It’s a brand-new May

[To the tune of Dr. Horrible’s “Brand-new Day”]

It’s a brand-new May
And the sun is high
All networks are singing
That they’re gonna die
Go a head an laugh
Hey, I’m a funny guy…
Tell everyone good-bye…
It’s a brand-new May…
[STOMP]

Yes, yes. It’s the time for season and series finales. Honestly, why is it that I don’t know yet which shows are having series finales? Oh, maybe it’s because it’s all up to cancellation announcements (no, we haven’t heard about Dollhouse yet).

Anyway, it’s the time of year–May and, well, the week before it–where finales rule and characters die. Who’s spouting springtime deaths?

Heroes, for one, unless they already did the damage they were planning with Elle and Daphne. Personally, I’m hoping for more.

Then there’s Smallville, which is killing off two to three characters. It’s questionable as to whether the third character will be in body or mind, but there will certainly be some carnage.

For a while there, we thought there’d be some death in Grey’s Anatomy. I guess we still don’t know anymore about that one.

And then there’s One Tree Hill, which is constantly trying to kill off Dan (though I hear he’s not going anywhere…yet), and there is the question of Peyton and the baby. And have they signed her or Lucas on for another season? I haven’t heard a yes or no yet. All speculation, though.

I’ve also heard that not everyone is in the clear on Desperate Housewives. But then again, that’s always the case.

House already greeted us with our death for the season. I can’t say anyone was expecting the Kutner surprise.

And then there’s Dollhouse. I know nothing about whether anyone will live or die, but it is Joss Whedon, so that’s always the chance. Plus, you hear the name “Alpha,” and you automatically get scared. I’d say there is a good chance for some terror and death–again, all speculation.

Anyway, it’s pretty clear that we’ve got some big episodes coming up on our favorite shows, and those are just the ones I’m willing to share info about or speculate on (and trust me, Dollhouse is complete speculation; I won’t share my opinions about who I think could kick it, though if you want to know my thoughts, just ask).

My point in all this is to not let your favorite finales pass you by. Somehow they’re sneaking up on me, so I don’t want you all to miss out! I mean, Heroes is tomorrow, people!

So here is a list of some of the shows I cover (and a few other popular ones that I know the kids are watching), so you’ll be sure to catch your favorites as they sign off (hopefully) for the summer. A complete list can be found here.

Monday, April 27: Chuck and Heroes
Wednesday, April 29: Better Off Ted
Thursday, April 30: Samantha Who?
Wednesday,  May 6: Scrubs and The Unusuals
Friday, May 8: Dollhouse
Sunday, May 10: Brothers & Sisters
Monday, May 11: The Big Bang Theory, House, and Castle
Tuesday,  May 12: Fringe
Thursday, May 14: Smallville, Parks and Recreation, Bones, Grey’s Anatomy, The Office, and 30 Rock
Friday,  May 15: Ghost Whisperer and Prison Break
Sunday, May 17: Desperate Housewives
Monday,  May 18: Gossip Girl, How I Met Your Mother, and One Tree Hill
Tuesday,  May 19: 90210
Wednesday, May 20: America‘s Next Top Model
Thursday,  May 21: Ugly Betty and Southland
Tuesday, May 26: Reaper and My Boys

So keep those eyes glued to the TV, people. It’s a brand-new May…

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Isolation, Loneliness, and Spies

KT takes on Dollhouse by herself this week, appropriately enough.

DOLLHOUSE: 1.09 “Spy in the House of Love”

Now how’s that for an episode title?

Wow.  I have occasionally been somewhat lukewarm about the development of this show, but the last two have just blown me away.  I am so very hooked.

This episode had a delicious number of “What!!?” moments.  And I loved the non-linear structure.  From the beginning, I was commenting that, gee, isn’t Echo overhearing a lot of very interesting conversations?  I thought it was neat to see the sequence from her perspective, then go back and see what exactly was going on with each doll’s engagement.

