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Dollhouse: Getting Closer

Topher: "I always had a crush on you even when I thought you were a dude. (Pause) This is better."

This episode was like plotty-paloosa. All those terrific returning characters. Huge happenings. A shocking reveal that I found confusing.

So Boyd, of all people, is Clyde's partner and betrayer, co-founder of Rossum. The Big Bad with the evil plan and everything. And how freaking devious was he to spend all this time with the good guys, making us like him (and I really liked him), keeping an eye on Caroline, getting himself promoted to head of security (was that on purpose? Probably not).

But I could swear that Boyd really cares about Echo/Caroline. And that flashback at the end only confirmed it. Boyd told Caroline stuff that made me think he wanted her to bring down his organization, and that she was uniquely qualified to do so. And what kind of sense does that make? Like killing Bennett, using Claire as a sleeper assassin. Yes, I get that he was trying to keep Bennett from finishing the reconstruction of Caroline's wedge, but wouldn't an evil genius like Bennett be almost irreplaceable to the evil overlords at Rossum?

This is the episode where we finally met Caroline and got to know her. Except we already know her, because she's remarkably like Echo. Passionate about her beliefs, cares deeply about her friends, ready to blow up buildings for the cause. And that thing about not declaring a major because she wanted to be everything? That was rather fun tongue-in-cheek by the writers. Echo is Caroline.

I actually felt a bit bad for Bennett. She was ready to throw away her career in order to please her only friend. (It's a good thing she's dead, though. She and Topher really shouldn't reproduce.) And poor Topher, marching briskly toward his inevitable insanity; I can't believe how much I've grown to like him. I particularly liked the way he pushed Ivy out of the door, and warned her not to become like him. It was a remarkably kind thing to do.

It seems to be the week for star-crossed, since Paul also lost his love for Echo. Is an imprint of Paul on top of the real Paul -- still Paul? Poor Paul. And poor Echo. And I was thrilled about Boyd and Claire meeting clandestinely in a hotel room, until we got to the reveal at the end; that kinda ruined it.

I loved everyone in this episode, but Adelle was, as always, spectacular. So calm and matter of fact as everything was falling apart. I loved that Topher called her their general. And hey. At the very least, all of the dolls did finally go free. And so did Tony and Priya. If that's the only happy moment we get out of this series... there's only two episodes to go. Please don't kill them. Or even worse -- kill one of them. Couldn't they get away and live happily ever after, magically avoiding the apocalypse?

Bits and pieces:

-- Tuscon Institute of Technology? TIT?

-- The code word is: Gingersnap. I actually call one of my cats that.

-- I thought it was particularly funny that Caroline called Bennett nicknames, like Benny and Benster.

-- This episode was written by Tim Minear. He's so good.

-- When I saw Eliza Dushku and Summer Glau walking together down a hallway, all I could think of was that Joss Whedon definitely has a type.

-- In this week's hair report, Adelle looked so much better with long hair. I never liked that shorter, more Nazi-like do.

Quotes:

Caroline: "Relax. I'm not a thief. I'm a terrorist."

Priya: "Echo's real."
Tony: "You're damned right she is."

Echo: "We haven't really talked since you... died."
Paul: "I guess we've both died since then."
Echo: "Yeah. Weird week."

Echo: "Are you saying she's evil?"
Adelle: "Worse. She's an idealist."

Bennett: "You used the company jet to kidnap the programmer of a rival house."
Adelle: "I'm certain I'll be kicking myself come holiday bonus time."
Bennett: "I'm sure you'll be dead by then."
I hope not.

Bennett: "It's a very open space. Quite a lot of beige. You let them roam. They roam like free range chicken. We keep ours more like veal."

Adelle: "That troublesome one-armed creature, where is she?"
Topher: "I had to lock her up. I couldn't leave her in the lab unattended."
Adelle: "And your charm offensive?"
Topher: "Mostly just offensive."

Boyd: "Mother always wanted me to date a doctor."
Echo: "I wonder what mine wanted."

Adelle: "I guess we can agree this carpet's done for."

Topher: "Okay. Am I the only one thinking we're getting maybe a little too much of our intel from The Matrix? Or possibly Tron, given the outfits?"

(This is one of the things I love about Joss Whedon. He rips stuff off, and then acknowledges that he ripped stuff off. And somehow that makes it work.)

I was only going to watch this episode once. But it was so good and so complicated (not that that's bad) that I watched it a second time after re-watching "The Attic." Four out of four stars,

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

13 comments:

  1. There was a nice quote you missed out. When Caroline saw the photo of Bennet in the folder, she said "She looks like she can kill you with her brain"

    Wonder what reference is that to. :)

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  2. The CEO that Caroline met sounded just like Topher. What was that all about?

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  3. I looked up the play Clyde the 5th mentions towards the end – its a Czech play about android/clone type people who rebel against their creators. And Rossum alludes to the Czech word for reason/wisdom etc...

