Season 2 Episode 8

A Love Supreme

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Dec 11, 2009 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (9)

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out of 10
416 votes
  • Alpha comes back to the Dollhouse to take back Echo.

    A continuation from Meet Jane Doe. Alpha presumably dead from last season is still alive and comes back to raise hell. His mission this time is to kill Echo's past clients and her current love interest of Paul Ballard. Echo is still undergoing her mind warping at will giving the Dollhouse a lot of problems.

    A fairly straightforward episode but done well. Alpha is a formidable opponent for the Dollhouse. Not too many surprises here except for what happens to Ballard. Still the performances are great.

    As far as this talk about Terminator and why it was canceled and why not Dollhouse. It's been covered many times already but Terminator didn't deliver this season the big ratings FOX hoped it would. Same thing with Dollhouse. The big difference is Terminator had a far bigger budget and Dollhouse did not. In the end, Dollhouse having the lower budget and lower expectation was easier to renew. In the end, both shows were canceled so it doesn't matter.

    I liked this episode. It's a way to put an end to the Alpha storyline and progress the story with Ballard and Echo who clearly have strong feelings for each other that goes beyond him simply being her handler.

    It was fun to see Olivia squirm when Alpha had control. Seeing all the active lose control temporarily is exactly the type of scenario that the Dollhouse dreads.
  • Alpha is back and he's eliminating anyone who was in love with Echo.

    Brilliant Episode! Alan Tudyk did an amazing job as Alpha once again. I love how crazy and psycho he gets just to eliminate all the guys that fell in love with Echo. Poor Echo to be in isolation. I like that Adelle's in charge again, but I don't like what she's doing to Echo. I still like how Echo can choose her own personalities. I really was surprised that Alpha blew up that man. I really thought something was going to happen where that guy would be saved but I guess not. I find it interesting how Alpha could make all the dolls fight like he did. I'm even more surprised how Alpha electrocuted him. I'm not sure if he's in a coma, or if he's dead, but that was really shocking. I give this episode a 10/10.
  • A Love Supreme

    The good;

    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.

    The bad;

    If Alpha is a Doll why not use Topher's gizmo we saw in The Public Eye to knock him out?

    Best line;

    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"

    also like

    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.


    Boyd; 9

    Dominic; 9

    Sierra; 4

    Victor; 3

    Ballard; 11

    November; 1

    Echo kissage; 4

    Kinky dinky;

    Sierra's personality is naughty and aware of it. She's been done wrong 10 days to Sunday and it's still Tuesday.

    Capt subtext;

    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

    November; 1

    Ballard; 1

    Victor; 1

    Adele; 1

    Sierra 1

    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

    Echo; 36

    Sierra; 13

    Victor; 11

    November; 3

    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

    Ballard; 2

    Echo; 3

    Knocked out; Topher and Ballard by Victor

    Echo; 6

    November; 1

    Sierra; 1

    Victor; 1

    Topher; 3

    Ballard; 1


    Sierra; 3 kills

    Echo; 3


    Dolls injured;

    For once it's the Dollhouse staff who get the stuffing beaten out of them, at least one being killed.

    Happy hookers;

    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.

    Whedon cliches;

    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

  • Alpha returns

    (Note: This review covers the second half of the two-episode event that aired on 11 December, 2009. A previous review covered the first half of the event.)

    When you already know the game is lost, sometimes you give up. You just phone it in and wait for the next season. But sometimes, it's just an opportunity to throw caution to the wind and swing for the fences. "Dollhouse" may be going, but it is not going quietly.

    The first season's climactic encounter with Alpha always felt a bit like a prelude, because while it set the stage for Echo's evolution into a distinct personality, it didn't resolve as strongly as it could have. This episode finally pays off Alpha's intentions towards Echo, and it is not pretty. It also throws quite a few assumptions out the window, at least in terms of the pacing and the content of the rest of the season/series.

    After the previous episode, I was sure that Echo's true nature would be hidden for a little while longer. When Topher was brought into the conspiracy, I thought it might have been the payoff for his displeasure with Adele, a grasp at atonement for his role in creating the most dangerous technology imaginable. There is something poetic about the notion of Topher using the last of his sanity to ensure that Echo is fully prepared to face the consequences of his actions.

    So I was shocked when Alpha's latest assault on the Dollhouse resulted in Adele's discovery of Echo's true nature. It felt like it happened too quickly, especially right after the three month leap that took place in the previous episode. If anything, this is a clear sign that Joss and the rest of the gang recognized their likely fate, and chose to cram as much of the story into the episodes they had left.

