Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"Dollhouse" of the Lord

This week's episode was called "True Believer," and it was written by Tim Minear.

So, some singing members of a religious cult go into town to buy supplies, passing a note to the cashier at the gas station. On the back of the note, they find a plea for help. So, Echo is sent in there to gain the trust of the group, and especially their leader, who never comes out of there. The Dollhouse implants Echo with a camera in her eyes, and takes away her sight, so that she'll be blind. I didn't really get it either, but if you can buy that people can be imprinted with skills, personality, and memories, you should be able to accept that they can make you blind and turn you into a breathing camcorder.

Paul Ballard tries to find Echo/Caroline by using one of those facial recognition programs, but it turns nothing up. He also grows closer to his friendly neighbour Ellie, though that seems like little comfort to Agent Ballard.

Echo's personality is a very sweet, very trusting young woman, and sure enough, the group takes her into their compound. Their leader does check to make sure she's really blind, and is suspicious of her . . . but not too much to take her into his armoury, where the government agents (and Langton) can see enough guns to give Ted Nugent an erection.

Echo, apparently, has not been given any special instructions beyond joining them and convincing them of her faith. But once the g-men arrive and surround the compound, the religious leader knows who must have brought them there. He punches Echo, and a miracle happens . . . her sight returns.

Oh, and speaking of miracles (and erections), it would seem that Victor, the "Russian" Active, has been renobbing out when he sees Sierra in the shower. This should not be possible because the Dolls, when they are in their childlike state, are supposedly incapable of this sort of thing. And also, while they're sleeping, they are flashed images of Rosie O'Donnell dressed in leather, to further prevent boneage.

Anyway, the cult leader starts a fire, deciding that they should all burn up and depend on the Lord to protect them, but Echo knocks him out and tells everyone that they should live rather than throw their lives away on their knees. Well, Langton gets her out of there, and only the cult leader ends up dying. In the end, we find out that the government agent in charge of everything had manipulated the events so he could get a warrant and raid the compound, even going so far as to write the "Help me" note himself.

But I'm sure miracles still happen, kids. If "Dollhouse" gets a second season, that'll be one of them.

The end.

Tyranist felt oh, so sad for Ellie, and mentioned it, oh, I'd say ninety times throughout the show. But Ellie is so ridiculously attractive that she not only makes Echo look like a battery acid gargler . . . but I'm starting to suspect that she too is an Active, placed conveniently in Ballard's life so that he'll stop looking in any other direction but hers.

Hey, it could happen.

Also, I'm starting to think her name is Mellie rather than Ellie, even though I'm sure I heard it without the "M" the first time. And maybe it's like that piece of crap animated LORD OF THE RINGS, where Saruman was called "Haruman" literally every other time he was addressed. It breaks my heart that people I respect own that movie.

I didn't much care for this episode.

I don't know why, exactly.

I guess I found the erection humour less than hilarious, and I just plain didn't GET the A-story.*

I have a real problem with religious nutjobs, and frankly, with overtly religious people of any kind, and my least favourite "Firefly" episode also happened to be the one with the religious cult.

I'm probably just too close to it.

However, I'm guessing that other people liked it, since it did get the highest ratings of the series beyond the first episode.

Rish Outfield

*Tyranist pointed out that I completely missed what happened to the chief antagonist, so maybe I just wasn't paying attention. Sorry.

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