stakebait: (Ever_Upward)
[personal profile] stakebait

Binge watching my way through Dollhouse, really missing having a synchronous community of fen to talk it over with, even though I totally did this to myself.

Disjointed observations follow, on the off chance that anyone still cares: (spoilers through season 2, middle of episode 6)

Edited to add: spoilers for the reason of season 2 in the comments.

Not having all the feminist feels that I dimly remember thinking/hearing I would when it was airing.

OTOH, surprised that more (like, anything) is not made of them "killing" the imprinted personality every time Topher does a wipe. Everyone's concerned about the originals (and rightly so) but they're the ones who consented. The imprinted personalities consented to nothing... that I know of, unclear where they get these templates. Especially after the Whiskey/Dr. Saunders "I don't want to die" scene made it very explicit that imprints who know they can be wiped don't wanna.

The emotional prostitution side of this is creepy as fuck but makes perfect sense, people who want someone to really feel it, not just act. But for the purely skills-based assignments, It stretches belief that people would prefer to hire actives for all these things rather than hire regular experts. Once in a while, sure, there'll be someone who can't GET an expert but when you can, which is most of the time, the ability to have them forget is surely balanced by the risk of having the Dollhouse know.

Speaking of which, how much DOES the dollhouse know about each assignment, and how much granular control Topher has over the build, seem to vary with the speed of the plot.

Paul Ballard is the worst FBI agent in the world. Ruin my suspension of disbelief bad. I don't necessarily expect, or even want, CSI/NCIS levels of super high tech hat-rabbiting, but I can't believe the FBI in the real world could employ people who can't cope with anticipating the possibility of bugs, not getting followed home by suspects, or buying a decent lock. I feel surprisingly sympathetic with the guy-who-played-Crowley-on-Firefly agent's lack of patience with Ballard. I kinda want to slap him upside the head myself. His only real skill is making the puppydog face at the woman who is actually competent. At least the NSA guy knows what he's doing, though it's unclear if his hate on for Echo was NSA or Dollhouse related.

Speaking of Firefly, the two white people fighting in an Asian restaurant that is inexplicably empty of actual Asian people scene was weirdly deja vu. :)

OTOH  I am liking their portrayal of BDSM, and there's even a surprisingly large number of larger women (at least by American TV standards) who are not being played for laughs or pathos.

What is the point of the Attic? If Actives become unusable, why not just give them back themselves and let them go, instead of paying to keep them in storage for the rest of the five years? Or if you really have no intention of letting them go, why go on and on about how what you're doing is not so bad because they're volunteers and you're giving them back? The ethics, too -- how unscrupulous either this particular Dollhouse or Rossem in general is, and what various people believe about it, also seems to move at the speed of the plot from episode to episode.

As done the resting intellect of the actives (Echo excepted) and how much they understand, though in a narrower range. They all talk way too much in front of the actives -- they don't get their resting state memories wiped regularly that I can tell.

How come it is okay for Victor and Sierra to be all snuggly now when before it was a terrible thing?

Doesn't Dr. Saunders have a GPS strip, since she's an active? Or did she take it out? Shouldn't they at least discuss tracking her?

Everybody talking about how amoral Topher is reminds me of everybody talking about how dark and selfish Mal was. In neither case are they actually showing it. We actually see a LOT of Topher having ethics and morals and not wanting to be seen as a bad person, trying to help people and not to hurt them. Most of the him being uncaring stuff is told, not shown.

Which contributes to him being more adorable than he really should be. Him squeeing over Bennett with clone-him is super adorable. Though I think it;s weird that clone him doesn't mind knowing he's going to be wiped soon. Him being all needy and clingy in the dystopian future was also adorable. Also him playing laser tag with Sierra. Though I was relieved to see, in the scene with Whiskey, that he does have sexual feelings. He's so twee they almost play him pre-pubescent sometimes.

I enjoyed the dystopian future episode in and of itself but I find it disquieting how they just dropped it into continuity and then pick back up at an interim point and never explain it. Or what Alpha did to Echo and how it changed her. I get that it's probably going to be a big reveal, but IMO it's going on too long and detaching me from the Echo storyline. I find myself mostly in it for the Dr. Saunders character nowadays, which is funny when you think about how much I disliked Fred on Angel. I guess it really is the character and not the actor.

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