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You are here You are here: Home Videos Movie Reviews Dollhouse
 Hollywood Movies Overview 

Esoteric Hollywood Movies     From: Vigilant Citizen



During the last years, a new trend appeared in Hollywood: secret societies being at the center of movie intrigues.

Some might find this surprising since secret societies are supposed to be… well… secret. Many people in the movie industry are part of those Brotherhoods so what is the reasoning behind this?

To Conclude: The trend of seeing secret societies in books and movies is not about to end.

These works are now appearing as a result of the democratization of information, which allows regular people to access information which was previously inaccessible. These movies serve the same purpose as occult symbols: to reveal and to conceal.

They reveal to the initiates while they mislead the profane.

Hollywood movies have been used to promote numerous agendas such as the Vietnam war, the fear of Communism, the fear of Islamic terrorism, the promotion of American values, etc.

The movies analyzed above simply promote a new agenda, which is disinformation about secret societies.

Keyhole visions into what’s going on behind the scenes     From: Female Illuminati



People establish and join secret societies because they seek power. Once they've achieved great power as well as wealth, they sometimes want to brag about it and let others know about their special status. To further this desire, members of secret societies - from Jesuits to Satanists - make use of the media. Highly financed movies are made to communicate to us on a non-verbal level. These movies are often ostensibly based on the books of commissioned writers, themselves lower-level agents of powerful secret societies.

Hollywood movies occasionally provide us with keyhole visions into what’s going on behind the scenes; although not enough for laymen and symbolically illiterate people to decipher and understand. That’s why so many people remain ignorant about secret societies and their ways. However if we do a little serious research, it becomes easier to see what is going on. This process is occasionally helped by whistle-blowing movies from Hollywood and other media orgs, movies such as Brotherhood of the Bell, To the Devil a Daughter, The Devil Rides Out, The Omen, Bladerunner, Freejack, Judge Dread, Fifth Element, Tombraider, The Formula, James Bond, The Da Vinci Code, National Treasure, Skulls, Eyes Wide Shut, and so on. As we said, perhaps we are deliberately BEING TOLD what is going on by the elites themselves. It’s an intriguing thought.

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  Dollhouse  (TV series)  
Synopsis

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The show revolves around a corporation running numerous highly illegal underground establishments (known as "Dollhouses") around the globe that program individuals referred to as Actives (or Dolls) who have had their original memories wiped clean, and exists in a childlike blank state until programmed via the insertion of new memories with temporary personalities and skills needed for each mission.

Hired by the wealthy, powerful and connected, the Actives don't just perform their hired roles, they wholly become - with mind, personality and physiology - whomever the client wants or needs them to be. After each engagement, the Actives return to the mysterious Dollhouse where their thoughts, feelings, experiences and knowledge [of the mission] are erased.  Another Urban Legend?

Wikipedia

Dollhouse is an American science fiction television series created by writer and director Joss Whedon under Mutant Enemy Productions. It premiered on February 13, 2009, on the Fox network and was officially canceled on November 11, 2009.[3] The final episode aired on January 29, 2010. Production wrapped in December 2009, with a total of 27 episodes produced including the original pilot.[4]

The show revolves around a corporation running numerous underground establishments (known as "Dollhouses") around the globe that program individuals referred to as Actives (or Dolls) with temporary personalities and skills. Wealthy clients hire Actives from Dollhouses at great expense for various purposes. The series primarily follows the Active known as Echo, played by Eliza Dushku, on her journey towards self-awareness. Dushku also served as series producer.

Dollhouse initially received mixed reviews and underwhelming ratings, but improved progressively enough to be renewed for a second season. After the second season finale, the series was cancelled. The expanded universe has since been depicted in comic books.

Plot

The story follows Echo (Eliza Dushku), a "doll" or "Active" for the Los Angeles "Dollhouse", one of several fictional facilities, called "Houses", run by a company which hires out human beings to wealthy clients. These "engagements" range from romantic interludes to high-risk criminal enterprises. Each Active has their original memories wiped and exists in a childlike blank state until programmed via the insertion of new memories and personalities for each mission. Actives such as Echo are ostensibly volunteers who have surrendered their minds and bodies to the organization for five-year stints, during which their original personalities are saved on hard drives, in exchange for vast amounts of money and a solution to any other problematic circumstances in their lives.E-1 Echo is unique however in that she remembers small amounts even after personality "wipes", and gradually develops an increasingly cognizant self-awareness and personality. This concept allows the series to examine the notions of identity and personhood.E-12

Within The House, opinions on such matters are divided. Dollhouse director Adelle DeWitt (Olivia Williams) sees her role as merely giving people what they need; programmer Topher Brink (Fran Kranz) is initially entirely scientific and amoral, apart from brief flashes of moral quandary; while Echo's mentor in The House or "handler", Boyd Langton (Harry Lennix), an ex-cop with an unknown past, expresses concern with the ethical and theological implications of the Dollhouse's technology, using his inside role as an opportunity to limit any collateral damage. Raising intriguing questions about personality and selfhood are other dolls Victor (Enver Gjokaj) and Sierra (Dichen Lachman), who despite being continually re-wiped, begin to fall in love and retain those feelings whether wiped or imprinted with other personalities.E-8

Meanwhile, FBI agent Paul Ballard (Tahmoh Penikett) learns of Echo's original personality, Caroline Farrell, through messages, photographs, and videos he receives anonymously. Agent Ballard becomes obsessed with rumors of the Dollhouse and risks his career trying to prove its existence. It is insinuated that Ballard has developed feelings for Echo prior to even meeting her which leads him to continue his investigation even after being taken off the case. Meanwhile, Ballard has been casually dating his neighbor, Mellie. While discussing the investigation over takeout Mellie corrects Ballard when he refers to bring ‘her’ into say ‘them.’ Ballard tries to explain his slip away but Mellie does not look completely convinced. Mellie’s character up to this point on the show has been portrayed as the somewhat insecure neighbor with a crush on Ballard. At the end of this episode it is revealed that Mellie is a ‘sleeper’ doll. She has been planted by the Dollhouse to spy on Ballard. Mellie is unaware of her role in the Dollhouse and believes herself to be a young woman falling in love with an FBI agent. She is in fact a Doll known as November.E-6

Ballard finally chases down a lead allowing him to ‘meet’ Caroline/Echo. During the encounter Echo is terrified of Ballard because she believes she is the personality she has been programmed with. Echo is whisked away by her handler leaving Ballard with only the man who paid for the encounter to question, Joel Minor. Minor points out the apparent connection that Ballard feels for Echo and cites it as the reason that Ballard is so driven to investigate the Dollhouse.E-6

As Echo continues to evolve and learns to work beyond the limits of each temporary personality imprint or default "tabula rasa" programming, she runs the risk of being sent to "the Attic", a permanent resting place for "broken" dolls and Dollhouse employees who cause problems. She is an object of fascination for the escaped doll Alpha (Alan Tudyk)—a genius and serial killer who has been driven mad by being implanted with the memories of dozens of people. Alpha, the season 1 "Big Bad" returns at the end of the first season to kidnap Caroline.E-11, E-12

"Epitaph One", the final episode of season one, which was not aired as part of the show's original run on US television, depicts a post-apocalyptic future where the mind-wiping technology of the Dollhouse has developed to the extent that vast numbers of people can be remotely wiped and have new personalities implanted, which has brought about the end of civilization. Many of the series' main characters' futures are shown.E-13 As the second season begins, the show's focus shifts to depict the dangers of abusing the mind-wiping technology. Each character in the L.A. Dollhouse is forced to confront their own moral complicity in an increasingly downward spiral from moral grey areas to the realization that what the Dollhouse is doing is ultimately immoral and extremely dangerous. The Dollhouse's corporate sponsor is a medical research entity known as the Rossum Corporation, whose ultimate goal is revealed to be gaining control over national governments and even innocent people with no association with the Dollhouse. Through these abilities, the leaders of Rossum can rule the world and also be immortal, jumping from body to body at will. Attempting to stop the further spread of the mind-wiping technology, the L.A. Dollhouse vows to take down Rossum and its mysterious founder, whom only Echo's original personality, Caroline, has met.E-25 They also learn that there is no person named "Rossum"—the company founder took the name from the play "R.U.R.", which is short for Rossum's Universal Robots". This 1921 science fiction play by Karel Čapek is the origin of the word "robot".

The final episode of the series is set in the year 2020, and takes place shortly after the events that took place in "Epitaph One". Despite its best efforts, the L.A. Dollhouse has been unsuccessful in stopping the mind-wiping technology from spreading out of control. Rossum executives use multiple bodies to live in decadence while the peoples of the world are enslaved. A now mentally unstable Topher, architect of much of the technology, devises a way of restoring everyone's original personalities and eliminating Rossum's power, but at great sacrifice to himself and others. The series concludes with the world's personalities restored, while the Earth still lies in ruins, and those with Active architecture sheltering inside the Dollhouse for one year in order to keep the memories they have acquired since their original personalities were restored some years ago, rather than being wiped and defaulting back to their memories from before the Dollhouse got hold of them.E-26

Second season and cancellation

Despite low ratings in its first season, Dollhouse was renewed for a second season[31] of thirteen episodes.[32] Among other factors, fan response to the show was seen as a reason for the renewal; Fox's president of entertainment stated that "if we'd canceled Joss's show I'd probably have 110 million e-mails this morning from the fans".[31] As part of the deal, there was a cut in the show's budget, though Whedon stated that this would not affect the quality of the episodes.[33] The second season also had changes visually, the show moved from being shot on 35 mm film to high-definition video.[34] With the addition of new cinematographer Lisa Wiegand, Whedon wanted the show to look darker. Other visual changes included more hand-held camera work and the addition of snap zooms (an effect that moves in or pulls back very quickly, which was used extensively in Firefly).[35] The series continued in its 9–10 pm Friday timeslot, with the season premiere on September 25, 2009.[36] Season 2 of Dollhouse began filming on July 22, 2009, so Fox pushed back Dollhouse's return to the 25th to afford Whedon and the Dollhouse production team sufficient time to produce enough hours to kick off the season with at least three or four consecutive episodes.[37]

< p>Alexis Denisof joined the cast in a recurring role as Senator Daniel Perrin,[38] as did Summer Glau, who was originally scheduled to appear in just two episodes, a number that was later extended.[39] Michael Hogan and Jamie Bamber, both former castmates of series regular Tahmoh Penikett on Battlestar Galactica, each had roles as guest stars.[40] Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters (creators of Reaper) joined the writing staff for season 2 as replacements for former showrunners Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain (who left Dollhouse to join the writing staff of Lie to Me).[41]

Fox announced in October 2009 that it would not be airing any episodes of Dollhouse during November sweeps, and that the series would return in December, airing episodes back-to-back instead.[42] On November 11, 2009, The Hollywood Reporter announced that the show had been cancelled.[3] Fox passed on ordering more episodes of the show;[43] although it did air the entirety of the 13-episode order. After airing the back-to-back episodes in December, the final three episodes aired during January 2010.[44]

