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It's Alpha and Omega's Kingdom Come - The Book of the Celestial Cow

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May 8th, 2009


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11:46 pm - It's Alpha and Omega's Kingdom Come
If you listened to my PhonePost earlier, you know that I got all my wisdom teeth out today. Once the numbness wore off, the pain began, so I took some Vicodin, which helped. Given all the horror stories I heard, I think I'm doing pretty well, but we'll see if I swell up like a chipmunk tomorrow. Big thanks to ellric & Cortney for picking me up and taking care of me.

I was, thankfully, able to watch the Dollhouse finale, and I know you all are just dying to hear my thoughts.

First of all, since I didn't post last week, insert the obligatory OMG ALAN TUDYK IS ALPHA HOLY SHIT I AM SO GLAD I WAS UNSPOILED FOR THAT.

I thought the episode was good but somewhat of a mess; it didn't wow me like I was hoping it to. But definitely good for an episode featuring so little Victor and Sierra! (Which, what the hell, we never saw Detectives Sierra and November again.)

Victor-as-Dominick's line last week—which, again, FUCKING AMAZING—ostensibly addressing as Claire as "Whiskey" seemed to confirm people's suspicions that she was an Active, and now it's been fully confirmed. Damn, Amy Acker is hot. And cute as a Doll! She tries to be her best. I do wonder what her last scene with Topher was implying. Topher imprinted her to hate him for some reason? Maybe some sort of self-loathing show of guilt? I'd like to see more of self-aware lollipop Claire.

Alpha's issue with his 48 personalities was neat, but I didn't understand why it didn't manifest at all last week. There were no glitches when he was Stephen Kepler, nor when he was Killer Alpha. But now all his personalities are fighting with each other ("I'm not bluffing." "I'm not bluffing." "I'm bluffing!" "I'm not." Hee.)? And his master plan...I don't get it. So he got a crush on Echo? And then made her into Omega? Also, Topher is pretty much responsible for the composite event, right? Accidentally? So now Alpha believes he's the Nietschean Ubermensch? And he kills his original personality even though it appears to be his driving personality at this point (given his victim's scars)? So he wants Echo to destroy Caroline? Granted, I don't really care about Caroline (although I did in this episode, when she was in a different body and it was so fucked-up), but he wants to kill her over and over and over for kicks? It was all very strange, and the conversations about identity were a little too on-the-nose.

(And what the hell, Alpha built an imprint chair, really?)

The stuff in the Dollhouse, both past and present, was good. I was surprised and pleased that Ballard secured November's release rather than Echo's. Miracle Laurie was never a regular, only a guest star, anyway. Topher is pretty enjoyable. And I'm amused that Boyd and Ballard went from beating the shit out of each other to working together.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions, though! Why is Boyd working for these people? Why is Ballard still so goddamn obsessed with Caroline? Who is the mole who was sending him messages through Echo and November? Do I really care whether Echo ever becomes Caroline again? Can she go back to being Omega again, because she was pretty cool like that?

I would like to see the bonus thirteenth episode, the coda, on the DVDs. And I would definitely be interested in a second season because the show has finally started exploring the questions I was hoping it would explore when the show first started. In fact, I would probably upgrade How Much I Want It to Come Back to at least a 7.5. But I'm not burning down my living room or anything.
Current Mood: sleepydrowsy
Current Music: Kill Hannah - Boys and Girls

(19 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:serrico
Date:May 9th, 2009 07:09 am (UTC)
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Yes; what you said. Additionally, I'm not sure how they got from "You can't sign a contract to be a slave" to Omega (apparently) willingly returning to the Dollhouse and letting herself be wiped back to Echo status again. And Ballard's decision to work for the Dollhouse *does* seem a bit counterintuitive, based on his extreme opposition to the organisation and everything it stands for.

I assumed that Caroline is gone forever, given that the Wendy-body died while imprinted with Caroline's baseline--but then, they never made it really clear whether a copy of an imprint remains on the "wedge" after that imprint has been downloaded to an active's body. So, I suppose a case could be made for Caroline's personality retrieval (and download into her body or someone else's) at some later date. (The wedge Ballard "rescued" by catching the disc Omega was after was Wendy's, right? I confess, I was a little lost as to whose imprint was where at that point.)
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From:spectralbovine
Date:May 9th, 2009 07:11 am (UTC)
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That was Caroline's. Alpha intended to download Caroline into bodies and keep killing her until he got tired of it or something.
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From:serrico
Date:May 9th, 2009 10:34 pm (UTC)
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Ahhhhhh, okay. I guess that would make more sense of the whole, "You saved her!" moment between Omega and Ballard. (I can misread things sometimes. *g*)
[User Picture]
From:the_partyman
Date:May 9th, 2009 10:11 am (UTC)
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Yeah I am tempted to think that Omega was probably expecting to have Caroline's body and mind reunited when she went back in the chair.

