Overall, I liked it. It wasn't a fantastic hour, but I do genuinely believe that Dollhouse has become my favorite Whedon show. I gave up on Buffy mid-season five because of the OOC-Buffy/Spike thing (I know I'm SOOO out of fandom majority with that, but it was just wrong, no matter how great the chemistry was), and I could not stand Inara or Mal/Inara in Firefly. But taking away the negatives I had with those two shows, and just looking at the overall big picture, yup, Dollhouse is my favorite. It overcame a weak handful of early episodes (I still think that episodes 1, 5 and 6 were very good episodes, with 2, especially 3, and 4 being the only true weak episodes in the series) and a less-than-stellar lead actress to become a pretty damn amazing show. And it's not as if Eliza Dushku did a bad job, she did good to very good overall; it was just such a tricky role that it required an actress of outstanding talent. Aside from the necessity for major skillz in that role, it didn't help Dushku that she was surrounded by a boatload of actors who ARE outstandingly talented (Olivia Williams, Harry Lennix, Enver Gjokaj, Franz Kranz and Dichen Lachman), not to mention a score of recurring actors who are WOWSERS! too (Reed Diamond, Amy Acker, Alan Tudyk, etc.)
So, a few weak early episodes, a so-so leading lady paired with some stellar acting supporting players, an intriguing, thought-provoking storyline, great writing, direction, pacing, etc. and a fairly cohesive vision (pairing Fox's direction with Whedon's apocalyptic concept) all together created a great show. I like! And for me, I've decided that what makes this whole show work best is to bookend the series with "Epitaph One" and "Epitaph Two." That gives more weight to the earlier episodes and then leads to the final triumph at the end.
Random finale thoughts ...
-- I was thinking during it that it should have been a two-parter, but I still think they made it work.
-- This episode capped it, as a writer and actress, Maurissa Tancharoen is just so unbelievably awesome. I'm pretty sure I have a girlcrush on her. She is STUPENDOUS! I loved her "she's so cool" about Echo, LOL!
-- Sadly, I found myself thinking ONCE AGAIN, oh how much better this show would have been with a different lead actress. Ah well.
-- I'm glad that of all of them the ones who at least got a happy ending were Tony and Priya, cuz Tony was my absolute favorite, and their love story was so sweet. I know that Echo's venting against Priya was leading to her breaking down over Paul, but I loved the line before it became about her and Paul regarding the fact that they wiped Tony over and over again and he ALWAYS loved Priya. That's some true love right there.
-- Erm, why was Priya wearing mascara and eyeliner in the midst of this? Seriously, make-up?!?!?
-- Excellent casting on Priya and Tony's kid. Totally looked like he could be their offspring.
-- Adelle just continues to be the most rockingest awesome of all. Echo/Caroline ain't got nothing on her!
-- And in a way, Adelle got a happy ending too. Or *will* get a happy ending. As dollsome pointed out, they made no mention of Dominick (meaning, as far as we know, he's still alive out there fighting the fight), so both personally (with Dominick) and professionally (because you know that Adelle was BORN to fix the world), she'll get her full-on happy ending package.
-- But Paul won't. Whoah! and I thought that Bennett getting shot in the head was a shocker. I did NOT expect Paul to just die like that. I knew someone would die getting in, but I figured it would be (a) Victor/Tony because he's my favorite, or (b) an extra or (c) Zone, Meg or the mini-Caroline. I did NOT expect one of the leads throughout the show's run. Oh, show, you just can't not pull the rug out from under your viewers one last time, can ya?
-- Paul downloaded into Echo's head in the end, though? As I wrote in response to, erm, someone, it's so rightly wrong and fits their twisted relationship perfectly.
-- On the other hand, Topher and Adelle's relationship was stirring, poignant and so beautiful. (And, hee, I loved how Topher told her that she had the harder job at the end.)
-- Oh, Topher! I'm so glad that despite all the very, very bad that his last two lines were more reminiscent of the Topher we know. The above referenced line, and him looking at the "remember" wall with a sweetness in his voice when seeing it. And I liked that if he had to die, he at least died in a somewhat happy moment for him.
-- I'm sorry, I like her, and I know this will be considered blasphemy to some (many?), but ... Felicia Day is NOT a very good actress. I kinda thought so in Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog, but I gave her the benefit of the doubt and figured the weakness was due to the type of character she was playing. But in "Epitaph One," I wasn't impressed, and this one just confirmed it. So, she makes the third of Joss' favorite actresses who's just not that good -- Dushku, Summer Glau (and I'm so sorry because I love you so, not great actress or not), and now Felicia Day).
-- I'm not quite sure how Alpha went non-psycho, but I was amused enough by his "lasped" psycho that I didn't care. And Tudyk was awesome, so, yeah, not complaining.
-- I get why Harry Lennix was in the credits (even though we didn't see him) because he's one of the regular cast members and it very well could be in his contract, but why was Amy Acker's name in the credits? Just for that bit at the beginning that we already saw in "Epitaph One?" Or was that new footage and NOT from E1? I am confuzzled.
Overall, yeah, 'twas good. My favorite Joss Whedon show ever! (Now just get me Enver Gjokaj back on primetime next year, please!)