The Double Phoenix

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Archive for the ‘Dollhouse’ Category

Dollhouse – Omega

Posted by spragujs on May 9, 2009

OmegaLast night was the finale of Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse.  We don’t know yet whether it’ll be the season or series finale, but based on the ratings, most people are guessing series.

I was actually a little disappointed compared to the previous episode.  There’s a lot to be said about maintaining some mystery in a series like this.  The show didn’t tell us everything by any means, but I feel like I know too much about it now.  Alpha downloaded a bunch of people into himself in order to become better than regular people, but he only did this after destroying the “wedges” that contained his previous personality.  He had been a criminal who’d volunteered at the Dollhouse in order to get a shortened sentence.  Ballard was right though when he told Topher that he doesn’t believe they can erase the core of who each Doll was, and apparently he’s right, ’cause Alpha was bad before and still is.  Echo tries to help people and that’s what Caroline used to do also, etc.

Anyway, the ending shaped things up to be interesting for next season, if there is one.  Ballard will be working at the Dollhouse to help them try and bring down Alpha (’cause he got away at the end).  Whiskey (aka Dr. Saunders) now knows that she was a Doll.  Could be interesting to see where they go with that, including how Topher apparently imprinted Dr. Saunders with some hatred for Topher himself.  And the outcome of Victor having been all sliced up (’cause Dr. Saunders, however much of a good doctor she is, apparently is no plastic surgeon).  Even if I didn’t enjoy this episode as much as Briar Rose, I’ll still look forward to more if we’re given it!

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DVR Woes

Posted by spragujs on May 7, 2009

My DVR died Tuesday morning.  I watch a lot of TV, as any of my TV posts surely indicate, but the DVR makes it much more manageable (sometimes that should read possible) than if I were to try and watch all those shows in real time.  I can watch one when I eat lunch, or part of one when I eat breakfast.  I can catch up on stuff during the weekend.  The DVR just makes things so very convenient that I’d not willingly give it up.  And it’d be super hard to go back to watching in real time.  As a matter of fact I haven’t watched any TV since Monday night.  Partly because the shows I’d watch on those nights are on too late to watch them when I want to.  Partly because I never got caught up after being out of town for the weekend and so the shows that were on would have been out of sequence for me.  😦  So, now I’m stuck.  At least I’ll be able to watch the Dollhouse finale tonight on the cable box!  And I’ve gotten a lot of audiobook reading done.  😉  Still, I wish my roommate would call AT&T already…

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Dollhouse – Briar Rose

Posted by spragujs on May 5, 2009

Briar RoseWow, so this episode of Dollhouse was pretty crazy.  Echo works to save a little girl who was kept captive by a guy who pimped her out (all machinated by Tohper in quite the genius way).  Alpha (Wash!) shows up at the Dollhouse with Agent Ballard.  (“Shows up” is so not the right way to put it, but it’s funny now, so I’m leaving it.)  Boyd is still a badass!  (Yay, Boyd!)

So, Ballard’s all upset about all the misleading info he’d had before now, so he takes a new tack.  The Dollhouse is “hidden”.  It seems to be a building that doesn’t exist.  So, he packs up and plans to move thus setting Mellie off.  She’s picked up by her handler (thankfully before seeming to want to jump off a bridge into traffic, however un-Mellie-like that seems to me) and lo and behold they have a tail.  Ballard watches them pull into an underground garage and now he has their location.  He checks out the public building and of course doesn’t find anything, but then he realizes he needs to find them underground.  He hunts down the guy who built the Dollhouse, who’s a specialist in creating spaces that are self-contained and pretty much don’t even need to be attached to the grid.  Ballard gets this guy to help him break into the Dollhouse.  Needless to say the dude’s a genius and also has the capability to shut down the DH’s security, but not with Topher’s personally, super protected computer.  😉  Anyway, turns out that the dude Ballard thought he’d found was actually all sliced up over in AZ (courtesy forensics expert Sierra and a flash drive sent to Dominic).  The whole season so far has been set up (including Ballard and the Dollhouse) to get Alpha in to help Echo escape.  He imprints her with a personality that doesn’t seem to me to be Caraline (from what little we’ve seen).

