Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My Review of Dollhouse's 2x09: "Stop Loss"

Written by Andrew Chambliss
Directed by Felix Enriquez-Alcala

Echo (to Victor/Sierra): “I don’t need thanks. I don’t need goodbyes.”

The best thing about this show’s cancellation has been the progression of the Rossum storyline and also the fact that we got the back story on Sierra/Priya. Now it was only fair that the same should happen with Victor and I’m not gonna lie, his back story was good but was also certainly predictable.

Episodes such as “Needs” and “Belonging” hinted at a military background for Victor and it was no surprise that when his contract was up, he was reverted back to his original persona – Anthony Ceccoli, a soldier with post traumatic stress disorder. His five years were up and he was a free man.

This being Dollhouse of course, even when a contract was up, no-one is ever really free and Tony was barely out of the Dollhouse for a day when he was kidnapped by Rossum for some super soldier experimentation. There were only two people who could save Tony and one of them certainly wasn’t Adelle.

Having Echo and Priya (yes, that’s right – Priya, not Sierra) be the ones to launch into a rescue mission made sense. Echo had all the personalities for every potential obstacle and Priya would be the emotional anchor that Tony/Victor would respond to, what with his new pals brainwashing him and all.

The nasty part of being a super soldier apart from being dragged into another series of senseless wars was also the fact that you had the thoughts of all of your comrades and them your thoughts. That was more than enough voices in one person’s head and this is coming from someone who’s been watching Echo dealing with multiple personalities all seasons.

Speaking of Echo, of course her tactic to try and best all the soldiers during this little game would be to inject herself with the same grouping that Tony had to endure. It’s a good job that Echo already had a handle on different voices because I’m sure those soldiers certainly would’ve driven her over the edge.

The Tony and Priya of this episode were a shipper’s dream however. Both realised that they loved the other, tried to protect each other and thanks to Echo, they were about to get the opportunity to even go and start a life with each other. It’s too bad that Adelle decided to scupper that one big time.

Adelle’s been darkening in these last few episodes so I was hoping that Boyd’s pep talk about her getting her shit together would’ve worked in the favour of the good guys. Instead she turned out to be an even colder bitch than she was in “Meet Jane Doe” by deciding to restore order in her house.

Having Boyd arrested was one thing and I could almost understand deciding to put Echo in the Attic but Victor/Tony and Sierra/Priya as well? That’s just pure evil. Fair play to Olivia Williams because in this episode she made Adelle far scarier than Alpha could ever hope to achieve during his height.

I know spoilers in later episodes are supposed to redeem Adelle but right now, I never thought I would hate the woman that much. Her callousness towards everyone certainly raised alarm bells and that was before she opted for the Attic option with her three pivotal Actives.

Also in the first season, she seemed to favour Echo a lot of the time but here, she’s flat out resentful of the girl. She seemed to take a little too much glee when Echo was being punished. It’s lucky for us however that Echo did seem to be immune to the Attic effects as well. Make her pay, Echo, make her pay.

Also in “Stop Loss”

Victor’s the only main Doll we’ve seen fulfil his contract so far in the series.

Adelle (to Topher): “So where did this mystery woman come from?”
Victor: “Has anyone seen Sierra?”

Adelle had Victor programmed as Roger one last time. She also seemed to blurt out to Topher that she was Miss Lonely Hearts as well.

Boyd (re Echo): “You want her to suffer?”
Adelle: “Pain reveals who we are.”

Sierra (re Victor): “He wouldn’t leave me.”
Echo: “He’s free. They gave him his life back.”

Paul got moved to a location so Adelle could spite Echo. With four episodes left, I wonder if they’re going to kill him off and be done with it.

Topher: “Who am I talking to now?”
Echo: “Echo. You’re always talking to Echo.”

Victor (to comrade): “You want me to be a soldier? Where do I sign up?”

Harding didn’t appear in this episode but he certainly made his presence felt when reading Adelle the riot act down the phone. Adelle being drunk was oddly funny as well.

Priya: “Now we need to make sure Anthony sees me.”
Echo: “He’s already seen you.”

Priya: “I shot at rabbits, I didn’t hit anything.”
Echo: “Same idea, just bigger targets.”

Standout music: Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance”. Not the first time the show has used her music.

Echo (to two soldiers): “I knew you were gonna do that. And you knew I was gonna do that.”
Adelle (to Echo): “They say it’s whatever hell you imagine but I think it’s far worse.”

Chronology: A few days after “A Love Supreme”.

Definitely one of the strongest episodes of the season without a doubt. “Stop Loss” is definitely Dollhouse at it’s most vicious and now, I really can’t wait to see this house come crashing down. Only four more to go.

Rating: 9 out of 10.


Nat said...

Didn't really enjoy this episode, was disappointed we didn't get more Victor, instead we got stuck with loads of Echo which was a real shame.

I personally loved cold bitch Adelle, not a nice person to have around but Olivia Williams did a blinding job. Was a bit harsh to have Victor, Sierra put in there as well.

Reallu couldn't care less that Paul is brain dead. Are we meant to be feeling bad for him?!

shawnlunn2002 said...

Yeah we're totally supposed to feel for Paul but I'm not that bothered really.

Olivia Williams had better snag a better project after this. You know, Doctor Who has a history of cold hearted women. I could imagine her giving Matt Smith a run for his money.