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March 14 2009

What the papers say about Dollhouse episode 5. The A.V. Club gave it a B+ saying "Okay, now were getting somewhere". Zap2it wasn't so keen on 'True Believer', "it's only five weeks in, but we could all use a shakeup". ifMagazine said "sounds ridiculous on paper, the execution and writing is quite good" and Den Of Geek "a strange mix of the good, the bad and the tantalising" and last but not least TV Squad went with "overall, a pretty good episode".

If you've found other reviews out there or want to mention your own reviews, please do link to them in the comments section.

io9 says they loved the B plot, liked the A plot, and thinks "the [overall] plot is rocketing along at top speed".

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-03-15 00:13 ]
I'm really surprised by the mixed reactions to this episode. Personally, I really enjoyed it, whereas I didn't enjoy "Gray Hour" so much. Huh.
A lot of people seem to be hating on Fran Kranz, rather than just the character of Topher. Which is weird to me, because I think Fran Kranz is fantastic so far.
I agree, i'm really impressed by how unlikeable he's playing Topher without making him some 2D cackling baddie (and despite having a lot of the funniest lines).

You know, to date, I haven't read a review without at least one massively obvious thing that the reviewer missed, the two out of these that I dipped into at random have
But the fundamental problem for me is this: Sparrow knows hes not a prophet. He knows hes every bit the Mitchum-like charlatan. So when Esther talks of visions and recognizing his face from a dream, that should be proof enough that shes an imposter.

from the normally reliable AV Club (the reviewer not seeming to even allow the possibility that even though he knows he's just a - weak - man he's also not a charlatan i.e. he actually believes in miracles etc.) and from Den of Geek
The flaws in this are rather obvious; if you cant see, you wont focus, and you may not even open your eyes or look in a useful direction.

(yeah, but you'll still point your head in various directions in the course of normal movement, a camera doesn't care if your eyes are focused or not and not only that but isn't some possibility of evidence better than no possibility of evidence at all ?) and
... even though weve been told its no worse than corrective laser treatment.

(no, we're not "told" that, Topher said it was no worse more complicated than corrective laser surgery and "ain't brain surgery" and Saunders - the doctor - immediately corrected him. Topher so far has said Alpha was impossible and remote wipes were impossible. Topher, in short, is not the most reliable source of accurate information).

If I can see things for myself (or by reading the threads on here) that they miss, not just occasionally but pretty much every single time then I think i'm done with reviews.

edited cos of brain tickles ;)

[ edited by Saje on 2009-03-15 00:52 ]
Love show blog much break now.
A lot of people seem to be hating on Fran Kranz, rather than just the character of Topher. Which is weird to me, because I think Fran Kranz is fantastic so far.

Yeah, noticed that too and also find it weird... Topher is one of my favs so far.

Victor, Topher and Doc. Saunders.
Sparrow doesn't even need to believe in miracles himself, necessarily (although he might). Every time he seems to act like he does, it's after waiting and seeing that his followers are believing. In which case, it makes more sense to act like he believes them as well, lest he risk his followers choosing her over him.

So, whether he believes in miracles himself or doesn't, his actions make complete sense.
I posted about the show at CliqueClack TV. The short version: Great stuff with the big picture story, but this engagement was kind of dull considering the show is trying to draw in, and hold on to, viewers. And I also have some questions about why the Dollhouse is built the way it is, in light of Victor's problem.
Why would people be hating on Topher! I think he's great, and I think Fran is doing a wonderful job playing him just the right way. I looooved all the scenes with him and Dr Saunders. <3 Amy Acker. I really hope she joins the regular cast for next season. Cuz you know, there's definitely going to be a next season. *mantra*
I'm also liking Topher. Most people think he's creepy (and he is) but I can't help liking him. My favorite is Sierra, though (for no apparent reason, I just do).

I liked the episode, it feels like we're going somewhere, and I can't wait to see the next one.
I totally love Topher too. I'm always all but why? when people say they don't like him or say they hate him or he's trying to hard to be funny. But I guess it's just the way people see things differently.

And am I the only one who thinks he has a total crush on Doctor Saunders? Heh.

I'm finally starting to like Ballard now. I guess he kinda grows on you or something. *shrugs*
I think Amy is getting a steady gig on ABC, so she's probably gone quick from Dollhouse. Put her in a lab coat, and she will always be Fred to me *swoons*.

Also, I'm pretty sure this episode did better than "Gray Hour", so hopefully that's a good sign. Maybe "Stage Fright" scared away viewers from "Gray Hour" and something brought them back?
Some seem to think 'Watchmen' got a lot of people out of the house last Friday.
Amy was simply cast in a small role in a pilot for ABC. That is about as far away from a "steady gig" as you can get. Even if the pilot is picked up and her character is kept, it could be in 2nd position to Dollhouse. It means nothing in regards to Dr. Saunders.

[ edited by TamaraC on 2009-03-15 07:41 ]
Sorry, don't like Topher. I think he's creepy and over the top. I haven't seen Fran Kranz in other things to comment on his acting. My favourite by far is Dr. Saunders and I don't think she's very Fred-like.

I had a problem with Esther touching people's faces to see what they look like. I thought that was one of those myths about blind people (and nicely debunked on WKRP). My mom certainly doesn't do it. Her eye movement is nothing like Esther's either, though perhaps that would vary depending on the cause of the visual loss.

Found this post from a visually impaired person about the face touching Myths about Blindness

[ edited by redeem147 on 2009-03-15 16:21 ]
This truly was the first properly funny episode. "Sneezure," "Osama Bin Ghandi," "Man Reaction." Brought a smile to my face anyway. A few more episodes and I'm starting to expect some fanfic appearing...

And thanks for the link redeem147, I knew most of them, but there was one that really made me stop and think -- about "being blind doesn't mean seeing just darkness/black." For some reason, it's not really something that had occurred to me before, so that link was quite enlightening.
MattK, there's already fanfic appearing.

I think I don't know what it's like to see nothing. There's been times I've been in a room so dark I couldn't see anything, but I was still seeing blackness, right? Weird to think about.
My mother sometimes sees things that aren't there - patterns, even a frightening little man. At first she though she was having mental problems, but it's not uncommon in adults who lose their sight. The brain tries to make sense of something that isn't there. Could even be dangerous when she sees furniture in front of her as she's walking.
Y'know, I think there's a slightly incorrect statement on that myths page regarding whether the other senses are heightened...I know there is a lot of research confirming that those born blind dedicate a lot of brain areas and pathways in different ways (i.e. not just letting what is usually a pretty massive chunk of real estate dedicated to visual processing go to waste). This doesn't, of course, mean you get "Daredevil" superhero heightened senses, but you do get larger amounts of brain dedicated to interpreting the other sources of stimuli, so it is, in this sense, a heightening. I do not remember if this is true over time in those who lose their sight. I believe it is, but don't have time to go combing through my Oliver Sachs books at the moment to confirm it.
from the normally reliable AV Club (the reviewer not seeming to even allow the possibility that even though he knows he's just a - weak - man he's also not a charlatan i.e. he actually believes in miracles etc.)

Thank you, Saje. I read Night of the Hunter ... charlatan ... in that review and thought, did the reviewer and I watch the same episode?

Yes, the Arizona town was a nice touch, as was its name, Peaceful. Anything but.
I thought this episode was amazing. I wish more people were watching. I also wish that I was a nielson family. I have some friends who are and all they watch are nascar and ice road truckers... and the bachelor. Jeez- I want to tell them they are responsible for our erroding culture, but that seems a bit extreme, ya think?
Good news. I think I just talked my neilson friend into watching this friday. I am doing my part!

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