Dollhouse: With Your Life

Raked would highly suggest you not read this post unless you’ve seen the penultimate episode of Dollhouse. She’s is still mourning the loss of her show–and a certain favorite character–and she’s not holding back.

DOLLHOUSE: 2.12 “The Hollow Men”

With one episode left and last week’s incredible cliffhanger, you knew this episode would be big. And with Joss Whedon manning the ship, you knew there’d be some carnage before it sailed off into the sunset.

This week we said good-bye to two of our favorites. If you’ll notice in my first line, I call attention to one of them. And I’ll get to that right…now.

I miss Boyd. And you know, after first I thought his demise was just too fast. How could we have seen him develop as the big bad in just one episode? Well, a cliffhanger and one episode. We didn’t get to see it enough. We didn’t get to see him turn as evil as the founder of Rossum really should be!

But then, I realized, that was the point. As the viewer, we were seeing Boyd pretty much as Echo was seeing him. We trusted him. We loved him. How could we suddenly believe that he was the evil one behind the Dollhouse? How could his intentions be less than moral?

It was a sense of disbelieving. We still loved him, even as he was turned to a doll and handed the grenade. We didn’t want him to die. Certainly not in an innocent, clean state. It just made it that much harder to watch. We certainly didn’t feel righteous or happy with his death. It hurt us just as much as it hurt Echo.

But what about Mellie?

Well, to be honest, I wasn’t surprised. We were given that hint in “Epitaph One” that something bad happens to November. I didn’t figure she’d make it out alive.

For some reason, I thought that when they had programmed her as Mellie, they would have removed her sleeper status. Clearly, they did not. But do I really think that Mellie would have had the strength to fight through the sleeper? I don’t think so. But she did, nonetheless, and clearly, she couldn’t handle it. It’s actually interesting to think about how Whiskey handled her discovery that she was a doll and the way that Mellie handled it. Very different. But both very conflicted.

Don’t get me wrong. Mellie’s death was still sad and I’ll miss her. I just was less surprised. And the setup that Ballard thought Adelle was at the right hand of Rossum? That was just fantastic.

Ultimately, I don’t know what’s next. I liked that we finally know why Caroline was picked. I still fully expect some secrets and shockers in the next episode. But honestly, this one was a hard one to watch. I’m going to miss Boyd. I still do. I don’t like that he’s gone.

So what do you think will happen in our final episode of Dollhouse? Do you have predictions? Anyone you think will (or won’t) make it through?

I’m not sure how much more I can take. And now I’m pouting…why does it have to end? I mainly mean the show here, but now that I’m thinking about it, doesn’t it scare you a bit? The idea of a Brainpocolypse?

I guess we’ll just have to see in a couple weeks

Dollhouse finale delayed–but for a good cause

image from

Don’t freak out, but there will be some changes to your regularly scheduled programming.

Tonight’s the penultimate episode of Dollhouse. For some reason, it didn’t occur to me that if this was the penultimate episode, next week must be the finale. That’s probably why I’m not too disappointed right now.

The much-anticipated finale of Dollhouse has been postponed. It was originally scheduled for January 22, but will now air on Friday, January 29 (supposedly at 8 pm).

Update: All I’ve got is a few tweets so far, but I’ll try to find a more official statement of the change here’s a link confirmation (note that this link does have a slight description of the finale, so if you don’t want any clues, don’t read the last paragraph). According to that link, yes, the show will be at 8 pm, not 9 pm as usual. This is to accommodate the new episode of Kitchen Nightmares at 9 pm.

But before you get too upset, please remember, that it’s for a good cause.

The show is being preempted by a telethon to raise money for the victims of Haiti’s recent quake. “Hope for Haiti” will be commercial-free and run across a number of networks–including the main five. That’s right, even Law & Order will be preempted by the event.

It’s two hours long and will include celebrity appearances, musical guests, and news reports. I’m not entirely sure why they chose next week and not this week (perhaps there just wasn’t enough time to plan it), but have no fear, all you Dollhouse fans, you’ll get your final fix.

And just imagine how much more that ending will be anticipated after a two-week break. I could barely handle one after last week’s heart-stopper.

Dollhouse: He’s paid not to look surprised.

KT’s mind has been blown, though happily in a less messy way than Bennett’s.

DOLLHOUSE:  2.11 “Getting Closer”

Holy cow.  This year, everything I thought I knew about the Dollhouse has been turned on its head.  And yet, so much of the episode seemed like the logical continuation to what came before.

