Ladies and gentlemen, the following public service message is brought to you by your friends from D-Generation X, who would like to remind each and every one of you that if you're not down with that, we've got two words for you... Let's hope that the suits at Fox have finally gotten the message: You leave Joss Whedon the fuck alone, and he'll give you a compelling show that people will swear by. Last night's episode was, as promised, definitely the kick in the ass the show needed - and while I was enjoying everything they had to offer until now, the show needed last night if it was going to have hope for a second season.
It's been pretty clear even before last night that Mellie was an Active, but the way they revealed it was downright clever and gave us a lot of insight into Adelle's way of thinking. The onion layers of her personality are unfolding at a very rapid pace at this point, and even though Boyd remains the conduit for the audience, Adelle's becoming a much more relatable figure, because there's this duality to her as far as knowing (or not knowing) what she's really dealing with as far as being the captain of this ship. On the flip side, Ballard remains wholly uninteresting to me and at this point is only useful for two things: 1. Serving as a punching bag for Echo; 2. Facilitating nude as-9 PM-on-Fridays-will-allow scenes for Mellie. (Or is it November now? I guess we'll find out soon enough, considering they lied to us once already with the whole Lubov/Victor thing.)
The other big question this episode raised is who the mole on the inside is that's going to help Ballard. The answer to this one is fairly obvious to me: Dr. Saunders. It's too easy for it to be Topher or his new assistant; Topher's been shown to have a thing for Saunders (and thus maybe showed her how to use the imprinting equipment); and it would explain one of the burning questions we've had since the beginning: why Alpha allowed Saunders to live. (The easy explanation: She agreed to help him in his efforts to bring the Dollhouse down, and he gave her the scars to give her cover from this - if he hadn't, they would have been suspicious of her.)
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And then there's the real-life impact of Amy Acker being cast in the ABC pilot project "Happy Town", which would necessitate her Dollhouse character being written out if it gets picked up - Saunders being killed after being outed as a mole would be a very clean way of doing that.
My only real complaint with this episode was the lack of movement on the Alpha front - we're clearly no closer to a reveal than we were a few weeks ago, and I'm hoping Joss doesn't wait too much longer because if the show doesn't get a second season, a late reveal won't give them much time to tie up the loose ends. However, the ratings news (pifeedback.com) in the face of the Battlestar: Galactica finale last night is promising, and I'm hopeful that Fox will at least be willing to decide one way or the other sooner rather than later.
smark/net attack Advisory System Status is: Elevated (Holds; June 18, 2006) While the switch from Cena to RVD should alleviate some complaints, the inevitability of the belt's return to Cena (note where Summerslam is this year) and the poor initial showing by the new ECW are enough to keep the indicator where it is for now. The pieces are in place, though, especially on RAW, for improvements to be made to the IWC's psyche in the near future.
I was wondering if anyone else was still watching since we got quiet about this show for the last few weeks. I was just waiting for this episode, as word "on the street" was that this was where things got interesting. And the street was right.
I had heard the theory that Mellie was an active, but I didn't want to believe it given that Lubov turned out to be an active. Why would Adele commit two actives to tracking Bellard instead of just offing him when given the chance?
The intercuts with the Dollhouse report were amusing, but it really made this episode feel like a series premiere. I think people can watch the first episode, and this episode, and go back and get the rest of the backstory once they are sufficiently into this show.
Boyd baiting and solving the rapist mystery was amusing.
I enjoyed Echo/Rebecca yelling "PORN!" when she saw the bedroom on her way out of the house. I also enjoyed seeing Patton Oswald get his ass kicked for a bit, but I'm sure that was the point.
I got excited when Mellie talked about helping Bellard solve the case, as scenes of the two or them sitting around with books and whatnot would feel slightly reminscent of the Scooby gang in the library, and the lack of any clear cut gang is the one deficiency of this show. (Sure, Echo, Victor, and Sierra are flocking, but I can't see them engaging in Whedon's repartee.) At some point, Bellard and Boyd have to team up, right?
Saunders seems a good guess as the mole, but I'm not sure if the case is so open-shut. As I mentioned earlier, why is Adele keeping Bellard around? We know that she has higher-ups she reports to, and it wouldn't surprise me if she is going to use Bellard to find out enough about them for her own purposes. So she "resolves" the Bellard situation, and will use Mellie to direct him to fix all her problems. I wouldn't be surprised if Bellard gets thrown on Alpha's trail, seeing as pitting two threats against each other is a good way to remove one of them.
Was Mellie attacked in her apartment or Bellard's? If his, what will he make of the two strange messages.
I'm not as concerned about any delay in the Alpha story just yet. We just had a ton of new questions dropped on us at once. Who is the mole? Can Echo even be trusted? There are TWENTY dollhouses!!!! So Topher isn't so much a genius as a glorified Dollhouse-Certified Systems Engineer? And this has been going on since possibly the 80's? I'm sure we'll get to the Alpha reveal soon enough, but there's a ton of stuff going on now. This is going to be awesome.
ETA: Crazy no evidence or rational reason to believe this hunch of the week: Adele is Bellard's ex-wife.
(edited by EddieBurkett on 21.3.09 1528) You believe me, don't you? Please believe what I just said...
Whedon was right, this episode was a big step up from the previous five. It was so good, in fact, that if the series reverts back to the Echo-on-assignment format of the first few weeks, it'll be kind of a letdown.
I'm hoping that Mellie being an active doesn't lead to a whole bunch of surprise revelations along the lines of "OMG, (insert character's name here) is an active!!!" It'll smack slightly of a ripoff of the Cylons on BSG
Kirk, crackers are a family food. Happy families. Maybe single people eat crackers, we don't know. Frankly, we don't want to know. It's a market we can do without.
The show does suffer a bit from the lack of a steady hand at the rudder, but overall I'm happy enough with this season. All I really wanted was a fourth season to get these characters to graduation, and we're getting that.