Main cast

Echo (Eliza Dushku) is an Active and the protagonist of the series. She is the most popular Active in the Dollhouse, and has shown skills that transcend the limitations of her parameters during the course of her engagements. Prior to having her mind wiped, Echo was a college graduate and political activist named Caroline Farrell.E-7 Caroline is originally a political activist who accidentally uncovers the Rossum Corporation's illegal activities; her boyfriend is killed during an attempt to infiltrate a Rossum laboratory, and Rossum attempts to have her recruited to Adelle DeWitt's Dollhouse.E-7 While on the run from Rossum, Caroline becomes a terrorist devoted to bringing the corporation down, until she is finally captured.E-24 Throughout the series, Echo becomes increasingly self-aware while in her blank state, and later even vows to discover and restore her original self.E-14 On achieving full self-awareness, Echo develops a romantic interest in Paul Ballard. Having learned more about Caroline's potentially murky past, she decides to be her own person.E-20 While condemned to the Attic, she discovers Rossum's weakness and emerges to ally with DeWitt and the LA Dollhouse against Rossum.E-23 While she is uncertain what having become her own person will mean for her, she agrees to be reunited with Caroline's personality to gain crucial information over Rossum.E-24

Boyd Langton (Harry Lennix) is introduced at the onset of the first season as a former cop and the Dollhouse handler assigned to Echo. He has doubts about the Dollhouse's ethics, but largely keeps quiet about them. Later in the season, he's promoted to head of security.E-9 His own "morally compromised" past is not originally revealed, but it is known he has considerable skills and contacts in disposing of dead bodies.E-17 When Echo returns to the Dollhouse after a three-month absence, he allies himself with Paul and Topher in keeping her self-awareness a secret from the Rossum execs.E-21 After regaining Caroline's memories, she discovers that Boyd is one of the two founders of the Rossum Corporation and seemingly installed himself in the Dollhouse to become Echo's handler.E-24 After attacking Echo, Langton's mind is wiped after Topher finishes a remote wiping device. In a doll state, Langton is fitted with explosives and given a grenade and is commanded to blow up the Rossum building, which he does, killing himself in the process.E-25

Topher Brink (Fran Kranz) is the scientist who operates Dollhouse's technology and uses it to imprint new personalities on the Actives. Cynical, ego-driven and seemingly amoral, Topher's knowledge of human behavior allows him to specially craft the various personalities of the Actives for their various missions. In the second season, Topher faces several moral dilemmas, the first when he is required by Rossum to revive a serial killer.E-16 When ordered to permanently surrender the Active Sierra to her real-life rapist, Nolan Kinnard, Topher instead returns her as Priya (original personality of the Doll Sierra), who then kills Kinnard in self-defense. Topher and Boyd help Priya cover up the murder, and Priya agrees to return to the Dollhouse as Sierra.E-17 When the LA Dollhouse comes under the control of Matthew Harding, Topher becomes concerned about Rossum's ambitions concerning the Dollhouse technology. He informs Adelle that he has figured out Rossum's plan as well as the technique to imprint any human being remotely, but she betrays him and surrenders it to her superiors.E-20 Following this, Topher aligns with Boyd and Ballard's "conspiracy" when he learns of Echo's full self-awareness.E-21 Topher develops strong romantic feelings for Bennett Halverson, whose genius technological achievements he admired long before he met her in person. Bennett appears to reciprocate Topher's feelings, but she is killed before they have the chance to develop a more serious relationship. As the Dollhouse unravels and things spiral out of control, he develops an immense guilty conscience, blaming himself (as inventor of the technology) for the events that unfold. Ultimately he creates technology to reverse the process that has wiped the minds of the general population, but sacrifices his own life in order to deploy it.

Paul Ballard (Tahmoh Penikett) is an FBI special agent assigned to the Dollhouse case at the onset of the series; most in the Bureau view the case as a joke, but he makes discovering and rescuing Caroline/Echo an obsession. The Dollhouse assigns active November to spy on him by becoming his girlfriend, Mellie. After breaking into the Dollhouse, he works for them under the condition that November is released,E-12 and later takes the role of Echo's handler. The two of them vow to set the Actives free.E-14 When Echo is left out on the streets, Paul finds her and helps conceal her from the Dollhouse for three months while she develops a full self-awareness. She becomes romantically and sexually attracted to him, but he abstains from sex with her. The two re-enter the Dollhouse to continue their crusade.E-20 They later form an alliance with Boyd and Topher, but Paul is wiped and left braindead by Alpha.E-21 Topher is able to partially restore Ballard by converting him into an Active, removing one brain function, and imprinting him with the scan Alpha took.E-23 However in doing so, it was necessary for Paul's feelings of love toward Echo to be erased.E-24 In the final episode of Dollhouse set ten years in the future, Paul is killed in combat, and his memories and personality are imprinted into Echo.E-26

Victor (Enver Gjokaj) is an Active who was originally introduced as Lubov, Paul Ballard's informant inside the Russian mob, before being revealed to be a Doll.E-3 The character is also regularly hired out by Adelle DeWitt herself to be her lover, whom she truly appears to love. In his mind-wiped state, Victor is inexplicably attracted to Sierra despite numerous attempts to wipe away his memories of and feelings for her. E-9 Before entering the Dollhouse, Victor was a War in Afghanistan veteran named Anthony Ceccoli suffering posttraumatic stress disorder (of which he is cured by the Dollhouse). He is restored to this personality in "Stop-Loss",E-22 and aligns with Priya, Echo, and the senior staff of the LA Dollhouse against Rossum. E-23 In the series finale set ten years in the future, Anthony and Priya share a tense relationship due to his reliance on imprinting technology which Priya considers a dangerous obsession. Priya later realizes he compromised himself only to protect her and their child, and they reconcile near the end of the series.E-26

Sierra (Dichen Lachman) is introduced as the newest Active in the Dollhouse; her original mind wipe occurs in the first episode of the first season. She is instinctively drawn to Echo, but lacks her growing self-awareness. Sierra is a painter named Priya Tsetsang prior to having her mind wiped and becoming an Active.E-17 Unlike the other Actives, Sierra was committed to the Dollhouse against her will by a powerful man, Nolan Kinnard, after she rejected his advances. He then hires her out periodically for sexual encounters.E-8 During Season 1, she is also raped by her handler in her blank state, only adding to her trauma.E-6 When Sierra is sent to her original rapist and captor permanently, Topher sends Sierra as her original personality Priya, and she kills Kinnard in self-defense. Boyd and Topher dispose of the body and Priya agrees to return to the Dollhouse to be with Victor, whom she loves.E-17 Priya is later awakened to help retrieve Anthony/Victor when he is captured and enslaved by Rossum,E-22 and the two unite with Echo and the senior staff of the LA Dollhouse against Rossum. E-23 Ten years after the events of the series, Priya is shown to have a child with Anthony whom she raises alone, as she mistrusts him and his obsession with imprinting technology. Near the end of the series, Priya realizes Anthony's unwavering devotion to her and introduces their son to him, reuniting the family.E-26

Adelle DeWitt (Olivia Williams) is the highest-ranking official at the Los Angeles Dollhouse. She claims to believe that the aims of the Dollhouse are truly benevolent; however, she displays an increasingly cynical attitude in Season 2, eventually joining the conspiracy against Rossum.E-23 Although DeWitt is the head of her Dollhouse (as the L.A. Dollhouse is just one of more than twenty worldwide)E-6 she answers to a number of superiors at the Rossum Corporation. It is revealed that she has been hiring out Victor as her lover, though she has concealed these activities from others in the Dollhouse by inventing a client referred to as "Miss Lonelyhearts". E-9

Recurring cast

Whiskey (Amy Acker) is originally introduced in the series as the Actives' general physician Dr. Claire Saunders. It is revealed in the season one finale that she is in fact an Active. Formerly the Dollhouse's most popular Doll, she was attacked by Alpha with a pair of scissors, causing extensive facial scarring. Shortly afterward, Alpha killed the actual Dr. Saunders, and Whiskey was imprinted with his personality and skill-set to serve as his replacement before the events of the first episode. Saunders has trouble adjusting to the realization that she is merely Topher's creation, and objects to being wiped or restored as that would be equivalent to dying. She takes leave of the Dollhouse for some time to find herself.E-14 Later, she begins a relationship with Boyd and he brings her back to the Dollhouse for the confrontation with Rossum. Boyd is later revealed to be one of Rossum's founders and has been working against the group all along. Dr. Saunders shoots Bennett through the forehead in front of Topher,E-24 and she is speculated to have been a sleeper active.[45] In "The Hollow Men", Whiskey is imprinted as Rossum co-founder Clyde 2.0 and does battle with Echo. Between then and flashfoward episode "Epitaph One", Whiskey is re-imprinted with Dr. Saunders' personality as well as programmer skills. Later, after a time when her scars have been healed, she is seen having reverted to Whiskey, acting as a guardian for the Dollhouse, pointing people towards Safe Haven. When the Dollhouse is breached in "Epitaph One", she lets out a toxic gas which incapacitates the intruders and leaves her own fate uncertain.

Laurence Dominic (Reed Diamond), [14] head of security at the Dollhouse during most of the first season, takes his job very seriously but views the Dolls as more like pets than humans. He attempts to kill Echo, and also suggests she be retired as an Active and put into "the Attic".E-5 Later, while under the influence of a drug, he attempts to apologize to Echo for his actions.E-7 Dominic is revealed to be an NSA agent who is monitoring but not exposing the Dollhouse for unknown purposes, but he may have been Senator Perrin's NSA contact who Perrin comments has "gone dark." Upon discovery, DeWitt has Topher extract his persona from his body and then sends him to the Attic.E-9 While in the Attic he becomes a defender of other imprisoned minds against the shadowy killer "Arcane". He and Echo work together when she arrives in the Attic. E-23

November (Miracle Laurie) is originally introduced to the series as Mellie, Paul Ballard's neighbor, romantic interest, and confidante, but is in fact a "sleeper" Active.E-6 Adelle can switch November to a combat-ready personality using verbal codes.E-6 In "Omega", November's original persona and memories are restored and she is released from her contract early with full payment at Ballard's request in exchange for his joining the Dollhouse's staff. She returns to her life as Madeline Costley.E-12 After being approached by Senator Daniel Perrin with evidence of the criminal and sexual acts she was made to perform as an Active, she agrees to testify before Congress about the Dollhouse.E-18 Unfortunately, this turns out to be a trap; she is denounced by Perrin (himself an Active) as a liar with faked evidence "disproving" the existence of the Dollhouse. She is subsequently sent to the less scrupulous Washington D.C. Dollhouse where her mind is forcibly erased and she is re-enslaved.E-19 After Paul rescues her, Adelle chooses to reawaken her as Mellie rather than Madeline during the Dollhouse's confrontation with Rossum, due to her devotion to Paul and Madeline's disloyalty.E-24 When Mellie's sleeper state is later activated to kill Paul during an invasion of the Rossum headquarters, she commits suicide to prevent herself from harming Paul.E-25

