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Author Topic: 'Dollhouse' Whedon's newest, strangest work
Raymond Arnold
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I'm glad for Better off Ted. Something about that show makes it feel like the new Scrubs to me. (Of course then they went and gave Scrubs another season, which I'm still not sure how I think about)
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Goody Scrivener
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It's official!!
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Nighthawk
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Joss talks about the Dollhouse renewal
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Nighthawk
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Summer Glau coming to Dollhouse?

Link contains spoilers to this and several other shows, so for the cheap seats:

quote:
Question: With Sarah Connor Chronicles canceled, please tell me there is a possibility of Summer Glau making an appearance on Dollhouse! --Jenn

Ausiello: The noise you're about to hear is the sound of the Whedonverse exploding. Joss confirms to me exclusively that, well, he's one step head of you. "If anybody thinks [bringing Summer onto Dollhouse] hasn't occurred to me already then they have not met me," he says. "I mentioned it to her before [SCC] was canceled. I was like, 'You know, we should get you in the 'house.' But first we have to come up with something that works." And casting her as a doll would not work, insists Whedon. "Summer would be perfect to play an active, but she's done that [type of role] a lot," he says. "I'd rather see her play someone who talks too much. The most fun I have is when I get somebody who's good and comfortable at doing something, and then I make them do something else. Summer said to me, 'I would like to play a normal girl before I die of extreme old age.'"


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Raymond Arnold
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Hell. Yeah.
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Dogbreath
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Good for them.

I wasn't actively rooting for this show to get renewed, but I won't mind watching another season, either.

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plaid
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OK, so now that it's been renewed and I'm willing to invest in the series...

I've seen episode 1; I know 6 is where it starts getting better; are any of the episodes from 2-5 worth seeing?

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Raymond Arnold
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I'd skip to episode 6 if you really weren't impressed by episode 1. I thought 2-5 were decent but I also thought episode 1 was decent.
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Elmer's Glue
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Yes, all of them. The main plots may stink for a few but there are a lot of important smaller stuff in them.
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The White Whale
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I think the character development in the first episodes is worth sitting through. And there are many good moments, interspersed amongst the bad ones.
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pooka
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Well, crap. There go my friday nights for next year. Maybe I can somehow keep this news from my husband.
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Damien.m
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Epitaph One is on the internets. And it is amazing. Dollhouse has never had more potential. Fraktacular.
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Shanna
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I just watched "Epitaph One" and my brain is suffering from so much massive awesome overload that the only thing I keep thinking is how much I love Amy Acker.

But that might be because I just got done marathon watching all of "Angel" a few weeks ago.

I feel like I'm going to have to watch it a few more times to really catch even half of the little details being throw out.

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TheGrimace
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I have to agree on Epitaph One, I loved the episode, and in particular loved the delightfully creepy job done by Amy Acker.

The original pilot I think was fascinating as well. I'm torn, because as someone who has seen the rest of the season, I prefer some aspects of the original pilot (i.e. I think it did a better job of clearly and concisely laying out what kind of stuff the Dollhouse does, and what some of the thoughts behind it are) but probably would have made for a bad pilot. In general too much was crammed into one episode, so instead of getting neat reveals like Vicktor turning out to be a doll, you just would have had a bunch of interesting things crammed in, but wouldn't have any connection with the characters involved.

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Geraine
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I am thankful Dollhouse is coming back. The first few episodes dragged, but there are a lot of series that start out slow. Fringe is another good example of a series that started out slow then slapped me in the face with pure awesomeness

I just wish Joss would make a sequel for Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog, or even a full blown series... It was brilliant, plus it had Felicia Day. MMMmmmmm Felicia Day

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Dogbreath
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Where are you guys watching Epitaph One? I can't find it on Fox or Hulu.
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Raymond Arnold
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It's only on the DVD. (And... on slightly less than legal places in the dark corners of the interwebz).
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The Pixiest
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'k... Watched Epitaph One last night.

It was an amazing episode but I'm kinda sad I watched it. How are they going to have any suspense for the second and later seasons? Romances are resolved. Any time certain people are in danger we'll know they'll be ok because they were alive for events in or referenced in this episode...

