|Index||5 reviews in total|
This is a powerhouse of an episode turning everyone inside out.
Literally everybody's worst fears come true and they have to find a way
to deal with it.
But what makes it really special, and the top Dollhouse episode so far, is the intricate way the show blends it's unique concept with personal consequences.
It would be criminal to not mention the exquisite performances all around, actor and actresses who play Topher and Sierra as standouts. I must also confess the Nolan character, who had quite an evil streak going for him, was also very well-played and I'm surprised I remembered him so vividly from last year, which I guess serves as a testament to the quality of the performance.
It also helps you hardly see Echo and have a bit of Carradine, who turns in a deliciously evil performance.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
So far, this is the best episode of Dollhouse.
This episode was directed by Jonathan Frakes, best known as Commander Riker from Star Trek: TNG. His style (think Star Trek: First Contact) permeates this episode, which features Sierra, played by Dichen Lachman. We learn of Sierra's history during the telling of her current drama. Woven in to this story is more of Echo's development along with Boyd's realization of Echo's previously hidden skills.
If you missed this episode due to Fox's poor promotion or confusion over the baseball playoff schedule, go to Fox's website and watch it right now.
Wow...Powerful Episode!!! That was an AMAZING episode. If you are a
Dollhouse fan at all (or even if you are catching your first episode),
you MUST watch this episode. This one shows ALL of the potential of the
Story!!! Well acted by everyone involved too. Dichen Lachman was
Amazing in this episode.
If you are a fan catch this one...new viewer, watch it and you will be hooked!! Best episode yet!!!
It was great to see some greater depth to the characters. Lets hope they can build from here and make this the show it always should have been!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The good; Very good mislead at the start, you keep trying to figure out the nature of Sierra's assignment. Nice to see Adele with long hair again. Some great acting from Dichen in her madness.
The bad; If Kinnard has used the LA Dollhouse before in his seduction of Priya isn't he worried anyone will remember her?
Best line; Kinnard;(of Priya) "I'm a collector, you're the real deal" (collector of what exactly?) plus Topher; "I'm not the bad man" (as we shall learn)
Kinky dinky; Of course you can't go to Venice Beach to film and not have a couple of shapely bimbos in bikinis wander across the screen. Plenty of both straight and gay sex at the art exhibition 'chill out room' along with a few lines of coke. Note that among the pictures in Kinnard's drawer are some of Sierra in a schoolgirls uniform.
Capt subtext; Note how tactile Adele is with Topher, hinting at the mother/son like relationship we saw in Epitaph One.
Notches on the Dollhouse bedpost; definitely Kinnard for Sierra Echo; 4 definite, 2 possible November; 1 Ballard; 1 Victor; 1 Adele; 1 Sierra 1 definite Topher; 1 possible
How'd they get away with that? Boyd and Topher butcher Kinnard and dissolve his body with acid. Yeessh! The whole Sierra/Kinnard fight and Topher's disposal of the corpse is incredibly bloody and brutal, to judge by the commentary it was even more visceral in the first cut, must have been the full Evil Dead 2. More needles, you know some of us suffer trypanophobia Joss.
This weeks fantasy; Sierra is essentially her original personality of Priya but in love and devoted to Kinnard.
What do we think of the client? Adele hits the nail on the head, loathsome scum. Essentially the Dollhouse is a high tech brothel (although not every assignment features sex), whatever you think of prostitution it's the choice of the actives to go there. They're all consenting adults, doing it for money and other benefits, Caroline to avoid going to jail, Mellie to help her get over her grief, Victor to presumably help him recover from his traumatic wartime experiences . However we now learn that Sierra ISN'T a volunteer, she's there because the man who couldn't have her despite all his wealth and influence pumped her full of drugs and then had her brainwashed into his submissive concubine. She's a slave pure and simple and what he does to her is rape. And Rossum is quite willing to let this continue. Thankfully Topher isn't.
