Monday, December 7, 2009

Dollhouse: Seaons 2, Episode 5 – The Public Eye (2009)

The Public Eye is a fun, creepy at times, episode full of twists and turns. Thematically, the episode has pockets of identity crisis (which plays more in the next episode). Mainly though, the episode serves as more of a lead-in to the next more than a stand-alone piece, which hurts it a bit. The first act is bludgeoned with exposition, though unavoidable, it does slow down the storytelling, and drag. Director David Solomon does his best to liven it up though, employing an active camera. But ultimately, the first act does little more than inform. There is a rather good little scene between Olivia Williams and Keith Carradine squeezed in there though for good measure. In the second act, there is action, twists, suspense, emotion, and fun. However, much like almost all scenes involving Ballard doing dramatic work, the scene between November and Ballard at LAX is a bit flat, but there is a sense that it is suppose to be, in that he has failed utterly, and this is the lowest of the lows for him, the final failure that will lead to some sort of redemption (we shall see, this is Whedon after all, so Ballard probably will not get it). The theme of identity also harkens back to the future as seen in Epitaph One, which is a nice touch. With each step to help, the audience sees the step as just another leading to the fall. It is also interesting to see the steps that lead the LA Dollhouse to be sort of an epicenter of resistance, much like in Belonging, Dewitt again decides to try to take the moral high road, or so it seems. The third act plays the best, as the intrigue heightens (and the production design is such a contrast to the LA Dollhouse). Summer Glau is quirky and creepy and delightful to watch. Stacey Scowley also plays her role well, her character is just so off-putting, and it is supposed to be (I think). Alexis Denisof was good; he evokes the characteristics of his role well, but seems fake at times, as if he is too perfect (you’ll see). Elisha Dushku has one of her better episodes too, playing in her wheelhouse. Overall, the episode is fun. There is some drama, some action, some sexiness, some comedy. But most importantly, the episode (which really does feel like part one of a two-parter) sets up what is to come nicely. 8/10

Dollhouse can be seen Fridays on Fox or on

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