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Dollhouse — Episode 2.10 ‘The Attic’

Monday, December 21, 2009

Fuck me.

Everything I said about this being Dollhouse‘s time to go, I take it back.  What we’re getting now is worth saving.  The problem, of course, is that we’re only getting it now.  Maybe if this had of come earlier, then . . . wait, save that discussion for later.

My initial impression of the Attic was that it was a storage place for the bodies of people they’d wiped clean; people who still retained their instincts and motor functions but didn’t have a brain to coordinate them, and so just hung there in a form of semi-conscious suspended animation.  To have it actually be a sort of evil Holodeck which keeps their brains full of adrenaline in order to power a sort of ‘super-computer,’ or collectively be a super-computer, is taking the basic premise of The Matrix and amping it up a notch.  How incredibly disappointing that that notch is going to be so short-lived.

Having it be like this raises so many more possibilities for the show than I would have thought possible.  Think about it — they could have had a whole season of being trapped in, and trying to get out of, the Attic, if they had wanted to; they’re so good at creating weird/disturbing nightmarish kookiness, I would have loved something like that.  And it really all does make total sense, sci-fi-entifically.  But unfortunately they were forced to get right to the heart of the matter in just one episode, which of course made this episode really good, but still — what a waste.  They cleverly ‘brought’ the present-day cast into the apocalyptic future by way of seeing it as a prediction in the mind of a guy who turned out to be one of the founders of Rossum, himself stuck in the Attic through betrayal; we find out that this is what Caroline found before she was Doll-ized (is this where the scene with Bennett and the arm-crushing took place?  I hope we get a resolution on that); and they were even smart enough to go back and ‘ret-con’ something from Epitaph One — that scene where Paul and Echo are in the elevator together, which could never have happened now given the new abbreviated timeline, so they turned it into an experience Echo had in the Attic (but if they re-imprint Caroline over Echo, is she still going to have all of Echo’s memories?  Still lots of questions).  Anyway, it’s all great stuff, but now with only three more episodes to resolve it all, I have a bad feeling it could end up leaving us wanting.

Aside from the actual Attic stuff, there were hints that Boyd is off doing something outside the House on his own time (cavorting with Dr. Saunders, no doubt — I hope); lots of misdirection with Adele, which was good and actually did catch me off-guard with the ‘reveal’ at the end; and all this tension with Topher and Ivy, though I realize now that could’ve just been red-herring stuff to keep Topher in the dark about Adele’s true intentions.

Again, again, a lament, a lament.  Oh well.  Maybe having this finished will free up Joss to go back to writing X-Men.  Wouldn’t that be great?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. tgjkennedy permalink
    Wednesday, December 30, 2009 12:52 pm

    So, so good. I was wondering if by the end of Season 2 I would want to buy the DVD set to go with my Season 1…. and I wasn’t sure until now. Sadly I know that I’ll be rewatching Dollhouse DVDs for many years to come and thinking “what if?”. It can go on the shelf right next to Firefly.

    This was a wonderful episode. The emotions were all spot-on and the music was great. I think that Joss is going to be able to wrap it all up in a way that will keep us happy. I hope so anyway.

    • Wednesday, December 30, 2009 10:24 pm

      I still hope that it’s these events which lead into Firefly/Serenity. That would both be neat and make sense.

      Or — just thought of something else. What if Epitaph One is not actually in the future, but is simply the Attic? Oooo . . . it was all a dream!

      • tgjkennedy permalink
        Wednesday, January 13, 2010 2:12 pm


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