Hey, what ya doin’? Well whatever it is just don’t paint, because working with watercolors will F you up for sure. At least that’s the message I took away from the lastest episode of Dollhouse. So, make the jump and see just what the hell I’m talking about now.
It’s a little known fact but Vincent Van Gogh was a charter member of Up With People before he started painting
Our episode starts with everything blurry and a blood spattered Topher mumbling about how he just wanted to help people. Oh boy, this is never a good sign. Episode 243 of The Brady Bunch (Bobby and Oliver Snuff a Hooker) started the same way and we all remember how that one turned out.
No we don’t own a van, and we’re not saying dick until our lawyer gets here
We cut away from that to a flashback. It’s one year ago, a simpler time when sure Jon and Kate were having some problems but you knew they were going to work it out for the kids and you could still make the argument that the best way to get a reality show was to tell the cops your kid sailed off in a balloon. Sierra is selling stuff on Venice Beach, and no I don’t mean meth or her cooter, she’s a painter. Her name is Priya, and she’s just hanging out with her best bud, a saucy black lady peddling knickknacks to the tourists. Oh and Sierra is taking pictures with an old Polaroid because she’s an artist and they do stuff like that. We also find out Sierra is from Australia. Although I think her accent is a little posh for Shrimp on the Barbie Land, but then again seeing as Dichen Lachman, the actress who plays Sierra, is actually from Australia, I’m going to chalk this up to good schools as opposed to bad acting.
Things are going good for Sierra right up until this creepy rich guy enters stage right. Creepy Rich Guy has been buying up her knickknacks and wants her to paint like a super big painting at his place and let him throw her an art show, and then maybe they can do some things you usually only read about if you get text messages from an ESPN baseball analyst.
Sierra thinks this is a bad idea, because the guy is creepy (spiky hair and cheekbones as sharp as Jeff Lewis’s from Flipping Out), but Saucy Black Lady is like “gurl, puh-leeze” and what harm could she get into with a rich guy who comes on way too strong with Charlie Manson eyes?
So the next thing we see is Sierra is showing some big assed painting to a bunch of rich people at Creepy Rich Guy’s penthouse apartment. Sierra sees a room with a whole bunch of people making out in which gets her attention, because you don’t think of them having a whole room dedicated to Seven Minutes in Heaven at a gallery showing.
Just then she runs into Echo. Echo is acting very hookery and totally talking up Creepy Rich Guy as the ideal boyfriend to Sierra, and sadly the best thing she has to say about Creepy Rich Guy is he’s rich. On the plus side she does an ace job at not mentioning what a creep he is, so yay Echo!
Are you a little confused as to what is going on? Don’t worry because Keith Carradine has shown up to provide us with some much needed exposition to get this week’s episode up and running. Keith Carradine is a super high muckity muck at the Rossum Corporation (Bringing you quality evil for over 40 years) and it turns out Creepy Rich Guy works the Rossum Corporation too and is fairly muckity muck himself what with being in the running for a Noble prize for his work in brain drugs for crazy people, so the corporation is totally on board with his get Sierra to love me plan.
And did I also mention he’s the inventor of the ruffi?
Speaking of crazy people, we find out Creepy Rich Guy has hired a whole mess of dolls to come to the party and talk up Creepy Rich Guy so Sierra will fall in love with him. Seeing as Creepy Rich Guy is about as lovable as botulism, Robert Carradine points out they could give him the perfect woman, but Creepy Rich Guy doesn’t want a doll, he wants a woman who can’t stand being in the same room as him for more then five minutes at a stretch. Yeah, no way this doesn’t turn into happily ever after.
Victor gets introduced to Sierra, only Victor isn’t Victor. He’s some high powered Italian gallery owner, hence the whatsa matta you accent, who wants to talk about how talented Sierra is and how rich and cool Creepy Rich Guy is. He and Sierra really hit it off and when she asks Victor if he wants to leave the party with her, he says yes immediately. Awwww, how sweet, they’re a couple even when they’re not a couple.
Josh Wheddon, he makea me talk like da pizza delivery man dis a week.
This sweetness lasts for about five whopping seconds until Creepy Rich Guy catches up with Sierra as she’s walking out the door and pretty much calls her a whore for leaving with Victor. Victor is about to step in because nobody talks to Sierra that way around him, but his handler asks Victor if he wants a treatment, and yes Victor wants a treatment very, very much, so he exits stage left and that leaves Sierra and Creepy Rich Guy to put on their road production of What’s Love Got to Do With It. Creepy Rich Guy comes thiiiiiiissss close to using those relationship tips he picked up at Chris Brown Wooing Women Seminar he attended at the airport Ramada Inn, and Sierra gives him a firm open handed slap to the mouth, tells him she will never love him and storms off. Well, I guess she told him.
