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Dollhouse: A Love Supreme

Echo: "He's ten times the man you are. And you're, like, forty guys."

Alpha! You're back. And you brought your knives!

I do love Alan Tudyk, and I'll never be unhappy about seeing him in anything. I love how he handles the crazy Alpha lines, the difficult mind-bending dialogue just rolling out of his mouth. And I guess it was the right time to bring Alpha back, since Echo is now officially a multiply-imprinted person and Alpha is the same, but the crazy, homicidal version.

But (and you could tell there was a but coming, couldn't you), Alpha felt a little too omniscient and removed for me. Yes, murders, okay, but he observed Echo and Paul for three months? How would his temperament even allow that? It was too far to the right on the diabolical meter.

The previous episode finally allowed me to see Echo (not Caroline) and Paul as a real couple. The point of this episode was that the programmed loves, the fake loves, are over. (Stabbed and blown up, mostly.) Echo loves Paul now. And he's brain dead, so the real possibility of love with a real person was just taken away from her. There's some sort of twisted Dollhouse logic to that one.

(It doesn't seem likely that Paul is permanently brain dead, considering he's still in the home of the brain imprint. Ambiguous character death that isn't character death. We shall see.)

It seemed like Adelle was torturing Echo, but in fact, she was torturing Paul -- and that was even before Paul ended up in the chair. What will Adelle do with Echo now? I liked when Adelle was a reluctant good guy. Can we have the old Adelle back, please?

Bits and pieces:

-- The showed blanked out for a few minutes, so I missed some of the reveal of Boyd and Topher finding out the truth about Echo's current condition.

-- Guest star go boom. That was a striking scene. So to speak.

-- Sierra and Victor were both still in the Dollhouse. Nobody has left for Dubai yet, thankfully.

-- I loved Echo as Rebecca one last time for Joel Miner, so that he could essentially say goodbye to his late first wife before remarrying.

-- The Dollhouse got completely trashed again when the dolls went ninja and Alpha went after Paul. The Dollhouse has always felt like Wolfram & Hart, and now even more so, getting destroyed all the time.

-- Loved the pink tie.

Quotes:

Adelle: "I'm very sorry for Echo's suffering. But we must have answers."
Paul: "So if she floats, she's a witch."

Topher: "She's a serial killer."
Boyd: "Only a little."

Topher: "I am obsolete. This must be what old people feel like. And Blockbuster."

Sierra: "Hey, buddy. Gotta smoke?"
Topher: "Let me guess. You been done wrong by a man?"
Sierra: "I been done wrong ten ways to Sunday, and it's Tuesday."

Boyd: "There's a part of you that knows this is wrong."
Alpha: "There are many parts of me that know that this is wrong, none that care, and six that just find it funny."

Alpha: "That's what I love about the British. Your talent for understatement. Also Python."

Alpha: "Are you gay?"
Paul: "No."
Alpha: "Then it's love."

Not quite as wonderful as the previous four in a row, but still impressive. Three out of four stars,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

7 comments:

  1. Again, I have to disagree with you Billie. I preferred this to ‘Meet Jane Doe’. Maybe I just have a preference for knife wielding nutters in outrageous shirts who make Monty Python references. I hope they get to wrap up the Alpha arc in a satisfying way before the series finale. He’s been a great villain for the show but he’s starting to risk overstaying his welcome.

    Some closure please, Joss.

    Although I’m a little annoyed that they didn’t explain how he broke into Adelle’s bathroom without anyone noticing. Is Dollhouse security really that feeble? I know Alpha is supposed to be some kind of mad genius but he’s hardly a master of disguise, ‘specially in that shirt.

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  2. "Although I’m a little annoyed that they didn’t explain how he broke into Adelle’s bathroom without anyone noticing. Is Dollhouse security really that feeble?"

    My impression was that he had help.

    See if this sounds reasonable. Alpha was the client who ordered Sierra. She went to him programmed to be the 1940's gun moll babe. While he had her, he planted a virus in her brain. Topher said this much. When Topher deprogrammed her back to the doll-state, the virus infected the Dollhouse's equipment.

