Season 2 Episode 1


Aired Friday 9:00 PM Sep 25, 2009 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (17)

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  • Season 2 Vows

    The good;

    How gorgeous is bride Eliza? May not have affected ED but made me go awwww! Everything about the Toper/Saunders relationship is fabulous. Love that way that when Khar catches Echo snooping in his desk she almost get's away with her explanation, she's very plausible.

    The bad;

    What the heck happened to Jamie Bamber's hair? He looks like he's one of the Four Seasons, I keep expecting him to break into 'Oh what a night'. Why does Khar just fire 2 shots at Echo when he has a pistol with 15? When the limo blows up you can clearly see it's nowhere near the airport.

    Best line;

    Dr Saunders; (of planting rats in Topher's cupboard) "Just dealing with some vermin"


    Dr Saunders; "They'll go over your head"

    Boyd; "I'm very tall"


    Topher; "You're human"

    Dr Saunders; "Don't flatter yourself"

    Packing heat; Echo uses a pistol taken from Khar's goons


    Boyd; 8

    Dominic; 9

    Sierra; 4

    Victor; 3

    Ballard; 10

    November; 1

    Echo kissage;3 at her wedding

    Kinky dinky;

    One of Echo's previous clients was a TV newsreader with a splosh fetish (a desire for sex with people covered in food). We now have Dominatrix Echo in the opening titles each week, much like Buffy and Faith dancing just too damn sexy not to show again and again. Sierra's 50s Princess character likes to be tied up and spanked (so much for Adele's assertion that the actives aren't hired out as sexual submissives). Topher refers to 'deviant excitment'. I never thought Eliza could be more sexy than as the dominatrix but seeing her in her wedding night lingerie she's just stunning and you couldn't pick which you prefer, sugar or spice? (a remark you understand much better if you've seen Batman Forever). Dr Saunders puts on the lacy teddy and puts the moves on Topher. He seems to have erotic dreams about Fozzie bear which is a whole other level of kinky. Topher observes that he could easily have made a willing sex slave but Saunders counters that the real ultimate fantasy is to make someone who initially hated you love you.

    Capt subtext;

    Note Adele stroking Victor's scarred face, remebering their Miss Lonelyheart time together. Dr Saunders keeps her scars because although she knows she's a doll her physical imperfections make her unique amongst them. Echo's handler telling Paul 'You're the client' really hit's home. Echo flashbacks to her and Whiskey done up like Ava Gardener and about to get all kissy at a masked ball. To my shame the first time around I missed the idea that what triggers this memory for Echo is Dr Saunders giving her a gynecological exam implying they did a lot more than just kiss. Dr Saunder's assertion that the ultimate sex fantasy is to make the person who despises you love and desire you is possibly an allusion to Caroline/Echo, Rossum's greatest enemy surrendering to them and allowing them to turn her into their willing plaything, their's to use and humiliate as they wish for fun and profit. Question is did Topher make Saunder's hate him as an aspect of his own self-loathing?

    Echo's remark of 'We are lost but we are not gone' may be an allusion to the whole Dollhouse situation.

    Notches on the Dollhouse bedpost; Echo and Khar

    Echo; 4 definite, 1 possible

    November; 1

    Ballard; 1

    Victor; 1

    Adele; 1

    Sierra 1 possible

    Topher; 1 possible

    How'd they get away with that?

    .Echo's husband hitting his wife is a true 'Jeez!' moment. He may be an evil arms dealer but even he seems ashamed when she accuses him of domestic abuse. Sierra's anti-Asian racism towards Ivy is also a little hard to take even if played for laughs.

    This weeks fantasy;

    We see Echo as a bride/undercover agent and Sierra in her Jackie O/Audrey Hepburn personality. Echo also slips back into Margeret from 'Haunted' and Alpha's 'Badland's' style girlfriend Briar Rose from the end of the last season.

    Total number personalitites; one more for Echo, we've seen Sierra's personality before

    Echo; 24

    Sierra; 11

    Victor; 7

    November; 3

    Total dolls;

    8-Echo, Sierra, November, Victor, Mike, Tango, Alpha, Whiskey

    Addy is a bit British;

    Joss seems to have a thing for British authority figures

    Bondage; we don't see any but Sierra obviously has a thing for it

    Sierra tied up; 1

    Ballard; 1

    Knocked out;

    Echo; 2

    November; 1

    Sierra; 1

    Victor; 1

    Topher; 1

    Kills; assuming they die when she shoots them Echo kills two of the arms dealer's henchmen.

