Another week, another episode of Dollhouse, another engagement gone wrong. Is anyone else seeing a pattern here yet? I understand the urge to start the series with a few stand alone stories to allow the viewer to get acquainted with the Dollhouse universe, but it doesn’t take that long to do that. I don’t know about you, but I figured out how this set-up worked after the first episode. Now we’re five episodes in and this routine is getting a little old. The stories are a little interesting, but I want a full arc here to satisfy my appetite for serialized Television. Getting these little tidbits of information about Alpha or whatever the hell Agent Ballard is not accomplishing this week is just not enough. Let’s talk about this week’s episode though.

Did anyone else feel that this storyline felt a little too familiar? The whole infiltrating a cult thing for the government felt like something I’ve seen before. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it definitely seemed a little familiar. I really wasn’t impressed with this episode and I feel like it’s just because I’m getting tired of the Dollhouse formula of each episode. Echo gets sent on a mission. Everything looks good. Something goes wrong. She kicks ass even though she’s not supposed to with her current imprint. The second-in-command at the Dollhouse does something dickish while Topher freaks out and says funny things. Everything works out and Langton brings Echo back alive even though everyone else had basically written her off. Oh, and she sort of remembers something. Give me more, Whedon! You’re better than this!

Anyway, aside from Echo’s blind eye camera thing (which I felt was pushing the believability factor a little bit. It’s one thing to go in to the mind-wiping thing, but in addition to that I have to believe you can put eye cameras into someone’s face? Sure), we had some…changes with Victor, another Active. It seems he’s getting a little…excited at the sight of newcomer Sierra. He’s showing this with some pants tightening. Panic strikes and some awkward scenes with Topher and Dr. Saunders result. How can this happen? No one knows! It’s not supposed to happen! This seems to be a theme with a lot of the episodes of Dollhouse. These people should just face it. Shit happens. Learn how to deal.

Even though this episode (and the previous one) weren’t really doing it for me, I still have a little bit of faith left in me for the show. The next episode promises the long hyped meeting between Echo and Ballard. This will either rock or suck hard. I say that because it has the potential to be some really interesting stuff with some character breakthroughs for all involved. However it can also devolve into the crap we’ve seen in the previous episodes where someone says something about Echo being a doll and her getting confused. Do you get it? Because she doesn’t know! I’m hoping that the next episode turns it around a bit though. As I mentioned above, I understand the need to set up the ground rules of the show, but you can only do that for so long. The probation period is over. Let’s get this going. Don’t tell me that things pick up after the sixth episode either. That’s just lazy. If the show (or book or series or whatever) is good, you should be able to tell it from the beginning without any crappy or mediocre episodes. Don’t tell me to just trust you and go with it because it’ll get better. I hate that shit. See Grant Morrison’s Final Crisis for more information. I still trust Joss Whedon though, so I’ll hold on for a bit longer.

What about you? Are you tired of the stand alone episodes yet? Do you want more story? Do you actually give a shit about Agent Ballard?

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