Season 1 Episode 12


Aired Friday 9:00 PM May 08, 2009 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
1,218 votes

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Episode Summary

Alpha's continued obsession with Echo may cost her everything. Ballard makes a decision that could change the rest of his life. One Doll's story ends as another's is revealed.

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  • Surprises with Dr. Saunders and Paul gets nice with Mellie

    Another great episode. This time around, we get the surprise that Dr. Saunders is actually a doll called Whiskey that Alpha slashed her face because she was the number one doll and he wanted Echo to be number one. Cruel love!

    The episode starts with Alpha and Echo (well not real Echo but dumb Echo) kidnapping a woman named Wendy. The get to an obscure place where the a chair similar to the one they use in the Dollhouse. Seems like Alpha was quite busy recreating that chair. All of this so he can imprint Echo with all her past imprints so she can be like him, he calls her Omega. Oh yeah, and Alpha imprints Caroline's personality into Wendy's body. Still with me?

    This doesn't go as plan because Echo being Echo, she's nobody's patsy. So she decides to try and save herself (in Wendy's body), that doesn't turn out so great. Then she says that she doesn't care about Caroline's imprint (which is still intact) as Alpha menaces to shoot the thing. Then we get a race on the parking lot with Echo trying to get her hands on her old self. Paul and Boyd show up and Paul saves Caroline (sort of).

    Nice little surprise at the end when we see that Paul as saved Mellie/November instead of Echo. Finally, he does right by Mellie. Sad to see go.

    Like always, Alan Tudyk was just dead on with his portrayal of Alpha. Scary and nuts. We got to see more of Echo's personality which is, for me, more interesting that Caroline's. I like the fact that Echo says Caroline's name at the end. Great finale (even if it's not the real finale-stupid Fox!)moreless
  • Omega

    The good;

    Got to say I didn't see the Whiskey twist (is that a drink?) coming at all. Utterly brilliant, this storyline lifts the series up and helps it go off on a high. Such a dumb gag but it always makes me laugh out loud when Alpha 'watches his step'.

    The bad;

    How stupid must the Dollhouse be to use criminals as Dolls? Although wouldn't it be wonderful if we could reprogramme paedophiles and psychopaths so they were no longer either?

    Packing heat; both Boyd and Ballard (the latter switching to a Colt 45 for some reason) plus November and Sierra


    Boyd; 8

    Dominic; 8

    Sierra; 4

    Victor; 2

    Ballard; 9

    November; 1

    Echo kissage;2

    Kinky dinky;

    Lovely though she is I never really thought of Amy Acker as turn-your-head-gorgeous in the same way as Eliza Dushku, Charisma Carpenter, Sarah Michelle Gellar, (they tried to make her into AI's glamourpuss in season 5 but it didn't really work which is why we got more Mercedes McNab as Harmony who IS turn your head gorgeous),but here she is a revelation, I was firmly convinced that it was Eliza doing the slinky dance to Roy Orbison's dreams but WOW! Also Echo's push up bra and Daisy Duke denim short-shorts as part of her white trash princess look. Bounty hunter Sierra seems to have an instant attraction for Ballard.

    Notches on the Dollhouse bedpost;

    Echo; 3 definite, 1 possible

    November; 1

    Ballard; 1

    Victor; 1

    Adele; 1

    Sierra 1 possible

    Topher; 1 possible

    How'd they get away with that?

    Killing the girl implanted with Caroline's memories is hideous. Alpha's idea of kidnapping a string of girls, implanting them with Carolines' memories and then killing her over and over again is too horrifying for words. Meeting 'Alpha's' first victim is also very disturbing but not half as much as his bloody rampage in the Dollhouse, especially how he kills his handler. He also refers to Crystal being a 'woman at 13'.

    This weeks fantasy;

    Sierra and November are bounty hunters, Echo is Crystal and her composite personalities

    Total number personalitites;

    Echo; 21

    Sierra; 10

    Victor; 6

    November; 3

    Total dolls; add some Whiskey to the mix!

