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28 February 2009 @ 11:58 am
Dollhouse: "Stage Fright" Episode Review + Meta  
Dollhouse 1.03 "Stage Fright"

A pop singer, Rayna, is being targeted by an obsessive fan who wants to kill her, and Echo's engagement is to become her bodyguard undercover, along with Sierra whose assignment as backup and a distraction in case something goes awry. Echo becomes a backup singer in the tour, a fierce one at that, who also specializes in kicking people's asses like a superhuman would. But it turns out that Rayna wants to be killed and that it's her only way out of that lifestyle, and things flip upside down as Echo tries to protect her despite her resistance, and Sierra gets kidnapped by the crazed obsessed fan, and to solve the entire situation she turns the tables and kidnaps the singer in exchange for Sierra, and plays into everyone's weaknesses, thus saving the day.

Some of the administrators at the Dollhouse feel that Echo is becoming a threat because she is going outside of her programmed protocol, however the director believes she's doing just what she was imprinted to do, just improvising and finding a different route. She may be off the hook but she's still underneath heavy surveillance, by those guys in particular.

Meanwhile, Paul gets a fake lead from a contact concerning the Dollhouse, which only leads him going to the hospital. His so-called contact happens to be a male Active from the Dollhouse itself, keeping Paul in check of not coming too close to their organization.


The Living Fantasy: Two Worlds Underneath A Lie

One of the things I liked is how Echo and Rayna aren't that different from each other, that they were both given opportunities to live a dream, however were both taken from their own life and were shaped and molded to becoming the Most Perfect Ideal Female Ever; that they have no control over their own life, it's the people they are contracted under that are controlling what they do, how they do it, and they have absolutely no say whatsoever. Also considering how Echo was assigned to protect her, the irony is clear based off of that alone.

Sad thing is, this is a great representation of how celebrities are treated in the spotlight of their careers, specifically pop singers. Most people will become cynical and cringe because of the painfulness of having more blatant half-naked women on the show, which I will get into more during my meta of the actual show in a later post, but I digress because it's more about how our society and culture has accepted the exploitation of celebrities and treating them like objects; materializing them and making them the object of everyone's fantasy, the subjected to the worst kind of hatred without really knowing what's going on behind doors, a.k.a. their real personalities and not the facade they place before the cameras. Take a look at the media, we judge purely on either looks or talent, brains or beauty, and what the paparazzi try to construde as true or false by just clicking the button of a camera. Our pop diva's attitude is more or less how some young singers have started to become -- feeling like they have nothing outside of what they are percieved as to the world, hence why some act out the way they do. In this episode, she wanted to die, figuring that was the only way out from a prestegious lifestyle.

Yes, Rayna acted like a diva and kind of heartless and not really caring about things, but she wanted to believe that this is what her job entailed. She couldn't do things she wanted because of her contract, of her boss, her manager, everything. Like she said, "the show must go on" and whether she wanted it to or not, that is the motto she has lived by for Lord knows how long. Like Echo, it has been imprinted into her and there is no way around it.

Echo's story is very similar, the only difference is that she's portraying different people without any memory of it afterwards. She has absolutely no personality of her own besides the basic human instincts and behavioral mannerisms to function properly, and is doing this from her programmers will to be whomever they choose her to be for whatever engagement. She cannot fight back, she has no power to, therefore there is nothing she can do to take back control of the life they stole from her. She and Rayna are similar in that regard, however it seems that Rayna can change her life and, while there is no indication she may do so, it's clear she has that option whereas Echo does not.

It also makes things interesting because of Echo's present difference from the other Actives, which leaves me to speculating more about her and Alpha....


Alpha and Omega: Alpha's Real Purpose and Echo's Special Destiny

More indications and mysteries surrounding the mysterious Alpha and his connection and fixation of Echo, who is the only Active he did not slaughter during his outbreak within the Dollhouse months before. It's clear that he is targeting her for a reason, and while it's not entirely clear what his motives are quite yet, I have some speculations about that and with Echo's development and "waking up" period.

My main belief is that Alpha is testing Echo. He is seeing if there is something truly special about her that even during her imprinted personalities and assignments that she can go for "outside the box" thinking to try and figure out the situation in another way that isn't programmed for her, which is something he did and what the other Actives could not do, and perhaps he remembered her from living inside the Dollhouse with him and that he had some sort of connection with her (much like how Echo and Sierra have a bonding despite their blank slate state) and sees the potential of waking up like he did. He is testing and challenging her reactive skills, which I tend to believe that there is something inside of the real Caroline underneath all what the Dollhouse has been doing to her, imprinting and erasing repeatedly, that is slowly emerging. We've seen this already that she can remember even in a drugged-induced state. She also remembers things, senses them through the imprints. She has no explanations for why, but her instincts tell her something is either wrong or she remembers certain people that she was not programmed to remember during a task (i.e. knowing Boyd during "The Target", knowing that she must save Sierra).

