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December 19 2009

(SPOILER) Discuss the ninth and tenth episodes of Dollhouse season 2. Thought the previous two-hour events were stunning? You ain't seen nothing yet. And if you missed them, the episodes can be watched for free at the Fox website and Hulu and can be bought on iTunes.

Can't wait. Well, I guess I have to... I wish I could time travel... But that would probably cause a lot of problems...
Time traveling forward is never the problem. Only when you try to back up the truck.
Can't wait! :D Woot, we get Amy back next time!!! <333
Yayyy! I can't wait for Amy to be back!
Thought there might not be many people here, everybody'd be heading off to Avatar.

Anticipation building...
Great opening scene with Adelle and Enver.
Great Ms. Lonelyhearts jokes.
I actually like Echo as a character now, which all the naysayers said was impossible considering the premise of the show.
Question about Victor and Sierra's relationship and what it's trying to say: can two people love each other without knowing each other? Or are they saying they're in love as dolls, so the love hold true to the body?
Hyperion! Whether that's meta-textual shout-out or not, still cool.
Wow...less than a second!
I let out a huge gasp when Boyd mentioned the Hyperion! And man, that "goodbye" scene managed to be tragic and funny at the same time.
Adelle really hates Echo...
YAY! Victor is really british, just makes him hotter! :D
Yay, I'm glad we finally got his name. And this is the second Lady Gaga song from Dollhouse.
Nice imagery with the shower and the pods.
What is Victor's real name? I think I missed it in my attempt to explain the show's premise to my mother...
His last name was Ceccoli.
I heard Victor's last name, though I can't possibly say it again or spell it. Did they say his first name?

I liked the bathtub/pod thing.
And Enver is shirtless, which is always a plus.

And as someone else said above, I actually like Echo now.
His first name was Anthony, I thought... I laughed when he got out to sleep like in a pod. So cute.
LOve that Echo is Dollhouse's new little helper
Does this feel like a totally different show to anyone else now that Echo is a fully formed person? I bet a lot of people would like this. Maybe even enough that would have liked a season three.

[ edited by CaptainB on 2009-12-19 02:28 ]
Thank goodness for Epitaph One...if not for that episode I'd be far more worried for every character's life.
I hope Whiskey is staying at the Hyperion. ;)
Ok. Anthony Ceccoli. Now I heard it.
I love the whole Dune-y "Other memory" aspect of Echo. "Once you're absorbed into the group mind the individual ceases to exist." Echo being the exception of course. It's sad to see this show go.
Uh, iluvmusicals, Joss said Epitaph One was only one possible future.
Is anyone else having broadcast problems? The show suddenly cut out on me and I am only getting every 10 seconds of show.
Priya is back. Nice.
Well now I'm scared, josswhedonaddict...
Everything's okay here in Dayton, OH.
Sorry, iluvmusicals. If it's any consolation, I am too.
No problems down here in coastal NC. Which is surprising given the storm we're having.
Priya is back!!!! Loved it.

And Cruella was hilarious!
Nope, my broadcast is ace tonight. Thank God! WOOT, Priya!
Anthony and Priya sittin' in a tree...
Adelle has officially lost it.
Cruella is wasted!!
Faith is back!!! WHOOOO!!!
I actually for the first time felt a twinge of dislike for Echo. When she learned that Victor was going free she said "I was going to use him." She had no concern for Victor regaining his old self, only what she had planned for him in her mission to bring down the Dollhouse. That was cold and selfish. And I think she told Victor to say goodbye to Sierra because she was trying to manipulate Victor with the one thing he cared about the most - his love for Sierra. If she could make Victor not want to leave, if she could make the chair and the treatment seem bad, then she could keep him close. Keep him close so she could "use him."

She said she kept on losing people around her. But I think her mind is ticking with a manipulative bent. Like how she ran away to save herself (as Caroline) and left Bennett under the rubble. Or the cost to the Hispanic woman (can't remember her name) two episodes ago. Echo has a mission and she'll use people to accomplish it. What was the actual point of freeing the Hispanic woman? Was it to alleviate her guilt in bringing her to that desperate situation, of being the cause of it? Or was it more an elaborate test to see if she was ready to bring down the Dollhouse?

Echo is not selfless. Heh. She is not altruistic. She has her own mission and at times, I think she sees people as puzzle pieces the way the Dollhouse does. That scene where she learned Victor was leaving really drove that home. Disturbing.

Compare this to the scene between Sierra and Echo where Echo tells her that Victor isn't coming back. Sierra notices that Echo isn't happy he's gone and Echo responds that she "needed him." Then Sierra says "I'm sad too, but not for us. For him. He's not ready to be on his own."

Oh, Sierra. My heart bleeds for you. She's just lost the man she loves and what does she think of? That he's not ready to be alone. She's worried about him. Now there is a character to love.

Sierra = Love.

[ edited by Emmie on 2009-12-19 02:56 ]
That's very Caroline of her.
10 minutes til the show here in AZ. Can't wait. And spoilers don't bother me a bit. I was one of the lucky ones last week that had no audio probs. Let's hope it continues tonight.
Maybe it's Caroline shining through Echo's personality. JMO
Adelle: the black widow?
Uh-oh, the bitch is BACK! And I don't mean Echo.
Devious sneak she may be, still, Echo as a character now is better (IMHO) that Echo as a blank slate. Better for the show.

Spike, Jayne, hell, even down to Mal and Buffy did some pretty selfish things, but they were still great characters.

This attic stuff is creeeeepy! Not what I was expecting. Filming getting shrink wrapped as an actor would be terrifying.

[ edited by CaptainB on 2009-12-19 02:59 ]
Adelle is officially a total biatch!!!! Ruthless!!
Oh no! What are you doing Adelle?!
Would someone kindly whack Adelle over the head and stick her in the chair?
The people working the attic may be the ones with the most fucked up/compromised morals. This is twisted!
HAHAAHAHAHAHaHaha!!!
I'm interested to see how being in the attic differs from the state that Ballard is in. It looks like in the attic they intentionally inflict pain and misery upon you. With Ballard, his mind is just wiped and noting is going on, which is what I thought the attic was at first.
Echo's psychic now?!
Oh no! What are you doing Adelle?!
Now, Joss, that was just MEAN. Good thing I love you. ;)
It's like the mummy hand only not funny at all!
Prya and Tony had 10 seconds of happiness and.... BAM!!

And now... the attic!! Wow, this is so good!!!!
I hope they don't show them getting shot again... I can't take it anymore!

[ edited by maxsummers on 2009-12-19 03:10 ]
This is ridiculously good. I really wish they had more of the budget because I feel like the attic deserves a bit... more.

Or maybe that's the point?
Are the flashes she's seeing of people personalities? Like the little girl and the horse was that dead lady from season one? PS--calling Adelle Darth Vadar was great! Kudos to John Cassaday for his first time directing. This is good material for such a talented visualist.

[ edited by CaptainB on 2009-12-19 03:14 ]
I'm half expecting the Reaper to show up.
Real or not this is freaky!
OH MY GOD THAT WAS BRILLIANT
One collective nightmare?
what the?! that guy reminded me of the cheese man. and arcane?!
Definitely the cheese guy.
"That's all cool and I don't wanna ruin your highlander vibe..."

"... and that's... that's a long story."

OMG! Seriously. Best Dollhouse ever.
Trippy/creepy, in an awesome way, the attic is.
This is like Restless meets that Angel episode where Spike is getting pulled into hell, but with added confusion.

I don't think that was quite as coherent as the original thought.
Re: Cheese Man. Do you mean the "long story" and freaky bobby-head guy?
Yes, freaky bobby-head guy, gave me cheese guy and Eraserhead flashbacks, in an unpleasant way.
wow, Victor and Sierra's attic scenarios are worse (mentally) than Echo's.
Enver's twin made an appearance!

This episode is blowing my mind!
FANTASTIC!

[ edited by maxsummers on 2009-12-19 03:38 ]
This is like a sequel to "Restless". I love it!
Epitaph 1 1/2!
Rigor mortis. The new Viagra.
:O

Epitaph Era!!! Whaaaaa
Oh heavens... Now I'm beginning to wonder if E1 took place in the attic. I doubt it, but still, I wouldn't rule it out.
I haven't seen Epitaph One. Any chance its future's not real?
Holy schnikes!
Was that last image filmed on the Bones set?
Now I'm beginning to wonder if E1 took place in the attic. I doubt it, but still, I wouldn't rule it out.


Good point!
Okay, that's twice I virtually simultaneously posted the exact thought of someone else here.
Who, besides this new dude, could epitaph one be a nightmare scenario (for a person in the attic)? Whiskey? Topher?
Hello pretty pretty [disastrous] future, how I have missed you.
Dollhouse just took the #1 spot of "Shows I would ask Joss about if I ever had the opportunity to talk to him".
Off the air. Ha ha.
"off the air" snort. Third times a charm, Brett.

[ edited by CaptainB on 2009-12-19 03:47 ]
Very funny with the mind-melding themes in these two eps.
Quick, someone type something just like that now...
Do you think his persona is actually Bennett?
Yes, with all the hive mind stuff, I'm surprised Topher hasn't mentioned the borg.
I didn't think they could make me change my mind about how certain the future of Epitaph One was going to be, but they really blew my mind tonight. Wow, another turn of events via Adelle. The only way to redeem her from super B-word status. I can't wait to see the explanation for all of this.
Awesome with added awesome.
AAAAHHH Season 4 was awesome... can't wait for season 5
HELL YES. I always believed in Adelle!
Holy crap, is anyone else crying over the fact that three hours are left and this show has a rallying cry going on as powerful as the end of "Bring on the Night"?
Why oh why was this show canceled again?! Fox, you are not my favorite. Not in the least.
What the... Wow.

Was The Attic the best episode of Dollhouse yet? I'd be tempted to say yes. And that is really saying something.

S2 of Dollhouse very well might be one of Whendon's finest if this keeps up.
Holy God. I think that was the best ending since...

I'm at a loss, actually. That was AMAZING.
Am I the only person who didn't love these eps?

*hides*

and I hope we get the two year gap in caroline's life explained.

and to find out who clyde's partner was.
S2 is definitely one of Joss's finest moments.

I hate Fox.
In the words of Tom Servo..."the Hell?"
But I feel better about certain people now. At the very leaset, we see Adelle to do Harding what she did to Lipman...only more brutal, smiling.
Merry Christmas, Adelle DeWitt
One word: GLORIOUS!

Friggin' amazing episodes!
Oh, of course.

Mutant Enemy is the L.A. Dollhouse: the Los Angeles cell of a worldwide brain-wiping industry, committed to subverting its soul-stealing activities by instituting a new program of providing empowering imprints (starting with young independent women, of course). Topher is Joss-the-writer; Adelle is Joss-the-producer. Eliza Dushku plays Eliza Dushku, and Tahmoh Penikett is around for pure unmitigated sex appeal.

The way to stave off apocalypse, apparently, is to work the system from within - even if that means seeming to make a deal with the devil (the Rossum Corporation, i.e. Fox).

Naturally Felicia Day is the ideal symbol of the empowering potential of escaping the system.

YOU ARE WELCOME, EVERYONE.
You know the identity of Clyde's partner is going to be a huge twist. We're all supposed to think it's Clive Amrbose or someone like that, but... Also stupid things that are stupid: Ivy's last name. What is it? Is it weird that I really like details like this?
Clyde's partner is probably Alpha.
Honestly, I should have seen that ending coming. Wow. These episodes kicked my ass. Especially the second one.

