Monday, September 28, 2009

What I’m Watching: Dollhouse (Season Premiere)

Dollhouse: Season 2, Episode 1 “Vows” (B+)

After giving up on this show four episodes in last year, I caught up speedily on the rest of the season. Now I think I’m an official fan, and the most important reason for that was the spectacular season-ending episode “Epitaph One” included only on the DVD. The notion that all events on the show at this point are headed to that inevitable conclusion is a very intriguing one, though one this episode hardly addresses. Nonetheless, it’s a compelling reintroduction to the show, which continues to explore the presence and highly awakened state of Caroline within Echo’s subconscious. I still prefer when Echo’s assignment is played out from the beginning rather than introduced far in purely for shock value. Jamie Bamber’s guest appearance is notable less for the actual performance he gives (I prefer him with his fake American accent) than for the awesomeness of having a “Battlestar Galactica” alum on the show, and to top it off, sharing scenes with Tahmoh Penikett, also of BSG. Along with other casting news for this upcoming season that I won’t spoil for those who don’t yet know, this show is fast becoming a reliable, stellar reunion point for Joss Whedon actors and other sci-fi fixtures. Fortunately, the show itself is pretty good too. Paul’s newfound proximity to the Dollhouse and simultaneous reluctance to get too deeply involved provides a nice way of looking into the Dollhouse with a cautious eye. It’s clear that Echo really is a great character, especially in the way that both Paul and Boyd are so fascinated by her. The other newly fantastic active is Whisky, who’s absolutely stunning in her interactions with Topher. Fans of Amy Acker have been waiting all this time to see her given a bigger part, and I think what she has here is fascinating, and it also enhances the character of Topher and makes him far more relevant. This is a good glimpse back inside the Dollhouse, and I’m looking forward to this show really getting started again and utilizing all its actives together.

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