BSG’s Helo teams up with a pothead and finally finds the Dollhouse, Dominic returns (sorta), a little girl loves knives, and Alpha finally shows up!
Just like all good stories, we begin in a dirty alley. A scummy Bald Dude is searching through the trash in a dumpster when he finds… a human hand! Attached to a human arm! Which is presumably attached to a human! He’s all, Whoa, and then suddenly the hand attacks him!
Cut to Echo reading The Brothers Grimm’s “Briar Rose” (a variation on Sleepy Beauty, in case you’re not up on your fairy tales) to a group of kids in an orphanage. Hmm… Well following the basic rules of television drama, “Briar Rose” will need to be our leitmotif for the episodes. So get ready for some allegory kiddos.
Echo is reading the “happy” ending where the prince shows and up makes out with the princess while she’s in a coma, thus waking her up. Then a little girl in the crowd is all, That’s crap! And Echo is all, Excuse me? And the girl is all, Don’t you know what crap means? Echo got served.
This is Susan and she clearly doesn’t like the story. She goes on a tirade about how stupid the story is because people don’t just come rescue you in real life. Then she totally freaks out, grabbing the book from Echo’s hands and ripping it up before being drug away by a dude (and I like to assume savagely beaten and sent to a secret CIA torture camp somewhere in Eastern Europe).
But I’m kinda with Susan here. It’s a troublesome story. Isn’t it kinda glorifying sexual assault? Cause last time I checked, doing anything sexual with a chick while she’s passed out is a good way to go to jail, yo. I’m just sayin’.
Anyhoo, Echo is a little shaken up by Susan’s outburst. And it turns out that Echo’s imprint is also named Susan. Weird. The orphanage Boss Lady wanders up and says Echo-Susan’s story must have reminded Orphan-Susan of something traumatic from her past, and Echo is all, I totally thought that might happen, that’s why I read the story, that’s how I roll, I like causing troubled children to flashbacks.
Meanwhile, at the apartment of our ex-FBI agent, BSG’s Helo, that walking hole in the screen Mellie enters to find Helo packing up all his crap. He’s moving out and this is the first she’s heard of it. She’s all, WTF, if I’d shown up tomorrow would you just have been gone without telling me? Then she starts pathetically pleading with him not to go and he’s being kind of a dick to her, which is awesome cause she sucks.
Then Smellie (see what I did there) is all, I’ve never told you anything I don’t believe with all my heart, and he’s all, I’m glad you said that cause that’s why I’m dumping you. Then she’s all, Stop being so cruel, can’t you see it’s killing me? Then he leaves but she doesn’t die, so I guess she was exaggerating about his cruelness killing her.
At the Dollhouse, Boyd has given DeWitt a thumb-drive. Seems it was hand delivered to the office, addressed to Dominic. Wait. How exactly was it hand delivered? Aren’t they in some super impossible to find secret facility? Could the pizza guy just wander in? Well, either way, Boyd doesn’t know what’s on the thumbdrive. DeWitt is all, Let’s just imprint one of the dolls so they know how to decode it. But Boyd is all, It’s encrypted so only Dominic can read it, so DeWitt is all, So get Dominic to do it, and Boyd is all, That’s funny, and she’s all, Yo I’m serious dude, and he’s all, But Dominic is in the Attic, and she’s all, So what?
Looks like we’re gonna be seeing Dominic again.
Back at Ye Old Orphanarium, Echo and Boss Lady talk about Crazy Susan (who I guess was not sent to a CIA torture camp like I’d hoped) while Susan is busy blacking out text in a storybook (oh, that’s normal). Boss Lady is explaining that they keep putting Susan in foster homes but she gets into fights and loves stealing knives and shit. Her mom died of a drug overdose when she was little and she was left with the mom’s boyfriend who was a “smalltime drug dealer part-time pimp.” He thought he could start tricking her out when she got older but it turned out there was no reason to wait that long, “half the age, twice the price.” Ew. Well, Echo is essentially a prostitute held captive by pimps. So they have much in common.
Echo is guessing all sorts of correct things about our little nutcase and Boss Lady is like, You sure know a lot about Susan having only known her for five minutes. Then Boss Lady walks away and Echo is all, I’ve known her a lot longer than that. Zuh?
Then we join everybody’s favorite creepy molester, Topher (see previous ep), and his Cute Asian Assistant, while they’re looking at brain-scans of Echo and Crazy Susan. They are very similar or something (all brain scans look the same to me) and Topher reveals that Echo’s imprint is actually just Susan, only aged 15 years so that she’s gotten over her childhood trauma. So that’s why they’re both confusingly named Susan. Gotcha.
