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Thoughtpocalypse Now - The Book of the Celestial Cow

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January 29th, 2010


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11:17 pm - Thoughtpocalypse Now
As I was walking to my car wearing my Scott Pilgrim shirt and carrying my Umbrella Academy umbrella, I said to myself, "Who's gonna marry this guy?"

This month's episodes of Dollhouse have been INSANE, and I will not rehash my thoughts except for, of course, OMGWTFBOYD. And in regards to how that reveal fits with what we've seen before, I had the following revelation today while discussing with zimshan:
See, given his actions in the last episode, I'm not sure it was totally a ruse. I mean, clearly, the dude was nuts. And it seemed that his motivation to start the brainpocalypse was mostly so that he could be in control of it since it was going to happen anyway, in his opinion. So all his questioning of what they were all doing could very well have been genuine, but it has a different tinge and subtext to it now: he's not just speaking in hypotheticals, he knows they're going down a dangerous path, and he feels helpless to stop it.
So I feel sorry for all the people who didn't get to see "Epitaph One" before tonight. The previously/teaser reeeeally didn't explain what the hell was going on clearly enough for anyone who didn't know what the fuck they were watching. But I was excited that the episode didn't even have time for credits!

Felicia Daaaaaaay! All right, honestly, just like in "Epitaph One," I had trouble buying her character. I don't think she sells "tough" all that well. It takes me ten or fifteen minutes to get used to her, and then I'm okay. I enjoyed Zone and mini-Caroline.

I almost laughed at NEUROPOLIS because it's such a silly made-up futuristic name, except it's kind of awesome and I love that they went there.

Priya! Little boy! Adorable little T! T for...Tiger? T for...Trevor? T for...Tax Evasion? T for...

Topher, holy shit, oh God, Topher. They killed someone in front of him every fucking day. AS IF HE DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH ON HIS CONSCIENCE. And why didn't he just fucking kill himself? Because he was trying to figure out a way to make it all better. Even though the threat of cancellation may have sped up his evolution a wee bit, watching Topher grapple with the consequences of his genius has been a wonderful, terrible story. I never hated Topher, and I always thought he was far less weasel-y and evil than a lot of people thought in the beginning, and now I say nyah nyah nyah. He turned out to be one of the best characters on the show.

And Adelle! And Topher! Oh man. I almost half-ship them. ALMOST. Except I love how protective she is of him, more like a mother. The same thing I said about Topher above goes for Adelle: I wish they'd had time to slowly develop her awakening to what the Dollhouse was doing and, like Topher, owning her complicity in the whole sordid endeavor but resolving to do her utmost to fight back.

I was sad that Priya and Tony weren't a happy, loving couple in the future! But Tony was kind of awesome all teched up with his gang of technorebels. The weapons expert was Maurissa Tancharoen, right?

Nooooo, don't shoot up Felicia Day's legs! That's mean!! I could give a shit about Ballard's head, but Felicia Day's legs!! As for Ballard's head: someone's been watching The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Well played.

Alpha reformed?! Oh man, this timejump is so useful for crazy shit like that. How did that happen? Why? Oh man.

The scene with Echo mourning Ballard actually made me buy their relationship. Like I said: timejump. In that amount of time, I will accept that they developed real feelings for each other rather than weird creepy obsessive fixations.

(T for...Tony!) T for...

Topher, holy shit, oh God, Topher. I really didn't want him to die, but if he was going to die, this was the best possible way to do it. The writers could have easily had him design a phlebotopulsometer that didn't involve a close-contact explosion, but it had to end this way. I feel like there must have been so many times Topher contemplated suicide, unable to live with what he'd done, but he knew that because he was the one who had done it, he was the only one who could undo it, and if that meant going insane, so be it. And as he stood up there in Adelle's office assembling his device, looking out at the post-thoughtpocalyptic wasteland he'd helped create, I thought, "This is so unfair. He can't even have any cool last words that will live on for all eternity! THERE IS NO ONE THERE TO HEAR THEM!" And then he turns around and sees the wall of remembrance.

The wall that says REMEMBER, when he is the one who made them all forget, it's what he does, but inside all of those Actives whose brains he mucked around in, there was a person, a real person with a real life, and you can't replicate that on a computer, you can only get really close—and this show has really made me think about how close—but the wall is full of a wide variety of human beings with diverse personalities and backgrounds that they came by fair and square, the way we have for generations.

