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Dollhouse

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 I agree in that I hated Boyd being the ultimate villain just destroyed the show for me.  I did like the overall story arc and would have liked to see more of how the dollhouse apocalypse came about.  The weekly stories didn't make much sense other than just wanting a recurring girlfriend, or perhaps if someone was going to use a doll as a mole or spy somewhere (as they could easily disappear).  Agree that it didn't make sense to use one for a midwife or a kidnap negotiator.  Why not hire a real one?

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this is very true.  It was great to see him in "The Avengers" in a cameo.  Of all the actor's that Whedon has "discovered,"Enver is one of the best.  

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Amy Acker being available for only 2-3 episodes in the second season.  I know that the show had no ability to get her back for more, but I think it ruined what could have been a fantastic storyline.  Acker as Whiskey, realizing she was a "doll" like the others, was powerful stuff, and I would have loved to see her explore her resentment toward Echo.  The way it was written, her arc had a dissatisfying conclusion.   

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Count me in on the fan-base, too.

Not sure why he hevr parlayed this show into superstardom; he had quite a bit of range in this show, and his impressions were spot-on.

 

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I just finished most of Season 2. I can't bring myself to slog through the last 2 eps. Thoughts:

 

-season 2 was better than season 1, but it was also hard to get into knowing that it was ending

-they should have embraced the trafficking and sci-fi aspects from the start rather than water it down for a mainstream audience that was never going to accept it

-Paul all along was creepy and hypocritical to me. His obsession with Echo was not much different than the other guys wanting dolls. Their 'love' or 'connection' in season 2 seemed forced

-Enver- what a incredible actor. It's really a shame this guy's career has not taken off

-Adele was always one of the most interesting characters to me. I wish they had shown her succumb to Rossum's dark side for real, it would have been more fascinating than suddenly making Boyd the bad guy

-there were quite a few tedious episodes

 

It reminded me of times at Battlestar Galactica, with that central question of what is programming/what is human identity.

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not actually part of the series as a whole but I was kind of pissed that soooo much of the final episode of the final episode and that "special" episode on the DVD was about those characters that the viewers had no familiarity with.  I know Whedon is semi obsessed with Felicia Day but I wasn't too fond of her character in the least.  I didn't know who these people were and wanted more time with the original cast.  I was immensely annoyed to discover that when Whedon continued the stories in comic book form it was about the new characters, not Echo and Victor and Sierra and Adele.

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I've been told often that I should watch Dollhouse - much of what Joss Whedon has done has been right in my 'zone,' and this was one of the few things I HADN'T watched (the other was Firefly, but I rectified that this past spring!).

 

So we're doing a Great Dollhouse (Re-)Watch!!! here at Previously.tv starting Sunday, August 2 - more information will follow, but we'll likely do 3-4 episodes a week, and post episode topics as we go. Feel free to join us, whether this is your first, second, fourth, eleventh, or who even keeps track any more! viewing of the series!

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Eliza Dushku was definitely the weak point of the show. She in fact was fairly charismatic--she never lost that--but certainly didn't convincingly do the "personality reboot" thing the show demanded.  Conversely, the part that might be HARDER for some she accomplished--having a core personality shine through the various "disguises"/alters that could engage people as a protagonist.  Of course maybe that was made EASIER for her by the alters not being all that convincing as other people.

 

I compare her negatively though to fellow Whedonite (and brief co-star on this show) Summer Glau.  Who didn't impress on this show, but who did the "blank slate with something shining through" even better on The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

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Dollhouse is okay.  It makes mistakes--Joss Whedon is pretty much DEFINED by his mistakes after all--but there's stuff in there that's definitely worth it.  It took awhile though.  Prepared to be a bit frustrated for a bit.

 

Don't know if I personally feel I need to rewatch... but I enjoyed it first time around and felt it actually deserved a few more seasons.

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I am glad that I know the basic back story after watching this first episode, because it could be confusing.

 

I found the story of the father wanting to rescue the daughter compelling, and wonder if the dad survived (of course he did, this is TV!). Couldn't help but agree with the whole glasses conversation between Topher and Boyd. Oh, but wait, she also has ASTHMA! The whole Ballard/Lubov storyline was kind of confusing. I guess I'll learn more as I watch.

 

It does seem like Dushku has nailed the part of a Doll when they're just wandering around. Beyond that, I am fine with suspending some belief for a fun show.

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If I had been watching this show at the time it aired, this episode might have lost me. The whole 'hunting human prey' thing, it's such an ugly, unfortunate trope. Although I did appreciate Echo's inventiveness, and her survival. I don't have much more to say, though.

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NOW we're talking!

