This story may contain spoilers.
The episode has never even aired on Fox, but according to series star Fran Kranz, “Epitaph One” will be the driving force behind the second season of “Dollhouse” : despite the fact that most of the shows audience will never have seen it.
“We’re really going to move forward towards where ‘Epitaph One’ ended, and we’re heading towards the apocalypse,” Kranz said, according to SciFi Wire. “It’s still going to go according to [Whedon’s] plan.”
“Epitaph One” was originally produced as a way to round off the first season to thirteen episodes for the DVD deal Twentieth Century Fox had with the series, however, due to budget constraints, Joss Whedon was able to produce the episode on a far lower budget than the rest of the season and doesn’t rely too heavily on the shows main stars.
Set in 2019, the episode revolves around a small group of “actuals” (humans who have not had their minds altered by the imprinting technology) who are seeking refuge from a war caused by the Dollhouse technology. As originally introduced in the first season, the enigmatic Rossum Corporation is heavily involved with the mind-altering research and the technology eventually leaks to other parties.
With such powerful technology widespread, a war ignites with mass-imprinting becoming common place and that is how season two will begin.
“Felicia [Day], her character and her world, is in the first episode of season [two],” Kranz said. “So we’re sticking with it. Things could change. We could always play it out a little differently if we wanted to, but that’s the trajectory we’re on. My character kind of loses his mind in [‘Epitaph One’], feeling the weight of what he’s done – the technology he invented destroying the world – and he kind of feels bad about it. We’re kind of already heading there in the second season.”
However, fans should beware that there is a little bit of wiggle room in the future depicted in “Epitaph One.” There is nothing that can be done to prevent the war from unfolding, but what was revealed may not exactly be the whole truth.
“Even though the future is fixed, and the stuff we see in ‘Epitaph One’ is definitely real, we haven’t seen the whole picture,” Whedon told fans at Comic-Con last month. “For one thing, the ‘flash backs’ we saw featuring our main characters were memories and may have been unreliable, plus some of those events may not have played out the way we thought they did.”
“Dollhouse” returns Sept. 25 at 9 p.m. on Fox.