"Huh," says Topher, and he doesn't even get the chance to have any sort of epiphany or revelation, maybe a split-second of real, genuine happiness for what his sacrifice is going to bring about, his final word is Huh, and then Topher is no more, and it kills me. Maurissa and Jed and Andrew: I hate you. By which I mean: mad props.

Echo letting Ballard in—ew—was kind of lame, but I'll go with it. That's going to be an interesting relationship.

I wonder who Alpha is now.

Oh, Adelle.

Did someone accidentally cut off the last half-second of film? The ME card seemed to come in rather abruptly.

(That was a happier ending than I expected. I mean, hey, they really did save the world.)

I am truly impressed with and baffled at how awesome this show became. It started doing things and asking questions I really hoped it would and then ones I hadn't even thought of. It may not be the best show in the Whedonverse, but I think it's very thought-provoking and interesting science fiction, and the characters were unexpectedly compelling, and...

Huh.
Current Mood: lonelylonely
Current Music: Fatboy Slim - Right Here, Right Now

(17 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:ryca
Date:January 30th, 2010 07:31 am (UTC)
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The part where Echo implants Ballard had me WEEPING, copious weeping. I thought it was absolutely beautiful, and I was so glad about it.

I love the Alpha/Echo hug.

I'm bummed that Tony and Priya didn't get to have that whole time be just happy, but I'm glad that they ended up as a family. And techno-Tony was so badass.

I totally read Topher's last "Huh" as more of a revelatory sound - like the explosion cut him off as he was about to say whatever it was that he'd realized when he looked at the wall. And I loved the Topher-Adelle relationship - I loved when he said "I didn't want to hurt anyone else", and when he leaned in and said "My job is way easier".

I felt like so many things had to be so crammed in and abrupt, but at least they let us see a clear end to everything. Except - WHISKEY. Where the heck was Whiskey? Last I remember, she was ghosting around the Dollhouse - was she one of the ones that Alpha had cleaned up, that Adelle was leading out to wipe? Was she dead? Is she still a ghost? If so, can they send her out sometime in that next year and let the ripples clear her? What's up with that??? How did she go from being the shell of that evil guy to being the lady in white in the Dollhouse?

But yeah, I loved it. And at least they let him freaking END this one!
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 30th, 2010 07:37 am (UTC)
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I totally read Topher's last "Huh" as more of a revelatory sound - like the explosion cut him off as he was about to say whatever it was that he'd realized when he looked at the wall.
No, that's how I read it too. But he only got a half-moment. He was still revelating, still epiphanizing.

And I loved the Topher-Adelle relationship - I loved when he said "I didn't want to hurt anyone else", and when he leaned in and said "My job is way easier".
Yeah, I liked that.

Is she still a ghost? If so, can they send her out sometime in that next year and let the ripples clear her? What's up with that??? How did she go from being the shell of that evil guy to being the lady in white in the Dollhouse?
Oh yeah! What the hell DID happen to Whiskey??

But yeah, I loved it. And at least they let him freaking END this one!
I was worried that he wouldn't be able to give the show a proper ending in time, but he pulled it off.
[User Picture]
From:porpentine
Date:January 30th, 2010 08:21 am (UTC)
(Link)
While I would love to know what the heck happened between the end of 2.12 and the beginning of 1.13, so that Whiskey ended up sans-Clyde and back in the house with Saunders uploaded in that noggin' of hers, I wasn't surprised she wasn't in this episode. I took it as given that when she gassed all the Butchers left in the house -- while Zone, Felicia and Mini-Caroline made their escape -- that she was ending up dead too, once the gas filled up enough of the space to get to the balcony level she was sitting down on. She'd done her part, she'd pointed the way for others to get to someplace Safe, and she could finally rest.

And yes, that was Maurissa "The Asian Whedon" Tancharoen.
[User Picture]
From:spadada
Date:January 30th, 2010 08:34 pm (UTC)
(Link)
What did happen to Whiskey? Glad they brought Bennett back though and let her help Topher find the answer. That was cool.
[User Picture]
From:snoopypez
Date:January 30th, 2010 07:55 am (UTC)
(Link)
And as he stood up there in Adelle's office assembling his device, looking out at the post-thoughtpocalyptic wasteland he'd helped create, I thought, "This is so unfair. He can't even have any cool last words that will live on for all eternity! THERE IS NO ONE THERE TO HEAR THEM!" And then he turns around and sees the wall of remembrance.

