Thursday, January 28, 2010

Epitaph One

General Impressions: My-my, the most overrated episode ever. I used to think that. I still think that the characters of this episode stepped out from Alien Resurrections. And I still think it's overrated. I mean, we've got pre-apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic before with Whedon - Buffy season 7 and 8, Angel season 5 and After the Fall... I liked the not-so-Whedon-Dollhouse-ending-with Greg-Laswell-song-more... but whatever. This, like most of Dollhouse, got more awesome in second viewing.

It's the flashbacks. I mean, there really isn't anything else to talk about. I'm thinking that most of these memories are Adelle's. Because except for the Boyd memory (and russian Echo), she is in all of them, and the memories form one continous narrative around the themes of giving people what they need, rather than what they want.

1) What Dollhouse is. That's the scene from the original pilot. Nothing special about that.

2) Welcome Topher to the Dollhouse. Awesome Reed Diamond, and awesome Topher.

3) Paul, Topher and russian Echo. This probably takes place after Instinct.

4) Boyd and Saunders from Getting Closer. At first, before the Boyd-factor, I assumed that this tells why Whiskey got left behind. Because she wanted to wait for Boyd. Now of course, there seems to be another reason.

5) Adelle and imprinted Victor with mr.Ambrose. This I assume takes place either in post-Hollow Men, or before Getting Closer. "This law will be legal within a year." This kinda implies that senator Daniel Perrin is already a president. I think. Or around the same time when Echo is helping mexican immigrants.

6) Adelle and Dominic. Beautiful scene. Awesome in it's bitterness and tall morally judgemental men. I love how Dominic keeps shooting at Adelle. And that near-crazy realization hitting home. Also, in light of new reveleations... Dominic asks "which one is Caroline."

7) Victor and Sierra. "Don't end up like November" "Which one?" What's the deal with these "which one" Novembers and Carolines? I was sad to see that their greatest love story has ended. Sierra would still like, and she has all that unloved woman on crack vibe to her, but Victor is all "no." What's up with that?

8) Crazy sad Topher and Echo's return. That cult thing was just scary. Fucked up world. Taking cues from Battlestar Galactica with it's fascist humanity collective, I see.

And why does Echo refer to herself as Caroline. It made me sad. Is she going to kill Adelle? Sad. And Topher's scene just tore me apart.

I'm thinking that this is the flashback that we will see in Epitaph Two again. In trailers, you have Echo and Paul walking in post-apocalyptic LA and shooting people, so I assume that is just before their arrival.

Right before Caroline pointed the gun at Adelle, it was sort of hinted that Caroline was behind this new crazy culy. Adelle cynically refering to them as Caroline's lambs. Okay, not specifically as Caroline's lambs, but she was all dissappointed in having this cult.

What I expect from Epitaph Two? Answers dammit. Boyd to make sense (he does kinda, but also not) and to see why Echo isn't Echo anymore but some mean bitch leader of a religious cult.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


General Impressions: I still think they were playing around with the idea of Paul and Adelle. Because we see in this episode, how Adelle's initial "such a tool" reaction gets replaced by a certain respect, admiration. This carries over to Belle Chose, where we can see Adelle watching Paul in action with an admiring smile. And then in "A Love Supreme", Adelle seems to have a somewhat jealous reaction over the Echo/Paul romance revelation. I mean, remember the EvilGlare!Adelle in the end of that episode! And since the next episode started immediately with Adelle in sack with Victor, which kinda implied that she was trying to hump out whatever infatuation she had for Paul, but Victor rejects her and thus makes her unloved woman twice in a row, and she's all double unloved and starts drinking heavily, and that episode actually ends on a certain note that she's sending Echo to the Attic because of jealousy. Of course, it's all part of the big plan in the next episode... but the point I'm trying to make is that, in my opinion, they were playing around with the idea of Paul and Adelle (and making it potentially very complicated quadrangle) and this episode drops the first hint of this with Adelle's first admiring smile, which then gets repeated in Belle Chose and... I'm a bit unfocused. Sorry. It's just I've got all these recent events running around in my head... probably the whole thing needs to be redone.

Also Topher is just so hurt when Whiskey says that she hates her. That Whiskey is one fucked up individual.

Echo's Journey to Enlightment: We already discussed the Briar Rose allusion in the previous episode. All we can say is this. Echo get's a treatment that should fix her back into a normal doll, she walks, notices that Topher is sad and then comforts him... and cue meaningful song. Echo's a real person now.

The Question of Boyd (did they pull it out from their asses or not?): "There's always a girl." - Boyd's comment when Paul says that he isn't working for Dollhouse, but looking after Echo. Fits perfectly with the new revelations.

"Call me Omega again and I'll..." She has finally finished her Echo identity. This shows how she identifies from now on as Echo, that she won't let others tell her who she is, and not as Omega or Caroline.

Briar Rose

General Impressions: With this extra week between Getting Closer and Epitaph Two, I've had time to think about what exactly I found to be missing in the last few episodes. And this episode provided the answer.

In the first season, Dollhouse was more meditative, it was more about making allusions of what Dollhouse is with metaphorical or symbolical exmples. Like True Believer for example - Dollhouse is like a cult, where people trade away their individuality for imagined safety adn comfrot, and Esther is the blind girl who sees the most.

It was much more of a symbolical show, and they always had some Greg Laswell song finishing the episode. Okay, so there was a Greg Laswell song just a few episodes ago, but Dollhouse 2nd season is still much more of an typical sci-fi action show - and there are also those thematic similarities, or repeated patterns if you will, with Buffy 7th and 8th season and Fray.

Oh, it has been a breathtaking and awesome second season, but I miss this old Dollhouse with it's symbolic meditative approach.

Speaking about allusions that mirror the current situation in Dollhouse - Echo the Imprint making ironical comments considering she's Echo the Sleeping Beauty.

All that talk of the prince showing up in the last minute and taking all the credit for rescuing Briar Rose. And then Echo says something about Briar Rose dreaming the prince up...

...flashback to Needs where Echo calls Paul and asks his help...

The prince is coming and in a clever twist, we find out that the real prince is the other guy. Alan Tyduk is just awesome in this episode - I really enjoyed his Stephen Kepler personality, with all those brilliant moments like "the earth day speech" and "this is the same kind of expansionist thinking that led to the Trail of Tears."

And this is also the first episode, where we the viewer, start to realize the awesomeness that is Enver Gjokaj with his brilliant and intense Dominic imprint scene.

Echo's Journey to Enlightment: In the style of 1st season, the current mission personality of Echo is an allusion that mirrors the situation in Dollhouse. Her speech about Briar Rose really creates this clever irony, because she is the Briar Rose. And she's right about her dreaming up her rescuer right before the curse was about to end. Because by now, she was just one step away from Super Echo. Her prince, Alpha who dropped all her imprints into her, arrived in the last moment to take credit for making Echo into "a god". But we see in Omega what she says about that. She was her own person before Alpha did that thing, and that person kicked Alpha's ass.

The Question of Boyd (is there anything that would reveal whether Hollow Men was pulled ot from their asses in the last minute or not?): No. Not really. However you see his fight (particulary his lines) with Paul in a new light. There is a bit of that "whoa, I now see" moment, but there are also some other things that make it more fuzzy - his expressed reluctance over Adelle's idea of making Paul into a doll against his will, and his surprise over Adelle's "we're not going to let a thing like Attic stop us from speaking with mister Dominic, now are we?"

The word "Whiskey" uttered by Victor/Dominic. Plus, Boyd dialogue with Ballard is interesting in light of the recent revelations.

Grade: Awesome. Fucking Awesome.