Monday, July 25, 2011

Dollhouse: Season 1 Ep 2. - The Target



In this episode, once again Echo is chosen to be the perfect woman.  For the client in question, the perfect woman, is one who can white water raft, climb mountains, make love without tiring and prove that she deserves to live.  After taking her into a remote area, he stalks her with a bow and arrow intent on killing her.  Unfortunately for him, Echo kills him first and the process saves her handler who has been injured.

This episode, the viewer is also treated to a little back story.  We learn that another "doll," code named Alpha -- went on a killing spree, exterminating other dolls and security at the house.  One man he managed to kill in 8 secs with very precise cuts.  Despite all of the violence he engaged in, for some reason he did not kill Echo. The dolls were unable to defend themselves because without the appropriate training, they are as innocent and helpless as children.

I am truly disturbed by this episode because not only was Echo forced into sex she was treated as little better than an animal by the man that decided to hunt her. Though she has been programmed to trust her handler he views her as nothing but an empty receptacle, and he barely listens to her when she speaks. By the end of the episode she has saved his life despite not having the right programming and it is clear that he has formed a new respect for her.  Shoulder to the wheel I suppose, however this just affirms once again that respect is something Echo has to learn rather than something that should be granted to ever single human being.  Because Echo is a woman this greatly plays into the way that patriarchy systemically denies women agency and value to privilege men. 

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