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There's No Cheese in the Future - The Book of the Celestial Cow

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April 4th, 2009


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01:51 am - There's No Cheese in the Future
These episodes were not watched under the best of circumstances, so I may have missed things, but I have to say some stuff!

The Sarah Connor Chronicles

That was tight.

Practically every scene of the episode was crackling, with something interesting and intriguing and exciting going on.

Since it happens so early (which: WTF??), let me get it out of the way now: holy crap, Derek. When I heard they were killing off a major character, he was my first thought. I knew they couldn't kill Sarah or John or Cameron, and I didn't want them to kill Derek because he added a lot to the show, but I figured he was fair game. And then I found out Brian Austin Green had booked a pilot, which would not be telling in and of itself, but it did raise my suspicions a bit.

And I'm left simultaneously bewildered and impressed at how they did it. For fuck's sake, they didn't even give him a death scene, a last dying word, none of that bullshit. Bam, headshot, just like the pretty babysitter/nanny/caretaker/whatever. The T-888 didn't give a fuck who he was; Derek was just in his way. And there's no good reason why this doesn't happen to major characters all the time. They survive because it's television. At the same time, I wonder whether Derek really had outlived his usefulness, and I now call shenanigans yet again on Jesse's Lost Pregnancy since it added nothing at all to the story. Derek got to angst about it for all of half an episode before he got taken down. (toastandtea posits alternate-future Derek, which, ooh! That could work. And perhaps give that plot point relevance. I don't know, I think I am still confused and not believing they actually killed Derek.)

Anyway, who would have guessed Savannah would become so goddamn pivotal to the series? I'm not even sure why, exactly. Is she useful only as a bargaining chip for Weaver or does John Henry's brother (whom I shall now refer to as Henry Henry) want her for her own sake, for what she's teaching John Henry? Because I love those two together! The Hide and Seek game made me think they were trying to set something up where John Henry would do something bad to Savannah, but I now realize that John Henry is totally Savannah's Uncle Bob. He will never hurt her. I think they're going to take over the world.

I love John Henry SO. FUCKING. MUCH. He's so fascinating, and I love his interactions with Weaver and Ellison and Savannah. He has a distinct relationship with each one of them. And now he's learning about SECRETS AND LIES. And Cain and Abel! I totally mouthed along with Weaver: "...you are God." AWESOME. Then who are Cain and Abel? Savannah and Henry Henry? Will John Henry have to choose between them?

Ellison, Ellison, Ellison! If you don't find out Weaver is a robot in the finale...I don't know, YOU BETTER FIND OUT SHE IS A ROBOT IN THE FINALE. Especially if it's the series finale. I don't know if I could stand your never knowing for all of canonical eternity.

And then holy shit, Sarah! I, um, almost expected her to get riddled with bullets. That woman will not go down without a hell of a fight, but aaah, this is very inconvenient! And now John Connor is all alone but for his robot Companion, and that kid sure has come a long way since the pilot.

Dollhouse

Okay, you guys, for serious. This needs to be The Victor and Sierra Show. Those two actors are acting circles around Eliza goddamn Dushku. Victor especially. It's amazing to watch them inhabit their different characters so completely. Whereas I think I don't even care about Caroline anymore. I'm just so tired of trying to care about Echo, when Victor and Sierra light up the screen. Mellie/November is nice, but we haven't seen much range from her yet.

I refuse to believe that anyone can tell that much about how a bug works just by looking at it.

That was a pretty sinister plot twist, and I kind of loved it. Because having our four primary Actives awake and mostly aware made me once again question the longevity of this premise and wonder why they were pulling this trigger so early. But the reason? Kind of neat in a psychological kind of way, and it tells us a bit more about how the Actives are wired. And Dr. Saunders.

I do still wonder about the longevity of this premise. I...almost miss the Engagement of the Week episodes? I'm not sure what "an episode of Dollhouse" is supposed to look like now. Is it now a Glitch of the Week thing? I'm not sure what I want from this show anymore. Except Victor and Sierra making out.
Current Mood: relievedrelieved
Current Music: The Knife - Girls' Night Out [in my head]

(21 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:loopychew
Date:April 4th, 2009 09:09 am (UTC)
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And I'm left simultaneously bewildered and impressed at how they did it. For fuck's sake, they didn't even give him a death scene, a last dying word, none of that bullshit. Bam, headshot, just like the pretty babysitter/nanny/caretaker/whatever. The T-888 didn't give a fuck who he was; Derek was just in his way.

