Recently Joss Whedon fans held a collective freak-out upon news that the Dollhouse season finale was not going to be aired. There is some truth to these rumors, but the actual story is far less terrifying and may reinstall hope among the Dollhouse fans.
According to TV Guide, Fox still plans to air all the episodes of Dollhouse it originally ordered. When the show was first picked up, FOX ordered 13 episodes. However, the pilot was scrapped and remade, but since that didn't evaporate the cost of making it, the unaired original pilot counted as one of the 13 episodes, meaning only 12 will be shown, including the intended first season finale, Omega, on May 8.
In a sign that might actually provided optimism, FOX later asked Joss Whedon to write and film an additional episode to possibly air as well. That extra episode is the one that now won't be aired, though it shouldn't make fans worry that things won't get wrapped up or that the series is dead.
The current finale will still provide closure, wrapping up the season-long Alpha storyline. The extra episode, titled Epitaph One, was intended as a stand alone episode that might lead into season 2. For Buffy fans, just think back to season 4. The actual story ended in the penultimate episode, and the finale, Restless, was about the dreams of the main characters. Sure, that episode was great, but if it aired as part of season 5 instead of as the season 4 finale, it wouldn't have mattered.
The decision not to air this extra episode doesn't mean anything about the fate of Dollhouse. While the ratings are just mediocre, it has a devoted online fan base and its episodes are frequently at the top of online viewing lists. For the last week on Hulu, the most recent Dollhouse is the fifth most popular TV episode, beating out Heroes, 24, Fringe, Bones and other higher rated dramas.
Though Dollhouse is off next week due to the two-hour return of Prison Break, it returns April 24 for the first of its last three episodes of the season. Hopefully being paired with the final episodes of Prison Break as opposed to the anemic Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles will help.