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Dollhouse (Re)watch & Discuss: 1.02 The Target

Athena

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This week, we'll be watching the second episode of the first season of Dollhouse - The Target - written and directed by Steven S. DeKnight. This (re)watch is open to new Dollhouse viewers (such as myself) and existing fans. Everyone is welcome to join in!

This episode 2 (re)watch takes place between 3rd July 2016 - 9th July 2016. You can watch this episode at your leisure during that time and discuss the episode below.

Although Dollhouse has aired for some time, this and all future episode threads are a dedicated no spoiler zone! Please ensure any spoilers are spoiler tagged. :)

The Target - S1E2
Synopsis​
A man requests Echo as his companion on a camping trip, but his true intentions are far more deadly. More back story on the Dollhouse, Alpha, and Boyd's first encounter with Echo.
 

GwenRaiden

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I liked this episode more than the previous. I think the combination of Steven S. DeKnight writing (and directing) and the inclusion of some much needed backstory helped, even if it did feel like another "standalone" episode. It was a more exciting and focused episode than Ghost, even with the clunky scenes (Paul Ballard).

Echo and Boyd cementing their (albeit artificial) bond was a highpoint, as was the chase in the woods (some exciting twists and turns that surprised even me, the most cynical TV viewer). The drugs in the water affecting Echo's imprint was interesting. Not that she'll remember (big question mark inserted here).

Witnessing Boyd's feelings for Echo deepen since the coded bond session with Topher, while Echo's stay the same showing no real growth, is somewhat sad.

Boyd's introduction is sketchy to me though - he came to Dollhouse to work as a handler in the aftermath of a mass slaughter by a doll gone haywire, he seen the dead bodies and Dr. Saunders' face, but he accepts anyway. It's only when we jump back to present time do we see that his father-like and protective bond with Echo has made it more than just a job for him, and his disdain with the morality of the Dollhouse project at this time is clear.

Echo beginning to remember things that she shouldn't is a good thing for me. Otherwise, why the hell would I care about her.

I will say that this episode was probably going to be enjoyed by the Eliza/Faith fans. Her imprint basically was Faith this episode. Tomboy asskicker extraordinaire - an easy and well practiced range for Eliza to jump into.
 

Buffy Summers

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He's not my favorite character. He has good one liners though.

I like the Boyd-Echo relationship, which is interesting because Echo isn't the same person all the time whre Boyd would naturally have a rapport with her. I'm not too keen on the "most dangerous game" storyline but I like how Jen (?) decides to fight back. I also like the flashbacks.
 

Athena

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I enjoyed this more than the first. I really like the relationship between Echo and Boyd, and the flashbacks to that history. In fact, the flashbacks were great and gave me a lot more of an understanding on the Dollhouse. I definitely enjoyed Eliza more in this episode, but I think that was due to the Faithness of her character (as Gwen has already said). Although, I don't quite think I'd be as quick to work for a place like this; their morals and practices seem questionable. They do very much seem like they are 'pimping' these girls out, which still makes me feel a bit uneasy, especially as the majority of the scenes we see of Boyd dropping Echo off at the facility for 'treatment', she states she's been with a man. Not to mention that pretty much as soon as Echo as 'Jenny' sleeps with 'Richard', he's all of a sudden out to kill her.....

Women seem to be treated like the little playthings of rich men in this show and it's something I'm going to struggle to put up with for long, so I hope that rectifies itself soon. Even Olivia Williams (who can't seem to act?!) bends to the will of these rich men, and she's supposed to be the boss?! :rolleyes:

The plot was a little predictable, but all the stuff with Alpha made it seem a bit more fresh. Now we know why Amy Acker's face is all scarred. Curious why he would spare Echo, but then orchestrate all this with Richard to get her?

Was it just me who noticed a little Buffy call-back to 'Tabula Rasa'? :D

I find Topher quite annoying. His methods don't seem to be working, if all the imprints are supposed to be being wiped, well clearly they weren't with Alpha and they also aren't with Echo. Is that him being duff at his job, or some other interference? Guess we'll find out....

The chase sequence was a little dull, because you knew Richard wasn't going to end up hurting Echo seriously, nor Boyd for that matter, so I never felt like either character was in any danger, but the final fight scene was enjoyable.

This show seems to have a great deal going for it, I'm still a bit confused about the side story with 'Helo' from BSG (I'm not sure of his characters name, but I loved him in Battlestar, so I'll just call him Helo). He's researching the Dollhouse for what purpose? And what does the foreign guy have to do with it?

