Season 2 Episode 13

Epitaph 2: Return

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Jan 29, 2010 on FOX
out of 10
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725 votes

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Episode Summary

In the year 2020, Echo and the few surviving Dollhouse staff struggle to restore mankind after the devastating events seen in the unaired first season episode, "Epitaph."

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  • This series isn't over until the Epitaph is sung.

    As intriguing as the first 25 episodes of Dollhouse were (not including the original pilot), the series would be nothing without this finale. Epitaph 2 is to Dollhouse what Serenity is to Firefly; it ties up loose ends, prevents future apocalypses, and gives fans, at least this one, the assurance that our beloved characters are going to have as close to a happy ending as they can in their post-apocalyptic Earth. Of course, losing Ballard and Topher, like losing Shepard and Wash, wasn't easy; their deaths made me wish that I had no emotions like the dolls/dumbshows this series features. But after our tears fall and the heroes manage to restore things (again), we can appreciate that sacrifices must be made for the cause, and the ending is all the happier because Topher and Ballard made it possible.

    Kudos to the writers for having Alan Tudyk and Summer Glau reprise their roles as Alpha and Bennett, respectively. The episode would have been perfect with a glimpse (or fleeting mention) of Ivy and Whiskey. But, for the most part, this episode is a well-executed end to a sci-fi series that made us laugh, yell, wail, and contemplate the implications of technology.

  • Epitaph 2; The End of Dollhouse

    EPITAPH 2; The return

    The good;

    Very, very good ep, lovely way to round out the series and a great send off for the characters. Many, many nice little features including Harding and his allergy to shellfish again and Victor still having Ernesto the Acrobat in his memories.

    The bad;

    Joss WHY NO COMMENTARY? You didn't do one for the last ep of Angel either. Or are you saving it for Special Edition DVDs to fund your new project? That said the dinner party is a nice touch.When Adele leads the Dolls into the streets outside where have all the butchers gone? The idea that Victor, Echo and Sierra have to hide underground for a year to escape Topher's pulse is just silly.

    Best line;

    Alpha; "We're not freak shows. Well ok I am. And Echo. But Adele's a class act all the way"


    Adele; "I'm glad you didn't clean up"

    Alpha; "It spoke to the schizophrenic in me. Well, both of them actually"

    Packing heat; everyone armed to the teeth. For a guy who says he doesn't like guns Joss puts a heck of a lot of them in his shows.


    Boyd; 11

    Dominic; 10

    Sierra; 9

    Victor; 9

    Ballard; 14

    November; 2

    Adele; 4

    Echo kissage; 5

    In the missing scenes we see that Echo/Rebecca got all kissy with Joel in the back of the van at the end of The Love Supreme

    Kinky dinky;

    Naked musclemen in chains. Say what you like about Joss he gives us cheesecake but for boys AND girls of all tastes and persuasions.

    Capt subtext;

    Note the tender way Adele feeds Topher whom she refers to as 'darling'. She offers to die with him but he wants her to live. Mag seems to have the hots for Kilo and vice versa, Zone commenting that she now has the option to 'go down'. Adele and Echo finally embrace. The butchers are now wearing suits, do they represent the network executives that cancelled the show?

    Notches on the Dollhouse bedpost; Paul and Echo appear to have become occasional sexual partners but not romantic lovers. Victor/Anthony and Sierra/Priya are lovers and have a son.

    Echo; 7 definite, 2 possible

    November; 1

    Ballard; 2

    Victor; 2

    Adele; 1

    Sierra 2

    Topher; 1 possible

    How'd they get away with that?

    Paul is dead...(hmmm? Have I heard that somewhere before?). Once again shot in the head with his brains all over another character, in this case poor Mag.

    Total number personalitites; note 'mini-me' refers to herself as Caroline? But in every other way she's Echo, able to access all the memories in her head. Ballard refers to 100 people in Echo's head. 101 including him. Suprisingly the series doesn't end with Caroline getting her body back, she's just one of the personalities in Echo's head.

    Echo; 101

    Sierra; 13

    Victor; 11

    November; 3

    Total LA dolls; Kilo again, for a second I thought it might be Ivy. We also have Romeo and Yankee

    11-Echo, Sierra, November, Victor, Mike, Tango, Alpha, Whiskey, Kilo, Romeo, Yankee

    Subverting the Hollywood cliche;

    Psycho killer Alpha pops up in his usual sinister fashion....and get's a great big hug from everyone!

