But I can't act that

An old cardinal rule of acting... you can't ever have as your goal in a scene, getting the heck out of that scene. It just doesn't work. Unless each character has something they are fighting for that forces them to be there, things get dull quick.

Last Friday night's Dollhouse ran smack up against this problem. SPOILERS AHEAD...

The Alan Tudyk architect character didn't ever want to be in any of his scenes. He didn't want to let FBI agent Ballard in. He didn't want to accompany him to the Dollhouse. He didn't want to show him how to break in. He didn't want to actually go along with Ballard into the Dollhouse. He didn't want to walk past the security cameras. One assumes he didn't want to hack the computer either, though he certainly did it pretty quick. And yup, it got dull.

Now I know he was supposed to be doing this to prevent agent Ballard from turning in his pot farm. But, c'mon, an FBI agent has already seen the pot farm. That game is over. Wouldn't running away be a better choice?

So of course the architect turns out to be evil super-villain Alpha. Who didn't see that coming? I sure did -- possibly because I knew this ep was written by someone abso-effin-lutely talented who wouldn't have left that character twisting in the wind for so long without some reason for him to be there.

Still, that leaves an awful lot of dull episode before the reveal. And how much more interesting would it have been if the architect had some reason of his own -- not hard to imagine, the guy is a disgruntled former employee, right? -- to want to get into the Dollhouse himself. If we were all invested more in that character, wanting him to get over his agoraphobia or whatever that was and win his little victory, we would all have been actually devastated by the reveal. And not just mildly relieved.

Though that still leaves another problem. I get why Ballard needed the architect to break in. But if the architect really is Alpha, why in heck would he need Ballard to help him break in? No reason I can tell.

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