Dollhouse - "The Man on the Street" (Joss Whedon)
This is a series that I now want to watch rather than a series I am tolerating. How mad is that anyway? It’s like continuing to buy Stereolab or R.E.M. records long after you listened to any of them more than once.
So much happened in this and yet they managed to squeeze in far too much of Joel Mynor playing mind games and creepily justifying himself to Ballard. Oddly it was creepy Joel who actually hit home to me the utter wrongness of using the Dollhouse – using people for your gratification is immoral. The man is clearly not filling a void in his life if he has to repeat the event every year. I’m not sure how much we were supposed to sympathize with Mynor. The ending seemed to endorse his use of the Dollhouse to make himself feel better.
I loved Eliza Dushku’s performance. She is really getting into her groove or is being better directed but her multiple characters were well played (her squeaky “porn!” as Boyd leads her out of the house was very funny).
Thank goodness that I am warming to Olivia Williams as Adelle at last. She was splendid telling Boyd she needed to give him a bonus and telling Lawrence that she played a bad hand well.
The fight between Ballard and Echo was superbly choreographed but it is ridiculous to think that any woman of Echo’s stature (5’5”) could last twenty seconds against a man with the size, strength and skill of Ballard (6’2”) no matter how well programmed she is. His reach alone could hold her dangling helplessly from his outstretched arm. She ain’t no Slayer.
The tv documentary vox pops seemed pointless filler even though they were clearly important enough for Joss Whedon to write them and to name the episode after them but then Ronald D. Moore thought flashbacks were needed in the finale of BSG. JW and RDM make (generally) great tv shows and I don’t.
I could have done with less of Tahmoh Penikett’s hairless chest. Neither Eliza or Tahmoh being on display do anything for me but Miracle Laurie may be my new crush now that Katee Sackhoff is off to the other side.
Mellie underwent a drastic character change to start this episode as a believable human being. I do, however, feel a bit pissed off that she is a doll because I really liked her. She was warm, funny and real… I hadn’t really noticed how gorgeous she was until this episode and she played off well with Tahmoh (particularly in their post-coital conversation “I was thinking of Caroline.” “Well, I wasn’t!”) and I even liked him too. It truly was a great episode ;-)
I absolutely and totally knew that she wasn’t going to die. I didn’t know how she was going to stay alive (the activation of her killer instinct was cool but not a surprise – she was far too bland and stupid NOT to be a doll) but I knew that there was no way that she was going to another Jenny Calendar.
I wish somebody would wipe my mind of the first four episodes.