So what could possibly happen next season to keep us glued to our seat? What could happen in season three if we get that far?

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Raymond Arnold
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Have you seen Lost? Season 4 was some of the most amazing storytelling I've seen, because they start by telling you who gets off the island and then periodically have flash forwards showing what happened once they got there... yet it still keeps everything mysterious.

This is "Epitaph One." I assume that each season will have its own plot arc, and end with an "Epitaph X" that skips ahead to continue the story of the ending. The last season things will finally sync up and the last Epitaph will presumably resolve everything.

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neo-dragon
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:

This is "Epitaph One." I assume that each season will have its own plot arc, and end with an "Epitaph X" that skips ahead to continue the story of the ending. The last season things will finally sync up and the last Epitaph will presumably resolve everything.

That's actually a really incredible idea. It'll almost be like a spin-off show within the show. As it is now, does anyone else find it a real downer that we now know that the Dollhouse will inevitably lead to the end of the world?
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Raymond Arnold
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Well, it's not like we didn't already know it was a terrible idea.
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Miro
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I fear for Joss Whedon's sanity. And after watching Epitaph One, I fear for my own. Bizarre.
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Fyfe
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Sheesh, if you hadn't been watching all along, last night's episode was extremely confusing. I watched with my sister, who's never seen it, and I spent every commercial break trying to explain why things were happening. (She liked it though!)

However, as someone who has been watching all along, all that business with Whiskey was very very good. I was pleased they gave Topher layers, finally, and that scene between him and Whiskey was amazing.

Also, it really screwed with my head to see Lee doing a British accent and Wesley doing an American one. I was all, snap out of it, guys! Let's be real here. It is very strange to me that those are their actual accents...

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Amanecer
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Fyfe,

I'm in total agreement with everything you said. As somebody who watched the first season, I thought it was probably the best episode yet. They've realized that a main character who changes every week isn't that captivating and they need to make the people who DO have stable personalities more important and more interesting. I cared about Whiskey- something I didn't feel towards any of the characters last season. I hope this is a sign of the tone of the season.

That said, I watched it with somebody who'd never seen any episodes before. They were completely lost and didn't overly enjoy it. So :-/

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Carrie
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I was just really happy to have Helo and Apollo on my television together again (...without having to put in a DVD). [Big Grin]
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Dogbreath
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This episode made Topher a real person for me, and not just some despicable cutout from the Xander mold as I'd always dismissed him before. It also showed me that Fran Kranz has real acting talent... it had just been hidden underneath the dorky goofball he's been playing. (or maybe his ability to play the dorky goofball effectively *is* an indication of his talent)

I absolutely loved Amy Acker in this episode as well. She has all the subtlety and grace that Eliza Dushku lacks... I personally think she would've made a much better Echo. As is, she makes a perfect Whiskey, and I'm glad they're giving her more screen time... she deserves it.

Great show overall, I'm starting to really enjoy Dollhouse, instead of feeling somewhat put off by each episode.

(as a BTW, is there only a tiny pool of actors who play sci-fi shows? I'm starting to get de ja vu from all the familiar faces...)

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pooka
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quote:
They've realized that a main character who changes every week isn't that captivating and they need to make the people who DO have stable personalities more important and more interesting.
I thought the whole point was the Echo has some quality, whether you want to call it character or soul, that persists despite the layers of personality and experience.
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daventor
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I just watched it on Hulu. WOW. The end of the last season set up so much potential and this episode took it and ran with it.

The Whiskey/Topher scenes were the highlight for me too, but I actually thought Eliza Dushku was really good in her scenes, especially the confrontation between her and the arms dealer where she starts to crack(I do usually find her to be the weakest link; when I saw the opening credit sequence that is only shots of her all I could think was, "Put up the other actors/characters; they're the ones I watch the show for, not Eliza/Echo.") and liked the Ballard-as-client subplot. Actually, I think I am starting to get more interested in Echo as she really is starting to break out of the passive active role.

