When your media organization is essentially run out of your living room, you're not always on the list to get the best materials from the networks. Don't get me wrong -- many networks have been great about hooking me up with DVD screeners of new and returning shows, including Fox. But, if a network has only a limited supply of something, I'm usually not among the chosen picked to receive it. Such was the case with "Epitaph One," the "lost" episode of "Dollhouse" that never aired on Fox during the show's first season. It is included with the show's first season DVD set, and some folks got a sneak peek. But, alas, Fox was out of copies by the time I requested one, so I had to wait until the show was released to watch the episode. Well, the show was released in July, but I got busy and, long story short, I only just watched it this weekend.
But I was totally blown away. For those who don't know, the episode takes place 10 years in the future, in a dystopian world where-- well, I should probably save that for a spoilers section below. It's peppered with flashbacks showing how the Dollhouse played a huge role in the world's ongoing destruction. Echo/Caroline (Eliza Dushku) actually isn't seen much, though she's mentioned frequently. Instead, much of the focus is on Amy Acker's Whiskey, the active who, until late last season, believed she was the Dollhouse's doctor, Dr. Saunders.
Anyway, the episode is awesome, and I highly recommend picking it up -- particularly since I also watched the second season premiere of "Dollhouse" this weekend and Joss Whedon does seem to be treating "Epitaph One" as canon (meaning, even though it didn't air, he's not ignoring the stuff that happens in it). Many things alluded to in "E1" are picked up on in the first ep (which I'll discuss at length closer to its Sept. 25 premiere), so watching that episode should give you greater insight into the show.
Anyway, a few (incredibly late) spoilers are below. I would appreciate those who have seen the show giving me their thoughts, particularly the answers to my questions.
* Here's my biggest question: Just you do you think that little girl had been imprinted with when she went evil? Was it someone we know, you think? The fact that the persona wanted to inhabit Felicia Day's character and not the guy indicates that it was a female, but I'm not sure. Didn't it sound an awful lot like Lawrence Dominic? But maybe it was November/Mellie/Madeline. After all, we don't really have any clue what her true personality was like.
* I'm guessing that Rossum's idea of imprinting dolls permanently and using them as "new models" for existing personalities had a role in the imprinting technology run amok. But how? And is Topher the one who sent out that code via phone call? Or did that even happen? What's with Topher anyway? And does anyone else have tremendous new respect for Fran Kranz and his work on this show? His character really developed over the course of the first season, and "E1" sort of brought him full circle.
* Just what happened to Saunders/Whiskey? Why did she revert back to Whiskey? Why was she still at the Dollhouse? I assume that she was waiting for Boyd, as he promised to come back for her. And when/why did they fix her face?
* When were Victor and Sierra given their old personalities back? Why?
Sigh. So many questions. Hope the show is around long enough to answer them.