    Sierra; 2 kills

    Echo; 3


    Dolls injured;

    Echo with a big old gash on her head and concussion

    Happy hookers;

    Echo is an undercover agent who wins her mark's confidence by actually having sex with him, the stuff of bad erotic thrillers (Undercover Heat anyone?) something that gives Ballard great moral angst.

    Know the face? Alexis Denisoff, another Whedon hattrick

    9 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)


    Paul says he no longer cares about due process

    Reminds me off;

    The way Topher has engineered Saunder's phobias to prevent her leaving the Dollhouse is reminiscent of The Truman Show. The idea that Dr Saunders is reluctant to get her original personality back as that will be akin to dying for her is similar to an ep of ST;Voyager where 2 characters are merged by a transporter accident. Echo clinging to the bonnet of the car reminds me of TJ Hooker who was prone to that.

    Breaking the programming;

    The dolls are noticeably less zombie like and have more personality, I think that was one of the reasons people couldn't take to them in the first season.

    Questions and observations;

    Echo has a new handler but this is the only time we see him. As Joss says the lighting on the Dollhouse is very different. Topher sleeps at work which seems to be a common thing in the Dollhouse. I think I'm beginning to fall a little in love with Ivy, she's a character who keeps growing on me more and more. In reference to the Jonas Brothers do they mean they're Dollhouse clients or that customers hire the actives out to play their roles? Still weird to hear Jamie Bamber talk with his real accent. Adele knows about Echo's unique nature but wants to watch her develop. Echo's remark of the 'Honeymoon is over' may be her telling Paul that from now on things are only going to get harder for them. Shame we don't get more of Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof etc this season but not enough in the budget (perhaps why they dropped CC/Conor from the last season of Angel so that they could have fan-favourite Spike?). It seems Joss' favourite series is BSG. I love Adele's new hair. Everyone seems to be hitting the booze pretty hard, even Dr Saunders (whiskey?).

    Marks out of 10; 7/10 good ep, Joss didn't expect to get a second season so this is a partial reboot for the show

  • "Wait, it'll bet better. Wait, it'll get better." Still waiting...

    When Dollhouse debuted, I was excited for the next great Whedon show. But then it ended up sucking. But I stayed with it, because everyone insisted it would get better. Waited all through the beginning of the year. And all through the middle. And by the finale, improvements were minor at best, and I realized I had just wasted a season of my life. Now going into year 2, my opinion of the show hasn't changed. In fact, not only was it NOT an impressive return, it was the most boring premiere of the 2009 season. And I've seen EVERYTHING- from Flash Forward to The Good Wife, to even the f'ing Vampire Diaries!) I didn't care about anything that happened. I didn't care about Whiskey's "am I real?" issues. In fact, I was extremely annoyed by her behavior and whining. This is a horrible turn for the composed character. The show has always been desperate to show viewers they are deep, but now that desperation is starting to show. Echo is finally glitching but we knew this would inevitably happen the moment the very premise of Dollhouse was announced, so this was neither interesting nor exciting. There were a couple sprinkles of interesting scenes that woke me up (the confrontation about the desk) but it wasn't enough. I see now that I don't like this show very much, and so I shall stop watching. Oh well. I've put in my time as a fan. No need punishing myself further. maybe Whendon's next show will be better.
  • Worst episode from both seasons so far, too slow, many missed options and trying too hard to look both sophisticated and philosophical.

    Very slow, too slow episode with scenes that just don't work and look childish. Also, very bad acting from Fran Kranz(Topher) and Olivia Williams(Adelle DeWitt). The character of Topher has to go, it's not useful to the show anymore if he ever was. The pacing is completely off overall. The only good things where brief moments of Echo glitching and the last bit of the closing part with Echo talking to Boyd. Anyway the way the character of Boyd has been written in the new season doesn't make any sense at all and it's so out of character. For the whole first season we were told that he was going to get killed to save Echo, he would have done his best to achieve that and then he joins forces with the Dollhouse and uses Echo as a puppet to put some criminals in jail in a sort of a deal? It doesn't make much sense, it looks childish written overall and it's not looking good for the rest of the series. Unless the upcoming character of Summer Glau is going to save the show if next episodes continue like this first one then the show will get cancelled for sure.
  • *** Spoiler-free *** Old episodic format, dusty story and unexploited secondary characters but emotional Dr. Saunders's arc and Amy Acker's charming talent

