12
Dec
2009
Dollhouse: Season 2, Episode 7 and 8
Meet Jane Doe/ A Love Supreme
Jordan
Dollhouse is clearly gearing up toward its finale next month, and in that spirit, "Meet Jane Doe" does a lot of heavy lifting in terms of moving the plot. We begin as Echo wanders through the world, scrounging for food in her Doll-like state, and then leap a pretty shocking three months ahead to find that the pieces have moved immensely in the interim. Echo has developed an anti-Dollhouse agenda and spent most of her time trying to break a woman out of prison (she was an immigrant who Echo stole food to feed, and she's being abused by some prison guards that haven't heard of the Constitution, including Glenn Morshower, who solidly plays a character that is pretty much the direct inverse of his chivalrous Aaron Pierce over on 24) and training with Ballard for what's to come. Meanwhile Matthew Harding has stripped Adelle of her house, taking it over himself and moving things inexirably toward the future we've seen in "Epitaph One."

Echo's quest to free the woman from jail reminds me perfectly that the show can be just as thrilling and tense as it is intellectually stimulating, and watching Echo shift through personality's was a bit like seeing Heroes done right--her power to adapt through the numerous people she stores in her, and her newfound sense of self (and sense of humor) makes her into a character I actually sort of love. This makes things vastly more interesting, as Caroline has always been very unlikable, and at some point in the remaining weeks the struggle for which personality will end up in control of the body is going to come to a head (if I had to guess, I would assume either some sort of amalgamation will end up being "Caroline" or that Echo will nobly sacrifice herself for the bland bitch who inhabited the body first. But then again, this show continues to surprise me, so who knows what'll happen next?).

While Echo struggles to deal with the realities of the real world, Adelle works to regain control of her house by any means necessary, including turning plans for remote imprints that Topher figured out over to Harding. Adelle has forsaken the idea of being ethical, as she has realized that Rossum has too much power at this point to actively resist them. So, for the moment at least, she has sold her sould and sacked up with the bad guys, turning herseld into "the coldest bitch on the planet" and locking Echo up without a treatment when she returns to the house.

"A Love Supreme" began with the kind of monologue a movie might open with, as we learned of a man who programmed a woman to love him, and then found that he loved her back. He blew his whole fortune on spending time with her, and now lives in a trailer, where he is telling his story to none other than Alpha. It was clear that Alan Tudyk would be back before the end of the series, but they was he returned was more thrilling and amusing than I could have hoped. It seems Alpha is out to kill all of Echo's previous romantic engagements, including (fortunately for us viewers) Patton Oswalt's Joel Mynor. Mynor's return was a treat in an of itself, but the idea that he has stopped using the Dollhouse and moved on, only to see his dead wife (mostly) walk up to him and force him back into that world was interesting, and played with both humor and pathos by Oswalt, who continues to prove his depth as an actor.

Of course, Patton was just the bait, and when Alpha pulled the switch and took on Ballard, things exploded even further. It is a testament to the strength of these hours that I alredy truly believe Echo's love for Ballard, and sympathize with her pain at his condition. We have seen the future, however, and know that Ballard will make it back at some point (Though I wonder if it might just be an imprint of Ballard into his own body). The scene at the end of the episode, when Joel says goodbye to "Rebecca" for the last time was on par with anthing else this show has done in terms of creating a realistic interactions between two characters in a very unreal situation, and while Oswalt did the heavy lifting, I will give credit where it is due and allow that Dusku was pretty solid tonight as well.

Dollhouse may be coming to an end, but it seems determined to go out with a bang, giving us some of the best television I've seen in years in the process, and leaving me excited beyond belief for what's to come.

Grade: A

Notes:

-I loved Topher remote wiping VIctor and Sierra as they started making out. He just looked so annoyed.

-"I have to ask. Did you ever think of just imprinting a doll to kill me?" "I like to think I would have done it myself."

-"You want to know the saddest part? Its the ending." Tudyk is just phenomenal, and his Alpha gets to be funny and scary at the same time.

-"what does that make her? What is she?" Topher asking the questions of the series.

-"' Not tonight honey, I have a headache' is not really one of the excuses we allow our actives." Which should be enough to tip you off that what you're doing is wrong...

-"So she's a serial killer?" "Only a little."

-"I am obsolete. This must be what old people feel like. And blockbuster."

-Sierra and Victor didn't have much to do, but Victor's creepy psychologist, and Sierra's noirish gangster's moll were both a treat to watch.

-"I said it was a blast." "Who doesn't love a pun?"

-"You have to put it together?" "Its the Manufacturing Room, not the Its Finished Room!"

-"Your boyfriend is dead. Wanna snuggle? Too soon?"
Tags: Dollhouse
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