I'm really pumped that Whedon's has gone all-out on exploring all the moral and ethical contradictions in all the characters and their relationships and the Dollhouse itself. It's so nice to see actually genuinely SMART scifi on television.

Anyways, my favorite characters are probably Topher and Whiskey/Saunders (Topher is very a creep, but now the facade is falling apart and we can see he actually DOES feel guilt over what he does; Whiskey/Saudners just makes for a wonderful character and while I feel bad for her, I like that she really has a dark side too and Amy Acker plays it so well), but I also like Ballard a lot. Yes, his obsession with Echo's not really healthy but I feel like he is the only one not-Doll character in the series that really wants to do the right thing (bring the Dollhouse down), though he's struggling to figure out just how to do that and stick to his own moral code. Boyd just frustrates me; how can you have so much seeming moral clarity but still be doing what you're doing? I'm glad Ballard vocally questioned Boyd's motives when Adelle suspects Ballard of tipping off the Senator on Rossum; I hope this season we get to figure out what Boyd's deal (or "excuse," as Whiskey put it) really is.

As for Adelle, Olivia does a great job acting as her (loved the moment where she lingers too much on Victor's face), and the character is very well-written, but I seriously want her, before the series is over, to either (a) die (b) failing that, at least eventually break down like Topher, with all the smugness gone and the realization that the strange moral universe she's devised for herself where she's some noble benefactor to humanity is pure BS.

Long post. Point is, great premiere.

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Raymond Arnold
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Yeah, I saw this episode and was like "holy crap wow." All the reasons have been pretty well stated.
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Nighthawk
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quote:
Originally posted by Carrie:
I was just really happy to have Helo and Apollo on my television together again (...without having to put in a DVD). [Big Grin]

And they got to deck each other quite a few times, something I'm betting they wanted to do a whole helluva lot of times in BSG.
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Brinestone
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I can't remember . . . Jamie Bamber just gets arrested at the end of the episode, right? How on earth would the Dollhouse allow him to walk away knowing what he knows? Do they just assume no one will believe his story?
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Nighthawk
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I came away with the impression that he doesn't know: he never used the term "doll" or "dollhouse" himself, neither did Ballard in the hangar. The exchange was a private exchange of sorts between Ballard and Echo, and Barber simply stood around wondering "OK, what the hell is going on?"
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Amanecer
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quote:
I thought the whole point was the Echo has some quality, whether you want to call it character or soul, that persists despite the layers of personality and experience.
For me at least, this effect is either far too subtle or far too obvious (memory flashbacks) to be an interesting plot line at the moment.
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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by Brinestone:
I can't remember . . . Jamie Bamber just gets arrested at the end of the episode, right? How on earth would the Dollhouse allow him to walk away knowing what he knows? Do they just assume no one will believe his story?

He just assumed she was a crazy person, or had gone crazy under the pressure.
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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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I thought the dialogue with Amy Acker and Topher sounded sappy and melodramatic. It could be bad directing. But a girl as pretty as Acker, prancing around half-dressed and flirty, covers all manners of flat writing.
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Raymond Arnold
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Eh, I didn't think it was that bad. Then again, I suppose I might have been a little distracted too.
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Fyfe
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As someone unable to be distracted by half-dressed women, I thought the scene was excellent. [Razz]
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Nighthawk
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Wait, there was dialogue in that scene?
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Glenn Arnold
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I loved the way Whiskey is messing with Topher's head. I thought the bed scene was appropriate for that. More important, though, was the line where Topher suggests she finds out who she really is, and she says she doesn't want to die. This bring to light the morality of creating people, only to eliminate them after using them briefly, when each and every person would choose to continue to live if they knew what "a treatment" really means.
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Raymond Arnold
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It's an interesting flipside to the anti-stem-cell research arguments, which would try to save every cell because it's a biological human. Is it more or less compelling to argue you should be trying to save every imprinted personality?
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Glenn Arnold
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Or even the components of a personality. Does it matter if you have a separate personality if the original people that they were composed of is still active? What happens when there are more than one copy of the same person? Don't they all want to remain alive in one continuous stream of consciousness? etc...
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Shanna
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quote:
Originally posted by Glenn Arnold:
More important, though, was the line where Topher suggests she finds out who she really is, and she says she doesn't want to die. This bring to light the morality of creating people, only to eliminate them after using them briefly, when each and every person would choose to continue to live if they knew what "a treatment" really means.

