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04 December 2009 @ 11:15 pm
Dollhouse versus Dollhouse  
OH MY FRAKKING GOD.

This was a two-parter, but to me it felt like one huge two hour episode. And it was absolutely fantastic. Better than fantastic, it was just amazing all around.

I've been waiting for a Dollhouse versus Dollhouse kind of plot for some time, or just seeing another Dollhouse facility other than the Los Angeles location. It was nice seeing the differences between the two, how they're operated and the different technology used. Although I wished we could've seen the entirety of that other Dollhouse, we only saw just a small snippet of the outside where their dolls roamed about, but nonetheless seeing the technological parts? Was awesome. More awesome was SUMMER FUCKING GLAU WEARING GLASSES IN HER DEMENTED AND TWISTED WAYS! There wasn't much background, adding more intrigue to that mystery of how their operations work and how the head of that Dollhouse can encourage such actions (though knowing Rossum's corporation they probably do encourage it, plus Summer's character, Bennett, is quite scary, damaged and scary).

Anyway, I loved this inner-Dollhouse battle which is all connected to Rossum, a highly powerful corporation which uses manipulation even amongst other Dollhouses. It also appears that Adelle's Dollhouse is more in the dark than the other ones. It's making me very curious as to what their truest intentions really are, and judging from their impressions with Adelle I want to know what they plan on doing to that Dollhouse in the future.

Secondly, I want to address the remote wiping system which Topher invented. Small and with some complications, but nonetheless an advancement which is going to bring forth the future from "Epitaph One" into a reality.

I have a feeling that by working with Bennett, with her skills and knowledge in neuroscience, he might have inadvertently placed such technology of remote wiping directly into Rossum's hands, which is bad bad bad. Again, Rossum has destructive plans for their own gain and will use their Dollhouse facilities to achieve these goals however they can. I just, I'm amazed that Topher is even continuing with this project. Curiosity and somewhat helpful maybe, but in the wrong hands the fate of the entire world hangs in the balance, and we know this from the post-apocalyptic future in which we've seen. I'm just so fascinated, and scared, with what might happen to these characters.

WESLEY IS AN ACTIVE! OH HOLY SHIT! TOTALLY DID NOT SEE THAT COMING AT ALL! And the fact that his handler was pretending to be his wife, for three years? Wow.

I love the message about self-identity and self-discovery, and upon that scary realization knowing that you are never truly free. We know this from Madeline's story, no matter what you are still connected to the Dollhouse even after your contract is up. What is freedom? Are we truly free even if we escape? Where are those limits, what can be done to stop it? Should someone return to who they used to be, will the truth destroy them? We have Madeline learning the truth about what happened during her sleeper/doll state, the senator realizing he's actually a doll and later learning the horrifying truth that he killed someone, and we have Echo, who received a memory from someone else allowing her to see the truth about Caroline, who her original personality truly was. Which was surprising in and of itself, seeing a memory where there's a different version of Caroline that we haven't seen before now (makes me wondering when this happened, before or after her attempts at exposing Rossum and when she watched her boyfriend die and she escaped, running for her life?)

This really sets the bar that not everything is quite that simple, that Echo can't just break everyone out, there is no black and white; there's all this gray and it's confusing, it doesn't make sense. It's complicated and there's no real safe haven. And you know what? It's fascinating to see this play out, because I'm rooting for Echo and her wanting to find herself, and the fact that she's becoming her own person, acquiring all these different personalities and experiences from past engagements and making them her own -- and repeating what Whiskey was mentioning, not wanting to let herself die just to have that personality back again. Complicated, complex, amazing.

TOPHER AND VICTOR!TOPHER! HOLY SHIT ENVER IS FUCKING AMAZING WITH HIS IMPRESSIONS! HE WAS TOPHER, SPOT-ON AND PERFECT! RIGHT DOWN TO THE MANNERISMS AND VOICE, HOLY FUCKING SHIT! GIVE THIS MAN AN EMMY, FOR REALS NOW!

Summer Glau = evil genius, but also adorable with Topher. CUTE GEEKY LOVE! Too bad she had a master plan on killing Echo because of their disoriented past. But it makes me wonder how she managed to get into the Dollhouse business, or if she had been involved the entire time with Rossum and Caroline found out therefore not helping her. This makes things interesting....

Adelle Dewitt = HBIC. TRUFAX. ♥

Poor Madeline. She can never escape the Dollhouse, any Dollhouse. It seems that Bennett likes tormenting the dolls, showing them pain, having her relive her own (I think?) :(

Paul no longer participating with the Dollhouse, going rogue. From what we've seen in the preview, he and Echo meet up and are preparing to take down the Dollhouse together, as what we've seen from the future episode they kind of do team up in that sense. Though as far as the suspected romance between them, I don't think it'll happen. Echo seems more self-sufficient and stronger than that, she's not helpless and I think while Paul might still want to save her, Echo can take care of herself. Which is why I don't really ship her with anyone in the show.

