DollHouse Episode 4: Why On Earth Am I Watching This?

Ladies and Gentleman! Before your very eyes may be the last Dollhouse post I make! Will I quit in disgust? Will just stop overanalyzing a show that doesn’t give me any credit to begin with? Will Joss Whedon finally give the internship I clearly deserve?

So we are at a snow capped mountain Chalet, and we hear a woman moaning and panting and oh-godding . . . and she’s delivering a baby.

Apparently Dushku has been programmed as a mid-wife. Professional mid-wives are quite expensive by my understanding of the qualifications and these people got a mid-wife from Dollhouse, which had to be a hojillion, which judging from their house they could just throw away on the most evil organization this side of S.C.U.M. from James Bond, Jr.

I have absolutely no idea why this was the intro, except perhaps to tell the audience that rich people have babies and aren’t all bad or that Dushku’s character can be implanted with skills other than kicking ass and porn-star stamina, but I don’t think anyone cares either way.

Back to the Dollshouse, Echo gets erased and goes to the DH chow hall for some food, and sits down with The Human Gazelle and Troika and they have a conversation that isn’t as bland as people with no memory should have.

Topher the Tech freaks out because they’re sitting together for the third time, calling it “grouping” and instinctual survival patterns. Harry J. Lennix, who probably figured out Topher was a douche factory sometime ago, doesn’t see it as an issue. If it’s instinct, why is he so concerned? Topher the Tech is not only a douche, I get the feeling he doesn’t actually know what he’s doing or talking about most of the time.

Olivia Williams has a new client, and he has a three dollar Russian accent, despite his name being Diakos, he is looking for someone for a job.

She gets a call and we see Troika’s file on the desk, and she’s really nervous because apparently there’s always someone higher on the food chain. She says he, and I assume she means Helo, needs closure.

Dushku is wearing the almost an entire calf worth of leather. And she’s a hooker, apparently. She flirting with some guy while his two friends look on and look nervous, they’re told by Security to take up to the room.

Then she’s running down the hall “OMG! MEN ARE EVIL!!!” pounding on doors and what not. She makes it to the Security Guard, who is cartoonishly large to start with, and Dushku makes it look like Andre the Giant trying to teach the 3rd grade.

He brings her downstairs and offers her a bribe of ten grand. She knocks it off the table, disgusted because they didn’t imprint her about the current economy. The security guy leans down to get the money and puts a knee square in his forehead, knocking him out.

What I said last week about it never getting old? Yeah, it’s kind of getting old. Guess it’s all about timing.

So then she calls her people and says she’s in. Ha! Joke is on you Security Guy! You fell for it because Dushku is a tiny girl! You fool!

Then we have the ever depressing opening credits. After a full ten minutes of show.

On with the show!

Those three guys who hurt Dushku in the beginning? Turns out they were in on this clever little ruse as well and they are totally going to rob this place. It’s a little clever. Until they start trying to converse, they have conversation about how this is a “No Kill” job or something. I know it’s supposed to sound bad-ass, but it sounds stupid.

Dushku’s imprint’s name is Taffy, and she’s a firecracker apparently. They blow the vault and go inside, where rare and valuable works of art and pieces of antiquity (their distinction, not mine) are secretly stored.

I’m trying really hard to watch this episode without stopping to read something interesting, but it’s very difficult. Note to people who make TV, if you’re show makes reading seem exciting, I believe you have failed.

So they’re going to steal the Parthenon, or some part of it.

And Helo! Our favorite agent is in that post healing depression, when you’re released from the hospital but still aren’t a 100%, and everything in your normal life is hindered by your injury. He opens his latest prescription and. . . notices there’s someone in the room with him! He wheels around and aims his weapon into the shadows, mostly because that’s his best bet. It’s Troika, who is in bad shape.

Apparently Troika is on a hit list or something, and tells Helo that he just got anonymous call from someone who sound like they were from Georgia. “Russia Georgia, not Sweet Home Georgia,” because apparently Troika is on of the few people in Russia who didn’t hear the Leningrad Cowboys rendition of Sweet Home Alabama over and over and over in the late 90’s.