    8-Echo, Sierra, November, Victor, Mike, Tango, Alpha, Whiskey

    Addy is a bit British;

    Topher is a bit geeky;

    He refers to Solyent Green (Angel also a Charlton Heston fan)


    Sierra tied up; 1

    Ballard; 1

    Knocked out;

    Echo; 2

    November; 1

    Sierra; 1

    Victor; 1

    Topher; 1

    Kills; poor Wendy is killed by Alpha

    Sierra; 2 kills

    Echo; 1


    Dolls injured;

    Echo winged by Alpha's bullet.

    Capt subtext;

    We finally learn November's real name and she is released from her contract (love Adele's very genuine hug for her). I guess whatever was between her and Ballard was quite real for him to pick her over Caroline? The heartbreaking scene where Dr Saunders tells Victor he's broken and no one will want him any more hardly needs explaining (thankfully the lollipop scene makes up for it). Why did Topher programme Dr Saunders to hate him? Perhaps because of his own self-loathing? Or did the original Saunders already hate him?

    Know the face?

    7 Whedon alumni-Mark Shepherd, Amy Acker, walking action figure, Eliza Dushku, Jim Piddock, Gregg Henry, Alan Tudyk

    Missing scenes;.

    Very important, if you have the DVDs be sure to watch them to find out what happened to bounty hunters Sierra and November and how Alpha got away.

    Reminds me off;

    Echo/Crystal and Alpha/Bobby on the run are very Badlands/True Romance/Bonnie and Clyde. But above all they remind me of Spike and Dru whom Angel once described as "Bonnie and Clyde if they had 100 years to get it right" The idea of violent prisoners being 'cured' by brainwashing sounds a bit 'A Clockwork Orange'? Ponder the fact that this series has a character called Ballard (and indeed Dawn was reading 'Empire of the Sun' for school in the later seasons of Buffy). Alpha digs out the tracker on the back of Echo's neck much like Dark Angel. Caroline refers to Return of the Living dead as Xander did in Buffy. Topher talks of souls in jars which may be an Angel ref. Alpha's madness is similar to Glory whilst the way he kills his handler is reminiscent of Buffy killing Gnarl in season 7. The track 'Dreams' which Whiskey dances to is also used to good effect in Blue Velvet.

    Breaking the programming;

    Echo as a conglomerate of her personalities breaks away from Alpha's crackers plan, possibly because most of her imprints (Margaret from Haunted, the Dominatrix, Esther from True Believer etc) were good people mixed with her base personality of Caroline. By contrast most of Alpha's imprints were bad people mixed with his underlying personality of a psychopath.

    Questions and observations;

    Ballard's plan to get rid of the bomb squad is truly inspired. Interestingly despite the bad blood between them Tanaka doesn't arrest him. Great double bluff, we think that Caroline is being let go but actually it's November whose real name is Madeline Costly. More episodes like this and Dollhouse would be a far superior series to what it was.

    Marks out of 10; 9/10 really good

  • Release.

    It's weird how with time things start to make more sense. I was very pleased with how this episode turned out, and how everything was explained. It really does serve as a great season ending, and it leaves many other possibilities for the future of the show, short that it is.

    The entire Alpha and Echo/Omega scenes were written very well and I enjoyed watching it evolve to a point where Echo/Omega fought to save her original personality. Dushku really does great in this role, and for once I love that we find out who Caroline is.

    Sierra and Victor didn't have much of a role, but it really didn't matter since we got to find out more about Dr. Saunders - how he/she became who they are, and what Alpha did to Whiskey.

    Plus, I love how Paul got incorporated into the entire storyline, and how November/Mellie finally got her freedom.moreless
  • Victor and Sierra, Alpha & Echo's style.

    Once upon a time there was serial killer, an evolving one at that, said serial killer evolved, got caught and got used in ways not even a serial killer should be used and then came her, the rescuer, an echo, for even a serial killer could fall in love sometimes.

    The series finale explores the reason why Dominic was so adamant the handlers would stop seeing their actives as children, Alpha's handler was so proud of his little boy's first crush that he wouldn't even see his own murder coming, neither could Dr. Saunders, a man around Boyd's age that was in charge to protect the very active that would later on be imprinted with his now dead self.

