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Old November 7 2010, 11:17 AM   #1
saturn5
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Dollhouse season 2; rewatch and reviews

VOWS[FONT=Times New Roman]

[SIZE=3]The good;
How gorgeous is bride Eliza? May not have affected ED but made me go awwww! Everything about the Toper/Saunders relationship is fabulous. Love that way that when Khar catches Echo snooping in his desk she almost get's away with her explanation, she's very plausible. [/SIZE]

The bad;
What the heck happened to Jamie Bamber's hair? He looks like he's one of the Four Seasons, I keep expecting him to break into 'Oh what a night'. Why does Khar just fire 2 shots at Echo when he has a pistol with 15? When the limo blows up you can clearly see it's nowhere near the airport.

Best line;
Dr Saunders; (of planting rats in Topher's cupboard) "Just dealing with some vermin"
plus
Dr Saunders; "They'll go over your head"
Boyd; "I'm very tall"
and
Topher; "You're human"
Dr Saunders; "Don't flatter yourself"

Packing heat; Echo uses a pistol taken from Khar's goons
Echo;8
Boyd; 8
Dominic; 9
Sierra; 4
Victor; 3
Ballard; 10
November; 1

Echo kissage;3 at her wedding

Kinky dinky;
One of Echo's previous clients was a TV newsreader with a splosh fetish (a desire for sex with people covered in food). We now have Dominatrix Echo in the opening titles each week, much like Buffy and Faith dancing just too damn sexy not to show again and again. Sierra's 50s Princess character likes to be tied up and spanked (so much for Adele's assertion that the actives aren't hired out as sexual submissives). Topher refers to 'deviant excitment'. I never thought Eliza could be more sexy than as the dominatrix but seeing her in her wedding night lingerie she's just stunning and you couldn't pick which you prefer, sugar or spice? (a remark you understand much better if you've seen Batman Forever). Dr Saunders puts on the lacy teddy and puts the moves on Topher. He seems to have erotic dreams about Fozzie bear which is a whole other level of kinky. Topher observes that he could easily have made a willing sex slave but Saunders counters that the real ultimate fantasy is to make someone who initially hated you love you.
Capt subtext;
Note Adele stroking Victor's scarred face, remebering their Miss Lonelyheart time together. Dr Saunders keeps her scars because although she knows she's a doll her physical imperfections make her unique amongst them. Echo's handler telling Paul 'You're the client' really hit's home. Echo flashbacks to her and Whiskey done up like Ava Gardener and about to get all kissy at a masked ball. To my shame the first time around I missed the idea that what triggers this memory for Echo is Dr Saunders giving her a gynecological exam implying they did a lot more than just kiss. Dr Saunder's assertion that the ultimate sex fantasy is to make the person who despises you love and desire you is possibly an allusion to Caroline/Echo, Rossum's greatest enemy surrendering to them and allowing them to turn her into their willing plaything, their's to use and humiliate as they wish for fun and profit. Question is did Topher make Saunder's hate him as an aspect of his own self-loathing?
Echo's remark of 'We are lost but we are not gone' may be an allusion to the whole Dollhouse situation.
Notches on the Dollhouse bedpost; Echo and Khar
Echo; 4 definite, 1 possible
November; 1
Ballard; 1
Victor; 1
Adele; 1
Sierra 1 possible
Topher; 1 possible

How'd they get away with that?
.Echo's husband hitting his wife is a true 'Jeez!' moment. He may be an evil arms dealer but even he seems ashamed when she accuses him of domestic abuse. Sierra's anti-Asian racism towards Ivy is also a little hard to take even if played for laughs.

This weeks fantasy;
We see Echo as a bride/undercover agent and Sierra in her Jackie O/Audrey Hepburn personality. Echo also slips back into Margeret from 'Ghost' and Alpha's 'Badland's' style girlfriend from the end of the last season.

Total number personalitites; one more for Echo, we've seen Sierra's personality before
Echo; 24
Sierra; 11
Victor; 7
November; 3

Total dolls;
8-Echo, Sierra, November, Victor, Mike, Tango, Alpha, Whiskey

Addy is a bit British;
Joss seems to have a thing for British authority figures

Topher is a bit geeky;


Subverting the Hollywood cliche;


Bondage; we don't see any but Sierra obviously has a thing for it
Sierra tied up; 1
Ballard; 1

Knocked out;
Echo; 2
November; 1
Sierra; 1
Victor; 1
Topher; 1

Kills; assuming they die when she shoots them Echo kills two of the arms dealer's henchmen.
Sierra; 2 kills
Echo; 3
November;1

Dolls injured;
Echo with a big old gash on her head and concussion

Happy hookers;
Echo is an undercover agent who wins her mark's confidence by actually having sex with him, the stuff of bad erotic thrillers (Undercover Heat anyone? [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman]http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114786/ ) something that gives Ballard great moral angst. [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman]

Know the face? Alexis Denisoff, another Whedon hattrick
9 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)

Guantanamo;
Paul says he no longer cares about due process

Fanfic;

Missing scenes;.


