Season 2 Episode 10

The Attic

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Dec 18, 2009 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
556 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Adelle finally decides that Echo is too much of a threat to her house. Now Echo must face the very personal horrors of the Attic.

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  • The Attic


    The good;

    Quite effective episode which explains a lot in terms of exposition but the best part of all is the bait and switch at the end, hell of a Keyser Soze, worthy of 'Enemies' and 'Not Fade Away'.

    The bad;

    Considering how omniscient Rossum are supposed to be it seems incredible that Adele is able to assemble her troops without them knowing. But maybe they do? Clyde might as well be called 'Basil Exposition'.

    Best line;

    Echo; "My real name's Echo" (so what about Caroline?)

    Packing heat; everyone fielding H&K MP5Ks and M4's. Ballards takes Boyd's revolver for his confrontation with Adele and she has acquired a Walther PPK in case Alpha plans another visit.


    Boyd; 10

    Dominic; 10

    Sierra; 7

    Victor; 7

    Ballard; 11

    November; 1

    Echo kissage; 4

    Kinky dinky;

    "Rigor mortis is the new viagra" That doesn't even bear thinking about! Adele says that the Dollhouse need's a 'strapping new Victor'.

    Capt subtext;

    When Topher claims to have tried *** and hetertopic cures for Ballard Adele puns on the words and asks who hasn't? Note Echo describes Terry Karen's family as 'hateful', her opinion of them obviously influenced by his memories. Adele states what we all thought, that Boyd is like a father to Echo. Clyde 1.0's fears are essentially what we see realised in Epitaph 1. If Adele is considering Ballard for the new Victor perhaps she wants him to play Roger from now on?

    Notches on the Dollhouse bedpost; Sierra and Victor get it on but it's not real

    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?

    Not only needles but Echo stabbing the Rossum tech in the forehead with them! Slit throats, severed legs, cannabalism and self-cannabalism! Jeez!

    Total number personalitites;

    Echo; 41

    Sierra; 13

    Victor; 11

    November; 3

    Total LA dolls; .

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

    Topher is a bit geeky;

    Has no idea about Ivy's sports analogy. He's wrong though, Darth Vader kills Captains, not Lieutenants.


    Sierra tied up; 2

    Ballard; 2

    Echo; 4

    Victor; 2

    Knocked out;

    Echo; 7

    November; 1

    Sierra; 2

    Victor; 3

    Topher; 3

    Ballard; 1


    Sierra; 3 kills

    Echo; 3



    Know the face? Greg Collins also played one of the thugs in the Angel ep 'Rm w/a vu'

    16-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), Greg Collins-2(Angel/Dollhouse)

    Missing scenes;.

    Reminds me of;

    The whole thing is very reminiscent of the Buffy ep 'Restless', right down to the monster pursuing the characters from dreamscape to dreamscape not to mention the Angel ep 'Hellbound'. .

    The twisty tree reminds me of Tom Burton's gothic masterpiece Sleepy Hollow. I don't get the Highlander reference, I don't remember Connor pursuing anyone obsessively across the centuries? Need I mention The Matrix?

    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. Strawberries.

    Breaking the programming;

    Echo can now overcome even the Attic and leads the others to safety.

    Questions and observations;

    Note the shortened title sequence, obviously too much to fit in otherwise. Topher now calls Ballard, Paul. Boyd has 'stuff going on at home'? Presumably the little girl mourning her sickly horse is Margeret from Haunted who was a keen equestrian. Echo never was a kid so presumably we're looking at little Caroline (interesting if you compare her to the girl who played little Tru in Tru Calling and young Eliza in This Boy's Life and True Lies). We also see the thug who terrorised Eleanor Penn again. Dominic very much dressing down in the attic, not a suit in sight. Adele knows about Kinnard.

    Marks out of 10; 7/10, we're getting to the heart of the conspiracy at last.

  • Echo, Sierra, and Victor are all installed in the attic per Adelle's orders. Topher is working with Ivy to figure out a way to put together Paul's brain so it can function. Langton seems to be falling apart. Echo is trying to break out of the attic.moreless

    Another interesting episode of the Dollhouse. Like a lot of Whedon shows we are led astray time after time and are expected to accept the randomness of it all. I would have to say I have seen very interesting similarities between this plot and other Whedon shows before.