 

This episode hooked me, and I don't know why. I felt like more moved forward in some spots (I suspected, but this is where it was cofirmed that Victor was a Doll, right? Not a shock, but glad it was addressed finally), more interaction from characters. Sierra getting more play was great, LOVE the actress. More from Topher, who I'm loving - his interactions with Boyd are ALWAYS great, and with Mr. Dominic as well.

 

And I loved, loved LOVED this;

 

Topher: Oh, my god, are you nervous? Opening-night jitters? Your little girl out there on the big stage?
Boyd: On the stage where the last little girl caught fire?
Topher: A fair point.

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This one was fun - Taffy was familiar feeling, almost had a bit of Faith from Buffy the Vampire Slayer feel to her, so Dushku had a lot of fun with it. Anson Mount on my screen - wow, that was a double take! He's looking different these days. I really enjoyed seeing Sierra get more to do, Sierra/Taffy and Adelle figuring out how to resolve the situation had some really awesome moments.

 

I really want Ballard to move along a little quicker, it's getting a bit old for Lubov/Victor to show up and not really further anything in the story; I get they're decoying/distracting him, but it's...kind of dull? At least to me.

 

Topher provided some of my favorite moments, his final exchange with Adelle being pretty awesome. And I did like the little exchange between Boyd and Topher (who I'm beginning to ship seriously - those two together work for me!); Boyd: "They're not bison, Topher." Topher: "They're a little bit bison!"

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Brian Bloom is always fun to see, and I thought he did a nice job as creepy cult leader. I'm really enjoying Boyd's protectiveness of Echo, and his paternalistic streak towards her. The drive in the car when she was heading to the compound was so sweet.

 

I think Topher is just GOLD with anyone - this time with Dr. Saunders - "Or even worse, a sneezeure!" And Topher with his "man reaction" bit...so adorably awkward...

 

Is it just me or are cult storylines a requirement for most episodic dramas these days? I know this was six years ago, but I feel like we have to seen it really take off...

 

And I've got my eye on Dominic...there's something about him that makes me nervous.

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Okay - HOLY CRAP!

 

Patton Oswalt? YES! And kind of a sad story there, and Paul, why you got to be so mean? 'Rebecca's cry "PORN!" was quite a fun joke, loved Boyd hustling her out of the house while that happened.

 

The little interview segments cut into the episode were really interesting. The woman bringing up the human trafficking issue, and here it is six years later, and that's never been more true or on point. The guy talking about "two guys just once, nothing queeny, checking it out, one guy forgets; that could be sweet for some guys" while his wife watched uncomfortably? Made me laugh. Also, BWAHAHAHAHA - "I'd be writing the Great American Arrest Report." Yes, Paul, yes you would. Also, that was a pretty epic fight scene there. I rewound and watched a couple of times.

 

Victor to Echo: "I did something bad." "What did you do?" Victor whispers, "I don't know."

 

And SHIT! Did we know Mellie was an Active before this? Did I miss something? I've watched pretty closely (I thought!), and that was a shock.

 

Man, a ton happened in this episode!

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Topher and Ms DeWitt were this episode's golden couple; but all the non-actives got a chance to do something a bit different. The image of Reed Diamond stroking his arm and murmuring, "Soft like a kitty," will not leave me soon.

 

More of Caroline's background, so that's helpful. The outfit they had Echo in was distracting, lacy white thigh highs? It was good to see Mehcad Brooks on screen. Hopefully we'll see more of him as a new active, now that Adelle has (I'm guessing?) gotten him to sign on the dotted line.

 

I tried not to think too hard about all the science stuff; some hand wavium scientiforium I hope? The story itself was fine, although that was a lot crammed into 40 odd minutes.

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Wow, that was depressing on a number of levels. Poor November. And poor Echo - so close to freedom. This whole 'closure' thing... Not sure how I feel about it. But Sierra getting to stand up to that jerk was a plus. Also, I am falling a tiny bit in love with Enver Gjokaj.

 

Mike should have been wearing a red shirt.

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And once again...WOW. They went there with DeWitt and Victor! And WOW. Dominic is in the Attic now? And Ballard knows about Mellie being a Doll? And Boyd got promoted? And who is the spy? Was it really Dominic? And Echo has a new handler? And the look she gave Boyd at the end - she's still in there, isn't she? The 'glitch' is that she's retaining more and more each time she goes under, right?

 

I think I need a good stiff drink after this episode.

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Interesting philosophical issues brought up in this one - between Adelle and her friend Margaret, and between Ballard and Mellie/November. I especially liked Boyd pointing out that this was not a workable idea (extending someone's life, essentially to the detriment of someone else's life). And Ballard sure didn't feel good about himself after the night with Mellie.

