Friday, December 11, 2009

Dollhouse Tonight!

Last Friday I was in NY for a sales conference, staying in a shoebox-sized hotel room, and I met up with my friend Ian, whom I’d first met at Slayage. The original idea had been to meet up for dinner, but then he remembered that last Friday was the return of Dollhouse, in special back-to-back episodes. So he said we should grab dinner early and then get back to the hotel room to watch them, starting at 8. Brilliant, I thought, since my husband gave up on Dollhouse ages ago, and NO ONE I know seems to be up to date with it, so I can never talk about it with anyone.

And WHAT a return it was. The two-part arc featured Summer Glau as a one-handed, female, more sinister version of Topher with some major issues with Caroline in her past (interestingly, not Echo, but Caroline); Ray Wise as the Adelle of the other Dollhouse (his presence made me miss Reaper even more); a surprise discovery about Alexis Denisof’s senator and his wife; and a laugh-out-loud hilarious performance from Enver Gjokaj, who plays Victor. See, Topher never leaves the Dollhouse, so when he has to, the only person he trusts enough to hold down the fort is... himself. So he imprints Victor with his personality (and loud shirts) and puts him there, and then calls "himself" to check up on how things are going. Gjokaj must have studied hours of footage of Fran Kranz, who plays Topher, and he gets every jittery movement and weird saying down pat. Ian and I were in stitches every time he was on screen. Gjokaj moves seamlessly into any character he’s been asked to play, from Russians to Italians to New Jersey bad guys, and he always nails the accents and quirks without issue. Here, playing a character that is very familiar to all of us, he absolutely pulled it off. I think Gjokaj is underrated on this show because of how secondary his role typically is, but watching him pull off these scenes made me even sadder that these were two of the last episodes of Dollhouse... ever.

I won’t give away any spoilers in case you haven’t yet watched these episodes, but tonight there are two more (don’t forget – set those PVRs to start at 8, not 9!) and I cannot wait to watch them. Sadly, I can’t get Ian to travel to Toronto from NY, so it’ll be back to watching them alone, but I don’t mind. With entertainment like this, it’s fine to watch alone sometimes. While I've run out of time to write up last week's episode, I'm hoping I'll be able to write up something for tonight's. Enjoy!

8 comments:

SenexMacdonald said...

Nikki: Yes, I am the first to respond for a change! (sigh)

You said: "Enver Gjokaj, who plays Victor ... must have studied hours of footage of Fran Kranz, who plays Topher ..."

What an amazing performance. I was at dinner on Sat. with a bunch of people who follow the show and time and again, we kept mentioning Enver as 'Topher'. Several people said they thought initially that Fran was doing his own voice-over work but, no, he wasn't. That was all Enver being Fran being 'Topher'.

All I can say is WOW!

And Nikki, you are not alone - you have us to comment, cheer, cry right along with you tonight. :)

Greg Tramel said...

Season 2 has been EXCELLENT!!!, i'm gonna miss it

Beth said...

Definitely two of the best Dollhouse hrs., and lucky you to have sympatico co-watcher. I'm thinking about arranging a "adios, Echo" party for the big finale....

TV Writer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Colleen/redeem147 said...

I didn't care much for the first season, but this year is like watching another show.

Forest City Fashionista said...

I had stopped watching Dollhouse near the end of the first season, and hadn't watched any of Season 2, but after reading your post, I watched the two episodes from last week and then watched last night's episodes as well. Even though I had missed a considerable amount of storyline, I still enjoyed it and thought it was so much better than last season, and Enver Gjokaj was brilliant! Whedon seems to be finding his footing with the characters, and of course this would be when it gets cancelled...

Greg Tramel said...

yeah, the 1st 4 or 5 eps of Season 1 were awful (i also stopped watching for awhile) BUT it has picked up 150% since then, too bad it's gone WAY TOO soon

Jennifer said...

I'm so glad you posted about this! I was loving these back-to-back eps. Especially since I was watching all my DVR eps in a row...I was so upset after I watched the Sierra ep (not for the ending of course but for the other parts...especially Victor sitting and waiting for her.)

I loved seeing the DC counterparts...it's interesting that their set-up is so different. I was a little freaked that Wesley and Faith were in bed together! LOL! Have faith (a little pun intended) that some of us are still watching and will respond to write-ups if there are any.