January 30th, 2010
12:27 PM ET

'Dollhouse' gives fans closure

Tahmoh Penikett and Eliza Dushku in the series finale of 'Dollhouse'
Warning: Do not read if you haven't seen the series finale of "Dollhouse."

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.

Filed under: television

soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. enter here

    I'm extremely inspired with your writing skills as well as with the format for your blog. Is this a paid subject or did you modify it your self? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it is uncommon to see a nice weblog like this one nowadays..

    April 12, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. JazGalaxy@hotmail.com

    I'm a big Joss fan and I've seen every show he's made, but he's over-rated by his fans, I think. He's talented sure, but from all the stuff I've read about Dollhouse, the show as he envisioned it was not very good. The concepts he was interested in were not engaging in the slightest. It's only when the show picked up as a thriller at the request of the network that it started being good. Great even.

    Fans need to stop giving the networks crap over the notes they give Joss that are good. For instance in Firefly Joss wanted to make Mal a grizzled ship captain and only open him up much later in the series. Yet, the network wanted him more jolly and that's everyones favorite thing about firefly!

    Give the networks a break and stop worshipping Joss so much.

    February 2, 2010 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. RichardSRussell

    One of the reasons we like Joss Whedon's stuff is that he IS willing to kill off main characters (some of them several times), so it makes the danger and suspense more believable.

    It's the reverse of what used to happen on "Bonanza" (yes, I'm that old) whenever one of the Cartwright boys (or their pa) would fall in love with some lady. You knew she was doomed by the end of the episode, because she was always a guest star, not a continuing cast member, so you could never take her seriously. And, of course, there are any number of series where the one thing you can count on, come hell or high water, is that the continuing characters will survive everything the writers can throw at them, because the actors have contracts.

    In a way, it's like that with TV series (serieses?) themselves. The blandly safe ones (someone mentioned "Big Brother 12", and there's always "Guiding Light") just go on and on, ho hum. When you tune in every week to see not only whether your favorite CHARACTERS will survive but whether the whole series itself will make it, it adds to the realism.

    As to whether Whedon should take his act over to the Syphilis Channel, the economics mitigate against it. It's pure cable, whereas Fox is both broadcast AND cable. A pure-cable show can support a couple of lead characters (as long as mainly what they do is talk) and a few standard sets. To support a cast the size of Dollhouse (or even Firefly), to say nothing of sets, gadgets, locations, special effects, and really top-notch (IE, non-formulaic) writing, you need a bigger budget than pure cable can afford. DVDs and downloads still haven't been able to make up the difference, and won't for several more years.

    Finally, a kind word for CBS. A couple of years ago, it was facing the same situation with Jericho that Fox was with Dollhouse and T:SCC — poor ratings for Season 1. They cancelled the show. After an outpouring of anguish, they brot it back, but they were upfront with the warning: "We know you love it, but there aren't enuf of you. Don't just watch Season 2 alone; bring friends." Halfway thru S2, it was apparent that they still didn't have enuf eyeballs, so they reissued the burn notice, but with PLENTY OF ADVANCE WARNING, so the writers could wrap up the story lines (albeit somewhat briskly) and bring the series to a satisfying conclusion, not merely an ending. Class act, CBS. Good example for some OTHER network (which shall go nameless here, but at least this time they showed the episodes in the right order, so maybe they're learning).

    February 2, 2010 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Andreas

    I'll chime in with many and say that the show was mixed. Many of the stand-alones were pretty dull. When the ramifications of the technology were properly explored, the show was stellar. Downloadable personalities are an ancient SciFi trope (see later Peter F. Hamilton and early John Varley for two examples) but Mr. Whedon took it in some innovative and unexpected directions. I loved how I never had to yell "but you're missing the obvious implication" at the screen like I often do with other shows.

    Fox was meddling from the start and the show became dumbed down because of it. Pity, but I didn't expect better.

    "never watched it after the chose it over T:SCC."

    A common misconception. The decisions were separate. Dollhouse was not chosen "over" T:SCC.

