[info]lilbreck wrote
on March 14th, 2009 at 03:16 pm

[Review] Dollhouse 1.05: True Believer

Writer: Tim Minear
Director: Allan Kroeker
Actors: Eliza Dushku, Tahmoh Penikett, Olivia Williams, Fran Kranz, Harry J. Lennix, Enver Gjokaj, Dichen Lachman, Reed Diamond, Amy Acker
Guest: Miracle Laurie, Brian Bloom, Aisha Hinds, Rebecca Field, Angus Sutherland, Mark Totty, Sam Hennings, Brad Hunt, David Alpay

Echo becomes a blind woman so that she can infiltrate a very secretive and well-guarded cult.

I'll start out by telling you that, while this episode wasn't as good as the first four, in my opinion, it was still a decent episode that seems to have hinted at and set up some interesting things for the show's future episodes. The previouslies are still pointless in my opinion, however, it's possible that some people still need them and would like to keep them, so I can ignore them.

The cult people coming in singing were annoying, however, you really can't help but dislike some of the towns people. The anvil/parallel between the cult and the Dollhouse was saved by the fact that the show came out and acknowledged it in a sarcastic manor. However, the speech by DeWitt at the end regarding temptation and Victor was just this side of too much.

I really liked that they showed that the cult, while led by a morally corrupt man, was not evil, and the people weren't wanting to be violent as they apparently been forced to, or came close to being forced to, in the past. I also liked that they showed the ATF people weren't necessarily the 'good guys' in all this. I have a question, though. How much of the ATF guy's suspicions are correct, and how much are Jonas' motives corrupt and how much are they actually him wanting to protect his people? Given that the ATF guy planted 'evidence' or something similar this time around, what's to day he didn't last time around? It's all very 'shades of grey', much like the real world.

I was actually moved by 'Ester's' speech about her vision. I think it was a great touch and a fitting way for her to get in. Also, it makes sense that Jonas was wary of the 'miracle' and I like that he was smart enough to know how to test her. Out of the show, part of me wonders exactly how they get the non-reaction when they're filming. The tech behind her being able to know the faces and such seems a bit beyond possibility, but this is a show where people's personalities get wiped and they get new ones on a routine basis. I can accept it, and like that they bothered to try and explain it in a manner fitting in with the show's canon.

'Ester' saving the people was a great touch, as well. She seems to be pre-deposed to heroics and being a strong woman. I like that, it makes her less of a victim and more of a person overcoming the things that have been done to them. It's actually a very nice message.

Ballard is... just too adorable for words.

“Was that flirting?”
“I think so. It's been a while. Did I mention I was shot?”

The look on his face while he said that kinda made me giggle. I think I might be turning into a fangirl. The whole conversation he had over the phone with Mellie where she's broke into his apartment and brought him his 'drugs' was too funny. And the way the agent looked at him during the conversation and after he explained was perfect, IMO.

Mellie and her 'left overs'! First, I want her recipes, I so want to make manicotti. She's so blatant [she probably started out more subtle] and he is so very oblivious. Part of me really wants them to hook up. Poor Mellie, Ballard is just so very blind. I hope he gets a clue soon, I'd love to see his reaction.

I love that he's getting closer to the Dollhouse and can't wait for him to actually come face to face with Echo.

Agent Dominic is falling further and further into my 'can't stand and want to be offed' category. He wants Echo out one way or another. His comes off as skeevy and evil. I actually like Topher far more than I like him. At least Topher seems to have a touch of humanity in him, Dominic, not so much. The rifle but to the face really doesn't help me like him anymore. DeWitt seems to be losing patience with him as well. I can only hope this means that he is not long for this show. The actor is doing a great job making me hate a character I'm pretty darn sure we're supposed to hate, so, part of me wants him to stay on. I'm conflicted.

As much as I dislike Topher, I love his interactions with Dr. Saunders. Though, every time I see her, I still get a flash that this is a strange, bleak, all hop is lost AU of W&H and poor Fred is the only member of the gang, save a captured Faith, who has survived. It's not a discredit to the actress, she's perfect, it's just a testament to my love of Fred and how much the Dollhouse looks like it would fit in perfectly as a Wolfram and Hart building.

Back to the show, I love that Dr. Saunders is still ethical and caring about her patients. It moves the Dollhouse further out of the black hat and into the grey area. Gotta love that! I also can't help but love that she made Topher uncomfortable and the fact that we're back to the fact that nobody reads her reports. Them having to watch the shower tapes was a nice bit of comedy.

As usual, the interaction between Boyd and Echo is spot on. He's very at ease with her [contrasted with how he was before and during their first mission] and is always looking out for her.

“I admire your courage, hitchhiking across country.”
“Because I'm blind?”
“Nah, cause your a girl.”

They were a bit heavy handed, again, with the bit about forgetting/being a new person. However, they are getting better and better at it.

It seems fitting that Echo tells Boyd she thought he was an angel. Their relationship really seems to be that of a very protective father who is doing his best to guide his daughter as she grows up and learns the world around her. I think this is most reflected in the fact that he hasn't tried to discourage her from remember things she shouldn't, nor has he told the people in charge about it. He's simply appears to accepted the 'glitches/composite events' as natural and welcome.

“I know you. How is that possible?”
“It's not.”

And those glitches have helped her survive the things that Alpha has thrown at her. Though, I don't think he threw the Stage Fright mission or this one at her. It's nice to know that not all the ones where things don't go as planned have to do with Alpha. He's not as omnipresent as he could be, which helps reduce the hype, and gives him a chance to live up to it.

Speaking of things happening that shouldn't be happening.... Man reactions. It really paralleled the fact that the cult was talking about the garden and Adam and Eve. Though, really, they should never have had a co-ed shower area. It's the same problem I have with the tree in the garden. If there's something you REALLY don't want to happen, don't stick it right smack dab in the middle of everything where it might become a temptation. I'm worried about what could happen with this, though. Victor's reaction [confused glance at his 'man reaction'] was funny, but you have to worry about what this is setting up.

Now for the ending 'lets see what Echo remembers' scene. They were much more subtle about it this time. It's obvious that she remembers Dominic hitting her, or at least the fact that he's been aggressively against her. It makes me wonder if he was the same way with Alpha, or if he's that way with Echo because of Alpha. I cant' wait to see where it leads.

Wow, looking back, maybe I did enjoy it more than I previously thought. Maybe it's just better during the second viewing.

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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