We fast forward to the present day amd we are back Creepy Rich Guy’s penthouse and Sierra is getting ready to leave, but first she has to kiss Creepy Rich Guy and tell him how much she wuvs him. Creepy Rich Guy snaps a picture of her with her old camera and tosses the picture in a drawer full of pictures of her. Just more proof that science makes everyone’s life better by giving them exactly what they want. You know, assuming you’re a creepy rich guy.
After the opening credits we cut to the dollhouse where everyone is painting. Sierra is painting a bird which Echo really likes, but Sierra comments she doesn’t like painting with this one color but she can help herself as she keeps putting this big dark blotch on the side of her painting.
Sierra being sad makes Echo look pensive. Well she’s either worried about Sierra, or Eliza Dushku is still dealing with the fact that the wardrobe department told her she won’t get to wear hooker shoes for the rest of the episode.
Somebody just figured out they are only in three more scenes tonight
Not only is Echo bothered by Sierra’s painting, Victor is too. Do you see how much suffering painting causes people? This is why we canceled art programs in public schools. What’s that? Budget cuts? Really? Well that’s not good.
Anyway, we cut to Topher who is working on some science stuff and looking pretty mad scientisty because he’s having a very animated conversation with himself while he’s working on some tiny electronic dealee. The poor guy gets the poop scared out of him because when he looks up Echo is just standing there, like she materialized out of thin air, or was standing off camera until it pulled back.
can you believe this guy is still single?
Echo’s got Sierra’s picture with her and want to talk about it. Topher tries to blow her off, but when he goes to get more coffee, she scares the poop out of him again. Echo tells Topher the big dark blob on the painting is “the bad man” and Sierra paints it every time after she goes to see this one client. Topher tells her he doesn’t see a bad man in the painting and Echo makes some crack about him not seeing lots of things and exits stage left.
Echo’s little talk gets a bug up Topher’s butt, because he goes to talk with Boyd about Sierra’s repeat client. Boyd taps a few keys on his computer and tells Topher it’s a standard
Whoring, Romance gig. Sierra is never “physically damaged” and her brain waves always look okay when she comes back, so he wants to know why Topher thinks there might be a problem. Topher tells Boyd about Echo’s visit, and he is trying to see if there is some sort of pattern in Sierra’s behavior when she goes to see this guy. Boyd tells Topher if there was a pattern, Whiskey Sour would have noticed it, and he should check her notes. This sounds like a good idea to Topher and he exits stage left.
Echo shows up for painting class and finds out that Victor is taking the color Sierra doesn’t like out of her paint set so she won’t have to see it. Echo thinks this is a good idea and tells him to take all of that color paint out of the class. This will be good for Sierra because it will help her on the bad man front, on the other hand if another doll needs to paint a soothing dark cow, they are just going to be poop out of luck, aren’t they? Man I had no idea painting on construction paper was such a snake pit of ethical dilemmas.
Topher is going through Whiskey Sour’s notes on Sierra, and it turns out Whiskey Sour did notice this pattern in Sierra’s behavior. Topher is reading along and soils yet another set of underroos when he finds out that he is the bad man. This freaks out Topher to no end because he is the person who recruited Sierra into the Dollhouse and he thought he was doing it to help her. Oh Snapple, this just isn’t Topher’s episode, is it?
We cut to Topher scurrying into Boyd’s office, he’s managed to unravel this mystery off camera and is all set to clue Boyd into what’s happening. It turns out the reason the took Sierra into the Dollhouse is because Topher thought she was a paranoid schizophrenic, but Topher has pictures of her brain that show she was drugged by Creepy Rich Guy to look crazy. Topher says they need to tell DeWitt about this, and then gets a queasy look on his face when he wonders if she already knows about this.
When we cut to DeWitt in her office she’s calling Creepy Rich Dude a “mad dog,” and “a rapist just one tick short of a murderer,” so I’m guessing this came as a surprise to her too. Oh and the fact that she does all of this while pouring Creepy Rich Dude a cup of tea is just a wonderful bonus. DeWitt proceeds to put the hammer on Creepy Rich Dude, telling him he’s banned from the Dollhouse. Unfortunately, Creepy Dude is pretty underwhelmed by DeWitt’s hammer and tells her to have Sierra dropped off at his penthouse because he is going to be keeping her forever, and if DeWitt puts a wiggle on it she just might get to keep her job. This was not the response DeWitt was looking for.
I’m about to eviscerate you in the most frightfully polite way possible, how do you take your tea?
Things get worse because Keith Carradine breezes in to let her know that she is going to do exactly Creepy Rich Dude wants. DeWitt says she’s not going along with this because they aren’t in the slavery business. RC tells her not to go all holy roller on him, because the company knows she was boinking Victor last season as “Miss Lonleyhearts.” DeWitt gets a look on her face like she just swallowed a bug. Keith Carradine tells her nobody cares because “everybody takes something home from the office every once in awhile,” but if she doesn’t do what she’s told they will find somebody else to do her job and he guarantees her she won’t like the early retirement program.
