From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

Dollhouse Season 1, Episode 10: Haunted

In this week’s episode of Dollhouse, Miss DeWitt places the personality of her dead friend into Echo. Said dead friend (Margaret) then decides to spend very little time with our favorite stony Brit and instead goes home to solve her own murder.

Anyone who has ever seen any episode of television or movie wherein a person who is rich and spoiled and a bit of an ass gets to view her or his life as an outsider (or a ghost or similar) knew exactly what was bound to happen here. Her children, whom she doted on, hate her! Her gestures of symbolic affection piss people right off! She was not universally loved by those she loved in a cold, distant, and annoying way. How sad for Maggie.

This is like a really bad A Christmas Carol production done by 5th graders.

The main plot resolves itself about how one would expect. I will point out that, once again, Eliza Dushku does not wow me with her acting prowess. There was one particularly eyeroll-worthy moment when Margaret’s son says that he knew his mother was in Echo’s body because of the way she did all the little things his mother did in the house and the way she moved. You know what would have been nice? Actually seeing that instead of having someone tell us. Because that would have been impressive.

The B plot in this episode involved Topher imprinting Sierra with the personality of his best friend. Whether this best friend was once a real person (the theme of the episode seems to indicate this is the case) or a composite best friend he created himself, we’re not told (I don’t think… don’t make me watch again!). The two of them spend the episode nerding it up and gaming throughout the house. This is kind of cute and all, but as a friend of mine commented, “the show [wants] me to sympathize with Topher, which is a goal I find disgusting.”

I’ve been on to this from the beginning. Topher is meant to be cute and likable! Didn’t you know? I probably would have picked up on this, anyway, but I had some advance warning. At NY Comicon Joss Whedon said that we’d recognize a bit of him in Topher, the guy who puts together characters and stories. Awwww.

Just remember that, kids: Joss Whedon’s Gary Stu in this show is Topher.

That just says volumes, doesn’t it?

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