Dollhouse: "Ghost" 2/13 - Grading & Discussion

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Aragorn, Feb 13, 2009.

?

Grading

  1. Excellent

    3 vote(s)
    2.8%
  2. Above average

    27 vote(s)
    25.2%
  3. Average

    45 vote(s)
    42.1%
  4. Below average

    25 vote(s)
    23.4%
  5. Poor

    7 vote(s)
    6.5%
  1. Technobuilder

    Technobuilder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 1999
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    So who else thinks that "Naked Guy" is in fact a rouge Doll known as Alpha?

    With that codename, it seems like he'd be patient zero on the entire neural mapping /implantation technique and more than likely a little unstable as a result.

    Also, I going out on a limb here and proposing that the reason the Dollhouse can't just hire the people who were used in contributing memories and experiences towards creating the personality templates for the Dolls is in fact because all of the people in question are already dead (like the negotiator who committed suicide).

    The scanning and implantation process looked pretty involved, so I'm sure the extraction process couldn't be any less so.
     
  2. Lumen

    Lumen Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Location:
    Halifax, NS, Canada
    You've said this in a couple places, but I'm not really convinced. I don't think any of us yet lives in country where we can willingly, say, sell our bodies while we're alive to a group doing scientific research (and in the process, prematurely end our lives). I think you'd have a host of moral objections against the production of that research and the morality of paying someone (or their family, or whatever) to kill themselves and give you their body for your purposes. I think if I wanted to give my brain to the hospital, tomorrow, in exchange for my brother getting $10,000, the contract lawyer the hospital and I approached to formalize that arranegement would probably call us crazy. Likewise, I can't sell myself into slavery and, yes, prostitution is illegal in many countries.

    I think, in other words, that the conventional wisdom is that we really don't accept an unlimited right to give up our body rights. You probably feel that we should, but I think that's an argument you have to make, not one you get to assume.

    So it looks like Dollhouse is addressing a particular theme (control of your body, the end of your person), and it looks like your dislike of the show translates into a heady disagreement with its (assumed) position on that theme! (I'd suggest that Dollhouse may or may not be agreeing with any particular view on individual autonomy just yet, but the default or accepted position certainly was implicit in Friday's episode.)

    I'd also add that there doesn't seem to be a lot of incentive for any individual to kill themselves. The only plausible motive for doing so would be some kind of benefit to someone you care about, like your family. There are probably cases of people desperate enough to agree to this, but I think they'd be rare enough that the premise is plausible.
     
  3. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Location:
    Tatoinne
    There is an interesting issue here, which is the degree to which mind-wiping constitutes suicide, which is illegal. However, I'm libertarian enough to wonder why suicide is illegal. Why not let people do as they wish with their bodies? And mind-wiping falls well short of legal suicide.

    I could see people with mental illness actually benefitting from becoming Dolls. It would have to be a mild type of mental illness so that they would be competent to make a decision, but to erase their mind would erase the illness, and might very well be worthwhile. There are people whose lives are unendurable to them, either because of events that have transpired or just because of depression or other illness. Mind wiping might be therapeutic for them. And it should be their decision to make.

    From what I could tell, Echo was being presented as someone who found life unendurable because 'something terrible' happened that she felt guilty about. She's a grownup, so why not just let her make that decision and not interfere? Not to do so means you're treating her like a child.

    There are ethical issues here, but legal ones? I'm not so sure. There would be a way to arrange a Dollhouse business to avoid having to go underground.

    The real reason I dislike it has nothing to do with libertarian values (I don't think it's really about "ideas" at all - it's about Eliza Dushku wearing a kleenex for a dress and dancing around). My problem is its distateful Victorian hypocrisy. Whedon sets up sexy young females as victims and then says he's making a show about "female empowerment"? Hah. :rommie: His whole approach is blatantly exploitive, which gives him no right to tut-tut at the Dollhouse even if they are running a prostitution ring. This show reeks of hypocrisy and I'll be happy to see it cancelled, which it no doubt will be very soon. :bolian:

    Why would all the competent people in any given field be dead? Was there some plague that swept through the planet recently? Why aren't there any hostage negotiators left to hire who are still alive? It makes no sense that there would be a correlation between being competent in your field and being deceased. It should be the other way around (for people in dangerous professions, that is).