    Even if season 1 finale, Omega, convinced me that Dollhouse had potential I hesitated a long time to give its second season a chance. In fact the summary I read of this episode sounded boring and episodic when Joss Whedon said the new format would be arc-y. Now that I have seen Vows I'm sure of one thing, that the show deserved to be canceled. First the format was as episodic as in season 1. Echo had a new engagement and that arc was boring and unoriginal. We had already seen her as a beautiful bride and the story was as old as the one from episodes like True Believer and Haunted. I'm surprised they picked such a predictable and linear plot for a season pilot. However even if I was generally disappointed by it I have to admit that Vows had its own share of pros. Of course Topher was annoying but I found his scene with Dr. Saunders quite interesting thanks to Amy Acker's convincing performance. So for once the writers focused more on some secondary characters and it was a pleasant surprise. However it only lasted a few minutes and the story went back to the engagement. The other element I relatively enjoyed was the relationship between Paul and Echo. It's far from perfect but it could lead to some interesting scenarios. But in the end what ruined the episode, and probably the whole season 2, are the cons imported directly from the first. Victor and Sierra were only featured for a few seconds when their performers are good and the characters intriguing. How could we forget them after Spy in the House of Love ? The ending was predictable even if I found Dr. Saunders's decision quite inspiring. Dollhouse could be so much more if it didn't focus so much on Echo, the episodic engagements and Eliza Dushku's sex appeal. It's like if Joss Whedon decided to cook his old Buffy recipes instead of following the new books to direct his show.
  • Honeymoon's Over Written And Directed by Joss Whedon

    Echo (to Paul): "I remember everything. Sometimes I'm someone else and then I come back but I feel them, all of them."

    Blimey, this show might not be longer for the world but it's reassuring that Sci-Fi didn't waste time in deciding to air the second season. Their treatment of the series is easily better than Fox's when you think about it.

    Season One had some great episodes, especially towards the second half of the season but it was marred with many problems. One of the biggest was Paul's obsession with Echo. It lacked emotional content and was clearly superficial. If this premiere episode is anything to go by, a degree of substance was thankfully injected into his fixation with her.

    He did the slightly uncouth thing in becoming a client. I know being inside the belly of the beast means you're more than susceptible of being infected by it but even I thought that Paul would show a little more restraint. Luckily for us, Paul didn't hire Echo out as personal slave for himself.

    Instead he used her talents in a desperate bid to snare Martin Clar. Played by Jamie Bamber, Clar was our opening villain and in the hands of a lesser actor, he'd be a one note adversary. Not that the characterisation for him is particularly extraordinary but Bamber does do a good job with him.

    Having Echo actually marry Clar was certainly a new one in terms of what we've seen clients try and get away with an Active. Paul certainly had a hard time witnessing Echo and Clar consummate their marriage from afar as well. Sometimes, it's nice not to have the audio.

    A part of the episode did confuse me when Paul and Echo were talking about being partners for so many years. Paul even tried to contain his latent jealousy with Echo. Not that he was really that convincing though.

    The unfortunate part of Paul's general little plan was the lack of foresight. In all of these double agent scenarios, there was going to be someone who would figure out that Echo was more than a blushing bride. Needless to say, Clar actually found out halfway through the episode thanks to a nameless lackey.

    The original part was that Echo nearly convinced him that she was nothing more than a dutiful wife. Of course the jig was up when she started glitching at the most inappropriate of times. Glitching that Paul also took some hearty advantage of as well.

    Getting Echo back into the fight mode she was in during their face off in "Man On The Street" was definitely one of Paul's stronger ideas. Much as Paul annoys me, this episode nearly went over the top in people slating his abilities. Both Adelle and Martin had some zingers at his expense in a good few moments.

    However because of Paul's bright idea, Echo was able to go into fighting mode and do away with all of Martin's cronies. Hell, even her apprehension of Martin (after blowing up his car) was something that wouldn't have looked out of place on an episode of Alias.

    Of course the meat of the Echo/Paul dynamic in this one was Paul making the transfer from unwilling helper to handler. There was no way he wasn't going to cave in the end, thanks to what we've seen in "Epitaph One" and the scenes between him and Echo when she talked of her emotions had the emotional punch that lacked between them last season.

    However it wasn't just Echo getting all the meaty storylines this season. The cat and mouse antics with Paul and Adelle are a joy to watch. Paul might have noble intentions to take down the Dollhouse but Adelle has more than stressed that he's out of his league. Perhaps Senator Daniel Perrin can succeed where Paul has failed.

    Another cast member from the Whedonverse, Alexis Denisof is a nice choice for Perrin. I actually do hope that the nobility we see with Perrin is something that is maintained throughout the season. I know he poses a threat to the Dollhouse but come on, only a serious nutter would want him to fail. Hopefully he's also less annoying than Paul was during most of the first season.