And a couple of characters are redeemed for me. Adelle and Larry. He's literally bringing down Rossum from within.

[ edited by crazygolfa on 2009-12-19 04:14 ]
Incidentally, 'Stop-Loss' was the worst episode since Season One.
What was the song at the end?
I was waiting for Adele to say 'I AIM TO MISBEHAVE.'
Oh Man,I loved it,I loved it,I loved it.Favorite two episodes of the season and The Attic might be my favorite episode of the series alongside Epitaph One.

Dominic was so bad ass tonight and completely changed my opinion on him.I hope we see him at least one more time in the finale.

And the Adelle twist,I did not see coming but in retrospect,should of.Brillient.

Looks like Echo has her team and maybe the future of Epitaph One can be prevented.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2009-12-19 04:15 ]
Really? I thought Stop-Loss was pretty good. Not great, but it definitely was better than Instinct and Vows. I'd say it's one of the weaker eps in a while, and I'm sure it wasn't the way they wanted to do a Victor-focus, but they needed to send Echo to the attic. But still, it was nice set-up for the end.
Wow! During the episode I freaked out my Dad screaming at Adelle and now I think I like her again. Joss is trying to make me crazy so he can stick me in the Attic too!
You know the identity of Clyde's partner is going to be a huge twist.

My money is on Adelle. There have been hints about her being a doll...
I was so ready to be absolutely disappointed by Arkane - but the nature of the Attic was an absolutely brilliant twist. Props to Jed and Maurissa for going to the ridiculous place and turning it sublime in Act Four (Five? Six? Who can keep track on this goddamn network?).
2010, I think -- don't know how long we've been off the air -- so funny!

What a ride these episodes were. I was happy for the twist at the end. I wanted to like Adelle again, and I was growing tired of the drunk version.

I was a little confused with Boyd's being led off by guards to who knows where at the end of the first episode, and then the next he's been home having personal problems.

And I'm wondering what they left out of Ballard's imprint.

And I'm glad I wasn't the only person who thought of cheese man.
Anyone else think that Adele could possibly be the imprint of Clyde that was programmed to betray?

And also, what was that song that played at the end, anyone know?
The singer's voice sounded familiar, but since I can't place it, I'm sure we'll know in mere hours how to buy it on iTunes.

Also, palehorse, didn't they said they left Paul obsession of Caroline out?
What they left out of Ballard's imprint... Reminds me of Angel saying that he thought he'd instructed the Powers to rid Conner of his thing for older women...
Adelle can't be a doll. Remember Echoes, people?
oh emm gee, If I was a rich man I would pay for this series to continue, and then donate the profits of digital/dvd sales to charity. the same plan I had for firefly/serenity, but I want to hear more of this story than I want to hear any of Joss' other stories.
Or that episode with the thingy with the power to knock out any and every active nearby?

To those who are now saying this is Joss' best story yet, and wishes for continuation. I kind of feel similar, although even though Buffy and Angel (to an extent) got time to build to a proper closure, Dollhouse is rushing toward it, full speed. And it feels like this is all happening at a 19th episode of season four pace than the 10th episode of season two, if you know what I mean. It's like "Serenity" the film fitting season two into two hours.

[ edited by CaptainB on 2009-12-19 04:28 ]
Chrisham2, thank you for beating me to that. It kept screaming across my head when I read it.
Also, someone suggested Alpha but don't we already know that Alpha was little more than just a serial killer?

Odds are though that it's someone we know. Giles? Future Xander? Wait...wrong thread.
What also has me curious is that the soldiers from the first hour were able to disable GPS and other lifesigns of the dolls. That reminds me of Epitaph One where Alpha has made a safe haven where tech can't be used. I wonder if they tie into eachother at all.
Un-freakin' believable. I actually applauded, loudly, hopefully the karma of that applause reached Joss and Eliza and eased their disappointment and pain.

This was groundbreaking television drama. FOX, I appreciate you airing these episodes, but I hate your guts for not having even 1 per cent of Joss's vision for the potential of Dollhouse.
I need to stay at the Hyperion next time I visit LA!
Adelle became the Spiderwoman (AKA Queen Arachnid)... so funny.
I loved this episode, but I had trouble with the sound in a lot of places: it was like the music was being played more loudly than the dialogue (that couldn't have been the intention... right?).
I suppose Bennett and Whiskey are too young to be evil in 1993. And doubting Boyd and Adelle, it might not be a prominent all-ready-in-play player. Could it be whoever Frank Lundy from Dexter is on Dollhouse? Some fan I am, huh?
Palehorse, I think we saw Boyd being led downstairs while Echo was being Atticed--and then we saw the guards let go of him once it was too late for him to interfere.

I found"Stop-Loss" uneven at best: Victor's been one of my favorite characters since season 1, and that was not the Victor-centric episode I've been hoping for. (As opposed to "Belonging," which was everything I wanted from a Sierra episode, and then some.) "The Attic" made up for it though: brilliant, freaky, unsettling--and I loved the twist at the end.
Can someone explain a plot point for me?

When Echo was still in the Attic, there was mention of a woman who went in there and got out and it turned out to be Caroline. And at the end, Echo wants to get to know more of Caroline, what's up with that, I kind of got lost during the action?

I kind of think it has something to so with Adelle's remark in Season 1 about "doing this dance" with Caroline for more than two years before she escaped the hospital.
I thought they said Caroline was someone who knew the identity of the head honcho conspiracy guys, so they wiped her clean when she came to the Dollhouse. No?
That's what I thought, too. The implication was that she was forced to join the Dollhouse because she knew too much--and if Echo can become Caroline again (or at least access Caroline's memories), they'll know who the real Big Bad is.
That's what I got from it, worldwidewhit.
Loved both episodes A LOT. "The Attic" is probably my favorite of the series, especially the last ten minutes.

And for people wondering what the song at the end is, when they are escaping from the attic, the song is "No, I Don't Remember" by Anna Ternheim.
I liked "Stop-Loss". I can see why maybe folk didn't. It was perhaps an ickle bit generic but the ramifications hit home with me. I thought it was quite a subtle disection of Military mores and the payback was the use of the themes within the next ep.

Joss and co. I cannot thank you more.
I thought they said Caroline was someone who knew the identity of the head honcho conspiracy guys, so they wiped her clean when she came to the Dollhouse. No?


Ah, thank you worldwidewhit. That's what I missed. The mind is a terrible thing to waste
Thanks for the song info benboy!
Wow! Ivy is a doll!
Can anyone figure out what they left out of Paul?
At first I thought it was his love, but when Topher said something about Echo, Sierra, and Victor being in the attic he got really upset. So even though that could mean anything, I took it to mean that he was upset at the thought of someone hurting Echo.
My more recent hypothesis is that they took away his fear, seeing as when he faced Adelle he told her he wasn't afraid to lose his life. However, Topher and Boyd seem scared that Paul will be upset at what they took from him, and I'm not exactly sure how losing his fear would upset him. Like, I can see it, but it doesn't seem to be the most logical choice.
So yeah, that is reaaaaally bugging me. Sidebar: in the last scene with all of them in the room together, did you see Paul in the left corner next to Boyd for a split second? Because if he was in the same room as Echo and we didn't see a huge reaction from Echo about it, that seems to be a biiiig continuity blooper. She would make a fuss, I'd think, no matter how big the event on hand. She would at least SAY something about it. I'm not sure if I actually saw him there or not though. But if that was him, why was he on the opposite side of the room? How could Echo not react to that?
Wow! Ivy is a doll!

Lino | December 19, 05:02 CET

Um... no. That was never said. Ivy is not a doll.
I'm pretty sure there was a time cut between when Echo got out and the end scene. I'm sure by that time, Echo has been caught up to speed on the Paul situation.

What exactly did Adelle say to Ivy to make her react that way? I have absolutely no idea.

And what did they take from Paul!?
Paul was in the room. But the physical scene was already established when the film scene began so there was no need for an Echo reaction.
@danisthewhedonite - take your point about Paul and Echo reacting to him - but I figured time had passed and they had already had that reunion - but makes sense of her line in Epitaph 1 - about being "together".

[ edited by viewingfigures on 2009-12-19 05:12 ]
What Brett said. In that last scene we had jumped forward past quite a few reactions (including Boyd & Topher going "WTF? Adelle's not really evil?"). I'm hoping we'll jump back to Echo and Paul's reunion, though--should be a powerful moment, and possibly quite painful (depending on what exactly they took from him and whether he's figured it out by that point).
danisonthewhedonite said:

Sidebar: in the last scene with all of them in the room together, did you see Paul in the left corner next to Boyd for a split second? Because if he was in the same room as Echo and we didn't see a huge reaction from Echo about it, that seems to be a biiiig continuity blooper. She would make a fuss, I'd think, no matter how big the event on hand. She would at least SAY something about it. I'm not sure if I actually saw him there or not though. But if that was him, why was he on the opposite side of the room? How could Echo not react to that?


I'm thinking there was a gap in time, or a continuity gap, if you will, after the return of the Attic team and before the meeting of the co-conspirators in Adelle's office. It was probably due to time constraints of the episode, and Echo may have reacted to Paul during that gap. But based on earlier comments, it's possible that what they removed from Paul may or may not have been his Echo/Caroline obsession. It's possible we may never know what their reactions were to each other, but I kinda think Joss might have something up his sleeve.
Yeah, I can see that. I was just put off guard, I guess, by the fact that they were on opposite sides of the room, while Sierra and Victor were sharing a couch.

[ edited by danisonthewhedonite on 2009-12-19 05:19 ]

Anyway, Joss ALWAYS has something up his sleeve. That's why we all worship him. :D

[ edited by danisonthewhedonite on 2009-12-19 05:21 ]
Am I the only one who thinks they took away Paul's love for Mellie? :-( *sniffles*
Am I the only person who didn't love these eps?

No. I don't want to come across as too critical, but I definitely enjoyed the previous two two-hour segments more than this one. Dollhouse is at its best, in my opinion, when it brings a touch of sci-fi into our world with uncomfortable results. This was too much sci-fi wankery for me the kind that you could see on any number of shows. Some hive mind stuff... throw in a nightmare world where the characters' darkest fears attack them. It was well executed, but they're still pretty classic stock sci-fi elements and I kind of expect Dollhouse to push new ground.

I think Liza Lapira (Ivy) has been a great addition to the show - fantastic comedic instincts, but given the time remaining, I don't think you pull that character in to the extent she has been unless there's some kind of bigger plan for her. Sacrifice? Betrayer? I dunno, but I'm suspicious.
Rigor mortis. The new Viagra.

^ I need to find out who wrote that line, and then buy them cake or vodka or cake mixed with vodka.

Also, I liked Stop Loss. Victor and Sierra, for the win.

Also, "The Attic" was being shot when the series was cancelled. I was a little bit pissed when it was cancelled. Because, hello awesome episode which spins the series in a whole new direction.
Anyone notice that the scene with Echo and Paul in the elevator was from Epitaph One? Really nice subtlely there. That answers our questions from before about where that scene fits in.
We already dejad that vu.
Yeah that time cut has the potential to be very Buffy Season 7. "What, Spike has a soul?" Granted, under the circumstances of the cancellation, all is forgiven.
Just finished watching, wow! Can't wait to see what Joss has in store next.