    Bondage; Paul and Echo in chains

    Sierra tied up; 2

    Ballard; 3

    Echo; 7

    Victor; 2

    Kills; Echo kills the Rossum honcho for the last time. Once they get into the fight with the Reavers...sorry butchers, you just lose track.

    Sierra; 3 kills

    Echo; 5


    Victor; 2

    Boyd; 4

    Happy hookers;

    Zone refers to Echo as a 'magically delicious superwhore'.

    Know the face? Nate Dushku, Eliza's brother plays one of the Clive Ambrose's, he was also in the Angel ep 'Orpheus' as the armed robber in the doughnut shop.

    18-Whedon alumni-Mark Shepherd-2 (Dollhouse/Firefly), Amy Acker-2 (Dollhouse/Angel), walking action figure-2 (Buffy/Dollhouse), Eliza Dushku-3 (Buffy/Angel/Dollhouse), Jim Piddock-2 (Angel/Dollhouse), Gregg Henry-2 (Dollhouse/Firefly), Alan Tudyk-2 (Dollhouse/Firefly), Felicia Day-2(Dollhouse/Buffy), Alexis Denisoff-3 (Buffy, Angel and Dollhouse), Kristoffer Pohala-2 (Dollhouse/Angel), Stacey Scowley-2 (Buffy/Dollhouse) Clyde Katulas-2 (Buffy/Dollhouse), Maurissa Tanchon-2(Dollhouse/Dr Horrible), Summer Glau-3(Angel/Firefly/Dollhouse) Glenn Morshower-2(Buffy/Dollhouse). Greg Collins-2(Angel/Dollhouse) Mike Massa-3(Buffy/Angel/Dollhouse), Nate Dushku-2(Dollhouse/Angel)

    Missing scenes;.

    The deleted scene from this ep is reminiscent of the ending to The Tripods, Zone, Mag and mini-me stumbling across a deserted camp but ready to start again. You can't help but feel bad for Adele when she tries to pick up Victor in the bar in Stop Loss, he actually offers to take her home but she knows she's not the girl he's waiting for.

    Reminds me of;

    Wizard of Oz again, the 'great and terrible' Caroline. The method by which Rossum force Topher to work for them is similar to how Lorne is forced to work in Vegas in the Angel ep 'The House Always Wins'. Sierra/Priya appears to be auditioning for the remake of Little House on the Prarie. In contrast we have Mad Max Victor.

    Whedon cliches; strawberries again! Also in Alpha we have the series greatest villain becoming the series greatest hero (Spike, Angel, Illyria, the agent in Serenity;the movie)

    Maimed characters. Rich and powerful famillies who cover up the evil deeds of their wayward sons. Top security installations which aren't secure at all. Loving self-sacrificing mothers who risk all for their children. Corporate politics literally played with deadly seriousness. Monty Python quoting villains. Offices full of zombies. Strawberries. Sleeper agents. One girl who holds the secret to everything. Villains who become heroes.

    Breaking the programming;

    Note the butchers are now using guns, they're evolving too.

    Questions and observations;

    So what happened between the events of The Hollow Men and Epitaph 2? An awful lot it seems! Presumably everyone makes their way back to the Dollhouse once the world starts going to hell. What happens between Adele and Echo so that Echo is on the point of killing her in Epitaph One? Presumably the vaccine that makes everyone immune to imprinting is derived from Echo's spinal fluid as we saw in the previous ep? Does Alpha have the same ability and is that how he created safe haven? What does Topher go 'huh' for at the very last moment when he looks at the 'Remember' wall? Love Adele's new family, her, Zone and mini-me ex-Caroline, she can start again, ever the Shepherd leading them into the light (we've seen how good she is with kids from her relationship with Victor/Sierra's son). Alpha finds it amusing that Romeo refers to him as a 'luddite' (groups of disgruntled workers who opposed the industrial revolution). Nice that they could work Summer Glau into the final ep through Topher's vid.

    So what happened to Ivy, Dominic, Alpha, Perrin, Whiskey etc? I guess we have to leave it to the fanfic? Who kept sending Ballard all the clues to the Dollhouse, was it Alpha? I like Joss' idea of Echo and co as the post apocalyptic A-team, I'd watch that.