 

I pretty much called it as the son almost immediately. Always good to see Ian Anthony Dale getting work. And getting to sit in the back row at your own funeral is something we all think about right? See who is mourning us, and how?

 

Topher and Sierra hanging out was sweet. And I am really liking Adelle more and more. Such a tough job she has, and harsh calls she has to make.Olivia Williams is fantastic in this role.

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This was probably my favorite episode of the first season. I honestly think everything landed so perfectly. I loved that we got insight into the other characters.

I really enjoyed the whole Sierra plot because of all the spy highjinks.

Plus I love Echo trying to be helpful.

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ALAN TUDYK! He makes everything even better, doesn't he! That said, I was a tiny bit spoiled -

I knew Alan Tudyk was Alpha before seeing this, so the surprise of Kepler's identity wasn't a surprise to me.

.

 

The Sleeping Beauty story was...interesting, imprinting a doll with the adult version of a child imprint? Curious, and probably the least interesting part of the episode for me. Ballard breaking up with Mellie was sad, but at the same time, not? "You'll get over it," was harsh but necessary, because of course that's how he'll find his way to The Dollhouse. Victor as Dominic was great - nicely done by Enver Gjokaj.  Alan Tudyk gave an incredible performance, and on re-watching his scenes, the change that came over him while he was on that computer was palpable. Everything Alan Tudyk did in this episode was AWESOME. Especially wearing that tight red tee-shirt. That was especially...nice!

 

So much happened in this episode, it's amazing. "It's a small world, right? I went to grade school with Jenna Elfman."

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I watched this earlier this week, and just rewatched it. Very powerful episode. Again, some stellar work from Alan Tudyk, Amy Acker, Harry Lennix, and others. Learning Whiskey/Dr. Saunders' back story gave this a lot of power. And Echo, going to bed, but remembering "Caroline" was a real tear jerker - I can't remember, were they expecting renewal?

I know the next episode breaks the time line, and didn't even air on US TV, right? So this was going to be it? 

If they weren't this would have been a pretty effective end to the series.

 

Eliza Dushku did a decent job here, I'm wondering if being opposite Alan Tudyk helped elevate her a bit, instead of spending it with some random guest star. Paul ensuring Mellie/Madeline's release did bring a tear to my eye; I do hope we get to see her in Season 2, she wasn't a regular this season, and it would be nice to see what happens to an active once they're released. Tahmoh Penikett does bring the pretty to the show, however, I'm not seeing a ton of range?  "Righteous" is probably accurate to how Ballard should feel, but I feel like there could be more there. Maybe that's why I want to see Madeline back, it at least made me feel bad for him.

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Yeah, renewal definitely wasn't a given at the end of filming this season--it kinda came down to Dollhouse vs. The Sarah Connor Chronicles (or that was the impression at the time, anyway) and Dollhouse got the nod. (BTW, the thread title here lists this and the prior ep as Season 4. If only!)

Edited by Carrie Ann

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And wow, I remember reading about this episode back in 2009. The back and forth, some great guest stars. It's going to be hard to watch Season 2 with this in the back of my mind. I wonder if they were thinking of rebooting in the future for Season 2? I thought they'd crammed a lot into the last few episodes, but this episode is SO FULL, I can't believe it's only 49 minutes long.

 

Seeing some of the dolls back in their original personalities was fun. I'm so curious about what happened to November - "Which one?" Was there another after Madeline? Felicia Day is always fun to watch, and Zack Ward was certainly a fun surprise as Zone. Did not see that coming with Iris; when she shot Griff, I JUMPED. And when Zone gave her the gun, I was like NOOOOOOOO. But that turned out better than expected.

 

Topher's intro to the Dollhouse, then the slide into hiding in a sleeping chamber - Fran Kranz was great all season, but this superb. And Whiskey and Boyd, Topher and Adelle, Victor/Anthony and Sierra/Priya; such fantastic pairings...

 

And the ending, from Whiskey throwing the switch to release the gas, to 'Caroline's' line; "I hope we find me alive."

 

Ready to boot up season two!

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Okay, Whiskey and Topher? That had me rolling, and then I had tears in my eyes. Beautifully played by Acker and Kranz. And I like the dynamic between Whiskey/Saunders and Boyd a  lot.

 

Roma was a pretty good role for Dushku - she's strongest IMO, when she can play the kick ass woman. And Jamie Bamber, with his real accent - so adorable for an international arms dealer!

 

Interesting premise going forward, that she's able to keep connection to her imprints, somehow. And I'm glad we have Ballard fully integrated into the Dollhouse now, sustaining a separate storyline going forward would have been difficult.

