Monday, 13 April 2009

Straight to DVD for Dollhouse

So the news that the 13th episode of Dollhouse will not air comes as little surprise to Whedon Fans. Apparently Dr. Horrible actress Felicia Day guest stars in what is being called episode 13 of the series… of course we know the truth… its really episode 14.

Fox bought 13 episodes but after the pilot was scrapped (deemed un-airable apparently) this brought the count down to twelve and now there seems to be some kind of war about the the extra episode and who should pay what. Anyway, the upshot appears to be that the episode, along with pilot will only be seen on DVD. Joss confirms that Omega (episode 12) of the show was always intended to be the finale (I’m not sure if that is finale before hiatus or finale season 1.)

But this got me thinking about Joss Whedon pilots… Not one of them has ever been used! Both Buffy and Angel can boast unaired pilot episodes and Firefly had its pilot shifted to episode 11. Maybe Joss should give up writing pilots and just start the series somewhere midseason, maybe then the studios wouldn’t pick on him!

Anyway, down to business, this weeks episode of Dollhouse was as good as it was segmented, i.e. very! If you don't want to know the score look away now, because we have spoilers coming up.

We finally learn what the attic is, we uncover DeWitt’s dirty little secret and we are left wondering just what’s up Doc?

This episode is told in four segments following the four major dolls, quite an uncomfortable style for this show especially so early on, that said however it is nice to see Sierra, Victor and November all getting equal spotlight time this week.

The first segment follows November/Mellie as she returns to Paul with a message from within the Dollhouse. “Our person inside has been captured.” But at this point we don't know who that is, although we are led to believe there are any number of suspects including Topher’s assistant Ivy and Echoes handler Boyd. I’m also interested in the use of the word “we”, who is we? We implies plural and I wonder if there is more than one mole inside the Dollhouse(s). Finally Mellie echoes Echo’s words from episode 6 “The Dollhouse deals in fantasy but that is not their purpose.” just in case we missed the significance last time…

In fact much of the Dollhouse script is based on repetition, “Did i fall asleep?” “Would you like a treatment?” etc, I wouldn’t be surprised if these words don't hold some deeper meaning.” The Dollhouse deals in fantasy but that is not their purpose.”

The second segment follows Sierra as she breaks into the NSA, who it appears have a reasonable lax security system, after all the guard seems to know the woman Sierra impersonates pretty well “You know the drill.”, you’d think he’d notice that her face had changed shape? Anyhow, improbability aside, Sierra breaks into the NSA and uncovers their mole inside the Dollhouse, intel we wont get until segment four.

The third part focuses on Victor and Miss Lonely Hearts, who turns out to be none other than Adelle DeWitt. So the Head of the LA branch of the Dollhouse is a regular client? Interesting considering how thoroughly the House is supposed to vet their clients. Through this episode DeWitt expresses a desire to be out of the House, away from the lies, free to live the life she wants, presumably with Victor. (Interestingly Victor seems pre-programmed with the knowledge of their prior engagements. Is it therefore possible to store an imprint on pause? Re-imprinting the doll with all the knowledge it gained the last time it used the imprint? And how accessible is the information contained within an imprint?) However by the end of their encounter she realises that there is no happy ending for her, she has sold her soul and she has to live with it.

All true, but I wouldn’t discount Miss DeWitt yet, i still believe she is part of the “We” especially at the end of this weeks episode when she declines Topher’s offer to re-wipe Echo.

So finally we reach the conclusion, Echo, who is becoming self aware approaches Topher and asks him to imprint her. For some reason he takes her advice and uses her to rat out the mole. Mr. Dominic the Security Chief agrees to let Echo do her thing until Sierra gets back with the intel. However Echo doesn’t conclude her investigation before Sierra gets back and lays the blame on Ivy. Of course Echo deduces that Ivy is innocent and blames Mr. Dominic, who turns out to be an NSA spy.

So the Head of Security is the mole. It certainly would appear so, but did he have the know how to reprogram dolls? What is the aim of the NSA? Why would he help Paul Ballard and why would he claim that his work had actually stopped Ballard? It doesn’t all add up and the missing piece of the puzzle is DeWitt, I’m sure of it.

Finally we discover the nature of the attic and I’ll be honest, it was a lot more sinister when we didn’t know what it was. Admittedly sucking peoples brains out and leaving them zombified is fairly atrocious (Mr. Dominic’s fate…) but its just not as scary as the “The Attic.”, it’s somewhat akin to the Smoke Monster in Lost, we want to know what it is, but at the same time it’s always going to better not knowing.

Also this week we learn that Dr. Saunders never leaves the Dollhouse. Boyd gets promoted to Head of Security and Echo gets a new handler. Important details that i just couldn’t fit into the four sections. Also Topher calls himself a genius and we all know what it is pride comes before…

So a good episode with some nice reveals, but I can’t help but feel that the audience is cheering for the wrong side. After all, this episode paints Dominic as the bad guy, he does try to kill Echo, but if Echo we really Caroline who’s side would she be fighting on? Also I really liked the end of the episode that dealt with Echo’s self-awareness, the fact that DeWitt knows about it and is actively encouraging it is definitely intriguing.

Anyways, that’s about it for My Two Cents, I’ll leave you to make up your own mind. Coming soon Lost “Dead is Dead.”

Dollhouse is currently airing on Fridays at 9pm on Fox. Don't miss the last three episodes…

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails