Friday, May 08, 2009

Dollhouse, LOST and Seaguy this week

Dollhouse: Briar Rose. The second to last episode of Dollhouse was the very first one that made me not want to see the series be cancelled. The Patton Oswalt one was an improvement, and Haunted was pretty good, but this is the first one I was fully invested in. Eleven hours is a long time to wait to see the show really nail the concept. Alan Tudyk humiliates most of the other people playing dolls by demonstrating the ability to just BECOME SOMEONE ELSE NOW. You feel both halves are fully persuasive. Victor did OK impersonating that NSA dude, but this is what the show needs to do to work. The dialogue Tudyk gets is gold and he delivers it wonderfully: "I'm not comfortable having people in my home who are not delivering Thai food.” And “This is like one of those buddy cop movies where you’re the hard-nosed badass and I'm the guy who hates buddy cop movies!” Lovable AND Terrifying. The show has reached a fantastic pitch of moral grey-ness with the idea of "consensual slavery" brought up -- you really do know know who you want to win in the fight between Paul and Echo's old handler. PLUS, we have the hint that Amy Acker is Whiskey -- now imprinted with a permanaent doctor persona after being ruined by Alpha last time -- and maybe has some interesting connection to Alpha (who asks her if she always wanted to be a doctor, then tells her she is lying). Victor's future as a second scarred doll is an equally good development that will need a second season to play out. And even the opening mission of the show in which Echo is imprinted with the healthiest outcome of an abused little girl to show her what she could be was really persuasive. The story of Briar Rose was maybe too much on the head in terms of the show yelling THEME THEME THEME, but the fact that she liked to carry knives and had one on her chimed well with Alpha's weapon of choice. NOW, and only now, am I going to be pissed if this show does not get another season.

LOST. Follow the Leader. This is a hard one to talk about as it really is just a set up for the finale. I was disappointed that it was not a proper Richard flashback as rumor and Wikipedia suggested, but like The Variable by the end I was on board -- I love the addition of trying to kill Jacob to the events of the season finale, even if I am not super sure about the motivation. The episode did a great job tying together all the threads under the theme of leadership -- and true, useless, misguided and insane leaders: Locke, Ben. Alpert, Chiang, Radzinski, Horace, Jacob and Sawyer are all contenders in various ways. And Chiang's questioning Hurley was one of my favorite LOST moments ever: Fumbling questions like "When you were born" and "Who is the president of the United States" is funny, but funnier is that it is SIMPLER for him to just give in an say he is from the future, and even funnier when you remember one of the first things he said when then landed was "What if they ask us who is president of the United States?" Kate in the sub was annoying, and like I said a few weeks back pathetic Ben is such a let down, but I really do find myself caring whether Sawyer and Juliette can live happily ever after, something that really surprises me since I never cared about Jack and Kate for example.

From the AV Club

-I’ve been thinking a lot about Daniel’s big “The variable is made out of people!” speech from last week, and I even wrote a little something extra about it in the comment section last weekend. My understanding of his new theory isn’t that it’s some lovey-dovey “people can do anything” hoo-hah, so much as a growing awareness that since the time-travelers are experiencing the past as the present, and since they’re human beings with free will, they are under no obligation to try to avoid changing the past. They should just do what they do and let the chips fall. I’ll add that in the most recent podcast, Darlton said that the original script contained a longer explanation from Daniel about how much they can alther the past. To wit: If they do little things, they’ll change nothing, much like a tiny stone makes a little ripple but has no lasting effect on the stream it’s tossed into; but if they do something huge, they can make a big enough splash to redirect the flow.

-On that same subject, Eloise’s “course-correction” theory and all the chatter about how “the island’s not done with you yet” makes a lot more sense if you take time-travel into account. “The island’s not done with you” could just mean that Eloise (and others) have first-hand experience of those people appearing on the island again. And “course-correction” may not be some cosmic effect so much as Eloise and her band of “whatever happened, happened” zealots hustling their buns off to make sure that the course remains fundamentally the same. If I’m right about this, her “Eh, close enough” Ajira 316 plan doesn’t seem quite so slipshod after all. For years, she’s been putting the pieces in place the best she can, and improvising where necessary.


