1.05 "True Believer" Review

Posted by Blue McGee under

1x05 "True Believer"
I was dreading this episode. After "Gray Hour" I thought this one was going to be a step back in terms of plot/character development. As it turns out, this one remains one of the strongest episodes yet. It isn't actually my personal favourite (that would be last week's episode) but in terms of theme, character usage, and actual deployment of the show's controversial nature, it really did pull through.

It's the first episode that's actually made me question the Dollhouse more than anything. The cult of this episode (of which I thought would just be a mundane story-of-the-week plot device) actually served as a comparison to the way DeWitt runs the place. In terms of structure and leadership, they are pretty much the same. The only difference is, DeWitt has science to brainwash people, while the cult leader had religion. There was also the part where Echo was hit and she could see again. It was a nice metaphor almost, that not only could she physically see, but she was able to see beyond the preaching of the cult.

This was also one of the first episodes, in my honest opinion, that tested Dushku as an actress. And while she faltered in some places (mainly when she was in her doll state, believe it or not), she had me completely convinced that she was both blind and a cult fanatic. Considering the nature of this episode, that was the most important thing, and I think she really pulled it off. Until now, I hadn't really seen much difference between her imprints, but this was in stark contrast to the others she's had.

As for the other cast, they were all used very efficiently, and each character moved certain plots forward (some more than others, even though I'm sure each will come to fruition soon). I absolutely LOVE Dominic. I mean, of course I hate him, but you can't blame the guy. Like anything in the Dollhouse, he is morally gray. Is he really wrong for wanting to take out Echo? Like he said, she's exhibiting the same "glitches" as Alpha did before he murdered everyone. So, really, Dominic is just trying to protect everyone. But of course, Echo is our main gal, so we feel the need to protect her and hate anyone who wants her harmed. Or... you know, dead.

The Whedon humour is subtly working its way in and the show has officially coined a new phrase: Man-reaction. Who isn't going to be saying this for weeks to come? Topher's whole deal this episode was pretty hilarious and Claire was an awesome counter for that. As for Victor/Sierra. I saw it coming a mile off (probably a poor choice of words there) but it looks like it's going to develop into something really great. I just hope Victor doesn't get boxed. Um... I mean, sent to the Attic. I'm not sure why but I'm seeing heaps of potential in his character. Would be nice to see him with a different imprint though.

So all in all, although this isn't my favourite in terms of plot, action, etc. It is definitely my favourite in the sense that it used the show's premise and raised a lot of moral questions, moreso than any other episode really has. But with Minear penning the episode, you really can't go wrong. Here's hoping the next episode lives up to the hype! Too bad it's up against Battlestar. *Sniff*