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June 17 2011

Dollhouse equals a huge plot hole? io9 counts down their top ten big reveals that have happened in TV that seem to only make matters more confusing, and cite a specific revelation in season two of "Dollhouse" as one of the worst offenders.

Yeah, that was a little contrived. It's unfortunate, because I really liked Boyd.

Side note: Why did that article have to have a link to TVTropes? Ugh. I can kiss the next few hours of my life goodbye.
Disagree about the Lost part. I hate when the Lost Haters try to pass across their opinion as fact.
Uh, everything that happened in Lost didn't happen in Purgatory. It was the alternate timeline/ending that was Purgatory. How is it that paid writers don't know this?
Have to agree. Season two was really awesome up until that episode--and then we got the reveal, and it almost ruined the whole show for me.

Also agree on Lost. And is that seriously how the American version of "Life on Mars" ended? I mean, I figured it wouldn't be nearly as good as the original, but that ending sounds all kinds of stupid.
It tickles my funny bone both Alias and Dollhouse are there (I agree with both, esp. with Alias. Talk about the train wreck that was Season 5). The Dollhouse reveal would have been okay, though, if the show had more time (that was me secretly hoping that that would have been the case. Still devastated about the Boyd thing D:)
Their confusion of Planet of the Apes doesn't make sense. He thought he'd gone back to his own time but didn't go back far enough. The Apes had recently taken over and changed the Lincoln Memorial. No "parallel universe" required to figure that out.
A few issues with this.

-Doctor Who was a cheat, but the Doctor clearly tells Rose she's on the list of the dead from the Torchwood Institute. Hence, "this is the day that I died."

-I don't think they understand the point of Cube. The point is that it's ambiguous. The first film originally revealed that it was aliens, but it was cut out because the story just works better with ambiguity.

-I've never for the life of me understood why people find the Planet of the Apes remake's ending confusing. Thade went further back in time than Mark Wahlberg, hence setting off an ape rebellion. There you go. Ending.

-How did the Star Wars prequels make things more confusing (you know, the reason for this article), exactly? Oh, wait. Because they still can't get over their raped childhoods.
Side note: Why did that article have to have a link to TVTropes?


Imo the whole article might as well be a link to Ending Aversion.


Sorry - couldn't resist!
As for Boyd Langton: The character seems to me a bit more complex as to the author of that article.

As for Lost: There's no purgatory before death and for most of the show the characters dwell in the real world, though on a mysterious island.
He pretty much nailed it. Especially the Boyd thing. He may have gotten the specifics about Lost wrong but the essence I have to agree with. It was facepalm city at the end. Planet of the Apes may not have been confusing if you thought about it. But you had to think about it (unlike the big reveal at the end of the original) By the last season, Alias was just a bunch of stuff happening. I agree episodes I, II, and, III weren't confusing so much as they were bewildering. I'm not confused by Midichlorians, I'm just bewildered that Lucas that that was a good idea. The other stuff I ain't seen so I can't say.
The Blake's 7 reference doesn't seem to fit - there never was a reveal on-screen, and you can't tell from the aired episode that there was an intention to have one.

In terms of Lost, yes, lots of people didn't like the ending, but "count how many times a reveal ended with a giant facepalm"? Not that many, I don't think.
Hold the phone there a sec, the fact that Echo and Boyd were both inprinted and yet retained theirselves....where does that leave?

I'm falling into this argument, aren't I? Sigh, whatever happened to snickering of the various ways vamps fell to dust in BtVS?
I actually liked the LOST finale. I thought the purgatory reveal was great, because I didn't even kind of see it coming, but it made so much sense upon rewatch. That to me is the mark of a good plot twist. Not a facepalm. I watched that show for the characters, not the myth-arc, so I wasn't disappointed at all. I can understand the people that were, though.

I think the Boyd reveal was problematic because they didn't know from the beginning. I'm pretty sure they had decided it by the time season 2 started, but the fact that we spent an entire season with a character that the writers didn't even know his true story... I don't know. I love Dollhouse, and I will defend it to anyone, but... I still just don't love that reveal.

