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September 1, 2015


Review: Dollhouse - Epitaph Two (series finale)

by Brad Trechak, posted Jan 30th 2010 12:15AM
Dollhouse(S02E13) What words can be used to describe Joss Whedon's latest complete series on television? "Weird" is one. "Rushed" is another.

Granted, the show only had slightly more than a full season's worth of episodes to establish itself (26 in all), but Dollhouse never really felt like something Joss really cogitated on and imagined from the bottom of his soul and thought through every detail. The series felt more like a favor he was doing for Eliza Dushku to prevent her from being typecast as a tough chick, with some clever bits thrown in.

Overall, the series wasn't as good as his previous attempts, but still much better than 99% of the other crap on television. Major spoilers follow after the jump.

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Review: Dollhouse - The Hollow Men

by Brad Trechak, posted Jan 16th 2010 2:30AM
Dollhouse(S02E12) The problem with prequels (and with regards to Dollhouse, I consider everything that happened before "Epitaph One" and "Epitaph Two" a prequel) is that you know how things are going to turn out. This somewhat ruins any sense of surprise one might get from any revelations of the program.

Granted, it was a decent stopping point for the show. All the dangling plot-lines were resolved and if we weren't aware of the two "Epitaph" episodes, we'd all drink our collective Slurpees and let out a sigh of relief knowing that Dollhouse ended on an emotionally satisfying note.

TWO WEEKS until the next episode? Come on, Fox. What's up with that?

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Review: Dollhouse - Getting Closer

by Brad Trechak, posted Jan 9th 2010 3:15AM
Dollhouse(S02E11) This was an episode that went from zero to sixty in under a second. So much was thrown at the viewer in both backstory and current happenings that everybody watching was suffering from dizziness and possibly nausea. But it was the good kind of nausea.

It's a fair bet that this episode and the subsequent ones were written (or re-written) after learning that the series wouldn't be renewed. Alternatively, perhaps Joss saw the signs in advance having worked in television for so long. After the jump, the real spoilers of the episode will be discussed. Those who wish to remain unspoiled can move along.

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Review: Dollhouse - The Attic

by Brad Trechak, posted Dec 19th 2009 2:20AM
Dollhouse(S02E10) I KNEW IT! I knew Adelle was faking it. It's classic Whedon. If anyone is operating on an apparent motive, then their true motives tend to be the opposite. How will she reconcile with Topher? Even if she was faking it, it would have been easy to not give Rossum the keys to the Kingdom. Did she figure that Rossum would eventually discover the technology anyway? Was she betting on Echo?

When Echo first appeared in the snow with the tree in the background, it seemed like she was trapped in Narnia. I was half-expecting Aslan to walk up and start talking to her.

Please note that since we've learned that Rossum is the evil sort of corporation that permeates science fiction, this make Laurence Dominic a good guy now. It's a good thing November killed Sierra's rapist of a handler rather than Adelle putting him in the Attic. Adelle must be feeling at least a little guilty regarding putting Dominic there.

At first, I couldn't tell if the shadowy figure was named Arcade or Arcane (it's the latter). This is before he became Clyde.

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Review: Dollhouse - Stop-Loss

by Brad Trechak, posted Dec 19th 2009 2:05AM
Dollhouse(S02E09) Adelle has really begun her descent into Hell, hasn't she? I haven't seen a turn this bad since Angel lost his soul in Buffy Season 2. I wonder if she feels a twinge of jealousy that Sierra has won "Roger."

Enver Gjokaj should get his own show. Simply his "goodbye" to Sierra when he was about to be released had me in stitches. At the same time, it somewhat broke my heart when Sierra sat at the dinner table waiting for Victor to join her.

Admittedly, the show wasn't clear on the exact circumstances that brought Sergeant Anthony Ceccoli to the Dollhouse. Near as I can tell, he was a soldier in either Iraq or Afghanistan (or both) and he joined the Dollhouse to escape the war. He obviously underwent shellshock or some such trauma. Did he go AWOL? Usually when people join the Dollhouse they're running from something. The exception to this is Priya who was the victim of a scumbag who couldn't take "no" for an answer.

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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.

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Review: Dollhouse - Meet Jane Doe

by Brad Trechak, posted Dec 12th 2009 12:43AM
Dollhouse(S02E07) What we seem to have here is a case of sides being taken. Ballard and Langton, along with Echo, are taking the anti-Dollhouse side while Adelle is joining Mr. Harding in the pro-Dollhouse category.

The concept of skipping some time is always an interesting device to use in a drama. Who can forget the classic "one year later" on Battlestar Galactica? Adelle was demoted due to her loss of Echo while Echo trained with Ballard to eventually overthrow the Rossum by freeing a woman whose imprisonment she was responsible for in the first place. It seemed at the end as if "Lisa" was getting a new life much in the way that Actives get a new imprint.

Eliza Dushku did some good acting this episode, possibly the best yet in the series. Favorite line (or part of a line): "and, at least seven times, gay." Is that some sort of subtle political statement about homosexuality being psychological? Feel free to post theories in the comments.