    "I really disliked the whole concept of women not being in control of their minds and bodies"

    As opposed to the rest of us who were really comfortable with it? It was supposed to make you squirm, and that's one of the reasons it worked so well.

    "I've been watching Dollhouse since the beginning and this article is the first time I've even heard about an unaired episode Epitaph One. Somebody failed in the marketing department because had I known I would have watched it before the series finale!"

    Agreed that they dropped the ball on that one. Not Whedon's fault. Blame the network. I don't think the series would have been anywhere near as strong without Epitaphs one and two. The looming future was scary right from the start of season two.

    February 2, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. methuselah

    I can't help but feel that I just saw 2 seasons compressed into a single episode. I would have loved to see how the Dollhouse's Whedonverse evolved to the resolution of this final show. So many missed chances for engaging TV. Oh well!

    February 2, 2010 at 4:04 am | Report abuse |
  6. John

    Yea, when the ratings are high on shows that people like, they think it's a great system. When the ratings tank on a show people love, they think people didn't give it a fair chance. Joss assumed he had a certain amount of time to spin this tale. That is the only explanation.

    We know he wants time to add detail for a slow build. That always provides the most rewarding finish. There are ways to do that without risking the farm by allowing the characters to waste away from one week to the next without sufficient character development. He simply did not tell the story well enough to keep his fans engaged in the meantime.

    Hopefully, this lesson will improve his next outing.

    February 1, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. KAT

    Also, people always say they didn't like the concept that women didn't have control of what was being done to them. Well neither did the guys! And the whole point of the show was to bring down the organization because it was wrong what they were doing! Maybe people should pay attention for once.

    February 1, 2010 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  8. KAT

    Joss always knows his storylines. He knows where he wants them to go. Everyone says the show got better after it was cancelled because he knew he had a deadline. But I would bet that this is what we would've seen (or something very similar) if the show had been allowed to run it's natural course. I'm guessing that would have been 5 seasons since that's how long Caroline was to have been in the dollhouse.
    Joss just likes to give a lot of detail in his background and storytelling. That's why it might feel to some that the beginnings are really slow.
    I did love this show and especially the last few episodes. And I can't wait for the next Joss project.

    February 1, 2010 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  9. Steven

    His shows do require a little more attention, but the main thing that killed Firefly is the execs. They didn't like the pilot, so they made Joss screw around with "The Train Job" and make that into a pilot, which is wasn't made to be, so nobody was introduced. Then, they aired episodes out of order, so the arc didn't make any sense. When you watch it properly on DVD, it makes such sense, you wonder how they could have cancelled it? But they screwed up the airing, therefore the ratings stunk. But it was a Friday night, too. What did they expect?

    February 1, 2010 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  10. MJ

    SInce they never aired Epitaph One I thought it unfair that they showed clips from it in the beginning. It made me feel lost from the get-go

    February 1, 2010 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  11. Debra R

    The fuddy duddy regular networks didn't deserve this gem. Quit casting your pearls before swine...take them directly to SchFY

    February 1, 2010 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  12. The Truth

    It would have been a good SCIFI channel show but not on a network. Like the article said the show didn't become exciting to watch until after it was canceled. If it was not canceled Whedon would not have kicked the show into high gear to wrap it up and we would still be watching Echo in the character of week snooze fest.

    The last couple of months the show was good because they were forced to wrap everything up in limited time scale. If they did this from the begining the show would already have been picked up for next year. My big question is how could Whedon do such a good job wrapping this show up in a hurry, but turned a strong start in Buffy's finale season to crap when they decided it would be the last?

    February 1, 2010 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  13. Talia

    'Firefly' was terrific, but 'Dollhouse' was a steaming pile of crap. It should have died before it ever got to production.

    February 1, 2010 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  14. Katt

    I loved Buffy and Angel. I never could get into Firefly. I tried to watch Dollhouse and found it dreadful and Eliza's acting painful to watch. Someone mentioned The Closer. Now that is a brilliant show that I think would've done well on any network. House is the show that drives me crazy. It used to be brilliant and now it's unwatchable.

