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February 15 2009

(SPOILER) Dollhouse Episode 2 preview. As seen in the credits during the first ep.



[ edited by The Irish Cowgirl on 2009-02-16 01:04 ]
I am super-psyched to see next week's episode, The Target!
That's a preview just for next week's episode.
Where is the Whedon banter? If I didn't know it came from Joss I wouldn't know it came from Joss.
Gotta say, Kerfluffle, I disagree. Granted, less Xanderisms, but the dialogue was fuckin' solid, thoughtful, and witty. Some examples:

"You ever actually try and clean a slate? You always see what was there before."

"That's so jaded. Such a middle age."
Honestly, I didn't love the "ever try cleaning a slate" line, but that may have been the delivery.

I loved Topher though. Whenever he was on screen I enjoyed myself just a little bit more. I think he and Boyd are my favourites right now.

The preview for next week excites the crap out of me, by the way. I can't wait.
If that is just the preview for next week's episode, I guess the action really does get dialed up.
Intriguing! I wonder how long I'll have to see it in my Country...sigh.
Edited title to reflect content of video.
I liked:
"Something fell on me."
"I bet it was something great!"
Topher is funny and horrible.
The slate line? I do think it was the delivery that was off. That is the kind of line that smg would have nailed, had it appeared in a Buffy context.
Then again, maybe it just sounds wrong because the metaphor is a bit off. Because a slate actually can be wiped clean with water. It's really more the case with paper and parchment and the like, where there's always a shadow or indentation left behind.
Topher is funny and horrible.

That's it exactly. You wanna laugh with him cos he's cool and quirky but actually, he's pretty dickish, much moreso than I expected from the promos (which I like).

Boyd's ma boi right now. Which means I totally expect Boyd to do something heinous in the next few weeks to make me question that ;).
I was wondering if there was going to be any room for humor as well. All the other work only lacked humor when a situation was absolutely bleak but generally maintained it even when dark.

I wasn't especially impressed with the slate line--though I think toast is right about SMG--but I did snicker at the peeing on the shoes line. I thought that one was delivered well. Even if it was obvious he was going to say it at some point.

Nonetheless, I loved the show.
I haven't seen the pilot (bein' on th'other side o' th' world 'n' all), but this has really got me enthused for the series! (all the good shows get put on six months later at 22:30 ERRG.)

BTW: I need a recording of the fox announcer on loop, I just can't explain why.
I actually laughed out loud at the "I bet it was something great" line....he nailed it and with the hand gesture too. I really shows how Tropher doesn't see the Dolls as people at all, he doesn't need to worry what he says to them or how he says it. Underneath the humour, it was really creepy.

I wonder how long it will be until he questions himself.
Indeed, what'll be his wake-up call ? If it runs long enough I could see Topher being another classic Whedon character arc.
Topher's eventual wake up call may have something to do with the Doc, who is, BTW, yet another case of a "horribly scarred" tv character who looks totally gorgeous, with a few random marks on her glowing visage. I guess actual disfigurement of an important female character is about as likely as an ordinary looking principal character of either sex. It would be particularly hard work to make Amy Acker look unwonderful anyhow.

[ edited by toast on 2009-02-15 15:59 ]
Topher sadly seems like another one of the Whedon classics, the supersmart nerds who actually does very stupid things.
I dont get the 'And by the way we have to send them out with some flaws'. May make for interesting storytelling but makes the people doing it look extremely stupid.
Security ! having Echo walk in on them performing the procedure, made them look even more stupid.
The explanation, as I understand it, of the "flaws" thing, is that in order to be truly exceptional and strong in one area, any individual will necessarily have or develop some balancing weakness, without which the brilliance could not exist. While this may not actually be true, it is certainly something many people believe, and is far from being an entirely off-the-wall idea.

It is an interesting premise, because it seems like as employed by Topher, it keeps the actives from being superhuman and unmanageable...and also likely makes them seem more plausible to the people they encounter on an engagement. And it provides a lot of good story potential, too.
And I was just rewatching that scene, and it makes more and more sense as I do. They need flaws because exceptional people are always exceptional in order to compensate for their less-great qualities. Which is not an ideal to which I necessarily subscribe, but it's one that makes plenty of sense to me.