    Sometimes these plots get a little distracted by the extra junk that is thrown into the episode. Whether that is to deflect the viewer from the actual plot or to make the episode more entertaining I can't be sure. This episode would have scored higher for me without the distractions of some of the attic sequences. I found myself more interested in the end result than what was happening in the scenes. They seemed to just creep along.

    Ivy played by Liza Lapira continues to get an expanded role. She also played a role in Adelle's subterfuge of Topher. It was also interesting to see Reed played by Laurence Dominic again as it brings back connections to some early episodes. His comment about. "I'm glad I didn't kill you now." was prophetic in so many ways.

    So mostly a very interesting discovery about the attic in general. What it is and what it does. A visual of how this all started from the Rossum standpoint. An equation for how Epitaph One the unaired episode gets to become reality. Finally it seems we have reached a starting off point for the final three episodes of the second and final season.

    It will be interesting to see how people view this series in a few years. Because of the strange and in some ways repulsive subject matter a great number of people including myself were put off by the idea of the series. In the end the show has managed to create an identity separate from that vision and I'm sorry now it took so long to come to the surface. We may be sorry when this story comes to an end. Thanks for reading...moreless
  • Echo is sent to the Attic.

    I don't really pay attention to negative reviews because everyone who hated the show, hated it from the beginning while everyone who loved the show, loved it from the start and gave this show the support it needed.

    The Second Season came on very nicely. We've seen the power struggle within the rival Dollhouses, and the big plan that the Dollhouses have which is global domination and control of the people of the world. We've seen the nasty side effects that the mind alternating side effects of the treatments on actives, and it's deadly result. We've seen a lot of nice twists. We've seen a lot nice writing and many great performance by Eliza Dushku, Tomas, and many of Whedon's former stars like Alexis Denisof The only thing we haven't seen is what actually happens to the actives once they are not used anymore i.e the Attic, so this is our first look into it.

    The way the Attic was presented was very intriguing, you'd think the way they'd kill the actives would be short and quick but it's not quite done that way. You'd also think there would be just one Attic for every active, but that's not the case either. I like this episode for it's blend of reality vs. non-reality approach to presenting what the Attic is and still using all the elements of the show that made it interesting. I did get a nice TRON like feel to this episode with the whole talk about the mainframe, and the way the Attic functions like it.

    Someone else, Entil2001, nailed this episode very well saying this Season wrapped up all the loose ends from first Season thanks to impactful but unaired Epitaph One and then all episodes from Second Season

    Also hit on the nail about the formation of a Resistance. Who better to really start delivering the blow to Rossum than Echo.

    From watching all of Season Two it's clear the writers knew what they were doing whether or you you liked the way they did it was another story. However, speaking for myself, I will congratulate the show again for delivering an entertaining psychological, sci-fi show that is typical of Joss Whedon's work. He has every bit to be happy with the show even though Fox never gave the show much rope.

    The acting has been great, the writing has been great, and the show has been great.moreless
  • Ok so the Dollhouse is cancelled, that s*cks I Know. But I really like where the series is going. The new spin in this episode is just awesome. I Love it. I hope someone ( a network) can pick this series upmoreless

    Ok so the Dollhouse is cancelled, that s*cks I Know.

    But I really like where the series is going. The new spin in this episode is just awesome.

    I Love it.

    I hope someone ( a network) can pick this series up

    Keep the Dollhouse alive

    Or I hope the will be a great ending to this show. A nice closing.

    Ok so the Dollhouse is cancelled, that s*cks I Know.

    But I really like where the series is going. The new spin in this episode is just awesome.

    I Love it.

    I hope someone ( a network) can pick this series up

    Keep the Dollhouse alive

    Or I hope the will be a great ending to this show. A nice closing.moreless
  • The attic.

    After two seasons of hyping the attic as this dark, mysteriously undesirable place, THIS is what the attic is? Another one of Joss Whedon's bizarre mind games?

    A lot of people on this site, on other sites, on message boards loved this episode but I have to disagree with them. It was confusing, it was pretty uneventful and it was just not what this show should be or has been about since its inception. The Dollhouse is turning into too much of a psychological thriller than the sci-fi show it should have been designed into.