My heart broke when Victor and Sierra were recaptured. And, Paul isn't very happy with his status as a doll. Hmmm.
danisonthe whedonite, my mind was reeling from all the action, and I too was having difficulty catching all the plot points toward the end. It's kinda like an upside-down rollercoaster, while you're catching your spinning mind, all the change falls outta your pockets!

[ edited by Riverine on 2009-12-19 05:39 ]
Actually, I kinda had a feeling before that Paul would be wiped. I didn't know how it would happen, but it is awesome. Becoming the very thing he most fears.

Also, YAY DOMINIC! It's funny how much I used to hate him compared to how much I now love him.

Edit: To fix my Language fail.

[ edited by Giles_314 on 2009-12-19 05:39 ]
Whar's the directing like for the 10th episode? Does John Cassaday bring anything new to the table?
Hyperion! And a very "writings of Shan Yu" bit of dialogue from Adelle. Awesome. The hive mind thing was deeply freaky. As was the Attic. Holy crap. Human computers! Mastermind Adelle! Tony/Priya! Christmas aside, I can't wait for January 8.
Simon, it's the most ambitious television script I've seen in a long time (no, really). If I was a first time director and read that script, I would have shit my pants. He did an amazing job. When it comes out of Deeveedee, check out minutes 26-28. That must have been a nightmare to shoot.
His direction is very Lynch-inspired, which is always nice.

The Attic is essentially Dollhouse's Black Lodge. There. I said it!

[ edited by Riker on 2009-12-19 05:54 ]
Riker, I think I just fell in love with you. :)
Simon, my honest opinion is that the directing is fine. It's not something that really stands out or detracts so he did a serviceable job. He mixes things up a bit. There's some Silent Hill style moments and some shakey cam. But I didn't notice anything particularly brilliant.
However, this would be the third inadvertent Love Actually reference I've had today. Thank you Dollhouse casting. If the lady who played Jean Anderson is Clyde 2.0, I'm calling Joss personally for making me laugh.

Edited for: Oh wait, I don't have Joss' number and that would be creepy.

[ edited by azzers on 2009-12-19 06:19 ]
I'm glad they didn't have a whole big trite reunion before the big reveal at the end. That would have bogged down the episode and made the impact of the ending less stunning. They totally did not yadda the best part.
I am wondering though, Topher described the Attic as a neural "suck", which based on this episode it obviously wasn't. Is that just the Rossum cover story then?

Also, I wonder what happens in the happier 3%... Ice cream party?
I liked "The Attic," but "Stop-Loss" was disappointing -- interesting story line, but either the direction or the script (or both) were off for me -- I was just cringing at some of the cheesy lines. (Cheesiness is OK if done well, but some of this just hurt.)
Wow! Ivy is a doll!
Lino | December 19, 05:02 CET


Liza Lapira is a great character actress. Check out her stint on NCIS Seasons 5 & 6 as Agent Michelle Lee.
I'll say that these aren't necessarily my favorite two episodes, but there's a lot of respect due to them. All I can think about is how I wish we had more time after this.
I REALLY don't want this to end. But it's true what's been said about the pedal to the floor through these last eps! WOW! I did say "Matrix" a couple times in the attic though. Esp. with the human brain as super computer line. But hey, still done better! (No Keanu)
Absolutely stunning episodes! Both.

I loved the attic. It was so much cooler than I could even have imagined. Very Matrix-y.

And Adelle! Thank goodness you were on our side all along.

I can't believe we have to wait till January 8th. Arrg.

Loved Echo's little breaking of the fourth wall. "2010? I think. Who know's how long we've been off the air." LOL.
I weep for the ending of this show. And thanks guys, I thought I was the only one who saw the Cheeseman.
Ok, so is the Attic also Safe Haven? Is that where the ladder from Adelle's office leads?
Stop Loss could have been better with a little less is more, leaving some of the details to the viewers imagination. The second hour was solid. It was its own 1-hour, standalone mini horror movie.
savage - I don't think so. The clues from Epitaph 1 make it seem like they have a long journey ahead of them. And even Ballard is prepping people to go "out there" to reach Safe Haven. I would think that would be unnecessary if it was as simple as going upstairs.

Then again, "how it seems" and "how it is" tend to be very different with this show, so who knows.

[ edited by azzers on 2009-12-19 07:26 ]
Which reminds me, where the frak is that ladder going in the end of epitaph one? I thought it'd already been established that adelle's office was above ground (in fact, damn high up) So...are they climbing up onto the roof and then...going to....climb...down?


AND I remember Echo saying something in Echoes or Needs about mountains being safe. I imagine safe haven is in the mountains...but why are mountains safe and why is she happy there? Is that a Caroline thing or an Echo thing?
Agreed, jubal. I liked the material, but there was a LOT of tactical exposition-speak. And I think Adelle's downward spiral was a little on the nose. Olivia was fantastic, though.

I loved The Attic, very cool. Personally, I am not a big fan of the 11th hour "Just kidding!" unless it is very, very well crafted, and this was almost there. But I loved almost everything else about the ep, especially all of the freakin questions that were raised! I think I'll watch this one again tomorrow, I'm sure there are loads of things I missed, haha.

ETA: Questions like: Wtf happened with Ballard?!? Yeah, waiting sucks.

[ edited by GoldDust12 on 2009-12-19 07:45 ]
Lots and lots of sets in these two episodes. Lots of actors too, come to think of it. It looked quite expensive to me, not like a show that had its budget cut.

In the coming attractions at the end, Adelle's crack about the carpet made me LOL. That line deserves to be added to the random quote pile on this website.

I do wish someone would give Joss a series with a guaranteed number of episodes (like that's gonna happen). I prefer a storytelling pace in which the characters have time to draw breath to the thrillaminute style.
I don't have much to add other than Olivia was just brilliant in these two episodes. She sells every single line, reaction, glance, drunken stumble, etc. perfectly. I *loved* her tonight.

Also, The Attic may well be among the very best Whedonverse episodes ever. Ever. IMHO.

[ edited by guidedby on 2009-12-19 07:56 ]
I enjoyed both episodes tonight. I think that Cassaday's directing is very much like his artwork. You could tell that shots were really being framed strongly. On the other hand, I felt, especially with the Adelle interrogation scenes, that the flipside of that is that shots became too formulaic. It was a little too much of the shot telling the story rather than the story telling the story. Come the second interrogation scene, I was pretty certain what was going to happen. I wonder if that was the intent.

I agree with the earlier posters who remarked that the first hour was a little overdone in terms of writing. I was happy the Sierra/Victor story had a payoff, but compared to the episode when Sierra left the house, I was left feeling like the resolution with Victor was a little rushed.

Speaking of rushed, I wonder if, had the show gotten a few more seasons, Adelle's drunkenness would have been a slow burn like Willow and magic.

I was also amused that they did the entire "hive mind" thing without someone cracking a Star Trek Borg reference. Especially Topher. Although I wonder if that dates me, more than anything else.

I suppose these questions will never be answered, but I wonder exactly what the attic process is like. I thought that when Dominic got his mind wiped the point was that it was a "suck" as Topher mentioned. So it was weird (or a slight retcon?) to have all the dolls manifest their personalities. Also, I assume that dolls are just wiped as they are before going to the Attic? I wonder what it would be like to send a doll in doll state to the Attic. Anyways, still thinking about it...
Um, HOLY SHIT.

Stop-Loss was fantastic, the only thing that hurt it for me was the hive mind super soldier stuff seemed rushed and a tad cheesy -- a bit too X-Files/Fringey for this show, I thought. But still, another strong ep.

And then The Attic... oh, the Attic. That was friggin' incredible. Classic Joss (and Jed and Maurissa and John Cassaday). Nightmares meets Restless meets Epitaph One meets Enemies meets... something else.

I am so grateful we got a season two. Every episode this season not called Instinct has been some shade of awesome, and the last six have been a non-stop thrill ride and some of the best stuff Joss has ever done.

Dollhouse has gone from flawed but worthwhile to pretty much the best thing on TV.

Olivia! Fran! Harry! So amazing. So much creepy and funny and so many quotable lines. I'm babbling. I haven't been this excited about a Whedon show since Buffy in its prime.

Did I mention the awesome that is Olivia Williams?

Yay! Sorry for the incoherence.
Simon, I thought Casaday's direction was astounding visually. There were gripping images any number of times. The guys got a great eye, as you'd expect. The pacing was good too.

As someone posited last week, we're getting Angel's season 5 finale plot - again.

I'm betting we're going to avoid the future we saw in Epitaph One, and I'm conflicted about that. No, more than conflicted. I'll be disappointed, actually.

I'd grown to like my seriously morally compromised crew and now they've morphed into one more ME band of outsiders fighting The Man. Sigh.

Great acting by everybody in The Attic. Stop-loss had the least interesting performance Enver's given, but that's a function of the writing, I think.

[ edited by shambleau on 2009-12-19 08:40 ]
Too bad we aren't going to see any more of English Victor. He's dreamy.
I'm betting we're going to avoid the future we saw in Epitaph One, and I'm conflicted about that. No, more than conflicted. I'll be disappointed, actually.

I'd grown to like my seriously morally compromised crew and now they've morphed into one more ME band of outsiders fighting The Man. Sigh.


That's kind of where I am on this. I really, really, really don't want to see Epitaph One completely retconned. And I don't mind a good rally against the man, but it does come of a little clean for my liking. Right now, anyway. I'm so curious about these next three...

ETA:

I thought it'd already been established that adelle's office was above ground (in fact, damn high up) So...are they climbing up onto the roof and then...going to....climb...down?

Hahaha, I so hope they get up there to find Alpha with a helicopter or something.

[ edited by GoldDust12 on 2009-12-19 08:56 ]
Oh, I definitely don't think Epitaph One is getting retconned at all. Especially given the scene from EO in The Attic and the way the season has been progressing. I don't think it'll be retconned, but I think we're in for some twists and turns.
I have to really disagree with those who said Stop-Loss was weak. Everything up until the supersoldier reveal, was, to quote Adelle, top notch.

Roger dumping Adelle and not believing her doll story and her subsequent breaking down was beautiful, as was seeing the process of how an active is let out into the world. The metaphor of a vet returning home was well done without venturing into cheesy "magic is drugs" territory. Sleeping in the bathtub was a very nice moment.

The drunken Adelle stuff was funny and sad (really everything with Olivia Williams), Topher remembering all his Miss Lonelyhearts jokes was hilarious, etc.

The supersoldier angle was an interesting idea, and they got in some nice commentary on Blackwater-esque groups and the privitization of the military. It was also a neat way to explain why Victor was put in the Dollhouse to begin with. But, as I said, it felt a bit too rushed and cheesy, and too much like Star Trek or the X-Files for my tastes.

Though even then, there were some brilliant moments. Echo intentionally joining the hive mind was cool, as was Victor trying to get to know Priya in the middle of a shootout, as was the way Victor's body language exactly paralleled that of the soldier pointing the gun at him.

The final twist of the three actives being remote wiped, and the uber creepy scene of them being put in the attic was also very cool.

So no, it wasn't as good as The Attic. And no, it wasn't as thought provoking or moving as Belonging (and the Victor/Sierra stuff in general fell disappointingly flat). But I'd still say it's a B+/A- episode, and certainly considerably better than Instinct, Vows, and possibly Belle Chose as far as this season goes.

