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Dollhouse — Episode 2.9 ‘Stop-Loss’

Monday, December 21, 2009

Here we are in what appears to be the actual ‘post-cancellation’ episodes — when things get ramped up and shoved at us faster than originally intended; Victor’s contract was obviously never going to be finished before, and I’m sure that the Attic was being saved for much later on in the series’s run.  But we’re getting it all now because what else could they do?  The only question is how’s it going to turn out?

So far it seems pretty good; this episode was up and down in terms of what I thought was well done and unique and what was slightly silly — but it ended on a great and unexpected note so ultimately it was good and really builds up anticipation for episode 10 (which I get to watch just as soon as I finish writing this).

Dollhouse, or any show for that matter, is always at its best when it can mix pathos and humour together in almost the same breath, like at the beginning with Adele and Victor, and then Topher’s reaction; and then, when it can take a moment like that and expand it out to help to account for Adele’s behaviour later on (although a confrontation between Boyd and Adele has been building for some time), well, it’s just really good plotting and writing, and even though this was technically the ‘sub-plot,’ it was of course more relevant and interesting than the ‘Victor and the Borg’ main story, which, unfortunately, was more silly than not.

But, again, using the outcome of that to form the twist — ‘Anthony’ and Priya are united and you assume they’re going to get away before Adele fries them and sends them all to the Attic — is sort of making lemonade from lemons . . . having something important spin out from what’s seemingly a ‘monster of the week’ type of story.  I remember Buffy and Angel would do this sometimes (remember how Buffy actually finds Joyce dead at the end of an episode about ‘love robots’?) and I always loved it — when ‘mythos’ would not solely be in ‘mythos episodes’ and so it was completely unexpected.

And I’m curious to find out how they breathe in those vacuum tables.

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