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Dollhouse: Vows (season premiere)

by Brad Trechak, posted Sep 25th 2009 10:00PM
Dollhouse(S02E01) For those who have seen the DVD-and-iTunes-only episode of Dollhouse ("Epitaph One") which deals with an apocalyptic future, we're not there yet. Instead, this episode (written and directed by Joss Whedon) deals with Paul Ballard using his connections to the Dollhouse to go after an arms dealer that he couldn't put away as a simple FBI agent.

We see the beginnings of the Boyd Langton/Doctor Saunders relationship hinted at in "Epitaph One," but once again, considering that Amy Acker has a limited appearance this season in order to go to Happy Town, she was the highlight of this episode. I honestly hope that show fails, so that Amy will be around this one more for next season. Is that wrong?

It seems like the world of science fiction television always employs its own (Whedon even confessed in his phone interview that he was a fan of the recent version of Battlestar Galactica). That being said, it was nice to see Jamie Bamber employ his natural British accent for his role as the bad guy. Ironically, Alexis Denisof was also there employing his natural American accent. I know we'll be seeing more of Denisof, and I hope Bamber becomes a recurring character as he now has the motivation to bring the Dollhouse down and, given his social status, he must be in the know about it.

Another interesting aspect is how Echo became "a Doll within a Doll" as an FBI double-agent. Talk about screwing with her programming and identity issues. The episode also dealt with Ballard's obsession with Caroline/Echo. Is he in love with her? Is it something else? Stay tuned, dear viewers, to find out.

A lot of haters didn't like this series as much as Whedon's previous ones. I figured the series would be the sort to grow into its own, and I'm seeing evidence of that in this episode. Fingers crossed that it makes it to season three. What do you think?

[Watch clips and episodes of Dollhouse at SlashControl.]

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St3phen

Bamber's Australian, not British...

September 29 2009 at 9:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to St3phen's comment
Lyn2

Sorry, but you're wrong. Bamber is not Australian. He was born of a British(Irish) mother and an American father and raised primarily in England. He graduated from Cambridge and speaks several languages. I've read on other message boards that people thought he was "putting on" a fake British accent. I guess they never watched any of the "special features" on BSG's DVD sets. I love his accent!

September 30 2009 at 1:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
darci

I thought that "Vows" was a great episode to kick off the season, and I didn't think it was noticeable at all that they had budget cuts... its really discouraging to see that the ratings suffered again. Hopefully this show just slowly picks up steam, but I think Fox has just dropped the ball in promoting this show, and also has it in a bad time slot. Such a shame.

Also, I was really happy that they played the song "The World" by Earlimart at the end of the episode, just as Paul realizes that Echo is remembering more of her past than she should. Great song, and I thought it fit the scene real well, too. I actually posted a video clip of the scene on YouTube, but it got taken down for copyright violations, which is yet another sign that Fox doesn't know what they're doing when it comes to promoting the show - don't they realize that it's good for a show's ratings to have YouTube popularity? Anyway, now it's up on my own blog at : http://modestcomplexity.blogspot.com/2009/09/earlimart-on-dollhouse.html

September 29 2009 at 7:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JR

Yea I'm still not sure yet. Hope it gets better, because I'm on the fence about it. Ditto on Ray Wise making it better. He's just so lovably evil. He was great on Reaper

September 28 2009 at 2:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dr_Venkman

Helo hit Apollo in the teeth - something I waited eons for ;)
Apart from that, this was really slow, bad writing/acting on the Topher/Whiskey part.
ED annoys the hell out of me, but the "activated" Echo kicked some serious butt. Still gonna keep watching, hope the Ray Wise plot will bring some excitement.

September 28 2009 at 5:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tri

I also really liked the Tofer/Whiskey scenes and her development as a character and coming to terms with being a doll, meeting her creator, and going through stages of grief. Really good stuff, well done, and will be interesting to follow. On the other hand, the whole Echo/Ballard thing does not work for me. I am really tired of Eliza's narrow acting range and pointless and gratuitous show of skin. The episode was just a bit skitzo jumping from adult themes to pointless sex and fights. Mind you, I am not against the latter, but they had about as much relevance to the episode as your typical porno plot. At least Ballard managed to keep his shirt on in this one.

September 28 2009 at 3:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Age-K

I really liked this episode. I love characters' moments of self-discovery in shows, so some of my favorite parts of this episode were the scenes between Topher and Dr. Saunders/Whiskey. Also really liked the snapping-sense-into-Echo scene. I thought it was a pretty cool way to kick off the big action sequence.

I haven't really been in a sci-fi action frame of mind lately, so I thought it would be tough to get back into the show right off the bat but I really enjoyed it.

September 26 2009 at 11:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
GL

I liked the episode, but the Ballard character struck me as way more annoying than I recall from the first season. I found myself wondering if I never noticed this aspect of him before.

On another note, I get annoyed with the recasting of the same actors over and over again especially with other actors they have had long runs with as memorable characters. It makes it that much harder to get into their characters.

Either way, I can see some elements I am really curious to see play out this season. Should be fun.

September 26 2009 at 5:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rolando

I know why i don't like this show. Joss Whedon writes about misfits and social outcasts who band together and fight bigger institutional evil. With Dollhouse it seems like where in the inside already and surrounded by pretty people. Not his strength. Still going to watch it.

September 26 2009 at 1:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Claire

I though it was a marvelous episode. I love how echo is still in a way omega and almost completely self-aware now.

Her relationship with Ballard is going to be interesting if not a little disturbing.

This show has such potential.

September 26 2009 at 12:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gordy

It kinda burned seeing the TSCC DVD commercial during this episode. I liked it...it was a lot better than the Heroes premiere.

September 26 2009 at 9:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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