>TV Round-Up

>Battlestar Galactica: “No Exit,” “Deadlock”
After the sheer greatness that was the mutiny two-parter, I guess there had to be a bit of a letdown. It’s not that these episodes were bad, but compared to scenes of Adama taking back the ship and Roslin swearing unholy vengeance on Zarak, it just wasn’t the same. But yet it was just as rewarding.

It took me a long time to get my head wrapped around “No Exit.” Essentially it’s a huge info-dump of an episode and one designed to tie up some loose ends. It also seems to be setting up things for “Caprica,” I think. But we’ll have to wait until the pilot comes out on DVD before we jump to any more conclusions.

Ron Moore gave us a lot to digest in an hour–from the origins of the Cylons to how resurrection came about to the heirarchy of things. And Moore has admitted that they screwed up the continuity by not being able to count and he’s also said that we won’t see or hear much more about Daniel the rest of the run. Which is kind of disappointing or else it’s a huge red herring because Daniel does have some huge impact on the final revelations to come (best theoery I’ve heard is Starbuck is a child of Daniel). Again, maybe it’s all setting things up for “Caprica” and we’ll learn more about Daniel there. But I don’t think it’s likely.

It also put some interesting new spins on certain relationships like Tigh and Caprica Six. It’s one of those moments where you suddenly re-evaluate everything from the series to that point and then do a mental cringe. Kind of like Leia kissing Luke in “Empire Strikes Back.” You can kind of go–ewww! in retrospect.

Which brings us to the next episode where the final five are reunited and Ellen returns to the fleet. The reunion of Tigh and Ellen was everything it needed to be and then some. And then to see Ellen shift back to her manipulative self, trying to manuever things to hurt Tigh just as she’d been hurt was wonderful. The dynamic of Tigh, Caprica Six and Ellen was wonderful and I found it a bit odd that Ellen had to play a Cyrano of sorts to get Tigh to share his feelings for Caprica Six. I think Tigh does love Caprica Six, but will they stay together now that she’s lost the baby? And what impact will that have on her and the series as we move into the final episodes? It’s easy to see how much Tigh cares, but could this drive them apart? Certainly we know that most couples outside of Roslin and Bill Adama can’t be happy for more than four episodes at a time on this show, if that many.

And then there’s Baltar. Batlar who fled at the first sign of trouble from his crazy cult and now returns to find he’s not the man in charge any more. And who decides it’s time to take back power. I’m not sure what to make of this plotline really. I’ve both liked and disliked it all year. I find it fascinating to see Baltar in exile or on the run, but I don’t feel like that’s fully been explored. It seems like a lot of people have forgotten what he was accused of and/or have forgiven him far too easily or quickly. In the day and age where we still bring up the Nicole Simposon murders when we mention O.J. Simpson, I find it strange that no one ever brings up his time as president and his list of accused crimes to Baltar. Especially the thugs in the down below areas who come and take the food. And I’m not sure giving the crazy cult guns in the best idea. It’s interesting to see Baltar trying to re-establish some kind of order since he’s the one who started the whole process that has created the chaos we see now.

Could we finally see Baltar grow beyond the man who follows his own impulse for self-preservation and self-fulfillment? Or is that too much for the final episodes to really delve into. We’ve only got five hours left and a lot of other big questions. I have a feeling this one will be glossed over in the final run. And maybe that’s for the best.

Dollhouse: The Target
I’ve read a lot of comments that wonder why Fox couldn’t have this episode serve as the pilot and not last week’s? While I will admit this was a more solid episode that better expanded what the show is and what it’s going to be, I think it comes down to one thing–this one wasn’t written by Joss Whedon. If you put on a new Whedon show, the first episode better have his name as the writer or one of the writers or else the Whedonites will riot in the streets

Beyond that, I can still see why it came second. Last week, it was all about meeting Echo and getting an idea of what this universe entails. This week it was about opening up the universe a bit more and giving us a few questions. We’ve found out that the default setting of the dolls is to be childlike and without the ability to defend themselves. Apparently, they tried having a default setting with defense abilities and it turned out negative. That’s a story I’d love to know more about, but I suspect it may be related to Alpha somehow.

Which brings up a bigger story arc. I’m wondering if Joss is structure the show along the lines of “Buffy” with a single threat to drive the overall narrative. If so, that could be Alpha for this season. Who is Alpha and what is his or her interest in Echo? I think it’s safe to assume Alpha wasn’t the guy who hired Echo out for his playing of “The Most Dangerous Game.” It seems like they’d recognize him. And what is Alpha’s agenda? If we’re to assume that he or she sent the photo to Ballard, why would he do it? Does he or she want the program exposed and why? And if Alpha a programmed personality or a combination of several that leaked through?

This is why I watch shows by Joss Whedon. Those kind of potential stories and arcs.

And the characters. So far, we don’t know a lot about them, but I think it’s wise to have a show that gets us to know more about Boyd Langdon. On a show where our main character changes each week, he’s the one who we’ll look to as an audience to figure out how to react. It’s almost like the role of a companion when a new Doctor is introduced on “Doctor Who.” We learn about the new Doctor by how the established character reacts to him. And I think Boyd could eventually become disillusioned with the process or pursuaded to help Echo recover whatever these memories are that are bleeding through. He clearly has a backdoor into her personality and can quickly establish trust no matter what imprint she has. How far could this go? And could it eventually be used to hide things from being erased?

So, I’m hooked. We all knew it would happen. Which means that Fox will pull and cancel the show next week….


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