The first hour tonight was not something I normally enjoy. It was a bit on the 'normal' side of things. The soldiers as a group mind thing though, is a pretty cool concept to play with, and I thought they did a good job with that whole idea.
The main reason I actually enjoyed Stop-Loss, as has been the case for a number of episodes, is Enver Gjokaj. This guy deserves a starring role somewhere after Dollhouse. He is an amazing actor, and I am totlly enthralled with him, and he makes me give a crap about Victor.
For a moment, I thought Tony and Priya might actually have gotten out of the Dollhouse for a little bit. Silly, silly Jason.
Having Echo with a personality of her own, beyond the blank slate of your typical Active has helped her and the show a LOT, I think. Giving this girl a persistent self that we can latch onto was sorely needed. It's a shame, while making sense at the same time, that she seems too much like Caroline. It would have been nice if they'd tried to make her different. A mind made up of 40+ minds should be something unique. See: Alpha. Not that they had to, or should have gone that route, but something would have been nice.
Pushing all these characters who, a little more than a year ago, wer seen by us as such amoral bastards to even their own breaking points, and having them start to exit their shades of grey has been a very fun journey.
I loved the second hour even more though, since it gets into the weird scifi stuff I love. I rolled my eyes a *little* at the people in the Attic being used as human computers. It's just such a silly concept that does not work, and was a big flaw that made me dislike the Matrix so much.
Still, it was a treat seeing Reed Diamond again, and even becoming an ally of Echo's as they realise they're on the same side.
And having us butt right up against the future of the Epitaphs was pretty great. I was on the edge of my seat, as the show was being inexoribly drawn towards that future. And tying that future right into the past and the origins of the Dollhouse was also a good use of their mythology, and built upon it as well.
The directing is worthy of note, since John Casaday, the well-known comic artist, did that. It wasn't bad. It had a little more flash than substance at times, and had the feel of someone a little new, and wanting to show how nifty he could be. The fights with Arcane at the start, especially. They were almost impossible to follow, and were little more than quick flashes of action.
I love having everyone on the show be brought around to Echo's cause by the end of the episode. I think many of us have wanted to see that moment, and it really turns the whole show in a new direct
And yay, Amy Acker is back next week!