TV Alert: Eliza Dushku and company welcome us back to the “Dollhouse”

Finally, we get to play with dolls again. Yes, Dollhouse is back tonight for the start of its somewhat unexpected second season.

After struggling to find its footing early, the science-fiction meets soul-searching meets ass-kicking series found its footing in its second half. Now Eliza Dushku and company are back and have promised to deliver more of all of the above.

The Joss Whedon series about consensual(ish) brainwashing and reprogrammable people will continue to explore Echo (Eliza’s) burgeoning self awareness. Joss, Eliza and the cast gave fans a sneak peek of the premiere which they call “a tasting menu” for the series:

This season the show has also added appearances by a boatload of Whedonverse veterans including Summer Glau, Alexis Denisof, Felicia Day and the return of Alan Tudyk as Alpha. Also back, though in a reduced role due to her commitment to the new ABC series Happy Town, will be Amy Acker as the Dollhouse guardian Dr. Claire Saunders and former No. 1 active Whiskey. Based on this clip from the second season, we’re all going to wish Amy was around more.

Um, was that just me or was that Echo/Whiskey flashback a little touchy feely? Oh my God, is the ‘ship becoming a reality? If this happens, I’m not even kidding, I will pass out.

So, what else would you like to see in the second season? More Dichen Lachman and Miracle Laurie? More Olivia Williams and her fencing uniform? Or just more Eliza kicking ass and taking names — preferably in leather pants.

The second season of Dollhouse premieres at 9 p.m. tonight on Fox. Check back for bad machine’s snarktastic episode recaps every Monday.

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