    Boyde and Clyde, huh? Kain and Abel all round... Caroline befriending Bennett is a lot like Boyde taking care of Echo. And Caroline never really betrayed Bennett...? And what about Echo and Boyde both referring to the man behind Rossum as ‘the snake’? Echo becoming a person in spa paradise is a lot like the fall from grace.
    I never saw the end coming, but there were two moments when I thought I-didn’t-know-Boyde-was-that-kind-of-person (when he shot the room full of people, and when he killed that man with his bare hands). Maybe I haven’t been paying attention.

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  4. I love that quote
    "I'm not a thief, i'm a terrorist" - Caroline is so much more interesting and twisted then the animal-loving college student she was in season 1 - my mind exploded when bennett died - i loved summer glau's acting, and i was crushed. this episode made me love Caroline and Bennett, and still feel sympathetic for both, even from that confusing clip we saw in the "Left Hand" that completely threw me of from what i thought of Caroline. My guess is that once her boyfriend died, Caroline became more driven and obsessed with taking down the dollhouse, refering to herself as "terrorist" rather than an "activist".
    now that doesn't mean shes evil, because we always assume terrorism is to with genocide, it means that shes intending to take down the organisation by any means possible - assuming that she doesnt cross the death line.
    My heart exploded when Bennett died :[ She & echo were my favourite characters - i wud have sed Boyd also, but now he doesnt exist to me anymore. This foreshadows Epitath One, because after Whiskey killed Bennett, Topher went into shock, which was one of the first signs of his madness - the killing was a bit like killing tara (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), but i liked it better - the difference is willow can go and reek vengence, but Topher is powerful and powerless at the same time.I love that Topher set Ivy free.there used to be a little spark between Ivy and Topher, which is now more of a big brother little sister relationship. Ivy looks up to Topher, and Topher is telling her that she shouldn't make the same mistakes he did, by trusting the Dollhouse's power. I never thought i would like Topher, as much as i do now, because i hated him the whole of season 1

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  5. well. i loved the song that plays between bennet and topher!!

    so cute!

    in theend he made us love bennet and now we know why topher goes mad.

    the quote i love the most on this ep is the last one with boyd and caroline. mind-blowing.

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  6. Loved the episode!

    I said before that Summer Glau just needed more practice with expressive characters to become a very good actress, and it's showing. She was much better in this episode. And when Bennet died, my jaw litterally dropped.

    But as much as I loved the episode, I feel cheated that Boyd is the Big Bad. They'd better have a good explanation coming, or else everything will fall apart to me.

    That said, Boyd being the Big Bad just makes Claire's waiting for him, which we saw in Epitaph One, more poignant.

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  7. JOOOOOOOOOSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!! YOU DID IT AGAIN!!! Damm, I feel like Charlie Brown and the ball. It hasn't been that long since I watched Doctor Horrible, where I should have seen Penny coming, and now we had two characters happy with each other near the season finale IN A LUCY WHEADON SHOW, and I still didn't figure out I was about to have my heart hit with a sledgehammer for the 11th time ever since Jenny Calendar wound dead on Giles bed. And he did it to SUMMER GLAU! There is no end to this man's sadism.
    Well, can't wait for the next two episodes. Sight...

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  8. Regarding Claire- I don't think she killed Bennett because she was a sleeper, but rather to hurt Topher. Remember that she hates him, sees him as evil? That whole conversation back in "Vows" definitely makes me think the shooting was spiteful rather than part of Boyd's plan.

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  9. I agree with the previous post. Claire could have killed Bennet any time, but she waited till Topher was standing near her to shoot her. If that's true, she's out of sympathy, because Topher is no more responsible for her situation anymore than any other person at the dollhouse, and being annoying is no excuse to have your girlfriend shot in front of you.

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  10. Fantastic episode, but the twist at the end can break it. It all depends on how they handle Boyds motives. Can't wait and i'm keeping my fingers crossed.

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  11. I agree with Claire killing Bennett out of spite. If this was part of her and Boyd's plan to stop her from resurrecting Echo, why would Boyd have killed that guy when Echo was in the chair?

    However, the fact that Boyd "got to her" after she left was pretty clever, although I'm sort of annoyed with Boyd being the Big Bad. I'm going to trust Joss on this one and see how it plays out, though.

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  12. Wow! That was awesome and produced some visceral reactions from me - my hands are so sweaty after watching that one! Tears also sprung to my eyes several times in sympathy with the characters. A very good episode - so sad they only got two seasons!!

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  13. Really good episode and in my mind, Claire killed Bennett out of revenge, not because she is a sleeper.
    Summer Glau was amazing and I don´t know to explain it, but Body being the Big Bad somehow makes sense to me.
    A little scene I loved: Topher telling Ivy to walk away, not to become him.

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