Ivy (Liza Lapira) is Topher's assistant. While highly skilled and seeing herself as Topher's apprentice, Topher treats her more as a gofer, assigning her menial tasks such as fetching him snacks. She later teams up with Adelle, Boyd, Priya, Anthony, Echo, Paul, and Topher to take down Rossum. Not wanting to see her get hurt in the battle, Topher tells her to leave and not become like him. Ivy then escapes from the Dollhouse.E-24

Joe Hearn (Kevin Kilner) is Sierra's handler in the first six episodes, in addition to being the handler of the previous Sierra. Joe Hearn is introduced as a less-dedicated counterpart to Boyd Langton.E-3 He strongly dislikes Echo for her individualism and worries about her influence on Sierra. DeWitt eventually learns that Hearn has raped Sierra in her blank state a number of times, and has him killed by activating November's combat-ready personality while he's on assignment to assassinate "Mellie".E-6

Dr. Nolan Kinnard (Vincent Ventresca) is a wealthy psychiatrist, Rossum Corp VIP, and art collector. He meets Sierra while she is still aspiring artist Priya Tsetsang. As a means of high-profile courtship he buys one of her paintings and invites her to a party where it is exhibited. She spurns his advances, and in retaliation he drugs her with psychotropic medications to mimic the symptoms of schizophrenia, then turns her over to the Dollhouse.E-17 When the Dollhouse temporarily restores her original personality, she confronts Kinnard and he gloats that he can have her any time he wants, even making her beg.E-8 He eventually requests that Sierra be sent to him permanently, a demand that Rossum forces DeWitt to obey. A remorseful Topher imprints Sierra with her original personality, and during her confrontation with Kinnard he produces a knife, leading to her stabbing him. Topher and Boyd dispose of the body.E-17

Alpha (Alan Tudyk), E-11 born Carl William Craft,E-12 is a rogue Active who escapes from the Dollhouse. Prior to the events of the series, an accident causes a "composite event" in which 48 personalities are simultaneously imprinted in Alpha, along with all the associated memories and skill sets. In his escape, he kills or maims several Dolls and Dollhouse staff members (including Echo's previous handler) but leaves Echo unscathed.E-2 After his escape from the Dollhouse, Alpha begins to send anonymous packages to Paul Ballard that hint at the existence of the Dollhouse and Echo's former identity.E-1 Alpha reveals himself after posing as an Environmental Systems Consultant involved in the construction of the Los Angeles Dollhouse facility, Stephen Kepler, whom Ballard has tracked down. He leads Ballard into the Dollhouse, takes control of the security and automated systems, and leaves with Echo.E-11 Though Echo escapes him, he remains at large.E-12 On learning of Echo's full self-actualisation and her romantic attraction to Paul Ballard, he imprints Paul's personality into himself and leaves the real Ballard brain-dead.E-21 In the series finale, Alpha is shown to have defected to Echo's side. When the wiping technology is to be reversed, Alpha alienates himself from the group in fear that his pre-wiped personality as a serial killer would lead the others to danger.E-26

Daniel Perrin (Alexis Denisof), introduced during season two,E-14 is a third-generation United States Senator who was kidnapped by the Rossum Corporation for the purpose of being turned into an Active. His mind was subsequently heavily altered via fake memories implants regarding his wife (really his handler) and his personality, turning him from a drunken slacker known for partying, into a serious-minded politician and reformer. Though his conditioning was undone and he escaped along with Echo, it was ultimately restored and, as per Rossum's orders, he "debunks" the Dollhouse myth.E-19

Matthew Harding (Keith Carradine) is the Rossum Corp executive who oversees Adelle. He does not delude himself about Rossum's goals or the Dollhouse's purpose, and sees the Actives as property. He insists Adelle surrender Sierra to Kinnard,E-17 and keep her nose out of the Senator Perrin engagement.E-18 For three months, he becomes the head of the LA Dollhouse while it develops the remote wipe technology for Rossum. Adelle is able to wrestle power back off of him by showing her supplication to Rossum in handing over the complete remote imprint schematics designed by Topher.E-20

Bennett Halverson (Summer Glau), introduced in "The Public Eye", is the D.C. Dollhouse's programmer. Even Topher regards her as a genius. Prior to the events of the series (and becoming Echo), Caroline is Bennett's best friend. Although viewers were initially led to believe that Caroline betrayed Bennett and left her for dead, it is later revealed that she was attempting to disavow Bennett's involvement with the bombing attack Caroline and Bennett mounted against Rossum – something for which Bennett does not forgive Caroline. When Bennett attempts to kill Echo by imprinting Daniel Perrin with an assassin persona, she is thwarted by Topher, who had initially developed an attraction towards her.E-19 Eventually, she is kidnapped by Paul and Anthony, taking her back to the Dollhouse in order to fix Caroline's wedge, but she is shot in the head by Dr. Saunders directly after sharing her first kiss with Topher.E-24 She is last seen onscreen in a tape Topher plays in which she lectures about neuroscience, helping him develop the device to reverse the wiping of the human race.

An Urban Legend?

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A 'Dollhouse' echo - Joss Whedon's new series questions memory and identity

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Eliza Dushku stars with Fran Kranz (center) and
Harry Lennix in the new sci-fi series ''Dollhouse.''

From: boston.com, by Matthew Gilbert

Humans who let an underground corporation empty out their brains and program them to perform secret missions? I suppose there's a way to read "Dollhouse," the new sci-fi series from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" creator Joss Whedon, as a cautionary tale about the digital era. The drama, starring Eliza Dushku, presents personality itself as a kind of changeable software. Are we storing our very souls on our computers? Are our avatars our selves?

But as a drama, "Dollhouse" doesn't stand up to the broad interpretations it invites. The Fox show, at 9 on Channel 25, is a provocative construct, for sure, and, like "Buffy," it begs to be viewed in metaphorical terms. You could probably write an engaging master's thesis about all the Big Themes afoot - a generation turning into robotic Barbies and Kens, the role of memory in a deletable culture. But alas, you still wouldn't much care to put "Dollhouse" into your DVR queue. For me, Whedon's drama works only on paper.

The nefarious Dollhouse organization is run with an iron fist by Adelle DeWitt (Olivia Williams). Dushku's Echo is one of a troop of brain-drained men and women known as "actives," whom DeWitt rents out to fulfill the wishes (sexual and otherwise) of high-paying customers. After each job, the actives are "wiped" - that is, returned to a blank state of mind - and live as vapid dolls in a high-tech dorm until the next job. Essentially, they are slaves, even if they put themselves into the Dollhouse in the first place. FBI agent Paul Ballard (Tahmoh Penikett) is obsessed with saving Echo and taking down the Dollhouse. Why does he care so much? The back story is emerging very slowly.

In each episode, Echo is infused with a new personality in order to serve the client of the week. And she truly believes she is that person. She becomes an expert hostage negotiator to save a child, a trained midwife to deliver a baby, and an expert thief to steal art, all after some high-tech zapping by the Dollhouse's irritatingly ironic boy genius, Topher (Fran Kranz). She has sex with the clients, if that's part of the script (Whedon does not indicate whether or not the male dolls are having sex, too). But there's a ghost in Topher's machine: Echo keeps having memories, and we are meant to think that her former self - named Caroline - may be ascendant. Is Caroline going to wreak havoc in the Dollhouse?

The series is dogged by one big question: Why wouldn't the clients simply hire a real negotiator, or a real midwife, or a real thief? The purpose of the Dollhouse is unclear, even within the sci-fi context of the story line. And then, the show is further weakened by the fact that Dushku is a different person every week, which means she is nobody in particular, which means it's really hard to care about her. The actress does no more than a workmanlike job of becoming different people; she's not much fun to watch, in the way Jennifer Garner was in "Alias," when she donned costumes and accents to go undercover.

Maybe Whedon will develop "Dollhouse" into something more compelling, maybe not. As it is, the show makes for little more than an interesting entry in TV's ongoing chronicle of fractured identities, from the multiple personalities on "United States of Tara," the secret lives on "Weeds," "Breaking Bad," and "Dexter," and the split personality on the defunct "My Own Worst Enemy." Ultimately, you'll want to think about "Dollhouse" more than you'll want to think about watching "Dollhouse."

She's Got Legs  Eliza Dushku in Joss Whedon's Dollhouse

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Eliza Dushku plays Echo in Dollhouse

From: Slate.com

Dollhouse, created by Buffy the Vampire Slayer maestro Joss Whedon, stars Buffy alumna Eliza Dushku as a sort-of Stepford wife, a not-quite Nikita. The character, named Echo—like the Narcissus-type nymph and the Marvel Comics supervamp samurai—has an obscure past and a nonexistent present. An "Active" controlled by a stealth organization, she lives as a supple puppet without a real memory or a stable consciousness. Regularly brainwashed and reprogrammed by a computer geek with an indie-rock haircut, protected by a dark-skinned handler to whom the script allots just the slightestDriving Miss Daisy-ing, manipulated by a head honcho with the viciously posh accent of Olivia Williams, she is whatever the Dollhouse's ultrarich clients want her to be. "Where I come from, we called them 'hookers,' " Lisa de Moraes has quipped in theWashington Post. "Whatever."

Prostitution is indeed on the bill. Echo functions as a classy motorcycle-racing escort, as an outdoorsy rock-climbing escort, as a thief pretending to be a trashy thigh-high-boot-wearing escort. But her superiors also, for some reason, seem to program her as an Alpine midwife, and she has great potential as a killing machine. In her downtime, she is supposed to be oblivious to her dirty deeds—glitch, natch—and further unaware of the Actives who have gone rogue in order to work on the show's body count and of the dull, dull, dull FBI agent working the Dollhouse case. No, she is a sweet moron who doesn't know what prison is and believes that a Picasso portrait looks "broken." "You are a talking cucumber" is one character's generous assessment. Living communally with her fellow Actives in a comfortably appointed secret lair, she invariably slips into a tank top and yoga pants after stepping out of the unisex shower.

With Echo presenting two or three distinct reverberations per episode, the role would seem to require an actor of great dexterity, and Eliza Dushku is not exactly Toni Collette or Cate Blanchett. However, Eliza Dushku is exactly Eliza Dushku, and that is not a slight achievement. She powers convincingly along here as a scream queen, a comic naïf, a Sydney Bristow-level gunslinger, and a trembling faun—and also whenever she shows a lot of leg, which is obviously as often as possible, maybe more often than possible. Dushku, who is also an executive producer on the show, has already done wonders for her demo reel, but merely donning Sarah Palin drag to convey the personality of a tough negotiator in a kidnapping case will not cut it, and it will be a test of her abilities to reach the existential depths to which the show aspires. The Williams character kicks off the pilot with some blather about the distinction between being and seeming, and someone else, by way of clearing up that Cubism issue, says, "That's what art's for—to show us who we are." Correct! But nonresponsive.

