"Dollhouse" Man on the Street (TV Episode 2009) Poster

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The best episode yet
red_persuasion21 March 2009
We all knew that Whedon had it up his sleeve but was waiting to pull it out. This episode was simply brilliant. You expected four in one episode. This will be the episode that will guide the series from here. I was disappointed with some of the earlier episodes *cough*episode 1*cough*episode 3*cough* but this episode shows Whedon is back. The episode well, what can I say without going into spoiler territory? Well, it shows an enormous change in the FBI character's plot and a change to the way Echo will behave and it adds a new question to the story that you will have to see for yourself in the episode and it gave insight into the scale of the Dollhouse.
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My Favorite Episode!
IHudson-221 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I've been watching Dollhouse from the start, and every episode just gets better and better! This one tops them all. Unlike previous episodes, this one deals primarily with the Dollhouse itself, rather than the engagements. My favorite scenes include the two love scenes between Paul and Mellie (the first kiss and the bedroom scene). Miracle Laurie is absolutely gorgeous and the love and affection Mellie shows toward Paul is heart-warming. Another favorite is when Paul is confronted a second time by Echo in the kitchen of the restaurant. The fact that the very girl he's trying to save is now kicking his ass is quite amusing, and the fight scene is pretty intense. The third and final favorite scene is when Mellie is attacked. She's making dinner and the table is set for two, while classical music is played in the background. Suddenly the doorbell rings and she's attacked, fighting for her life, while the classical music continues to play in the background. The scene seems almost operatic, something out of an old movie perhaps. I actually didn't think Mellie would survive until Adelle is heard on the answering machine. Somehow Mellie realizes the connection and fights back, killing the man. The whole scene is just perfect. I can't wait for next week!
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LaFeeChartreuse6 April 2011
OK, I was lukewarm about this series up until this point. I'd finally started watching it on Netflix because I'd enjoyed a lot of Joss Whedon's other work, but Dollhouse really seemed to be kind of sub-par for him... until now.

This episode is orders of magnitude better than anything that came before it. Breathtakingly intense, and full of alarming twists, turns and shocks that easily rival some of the best of his work on other shows, not to mention hints of much more interesting plot elements than anything seen in the series thus far. He even took what appeared to be a setup for a classic Whedon trope (terrible things always happen to happy people) and twisted it in an entirely unexpected direction.

I don't know if the rest of the series will be able to maintain this standard, but as of now, I'm completely hooked.
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gridoon20199 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Well this is different. "Man On The Street" is the first episode since the pilot of "Dollhouse" that Joss Whedon, the show's creator, scripted all by himself, and you can tell that he wanted to shake things up a little. The title refers to a series of fake documentary-type interviews done on the streets of Los Angeles and spread throughout this episode, where random passers-by get to express their opinions on the "urban legend" of the Dollhouse, opinions that cover a wide range, from "It's repulsive" to "Where do I sign up?". The main story has the two so far parallel worlds of Paul Ballard and the Dollhouse finally colliding, as he manages to track down Caroline....or maybe Echo....or perhaps Rebecca....or possibly a deadly ninja girl. It's a startling episode loaded with twists, in the plot (Mellie's secret function, the corrupted Echo imprint which means that Ballard has an unknown ally inside the Dollhouse, the identity of Sierra's abuser, etc.) as well as in the characters (Adelle, the rich client, etc.). Great attention to detail, too: watch closely the doors when Topher leaves and re-enters the room where he loads the second imprint to Echo. *** out of 4.
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finally getting good
whatdoesitwant-123 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
More intrigue, more speed, more character, more uncertainty, more moral ambiguity, more thinking, more in your face and a lot less alias. OMG, this show is finally getting to the Joss Whedon level. The casting, the stage and the action scenes have been top level throughout so I have no idea why the first 5 shows were mediocre, but this is nice. Many characters show their stripes. Even Amy Ackers scars seem more pronounced. The last scene with Sierra and Victor was as creepy as it was touching. See me smirk. I said what I wanted to say but IMDb, getting more annoying by the year unfortunately, wants me to go on for a bit. Boyd scored brownie points this episode, not just with his employers but with me as well. What is it that makes him tick? If he is that cool a character, what is he doing in the dollhouse?
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Ballard finally meets Caroline in this superior episode
Tweekums8 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Following the money trail an internet billionaire is identified as possibly hiring a doll on the same day each year so Ballard makes sure he is there to see what happens. He is somewhat surprised when the doll in question turns out to be Caroline (Echo) of course she doesn't realise this; she things she is the man's wife. In the confusion that follows Boyd extracts Echo and Ballard talks to the mam before leaving. Later he discusses the matter with his neighbour, Mellie… not knowing that the Dollhouse are spying and he has put her in danger. Meanwhile it looks as though Victor has been sexually involved with Sierra, something that should be impossible; Boyd's unofficial investigation suggests that the problem might be elsewhere.