 

Episode MVP is definitely Amy Acker for me.

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This is my personal favorite episode, and IMO, the best constructed episode of the series. Sierra's story had an emotional core that seemed lacking from the show at most points. It made me wonder how the show would have been received if Caroline had an equally compelling origin story from the beginning.

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Though the cult itself in this episode was quite generic, I think this was one of Dushku's most convincing and unique imprints. Even though the blind girl is clearly delusional the episode never makes fun of her or looks down on her because of her beliefs, and there's a subtle strength to the performance that's very different from Dushku's typical tough girl act.

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We didn't know Mellie was an active prior to this--that's what made the reveal so awesome. I remember being certain that Mellie was about to be killed off, and being ready to quit watching if Joss leaned on that trope again, especially in such a violent manner. So that moment was hugely satisfying to me and made me finally realize this show was worth sticking with.

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I'm just watching this show for the first time and am completely captivated! I'm about halfway through S2, but am already eager to know which 3-5 episodes you guys would name as your favorites of the series! And, while we're at it, your 3-5 favorite characters, relationships (romantic or otherwise), etc.?! 

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Yay! I'm so happy to read people watching Dollhouse for the first time.

 

Favorite relationships: Sierra x Victor, Topher & Adelle (the two most morally challenged characters on the show, who IMO underwent the most development--I always loved that dynamic)

 

Favorite characters: Alpha, Adelle, Mellie/November, Sierra, Victor. But really, I loved every recurring/regular character on this show, good and bad, except Caroline. I like Echo, but not Caroline. (ED was my least favorite part of the show, to be honest, but her limitations were mitigated as things went along.)

 

Favorite episodes: I don't think the show got good until 106--I would give 101-105 grades in the C/D range (though there are good moments scattered throughout)--but from 106 on I'd give them all B+ or above. Which means, for me, Dollhouse is Whedon's most consistent show, pound for pound. Aside from those early episodes, it just doesn't hit the lows that Angel or BtVS hit, and it stays at a very consistent high level of quality throughout its short run. (Firefly is fundamentally Not For Me, so it's not really fair for me to compare the quality there.)

 

For that reason, it's hard to pick out obvious favorite episodes. I binge-watched this twice (on my own, and then with my husband), so it's hard to remember how individual episodes divide out. (I can eliminate both of the Epitaph episodes because...I just kind of wish they didn't exist. Or I wish they aired together, at the end of the whole series. As it is, the time jump, the filling-in of blanks in relationship development/destruction...it's hard to like. Also, I HATE all the made-up tech-y jargon and I'm not a huge fan of the guest actors, or of spending time with people we don't know.) So, I'd say: 

 

108 because it's such a great mislead, and so satisfying and moving to learn about the Actives.

111 because of everything--Stephen Kepler and the whole break-in sequence, Victor becoming Dominic, SO MUCH HAPPENS MY GOD.

All of 204 through 212. Like, there's really nothing else to say, it's just all so well-done.

 

Best moments: the one referenced in the thread title and each time Enver Gjokaj impersonates another member of the cast, because Good Lord, he is perfect. 

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I'd have to agree with Carrie Ann that after the smoothing out some of the early problems the show was completely stellar for the most part.

My top character is probably Adelle, she's a class act and some of her quotes are absolutely brilliant and the delivery is so good.

"No, you work for the betterment of mankind, fighting crime by listening to Echo have sex. It's terribly noble."

I'm actually a fan of Eliza despite her limitations so I enjoy Echo a lot and I really enjoy watching her grow into sentience as the series goes on.

I also loved Bennett, because she was so adorable. Her and Topher equals OTP for me.

My favorite episode is probably Spy in the House of Love. Specifically for the moment with Echo telling Dominic that she's not broken. Also the entire end scene with Adelle confronting and dealing with Dominic's betrayal.

My favorite relationship is probably Echo and Boyd, because it's so sweet and loving.

I also could do without the epitaphs. I see what they were trying to do but it mostly didn't work for me.

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I really love both of your responses! I agree that the show peaked in S2, but S1 has some standout episodes as well. The pilot seemed to have done a better job of reeling me in than it did for most, especially (and weirdly enough!) the part of the episode that takes place before Echo becomes a hostage negotiator.  

