Dollhouse: Series Finale Review & Discussion [Updated]

Published 4 years ago by , Updated March 3rd, 2014 at 6:28 am,

dollhouse 00b Dollhouse: Series Finale Review & Discussion [Updated]

Well, here it is.

After two seasons and twenty-six episodes Whedon’s latest project, Dollhouse, is coming to an end. For a show that hasn’t even been on the air an entire year, much hullabaloo has been made about this series. From a controversial plot to a slow start involving mediocre storytelling, it’s really no surprise that the show never really found an audience (which was reflected in the ratings). Still, I have no qualms about saying that I’m going to miss Dollhouse.

Sure, the show had its faults and it was nowhere near perfect. I’d describe my relationship with the series as a “rollercoaster,” but that really wouldn’t be accurate as there were many more “downs” than “ups.” To come to be a fan of Dollhouse meant that you had to fight through a lot of drivel in order to get to the good stuff…. But when the good stuff came, it was totally worth it.

Over the past six episodes, Dollhouse completely changed. Instead of hoping that each new episode would be watchable, I became enthralled with the continuation of the enormous storyline that was started in the infamous unaired 13th episode from season one, “Epitaph One.”

Tonight, we not only wrap-up the story, but also the series. This is “Epitaph Two: Return.”

Review

If someone would have bet me $100 after watching the premiere of Dollhouse last February that the series would wrap-up in a Mad Max fashion, I would have easily taken that bet. Still, I can not say anything bad about the way it ended. Sure, it was a little off the wall and somewhat over the top, but it was good… and that’s all that counts.

dwitt dollhouse Dollhouse: Series Finale Review & Discussion [Updated]

I enjoyed this finale for many reasons, but one of the main reasons is because it was essentially picking up off of an episode that never aired on television. This was the second part of an episode that in order to watch, you would have had to seek it out by either buying the first season on DVD, flying to Europe to watch or by “other means.”

For Whedon to take an episode that was made way under budget, without any of the original cast and not really having anything to do with what we’ve seen in the first season and use that story arc to send the series off into the proverbial sunset… that takes… well, it takes something most people don’t have.

Was it perfect? No, but it sure was close. I wasn’t a big fan of Felicia Day in this episode. It seemed like she was play-acting half the time. I enjoyed her in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog but in this episode, she was easily the weakest actor. And while I liked the whole Alpha transformation, I did miss being able to see that progression or “evolution” as they called it. I guess that’s what happens when you jump ahead 10 years (Maybe I can say something bad about it).

Still, that’s just me nit-picking. I could have easily watched this as a standalone movie and been completely satisfied. It had everything I wanted and delivered in a way that I’ve never seen before. Coming from a guy who’s made an entire episode with almost no sound (Hush) or one where the entire cast is singing (Once More, with Feeling), I shouldn’t really be surprised.

I guess that’s why people flock to someone like Joss Whedon. While he gets a lot of flack from people for the way he works, when he’s on his game, it’s something you’ve just got to see.

Tonight, he was on his game.

toph dollhouse1 Dollhouse: Series Finale Review & Discussion [Updated]

Or maybe he wasn’t. While my self-esteem might think differently, I can’t always be right. Can I? What did you think about the series finale of Dollhouse? Was it everything you wanted? Are you happy how it ended? Do you think now that Ballard is in Echo’s head that she’s going to start talking in a deep, raspy, voice?

Click to see yesterday’s previews of the Dollhouse Series Finale before the episode aired…

« 1 2»

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:
TAGS: dollhouse

45 Comments

Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.


If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it.

  1. Unless they replay the second to the last episode on Fox on Demand, I'll miss it. When I checked earlier today on my cable guide to set my dvr, they didn't have Dollhouse listed at the earlier time. So I assumed the series finale was just one episode. I'm thinking my local Fox station didn't even air the first episode of the finale.

    I guess if they don't air it online in the next week, I'll just end up watching the very LAST episode and wonder what I missed from the show before. It would've been nice to see that episode though, since I've stuck with the show the whole time and seen all the others.

