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Dollhouse: Recap & Review of “Haunted”

April 25, 2009
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Warning: Spoilers for the latest Dollhouse 1×10, “Haunted,” aired 4/24/09!Dollhouse poster

Here is my live-blog, edited with comments:

  • The episode begins with a woman on horseback.  We learn that her name is Margaret, and clearly she is the older rich woman whom the previews have referred to.  She blows a kiss to a cute younger man, who is sitting at lunch with a group of his younger Man-Friends. All of a sudden Margaret is gone–she has disappeared from the horse.  Time-travel?  Oh wait, wrong show.
  • Cut to Echo in The Chair. Adelle addresses the now imprinted Echo: “Margaret, I’m sorry to be the one to tell you. You’re dead.”  Classic.

  • Elsewhere in the Dollhouse, Topher and Boyd have a fun little conversation.  Topher: “I mean you were no fun as Echo’s handler, and now you get to be twice as much no fun in charge of security.”  Hee.  Boyd wants to know what Echo is up to.  Topher comfortingly replies, “We put a dead lady in her.”  Hee.  Topher then tells Boyd that he needs an active to do his annual something or other. He makes a shifty/ nervous expression.  Hmmmm.
  • As the credits roll by, I spy that this episode was written by the now married Maurissa Tancharoen & Jed Whedon (they’re adorable and they were two of the writers of Dr. Horrible), and JaneEspensen (fabulous writer of Buffy, Angel, Firefly, and frakin’ Battlestar Galactica fame)!
  • Adelle and MargEcho: Adelle reminds her friend that her new Eliza Dushku body is “only a loaner.” Several times.  MargEcho has a plan for her new temporary re-life: “Well, I thought maybe I would solve my murder.”  Oh, this will not end well.
  • Wolverine trailer!!! Woo hoo!!!
  • Back to Adelle and her dead best-friend.  We learn that the autopsy said that Margaret’s death was a massive heart attack. MargEcho tells the story of the nanny and the glass from the video I posted earlier.  It’s rather sad. “Forgive me if I’m the suspicious type.”   I forgive you.  MargarEcho is all set to attend her own funeral.  She explains to Adelle that she is going by Julia now, but MargEcho is long enough so whatever.  I would also like to point out that if I were Adelle I would be warning my friend what a terrible idea her plan is.  You do not want to be a fly on the wall as other discuss your death.  MargEcho explains that she’s not a spy, she’s a ghost.  Hence the title of the episode, and the reason why this show is different than Alias.  MargEcho is going on and on, when Adelle interupts with my favorite line of the show: “Sshhh. I want to hear how great you were.” Hee.
  • Topher uses Sierra to imprint a geeky friend!!! What?  They are kind of both adorable.
  • Cut to Mellie and Paul eating together. AWKWARD.  Helo … darn, I mean Paul tells his Doll girlfriend: “I’m fine and you’re adorable.” So sad.
  • Cut to post-funeral.  Margaret’s brother is introduced, and he is so familiar!  Oh, he was Mitchum Huntzberger (Logan’s dad) on Gilmore Girls.  And the sheriff in the Firefly episode “The Train Job.”  Uncle Billy is a drunk. Also, it turns out that Margaret’s family is not really mourning her passing. There’s a funny line where MargEcho tells her brother: “Margaret was nothing like Mother … your mother.” Hee.  She keeps on trying to defend herself, but the family is not having it.  See, I predicted that this was not a good idea. MargEcho leaves the sardonic bunch to get some air.  MargEcho’s son comes out to talk to her, but he thinks she’s Julia. Confused?  Anyways, the son unwittingly kisses his dead mother. MargEcho freaks.
  • Later, MargEcho talks to her husband. He’s not too happy.  He’s upset that his wife died and that she left him horses. The short-sighted woman calls Adelle on the phone to complain. Again, I could have warned her about this.
  • Boyd walks into Adelle’s office.  He is a little disturbed about Echo’s latest engagement, as well he should be. He tells Adelle: “Morality doesn’t exist without the fear of death.” This is a fascinating issue!!! I will definitely be thinking about this further. Boyd recommends that Adelle send in another active to help out.  Cut to … Victor!  Aaww, he’s got a little twang.  He’s some kind of horse expert.
  • Margaret’s daughter is crying when MargEcho enters the room. The daughter: “God, I’m so emo.” MargEcho: “You lost your mother. It’s only natural that you’d be so elmo.”  (Yes, she did just say ELMO!) Daughter: “Emo.”  MargEcho:”That’s not a word, sweetie.”  Daughter: “You sound just like her.”  Um, yeah, that was the best scene.  Love it.