    Joss chose ED because he'd never use SMG again after their royal battles about Buffy. Sadly, Sarah was right about the direction Buffy was going, yet Joss didn't care because he was so wrapped up in Firefly, but SMG is the actress who could've pulled off Echo character.

    February 1, 2010 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jimmy

    I liked it, especially the second season. But after it was all over, it just did not seem like a Joss series. I mean, no one in the entire series got staked through the heart. In all of his other series someone got staked through the heart. Buffy & Angel are obvious and in Serenity, Wash got staked. It was a stake the size of a telephone pole, but he still got staked through the heart.

    February 1, 2010 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  16. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I would have liked a little more explanation as to how the world got from what we know it to a wasteland in 10 years. It would be hard to imagine that the technology got that spread out and changed so much given the expense of it all.

    February 1, 2010 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  17. Alli

    His shows, IMHO, are simply too heady for the general American population. That's pretty much why Firefly was axed. It just did not garner the ratings. It's a tragedy, really. It was one of the most promising series I have ever seen. I have often wished it would have continued as long as Babylon 5 did.

    February 1, 2010 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  18. John

    I think that a lot of people are commenting on what Mr. Whedon should do without any understanding of the TV business. You don't just take your show to the network of your choice and dictate to them how and when they will air it. Audiences gravitate toward some shows and not others even from the same creators. If he had THAT much power I'm sure Buffy and Angel would still be swinging knees and elbows today.

    I think the show started from a good concept but the execution left much to be desired, particularly in the first season. He used an incredibly slow story arc as if he assumed the show would last 5 or 6 seasons. Things picked up in the second season because he felt the heat of of network exec eyes as they watched the ratings charts. At the end of the day, that is all that matters in the TV biz no matter what your name is.

    I think that if he had developed the story as quickly in the first season as he did in the second, the result may have been different.

    February 1, 2010 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  19. Derek St John

    "Dollhouse" was flawed from the beginning, because the creators had no real sense of where the characters, or the story, were going. The storyline stole ideas from everything from "Frankenstein" to "Star Trek" to "Terminator" to John Frankenheimer's "Seconds." That's why the show had such a hard time finding a larger, loyal audience.

    The Whedon loyalists are willing to accept anything he does–and refuse to "push" him to go beyond the (sometimes excellent) small "bits" that he populates his shows with; mostly in the form of oddball characters. And so he fails to grow, creatively–and suffers from having his series constantly canceled.

    "Dollhouse" had a fine cast–led by Eliza Dushku, who stepped-up quite a few notches in the acting department, over the two year run on Fox. The guest stars, though mostly wasted on "bits" that never really mattered (think Summer Glau doing another variation on her sexy-oddball Whedon-characters) provided some entertainment. But the lack of strong "themes" beyond "science is bad" doomed their efforts.

    The finale of this show was satisfying only in that Whedon did not add further insult to injury by leaving major cliffhangers unresolved.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:59 am | Report abuse |
  20. Shane McGuire


    This will be my second entry here in this area.

    Can you see the folks telling you to take the ideas you have to the Sci-Fi Channel??

    C'mon, you have a great bunch of stories in that brain of yours. Personally the way Serenity ended, it deserves another film with that crew. I don't know how in the world you are going to replace Washburn, or Book, but I have a feeling that it can be done with a little creative thinking.

    Personally, I think another run-in with Niska might be entertaining. But after Oct 2009's episode of Castle with Nathan showing up in his Captain Reynolds outfit, it was a good reminder of just what a talented crew you indeed had.

    I even think you could get your "Doll" Eliza Dushku to pull down a part in a Serenity II film. Though I have to admit Dollhouse reminded me of Dark Angel with Jessica Alba.

    Joss, you gotta quit teasing your fans with really good stuff only to have it end too soon. Take your talents to the big screen ot Sci-Fi like folks are saying. You'll make good on your talents!

    February 1, 2010 at 4:04 am | Report abuse |
  21. Anthony

    A few people here and on an EW blog have opined that Josh should go to SciFi (SyFy, whatever) for future series. May I remind them that said network screwed Farscape out of a well-deserved further season or three, and that series got even more love than Firefly, I believe.