Crucially, Dushku always conveys both joy in performing and vulnerability as a performer, and the combination incites protective and possessive feelings from viewers. We want to take care of her, but in order to want to take care of her, we need to see that she wants our care, that she is being abused. Dollhouse asks questions about the exploitation of women in general and actresses in particular—and might even come to answer them with rich ambiguity. What is a starlet but a person who lives in an odd colony, pampered but imprisoned, emptying her head out after every job, possibly robbed of her selfhood without an awareness of the theft? Do Actives dream of insipid sheep? And what, exactly, does the passive audience dream about Dushku's body and Echo's soul? While the show's ostentatious and superficial philosophizing ranks high among the qualities bogging down the three episodes I've seen, it might, almost despite itself, be engaging questions of identity and media in a perverse and nifty fashion.

Though the show is quick and exciting in its particulars, slick and captivating in its details, it is unfolding slowly as a whole, with perhaps one too many investigations, conspiracies, return-of-the-repressed traumas, and busy backstories curling leisurely into view. Will that pace test the patience of the remarkable cult of Joss Whedon? After all, when TV connoisseurs hear that producer J.J. Abrams (AliasLost) is creating a new show, most will perk their ears at least long enough to hear what he has to say. When they get wind of a project from Josh Schwartz (The O.C.Gossip Girl), a sizable number will start drooling in anticipation and, wetting a finger with this saliva, test that wind to see which way it blows. Meanwhile, Whedon elicits not just steady curiosity but high passion, and the Dollhouse reviews from sharp critics less abnormal than I are lukewarm so far. But if you can cleanse your mind of expectations, thenDollhouse stands all of a sudden as the best action show on network television.

In defence of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse

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“Stefan tackles criticism of Dollhouse, a brave series he argues is unfairly maligned in Joss Whedon's body of work…

From: Den of Geek! by Stefan Mohamed

Joss Whedon, it’s fair to say, is not short of fans. Between Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Serenity, Cabin in the Woods, Dr Horrible, and latterly his work with Marvel (not to mention his adaptation of a play by that little-known writer Will Shakesman), he has an enviable back catalogue, and Whedonites (as I promise not to refer to them again after this sentence) rank among the most devoted, rabid and occasionally frightening fans in geekdom. If you want an idea of just how passionate people are about the man’s work, write the phrase “I am a leaf on the wind” in any comment thread below a Whedon-related article, and hang on to something. Said thread may experience some slight turbulence and then explode.

But there is one series that, while it does have its vocal supporters, is generally regarded at best as a noble failure, and at worst as the unloved, slightly deformed illegitimate-child-we-keep-in-the-attic-and-don’t-talk-about of Whedon’s small-screen oeuvre. Its reputation in critical circles – again, not exclusively, but generally – isn’t much better. I refer to the short-lived and ill-treated Dollhouse, and I would like to explain exactly why I think you should give this much-maligned show another chance, because for my money it's as brave, idiosyncratic and downright thrilling as anything in the holy televisual trinity of Buffy, Angel and Firefly (I’m not counting Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, a) because it’s more his brother’s baby than his, and b) because at the time of writing it’s not particularly brilliant, although I still have hopes that it will reach its potential).

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“Did I fall asleep?”

First broadcast in 2009 and cancelled after two thirteen-episode seasons, the series stars Eliza Dushku (Buffy’s rogue Slayer Faith) as Echo, one of a group of ‘Actives’ living in the titular Los Angeles-based Dollhouse whose minds have been (voluntarily – or at least, that’s what we’re initially led to believe) wiped so that they can be imprinted with dozens of other personalities and skillsets and rented out to super-rich clients. These personalities range from horny college students to NSA agents to genius bank robbers and hackers via bounty hunters, dominatrixes and, in what is generally regarded as the nadir of the series, backing singers for temperamental divas. Naturally the ‘engagements’ tend to go wrong in unforeseen ways, often relating to Echo's gradual rediscovery of her past self, and thus Dollhouse begins as, on the surface at least, a fairly standard mission-of-the-week series (or maybe personality-of-the-week would be more accurate).

It doesn’t stay like that, however. Oh no.

The premise is admittedly problematic, and much of the criticism levelled at the show is valid. For some viewers, the fact that Dushku and the other actives are essentially different characters every episode, reverting to benign blank slates when they’re not out on engagements, is a deal-breaker. How do you relate to a protagonist who is not the same person from week to week? It’s entirely subjective; either you can engage with the conceit or you can't, but this odd setup meant that the show was hindered from the get-go. Personally I was invested enough in the premise, in Echo and in the richly-drawn supporting characters – both Active and non-Active - to stick with it, and for me, even in their wiped doll forms, the actors exhibit enough personality for me to care about their fates. However, it’s fair to assume that this was a major stumbling block for many people trying to get into the series, and all I can say is that it's worth persevering.

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The Dollhouse itself is also conceptually troublesome, which is one of the reasons why the execs at Fox were unhappy with the series. Fundamentally, the idea is pretty icky. Many of the engagements are of a sexual nature, and whether the actives agree to what happens to them or not they are basically being sold to rich businesspeople wanting a willing partner who will conveniently forget about them after the act. Tension is therefore built into the show, particularly in its early episodes, where the breezy tone of the personality-of-the-week adventures bumps awkwardly against seedy undertones of prostitution.

It’s to its credit that Dollhouse does not shy away from the uncomfortable nature of this concept, confronting issues of sexual abuse and slavery head-on in several episodes once it settles into a more arc-based groove. The blurry moral ground on which the Dollhouse, its staff and its clients operate is explored compellingly, and while you may actually come to sympathise with the reasons the characters give to justify their involvement, the show rarely - if ever - comes down on the side of right or wrong. Ultimately, the picture it paints is of a corrupt and often degrading institution run by people who are all, in their own way, trying to do what they perceive to be the right – or at least the necessary – thing.

It’s a fascinating philosophical minefield to navigate, but it sometimes makes it difficult to know who to root for – not an accusation you could really level at Buffy, Angel or Firefly, no matter how far into darkness their characters slipped. However, if you like your beautiful ass-kicking men and women (and they are very beautiful, and they kick a whole mess o’ ass) served with a side order of existential horror and a generous dollop of moral ambiguity, Dollhouse might just be the show for you.

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“I try to be my best”

Whether you buy in to the inner lives of the Actives or not, I think it's safe to say that the supporting cast is as strong as any of Whedon’s other ensembles. From tech wizard Topher (Fran Kranz) to Dollhouse head Adelle DeWitt (played to icy yet subtly vulnerable perfection by Olivia Williams) to house physician Claire Saunders (Amy Acker! Yay! Someone give this woman all the series and films please), everyone who works in the Dollhouse is damaged in some way. They’re all flawed, ethically compromised people existing in a frightening and bizarre grey area, which makes for some seriously thought-provoking drama. Topher, for example, starts the show as a fairly typical wise-cracking genius man-child type, but as he slowly begins to rediscover his fractured morality, his arc is both compelling and ultimately very moving. Even FBI agent Paul Ballard (once you get past Tahmoh Penikett’s slightly peculiar, mannered way of speaking), who starts as something of a cipher, is blessed with an unexpected and interesting character trajectory.

Credit must also go to Eliza Dushku herself, who I feel is as unfairly maligned as the show in which she stars. Granted, perhaps she isn't the strongest actress out there, and she is occasionally shown up by Dichen Lachman and Enver Gjokaj, who play fellow Actives Sierra and Victor respectively, but although she may not be as adept at inhabiting different personalities she does provide a firm anchor for the show, and hints at a strange, unsettling intelligence when in her child-like doll state. As the series progresses, with Echo steadily finding a new self nestled in the tangle of borrowed memories and skills with which she has been imprinted, she grows into a very credible heroine, and Dushku acquits herself well.

Enver Gjokaj, meanwhile, should definitely have been the show's breakout star. The guy is quite phenomenally adaptable, particularly when mimicking other members of the cast - an episode in which he is imprinted with Topher’s mind is especially delightful, with Gjokaj delivering an absolutely pitch-perfect take on Fran Kranz’s twitchy mannerisms. Someone give him all the series and films too. Along with Amy Acker, maybe? Like, maybe they could do the whole driving round in a van solving mysteries thing, maybe? Except that it’s a Firefly-class ship not a van? And then their ship gets damaged and they get rescued by Serenity and join their crew? With Dichen Lachman along for the ride too? For six seasons and a movie? Sorry, I digress.

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“I enjoy my treatments”

Dollhouse takes a little while to establish itself, and the early standalone personality-of-the-week episodes, while entertaining, are definitely the weakest. However, after the Joss Whedon-penned Man on the Street (which features a brilliant guest performance by Patton Oswalt and paints a more nuanced picture of the Dollhouse and its function than we’ve previously seen), the series’ real concerns start to emerge, and it kicks into gear in a big way. The latter halves of both Season One and Season Two feature mind-blowing twist after mind-blowing twist, with shifting identities, double-crosses, philosophical quagmires, unforgivable (or are they?) acts, corporate intrigue and plenty of badass fight scenes, despite a rapidly decreasing budget.

The show's curtailed length also arguably ends up working in its favour; with an early end in sight the writers go for broke, squeezing several seasons' worth of plots into a handful of episodes and raising the action to white-knuckle levels of intensity. Watching it all in quick succession makes for a serious adrenaline rush, and you’ve barely had time to recover from one rug-pull before the floor beneath the rug gets ripped away. Season One's finale, Epitaph One, is particularly jaw-dropping, and it's a crime that it wasn't actually broadcast during Dollhouse's initial run; fans had to wait to discover its apocalyptic delights on DVD.

That (admittedly divisive) episode is, for my money, what really sets Dollhouse apart, cementing it as the bleakest of Whedon's TV oeuvre – yes, even taking into account Angel episodes like Reprise and Not Fade Away. There are few clear-cut heroes in this series, and even fewer happy endings, and it never compromises on the darkness inherent to its premise. We are there every step of the way, pulled down with the characters as they traverse their own personal hells, experiencing the nightmarish consequences of the technology with which they’ve been playing. It was always a minor miracle that the show was renewed for a second season after the first's lukewarm reception – although fan pressure might have had a little something to do with it - and having watched it all the way through, I'm still kind of amazed that something this weird and morally ambiguous managed two seasons on a network like Fox. From its murky sexual politics to the ethics of mind-wiping to some fairly on-point political satire, Dollhouse is a fundamentally more adult show than its predecessors, and while it is often very funny, fans of Buffy etc. may be put off by the relentless darkness, and by the lack of Whedon's trademark quippiness (it's still there, mind, just... muted).

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“Shall I go now?”

Well-acted, thought-provoking and frequently devastating in its twists and turns, Dollhouse is a peculiar oddity, an extremely brave piece of fiction that fearlessly tackles uncomfortable concepts and themes and asks challenging questions. Can you ever truly erase a person's soul – if, indeed, there is such a thing? What might the next level of augmented humanity look like? Is voluntary slavery still slavery? How much do we love Victor and Sierra (answer: lots)? With its more realistic setting and intelligent exploration of the side-effects of new technology, it has much more of a hard-SF feel than Firefly, and while there are undoubtedly bumps along the way - and one or two contentious twists near the end – if you can look past these and stay the course, it makes for a really rewarding viewing experience. I've not even gone into the headfuck that is The Attic, or the reveal of Alpha, or the mini-arc with Alexis Denisof's Senator Daniel Perrin, or the end of Needs, because you deserve to experience it all without it being spoiled.

