The second hour of this past Friday’s Dollhouse two parter, “A Love Supreme”, featured the return of an old foe, which could also be their last appearance before the series finale in January. The episode is a game changer in some sense, and it might be a precursor to everything in “Epitaph One” NOT coming true.
The Set Up
A guy sits beside his mobile home lamenting on loving something that’s not real, i.e. a Doll. He is talking to someone who we don’t see until it is too late for the cowboy. The guy’s friend? It’s ALPHA (guest star Alan Tudyk), who doesn’t hesitate to give the poor sap a slit throat.
Back at the Dollhouse, Echo is in solitary confinement and is being questioned by a doctor, who is none other than Victor. Where is Enver Gjokaj’s Emmy? Enquiring minds not only need to know, but demands for it to happen! Adele asks the Doctor Victor if he has found anything to prove that Echo remembered any Imprints for the past three months while gone, which he replies no. Ballard has had enough and wants the torture to stop, but Adele ignores him. She does pull Doctor Victor out of the room and the two of them leave. Boyd warns Ballard to stop showing emotion when it comes to Echo in front of Adele. It only proves that something is up.
Adele gets berated by Doctor Victor, who sums her up by saying that she is jealous of Echo because Echo can be a whore and a virgin, while Adele has to settle for one of the two. Adele orders Topher, who is enjoying the exchange, to wipe Victor and send him on his way. When the task is done, Adele asks Topher what does he think, and he agree with the good “doctor”. Echo’s fine. Adele asks for proof in the scans Topher pulled and he says they were clean, too.
But they weren’t as he exclaims excitedly to Boyd and Ballard, who tell Topher everything that had happened to Echo. He is surprised and in awe that Echo has become something they have never imagined could happen. Later, Ballard is told by Adele that since Echo is “fine” then she can be put back on the circuit, starting that day. She has a repeat Engagement with some guy has Echo to be his sister in law, which is sick, but tame to other things the Dollhouse have agreed to in the past. Ballard insists that Echo is not ready due to the headaches, which Adele cooly ignores.
Before they leave for the Engagement, Echo shows Topher how she can summon past Imprints at the drop of a hat. Topher is amazed and floored. On their way to Engagement, Ballard tells Echo that he hates being her pimp, and Echo says she does too, but that the guy she dealing with is fine. Then she “turns on” the Imprint. They reach the house, but Echo finds the dead body of the client, who has been dead for days. Then they realize that there is note left for Echo. From Alpha.
All The Boys (And Girls) Love Echo
Adele feels that since Alpha is after Echo again that she could have been his accomplice, which would explain her three month absence. Boyd, Ballard, and everyone else knows otherwise, but Adele still wants Echo back in solitary confinement until Alpha is captured. Later, Ballard and Boyd pool over all of Echo’s past romantic Engagements, all who have turned up dead in violent deaths in the past months. They try to find out who is next on the list. Meanwhile, Sierra returns the house as a dame from the mid 40s, who reveals a message from Alpha.
Adele takes precautions to have ALL the Actives rewiped to make sure that Alpha hasn’t programmed any of them. Boyd and Ballard takes clue from Sierra which said, “The next lover ages well”. The two men deduce that it has to be Matt, the guy from the pilot episode who checks out Echo for his birthday each year. The two men rush to the location of the Engagement with a SWAT Team and find Matt strapped with explosives to a chair and Alpha holding the trigger. Alpha toys with everyone saying that all of the past men and women who “loved” Echo were only using her and they pretty much have to pay. He then tosses the trigger and leaps out the way as do Ballard, Boyd, and the SWAT team (possibly Dollhouse). But Matt, unfortunately, is blown to bits.
Later back at the Dollhouse, Boyd and Ballard deduce the last “Echo lover” standing is Joel Myner (guest star Patton Oswalt) the guy who put his dead wife Rebecca’s personality in Echo last season. But he has disappeared on a retreat. Ballard goes and retrieves Joel, with the help of Echo as “Rebecca”, even though Joel is engaged to someone else. When they get back to the Dollhouse, Adele gets in Boyd and Ballard’s asses for disrespecting her. She then orders for Echo to be put back in confinement.
Topher gives Joel a tour of the lab when Joel laments that he thought Rebecca’s personality would be wiped when he stopped using their services, but then he remembers that no program ever dies. Hmm… Then Topher calms him down, by saying security on Alpha has improved. While Adele talks to someone on the phone, she hears something behind her and Alpha has found his ass back into the Dollhouse. This mofo is crafty!!!!
Night of the Living Dolls
Adele is scared out of her mind, but she keeps her resolve. He tells Adele that he doesn’t want Echo and that he will take anything he wants without a hitch. But he only wanted to show her something. He shows her some pictures that we can’t see and Adele only says are “intriguing.” He then asks her how many Dolls are in the Dollhouse and he then takes her to the living area. When they get there Boyd and Ballard spot them and go to intercept, but Alpha has a plan up his sleeve. He takes out a device and presses the button, which sends a wave of static that makes the Dolls attack their Handlers. Some of the Dolls even kill the Handlers. While Boyd and other Handlers try to fight the Dolls off, Alpha sneaks away and leaves Adele defenseless. She then runs and barricades herself into Whiskey’s/Dr. Saunders’ old office. Meanwhile, Echo receives the waves, but it only tells her that Alpha is in the building. She proceeds to break out.