    Maybe there's no commercial sanctuary for inventive or provocative SF!

    February 1, 2010 at 3:36 am | Report abuse |
  22. Cathy C

    I totally agree that Mr. Whedon should quit taking his shows to the big networks. The cable networks allow their shows to gain followings and support them. Hey, not only is the SciFi and TNT, but there is also A & E and FX. Look at shows like Damages, The Closer. Those shows would have never lasted on regular network. Heck, even Army Wives from Lifetime. Smarten up Mr. Whedon.

    February 1, 2010 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  23. Anna L.

    I will miss Dollhouse, based only the second season (the first season was forgettable). Great storylines for Echo and Paul, Tony and Pria, and Topher. This ending made me cry (reminded me of Wesley and Fred's goodbye in "Angel") – I wish Echo and Paul had more time.

    February 1, 2010 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  24. Jessica

    Yes, Dollhouse wasn't perfect, but I really grew to love some of the characters (and will definitely be following along to see whatever Dichen Lachman, Enver Gjokaj, Fran Kranz, etc do next.) It was a very different type of sci-fi, which explains why so few people stuck with it long enough to see all of the potential. I'm very glad Fox did agree to air all of the S2 episodes, and that they knew it would be cancelled before writing the final scripts. The finale was a bit rushed, but I loved it nonetheless, and I have to say that, even though Paul's death was so sudden, I was very glad Priya and Tony got to have their happy ending. For as much as I love to watch Tahmoh Penikett, Enver and Dichen did a much better job of portraying a believable love story. I'm really going to miss Dollhouse!

    February 1, 2010 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
  25. Alichat

    I love Joss, but I had a few issues with the episode. Granted it wasn't entirely Joss' fault. Since the show was canceled, I understand that he had to cram years worth of story into a few episodes. But, I felt the episode was rushed. It needed to be two hours. And if Fox cared about the viewers...I know...insert laughter here.....they would have aired Epitaph One before Epitaph Two so those who had not seen it wouldn't be so confused. I also wasn't as invested in the Paul/Echo relationship for his death to be as poignant as it was intended to be. I gasped when he was shot because I liked Paul, but frankly I was more upset with Wash's death in Serenity (hell, that scene still bothers me) than I was with Paul's death in Dollhouse. And I'd had fewer episodes to build an affection for Wash in Firefly. I had an issue with the resolution to Paul's death. I just don't know how I feel about him floating around in Echo's brain. And I have a big issue with Alpha's resolution. I mean, let's face it, his true personality was a psychopathic murderer with a penchant for slashing people's faces. Why would he want to wander out above ground and get wiped back to that original personality? Why not just stay below with Echo and crew, staying as an imprint? Especially since he's apparently spent the last ten years controlling the crazy imprints in his mind and becoming a good guy? Honestly I thought it would end with Alpha wiping out all the imprints in him except Ballard, and him becoming Ballard for Echo. Cheesy? Yes. But no more than the ending with Ballard residing in Echo's brain from now on.

    I wasn't as bothered with Topher's crazy-man-antics as others were. I understood his death, but still felt that if we can create a machine that can somehow reset everyone back to what they were, while having no access to the mainframe housing their original personalities, then we could have created a stinking remote for it. I'm just sayin'. I would have liked some resolution to Dominic and the others just floating around in The Attic. The renaming of Phoenix to Necropolis was too Superman-ish for my taste, and Victor's crew and their entrance could have been less Mad-Max-Beyond-Thunderdome.

    Otherwise, I liked the episode. It was still better than most of the stuff on TV now, but it wasn't Joss' best.

    January 31, 2010 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
  26. badcyclist

    I hope that Joss Whedon will write an autobiography someday, so we can figure out why he thinks Eliza Dusku is someone to build a series around. She was terrible in Buffy and she was even worse in Dollhouse. What kind of hold does she have over him??? It sure isn't her acting talent.

