Dollhouse and the plot arc

I had a revealing conversation on Twitter yesterday about about Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse with someone who, unlike me, hasn’t fallen in love with the series.

I posted a link to Brian’s commentary on Joss’ answers about Dollhouse, and Shaun responded:

shaundukeYeah, I don't think that interview is helping me like Dollhouse...*sigh* [link]
C. E. DorsettWhat is it you don't like about Dollhouse? [link]
shaundukeI honestly don't care about Echo. Her plotline is completely uninteresting because she's not someone I can identify with. [link]
shaundukeShe's a different person every day and the plotlines I find interesting are underplayed. [link]
shaundukeThe Echo plot was cute for the first two episodes, but now it's just annoying. I want the cop and Alpha. She's dispensable tome [link]
C. E. DorsettI think Joss is building to something, and it may be the show you want to see by season 2 (fingers crossed) [link]
shaundukeI don't think it will make it to season 2. It's not interesting now and folks aren't going to tune in later. [link]
shaundukeHe's just not giving the viewers what they want and the ratings show that. [link]
C. E. DorsettRatings for Dollhouse are up 7%, I don't know if that is enough, but personally, I hope it gets a season 2, most shows benefit [link]
shaundukeI just know I won't be watching past ep. 4. There just isn't anything in it for me. [link]

Caring about Echo

I have heard this from a few people, and I have to say, I just don’t see it.

Yes, Echo is imprinted to be a different person every week when she is sent out as an active, but the character of Echo is explored and exposed in ever episodes in different ways:

  • In her doll state, we see Echo evolving and changing as she retains not only fragments of her imprints but also instinctual reactions she is developing as an active.

  • In her active state, we see Echo as she is evolving beyond the imprint she is given.

I connected with Echo when we first met her as Caroline.  I identified with her troubled past and desire for a fresh start.  After she was wiped and made into a doll, I found that I, like Boyd (her handler), felt protective of her.  I want her to be safe, and more than that, free.

Every week, I see the changes in the doll, and I cannot help but wonder where it is all going.

Ballard and Alpha

Episode 5, True Believer, brought the story of Ballard and Alpha to the surface for the first time.

Alpha sends Ballard a DVD of the home video of Caroline (Echo), he stole from either her friends or family after he murdered them.  Detective Ballard now has a name to go with the picture Alpha sent him earlier, and more information about Caroline’s life.

He looks for Caroline in every database he can, even begging a friend to look her up in databases he doesn’t have security clearance for.

After seeing Echo on TV when she is accidentally filmed on a mission, he rushed to the location.  He is now in a place where he can talk to people who have had contact with her.  He now knows she is real, alive, and in trouble (I don’t want to give a spoiler to the episode, watch it here).

The Ratings for the Show

The ratings for the show are a matter of public record (here):





1 "Ghost" 2.8 5 1.7/6 2.0/6 4.72
2 "The Target" 2.7 5 TBA 1.7/5 4.22
3 "Stage Fright" 2.7 TBA 1.6/5 4.13
4 "Gray Hour" 2.3 TBA 1.5/5 3.55
5 "True Believer" 2.6 4 TBA 1.6/5 4.42

Or if you prefer charts:


I am the first to admit that ratings have not been great, but they are not in the free fall many of the shows detractors have tried to make them out to be.

The Best is still to come

If you have already decided to give up on the series, I know there is probably nothing I can do to convince you to give Dollhouse a second chance, but I think if the show is allowed to continue, you will find yourself coming back in season 2 or 3 to find out what the buzz is all about.

Remember. Firefly is popular now, but when it actually aired, I used to get into knockdown drag out arguments with people who hated it them, but love it now.

Dollhouse will be remembered as another classic by Joss Whedon, it just may take time.

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