[info]lilbreck wrote
on March 8th, 2009 at 09:28 pm

[Review] Dollhouse 1.02: The Target

Writer: Steven S. DeKnight
Director: Steven S. DeKnight
Actors: Eliza Dushku, Tahmoh Penikett, Olivia Williams, Fran Kranz, Harry J. Lennix, Enver Gjokaj, Dichen Lachman, Amy Acker
Guest: Jennifer Segal, Erin Cummings, Rico E. Anderson, Omar Adam, Tim Conlon, Rich McDonald, Miracle Laurie, Reed Diamond, Matt Keeslar, Alla Greene, Mark A. Sheppard, Kevin Sizemore

Echo becomes the ultimate outdoorswoman when she is is hired by a handsome young client named Richard, but it may turn out that neither of the pair is what they seem to be. Meanwhile, Agent Ballard receives a clue about Echo's past, and we learn about Dr. Saunders' scars and the rogue active "Alpha".

When I watched the first episode, I had hope for this show. The second episode has raised that hope up even higher.

We open up [after the previouslies] on a flashback of an alarm blaring in the Dollhouse and the dolls being ushered to their freaky sunk in beds. No, I still don't like those. Another thing I don't like is Laurence. I'm pretty sure that I'm not supposed to like him and his attitude. His conversation with Echo at the end makes me want him to die in the show. I've decided I dislike him more than Topher.

As the security force led by Laurence moves further in, we find a bunch of dead dolls in the shower room, save a bloody and confused Echo who says "They won't wake up."

Yes, the whole blank slate thing is creepy as hell, and they really don't seem to want us to forget it. I actually like this. You know what else is creepy? DeWitt's little speech to the customer about the dolls. It seems like it should be something that comes straight out of The Clockwork Orange, 1984, or Logan's Run. My references could be off, but you get what I mean. It's all said in a very soothing and pleasant voice that just makes the message all that much more creepy and terrifying. Also creepy is how they're willing to send out the dolls on dangerous assignments, potentially deadly ones, and only ask for more money. I guess this is just to show again that the people who run it aren't really that good of people.

Topher is still creepy, but it's funny at times. 'Deep, deep man love'. I'm not on board with liking him in all his creepy, god-complex glory, but I could eventually be. It still makes me smile that Langton called out the fact that what they do there is creepy. Langton seems to have a thing for forcing people to face the truth. He's a great character that way.

Yes, I'm one of the many people who apparently yelled out 'Wrong Turn!' when Echo was running from the crazy killer. At least this episode was better than that movie. However, if you have to poison a girl to catch her, that's just cheating. The standoff between Echo and the crazy guy was pretty damn good, IMO. I kept expecting Langston to come in at the end and save her, but I like it better that she saved herself. I also love that we find out that 'someone' [probably Alpha] pointed the crazy guy in her direction. In fact, it's more than likely Alpha given the fake sheriff's condition.

Okay, I have a question; why was Dr. Saunders left alive? Was Alpha just interrupted? Or does he have fond memories of her? I can live without those answers, to be honest. And I love that Langton comes right out and asks the important question. Namely, why didn't Alpha kill Echo? So far, I think it has something to do with her being able to retain some of her memories from her life before the Dollhouse and from her assignments. Maybe he thinks she could be just like him. Guess we'll find out.

I love how they have the handlers all ready to go with back-up identities for when they are questioned. But what I love even more is that Langton was able to over-power the guy who was there to try and stop him from interfering with Echo's death.

The relationship between Echo and Langton is very father/daughter and extremely touching. It's like as soon as she looked him in the eye and placed all her trust in him, she became more than just a job to him. That could also explain why he didn't say anything about her apparent retention of the blank slate personality and other imprints. That whole reversal of the call and response dialog was a nice touch. The cuddle at the end as they waited for the rescue guys was also a very nice touch. I really can't wait to see this relationship unfold as the series goes on.

Okay, one last thought. Ballard is very observant when it comes to work, but totally fucking clueless when it comes to a woman coming onto him. Yet again, Tahmoh appears to be playing a 60 watt man in a 100 watt world. His neighbor is so hard core hitting on him and he just totally doesn't see it! Makes you wanna smack him.

I lied, one more thought. The shoulder smack at the end? Might have been a bit much and should have come after different dialog, I think. However, I do get the point. All in all, a pretty damn good episode.

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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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October 2011