Recap: "Haunted"

Dollhouse returned to Fox's Friday night line-up this week with "Haunted," an Espenson, Tancharoen and Whedon (That would be Jed, not Joss) scripted episode dealing with life after death.

How did TV Guide describe the episode?

"After a friend of Adelle's is slain, Adelle has Echo programmed with the dead woman's memories and personality in order to find the killer. In other events, Ballard investigates Mellie's past and Topher imprints Sierra for a secret engagement."

For the most part, that pretty much sums it up. Your posts for "Spy in the House of Love" indicated that you all felt much like I did. It was a terrifically paced and plotted adventure giving each of the Dolls a chance to take center stage. This episode however, seemed to go in the other direction. It reminded me more of the earlier stories in this season. Lower stakes, fewer twists and little action added up to an extraordinary feeling of "Meh."

Something not mentioned in the blurb above is Topher's storyline, which was one of this week's highlights. Under the guise of conducting an annual test, everyone's favorite mind manipulator borrows Sierra. In fact, he's actually imprinted her as a beer-swilling, pizza-eating, videogame playing nerd buddy. This is something Adelle knows about and signs off on every year. I had drastically different feelings about this storyline. I mean, at least he's not sending Sierra out on a risky engagement. But, still, he's manufacturing a friend for himself. It makes me feel awful for Topher but also hate him for not simply trying to make a real friend. And how much worse did I feel for him when we saw that it was actually his birthday?

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