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04 October 2009 @ 02:28 pm
Your Ken can kiss my Barbie!  
++ New Caprica SciFi promo, which has unseen exclusive clips from the series that not the pilot movie. I honestly am excited, I loved the pilot, love the cast, and I can't wait to see what's in store for what's to come.

++ Dollhouse 2.02 "Instinct"

I really liked this episode, a whole lot actually. I'm loving the progression of incorporating what is happening inside the Dollhouse to the engagements, something that wasn't done last season, at least not fully. Here we're seeing the cause and effects of experimenting with new technological evolutions with the imprinting system, as provided by Topher for taking that trial by error leap with tweaking with the glandular systems. It also shows us that they're not always that bright when thinking beyond what might happen to the Actives after a wipe and still maintain such feelings via those changes. This is providing more insight to the workings of imprinting and how Actives like Echo and the others can be effected by it, which should be examined further and I believe Joss has that intended to be a major factor.

And it needs to be said: I love Echo.

There's been a lot of Echo-hate going around lately and that's just making me sad. I know not everyone is a fan of Eliza Dushku and that's understandable. I, however, am and it distresses me when people are outright hating her character and her in general. Say what you will about her acting ability (which I personally think she has a lot of, as evidenced in this episode where she brought it all to the table, for serious), but to call her the weakest link in the show and that the character should die? That does not bode well with me, and it's disconcerting that many are feeling that way.

That's how I feel about that. I love this show and where it's going and what Joss and Eliza are bringing to us and I'm glad to have another season to expand it, but it's the fandom that's harshing my squee right now with their cynicism and pessimistic opinions only two episodes into the season. I get enough of that from people who don't watch the show, and I don't know how to feel about that.

Going away from that, I loved Echo in this episode. Mama!Echo in particular. There's something so endearing and powerful about someone who loves and cares so deeply about a child, and I loved seeing that maternal side of Echo and that, despite not having all the details from that latest imprint, it's the maternal instinct that drove her need to save the baby. Even though the story was all mixed up and not quite understanding to the full extent of the situation, she was going by what she instinctively felt. Which was the feeling that she loved the baby so much and that she felt her life, and the baby's life, was in danger. Thus, the lioness arose to protect her cub.

It's also sad because she was trying to understand what was happening -- when she lashed out at the father and abruptly recoiled and was like "no, this isn't right", automatically knowing that she shouldn't be doing what she was doing. She just didn't understand those feelings, and that is when the conversation between her and the father took place, to rationalize the situation and have her hand over the baby. The father of course understood what he had done wasn't right either, he realized it was a mistake to pay all that money for a temporary stand-in of a mother that wouldn't be there for very long, especially if he was going to give the baby up for adoption anyway. It's also nice to see empathy from a client, knowing that they had placed the Active into some major trauma, and having remorse for what they'd asked for. Most times clients hardly have any kind of empathy towards a doll they've hired, so it's nice to see at least something in this man who is learning from this mistake.

I loved the ending, with Echo and Paul. I love how she is telling him these things, of remembering, of being aware of what is happening. Although she's still evolving, she understands at least something is wrong with what the Dollhouse is doing. I loved that she would rather have the pain than be numb again, now that she's fully awake instead of asleep. Last season we were seeing bits and pieces of that, but now she's completely awake. I have this notion of River going "she understands, she doesn't comprehend." That is what is happening to Echo right now. She's figure things out. She wants to find the real her.

Questions that's been on my mind: Do you think she would be able to tell Boyd these things? Do you think Echo could have trusted Boyd with the stuff she's telling Paul?

Oh, and I kinda adored her going "go please" at the car when getting into the passenger seat. So adorable. ♥ But I like that she didn't need any assistance, that she was able to figure out how to operate the car all on her own. Sweet.

I liked Paul's subtle way of exploring Topher's lab in the beginning of the episode, which pops up later when he's referring to Topher's "genius". The same thing can be seen with him and Madeline when he's asking questions, very subtle-like, and gets a few answers that might lead him more into investigating the truth behind the Dollhouse. For instance, when Madeline was explaining her background at how she managed to get into the Dollhouse and its contract, she mentions that it was Adelle that sought her out. This will perhaps lead Paul to finding out precisely how the Dollhouse finds out about these individuals who are promised to be "healed" from their pain after five years underneath their contract.