That makes me feel better about this goal post moving "You can't change the past oh wait yes you can" though it really needed to be in the show -- that is an important bit of info to end up on the cutting room floor.

Seaguy: Slaves of Mickey Eye 2. I do not have a lot to say about this, as it seems to basically reiterate the previous series as Seaguy struggles out of various incarnations of the Bower of Bliss. But I did want to note -- his facemask does vaguely resemble Cyclops's and there is an interesting moment in this issue where he has to free himself from the (false) emotional entanglement of a wife and child because they block the way to his true self and the adventure he deserves. Shades of Madeline Pryor her or has this blog just immersed me in too much Claremont?

12 comments:

Dylan said...

I think Daniel was lying. I think he wanted to be shot (he was awfully reckless in his Quest For Jughead), that he knew he had to be shot (maybe not by his mother), and that he wants/needs Jack to blow the Swan to protect the timeline.

Jason said...

"too much Claremont"?

Impossible, sir!!!

Anagramsci said...

I'm really looking forward to the Dollhouse finale--it'll be a real shape if they don't get a chance to develop it...

Dave

Anagramsci said...

I mean a real SHAME--it'll probably have a shape no matter what....

Telosandcontext said...

I'm getting a really weird vibe from some of these interviews with cast and crew. The overall sentiment with their reactions to the finale (Lost) has been: "How does the show go on from here?" That's not the best question to leave fans asking leading into your final season, especially when you have a shit-ton of answers to deliver on.

Stephen said...

Alan Tudyk humiliates most of the other people playing dolls...Victor did OK impersonating that NSA dude...This is so wrong it's not even funny. He didn't do "ok": Victor became Reed Diamond to a degree that was almost scary. The first time I saw that scene I thought that they'd dubbed Reed Diamond's voice over Victors it was so uncanny. I still wonder if they didn't have Reed Diamond do the scene so that Enver Gjorkaj could copy him.

(This is even more apparent to fans of NBC's really fabulous show HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET, where Reed Diamond appeared for three (I think? or just two?) seasons. RD is one of those actors who has fairly consistent mannerisms (just fine for a non-doll part); Gjorkaj really just nailed them. He got Reed Diamond panicked & angry, and then got RD drugged a moment later.

Not that Tudyk was bad -- far from it -- but to say he humiliates Enver Gjorkaj is just ridiculous. Gjorkaj was not only brilliant beyond belief in the Reed Diamond scene, in general he has been very different people in many of his roles.

The problem, of course, is that Eliza Dushku isn't at that level. It's ironic, since according to interviews Whedon began the series to show that she had a broader range than most people thought. I think he just showed that he was wrong about that.

But Gjorkaj rocks.

SF

Geoff Klock said...

SF -- on your suggestion I will go watch it again. It seems like your reaction is based on knowing Diamond from before. He failed to make much of an impression on me during Dollhouse so maybe that was why I lack your excitement.

jennifer said...

the final two episodes of dollhouse finally contains some good acting! it was nice to see whedons work well acted finally. the shows that have less echo have been the best. of course, it is a problem when one of your "stars" is such a weak actress. and let's not forget sierra. i was bummed about victor, mostly because i thought, damn, the only active that can act!
i'm not going to talk about the finale here. i'll wait til geoff blogs, but it was excellent! it went directions i was hoping it would & did not have a weak note. of course it was so jampacked with twists, turns and information my head hurts a little. i don't quite understand why they didn't play out the alpha stuff earlier in the season & make it a main focus of the second half of the first season. maybe that's the plan for the second season. ok, so i talked about the finale a little!

Madd_Hadder said...

I was totally with Lost up until the second Kate got on the Sub. I am not one to root for television show couples, but the fact that Saywer and Julliette just want to be together no matter what decade, means something to me.

Stephen said...

Geoff,

That's probably fair. Still, take another look -- if possible watch a scene with Reed Diamond from an earlier episode, and then take a look. It was a fairly uncanny performance IMO.

SF

James said...

Yeah, that bit on the Lost podcast was kind of vital info.

Andy said...

Doc Jensen on Ew's LOST coverage suggested that Daniel's plan for the bomb wasn't even rooted in any science theory. Faraday is just so heartbroken about the Charlotte debacle that he's making a hail mary play to save her. This would make Jack's devotion to this plan even more misguided than it currently appears.