  2. Anyone know who did the song at the end?

  3. Anyone know who the artist was who did the song at the end?

  4. I watched it and I have to say I'm very happy. I loved this show more than I probably should have. And this finale was awesome. I was literally on the edge of my seat the entire hour. I loved it all. I loved the way the one character died, and I loved how they paid that off with another (sorry, don't want to kind of spoil anything). This really should have been a two hour finale or tv-movie event. But, as it stands, it goes in as a great end to a show that never got the respect it deserved. I'm sad to see it go, but damn glad it was around.

  5. I agree with the previous comments that the series was spotty and at times I wondered why I watched it, but the last several episodes really redeemed it. Unfortunately, the finale seemed very rushed… like they were combining the best scenes from another 3 episodes. I know Fox was in a hurry to end life support, but it wouldn't have killed them to have made the finale 2 hours instead of just one. Eliza was great. I hope it gets her some better roles.

  6. The song is “Everywhere I Go” by Lissie. It's on iTunes :)

  7. Very satisfying conclusion to a show that started off so terribly you have to marvel at how it turned out. The episode had its problems, notably the entire first half, but the second half was so strong I couldn't help but feel happy at how it turned out.

    Review of the episode on my blog:
    http://th3tvobsessed.blogspot.com/2010/01/revie

  8. I just hope sombody will do with this series what Ronald D. Moore did with Battlestar Galactica. I think this is just another series ahead of its time.

  9. Having thought about it overnight, I think this show was really ahead of its time. It was a conceit in the premise that human consciousness is merely the sum of the files in an organic hard drive that can be moved around as easily as the contents of a drawer. Whether or not you believe in the soul, there is an all too often overlooked part of our consciousness that makes us individuals. Technology is improving and the ability to image a brain in this way may well be possible soon, but transference of the soul is another issue. With better writers, I think this show will serve as an inspiration for a better series to come. Here's to hoping.

  10. I would be interested to see if they don't pull a serenity and make a full theater movie that wraps up a number of questions still left. I.E. did the plan work? Will Alpha stay good guy or become evil homicidal killer again? and so on. I think that would be something that Joss would be interested in if he could get the money.

  11. I agree, lots of downs, but some awesome ups.

    As for the ending, hmm, not quite as great as the ending to Epitaph One, but good none-the-less and very satisfying as far as all the story lines go (although the whole Ballard thing at the end was a little too corny for me, but I'll live).

    HERE BE SPOILERS!

    Topher's ending was pretty well done, very him. I know a lot of people didn't like his character at the beginning of the series, but he's really grown into a great character.

    I think the Alpha thing is intriguing, I wonder what happened during that 10 year gap (possible Comic book series), nice to see Tudyk back (albeit briefly, me thinks he had scheduling issues).

    Overall, a good end to the show.

  12. I'll say that I was just a tad bit disappointed with this episode,not to the fault of the creators though.What could they actually do? They were completely handcuffed for pretty much this entire second season.

    The thing I really wonder is that if this show were successful,would the story have gone in a pseudo post-apocalyptic theme? I honestly think that it probably wouldn't have.

    It's a damn shame,because even though I know that they did the very best that they could under the circumstances,I just felt like this episode was kinda flat.There really isn't any reason that this episode shouldn't have been 2 hours,instead of one.I guess they really wanted to get Kitchen Nightmares back on as soon as possible(insert sarcasm here).Idiots!

    Screw you FOX for wrecking this show!

  13. Lol, I assumed when I'd seen the opening of the show when they were showing what had happened previously. That I'd missed an episode that was aired prior to the one I recorded. I figured it out finally though and spent the $2 to watch the first Epitaph show on Amazon. I'm glad I did so that the second show made some sense.

    I'm also glad that I didn't see that episode aired at the end of the first season. It's best in my opinion to see that episode right before the series finale episode. Overall I enjoyed the finale.

    ****SPOILER*****

    They did seem to pull another “what the heck”? moment when the character I won't mention was taken out the same way that happened to BAG in Sarah Conner Chronicles. I didn't see that coming.