While we're on the subject, so far I'd rank season two thusly:

1. The Attic
2. Belonging
3. The Left Hand
4. A Love Supreme
5. The Public Eye
6. Meet Jane Doe
7. Stop Loss
8. Belle Chose
9. Vows
10. Instinct
It just ended here in my middle-of-the-pacific-ocean time zone .... OMFG, where to begin?

Haven't read any other comments yet.

So a whole lot of other people were right and I was wrong - Adelle is not the evil bitch from hell - I'm so glad to have been wrong, and so glad I've remained totally unspoiled.

Trying to go linear here - Envar is truly an acting god. Anthony is totally different from any of his previous persona's. Olivia Williams is pretty much his equal, although not exactly Joss's 'discovery' (except for most of us in the U.S.).

Echo is truly a superwoman. It's been obvious since Alpha dumped all her imprints into her, in (the ep) Omega, and she was still stronger and more in control than him. And now she's even stronger that a group-mind imprint - with a little help from her friends. OK guys who wanted a Scooby Gang, was it worth the wait? ;)

This is a really idealistic POV for Joss. The core integrity of Caroline, which I believe lies at Echo's center (even though they've technically never 'met') plus the strength and moral integrity that Echo has culled from most of her imprints, equals something stronger than all (of) Alpha's evil genius. I love that.
And Anthony & Priya .... loves conquers all. And that is one huge, super-freaky, multi-layered, reality shifting *all*.
So no doubt we're being set up for something truly gut-wrenching, mind melting and heart shattering. But maybe not, just to throw us off?
Please Joss, - just this once, let us have one happy ending for one couple .... Anthony and Priya.

Because I think it became yet more obvious tonight that E1 is far from written in stone - the Beta version of how this ends, if you will. Not that I expect puppy dogs and parades, but ...

My goal now is to remain 100% unspoiled for the last (*sob*) three eps. Not even sure if those three include E2 - I'm so spoiler-phobic at this point, I don't even know the names of the last eps. If it's three more plus E2, then .... Yay! As long as they get E2 up online sooner than ASAP, after the last TV-aired ep.

Other wonderful things ....

> Clyde! (can't recall his nightmare name). And who is his counterpart, the original co-founder of Rossum???

>The attic .... I have no words. The tip of the hat to both BSG's Hybrids (in the water pods) and a whole bunch of Matrix stuff, was done to perfection.
Not the first Matrix, but the good parts of the much-maligned sequels - the train station, the key maker, the fine and wavering line between human minds and computer programs.

> The return of Dominic, in the best and most unexpected way imaginable.

> The gorgeous imagery of the snow covered tree. If this is what they can do with a stripped to the bone budget .... well, just more testimony of the genius of Joss and the teams he puts together.

Going to read comments now, then back to watch both eps again - the upside to being home recuperating from a serious sinus infection and laryngitis.

Avatar - my birthday night out gift from some friends - can wait. Next Wednesday night looks like the new plan. Should be a great antidote for Dollhouse withdrawal.
(How does that feel, James Cameron? :_) (And I seriously love James Cameron).
Oh, I definitely don't think Epitaph One is getting retconned at all.

I do hope you're right! To me, that last scene with Adelle and Topher in the pods is the absolute heart of this series. Please don't be fake!

Plus, I just love a good story about people who fight a good fight and lose. Obviously this is a little more complicated, but still. "Seeing the terrible future" and then stepping up to change it or whatever is fine for a special ep, but I would be happy about it for an entire series. Again, I highly doubt it would as simple as that in this instance, but my opinion stands on the idea as a whole. *I'm sure there's a trope for "seeing a bleak future and coming back to fix it", there are probably like sixteen- anyone know the name? I'm off to check...

"The Attic" feels like one of those episodes that I'm going to watch again after the series ends and it will seem totally different. It just felt rife with latent hints and red herrings and phrases that have yet to find proper context. I can't wait to know what's going on! These three weeks are going to suuuck... (Yeesh, Happy Holidays)

ETA:

And the Clyde stuff- I'm willing to bet that Clive Ambrose is actually Clyde 2.0 and somebody else is Clyde's original partner. But who the hell knows, it could be freakin Sierra at this point. I hope it isn't anyone on the LA staff- I'm pretty tired of the doll reveal.

[ edited by GoldDust12 on 2009-12-19 09:33 ]
Oh heavens... Now I'm beginning to wonder if E1 took place in the attic. I doubt it, but still, I wouldn't rule it out.
PaperSpock | December 19, 03:38 CET


Interesting thought. I have to go back and watch again, but the ladder-climbing scene to 'safe-haven', was pretty much replicated here.

And I'm wondering what they left out of Ballard's imprint.
palehorse | December 19, 04:17 CET


Ah yes, a burning question. I'm guessing it's going to be something heart wrenchingly tragic. At lease for the few of us who have loved Paul's character from the beginning.
And .... so gratifying to see Tahmoh get a chance to show his acting chops, for a change.

I'm hoping we'll jump back to Echo and Paul's reunion, though--should be a powerful moment, and possibly quite painful (depending on what exactly they took from him and whether he's figured it out by that point).
erendis | December 19, 05:16 CET


I'm hoping so as well. Even if it's painful, I want it. (Joss fan ....duuh) :_)

HBO is re-airing the R&R Hall of Fame concert, I'm listening to Bono and Bruce Springsteen doing "Street With No Name", as I write this.
*Bliss*.
Am I the only one who thinks they took away Paul's love for Mellie? :-( *sniffles*
Riker | December 19, 05:20 CET


Am I the only one who doesn't think that Paul ever loved Mellie? My take on that relationship has always been: Paul was seduced by a beautiful Doll, while he was vulnerable and needed a shoulder and a confidant. Then they used him in the most reprehensible (and effective) way possible, by setting him up in an untenable situation with Mellie, eventually causing him to do things that fucked with his head and weighed on his conscience to the point of distraction - just where they wanted him.

Sorry to mess with your ship, Riker :_)
We do see Paul in the scene at the end - I freeze-framed to double-check. My guess for Clyde's partner is presently Boyd or Alpha. And I'm guessing Boyd's "personal life" issues are with Whiskey/Dr. Saunders, though I could be wrong ...
Which reminds me, where the frak is that ladder going in the end of epitaph one? I thought it'd already been established that adelle's office was above ground (in fact, damn high up) So...are they climbing up onto the roof and then...going to....climb...down?
medea culpa | December 19, 07:30 CET


Down the rabbit hole? Through the looking glass?
Ah Joss .... have I mentioned lately that I worship and adore you? ;)

In conclusion (for the moment) Dollhouse has officially become my favorite of Joss's shows. For all it's flaws - most not Joss's fault but attributable to network meddling (first part of season 1) and then in season 2, the imperative to cram three seasons worth of stuff into one season - DH has been beyond brilliant.

Joss all growed up, at the peak of his dark and mind-bending power.
OMG, what a truly scary and awesome concept.
Just like Dollhouse.

[ edited by Shey on 2009-12-19 10:31 ]
When was it established that Adelle's office was actually above ground?
mangydog in "Spy In The House Of Love" when Mr Dominic and Echo are fighting, I'm fairly certain one of them hangs the other out of the window.
When there were sky scrappers outside and they have to take the elevator upstairs.

The thing I love about The Attic - well, one of the vast number of things, I believe it's one of the better episodes of TV I've seen - is that it's shown the characters a glimpse of what might happen, but it doesn't show them how. So what if by trying to stop the future they've seen, they now cause it? Also, major love for Priya and Tony proving their place on Echo's team all on their own.

And, there's a Team! There's a family. Which found itself amongst the shit. It's Adelle, Paul, Boyd, Topher, Priya, Tony and Echo. Also, Echo has ninja skills. Back when this season got picked up, I wrote a post on this very site about how I saw the problems with the series and what I thought could be swapped around to make it connect with the audience. People might have issues with the characters, the story, whatever at this point - but I bet you're all going to watch episode 11. Back during season one, it was blatantly obviously lots of people were watching because it was A Joss Whedon show. People were quitting watching - half of them, in fact - because they didn't care.

This season people are watching because they care.

[ edited by gossi on 2009-12-19 12:17 ]
Episode 10 was some of the most unsettling TV I've ever seen
Back during season one, it was blatantly obviously lots of people were watching because it was A Joss Whedon show. People were quitting watching - half of them, in fact - because they didn't care.

This season people are watching because they care.


Well said, gossi. Too bad for us there are so few in that last category, though.
I've dismissed it because its always looked kinda artifical to me, like it was purposefully designed to give the illusion that they're 20 stories above ground rather then 10 stories below ground. I mean, who wants to look at rock walls when you can look 'outside'.

Furthermore there is information gleened from two other Episodes that do much to contradict that 'believability' of that scene:

Point One: Its established in 'Briar Rose' that the Dollhouse is underground. Ten stories underground to be exact.

Point Two: In 'Man on the Street' there is a scene at the end of the episode where Mr. Dominic and Miss DeWitt leave her office, enter her private elevator, descend (or ascend, we really don't know which) to the Dollhouse in a single tracking shot. From the sound of the doors closing to the clack-bump of the elevator coming to a stop no more then 7-8 seconds pass.

Now, given a typical elevator's normal speed, of 200ft/min, accounting for the elevator having to accelerate to speed, then decel to stop, the elevator could have moved no more then 20-25 ft in that 8 seconds. In other words, they either went up or down no more then two stories....which makes the location of Adelle's office being 10-20 stories above ground while the Dollhouse proper is 10 stories below ground an IMpossiblity.
mangydog, Adelle's office is up high. Definitely. It's shot on an indoor soundstage. With regards to the elevator speeds and stuff... Uhm, she has a Super Smart Elevator(tm).
Two. Best. Hours. Of. Television. This. Season.

And that might still by an understatement of the perfection that was Stop-Lost/The Attic.
Sry, but in order for an elevator to accelerate and decellerate to and from speed in roughly 1 second and travel several hundred feet and accomplish this move in 7-8 seconds, it would have to accelerated in excess of one 'Gee'. Unless Rossum has invented and installed Interial Dampeners and/or Anti-Gravity so they can rocket Adelle back and forth from her Office to the Dollhouse, passengers making the mistake of stepping into such a deathtrap would be slammed against the ceiling and slammed against the floor (or visa-versa, depending on direction of travel). All evidence points to her office being part of the underground Dollhouse complex and those Skyscrapers outside her window are nothing more then window-dressing. That evidence includes E1 where the surviving trio escape her office by climbing UP (to the surface).
Mangy - I work on the 15th story of my building and the elevator ride is only 10 seconds, tops. It's fast (too fast IMO) but it can be done.
mangyday, I've been on set and seen the thing. It is absolutely, 110% intended to be upstairs in the plot of the show.
Also, didn't you hear the wind when they were climbing out of the window in E1?
Ok, fine, it's upstairs. And I can buy that that it is, indeed, "upstairs", but only two stories upstairs...which would still make it eight stories underground and still make those windows nothing more then a facade and still mean the surviving trio in E1 would be climbing UP to the surface.

