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Dollhouse (Re)watch & Discuss: 1.10 Haunted

Athena

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#1
This week, we'll be watching the tenth episode of the first season of Dollhouse - Haunted - written by Jane Espenson, Maurissa Tancharoen & Jed Whedon, and directed by Elodie Keene. This (re)watch is open to new Dollhouse viewers (such as myself) and existing fans. Everyone is welcome to join in!

This episode 10 (re)watch takes place between 28th August 2016 - 3rd September 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. :)

Haunted - S1E10
Synopsis​
Echo is imprinted with the memories of a deceased person, who wants to solve her own murder. Ballard digs deeper into Mellie's past. Topher needs an active to help him with his security check.​
 

Taake

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#2
I'm not a big fan of this episode, I find the whole mystery kind of dull and the whole 'visiting your own funeral' thing kind of obscene. (It's certainly not on my to-do list...)

General thoughts of the episodes are that I feel we get even more insights to who Adele is, that Paul and Mellie - while they look stunning together - have given Paul the insight not just what it's like to be a Dollhouse client, but the appeal of it. He is not the self-righteous guy he was at the start. Picture the Paul with Mellie right now, and the Paul who lectured Joel Minor in Man on the street.

The one thing that is really interesting is of course the idea of life after death thanks to the technology. It seems that the Dollhouse-concept puts into question how attached we truly are to our bodies, and suggests that we are not 'homo sapiens' but rather 'homo animus' or 'homo memoria'. You are what you remember, you are your narrative.

The one thing I do like about the episode is Topher. It is so sad. He's able to make anything or anyone and what he does is... make a friend for his birthday. A friend. I don't even feel bad for the Doll who gets imprinted for the evening, I just feel bad for him.

Where's Alpha though? It feels like they talked a lot about him at the start of the season and now I feel like he's been more or less forgotten about.
 

GwenRaiden

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#3
I didn't like the soap opera feel of this episode with the main plot. I guess it could have been more interesting if it weren't so predictable and better acted?

The whole concept of a dead person being used as an imprint held more emotional weight and intrigue for me in 'Man on the Street' with Patton Oswalt and his deceased wife.

Still finding it hard to feel sympathetic towards Topher. Maybe that is something that will happen later. Adele knowing that Topher was using Sierra as a friend for the day and allowing it to happen was nice, though.

The Paul and Mellie stuff was grim, and probably the best part of the episode. I feel bad for them both.
 

Buffy Summers

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#4
I like how this episode makes you think about what makes a person - is Margaret in Echo's body really Margaret? I thought it was a bit weird she wasn't more upset about being dead though. And you'd think it would be harder for her to go to her "treatment" when she knows she'll then be really dead.
 

Taake

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#5
Yeah, she seemed very ok with being dead. I mean sure, clearly she had been suspicious of the people around her and that she might die, but still - you'd expect her to be sad about actually dying. She was in a rather jaunty mood until she started hearing what her family really thought about her.
 

Athena

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#7
I too thought the whole Margaret story was a bit soapy and uninteresting. The fact that she doesn't have any idea what her children thought of her or how she treated them? I just didn't like any of that part of the episode at all. How exactly did she die of horse injections? It's just so ridiculous. And he knew she was his mother by the way she switched off a light switch? Are you joking?! She submitted herself to the Dollhouse because she knew one day she'd be murdered? The whole plot is pretty laughable. It was so obvious the husband was being set up. And to be honest, the whole plot about going to your own funeral just to see who turned up and see how upset all your relatives are is pretty grim. Why would anyone choose to see their loved ones grieving? :rolleyes:

Otherwise I loved the stuff with Topher. He's been a very divisive character, and more often than not I've really disliked him. He gets to make one friend a year on his birthday. That's so sad, but again why does he not have a life outside the Dollhouse, like the show made clear with Dr Saunders too. Why do these people not have homes to go to?? I did like that Adelle lets him do it. (Well, it would be hypocritical of her not to, knowing what we know about her and "Roger")

Definitely the secondary plots in this episode were far superior to the primary Margaret plot. Paul & Mellie were brilliant yet again and I'm really interested to see how that develops as the season progresses.

I'm really disappointed that after some strong episodes, this has reverted back to the quality of the start of the season. D
 

Taake

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#8
That's so sad, but again why does he not have a life outside the Dollhouse, like the show made clear with Dr Saunders too. Why do these people not have homes to go to??
As a Topher lover I feel a need to defend him. To me it seems pretty clear that Topher is pretty socially awkward, not in the least prone to make friends and that he's always been the smartest guy in the room. The highest IQ, possibly the lowest EQ. Probably he got ahead in school, didn't have a natural peer group, and by now seems to be all about the tech. He's basically not thinking about what the tech he creates might do, he just thinking about the possibilities of creating. So he's in a bubble, he can connect to the brainy stuff, but not to people.

When you think about it he did form an unnaturally tight bond to Boyd (rather unreciprocated to start) almost as soon as Boyd started working there, like he gravitated towards the one person who didn't outright seem to dislike him (Dominic, Saunders) and who wasn't his boss (Adelle).

Anyway, Topher rant over.
:)
 
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#9
I enjoy this episode and think it's certainly better than the one offs of the beginning, but I still would prefer an arc episode. I think this is actually Joss's only show were I feel that way. That actually makes me realize that I probably prefer Dollhouse's show long arc more than any of his other shows!
 

Athena

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#10
Last day today for Haunted (I'm not sad about that!)
 

Fuffy Baith

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#11
I remember liking this episode. But now I see some problems. Adele knows Margaret from the Dollhouse, but they apparently that good of friends if she never met her husband and kids. Also why did Adele bring Margaret back, she seemed surprised that Margaret wanted to solve her murder. If Margaret was getting her brain scanned for a year why did Adele not think to ask more questions? Idk, something just feels off to me.

I do enjoy the scene where the son kisses his mom. Eliza is funny there.
I do love Topher and Sierra being best buds. It's super cute and it's nice to see Topher having some actual fun.
I like when Mellie just tells Paul to shut up and listen. I kind of don't like that he immediately wants to have sex with her though.

And he knew she was his mother by the way she switched off a light switch? Are you joking?!
Yea I didn't buy that either. Just because he knows about the Dollhouse, why would he assumed that his mother had been implanted. Why was spying on her in her room to begin with! Creeper!
 
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#12
Outside of the first three episodes (the second of which I actually quite liked), this the worse episode of Dollhouse I've seen. Agree with @GwenRaiden that the main plot involving Margret and her family was just too soapy, melodramatic and had a made for TV feel to it. Also, I found her family really boring. Like others have said the plot just has too many holes.

Didn't really care about the Topher-Sierra scenes. They were quite amusing, but felt random and pointless too. I did like the twist of Adele allowing him a day of leisure to give him a break though. I made sense and was a nice touch.

Forgettable episode.
 
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