Monday, January 11, 2010

Dollhouse: Season 2, Episode 11 – Getting Closer (2010) – Review

Getting Closer is another great episode in a season that has been up to the normal Whedon level of quality week after week (unlike season one). The principal function of this episode is to tell more about the back-story of Caroline, thus revealing why bringing her personality back into Echo is so important. The work between Eliza Dushku and Summer Glau in the flashbacks does well to both show why Bennett would quickly follow Caroline and that Caroline may not be completely unlikable (as was the impression left on viewers from season one episodes, most notably Echoes). However, where the episode really succeeds is in the scenes between Bennett and Topher (the arch of their relationship is classic Whedon). Their mix of dorkiness and sincerity gives great comedy but is also sweet, perfectly setting up the first of two huge twists that elevate the story and the episode. Amy Acker also returns in this episode, and is great as usual. It is too bad that she made a commitment to Happy Town and could not be in more episodes this season. The final twist to end the episode is unexpected, but works well to set up the conflict for the final two shows. The writing staff has done a wonderful job this season working towards Epitaph One without much time and yet still making it both make sense and be quite compelling. Tim Minear, who has generally done good work, misfired with Omega, which was a rather weak episode from season one which needed to be strong, returned with Getting Closer and returned to writing and directing good TV. Over the course of the season, Dollhouse has transformed from a show about fantasies (in whatever form that took) with character relationships being thin to a show about relationships and it has benefited exponentially from this change. And that was the central theme of this episode. Story wise it was rather straight-forward, as it was more concerned with expressing the importance of our relationships and how they effect and conduct our behavior – and much of the meaning and impact of Getting Closer directly correlates to the strength of the relationships on the show and the viewers buy-in. 9/10
Dollhouse has two more episodes left, this and the following Friday on Fox, or can be seen on

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