Epitaph Two: Return - Dollhouse [Season 2, Episode 13]
Review after the jump, in keeping with the no-spoiler policy for this crazy, crazy show that everyone will continue to ignore until fans start passing the DVDs around.
Oh man, I loved pretty much every minute of this! The way that extreme budget cuts forced this episode to go handheld and thus completely change the series’ visual style and pacing! The quiet music and muted shootout, making the peace and solitude of the safe haven in the previous scenes stand out far more than any of the gunplay! (Don’t know whether that was a conscious decision or the result of budget constraints, but regardless, it worked very well.) Characters who Whedon apparently named “Zone” and “Mag” with no humorous intent whatsoever! The emotionally moving scene that suddenly became hysterically funny when a table was flipped to the moan of “HE’S DEAAAAAAAD”! Everything involving Topher! The Harding imprint getting fat all day because there’s no longer any reason to give a shit about his body! The return of Felicia Day! Victor having his face Bedazzled in order to efficiently allocate space in his brain for the myriad of USB-thumb-drive skills he carried around his neck (which he can’t internalize all at once, because his brain can only store 80 gigabytes of data? He needs to get online, he needs a computer.) Come to think of it, pretty much everything the techheads said and did were hilarious. “Log off!” Cutting-edge slang!
But seriously, I lost a ton of respect for this show with the previous episode, and E2 has earned back almost all of it. There’s no optimal way to end a show with the budget/time issues Dollhouse had, but this comes very close. That’s why I’m fine with things like accepting the idea that, in the last 30 minutes of the series, Topher has come up with a device to reverse all of the damage he caused. It might not be plausible, but it does bring us closure, which is all one really can ask for given the circumstances.
So now we look to the future - namely, who’s most likely to start working again the soonest. On that note - series MVPs? Clearly Gjokaj and Kranz, with an honorable mention for Acker - the former really displayed his range this season (remember Belle Chose, when he played a serial killer and fantasy doll in the same episode?!) while the latter transformed from the most obnoxious character in the ensemble to the most intriguingly complex. Now, when it comes to Whedon and his writers… well, Whedon’s said he no longer wants to work with network TV, instead looking for something on cable or the Web. Obviously this would help his shows not get, uh, prematurely cancelled, but I wonder if I really want to see what the man’s output would look like without a network censor. He’s said in the past that he’d always wanted to delve into the sexual desires of the house’s clients, which FOX was against… add that with the significantly disturbing punch-Echo-in-the-face-so-she’ll remember plot point in this season’s premiere, and I don’t know if I’d be psyched to see something where he had unlimited creative control. (I realize I’m saying this without a lot of perspective, as this is the only Whedon show I’ve watched more than fifteen minutes of, so feel free to correct me if these conclusions are off base.)
To wrap this up, I’m very glad I watched the final season of its show as it aired (the decision to catch up on Season 1 was entirely thanks to Todd VanDerWerff’s article over at The House Next Door, so thanks to him for that). An interesting exploration of memory and identity coupled with crazy mind-blowing twists up there with the best of ‘em… this show will be missed!
(But I still can’t stop laughing at “log off”.)
- nontv posted this