Friday, March 27, 2009

Dollhouse - Echoes (Episode 7)

First, according to the Dollverse, FOX has confirmed that all 13 episodes will run. If that's true, that's good news, although it isn't clear that the last episode will air, which seems strange. But I assume that if they get that far they will figure out how to air the season finale. This news is a relief. After watching the Man on the Street episode I started to worry that they would take it off the air at the exact moment that it started to get good.

I also decided to go back and see which episodes had actually been written by Whedon and it turns out that only Episode 1 (Ghost) and last weeks' Episode 6 (Man on the Street) were actual Whedon-written episodes. On all other episodes he was listed as creator but no writer.

I went back to look because tonight's episode finally had some humor, it was Whedonesque humor but the whole episode didn't quite seem like Joss himself. It wasn't tight enough. I was right, according to IMDB it was written by Elizabeth Craft (who wrote a number of Angel episodes). (The Whedonesque website says it was written by Craft and by Sarah Fain.)

On the one hand, I liked this episode because we got a lot of new information and a great deal of character development. On the other hand, last week's episode was a hard act to follow and this episode didn't quite rise to that level. But I did think that I need to watch it again because with all the flashbacks I want to make sure that I have the whole thing straight.

Tonight they proved that DeWitt, Topher, Mr. Dominic, and Langton aren't secretly actives. They were all affected by the drug/secret sauce. Amy Acker wasn't in this episode so nothing is proved about her character. Nor was Topher's assistant.

One of the best moments was when Langton asked Echo if she wanted a treatment and she said "no". Second favorite moment is Dominic apologizing to Echo for trying to burn her alive. (Although it isn't clear the drug is a truth serum so I still don't trust him.) I just truly love Reed Diamond so I'm happy whenever he's on and I'm glad they are giving his character some layers.

I liked what they did with DeWitt in this episode, and for once I didn't find Topher completely annoying. In fact ... I think he is growing on me. I was a little confused about the last scene between DeWitt and Dominic. Neither of them saw the other drugged so I'm not sure why they would be embarrassed in front of each other. I would think DeWitt and Topher would be more embarrassed about their experience. (I loved the scene where DeWitt is jumping up and down in the background while Topher is on the phone.)

From a storyline perspective I thought it was really effective to go back in time and show us more of Caroline's original meeting with DeWitt and then a portion of the meeting DeWitt has with Sam, the new Doll. This idea that the Dolls are volunteers has been hard for me to swallow, but it might be possible that some of them signed on the dotted line willingly. Sam didn't have any real reason to sign up except for money. Unless of course Rossum Corporation is going to hunt him down for interfering with their experiments.

The back story on what happened to Caroline was helpful. And the parallel between the animal testing and the Dolls was well done. Although at the meeting between DeWitt and Caroline, DeWitt made some reference about their interaction going on for two years. Caroline disappeared from the hospital bed before DeWitt could get to her, so presumably even more happened to her during the ensuing two years.

I hope Mellie has left permanently.

There are a lot of big themes developing. Jen and andif had some excellent comments to my last post. I need to think about it some more before trying to talk about them.