I kinda wanna see them teaming up with Whiskey. Paul/Echo/Whiskey (and possibly Boyd, if he's game) against the Dollhouse? Hell yeah.

The biggest question though is who are the inside sources that wanted Paul to learn about the truth of the Dollhouse? Are they continuing to watch him, send him messages? Are they going to pop up again? Because I think that should be another factor to explore, or what we can with the limited episodes we have left.

Overall, I LOVED LOVED LOVED this return of Dollhouse. Loved. ♥


Now THIS is pure Joss Whedon, utterly and completely Joss Whedon right here. This is what should have been done with the show since the beginning, instead of FOX trying to control things because having more of these inner-mythology suspenseful episodes is far more interesting than episodic engagements. If anything, Dollhouse should have started with this dark stuff right off the bat, because it would have drawn in more viewers with the suspense and intrigue. Unfortunately, it didn't. I'm sad it'll be ending, and feel that these back-to-back two-hour episodes are more of FOX's way of getting rid of the show.

But I still love it, love the direction its heading and the complexities it holds. And from the previews for the next two episodes, it's going to be quite a doozy.
 
 
Current Mood: impressedimpressed
Current Music: Rihanna - Russian Roulette
 
 
 
a child dizzy on lemonade: :pfalsebeginnings on December 5th, 2009 07:31 am (UTC)
WESLEY IS AN ACTIVE! OH HOLY SHIT! TOTALLY DID NOT SEE THAT COMING AT ALL
OMG ME TOO. ONCE TOPHER'S DEVICE THING DIDN'T WORK ON HIS "WIFE" I HAD A BAD FEELING SOMETHING WAS WRONG AND THEN THEY SHOW WESLEY WITH HIS NOSE BLEEDING AND I WAS ALL LIKE "HOLY SHI....!!" IT WAS AWESOME.

CUTE GEEKY LOVE!
THEY WERE ADORABLE. TOO BAD SHE WAS KIND OF EVIL AND EVERYTHING BUT STILL IT WAS SO CUTE!
Renée: DH. Echo. Blank slate.rogueslayer452 on December 5th, 2009 07:38 am (UTC)
I FULLY EXPECTED IT TO BE THE WIFE THOUGH HELLO, THIS IS JOSS WHEDON. HE LIKES FUCKING WITH US AND THROWING IN RED-HERRINGS THAT I SHOULD HAVE SEEN SOMETHING UNEXPECTED COMING. BUT THAT IS THE GENIUS OF JOSS, LOL. :DD

THEY WERE REALLY REALLY ADORABLE, IF SHE WEREN'T EVIL I WOULD HAVE BEEN ROOTING FOR THEM TO GET TOGETHER WITH THEIR GEEKY LOVE. ;D BUT THE TOPHER/VICTOR!TOPHER CONVS? OMG LOLARIOUS SHIT! XD
Chinook McMutton Z: Dollhouse - All I Want for Christmasczgoldedition on December 5th, 2009 07:38 am (UTC)
Makes me wondering when this happened, before or after her attempts at exposing Rossum and when she watched her boyfriend die and she escaped, running for her life?

My guess is after and that the experience you cite hardened her. Maybe during the intermittent two years Adelle sights as having 'danced' with Caroline around the issue. It also sounded like Caroline made a reference to Rossum in one of the flash backs to the Bennett memory but I don't remember what, I'm going to have to rewatch the episodes tomorrow!

TOPHER AND VICTOR!TOPHER! HOLY SHIT ENVER IS FUCKING AMAZING WITH HIS IMPRESSIONS! HE WAS TOPHER, SPOT-ON AND PERFECT! RIGHT DOWN TO THE MANNERISMS AND VOICE, HOLY FUCKING SHIT! GIVE THIS MAN AN EMMY, FOR REALS NOW!

I KNOW RIGHT. The sheer talent Enver possesses blows me away.

if she had been involved the entire time with Rossum and Caroline found out therefore not helping her.

This was my theory as well, but I'm not sure!

I kinda wanna see them teaming up with Whiskey. Paul/Echo/Whiskey (and possibly Boyd, if he's game) against the Dollhouse? Hell yeah.

I can't really picture this. Whiskey is of course still Claire Saunders and I don't think Claire has any inherent desire to take down the Dollhouse. But who knows? Since she's run off, her motivations have obviously been in the dark to us.
Renée: Echo. Save Dollhouse.rogueslayer452 on December 5th, 2009 11:57 am (UTC)
My guess is after and that the experience you cite hardened her. Maybe during the intermittent two years Adelle sights as having 'danced' with Caroline around the issue.

