Topher uncovers a spy, one character shoots another character, there is sword fight, someone gets “boxed,” and the show gets all Kurosawa on your asses.Man! So first I hear “Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles” is gonna be canceled, and now I’m hearing the same for “Dollhouse.” Bad day for the Friday time slot at FOX. Still, we must be brave and soldier on!
We open in Topher’s brain erasing lab. Some crazy shizzle is going on and they sure don’t want us to be able to see what it is. A group of people are trying to restrain someone in the brain erasing chair, someone who really doesn’t want to be in the brain erasing chair. There are wires everywhere, sparks flying, lights flashing – do I smell a Frankenstein allusion? Or wait… hmm… maybe that’s just me. I haven’t showered yet.
Below the lab, in the lobby or whatever the main room of the dollhouse is called, our plucky heroine, Echo, and her very skinny friend Sierra passively notice the flashing lights and noises from Topher’s lab. Sierra wonders what is happening. Echo says, “She made a mistake.” Then –
BOOM! Blood gets splattered on the window. Oo, somebody got shot. I wonder who it was. I hope it was Mellie, aka November. I hate Mellie, aka November. Well, no time to ponder too long as we quickly cut to:
Twelve hour earlier! Or so the graphic says. It could be lying, but I choose to believe it. You can always trust graphics. At least that’s how I like to live my life.
So exactly twelve hours ago Echo has just finished a gig. She’s riding back to headquarters with Boyd in their van. Following the rule for when we join a Doll immediately prior/post a job, Echo is dressed as maximally goofy as possible. Why not? We don’t actually need to see that storyline. This time she’s dressed like this -
A dominatrix queen. She talks about the virtues of S&M, with good ol’ Boyd humoring her like he always does. How does Boyd keep this job a secret from his friends? Everyone I know blathers endlessly about their job no matter how boring it is. How could anybody do something so interesting everyday and not talk about it? Maybe Boyd has no friends. That would be sad.
When Boyd and Echo arrive at the dollhouse parking garage, Ramirez is taking Victor out on a job. A reoccurring job apparently, to an older woman they call Miss Lonely Heart. Victor has an English accent (I think. It kinda comes and goes). Ramirez is for some reason super disgusted by Miss Lonely Heart and won’t stop talking about her. Hmm. They made such a big deal out of this Miss Lonely Heart that I have to assume we’re gonna see her later. Mental note.
Cut to Topher’s brain erasing lab. Echo has just been wiped. Topher’s Cute Asian intern or whatever her position is, is doing Topher’s thing, saying the routine he usually says to Echo after she gets wiped. But she gets the words slightly wrong, and if Army of Darkness has taught us anything it is that you need to say all the words correctly. So Topher, who has been repairing his giant computer, pops out and is a dick to her. What a dick.
Speaking of dicks, then Dominic bursts in and bitches about Topher being behind schedule. Topher blames “Dr. Saunders’ little drill” for the delay – referring to the previous ep which resulted in his computer getting shot. Dominic doesn’t care and yells some more, then grabs Echo. Jeez, what an unpleasant work environment. They need more inspirational posters hanging around the joint to keep people’s spirits up. Like a dude climbing a mountain and it just says, “Perseverance,” or some puppies dressed up in people clothes sitting around a fake puppy office. Awww.
Dominic tells Echo to go see Dr. Saunders, then he chats with Ms DeWitt. Apparently some guy named Russell from headquarters has called her in, and she’s not sure why. She’s all down on herself, bein’ all, I’ve been doing such a bad job. And then Dominic’s all, Nah, you do a good job.
I don’t know, I kinda think she’s right. I mean, every Friday something goes horribly wrong and usually some people die. She’s really terrible at her job. Well, she’s gonna be gone for two days and now Dominic is in charge while she’s away. Why do I see this going poorly for someone?
Echo is walking to Dr. Saunder’s when – Ah! Mellie. Groan. Echo talks with Mellie, aka November. Is this chick Joss Whedon’s niece or something? Daughter of the studio chief? I don’t get her. Fortunately the conversation is quite short and Echo continues on her way to Dr. Saunders. Hopefully that’s the last we’ll see of Mellie this ep.
Oh, I’m sorry I didn’t realize you were naked… damn, you’re not naked.
