It’s taken me a week to write up my thoughts on the Dollhouse season finale “Omega” because the episode embodies a lot of what’s wrong with the show as a whole and I wanted to spend some time really thinking these things through. The result is quite lengthy but, I hope, thoughtful and not just a snarkfest.
There will be snark, oh yes. But I canceled the fest (like they should have canceled this show — zing!)
One thing I do appreciate about Dollhouse is Whedon’s willingness to change up the game. I was slightly worried back during New York Comic Con when Joss Whedon said that Paul and Echo would have several chances to “meet for the first time” and responded to a question/criticism about having Paul never actually finding the Dollhouse by likening it to Murder, She Wrote — if people didn’t keep dying whenever Jessica Fletcher came to town, there’d be no show!
Many shows have a great but limitedly-sustainable premise and how they deal with that generally determines how good the show ends up being. Television has changed since the 80s and it’s no longer acceptable to show the same basic plot structure over and over for years on end. Okay, I should say it shouldn’t be acceptable. Not for good television.
Thankfully, it appears that Ballard will not be repeating the same “almost got ’em, I’m so close, I know it exists!” story ad infinitum. Now he’s “working” for the Dollhouse. And in Season 2 I’m sure we’ll get to see him trying to take it down from the inside.
I figure Whedon’s statements at Comic Con may have been made to intentionally mislead (he’s done this before as regards story points, sort of going for meta-mystery elements). If so, I’m not sure whether to give kudos or not. Yay for keeping a lid on spoilers, boo for doing it in such a way as to make me assume you don’t know how to make series television work in the 21st century.
The major downside to this resolution was the loss of November/Mellie. The actress who plays her — Miracle Laurie — is really fabulous. I hope they find a way to incorporate her into Season 2 as well.