I liked having Mellie back — I like the sense of humor she suddenly developed in “Man on the Street” — but I can’t have been the only person who gasped when she suddenly flipped into Deep Undercover Messenger Girl.  Now Paul knows that he’s fallen in love with an active – which we all knew was coming, and knew was going to hit him pretty hard.  (Which it did, and yet the rest of the episode makes this look like the fluff part.)  Impressively, however, the writers managed to have her deliver that bombshell (with the instruction to keep Mellie away from his investigation), talk for a long time at breakneck speed, and tell him practically nothing else of substance.  Paul still has his work cut out for him in a big way.  (Tangent… was anyone else getting flashbacks to A Beautiful Mind as we panned over Paul’s wall of Dollhouse connections?)

Sierra’s cloak and dagger business was fun, though the shoes on this show are going to kill me.  (Maybe Echo and Sierra’s feet are like Barbie’s — molded so they can only wear really high heels?  Except that they’re all barefoot within the Dollhouse…)  I liked her wig, though, and how completely it made her look like a different person.

But the emotional core of the episode really belonged to Adelle.  Although the episode’s title would point you to look at all the spy- or detective-type people who show up here (Sierra’s imprint, Echo’s imprint, Mellie’s undercover message, Dominic himself), the thematic thread running through the episode is isolation.  We’ve seen before that Adelle is in a position where it’s lonely at the top, but now we see just how much she wants to hide how lonely she is.  Despite the things she tells herself about the Dollhouse’s good works, she misses being able to tell people what she does — a simple enough thing.  Her whole sequence with Victor/Roger was so poignant, and almost everything that came out of his mouth had an irony that just hit me in the gut.  Loved the fencing scene.

Claire Saunders seems to be just as extreme.  “When was the last time you left the Dollhouse?” Sherlock Echo asks her, and she can’t answer.  Maybe it’s trauma from the Alpha incident, maybe she’s self-conscious about her scars, and maybe there’s credence to the fan theory that she too is a doll.  Regardless, life at the Dollhouse seems to isolate the employees as well as the dolls (a matter of degree, of course).  It has even reached outwards and managed to isolate Paul from his former colleagues and now from Mellie.  Even the structure of the episode took each doll’s storyline in isolation from the others (and through Echo’s eyes, we bring them all together… but we’ll come back to her later).

After this episode, though, none of our characters are more isolated than Laurence Dominic, whose exposure has left us with an ever more tangled web.  An element of one government agency wants to keep the Dollhouse technology from getting exposed, maybe wants to get their hands on it for their own use.  At least one senator is in the Dollhouse’s pocket.  And an element of another government agency wants Paul to bring the Dollhouse down.

And even though we’ve found one mole, I think it’s safe to say that — assuming the messages Paul is receiving aren’t a ploy from Adelle in the first place — there’s another mole in there.  I don’t think Dominic was sending messages to Paul, because even though he was a double agent, in some regards his priorities were not in conflict.  He was, after all, head of security – and what was he doing for the government but making sure Dollhouse stayed secure?  The big security breach was… himself.  It’s all a little bit paradoxical.

(Tangent: No wonder he was so ticked off two weeks ago when Topher made Victor a government agent who would outrank him – when in reality, Dominic is a government agent, too.  Were they even both NSA?  I’m going to get my government agencies mixed up something awful at some point, if I haven’t already.)

And then there’s Echo, who I was quite impressed with this week.  As a doll, she came to Topher and asked to be imprinted, implying the on some level she knew she was a doll.  Once imprinted as Sherlock Echo, her deductive skills were sharp enough that she still knew she was a doll (my inference, given that she didn’t bat an eye when Dominic bragged that she would be wiped before he would).  In spite of last week’s attempt to “close the loops,” Echo’s self-awareness is still blossoming.  Plus, I thought Sherlock Echo was just cool, and I enjoyed the montage of her questioning some of the Dollhouse staff.

There’s no new episode next week, as I hear that Prison Break needs a two-hour finale or something, but after that, if the last two weeks are any indication, I’m hoping for three more weeks of awesome!