Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Dollhouse Doubles: “The Public Eye”

snapshot(6)With Heroes, Flash Forward and Supernatural all on hiatus until after Christmas I will no longer be doing daily posts. The Tv Nibbles series will continue up until January with sporadic updates, however 2010 will see a new feature added to the blog which will replace the Nibbles, more on that in the new year.

But right now we have the first of the Dollhouse Doubles posts. Each episode will be in a separate post clearly snapshot(3)labelled with the episode title. This post is for episode 5: The Public Eye.

This week sees Dollhouse get right down into the Mythology of the show, no more messing about with one offs and mini-pilots. It sees the return of Alexis Denisof as Senator Daniel Perrin, campaigning against the Dollhouse with the help of none other than Madeleine Costley, or as we know her better November.

With this second attack from Perrin on the Dollhouse DeWitt feels that action must be taken. Forming a brain trust; Topher, Boyd snapshot(5)and Ballard begin to look at Perrin, but it takes Echo to point out that it is his wife that’s “Not Right”.

After a little more digging Ballard discovers that in fact almost everything about Cindy Perrin is fake, leading them to the obvious conclusion that she is in fact a Doll.

DeWitt and the others knew that someone was feeding Perrin information about the Dollhouse, but for his wife to be a doll makes no sense, right? Unless, like November, she is a sleeper agent, who could be triggered to “kill” Perrin’s investigation. Working under the assumption that Harding (big boss man from Rossum) isn’t stupid enough to trigger an active to kill a snapshot(4)US Senator, DeWitt makes the logical leap that Cindy will be triggered to kill Madeleine.

In the Lab Topher is working on his “Disruptor” based on the tech he used to attempt to remote wipe Echo (the tech he attempted to copy from Alpha). He demonstrates how it works on Kilo, a tiny Asian Active. Essentially it sends a feedback loop to the biolinks implant. Now, for narrative reasons we HAVE to assume that the biolinks implant and gps tracking strip are different implants, the former presumably buried deep inside the active’s brain where it cannot be easily removed. Whatever the case he activates the device and knocks out Kilo… and every other Doll in the House.

The Disruptor does not wipe a Doll, it messes up the imprint and prevents it from functioning correctly, as we’ll see later. Topher, however does point out that the device will also affect Madeleine, because she still has Dollhouse architecture in her head. When Paul asks why, he gets no response. “No one ever really leaves here do they?” DeWitt and Topher simply stand silently, looking snapshot(7)awkwardly away to avoid having to look Paul in the eye.

While Ballard takes the Disruptor and heads after Cindy, intending to bring her down before she can get to Madeleine, Boyd sends Echo out on an assignment. To do what? Drug and sleep with Daniel Perrin. That plan, however, quickly backfires after Daniel wakes up and, sort of, kidnaps his would be mistress. He explains to Echo that she is a Doll and offers to take her to see his wife, who he thinks may be able to help her, as well as use her as evidence against the Dollhouse.

As Daniel and Echo are speeding towards his location Ballard breaks into the safe house and tries to rescue Madeleine, however Cindy has shown her pictures of her and Paul and Madeleine believes he effectively raped her, breaking down any trust she had in him. She breaks away from Paul and runs screaming, Cindy appears and Ballard triggers the Disruptor, just as Echo and snapshot(8)Daniel arrive. Cindy, however, is not a Doll, but to our surprise (or mine at least) Daniel is…

Now a couple of months ago I suggested that when Daniel Perrin discovered the full truth about the Dollhouse, Rossum would make him a deal, to put him in the Whitehouse, in exchange for allowing the Dollhouse to continue to exist. However, now that he is a Doll that theory seems unlikely, Daniel has effectively no power over the Dollhouse, because they can simply wipe him, any time they please.

However, why set a Doll on the Dollhouse in the first place? DeWitt suggests that maybe the political attack is not against the snapshot(9)organisation but her House in particular, although to what benefit I’m not sure.

While Ballard is taken hostage, Echo and Daniel take off in the senator’s car. Both of them quickly realise they are in fact Dolls, although Daniel takes more convincing than Echo does.

Back at the safehouse Cindy gives her goons orders to execute Ballard, however the goons did not count on Tahmoh’s martial arts training and he whoops them good ‘n’ proper.

Cindy shows up and tries to convince Daniel to go with her but Echo kicks her ass while getting flashes from her previous imprints (a part of me really wanted a Faith flashback just for fun) snapshot(10)and the two Dolls run off but without much success.

Cindy’s security staff drive Madeleine to the airport where Ballard catches up to her to warn her that she is being used, that the Dollhouse wants her to testify. When she asks why she should trust him he tries to explain that he sold his soul to the Dolhouse in return for her freedom. She seems less than grateful and ignores his advice.

Back at the Dollhouse DeWitt believes she’s figured it out. “With Perrin under his power, Harding controls snapshot(11)how far the damage goes. The senate sub-committee will clear Rossum of any contact with us and Perrin will be hailed as a conquering hero who has rescued all these poor souls. He’ll have the politic power to pass all the laws and regulations Rossum has programmed him to”

But destroying the Dollhouses would lose Rossum a massive chunk of capital surely? Unless they believe they could continue snapshot(12)to operate after coming clean?

Boyd asks what DeWitt plans to do… She replies simply… “Stop them.”

The last quarter of the episode takes place entirely within the Washington D.C branch of the Dollhouse, where the captured Echo and Daniel are brought. Chief techie Bennett Halverson is non-other Joss’ favourite diminutive little actress Summer Glau… 

Once again Summer plays a creepy, oddly intelligent, vaguely crazy person. Something she does well but… There is just something I don’t quite like about the character…

All the Dolls in the D.C house are named after Greek gods, is that narcissistic or just coincidence or are the D.C Dolls simply gods snapshot(13)amongst Actives? Also is the Greek connection relevant? Greek letters, Greek gods?

The tech Bennett uses seems less advanced than Topher’s. Although that could just be that she favours function over aesthetics. Bennett spots Echo and immediately dismisses her assistant.

Cindy arrives and hands over the Disruptor to Bennett who immediately recognises it as being Topher Brink’s handiwork, although as far as we can tell the two have never met. Cindy tries to hurry Bennett along. “The hearing starts in 10 hours and if Perrin isn’t there the plan is blown and we’re demoted to being dead.” Clearly the boss at the D.C. branch is a bit of a Devil… :P

Bennett uses her OCD to drive Cindy from the lab and then sets to snapshot(14)work on Echo… or as Bennett calls her… Caroline!

It seems that Bennett knew Echo before she became a Doll and clearly things did not end well. “Caroline, you always promised you’d come back to me…” Bennett whispers. “Let’s play…” She smiles wryly, before zapping Echo with electricity.


To be Continued…

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