  • Paul goes to visit his old colleague who helped him before, bringing along his girlfriend’s DNA. Hoop-earing wearing colleague does some magic with the computer and it looks like November was Annabeth AND Paulie Keller AND several other names. And then very quickly the photos disappear.  “I just started to believe you.”  Uh oh, does that mean the nice lady is going to die?  Damn you Joss.
  • Topher and Sierrra are playing some bizarre sciency version of football.  Sierra asks: “Can we play with the sleepies?” Topher says no. Um, is that a term for the Dolls.  Love it.
  • Back at the manor: Margaret’s husband thinks that Echo is a spy. “They want a real bad guy. Tell them to look at dear old uncle Bill.”  Hmmm.  It turns out Uncle Bill arrived before Margaret’s death. Nah, too easy.  It can’t be him.  Meanwhile, the son doesn’t want the horse to be sold. Aaww. (I will regret this “aaww” later, as the son turns out to be a matricidal maniac)
  • Back to the adventures of Topher and Sierra.  Topher uses his best movie trailer voice: “In a world where all men are guilty until proven dead …” Awesome. Sierra and Topher play laser  tag! My favorite past-time to watch on t.v.!!! It’s like this show was tailor-made for me!  Ever since Barney made playing laser-tag so Awesome on HIMYM, it has been like my favorite thing to watch.  Every time Barney plays laser-tag it is Legen …. dary.  Then last week on Castle, Nathan Fillion and his adorable t.v. daughter were playing laser-tag.  Loved it.  It’s like the new thing.  Maybe if the new 90210 featured laser-tag instead of foosball (and re-cast all their actors) it wouldn’t suck so much.  Bottom line, I loved the laser tag scene.
  • Paul comes home to see Mellie. Very Whedonesque line: “Overall your shirts are nuzzleworthy.” Mellie is all kinds of adorable (and a little creepy) in this scene.  She blabbers on: “I should have gotten white though. Red wine makes my teeth turn purple.” Hee. Then Mellie gives an increasingly CREEPY speech and Paul starts to kiss her. It is VERY disturbing. I kinda thought that sleeper-November was going to emerge … but she doesn’t.  They have rough sex, but thankfully we’re spared the details.  It kind of reminds me of the disturbing scene … oh wait, I can’t say that because not all of you reading are caught up on BSG.  Now that Paul knows that Mellie is a doll, I am disgusted that he’s sleeping with her. At the same time, I feel compassion for him because his mind has been seriously blown, and he is severely disturbed.
  • Meanwhile, MargEcho goes riding and bonds with the horses. The son walks in and says, “Did you think that I wouldn’t recognize my own mother? Mother.” Echo is relieved that her son knows. He knows about the Dollhouse. He’s a customer. Here is where I knew that he was the murderer. We learn about Nickie’s (I finally figured out the son’s name) gambling problem.  Yep, he’s the murderer.
  • Victor comes in. He’s pissed: “King’s Ransomhas been juiced. You were going for a money grab.” MargEcho’s husband goes ballistic and starts beating the walls with a shovel. One of the horses gets out.  Nicky stabs his mom’s husband. After finding out the lates from Victor, Boyd figures out the cause of Margaret’s death: “Your friend was killed with the same drug that was being given to the horse.” Boyd want to go in and help, but Adelle refers to Echo’s invisible new handler. Boyd tells on Topher, but in classic Adelle style she already knows.  Of course she does. “I allow him one of these diagnostic tests every now and then.” We see on the monitor that Topher and his made-up friend (perhaps imprinted with his own personality?) are celebrating Topher’s birthday.  Awww. It’s just sweeet.
  • Back to MargEcho and son. Nicky want her to write a letter accusing her husband of her death. As she is writing, she starts to doubt it. Uh oh. My suspicions of the son were correct. Nicky admits his dastardly deed. Then the husband comes in and they fight. Pissed off husband wins. Uncle Bill walks in and MargEcho tells him to call the police and an ambulance. MargEcho burns the letter. Later, we are introduced to a new letter, telling the truth. “Nicholas gets nothing. More for everybody else. Yay.”  Echo is wearing a hot gold number, which just does not seem fitting for the occasion AT ALL.
  • Poor Mellie. Poor Paul. Twisted. Definitely a Whedon show.
  • MargEcho and her husband have a moment.  She doesn’t tell him the truth about her body switching, but she does pull out another magical letter. Sweet.
  • Margaret goes in the chair to get wiped. Addie cries.
  • Grrr. Argh.
  • Next week: Alan Tudyk!!!  And Paul finds the Dollhouse, unless it’s a dream. And Alpha.  The episode is entitled “Briar Rose.”  I can’t wait!
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