I have to wonder if Ballard's decision to work for the Dollhouse is a means to an end - finding out who was sending him the messages and bringing them down from the inside. Then again, had he refused, they might have shot/wiped/imprinted him. Hmmm.
[User Picture]
From:serrico
Date:May 9th, 2009 10:36 pm (UTC)
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I imagine there was an element of self-preservation in his decision to go work for the Dollhouse, but he just seemed so...sanguine about it.

Eh. I suppose we shall find out what's up with him if we get another season!
[User Picture]
From:super_hoodzie_x
Date:May 9th, 2009 07:41 am (UTC)
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I definitely agree with you that this episode was pretty messy. And you're right...what DID happen to Sierra and November? Anyway, for what it lacked in coherence, it made up for in...other things. I really liked the Whiskey/Dr. Saunders storyline. I really hope this gets picked up for at LEAST one more season. It's getting better and I'm getting more into watching it. It needs some room to grow. There's my two cents.
[User Picture]
From:the_partyman
Date:May 9th, 2009 10:07 am (UTC)
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I think there was a whole lot of stuff to cover so it did feel a bit messy in places, but I really enjoyed it.

Good point that Alpha wasn't glitching when he was posing as Kepler last week. Or maybe he was and we just didn't realise? Might have to rewatch.

I concur that Amy Acker is hot. ;) Actually I thought she was fucking excellent in this. The scene with self-aware lollipop Claire and Topher was maybe my favourite thing in the ep.

I liked that the ending warpped things up while leaving new possibilities open.

I'd like to see it get another season, but there are other shows "on the bubble" or "pretty much cancelled" that are far more deserving.

I do have a weird feeling that it might get renewed though. :/
[User Picture]
From:cmbarrytx
Date:May 9th, 2009 01:36 pm (UTC)
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Make sure you do everything you can to avoid dry socket. It's pretty much worse than any of the rest of it if it develops.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:May 9th, 2009 02:23 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, Rick mentioned that too, but he said that if I'd gotten it, I would have felt it immediately afterward, so I think I'm okay. This morning, I feel fine. Liiiittle ache, but ibuprofen-pain, not Vicodin-pain.

..Uh oh, I think one of my stitches just came out. It was just floating around!

The surgery was totally weird, though. They were giving me the IV sedation, and I felt just a teensy bit woozy, and then they said it was over. I didn't even feel like I'd gone to sleep at all; it was like I just skipped over forty-five minutes.
[User Picture]
From:outforawalk
Date:May 9th, 2009 03:22 pm (UTC)
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You can also develop it over the next few days. Be glad you don't smoke and avoid straws.
[User Picture]
From:outforawalk
Date:May 9th, 2009 03:21 pm (UTC)
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Thanks to you, I will be carrying Johnny Cash around in my head the rest of the day.
[User Picture]
From:airbefore
Date:May 9th, 2009 04:05 pm (UTC)
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I really enjoyed Wendy(Chrissy Seaver FTW!)as Caroline a whole hell of a lot more than I've ever enjoyed ED as Caroline.
[User Picture]
From:cerulgalactus
Date:May 9th, 2009 10:08 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, Dollhouse and Chuck are my "RENEW!RENEW!RENEW!" shows - that won't change.

And yes, now that they are starting to ask the questions that I hoped they would be - I demand a renewal. But the ratings are really, really against it now. Cancellation due to poor ratings, I can handle - cancellation due to making room for a big chinned itiot, that will not stand.
[User Picture]
From:the_narration
Date:May 10th, 2009 03:07 am (UTC)
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A cool episode, but add me to the long list of people who don't understand why either Ballard or Omega-Echo would take Echo/Caroline's body back to the Dollhouse to become a slave again. I have my doubts that Boyd could force them to, or would even want to.

Are Omega-Echo's testimony and Caroline's wedge not enough to get the FBI to move on the L.A. Dollhouse? Did they decide to go back in undercover to bring it down from the inside? I take it as a given that Ballard is going to be looking for a way to bring it down as he's in there. Why else would he be there, unless the alternative was death or memory erasure? (I totally predicted that he would want November freed. He wouldn't be able to stand the idea of her being put back in circulation to be used again. Hell, I couldn't stand the idea. It's horrifying.)

Sierra and November disappearing for most of the episode didn't much surprise me. Ballard as much as said that the "bounty hunters" were going to chase their tails and find nothing.

