The Dollhouse (and hopefully Joss Whedon's working relationship with FOX) came to an end on Friday, and after watching the finale I thought to myself, "Man I wish they would have been allowed to develop this show and get to this ending a little slower." Such a great premise and yet the ending had to be a hurried flashforward type episode to get the plot where they were trying to take it. I would have loved to see the point at which the world turned because of the new tech being introduced, or Topher's mind slowly cracking due to the stress and blame he put on himself; not to mention the development of a relationship between Echo and Paul. I really liked the way they wrapped that plotline up(funny to say you're happy one of the main character's died), but that was really an original and perfect idea for what this show was, nothing cliche about it. However, I just wasn't able to care as much about it because we really didn't get but an episode or two of development in that relationship.
As for this stand alone finale episode, I thought the story was very good, but again, we really didn't get to see the character's struggle to get to that point, so it almost gave it a "that was too easy" feel. As I said, I liked the way they ended the Paul/Echo storyline, I thought Topher dying by his tech, because of his tech, to stop his tech was very apropo, albeit a little sad. The things I didn't like about this episode, and maybe about the show in general; the ultimate bad guy was never fully realized, Rosuem sort of sat as a faceless enemy, which I thought all along hurt the drama of the show. I'm sure Boyd was never really supposed to be the bad guy, but as the show drew to an end they needed a twist, and without the time to develop one, just had to throw the bad guy monicure to Boyd's character. I also really did not like the Victor/Sierra storyline in the finale. Throughout the show they were presented as the characters whose love transcended the things being done to their brains and yet this episode had them apart, not getting along, and had Victor having been voluntarily disfigured, I didn't care for that at all.
Ultimately I think The Dollhouse will be thought of as a show that was really never allowed to be. I always go back to the fact that FOX made Whedone redo the show's premise a little and had him reshoot the entire pilot episode, I would love to see what he actually had in mind for the show all along, I think it would have been more along the lines of the two Epitaph episodes and less like the "case a week" style episodes that eventually came to be. In the end, The Dollhouse is like the girl you wish you got to know better but still look back on your time together fondly.
If I could speak to Mr. Whedon directly for a second...."Joss, hey its me; next time try ABC please. Hell, TBS, BRAVO, and Comedy Central would all be better choices then FOX."