Mini Review: 2.05 The Public Eye

by admin on January 27, 2010 · 3 comments

2.05 The Public Eye

As regular readers will know, Iโ€™m attempting to catch up with the episodes of Dollhouse that I have missed, or not yet reviewed, by posting mini reviews before the series finale, bumped to Jan 29 (where I plan to post a full review, thus bringing closure to my WD journey). Below the jump I post my honest thoughts on the episode 2.05, โ€œThe Public Eyeโ€.

THE GOOD

  • Less character development than the previous episode, but we got a closer look at one of the overarching threads, namely, the Rossum Corporation.
  • The twist was good. I suspected that Senator Perrin was in fact a doll, but to be honest the thought had left my mind by the time the reveal happened. It was nicely done.
  • I enjoyed the introduction of Summer Glau as Bennet. It’s early days but I thought that she was very convincing in her performance as the twisty, twitchy and pretty darn sadistic Bennet. I’m just looking forward to finding out more.

THE BAD

  • Rossum are probably the most uninteresting shadowy-evil corporation in the world. They’re so bland and uninteresting that the excitement at finding out more about them is made less..exciting.
  • Although the episode contained some nice moments I felt that the contrivances outweighed them. For instance, Team Dollhouse basing their entire Rossum counter strategy on a random video clip of the Senator saying “it was like she [his wife] was made for me” (or words to that effect). How about doing a bit more research before jumping to conclusions!? No wonder Rossum wants to ditch them. And that’s another thing that doesn’t sit right with me; I get that the LA Dollhouse is a liability, but surely Rossum’s plan makes little sense? If they depose of Adelle’s branch in such a public fashion, the trail will eventually lead back to them – Adelle and company will never go away quietly. And why try to bring down the L.A. branch whilst they still have full access to Rossum resources, giving them the ability to fight back? It just seems that the people in charge at Rossum aren’t very smart, and the ‘big bad’ should be smart.
  • It felt as though Echo and the entire show in general took a couple of steps backwards. Echo was back to her ‘unaware state’ and jarring mannerisms, and the show was back to feeling rushed. I didn’t buy the idea that this was the same Ninja Echo from the previous episode. The signs of ‘knowing’ that she had felt insincere and tacked on. I also felt that Echo had far too much screen-time as I was reminded once again why this show needs to keep her to the B-plot. That said, she wasn’t helped by some of the dialogue which seemed a bit too forced at times.
  • I found myself having to take too many leaps to buy into the episode. I appreciate the desire to focus on an overarching story element, but some of the character motivations and plot developments contained too many holes. For instance; Why wasn’t Boyd following Echo? how did Perrin and Echo end up in the car they had ditched after the confrontation with Cindy? Perhaps there are logical answers to these questions, but they represent just a couple of examples of where I was left scratching my head in bemusement.
  • I’m not enjoying the way Mellie is being used this season. It’s almost like they’re trying to recapture the magic of crazed-pasta-making-Mellie from season 1. Those were good moments in a bleak period for the show. I think the actress does a good enough job, but they’re forcing the romance angle too much, whilst using her to paint Ballard as some kind of “hero”. And my thoughts on Ballard are probably best left alone for the time being.

I thought Public Eye was a decent episode overall, although I found myself put off by numerous plot holes, odd character motivations and a general sense of unease at feeling ‘forced’ to sympathise with the LA Branch. The introduction of Summer Glau and the opportunity for overarching story is pretty much what saves this episode, in my opinion.

Other Comments

  • Ballard tells Mellie that he wants the Dollhouse to fall. I was glad for the reminder because I’d actually forgotten what his whole purpose was. The thing is, if he really wants the DH to crumble then he could have fooled me! I think I’ll have to accept the fact that Ballard is not going to get any better from here.
  • Thanks to Topher’s ‘disrupter’ gizmo, we at least know that Adelle, Boyd and Topher are not dolls. Or if they are, they’re a higher spec.
  • Echo receives another blow to the head and it conveniently helps her to remember. Isn’t there another way?
  • They left Architecture in Mellie’s head? That sounds so cool yet so creepy at the same time. I guess Echo’s (I think it was Echo) right – no-one ever really leaves the Dollhouse.
  • Oh how I cringed when Echo said: “her bad guys are worse than my bad guys” (words to the effect of). ๐Ÿ™ Seriously, less is more when it comes to Echo. It’s back to season 1 Echo where she just says crap in an attempt to be cool. ๐Ÿ˜€ To be fair, it’s probably not only the actress though – they’re writing her dialogue with too much self-awareness of the camera. Also, the episode gave us little indication that what Echo said is true. Sure, Rossum will end up being ‘worse’ than our lot because that’s the direction the writers are taking the show – but this episode really didn’t give me any real indication to think that Adelle’s Team are any less corrupt. I’m sorry, but Adelle & Co. don’t suddenly become good, or better, or less worse because a line in a script says so. They need to build up to that with evidence, and if they get me to sympathise with Adelle from this point, I’ll probably eat my hat.

Best Character: Topher

Episode Rating: 6/10

Phoenix January 27, 2010 at 5:23 pm

Wow, you really *are* catching up with the rest of the season before Friday, aren’t you? I got so mad at you reading this, because I’m very unaware when it comes to plot twists and I know that you predicted the Mellie/November reveal, which I didn’t, and now also the Perrin reveal, which hit me from left field…I should pay better attention!

But, actually, the whole motivation of Rossum is fairly easy to figure out: what they need is unobstruction, and Daniel Perrin provides that by way of Madeline. If they can prove that the Dollhouse is real (and, I’m assuming, kill DeWitt to shut her up) and not linked to Rossum, then they not only have a senatorial puppet with enough ambition to run for president, they also get absolved publicly of all wrongdoing, eliminate the Dollhouse rumors, eliminate the LA Dollhouse, and get back to whatever they were scheming before.

The thing with Echo is that she’s still imprinted (halfway) as the hooker in this episode, so she hasn’t really gotten as self-aware as she was during “Vows,” just sort of drifting in between. Maybe that’s an excuse, maybe not. And, also, with the car — that was just not having the money to get a different car during the episode, or maybe they just assumed viewers wouldn’t notice. At least, that’s my conjecture.

Looking forward to your always honest assessment of “The Left Hand.”

David F January 28, 2010 at 7:44 am

I too felt that this episode was a little fragmented not 6/10 fragmented but whatever, i think the second part the left hand is the far superior episode with some amazing revelations and the alwats awesome summer glau turning it on. Until next time then.

Roco January 28, 2010 at 11:07 am

Summer Glau is definitely a reason to watch. Good to see her on-board. I have no idea whether she’s a permanent fixture on the show, but I hope that she is.

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