“Alabama,” said Helo. Troika claims America is confusing and blah blah, I’m just a silly dumb immigrant. You know every time a character is irritating or unbelievable? I’m going to blame Topher the Tech for not doing his home work.

Back at the vault the bald nerdy guy is having a field day with all the stuff, and once he finds the chunk of the Parthenon, he bolts, but not before stabbing Duskhu’s computer tech with vaguely sword like piece of iron.

He slams the door behind him and pretty much screws Dushku and her unwitting subcontractors to the wall.

Dushku calls Harry J. Lennix (Where the hell have you been dude?) and tells him baldy made off with their objet d’art and without it, she doesn’t have a happy client. There was also some conversation about how the client is Greece or something, but once again it was dull and stupid and I had to pick up a book and read for a few minutes to keep from falling asleep.

Then, a weird noise comes up over the phone and Taffy Dushku becomes Dollhouse Dushku, the tabula rasa, as Olivia Williams calls it in every “previously on Dollhouse” intro.

And cut to Topher the Tech, who is being a dick to one of his interns, insisting she go secure pizza rolls and ice cream or something. As he is explaining to his intern, who is Asian and that’s probably why he hired her, about all the stuff he would surely teach her if she were more patient (which is horseshit, Topher barely knows his job and uses big words and misdirection to obscure that fact.)

As he’s explaining that he “breaks” his intern down “and then build ya back” a monitor in the background starts bleeping with “clearly not good stuff” Alpha patterns and what not are clearly in a state of flux. Or something. Topher the Tech prevents himself from saying “I have no idea what that means,” which I’m sure was his first instinct, and instead says “Uh-oh.”

Cut back to Dushku who is in a fetal position on the floor. The show’s at 22 minutes in, and I am so god damned bored. I started trying to write this thing at 0900, it is now 1105.

Oh wait, Harry J. Lennix has just caught up with the bald double crosser. This is going to be good.

“You drop it I shoot you, then you don’t paid or breath.” Nice.

The guy tries to drop the bag hard enough to put Lennix off balance, and in addition to being an excellent shot, Lennix can apparently bench a ton as well. He shoots the dude, barely.

Back to Topher the Tech, who insists he’s not an idiot while the Head of Dollhouse Security is, probably rightly so, sure that Topher fucked up somewhere. The listen to the call, and oh noes! It was a remote wipe! Topher the Tech says “I could not have seen this coming, this is not my fault!”

I really hate Topher the Tech.

He compares getting wiped to being born in terms of trauma, and while the Dollhouse minimizes this with “throw pillows and perfectly crunchy lettuce; there’s no conflict, but out there it’s all fluorescent lights and forceps.” (What a nasty image that is!)

Cut back to the vault, one of the robbers is trying to force Dushku back into Taffy mode, which isn’t working.

Meanwhile, back at the Dollhouse, they imprint the Human Gazelle with Taffy’s personality (Fans of Richard K. Morgan know this as “double sleaving”)

Back to the vault, where some boring stuff is taking place. I know it’s supposed to fascinating to watch the wiped Dushku discuss the meaning of art with a man who is bleeding to death. Is there nothing on this Earth more boring than listening to people discussing art? It’s also a little pointless. . . like this show.

Back to Dollhouse, where Taffy the Human Gazelle is none too pleased that Parthenon job apparently went to . . . someone else. My sincerest praise for the actress who plays the Gazzelle, as she carries herself with as much panache as Dushku did when she was Taffy. I really do get the impression that it’s the same person, and that’s really to her credit.

Then Olivia Williams convinces her by being border line flirtatious in a very British-sexy sort of way.

Then back to Topher the Tech, who is losing his mind and is certain that it’s a conspiracy that hacked his system and stole the wipe signal or something. He’s sure it’s multi-pronged conspiracy, after he babbles some neurological words like they make sense in computer terms.