Echo has something special within her, something that the Dollhouse are either aware of and are waiting for it to explode, or they are unaware of and sans one of the administrators seem to think this is good for one of their Actives to do something outside of the box. The fact that Echo has this slow build in regaining some other methods in her engagements means that she's either going to be a really effective Active, or a very dangerous one to become another serious threat, much like Alpha. And perhaps Alpha sees the potential in both, and she can become the only lethal weapon amongst the others to finally see the truth behind the mask and facade they're all living in.

But this leads to the question about why is Alpha leading Paul step by step towards Echo and the Dollhouse? What could all this mean? Does he want this detective to find Echo so that once she regains her memories of what's been done to her that his investigation can be taking down the organization once and for all? Will Alpha be using him and Echo as his way of getting back at them for what happened to him, and what's happening to the others? There are so many questions here and I am further intrigued each episode it continues.


Memorable Moments from the Episode:

++ I am still in love with the theme song. Some people like it, others aren't feeling it, but I think it's a very etheral kind of theme that goes great with the perception of what the Dollhouse is trying to show all those that come to them. A sense of forgetting the world, forgetting reality, having the perfect whatever in your life if only for a show period of time. Plus the music box notes in the end? SO MUCH LOVE!

++ Tahmoh continues to be pretty, as always. It's funny I see him here and then I see him in BSG. HOLY TAHMOH NIGHT FRIDAYS ARE! :D

++ Dayum, is that Eliza singing? Girl has got vocals, yo.

++ I really liked the persona Echo had this episode. It seemed a mixture of Tru and Faith, really, just the way she carried herself and how she was utterly badass at the same time. Also, totally shallow here, but her hair was frakking amazing. As were her outfits -- I have this weakness for outfits and this show seems to be like that. I know, I know, there's the message behind it and all, but Eliza can do no wrong with wearing some of the things she does. Just saying. ;)

++ Like I mentioned above about the irony concerning Rayna and Echo, that entire scene with their two bosses meeting inside the main director's office of the Dollhouse, clearly old friends, was very telling and kind of disturbing. They control these girls and one side is asking for one to protect the other. It's scary really, knowing that you are controlled in such a way without knowing it, without seeing what's underneath and how disturbing it truly is.

++ Poor Paul. Getting himself in dangerous situations, which chasing the secrecy of the Dollhouse will have such consequences. But dudes, srsly, HIS CONTACT WAS AN ACTIVE! WHY IS NOBODY TALKING ABOUT THIS?!?! MALE DOLL - MALE DOLL!

++ Diva singers, typical but if you look into the hows and whys it makes sense why they would be like that. Rayna is no different, and sometimes having breakdowns like that happen. Hers happened to be more serious than like a Mariah Carey or Britney Spears kind of meltdown, she literally wanted to end her life and didn't care.

++ "You can fire me but, bitch, don't think you can take me!" TELL HER GIRLIE! That's my favorite line of the episode, really.

++ Eliza was fierce in this episode overall. I mean, she was fierce in the last episode too, but this time she had the attitude of Faith with this "bitch, wanna bitchfight, ai'ight let's go!" kind of thing, and I liked that. I felt it, and I liked it.

++ Sierra was too adorable in this episode! With those glasses and that accent and just, omglove! I also really adore her and Echo's friendship during their blank slates, it's obvious that despite having no personality of minds of their own there is no doubt a bonding between the dolls during their stay. They can't not have that kind of human interaction, and it's interesting that even with the imprinting and wiping of memories they still remember each other afterwards.

++ Because I am a dancer, I was enthralled with the dancing in this episode. But I wouldn't want someone like Rayna bitching at me about not getting the moves right to the beat and shit (again, srsly, too many diva dance instructors lead to stress, and I'm tired of stress like that lol). At first I thought Echo was going to step in and do the moves just right that Rayna would be like "SEE?! THAT'S HOW YOU DO IT!!" But alas, nothing like that. But Eliza has vocals, and that's good. Also, I'm a sucker for pop songs like those, so yeah.

++ Mentionings of "the Attic" within the Dollhouse. omg plz tell me I'm not the only one that thought of Flowers in the Attic? Just me being crazy? Okay then Makes me wonder if Alpha had been sent there, or if that is some sort of prison for misbehaving Actives that need more "repairments" or excessive attention to their "treatments" before they can return back into the field amongst the other Actives. I mean, you can't just mention that without it being significant later on in the series.

++ PLZ FOX DON'T CANCEL THIS SHOW! I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!


Overall: It seems that with each passing episode it keeps getting better and better. I just wish others would see it that way instead of bitching and moaning about how they can't see the significance of what it's trying to achieve and all the negativity I'm seeing from others, but I digress. That'll be for another time, a.k.a. my meta regarding the show in general and the recpetion it's getting which will be very soon (I has a busy life too, y'know). But yes, this episode I really enjoyed. Adding more mystery regarding Echo and Alpha, the connections and similarities between the two and what would happen if Echo turns out to become another Alpha? What will happen then? I am caring about these character, I want Echo to start remembering more, I want Paul to succeed in finding Echo and proving that the Dollhouse exists, I want to know more about Alpha and all these mysteries tying altogether.

And if FOX pulls the plug too early I will seriously cut a bitch.


