It's time for another exciting episode of Dollhouse this time written by Sarah Fain & Elizabeth Craft. We starts off with Echo being a mid-wife out in the mountains helping to give birth. Topher wipes it all from her mind and she reenters the dollhouse.
Sierra sits down with Echo and is clearly just a doll while Echo starts asking questions. She is not the same as everyone else. We also see for the first time that Victor is a doll as well. Topher tells Boyd about how worried he is. Echo, Sierra and Victor keep sitting together and at the same table. It seems that something is going on with all of the dolls not just Echo.
DeWitt is ordered to take care of Ballard. He is proving too dangerous. Echo is sent on a dangerous mission, or so we are told but it seems like she is just for some fun at a bachelor party. Until she goes up stairs and is seen running bloody. The bank manager offers her 10 thousand dollars to sign a paper and forget everything. She knocks him out and calls the men who were hurting her. She tells them she is in. It seems it was all a set up.
Echo is in charge of this crew. She has strict orders not to kill anyone. They blow a hole in the wall. They have to move fast now. They make it into a vault full of stolen pieces of art, expensive pieces of art.
Ballard makes it home, still hurting from the other episode. He hears someone behind him, it turns out to be Victor. He is asking him for help. He says he didn't set Ballard up, he was set up and he is about to die unless Ballard can help him out and get him into witness protection. Ballard agrees to help him as long as it is the last time the two of them never see each other again.
Echo and her crew are locked in the safe with no way out while Topher trains his new assistant. He sees that something is wrong with Echo's stats. It seems that someone wiped her over the phone. She is back to being a doll. This is not good. Boyd catches the art expert who trapped the rest of the crew in the safe.
DeWitt and Topher listen to the phone call Echo and Boyd had when she started acting weird. He tells her that it was a remote wipe. He tells them that without the comfort of the dollhouse she is going to collapse into a coma or go crazy and start killing people. Without help things are going to go bad for her. Whoever wiped Echo is at least as smart as Topher if not smarter.
DeWitt has Sierra imprinted with the same personality as Echo so that she can use her to help them. Topher calls and tells Boyd what happens and he calls DeWitt. She tells him if things go south Echo isn't safe. Protecting the Dollhouse comes first. Boyd makes his way inside to help. Echo starts to remember her real personality. She is starting to pull an Alpha.
This episode is very important, not just because of what is happening to Echo but because of the remote wipe. It sets the stage for what happens in the future. Everything that happens down the road has its roots in this episode.
Sierra walks Echo through what to do. It seems to be going well until the alarm goes off. DeWitt sends Sierra off for her treatment. The door opens and the guards order them to come out. Echo is told to fire at them but she instead knocks her partner over and runs. The guy in there who liked her told her to run while the smoke was blinding everyone so she can escape without being seen. Boyd goes in looking for her and finds her. She brought the guy who helped her out with her. Saving him from jail or death. Boyd gets them both out of there.
Victor tells Ballard that he needs to go. Ballard instead sets him up. He is now on the watch list and can't go anywhere. Echo is back to the dollhouse and everything seems to be back to normal. Topher seems to think that Echo is fine and there was no long term damage. Topher gets a promotion and finds out that Alpha is still alive.
The third episode of this crazy show about people turned into mindless dolls who are rented to the highest bidder is written by Joss Whedon's own brother, Jed Whedon and his wife, Maurissa Tancharoen, the same people who run Agents of Shield.
We open this episode on a singer in a sexy outfit dancing in a cage before driving the crowd wild. They love her. Everything is going like clockwork until the pyrotechnics go haywire and burn one of her back up singers. The creepiest white boy watches on with a smile.
Boyd is still recovering from his arrow wound and he has to talk Dr. Saunders into allowing him back on to duty. She doesn't want to because he isn't ready but she does it so that he can look after Echo and make sure nothing happens to him.
Victor tires to break into Ballard's house but the neighbor girl catches him and scares him off but not before he scares her. She promises to leave a message for him but you can tell she wants no part of Victor.
The manager of the singer from the start hires the Dollhouse to send someone to protect her, turns out that the attack should have hit her instead of her back up singer. They send Echo and the manager pretends not to like her, thus convincing the lead singer to hire her. Who knew Eliza Dushku could sing so well? She should have been on Once More With Feeling, she would have been great!
The lead singer is easily stressed out, I can relate, but she takes a quick liking to Echo. The two of them seem to have hit it off fast. The programing has worked like a dream. Meanwhile across town Ballard meets with Victor and the two go over what he has learned about the dollhouse, nothing. After all he is a doll pretending to help him.