Last spring, we saw Caroline sneak into a Rossum-affiliated lab as an animal rights activist and come out knowing that Rossum is guilty of more than just animal testing.  I guessed at the time that there was a gap between those events and the scene at the beginning of “Ghost,” in which Caroline reluctantly signs Adelle’s contract.  Now we see that there was a significant gap:  Caroline had time to force a horny security guard help her break into Adelle’s office, become friends and roommates with Bennett Halverson, and plan a major operation involving explosives (which implies a few things too, since in “Echoes,” Caroline didn’t strike me as someone who knew about bombs).  I had been really curious about that gap, so I’m glad we got to see what she was up to.

I suppose it goes with the territory (“ack, our show’s just been cancelled and we have to wrap things up!”), but there’s something very weird about Adelle’s position — the extreme urgency of declaring war on Rossum after finding out that civilization will fall due to schematics she offered up on a silver platter.  Everything escalated so quickly, there was barely time to take it all in. (And yet, the episode was filled with slow, character driven scenes — more on that later.)

I’m about to start a full re-watch of the series, and something I want to look for is Adelle’s track record of bad decisions (or at least, “bad” in the eyes of her bosses).  She appears super-confident and super-competent, but was getting Caroline back so urgent that they had to kidnap Bennett Halverson?  After all, she put Echo in the Attic just to dig around for information, with no guarantee that Echo would figure out how to escape or how quickly she might manage it.  Surely there might have been more subtle ways of getting her help, ways that wouldn’t lead to Rossum soldiers flooding into the Dollhouse.

Except that maybe they would, since it seems Boyd (Boyd!) is the head of Rossum Corporation.  That was the reveal that completely blew my mind, but now my question is, how much power does he really have?  Is he on the same page with board members like Mr. Ambrose, or is he at odds with some of them?  The latter seems likely:  since he killed the soldier threatening Topher and Echo, I assume he was not the one who called the forces in.  But who knows.

Throughout the series, Boyd has been particularly concerned for Echo and interested in her development.  Was it her potential that drew him to take the handler job, or has he been grooming her for something ever since Caroline blew up the Rossum building in Tucson?  Was she meant to be a special project for Rossum (to be useful or profitable), or as something to use against his enemies within the company.

(Speaking of Tucson, isn’t it awfully convenient that Adelle was in town when Caroline made her move?  And why exactly did Adelle have files on Caroline and Bennett in her office at that time? — I’d expect that information to be stored at Rossum HQ, not on paper in every ‘House.  Odd.)

But as fascinating as the plot twists were, the most beautiful moments were the slow, character driven ones.  The brilliant, bizarre romance of Bennett and Topher (with the inevitable Whedon ending).  The wrenching “Epitaph One” scene between Claire and Boyd.  The reveal of what Paul has lost.   Topher starting to fall apart, yet finally recognizing Ivy for her talents.  And as a member of the church of Firefly, I loved Caroline’s comment early in the episode that Bennett could probably kill someone with her brain.

Clearly, it’s going to be a wild ride to the finale and one that will put our characters through the wringer.  I’m only sad that it has to end!

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.

Raked’s TV Top Ten List of the Decade

We’re signing off 2009 tonight, and we’re bringing in a new user: 2010. We’re not just ending a year but a decade this time (though some of you historian/mathematician types might disagree), so in honor of that, I’m posting this blog in honor of the best things about TV of the decade.

I’ve sorted my thoughts out as general ideas that seemed to have grown in the past ten years (though, to be fair, more so in the last five since my memory is rusty). So here goes:

Raked’s TV Top Ten List of 2000s (in no particular order):

1. Creativity: Sure, all our hopes and dreams get dashed when our favorite shows get canceled, but you’ve got to give it up for the creators of series that truly incorporate a distinctive idea in the show, moving beyond the normal ER drama or procedural. Think Pushing Daisies, Eli Stone, and even our favorite sci-fi shows.

2. Music: Note: This is music, not montages. I don’t know the exact year that the WB started the trend of showing which songs were played in the episode, but it’s certainly grown since then. Now music plays a huge part of television. There are certainly times that I think of a show when a song plays on the radio. I attribute most of this to Scrubs, as that show certainly brings a lot of fantastic music to plot.

