SciFi Weekend: Game Changes For Dollhouse, Dexter, Californication, and Doctor Who

There have been several episodes of genre shows which have been real game changers–in some cases providing season finales and in other cases setting up for finales for a show or a character. Beware, this edition of SciFi Weekend is packed with major spoilers if you still plan to watch any of these.

Dollhouse has been a far stronger show since it has been working towards a  conclusion–but I sure wish the show had been given more time. Stop-Loss, the first of Friday’s tw0 episodes, provide more background on Victor’s past. At first it seemed to answer the question of whether people are free after their five year contract ends but it turned out that Victor was not really free of Rossum. Although free of the Dollhouse, he wound up turned into a member of an almost B0rg-like army with joined minds

We also we saw more of Echo’s growing strength as she has learned to maintain her memories after having them wiped. The episode ended with Adelle sending her to The Attic–setting up the second episode. We moved from a Borg-like army in the first episode to minds joined in a computer from around the world reminiscent of The Matrix. At first I questioned the value of this episode with so few left, but the pay-off ultimately turned out to be far greater than expected. In the end we learned that Echo was sent to the Attic not because Adelle feared her but because Adelle knew that Echo was the one person who could make it back out of the Attic, where she believed Rossum’s biggest secrets were hidden.

Rossum turned out to be even more evil than we ever suspected. Not only have they been seeking to expand their wealth and power, they have been doing so despite finding that the apocalypse seen in Epitaph One was probably inevitable once they began using mind-wiping technology. At the end of the episode, rather than seeing Adelle as giving in to Rossum’s evil, we now have a united group determined to fight Rossum. Knowing what will occur from Epitaph One it appears they are doomed to failure, unless we were misled by the episode. Joss Whedon has hinted that the memories revived in the episode might not be accurate. It is far from clear where those memories do fit into the time line of the regular episodes, with some events presumably already having occurred.

Until the final few minutes of the season finale, Dexter appeared to be ending the season with Dexter prepared to give up killing, realizing this was the only way to preserve his married life. It was too late, with an ending I have been expecting for several weeks. Several episodes suggested that married life would not work for Dexter, and we had  hints of such a shocking ending from stars of the show.

Rita’s death raises may questions for the next season as there are risks that the death could raise suspicions about Dexter, especially if his connection to Trinity should be revealed. Batista had walked by Dexter and Arthur when Arthur came to track down Dexter at the police station. By itself this would not be much of a problem as Dexter could develop a story which suggests that Arthur had been stalking Dexter and Rita to prepare for the kill with Dexter having no idea that he was the Trinity killer. However, if Batista should recall the meeting and the other connections between the two come out, this would be far harder to explain.

The biggest risk to Dexter comes from Arthur’s family. One scenario is that they see news coverage of Dexter as the husband of the latest killer and mention that they (along with Arthur) knew Dexter under another name. There are easy solutions to this also, ranging from them never seeing a picture of Dexter to having Dexter convince them that he was helping them both get rid of Arthur and recovering his money. Under these circumstances they might agree to keep quiet.

The other question of the season was how much Debra would figure out, especially considering that in the books she did find out that Dexter was a killer. The season ended with her finding out the truth about Dexter’s parents, and perhaps she’ll learn even more about her half-brother.

I assume we had the scene where the FBI took over the case so that there would be a reason why Debra (and now Dexter) would not be devoting their time to searching for Arthur. Dexter can’t very well tell anyone that there is no reason to search for Arthur because he killed him. Dexter will have to act as if he believes that the killer of his wife is still at large (assuming he doesn’t alter the circumstances of Rita’s death to remove the connection to the Trinity killer).

It has been revealed in interviews posted after the episode aired that Dexter will be a single father. We don’t know if that means to just his own son or also to Cody and Astor. The show could give clear answers to the questions above, or brush them aside by jumping ahead in time. We don’t know for sure how Dexter will react to finding Rita’s body, but there is no doubt that this will make him even more motivated to kill serial killers (if not others).

Showtime had a second series last Sunday with a season ending cliff hanger which will increase interest in the upcoming season. Agent Mulder has been spending the last few years as a sex-addict on Californication. Most of this season was weak, but what really matters is the long term arc with his family, and Mia. Madeline Zima, who was unseen most of the season as she had role on Heroes, returned for the finale. Just as it appeared that Hank was finally going to have a chance to live happily ever after with Karen, everything fell apart.

To a certain degree I feel sorry for Hank. Karen knows that when the two were apart he would sleep around almost indiscriminately. She knows that he spent the time before she returned with all three main female characters of the season. At the time Hank slept with Mia after meeting her in a book store, Hank really did not know that Mia was both jail bait and the daughter of Karen’s previous fiance. Knowing what she already knows about Hank, it really isn’t fair to get so mad at him for what happened with Mia.  Of course Hank might not be in this situation at all if he had not slugged Mia’s boyfriend, precipitating his call to the police.

Hank is at his lowest point as the episode ended, but it is actually easy to see him recovering. I doubt he will remain in jail for either the fight or having once slept with Mia, and he now has a chance to be recognized as the true author of the book which Mia stole. It will be harder to patch things up with Karen, but it wasn’t realistic to think the two would remain together without further problems.

I initially did not want to say very much about The Waters of Mars when it first aired until its airing in the United States on BBC America. The key aspect of the show which I previously avoided discussing was how The Doctor, contrary to how he has acted in the past, decided to change history. This has been handled inconsistently in the past, but the show has established that there are some things which cannot be changed, even if the rational for this is questionable.

The Doctor knew when he arrived on the Mars base that everyone would die and this fell in the class of events which should not be changed. He realized that with the rest of the Time Lords dead, he no longer had anyone to answer to. He decided to save the lives of a few people and he proclaimed himself the “Time Lord Victorious.” An Ood appeared, he heard the sound of the Cloister Bell, and he realized that he had gone too far. It was now approaching time to for The Doctor to die (and to regenerate). This sets up the final two-part episode with David Tennant as the tenth doctor, The End of Time. In this preview, we also see that John Sims returns as The Master:

FlashForward ended the fall run with several twists.  In order to make it easier for new people to pick up the series, they are releasing the episodes aired so far on DVD on February 23, 2010. This will give people time to watch the full series in time for its resumption in March.

Avatar was the latest genre release to create controversy with several blogs discussing its alleged racism and  I09‘s plea to for white people to stop making movies like Avatar. Lawyers, Guns, and Money also argues that the movie is racist.


  1. 1
    Larry Agresto says:

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    Larry Agresto says:

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    Mr Spock's Movies says:

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