Hi Gasmi, well it’s time to dig in to our second helping of Dollhouse this week, and this one’s a beauty. It’s built on a premise that has made this country what it is today. If one is good, two must be better. Yep, we get a double helping of our favorite wise cracking brain mechanic, a large slice of crazy hot Summer Glau, oh and evil plots out the wazzoo, so quit dawdling and make the jump so we can all get to the good stuff.
The sweater vest budget must have been through the roof on this one
Our episode starts right where we were, well right before the last commercial break, in the DC Dollhouse, and Bennett, Summer Glau, is putting some serious hurt on Echo. You know, I was going to say that Bennett was shocking the poop out of Echo, but I’ve realized what’s she’s doing is messing with Echo’s pain centers in her brain. Do you think that this is more green then the old fashioned way of torturing someone? Never mind, dumb question.
Anyway, Bennett does take a little break, but only to talk a little crazy with Echo. Echo asks the same question everyone does when they get strapped to a table and tortured so bad the lights flicker, why. Bennett tells Echo why isn’t important, the only thing Echo needs to remember is by the time they get to the why; the pain is going to be really super bad. See, I told you she was crazy. Cute as a button, but mucho loco en de cabeza.
Meanwhile in another room Mrs. Nosey Pants is having a little heart to heart with Senator Nosey Pants. She tells him she’s never loved him, and is completely repulsed by him. Oh and she also mentions he was a complete losah before they totally overhauled his brain. Okay, I’m guessing couple counseling in this case would be the moral equivalent of piling money in the street and setting it on fire.
Is this also a good time to mention that the DC Dollhouse sucks brass monkey balls? Next to this place the Dollhouse back in LA is Disneyland with an open bar.
We finally cut away from all this downerness to the good guys. In this case the crack team from LA here to save the day, DeWitt, and Topher? Wow, they don’t let Topher out of the basement very often, and within about five seconds of watching him in the limo literally bouncing off the walls we know why. He’s playing with the sun roof, hoping from seat to seat, asking if DeWitt wants a drink, and then asking if he can have one. He’s freaking awesome.
Well he’s awesome for my entertainment, but for pulling off DeWitt’s super duper covert master plan, I’ve got to say, he needs a little work. Okay, they look like they’re frigging doomed at this point.
I so should have brought the monkey on this one
Luckily for the plot, DeWitt gives Topher a little pep talk where she tells him, and us, the clueless audience, if he can’t get access to Senator Nosey Pants’ noggin and rewire it so Nosey Pants can’t pull off his committee meeting they are all dead. Topher reminds her that he’s way out of his comfort zone here, which gives DeWitt the perfect chance to tell in her most icy and precise voice that Topher had better expand his zone ASAP.
We cut back to Bennett and Echo. Bennett tells Echo that they used to be friends. The words “used to” are probably a good clue that their friendship has lapsed, well that and the extended torture session. Bennett finds out Echo can remember her name used to be Caroline, but that’s about it. Bennett whips out one of those bulky high tech boxes that they keep personalities in at the Dollhouse. Echo asks if that is her, and Bennett says nope, but it will show her just what kind of person she is, and then zaps her on the table again.
We go from there to some cushy office in the DC Dollhouse where DeWitt and Topher are waiting for the local head honcho. The guy finally wanders in the room, and holy crap it’s Laura Palmer’s dad from Twin Peaks, Sorry, if you’re under the age of 40 that reference is going to be completely useless, but it’s the same guy. And double holy crap he hasn’t really aged since 1989. Well he’s put on about 10 pounds of botox in his face, but he looks pretty good.
Sorry I’m late but when the dwarf wants to dance, you gotta dance
Anyway, he and DeWitt pretend this is a friendly meeting and that DeWitt and company didn’t totally try to queer their evil plan last week. Echo says she and Topher just rolled into town to pick up their active, Echo. Laura Palmer’s Dad says he’d love to help them but he’s got to get approval from his bosses. He tells DeWitt that she and Topher should just head back to Lala Land and he’ll get their doll back to them “soon.”
DeWitt says this is cool; she just needs to have her boy Topher take a look Echo to make sure their merchandise hasn’t been damaged. The LPD makes some noise about DeWitt not trusting him and in the coldest way possible DeWitt tells the big jag off she’s just following the rules too. Laura Palmer’s Dad tells Topher to head downstairs and he’ll have his tech meet him and show him Echo.