3. Musicals: Ok, so most of you hated them. But some were fun! Look at Buffy and Scrubs. They’re kinda weird, but they’re rather funky. I enjoyed. And this naturally brings me to…

4. Web Series: One of the newer innovations to television, and all resting on the wonderful series that is Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Plus, you’ve got The Guild, which I was introduced to over Christmas and thoroughly enjoyed, and it’s a whole new way to watch TV. All because of…

5. The Writers’ Strike: I’m sure most of you hate me for putting this on the top ten list, but honestly, it was a defining time for TV. Viewers finally noticed that TV goes beyond the pretty faces on the screen and there were smart people behind it. Plus, I got to meet Joss Whedon at one of the rallies.

6. The Middle Tier: Ok, I know that most of you see the cancellations of the series in the 2000s, but what about the middle shows that stuck around? I’m always impressed with this story of One Tree Hill, where it was never really huge, but it got enough viewers to have the freedom to stay on-air and do what it wants. Now it’s a wacky, popular show that for some reason I’m still watching. And you know it’s not the only one.

7. Cable Series: First, it was the HBO and Showtime series, and now we’ve got TNT, TBS, and USA. Don’t even forget the cable network that brings you Mad Men. These award-winning shows are coming from somewhere beyond our typical networks, which has really caused a shift in recent years. And some damn good television!

8. Neil Patrick Harris: Is it fair to put a person on the top ten list? Honestly, somehow in the past few years, he’s gone from long-gone child actor to one of the most entertaining. Heck, he’s even made us like musicals. I could say that he’s lengen–wait for it…

9. Fun Add-Ons: Dary. In the fun tribute to NPH, let’s think of the web add-ons to series. I’m not thinking merchandise, but instead, the viral things on the web that are in conjunction with shows. Can anyone say How I Met Your Mother? I don’t know how many external websites that show has now. Plus, think Big Bang and the Penny Blossoms website. Oh yeah, it’s out there.

10. Fan Support: I did leave this one for last because it did seem like a big one. But if you start with Jericho move through Chuck and land in the Dollhouse, you know what I mean. Fans just don’t give up anymore–and that’s a good thing.

So there’s my list. What did I miss? Let me know in the comments.

Dollhouse: You can check out any time you want…

Like KT, Raked is finally taking the stairs up to “The Attic.”

DOLLHOUSE:  2.10 “The Attic”

I want to start with the end. The ending of this episode reminded me so much of the penultimate episode of Angel that it’s not even funny. I adored the turnaround of our hero–well, maybe Adelle’s not a hero, but she was certainly a main focus there for a few episodes–and gathering the team, I just wanted to see them each individually raise their hands.

For those of you who don’t know what I’m referencing, Angel ended in 2004. Catch up.

It was certainly a surprise. I knew Adelle would turn good at some point, but I thought maybe seeing “Epitaph One” would be the turning point. The guilt and sorrow finally break her down. I’m glad we have the twist earlier.

And what about “Epitaph One”? The future we know is the feared future of one of the creators of Dollhouses. Not only that, but someone is roaming the planet as an imprint of himself. Well, kinda. He clearly has this man’s genius, but he’s a yes-man. He does whatever is asking from him.

Which leads me to a hypothesis: Could it be that we just might know Clive under another name? Could there be a certain genius out there that seems to have a pivotal role in the Dollhouse, can create devices that can create “Epitaph One,” and is readily able to take orders?

More so, could this individual, if kept in this imprint long enough, have evolved so that maybe he’s even pushing back on the orders?

There’s a certain someone I have in mind that might just be Clive 3.0. Yes, I assume we’ve moved way past 2.0 and fast. I imagine my hints here are obvious enough. But then again, perhaps that’s just too easy. I’ve been wrong before.

But let’s move back into the dream world. I adored seeing so much of Echo’s personalities coming out in her past. In fact, I almost forgot that they weren’t her memories. The only thing that popped me back into the doll that Echo is was seeing the creepy “family” of the psycho in her mind. Playing crochet. Eek.

It was interesting to see the biggest fears of each of these people. Priya’s fear was not surprising at all, yet it was completely horrifying at the same time. To be in such a safe moment and to be taken away so graphically. Tony was fighting himself, which is just interesting to think about if you’re considering that to be one of the Dollhouse’s “worst case scenarios.”

