Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My Review of Dollhouse's 2x05: "The Public Eye"

Written by Andrew Chambliss
Directed by David Solomon

Echo (to Cindy): “You just woke up a lot of people and they all think you’re a bitch.”

During the Christmas period I had considered momentarily dropping this series, despite the fact that this season has risen in quality. A part of me wishes that I never took it on to review because the cancellation failed to remotely shock me. Was there anyone who was shocked by it?

Fortunately while this show may be on its last legs, at least it’s going out fighting. For starters, Daniel Perrin’s little one man campaign to expose a Dollhouse takes some interesting twists and turns. The first one being to draft in Madeline to go on record to testify against the LA branch.

As soon as I saw that, dread hit me. I like Madeline/Mellie/November and while she should help in ridding the world of the Dollhouse, it doesn’t mean that I want to see her bumped off as a result of doing so. Even Paul was worried about her well being, despite Adelle not looking as concerned as he did.

Mellie’s public appearance gave the media a face for the Dollhouse as opposed to all the hearsay that has gone before. But it also put Daniel in the firing line too. If Rossum couldn’t kill actually kill him, there would be other ways of trying to keep his silence, yeah? Such as Echo going undercover as a call girl.

It’s a good job I don’t partake in drinking games when watching this show; otherwise my bladder would be beyond repair every time Echo wore something skimpy. I’m beginning to wonder if Joss Whedon wishes he had just done his own version of Secret Diary Of A Call Girl at this point.

Dushku’s on fine enough form though and it’s nice to see her and Alexis Denisof actually interact with one another too, though surprisingly I had to remind myself that I was watching Echo and Daniel and not Faith and Wesley. Daniel’s reaction to being blackmailed by a sex tape came as no surprise though.

He figured it was Rossum’s piss poor attempt to get him to back off and quickly deduced that Echo was an Active. As soon as he realised that, he wanted to save her. Quizzing her about her family was one way of proving his little but the best part was the realisation that Daniel was also a Doll.

This was one of those excellent turns of the episode. From the way Daniel had talked about Cindy, it was easy to assume that she was a sleeper Doll who would probably kill her husband or Madeline when programmed. Paul even attempted to get Madeline away from Cindy’s clutches by using Topher’s little disrupter. All it did was reveal that Cindy wasn’t a Doll but Daniel’s handler.

Okay, Daniel being a Doll shouldn’t be that exciting either but what it was the fact that he really is Daniel Perrin, only with an upgrade and a sneaky game plan by Rossum. Daniel was programmed to believe that he was going against Rossum, when in actual fact he was aiding them. Now that I didn’t see coming.

But the problem is, how can this not backfire on Rossum? I know the LA Dollhouse has seemingly caused them more problems than usual but it seems like it’s a loose cannon that could easily turn. Ugh, I almost sound like I feel for Rossum and I really don’t. Especially Matthew, who’s still a vile prick from the last time we saw him.

Another interesting edition in this episode was both Daniel and Echo’s flashing moments. Daniel had to come to the crushing truth that his marriage was a lie and that he was being used and Echo just continued to remember many of her past engagements. The fight scene she had with Cindy though was a lot of fun.

Then there’s also Bennett. I’m not the bigger fan of Summer Glau and she does seem to only play two types of roles – bad ass and/or crazed but she was fun enough in this episode. I’m wondering exactly what Echo/Caroline has done to piss Bennett that she opted for some torture fun at the end of the episode? I don’t think we’ll have to wait too long for the reveal though.

Speaking of reveals, how interesting was Paul’s last scene with Madeline? She talked about having the freedom to make her own mistakes but at the same time, she was unaware that she still had some architecture inside. It’s not that much of a shock that no-one technically escapes the Dollhouse.

Also in “The Public Eye”

Sci-Fi UK have moved the episodes back into their 9pm timeslot, thankfully without the editing that we had to endure for the first season.

Madeline: “My name is Madeline Costly. Three years of my life are gone, stolen by the Dollhouse.”

The actress who played Kilo (the Doll Topher tested his disrupter on) is Maurissa Tanchereon, who writes for the series.

Adelle: “Any sympathy for Mr Hearn would be seriously misplaced. He was a serial rapist.”
Paul: “I wasn’t thinking about him.”

Daniel: “You’re a Doll.”
Echo: “Thanks. You’re cute too.”

Echo went under the guise of Bree for this episode.

Topher: “Uh, guys. Echo’s just kidnapped a conspiracy.”

Paul: “But you’re not a Doll.”
Cindy: “Because this thing doesn’t work on me? What the hell is this?”

The Dollhouse in DC seems to name their Actives after Greek gods. There was a mention of both Aphrodite and Hades.

Daniel (to Adelle): “Yay, you don’t want me dead. I feel like we’re bonding.”

Madeline: “Who was I that made you so obsessed with me?”
Paul: “Now’s not the time.”
Madeline: “It’s all you get.”

With all this furore from Rossum, I’m surprised that Claire hasn’t factored into things yet. Maybe she’s Plan B if Madeline backs out.

Madeline (to Paul): “You said you freed me. When someone’s free, they get to make mistakes. Am I free?”

Bennett: “The Senator doesn’t beat his wife. The Senator loves his wife.”
Cindy: “Lucky wife.”

No Victor and Sierra in this episode.

This is a very good episode. “The Public Eye” certainly keeps things on a rather even keel for the show and the shocks are good but it’s really the second that notches the tension up a bit. In eight weeks time for UK viewers, this will be all over.

Rating: 8 out of 10.


Nat said...

I quite enjoyed this episode. I already knew that Perrin was Doll but the reveal was good especially the reveal that he was actually Daniel Perrin.

The Madeline stuff was interesting as well especially the interaction between Paul and Madeline.

I like that the machinations of the Dollhouse are starting to be revealed.
It was also intriguing how different the Washington dollhouse was to the LA one. Don't know why but I wasn't expecting that.

Echo's fight scene was great one of the better ones they've done!

shawnlunn2002 said...

We've only got eight episodes left, so it'll be interesting to see how things are going to end for the show.

I know it's unlikely but I'm hoping that Madeline does survive. I can wish, right?