Friday, January 29, 2010

Review - Dollhouse Season 2 Episode 13 Epitaph Two: Return

There it is. The last episode of Dollhouse ever. The ride is finally over and we can go back to whatever we were doing before we came upon the conundrum of Dollhouse.

After the disappointment two weeks ago, I was expecting more, and I got it. The episode starts off rather spotty with an underdeveloped story involving Harding (the character played by Keith Caradine) kidnapping people in a separate camp, but the episode picks up halfway through the episode with plenty of action before the satisfying conclusion which put a nice wrap on the series. Given the early cancellation and evident long term planning, the episode was certainly adequate for the constraints and managed to bring the emotion that has made season two so good.

The episode ends on a hopeful note; the world is saved. Priya and Anthony are together with their son, Alpha is normal (when we last see him), Topher redeems himself, dying in the process and alleviating any pain he may feel, and Echo has Ballard in her mind with unlimited time to spend with them. It was rushed and packed everything into the final moments with what felt like seasons and seasons of material, but the conclusion however hurried gave a proper ending to a show that started off so poorly.

At the same time, there are losses that can't be ignored. The world is still trashed and that fact is not ignored. While the immediate threat is gone, it will be almost impossible to rebuild the world with everything destroyed and people displaced, but Adelle is on it, so maybe she will succeed.

Whether you liked the ending or not, you have to marvel at the distance the show has gone. From the standalones in the beginning to the character depth in the second season, the radical changes the show is a testament to the ballsy moves of Joss Whedon and his writers. The ridiculous premise, Fox meddling, and bad timeslot doomed the show from the start, but the show turned into something truly amazing for those that stuck around.

Ballard's death was unnecessary, but fit in with Joss killing off Anya, Wash, Wesley, Gunn (ignoring the comics) in their respective finales. It allowed Echo to put Ballard into her head making her for the first time not alone. Even if Ballard's physical body survived, Echo still might not have let Ballard in.

Score: 9.3/10

Random thoughts:

I usually rag on Eliza Dushku, but in the few scenes in the episode where she was given a greater range to work with, she really earned her keep. Now only if she had been more consistent.

Imagine if Dollhouse had gone on for a few more seasons. The progression to the apocalypse sounds as harrowing as the darkened streets filled crazy people, and we'd finally learn what all the random jargon means.

I love Fran Kranz, but I thought he could have done a better job handling the crazy side of Topher and the side that wanted to save the world. I wasn't sure what to make of him and his emotional scene was flat.

It was cool seeing Maurissa Tancharoen get a larger part.

What's up with Victor and his "Mad Max" techheads?

Summer Glau showed up briefly on the screen which gave Topher and Bennett another moment. It's sad that their rela

Everyone aged 10 years VERY well.

No Boyd, Whiskey, Ivy, or Dominic. I would have liked to see them get worked in better.

Mag, Zone, and girl Caroline are essential the episode since they were the one that escaped the LA Dollhouse, but they did nothing in the episode and seemed useless other than to be an extra gun.

2 comments:

Allen G said...

"No Boyd, Whiskey, Ivy, or Dominic. I would have liked to see them get worked in better."

Boyd was killed the episode prior (which puts him 10 years dead).
Whiskey is presumed dead after the events of Epitaph 1.
Ivy was chased out a few episodes ago - sadly, she likely would have fared better with the group. I presume she was wiped along with everyone else.
Dominic... he's a loose thread, but as a supporting character in season 2, there wasn't really time to deal with him.

Monika said...

Nothing new to talk about. I agreed with Allen G. I regularly watch season 2 in my Dish Network .

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