Dollhouse, Fox, Airs Friday 9/8c
Episode: “Spy in the House of Love” (Season 1, Episode 9)
Synopsis: When evidence is discovered of a spy in the Dollhouse, Topher and Dominic enlist Echo and Sierra to discover the leak. Meanwhile, Mellie returns to Ballard’s life, bringing more complications than he could have ever imagined. We learn more DeWitt’s inner workings and her private life and the Attic’s grizzly purpose is finally revealed.
Review: This week saw “Dollhouse” again ditch the linear storyline in favour of multiple focused threads of plot, with nicely misleading intersecting stories and snatches of overheard conversation which point down the wrong paths. Did anyone manage to dodge all the misdirects and see the story for how it really was, before all was revealed?
Again, Dichen Lachman showed that she could do a great job handling a large portion of the episode’s focus, but surprisingly Eliza Dushku also showed her acting chops and pulled off not only the dominatrix character but also the body language expert nicely. Even better, Echo herself is gaining more of a character, a sure sign that the season end is rolling around pretty soon. As Topher and DeWitt pointed out, she was protecting herself from the most prominent threat to her survival and she did it with style. Did Alpha ever request to be imprinted? While the higher ups did seem to think Echo acted only to protect herself, it is also possible that her aim was to be of help to the people in her life. Echo has shown a strong sense of loyalty to those surrounding her, so it would be fitting for her to step in in order to help protect them. Perhaps she should be more protective of herself, however, as the Attic looms over her as a possible punishment for straying too far into Alpha’s footsteps.
Yes, we finally discovered the mysteries of the Attic. It’s probably best that that wasn’t broached earlier in the season, as the concept really is quite horrific. Worse than Minority Report‘s prisons, worse than the conditioning in A Clockwork Orange, truly a horrific prospect. Losing yourself and your mind forever, unless they decide to give it back to you for some limited time frame before leaving you upstairs again. Not to mention the fact that experiencing the wiping seemed excruciating. Perhaps that was just the same as the initial wipe for the dolls, Sierra did seem in a great deal of pain during her first wipe, but there were not tubes running from the ceiling into her then. Just goes to show that you never cross the Dollhouse.
Speaking of the dangers of crossing the Dollhouse, Agent Ballard really should learn that it’s not safe to chase them. Now that he’s been informed that Mellie is not Mellie, he may have the advantage of protecting himself from revealing important information regarding his investigation, but he also has the tricky task of maintaining the illusion of a connection without letting her or the Dollhouse know that something’s wrong. Thank goodness the secret spy in the midst of the Dollhouse could program Mellie with that parameter, allowing Ballard to protect his investigation.
During November’s reveal to Ballard, she stated “Our person inside has been captured”. Strangely, this was before the spy was revealed. Could the spy sent to the Attic in this episode be a different one to the informant passing messages to Ballard? The tech imprinting the dolls with extra parameters was NSA based, which makes it more likely that the spies are one and the same, but is it possible that another spy exists who knew that this tech was available? Why would the NSA be interested in the purpose of the Dollhouse, rather than the technology employed?
As usual, “Dollhouse” leaves us with plenty of questions and a thirst for the answers. However, will the answers ever come? Ratings were down a little this week, with “Dollhouse” only getting 1.4 in the 18 to 49 market share. However, three episodes remain and with Prison Break as a lead in for the final installments, perhaps that number could be coaxed out of the red and into safer waters.
Up Next Week: “Haunted” – No new episode until 24th April, where a loss in Adelle’s life leads to a new mission for Echo. Meanwhile, Ballard investigates into someone he once thought of as a close friend, and Topher secretly programs Sierra for a new engagement.
Did you watch Dollhouse this week? What’d you think?