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February 21 2009

(SPOILER) Review of "Dollhouse: The Target" in iF Magazine. Ambivalent but optimistic write-up of the episode, with props for Joss Whedon and Steven S. DeKnight overall. io9.com liked the episode as well.

Is the spoiler in this article about events after "The Target"? (Thanks for posting...)
You should be safe if you've seen The Target Ronald-SF.
The author's main gripe is that the main character doesn't have a defined personality. But isn't that part of the fun of DH so far?
I agree that Boyd is the entree into the show. Actually couldn't care less about the rest (including Echo) at this point as I wouldn't watch a show about human trafficking under most circumstances and I think there are other means of exploring issues of identity.
Boyd is our touchpoint. But I also love Topher. I think the stand alone is going to help the series (obviously some people loved this episode more than the first).
Boyd is the man. I'm rooting for him all the way :)

As for Topher? I needs to see more of him to make up my mind.
I'd rather see Joss do something edgier on HBO, like that Buffy/Angel wannabe series.

Dollhouse is missing something (besides viewers). I just don't feel the joy when I watch it.
Topher is ok. But he doesn't have the lovability of Xander. I'm thinking he's not exactly one of the good guys.
You don't have to be a good guy to be lovable (Spike anyone? Lilah... Lindsey... etc).

And kerfuffle I really don't think HBO would take a Joss show. I do enjoy the stuff they do - but Stephen DeKnight would do more edgier stuff than Joss would. :D
A weak main character? Not my take on Echo and certainly not my take on Eliza's amazing performance, so far.

"At some point (we hope) Echo wakes up partially .... "

Umm , already happening. Sometimes I wonder if these reviewers are half asleep while watching the show.
This was a really good episode, now on board for the series. Great overall plot arc, interesting premises and characters I'll tune in especially to see. Can't say fairer that than.
Happy to hear , Simon, should be a fun ride :)
I thought this week's episode was a huge improvement on the last.
Even though the "hunting" thing has been done before, it was well done, and I loved the connection between Boyd and Echo. A definite highlight. All the flashbacks really helped me to connect to Echo.

I still miss the humor though. Anyone remember "Homecoming?" Slayerfest? Similar in the hunting thing, but though it was dangerous and exciting it was also hilarious.
The Star-Ledger's tv reviewer also had good things to say about this episode.
There was humor all over this episode, though.
I thought the pilot also had as much humour as most TV. The thing about the humour in Dollhouse is IMO, it's more naturalistic, more like in real life where someone says something funny as part of a conversation. The scripts don't point it out and it's not as "showy" as the Buffy sort of humour, not as overtly clever, it just occurs and then you're past it (it's similar in form but feels slightly more restrained).
"I am honest citizen!"
Of course nothing really compares to "Anything for you. Because I love you. Deep, deep man love," and Boyd hanging up.
Toyd 4 EVAR !
And the Brando chin. I mentioned it in the other thread but I guess no one else finds it hysterical?
I didn't catch the chin move at first. It's a nice touch but not my kind of ha-ha. Lubov on the other hand is pretty much always hilarious to me so far. Cheesy goodness.

Saje: Topher also remarks on Boyd's eyes later. But I like Bopher better.
Bopher? But I just met her.
Ba dum dum.

Yeah, Bopher also works. I think when a 'ship name works both ways it's like the stars aligning or capturing lightning in a bottle. It's fated is what i'm saying, it's a lurrve juggernaut.
Did Alpha program Echo's date to believe he really was a rich hunter stalker? And if he did, is someone inside the Dollhouse helping Alpha? Cause I'm thinking a psycho on the run may not have the resources to do that all mindwiping by himself.
That is an interesting question. If Alpha can mind wipe other people that adds another layer.

Also posed by Watching Dollhouse: “Was the lasagna a poison trap like the canteen?”

[ edited by gossi on 2009-02-22 23:07 ]
Maybe Alpha mindwiped Dr Saunders into helping him without realising.
I think Alpha probably just found himself a psycho who wanted what he was offering: a chance to hunt a pretty girl made to order. I do think someone inside would have to working with Alpha for him to know enough about the security checks to get a fake identity past them though.
I don't think Alpha's mindwiping people, actively hope he isn't in fact (it just seems too pat) and agree that "Richard" was likely just a handy psycho. Re: fake ID, maybe he was once imprinted as a super-spy and just made such a good fake backstory ('legend' in spy lingo - i've watched my 'Burn Notice' ;) that it would pass any checks, not just the dollhouse's specific setup ? I mean, there're only so many ways to check a person's background.

Re: Saunders though, I do wonder at the similarity of wording between her and Boyd when she describes the hitman's wounds. Could be just functional convergence (they are the same wounds after all and if she's had forensic training and he's an ex-policeman for instance then they might use similar terminology/speech patterns) but the premise does invite you to start wondering if everyone's an imprint.
I sort of think Dollhouse, given the ridiculously abnormal thing they do, would therefore need to check for some pretty nonstandard things in their clients' histories. I imagine some aspects of their security checks would need to be pretty unique and wouldn't be easy to anticipate unless you knew what they'd check and how.

Also Adelle or Dominic mentioned a referral at the end of the episode. Taking on new clients through referral by existing clients could be a way they keep the Dollhouse only a crazy urban legend outside of the most elite circles and assure that the person they're talking to is who they say they are. Of course whatever their system, it failed in this case.
I liked this one a lot more than the last, and I didn't mind the last. But this week's "The Most Dangerous Game" remake/homage coupled with backstory and a moving and nicely ambiguous furthering of the Boyd/Echo bond, such as it is? Totally there.

I can't wait for next week.
The referral thing makes sense in terms of Alpha, too. If he remembers his imprints, then he could easily write a fake referral from the perspective of someone who had hired him at some point.
By the way, I haven't seen anyone mention the glasses. Did anyone else find it ridiculous that the Dollhouse people cleaned up fingerprints etc from that house but left Echo's glasses lying in the middle of the floor?
Yep, bit of an oversight ;). That said, i'd guess they're more concerned about things that have been carried over from the active's past lives (and can be carried forward to future engagements) like fingerprints. But that said, the glasses could still have e.g. DNA (or fingerprints for that matter - if they'd seen them to wipe them then surely they'd just have taken them ?) so it's maybe a bit lazy.

As i've said, i'm only too happy to grant leeway with stuff like that but not ad infinitum (Joss has talked about a more realistic, grounded show, well, more attention to reality kinda comes with that particular sickle).

The referral thing makes sense in terms of Alpha, too.

Yeah exactly. It doesn't strike me as something that Alpha couldn't know. Even Ballard has some idea of the client "profile" and he's far from an insider.
Yes, Let Down. But I'm not. :)
Digg article about Eliza's take on future episodes, and a positive review of "The Target".
From the Boyd/Saunders exchange regarding the body, I got the feeling that Dr. Saunders is lying about Alpha. I think she was/is in cahoots with Alpha.

Take, for instance, the scars on her face. Alpha surgically kills many Handlers and dolls in the Dollhouse (8seconds for each kill), but "claws" Dr. Saunders' face? Those were NOT neat, kill tactics if Alpha did make those scars. And why leave Dr. Saunders alive??

We know Alpha has a thing for Echo, but why was Dr. Saunders sparred? And, with her sparred, WHY even MAKE those scars to begin with? Why not just leave her alone? Why scratch her face?

There is something fishy going on. I can smell it.

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