Season 2 Episode 6

The Left Hand

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Dec 04, 2009 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
486 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Echo meets Bennett Halverson in Washington and both of them receive a shock. Adelle must deal with her DC counterpart, Stewart Lipman. Topher recruits Victor, and Senator Perrin finds unexpected help in his quest to reveal the activities of the Rossum Corporation.

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  • The Left Hand

    The good;

    Once again some great acting from Enver, his Topher impression is flawless. Nice face off between Adele and her Washington counterpart too.

    The bad;

    It all seems a little overly complex, surely there must be simpler ways for Rossum to protect itself. Equally it rather beggars belief that with all the attention focused on him Rossum could get away with controlling the senator in quite so blatant a manner.

    Best line;

    Topher; "The only person in the world I would trust" (HIMSELF!)

    also like

    Adele; (grabbing the Washington Dollhouse heads groin)"If you don't return my active I will send someone to cut these off!"


    Adele; (upon finding Topher arguing with Toper/Victor); "Finding him obstinate are we?"

    Packing heat;


    Boyd; 8

    Dominic; 9

    Sierra; 4

    Victor; 3

    Ballard; 10

    November; 1

    Echo kissage; 4

    Kinky dinky;

    Topher thinks Bennett's 'Librarian energy' is through the roof, she has got a serious case of the Diana Princes.

    Capt subtext;

    Bennett remarks to Topher 'Looks like you got the girl'. Love the little smile of pride Adele gives Topher as he tricks his way into Perrin's brain print. Topher asks himself "Who's your backdoor man?" before deciding on a better phrasing.

    Notches on the Dollhouse bedpost;

    Echo; 5 definite, 2 possible

    November; 1

    Ballard; 1

    Victor; 1

    Adele; 1

    Sierra 1

    Topher; 1 possible

    How'd they get away with that?

    Echo getting tortured is nasty indeed, she can't pass out and can't even cry out to god. Can we please have an ep without needles, I really don't like them. Bennett's headbutt is also nasty, somehow it's easier to watch people harm one another than themselves. On a similar vein hard to watch Perrin and Echo cutting one another's chips out. Perrin snapping the goons neck and strangling his wife is also disturbing, Alexis showing some of the creepiness he demonstrated in the Angel ep 'Billy'.

    Total number personalitites;

    Echo; 28

    Sierra; 12

    Victor; 10

    November; 3

    Total LA dolls; Mellie is a Doll once more at the Washington Dollhouse, I wonder what her new name will be?

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


    Sierra tied up; 1

    Ballard; 1

    Echo; 2

    Knocked out; twice for Echo

    Echo; 6

    November; 1

    Sierra; 1

    Victor; 1

    Topher; 2


    Sierra; 3 kills

    Echo; 3


    Dolls injured;

    Echo roughed up again.

    Happy hookers;

    As Bennett stares quizically at Echo/Bree's brain print Topher explains "She was kinda a hooker"

    Know the face? Ray Wise, another great character actor from Twin Peaks, Robocop and especially good as The Devil in Reaper.

    14-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).

    Reminds me of;

    With her useless arm Bennett has more than a little Dr Strangelove about her.

    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

    Breaking the programming;

    Echo can now distance herself from the personality of Caroline and perhaps doesn't want her back. If Bennett's memories are to be trusted we can see why? Echo is now able to overcome her imprinting to the degree that she can use her arm even though Bennett programmed her not to.

    Questions and observations;

    So it appears Caroline is not the saint we might first have thought. Topher refers to Echo as his friend, a small but somehow huge moment. Boyd refers to 'manufacturing a president' (Kennedy?) whilst Adele actually refers to Rossum as 'facists' seeing them for what they really are at last.

    So it seems that Rossum can 'improve' people, take away their negative qualities and give them beneficial ones? Part of me says that's a wonderful power, part of me says it could so easily be abused. On the one hand we could cure people of phobias, addictions, prevent paedophiles being attracted to children, take away criminals violent and anti-social traits, brave new world. On the other hand who decides what is truly negative and what is beneficial, what if someone decides to 'cure' gay people? To make everyone fit into their narrow vision of morality? The prospect sounds scarily like some form of mental eugenics.

    So now we have Echo out in the world on her own, dechipped and free of the Dollhouse. How will she cope? Can't wait to find out.

