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"Here at Command Central, not so much with the hilarious. More with the 'What the Hell am I Doing'"
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July 17 2009

(SPOILER) Recap and review of the Dollhouse episode 'Epitaph One'. A detailed look at the mysterious 13th episode.

Hmm. I might receive death stares (can you death stare on Whedonesque?), but I plan on torrenting this. The first season left me unenthused, and I'm hoping this will help build excitement for season two, inevitably the final season.
If you were unenthused by the back half then a standalone episode that has nothing to do with Season Two probably won't help you become enthused (or will inevitably lead you to disappointment). Plus, the death stares! :)
Uh yeah, I watched it tonight. Don't worry, I already pre-ordered the DVD :)

I disagree with this reviewer in that I did not find it confusing at all. And I think Fox should have aired it. I do agree with him about a certain "shippy" moment though :P
Hey, mystery of the april fools day video, solved.
Fox didn't air the episode for technical reasons. Still, I'm waiting on the blu-ray to watch this. I just finished watching Buffy and Angel (I actually kinda love everyone but Buffy in both of those shows), moving on to Firefly next, and finishing with Dollhouse. Kinda like watching Joss Whedon's TV awesomeness in order, though the first two took me three years to watch. Either way, I'm really looking forward to Epitaph One and Echo, though honestly, I hope that all future seasons don't necessarily rely on Epitaph One to provide story, because after all, not everyone's gonna get the DVD and watch the episode, and it's hard to build an audience when you make many references to an episode that's never aired. Still, I trust Joss on this. Also, in true fashion, I refuse to read the review till I see the episode. I have a love-hate relationship with spoilers, and I'm currently in my hate phase.

Well that was long.
Joss Whedon has balls of steel. That is all.
I'm not going to torrent this but I so so SO want my DVD soon. That is all--it's killing me that I don't know what you're talking about and I can't read this review!
I'm not torrenting, because I don't want to support the pirated versions by uploading the files while I download - but as long as they're out there, I am downloading from usenet (which is not illegal where I live :)). I have, of course, pre-ordered the R2 DVDs, so I don't feel bad about downloading an extra copy.

It'll just mean I get to talk about these episodes with the rest of whedonesque when the DVD becomes available in R1, which is a lot more fun than jumping in months after y'all are done discussing :).
Is it actually not illegal to acquire copyrighted works without paying for a "licence" in the Netherlands or do you just mean usenet isn't illegal GVH (the former seems a bit unlikely) ? Almost all torrent clients will let you set your upload bandwidth to 0 bps or 0.1 or whatever - your download speeds will probably be pretty crappy but at least you won't be encouraging other pirates ;).

(it's a fair point though, I may do it that way too)
From what I recall downloading itself is effectively ruled legal in the Netherlands, it's distributing which isn't legal.

Also, I really liked this episode. It deals with the price of what everybody in that 'house is doing. It also finally adds some emotional connection between the characters - they don't all hate each other now - which is absolutely what the week to week show lacked for me. I cared about what was happening.

The theme song in the end credits actually seemed out of place because the show had moved on so much during those 50 minutes.
The theme song in the end credits actually seemed out of place because the show had moved on so much during those 50 minutes.

Totally agreed. Especially with the lack of intro it was very weird coming back to Jonatha in the end credits. And that J-Mo song at the end? Pure awesome. I cried. Maybe for the third time during that ep, but still. They should have left the episode on that note and just have silence over the end credits.
Wind over the end credits. For serious.

The song at the end is made of awesome. And yes, it made me cry.

The other thing that made me cry? . Also loved And oh yeah? .
Agreed on everything, gossi. Plus, Enver doing ? Probably my favorite acting performance on the whole show.
Yeah. I know I've said this like - 12 times - and I'm not even joking about that - but Enver. Bejesus. His range is absolutely fucking staggering.

Which reminds me, we also got Sierra's full name.
And how can the episode that was shot with half the budget of a normal one look more expensive and awesome to my lay eye than the rest of the season? Now I totally get why 20th, Joss and FBC were in agreement that budget cuts don't necessarily harm this show.
Loved it, loved it, loved it. Can't wait to see it on Blu-Ray. And I don't think it's confusing in the slightest, if you pay any kind of attention. I can't wait to see the build-up to this point in time.

The song at the end - has there been any mention of a release for it?
Maurissa questioned releasing it on Twitter I seem to recall, I don't know if it will actually happen. It should, it's ace.
She questioned whether or not to release it prior to the Comic-Con screening, not whether to release it at all, I believe.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-07-18 15:32 ]
Is Maurissa also singing it?