 

I'll be back with favorite episodes, characters etc. once I've finished the whole series and can form a few coherent sentences about it, but can I just say that the philosophical underpinnings of this show and all that it says about identity, memory, the soul, and human experience are seriously blowing my mind?! For me it's Whedon's most thought provoking piece of work. And I'm finding that it also has more of Joss's trademark wit and even glimmers of real hope and warmth than I had expected---I had been warned that Dollhouse was too self-serious and grim to enjoy, but I really do find parts of it enjoyably entertaining when it's not, like, making me rethink everything I thought I knew about human nature and our very existence :)  

 

People claim Firefly is sadly underrated, but I actually think this is by far the most tragically underrated thing Joss has ever done! 

Edited by amensisterfriend

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Forgot to mention in the last episode, but it's always nice to see Alexis Denisof get some work. And two episodes in a row!

 

YAY, Madeline/November is back! And she seems to be doing well - glad she got through her 'diagnostic' fine, aside from getting shoved into a door frame. Was her financial situation a result of leaving the Dollhouse, was that part of the package? The interactions between November and Paul seemed very realistic to me.

 

There must have been some budget cuts this season, we got Sierra, but otherwise, the crew seemed rather 'light' - no Victor, no Boyd, no Whiskey; the last two would have appreciated Echo popping Topher that way. I love the guy, but I liked seeing Echo 'explode' his face.

 

Different feel this season, and that's just two episodes in - Maybe because Paul's on the inside, so now there's a new 'outside investigator'?

 

As far as the SOTW - Kristofer Polaha has become a pretty regular face on tv these days, I remember him from The Ringer, and from last season's Backstrom. Definitely liked him once he got his stuff together. Early on, I wondered what the hell was happening, so the ending was wrapped up pretty tidily in a short time (I was surprised it was over already, frankly). But Echo is retaining, or 'feeling' more and more, and I wonder how much more she can take. I found this exchange...poignant and heartbreaking;

 

Paul: I know you remember everything.

Echo: Not remember, *feel*. I was married. I felt love, and pain and fear. It's not pretend to me. They made me love my little boy. And then they took him away. They made it *so* real, every time they make it so real. Why do they do that?

Paul: I know you want to help me bring down the Dollhouse. Maybe it's too much, I can do this on my own. I promise I'll get you out. I'll get all of you out. If you want, I'll tell Topher what's going on with you, and he can fix it. He'll come up with a way to wipe you and you won't remember a thing. You won't have to feel sad any more.

Echo: Feeling nothing would be worse. That would be like before... asleep. And I'm awake now. I don't want to go back to sleep.

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Enver Gjokaj should have received TRIPLE PAY for this episode! He was so incredible as both Terry and Kiki!

 

Guy playing Terry? Super creepy. Guy playing college professor? Super creepy. I have to say, there were a lot of little character bits I loved about this episode, but the episode itself? Seriously squicked me out. Not a fan of creepy serial killers and not a fan of creepy college professors.

 

However;

 

Boyd: "Topher has ethical issues. (waves hand towards Topher.) TOPHER!"

Topher: "Yeah. Way to land it."

 

Boyd is not wrong.

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There were indeed budget cuts for season two. Part of the reason Dollhouse for a second season while Terminator was canceled was because Joss agreed to a lower budget while Terminator needed all the money it could get.

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And HOLY CRAP, that happened....

 

That was some pretty serious stuff going down. Boyd knowing how to handle the situation, and just looking at Topher, saying, "Consequences." - the hair on the back of my neck just stood straight up.

 

It was an excellent growth episode for Topher, but so sad. It's like we see the crack that eventually puts him in a sleeping pod, ranting and raving, start to form - a  tiny little ding in his windshield, that happens before the eventual shattering...

 

I like to think Adelle knows what happened, and frankly, doesn't care.

 

This is my personal favorite episode, and IMO, the best constructed episode of the series. Sierra's story had an emotional core that seemed lacking from the show at most points. It made me wonder how the show would have been received if Caroline had an equally compelling origin story from the beginning.

 

Yes, I can see why it's your favorite! I've had moments of emotion watching this so far, but this episode, it hit more emotions in 40 odd minutes then any other episode has.

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I had some internet issues so I fell behind. Curse you internet gods!

 

Great to see Summer Glau. The character of Bennett Halvorson...I can't put my finger on it, there's something that's off to me. Maybe that's the plan. Really happy to see November again! Although her being used against the Dollhouse wasn't the way I wanted to see it happen. And the twist with Perrin being the doll and his wife being the handler was nice, I had my issues with the wife, but that was well done, IMO.

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I've forgotten so much about what happens on Dollhouse it's almost like watching it for the first time! Almost everything is a surprise. (May have been a voluntary mind wipe -- by the end I was pissed about squandered potential. Frankly, I'm a little afraid to watch S2. I don't remember what's going to happen, but I remember I loathed it the first time.)