I very much enjoyed seeing Dominic return–and be a good guy. I was more disappointed to see that he was not returning with them to the Dollhouse, but I suppose he and Clive have their work cut out for them, destroying Rossum from the inside–literally.

Overall, this wasn’t the Attic I was expecting. The dreams, sure, but not the saran-wrapped medical facility. I was expecting creepier, though I was still not disappointed, especially after the reveal that they are the mainframe.

But one last aspect of the episode: What about Ballard? What do you think Topher erased in order to give him life again?

My fear is one word. Well, a name. Mellie.

Dollhouse: Another spy in the house of love

KT is finally getting back to last week’s Dollhouse episodes.

DOLLHOUSE:  2.10 “The Attic”

The opening of the episode is deliberately disorienting.  We find Echo shrink-wrapped and comatose in a tank in the Attic, where she is monitored by silent technicians.  For a moment, it seems that her escape — with Victor and Sierra — will be a breeze, but because this is a Whedon show and not Heroes, cliffhangers aren’t resolved that easily.  Echo’s still shrink-wrapped and comatose in a tank in the Attic, and when the title card pops up, we know this isn’t a normal sort of episode.  This season, the credit sequence is clearly set up as the life cycle of an active:  Dollhouse, imprint, adventures, return.  This episode doesn’t use it, moving us outside that usual cycle entirely.

The writing credits for this brain-blower go to Jed and Maurissa, but the conception of this episode is very Joss.  The story and its execution are first cousin to Buffy episodes like “Restless” — non-linear explorations of our characters’ anxieties, stories that delve into the deepest phantoms of their psyches.  As ever, Echo is pre-occupied with escape and terrified that she won’t be able to save anyone.  Sierra’s nightmare is the conflation of the man she was forced to love and the man she can’t help loving, and Victor is literally fighting with himself — showing inner conflict, or perhaps a tendency to identify with his adversaries.

An episode about the Attic could hardly omit the first character to mention it or to be sent there, the cynical Mr. Dominic; happily, he shows up early on.  Come to think of it though, did we ever find out what problem his brain was working on?

That, as we learn, is the Attic’s other purpose.  Besides being a place to stash inconvenient people, Rossum uses their brains as a supercomputer, hyped up on adrenaline to run at top speeds as they try to solve no-win scenarios.  Really, can we make Rossum any more horrifying?

We spend most of the episode in one character’s head or another, even jumping into the brains of people we’ve never met whose bodies are in places far from LA like Tokyo and London.  I am still trying not to think about the sushi kitchen, so instead let’s briefly ponder how Echo remembered a tree from her childhood (which personality’s fake childhood would that be?).

But the revelations come from Clyde, a mild-mannered brainiac who had the misfortune to come up with the basis of imprinting technology, and a resident of the London Attic since 1993.  And his nightmare is “Epitaph One.”

Meanwhile, Ivy makes her biggest contribution to the series so far by jokingly supplying the sports metaphor (which, adorably, she has to explain to Topher) that helps Topher solve the problem of Paul.  And while I’m still guessing what they wound up taking away from Paul it wasn’t his anger — the rage of his awakening in the chair mirrored Priya’s in “Stop Loss.”  So what is Paul missing?

Also, what’s with the personal problems Boyd referred to in both of this week’s episodes?  My magic eight ball wonders if it will be tied to the return of Claire Saunders.

But the more visible personal problems in these two episodes are Adelle’s.  After Boyd remonstrates her in “Stop Loss,” she clearly makes a decision, but in a classic Whedon misdirect, we don’t learn what it was until the end of “The Attic.”

At first, Adelle’s shower scene seems to be merely a means of sobering up.  Maybe of washing away her doubts (and perhaps morals), emerging more steely, more certain.  More Cruella DeWitt, ready to sit down with each of the staff for some serious come to Jesus meetings.  But I think it’s more than that.  By having Adelle shower with the actives, the writers have thematically linked her with them, underscoring her renewed committment to protect her actives.  In the end, our heroes are a tighter band than ever — a real first for this show, in which there has always been a gulf between the actives and their keepers.  The Dollhouse family has been formed.

We’re only missing Caroline.

Dollhouse: Rossum’s other dark secret

Raked takes a stab at the first of last Friday’s new episodes…after a long day in an airport.

DOLLHOUSE:  2.09 “Stop Loss”

We got the Sierra-centric episode. Now we get the Victor-centric.