As Topher is walking out the door Laura Palmer’s Dad tells DeWitt things must be dead in LA for her to take off, and asks who’s minding the store. Topher tells him not to worry they have their best man on the job.
We cut back to LA and to Topher who is freaking out. Okay, technically it’s not Topher, it’s Victor, but it’s Victor who’s had Topher’s personality dumped into him. Look if you haven’t seen this episode yet, you need to stop reading this and watch it right now, and if you’ve already seen it you know we are about to get to 31 Flavors of awesome.
Anyway, like I said Victor/Topher is freaking out, because he doesn’t think he can do this. Oh and when I say he I mean DC Topher, who Victor/Topher thinks of as himself. Victor/Topher reminds Boyd the last time he tried to get with Team Good Guys they ended up cutting a body up into little pieces and melting it with acid. Besides, Victor/Topher thinks there is no way he is going to fool Bennett, who none of the Tophers have met yet, but they all think she’s a genius. Boyd gets Victor/Topher calmed down, well Topher calm anyway, and we move to see what happens next.
What we see is Bennett still F-ing with Echo like a mother humper until she gets a phone call. She’s pretty pissed until she hears Topher is coming for a visit. Bennett tranqs Echo so she can’t spill the beans on the whole orture-tay session and then starts fussing with her hair in the mirror. What the hell?
Bennett is waiting for Topher when he wanders into her neck of the woods. She’s pretty flustered and kind of babbling, and not the creepy scary babbling we’ve been getting, but the oh-my-god-I-can’t-believe-I’m-talking-to-this-hot-guy babbling that girls do when they meet a guy they really super duper like. Yes Gasmi, evil insane Bennett is totally crushing on our Topher. Of course the real beauty of this situation is that she has the social grace of, well, Topher, so in the course of trying to make small talk she ends up comparing his complexion to that of a pig.
Topher at first thinks Bennett is like a very good looking flunky, but once she introduces herself he’s totally excited. He starts gushing about how great some report was that she wrote and everyone is clicking like mad. Then he asks her about her arm in the sling. You know, if we were ever going to rate Topher’s mood killing ability, I think we’d have to go with “ninja.”
Wow, women rarely look at Topher this way
This look on the other hand? All too common
Okay, this is awkward for the conversation, but good for us, the fine folks parked on the couch, because we find out that Bennett’s arm is dead. The nerves were severed at the shoulder, hence the sporty little Doctor Strangelove sling she’s modeling for us tonight.
Still the conversation kind of gets back on track when Bennett tells Topher Echo is still knocked out from his device. Everyone is getting bubbly and giggly again, so Topher brings up her arm again. He asks if it was weird if that he asked about her arm. And she says actually it was refreshing, as she grinds her teeth and walks away. By the way, if you’ve ever wondered why there are so few geniuses in the world, this little peek into their courtship rituals explains a whole lot of stuff.
Back up in the bigwig office Laura Palmer’s Dad decides it’s time for a little smack talking. He tells DeWitt she wasted her time coming to DC, because he’s not going to give Echo back, and she can’t do squato about it because nobody at Rossum likes her, so neener, neener, neener.
DeWitt decides this is a good time to work her feminine wiles on LPD. She gets right up on him and in a low bedroom voice starts talking about how maybe she and Laura Palmer’s Dad can reach a compromise. We can’t see it, because this is network TV, but it is very much implied that DeWitt’s hand is taking a field trip south of Laura Palmer’s Dad’s equator. We mainly know this because you can almost see the blood fleeing Laura Palmer’s Dad’s noggin and rushing to the center of his torso.
Too bad for Laura Palmer’s Dad, but this is right when DeWitt starts to squeeze. For us in the audience, it gets better, because DeWitt says if she doesn’t get her active back she is going to send somebody to “cut these off,” and kill LPD in a very long drawn out and painful way. And wouldn’t you know it, Laura Palmer’s Dad suddenly realizes giving Echo back is the right this to do.
…She’s got the whole world in her hands…
Back down in nerd land, Topher is checking out Echo. He notices that she wasn’t knocked out by his device, but was drugged. When he tells Bennett about this, she tells him one of the handlers must have done it. Awww, their first lie, this relationship is on a fast track. They’ll be farting at each other by the end of the episode at this rate.
