[Review] Dollhouse 1.08 Needs

Writer:Tracy Bellomo
Director:Félix Enríquez Alcalá
Actors:Eliza Dushku, Tahmoh Penikett, Olivia Williams, Fran Kranz, Harry J. Lennix, Enver Gjokaj, Dichen Lachman, Reed Diamond, Miracle Laurie, Amy Acker
Guest:Teddy Sears, Emma Bell, Skyler Stone, Angel Desai, Vincent Ventresca, Joe Wandell


When Echo, Sierra, Victor, and November awaken in the Dollhouse with most of their original personalities and memories intact, Echo leads the charge to free the Actives from their apparent captivity and escape the Dollhouse forever. Meanwhile, Ballard discovers the Dollhouse is closer than he thinks.

My Thoughts:

Right off the bat, I really started to dislike Ballard. The sexual tone that has taken over his Caroline obsession [which at this point has over-taken his Dollhouse obsession] squick me to no end. He's slowly but surely becoming no better than the Dollhouse clients he apparently found disgusting before. On the days I'm feeling generous, I can say that it's just the nature of the engagements and how everyone has accused him of having this fantasy revolving around 'rescuing' Caroline that have influenced the dream. And, possibly, Mellie showing up could be a reflection of how his need to protect and take care of her is in conflict with his Dollhouse/Caroline obsession. However, today isn't one of those days. I do enjoy how it's dream!Mellie that causes him to look for bugs in his apartment. But enough about that.

Going in, given where in the season this episode was located, I knew the 'awakening' would be a fake-out of some sort. I even figured that it would be done by Adelle. I, however, was not expecting everyone to be in on it [though I should have], nor that it would be Claire's idea. I did enjoy the way it was revealed, though. I also enjoyed the way they showed the glitches. How adorable and aww worthy was Victor waiting up for Sierra? What I didn't like was how hit over the head I felt by the anvils of what these people were before they came to the Dollhouse. Maybe a phrase or two, but not every other freaking sentence once they woke up. I did love Victor's take-charge attitude and the fact that he had the right idea about blending in. However, none of them did a very good job of blending in, they didn't even seem to be trying. In fact, that's kind of what started to clue me in that everyone was in on it. It was either that or the writing was just that bad. While that has happened on a Joss show far too often for my tastes, I was willing to give the show the benefit of the doubt, and I'm glad I did. Also, I'm glad it was not only a way to give the actives closure, but a way to test the staff. It almost makes me believe that the Dollhouse runners are competent.

On a shallow note, why, out of all the outfits she could have chosen, did November choose that dress? Really. However, I did get slashy ideas from Echo and November hidden in the clothes together. I think it was the fact that Echo was sitting there, holding on to November, eyes all closed. Either that or my mind is just wondering and going off on a tangent. That's always possible. It's how I became convinced that Buffy was hot for Willow on BtVS.

This episode once again showed me that Caroline, with or without her memories, is a complete idiot. What was her plan going back into the Dollhouse? How, exactly, was she planning to make a difference? Caroline has a sever savior complex without the intelligence and instinct to make it a good and endearing characteristic. She's not even smart enough to have it be a tragic flaw. I like her better as a doll, to be honest. Adelle did have it right when she said Caroline never was very realistic. I'd really like to know how long Echo has been there.

Given November's sad look, who did not see it coming that her daughter was dead? That just hurt. Victor and Sierra at the end in the utility closet were just so very bittersweet. And, while the shot of Echo/Caroline leading the other dolls out was beautiful.... she's still an idiot in my book. I just have a question: Did Echo hear that Sierra was brought in by men with guns? I know she was told that a man named Nolan brought Sierra in, but did she know it was against her will? If so, why didn't she throw that one in DeWitt's face? Speaking of DeWitt, while I did enjoy her for the most part in the episode, I wanted to smack the smug, self-important, and superior look of her face. Anyone else, or what it just me?

My favorite part of the show [besides the Victor/Sierra bits] is the ending conversation between Boyd and Claire. I like how Boyd said 'free us all' and not 'free them all'. It shows you how much he's connected with Echo, and possibly hints that he feels trapped in the Dollhouse. That last part is pure conjecture on my part. How else could such an obviously good and moral man end up working for the devil? It looked like Claire was honestly confused, and maybe a bit hurt, over the fact that Boyd didn't seem to agree with her and her method.

All in all, I have to say I enjoyed this episode more than the last one.

Comments

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

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