Tuesday, April 7, 2009

TV Review: Dollhouse "Needs"

Season 1, Episode 8 (Original Air Date: Friday, April 3rd 2009 at 9/8c on FOX)

The Plot: (From Awakening within the Dollhouse, with large parts of their original personalities having returned, Echo (Eliza Dushku), Sierra (Dichen Lachman) and Victor (Enver Gjokaj) plan an escape.

The Review: Now that's more like it, Whedon! I knew you wouldn't let me down. Sure last weeks episode was underwhelming, but this weeks episode more than makes up for it. Now I remember why I love Dollhouse so much.

Now this is a difficult episode to review, since the thing that makes it so great is a plot twist that is slowly revealed over the course of the episode, but not fully revealed or explained until the end. I dare not spoil it for you, so let me only saw that the plot is nowhere near as straight forward as the synopsis makes it out to be. It delivers what ultimately this series is about: exploration of character. Not to mention it takes an old cliche' and makes it fresh again, quite a feat in this day & age.

In fact, I think this may be the very first episode of the series to stand out in the series as truly great. Sure the series has always been good, but no single episode really rose above the others. The only reason "Man on the Street" stood out was because it finally got the ball rolling on a number of plot lines, principally Ballard's (Tahmoh Penikett), that had been more or less in limbo for most of the series. It was the first time our two main characters actually met each other, and since that's what everyone was waiting for, the episode stood out for that reason alone. But "Needs" is special for a much deeper reason: is touches on the characters. It provides them with much needed depth, and showed all the doubters that the series is actually about something. As much as I don't want to keep comparing this to Firefly, this for me was this series' "Jaynestown". That was the first episode that made me realize how truly great and meaningful that series was, and "Needs" has done the same for Dollhouse.

Well, the good news is that Dollhouse's ratings haven't dropped significantly. The bad news is, they haven't gone up either, and their not very impressive as is. Please, PLEASE people, support this show. I desperately want this to stay on the air. If Buffy the Vampire Slayer can keep going for seven seasons, Dollhouse sure as hell deserves to do just as well, if not better.

Click here to visit the official website for Dollhouse.

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