Friday, 10 May 2013

Dollhouse: Vows

“Who did they make me this time?”

So, a brand spanking new season. This first episode is so important that Joss Whedon himself writes AND directs. There are lots of exciting things to notice about the first day of term, not least of which is the new boy, Alexis Denisof. Already I’m excited.

There have been changes since last season and, while an episode of the week of sorts, the plot revolves around them. Agent Ballard is now Echo’s handler, but he and Echo appear to have an agenda of their own. She is first seen with her thirty nine personalities seemingly being erased, with some rather appropriate footage from Bride of Frankenstein. All is not as it seems, however.

Doctor Saunders, now that the audience is aware that she’s an active, has a particularly interesting episode. She hates Topher, apparently, and is full of exactly the sort of existential angst that we expect from her situation. It doesn’t help, either, that Victor’s scars have been fixed and hers haven’t. What’s particularly interesting is that she doesn’t want to revert to her original personality as she doesn’t want to “die”.

The basic plot consists of Echo pretending to be married to someone whom Ballard had been trying to catch for some time while working for the FBI; her handler is in effect also her customer. But behind all this lies a major recalibration of the character. We learn that she is well aware of her active status and retains memory of all her imprints while maintaining a coherent sense of self. She is, perhaps, what Alpha believes himself to be. She has two years left on her contract as someone who remembers all her experiences, obviously has some sort of agenda and is essentially the same person as the inquisitive and ballsy Caroline. Sparks are bound to fly.

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