Naturally if it would have taken that many people to make this happen, we know it was in fact, Alpha, Dollhouse’s “most mysterious hooker.”

Topher calls Lennix and tells him what’s going on. Lennix calls Williams and asked “WTF?!” Williams tells him things might not go so well, and warns him to mentally prepare for the worst.

Lennix says fuck all that, and has his bald prisoner draw him a map. Meanwhile Taffy Gazzelle says she needs to use the phone. And inside the vault, they’re sure to come up with an escape plan soon. I sure hope it’s interesting.

Back to Topher the Tech, who blames Umio Takahashi, a hacker in Tokyo, and says that if his plan had worked Topher would no longer be “Number 1 Son,” and I suspect I can add vague cutesy racism to the list of reasons I don’t like Topher.

Back the Vault, Gazelle Taffy is talking Wiped Dushku through getting out of the vault. It fails and the alarm is triggered and security shows up. Meanwhile Lennix is on the case, and rescues Dushku and her perforated computer tech. Yay!

Back at Helo’s apartment, Troika has been waiting for hours. Helo returns and tells him, ha-ha, I’m not giving you a new identity, I just put you on every BOLO from here to New York. Ha!

Troika is scared and tells Helo as much. Helo then delivers one of the finest lines of his character in particular and the show in general. “I don’t want you die, but if you do: a lot to learn from a dead body. I know how the Russians kill. I know they’re favorite weapons, I know where to look for bruises. I know which body parts they like to chop off and what message they want a body to send . . . if your body shows up and tells a different story, well, that’ll give me information too.”

Troika is scared.

“I’m a screw up, remember? My CI shows up dead nobody’s going to blink.”

Damn that’s ruthless! I love a good guy who’s ruthless! It’s also some damned fine work on Helo’s part, except that they’ll just retire Troika’s Russian gangster personality, which I suppose could be taken as a commentary on how it’s nearly impossible for law enforcement to do their job when it comes to powerful corporations, but I’m quite tired of giving this show that much credit.

Williams stares at the chunk of the Parthenon, and says they can have the antiquities dealer as well when they deliver the piece to the people. Then Topher the Tech shows up to ask if he’s fired, (which I goddamned well would have done a while ago), and it turns out his security clearance is being upped. Apparently you can fail up in private illegal enterprise. She’s going to tell him about Alpha the Mystery Hooker and he’s going to find a way to bring him down. Good luck with that.

Dushku draws the painting she saw in the vault in the steam on the mirror. The end!


1. Every time I’ve mentioned this show in the past few days, people have always thought I was talking about the play by Henrick Ibsen. That’s probably for the best.

2. There are, or have been, at least 22 dolls by my count.

3. As I said, The Dollhouse is more or less a reprehensible enterprise, and I’m rooting for Alpha, even as he appears to enjoy sitting naked on his coffee table while planning the destruction of Olivia Williams and her business.

4. In the first season of the new Battlestar Galactica, I realized the show could be a master thesis on warfare and it’s effects on nearly every aspect of a society. Up until the middle of the fourth season, that was mostly true. I have no idea what this shows "master thesis" could possibly be, it's so all over the place.

5. The heist stuff in this show was stupid. I would imagine it was because it was very “girl” centric as most of the show is. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that a woman professional thief, professional assassins and the like aren’t actually that different from the men in their field. There might be mild variations in style and quality, but it’s comparing Delicious Red Apples to Washington Apples. End of the day they get the apple job done.

6. I’m going to start watching this show called “In Plain Sight” as it’s about an adult woman who very good at her job, which apparently involves less cute and more ass kicking.

7. I'm not entirely sure I should keep doing this, as it wasn't any fun this time around, but this episode was terrible.

1 comment:

LI said...

No please don't stop, I'm really interested in your views. Join us at http://z8.invisionfree.com/Operation_Foxtrot/index.php?act=idx
if you havn't already, to discuss episodes further, and help us in Dollplay too! We need you!