Dollhouse Dismantled

by on Feb.01, 2010, under TV

The final chapter has been closed.  Joss Whedon’s latest attempt at television success came to a bittersweet close last Friday.  Clearly I’ve had my druthers with the handling of this show (see here, herehere, and here), but I will try to keep this post about the show’s ending and avoid the downward spiral of network reproach.

Joss Whedon, in a word, is a genius.  Though it wasn’t aired on television, he had capped last season with a shocking look at what the future could hold for the technology of the Dollhouse – what seemed morally questionable became innocent and tame by comparison to the potential abuses.  Then in the second season Joss showed us bit by bit how such a future could come to be – weaving the various “flashbacks” from the fast forward into the regular season and filling in the gaps of how the technology could progress as such.

While I am sad to see the show end, I think that having a defined end point allowed for one of the best series wrap-ups I can ever remember seeing on television.  Whedon and co. delivered one-two punches week after week with the twists and turns in the plot for the past few months.  Characters who seemed infallible would fall, characters who seemed incorrigible would be redeemed, and characters who seemed as transparent as glass would turn out to have unimaginable secrets.

In the final hour, we were returned to the 10-years forward view of things, where despite (or perhaps as a result of) our heroes’ efforts, chaos reigns.  But where the previous flash forward showed an isolated snapshot of the future mixed with glimpses of the road to it, this episode was a mission to set all things right in the world.  As is common with a Joss Whedon wrap-up (e.g., Wash, Anya, Wesley), there were casualties.  And as would be realistic, there were bumps in the road to redemption.  But all things said and done, I couldn’t imagine it ending any other way.

It is ashame that the show did not garner the success or the due that it deserved – if you asked people about the show, they would either love it or not know what you are talking about (unfortunately the latter would be the majority).  But I enjoyed it while it lasted, I can feel confident in the ending laid out, and look forward to Joss’ next project (hopefully in no way tied to FOX).

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