Friday, December 11, 2009


General Impressions: Hmm... funny how our memories can be rather selective. I remembered this episode as somekinda Murder She Wrote tribute with all that 80's soap opera the lives of rich people angle. And I was like „oh.“ I kinda somehow managed to separate all the small touching moments of Topher and Ballard and Echo's Murder She Wrote into different episodes in my head. So yeah, surprised to realize that one of the best moments were in this episode. And I didn't actually mind the
Murder She Wrote story this time. I kinda enjoyed this time.

Ballard was really braked with this episode. Mellie just going with her low self-esteem "it doesn't have to mean anything" speech and then Ballard's eyes... a decision, rough sex, and a sad aknowledgement that he too is a Dollhouse client.

I remember how painful it felt when Boyd couldn't be Echo's handler anymore. This really rubs it in.

And Topher's birthday. So sad. So lonely.

Adelle: "Loneliness detaches. Sometimes the people who need reaching out the most are the ones least capable of it."

Echo's Journey to Enlightenment: This episode doesn't really provide any writing material for this section since Echo had no personal moments in this episode. All the Dollhousey goodness was being done with the other characters. I guess this episode happened when it wasn't exactly clear that how they were going to be allowed to do the show. With the show that Dollhouse now has become and end, this episode does seem a bit out of place. Very out of place. But in that alternative universe where Dollhouse seasons lasted 24 episodes and it had 5 seasons, and each season had a bunch of stand-alones... I guess it would have fitted there. But in this "Dollhouse the Miniseries" dimension it's kinda out of tune with the rest of the episodes. However the Dollhousey goodness was great. The revelation that it was Topher's birthday made it all so tragic and Ballard's shower scene... heartbraking.

Foreshadowing: Oh yeah, rich people would definitely use the bodies of worthless lower castes to have everlasting life. And Adelle's "I'm not planning on presiding over the end of Western civilization" seems so ironic now.

Grading: Eh, it's a B-C thingy. Kinda like Stage Fright.

Can't wait for tonight's episodes.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Spy in the House of Love

General Impressions: This felt like a season 2 episode. Perhaps it's the same pieces falling together with a touch of descending into hell, that leaves you with a feeling like someone ripped a hole in your soul and you want more. But it's not just that. Echo in this episode was Echo – really season 2 Echo, so very close to what Echo was in episodes what we now just saw last friday.

Heh, it's funny how Dollhouse wanted to end Echo with giving her a sense of closure... but she's even more Echo. People are like talking important stuff before her and she's listening and thinking along. It was just so crazy. I'm doing Topher's body language here. The thing with the hands, the head and the stuttering. Echo's amazing.

Really amazing episode. The way it starts... you know something dark is going to happen... but to whom?

You know, a lot of these things that have now happened in past 4 episodes... much of that was hinted by True Beliver. Miss Lonelyhearts got it's first mention there. First signs of Victor/Sierra romance. And of course Echo's "I see perfectly" when looking at Dominic. Speaking of Dominic... very powerful stuff. What he said through Mellie, that Dollhouse deals with fantasies but that's not their true purpose. So true. That Rossum is going to destroy the world. So true. He's right. And he helps Ballard in his quest. But he despises the dolls. He can't stand them. He's mean. He didn't smile when Sierra was talking about killing Topher.

Let's look it from Echo's perspective. There's this guy who walks around and yells a lot and then everyone is unhappy. Tragic really.

And Ballard. This was the moment when I was really starting to fall for Ballard. This obsessed desperate guy. I like that sort of thing. And then his only attachment with reality turns out to be unreal. Damn. I wonder, Ballard hasn't met Dominic, right? I wonder if he will... I mean Dominic sort of helped him and everything.

Lot of pain in this episode. Very intimate look at Adelle. All that Miss Lonelyhearts fantasy. And then Dominic. Total breakdown. And concluding with Boyd's slight pain with Echo getting a new handler. Now it's time to look this episode from Echo's point of view.

Echo's Journey to Enlightenment:
As I already said Echo is very season 2-ish in this episode. She walks around, she notices things, she listens to what people say and even thinks along. It's crazy. And very cute. Eliza might be a slutty sexy type, but Echo's all cute.

From her perspective, there's this guy who once tried to kill her and now that guy walks around and makes everyone sad. Then there's November who she just said hello to. Then she waves at her when November's on the balcony, but November is different. Then mean guy takes Sierra and she follows them and suddenly Sierra's different. It's also funny that Echo's hearing is rather selective. She tunes in to Boyd's and Saunders discussion when they are talking about how the system is flawed. And she hears changed Sierra talking about killing Topher. So she goes to Topher. For some reason she's thinking of Topher as part of her flock. And she states it very echoianly clear. Change me so I could help you.

And then when she's programmed with her mad spy-detector skills, she's again doing Echoian observations. She's interviewing those people and making all those small meaningful observations. She really made Saunders pause.

In Grey Hour Echo makes a statement "I'm not broken." Dominic calls her a broken doll. They fight. Echo wins. And then she says "I'm not broken."

Dominic: After you beat me to a pulp, they're gonna erase me. But first they're gonna erase you.
Echo: I can take care of myself.
Dominic: I know. That's why I'm smiling. Because one day you'll be erasing them. Even after all this, they still won't see it coming. Sooner or later everybody gets theirs.

