March 23, 2009

Give Dollhouse a Second Chance.

On a whim late last night I decided to check out Dollhouse again.  I only saw an io9 title saying that it was "the best thing on tv last night" so I wanted to see if it actually picked up.  I didn't feel the need to catch up with the rest of the series, it was past midnight and I actually wanted to wake up in the morning refreshed.  Also, I did see the second episode but was still unimpressed, so hadn't seen anything since.  I went from seeing episode two a few weeks ago to episode 6.  

It was pretty stellar.

Dollhouse is finally doing what good sci-fi should: asking tough questions.  How wrong is it to have a fantasy, and how far are you willing to go for it?  How dangerous is knowledge to those we wish to keep naive?  And an all time favorite, who can you really trust?

Spoiler Alert

The last episode involved a man who only wishes to be with his with for that one surprise he never got to show her.  Echo was suppose to be that woman for that job until FBI agent Paul figured out what was going on and dropped in hoping to get something out of the encounter.  He sees Echo, which falters his focus and then talks to the guy who rented Echo out.

This conversation was where I actually gained interest.  Patten Oswalt's character, the "renter" of Echo, legitimately lost love at exactly the point where his wife would've been paid back for all her faith in him.  He never got to surprise her with the dream home he bought for both of them due to her dying in a car crash when she was driving on her way to the surprise.  That's horrible!  There's nothing illegitimate about wanting to give her that surprise.  This isn't some twisted rich pervert who wants a sex toy for a weekend.  This is a guy who has an unrealized dream, and will do anything to have his wife back, even if it's only for a brief time.  

I started thinking about it.  The Dollhouse is a twisted sort of prostitution, but if I lost the boyfriend in a horrible crash right before everything went right for us, I would be tempted to do the same thing this renter did.  Does that make me a bad person?  Maybe, but I never said I wasn't one.

This, along with other questions about trust and power, were asked numerous times.  And don't forget about the questions you have for specific characters.  What the hell are Adelle's motives in the long run?  Are Sierra and Victor falling in love, and is that dangerous?  Will Paul ever feel satisfied if he ever finds out about Dollhouse?  If the 1st episode was more like the 6th episode, I wouldn't have had doubts about Dollhouse like I did before.  Joss Whedon is finally showing us the quality programming he knows he can produce.


  1. Not prostitution, it's slavery. A cute, clever, sometimes pleasant sort of slavery with pretty girlsXXXXX people running around naked, but slavery none the less.
    There was a brief scene in the first episode that showed Echo entering into some sort of agreement, but saying there was no choice. We don't know yet if there will be any sort of release, reward, or payment to Echo/Caroline, but even then it is still indentured service.

    That said, I enjoy the show, and I agree it raises very interesting questions. The dolls can do amazing and wonderful things, but it is simply wrong to use people in this way. I suspect Joss Whedon knows exactly what he is doing, and will get around to revealing the basic evil of owning people sooner or later.

  2. Joss Whedon is a good director. It may take him a whole but he does take you places.