    January 31, 2010 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Mike

    Actually one "Doll" still lives on and is still shown weekly on network television...CHUCK. Chuck (sometimes) manages to download the skills he needs when he needs them. It is likely Chuck's father got his hands on the source code of an early active architecture prototype and improved it so much that he created the intercept project. Chuck was really smart–he escaped to NBC.

    January 31, 2010 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Steve

    I've been watching Dollhouse since the beginning and this article is the first time I've even heard about an unaired episode Epitaph One. Somebody failed in the marketing department because had I known I would have watched it before the series finale! Imagine this series if it was on either HBO or Showtime...

    January 31, 2010 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Sarah

    I wish, like so many people do, that the series had more time. I wanted to be more invested in Echo/Paul's relationship, to legitimately CARE about them being together. I wanted to see Alpha's transition. I wanted to see Topher slipping out of sanity. That being said, the ultimate point of the series worked and was executed beautifully.

    I thought it was poignant that Echo had become disenchanted and no longer had fantasies, and while she was the savior of the world, she was always fundamentally alone. That's why giving her Paul in the end was such a great moment. (does anyone else wish DESPERATELY that Wesley had a Fred copy to live in his head???) Never mind. Many of you might only know them as Echo and Senator Perrin.

    January 31, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  30. don

    This is other than the last 6 episodes the show was slow as hell.
    It was almost unbearable and i didn't care about any of the characters.
    Finally after it gets cancelled they made the show what it should have been all along.

    January 31, 2010 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  31. baby boomer

    This is the only show I recorded on the DVR to be sure and watch. Speaks for itself

    January 31, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  32. chris

    And you missed out on one of the strongest female characters Joss has produced because you quit watching.

    January 31, 2010 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  33. chris

    Eden, that was why the people on the show were not good guys. It was unconventional story telling; main characters were devious little monsters.

    January 31, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Tom

    Hey!!! How about a spoiler alert! I didn't realize that last 3 episodes were available! Great show. Too bad it was on FOX.

    January 31, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Christopher

    Karl, you obviously didn't watch the show past the first couple of season 1 episodes.

    January 31, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Eden

    I really disliked the whole concept of women not being in control of their minds and bodies, and gave up on Dollhouse after a few episodes. Joss, you can do better.

    January 31, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Marnie

    Loved Buffy, loved Angel, love Firefly. Hated Dollhouse.

    January 31, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Hokey

    I love Joss, and this is just another example of his outstanding brain in action.

    The reason his shows keep getting cancelled is that he does not appeal to the lowest-common-denominator... and in the immortal words of someone-or-other:

    "The problem with sci-fi is that is is expensive to make, but always looks cheap"

    His shows just cost too much to make compared to the advertising revenue they can generate. Not his fault, just the way it is.

    January 31, 2010 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Brendan

    Dollhouse was a really good show that was never supported properly. No good lead and no strong backup....

    The finale was a satisfying end to the tale, but there were so many stories that we never really got to hear. Can't wait for the 2nd season on DVD and hope that Joss et al have lots of commentary...

    and that his next series is given a real chance on a network that isn't more interested in American Idol than on character driven shows.

    January 31, 2010 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Henry in WV

    Too bad it's off the air.It was definitely one of my favorite shows.CSI:Whatever was getting tired as was Law and Order.
    But like Fringe and Lie To Me it was one possibility to where our tech
    is leading us anyways. They had several more seasons in the idea before it became lame.Maybe there will be a Dollhouse movie.I'd see that for sure.

    January 31, 2010 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  41. TC


    January 31, 2010 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  42. bridgemo

    Alpha had Paul's brain downloaded in him and that enabled him to be good.

    They did good at tying up loose ends except for what happened to the folks in the Attic so we don't know what happened to Dominic.

    Yes, it did start out weak but I think that was due to Fox's influence. Next time he gets a contract he needs to get the freedom to do what he needs not what they want him to do

    January 31, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Sarah Connor

    This bogus show replaced one of the top shows on TV. Perhaps it was too costly to produce, but in my opinion, the network didn't have the gots to stick with it. It moved to Friday night at some point which is the kiss of death for any show with a younger audience. Still bitter here for sure.

