Dollhouse: Oddly, The Most Interesting Bits Don't Involve Echo
Dollhouse: Oddly, The Most Interesting Bits Don't Involve Echo
All of a sudden, watching Dollhouse feels weird.  I tuned in to the season premiere on Friday night, and I realized the show's changed a bit.  Apart from the more urgent feel, obviously influenced by "Epitaph One", the focus is now on the bigger storylines rather than the assignment-of-the-day feel that the first season, and especially the first five episodes, had.  It's a good thing, I figure, although watching the premiere felt like David Cook's Declaration--seems like there were a load of manifestos being signed into reality.  But, if it helps establish everything, then let's play with it.

Story one: Echo's out to look for Caroline.  That was the point of the conversation between Echo and Paul at the end of the episode, and seems like it'll be the biggest story of the season yet.  While her set-up's been going awry in the first season, Alpha's work exaggerated it, and now she's got one imprint and everything else flashing in her head randomly.  Now she really knows who she is and isn't, and she's going to search for her real self, whatever that means.

So, an Echo-Paul team-up?  (Echaul?  Paulcho?)  Definitely.  Looking for Caroline is another thing.  While he's now the handler, I don't think it'll be any easy, from all the people they have to collide with, to the actual task of looking.  Imprinting the original personality on her head isn't easy, of course.  And then there's the thought that Echo will never be Caroline again, but instead, will be Echo imprinted as Caroline.  Those two are really different.

Story two: What was Paul thinking anyway?  It was a bit annoying to see that Paul was actually the one who hired Echo on an engagement--imprinted as an FBI agent who married a British businessman to get access to black market weapons.  Well, he already realized that he's had sex with Mellie/November, and since he's pretty much a client in deed, he might as well make it official, right?  Still, I thought it was a pretty quick way out--now, Paul might think, he can hire anyone, right?  Nah.  He's now the handler.

What exactly was he trying to do, though?  Close a case that he hasn't closed when he was suspended from the FBI?  Test Echo out to see what makes her tick?  Should we expect flashbacks?  I think this'll make up part of the Echo-Paul dynamic, if we can actually pin it definitely.

That storyline, though, made some sort of little use to Jamie Bamber's services.  A bit disappointing, personally.

Story three: Topher versus Whiskey.  It's a shame Amy Acker's not going to be in Dollhouse for longer, since she's headed for ABC's Happy Town.  We will be missing out on the Topher-Whiskey story, which is a really interesting one, and not because of what she's been doing.  Knowing that she's an Active rather than the real thing?  Knowing that she doesn't have control over what she feels, and is instead following what she was made to do?  Knowing that she'll never die, or whatever she meant with that part?

These realizations have obviously rattled both her and Topher, and is perhaps a better direction than the Echo-Paul bit.  Not to mention that Amy's done a really good job with the scene, weighing down on my in a surprising but necessary way.  Gravitas, yes.  Surely those who aren't fond of Eliza Dushku are thinking: what if Amy was the lead?

But surely there's a long way to go with this: Alexis Denisof made this quick scene as Senator Daniel Perrin, the guy who's bent on looking into Rossum and, by consequence, the Dollhouses.  While that may not be much drama for Echo, oddly, it's that sort of stuff that's got me interested.  Still, Echo makes for some good eye candy, and I haven't mentioned the honeymoon yet...

- Henrik Batallones, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of Fox)