IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO REMAIN UNSPOILED ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS DURING EACH EPISODE, READ MY OVERALL REVIEW OF THE SHOW, WHICH WILL BE POSTED SOON
Though this is not how Joss Whedon originally wanted his show to premiere, I have to say, I like this version of the first episode a lot better because it improved a lot on its solid foundation. Bring in the bullet points:
- In “Echo” it is mentioned that the dolls volunteer for this, begging the question why would Echo choose to do this? Though it might not be better, the introduction of “Ghost” changes Echo to someone who is in trouble with no way out other than the Dollhouse, so the question is changed to: What did she do to make this the only way out?
- They removed the premature meet between Echo and Ballard. Something like this needs to build on the anticipation of the audience, which now we will have.
- Speaking of Ballard, his introduction is much stronger this time around. I mean, who doesn’t like shirtless Tahmoh? But in all seriousness, his personality is revealed in a stronger way during the intercut scenes of him fighting and being yelled at by his superiors. I can almost hear him saying: “Sure I’ll back off, just let me pummel this guy into the ground first.”
- The imprinting chair is much cooler, and we get to see the storage/transfer drives in which the imprints are held, making the idea of the human brain as a computer understandable.
- Speaking of the dolls’ brains, I know that it is creepy enough that they can change their personality, but when Topher said that he could make her nearsighted, oh yeah, and give her asthma, that took me aback.
- Echo’s handler becomes a better character in this episode. I don’t really know how to explain it, but I care a lot more for him this time around.
- Joss’s comedic style, that drives his shows, has a stronger presence this time. Take the scene where Echo is walking around in the Dollhouse before getting her treatment, going on and on about this guy she has fallen for. It just seemed so ridiculous, and so perfect.
- Alpha still gets a nod. Okay, with that ending it is a little more than a nod… A nod that is actually a head butt… And why is he feeding the information about Echo to Ballard?
- The episode ends on a cooler note with the video of the person Echo once was, saying: “I want to do everything, is that too much to ask?” Yes, yes it is.
Overall I would say that this episode was executed better; though I wish they could have kept it broader instead of moving to the episodic “imprint of the week.” But it will have to do. And I am still confused as to why Echo’s Miss Penn imprint wasn’t wiped when it was supposed to be. Did DeWitt call down? But if so, why was Boyd running to stop it? And Topher had a look in the background, almost as if he wasn’t expecting her to still be Miss Penn.
Oh, and PS. Two things I forgot to comment on before were the theme song and the memory wipe effects. What the heck is up with that theme song? I am not feeling it. It’s just too weird for me. However, the way it ends is really cool. And I am not sure if they did it the same way in the original pilot, but I really liked how they mixed the organic memories with the broken down data images.
Final Grade: A-
Quote of the Ep: DeWitt – “Nothing is what it appears to be.”