Dollhouse Discussion: Man on the Street

Alexius writes, Episode Six was the was rumoured to be the big deal episode. I enjoyed it, if for no other reason than to see more of Millie (the Hot Neighbor). This gave us a lot to think about, and a lot to speculate on. Is anyone else still watching, and want to discuss?

22 replies on “Dollhouse Discussion: Man on the Street”

  1. ViperDriver says:

    Too late?
    This really did feel like the first episode Whedon had control of. The prior episodes had been throwaway TV plots which were used to sugarcoat the infodump of what the Dollhouse was and how it operated. In the hands of a competent writer, that could have been done in two interesting episodes rather than 5 mediocre-to-lousy ones.

    This episode wasn’t in itself a great episode, but had elements I was glad to see. There was a great deal of depth added to the Dollhouse concept, depth which could be used to increase the plot complexity past the juvenile fantasy level in future episodes. There was the first nuanced ‘use’ of the dollhouse concept – i.e. one that wasn’t completely cardboard. There was the actual unleashing of Ballard, because the FBI is too limiting or compromised a setting for him, I guess.

    The events of this episode didn’t hold together all that well by themselves, but went a long way to creating a decent structure for a show.

    Now if only it isn’t too late for Dollhouse, given the awfulness of the first few eps…that seems to be Fox’s M.O. – take a good show, force it to suck (or force its schedule to suck) for just enough episodes to deny it an audience, then kill it on numbers.

    Sigh.

    • rickyjames says:

      Re: Too late?

      Too late?

      Yep. I literally never even made it all the way thru the first ep of Dollhouse and I don’t regret that fact after reading you say "the events of this ep didn’t hold together all that well by themselves" about episode 6 (!?!).

      As I’ve said before, do yourself a favor and blow $15 for a used copy of Season 1 for the excellent La Femme Nikita from over a decade ago instead of this recycled knockoff.

      • TwistyHat says:

        Re: Too late?

        As I’ve said before, do yourself a favor and blow $15 for a used copy of Season 1 for the excellent La Femme Nikita from over a decade ago instead of this recycled knockoff.

        No thanks, its rubbish.

    • Scifi^2 says:

      Re: Too late?

      This really did feel like the first episode Whedon had control of. The prior episodes had been throwaway TV plots which were used to sugarcoat the infodump of what the Dollhouse was and how it operated. In the hands of a competent writer, that could have been done in two interesting episodes rather than 5 mediocre-to-lousy ones.

      This pretty much sums up my view of things. This was the keep or delete episode for me so I’m giving it a few more episodes.

      • Cerberus7 says:

        Re: Too late?
        quote]This was the keep or delete episode for me…[/quote]Likewise. After hearing the "Fox got their dirty mitts off this at ep 6" rumor, I decided I’d stick with it until then. This ep was full of win-ish moments, with genuine win thrown in for good measure. It’s worth sticking with, at this point. We’ll see if they can dig out of the issues and turn this into a great show before Fox f-ing kills it like they f-ing kill everything else that has potential.

    • Alexius says:

      Re: Too late?

      Now if only it isn’t too late for Dollhouse, given the awfulness of the first few eps…that seems to be Fox’s M.O. – take a good show, force it to suck (or force its schedule to suck) for just enough episodes to deny it an audience, then kill it on numbers.

      That’s an idiotic business model.

  2. Alexius says:

    Dollhouse
    I enjoyed the first few, but I certainly thought they were on the low end of the quality scale. Until this episode. This one was pretty good, gave us some interesting back story, some funny moments, and helped us see a larger picture through a few small holes they allowed us to see.

    Like, it was very obvious that Boyd’s interruption to Topher was the point where the extra tidbit was stuck into Echo’s program. So, is Boyd in on it? Is Topher? Is Topher’s assistant, since they’re really making her seem obvious?

    And while the other Dollhouses might have been corroborated, we still don’t know if all of those details were 100% accurate, or in any of it was planted intentionally.

    • sprak says:

      Re: Dollhouse

      I enjoyed the first few, but I certainly thought they were on the low end of the quality scale. Until this episode. This one was pretty good, gave us some interesting back story, some funny moments, and helped us see a larger picture through a few small holes they allowed us to see.