Also when they're programming a new handler for Echo, Echo looks at Boyd.

Foreshadowing: Dominic's rant could be rather prophetic.

Grading: Perfect.


General Impressions: I noticed a couple of things, that in my opinion in post-Bennett episodes world are rather revealing.

First thing, when that soldier doll comes home, Victor hides himself rather knee-jerkly, while others are hiding in normal way. They are sitting behind the car and watching. Victor acts like he's about to go under the car. Which seems to imply that Victor is not just a former military guy, but he is also in trouble with them.

Second thing, Echo (or Caroline) is saying that she thinks doctor Saunders is a prisoner like them. So true.

Third thing, Boyd says "Echo wanted to save us all." Notice the word us. Quite telling, no?

Echo's "huh?" face when Mike names a lot of sweet things and just mentioned mayonaisse. Okay, that was just a cute touch. Other cute touch was Victor finding a rather homosexual costume in his rack.

Ballard's dream. Beautiful. Weird. Funny. "I'm sorry but I have a thing she needs." Lol. He's really under pressure. Dancing between two fantasies. Sometimes fantasies can be quite tough.

We had no idea what would happen with Nolan, eh? He got what he deserved to be honest. I kinda felt sorry for him in Belonging... only kinda (very small tiny kinda), but this episode only added to my self-righteous satisfaction.

Dominic was right about the possible post-apocalyptic future that could happen with Dollhouse technology. But, why does he dislike the dolls so much? Oh well, his downfall. Wonder if we see him in season 2. I miss him.

It was very interesting to see how these people act with their original personalities restored. All those small touches. Victor's "I'm in a shower with naked people so I'll just think about baseball" chant and November's "Being naked is fun"... touches like that.

Echo's Journey:
After witnessing Bennett in season 2, and now watching this... methinks Echo did some really bad things between the time she escaped from the hospital and before she became a doll. She's very intense. Oh there is that caring side to her... like starting to wipe that handler's blood before giving up... but...

There's those opening lines from Ghost.

Adelle: Perhaps better than you have. We can take care of this mess.
Caroline: I don't deserve this. I was just trying to make a difference. Trying to just take my place in the world, like she always said, but now...

And now Adelle's "You couldn't bear to live with the consequences of your actions. I can't reveal it to you, I would be breaking a trust."

I'm starting to think that I know who that she in "like she always said" is. Or I'm just imagining to much. But that's what Dollhouse is. Each episode throws pieces of the puzzle in the air and then they all fall in place at the right time and it will be the greatest heureka moment ever.

Caroline wants to save everyone. So does Echo. But slightly differently. Like Topher said in Bennet two-parter "Echo's a friend." Echo looks out for all the prisoners in Dollhouse. Caroline just points guns at sad broken people. Echo has a more nuanced way of doing things. But yeah. Beautiful ending.

"The devil that you know, is better than the one you don't."

Hmm... wonder if that mountain resort will ever start to mean anything? Caroline was great. She really surprised Adelle. Gotta love their relationship.

Foreshadowing: Nolan, Victor&Sierra, Echo/Caroline need to save everyone and that line "I think doctor Saunders is a prisoner like us."

Grading: B for Beautiful. Actually it's P for Perfect.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Public Eye&Left Hand

General Impressions: Enver Gjokaj is my new God! Seriously awesome. He's like the new Nathan Fillion, only he's Enver. There's just no way to describe it.

This episode reminded me of a Buffy quote "It's about power."

I loved it how they are all working together... somewhat – Echo, Ballard, Boyd, Adelle and Topher. There was this sort of team vibe in these episodes.

I loved how misleading the episode 5 was. I was really thinking that Perrin's wife was a doll.... but, awesome.

And Topher's and Bennett's awkward attraction for each other... golden. Speaking of Bennett, perfection from the first moment. I guess there's more to Caroline than we've seen. I guess that must have happened between the time Caroline escaped from the hospital (Echoes flashback) and before she became a Doll.

This two-parter was just so rich in story and characters. Balancing brilliantly between regular and guest characters – Perrin and his discovery, his wife the handler, Bennett, Topher, Echo, Ballard and November. Dollhouse is blowing it's wad and I love it.

I just hope they manage to put a bit of Boyd's background somewhere there too in these last 6 episodes. And hot sex between Ballard and Adelle. I'm a Badelle, or should it be Paudelle? Since you know. Speaking of Ballard, can't wait to see what he is going to do.

Echo's Journey:
Echo has really changed. I love how Echo has produced a really deep philosophical thinking to the stamp words of Dollhouse. As in, she's thinking in those words, because that's the vocabulary she possesses, (but she really has made the meaning of those words her own) but what she means by them is something much more meaningful and deeper. "You try to be you're best." - with a really understanding look. "I understand. I don't want to fall asleep. Not even for a little while." - with a look like she really means it.

"She's broken. Let's go." Okay the last one wasn't very philosophical, but "brokeness" is a big part of Echo's philosophical system. Echo is a warrior-philosopher. Or hero of the working class. Or just crazy. Depends on your take on the show.

Gotta love Echo-speak. "You just awoke a lot of people and they all think that you're a bitch!" We can see how guarding Echo is of her friends. November is sad. Echo sees that.