Bennett deflects the conversation away from this by asking Topher about the disruptor. Topher thinks it’s super awesome that she calls it the same thing he does, and he proceeds to show her how it works. This gives them a chance to stand a little too close to each other. Bennett notices that if Topher does a little futzing with his gizmo he can knock out specific dolls with it, instead of every doll in a 50 foot radius.
Topher’s pretty impressed by this idea, and then promptly proceeds to ruin the moment yet again by trying to zap Bennett with his Flashlight of Doom. You know I’ve been called out for a lot of romantic FUBAR moments in my time, but at no time have I heard the words, “did you just try to tas me with your device?” Way to go Topher, you officially set a new low.
Of course, Topher initially tries to deny this, but he ends up telling her about him turning Whiskey Sour into a doctor because of her face getting messed up, and how he thought with her arm, maybe the real Bennett would have done the same thing here. Bennett thinks this is a silly idea, because actives are beautiful. Topher says the magic word in this situation, “yeah.” Oh Topher, you ol’ honey dripper, well played, well played indeed.
Bennett gets a little flustered in a good way by finding out Topher thinks she’s pretty, and after a phone call from Laura Palmer’s Dad, tells Topher she’ll get Echo ready so he can take her home. Topher thinks this is great and very causally asks if he can make a phone call to check in with LA and make sure everything is running smooth back there. Bennett starts to leave and then comes back and offers Topher her bowl of wasabi peas. Hey you two, get a room!
Once Bennett clears the room DC Topher calls Victor Topher, and they hack into the DC computer through Bennett’s phone. They get these monkeyshines pulled off pretty quick which gives DC Topher the perfect opportunity to let himself know Bennett is totally hot, and that they are very into her. Topher describes Bennett, up to and including the dead arm which leads DC Topher to tell Victor Topher to imagine John Cassavetes in The Fury as a woman, and for Victor Topher to come right back with “as you know I often have,” for the hands down line of the night in this waffleboy’s opinion.
Glasses on a chain
For the win!
Victor Topher tries to bring DC Topher down by pointing out she’s probably an active, which leads DC Topher to tell himself he’s so untrusting, and leaving out the unfortunate tasing incident.
Topher hangs up and starts to snoop through Bennett’s desk when we cut over to Nosey Pants waking up on one of those tables. For some reason Echo is in the room with him too, and he tries to wake her up. Echo is passed out and seeing herself as Bennett in this room with a humungous cement block crushing her arm and pinning her to the floor. She’s calling out to somebody not to leave her, and we cut back to Nosey Pants telling her he won’t leave her but they need to leave now. This must be a good idea, because they promptly exit, stage right.
We cut over to Bennett who is watching them escape on some closed circuit cameras, and after they leave, she rams her head into the TV screen. Awww man, we’re back to crazy again with her.
Don’t feel bad Summer, I feel like doing this too every time I see a promo for Cougar Town
After we come back from a commercial break, Bennett comes walking into her office bleeding, and tells Topher that darn old Echo whomped her and took off with Senator Nosey Pants, which gives Topher the chance to be the first person in tonight’s episode to look like he just pooped a birthday cake.
Meanwhile, Nosey Pants and Echo are walking down the streets of DC (it’s so nice to see that Dollhouse security sucks at all of the houses and not just in LA), and Nosey Pants is trying to figure out just what’s been happening to them.
This is kind of bummer for Echo, because she finishes up her Bennett flashback. She’s pinned to the floor and Echo (who is Caroline here) is telling her she’s going to leave her so she doesn’t get caught, so suck it younger, thinner, and prettier girl. Oh and Echo has a dead arm here just like Bennett too.
Nosey Pants is only moderately interested in this news. He’s more into figuring out what they are going to do. He wants to keep moving so they don’t get caught, but Echo tells them that’s a lost cause because they have those GPS gizmos attached to their bodies. Not worry, Echo has a plan, so they go into this restaurant, grab a steak knife and head for the bathroom. Hey, that’s for customers and employees only!
Over across town, Mrs. Nosey Pants is getting Big Face Girl ready to give her testimony, when she gets a phone call. It’s from Laura Palmer’s Dad telling the Mrs. about Echo stealing their senator, again. He tells her to drop what she’s doing and hook up with the goons when they scoop up their wayward actives.