Apparently evil and gassy look almost exactly the same
DeWitt handles this bad news the way everyone in middle management does. She crawls into a bottle of single malt scotch like Tara Reid five minutes before last call.
Oh sweet, sweet scotch, the most soothing of all the brown liquors
Over in the showers Victor is dumping all the paint into the shower when Sierra comes up. Now while she may have a problem with painting the bad man she doesn’t seem to be too bothered by the actual color because she and Victor start dabbing it on each other’s faces and a giggling good time is had by all. Right up until Victor has a flashback of some solider in combat screaming “what do we do? What do we DO?!” and he promptly drops to the floor in the fetal position muttering about how he doesn’t want to take charge. I don’t know about you guys, but as far as I’m concerned they need to switch to a pottery class, because this finger painting is playing H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks with everybody’s cerebellums.
Tell me the truth! Does this hairstyle make my head look pointy?
The good news keeps coming at the Dollhouse because DeWitt has to go down and not only tell Topher that Sierra is going to live with Creepy Rich Dude, but Topher is the one who’s going to have to imprint her personality for the gig. It actually gets worse for Topher because when he asks if the company really expects them to do this, DeWitt tells him that every member of the staff at the Dollhouse has been picked because they are morally compromised, except for Topher. He was picked because he has no morals.
DeWitt tries to cheer him up by telling him he has no choice in this matter but Topher looks like he just got nut punched by the entire population of Rhode Island. DeWitt then exits stage left because that gallon of scotch just isn’t going to drink itself.
Topher goes and gets Sierra for treatment. She and Victor were sitting together, so Victor thinks it will be a great idea if he comes with. Topher has to explain that this is a bad idea without mentioning how the are going to scramble Sierra’s brains so she can live happily ever after with the butt munch who drove her crazy and sold her into white slavery, and falls back on you can’t come just because. Hey it worked for my parents, why wouldn’t it work here too?
Victor is like that’s fine and he’ll just wait right where he’s at for Sierra to come back and plops himself down on the floor. Yeah, good luck with that plan Simple Jack.
Meanwhile, Boyd is keeping an eye on Echo. He was a lot more concerned that Wiped Echo is cracking the whip at the Dollhouse even though she’s supposed to have the IQ of someone who wears a bike helmet even when they aren’t riding bikes. He sees Echo pull a leaf off of a tree and then later notices her with a book. Boyd then goes and really gets his Sherlock Holmes on when he checks out Echo’s sleep pod and finds out she is using the leaf as a bookmark, which is kind of a strange thing for Echo to be doing considering when she’s wiped she isn’t supposed to be able to read, or remember things from the day before. He leaves with the book, but he doesn’t notice that Echo has been scratching all sorts of messages to herself on the glass. Okay maybe Boyd isn’t Sherlock Holmes, but then again nobody has escaped from the Dollhouse this episode so let’s let him have his little victory, okay?
We get yet another flashback of Topher meeting Sierra for the first time. She’s being kept at a mental hospital that just happens to be in the same building as Creepy Rich Dude’s penthouse. Oh, Creepy Rich Dude owns the loony bin too, which I guess does come in handy when you want to drive your true love crazy so some people will wipe out her personality so she can be your personal love slave. I never would have thought of something like this to get a steady date in a million years, no wonder I’m single.
They took my conditioner and they won’t give it back!
Anyway Topher meets Sierra and even though she’s doing her best to tell him she’s being drugged and held against her will, Topher thinks this is the crazy talking and has some big guys slap a straight jacket on her and cart her away so he can “help her.”
This scene bleeds into a montage of Topher getting Sierra ready for Creepy Rich Dude, and then her getting into a car and driving off as DeWitt is still power drinking and Victor is still sitting on the floor doing a cracker jack imitation of an end table.
Seriously, if his head were a little flatter you could put a lamp on it
After Sierra takes off DeWitt comes down to Topher’s office to try to give him a little pep talk but Topher doesn’t really feel like getting cheered up. He just puts the computer gizmo with Sierra’s original personality back in his super high tech wall safe.
Sierra shows up at Creepy Rich Dude’s penthouse and he is pretty excited, and why not? A complete waste of space as a human being has managed to shanghai the woman he’s been obsessing over. It’s a banner day for morally crippled a-holes everywhere.
There is just one teensy little problem with the situation. It turns out Topher put Sierra’s original personality back in her noggin (minus the crazy parts), and just for poops and giggles apparently gave Sierra they complete 411 on what Creepy Rich Dude did to her and what he had her doing for the past year. As America’s greatest living detective, Scooby Doo, would say, Ruh Roh.
