Written by Pirata Hermosa
With a show created by Joss Whedon and starring Eliza Dushku as the main character, how could it not be a hit? As Whedon found and comes to admit during the special features section, it takes more than a pretty actress and an overreaching creator to guarantee success.
This is the second television series in a row of his that has failed to take off and be embraced by his fans. There are several issues that make it difficult for audiences to accept, and Joss himself admits that maybe this idea wasn’t a good fit for network television. The subject matter is a little difficult to digest as the “dolls”, as they are called because their memories and personalities have been erased, are reprogrammed most of the times as prostitutes. Echo (Dushku), who is the main character, has no real personality, and what she does have changes from week to week as she is changed into another person. This leaves no real identifiable character for the viewer to bond with. The other characters on the show that have personalities are slimy, morally ambiguous, and are essentially the bad guys.
Season two starts off the same way as the first season and tends to drag along for the first six or seven episodes. But with the knowledge that they barely managed to survive cancellation during season one and were not expecting a renewal after season two, the pace picks up dramatically. At this point Echo becomes self-aware and does not feel the effects of the memory wipes after each of her adventures. Instead, every new personality is remaining in her mind mixing and melding with the others, which ultimately creates her own original personality and allows her to access various skills at will.
Finally everyone can see where the show is heading and have a character that they can relate to. But the problem is that it’s already halfway through the second season and way too late to save something floundering that badly in the ratings.
Once Echo is her own person, she begins to fight back against the dollhouse with the help of Paul (Tamoh Penikett), the former FBI agent who has become obsessed with saving her. But not only do they rebel against the dollhouse, but they manage to convince those running it to join their side and fight the greater evil of the Rossum Corporation who runs all of the world’s dollhouses.
The audience gets to see what happens when a doll is sent to the attic, Victor (Enver Gjokaj) and Sierra (DichenLachman) have their original personalities returned, a rival dollhouse is infiltrated, a traitor is exposed and the Rossum Corporation is brought down. The last half of season two is definitely worthy of being a part of the Whedonverse, all questions are answered and all loose ends are tied up.