2nd time through. It just gets better and better.
I know I will catch flack for this, but,outside of Victor and Lubov, everytime Enver has tried to do an accent he just does nothing for me. I admire the effort though. Maybe a DVD marathon'll change my mind. *shrugs*
Worth getting the Blu-ray just for Echo and Epitaph One. Hell of a ride!
One of the best 50 minutes of TV I've ever seen. Incredible. And not in the slightest bit confusing. I'm very keen to see Echo now.
Is it just me that likes to think that Whiskey wasn't affected by the gas? That she'll clean up all the bodies and go back to waiting for the next bunch of survivors and do it all again?

And that therefore she may have done it before? There could end up being a whole bunch of Caroline's arriving at Safe Haven.

Can't wait for my DVD to arrive from Amazon so I can watch it again in full DVD quality.
how has everyone seen it but me?
It leaked online in the wee hours of this morning. Feel sorry for those who wanted Epitaph One to be first seen at Comic Con.
What's on the Blu-Ray and not on the DVD?

Someone above mentioned, "Worth getting the Blu-ray just for Echo and Epitaph One." But the Amazon page for my order of the DVD edition says it does include Echo and Epitaph One.

- Confused.
It leaked online in the wee hours of this morning. Feel sorry for those who wanted Epitaph One to be first seen at Comic Con.

Then we should have felt sorry back in June, when it was shown in Singapore.
They're the same in terms of content, Steve. But in High Def on Blu-Ray. It depends if you have a huge TV and good eye sight, basically.

wiesengrund, the leaks don't originate from the Singapore screening. I've checked, they're DVD rips, likely from an internal DVD. I think people wanted the Comic-Con screening to be fairly never-before-seen. And rightly so. But hey ho.

[ edited by gossi on 2009-07-18 16:53 ]
wiesengrund, the leaks don't originate from the Singapore screening. I've checked, they're DVD rips, likely from an internal DVD.

I know, it's just that Comic Con "world premiere" thing that feels oversold to me.
Well, put it this way - the Serenity US premiere was called the "world premiere", and had big world premiere banners at the premiere. Except it actually premiered at the Edinburgh Film Festival a month before.
Frakkin' awesome. Nine thumbs up.
leaks are from a retail store that broke street date most likely.

I'm guessing most stores have recieved their shipments for tuesday new releases by now.
I'm guessing most stores have recieved their shipments for tuesday new releases by now.

Except this isn't out 7/21. It's out 7/28.
I'll hopefully be able to download this from Amazon. I really really want to pick up the DVD, but I'm saving all I can right now because my dad is giving me his old motorcycle. I've got to get it legal, and then I want to add chrome... lots and lots of chrome :)

On a side note, I finally talked a friend into watching Angel. I gave him my copy of season one a week ago. Last night, I talked to him, and he said he already picked up the box set. I'm sure Buffy will be next, hehe.

[ edited by Eric_Curtis on 2009-07-18 19:15 ]
Even still my work gets shipments 2 weeks ahead for dvds now and then.

Usually for things they REALLY don't want leaking early (24 Finale) they send a immediate shipment on day of. But Dollhouse would've probably be in by now.
I'm not torrenting either, because I don't know how, and I just ordered the DVD anyway. I sort of skimmed the review while telling myself to STOP READING (I'm so disobedient, I never listen to myself and there's really nothing myself can do about it) and felt confused by excited to watch it. Yay! It sounds wacky.
I won't say anything regarding to said episode until a actual discussion thread is up for it. But I will say that Epit1 is the best episode of the series by far.

Oh and Zach Ward is awesomeness.
I'll hopefully be able to download this from Amazon.

"Epitaph One" hits iTunes and and Amazon Video on Demand on August 11. (Don't know about "Echo", but I kind of presume not.)
I don't even know what a torrent is, but this all sounds mighty encouraging. I'll be watching Epitaph One on Sci-Fi UK and then buying the DVD.
This is a fantastic episode, but also puts Joss and the writers in an enormous bind. They may think of so many ideas for episodes in the next year or so but then smack their heads and say "Ahh, we can't do that! It conflicts with Epitaph One!"

What happens if Amy is now committed to her other show? They can't write her out without screwing up the future.
"Epitaph One" hits iTunes and and Amazon Video on Demand on August 11. (Don't know about "Echo", but I kind of presume not.)

Thanks Bix! I can live with out seeing "Echo" for a bit, but "Epitaph One," Oh heck no.
Holy Moley that was good. I get the impression it was written and filmed as a way of tying up loose ends if the series didn't get renewed - I can see it becoming non-canonical in the future as soon as Joss forgets and contradicts it.
An episode like this is too powerful to be ignored as non-canonical. It would have been a great series finale, but now that it's not, I hope they can build up to this moment, or even go past it!