I've decided to do regular episode reviews for Dollhouse, since this is the kind of show that requires weekly observations and meta because of its content and material for deep-thinking, whether others believe so or not. I'm just really loving this show and it's improving with each episode, and I think that's great even if ratings aren't agreeing with that (c'mon y'all, start watching!) Nevertheless, hello new fandom!

I also watching TSCC and I also enjoyed it, as well. Very trippy and kept me guessing, through me through loops in not knowing what was real and what wasn't, and the return of Sarah VOs, yay! A great way to look into her psyche as well.
 
 
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srs bsns: castiel uriel we've come to fuck you upibroketuesday on March 1st, 2009 02:29 am (UTC)
I was SO SURPRISED when it turned out that Paul's contact is a Doll. I mean, holy shit! Where did that even come from! And why was he wiped and reinstalled mid-mission, and how does he have mafia contacts, and kajsdhksgdsh!

What I'm really curious about is Echo's quick signal for Sierra to back off when they were approaching each other by the group of men. It's really interesting that she's aware that she must not do anything suspicious in front of them, and I wonder how much she knows.
Renée: Castiel. To have faith.rogueslayer452 on March 1st, 2009 02:42 am (UTC)
I know! I was like AH-HA! MALE DOLL! I guess because they know about Paul's active persuing of trying to uncover their organization that they must lead him in an opposite direction that might make him give up (but oh, we know he'll continue with his investigating because he's Helo dammit!) I'm guessing wiping and re-installing that imprint was to gather more info before more contacting takes place. So much irony in this ep, I love it!

Oh my God yes, that whole warning signal. Echo is definitely aware of her surroundings, perhaps better than the other dolls, which is perhaps what makes her a bit more different then they are. Or observant that even in that blank state they're all under she can sense something is out of place. This could be the effect of her beginning stages of "waking up"? IDK and GOD DO I WANNA KNOW! This shows how I'm so invested I am with this show. :D
The Proverbial Bull in a China Shop...: Foxs next victimssabaceanbabe on March 1st, 2009 02:39 am (UTC)
Oh, thank the gods I have someone on my flist to truly be in Dollhouse fandom with! *twirls you* Others like it, but as of this ep, I have started to love it. It's finally starting to give us glimpses of the mythology and how strong Caroline/Echo really is and I'm really wondering if Paul may have once been a doll himself. :D
Renée: DH. Paul. UNF.rogueslayer452 on March 1st, 2009 02:48 am (UTC)
YAY! \O/ How could anyone not be intrigued with this show? (okay, wrong question that needs rephrasing, which I may get into later, but still y'know what I mean...) I knew I would be interested long before it aired and yeah, it's different and not very Joss-like, but that's what I like about it.

It's finally starting to give us glimpses of the mythology and how strong Caroline/Echo really is and I'm really wondering if Paul may have once been a doll himself. :D

Precisely. The mythology during the second episode, in regards the Echo and Alpha and what could possibly be going on inside her head during her blank state or even her engagements, the entire process of wiping away memories but not really thinking that their imprinted "dolls" could alter those programmed actions and think outside the box like Echo. I am really enthralled with it all, and quite frankly I wish others would be just as much, but heh you win some, you lose some. I am very interested in where all this is going and how it'll be executed when Echo finally starts to realize what is happening to her. Also, Alpha. What's up with him and why he's doing what he's doing.

Hee, Paul as a former Active would be an interesting twist indeed, but I highly doubt this is so. Nevertheless, this is Joss Whedon, anything is possible in that twisted mind of his. ;)
hardparade89hardparade89 on March 1st, 2009 04:17 am (UTC)
I officially lurve Dollhouse after this episode. I think it's the new cool thing to diss Dollhouse :/ I'm trying very hard to watch 'offline' so I don't get bummed out at what people are saying. There's a rant about it building inside me...roh-oh.

PLEZE FOX DON'T FAIL AT LYFE MORE THAN YOU ALREADY DO BY CANCELING AWESUM SHOW.
Renéerogueslayer452 on March 1st, 2009 04:28 am (UTC)
It's because people either think it's not your typical "Joss-esque show" or view it only from face value and not seeing the meanings behind what the show is representing (which isn't hard at all, tbh...) and quite frankly, this being on FOX Fridays might not be the bestest of nights. I generally think Dollhouse is a too smart show for its own good to be on such a network like this. Then again, what do I know right?

I just hope people can overlook their cynicisms and just give it a chance. I've already liked it since the pilot, and fallen in love since the second episode, and Lord knows what other amazing stuff is going to happen in the future.
hardparade89hardparade89 on March 1st, 2009 05:02 am (UTC)
Oh yeah I totally agree. I do think another thing is people who loved Firefly and such watched it all in one go on DVD which is a different setting to watching an episode every week. In my opinion Dollhouse and Firefly were/are the only Joss shows that have grabbed me from the start. I didn't really get into Buffy until the second season and Angel the time of the Faith redemption arc (heh). This is Joss doing a 'grown up' show and the topic is pretty serious so I don't really see how it can be all giggles right off the bat. Fox and their gorram meddling not withstanding.