      First, I have to say that was the best fight sequence outside of 24 I have seen in recent memory. Top notch choreography and editing. Minus points though for the obvious Molly being an agent for the ‘house.

      However, my main gripe with the series remains; I just don’t care about any of these characters making it difficult to care about the mysteries surrounding them. Agent Ballard suffers the worst; he’s an FBI agent on an assignment that everyone believes is a joke. Yet, he is willing to bend the law to pursue his investigation. Why? Unless I nodded off on a key character point, we have no idea; I’m not asking for reams of exposition. Just give me some small insight to the passion behind his motives.

      The only character I do find interesting is Boyd only because his characterization makes him so out of place in the ‘house.

      Like, it was very obvious that Boyd’s interruption to Topher was the point where the extra tidbit was stuck into Echo’s program. So, is Boyd in on it? Is Topher? Is Topher’s assistant, since they’re really making her seem obvious?

      I’m betting that Boyd or the assistant isn’t in on it; my money is currently on DeWitt turning out to be the "inside man". Still hasn’t done anything in the plot to drive me away, but it isn’t doing much either to keep me along for the full ride.

      • Alexius says:

        Re: Dollhouse

        I enjoyed the first few, but I certainly thought they were on the low end of the quality scale. Until this episode. This one was pretty good, gave us some interesting back story, some funny moments, and helped us see a larger picture through a few small holes they allowed us to see.

        First, I have to say that was the best fight sequence outside of 24 I have seen in recent memory. Top notch choreography and editing. Minus points though for the obvious Molly being an agent for the ‘house.

        However, my main gripe with the series remains; I just don’t care about any of these characters making it difficult to care about the mysteries surrounding them. Agent Ballard suffers the worst; he’s an FBI agent on an assignment that everyone believes is a joke. Yet, he is willing to bend the law to pursue his investigation. Why? Unless I nodded off on a key character point, we have no idea; I’m not asking for reams of exposition. Just give me some small insight to the passion behind his motives.

        See, I thought that was an interesting point, that they’re hiding why he’s so driven to find Echo. Obviously there’s something driving him, but… what?! (Old Girlfriend? Sister? Just an infatuation?

        The only character I do find interesting is Boyd only because his characterization makes him so out of place in the ‘house.

        Boyd’s one of my favorites, too, but I think that’s intentional. DeWitt is interesting, too, because she’s running things, but often seems like she wishes she weren’t. IE: She’s more on the side of the Dolls than the employers.

        • sprak says:

          Re: Dollhouse

          See, I thought that was an interesting point, that they’re hiding why he’s so driven to find Echo. Obviously there’s something driving him, but… what?! (Old Girlfriend? Sister? Just an infatuation?

          His obsession with Echo is new; he was still pretty driven to take down the mysterious "Dollhouse" before Alpha (presumably) sent him Echo’s photo. So, I need something, anything that gives a reason for the initial drive. Otherwise, he’s just a 2D stereotype cop trying to take the shadowy man down. Just doesn’t work for me.

          Boyd’s one of my favorites, too, but I think that’s intentional. DeWitt is interesting, too, because she’s running things, but often seems like she wishes she weren’t. IE: She’s more on the side of the Dolls than the employers.

          I’m not convinced DeWitt is on anyone’s side but her own right now. I wouldn’t say she is concerned about Echo, but Echo definitely is a key piece of the DeWitt plan (whatever that could be), hence her brushing aside any notion of sending Echo to "The Attic". The Dolls are her tools, and she only cares about keeping them up and running in peak condition.

      • Tekzel says:

        Re: Dollhouse

        Minus points though for the obvious Molly being an agent for the ‘house

        I didn’t think that was obvious at all. I wonder if that says something about you, or about me?

        I agree about that fight though, it really stands out amongst television fights. Very, very well done.

        This episode was the first one I genuinely liked. All the rest were… forgettable. It may be too late, but whatever changed on this episode should have happened at episode 1.

        • sprak says:

          Re: Dollhouse

          I didn’t think that was obvious at all. I wonder if that says something about you, or about me?

          Yes. :)

          This episode was the first one I genuinely liked. All the rest were… forgettable. It may be too late, but whatever changed on this episode should have happened at episode 1.