    Being dead means, all things being equal, you sucked at your job. Even the hostage negotiator is an example: she was psychologically damaged and of course something like that would inhibit your competence. The notion that it made her a better negotiator is total bullshit. Being psychologically damaged doesn't make anyone better at highly skilled professions. This is another example of Whedon's sickening tendency to glorify victims, preferably sexy young female victims. There is something really twisted in that guy's mentality, which isn't necessarily a criticism, but in his case it's both twisted and pretty boring and trite. I wish he were a more interesting freak, then I'd probably love this show. :rommie:
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2009
  4. TechnoBoY

    TechnoBoY Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Location:
    Virginia
    I consider myself a big scifi buff and I didn't even know this was going to be on! I missed it!

    I remember hearing it was delayed and I thought it still wasn't going to be out!
     
  5. Lumen

    Lumen Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Location:
    Halifax, NS, Canada
    I think a lot of us would come down on the side that mind-wiping is suicide. If the person I "am" tomorrow doesn't remember anything I've down before that moment, I'm going to have a really hard time thinking about that person as me.

    There are definitely a lot of ideas behind this show -- but the problem is that, at least in this episode, those ideas were stuck completely behind the show. I don't think any of them have much to do with "female empowerment," though. Maybe the next episode will offer some clarity there, but aside from the choice of leads, there's pretty much nothing in the premise of the show that is very gender-specific.
     
  6. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2000
    Location:
    Ouch! Forgotten already? You were just down ther
    I got vibes reminiscent of Darian Fawkes in The Invisible Man. (He was on death row and was presented with a reprieve on the sole condition that he submit to the Quicksilver project.)
     
  7. SinglePurpose

    SinglePurpose Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
     
  8. hyzmarca

    hyzmarca Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Dave Grossman has published several articles on the subject. While people with sociopaths personality traits chafe under leadership, particularly arbitrary leadership, making them unsuited for military discipline during peacetime, they also tend to make excellent leaders in combat, don't experience the same level of fear and anxiety that most people do in combat, are not hesitant to kill the enemy, and are substantially less likely to instigate war crimes, because they aren't subject to the same psycological stresses that drive normal soldiers to such abuses.
    So, it's a tradeoff between someone who would be difficult to control outside of combat and someone who would excell in combat.

    The Dollhouse method has the advantage of being about to program someone with these personality traits when they are needed and then erase them when they are not.

    That's not what I meant. Let's say I'm a high ranking executive at FOX. I notice that Howie Do It is really battering Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles in the ratings and I want to do something about that. It seems to me, that the best way to reduce How Do It's ratings share would be to kill Howie Mandell. But I don't want "Fox executive assasinates Howie Mandell" to be a major headline. I need plausible deniability. Dollhouse provide me that, because the Active who performs the assasination will not remember doing it. There will be nothing to link me to the crime and no one to flip on me, and I get the ratings spike that I want just in time for sweeps.
     
  9. Technobuilder

    Technobuilder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 1999
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
     
  10. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Location:
    Andrew Timson
    The talk of where Echo's memories in this last episode came from made it sound the memories were extracted from someone who was alive at the time, and that the Dollhouse isn't responsible for their deaths.
     
  11. IndyJones

    IndyJones Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago
    That was my impression as well.
     
  12. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2000
    Location:
    Ouch! Forgotten already? You were just down ther
    Except that even though the Active who pulled the trigger might not remember doing it, the administrators of the Dollhouse would remember you hiring an Active to do it. It would still be a lot simpler to hire a regular hitman.

    Perhaps the idea was originally somehow tied to mind transfers of whole conciousnesses, a kind of immortality. (The Emilio Estevez movie Freejack touched on this idea.)
     
  13. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Location:
    Andrew Timson
    How so? If you hire a regular hitman, once they find the murderer you're toast. If you hire an Active, then once they find the murderer there's nothing to link them to you; the trail stops there.
     
  14. Technobuilder

    Technobuilder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 1999
    Location:
    Nashville, TN

    Well, honestly I can see it both ways, but whenever Whedon's involved I go with less of what is "said" and more of what can be "inferred".

    Now granted, it's a huge leap, and I'm probably wrong, BUT...

    You never know.

    Maybe the Mapping process destabilizes a personality if there's even a bit of psychological/emotional trauma already present and from then on it's just a downward spiral for the person who was mapped.

    The possibilities are endless.
     
  15. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2000
    Location:
    Ouch! Forgotten already? You were just down ther
    But they could still link the Active to the Dollhouse and link the Dollhouse to you. Perhaps it offers an extra layer of protection but probably not so much so that it compensates for the massive expense of using an Active rather than more conventional means. I mean, people have been getting away with contract kills in the real world for years.
     
  16. grabmygoblin

    grabmygoblin Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    very creepy...
     

Share This Page