Speaking of, how amazing was Miracle Laurie in this episode? From not being November/Mellie and just herself, Madeline, I found her quite intriguing. I loved the setup of her own personality, which seems more confident and clear-headed than the version we saw previously last season. I kinda want to know how much downhill she went after her daughter had died or what her past had been which made Adelle seek her out in the first place. It had to be something big, because there was mention of her free to leave the country now that she's been clearer. That was a huge hint, at least to me. Could she have been a criminal? Could her pain of losing her daughter drive her to do illegal things? I'm curious now.

Nevertheless, I loved her appearance. I was happy to see her, and I liked that she was also curious about being let off her contract years earlier than expected. Another hint that she seems to be ahead of her game.

I'm still finding it weird that Alexis Denisof is speaking without a British accent. I still see him as Wesley so hearing him without one is kinda strange, lol.

I'm wondering...does Adelle know of Saunder's departure? How could that have gone down, since she technically is an imprinted doll, wouldn't that be something to be concerned about? Moreover, how could the security in the Dollhouse overlook Echo leaving the premises if she were to get inside a car (with its keys still in the ignition, mind you) and just drive off? Makes for interesting questions about how liable the Dollhouse is....

Overall: I enjoyed this episode very much. This was perhaps Eliza Dushku's strongest performances because I believed her when she believed she was being tracked down, and I believed her believing that she was the mother of the child, and when back as Echo her believing in those emotions, all of that is so amazingly done. That's the may focus here people, watching her evolve and become an individual than how we've seen her before. I really wish fandom wasn't so snippy and quick to judge. That happened last season too. Either way, I loved what was brought in this episode. I really did.


I also want to talk about ratings for Dollhouse. From all the "save Dollhouse" campaigns and people praising it, getting others to watch it and even making petitions and critics waiting for the second season to premiere, the ratings have been lower than last season. What the hell, people? Where the fuck are you, after all this fighting for it to be renewed and for FOX not do be dickheads about it, and the ratings are fucking dropping? Fuck that shit. I'm also hearing that TSCC fans are so bitter about their show being canceled that they are purposefully not supporting Dollhouse. I mean, okay, I loved TSCC too and I'm sad it's gone, but get the fuck over your childish bullshit and stop being so butthurt. Jesus Christ on a cracker, this is ridiculous.

Needless to say, the ratings system still blows. blank_dolls has provided ways of supporting and helping boost up ratings for the show, so please spread this information around.

++ I've been catching up on Bones recently, just had a marathon of season four and my God, can this show be any cuter? Booth/Brennan are so much love, their bantering and are totally opposite yet perfect for each other. But it's one of those shows where if the two main characters get together romantically then it's the end of the show, hence the UST between them. And I love David Boreanaz as Booth...I think way better than Angel, to be honest. Because Booth isn't some brooding vampire with a soul, and he can be goofy as well as badass. Hee.
 
 
Current Mood: apatheticapathetic
Current Music: Agnes Monica - Hanya Menunggu
 
 
 
Tracy: Burn Noticealexwhitman25 on October 5th, 2009 03:01 am (UTC)
I don't get it when people say Ballard is stupid. Even in this episode, there was a lot of it going on in fandom. The guy is playing people, playing dumb to get info.

David really gets to play with his goofiness/crazy sense of humor in Bones and it's awesome to watch. I kinda love that they wrote his crazy ass socks into the show.
Renée: DH. Echo. Blank slate.rogueslayer452 on October 5th, 2009 03:13 am (UTC)
I know! I don't get the initial hate for either Echo or Paul, to be honest. Paul is playing it dumb to gather information to investigate the Dollhouse, he can't possibly just be all "hey, can you give me all access to your most top secret files? kthx!" Echo is figuring things out and is now aware of what is happening. It's like people are expecting too much from them and not seeing their growth, and it's getting irritating.

