January 30th, 2010
12:27 PM ET
When "Dollhouse" started last year, it seemed fairly sub-par for a series by the ingenious Joss Whedon. Every episode would consist of Echo, one of many "actives," having a different personality uploaded into her brain, usually one fraught with potential danger. But then the straight-to-DVD season finale "Epitaph One," which followed the concept to its logical conclusion, showed the series' full potential. Now, thanks in large part to DVRs and online streaming, the show got a full second season, wrapping up Friday night with "Epitaph Two: Return."
For me, the show really started picking up after it was already canceled. It was extraordinary to see the almost-soulless Topher become someone to root for, the ruthless Adelle becoming a kind mother figure, and Victor aka Tony going from a "dumb show" to one of the most exciting characters to watch. All that said, I don't know if I quite bought Alpha so quickly as "one of the good guys" (but hey, it was several years later). Clearly a lot of the credit for this goes to the top-notch cast - chief among them, young Adair Tishler, who chillingly portrayed an active with a psychopath in her head in "Epitaph One," and had Caroline aka the real Echo's personality here.
What started out as a bit of a departure for Whedon over the last few weeks started to be classic Joss, supporting characters so strong they almost outshined the lead, plot twists (and twists upon twists) galore, and sudden deaths of characters (at least one per episode, plus a couple we saw coming, for the last three weeks). How bittersweet to see Paul gunned down, and Topher, who would go on to die saving the people whose minds he had wiped, touching a monitor with the image of his beloved Bennett.
Despite this turning out to be one of the darker series he had ever done (though "Angel" might still have it beat), Whedon gave most of the characters quite a happy ending, including Echo, the only active remaining, with Paul keeping her company inside her head for a lifetime.
What did you think? Did "Dollhouse's" end live up to the promise of "Epitaph One," and the past few weeks? Sound off on video, or in the comments below.
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