I’m not sure why, but I was surprised to see that Victor’s time was already up in the Dollhouse. Based on what we know, he was clearly there the longest. The only reason November/Madelaine was let go was because of Ballard’s actions. I guess it really went Victor, November, Echo, Sierra. Not that that really matters.

It’s funny that we really haven’t seen all that much of Victor and Sierra really, but we’ve grown so invested in their relationship. And really, so have they. And as KT points out–and we realize so much more than ever–the love they have for each other really does go past any mental imprinting Topher can arrange. It’s all about something deeper.

I mean, even Tony was seeing Sierra as he was standing in the club–and went to her not knowing why. And watching as Sierra was so sad to find out that Victor wouldn’t be joining her for dinner, it’s just sad.

But when Priya and Tony finally met, it was just cute. I loved how Tony kept trying to make small talk, balancing it with gunfire. Then they hit it off again in the car. Clearly, these two were meant to be. From dolls to imprints (think the researchers of last episode) to themselves, these two are drawn to each other.

I’m not quite sure what I felt when I saw Miss Loneliheart get dumped by her lover. I was quite peeved at Adelle, as we all are, considering her terrible behavior. But clearly she was upset. And since we saw her get so drunk throughout most of this episode, clearly, she knew something has gone terribly wrong. Was it that she really still wasn’t in control of her house? Was it losing Victor? Was it that she just felt guilty?

Well, we never really got the answer in this episode–well, not the correct answer anyway. Her menacing look as she sent Echo, Victor, and Sierra to the Attic was more chilling than ever. [[shiver]]

And that was after we discovered what Rossum was doing. Not only are they concocting a device that would imprint people en masse without the imprinting chair, but now they’re coming up with an army that can share one mind. What one sees they all see. What one thinks they all think.

They even have the creepy chair. It’s like Imprint Chair 1.0.

Clearly, if you haven’t discovered it by now, Rossum is one scary organization. It’s not even like they’re trying to take over the world. It’s like they’re trying to change it to exactly what they want to get out of it. And the worst part? They can.

This episode was actually really entertaining. I’m sure many fans out there (especially the men) loved seeing Echo in her Army, kickass style. And I liked that suddenly they were pulling Ivy into the loop, trying to get Echo to literally be her best in this mission.

Of course, it didn’t go all that smoothly. In the end, the actives were taken down, and then sent upstairs. And what’s to follow, you discover in “The Attic” (review coming soon…).

Dollhouse: What can you stand to risk?

KT and Raked are both traveling today, so the Dollhouse posts are going up gradually this week.

DOLLHOUSE:  2.09 “Stop Loss”

As it turns out, people do in fact leave the Dollhouse — and with some regularity, if Boyd’s comment about how much Adelle likes to do the exit interviews is to be trusted.  Not that we end the episode feeling that Rossum is more benign than we thought.

And though we’d normally be thrilled to see an active go back to his civilian life, nobody wants to see Victor go.  Adelle has a soft spot for Victor, Echo wants his help, and I think we all want Enver to bring Kiki back.  And of course, poor Sierra can’t fathom that Victor won’t come back to eat dinner with her.

Then there’s that little complication about the kidnapping and the secret army.

The “Epitaph One” idea about imprinting an army doesn’t come out of nowhere.  One arm of Rossum is press ganging likely ex-actives into a literal Army of One.  You will be assimilated.  Resistance is futile — unless you’re Echo, of course.

Boyd gets to serve as the exposition machine through much of this episode.  He explains to Victor — that is, to Tony — about the check-ups for ex-actives, something we’ve all been wondering about since the very beginning, and even more so since Adelle’s visit to Madeleine earlier this season.  Boyd also prompts Echo to explain how her singular form of multiple personality disorder is operating.  As we started to see last week, Echo has gained a huge amount of power by learning to control everything she’s got in her head.  She’s not just growing into her own identity as Echo, she’s becoming a superhero.  The networked brains of the super soldiers provides a perfect test of her control:  because she can control all her own personalities, she’s singularly equipped to assert control over Rossum’s Borg-like army.

While Echo is becoming super-human, Sierra and Victor are re-learning how to be human, period.  Priya lunges at Topher as she realizes that she still remembers the trauma of “Belonging.”  I loved the callback of “Get her a beer” and the way she cradled the bottle, not to mention the sentimental necessity of why Topher has done it:  otherwise, she wouldn’t remember Victor.