The whole assignment was Topher’s idea. I’m still not sure what the purpose of the mission is, though at the moment it just seems like pro bono work. Then Topher gets a phone call that cuts his boasting short. He tells Cute Asian Assistant to go get Victor prepped. Hmm. Does this mean Victor is gonna be imprinted with Dominic? Cause I was kinda hoping to see actually Dominic again. I liked him.
Hey, I driven my car there!
We join Smellie blubbering with sadness on a highway overpass. She hovers near the edge, looking down on the speeding traffic below. Is she thinking of committing suicide? Oh no! Don’t do it Smellie, you’re so pretty and smart and talented and everybody loves you! Oh wait, you can’t tell I’m being sarcastic when it’s just text like this, and… and… I’m sorry, I’m crying right now. I’m just so happy. I never thought this day would actually come.
Ah, balls. Her handler shows up and takes her back to their van. Can’t they let her kill herself just a little? I mean, I don’t think the fall from that height would do anything more than just break her legs. And traffic looks kinda thin so she probably won’t even get run over much. They can patch her back up. It’s not like they need to worry about the accident damaging her looks. Oh! Zing! Pow! Comic gold.
Well, Smellie and her handler’s mini-van drive into the Dollhouse parking lot and then we reveal that Helo had been tailing them. It was part of his clever plan all along! Dump Mellie so she’ll get taken back and then he can follow them! Wow, shouldn’t they be on the look out for this sort of thing? I mean, they know he’s obsessively trying to find the Dollhouse.
While Helo is looking at the Dollhouse building we dissolve to a picture of the castle from the “Briar Rose” storybook. Boom! What up, allegory?! So Mellie is the sleeping beauty? Pft. No way. Echo, or rather Caroline, as Helo would say, is sleeping beauty. Or sleepy cutey is more like it! Ah ha ha ha… ha… heh… sorry.
End of Act 1!
We return from the break back at the Unwanted Children Prison, where Crazy Susan is again partaking in her apparently favorite pastime – scribbling out passages in books. Echo sits down and tries to get her bonding on, bein’ all, Yeah f’d up shit happened to me when I was little too, like eerily similar shit, like my fake dad tried to make me a child prostitute as well, it’s almost like we’re the exact same person.
At FBI headquarters, Helo chats with Chief Ndegeocello about his most resent Dollhouse discoveries. How does an ex-FBI agent keep getting into FBI headquarters? In the previous episode it seemed like he snuck in, which I don’t think is possible. At least now Ndegeocello believes him so she might have let him in, but still. I think they need to rethink the security screening process for this place.
Anyway, Helo says that he went inside the building at 23 Flower (where he followed Smellie’s van to). But it turned out to be a normal business. Then he remembered that Caroline had told him in a previous episode that the Dollhouse was “underground” which he’s realized is code for “underground.” It’s beneath the building he went inside! This guy is a genius.
Helo looked at the records for 23 Flower and it had all the normal contractors and such but it also had an environmental systems consultant – a guy who specializes in making buildings fully self-contained so they leave no detectable carbon footprint. They fire up the dude’s picture on the computer and hey, it’s Wash from “Firefly.” Nice. Give the brother some work.
Back at the Dollhouse: They’ve got Victor in the brain-chair, now imprinted with Dominic. Dominic immediately deduces that he’s in Victor’s body and starts freaking out. Wow, Victor does a really good Dominic impression. Kudos sir.
Well, Dominic is obviously not in a very helpful mood, since they basically killed him. DeWitt tells Fred from “Angel,” Dr. Saunders to us, to sedate him. As she does this Dominic yells out “whiskey” and Dr. Saunders is all like, I think he wants a drink, and DeWitt is all, No dice. Hmm… why would he yell out that he wants a drink of whiskey at that moment? That’s weird, right? I’ve told you all my theory that Dr. Saunders is actually a doll, haven’t I? And all the dolls are named after letters in the phonetic alphabet, as in: A-Alpha, B-Bravo, C-Charlie, …W-Whiskey. You see what I’m sayin’ here people? Do you see? DO YOU SEE?!
Uh, where was I? Oh yeah, I’m watching a TV show… Yeah, so Dr. Fred gives Dominic-Victor a special truth serum shot and he chillaxes.
