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Dollhouse: The Public Eye

Echo: "I think her bad guys are badder than my bad guys."

What an exceptionally cool episode, with an exceptionally cool twist. There wasn't a moment that I didn't like.

When their characters were first introduced, I thought Daniel Perrin's wife had definite doll vibes. What terrific misdirection. I absolutely loved that Daniel turned out to be the doll, and a brand new type of doll, an almost Clockwork Orange sort of doll.

Daniel the Senator doll really was too good to be true. Brilliant, compassionate, gorgeous, faithful to his wife. If anyone can be altered to make them a so-called "better person," where do you draw the line? One can argue that the world is better off with a superlative public servant like Daniel, and one can even argue that he is much happier as a good man and a success than he must have been as a drunken failure. And yet, when he was begging Bennett not to erase his mind, I felt so bad for him. But you know, he wasn't him; he was the altered Daniel, not the real one. Just like Echo isn't Caroline.

Can I say how much I loved seeing Eliza Dushku and Alexis Denisof together again? The Buffy/Angel fan in me just enjoyed it to bits. Their antagonistic partnership even mildly resembled Faith's and Wesley's.

I love seeing Adelle as one of the good guys. She's been shown sympathetically pretty much from the start, but by deliberately taking the side of the dolls and working against Rossum, she's gone off the reservation. Dollhouse versus Dollhouse. Fascinating.

Bennett is such a psycho, a sort of twisted but refined (and female) version of Topher. I especially liked the sling, the migraines, and the obsession with the tea. She made Topher look like a hero. Adelle and Topher are heroes now. How about that.

I also liked Paul and Madelyn finally meeting for "real," and him telling her the truth, even if she didn't believe him.

Bits and pieces:

-- Did the disruptor also disrupt the imprinting? Echo had already accessed her other selves, but Daniel did it, too.

-- No Sierra or Victor. But hey, the last one was all about them.

-- Apparently, former actives are killed if they talk.

-- Like I said, Bennett is interesting. But she mumbles a bit. I didn't get everything said, and hi-def doesn't offer close captioning. She called someone on the phone "Sir." Would that be Harding?

Quotes:

Daniel: "I'm your white knight."
Cindy: "And I'm your beautiful damsel."
Daniel: "Ever after."
So creepy that that was their doll/handler recognition phrase.

Adelle: "She's a sleeper."
Paul: "An assassin, you mean? Like Madelyn when she was Mellie."
Adelle: "Oh, please. She didn't kill you."

Topher: "I call it a disruptor. That's not too Star Trek, is it? TOS? Hmm?"
I loved the visual of the doll falling down the stairs. Oops.

Daniel: "You're a doll."
Echo: "Thanks. You're cute, too."

Daniel: "Oh, God. Who are you?"
Cindy: "She's God, honey. And you've heartily offended her."

Echo: "Where am I?"
Bennett: "Caroline. You always promised you'd come back to me."
Huh? Bennett has clearly tortured Echo before. When?

Four stars, and stay tuned for part two,

Billie
---
Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

10 comments:

  1. Hey Billie.

    First of all, nice reference to Clockwork Orange.

    I don't think Danial accessed his former imprints - he didn't have any. Hey was imprinted with himself. The only two till now that have accessed previews imprints are Echo and Alpha.

    5 gold acting starts for Bennett. What a grate actress. TSCC did not do her justice. Funny what good actors can do with grate writing.

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  2. I think what I meant was that Daniel accessed his former self, and overcame his imprint.

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  3. WhyMe, I actually think Glau did great work on TSCC. It can't be easy to convey that robotic blankness that somehow still manages to have an inkling of emotion or deep thought underneath. I found her performance on TSCC very layered and fascinating. Same with Garrett Dillahunt. Those two just did fantastic things with "emotionless" roles.

    As for this episode of Dollhouse, I thought it was great. I find myself wondering if it was just a really engaging thrill ride with unexpected twists and if my enjoyment of it would fall apart if I thought about it too hard. :) But as things stand, I really enjoyed it. The reveal scene for Daniel Perrin's character was great.

    Billie, I also got a little thrill out of seeing 'Wes' and 'Faith' back together again. I always loved their dynamic, especially in their Angel episodes. It was great fun to see them in different form here.

    I was a bit torn on the whole Paul/Madelyn confrontation. It was good that they had one, but he didn't exactly tell her the truth. Paul imagines himself as an innocent victim and as being so noble for getting Madelyn released, but if memory serves, he was intimate with her after he knew she was a doll (not the first time --- but subsequently), and I can't help but think his reasons for joining the Dollhouse had more do with being disgraced at the FBI and wanting to get to Caroline than with helping 'Mellie.'

    Good stuff. I hope they can keep it up for the rest of the series' run.

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  4. The whole time I was watching this episode I was thinking about the irony. Now that the show has been canceled, Joss has not only hit his stride, but really is into the groove. *sigh*

    I was just about to sit down and write my Glee review when it started - two hours later, I was still riveted to the tv. Actually, this ep actually made me a little bitter/annoyed with Glee. After watching what a master storyteller can do, I felt totally jerked around with Glee's ups and downs.

    My absolute favorite moment was when that doll went tumbling down the stairs. I was laughing so hard. I was also happily astonished that Daniel was the "doll", and I thought that the scene where Echo was fighting Cindy, cut in with flashes from her previous engagements, was a really great use of some otherwise meaningless footage from Season 1.

    Is it a pipe dream to hope that SyFy will be so impressed with these last episodes and give Dollhouse a new life? *Sigh*

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  5. Its not the same, is it? Accessing your former self when they have admitted that the former self was still in there somewhere. Echo "special" like Alpha, they accessed former erased selves.

    And Glau (Nice to know her name :) ) was absolutely wasted on repressed emotional roles. Not so easy to play the believable psychopath.Just like in her best TSCC episode in my opinion - "Alison from Pamdayle".

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  6. WhyMe, have you seen Firefly? Summer Glau has some great episodes in it. She's the resident crazy girl there. (Can't she ever play a normal person? ;))

    Did anyone else notice Maurissa Tancharoen as Kilo? ("She only weighs a kilo") She's a writer for Dollhouse, and responsible for Epitaph One, which she wrote with her husband Jed Whedon.

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  7. Summer Glau played a really normal (that has a bit of irony) soldier's wife in The Unit.

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  8. Amazing. Daniel being a semi-doll was great and Alexis does an amazing job. I also liked Bennett. She is creepy and fascinating at the same time.
    I feel bad for Madeline, though. She´s being used and doesn´t even realise it.

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  9. I hate to be that person, but I saw the Perrin is a doll twist coming. I know Joss's work well enough to know that he wouldn't repeat himself by making another romantic interest to someone investigating the Dollhouse a plant.

    The DC dolls are given Greek god names. I wonder what the naming patterns are in the other houses?

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  10. Sunbunny, in the Idaho Dollhouse, they're all named for different types of potatoes.

    And you wouldn't believe what they use for the Dollhouse in Cleveland.

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