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Old May 31 2013, 06:20 PM   #76
kirk55555
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Re: Return to the Dollhouse

I just watched True Believer and Man on the street. TB was ok, but not great. Man on the Street...I have very mixed feelings about. The stuff with Oswalt's character was really good. The stuff with what was happening with Sierra was interesting. The little "interviews" about what the average people thought about the possibility of the Dollhouse was so annoying it was almost downright infuriating, and the reveal about ballard's negihbor was extremely predictable. I was hoping that maybe she was just a fake out, because it was so obvious that she was one of the dolls that if it was revealed that she wasn't, it would have been interesting (like how Vitor being a doll was a surprise, at least to me). But, no, its exactly what probably the majority of the audience figured out very quickly. I also was hoping we wouldn't get the "agent gets taken down and now has to persue his goal while suspended/kicked off the case" cliche, or atleast not this quickly. This wasn't a bad episode by any means, it was fairly good, but it was also a bit dissappointing. Still, overall I'm enjoying the show.
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Old June 1 2013, 02:35 AM   #77
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Re: Return to the Dollhouse

kirk55555 wrote: View Post
I also was hoping we wouldn't get the "agent gets taken down and now has to persue his goal while suspended/kicked off the case" cliche, or atleast not this quickly.
It works out for the better.
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Old June 1 2013, 03:29 AM   #78
DigificWriter
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Re: Return to the Dollhouse

It's been a crazy few days, but I'm back with reviews of not only The Public Eye and The Left Hand, but also Meet Jane Doe.

The Public Eye
I've said this before, but one of Dollhouse's strengths is that it broke away from a lot of Joss' typical stylistic approaches in much of its first season, and while S2 has thus far been very much in Joss' typical stylistic wheelhouse, that changed with this ep, which marks the first and only time a Joss Whedon show has told a 3-part story.

Joss has always been a master when it comes to world-building, and we really start to see that talent manifest itself here in the story of Daniel Perrin's quest to bring down Rossum Corp. The twists and turns that story takes are classic Whedon, and, also in classic Whedon fashion, create a 'snowball effect' that keeps you off-balance for 2/3 of the episode.

I accidentally spoiled myself on Daniel Perrin being augmented with Active tech, but it didn't detract from the episode at all.

Creating a multi-part story arc for television can be tricky, especially if there's no real resolution offered until the story arc's conclusion, but the writers of the ep didn't have any problems rising to the occasion, offering up an episode that feels complete even though it ends with things being very much open-ended, and deserve props for that.

Before I offer my rating for the ep, I have to give Summer Glau props for her performance as Bennett Halverson. She imbued Bennett with this very 'off' character quality that makes her both endearing, intimidating, and a bit creepy but without making her unlikeable.

I'm giving the episode a 9.9 rating, and also have to say that it reminded me a lot of The Initiative and As You Were.

The Left Hand
Joss really knows how to create characters who are meant to be antagonists but without writing them as black-and-white villains (even if they appear in eps he didn't write), and the is perfectly demonstrated with Keith Carradine's Harding and Ray Wise's Lipman, both of whom toe the line between making you like them and making you want to shoot them.

This also happens with Summer Glau's Bennett, who really comes across in this ep as the antithesis to Gopher, which makes her and Fran Kranz's scenes together a lot of fun.

It's also a lot of fun to see Victor imprinted with Topher's personality and abilities.

Olivia Williams is really in fine form in this ep, and her righteous indignation over getting the runaround from Lipman is a great counterpoint to what happens in the next episode.

Cynthia Perrin is one cold-hearted bitca, and she makes for an excellent antagonist 'avatar'.

The episode's ending, with Echo wandering the streets of D.C. all alone, is a nice setup for Meet Jane Doe, and a neat juxtaposition with Madeline being enslaved again, this time by the D.C. Dollhouse and Rossum's plans for Perrin succeeding.

The ep earns S2's first perfect 10 rating, and is truly one of the best eps of any of Joss' series.

Meet Jane Doe
Amazon Instant Video's description for this ep is really misleading, which is both good and bad; good in that it subverts audience expectation, but bad in that it describes the ep as being about something completely different than what it actually is.

This ep isn't the first time we've seen a time jump in a Joss Whedon show, but I think it's the first time we've seen a time jump in the course of an episode in a Joss Whedon show, which makes it all the more effective.

Keith Carradine is perfect in this ep as Harding, making the audience hate him and yearn to see him taken down a peg or two, which makes what happens in the episode with Adelle and Topher all the more effective since its kind of hard in the end to be excited about him getting booted from the L.A. Dollhouse because of the way it happens.

Adelle reminds me a lot of Maggie Walsh in this ep, especially at the end, which is great because it evolves her character in a very interesting direction.

Story-wise, this ep is interesting because it is clearly meant to be the conclusion to the story arc started in The Public Eye, even though it doesn't have anything to do with the plot threads from that ep and The Left Hand, and because it has to do a lot of things in a very short period of time; it's the latter that ultimately holds it back a bit because we don't get enough explanation for how certain things happen, such as Ballard and Echo working together and with Boyd, even though that information would've made things a bit easier to comprehend.

Despite some flaws, I really enjoyed this ep, and am giving it a 9.8.
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Old June 3 2013, 07:01 PM   #79
kirk55555
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Re: Return to the Dollhouse

I finished all the regular season 1 episodes (I haven't gotten to Epitaph One yet, but its not really related to the season anyway) and I really like Dollhouse. It has interesting characters and storyline, and its had some great moments. Alpha's reveal in the last two episodes was surprising and awesome. Alan Tudyk was awesome. I also liked the reveal about Dr. Sanders, although I had already guessed it. I wasn't sure what I would think about the show when I first heard about it, but its definately another great show from Joss Whedon.
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Old June 10 2013, 08:39 AM   #80
DigificWriter
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Re: Return to the Dollhouse

I'm popping back in here to apologize for going silent; it's just been a crazy week/week-and-a-half and I haven't had a chance to continue watching Season 2. Hopefully things will settle down for me after this next week and I can get back to watching and reviewing episodes.
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