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I finished it off last night. Some masterful editing throughout the season, always propelling the narrative. Ending with their best season yet. Just fantastic all around!

Going into the last two I figured they'd kill off Eddie. He was low hanging fruit, a fan-fave this season, but expendable, story-wise. I also thought they would kill Max, as well, which they did. But copped out and Elle brought her back. I see what they're doing, adding the remorse of saving someone who doesn't want to be saved (I'm predicting this will be an arc in S5).

But they should have kept her dead. Much like Whedon did with Serenity (although the statute of limitations is up on that, I won't specify) when he started killing off characters, you thought "oh crap, who's next!?" They should have kept Max dead for much the same dread - who will they kill in season 5? A cop out for sure, but hopefully it pays off.
 

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The reason for the jock storyline was to give a reason as to why Lucas couldn't save Max. It's a long setup, but without it, Lucas could have just put the headphones on Max and saved her. There needed to be a barrier to that, thus the jock storyline.

To be honest, I had forgotten about the jocks until that one showed up and chased Erica. For the entire last two episodes Max kept listening to her Walkman and I thought the peril would be in it running out of juice when it was needed the most. But they tied up the jock storyline nicely.
 

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They clearly padded the story with so much jock just for that peril-inducing moment. But if you consider all they way the story could be condensed, there would just be one episode, really.
 
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