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.