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1-1: "Ghost" 2009.02.13 (recap)


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#1

TWoP Dietrich

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 3:32 PM

Here we go!

TV Guide sez:

The Joss Whedon series about agents for hire who receive personality implants for each mission---and have their memories cleared once finished---opens with Echo (Eliza Dushku) becoming a hostage negotiator in order to free a kidnapped girl, the daughter of a businessman (Kurt Caceres) who'd rather pay big bucks than go to the police. Meanwhile, an FBI agent (Tahmoh Penikett) finds his career threatened by his search for the illegal Dollhouse. Dr. Claire Saunders: Amy Acker.


This thread won't open until the episode is over. Please don't use the other threads as venues to chat during the episode. Thanks!

#2

silverangelaunt

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:02 PM

Hell, it was better than I expected considering all the bad reviews, not perfect, but it had a lot of potential. Seems stupid to program an active with something so potentially lethal as asthma. I can't wait until next week.

#3

Dust Cover

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:02 PM

I'm left with so many questions, which is the mark of a really great show.

First, who was killed at the end? Who was watching the footage of Echo? I can't wait for next week.

Speaking of the footage of Echo at the end, it kinda looked like she was being interviewed for the yearbook at Sunnydale High.

#4

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:02 PM

It could have been worse.

Not much though.

Hopefully the rumor that episode 2 is a lot better is true. As bad as this was, there wasn't anything that couldn't be fixed.

#5

Charlemagne19

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:03 PM

I know exactly what Joss is doing with this show. You've got to realize from the start, Echo isn't the star. She's the subject. The entire cast is the actual star. We're supposed to be repulsed and fascinated by the environment. It's like watching a slasher film.

The star is the slasher.

Echo is the perpetually innocent victim of a horrifying system.

#6

cyberpumpkin

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:06 PM

Was the FBI guy one of the fellas in the boxing ring? I couldn't tell for sure and didn't get the point of that scene.

Pretty good show overall. Agree "giving" her asthma seems like a foolish choice, but I don't know how selective the personality implant can be.

#7

Erratic

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:08 PM

It didn't feel like Joss Whedon. The Mutant Enemy tag felt weird at the end.

It didn't have the edge yet, but the last scene was awesome.

Geeky dude has to go.

Quantum Leap being run by Wolfram and Hart?

I will watch next week as I am still curious...

#8

Charlemagne19

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:09 PM

Was the FBI guy one of the fellas in the boxing ring? I couldn't tell for sure and didn't get the point of that scene.


Yes. It's showing that he's not going to give up when "on the ropes" but will keep fighting.

#9

Tanker

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:10 PM

Eliza dancing in that white dress = epic win. The rest was all window dressing as far as I'm concerned.

Actually, I was fairly impressed. Eliza's three characters felt sufficiently different to me. I hope she can keep pulling that off. I liked the cuts to the boxing while Tahmoh's character was getting grilled -- a bit anvilly, perhaps, but it fits the character. I'm intrigued enough by the whole concept to keep watching.

ETA: I'm not sure about Amy Acker's character. I found the scars distracting because they looked fake.

Edited by Tanker, Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:14 PM.


#10

kiacook

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:11 PM

I'm hooked. I got hooked when I realized I cared whether they rescued the little girl and it felt possible that they might just wipe Echo and move on.

Ironically for a show called "The Dollhouse" it feels more grown up than Whedon's previous stuff.

#11

Colombine

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:11 PM

Yeah the FBI guy was in the boxing ring.
While I wasn't on the edge of my seat the whole show I was still left hanging a bit at the end and left wanting more so thats a good sign. Hopefully this last long enough for my questions (ex. who at the FBI wants to keep the Dollhouse operatation active?) to get answered.

#12

speedroc

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:12 PM

It was a little slow for a pilot episode, but I feel it has vast potential and will continue to watch. I'm really looking forward to seeing Echo imprinted with a ass kicking persona.

That will ramp it up for me.

