Dollhouse, Fox, Airs Friday 9/8c
Episode: “The Target” (Season 1, Episode 2)
Synopsis: Echo (Eliza Dushku) is programmed as a girl with a taste for the outdoors, but when her client (Matt Keeslar) turns her into his prey, she needs to call on more than just her imprint to survive. The mystery of “Alpha” deepens as we flashback to how Dr. Saunders (Amy Acker) got her scars and what happens when a doll retains personalities after wiping.
Review: After a shaky premier, Joss Whedon & co deliver a strong follow up to kick start the series and really get the audience asking questions. Who is Alpha? Is he still out there? What does he want with Echo? What made him snap? Will this happen to Echo? Those are just the beginning, and honestly I’m excited to find out the answers. The initial episode order had this playing in the episode 3 slot, but moving it up a week certainly should grab attention.
The episode seemed to flow much more smoothly this week, without the dragging that was felt so much in the first half of the premier. This time there was no dull boring start up job to establish what happens at the Dollhouse, plus there was less emphasis on the slightly dull Agent Ballard (Tahmoh Pennikett) plotline. The pacing was a lot tighter, even with flashbacks in the mix. Echo’s handler, Langton (Henry Lennix), was well placed here as the audience’s way in to the story as rather than it being spelled out for the audience alone, it could be directed at him.
The present-day story, unlike the previous prostituting example from the last episode, was well developed, and not only because it did the unexpected. The client (there’s no point in naming him, he isn’t exactly going to come back) was more of a 3 dimensional character this time around, from his daddy issues to his obsession with finding the perfect girl and proving himself. Not only that, but seeing the relationship between handler and doll reversed was striking, especially when viewed along with their original bonding and how distant Langton was initially. Trust is definitely a two way street and her complete faith in him must have rubbed off over time.
Overall, the only thing wrong with that episode was that it ended. Echo’s story has just begun, she definitely has started to retain aspects of previous imprints and it’s just a matter of time before it won’t require a drug to seeing doubles of herself. After hearing more about Alpha, it’s clear that this has happened before but was he the first and if not, does it always end with bloodshed? What does this mean for Echo? Most importantly of all, did the ratings for this episode improve on last week’s, and will Fox leave the show on the air long enough for us to find out the answers to all these questions?
Up Next Week: “Stage Fright” – Echo is hired to protect a female star singer from her stalker fan.
Read More: Dollhouse Recaps
Did you watch Dollhouse this week? What’d you think?