Imo the whole article might as well be a link to Ending Aversion.


Why must you torment me, brinderwalt? I had just escaped!
I think he's wrong on Lost (and most of the questions WERE answered if you paid attention), missed the point of the Doctor Who episode and made the mistake of watching the Cube sequels. Otherwise I pretty much agree with him.
The "Planet of the Apes" remake ending was awful. It was *clear* that Thade had somehow landed on Earth and caused an ape rebellion - and they didn't necessarily have to have gone back in time, Thade just had to have landed earlier than Mark Wahlberg's character - it just seemed, after they'd taken such pains to explain why everybody on the planet speaks English, etc., etc., to be completely ridiculous.

I didn't have trouble with the "Lost" finale at all. The alternate timeline could have taken place a thousand years in the future from the rest of it - it took place once everybody had died in the real world, whenever that was.

Boyd to me just didn't make sense. At least one of the writers has said in an interview that Echo needed to go through all the events she went through in order to produce the right kind of spinal fluid, which is why they kept risking her, but this was never made clear, so what we got was a reveal of a guy who needed Echo for something - but kept risking her life (and the loss of her body) every time we turned around.
Yeah, the Boyd reveal didn't work for me. I appreciated the need to get the story to a reasonable end but doing so as quickly as they did, especially in relation to Boyd, felt rushed and tacked on. Probably the only element of Dollhouse that I didn't like though, so fair enough.

As for Doctor Who, surely the fact that it was Rose herself telling us that this was the day that she 'died' was a clue that she wasn't actually going to physically die, right?

Highlander 2? Probably my least favourite Highlander movie but the director's cut is actually a half decent film. It removes all the alien 'Zeist' crap and instead suggests that the Immortals came from our distant past, sent forward in time rather than from another world. Neither version of the origin was taken very seriously in later years, however. Still, a half decent action romp if watched with an open mind to Highlander mythology.

As for Lost, I honestly am starting to wonder how so many people who decide to whine about how the show ended in an online article can have so massively misunderstood what they were watching. How many times am I going to have to read someone having a go at the show for having it all of happened in purgatory when the show made it totally clear that this was not the case. Yes, they all eventually died and came together in the afterlife, but everything else actually happened as we saw it. That was obvious to me from the very first time I watched The End. Why do so many people not understand?

Having said that, the fact that such a large number of former fans blame the show for not answering questions when 99% of them were answered quite clearly tells me that most of the issues come from people who simply stopped paying attention a long time ago and decided to blame the writers for their own lack of concentration. A shame because it seems that Lost is now going to forever be remembered as a show that couldn't live up to its own hype when in fact it was simply the unfair expectations and lack of patience of certain fans that caused their own displeasure. The cast and crew of Lost deserve a lot better than that, in my opinion. They did good!
Have to agree. In my mind, I've decided the Boyd reveal isn't canon. No idea what that makes Epitaph Two.
Darn you Brinderwalt! Shakes fist.
The Boyd reveal was a real moment for me. I think I strained an eyeball.