    And yet it was Whiskey, the current Dr Sanders, the cause of Alpha's downfall for he attacked her to make sure "his Sierra" would be the number one active, unaware of what "her Victor" has done for her Echo awaits his instructions to become "Omega", the only chance they have to be together, no longer confined to an imprinted personality or the limitations of the tabula rasa state.

    However romantic the notion could be, "Omega" is an illusion and Echo only wants to be Caroline as strongly as "Alpha" never wanted to go back to be himself, she can't be many if she can't be herself. The spell is broken once the serial killer shoots the Caroline proxy they kept as hostage and Omega herself tries to recue her own personality from a man so fractured that his only hope is to "awake" someone else.

    And so it ends, with Alpha at large, Omega destroyed, Echo at peace and a grieving mother called November released ...thanks to FBI agent gone handler Paul Ballard himself.moreless
  • A more than satisfactory substitute for the MIA 'Epitaph One.'

    Unusually, 'Omega' has come under fire from a number of fans and critics alike for not providing a 'satisfying' enough conclusion to Dollhouse's admittedly rather turbulent debut season. Such accusations seem rather to miss the point: Tim Minear's script was never meant to be the last we saw of Echo, Sierra, Victor and co. in this televisual year. Due to some ludicrous behind-the-scenes politics, Fox ultimately decided only to show twelve of the thirteen hours filmed for season one, meaning that 'Epitaph One', Whedon's actual season finale, which can be found on series one's DVD release, was never aired. Fortunately, it is something of a unique instalment that can be separated from the season as a whole without having an effect on the flow of the ongoing narrative (even though it contains an abundance of revelations and plot developments… intrigued? You should be). Anyway, it certainly seems that 'Omega' has had to bear the brunt of this unfortunate occurrence and honestly, it really doesn't deserve the scorn that some seem inclined to bestow upon it. The episode expertly explores some of the wider-ranging implications of the concept of imprinting through Alpha's clearly rather disturbed machinations, hinting at some of the more sinister avenues that the show could take in seasons to come. The decision to imprint a random host with Caroline's original memories and present her with another individual inside her own body is just plain warped, and quietly illustrates how dangerous the technology could be if it fell into the wrong hands. The scenes between Alpha, Caroline and the so-called Omega (Echo with an awareness of all of her previous personalities) are equally fascinating, opening up the possibility for a future turn in Dushku's character towards self-awareness and providing a wonderfully succinct summary of the moral debate that has consistently underscored the show's ongoing narrative. Some fans have criticised these sequences for being too 'talky', lacking action, but when the action actually comes, with Alpha basically running away with Echo's original personality, it's rather lacklustre and feels tagged on, as if Minear realised he needed to appease the quotient of fans that just want to see Dushku's boobs bouncing up and down. It's the intrigue of the dialogue and the horror of Alpha's plan that make for the most compelling viewing; frankly, I'm dying to see how he's going to top this in season two. Tudyk is wonderful once again, particularly in the subtle exhibition of the character's abundance of personalities, one of which, amusingly, is a multiple personality. The supporting cast are fairly good too: Boyd and Ballard work significantly well together and appear to have considerable chemistry, while Olivia Williams's DuWitt just gets better and better the more furrowed her brow becomes. There's also the small matter of the Whiskey revelation, which is achieved through a number of simultaneously amusing and sickening flashbacks. Amy Acker is just outstanding throughout; the moment where she confronts Topher is probably the most heartbreaking scene that the show has yet given us. While the ending seems a little disappointing given the gravitas of what occurs in the episode, 'Omega' is nevertheless a thoroughly engaging episode with an abundance of fantastic sequences that demonstrate the wealth of potential that the show has going into its second season. A more than satisfactory substitute for the MIA 'Epitaph One.'moreless
Natalie Graziano

Natalie Graziano

Art Attendant

Guest Star

Natalie Avital

Natalie Avital

Nina Walsh

Guest Star

Joe Howard

Joe Howard

Old Dr. Saunders

Guest Star

Amy Acker

Amy Acker

Dr. Claire Saunders

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • It is revealed that Alpha's original name is Carl William Craft and that he was serving time in prison before becoming an Active.

