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Dollhouse, week 10

An OK episode. Thoughts:

* The idea of using Dollhouse technology to copy whole personalities into other bodies is potentially very interesting. Not only can you use it to grant a pseudo-eternal life (pseudo because a copy of me over there doesn't really help me with my imminent death over here), you can use it to allow people to (sort-of) be in multiple places at once. The use they made of it in this episode was pretty trivial though, and Adelle's claim that it was a special, one-time deal struck me as absurd. If they could do this, it would be the Dollhouse's most popular and lucrative service.

* The murder mystery was kinda meh. Lisa guessed who the real killer was; I didn't care enough to try. My reaction may have been biased by the fact that I reread Haunting of Hill House this week. I can't help thinking that it would have been a more interesting choice to make Margaret (the woman inhabiting Echo's body) into a Shirley Jacksonesque unsentimental misanthrope, the kind of woman who, if she was upset that her relatives didn't love her, would think about mentally torturing them before pushing them down the stairs.

* Agent Ballard's guilt trip over his rough sex with Mellie just fell flat for me. I get what they're trying to do there, and it could work, but so far it doesn't.

* Topher's "birthday present," on the other hand, was the best part of the episode.

I'm looking forward to next week. Alpha! Death! The looming threat of series cancellation! Woo-hoo!

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
mastadge
Apr. 25th, 2009 03:23 pm (UTC)
Haven't seen the episode, but that sounds like a Richard Morgan novel.

I wonder how long until some psychopath has his own personality imprinted on one of the girls in order to have the most expensive masturbatory experience ever.
nolly
Apr. 26th, 2009 05:22 am (UTC)
I was fairly disappointed in this episode, especially after last week's excellent show.
(Anonymous)
Apr. 26th, 2009 10:40 am (UTC)
It was an OK episode, but nothing more. Actually pretty boring, tbh.

The question that always jumps me when it comes to "copying" personalities is, "What about the soul?"

I don't want to hit the religious button here, but honestly, every book i read/film I've seen dealing with eternal life combined with computers seems to just skip this thought. That's pretty annoying.

They all imply that everything a human is made of are his memories and psychology.

With Dollhouse it's called an imprint, which to my ears sounds less than a complete copy of a human being.

Well, let's see what they'll make of it.
zarathud
Apr. 27th, 2009 04:33 am (UTC)
While I am enjoying the series, I've had trouble buying, not so much the premise, but the lack of fairly obvious consequences of the premise. That and the business model. As you say, there are so many better ways one could make money with this technology.

Oh, and the huge secret that manages to be kept despite all the employees, customers, comings and goings.

But then I just put those thoughts aside and enjoy the story.
ldrake
Apr. 29th, 2009 02:41 pm (UTC)
I agree with all of this...
I just don't get that the mother could be that much of an ice queen in real life and not know that was how she was perceived. Seems clueless, but the character was portrayed as NOT clueless, but smart. So it didn't work for me. I totally agree about the Mellie/Ballard thing. Didn't work for me, doesn't fit with his ethos, don't understand why when he's sleeping with Doll Mellie and just barely know Doll Echo he continues to obsess over Echo. Why not just solve Mellie's background and be done with it.

I loved the fact that Topher just wanted a playmate (And not even a sexual one) for his Birthday. That was awesome. He is developing into a great little evil genius, he is both amoral and to some extent lovable. :)

Having read a great number of SF books that center around the idea of recording your brain and being able to download into other bodies or cores (lots of this in Neil Asher's books and others), there is so much they can do with this. If the series does pan out it could turn out that there are other "Dollhouse" operations with specific goals (find the perfect soldier? Churn out hundreds of them at once.). Though Dollhouse services are apparently quite expensive there's no particulars about whether the process of either recording memory/personalities is expensive, or applying them is. Thus we would assume that the expense is in the personell and management reimbursement or the custom programming. If you're just churning out copies on the other hand all you need is cores - and those (as we know from the attic) don't necessarily need to be voluntary. This technology in the hands of a truly evil person could be quite an interesting story. So far the controllers seem sinister but not actually evil.

codimension4
Nov. 20th, 2009 02:29 am (UTC)
I'm a little late to the party here, but I thought I'd comment, as my girlfriend and I are watching these on DVD now, and we've just finished this episode.

First, on this particular ep:

Neither the GF nor myself even thought of this application of the Dollhouse technology, even though it was foreshadowed pretty heavily in the "hostage negotiator" episode (Echo clearly 'remembered' being held hostage by one of the hostage takers, implying that she was representing at least one actual person's psyche). I did, however, call the murderer as soon as the line "I lost you too soon" hit... On the other hand, it did give Echo something to figure out, when up to this point we've really mostly only see her be completely ready with all the answers, so I thought this one was more fun.

And I really did actually get a little happy for Topher when the reveal came as to his actual purpose.

Second, on previous episodes:

I did think that someone as big as Reed Diamond consistently being listed as a guest star pushed him up in the ranks for being the mole. Maybe it's my experience with "The Shield", but I thought someone of that calibre being relegated to a guest star status meant that there was something fishy going on. I recognize that this is cheating, since the cast can't access the credits, but it still meant that I wasn't so surprised. Oh, well.

Mellie being made into a doll, however, did genuinely throw me for a loop. Kinda killed that subplot, though, and even moreso when she revealed herself. It makes all the stuff afterwards nearly unwatchable; throwing herself at Ballard (and Ballard knowingly taking advantage of the situation) makes me like both characters a lot less. Meh.

Third, on the series so far:

Well, it's now been officially canceled, though Joss has said that he's going to be allowed the opportunity to wrap it up pretty neatly (they're filming Season 2, Episode 11, and he's been given assurances they'll air all of them through Episode 13, so I imagine he's rewriting right now).

I'm not sure I like Boyd's new position, but as Echo's handler, there wasn't a lot for him to do each episode, so I can see it from a production standpoint. Hopefully, this means we'll see more of the inner workings of the Dollhouse, and how their preposterous secret is kept. I'd love to see an episode where Boyd manages to out-maneuver everyone, and be a bit of a Jedi master. So far, there's not a lot of competence in the running of this thing, and it would be nice to see him demonstrate his skills in a way that furthers the story.

I absolutely do not like Echo's real-life persona; more to the point, if you're going to spell hers out so completely, I'd like to know the back-stories for Victor, Sierra, November, etc. as well.

At least I know I have several more episodes to go, so hopefully there are some fun things to come!

It's also been fun to go back through your comments to date, so thanks for posting them (and more thanks for the "Spoilers!" tag)!!

Thanks!

Jim

PS If you haven't picked it up, Stephen King's new "Under the Dome" is fantastic so far! I had just finished "Duma Key", which is... slightly slower paced, but UTD is a page-turner, and I'm recommending it left and right!

PPS Is there any word on a film version of "Bad Monkeys"? Or, possibly, maybe, if I can cajole you enough, a sequel?? It IS NAtional NOvel WRIting MOnth, after all... (I'm working on a low-fantasy novel, myself, but I do miss Jane, the NC gun, et al...) -- j
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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