So, something in the previews for the finale makes me wonder if Caraline was ever Echo’s real personality.  There was a huge fight between Ballard and Boyd and they’re both badasses (not that that’s surprising).  😉  Too.  Much. To Comment. On.  It seems that Alpha is Dollhouse’s Sylar.  He may not be quite as hard to kill, but he’s a hell of a lot smarter.  And he seems to be capable of stealing another person’s knowledge/personality and compounding them.  Hmm, it’s possible he’s more like a Peter at the moment where he can only use one personality at a time, or perhaps not as he seems to have at least overlaid the specialist onto himself.

Oh, and by the way, Victor’s player, Enver Gjokaj, nailed Dominic.  Nailed it.  Also, poor poor Victor getting his face all sliced up by Alpha, a la Dr. Saunders (who was also confronted and used by her former attacker to lure Echo to him).  Did I mention something about there being too much to comment on?!  O.O

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The State of My TV Viewing

Posted by spragujs on April 27, 2009

Season Finales
Damages – Wednesday April 1
Eleventh Hour – Thursday April 2
Heroes (renewed with shortened season) – Monday April 27
Bones – Thursday May 7
House – Monday May 11
Fringe – Tuesday May 12
CSI – Thursday May 14
Smallville (renewed) – Thursday May 14
Supernatural (renewed) – Thursday May 14
Flashpoint – Friday May 15
Numbers – Friday May 15
Desperate Housewives (renewed) – Sunday May 17
Gossip Girl (renewed) – Monday May 18
One Tree Hill (renewed) – Monday May 18
The Mentalist – Tuesday May 19
Legend of the Seeker (renewed) – May 23
L&O:  SVU (renewed) – Tuesday June 2

Finales for Shows in Trouble?
Life – Wednesday April 8
Terminator: SCC – Friday April 10
Chuck – Monday April 27
Samantha Who? – Thursday April 30
Dollhouse – Friday May 8
The Unit – Sunday May 10
Castle – Monday May 11
Reaper – Tuesday May 26

Limited Runs
Harper’s Island (likely not coming back in the proposed new form) – Thursday April 9 – July 2

Other
Prison Break (canceled) – Friday April 17 to May 15 series finale
Pushing Daisies (canceled) – Saturday May 30 – June 13

Already Been Canceled
Kyle XY
The Middleman
Stargate: Atlantis
My Own Worst Enemy
Life on Mars

Summer Premiers
L&O: CI – Sunday April 19 – 9:00 USA
So You Think You Can Dance? – Thursday May 21 – 8:00 Fox
Burn Notice – Wednesday June 4 – 9:00 USA
Merlin – Sunday June 21 – 8:00 NBC
Eureka – Tuesday July 7 – 9:00 SyFy
Warehouse 13 – Tuesday July 7 – 10:00 SyFy
HGTV Design Star – Sunday July 19
Psych – ? – USA
Mad Men – August (AMC)

Fall Premiers
Sanctuary – Fall 2009
Stargate: Universe – Fall 2009

Most of my data was collected from this blog.  So, based on this info, and making the big assumption that all the shows I’ve listed as in trouble would not be coming back, my TV viewing would be down from 44 shows to 28 for the beginning of next year (not counting any new shows I might be interested in).  That’s a pretty big drop!  (Yes, yes, I know it’s a lot, but keep in mind these aren’t all on at the same time (i.e. season) and I also DVR pretty much everything, so it’s not like I’ve sucked up all my evenings with TV unless I happen to be home.)  Also, I have to admit that I didn’t get around to watching either Life on Mars or My Own Worst Enemy.  I had them all stored up on my DVR for watching till I heard they got cancelled.  Not much reason to start liking something after the fact.  Also, I read about the finale of Life on Mars and was disappointed they went that route, so I decided not to watch even though it ended up being a complete story.

Posted in Chuck, Damages, Dollhouse, Eureka, Heroes, Reaper, Supernatural, The Middleman, TV | Leave a Comment »

Dollhouse – Haunted

Posted by spragujs on April 25, 2009

Dollhouse Haunted

Unfortunately, due to scheduling issues I didn’t post on the last two episodes of Dollhouse.  Episodes that did a lot to further the overall mythology of the show.  I will, however, update on this episode, which went back to a bit more of a formulaic style.  I kinda like the idea that on occasion, the writers (and viewers) can take a break from the “big” story.  It can work to make the mythology of the show that much more exciting when it comes back.  (Let’s just say I’m interested to see this next episode!)

