Dollhouse S1.E6 Man on the Street
Before Dollhouse first aired, Joss Whedon told everyone that the first five episodes were more introductory type episodes and the ball really started rolling around episode six. So with episode six airing last night I had high expectations. I enjoyed the first five episodes of Dollhouse but didn’t think it compared with Whedon’s other works. Despite being a little bit of a disappointment, last night’s episode was the best episode of the series so far.
I was probably disappointed since I expected a little too much out of the episode. When Whedon said last night’s episode was a game changer I thought it would be an amazing episode. It was a good/great episode but it still hasn’t reached the level of Whedon’s other shows. Fans should probably be patient though since none of Whedon’s shows were great in their first couple of episodes. What is great about Whedon’s shows though is that they continually get better throughout the series. If I based Buffy or Angel on their first couple of episodes they would have been nothing more than slightly above average shows. As they were given time to develop they finally found their way and became two of the best television shows of all time.
Let’s get back to tonight’s episode and the big reveals. Mellie (Ballard’s neighbor) being an active didn’t really surprise me. I knew that she either had to be a handler or an active since the show was paying way too much attention to her. I have to admit it was kind of cool that she lives a normal life until a keyword activates her active coding.
While it appears that Ballard isn’t Alpha, I am still not giving up the theory. I can’t believe a normal FBI agent would be so good at hand to hand combat after being shot a week or two earlier. My guess is that he was Alpha and when the Dollhouse caught him (after the incident) they wiped out all his memories and returned him to his normal life. Some of his active memories are still implanted in his brain though.
The second big reveal was that the Dollhouse has a mole and there are over 20 Dollhouses around the world. This reveal actually opened up a lot of possibilities for the future of Dollhouse. With so many Dollhouses, Ballard can bring down the one that Echo is part of and there can still be a show. A mole inside the Dollhouse also brings up some possibilities. Most people probably think the mole is Dr. Saunders (Amy Acker) or Topher’s assistant since they would have the easiest access to implant the hidden message. My guess is Topher or Boyd. Whedon has never gone for the obvious in the past and I think Topher is far from the obvious. Topher appears to be fully committed to the Dollhouse but I think he might have had second thoughts and is actually working to bring them down. As far as Boyd he is a pretty obvious choice since he has never appeared to be okay with what they do at the Dollhouse.
Other than the two big reveals there were three other things I liked about the episode. First the final fight scene in the kitchen/alleyway was great. Whedon knows how to do a fight scene and this week’s episode definitely showed that. The second thing I liked was when Echo thought her client made all his money through porn. It was kind of odd how she immediately came to that conclusion but it was funny when Boyd dragged her out of the house with her screaming porn as she went past the bedroom.
Finally I liked the opinion on the street pieces. Hopefully the show can utilize them in future episodes as well. I think it actually does a pretty good job of basing the show better in the real world. The funniest on the street piece by far was the man that said every man would like to know what it would be like to spend the night with another man. His girlfriend’s/wife’s reaction was priceless.
So with some big reveals this week it appears that Dollhouse is finally picking up the pace. Hopefully more viewers will pick up the show since at this point it is definitely a bubble show. If the show can steadily hold it’s current audience and even add some viewers I think it has a chance of being picked up for a second season. If not we might as well prepare for the series finale since it will be approaching pretty quickly.