Sunday, May 17, 2009

Last "Dollhouse" on the left

So, I went over to tyranist's house to watch the last "Dollhouse." It had aired just a couple of days previous, and with the bang-up cliffhanger we'd gotten the episode before, I was happy to finish up the show as soon as we could.

Now, this wasn't the last episode that was shot. Apparently, Joss filmed a thirteenth (or fourteenth, if you want to be technical) show for inclusion on the DVD. It was either to fulfill contractual obligation or to show FOX what a second season might be like, and to show them how cheaply it could be made. That episode, which they called "Epitaph One," will be on the DVD release this summer.

So, the final episode of the real season, "Omega," was written
and directed by Tim Minear. Nice to see him back.*

So, we see a flashback, with Alpha and a dark-haired chick in silhouette, who we assume is Echo. They're part of some Bonnie & Clyde/NATURAL BORN KILLERS duo, and it turns out that it's Doctor Saunders aka Whiskey in the girl role.

In the present, Saunders realises she's not who she thinks she is, and it is revealed that the real Doctor Saunders was murdered by Alpha during his original escape. He had been walking around, pretending to be like all the others, and showing Echo particular attention, then one day, he went into the upload room and imprinted himself with all sorts of personalities.

Meanwhile, Alpha and Echo have abducted some girl named Wendy (who looks disturbingly like the youngest kid on "Growing Pains") and take her back to Alpha's hideout, where he has built himself his own imprint chamber. He straps Wendy to a chair and, having snatched Echo's original Caroline personality, uploads it into Wendy. Then, while "Caroline" watches, he uploads Echo with multiple personalities, like he did to himself in the flashback. He now calls Echo "Omega."

Paul Ballard helps Adelle and Langton figure out where Alpha is,
and working together, they manage to find his hideout.

Alpha tells Echo/Omega to kill "Caroline," but instead, she attacks Alpha. They fight. Alpha removes the hard drive containing Echo's original Caroline personality, and kills Wendy. He tosses the hard drive and Echo goes after it, allowing Alpha to escape. The hard drive (I believe they had a cute name for these things, but I don't recall what it was) falls from where Alpha threw it, but it is caught by Ballard. They get Echo back to the Dollhouse and wipe out all the personalities (or did they?), and Paul Ballard agrees to work for the Dollhouse in return for something.

In the end, we see that Mellie (aka November) has been released from her contract early, had her original personality reinserted, and leaves with no memory of Ballard or what she experienced as an Active. The end.

So, the season is over, and the status quo is . . . well, a bit different, I guess. I didn't quite get what Ballard will be doing for the Dollhouse--is he Echo's new handler? Head of security? A different, previously-unseen post? Maybe the handler for someone new next season?

And yes, there is a next season. I don't understand why FOX renewed the show--I really don't--but they did. They ordered thirteen more episodes, and we'll see if their faith is paid off. Boy, it would be great if this was like "Buffy," and the second season starts with some kind of new life and inspiration and quality . . . and most importantly, ratings.

FOX did cancel "Sarah Connor," which I thought was silly, since Warners just made another TERMINATOR movie that everyone's banking on to be a hit. And in the article I read, they stated that "Dollhouse" is the lowest rated show to get a renewal . . . of the year, or ever? I read an interview with Kevin Reilly, the FOX executive who okayed the renewal, and he said that the DVR numbers were good, and that if he canceled the show, "I'd probably have 110 million e-mails this morning from the fans." At first I thought that was a joke.

But folks, the FOX treatment of "Firefly" was a crime. The cancellation of "Dollhouse" was . . . well, probably just numbers. I don't see the logic in bringing it back, so it's actually possible that there was some kind of heart or intuition or faith-based reasoning behind it. We'll see if it turns out to have been a wise decision, and if season two is as good--or better--than the last three episodes of season one, then I'll be happy to keep on watching.

Well, as happy as one such as I can get.

Rish "Codename Golf" Outfield

*He was Joss's co-show runner on "Firefly," as well as doing great things on "Angel." But since he wrote the one where Echo was a blind woman, I guess he's been back before.

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