16.6.09

Dollhouse Episode 5

Some notes:

Looks like the engagements in the standalone episodes are intended to open up and reflect on different aspects of the Dollhouse. I say again: clever.

This week, the Dollhouse is explicitly linked to a religious cult -- where your personality and individuality is deleted, and members are forced to regress to a child-like 'innocent' state. But there are serpents in these Gardens of Eden. In the Dollhouse, Victor begins to have "man-reactions". The serpent is human nature, which the Dollhouse is trying to fuck with and repress.

In the cult, the serpent is Echo. Her blindness is significant. To infiltrate the cult, her reason and judgement have to be curbed. But with the craziness and abuse that she encounters inside, her eyesight is restored. She sees clearly. She doubts and dissents, leading the others out of their collective madness.

The image of the cult leader praying with a rifle slung round his back is particularly powerful, capturing the contradiction between religion and violence, and also religion's coercive dark side.

Agent Ballard seems to be suffering from a blindness of his own, completely ignoring the overtures of his (OMG! Fit!) next-door neighbour in order to focus on finding Caroline. The fool...

There's a lanky, long-haired dude this episode called Ilia (or 'Eelia'). That's my name! Whoop! Oh. Turns out he's a raving nutcase. Bummer.

Topher still not bringing the funny. Come on, man...

The Dollhouse Head of Security seems to have some kind of beef with Echo. He prefers his Dolls safely predictable and personality-less. Echo appears to be manifesting signs of individuality, which he sees as disruptive and dangerous. A comment on patriarchy? I think so!

Love the closing shot, where the camera pulls in on Echo staring at Security Man, and she says "I see perfectly". What she should have said is: "Yep. I can recognize a walking symbol for patriarchy when I see one, thank you very much! Now, show me the way out of this place...". But that would be too obvious. So you can see why I don't write for television?

Seriously Echo, get self-aware already. I'm getting tired of all this namby-pamby commenting on how rubbish the Dollhouse is. Let's bring it down! Apparently the next episode is gonna bring the noise. Can't wait.

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