Reminds me off;
The way Topher has engineered Saunder's phobias to prevent her leaving the Dollhouse is reminiscent of The Truman Show. The idea that Dr Saunders is reluctant to get her original personality back as that will be akin to dying for her is similar to an ep of ST;Voyager where 2 characters are merged by a transporter accident. Echo clinging to the bonnet of the car reminds me of TJ Hooker who was prone to that.
Whedon cliches;


Breaking the programming;
The dolls are noticeably less zombie like and have more personality, I think that was one of the reasons people couldn't take to them in the first season.

Questions and observations;
Echo has a new handler but this is the only time we see him. As Joss says the lighting on the Dollhouse is very different. Topher sleeps at work which seems to be a common thing in the Dollhouse. I think I'm beginning to fall a little in love with Ivy, she's a character who keeps growing on me more and more. In reference to the Jonas Brothers do they mean they're Dollhouse clients or that customers hire the actives out to play their roles? Still weird to hear Jamie Bamber talk with his real accent. Adele knows about Echo's unique nature but wants to watch her develop. Echo's remark of the 'Honeymoon is over' may be her telling Paul that from now on things are only going to get harder for them. Shame we don't get more of Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof etc this season but not enough in the budget (perhaps why they dropped CC/Conor from the last season of Angel so that they could have fan-favourite Spike?). It seems Joss' favourite series is BSG. I love Adele's new hair. Everyone seems to be hitting the booze pretty hard, even Dr Saunders (whiskey?).

Marks out of 10; 7/10 good ep, Joss didn't expect to get a second season so this is a partial reboot for the show
[/FONT]
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Old November 7 2010, 04:18 PM   #2
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Re: Dollhouse season 2; rewatch and reviews

Yay, the HTML tags are back!
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Old November 8 2010, 07:11 PM   #3
saturn5
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Re: Dollhouse season 2; rewatch and reviews

Forbin wrote: View Post
Yay, the HTML tags are back!
Oh LORD!, ok, remind me again how to get rid of them?

INSTINCT

The good;
Very clever concept, that the maternal instinct between a mother and her child is so great that it can overcome virtually anything (anyone else read Stephen King's short story The Breathing Method?) Echo breaking into the house is so sinister she might as well be wearing a Michael Myers mask. Contrast that to the awwww factor of Echo with the baby. Lovely to see Mellie back.
The bad;
Nothing really bad, just not that remarkable.

Best line;
Ballard; (to Topher)"You're a genius"
Topher ; "I'm not as comfortable with you saying that as I thought I'd be"
plus
Echo; (baby in one hand, carving knife in the other) "MOMMY'S HOME!"

Packing heat; no but Echo with a great big carving knife.
Echo;8
Boyd; 8
Dominic; 9
Sierra; 4
Victor; 3
Ballard; 10
November; 1

Echo kissage; 4 her 'husband' Nate

Kinky dinky;
Nursing mother Echo looks noticeably more buxom, the wardrobe department obviously breaking out the wonderbras and padding for this role.
Capt subtext;
Topher repeats to Echo that he is a good man, trying to convince himself. Echo says that feeling nothing would be worse than before, possibly alluding to Mellie and her grief.
Notches on the Dollhouse bedpost; almost certain Echo has sex with her client, naked in bed together and Topher speaks of 'romance protocols'.
Echo; 4 definite, 2 possible
November; 1
Ballard; 1
Victor; 1
Adele; 1
Sierra 1 possible
Topher; 1 possible

How'd they get away with that?
Upsetting to watch Echo so distressed about being seperated from her child, also not good if you don't like needles.

This weeks fantasy;
Grieving widower wants his dead wife back to care for their newborn baby. Cleverer still Sierra is inserted as a supportive best friend for her.
What do we think of the client?
Undoubteldy the most sympathetic yet, a guy devestated by the loss of his wife and unable to accept his own child because of the memories that stirs. In the end almost losing his baby finally makes him appreciate what he has in his son.

Total number personalitites; Echo as the mother and Sierra as her best friend Kelly
Echo; 25
Sierra; 12
Victor; 7
November; 3

Total dolls;
8-Echo, Sierra, November, Victor, Mike, Tango, Alpha, Whiskey

Addy is a bit British;
In response to a crisis Adele sits down and has tea. Keep calm and carry on!

