'Dollhouse': Michael Hogan underused (Season 2, Episode 3)


I suppose that it only makes sense that if the "Dollhouse" caters to the whims of the impossibly wealthy that sometimes it will step outside it's standard lines of operation. Or does it?


After all, we can't really forget that this is new and untested technology, the wiping of minds and implanting of amalgam psyches. Isn't that a grand enough degree of technological magic? It seems to me that it is, so I am rather bewildered by why they get involved in the case of the weird serial killer/coma patient, Terry. Don't get me wrong, I understand why Terry's uncle (played by the woefully underused Michael Hogan of Battlestar Galactica) wanted the Dollhouse involved - to use their technology to help his family avoid scandal and help his antisocial personality disordered nephew continue being mentally ill. But what did the Dollhouse get out of it? They get to keep the uncle as a client? Not for nothing, but they don't really seem to be hurting for engagements.


All the same, get involved they do, dumping the incapacitated Terry's consciousness into Victor and then letting Ballard play the FBI profiler in order to find out where the women he kidnapped are being held so they can avoid those women turning up dead while Terry remains comatose. But somehow, the kindly uncle outsmarts every person and the security system at the Dollhouse and breaks Terry/Victor free. Terry repays the kindness by face slamming his uncle into his steering wheel and running off to find his next victim. Realizing they have let loose a serial killer, Adelle says to track him via the GPS implant all the dolls have, but Topher reminds her that it was removed during his facial reconstruction surgery. Which makes me wonder 2 things.


1. If the dolls have GPS, why not dump Terry's mind into a doll and then just follow him back to his lair of preppy weirdness? Why bother with the profiling at all? 2. The GPS system is implanted into their faces?


Adelle tells Topher to figure out how to remote wipe Victor. Topher tries to explain that he needs a tone and a phone line and suddenly this is starting to sound a whole lot like the Matrix. Owing to Topher's genius, he figures out how to get into Victor's head - by using the bio-link that allows all the handlers to monitor their charges. It means the whole system will get knocked out for a moment, so they warn everyone to expect a few seconds of downtime. Unfortunately, it goes down and stays down.


During all this, Boyd has been handling Echo in order to free up Ballard to profile Terry. Echo has been in an engagement as a student named Kiki who needs "extra credit" from her college professor. When the bio-link snafu occurs, it apparently causes more than one glitch, as she stabs the kinky professor in the neck and utters Terry's catch phrase of "goodness gracious". At the same time, Victor becomes a bubbly girl in a dance club, complete with stripper style dancing. Which is nothing less then hilarious, thanks to Enver Gjokaj's portrayal. Seriously, is there a character this guy can't play like a fiddle?


Terry/Echo heads back to the creepy lair, where his captives have come out of their drug stupors and nearly escaped. Of course, they are confused by the sight of Echo displaying all of their tormentor's whacked out personality traits. I am equally confused by how Ballard manages to find Victor. Either way, he's just in time to save the beefy damsel in distress. Or, he could have been if Victor/Kiki hadn't already laid out the homophobic jock in the popped collar with a single punch. But Kiki's relieved hug at being reunited with Paul makes up for a lot, just based on the humor scale again.


In the end, the heavily armed men in black arrive to the creepy lair just in time to stop one of the captives from doing Echo's bidding and killing her before Terry's psyche returns to the surface. The women get led to safety and Echo gets taken in for a treatment. Returned to the near blank state of a doll, she encounters Ballard looking over the still comatose Terry - whose uncle has decided to take him to a regular hospital and let the less advanced medical sciences deal with him. She tells Ballard that she thinks Terry still dreams and he responds doubtfully before leaving her alone. Letting us close the evening on her saying "goodness gracious".


I think it is safe to say that we all realize that Echo is remembering the various personalities she ends up inhabited by. Where are we going with this information now? Also, Topher said he needed a tonal connection to a doll to make a change in their persona and that he would use the bio-link to send that tone to Victor. So, how did Echo get involved in the cross over? There was nothing about all the actives in the field hearing a tone, because that would have caused more wide spread problems. Having just Echo be affected seemed awfully convenient. What are your thoughts?


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Oct 20, 2009 7:45PM EDT

In season 1, Echo was already remotely wiped. It could always be that hearing the tone triggers it for the first time. As all of the actives would have had the frequency run through their locator beacons, it has still affected Echo, especially dur to her memories from when she was remotely wiped for teh first time.

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Nov 4, 2009 6:56PM EST

He didn't do it with a tone, thought, that was the point... He did it via the bio grid thing, and whilst he thought he'd isolated Victor he hadn't and it all got mixed up. But yeah, terribly convenient that it was Echo.
Also, I assume they didn't allow Victor/Terry to go off because he could do something psychopathic... And I also assume that the GPS strip would have interfered with surgical equipment....

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