And it's funny that by now the whole Dollhouse crew is like discussing these things with her. Their body language... and Topher's "Echo's a friend" to Bennett. Makes you think about Bennett's words that Caroline has hold over people. Kinda seems true, doesn't it. Because Adelle would have had a reason to Attic Echo a long time go, but in the first episodes it sort of hinted that Adelle admires Echo (or Caroline in her). It's quite interesting. You can even see a rather meaningful thoughtful glance from Topher when Adelle is speaking about using every resource to find poor defenseless Echo.

Oh and "They're in your head but you don't have to listen, you don't have to be what they tell you to be, you can belong to you!" - best definition of libertarian socialism ever.

Friday, December 4, 2009


General Impressions: This is a really great idea. I mean, what better way it is to know a character than to make them all high. Brilliant. I think this is also the first episode that sort of paints out Rossum Corporation as the "ultimate evil" of this show.

I liked how ashamed Adelle was when Topher was a bit too Tophery with Adelle's superior. Slight hint that there's a slight dissonance between Adelle at home (Dollhouse) and Adelle at work (Rossum).

In Belonging we saw Victor's war flashback... hinting that it's going to play out in future episodes. I had forgotten that there was a war flashback in this episode too. Perhaps we will see something of Victor's war past tonight?

Like any other character in Dollhouse Dominic isn't really a bad person. This sort of thing that they're basically good people... or more precisely, just normal broken people with good/kind moments to them adds a lot of nuances to Echo's tale of self-liberation from mental slavery (my take on the show is really just blacking and whiting the whole thing. I liked how he apologized to Echo.

And those being high moments were just so good.

This episode also hints at a very complex relationship between Echo/Caroline and Adelle. We have gotten a few moments so far that hint that Adelle admired E/C. Adelle also seems to believe that there is a core something, a soul, that cannot be wiped. You can see it Omega when she's all „damn he's hot“ when Ballard comes out with the same idea. I really hope they have some hot MILF action planned for these remaining 9 last episodes. Badelle is better than Becho. Anyway, Adelle fears that Caroline is punishing her, that Caroline is there... aware.

Echo's Journey to Enlightenment:
Finally we can compare Caroline and Echo. Well to be honest, they're not that different. It's just Caroline is very diluted Echo, Caroline is 25% of what Echo is. She is Echo anchored down by her cultural limitations – all that militant veganism and PETA activity. She also is inconsiderate about people in her life. Echo has learned to observe people. Echo would have noticed that Caroline's boyfriend pissed his pants when he discovered that Caroline was actually serious. And Echo's boyfriend would have been cool – like Spike or something. Echo's boyfriend wouldn't have made me feel dissapointed or annoyed. :awkward pause: Okay... so yeah.

Of course there are similarities. After all Echo is Caroline's core being. Caroline and Echo share the "to the end, going all the way" thing. When they see something is wrong then they go all the way trying to bring it down. Similar way of falling into things too big for them. I think I read something that hinted that one of those December/Friday two hour episodes depicts how it happens with Echo. Of course I tried to avoid spoilers so I just assume the attic thing will happen to her.

I don't really have an explanation why Echo felt the need to go to Rossum School when she saw it in the news. But we can see that Echo is beneath all those imprinted personalities. That this show sides with Ballard when he says in Omega that the core being never changes. So when the sleeping giant Echo gets a hint of something, the imprinted personality goes bye-bye and Echo gradually surfaces more and more.

I really have no idea what that thing meant where Echo chases that guy and where Caroline runs with her boyfriend. One of those small symbolic ironies moment. But to interpret a deeper thing out from that goes beyond my capabilities.

Victor is NSA and Dominic's reaction, tired Adelle after an exhausting day checks up on Echo and Echo walks all doll-like until a plant comes between her and the camera (okay so this is an interpretation thing, but I think it hints at Echo doing stuff that Adelle can't see.

Hey, until to Spy in the House of Love it's all one big continous arc (with groundwork laid in True Believer) that is just awesome. There really is no way to tear out a chapter and grade it as a stand-alone.

Man on the Street

General Impressions: I found the conversation between Ballard and Joel Mynor to be really good classic Whedon. Two people just talking and it's awesome. And I liked how he hitted it right when he suggested that Ballard is basically living out his fantasy. Suddenly the knight in shining armor gets tarnished.

And I like how Ballard tries to then not live his fantasy and falls into another fantasy constructed for him specially by the Dollhouse. Lot of small ironies in this show.

Boyd was all cool in this episode with punching that people through the window. We also start to see something of Adelle's nature, with her orchestrating a rather symbolic revenge death on that rapist guy. But until to that scene we didn't know enough about Adelle and I and probably quite a lot of others actually thought she was going to do something vicious.

Sierra just gets it really bad. First an egocentric millionaire kidnaps her and drugs her into insanity, then sells her to Dollhouse so he could fuck her in so many different ways, then her handler rapes her before bedtime. At least she has Victor.

Echo's Journey to Enlightenment:
Echo notices that Sierra has a problem. She hears her crying at nights. She then goes to tell it to people that can do something about it. She tells it to Boyd, cause she trusts him. Boyd solves it and kicks ass. Echo knows how these things work. In Belonging she does a similar things, but approaches Topher then.