So don’t believe the bad press. Give Dollhouse a chance. And you may find one more show to prove your “OMG Joss is totes teh bestest!!!!” theorem.

Or you'll feel vindicated in your position that he's an overrated hack. *Shrug* I tried my best.

Welcome to Overthinking It, the site that
subjects the popular culture to a level
of scrutiny it probably doesn't deserve.
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Why Nobody Cared about Dollhouse

From: Overthinking It

[To mark tonight’s series finale of Dollhouse, we present a guest article by Jon Eric Eric offering a controversial take on the show’s cancellation. We’ve already had a lot to say about the series; see if you agree with Jon about the justification for the cancellation. And come back on Monday to hear the podcast panel’s analysis of the final episode and of the series as a whole.]

Today marks the series finale of Joss Whedon’s most recent baby, a sci-fi drama named Dollhouse. It was a rough two years, and perhaps the biggest surprise was the show’s longevity—Whedon’s last attempt at a weekly television show was cancelled after only half a season, so his fans were especially vigilant this time around: “Save Dollhouse” websites had cropped up before the show even premiered.

But in between the appearance of the first “Save Dollhouse” website and the airing of the first Dollhouse episode, Whedon’s fans seem to have turned on him. What happenedx? Maybe it had something to do with the promotional materials – how can you encapsulate such a high-concept science fiction show in a :30 TV spot? – or maybe the perception (justifiable, even if incorrect) that Joss’ Dollhouse was nothing more than a particularly highfalutin whorehouse. In the face of controversial subject matter, Whedon loyalists had a hard time coping, and some lost their faith. After all, it’s difficult to defend, let alone recommend, a show whose first-season advertising was dominated by this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gCOGkxg_QA

Look at how they repeat-edited the words “Dominatrix scene!” Like the network was salivating over this one little bone Whedon and Dushku had thrown them: “At last, something we can use to market this nerdy show to the hornballs who actually watch Fox on Friday nights!”

But in fact, the “Dominatrix Scene” in the show is little more than what we see in that trailer – it’s an establishing shot, a throwaway scene. She’s returning from an engagement we never see, for a client we never meet, and why should we? It’s just your standard submissive john. Why would we be interested in some standard dominatrix encounter when there are so many more interesting stories to be told?

Somehow, the die-hards missed the subtext. Whether it was Fox’s failure to communicate the concept, or the netroots feminist movement crying out against Joss’ handling an admittedly delicate subject matter (or both), Whedon’s already-small fan base fragmented itself and Whedon’s self-proclaimed feminism came under fire.

Here’s the problem: when a core audience as small as Whedon’s fragments, the resuling fraction isn’t enough to sustain a show on a major network. Especially when it airs on a Friday night.Dollhouse didn’t have a large advertising budget, Fox didn’t seem that interested in pushing the ads, and it’s not as though the concept were easy to pitch, so the series never really had a chance at an audience any larger than the supposedly-loyal Whedon fanbase. As it happened, they got something quite a bit smaller, and now the show is cancelled due to poor ratings.

It’s easy to blame Fox for all the mishandling. Fox has killed so many worthy series in the past; what’s one more? I don’t deny that Fox’s lack of care with their product helped to ensure an early demise… But some of the blame rests with Whedon, too. I submit that Whedon’s show was terminally flawed from the start, that its premise defied an audience, that its writing team is guilty of fatal sloppiness — in short, that unlike its predecessor, Dollhousedeserved to be cancelled.

Dollhouse‘s premise was strong, but the show was too easily distracted. In the beginning, the story demands we take it on faith that there’s something special about Dushku’s character Echo — that there is, in fact, a reason we’re following her around. In fact, during the show’s entire two-season run, we only meet three other dolls, and two of those three are still “sleepers” at the start of the series, so we are only introduced to Echo and Sierra. And they spend most of season 1 doing a whole lot of nothing. Echo becomes some dude’s hunting partner-cum-girlfriend, then she becomes a pop singer, then she becomes Patton Oswalt’s wife, then she becomes the reincarnation of her boss’ dead friend, but none of these personae inform or move the plot. None of them carry over. None of them give us any indication of the question that plagues any series: Why Echo? What’s so special about Echo that we’re being asked to invest in her emotionally, even though she has literally no character from week to week? We’ll find out eventually, the show seems to assure us, but it’s in these early weeks that it’s crucial to establish why we care about the main character.

If you don’t, for one reason or another, invest emotionally in the main character, there’s nothing to compel you to keep tuning in. And it’s impossible to invest emotionally in a character whose defining characteristic is her lack of identity [Ed. Note: Sounds familiar.]. This is no small nitpick; it’s a critical flaw in the very premise of the show. Remember what Fenzel said about the avatars in Avatar retarding the development of their characters? On Dollhouse, that happens every single episode.

Worse than that, in the Dollhouse world, Echo’s lack of identity isn’t even unique to her. If, at the beginning of the series, there’s anything in particular that sets her apart from the rest of thetabulae rasae around her, it’s not made clear to the audience until much later (i.e. when two-thirds of the audience has already stopped watching). It’s in these crucial first episodes that it’s most important to explain why we’re supposed to care. Whedon of all people should know by now that this is how you get canned.

The way Dollhouse‘s first season worked out, both fan and critical appeal seem to have coalesced around the show with the airing of episode 9, “A Spy in the House of Love”, when (spoiler alert) Echo began to manifest the first signs of the trait that would later set her apart from the other dolls, her self-awareness. She watches the technician imprint Sierra, and for the first time in the series, Echo makes the connection: “You make people different. I want to help. Make me into someone who can help.” Neither Echo nor any other doll had made this connection yet, and this is when we get the moment that we’d been waiting for since episode 1. This is when we see what sets Echo apart from the crowd.

Maybe I’ve got it wrong, though. Maybe I’m judging the series based on what I wanted it to be, and not on what Whedon intended for it. It might not have been Whedon’s intention, at least not initially, to build up a huge story arc. It’s entirely conceivable that Joss wanted to have his fun first, make Dollhouse an escapist adventure-of-the-week compilation series where our heroine gets a new disposable personality every episode, courts danger, and then comes home to get wiped and restore the status quo. Then, a year or two down the line, they could spring the heavy plot stuff on us.

If this was the plan, it didn’t work, because the audience clamored for more answers, sooner. And Whedon, with mounting audience pressure and the threat of cancellation, caved, making “A Spy in the House of Love” and the rest of the serial-based episodes through the rest of the season much earlier than he’d originally intended. This raises the question: How much is too much, too soon? How little is not enough?

For the answer, we can turn to the other superstar auteur of network TV, J.J. Abrams, who has exemplified this dilemma perfectly: his megahit Lost, which spawned a whole sub-genre of ensemble cast dramas with interlocking stories, has allowed its plots to become so cumbersome in its first five years that reruns are now aired with a running stock-ticker of explanations, in case you missed an episode or two. So Abrams decided to take a different angle when his new series Fringe got the green light. Fringe, which debuted a couple of months before Dollhouse, makes it clear that the incident at the heart of each episode is part of a larger pattern (called, appropriately enough, “The Pattern”), but most of these episodes can still be taken on their own with relatively few curveballs discouraging newcomers. So maybe this is what Whedon was going for. On the other hand, though, Dollhouse‘s premise offered several advantages that would have allowed him to sidestep this problem easily.

Maybe he could have simultaneously developed a weekly-adventure (episodic) action mood without sacrificing the larger (serial) story arc that would have kept those few viewers engaged. At the beginning of the show, Echo is the only doll we know. Later we meet Sierra, then Victor, then November. Each of these dolls is played by a competent actor, capable of playing any personality that might be thrust upon them. Suppose Whedon had decided, for the sake of the series as a whole, to sacrifice those big surprising moments when Victor and November got revealed, and just let us know right upfront that these characters are dolls? Or, if theremust be encounters that don’t inform the larger story, the least Whedon could have done was give those encounters to someone who isn’t supposed to be as critical as Echo is supposed to be! Most episodes have an A-plot and a B-plot anyway, so why not divide your time up relatively evenly between the episodic material and the serial material?

As it is, the first eight episodes of the show are mostly filler. And that’s a ton of filler for a nascent show with a difficult concept and no mass audience. Given how the show turned out, it feels as though Whedon, for one reason or another, intentionally delayed what he knew would be “the good stuff.” I suppose he called it building suspense. I call it shooting himself in the foot. By the time he got to the big reveals near the end of the season, most of his already-small audience had already stopped caring — and stopped tuning in.

One wonders what might have been. Maybe word of mouth would have spread; maybe the skeptics in Whedon’s audience would have come around eventually had the show been handled better. But with the show as it was, even if someone had enjoyed parts of season 1 enough to recommend it to a friend, that friend would have to have an awful lot of faith in Whedon to sit around and wait for the story to get good. The diehards will wait like that, but everyone else… Well, they had better things to do on their Friday nights. Echo, we hardly knew ye.

TV review: 'Dollhouse' is a big disappointment

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Topher (Fran Kranz, L) prepares Echo (Eliza Dushku, R)
for her next engagement in "Ghost,"
the series premiere episode of Dollhouse

Joss Whedon is one of television's most talented visionaries, but his latest series - the highly anticipated midseason drama "Dollhouse" - is a major disappointment.

From: SFGate

It looks as if Fox was onto something when it wanted the pilot reworked and maybe onto something bigger when it shifted the series to Friday nights, hardly the spot for a heavyweight these days. On the plus side, being out of the limelight might allow the troubled "Dollhouse" to grow. After Friday's lackluster pilot, it certainly has room to do so.

But judging from two additional episodes - one a step forward, the other a step back to the underwhelming quality of the pilot - it could be that Whedon has invested too much hope in his muse, Eliza Dushku, the star of "Dollhouse." It could also be that the premise is too flawed for anyone to elevate.

Here's Fox's description of the series: " 'Dollhouse' focuses on Echo (Dushku), a member of a highly illegal and underground group of individuals ('Actives') who have had their personalities wiped clean so they can be imprinted with any number of new personas. Hired by the wealthy, powerful and connected, the Actives don't just perform their hired roles, they wholly become - with mind, personality and physiology - whomever the client wants or needs them to be. ... After each engagement, Echo returns to the mysterious Dollhouse where her thoughts, feelings, experiences and knowledge are erased. Or are they?"

OK, then. Ambitious, yes. Implausibly hokey, yes. But Whedon was able to make "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" into a slice of genius, plus he turned Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog into an Internet sensation during the Writers Guild of America strike. You have to give the man room to work.

But "Dollhouse" doesn't work, on numerous levels - starting with Dushku. She's not a sufficiently compelling actress to pull off the various personas she's given. What's worse, "Dollhouse" wants the "dolls" to be childlike and unencumbered by thought when they're not on assignment. This doe-eyed, vacant state does not suit Dushku. She mainly walks around bemusedly, looking wan.

