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There’s A Storm Coming!!
Herc Says DOLLHOUSE Starts
Getting Really Good Tonight!!

Dollhouse 2.4 FAQ What’s it called? “Belonging.” Who’s responsible? Teleplay is credited to the team of Maurissa Tancharoen & Jed Whedon (“Haunted,” “Epitaph One”. (And the episode was directed by “Star Trek” icon Jonathan Frakes (“Leverage”), making his Mutant Enemy debut.) What says the Fox network? “Sierra is forced to face her past as her connection to the Rossum Corporation leads to obsession and murder. Guest Cast: Keith Carradine as Matthew Harding; Vincent Ventresca as Nolan Kinnard; Clyde Kusatsu as Dr. Makido; Carlease Burke as Pam.” Is that a note Joss Whedon sent along with the screener? What says it? “We're back! With two brand new, never-before-sent-to-reviewers episodes of DOLLHOUSE, the show that's sweeping an unbelievably tiny portion of the nation. This is the year we all just get to have fun: twist the premise, go farther, darker, sillier ... make the whole world our Dollhouse. It's a party, and you're the first to arrive, which means the food's not ready and we're not dressed and who shows up to a party on time anyway? Losers. I mean, best friends ever. ... We really hope you enjoy these. And as always, we hope you tell everybody without giving away key plot points (you all have been great about that, BTW. It does not go unnoticed.) Thanks and see you on TiVo! –joss” The big news? This is I think the best of the second-season episodes so far. Soon after it begins a piece of information sets in motion a crisis far greater and far more interesting than any active's malfunction. What is Fox not telling us? We learn this week whether Echo became an active before or after Sierra. Alpha gets namechecked, as does Claire Saunders (repeatedly). I think we learn this week that Topher is an M.D.! Is that Sen. Perrin guy hanging around, acting all good or evil? Not this week, but he’s back first thing in 2.5 (which I guess now we’ll see in December!). And Paul Ballard is inexplicably missing! Is this one of the cost-cutting measures being employed this season – rotating regulars in and out? Or was Tahmoh Penikett busy with “Riverworld” reshoots? Curious! Is Penikett back in 2.5? He is. And, since you bring it up, I liked 2.5 (the first half of a two-parter) even more than 2.4. Fans will be fascinated by, among other things, Summer Glau’s character, the D.C. Dollhouse’s version of Topher. What’s great? Olivia Williams. Fran Kranz. Dichen Lachman. Vincent Ventresca. Harry Lennix. Eliza Dushku, and her willingness to step back into a supporting role on her own series. The way “Belonging” makes the viewer ponder Adelle’s background. The actives’ (and Topher’s!) continuing evolution. The Polaroids. “I’m not the bad man.” “He’s the least of your indiscretions.” “And I promise you won’t like the early retirement plan.” “This is not a judgment.” “Topher is having problems following commands.” “When did you learn how to lie?” “Consequences.” “And it didn’t go well.” “I love him.” “For the storm.” What’s not so great? I thought the music worked better at the end than it did in the middle. How does it end, spoiler-boy? “For a little while.” I give Chicago Tribune TV critic Mo Ryan the last word:
… one of the most emotionally compelling hours the show has ever done. … an hour that plunges headfirst into the moral quandaries and compromises that reside at the heart of the Dollhouse. It doesn't shy away from the queasier questions about what the dolls are doing during their working hours. It asks pointed questions about who has power, how that power is used and the consequences of using power. But at its heart, "Belonging" is an episode that serves as an "origin story" for Sierra, and as such, it's very affecting. …
9 p.m. Friday. Fox.

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