Dr. Saunders is giving Echo a check up when Boyd crashes the party. Dr. Saunders notes that he shouldn’t be in there, but he ignores her. He worries that Echo’s dominatrix mission was too dangerous, then Saunders goes off on a whole spiel about how people have deep dark needs blah blah blah and the dollhouse is helping to fulfill them blah blah blah. Finally Boyd’s all like, You should fill in for Ms. DeWitt you teacher’s pet, and she’s all, Back off chump, I think the system is screwed up too, yo, but not for the same reason you do. I wonder what her reason is. Maybe they have to punch out for their lunch break? Cause that’s bullshit, man. And like they only give you 30 minutes. But that’s the same amount of time it takes to go get food and bring it back! Now you gotta eat at your desk. Bullshit. Where was I…
Boyd and Echo leaves Saunders’ office. Then Topher frantically runs up to Boyd and says he’s giving Boyd a head start to run away. Boyd’s all, Huh? And Topher’s all, Oh, I think you’re a mole, dude, but I like you so heads up. Topher apparently found a head-chip in his lab and deduced that someone has been altering his imprints. Like, he makes a cheerleader. They make cheerleader that shots people. Oo! Oo! Okay, or like, he makes a cheerleader and they make a cheerleader with sharks for feet! Wait… I fucked it up didn’t I? Anyway, Boyd says it’s not him. So who is the mole then? Dun Dun Dunnn!
Later, Echo is pruning a bonsai tree while eaves-seeing (I totally just made that up) on Topher talking to Dominic, or rather Dominic freaking out on Topher when he learns the bad news about their mole. Dominic immediately puts the whole place on lockdown.
Make me think I’m taking a trip to Mars. That sounds like a dope movie.
Echo comes in to talk with Topher in his brain-erasing lab. She says she wants to help. Pft! How could a simple doll help the mighty Topher? Then she says that Topher makes people different. Then she sits in the imprinting chair and says he can make her help. Ruh roh. This is out of the ordinary… though Topher seems intrigued. Fade to black!
What? No! A Mellie storyline? Sigh. Great.
While Mellie’s handler is talking with Cute Asian Girl, Mellie wanders out and sees Topher frantically telling Boyd about the mole. Wait a sec… Ooooh, we’re doing a Rashomon thing here, seeing the same story from the POV of multiple characters, kinda like that Kurosawa movie… what’s it called? Rasho-something.
So Mellie goes back to her apartment across the hall from our intrepid now-ex-FBI agent, Helo from “Battlestar Galactica,” whom she had been spying on/boinking for the dollhouse. While she’s unlocking her door Helo bursts out his door with his gun drawn. That’s what I always do when I hear my neighbor unlocking her door. I’m all like, Hey, lady, why do you hog the laundry room all day? Are you washing the entire building’s clothes? Huh?!
Helo’s all neurotic now, what with being fired, attacked by the dollhouse, etc. He says it isn’t safe to talk in the hall and brings Mellie inside his apartment.
Some girls think it’s sexy that I lock my door four times after they walk in.
Helo’s apartment is as neurotic as him now – extra locks and an entire wall dedicated to his dollhouse research (which he’s supposed to have stopped doing). He’s learned things, Mellie. Like the dollhouse is underground. Literally. And… um… North America and Europe are moving apart at the rate of 2 cm a year! And there’s a sea slug that get nutrients using photosynthesis. Photosynthesis! Like a plant, Mellie! That’s fucking madness!
Mellie is of course a bit disturbed by his newfound weirdness. He realizes this and says she should go away again, back to her mother’s. But Mellie’s all like, Back to Iowa? And all the losers I dated in high school? F no!
Wow, harsh. Sorry Iowa. You’re 75% vowels, but apparently not good enough for a super smart and sexy gal like Mellie. You know, being a big city denizen myself, I have found that people who live in big cities and say mean things about the small cities they grew up in generally kinda suck. I’m just sayin’.
Anyhoo – Helo continues his, You don’t want me, I’m ruined, thing. But Iowa-Hater is like, No, I’m staying here with you and sexing you up until it fixes you. So he’s like, Okay I like sex. And they start making out and then all of sudden she goes all weird and says “I have a message for you from inside the dollhouse.” Whoa! Dah plot t’ickens.
In Iowa no one respected me for my mind.
The message is, Don’t tell me things about the dollhouse. I’m a spy sent to spy on you. Because you removed the surveillance bugs that dollhouse had set up, they sent me back in. But the mole slipped this message for you in. If you tell me anything more about dollhouse they’ll have me kill you – Guh! She’s such a crappy actress. A craptress if you will.
