James Marsters guest stars on Numb3rs and Eliza Dushku debuts on the new Joss Whedon drama Dollhouse on Friday, Feb. 13. This makes me nostalgic for the Spike vs. Faith days of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Of course, they're not reprising their Buffy roles and aren't even playing supernatural beings, but a girl can dream, right? How can you not want to relive the vamp and slayer going mano a mano?
Don't remember? Check out the Spike vs. Faith fight below (with musical accompaniment).
On Dollhouse, Dushku plays an "active" or "doll" named Echo who gets implanted with a personality in order to fulfill a client's mission or "engagement." After each job is done, she gets her memory wiped through a "treatment." In the premiere, we see her take on two very different personalities that have varying effects on her well being.
On Numb3rs, Marsters plays big wig Damian Lake who owns Consultants International and is suspected of selling illegal weapons in 16 countries. When the FBI tries to catch him selling microchips with missile guidance codes, all hell breaks loose and a woman is killed. Surprisingly, Lake gets off scot-free and it's up to Eppes brothers to figure out how he received a verdict of "not guilty."
So in my own little world, I decided to compare Marsters and Dushku's respective careers, characters and episodes to see who would emerge victorious in the 2009 Spike vs. Faith SmackDown. Enjoy.
Damian Lake literally gets away with murder and can jet off to the tropics whenever he wants. Echo is at the mercy of the Dollhouse and might get super-strength, but could just as easily get asthma depending on what personality she's getting implanted with that day.
Damian Lake dons suits and the occasional Hawaiian shirt and alas, does not have bleached blond hair. Echo has too many costume changes to keep track of, including a slip party dress, form-fitting motorcycle suit, spaghetti-strap tank tops and even a sexy librarian get-up complete with glasses.
Numb3rs mocks Facebook, and one character utters the line, "I won't discuss another man's meat." On Dollhouse, it's drama, drama, drama so far.
Everyone's very good on both shows, and Buffyverse fans will be happy to see Amy Acker on Dollhouse. But you really can't fight the evil charisma of Ray Wise (the devil on Reaper) who always has the best glint in his eye and smirk on his face.
Dushku is 28 and looks even better since her Buffy days. Marsters at 46 can still boast those cheekbones, but he just doesn't draw the eye like he used to. Sorry, youth wins.
Besides Echo, there are many, many other attractive, nubile women in the Dollhouse, often showing off skin. On Numb3rs, they had to infuse a little sex appeal with a deli waitress.
Character's Grace Under Fire
Damian Lake never seems to care whether he's in trouble with the law or getting threatened. Echo loses her cool during a couple pivotal moments. Not her fault of course, but there you have it.
Episode Body Count
Dollhouse: 6.5, Numb3rs: 2
Lead-in Programming/Time Slot
Numb3rs on CBS, which draws more eyes than FOX on Fridays, has been enjoying consistently high ratings each week and will only run against ABC and NBC at 10 p.m. Dollhouse is teamed up with Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, both new to Fridays, and must contend against Flashpoint's carryover audience from Ghost Whisperer.
The score stands at Spike: 4, Faith: 5. The slayer wins again.
Of course, since Dollhouse airs at 9 p.m. ET and Numb3rs airs at 10 p.m., you won't have to choose or even set your DVR. We all emerge victorious.