After a few predominantly standalone episodes this it was nice to have an instalment that advanced the overall plot line. It was great to see Ballard's investigation uncover more than just rumours and a single photograph. The scene where he meets Caroline was a lot of fun; especially when her 'character' assumes her 'husband' is wanted for something involving pornography. The episode has its dark moments; most notably when we learn who really abused Sierra and later when Dollhouse sends somebody to deal with Mellie… although this latter event ends with a brilliant twist that is likely to have viewers cheering! Ballard's second encounter with Echo leads to an impressive fight that ends with further hints that Echo knows more than she should about Dollhouse… whether this is because of failure in her conditioning or deliberate action by somebody within Dollhouse isn't fully clear yet. Intertwined with the main story we get some interesting vox pops as a TV show interviews people about the Dollhouse 'urban myth'. The cast does an impressive job; it was nice to see Tahmoh Penikett leading the episode as he does a fine job as Ballard; also particularly notable in this episode are Miracle Laurie, as Millie; Olivia Williams, as Adelle and Kevin Kilner as Joe Hearn. Overall I'd say this was a top-notch episode, possibly the best yet as it features some great action, real surprises and we learn more about Dollhouse and more is hinted.
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Very entertaining
everyone-cheerful13 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This is where the show found its rhythm. While it began to launch a few questions since the first episodes, Man on the Street seems more completed. There are also a couple of scenes really funny, and a few are showing the real potential of Dollhouse, with a few twists at the end.

Olivia Williams is perfect in her role of Ms. Dewitt, and I think that was the first time I felt she is truly worried about the well-being of the actives. The part with "the three flowers in a vase" is astounding yet exciting. Of course, it brings a few more questions, but we begin to see that everyone, everything is somehow connected to the Dollhouse, and that's where we recognize the work Joss does behind each of his shows. Nothing is made randomly.

I bet what comes next will be even better.
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Man on the Street
Joxerlives2 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The good; Wow! Mellie is a Doll! Did ANYONE see that coming? Excellent ep with loads of character development, first meeting of Ballard and Caroline (excepting 'Echo') and a heck of a dust up. The subplot with an abused Sierra is horrible but very well written and acted, you just knew that this would be a problem sometime as Herne says (CHEERED when Boyd punched him through the glass, great stunt from Mike Massa). And Echo has paid sex with her first realistic and sympathetic client/trick.

The bad; Not much, very good ep. You do think that Adele takes a hell of chance with November by not activating her about 30 seconds earlier?

Best line; "Perhaps I need to give it to you" Adele gives Boyd a bonus, not because he wants it but because she needs to give it to him to salve her conscience. Also like "PORN!" (all in the delivery)

Packing heat; Echo takes Ballard's gun off him, Dominic pistol-whips Herne Echo;4 Boyd; 6 Dominic; 5 Sierra; 1

Kinky dinky; According to Joss when they asked casting for extras to play the Dolls they were inundated with pictures of porn stars. Must have been hell. Why do we all bother to pay for porn? Why don't we just phone up a casting agency and pretend we need attractive background players for our TV show? Echo's personality thinks her fiancée has suddenly become rich through internet porn.