Her final message is to stop looking for WHERE the dollhouse is and to find out WHY it exits in the first place. Then she goes back to her normal cowbrained self. Helo bravely pretends everything is normal, then extra bravely makes out with her.
Yay! Sierra. Much better actress. Plus she looks like an alien. And that’s neat.
So Dominic has Topher program Sierra to help him track down the spy. In DeWitt’s office Dominic tells Sierra that he thinks it’s the NSA spying on them. He needs her to hack into their computer. She asks, “Where can a girl get changed around here?” Then changes into a sexy outfit, of course.
Sierra boards a train somewhere and sits down next to an Asian girl that she is dressed exactly like. She asks for a pen, then suddenly says she doesn’t need one and stabs the poor girl in the leg with a pen syringe, knocking her out. Then Sierra takes a picture of the girls’ eyeball with a gizmo (device, not Mogwai).
Sierra uses the girl’s ID to get into the NSA government building. Wait. Why did she need to be dressed exactly like the girl was today if no one had even seen what she was wearing yet?
Once inside the NSA building so goes to a door where she needs to do a retinal scan. So she takes out the gizmo – which has made a special contact lens she can wear with that girl’s retinal info on it – and fakes the scan. Why did she wait until right now to put it in? Shouldn’t she have done this before entering the building? There are other people around. Careless, Siera. Careless.
Then a guard lets her into a private room containing files. She pulls out a transparency with a metal ring or something on it, which she promptly steals. The guard tries to stop her when she’s leaving, but she kicks the crap out of him.
She hurries over to the Asian woman’s office, and attaches a wire to the ring on the transparency and the whole thing comes alive like a computer screen. What it is telling her, I have no clue. But it seems to be telling her something.
Then while trying to find a way out of the building some guards spot her. They say “surrender yourself” and immediately open fire on her with machine guns. Indoors. Now, I’m fully aware that our government officials aren’t the most stand-up individuals, but I’m pretty sure they don’t open fire with machine guns in government buildings. If for no other reason than it would be costly to patch up those holes. But that’s how these dudes roll, I guess.
Victor time! Victor is getting his imprint to go see Miss Lonely Heart. I knew that earlier scene in the garage was set up! I’m so smrt. Cute Asian Girl shows up for work and Topher accuses her of making the machine run slow. Victor (as his new character) says Topher should be nicer to her, cause she likes Topher. Topher seems excited about this idea. Aw. Are they gonna fall in love? Better happen quickly since the show is probably canceled.
Then we have our Rashomon moment in the parking garage with Boyd and Echo the Dominatrix again.
Victor is dropped off at Miss Lonely Heart. He brings her flowers. She’s a very old woman. Are you ready for him to make out with an old lady? Me neither. And he doesn’t. He gives her the flowers then walks out the back and hops in a sports car. Interesting. Then he drives to a beach house, walks out to the back balcony and…
Makes out with Miss DeWitt! Well, well, well. Wait, this is why DeWitt isn’t at the office? Man, she really is terrible at her job.
Her cell phone rings and Victor charmingly tosses it into the ocean. Ah ha ha! Oh, what fun! Then DeDwitt is sad thinking about her terrible job that she’s terrible at. She complains about how she used to grow organs out of stem cells. Now she works at the dollhouse, which doesn’t grow anything. Then they fence!
Then they do it!
Post coitus, Victor talks about what his doll would be like if he ordered one. Then they start making hypothetical love plans about selling all their stuff and buying a bar in Mexico. Okay, this is kinda creepy. Ms. DeWitt has some serious issues.
Then she cries!
You are so beautiful when you are sad, my love.
Now we’ve Rashomoned ourselves back to Echo. Topher makes Echo a badass spy catcher, like she asked, which does not make known Echo-hater, Dominic, very happy. But Topher’s all, come on dude, she “reads body language, knows advanced interrogation techniques and is rocking a little Sherlock Holmes.” He should’ve also thrown in some 80′s era Eddie Murphy. Think of all the hilarious wisecracks! And the Eddie laugh! Remember that?! Oh man. Why doesn’t he do the Eddie laugh anymore?