Yeah, matt, modern elevators traveling in excess of 10 stories can reach speeds as high as 500ft/min. Typical travel time for 15 stories would be 18-20 seconds (Unfortunately, though, without you actually clocking your time, your "10 seconds, tops" can only be considered as a subjective observation rather then fact). And remember, Adelle has at least 10, but probably closer to 20, stories to travel just to reach the ground floor, then another 10 more to go to reach the Dollhouse for a total of 20-30 stories...and she needed to accomplish that in 7-8 seconds. She'd be traveling further then you do and do it in shorter time.
mangydog, you might want to go back and rewatch E1. The most likely explanation is the writers don't know about elevator speeds.
Yeah, I know, burnt out buildings and wind and whatnot. And the scene in MotS did make for one of those cool 'oners' that Mr. Whedon so enjoys. But, and maybe it's the engineer in me, occasionally it annoys me and distracts from The Story when Science, Logic and sometimes even Reason get tossed out in service to said Story.
I always thought Adelle's office would be above ground so that clients hiring out Actives would be able to come in, unaware that the elevator in the room leads to the dollhouse. I mean, sometimes her office is seen at night, sometimes during the day. Going up at the end of E1 is just metaphor-up. Or as someone guessed, someone's waiting for them in a helicopter. Joss can throw away logic for effect of the story (newly made Slayers can easily take down an Uber-vamp.)
If we're all guessing that the other half of the men who started the Dollhouse tech is a doll, could it be the brain-dead dad in Epitaph one?
CaptainB:
Nah, I don't think so. He was probably just a storytelling device to fool us into believing him and the girl were father and daughter to enhance the impact of the twist later on.

-

My favourite shots were in that whole Anthony scene in the Epitaph One-y street after stabbing Priya.
The framing, the lighting and the look on his face. The knife dropping etc.
As if I was seeing single panels of a comic.
But maybe that's just because I know that Cassaday directed the episode and my own mind doesn't mind reminding me of that fact.
But then again, comics sometimes do have a cinematic feel, right?

[ edited by Chili on 2009-12-19 15:45 ]

[ edited by Chili on 2009-12-19 15:47 ]
At the end of The Attic, I had an overwhelming urge to hum the theme to the A-Team.
I hope there is time for more Boyd in the last 3 episodes. His "personal time" seems significant and I like the idea that he has Whiskey at home.
And when he tells Adelle to shape up or else they will be coming to him to be the next head of the LA Dollhouse - he is a man of many contradictions.
Maybe it's a reeeally long ladder...
I think he was more saying 'shape up or I'll take over (rebelling)', lionness. Could be wrong.
I'll have to watch it again, Gossi. But since we didn't know that she was in fact rebelling, I could see why I might have interpreted it to mean that he was talking about taking over the Dollhouse. Did he know what she was up to? Did anyone else?
Dollhouse season 2 = Angel season 4 X Serenity
I knew Adelle wouldn't, ultimately, stand for it. And I suspect Boyd did. Adelle was already rebelling, but then she caved to get back control of the House, and so the tech. The only way to fight Rossum is with tech. The thing about arms wars? Always costly.
Go Team Echo!

Even more amazing than last week!
What a great show. I'd say that I'm with the critical audience who didn't find these two hours as good as the previous four, although the last half hour was especially excellent, and the twist was very satisfying.

It's hard to believe that this show is cancelled... how is it possible?
I am with shapenew. I am thinking Boyd's personal problems are tracking down Claire.

As for Clyde 2.0 and the backstabbing partner, I don't even want to venture a guess because I know Joss will make me look foolish for being completely wrong.
Re: scooby gang - I agree with those that said it's actually disappointing to see it. Then again, the fact that they're all tolerating each other in the same room doesn't necessarily mean they like each other. It could just mean they have something else they dislike more than they don't trust each other. Plus, I wouldn't say that BSG had a scooby gang, but they all come together at the end in a similar fashion so I guess it's fine. I'm just guessing I'll miss the grey area for the next three episodes.

I was wrong about Adelle, but then I was speculating Joss might try to do something different from what he's done before. My only question is this, was the whole thing deep cover or was it after the shower her gameplan changed? I'm not sure if being slobbering drunk was necessary for deep cover which is why I wonder if it wasn't severe depression followed by a moment of clarity. Now that I think about it, she also could have put Echo, Victor, and Sierra in the Attic immediately after Echo resurfaced if this had been her master plan.
OMG, where to start. Definite Buffy vibes tonight.

My money's on Boyd secretly meeting Whiskey on his "personal" outings

Adelle you had me fooled. Classic Whedon twist.

Priya dying in Anthony's arms. How beautiful was that?

Echo dying to redeem the others. Very familiar, post-modern.

Ingenious the way one by one each of them comes to terms with their pact to change Rossum. Brilliantly filmed.

On my second watching to catch up with all the exposition. Ballard's gibberish upon getting out of the chair. Hilarious!

What did they leave out of Paul?

How many more episodes? My heart breaks...

How friggin cool was that closing group shot?

Can we get a movie? Pretty please?
I thought it was interesting that in the 2nd ep, they cut the opening credits and just flashed the title of the show then just flashed the names during the beginning of the ep.
I admit I was a little bothered/unimpressed by the Washington/Perrin-storyline, but these two eps officially made me excited again. This show is epic, tragic fun. And this made me laugh hard:

AAAAHHH Season 4 was awesome... can't wait for season 5


:)
That was amazing TV. Can't say anything that hadn't been said already...

Except... Ningyo Kaoku!!! Japan's very own Dollhouse! *bows to the power of Anime's linguistic abilities*
I was actually speculating the possible identities of Clyde 2.0 and Topher was on my list. Now, I see all the ways that this would NOT be true, but I was thinking back to Adelle's speech to him about how he was picked because he has no morals... it occurred me that maybe, just maybe, he was MADE to have no morals, and the fact that he was having a moral problem was unnerving because it showed that he, too, was evolving from his programming. This might also explain Ivy's reaction to Topher touching her, if Adelle had told Ivy that Topher was really a doll. After all, she could "replace" him, if he became too individual. Also on my list was Bennett, for much similar reasons. Bennett could be an Alpha-esque version of Clyde 2.0, who was built onto the original structure like Alexis Denisof's character.
However, these are all merely my lonely hypotheses. :)

[ edited by danisonthewhedonite on 2009-12-19 18:57 ]
Nice to see I'm not the only one who thought of Saunders/Whiskey when Boyd was talking about his personal problems. First time he mentioned it I pretty much screamed "He's got Saunders at his house!"
Topher and Adelle aren't dolls. Especially not Topher. He would have been affected by the disruptor.
nuccbko, that makes sense. However, Topher MADE the disruptor. So... Yeah. :) I did say "I see all the ways that this would NOT be true."
A lot of people are gonna be kickin themselves in the coming years for not watching this sooner and forgetting the number one rule; you trust Joss.

And I... Well, I'm gonna be kickin them too...
I'm with azzers on Adelle- I don't think the idea to really buckled down and pick a side came until Echo talked to her, and then Boyd. The shower scene was the epiphany moment. And I took his threat to be the one to "knock down her door" to mean he'll kick her ass to the curb, one way or another, not necessarily usurp her position in any way. But that was just my first impression, he did seem to be on pretty good terms with Harding, he could probably get the job.
I'll take a chance and guess the more-or-less obvious, that Clyde's backstabbing partner is Harding.

So go ahead, Joss. Prove me wrong. Make my day.
Maybe what they removed from Paul was his romantic memories of Echo, and that's why there was no reunion.
OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I just finished 9 and 10 and am livid with FOX, seriously????? AMAZING! I cried and I spent most of the episode with my hand cupped over my mouth in shock. I did NOT see the Adelle twist coming, I actually thought it was going to be Caroline talking to Dewitt before she was imprinted. I LOVE THIS FRAKING SHOW! I can't wait to see Amy Acker again and also find out what happened to Bennett.
Victor and Sierra are wonderful, the minute they kissed I asked out loud, "Oh crap, what's going to happen?"
They brought Dominic back! Horray, I was really glad, his character was pretty great. And I still can't believe that Adelle is in on everything. I didn't know if she could be redeemed but damn!

Okay, I need to calm down now. I so wish I could have been watching this with everyone else on Whedonesque but I was at a stupid Christmas Party. Ah!!!
Loved loved loved the Attic. I am realizing now that Jed and Maurissa have written all three of my favourite Dollhouse episodes. Pretty impressive guys. I am really curious to see what they get their hands into next. Aside from the Doctor Horrible sequel of course.

Stop Loss was enjoyable but I felt like it could have been so much better. The Victor/Sierra storyline has been the one to impact me most heavily, and the culmination of their little love story left me a little cold. I liked the idea for the episode, but I felt like something was lacking in the execution. I started to think that the characters of Dollhouse had wandered into an episode of The Outer Limits.

<3s for everyone involved in Dollhouse. I am a sad sad boy today.
Blown away. Could Rossum represent the Hollywood establishment? Would that make Clyde a stand-in for Joss Whedon?
I said something like this on my Twitter that no one follows, so I'll say it here, too. The way that this show is playing out is so totally this: "If this is to be our end, then I would have them make such an end, as to be worthy of remembrance."

Because... wow, these past six (or eight) episodes have been pretty darn phenomenal. My brother hasn't been able to see this month's episodes, and I'm so very much looking forward to rewatching them with him this week.
So... Thanks Fox for at least giving us a second season, for giving Joss & Co. fair warning so they could create the television delights we've seen this week (and last, though I'm not sure if the official cancellation had gone out yet), and for committing to air all the episodes of season 2 when House reruns would be bringing in bigger audiences to watch the ads on your network. Fox home video will make lots of DVD sale money when people realize in coming years what they missed out on.

(I won't mention, at this time, Fox's death-sentencing idea of standalones being a good idea and their non-existent ads. Among other failings. Grr! Arrg!)

[ edited by CellarDoor on 2009-12-19 23:09 ]
Nice LOTR quote, nanceoir! Extremely fitting, too. As much as I'm going to miss this show, I'm thrilled that it's going out with a bang.

As for these two newest episodes, I enjoyed "Stop Loss" more than (seemingly) everyone else:D I thought it was a beautifully crafted portrayal of a tragedy that is inflicted upon many troops. And even those that aren't quickly pulled back into a military agenda have a difficult-often impossible-time readjusting to "normal" life (ie, Tony wandering around his apartment, looking lost and unable to connect to others in the club, and, most tellingly, being unable to sleep in anything but his "pod"). My only complaint would be the resolution of the Victor/Sierra story. But then that was remedied in the astoundingly genuis "The Attic", wasn't it? :)

Speaking of that television masterpiece, my brain was on serious Whedon overload so I have to rewatch it a few million more times to really grasp everything but my immediate, unbiased, critical reaction was "Holy crap! That is awesome!". Visually stunning, well acted, terrifically written... Is it possible to be madly in love with an hour of television?
@josswhedonaddict
"Uh, iluvmusicals, Joss said Epitaph One was only one possible future."

Got a source for that? What I heard is "this is it", but people might have misremembered things from their past (ie our future).
I see some people are referring " Hyperion" when was this - did I miss something?

Or was it the writers telling us where they took the idea of many brains as computers? :)
Am I the only person who automatically thinks of A.S.H whenever I see "Tony" or "Anthony" mentioned? I think he will always be Victor for me, while Priya has really sunk in in place of Sierra.
@Hunted

Boyd tells Anthony: "we set up a trust fund on your name, reserved a suite at the Hyperion..."
Well quite obviously Rossum has a strategic partnership with Wolfram and Hart. If they've been around since '93, I'm sure they've been able to share quite a bit of info. Rossum's contributing the end of the world, and W&H are contributing hotel space. It's win/win!
Is it wrong that I just googled Andrew Chambliss and have realized he's the cutest Whedon writer EVER???
Great episodes.