Also, are we sure this is just a preview for the second episode? I know the end definitely is, but at the beginning it says, "This season!" And it seems a little early to have Alpha encounter Echo, as the preview implies he does... but then again, I haven't seen the next episode, so who knows.
Are people sayin that Alpha is the first Active (that was created), and that said active in now rouge? interesting.... damages, even
Is that really just for the next episode? Wow, then I can't wait for next week. I was just going off of the "This season on dollhouse..." voiceover and that it seemed that there was just way too much going on for one episode.
Looks great, can't wait.
I'm afraid that I hate the slate.

Topher is going to be line delivery guy though.
Topher is awesome,IMHO. Sure he's amoral, but I have no issue liking people with flaws, or even bad guys. I mean Spike was awesome, especially before he turned good. And I'd argue killing lots of people is worse than what Topher does. But just because what he does is closer to human trafficking, liking him becomes less ok.
I'm in the group that thinks that it was ED's delivery of the "slate" line, and not the line itself, that was the issue. Indeed, I think the "slate" line is a wonderful metaphor (if one considers it only in the case of using erasers, rather than water--water does not figure in the saying "wiping the slate clean," for instance). It is the idea of the palimpsest, as toast describes above, and, in some cases, all we know of ancient texts is by means of the palimpsest. (The idea of the palimpsest has, in recent years, been explored by a number of artists, BTW, as it also resembles the idea behind the art term pentimento.) It works beautifully as a metaphor for Echo's awakening memories, IMO, but also for Caroline's fears of having everything about her totally erased.
I thought the delivery was fine, in context. Sure it would have been funnier with a more Buffy speak style character, but I really don't think Caroline was going for "I'm so funny and sarcastic!" type of line. She didn't really strike me as the Spike or Xander type to make jokes when nervous or in danger. And she was obviously in a great deal of stress in that scene. But that's me.
Totally with you, SteppeMerc. That delivery (besides the one of "Should it?" and "She hurts." and "Is anyone looking after you?") sold Eliza's acting skills to me completely.
It occurs to me that Eliza D. is perfect as Echo, as much because of what could be considered, in other contexts, a bit of a limitation on her acting technique.

There is a certain Eliza kind of intensity which seems to come through in all the roles I've seen her in, making her various roles seem kind of similar to one another. Here, that will be, perhaps, just right, as there must be some Caroline in all of Echo's personalities, an individual with so much character that she comes through the Dollhouse process imperfectly wiped clean.

I don't mean this rudely, many famous/respected actors and stars have this kind of imprint on all their parts. It's just a different sort of performance from the Sean Penn-ish sort, where the actor is utterly transformed.

[ edited by toast on 2009-02-16 02:15 ]
I just erased it from my DVR. I tried to watch it a second time but just didn't want to. This is the only thing Joss has ever written I couldn't watch again and again...I feel bummed.

@streetartist if "You ever actually try and clean a slate? You always see what was there before." was the best line in the entire thing, then there's big trouble in little china, dude.

Frankly, next week's preview looks good because it looks like Faith is kicking Helo's ass. And that's about all.
I just saw a commercial on tv for the ep. its announced as *the new hit* Dollhouse. So...FOX thinks it a hit then? Or do they say that in the commercial for every show thats not canned after one ep? lol.
I was not in love with the "You ever actually try to clean a slate?" line. Part of it was the delivery, but mostly it seemed totally incongruous coming out of the mouth of anyone under the age of at least 50. Does anyone think that Caroline ever actually tried to clean a slate? It's absurd.

Topher has my favorite lines so far. He's like a mixture of Xander (funny, likable), Andrew (nerdy, geeky), and Warren (creepy, amoral, making-women-to-order). His delivery of "bet it was something great" was spot-on, and while the "new moon" line and the Shakespeare quote were a bit forced (especially the "new moon"one), his delivery overall was quite satisfying. Who's next?

Also, since he's mentioned in the preview, I'll bring up Alpha. So far, it sounds a little too much like Adam from Buffy. I hope he and the Alpha plot are better than that, one of my least favorite arcs in Buffy.

[ edited by Septimus on 2009-02-16 02:43 ]
Warren wasn't amoral, he was just plain evil.
I'm not getting an Adam-ish vibe from Alpha at all. I don't know where that comes from.

And I didn't think those two lines were forced at all, Septimus. They seemed very much in line with what we've seen of the character, and the Fran's delivery was fine.
Just caught a T:SCC/Dollhouse promo during the new HD episode of The Simpsons for this Friday's coming episodes, and they called Dollhouse "FOX's new hit series." Sweet.
having Echo walk in on them performing the procedure, made them look even more stupid.