    It is, in the end, a minor point. If it hurts the flow of the season, that won't be fully apparent until the next couple episodes. It doesn't undermine the strength of this episode and its connections to the grand scheme of the series. It's still all about the nature of mind and body, and how the status quo arrives at the world seen in "Epitaph One".

    Alpha is right in this respect: he helped to make Echo everything that she is. The difference, it seems, was the end result of the imprint compositing process. Alpha's gestalt personality is an amoral psychopath (albeit with a rapier wit and an interesting sense of style). Echo, on the other hand, appears to be Alpha's polar opposite. Echo's inherent morality, mated with a desire to do what she thinks is best for a given situation, is a potent combination.

    This incident might change that dynamic. Had the series continued into future seasons, I suspect Alpha would not have uploaded Ballard into his mosaic of imprints. Alternatively, if it did happen, I doubt the consequences would have been evident so quickly. My suspicion is that Ballard's less obsessive love for Echo, as well as his sense of morality and understanding of Echo's method of control over her own imprints, will allow him to exert an unexpected level of control over Alpha himself.

    I suspect this because in "Epitaph One", there is a stray comment that suggests that Alpha was eventually an ally for those seeking to survive the fall of civilization. While it could be that Echo simply defeats Alpha and then makes use of his resources, I think it's more in keeping with the concepts inherent to the series if Echo and Alpha end up on the same page because Ballard takes command of Alpha.

    After all, if Echo can take possession, so to speak, of Caroline's body as a composite personality born of persistent imprints, then it stands to reason that any truly strong imprinted personality could do so. The headaches could be the result of Echo's need to fight for control; when a particular imprinted personality is accessed, it could give that personality an inroad to challenge Echo.

    In "Alpha", it appeared that Alpha was having trouble maintaining dominance. As assured as he was in this episode, that earlier instability suggests that Ballard may have the right circumstances to survive as the dominant personality in Alpha's body. He was able to push through for a little while, when he begged Echo to kill him. Even if Ballard doesn't take control of Alpha, he could force a shift in Alpha's base personality, thus mitigating the madness and the amorality.

    For that reason, saving Ballard may be a futile effort. If Alpha ripped away Ballard's mind, leaving Ballard's body little more than a shell, what could really be done? The process seems to have gone far beyond turning someone into a Doll, so it doesn't seem likely that a new personality could be imprinted. The question is whether or not Ballard's original mind is still resident. If Alpha only made a copy, then it might be possible to restore Ballard if the damage can be undone. Of course, it might take someone like Bennett to make that happen, which would be interesting, to say the least.

    Beyond the personal fallout for Echo, there's now the question of what Adele might do. It's not at all clear. She just managed to take back control of her house from her superiors, and that was based on perceived weaknesses in house security and personnel management. It's hard to imagine that the house wouldn't be under some form of surveillance, so Alpha's incursion and Echo's autonomy shouldn't be a secret for very long. This will be a real test of Adele's true motives.

    This episode continues a six-episode winning streak, starting with "Belle Chose". That alone makes this season a vast improvement over the first. I still think that the series has been fundamentally flawed, in terms of the disparity between sexualized promotion/presentation and the fundamental issues raised by the content, but the bulk of this season has been quite a ride.
  • Alpha returns bent on getting to and terminating anyone who has had a significant relationship with Echo. Ballard and Langton struggle to keep Adelle out of the loop, but catastrophic occurrences at the Dollhouse bring everything together.

    Well the show is on a run of very positive, well produced and acted episodes. This certainly was an interesting and very action packed episode of The Dollhouse. As things begin to come full circle for the LA house. It is becoming apparent to even Adelle that Echo is something different or unique in an Active.

    Some excellent scenes in this episode especially the Adelle/Alpha office scene and the Ballard/Alpha scene near the end. Besides Alan Tudyk as Alpha, we see Patton Oswalt return as Joel Mynor who may not have been a target of Alpha's because in Alpha's twisted mind Mynor's need for Rebecca was not in the physical nature, but more spiritual.

    Some deep consequences for the Dollhouse in general. It will be interesting to see what happens with Ballard/Echo, to Echo herself, and finally how Adelle recovers from some of the revelations of this situation. Of course Alpha is still out there as well.

