Saturday, January 16, 2010

Dollhouse: Season 2, Episode 12 – The Hollow Men (2010) – Review

The Hollow Men is an action-packed engaging episode, but not without a minor issue. The episode succeeds due to fine performances by the cast across the board. The episode features many personality changes throughout and the cast handles it well (Amy Acker plays a man for example). The main issue however is not so much with the episode itself rather with the end. The story jumps ten years in the future to catch up with Epitaph One, which is necessary as there is only one episode left and the narrative of Epitaph One needs to be resolved. But it does not feel like the story is finished in 2010 (as the future takes place in 2020), which is a function of both the show just running out of time and it needing to finish not being renewed. Epitaph Two: Return will hopefully be a great ending to a strong season, but there seems to be a lot of story left to tell (one can only hope it is a double episode, but I doubt it). Back to The Hollow Men, the episode had a few intense scenes making the viewer uneasy, yet fully committed to the events unfolding (some likely watching through their hands). The episode felt a bit like a season finale with the last shot being a cliffhanger for the next season (again seemingly burdening Epitaph Two: Return with too much story to tell). The Big Bad is dealt with (well played by Harry Lennix) in the episode, freeing up the last episode to go any direction. The motivation of the Big Bad was that of a mad scientist – Echo entered into the Dollhouse only to build up genetic antidote to the mind wiping process, something the Big Bad knew would happen all along. As if, once the technology was invented, even in its infancy, the Big Bad knew the future, knew that such an antidote would be necessary. And being a mad scientist, it makes sense that the Big Bad would form emotional (if not veiled) connections to those around him. He is nuts, but still craves connection.  It also works well in the narrative as it makes the Big Bad creepier and unstable. The ending of the episode (not including the epilogue) is quite good (the role reversal is perfectly executed). The Hollow Men is exciting, features great performances and character moments and continues the excitement for the season finale. 9/10
Dollhouse will air its last episode on Friday January 29th on Fox, and can also be watched on

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