My God, this. So much this. To off a major character before his "starring" credit hits the screen without any sort of major fanfare other than "hey, it looks like the Terminator killed someone!" takes some serious cojones. Being the kind of guy who doesn't get to see the promotional material, it felt like a subversion of "TONIGHT SOMEONE DIES" because I was expecting that to happen in the last episode, and I figured the lingering shot of Dennis Duffy buying it at the end was their copout (kinda like Meg Manning--speaking of which, have you watched Party Down? Alona Tal and Jason Dohring play a married couple in the second episode!). I went into this episode not knowing anything was going to happen, and...I mean, holy shit.

That was a pretty sinister plot twist, and I kind of loved it. Because having our four primary Actives awake and mostly aware made me once again question the longevity of this premise and wonder why they were pulling this trigger so early.

I remember reading an interview somewhere where Joss said that he had a five-year plan, but maybe he decided to accelerate things after Fox canceled him.

Edited at 2009-04-04 09:10 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:April 4th, 2009 09:22 am (UTC)
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To off a major character before his "starring" credit hits the screen
I KNOW!! When I saw "Brian Austin Green" in the credits later, I was all, "Not anymore!"

without any sort of major fanfare other than "hey, it looks like the Terminator killed someone!"
There wasn't even a close-up. I almost didn't believe it had just happened, you know? And even though it sure looked like a headshot, I wondered whether they'd find a way to have him relay a message with his dying breath. But no. Hella ballsy, especially when they know his character has such a huge fanbase.

it felt like a subversion of "TONIGHT SOMEONE DIES"
Right? I hate that shit. Although I did go into this episode knowing someone would die, I did not expect it to happen that early in the damn episode.

have you watched Party Down? Alona Tal and Jason Dohring play a married couple in the second episode!).
They did! She was pretty, and he was funny.
[User Picture]
From:loopychew
Date:April 4th, 2009 09:29 am (UTC)
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So, fun question time! Which one's SkyNet, John Henry or Henry Henry? Last episode it looked like Henry Henry was, but I'm not nearly as sure this time around. If Connor's Company tries to take out John Henry, it may actually instigate the creation of SkyNet as we know it (and would probably explain why it continually wants to kill John Connor specifically), don't you think?
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:April 4th, 2009 09:32 am (UTC)
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I don't know! I was calling John Henry baby Skynet for a while, but then it did seem like Henry Henry was actually the proto-Skynet, but you're right that if the Connor Clan attacks him, he could get all pissed off. Especially if they accidentally harm Savannah.
[User Picture]
From:loopychew
Date:April 5th, 2009 10:02 am (UTC)
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Also, someone on another blog mentioned a throwaway line about how Catherine Weaver can't sing. In retrospect, *snerk* HA!
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:April 5th, 2009 05:57 pm (UTC)
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Ha! I didn't catch that. Nice.
[User Picture]
From:harper47
Date:April 4th, 2009 11:25 am (UTC)
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I freaking loved this episode of TCC. Wow. What an intense, fascinating episode. And John Henry and Savannah are an amazing combination - that song, at the end was haunting.

And now you have John Connor - all alone with his machine.

And bam. Derek dead. Just like that.

Wow. This was so, so great.
[User Picture]
From:toastandtea
Date:April 4th, 2009 07:11 pm (UTC)
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The T-888 didn't give a fuck who he was; Derek was just in his way. And there's no good reason why this doesn't happen to major characters all the time. They survive because it's television.

EXAAAAAAACTLY. Whenever a Terminator (besides Cameron or Weaver) leaves someone alive i'm always like "...wait. what?" And particularly in Derek's case, it was probably always how he would go out, future or present. SO TRAUMATIC THOUGH. I am still in shock at how sudden and throwaway it was, i actually couldn't believe it had happened. It was like a Joss death. I don't feel like he had outlived his usefulness though, because his role in the family hadn't been fully realized yet i don't think, particularly in relation to Sarah and Cameron. He spent so much time with Jesse this season i was always wanting him to get back to the Connors, and then once he finally did... he immediately got killed. D:

The Hide and Seek game made me think they were trying to set something up where John Henry would do something bad to Savannah, but I now realize that John Henry is totally Savannah's Uncle Bob. He will never hurt her. I think they're going to take over the world.