    Just a thought about some of the plot devices and Alpha as a character. I believe that the Alpha character even though interesting may have been a tactical error on the part of the creator and writers. He brought a lot of intrigue and supposed plot conformity to the first season, but in a way he is a distraction from the main plot of the show. He is the focal point of why Echo is the way she is, but at the same time he clouds and distracts from where the show is really going. I guess maybe he is the worst case scenario of what could happen using people this way.

    I enjoyed this episode as much as the last, but I give it a slightly lower score for the interference effect I believe this part of the show has distracted from the overall storyline and in the end its relative importance. I'm not sure how they could have manipulated the situation in the same way using a different plot device, but I think it would have been good to try. Thanks for reading...
  • The show is back on form.

    Much, much better! After a rather hit-or-miss episode, 'Love Supreme' adds that much needed urgency to the story again. It may not push the overall arc forward, but plenty of characters have been thrown into radical positions, Ballard in particular finding himself in a rather unusual predicament.

    There was definite finale vibes from this one – it was great seeing a lot of Echo's old clients, even if they did only show up for the slaughter. I really liked the scene where Alpha once again embodies The Joker, suit and all, and whips up a contraption the maniacal clown would be proud of, with the man in the chair painting the skyline a dash of red with his innards.

    I seriously loved the dolls attacking their handlers. It was wonderfully executed, with statico editing and some fantastic choreography, not to mention a thumping score. I really wanted Adele to at least get ruffled up a bit by someone, ANYONE, but no, apart from a traumatic scene with Alpha, she remains bruise-free.
    I was perhaps a little harsh on Eliza and Tahmoh last time, but here they redeem themselves quite a bit. Eliza, I thought, gave a series best – Echo is finally becoming a character to root for, and her crazed scenes were commendably acted by Dushku, not to mention her scenes with Alpha, she nailed it. Tahmoh, too, gave a strong performance. Is it his last? I doubt it, but where will the writers go now?

    I'm still really liking Topher =)

    With Alpha checking in and out of the Dollhouse as if it were the Hilton, we'll no doubt see him again before the finale. I mean, we'll have to, won't we? He does have Ballard's mind, after all.

    Overall, this was a darkly comical, action-packed character driven episode. It's another strike for Dollhouse; let's hope the series continues to bow out with such high standards.
  • Alpha and his schemes..

    So.. Alpha is back and nothing what he does seems to be about what he really wants.. and when they realize what us going on, it is too late.

    Even thought it has almost as good tempo on storytelling like last one, in the middle of episode, I felt little confused and thought this is not as good episode as the previous one. I mean, there was a lot of suffering, not much logic. But it all was turned upside down when Alpha just enter Adelle's office and a new tempo, new angle of all was opened. I loved how easy Adelle was to give everything away - just to save her. But even thought all the mess and action Alpha brought in, I did not liked the way story developed. Maybe they come up with something amazing with the aftermath but I do not know. I quite liked Ballard's char and the way things were going.. I really liked it.. now.. oh..
  • 208

    This was better than the first hour tonight, but definitely not as good as it could have been. When did Alpha turn into The Joker from Batman (and don't tell me he wasn't acting like him with the way he spoke and acted and the suit he wore)? It was Alan Tudyk's best performance since first appearing on the show though.

    You can tell why Dollhouse got canceled though. Well, one of the less obvious reasons is that it does not appear the actors are trying anymore and you can see very unenthusiastic looks on their faces. This is clearly not a show that was setup for a lengthy run on television.
  • They canceled Terminator and kept this low rated show?

    If you look at the ratings for Terminator TSCC Why! would Fox keep Dollhouse and drop Terminator TSCC? Sure the last Terminator movie sucked, But the TV show rocked! Yes I'm still pissed after all this time. Cancel Dollhouse please! and bring Terminator back... ASAP.... ..... .... ... ..... .... ..... ... ... .... .... ...... ...... ...... .... ..... ...... ... ... . ...... ..... .... '''' '''' ''' ''' ''''' '' '' ' '''' '''' ''' ''''''' ,,,, ,,,, ,,,, ,,,, ,, ipoigk jgfjd fjlj g jgjdflj jldjg snmmfnmgnfkj kdfkldf hkfjh jhkjhgf hhffdf gfdkjfhgk hkjhkhdgfgdfgjhvcnvb nknkj njvcnkcb njn cvjknb vn kjcvnb njnjnb ufhghdf ncjnbkjnfgb c