#13

brandmed

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:13 PM

cyberpumpkin,the FBI Guy (Tahmoh Penniket from BSG) was in the boxing ring. I think it served to establish his character. I thought it provided an interesting contrast to the verbal beatdown he was getting from his puny boss and it paralleled something (I can't recall what) the boss was saying about him basically being a glutton for punishment or something to that extent.

Overall, I was into the show. Despite all the mixed news and reviews, it was better than I expected. I liked the stuff at the end that hints at where Joss is going with it all, and I agree that while the show is designed to "feature" ED, like all Joss shows, it's all about the ensemble. In the end, it wasn't the most riveting episode, but I thought it was efficient in setting up the premise and providing many questions and avenues for further exploration. I'm okay with that, because while all of Joss' previous shows are among my favorites, I typically don't care for the pilots (except in retrospect when I am fully aware of how much he set up from the beginning).

#14

Fefe

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:13 PM

It didn't feel like Joss Whedon. The Mutant Enemy tag felt weird at the end.


Word. And I suddenly have the urge to haul out my Alias DVDs.

But I'll hang in -- that last scene got my attention ....

#15

Charlemagne19

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:14 PM

Yes, Joss has eliminated all the "crazy dialogue" and instead is focusing solely on handling it like he would a normal show. This could backfire on him, like it did with Kevin Smith and Jersey Girl but I think it's nice for him to broaden his horizons. The premise is crazy enough without him having to be too weird.

But yes, I hope they continue treating the Dollhouse as almost totally evil.

#16

Dust Cover

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:14 PM

Speaking of Tahmoh Penniket, I guffawed a bit when the dad character of the kidnapped girl gave a shout out to Edward James Olmos.

#17

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:15 PM

All I could think while watching this is that Joss is a little rusty. Don't get me wrong, a "bad" Joss show was better than probably anything else currently on tv (particularly since Pushing Daises was canceled) but the whole boxing metaphor to me just seemed like overkill. Joss, you're not a hack, don't write like one.

To be fair though I didn't watch the Buffy premiere live - and had only seen it after I'd seen a few episodes and understood the universe. I'm interested enough to turn in next week.

#18

goddessrin

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:15 PM

Geeky dude has to go.


Yeah he's kind of a cliche.

The show was interesting, but I haven't really been drawn in yet. I'll watch the next ep though and see if the series can't fix that.

But Echo's personalities only proved what a great actress Eliza is. I also hope to see more of the other dolls next ep.

Edited by goddessrin, Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:16 PM.


#19

Sabra

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:15 PM

I couldn't tell for sure and didn't get the point of that scene.


I think the point was to show that the man is hawt. Ahem.

I'm not sure, but I think the asthma was Echo's (the real girl, I mean) and not an imprint?

It has potential. We shall see. It's better than I was expecting after the reviews.

#20

Tiger220

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:16 PM

Was anybody else really bored by the first half, but thought the second half was good enough to give it another shot next week?

I think I'm more interested in Echo's handler and the FBI agent than I am in Echo.

#21

ReadIshmael

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:16 PM

I'm definitely in, and I'm happy to say I liked it a lot, but beyond the premise, it's not particularly inspired at the moment. I like a few of the characters (the tech guy and Echo's handler), but as of now nobody's really a person yet, and I feel like there's going to be too much Case of the Week, not enough larger conflict or engagement with the really interesting moral issues of the Dollhouse, especially since right now I don't like the FBI agent guy very much. Still, ton of potential, and I'm looking forward to the next episode.

#22

ethanvahlere

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:17 PM

I liked it so far. I especially liked the fact Joss imposed limits on his "actives"; Echo as Eleanor Penn doesn't become a superhero to save the day, she only does what she's been "trained" to do. And while I like Joss shows when there's more humor involved, I did like the little touches (like the Russian guy ordering the best champagne for a few rounds, then switching to the house stuff when no one will notice). And it is true what the "nerdy guy" (sorry, I don't remember his character's name. I will say, however, I thought he'd be a Xander clone, and so far, he's not) said about giving each active faults as well as virtues, to make them more believable (it also makes the whole thing more insidious, but that's another story).

