Strap Yourselves In. Dollhouse Is About To Go Off!

Season two of Dollhouse gets "darker and stranger" and further from the "client-of-the-week" aspect as it goes along, says writer Jed Whedon. And there are lots of exciting twists coming up. Plus clips from tonight's slasher-tastic episode. Spoilerama!

Writing in the Chicago Tribune, blogger Maureen Ryan makes an impassioned case for why we should cherish Dollhouse, especially in an era where people are trying to give Roman Polanski a free pass for raping a young girl:

"Dollhouse" sets out to do what network programs are supposed to do — to entertain — but it also examines thorny ideas about power, exploitation and gender. Few other shows on television are willing to do this (and here I have to mention of FX's "Sons of Anarchy," which has made the fallout from a rape one of the most interesting stories of the fall). But complex questions about manipulation, deceit and the ability to make self-aware choices are built into the DNA of "Dollhouse," which is about attractive "Actives" who are frequently mind-wiped and sent on missions, some of which have a sexual component...

Delving into these topics does not necessarily produce feel-good TV. But when these themes are explored with brutal honesty, the results can be extremely compelling.

She featured four clips from tonight's stunning episode:





Ryan talked to Jed Whedon about the show's themes and upcoming episodes. Whedon explained that the writers decided to do more "client of the week" episodes at the start of season two, to ease into the show's themes for new viewers. And they figured that for viewers who had seen the unaired post-apocalyptic episode "Epitaph One," the knowledge of the evil dark future would lend more weight to the stand-alone episodes.

And Whedon said that even if the show dies after the first 13 episode order of season two, the writers won't feel like they held back any awesomeness. But that's as long as they get to 13 episodes:

Our feeling is that we will be able to make all 13. Obviously, everything is subject to change, but we really think we're at least going to be able to make these 13 and we're just going to go crazy. When we're coming up with stories, we're saying, "Why not do whatever we want?" That's really fun.

I really wish Whedon was more definite about the show getting to make all 13 episodes, at least.

And Ryan was able to glean some details about the show's upcoming episodes, which all sound way more exciting than "I married a arms dealer" episodes. We're going to see Alpha (Alan Tudyk) again towards the end of November. We'll be seeing another Dr. Horrible alum besides Felicia Day — Whedon's wife, writer Maurissa Tancharoen. Whedon and Tancharoen co-wrote the Oct. 23 episode "Belonging," in which we discover more of how Sierra was "recruited" to the Dollhouse. And here are summaries of the next batch of episodes (Oct. 16 is a week off):

"The Public Eye" (Oct. 30) "When Senator Perrin (guest star Alexis Denisof) makes his stand against the Rossum Corporation, Echo (Eliza Dushku) attempts to stop his expose. Adelle (Olivia Williams) and Topher (Fran Kranz) travel to the Washington, DC, Dollhouse where they meet its genius programmer, Bennett Halverson (Summer Glau)."

"The Left Hand" (Nov. 6) "Echo and Bennett have a shocking meeting as Adelle goes head-to-head with the ruthless head of the DC Dollhouse (guest star Ray Wise). Topher sees double when he must involve Victor (Enver Gjokaj) in his espionage. Perrin finds a surprising witness to testify against the Rossum Corporation, but find he may be living in a house of cards."

"Meet Jane Doe" (Nov. 13) "After her entanglements with Senator Perrin and the DC Dollhouse, Echo finds herself out in the world-at-large as she struggles to control her multiple memory downloads. Topher discovers the dangers of science that will have devastating effects on the future, while Adelle engages in a power struggle with Harding (guest star Keith Carradine)."

"A Love Supreme" (Nov. 20) "When Echo's past romantic engagements are found murdered, the Dollhouse fears that Alpha (Alan Tudyk) has returned to seek his revenge. Adelle grows suspicious of Ballard (Tahmoh Penikett) who hopes to find allies in Boyd (Harry Lennix) and Topher. The Actives turn against their handlers, leaving one member of the house permanently mind-wiped."

Come on, doesn't that sound pretty demented? [Chicago Tribune]