Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Review of Dollhouse's 2x11: "Getting Closer"

Written And Directed by Tim Minear

Caroline (re blowing up Rossum): “Are you sure you’re up to this?”
Bennett: “We’re in it together, right?”
Caroline: “Til the end.”

And those fan boys who wanted an episode with loads of scenes between Eliza Dushku and Summer Glau; I bet this one must have been a godsend for them. Well, at least until a certain someone got shot and not by an expected person. This episode delivered a lot in terms of shocks and thrills.

First off all, some much needed flashbacks to the friendship between Caroline and Bennett helped this episode tremendously. Okay, so Bennett being a socially awkward young lady who came under Caroline’s wing was a little predictable – most of the flashbacks/back stories we’ve gotten have been but it doesn’t stop the flow of things nonetheless.

Overall, though this episode actually did a lot more to sort of endear me to Bennett than her previous two did. She wanted someone to accept her and ultimately thought that Caroline was that person. Even when she realised that Caroline was using her to get to Rossum, Bennett went out on a limb for her.

In “The Left Hand” the flashbacks where Caroline abandoned Bennett to her fate made her look like a cold hearted bitch but with this episode, it seemed like there was a method to Caroline’s madness. In a screwed up way, she actually protected Bennett from being punished by Rossum but Bennett obviously didn’t see it that way.

Persuading Bennett to help to piece together Caroline after the wedge went missing was going to be hard work. Kidnapping her wasn’t the best choice either but putting her in a room with Topher seemed to show that she’s not devoid of human emotion.

It’s weird watching Topher and Bennett because they’re both so emotionally stunted as people and yet their flirtation with each other is surprisingly cute. They’re probably the only people who in real life could be with each other as well but even Topher wasn’t enough to get Bennett to want to help with Caroline.

That’s where Echo came into the mix brilliantly. She no more wanted Caroline back than Bennett but she knew it needed to be done and offering Bennett the opportunity for payback later on was a good way of getting the one armed creature (blame Adelle for that one) to co-operate.

But of course there would be another spanner in the bloody works. This episode wasn’t going to end without someone dying and Bennett had to be that person. In a lot of Whedon shows, we’ve had some rather impersonal deaths from time to time so the only thing surprising about Bennett getting a bullet to the head (apart from Topher’s distress) was the fact that the shooter was Claire.

She’s been absent for nine episodes and Claire suddenly turned killer and boy, did she manage to get out of that building as quickly as possible? I know security’s crap in the Dollhouse but not one person even attempted to stop her from leaving the building. Topher I could understand but surely someone could’ve made an effort?

How did this happen to Claire? Well, she’s been living with Boyd for long enough and there was ample opportunity for Rossum to get to her, especially given that Boyd is a part of Rossum. The mysterious guy who betrayed Clyde and sent him to the Attic and I can’t even get angry or disappointed about it.

I know I should because the show has gone to great lengths to portray Boyd as a good guy and also as a paternal figure to Echo but I don’t have it in me. I guess Boyd’s just better at keeping secrets and given that there are only two episodes left, I figure that he won’t be a survivor anyways.

The final scene with him and Caroline though was delightfully perfect. Adelle and Dominic thought that they were sending her to her death but instead Boyd showed some affection towards Caroline and wanted her to change things. Even when Echo was becoming Caroline again in our time, he still looked at her with paternal care. Maybe he’s Richard Wilkins like.

Apart from the all the obvious, the only other highlights in the episode was Dominic being put back in the Attic for his own good (please let him in the last two and survive) and Echo getting Tony and Priya out of the Dollhouse. I also liked that Adelle got Topher to change all the Actives back to their original selves as well.

Also in “Getting Closer”

In the final flashback, the young man talking to Caroline said that he was the fifth version of Clyde.

Echo (re Caroline): “I was glad when I heard she was missing.”
Adelle: “It’s only natural.”
Echo: “But I didn’t take it.”
Adelle: “I only considered it briefly.”

There’s been a really fantastic dynamic with Echo, Tony and Priya in these last few episodes. I love that she keeps trying to get them out and they still want to help her.

Adelle: “Damn romantic fool. I’m surrounded by them.”
Boyd (re Paul/Madeline): “He couldn’t just leave her there.”

Bennett: “I was trying to kill your Active at the time.”
Topher: “Ah, you had your reasons.”

I’m not surprised that Paul broke Madeline out of the DC Dollhouse but I was a little surprised to have her reactivated as Mellie again.

Boyd: “Are you scared?”
Claire: “Not anymore.”

Caroline: “You’re not pissed because I used you?”
Bennett: “I’m hurt because you won’t.”
Caroline: “Want to blow up a building?”

Paul’s connection to Echo was removed and we got more flashbacks on Whiskey, post being attacked by Alpha.

Adelle: “Put him back in the Attic, it’s his best hope.”
Dominic: “No, you bitch, I’d rather die.”
Adelle: “I’d rather you didn’t.”

Caroline: “And I’m just gonna trust you?”
Boyd: “With your life.”

Sci-Fi UK made the unwise decision to air the final three episodes of the series as a triple so you’re going to have to wait for reviews on the final two.

With episodes like “Getting Closer”, this show is certainly ending on a high that I didn’t think was possible during it’s debut. Even now I’m not sad about the series ending but I do love the standard of episodes we’ve been getting a result.

Rating: 9 out of 10.


Nat said...

Personally I loved that they showed at least this episode and the nest one back to back as I don't think I could've waited to see the next episode after the Boyd reveal.
I do take it from your comment though that you haven't seen the next episode (?) so I'll try and keep this spoiler free though the episode blended together a little!

Liked the flashbacks though as you said they were predictable.
What wasn't predictable was Claire shooting Bennett (poor Topher, their flirting and brief moments together were so so cute!) and Boyd being the head of Rossum.
As the episode went on I dimly knew that it would have to be someone we knew as if it was a randomer, it wouldn't have the same impact. Didn't think it would be Boyd, though given the characters, there aren't many other possibilities (maybe Alpha, before he was Alpha, but that wouldn't work as well). Personally it makes me a little sad that Boyd is evil, at the beginning of the show he was one of the few good characters, though Joss has completely managed to turn that on its head.

It was good to see the Epitaph flashback used here and explained. I'd like to believe that the relationship between Boyd and Claire, was kinda real even if he is evil.

Overall it was a great episode, and I would say the next one is probably just as good, looking forward to your review on it.

shawnlunn2002 said...

I'm gonna try to watch The Hollow Man and Epitaph Two: The Return after I've seen/reviewed the Being Human finale and if I can find the original pilot, Echo, I could do that as well.

Have you heard that Eliza and Joss are working on a movie, not for the series?

Nat said...

I'd heard something of those rumours, I'd be surprised if they panned out honestly, these things rarely do.