I can't wait for my BluRay copy to come in the mail!

This one blew me away, and will this be the actual future of Dollhouse? If so, by all means! 9 seasons towards this series finale!

Props to Miss Day, you did a good job! Loved to see you again :)

And the little girl, wow, fantastic acting!

So Fox don't have the rights to air it right? GET IT! Air it as, I don't know, a special? or as a S2 prelude and montage in "to be continued" at the end...

The best episode so far, and movie rewrite worthy (yeah, get it to the silver screen!)
This episode pretty much blew my mind in every way possible. Loved every single moment of it, even if a big part of me is still going 'WHAT!?'

I'm not sure if I want the episode to be canon or not - it's way too powerful to just be a "what if", but I'm not sure I like knowing the endgame so early in the story.

That being said I love zz9's idea that this has all happened before and will all happen.

Aaaaaand... after months of speculation we still don't know what 'Epitaph One' actually means. =p
Hmmm. I'm of course getting the DVD... but I so badly want to see this. :mumbles in complaint about the San Diego Comic Con getting way better stuff than the NY one:
Someone I know had a great idea (waves at someone if he is reading), that they should do an Epitaph 2 at the end of the second season as an exclusive for the DVD, and then E3 after season 3 and so on.

They would tell the story from the E1 time period forward and would be an awesome tip of the hat to the dedicated DVD/EST buying fans.
I thought that was the plan? Or did I misread / misremember / totally make that up?
I've seen saying that since the premise of E1 first got out, although for me it works as an actual season coda rather than a DVD extra. As far as I know, it's never been stated as a plan.

I like the DVD-only idea, though. It's an interesting notion.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-07-18 21:45 ]
I'm not sure I like knowing the endgame so early in the story.

Shakespeare does it in Romeo & Juliet, almost the first lines. People still watch the whole play. ;)
On if ep 13 is canon, I'm told yes.

Joss tells THR -"...the flash-forward in the 13th episode took place long after where we are right now. So we can be moving toward some of those events which are unexplained. We have a few years where we can do anything we want before it would be weird if we didnít start paying them off."

So I'd pitch it as Lost style flash forward. They may regret it due to writing themselves into a corner, but - personally - I think they can work around potential issues (casting being chief). There's a lot of story lines in ep 13 I hope we build to and explore.
Best 50 minutes of tv ever. Wait for the official thread to discuss the bits and pieces but oh my fraking gawd was it good.
b!X Shared with us:
Shakespeare does it in Romeo & Juliet, almost the first lines. People still watch the whole play. ;)

Actually I do not mind knowing the end game. It makes up for everything in between :D And after!

Soo much to explore... wow! again.
I thought it was mostly really really good(though Jed/Maurissa still seem to be struggling a bit with scripting certain kinds of scenes. Especially the Topher/Adelle scene near the end didn't play well though the actual idea for the scene was great. Much better written than "Stage Fright" though, so there's hope for these two writers). I still think "Omega" is the strongest season 1 episode.
Mind blowing. I think Joss must have read
Naa, I think it works out just fine. The only way I think they'd be "written into a corner" would be if there was a violent fan reaction to the ends of any of these character's and they later wish they hadn't done it that way.

But since they know the endgame, they should know better than to make a character "too likable" or "too good to lose." So all they really have to do is keep the charecter's in their boxes so to speak, and work towards the end. And in a few charecter's cases, we really don't know their real end, we're left to guess.

Plus, that doesn't mean they can't add or subtract character's whose stories we still don't know yet.

[ edited by azzers on 2009-07-19 01:41 ]
Rune: "Fox didn't air the episode for technical reasons. "

And the technical reason being greed ;-)

MattManic7325: Aaaaaand... after months of speculation we still don't know what" 'Epitaph One' actually means. =p"

Its English. It means Epitaph One. And if we are lucky there might be an epitaph two one day.

I liked it. Distressting some people find i confusing.
I was thinking i would quite like for season 2 to alternate between now and 2019.

That final view in Adeles office reminded me of 'Life after people' - love a good visual dystopia instead of imagined terrors of the mind.

