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May 10 2009

"One of the weirdest, most surreal hours I've witnessed all season". TV Guide Magazine's Matt Roush about "Omega", the season finale of "Dollhouse". The Televisionary also talks about the finale and why he was disappointed with it.

This is his Next Big Thing
No, this is his current "Big Thing". I'm assuming he was talking about his next, post-Dollhouse project. Which I guess would be Cabin in the Woods?
Haha, I suppose it isn't 'next'. But I thought he was implying that Dollhouse is just some sort of stop-gap project filling in time before Joss's real projects. I suppose it could have been a very veiled reference to Cabin in the Woods
He is so right about Amy Acker. She just keeps blowing me away over and over again. This episode she again pulled off a transition like that of Fred to Illyria, doing something like that once is amazing, doing it again is just unbelievable. Probably the best actress working in television today.
He is so right about Amy Acker. She just keeps blowing me away over and over again. This episode she again pulled off a transition like that of Fred to Illyria, doing something like that once is amazing, doing it again is just unbelievable. Probably the best actress working in television today.

Agreed. So glad she does a lot of genre stuff, it's a much better showcase for that kind of talent than, I don't know, romantic comedies or whatnot.
Yes, top billing goes to Acker and Tudyk for this one.

Question: Didn't Acker sign a contract months ago to do some other series next season? I think it was reported on this site. Assuming (incorrectly no doubt) that DH were to get a second season, wouldn't that mean she wouldn't be on it anymore?
The weak link in this show is Eliza/Echo, I just can't get any feelings worked up for her, she does not have the depth to carry off this character. I will keep watching if it comes back because I will watch water boil if Joss is involved in it. I am still waiting for another Firefly or Spike to show up..BRING BACK SPIKE in something. He was the reason I watched the last 4 years of Buffy.
Couldn't she be a full cast member of one series and still a recurring member of Dollhouse?
I now believe a series consisting of just Amy Acker dancing to funky music while around fog machines for a half hour every week would make networks tons of money. Shows have been successful with less of a premise than that. You could have her quoting Groucho Marx one-liners. Doesn't matter. So long as she kept.. slinking..

flugufrelsarinn: "Couldn't she be a full cast member of one series and still a recurring member of Dollhouse?"

That would depend on a number of factors. Her. Her agent. The Network. The Other Network. Joss. Brushfires in California. The price of tea in China. There's a lot of variables. Most important at the moment to me tho is WHETHER OR NOT THE SHOW GETS RENEWED. I mean that's kinda the E in E=mc2 right now. If the answer to that variable is zero, it makes everything else rather moot. Personally I'm more attached to Miracle Laurie. I mean sure Whiskey's intriguing, but November is HOT!

Mmm... now I'm getting visions of Laurie AND Acker dancing to funky music around fog machines in selectively deceptive lighting.. wearing cheerleading uniforms... Uhm, where were we?

Rehabber: "The weak link in this show is Eliza/Echo"

Careful there, Rehabber. I've made the mistake of admitting multiple times that I always felt the weak link of BtVS was SMG, and that the reason to watch that particular series is due to all the incredible talent around her. This is not an opinion that makes ANYONE want to meet me at conventions. ..not that I go to conventions, but you get my meaning. I'm the guy holding the cheese slices. NObody cares!

I have to concur though. Echo's the weak link in this here chain.

Eliza asked Joss for a star vehicle, and he provided what he always does: a powerful ensemble piece that ultimately had no room for a woman who doesn't so much hog the limelight as she does ..exude it.

Everything that could be done was done to make Dollhouse fit Eliza's needs while still telling the story that Whedon had to get out of him, but the two were not always mutually beneficial. In hindsight she woulda been better off doing a remake of Moonlighting, with a dancing monkey playing the part of Bruce Willis.

Echo needed to be a smaller part of this machine to make it go. The fact we knew from the beginning that Echo was important to Alpha made his eventual capture and conversion of her far less interesting. Dushku's acting her wittle heart out with the painfully dull line, "I mean I get it," and we're sitting there in the dark going, "we got it back in February! Can you move on now please? Only a half hour to go - What about November!?? What's Boyd's whole deal? FOCUS!"

It's been a frustrating season to say the least, and the questions I want answered? Will probably now not even be touched on in a graphic novel. I shoulda known better than to get attached to this thing when it started: I MEAN IT'S FOX FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! You'd think I woulda learned my lesson! Buuuuuuuut NOooooooooOoooooooOoooo!

This ain't Echo The Dolly Slayer is all I'm sayin'. ..what were we talking about? Never mind. Back to the fog machines and the slinky dancing! Where's the jello!??
In all this Tudyk and Acker love, Enver Gjokaj shouldn't be forgotten. Those three were the best actors in the last two episodes (if Dichen Lachman had had a bigger role in those she probably would've been with them)
I think it is too bad that only the nay sayers are commenting at the Matt Roush link and here. Personally I found everyone amazing in Friday's show. Eliza totally rocked with going from the pea brained gun mall to the many brained goddess. In fact I ended up feeling deeply invested with every character on the screen.
I agree. This was Eliza's best acting job all season. I'd be interested in seeing more of it, that's for sure.
The only episode where I wanted something a bit different from Eliza was when she played the dead lady. It was lacking a certain something. Otherwise I've liked what she's done.
I've written a catch up with the Dollhouse staff (including Amy).
"Surreal" doesn't really seem the right word to me.
ZachsMind, although I disagree with you about SMGs acting skills (I thought she was great as Buffy), I totally get what you are talking about with Eliza. I had a hard time relating to the comments in the past by people who felt like you, that you loved Buffy but felt the lead was the weakest link. Now I get it. I really like Eliza and like the character of Echo but feel that way too much focus is on her character. I feel that the other actors do a much better job convincing me they are these characters/imprints.