Topher is a bit geeky;
He has developed an 'app' for ventriliquism. What next, barbershop quartets?

Subverting the Hollywood cliche;
The panicked woman fleeing the bad guys actually has the good fortune to walk around the corner and stumble across a police car.

Bondage;
Sierra tied up; 1
Ballard; 1

Knocked out; Topher KO' again
Echo; 2
November; 1
Sierra; 1
Victor; 1
Topher; 2

Kills;
Sierra; 2 kills
Echo; 3
November;1

Dolls injured;
Poor Mellie, not even a Doll anymore and she still gets cracked on the head.

Happy hookers;
Perrin refers to Rossum being involved in prostitution.

Know the face? Kristoffer Pohala seems to make a habit of appearing with Whedon alumni, guest starring in the Angel ep Billy, in Tru Calling with ED, in Mad Men with Vincent Unspellablesurname and in Life Unexpected with Emma Caulfield. Stacey Scowley who plays the senator's wife is also a Buffy Alumni, the girl whom Spike picks up and sires in the bar in Conversations with Dead People.
9 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)

Guantanamo;
Kinda scary the way panicking mother Echo has no place to go, the police can't help her against Rossum.

Fanfic;

Missing scenes;.


Reminds me off;
Echo can now just walk out of the Dollhouse at will. Much like The Initiative and Wolfram and Hart organisations with impenetrable security never live up to their hype.
Whedon cliches;
Top security installations which aren't secure at all. Loving self-sacrificing mothers who risk all for their children (Joyce, Darla)

Breaking the programming;
. Echo's desire for her baby is strong enough to overcome anything Topher can do to her.

Questions and observations;
This time Topher has not only changed Echo's mind but was able to actually alter her body. Ballard and Topher spar but seem to be developing a workable relationship much as he and Boyd did. For the second time in 2 eps Echo plays a wife rifling her way through her husband's desk. Was Perrin's source at the NSA actually Dominic? We finally find out what happened to Mellie and her daughter. No Victor at all this ep.

Marks out of 10; 6/10-ok, very much a standalone, surprising that Joss bothers with eps like this knowing that he has a short time to play with.
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Old November 8 2010, 07:16 PM   #4
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Re: Dollhouse season 2; rewatch and reviews

Your headings are so arbitrary and meaningless that I find it impossible to read your reviews, good though they are.

The writer(s) seem to believe they have come up with spontaneous lactation, despite the fact it's been with us since before we were walking upright.
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Old November 9 2010, 09:29 PM   #5
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Re: Dollhouse season 2; rewatch and reviews

Just noticed the thread. Vows and Instinct are the only episodes of season two that I had seen before the DVD release. They're not bad, but they are very much threat-of-the-week episodes that could easily have slotted into season one. Dollhouse needed to come back stronger than this. It doesn't help that Echo's faux identities are very similar for the casual viewer, either. Thankfully, the season soon finds its footing, and it pretty much stays found!
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Old November 10 2010, 12:41 PM   #6
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Re: Dollhouse season 2; rewatch and reviews

Scrawny71 wrote: View Post
Just noticed the thread. Vows and Instinct are the only episodes of season two that I had seen before the DVD release. They're not bad, but they are very much threat-of-the-week episodes that could easily have slotted into season one. Dollhouse needed to come back stronger than this. It doesn't help that Echo's faux identities are very similar for the casual viewer, either. Thankfully, the season soon finds its footing, and it pretty much stays found!
I would say this one has little arc too?

 
BELLE CHOSE
The good;
Ballard and the other handler consoling one another whist waiting for their charges to select clothes makes me laugh out loud every time. Victor's girly dancing is just fabulous as is him as Terry (Enver really is the best actor in the cast). I like the fact that Victor's chip is missing due to bureaucracy and oversight, it has that element of truth to it even in a place as sophisticated as the Dollhouse. Echo/Terry stabbing the professor is a real shocker.
The bad;
I know a lot of people say that you can see the human statues move (as you can in the Angel ep 'Just desserts') but you would expect that, they're not real statues they're parlaysed women and the drugs are wearing off. Why not just let Victor go and track him (when he's got his chip in)? How does a guy as lamely dressed as Terry get into a trendy club? Terry's victims seem to accept the Dollhouse tactical team awfully easily, they don't even have 'Police' written on their overalls.

