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640 weeks ago @ HijiNKS ENSUE - A Geek... - A Crisis Of Faith · 3 replies · +2 points

I haven't watched ep 3 yet, so no comment about if it sucks or not. Anyway. Here's what I have to say about the whole Dollhouse ordeal:

What lied at the heart of Buffy was female empowerment:There is this small, stylish, pretty simple-minded little girl who gets chosen as the saviour of mankind, has to fight the feircest battles against all odds and starts to kick ass, because she can, but also because she has to. Her friends lag a little behind, but soon become quite the warriors themselves, and apart from saving the world (a lot) also get around to almost destroying it. In Firefly, River has been brainwashed by the Government, and the Government seems to be run by the Blue Sun Corporation, again, an all-powerful enemy against people who don't even know anything about their potential. I stand in awe of all the places Firefly could have been taken, the grand revolutions that could have been happening in the Verse...

This is what I can see happening (quite literally) in Dollhouse.

Echo is the metaphor for all the women in this world, playing the roles everybody else expects them to play, aka Slut in the Bedroom, Levelled Businesswoman at the Investment Broker Firm, Angel in the Nursery and French Nouvelle Cuisine Chef in the Kitchen, and that are just the rolemodels / ideals I thought of at the top of my hat that I know I should probably be able to play convincingly by the time I get to thirty. In a way she is the perfect woman, because she can do all that, without one role contradicting with another, since all the memories and personality traits required are erased as soon as she's completed the task assigned to her.

Or that is how it's supposed to work, because something has gone horribly wrong in the whole organisation (Alpha) apart from it being morally unjust, and in the usual episode, something in Echos assignment goes awry, and she has to rely on a part of her spirit, resourcefulness and strengh to resolve it all. At first you are thinking it's just the resourcefulness of the people's minds Echos personality has been stitched together of this week.

That would be true, if her programming was perfect, which it isn't. I don't mean that there are flaws in the personality, but a basic imperfection in the imprinting process itself... It isn't perfect, as it is quite nicely demonstrated in Episode 2, when Echos Handler says the key-words that are supposed to make Echo relax and trust him to the end of the world, trust him to make it right. Those are the words that are supposed to take all responsibility from her, and put them on the shoulders of her handler and Dollhouse, her masters. But she doesn't let go of that responsibility. She has an out, she has the opportunity to just give up and let go of it all, let somebody else handle it, but she doesn't take it. She assumes charge of the situation, against her "most basic programming, which lies at the base of all the other programming", goes out, and kicks the bastard's ass, not because she wants to, but because she can and because she has to.

You might argue that this was all just part of her programming, and nothing else. But I think that the point Whedon is trying to make is once again one of female empowerment. He's trying to tell a story of a little girl who has nothing but her most inner parts (Soul? Spirit? Those 21 grams that leave your body when you die? A part of your brain the imprinting and erasing can't touch? Whatever) to fall back on in a situation far more menacing and dangerous and greater than she or any of her peers can imagine. Blue Sun Corporation, anyone?

I personally am looking forward to where Dollhouse is going as a show.
But that's just me.