Monday, March 23, 2009

Damn you, Joss Whedon

For getting me so emotionally invested in this show.

So, not a full recap or analysis or anything, but yeah, the Episode That Changed Everything delivered. We abandoned the adventure-of-the-week set up, and I'd be happy to never go back- Echo is still central, but we got really involved in the other characters.

Sexual violence got serious treatment this time, and I thought these things were important: It was clearly treated as rape even though Sierra didn't say no or physically resist; and the rapist handler, whose name escapes me, tried to excuse his behavior because the Dollhouse is "in the business of using people". Obviously the excuse isn't acceptable, but I think Joss was wisely making a connection of sexual violence to the environment of objectification and exploitation.
Things that bothered me about Sierra's storyline: I can't recall if they actually used the word "rape" - I know Dr. Saunders said "Sierra's had sex" after the exam, but I don't know if they changed the language after it became obvious that she didn't (and really, couldn't) consent. Also, a little mad at Boyd for letting the other handler attempt again in order to "catch him in the act" instead of, oh I don't know, asking Sierra about him. Of course, it was hugely satisfying to have him punched through a glass wall with his fly down.

The big thing that changed with me is that I am now completely invested in the fate of Mellie/November:

I saw the reveal coming, but it was still a bit heartbreaking. Previews for future episodes indicate possible revolt against the Dollhouse. Can she just be the main character now, please?

Unrelated to this episode: another blog pointed out how wildly inaccurate the homebirth scene was... which I really should have noticed, since I've seen homebirths. Though Topher's probably not a mifwifery expert, and you probably couldn't get away with a completely accurate homebirth on TV (we need to throw a sheet over her- for medical reasons!), this is a still a case of ball-dropping. Oh well. I appreciate the attempt, if not the execution.

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