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RECAP: 1x11, "Briar Rose" (Dollhouse)

  • May. 2nd, 2009 at 3:00 PM
lily_lovely: Boyd is calling you on your bullshit (boyd)
I know, I know. What is this recap-posting Lily is doing?

I haven't posted one since Man on the Street. I've never had time to do it right after I watch, and then I'd get too lazy to do it the next day. BUT I think this episode was the best yet, full of crazy-ass surprises and general awesome-ness.

Spoilers through "Briar Rose", but none for the promo.

X-posted to [livejournal.com profile] dollverse, [livejournal.com profile] dollhouse_tv, [livejournal.com profile] blank_dolls


Here's my thoughts, in no particular coherence or order:

1) I think Mellie was a bit too histrionic - it felt awkward and weird. I'm not sure if she was supposed to seem fake or not, and it just felt off.

2) Paul was at his creepiest - which I loved. This ep really dug into how disturbing he really is, I think; only wanting to save Caroline and not caring about anyone else, how he was convinced that Dolls were just brainwashed and that he could snap her out of it, his absolute and disturbing vehemence about going through with it, his "IT'S WRONG" stance, the looks on his face when he was fighting Boyd, the look on his face when he thinks he's going to save Caroline.

It all made things even more morally gray; as in, who's really right here, is Paul the good guy or not? I love how everyone's pretty much on the same level - no one gets to be heroic or demonic, there are no winners or losers, none of that crap.

3) I thought the Briar Rose/Sleeping Beauty parallel was absolutely wonderful. They could have gone more subtle with it in places, but that was just a minor thing. It emphasized through the whole fairy-tale-moral-absolute thing just how fucked up the sitch was, especially Paul, and it was tied-in in lots of nice places, like with Alpha and the girl (Susan). It also gave the ep just this really nice aesthetic feel - I can't describe it, but I loved it.

And am I the only one who noticed that Susan's position at the beginning of on of the scenes looked EXACTLY like Caroline in one of her talk-to-Adelle-signing-up-shots? With the head down and in her hand and looking at the table and the hair kind of in her face?

4) The engagement with the little girl was absolutely ADORABLE. I actually almost started crying the second time I watched, when Echo was saying the stuff about being a victim and all. It was all very inspiring and cute and nice. And I thought it raised some VERY interesting points about consent with the Dolls; if the message is that it's not Susan's fault for being raped (which is OBVS true in that sitch), then applying the message to the Dolls...does that mean it's not their fault for anything they do when they're at the Dollhouse and not sentient, even though they signed up for it?

It also raised a question in my mind - how would you feel about having your body used, with your knowledge, for humanitarian/"good" purposes like this particular engagement, if you were certain it would only be for those purposes? Would you let them do it so you could forget and so you could help others, or would it still be a violation of your body? I'm personally not sure, but I think it's an interesting question. I love how much this ep made me think, really.


5) Alan Tudyk? Is the bomb. I've only seen him as Walsh, and he totally broke out of that mold for me as pothead/evil genius. I love how he switched so convincingly between them, and how he totally convinced me with his pothead act that he wasn't Alpha. I'd heard rumor that he was, but I was so drawn into his performance that I just assumed it was another casting switch, and I was legitimately surprised when Claire called him Alpha.

As the pothead, he was pretty much adorable. I loved his whole 'carrot plantation' thing, the way he talked, his interactions with Paul.

And am I the only one who immediately thought 'buttsex' when he was in that awkward position when he fell into Paul's arms?

...my slash goggles are permanently on, no joke. Like when Paul brought the Active over and asked him to take off his clothes, instead of thinking that he was going to use them as a disguise, my immediate thought was, "WAIT WHY IS PAUL RAPING THIS ACTIVE WTF." XD

As Alpha, he was absolutely CREEPY and wonderful. I'm so excited for what's going to happen with him in the next ep, it's not even funny.

6) Claire and Victor both gave adorable and "I want to hug you!" performances with the scared-of-Alpha stuff.

7) Sierra was SO SEXY in her suit thing, and being all smart. Rawr. I am possibly even more in love with her than with Eliza. Cause, damn. THAT GIRL IS FINE. :P

8) The Boyd and Ballard fight scene was so intense. Damn, I loved it.

9) Echo's whole remembering thing was nice. I liked that, yupyup.

10) Victor being Laurence, Adelle being Adelle.

11) Oh! How could I forget? Topher and Ivy's scene totally made me ship them, or at least unrequited Ivy love for him. It also humanized him even more for me - I don't see how people could possibly hate him after this ep, with that and his upsettedness at returned-from-the-Attic!Laurence.

12) The suspense. I CANNOT WAIT for the next ep. I am sooo effing excited, no lie.

Which is why I ask you to please not spoil it for me, kay? Thanks.

