Mini Review: 2.08 A Love Supreme

by admin on January 28, 2010 · 1 comment

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Mini Review - 2.08 A Love Supreme

As regular readers will know, I’m attempting to catch up with the episodes of Dollhouse that I have missed, or not yet reviewed, by posting mini reviews before the series finale, bumped to Jan 29 (where I plan to post a full review, thus bringing closure to my WD journey). Below the jump I post my ‘quick and dirty’ but always honest thoughts on episode 2.08, “A Love Supreme”.

THE GOOD

  • Super Echo. OK, I’m getting interested in Echo’s evolution once more. I’m starting to buy into the idea of her importance – and not because its being dictated to me by the script, but because it’s starting to feel natural. I think the turning point came when Topher asked Echo whether ‘it was alright with her’ if he gave her an imprint, and moments later when it dawned upon him that he’s becoming “obsolete” after Echo gave herself an automatic update. Those moments were both human and supernatural (or ‘super-scientific’) and I love when those two elements collide or conflict. Good stuff.
  • The return of Alpha and Joel Minor. It’s always a pleasure to have them back – for me, they’re two of the best characters on the show (up to now) so they always add a little extra quality to proceedings. I didn’t think Joel was as good as his first appearance in season 1, but that little scene with Echo at the end was pretty neat and rounded off his arc (I presume) well enough.
  • Zombie Dolls! Looking past some contrivances, the Actives going crazy and attacking non-Actives was pretty darn cool. Could this also serve as a cautionary tale as to what could happen to humanity if Rossum ever get their way? Hmm..
  • I think this episode provided one of its purest illustrations of identity-shaping when Echo/Rebecca told Joel that his new wife isn’t supposed to replace her, but become another part of who he is. This concept of love neatly reflects how all of Echo’s past personalities “live on” within her. I think I mentioned in an earlier review that the writers seem to be painting love as this durable force and I like how they married it with the echoes of identity (no pun intended).
  • The last 20 minutes of this episode were pretty awesome. I do have a few problems with the way things played out during what I felt was a set of pretty illogical circumstances, but on a pure entertainment level, it was excellent fun.

THE BAD

  • Dollhouse security. How did Alpha sneak his way into the house? I really should be getting used to the complete lack of security by now, but it’s distracting because the Dollhouse really shouldn’t be so lax. Also, why didn’t Adelle, or someone, call for outside backup – don’t they have mobile phones? Wouldn’t Rossum be interested to know that one of their houses is under siege by a maniac doll? I think one of my biggest complaints about this show is how an occurrence becomes “fact” just because it was written, rather than offering some kind of explanation that is built into the story. There are probably better examples of this, but I think the role of ‘security’ as a story contrivance really has to be questioned. I don’t want to be spoon fed every little detail, but come on! ;)
  • I was glad for the return of Alpha, but I felt that his reveal could have been played out a bit better. I also feel that the edge has been taken off his character somewhat. His comedy routine is fine, but where’s the menace? Alpha is still a good character but he’s completely unbelievable in ‘real terms’, and that dampens his appeal somewhat.

Other Comments

  • For a former FBI agent and ex-head of Dollhouse security, Ballard isn’t very good at knowing when he’s being spied on, is he!
  • I really liked Alpha’s line about Echo’s clients only really loving the pieces of her that served them. That is a fantastic way to put it, and I just wonder how true that statement is in real terms? I also wonder how true it is for Ballard’s feelings towards Echo. I’d say very true considering he can’t bear any part of her that isn’t a damsel in distress. Am I being harsh?
  • If Alpha knows so much about what Echo has been up to over the past year or so, why didn’t he help her while she was being tortured by Rossum? Did he think it was part of her ‘growth’, or was he too busy coming up with jokes? I’d actually like to know what Rossum think of the whole Alpha thing – where does he rank on their list of things to worry about? Does Alpha know what Rossum are planning to do, and does he like it? Hopefully these aspects are explored in the remaining episodes!
  • So, RIP Ballard. Or should that be, see you whenever the script dictates that you’ll wake up! I’m very disappointed that they didn’t have the courage to kill him off – as a character, he’s done. But who knows (well, you probably do if you’re ahead of me ;)), perhaps his comatose state will give Echo an extra reason to survive?

The first 30 minutes had me worried – it was OK, but not deserving of the good things that I’ve been hearing about Dollhouse since I bailed. However, the final third of the episode delivered. It wasn’t perfect, nor what I’d call ‘great’, but it was fun, I didn’t hate Echo, and I’m interested in where the show goes from here. But please, let’s get back to the Mega Mind-wipe Weapon storyline, yes?

Best Character: Alpha (for the joke about Adelle nearly being out of paper. Such a charmer that guy.)

Episode Rating: 7/10

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Phoenix January 28, 2010 at 10:38 pm

I actually have to agree with you. I loved “A Love Supreme” and was supremely upset by what happened to Ballard (I know, I’m so alone), but…Alpha wasn’t nearly as frightening as he was last season. I do have to admit, that explosion caught me off-guard, though — I was expecting the camera to pan out. “Dollhouse” has gotten a tad darker this season, no?

Everything that Alpha did last season was methodical and carefully planned out. I suppose my theory is that after Echo refused to become his “Omega” in his last appearance, he didn’t know what to expect from her. If we’re acting on the theory that you can’t fully wipe away someone’s soul, for lack of a better term, Alpha was a burgeoning serial killer before coming to the Dollhouse, which aided in him going bonkers after his composite event. I think that seeing Echo become her own person, in complete control of all of her personalities, and falling in love with Paul sent Alpha over the edge. That’s at least what i can say/posit.

I really like how they’re tying the universe together, though; Matt (who got sploded :) ) was featured in two episodes last season, Alpha’s tech was an update from last season, etc. In any case, the last thing I loved about this episode was the end music; an artist that’s twice now been on DH named Greg Laswell did a fantastic cover of Kristen Hersh’s “Your Ghost.” At this point, I *really* want “Dollhouse” to have a soundtrack, because they’ve had some pretty OK tunes over these two seasons.

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