Dominc relents and let’s spy-catcher-Echo do her thang. First she interrogates Topher. He talks about how he’s a genius. Then she interviews Cute Asian Girl. She talks about Topher sucking. Then Boyd. Then Dr. Saunders. It is revealed that Saunders hasn’t actually gone home in like forever. She feels her services are better served here at the office. Hmm. Suspicious. My friends and I have a theory that Dr. Saunders is actually a doll programmed to be the company doctor. And THAT’S why Alpha didn’t kill her. Think about it, yo! It all makes sense! She’s too hot to be a real doctor. Everything is coming together!
Dominic interrupts Echo’s thang. Sierra has discovered the mole. It’s Cute Asian Girl!
Cute Asian Girl proclaims that she’s innocent. Dominic is all, Lies! You’re going to the attic! Topher explains that being in the attic is like having something on the tip of your tongue but with every thought you ever have. Sounds kinda like being really stoned.
Hold up bro, Echo says, I think YOU’RE the mole! She’s been reading his body language. Plus he made a call to the NSA from DeWitt’s office. He denies all of this for a few seconds, then shoots at Echo.
Echo and Dominc rumble. A window breaks. They each grab a piece of glass and have a nice West Side Story glass-shard fight.
Finally she dangles him out the window and he gives up.
Then we cut to DeWitt’s place where Echo has brought Dominic, now tied to a chair. Ms DeWitt is all disappointed and disgusted with him. She’s all like, The dollhouse helps people. And he’s all like, Nuh uh, it hurts people. And then she’s all, Why you gotta wanna bring down my dollhouse? And he’s like, What? I’m trying to stop it from coming down, that was my NSA mission, stupid!
She either doesn’t believe him or doesn’t care. DeWitt decides to have him boxed and put in the attic (after Echo is supposed to torture him to find out shit about the NSA). Dominic says the NSA will come looking for him. She says they’ll just program him to say everything is fine, then put him back in his box.
D: You’re a piece of work.
DeWitt: That’s what they tell me. Goodbye.
Cold. What happened to the carefree girl who stupidly threw away her cellphone earlier in the day?
In a van on the way back to the dollhouse, Dominic is smiling. Echo wonders why. She’s all like, But you’re gonna get erased. And he’s all, So will you. She says she’ll be fine. He knows she will. He’s smiling cause one day she’s gonna freak out like Alpha and kill everyone else.
Then we come full circle. We’re back in the Frankenstein scene from the opening, which turns out to be Dominic getting strapped into the brain eraser. He’s fighting it of course. Then somehow he winds up with a gun and it seems like he’s gonna shoot himself but instead shoots Ms DeWitt in the gut. She seems weirdly fine, claiming it was a graze (doesn’t look like it though).
Then they successfully wipe Dominic and all is quiet again.
DeWitt steps out of the room to be alone with her bullet wound. Topher comes out with Dominic’s brain on a hard drive. She tells him to “lose it” in the archive. He tells her it wasn’t his idea to make Echo a spy catcher. It was Echo’s. Should he wipe her again? But Ms DeWitt is like, No. Let’s wait and see if she kills us all. I’m curious.
There’s that great decision making again. So remember at the beginning of the ep when Echo said “She made a mistake” to Sierra? Well obviously she was talking about Ms DeWitt. She should really resign. Oh yeah, and DeWitt also says that Miss Lonely Heart will no longer need Victor.
Dr. Saunders patches up DeWitt, and gets all therapisty, sayin’, It’s okay to feel something about what happened with Dominic. And DeWitt’s all, That would imply I lost something. And Fred, I mean Dr. Saunders, is all, Didn’t you? And DeWitt’s like, Nothing I can’t live without. Oh! But she’s looking at Victor out the office window when she says that. This lady is messed up.
Then Boyd come in, cause he loves walking in on ladies getting physicals. He’s like, I ran a security check, doesn’t look like Dominic had accomplices. And DeWitt’s like, sweet, now you have Dominic’s job. And he’s all, No thanks I need to protect Echo. But she’s all, No, Echo is protecting us.
Then we join Echo in Topher’s lab as she’s – gasp! – getting a new handler! No, Boyd is the only one who cares enough! This new guy seems like a real zero. I bet he dies soon.
Btw – I heard that FOX is planning not to air the season finale and only make it available in the DVD box set. This would seem to indicate that they aren’t planning to renew the show, as that’s kind of a weird thing to do otherwise. And a dick thing to do either way.