Season 1 Episode 4

Gray Hour

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Mar 06, 2009 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
816 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Echo becomes a burglar so she can perform a dangerous art heist. Meanwhile, Ballard challenges Lubov, and Adelle makes a disturbing confession.

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  • What starts out as a hooker job become a robbery job

    I like the twists in this episode. What was supposed to be basically another "hooker" story actually got interresting when it became a heist story. Did not see that coming!

    And I really enjoyed when Taffy got "erased" by phone...did not see that coming either. I think Echo is becoming an interesting character that you could get attached to, even if that didn't seem possible at the beginning. She's so frail in this setting, away from the safety of the Dollhouse. It's really nice what they did here, getting her out of her confort zone.

    They were some parts that bothered me a little like how easy it was for them to get out of there but I'm willing to let it go since the story was entertaining overall.

  • Gray Hour


    The good;

    Lovely scene where wiped Echo gazes around in wonder at all the beautiful works of art. Interesting to see Sierra and Echo play the same character 'Taffy' in the same ep.

    The bad;

    The scenes from the ep 'Echo' are repeated. However this means that Sierra has the scar from that ep on her forehead without any explanation and it later disappears. We never get a proper explanation of how Echo and her friend get out of the vault, even with smoke grenades and the other goon distracting the guards with his shooting.

    Best line;

    Goon 1 (of a suddenly infantile Echo) "What's wrong with her?"

    Goon 2 "I don't know, hysterical woman syndrome?" (un-PC but FUNNY!)

    Packing heat;

    Boyd shoots the Professor in the kneecap. Echo with a pistol again

    Kinky dinky;

    Hooker Echo, mini-skirted and black PVC thigh booted in true Pretty Woman style. She considers her own breasts 'spectacular'. The Sierra version of Taffy says that after nearly getting killed on her first job she learned how to lapdance.

    Notches on the Dollhouse bedpost;

    Echo; 2

    How'd they get away with that?

    Accomplice slapping Echo is nasty

    This weeks fantasy;

    Midwife Echo and safecracker Echo/Sierra (the two skills not dissimilar, just one normally involves a lot more noise)

    Total number personalitites;

    Echo; 11

    Sierra; 4

    Victor; 1

    Total dolls;3

    Echo, Sierra and Victor

    Addy is a bit British;

    She's at the tea again.

    Topher is a bit geeky;

    He seems to eat nothing but junk food to judge by his shopping list. Also worries about a rival programmer from Tokyo

    Subverting the Hollywood cliche


    Sierra tied up; 1

    Knocked out


    Sierra; 2 kills

    Echo; 1

    Dolls injured;

    Capt subtext;

    The baby girl Echo delivers has 'linebackers shoulders' which her father takes to be a sign that she'll be a lesbian.

    Happy hookers

    The hotel security guard is used to dealing with distraught hookers and offers Echo hush money

    Know the face?

    5 Whedon alumni-Mark Shepherd, Amy Acker, walking action figure, Eliza Dushku, Jim Piddock


    Topher, at the heart of the conspiracy freaks out about the much larger conspiracy now attacking the Dollhouse


    Missing scenes

    Reminds me off;

    Echo's alias is Taffy, one of the teen Angels from Captain Caveman. Dollhouse does heist movie just like Buffy in Choices and Angel in Ground State.

    Questions and observations;

    Good ep, the scene between Addy and Topher at the end where she takes him into her confidence and they both look scared as hell at the idea of Alpha raises it to a better level. Adele seems to drink Tequila, Vodka and Johnny Walker whiskey to judge by her drinks cabinet.

    Marks out of 10; 8/10

  • Revealing Episode

    This maybe the best episode of Dollhouse I have seen thus far. I like the fact that "Echo" is not some mindless zombie doing what she is programmed. She will begin to have memory of he past life. The best part of the episode was the fight scene between Eliza Dushku and Tahmoh Penikett is great. They looked like they really went at it and left nothing restrained. I also like one scene when one character is scared and then attack without any mercy based on a password. Great show overall, and the story will be better in future episodes.moreless
  • And in come Craft and Fain to save the day…

    And in come Craft and Fain to save the day… Joss Whedon's favourite old hands, those stalwarts of the Angel franchise, manage to resuscitate Dollhouse's ailing carcass after last week's disappointing effort. This is a much more well-rounded episode that sets up what appears to be a fairly run-of-the-mill heist plot and then takes a thoroughly gratifying swerve about a third of the way in. 'Gray Hour' does what no other episode has dared to thus far, and incorporates the minutiae of the imprint process into the central narrative, exploring the implications of an unexpected 'shut down.' This proves to be much more satisfying viewing than a simple 'assignment of the week', giving Dushku a chance to really demonstrate the horror of an active's dual, conflicting existence, and reiterating, and indeed accentuating, the undercurrent of dramatic tension that is driving the show's on-going narrative, as it becomes apparent that Echo is the victim of sabotage (Alpha, perhaps?) It's a shame that this development is resolved so quickly, and that the impact on Echo appears to be fairly minimal, although it remains to be seen whether it will have implications in future episodes. Sierra's involvement in Echo's retrieval jars a little too, since Dichen Lachman is clearly still struggling to find her feet in the role, and delivers her lines rather clumsily. Nevertheless, this is a pretty enjoyable episode with an engaging foundation that advances the show's mythology without requiring too much from the viewer. Promising.moreless
  • Echo becomes part of a team that break into a safe to steal an priceless atifact for an mysterious client.

