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September 24 2013

Harry Lennix talks The Blacklist & what happened to Boyd in Dollhouse. Lennix talks about his new series The Blacklist, along with the twists in his Boyd Langton character on Dollhouse.

His theory still doesn't hold up.
I like the theory. I treat the twist as effectively his death instead.
Here's just a few points on how the theory doesn't work;
1) The flashback with the revelation showed that it was clearly the same character in that body.
2) The disrupter never affected him, again suggesting that at that point, it was still the same person in that body. So it couldn't have been someone transplanted into it that we knew as Boyd.
3) If it hadn't been the same person/body, Caroline wouldn't have recognised him anyway. So the body at least had to be the same one she knew as the cofounder.
It would be hideously complicated to *not* just have it be him playing the part all along. And that's what we saw done and we were fooled, so there's no reason they wouldn't be.
I don't blame him for wanting to think that. The Boyd reveal was without a doubt the worst 'twist' in all of the Whedonverse. It was clear as day that it was something that they hadn't planned from the very beginning and in retrospect it ruined a lot of S1 for me. To be blunt; I think they sacrificed a wonderful character for nothing more than a cheap shock. If I was Harry Lennix I wouldn’t want to endorse it either and I’d be really disappointed as an actor if my character was thrown under the bus for nothing more than a “gotchya!”

I’m all for twists that are carefully plotted and constructed and that actually enrich the series upon reflection. But this certainly wasn’t one of them and I find it particularly disappointing that a Mutant Enemy production would resort to such lazy writing when I always thought that characters were their strong points. The characters should always come first but let’s face it, by the end of S2 the characters took a backseat to the plot in the mad dash to wrap up 5 year’s worth of storylines in just a handful of episodes. I appreciate that Whedon and Co wanted to give us some closure but it really came at expense to both the characters and the quality of the writing.

So, yeah, the theory doesn't work but I'm really sympathetic to why Lennix needs to try and make sense of the story.
When I rewatched the show there were a few little things that made me think the set-up were there all along. Don't ask me for them now - I'd have to go through and pick them out.
Didn't the writers admit that it was something they came up with during the hiatus between S1-S2?
Even without a total personality transplant, the chair could also be used for personality modification. So Boyd the evil mastermind could have imprinted certain protective qualities in himself to play the role of watching over Echo since she was so important to his project. OR, he could just be a complex character. The enigma of basically evil people doing good things and basically good people doing bad things does come up in the real world, after all. And just the awful mixtures of these qualities. But I too was jarred and not very on board with the change when it happened. Still, I can see why, facing the sudden end of the show, it would seem like a cool way to pay off all the sense of mystery about the control of the Dollhouse that they had built up over the course of the show. Just bringing in new villains wouldn't have had the same resonance. It's just a shame they didn't get to have a few more seasons.
Yes, he could just be a complex character. Heck, the Mayor had his good side, too.

One thing about Boyd's unmasking is important - if he really had been the basically-good guy he seemed to be, the end of the hsow, the big counter-consipracy would've been more successful and less painful. Also, it would've robbed Whiskey's self-sacrifice of a lot of its meaning - if he'd really beena good guy, she should've had her own escape palce, amybe an airtight safe room, to wait for him
They do. I believe it is something they came up with (I think "early" season 2 is mentioned in one of the commentaries - possibly "Vows"), and there are a load of small things that play so perfectly in S1 with different meanings. Whether it's the `cop` background that crucially he never says a single word about either way, or something like the look he gives after "you're good people", or his "we're pimps and killers" which is a very interesting line hearing it again afterward. Or his reluctance to go into the head of security role where he can't personally take care of Echo, his "I don't need a bonus", etc. A lot of his conversations particularly with Topher have interesting lines. As a late retrofit, it is a particularly well done one.

It was also strongly implied that Bennett was the only one who could do more complex persona alterations than Topher could ever do with the chair, and even then her Perrin was susceptable to the disrupter. There is though also the odd little bit in one of the S2 Blu Ray extras with Harry stating that it isn't Boyds original body and it isn't the last we've seen of him.

Which again, kind of goes against the show canon and what has been firmly established, and the latter part in particular is clearly wishful thinking since that clip looks to have been during the shooting of The Hollow Men... He can think it, but there isn't a scrap of show canon or even in the Epitaphs miniseries that suggests it or backs it. At all.

I always thought Adele summed it up well - as did he - in THM. Boyd has his own warped logic to him, and there are people who sometimes can do the most brutal and evil things in real life while appearing good and smiling along. Even Hitler loved his wife and his dog. Boyd's a sociopath and a manipulater. He betrayed his best friend Clyde and put him in the Attic, and ultimately sees what he is doing as being for the greater good of himself and those he `cares` about. Just because people wanted him to be inherently a good person... Well, you were manipulated too. ;)

[ edited by apollo11 on 2013-09-24 18:43 ]

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