I'm still racking my brain trying to work out who runs Rossum. The way it has been introduced as a mystery it must be someone we've seen or heard of. Ambrose or Harding are too obvious. Boyd doesn't make sense.
Joel Myner? He's in tech and is rich. The sweet cuddly image could be a misslead. Clyde in The Attic said he wasn't even sure if his partner was a man or a woman because his brain had been tampered with but what if his own identity has been altered as well?
Could "he" actually have been Joel's wife and partner? We never saw his body, only his own image in his own mind of his bappearance.
Joel had her sent to the attic, replaced with an obedient slave and then missed her so much, and regretted what he did so much, he gets Echo to play her original self? The "Killed in a crash" story just a cover? That version was only what Joel told Ballard under pressure, why should we believe it?
Hang on, what if Caroline was a Doll?
Simon, we're trying to have a serious discussion in here. Everyone knows Caroline is a Cylon.
@Hunted, I remember it as you remember it, and that seems to be confirmed by this report, where it says: At the San Diego Comicon, Joss Whedon screened the episode and later said that "even though the future is fixed, and the stuff we see in "Epitaph One" is definitely real, we haven't seen the whole picture. For one thing, the "flash backs" we saw featuring our main characters were memories and may have been unreliable, plus some of those events may not have played out the way we thought they did."

Also, in an interview in the L.A. Times, in an answer as to whether the future depicted in E1 is "malleable." Joss indicates that they debated this issue and ultimately decided that, for the most part, E1 is gospel.
WOW. I just watched both eps and I absolutely loved them. I was worried for Adelle, thinking she'd gone over to the dark side but then she pulled a snape and I could breathe again.
I imagine she told Ivy what Topher had done, about Nolan which is why she was freaked out.
I got a heavy matrix-like feel of using people as computers and all that mess about the main frame and all.
I liked seeing Dominic again. I never liked his character much but he's grown on me. like Sheriff Lamb.
In one of the nightmare scenarios, when Echo and Topher go to the chair, they see Topher and he's all fraked up, he seems crazy and scarred, what the hell happened there???

anyone wonder why they atticed sierra and victor in the first place. I mean, yes, they were out of line, but Victor was free an Sierra wasn't evolving, she was controllable still, wasn't she?

there seemed to be a call of hat tips to both matrix and bsg, the hybrids, the shape of things to come.

I'm not sure how I feel yet about the new scooby gang. I want how they fight against Rossum.

many wonderful lines. too many really
I guess that means what we saw in "The Attic" is a future that happens anyway, but maybe Clyde's goal could still happen as a way to create SaveHaven.
I loved The Attic!

[ edited by Manic D on 2009-12-20 03:33 ]
Would have been nice to see Dominic get out to join the Scoobs. Maybe just because I enjoy the character, and his help in the attic was a little redeeming, right?

Does anyone know which 2 of the final 3 hours feature Amy Acker? I want her back bad, but I hope it's only one of the 2010 timeline episodes, and the finale set in 2019, because her Whiskey in Epitaph One was really powerful and creepy and I feel like there's more to tell there. It would be upsetting to revisit the future without her there.
I apologize to whomever said last week that they thought Adelle was really pulling an "Angel appears to have gone over to the dark side again" (W&H/The Order of the Black Thorn), and I pooh-pooh'd that idea a bit. How the plot got there was a little circuitous as though, at the last moment, she changed her mind, or had she always been playing Rossum for all she was worth. Until she lost it and screamed at Boyd, I was still a believer she'd sold everyone down the river, but that rang a bell for me the two of them were putting on a show ... or not. In fact, I wonder if they were all being monitored by Rossum and that's why she put on the alcoholic show. But then, we're shown bits and pieces of what she was really planning, and said to Echo before they all went into The Attic. If they were being monitored how did she find safe moments to relay her real plan, or all meet in her office at the end of The Attic.

Loved that my "insane cad" Nolan showed up again, even briefly, and that Dominic got to come out and play again. Totally compelling, brilliant television.
I don't think she was faking, at least until after the shower scene. She had certainly begun to hate Rossum and dearly wanted payback, but I doubt she had a grand design when she gave the plans to Rossum. Other than getting her control back, of course.

So when did she figure out that the Attic might be the way to bring them down and that Echo was the key? Maybe something started percolating once she realized that not only Echo, but Victor, were overcoming their programming. If they could do the same thing in the Attic...
Guys, isn't is obvious? Clyde 2.0 is Judith!
I thought Judy was the monkey....oh wait. That was Twin Peaks...
On Adelle's change:

I think she has always seen her house as her responsibility. Adelle did/does care about what happens to her actives...then she got in A LOT of trouble and was taken down a few hundred notches. That could not have felt good. She needed to get back in control of her house and manipulated her way to that end. Unfortunately, even getting her house back did not end the drama. She was frustrated and angry and lashing out at everyone she could *by the way, LOVED drunk Adelle* After clearing her had via shower she came up with a plan and is again using/manipulating her way to that plan's end (seems as though Echo and Adelle have something in common). I don't think Adelle has altruistic ideas of good and evil but she does have a conscience and it's red lights are flashing. I liked the ambiguity of her words to Ballard "I don't want to die". At the time we thought it meant "I don't want to be shot by you" but really, it could be in context to what she said to Topher about when you join up with Rosum you either die or go to the attic.
Echo says "I was going to use him," and Boyd gently chides her: "He's been used for five years."

It's not immediately clear, but Sierra is sitting, with two meals I think, long after dinner is over.

Tony is profoundly ill at ease in his surroundings. He's not dressed right for the club (he probably went because he could now afford it, but swiftly found it wasn't to his taste), he's uneasy in the finery of the hotel. He keeps a picture of his jarhead self on the mirror and seems discontented with current reflection, and he wears the dog tag at all times. He's not sure who he is anymore. The dog tags remind him... until he no longer wants an identity.

Interesting that Echo's keycard doesn't get her far. Power acquired from the Dollhouse may be fleeting. And Adelle takes the perpetual intrusions into her office remarkably smoothly...

Adelle is affected by Echo's comment about "playing both sides."

I knew it was a US military op -- or pseudo-military -- as soon as I saw the black bag. And I knew it was Rossum tech as soon as the camera focused on a chair, or a version thereof... Were all the ex-soldiers in Dollhouses, perhaps? Also I love the effect of merging with the group mind: everything goes black and white. You're on the team or you're the enemy. One more riff on the theme that Rossum is using people; the title reminds us that soldiers are being drawn back into the military routinely, will they or no.

Goes by fast, but the acrobat brothers are blind.

"All I have left is naughty pirate wench." Hah!

I love Echo in a hat. And her plan, from first to last, is to use her enemies' strength against them. First getting captured, then joining the group mind. It presages going into the Attic, too -- almost certainly gave Adelle the idea of sending Echo in.

Love the drool on Adelle's face... Boyd glances at Adelle's drink when she barges in on his office. I'm with people on the shower scene being her turning point because she uses the Doll shower: total vulnerability.

Very subtle foreshadowing: "You leave a wake of destruction wherever you go. There's only one place for you." What does that really mean? "You cause Rossum no end of trouble, and the best place to do that is from inside the Attic."

Boyd says he was at the Dollhouse "24-7" "when he had reason to be." Was he perhaps demoted in a cut scene?

Admit it: how many of us thought, "Hey, Echo's in Narnia!" when she came up through the tree?

Arcane/Clyde targets newcomers -- perhaps because he's hoping for news of the outside world in their nightmares?

Ivy's not happy around Topher because Adelle brought her into the plot before Adelle brought Topher in -- and, most likely, told Ivy just how much Topher's new toys can mess up the world. Adelle doesn't trust Topher, telling him how his secrets have slipped out, and is nervous that he'll crack.

The Japanese Rossum associate's worst nightmare isn't just self-cannibalism, it's having to enjoy the meal. Having to accept it. Also he's afraid of clowns.

Adelle talks to Ivy, Topher, and Boyd in this episode. Of the conversations we see, she pushes buttons, reveals secrets they thought were hidden. She's testing them: "I have seen the future, and it is not for the weak." She has to be sure they'll back her play.

Arcane tells Priya "There is no reason to be afraid." He's trying to comfort her.

Rossum using human brains for processing: of course Rossum is keeping people in jars to run nefarious projects, that's straight out of Joss's favorite movie! And Echo's "40 brains" comment in the prior ep ties in with the Attic's power.

As our heroes run for their lives, they pass wrecked police equipment: the law isn't going to save us.

The "off the air" line is a fun nod in the direction of the fourth wall, but also grounds the show's continuity: if the first part of this season was done in "real time," there was a three-month leap ahead.

I have a strong feeling I know why Victor and Sierra aren't together in Epitaph 1...

Also: I'm with waxbanks, from way up-thread.
Haven't read anyone else explicitly say: my interpretation in "Stop Loss" is that Echo gets to control the hive because she has a block vote of forty minds to wield.

I'm really confused by the editing before the final scene of "The Attic" - why are there those two shots of Echo trying and apparently failing to revive Priya/Sierra? I found the lack of a bridge to her and Tony/Victor both being fine pointlessly jarring - much like the Alpha-less transition back from the warehouse to the Dollhouse at the end of "Omega", which makes me think we once again lost footage that was kinda needed to support the narrative.
The Attic is hands down one of the best things I have EVER watched on television, and that includes Joss Whedon's prior works. WOW.

Not to say that Stop Loss was lacking at all. It showed some very intriguing scifi concepts that only a show like Dollhouse could tackle, I'm even more disappointed that Dollhouse won't get the chance to do many more. I am also very happy to finally get more back-story about Victor. (Now Boyd is the one remaining mysterious character that I need to know more about). The hive-mind concept reminded me of the Borg. It was very cool to see it here.

As for the Attic, what can I say? Not at all what I expected, and yet so so so much cooler. It was great seeing Dominic again, and he really kicked ass all over the episode. The reality of the Attic was incredibly chilling, and yet it made so much sense. Harnessing minds for their computing capabilities seemed so much more sensible than the Matrix. The direction this episode was superb. I loved how we discovered that the 'escape' was simply Echo's nightmare. Then I loved how we started going from nightmare to nightmare, jumping between minds. Then the discovery of the truth behind the Attic, and learning a LOT more about the history of Rossum itself. I was totally awed. It was also great seeing another glimpse of the future. So sad that it can't be averted (but we know that Echo/Caroline is our one hope.) I actually want to learn more about Caroline now! This could definitely explain how she got to where she was with Adelle when she was forced to join the Dollhouse. (And it looks like we'll get to meet her next episode. Curse waiting till January now!)

The only thing that I'm not sure about was finding out in the end that Adelle actually was on Echo's side. Did she change her mind after Echo gave her the speech? If so, why would she hide this fact from Topher, Ivy, Boyd, et al? Was Rossum watching her that closely? And why the need to send Victor and Sierra as well as Echo?

But to reiterate myself at the top, this was a brilliant hour of tv, and I am crushed that we are losing this show after three more episodes. If Dollhouse keeps this up and has a satisfying conclusion, I would definitely rank it among my favorite shows of all time. Possibly higher than even Buffy and Angel. The Attic is the sort of episode that has me excited to get the dvd so that I can watch it all over again!
One reason to send Victor and Sierra to the attic I can think of, possibly in Adelle's mind, is to make sure they were as strong/special as she thought/hoped they were. They need to be that strong to fight Rossum. Just a thought.
A couple of quick questions:

If Victor had to be rescued quickly or lose his identity forever to the hive mind, how'd his friend who'd been there much longer manage to break free enough to remember Victor and not shoot?

