Monday, May 04, 2009

Briar Rose Thoughts and Theories

Here be Dollhouse spoilers!

Predicting plot details of my favorite TV shows correctly inflates my head in a very special nerdy way, and Maia at Alas, A Blog independently put together the Alpha has an imprint of Topher theory I put forward a few weeks ago. Alan Tudyk has also stated that "the fact that Kepler's mannerisms are so similar to Topher's was not an accident". Whether or not this will be the catalyst for a character change in Topher that I was hoping it would be is perhaps less likely. Especially if the show doesn't get much farther.

So, after the last episode, new theory. Thinking about what the future would hold for Victor now that he's had his face sliced up, I realized that Dr. Claire Saunders is a doll. I've felt from the first few episodes that she's an inaccessible character intentionally, though at first I thought she was Alpha's person on the inside. One of my viewing buddies smartly pointed out back in that everyone-gets-high episode that Saunders is the only one kept out of the mix - I thought it was because it would reveal too much about her, and in a way that's true, because her reaction would have revealed she was a doll. (That episode was also useful in establishing that Topher was not a doll, which I had wondered about.)
Then, of course, two episodes ago came the revelation that Dr. Saunders never leaves the dollhouse. I am a bit ashamed I didn't put this together right then. Last night, I was first tipped off when Dominic said "Whiskey", which is part of the NATO Phonetic Alphabet which all the dolls are named after. I didn't know why everyone would act like he was talking about the drink, but it makes sense if the doll he was talking about was in the room. Then, of course, came Alpha's leading question, "Did you always want to be a doctor?"

I thought this was too obvious to write about, actually, but my viewing buddies seemed perplexed by my conclusion at first.

As far as the more philosophical content of this episode, I was feeling the "it's not your fault you can't leave" message, but then not so much the "the prince is the dream of the princess" message, though that might have been for lack of clarity. This is a much longer post, but a problem I have with Joss Whedon at times is that he always has these leading strong women whose power was forced upon them from men. The thing with Buffy was that the show lasted long enough for her to fully explore and eventually undermine the source of that power, not only making it her own but ultimately sharing it with other women. I don't expect Echo to undermine the Dollhouse(s) and welcome the other dolls to share in her power quite yet. But I am tickled with anticipation to see her to undermine her savior, Alpha.

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