Dollhouse Review - 1.02 'The Target' - Featured

Hey, I just figured out the Dolls names are phonetics! I deserve a cookie. I should of really have seen that in the pilot when we meet our lovely Echo and at the end the explosive Sierra, but this week we see the deadly Alpha.

Not afraid, or nor they should be, the writers have used the handy 'flashback' tool to enlighten us with the Dollhouse story this week. The opening is rather sinister as the wake of destruction that Alpha leaves three months previous is cataclysmic to say the least. Doll's bodies are thrown astrew left and right with precision and fatal cuts. Something has gone wrong with this Doll. Since his name is Alpha, he was probably the first and we'll soon learn that sometimes things don't go right the first time.

In the present Miss DeWitt (the she-pimp of the Dollhouse) has hired out Echo to some seemingly nice young man who wants an action-ready perfect girlfriend. Don't we all? What the episode gave us as well was the fact that we now know Miss DeWitt does not own the Dollhouse, as she says that. Maybe it said it in the pilot but if it did, I don't think it was made clear enough.

Elsewhere, the dedicated Agent Ballard is hot on the crime scene from episode 1.01 and is sure the Dollhouse was involved due to Sierra's shotgun skills. Still we are to learn of his interest in the Dollhouse but that will follow surely in the remaining eleven episodes. As well, as we see, Miss DeWitt knows about Agent Ballard too. I'm certain a little game of cat-and-mouse will be played deliciously between them.

Suprisingly(?), 'quel surprise' as the french would say, the seemingly nice young man turns out to be a run-of-the-mill rich guy who likes to hunt humans. Echo has become the episode title of The Target. Her personality of Jenny is not prepared for this situation and her handler, Langton, has been taken out of commission as well. He is bamboozled by a fake park ranger. The flashbacks tie in well as after the Aplha murders it develops a little background between Echo and Langton. The episode progresses nicely and we have Echo step up to the plate with the help of Langton to defeat the bow and arrow guy. Well done.

What I liked about this episode is that we are being shown the imperfections of the Dollhouse. Alpha has killed people and Langton suspects now that Alpha has some connection to Echo. She is left alive in the Dollhouse murders and supposedly hired this guy to hunt Echo for fun and faked his background. This is apparent as Langton sees the body of the fake park ranger cut up precisely like the Dollhouse murders. The imperfections that I mentioned seem to be that the Dolls remember shades of their imprinted personalities. It mentioned that Alpha has retained knowledge and when Echo is drugged during her chase, she starts to remember herself and another personality. And of course obviously when she slaps her shoulder like the dude in the woods after being deprogrammed.

Well, I'll leave you there my Dollhouse lovers, hope you keep watching as I think this guy Alpha may be just as bad-ass as Sylar from Heroes.



Default avatar cat
Feb 21, 2009 12:04PM EST

The second episode was actually intriguing. Not to mention Elisha's acting was tremendously better in this episode as compared to the last. Not only that, but she looked a lot more convincing throwing her punches in this episode than anything she ever did on Buffy (Though she was actually more kick ass in angel). Good review.I need a cookie too.

Default avatar cat
Feb 22, 2009 4:03PM EST

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Feb 22, 2009 5:59PM EST

Do you want to know what I'm wondering? Of course you do!

Is it possible that the naked guy from episode one and two, that both times is watching the yearbook video of "Caroline", is actually Alpha?

We know that Alpha killed all of the other Dolls except Echo. Why? Clearly he has some reason for wanting her alive. He must have some kind of an interest in her. And we know that he is still alive based on episode two.

He followed her on her "job" with the psycho-hunter too. He was obviously the one who killed the park ranger.

My thoery is that Alpha has some kind of an interest in Echo, or Caroline perhaps. He went crazy from all of the programming and de-programming and wanted to escape. He killed all of the dolls except Echo. Maybe he wanted her to come with him? Maybe he got distracted from killing her in that scene with the bloody blade.

Either way he escaped and is now obsessed with tracking her down. Alpha/ naked guy, may in fact be the same person.

Feb 22, 2009 6:15PM EST

Yeah, I agree with the comment about naked guy/Alpha. I would also like to add that it is probably Alpha who is sending info to Paul Ballard.

Feb 22, 2009 6:28PM EST

Oh yeah! I completely agree HintonNic!

Feb 22, 2009 8:56PM EST

Probably? It is incredibly obvious that it is.

Feb 23, 2009 10:09AM EST

See I thought naked guy was the guy filming the yearbook in the pilot. But yeah, now I think it could be Alpha.Either way it's shaping up to be pretty damn good, so nice to see Whedon and Minear back =)

Default avatar cat
Feb 25, 2009 2:18AM EST

i dont think alpha is crazy. i think if he somehow got his original personality back whilst retaining the memories of all the things the dollhouse made him do/be, that would leave him with one heck of a grudge.

Default avatar cat
Feb 27, 2009 12:59AM EST

this show starts to seem a little bit too much like the new bionic woman, and that got axed pretty early too...

Default avatar cat
Mar 1, 2009 11:15PM EST

what I found really interesting is the hunter guy with the fake name. He chose the name "Richard Connell" which if anyone one knows is a character in the short story "The Most Dangerous Game" where Richard Connell is ship wrecked on an island and meets General Zaroff who is really a vicious man who hunts humans. He challenges Connell that if he survives for 24 hours he will have one his freedom. I thought this episode was a clever remake of the story, with a similar ending.

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