no desire to write fic), but I loved the show and adored the Neal & Peter bromance-to-end-all-bromances. As the series went on and the writers kept *separating* them and the banter went missing, I kind of lost a little love for the show. The ending... did not help. I wonder if I had been writing WC fic, would I have been compelled to keep on writing out of a sense of dissatisfaction with things, or would I have just thrown my hands up and said, "Well, that sucked; I'm done"?

AC, though, didn't suck. At all. That ending was perfection as far as firing off excitement in my brain. And, quite frankly, it was a pretty ballsy move on the showrunners' part, considering season 3 is in serious doubt. It's like they threw all the dice on the table, told the story that had to be told, and hang the consequences (which is far better, to my mind, than cobbling together a "quick! tie all loose ends because it looks like we're not getting renewed" half-a**ed ending). If that means our only satisfaction is via fanfic, so be it. I'll be reading it. Doubt I'll write any, but one never knows. Right now, I write mostly Captain America with a strong focus on Bucky Barnes, but Steve & Peggy are a part of Bucky's story, too, and so by association would be Jack. I can see glimmers already of headcanons of HYDRA being involved with Jack's near-murder (because #JackLives), and eventually it affects Bucky somehow, though not in terms of Winter Soldier being Jack's shooter (good grief, just No) but more of a... *sigh* who knows. Something GoodGuy!Bucky does in the future. My brain is kinda vibrating right now with a lot of shaky, half-formed ideas that will probably be shelved for now because my worries about Cap 3 have me in serious "Need To Write Fluffy!Bucky Recovery Where No One Is Chasing Him But Steve and HYDRA" fic mode.

Good gravy, where was I heading with all this? Oh yeah. I may have rambled my way to an answer: for me, a series ending on a frustrating yet satisfying note *does* seem to spark off a lot of potential writerly thinky-thoughts.
I didn't react nearly as badly to seasons five and six as most of the WC fandom did, but that's mostly because I had a lot of confidence in the writers to fix it, and then the finale was an enormous middle finger to THAT, so ... XD Still, it didn't salt the earth and leave nothing but embers behind. There have been a few shows I was into that ruined things so completely there was just no way to continue onward without pretending large chunks of canon didn't exist. (Heroes, say ...) White Collar managed to leave it in a place where fixits were desperately needed but were also plausible, and now that I've had time to start getting over the betrayal, it helps to think of it as the show leaving the fandom with the world's greatest "what happens next" prompt. There's no clear path for how the characters will proceed from here, so it's up to us ...

But yeah, with AC, it's really that they gave us EVERYTHING and then, that cliffhanger scene of NO and AARGH and HOW DARE YOU DO THAT TO MY BABY (okay, maybe that's just me XD). It is a very daring and optimistic move on the part of the show runners, to do that in a show that may or may not get a chance to resolve the place they left it in. And it has certainly spawned a million post-finale fics in my head, where an ending that tied up happily with Peggy and Daniel being darling and Jack going back to New York probably wouldn't have hit me in quite the same way.

If you do eventually manage to work HYDRA and Jack's shooting into a fic somehow, I would love to read it. :D AC has in some ways made me feel less burned on MCU fandom generally; I had been shunning all things to do with the fandom for nearly a year, but between my freshly renewed warm fuzzies, and having written a bit of Natasha/Steve/Bucky for Fandom Stocking and Chocolate Box, I may eventually stick my head back in, just a little bit ... (Because yeah, like you said, Peggy is part of Steve and Bucky's story too, as well as the star of her own!)
Heee, I admit I watched a bunch of the finale thinking "wow, Sholio must be loving this!" :D Not that I didn't enjoy it myself, Jack's turnaround especially was so satisfying and fun. Which meant as soon as the last scene started with him in it, we knew something bad was going to happen. Such a classic cliffhanger! If they do get a s3 I'm placing my bets now that it will open with Jack's funeral, followed by the scene revealing he's using his deceased status to go undercover.

But yeah, there's a line - or maybe it's a spectrum? - between a show being totally satisfying and being completely frustrating, and the majority of fic production falls in the sweet spot right in the middle. And AC's finale hit right there, giving you what you wanted and then leaving you wanting more! (I rather hope they get it, even though I know the odds aren't great. Unless Netflix picks it up, they've already got a partnership with Marvel, so!)
You are exactly right; I spent most of the episode in raptures of squee. :D

If they do get a s3 I'm placing my bets now that it will open with Jack's funeral, followed by the scene revealing he's using his deceased status to go undercover.

haha, that is EXACTLY what I've been fantasizing about. I can picture it so clearly! That's my prediction also ... that, or a six-month to a year jump forward in time, where we don't find out what happened to Jack for a couple of episodes. What I WANT of course is ambulances and blood and worry, but ... TV tends not to deliver on these things, dammit. XD (I mean, they pretty much gave me my dream h/c setup and then ... episode's over, show may not be renewed! Augh!)

But yeah, I agree about the sweet spot, and I think AC managed to hit it beautifully. I got everything I wanted, and then a cliffhanger that is going to give me fic fodder for months. If this turns out to be the end, I hate the idea of being left with the angst and uncertainty forever, but it certainly is ficcishly inspiring.

Edited at 2016-03-04 11:24 pm (UTC)
As someone once pointed out to me, the fandoms that lend themselves the best to creative works are the ones with awesome characters and wonderful playgrounds, but aren't 100% perfect. Because if they were, there would be little room for fans to play. I don't tend to write in fandoms that give me everything I want because I don't need to. ;-)