Issues of identity

The bigger picture - which "Dollhouse" doesn't really illustrate in the three episodes sent to critics - is that issues of identity are in play: how the Actives came to volunteer for the Dollhouse experiment in the first place and what they - specifically Echo - might be recalling from memories they're not supposed to have access to. Whedon may be after something bigger, but none of it seems especially compelling.

What the series does achieve, ever so slowly, is a much-needed bigger mystery than what's up with Echo. We learn, for example, that one of the Actives did something he shouldn't have; it seems the programming code, or "art," as its young creator, Topher (Fran Kranz), calls it, has some bugs. That's also why Echo is holding on to memories. Faulty code can be interesting (at least Fox better hope it becomes more so). And there could very well be a heretofore unknown rival to the Dollhouse - always good for drama.

The super-secret Dollhouse is fronted by Adelle DeWitt (Olivia Williams), who reports to unseen handlers. Stoic Boyd Langton (Harry Lennix) is assigned to be Echo's handler and protector. He's likable right off the bat, and his rising curiosity about the ultimate goal of the Dollhouse adds a small layer of interest. So, too, does FBI Agent Paul Ballard (Tahmoh Penikett), whose relentless pursuit to prove the existence and real story behind the Dollhouse makes him the FBI's running joke - but he adds much-needed gravitas to life outside the Dollhouse. Laurence Dominic (Reed Diamond) plays the head of security at the Dollhouse. "The dolls in their infantile state disgust him," according to Fox - and that's a sentiment that many viewers are likely to share, which brings us to the fundamental flaw of the series.

Who cares?

Why care about the Actives at all? When they're on assignment, it's not as if they're real people. They're programmed robots, essentially, doing a job, playing a role. Once they're "wiped," and they fall into that aforementioned infantile state where they loll around doing yoga and babbling, they're pretty and vacant but not exactly enthralling. Echo's backstory barely unfolds after three episodes, and that's asking for more patience than the average viewer may have. There's barely a trace of Whedon's wonderful sense of humor, and when it does come, from the boy scientist character Topher, it makes you think of him as less scientist and more boy, hardly the believable architect of this life-altering technology.

And then there's Dushku the muse - the actress who inspired the series Whedon built around her. Obviously he sees something in her. But will viewers? That's a lot of faith.

Here's hoping "Dollhouse" improves significantly or else Fox is going to wipe it clean for next season.

Season 1   (all reviews from putlocker)
Ghost

dollhouse season 1 episode 01Synopsis: The show follows an organization that employs mind-wiped humans known as Dolls who are implanted with false memories and skills for various missions and tasks. When they are not 'at work' they are living in a real life Dollhouse which gives the show the name. One of those mind-wiped humans, a young woman named Echo, is slowly starting to become aware of herself and what's going on - all the while somebody on the outside is trying to bring the Dollhouse down while getting closer to Echo - possibly not aware that she is one of the Dolls he is after.

Echo is one of several "Actives" in the Dollhouse, the elite and illegal criminal organization, which is run by the shady international entrepreneur Adelle DeWitt. Through different personality downloads, Echo plays the role of a lovestruck girl on a romantic weekend, and then a ruthlessly efficient kidnapping negotiator when a wealthy client hires Dollhouse to look for his missing daughter. With the help of her handler Boyd Langdon, and "programmed" by tech specialist Topher Brink, Echo goes out to rescue the girl, but her memory imprints cause some complications. Meanwhile, FBI Agent Paul Ballard is struggling with his assignment to uncover information on the Dollhouse. The chase has destroyed his marriage and is wrecking his career when both his superiors and colleagues refuses to believe in its existence. But it doesn't seem that he'll stop until he uncovers the truth.

The Target

dollhouse season 1 episode 02Synopsis: Echo becomes the ultimate outdoorswoman when a handsome young client, Richard Connell, hires her as a date for a wilderness adventure. But unknown to the Dollhouse, Richard's true sport is hunting humans - with Echo intended as his next victim.

Meanwhile, Agent Ballard continues investigating the origins of the Dollhouse, hindered by both his skeptical superior Tanaka, and his colleagues who continues to dismiss it as a legend. Eventually, Ballard receives a clue about Echo/Caroline's past from an anonymous source. Also, periodic flashbacks show how Boyd came to work for Adelle and be assigned as Echo's handler, his first meeting with tech Topher, and how Dr. Claire Saunders received her facial scars from the shadowy Alpha; a rogue active who may or may not still be on the loose.

Stage Fright

dollhouse season 1 episode 03Synopsis: Echo is programmed for her next assignment to be a backup singer to protect a wealthy pop star, Rayna Russell, from an obsessed fan out to kill her. Newcomer active Sierra is also programmed to be the Australian winner of the "Number One Fan Contest" to assist Echo to flush out the stalker.

Meanwhile, Agent Ballard's investigation to find Caroline/Echo in order to link her to Dollhouse takes a turn for the worse when his Russian contact, Lubov, turns out to be an active for the Dollhouse and sets him up to be killed by Russian thugs of no relation to the matter he is investigating.

Gray Hour

dollhouse season 1 episode 04Synopsis: Echo's latest mission is as a professional safe-cracker to lead a team to rip off a valuable artifact from a impregnable safe. But in a twist, Echo's mind gets remotely wiped by a hidden signal and she is powerless inside the safe. Boyd then tries to find a way to rescue her while Topher tries to find out how this happened. Adelle and Laurence have Sierra programed as the safe-cracker to try to help Echo out before the authorities close in.

Meanwhile, Agent Ballard struggles to recover from the attempt on his life, still unaware that his source, Lubov, is the active "Victor" whom takes refuge in his apartment claiming to be sought after by Dollhouse agents.

True Believer

dollhouse season 1 episode 05Synopsis: Echo is programed to go under cover as a blind woman at religious cult in Arizona after a corrupt senator recruits Dollhouse to assist the ATF in the breakup of the cult. But with Boyd watching from a distance, he soon learns that the Jonas Sparrow cult may be more difficult to handle, and the ATF agent in charge has an ulterior motive... as does Dominic when the situation takes a turn for the worse.

Meanwhile, Agent Ballard continues his relentless quest to look for Echo while his neighbor, Mellie, continues to harbor a crush on him. Also, Topher and Dr. Saunders monitor Victor when he begins exhibiting primordial behavior whenever he's around Sierra.

Man on the Stree

dollhouse season 1 episode 06Synopsis: While a street reporter interviews random passersby about the urban legend of the Dollhouse, Ballard continues his obsessive quest for evidence of its existence, leading to an encounter with dot-com billionaire Joel Mynor, where he finally meets Echo face-to-face in her "programmed" state, and learns a little more about the Dollhouse clientèle.

Meanwhile, it appears that Victor has been sexually abusing Sierra. DeWitt wants to have Victor sent to "the Attic", but Boyd suspects all may not be as it appears.

Elsewhere, Ballard increasingly confides in his neighbor Mellie, and finally begins a romance with her, unaware that he may be putting her in danger by doing so. DeWitt decides to take more decisive action against the threat posed by Ballard - with unexpected consequences. And there are ominous hints that the Dollhouse may be much more than it appears.

Echoes

dollhouse season 1 episode 07Synopsis: Rossum Corporation asks the Dollhouse to send a large contingent of actives to a college campus to retrieve an experimental memory drug. The drug brings out suppressed memories which affect everyone, including the actives. Echo's origins are revealed.

Needs

dollhouse season 1 episode 08Synopsis: Echo, Victor, Sierra, Mellie/November, and another Active mysteriously awaken with them aware of their identities, but not their memories. The five of them start to search for answers about the Dollhouse facility they as well as how they got there and how to escape. In trying to find her own answers, Echo discovers more about herself, while Victor and Sierra escape to look for the man who recruited Sierra, and November searches for her missing daughter. But Adelle soon learns about the Active's glitch and sets her own agenda with the help of Boyd, Dr. Saunders, Dominic, and Topher to help her out.

Meanwhile Ballard wakes from a dream wondering how the Dollhouse knew that he had talked to Mellie about them. So he searches his apartment and finds a bug. Then he gets a phone message from Caroline who found his name in her file.

A Spy in the House of Love

dollhouse season 1 episode 09Synopsis: DeWitt leaves Dominic in charge of the Dollhouse when she has to leave for a short period. Topher finds a chip in the imprint chair which has been used by other agencies to alter the programming on the actives.

As the Dollhouse looks for the spy within, Ballard learns more about the Dollhouse.

Haunted

dollhouse season 1 episode 10Synopsis: When Margaret Bashford, a wealthy friend of Adelle's dies, Adelle has Margaret's memories implanted in Echo to try to solve her own murder. Posing as Julia, a pen-pal of Margarets, Echo/Margaret tries to solve the case during what she sees as her "second chance". Boyd, now the new security director of Dollhouse, imprints Victor to help Echo out as a racehorse owner which may hold the key to the mysterious.

Meanwhile, Topher signs Sierra out for an intensive "benchmark" imprint, which turns out to be that of a fellow gamer nerd and friend. Elsewhere, Ballard obtains Mellie/November's fingerprints and sneaks into the FBI headquarters to run them to ascertain her true identity. But the computer spews out a multitude of names and then goes blank.

Briar Rose

dollhouse season 1 episode 11Synopsis: Echo is imprinted with the mind of a teacher to help out an emotionally disturbed 11-year-old girl deal with her traumatic past, which seems to parallel Echo's. Meanwhile, Ballard escalates his quest to find the Dollhouse which leads him to a shut-in, named Stephen Kepler, whom was the architect of the L.A. branch building of the Dollhouse who reluctantly gives him information about its location. When an unidentified dead body is found in Arizona, Sierra is imprinted as an FBI forensic specialist to investigate when the MO has the likings of the mysterious Alpha.

Back in the deep bowels of the Dollhouse, Adelle goes to "the Attic" where she has the comatose Dominic imprinted into Victor to interrogate him for information about who is behind Ballard's quest to find the Dollhouse. When Ballard finally discovers the location of the Dollhouse and breaks in to look for Echo, he is caught by Boyd who takes him to Adelle for questioning just when Sierra phones from Arizon to inform them that…

Omega

dollhouse season 1 episode 12Synopsis: Having abducted Echo, Alpha attempts to recreate the "composite event" that resulted in his becoming a mosaic of all the imprints he'd ever had, so as to make her a fitting companion for himself - at a frightening cost.

Meanwhile, Ballard must overcome his scruples when Boyd and Adelle ask him to work with the Dollhouse to find Echo and Alpha before it's too late. Meanwhile, there are disturbing revelations about Alpha's background - and that of Dr. Saunders as well.

Epitaph One

dollhouse season 1 episode 13Synopsis: In the year 2019, a small group of survivors stumble upon the underground complex of the disused Los Angeles Dollhouse. The group, Mag, Zone, Griff, Lynn, along with a little girl named Iris and her mind-wiped father are "actuals," actual-minded people struggling to survive in a post-apocalyptic society where a tech mind wipe has turned most of Earth's population into "scavengers" or "butchers."