Comments

raynedanser: (joss'verse - dollhouse - no power in the)
[personal profile] raynedanser wrote:
May. 2nd, 2009 07:53 pm (UTC)
5) Alan Tudyk? Is the bomb

TOTALLY. The obvious change when he went from Carrot Plantation Owner to Alpha was... beyond brilliant. The manic expression when he was going through the security protocols on the computer and you just didn't know yet - is he Alpha? Or pothead dude?

10) Victor being Laurence, Adelle being Adelle.

I got GOOSEBUMPS during that scene. That actor captured Reed Diamond's vocal style as Dominic so perfectly, I did a double take. It was so eerie.

with that and his upsettedness at returned-from-the-Attic!Laurence.

Topher was so clearly completely freaked out by the exchange.
lily_lovely: Eliza Dushku looking dead sexy (Default)
[personal profile] lily_lovely wrote:
May. 2nd, 2009 07:58 pm (UTC)
The manic expression when he was going through the security protocols on the computer and you just didn't know yet - is he Alpha? Or pothead dude?

THIS.

That actor captured Reed Diamond's vocal style as Dominic so perfectly, I did a double take.

Omigod, exactly. I was so impressed.

raynedanser: (joss'verse - dollhouse - dominatrix)
[personal profile] raynedanser wrote:
May. 2nd, 2009 08:06 pm (UTC)
Omigod, exactly. I was so impressed.

So was I. I can't imagine how much he must have sat with Reed listening to him, practicing. It was ... incredible.
lily_lovely: Eliza Dushku looking dead sexy (Default)
[personal profile] lily_lovely wrote:
May. 2nd, 2009 08:15 pm (UTC)
Yeah, foreal. I actually at first was like, "Did they do a voiceover or something?"

Thanks for commenting, BTW! Forgot that part earlier. XD
raynedanser: (joss'verse - dollhouse - just dance)
[personal profile] raynedanser wrote:
May. 3rd, 2009 12:10 am (UTC)
I actually at first was like, "Did they do a voiceover or something?"

Same here. I actually did a double take trying to tell because he was THAT GOOD.

Here's another thought. He's always been really ... negative, shall we say, towards the dolls (he being Dominic). And he referred to Doctor Saunders as Whiskey, even though they'd said he was asking for a drink. Some people think that was Saunders' doll name. What if he WAS referring to her by her doll name and what if he was her handler at one time before he was head of security? And maybe his removal of being her handler is part of his attitude towards the dolls?

And you're welcome! :-D

Edited 2009-05-03 12:11 am (UTC)
lily_lovely: Eliza Dushku looking dead sexy (Default)
[personal profile] lily_lovely wrote:
May. 3rd, 2009 06:19 pm (UTC)
O.O I seriously hadn't caught that! I remember just being like, "...no shit he wants a drink, he just said whiskey, I'm not stupid." I so didn't catch that that's a doll name!

And very intriguing, indeed! Although, TBH, I think the they're-real-nope-they're-a-doll! thing would NOT work a third time. It would just seem like that's the only real surprise they had left.

...so maybe Whiskey's just like a SECCCRRRET doll or something. O.O

Thanks for pointing that out!
raynedanser: (joss'verse - dollhouse - freedom)
[personal profile] raynedanser wrote:
May. 3rd, 2009 06:24 pm (UTC)
It's also entirely possible and I'm wrong and just blowing smoke out my butt, too. ;-) I don't know for sure that Whiskey was actually a doll's name, but judging by HOW he said it and how Saunders reacted to it, I'm guessing. ;-)
lily_lovely: Eliza Dushku looking dead sexy (Default)
[personal profile] lily_lovely wrote:
May. 3rd, 2009 06:31 pm (UTC)
Well, it is the W in the NATO alphabet, so it at least IS a doll's name. What it means, though...
raynedanser: (joss'verse - dollhouse - no power in the)
[personal profile] raynedanser wrote:
May. 3rd, 2009 06:37 pm (UTC)
Oh good point! And Joss isn't usually one to drop useless breadcrumbs, so I'll be anxious to see what, if anything, comes of this. ;-)

Also, I'd like to add you, if that's ok?
lily_lovely: Eliza Dushku looking dead sexy (Default)
[personal profile] lily_lovely wrote:
May. 3rd, 2009 06:41 pm (UTC)
Yeah...I wouldn't think this would just be dropped and then left. Unless it would be mentioned in the second season and then there is none.

Yeah, go for it! I like people. :D
raynedanser: (misc - Whedonist)
[personal profile] raynedanser wrote:
May. 3rd, 2009 06:43 pm (UTC)
Right. Kinda like, oh, Firefly? *sigh* We never did really find out the secret of Shepherd Book.

And yay! *adds*
snowpuppies: (Default)
[personal profile] snowpuppies wrote:
May. 2nd, 2009 09:17 pm (UTC)
does that mean it's not their fault for anything they do when they're at the Dollhouse and not sentient, even though they signed up for it?

This kinda echos (heh) Paul's statement about there being no such thing as consensual slavery, methinks.