Also, how'd Adelle know that Topher had helped chop up Nolan's body?
If Victor had to be rescued quickly or lose his identity forever to the hive mind, how'd his friend who'd been there much longer manage to break free enough to remember Victor and not shoot?

Topher doesn't know everything and isn't always exactly right. ;)

Also, how'd Adelle know that Topher had helped chop up Nolan's body?

Adelle probably knows all sorts of things that she's never felt the need to bring up.
Lots of bitching about pearls thrown to the swine. I'll enjoy what I get and be a pig in slop. Sheesh!

[ edited by TamaraC on 2009-12-20 09:28 ]
The only thing that I'm not sure about was finding out in the end that Adelle actually was on Echo's side. Did she change her mind after Echo gave her the speech? If so, why would she hide this fact from Topher, Ivy, Boyd, et al?

It would appear to be a combination of confrontations in "Stop Loss", mainly with Echo and Boyd, that prompted Adelle to get her shit together. But by the time she'd decided to send Echo to The Attic, not involving Topher, Ivy, Boyd, et al could have been as simple as protecting them.

If her plan for Echo and The Attic blew up in her face, she'd be the only one who knew the plan existed. Alternatively, she might not have wanted any resistance to the plan, and it was easier to just order everyone to obey her order, and then explain to/recruit everyone after Echo'd been sent to The Attic.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-12-20 09:24 ]
The Attic was the best episode of Dollhouse ever. It was exactly what I'd been waiting for from the series - I was under the impression that Epitaph One was going to be a Restless type episode, and although it was amazing it wasn't really. Whereas The Attic is going to give us so much to talk about for years to come. It was trippy, beautifully shot, intriguing and exciting. I'm so grateful that we got a second series of Dollhouse and that they're pulling no punches. I think a lot of people are going to discover this series after the fact and wonder why it did so badly in the ratings.
I think it was me who pitched Epitaph One (on here) as Restlessesque. Not the best description ever, heh.
I'm loving Eliza since Echo became aware. Ironically, it feels so much more like her show now it's an ensemble. The script was utterly awesome this week too. I've got a good mind to go back through and list the amazing dialogue. In fact, I will later. For now just:

Topher "I've tried homotopic and heterotopic stimulation"
Adelle "Haven't we all?"

Genius.

I'm a little disappointed that Adelle is good. She was soooo good at being bad and her forcing Topher into towing the line would have led to E1 brilliantly. Also loved her standoff with Paul. Those two have wicked sexual tension.

Sometimes in this series, single lines seem beautifully significant, either through design or delivery. There was one from Priya just when the flatlining plan was put forward. Echo says only she should do it because she's been through worse. Priya replies "And we haven't?" almost with anger. There is the suggestion that Echo/Caroline's struggle to free the dolls is about self-validation and maybe a degree of superiority rather than altruism, much as it was for Paul (and maybe for Buffy once upon a time). I loved that Priya was the one to reassert her equality and power of choice within the situation.
Okay so Stop-Loss was pretty B-grade (though it had some great moments). But The Attic was absolutely astonishing. Loved it. Way better than the over-hyped Epitaph One :) This season is just bat-shit crazy. So much has happened in the last 6 episodes and I feel pretty sure now that the finale (or the 12th episode) is going to be a Becoming-style finale where everything built up through the season will come together like a puzzle (not the greatest simile ever)

I knew that Adelle was putting on an act but that last scene was still pretty rousing. I'm certainly not part of the club that thinks this show needed to have a team of good guys. I've absolutely loved the show's murkiness. That said, I don't hate this development like some do. We should keep in mind that Topher and Adele, two members of our new band of good guys, respectively designed and passed-on technology which will almost certainly destroy the world. And I'm convinced there will be a lot more doulbe-crossing and moral greyness in the final three episodes

It was interesting to see that the scene from Epitaph One in which Echo and Ballard are in the lift was just a memory from the Attic. I now see what Joss meant when he said that the memories we saw in Epitaph One might be fallible. That said, I'm willing to bet that when Epitaph was written Joss and co thought that that actually happened but then later changed their mind. But hey it worked

I can't wait to find out what Caroline remembers and also what Topher took from Paul. And what the hell did Adelle say to Ivy?!?!

I'm also starting to wonder whether Epitaph One actually did take place in the Attic. Could Epitaph Two: The Return be where they return to the Attic to take down Rossum?

[ edited by Let Down on 2009-12-21 01:14 ]
Nice work, Let Down. You beat me to the two insights I was hoping to include.

I loved that just as I was getting annoyed to realize that the "Russian girl" scene in the elevator could NEVER have happened, they slipped it in. It had not been possible in the timeline. The Echo we saw in that scene was clearly fully-aware (I.E. post-Jane Doe), but Echo and Paul were never sent on an engagement between her return to the Dollhouse and Paul's "death". She was in solitary.

But as a reviewer noted, the beauty of the E1 memories was the ambiguity of their entry and exit points. So we've now seen the elevator scene, and can understand why it would stick in Echo's memory, even though (or perhaps because) it never really happened.

More on the possibilities for E1 later. Gotta shovel snow.
(Snip double post)

[ edited by EricNJB on 2009-12-20 17:55 ]
(Snip triple post...stupid BlackBerry)

[ edited by EricNJB on 2009-12-20 17:57 ]
I just had kind of a dumb thought that I thought I would share.

I wonder if Boyd was one of the Rossum security guards when Caroline accidentally saw whatever it is she saw, and that's why he's helping her.

Maybe he knows what Rossum is hiding, and was trying to get Echo to composite all along.
The thing about Epitaph One is I can't watch episodes now without thinking of E1. When Alpha seemingly killed Paul, I actually thought he was dead and gone for a second, but DUH, he's alive in the future.

It's sort of exciting to keep that episode in mind when watching current eps.
So: I liked these episodes, especially "The Attic." The Arcane plot twist was great, and redeemed what otherwise seemed to be a standard killer-in-our-dreams plot, like Nightmare on Elm Street or, you know, "Restless" (to which this episode can't compare--sorry J-Mo/Cassaday, I hope you don't mind). I did think there were execution problems.

Incidentally, why did Adelle send Priya and Anthony to the Attic? And why did she mislead Boyd and Topher? Was it a test to see whether they would break?
So who else is betting that Clyde 2.0 is in Alpha?
Sometimes in this series, single lines seem beautifully significant, either through design or delivery. There was one from Priya just when the flatlining plan was put forward. Echo says only she should do it because she's been through worse. Priya replies "And we haven't?" almost with anger. There is the suggestion that Echo/Caroline's struggle to free the dolls is about self-validation and maybe a degree of superiority rather than altruism, much as it was for Paul (and maybe for Buffy once upon a time). I loved that Priya was the one to reassert her equality and power of choice within the situation.

Wonderfully said! I think Echo gets lost in HER mission, forgetting that her actual mission is to free everyone. She kind of wants to be the hero, I know she is trying to protect everyone but I also think she likes being the lone wolf. Very Buffesque.
Only three more episodes? Really? *sniff*

I've been up and down on this show, and it feels like we skipped a season or two ahead in a couple of episodes, but holy crap, I am officially being blown away by it now. And I love smart Echo!! "Come on Echo, be your fricking best" - fantastic, Eliza Dushku is brilliant at this.

I hope there is time for more Boyd in the last 3 episodes. His "personal time" seems significant and I like the idea that he has Whiskey at home.

Feel like such a dummy for not thinking of this! I was all, huh? Boyd has a family? But of course it's Whiskey!!


Admit it: how many of us thought, "Hey, Echo's in Narnia!" when she came up through the tree?

I love you ManEnoughToAdmitIt.
Thanks for the link b!X but the sound is off, it doesn't match up with the stream.
LOVED both eps and I was BLOWN AWAY by the twist at the end of 10. Didn't see it coming at all. Go team!

When Echo first started moving around the attic I was thinking to myself that it reminded me of "Restless" so it's probably not surprising that when I first saw the rabbit guy, I thought it was the Cheesman! lol
The Stop-Loss had some good bits (especially all the Anthony scenes in the hotel), but there was some super cheesy lines for Echo. Bugged me a bit, but holy shit the Attic made up for it. First of all....My Dominic came back! Oh, how I hope we get to see him again!!! Also, I had no idea that the director John Cassady was the same JC as the comic dude. Um, way cool! It had a very artistic way about it. Loved that. Loved the whole back story of the Attic and Rossum. Just brilliant. And some of you were wondering why Adelle put Prya and Tony in the Attic and I just assumed she did it because Echo would need help while inside.
But she didn't need help from them inside. She had to rescue them, so really they were more of an obstacle. Narratively, they had to be in The Attic also because Echo needed to have a reason to go after Arcane, which she had to do in order to find Clyde and learn the secret of The Attic.

But, for the purposes of story logic, I see no problem with the idea that for better or for worse, Adelle simply had to commit all of them to The Attic in order to maintain her cover. She risked them for the greater good.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-12-21 05:59 ]
I thought Adelle put them in the attic because they had both slipped out of her control and had helped Echo. Since Anthony managed to break out of the hive-mind, with help from Echo and Priya, I figured Rossum would be after him and she was heading them off. (That works for both how she appeared before the final scene and after - the difference being that she was actually protecting them from Rossum who might be gunning for them under the circumstances.)

I haven't been able to rewatch it from iTunes yet, but I certainly will be doing so at least once or twice in the next week! It may be the perfect way to spend Boxing Day, in fact - rewatching S2, or at least the last six episodes. ;)
I sort of assumed the reason Ivy was all freaked out is that Adelle told her about Topher's involvement with Nolan's corpse and all.
I read a real good theory on who Clyde 2.0 is: November. I think this would be a really cool twist and would allow for more of the Bennett/DC Dollhouse/November story. Unfortunately we have to wait until next year to find out :-D
If Victor had to be rescued quickly or lose his identity forever to the hive mind, how'd his friend who'd been there much longer manage to break free enough to remember Victor and not shoot?

Echo was already inside the hive mind at this point, no?
Wow, I finally read the whole thread. Can't believe I didn't pick up on Whiskey being Boyd's 'personal' issues. (And I know that Amy Acker still has two eps to be in this season!) I really do think that is what they were foreshadowing, and hopefully it means we'll learn more about Whiskey and also Boyd.

As for Clyde, I figured he was Clive Ambrose. It makes sense to be someone we've seen, but not any of our main characters.

I agree that people will watch the dvds in the future and wonder how this show was ever cancelled, much like what happens for Firefly now. Dollhouse got so good, and I was right to trust in Joss even with the shaky start.
Anybody think that the Asian guy in the Attic was actually heroically resisting the programming? He wasn't freaking out like everybody else. He knew that reaction fed the mainframe's computing power, so he "enjoyed himself", even though that meant literally devouring his own flesh.

The only problem with that is Arcane killed people who were fearful, so that doesn't work - unless the guy was still afraid underneath.
I think that having to enjoy himself (or act that way) was part of the horror, for him.
Just caught up tonight. I'm sure everybody else has said more interesting things but it was weird to see cans of London Pride (brewed a few miles from my part of London) on the shelves in Clyde's hideout.

In addition, I am almost definitely sure there were cans of Irn Bru and Tizer, a packet of digestives and a bottle of Dettol on the shelves too.