 

Did not remember Dominic working for the NSA. And I would have assumed he was being framed to get rid of the threat, as Adelle implied, if he hadn't so explicitly confessed.

 

I think the revelation does make some sense. It's not the inside man we viewers have been looking for -- who's feeding info to Ballard -- but a different one. A spy, not a saboteur. He said he's not there to take down the Dollhouse. The NSA just wants it watched, and protected so the Dollhouse isn't revealed publicly (presumably until the government decides what to do with it themselves).  

 

His actions against Echo make more sense in this context. As security head it was logical he'd want to prevent another Alpha, but murdering a top money-making asset behind his boss's back didn't feel quite right if his only loyalty was to the Dollhouse. That he was worried about exposure makes it fit better for me.

 

The Adelle / Victor story made me sad. She can't share her life with anyone, given what she does. To be clear, that doesn't mean it's okay to turn a human into a sex toy! Loved the moment when she said it was "ironic" that he was the most real person she knew, and he unknowingly corrected her that she used the word wrong. Ha.

Edited by snarktini

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My word, Jamie Bamber is a beautiful man. Damn. Did we learn how much time has passed? She was in this imprint long enough to meet & marry, so at least a few months but could have been longer. 

 

At the risk of sounding super pervy, I've been distracted by Dushku's chest in the last few eps. Did she get implants or are they just padding the hell out of her? Vastly different look from the first few episodes, when we saw Echo braless in her jammies. 

 

Dushku does best in three modes -- badass (Faith), blank (Echo), and happy (male-fantasy girlfriend Doll). She doesn't have a lot of range or complexity. Now that I've seen Tatiana Maslany in Orphan Black, I can imagine what might have been with a stronger lead.

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Wait, they keep Sierra after finding out she came to the Dollhouse against her will?! Why wouldn't they erase this bit and let her go? I'm horrified. (For sure, every Doll is coerced / misled in some way. I don't believe anyone can legally consent to a Dollhouse contract. This is obviously different. There is no gray area here.)

 

Poor Sierra. At least she has sweet Victor.

 

So, question: Why doesn't "blank" Sierra have an Australian accent? I assumed they stripped out what they didn't need -- memory, personality, sex drive, intellect, etc. -- but left basic functions. Do they instead "reformat" the Dolls entirely and load a brand new OS template that includes speech and swimming?

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Wow, I did not enjoy this episode. Bennett is ridiculous -- an injured, scenery-chewing, mustache-twirling, teenage genius who's apparently on the spectrum. I assume the tics are intentional and we'll learn why she's driven to torture Echo, but for now it's more off-putting than intriguing. 

 

We'll see how they are able to integrate a new big bad and Dollhouse team. 

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So I'm almost done my latest rewatch, thank netflix for getting rid of Doctor who, I really loved this show but honestly the last episode of season two before the epitaph is such a mixed bag. It was a great episode but I don't think the Boyd twist makes any sense. The eps said they planned it early in season 2 bUT I don't believe them. I feel like they threw it on for added drama, which it did but it feels so false.

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I read somewhere that the show was disappearing from Netflix this week, so I did a selective rewatch over the weekend. It's still so very good.

On 8/25/2015 at 11:00 AM, Carrie Ann said:

Favorite relationships: Sierra x Victor, Topher & Adelle (the two most morally challenged characters on the show, who IMO underwent the most development--I always loved that dynamic)

When I first watched this show I was sticking out Season 1 mostly for Sierra x Victor (and I did really like through Season 2 as well), but from the first "Epitaph" episode on I was pretty much hooked on Topher, and his dynamic with Adelle. I fell so hard for his character development, and Fran Kranz always made a fantastic portrayal. Though to be fair, so did Enver Gjokaj. That first episode with Victor!Topher was one of my favorites.

On 8/25/2015 at 0:53 PM, Delphi said:

 

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I also loved Bennett, because she was so adorable. Her and Topher equals OTP for me.

ITA x 1000. They were so hilariously awkwardly perfect. It squeezes my heart just thinking about it.

 

Favorite episodes: "Man on the Street", "Epitaph", "The Left Hand", "Getting Closer", "Epitaph Two: The Return"

Edited by RandomMe

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On ‎23‎/‎06‎/‎2014 at 10:25 PM, aquarian1 said:

Discuss Eliza Dushku here.

Sexiest woman in the Buffyverse and that's saying something! She was the hook that brought viewers into the show. 

On ‎24‎/‎06‎/‎2014 at 9:44 AM, nosleepforme said:

I felt so bad for Eliza that she got so much bad press for her acting on the show. But unfortunately I agree with the criticism that she wasn't versatile enough to carry the show as an active. She just has such a specific identity/type that I didn't really buy her as a dumb/girly sorority girl for example.