Echo goes to the manager and starts giving him tips on where to put added security. Echo's first night on stage sees the return of the creepy white guy. Meanwhile Sierria turns up as a crazy fan. Yet another doll set to protect her. The white boy starts going where he has no place. Nothing happens at the show. Sierria and the creepy white boy both show up at the party. Some guy comes up to take a picture of the singer but Echo tosses his ass hard on the ground. She plays no games.
Victor sends Ballard to an old house. He gets attacked in the house and even gets shot, but he still manages to take them both down before calling for help. The singer has been talking to the guy who has been attacking the show. She defends him. She loves her crazy fan. Weird lady. She wants to be killed on stage, so that she will be free of all this and go down as a legend. The manager orders the show shut down but no one will listen to him.
Echo saves the singer just as the bullets start flying. Ballard is being treated for his gun shot. The singer is pissed at Echo for saving her life. She fires Echo and her fan kidnaps Sierra and puts a video out of him about to kill her. Her manager finds out that she knows the guy. That she wanted this all along.
The singer won't even try to help Sierria because she is so full of herself so Echo knocks her out and forces her to help. Echo has the singer tied up and tries to offer her in trade for Sierria. Echo is far off book. Boyd goes looking for them. The singer flips the script and begs to be let go. She doesn't want to die anymore. Echo pushes her off the edge, but she has her tied up so that she won't fall. She then takes out the kidnapper and saves the day.
Echo didn't go off task at all, she saved the singer from herself. She made her want to live again. Echo finished her task perfectly. Once more the security guard wants to send her to the attic but DeWitt won't hear it. She thinks that Echo is perfect.
The neighbor girl comes to the hospital to visit Ballard as he recovers in the hospital. She really cares about him. Meanwhile Echo, in doll form is starting to get smarter and smarter. Things are starting to heat up in the Dollhouse.
The second episode of Dollhouse is written by Steven S. DeKnight, the man who gave us Spartacus and the first season of the Netflix show Daredevil. The man is a genius writer who knows how to tell a story with emotion and action.
An alarm goes off and all of the dolls are put into the ground. We find out that a doll named Alpha has broken into the dollhouse. In the showers Echo sits alone, not touched by Alpha while dolls all around her are cut to pieces. What is so special about her?
A client comes to the dollhouse looking for an exciting date. Echo is assigned the job. Everything is going good on the date, Echo and this guy are rafting down the river and climbing mountains. It's more exciting than any date I've been on.
We see that Ballard is on the outs with his fellow Feds. They don't believe in the Dollhouse and think that he is insane for believing that. He investigates the scene of the kidnappings from last episode, he knows that dolls were involved he just can't prove it yet.
Just after Echo and the man have sex he tells her that she has just enough time to make it back to the mainland before he comes after her with his boy and arrow. She takes off running.
A flashback shows us Boyd Langton getting the job at the dollhouse as he is assigned to Echo. We see how precise Alpha is at killing people. It seems that Alpha has some how managed to combined all his different personalities into one. The doll has come to life.
Ballard is getting his information from Victor, not knowing that he is in fact a doll. He also gets a mystery package with a picture of Caroline Farrell, the girl that Echo was before she was wiped.
Echo gets hit by the arrow as Boyd gets captured by a man pretending to be a cop. Boyd fights with the man, taking him out. While Ballard is being declared a threat that needs to be taken out by the head of Dollhouse security. Topher breaks in and tells them what is going on with Echo. Who is still on the run while man hunts her down.
This guy is crazy, who wants to hunt someone for a living? What is this, the Pest? A great movie by the way! Echo finds a cabin with the real cop's dead body inside. The cops walkie talkie connects her to the man hunting her who tells her that the water she just drank was poisoned. Things are going south for Echo.
Meanwhile back in the flashbacks we see that dolls always trust their handlers, no matter what. They are programmed. Echo sees flashes of Caroline, she is starting to undo her programming, much as Alpha did.
We meet Ballard's neighbor, a girl who clearly likes him. He doesn't seem to like her back. It's a bit sad, she seems like a sweet girl. Seems being the key word. Echo runs, not as fast as before but her drive to live keeps her going. She finds Boyd who gets shot as he tries to get her out of there. Saves her life, no matter how hard he tries to stay emotionally detached from her he can't.