Adair Tishler is a good little actress, I wonder if by 2019 Joss will have cast her as a kick ass killer of something in a future project of this *g*
Epitaph One is just a gorgeous piece of work. It probably hit me harder than any episode of the season (or, heck, any episode of any show's season for this year) on a thematic level. The flashbacks, wow... especially the Adelle-Topher and Adelle-Dominic segments blew my mind. Their rationalization of the organization had been so bulletproof on the surface (viewed from their perspective, at least) that it makes sense they'd fall all the harder when the time came. Amazing acting from all parties involved. The only thing that made me raise an eyebrow was the Boyd/Claire moment, since "Omega" gave me the impression they were going to play with Topher/Claire a bit more... but hmm, maybe they'll do both. Agree with those who said that this puts the writers in a pinch, though. It seems to have been designed as a series finale more than anything, probably 'cause Joss didn't want the show to end up with another Objects in Space as an epilogue, but now that there's going to be a Season 2... where do we go from here?
Joss was clearly comfortable with Objects in Space as an epilogue, since Trash and The Message were supposed to come after it (and, in my opinion, fit better that way).

Epitaph One was absolutely amazing. I'll discuss more after seeing it again in 1080p.
There's a difference between being put in a pinch and stoking creativity by setting limitations.
I assumed that was, at least somewhat, what the title of the episode referred to... maybe.
Just watched it. Blew my mind.

Not going to use the spoiler tags, since there's Spoiler on the thread.

I think the Epitaph One could refer to the pictures at the end or the final resting place of all their original personalities, each acting as their sort of epitaph.

Maybe I should save these questions for the official thread, but...

Who was the personality in the girl before she was wiped and replaced with Caroline? Someone we knew or not?
So Alpha is one of the "good guys" now? I'm not sure if Caroline was saying "we have Alpha to thank for that" because he helped or if she was being sarcastic.
Are they trying to say that if Topher hadn't made the modifications to take the process from 2 hours to 5 minutes that all of this may not have happened?
Why was Caroline hiding herself from Topher but not from Ballard? I mean, I guess that could be obvious (that Ballard isn't exactly an inside man), but still.

I'm reeling and I'll need to watch it again.
Bry - I think this whole thread has turned spoiler.

I think most of that is in there for you guess. Although with the Alpha thing, it could also be completely plausible that he stays evil but they come across some technology he leaves behind.

What was great about the episode was that it seemed to give you an idea what happened to everybody, but didn't exactly show you the actual outcome of anyone. So we could be wrong about every assumption we've made after seeing it. Even the November line could be taken multiple ways.
Loved, loved, loved seeing Zack Ward in there. "Titus" remains one of my favorite shows of all time and I hadn't seen nearly enough of him since. But now he's in the Whedonverse, so I can keep up on his career here!
I can't say that "Epitaph One" was my favorite Whedon episode ever or even necessarily of Dollhouse. What I can say is that no episode of anything has ever made me feel like that. And I think part of the beauty stems from Dollhouse being different--the lack of emotional characters that has left many of us disconnected all season placed in this context was something we've never been faced with before. That's why I love Dollhouse. There's so much potential because it's so different, so I hope everyone keeps an open mind to that potential and creativity.

I am still quite astonished.
Im not sure why Epitaph One would be considered 'confusing' unless you can't sit still for more than five minutes.

I was drunk and the sound was out of sync with the video and I still managed to easily gather what was going on.

I was never a fan of the flashforward type storytelling on Lost, I thought it took the suspense away and seeing as it takes about seven episodes for someone to sneeze I just stopped caring. So Im hoping that Dollhouse actually catches up with the E1 storyline sooner rather than later, although there was a lot left open to interpretation.

I liked that when Novembers fate was mentioned, Priya commented 'Which November?' And the Topher scene made me cry. I kind of saw the pretty young body borrowing coming but it was still awesome. In general the episode was just one big orgasm and definately would have made a satisfying conclusion had the show been cancelled.

That whole episode just gave me chills. Iíve been on holidays for the past few weeks and Iíve watched a lot of shows. And when I say a lot I mean a lot. That was the best thing I have watched in months.

I was already obsessed with Dollhouse but Epitaph One gave me the last thing I needed to truly fall in love with this series. Omega teetered on the edge of finally delivering that intimate, emotional vibe needed to truly connect the audience and the characters. When Echo places her hand on Topherís chest I smiled because finally they were all starting to come together and finally I was starting to feel that love for the characters I felt in Buffy and Angel. I thought it was a sign of things to come and after watching this in many ways it was. Epitaph One was as emotionally powerful as it was thought-provoking and in my opinion thatís the first time Dollhouse has truly accomplished that. I was gob smacked to see Topher so broken and to see Adelle so motherly and tender with him. I also donít know how they managed it but Iím already a massive fan of Boyd/Claire after that one short scene they shared together.