 

But to actually defend Eliza, I'm not even sure if an actress as versatile as Tatiana Maslany would have done a better job. The problem was not just Eliza's acting, but the fact that most of the weekly characters that Eliza had to play were rather flat and not distinctively different from each other, most of them either fell into the tough-girl or girly sex-toy-category and I also doubt that Eliza had much time to prepare for the characters.

 

Compare that to the characters on Orphan Black where Tatiana's clones have all very distinctive, opposite personalities/backgrounds and Tatiana does not have to prepare for a new character every week. I think it was an almost impossible task that Joss asked Eliza to accomplish on Dollhouse.

 

That being said, I do think Eliza did actually do some fine work on Dollhouse, despite her limitations as an actress and I love watching her.

I disagree, I really liked her here and thought it was a wonderful way to show her range, not just Faith clones, seeing her on Bull it really shows how much she has matured as an actress.

 

On ‎18‎/‎07‎/‎2015 at 4:36 AM, Kromm said:

Eliza Dushku was definitely the weak point of the show. She in fact was fairly charismatic--she never lost that--but certainly didn't convincingly do the "personality reboot" thing the show demanded.  Conversely, the part that might be HARDER for some she accomplished--having a core personality shine through the various "disguises"/alters that could engage people as a protagonist.  Of course maybe that was made EASIER for her by the alters not being all that convincing as other people.

 

I compare her negatively though to fellow Whedonite (and brief co-star on this show) Summer Glau.  Who didn't impress on this show, but who did the "blank slate with something shining through" even better on The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

I loved Summer on TSCC but it was easier for her character to evolve as it was constant, we spent most of every ep watching Cameron. Echo by contrast never spent a full ep as herself, she was always implanted.   

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On ‎09‎/‎08‎/‎2015 at 2:49 PM, nosleepforme said:

 

Ironically, I thought that the hostage negotiator was one of the more convincing "personalities" that Dushku played on the show.

 

I remember I found the original pilot much more compelling, because it really introduced the entire world of the Dollhouse much better and had a more intriguing mystery to it. I wonder if "Ghost" had been better if it had been a 2-hour-premiere. I feel like it's not the best choice to start a genre with a case-of-the-week-episode, because there is not much room to really establish the characters.

I agree, Echo was much better than Ghost, especially the Ballard stuff;

ECHO

The good; A solid introduction to the workings of the Dollhouse and the various characters we will encounter over the course of the series. Love Echo at the wedding reception and Victor being a doll is sure a shock. Interesting debate between Topher and Boyd, they seem closer here than in Ghost.

The bad; You can see why the network demanded a re-shoot, very little action and kinda hard to like the characters, especially when Echo shoots Agent Ballard. Also stretches credibility that there's no sex involved, reminiscent of the holosuites in ST;TNG

Best line; Victor's "People are mostly crap!" just beating Topher's "Morality is programming" (or do they mean the same thing?)

Packing heat; Echo shoots Ballard with his own gun.

Kinky dinky; Astonishingly in this first ep there's no sex whatsoever except for a little kissy kissy at the wedding reception. Addy remarks to the client about hiring girls to dress as cheerleaders for him. Topher justifies him being in the Dollhouse because it is "Cutting edge science in a house full of hot chicks". Personally all the naked showering scenes do little or nothing for me, when the actives don't have their personalities implanted they act like stoned children and I just find it extremely creepy (nudity in itself is seldom erotic, the context is everything).

Capt subtext; Addy's client is a little too eager to turn down the offer of a male doll. Victor says that he wants to be Doris Day (cut to Sierra looking just like her or actually a little more Jackie O perhaps?)

How'd they get away with that? The sociopath assassin Echo is programmed with is hard to take, she's loathsome but your heart bleeds for a girl who's been running from the police since she was 5. Still hard to watch Ballard threaten her though but this being a Joss show she turns the tables. Boyd seems pretty callous just abandoning a wounded Ballard but in fairness the police are on their way.

This weeks fantasy; Echo is a vengeful streetwalker, besotted fiancé, damaged goods assassin and rehab girl. Sierra is Jackie O, Victor is a Russian gangster

Total number personalitites; Echo; 4 Sierra; 1 Victor; 1

Total dolls; 3 We meet Victor, Echo and Sierra

Addy is a bit British; Likes her tea

Topher is a bit geeky; His lab is an ubergeeks playground complete with gum-ball machine and whack-a-mole arcade machine

Dolls injured; Sierra with an unexplained cut on her face

Happy hookers; Essentially the Dollhouse is the ultimate fantasy brothel, amazing that Joss was able to get that onto the screen but I guess The Sopranos, The Shield etc led the way. Here we actually have Echo beating up a pimp and packing his latest working girl off home, rather hypocritical given the nature of the Dollhouse, is what Addy and co do that different to what he does?

