Monday, 11 March 2013

Dollhouse: The Target

“Is this the best date ever, or what?”

We begin with a flashback. It’s three months ago. The mysterious Alpha goes crazy, people are killed, and Saunders gets those scars. It’s a chaotic situation, communicated to us mainly through the fact that the camera won’t bloody stay still. The episode is generally well-shot: I particularly love the cut from an arrow striking a deer to a sex scene. Symbolism much?

The morality behind the Actives continues to be problematic; it seems they can be used as prostitutes. The hold over Echo that Boyd Langton has is also troubling; there’s a subtext of abusive sexuality. This organisation is not very nice. And yet the mysteries continue to intrigue. Can anyone hire an Active for any purpose?  The nasty, right-wing, misogynist social Darwinist and existentialist who is this week’s baddie may not have been honest about what he wanted with Echo, but his purported motives seem less than salubrious in any case. Still, yay for Echo in showing the general awesomeness to get Richard.

Echo is having rather interesting flashbacks of Alpha’s rampages, no doubt a distressing memory. Her increasing retention of memories is obviously going to be our main plot arc for the foreseeable future. He left her alive for some reason, and now he’s loose. Interesting. Another thread which will run and run is FBI agent Paul Ballard, investigating the disappearance of Caroline who, unlikely twists involving twins or clones aside, is who Echo really was.

I’m really enjoying this show. It delves deep into themes of identity, consciousness, and the extent to which the self is the sum of its memories. This is the best opening couple of episodes of any Whedon show so far.

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