That was my reaction this morning when I read an article about last night’s horrible ratings. So I immediately watched the episode (feeling horribly guilty that I too missed out on the premiere).
Tonight’s episode has two great guest stars: Jamie Bamber (BSG!) plus Alexis Denisof! Amazing. But really Alexis was only in for about 10 seconds. Though, I look forward to his stint as a senator trying to bring down the Rossum company.
There were essentially two main plots happening in “Vows.” One focused on Echo being the client for Ballard as he tries to bring down some bad guy (Bamber). Ballard as the client was an interesting turn of events for the episode, but it was entirely a means of setting him up as Echo’s new handler. The best moment of this arc was when Ballard relies on Echo’s early imprints to save the day and kick some serious butt. We finally got to see badass Echo resurface and Eliza is clearly best as a badass. This interchange also paved the way for the direction this season will be taking. It looks as though Echo and Ballard will be teaming up to try and bring back Caroline or at least help Echo remember who Caroline is.
Now a lot of people give Eliza Dushku crap for her acting, but I still think she’s perfect for this role. When Echo started going through all her previous imprints, I didn’t need the flashbacks to remind me who they were. And that’s because she is a good actress….so you all can shove it.
The second, infinitely better plot focused on Dr. Saunders/Whiskey dealing with her recent discovery that she is a doll. The episode begins with Saunders essentially screwing around with Topher and trying to upset him. She puts mice in his closet to scare him and even attempts to seduce him at one point. It wasn’t until Saunders confronted Topher that I was immediately hooked on to the series again. The interchange between the two was powerful, emotional, heartbreaking, and above all well written. Topher spends the entire time trying to convince Saunders that she is still human where she spends the time questioning him as to why he made her the most complex imprint yet. Topher essentially admits that in order to be a good doctor he had to force an imprint on her which would question him, but more importantly he says she deserved a complex, humane imprint. In the end, Saunders finally leaves the dollhouse. Now, I don’t know how many episodes Amy Acker signed on for, but if this was her farewell it’s bittersweet. She could not have had a better episode for her acting skills and her character development, but she’s just too damn good to say goodbye to yet.
“I didn’t make you hate me, you choose to”- Topher trying to convince Saunders of her humanity.
(Sidenote: more people need to watch this show. I fear Whedon is about to have another prematurely cancelled series. While Dollhouse is sort of a hit or miss show, it’s off days are still better than most series currently on television)