Meanwhile at the My Parents Didn’t Love Me Farm, Echo continues her bonding session with Crazy Susan. She’s like, Yo girlfriend, it’s not your fault you were a victim and shit, yo you gotta reread that “Briar Rose” story cause it’s apparently the most vital allegory for your life possible, plus I already read it at the beginning of the episode so it’s been set up as the leitmotif, so like you need to struggle to figure out how to make it relate to yourself. Yo, here’s an idea of how to do that – pretend that you’re the prince instead of the princess, see if that works. And Susan’s all, How does that make sense? And Echo’s all, Yo, just think about it for a while, I gotta bail.
Echo is about to leave, then she deduces that Susan is packin’ a knife, but now that they’ve bonded Echo convinces Susan to give it to her. Then Echo tells Boss Lady that Susan is close to moving forward, but “be ready, it’s gonna hurt.” Huh? What’s that mean? I don’t like the sound of that one bit. There’s only two things that fit that description – kidney stones and super psychos.
Back in our B-plot, Helo has tracked down Wash from “Firefly” in a seedy apartment building. When Wash answers the door he seems kinda on drugs and paranoid. Turns out that’s exactly what’s going on, since when Helo bursts in he discovers Wash’s tiny apartment full of marijuana plants. Well a whole scene ensues of Wash being wacky and neurotic and offering Helo some recycled urine to drink and yadda yadda and then Helo finally tricks him into revealing his connection to the Dollhouse. Unshockingly Wash then gets extra nervous and is all, I can’t talk about it or they’ll kill me, and Helo is all, I don’t care you’re my new partner now. Then Helo pulls out a gun and kidnaps Wash. Yay, buddy cop movie!
At the Dollhouse: Dominic-inside-Victor says he has no idea what the thumbdrive DeWitt wants decrypted is. He says the NSA didn’t communicate that way. So who sent it then? Dominic suggests maybe it was Alpha.
So Topher pops the thumbdrive in. They need a password. Dominic says Alpha used to sign all his art projects “with Alpha.” He says at first they thought it was a fish. Ah ha, DeWitt realizes, the Greek alphabet letter for Alpha looks like a fish! So Topher changes his font and tadah! Up pops a picture of a Paul Bunyan statue! Huh?
Boyd is all, There’s a lot of those statues in the Northern Great Plains states like Wisconsin or Minnesota. Well, friends, I call tell you right now, I’m from Minnesota and it’s not our statue. Ours is way cooler! Truth!
Then DeWitt says it’s in Tucson. She sees it all the time when she’s at “the center.” What’s “the center?” Topher is all, Is that Dollhouse Headquarters? But DeWitt won’t say. Obviously it is.
They check out some news feeds and learn that a dead body was found slashed up Alpha-style that very morning in Tuscon. Time to send in Sierra! Oo, things are getting exciting!
Back in our 48 Hrs buddy cop adventure, Helo and Wash arrive outside 23 Flower, with Wash reluctant to get out of the car. Helo threatens to tell the DEA about Wash’s pot farm, which seems to do the trick in motivating him. Though, isn’t that better than being killed by the Dollhouse?
Inside 23 Flower, Sierra has just been imprinted for her Alpha mission and off she goes.
Wash shows Helo the only way into the building, a vent that goes down 10 stories. More wacky yet irrelevant banter!
Echo has been de-imprinted!
Wash and Helo have made it to the bottom of the vent! Man, they’re rocking some short scenes right now. Things are really picking up.
Our sequence continues with Susan reading aloud from “Briar Rose” as we see our various characters doing there thang. Ah yeah, it looks like our little leitmotif is comin’ on full force now bitches!
We go into commercial break with Helo and Wash stepping into Dollhouse itself. “It’s real,” Helo triumphantly says to himself as he looks out over the lobby. It’s all coming together!
Then we join Sierra in a Tucson coroner’s lab, investigating the slashed up dead body. Oh yeah, I had totally forgotten about the bald guy we see get attacked in the alley in the opening scene of the ep. This is him. Dead. The Coroner is all, You investigating hobo murders? And Sierra’s all, no, Hobo’s smell like piss and sweat, this dude smells like fresh garbage. …uh huh…
Back at Dollhouse: Helo and Wash are in danger of being spotted by cameras, so Helo comes up with a plan. He calls a doll into an empty room (the doll of course listens, cause that’s what dolls do), then he make the doll get undressed and Helo forces Wash to put on the clothes and pretend to be a doll. I’m not sure what purpose this serves since Helo is still dressed the same. I think Helo just wanted to watch the two guys undress.
This pointless plan works for a sum total of zero seconds before Topher walks by and is all, Um who are you? So Helo tasers him and they sneak into Topher’s lab.