In this show about memory and identity, Victor and Sierra are the writers’ comments on true love — a kind of love so instinctive, it goes deeper than anything Topher can wipe or imprint (to Adelle’s dismay).  Seeing them together is a bittersweet pleasure.  I love them together, but I know it can’t end well.

Meanwhile, Adelle spends the episode as (in Topher’s words) Cruella DeWitt, pushing through a disagreeable situation by playing the hard-ass.  She’s never been entirely comfortable with certain aspects of the Dollhouse — she made that clear the last time we saw her with “Roger,” so it’s clear that her renewed dedication to Rossum is costing her deeply.  There’s more to say about Adelle, but I’m going to save it for “The Attic.”

In financial lingo, a stop loss is an order for a broker to sell a particular asset when its price falls below a certain level — a risk-management technique, a way to cut your losses.  Figuratively, I think it’s Adelle, trying to preserve her place as a Rossum lieutenant from further deterioration.  Or Rossum designing super soldiers to protect itself, or even just to keep from losing certain valuable actives by finding another purpose for them.  It’s also Topher pondering how to make the best of Paul’s brain damage, and Adelle sending Echo to the Attic to (seemingly) prevent her from messing up any more engagements.  In a more literal sense of stopping a loss, it’s Echo and company working to bring back Victor.  And it’s Adelle bringing the three of them back to keep hold of her own assets. It’s bringing Victor and Sierra back together, as long as we possibly can.

Dollhouse: Hatred, death, and love

Raked catches up (in the final hour of her and KT’s proclaimed “Dollhouse Monday” here on Raked Reviews) on the second, heartstopping episode of Dollhouse.

DOLLHOUSE:  2.08 “A Love Supreme”

Wow. I certainly wasn’t expecting such a huge episode. You know, since we saw Sierra kill someone and Topher grow a conscience, this show has really stepped up. Not that I wasn’t enjoying it, but I’m certainly at edge-0f-my-seat status for most of these episodes.

And this one certainly didn’t change anything.

KT’s right. We did see a new Alpha in this episode. He was very Joker-esque in this episode, actually. I was thinking of the insane cartoon character from the old Batman series, especially as he stood there with a fun-yet-sinister smile over Matt, who was wrapped up in explosives.

I must say. I nearly cried when Matt blew up. I didn’t think it was actually going to happen. I’m not sure if you recall, but he was the same Matt from “Ghost” and “Echoes”–the same man that Boyd said just might be perfect for Echo. He was always fun.

Of course, I suppose the one that’s really perfect for Echo is now the man in the hospital bed with no brain activity.

Ballard’s…inactivity…was certainly a surprise. And it’s still unclear what’s really to come of him? Death? Imprinting? Can you imprint someone whose brain is dead? Or a comatose state now and forever?

Alpha’s taking over Ballard’s imprint was just haunting. Expected, as he came out of the chair, but haunting. Once he discovered that he couldn’t get Echo’s love, was all he wanted death? I wish I had seen the season finale all over again to remind me of the old Alpha.

“The old Alpha.” Can that even be true when he’s got forty other minds in him?

I find it interesting. They told Adelle the Echo is just like Alpha. But here’s the difference: Echo has learned to control her various personalities, while Alpha actually let his drive him insane. Sure, he can control them to a degree, but he definitely uses them in a malicious way, not the helpful way Echo looks into her minds.

But Alpha was just brilliant. Putting a virus in Sierra that was then put in all the actives to make them sleepers? That’s incredible. And so horrific. There’s so much power in this technology that not even Topher saw that coming.

Speaking of power, whatever hope I had for Adelle is lost. We saw her turn sour in the last episode, and while I thought it was the care she had over the dolls in her House that motivated her into taking power again, perhaps it was more the idea of control. She’s so dark now, and I really wonder what will turn her back. We know something in her heart clicks back, what with what we’ll see in the future of “Epitaph One,” but for now, it’s stone cold.

Did you see the hatred in her eyes when she looked at Echo? That was even before she figured out Echo had the multiple minds. Sure, she found out that she was working with Ballard for three months, but it’s more than that. She’s out of her control; she’s keeping secrets. It’s plain hatred.

You know, I must say, I’ll miss the camaraderie between Ballard and Boyd. I actually liked the support system behind Echo. Now, everything’s changed.

And Alpha’s still out there. I wonder if we’ll see more…before the series ends. Sigh. Great ep, though. To say the least.