In this week’s Dollhouse, Echo is imprinted with the “hot for teacher” stereotype, a dumb college student who does poorly on a paper and must then try to earn extra credit from the client, a middle-aged professor who spends exactly zero time making us wonder why he must pay for his fantasy. The first ten minutes of the episode haven’t passed before it begins promising to be more painful to watch then that time I rented the R-rated version of the porn. Meanwhile, a major stakeholder in the dollhouse has a family member in a car accident. His nephew, Terry, ends up in a coma, and that’s why his uncle has brought him to the dollhouse: so that Topher Brink, the dollhouse’s resident genius tech guy, can try and wake him up.
The only problem with that is that Topher discovers that Terry has the brain of a serial killer. After some preachy exposition, Adelle DeWitt brings the uncle in; it would seem that Lucy does, indeed, have some ‘splaining to do. On the brink of Echo leaving for her engagement with Professor so-boring-I-don’t-even-think-he-actually-had-a-name, Boyd Langton tells Paul Ballard that Langton will be monitoring Echo’s engagement while Ballard stays behind; it would seem that DeWitt has need of someone with Ballard’s profiling skills.
Wisely, they have done a mind-dump; Victor is now Terry and Paul spends some time playing bad cop, bad cop with him. After a carefully-timed distraction, Terry-in-Victor escapes with Terry’s uncle, then knocks the old man out and makes good on his escape. It is now that we discover that Victor’s GPS strip had been removed during his facial reconstruction surgery; Paul tracks him on foot while DeWitt and Topher work on achieving a remote wipe (something Alpha managed with ease in one of my favorite Season One episodes).
Naturally, as seems to be the rule rather than the exception this season, something goes horribly wrong with the remote wipe, and Echo is re-imprinted as Terry, while Victor becomes Kiki, she of the unfortunately low IQ. Victor-Kiki, finding him/herself in a bar, suddenly, starts hitting on a guy; he attempts to throw a punch and Victor lays him flat. Ballard swoops in to the rescue. Luckily for the women Terry has locked up and drugged into a coma, Echo glitches before she can do any lasting damage to any of them; Ballard swoops in to the rescue just before she convinces one of Terry’s victims to kill her with a croquet mallet.
As much as I hate to say it, this season is shaping up to be kind of disappointing. The show has moments where it promises to be funny and engaging like Whedon’s others, but in the end instead of killing off some character I love, the thing that has been Jossed is my love of Whedon’s series. I’ll keep watching, because a couple of sub-par episodes aren’t enough to make me give up my faith yet, but I will say this:
has shaved the beard off, and is currently tap-dancing naked on the shark’s mother’s watery grave. That said, I’m being cautiously optimistic. In a couple of weeks, the preview promises me that we will get to find out why Sierra ended up in the dollhouse in the first place, and shortly thereafter Summer Glau will be joining the cast. And, god help me, I am a sucker for the cast of .
In an interesting side-note, Fox has reportedly said they will air all 13 Season 2 episodes of Dollhouse, regardless of ratings. As for those ratings, the show did see a bump with this episode, and the DVR numbers (which come in much later) pushed the season opener's ratings up by 50%.