IT'S AWESOME. The singing at the end (the song Savannah's father used to sing!), when it was just John Henry, and then John Henry and Savannah, and then just Savannah- it was so unsettling and FANTASTIC. Oh man i want to see future Savannah. And i totally love John Henry too, and "you are God" made me smile super duper a lot. A LOT.

Ellison, Ellison, Ellison! If you don't find out Weaver is a robot in the finale...I don't know, YOU BETTER FIND OUT SHE IS A ROBOT IN THE FINALE.

PRETTY MUCH. NEEDS TO HAPPEN YESTERDAY.

This needs to be The Victor and Sierra Show. Those two actors are acting circles around Eliza goddamn Dushku. Victor especially. It's amazing to watch them inhabit their different characters so completely.

I KNOW, RIGHT. As real people they actually... SEEMED LIKE REAL PEOPLE! And had emotions! I even care about them in doll form! I like Echo/Caroline better in concept than in execution (that her unfinished business was freeing everyone, it's very heroic! i like that epic hero stuff, it makes her sound like John Connor or some shit.)

Because having our four primary Actives awake and mostly aware made me once again question the longevity of this premise and wonder why they were pulling this trigger so early. ... I'm not sure what "an episode of Dollhouse" is supposed to look like now.

That's exactly what i was thinking upon seeing the preview last week. I was shocked that they were completely upending the formula of the show so soon. Granted, the formula is boring! (i'm way more interested in the Dollhouse than in stupid pointless engagements.) But i don't think this fundamentally changed the formula as much as it seemed like it would. I resented the comparisons to Alias at first, but... it is a little bit, in that episodic-missions-mixed-with-conspiracy kind of way.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:April 5th, 2009 12:41 am (UTC)
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And particularly in Derek's case, it was probably always how he would go out, future or present.
Oh, definitely.

I don't feel like he had outlived his usefulness though, because his role in the family hadn't been fully realized yet i don't think, particularly in relation to Sarah and Cameron. He spent so much time with Jesse this season i was always wanting him to get back to the Connors, and then once he finally did... he immediately got killed.
Yeah, and there was that whole weird brotherly elision thing Tris loved so much! Reeses! REESES IN PIECES!

Oh man i want to see future Savannah.
Hey, you know who could play future Savannah? BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD.

I even care about them in doll form!
Me too!

I like Echo/Caroline better in concept than in execution (that her unfinished business was freeing everyone, it's very heroic! i like that epic hero stuff, it makes her sound like John Connor or some shit.)
That's true. Except she doesn't really sell it. It's just sort of...annoying. Like, she seems like one of those crazy hippie activists who go around setting monkeys free from labs and bombing whaling boats and stuff.

I resented the comparisons to Alias at first, but... it is a little bit, in that episodic-missions-mixed-with-conspiracy kind of way.
It's Alias meets Eternal Sunshine! Or...not.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:stella_hime
Date:April 6th, 2009 03:18 am (UTC)
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That's true. Except she doesn't really sell it. It's just sort of...annoying. Like, she seems like one of those crazy hippie activists who go around setting monkeys free from labs and bombing whaling boats and stuff.

Yeah, her backstory does absolutely nothing for me. She just wanted to set them all "free". Blargh. My brother was so irritated after we found out more about her connection to Rossum. He was bitching about it for an hour when we discussed that episode. On the other hand, Victor/Sierra is WIN! And I'm hoping for more Mellie/Ballard interaction. I'd like to get attached to her--I just need a little more reason. Well, that and I get more shirtless Ballard when Mellie is around. :)
[User Picture]
From:thetheatremouse
Date:April 9th, 2009 12:48 am (UTC)
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That's true. Except she doesn't really sell it. It's just sort of...annoying. Like, she seems like one of those crazy hippie activists who go around setting monkeys free from labs and bombing whaling boats and stuff.

