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December 21 2010

'Dollhouse' episode 'Getting Closer' makes The AV Club's 45 Standout Episodes of 2010. The AV Club recently featured the Top 25 shows of 2010, these are great episodes from shows that didn't make that list. Are they banoonoos for not including 'Dollhouse' in the first place ? You decide.

'Getting Closer' certainly was a helluva ride. Showed it to my mom the other day. Her brain just could NOT process what was happening.
Well, since Dollhouse only aired three eps in 2010, and one of those eps was pretty weak (whatever the one after Getting Closer was called... I've tried to block it from memory), I'm fine with the show not making the list.

Season 2 as a whole, though? Definitely deserves a spot.
Getting Closer > Epitaph Two >>>> The Hollow Men

But Dollhouse Season 2 deserves to be on ANY list. Amazing season.
@bonzob and nuccbko: Agree 10000% with both of you. The Hollow Men was a disaster and my least favorite episode of the series. At least Stage Fright and Instinct were standalone.

Side-note: Dollhouse and Lost both had extremely excellent episodes (Getting Closer and The Candidate, respectively) followed by a terrible penultimate episode (The Hollow Men and Across the Sea, respectively). I count What They Died For as part of the finale.
Getting Closer > Epitaph Two >>>> The Hollow Men

That's cos

Being shot in the face >>>> The Hollow Men


Well, since Dollhouse only aired three eps in 2010, and one of those eps was pretty weak...

Yeah, if e.g. 'Belonging' had aired in 2010 I reckon it would've been a shoe-in.

[ edited by Saje on 2010-12-21 22:38 ]
@Saje: You and nuccbko both used four >. That would mean...

Being shot in the face = Epitaph Two.
I personally think The Hollow Men is an awesome episode and don't get the hate for it, in fact it's one of my favorite of the series. The acting in it was unbelievable from all the cast (the scenes between Eliza and Harry especially) and it had some down right hilarious moments in it.

[ edited by JAYROCK on 2010-12-21 23:51 ]
I'm with JAYROCK, I love Hollow Men, I think it's because the Boyd reveal AND justification worked for me, while for many it didn't.

[ edited by Nocticola on 2010-12-22 00:28 ]
The Boyd reveal worked for me (because he had to be something other than he appeared), the justification of the Boyd reveal not so much. Mileage varies for that as with most things though ;).

ETA: Being shot in the face = Epitaph Two.

Well, 'Epitaph Two' is a post-catastrophe episode and Being shot in the face is, I think most would agree, pretty catastrophic ;).

[ edited by Saje on 2010-12-22 00:34 ]
I agree, the reveal worked for me, but then, instead of painting Boyd as a complex, intelligent villain with some internal conflict and intriguing motives, they painted him as a mustache twirling secret nutcase, which was both boring and ridiculous.

I felt it was one of the weakest/most cliched executions of an idea that we've ever seen in the whedonverse. The rest of season two, minus Instinct, made up for it, though.
They only had one episode to accomplish the can't expect them to get some internal conflict and all that over with all the other stuff they had to do.
Why are other promos always better than Fox? lol
I agree with Tumnus, I think had they got the back 9 like they wanted, the Boyd reveal would have obviously been handled much more like fans expected/wanted. Boyd's justification didn't necessarily work for me either however the good in that episode is just too good for me to not like it, especially Eliza's acting. :-)
They only had one episode to accomplish the can't expect them to get some internal conflict and all that over with all the other stuff they had to do.

That doesn't really work for me as an excuse, though. If they didn't have the running time to do justice to the story, then they should've gone a different direction with it.
They only had 3 episodes left to wrap up the story. I'm not sure what other direction they could have gone in that would have been as exciting as the one they did.
For me, season 2 was truly fantastic up up to and including the Attic. I really disliked Getting Closer, and was shocked that I hated The Hollow Men even more - as in, much much much more. That's the sort of episode that wrecks a series. It wasn't just banal and cliched; it wrecked Boyd as a character simply to serve perhaps the most contrived plot twist in Whedonverse. Epitaph 2 was better, but still pretty cheesy and at times cringe-worthy. In three episodes my estimation of the show dropped an enormous amount. From being one its most ardent defenders, I'm now usually silent when people criticize it. I see it as a Joss curiosity - the black sheep in his family of great shows.

Between that and the god-awful progression of Buffy season 8 (why oh why are we getting a season 9 when Joss doesn't seem to care anymore?) I'm starting to wonder whether Joss should take on fewer projects and give them his all.

Ungrateful rant over.
Yeah but how do you really feel Let Down ? ;)
I disagree Tumnus, I think that they could have had just a few sentences and it would have made Boyd's betrayal much better. I forget what his current reasoning is. Something about how they're a family?

I could have dealt with something a bit more like the Operative in Serenity -- though I wonder if that could be misinterpreted as racist to have multiple black people turning on the leads... -- but really he could have been the same sort of evil idealist.

If anyone would come up with the technology then it might as well be Rossum, and I could him arguing that he was pushing Echo so that they would be able to make a vaccine or whatever out of her [from their perspective, for a select few who would pay massive amounts of money for it or maybe something about having a proletariat zombie mob that could be put to better use than as free-willed homeless people or whatever].

Alternatively, he could have been a bit less mastermindy and a little less blameless. (Blah blah blah, corporations take on a life of their own and went over his head but he's coming up with a back up plan. That's still maybe a little evil and possibly a blow-up-able offense.)

[ edited by orangewaxlion on 2010-12-22 10:07 ]
Whenever I think of Dollhouse, I feel the emotionally charged journey it took to get there, producing some of the best episodes of television ever week after week -- then I remember the jump-from-explosion part and the supposedly romantic Ballard/Echo thing. Apart from that, everything else kinda works, though, for me. I didn't like the Boyd twist, but its not a prominent thing in my mind. Epitaph 2 was enjoyable and a bit twisted, but not spectacular - I've never been a huge praiser of them. The ending of Topher, however... <3
I think Getting Closer was a good pick, since The Attic *just* missed 2010.

I don't dislike The Hollow Men as much as most. I don't think it's an "excuse" (as someone said) to recognize how detrimental to the flow of the story arc it was, having to cram two seasons worth of stuff into a few episodes.

I finally got my DVD set a few weeks ago and I'm (sadly) almost finished watching it. I really believe that given a reasonably free hand and a decent run, Dollhouse would have been Joss's best TV work, by far.
The Hollow Man wasn't brilliant, but I never particularly liked that Boyd turned out to be the big evil. He was always going to have a dark past, but I was hoping for him to be someone who wanted redemption, even if he didn't know how to reach it.

I can't get on board with the Epitaph Two meh that others seem to have though (to be honest, I didn't even realise until now people felt that way about it.) It was an episode that really made me long for a whole season of Dollhouse set in the future, even more so then Epitaph One, despite it not being overall a better episode. It felt like a fitting end to the show and everyone seemed to end in the right place.
The whole Boyd twist didnt work for me becuase the writers took the cheap way out which was to make Boyd 'crazy'. Hollow men as a whole left a bad taste in my mouth but Epitaph Two was great IMO.

Also good to see Caprica get a mention!!

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