And...there was no Highlander 2.
Xane, if you haven't seen it already then you should check out The Renegade Version of Highlander 2 that I mentioned above. Still not perfect but a billion times better than the original. It actually makes you want to accept that a second Highlander movie was made. ;)
The Boyd reveal didn't make sense to me. For me I was always struggling with Dollhouse, at times it seemed so smart and well written, then other times I was very dissappointed by it. I felt that the show really took a dive with the Boyd reveal.
I guess I'm the only one who liked the Boyd twist. They definitely needed more time to build up to it (which I think they would have, if the show went on), but it definitely makes re-watching more interesting. Finding moments that do make more sense and things that could have/should have been developed into clues. Then again, I had no problem with Lost either. I wasn't crazy about Planet of the Apes (of any flavour), but I wasn't put off by the ending. And since we're already on a TV Tropes kick....
I think the Boyd twist was decided upon at the start of season 2.
You're not the only one. Frankly, I'm relieved we had this reveal about Boyd, because it's the only way the character could make sense in so little time. If not for this twist, his mere presence would have been forced. How a man like Boyd can even be here? There were so many paradoxes about him(mainly, moral paradoxes, he was the most moral person there but also so much at ease). But now, I can accept those thanks to the twist (he can be both at ease and morally condemning because he believes he's above it all, and it's just his business).
But yes, more time to develop it would have been good.
My issues with the end of LOST had nothing to do with "they didn't explain everything". I just couldn't accept that they had to shoehorn in an entirely new metaphysics unrelated to anything else the show had ever addressed in order to have their emotional/character ending. It was basically a form of deus ex machina.
brinderwalt ...I hate you. Three hours of my life are gone to that damn site...AGAIN!
I don't know about any shoehorning, b!X. I think the afterlife/purgatory nature of the island was set up long before season six began. So much so that I had guessed exactly what was going on with the flash-sideways by the end of the first episode of the final season. The mysterious whispers that were evident right from the start of the show were the voices of the dead, after all. The island itself was a kind of nexus between life and death, for all intents and purposes. To not use that fundamental element of the show as a way to provide the ultimate closure for its characters, allowing all those that we had previously lost to come together again and correct mistakes they had made in life, would have been a waste.

Honestly, I thought it was about as perfect an end as was possible. I've seen season six three times now and each time through the purgatory storyline has become more poignant and more essential to the completion of the tale, particularly that of Jack and Locke. Wonderful stuff.
The Boyd reveal pretty much ruined Dollhouse for me. It was a "watch me do something so shocking it doesn't need to make sense" stunt. And now, I can't even rewatch the series - there's too much that just doesn't work without incredulous leaps of faith when "I know what I know" about Boyd's true motivations. I've also heard that this twist was decided before S2 - which only makes it that much worse, because a lot in S2 even in the episodes leading directly up to the reveal doesn't hold together any better. We're apparently not supposed to care or remember what happened a couple episodes in the past. Just pop more popcorn and enjoy the show, right? And then Joss followed it up with Twilight. The trust is taking some damage. He's better than these shock-plot parlor tricks... and it's grating that he doesn't think enough of us, that he'd still try to pass this stuff off. Next up: OMG! Mal has been working for The Alliance all along! Kaylee is actually a Reaver!

Okay, rantier than I meant, but... I'm a little bitter about it.

[ edited by BringItOn5x5 on 2011-06-17 16:36 ]
I think I receieved exactly what I'm used to seeing in articles like this. That is, self serving nerd rage moments that have been dressed up as showrunner problems.

On Dollhouse, the idea that because Boyd was set up as having a police background, that somehow creates a plot hole when the Boyd reveal occurs is a bit daft actually. Using this logic, Book can't be a member of the Alliance, Riley Finn can't be in the initiative, etc.

Now, the fact that people didn't like the emotional execution of it, I'll buy. In my experience, a true irrational psychotic is rarely a dramatically pleasing payoff. It's not that they aren't possible or even common in r/l, it's that a majority of the audience can't follow their logic and that tends to feel cheap. Especially since it still is dogma amongst dramatic criticism that everything in the plot should be logical to the audience. Still, the idea of a person who "behaves" like everyone else in public yet uses people without their knowledge and has something very wrong with them, does happen. That doesn't make it a plot hole, it makes it disturbing.

I gloss right over the Lost comments though. People hating last episodes should probably be its own internet meme since it happens almost every single time.
The ending of the US Life On Mars might as well have been the lead saying to camera "Life on Mars is a TV show." And would probably have made more sense...
azzers said exactly what I was about to post.
I thought the ending to US "Life on Mars" was about the only thing that would've made sense, and once you know it, you can see all sorts of clues and foreshadowings throughout the run.