Then they’re in Topher’s lab for a few seconds, but that plan doesn’t work either because Topher has too many passwords on his computer. Wash needs a different computer from which he can turn off all the security stuff. I’m not sure I understand how the guy who made sure the building has a minimal carbon footprint knows how to work their security system, but whatever, I’m having a good time. While Helo looks around the lab, Wash oogles the sexy dolls outside and says pervy things about them.
Then while they’re sneaking around looking for another computer, Wash continues to be neurotic and wacky. He refuses to walk down a flight of riser-style stairs cause he’s paranoid about hands coming out and grabbing his ankles (I dated a girl with that phobia. It’s a really stupid phobia). Helo’s all, Jesus, shut up dude, but then he spots Victor (who Helo still knows only as his Russian informant from earlier in the season). So Helo’s all like, My whole life is a lie! Whhyyy?!
Finally they find a computer that Wash can access, and Wash tells Helo how to find Echo.
Helo finds the sleeping chamber. He tries a random “pod” and finds Mellie, but is all, Sorry back you go. He tells sleeping Mellie it’s cause she’s programmed to kill him, but whatever, that’s the same line I use on ladies when I break up with them too. He just doesn’t like her.
Then he opens Echo’s pod and she SHOOTS HIM IN THE FACE WITH A GUN! I’m just kidding. Wouldn’t that have been a surprise though? No, Echo gently wakes up and everything is gonna be great until -
Click click. Boyd has cocked his gun and is standing behind Helo. Busted!
So Boyd and Helo immediately rumble and Helo keeps calling Echo ‘Caroline’ and Boyd keeps calling her Echo, and Echo titles her head to the side like a confused puppy. Then Boyd and Helo fall onto Victor’s pod, breaking it and Victor starts screaming. Helo takes this opportunity to grab Echo and drags her out of the room.
Then Echo has some flashes from the episode where she fought with Helo and suddenly starts to view him suspiciously. She punches him in the back just as Boyd shows up again. Boyd and Helo fight some more and this time Helo is really kicking the shit out of him.
Meanwhile, Wash is turning off all the security and shizzle for the building.
Extra meanwhile, Dr. Saunders finds Victor and learns that some craziness is going down.
Mainwhile, in our Helo/Boyd fight, Boyd is all, She can’t live on the outside, and Helo is all, She’s not living now!
Helo hits Boyd in the head with a rock from the zen pond (how ironical) and then Echo has some flashes where she remembers Boyd protecting her in a previous episode. Then the Boyd/Helo fight progresses up on the stairs. It seems like Helo is finally gonna win, when suddenly Echo grabs his ankles through the stairs (just like Wash was worried about) and he falls down, gets knocked out and Boyd handcuffs him. Now that’s just silly. Really? Lame.
Dr. Saunders brings Victor into her office and suddenly Wash appears and slashes the hell out of Victor’s face. Oh snap! WASH IS ALPHA!
Wash has dropped his nerdy stoner act and is all creepy psycho now. He talks to Dr. Saunders about her face scars (that he gave her) and grills her on the first time they met when she was examining him when he first arrived. Is he gonna reveal that she’s a doll???? No? Well, I still think she is. You’ll see!
Up in DeWitt’s office, DeWitt and Boyd try to decide what to do with Helo. She suggests putting him in “the chair.”
Downstairs, Wash makes Dr. Saunders call out to Echo. She comes in to find Victor all cut up on the floor. She sees Wash/Alpha and is all, I think I remember something about you, and he’s all, I remember everything about you. Creepy.
Back in DeWitt’s office, Boyd is all, Whoa we can’t put Helo in the chair, cause he didn’t sign up for this, that’s like immoral and shit. Dewitt’s all like, Oh whatever, but then Sierra calls on the phone from Tuscon and is all, The dead dude wasn’t killed in Tuscon, he was brought here. And they run his name through their computer and realize that he helped them limit their carob footprint back when they were building the Dollhouse. So in case you’re not following, Wash/Alpha killed this dude and then pretended to be him, knowing that Helo would find him and force him to break into the Dollhouse.
Then DeWitt sees Wash-Alpha and Echo in Topher’s lab. Wash has just imprinted Echo, and now she’s all like, Oh, now I remember you! And then they start making out intensely and Wash/Alpha says, I told you I’d come rescue you, and she’s all, My prince.
Man they really milked that leitmotif for everything it had.
Oh! And the ep is over! Damn you! Now I have to wait a whole week. Wait, what happened with Crazy Susan? Why was Echo talking to her? Is that plot resolved? Didn’t feel that resolved. Cause wasn’t it supposed to “hurt” before she got better or something? I guess we’ll see.