I'm starting to get a bit annoyed at the critiques of Eliza as well. I read a review from the from the New Yorker saying she was from the 'Royal Academy of cleavage'. I get it, you don't think she's a very good actress but did you really have to result in being derogatory on her...attributes? The more I think about it the more I think it's the reviewers problem and not hers acting-wise because they're not willing to look past Faith and her very pretty self.

I think the big test for Fox is when it's paired up again Prison Break because honestly, while I like TSCC I don't think it's doing it many favours ratings wise. If it lasts that long that is. :/

Sorry I rambled. Lame.
Renée: Terminator: TSCC.rogueslayer452 on March 1st, 2009 05:17 am (UTC)
his is Joss doing a 'grown up' show and the topic is pretty serious so I don't really see how it can be all giggles right off the bat

My thoughts exactly. And also, because this is more outside of Joss's normal realm that people are familiar with, many will automatically judge whether it is something they can like or not. I think most have a pre-judgmental perceptional when it comes to Joss Whedon; already fans have this image of what Whedon-like projects are supposed to be, and when the pilot aired it didn't meet to their expectations thus they resented it. I mean, I'm not putting down fans because I do think they are intelligent people, but sometimes they are hard cynical individuals that it's either "grab me now or I'm not buying it" which is kinda sad, imo.

I get it, you don't think she's a very good actress but did you really have to result in being derogatory on her...attributes?

THANK YOU! And quite frankly, it's also ironic considering that that's the basis of what the show is representing? The fact that Echo is inside this secret underground organization that exploits and degrades human beings as materialistic fantasy objects for whatever a client desires them? I mean, I don't know whether commenting on the constant cleavage and show of skin is a compliment about what the show is achieving at or an insult to the intelligence of what is behind it all.

And you're right, people are having a hard time trying to see past the Faith persona or, rather, Eliza in general. I mean if they think she's not a great actress fine, but there's no need to rant about it constantly. Just leave it and that and move the fuck on. (BTW, I love Eliza and I think she brings it every single week with these different personalities and can act the hell outta what's given to her, and even though I am biased and I love her I can still call her out on some stuff too, but so far in Dollhouse? She's nailing it and selling the character to me, making me love and care about her, which is impressive in itself for a character who has no personality of her own yet, we're getting there

I think the big test for Fox is when it's paired up again Prison Break because honestly, while I like TSCC I don't think it's doing it many favours ratings wise. If it lasts that long that is. :/

I really don't understand the ratings, other than it being on Fridays which is the Bad Luck of Timeslots EVAH, especially on FOX. I mean TSCC did well during its premiere midseason run, and I think it would've been nice if it had stayed on Monday nights and had Dollhouse paired with it there.

Aww, don't worry about rambling bb. As you can see, I'm a BIG FAN of rambling. XD
hardparade89hardparade89 on March 1st, 2009 06:19 am (UTC)
"grab me now or I'm not buying it" which is kinda sad, imo

I know it's the whole "Oh well the pilot sucked so I'm not watching it anymore. AND ELIZA SUUUUUCKS!!1!" I'm just like GAH! Your judging a show on a pilot?! Like a pilot pre-determines the awesomeness of a tv show. It takes time to build most of the time. This however comes from a cynical Whedonite cynic. Heh.

I don't know whether commenting on the constant cleavage and show of skin is a compliment about what the show is achieving at or an insult to the intelligence of what is behind it all.

I'm thinking it's the latter. Because so far I'm finding it hard to believe they are thinking about what the show is trying to achieve because they think it's all superficial. When really, thats what they are. Kinda poetic really.

Just leave it and that and move the fuck on.

SRSLY. I think she's awesome. I mean I did have doubts about her range once I heard about the show (and again when I read the original pilot) because she's been cast as the hot badass quite a bit, but so far I think she's doing a great job. Especially at the Tabula Rasa stuff. Plus Faith was pretty much the last thing of hers I saw her in so it's probably why I don't associate her with it as much as everyone else. And so far? The only time I saw faith was when she was fru er, I mean Jordan.

I don't get how the Ghost Whisperer and Flashpoint get such high ratings. o_0 CBS doesn't really have to try hard and they get the ratings. Weird. Personally I don't see why Dollhouse hasn't had the opportunity to have a big lead in. Wasn't it meant to originally be on after 24? *sigh* I don't know, if it had gotten that timeslot I wouldn't be so worried about it because it would have a greater chance of being renewed and possibly a bigger following if it was moved to Fridays in the next season. I don't believe for second it's on a Fridays for it to 'grow'. This is why I don't watch Fox shows -_-
Renée: Dean/Castiel. Serene.rogueslayer452 on March 1st, 2009 06:38 am (UTC)
Pilots hardly determine what the rest of the season is going to be like the majority of the time anyway. It's stupid to think that you'd quit because the pilot wasn't up to par with your expectations; it's a general setup of what the show is about, an introduction so to speak. It wasn't brilliant, but I still liked it, and come ep2 I was hooked. And I mean really hooked. People need to stop being so damn pessimistic.

so far I'm finding it hard to believe they are thinking about what the show is trying to achieve because they think it's all superficial. When really, thats what they are. Kinda poetic really.