Topher has just wiped Victor, but is knocked out cold by ole Vic then Alpha enters the room. Ballard makes his way to the lab, awakens and sends Topher on his way. Ballard then enters the Wipe Room, where Alpha has Joel in the wipe chair. But Alpha only says, “Bait and switch”, which is when Victor injects Ballard with a sedative. Alpha wanted Ballard all along!!!!
After tying Ballard down into the Wipe Chair, Alpha reveals his obsession. It turns out that Alpha is pissed that Echo found genuine love out Ballard and not him. When Ballard denies this, Alpha shows Ballard the pics he took of Ballard and Echo while they were staying together in Texas. He had been trailing them the entire time. He then says that none of the Imprints faces are on Echo’s face and what she is experiencing is genuine, and so is Ballard. He then proceeds to copy (or wipe) Ballard’s brain. When it is over, Ballard looks pretty much dead. Alpha then downloads something into his head.
Meanwhile, Echo finds her way to Adele and saves her, revealing her secret in the process. She and Adele escape and meet up with Boyd, Topher and Joel and they all run to the bed chambers and lock themselves in. Here it is revealed that Alpha Imprinted Sierra with a virus, thus infecting the Wipe Chair, and when Adele ordered all of the Actives to be rewiped, they unknowingly Imprinted all the Actives with a signal to take over the Dollhouse. Joel reveals that Alpha wanted Ballard and that he was only a decoy, Echo freaks and declares that she has to save Ballard. Topher then remembers the Remote Wipe Device, which Echo says is a better idea than harming the Dolls since they are innocent people in all of this.
She makes it to the Wipe Room, where Alpha has finished a download. Echo sees Ballard’s lifeless body on the floor and she engages in kicking Alpha’s ass. But he proves to be an even match and the two fight their way down three levels until Echo is ready to give the final blow, but then Ballard’s voice comes out of Alpha’s mouth! Shell shocked, Echo realizes that Alpha downloaded Ballard’s personality and it nearly kills Echo. “Ballard” asks Echo if she trusts him then she will kill “him” now. But Echo can’t and Alpha takes control and eventually escapes.
Topher and Boyd mind wipe each Active until they come to Echo holding Ballard’s brain dead body.
Joel tells Echo that he has to go and that he isn’t scared about Alpha. Echo then turns on Rebecca, but Joel says that he has moved on from that, but he is thankful that she keeps the memory alive. She then relays the message to a comatose Ballard, while Adele watches afar, her facial expression calculating.
– WHEW!!!! Talk about catching up!!! Again I am sorry about the late ass recaps. I got caught up with so much on the 4th of December that my mind was fried to try to tackle anything that revolved thinking. So sorry again, people!
– So Echo can pull Imprints at the blink of an eye. Does anyone else feel that this should have been introduced during the first season? I feel that from the last four episodes, Dollhouse had potential to go on, but no one had the patience to follow through or the stomach to look society dead in it’s eye. It’s sad that people would rather watch an episode of Jersey Shore and have the audacity to call Dollhouse lame. But on that same token, I can see why people would want to turn away. These last four episodesare bleak, and utterly depressing when it comes to the concept of free will. Nobody really wins, when corporate heads are in control. But this brings me right back to the beginning of the circle, which is that we tend to turn our heads away from the truth or something that requires for us to think outside the box…
– Enver Gjokaj, Fran Kranz, Olivia Williams and Dichen Lachman ALL need to be picked up after this show for another gig. Like ASAP!!! And Emmys all around please?
– Is this the last we have seen of Alpha? God, I hope not.
– “Epitaph One”. Ballard could have come out of his coma before the events of “Epitaph One”, but I don’t know. The groundwork is being laid for the future that we saw in that episode to come into fruition, but while we were told by Joss that the memories in play during “Epitaph One” may or may not be accurate, there are a lot of things that happened during the last four episodes that fall into the latter of Joss’s statement.
1) Dr. Saunders and Boyd’s romantic relationship. Again, it is ten years before the events of Epitaph One, but why in hell would Saunders/Whiskey come back to the Dollhouse if she left on her own? The staff or Rossum from what I know have not tried looking for her, so unless they got some code to have her come back to the Dollhouse, I don’t see how or why she would return.
2) The Dubai House. Harding and Ambrose were ready to send some, if not, all of the Actives to the Dubai house. By episode end, Adele proved that she could be tough and took back control of the L.A. Dollhouse, which is a sharp contrast to the caring and motherly figure she took over Topher in Epitaph One. Also, when she handed the schematics of Topher’s device to Harding, she didn’t give a damn about legal implications then, so why would she care when Ambrose declared that they would sale the bodies of the Dolls to high bidding clients who want to achieve immortality?
3) In contrast to the previous two points, during the scene when Ambrose appears to Topher and Adele in Victor’s body in “Epitaph One”, Ambrose mentioned that they had people in position to pass the legislature, which shows that Perrin might have done some of Rossum’s dirty work after all. In short, the future detailed in Dollhouse is frakking bleak and it seems that nobody really wins, which is not far from Joss’s schtick of bleak endings.
So can’t wait to see what you guys have to say I will hopefully see you this weekend.