This episode was just incredibly compelling and boasted astounding performances by every single actor who took part in it. Felicia Day did a marvellous job carrying ďthe leadĒ of the episode and Iím once again blown away by Amy Acker. I always thought Acker was a good actress but I never understood why so many fans were taken by her. Ever since Dollhouse started I have come to appreciate her amazing talent and find that she shines more here than she even did on Angel. Eliza Dushku was astounding in the small parts she played and she made ďCarolineĒ (I use the antlers because I havenít made up my mind if itís Caroline or some Caroline/Echo hybrid) both likeable and heroic. In Echoes Caroline came off as a bit idealistic and silly but here she was just amazing. Itís also commendable how great Eliza is at speaking different languages and how authentic her accents sound.

If I could ever fault Btvs/Ats it was that over time the characters I loved grew apart and became more isolated. It wasnít always pleasant to watch the relationships you loved slowly fracture and become broken as the both seriesí progressed. Dollhouse does something very different and I think itís rather exciting. Those relationships can only get stronger as the series goes on and as our Actives become more self-aware. I donít know about anyone else but Iím so excited to see how Adelle/Topher learn to care about each other so much, how Echo and Paulís relationship develops, how Boyd/Claire become involved ect. Things can only get better even if everything around them goes to hell.

Overall this was easily one of my favourite episodes of Dollhouse and I think itís incredible how much grander it looks when the budget was so reduced. It just proves that we shouldnít worry about s2, Joss and Co always make it work with whatever little theyíve got. Buffy was once the ďlittle show that couldĒ and Dollhouse can easily be as well.

.. Now I get to go watch Echo which Iím equally as excited about and have anticipated ever since I read the script. It's a good day to be a Dollhouse fan.

PS. Oh and after watching this I no longer have to feel guilty about loving Adelle so much. I always believed she was capable of change underneath that cold exterior and this episode just proved that. She was amazing, Topher's complete breakdown also scored major brownie points with me.

[ edited by vampmogs on 2009-07-19 09:02 ]

[ edited by vampmogs on 2009-07-19 09:05 ]
I haven't seen the episode but I read the review. Here's the problem with it being canon, we now know who is alive in the future. That means between now and then whenever a character is placed in a life and death scenario, we know they will live. On Joss shows anyone can die at any time, he's done it before but now that's one less card he has to play.
I haven't seen the episode but I read the review. Here's the problem with it being canon, we now know who is alive in the future. That means between now and then whenever a character is placed in a life and death scenario, we know they will live. On Joss shows anyone can die at any time, he's done it before but now that's one less card he has to play.

I think Dollhouse might just be the show where this doesn't matter, because we have new things to "worry" about. Although Dom wasn't technically "killed" in ASITHOL, his wiping gave me the chills galore. Just like Margaret's "death" at the end of "Haunted", although we know that there still is "copy" of her left in the Dollhouse database. This show has various ways to hurt people, and they do get me emotionally, although none of it is "death" in the usual sense. So, I'm , um... looking forward to a lot of peril in future seasons. ;)
Firstly, I loved the episode. Really, really enjoyed it. The style was Joss at his best from the get go. The band of "actuals" were close knit, and sparking off of each other like the crew of Serenity. My word that little girl can act, I totally bought the fact that she had an adult inside of her (who was it though....).

I never took this as a definite set ending though. It's entirely possible to show us this as the path that is currently set out for the characters based of their current decisions and then have that change. I just hope it doesn't descend into the continual shifting pattern of the likes of Heroes and the Terminator franchise.

Much like The Wish in Buffy, this is a snapshot of what could happen IF certain events, decisions are made or not made. It really has set up the tension with the need to kill the technology to stop the end-game from happening and I can't wait to see it!
Id much prefer if E1 wasn't a cautionary tale episode, but the actual future of the Dollverse. Its just way too interesting to brush off like that.
The way I see E1 is as how the world will end up if if stays on its current path, I think it doesn't afect to much what they can do next season, history could be changed. I would however like to get to that point in future seasons cause the episode rocked!
The only problem with the "History could be changed" ideas is how? What sets it on a different course if no one knows it is coming? In s8 and even in Heroes the only reason the future can change is because our character see a glimpse of it which changes how they would have acted in the timeline. Unless any of our characters get a glimpse of this apocalyptic future (and how would they, time travel isnít really Dollhouse-y) then logically it has to happen.
Who says E1 marks the end of the storyline? I wanna know why they're climbing up Dollhouse-Tower, not down, for one thing.
And I wanna know what Echaroline did after she cocked the gun in front of Adelle. And where Boyd went. And whether Whiskey really died there.
And why Boyd went.
Since Epitah:One borrows heavily from the "Days of future past" storyline from "X-Men" i assume that it will be possible to alter certain events yet still ending up with a simularly crappy scenario like it happened in that instance.
Not entirely relevant, but does anyone know if the DVD has a director's cut of Omega?

