I have been putting off sharing my thoughts on Dollhouse 1.2 - The Target. After two straight weeks of hearing unfavorable reviews everywhere I turn, I feel the urge building to champion this show and I do not want to do that. It's far too early in it's run to say it is worth championing, but at the same time, the people that have written it off completely after two episodes absolutely baffle me. I find the premise intriguing and I think this show brings something different to our TVs, right now. While it may still lose me at some point, I am hooked in, for now and really want to see where Whedon takes me.
1.2 finds us with Echo being sent on another engagement that, I'll be honest, I find unsettling. I know that Whedon's intention is to make it very clear that the Dollhouse is not some secret society of do-gooders out there righting wrongs, but damn, these guys could give Wolfram and Hart a run for their money. The people running this place are evil, right to their core, and that is honestly what I find so intriguing. Any other series would have started out by introducing us to the good guys and then layering in the villains, a little bit at a time, but not Dollhouse. No sir, we are thrown right into the viper's nest from the get go with almost no one to like, save for possibly the FBI agent with serious drive to bring Dollhouse down. Why is that, by the way, Mr. Whedon?
Speaking of our only real "good guy" in this show, I kinda wonder if Ballard was something Fox forced onto Whedon, because he really feels the least fleshed out of the characters. By that, I mean his dialogue is a lot more forced than most of the rest of the cast. That could be that the actor is simply not into the role, though. I don't know. Regardless, the exchange outside his apartment with his neighbor was pretty painful to see. He might as well have said "Hello, Ms. Exposition Device, how was your day?" On the other hand, I really like Langton, a lot. As Echo's handler, you can tell he is very much not OK with what is going on at the Dollhouse. That raises the question, of course, "Why does he stay?". Perhaps he is making an insulting amount of money or maybe he has ulterior motives entirely. Not sure. Want to find out. Going to keep watching so I can.
You may notice I haven't discussed the plot for this episode. The reason for that is I can't without spoiling pretty much the whole episode for those that haven't seen it. Leave it to say that I personally am a big fan of this type of storyline and always will be, so this episode hit the mark for me. More action than the first episode and also more signs that maybe the Dollhouse's grip on Echo may be slipping. The thing is, though, what's the exit strategy here? If Echo realizes who she is and runs off with Alpha, then what? Does the Dollhouse fade back and become the requisite villain to Echo's hero that you're half expecting it to be? Will Echo and Alpha team up and take the whole place down? If so, does the show then change it's name to Echo and Alpha Save the Day? Not sure. Want to find out. Going to keep watching so I can.