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Dollhouse Fodder

Dollhouse 1.8 "Needs"

Needs.jpgAgent Ballard is visited by Echo who proceeds to give him a nice liplock. As soon as that happened, I knew it was a dream.

Suspicious, he searches his house and finds an elaborate bug. He takes it to someone but the guy tells him it hasn't even been invented yet.

Meanwhile, back at the Dollhouse, the staff is trying to fix the various problems that have occurred with the actives as of late. The urges Victor has had, Sierra's rape, Echo's break from being an active. Dominic wants everyone to think of the actives as pets, not people. To that, I say some people treat their pets better than they treat people...

Topher wants to pump a new mix of meds into the sleep chambers. The doc is against it. She's more humane than Topher and Dominic put together.

When the actives go to sleep that night, they all awaken with their original memories and personas. They have no recollection of their active lives. They make plans to escape. They being Echo, Victor, Sierra, Mellie (whose code name is November), and Mike, the red shirt active who is doomed because well, he's a red shirt.

Echo feels she'll be safe in the mountains while Mellie feels like she's lost something.

The five try to pretend to be the actives they once were. Echo is sent to the Doc to fix her hand which she cut trying to get out of the pod. She exclaims at the sight of Doc's face, but the Doc warns that they're being watched.

Mike is found out and taken away. His memories have been wiped. The four figure Mike's a lost cause and plan their escape without him.

Dom informs Adelle that the four actives are about to escape. Turns out it's all been planned. They've known all along and are just testing the meds on the actives as well as testing the security staff to see if they are ready. That was a bit disappointing.

They escape, and end up in the wardrobe like the Pevensie children. Is Aslan in the next room? They change into some street clothes and Mellie remembers she has a daughter named Katie.

As they make it to the garage, they see Tango on a "mission" dressed in a Sally Bowles outfit speaking French. At that sight, Echo/Caroline's basest instincts has her staying behind to try to save Tango and the other actives. The others drive off.

Victor, even with his memories intact, feels protective toward Sierra. Is this a "love conquers all" scenario with these two?

Just as Adelle and Dom see Echo is still in the Dollhouse, the power goes off. Echo holds a gun to Topher and tells him to explain what the Dollhouse is. He does and confesses that they're running a test on her. She makes him sit in the chair but he warns her that she can't imprint over a regular mind or it'll implode. Before he gets the Vulcan mind meld though, Adelle comes in to save Topher's butt.

Mellie remembers where her daughter is and she leaves Victor and Sierra to go on their journey. She finds herself at the grave of her daughter. How she died or when is anyone's guess but it was obviously so traumatic that she joined the Dollhouse.

Victor and Sierra find the guy that put Sierra in the dollhouse. She told him "No," but apparently the guy didn't get that no means no and bought Sierra a one-way ticket to the dollhouse. Now, he uses her whenever he wants her and she doesn't say no anymore. Poor Sierra! Her life as an active sucks as much as her life before.

The guy has released the hounds on them. Victor and Sierra take off. Victor remembers that Sierra has been hurt and that he was helpless to stop it. Sierra remembers that Victor waits for her every night to make sure she gets into the pod.

Adelle gives Echo a free pass to leave along with all the other actives. Once she is outside and yells, "Freeeeedom!!!!" in her Irish brogue, she passes out. We see the others pass out too and find out that once each had closure, a sedative was released and caused them to pass out.

Ballard gets a call from Echo who found his number in one of the files. She tells him they're underground somewhere and she needs him to find them.

It turns out all the actives have had some traumatic experience in their lives that led them to the Dollhouse, volunteering their futures to forget their pasts.


If the actives are named after the NATO phonetic alphabet, does that mean there are only 26 actives? Well, 36, if you count the numbers too? Or is there an Echo Zulu or November Charlie?

They have security cameras, but no sound recorders?

If they "signed" a five-year contract, how long has Echo been in the Dollhouse? It's more than a day or a month.

What traumatic experience did Victor have that sent him to the dollhouse? It seems he was driven by the trauma of not being able to help Sierra when she needed someone to save her, but that was while he was an active and not the person he was before.

Who was sleeping in Mellie's pod when she was staying at the apartment?

And is there truly any reason to close the pods they sleep in? I know they were pumping meds into the pods, but do they do it every night?

I'm more curious about their backstories than anything else so far.

What's in the mountains where Caroline wants to run to?

What did you think?

-- K. L. Connie Wang

Posted by Connie on April 6, 2009 6:51 PM
Permalink |

At first I was disappointed that the "awakening" wasn't what what I expected, but then I realized there's a complicated element to this show that (hopefully) will continue to drive it: the dolls -- to some extent -- all chose to have their memories wiped. So while they may deem the organization to be bad, they're also the ones who joined up. That's a lot different than the good-bad construct, and as such it requires more nuance ("Firefly" did the same thing; the Alliance *was* proven bad, ultimately, but for a long time it existed more as a corporate behemoth rather than a purely evil entity.)

-- Posted by: Mac at April 5, 2009 8:39 AM

I agree with you Mac. I was a bit disappointed as well simply because the "awakening" was contrived and was not what I was expecting. Also, I think it may have been a bit early for this concept, unless Whedon has something else up his sleeve we might slip back into the same model as Smallville's first couple of seasons with a new "metor freak" issue each week. That show evolved into something more and I'm hoping that Dollhouse will as well. I guess we shall see.

-- Posted by: Lance at April 6, 2009 7:51 AM

To be fair, the promos you see attached to show are often not approved or managed by the executive producers (the Lost exec producers often mock ABC's overblown teasers, for example). So this "awakening" business may have been born in the marketing department, not the writer's room.

-- Posted by: Mac at April 6, 2009 7:23 PM

True, Mac - but it sucks all the same. :oD

-- Posted by: Connie at April 6, 2009 7:26 PM

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