Last night saw the airing of episode 6 of Dollhouse, Joss Whedon’s new ‘action sci-fi’ show that airs on Fox. I’d first like to say that Fox’s new ‘remote-free viewing’ — the idea that you can watch a TV show without reaching for your remote control — is hardly as ‘revolutionary’ as they’d like to believe. It is, however, refreshing! It means that instead of 42 minutes, we now get 49 minutes of Eliza Dushku’s rather finely-toned tuckus:
Anyway, until yesterday’s episode, Dushku really was the only reason for people to tune in. Did I say ‘people’? I meant ‘boys’. You see, we had to wait patiently until episode 6 for the first real, Joss Whedon-written and non-introductory episode. Dushku had gone on the record a few weeks ago to say that it wouldn’t get good until this episode; luckily she was not wrong.
Episode 6 of Dollhouse was a high-octane and quick-paced action sci-fi. There was also laughter, sensitivity and character development — in fact, it had all the hallmarks of an early episode of Buffy, or Firefly, his earlier, critically acclaimed TV productions. To prove my point that it was so high-octane that you could’ve used it as jet fuel, I’ve gone a bit out of my way to show you an awesome fight scene between Echo and Paul (Eliza Dushku and Tahmoh Penikett) about three-quarters through the episode. It’s quite long for a fight sequence — over 2 minutes! — and there’s an awful lot of Dushku sexiness and ‘Helo’ wife-beating goodness. Watch it, you won’t be disappointed:
[vimeo width="500" height="300"]http://www.vimeo.com/3792845[/vimeo]
This episode also saw the development of a much larger arc; an arc where the goodies and the baddies are far less defined; I have no idea who’s wearing a white hat now! By the end of this episode, you’ll be replaying parts of all 6 episodes in your head, trying to find any missed clues; clues that might signal a turncoat or spy in our midst! I don’t want to spoil it, as no doubt much of the non-American world won’t have seen it yet, but you’ll certainly be left with a gapingly huge pit of curiousity by the end of episode 6.
Episode 6 utilised little vox pops (or ‘man on the street’ clips) either side of each commercial break to try and tell the audience a deeper, ideological and perhaps more disturbing story. What if you lived in a world where you could buy a pre-programmed wife or husband? Is that tantamount to human traficking? What if the programmed person is escaping political persecution, or was jailed? What if that’s already happening today?
It’s a tricky can of worms to prise open, but for Joss Whedon’s sake — and of course for us, the viewers — I hope he’s successful!
I guess we should be grateful that it is getting the full 12 episodes originally planned for this season! Let’s just hope that Fox, who are notoriously fickle with their programming, decide to keep Dollhouse on for another season. After episode 6, and the juicy, plotty seeds sown by Whedon, I have a feeling that there might be a lot more good stuff hiding up his sleeve.
If you made it this far, you deserve another awesome screen-cap of Eliza Dushku with a kitchen knife. Man, look at that knife. It’s so sharp. And flat. And toned…