Really poetic, because the show reflects how our society is and if people are reacting on the superficial layering well, I'm guessing this proves Joss's point entirely. Ironic and poetic, indeed.

Eliza playing Echo in her blank slate mode is very interesting and unique, especially after one of her engagements that required her to kick ass and take names and have major attitude, to a sudden mild and meek and innocent girl with no face or name. And her mannerisms, the way she interacts with people while in such a state, it's so sweet and friendly and innocent, very childlike, and I like seeing that. It's also how I kinda wanna see her play when she starts remembering and waking up (and in the next episode we'll be seeing that during an engagement when she suddenly is deactivated).

I never had doubts that Eliza has range, but perhaps it's because I've followed her through many projects (the good and the bad) and I've seen what she can do. But I can see where people can be wary about that fact. And yeah, Jordan was totally Faith-esque, but we've seen different versions and I have little doubt she can carry out such roles of different personas weekly. So no worries for me there.

I don't know, if it had gotten that timeslot I wouldn't be so worried about it because it would have a greater chance of being renewed and possibly a bigger following if it was moved to Fridays in the next season. I don't believe for second it's on a Fridays for it to 'grow'.

That's one of the worries I had when I learned FOX was having Dollhouse (and TSCC!!) move to Fridays, which everyone knows is the deathslot for all shows. Already I've read some people going "oh, there's a new TSCC? I didn't know it was back!" Which proves that FOX doesn't do advertising well, which is a major backlash to them getting high ratings for said shows. I want both of them to succeed but knowing FOX despite the promises something either has to change with their promotion or they need to stop having Joss shows going on those lethal timeslots.

Which has me wondering...what other network could Dollhouse work to gain more ratings?
hardparade89hardparade89 on March 1st, 2009 07:18 am (UTC)
I can't wait for the next episode for the mid engagement wipe. It looks so very interesting. :D

I've watched just about everything Eliza has done so I can be considered a fan. I don't worry for her range now because to me, she is doing a great job so far. I can only imagine her getting better at this point.

Already I've read some people going "oh, there's a new TSCC? I didn't know it was back!"

Hah same. I know a few people who didn't know it was back until I told them. Fail Fox. Fail.

Which has me wondering...what other network could Dollhouse work to gain more ratings?

I'm going to answer because I'm so lame and wondered myself. Perhaps The CW or NBC. CBS would ideal but I find all their shows very middle of the road that (perhaps that why they are such a ratings powerhouse?) I find it hard to believe Dollhouse would never get commissioned never mind get to the apparent episode six greatness (despite myself loving it right now). For me, I don't necessarily think about another 'big' network but if it was on cable (not the Scifi Channel. I'm a little bit over seeing Vancouver dressed up as other cities now.) like FX or Showtime I think it could retain a substantial part of that audience. However Cable doesn't pay as much as the big networks do so I'd wonder if they could afford it.

I do commend Fox on willing to take a risk with pilots like Wonderfalls, Firefly, Drive etc. unlike other networks but then they chicken out in the eleventh house with just makes me greatly dislike them for hurting my heart. :(
Renéerogueslayer452 on March 1st, 2009 07:41 am (UTC)
It's kinda interesting that FOX has supported TSCC and even Dollhouse and yet, they fail tremendously at promoting them when I'm sure other networks would've done it to death. Though it's good there's some advertisement for both, but to me it's not even to gain more viewers.

True. Sometimes it's hard to really think about which network can work out the kind of generosity FOX has given Eliza/Joss when pitching the idea of the show. And you're right, FOX does have the luck of airing pilots of shows other networks wouldn't touch, giving us a glimpse to the genius of some of them, but the downside is that they are too quick to pull the plug if ratings aren't high enough. This has me really wishing that even if people aren't sold on the idea yet, they give it a chance so ratings can be good enough to keep it going for a full season as ordered.
jello: six's halojelost on March 1st, 2009 05:13 am (UTC)
I adore your metas and am SO HAPPY you're doing them for Dollhouse!! There is so much meta to be had in this show it's unbelievable, and I never would've expected it. I can't believe other people aren't seeing that.

I'm really interested in how Echo is remembering things and thinking outside the box. Your theory about Alpha testing Echo makes a lot of sense, and makes me wonder what kind of purpose he has planned for her. This is Whedon, so I imagine it's something epic. Which would make me so happy.

Show has definitely climbed up my list of favorite shows. If FOX even thinks of canceling I'll be very, very unhappy.
Renée: Six. Seeing what others do not.rogueslayer452 on March 1st, 2009 05:27 am (UTC)
Hee! I'm just loving the twists and turns this show is providing, and yeah I never expected it to go this far into the meta either. I loves me some mystery. It is indeed sad that many aren't understanding the concept or aren't sold on the entire idea. I mean, going from vampires and space cowboys you'd think they can suspend their imaginations for something like this.

Dude, I have so many theories revolving around possibilities between Alpha and Echo, that one is the main top theory that is very plausible of so far we've seen. We may be getting more clues as we go along, and I can't wait. Srsly, this is Joss Whedon, he can mindfrak with us so much and I am anticipating all these turns he's providing us.

