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October 7, 2015


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 - 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 - 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: Belle Chose

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 10th 2009 3:55AM
Dollhouse: Belle Chose
(S02E03) It looks like the production schedule had this one slated to be the second episode of the season, rather than the third. It was a little odd how much time was spent in showing Ballard getting used to the complete process in turning a Doll into an Active. I kept thinking, "He was fine with last week's mommy engagement?" Knowing that this was intended to be the first episode after he took on the role as her Handler makes more sense.

It also means FOX is screwing around with Whedon's intended schedule on his show ... again! I can't understand how network executives think narrative flow between episodes means nothing. Do they think that fans are so stupid we can't follow a thread between episodes, nor will we notice when things are out of whack?

This would probably have worked better as a second episode anyway, because it got a little more into the technology behind the Dollhouse, as well as how it can go wrong.

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Dollhouse: Instinct

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 3rd 2009 12:55AM
Dollhoues: Instinct
So, um, what happened? Dollhouse came back last week and posted its lowest ratings to date. It's a shame, because the show continues to find its footing. What was impressive this time was that the episode was compelling and dramatic, and it had virtually nothing to do with the overall story-arc for the series.

Just like some of the best episodes of The X-Files were "monster-of-the-week" installments, this "imprint-of-the-week" chapter was simply brilliant. It explored the full capabilities of the Dollhouse technology, where we got our first hint that Topher's genius can sometimes push him to doing things he shouldn't. At least not without testing. It's this character flaw that led to his failures in "Epitaph One."

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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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Dollhouse: Epitaph One

by Jason Hughes, posted Jul 26th 2009 3:02PM
Dollhouse - Epitaph One

This episode of Dollhouse never actually aired on Fox, and in fact, it's not going to. I'm not sure why, though, because I thought it was fantastic. Yes, it was a dramatic departure from what had gone before, but despite its unique presentation, it offered some amazing insight into the world of Whedon's Dollhouse, and its future.

"Epitaph One" will be available on the Dollhouse: Season One DVD, available July 28, 2009. It was also screened this past weekend at Comic-Con. Even though I wasn't there, I did manage to get my hands on it, so join me, if you will, for a very spoilery look at the true season finale of Dollhouse.

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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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Dollhouse: A Spy in the House of Love

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 11th 2009 12:02AM
Dollhouse(S01E09) What did we learn tonight? We learned that Adelle herself is not above taking advantage of her position at the Dollhouse. While it's not quite as bad of the actions of Joe Hearn, it is definitely a conflict of interest and is something I doubt the Rossum Corporation would approve of.

That being said, she's apparently into James Bond types, which sort of makes sense given her career choice.

My favorite line of the episode was from Boyd: "We're pimps and murderers, but in a philanthropic way."

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Some cast for SyFy's Riverworld and The Phantom

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 7th 2009 2:04PM
Tahmoh PenikettSci Fi (or SyFy, whenever that changeover is taking place) has cast some of its upcoming projects. Battlestar Galactica and Dollhouse's Tahmoh Penikett and Smallville's Laura Vandevoort has been cast in Riverworld and Desperate Housewive's Ryan Carnes has been cast as the lead character in The Phantom.

This is either a sign that Dollhouse is destined for only one season or Tahmoh Penikett's character of Paul Ballard is not going to survive beyond the first season. I'm hoping it is more of the latter than the former.

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Dollhouse: Needs

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 4th 2009 12:05AM
Dollhouse(S01E08) For a second ... for just a second ... I thought Ballard's dream was actually happening. Is that what Ballard actually wants? To do the nasty with Echo or Caroline or whomever? If the situation with Victor and Sierra is proof that true love circumvents the programming of the Actives, then maybe Ballard is Alpha and the reason he escaped was because he fell in love with Echo.

The show is gaining a sense of urgency. Once Joss took reign and the network backed off from their "Echo episode of the week," I suddenly feel as if something bad will imminently happen to the Dollhouse. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is anybody's guess. From what has been shown, the season is leading to a final confrontation with Ballard and/or Alpha with the fate of the Dollhouse at stake. Based on experience with Joss Whedon's style, that's probably the last thing that will happen.

At least Joss' sense of humor was obvious in this episode: "I like pancakes." "We're all going to die."

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Dollhouse: Echoes

by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 28th 2009 10:03AM
Dollhouse(S01E07) This was a terrific episode. While it borrowed elements from other science fiction franchises (most notably the episode "The Naked Time" from Star Trek), it served as a perfect vehicle to explain how Caroline (last name: Farrell. Forgive any misspelling of names) got involved with the Dollhouse.

Whedon and company go to an anti-corporate message. It turns out the Dollhouse is a product of the Rossum Corporation, the biggest drug company in America (if not the world), and Caroline was doing some animal activist activities to earn their ire. Those activities even cost the life of her then-boyfriend Leo.

We also know that Caroline used to be a student at Freema University and had Professor Janik as a teacher (once again, forgive any spelling errors). We knew she was a college student (or probably graduate when she was recruited). Now we know where. Which college campus did they use for filming, I wonder.

Whatever was in that teapot when Adelle was saying "nothing is as it seems", it wasn't tea.

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Dollhouse: Man on the Street

by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 21st 2009 12:57AM
Dollhouse(S01E06) So this is the biggie. The episode that changes everything. Did it have to be on the same night as the series finale of Battlestar Galactica?

It looks like the rumors aren't true. At least, not this week. Somewhat disappointing, but they could prove true before season's end.

Tonight's episode wasn't so much about Echo as it was about the Dollhouse itself and how the world perceives it. It also discussed (via documentary) the moral and philosophical implications of such a place, the sort of questions that Joss Whedon excels at exploring (good thing he wrote the episode).

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