    Then Alpha ordered a second doll. I think it was Echo, who went out to find the dead client. This alerted the Dollhouse that Alpha was out being naughty, so they processed every doll in the house to double deprogram them. Unfortunately, by now the equipment was infected with Alpha's virus, so all the dolls in the house got programmed by the virus to get ready to help him and to attack dollhouse staff at his command.

    So when Alpha showed up, one of the virus infected dolls helped him get inside. Then later when he issued the command signal, they all went nuts and attacked the staff.

    That was long, but that's my theory.

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  3. I'm not sure what to make of this one. It had some great stuff and kept me entertained, but since I don't really like Paul and Echo together, I wasn't "feeling the love" so to speak. And Alpha, while fun at times, is starting to feel a bit over the top for me. I was disappointed that Echo didn't kill him (nothing against Alan Tudyk).

    I think another thing that hampered this for me is knowing that Paul is restored in some fashion or another before the Epitaph One future, so there was little to no tension in his "brain death." Of course, even without that, he is in the house of the brain imprint as Billie says, so it wouldn't have much tension either way.

    I did like that Ballard and Boyd let Topher in on their secret. Especially knowing there was little to no chance he'd run to Adelle with it.

    Good quotes section, Billie. You covered all my favorites, including Paul's line about floating if she's a witch, Topher's line about Blockbuster being obsolete, and Alpha's line about loving Python.

    Random complaint department: the pathos in the Joel and "Rebecca" closing scene was completely lost on me because I was so distracted by the song. I knew it was a remake of a song that I've got on a tape somewhere (yes, a tape cassette), and I could not for the life of me place it. So Joel was saying his emotional goodbye and all I'm thinking is "Who sang the original version of this, and what album or mix tape do I have it on?" (Answer: The song is "Your Ghost" by Kristin Hersh f. Michael Stipe, from her debut solo album, Hips and Makers, which I don't have, so I still don't know what tape I've got it on. The version in the show was apparently a remake by Greg Laswell.)

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  4. I can't decide if it is just crazy random happenstance, or fate that as soon as soon as Dollhouse is cancelled, it gets awesome and I start to fall in love with it a bit. Maybe it's just Joss' latest quirky yet engaging way of breaking our hearts.

    Whatever the reason, The past 5 episodes of Dollhouse have been trademark Whedon and I have been loving every minute of it.

    My only beef is that it's easy to get confused by the pace of the episodes, now that Joss seems to be trying to cram 3 seasons into 8 episodes. That's why we didn't get any explanation of how Alpha got into the building undetected (though for the record Eldritch, your theory sounds spot on) and why in the previous episode, Topher just singlehandedly invented the Epitapocalypse One Tech in the space of a flash forward 3 months. Part of me is saying Grrg, Argh, this is all moving too fast for me but I know that this is the way it has to be due to looming cancelly badness.

    With that in mind, this episode was about as good as it could be and that's pretty damn good. Awesome quotes Billie, though I'm ashamed that I didn't get the Python reference despite being an Englishman. Oh, botheration.

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  5. @Jess:

    Yes, the music in that scene was great. Interestingly enough, Greg Laswell's song "Sweet Dream" was used in the episode where we first met Joel Miner last season -- it was played at the end when he got to finish his engagement with Echo/Rebecca. Greg has a lovely, distinctive vocal style, so I thought it might have been him singing!

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  6. Although I’m a little annoyed that they didn’t explain how he broke into Adelle’s bathroom without anyone noticing. Is Dollhouse security really that feeble?"


    Did anyone else notice when the "handler" brought Sierra back in... that he kept his head down and walked out of the room without speaking? I thought that was Alpha. It would explained how he got into the dollhouse. He just stayed out of sight until his plans fell into place.

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  7. Loved it, loved it. Alan is amazing as Alpha. He manages to be funny and creepy at the same time. I also agree that this episode is all about fake love and then when Echo starts to feel something, Paul is ripped away from her.

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