Agree the Boyd twist didn't really work for me. It didn't feel like it was set up sufficiently. What I did like about it though was Boyd's own reasoning for wanting to bring the Dollhouse staff along with him. Because they're his friends. Reminder that the bad guys don't think of themselves as the bad guys. He's doing this all for the good of the world (sort of like Dr. Horrible).

And it seems to me that Battlestar Galactica really should have been on this list.
What b!x said ... I didn't care in the least whether everything was explained, I was just very dissatisfied with an ending that said little is resolved during life, but everyone can work through their issues and achieve true happiness once they're dead. Felt cheap to me. I also really disliked the Jacob backstory and the revelation of multiple new things, not just in the final episode, but in the last several episodes. (A bit like the Scythe and the mysterious old woman in Buffy: it was just too late in the story to be revealing new mythology. Except in Lost's case it was much worse than one person and one weapon--it seemed like about 15 different things that came out of left field.)

Obviously, this is just my opinion, and I'm happy for those who were satisfied with the ending. I was disappointed because I loved the show so much--Desmond is one of my favorite TV characters of all time, and season 5 (with the time travel) is just absolute genius from start to finish. But the purgatory, and the last few revelations regarding Jacob and the Island, didn't work for me at all.
I believe the main problem of Lost was that there were promises of a very conected plot, wich would have solid explanations, and in the end there was none (I stopped believing in it, after seing a wheelchair man simple walking in the island). One thing is you came in the first episode and say that your city is over a Hellmouth and because of that ther will be demons and all sort of strange things, other is the 3 last episodes same one explain that the island is over a hell hole. Basically the writers just told that everything they weren't abble to explain was magic.
But don't worry, the Congress here, is changing the Constituition, to add the line "Every Brazilian has the right to happiness", this probably wil make the procucers of Lost to do a new ending. :(
I never felt like someone had promised me I'd understand all of LOST's mysteries when it was over. That we never get a full explanation of the island never bothered me. Ultimately, the island was the audience's MacGuffin, important as the hook, but not important as the point.
I can see where they're going with this list, but yeah, a few nitpics.

Mainly, you know the point about pretending Highlander II just doesn't exist . . . that's how proper Cube fans think about Cube Zero.
Not much of an article really, very little substance to most of their points and some are just plain wrong.

- whatever we think of the Star Wars prequels they were hardly confusing
- whatever the intentions for "Blake's 7" series 5 the ending of series 4 works perfectly as a series finale - much as 'Not Fade Away' does for 'Angel'
- 'Life on Mars' US was arguably a cop-out and basically primary school's narrative no-no of "it was all a dream" without the satisfying metaphysical aspects of the original but again, hardly confusing
-'Doomsday' may have been undone by RTD's later insistence on having Rose pop-up apparently at will from her "inescapable" parallel universe (it being inescapable what makes it a form of death) but as others have said, the fact that she was narrating it herself surely suggests she doesn't die die, part of the suspense of the episode was wondering what that meant

The only point with any merit IMO is Boyd, not because it was confusing but just because they didn't have the time to make it believable. He had to be something other than what he seemed, being the baddie would be fine if it tied in - however subtly - with anything else we'd seen and didn't make him a simplistic nutty villain on a show which had previously eschewed the simplistic at pretty much every opportunity (it's partly redeemed by what Echo does to him at the end though i.e. going back to the non-simplistic moral ambiguity).

And it seems to me that Battlestar Galactica really should have been on this list.

Again though barboo, whatever we may think if it, not that confusing surely ? , right ? From quite early on, going by the events we saw, they were living in one of two universes, at the end Ron Moore plumped for that one.

And since we're already on a TV Tropes kick....

Hilariously enough, that's one of the things that annoys me about tvtropes.org - complaining about shows you don't like is a trope now ? Not just "a thing people do" ? They have a hammer (quite often a fascinating, addictive, hours-of-your-life-sucking hammer ;) and everything has started to look like a nail.

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