Note: If you have not watched To Boldly Flee yet, then there will be spoilers below! Read at your own risk.
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After two years of abusing and ignoring him, Critic calls Film Brain when he needs someone to talk to. And for Film Brain's part, it looks like he's over his idol worship and wants to genuinely help.
Critic acting like Ma-Ti was more of a freeloading son than an annoying Drop-In Character.
Critic trying to help Spoony as best he can, especially when you consider they haven't had the best history, what with rape, blackmail and beatdowns causing some issues.
Even after appearing as the devil in Care Bears II, possibly raping him in SWS II, and getting off on his pain in Star-Chasers, Critic's still able to put that aside and kindly let Sage know what's happening to Spoony.
After going inside his mind, Last Angry Geek is a lot more gentle towards the Critic and sincerely apologizes when he has to leave.
Critic and Chick's talking and actually being honest with each other's problems, with her reasoning for why she obsesses over Todd and his trying to explain that he feels useless.
Sure, they wanna annoy the Hell out of Lupa, but Chick suggesting they prank call her to give Critic a moment of happiness is so sweet of her!
Becomes even better when Word of God says that Critic was nervous about confiding in her because he was scared she'd dig into his soft spots.
And when she realizes Critic is seriously hurting, she forgets all about Todd. It's a nice clue as to showing what man she has real feelings towards.
He made them both coffee! That's so cute!
Critic has a box of Cheerios next to his bed. Not only is it good for the heart but there's a heart on the box, it might as well be a photo of Ma-Ti.
It's actually a box of Cheerios 2, from one of Doug's oldest videosnote written when he was in high school according to the TGWTG wiki and the first non-serial sketch uploaded to the TGWTG site. The fact that Doug made another box after auctioning the original on eBay is also touching.
Despite all the crap they were giving him, the Snob is quick to try and comfort/help Ma-Ti!Spoony during his seizure.
Snob appearing to be a genuinely helpful, encouraging mentor to Luke. Seeing as the only other "mentoring" we've seen was Critic treating Film Brain like his lackey on a good day and like a waste of space on the rest, it is really quite heartwarming to see Luke honestly looking up to the Snob without it going into creepy borderline Stalker with a Crush territory, and Snob, in return, praising Luke and showing pride when Luke displays the skills he's been taught.
Chick sitting close by to the Critic while he nervously waits for everyone to arrive.
The Critic making certain that the other reviewers are aware that he's not asking them to follow him again out of any selfish goals, but because he genuinely wants to help Spoony & atone for his past mistakes. It's some of Doug's best acting, very natural and not over-the-top or hammy as even his emotional scenes can sometimes be.
Bennett, who once terrified the hell out of Ask That Guy, actually being concerned that Spoony's head would explode.
The Chick's reaction to seeing Todd after he's teleported to the Critic's house. Yes she's an awful stalker towards him, but when has she ever looked that happy?
The look of glee on Film Brain's face when he was teleported away. He knew that his Mr. Critic needed him, and was just so happy about it!
"My friend, don't be a douchebag."
Luke telling the Snob his routine with Sage was awesome and Snob's beaming smile back. It's no wonder why they've become the special's OTP so quickly.
Paw's vlog has a sweet, homey charm to it, with everyone on downtime and hanging around with each other. It's something you'd expect more from the actors than their characters.
Luke and Snob's conversation about how online critics get to connect to millions of people, who can be considered a family.
And thinking over the importance of critics existing in the world, even though people still go to see bad movies.
Even know it was played for laughs, the quick bit with Bennett and Ed!JesuOtaku playing around with the thermal detonator, if you ignore their past troubles (the three bad anime he forced her to watch), was a cute little moment.
Blink and you'll miss it, but after Jew Wario does a barrel roll, Critic quickly places his hand on Mickey's back to keep him from falling to the floor.
Sage is very comforting and soothing around Spoony when they find him.
After how he's treated him in the last two specials, Critic's Heroic BSOD over Phelous's apparent death.
Phelous continues the tradition of "character sees Critic vulnerable and acts kinder as a result" after Critic angsts about his apparent death, gently reminding him that red shirts have resurrective powers.
Nerd saving Critic's life both in the Dredd battle and later in part seven.
Despite their arguments, Lupa is the happiest to see Critic return safely.
Even after all the crap he's put them through, the other reviewers are still willing to protect the Critic, pulling their own guns on Turl when he tries to shoot him.
Critic telling CR to beam the others out before himself. The guy who hid behind a woman half his size is gone.
The commentary confirms what is implied in the film: beaming out Spoony, Sad Panda, and Sage all at once (after CR said he could only beam two at a time) was what caused the transporter malfunction that CR was scrambling to repair (and what dropped Critic into various dangerous situations before returning him to the ship). Critic was risking death by transporter malfunction and/or enemy troops to make sure that the others got home safe.
After how he treated him in Suburban Knights, Film Brain genuinely trying to comfort Luke over Cinema Snob's abduction is this. Sure, he's failing miserably, but it's the thought that counts.