I haven't quite got a handle on the FBI agent yet, although that probably has to do with the fact that I don't think I've seen him in anything before. Eliza was good here, but I also thought Olivia Williams, Reed Diamond, Amy Acker, and especially Harry Lennix, whose relationship to Echo I foresee becoming crucial to the show's success, were all terrific. And yes, I definitely want to know who the guy at the end was.

I definitely will be tuning in next week. Let's just hope enough people tune in that Fox doesn't pull the plug.

Edited by ethanvahlere, Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:19 PM.


#23

jords

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:17 PM

Wow. At the risk of sounding all fan-girlish, I thought it rocked. No pilot is perfect (Go watch "Welcome to the Hellmouth" if you don't believe me) but this did what a pilot needs to.

So many questions...How much of what Echo saw will continue to resonate? Who the heck was that at the end? What happened to make Echo join Spahouse to begin with? Why is her handler no longer in law enforcement? And could Eliza Dushku have worn a shorter dress???(Sorry,inner Cordy moment.)

I have a ton of faith (and hope) in this show. Plus how can Fox deny me my Friday night squee, especially when Jane Espenson is joining the staff???

#24

SanLynn

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:17 PM

I'm left with so many questions, which is the mark of a really great show.

First, who was killed at the end? Who was watching the footage of Echo?

I agree. When I watch the end twice to try and see what clues I can gather I know I'm hooked for a while.

I read so many reviews that had the following thought "How are we supposed to root for Echo when she changes personality so often". I definitely didn't have that problem. Even though each of her persona was different I still felt Echo in a subtle way. Very nicely played by Eliza, I hope she continues that each week.

A bit more Tahmoh Penikett and quite a bit less of Brain wipe guy will go a long way to improving what is already an interesting idea though. He should get airtime consistent with evil boss lady.

Looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Edited by SanLynn, Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:21 PM.


#25

summerfever

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:18 PM

This has definitely exceeded my expectations. Pretty good pilot episode. Raised a lot of questions and set up an interesting premise. Can't say that I was a fan of ED's acting in her previous roles but she was fine in this. Would a better actress have made a difference? We'll have to see more of the show to decide.

#26

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:18 PM

The only thing I wish it had more of was some humor. Biting dialogue, at least. Maybe it wouldn't fit the show, but I still miss Jossisms. Amy Acker was interesting, so was the handler and the newest Doll.

Dushku can act, she does fine as a lead.


Some of the editing felt choppy, the head of the Doll agency didn't have much presence.


I'm willing to give it a chance. Will be back next week.

#27

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:20 PM

How much of what Echo saw will continue to resonate?


That's a good question. I'm totally on the side that I need to see more the real Echo so I can really root for her. I love Joss, so I can wait, I don't know if the show can afford that, though.

#28

Charlemagne19

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:24 PM

I don't know, do we have to make Echo the star star?

Can't the premise itself sustain it?

Do we need her to be THE character or can't the situation be enjoyable for how freaky it is?

#29

aurorajaye

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:25 PM

Erratic,

Quantum Leap being run by Wolfram and Hart?


Hee!

And I suddenly have the urge to haul out my Alias DVDs.


Me, too, Fefe!

This does feel distinctly different than anything else in the Jossverse. I read an interview Whedon gave on the series. He warned that it wouldn't be as humorous and quirky because the show wouldn't be as fantastic. With a lesser degree of fantasy, Buffy-level humor would feel too campy. I see his point, yet miss the rapier wit that brought us such lines as "I mock you with my monkey pants." On the other hand, Whedon's shows tend to build self-referential humor, so that gives me lots of hope for the future.

I agree that Eliza D. managed to create several distinct personalities in this episode. Her blank Echo stare was actually a little scary. The show isn't quite firing on all cylinders, but I have great hope. Hooray!

Edited by aurorajaye, Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:30 PM.


#30

Doxa Mully

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:25 PM

I was rather disappointed personally. I think the premise is great and it has lots of potential, but Eliza Dushku's acting leaves a lot to be desired. It also didn't feel like Joss to me with the lack of witty/interesting dialogue. It could turn out to be a good show, but it's probably not going to be my thing personally.