Monday, August 17, 2009

Dollhouse episode review: "Epitaph One"

Will someone please explain to me why FOX decided not to air this fantastic episode - which surpassed even the last two episodes of the season in tightly-written, well-acted excellence? Just as Joss intended, "Epitaph One" would have been a great series finale if Dollhouse hadn't been picked up again; conversely, it's an outstanding set-up for the upcoming S2.

It's a classic science fiction piece, post-apocalyptic, set in 2019 and flashing back to 2009 and the years between. The flashbacks tell, in tantalizing fragments, the story of the Worst Possible Scenario for the evolution of the Dollhouse's imprinting technology. This episode gave a huge amount of backstory that had been glossed over during the regular season, while at the same time moving the universe forward. Everything in "Epitaph One" is connected to something else. There is nothing in it that doesn't mean something.

The acting was a cut above the regular season too, largely due to the fact that Eliza Dushku was scarcely onscreen at all for "Epitaph One." Amy Acker and Felicia Day rock the hell out of their roles (although FD is given the worst dialogue), and the newcomers more than hold their own. Little Adair Tishler (formerly known as "Molly the Hero-finder" from Heroes) is just incredible. I expect great things for her career.

I read that "Epitaph One" has been iTunes's #1 download, which is possibly what FOX's marketing department was going for; I myself watched it on DVD. Hopefully the rave reviews and #1 spot will encourage FOX to keep supporting this show - which I really believe is only going to get better and better as it goes - I just wish they'd aired it as well so the widest possible audience could have gotten a glimpse.

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