    ****End Spoiler*****

  14. what is the name of the finale song on dollhouse–electric

  15. I am realyl going to miss this series, it might've never been extraordinary as a whole but there were many episodes that were remarkable. I also got invested in the characters, not really in season one but more so in season two where they seemed to have more personalities and where echo actually became a person. I think I cried during the end, especialyl when the shock Paul's death sunk in. There was so many dead, I don't get why Whedon won't let some characters have a happy ending? I mean Bennet died, Paul died, Saunders/Whiskey was really Cylde and died. Topher even died. I think the only couple that remained intact was Priya and Tony. That's just depressing.

  16. Bennett didn't die,and there was a big continuity error,because in the episode two weeks ago,Echo beat Whiskey/Dr, Saunders/whoever was in her body,then the building blew up with her and Boyd in it,but Whiskey was in the unaired Epitaph One,10 years in the future.WTH?!!!

  17. Oh come on, Claire, with Paul Ballard inside her head now, Echo gets to have a happy ending any time she wants one. Besides, even in as dark a setting as this, Joss really hates it when main characters find any happiness. It's a sure sign of imminent death. (http://fandomania.com/joss-whedons-16-most-pain…) The first time might have been fun for him, but now he does it just to watch OUR expression change… except that it makes me yawn. I think the last 5 Dollhouse episodes were the best with good writing and solid performances all around, but it does have the familiar whiff of Whedon.

  18. I was the same exact way. I was so lost and confused. And because of this, I was disappointed with the episode. I was pissed.

    Had I known any better, or better yet had I watched the first Epitaph, perhaps I would have been able to appreciate this episode better. But yeah, the feeling I had tainted this experience.

    He shouldn't have did that. You can't use the story arc from an unaired episode.

    Anyway, I'm surprised I didn't cry at all. I'm saddened to see it go. I still don't know where everything went wrong and why a show with such a premise didn't succeed. There was soooooo much buzz surrounding this show before it debuted.

    And poor Eliza Dushku. Just bad feelings all around.

  19. No continuity error, watch the episode that aired two weeks ago again, when they're evacuating the building, right before it “blows up”, Topher says to someone “I got Dr Saunders out” or something, she was safe, and one assumes they were able to reprogram her.

  20. Oh and, yeah, Bennett died, bullet through the brain pan, squish!

  21. What do you mean Bennett didn't die? Nobody survives a blow to the brain. I bet Joss Whedon just forgot, it's a thread that wasn't woven itno the story, it happens all the time and to best.

  22. I agree that the laast five episodes were the strongest, but the season finale (the one before Epitaph Two:Return) I really thought it was too rushed. And I know that Whedon loves killing off charcters, it's one simple way to gain sympathy and nothing's more sad or tragic than losing the one you love. But still, Dollhouse took quite a hit when killing people off, people we care about. I mean the only characters that remained intact are Tony, Priya and Adelle.

  23. Even still, just having Tony, Priya, Adelle, Echo and don't forget about an evolved Alpha… that's a movie there. Given the apocalypse that society would have to recover from at the end of the finale, Joss could craft something that might have a meaty plot and perhaps a more satisfying conclusion. I know the Serenity movie for his Firefly series was actually more of a pilot, but I would hope there's enough enthusiasm for the Dollhouse series from the fans that he might consider a more thorough treatment than Fox allowed him for Dollhouse in a feature film. I'm probably dreaming and don't hold your breath, but I think if anybody could pull it off, it would be Joss.

  24. When you said Bennett,for some reason I though of DeWitt.Who the hell is Bennett? Did you mean Paul?

  25. Didn't remember Topher saying that,but I guess I'll take your word for it.

  26. “Who the hell is Bennett?” It's Topher's geeky wet dream personified. Who else?

  27. Lol, yes, a perfect summary of the character Bennet Halverson.

  28. Hah! Silly me.

    This is a perfect example of 1)my inability to remember peoples names,even minutes after hearing it,and 2)the forced pacing of the shows final,about,6 episodes.

  29. Yup, I thought Summer Glau was an inspired choice for Bennett. I wouldn't have thought of her as a super geek, but then I also wouldn't have thought of her as a terminator. She shined as both. The fact that she's so hot just seemed incidental somehow.