We cut back to the restaurant, where Echo and Nosey Pants have done their DIY home, restaurant surgery. Oh man, my heart goes out to whoever works at that restaurant because cleaning a bathroom is bad enough, let alone after people decide to play ER in there.
After seeing this, I can now sort of understand why getting the bathroom key at Taco Bell is only slightly easier then getting the go codes for nuclear weapons
The big black bad guy vans pull up out in front of the restaurant, and the Mrs. leads a whole mess of heavily armed mooks into the restaurant. When they hit the crapper, Echo and NP are long gone. They do scare the crap out of some poor woman who was sitting on the pot, but that’s about it so they load up in their evil vans and drove off.
We cut over to Echo and Nosey Pants who were watching the whole thing from across the street. Echo points out the bad guys aren’t going to stop looking for them, and Nosey Pants says they won’t stop running. Okay, not the most detailed plan in the world, but simplicity of it does have its own charm.
Back at the DC Dollhouse, Laura Palmer’s Dad is having a poop fit of biblical proportions. Luckily for him, our new favorite couple, Topher and Bennett, have figured out how to use the tech from Topher’s Flashlight of Doom to drop Echo and Nosey Pants. They are going to basically do what Topher did to Victor in the second episode of the season, only without turning anyone into a disco dancing machine this time.
This is great news for Laura Palmer’s Dad and DeWitt, too bad they have to get it from Bennett and Topher who are deep in the “you’re great, nooooooooo you’re great” stage of their relationship, where the couple in question are so blissfully happy and sure that they have achieved nirvana that they have to share their happiness with the rest of the world. Too bad for them the rest of the world sees them as annoyingly self-involved morons worthy only of the scorn usually reserved for persistent STD’s. Personally I think this particular relationship stage is a close as the average person can come to experiencing the day to day life of a Yankee’s fan, but I’m getting off the subject again.
We’re just so happy together
This is why I own a fucking cat
Anyway the bad guys now have a shot at catching Echo and Nosey Pants, so the bosses in the room are able to deal with Bennett’s and Topher’s lovey doviness with a minimum of eye rolling. As they are getting ready to leave Topher causally mentions that he needs to see Nosey Pants brain scan for this to work, and Laura Palmer’s Dad, who at this point is just relieved his bosses won’t be sucking his brain out of his head, is like sure, whatever. Topher raises his eyebrows at DeWitt and she gives him a nice tight smile back, and at least for a little while it looks like Team Good Guy’s master plan is actually on track.
Topher and Bennett go back to her lab, and get down to a little team geniusing. First they look at a 3D model of Nosey Pants brain, and Topher says it’s the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen. Apparently only wiring part of a person’s brain to be a Doll should turn them into a full blown schizophrenic, but Bennett has figured out a way to avoid this and tells Topher she thinks the human brain is actually able to hold multiple personalities without getting completely Fruit Loops. As far as made up science goes, it works for me, and Topher too; he’s gushing like a madman.
Then Topher shows Bennett a map of Echo’s brain and gets a sad little, “oh! ([long pause] it’s very nice,” from his sweet baboo. Topher knows he hasn’t brought something cool to this particular show and tell and kind of clears up the work he did on Echo by telling Bennett that Echo is kind of a hooker.
Yeah, it’s a little small, but I just went swimming
Anyway our geeks of love get ready to get to work on shutting down Echo and Nosey Pants. Bennett tells Topher he can use her work station which just happens to be on the other side of the room.
This works out good for Topher because he gets the privacy he needs to send that brain map of Nosey Pants to Victor Echo. Bennett is being a busy little bee too, typing away like a mad woman, and telling Topher it’s so Nosey Pants and Echo will have sweet dreams after they get knocked out.
We cut back to LA where Victor Topher tells Boyd, and us, that DC Topher (or as he puts it so well, “he-me”) has gotten them Nosey Pants brain map. This also gives Victor Topher the chance to comment on how Nosey Pants’ brain is the most beautiful thing he has ever seen. Wow that must be some brain.
While this is going on Nosey Pants and Echo have gone to the one place where the bad guys will never think of looking for them, Nosey Pants’ family’s estate. Okay, this is kind of a dumb move, but it’s good for the plot, so we are going to just go with it.
