Thursday, 1 October 2009

Death Slot for Dollhouse…?

Hurrah! Dollhouse is back, unfortunately its back in the Friday death slot that has been the dumping ground for nearly every snapshotshow FOX has cancelled. And the series premiere only pulled in 2.5m viewers, only beating out re-runs of America’s Next Top Model on the CW, or so says google at any rate. You would have hoped with guest stars Jamie Bamber (Battlestar Galactica) and Alexis Denisof (Angel) that Dollhouse could have drawn some extra interest…

After watching the excellent Epitaph One last night, this episode Vows was a little disappointing. Essentially the episode does little more than set up the new season, which, I guess, is the whole point really.

The show can really be split into four parts.

Echo and Ballard

The main story arc revolves around Paul Ballard using Echo to further his own goal of catching bad guys. DeWitt asks him why he has changed sides, his reply is effectively “If you can’t beat them, join them.” A kind of reverse Spike in essence, Ballard joins the bad guys to further the cause of Good. The episode can essentially snapshot(3)be boiled down to two key points for Ballard and Echo. Firstly that Topher’s wipe didn’t work, Echo still remembers her old imprints, which as we see in Epitaph One, she will learn to control, even overcoming any new personalities she is imprinted with, a kind of compartmentalisation for the mind. The second is Ballard agreeing to become Echo’s handler, a choice that is made easier for him when Echo reveals that she wants nothing more than to liberate the Dollhouse.

Victor and Sierra

Other than DeWitt paying for Victor to have his face repaired there is little to tell here, except that both Sierra and Victor are forming an emotional attachment to each other that it seems will transcend the imprinting process.

DeWitt and Boyd

Boyd is having a hard time letting go of Echo and even harder time raising his game as Head of Security. He has yet to form a decision about where his true loyalties are and that spells trouble for DeWitt. As do a new series of accusations by a US Senator, who is none other than Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, only without a British snapshot(1)accent and no longer a slayer of evil creatures. The US Senator has had information leaked to him about medical advancements that the Rossum company (owners of the Dollhouses) are keeping from the general public. Advancements that presumably include whatever process is being used to cure Victor, but interestingly not Whiskey. I believe that the senator may end up being responsible for the apocalyptic future that we see in Epitaph One.

Whiskey and Topher

For me this was the most interesting part of the episode. We’ve had a “misunderstood-Topher” episode before in the episode Haunted, and Fran Kranz can really make these moments shine. This time he and Whiskey sit down and have a heart to heart snapshot(2)about what it means to be human. She believes that Topher thinks she should worship him as a god, but Topher knows different. He tells her she is better than him. At the end of series one when Whiskey found out she was an active she asked Topher why he made her hate him. His answer in this episode “I didn’t make you hate me, you chose to.” The moments between Whiskey and Topher are really what makes this episode special. They are deep, almost soul searching and both are left with questions unanswered, unable to find any kind of solace.

All that and I managed not to mention Jamie Bamber once. His performance was fine but his story wasn’t the best, I kind of feel snapshot(0)they wasted that guest star, if you know what I mean. I did think it was interesting that Bamber, an English actor who was forced to play an American for five years was guest starring alongside Denisof, an American forced to play an Englishman for five years, that was a nice touch.

Anyway, I’m expecting good things from Dollhouse (actually I’m expecting cancellation, but if it survives I’m expecting good things) this has been My Two Cents, tune into tomorrow for another TV Nibble.

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