You know the whole bit about editing the TV finale to fit, so I was checking if there was another version on the DVD. I think they cut some good stuff if that script was anything to judge it by.
I don't see how E1 borrows from Days of Future Past. These sort of 'broken future' type of stories are usually cliche-ridden in a way that sees the writer kill off and destroy EVERYTHING just because he can. Everyone's done it. Claremont did it, RTD did it in Doctor Who, even Joss in The Wish. E1 doesn't for a second feel like this sort of thing. It was painfully real. It's more foreshadowing, less cautionary tale.

Again, the balls! I still can't believe those guys just went ahead and this episode. It could become a little Whedon family tradition; every July, they break every conceivable storytelling rule there is and reinvent the episodic form.
John, the DVDs don't have a 'directors cut' of Omega. According to Tamara that's a significant number of deleted scenes on the DVDs, though.
That was astoundingly wonderfully amazingly good. It's so nice to see an episode of that quality having not been spoilt at all.

I could take or leave this particular branch of Whedon fandom until now, but this has me totally on board and geekified. Bags of kudos to Amy, Felicia, Olivia, Fran (who was excellent, even when silent) and Enver.

My god, Enver was so good - if I was technologically skilled, I would build that boy a website.
Bring on the trumpets!

I so nearly called this future in April.

Officially smug and undeservedly impressed with myself.
No doubt in my mind that E1 created more questions then it answered. I love the story Joss is weaving here and he's attacking it from all directions (chronologically speaking). It's excellent.
When I said in previous post history could be changed I didn't mean someone would see the future, I ment it could just take another path. But if they could if they were allowed to I would love to get to the point where E1 ends. Maybe if given the chance they could tell the story upto the part in E1 where Caroline & Paul are back in the Dollhouse about to back up Caroline, then they could reshow E1 & make an E2 & E3 and pick up the show at safe haven with the surviving charactures.
gossi, my brother and I were wondering the exact same thing regarding climbing up or not.

It will be hard to fit it in continuity wise, especially since it will be shown to everyone except Americans that are true fans. But as I pointed out to my brother, we don't know when most of the flashbacks take place. It could be this season that Rossam starts offering immortality. Thus leaving Joss wide open to still kill people that we don't know the fate of.

Incredibly awesome and very depressing. I just kept on feeling bad for characters over and over, from Topher to Sierra (er Priya), especially Whiskey, who I've always felt really bad towards. Good lord do I hope that Amy Acker can continue showing up.

One of the (many) questions I still have is how no one (well at least Whiskey, given the ambiguous time line of the flashbacks) aged. Is the Dollhouse Neverland? And my brother brought up what happened to Victor's scars (we know Boyd leaves while Saunders has scars... why would he leave before the whole immortality thing with Rossam, when Victor has no scars?)
I think the climbing up the Dollhouse tower thing has to do with symbolism, more than anything. They begin the episode simply trying to survive, and going underground - the deeper, the better, as they say. Now that they've learned that "Safe Haven" is real, they're actively pulling themselves up.
Personally, and this is just me, I'd rather that Topher not get so broken and that the world didn't descend into endless mindwipes. But just because I would prefer that, doesn't mean that will happen, or that I would not love to see the story where it did. It's kinda like the whole given me what I need, not what I want thing *grins*.

Actually, what surprises me is my strength of feeling for all of the characters because, much as I liked them all by the end of Season One, I didn't think I could feel such empathy for them.
Fantastic. I would very much like the flashforward story to continue, perhaps an "Eptiaph" a season ("Epitaph Two" in season two, etc.) with the possibility multiple Echos, Alpha-saving-the-world, Boyd leading the safehaven... or whatever. All of this, year-on-year, making it mysterious and compelling until we get to the final season (ideally, of course...) where everything starts to meet the "Zero" point.
This was the first Dollhouse episode that truly excited me. Kudos to everyone involved. If Joss and co are going down this path then I'll quite happily join them. It reminded me of Babylon 5, not only in terms of epic plot arcs but those wonderful jumps to the future where you get glimpses of what will happen.
Babylon 5 is such an underrated show. My best friend and I watch it together every week on DVD. It's our hang out time =) Epitaph One really reminded me of the season 4 finale of B5.
I don't know about anyone else, but I will be thoroughly disappointed if this turns out to just be a "what if?" scenario. There doesn't seem to be anything indicating that it is though, so I'm not worried.
The song is stuck on a loop in my head.
Ahhh... Londo... that was always a great tragedy. I still can remember "Mr. Garibaldi!" quite vividly from season 1.

