So SFX, a science fiction magazine, has come out with a list of the top 26 tearjerkers in the history of science fiction (you can view the list here).
It was done through a poll that they published, asking readers to vote.
And readers got it wrong.
Some of the choices make sense. The Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode that deals with the death of Buffy’s mother.
Some of them don’t. I’m not sure if the Christmas movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, should count as science fiction.
And some provide a bit of argument, but you can see both sides of the issue. At #23, Bruce Willis’ character in Armageddon saying goodbye to his daughter is a great example of this. Some people don’t like the movie, but the scene definitely had an impact.
Also, the top choice (I won’t spoil it here), to me isn’t really all that sad because you know the main character was going to come back anyways.
But there’s a lot that they missed out on. For me, it’s mostly from the Buffy/Angel series.
They had Wesley’s death, Fred’s death, Buffy’s death (the second one) and the death of Buffy’s mom, but there are three other big ones that also should have made the list.
1) Giles finding Jenny’s dead bodyFrom the second season of Buffy, when Angel killed Jenny Calendar by snapping her neck. The sad part was when Giles got home, and saw candles, rose petals et al leading up to the bedroom. Thinking it was a romantic thing (the couple was just about to reconcile), Giles went upstairs to find Jenny dead.
Part 2 of that is at the end of the episode, when Giles went after Angel, and Buffy saved him. She cried and hugged him and said he wasn’t allowed to leave her because she can’t do it alone. Very moving.
“Why did you come here? This wasn’t your fight.” The Slayer hauls back and punches him full in the face, shouting back “Are you trying to get yourself killed?” Then Buffy follows him down to kneel on the ground and hold him in her arms, and Giles sobs as if his heart would break. “You can’t leave me,” she whispers to him. “I can’t do this alone.”
2) Buffy killing AngelTo continue with Buffy, also in Season 2, is the very last episode. Realizing that Buffy needs to kill Angel to save the world, they battle. But Angel gets his soul back at the very end of the fight.
Buffy, knowing this, still has to kill Angel to save the world.
Angel: [Angelus has just turned back into Angel] Buffy? What’s going on? Where are we? I-I don’t remember.
Angel: You’re hurt. Oh, Buffy… God. I… I feel like I haven’t seen you in months. Oh, my God, everything’s so muddled. I… Oh. Oh, Buffy… What’s happening?
Buffy: Shh. Don’t worry about it.
Buffy: I love you.
Angel: I love you.
Buffy: Close your eyes.
[kisses him again then runs him through with the sword]
3) The death of CordeliaThe last tearjerker. In Angel, they teased Angel and Cordelia getting together for about three seasons. In the 100th episode, Cordelia comes out of a coma to help Angel in his fight. At the end, she tells him she must leave him, but gives him one last kiss as the phone rings.
The person on the other end is a doctor, telling Angel that Cordelia has died, and never woke up from the coma.
Cordelia: We take what we can get, champ, and we do our best with it. I’ll be seeing you.
[starts to leave but comes back to kiss Angel]
Cordelia: Oh, what the hell. One for the road?
Cordelia: Oh, and you’re welcome.
Angel: [answers phone] Hello? Yes, I know. She’s- But that’s impossible. She’s standin’ right…
[Cordelia is gone]
Angel: I’m sorry. Yeah. Um, when did she die? Did she, um… She never did wake up? I see.
Angel: Thank you.
Three very sad scenes, all deserving to be on a list of greatest tearjerkers of all time.