KT and Raked take on the unaired episode of Dollhouse, and without intention, actually have different points to make about the stellar episode. Check out KT’s post, and Raked’s is below.
DOLLHOUSE: 1.13 “Epitaph One”
Bear with me. I wrote this entire post last night, only to have it disappear from my drafts. Sigh.
I knew a little about this episode before it aired–that it was in the future in an apocalyptic time. For some reason, I misunderstood the idea of “apocalyptic,” because I thought it was more of a wartime area of the world and less widespread. Boy, was I wrong.
Imprinting has caused a war in the world, and we have our very own Felicia Day trying to find a safe haven. As much as I was looking forward to seeing Felicia Day in this episode, I can’t say she was the standout actor in the episode. That honor gets split between Amy Acker and Fran Kranz, for the reasons I’m about to say below.
It’s amazing what Joss Whedon does to Amy Acker. We all saw her transformation in Angel, playing basically the polar opposite of the role she was originally cast. Here again she’s playing two roles: Dr. Claire Saunders and Whiskey. And really, she was brilliant.
Haunting. So haunting. I mean, just imagine that to save herself–and any others that came by–she gave up her sanity to become Whiskey. Knowing that she would actually have lost her sanity long ago, she gave up the only person (well, imprint) that she’s ever known. And even Whiskey seemed scarred by the loneliness. The way she stood by herself in that room. The hollowness in her eyes. She’d been beaten down.
And the end. Somehow, Amy Acker can be so haunting and beautiful at the same time. When she gassed the Dollhouse, then just sat there to watch and let herself die, too. I mean, that one last image was just so beautiful. But the sadness that came with that image was almost tangible.
But what about Fran Kranz? If you know my Dollhouse posts, you know that while I enjoy Topher, I don’t necessarily think all that much of him. I mean, he’s fine. He’s the humor of the show, of course. So far, we haven’t seen all that much else of him.
Until this episode. Man, when he is in his bunker, of sorts. The craziness he showed–regressing to a childlike state. It was heartbreaking. And sadly, even then, he couldn’t turn his mind off. It continued on as he circled round and round and realized that you could imprint the masses–quicker, faster, more efficiently! As his mind revealed more and more that the technology could do…and then he realized the cause of the world today, and how he played a part of it. It was intense and heartbreaking. It was an amazing scene. And to see that Adelle even had a reaction to it–she with the coldest heart of all–you couldn’t imagine what they must have gone through for her to change so drastically.
[Read more after the jump!]
Really, this scene alone is the brilliance of the episode. I guess the question remains (and to be honest, this was asked to me by a frequent commenter), can this be canon? If it wasn’t aired, is it still part of the series?
Well, it’s Joss Whedon. No one can say he doesn’t purposely write episodes for the future of a series. I mean, he counted down the number of days until Dawn was first introduced to Buffy in mid-season three. Some would call that crazy. But it’s successful.
It would have to be the haunting reality of what they’re starting. There’s always been a fuzzy grey line in the morality of what they’re doing. And now we know what would happen. Not what could happen, but what will. This wasn’t some vision that could be stopped. No one in this future can tell the past participants what will happen.
I wonder what this will mean for the upcoming seasons. I’m curious–and frightened–to see.