Sunday, May 17, 2009

Dollhouse Renewed for Second Season

As reported by the website End Of Show, against all odds, Dollhouse has been renewed for a second season! The show's budget has been slashed (part of this will be handled by a shorter per-episode running time, cut from 50 to 42 minutes.

I wonder if FOX's experience with Firefly had any influence on their decision to renew Dollhouse. Perhaps, on some level, they realized that Firefly was cancelled 'prematurely'. Despite a shrinking audience for Dollhouse, FOX has seen something that it likes. Maybe this is an attempt to skew its product line and gain brand allegiance from previously disgrunted viewers.

Read the full article at End Of Show

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Joss Whedon Pitching Season Two Dollhouse

Dollverse reports that FOX has asked Joss Whedon to come in and pitch season two of Dollhouse! While this guarantees nothing, it certainly makes renewal a possibility. The rumors are swinging back and forth daily, with SaveTheDollhouse reporting that renewal was a longshot just yesterday.

Click here to read the Joss Whedon Dollhouse Pitch story at Dollverse

Adam Turl on Why Dollhouse Should Be Renewed

Adam Turl's literate article on why Dollhouse should be allowed to grace our screens for another season offers no new news - just an in-depth, well-written look at why Joss Whedon's work needs to be aired, despite the ratings.

Click here to read Adam Turl's Dollhouse article Escaping the Dollhouse

FOX's Dollhouse: Renew or Cancel? FOX to Tell Soon

The word is that FOX will announce the fate of Dollhouse on Monday May 18th. We'll be posting here as soon as we find out the news. So far, there are only unsubstantiated rumors each way, so there's no way to tell. If anything leaks beforehand, we'll try to get that to you.

While we wait, here are some things you can do:

1. Go to and send a doll to Kevin Reilly at FOX.

2. Pre-order the Dollhouse DVD from Amazon:

3. Pray to your God, god, or Gods/gods...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

1.12 Omega

Summary and spoilers

Alpha and Echo have escaped from the Dollhouse. Echo should have been traceable, but Alpha removed her ‘tag’, so she’s gone. Topher is unable to read what personality Alpha imprinted on Echo, either, but DeWitt urges him to correct that.

Out on the road, Alpha has named himself ‘Bobby’ and is sounding like a southern punk. His custom Echo is a dedicated girlfriend who worships him, partially because she believes he has twice rescued her from institutions. But Alpha isn’t completely satisfied with this game; he purposely begins to tell her the truth amid the lies – that he isn’t Bobby, and that he didn’t know and rescue her when she was 13.

Alpha and Echo are on a crime/exposition of Dollhouse spree that has started with stealing some clothes and taking the gagged shop clerk hostage. In their second act, Echo dances in bright light while music plays and Alpha abuses a Dollhouse minder named Lars. But this is not now – this is in the past, the first time Alpha went crazy. And the dancing girl that emerges from bright light is not Alpha – it is the one we know as Dr. Saunders. Alpha calls her Crystal, but when Dollhouse operatives burst in, they call her Whiskey. Later in the show, Dr. Saunders will hack into Topher’s computer and discover her true identity as well.

When Ballard finds out that Alpha has Echo/Caroline, he is drawn toward helping DeWitt find her, despite his disdain of all that the Dollhouse stands for.

In flashback, we see a time when Alpha was a controllable active who was just starting to become aware of the world he was in. He also became aware – and fell in love with – Caroline/Echo. He shows his love by hacking away at Whiskey’s popular, top-ranking Doll face.

In the present, Alpha implants the shop clerk with Caroline’s original personality, setting up a strange confrontation between Caroline in the wrong body looking at a stranger in her right body. Part two of his evil plan is to program Echo to kill Caroline, whom Alpha considers the only person who is a threat. To do so, he does to Echo what was done to him; he implants her with all of the personalities that she has owned in her Dollhouse career. The result is not what Alpha expected; Omega attacks him, knocking him down with one blow from a pipe. In the ensuing battle of pipes and words, Alpha kills the woman who he implanted with Caroline; he then disappears. Langton and Ballard arrive just in time for Ballard to salvage Caroline’s personality 'wedge'.

Ballard has been contracted to hunt down Alpha. In exchange, he has arranged for the freedom of a ‘young lady’. I assumed this was Caroline; in a final twist, it is Mellie whom he has freed.


This is an excellent episode, surely because it was written and directed by longtime Whedon collaborator Tim Minnear. When it came time to glean the best Dollhouse quotes section, I could almost have included the entire script!

Yes, Dr. Saunders is an active! So many viewers suspected this, and so many others got spoiled, then claimed to have suspected this :). And she is one extraordinarily sexy extrovert as Crystal. More flashbacks of her, please!

When Alpha says "Alpha, meet Omega" and flips the switch, he grins and stiffly tilts his head upward in what appears to be a homage to crazed scientists everywhere in general, and the film Bride of Frankenstein in particular.

At times, Alpha sounds a little like Topher (in his phrasing, and in the way his lines are written).

This is the final season one episode of Dollhouse that will air. There is one more episode (called Epitaph One) that will be included on the season one DVD.

As I’ve said before, those who managed to stick with this show while it established itself have now been blessed with an intense, painstakingly structured story. Each week is an improvement in character development, with Eliza Dushku giving a powerful performance in this episode. There is so much more that could be told; so pre-order the DVD from Amazon and tell FOX that they would be making a huge mistake to cancel it.

Memorable Moments

  • Extra awkwardness as Ballard stands next to November/Mellie in the imprint room

Dollhouse Quotes

Dr. Saunders: He asked me if I always wanted to be a doctor.
Topher: Ha! Well…who can fathom the mind of a crazy person?
Dr. Saunders: The one who made him crazy, maybe.

