Man, I wish this episode were better. In the past few weeks, heading toward the end, Dollhouse has really gained momentum. Throughout this series, there had been an ongoing mix of good and bad episodes, but lately the series had finally found some consistency, with a number of exciting plot developments.
In most respects, "The Hollow Men" was the resolution of the season (and really series) storyline, with the upcoming series finale, "Epitaph Two", returning to the future storyline from "Epitaph One", which is obviously an extension of what we've seen, but still an off-shoot of sorts. That put a lot of burden on "The Hollow Men", but even taking into account that Joss Whedon and his collaborators had to deal with a lot in a minimal amount of time, it's still difficult to not find this episode lacking.
The reveal that Boyd was the big villain of the piece was a nicely done shock last week, but it raised a lot of questions about what his true motivations were and the answers we were given were pretty weak. Yes, we got some monologuing about how he felt it was inevitable that the dollhouse tech be used to take over random people, and wanted to be on the winning side, but it all felt like a stretch. As the person behind the Dollhouse tech and the people creating it, Boyd could have worked to stop it, not accelerate it. But that was explained by going for the ol', "But he's also crazy" explanation, which just felt lazy. On top of that, learning Echo was special because she biologically had an immunity to imprinting that could be turned into a vaccine was just such a literal route for what had been a show going for a heady approach, and lacked much of an impact.
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