I liked creepy!Paul. Wash Alan was SuPER-FAnTAStiC. Carrots! And the whole Briar Rose theme was well done, I thought.

The world is full of morons who aren't watching our show. *sigh*
lily_lovely: Eliza Dushku looking dead sexy (Default)
[personal profile] lily_lovely wrote:
May. 3rd, 2009 06:11 pm (UTC)
This kinda echos (heh) Paul's statement about there being no such thing as consensual slavery, methinks.

Oh, you punny fool. XD

But I agree.

Wash Alan was SuPER-FAnTAStiC.

IKR! & didn't he look rather shmexy in pajamas?

...and if this were RL, there would be an immediate chorus of, "YOU'RE GAY YOU DON'T KNOW THESE THINGSSSSS." :D
snowpuppies: (Default)
[personal profile] snowpuppies wrote:
May. 3rd, 2009 08:28 pm (UTC)
Well, gay doesn't mean blind, yeah?
lily_lovely: Eliza Dushku looking dead sexy (Default)
[personal profile] lily_lovely wrote:
May. 3rd, 2009 11:06 pm (UTC)
*eyeroll* Exactly. They actually mostly say this after I say a guy is unattractive, because I obviously wouldn't know about that.

But seriously, that House guy DOES look like a creepy old drunk hobo! No one can convince me otherwise. *headshake*
snowpuppies: (Default)
[personal profile] snowpuppies wrote:
May. 4th, 2009 05:57 am (UTC)
that House guy DOES look like a creepy old drunk hobo!

God, yes!
lily_lovely: Eliza Dushku looking dead sexy (Default)
[personal profile] lily_lovely wrote:
May. 4th, 2009 12:34 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm so excited you agree! Everyone I talk to calls me a liar. XD
lily_lovely: Eliza Dushku looking dead sexy (Default)
[personal profile] lily_lovely wrote:
May. 3rd, 2009 06:14 pm (UTC)
Oh, and YES to the morons. I really really want it to get renewed for another season, now!
amalnahurriyeh: Dollhouse: Sierra, with text "geek squad" (sierra)
[personal profile] amalnahurriyeh wrote:
May. 3rd, 2009 01:27 am (UTC)
(here via dollhouse_tv...hope you don't mind if I subscribe to you...)

This episode was a maaaaaaaaaaa zing. Basically, just word to everything you've said.

I've always loved how the multiple threads in an ep interconnect (Needs is great like this), but this one really hit it perfectly with the Briar Rose thing.
lily_lovely: Eliza Dushku looking dead sexy (Default)
[personal profile] lily_lovely wrote:
May. 3rd, 2009 06:22 pm (UTC)
(here via dollhouse_tv...hope you don't mind if I subscribe to you...)

Oh, no problem at all! That's what I'm here for. Well, as long as you don't mind reading the occasional recap and mostly Dollhouse/Buffy fic. :D

And I agree about multiple threads. SO much more interesting than just one plot line at a time, no?
obiwahn: A photo of the character Echo, from Dollhouse. (Default)
[personal profile] obiwahn wrote:
May. 3rd, 2009 01:51 am (UTC)
I think Mellie was a bit too histrionic - it felt awkward and weird. I'm not sure if she was supposed to seem fake or not, and it just felt off.

I agree, though we have to remember that Mellie was programmed only to love Paul. Outside of him she has no purpose.

This ep really dug into how disturbing he really is, I think; only wanting to save Caroline and not caring about anyone else, how he was convinced that Dolls were just brainwashed and that he could snap her out of it, his absolute and disturbing vehemence about going through with it, his "IT'S WRONG" stance, the looks on his face when he was fighting Boyd, the look on his face when he thinks he's going to save Caroline.

Yes!

And I agree about Alan. He knocked my socks off.

lily_lovely: Eliza Dushku looking dead sexy (Default)
[personal profile] lily_lovely wrote:
May. 3rd, 2009 06:29 pm (UTC)
I agree, though we have to remember that Mellie was programmed only to love Paul. Outside of him she has no purpose.

Yeah, true. I just kind of went, "Really?" when her sentences were getting all blendy. I can't remember exactly what she was saying, but something like, "You're leaving me don't you know I can't live without you?"

& yaaay Alan! :P
deird1: Fred looking pretty and thoughful (Default)
[personal profile] deird1 wrote:
May. 3rd, 2009 06:26 am (UTC)
*flails even more*

THIS EPISODE WAS AWESOME.


I'd heard rumor that he was, but I was so drawn into his performance that I just assumed it was another casting switch, and I was legitimately surprised when Claire called him Alpha.

Heh. Ditto.


Cause, damn. THAT GIRL IS FINE.

Oh, so much.
lily_lovely: Eliza Dushku looking dead sexy (Default)
[personal profile] lily_lovely wrote:
May. 3rd, 2009 06:30 pm (UTC)
THIS EPISODE WAS AWESOME.

Oh, you saw it? That's so exciting!

And I'm glad you liked it, cause...amazing!

Oh, so much.

:D