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Reversing the story to an, "It's a Wonderful Life" style would have made a better story. It could have focused more on Joey and what his brother's life would have been like if he had died. How John would have never become an astronaut. How River would have tried in vain all those times to get him to remember when they first met. And then there's also all the important people in their lives. His kids. His brother's kids.

As it is.. it is what it is. He dies a lie. Honestly I didn't really care after the action sequence. I kept thinking, "River died unhappy. Why should his death be any better?"
Post edited August 07, 2013 by PaladinHeart
I didn't see it a a question of happiness. John knew it was important that he go to the moon, even though he couldn't remember why. In a sense - in the only sense still available to him - he kept his word. It was always too late for happiness, but it gave him and River a kind of reconciliation in death.