Echo also says to Adelle that it's not finished. That geek guy was broken, repeating his unfulfilled day of making his wife happy, and now because of Ballard he was robbed again of that day. So Echo finishes it. Sure it can be interpreted as "pity sex", but in Echo's state of mind sex is rather irrelevant... she sees broken and wants to fix it.

Some of the interviews with common people are quite insightful, Echo's message to Ballard.

Grading: Yeah, awesome.

Friday, November 27, 2009

True Believer

General Impressions: Boyd is very protective of Echo. He is Echo's Giles.

For me this episode was a glimpse of our everyday Dollhouse's - religious cults. Cults are an extreme example, but still more common worldly. The cult was the opposite of Dollhouse, though they were similar.

No one wanted to be saved from the cult, and the cult's leader didn't care about his sheep. Adelle does care. This episode hints that Adelle even admires some of her sheep.

Also there was something about that ATF guy mirroring Ballard's obsessiveness. ATF guy set up the situation so he could get rid of Jonas Sparrow - his obsessiveness, his "I don't do things unofficially" unofficial approach. Ballard who takes notice of Mellie for the first time in this episode, gets into obsessive mode immediately when she sees Echo on tv.

Dominic makes it finally clear that he doesn't like Echo.

This episode had the first mention of Miss Lonelyhearts. And Victor's and Sierra's love story starts here.

I also think that Eliza did a really wonderful job as the blind girl.

This episode also marks the end for the familiar plot elements from Monk, CSI and other similar shows. But groundwork had to be laid anyway. Man of the Street would not have had the effect if these 5 episodes wouldn't have laid the ground for the revelations of MOTS to be so amazing.

Echo's Journey to Enlightenment:
Echo didn't have actually a lot of personal moments here. This episode was mostly about symbolic similarities, with ATF guy mirroring Ballard and religious cults mirroring Dollhouse. So does the tale of Esther, a true believer and a blind girl who was "blind, but now she can see" work more as a symbolic thingy. Echo was bind, but now she sees. And when Saunders asks "can you see?", she looks at Dominic and she sees perfectly. Echo has awakened.

By now, Echo has already gone through the two trials of Alpha - Target and Gray Hour - she has become and embodiment of "friends help each other" in Stage Fright and she allowed a ghost from the past to finally find peace. She has made a choice to be not broken anymore, and she has shown a tendency to help people. She now works inside the Dollhouse system, helping friends and eliminating threats.

Miss Lonelyhearts, Echo's "I can see perfectly" when looking at Dominic

Grading: Well, I don't know. I kinda liked the episode with Boyd being so protective of Echo, coming like an angel to save her. And also it's the start of Victor/Sierra romance which is just one of the most beautiful love stories ever. It's however not that inspiring itself. Sort of B minusy.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gray Hour

General Impressions: Whoa Nelly. This episode is just so much better than the previous. It just more playful. From the first scene we can see... okay, not from the first scene. But there's a very wonderful Dollhousey scene in the beginning which really just inspires.

Echo: "I swam 30 laps today."
Sierra: "Good for you."
Echo: "I'm tired now."
Sierra: "It's important to exercise. I try to be my best."
Echo: "Are you?"
Sierra: "Excuse me?"
Echo: "Are you your best?"
Sierra: "I'm not sure how to know that."
Echo: "I think if you always try, that's best, right?"
Victor: "Every day is a chance to be better."

Pure fucking poetry.

And then we get a wonderful misleading scene that makes us think that Echo's on a sexual mission only... only for us to be proven so wrong. There's energy in this episode. Okay, so the greek government hiring thieves to get it's national treasures back from museums of the world is nothing new... but unlike the previous episode where the "same old" took too much of the episode's time, this episode really just kicks it quickly with Echo getting remotely wiped. Eliza was really awesome in this episode. Her Taffy personality was just pure fun, but she was just so poetic as wiped Echo. Especially in this moment.

Echo: "This one is broken."
Wounded Thief-Guy: "Look who's talking."
*Echo starts to touch her face*
Wounded Thief-Guy: "On the inside. So you like art?"
Echo: "It doesn't look right."
Wounded Thief-Guy: "It's not about looking right, art's about feeling right. And you... I have no idea what I'm talking about."
Echo: "She makes me feel... funny."
Wounded Thief-Guy: "Cause these other guys painted what they saw, but this guy painted what is. That's what art is for. Shows us who we are. And this one is saying how we start out as a whole and somewhere along the line, pieces start to slide... we are broken.“
Echo: "That's sad."

All these "I want to be my best" and "Broken" moments... God this episode is just full of Dollhouse goodness. And when Echo gets out of that safe and saves the wounded thief-guy, she then says "I'm not broken." Echo has made a conscious choice to be broken no more. Which brings us to my Echo's Journey to Enlightenment section.

Echo's Journey to Enlightenment:
After the first 5 episodes we see Echo playing inside the Dollhouse system, but not as a doll but as an awakened person eliminating threats, helping friends, comforting her "prison guards" when they are broken... Echo giving out motherly care to all the people in Dollhouse... and that's what makes Echo beautiful. The "good guys" and the "bad guys" all need a hug, but Echo is still going to bring the system down. She starts to notice that all the people around her are broken - both the dolls and the dollmasters, prisoners and prison guards. So she starts hugging people all the time so they could be their best, while secretly searching for a way to bring down the world that keeps breaking her people. And it's in this episode where she makes that choice that she is not broken anymore. But all the other people are. But she is going to help everyone to be their best. God this show is just so inspiring and touching.

