Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dollhouse: Season 2, Episode 8 – A Love Supreme (2009)

A Love Supreme is a fantastic episode. It has action (sort of a zombie 28 Days Later… feel to it), tension and great performances (Alan Tudyk is brilliant). From the title of the episode, the nature of love and its application to the Dollhouse is explored. On one side, there is a wealthy man that blew his fortune addicted to the Dollhouse (or Echo), and on the other there is Joel Myner that used to Dollhouse to deal with his grief, but has since moved on and found love in the real world. And, there is Alpha, completely obsessed with Echo (psychotically), unable to understand why she does not love him back. Even with his forty or so personalities, he is unable to determine how to control love – what makes someone in love with another. The story also examines the evolving relationship between Ballard and Echo. Is there really love there, or is it obsession as well? The show is looking at the clients as well as the characters within the Dollhouse this season, which poises questions about our own societal needs. Joss Whedon series seem to be able to inject comedy even into tension filled scenes and situations, and this episode is certainly nail-biting for the characters yet comedy still seeps in to ease the moments and make it more accessible for the viewers (great bits from Topher and 20s’ era Sierra). While love may be a dominant theme of the episode, A Love Supreme is one of the most visually violent of the series, and that means that the viewer literally sees the gore and destruction rather than it being discussed or inferred. It is a striking contrast that plays in the favor of the narrative as a whole. Acting wise, this episode is very strong and features maybe Eliza Dushku’s best performance of the series. Dichen Lachman and Enver Gjokaj continue to show their wonderful versatility (I hope they both are used in future Whedon projects, or find good roles on other series/films). And, as mentioned above, Alan Tudyk turns in a (almost Ledger-like Joker) brilliant performance (if only Omega could have played more like this episode). As Dollhouse comes closer to the end, A Love Supreme shows that it is a great show and continues to set up what should be a fantastic finish. 10/10

Dollhouse can be seen Fridays on Fox or on Amazon.com

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