Dollhouse Season 1 recap (part 2)

Episode 7
As before, opinion has been revised in a positive direction. I DID like Caroline and her friends this time around. And the idea that corporations treat human beings like animals IS a powerful one. The Ballard sideplot WASN'T boring. The break-up scene was very well written -- sensitive and witty. Good stuff all around.

Episode 8
Those ballads at the end of the episodes need to be chucked out. Otherwise, one of the best episodes of the season. Saunders as unwilling patriarchal oppressor is brilliant. Team Whedon haven't knocked out stuff like this before.

Episode 9
Security Man is DIFFERENT to DeWitt. The latter envisions a world where fulfilling people's fantasies, even if they are lies, is beneficial. It makes people human, even if other people are being used. Security Man has no time for such idealism. He is only interested in controlling the tech, keeping the house safe and running. He is just a paternalist, DeWitt is a paternalist who tries to help people. And BOTH have their views shaken up. DeWitt loses her idealism. And Security Man, fucked by the system, loses all investment and faith in it.

This show is a work of genius!!!

Episode 10
Topher is rather sympathetic in this one. I do like the fact that the writers leave out the end of his birthday, so that we don't know whether his fantasy goes to sexy places or not. There was no flirting between him and his geeky playmate. Then again, he has no moral qualms about what the Dollhouse does. If his fantasy WAS sexual, he would have no problem with indulging it. Does Topher have a sex drive? Maybe Season 2 will provide an answer.

Episode 11
Hey Ballard! November, like, hasn't been imprinted? She won't switch and kill you, OK? You CAN save her. Did Espenson slip up? Or is Ballard so fixated on Echo that his brain stopped working?

Episode 12
That black president line was SOOOO CORNY! Would have been better if there were black people on the show. Where's that guy from episode 7! He was great!

There were two things going on here, and I only got one last time. Yes, there's the stuff about not being able to erase who you truly are. When Alpha and Omega become superheroes, they turn out different. But WHY are they different? Caroline is driven by the need to find her purpose in the world -- find out who she is. Karl William Kraft / Alpha HATES who he is. He has destroyed his previous life. He wants to be someone better, the best. And when you are up on that pinnacle, everyone else is worthless, like Karl William Kraft was.

And I noticed how all this chimes with the "be your best" mantra the wiped actives keep chanting. That quest for perfection only makes for empty human beings... when it doesn't make monsters.

And then there's the whole Alpha-Ballard angle. Both want to be princes saving the imprisoned princess. But Alpha wants to elevate, Ballard only to restore. Which is why one is the villain and the other a hero. A hero? I think so. Ballard's fantasy may be objectifying Caroline, but the fantasy is still about making her a subject -- a real person. That's fascinating. I'd wager that a lot of our good works come from the fantasies we have about ourselves. You can't escape that. That's what being human IS. It just goes to show: fantasies can be a good thing.

The fact that I still don't know why Boyd is in the Dollhouse is frustrating the hell out of me. He gets asked this by Ballard here, and he just mutters 'there's always a girl'. ARRH! Who's the girl? Is there a girl? When is season 2 coming out??

Ditto Ballard, but I said that last time.

Finally, Whiskey. What's up with that, huh? Is that Dr. Saunders speaking when she says 'I know exactly who I am'. Is it Whiskey that hates Topher so much? As this episode has shown, answers will only arrive when we know who the person was before they were wiped.

Episode 13
Many questions raised, a lot of them to do with Whiskey / Saunders. Because we know next to nothing about her, basically. Also, Boyd. Why did he have to flee? What was his deal, anyways?

We know more about Caroline, Ballard, Victor, Sierra, DeWitt and Topher. Their scenes all made a kind of sense. If the show wrapped with this episode, I would have been satisfied. Even Alpha got a namecheck. Apparently his twisted genius ended up being useful.

Song at the end was written by the writers, because they could not afford to buy one. My opinion? The song here was BETTER than all the ones we heard previously. More please!

This episode flattened me when I first watched it. Just an incredible ride. If anything, the second time around lowered it slightly in my estimation, just because thematically it was summing up (quite bluntly, if awesomely) rather than saying anything new. Still, it WAS an awesome apocalypse. And a final episode IS supposed to sum up. So not REALLY a criticism, is it? I'll shut up now.

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