Remote wipes. The reason why the world went down the shithole in Epitaph One.

Grading: A for amazing.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Stage Fright

General Impressions: The semi-musical episode. At least we can see that Eliza can sing. This was the first episode to start revealing the actives - Victor's revelation was just very awesome. Also Victor's scene with Mellie gives us the false signals that Mellie could be in danger of somewhat from Dollhouse if she keeps mingling with Ballard. I just love it. I think this is also the last episode in where all the stock footage from the original pilot is done with. Oh wait, there's still the pool scene which we get in the next episode.

Well, in rewatching my opinion of this episode got better as I can now understand the ideas and themes behind this episode, but this is still very non-Dollhousey episode. It's very typical, this could be a Quantum Leap episode where Scott Bakula has to fix people's lives. Quantum Leap is awesome, but this episode was so typical of tv. True, all of these first 5 episodes use very familiar tropes or scenarios, but Stage Fright really nails hit with non-Dollhousyness.

It's about a singer, a pop star, who feels like she is a prisoner of her own fame. She's just a fantasy, not a real human being, imprinted with society's desires and she wants to become free. Yes she's supposed to mirror Echo's own situation in Dollhouse, but there's just something very tiresome and uninspired about her tale.

The song Freedom is supposed to be very meaningful when it plays in the end, and while yeah it's good to know that Eliza can sing, it has somewhat the opposite effect from "The Devil That You Know" scene in Needs. Okay it's not that bad, but I'd rather have had Echo alone singing that song. In her dollstate. That would have been deep.

However the ending is more into awesome. But that is the subject of my next category.

Echo's Journey to Enlightenment:
Echo is programmed to be a friend with this superstar. She is supposed to be very protective of her. However, the episode starts with a small wonderful scene from Echo and Sierra.

Sierra trips, Echo grabs her.

Sierra: "I'm sorry, I was dizzy."
Echo: "I didn't want you to get hurt. You're my friend."
Sierra: "Friends help each other out."

So in the end Sierra gets kidnapped. Echo and Sierra are both imprinted. Echo is supposed to be protective of that popstar. However what happens is that Echo kicks the popstar unconscious and is seemingly going to trade her life for Sierra's. Well she is going to trade. It's just that the circumstance allows her to save both Sierra's life and help the popstar to deal with her meaningless existence. But the underlying "friends help each other out" theme is just so powerful and one of the best things about this episode.

Foreshadowing: I think we get some signals that there is something inherently unlikeable about Sierra's handler. Also the end scene where Echo and Sierra walk pass each other, we see how aware Echo is of her surroundings. And that denying nod which says "too many people looking at us now." Beautiful.

Grading: Powerful underlying Dollhouse themes, but overall the episode feels very non-Dollhousey. C. Or possibly B-. Depends on how I rate the future episodes.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


So this was a dream I just had. It's not Dollhouse related, but... well I was Buffy in that dream. There are many shards of scenes I can't exactly recall where in the dream they took place. Something about Cordelia, some scene where I said: "Oh Spike you're covered in sexy wounds!", something with Xander...

What I can say it that the dream must have took place in Season 8 of Buffy, because I distinctly remember walking around in that scottish castle and talking something with Xander, who was all like eyepatch and cool and everything. Definitely taking a level in badass here.

So for some reason I find myself in somekinda almost ruined monastery. There was no ceiling. It had just rained, probably spring-time as it was very wet and muddy. Sun was shining. Very medieval. I'm looking for information from Friar Tuck (who looks like Friar Tuck from that Robin Hood show which was filmed in Lithuania - The New Adventures of Robin Hood). Anyway there was this bison-bull sort of creature there and Friar Tuck wanted me to kill it. So I takes my scythe and I run towards the creature and it rans past me without me hitting it. So I try to throw the scythe at it. I'm kinda feeling all bad because I really don't want to do it. But... the mission is important. So I try again, I fall and the creature steps on me. And I'm making the choice of not killing him. So I stands up, say in my Buffy voice that I've had enough and throw the Friar Tuck in a cauldron. I get a call from Andrew who explains that there is a problem with Friar Tuck. He sort of never washes himself. I look at Friar Tuck who pours beer inside the cauldron he is. Andrew explains that that's what he does, he pours the beer so his wounds start all bleeding and he kinda sits in that cauldron and that beer-blood liquid is his way of washing himself. He thinks it makes him smell a bit better. And I'm like "no way am I going to wash him" and "eww...".

At this point I somewhat wake up (in real life). And then fall back to sleep. Or semi-sleep, as my brain starts to rationalize what I have gone through as Buffy. I'm playing Buffy the RPG, which is kinda the conclusion of entire Buffy saga, but the player chooses how it ends. There are these many ways of interacting with characters. For example with Spike (here I am as Buffy talking to Spike) you can be all distant or all "Spike you're so much better than Angel, Spike I love you so much, let's make lovey now." And you can even do this with Xander. You sort of choose who Buffy is in a romantical relationship with - Angel, Satsu, Xander, Spike or Riley. Or you can pursue a romantical relationship with all of them. I was thinking that it was like Alpha Protocol (which is not out yet, but I've read about the things it promises to do) where the other characters remember their relationship status with you and it all plays out in the end differently. There's point A and then there's point O, but all that is in between is what you as Buffy make it to be. And what happens in point O depends on how you interacted with the characters. And that bison-bull killing quest was an example of multiple choices in the quests... you could kill the bison-bull thingy, or you could be creative and be "Buffy's sick of your tasks Friar - into the cauldron!". The rpg of my dreams - Buffy the Final Season - is very dynamic in that way.

