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?