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Whedon Gives Satisfying Conclusion In 'Dollhouse' Series Finale

Dee Doyle Dee Doyle
February 1st, 2010 11:39am EST
Dollhouse finaleWell, here it is. The end of "Dollhouse." Let's talk for a minute about this doomed-to-start-with show. A lot of fans want to blame FOX solely because of how the studio has canceled two of Joss Whedon's shows. They certainly did not give it much of a chance by putting it on Friday at the death slot, but they did give it two seasons and some reasonable marketing to try and get a bigger audience. It never had the ratings, and let's face it, the first season wasn't as good as it should have been. Most of the first episodes were weak, and you could argue that it was from FOX changing Whedon's "vision," or just accept it took the writers a bit to see where they wanted to go.

The second season was a vast improvement, and if "Dollhouse" started out that strong, it may have had a better chance of survival. At the end of the day, the decision is out of our hands, and at least Whedon was given the chance to end this show with grace. He will survive to make another "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" and probably enrapture his fanbase with a new sci-fi show in a few years.

The series finale of "Dollhouse" is set ten years in the future as a companion piece to the unaired episode "Epitaph 1." For viewers who never saw that episode on the DVD set, they would have been very confused. Still, it is in the future where the apocalypse came in the form of technology wiping everyone in the world. Half of the people turned into mindless violent zombies, and the other half were normal and got beaten down by the aggressive dolls. We met a few surviving humans, specifically Mag, Zone, and a little girl who was imprinted with Caroline/Echo. They got to see through the chair what happened to the Dollhouse and all of the characters, and that there was a place where they could be safe. Little Caroline said she could take them there.

"Epitaph 2" starts out with the survivors driving around Arizona and fending off the scary violent people. They are captured by other survivors, the last remaining people of the Rossum Corporation, and held as bodies for the higher ups to imprint on when they want new forms. Gross. Ballard and Echo are there in disguise, and it looks like Topher was kidnapped and they are there to rescue him. They take back Little Caroline, Mag, and Zone with them to a nice little farmland where everyone is safe. Somehow Adelle and Topher are now best friends with everyone else, and Priya has the most adorable little son named T. Yes, he looks like her with black hair and black eyes. Yes, you are jumping to the right conclusion.

Topher thinks he can fix everyone. That he can make a new beacon that will set things back to the way they were, wiping everyone back to their original personalities. Priya and Echo don't want to be wiped, but they agree to go anyway and see if Topher can find a way to protect them from it. Tony shows up with a huge tech crew, other former-Dolls who have relied on tech instead of ignoring it, and he and Priya are not too happy with one another. He insists he did it to protect her and their son, T. Meanwhile Paul and Echo joke around and he tries to woo her like always.

When they arrive back at the Dollhouse, since Topher needs it to finish his idea, there are huge masses of zombies and they all attack. The plan seems to be going well except Mag is shot down and Ballard is shot in the head. That's right. IN THE FREAKING HEAD. Oh Joss Whedon, how you love to mess with us. Echo barely flickers an eyelash and gets Mag to safety. Alpha is in the Dollhouse and apparently he's best friends with everyone now too. That is a story I'd love to hear, but we'll never get a chance to hear it. He's got his personalities all under control. The techies try to take over and stop Topher from wiping everyone, but Tony, Alpha, and Echo fight them off.

While Topher works, Echo comes to grips with Ballard's death by freaking out at Priya for not giving Tony a chance, and it's very heartbreaking and the best acting job Eliza Dushku has done this entire show. Way to bring it in the last episode, Eliza. Topher finishes his project (thanks to a video about lost love Bennett), but he says he will have to die in order to set it off. It seems like a relief to him. Adelle is heartbroken, but he reassures her she has the harder job of bringing everyone back to the right path once they wake up terrified.

Tony, Priya, T, Mag, and Echo all stay below in the Dollhouse so they cannot be wiped. Adelle, Zone, and Little Caroline go up to the world and watches as everyone gets wiped one last time when Topher dies in his explosion. It's time to rebuild. Echo finds a last present from Alpha, who has run away in case he goes crazy again, which is Ballard's personality. She imprints herself with it so in her head she can find some closure with him, and to always have him close. She goes into her old sleeping pod at the Dollhouse, and the show is over.

An excellent ending to this show with plenty of things wrapped up, and in a believable way too. There is so much fans will never get to see and experience, but Whedon managed to give plenty of closure for everyone. It's a shame "Dollhouse" never got a chance to really explore all of the themes and questionable material at its disposal, but it really shone in its last season. Enough to make us miss it.

Now make us a new project, Joss, before we Whedonites get bored!



Dollhouse

Image © Fox



Dollhouse Cast: Eliza Dushku, Harry J. Lennix, Fran Kranz, Tahmoh Penikett, Enver Gjokaj, Dichen Lachman, Olivia Williams



Dee Doyle
Story by Chelsea Doyle
Starpulse contributing writer

Follow Chelsea on twitter at http://twitter.com/mustbethursday.