Friday, January 8, 2010

Review - Dollhouse Season 2 Episode 11 Getting Closer

What the hell just happened? My mind is spinning, trying to comprehend all that happened. With two episodes left, I hope all questions will be answered. The Caroline and Bennett stories were both resolved, and with two episodes left, I think that's all we'll learn about the two.

In a series of flashbacks, we see Caroline as a college student already investigating Rossum, breaking into the LA Dollhouse, and finding files of herself and Bennett. She befriends Bennett who later finds her in the closet. They set off to blow up a Rossum building, and Bennett is caught in the explosion when Caroline tells her to stop the explosion after finding what I presume is the attic of the Tuscon Dollhouse. Eliza Dushku again didn't do a good job, especially with the superb performances we gotten, but I could at least tell that Caroline was supposed to be the rebel that wouldn't stop until the end, even if that meant casting off others.

Tim Minear did a great job showing the doom and gloom of what was going to happen while keeping the slight bit of hope. Mellie's return to Ballard's arms with Echo looking on, and Ivy being forced out by Topher despite her insistence have different layers that most shows lack. Sierra and Victor running off together before the end of the world would be a fitting end to their saga, but the door was left wide open for them to return, and nothing good can come from that.

The huge twist at the end--that Boyd is the Big Bad--basically turned the show on its head. In the beginning of the show, Boyd was joining the Dollhose, and still wasn't sure about it. He went along whatever happened, but sometimes he would show flashes of uncertainty. His friendly, trusting demeanor to Echo made us like him, and up until now, we've had little reason not to trust him. Now we learn he's was one of the top guys at Rossum, and dedicated everything specifically to get Caroline. I didn't see it coming, and I don't remember him ever being suspicious though maybe being too clean is a suspicion unto itself.

Dr. Saunders shooting Bennett was quite shocking with the red mist floating in the air, and the calm before the single shot. At first, I was confused, but considering that Boyd is a bad guy, I think it's safe to say she bad also (though I really shouldn't assume anything about this show). Before Bennett died, she and Topher were happy. They'd just kissed and bam, she's dead. This is Joss Whedon we're talking about; he doesn't pull punches. People who've watched his shows should expect stuff like that, but he manages to pull it off each time that is still interesting and shocking.

In terms of the usual metaphysical questions brought up, "Getting Closer" had none of that. Rushing full speed towards the end, the episode resolved a few stories, had several poignant scenes, and was chalk full of wild twists, setting up the final episodes. My fear is that with the Rossum people already in the Dollhouse, the next episode will turn into an actionfest where the moral dilemmas are ignored for more explosive fighting scenes. I'll admit I don't like the series finale of Buffy that much. There were some good emotional scenes, but the episode was all about fighting, and far too much time was spent on it. Dollhouse is a much different show tonally and thematically, so it probably won't happen.

Looking at the press releases for the next two episodes, I wonder if next week's will be the conclusion to everything that's happening in the present while the series finale will serve to wrap up Epitaph One. Assuming that that's true, there's one episode left that will attempt to show Boyd's deceit from the beginning, and the importance of Caroline/Echo. As for the other characters, there will probably be a minor conclusion, but nothing like what we'd get if the series continued. Damn you television gods!

Dollhouse has come a long way since the beginning episodes which were in no uncertain terms bad. The evolving nature of the show eventually settled on having Echo find her identity with plenty of screentime dedicated to the other characters. The engagement of the week stories eventually ended, and in the last half or so of season 2, there was a compelling story arc that elevated the show to another level. It went from near the bottom of shows I anticipated to the top. I'll be thoroughly satisfied with the series once it's over, and would like to acknowledge how amazing Fox was by renewing the show in the first place. For that, I will always be thankful. I will, however, be disappointed we won't be getting the top notch episodes that have become commonplace.

Score: 9.5/10


Related Posts with Thumbnails