    Speaking of annoying, I might have felt sorry for Topher in the unaired episode but I got something of a kick in Claire screwing with him in this one. Does that mean there's something wrong with me? The question's rhetorical.

    Amy Acker is such a great actress that it's such a shame that she has to go to Happy Town instead of staying here. Claire's breakdown is Whedon writing at its strongest and most insightful. All that anger, self-loathing and confusion certainly made for some powerful and potentially dangerous moments.

    Topher deservedly bore most of the brunt of Claire's anger. Old footage, rats and a creepy sexual pass were certainly Claire's means of getting her own back on the man who created. Claire talked about not being human and wanting to die. Personally I'm glad that she's alive, even if she had made the right decision in legging it from the Dollhouse.

    Boyd earned some respective points for asking out in light of knowing about her Whiskey origins. I guess he really does like her. I also know that in spite of this series fate that Claire will resurface again this season, so that's something to be happy about.

    Also in "Vows"

    The credits contained more shots of Eliza Dushku. I like Eliza but come on, even Whedon's other shows had everyone in the opening credits.

    Victor: "You're touching my face."
    Adelle: "Moving along."

    Nice to see that Adelle didn't wait too long to get Victor's scars removed but why didn't she extend a similar courtesy to Whiskey after Alpha attacked her?

    Sierra: "I'm not comfortable with Orientals."
    Ivy: "This'll only take a minute."

    Claire (to Boyd): "I like my scars. They bring out my eyes."

    What the heck kind of persona was Sierra supposed to be this week? Both she and Victor were disappointingly underused in this episode.

    Echo (re Martin): "Is this about the sex?"
    Paul: "I think you're a demon."

    Claire: "Alpha cut up my face, do you remember that?"
    Echo: "Why?"
    Claire: "So you could be number one."
    Echo: "Am I?"
    Claire: "Yes."

    There was a scene with Echo and Whiskey in flashbacks that will undoubtedly inspire a lot of femslash fanfiction.

    Paul: "You're a sick lady."
    Adelle: "I'm not asking you to handle me."

    Claire (re programming): "Why didn't you stop there?"
    Topher: "Because I was designing a person, not a robot. I needed you to be whole."

    Given the way Topher talked about caring more than he appears to, does that mean we'll get something of a backstory or more information on him prior to joining the Dollhouse?

    Topher: "So you were never gonna sleep with me?"
    Claire: "I can't stand the smell of you."

    Claire: "I'm not better than you. I'm just a series of excuses."
    Topher: "You're human."
    Claire: "Don't flatter yourself."

    For UK viewers, Sci-Fi aired both this and next episode, "Instinct" as a double bill. Review for that episode coming soon. Echo was also Roma in this episode.

    Topher: "Do you have a better plan?"
    Paul: "No but I have a worse one."

    Paul: "You're making a mistake."
    Martin: "I think you're the expert in that field."

    Chronology: It's been a while since "Omega", hasn't it?

    "Vows" made for a good opening episode and definitely showed improvement but with the lacklustre ratings in America, it feels like this show is on the way out. A shame about that.
  • Dollhouse returns. Stronger, better and leaner. Spoilers!

    And we're back.

    And back with a strong episode. A high stakes drug bust organised by Ballard in order to close an unsolved case of his from his FBI days. He is the client. Utilising his thirty pieces of silver to appease his conscience once again. Poor Ballard forever destined to learn the truth no matter how hard it is to take. This time, he has spent the past three months, since the last season, watch Echo make out with the Villain of the main story arc, in order to get closure on the case. Even worse he liases with Echo on a daily basis, as the double agent doing the infiltrating, and has to listen to her "informed" reading of the sexual encounters required as just part of the job. Knowing not only that she is the simple minded Echo, but also Caroline, and also that she is glitching and can access her other imprinted personalities. And he has to be truthful to each of those personalities. So, for every download she has, he has to alter his own personality. How very noir. In order to discover the real Caroline he is in danger of losing himself.

    Liked the fact that she stores memories and lives so completely that he needs post it reminders to help him play at having the same knowledge at her. Another subversion of the Dollhouse theme. Everyone is playing in the Dollhouse. So the truth becomes more and more subjective.