I'm going to give this episode a B-

Note to self: Don't read anything about the show on Wikipedia, else you'll spoil future plots.... :rolleyes: Idiot!
 
Give Us A Kiss
Give Us A Kiss
If you don't like Topher now, you will like him even less in Season 2...

vellavu

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Note to self: Don't read anything about the show on Wikipedia, else you'll spoil future plots.... :rolleyes: Idiot!
Unless you've watched it, don't read anything about any show on anywhere.:rolleyes:
 
Athena
Athena
I was looking for Tahmoh Penikett's character name and I spotted something I shouldn't. Oh well, hopefully only a minor spoiler :-(

Monkey Pants

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I liked this episode. People hunting people is an idea that always interests me (lol). It does feel a little bit done before though. I liked Echo continuing to glitch, like when she forgets to respond to Boyd in the right way, and sees images of who she used to be. I liked that the imprint fought back and won.

I'm probably the only person who liked Topher from day one. He amuses me immensely.
 

Fuffy Baith

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I really like all the flashbacks. Learning more about Alpha and hours Boyd came to be Echo's handler. I like the setup of showing her in doll state and how she trusts him. And then in the end when he says "everything will be alright" and she doesn't respond the way she should.

The hunt in the woods reminds me a bit of Eliza in Wrong Turn. I also don't line the rock climbing green screen scene either. I like the reveal at the end that it was so a setup by Alpha. I'm not sure why he wants Echo dead, or if Richard just went off mission and decided to kill her on his own? Anyways its a better episode than Ghost but it still has problems.
 

Taake

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I love this episode. I feel like I've seen the plot before in various horror movies/crime shows but it doesn't really matter, I think they handle it admirably. I also loe the flashbacks and the intro to the Alpha mystery. Great stuff. In general I think this is a much better introduction to what a Doll is.

Some thoughts:
Gosh, Eliza is so pretty here it almost hurts. Maybe an extra sandwich wouldn't hurt though. Also, I want her 'in the woods' outfit. Very cute.

Echo and Boyd, Topher and Boyd... great relationships starting to grow here. I like how disinterested Boyd is at first, when you see them in flashbacks. Also like how she resists his "everything's gonna be all right" the second time. Echo is forming.

Hunter-boy is creepy as heck. Good riddance. I like Jenny fighting back.

Love the "shoulder to the wheel" move from Echo at the end, it's subtle, but it's nice that they immediately show how she's starting to grow self-aware.

I'm probably super naive but... why would guys pay for Actives when they can get prostitutes for way less money. I just don't get it. Sure, she 'believes', and she won't remember your encounter, but still... I don't get it. Guess it's something for people with too much money, but how many of those can there be around, who also happen to be interested in Dolls...


I'm probably the only person who liked Topher from day one. He amuses me immensely.
I'm with you! Love Topher, he never ceases to tickle me! "Because I love you, deep, deep, man-love."
 

Monkey Pants

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Gosh, Eliza is so pretty here it almost hurts. Maybe an extra sandwich wouldn't hurt though.
Yeah she looks so gorgeous. I agree that she's a little thin; I think it's an age thing. If I remember SMG in season 7 was around the same age as ED is here, like 27. (Isn't that kind of weird?)
 
Taake
Taake
Yeah, I think it's a bit of an aging in Hollywood thing... she's still to die for good looking obviously! but I wish we saw less of her chest bones

Blaze

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Now that I'm back from vacation I'll get to watch this! Will post more thoughts on the ep later on!

I'm probably super naive but... why would guys pay for Actives when they can get prostitutes for way less money. I just don't get it. Sure, she 'believes', and she won't remember your encounter, but still... I don't get it. Guess it's something for people with too much money, but how many of those can there be around, who also happen to be interested in Dolls...
To me this comes off as the typical rich guy syndrome where they want to live off their fantasies. You'd be surprised what people are willing to pay for. I knew this girl that was an escort (with a no sex clause, so literally she got paid only to maintain some sort of fantasy with rich guys), one of her client would buy her all paid trips to Japan, on top of a very generous additional pay. I imagine this is even better for those type of people when they can hire an active that truly does believe the fantasy. I don't get it either, but I'm not surprised by it. If a Dollhouse truly existed, I expect it would be quite popular among rich people.