Hee, I love those goofy socks. ♥ It's so David and so Booth. I also love his "cocky" belt buckle. XD I love how David and Emily get to play around with each other on this show, it's so much fun to watch.
Tracy: Dean/Cas Don't Ever Changealexwhitman25 on October 5th, 2009 04:16 am (UTC)
I don't get all the hate either. It makes me sad. Neither of them are my favorite, favorite character, but I still enjoy both of them and think a lot of the hate is just ridiculous. That last scene on the bench was so, so good.

He and Emily really have great chemistry. The role of Booth is, I swear, tailor made for the guy. He gets to do action, comedy, and serious stuff. You can tell he is having a ball. So you just have to catch up on the new episodes then?
noybusiness on October 5th, 2009 03:14 am (UTC)
Which is what I expected Ballard to do. If I were Adelle, I would copy his skills for use in the Actives and I would implant him with triggers in case he tried to betray me. The whole thing could be covered up with a memory of a normal day.
noybusiness on October 5th, 2009 03:11 am (UTC)
The ratings system is backward. I think it may have taken a hit because of the Stargate Universe premiere. Hopefully some people will be switching back now they've seen it.
Renée: Six. It's good to be a Cylon.rogueslayer452 on October 5th, 2009 03:20 am (UTC)
I hope so, and it seems that Fridays are more or less stacked with shows going against each other.
noybusiness on October 5th, 2009 03:34 am (UTC)
I've copied the Ratings! post to a Word file.
Reckless Endangerment to Youthlotuseyes on October 5th, 2009 04:30 am (UTC)
Dear Caprica:
Stop making me regret not being a bigger BSG geek. Seriously. Also don't make me cry everytime I see your promo/hear your music. Seriously.
Love,
Me

in other fannish news--oh Dollhouse. I really wish I had high expectations that people would sit up and be like 'omg WE GOT WHAT WE WANTED' and show support and prove to Fox that taking that branch isn't a bad idea...but I have no hope for people. I'd like to say that the TSCC peeps would have been better had they won out the bid, but I honestly don't think they would have.

Plus I really didn't like this episode of Dollhouse. I think I liked Ballard beating Echo in the season premiere more than I liked this episode. I think the idea behind it--Topher managing to emulate a human instinct so well that it goes beyond their kenning is a GREAT idea, but I don't think they should have messed with the whole 'mother-baby' thing. When Echo said 'I had a baby' to Ballard and to the father 'Can I be his mommy?' it made me a little queasy because it was like a little child saying it and destroying the innocent need to protect and care for something twists my gut.

Also, way to go for choosing an already glitching Doll for such a delicate assignment. I understand that Echo is the central character, but it really didn't occur to either Topher or DeWitt or Saunders or Ballard or ANYONE AT ALL that after the glitches that Echo went through and the 'evolution' she is still going through (which yes DeWitt is aware of if not Topher) signing her up for something that messes with her glands and hormones might not be the best idea?
Renée: DH. Echo. Blank slate.rogueslayer452 on October 5th, 2009 04:47 am (UTC)
Many of the TSCC fans were being snippy at DH from the start, saying that their show was more superior and deserved to get a third season. I don't get the hostility, I loved both shows and while it would've been nice to have them both renewed it was highly improbable (the fact that FOX renewed Dollhouse was quite a miracle, to say the least).

I think I liked Ballard beating Echo in the season premiere more than I liked this episode.

I understood his implications since it was a tactic used to have her stop glitching, but I don't think he would do that every single time. I liked Ballard doing his investigation this episode with examining the chair, the technology, studying the way people phrase their words (Topher, Madeline) and using that as clues and hints to understand what is happening. I liked that about him, and I like the bond between him and Echo. Some people don't, but I think it's sweet that they have this partnership and mutual understanding of what is happening around them.

but I don't think they should have messed with the whole 'mother-baby' thing. When Echo said 'I had a baby' to Ballard and to the father 'Can I be his mommy?' it made me a little queasy because it was like a little child saying it and destroying the innocent need to protect and care for something twists my gut.

It was meant to be that way, I think. It's showing us that despite everything the Dollhouse is doing, imprinting and wiping, the morally gray areas of the organization is thinking that they can erase what they've imprinted into a doll. But the feelings, the emotions left behind, especially to a self-aware active like Echo, are the powerful after-effects that they aren't considering. With that, it's meant to make us uncomfortable with what is being done to these people, and I felt for Echo here. She believed she had that baby and the feeling of loving and cherishing the child was so real, she understands she was programmed to have those feelings but she doesn't understand why. It's heartbreaking.

