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Wednesday, March 18, 2009
TV Round-Up
Dollhouse: "Stage Fright," "Grey Hour," "True Believer"
I'm still watching "Dollhouse" but a lot of that is out of my blind loyalty to Joss Whedon. And the feeling that this show is just on the cusp of getting a whole lot better.

The past couple of weeks, I've been relatively less interested in what's going on with Echo and more interested in what's happening in the other plot threads. "Stage Fright" and "True Believer" were both guilty of this and while "Grey Hour" was interesting from the aspect of someone can wipe personalities on the fly, it never really connected beyond that. But given that Echo isn't a character we're supposed to be able to connect with every week because she's a different person each week, these episodes seem more designed to get us to like and accept Boyd as our point of entry into Dollhouse each week. Each episode has shown his loyalty to Echo and how he is the exception rather than the rule at the group. Boyd genuinely cares about Echo and will go against orders to keep her safe. How far will he have to go remains up in the air, but I have a feeling some kind of conflict is coming between his duty and his loyalty to Echo.

And could that come into play with the Agent Ballard plotline? Ballard's dogged pursuit got a bit of a SPOILed twist when we find out Vinnie is a doll and feeding Ballard false leads. Had Vinnie not been included in the promotional photos for the show, this little revelation would have been a bit more surprising. That said, I firmly believe the neighbor across the hall is somehow connected to things and may be in place to keep an eye on Ballard.

I do like that Ballard is being allowed to make progress with his investigation and it's not all a dogged pursuit that leads no where. And it easily could be. Again, I could see Boyd and Ballard becoming allies of a sort at some point in the future out of concern for Echo.

And then, there's the plotline that Echo may be retaining part of her imprints or the original Caroline personality is lurking under the surface . In the episode where Echo got wiped, I have to wonder if whoever did it implanted the equivalent of a trojan in her mind that will allow a good portion of her memory and personality to be wiped but still retain some small, essential portions. Or is the Caroline side of Echo strong enough to be trying to resist? Clearly some within the organization don't like Echo and want her taken out while others will try to keep her. I have to wonder if Echo is starting to retain things from each wipe but is just playing along with the mantra that is gone through each time she's wiped.

All of that is fascinating and compelling. What's not is the personality of the week storylines. I found myself less than fascinated by the rock star one and the religious cult one kind of bored me and followed all the standard beats. Nothing new or different here. And I know we can't reinvent the wheel every time, but at least put a new spin on it...

Battlestar Galactica: "Deadlock," "Someone to Watch Over Me," "Islanded in the Stream of Stars," "Daybreak, Part 1"
Following the genius that was the mutiny storyline, "Galactica" has settled back into some solid episodes. Are they the pure nirvana that the whole finding of Earth and the mutiny were? No, not really. But they are necessary to set up things for the final few episodes, I think. I have a big feeling all of these episodes are all about putting the foundation in place for the series finale this Friday.

I'm hoping I'm right.

We bring Ellen back to the fleet, the Cylons get Hera, we get some indication that Hera and Starbuck are connected, Anders becomes the Galactica version of a hybrid and the fleet is forced to abandon Galactica. I have a feeling the old ship won't make it out of the finale and will be sacrficed like Pegasus was for the greater good.

That said, I kind of wish we'd found out the nature of Starbuck before the finale. What is she? I find it interesting that Anders in hybrid state tells her that she'll lead humanity to its destruction, echoing what we heard all the way back in "Razor." And it's also interesting that in her pursuading Adama to listen to Sam and try to make sense of the notes that Kara decides to leave his bit of information out. That coupled with Lebonen's reaction to finding her body on Earth makes me wonder what exactly the nature of Starbuck is and what it will mean to the mythology of the show.

I find it interesting that Adama's final mission for the ship is to rescue Hera. She's clearly vital to both sides. As Helo was begging Adama to rescue her, I recalled a line from Bill to Lee in season one. It's from the episode with Starbuck lost on the planet and taking over the Raider. The fleet had to leave before the Cylons caught up to them, but Bill tells Lee if it was Lee out there lost, Adama would wait forever to find him. I wonder if that occurred to him as he looked at the photo of Hera and made his choice.

And I don't think for a minute Baltar won't go. He'll go if only to try and prove he's unselfish.

Oh I'm going to miss this show...

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 3/18/2009 03:15:00 PM | |
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