Dollhouse, “Epitaph One” – The Best DVD Extra Ever?

28 Jul

DeWitt and TopherWow, dudes. On the plane today, I watched the unaired 13th episode of Dollhouse, titled “Epitaph One.”  It comes bundled as a bonus episode in the just-released DVD set of the show’s first season, and holy hell, it’s probably the best, most crucial 50-minutes of “bonus material” I’ve ever seen.  I won’t write any overt spoilers in my reactions/thoughts below, but I will write a little a bit about the episode, so if you’ve yet to see it, you might want to steer clear… suffice to say, if you had even a passing interest in this show and especially if you watched through the finale, you owe it to yourself to rent the DVDs (or use other easier, less “legal” means) to watch this episode.

Epitaph One boots up in the year 2019, several years after the work that Topher and the Dollhouse gang were doing in Season One has reached its logical conclusion, brainwashing the majority of the human race and causing a global apocalypse. The episode stars, among others, Dr. Horrible’s Felicia Day, whose band of survivors stumbles upon the abandoned (or is it?) Dollhouse and begins to piece together what happened all those years ago.  In addition to this A-plot, we see out-of-order and context flashbacks to a still-functional Dollhouse as it reckons with the coming of the brainwash apocalypse.

It’s a brilliantly put-together, riveting hour of television; in fact, I thought it was far, far better than any hour of the show up to this point.  More than anything, watching Epitaph One felt like watching the pilot for a brand-new, upcoming Joss show. I’m kind of incredulous that FOX is really not going to air it, ever.  Can that be true?  It’s such a massive game-changer, imparts such a fuckton of new information, and… well… it’s just so good! Why wouldn’t they just air it?

Dollhouse Epitaph One: Whisky and Caroline

So yeah, killer, killer episode.  I absolutely can’t wait to hear what everyone on the internets thinks – Sepinwall already saw it, and has some choice, enthusiastic words to share, and I’m sure all the other Whedonites out there will chime in soon enough. Actually, they probably all already have.

But for the moment, ahem. I gotta say it. Back when I first wrote about Dollhouse, even while drawing heat from many who said the show was a waste of time, I said this would happen, and now, I just wanted to say:  Neener, Neener, etc. Y’all made me doubt, but here’s what I said at the time:

So, aaaanyway. I’m just sayin’. Provided the show is around long enough, Dollhouse will get good.  They’re going to break Echo out of the Dollhouse, she’s going to have a composite event and start remembering who she is (just look at the end twists in the last two episodes), and the whole idea of mind-reprogramming is going to be explored in new, uncomfortable, and likely awesome ways.

….aaaand BAM.  Without getting too specific or spoiler-y, I was right the fuck on. Maybe the show is still not for you, and maybe you got off the bus during one of the weak-sauce early episodes, but I’m glad I stuck with it.  Assuming that Dollhouse can keep this momentum going, and especially after taking into consideration all of the guest star rumors I’m hearing about (Alexis Denisorf, Summer Glau, Jamie… Bamber? Can that be right?), it seems awfully likely that Season 2 is gonna be some damn good times.

Dollhouse Epitaph One

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