Great to see Alpha back (NICE suit! Dominic would approve), also glad they spared Joel, he was by far my favourite of all of Echo's clients. Gorgeous scene at the end where he says goodbye to Echo and she assumes the Rebecca personality for him, one last time, telling him that his dead wife wouldn't want him to be alone. Really is a rollercoaster that kicks in and never stops. Once again a great performance from Enver as the shrink but Alan Tudyk is the unquestionable star.
If Alpha is a Doll why not use Topher's gizmo we saw in The Public Eye to knock him out?
Topher; (upon learning that Terry Karens is still in Echo's mind) "So she's a serial killer?"
Boyd; "Only a little"
Echo; (as Topher introduces himself) "We've met Topher, don't you remember?"
Topher; (realising the quantum shift in Echo's abilities) "I'm obselete. This must be what old people feel like. And Blockbuster"
Joel; "It's just this morning I was engaged to a great girl and this afternoon I'm hiding out with my dead wife"
not to mention;
Boyd; "You have to put it together?"
Topher; "It's called the manufacturing room, not the 'It's finished' room!"
Packing heat; Boyd and Ballard with their pistols. Bit surprised Adele doesn't have a gun stashed somewhere. Apparently the staff have tranquliser guns but not in the house itself.
Echo kissage; 4
Sierra's personality is naughty and aware of it. She's been done wrong 10 days to Sunday and it's still Tuesday.
Dr Victor wonders if Adele is actually jealous of Echo the virgin/whore, much to Topher's amusement? Alpha is quite the dandy, he cites famous Georgian-era socialite Beau Brummel. One of Echo's past engagements was a lesbian who married her in San Francisco in what Boyd describes as a 'lovely ceremony' (YAY!) but was killed by Alpha (BOO! Why do so many lesbian characters die on TV?). At least one other of her past romantic clients was a woman called Angie Demeron. Alpha asks if Ballard is gay. Echo tells Adele that they'll 'Hug it out later'. Alpha declares one of his personalities was an Eagle Scout and the other a sailor which must combine to some form of dirty joke?
Notches on the Dollhouse bedpost; Frank Pierce, Echo's repeat romantic engagement
Echo; 6 definite, 2 possible
Topher; 1 possible
How'd they get away with that?
Somehow Alpha's knife is all the nastier for having that fish-gutting mini-hook at the front. Poor Matt Cargill (motorbike/bondage guy from the very first episode) get's blown to smithereens with Boyd and Ballard picking their way through his viscera.
This weeks fantasy;
. Frank Pierce who wants his sister-in-law to fall in love with him
What do we think of the client?
.Once again, if you lust after your sister in law it's probably quite a moral option to hire a proxy so you can live out your fantasies without wrecking your brother's marriage.
Total number personalitites; Sierra is a glammed up Ava Gardener style film noir femme-fatale, Victor is a psychiatrist, Echo is Rebecca for Joel and Susan for Frank Pierce
Total LA dolls; There are now a couple of hundred Dolls in the house and Echo is the most popular active they have.
9-Echo, Sierra, November, Victor, Mike, Tango, Alpha, Whiskey, Kilo
Addy is a bit British;
Alpha says he loves Addy's British knack for understatement, Monty Python and uses the hunting call 'Tally-ho'
Subverting the Hollywood cliche;
Adele confesses to Alpha that she's scared out of her mind and tries to bargain with him, offering Echo and Joel. She says her chivalry has been overcome by her sense of self preservation.
Bondage; Echo in a straightjacket and Ballard tied to the chair
Sierra tied up; 1
Knocked out; Topher and Ballard by Victor
Sierra; 3 kills
For once it's the Dollhouse staff who get the stuffing beaten out of them, at least one being killed.
Dr Victor states that Echo is a virgin/whore and is celebrated for the fact. Ballard describes himself as Echo's pimp. Alpha wants to tally Adele's ho's.
Know the face?
15-Whedon alumni-Mark Shepherd-2 (Dollhouse/Firefly), Amy Acker-2 (Dollhouse/Angel), walking action figure-2 (Buffy/Dollhouse), Eliza Dushku-3 (Buffy/Angel/Dollhouse), Jim Piddock-2 (Angel/Dollhouse), Gregg Henry-2 (Dollhouse/Firefly), Alan Tudyk-2 (Dollhouse/Firefly), Felicia Day-2(Dollhouse/Buffy), Alexis Denisoff-3 (Buffy, Angel and Dollhouse), Kristoffer Pohala-2 (Dollhouse/Angel), Stacey Scowley-2 (Buffy/Dollhouse) Clyde Katulas-2 (Buffy/Dollhouse), Maurissa Tanchon-2(Dollhouse/Dr Horrible), Summer Glau-3(Angel/Firefly/Dollhouse) Glenn Morshower-2(Buffy/Dollhouse)
Reminds me of;
Victor does a great Woody Allen and rather reminds me of Dr Joel Fleischman from Northern Exposure. Topher makes reference to Return of the Living Dead and Harry Potter whilst Alpha refers to Stephen Sondheims epic 'Send in the Clowns' and 'Nothing more than feelings' , maybe he spent the summer on Broadway, hence the suit? He also refers to Yogi Bear and sounds a little like Snagglepuss "Who doesn't love a pun?". He describes Echo as his 'immortal beloved' which is a reference to Mozart.
Maimed characters. Rich and powerful famillies who cover up the evil deeds of their wayward sons. Top security installations which aren't secure at all. Loving self-sacrificing mothers who risk all for their children. Corporate politics literally played with deadly seriousness. Monty Python quoting villains. Offices full of zombies.
Breaking the programming;
Even Topher doesn't know what Echo is any more. She can resist Alpha's signal which sends the other Dolls crazy.
Questions and observations;
You always figured people would get addicted to the Dollhouse and like all addictions lead them to ruin. A truly stunning ep, easily the best of season 2 and possibly the best so far. I'd never actually watched Firefly until after I'd watched Dollhouse Season 1 so I had actually no idea of who Alan Tudyk was or his performance as Wash. Amazing how effective you can be with the simple device of taking an actor everyone associates with funny and heroic characters and casting them as absolute villains, as Nic Brendon recently proved with his amazing performance in the rapist story arc on Private Practice. Some great dialogue, this ep co-written by Joss himself . Nice music too.
Marks out of 10; 9/10, excellent ep, Alpha always ups the game, the first ep of season 2 I went back and watched again straight after