Yeah, and I mean they've already filmed like 13 eps so far. They can't stop now! I know there's new execs at FOX that gave the go-ahead for the show, but if they go back on their promise, boy, I will be PISSED OFF LIKE WHOA.
jello: evil insidejelost on March 1st, 2009 05:38 am (UTC)
Oh, I expect Whedon to mindfrak us til we're comatose, and it's gonna be awesome. Not particularly on the level of BSG, of course, but still quite a ride.

Come on, Show! Season 2, Season 2!!
Renée: Heroes. S1. Claire Bennet.rogueslayer452 on March 1st, 2009 05:43 am (UTC)
It's one of the things about Joss. He's unpredictable, and a combination with Eliza and Joss's brain? Oh yeah, there will be awesomeness and epic stuff happening. They did say it starts off slow, but as we get further and further into the season things will speed up and it'll get good. I cannot wait. :D

AT LEAST FINISH S1 FULLY AND I WILL BE A HAPPY CAMPER! :D :D :D
♛ part-time maenad: tahmoh; he so flyradon_ on March 1st, 2009 08:40 am (UTC)
I was kinda spoilt about Ballard's contact being a Doll from some promo video a few months back. WAY TO KILL THE REVEAL, INTERNET.

Alpha Alpha Alpha! I can't wait till we get to meet him! I think in some weird way he's trying to protect Echo by drugging her in ep2 (thereby she remembers the 'shoulder to the wheel' move, which btw, how hot was Matt Keeslar and his arms?) and allowing her to 'wake up' and be like him.

Also, I think Echo remembers Sierra from the mission, and what the latter's handler said about her being a bad influence, that was why she shook her head when Sierra wanted to come over and talk to her. But that's just me speculating.

ELIZA CAN SING. DAYUM. I think I love her a little more because of that.

And ITA, Fox better not cancel Dollhouse, because it's just that good and I need something to make my Fridays better after BSG ends.

edit: because I don't read over my comments before posting enough.

Edited at 2009-03-01 08:42 am (UTC)
Renée: DH. Paul. UNF.rogueslayer452 on March 1st, 2009 09:10 am (UTC)
I should've pieced it together since I think he's in the cast promo pics or something? But I thought that was totes cool nonetheless.

Alpha is such a fascinating addition even though we've never seen his face, and I like that there's this entire mystery surrounding him and his obsession with Echo in particular. I'm torn with either believing he's protecting her and wanting her to be on his side so that they can take down the Dollhouse for good, or out to get her in some twisted way. I'm for the former though, since that is my absolute theory about his so far.

I'm thinking along the same lines about Sierra's handler and why Echo shook her head. It seems that almost at the end of every episode, or these last two, has Echo remembering something from her previous engagement. I wanna know more!

OMG I KNOW! I was like, holy shit, girl's got vocals! Didn't know that! :D

This show has become my fascination crack, I'm just so enthralled. I'm so glad there are others on my flist that are loving it as much as I am, since there's a great deal of pessimism about the show and I'm tired of hearing the same whining and nitpicking. Ugh. THIS SHIT IS AWESOME RIGHT HERE Y'ALL!
♛ part-time maenad: tahmoh; he so flyradon_ on March 1st, 2009 09:17 am (UTC)
(I need Dollhouse icons, stat. BRB stealing the one you're using)

I like to think that Alpha is actually good. When we first saw Caroline, we saw that she was being sort of coerced to join the whole outfit, and I have a feeling that that's the case across the board with all the Actives: they were forced against their wishes and possibly blackmailed to work for this organisation. It's possible that once Alpha gained sentience, he rebelled against the Organization and wants to hurt in the most ways possible (ie, killing their actives, his handler and now giving Ballard random obscure notes and 'waking up' Echo) and HE HAS A PLAN. And I'm amazingly spoilt as to who's playing Alpha, so I'm kinda biased that way haha. He probably knows what happens to the Actives in the long run and feels that Echo is too special to have that happen to her? idk.

The nitpicking is annoying. EVERYONE STOP BITCHING RIGHT NOW. IT REALLY DOESN'T HAVE TO TAKE THIS SHOW GETTING ITS AWESOME ASS CANCELLED FOR YOU TO FINALLY REALIZE HOW GOOD IT IS. (ala Firefly 2.0)

edit: again, because I lack grammar skillz. GAH.

Edited at 2009-03-01 09:17 am (UTC)
Renéerogueslayer452 on March 1st, 2009 09:43 am (UTC)
(hee! I'm totes gonna be rotating mine later for moar, I needs some of Echo!)

Yeah, besides all this threatening about his being the "baddie" well, it depends on what you identify as being the bad guy. Clearly he's a threat to the Dollhouse for sure, but not to Echo or to Paul especially who is desperately trying to exploit and get answers to this mysterious Dollhouse. It just seems like the "Alpha is the villain" arc is a red-herring since we know that the Dollhouse is an illegal organization using a unique device for human trafficking, and it needs to be put down. Alpha is the one Active that escaped, and thought to be dead, but isn't. And has left Echo alive for some reason and is using this opportunity to get her to start doing what he did. Remember, change the information in her head, alter her programming just a little, use different strategic planning. All that.

