Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Epitaph One a Dollhouse double edged sword?

If you followed my tweets during the Con, you'll know that I loved, loved, LOVED "Epitaph One." If not, now you do.

And if you aren't one of the lucky ones who have seen it yet and/or foolishly spoiled yourself by reading reviews... well, either spoil yourself for me or stop reading now. Because while I don't plan to go into plot specifics, it's not unlikely that some things might be spoiled for you simply by reading my thoughts on the aftermath of this episode.

So, for posterity:


Now we can begin.

At nearly every act break, Jul and I turned to each other, mouths hanging open and eyes wide. Yeah, it was one of those experiences. Near the end I whispered to her quietly: "I want to watch this show." She said "Yeah," nodded, then looked at me sadly and repeated: "Yeah."

And there's the rub.

After the episode ended and the thunderous applause died down, Whedon started talking about where Dollhouse is going storywise, saying it would be "a sometimes post-apocalyptic show."

Meaning, while he's not going to drop the future storyline to which "Epitaph One" introduces us, Dollhouse will still be Dollhouse. Meaning, more or less, we're going back to the kinds of episodes that dominated season one. Or, rather, the second half of season one... at least that's what I imagine.

That's not a bad thing, it's just... "I want to watch this show." Holy toe-tapping crap do I want that. And, as much as the show got better towards the second half of the season, I'm not sure how willing I'll be to go back to present day Dollhouse stuff and care much about whether or not Echo will wake up and and realize who she is while she fights crime or plays housewife or blahblahblah... Compared to this it just feels... tame .

Or maybe I'm wrong.

Joss said that "Epitaph One" would definitely be considered canon and that the writers won't backtrack and try to say that what we see in the episode isn't going to happen or can be changed... but he also said that the memory "flashbacks" (yes, I think it warrants quotes here) don't tell the whole story, and he's leaving the door open to potentially contradict what they tell us since they are, in fact, individual memories, and not objective truth about what happened and... hell, it's just really interesting.

One idea that I keep repeating in the hopes that some little birdy flies away with it to Joss's ear is that each season could end with an episode such as this, where we further the future story and get some nice little "reveal" nuggets about our main series characters... only to have those reveals proven or disproven by the following season. Assuming there are, you know, following seasons.

One thing's for sure: I haven't thought or cared about Dollhouse this much since I read the original unaired pilot.

In Joss We Trust.


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