Second season and series finale aired Friday, January 29, on Fox.
Looking back at what I wrote about Dollhouse after its first few episodes, I’m stunned by how far the show came in its two brief seasons. Maybe it just took a while for creator Joss Whedon’s team of writers to figure out how to make their high concept work. Maybe the meddling Fox executives finally backed off enough to let them tell the story the way they had always wanted. Maybe it just took me a while to get past the problematic elements and appreciate how brilliantly the show was handling them. I suspect, in fact, that it might be a little of all three. But now that the show has ended with a taut, thrilling, poignant finale, it’s worth reassessing. Back then, with my first post, I considered Dollhouse worth appreciating more for its ambitions than its achievements, but now, having seen the whole thing, I think the series ended up realizing those high ambitions and even expanding upon them in ways I hadn’t expected or thought possible.