    January 31, 2010 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Karl

    I have liked Eliza Dushku every since she showed up on Buffy and I look forward to seeing alot of her in the future. If Dollhouse had been what the last few shows were from the beginning we probably would have seen more seasons. Unfortunately Dollhouse, or what many people have affectionately called "Whorehouse" was nothing more than a show about beautiful women being programmed to have sex with super rich clients. Eliza being a producer on the show could have changed this Idiotic scenario but chose not to.
    Oh Well, Lessons Learned.

    January 31, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  45. lmashell

    I actually saw a comment on another blog by someone who only watched a few season one eps, then tuned in for the finale and was upset they couldn't figure out what was going on!

    The 'bad' eps of Dollhouse were definitely the stand-alone eps, while all the eps around the underlying story were fantastic. I loved the ending, and when I get season 2 DVD's I plan to watch the whole thing over in a marathon viewing session. Popcorn and Dollhouse at my place! Come on over!

    January 31, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Kenny

    I watched the very first episode and that was it for me.

    January 31, 2010 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Jjurado

    I have never forgiven Joss for killing off Wash and Book in Serenity and he has added the deaths of Paul and Topher to my list of grievances. I can't fault the logic and the storytelling and all of those deaths were brilliant, gut wrenching moments from a purely story perspective... but still... Ouch.

    Only the loading of Paul's imprint into Alpha's matrix a few episodes back allowed me to "buy" Alpha as a good guy. As a fan of the show, I can believe that only Paul's inherent nobility could rein in Alpha's psychotic instincts.

    I am very sad to see the show go. As a fan of many of Joss Whedon's ventures, I could see the potential from the beginning, but also could see why so many are saying the show only his its stride during season 2.

    I will be waiting patiently for Joss Whedon's next adventures and hoping that this time he will be allowed to take his tale through its entire arc without having to force it to maturity with the threat of cancellation hanging over its head.

    January 31, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  48. David

    I wish Syfy or USA Network or TNT had picked it up.

    I mean, it had the same ratings as Damages, Battlestar Galactica, certainly Mad Men. It wasn't that expensive to produce, right?

    January 31, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Johann

    Good episode, enjoyed the series.

    Reaction of three of watching the show together when Paul got shot: "WASH!"


    January 31, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  50. E

    Since Epitaph One never aired on TV, I was completely confused for much of the finale. I love Joss, but this show was a huge disappointment after the amount of years he spent developing it.

    Dr. Horrible was far better. Maybe Joss should stick to self produced movies.

    January 31, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Logan

    The reason Dollhouse picked up and go thrilling after cancellation is because Fox gave up pushing for the "stand alone" episodes they considered "more accessible to casual viewers". The problem, in my opinion, largely lies with Fox not being able to have their cake and eat it too. If they want instant ratings and casual viewers, they need to stick with reality shows and sitcoms. But if they want edgy, meaty shows that gather a following and achieve cult status, they need to be a little more patient and give those shows time to build a following and stop expecting them to follow a formula. Joss Whedon isn' t the only great showrunner to suffer from Fox's short-sightedness. Poor Tim Minear. Anyone remember Drive or The Inside?

    January 31, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  52. TC

    Yet another Whedon show that I promise myself I won't get addicted to and end up LOVING. Ever since "Dollhouse" started I held my breath waiting for FOX to screw me by canceling it. I really wish Whedon would do his next series with the SciFi channel, maybe they would let him fully develop his storyline.

    Whedon's shows are always slow starters. "Dollhouse" came up to speed earlier than some and the last season was classic Whedon; smart writing, exceptional supporting characters, semi-obscure pop culture references, twists you never see coming, a bizarre fascination with nubile female characters who can kick ass...LOVE IT!

    Just as with "Firefly", I will miss what "Dollhouse" could have been. It is insane that this gets canceled after two seasons and any of those brainless banal reality shows runs for half a decade or more [Big Brother 12 anyone?]. No wonder all the adventurous programming has moved to the cable networks (Are you listening Mr Whedon? Move to cable for the next one. Maybe they will support quality programming.)

