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Review: Dollhouse - A Love Supreme

by Brad Trechak, posted Dec 12th 2009 1:10AM
Dollhouse(S02E08) We get double the guest stars in this episode with both Alan Tudyk returning as Alpha and Patton Oswalt returning as Joey Miner. Did anybody else notice that Alpha seemed to be acting just like the Joker, particularly with the mismatched purple ensemble? I'm referring more to the Heath Ledger version than the Jack Nicholson or Cesar Romero versions.

Patton Oswalt is a returning guest and a former engagement of Echo's, but were the others, as well? I suspect so. I think the one that got blown up real good was the motorcycle rider from the pilot episode. I think. It was interesting how one person became so addicted to the Dollhouse that he blew all his money on it. This is your brain on Dollhouse.

Tonight we had more of the chess match between Adelle and her establishment and the resistance in the form of Ballard, Langton and Echo. Despite Topher's genius, he's still pretty rational. It took a monstrous mind like Alpha's to conceive of truly evil ways of using the imprint technology. Topher's technology even became obsolete. "Now I know how old people feel ... and Blockbuster."

Of course, it is implied that using the imprint technology as it currently stands involves having some sort of implants placed in your body. With Topher's idea, no implants are needed. People's memories can be erased and replaced at will from anywhere.

Speaking of sapping one's will, tonight's episode had so many AT&T ads you'd think they were the sole sponsor of the show. That is being offered simply as observation. Unless, of course, Rossum plans on using the iPhone to implant personalities on people. Or they're doing it already.

It's nice how the show differentiated between the Dollhouse addict and Patton Oswalt's character, who moved on from using the Dollhouse to deal with his grief. All this keeps with one of the themes of the episode (which is reflected in its title) of dealing with love.

Enver Gjokaj continues a streak of versatile acting by becoming a nebbishy Jewish psychologist in the beginning and then a soulless soldier near the end.

Regarding a comment made by Alpha: why would anybody need an imprint of an Eagle Scout? Some ideas come to mind, but they're pretty sick.

The big surprise twist tonight was Alpha wiping Ballard's memory out of jealousy of his time with Echo. It was hinted that a cast member would be permanently mind-wiped. I could have sworn I saw Alpha put a copy of his imprint on a hard drive, and I don't think Tahmoh Penikett's name is being taken off the credits, so he'll likely be back in some form. Perhaps Rossum will take his body as property and make him another Active.

Damn, this show is getting good. Just in time for cancellation. I do want more Ray Wise and Summer Glau before the show wraps up, and I'm praying to Zombie Jesus for a satisfying end to the series. That would be the greatest gift of all.

[Watch clips and episodes of Dollhouse at SlashControl.]

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xnifex

Is there any chance of this show being picked up by another network (SyFy)???

Yes, the dude in the trailer was another client. They even explained his engagement again, Echo was his sister-in-law who realized she loved the client instead of his brother.

These last 4 episodes have been f'n awesome!

What i don't get is why can't they just take the hdd & re-imprint Ballard. I doubt the drive gets erased after an imprint, unless Alpha destroyed it, which they didn't say that he did.

December 12 2009 at 9:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to xnifex's comment
bsgfan2003


I was thinking about that too. Alpha must have skeddadled off with it, off screen, or he tucked it in his britches before they went through the glass. At any rate, the Ballard disc is not handy.

Just like last week, these episodes are fantastic. I've been waiting for the house actives to become berserkers for a long time. Thanks Dollhouse!

December 12 2009 at 9:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
xbxtv

Ballard's brain wasn't wiped. He's braindead.
So, no empty brain but a physically destroyed one.

At least that's what I'm guessing.

December 14 2009 at 7:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Leroy

Two comments about the course of the show:

1) Why is it so hard to remember that the first season was Fox's fault, not Whedon's? They prevented him from starting the big story right off the bat and that made the first six episodes less than great for many people and sent the ratings into the basement.

2) Every one of Whedon's shows has started with a gradual build up of ideas and situations that lead into a grand and complex explosion of events. This one did also. The last few episodes would not have had all the levels and complications they did without the events of the first season firmly established in our minds.

Americans just don't have anything resembling patience any more. It it's not slam bang action all the time, it's declared boring and written off without ever having a chance to build a foundation on which to wow us later.

December 12 2009 at 11:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
floranow

This is probably my 2nd favorite episode from Dollhouse right after Epitaph One. I loved all the storylines especially how Adelle was trying to get Boyd & Paul to confess. I also thoroughly enjoyed Alan's performance as Alpha, it was very twisted and dark.. reminded me too much of The Joker though (which isn't a bad thing by any means).

And how sad was that scene with Echo and Alpha when she was holding the rock and about to smack him then Paul started speaking? :( I can't believe Paul is brain-dead, that was extremely shocking and unexpected. I was waiting for a miracle solution to the problem, but it never happened.. Joss has got me again!

Overall, excellent episode. It is such a shame that the show got canceled.. I look forward to more spectacles from Joss Whedon in the future either way, but for now I will enjoy the final episodes of Dollhouse which will surely kick ass to say the least.

December 12 2009 at 9:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joseph

Dear Reviewer,
Obviously Alpha put Ballard's mind on a drive, he literally grabbed the drive and used it to imprint himself with Ballard's personality.

Also, the implant wasn't so much about the doll as it was about tracking the person with GPS and monitoring their vitals. Any brain can be wiped, as we saw tonight and earlier in Epitaph One.

December 12 2009 at 6:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Greg

You can tell when an episode of Dollhouse is Whedon episode and a Fox episode. If this network didn't continue to interfere with Whedon perhaps this show would have found an audience because these last 2 weeks have been great for this series.

I've seen Epitaph One and I know some things I won't spoil here but this was typical Whedon with getting rid of Paul, always has to hurt the favorite characters lol.

December 12 2009 at 3:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RevJonathan

"Oh, when did you die?"

Whedon is so awesome, but I couldn't be more pissed right now. Season 1 took about 6 episodes to get decent, and the first four episodes of 4 were dull. Then he comes back with off the wall, kickass awesome stories AFTER cancellation. You have to grab the audience earlier.

December 12 2009 at 2:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to RevJonathan's comment
orangewaxlion

Well regarding that, keep in mind that some of these episodes airing recently were planned to be on during sweeps until Fox determined the show was doing too badly and it was going to drag down their numbers. Then the show got canceled about three weeks after it'd already been off the air rather than waiting and hoping the ratings would go up. (They haven't much but surprisingly did.) At the very least they're still airing them though.

December 13 2009 at 1:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ctunightfall

2 points to make from an attentive Dollhouse viewer:

1) Actives have a certain type of brain chemistry that makes them "dollworthy". The obsolete tech that Topher is referring to is the chair that the dollhouses use to wipe and imprint the actives.

2) About the Eagle Scout imprint, they would be the most convenient jack-of-all-trades person. Especially since Bear Grylls probably wasn't available and MacGyver isn't real.

December 12 2009 at 2:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jaerisk

Dear Joss,
I'm really pissed at you guy...you're making this show fairly enjoyable when it's about to be kicked off the air.Dear sir, the entire first season was a complete snooze fest. Now you come with the kick asseyness???? Oh well I can't stay mad at my Jossy poo for too long, I'm sure the next project will kick major bottom. Until then gentle genius...

December 12 2009 at 1:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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