Even Echo has enough common sense to tell Nosey Pants this isn’t his best idea, but Nosey Pants isn’t listening. He’s come back here, because it’s the one place where he can be sure he is who he really is.
This announcement leads into a flashback of Nosey Pants meeting the Mrs. at a big party on the estate and her telling him he should be in politics even though he’s been a colossal screw up his entire life. When the flashback ends he wonders if that was real, and how is he supposed to know if anything in his life is real. Wow, we can chalk this trip up under totally worth it, or maybe not.
Still, Nosey Pants admits that he isn’t in any hurry to let someone get him back to the way he was before, because the person he is now would basically end. Echo agrees and points out that she’s realized if Caroline ever gets put back in her noggin, then she will essentially die. This sort of scene makes for good TV and brings up philosophical questions I’ll be thinking about for days later, but it doesn’t really lend itself to cheap humor. Screw you Josh Whedon! Okay, moving on.
Our trip to deep thoughts land gets interrupted when Topher and Bennett flip the switch on their flashlightless flashlight of doom. Nosey Pants makes the serious pain face, and gets his nose bleed, but doesn’t get knocked out. Instead, he gets turned into one of those kill crazy sleeper agents, and guess who his target is?
Topher is quickly able to figure out that Nosey Pants is serious bad news, and Bennett must have done it with her sweet dreams typing she was doing earlier. Topher gets on the phone with Victor Topher and tells him he needs to shut down Nosey Pants insane membrane right freaking now. Victor Topher starts to throw a pretty standard Topher fit about how he can’t do it, but Topher cuts him off and essentially tells himself to sack up and get the job done.
By now, Bennett has figured out that Topher has been up to monkeyshines the whole time he was here, and she tells him that Caroline is bad news. Topher points out that he doesn’t know Caroline, he’s just here to save his friend, Echo. Bennett says him calling her his friend proves that Caroline is the aforementioned bad news, because she has this power to make people do whatever she wants. Topher says it’s not a power; she’s just a producer on the show, which means she can have him fired.
Bennett isn’t buying this excuse and tells Topher she isn’t going to let him get away with this. Topher responds by laying her out with one punch. Wow, Topher can beat up a girl? I owe myself a coke now. Anyway, Topher is totally bummed because he’s single again now, but heads off camera to help himself.
We go back to Echo and she’s still being chased by RoboNosey Pants. She ducks into a greenhouse and hides but Nosey Pants finds her, although her kind of half lurching out at him does make it pretty easy for the guy. He smacks her around and she keeps telling him he doesn’t have to do this, which doesn’t stop him from starting to choke the life out of her.
Luckily for the long term health of the show, or at least the next seven episodes, Mrs. Nosey Pants shows up with her goon squad looking for her wayward senator. Echo and Nosey Pants are struggling in the greenhouse, and somehow Echo is able to push both of them through a glass door and get away from Nosey Pants.
A goon shows up and thinks he’s dealing with Senator Nosey Pants. He tells NP not to worry; they are there to protect him. Nosey Pants snaps the guy’s neck like a twig. Wow, somebody put their big boy pants on this morning, huh?
Senator by day, chiropractor by night
Echo manages to get out of the greenhouse and is in the process of beat feeting the out of there, when she literally runs into the Mrs. Echo tries to tell Mrs. Nosey Pants that her fake husband is now sleeper ninja assassin, but the Mrs. pistol whips her before she can spit the whole story out. After smacking Eliza Dushku around, the Mrs. heads into the greenhouse looking for her semi-sweet baboo.
Too bad for her the Mrs. finds Nosey Pants, and double too bad for her because she launches into her whole but I wuv you, I wuv you, I wuv you shtick with a sleeper agent. She’s pretty surprised when Nosey Pants decides if he can’t choke Echo, the Mrs. will do, but it is nice to see one of the really bad guys on the show getting the smack down.
Back in LA Victor Topher types really hard for about 10 seconds, and shuts down the sleeper agent program in Nosey Pants. Echo knocks out the goon who was guarding her with a flower pot and finds Nosey Pants who is in the process of completely losing it because he killed Mrs. Nosey Pants. Echo tells him they need to get the hell out of there, but Nosey Pants says he doesn’t know how he is going to be able to live with himself for doing this. Then he makes a comment about how if he was a doll he wouldn’t have to ever remember he did this, and this is the last we see of Echo and Nosey Pants in this scene as we hear a helicopter coming in the distance.