    January 31, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Andulamb

    I really hope that DVD sales will benefit from Fox allowing the series to have an ending, and that this practice will become the norm for canceled series.

    January 31, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Andrew

    Yeah, the show definitely picked up after it got cancelled. I didn't watch regularly but I would watch every now and then since my wife was a fan. I knew this show wasn't going to last from the beginning but at least it finished strong. I think the final episode would have been better if they were able to make it two hours.

    January 31, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  55. James A.

    I'm actually starting to think Joss should focus more on the mini-series (or maxi-series) type shows, rather than ongoings. His stuff is incredibly thrilling when he's got a set amount of time to tell a story in and can plan accordingly. When there's no specific end to work towards, he falls into the pattern of using weaker filler episodes which detract from the core story... although there are certainly a number of filler episodes from each of his series that are stand-alone classics in their own right.

    Dr. Horrible's a great example of what he can do when he has limitations. He was working with his own money and a bunch of volunteers, and it's arguably one of the most moving things he's ever created. On the flip side you've got a show like Dollhouse where he had plenty of money (at least initially) and it didn't really find its stride until it no longer had free rein, in time or in money.

    I'd love to see him do a 2 or 3 season series that was plotted out from the get-go. Something where he knew exactly what story he was telling and how he was going to tell it before production began. I think then we would really see the best work he could produce.

    January 31, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Joe

    One of the better Whedon endings at least you don't have to buy two years of comic books to see how it ends then have it restart when the sales go through the roof. I thought the giant twist with Boyd had nothing on Lost. It needed another hour to clear up what happened between the end of the last episode to Epitaph One. I didn't buy Alpha as a good guy either. It got a choice to have an ending which for most shows out there never even get close to.

    January 31, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  57. JD

    never watched it after the chose it over T:SCC. Come to think of it I have not watched a FOX prime-time show since. Not buying the "kudos for Fox" for letting it play out. Short sighted folks they are. Hope those of you that bought in enjoyed it. You got more than any of us that liked T:SCC ever got from those folks.

    January 31, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Joe

    Thats so true. After canelation it picked up and the story was great and intense. Great ending. Too bad stations cancel great programs Firefly for one.

    January 31, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Chris

    This was an ending that I thought was brilliant. Dark, engaging but tinged with hope. Joss shoed again why he is a master at this game, even if not enough people tend to watch his shows.

    January 31, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Heatheranne

    I am glad that Dollhouse was allowed by Fox to finish out the storyline. So many networks cancel shows without giving fans closure.

    I also feel now that Dollhouse was meant to be only a two season show. It is perfect that way it is and in true Joss style he satisfied me and broke my heart at the same time. Joss' style is very niche and I love that. His style reminds me of more British TV writing where shows are only meant to last a short while rather than 6 or more seasons. Sometimes it dilutes the story when that happens. Yes, I would have love to spent more time with the characters but the storyline and timeline is and are perfect.

    I cannot wait for my next adventure with Joss.

    January 31, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Shane McGuire

    Joss Whedon has never really been given a good chance to get his shows off the ground.

    I have really liked his material and ideas. Those darn Networks don't really give him a chance to shine.

    My point?


    Its sort of like they don't really get it! What is Joss going to have to do with Dollhouse? Have Universal Pictures make another movie out of a TV Series? Did they not get it the first time?

    Aparently not! It's Ok, I think these cast members will get to make real money in their Movie.

    Hey what can I say, Serenity was great and I am sure that all of the actors, including Nathan Fillion, Alan Tyduk, Summer Glau, and Jewel Statie enjoyed the big bucks from the film. Heck I know I would have!

    So to Joss and his crews. I have the best idea ever. Why don't you take your programs over to the Sci-Fi Channel, like the folks did with Stargate and Battlestar Galactica and make your Multi-Season Miniseries films and shows there. I'll just bet they would love to have you!

    Keep up the good work Joss! I think the crews from any of the show you have done would be happy to step back in line for your work. I know if you asked me, I'd be happy to fill a part in a heartbeat, no matter the type!

    January 31, 2010 at 4:39 am | Report abuse |

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