    Marks out of 10; 8/10, good ep

  • Echo and the Senator escape but Cindy and the Washington division of Dollhouse are hot on their trails.

    Another stellar episode of Dollhouse. The fans who've been following this show since day one haven't been disappointed. Where as Season One was in part about delivering the stories that the activities do for Rossum, Season Two is about the inner trouble for Rossum.

    Echo and the Senator escape planning to blow of the lid of Rossum, but they encounter problems when Bennete is remotely trying to alter their brainwaves making Perris a sleeper to kill Echo.

    It was hilarious to see Victor get Topher's implants and try to help Topher. It was even more hilarious to see Topher and Bennete flirting. The love affair was short lived as Bennete revealed her plan to kill Echo.

    Which begs the question of why? We have been merely tantalized up to this point of why Bennette has such a huge hatred of Echo which is hopefully explained in the next episodes.

    Again such a shame this didn't air in Novemember. They shelved such a great series much too soon.moreless
  • Enver Gjokaj deserves to rocket to stardom

    I'm SOOOO tempted to give this episode a 10. It wasn't perfect, but by gum, it was gorram entertaining. It was a Whedon fangasm. Alexis Densiof + Eliza Dusku + Summer Glau + 2 hilarious Tophers! Ok, so that last part isn't so much of the gasm variety, but it was mighty funny! Enver Gjokaj deserves to rocket to stardom, the man is a chameleon who can seemingly tackle any role that's given to him. Once again, Joss has found a truly talented actor. The rest of the episode was a rollercoaster – real Topher trying to outsmart Bennett (Summer on top form, the crazy head bash being a highlight); Echo trying to fight off assassin-Daniel; DeWitt putting the balls in her court, so to speak, and SO much more. Poor Mellie, or Madelyn, actually both – they are true victims of circumstance and there's nothing they/she can do about it. Is Bennett going to imprint herself into Madelyn and make herself better just like she did Daniel? Hrmm. Easily the best episode of the show so far!moreless
  • Who is Caroline, and who is Echo?

    (Note: This review covers the second half of the two-episode event that aired on 04 December, 2009. A previous review covered the first half of the event.)

    After the laundry list of revelations in the previous episode, it seems almost impossible that this follow-up would be able to match the intensity. That's the typical drawback of two-part stories: the set-up is usually more interesting than the subsequent resolution. In this case, it's less about revelation and more about consequence, which was the best direction to take.

    That's not to say that revelations were not at hand. There was a solid explanation for the connection between Bennett and Caroline, something that could tie back into the very first scene of the series premiere. During the first season, it was revealed that Caroline's activities against Rossum as an activist brought her to a point where her only option was to become a Doll. Now we get some insight into that past.

    The initial implications suggested that Caroline was an innocent, forced into this life of rape and degradation by circumstance. Her innocence is no longer a surety. In fact, Caroline could have been a domestic terrorist of sorts, even if her target is, in fact, an evil corporation that actually commits heinous acts of evil. Bennett appears to have been a victim of Caroline's extreme methods, and there was definitely some betrayal involved.

    It goes a long way towards explaining Bennett's fractured psyche. How she then became a card-carrying member of Rossum's Dollhouse network, complete with more amorality than Topher can handle, is a big question. Was she working for Rossum before the lab incident, or was she undercover for the activists? My suspicion is that Bennett chose to work with Rossum, despite Caroline's misgivings, and that led to the lab incident.

    I must give Summer Glau kudos for her nuanced performance as Bennett. Beyond the usual unusual characteristics, there was a fragility that might have been missed by a less capable performer. In some scenes, it seemed as though Summer had chosen to emulate Sigourney Weaver, which was a nice touch.

    The reveal of Rossum's plan was more or less what was expected. Perrin's gambit was nothing more than a means of pulling in all the documented evidence against Rossum, and everything supporting the existence of the Dollhouse network, so that Perrin himself could officially squash it in the public eye. November's role was to put a face on the cover story, and she will likely become a weapon against Caroline/Echo in episodes to come.

    I was a little disappointed, however, to discover that the implied threat against the Los Angeles branch was mostly connected to Bennett's personal vendetta. While there were indications that the Los Angeles branch had developed a reputation within the Dollhouse network, and that it's unusual Dolls were common knowledge, there didn't seem to be a point to it all. At what point does Adele's lack of control over her branch become a liability to Rossum? One would think that the line had been long since crossed.

