Whedon the third film when he has wrapped up with current commitment to the Marvel-verse and he can feel free to cut loose with the dramatic deaths of much-loved characters.
No. Even when it has some narrative justification, it still feels like he's mostly doing it just to screw with us. I mean, he can't even do a musical comedy without twisting the knife for his own sick amusement! (Although, I'll admit that most of the Buffy/Angel
deaths were pretty well handled. But I'll never forgive him for Wash.)