    Finally an decent episode arrives. It;s not fantastic but it's watchable and something of interest is happening.

    Whilst on an assignment as a safe cracker Echo's programming goes wrong. her imprinted character gets erased and she becomes useless to the team she is working with putting her in danger. Dushku continues to show her inability to carry off a lead role, but at last does show something that is watchable and she is in the role for a reason other than she is an attractive women.

    It's in this episode that the inevitable plot line of her going rogue is kicked off. More information about an past operative named Alpha is revealed, but is Alpha responsible for what happened to Echo?

    Is Alpha targeting Echo herself or is she just being used by Alpha to get at the Dollhouse?

    The supporting cast in this episode are pretty non-descript. Shows like these tend to have conventions. If any of these people were announced as being guests you would have to look up who they were. Considering this episode features a group of people trapped together you would think at least one of them would be memorable in some way.

    This is a symptom of this show's writing. The characterisation is terrible from the supporting characters to the main ones. This is episode four out of thirteen so around the third of the season mark. By now people whould be starting to get hooked on this show, but I think it's hard that non-Whedon fanatics would be. By all accounts the show wasn't pulling in the numbers in the hunt for TV ratings. This doesn't surprise me in the slightest, if this is the best of the series so far and it's not an exceptional episode.moreless
Mark Ivanir

Mark Ivanir


Guest Star

Anson Mount

Anson Mount


Guest Star

Toby Leonard Moore

Toby Leonard Moore


Guest Star

Reed Diamond

Reed Diamond

Laurence Dominic

Recurring Role

Liza Lapira

Liza Lapira


Recurring Role

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Topher: That could lead to a coma state, or it could turn her into Carrie at the prom.

    • Topher: Neuro modulation is your friend. And, I don't mean friend from kindergarten you see twice a year. Neuro mod is your BFF. Brain mapping requires-
      Ivy: Pizza squares, ice cream bites, beef jerky. Okay, you may be the boy god of all things neuro, and I do worship at the altar of your genius, but I'm not getting all this stuff.
      Topher: Ivy, babe... add juice boxes.

    • Ballard: Who gave you the tip? Was it her?
      Victor/Lubov: A voice on the phone. A man, not old, not young. Accent, sounded Georgian, maybe. Russian Georgian, not Sweet Home Georgia.
      Ballard: Alabama.
      Victor/Lubov: What do I know? It's confusing, this country.

    • Echo: Hey! Old Stuff Expert? Old stuff is in here.

    • Boyd: (about Echo, Sierra and Victor) They're eating lunch.
      Topher: They're eating lunch together, man friend. The same three. Even the same table. They're grouping.
      Boyd: Are you saying they remember each other?
      Topher: No, no, no. No, the wipes are clean. This goes deeper than memory into instinctual survival patterns. Flocking. Whole mass of sparrows turning on a dime. Salmon trucking upstream. This isn't a book club, man friend, this is the herd.
      Boyd: They're not bison, Topher.
      Topher: They're a little bit bison.
      Boyd: Well they didn't used to be.
      Topher: They volunteered for this.
      Boyd: So we're told.

    • Adelle: (about Ballard) He needs closure. And we are the experts at giving people what they need, aren't we?

    • Echo: (undressing) They're called breasts, and yes, they are exceptional. Mention that when you blog about this later.

    • Adelle: You reached out to an Active during an engagement without my say-so?
      Topher: It's the adrenaline. It makes me forget my protocols and cues.

  • NOTES (2)

    • International Airdates:
      UK: June 9, 2009 on Sci Fi
      Australia: June 30, 2009 on FOX8
      Latin America: August 11, 2009 on FX
      Norway: October 19, 2009 on TV2
      Czech Republic: December 18, 2009 on Prima COOL
      Slovakia: December 14, 2011 on JOJ Plus

    • Music: Treat Em Well (The Sylvias), All Over Me (Lara D.), I Go To Sleep (Sia)


    • Topher: That could lead to a coma state, or it could turn her into Carrie at the prom.

      Referencing the title character in Stephen King's novel Carrie (1974), a young girl with telekinetic abilities who goes berserk at her high school prom and kills most of the students and teachers. Brian de Palma made the novel into a movie in 1976, and it has since inspired a Broadway musical and a television movie.