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Dollhouse: Stop-Loss

Priya: "Do you think that was our first kiss?"

I really wanted to see Victor's backstory before the end of this show, so thank you, Joss Whedon. Too bad this wasn't enough, since it's probably all we're going to get.

It was lovely seeing Tony and Priya finally meet as themselves for the first time, and kissing in the back seat of the car. I wanted them to do what Echo said, to get out of that car and get away, to have something for themselves as real people -- even at the cost of not having the actors in the last few episodes. Will there be a happy ending with strawberry pancakes for Tony and Priya? I doubt it. Joss Whedon never gives us a happy ending.

I thought it was dear that Sierra knew Victor wasn’t ready for the world as yet, and how they demonstrated it with Victor unable to sleep without getting into his "pod." I also really liked that "Roger" was going to dump "Miss Lonely Hearts" for Sierra when he didn't even know who he was or who Sierra was. Victor even woke up from his engagement and said, "Has anyone seen Sierra?" instead of "Did I fall asleep?" For Victor, love for Sierra transcends any and all programming. That is so freaking romantic.

It wasn't surprising that Rossum was creating dedicated soldier "dolls," although the programming was inconsistent; they seemed able to shake their programming a bit too easily. Maybe the software is still in development. Come to think of it, there's been a lot of imprint transcending going on lately. Maybe it won't end the world, after all.

This was Victor's episode, but Olivia Williams was marvelous. She's always good, but watching her circling the drain in this one was special. Loved the drool. I also loved unisex shower scene; it felt just a bit like the scene where she had Claire remove the bullet in her side without anesthetic. Adelle gets totally focused on something and simply doesn't care what anyone else sees or thinks.

This was a good episode for Echo, too. As I've already said, the character is finally coming into her own, and I bet she's ready to take on and defeat anything the Attic can do to her. Is poor, brain-dead Paul in the Attic, too? Adelle said he was in a "more secure location," so I bet he is. And what about Boyd? I think Topher is safe for now; I don't think Adelle can continue without him. I wonder if Topher programmed Echo to awaken in the Attic? Or did Echo do that herself?

Bits and pieces:

-- Anthony Ceccoli. Good name: he looks like a Tony. And he was a vet with PTSD. An understandable reason to choose the Dollhouse, much like Mellie/Madelyn/November.

-- The Dollhouse reserved Victor a suite at the Hyperion. Nice little mention of Angel there.

-- Rogering Roger. :)

-- We did get Enver with his shirt off, not once but several times. Thank you.

Quotes:

Topher: "Welcome to the future! Where cars fly, robots serve our every whim, and genetically engineered dinosaurs rule the earth."

Adelle: "I'm not surprised that Paul and Boyd managed to keep your secret from me, but Topher? He can barely keep a belch to himself."

Boyd: "DeWitt's out cold. We got at least half a day."
Topher: "Ooh. After we're done here, can I go to her office with a Sharpie?"

Echo: "I need one more thing to pull this off."
Ivy: "All I have left is 'naughty pirate wench'."

Topher: ""Do you really think we'll be able to pull this off without Cruella DeWitt finding out?"

Tony: "I'm Anthony, by the way. You can call me Tony."
Priya: "Priya."
Tony: "Nice to meet you. So you're from Australia?"
Priya: "Maybe we should save the small talk 'til after the gun fight?"

Ivy: "Can I go back to getting you juice boxes?"

Not as satisfying as it could have been, and not nearly enough about Victor/Tony, but still an enjoyable episode. Three out of four stars,

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

11 comments:

  1. First comment, but I've lurked a lot. :)

    I agree with your review on this episode. It wasn't as good as it could be but, the next episode TOTALLY makes up for it. You said you haven't seen it yet so I'm gonna stop myself before I give away anything. But, yeah, I can't wait for your review for The Attic.

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  2. I completely agree with everything the previous reviewer said -- "The Attic" makes up for any shortcomings in this episode, and I can't wait to see your review for it.

    That said, Enver with his shirt off makes up for a whole lot, too. Thank you, Joss, for being equal opportunity on the eye candy.

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  3. I think it was a good idea to review this one before watching the next one. (Although I don't know how you stopped watching after the ending! I was only going to watch one and had to roll right on into the next one.) At any rate, I liked seeing your thoughts on "Stop-Loss" free of any knowledge of "The Attic."

    I agree this one wasn't as strong as some recent others, and I was a bit disappointed we didn't get much more from Victor's backstory than we'd pretty much sussed out already. The PTSD was new, but other than that ... With Enver being such a fantastic actor, I was hoping for more from his backstory episode. Not "Dollhouse goes Borg." It was still a nice touch to have Sierra be the one to effectively save him. They do make a cute couple.

    Adelle really was the highlight of this episode. She's such a wonderfully sloppy drunk!

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  4. I was a little disappointed with this one. I was looking forward to a story exploring Victor/Tony’s back-story and his difficulty reintegrating into society. We got a little of that but it was all forgotten about once the dreary ‘I am legion’ plot kicked in. Still, we got a great cliff-hanger out of it and another phenomenal performance from Olivia Williams.

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  5. This episode was a little TOO Dark Angel/BORG like. Now that Echo has that thing in her brain stem, will she always hear those voices?

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  6. I liked how Pryia and Tony connected, they are sweet, both out and in doll state.
    The plot was a bit average and really didn´t grab my attention and I also agree that Olivia Williams was great.

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  7. I ain't seen't the next episode either but I could tell even before reading the first comment here that it's destined to be a good one. Just the title alone and the way this episode ended. Chills from the ATTIC'D sequence, and oddly satisfying to watch.

    Something I love about this review site is that, from the shows I've read reviews about so far, they've all done each episode review separately and no double features despite the airing schedule. Very nice to have. It can be hard to not scratch that itch even in a binge mood.

    >>"-- Rogering Roger. :)"
    :D

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  8. Onigirli, we do try to review every episode separately, but occasionally we do two parts together. And sometimes we do season reviews. Any coverage is better than none.

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  9. Oh I see, and fair enough.

    Better Call Saul is my favourite currently-airing show but I don't think it lends well to episode reviews. And it's not fun to watch only weekly either.

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  10. Loved Breaking Bad, but I never got into Better Call Saul. I think you're right that some shows lend themselves better to season reviews. Like 24. :)

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  11. Aw you're missing out, man! D: None of my BrBa frens want to stick with BCS either, and honestly I get the lack of appeal, it's not a proper successor in spirit/tone at all but I think it's incredible for what it is and it's really neat to see a main character in the BrBa universe who you want to succeed and not just because they're interesting like Walter Huwhite was. It's beautiful for a low-stakes show though, Saul-before-Saul is a surprisingly root-able guy and I'm truly fascinated by how different it is from BrBa while still clearly having the same DNA. What an interesting experiment for a spin-off (one can argue Angel is pretty different from Buffy as well though and is the only other example of a spin-off rivaling the quality of its mother I can think of). But I guess it's fair to ultimately decide that knowing what kind of slimy guy the MC inevitably turns out is quite demotivating in the way a lot of prequels can be. Alrigh' that's enough of a plug for a show I don't even work on. It's so good though :') And I feel better after watching it than I do with BrBa, even though that is clearly the reigning king. It's enriching TV and deserves to be must-watch for BrBa fans! Plot isn't everything!! >:(

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