Well, I think it shows that most of the dolls don't wander around much, or ask questions the way that Echo does. She seems more curious than the average dolls.

Gotta say I don't understand all the talk about Eliza's acting. I think she did a great job and continue to look forward to her acting. I feel like people are holding her up to a higher standard than, say, David Boreanaz (whom I don't think has great range, personally, though I love Angel). I actually found Tahmoh to be rather flat in this episode.

[ edited by ShanshuBugaboo on 2009-02-16 08:23 ]
Well, I think it shows that most of the dolls don't wander around much, or ask questions the way that Echo does. She seems more curious than the average dolls.

Exactly. This seemed as plain as day to me, Topher was surprised to see her there, he even made sort of "WTF ?!" gestures etc. to Dr Saunders so the reason they don't bother with locks is the actives don't go up there "just to look".

Thinking about it, it felt a bit, to me, like a child stumbling on its parents having sex and maybe that was intended, kind of like the first step down the path away from innocence.
Thinking about it, it felt a bit, to me, like a child stumbling on its parents having sex and maybe that was intended, kind of like the first step down the path away from innocence.

That's a interesting take on it. I see what you mean. It obviously is a traumatic moment for her, nonetheless. I thought it was very intriguing that when Ellie is confronted by the girl who was kidnapped's father about her own kidnappers that she flashed back to seeing Sierra in the chair. It was almost like Echo's traumatic memories were coming through instead of Ellie's. But at the same time you could also say that the juxtaposition of those images with the talk of the kidnappers/abusers hinted at the deeply exploitative nature of the Dollhouse, and the traumatic (though forgotten) pain of being wiped.
But at the same time you could also say that the juxtaposition of those images with the talk of the kidnappers/abusers hinted at the deeply exploitative nature of the Dollhouse, and the traumatic (though forgotten) pain of being wiped.

Yeah, it seemed to be kind of drawing a line connecting the idea of being kidnapped (and physically/sexually assaulted) with what happens to the actives. Depending on how you view the consent issue (which is one of the most interesting questions the show asks for me i.e. does signing on as an active initially mean you've given consent to everything that happens to you thereafter ?) you could see everyone that works at the dollhouse as a rapist, or at least complicit in rape.
does signing on as an active initially mean you've given consent to everything that happens to you thereafter?

That's a good question. I think that even if someone does consent, the Dollhouse is still complicit. If someone is depressed and asks you to shoot them in the head, does that make it ok to? Obviously that is an extreme example, but you get where I'm going with this.

People in desperate situations can be taken advantage of easily. Caroline clearly does not want to sign on as an active, but she feels that she has no choice.
What I noticed in the credits is that there are two composers : Mychael Danna and Rob Simonsen.

Anyway I thought the score was pretty good, it did a good job showing the creepiness of the dollhouse.
Before you even get to the subtler moral issues, pretty much all over the English and American legal systems, anyway, legal consent must be informed consent and the consenting party has to be competent, and not under duress.(Legal duress being more like "If you don't sign, I'll shoot, and less like "you have no other recourse economically", although sometimes the latter is just as much pressure.)

Also, you can't consent to illegal activity...although , of course, some things which would be illegal without consent, are legal with it. But not, you know, say- the sale of your own organs and stuff like that.

And, of course, morally, the scope is much wider.

[ edited by toast on 2009-02-16 13:36 ]
(Legal duress being more like "If you don't sign, I'll shoot, and less like "you have no other recourse economically", although sometimes the latter is just as much pressure.)

Yeah, I think the latter is more interesting morally cos it speaks more to the theme of people being complicit in their own objectification/exploitation - painting the dolls as pure victims and the management as pure exploiters isn't as worthwhile (or as true to life, at least in the West) to me.

Assuming the people that sign up are told beforehand roughly what's in store and nothing's actively hidden from them then it's more like in the past when men would be given the option of either life in jail (or even hanging) or joining the army - you have an uncoerced choice but on the other hand, it's Hobson's choice for most people i'd imagine (even if you may then be called on to kill and/or die as a result of your "choice").
I just checked out "Hobson's choice" in the Wiki. It seems that Hobson was a stable owner in the 1600's, who, in order to rotate his horses, insisted that his customers take the horse nearest the door- or no horse at all. Who knew? I always thought it had something to do with Thomas Hobbes, which is apparently a common mistake.

[ edited by toast on 2009-02-16 14:14 ]

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