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Review: Dollhouse - Belonging

by Brad Trechak, posted Oct 24th 2009 1:14AM
Dollhouse(S02E04) It's somewhat ironic that upon news that Dollhouse is going on something of a hiatus and will likely not be back next year that it delivers one of the best episodes of its run. Co-written by Joss' brother Jed (and it wouldn't surprise me if he wrote the music to the episode as well) and Maurissa Tancharoen (both of Doctor Horrible fame), we got the backstory of Sierra and received a major view of how dark the underbelly of the Dollhouse really is.

In another surprise, they redid the graphics for the opening credits and they're better. Does anybody else make up lyrics while listening to the theme or is it just me? If so, what are your lyrics? Mine begins with "This is the Dollhouse. We're in the Dollhouse. This is the Dollhouse song."

As an added bonus, the episode was directed by Commander Riker. Neat!

We now know who the man was that Sierra visited and hit last season when she was given her original personality. Today, she finishes the job.

Nolan was using a lot of Dollhouse resources just to seduce Priya. He better be a huge asset to Rossum, because otherwise he's misogynistic and just plain nuts. Like so many of you, I cheered when he was stabbed to death by Priya. Given Boyd's ability to quickly hide the body of a wealthy man, I can guess the circumstances that led to him becoming an employee in the first place.

We're now seeing the beginnings of the story leading to Epitaph One. Topher is actually growing a conscience. It's the start of him becoming a gibbering idiot from guilt. Echo is gaining a personality and likely learning how to fight the imprints. And Sierra and Victor, the Artist and the Soldier, share a love that goes beyond imprinting.

Those comments from Adelle's boss make me very interested in her backstory. It's unlikely to happen, but I hope we get to see some of it before the series is canned. The characters are finally becoming multi-dimensional and interesting. Assuming the quality level remains the same, the truth is that the series took too long to get this good. The Friday night slot probably didn't help. No matter what the DVR numbers say, without November sweeps this series is toast.

We know from last season that Victor was a soldier in his previous life (thus the flashback). At first, I thought they were setting him up to kill Nolan.

We didn't see even a glimpse of Ballard this episode, unless I blinked and missed it. Given that Madeleine/November returns next episode, he'll likely be putting in an appearance given the nature of their relationship.

More importantly, there is the introduction of Summer Glau and hopefully Ray Wise will appear somewhere down the line. Good things are happening to this series. In the (likely) event of its cancellation, I'm sure Joss will have something planned to have it go out on a high note.

[Watch clips and episodes of Dollhouse at SlashControl.]

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The problem with Ballard and Echo are not the characters, its the actors. Although I agree, that in this (terrific!!) episode, Eliza actually did fine as Echo inside the Dollhouse. Her quick stint in the very beginning was annoying as per usual.

November 02 2009 at 4:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I truly believe Joss is so far ahead of the curve that the networks just don't "get it". Intelligent shows always suffer & Dollhouse is the latest. It will be a huge loss that we will lament (like we did Firefly).

November 01 2009 at 11:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Somewhat OT, but there are actual lyrics to the opening theme:


November 01 2009 at 12:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Bahaha, "This is the Dollhouse song", I love it! And now it's stuck in my head...

Agreed about this episode, it was absolutely beautiful. It's an origin story, but it serves to develop everybody else just as much as Sierra, maybe more.

And I really hope they have time to get into Adelle's background a little more. This episode really tore her down, and Olivia Williams is so great. *sigh* It's going to be rough to say goodbye to this show. I would trade sooo many well-rated shows to save this one, any day.

October 27 2009 at 4:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So no mention of the writing on the glass door of Echo's sleeping area...? WTF.

October 26 2009 at 2:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What's with all the talk about it getting canned? At least the network's stated that they will show the series in its entirety. That's definitely something! And yes, it was a fantastic episode. I really did enjoy seeing the hints of what's to come... Topher working on the remote wipe technology etc. Dichen Lachman really did a great job, and actually so did Eliza Dushku. It was a really nice, subtle performance.

October 25 2009 at 11:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Is it just me, or are the opening credits exactly the same? I don't know why you said they were different.

October 25 2009 at 11:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So basically many of the people who gave up on this show after five episodes are starting to like it. Well isn't that wonderful considering it probobly too late to save it now. All of Whedon's shows take time to get good. This was true for "Buffy" and "Angel". Now the show is living up to your dumb expectations and most likely its too late.

October 25 2009 at 7:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Scott K.

Up until the episode for this, while I watched every episode and enjoyed them for the most part, I really don't think I would have minded if the show wasn't renewed. Then the last episode and now this one and I am really looking forward to this show again. Great episode.

October 25 2009 at 6:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"It seems that so many episodes were wasted on the formulaic stuff, when this is the direction this show should have been going all along."

Yes, yes, yes! Whedon's a certified genius, but he's about as well-suited to the "stand-alone episode after stand-alone episode" format as Pavarotti is suited to hip-hop. I'm so glad this show FINALLY started playing to his strengths by exploring the Dollhouse as a whole over-arching concept instead of just the place Echo goes to change clothes and nap in her box.

October 25 2009 at 11:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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