This was the first episode in which Whedonian wit was prominently featured (my favorite: Patton Oswalt's Bill Gatesey character talking about a judge who will "throw the Kindle" at Paul for his intrusion. It would, I suspect, have been a much better episode if Whedon had directed too (David Straiton, a veteran of Eureka, My Own Worst Enemy, Life, Dresden Files, was more than adequate, but Whedon is a tremendously inventive TV director and would almost certainly have given it an added dimension.)
On Entertainment Weekly online, Ken Tucker observes:
So it turns out, Joss Whedon is operating at a different speed than most current makers and consumers of TV. At a time when everyone wants to make snap judgments of new shows, and when television content creators feel pressure to make their concepts immediately understandable/irresistible, Whedon chose to lull us into thinking Dollhouse was going to remain a series about Eliza Dushku looking as though someone had hit her over the head with a shovel every week whenever she wasn't dolled up like a boy-toy having ferocious sex with a "client."
Whedon has done this before, of course. Season Five of Buffy had many, including me, perturbed by the introduction of a little sister for the Slayer, but then, after getting her ass kicked by Glory, we learned, in "No Place Like Home" (5.5), as we were told by a monk dying in Buffy's arms, that Dawn was the Key, and we gasped.