[ edited by azzers on 2009-07-20 01:28 ]
I've read through the comments and I don't think anyone's brought this up...

Did anyone get the impression that Caroline really screwed Whiskey over? When she's stitching Caroline, Saunders asks her how she plans to let people know to look in the memories for information on how to find Safe Haven, and Caroline responds that she's working on a plan. Saunders would presumably have then taken Caroline to backup her mind.

Jump to 2019 and Whiskey seems to be in a not-quite-Tabula-Rasa state. Imprinted to never leave the Dollhouse and to tell the first people to enter how to find Safe Haven. Once Caroline has been imprinted, she essentially self destructs.

Maybe I'm just not trusting, but I don't quite believe that Caroline told Whiskey not to stay in the Dollhouse. I think she programmed her to do nothing else. Which I guess would raise the question - what would be better... to live as an ignorant shell in paradise, or to be yourself in Hell? I think we know what Caroline would think in season one, but maybe her experiences have changed her?

Anyway, that's just some really crazy and probably off-the-mark speculation, on my part.
Nothing says that Whiskey was imprinted to never leave the Dollhouse, unless I missed something.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-07-20 03:44 ]
But doesn't it seem to be a natural part of the Tabula Rasa state for the actives? They never seem to wonder what's outside the Dollhouse, content to stay inside, don't they? Maybe Whiskey wasn't imprinted to stay, but she doesn't seem to have been imprinted with any desire to leave.

Someone had to wipe her and leave her there. The other side to my betrayal speculation would be that she did it to herself, which might actually be more natural for the Saunders character. Maybe Caroline did tell her that she'd lose her mind, if she stayed, and Saunders decided that she had nothing better ahead of her, and decided to help Caroline's cause.
I don't know if I think Caroline screwed her. Here's what I read from context that may or may not be true.

Boyd and Saunders appear to be in a relationship. She is worried that Boyd is going to die and that is the last we see of him. Flash forward, we have the scene with Caroline and Saunders (who I guess never wants to know who she was originally) and Caroline mentions the plan.

It could be that Saunders is one of those people who is so consumed with loss that she wants to forget and help people in the process. It's the same basic idea, but done differently. And lest we forget, Saunders ISN'T an actual. Every emotion we've seen is the result of an imprint.

I could see it either way.
The possibility that Caroline left Whiskey there so that she could point people to the imprint of Caroline certainly crossed my mind. It's going to drive me crazy waiting til the end of season 2 to find out the answers to all these questions (assuming there will be an Epitaph 2)
b!X - She did say "I have to stay" over and over again. That's a little suggestive of imprintyness.

Knucleball, I'm with you. Dr Saunders programmed herself to stay in the Whiskey persona to perform that one task. Boyd saying he would come back for her just makes it too tragically romantic not to be that way.
*shrug* Caroline's explanation makes perfect sense to me. I guess I don't see the need to second guess it. Dr. Saunders chose to stay, and she lost her mind over time, but not the basic intent of her being there.

Time will tell, I suppose.
So has Joss read Stephen King's Cell do you think?
I think it's not far off that Caroline might have left the trail with a little help from Whiskey (I'm also in the camp that thinks it's possible the gas didn't kill her, and that she does the whole routine every week, every time a group of actuals drops in).

But Whiskeys story had another layer to me to: The Imprint deconstructed over the years. We know imprints to be 1 days to up to three days, I don't think they were ever tested on a year-long basis. The first time I saw the episode I figured Dr. Saunders stayed behind, then (quite literally) lost her mind, her imprint and became that weird Whiskey/Saunders hybrid, where the Imprint is corrupted in some places (last name, personal history) but intact in others ("I have to stay.")

Or it was Caroline.

Or none of the above. :)

[ edited by wiesengrund on 2009-07-20 10:25 ]
Another question is how come Dr.Saunders hasn't aged at all between 2009 and 2019.
They may regret it due to writing themselves into a corner, but - personally - I think they can work around potential issues (casting being chief)

They can probably get around most of that due to the get of jail free card "memories are not always 100% accurate". If an actor does leave, the flash forward could be explained as "but that's how I remembered it".
Brilliant brilliance. The Claire and Boyd scene threw me back to "I Will Remember You" and I'm totally in love with that pairing.