    Dr Saunders has spent the past three months, since discovering that she was previously an active named Whisky , torturing Topher for creating her. Even hacking his system and flashing up an image from "The Bride of Frankenstein" on his holo-screen. It's a shame Amy Acker could only be used sparingly over this current season, as I, for one, could have stood to have seen this drawn out over a few more episodes. But what we get is pure gold. Consider Topher's next case, with Mummy Echo, and Dr Saunders in this ep - hey sudden thought frankenstein, the mummy, psycho after that? is that intentional? - cool beans - anyhoo - Topher is shown to have no basic operational understanding of the human psyche. Sure he gets brains and personality types but real human emotions seem to elude him.

    Dr Saunders on the other hand feels too many things that she cannot rationalise. We are still denied her real past, before Whisky. And so she is a cypher. Feminised from the previous Dr, and no doubt given false memories and a background to suit her age, she has been a very real person for some time and has had charges within her care. But she is not herself. The writing simply puts these two personalities in the ring and watches them tear strips off each other. God and his Progeny.
    And by the end of the scene Topher has had to face his own painful emotions and Dr Saunders has been made very aware that all of us have lives of pain. That her pain isn't special. It's who she is and informs her choices. So she decides to make new ones and leaves the Dollhouse. At the top of the next ep Topher seems to have subsumed his feelings and is evidently concerned with business as usual. Having watched S1 Ep 13 - This collection of scenes tore at my heart. For those who have seen it, witness what their decisions will eventually lead them to. Heartbreaking stuff. Superlative perfomances too.

    And all the minor characters checked and present and all doing their thing well. Inhabiting the Dollhouse. Ms Dushku bringing it. More of this please.

    Loved the final scene of Ballard offering his support to the sentient Echo and thereby appeasing his own violence to her in the hangar scene. He does whatever it takes to save her. It's a dangerous route. We've already witnessed his S & M take on Mellie after discovering that she was a Doll. He saved Madelaine because he knew Mellie couldn't take that from him. But could Caroline/Echo? She is already complicit in his design for her freedom. And if Echo keeps evolving what will become of Caroline? Surely they will both deserve their own body? And where will Ballard's various attachments lead him? Huge, scary stuff.

    You know what all these double/triple names for folks just brings back memories of Russian Literature. They all seemed to have fifteen names or something like that. Seriously, War & Peace, would be about half the size if they just only had the one name each. Thanks for popping by.
  • Great introduction to the coming season. Whedon could have used a different format than beating some scum bag, but, hey, how else was he going to get Echo to show her fighting prowess.

    This episode was good. The wedding and post wedding scenes were good. The fact that Ballard had been bought off by the Dollhouse was well played out. Now he's one of them (or so they think). The whole scene with Topher and Whiskey was great. It really plays to the whole concept of the dollhouse and who we are as individuals.

    When you think of it, we're all dolls who have been programmed by our early life experience. People spend thousands of dollars on drugs and therapy to try to change the program. The dollhouse does it at the push of a button. Great concept. And of course there is the glitch that is affecting at least Echo. She's not supposed to remember her previously programmed personalities but there she is conjuring up past programs to kick ass when she and Ballard are in a pinch. Superb, but unrealistic. Why do the bad guys alway talk and allow the good guys to turn the tables? All I have to say is that it was great entertainment. I didn't even get up for the popcorn.
  • Whedon is finally at the helm...

    So the first season was pretty mediocre. Sorry to say it but it was. There were definitely some good eps there but it was not at all what we have come to expect from Whedon's work. And the first episode of this season....well it was slow, not much action and it mainly focused on building on the characters. Yes Dr Saunders was stable, focused, and able to keep calm. Whisky programmed as Dr Saunders is not. We get to see that Topher has some issues with what he does, he isn't as heartless as we thought. And we get to see the progression of the glitch in Echo. Thats right the progression, the glitch occurred in one of the first 5 eps of season one. The one where she gets hunted and drugged. What is interesting is that the glitch seems to spread to those around her. Or that there are some types of people who will inevitably glitch. Sierra and Victor. Alpha left Echo alive...does this mean he knew she would also glitch eventually? And did the corporation start looking for people with the same attributes as her to test that theory?
    With Whedon back in 100% control i think the show will start to be more of what we expect.
  • I most say.. it was much better than episodes on last season.

    I most say - I liked it. I loved the way story was going, I loved the way they had managed to combine case and char moments, developing the main story. If those are connected, this looks to be much more connected and much more logical season. I think this show has potential and slowly it is getting more and more out. I hope this episode tempo was just a transaction from last season's slow to fast. Don't get me wrong - it had good pace but I think they can go faster. They can bring more action.