Women seem to be treated like the little playthings of rich men in this show and it's something I'm going to struggle to put up with for long, so I hope that rectifies itself soon. Even Olivia Williams (who can't seem to act?!) bends to the will of these rich men, and she's supposed to be the boss?! :rolleyes:
I think this is something that a lot of people struggled with. Which I think is also partly why the show failed for network TV. I do think many people watched the first few eps, and were too turned off by the subject matter to keep watching. But the show does do a great job at dealing with the issue, but no matter how you look at it, there will be some ethical issues raised. Which eh, at least it makes for some great discussion! Especially since we are often disgusted by things happening in the Dollhouse, yet similar ethical issues happen in real life.

I have to disagree about Olivia Williams though, I think she's great :p However yes, she is very morally questionable.

Also, I agree, do not google anything Dollhouse! You will get some insane spoilers there! And trust me, you do not want to be spoiled for this show!
 

Fuffy Baith

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I'm probably super naive but... why would guys pay for Actives when they can get prostitutes for way less money
The same reason they pay for prostitutes. Are we told how much renting an active really is? they just say it's expensive. How much you think am active costs?

Gosh, Eliza is so pretty here it almost hurts. Maybe an extra sandwich wouldn't hurt though. Also, I want her 'in the woods' outfit. Very cute.
lol. She's always pretty. But yea she looks good for running around in the woods being attacked (not the first time for ED. Lol). Yes, I want her outfit too. It's super cute!
 

Monkey Pants

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I think this is something that a lot of people struggled with. Which I think is also partly why the show failed for network TV. I do think many people watched the first few eps, and were too turned off by the subject matter to keep watching. But the show does do a great job at dealing with the issue, but no matter how you look at it, there will be some ethical issues raised. Which eh, at least it makes for some great discussion! Especially since we are often disgusted by things happening in the Dollhouse, yet similar ethical issues happen in real life.
All the dark, uncomfortableness is why I love this show. I always wanted even more of it, and I forget that it makes some people uncomfortable lol :rolleyes:
 

Athena

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I really love the premise though, regardless of the questionable ethics and morals. The whole mystery surrounding Alpha, and Echo's memory bleeds, I think that part could be really interesting. At the moment, it doesn't seem much like a 'feminist' show, even with the female cast and lead, but I hope that starts to change as she picks up more personalities and self-awareness.
 

Taake

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The same reason they pay for prostitutes. Are we told how much renting an active really is? they just say it's expensive. How much you think am active costs?
Guess I'm thinking it'd be a lot since it's high-tech, 'caring' human trafficking in a way. (Caring as in they keep them well-rested, in good shape and safe) I mean, Echo had TWO guys with her on this adventure. So you're not just paying for her and the tech in her, but the bodyguards as well.
 

Fuffy Baith

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Guess I'm thinking it'd be a lot since it's high-tech, 'caring' human trafficking in a way. (Caring as in they keep them well-rested, in good shape and safe) I mean, Echo had TWO guys with her on this adventure. So you're not just paying for her and the tech in her, but the bodyguards as well.
Yea and it depends on the engagement. Adele says they had to charge him extra cause his activities were dangerous. I doubt he'd get a prostitute to go hiking in the woods with him. But did he really think he could get away with killing an active and nobody knowing? As we will see for certain engagements it makes sense to imprint a doll with a particular personality. But I'm not sure why the guy from the first episode needed a doll just to ride a bike and dance with.
 

Taake

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As we will see for certain engagements it makes sense to imprint a doll with a particular personality. But I'm not sure why the guy from the first episode needed a doll just to ride a bike and dance with.
The only thing I wonder is how he got to know about the Dollhouse, cause he doesn't strike me as super rich... he strikes me as the guy who saves up all year to live out his fantasy
as we know later that he hires her again, and Alpha kidnaps him because "he loves Echo", it seems to be an annual thing with him and that it's Echo he wants more than just a doll in general
 

vellavu

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The only thing I wonder is how he got to know about the Dollhouse, cause he doesn't strike me as super rich... he strikes me as the guy who saves up all year to live out his fantasy
as we know later that he hires her again, and Alpha kidnaps him because "he loves Echo", it seems to be an annual thing with him and that it's Echo he wants more than just a doll in general
He's a doll sent by another dollhouse to steal Echo's spine fluid.
 
@Taake Let's hide all our replies behind spoiler tags to torture @Athena!
 
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Taake
Taake
I like it!
Fuffy Baith
Fuffy Baith
Interesting theory. Lol
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