I was amused to see Alpha's plan backfire. Just because he fills Echo's head with all her past personalities doesn't mean she's going to want the same things he wanted. There are 38 people in her head, Alpha, and all of them think you're an asshole.

Claire/Whiskey's journey of self-discovery was interesting. It was a given she was a doll after Lawrence called her "Whiskey" but I didn't predict the whole backstory there. (And it makes me wonder if they ever dare let Whiskey go, since she would undoubtedly wonder about the scars and not take her release nearly so well as November did.)

I want this show back for more. Not as much as TSCC, but nearly so.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:May 10th, 2009 03:14 am (UTC)
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I was amused to see Alpha's plan backfire. Just because he fills Echo's head with all her past personalities doesn't mean she's going to want the same things he wanted. There are 38 people in her head, Alpha, and all of them think you're an asshole.
Heh. Yeah.

Claire/Whiskey's journey of self-discovery was interesting. It was a given she was a doll after Lawrence called her "Whiskey" but I didn't predict the whole backstory there. (And it makes me wonder if they ever dare let Whiskey go, since she would undoubtedly wonder about the scars and not take her release nearly so well as November did.)
Yeah, I'm definitely a lot more interested in her now.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:May 10th, 2009 04:25 pm (UTC)
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I did see the script! They brought back November's flower activation and everything! That would have been cool.
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From:maidofawesome
Date:May 10th, 2009 05:49 pm (UTC)
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Aw, wisdom teeth. I had half mine out a couple of years ago, and ow. The experience wasn't awful (I mean, seeing flying tooth go everywhere was kind of gross, and no one likes spitting up blood for the rest of the afternoon) but after that, yeah, it hurt. But not for too long - then it just went weirdly swollen, and made my jawline look EXACTLY like Minnie Driver's. On one side, anyway.

Some of Alpha's multiple personality things seemed to be in his head - trailer trash Echo didn't react to all of them, anyway, just the later ones. I don't know if it's some kind of under pressure, spontaneous event thing - like, the whole Dollhouse thing was obviously intricately planned, but as soon as things went off-plan, he went crazy. I don't know.

If Ballard hadn't let November go, it would have made him a total bastard. He owed her, especially after choosing to rescue Echo last week. I'm worried about Victor! Surely the Dollhouse has some kind of extreme plastic surgeon on staff? Poor Claire. I think we all saw that coming, but it was cool to see her in action as a Doll. I remember reading the thingy-alphabet (can never remember what it's called) and being like, 'When are we going to see a doll called WHISKEY? LOLS.'

I enjoyed it, but it wasn't perfect. I do really want it to come back. And at first I was all like, 'Oh, predictable angsty song' when they played that song at the end whose name I have now forgotten. Change your heart? I need your loving? That one. I hate when shows use songs that require you to emote. Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol. Hallelujah by anyone. But then I realised I only think this because it was at the end of Eternal Sunshine (and at the end of that film, did make me emote) and there is some kind of connection with Dollhouse and Eternal Sunshine because of all the memory/brain tampering, and so now I think it was probably deliberate.

I kind of thought Alpha sent him the messages - cos he seems to be pretty neat at the whole imprinting thing, and there was that time where someone removed Echo's imprint remotely - but because it was never explained, I wonder if that's true. Because if he DID... um, how the heck?

Why is Sierra's accent as a blank Doll Australian? That's my main question.
[User Picture]
From:maidofawesome
Date:May 10th, 2009 05:49 pm (UTC)
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Wow, that was long.
[User Picture]
From:radiotelescope
Date:May 10th, 2009 10:30 pm (UTC)
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And now that I've thought about the finale for a couple of days, I start reading the reaction posts...

My notion of the "composite event" was that it was a season-long red herring. And a well-done one. The Dollhouse personnel are fixated on their imprint technology; they believe that "nothing of the host survives", that they are in complete control of the dolls. So they take it for granted that the composite drove Alpha crazy. But they're just wrong. He was crazy all along, he was crazy before the chair accident; and compositing Echo *didn't* drive her over the edge. Everyone has hold of the wrong end of the stick.

So that was kind of awesome, and the argument between Echo and Caroline was a brilliantly conceived scene. Claire/Whiskey, very well handled. But... overall... I don't think this season had a direction. For all the arguing over whether the show's premise was a good idea, the premise never seemed to *go* anywhere, except around to "It's slavery!" Yeah, I mean, I got that part. "The Actives are still fundamentally the people they were originally!" So what's the point? Where have we gone?

Thus, I am not enthusiastic about a second season. I don't think Dollhouse has anything to say. It exploits its kink very effectively, but that's all.

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