    The case itself was good. The whole marriage thing and the way Echo started to get previous persons back. Great action scene on that airfield. I really liked it.
  • Dollhouse returns

    For better or worse, "Dollhouse" has been a labor of love for Joss Whedon and Eliza Dushku. Ostensibly an attempt to explore the complex relationship between studio, network, talent, and audience, the concept has also allowed for exploration of the treatment of women, agency, and identity.

    A careful look at the first season reveals a few flaws. First, network interference strongly suggests that they wanted a different show than they received, and that they were disturbed by some of the implications of the premise. Second, as much as "Epitaph One" and "Man on the Street" made it clear that the writing staff understands those implications, the presentation is still feeding into the very issues that the show is meant to expose. And third, the ratings prove out the notion that Joss Whedon has a cult following and critical acclaim, but not much mass appeal.

    Before delving into the details, it should be noted that the second season started with ratings that were, quite frankly, abysmal. Joss Whedon already covered himself for one possible cancellation ("Epitaph One"), so we all know that he's smart enough to ensure that this 13-episode second season run is constructed with a possible series conclusion in mind. The real question for "Dollhouse" fans, of course, is whether or not FOX will shut the show down prematurely or simply refuse to air some unknown amount.

    In a way, this feels like the final half of the final season of "Angel". Fans knew the end was coming, so every episode was taken in that context. The fans are going to want every episode to be a winner, and they are going to want to feel a sense of planned closure. Unlike "Angel", which was designed to go at least one more season, "Dollhouse" was already "concluded" once. So this is really a case of Whedon having another season's worth of time to stuff in as much as he had planned and never thought he'd have the chance. (This also mirrors, to an extent, the situation with the fifth season of "Babylon 5".)

    The good news is that this premiere gives the show a nice jumpstart without ignoring any of the disturbing elements that were brought up in the first season. In particular, we see a situation where Echo is being used as sexual bait to catch an arms dealer, and the client responsible is the man who originally wanted to save her from the Dollhouse, former agent Paul Ballard. He's not comfortable at all with it, but tellingly, he proceeds anyway.

    In other words, it hasn't taken Ballard long to follow up on his rape of November in the first season, as he is facilitating Echo's rape in this premiere. And the writers twist the knife by having Echo talk about how it's just bodies and it's all about the mission. It sounds like a justification until one realizes that this is how she has been programmed. She was designed to specification to believe what she says, and that means the writers aren't missing the point, they're underscoring it.

    They blur the lines even more with the treatment of Whiskey, brilliantly played by Amy Acker. (They only have her for a few episodes this season, so they gave her plenty of juicy material from the start.) I'm not sure why they would allow Whiskey to remember her true origins to the extent that she is now quite unstable. Didn't they learn anything from Alpha and the recent troubles with Echo?

    Whatever the case, Whiskey's crisis of identity strikes at the heart of what kind of abuse the Dollhouse represents. She assumes that her fragile emotional balance is the result of poor programming, but Topher points out that she is making choices beyond that programming. The resulting internal conflicts are literally tearing her consciousness apart. It's not a pretty sight, and it sets the stage for what Echo experiences later in the hour.

    Echo's situation is different, because it is something she is hiding from everyone but Ballard. The longer an implanted personality remains in an active, the more things tend to get out of control. Echo's mind is no longer allowing those imprints to be erased. The current problem is that it makes her unstable, but with control, she could use that to undermine the Dollhouse.

    On the face of it, Ballard is going the right thing by helping Caroline/Echo regain a sense of agency. But as DeWitt points out, it's not as if Ballard is forcing anyone to restore Caroline and fix the other problems that have emerged. Ballard is letting Echo's internal conflicts play out, and letting the Dollhouse use her in the meantime. It's an awfully funny way to be helping someone, even if it allows that person to help regain her own agency in the end.

    All of which feeds into that earlier question that was posed: why would DeWitt, Boyd, and Topher allow the actives, particularly Echo and Whiskey, get so out of control? DeWitt seems to be allowing it out of a sense of curiosity and science, but Topher seems terrified at the constant proof that his imprinting has flaws. Boyd seems to see the bigger picture, and he implies that he might challenge DeWitt if the danger to the actives (and the organization) becomes too great. But even in that case, it seems like too little, too late.

    Considering what is known from "Epitaph One" (and I interpret that as an unavoidable future), DeWitt's hubris and Topher's growing instability play into what is coming. And we also know that Echo and Ballard will be working together in a more equal capacity, now that he has become her handler. Regardless, one can't imagine that Rossom would let things get too out of control. DeWitt already mentioned, in the first season, that there is competition between Dollhouses as well, so how long will all of this be allowed to continue?

