- Time is Running Out for the Future of Game of ThronesPosted 8 days ago
- HBO Grants Game of Thrones Epic Season 4Posted 77 days ago
- Dispute Gets Game of Thrones Actor The Tyson VS Holyfield TreatmentPosted 84 days ago
- Game of Thrones: George R. R. Martin Makes a Cameo in Season 4Posted 88 days ago
- Jon Snow & Ygritte Get Cozy In Game of Thrones Portraits!Posted 90 days ago
- Watch The Newest Game of Thrones Trailer!Posted 91 days ago
- Game of Thrones Season 3 is a Beast Waiting to be StirredPosted 93 days ago
- Game of Thrones Recap: Get Caught Up On Season 2Posted 100 days ago
- Game of Thrones Extended Season 3 Trailer Has Bears, Sex, Flaming Swords and Everything ElsePosted 106 days ago
- Game of Thrones: Shadowed Cast in New Season 3 PostersPosted 108 days ago
Dollhouse Season 2 Premiere – Vows – review
Now this was a season opener! I think “Vows” was one of the better episodes of the series so far, and certainly the best season premiere of the shows I watch regularly. It was an exciting episode that managed to exposit the “back story” from the three-month gap since Alpha’s disappearance, answer a few questions, and open a few more doors to what might happen next—all while telling an interesting story.
The story opens with Echo marrying Martin Klarr, played by guest star Jamie Bamber (AKA Battlestar Galactica hottie number 2 for the show; now we just need Katee Sackhoff to make it a party!) while Ballard listens in. He is not her handler but rather the client—this was part of the deal he cut with Adele, getting a doll’s services in bringing down an arms dealer the FBI had never been able to touch. When Echo’s cover is nearly blown by a picture of her with Ballard, her handler doesn’t recognize her vitals spike for what it is, while Ballard is the one who asks Topher to check up on it. Ballard has to go in and extract her from Martin’s clutches, using her concussion to draw out memories of their past encounters until an ass-kicking imprint surfaces and allows Echo to get them both out alive.
Meanwhile, at the lab, Topher is being playfully terrorized by Dr. Saunders, who is having a difficult time dealing with the fact that she is an imprint. She confronts him in the middle of the night, trying to seduce him, which she takes to have been his goal in making her personality hate him. He explains why he had done that—so that she would always question him and therefore be more likely to catch something that he missed if one of the dolls starts to go haywire.
Adele explains that she is keeping Echo active in order to observe her evolution; research, in a way. She convinces Ballard to become her handler, insisting that it’s better to have someone who truly cares about her in that role. A new threat to the dollhouse raises questions about Boyd and Ballard—or possibly someone else within the company—when an ambitious politician decides to target Rossum Enterprises for keeping its brain research out of the public arena where it might do the most good, clearly on a tip from someone who knows their organization. This will presumably be a continuing plot thread this season, since nothing much was done with it this episode, other than to introduce the threat.
Okay, first things first—I have not seen the thirteenth episode from last season. I have deliberately not watched it, as I’ve heard it is set way into the future of the show and hence not immediately relevant, and also that it will change perception of the show. So if you’ve seen it and want to know why I’m not talking about it, that’s why.
Now. About this episode.
As I said, I thought this was a really great season opener. Jamie Bamber was a welcome sight, and he did an excellent job as the villain. This role was certainly more a stretch from his BSG character than Penikett’s, and he played the suave British financier with a ruthless interior very naturally. Eliza Dushku, in my opinion, is making a stronger Echo now that the confusion of patchy memories has been added into her character. Something about her eyes does confused better than any other emotion, at least for me, so it makes her portrayal of Echo seem more in synch with how the character is described by everyone else.
I’m really enjoying the Dr. Saunders/Whiskey story arc. I think the explanation for why she didn’t elect to have her memory wiped again is spot-on for human psychology—even knowing that she is a doll, an imprint, a non-real personality construct living in a borrowed body, she still doesn’t want to “die.” So she is dealing with the world as best she can, even though it is hateful and frightening to her. I can’t tell if she is going to become another villain-from-within, or emerge as a savior to other dolls in need, but her character remains interesting. She is sharp and funny, as well—her crack to Topher, “don’t flatter yourself,” when he calls her “a human being” was great.
There were also intimations in this episode that Topher’s imprinting may have some bugs in it, even aside from Echo’s new self-awareness, which no amount of wipes seems to be able to clear. Her cryptic lines at the end, “I remember everything…I am all of them, but none of them are me…” make it clear that her fragmented memory did not simply appear because she was concussed, but rather has become her state of being.
I am glad to see that Dollhouse is continuing its upward momentum from the end of last season. I hope it continues the trend; from the hints in this episode, the potential for bigger and more high-stakes plotlines is definitely there. And from the guest stars already lined up, so is the acting caliber and random SF-interest factor. All I can say is bring it.