          I did enjoy the dialogue between Ballard and the computer guy (Patton Oswald ftw) and the fight. Still hesitant to say I enjoyed this episode. Clearly, it is the best so far, so I’m holding out hope that the quality keeps going up. Willing to give it a shot up to a point.

          • mbourgon says:

            Re: Dollhouse

            I did enjoy the dialogue between Ballard and the computer guy (Patton Oswald ftw) and the fight. Still hesitant to say I enjoyed this episode. Clearly, it is the best so far, so I’m holding out hope(…)

            Agreed. The show has several issues, some of which they’re addressing: why use super-hooker instead of a normal person? How do you make the characters, especially the lead, more likeable?

            And of course, the fact that only Topher speaks with "The Joss Voice". Listen to how he speaks – everyone on Buffy spoke that way. Everyone on Firefly spoke that way. Everyone on Angel… (you get the drift). In this show, there’s only one character like that, and while I like his scenes, the character is a bit of an ass. I do like Echo’s handler – he’s a professional who’s very down to earth, which is nice. Come to think of it, he’s one of the few likeable anchors. He doesn’t change personalities, he has morals, etc, etc.

            My prediction, though, based off watching Buffy & Firefly: now that he’s introduced major plot points, there will be several minor plot points in the next couple, but mostly standalone eps. Oh, and I’m still waiting for the "shoulder to the wheel" gesture to show back up.

      • TwistyHat says:

        Re: Dollhouse

        However, my main gripe with the series remains; I just don’t care about any of these characters making it difficult to care about the mysteries surrounding them. Agent Ballard suffers the worst; he’s an FBI agent on an assignment that everyone believes is a joke. Yet, he is willing to bend the law to pursue his investigation. Why? Unless I nodded off on a key character point, we have no idea; I’m not asking for reams of exposition. Just give me some small insight to the passion behind his motives.

        The problem the show is quickly coming up on, is that the audience can’t trust anybody, for all we know they could all be brainwashed agents. Ballard is a doll from either this house or another house, programmed to find the Dollhouse as a ruse to determine who the traitor is (for instance, I know nothing)

        But I agree with you that I don’t care about any of them. I think Joss needs to write them funny, then i start to care. Not this lot. Fire them tomorrow and its good riddance.

    • TwistyHat says:

      Re: Dollhouse

      Like, it was very obvious that Boyd’s interruption to Topher was the point where the extra tidbit was stuck into Echo’s program. So, is Boyd in on it? Is Topher? Is Topher’s assistant, since they’re really making her seem obvious?

      Or is Joss trying to deceive you and Echo’s revelation was really part of the desired programming.

  3. Jethro says:

    Finally
    Hah! I had this comment ready to go for weeks!

    Best thing about the show is the "Dollhouse will return in X seconds" thing on commercial breaks. Those of us with DVRs and 30-second-skip buttons no longer need to guess!!!

    • Gaewyn says:

      Re: Finally

      Hah! I had this comment ready to go for weeks!

      Best thing about the show is the "Dollhouse will return in X seconds" thing on commercial breaks. Those of us with DVRs and 30-second-skip buttons no longer need to guess!!!

      Amen! Also it is a nice frame to check for with auto commercial flagging in mythtv :P I hope more shows go this way… it’s an obvious nod to the DVR types

  4. mbourgon says:

    OT:What about Castle?
    OT: not genre by any means, but is anybody else watching Castle? It’s got reasonably clever writing, good dialog, and Captain Tightpants as a snarky lead. Formulaic? Sure. But the chemistry’s there and it’s more engaging than Dollhouse (which, yes, I’m still watching).

    • TwistyHat says:

      Re: OT:What about Castle?

      OT: not genre by any means, but is anybody else watching Castle? It’s got reasonably clever writing, good dialog, and Captain Tightpants as a snarky lead. Formulaic? Sure. But the chemistry’s there and it’s more engaging than Dollhouse (which, yes, I’m still watching).

      Yes, that is much more fun. And there has been some very funny dialog.

    • Fez says:

      Castle is very, very well done.. It’s great fun, and even if some of the outcomes are predictable, as he says on the show, the real story is in how you reach the ending.

      It’s one of the few shows that we make sure to watch live, with the requisite DVR commercial delay of course.

  5. vanyel says:

    Castle is great, very funny, and obviously written for Fillion…

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