Wednesday, February 03, 2010

My Review of Dollhouse's 2x08: "A Love Supreme

Written by Jenny DeArmitt
Directed by David Straiton

Echo (to Alpha, re Paul): “He’s ten times the man you are and you’re like forty guys.”

At some eventual point this season, Alpha was going to have to rear his ugly head again and after the recent spate of events, I suppose now was as good as any to bring him back. Even the opening scene set up his reasons this time around.

One of Alpha’s minus points (apart from those sociopathic tendencies of his) was his obsession with Echo. He went as far as to try and get her to kill Caroline off forever and imprinted with 38 different personalities, so what he does this time around was hardly something that could dubbed as a shock to the system.

The poor unfortunate former client of Echo’s set up a template. Anyone who was stupid enough to actually be in love with Echo was a target for Alpha and let’s just say that Echo really did become the number with the amount of bodies that Alpha was going through in this episode.

His happiness at dismembering was in character for the guy and he certainly got inventive when he got his claws on Matt. Matt liked being tied up during his engagements with Echo. Alpha used that against him when he decided to blow the rich kid as well. Though that scene was a lot less gory that you’d imagine it would be.

After getting through nearly all of Echo’s lovers, the only other person left on the list had to be Joel Minor. It might have helped that he guest starred in the most memorable episode from the first season but what also helped was the series of surprises we got with the Dollhouse’s methods of trying to protect Joel.

First of all, it was a bit of a surprise that Joel wasn’t actually using Echo’s services anymore and it was also encouraging that he was getting engaged to a nice lady. He was actually progressing and had no intention of handing himself into the Dollhouse. Would you if Paul of all people came up to you?

Letting Echo pose as Rebecca again was a good way of getting Joel to come back to the Dollhouse. There was even some humour when he realised how easy it was for Alpha to break into the Dollhouse as well. The best part however was the fact that Joel wasn’t the actual target that Alpha intended on bagging.

Paul for his many faults became an unfortunate victim when Alpha decided to make him brain dead. I could joke that Alpha wouldn’t have had much to do there but damn it, even though I don’t generally care for Paul, I did feel bad for the guy.

Alpha’s little act of spite stemmed from the obvious. Not only was he blissfully aware of how Paul felt about Echo but he also knew that Echo herself reciprocated the feelings. Alpha really does take the biscuit as stalker type boyfriends go. In his little minds, if he can’t have Echo, then no one else is going to have a shot with her either.

Having people withering on about how special Echo is something that’s been done to death. We all know it and now Adelle finally seemed to have proof of it. She already didn’t buy any of Paul’s lies about Echo’s three month absence and when the signs were out that Alpha was back, she even assumed that Echo and Alpha had been working together.

The funny part was when Alpha broke into the Dollhouse again. Adelle was more than happy to put both Joel and Echo’s lives in peril to keep hers safe. I know Adelle’s a survivor but that was pretty cold of her no less. Not that Alpha actually needed Adelle’s help anyway so technically while their little interaction was fun; it was also a touch pointless.

Alpha was able to use his own tech to control the Actives into lashing out at the rest of the staff and while Alan Tudyk got all the best lines of the episode, Alpha and Echo’s round two was anticlimactic. Yes, he put Paul in a bad situation and there was some good fighting between him and Echo but overall, he just up and left. Why not just grab Echo there and then? What does she have to do or become for him to think she’s ready?

Speaking of Echo - way to torture in the first bit of this episode. Adelle certainly enjoyed depriving her as much as possible, even if it was to make Paul and Boyd squirm and I don’t think she’s suddenly going to go easy now, even if Echo did manage to stop Alpha.

Topher’s reaction to learning that Echo could control all of her imprints was brilliant. He had absolutely no idea how to really react to it as such and it’ll be interesting to see where his loyalties lie in the next episode.

Also in “A Love Supreme”

Apparently Echo married a lot during her romantic engagements, including at two different times, marrying women. I don’t really get why some romantic clients would go for the marriage bit.

Alpha (to Echo’s client): “You wanna know the saddest part? It’s the ending. It seems like maybe love wasn’t enough.”

The first client that Alpha killed blew all his money on the Dollhouse. I doubt he was the only one stupid enough to do that.

Victor (to Adelle): “No wonder you despise that girl, Echo. She gets to be the whore and the virgin.”

Topher: “Nice to meet you.”
Echo: “We’ve met Topher, don’t you remember?”
Topher: “She’s funny.”

Sierra had to pose a prostitute this week (as hired by Alpha to deliver a message) while Victor to play doctor and help with hurting Echo.

Paul: “Put it down, Alpha.”
Alpha (re Matt): “If I do, then he becomes a splash of colours. I’m thinking red.”

Alpha: “Okay, tell me the truth. What do you think of the suit?”
Adelle: “You’re quite the dandy.”

And if Alpha’s really up to his British pop culture references, he might appreciate the Jon Pertwee reference. I’m not remotely surprised that he’s a Monty Python fan though.

Alpha (to Paul/Joel): “Bait meet switch. Hello lover boy.”

Alpha: “Are you gay?”
Paul: “No.”
Alpha: “Then it’s love. Dewitt thought so too.”

With five episodes left, it’s going to be interesting what exactly will turn Alpha into something good because this episode hinted nothing of the sort. Maybe it’s Paul’s imprint inside him.

Alpha (to Echo): “Boyfriend’s dead, wanna snuggle? Too soon.”

Chronology: A few days since “Meet Jane Doe”.

“A Love Supreme” had some interesting comments about the nature of love and obsession and having Alpha in an episode certainly livened things up a little but I was slightly disappointed with this one as well. Not sure why but something didn’t stick.

Rating: 7 out of 10.


Nat said...

I wasn't that impressed with this episode either. I enjoyed Alpha's return especially as he had more of a clear agenda this time but all this obsession with Echo is getting ridiculous.

I did like the bait and switch bit with Ballad ending up in the chair, but I didn't feel that bad when he 'died'; maybe because we know he's alive in Epitaph One or because he's not a very interesting character.

I enjoyed Topher's reaction to Echo and Adelle's bitchiness; her motives are still unclear and it makes her a lot more interesting.

Also I don't get the marriage thing either; maybe if the marriage was in secret but would you really want to stand up in front of all your family and friends get married and then lose your bride soon after the honeymoon?! Its a little bit weird!

shawnlunn2002 said...

I think I want to thwack both Paul and Alpha for their ruddy Echo/Caroline obsessions. She's not that great.

Adelle is so hard to figure out right now. I think Olivia Williams is brilliant in the last few episodes.

I'm warming to Topher. Never thought I'd be able to say that.