    Marks out of 10; 10/10

    So that's Dollhouse. Good series and enjoyed it a lot. If I were to rate Joss's series I would score them as;

    Buffy; 10/10-best TV show of all time

    Angel; 10/10 (only beaten by Buffy because we had more Buffy eps)

    Dollhouse; 8/10

    Firefly; 7/10

    For all you Browncoats who now want to lynch me maybe I'd like Firefly better if there'd been more eps but it only had 16 compared to 27 for Dollhouse, if Firefly had been given a greater chance it might have done better. I think Firefly's problem is that as a space show it was quite expensive in terms of special effects, costumes, sets, makeup etc whilst Dollhouse could be filmed just on an ordinary street. Looking back over the eps I'd say Epitaph 1&2 are my favourites with A Love Supreme and Man on the Street coming up behind them, Spy in the House of Love also in the top 5 and I have a soft spot for Haunted. I think Dollhouse had less of a sense of fun than Buffy or Angel although Topher was a funny character, it was all more grown up. The Dolls didn't grow on you in their dazed state and the other characters weren't sympathectic or charismactic enough. Certainly glad I watched it though, enjoyed it immensely. Apart from Eliza in sexy outfits the standout for me was Enver as Victor who really showed some amazing range and talent in his various Doll characters

  • An amazing episode of television for a show that I believe was far superior to its predecessor. I own Firefly but I watch Dollhouse!

    Just needed to jump in with my two cents for all these Dollhouse haters who believe Firefly was somehow the superior show. It wasn't.

    Firefly was axed long before Dollhouse because it failed on many more levels. What made Buffy, Angel and Dollhouse work was the world was built from the ground up. We start with a few characters who we love and the world and mythology is built from there. Firefly jumped right in with way to many lead characters to count, a very dull opening episode and throughout its 12 episode run only a few episodes that really engaged me. I have the DVD but have not watched it since my initial viewing of the series as a whole. The movie worked a bit better but ultimately what Dollhouse is is the answer to all these issues.

    Dollhouse learnt from the mistakes of Firefly and ultimately became the superior show. While nothing Joss has created can compare to his Buffy universe that intrigued us and kept us watching for 8 years (I'm including Angel in that count), Dollhouse comes as a breath of fresh air after the dull as paint drying Firefly. Dollhouse ends with an amazing finale where characters we love die, questions we had are answered and the ideas of freedom and individuality are upheld. Echo also becomes Whendon's most complex hero. Sure she started as a vegetable but where the series leaves her is as this amazing heroine who gives up more for what she believes in then Buffy, Angel or Mal ever gave up.

    A fantastic final episode to a masterpiece. It is sad the series only got two seasons and 26 episodes BUT they were an amazing 26 episodes that kept there audience on the edge of their seat. Thank you Joss for some of the most amazing hours of television I've ever seen. I am sure if Firefly can earn a movie, Dollhouse will not be far behind. Superior television at its best. :)moreless
  • A very tidy ending ...

    Knowing the circumstances under which the show ended, I guess this is the best than could be expected. All along in Season 2 (especially the last half) the story arc was sped up and plot strands/reveals were compactly presented so that nary a stone was left unturned at the close. I guess from that perspective I am grateful and not left wondering what happened to X, Y, or Z.

    I thought it was kind of cheesy for Echo to go back into the pod as the closing scene. But that is okay - I will let Whedon and Co have that moment.

    Overall, I was a little apprehensive about seeing this show but in the end I am glad that I did. To be honest my expectations going in were pretty low and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I actually enjoyed the show. Sure there were those "whatever" moments - but how many shows DON'T have them. I felt like, in the end, my viewing time was worth it.moreless
  • Great final

    So.. after two years, it is over. In ratings wise, it was astrophysical but I liked the show.. I liked the story and just like Epitaph 1 showed the full potential what could have been, the same happened with epitaph 2: it was all about the story what would have been developed, explained in depth if there would have been time but there wasn't and so some parts felt very rushed, there were lot of to take in put.. I still liked it.

    It was very emotional and weird.. I never thought that show would make me cry but it did. I loved the developments.. some really good char moments but in all - it was conclusive.. it took it all together and gave a finish. Not all the series do that. So glad for that.moreless

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