I think this scene and particularly that moment was one of the most powerful of the show's run so far. It made Whiskey/Saunders a more interesting character than Echo/Caroline has been for me yet. It rings more true and personable than the big scheme and plot involving the evolving Echo and Ballard. Their motives just seem so painfully idealistic and boring compared to Saunder's self-preservation.

It just makes me all the more upset that Amy Acker is going to be working on another show and likely getting less screen-time on Dollhouse.

Thankfully, it looks like Sierra is sticking around for awhile. I just ADORE her actress. No matter what imprint they give her, she just falls into it so believably. Can't we just get rid of Echo and Ballard and make Sierra and Victor the stars of the show?

Eliza's performance just isn't consistent for me and Ballard annoys me whenever he's on screen. I'm not sure what it is but something about his character/actor/whatever just bothers me. I don't even hate him. I'm just bored by him.

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Raymond Arnold
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This episode was actually the first time I was interested in all the characters. I do think Sierra is a better actress, but I thought Eliza has been doing a better job since the season finale. (I was impressed that I actually noticed subtle differences between her different personalities when she was Omega).

Echo/Ballard aren't interesting enough to carry the entire show, but they are interesting enough to keep the central plot moving forward now that the other characters are becoming more compelling.

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Unmaker
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After spending the first season sort of slogging through the episodes, waiting for the Whedon magic, I finally felt that I saw in this one what it is that he is trying to do with the series. As long as he stops treating Echo like she's Buffy, the hero and center of this universe, and continues to explore the other characters on the show, I'll keep tuning in.
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MouetteSheridan
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Huh. I've thoroughly enjoyed Eliza/Echo throughout Dollhouse, and think she's only gotten better with each episode. I find the character interesting, and her acting to me has been quite good throughout at showcasing all the different personalities. It surprises me to see several people commenting that she's their least favorite part of the show.

But then, I've had a girl-crush on Dushku since her Faith days, so maybe it isn't that surprising after all.

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Lisa
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She's amazing. Hell, she was amazing in True Lies when she was a little kid.
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Shanna
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Sorta random but...Alexis Denisof IS British, right?

I'm watching the first season of "How I Met Your Mother" and, just like in "Dollhouse," he's speaking with this really weird American accent. Everything I read online says he's an American native but his British accent sounds so believable (if alittle over the top) while his American accent sounds like nothing I've ever heard. During his scene in Dollhouse, it sounded to me like he was slipping between the two.

Am I just not used to hearing it?

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Luet13
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Linky

He was born in the US, but lived in the UK for 13 years. That could explain his odd accent.

On another subject, I'm in the 'unimpressed with Eliza Dushku' camp. She has never done anything for me, including her role as Faith in Buffy and Angel. She just seems like a robot and a very weak actress to me.

I'm definitely enjoying this show for it's un-Eliza merits though. The Whedonness seems to be showing up finally. And like many others here, I could watch Amy Acker read the phone book and be happy.

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The White Whale
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Shanna, watch any interview of him during Buffy or Angel and you'll see his 'real' voice. It freaked me out, because I only knew him with a British accent.
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Magson
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So... anyone besides me see last Friday's episode? I thought it was fascinating how they had Topher "change her on a glandular level" via just rewriting her programming.

The final scene between Echo and Ballard was wonderful, methought, especially when he offered that Topher could make her forget, but she refused saying she'd rather be sad than feel nothing at all, in spite of being in the tabula rasa state at the time.

I'm really fascinated to see where this is all going. I'm also wondering who's feeding info to the Senator and how that new story thread will pan out.

It was also nice to see Mellie/November/Madeline. I always really liked her, and I rather enjoyed her scene with Ballard as well, what with her not remembering him in any way and his trying not to slip up that he'd known her as an active.

Good ep!

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