The wall that says REMEMBER, when he is the one who made them all forget, it's what he does, but inside all of those Actives whose brains he mucked around in, there was a person, a real person with a real life, and you can't replicate that on a computer, you can only get really close—and this show has really made me think about how close—but the wall is full of a wide variety of human beings with diverse personalities and backgrounds that they came by fair and square, the way we have for generations.

"Huh," says Topher, and he doesn't even get the chance to have any sort of epiphany or revelation, maybe a split-second of real, genuine happiness for what his sacrifice is going to bring about, his final word is Huh, and then Topher is no more, and it kills me.


Yeah, I had to copy all of that. You made me cry all over again. :(
[User Picture]
From:loopychew
Date:January 30th, 2010 10:43 am (UTC)
(Link)
My God, I didn't even THINK about the implications that you mentioned about Topher's final "huh." I was already sad enough that he had to commit suicide to not only Save the World, but release himself from his own prison. You've just managed to take ten seconds of footage and make it three thousand times sadder and more powerful.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 30th, 2010 04:52 pm (UTC)
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It may have been one of the best character deaths I've seen.
[User Picture]
From:spadada
Date:January 30th, 2010 08:35 pm (UTC)
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It was perfect.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 31st, 2010 01:33 am (UTC)
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I'm still thinking about it.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 30th, 2010 04:55 pm (UTC)
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I am really going to miss the actor who played Victor.
No question. He was superb in every single role.

Joss is becoming too predictable in his endings wrt couples.
And yet I didn't see it coming. I saw Mellie's death coming a few seconds before it happened, but not Paul's. Or Bennett's.
[User Picture]
From:super_hoodzie_x
Date:January 30th, 2010 04:35 pm (UTC)
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I really stuck with Dollhouse, and it was pretty hard at times, but I feel like those of us who did were justly rewarded in the end. The majority of my friends who I talk about TV with stopped watching it way back in the first season, and I really don't blame them. I was tempted to stop watching too, but I had to see if it was going to get any better. It may not have been completely mind-blowing but it did bring up a lot of interesting questions and by the end of the series, it did really make me think.

All in all, I think the last half of this season and the finale were amazing. I completely enjoyed them. The writing was superb and unpredictable and interesting. The thing that makes me sad, however, is that they had to be SO condensed and skip a lot of really valuable, interesting character development over time. That is one of my favourite aspects of any show, and ESPECIALLY my favourite aspect of Whedon shows: the characters grow and change in a freakishly realistic way. The whole time I was watching Epitaph Two my mind was racing, trying to create these back stories, these events they were referencing. It made me wish so badly that they could've had the time to properly play out the entire story. As it is, the end of the series was kind of like eating a can of concentrated orange juice. It's pretty tasty and I'll be damned if it ain't PACKED WITH EXPLOSIVE ORANGE FLAVOR but honestly, I would've rather pensively sipped on glass after glass of orange juice.

I am packed with tasty food analogies.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 30th, 2010 04:54 pm (UTC)
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Yes to all of that!
[User Picture]
From:barenakedjanie
Date:January 30th, 2010 04:58 pm (UTC)
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My favorite moments were those with Topher, Adelle and Alpha. When Topher jumped into his bed and says, "Kill your idols, there's a piece of truth," that there seems to be Joss's credo (or Joss is a Sonic Youth fan).

Topher's line of "Her face has a look about her" when he is watching the tape of Bennett seems to have been yoinked directly from Firefly - as well as Wash, er, Alpha having a very Wash-like moment breaking into Adelle and Topher's mother and child moment with a question.

I wish Alpha had said all the things that Adelle passed on to Echo directly to Echo - just so I could have had a little more Tudyk.
[User Picture]
From:spadada
Date:January 30th, 2010 08:31 pm (UTC)
(Link)
and... Huh.

Exactly.

My mind is blown and I feel a little like a Dumb Show. And I like it.
[User Picture]
From:janinedog
Date:January 31st, 2010 03:43 am (UTC)
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We just watched this and...yeah. I loved it. I'm glad there got to be a real ending, though I am sad it ended so soon. Definitely made me think!
[User Picture]
From:soundingsea
Date:February 1st, 2010 08:01 pm (UTC)
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I said to myself, "Who's gonna marry this guy?"

Clearly Felicia Day. Right? :)

And yeah, thought-provoking indeed. Not something I ever actually expected from this show!
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:February 1st, 2010 08:15 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Clearly Felicia Day. Right?
One can only dream.

And yeah, thought-provoking indeed. Not something I ever actually expected from this show!
I did expect it based on the premise, but the early episodes made me think I was never going to get it, so I'm glad it got there.

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