And then I had to wake up. This time no return. I'm kinda sorry I didn't have time right after waking up to write it all down. But... I really enjoyed being Buffy in my dreams. It was one of the best dreams I've had recently.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


General Impressions: My God it was the best thing ever. Jesus, Mary and St.Joseph. Every single moment was just so good. In this episode we just had everything.

Vincent Ventrasca was so into his role, that it made me forgot how awesome good guy he was in Invisible Man. But the „people are people“ side of Whedonite writing shines through him too. We can see that he is personally hurt by that Sierra doesn't love him. He's a rapist... but he wants to be loved because he's lonely. Ouch, that ending was just painful. Boyd just forcing Topher to cut him up.

"One of the prominent themes in Dollhouse is the human being at it's most basic. The strong emotions that affect our being, beneath the mask. The touching human connection that goes through the masks, into the true nature. Like that moment in Vows where Adelle touches Victor's face and forgets herself. Or when Sierra touches Victor's face. Or how Echo gives herself under Ballard's guardianship in a very self-aware manner. Or when Echo feels sorry for that fat guy and gives her the female care at her own Echo will. Instinct was about a human emotion that's stronger than the identity mask." - Me, couple of weeks ago.

We can see this very clearly in this episode. The love shared by Victor and Sierra. It's so strong that Priya feels it, once restored. And her core being feels disgusted about Kinnard. And the shower scene between Victor and Sierra was just so... Dollhouse not a good show? Whedon's worst? Which half-brain can think it seriously? It's all about pieces of puzzles falling into their place in the right moment. It's all about those small touching moments.

The background story of Sierra makes that scene from Ghost even more awesome. The scene where Echo peeks around and see's the teary-eyed Sierra, while she's being wiped..... Amazing. Just amazing. This show has a lot of full circle moments. When you see it all coming together starting from scene one... bravo. Bravo Whedon and team, and bravo Fox for allowing to come it together this far. We may not have season 3 (in this case Fox will be bravo no longer), but at least we had Belonging.

Echo's Journey to Enlightenment

Well it's harder to do it with the latest episode, than with season 1 episodes. But there were some cues. Those scratches in her chamber – awesome. Ghosts, my son killed me, friends help each other, where is caroline, i was blind, shoulder to the wheel, i am nobody... and well that was what I could read out so far. Echo is real, Caroline was a lie. Echo is forced to see the world from a different perspective and she does it well.

Echo's and Boyd's dialogue fitted very well with my interpretation of the show – that sort of philosophical/religious awakement to the lie that is society. Boyd: "Not all people are ready to wake up." Echo: "I wanna just make sure everyone survives the coming storm."

Some Thoughts About Other Characters

Boyd was back again... and he was just cold. He had that Giles moment, when Giles killed Ben in Gift (Buffy season 5 ending).

Poor Topher... he's my new favorite character. My previous was Paul, as I identified with him a lot. But Topher has this rewatching quality to him. Now in rewatch I can see all the guilt, pain and self-loathing in earlier episodes. He's broken. They're all broken. Adelle was just so cruel to Topher when she said that Topher never had any conscience. They're all trying to drop the guilt and the blame on someone else. They're good people and yet they're not.

"Anyway, I think Adelle's journey is going to be the one of where she has to face the fact that she isn't as humanitarian as she thinks she is. Remember how Firefly said that governments are the ungoverned few? Well this is also one of the prominent themes of Dollhouse - how the rich ungoverned few use the common people as means for their pleasure and leisure. And Adelle is providing that for her social caste. But she also has a fondness for her children - the dolls. I think she is going to have to choose between her social caste and her children someday. Or something. I'm sleepy." - Me again, couple of weeks ago

Adelle had that moment briefly. Once she learned of the situation, she told Kinnard to fuck off. But her superiors pulled rank on her. And then she was just... she lived herself out on Topher in a cold bitchy way she is. By describing Topher has incapable of empathy she tried to make Topher the evil one. But that might have been just an emotional reaction to her own lack of choice, as she later just went "you have no choice".

Adelle did to Topher exactly the same what her superiors did to her – they both feel bad, and they're superiors (which to Topher was Adelle herself) tear them down by saying that they have no right to feel bad as they're not good people.

Victor's flashbacks seem to be a foreshadowing for something.

Grading: Perfect, fucking Perfect.

So no more Dollhouse until December 4. Well, at least we're going to have an awesome december. Here's to Dollhouse – the best show currently on tv.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Why I Love Dollhouse

Courtesy of Whoever did this video is a kindred spirit. It captures the reasons completely. It's just beautiful.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Target

General Impressions: Dollhouse is all about slow patient revealing of it's mysteries. It's a layered amazing show, but since this blog itself is called I Heart Dollhouse, I'm most likely biased.