Lupa choosing to trust Todd. She rejected him but it's pretty clear she still cares for him and was horrified when she saw he was assimilated.
Critic is angsting away when Film Brain comes to see him. This exchange follows:
Critic:"What if everything's been building up to this? All the reviews, all the madness, all the chaos in life... what if everything's been building up to one single choice? And what if that one single choice falls down to just one person? And what if that one person...is me?"
Film Brain:"Well I can't think of a better person for it to fall upon than you."
There's no trace of Film Brain's previous sycophantic behavior, and the Critic's ego is completely stripped away, making this scene one friend encouraging another.
The first phrase coming out of Critic's mouth, even when he's dancing over the Despair Event Horizon, is "how's Luke?". With this and everything he does for Film Brain, he's finally proved himself worthy of the love they had for him in Kickassia and Suburban Knights.
There's something oddly heartwarming about Clod pointing out that, as awful as Manos is, Hal Warren put his all into making it.
Joe getting upset at Spoony thinking his mom didn't hug him enough.
In a twisted way, Critic's reaction to Spoony's naked body is to reference how the Chick must have felt when she found out he'd raped her. We know full well that he's still pissed over his rape, but this is the first time he's acknowledged anyone else getting abused.
Lupa snapping Todd out of his brainwashing by agreeing to go on a date with him. Then Todd says he won't hold her to it, but she insists that saving her life is worth one date. To which Todd gives an adorable hesitant grin.
Chick saving the Critic's life by knocking out Mechakara right when he's about to kill him.
Joe's half-Go Through Me when Critic is being held at gunpoint by Mechakara. He's not completely there, he's to the side ready to pounce, but he's still trying to protect the guy.
8-Bit Mickey showing genuine concern for the Critic's safety and insisting on keeping him away from the Plot Hole. It might sound like a broken record at this point, but the simple fact that these guys are acting like real friends this time around instead of being at each others' throats all the time is a really nice thing to see.
Especially after the crew had been more than willing to hand him over to Zodd and Turrell before. Clearly, Critic putting his life on the line to rescue the away team has proven to them he is a changed man.
Similarly, the Critic actually being worried about Film Brain being stuck on dreamworld.
And Film Brain refusing to just hand the Critic over to the Ma-Ti/Plot Hole unless he/it tells them what exactly is going on, and what's happening to Spoony; he's clearly protective of and worried about both of them.
Oancitizen's explanation of the plot, and how for every few bad movies there's always going to be a masterpiece, and that in the end to be able to experience just one truly excellent movie is worth "a thousand Transformers."
It's subtle, but Chick's reaction after Critic pretends he's back to being a coward. She rolls her eyes along with everyone else but then looks back at him like she's remembering what he said in their first part conversation and is wondering if he's okay.
Film Brain's conversation with the Critic, just before he heads in his certain doom, is certainly a very strong moment of friendship, with the Critic fully believing he is nothing but a scourge to the world, while Film Brain is hellbent on convincing him that he is not.
Film Brain is also the only one who sees through Critic's lie about hiding in a reinforced shelter during the battle and tries to pull him out of his angst.
After everything he's done to the Critic, and after we find out he just sees him as a mouthy wind-up-toy, Spoony taking control away from Ma-Ti and warning Film Brain that Critic's walking into a trap.
Chick is the first one to volunteer for being a distraction, and despite protecting her ego against Todd with It's Not You, It's Me, seems a lot brighter after being a horrendously nasty yandere for so long in her show.
Also how Todd and Lupa seem to be friends now.
Film Brain's and Luke's farewell scene. These guys had come a long way.
Film Brain: See you around Dudley Doright.
Luke: Later Spotted Dick.
For the more he is a villain, there is something oddly heartwarming about how happy Zod seems to be to have found his friends Ursa and Non, he even calls them "Two of his closest friends".
Doug Walker having a heart-to-heart with his creation about the nature of character development and how the latter has changed him as a writer.
Kudos should also be given for the way they both act in the scene. Doug explains as best and as gently as he can that Critic's just a character in a fictional world, and shows none of his usual joy over his creation's suffering, while Critic remains (mostly) mature even though his entire existence literally just crashed around him.
Even when freaked out, Doug is still nice enough to offer his character a drink to soothe his nerves.
Luke refusing to strike Cinema Snob down at The Executor's behest, remembering the talk they had several episodes earlier about having each others' back.
Critic's talk to Ma-Ti.
Critic: You did good, Ma-ti. You did real good.
Also, Ma-Ti's ensuing goodbye to everyone.
The Critic choosing to do the right thing and chose to stay in fiction so that his friends won't be wiped out of existence—fulfilling the whole "needs of the many" thing.
Critic: Eh. It was probably just as phony anyway.
Remember what set these events in motion in the first place - Critic was tired of being a pathetic loser who does nothing but rant angrily at nostalgia, he wanted to give his life meaning, and purpose. Doug assures him that in the real world, nothing makes sense or matters, but in the story, he has purpose, and everything he does matters.
Doug: It's like a house of cards - take one out, and the whole thing falls. You are that card.