That's what I'm thinking as well, though it makes me wonder how they got into that predicament in the first place which left Bennett there, alone, by herself, with Caroline coldly abandoning her. It's very interesting seeing that side of Caroline, and seeing Echo's reaction to having witnessed what she used to be, what Caroline had become which led her to the Dollhouse in the first place (hence her not returning back, she wants to figure things out on her own). I'm so intrigued with how Bennett and Caroline's story actually went down, is scary but also sad because it's that whole consequences thing all over again.

Whiskey is of course still Claire Saunders and I don't think Claire has any inherent desire to take down the Dollhouse. But who knows? Since she's run off, her motivations have obviously been in the dark to us.

That is very true, Claire had her own reasons for leaving and her security clearance for the Dollhouse permitted her to leave, though it makes me wonder how Claire is surviving out in the real world, outside of the Dollhouse and not watching over the Actives. Since that was her entire purpose as programmed into her. Which is precisely where Echo is at right now, she's trying to find her purpose in life without the Dollhouse but is so lost. I just think the scenario of Claire meeting up/helping Echo would be kinda interesting. Or if something happened to her on the outside.

Also? I kinda wanna know Whiskey's background and who she was. I don't know if we're ever going to get to that, with the limited episodes and all, but it's gotten me curious. But I don't know if that would be relevant since this is who she is now, with no desire of returning back to who she used to be and becoming her own person. An individual, despite being a doll.
M: dollhouse dollsmfirefly10 on December 5th, 2009 08:12 am (UTC)
Topher!Victor FTW!!! Enver continues to blow me away with his impressions. I thought his version of Dominic was great but this...actually managed to beat that!

I thought these episode were wonderful and just more proof that when this show deals with mythology and the inner-workings of the Dollhouse, we get really good episodes. Like you, I really wish the show had been like this from the start, not only making at a better series but also giving us a better chance to see it all get wrapped up. Now, even though they have some time to plan the ending, I think we're going to be left with a lot of loose ends.

Poor Madeline:( I really hope Bennett doesn't torture her too much. It seems to me like she's going to make Madeline into her doll, one she can program to destroy Caroline. Which pretty much guarantees that she'll be killed off before the end. I pretty much knew would happen because Joss always kills my favs. He already killed poor Whiskey in EO!

And I'm starting to agree with you that they might not do the Echo/Paul thing. I've never liked them together romantically and I'm starting to think the writers realize they don't really have enough time to flesh out the relationship enough to turn it into something romantic/sexual. Especially since Echo!Caroline is still technically a doll. After everything that happened with Madeline, I can't see Paul knowinly getting involved with a doll again.
Renée: DH. Priya.rogueslayer452 on December 5th, 2009 11:36 am (UTC)
Enver continues to blow me away with his impressions. I thought his version of Dominic was great but this...actually managed to beat that!

I know right? He completely owned those moments. He just became Topher, I was blown away by his performance. :D

It's upsetting knowing that this is what Dollhouse could have started out with, because these episodes that we've gotten this season? Are awesome and epic. But yeah, I do have a feeling we're going to be having a lot of loose ends and things left unanswered and unexplained. If only the show had been given a definite timeframe so Joss could explore and flesh things out without those one-shot episodes, you know? At least we're getting these back-to-back episodes this month and the rest of the season.

It seems to me like she's going to make Madeline into her doll, one she can program to destroy Caroline. Which pretty much guarantees that she'll be killed off before the end.

That's actually a very plausible scenario, though I don't think Caroline will be destroyed or killed off. If the future in what we see in "Epitaph One" does come true, as I'm thinking it might, Caroline/Echo does survive. But not without a fight from those wanting to destroy her, of course.

Did Whiskey really die in "Epitaph One"? I don't believe she did, she just "fell asleep", at least in my opinion.

There might be some tension between them, but I don't think anything will happen because, like you said, there isn't enough time to flesh out their characters being together romantically. Paul might have left over feelings because of his "white knight" complex of wanting to save her, but Echo is becoming her own person and adding romance into that situation would be kinda awkward. Also? I'd much rather have Echo not be involved with anyone because of that. She seems better off by herself.
♛ part-time maenad: dollhouse; echoesradon_ on December 5th, 2009 11:30 am (UTC)
-flails- OMG IT WAS SO AWESOME. I KINDA SUSPECTED THAT WESLEY MIGHT BE AN ACTIVE, BUT WENT ALL 'NAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH JOSS WOULDN'T MAKE THE UPRIGHT STANDING SENATOR GUY A DOLL' AND HE DID THAT AND MY MIND WAS BLOWN.