    It is almost time to say goodbye to this show. While not always great, it was fun to talk about, so that aspect will be missed.moreless
Vincent Ventresca

Vincent Ventresca

Nolan Kinnard

Guest Star

Adam Godley

Adam Godley

Clyde Randolph

Guest Star

Tzi Ma

Tzi Ma


Guest Star

Liza Lapira

Liza Lapira


Recurring Role

Reed Diamond

Reed Diamond

Laurence Dominic

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • At the beginning of the episode, the woman inserts needles connected to wires through the sheet of plastic covering Echo, yet when they believe she has expired, they remove the plastic sheet and the needles and wires are still on Echo's head.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Laurence: We've got to do the thing he fears most.
      Echo: Enjoy myself. Ugh.
      Laurence: Good times.

    • Topher: Alpha damaged your brain. We did it to save your life.
      Paul: Did what? You made me a Doll?
      Topher: Active architecture was the only way to save you.
      Paul: Then why do I feel like myself?
      Topher: You are. But it's an imprint. I'm sorry. But it was an order.
      Boyd: We need you Paul.
      Topher: We don't have many friends left.
      Paul: What do you mean?
      Boyd: Echo, Sierra, Victor. They're in the Attic.

    • Topher: Even with active architecture, Paul won't be able to execute basic commands. It's like his brain is a football team and I've got this whole new set of brilliant plays, but it doesn't matter because the quarterback's in jail for dog fighting.
      Ivy: Yeah, and it's not like his brain can run the Wildcat formation.
      Topher: That joke went under my head.

    • Echo: Victor and Sierra--where are they?
      Male Attendant #2: We... we don't use Active-codes here. We use your real names.
      Echo: My real name is Echo.

    • Topher: I've tried homotropic and heterotropic stimulation.
      Adelle: Haven't we all?

    • Topher: Adelle wants to see you.
      Ivy: Did she say why?
      Topher: Does she ever? Hey, Darth Vader kills lieutenants, not storm troopers.
      Ivy: Thanks.

    • Adelle: You gave us extraordinary technology which will be used soon. The question is whether you have anything more to offer--whether you can accept radical change or if you'll buckle under pressure.
      Topher: I don't buckle. Occasionally I swashbuckle.
      Adelle: Yes, you're quite a pirate hero, swinging in and dismembering Nolan Kinnard. If you try to keep secrets from the Corporation, you may have every expectation of being chopped into pieces yourself.

    • Adelle: I have seen the future, Mr. Langton. And it is not for the weak.

    • Nolan: You know, this is a scenario I've never tried. Rigor mortis. The new Viagra.

    • Victor: In my scenario, I was constantly fighting myself, at war. Just trying to get home to my girl.
      Sierra: In mine, I was constantly making love to you.
      Victor: Oh?
      Sierra: And then you'd turn into the rotting corpse of a rapist I killed.
      Victor: Oh.

    • Paul: I'm not afraid to lose my life taking you down.
      Adelle: I don't want to die.
      Paul: Then only one of us is going to be disappointed.

    • Laurence: I guess I'm glad I never did kill you.
      Echo: Don't get sloppy.

  • NOTES (4)

    • International Airdates:
      UK: February 16, 2010 on Sci Fi
      Czech Republic: May 7, 2010 on Prima COOL
      Slovakia: March 1, 2012 on JOJ Plus

    • Music: Pearl Island (Bruton Music), Kuro Kami (KPM Music), Yukata (Bruton Music), No, I Don't Remember (Anna Ternheim)

    • The man holding cheese in Echo's nightmare scenario is The Cheese Man. This inexplicable figure, created by Joss Whedon, appeared in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Restless". As in that episode, here the Cheese Man appears to be simply an element of of dream-like randomness.

    • The episode opens with the usual pre-credit teaser, but the normal opening credits are omitted except for the "Created by Joss Whedon" card. Instead, the star credits are billed after that across the screen while the story proceeds.


    • Topher: Does she ever? Hey, Darth Vader kills lieutenants, not storm troopers.

      Referencing to Darth Vader who was the villain in the first three movies of Star Wars: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and The Return of the Jedi. In the second series, the prequels chronicle the rise of Anakin Skywalker to become the Emperor's right-hand man, where he accepts the title of Darth Vader.

    • Echo: That's pretty cool and all, and I don't want to ruin your Highlander vibe...
      Referencing the movie, TV, and cartoon series first seen in the movie Highlander (1986). In the series, unknown individuals are somehow born as Immortals, and can only be killed via decapitation. They are fated to fight each through the ages, gathering their opponents' "Quickening," until only one survives.