In this episode, Adelle implants a friend of hers into Echo.  This friend had been concerned that someone close to her was going to murder her, and she wanted to come back and solve her own murder (not to mention go to her funeral and see what people actually thought of her – could be a double-edged sword, that).  In the end, the friend does get to figure things out and also makes nice with her remaining family members who previously had thought her a cold, hard woman.  This story just goes to show that in a way, a person(ality) could have everlasting life by either keeping a doll’s body (although they’ve implied a doll is limited to a weekend, or maybe 3 days per “session”) or by jumping from body to body.  Adelle’s friend didn’t decide to abscond with Echo’s body though; she’d felt like she’d lived life to its fullest at that point.

Also, apparently once a year on his birthday, Topher runs a “diagnostic” on a doll, approved by the head of security.  Really, Topher just programs whichever doll to be his best buddy and they have lots of fun for a day.  Boyd as the new head of security (yeah, this blog has missed a lot by not updating on the two episodes before this), approves Sierra for this function and later asks Adelle if she knows about this “diagnostic”.  She says yes, that it only happens once a year, and that Topher of all people needs a chance to connect, basically so he doesn’t forget what it’s like to be a person.

Next week it looks like we may find out who Alpha is (or more likely Dr. Saunders sees him and they’ll cut to black before showing him).  😉  Ballard somehow actually manages to find the Dollhouse too, so this could be interesting!  My boyfriend had an interesting thought on Alpha.  What if Ballard was actually Alpha?  There are probably a lot of reasons why he couldn’t be, but it’d (at the very least) explain his obsession!

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Dollhouse – Man on the Street

Posted by spragujs on March 21, 2009

Man on the Street

Um, wow.  I’d read so many different places that this episode was the one where stuff would start happening.  And just, wow.  Heck, I even watched twice before I wrote this (which I pretty much never do), and only partly so I’d get the details right.  I just can’t figure out how they packed this much stuff into ~40 minutes of show.  O.O

Ok, first off, lots of people don’t really think Dusku can pull off acting all of these different parts.  I’m not here to argue one way or the other, but her Rebecca Mynor was quite adorable, IMO.  Also, interestingly, this episode was almost not about Echo at all (and ironically it’s the one where everything starts happening).  She was more of a plot device than anything else this time.

You know, I still don’t care about Agent Ballard as a character though he’s growing on me.  Maybe a lot of people would be irritated at that, but it’s true. The episode was largely about him though, and it turns out to be by far one of the best so far.  So strange.  Actually, he still feels like a plot device to me too. Hmm…  *ponders*  Spoilers after the break:

Read the rest of this entry »

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TV Week of 3-9-09

Posted by spragujs on March 15, 2009

I figured I’d just make a few quick comments on this week’s TV watching.  Since I end up doing a lot of it after the actual times, and especially on the weekends.

Heroes – These last couple episodes were actually pretty interesting!  Also, GO Claire’s Mom!  😉

Castle – This show premiered on Monday at 10:00 pm.  Stars Nathan Fillion, which is why I decided to watch in the first place.  Looks like it could be entertaining!  I especially enjoyed the father/daughter relationship they’ve set up.

Reaper – Mostly, Sam found and (as far as he knows) lost a source that can help him get out of his deal with the Devil.  Also, Ben’s dating a demon!  O.O

Supernatural – Whew!  Some scary stuff going on there.  Mostly at the end.  Reaper Tessa warns Dean that death is usually accompanied (caused?) by lies.  We assume she means Sam, which she probably at least partly does, but then she gets more direct and tells him to beware angels as well.  O.O  Then seer Pamela tells Sam she knows what he did to the demon and that he doesn’t know what he’s doing.  It scares him.  And personally, it means more for me coming from Pamela than it has from anyone else at this point.  The angels are diabolically opposed to Sam’s powers and Dean was just too close to the thing.  Pamela, from her objective view point, makes a much more convincing argument, IMO.  Also, why was Castiel so easily able to catch Allistair this time?

CSI – I love Brass!  He’s such a great character.  But mainly, it’s pretty interesting how a couple new characters have made this show fun to watch again.

Terminator: SCC – To be continued?!  Aaahhhh!

Dollhouse – New stuff we learned…  Victor’s got the hots for Sierra.  LOL!  Apparently there’s a separate procedure that can completely? wipe a doll.  It’s called scrubbing.  Second in command dude (Lawrence) actually, if indirectly, tried to kill Echo this episode, and she remembered after she’d been wiped!  Dun dun DUN!  Agent Ballard was Mal-like this time.  I was actually vaguely entertained while watching his scenes.  He also finally got a glimpse of Echo, so he now knows he’s not been chasing a ghost all this time.  Other than that, most of the episode was the Echo as doll story, and it was pretty good!  Apparently next week is supposed to be when all the really good stuff finally starts happening.

