Dollhouse: Shades of gray and a big reveal

Raked could barely hold it together last night after an epic episode of Dollhouse. Could you?

DOLLHOUSE: 2.11 “Getting Closer”

I knew as soon as she went up to the Rossum office that we were in for a pretty big reveal. We’d never seen Rossum before, and apparently, the only person who had was Caroline. I hadn’t really realized this until last night, and actually, I guess what we found out was that, really, everyone had seen Rossum.

But let’s backtrack and chat Caroline for a while. I find her character–a character that has been basically nonexistent this entire series, while still being a main driving force of the show–to be incredibly interesting. We started the series with Caroline as the victim. The one who needs to be saved. I mean, Ballard certainly thought so. That’s what started his venture into the Dollhouse.

But as Echo developed, so did our impression of Caroline. When we met Bennett, we discovered that perhaps Caroline wasn’t so great. She left Bennett in the Rossum building after the explosion, under the assumption that she was leaving her for the cops to find (or worse). She was cold, dangerous. If anything, we wanted Echo here and Caroline anywhere but.

It’s strange to see how swiftly we were able to accept Caroline as a villain and not the victim anymore. But it’s more than that. Last night, we found out more. Bennett’s view of Caroline was one of abuse and betrayal, when we actually found out that Caroline was saving Bennett. She asked her to leave. She arranged her belongings so Rossum would never know that Bennett betrayed them. She watched her back as much as she could.

And her morality? She was really in it to save more than animals. She wanted to save the people that were in the facility. That’s what caused her plan to go wrong.

So do I want Caroline to come back? Well, I’m still not sure. She could very well fight Echo with all her might. But then again, she does have the answers that we need. Namely, Boyd.

When Caroline entered that room, I knew we’d be finding out something big. That’s why I was straining to recognize Clyde. When did we see him before? Who was this guy? Well, we never have. He’s one of the dolls that his original self mentioned in the Attic. And did his mannerisms remind you of anyone? Say, maybe Topher? I hinted at that before.

Anyway, once I discovered that he’s not the one we should be paying attention to, I didn’t even have time to think about who we’ll be seeing. I had no suspicions. Looking back now, I still wouldn’t have thought it was who we were about to see.

Boyd? Boyd?! I mean, I love Boyd–er, well, Rossum. To know that he’s actually a black hat in the entire series, well, it’s just incredibly hard to swallow. What does he really want with Caroline? Why is she his pawn? And what are we going to see in the next two episodes?

Is it fair for me to say that I’m really not sure whether this show would be as good as it is if it didn’t only have two episodes left? Forcing the show to reveal itself has made for incredible television. I have faith (and wish it were the case) that if it were still continuing, we’d get some great episodes. But this good?

Let’s just say that while I’ll miss it, I’m not missing the next two episodes for anything.

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7 thoughts on “Dollhouse: Shades of gray and a big reveal

  1. I love your point about Caroline as victim and villain. For someone who’s technically gotten so little screentime — and who seemed, I thought, disappointingly boring in season 1 — she’s become pleasantly complex this season.

    I’ve always liked Boyd and I’m wild to know what his motivations are! Could he really be the architect of all this?

  2. Boyd!!! I can’t believe it! And Saunders! I was relieved to see that Caroline left Bennett to save her, not to screw her over. But I don’t have any idea how they’re going to resolve all of the new questions that this episode raised in two more! Do you think Caroline/Echo was planted by Boyd for some dark purpose from the beginning? I can’t wait to see if Caroline’s imprint worked.

    I’m excited to go back and watch the whole series once season two comes out so I can see if there were signals of Boyd as Rossum and to look again at who Caroline really is.

  3. Oh and poor Echo! The thing they took from Paul being his feelings for her (and not Caroline) was heartbreaking after seeing her stand by his bedside when he was braindead!

  4. I have to say that I’m a little confused by what the motives of Boyd may be. He replaced Dominic as head of security, and then, what… watched as Echo developed without Caroline’s personality and as that development caused everything in that particular house to go apeshit? With his power and security position, couldn’t he have derailed this result long before it started? I mean, he could have easily sided with a previously eager-to-please Adelle and screwed over Ballard instead of siding with him. Also what importance does Caroline have to him? Clearly she grabbed his attention early as he felt the need to meet her personally. And he has risked injury many times to save Echo from danger. But based on the actions of Saunders, maybe he actually doesn’t want Caroline back in Echo’s head. If that’s the case, why not have let her die on previous missions?

    This episode didn’t grab me as one of the great Dollhouse episodes, but the number of twists sure made it a must see.

    Oh, and was I the only one creeped out by the relationship between Boyd and Claire Saunders? I know that Claire has always known herself as a woman, but the fact that her mind was created from the previous male doctor’s personality (and that Boyd knew that)… it’s all a little weird. In a way it was sort of like watching Boyd make out with someone who had a sex change.

  5. Eh, I don’t think Claire had much in common with the previous Dr. Saunders besides her medical knowledge and her last name. And perhaps the tendency to give out lollipops (Topher’s idea of a joke?). After all of Topher’s fiddling with the imprint, I don’t think there was much overlap between Claire’s personality and the previous doctor’s.

    I agree, though, that this wasn’t one of the absolute best episodes on it’s own — I think that’s mostly because it’s got a lot of set-up for the finale. But as you say, definitely a must-see!

    As for Boyd, that’s exactly why I think Echo must in some way be his pet project. Or perhaps — in some even weirder way — creating chaos in the LA house is the means to some end. What the end or the motivation might be, I can hardly imagine!

  6. I have no idea of Boyd’s motives, but I can’t wait to find out. He must’ve cut some sort of deal with Caroline for their conversation to end with, “And you expect me to trust you?”

    I actually really enjoyed the episode, but it might’ve been because of the huge events that happened in it. I loved discovering the complexity of Topher, Bennett, and Caroline. I really enjoyed it.

    And Elizabeth, I completely agree. Heartbreaking that it was Echo’s place in Ballard’s mind that was replaced. Last week, I thought it would be Mellie.

  7. Pingback: Dollhouse: With Your Life « Raked

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