Critic doing the right thing is amazing, but his utter joy at seeing the real world is also lovely. There's no pain or cynicism or anger in his face, only The World Is Just Awesome.
Linkara using his spaceship to be hit intstead of USS Exit Strategy and buy them time.
Especially heartwarming when you consider he's used the ship to bully the others into doing what he wants on his own show.
Despite the damage to Comicron-1, Linkara beams over to the Exit Strategy to help them before repairing his own ship.
The crew of the USS Exit Strategy resigning themselves to their fate... by celebrating all of each other's great works.
Lupa and Todd hold hands as the ship enters the plothole,
The ending. There's a lot to be expanded on when saying that the ending is a crowner of heartwarming, but the ending is a solid CMOH. The party, and everyone's happiness... especially their happiness upon meeting Spoony, which doubles as a metamoment because everyone there has shown that they still care about him, and something happened to character-Spoony that wasn't as terribly Harsher in Hindsight.
The Nostalgia Critic and The Angry Video Game Nerd's handshake. They've come full circle.
Critic: See you on the other side, man.
Nerd: It's been nice working with you, Critic.
All the nods to the real-life couples: Lupa flirting with Phelous when Todd's not looking, JO phoning Nash, and the prominent focus shots of the wedding rings belonging to Doug, James, Brad and Rob.
The look on Critic's face as he absorbs the Plot Hole. Finally, finally, he's achieved inner peace.
Once more, they might be villains, but there is something oddly heartwarming about Mechakara, Zod and Terl accepting death together while quoting Shakespeare.
During the final scene, The Nostalgia Chick is seen pretending to choke Spoony while giving him a noggie in a sisterly way.
The low-budget internet Indy film coke party, with everyone just hanging out and having fun.
Not to mention Film Brain smiling as he sees the Critic's spirit watching over things with Last Angry Geek's spirit.
Something about Luke and Cinema Snob planning "Confederate Zombies versus Amazon Girls A-Go-Go just brings a smile to your face. Snob has come to embrace his cinematic vision, be damned what anyone else thinks.
When Critic wakes up on Doug's couch, his original hat is sitting on the arm.
Critic's first act as the Plot Hole was to ask Santa Christ to bring Spoony back, and tell his friends that everything was okay. The warmth and love of our favorite Big Good, and the fact that he and Critic obviously made up since Kickassia, is welcomed after all the pain the movie brought everyone.
The closing words bringing everything full circle and, with Doug's announcement, making it a perfect ending.
Judging by his appearance at the end to a depressed Film Brain and the (hilariously muppety) cameo for a confused Chick in her following review of Cutthroat Island, it's almost a definite that Critic is spiritually looking after his friends in the best way he can and will always try to be there when they need him.
It would probably be safe to say that this entire web series' existence could be considered one huge CMOH.
The fact that it's a long love letter to film itself. Especially clear in the latter half, but set up from the very beginning.
Also serves as a love letter to the Critic from his creator. He dies all grown up, is finally able to be at peace, has saved humanity for the thirdtime, and now knows what a good character he is. What more could his fans ask for?
Rob Walker going on Facebook to apologize to his wife for not including her in the credits, thanking her profusely for saving the production staff from being eaten by the cast, and relegating himself to the couch as penance.
After Doug announced the end of the Critic, the other reviewers started a #thanksdoug hashtag to thank him for everything he's done.
This Video from after a long day of shooting where the cast sings Rocket Man together.
Spoony curled up on the couch (with the biggest grin), filming the entire thing with his camera.
It might've just been this troper, but I find it sweet that Lindsey was covering up Todd's face. At first, I had no clue why there was a big black box on the screen, then I realised it was the person playing the piano. And, watching one of Todd's videos that very day, I realised it was him.
A lot of Spoony's commentary, where we learn that he's finally gotten appropriate medication for his bipolar disorder, and seems far more well-adjusted than he was during the behavior that aggravated the issues that caused him to leave the site.
In the Linkara and co. cast commentary, after spending quite a while detailing the silly arguments they had with Doug, them all gushing over how good the Critic/Writer scene was.
Doug got a So Proud of You from his father for his performance in the Creator/Critic scene.
Doug's happiness over getting his wife in the movie, even if it was only just to give him a real slap when Elisa wouldn't.
Doug's pleasure over Critic finally getting his happy ending and becoming a hero.
After Doug's pretty depressing commentary about how he must have put the producers through hell and any problem of theirs was clearly his fault, Rob (who is usually not the Walker sibling you look to for emotional words) thanking him at the end of his commentary for working so hard on the film and being so passionate about it.
The commentaries also show that, despite their disparate writing styles (Doug tends to write more character driven material, while Rob is more about the plot and exposition), they acknowledge that their styles create two halves of the whole and that they need each other in order to create the movies that they do.
On the DVD, "NC Remembered", where all the reviewers talk about their favorite Critic joke.
Rob expressing annoyance at the people who come up to him at cons and act like he was the one who wrote the Tom and JerryHamlet speech. It was a Throw It In moment from Doug and he should get the credit.