Okay, getting ahead of myself with the theorizing but still. This is why this show is just...omg it's just! So many theories in my head, it's kinda like BSG but not really, y'know? In the way in mindfraks with you with speculations and whatnot. But yes, ALPHA HAS A PLAN!

PEOPLE NEEDS TO CHILLAX AND JUST ENJOY THE AWESOMENESS THAT IS DOLLHOUSE. AI'IGHT PPLS?! I DON'T WANT THIS TO BECOME ANOTHER FIREFLY WHERE PEOPLE ARE CONFUSED AND NOT SEEING THE GREATNESS UNTIL IT IS TOO LATE. BREAK THIS CURSE PLZ!!!!

Awww. *pets you* 'Tis okay for grammar mistakes. I forgive you. ;D
dartxnidartxni on March 2nd, 2009 10:43 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for this wonderful meta. One of the things I love about this show is that it intentionally injects metaphor into EVERYTHING. And metaphor leads directly to meta. I was watching the camera views in this episode, and for some reason they kept making me feel very voyeuristic, almost creepy as they _lingered_ over the scantily clad women. And then I realized that this feeling was intentional, and I gave a little fanish squee of glee.
Renée: DH. Echo. Blank slate.rogueslayer452 on March 2nd, 2009 04:46 pm (UTC)
I was watching the camera views in this episode, and for some reason they kept making me feel very voyeuristic, almost creepy as they _lingered_ over the scantily clad women. And then I realized that this feeling was intentional

Indeed, it was very intentional. If there's anything we know about Joss Whedon is that he likes his camera angles, and the metaphors for everything in Dollhouse are for a particular purpose and have meanings for it, which some people will see and others will not. But that's also about perception and how the viewer sees things of what the show offers.

Thank you for the comment, which btw, how did you come across my review? Out of curiosity.
dartxnidartxni on March 3rd, 2009 07:43 am (UTC)
Heh, actually, I googled "Dollhouse Meta."

Meta about a meta-filled show like Dollhouse is like mind porn for me.

Renée: BSG. Gaius frakkin' Baltar.rogueslayer452 on March 3rd, 2009 07:50 am (UTC)
Haha, okay then. It's just I didn't see we had any mutual friends or communities in common so I was curious. It's alright though, of course. Because meta is mindporn for me, as well. Especially for shows like Dollhouse that provide much thought-provoking meta topics. :)
dartxnidartxni on March 3rd, 2009 08:00 am (UTC)
Would you mind if I put you on my friend list, in case you post more episode reviews? I'm a Whedonite, so I can't be all bad, right? *angelic smile*
Renée: Summer Glau. Laugh.rogueslayer452 on March 3rd, 2009 08:07 am (UTC)
I wouldn't mind at all! More Whedonites the better, plus since I'll be doing more reviews and metas for Dollhouse I wouldn't mind for conversations and input regarding that. :D
amanda: [dollhouse] blank slatemorbidmuse on March 2nd, 2009 07:35 pm (UTC)
YAY, you are doing write ups for Dollhouse now! I'm so excited. :D

One of the things I liked is how Echo and Rayna aren't that different from each other, that they were both given opportunities to live a dream, however were both taken from their own life and were shaped and molded to becoming the Most Perfect Ideal Female Ever; that they have no control over their own life, it's the people they are contracted under that are controlling what they do, how they do it, and they have absolutely no say whatsoever.
Well put. I really liked that about the episode too. I saw some complaints about how obvious the parallel was, and I guess it wasn't overly subtle or anything, but I thought it was well played in the episode. And you just perfected summed up why.

He is testing and challenging her reactive skills, which I tend to believe that there is something inside of the real Caroline underneath all what the Dollhouse has been doing to her
I like that idea. That he sees something in Echo that is more Caroline than anything else, and thinks he can get to that despite the Dollhouse. I agree about him challenging her because he sees her as different and I like your theory. :)

I'm really enjoying the Alpha puzzle.

Oh, Tahmoh. I may not have known you existed a month ago, but now I'm a huge fan. SO PRETTY.

I didn't know Eliza could sing either! What an awesome surprise.

It was seeing Eliza in a Faith like role again. It had a nice, familiar feeling to it. :)

the irony concerning Rayna and Echo, that entire scene with their two bosses meeting inside the main director's office of the Dollhouse, clearly old friends, was very telling and kind of disturbing... It's scary really, knowing that you are controlled in such a way without knowing it, without seeing what's underneath and how disturbing it truly is.
So true. It was odd seeing these two people that have such power over people deciding the fate of others without them ever even knowing. It's sad.

I think some people aren't talking about Victor as a male doll because it was pretty well known before the show premiered that he was playing an Active. In the original, leaked pilot it wasn't supposed to be a secret. And in all the promotional stuff he is dressed as a Doll instead of in normal clothes. So a lot of people already knew he was an Active before the show started. But I was still surprised when they showed him in the chair at that moment. And I wasn't totally sure if he was an Active the whole time, or would be a made an Active later for knowing too much or something so that part was still a surprise.