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Dollhouse – Grey Hour

Posted by spragujs on March 9, 2009

Grey Hour

Instead of doing a semi-recap this time, I think I’ll just summarize some of the new developments and make some comments.

Echo can be wiped remotely.  Alpha is apparently the only person who can accomplish this feat.  Topher’s security clearance is upped and he gets to find out that Alpha’s not dead as has been the lower clearance report.  (We pretty much knew that, but now it’s confirmed.)

Echo, Sierra, and Victor sit together to eat.  Apparently, they do this frequently, and Topher puts it down to a herd mentality of the wiped dolls.  Perhaps they could have used a more human term?  That we’re social creatures?  But whatever.  I suppose it would have ruined Boyd’s comments about Bison.  (Mer?)  What do people think of when one says herd?  For me it’s cattle, maybe that’s just me.  (Or maybe these three are drawn to each other for another reason?)

Echo takes away a Picasso like painting (yeah, I know pretty much nothing about art) from her mission into her inactive life.  It was of a “broken” woman.  [ETA:  Echo also remembered after her remote wipe that she had been in the mountains (at the beginning of the episode) and had a different name there.   I noticed that while watching, but forgot about it by the time I wrote up this post!]

I read/hear some interesting things about the show.  There aren’t any characters to get invested in, the wiped-state acting is horrible, etc., etc.  I have to agree that so far I could pretty much care less about the characters.  Maybe that’ll change as the wiped-state dolls develop more into people.  (Assuming, as usual, that the show gets that far.)  I was just thinking the other day that I watch shows more for the characters than their plots, but the opposite is true very much true for this show so far.  As to the acting, especially when the dolls are wiped…  Well, I kinda don’t really see how else they would act, so that part has always kinda made sense to me.  *shrug*  On the other hand, it’s not like I enjoy them in their wiped states…  Guess we’ll see how things go as the story progresses!

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Dollhouse – Stage Fright

Posted by spragujs on March 2, 2009

stage-fright

This episode was mostly another stand alone (and quite light on the Whedon humor compared to what I expected).  I’ve read that the stand alones will drop off somewhat after the 5th or 6th episode.  Here’s to hoping we get that far!

This time Echo’s been hired to protect a pop star from someone who’s trying to kill her.  She’s been programmed to do it on instinct, so she poses as backup singer/friend to the star rather than being a bodyguard outright.  As the mission could be quite dangerous, she also gets back up in the form of Sierra who’s been programmed to play the star’s number one fan.

Turns out Rayna (the star) is just tired of her life as it is.  She’s been in contact with a stalker, and they’ve made a pact of sorts where he’ll kill her while she’s on stage.  Echo, of course, foils the plan and has discovered that it’s really Rayna that wants to die.  Meantime, stalker dude kidnaps “number one fan”, and Echo seizes the opportunity and turns everything on its head by in return kidnapping Rayna and offering to trade her for Sierra.  In the process she jars Rayna back into wanting to live by dropping her off a catwalk (which she’s been tied to), hence fulfilling her mission of stopping the person that wants to kill Rayna.  (They also catch the stalker dude.)  This whole process however has caused a bunch of fighting back at the Dollhouse, ’cause once again Echo has basically taken matters into her own hands, even if it turned out well in the end.

Lawrence again mentions the Attic after the mission, but this time to his boss and he wants to put Echo there.  (Inactive actives seem go there, or perhaps more correctly,  faulty ones.)

Boyd isn’t as big a player in this episode, but he continues to be the cute almost father figure to Echo and he’s still my favorite.  He and Dr. Saunders know that Echo is special.  The doc intimates that being special isn’t always a good thing.

Agent Ballard gets shot by some Russian mob guys and the biggest twist part for me with this whole storyline was that the contact he’s been dogging all this time (formerly known as Lubov) was actually Victor, a doll.  Definitely did not see that one coming.  I know of at least one person who thinks the agent’s (stalkerly) neighbor will turn out to be a doll, but I don’t see that happening.  Two actives seems like a lot of resources to put on one guy.  Especially if there are only 25 (with Alpha missing) actives.  Also, as a bit of a side note, I think it would have been better to introduce the FBI end of the story later.  Maybe in the middle of the first season, or even at the beginning of the second one.  Frankly, I couldn’t care less right now about Ballard’s progress.  Maybe I’d feel differently if we knew his motives (beyond them being professional), but I’m not too sure.

