Dollhouse: The truth about Senator Perrin

KT wants active politicians, but not quite like this…

DOLLHOUSE:  2.05 “The Public Eye”
DOLLHOUSE:  2.06 “The Left Hand”

I’m going to assume that most of you watched these two back to back, like I did, and treat them as a unit — ’cause if I try too hard to pick apart what happened in the each half, I’ll probably confuse us all. So!  Deep breath.

Espionage.  I love complex plots, and I love twists, and this one’s a doozy.  Rossum’s plan seems to be to get Senator Perrin in place, get him to investigate Rossum and the Dollhouse, then clear Rossum of all charges, having gained the reputation and high profile status that in future will make him able to push legislation that will favor Rossum — possibly even able to make a bid for the presidency.  Eek.

And despite the best efforts of a whole bunch of people, I think that’s generally what we saw.  By denouncing Madeleine Costley as a mental patient and the Dollhouse as a conspiracy of Rossum’s competitors, Perrin becomes the clever investigator who figured things out and Rossum is seen as the victim of slander.  Wow.

The peek into Rossum and Dollhouse’s internal politicking is fascinating and a little bit intoxicating with the wide open spaces of what we don’t know:  goals, protocols, past relationships.  It becomes very clear that there are some serious trust issues within the organization.  If Rossum’s Mr. Harding had trusted Adelle with even a portion of the truth, she and the rest of the LA Dolhouse would have left well enough alone.  If she had not clashed with Mr. Harding in “Belonging” over Sierra, Adelle might have trusted him and left well enough alone.  I love how such a self-contained episode as “Belonging” sets off a big chain of events here.

The effect is to create a tussle between the LA Dollhouse and the Washington, D.C. Dollhouse — the latter still trusts Rossum, the former doesn’t (at least at the moment, and snippets of “Epitaph One” suggest that this trend will continue).  The rivalry between the Houses and the immediate antagonism between Adelle and her D.C. counterpart makes me wonder how much of that is corporate culture and how much might be the result of past dealings between the two.

As usual, Echo and Ballard are wild cards.  By the end Ballard is entirely AWOL, and Echo’s statement about her bad guys being less bad than Daniel Perrin’s bad guys is as close as she comes to loyalty.  After a lot of running around, we leave her wandering the streets of D.C. without her GPS chip.  So Adelle thinks Echo can practically handle herself?  That went well.  As we well know, Sierra and Madeleine are not the only dolls Adelle has a soft spot for.

[More dolls and geniuses after the jump!] Continue reading

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Dollhouse: The future is dark

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!] Continue reading