Mag and her team struggle to unlock the secrets of what brought on this disaster where the Dollhouse's mind imprinting technology was discovered and abused by the world in which the answer lies within the active Whiskey, who still resides there and who may know where the former active Echo/Caroline is and whom may lead the group to a place called "Safe Haven," while a mysterious and lethal evil lurks among them. Periodic flashbacks show how Paul Ballard became Echo's handler, and how DeWitt realized that Rossum used the imprint technology in their capacity to bring on the end of the world…

Season 2   (all reviews from putlocker)
Vows

dollhouse season 2 episode 01Synopsis: Six months after Alpha's reign of terror and with him still on the loose, Echo is still randomly picking up flashes of past engagements, especially under stress. This hampers her latest assignment, wedding a British businessman who has ties to one of Ballard's open FBI cases.

Meanwhile, at the Dollhouse, DeWitt tries to convince a reluctant Ballard to become Echo's new handler, while facing a new threat - a senator intent on investigating the Rossum Corporation, the Dollhouse's parent company.

And Dr. Saunders has difficulty coping with her new awareness that she is actually a former Active named Whiskey, torn between anger at Topher for creating her, and Langton's urging to accept herself and live like a normal human.

Instinct

dollhouse season 2 episode 02Synopsis: Echo is imprinted with the memory of a mother with a newborn baby for Dollhouse's latest business client. Complications arise when, thanks to Topher's programming, Echo takes too strongly to motherhood due to her maternal instincts.

Meanwhile, Senator Perrin escalates his investigation into Rossum Corporation over the imprint technology. Also, DeWitt pays a visit to the former active November (now in her real personality of Madeline Costley) where she has a dark agenda of her own.

Belle Chose

dollhouse season 2 episode 03Synopsis: Echo is imprinted with the personality of a fun-loving, seductive college student as the behest of a Casanova college professor seeking to relive his youth. Echo's mission collides with Victor's mission when he is imprinted with the personality of the psychotic nephew/serial killer of one of the Dollhouse's shareholders.

Ballard then takes over both cases as he races the clock to save some hostages held by the comatose killer, while Victor escapes and plots to use Echo as his latest 'creation'.

Belonging

dollhouse season 2 episode 04Synopsis: Sierra's past connection to the Rossum Corporation is revealed. Nolan, a Rossum doctor, threatens DeWitt unless she gives him an imprinted Sierra permanently. It is revealed that Nolan was in love with Sierra in her life as Priya Tsetsang (before she joined the Dollhouse), but she rejected him completely from the beginning.

Nolan has her kidnapped and put in a Rossum institution, where he uses medications to force her into insanity. As part of Nolan's plan, Topher is sent to the institution to bring Priya to the Doll House and make her an Active. In the present, Topher discovers the truth after a clue from Echo, and, feeling pangs of guilt about handing Sierra over to Nolan, imprints her instead with Priya's original personality, and she confronts Nolan at his house.

Meanwhile, Boyd takes notice of Echo's growing self-awareness when he discovers a book in her sleeping pod and he slips her a security pass in preparation for when "the storm" comes.

The Public Eye

dollhouse season 2 episode 05Synopsis: Senator Daniel Perrin breaks new ground in his attempt to expose the Dollhouse's secrets - by recruiting Madeline/November to testify before a Senate subcommittee. Rossum states that they will handle the situation, leading Ballard and DeWitt to fear for Madeline's safety, so Echo is sent to stop him, in hopes that that will keep Rossum from harming her. But all is not as it appears - Rossum has a hidden agenda, and the tension between the LA Dollhouse and its parent company increases.

Meanwhile, in the Washington DC Dollhouse, we meet genius programmer, Bennett Halverson, a woman with a mysterious past connection to Echo/Caroline.

The Left Hand

dollhouse season 2 episode 06Synopsis: Echo and Bennett have a shocking confrontation in which she reveals the reason for her grudge against Echo, while Adelle goes head-to-head with Stuart Lipman, the ruthless head of the Washington, D.C. Dollhouse, to lobby for Echo's safe return.

Meanwhile, Topher sees double when he involves Victor in his espionage plans to hack into the D.C. Dollhouse computer to locate both Echo and Senator Perrin as they try to run from Perrin's wife Cindy.

Meet Jane Doe

dollhouse season 2 episode 07Synopsis: After her entanglements with Senator Perrin and the DC Dollhouse, Echo finds herself out in the world-at-large as she struggles to control her multiple memory downloads, as well as those of her original memory of Caroline. Unsure who she is, Echo/Caroline calls upon the only person she can remember; Ballard, when she lands in a jam in a small town in Texas involving an illegal Mexican immigrant woman whom gets jailed by the local sheriff.

Meanwhile, Topher discovers the dangers of science that will have devastating effects on the future over abusing the Active's imprints, while Adelle engages in a power struggle with Matthew Harding for control of the L.A. Dollhouse, and Boyd gets a phone call from someone in particular over Echo's whereabouts.

A Love Supreme

dollhouse season 2 episode 08Synopsis: When all of Echo's past romantic engagements are found murdered, Adelle and the rest of the staff of the Dollhouse fear that Alpha has returned to seek his revenge.

Adelle begins to grow suspicious of Ballard who hopes to find allies in Boyd and Topher in his continuing secret plan to bring down the Dollhouse from the inside.

Stop-Loss

dollhouse season 2 episode 09Synopsis: Victor's five-year contract with the Dollhouse elapses and he goes back out into the real world under his old personality of Anthony Ceccoli. But his past as a soldier fighting in Afghanistan (whom he was running from the first place) threatens his present with Sierra who remains behind at Dollhouse and is conflicted over Victor's absence.

Meanwhile, Echo continues to keep an eye on the comatose Ballard, while Adelle slips into hopelessness over recent events. When Victor/Anthony is captured by a rouge military unit with ties to Rossum Corp. Echo is forced to recruit Sierra, under her real personalty of Priya, to help rescue Victor/Anthony while Boyd and Topher monitor and keep Adelle in check to avoid her finding out what is going on behind the scenes.

The Attic

dollhouse season 2 episode 10Synopsis: We finally enter the mysterious Attic - the secret vault where the Dollhouse keeps damaged actives and problematic employees unconscious and in a perpetual state of terror. Adelle has had Echo sent there, along with Victor and Sierra, on the grounds that her multiple imprints and their growing self-awareness are making the three a danger to Rossum.

In the dream-world of the Attic, Echo and her friends forced to face their worst nightmares repeatedly, and their only ally is former Dollhouse security head Laurence Dominic, sent there earlier when he was discovered to be a spy for the NSA. Together they must confront a mysterious predator bent on killing the Attic's prisoners, as they try to uncover the mystery of the Attic's true nature and purpose. Meanwhile, Adelle forces Topher to find a way to restore Ballard's damaged brain in order to revive him - at a terrible cost.

Getting Closer

dollhouse season 2 episode 11Synopsis: With the Rossum conspiracy now fully revealed, Echo and her allies must now make their stand to stop the Rossum Corporation from enslaving the free world with their newest remote mind-wipe technology to take over the world. Topher meets up with Bennett Halverson when she is forcibly taken from the DC Dollhouse and brought to Los Angeles to help restore Caroline's past memory whom is the only one who can identify the two Rossum corporate heads.

Echo will finally face herself as Caroline, even as Ballard struggles with the facts of his new existence as an Active, while he also brings in former active November/Millie back into the fold. The background story between Caroline and Bennett is revealed from three years earlier during Caroline's status as a student in Arizona. As Adelle tries to prepare an evacuation of the Dollhouse, an invasion is incurred by Rossum soldiers, just as Whiskey/Dr. Claire Saunders finally returns to the Dollhouse at the request of Boyd with some info for all…

The Hollow Men

dollhouse season 2 episode 12Synopsis: Forced to flee the Los Angeles Dollhouse in the aftermath of the Rossum attack, the survivors of the Dollhouse head for Rossum's headquarters in Tucson, where they hope to prevent the apocalyptic future they've seen by destroying the company's mainframe computer system and the prototypes and plans for the remote wipe technology. But they are still unaware of the identity of Rossum's mysterious founder, and Echo/Caroline is unable to tell them.

Meanwhile, Priya and Anthony reject their chance at a free life together in favor of returning to help their friends - but find everyone gone, and must piece together what happened in their absence.

Epitaph Two: Return

dollhouse season 2 episode 13Synopsis: In the year 2020, events finally come full-circle as Echo and the few surviving Dollhouse staff struggle to restore mankind after the devastating events seen in the first season episode, "Epitaph" that has turned 90% of Earth's population into mindless, kill-crazy zombies out to kill those not infected (called 'actuals') by the Rossum's remote mind-wipe system.

In the meantime, fellow actuals, Mag, Zone, and the mind-restored Caroline set out to find the save haven that can save man-kind from total extinction.

The Cannes 'luxury prostitutes'
earning $40,000 PER NIGHT on million-dollar yachts during the annual film festival

 
cannes 05 240
Illustration by: Iker Ayestaran

From: Daily Mail

From full-time escorts to models, actresses and beauty queens, the call girls servicing wealthy men in Cannes' luxury hotels, and on million-dollar yachts can earn thousands of dollars a night.

According to Lebanese businessman, Elie Nahas, who was arrested in 2007 for running a Cannes prostitution ring that supplied more than 50 women 'of various nationalities' to rich Middle Eastern men during the festival, the money call girls make is bigger than most people realize.

Mr Nahas, 48, who unable to leave Lebanon while his eight-year prison sentence is being appealed, told The Hollywood Reporter: 'They can make up to $40,000 a night.

cannes 01 240
Cannes' call girls: From full-time escorts to models,
actresses and beauty queens, during the film festival,
prostitutes can earn thousands servicing wealthy men
(actress pictured is not associated with this story) 

'Arabs are the most generous people in the world. If they like you, they will give you a lot of money.

'At Cannes, they carry money around in wads of 10,000 euros. To them, it's just like paper,' he explained. 'They don't even like to count it. They'll just hand it to the girls without thinking.'

Mr Nahas, who owns a Beirut-based modeling agency and used to work as a right-hand man for Moatessem Gadhafi, the son of Muammar Gadhafi, who were both killed in Libya in 2011, denies he was running a prostitution ring.

'Every boat has about 10 girls on it;
they are usually models, and they
are usually nude or half nude'

However, he explained: 'I know the system.'

The more experienced escorts, he said, target Cannes' high-end hotels 'where all the Arabs stay,' and where, after 10pm, call girls perch in the lobby waiting for prospective clients to check them out.

'It's all done with hand signals,' he explained. 'The guys signal their room numbers with their hands and the girls follow them.'

But the luxury yachts, which house some of the world's wealthiest men - many single, some married - is where the serious money is, Mr Nahas said.

'Every year during the festival there are 30 or 40 luxury yachts in the bay at Cannes, and every boat belongs to a very rich person.

cannes 02 240
Targeting luxury yachts: Some of the 'luxury prostitutes'
fly into Cannes from Paris, London, Venezuela, Brazil,
Morocco and Russia to take advantage of the film festival

'Every boat has about 10 girls on it; they are usually models, and they are usually nude or half nude… The girls are all waiting for their envelopes at the end of the night. It's been going on there for 60 years.'

