[info]lilbreck wrote
on February 15th, 2009 at 09:11 pm

[Review] Dollhouse 1.01: Ghost

Writer: Joss Whedon
Director: Joss Whedon
Actors: Eliza Dushku, Tahmoh Penikett, Olivia Williams, Fran Kranz, Harry J. Lennix, Enver Gjokaj, Dichen Lachman, Amy Acker
Guest: Reed Diamond, Brett Claywell, Kurt Caceres, Haley Pullos, Oscar Orlando-Torres, David Doty, Vincent Laresca, Tim Kelleher


Echo is hired by a businessman to be the ultimate kidnapping negotiator when his young daughter is abducted. Meanwhile, FBI Agent Paul Ballard risks his career in his search for the elusive Dollhouse.


I'd like to say, first off, this is beautifully shot, IMO. Also, you get a feel that there's actually some depth to this world. A lot of questions were raised in this first episode.

  1. What did Caroline [Echo] do to get to the point where she thinks she doesn't have a choice but to sign up for this project?
  2. Would they actually let her go at the end of the 5 years, and would she actually have her personality after that?
  3. Who exactly started Paul on this case, how did they/he find out about Dollhouse?
  4. Dr. Saunders' scars, where did they come from, and how recent are they.
  5. Agent Ballard; will he be shirtless in all episodes? I'd tune in for that. Also, will he stay a 100 watt lightbulb or become a 60 watt lightbulb like Helo?
  6. What happened to Alpha?

I really am impressed with how well Eliza handled the personality differences. It was noticeable, but not over the top. I also like the choice of having Echo, when she's not out and about, having a child-like way of talking and viewing the world. It makes sense, given that she's been wiped of all personality and past. The scene where she's talking with the programmer about Matt and going back to the party and if it would come off as clingy was really kind of sad.

To be honest, I'm not really liking the programmer [Brink?]. He comes off as skeezy and not really a good person at all. He almost seems to have a bit of a god complex, and his focus on Dr. Saunders comes off as... wrong somehow. Also, he comes off as a bit in love with himself. Just my opinion, of course.

Agent Ballard was put to good use in exposition. Tahmoh did a good job with it. Also, his speech about nobody ever having everything they want struck true.

While the story about the kidnapped child was really solid, the episode itself came off kind of slow. Not terribly so, but the fact that the episode seemed to focus so many people seems to have bogged it down. I really hope that they only focus on one or two characters in future episodes.

Both my husband and I were both wondering, however, what do they 'dolls' think when they're not on assignment. Do they think they're just living in some sort of commune?

Given the nature of the show, I'm glad Joss opted to go with less of the humor that became his trademark. While you do see hints of it [the scene with Matt's friend not really 'getting' the Cinderella reference was a nice touch]. I'm hoping he doesn't fall back on humor, as the subject matter would be better handled without it showing up too much.

That's pretty much all for now.

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Making a Loud Noise Until Rescued

"I thought," said Piglet earnestly, "that if Eeyore stood at the bottom of the tree, and if Pooh stood on Eeyore's back, and if I stood on Pooh's shoulders----"

"And if Eeyore's back snapped suddenly, then we could all laugh. Ha ha! Amusing in a quiet way," said Eeyore, "but not really helpful."

"Well," said Piglet meekly, "I thought----"

"Would it break your back, Eeyore?" asked Pooh, very much surprised.

"That's what would be so interesting, Pooh. Not being quite sure till afterwards."

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