Best line;
Boyd; "Topher has ethical problems. TOPHER!"
plus
Dollhouse fashion guru; "Not exactly a rocket scientist. Normally that's irony but around here you never know"
and
Echo/Kiki; "I mean how hard can it be, it's medi-eaval, it's not even advanced eaval"

Packing heat; nope, croquet mallets and letter openers
Echo;8
Boyd; 8
Dominic; 9
Sierra; 4
Victor; 3
Ballard; 10
November; 1

Echo kissage; 4

Kinky dinky;
The villain appears to be a fan of ASFR, that is a fetish for transforming people into statues/living waxworks/robots. (I know what you're thinking, "Girl, now you're just making this stuff up" but I'm really not, just type ASFR into your search engine and you'll see what I mean.) The shower scenes are back, the fans must have complained that they missed them. Echo comments 'I'm wet' when appearing naked in front of Ballard but she probably means from the shower. Kiki is hot to trot and is delectable in her mini-skirt and knee socks, lovely sexy dance she does for the prof. Nice analogy of female power in Kiki's discussion with the Professor of Chaucer and interesting use of the term 'whippe', Echo/Kiki also seems a fan of wearing spurs "Nasty!" (where would this assigment have gone had it continued?).
Capt subtext;
Topher once again worries that he's creating a 'man reaction' in another male. The head of the Dollhouse clothing department is extremely fey and obviously in his dream job (I originally thought that this might be Harry Groener, Mayor Wilkins from Buffy but it's not). Victor/Kiki and Paul make a rather cute gay couple "Gotta a problem?".
Notches on the Dollhouse bedpost;
Echo; 4 definite, 2 possible
November; 1
Ballard; 1
Victor; 1
Adele; 1
Sierra 1 possible
Topher; 1 possible

How'd they get away with that?
Women imprisoned and struck on the head with a croquet mallet. The poor Prof knifed in the neck.

This weeks fantasy;
Echo AND Victor are Kiki, a scatterbrained but fun-loving student. Victor/Echo are also the villain, creepy dweeb Terry Karrens.
What do we think of the client?
Hard to know what to make of Echo's professor client. He wants to have an affair with one of his students but rather than do it for real he hires Echo to act out the fantasy for him instead, getting to live the dream without tarnishing his professional ethics. I guess that's actually ok, he can't help how he feels so he's doing this to avoid real temptation. The Uncle also seems not a bad guy, keen to rescue his nephew but also wanting to save his victims.

Total number personalitites; 2 for Victor and Echo
Echo; 27
Sierra; 12
Victor; 9
November; 3

Total dolls;
8-Echo, Sierra, November, Victor, Mike, Tango, Alpha, Whiskey

Addy is a bit British;

Topher is a bit geeky;
Love the face to face scene between him and Ivy as they try to reboot everything, very Juggernaut.

Subverting the Hollywood cliche;
. Victor/Kiki goes from gaybashed to bigotbasher. Nice to see the captured girls are actually escaping on their own rather than needing to be rescued "We're not his toys".

Bondage;
Sierra tied up; 1
Ballard; 1

Knocked out;
Echo; 2
November; 1
Sierra; 1
Victor; 1
Topher; 2

Kills;
Sierra; 2 kills
Echo; 3
November;1

Dolls injured;
Poor Echo get's seriously roughed up by the escapers and the guy in the bar tries to punch Victor.

Happy hookers;
Misogynist creep Terry seems to have a hard time with 'Whores' (is he related to Mal Reynolds?)

Know the face? Maybe I should start listing BSG alumni, Michael Hogan the 4th
9 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)

Guantanamo;
Ballard takes great joy in roughing up Terry, freed from the constraints of the FBI.
Fanfic;
All the ASFR you can shake a human mannequin at; http://www.many-realms.net/LTBSA/index1.html
Missing scenes;.
I heard that the original scene between Ballard and Adele at the end was supposed to go a little differently;
Ballard; "You think there's any chance he's ever going to wake up?"
Adele; (hard as nails) "I wouldn't let him leave here if I did"

Reminds me off;
The concept is a little reminiscent of the Angel eps 'Just desserts' and 'Billy' and the Buffy ep 'Ted'.
Whedon cliches;
Rich and powerful famillies who cover up the evil deeds of their wayward sons (like those from the Angel ep 'Billy). Top security installations which aren't secure at all. Loving self-sacrificing mothers who risk all for their children (Joyce, Darla)

Breaking the programming;
Echo is now able to rebel against Terry and save the girls. Topher is now able to do remote wipes although he screws it up royally.