THIS IS WHY JOSS IS BOSS, Y'ALL.

Topher!Victor is BRILLIANT. Topher's adorable, as usual. Topher/Bennett? OMG I SHIP IT. Despite the whole evil programmed human under the Alliance thing she's got going on. (so is she really a Doll or is she real!Bennett? I really want to know her past with Echo. How did Caroline's BFF become such a genius programmer person working for the Dollhouse? Did she offer Caroline to the Dollhouse? INTRIGUED, I AM.) And if Bennett's a doll, that makes 3 of Summer Glau's characters programmed heh.

I love the whole Dollhouse vs Dollhouse concept. And I really think that the LA dolls have it much better so far. DC's environment was pretty sterile, clinical (still, Greek gods ftw! If only Jamie didn't gueststar as an arms dealer, then they could have opened up a guest spot as Apollo heh. /wishful thinking) compared with LA's whole serenity~ and peace and resort-like concept. I wish Fox didn't cancel the show, I really want to know how it all ends etc.

Summer creeped me out. Majorly. River's psycho was adorable at time, this one was just CREEPY AND SCARY AND -runs in the other direction-

omg yesssssss I never shipped Echo/Paul either. It was a little weird, imo. I mostly thought of it as a Paul-wanting-to-be-a-white-knight thing. He likes lost causes and he wants to save her from the Big Bad Corporation, and that was abot it. Want them to kick ass though.
Renée: DH. Echo. Blank slate.rogueslayer452 on December 5th, 2009 12:25 pm (UTC)
HELLS YEAH JOSS IS BOSS, AND FOX SHOULD HAVE GIVEN HIM FREE REIGN LIKE THIS SINCE DAY ONE. LOOKIT AT THE SHEER BRILLIANCE OF THIS SHIT! SRSLY NOW.

I'm certain that Bennett is really Bennett, but she definitely seemed to be tweaking a bit in the beginning, wasn't she? I was starting to think that she, too, was a doll herself until Topher debunked that (and Joss said that he didn't want her to become a doll or anything like that because, you know, of typecasting). But it does rise that excellent question about who she is, how she landed in that DC Dollhouse and when, precisely, she and Caroline had been friends and that whole incident took place.

I have my theories that she and Caroline had been working together, something in connection with Rossum, until Caroline learned that Bennett had been involved with a Rossum project of sorts, and that is why she just left her there. Because Rossum represents everything Caroline despises. But I don't know. Really wish they can revisit this, because I am very intrigued with how it all played out.

The differences between the two Dollhouses was interesting to see. I assumed that all Dollhouses had the same kind of interior concept and/or design, it seems not. Which makes the LA-based Dollhouse seem not so bad compared to the DC one. Not only with how it looks, but with how they're operated; Adelle seems very concerned about her Actives unlike others do underneath that organization. I really am appreciating the kind of foodchain that's set up between the Dollhouses and Rossum, that kind of power trip (ex. seeing Adelle and her Rossum superior, she definitely is very intimidated by him but certainly wants to play things her way, despite whatever consequences might happen in the process).

Summer creeped me out. Majorly. River's psycho was adorable at time, this one was just CREEPY AND SCARY AND -runs in the other direction-

SRSLY! I WAS LIKE OMGWHOA SUMMER, GOING CREEPY THERE! River was definitely in that wacky crazy feel, but Bennett was on the level of OMG PSYCHOPATHIC CHICK RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! :O Summer is one damn good actress, just damn. Love her.

In the beginning I kinda like the idea of Paul/Echo, or at least Paul/Caroline. But now it would definitely seem weird and awkward at this point, because with Echo becoming her own person and dealing with all what she has to figure out, I would much rather have her and Paul team up to fight against the Dollhouse/Rossum organization.
Nicole Anell: dollhousenicole_anell on December 5th, 2009 01:24 pm (UTC)
NEEDS MORE WHISKEY.

In other news, Enver is amazing.
Renée: DH. Echo. Blank slate.rogueslayer452 on December 5th, 2009 01:26 pm (UTC)
EVERY EPISODES NEEDS MOAR WHISKEY! Also, there was no Sierra in these episodes, and it kinda made me sad. :(

But Enver was like, whoa. I was laughing so hard because Topher talking to his own personality? LOLING FOREVER! XDDD
noybusiness on December 5th, 2009 03:19 pm (UTC)
I'll add I liked the Greek god codenames for the D.C. Actives. BSG shoutout on the sly?
Renée: Cylons. By your command!rogueslayer452 on December 5th, 2009 10:05 pm (UTC)
Oh, definitely a BSG shoutout for sure. Oh Joss, you fanboy you. ;)