I just want to watch the show from this point onwards, now. It made the Alpha story look silly small in comparison, which I guess is interesting, as we're going to watch how things just grow and grow and snowball into the apocalypse.
Another question is how come Dr.Saunders hasn't aged at all between 2009 and 2019.

She's a shell for the parasitic Old One known as Illyria. Topher got bored one day, decided to create imprints of TV characters he watched as a teen.

(Actually thinking this through, it sounds like a cracking idea for fan fiction.)
I wonder what exactly that gas that Whiskey released does? Is it the same gas they used to pipe into the pods to make them sleep or perhaps it puts them into some hibernation state that retards the aging process (possibly why Saunders hasn't really aged that much). If Whiskey feels she should just wait, this would be the ideal way to do it. Plus, watching how the 'butchers' didn't struggle so much as lay down when the gas hit them, I don't think it was simply a kill gas. So many new questions...
The vibe I got was that Saunders chose to stay and her imprint gradually faded over time. When Whiskey was originally imprinted it's clear that she was programmed not to want to go outside so that may well have remained when the time came for everyone to leave for Safe Haven.
I also think the gas doesn't kill her and she's done this before and will do it again.
Is it the same gas they used to pipe into the pods to make them sleep or perhaps it puts them into some hibernation state

G-23 Paxilon Hydroclorate.
Or maybe it's Dihydrogen Monoxide? That's stuffs lethal!
I just rewatched it again, and was even more struck by how beautiful it is, and how much it makes the themes from the series all the more potent.

I had a thought - could Dr Saunders/Whiskey have been cloned? That might have been part of the service of upgrading your body - as well as getting to keep your own memories you get to keep your own body, but a younger improved version. That would explain how she lost her scars and hasn't aged. It's just supposition at this point, but I hope it's explained. All she says in the episode was that it was "a long story".
It sounded to me like the "long story" was about coming back to the Dollhouse after her scars got fixed, not about her scars getting fixed.
I've seen most of the episode but for some reason fail at finding the entire E1. Still, what I'm most excited about is watching the episode with commentary after watching it for the first time. :)
In a world with 'printing technology it doesn't make sense to kill your enemies if you can avoid it.

Their army comes in. Their army falls asleep. Your army wakes up. Your army goes out.

Come to think of it. Where does our crew of skilled badass urban warriors come from anyway?
It gave me the faint air of Series 4 Supernatural. Especially with the 'possession' of bodies by other entities as well as the apocalyptic overtones.

There is of course, the Lost nods, simply for non-linear storytelling.

I have to agree, the first truly exciting episode of Dollhouse made. I actually started to care for the characters, especially Topher and De Witt. Felicia and the young girl were both awesome in this ep too. That final act with Whiskey and the gas was fantastic.
Non-linear storytelling pre-dates Lost. Just, you know, FWIW.
I wonder what we'd all have thought if we'd seen Chosen just after the end of season one? Or maybe S2 so we'd know who Spike was?
Holy. Cow.

I just watched E1 and part of the original pilot. I got the urge to check availability online as I'm not sure when my DVD will arrive. I don't even know where to begin. (The site won't let me finish watching the original pilot until some time passes.)

It blew my mind. And the whole time I'm watching, I'm thinking, silly, silly Fox. What Joss is capable of...

I'm very psyched for S2, but unnerved, not in a terrible way but kinda, just a little, because I don't want to know the end of the story.
I think it's not the end, however. Or at least not exactly. No one can spell out future events, but so many can clearly see the path we're on. I want E1 to reflect the current path we're on. Because what can be predicted can also be prevented. The one true psychic, or particularly intuitive I should say, individual I've known in my life told me this, and she's correct.

Ironic I should stumble across the episode when I was really just searching for availability, expecting to just find a date. I've spent the last couple weeks reading so much about technology, the power structure, and future doomsday scenarios.

Ack, my brain is fried.
No one can spell out future events

Except the people responsible for writing those events. ;)
The romantic in me would like to think Whiskey stayed because Boyd told Claire he'd come back for her.. and somehow that works because you can't erase someone's soul and, if you want to go along with it, Claire and Boyd are "soulmates"?

I don't know about the whole gassing everyone thing though..
I don't know about the whole gassing everyone thing though..

Even after the third time watching I didn't "get" that that scene has a tiny note of concentration camp in it. I nearly fell from my chair when my girlfriend pointed it out to me yesterday. (Okay, I wasn't sober, but still... ;)
Must watch this. *waits for Friday*
Just finished my 1st viewing of it - mind boggling to say the least. So much info packed into 49 minutes.

I tend to think this is a possible future but not 100% definite.

I really enjoyed seeing Mr. Dominic again.

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