As for assigning Echo for that assignment even with the glitching: It proves that the Dollhouse is an even more flawed organization than ever, because they have a business to run and unless an Active is completely broken they aren't out of service. And, isn't Echo the most requested Active amongst the others? That would also explain it. But we know that Adelle wants to study Echo's evolving state, and that can also be very dangerous.
Reckless Endangerment to Youthlotuseyes on October 5th, 2009 05:01 am (UTC)
I never understood the hostility either...I mean I'm a fan of both shows as well, and yeah both coming back would have meant a party friday night for me, but you know I'm content with the fact that at least TSCC got a good run considering its Fox we're talking about

I've never been as uncomfortable with Dollhouse and its morally greyness as a lot of folks have been (I mean considering some of the stuff I advocated in my teen years, the Dollhouse can almost seem altruistic at times...), but I guess the mother's bond thing is just a touchy subject for me.

See I thought that Adelle also wanted to make sure that Echo wouldn't turn into an Alpha though, but I guess her agenda is still rather murky in many ways.

Oh but am I alone in thinking that when Madeline (who's outfit, I'm sorry, did not suit her at all) got knocked in the noggin its gonna mess with her and start her glitching? I can't think of why else they'd show that (if they wanted Ballard and her to have an alone talk, they could have contrived other ways) and emphasis Adelle's concern that there is some sort of hidden damage waiting to surface in Madeline's head. Which maybe ties into whatever future thing happens to November that Sierra/Victor mentioned in Epitaph One?
Renée: Six. It's good to be a Cylon.rogueslayer452 on October 5th, 2009 04:58 pm (UTC)
That's exactly what I'm thinking. At least TSCC got a chance to tell their story in two seasons and left it with a cliffhanger that seems rather satisfactory to everything they've done, which is something that most canceled shows rarely have the chance to do. The fans should consider themselves lucky to have that.

See I thought that Adelle also wanted to make sure that Echo wouldn't turn into an Alpha though, but I guess her agenda is still rather murky in many ways.

I've been very curious about Adelle's intentions for Echo. She seems rather attached to her, other than thinking she's special, and last season she believed Echo would serve a great deal of purpose for the Dollhouse in general, particularly with her evolving. After the encounter Alpha she probably knows Echo will not become another Alpha, but I'm thinking there's something else up her sleeve. It's quite intriguing.

You may be right about having Madeline, since she would have to serve to some purpose of her return than just checkups. I have no doubt she'll be glitching and remembering bits and pieces of her engagements, particularly with Paul, and I wonder what will happen after she figures it out?

who's outfit, I'm sorry, did not suit her at all

I beg to differ. I thought she looked fucking fierce in her new attire. It's different than the flowy-flowery frufru she wore last season, and it definitely suits her.
Reckless Endangerment to Youthlotuseyes on October 5th, 2009 06:06 pm (UTC)
I hope they address the fact that Adelle has seemed inordinately interested in Echo this entire time. I was hoping it would have been addressed last season in the episode with Caroline's back story, but...well. Not so much.

I liked Madeline's outfit when she met with Adelle in her penthouse, that was looking good on her. The outfit she wore for the check-up though made her shoulders look entirely too broad and did nothing for her figure in my opinion. But then tastes are different yes?

I want to see Paul's face if she glitches in front of him and starts acting like Mellie. I really do. Agent Helo Ballard always gets this scared rabbit look that I love to see whenever he's confronted with something he isn't sure how to handle (character wise that is).

And I really hope they tell us more about what Madeline meant by 'I'm not happy, just no longer sad'. Did they accelerate the grieving process? Or just remove, somehow, any depressing feelings attached to her remembering her daughter's death? I mean its obviously within the scope of the abilities of the Chair, but does it effect her memories of her daughter otherwise?
Renéerogueslayer452 on October 5th, 2009 06:44 pm (UTC)
I hope they address the fact that Adelle has seemed inordinately interested in Echo this entire time. I was hoping it would have been addressed last season in the episode with Caroline's back story, but...well. Not so much.