Either way, I'm SO HAPPY that we finally have an established male Active. It is nice that it isn't just females on the show anymore.

I'm loving Sierra and her friendship with Echo. They are so very adorable.

YOU AREN'T THE ONLY ONE WHO THOUGHT OF FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC! OMG, I WAS SURE I WAS THE ONLY PERSON PROJECTING THE BOOK INTO THE SCENE!

I am so intrigued by this "attic" mentioned. I want to know more!


Dear FOX,

Please please pleaseeeee don't pull this show.

Please?

Love,

Amanda
Renée: DH. Echo. Blank slate.rogueslayer452 on March 3rd, 2009 12:06 am (UTC)
Hee, we be icontwins bb. \o/

Well put. I really liked that about the episode too. I saw some complaints about how obvious the parallel was, and I guess it wasn't overly subtle or anything, but I thought it was well played in the episode. And you just perfected summed up why.

What is with people and their complaining? First they don't see beyond the surface of what the show is about, and then they complain with the parallel is right in their faces, as it was purposefully meant to (even though I thought it was subtle enough, but whatev). MAKE UP YOUR MINDS PPL, GOD! Anyway, yes, it was very well played and it's sad because we know that Rayna can change her life around. Echo can't. :(

I like that idea. That he sees something in Echo that is more Caroline than anything else, and thinks he can get to that despite the Dollhouse. I agree about him challenging her because he sees her as different and I like your theory. :)

It just seems so plausible it would be this, at least what we've learned so far from the little we actually know of Alpha. Why would he go through all this trouble if it weren't something along those lines? Why did he keep Echo alive in particular? I'm very intrigued and curious about Alpha and what he truly means by these actions he's taking.

It's so nice for non-BSG ppls to see Tahmoh. It's funny because I see him here in DH and then afterwards as Helo in BSG. Haha! XD

I really loved seeing some aspects of Faith in this episode, just from her toughgirl attitude and hell, even the hair, was reminescing in old school BTVS and it was such a treat. And it's amazing seeing the different kinds of roles she gets to play. Like last week it was being chased and now this week she's the provoker and the hardass with the "I will smack you!" and "can I kick his ass first?" and that last scene with the trade-off stuff? Hell yeah! Also, I love that after all these different personalities she returns to the innocent "tabula rasa" state.

But I was still surprised when they showed him in the chair at that moment. And I wasn't totally sure if he was an Active the whole time, or would be a made an Active later for knowing too much or something so that part was still a surprise

I know right? And that would've been something to see, given the fact that I'm sure all Actives don't have any say in whether they sign up or not. Seeing Caroline in the very beginning she looked distressed, as though she had been forced there and had little choice in becoming part of the Dollhouse. Blackmail or something else? So yeah, that was a neat twist about Victor.

I was never worried about it being all females, since we did see that there are male Actives, we just never focused on one before. Now if we can see what kinds of engagements they pursue....

Sierra and Echo are adorable together. ♥

YOU AREN'T THE ONLY ONE WHO THOUGHT OF FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC! OMG, I WAS SURE I WAS THE ONLY PERSON PROJECTING THE BOOK INTO THE SCENE!

OMG SRSLY? YAY MORE BRAINTWIN ACTION FTW BB! \O/ I wanna know more about "the attic" and what kind of a place it is. A rehabilitation center for the out of control Actives or those who are damaged that need "repairs", or what? Or if that's where Alpha had been?

FOX better not unplug this show, not after signing the contract deal. I mean, without that deal there would've been no Dollhouse to begin with! But I'm stressing over the ratings, but sometimes a show can get horrible ratings but still see it through a season or two. But this is FOX, notorious for canceling promising shows before they even get to the good stuff.
Ariel: ats-faith-damned spotlodessa on March 3rd, 2009 06:55 am (UTC)
perhaps he remembered her from living inside the Dollhouse with him and that he had some sort of connection with her (much like how Echo and Sierra have a bonding despite their blank slate state) and sees the potential of waking up like he did.

I think that eventually we are going to find out that the whole damned process is flawed and any/all dolls may eventually collect personality. Because, Sierra also seems to be starting to recognize a bond to Echo... did you notice how she wanted to like hug Echo in the end of the episode and Echo waved her away. There was definitely actually communication going on past what should have been on both sides I think.

Of course this leads to the question of what is special about Echo if others also start remembering but I'm not ready to guess as to that.
Renée: DH. Echo. Blank slate.rogueslayer452 on March 3rd, 2009 08:05 am (UTC)
That's what I'm curious about, are the Actives allowed to form friendships during the tabula rasa state or are they wiped clean of everything even of that? I would like to know if that's what altered Alpha in some way and why he didn't kill Echo, and if it's a mixture of that and the faulty programming of their technology within the Dollhouse. Further into that, I would like to know more about how the Dollhouse got started, how many individuals they altered and if they turned bad or worse, and what if this "attic" is a result of that fact.

There's so many questions this show offers, so many mysteries that are going to be unfolded and I can't wait for those reveals.
Ariel: ats-faith-damned spotlodessa on March 6th, 2009 01:28 am (UTC)
Sigh. I just hope we get to some of the reveals before Fox axes it.