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Review: Dollhouse - The Public Eye

by Brad Trechak, posted Dec 5th 2009 12:45AM
Dollhouse(S02E05) This was truly an excellent episode of Dollhouse. The show has improved leaps and bounds, and I can't wait to see the developments Joss has waiting for us next season ... oh. Oh yeah. Forgot about that.

Despite the imminent cancellation, this was an excellent episode with so many twists and turns you'd think it was the SR1 in California. Okay, Daniel Perrin is a Doll (sort of) and his wife is his handler (making her more of a fake than him). The mysterious Bennett in the D.C. Dollhouse has a past with Caroline, Echo's original personality. And it all ends in a cliffhanger making this the perfect night for a two-parter.

When Echo (as Bree) and Perrin had their scenes together, I couldn't help but flash back to several scenes from the Buffy and Angel series which had Wesley together with Faith. Faith tortured Wesley in one of those, I recall. Fortunately, no grudges were held between series.

Did anybody else notice that Kilo was played by Maurissa Tancharoen, who is engaged to Jed Whedon (Joss' brother) and was one of the co-writers of Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog? If you didn't, then you should have. She's also a writer for this series and co-wrote the last episode.

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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."

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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?

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Whedon, Dushku talk new season of Dollhouse - Comic-Con Report

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Jul 25th 2009 10:02AM
Eliza Dushku faces the reportersJust a few short months ago, you wouldn't have thought that Joss Whedon's Dollhouse would have a presence at 2009's Comic-Con International. The show seemed on the brink of oblivion right up until its renewal for a second season.

Whedon and Dushku appeared at a press conference Friday to discuss the future and recent past of Dollhouse as it prepares for its new season this September.

The panel for the fans was built around a new, second pilot for the show, "Epitaph One." The story darkens the show and reveals Dushku's character in a new and very special light. (It's too late in the dead of night for spoilers, so more on this later.)

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Dollhouse DVD set will contain two unaired episodes

by Bob Sassone, posted May 13th 2009 3:02PM
Joss WhedonQuestion: is it possible for a show to be renewed for a second season even after the show gets moved to Friday nights, gets increasingly bad ratings, and then a DVD set comes out that includes two unaired episodes, including the finale of the show that the network didn't air?

The unequivocal answer is ... who knows?

FOX still hasn't made an "official" decision on Dollhouse. The ratings for the season finale (or the 12th episode, which served as the season finale) were some of the worst yet for the show, but until the network says "yeah, it's canceled, stop bothering us Whedon!" we have to say that it's still possible that the show will come back for a second year.

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Dollhouse: Omega (season finale)

by Brad Trechak, posted May 9th 2009 12:18AM
Dollhouse(S01E12) I'm not sure if I should label this one the series finale, but I live in hope. In any case, it was an excellent episode and gives some sense of closure to the series, yet allows for a continuation of the story should it be picked up. And there is the unaired episode "Epitaph One," which hopefully will be included in the DVD set.

This episode was rife with characterization and philosophical debate, two strengths of Joss and his minions. Echo even brought up the simple fact that many viewers have been saying all along: "you can't sign a contract to be a slave."

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Dollhouse: Briar Rose

by Brad Trechak, posted May 1st 2009 11:36PM
Dollhouse(S01E11) So apparently, Echo/Caroline is Briar Rose. The big twist is that Ballard didn't end up being the Prince. Alpha did.

So now we know Alpha's face (and with that knowledge, my Ballard-as-Alpha theory gets blown to Hell in a handbasket), but we're still missing a lot. We don't know his motivation or his connection with Alpha. We do know that while masquerading as Stephen Kepler, he acts a lot like Topher (whom he may have used as inspiration for his facade) and when he reverts to character he acts a lot like Heath Ledger's Joker (Alan Tudyk is a brilliant actor).

Many law firms take on pro bono work to help those that can't afford legal help. I can only conclude that the Dollhouse has a similar service (or perhaps Topher does a little on the side), which is why a care center for abused children can afford a Doll that has been programmed to act like a grown-up, therapist version of their most abused patient.

That ability to actually create fictional personas based on postulations on how people will emotionally mature would be an interesting concept to explore if the show gets future seasons.

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Dollhouse: Haunted

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 25th 2009 1:05AM
Dollhouse(S01E10) My first thoughts upon watching the beginning of tonight's episode: that teaser segment was quick. It seemed to go right into the opening credits.

This episode focused on a lot of the moral implications of the technology to copy personalities. This is the sort of philosophical story that Joss and company excel at.

I suppose it would be hypocritical of Adelle to not permit Topher to program a "gaming buddy" once a year on his birthday, particularly considering her own personal use of the Actives in previous episodes. It does strike me as odd that Topher wouldn't at least want to have sex with such an obviously compatible female. Perhaps Topher, despite his genius, is emotionally stunted to an age where sex doesn't matter to him.

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