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Dr. Saunders: (to Topher) But why did you decide it was so important for me to hate you? I think that's strange.

    • Alpha: I'm not fooling. He's not kidding. We're not bluffing. I'm bluffing. ARGH! But the rest of us, we mean business.

    • Wendy/Caroline: Do not let him do this to you, please.
      Alpha: You don't even know what it is that I'm doing.
      Wendy/Caroline: It's not good. I know that. I've been in that chair. It hurts.
      Alpha: (To Echo) It's just for a minute. You won't even remember.
      Wendy/Caroline: I remember. It still smells like burnt hair in here.
      Echo: He's going to make me a superior creature. An ascended being.
      Wendy/Caroline: Do you even know what that means?
      Echo: Do you?
      Wendy/Caroline: No!
      Echo: Okay! So you're not better than me.
      Wendy/Caroline: Look where you are. You're in a lair, okay? An evil lair. And you're sitting in some messed up dentist's chair letting a guy who talks to himself attach wires to your head. Which, incidentally, is my head!

    • Alpha: Omega... you hit me with a pipe!
      Echo: Yeah? Call me Omega again and you'll get some more.
      Alpha: Something has gone wrong with the composite...
      (Echo smashes the controls)
      Echo: Nothing went wrong. Every imprint this active has ever had is alive and awake in her head right now.
      Alpha: Then why did you hit me in the head with a pipe?!
      Echo: It was handy? And you wanted me to kill myself?

    • Ballard: Brian, thank God it's you.
      Tanaka: And not someone who can stand you?

    • Ballard: So this is it. This is where you steal their souls.
      Topher: Yeah, and then we put 'em in a glass jar with our fireflies. Why is there a tall, morally judgmental man in my imprint room besides him? (indicates Boyd)

    • Ballard: Who is Alpha?
      Adelle: Alpha is all of these.
      Topher Huh. That's what I keep saying. And... and of course it doesn't tell you anything. It doesn't tell me anything, and I'm smarter than everyone in this room! (points at Adelle) But less scary.

    • Alpha: Because... that's what we need. A blood ritual. Yes, yes, we've got to have one of those. I mean, the Aztecs knew it. The pre-Hellenic Minoans knew it, for God's sakes. From the moment man first clawed his way out of the primordial ooze and kicked off his fins, he's understood that the gods require blood. New life from death. The ancients had it right. But the old gods are back.

    • Alpha: We're not just humans anymore. We're not multiple personalities. We're many personalities. (Seems to hear something and respond.) And one of my personalities happens to be a multiple personality. But that doesn't make me a multiple personality. I'm looking for a little nuance here.

    • Echo: I have 38 brains. Not one of them thinks you can sign a contract to be a slave, especially now that we have a black president.
      Wendy/Caroline: We have a black president? Okay. I am missing everything.

    • Omega/Echo: There is no me. I'm just a container.

    • Alpha: Alpha... meet Omega.

    • November: So, if you're done molesting the furniture, can we go get these guys?

  • NOTES (2)

    • Music: My Baby Loves Lovin' (White Plains), In Dreams (Roy Orbison), Everybody's Got to Learn Sometime (Beck)

    • International Airdates:
      UK: August 4, 2009 on Sci Fi/Sci Fi HD
      Australia: August 25, 2009 on Fox8
      Latin America: October 20, 2009 on FX
      Czech Republic: February 19, 2010 on Prima COOL
      Slovakia: January 11, 2012 on JOJ Plus


    • Topher: He's not a person. He's like Soylent Green. He's people.

      Referencing the 1973 movie Soylent Green starring Charlton Heston as a police detective assigned to investigate the death of a CEO with the Soylent Corporation, a company that provides food for the citizens of an overpopulated and resource-starved Earth.

    • Echo: What's stopping you, Edward Scissorpud?
      Referencing the 1990 movie Edward Scissorhands, starring Johnny Depp as an artificial person created by a scientist. Edward has scissors for hands and when his creator dies, is adopted by a local neighbor who attempts to introduce him to a normal life.