And this episode also provided one of the first revelations. That scene in the past when Echo talks about that nice "heavy" guy - the one that basically is a repeat of "I've finally found the right guy/You're good people" scene from Ghost. That was one of the first "whoa!" moments for me in Dollhouse. It was like "whoa Boyd, I totally get you now." Did I already mention how much I miss Boyd? For some reason The Target is the most Boyd-centric episode in the whole Dollhouse.

I'm not a fan of the original pilot, because discovering all those things that the originl pilot throwed at you immediately, was one of the better things of season 1.

Anyway, I just love how Paul walks. He just has a such a nice stride.

And, mm, Miracle Laurie. For me it was love from the first sight. I tell you, even if Dollhouse gets cancelled before it reaches it's crowning moment of awesome - at least we had Miracle Laurie. This is what I love about Joss Whedon shows - the casting. Always amazing casting.

Echo's Journey to Enlightment

One of the prominent themes in Dollhouse is the human being at it's most basic. The strongest core being. Remember Firefly's episode War Stories? It's torture subject? How torture is all about revealing who you really are? And of course, Mal was revealed to be awesome, but that's beside the point.

Basically what Alpha does, is what that guy did to Mal - he forces Echo to awaken. For Echo to become self-aware. And I really enjoyed those scenes where Echo sees all those past imprints. "I'm all those people and yet I am none of those people." You know, I really should do post dedicated entirely to a buddhist interpretation of Dollhouse.

And that scene in the end, when she does that hand to the shoulder thing? That rocked my world. Post-Belle Chose world, because then I most likely didn't notice it. In Belle Chose Echo says "goodness gracious!" when watching the body of her recent imprint die. It seemed like that bad guy was still in Echo, but no... she does the same thing here. It's something completely else. It wasn't Echo being "possessed", but it's what she does. These traits she adapts are usually involved in very intense situations that leave a mark, that goes down to her deepest core, and so become part of her.

Foreshadowing: Echo's "shoulder to the wheel" in the end foreshadows that she's somewhat aware that Dominic is a threat to her.

Grading: That "crazy hunter guy who hunts people" plot was a bit too similar. I've seen that plot in of those CSI-like shows. Many times. It's a really sad world where CSI and it's copycats and spin-offs get like 354 seasons, while a refreshing innovative show like Dollhouse struggles to just finish the 2nd season.

Anyway, this episode didn't provide that many "oh my god, it all makes sense from the beginning" moments in rewatching than Ghost did. But the introduction of Alpha, and all those flashback scenes and Boyd-centricness deliver this episode pretty close to heaven for me. So B+. Yeah, I really don't have a system for reviewing, I usually grade them on whim.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


General Impressions: Well, this is my first time rewatching Dollhouse. And you know, my mouth was probably even more wide open than in the first time. It was just so... like I now could see the true brilliance, the true genius of this show. It was just that illuminating. Or felt like it anyway.

For example Paul. That scene where he is talking with his superiors and where it flashes back to the scene where he is boxing... it was like I was watching it for the first time. I didn't remember this scene anymore, which of course implies that back then I probably didn't think much of this scene, but now... now it was pure "Oh. My. God." That I couldn't see it before, but now I saw and I understood and it rocked my world. It felt like such an important and brilliant scene of foreshadowing. It foreshadowed Paul's arc for this season. That moment when he, after getting his ass kicked, rises up and unmercifies his opponent... that was Paul defined. It was amazing. Period.

Now of course, whether it's a good or a bad thing that only now I can appreaciate the brilliance of these moments with the foreknowledge is a whole different matter. But it is good that an episode can offer such surprises even in repeat viewings.

Also I had forgotten how much screentime Boyd used to have in these earlier episodes. I've missed that guy. In the beginning of the show he and his relationship with Echo seemed to be really important. But now, with three episodes into season 2, it seems like the writers have completely forgotten about his character. But who knows – Dollhouse generally seems to be pretty well planned, so this could all be a part of that larger picture.

There where also those funny moments where I remembered what I thought about this or that scene, when I watched it for the first time. For example the beginning – the scene with Adelle and Caroline.

Adelle: Nothing is what it appears to be.
Caroline: It seems pretty clear to me.
Adelle: Because you're only seeing part of it. I'm talking about a clean slate.
Caroline: You ever try and clean an actual slate? You always see what was on it before.
Adelle: Are you volunteering?
Caroline: I don't have a choice, do I? How did it get this far?
Adelle: Actions have consequences.
Caroline: God, you're loving this.
Adelle: I'm sorry you don't understand what I'm offering here. But what we do helps people. And if you become a part of that it can help you.
Caroline: Right, you're just looking out for me.
Adelle: Perhaps better than you have. We can take care of this mess.
Caroline: I don't deserve this. I was just trying to make a difference. Trying to just take my place in the world, like she always said, but now...

I had no idea. I just didn't know.

And when the motorbike scene started and Echo danced and fooled around, I thought I was watching some new sci-fi spy show. And I also thought that the guy that Echo was with was stupid and his lines were stupid. But now they were like "oh my."

Or Victor. I remember how I thought that he was such a silly stereotype – which made me think it will have the same comical side to it as other Whedon shows. Now I of course, especially after post-Belle Chose girly dance, know that Victor is awesome... but it was just funny how wrong I was.

So the general impression from the re-viewing is basically wow. Now to some character stuff.