    Meanwhile, there is the new senator to consider, and his concerns about Rossom and implied interest in the Dollhouse. This is interesting on a couple of levels. First, this implies that the control of government through the use of actives is limited enough to allow an ambitious senator to become a threat. This could trigger a move by Rossom or others to develop a means to take control of a person remotely, leading to the future seen in "Epitaph One".

    Second, it presents an external threat to the familiar Dollhouse that is perhaps more effective than the one posed by Ballard in the first season. Ballard was a man already on the edge, and his choices with Mellie/November made it clear that his ideals were ephemeral. As a member of Congress, the senator has a bit more clout and authority to push for investigation.

    Even so, the show is still struggling to avoid sensationalizing the very things it seeks to criticize and expose. The wedding night scenes were designed to show off Eliza in a sexy outfit, and while Whiskey's scenes were among the darkest and most compelling, she was still running around in a skimpy satiny number. There was also a level of violence against Echo that seemed, especially in the end, excessive. I'm sure there will be plenty of debate on those elements. Between that and some quibbles about the logic behind letting the actives get out of control, I can't give Whedon's latest script the usual high marks.
  • 'Do You Promise To Love Honor and Cherish Each Other For as Long as You Both Shall live'

    Well do you? A lot of people seem to get asked that question on a regular basis these days. The answer is sometimes hesitant especially the 'For as long as you both shall live' bit.

    It wasn't long before Echo's engagement involved getting married - or so far we've seen. I wonder how many times has Echo been married?

    I actually believed this guy was crazy enough to fullfil his life long fantasy of being married to the love of his life and that he was actually part of the dollhouse, but it turned out to be all Paul Ballard's plan to bring down a mercenary by making Echo believe she was a cop partnered with Ballard for three years.

    Did he really need that stick it note to remember how many years they were partners? And did he really need to listen into the 'Post-Wedding' activities? I find it strange that Ballard is working for the Dollhouse, is it all for Echo and his crazed obsession over her?

    We finally got to see where Topher sleeps, not that it mattered before, but it is interesting that he lives in the Dollhouse. I believed it was reckless of him to leave Dr. Saunders tweaked like that. Maybe she should have gotten a treatment to bring her back sane, she is still a doll and has a number of years to complete before her contract was up. I didn't really notice a connection between Topher and Saunders before, I didn't even pick up on any angst between them. So why the sudden urge to tease and seduce him? Was that also part of her messed up imprint?

    I could tell you though waking up to an nearly naked woman in your bed was probably Topher's dream come true, but the reality was too much for him to handle even if his minority vote wanted it to be real. :)

    Who saw that Ballard would become Echo's handler, it was obvious he was on the sidelines in the Dollhouse and he wasn't leaving without satisfying his sudden obsession and maybe he freed Madeline because it was easier to let her go.

    Eliza Duschu played her new engagement with such ease that I actually believed she was another person especially when she turned to cop mode.

    It took a man to slam Echo's head to a table for her to get back to picking up flashes of her old engagements. What kind of husband would slam his wife's head in a table, even if she betrayed him. She was convincing until she called him by the wrong name.

    I think back to reading about Dollhouse's renewal in the news and imagine my shock. There were many shows axed this year, some were even good ones that would be missed, but Dollhouse stood strong. I understand now that it is an interesting series that shows great potential. It is unique and no one has really ever done a project like this one before, but if Dollhouse wants to keep a better poll it would have to pull off a series of back to back exceptionally flawless episodes.

    As much as I may have appreciated this episode, I still believe for a season premiere it could have been better. I expect nothing but the best from this series and I wonder what would happen to Dr. Saunders and whether she has gone rogue. Would we ever see Madeline again? Are Victor and Sierra an item?

    Boyd was right, why would DeWitt go through so much trouble to fix Victor's face and spare Saunders nothing at all? At least we might know why?

    Lexa Reviews


    Three and a half out of Five Stars

    Grade C+

  • The Dolls are back for a new season. Don't expect any big punches though as episode one is more of a gentle ease in than a show stopper

    I've been waiting for ages to see how Dollhouse S02 swings and although I enjoyed it, I did find it a little flat.

    Giving this some thought, there is a reason for such a view. After watching Episode 13 the epitaph I think I was expecting the show to start off in free fall. Like having a blind fold removed only to find your are just going down the slope of a huge roller coaster.

    Not so though. This episode links heavily back to the season finale, and I highly recommend refreshing your memory of the story line if you cannot recollect all the details.

    I think because I was expecting some hi octane drama of which there was none, the show seemed a little flat. However having time to think, I need to be patient. I've bought into the Dollhouse universe, I have faith in Mr Whedon, so just relax and sink slowly into the web that is being spun before us.