We cut from that straight to that Senate sub committee meeting that everybody has been worried about for the last two episodes. Nosey Pants comes in still looking like crap, and apologizes for being late. He tells everyone the reason he couldn’t make it down on time is some bad guys blew up his wife.
I’m late because I was drinking in my hotel suite, woke up with a hooker, got my brain fiddled with and then murdered my wife. I mean she blew up…can we break for lunch now?
Everyone is pretty shocked by this news because they would accepted being stuck on the freeway. His story gets more far fetched, err I mean shocking. It turns out the Rossum Corporation wasn’t the bad guys after all. No, it was their unnamed competitors who would stop at nothing to destroy the sweetest most loveable big soulless multinational pharmaceutical company in the world. Oh and he’s got boxes and boxes of evidence to prove this, and double oh, Big Face Girl? It turns out she’s totally bug fugging nuts and he has the records to prove she’s been in a Canadian looney bin to prove that too.
Wow, this blows for Big Face Girl, and it gets worse for her because Nosey Pant’s assistant tells her there are some FBI agents who want to talk to her. The only problem with this statement is one of the FBI agents was the goon Echo conked over the head with a flower pot. It looks like Big Face Girl is heading back to the Dollhouse, bummer.
We cut back to LA where Boyd and DeWitt are walking into Topher’s office talking about how Echo and Pucker Face are still missing. After that quick little bit of exposition we get our last little taste of double your Topher, double your fun, when Topher shuts down Victor Topher. But not before the Tophers let Boyd and DeWitt in on how it looks like Nosey Pants wasn’t just built for this big press conference thing. Boyd knows that Nosey Pants is going to be in charge of all the laws Rossum is looking to get passed, but the Tophers tell him and DeWitt that with his manufactured ambition, Nosey Pants won’t be happy with just being a senator for long. DeWitt isn’t happy about this at all, and says they are going to stop it; well first they are going to get Echo back. Boyd asks about Big Face Girl, but DeWitt says that she’s pretty much screwed at this point.
DeWitt isn’t pooping pink poodles on that one, because when we next see Big Face Girl, Bennett has her strapped to the table and is back into full on crazy babble. All we can take away from Bennett’s little speech is that after this episode a couple of extra names got added to her crazy to do list. The last we see of Big Face Girl is when Bennett flips the switch on her while muttering that no one should be left alone.
Hi, want to hear about what a butthead my ex-boyfriend was? No? Okay, torture it is
From this we go to Echo who is out walking the streets looking just like everyone else, but with a I wonder what I’m going to do now look on her face. The End.
Wow, double wow. Now that was some TV. Action, suspense, romance, humor, and all with a good pulpy story to move it along, this is what TV should look like all the time. Once again, Boo to Fox for canceling something this good, but then again, boo to Josh Whedon too for waiting until the season was half-way over to start telling a dynamite story. Oh and for pulling the same crap last season. I think if there had been a little tighter writing over the past two years this show would be coming back for a third season. Anyway, it was great and I guess we’ll all just have to enjoy what we get over the next few weeks.
Was I the only one who felt bad when Topher decked Bennett? Yeah she’s crazy and evil, but they really worked as a couple aside from that. You can tell you’re invested in a show when you’re rooting for the characters to be happy, even Topher.
Speaking of Topher, the dueling Topher’s bit we got on this episode was the best non Christmas tree related surprise I’ve gotten in a long while. Although as somebody pointed out to me, this isn’t the first time Josh Whedon has had two of the same character appear in an episode (there was one on Buffy with two Zanders), having two Tophers made up for reusing a gag. My opinion of Enver Gjokaj has been rising as the show has gone along, but he frigging nailed it on this one. It also was great that not only were they getting great scenes out of this, but you could tell everyone involved was having a blast, something I’m always a sucker for.
Well that wraps it up for this week, at least until Friday rolls around and we get two more episodes. So what do you guys think of the show? Anyone have any ideas where we might end up? Anyway, thanks for stopping by and we’ll talk again soon.