Total number personalities; Victor and Echo are a couple of highbrow art fans hired to make Kinnard look good Echo; 28 Sierra; 12 Victor; 10 November; 3
Total dolls; 8-Echo, Sierra, November, Victor, Mike, Tango, Alpha, Whiskey
Addy is a bit British; She tells it straight, describing Kinnard as a 'raping scumbag' but still serves him tea with a smile.
Topher is a bit geeky; He does resemble Shaggy, zoiks!
Bondage; Sierra tied up; 1 Ballard; 1
Knocked out; Echo; 2 November; 1 Sierra; 1 Victor; 1 Topher; 2
Kills; Sierra/Priya kills Kinnard with a steak knife to the heart Sierra; 3 kills Echo; 3 November;1
Dolls injured; Poor Sierra nastily knocked around.
Know the face? Clyde Katulas, one of those actors you see everywhere on TV. Here he plays the doctor at Pirya's mental hospital and played a very similar role on the Buffy ep 'Nightmares' 12-Whedon alumni-Mark Shepherd-2 (Dollhouse/Firefly), Amy Acker-2 (Dollhouse/Angel), walking action figure-2 (Buffy/Dollhouse), Eliza Dushku-3 (Buffy/Angel/Dollhouse), Jim Piddock-2 (Angel/Dollhouse), Gregg Henry-2 (Dollhouse/Firefly), Alan Tudyk-2 (Dollhouse/Firefly), Felicia Day-2(Dollhouse/Buffy), Alexis Denisoff-3 (Buffy, Angel and Dollhouse), Kristoffer Pohala-2 (Dollhouse/Angel), Stacey Scowley-2 (Buffy/Dollhouse) Clyde Katulas-2 (Buffy/Dollhouse)
Whedon clichés; Rich and powerful famillies who cover up the evil deeds of their wayward sons. Top security installations which aren't secure at all. Loving self-sacrificing mothers who risk all for their children.
Breaking the programming; Echo can now lie and keeps a journal. Victor is already becoming more assertive although he decides he doesn't want to be the leader.
Questions and observations; Directed by Jonathon '2 takes' Frakes of Star Trek fame. Very much the ep where Topher's conscience comes to the fore and Adele realises that Rossum truly are evil, she just hasn't picked sides yet. We're told that Dr Saunders is a permanent imprint on Whiskey. Does that mean she'll not be restored to her original personality at the end of her contract? Echo refers to Topher as 'Shaggy', can anyone tell me what Adele mouths to Topher afterwards? Topher can 'cure' schizophrenia? I suspect it's reasons like that why Adele became involved with the Dollhouse in the first place. Very little Echo in this ep and no Ballard (can't afford him according to the commentary). Sierra confirms her love for Victor both in her blank state and her Priya personality and they cuddle at the end, awwwww! Poor Sierra, sexually abused by this guy AND Hearne. No wonder she wants to continue as a doll in order to forget. Topher outside the Dollhouse, actually we see him twice, at the mental hospital and at Kinnard's house.
Marks out of 10; 8/10, Topher takes a moral stand and it's nice to see. The rotten underbelly of the Dollhouse/Rossum comes to the fore.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Dichen Lachman (Sierra) has been fun in several episodes so far when she was given the opportunity ("Gray Hour", "Spy In The House Of Love", "Omega", etc.), but she never really got to dig deep into her character, with the exception of "Needs", until now: this episode is a tour-de-force by her, as she goes from happiness to hell and, finally, to catharsis; Fran Kranz (Topher) also goes deeper, and darker, than ever before into his character, who begins developing a conscience. "A storm is coming", the now-awakened Echo warns at one point, and indeed in "Belonging" you can hear the first distant thunders: a rich client asks for the next logical step in the Dollhouse's services, i.e. permanent imprinting (and thus, killing off the original personality for good), and you can see the signs of the Dollhouse characters setting their moral barriers and starting to form an alliance against the completely immoral villains of the show, the all-powerful Rossum corporation; the road to the world of "Epitaph One" is already getting paved. A riveting episode. *** out of 4.
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