The guy who plays Victor is amazing and I hope if the show comes back so does he. I'm a little nervous about the scars retiring him from the dollhouse. I want more screen time with Sierra, Boyd & Whiskey. And fix her scars - Amy Acker is too beautiful to keep her scarred (and fix Victor too).

I understand that the show is/was a vehicle for Eliza but I hope if it comes back it becomes more of an ensemble show and we get some storylines that don't mostly involve Echo.
I'm with Firefly Flanatic. Enver, Dichen, Miracle and Harry were all amazing - and of course Amy was. It's a truly amazing cast and they all deserve to be in the title credits (like, seriously) and in the show a lot more. I wasn't a fan of the way Sierra just seemed to disappear towards the end.
I enjoy the whole cast, except Tahmoh really does nothing for me *shrugs*
I never liked Tahmoh on BSG, and at first I hated him on Dollhouse - he was just so ripped and handsome and confident, that I couldn't buy him as this busted down, obsessed and ostracized type. But as the season went on I learned to appreciate the subtlety of his performance, and I do think he did a great job, he just acts very un-showily -- it's all in his eyes.

Plus, I love the chemistry he had with Alpha as Kepler in Briar Rose. The way he dragged out that "shuuut uuuup" was pricless.

My girlfriend, on the other hand, finds Tahmoh's movie-trailer-voiceover-guy-esque voice so ridiculous that she laughs at everything he says. And she likes the show.

Anyway, I agree that Enver and Dichen were real finds, and should have featured more heavily in the later episodes. And I have always found Amy super-talented, even though I never liked Fred (as a character).
I get the feeling Joss wanted Tahmoh because of his Keanu-like skills. Also the arms.
RE: the scars. This is one of those areas where I am completely confused as the brilliance of the writing. Those scars are the result of very clean cuts by a very sharp knife; they can easily be repaired via plastic surgery. No question. There is no reason for Dr. Saunders and Victor to carry those scars for the rest of their life.
Ivy. I just wasn't invested in her character. The rest? Of course I was invested, but Ivy just didn't do it for me.

Seriously, Eliza's fine. Dushku is as good as SMG as Buffy; nothing more, nothing less.

What a weird ride this season has been. I haven't commented on Omega. Still digesting.

ETA: And about the scars. I'm not buying it, either. We know the scars can be fixed with surgery. Nip/Tuck approves.

[ edited by April November on 2009-05-11 20:26 ]
Topher/Fran NEEDS his own fan club. That is all I have to say. Go TOPHER!!
I guess I'm smarter than a TV Critic because I didn't find the finale confusing at all, I rather enjoyed it, although I do agree it felt rushed -- could have been an extra 1/2 hour to a whole 'nother ep in there.

Or should that read "I'm less sane than" instead of smarter?
When Ballard looks up at the camera and smirks at Adelle after using the truth to push his FBI friend away, Tahmoh cemented and underlined every ounce of blood sweat and tears he put into his performance for Dollhouse. He's a slow burn. Not everyone's gonna appreciate him. I for one am very thankful for what he brought to the table. This has admittedly been the strangest toolbox ever assembled before Whedon for storytelling purposes. Ballard never seemed like a perfect fit, just as Tahmoh didn't quite seem right for the part in the early episodes, but I think that's precisely what Whedon was trying to convey. Ballard was a penguin in an ocelot's skin, when he really wanted to be a tiger. I didn't feel any finality with this series finale in regards to any character except Ballard. Whether he realized it or not, by accepting a position with The Dollhouse, it felt like he finally found a place where he could be himself. Yes he's noble as a grape, but I think he'll find 'the gray' curiously comfortable once he walks around in that skin awhile. In a way, this series has never really been about Echo. It's about Ballard's journey.

Regarding the scars, that's easily fixed in season two. Adele DeWitt puts in a call to the best plastic surgeon that's been a previous customer, and she offers a free romp with the Active of his/her choice if s/he fixes Whiskey & Victor for cost. Frankly, I'm not sure why that hasn't been worked into the story before now. It's not like these are inoperable scars. There's total reconstructive surgery nowadays. You could throw a few monkey wrenches in the mix to make an episode out of it.
I think Victor's scars, being surgical and precise, can be fixed. The reason Dr. Saunders scars can't be fixed is probably because they were done by a child with bonsai scissors.
I am probably in the minority but I was dissapointed in the finale. I actually thought the episode before the Finale was much much bettter. The only thing that saved the finale for me was Amy Acker. Both Alan and Amy saved the finale from being a bore fest IMO.
I didn't like Paul at first, and Tahmoh's performance wasn't doing much for me (even though I thought he was great on BSG), but I think Paul has now become my favourite character. Once episode 6 hit he stopped being so bland and started to become a lot more... twisted? It was wonderful.
While I don't agree with everything that Televisionary said, I do agree that the last two episodes showed Alpha as a mad genius: last week we got "genius", this week we got "mad". Tudyk's performance was fun, but I wish the finale had more (Alpha) genius, or slightly subtler madness.

From other comments I've read here, in particular about the original script (? where?), it sounds like there was enough material for 3-4 episodes being scrunched into the last two shows.
Yeah, I don't like his implication that Dollhouse is just a stopgap before the Next Big Thing. But his review wasn't bad.
Sarah Michelle Gellar was an outstanding actress on a show filled with excellent performers.

Also, I do find ZachsMind's observations about Ballard - perhaps not really being comfortable in his own skin until working with the Dollhouse - to be interesting.

(ETA dashes)

[ edited by LKW on 2009-05-13 19:17 ]

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