    To surmise - a good depth building episode that may prove to be a foundation in the Dollhouse world but not a popcorn driven actionfest that some may be expecting.
  • Dollhouse is back and even better!!!

    having been disappointed with a number of episodes and all from season one, i was still looking forward to this new season of Dollhouse especially after seeing the unaired episode and hearing that Fox will leave Joss to work his magic from now on.

    I gotta say i was impressed with this season opener. I wanted more action but it was still very good. the scenes between Topher and Claire/Whisky/Dr Saunders were great. I cant imagine what it feels like to know that the body you're in is not urs. Echo was quite interesting to watch as well. I was impressed with Eliza's acting, she was very convincing and she kicked ass. I'm very curious to see where they'll take this season with Echo becoming aware when she's in her doll state.
  • Echo continues to remember everything. Whiskey/Dr. Saunders seems to be breaking down and having a face off of some kind with Topher. Adelle is trying to get Ballard to join the Dollhouse as a handler. Langton is worried about Dr. Saunders.

    What a difference a summer and the first season DVD makes. After seeing the unaired episode everything is falling into place. Man, if I hadn't seen that episode I think I would have shot this down as being mediocre, but now that we have a much better understanding of what is occurring and where things are heading this episode was great.

    ***** Spoilers *****

    We have Echo doing her thing, this time with a munitions seller who is a really bad guy. She marries him so we miss the whole romance and engagement part, but she's got this gentlemen convinced until photos leak out of Echo with Ballard. Things sort of go haywire at this point until things literally start blowing up.

    The Dr. Saunders piece was equally interesting. Langton seems to have moved on from Echo to Whiskey. We also learn that Dr. Saunders is aware that she is in someone else and she is afraid to die. Quite a dilemma as we learn all this in a confrontation with Topher. In the end Dr. Saunders leaves which I believe she has the right to do anyways.

    I believe we are starting to see cracks in Topher's persona as the whole rats in the cupboard and the games with Dr. Saunders sort of showed. Adelle seems still very much in charge and cool calm and collected. Langton seems to have taken on the role of her security protagonist. A very interesting episode. This series has a lot more going for it than I think people really recognized before Whedon showed that unaired episode. There is a lot to be done and it will be fun to see how this story goes till its inevitable conclusion. Thanks for reading...
  • The Dollhouse is a very secret, and very illegal, place where wishes come true. Clients with the right connections and enough money can hire "Actives", people who have been programmed to perfectly fulfill the needs, and desires of their clients.

    Well what can I say; I was slightly disappointed with this season opener but then again maybe that was due to a little confusion as to what was going on with the internal drama with the Doctor aka Whiskey and her interactions with Topher and the other guy.

    The whole undercover gig was okay but I didn't care for the whole airport scene, it begged of a ultra non-realistic scenario! I mean lets face it, IF there were some thugs caught up in something as high as bomb dealings I would assume in reality good ole Paul would've been shot on sight, no questions, and talking done after the fact.

    Once Echo started flipping she probably would've been shot as well. The final scenes involving Paul and Echo kinda hinted at an overall arch for the season (finding the real person behind the imprints) so that should be interesting.

    Anyhow I don't know where this season will take us and what they have in store overall but I hope it's something good. I'm hoping future episodes will pick up in strength!
  • This week on Dollhouse Echo marries a businessman, only to find out he's not who he really is. Dr. Saunders is angry at Topher.

    Brilliant episode! Words cannot describe how awesome this episode was. I was a little confused what was going on with Echo and that businessman, but it's obvious that the businessman is evil. Echo kicked some butt. I love how her character is evolving. I love that Echo when she's in doll state is aware of what's happening with her. It makes the show more awesome. Ballard was not annoying in the episode. He was very likable. Dr. Saunders is brilliant. Amy Acker does an amazing job portraying her. I love how she doesn't know who she is and that scared to get her original print because she doesn't want to die. I love that most of the episode was filled with scenes of her. I give this episode a 10/10.
  • For the 1st episode of the season it probably could have used less substance and more form. They made the same mistake with the 1st episode last season.

    For the 1st episode of the season it probably could have used less substance and more form. They made the same mistake with the 1st episode last season.
    I mean I'm all for the "soap-opera" aspect and it can be good, but come on the first episode need to be more like a popcorn movie. Character development and long term plot development could have waited 'til the next episode. And how does the Doctor have a car ? She is a made up person or is that Whiskeys ? or whomever she was before and if so that car should have been covered in dust.
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