Know the face? 2 Joss Whedon regulars, Amy Acker and Eliza Dushku.

Guantanamo; The conspiracy starts here, the power and reach of the Dollhouse is truly terrifying

Fanfic; Plenty where Echo and the girls get to dress up as cheerleaders and 'Bring it on'.

Missing scenes; Interesting missing scenes with Echo saving the girl in a spiral of self-destruction but the Dollhouse seems a bit TOO altruistic

Reminds me off; The dolls sleeping pods are very Alien whilst the Dollhouse itself is reminiscent of the Wolfram and Hart set in Angel.

Questions and observations; Gotta say I prefer Echo to Ghost although I can see why the network didn't. Do we ever meet Ballards ex? Addy seems to imply they're all dammed.

7 out of 10, good enough, intriguing but not brilliant

 

Ghost

The good; More involving plot, more drama and excitement and more realistic depiction of the reality of the Dollhouse.

The bad; The bike ride is stupid, such a Hollywood cliché that they turn out to be racing. Boyd is the worst sniper ever, demonstrating why you should always use a semi-auto rifle. Her client is also way too handsome as Joss and ED comment but if she'd turned up with an ordinary looking guy would we not know something was up? Plenty of pandering to the studio frankly. How does Sierra fire 3 rounds from her pump action shotgun without working the action?

Best line; Addy "Nothing is what it appears to be" (how true that will turn out to be!) also like Tophers "Everybody who's running to something is also running away"

Packing heat; Sierra with a shotgun and pistol (although she has a carbine in the chopper?), Boyd with a pistol and sniper rifle.

Kinky dinky; ED dancing is always a treat. especially in her 'decent by half an inch' dress. She also does a twirl around the stripper pole move when she gets into the van (check out her film The New Guy for more in that vein). We also get to glimpse her having bondage sex with her client. On the other hand her sexy librarian look is also quite something. Joss says he has a thing about libraries/librarians, wonder if Tony Head knows?

How'd they get away with that? All the stuff with the kidnapped girl and what happened to Echo's personality as a kid is horrific. Sierra's first treatment is hard to watch.

This weeks fantasy; Sierra is a SWAT team commander, Echo is a bike-riding party girl and hostage negotiator.

Total number personalities; 2 for Echo making a total of; 6 1 for Sierra making; 2 1 for Victor

Total dolls;3 Echo, Sierra and Victor

Addy is a bit British; It's the tea again

Bondage; Echo ties up her client during sex

Kills; Sierra kills 2 of the kidnappers

Dolls injured; Echo slapped around by the kidnapper

Capt subtext: Dr Saunders offers Echo a massage. One wonders how she danced so wonderfully after dropping a motorbike on her leg?

Happy hookers: This time Echo explicitly does have sex with her paying client

Know the face? Recurring Joss Whedon stars 3 ;Amy Acker, Eliza Dushku and Ballards sparring partner was the 'walking action figure' Spike had to fight in season 6 of Buffy to get his soul back. Also look out for Tim Kellehen who was also in Dark Skies, another conspiracy-fest series where he played a similar character (his Dark Skies co-star Conor Farrell also turns up in Buffy as the soldier who takes over The Initiative)

Fanfic: Plenty of bondage sex in fanfic

Reminds me off; Adele is very Lilah with a touch of Joyce Summers whilst Dominic is very Marcus. The relationship between Active and Handler very reminiscent of Watcher and Slayer. Ballards FBI contact is called Loomis which may be a Halloween reference. The boat sequence was so Miami Vice I had to check that Boyd was wearing socks. The kidnapped girl stuff is reminiscent of the Angel ep 'Damage'.

Questions and observations; Caroline remarks 'Like she always said', is this Mrs Dundee whom she refers to in her video? Obviously it's not ED doing all the bike work but can she ride at all? You wonder what the Faith on a motorcycle spin off would have been like especially with ghost-Spike as sidekick? The first time I ever actually heard Lady Gaga was watching this ep. Caroline says 'Hello mom' in her video, is her family still out there? The kidnap victim's dad refers to 'That reality crap', Joss putting the boot in? ED refers to her first movie with period cars which was presumably 'This Boys Life' with Robert De Niro and Leonardo Dicaprio. Joss is a fan of BSG AND Millers Crossing, he sure has taste! Obviously the budget is pretty tight to judge by their comments. What does Echo mean when she babbles 'Is it bigger than your thumb?'

6/10

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