I was planning to write up my response to Dumbo, but I was suddenly filled with the need to talk about Dollhouse. I have become so deeply, pathetically invested in this show, that I can’t give up hope for a renewal (unlike SOME people). I’m not willing to let go just yet. I wasn’t as completely in love with tonight’s episode, “Haunted,” as I have been with the last few, but the promo for the next week had me literally making high-pitched squealing noises. Let’s take a look at why this show has become so damn good. (SPOILERS FOR LIKE EVERYTHING.)
1) Echo. This was the big problem everyone had before the show even aired–how can we possibly become invested in a character with no solid personality? But now it’s becoming clear that Echo is totally fascinating. She’s not like the other Dolls, and what’s so very intriguing is that Echo is not Caroline. But if she’s not Caroline, and she’s not just a mindless Doll, then who is she? It’s getting to the point where if Caroline ever comes back permanently, I will seriously start to wonder if that’s fair to Echo.
I’m a little obsessed with the episode “Grey Hour” because we got to see Echo live. She was so determined not to break, and she didn’t, and what does that even make her? She’s a separate person now with her own relationships. She’s evolving. Also, she’s way more fun to have around than Caroline. I’m completely invested in Echo.
2) The Dollhouse employees. These crazy, immoral people are my new best friends. I love Claire, I love Boyd, I love Adelle, and I’m even starting to love Topher. These are the enemies, aren’t they? We want Paul to take down the Dollhouse, don’t we? Well, maybe you do, but I sure as hell don’t. The people who work in the Dollhouse aren’t completely evil, but they really aren’t good, either. As the show has gone on, we’ve been spending less time with Echo on assignment and more time with the workings of the Dollhouse, and this lets us see the relationships happening behind the scenes. They’re a weird little family, which brings me to the next point…
3) The Jossian Family. Buffy, Angel, and Firefly all had these family units–the Scoobies, the Big Damn Heroes, Angel Investigations. In the first episodes, I was a little worried because we didn’t have that family. It was Echo vs. the world, and that wasn’t the dynamic we’ve come to know and love from Joss Whedon. But now that’s changed! We have two family groups–the Dolls and the Dollhouse. Echo, Sierra, and Victor (and sometimes November) have their own cohesive unit, even against their programming. And then all the Dollhouse folks have their own connections and entanglements with each other. What’s even better is when these families intersect–Echo and Boyd’s relationship is the most obvious example, but even Adelle has a fondness for Echo, and Topher and Echo’s interaction in “A Spy in the House of Love” was kind of amazing. The entire Dollhouse cast is beginning to become a team, a family despite all the moral implications. And hasn’t that become a major theme of the show? The need to connect to people even if it’s an illusion.
4) Relationships. This is slightly different than the Family thing, which refers to the cast as a whole. What I’m talking about here are the separate relationships between any two characters on the show. Paul and Mellie’s relationship took a CRAZY new turn this week, and that’s going to be the funnest car crash of a relationship I’ll ever see. Echo and Boyd continue to have the most fascinating relationship on the show, in my opinion. Victor and Sierra have their ADORABLE soul matey love. Adelle…oh Adelle, how I love you and your cold heart. Her relationships with “Roger,” with Laurence Dominic, and even with Topher all reveal more and more about her. There’s just a LOT GOING ON in the Dollhouse, and I’m utterly fascinated.
5) The humor! Another thing people complained about in the beginning was the lack of humor. And then the most glorious scene ever happened: Adelle and Topher stoned and eating inappropriate starches with contemplating the incomprehensibility of lentils. BEST SCENE EVER. The show’s not going to be hilarious just by its nature, but the amount of humor has gone up.
6) The plot thickens! That over-arching plotline they promised us is starting to unfold, and next week’s going to up the drama about FIVE MILLION NOTCHES.
Basically, I love this show. This first season has improved SO MUCH in just a few episodes, and it would kill me inside to miss out on a second season. The characters and relationships on this show have the potential for mutiple seasons of development and craziness. I…love this show. Don’t take it away, Fox. Please?