Someone enjoyed dressing that set.
I'm gonna ramble again, and I can't take full credit for this but...

Sierra.Alpha.Victor.Echo.

S.A.V.E
I skimmed to try and find this, but couldn't really.

Loved the episodes, but I'm not really clear on why Adelle had to fake being 100% on Rossum's side. It makes sense to me if she's putting on a show because they're being monitored... but then she tells everyone the truth in the same office where she was deceiving them earlier. I just don't see what the benefit is to her plan to have everyone thinking she's turned evil. The only answer I can think of is that she wanted to keep anyone from mounting a rescue mission to the Attic, preventing Echo from finishing her work. But this was never really even hinted at in the episode, so I'm thinking that's just something I made up. Did I just miss something?
I'm gonna ramble again, and I can't take full credit for this but...

Sierra.Alpha.Victor.Echo.

S.A.V.E


Or... Victor. Alpha. Sierra. Echo.

Vase...
Jobo wrote:
. . . I'm not really clear on why Adelle had to fake being 100% on Rossum's side.

That one bugged me too, but I put it down to the fact that Adelle needed to be absolutely sure that nobody she wanted to include in her scheme would break and end up betraying her. The best way to do that is to pretend to be totally in Rossum's corner and put the pressure on. Nobody broke, so she knew she could absolutely trust them.

Another thing was that when Anthony (Victor) was restored in ep9, he was confused at first as to why he was still there, but when Priya was restored, she wasn't confused and knew immediately she had been brought back from her last state. A minor inconsistancy, but one that bugged me.
I suppose that's because Priya was brought back previously in ep 4 - in her mind, just a day ago so she'd recognize what had happened...
That's what I mean -- Priya from ep9 should have thought it was still ep4 and that she hadn't been erased yet. The writers should have allowed at least a few moments of confusion, but they didn't.
Or she was clear right away, from the fact that the room was full of people instead of being just Topher, that it obviously wasn't still "Belonging".
I've sometimes inadvertently fallen asleep in my chair in my office at home. Then the phone rings and I'm immediately awake, but I look around and think, "WTF? Why is it dark?" Well, it's because I've fallen asleep, and the sun has set, and it takes me a few moments to figure that out.

Like I said, a minor quibble with an otherwise excellent episode.
Shey said:
"Please Joss, - just this once, let us have one happy ending for one couple .... Anthony and Priya"

Simon and Kaylee are still okay. Willow and Kennedy are too, so far (okay, I guess the revelation of Future Willow means they don't get to be--but if they ended because Kennedy died of old age, we can't hold that against Joss). He hasn't destroyed every major couple in his shows/films.

Was anyone reminded of the Enterprise episode from Season 2 called "Dead Stop", when it came up that Rossum is basically stealing bodies for use as processors ? That ep of Enterprise (one of the better/best ones) was a standalone "horror" of sorts (really just incredibly creepy) in which the ship is damaged and the crew come across an unmanned repair station of unknown origin. They take the ship in for repairs, board the station, and it takes care of all their needs while only asking for some fuel as repayment. They get back to the ship and realize one of their crew members is gone. They go back to the station, uncover a secret room, and find that their crew member, along with dozens (or possibly hundreds) of other alien species are being kept in a comatose state to be used by the station as processors/to gain knowledge of various species. The Enterprise ends up destroying the station, but the last scene shows its pieces rebuilding themselves. It's never brought up again and we never find out who created (if anyone actually did), or if its just some kind of sentient machine unto itself, an accident of nature...

Also, I gotta wonder what justification Adelle and Rossum use (especially when providing excuses to other employees) when sending broken dolls to The Attic. Why not just reprogram them with their original personalities and send them back into society earlier (maybe docking their pay or something as a penalty and explaining to the original person that there were complications--but still fixing their mental issue, if possible) ? When their 5 year contracts are up, and if they're not a spy like Dominic, do Attic'd dolls still get released ?

[ edited by Kris on 2009-12-24 08:33 ]
There seems to be some worry about ex-actives going haywire once released Kris (they have regular check-ups, surveillance etc.), maybe an Attic-ed doll is an [ex-]active that can't be trusted back in the world ? Wonder if they're told that when they sign up ? If ever there was a lesson to be learned about reading the small print ... ;).

Rigor mortis. The new Viagra.

^ I need to find out who wrote that line, and then buy them cake or vodka or cake mixed with vodka.


*writes letter claiming Vodkake™ idea as his own to WKD/Mr Kipling*. Yeah, loved that line too gossi. So very twisted.

She had certainly begun to hate Rossum and dearly wanted payback, but I doubt she had a grand design when she gave the plans to Rossum. Other than getting her control back, of course.

I don't think she had a specific plan in mind shambleau but I do think she intended to prevent them using the tech she was giving them. I think she'd known for sometime (possibly since Harding used the phrase "Miss Lonelyhearts") that Rossum was keeping close tabs on them all and so likely already knew about the plans (cos, y'know, not exactly the best hiding place in the world) - what better way to gain their trust ?

But what i've noticed with Adelle is that whatever she does can be seen more than one way and that we as viewers will see whatever she does through the prism of what we already think of her - to those for whom she's always been a baddie Boyd talked her out of it (this, just from a writing perspective, is incredibly implausible, even badly done IMO) whereas to those of us who've always seen her as morally grey, as neither a hero nor a villain but "just" a person trying to make her way through a world of shit then it seems like the apocalyptic end of civilisation as we know it was probably the point at which she thought "OK, this has gone far enough".

I thought Adelle put them in the attic because they had both slipped out of her control and had helped Echo. Since Anthony managed to break out of the hive-mind, with help from Echo and Priya, I figured Rossum would be after him and she was heading them off.

Yep. Rossum would know about Victor and Priya from the super-soldier facility so Adelle once more ostensibly toes the party line by sending them to the Attic. As to whether she was testing them, maybe but to me that exhibits the same misconception I mention above re: Adelle - people want her to be a goodie (in more superficial fiction this means a hero) or a baddie (a villain) and struggle to accept that she may just have thought sacrificing Victor and Sierra was a price well worth paying and be a goodie (just not a hero). It's all about means/ends and the greater good, just like in real life.

Re: Clyde's "best mate" from uni, Adelle is presumably meant to be the obvious candidate (she's also English, about the right age and mentioned in a previous episode that she used to have quite the science background) but maybe too much so. Boyd is the leftest of the available fields though his current skill-set/character doesn't match (and we know he's not a doll from "Echoes" IIRC), one of the baddies we've already seen just feels too rote (like "Oh, it's Mr Ambrose, quelle surprise") and someone we haven't seen would be too deus exy (and Topher and Bennett are surely both much too young). No idea in other words.

In general, I liked these well enough ('The Attic' much more than 'Stop-Loss' which I found a bit obvious, too straightforward a sci-fi idea for 'Dollhouse' IMO, nicely as it might tie in with some of the themes) but of all the second season episodes, I think these show the forced pacing more than any others (Adelle's cover/apparent about-turn - yay, called it ;) - and the team together moment would, i'm fairly sure, have been spread over several episodes/seasons if time permitted and so would've felt much stronger/more powerful, albeit slightly more conventional than 'Dollhouse' needs to be IMO).

Still, some great dialogue, some great reveals, some lovely little nods for the fans ("Hyperion", possible Cheese-man cameo etc.) and the plot, it moveth oneth. Thought 'The Attic' was going to be 'Restless Redux' and to be honest, much as I liked 'Restless' (and some of the images Cassady showed us in the first 20 minutes of the ep - including what looked a lot like Yggdrasil, the World Tree from Norse mythology which sits between planes and from under which Echo emerges), that'd waste plot development time that we just can't spare IMO. But nope, once Echo became lucid in her nightmare it rattled into the arc plot and "Epitaph One" and how it might be averted or at least semi-averted ('ted'ed as it were ;). Good stuff. 3 to go.
I liked both these episodes a lot.

One thing that jarred a bit for me though which I don't think anyone has mentioned upthread is the end of The Attic epsiode. Echo, Priya and Anthony wake up in the Attic at the end of the episode and it's all dramatic shots of them waking up, and next thing we know there's a big group shot of everyone in the LA dollhouse with no explanation of how the three actives got out... but surely there are some serious alarms going off?

How do they have time to come back to the LA dollhouse and sit there for the group shot.... surely there'd be a whole heap of security right behind them? I know the Dollhouse security has repeatedly been shown to be rather crap but this just seems rather odd to me.

Hopefully the apparently lack of urgency from the LA dollhouse crew will be explained next Ep. (haven't even seen the next ep's trailer yet, have found I've enjoyed Season 2 much more for avoiding spoilers).
How do they have time to come back to the LA dollhouse and sit there for the group shot...

Every house has its own Attic, so presumably it's not like they had to go very far.
If that's the case, b!X, surely that means Security didn't have far to go either?

I suppose Adelle could have called off security (or Boyd could have too, for that matter). Except that if the Attic does connect all Dollhouses I find it a bit hard to believe that each Dollhouse would be responsible for it's own Attic security, rather than reporting to some central body over and above Boyd or Adelle's authority.
The LA Dollhouse has its own Attic, which is connected to the Rossum mainframe via the Rossum WAN. Adelle has responsibility for the LA Attic facility. Adelle reports to VP Clive Ambrose regarding The Attic. As part of Rossum protocol, nobody comes out of The Attic. Part of the goal of the Dollhouse ARG which ran last month was to plant a few of these seeds, they're covered in the final episodes.
In other words, as many folks probably figured would be the case, we simply have yet to see the fallout of the three Actives escaping from The Attic. The episode ended with their escape, so it's a To Be Continued for Rossum's reaction.

Does Rossum know its tech, inside and out ? I wonder if they could've forseen that "Archane" (can't remember his real name) would attempt to hamper them from within it (although his speeding up the deaths of nightmare/adrenaline-frenzied Attic prisoners was probably only chipping away at their body supplies, as new ones were probably added quickly enough to keep things working and evolving just fine--just my speculation). Seems like it would've been a far better move to just kill him and not risk the chance of him figuring out how to move through his unconscious surroundings, though I guess "a mind is a terrible thing to waste" might be one of the company's axioms (pretty nuts that this series has gone from building and imprinting personalities to wandering around in other folks' minds through a network and coming back out again).

[ edited by Kris on 2009-12-26 16:20 ]
Thanks gossi and Kris.

I haven't followed the ARG. Did the ARG explain that security structure? I might go and look up that summary someone posted a while back of what the ARG told us.

Kris, I realised that we hadn't seen the fallout of them escaping yet, that didn't ruin the suspension of disbelief for me, what took me out of the 'viewing experience' (which I had been fully immersed in and thoroughly enjoying for the entire episode up until that point) was that final shot of who the 'good guys' were (or who we are meant to think the good guys are anyway).

Not just because I was anticipating a cliffhanger ending with us wondering whether Echo, Priya and Tony escaped the Attic, but also because it ruined the sense of urgency and left me wondering why things weren't feeling urgent anymore... hence, all my questions regarding what people knew of security etc.

I realise this could just be me and my own bugbear! I know other people's qualms about aspects of the mythology or story of the show haven't bothered me at all.

I also think it would have bothere me less if the episode 'pairing' had been different and I had watched the next episode straight after the Attic rather than leaving it for me to think about lots and wonder - why was it shown that way? - so I look forward to in a few weeks time watching the next ep and hopefully having the fallout of The Attic made clearer.

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