Dollhouse

Season 2 Episode 9

Stop-Loss

5
Aired Friday 9:00 PM Dec 18, 2009 on FOX
6.8
out of 10
User Rating
379 votes
8

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Victor's contract lapses and he goes back out into the real world... but his past life may threaten his future with Sierra.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • As Topher would say: "So close!"

    8.0
    As Topher would say: "So close!". They almost got it. Echo almost got to see Ballard's comatose body; Victor and Sierra almost got out of the Dollhouse with their real personalities and Echo almost didn't get sent to the attic. Damn you Adele! Thinks were going so well when she was to drunk to work.



    That's the thing that I love about Dollhouse, the entire episode wasn't that strong but way to end it with a bang. I love it when I say to myself: "did not see that coming". This is actually my second viewing of Dollhouse (yes, I have a very bad memory!) but I love that, even though I know that Victor and Sierra were coming back to the Dollhouse, I hoped that they did escape and get to live a little. Everything seems to be going so well, I actually believe, for a brief moment, that everything would end well.



    Oh well, at least now we get to see the Attic!moreless
  • Stop Loss

    7.0
    STOP LOSS

    The good;

    Ivy's back, hooray! A small moment but I love how Echo tells Victor he needs to say goodbye to Sierra and he does so like a kids TV character. Also a nice touch that he feels the need to sleep in a pod once released.

    The bad;

    Nothing bad, just a bit lacklustre. You wonder that the supersoldiers can't come up with a better way to recruit Victor than beating him up and kidnapping him, couldn't they just invite him for a beer or something? Check out the scene where Echo knocks Victor out. He waits a second then let's go of his rifle to allow her to pick it up.



    Best line;

    Adele; "I want roger. I want to roger Roger"

    and

    Echo; (threateningly) "Remember, I have a serial killer in my head"

    Adele; (not backing down an inch) "One that's petirifed of women if I recall"



    Packing heat; Echo chooses a S&W 9mm, Boyd has his revolver and Victor a SIG. Echo also picks up a SIG and everyone uses M4 carbines

    Echo;10

    Boyd; 10

    Dominic; 9

    Sierra; 5

    Victor; 5

    Ballard; 11

    November; 1



    Echo kissage; 4



    Kinky dinky;

    The only personality Ivy doesn't download into Echo is the 'Naughty pirate wench'. Which I think is something of a shame personally. GI Jane Echo is also pretty hot. Naked Adele. The last scene a delight for cling film/mummification fetishists . Again, I'm not kidding either.

    Capt subtext;

    Very obvious jealousy from Adele over Victor. When she takes the shower with the actives does this represent her throwing her lot in with them? The ending rather suggests the opposite.



    Notches on the Dollhouse bedpost; Imprinted Victor actually refuses to have sex with the lovely Adele because he is promised to another

    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?

    Drooling Adele!



    Total number personalitites; lord knows how many personalities Ivy and Topher downloaded into Echo for her mission, I'll put at least 5?

    Echo; 41

    Sierra; 13

    Victor; 11

    November; 3



    Total LA dolls; .

    9-Echo, Sierra, November, Victor, Mike, Tango, Alpha, Whiskey, Kilo



    Addy is a bit British;

    see best line



    Subverting the Hollywood cliche;

    When Victor is asked to join the big bad military conspiracy his response is "Where do I sign up?"



    Bondage; Victor plasticuffed, Echo and Sierra hooded but not cuffed. Victor, Sierra and Echo all bound in the attic at the end

    Sierra tied up; 2

    Ballard; 2

    Echo; 4

    Victor; 2



    Knocked out; Victor KO'd by commandos and Echo and Rossum as are Echo and Sierra

    Echo; 7

    November; 1

    Sierra; 2

    Victor; 3

    Topher; 3

    Ballard; 1



    Kills; amazingly given all the gunplay the Dolls don't kill anyone

    Sierra; 3 kills

    Echo; 3

    November;1



    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)



    Guantanamo;

    Adele thinks that "Pain reveals who we really are". Does she mean his or hers? The Bay of Pigs is referred to (as it was in Buffy), a danger of 'group-think'. Echo tortured as she's sent to the attic.



    Fanfic;

    Just type mummification+fetish into your search engine



    Reminds me of;

    The white body suits rather reminds me Jerry Bruckheimers The Island.



    Whedon cliches; It's those strawberries again, just like Firefly. Secret military organisations with underground headquarters

    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. Strawberries.



    Breaking the programming;

    Victor and Sierra's love is now evident whether they're imprinted or not.



