Dollhouse, Joss Whedon’s fourth show, has now been back for season 2 for 3 weeks. I’ve been watching it and am finding it better than the way the show started season one but not as good as the way that season ended. However, with Summer Glau and Keith Carradine set to make appearances soon I’m highly hopeful. I am also excited that they seem to have sped up the process of Echo becoming self-aware, and not just in little catch phrases and body movements, but in her actually voicing what she feels and working to try and control the imprints.
The most recent episode had a pretty interesting theme. The main plot involved a man who had a tendency to kidnap other women and make them into dolls (get it, nudge nudge) that he would pose in macabre spectacles of how he felt his family life should have gone. One of the women fights back and although he kills her she manages to drug him enough that when he goes out into the city he gets hit by a car and put into a coma. Of course, he has a well-placed uncle, as all fucked up rich boys often do, who knows about his beahvior and wants to find the women before they die and they can’t cover it up anymore.
Adelle shows that she does have limits when they discover that the nephew’s brain make up shows no capacity for empathy and even Topher as ethical issues (a point brought up, hilariously, by Boyd). The dump the nephew in Victor and Ballard has to try to find the women. Of course things get fucked up and the uncle breaks Victor/the nephew out thinking that he will tell him where the women are being kept.
The B-plot is Echo’s engagement as an complete cardboard character of an air headed co-ed who has the hots for her teacher who wants to introduce her to Chaucer. At first I was just my usualy rolling eyes at this engagement, but then, as the show cut between conversation between Echo, or Kiki (seriously), and the teacher and Ballard and the nephew. I realized what the show was doing. A lot of people have complained that the show hasn’t made enough of a stand on how they think the concept of the Dollhouse is wrong. I personally don’t see it as I think there have been plenty of signs about consent and immorality but I felt this scene was another way of showing it.
YOU have one man complaining about real women and how they mess everything up and they are all whores and you know that he creates fake women, using real women’s bodies to create the image of the way he thinks life SHOULD be. The other conversation is of a professor who does just that with the Dollhouse. Creating a human being within the Dollhouse and using that character to act out his fantasy of sexual play. It is very clear that both me, through their ways of acting out their fantasy, don’t want 3 dimensional women. The prof. does not want a women who can challenge him intellecutally and the nephew does not want women who have lives that don’t revolve around what he desires. There is no room for anyone but themselves in their little world and while we sit their and condem the nephew (including Adelle and Topher) noone stops to think what might be going on the mind of their basic employee and how similar those thought processes must be.
The man that wants to have sex with the woman is just lonely and they are helping him based on their belief that the actives have given some type of consent. However, the man that takes over women’s bodies on his own is a vicious monster. One is the rapist hiding in the bush we all should be afraid of, the other is the good guy, the pastor’s kid, the one who couldn’t possibly have “meant” to rape someone and should really be given a second chance because he didn’t “mean” to hurt anyone.