Dollhouse season two

by Matt Ruff on October 4, 2009

Two episodes in, I’m really not enjoying it. Lisa says, “It’s like they painted themselves into a Stupid Corner.”

Thoughts:

* Ballard’s character has become totally unbelievable to me. I don’t know what his motivation is supposed to be anymore. They say he still wants to bring down the Dollhouse, but there’s nothing stopping him from doing that. He knows where it is now, and he’s got the run of the place—if he’s free to wander into sensitive areas like Topher’s lab and push random buttons, it should be the simplest thing in the world for him to gather incriminating evidence. If the feds won’t listen to him, he can post video on YouTube.

* Last week’s mission made no sense. There must be a million easier ways to bust an illegal arms dealer than to have Echo marry him. I mean, come on—if you know the guy is guilty and you aren’t particular about obeying the law yourself, why not just plant some rocket launchers in his car and then phone the ATF tip line? Surely that would be a lesser evil, from Ballard’s perspective, than programming Echo to seduce the guy. And it would work.

* This week’s mission made no sense. Lisa wonders, “Assuming she hadn’t developed postpartum psychosis, how long was Echo supposed to pretend to be the baby’s mother?” Also, maternal hormones protect you against memory erasure? Did somebody rent The Forgotten during the summer hiatus?

* Cute baby, though.

* Topher’s douche factor has been turned up to eleven. I like him with Amy Acker (more on that in a moment), but when he’s on his own, he seems to have lost much of his endearing nerdiness.

* The Amy Acker bride-of-Frankenstein subplot feels like the one remaining shred of the cool show that could have been. But she’s still billed as a guest star, so there probably isn’t going to be enough of her to make me want to keep watching. I missed her this week.

* Here and there are some other neat flourishes that make me wish they were in service of a better show. For instance, there was the bit of business last week where Sierra had been imprinted with a racist personality who was vocal about her dislike of Asians. This isn’t original—Dave Chappelle did a superior version of the same schtick—but I did like Ivy’s reaction.

* This week’s episode had the lowest ratings ever. I wonder how much longer before FOX pulls the plug.

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