At the beginning, Eliza Dushku, whose character is named "Echo," tells us that she's among these people who are "actives" -- they can be imprinted with any personalities, skills, or attitudes. I wouldn't normally include that bit from a promo in a recaplet, but since they supplied it so handily and it will make my job a lot easier, there it is. The "actives" are Dolls in the Dollhouse -- they get personalities and abilities imprinted into them for different missions, and when the missions are over, the imprints get wiped, which, according to some obsessed cop, can only happen if their own personalities get erased. I'm glad to see Amy Acker again, but I'll discuss the numerous flaws in the premise in the full recap.
In this particular episode, Echo acts as a hostage negotiator, and it's overwritten and tedious, as so many pilots are, even the ones that have been completely redone. During her mission, Echo freaks out during a hostage transfer about the "Ghost" because her personality was abused by him, or something, and there's talk of wiping her personality, but then they don't so she can complete her mission, and after some One To Grow On talk about victims of abuse, Echo rescues the day and saves the kidnapped girl. I'll be happy to discuss further when it's not Friday night and I'm sober, but as much as I love Eliza, I'm not sure about this. Glad to see the Mutant Enemy logo again, though.
Want more? The full recap starts right below!
Welcome to another Joss Whedon offering! Given the devotion of the fanbase in question, I'm sure most of you are familiar with the problems the show has encountered so far -- there have been numerous production delays and creative disputes that resulted in the network ordering the pilot scrapped and redone, which is what we're seeing tonight. I'm not going to belabor that or judge the show harshly because of it, but I feel like I had to mention it. So as I mentioned in the in the recaplet, Eliza Dushku appears (cross-promoting alongside Summer Glau, with Sarah Connor
having premiered in its new time slot right before) to tell us that she and the other Dolls in the Dollhouse are "Actives -- real people who can be imprinted with any personality, skill, or attitude." I momentarily forgot that Summer Glau was on Firefly
, so the cross-promotion has an extra benefit, but the whole thing still comes off as pretty aggressively vapid. We then open on Olivia Williams pouring some tea before informing Eliza Dushku: "Nothing is what it appears to be." So... you're not actually British? Olivia (her character's name is "Adelle DeWitt") offers Eliza (Echo) a clean slate, and Echo, who at the moment looks like something between Purgatory and Hell, responds, "You ever try and clean an actual slate? You always see what was on it before." That's really only if you forget to erase it before you wash it, so I hope Echo gets imprinted with a custodian's skill set at some point so she can learn a few things. Adelle sighs a bit at the tortured parallel before asking if she's volunteering, and Echo complains about not having a choice before Adelle tells her (addressing her as "Caroline") that what they do there helps people, and becoming a part of it could help Echo as well. The basic idea here is that Echo, despite her assertion that she was trying to make a difference, "just trying to take my place in the world, like she always said," did something that got her in a whole lot of trouble, and whatever Adelle's offering is a way out of her mess (and a five-year contract is mentioned). In that way, it's really more like La Femme Nikita
with a sci-fi twist than anything else, which sounds cool, but I have to give it to you sugar-free and tell you Eliza is not selling this particular scene at all, and all I can say to that is that when you do Nikita
badly you get Point Of No Return
, and none of us wants to see that. Echo sighs that she knows actions have consequences, and to that, Adelle smiles and leans forward. "What if they didn't?"
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