"Lars, it’s sad, it’s sad how you lie – I can smell it!"
- Alpha

Victor: How can I be my best, please?
Dr. Saunders: You can’t, Victor! You can’t be your best. Your best is past – your past you can’t even remember. You’re ugly now. You’re disgusting. All you can look for now is pity. And for that, you’re gonna have to look somewhere else.

"Why is there a tall, morally judgmental man in my imprint room [gestures at Langton] besides him?"
- Topher

"Look, you can’t profile Alpha. He’s not a person, he’s – he’s like Soylent Green: he’s people."
- Topher to Ballard

Alpha: What do you feel?
Caroline: I’m confused.
Echo: I’m with her.
Alpha: You ARE her!

"New life…from death. The ancients had it right. The old gods are back. Alpha, meet Omega."
- Alpha

DeWitt: Carl William Kraft.
Ballard: Three names – always ominous.

"We’re not just humans anymore. We’re not multiple personalities; we’re many personalities. One of my personalities happens to be a multiple personality, but that doesn’t make me a multiple personality – I’m looking for a little nuance here."
- Alpha to Echo

"We’re not new. We’re not anything. We’re not anybody because we’re everybody!"
- Echo to Alpha

"I have 38 brains. Not one of them thinks you can sign a contract to be a slave – especially now that we have a black president."
- Echo to Caroline

Alpha: Lay back in the chair.
Echo: You lay back in the chair. I’m done laying back in the chair. I’m ready to rinse and spit.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Dollhouse Ratings Sink Slightly

I suppose the nice way to put it would be to say that the Dollhouse audience has stabilized. The mean way to say it is: according to TV By The Numbers, the audience is down to just over 3.09 million. Based on these numbers, renewal is unlikely, although there is no official word yet, so keep your hopes up.

Click here for the full article at TVByTheNumbers

1.11 Briar Rose

Summary and spoilers

The show opens with what looks to be a homeless man digging through a dumpster and finding a human arm. When he inspects more closely, the arm reaches out and grabs him.

Echo’s assignment, devised by Topher, places her in a home for troubled children. She is there to help a particularly troubled and victimized young teen girl whom Topher has identified as being a version of Caroline as a teen. And Topher is right, too; Echo is able to speak to the girl and get closer to her than anyone else has.

Ballard’s on the move. He breaks up with Mellie, hoping that he doesn’t alert her Dollhouse personality that he’s onto her. After the Dollhouse stayed hidden for a long time (years?), Ballard finds the entrance - it looks like an underground parking garage - simply by following the van that picks up the emotionally distraught Mellie. To help him get in, Ballard visits Loomis and identifies the man who helped design the Dollhouse - one Steven Kepler, an environmental specialist. Ballard visits Kepler at his cannabis-plant-filled apartment. Despite the fact that Kepler is paranoid and mad, for the most part he appears harmless. At gunpoint, Ballard takes Kepler away to as his new partner in getting inside the Dollhouse. Although Kepler is annoying, he has the knowledge. They not only get inside, but Ballard gets to taser Topher (hmm, taser Topher - that has a nice sing-songy feel to it). Kepler shuts down the security systems from Saunders’ workstation, while Ballard opens Echo’s pod and tries to convince her to come with him. But Langton gets there at the same time. Showing some sympathy, Langton offers Ballard a chance to just leave, no questions asked, but Ballard decides to fight instead. They bash each other around for quite some time, until Echo aligns with Langton (whom she still trusts).

Sierra, on assignment as a forensics expert, has been sent to examine the body of the dumpster man, who was killed by that dumpster arm. While Langton and Dewitt are talking to Ballard, Sierra calls in to say that the dead man was one Steven Kepler, and he was killed by Alpha. Too late we know that it was Alpha who accompanied Ballard into the Dollhouse, and is now slashing Victor’s face and threatening to slash Saunders up again. Instead, Alpha puts Echo in the chair; when she emerges, she and Alpha kiss passionately. She calls him her prince, and together, they commence their escape.


This episode parallels the fairy tale of Briar Rose, the young woman who pricked her finger on a spindle, sending her into a spell-induced sleep, until she was rescued by a prince.

It’s difficult to comprehend all the events that occur in this episode’s running time of just over 48 minutes.

It was great to See Alan Tudyk (Firefly) get a meaty role as Alpha. I would have enjoyed his appearance so much more had I not been spoiled with the info on who he would be playing.

Memorable Moments

  • Ballard standing in the Dollhouse

Quotable Quotes

“I was in the building you can see; I’ve got to get in the other one, the one…that’s invisible.”
- Ballard to Loomis

Topher [after seeing Dominic in Victor’s body]: Oh, god, that was -
Dewitt: Necessary.

Steven: You know, I’m not comfortable having people in my home that aren’t delivering me Thai food…and I’m not talking about past clients.
Ballard: Tell me about the Dollhouse.

Steven: Alright, would you look at this place! I mean, first of all, Feng Shui up the ying yang - also, I designed parts of it, but I did not design the  stone-cold foxes in the small clothes…and the ample massage facilities. I mean, don’t get me wrong - I heart my porn, but this is cool!
Ballard: This is a bad place.
Steven: Bad people maybe - good place.

Ballard: Oh god…I know that guy - Lubov! My whole life - my whole life isn’t real.
Steven: It’s a small world, right - I went to grade school with Jenna Elfman.

“Sorry, Agent Ballard - you don’t get the girl.”
- Langton

Saunders: Victor, what happened?
Victor: People were fighting on me.

“I don’t even care that these people sign themselves over to you; there is no provision for - for consentual slavery!”
- Ballard

Alpha: I told you I’d come rescue you.
Echo: My prince!