    Whatever the case, the groundwork is definitely being laid for the future seen in "Epitaph One". Rossum has eliminated much of the public concern, Bennett mentioned technology that allows the imprinting to take place over an existing mind (instead of wiping a mind first), and Caroline/Echo no longer reverts to a blank slate. In fact, it seems very clear that the gestalt imprinting remnants have developed into an Echo personality that is distinct from Caroline. To say that this speaks directly to the theme of identity is an understatement.

    Echo's situation now reflects the classic argument: is our personality ingrained within us on a fundamental level, or is our personality the sum of our experiences? Echo's evolution suggests that there is an argument for the latter, but it's telling that Echo's personality seems to be aligned with Caroline's activist roots. It may be that Caroline was always still in there at the core, even if Echo doesn't have Caroline's memories.

    Considering that the writers were never expecting a miracle and wrote the second season as something of a 12-episode arc with a capstone episode taking place in the same future as "Epitaph One", this is essentially the mid-point of the season. This does feel like the tipping point for the season. Hopefully FOX will honor its promise to air the final episodes, because after this, there's every reason to think they will be worth the wait.moreless
  • Echo meets Bennett Halverson in Washington and both of them receive a shock. Adelle must deal with her DC counterpart, Stewart Lipman. Topher recruits Victor, and Senator Perrin finds unexpected help.moreless

    Beautifully done. Joss Whedon always knows how to do it. This show is finally showing its colors, and they are great. And this episode was both fun and entertaining. It had me hooked. Though I wish this show could just keep going on, I am so glad I get to enjoy the rest of it. I think this is a new and interesting idea for a show. But if they let me pick the shows that are on things would be so much different. Eliza Dushku is excellent in everything she does, but she owns Echo. And to see Summer Glau back and working with Joss is so refreshing.moreless
Nelson Franklin

Nelson Franklin

Burt Styne

Guest Star

Stacey Scowley

Stacey Scowley

Cindy Perrin

Guest Star

Summer Glau

Summer Glau

Bennett Halverson

Guest Star

Alexis Denisof

Alexis Denisof

Senator Daniel Perrin

Recurring Role

Miracle Laurie

Miracle Laurie


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The so-called GPS strip/tag removed from Perrin and Echo is in reality a packaging strip for SMDs (Surface Mounted Devices, which are basically miniaturized electronic components).  Identifiable as a dark tinted strip of anti-static plastic, with a row of bubbles containing the SMD's on one side and a row of holes down the other, it's made for easy dispensing by robotic manufacturing equipment.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Victor/Topher: I can help analyzing Perrin's brain map...!
      Topher: I wouldn't be a second opinion! It would be the same opinion, twice.

    • Boyd: You get into their system, you make the connect so that we... you can get a look at Perrin's brain map.
      Victor/Topher: I'm not up to this. I suffer from acute agoraphobia. Or I plan to.

    • Topher: It's different. Yeah. Than L.A.... uh...
      Bennett: Well, I suppose it would be. You probably have palm trees and tans.
      Topher: We're four stories underground. Not a lot of photosynthesis.
      Bennett: No, no, you're very pale. White. Pinkish-white. I mean... your skin... Your skin is like a pig.
      Topher: Bennet Halv...
      Bennett: Because it's pink. People assume that pigs are bad, but I... I love them. I like them.
      Topher: I hear they make good pets.

    • Stewart Lipman: Perrin has to be at that Senate hearing in four hours, or Rossum will have our heads.
      Adelle: To be clear, this little project is your problem, not mine.
      Stewart Lipman: Well, I'll remind you of that when we're bunk buddies in the Attic.

    • Victor/Topher: Do you know how many...?
      Topher: Shut up and work.
      Victor/Topher: I'm already working. I wouldn't hold your breath on the shutting up.
      Topher: No. I wouldn't.

    • Cindy: Where is he?
      Echo: Gone. Something else is here.
      Cindy: Oh, God. Doll-speak.

    • Victor/Topher: Who's your backdoor man?
      Topher: We'll just pretend I didn't say that.
      Victor/Topher: Yeah.

    • Adelle: Finding him obstinate?
      Topher and Victor/Topher: Yes! This is so weird.

  • NOTES (3)