Echo's Journey to Enlightment

In that moment where that mexican rich guy confronts Echo and says that why would these men do that do you – that's the moment where Echo surfaces. And in the end, the one who saves that girl, the one who argues with Boyd, the one who goes to Topher – that's Echo. That's Echo dealing with the experience of one raped and dead girl and overcoming that trauma – hence the title Ghost. "You can't kill a ghost!" Echo avenges that girl and saves the other girl. The Ghost reappeared from the past to finally put an end to that man's evil. It's in these moments where the imprinted girl and Echo overlap and mix in such a way that there's no clear way to tell where one begins or the other ends. Echo is the driving force behind this Ghost finding peace. However she isn't yet self-aware as Echo. But Miss Penn went bye-bye and existed only as much as Echo allowed her to exist.

Some Thoughts About Other Characters


Adelle does seem to have a kinder side to her, which we now have seen in these 16 episodes we've got (here's to hoping there will be more than 26), but in Ghost she's the big bad bitch who caters to the pleasure and leisure of her fellow rich men. But when Boyd confronted her with his "I've seen how you delude yourself into thinking that you help people" speech, when he wanted the permission for Echo to save that girl, that did crack through her cold exterior and revealed something of her softer inside.

Part of the reason why's she's so cold could be because she's with Dominic at the moment. Dominic, like every Whedonverse character isn't a bad guy, but together Adelle and Dominic strengthen each other's cold and calculating sides. Also, Dominic's glance, when Boyd delivered his speech at Adelle, was quite telling. Poor Dominic, he knew only the cruel side of Adelle.

Now in season 2 we have seen that Adelle is taken in somewhat by Paul Ballard. Notice how in Belle Chose she gazes Paul always just a bit too long. Which is telling a lot, because in Vows she touched Victor's face and forgot herself. Of course that scene is also telling, because it shows that she somewhat sees Victor as the same man who Victor was imprinted with when she wanted a nice romantical shagging. But in Belle Chose, Paul overrided Victor for her.

Hold just a sec... I think I'm having a new line of thought here. I think Paul and Adelle see the dolls in the same way. In Omega, remember how Paul said that there is a soul in the doll that never changes. I think Adelle also thinks that all those imprinted persons have something in common with the core doll – that the core doll being (the soul) is in every imprinted person.

Basically, I would like to see this hot MILF action happen between Paul and Adelle, but that's just me.

Anyway, I think Adelle's journey is going to be the one of where she has to face the fact that she isn't as humanitarian as she thinks she is. Remember how Firefly said that governments are the ungoverned few? Well this is also one of the prominent themes of Dollhouse - how the rich ungoverned few use the common people as means for their pleasure eand leisure. And Adelle is providing that for her social caste. But she also has a fondness for her children - the dolls. I think she is going to have to choose between her social caste and her children someday. Or something. I'm sleepy.

Whiskey/Saunders and Topher

There were a lot of meaningful glances which, especially after the big reveal, imply that Saunders is already somewhat aware. When Echo goes to Topher, when he is doing the first wipe on Sierra, and the way Saunders acts – it's very similar to the rats moment in Vows. And now I knew what those glances meant. Guilt. Pain. Hatred.


Boyd is the one with whose eyes we see the Dollhouse in these first episodes. Probably why I miss him so much. Like Paul and Adelle, he also has that belief that somewhere there is a true nature that's always the same no matter what she's given to think. "She finally found the right guy... or at least, that's what she thought."

So I guess it will do as m first review. I'll rate this episode A, just because it felt so amazing how all those small pieces and puzzles began.

Paul's boxing scene, Echo resurfacing in that balcony scene and Topher/Saunders relationship.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Dollhouse is an amazing show. But I guess how much one likes Dollhouse depends on how one understands the show. So I thought I'd start with a rant on how I "understand" the show.

Everyone's a doll. Every person constructs him/herself an identity and calls it his/her real nature. But the so-called real person - Caroline for example - is as fake as any person the actives are given. But when the actives are stripped from their own lies - turned into Eden-like Adam/Eve like people - in that stripped form is when their true nature has a chance to appear. True, as actives they are given the lies of powers that be as identity's to be... but so is every person in the world. Your local church authority gives you your religious identity, your local peer group you are attracted towards gives you your political/national/whatever identity... and so on, basically everyone lives a lie. The dolls are just the mirror image of society under a magnifying glass. But in that stripped form their true being emerges. Alpha's true being was wrong, before he got wrong. But Dollhouse is about how Echo finds her true being - enlightenment. She's like that guy in the cave who decides to sit in an opposite direction and discovers that she's in a cave, because she now saw the opening.

Okay, as rants go this was a bit confusing. So to put it shortly, Echo's journey is the path of enlightenment that takes her outside the world system to herself - her true nature. Dollhouse is about identity and the way it is constructed. There are those who live out identites that are constructed for them by the powers that be - the dolls are just the very literal example of this - and then there is Echo the Buddha, who is taken out of the world to find the truth.

Okay... perhaps a confusing rant was not the most brilliant way to start this blog. Anyway, I'll be doing episode reviews, discuss character growth and also map out this Echo's progression to enlightenment according to my "understanding or delusion" of the show. I heart Dollhouse and I just haven't found the place where people talk about Dollhouse in this way. This is my first blog, so it might take 5-6 posts before I start to get hang of things. But... someone has to do it. Dollhouse needs it's MikeJer. I'll try to be my best.