Agreed. I also want them to address the choosing process, because it's been implied that Adelle and the rest were tracking Caroline down for two years, which makes the case even more interesting on why they choose certain individuals. Adelle sees something special in her, in Echo, and I want this to be expanded which I have a feeling it might this season as we get deeper into the mythology of the show.

I also want to see how Paul handles the Madeline situation if/when she starts glitching. That should be interesting to watch.

Did they accelerate the grieving process? Or just remove, somehow, any depressing feelings attached to her remembering her daughter's death? I mean its obviously within the scope of the abilities of the Chair, but does it effect her memories of her daughter otherwise?

That's something I've been intrigued by when these people sign their contracts, that their pain is just magically erased from their lives after five years. How can this be? Because it seems like after being placed inside a wedge and then replaced it would feel like no time has gone by at all, how does this help the person and their problems? I'm puzzled and curious about this, something I hope will be further explained as the show goes on.
rawthorne on October 5th, 2009 09:01 am (UTC)
I'm not the biggest Eliza Dushku fan. That said, I think Echo is amazing and her storylines really touch me this season. They seem a heck of a lot more human and relatable than the dominatrix outfit last season. I can't but root for her.

Questions that's been on my mind: Do you think she would be able to tell Boyd these things? Do you think Echo could have trusted Boyd with the stuff she's telling Paul?

I've been wondering that too. She seems to have replaced Boyd with Paul and objectively I'd say that's both good and bad. Paul isn't her knight in shinning armor. He won't save her. On the contrary, episode one he's the one using her to get what he wants. Would Boyd have done the same? I don't know, I almost think his moral compass works a little better.

does Adelle know of Saunder's departure? How could that have gone down, since she technically is an imprinted doll, wouldn't that be something to be concerned about? Moreover, how could the security in the Dollhouse overlook Echo leaving the premises if she were to get inside a car (with its keys still in the ignition, mind you) and just drive off? Makes for interesting questions about how liable the Dollhouse is....

That's been bugging me a lot. I think they need Dominic back as chief of security. Granted, with Claire it could be part of the experiment - and Boyd might be covering for her - to see how far a fully reconstructed personality can function. Can she go beyond her phobias, can she begin to learn rather than perform repetitive, pre-programmed tasks?

As for Echo escaping, though, there I have little excuses for the Dollhouse. Way to endanger the client, the active, your employees and risk exposure all at the same time.
Renéerogueslayer452 on October 5th, 2009 06:17 pm (UTC)
I'm not the biggest Eliza Dushku fan. That said, I think Echo is amazing and her storylines really touch me this season. They seem a heck of a lot more human and relatable than the dominatrix outfit last season. I can't but root for her.

Precisely. I've been rooting for Echo since the beginning, and I've seen many people irritated by her and saying that there's no connection with her and the audience. But this season they've made her story more poignant than before that, after this episode in particular, how can you not feel for her? I think they're doing a stellar job at making all these characters (from Echo and Whiskey to Topher) more and more human and relatable.

Would Boyd have done the same? I don't know, I almost think his moral compass works a little better.

I'm actually interested in Boyd's background and how he managed to get tangled up in with the Dollhouse in the first place. He seems to understand what they're doing is wrong, but from the finale last season there was some conversation between him and Ballard that made it seem like they were one in the same, only that Paul was going after unrealistic goals. And now it there's a distance between them so, I don't know.

with Claire it could be part of the experiment - and Boyd might be covering for her - to see how far a fully reconstructed personality can function. Can she go beyond her phobias, can she begin to learn rather than perform repetitive, pre-programmed tasks?

That's what I'm thinking, as well. Her going out into the real world was a huge step, but could this also compromise the Dollhouse is suggesting that having such a solid imprinting in an Active that they may soon learn to overcome their programming? Perhaps that is the experiment that is being taken place, and maybe Claire is underneath strong surveillance because of it. Not like she's a threat, of course, but it could be very possible that since Echo is evolving that other Actives could as well and this sudden realization of self-awareness can reveal the truth to the outside world that their operations may very well be compromised.