Monday, February 1, 2010

Dollhouse: Episode 13, Season 2 – Epitaph Two: Return (2010) – Review

Epitaph Two: Return is a good ending to the Dollhouse series, as it provides a resolution the major thematic elements of the show and the characters. Season two felt rushed at times as the writing team needed to resolve the show and get to the events of Epitaph One within the thirteen episode limit, as the show was not renewed by Fox. Given that, the show was incredibly well done at times, and the same is true for the finale – in that it suffers from there just not being enough time to do everything to finish every story, but the story it does tell is a great ending. The episode takes place ten years plus since The Hollow Men and thus a lot has changed. Victor has become a Mad Max-type, Sierra is a mother and Echo has still not let Paul Ballard in (admitted her love for him). The episode focuses on Echo and Paul rescuing Topher (inadvertently) and discovering that he has figured out a way to reverse the imprints and put everyone back to the way they were before. However, do to this, they must return to the Dollhouse. But it brings up the question that the show has dealt with all season long, what makes up a person, or their soul, basically what makes them themselves. Echo, Sierra and Victor have transcended their old selves and do not want to give up who they are now. And later, other imprinted persons do not want to give up their abilities either. The conclusion seems to suggest that while experiences make us who we are, there are also deeper characteristics that also influence our decisions (like Victor and Sierra’s love) – thus the soul is a combination of what we are and what we experience. The episode (and series to some degree) also is about love – its forms and how it must be seized and fought for. Technically the episode was well done (especially as it was made on the cheap). Director David Solomon has contributed a lot good work to the series. The same goes for the Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog writing team of Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon who co-wrote this episode with Andrew Chambliss as well as many of the series best. It was nice to see Alan Tudyk and Summer Glau show up in the episode, as well as Mag, Zone and Adair Tishler imprinted with Caroline (she is great in her two episodes). The stars that emerged from the series (and I look forward to their future work) are Dichen Lachman, Enver Gjokaj and Fran Kranz; veterans Olivia Williams and Harry Lennix were also very good throughout. Overall the second scene was rushed, yet very solid and the finale was sort of the same in that sense – I wish there was more, but I liked what there was (cannot wait to see Whedon’s next). 10/10

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