Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: B- | 1 USERS: B
Ghost In the Machine
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!
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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