    Questions and observations;

    So the Dollhouse can cure PTSD (shellshock)? Once again, if Rossum can cure schizophrenia and battle trauma you can see their potential for good in the world and how Adele became attracted to the post in the first place. Victor's real name is Anthony Ceccoli and to judge by his accent he's from New York. He was a commando with the 75th Ranger regiment and served in Afghanistan. His pal transferred to the 160th Specialist Aviation Regiment, the Nightstalkers. Once again we have Lady Gaga just as we had in the first ep, someone must be a fan. Note Victor's suite is 'at the Hyperion' which you understand better if you're an Angel fan. Echo tells Adele that the time for playing both sides is over and she must choose. No needles, hooray! Adele hitting the sauce pretty hard nowadays, we hardly see her without a glass in her hand. What's a 'Sharpie'? Do we ever meet Judith, Adele's secretary? What happened to the commandos? Can Echo just call upon them whenever she needs? Are she and Victor now linked via their 'neural radio'? Presumably Rossum use Topher's gizmo from 'The Public Eye' to knock the Dolls out.

    Marks out of 10; 7/10, I had it in my mind to give this 3 out of 10 as I initially considered it a weak ep but actually upon rewatching it's a lot better than I remember . One thing that rather spoils it is Epitaph One, we all know that Echo and co must survive and that they must escape the Attic

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  • Stupid.

    6.8
    A Victor-centric episode of Dollhouse tonight. Yep, it was just as stupid as it sounds. This episode was full of military propaganda, Topher's failed attempts at being funny, Adele continuing to be annoying and just some ridiculous Whedonesque fight scenes.



    This is precisely why Dollhouse got cancelled: an hour of TV with a plot that was difficult to really understand even for someone who watches the show, and nothing that would lure in new viewers, which is why tonight's two hour block hit series' lows.



    Dollhouse may have seemed good on paper, but if you really think about it, how long could a show with Eliza Dushku talking like a three year old survive?moreless
  • Victor/Anthony has done his five contracted years with the Dollhouse after having his PTSD cured by Rossum's doctors. So he is released by the Dollhouse only to be pulled back into an even more sinister plot. Echo and Sierra are sent to rescue him.moreless

    8.0
    Another pretty solid episode of The Dollhouse. Of course Rossum dealing in this technology couldn't surprise us that they were looking at military applications to this technology. So when Anthony is kidnapped by his old war buddies it was not a big plot surprise.



    This is probably the weakest of the last few episodes, but in a way it has the deepest long term results as the ending showed. Adelle had been in a stupor long enough. One had to wonder how long she was going to be left behind. She has managed to stay ahead of Rossum all this time. Langton really could not have believed that she was going to take all of this lying down. Now the question will be where do they go from here. I guess we get to see the supposed terrifying Attic in the next episode. This could be really good or really bad depending on which direction they take it. It should be interesting to see!



    An enjoyable episode as we begin to see that the different Actives all retain a piece of something that has supposedly been wiped even if it is memories or imprints. This certainly has been a lot more fun than the series was last year with most people arguing that the series stunk and that it should be canceled. Now that it has been canceled the program has really hit its stride and is showing us some very good television. Thanks for reading...moreless
  • Victor's story

    7.0
    (Note: This review covers the first half of the two-episode event that aired on 18 December, 2009. This review was written without prior knowledge of the events in the second episode. A subsequent review will cover the second half of the event.)



    While FOX may be using December to burn off as many episodes of "Dollhouse" as possible, it is having a terrible effect on fans of the show. There has been a marked improvement in the overall treatment of the series premise and the pace of the plot, and both enhancements make it clear that the show had enormous potential. More and more, I believe that the slow and inconsistent start to the first season, as well as the questionable choice of the story's starting point, undercut the series from the get-go.



    There are still some episodic elements left, but for the most part, this is now in full serialization mode. Every situation folds into the larger context in some way, shape, or form. Not only does this episode pay off a number of elements related to Victor and Sierra, but it also touches on the world seen in "Epitaph One" and Echo's journey of self-discovery. (The writers said the entire second season would be informed by and tie into "Epitaph One", and they were absolutely right.)



    As it turns out, Rossum not only has the Dollhouse network primed and ready to help take over the world through mind control, but they also have an entire mercenary army in development. Some of the same control technology is at play, which provides a pragmatic example of how Echo's development has made her something far beyond Rossum's control. But it also underscores the fact that the vast majority of the human population has no defense against the technology about to be unleashed.



    It's good to see Victor's back story, and I liked all the connections made to "Belonging" and Priya's ordeal. I was surprised to see that Topher intentionally left Priya with the memory that she wanted erased because of the Victor/Priya aspect; that continues to show that Topher is developing a human sense of morality. It's a fair bet that it is this very quality that will ultimately drive him insane.



    While I liked the connection between Victor's past and the overall Rossum conspiracy, I found the big picture to be more intriguing. Boyd and Topher make a move without Adele's authorization, and they seem shocked when her response is swift and harsh. They don't seem to understand the full implications of what happened during Adele's restoration. Shouldn't they have recognized that Rossum would be watching far more closely than before?