Word and a half. Sh's all self-important about her need to rescue people and animals, not... genuinely concerned, or not selling genuinely concerned. And she certainly not concerned with determining logical courses of action in order to bring actual change. Echo interacts more completely with her fake realities than Caroline seems to with her real realities. It's that same special type of narcissitic self-declared altruism.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:April 5th, 2009 06:57 am (UTC)
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I don't even know what it is. It's like, "Here are two funny-looking yet strangely attractive people. Well, not even people. Bodies with blank personalities. They like each other for some reason. The end."
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:eldritch_flame
Date:April 5th, 2009 02:00 pm (UTC)
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toastandtea posits alternate-future Derek, which, ooh! That could work.
Hmm. See, I'd wondered back when we got the 'Jesse's from a different future!' reveal why there weren't two Dereks, since the Derek from Jesse's future was sent back by Connor but is not the Derek we met. But I'd also been assuming that both Dereks would've been sent on the same mission and I figured it would just be too confusing to have multiple Dereks all over the place. And as much as I'm bummed by Brian Austin Green's departure, I think alternaDerek would just upset me more, cos he's Derek but he's not Derek, y'know? I think I'd prefer a Derekbot.

Okay, you guys, for serious. This needs to be The Victor and Sierra Show.
Hear, hear! They're definitely one of the most compelling parts of this show. And although I like Echo for the moments where it looks like she's trying to piece things together, I'm starting to suspect that I hate Caroline.
[User Picture]
From:scripted22
Date:April 5th, 2009 03:45 pm (UTC)
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Because having our four primary Actives awake and mostly aware made me once again question the longevity of this premise and wonder why they were pulling this trigger so early.

Ha, I was thinking just the opposite. I think anyone other than Joss Whedon would have had to provide some backstory to the characters long before this point in order to get viewers involved.

I also wonder about longevity. This show feels more like a mini-series to me than something that could run multiple seasons. But then I said that about the first season of 24, so what do I know?
[User Picture]
From:trailer_spot
Date:April 6th, 2009 07:37 am (UTC)

off topic

(Link)
I came across an article this morning that reminded me of you. I don't know if it interests you, but since I assume the Wall Street Journal isn't necessarily on your daily reading list I thought I'll link you to it: Ineligible Bachelors: Indian Men Living in U.S. Strike Out. There's also an "interactive" graphic.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:April 6th, 2009 02:33 pm (UTC)

Re: off topic

(Link)
Oh dear. As if this weren't tough enough already!
[User Picture]
From:twenty8penguin
Date:April 6th, 2009 04:17 pm (UTC)
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I don't know what to make of this week's Dollhouse episode. It was good, but not as good as last week. It was a very interesting idea - I'm just not sure about the execution.

Adelle kind of scares me now... she's a zealot. She truly believes that she is protecting the dolls from their pasts. Like it is a noble cause to save these people from trauma. I have no idea how she can justify having Nolan as a client, though. She is repeatedly exposing Sierra to her trauma - not protecting her from it. That has major ick factor.

Then again, that did lead to one of the sweetest moments in tv history... As Victor and Sierra talk about her rape, and they begin to remember more, she realizes something. (Paraphrasing) "You wait for me... when we go to bed, you wait for me, to make sure I'm okay." Even mind-wiped, Victor takes care of her. Awwww!

I can understand why a lot of people seem to dislike Caroline (I'm just 'meh' about her). I appreciate the irony of having a main character whose greatest fear is loss of free will or unfair confinement volunteer to be a doll. But talk about terrible plan execution... she is totally unable to see the fetuses for the puppies! She was so hung up on freeing everyone (even the handlers and such) that she couldn't even consider the next step. Instead of the creepy "there's nowhere left to go" song [way to condone the DeWitt /Saunders viewpoint, btw!], it should have been OMWF's "Where Do we go From Here".
[User Picture]
From:lareinenoire
Date:April 7th, 2009 12:50 pm (UTC)
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I don't particularly like Caroline as a person -- while I appreciate her sentiments, her means are very questionable -- but I wonder if that isn't the point; that Echo wants to find out who she really is, regardless of exactly what she might find out (presumably that she became a doll in order to forget her role in Leo's death?).

But definite yes on Victor and Sierra. I rather look forward to finding out more about Victor, although I love that his subconscious desire in this episode was to make Sierra happy. That is so utterly cute.

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