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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Belonging to the Dollhouse

    Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse has been benched through the November sweeps, and when it returns in December, Fox will be burning off double episodes. It looks like it may be over for the ratings challenged drama, and Fox has killed yet another of Joss Whedon’s fantastic universes. For fans who remember how Firefly was also pushed onto Fridays nights and wasn’t even given a full season, the unexpected, last minute second season pickup of Dollhouse was a breath of fresh air, which was quickly taken away again.

      After several episodes that made the show feel like a procedural last winter, it really started to soar into the spring, and continues to due so this fall. Led by the exceptionally talented Eliza Dushku, also a producer on the show, the series revolves around the mysterious Dollhouse, which wipes people’s minds and programs them for ‘encounters’ for wealthy clients. Also in the cast are several employees of the Dollhouse, including Paul Ballard, an FBI agent who was attempting to bring them down, and now secretly still is, from the inside. The series is original and brilliant, but put in an unenviable time slot, it is all but dead.

      This week’s episode, “Belonging”, was amazing. Viewers discovered that the alluring Sierra was actually drugged into psychosis by a raving lunatic, who arranged for her to become a doll, as she has been for the past year. The employees of the company faced a tough, moral dilemma when they were ordered to hand over Sierra permanently to the madman, or face a ruined life if they refused. They did hand Sierra over, but with an awareness that allowed her to kill and get revenge. Unfortunately, that left another mess to cleanup, and more moral issues for each character to face.

     In the ongoing plot of the series, Sierra and Victor continue with a blossoming romance, despite supposedly being wiped of all personal feelings, while Echo retains more and more memory. It is a Jurassic Park-esque scenario, where nature will find a way, and no man can control everything, as much as he (or she) may want to. It’s an intriguing concept, but sadly it seems not fated to play out. A huge shame and waste of glorious potential.

Save Dollhouse!

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