    Despite Adele's actions in this episode, I still think she is trying to do what is best. I think she's more aware of Echo's unique characteristics than she has led Boyd or Topher to believe, and that her decision to send Echo, Victor, and Sierra to the Attic speaks to a hidden agenda. After all, while she is deeply upset that her perfectly programmed lover spurned her because of his love for Sierra, she must recognize that this level of association between Dolls is unusual. It is also not too far removed from Echo's pre-awareness state from the first season.



    My suspicion is that Adele understood that allowing Echo to free Victor and Priya would have forced Rossum to re-take control of the Los Angeles branch. Given Adele's protective stance towards her Dolls, that would be unacceptable. Therefore, the only alternative is to take swift action of her own, to demonstrate that she has no intention of letting her house get out of order again.



    Adele has to know that the process typically used to prepare Dolls and others for the Attic is unlikey to work the same on Echo as it has on others. If Victor and Sierra are, in fact, in a pre-awareness state, then it probably wouldn't work completely on them, either. So Adele's true goal may be to place Echo in a situation that will unleash her potential once and for all.



    The upshot for Adele, at this point, is fairly limited. After all, once Echo's tenure in the Attic is over, there will only be two episodes left before the return trip to the future in the series finale. That's not a lot of time to explore consequences. So I think this is all about plausible deniability. When Echo emerges from the Attic (and it seems fairly obvious that she will), Adele and her house wouldn't necessarily be punished for it.



    But as I've said before, it must be remembered that this part of the story does not end well. The future is dark and apocalyptic, and it is because Echo's efforts in the "present" fail. She doesn't stop Rossum. It may be that the series will end with the familiar characters, at least those who have survived, finding a place of sanctuary and safety. It could be that Alpha's "safe haven" is a place where people can be given some degree of immunity to the mind-wipe technology. Whatever it may turn out to be, we know it will be only a sliver of hope, not a happy ending.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

    • When Langton and Echo go through logs (@time 21:17) and find the IP-address of the system-attacker, all shown addresses are IPv4. This standard only allows 4 sets of dot-separated numbers between 0 and 255, so all shown addresses are not actually possible. The IP of the attacker (146.143.317.286; in fiction a Rossum-server) actually begins with an IPv4-range (146.143) belonging to the Deutsches Forschungs Netz (DFN) in Germany.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Adelle: You've disrupted countless engagements, brought Alpha into my house, deceived me, with the help of poor Ballard, dragged Topher and Boyd into the fun, and now Victor and Sierra. You leave a wake of destruction wherever you go. There's only one place for a Doll as irreparably damaged as you.

    • Victor/Roger: Catherine, we need to talk.
      Adelle: I don't want to talk. I want Roger. I want to roger Roger.

    • Adelle: You're not real. You're a Doll. One whose contract is up, and I was just getting in one last go-round before they release your body into the wild.

    • Topher: Do you see what I see?
      Boyd: I don't see anything.
      Topher: Exactly.

    • Boyd: You want her to suffer.
      Adelle: Pain reveals who you really are. Let's see who this girl really is.

    • Topher: Welcome to the future, where cars fly, robots serve our every whim, and genetically engineered dinosaurs rule the earth.

    • Adelle: Well, I'm not surprised that Paul... and Boyd managed to keep your secret from me, but Topher? He can barely keep a belch to himself.

    • Adelle: All those people in your head, I know their deepest, darkest secrets. You're forgetting who put them there in the first place.
      Echo: So now you're trying to take credit for making me? You didn't make me. I made me. You may think all these people knocking around in my head are useless, but that's 40 more brain than you have. So I think we can agree that I'm smarter, tougher, and a whole lot scarier than you could ever hope to be.

    • Ivy: Why didn't you let me in on this earlier?
      Topher: You were on a need-to-know basis.
      Ivy: Need-to-know or need-to-fetch?

    • Boyd: DeWitt's out cold. We got at least half the day.
      Topher: Ooh, after we're done here, can I go to her office with a Sharpie?

    • Victor: I'm Anthony, by the way. You can call me Tony.
      Sierra: Priya.
      Victor: Nice to meet you. (shoots) So you're from Australia?
      Sierra: Maybe we should save the small talk until after the gunfight.

    • Ivy: She shouldn't be able to do that.
      Topher: Welcome to the conspiracy.
      Ivy: Can I go back to getting you juice boxes?

  • NOTES (5)

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • Topher: You really think we'll be able to pull this off without Cruella DeWitt finding out?

      Referencing Cruella De Vil, the main villain in the 1961 Disney movie One Hundred and One Dalmations, based on the novel The Hundred and One Dalmations (1956) by Dodie Smith. The character was voiced by Betty Lou Gerson, She was rated the 39th greatest villain of all time in AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villain list in 2003.

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