Boyd gives Echo a gun and she starts to turn the table on him. It comes down to a Mexican standoff, her with her gun and him with his bow and arrow. They both fire and barely scratch each other, Echo tackles him but he manages to get on top of her. It is then that she sees Echo and all the other versions of herself that the dollhouse has made of her. It is what gives her the strength to beat him. She goes back to Boyd just as the people from the Dollhouse finds them.
Everyone makes it home safe and sound. It turns out that the man who hired Echo was fake. Everything about him was fake. Someone even went and killed the man who Boyd captured. It looks like Alpha's work. We also hear for the first time the term the attic. What it is, we don't yet know but it will play an important part of the story soon. Great second episode!
What do you do when you need a fresh start but have no one to turn to? What if someone offered you a redo? Offered to make everything you ever wanted come true and all it would cost you is five years of your life. What happens during those five years? You will never remember. That is the beauty and curse of the Dollhouse.
People who need a fresh start sign over five years of their life to the Dollhouse where they will live as dolls. Each one being programmed to fit whatever the person paying them wants. It is a horrible unethical place.
The show asks some very important questions. If we are creatures of our experiences what happens to us when those experiences are erased or fictional? What do we become than? Can we be ourselves without any will? What is the true meaning of self? This is one of Networks most philosophical shows, one that people didn't seem to understand while it was on. But it is so deep if you pay attention.
The story follows Caroline, or well Echo as she is called now and her journey to find herself. In the second version of the pilot, which is what we are talking about here, we start on her talking to DeWitt. She doesn't feel that it is fair for her to lose five years of her life but she agrees. After all she has no other choice. From there we jump right to her on the date of a life time. She is falling hard for this guy, nothing could go wrong. Till she goes in for treatment. The happy girl is gone replaced by Echo. A blank slate who does as she is told and believes almost everything.
Echo walks in as Topher is wiping Sierra for the first time. He sends her to go see Dr. Saunders as a distraction. Dr. Saunders has a real bitterness to her that will make more sense in a few episodes. We are also introduced to FBI agent Paul Ballard who seems to know a bit about the Dollhouse but no one cares or believes him.
A man has his daughter kidnapped from inside his home so he hires the Dollhouse to give him a negotiator. Welcome to the case of the week. One of the problems with the early episodes of the show. A requirement that was placed on the show by the network. Changing it from what it was supposed to be. Just because it isn't what it was to be doesn't mean it isn't good. It's just different.
Echo's handler Boyd Langton, a former cop has eyes and ears on Echo during her missions. He is tasked with keeping her alive and making sure the job goes well. He also is the one responsible for taking her to her treatments, which is what they call it when they wipe their minds.
Boyd and Topher talk about how they imprint the dolls. Basically Topher scans peoples minds and uses them as the bases of the new personality that he places on the dolls. He can make them near-sided or asthmatic. He gives them goals, dreams and pasts. He makes them whole people not just toys but real people. It's an amazing scientific advancement, just not very ethical.
Echo, the negotiator, proves her worth very quickly. Not taking any shit from the people holding the daughter. She offers them more money but also demands that they let her father talk to her. They say no so he hangs up on them. They don't like it but start doing what she says. She proves that she runs shit not them.
Her father is pissed that Echo stopped the daughter from telling him a clue. While angry and drinking he snaps at her and starts to question her. We learn that this version of Echo was kidnapped as a child and was lets just say mistreated. The father asks her why they would put these memories inside her, coming very close to telling her the truth.
Paul questions Victor about the dollhouse. He is imprinted with a mafia personality. The family he is apart of, or thinks he is apart of, supplies girls to the dollhouse and Paul wants him to know that he is on to him.
Bad bit of luck, everything is going according to plan, they even see the daughter but she spots the man who raped her while she was a child. It causes the father to be shot and Boyd shoots the man who shot him. The daughter is taken away on the boat. He asks her if she is ready for her treatment but something isn't right with her. She is traumatized.
Boyd gets DeWitt to call off Echo being wiped. He believes that she is the only one that can save the daughter. Boyd is made to stay behind. His future in the Dollhouse in question. Oh if they only knew.
Part of Echo's personality killed herself because of this guy. It is a bad sign for the mission but it is too late to pull her out now. She is already alone with them.She turns the two kidnappers against the rapist. During the shoot out she runs for it, freeing the little girl. The rapist is dead and the kidnappers let her go but before she gets out Sierra shows up and kills the kidnappers. Mission closed and everything worked out alright. The father even lived.
We learn that DeWitt is worried about Alpha. Such a great character! And some naked guy is watching a video of Caroline. He killed a few people so that he could use their TV.