Notches on the Dollhouse bedpost; November beds Ballard (and she's a heck of a screamer) and presumably Echo returns to finish her romantic engagement with her client Echo; 3 November; 1

How'd they get away with that? The funny "What a rick!" and the indescribably horrible, Herne abusing Sierra. He's a son of a bitch but November killing Herne makes me wince every time.

This weeks fantasy; Echo plays the dead fiancée of the Internet mogul and then a hit chick. November plays Mellie and death-in-Laura-Ashley

Total number personalities; 2 for Echo Echo; 13 Sierra; 4 Victor; 1 November; 2

Total dolls; 4, here's November! Echo, Sierra, November and Victor

Subverting the Hollywood cliché; The client is actually a sympathetic figure and is even concerned about the security guards Ballard knocked out. For once we have a fat client/trick rather than a male model although Mellie actually thinks him kinda cute.

Bondage; Sierra tied up; 1

Kills; November kills Herne with her bare hands (never talk flower arranging with HER!) Sierra; 2 kills Echo; 1 November;1

Dolls injured; November badly roughed up by Herne

Capt subtext; The redneck guy thinks the Dollhouse is a great idea because it allows a guy to be with another guy but means that there's 'Nothing queeny' going on (his wife/girlfriend's expression when he says this makes me laugh out loud every time, just like Echo's 'Porn' line). Dominic punches Herne when he hints that there was something between him and Adele. Jealousy?

Happy hookers Takana describes Echo as a 'whore with a heart of gold'. Herne makes a good point about Adele hiring out the Dolls to be sweating under 'some Emir' (the difference being they'd signed up for that, they hadn't signed up to be sexually abused whilst in their non-programmed state, Sierra actually saying she doesn't want to). Joss refers to Miracle Laurie as 'Being a pro' but rapidly rethinks his phrasing. Just idly watching '2 and a Half Men' whilst I'm writing this and Charlie and Alan are being treated to a pair of hookers by their future stepfather in Vegas. It strike me how attitudes to prostitution in TV and movies have changed in recent years, Pretty Woman, Belle Du Jour, Patty the daytime hooker in My Name is Earl, Hung etc. In a recent ep of The Big Bang Theory to cheer Howard up Raj and Leonard hire him a working girl. Times have certainly changed, used to be the only time you ever saw prostitutes on screen was when they were murdered or were informants.

Know the face? 5 Whedon alumni-Mark Shepherd, Amy Acker, walking action figure, Eliza Dushku, Jim Piddock. Whenever I see Herne I can never help but think 'Is that Dennis Quaid?"

Guantanamo; The Afro-American woman likens the Dollhouse to slavery. Ballard is pretty damn rough with Takana.

Reminds me off; The Vulcan grip from Star Trek is mentioned. The internet mogul is very reminiscent of David Nabbit from Angel who also frequents ladies of the night (but likes his a bit more demony). According to Joss' commentary Eliza didn't care much for her housewife look but I think she looks great, reminds me of when The Mayor gave Faith that dress in Graduation Day pt1

Questions and observations; Interestingly according to the reporter the rumours of the Dollhouse have been circulating since the late 80s? Ballard and Mellie actually make a lovely couple, very sweet. For a moment I wondered if Echo's message was some sort of double bluff but to judge by Joss' commentary the message was real. From whom? We learn there are 20 Dollhouses all over the world. What is the greater, X-files style, conspiracy? Echo demonstrates genuine affection for her client, even after she's meant to have been wiped. Adele knows this but still keeps her in the field. Absolutely love the scene where Echo thinks her fiancée made his money through internet porn, she may be a Doll but she's no brainwashed sex slave, she reacts in exactly the same way the real woman would have done. The interviews on the street are also interesting, not to stereotype but you look at the blonde girl and kinda wonder if she is a Doll? Again, this almost feels like the 3rd pilot for the show. Marks out of 10; 9/10 best ep so far
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