We cut from this back to the Dollhouse where Boyd wants to have a little talk with Echo about not being as retarded as she is supposed to be. Actually that part doesn’t bother Boyd, but he is worried that if guys like Keith Carradine get wind of what Echo is doing things could get bad. Echo says she’s not afraid because
she is the star of the show, a producer, she isn’t going to stop until she can save everyone. Well good luck with that Echo, but seeing as Fox is putting the show on hiatus for Sweeps, you might want to wrap this little plan up in the next eight episodes.
Back at el apartamento de Hombre Creepy y Rich. Sierra is really letting CRD have it with what a complete loser she’s always thought he was, and he’s trying to take the high road by telling her she loved every minute she spent with him and he made sure they whored her out when he wasn’t using her. Man with this sort of smooth banter it’s hard to believe Creepy Rich Dude couldn’t have just met someone on e.Harmony.
Still the poop in their convo doesn’t really hit the fan until Sierra tells Creepy Rich Dude she’s in love with Victor. Not that she knows who Victor is or was, she just knows she’s in love with somebody. This little news bulletin causes Creepy Rich Dude to go seriously OJ on Sierra.
Creepy Rich Dude is smacking her all over the penthouse, and I’m really hoping that Topher saw fit to maybe give Sierra her original personality and make her a kung fu master too, but no such luck. It looks really grim for Sierra when Creepy Rich Dude rips off her blouse and grabs a knife. Luckily for the plot, CRG decides this would be a great time to get a little gloating in, and Sierra is able to push both of them into a coffee table and CRG loses the knife. Sierra and Creepy Rich Dude scramble around on the floor for the knife, but Sierra gets it, and then accidentally stabs Creepy Rich Dude…nine times.
Because apparently the two for flinching rule was in effect
Topher is feeling sorry for himself in his office and gets a phone call from Sierra. He hauls his skinny butt down to Creepy Rich Dude’s penthouse where he finds Sierra and the pin cushion who used to be Creepy Rich Dude. He tells Sierra that she needs to get out of there before the bad guys show up. Whoops, too late, because somebody comes in the penthouse.
It’s Boyd. He had a tap on Topher’s phone so he was able to follow him over, and unlike Topher he came prepared for a body removal party. Everyone pitches in and thanks to some acid, tools, and a guy on the phone named Goose they are able to make it look like Creepy Rich Dude went nuts and disappeared down in Mexico and not down the drain of his fancy schmancy tub. Boyd tells DeWitt that Creepy Rich Dude just disappeared and Sierra came back to the Dollhouse, and because there are only five minutes left in the episode and CRG was a major league asshat, so she buys this story.
Topher and Sierra have a little moment in his office before he wipes her. They have a beer and Sierra asks Topher about Victor, who she knows she loves but still doesn’t remember who he is; she asks Topher if that love is real or if he put it there. Topher tells her it’s real. Sierra asks Topher that if he ever puts her real personality back in her body to make sure she never remembers what Creepy Rich Dude did to her. Topher tells Sierra he can do that but he doesn’t know if he can live with what he did to her. Sierra tells Topher she knows she can’t live with it and that’s why she is having him wipe her. Then the Chair sucks out all of her memories and if you’re waiting for me to make a joke about this scene you’ll be waiting for a long, long time.
The Episode ends with Sierra and Victor curling up to go to sleep in a pod, and Echo looking at an access card she has hidden in her book for when she is going to go Sarah Connor and save everyone. The End.
This was a great episode which makes having to wait four weeks for the next episode even harder. In December they are going to show two episodes a week, and I’ll do my best to keep up, but with the holidays I think you should expect a few delays.
I really liked the way they built on the relationship between Topher and Sierra in this episode. Especially because looking back to last season when they had the episode where Sierra was Topher’s doll friend, it makes a lot more sense now. I love when a show takes something that happened in the past and expands on it on a much later date. I hope we get to see more stuff like this in the later epsodes.
Franz Kranz, the actor who plays Topher was flat out awesome tonight. He had a great scene with Whiskey Sour back in the season premiere and he’s been building on it ever since. I don’t know what the future holds for this show, but I hope people in Hollywood are paying attention to what this guy is doing because he should be working constantly.
Okay, just one little beef with the show. I’m getting tired of how they keep saying they can’t find Whiskey Sour, because she’s a doll, which supposedly means she has one of those GPS gizmos in her. Hopefully the writers will figure this out and get Whiskey Sour back on my TV soon.
am I the only one who noticed that in this shot Sierra is the dark man in her own picture?
Anyway, I’ll see you guys in December for recaps on this show, and it looks like I’ll be doing recaps for V in November, so it looks like there will be plenty of science fiction in my future for the foreseeable future. Thanks for stopping by.