Dollhouse Featured Review - 1.03 'Stage Fright'

Alrighty then. We're now three episodes in and the plot is moving along nicely as we dig deeper into the mysterious Dollhouse. In the opening Echo and Sierra are in their child-like states in the gym and there is a nice little bond of friendship between them and declare that friends look out for each other. Awwww, how sweet. It was an excellent lead for the episodes as what I wished for was happening. We are going to have more interaction from the other Dolls (actives, sorry).


What I failed to feel was any empathy for Echo's assignment this week. She is hired to protect a Diva called Rayna as she apparently has been targeted by an obsessed fan who wants to kill her. Quite shades of the movie The Bodyguard but the good old Dollhouse actives don't know they are bodyguards. Yes, both Echo and Sierra are hired for this one. Echo's personality is about being hired as a backing singer who subconsciously will protect Rayna against threats. Sierra' assignment is a little more tricky as she has been told to divert attention from the assassin away from Rayna and to herself.


I really liked Sierra's acting in this. We've seen her before sporting some lovely shotgun action in the pilot, but here she plays Rayna's biggest fan who is a meek little shy girl called Audra. So far I have really yet to see Echo play anyone too different, I got a sense of Tru Calling last night when I saw Eliza Dushku running around trying to save the day again!


The plot was rather strange in that the Diva had made a deal to die by the hands of her crazed fan, but then changes her mind when she is prevented from dying on stage in the limelight. Echo still takes out the bad guy but in a very unconventional way......by putting Rayna in extreme with her would-be killer. I think really what we have got from this episode is that Echo still remembered her friend Sierra and made it a priority to rescue her after she is kidnapped. It was strange though that Sierra wasn't given any fighting skills and became just bait for the killer so I can truly understand why her handler got a bit angry. He believes that Echo is heading down the same road as Alpha in that she uses extreme methods and could be a wild card if she keeps remembering her missions. At the end i got a feeling that Echo remembered the mission and shook her head to Sierra to not show that they are friends in front of Sierra's handler.


Elsewhere there was a nice little twist as well. Agent Ballard's investigation doesn't go down too well as we find out that his Russian lead is actually Victor, a male active who misguides him into a set up. It is good to know that the Dollhouse are aware of someone on their case but after Ballard is shot and not killed, I'm pretty sure he will become more dedicated to find them. 'This time, it's personal' as the movie cliche goes.


All in all it was a pretty good episode but I preferred the stuff with Alpha last week which really made the show give me goosebumps. I really don't want it to be just Echo saving the day every week but have them develop these characters and the history of the Dollhouse further. But, give it time, it is still is only the third episode.

Comments

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Mar 2, 2009 7:29PM EST

I think the best bit about this episode was the end when Echo shook her head at Sierra. It showed that not only Echo remembered who Sierra was/is, but also shows that Sierra seems to remember as well. Looks like Dollhouse may have two more 'Alphas' to deal with. I like how it is going at the moment and hope it is to keep going the same way!

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Mar 3, 2009 10:02PM EST

I would agree, that bit really did make me smile.The whole episode was pretty good, but not because of the actual episode plot. Typical Joss Whedon, have fantastic character interaction, but skimp on the plotlines.I suppose the idea of a 'Dollhouse' is pretty extreme, so having extreme storylines fits well. I guess I just really hated Reyna's character more than anything else.It's looking good though, hopefully it will only get better.

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Mar 5, 2009 12:03PM EST

I really didn't mind the plotline, honestly. It was interesting, it was original, and I didn't see it coming, which is a heck of a lot more than most TV shows will give us.
I thought Echo shaking her head was awesome. It showed not only that she remembered Sierra, but that she was also way more aware of her situation than we had been lead to believe. She remembered Sierra's handler and the angry guy (whatever his name is), she realized that they were threats and that they were in a position of power, and that the way to avoid an unpleasant confrontation with them was to pretend she didn't know. That's a whole lot more than the "Hey, you're my friend. I like friends." thing that we saw earlier.
As far as Sierra remembering her, that's still kind of up in the air for me. She could either have remembered Echo and realized that she should listen to her, or she could have just been completely blank and following orders simply because they were there. It's probably the former, imo, but I don't really think it's been clinched for me yet.

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Mar 6, 2009 9:38PM EST

I think it was already personal for agent Ballard. I mean there was that conversation on the roof top with Victor and Victor says that Dollhouse isn't real and that he doesn't believe it, then Ballard is all like it is and Victor was saying how do you know why do you think that, sort of thing.. Ballard just looked like he was remembering something or thinking about something or someone in the past..and said something like he just knows its there..that Dollhouse exists..
Also about the whole Sierra/Echo thing. I think that there is a flaw, a malfunction in the Dollhouse system. There must be something they overlooked about how the brain works. Its as if there's some kind of inner section of the brain that isn't completely wiped. There was that scene where Sierra almost faints/falls or something, in the gym. Then later, as Audra the same thing happens. Then echos 'imprint' seems to recollect it from the gym or something, but Audra/Sierra doesn't seem to notice. But then later at the end of the episode they seem to know they are friends or something. maybe its something like the whole handler thing, that they know that they can trust each other as they work together and become loyal to each other..

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