But it's not all luxury yachts and high-end hotels. Local prostitutes, who charge up to $75 an hour work alongside high-priced call girls, which the French call putes de luxes, who charge an average of $4,000 a night.

But no matter what a prostitutes' status, the Cannes Film Festival is 'the biggest payday of the year,' according to one Parisian escort.

'We all look forward to it,' said Daisey, a local prostitute in Cannes who has her own website. 'There's a lot of competition because there are so many girls, but the local ones have an advantage. We know the hotel concierges.'

cannes 03 240
High-end hotels: The more experienced escorts
target Cannes' luxury hotels 'where all the Arabs stay,'
explains Mr Nahas. After 10pm, call girls perch in the
lobby waiting for prospective clients to check them out

It is routine to drop cash off with concierges at the town's top hotels, she said, and in return, concierges will steer clients their way.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, up to 200 escorts are coming and going from big hotels every day during the festival.

Roger Ebert, the American film critic who died last month, famously tweeted in 2010: 'Hookers stand out in Cannes. They're the ones who are well-dressed and not smoking.'

And while some of the 'luxury prostitutes' fly into Cannes from Paris, London, Venezuela, Brazil, Morocco and Russia to take advantage of the big event, some escorts come as part of an organized ring.

Philippe Camps, a lawyer for a Paris-based anti-prostitution organization that was a civil plaintiff in Mr Nahas' trial, said that that some of the women were brought to Cannes under false pretenses and pressured into prostitution.

cannes 04 240
Prostitution ring: Lebanese businessman
Elie Nahas was arrested in 2007 for supplying
more than 50 women 'of various nationalities'
to rich Middle Eastern men in Cannes

Mr Nahas, who after his arrest, was jailed for 11 months in France before being released for lack of proof, maintains that he unfairly singled out because of his connections with Gadhafi.

But he admits he arranged for women to come to Cannes during the festival, where he would pick them from Nice International Airport, bring them to the younger Gadhafi's yacht, the Che Guevara, and other luxury vessels.

'I was not party to anything else,' he insisted. 'I don't know what took place between any of them. I had no part of it. They may have just been there to talk and have fun.'

These women, some professional escorts, models, or struggling Hollywood actresses, who are brought onto the yachts in Cannes during the film festival are called 'yacht girls,' said Mr Nahas.

Carole Raphaelle Davis, a French-American film and television actress revealed that it is common for some prominent society women to work as high-priced prostitutes during the festival.

She says several women she knew 'traveled the world like jet-setters,' as high-end call girls.

'This woman didn't even enjoy sex, she told me,' explained Ms Davis. 'But she didn't mind it, either. She didn't mind sleeping with men who were repulsive. She said it never lasted more than five minutes, so it wasn't that bad.'

One anonymous industry veteran admitted: 'You'd definitely recognize more than a few names from Hollywood.

'These are actresses who made bad career choices and fell off the radar. They tell themselves what they're doing at Cannes is OK, that they're just on dates with rich men, when the reality is they're doing what prostitutes do. But they like the money.'

Read more: $40,000-a-Night Escorts: Secrets of the Cannes Call Girls

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn acquitted in pimping trial

dsk 01 240
Strauss-Kahn says he didn't know women
at sex parties were prostitutes

From: LA Times, by Kim Willsher

A French court cleared the former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn  of “aggravated pimping” on Friday (12 June 2015).

Strauss-Kahn had been accused of being part of an international vice ring in what became known as the Carlton Affair, after the hotel in northern France where the alleged prostitution network was said to have been based.

The onetime presidential hopeful, known in France as DSK, admitted he took part in sex parties reminiscent of orgies in antiquity because he needed “recreational sessions” while busy “saving the world” from one of its worst financial meltdowns.

dsk 03 240
A court sketch shows former IMF chief
Dominique Strauss-Kahn testifying
during his trial in Lille, France, on Feb. 10.
(Benoit Peyrucq)

However, he denied knowing the women taking part in what were described at the three-week trial in February as “beast-like scenes" were prostitutes, saying he simply thought they were “libertines.”

While much of the evidence was sordid, Strauss-Kahn insisted his morality was not on trial and even the public prosecutor asked for him to be cleared. The court in the northern French city of Lille found there was no proof Strauss-Kahn, 66, had promoted prostitution and profited from it.

Twelve other defendants accused of being part of the same vice ring were also cleared.

The verdict was the final act in a four-year drama for Strauss-Kahn, who was on track for the president’s job at the Elysée Palace in 2011 when he was hauled off a plane in New York and accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid.

The case was later dropped, though Strauss-Kahn paid Nafissatou Diallo substantial but undisclosed damages after she lodged a civil complaint for a “violent and sadistic attack, humiliating and degrading behavior” that was settled out of court.

Afterward, the politician was forced to stand down as head of the IMF, abandon his presidential hopes and was later divorced by his wife, glamorous television presenter Anne Sinclair, now editor of the French edition of the Huffington Post. She had publicly stood by him during his American court ordeal.

In a television interview in September 2011 on his return to France, Strauss-Kahn admitted having behaved “inappropriately” with Diallo and said he was guilty of a “moral fault,” but strenuously denied any act of aggression or violence.

Presenting The Most Ridiculous Things Ever Bought By Billionaires

From: Zerohedge | 07/25/2015

Despite the protestations of an indignant Ben Bernanke, seven years of global QE have not only failed to ignite the illusory "trickle down" wealth effect but have in fact served to widen the gap between the rich and the poor the world over.

The explanation for this phenomenon is simple: when you deliberately inflate the value of the assets most likely to be concentrated in the hands of the wealthy, the class divide will grow in lockstep.

Perhaps the best evidence of the above can be found on Wall Street where Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein have now become billionaires. Because we wanted to do our part to help Jamie and Lloyd decide what to buy now that their wealth is virtually inexhaustible, we present the following video which counts down the 10 most absurd examples of conspicuous consumption in modern history.

Enjoy.

56461 reads with 58 comments on Zerohedge


0:17 The Sultan of Brunei - £15,000 Haircut
     ■ Star of India $14,000,000 gold-plated Rolls Royce convertible.

0:52 Sheikh Hamdan U.A.E - his name is on an island, visible from space

1:36 Saudi Prince Alwaleed (38 autos)
     ■ diamond encrusted Mercedes Benz $48,000,000

2:23 Most expensive watch - Supercomplication $25,000,000

3:00 Mukesh Ambani - Mumbai, India - Net Worth $29B
     ■ Most expensive private residence (after Buckingham Palace)
     ■ 27 stories (550') - 4,000,000 square foot, 600 caretakers
     ■ $2,000,000,000 cost

3:40 Jocelyn Wildenstein - $4,000,000 plastic surgery

4:23 Stephen Cohen - Net Worth $11,400,000,000
     ■ $137,500,000 painting, most expensive painting ever sold

5:04 Roman Abramovich - Yacht Eclipse - $450,000,000
     ■ largest private yacht in the world

5:43 Sultan of Brunei - $40B Net worth
     ■ 747 - $220,000,000 - most expensive private jet

6:30 Bill Gates - da Vinci manuscript $30,800,000

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Dollhouse

Dollhouse

  Dollhouse  (TV series)   The show revolves around a corporation running numerous highly illegal underground establishments (known as "Dollhouses") around the globe that program individuals referred to as Actives (or Dolls). Actives have had their original memories wiped clean, and exists in a childlike blank state until programmed via the insertion of new memories with temporary personalities and skills needed for each mission. Hired by the wealthy, powerful and connected, the Actives don't just perform their hired roles, they wholly become - with mind, personality and physiology - whomever the client wants or needs them to be. After each engagement, the Actives return to...

27-07-2015

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Kingsman: The Secret Service

Kingsman: The Secret Service

  Kingsman: The Secret Service   Not exactly an esoteric movie This film is featured here to highlight one scene from the movie (see tab 2 below). The scene is where Kingsman is described as, An independent, international intelligence agency operating at the highest level of discretion. An organization which is funded by inheritances of a lot of powerful men (a.k.a The Pilgrams).Also: Silver Stealers & The People of the Secret.

28-05-2015

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Jupiter Ascending

Jupiter Ascending

Click for footnote     The Wachowskis' latest film – Jupiter Ascending  Another foray into the world of occult knowledge In the Matrix, the Wachowskis concealed their occult understanding of the astral plane within the plot of a fictional dystopian future Earth. (See Matrix – Limited Hangout) In Jupiter Ascending, their occult message is in-your-face obvious.     ■ Perhaps that is why the film received such negative reviews!     Jupiter Ascending   Jupiter Jones was born under a night sky, with signs predicting that she was destined for great things. Now grown, Jupiter dreams of the stars but wakes up to the cold reality of a job cleaning toilets and an endless run of bad breaks. Only...

23-05-2015

Hits:2326

Transcendence

Transcendence

  Transcendence   Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp), the world's foremost authority on artificial intelligence, is conducting highly controversial experiments to create a sentient machine. When extremists try to kill the doctor, they inadvertently become the catalyst for him to succeed. Will's wife, Evelyn (Rebecca Hall), and best friend, Max (Paul Bettany), can only watch as his thirst for knowledge evolves to an omnipresent quest for power, and his loved ones soon realize that it may be impossible to stop him.

31-12-2014

Hits:1971

Ex Machina

Ex Machina

  Ex Machina   A young coder at the world's largest internet company, wins a competition to spend a week at a private retreat belonging to the reclusive CEO of the company. One arrival he learns that he must participate in a bizarre experiment which involves interacting with the world's first true artificial intelligence, which comes in the form of a beautiful female robot.

31-12-2014

Hits:2109

The Blacklist

The Blacklist

  The Blacklist  (TV series)   A tip for this program came from a comment on Zero Hedge. The comment on ZH was in response to an article about a wing segment that washed ashore on Réunion Island 16 months after the disappearance of Malaysian Airline flight 370. Throughout the comment section to this article were various conspiracy theories as to why this plane disappeared, most of which centered around the fact that twenty employees of Freescale Semiconductor were on-board the aircraft. Comment 6368187 gives a detailed account of this theory. Episode #2 of The Blacklist (The Freelancer No. 145) revolves around a hired assasin who hides his killings...

31-12-2014

Hits:2029

Limitless

Limitless

Click for "Limitless" Synopsis    "Limitless" Synopsis     Eddie Morra, an author suffering from writer's block, living in New York, is stressed by an approaching deadline.    His girlfriend Lindy, frustrated with his lack of progress and financial dependence, breaks up with him.    Later, Eddie meets Vernon Gant, the estranged brother of Eddie's ex-wife, Melissa.     Vernon, involved with a pharmaceutical company, gives Eddie a nootropic drug, NZT-48.    After taking the pill, Eddie finds himself able to learn much faster and recall memories from his distant past, with the only apparent side effect being a change in the color of Eddie's irises while on the drug – his eyes becoming an intense shade of...

31-12-2013

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