TV Review: Dollhouse – True Believer


Dollhouse, Fox, Airs Friday 9/8c

Episode: “True Believer” (Season 1, Episode 5)

Synopsis: When a commune is believed to be holding people against their will, Echo (Eliza Dushku) is sent in to be the eyes of the ATF. When a news report from outside the commune catches her on camera, Agent Ballard’s (Tahmoh Pennikett) quest to find Caroline finally catches a lucky break. Meanwhile, Viktor (Enver Gjokaj) causes a stir within the Dollhouse when he demonstrates too much of an “interest” in another doll (Dichen Lachman).

Review: So, Agent Ballard’s story line may actually link up to the goings on in the Dollhouse soon. Oh, and male dolls shouldn’t get hard ons. These are the two things you take away from the latest episode on Dollhouse. Sure, the episode was entertaining, crazy cult infiltrated by a .. crazy blind cult member named Esther. Cue many pointed stories about Esther in the Bible, which could also be extended to Echo’s own situation, seeing the truth of the Dollhouse. Usually Dushku raises no objections from me regarding her acting abilities, but this evening was a different story altogether. There were maybe two moments where her blindness was believable. Unfortunately, the rest of the time was spent attempting to prove that those moments were pure flukes, so much so that it distracted me from actually following the plot.

Echo wasn’t the only one undergoing trauma this week, as in one of Topher’s (Fran Kranz) rare likable appearances, he catches a glimpse of Viktor’s flag flying proudly. Apparantly male dolls are meant to remain as limp as a noodle while in their doll state. A altogether too brief sequence with Dr. Saunders (Amy Acker) provides more smile raising material as they are forced to check if this was a one off occurrence, containing multiple sly jokes intermingled with clinical-speak. More Amy Acker, please! Deadpan or comical, the girl can bring it.

Last but not least, there is Agent Ballard, whose plot line may just have received the kiss of life. The possibility of watching 8 more episodes of his dead man walking act, angsting over where Caroline is and how to find the Dollhouse would cause most to despair, especially with it being so removed from the goings on within the rest of the show. One shining light lifted the driven angst filled haze this week, as Ballard attempts charm (and it really seems to have been a while since this happened) in order to get what he needs. Proof positive that a human being and not just a man on a mission lives in his shell. Of course, there’s even more reason for his tunnel vision now. Caroline/Echo/Esther was caught on camera and there’s living, breathing and most importantly, independent proof that she exists. More angst ahoy! Of course, how Ballard will get from one shot of her on a news reel to finding the Dollhouse is beyond me. I’ll just have to tune in next week.

Ah yes, next week. Episode 6 has been vaunted as the episode where everything really gets going, and while I’m happy with the show so far, I do want it to start stepping up a gear. We’re almost at the midway point for this season, and the arc seems to be a little hesitant, it’s time to get things going. It seems that now is the time to step up the story too, as this week for the first time since “Dollhouse” hit the airwaves, the ratings went up! It seems that Fox had a good night, with both Sarah Connor Chronicles and Dollhouse going up notably in both the market share and overall viewer numbers (20% and 7% of an increase respectively). If next week’s episode is as good as they say and the numbers hold for just one week, Dollhouse may claw its way into the healthy end of the spectrum, but that’s quite the long shot. In the meantime, holding out hope for retaining this week’s numbers is optimistic enough.

Up Next Week: “Man on the Street” – Echo’s newest mission has her healing the broken heart of a client who’s lost his love. Meanwhile, the Dollhouse is in danger as a TV reporter prepares to expose its activities to the world.

For more coverage of your favorite shows, check out the TV for Movie Lovers Archive.

Did you watch Dollhouse this week? What’d you think?

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