Questions and observations;
Topher can diagnose psychopaths just by looking at their brainscans. Well this seems a useful skill, let's do that with everyone. This client is so twisted he gives even Topher an ethical dilemma. Rather creepy ending implying that the villain lives on inside Echo's mind but I guess Eleanor Penn, Esther from True Believer, Margeret from Haunted, the mom from 'Instinct', the Dominatrix, the midwife etc inside her can keep him outnumbered and pinned down. Kiki confuses 'middle english' with Tolkiens 'middle earth'. What book is Boyd reading in the van? Why not just have Terry hire out Echo, Sierra and co to act out his fantasies, no one would get hurt and it might help him regain his sanity? No Sierra whatsover this ep.
Marks out of 10; 7/10, fairly funny for an ep with such a dark central subject matter.
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Old November 10 2010, 11:40 PM   #7
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Re: Dollhouse season 2; rewatch and reviews

:head desk:
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Old November 11 2010, 10:30 AM   #8
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Re: Dollhouse season 2; rewatch and reviews

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
:head desk:
Gimmie a break, at least there's no font problems
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Old November 11 2010, 03:26 PM   #9
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Re: Dollhouse season 2; rewatch and reviews

Just take that second F out of "reminds me off" before my head explodes? Please?
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Old November 11 2010, 03:29 PM   #10
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Re: Dollhouse season 2; rewatch and reviews

She won't do it. She's been asked before.
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Old November 11 2010, 04:22 PM   #11
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Re: Dollhouse season 2; rewatch and reviews


Statistics!

Numbers!

Stats!

How many times did something "kinky" happen to a character!

I have to know!

And Eliza Dushku!

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Old November 11 2010, 10:14 PM   #12
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Re: Dollhouse season 2; rewatch and reviews

saturn5 wrote: View Post
Victor's girly dancing is just fabulous as is him as Terry (Enver really is the best actor in the cast).
He's certainly one of the most versatile actors. Seeing him as "Kiki" was a hoot!

saturn5 wrote: View Post
Best line;
Boyd; "Topher has ethical problems. TOPHER!"
This episode's great for one-liners. I also like Ballard's "Is there any part of that that's not a girl's name?". (I may be paraphrasing; TwizTV doesn't have a trasnscript.)

saturn5 wrote: View Post
Victor/Kiki and Paul make a rather cute gay couple "Gotta a problem?".


saturn5 wrote: View Post
Topher can diagnose psychopaths just by looking at their brainscans. Well this seems a useful skill, let's do that with everyone.
He does this almost immediately before we see Victor imprinted with Karrens. Are the writers trying to tell us that imprinting can turn a person with a healthy brain structure into a psychopath? If it can, then logically the reverse holds true as well. Imprinting, therefore, could cure a wide range of mental illnesses / disorders.

saturn5 wrote: View Post
Marks out of 10; 7/10, fairly funny for an ep with such a dark central subject matter.
I think that I'd give it eight. If all episodes had been this good, Dollhouse would be considered a classic.
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Old November 12 2010, 10:20 PM   #13
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Re: Dollhouse season 2; rewatch and reviews

When Dollhouse was doing arc episodes it was really good but the standalones were pretty shitty.
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Old November 13 2010, 12:39 AM   #14
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Re: Dollhouse season 2; rewatch and reviews

Topher and Boyd were looking at Terry Karrens brainscan when he made the diagnosis and had also been reading his medical file. Considering his job, I would think he would know what to look for in brain issues, and as he can use the tech to make physical alterations (See "Ghost" and "Vows" as examples) to the active, I can see how it would all still 'transfer' We just didn't see a deeper argument and exact causes because Claire Saunders fled the Dollhouse, and she argued and counter-argued with Topher every step of the way.

I have a couple other things to mention on this, but

Enver Gjokaj is definitely talented and very versatile, I wont say to much for the moment because of possible spoilers though (even though the topic title does say "rewatch")

As for the victims accepting a tactical team easily, you just spent several months (the women have been missing since circa May, I think, according to a missing poster Victor looked at, and I think the second season began in September) in some psychopath's... whatever and a bunch of armed men suddenly appear and seemingly take down sometime about to kill you. I'd be accepting of them, as well and probably not be analyzing their uniforms.

Anyway, good to see people are rewatching this and getting some enjoyment out of it. I want to rewatch this (and check out the comic), but alas... can't yet.
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Old November 13 2010, 10:37 AM   #15
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Re: Dollhouse season 2; rewatch and reviews

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post



Statistics!

Numbers!

Stats!

How many times did something "kinky" happen to a character!

I have to know!

And Eliza Dushku!


Thanks you're too kind

And I'll take out the f in reminds me off, I fixed Whedon/Wheldon didn't I?
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