Thursday, 14 November 2013

Dollhouse: The Public Eye

"Am I free?"

Hmmm. It seems we have a politician here who has quite literally been brainwashed by a corporation. Do you think we might have a bit of a political subtext here? Once again it's refreshing to see that Dollhouse, airing on Rupert Murdoch's Fox Network, has an essentially liberal left agenda, it's themes being the abuse of individuals' civil liberties by both public and private organisations, which in this day and age are so improperly intertwined.

This episode is all about Senator Daniel Perrin as we and he discover, on a nice twist, that it is he, and not his wife, who is the doll. This is already enough to elevate the episode to greatness. But on top of this we are rewarded at the end with an introduction to the Washington D.C. Dollhouse, far more unthinkingly loyal to Rossum, and to its own resident Topher, the unnerving, quiet and ruthless Bennett. And, in an episode that already features Alexis Denisof, she is played by Whedon veteran Summer Glau. Truly, we are spoiled. This episode kicks, as the day, ass.

It's fascinating to see the progress of Madeleine's sincere yet doomed attempts to "out" the Dollhouse, something which Rossum could never allow: Perrin is merely one aspect of the political influence they wield: we are reminded of the sheer, untrammelled influence of corporate power in US politics. 

Also fascinating, and disturbing in equal measure, is Topher's new invention which he tried out on Kilo, a new doll. It is know possible to remotely knock out a doll. We are reminded that not only can technology that threatens our liberties not be uninvented, but that new developments of potential oppression are being invented all the time. In a world where governments seek more and more control over the online world this is deeply relevant, and chilling.

No less chilling is the fact that Madeleine, although she has finished her contract, still has Active architecture in her head. Ballard is not pleased to hear this, and not should he be. It's interesting to see the moral conflict between outsider Ballard, now Echo's new handler, and the rest of the gang.

We end with Echo in Bennett's clutches, and she isn't the greatest of hostesses. To be continued...

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