There’s a drop in there I think from Dr. Saunders that Alpha couldn’t be the one that hired evil Middleman and Echo last episode.  If that’s the case, who in the heck did, and what does that mean for Alpha?  Is he in the Attic?  I’d assumed he’d escaped!  (Though admittedly, I don’t know why he’d want to kill Echo now (or maybe it was a test) when he left her unscathed during his rampage.)

And the next bit to further the story:  Sierra and Echo’s budding friendship.  They kind of bond over a bout of dizziness (what’s wrong with Sierra that she’d get dizzy?!) after a workout session.  They share a line something along the lines of “Friends take care of each other.”  Echo repeats this line when she decides to kidnap Rayna.  Interesting thing is that she could mean either Rayna or Sierra, or perhaps both?  It’s interesting that not only are Echo’s mindwipes not working properly, but the new imprints don’t override stuff that happens to them (her) when they’re blank.  At the end of the episode, after both have been wiped, Sierra wants to come over and talk with Echo, but Echo nods her off as there are some handlers standing nearby (Sierra’s handler had been displeased when Echo and Sierra seemed to take a liking to one another).  So, has Sierra also started not being completely wiped?  Is it happening with all of them, but only happened more quickly with Echo and Alpha?  Are these two (three?) special in some way?  It’s these kinds of questions that keep me watching, so I can’t wait to see what happens next!  (Or even better what happens after the story isn’t quite so stand alone each week!)

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Dollhouse

Posted by spragujs on February 24, 2009

dollhouse2

The newest Joss Whedon show is called Dollhouse and shows at 9:00pm on Fox.  So far there have only been two episodes aired.  The general premise is that there is a “Dollhouse” where the dolls’ memories are wiped until they’re hired (at great expense to the client) and imprinted with the appropriate knowledge, skills, and personality to perform whatever it is they were hired for.

After seeing these two episodes, the show hasn’t become my favorite or anything, but I’m definitely intrigued and will keep watching.  There are so many mysteries to be answered and so many ways for this show to go…

For example, Alpha, previously a doll, three months prior to the beginning of the show had just gone rogue and killed a bunch of the other dolls and some staff.  He ironically left Echo behind unscathed.  Dr. Saunders also got partially mauled by him, but apparently that’s just when Alpha got chased off or something ’cause he didn’t kill her.  Why did Alpha not attack Echo?

Also, who gets “volunteered” for the job of doll and why?  Why’d Boyd (Echo’s new handler and ex-cop) decide to go to work for the Dollhouse?  What’s driving the FBI guy to find the Dollhouse?

What’s the second-in-command’s issue with the dolls?  I kinda get how he might have issues with Echo, as he very concisely described it at the end of the last episode.  Still, maybe if we knew why certain people become dolls, we’d have a better idea.  Also, he mentioned an attic.  Do certain dolls get retired after a while?  ‘Cause we’re given the impression that the “volunteers” only have to “serve” for a period of time, five years for Echo, and I’d assume all the rest as well.

I’ve heard complaints about some of the characters (most actually) not having any personality, so we don’t know who to root for.  I disagree.  I think the obvious choice, is of course, Echo, (perhaps even all the dolls, if we get to encounter more of them) but at this point, my favorite by far is Boyd.  He’s the character that interests me most.  Also the doc, but that might just be because I like Amy Acker from her days on Angel.  🙂

Well, there’s probably lots more that could be said, but I’ll wrap it up instead.  I’ve read that the next episode will feature more of Joss Whedon’s typical humor, which is what I think draws a lot of his fans, so if you’ve been missing that in Dollhouse, have faith (no pun intended)!  Your wishes are rumored to come true!  😉

Also, as a side note that I feel I can’t leave out, if you didn’t watch The Middleman on ABC Family, but have watched all of Dollhouse’s episodes, you got a taste of the Middleman’s actor, Matt Keeslar, in Richard Connell, last week’s ill-fated “client”.  😉  Or for another actor from a cancelled but favorite show, Reed Diamond from Journeyman is playing “second-in-command” Laurence Dominic.  And though I don’t watch, BSG contributed the FBI guy, Paul Ballard as played by Tahmoh Penikett.

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